Archive for August, 2014

Vagos Open Air 2014 – 2nd day

Posted in Festival, Live with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on 21st August 2014 by Pieni

Opeth, Annihilator, Behemoth, The Haunted, Angelus Apatrida, Requiem Laus
Quinta do Ega, Vagos (PT)
9th August 2014

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Author António Parada wrote a thriller full of heavy metal connotations called “A Guardiã” (the guardian), so he thought Vagos Open Air was suitable for a presentation. I confess I totally forgot about it, so I didn’t arrive to Quinta do Ega in time of watching it. I doubt there will be an English version of it anyway, but if it happens, I’ll let you know.

Despite the 1-day tickets for Saturday being sold out and their much longer career – 16 years longer, to be exact –, Requiem Laus didn’t have a crowd as big as Gates Of Hell had had the previous day. Singer Miguel said this was their return to the stages, after two years and a half (personally, I hadn’t seen them in 7), so maybe that’s why their sound seemed so alien to the majority of the crowd. Plus they’re somewhat… introvert. Good musicians, with great death-blackish songs such as “Reflection Of God” or “Impulse”, which they performed there, but they enjoy the music on their own, not reaching out to the crowd much. So sadly they didn’t get an effusive response to their gig. (3/5)

Requiem Laus official Facebook

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Angelus Apatrida, on the other hand, unleashed hell – kicking off with “Violent Dawn”, violent is the right word to describe the circles. The Spanish thrash metal act has a solid fan base here, but even if they didn’t, the moshers would have quickly surrendered. Guitarist David G. Álvarez suffered a motorcycle accident back in March and his right leg is still on a cast. But even sitting down on a chair, he moved his upper body like there was no tomorrow. Those guys know how to be on stage and a broken leg doesn’t change that.
Among the short occasions Guillermo Izquierdo addressed the crowd – they had little time to play, so he didn’t want to waste it with talking – he mentioned they were once again recording at Switchtense’s studio (Ultrasound Studios). That meant a lot to the people, not only because it implied a new album, but also because it’s a Portuguese studio. (5/5)

Angelus Apatrida official Facebook

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Not sure when The Haunted had played here last, but it’d been quite a while. To say the crowd was eager for this gig is an understatement. And while you can never read Jonas Björler’s expression, Marco Aro’s was one of true happiness throughout the whole show, so I guess at least he was just as elated as the people watching them. Hell, he was so enthusiastic that he hit the mic against his forehead a few times until it bled, and didn’t attend to the wound until he was off stage! Anyway, whatever the others were feeling, they put everything they’ve got into the performance and all expectations were met. From “99” to “Hate Song”, going through “Undead”, “No Compromise” and the new “Eye Of The Storm” (by the way, the new album “Exit Wounds” is out in just a few days – 25th August) the “mosh ‘em all” motto in the back of Aro’s t-shirt was fulfilled. (5/5)

The Haunted official Facebook

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But in my humble opinion, it was Behemoth who put up the greatest show – even in daylight! They were also missing their cobra microphone stands and some other paraphernalia, just the cloaks and make-up. And the horned masks they wear during the final prayer of “O Father O Satan O Sun!”. Meaning the excellence of their show was due to their music – hand-picked songs from the last six albums – and attitude on stage: Seth’s “hairbanging”, Orion’s mean faces, Inferno’s sharp beats and, of course, Nergal’s leadership. I don’t think he spoke a word to the audience, but the weight of his stare on us and how he yelled at us to yell back had more communication than a speech. Simply amazing the power Behemoth holds on stage. (5/5)

Behemoth official Facebook

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In their own old-school way, Annihilator were top as well. They released a new album last year, titled “Feast”, so they played a few songs in order to promote it – “Smear Campaign”, which opened the show, “No Way Out” and “Deadlock”. Then, apart from the funny country-metal song “Chicken & Corn” (a hidden track featured in “Carnival Diablos”, from 2001), every other track was +20 years old. What a trip to the past, from where I personally highlight “King Of The Kill”, “Set The World On Fire” and – you guessed! – “Alison Hell”. Thrash metal at its best!
There was one thing I couldn’t stop noticing. When Jeff Waters was introducing the band, he mentioned Oscar Rangel’s Mexican nationality right before he introduce Dave Padden. Or at least that’s what I understood; Padden got it otherwise and said quickly, somewhat annoyed “I’m not Mexican”. I guess I’d be annoyed too if I thought that, after working with someone for 12 years, he still didn’t get my roots right. Still I think Padden could’ve had a different reaction, maybe make a joke out of it, as there were a few awkward seconds between the two guitarists. But nothing significant enough to ruin the 5 stars the gig deserves. (5/5)

Annihilator official Facebook

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Now Opeth… I’ll start with something Mikael Åkerfeldt said at some point, regarding a song I honestly can’t remember the name, but he said that “if it sounds like a fuck-up, it isn’t. It’s just us being progressive”. And this is more or less what I think of prog. Nope, it’s definitely not my cup of tea. I recognize the high quality of some of the bands/artists, but I just can’t like it. So me, and many others like me, wouldn’t have enjoyed the show (apart from Åkerfeldt’s jokes, that is). The thing is that even among the die-hard Opeth fans there are mixed feelings about the Vagos show. Some complained about the “soft” setlist, others about the somewhat shallow performance… and then there are those who were simply enthralled from the moment “The Devil’s Orchard” started to the one where “Blackwater Park” stopped. They have played VOA two years ago, and I’ve also seen them at the 9th (and last) anniversary show of the original Hard Club, and this was the weakest of those three. But like I said, prog isn’t my thing, so I could be wrong… I still laughed when he said they came from Stockholm, where other great metal bands came from, like Entombed, Dismember, Bathory… and ABBA. That the next song was actually “Super Trouper” (it was “Heir Apparent”). Or when he said it smelled like dead cat in his armpit. Or when he told a girl she could lower the “teddy-crocodile” as he didn’t know that song (it was a dinosaur plushie with a sign asking for “Coil”). Still there was something missing in his attitude – even I noticed that. Was it a bad concert? No, I can’t say that. But Opeth can do better. (4/5)

Opeth official Facebook

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Text & photos: Renata “Pieni” Lino

More pics in our Facebook page HERE.

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Vagos Open Air 2014 – 1st day

Posted in Festival, Live with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 19th August 2014 by Pieni

Kreator, Epica, Soilwork, Sylosis, Kandia, Gates Of Hell
Quinta do Ega, Vagos (PT)
8th August 2014

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This year’s edition of Vagos Open Air was bigger in every sense of the word – it lasted one day longer than usual, it had more people coming in, and it had also the greatest bill so far. Kudos for promoters Prime Artists!

National Gates Of Hell must feel proud, and not just for kicking the festival off: it’s not easy for an underground band to gather so many people on a hot Friday, at 5 o’clock in the afternoon, but they made it! There was a sea of people like there’s never been for an opening band, in all the 6-year history of the festival! Of course they’ve been working hard for it in the last few years, especially since the release of their debut album, playing all over the country and winning fans with their ballistic live shows. But it still was a wonderful surprise to see such a crowd screaming and moshing for them. And the size of the wall of death on the last song, “Critical Obsession”! Singer Raça thanked everyone – both fans/friends and those who were watching them for the first time – but truth be told, they wouldn’t have got that response if they weren’t just as good. The credit is all yours, boys! Keep it up! (5/5)

Gates Of Hell official facebook

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Things cooled down a bit, but only in terms of “brutality” – Kandia is a modern/alternative rock band, so no mosh pits for them. But that doesn’t mean that their show was less electrifying. It was just a different kind of voltage. Especially singer Nya Cruz, who looked totally at home on stage. They’ve released two albums so far, but neglected the first one completely, focusing just on the latest “All Is Gone”. Last year, they won the international music contest Global Rockstar with one song from that album, “Scars”. “We’re not going away, we’re here to stay!” was the introduction to that song, as its first verse reads “I’m here to stay”. But more than an introduction, it’s a statement, a motto – and the grip they had on this gig is proof that they will stick to it. (4,5/5)

Kandia official facebook

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It was the first time Sylosis were playing in Portugal (after pulling out of the Epic Industrialist Tour, in 2012) and Josh Middleton admitted they weren’t expecting such a reception. The crowd was happy to finally experience live songs such as “All Is Not Well” and “The Blackest Skyline”, so the circles began spinning once again, at full force. And when Josh asked for TWO circles – one at the left, one at the right – they were eager to comply (same as the headbanging to the sound of nothing, but that’s been done before by other artists – the two circles, now that was new). At some point Josh said that this was the last gig of Rob (Callard, drummer), since he would be pursuing a career as a singer… in a Mariah Carey cover band. Such talented musicians and so humorous… no wonder no one cared about the “little” fail of asking if we were ready for Kreator while playing a riff from Slayer’s “Raining Blood”… (5/5)

Sylosis official facebook

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It had been 11 years since I’d last seen Soilwork – which was the last time they’d played in Portugal. So I don’t know if it’s usual for them to use The Alan Parsons Project’s “Sirius” as intro, but for me, it was a really nice surprise. And it links so well to “This Momentary Bliss”, the first song of their set! A set that I confess was hoping to be a bit more diverse, given the years of absence from the Portuguese stages. But their latest album is a magnificent double piece, so it’s only natural they wanted to focus on the killers of “The Living Infinite”. Still they went back a couple of times – “The Average Stalker”, “Bastard Chain”… –, closing with a golden key with “Stabbing The Drama” (“I think you know the chorus to this one”, said Mr. Björn Strid). The circles weren’t as constant as in the previous band but only because Soilwork’s sound doesn’t require so – there’s a reason why it’s called “melodic” death metal. In terms of intensity, they were just as “crazy and wild” (to use Strid’s own words). (5/5)

Soilwork official facebook

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There were LOADS of Epica fans in Vagos, so whoever thought it was a mistake to invite them again (they performed at the first edition of the fest) couldn’t be more wrong. Simone Simons’ voice was better than the last time I’ve seen them, in the “Requiem For The Indifferent” tour, but still a bit “shaky” here and there. The most blatant case was “Cry For The Moon”, where her voice was smothered by the choir backtracks and not because something failed with her mic. It’s just that female voices also change with time and it’s been 10 years since Simone first recorded that song. Maybe that’s why she took the chance to introduce the band, singing the names and their instruments instead of the original lyrics. Nice trick! But no one seemed to care anyway, as the strong and positive attitude of the whole band made those flaws look like small details.
They played a few songs from the latest album, “The Quantum Enigma” – including the first three tracks plus the new hit “Unchain Utopia”, but Simone said they would be back in November, in a promotional tour for this album. The crowd was thrilled to hear that. (4,5/5)

Epica official facebook

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Okay, it’s true that a Kreator gig is always a Kreator gig, and even when they’re bad, they’re still pretty good. But sometimes they’re REALLY awesome – like this time! From “Mars Mantra / Phantom Antichrist” to “Flag Of Hate / Tormentor”, Mille Petrozza got some of the best “Portuguese circle pits” that he kept asking for – having played here so many times before, he knew what he was talking about when he specified the nationality, giving them an unique identity. But with such a performance it was hard not to raise hell – the stage wasn’t big enough for their fire show, but the human heat made up for it.
For the encore, and the aforementioned medley of “Flag Of Hate” and “Tormentor”, Petrozza got on stage holding a flag, saying that when they released that album (“Endless Pain”), back in 1985, Michael Jackson was still alive. The rest of the band played a few chords from “Billie Jean” and the crowd roared. But the roar was much louder when he talked about the album that Judas Priest released five years later, as its title was the opposite of “Endless Pain”“Painkiller”, with the main riff of its title-track echoing. The true explosion came, of course, when Petrozza stopped talking and the medley itself began. (5/5)

Kreator official facebook

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Nevel a dull moment on this first day – except for the background music between songs, which was literally the same over and over. The metal DJs that took the graveyard shift should have been hired for the day as well…

Text & photos: Renata “Pieni” Lino

More pics in our Facebook page HERE.

Orange Goblin reveal details on upcoming album, including 1st track

Posted in News with tags , , , , , on 17th August 2014 by mickbirchy

So, Orange Goblin will be back with a new record in 2014, titled “Back From The Abyss”. This will be the eighth studio album from the band since 1997. To celebrate this, Orange Goblin will be premiering the new song “The Devil’s Whip” on British radio, midnight on Monday 18 August on the BBC Radio 1 Rock/Metal show with Daniel P Carter. If you just can’t wait until then the song is also streaming on Loudwire. So go check it out here.

The song is simply awesome, it really has a true Motörhead vibe to it.  Joe Hoare’s guitar riffs are sounding better than ever. “Back From The Abyss” will be released October 7th 2014 on Candlelight Records. The band have also released the artwork:

OG Back From The Abyss artwork

This is an exciting time, since the release of 2012’s “A Eulogy for the Damned”, Orange Goblin have been gaining some serious momentum, which is a good thing as they’re a band that have been constantly and consistently working since their debut.  Last year they did a big tour in the UK, with Airbourne, and this year they have been tearing up the summer festivals all across Europe. Also, starting in October, they will be doing a massive European/UK tour with Saint Vitus. That is a show you don’t want to miss. Tour dates below.

October 2014

Thu 9th – Le Grillen, Colmar, FRANCE
Fri 10th – CCM John Lennon, Limoges, FRANCE
Sat 11th – Day of Doom Festival, Barcelona, SPAIN
Sun 12th – Shoko, Madrid, SPAIN
Mon 13th – RCA Club, Lisbon, PORTUGAL
Wed 15th – Kafe Antzokia, Bilbao, SPAIN
Thu 16th – Le Krakatoa, Bordeaux, FRANCE
Fri 17th – L’Usine, Geneva, SWITZERLAND
Sat 18th – Bloom Club, Mezzago, ITALY
Sun 19th – Traffic Live, Rome, ITALY
Mon 20th – Locomotiv Club, Bologna, ITALY
Tue 21st – Salzhaus, Winterthur, SWITZERLAND
Wed 22nd – Backstage Halle, Munich, GERMANY
Thu 23rd – Garage, Saarbrucken, GERMANY
Fri 24th – Le Fleche D’Or, Paris, FRANCE
Sat 25th – Le Grand Mix, Tourcoing, FRANCE
Sun 26th – Biebob, Vosselaar, BELGIUM
Tue 28th – The Fleece, Bristol, ENGLAND
Wed 29th – Heaven, London, ENGLAND
Thu 30th – Button Factory, Dublin, REP. OF IRELAND
Fri 31st – Limelight 2, Belfast, NORTHERN IRELAND

November 2014

Sat 1st – Damnation Festival, Leeds, ENGLAND
Sun 2nd – Dutch Doom Days Fest – Rotterdam, HOLLAND
Mon 3rd – Luxor, Koln, GERMANY
Tue 4th – Beatpol, Dresden, GERMANY
Wed 5th – Fabryka, Krakow, POLAND
Thu 6th – SO36, Berlin, GERMANY
Fri 7th – Babel, Malmo, SWEDEN
Sat 8th – Debaser Strand, Stockholm, SWEDEN
Sun 9th – Parkteatret, Oslo, NORWAY
Tue 11th – Sticky Fingers, Gothenburg, SWEDEN
Wed 12th – Knust / Grunspan, Hamburg, GERMANY
Thu 13th – Rosenhof, Osnabrueck, GERMANY
Fri 14th – F-Haus, Jena, GERMANY
Sat 15th – Hammer Of Doom Festival, Wurzburg, GERMANY

www.facebook.com/orangegoblinofficial

Behemoth to hit the UK and Ireland in December

Posted in News with tags , , , , , on 17th August 2014 by Pieni

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After the sold out gig at The Forum early this year, right before the release of the much acclaimed “The Satanist”, Behemoth will now return to British and Irish soil for a few shows. Supporting them will be Decapitated, who will release their new album “Blood Mantra” next month, Grand Magus, whose latest “Triumph & Power” has also been very well received, and also Manchester-based Winterfylleth, who will be releasing their 4th album “The Divination Of Antiquity” in October.

Quoting Nergal: » It took us years to finally put together a separate UK tour and we are eager to bring the magic of “The Satanist” to our fans over there! We are counting days. Literally. With such a strong and diverse company from our friends in Grand Magus and Decapitated we are expecting nothing but a great metal feast! «

www.facebook.com/behemoth

www.facebook.com/decapitated

www.facebook.com/grandmagusofficial

www.facebook.com/Winterfylleth

Pepper Keenan sets sights on return to CoC

Posted in News on 12th August 2014 by mickbirchy

Pepper keenan
Great news for Corrosion of Conformity fans this year not only have we got a new album from the, IX which was released in June, but Pepper Keenan has teased the idea of returning to the band, bringing back the Deliverance line-up.  Pepper hasn’t worked with the band since 2010, but has claimed he never “officially” left the band.

He went on to say that Down were not planning on recording their next series of EP’s until next spring, in an interview he said “The old COC thing’s been coming up a lot.  We’re talking to Reed and Woody about getting that going.  That’s going to take a lot of attention.  We’re talking about just going to Europe and playing shows as the Deliverance four-piece, and starting from there to get it back together.”

Hopefully something will come of this and we may finally get to see COC with Pepper again.  I, personally, am looking forward to getting to see this.  I know I’m not the only one who’s been asking for this to happen ever since it was first teased in May, and it looks like it actually might.  Who knows what we’ll get but I’ll say this, things are only looking up for Corrosion of Conformity.

http://metalhammer.teamrock.com/news/2014-08-09/down-pepper-keenan-corrosion-european-tour

Interview with Jimmy Bergman of Through The Cracks

Posted in Interview with tags , , , , , , , , on 4th August 2014 by Pieni

There’s a brand new soulful rock project blossoming in Stockholm, courtesy of Jimmy Bergman and Tillie Grundel. The duo has just released their first single, the beautiful “Breathless”, and as I went to Gothenburg to see Jimmy’s other band, The End Of Grace, I arranged a little meeting with the talented musician. He was tired from the show on the previous night, and had an almost-five-hour roadtrip back to Stockholm ahead of him – from where he would drive to Berlin the following day – meaning he really needed to rest. But still he took his time to talk to me about Through The Cracks, always with a smile on his face.

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RL: You’re a very creative person and I know you’re writing stuff all the time, not always for The End Of Grace, not always metal. What made you get serious with this project in particular?

JB: I’ve always thought of making another project, something rock or more acoustic… a different music style for me to play. I had some ideas, been thinking about them for a while, and then I met Tillie. I showed her my stuff and she really liked it, so I told her “hey, put some vocals on it!”. From there we created Through The Cracks and… yeah, it got serious.

RL: Tillie isn’t here, so tell me a bit about her!

JB: She’s studied music for a while and she’s a really talented girl. And that’s the thing between Tillie and me – Tillie has studied a lot in music and I’ve never done any of that. So I think we’re a cool match! It sounds so good what we’re doing together! We have so many ideas and Tillie’s a great singer, really great singer, she was a stand-in in… (tries to remember the name)

RL: Karmic Link. I was surprised to see that it’s a symphonic/gothic metal band! I thought of her more like a jazz/soul kind of girl.

JB: Yeah, but she can do everything with her vocals. She has a great soul voice and it’s the perfect match for the sound we have. I think it’s kind of unique, really interesting. People really love her voice. I have a lot of fans and friends saying they don’t like female vocals but they love Tillie’s voice.

RL: Like me! Nowadays talking of “female vocals” is associated precisely with symphonic, high-pitched vocal ranges, which I’m tired of. But her voice is sweet and strong at the same time!

JB: Exactly. I really love her voice. It’s so fucking good I don’t even have the words for it. And she’s a great girl.

RL: And how did you feel when you heard “Breathless” for the first time with her vocals on it and the lyrics she wrote?

JB: We were at my little home studio, ready to record everything, and before starting the recording she just sang it to me. I was, “what the fuck? This is really good!” She asked if I wanted to change something and I said “Noooo! Just do what you want!” (laughs) We did some producing stuff and yeah, she’s really amazing, like I said before. I was in love with her vocals and her work.

RL: What about the name? I love how it sounds, Through The Cracks. How hard was it to choose?

JB: (Laughs) It was really hard! I think me and Tilllie spent three weeks, maybe four, thinking about the name.  We were working with the song at the same time, so I went through Spotify and I got some ideas, looking for song names. Through The Cracks came up, I showed it to Tillie, she liked it… we still thought about it for a while more, we had a lot of choices, but we went with Through The Cracks. I think it’s easy to say! People love it! When I played with The End Of Grace yesterday people came up to me and asked “what the fuck is Through The Cracks?”. “It’s my other project”. “It sounds really good!” “I know.” (laughs) So people know Through The Cracks already, it’s an easy name. It’s like The End Of Grace – it’s easy to say, easy to remember.

RL: One thing I’ve been wanting to ask you for a while is about your writing process. Do you wake up in the morning and think “today is a good day to write (insert musical style here)” or you just let your creativity run free?

 photo _DSC0002copy_zpsf876199e.jpgJB: I’m playing every day. I pick up the guitar and just play. And if it’s a great metalcore riff, then it’s for The End Of Grace. If it’s not so The End Of Grace style, like Through The Cracks, then it’s for Through The Cracks. I never focus on one band, I just let it flow.

RL: And sometimes you come up with totally different things, like punk rock songs…

JB: Yeah, it’s really crazy. I even made some “Turkish stuff” too. (laughs) I’m doing a lot of music, actually. I’m doing it with my friends – like that punk rock song you’ve just talked about. It’s just fun! I’m playing music every day, I love it. This is why I’m doing this.

RL: And do you look at someone or something for inspiration?

JB: No. I think it’s just my passion for music.  I’m working and listening to music, and then I come home and I start playing music. I don’t have just one band or one artist that inspires me so… I think I’m my own inspiration. (smiles)

RL: And what do you do when you’re not inspired at all?

JB: Hmm… hang around with friends… (pauses, thinking)

RL: Pick up girls…

JB: Pick up girls (laughs), have some fun… I don’t know. I’m doing stuff all the time, I’m never at one place. That’s why I’m going to Germany tomorrow – to clear my head. And then I come back and go into the studio and do stuff for Through The Cracks and The End Of Grace.

RL: You’re in charge of all instruments here but you’re a guitar player. How old were you when you discovered this passion for the guitar? When did you start dreaming of becoming a rockstar?

JB: I’ve always been dreaming of being a rockstar, since I was a kid (smiles). I think I played some guitars when I was 12 but I was so bad that it wasn’t fun anymore and I stopped playing. I started again when I was about 15, maybe, ‘cause my uncle is a guitar player and I was a lot with him, playing with his guitars all the time. I really wanted to be cool, really wanted to be a rock star, and more than that, I wanted people to like my songs. And to be on stage. Stage is the main thing, I love to be up there. It’s  a child dream and now it’s something that’s going forward. (smiles)

RL: And you want to play live with Through The Cracks. How will that happen – session musicians or you want this to become a full band?  photo 10580125_656118814483566_906789451208994489_n_zps7ee631d3.jpg

JB: Me and Tillie were talking about having stand-in players. I have some guys I’d like to have in Through The Cracks but I can’t tell anything about it right now ‘cause nothing is official yet. But if we were to have a show now we would get stand-ins for the drums and the bass, maybe another guitarist, and maybe also some female backing vocals… Then we have backtracks, of course, for the keys. We were thinking of having a guy doing that too, but it would be too much. Yeah, we will play live…

RL: I will be there!

JB: I am sure you will. (smiles). We have some new songs on the way, we’re going to release an EP. We have another product for Through The Cracks, but I can’t tell anything about that, but we’re working on it now and we’ll see what happens. I think the EP will be out maybe in November.

RL: You produced “Breathless” but now you’re working with someone else…

JB: Yes, he’s a great guy, a friend of mine, Niklas Aggemyr, and a really good musician. We were drinking some beers, I showed him Through The Cracks and he really liked it. So I showed him the new song too, told him what I wanted to do and he was really stoked, really wanted to help producing it. So we’re in his studio in Södertälje Sweden, called Musikaffär’n, and he’s helping me making the song sound really really good. It’s just one song we’re doing, so we’ll see what happens with that.

RL: I was going to ask what are the plans for the near future, but I guess you’ve answered that already – EP in November?

JB: November – yeah, I hope so. We just need to get it done, that’s the first thing. I really want to release it but things go really slow sometimes… But we have some songs in our minds and I think we’ll make something good. Then release it and play some shows, some kind of release party, maybe… I don’t know. Actually Sticky Fingers wanted to book us… yesterday! But we have just one song done, so… But it’s a possibility for when the EP is out. We’re a new band, everything takes time – write and practice the songs, get shows… it’s a lot of work. And I need to do The End Of Grace work too. But it will be done.

RL: Of course it will! Wish you all the luck with that. Have fun in Berlin!

JB: Thanks!

Through The Cracks Official Facebook

Interview by Renata “Pieni” Lino