Archive for May, 2015

Two Witches live in Tampere

Posted in Alternative, Gig, Industrial, Live with tags , on 14th May 2015 by izaforestspirit

Larva, Two Witches
Redemption Club at The Dog’s Home,

Tampere, Finland

13th May 2015

After my recent travels it was nice to go to a local alternative event for a change. Two Witches is a local Goth rock band and this was a free show to celebrate their keyboard player Zynthexia’s birthday. The venue was a pub called The Dog’s Home, which is located near the train station at the heart of the city centre. Tampere has a sizable Goth scene so the venue was full by the time the bands started.

Larva

First up was a Spanish terror EBM duo called Larva. I was not sure what to expect when I first saw them because the singer was draped in leather and covered in corpse-paint which is usually more befitting for a member of a black metal band than an industrial/EBM one. Yet after hearing the first notes of the synthesizers, it was pretty clear that this was going to be electronica. Not a guitar or drum kit in sight, just some harsh screams and cries (mostly in their native Spanish) and synthesizer beats to dance along to. I liked their eerie atmosphere and the creepy vocal samples in the songs. They reminded me a little of their Mexican brethren, the Aggrotech band Hocico. 5/5

Two Witches

I’ve seen this band live before at Lumous Gothic Festival last summer so I knew what to expect. They are one of the very few Goth bands that I actually like and they usually put on a good show. I guess that a large part of their appeal is down to the singer Jyrki Witch’s stage presence. Unlike some Goth rock frontmen, this guy actually looks like he’s having fun performing live. Since this show was in honor of their keyboard player’s birthday, they stopped at one point to sing to Zynthexia “Paljon Onnea!” (Happy Birthday in Finnish) and they encouraged the crowds to join in. They then continued to play a mixture of old and new tracks to the delight of the audience. 5/5

In summary, I had a great time. It proves just how close-knit the local Goth and industrial scenes are. Just as with Lumous Gothic Festival, this was a rare occasion for people who like these types of music to get together under one roof for a free concert. Hopefully there will be more of these events in the future.

Iza Raittila

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Two-Witches-Official/167374843332778

https://www.facebook.com/larva.official?fref=ts

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Vagos Open Air 2015 closes its bill, adding two special guests

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , on 12th May 2015 by Pieni

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Portugal’s Vagos Open Air continues to grow. Last year, it extended its original two-day festivities to three, and this year opened up one more slot on the Saturday and Sunday line-ups. Those slots were taken by two Portuguese bands, granting promoters Prime Artists a thumbs-up for supporting the country’s metal scene. So this is how it’s going to play out (headliner-to-opener order):

Friday, 7 August:
WITHIN TEMPTATION (NL)
AMORPHIS (FI)
HEAVEN SHALL BURN (DE)
VILDHJARTA (SE)
MOONSHADE (PT)
SCAR FOR LIFE (PT)

Saturday, 8 August:
BLACK LABEL SOCIETY (USA)
VENOM (UK)
TRIPTYKON (CHE)
DESTRUCTION (DE)
MUTANT SQUAD (ES)
W.A.K.O. (PT)
FILII NIGRANTIUM INFERNALIUM (PT, special guests)

Sunday, 9 August:
BLOODBATH (SE)
OVERKILL (USA)
HALESTORM (USA)
ORPHANED LAND (IL)
NE OBLIVISCARIS (AU)
MIDNIGHT PRIEST (PT)
IRONSWORD (PT, special guests)

Taking place once again at Quinta do Ega, you can find all info on its official homepage: http://www.vagosopenair.eu/index_en.html

Technically Dead – Perth Tech, Prog, Death Metal Show

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , , on 12th May 2015 by Paul Macmillan

Technically Dead

The Fair City will play host to a clutch of heavy, technical, progressive and death metal bands this May 23rd. Top of the bill is Dundee based Animus, plying their diverse brand of down-tuned, modern metal. The show is their first in Perth for some time, and comes as part of their campaign to raise awareness of their upcoming debut album, “Men Into Memories”, due for release this summer.

Support comes from a range of bands from around Scotland. Openers Bloodthread, featuring a former member of Anencephalic, are the most traditional death metal band on the line-up, but they deliver their sound with technical flourish. Descending from the far North, Seed Of Sorrow bring a more melodic aspect to the event, and Glasgow/Falkirk act Centrilia – comprising past members of Madman Is Absolute and Toy – raise the flag for a unique blend of heavy prog and hard-core metal.

The event details are as follows:

Event: Technically Dead
Venue: The Corinna, Atholl St, Perth
Date: 23/05/2015
Doors: 6:30pm
Entry: £5

Through The Cracks – Hateful Things [EP]

Posted in CD, Rock with tags , , , , , on 10th May 2015 by Pieni

Through The Cracks
“Hateful Things” EP
Alt. rock
Self-release on 29th May 2015

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I’ve been keeping tabs on Through The Cracks ever since their first single “Breathless” was released – not only that’s a killer rock ballad, but I’m also well aware of Jimmy Bergman’s talent, from his work with The End Of Grace and other projects. And here I am now, listening to that faith being paid off.

“Learn To Run” follows the same path as “Breathless” (and “Marionette”, a second single that still featured Tillie Grundel on vocals), also flowing at an easygoing rhythm, but the fingering of the acoustic guitar sounds more delicate. On the other hand, the chorus has much more spirit, although always with that silky touch, intended to enthrall your sentimental side.

But as much power as they might put in their ballads, I was sure their writing would go beyond that. I must confess the dubstep in “Hateful Things” caught me a little off guard, but I should’ve known by now that there are no limits for Bergman’s creativity. Of course you’ll soon notice that no DJ is in the house, as the electronics are just spicing things up here and there. But the rest of the instruments already produce a loose, vibrant sound, making this the liveliest track in the EP. And the “more spirit” expression I used before? Well, those are pretty much the accurate words to describe Sara Lindberg’s wonderful voice and therefore more suitable than her predecessor for the wider goals this band intends to achieve.

I don’t know if it’s just me, but I always have the feeling that a piano can make a sad piece sound even sadder, melancholic even. And in music, such sadness is beautiful. That’s what you’ll hear coming out of the piano keys in “Mother” – a heartbreaking melody with a solid pulse. Just like its story, that tells you of a girl in a dark place holding on to hope by reaching to her mom.

If the latter is the most dramatic and “Hateful Things” the most cheerful, “Fail The Light” is the heaviest and sharpest song here, irreverence and determination in every note. Even that break with the string arrangements sounds defiant. Plus, towards the end, an extra touch of heaviness is added, courtesy of the boys’ harsh screams.

Four tracks, four flavors. Through The Cracks‘ songwriting trademark is not having one and I love them for it. After all, “variety is the spice of life”.

5 / 5

Renata “Pieni” Lino

Drekavac – Incipit Demonas Pandorum

Posted in CD, Metal with tags on 9th May 2015 by izaforestspirit

Drekavac
Incipit Demonas Pandorum
Released 3rd April 2014
Black Metal
Released via Fall of Eden Records

‘Incipit Demonas Pandorum’ is the debut album from the Scottish black metal band Drekavac. The band was scheduled to play at Valkyrian Festival last year, but they cancelled their performance and decided to take a break. This year they are back and after a successful performance at Eradication Festival in Cardiff there is now talk of a new EP in the works.

After a deceptively melodic intro Abomination of Flesh reveals its true nature as black metal song complete with pounding drums, mid-paced guitars and vocals that range from screams to growling. Imagine old Dimmu Borgir minus the keyboards combined with the vocal style of Marduk and you will have a pretty good idea of what kind of black metal this is. The melodic guitar elements are featured throughout this album and in some cases such as in the title track, they provide a sharp contrast against the harsh vocals.

As the album progresses, it soon becomes clear that these guys don’t like to stick to the same formula. Just when you think that there’s going to be another slow and melodic intro, they suddenly decide to pick up the pace with Miasma of Dark Energies. That track has some death metal elements making it a far more ferocious beast than its predecessors thanks to the creepy vocals and the blast beat drums. Similar things can be said for Ritualistic Scarification of Evil Incarnate, though that one also features some progressive guitar work towards the latter half of the song.

It seems as though Drekavac have also been influenced by Enslaved since progressive guitar elements feature in quite a few of the tracks. The worst example of this is the final song, The Echoes of Dark Memories which could have been decent had it not been for the needlessly long and ponderous intro and rather lethargic-sounding clear vocals half way through the track.

Overall this album is a bit of a mixed bag as far as black metal goes. These guys have clearly been influenced by a wide range of black metal sub-genres. Their style isn’t uniform and it varies a lot depending on the song. So I guess that it depends on what style you prefer. Personally while I’m fond of melodic, symphonic and raw black metal, the progressive metal parts ruin it for me.

3.5/5

Iza Raittila

Exile The Traitor – Winter Eternal

Posted in CD, Metal with tags , , , , , on 3rd May 2015 by Paul Macmillan

Exile The Traitor
“Winter Eternal” [EP]
Melodic Death Metal
Self-release
On 15th May 2015

Exile The Traitor - Winter Eternal

Kicking off Winter Eternal, Exile The Traitor make sure that listeners know they mean business from the beginning. Laments Of A Flesh Peddler opens up with an imperial and confident overtone, belying the band’s short existence. Switching between modern grooves, blasts, and d-beats, the drums – which can be a background feature in extreme music – are instantly noticeable, as is the intelligent use of alternating death and black metal vocals. Actually, every member seems to get their breathing space, which is something I’ve always enjoyed in extreme music.

The following numbers are no disappointment, either. This is the same ETT who grabbed the Scottish metal scene by the neck when they unleashed Necrology in 2012, but they are testing the waters of maturity already, and taking some chances in an environment which can be quite unforgiving. The original brutality is still consistent throughout, but there are fresh twists and turns brought into play here. Organic tremolo riffing, akin to that of Gojira in its memorability, stands shoulder to shoulder with the Swedish influenced death metal for which they are already known.

The shadow of At The Gates has long been one to haunt many, many bands who have sprung into existence in the last decade, and in a lot of cases (quite often justifiably) it has been drawn up as a negative. ETT are no carbon copy, though, pulling on numerous other wells to deliver a professional, bruising, original musical identity. That said, the reference is strong, and if you’re fully against that sort of thing, this probably won’t be for you, but I would suggest clearing the mind and giving it a shot, anyway.

The sum total of Winter Eternal far surpasses what one might expect of a band who are only at the stage of putting out their second EP (or demo, as we used to call them), and it’s terrifying to consider what Exile The Traitor could become with the right support behind them. There’s still some growing room in there, but if this is the direction they continue to spread their wings, it’ll be no bad thing.

4.5/5

by Paul Macmillan

Marilyn Manson – The Pale Emperor

Posted in Alternative, CD, Rock with tags on 2nd May 2015 by izaforestspirit

Marilyn Manson
The Pale Emperor
Released 20th January 2015
Alternative Rock/ Hard Rock

Released via Cooking Vinyl Records

The legendary American alternative rock artist Marilyn Manson doesn’t need much of an introduction. Whether you love or hate him, you cannot deny that the shock-rocker has left his mark on the alternative scene; be it through his memorable songs such as ‘The Beautiful People’, his stage antics, his art work or his recent acting roles in films and TV shows such as ‘Sons of Anarchy’.

In my case I still remember the day when I sneaked into my older sister’s bedroom and I borrowed (or rather stole) her copies of ‘Portrait of An American Family’ and ‘Antichrist Superstar’. I must have been about fourteen at the time. Over a decade later and ‘Antichrist Superstar’ is still one of my favorites and I occasionally revisit the other albums, everything up to and including ‘Eat Me, Drink Me’. I have to admit that the two subsequent albums ‘The High End of The Low’ and ‘Born Villain’ didn’t leave a lasting impression on me. So when I heard about the latest effort ‘The Pale Emperor’ I decided to give the band another try.

After a slow start, the opening track Killing Strangers draws you in gradually with its blues-rock style guitar riffs that accompany the singer’s melancholic cries of despair. Deep Six however, is an entirely different animal. Not only is it faster and more energetic sounding than its predecessor but it also features a catchy chorus and some good guitar riffs. The Third Day of A Seven Day Binge is one of those tracks that you could picture someone playing in the later stages of a party. You’re not quite ready to go home yet and although you may have had one or two drinks too many, you hear this and you get up to dance or rather sway along to its guitar melodies and the hypnotic vocals.

Yet as with any hardcore drug, there will be a high and a low stage. If Deep Six was the high, then the aptly named Warship My Wreck is the low. Here the sparks of energy have vanished and all it’s left is a wretched and depressing song in which the cries of anguish are perfectly matched with the eerie guitar tunes. Not that Marilyn Manson was ever known for his happy tunes but this song is about as bleak as it gets. Another song which caught my attention is Cupid Carries A Gun, which sounds like a continuation of where the ‘Holy Wood’ album left off.

In summary, although it’s no match for Marilyn Manson’s earlier work, ‘The Pale Emperor’ has succeeded in where the two previous albums have failed. It has some memorable songs that stick in your head. Fans of Manson’s industrial period may not appreciate the new blues rock influence, but if you enjoyed ‘Holy Wood’ and ‘Eat Me, Drink Me’, you won’t be disappointed.

4/5

Iza Raittila