Archive for May, 2013

Sirenia release second trailer for upcoming album; Perils of the Deep Blue

Posted in News with tags , , , , , on 21st May 2013 by Nico Davidson

Norwegian Gothic-Symphonic metallers Sirenia have released the second trailer for their upcoming album, Perils of the Deep Blue. The trailer can be viewed below.

The tracklist of the ltd. digipak edition – including two bonus tracks – reads as follows:

01. Ducere Me In Lucem
02. Seven Widows Weep
03. My Destiny Coming To Pass
04. Ditt Endelikt
05. Cold Caress
06. Darkling
07. Decadence
08. Stille Kom Døden
09. The Funeral March
10. Profound Scars
11. A Blizzard Is Storming

Bonus:
12. Chains
13. Blue Colleen

The new album Perils of the Deep Blue will be released 28th June (Europe), 1st July (UK) and 9th July (North America) via Nuclear Blast Records. Perils of the Deep Blue is the follow up to the band’s 2011 release The Enigma of Life. The album artwork can be viewed below.

Sirenia online:

http://www.sirenia.no
http://www.facebook.com/sirenia
http://www.twitter.com/sireniaofficial
http://www.youtube.com/user/SireniaOfficial
http://www.myspace.com/sirenia

Amon Amarth release trailer for threee-part documentary; Forgining Mjölnir

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , on 21st May 2013 by Nico Davidson

Yesterday, Swedish Vikings of Death Metal, Amon Amarth revealed a trailer for their forthcoming mini documentary which can be viewed at this location. Fittingly titled Forging Mjölnir, the short film will appear as a three-part series with each official segment slated to premiere via the band’s microsite at this location.

The Forging Mjölnir documentary comes in anticipation of Amon Amarth‘s ninth studio offering, Deceiver of the Gods. Recorded at Backstage Studios in Derbyshire, UK, and produced, mixed and mastered by Andy Sneap (Opeth, Megadeth, Exodus, Arch Enemy, Killswitch Engage), the follow-up to the band’s critically acclaimed 2011 Surtur Rising full-length delivers ten fiery battle hymns made of buzzsaw riffs and epic harmonies all driven by vocalist Johan Hegg‘s commanding Viking roar and absorbing accounts of Norse campaigns and treachery. Deceiver of the Gods comes adorned with another outstanding Tom Thiel-created cover portraying a mythical battle between the Norse figures Loki and Thor. As an added bonus, Messiah Marcolin (Candlemass) makes an appearance as guest vocalist on eighth track, Hel.

View the black and white Forging Mjölnir trailer where the band discusses their earliest musical influences,  as well as a stream of opening title track and first single, Deceiver of the Gods and special preorder info at this location.

Deceiver of the Gods will be released in the UK via Metal Blade Records June 24th.

Following a run of European festival dates next month, Amon Amarth will be opening the mainstage of this year’s edition of the Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Fest set to commence June 29 in San Bernardino.

Amon Amarth online:

http://www.amonamarth.com
http://www.facebook.com/OfficialAmonAmarth
http://twitter.com/amonamarthband

 

Paradise Lost celebrate 25th anniversary with special guests Lacuna Coil

Posted in Featured, News with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on 21st May 2013 by Nico Davidson

Thirteen albums into Paradise Lost‘s 25 year career, namedropping is pointless. The only band they can and should be held up against for comparison and consideration is… Well… Paradise Lost.

With a career dating back to 1988, and their official recording debut in 1990 (Lost Paradise), the band has been riding and rollercoaster of highs and lows. Guitarist Aaron Aedy remembers the early days:

I remember our first rehearsal at Studio X in the Dean Clough complex of Halifax, it was Saturday March 26th between the hours of one and four pm. We had a few ideas flying around and managed to write our first opus ‘Blood-filled-eyes’ and start our 2nd ‘Plains of Desolation’, I can only describe these songs as unique.

Afterwards we all went to the pub after to celebrate. Three and a half months later we were playing live, supporting Acid Reign and Re-Animator at the legendary Frog and Toad Night Club in Bradford. We had a 30 minute slot and only 15 minutes of music so we played one song twice, attempted a Sodom cover we hadn’t even learned and Nick [Holmes, vocals] did his stand up for the rest of it.

Throughout their career, Paradise Lost have not only created and defined genres and styles, but almost immediately transcended them. From the crawling, harrowing doom of their 1990 debut Lost Paradise, to the electronic flourishes prevalent in 1997’s One Second, 1999’s Host and 2007’s comeback to the heavier side of metal In Requiem and the latest opus Tragic Idol in 2012, their sound has continued to evolve vastly, but haunting melody and dark rock power has remained at the very core of their identity.

In 1991 the band released Gothic, not so much an album title as the definition for an entire genre, while the influence 1995’s huge-selling masterpiece Draconian Times – the missing link between Metallica and the Sisters of Mercy – echoes loudly in today’s scene, with the likes of Cradle of Filth, Nightwish and HIM owing a huge debt to their knack for injecting heavy rock with their trademark dark sheen.

Now it’s time to celebrate 25 years of glamour and gloom with four anniversary shows in October to which the band have invited their friends Lacuna Coil. Another, very special guest, will be announced shortly for those dates.

Paradise Lost anniversary shows:

Oct 30th – Wolverhampton – Wulfrun Hall (www.wolvescivic.co.uk)
Oct 31st – Glasgow – ABC (www.ticketweb.co.uk)
Nov 1st – Manchester – Ritz (www.kililive.com)
Nov 3rd – London – Roundhouse (www.kililive.com)

Tickets go on pre-sale Wednesday 22nd May and general sale Friday 24th May and a special VIP package is available to buy (limited to 25 per venue) which includes:

  • An exclusive deluxe box containing 2 engraved beer glasses featuring all the bands album titles and crown of thorns logo.
  • Exclusive VIP Only T-Shirt with artwork from the forthcoming Tragic Illusion album.
  • A 180 gram vinyl copy of the reissued landmark Gothic, personally signed by all the band members.
  • Crown of Thorns Tote Bag
  • VIP lanyard and laminate allowing you access to the show
  • Early access to the show
  • Meet and greet with the band
  • Photo opportunity with the band (please bring your own camera)

Nick had this to say about the forthcoming anniversary shows:

25 years IS a long time, on the surface we may look ramshackled, but playing music for so many years has kept us young in our hearts and I truly believe that a youthful spirit is one of the greatest things you can’t buy in a pub.

We have written many albums, played many concerts; we are older and not really any wiser, but there is a strong possibility we may play a song you thought we never would. So please come along and join the celebrations with us, including our biggest UK headline show to date!

Lacuna Coil’s frontwoman Cristina adds:

Paradise Lost were in between the bands that strongly influenced me as a singer, when I started my career with Lacuna Coil, so it is just awesome for me to realise we’ll share the stage with them on this upcoming tour.

I am sure that the dark vibe coming from the stage will totally embrace old school and new fans making it an event you absolutely CAN’T miss! Boy, I can’t wait!

Stay tuned for more exciting anniversary announcements including a special audio surprise for fans!

Paradise Lost online:

http://www.paradiselost.co.uk
http://facebook.com/paradiselostofficial

Lacuna Coil online:

http://www.lacunacoil.it
http://www.twitter.com/lacuna_coil
http://www.myspace.com/lacunacoil
http://www.youtube.com/lacunacoil
http://www.facebook.com/lacunacoil

Serpent Omega – Self-Titled

Posted in Review with tags , , , , , , , , on 21st May 2013 by Nico Davidson

Serpent Omega
Self-Titled
Released January 2013
Sludge-Doom Metal
Released via Mordgrimm Records

Formed in 2011, you would be forgiven for wondering exactly why you haven’t heard of Serpent Omega before and what they have to do with the revival of the sludge doom scene. Hailing from Sweden, a country with its roots deep in Black, Death and Doom Metal as well as all things Nordic, Serpent Omega carry the mantle of their musical and historical forefathers with pride and encourage others to worship the riff. It’s surprising that they’re a four piece considering the weight of the riffs and the thick foggy atmosphere produced by their sound and screeching vocals that lend a lot to what has come before, but at the same time is innovative and new.

Serpent Omega’s self-titled LP gives the Sludge Doom genre a breath of fresh air and offers plenty of riffs to bang your head to. The track Konflux is a classic example that resembles early Cathedral with its crunchy guitars and a bass that sounds more like an explosion. The vocals of the front woman Pia are refreshing and range from snarled and choked to ethereal and chant-like within the space of a song.

All elements combined provide an insight back into the bleak early 90’s, but they succeed where many have failed. There is variety in between tracks, and although they maintain that dusty and dirty atmosphere we crave from Doom, there are surprises in the form of blast beats, chanting and lead guitar patterns that any Death Metal guitarist would be proud of.

The production is honest and sounds distant. Pia for instance, sometimes sounds like she’s shouting from the bottom of a well, but that only adds to the crushing atmosphere of the album that gradually intensifies.

The track Smoke Ritual sounds like the bastard child of Entombed’s Wolverine Blues and Cathedral’s Forest of Equilibrium, and is full of riffs worthy of worship, but the sound is fresh and perhaps more accessible than the albums it is obviously influenced by. It certainly has the elements of groovy swinging riffs that Cathedral made their own, but it also has the biting attitude of Entombed and it is a winning combination.

Overall, Serpent Omega will appeal to those that desire to return to the doom scene of the early 90’s and although they will satisfy your sludgy cravings, they offer a modern twist on the genre.

4/5

Alex Cook

Serpent Omega online:

http://www.serpentomega.com/
https://www.facebook.com/serpentomega
http://serpentomega.bandcamp.com/

 

Deformation of Man – Self-Titled

Posted in Review with tags , , , , , , , , on 21st May 2013 by hammersmashedlauren

Deformation of Man
Self-Titled
Released 11 February, 2013
Groove Metal
Self Released

 

Hailing from Sheffield, Deformation of Man have come together to make hard-hitting metal that is loud and aggressive in every possible way. With the release of their self-titled debut album, they’ve compiled 10 tracks that are diverse in sound and will keep you headbanging whether you listen to it in the car, sitting at your computer, or even are your grandmother’s funeral.

What really impressed me most about this album were definitely the guitars. Melodic and groovy riffs are heard throughout every song which, to me, is important since all the songs didn’t sound like they ran together. Not only were they super catchy, they also were not overly technical. Technical metal has been on the rise lately so it’s nice to hear a band who keeps it simple but more importantly keeps it brutal.

A couple of my favorite tracks for me were Down in the Filth and Perfect Lie. These two songs had the most memorable riffs on the entire album. Both songs had awesome choruses and gave me the feeling of wanting to listen to more to the album. To be honest, I was not fully into this album when I first started listening to it, but as I listened to it more, it grew on me and I actually enjoyed it.

One flaw in this album though is definitely the vocals. To me, they seemed monotonous and would really sometimes drown out the rest of the music. If there were more high vocals added to this album, it would’ve made it that much better. The vocals are probably the reason why it took me longer to get into the album, and it’s not like the vocals were completely unbearable either. For some reason, bands with one-level vocals like Hatebreed make it harder for me to enjoy the songs.

However, I would say that is album is an overall hit. If you’re a fan of bands like Heaven Shall Burn, Hatebreed, or Thy Will Be Done, you will definitely enjoy this band and this album. The fact that the guitars sounded absolutely incredible on this album was enough to win me over, and I hope to hear more!

3.5/5

Lauren Gowdy

Deformation of Man online:

https://www.facebook.com/deformationofman

 

Dead By April w/ Beyond All Recognition @ The Underworld

Posted in Gig, Live on 20th May 2013 by Pieni

Beyond All Recognition + Dead By April
The Underworld Camden, London
18th May 2013

Dead By April are currently working on the follow-up to “Incomparable”, and an EP should be out around these days – this being the official reason for the European tour they’ve just engaged in. But of course that it’s also the perfect opportunity for the new screamer Christoffer “Stoffe” Andersson to show the fans why was he chosen as Jimmie Strimell’s replacement.

They brought along Beyond All Recognition, another Swedish band that I had the pleasure to learn about last year, when I was given their debut album “Drop=Dead” to review (which I rated 8 / 10, by the way).
They kicked off with “True Story”, one of the two songs from that album which made it to video – hence one of their most popular songs.
Later came “a song about alcohol”“Arriving With The Sun”, just before singer David Söhr asked if we knew a movie called “300” and wanting us to role-play the Spartans when King Leonidas asks them what is their profession. His question and the war cry in response would be repeated several times throughout the show, but that first one was the introduction to a brand new song called “Martyrs”.
Then while cheering with a bottle of water but saying that it was vodka, David took the chance to address to “the party people” as the rest of the boys started playing their own version of Swedish House Mafia’s “One (Your Name)”. Guitarist Paul Gidlöf would later on interrupt David with another cover, “a surprise”Metallica’s “Master Of Puppets” – but it would only last until the first vocals were supposed to come in. The crowd was somewhat disappointed so David made them laugh by saying they did have another cover for them, Michael Bolton’s “When A Man Loves A Woman” – the title sung as in the song’s chorus. Funny. Then in a more serious tone, he resumed what he originally was going to say before the Metallica moment, which was dedicating “What We’ll Die To Defend” to their fans.
A “real heavy song” (as if the others weren’t so…) in the form of “B*tch Please” and the gig ended afterwards with “Characters”. Beyond All Recognition’s dubcore is “a little” heavier than what the average DBA fan is used to, but given the response of most of the crowd, I believe they made quite an impression. And they surely deserve it.

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Even though I’ve been listening to Dead By April since late 2008, I’d only had the chance to see them live once, in 2009, and it wasn’t a very good show, to be honest. So I was glad to be able to finally give them another chance… and then Jimmie was out. But when I learnt that Stoffe was the new guy, that gladness doubled. When he joined Sonic Syndicate on the last leg of the “We Rule The Night” tour, I checked his background and heard his early work with Dødz and the current one with What Tomorrow Brings. So I knew his potential both in the studio and on stage (saw him with Sonic Syndicate in Madrid) and I was sure Dead By April couldn’t have made a better choice. And even so, I confess I wasn’t expecting the level of greatness that I’ve witnessed at The Underworld Camden that night. Stoffe is in this with full heart and soul, as if he’s been a part of it since the beginning. On a technical level, he has the same growl-pitch as Jimmie, so the songs didn’t suffer with the change of singers/screamers. So if you like Dead By April for the right reason – meaning the music and not because A or B is your kind of hottie – then you have no excuse to not like them anymore.
Okay, the concert. One of the new songs, “Empathy”, started it up, and even if the crowd wasn’t familiar with it, they rocked to it as if they’ve heard it thousands of times before.
“Two Faced” came afterwards, with singer Zandro Santiago helping drummer Alex Svenningsson at some point with the percussion. And speaking of helping, here the fans could already do it by screaming their lungs out to every word, which they actually did the whole show (save for the yet unreleased three songs, that is). “Losing You”, “What Can I Say” or “Dreaming” – the latter again with Zandro drumming away in an extended intro – are some of the songs where you could almost hear the crowd louder than the band itself.
It was between “Calling” and “Freeze Frame” that Zandro officially introduced Stoffe and the overwhelming cheers left no doubt of how welcome he is. That and the constant DBA! DBA!” between songs show how supportive their fans are. Still he left all the talking to Zandro, asking just if we were “ready for something faster” before “Lost”.
In early 2011, Dead By April released a compilation album called “Stronger”, with remixes, acoustic versions and bonus tracks. A video was filmed for the title-track, which included live footage from a gig performed precisely at The Underworld. Zandro mentioned it, adding “this time is better”. It was also during “Stronger” that he picked a camera from some fans in the front row, taking them a picture and then one of himself. And introduced Pontus Hjelm on the guitar right before the solo.
After “Mystery”, I thought that Zandro’s “this is the last song for tonight” was the usual pre-encore joke, but sadly it wasn’t. “Within My Heart” was the last song for real, no matter how loud the crowd screamed “We want more! We want more!”. But the boys compensated by hanging around with their fans afterwards, taking their time to sign autographs, take pictures and chat. DBA fans are dedicated, as aforementioned, but the guys in DBA themselves also have the fans “within their hearts”.

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Text & photos by Renata “Pieni” Lino

Full gallery in our Facebook page.

Arrayan Path – IV: Stigmata

Posted in Review on 20th May 2013 by izaforestspirit

Arrayan Path
IV: Stigmata
June 10th 2013
Power Metal
Released via Pitch Black Records

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Melodic epic power metal sensation “Arrayan Path” (formerly Arryan Path) return with their new, fourth album, entitled “IV: Stigmata”. The band’s previous three albums have received ecstatic reviews and ratings making it into several “best of the year” shortlists by various media. Two of these albums have been shortlisted for IMPALA’s European Independent Album of the Year Award. All this can only mean one thing of course and that’s one highly anticipated and very promising new album.

Clepsydra

Once the very good sounding heavy intro is out the way of way, Nicholas Leptos comes in on vocals and the song gathers a fast, heavy pace with a very resonant guitar solo in the middle from Socrates Leptos. Furthermore, with George Kallis on keyboards adding in the sound of a choir in the background throughout most of the song, adds another level of depth. I find this to be one of the better opening tracks I’ve heard on an album for some time now.
The Bible Bleeds
This song has a heavy intro with strong backing from the guitars and drums. The vocals once again I find very good with the delivery clear and precise. To my mind his voice reminds me a little bit of Tobias Sammet of Edguy and Avantasia fame. I like how the song talks about wanting the break the spell the bible has come to put on a lot of people. I like how this song seems to ask is the bible really your ticket to heaven? Is it really the word of god? With another pleasant sounding guitar solo towards the end of the track, followed by more well written and well-rounded vocals, this track picks up right where Clepsydra Left off.
Midnight and The First Born Massacre
This song has a much slower opening then the last two tracks and it has a gothic feel to it. As you might have guessed from the tile this songs is about the event of Passover and the plagues that descended down onto Egypt. Once the pace of the song begins to pick up again its curiously catchy repeated use of the words “rip my heart to pieces, pieces” got stuck in my head for a while afterwards. The chorus of “midnight, midnight our lives will end midnight” was another reiteration that got stuck in my head. The song is put together very well, Nicholas Leptos is once again stunning on the vocals and every other member of the band sounds outstanding.
Judas Iscariot
A strong opening to this song sounding very Egyptian for the first few bars, before falling into a melodic tempo with very powerful vocals yet again. This song like “Midnight and The First Born Massacre” has a very catchy chorus (which I promise you will get stuck in your head!) before slowing the pace and coming back with the Egyptian sounding intro again, swiftly followed by a blistering solo mid way through, which is probably the best sounding one on this album by far before some more epic vocals and that catchy chorus rounds out the song.
Stigmata (the title track and longest one on the album) provides a more calm and relaxed opening before finding that melodic pace again. There’s some decent progressive work through the first verse and chorus. Adding to that is the haunting choir once again, backed by a sweeping little instrumental part where the choir sound is used very well and just gives the song a total atmosphere of its own.
The vocals then come back in with the song, still keeping that entrancing melodic pace and sound, while adding in backing vocals which work well within the song. From the lyrics it I’m guessing that this song may be about the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, and the punishment he suffered before being nailed to the cross itself. Again another well put together song however the song does however spend a full 1 minute and 20 seconds slowly fading out with the haunting choir sound which in my opinion is a little bit too long even for a power metal band of this calibre.
Cursed Canaan
It’s at this point in the album we encounter a few much shorter songs. A slow but dramatic opening before the song kicks into a faster tempo. To my ear this song sounds like a more standard power metal track talking about wizards and other such power metal related things that you find in every power metal song these days. With the exception of some decent sounding guitar work in the middle there’s nothing that makes this particular track stand out.
Pharaoh’s Wish
Pretty good sounding intro and once again (as throughout this whole album) the lyrics are outstanding with Nicolas Leptos’ bittersweet tone of voice. He really does display how, with his powerful vocals, he conveys to the listener a general atmosphere of heart-wrenching melancholy. Further more this song is another catchy one with a middle section you could happily do some form of jig to if you wanted.
Harbingers of Death
The bass and drum combination to start this track off makes for an interesting change insofar that you can hear the bass for once. More well paced and melodic sounding stuff from the band add to the guitars sounding very effective in this track. The chorus of the track is my personal favourite part mainly again due to how amazing the vocals sound. Although this track does seem a bit more experimental than other tracks on this album, they still manage to make it sound truly outstanding.
Disguising Your Soul
A surprisingly different sounding opening to this track, a lot slower in pace but it picks up again fairly quickly. Lovely work with the keyboards on this one alongside the still fantastic sounding guitars. The sound on this track has a slight 80’s feel to it, mainly in the solos but it works well as it has done on previous tracks on their earlier albums. This is carried over into the haunting choir sound in the middle which slows the pace again which I liked a lot. Add into this the still breath-taking vocals from Nicolas Leptos and it all just works to bring the track together nicely.
The Storyteller
Another longer track with this one. I have to say that it wouldn’t surprise me if this track ever ended up on a film sound track it has such an atmosphere to it. A good build up at the start before coming in with the drums, it plods along nicely into the first chorus, where again the adding in of backing vocals works really well. As the track progresses to the middle part it brings in another very memorable guitar solo to coincide with some epic sounding screaming, then just before the track is about to end it shifts entirely to be left with the sound of a solo playing acoustic guitar for a few bars. Then the drums come crashing back in again for the final time to bring this track to a climactic and thrilling end.
Mystic Moon
This song is a re-recording of the opening song of the band’s first demo. A beautiful fast paced intro and some well-timed screams and brutal sounding guitars build this up very nicely to allow Nicolas Leptos to come in and move the song along. It carries on into the chorus with more amazing vocal work on top of thunderous guitars this track is another epic track by these guys. It’s a little bit of a shame it’s a re- recording but that still doesn’t take way from this track as a whole. However this has strong overtones of another standard power metal song but the songs title does make the band DarkMoor come to mind as which is no surprise considering both bands sound alike at times.
Charming Paranoia
Well here we are the final track out this truly amazing album.
Some haunting keyboards again give the song a very strong atmosphere, which sounds a little like a Nightwish intro very soft and magical. The addition of an opera singer joining Nicolas Leptos on vocals gives it a new dimension which only helps to build up how really magical and moving this track becomes. The more it goes on, and the orchestral sound throughout is really awe inspiring. A very poignant way to bring the curtain down on this outstanding album.

There we have it then ladies and gentleman, a truly brilliant album by a truly brilliant band. Nicholas Leptos has one of the most powerful and commanding voices I’ve heard out of any front man for a very long time. Its tracks such as Midnight and The First Born Massacre, Clepsydra and Charming Paranoia are where the album is really shined through. If you also factor in the guitar work by Socrates Leptos and some of his fantastic sounding solos he did on some of the tracks. Then also add in the other member of the band they all do there part and help tie this album together nicely.

There’s only one possible score I could give this album

5/5
Luke “GothicSpike” Smith

Helloween – Straight out of Hell

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on 20th May 2013 by Paul

Helloween
Straight out of Hell
Released January 16th, 2013
Power/Speed Metal
Released via Sony Music Entertainment Germany GmbH

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Along with Blind Guardian and Grave Digger, Helloween are one of the longest running and most prolific bands of the German Power Metal scene. Their career is a textbook example of the journey that many metal bands go through. Their first album, Walls of Jericho was a highly acclaimed debut that shortly followed by the band’s masterpieces: The Keeper of the Seven Keys parts 1 and 2. In typical eighties Metal band style, the group entered their second decade of existence with an awkward experimental phase in the early nineties, recording Pink Bubbles Go Ape and Chameleon, to far less success and acclaim than their previous releases. After this, the band bounced back with The Time of the Oath and Better than Raw and have since settled into a more stable pattern of creating a decent album every few years for the last decade or so. This brings us to 2013 and Straight out of Hell.

What should listeners expect of this album? It’s a solid effort from a mostly solid band. Worth at least a listen or two, the record features a relatively diverse amount of songs that showcase Helloween’s great style. Fast songs, slower songs, the epic 7 minute opener, anthemic songs and a decent sprinkling of the band’s trademark eccentric humour for good measure make up this record. Some album highlights include Far From The Stars, Church Breaks Down, the title track Straight out of Hell, the gloriously cheesy Hold Me in Your Arms and the epic starter track Nabatea. This is a reliably good record that should sit comfortably in the collection of any Helloween fan, but also any fan of modern Power Metal. With typical Maideneque song writing that has so often defined the band, soaring choruses and epic, neoclassical elements, this album is proof that Helloween can still write some entertaining songs.

3.5/5

Paul Gibbins

 

Hypocrisy – End of Disclosure

Posted in Review with tags , , , , , on 20th May 2013 by mariadodarmata

End of Disclosure
Hypocrisy
Melodic Death / Death Metal
Released March 22nd 2013
Released via: Nuclear Blast

Hypocrisy is that kind of band that even if you are not in to the kind of music they do, you have at least heard of the once. Doing some awesome music since the last century, they released their newest work just a few weeks ago. And what a release! If you were expecting hearing some of their characteristic sci-fi themes, you are in for a surprise… sort of.

The album starts up with rather epic sounding melodics. A prelude for some alien experimenting tune? Nope. The album has a consistent theme regarding social issues. For the first four songs and then the seventh we hear a harsh but dead-on critique to social repression by media and wealth, greed, a bit of capitalism, war and some world wealth distribution. It is like a call for revolution, The Eye (third song) being my favourite -  rhythm, melody and theme wise.

On the other songs we can find some early Hypocrisy themes: genocide, nightmares, death, hell and demons populate the themes of the songs. In Hell is Where I Stay (sixth song of the album) the lyrics go on about how the protagonist lives in hell, comes for your soul, makes Jesus weep, yet don’t ever explicitly mention being a demon or Satan.., Super smooth! In a different note, in  44 Double Zero (track five) I found a rather Balls to the Wall sound on the bridge and pre-chorus.

Going back to what’s important, if it wasn’t for The Return (Ninth and last song of the album), I’d say songs five, six and eight are just floating there disconnected, but said song comes and ties together the social inequity mentioned constantly throughout the album with that fantasy element of the songs. Starting up with a super soft, melodic intro that then turns heavy (which reminds me to Insomnium’s Equivalence album), the song is the epitome of the whole albums thematic. Takes that inequity message and blends it together with the magic flying demons thing, culminating a call for revolution and change.

This album is highly recommended both to old Hypocrisy fans and new listeners.

4.5/5

María Mata

Hypocrisy online:

http://www.hypocrisy.cc/
http://www.facebook.com/hypocrisy
http://www.youtube.com/hypocrisy
http://twitter.com/hypocrisyband
http://www.reverbnation.com/hypocrisy
http://www.myspace.com/hypocrisy
http://www.last.fm/music/Hypocrisy

Sirenia release first trailer for Perils of the Deep Blue

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , , on 20th May 2013 by Nico Davidson

The upcoming new Sirenia record is titled Perils Of The Deep Blue and will be out on June 28th via Nuclear Blast Records.

The band completed the first trailer with impressions from the studio and some cool information. Watch the trailer below:

The tracklist of the ltd. digipak edition – including two bonus tracks – reads as follows:
01. Ducere Me In Lucem
02. Seven Widows Weep
03. My Destiny Coming To Pass
04. Ditt Endelikt
05. Cold Caress
06. Darkling
07. Decadence
08. Stille Kom Døden
09. The Funeral March
10. Profound Scars
11. A Blizzard Is Storming

Bonus:
12. Chains
13. Blue Colleen

Regarding his thoughts on the new album, vocalist and guitarist Morten Veland comments:

The entire band and all the people we are working with are absolutely ecstatic about it! This album takes Sirenia to the next level and brings many new sides of us to the table. There’s typical tried and tested Sirenia stuff but also approaches that you’ve never heard from us before. I think I’ve never felt so good about an album throughout my entire career. I mean, I love them all, but this one is something special. It’s the result of two and a half years of blood, sweat and tears. I’ve literally put my heart and soul into this record, so I am very curious to see what our fans as well as the press will think about it!

Perils Of The Deep Blue was produced by the mastermind himself, while the mixing and mastering was done by Endre Kirkesolain Dub Studios, Oslo. Veland also states:

The writing process has been going on for about two years. I always have ideas for new stuff, so I started writing even before we had released our previous album The Enigma Of Life. Most of it has been recorded in my own studio. I love to work there as I always feel inspired – plus we can take our time with whatever we do, for there is no time pressure. Just like for all of our previous albums, we also dropped by Sound Suite Studios in France – a great place that feels like home, too. This time we recorded the Marseille choir there that one can always hear on our records, as well as some of my acoustic guitar parts.

The album artwork was originally painted by Anne Stokes – though it wasn’t intentionally created to be used as such, as Morten explains:

I came across the artwork on the Internet and immediately fell in love with it for obvious reasons – it’s no secret that I’ve always been fascinated by Greek mythology and sirens. So we got in touch with Anne and luckily she granted us the permits to use it for the record. I actually drew the inspiration for the album title Perils Of The Deep Blue from the artwork. In my opinion, it’s the perfect Sirenia cover – there was no way we could have let that opportunity slip away!

Sirenia online:

http://sirenia.no
http://facebook.com/sirenia
http://nuclearblast.de/sirenia
http://www.twitter.com/sireniaofficial
http://www.lastfm.de/music/sirenia
http://www.myspace.com/sirenia

Leaves’ Eyes issue recording update; vocal recordings complete

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , on 18th May 2013 by Nico Davidson

Norwegian-German symphonic folk metallers Leaves’ Eyes announced recently on their Facebook page that Liv Kristine has finished recording her vocals for the upcoming album, Symphonies of the Night. The full announcement is as follows:

Dear Fans and Friends,

Good news from Mastersound Studio: The vocal recordings for all songs of our up-coming release Symphonies of the Night have just been completed. Moreover, Alex is already busy with the mix of the album.

We have taken a great inspirational step since the production of Meredead, both sound-wise and vocal-wise. It has been such a pleasure evolving in my singing techniques and knowledge and I thank my band members for ‘giving me an inspirational kick’ when I needed to gain momentum behind the microphone. Symphonies of the Night is hauntingly dream-like and heavy to the core!

In related news, Liv Kristine will be featured on the upcoming, currently untitled Tyr album, on the track The Lay of Our Love where she’ll be performing a duet with Tyr frontman Heri Joensen.

Leaves’ Eyes online:

http://www.leaveseyes.com
https://www.facebook.com/leaveseyesofficial/
http://twitter.com/Leaves_Eyes
http://www.youtube.com/user/LeavesEyesOfficial

 

Tristania – Darkest White

Posted in Review with tags , , , , , on 18th May 2013 by Nico Davidson

Tristania
Darkest White
Released 3rd June 2013
Gothic Metal/Symphonic Metal
Released via Napalm Records

Tristania have been an essential part of Norway’s metal since their formation in 1995. Following a number of line-up changes over the years, Tristania have reinvented themselves but kept true to their roots. With six albums already released, Darkest White is the band’s seventh studio release.

Number begins the album with its black metal inspired riffs, running in the same vein as bands like Mayhem or a less melodic Immortal. The harsh vocals of Anders help cement the black metal sound but it’s the vocal work of Mariangela that brings the more harmonious elements to the song, whilst the subtle uses of keyboards injects the gothic elements. The title track, Darkest White, differs vastly from the opening song; featuring more use of male vocals and a constant flow of keyboard passages while the guitars belt out alternative sounding riffs.

Other tracks on the album seem to changes from a keyboard-laden sound to a guitar-driven one, displaying the emotional vocal workings of frontwoman, Mariangela. A lot of the songs on the album, overall, aren’t as powerful or emotive as they could be, leaving a lot to be desired, especially for new listeners to the band.  Lavender is quite a relaxing track, the kind you can just chill out to with beer in hand and the use of vocals throughout the song just make it evermore soothing. Arteries brings the album to a vicious end, in similar fashion to the way the album began only taking the song on the more destructive path of death metal influenced sounds followed by some adept conjuring of bloodthirsty vocals and melodic clean singing.

Darkest White shows a vast evolution in Tristania’s sound, though it sounds to be an album that the listener won’t grasp straight away. The constant change of sounds and musical elements throughout the length of the album took away the emotional levels usually found in Tristania’s music.

3/5

Nico Davidson

Tristania online:

http://www.tristania.com
http://www.myspace.com/tristania
http://www.facebook.com/OfficialTristania
http://www.twitter.com/tristaniaband

 

Powerwolf shoot video for Amen & Attack

Posted in News with tags , , , , , on 18th May 2013 by Nico Davidson

The wolves of darkened power metal, Powerwolf, have just spent some adventurous and thrilling days and nights shooting a video for the song Amen & Attack from the upcoming album Preachers of the Night. Expect a blast of furious scenes with a lot of fire, a burning organ and a sinister screenplay.

Preachers of the Night will be release via Napalm Records. The official release date is yet to be announced. The track listing is as follows:

1. Amen & Attack
2. Secrets Of The Sacristy
3. Coleus Sanctus
4. Sacred & Wild
5. Kreuzfeuer
6. Cardinal Sin
7. In The Name Of God (Deus Vult)
8. Nochnoi Dozor
9. Lust For Blood
10. Extatum Et Oratum
11. Last Of The Living Dead

Powerwolf online:

http://www.powerwolf.net/
http://www.facebook.com/powerwolfmetal

 

Sonic Syndicate in pre-production mode

Posted in News on 17th May 2013 by Pieni

On May 2nd Sonic Syndicate confirmed what their fans had been guessing from the photos posted on their Twitter and Instagram accounts – that the hiatus was over and the band is working on the “We Rule The Night” follow-up.

Today they announced on Facebook that this Monday guitarist Robin Sjunnesson will meet up with singer Nathan Biggs in Helsinkin to get deeper in this pre-production process, with the promise of a new video update.

Official website

Interview with Martijn Westerholt [Delain]

Posted in Featured, Interview with tags , , , , , , , on 17th May 2013 by Nico Davidson

Delain recently headlined the Dames of Darkness Festival in Bilston, near Wolverhampton and Nico was able to grab hold of the band’s founding member, main songwriter and keyboardist, Martijn, for a chat about all things Delain, the band’s recent move to Napalm Records and other things.

Nico: Hi Martijn, it’s nice to finally meet you. How are you doing?

Martijn: I’m fine, I’m great thanks.

N: Good to hear. Our first question actually comes from a fan: which albums have inspired you to become a musician?

M: That’s a good one..Well I don’t know if albums triggered me to become a musician, but my first albums I bought were We Can’t Dance, by Genesis, an album from The Police I think. And slowly the music became a little bit harder and noisier. So it just evolved like that.

N: In your opinion, what are the best and worst parts about being in a band?

M: The best parts are that you meet a lot of people from a lot of cultures. You come in a lot of places. It’s not like people think, that you do a lot of sightseeing, because most of the time you don’t have time for that. But in general of course you do see a lot of places and that’s very nice. Perhaps the best thing about being a musician is that if you write music, it ends up on your album and you see an album being born. That’s terrific, that’s magic. And that’s one of the best parts I think. The worst is that its hard work and you have to be creative with financial means. It’s a lot of pressure. People always have an opinion about you or about your music so you have to deal with that otherwise you shouldn’t be a musician. I think that’s the bad thing.

N: Delain’s most recent two albums, We Are The Others and Interlude have a more accessible sound than the previous two albums. Do you think this is the sort of sound Delain is going to be going for in the future?

M: To be very honest, it’s not that we do something like that deliberately; like ‘okay let’s make a softer album now’. For example with Interlude we had a lot of material which we didn’t use yet and we had a lot of requests from fans asking for releasing a DVD, releasing special material and that’s what we did. Coincidence had it that this was more of the softer material. And with our last full album We Are The Others, we just went with the flow and it can be open to use grunts again in the next album for example. I just don’t know, it’s about what comes out of your mind and then we go with the flow and see what happens.

N: Earlier this year Delain signed to Napalm Records. What were the reasons behind moving from Roadrunner Records to Napalm?

M: Well, Roadrunner was bought by Warner, like the big label who people also know from movies for example. Their music department is Warner Music and they bought Roadrunner. They fired a lot of people and I actually saw this label going down, which was a shame. They originated in Holland actually, they were a really big label, a really good label. But when we released We Are The Others there was a transition going on and for us it was really, really bad. It were really hard times and fortunately at a certain point we were free to go. And then we talked to a lot of other labels and we ended up with Napalm because Napalm thought the same about what direction we wanted to go. It was the best deal and I think this label fits us really well. We are also as of yet still very satisfied to work with them and from what I understand also the other way around. So it’s good that we changed.

N: Recently you [Delain] released Interlude and just last year you released We are the Others. Have Delain started writing any new material for the next album?

M: Absolutely, we’re very busy with that right now because we would like to release a new album beginning 2014. Then we’re going to play with Within Temptation. It would be very nice if we can release around that time. On the other hand you can never control a creative process. You can stimulate and guide it to a specific direction and the more time you have to write the faster it will go of course. But it’s going to be a challenge to get it done but we’re working on it. So we’re writing new material as we speak.

N: Will there be any main concepts within the new material, like with We Are The Others it was celebrating being different and not being part of what society classifies as the norm.

M: In general we do aim to have a general theme in an album, but we’re not there yet. So for now I don’t know, I just don’t know.

N: Obviously big things have been happening for Delain this year: signing to Napalm Records and being announced being to tour with Within Temptation early next year. What does it feel like to suddenly have a huge buzz around you since the release of We Are The Others?

M: That’s of course very good, it’s always good for a band to have a big buzz going on. Actually, last year was very difficult for us when we were still at Roadrunner. I even thought about quitting completely because what we wanted with that album didn’t happen. People who we worked with for a very long time were going and now it’s completely turned around, flipped over to a very positive vibe and it can go very fast. I’m very happy about that and it supports the band members as well of course, having this buzz going on. I’m really happy with that.

N: When it comes to writing new material, where do you draw your inspiration from?

M: It can be a lot of things. It can be a song I heard, a movie I’ve seen. Most of the time it’s just feeling like writing and then things come out. There’s not really a concrete thing which makes me write. It’s just a general urge to make some music. Most of the time we’re together: me, Charlotte and our current writer Guus. We work together on it and it just happens.

N: Which band, excluding your own band Delain, would you say is your favourite on the symphonic metal scene at the moment?

M: That’s a good one! I’ve always been a fan of Nightwish. I’ve been a fan of the writing of Tuomas, so I would say Nightwish.

N: Are there any other plans for Delain this year besides playing at Dames of Darkness and playing the Metal Female Voices Fest in Belgium in October?

M: We’re doing a really special show, it’s actually our last show, in November in Holland. That’s going to be a really special one with special effects, guests etc. And we’re going to do the support tour of Kamelot for the US in September. And then it’s writing and recording new material.

N: Out of the two current tours that you’ve got coming up, which one would you say is the one you are looking forward to the most?

M: That’s a good one..I think our special show is one I’m looking forward to. I’m looking forward to all of them actually. And I’m looking forward to the tour for the US because I like the country a lot. And I’m looking forward to seeing new places so I look forward to that as well.

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

M: The soundtrack? That’s a good one…That’s a difficult one…I think We Are The Others would fit a movie very well. So I would take We Are The Others but if I have to choose one movie now… Perhaps a Marvel movie, like The Avengers or something like that, or Iron Man. I would like that very much.

N: Sounds like good choices. Do you have anything you would like to say to our readers before we finish up?

M: I hope that they like our latest release very much. I hope they can enjoy it and I hope to see them soon at a show. That would be nice.

N: Thank you for your time Martijn, have a good show tonight.

M: Thanks a lot!

 

Delain online:

http://www.delain.nl
https://www.facebook.com/delainmusic/
https://twitter.com/delainmusic

 

Vagos Open Air: 2 more down, 1 left to go

Posted in News on 16th May 2013 by Pieni

 photo voa13d_zpsc94f6258.jpg

Vagos Open Air has revealed today 2 other bands of this edition’s bill: the Portuguese industrial masters Bizarra Locomotiva and Finnish power metal Sonata Arctica. Meaning that there’s only one name left to be unveiled. As soon as Prime Artists announce it, so will we.

Black Star Riders discuss signing to Nuclear Blast

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , on 16th May 2013 by Nico Davidson

Black Star Riders, the new band featuring Thin Lizzy members Ricky Warwick, Damon Johnson, Scott Gorham and Marco Mendoza together with drummer Jimmy DeGrasso (Alice Cooper/Megadeth), have announced All Hell Breaks Loose as the title of their debut album on Nuclear Blast Entertainment recently and in anticipation of the release, Nuclear Blast sat Scott Gorham and Ricky Warwick in front of a camera to ask them more about the signing. Find out why the band ended up choosing Nuclear Blast to release their new album All Hell Breaks Loose, below:

Black Star Riders online:
facebook.com/BLACKSTARRIDERSOFFICIAL
BLACKSTARRIDERS.com
twitter.com/BLACKSTARRIDERS

 

The Black Dahlia Murder stream new song via Revolver Magazine

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , on 16th May 2013 by Nico Davidson

The Black Dahlia Murder‘s brand new album, Everblack, will be released in less than a month. Following the overwhelmingly positive reaction to Into the Everblack, the band has partnered with Revolver Magazine to stream another song from Everblack. Fans can listen to Rape in Hatred by Vines of Thorn, an ode to one of Trevor Strnad‘s favourite horror movies, Evil Dead, now at this location.

In an article previously published on Bloody-Disgusting.com, Strnad recalled the impact of the movie:

I remember the first time I saw Evil Dead… it was at my friend’s birthday party in 7th grade. It was recommended by the same older sister that had gotten us all into punk and heavy metal music… so we knew we were in for the real deal. The movie scared the unholy 13 year old shit out of us… we were terrified. I remember the possessions really affecting me… the way the people would contort and writhe was disturbing. The possessed had that awful way that they sounded when they spoke and howled… pretty insane as well. The vine rape scene was intense… I love the idea of the forest coming alive… so much so that I wrote a song about it many years later.

The Black Dahlia Murder‘s sixth full-length album, Everblack,will be released on on June 10th in the UK. The cover art for Everblack was painted by renowned artist Nick Keller with Weta, whose recent projects include: The Hobbit, Avatar, Chronicles of Narnia, and more. Recording was completed at Audiohammer Studios (lead guitars and vocals), Rustbelt Studios (drums), and Regal Fecal (guitar and bass). Mixing was handled by Jason Suecof and Ryan Williams, mastering was completed by Alan Douches at West Westside. Trevor Strnad‘s horror-inspired lyrics persist on Everblack, beginning with In Hell is Where She Waits for Me, a reference to the murder from which the band took for their moniker.

Fans can stream Into the Everblack now at the band’s Metal Blade page. Also, there are a variety of limited edition pre-order bundles. Fans can grab Everblack on a double gatefold LP with purple/white marbled vinyl, along with “crime scene bundles.” An evidence pack, which includes toe tags, deceased band member photos, spent shotgun shells, and more can be viewed now.

The Black Dahlia Murder will be touring in support of Everblack all summer long in the USA as part of the Van’s Warped Tour.

Then In September they’ll be in Europe. Catch them here in the UK:

20.09.13 – LONDON – Islington Academy
21.09.13 – MANCHESTER – NQ Live
22.09.13 – GLASGOW – Cathouse

The Black Dahlia Murder online:

http://www.facebook.com/theblackdahliamurderofficial
http://www.youtube.com/blackdahliamurdertv
http://twitter.com/bdmmetal

 

Tyr enlist George Kollias for upcoming album; Liv Kristine announced as guest vocalist

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on 16th May 2013 by Nico Davidson

Hailing from the Faroe Islands, Týr are currently recording their new album with producer Jacob Hansen (Volbeat, Aborted, Mercenary) at his studios in Denmark. For drum tracking on this album, Týr have enlisted the services of George Kollias, one of metal’s most accomplished drummers, primarily known for his work in Nile, as well as Nightfall. A video featuring drum tracking highlights, as well as a short message from Kollias, is streaming now on YouTube, which can be viewed here.

George Kollias comments on the experience:

Hey Týr fans, this is George Kollias and I hope you are ALL ready for a crushing new album from Týr!!! I had the pleasure to record the drums on the new album, we had an absolutely great time in the studio and I gotta tell you, the material is super strong and catchy, I’m 100% sure you will all love this new album!! Big thanks to Heri, Terji and Gunnar for the opportunity and to Jacob Hansen for his incredible work with the recordings!

Týr comments: 

It was a pleasure to have George in studio. He’s an amazing drummer and he certainly made an impact on this album. We’re very excited to release this album.

A recent announcement on the Týr Facebook page has confirmed that the band has parted ways with drummer Kári Streymoy. The band commented on the amicable split:

We regret to inform you that Kári Streymoy and the rest of the band have parted ways. Kári suffered a back injury in 2008, and since then he has had some issues with his drumming. That is the main reason that the co-operation has been problematic for some time now, and we finally decided to part ways. We want to thank Kári for his time in the band. It’s been great to have you with us, we wish you the best of luck in the future and we hope you recover fully some day.

This album will be the band’s seventh full length effort. One of the new tracks, The Lay of Our Love, will feature a duet with Týr vocalist Heri Joensen and Liv Kristine from Leaves Eyes. In an update on Leaves Eyes’ official Facebook page, Kristine announced:

Dear Viking-Metal Fans & Friends,
I am very happy to announce that I will be joining Týr for the duet The Lay Of Our Love on their up-coming album (title still to be revealed), which is set to be released this Fall. Heri already joined Leaves’ Eyes at our headliner show in Wacken Open Air 2012. This was an absolute highlight during our live performance, moreover, I really like his voice and I am grateful for the invitation. A superb track, with inspiring melodies and lyrics, proving the authenticity of Týr.
Love,
Liv

More details will be unveiled in the forthcoming months as music and art are completed. The band has been posting images from the studio throughout the recording process, so make sure to follow them on their official Facebook page for candid photos and personal updates from the band.

Týr online:

http://www.tyr.fo/
https://www.facebook.com/tyrband
http://twitter.com/tyrband

 

Voodoo Highway – Showdown

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , on 13th May 2013 by izaforestspirit

Voodoo Highway
Showdown
Released 26th April 2013
Classic Rock/ Hard Rock
Released via Dust on The Tracks Records

 photo VoodooHighwayShowdown-scaled_zps0fe3b515.jpg

‘Showdown’ is the second album from the Italian classic rock band Voodoo Highway. It is the follow up to their 2011 debut release ‘Broken Uncle’s Inn’. The band’s popularity amongst classic rock fans has led to several hailing them as “the new Deep Purple”. The cover-art for ‘Showdown’ was designed Storm Thorgerson (known for his work with Pink Floyd and Black Sabbath).

Straight from the offset you’re in for some catchy rock tunes with the aptly titled This Is Rock’n’Roll, Wankers! taking you on a journey filled with energetic, fun sounding guitar riffs and sing-along vocals. Ok, the lyrics are a little silly but it’s all done in the name of good fun. It’s not all catchy rock tunes though, as the slower tracks like Wastin’ Miles prove that Voodoo Highway is no one-trick-pony and they can produce great-sounding, melodic guitar ballads.

The main thing that stands out on here is the guitars which offer an impressive range of catchy riffs, groovy melodies and solos adding to the overall energetic feel of the music. If it’s guitar solos you’re after, look no further than A Spark From The Sacred Fire for your next air guitar practice session. Then there’s Mountain High which sees the focus shift towards the keyboards for the first time, a somewhat unexpected move but seems to suit the song.

There’s something really uplifting about this album. It’s easy to picture this playing in the background on a hot summer day when you’re having a barbeque with your non-metal friends.

4/5

Iza Raittila