Archive for November, 2013

Crowbar are in the studio

Posted in News with tags , , , , on 21st November 2013 by Pieni

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Now that frontman Kirk Windstein left Down, he’s more than ready to focus 100% on Crowbar, whose last album, “Sever The Wicked Hand”, was released in early 2011. Its successor is finally in the making, as the New Orleans finest sludge band has entered the OCD Recording Studio with engineer Duane Simoneaux and Zeuss in charge of the mixing. This album, the band’s 10th, is the first to feature bass player Jeff Golden and it’s expected to hit the stores somewhere in 2014.

There are a few live dates planned already, with the promise of more to come:

05.04.2014 München – Backstage, Germany
06.04.2014 Roma – Traffic Live Club, Italy
07.04.2014 Milano – Lo Fi Club, Italy
08.04.2014 Aarau -Kiff, Switzerland
09.04.2014 Weinheim – Café Central, Germany
10.04.2014 Tilburg – Roadburn Festival, Netherlands
11.04.2014 Cambrai – Betizfestival, France
12.04.2014 Durbuy – Durbuy Rock Festival, Belgium
13.04.2014 Köln -Underground, Germany
22.06.2014 Clisson – Hellfest, France

Crowbar online:

ASG premier Scrappy’s Trip and announce Desertfest date

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

ASG, who release their debut album, Blood Drive, via Relapse Records in May earlier this year have unveiled their new video for Scrappy’s Trip. The song is taken from the band’s aforementioned debut album. The video can be viewed below. The video features live performance footage of the North Carolinian quartet’s show at Ziggy’s in their home own of Wilmington.

ASG have been added to the line up for Desertfest which will happen in London between 25th-27th April 2014; the line up also features Church of Misery and Dragged Into Sunlight, with more bands still to be announced. This date is in addition to their already confirmed appearance at Roadburn Festival, which takes place in Tilburg, NL, between 10th -13th April. Label mates Locrian, Inter Arma, Lord Dying, True Widow, Windhand and -(16)- will also be performing at Roadburn.  ASG’s next live outing is 4th December as part of Scion A/V’s ongoing Scion Rock Show series in Los Angeles at The Satellite.  Tickets can be confirmed at this location.

ASG online:


Behemoth post third video teaser online

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

The legendary Polish extreme metallers Behemoth recently announced that they will release their long-awaited new album The Satanist in February 2014. The first official taste of the album will manifest in the form of the official single and video Blow Your Trumpets Gabriel. The video was produced by Grupa 13 and will be released 4th December. But a series of teaser videos can be seen online, including the new third teaser, which can be viewed below. The first and second teasers can be found at these locations: Teaser OneTeaser Two.

The Satanist was produced by Behemoth, Wojtek and Slawek Wieslawscy and Daniel Bergstrand in Hertz Studio. It was then mixed by Matt Hyde (Slayer) and mastered by Ted Jensen (Metallica, AC/DC) at Sterling Sound. The cover art, which will also be revealed on 4th December, is a painting by renowned Russian painter and occultist, Denis Forkas. Nergal‘s own blood was used in the paint when creating the cover artwork and additional artwork was created by Metastazis and Zbigniew Bielak.

The limited edition 12″ EP of Blow Your Trumpets Gabriel will be released on 4th December 2013 via Behemoth/New Aeon Musick in Europe and will be released as a gatefold with each copy hand numbered and signed by the band. There will be only 2,000 copies of the EP available: 1000 white and 1000 black.

The 12″ EP can be pre-ordered via Behemoth‘s webstore (white vinyl and black vinyl) and will contain the first single off of The Satanist, plus two non-album tracks: If I Were Cain and a cover from Polish Post-Punk New Wave legendary band SiekieraLudzie Wschodu. Pre-orders will also be available at and

The Blow Your Trumpets Gabriel digital single will be available to buy on iTunes on the 12th December.

Behemoth online:


Bog – Morok – Industrialypse

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , on 21st November 2013 by izaforestspirit

Bog Morok
Released 21st October 2013
Industrial Metal/ “Space Metal”
Released via More Hate Productions

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‘Industrialypse’ is the new album from the Russian industrial metal band Bog Morok. It is the follow-up to the self-released ‘Декаданс’ and the EP ‘Неизбежность’. Originally a doom/death metal solo project founded by Morok back in 1997, the band has gone through numerous changes in both line-up and their musical style. This album sees them move towards a more industrial sound and features a cover of Fantomas Der Golem.

First up is the title track which comes complete with electronica; programming and synths galore. The near nu-metal-esque vocal style and guitar patterns make me think of Digimortal-era Fear Factory. Hell, even the drumming style is similar… As the subsequent tracks show, these guys are not afraid to sing in their native tongue. A very bold move, though I’m not entirely convinced that it works to their advantage.

Не вижу зла (Stadiae III), is another Russian lyric track that stands out mostly due to the downright bizarre-sounding, eerie keyboard intro and some equally odd-sounding vocal samples. It makes you wonder what sort of drugs these guys took during the recording process. Oddly enough, the aforementioned track also features a handful of decent guitar melodies and solos sandwiched between the bizarre cacophony of vocals and space metal tunes. There’s even some techno elements on here such as the dance-friendly keyboard intro to Neizbezhnost. Other noteworthy tracks include the electronic ballad Shapeshifter ,which sounds like a bastard offspring of Fear Factory and The Kovenant, and IDDQD which features some pleasant sounding keyboard melodies towards the end of the track.

Overall I’m not sure whether or not the metal scene is ready for a Russian equivalent of Fear Factory. To say that this album is experimental would be an understatement. My advice would be to approach this with caution and prepare for the unexpected when the Bog Morok spaceship lands in your area.


Iza Raittila

Continents w/Support – Bridlington, UK

Posted in Gig, Live with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on 20th November 2013 by Nico Davidson

Continents, Aveira Skies, Sea Of Giants and more
Shades Nightclub, Bridlington
16th November 2013

Down To A Deathmatch - Photo by Nico Davidson

Following their UK tour earlier this year, Welsh hardcore titans Continents hit the road once again this month to tour in support in their new album Idle Hands. The UK tour took to them to the sunny seaside resort town of Bridlington. Opening up the show were Hull band Down To A Deathmatch. Bringing about a sharp, fierce guitar assault accompanied by an overwhelming use of screams and thundering bass and drums which led to a devastating attack on the eardrums. Proving to be active on-stage (and in the case of the vocalist, off-stage as well), DTAD performed a truly exciting set that combined a heavy use of lights and a blistering mixture of hardcore and metal elements.


An Act Of treason - Photo by Nico DavidsonUp next were Hull post-hardcore monsters An Act Of Treason. Their set featured an interesting use of clean vocals and screams, as well as a few bland riffs here and there but these were pushed out of the way by the heavier, more violent riffs which led to some intense pitting from the crowd. Unfortunately there were some technical issues throughout the band’s set but this didn’t stop them from unleashing proverbial hell with their anxiety-provoking drums and volcanic guitar passages. The light accompanied An Act Of Treason with pure precision (though this was the last time the lights came into play throughout the whole show) as they ploughed rather viciously throughout their set.


Sea Of Giants - Photo by Nico Davidson

Local deathcore boys Sea Of Giants were the next band to pave a path of destruction and broken bodies at the show. While they started sounding on the weak side, they soon gained the strength needed to deliver a punch to the face with a wall of sound made up from the hellish vocals, gritty bass and snarling guitar passages as well as the crushing use of percussion. The whole set, despite one or two technical issues, sounded like a bus colliding head-on with a train at high speed.



Aveira Skies - Photo by Nico DavidsonThe main support came in the form of Aveira Skies, who were the touring support for Continents. While they’re talented musicians and were active on stage, their set proved to be uninteresting, making use of uninspiring riffs and mediocre vocals. The music itself sounded like one long song split into several parts, becoming repetitive and inane. Aveira Skies do have the talent and potential but it felt like the songs they wrote were intended to play it safe, so to speak.


And finally, the main event of the night made their way on stage: Welsh hardcore titans Continents. From beginning to end, they unsheathed brutal riffs sharper than valyrian steel and a use of manic and crazed screams. Proving to be as active as the other bands on the bill, Continents really did unleash hell. The use of bass and drums were particularly catalysmic, laying the groundwork for the titanic amount of guitar segments and baneful vocals. Continents certainly represented the Welsh scene with venomous effect and if you’ve not seen them yet, you better prepare yourself for a rollercoaster ride of a show when you do.


Continents - Photo by Nico Davidson

Nico Davidson

Nya confirm plans to finish recording new EP

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

Earlier today, Nya announced that they will be returning to Longwave Studios in Cardiff with producer Romesh Dodangoda (Motorhead, Bullet For My Valentine) in February to finish recording what will be their third EP. The band also stated that they will be sending off the first few tracks to Germany for mastering by Robin Schmidt (Mumford & Sons, Don Broco, Heavens Basement). The currently untitled EP is due for release in early 2014.

Nya online:


Hecate Enthroned post new song online

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

With the impending release of Hecate Enthroned’s latest masterpiece, Virulent Rapture, on the horizon, the legendary black metal coven have posted a track from the album to YouTube as a teaser, so fans can get an idea of what to expect from the new album. The song can be heard below.

The song, To Wield The Hand Of Perdition, is a completely new direction in the band’s career, focusing less on the symphonic melodies – though they do remain –  and more on a crushing assault that will render one’s ears bloody.

Hecate Enthroned online:


Skid Row w/ Ugly Kid Joe @ Electric Ballroom, London

Posted in Live with tags , , , , , , , , , , on 19th November 2013 by Pieni

Dead City Ruins, Ugly Kid Joe, Skid Row
Electric Ballroom, Camden Town, London
5th November 2013

There was another reason to celebrate the November 5th in London besides being Guy Fawkes Night – the RoJo Rage Tour hit Camden Town. Skid Row and Ugly Kid Joe, the finest “youth gone wild” and “least wanted” of America, were about to set their own brand of fireworks on the Electric Ballroom stage.

Australian rockers Dead City Ruins completed the package, warming up the crowd for half an hour. Loud guitars, sharp beats, high-pitched cries and long curls waving fiercely back and forth… Sadly I only caught the name of two songs, “Broken Bones” and “Damn My Eyes” but I can tell you they were all 110% rock’n’roll attitude. Not exactly something new or extraordinary, but good enough.

It wasn’t their first time there and they surely had a handful of fans screaming along. “Help us out coming back by buying anything on the merch stand”, incited Jake Wiffen close to the end. Not sure if that plea worked out, but I believe many would like to see them again. (4/5)

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The kings of “cheese metal” proved being much alive after all these years – especially singer Whit Crane, who seemed incapable of standing still, and (live session) guitarist Sonny Mayo, with his incredible high jumps.

Split for 13 years, Ugly Kid Joe reunited in 2010 and have just released the EP “Stairway To Hell” ever since, in 2012 (re-released last month with three acoustic bonus tracks), meaning that the approximately 75 minutes of show were a parade of classics. And even “Devil’s Paradise”, “No One Survives” and “I’m Alright”, the songs they played from the aforementioned latest EP, were very welcomed and sung along by the majority of the sold-out venue.

It’s kind of hard to say which moments were the highest, as the whole concert broke the charts, but I’ll drop a few titles such as “Neighbor”, “So Damn Cool”, “Cats In The Cradle” (the Harry Chapin song that Whit used to listen to with his sister when he was a kid), “Milkman’s Son” and “Goddamn Devil”, as I believe the screams of the crowd were slightly louder.

“Now let’s pretend that we went backstage and you guys will scream for us to come back”. We were happy to do so and obvious choice for “the encore” was “Everything About You” – where Whit replaced the last “you” by the name of a woman. I think it was Madeleine Porter, but I honestly can’t say for sure, as the roar of the crowd muffled his words.

But they still had an ace up their sleeves – literally. Showing their appreciation for the British metal, Ugly Kid Joe said good night to London with an amazing cover of Motörhead’s “Ace Of Spades”. (5 / 5)

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I had seen Ugly Kid Joe in 1995, when they opened for Van Halen and Bon Jovi, but Skid Row was a first. And since they were one of the first bands to hit the favourite list when I was a kid, it was literally a dream come true. Yes, of course that back then Sebastian Bach was the singer and that when he left I felt it wasn’t the same anymore. But that was 17 years ago, I had plenty of time to grow up and overcome it. Johnny Solinger is an awesome singer and I’m more than grateful for the emotion with which he brought all those songs to life.

“Let’s Go”, from their recent EP “United World Rebellion: Chapter One”, was the opening song and so we went. Oh how we went! “Thick Is The Skin” and “Kings Of Demolition” showed us how their 21st century stuff is just as great, but the classics have a whole baggage that entitles them a much warmer response from the crowd. Like the rumble we produced when the first chords of “18 And Life” echoed, for instance.

Johnny left the stage when Rachel Bolan got hold of the mike to sing Ramone’s “Psycho Therapy”, and when he came back he had his cellphone in his hand saying something like “when this band started cellphones didn’t exist yet. It was still disk and handle. And now here I am tweeting about how much fun we’re having here in London. ‘Cause we want to remember you”. Yes, “I Remember You” came next.

“Quicksand Jesus” opened the encore, and after “Slave To The Grind” Dave Sabo thanked London once again and said how happy and proud he was that 24 years later, we still sang along to every word. “And no matter how old we are we will always be the YOUTH GONE WILD – three little words that everyone screamed at the top of their lungs at the same time the guitarist said them. Epic! (5 / 5)

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Text & photos by Renata “Pieni” Lino


Ghost Love Score live clip available online; taken from new Nightwish DVD: Showtime, Storytime

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , on 19th November 2013 by Nico Davidson

Next month sees the release of Nightwish’s new DVD: Showtime, Storytime and in anticipation of the release, the band have posted another clip from the DVD online. This time of the track Ghost Love Score. The clip can be viewed below.

The Showtime, Storytime DVD will be released in the UK on 2nd December 2013 and is available for pre-order at this location.

Nightwish online:


Bloodstock Amon Amarth Exclusive!

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , , , on 19th November 2013 by Hannah

Bloodstock Open Air 2014 continue their run of amazing announcements with three more great bands added to the bill. Swedish melo-death giants Amon Amarth have been announced as filling the Sunday Special Guest slot, with their BOA performance a UK-exclusive show for the year. Joining them over the weekend will be metalcore stalwarts Hatebreed, returning after their triumphant 2012 performance, and Prong, who will be making their BOA debut performance. Running order is still unconfirmed as the BOA website is currently down for maintenance, but you can be assured as soon as we at Valkyrian HQ know the updated order of ceremonies we will let you know!

The date for the start of VIP Serpent’s Lair ticket sales has been confirmed as being the 16th of December, and ordinary weekend camping tickets are onsale now. BOA 2014 is looking to be an unmissable metal experience, with three solid headliners in the shape of Down, Emperor and Megadeth, and an array of fantastic bands during the weekend. Valkyrian will, as always, be in attendance and we hope to see you there!

Interview with Phil Cross [Continents]

Posted in Interview with tags , , , , , , , , , on 18th November 2013 by Nico Davidson

Phil Cross - Continents

Nico catches up with Continents frontman Phil in Bridlington, on the band’s UK tour, to discuss the new album, Idle Hands, touring, the music scene in Wales and Phil’s porn star name.

Continents online:


Sabaton announce new drummer

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , on 18th November 2013 by izaforestspirit

The Swedish power metal band Sabaton have just announced that Hannes Van Dahl (ex-Evergrey) will replace Robban Bäck and Snowy Shaw as their permanent drummer.

Van Dahl had previously worked as a drum technician for Snowy during his time in Sabaton. He played his first show with Sabaton this weekend at the Metal Hammer Paradise festival in Germany.
Here is the official statement from the band:

“For some time there has been rumors about Robban coming back soon, or that Snowy would fill in for a while longer, or even take Robbans place permanently behind the drums.

To put an end to these rumors we now present our new full time member in Sabaton: Hannes Van Dahl.

We would of course like to thank Robban and Snowy for their great time in Sabaton, and we will continue to support them in everything they will do in the future!

In just a few weeks we will start recording a new album and more details will be presented very soon!”

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Interview with The End Of Grace

Posted in Interview with tags , , , , on 13th November 2013 by Pieni

You’ve probably seen some of our posts about a Swedish new band called The End Of Grace. With roughly a year of existence, an extraordinary EP was released last month and this weekend they finally had their live debut. Perfect time for Renata to meet up with some of the boys and have a little chat with them.

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Renata: Hello boys. Thanks for taking some time to talk to me. My first question is something I’ve been wanting to ask you since the band was formed… Why is The End Of Grace a Gothenburg band when the majority of the band lives in the Stockholm area? What’s so special about that city?

Jimmy (Bergman, guitars): Gothenburg scene is bigger than Stockholm’s…
Johan (Hagman, clean vocals/bass): I don’t agree with that. It used to be bigger. The metal scene in Gothenburg used to be “the shit”, the “Gothenburg sound”. There was In Flames, Dark Tranquillity, At The Gates… But five years ago or so, the underground bands from Västerås, Eskilstuna… they started to pop up and the underground scene got bigger around here. Adept is one of them, coming from Trosa, near Södertälje, near Stockholm. So I don’t agree ‘cause Gothenburg has a lot of great bands but I’m not sure if the scene is better than in the rest of the country.

Renata: So now you’re going to change your location?

Jimmy: Yeah, I think we’re changing it to Stockholm/Gothenburg.
Johan: Anyways, who the fuck cares where we’re from? I don’t give a fuck. (laughs)
Thomas (Manell, drums): I say Småland. (more laughs)

Renata: Yes, it doesn’t matter, but I was curious because until recently, only Kriss (Panic, vocals) lived there and yet your Facebook page says you’re from Gothenburg.

Johan: I guess it had something to do with them travelling to Gothenburg when they started out, as Jimmie Strimmel (former singer) lived there.
Jimmy: Yes, we were going there when we made the page so we adopted Gothenburg.
Johan: And people around the world know the Gothenburg sound, so when you say “Sweden, Gothenburg” it means that okay, this is a great sounding band… (laughs)

Renata: you’re a metalcore band, but you have your own special “genre”… how did “deathcore popcorn” come up?

Johan : Ha ha ha!
Thomas: Oh Lord…
Jimmy (smiling): Yeah, that was me again.
Thomas: It’s always you!
Jimmy:  We have a thing like a pop band…
Johan: It came up during the recordings, while Jimmy was playing around. Since Kriss has a deathcore background and… I didn’t do the choruses in the first four songs but for “Lost In Transition” it was me who wrote the chorus on the spot, in the studio room, and i made it really poppy.
Thomas: Along with me!
Johan: Yes, but you did the uuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuhhhhhhhhhh and I did the chorus. It doesn’t matter. It’s all great.
Thomas: It’s all gay!
Johan: In our old band (Johan and Jimmy played together before, in Road To Repent) we’ve always said that we wanted poppy choruses. Not because we want people to like it but because WE like it. It gives the music another dynamic. And that’s why it’s hardcore / deathcore / pop…
Jimmy: CORN!
Johan: Yeah, deathcore popcorn!

Renata: Thomas, you joined TEoG by the end of March, replacing Marcus Rosell, but I know that you were Sulan (Von Zoomlander, guitar) and Jimmy’s first choice. They’ve asked you a few times but you refused. What made you change your mind?

Thomas: That’s a really good question.
Johan: He likes the tail! Ha ha ha!
Thomas: What can I say? I really wanted to give it a try, you know? This is a genre that I’ve never played before and I’m all about developing as a musician. To me that’s what music is all about. So if I can become a better metalcore drummer, that’s all good. And the fact that Jimmy buttered everything up and said that “hey, we’re going to play this stadium and this stadium and you’re going to get laid like every hour…” so I was like yeah, okay, shit, I’ll be there!  photo _DSC0713_zps8e7d3250.jpg
Johan: I’ve heard that before! He said the same thing to me.
Thomas: But seriously, I love working with Jimmy. He’s a great guy and he writes good music. And I’m really happy that I met Johan and Kriss and Sulan… and now Robert (Åkerlund, live musician temporarily replacing Sulan), as well… it’s a great group. I’m really happy to be working with these guys. ‘Cause that’s what music is – a team effort.

Renata: And you, Johan. You’ve joined on bass but you’ve never played bass before, right?

Johan: Me, Jimmy and Robert used to play in Road To Repent and there I was just a singer. We did a lot of shit together for about three, four years. I used to play guitar in the older bands but I haven’t played an instrument for a few years. And then Jimmy called me because their bass player had stepped down. And he just asked me if I wanted to be in the band. I said, “dude, I can’t play bass. I’ve never played bass!”. And he said, “first thing, I need someone I can trust”. Okay, no problem. “I need someone that can sing”. Yeah, no problem. “And then the bass… yeah, that, well… whatever”. And I said, yeah, I can do that! As long as the bass is “whatever”! So it’s kind of a leap of faith because I have to trust in my musical talent to understand how I’m supposed to play bass. But when I look at other bass players… oooooh shit! I say I’m only here for the beer and play the bass as good as I can. And singing. It’s different, because I used to be the frontman. I don’t give a fuck about being a frontman or not, I just want to sing. That’s the baseline.
Thomas: I just want to say that when we rehearse without Kriss, Johan steps up with the microphone and the bass and he does a great job. I really enjoy watching it, as he hasn’t a bass school background, and he still plays his instrument well and is able to sing the way he sings.
Johan: You have to remember that I’ve been playing bass for 3 months
Thomas: So this is a music guy from deep down in his bones!
Johan: Thank you Queen!

Renata: Even before “Lost In Transition” was released, you were already working on your upcoming debut album. How’s that going so far? Is everyone more involved now?

Jimmy: We are working on the album right now. We have 8 or 9 songs, actually. And yes, we’re doing it as a band.
Thomas: There are a couple of songs that I’ve listened to two years ago, old songs that Jimmy played for me when we got to know each other for the first time. And that’s coming to light now. It’s really funny, really sweet to know that I’ve listened to these songs, I really felt that this was good at the time, and now he wants to bring them into The End Of Grace.
Jimmy: Also Johan is including a more hardcore feeling into the sound.
Johan: And that’s a problem! I only love hardcore and metalcore. I like metal but what I love is hardcore / metalcore. And I’m afraid I’ll ruin the sound of The End Of Grace. That’s the thing when I work with Jimmy. We went out to his family house and we sat down for a whole day working on a song. i wrote the song on the bus there and we started recording it and he was like “fuck this, fuck this, this is shit, this is hardcore shit” all the time. And then he got to write a breakdown.  photo _DSC0900_zpsd0cc01d8.jpgThat’s the only thing he was really passionate about. He wrote other stuff but he was really passionate about this breakdown and four hours later… “dude, this is a fucking good song”. (Jimmy laughs). “Yeah, I’ve been telling you!”. But that’s the problem! They wrote four or five or whatever songs two years ago, they had a song in mind and then I get in and mix it up with hardcore sounds and I’m just afraid of ruining the sound. Hopefully I won’t ‘cause Jimmy’s always there spoiling my shit. (Thomas and Jimmy laugh) So I think we’ll find something halfway.

Renata: You’re adding a new element; I don’t think you’re ruining the sound, you’re making it richer, more unique.

Johan: We keep focused on that. As far as we know, there’s no real band in Sweden right now using the deathcore vocals and then doing the really really REALLY poppy choruses. Because you have Betraying The Martyrs and some things like it from other countries but in Sweden I haven’t heard any band that sounds like we do. Because we have this kind of happy riffing, this kind of happy breakdowns… I can’t explain it. But yeah, we’ve got some shit. A lot of shit. (laughs)
Jimmy: I have to say that it’s a lot more fun to write it all with these two guys and not just alone or with Sulan.
Johan: it’s more fun when we’re all on top of it. we can send our stuff to Sulan, because he’s living in Hindås now, instead of them doing it together. It’s more fun getting  the input of everyone. Even if he (points at Thomas) hates my punk intros. Fuck you! (everybody laugh)
Thomas: Since Johan joined the band Jimmy’s like a little kid on Christmas Eve when it comes to writing and creating. Everything is exciting and I think these two are a great combo and they’re bringing it to the group. Jimmy has a lot of drum ideas for the songs but I try to make them some sort of my own. But since I’m not a metalcore drummer, I try to maintain whatever ideas he has and just make a twist or something with what I’ve got.

Renata: I’ve noticed it in the EP, in comparison to the first recordings with Marcus. (Read review here)

Thomas: Yes, like the end of “Betrayer”. I’m more of a groovy drummer. I’m not that typical metalcore drummer that just keeps on hammering. I want to keep the beat. I really think the working combination between Jimmy and Johan is going to make The End Of Grace come to a whole new level. In a good way.
Johan: Hopefully… Well, the thing about him being “like a kid on Christmas” is about trust. He knows he can trust me. I will tell him when it’s fucking shit. And I will say when I see something that’s good and he will tell me… well, no, he will not tell me. He will be like this (crosses his arms and looks sideways). And I know him, ‘cause we’ve been playing for years, along with Robert. We know each other that well. I can tell when he doesn’t like something.
Jimmy: I stay quiet.
Johan: Yeah, he will shut up, that’s how he reacts.
Thomas: One thing I can say about Robert filling in for Sulan is you can really tell that they’ve played together before. It’s a thing of magic. It’s like kindergarten all over.
Johan: you have to keep in mind that we’ve played for so long and didn’t have a gig for one year and a half. In Road To Repent we were taking a step back, considering our sound. We wanted to go more metalcore, more like The End Of Grace but not The End Of Grace and so we didn’t have a gig for a year and a half or so in that band. So when we got together last night, it wasn’t just the first gig of The End Of Grace but also the first gig that Robert does in all this time. Last night was insane because it was like old times for us. For now it’s three parts of Road To Repent in this band. it feels weird but good. And we really appreciate that he could step in. We can’t wait for Sulan to get back , but we know that Robert’s a great guitar player and he can feel the rhythm like Sulan does.
Thomas: We miss Sulan in the group because of what he always brings but Robert does a really great job for the moment. That’s the thing with The End Of Grace – we always get by. The music comes first.

Renata: You’ve been talking about a video for ages. Is the idea still on? And I’ve heard that maybe it wouldn’t be for “Metal Mulisha” after all…

Jimmy: We’ve been thinking of maybe doing “Fist Face Bleed” if Martin (Westerstrand, from Lillasyster, guest vocalist on this track) can join us. If not,“Lost In Transition”.
Johan: It’s all a matter of budget. We were talking to Robert from Adept and discussing their videos and our videos and he told us it’s fucking expensive. I’m not sure that’s a number we can talk about, really. We’ll do it when we can do it good. We don’t want to put up shit on YouTube. It’s better to just post videos of us because poorly made videos… nah, not good enough.

Renata: You’ve played Rockbitch Boat yesterday, you have another gig in  Göta Källare next Saturday… Can the fans expect a tour or you’ll continue to play random shows for now?

Jimmy: We are working on something but it’s not 100% confirmed, nothing we can discuss at the moment.
Johan: Of course we want to get out there, so stay tuned.

Renata: The gig yesterday was The End Of Grace’s first ever. What did you think of it? Did it meet your expectations?

Jimmy: It was amaaaaaaaaaaaaaaazing!  photo _DSC0823_zps1a5d4734.jpg
Johan: It was awesome to see people we don’t know down there. That’s what I care about. That was kind of a warm up for us. It was the first time we were together, the five of us.
Jimmy: We’ve never practiced all together before that.
Johan: Never. That was our first practice yesterday. We were expecting less. That’s what warms our hearts. There were kids there that none of us knows. The first thing when I got off stage was that I was stopped by two kids that no one in the band has ever seen and go “dude, that was fucking sick!”. And then I went five steps and I met another dude, “dude, that was fucking sick! I’ll see you in the next gig”. So it was above all our expectations.

Renata: And Sebastian from BatAAr, who got on stage to sing “Fist Face Bleed”? How did that come about?

Jimmy: That’s a Kriss question.
Thomas: Kriss knows a lot of people and he played a couple of artists for us to choose from. We chose Sebastian because he resembled Martin and could maintain the tone and energy that Martin brings to the song. Sebastian is the best choice, definitely. And I’ve never met the guy, so after having him up on stage was like “okay, I officially love this guy!”. He was just all over the place, Then we met him after the show, had a couple of beers and get along very well. So I think it’s a thing we will maintain.
Johan: He’s an awesome dude. And BatAAr, his band, has been around the Swedish scene for a long time. They are a big band, especially in Japan, so it’s kind of an honor to have him jumping in and he being so psyched about it. It was really cool.

Renata: And still speaking of Rockbitch Boat, they used precisely “Fist Face Bleed” for the trailer of the event. Is there anything else where you’d like to see your music as soundtrack?

Jimmy: Fäbodjäntan! (famous Swedish porn movie)
Johan: Because I’m a gamer, I would love to have our music in a game but I don’t know if it works… Maybe in a Battlefield-ish story, a game of intense action. I would love that, but I’m not sure. I don’t think it fits in a movie either, but if it would, cool. If they did another “Die Hard” with a young John McClane
Thomas: “Married… with Children Reunion”! That would be fucking awesome! (starts singing the chorus of “Lost In Transition”)

Renata: The last verse of “Metal Mulisha” is “world domination”. Is that the goal for your music?

Jimmy: Yes, yes, YES!
Johan: I think that’s how you should think. When you dream about being a rock star when you’re a kid, you dream about being in a stadium tour. Being a rock star isn’t going around in a fucking small Toyota through Sweden, spending more than you earn. That’s not what you dream about, that’s not what we have in mind. Well, we have the music in mind, of course, but playing in stadiums, that’s world domination.

Renata: And I really hope you achieve it. Thank you once again and keep up the good work!

TEoG online:
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Hamerex – IX

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on 12th November 2013 by Nico Davidson

Released 7th October 2013

Yorkshire has a tradition of popping out some talented metal bands from the well known acts such as Saxon, My Dying Bride and Paradise Lost, to the lesser known bands such as Sworn Amongst, Lost Effect and Bal-Sagoth. Hailing from the western reaches of Yorkshire, from a town known as Wakefield, come modern metallers Hamerex who blast out with an old school twist on their music.

The album opens up straight away with the title track IX Circles (the title sounding like a reference to the nine circles of Hell in Dante’s Divine Comedy). A cryptic use of whispering begins the track before leading in a repetitive riff. The song itself isn’t exactly inspiring, failing to entice with any sort of flavouring save a bland use of guitars and other instrumentation but it does give a small teaser of what’s to come. The Life Of Death marches in with a stronger style, taking on a Megadeth sounding fashion in the bass workings with a use of melodic guitars and typical NWOBHM vocals.

Inferno carries on the subtle humming of melodic riffs with the bass ringing out more prominently. The throaty use of vocals doesn’t match up to the style of riffs during in the verses but goes down a treat throughout the chorus. Edge Of Madness belts out a stronger Megadeth sound than The Life Of Death, slipping in some pleasant licks in there. The flow of drums, back and forth, keep the song as fresh as bread that’s come straight out of the oven, allowing the guitars and bass to do their thing in an old school manner.

The Extremist is probably the most extreme track of the album, with the vocals nearly going through a metamorphosis into a raspy death metal style and the the riffs taking a turn down a road of heavier bombardment where as Mortuary goes down the highway of hard rock anthems, screaming with catchy passages and soaring vocal sections. The Stranger (Anyone else automatically think of Game of Thrones just then? No? Just me? Bugger.) isn’t quite as dusky as would be expected, parading strong NWOBHM elements and some vicious bites from the guitars.

Descent Of Angels thrashes about, becoming as extreme as The Extremist and possessing an essence of Venom in the music. The Night Of Samhain differs from the rest of the album completely, easing its way in a combination of acoustic guitars and thundering yet distant bass workings. The hidden use of keyboards in the background add a certain atmospheric embrace to the song, gently dancing between the guitar and bass. The vocals sound their best throughout this song. The shifting phases of the track makes it easy to mistake it for multiple tracks, as opposed to one long epic. The album is finalised with the last track; Still The wall Remains. A gentle piece in its beginnings, with soft, harmonic vocals, the song does take a turn down a heavier route before going back to gentle sailing. The guitar solo is the highlight of the song though, adding some chaos to the harmony.

Hamerex prove that Yorkshire’s metal scene is well and truly thriving. Whilst the album had a bumping start to its journey, it soon made up for it with the differing elements each member bring to the band and the music. From Megadeth sounding bass lines to roaring NWOBHMesque vocals and everything in between, IX is certainly one album to grab for the collection.


Nico Davidson

Hamerex online:


Film maker to accompany Niklas Kvarforth’s Shining on tour

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , on 12th November 2013 by Nico Davidson

Swedish film maker Martin Strandberg will embark on tour with Niklas Kvarforth’s Shining around Europe where he will film more footage and interviews with the band for the upcoming documentary he is making about the band. Work on the documentary, which traces Shining’s often turbulent history, was begun earlier this year, and is expected to finish in time for a general release towards the end of 2014. A second teaser for the documentary has been released and can be viewed below.

Whilst being the subject of the documentary, founder and frontman Niklas Kvarforth is keen to emphasize that Shining itself has no input or influence whatsoever on the content, commenting:

The documentary was entirely the idea of Martin Strandberg, and, other than being interviewed for it ourselves, we have no hand in it at all.  All we know is that family, friends, former band members and who knows who else are contributing, but what they’re contributing we will have to wait to find out along with everyone else.

The Razors Across Europe tour will hit the road on the 22nd November, and accompanying Shining, whose latest release 8 ½ – Feberdrömmar I Vaket Tillstånd appeared on Dark Essence Records in September, will be fellow management roster members Crest Of Darkness from Norway, also touring with their latest release In the Presence of Death, as well as Germany’s Sterbhaus.  Routing for the tour as follows:

22 –  Tiyatrom, Berlin, Germany
23 – Skullcrusher, Dresden, Germany
24 –  Viper Room, Vienna, Austria
25 – Gala Hala, Ljubljana, Slovenia
26 – Freak Out Club, Bologna, Italy
27 – Alte Kaserne, Zurich, Switzerland
28 – Ninkasi Kao, Lyon, France
29 – Secret Place, Montpellier, France
30 – Nouveau Casino, Paris, France

01 – Effenaar, Eindhoven
02 – Magasin 4, Brussels, Belgium
03 – Electrowerkz, London, England
04 – Lomax, Liverpool, England
05 – Slade Rooms, Wolverhampton, England
06 – Voodoo Lounge, Dublin, Eire
07 – The Snooty Fox, Wakefield, England
08 – Ivory Blacks, Glasgow, Scotland

Shining online:

Tombs begin work on next album

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , , on 12th November 2013 by Nico Davidson

Brooklyn band Tombs announced that today is the day they enter the studio to begin the recording process of their new album, which will the follow up to their 2011 release Path To Totality. The three piece unit will be working with famed produced Erik Rutan (Morbid Angel, Cannibal Corpse, Hate Eternal) over the next two weeks at his Mana Recording Studio in St Petersburg, Florida. Tombs vocalist and guitarist Mike Hill comments:

The new material is darker and more extreme than the last record. The addition of bassist Ben Brand and guitarist Garett Bussanick have really stepped up the playing and musicianship to a new level.

Tombs have released two full-lengths and one singles/rarities collection via Relapse Records, all of which are available for streaming via Bandcamp here.

Tombs online:


Andy Sneap, Kev Bower and Bill Steer discuss ultimate tour line-up

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , on 12th November 2013 by Nico Davidson

Legendary British metal acts Hell and Carcass kick off their UK tour with none other than Swedish Viking death metal maestros Amon Amarth today. As such, the bands’ label Nuclear Blast decided to get Carcass’s Bill Steer and Hell’s Andy Sneap and Kev Bower together to discuss their ultimate tour line-up and why they want to see those bands on the same line-up. The discussion can be viewed below.

Catch Carcass, Hell, Amon Amarth and Bleed Within in the cities below:

Nov 12 – Birmingham o2 Academy
Nov 13 – Manchester o2 Academy
Nov 14 – Glasgow Barrowland
Nov 15 – Bristol o2 Academy
Nov 17 – London Forum

Caliban reveal artwork for Ghost Empire

Posted in News with tags , , , , , on 11th November 2013 by Nico Davidson

Caliban have recently revealed the artwork for their upcoming album Ghost Empire. The artwork was designed by UK artist Chris Lovell. Guitarist Marc Görtz comments on the artwork:

Another great artist told me about Chris and his art, when I checked out his page I loved his style and amazing drawings straight away. So I wrote him a message if he would be into designing a T-shirt design for us. It turned out great, so there was no doubt whom to ask for the new album artwork for Ghost Empire! I told him what the album is about and he said that he would love to do it. It didn’t take long for him to come up with first ideas which were amazing! I hope we can work with him on other projects in the future, he is a great guy and easy to work with and I think the result speaks for itself!

The artist of the artwork (which can be viewed above), Chris Lovell, explains how a custom piece of art comes to life:

I have been heavily into metal since the age of 12. It’s always nice when a band I am a fan of contacts me with a brief for a project. I was stoked to read Marc’s ideas as post apocalyptic imagery is something I have an obsession with. I grew up loving films like Mad Max, Cyborg and the Fist Of The North Star anime. There’s something about destroyed buildings and wastelands that stir my imagination and conjure up all kinds of haunting images in my head. It’s also much more fun and easier to draw ruined buildings than perfect ones!

Marc and I brainstormed ideas one evening and we came up with lots of elements we liked such as crows, scarecrows, rats etc. I sketched out a very rough concept idea and layout for the basic image. The front and back cover is all in one, so I had a nice wide landscape to work with. I liked the idea of a road on the main cover, leading to what could look like a hive of collapsed skyscrapers and buildings, leaning on each other and climbing into the clouds. On the left side a cliff face leading down to stormy seas and a shore line littered with ship wrecks and capsized boats. I wanted the image to look void of human life and haunting. I drew out the bulk of the main image in pencil, then used inks and acrylic paint to add depth and highlights. I then scanned the image in and coloured it with a graphics tablet on Photoshop. I drew a number of other elements, like telegraph poles, crows, skulls and rats and scanned them in separately. I wanted to be able to experiment with placement and give the band the option to move elements around etc. I lost track of how many hours I put into the piece, it all becomes a blur. I like to stream horror movies or listen to music and just lose myself in the art I make. I have a bit of an obsession with detail and I tend to spend hours tweaking elements on an image people will probably never even notice. Caliban have been a pleasure to work with. After I had the pleasure of hearing the demos while working on this project it is an honour to have done the artwork for what will be an amazing album!

The album, Ghost Empire, was produced by Görtz in co-operation with Benny Ritcher. Ghost Empire is set for release on the following dates via Century Media:

Germany / Austria /Switzerland / Australia / NZ: 24th January 2014
Rest of Europe: 27thJanuary 2014
USA / Canada: 4th February 2014

Caliban online:


Pagan metallers Draugr call it a day, final show details announced

Posted in News with tags , , , , , on 11th November 2013 by Nico Davidson

In the same year of Draugr’s tenth anniversary, which the band have been celebrating, is the same year that they’ve decided to call it a day. The Italian metal unit’s music has paid tribute to the band’s Pagan ancestors and the history of the Abruzzo region of Italy for a decade. In a statement that Draugr released in both Italian and English explaining the decision to disband; the band stated:

As friends, brothers and the ‘ legio linteata’ we announce our decision today to bring to an end the experience that is Draugr. Having arrived at the threshold of 2014, we decided to bring to a close this chapter in our lives that has been so important to us, in order that we may follow different artistic paths. We thank all those who have taken part in the project over the years, and especially the fans for their support. Our last show will take place on December 22 in Pescara and we will shortly be revealing more details about it.

Draugr’s debut album Nocturnal Pagan Supremacy was released on Christhunt Productions in 2006.  Keyboards were added to the band in 2007, creating the much more epic feel which Draugr describes as “Italic Hordish Metal”.  The sophomore album, De Ferro Italico, appeared on To React Records in 2011.  Today’s line up includes Nemesis on Vocals, Triumphator and Mors on Guitars, Ursus Arctos on Keyboards, Stolas on Bass and Jonny on Drums.
Draugr‘s final performance will take place at the Tipogragfia in Pescara, Italy, on the 22nd December.

Draugr online:


Leaves’ Eyes release new video for Hell to The Heavens, taken from upcoming album

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , , on 9th November 2013 by Nico Davidson

Norwegian-German symphonic metallers Leaves’ Eyes have recently released the video for Hell To The Heavens, which is the opening track for their upcoming album Symphonies of the Night. The video can be viewed down below. The song, Hell To The Heavens, is the first full glimpse into the darker and more atmospheric sound of Leaves’ Eyes.

Symphonies of the Night will be released on 13th November in Spain, Sweden and Norway; 15th November in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Finland and Benelux; 18th November in the rest of Europe; and on 26th November in North America via Napalm Records. The album was produced by Liv Kristine’s husband and fellow Leaves’ Eyes member Alexander Krull at his Mastersound Studio in Germany.

Symphonies Of The Night track listing:

01. Hell To The Heavens
02. Fading Earth
03. Maid Of Lorraine
04. Galswintha
05. Symphony Of The Night
06. Saint Cecelia
07. Hymn To The Lone Sands
08. Angel And The Ghost
09. Éléonore De Provence
10. Nightshade
11. Ophelia
12. Eileen’s Ardency (bonus track)*
13. One Caress (bonus track)**

* feat. Carmen Elise Espenæs (Midnatsol, Savn)
** Depeche Mode cover

Leaves’ Eyes online: