Archive for January, 2016

Jeff Brown – 23 Years

Posted in CD, Rock with tags , on 17th January 2016 by izaforestspirit

Jeff Brown
23 Years
Released 13th November 2015
Melodic Hard Rock/ Classic Rock
Released via Mausoleum Records

’23 Years’ is the debut album from the British classic rock artist Jeff Brown (ex- Wildfire, ex- The Sweet, Cats in Space,The Tremeloes). This release reflects Mr. Brown’s passion for hard rock and classic rock music. He is joined by several renowned hard rock musicians including Peter Szigeti (ex- Warlock, U.D.O.) on guitar.

Whilst this is his first solo album, Jeff Brown has been active within the hard rock scene since the early 1980s back when he played bass with a band called Wildfire during the New Wave of British Heavy Metal movement. So, how does all this affect his music? – you might ask… Well, the good news is that ’23 Years’ doesn’t sound like something straight out of a time capsule, still stuck in the same era and trying to re-live the good old, glory days.

There’s the occasional slow and melodic ballad on here such as When The Love is Gone or the closing epic that is Life Goes On but on the whole it’s the more cheerful, catchy songs that make this album memorable. Take Contagious for example, it might have a deceptively slow start with the acoustic guitar but once the electric guitars kick in at the start of the chorus, it’s difficult not to feel the positive vibe and sing along to the ultra catchy lyrics. Once In Every Lifetime is my personal favourite and with a chorus like that I can see it becoming a crowd favourite at the live shows too. If you don’t feel like air-guitaring, clapping or swaying along to this, then there’s something wrong with you.

In summary, what we have here is a very catchy, well-composed, guitar-driven album, which combines the best of classic rock and hard rock. There’s something here for everyone. Whether you’re into the heavier, more edgy hard rock, traditional heavy metal or the more melodic style of classic rock, ’23 Years’ is the album for you.


Iza Raittila

Devilment begin work on new album

Posted in Metal, News, Studio Report with tags , on 15th January 2016 by izaforestspirit

The British “Gothic” groove metal band Devilment, which features Dani Filth (Cradle of Filth) on vocals, has began working on a new album the follow up to their critically acclaimed debut ‘The Great and Secret Show’. The album title hasn’t been revealed yet but here are some of the song titles:

‘Shine On Sophie Moone’
‘Life (Is What You Keep From The Reaper)’
‘Hitchcock Blonde’ ‘
‘Hell at My Back’
‘Plot Spoiler: There Will Be Monsters’

Here’s a studio update from their lead guitarist Colin Parks:

“The pre-production songs from the new album are all but done and dusted.

This new album is heavier than anything we have done before, yet with it more melodic, passionate and mature.

We have all worked very hard, both in the band and those directly working with the band on a different level.

I am so happy with how things are sounding at this early stage.
I truly believe this album will be the one to make all of our fans happy.

It brings massive brutality contrasted with progressive beauty.

Lyrically and musically it’s an album that will take you on a journey of emotions.

Devilheads prepare!” 


The new album will be release via Nuclear Blast Records and is expected to hit the shops later this year.



Hordes Of Belial announces Lifer and others for 2016

Posted in News with tags , , on 11th January 2016 by Paul Macmillan

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It’s that time of year again when annual, Dundee based metal showcase, Hordes Of Belial start rolling out the names, and 2016 is off to a great start.

The 7th edition of the event sees its first ever Welsh band in sludged up metal and rollers, Lifer, fresh off the back of their 2015 album Black Mountain Rising. They will be joined by, among others, a raft of bands from around Scotland, including Glasgow’s Seraph Sin and Blood Thread, as well as Excellent Cadaver.

Early bird tickets will be on sale soon, from

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Liv Kristine: “I’d love to further cooperate with Simone”

Posted in Interview with tags , , , , , , , , , on 9th January 2016 by Nico Solheim-Davidson

Nico interviewed Liv Kristine, the charismatic and Valkyrie-like frontwoman of Leaves’ Eyes in Sheffield on their UK tour, in support of the new album King of Kings.

Nico: Hi Liv, how are you?

Liv: Very good, how are you?

N: I’m great, thanks.

L: Good to see you again.

N: Good to see you too. How has the tour gone so far?

L: Really really well. We’re on the UK leg of the tour now and we have one third of the tour still to play. That’s going to be for the UK only. The first leg was for the rest of Europe which was really nice too. Paris: awesome, Belgium: awesome. But the UK is always something special, we have a very big and strong fan base here. We have fans and friends who follow us for every gig and that’s a privilege. I see that the market for our kind of music is growing here, and that’s maybe not the case in Germany. So it’s very good to be back, we’ve already played three gigs and it has been absolutely fantastic.

N: You’ve released a new album recently: King of Kings – which you’ve based on Harald Fairhair. Obviously Scandinavian history, old Norse history in general, is full of fascinating characters like Eirik Bloodaxe.

L: That’s one of Harald’s sons. You’ll find him in the first or second bonus track, it’s called Trail of Blood. That’s a song about him. So who knows what the next Leaves’ Eyes album is going to be about. We know that Harald had many sons and daughters.

N: There are so many other characters like Erik the Red or Leif Erikson. What is it about Harald Fairhair that stood out from the rest of all these great characters and infamous villains? What made you want to do an album based on his life and his legacy?

L: Because I grew up with the legacy of Harald Fairhair. The decisive battle that made him become the king of Norway took place in a fjord called Hafrsfjord, which is my birthplace. So Harald Fairhair has always been there. I’ve always been interested in history and it happened exactly two years ago, over a morning cup of coffee that Alex came up with this idea: what about king of kings? I started digging through all my books and I contacted my mother in Norway to collect stuff at museums and libraries. So it has been amazing to study Harald Fairhair’s life and to divide it into twelve chapters. Parallel to my studies, Alex and Thorsten composed songs at the studio. We’ve been very busy, it has been a very intense process but highly creative. We had so much fun and it means a lot to me to have this album released. It’s definitely a milestone in the career of Leaves’ Eyes. And as I said, it happened at my birthplace so.

N: I highly praised the album for Valkyrian Music..

L: Thank you very much! I read it, of course.

N:Good! Obviously it’s brilliant to see that you guys got back to how you originally started with tales of Viking warriors, going forth into battle, exploring lands and so on. How would you say that King of Kings compares to the rest of the Leaves’ Eyes discography?

L: I’d say King of Kings has a connection to The Vinland Saga, which was thematically about Leif Erikson and his discovery of America. So if there is a link to any other album, I’d say The Vinland Saga. You already mentioned the folky instruments and the folky touch and the orchestra and everything so it has been there all the time but every album has been different. Now King of Kings happened, it was great to see how everything came together. We worked on every song as if it were one individual piece of music. We added any instrument from London Voices to White Russian Orchestra, cello, flutes…everything. We worked on every song until all three of us, Thorsten, Alex and I being perfectionists, said okay let’s go for the mix, its fine.

N: On this album you added Simone Simons from Epica and Lindy-Fay Hella from Wardruna. What was it like working with those two women on the two tracks that they featured on?

L: Absolutely amazing. Of course I know of the series Vikings and I just thought the music is amazing, the soundtrack is amazing! Who is that girl singing? I found out she’s from Bergen! Through a common friend of mine and of Wardruna, I got Lindy-Fay‘s contacts. I contacted her and she said “of course, I know you and I would really like to work with you”. So I sent her Blazing Waters and we were blown away. A couple of weeks later I flew to Bergen and met Lindy-Fay. I presented her Blazing Waters and she loved it, it was definitely golden. She’s a lovely girl and a great musician.

Simone lives one hour away from us so it was about time to invite her to come to our studio. She’s been at our place before but it has been quite a while. She’s a mother now so she’s busy, but she came by and she listened to the song and…I’d say we are a perfect match. Lovely, lovely to work with her.

N: Obviously Epica and Leaves’ Eyes, despite falling into the symphonic metal genre, have got two completely distinct styles. Do you think there will be any sort of crossover between from the recent collaboration between you and Simone?

L: I don’t know. I have no clue, we’ll see. I love Simone and her work, she’s a lovely girl and we are both mothers… We live one hour away from each other so who knows. I’d love to further cooperate with Simone. It would be great.

N: Going back to Harald Fairhair. You obviously studied his saga, his life story quite extensively for the album. What would you say is the most fascinating aspect about the man?

L: We got a few facts about Harald through Snorri, but Snorri came about a couple of hundred years later. Next to that we got the sagas and the tales of the Norwegian kings, where you can find a lot of interesting written words about them to honor them. I think it is absolutely amazing to read the different approaches to his person, because he must have been exactly as unruly, wild like his son Eirik Bloodaxe. He must have been exactly like that himself. In many of the tales or poems about Harald it is told that he was beautiful and that he could have had any woman: he was very glorious. It’s fascinating to read other stories like the battle of Hafrsfjord; about blood being everywhere and the fjord burning or different sceneries, a different Harald.

N: He certainly sounds like an interesting figure. As a fan of both Vikings and Game of Thrones, which one do you prefer?

L: Vikings. Last time it would have been Game of Thrones but it’s Vikings now because of the music. Of course because of my friend Lindy-Fay who’s in there. Although it’s made in Hollywood, I think it’s very nice. It’s very nice to watch those great actors. I love it. And also because I’m Norwegian.

N: That’s very good. Thank you for your time. Have a lovely show tonight.

L: You’re welcome, thank you very much and thanks for coming.

Leaves’ Eyes online: 

Njord Metal Fest announces first two bands

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , on 8th January 2016 by Nico Solheim-Davidson

Njord Metal Fest – a new metal festival in the City of Culture 2017, Hull – has announced its first two bands on the line-up.

The headliners are Embers of Eden – a melodic metal outfit from southern England, who have played the prestigious Sonisphere Festival in 2014 and there will be a special guest appearance from Cumbrian metal pirates Iron Seawolf.

Further details can be found at this location and tickets, which are priced at £5, can be bought here. The event will take place at O’Rileys in Hull on 16th July this year.

Ben Blutzukker – Analog Blood

Posted in Metal, Uncategorized with tags , on 8th January 2016 by izaforestspirit

Ben Blutzukker
Analog Blood (EP)
Released 7h January 2016
Heavy Metal

‘Analog Blood’ is first EP from the German heavy metal artist Ben Blutzukker (ex-Jormundgard). All the tracks were originally released back in 2007 on an album called ‘Digital Blood’ by the artist’s dark electro project Blutzukker. This EP features the re-recorded metal versions of four original Blutzukker songs.

The transition from electronica or industrial to metal isn’t always easy but as demonstrated by a band such as Dawn of Ashes it can be achieved with good results. I happen to like both genres and so I decided to check out the original, dark electro versions of these Blutzukker songs prior to writing this review. This only made me even more curious as how you could make a metal song out of such dancefloor-friendly electronica…

Well, it seems that you can and if these four songs are anythng to go by, the transition between genres is not only relatively straightforward but almost flawless in its execution. Had I not known that Mr. Blutzukker originally recorded all four tracks without a single guitar or drum kit in sight, I would have just assumed that this guy has always played heavy metal. I guess that the four years Ben Blutzukker spent playing bass for Jormundgard has had a lasting effect on his style.

“Heavy Metal” is a good, albeit simplified way to summarize Ben Blutzukker’s new signature sound. The vocals made me think of Motörhead, Chrome Division and to some extent Dimmu Borgir. Also, if you listen closely you will discover elements of hard rock and black metal in the guitars on the tracks From Hell and Digital Blood.

Overall, this has been a really enjoyable EP. I like Mr. Blutzukker’s dark electro and having heard this, I’m looking forward to hearing more of his heavy metal music.


Iza Raittila

Wrath Sins – Contempt Over The Stormfall

Posted in CD, Metal, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on 6th January 2016 by Pieni

Wrath Sins
“Contempt Over The Stormfall”
Thrash metal
Released: 26th September 2015
Via Raising Legends Records

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Wrath Sins picked up the classic thrash metal, filtered the edginess with some prog and “Contempt Over The Stormfall” was born. It’s not exactly modern thrash metal; it’s thrash metal with a polished twist.

In the mix there’s also a graver tone of vocals, unlike the high pitches this genre has gotten us used to. It’s still clean and aggressive, like Bobby Blitz or Chuck Billy’s, but a notch lower than theirs. And then there’s the growling backing vocals, functioning as a spicy seasoning. Still they invited some “legends” of their hometown underground to enrich the outcome – Fernando Martins of Web sings in the straightforward “Textured Vengeance” while Miguel Inglês of Equaleft helps out in the groovy (what else?) “Solipsism”.

Musically/instrumentally speaking, “Contempt Over The Stormfall” is a pretty consistent, solid album, featuring beefy riffs (the title-track, ”To Where The Waves Break”) and classy guitar pieces (my favorite “Watching Time Collapse”, or “Paradox”). Well done, boys.


Renata “Pieni” Lino