Archive for February, 2016

Rage’s “The Devil Strikes Again” to include bonus live CD

Posted in News with tags , , , , , on 29th February 2016 by Pieni

As you’ve probably suspected, RAGE‘s EP “My Way” (review here) precedes the release of the band’s 22nd studio album (23rd if you count with the one in collaboration with LINGUA MORTIS ORCHESTRA). “The Devil Strikes Again” will see the light of day on June 10th, via Nuclear Blast. Artwork and tracklist as follows:

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01. The Devil Strikes Again
02. My Way
03. Back On Track
04. The Final Curtain
05. War
06. Ocean Full Of Tears
07. Deaf, Dumb And Blind
08. Spirits Of The Night
09. Times Of Darkness
10. The Dark Side Of The Sun

Bonus CD:
01. Bring Me Down
02. Requiem
03. Into The Fire
04. Slave To The Grind (SKID ROW Cover)
05. Bravado (RUSH Cover)
06. Open Fire (Y&T Cover)

Today, RAGE announced that there will also be a limited edition (1.000 copies) of a 3CD DIGI, the third disc recorded live during the latest European tour with HELLOWEEN. Here’s the tracklist of said disc:

Bonus Live CD
01. Black In Mind
02. Sent By The Devil
03. End Of All Days
04. Back In Time
05. Down
06. My Way
07. Until I Die
08. Don’t Fear The Winter
09. Higher Than The Sky

“The Devil Strikes Again” was recorded in September/October 2015 at Megafon Studios (Burscheid, Germany) and at Soundchaser Studios (Zandhoven, Belgium). Its production was handled by Marcos Rodriguez and Peavy Wagner, whilst renowned the Dan Swanö (MARDUK, OPETH, DISSECTION, KATATONIA) took care of the mix and mastering at Unisound Studios (Grefrath, Germany). The stunning cover artwork was created by Karim König (photo credit: Ivan K. Maras, director of the “My Way” music video).

You can pre-order the Limited Edition 3CD Digibook here.

www.rage-official.com
www.facebook.com/rageofficialband
www.nuclearblast.de/rage

Section A – Wall of Silence

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on 26th February 2016 by izaforestspirit

Section A
Wall of Silence
Released 12th February (North America) 26th February 2016 (Europe and Asia)
Melodic Heavy Metal/Progressive Power Metal
Released via Mausoleum Records

‘Wall of Silence’ is the new album from the Danish heavy metal band Section A. It is the long awaited follow-up to their previous release ‘Sacrifice’, which was released back in 2010. This is the first album to feature their new singer Nicklas Sonne (Wasted, Defecto). The band was formed back in 2001 by guitarist and keyboard player Torben Enevoldsen (Fatal Force).

This is my first encounter of Section A, so I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from them. The album’s futuristic cover art made me think of science fiction themes and ‘outer space’, which in metal tends to be linked to bands such as Fear Factory or The Kovenant. In this case, though, it couldn’t be further from the truth. There’s no techno drums, electronics or space metal here. Instead, what you get is some melodic, mostly guitar-driven power metal with melodic keyboards and the odd hint of progressive tunes.

Some of the songs are faster and heavier than others, for instance No Tomorrow picks up the pace and really highlights Enevoldsen’s skills as a guitarist. Speaking of guitar tunes, the ones on that song owe more to power metal than progressive metal which is good for me since I’m not a massive fan of the overly technical prog-metal guitar work. It’s got the right balance of a decent pace, catchy and slick guitar riffs and a sing-along chorus. I also enjoyed the dynamic guitar tunes and highly energetic keyboards in the first half of When All is Falling. However, if more complex structures and progressive guitar riffs are your thing, then Bleeding Chains is the song for you.

Overall this album requires a bit of patience and it took me a few listens to get into it. While I’m not super keen on the progressive elements, I did enjoy the catchier, more power metal -style tracks like ‘No Tomorrow’. Also the guitar work is top notch and that’s what counts the most for me.

3.5/5

Iza Raittila

Cairo Son – Storm Clouds

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on 26th February 2016 by mickbirchy

Cairo Son
Storm Clouds
Rock, Grunge, Stoner, Blues
Released: 18th March 2016
Self released

The British rockers have been growing in popularity for some time and with their new album Storm Clouds on the horizon, pun totally intended, the trio look to expand.  Cairo Son, from London, mix together the hypnotic rhythm of blues and stoner rock and the heaviness and intensity of heavy metal and grunge to create a really fascinating listen. Their riffs are precise and sharp, with heavy bass that thunders in the background of the production. With their debut “Heart Against The Feather” backing them up, the band look to capitalise on that with this upcoming album in 2016.

The album opens with that riff styling I’ve mentioned already. It captivates you and makes you want to hear more. “Lost in the Shadow” is dark and twisted and uses the bluesy tone to its advantage.  Letting the music do its job of creating a dark and twisted sound, as the vocals are entrancing over the top. The harmonies on this album are simply lovely and really invoke that early 90’s grunge/stoner sound that they’re clearly aiming for.  The strong and powerful vocals really counter the music perfectly as it’s quite subdued. The two singles from this album “Lion in a Cage” and “Devil’s Tongue” are well performed, with anthemic choruses and hard-hitting riffs.  It brings to mind the early 2000’s nu-metal scene.  At the same time though it’s not as petty or whiny as that.  There genuinely seems to be a great sense of command and power to their performance here.

Although there aren’t many tracks, it still reaches a substantial length thanks to the near 11 minute epic that is the album’s title track “Storm Clouds” which drudges along at that bluesy pace. However, the song never feels like it’s dragging you by the nose to get through it.  The run time is justified as a lot of emotion comes out in this song and it feels very grandiose, like the band were aiming for something big. It hits all of the points you’d want a song like this to hit. I love Magdy’s voice on this song, he just matches the tone to the words and to the music so well.  It really does feel epic.

As you can probably tell I’m loving this album.  I can’t really name any drawbacks, it just works for me.  Is it for everyone?  Honestly, no but I feel that there is an audience for it.  A big audience. People who like well crafted riffs and emotional melodies will love this. However if you’re not into music that takes its time with bluesy sounds and heavy riffs then you’re probably not going to have a good time with this. Overall, I loved it and I would recommend giving it a listen.

4/5

Mick Birchall

Ricky Warwick – When Patsy Cline Was Crazy…

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on 26th February 2016 by Pieni

Ricky Warwick
“When Patsy Cline Was Crazy (And Guy Mitchell Sang The Blues)” / “Hearts On Trees”
Hard Rock
Released: 26th February 2016
Via Nuclear Blast

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I’ve been listening to this album on a daily basis for the past two weeks, trying to come up with the right words to describe it, but always ended up losing myself in the melodies and Warwick’s voice. As the album is out today, I decided I couldn’t postpone this review any longer and it was better to write it by heart – by now I definitely can do that – as pressing “play” would distract me again.

That’s what you must be prepared for when listening to this double album – to have your senses enthralled and be taken away to that place in your mind where everything will be fine. Even if you’re listening to “Psycho”, a song depicting a troubled mind reaching out to his mom.

The first CD “When Patsy Cline Was Crazy (And Guy Mitchell Sang The Blues)” comprises the electric songs, while “Hearts On Trees” offers the acoustic ones. Which doesn’t mean that the latter is less fiery than the former. Born in Northern Island, Warwick brought the high spirited Irish music in the form of the title track and “Schwaben Redoubt” (although the story here ends with death). “Disasters” is pretty upbeat too.

Living up to its title, “Presbyterian Homesick Blues” is a blues song, but not exactly sad – it’s one of those that touches your feelings. And “Way Too Cold To Snow”, despite the somewhat melancholy, is just too beautiful to stir anything but life inside of you.

In “When Patsy Cline…” you’ll find that pure, classic rock that Warwick’s gotten us used to for years. The heavy opener “The Road To Damascus Street”, the catchy “Celebrating Sinking”, the sharp “Toffee Town”, the horn section in “That’s Where The Story Ends”… Twenty songs (plus eight bonuses!) to love.

5/5

Renata “Pieni” Lino

The Vision Bleak release new EP

Posted in News, Studio Report with tags , on 25th February 2016 by izaforestspirit

The German gothic “horror” metal duo The Vision Bleak have just announced that they will be releasing a new, limited edition EP entitled ‘The Kindred Of The Sunset’. The new EP will feature two new songs from their upcoming album ‘Into The Unknown. This will be a limited edition will available for purchase at the band’s shows and from their online shop at http://en.prophecy.de/shop/.

You can check out the artwork and the tracklisting here:

The Kindred Of The Sunset
The Whine Of The Cemetery Hound
The Sleeping Beauty (Tiamat Cover)
Purification Afterglow

https://www.facebook.com/thevisionbleak.official/

http://www.the-vision-bleak.de/

My Silent Wake – An Unbroken Threnody

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on 24th February 2016 by Paul Macmillan

My Silent Wake
An Unbroken Threnody
Released 08th February 2016
Doom metal
Released via Stone Groove Records

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‘Best of’ compilations can be a great way to introduce new listeners to a band, and in An Unbroken Threnody, My Silent Wake have properly grabbed my attention. This collection of music is drawn from the first ten years of their fairly prolific career, and therefore encompasses a fairly wide spread of style, ranging from more or less pure doom, through a touch of death metal, and what might even be a hint of psychedelic doom, a la The Blood Divine’s Mystica.

As the press release states, this is ‘for fans of’ Paradise Lost, My Dying Bride, and Indiscience. The influences of these bands are plain as day, out there for all to see – and it’s glorious! PL and MDB are clearly a massive part of the mix, and, for someone who remembers the soul shaking gothic riffs of the  1990s, it is a welcome return to a sensation long resigned to the ‘meh’ pile of life. If I’d been aware of this band throughout their existence, I would have devoured their releases one after the other. However, I’m almost glad I didn’t, as this is a real pleasure to delve into without prior warning.

There are naturally parts which are stronger than others. It’s a good sign that two of the crowning moments, Highwire & And So It Comes To An End, are taken from 2015’s Damnatio Memoriae, and show a band who have matured rather than grown flaccid with age. Older material still stands up perfectly well, such as the diabolically hefty Tunnels – the opener from 2008’s  A Garland Of Tears -and the almost folk-infused Shadow Of Sorrow from their debut of the same name.

It’s inspiring to hear a band who have delivered such consistently high-calibre output, even more so when a decade’s worth of their music hits you square in the chops in one sitting. If you were a fan of any of the acts mentioned in this review, but haven’t yet checked out MSW, I highly recommend you do. Although the comparisons are spot on, this is no imitation. This is the real deal.

4.5/5

Paul Macmillan

To The Rats And Wolves – Neverland

Posted in Review with tags , , , , , on 23rd February 2016 by Pieni

To The Rats And Wolves
“Neverland”
Trancecore
Release: 19th February 2016
Via Nuclear Blast Records

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I’m not surprised that trancecore is a thing, as anything goes nowadays. What I’m surprised is that To The Rats And Wolves is included in that category as electro-pop-core is way more accurate. Their homeland Germany is a country where you have a rave in one corner of the block and a metal gig in the other (yes, kids, it’s a hyperbole) and it is said that many go to the former after the latter is finished. Nothing against it, open-mindedness is something to be treasured. I’m just not sure if it’s a good idea to merge both, no matter how out-of-the-box the concept might be.

Especially when only the trance is shaping the songs, while the hardcore is pretty much repeating itself in every track – similar cranking riffs, predictable breakdowns… It’s in the electronics that you’ll hear different patterns defining different melodies (and not exactly outstanding ones). When it comes to vocals, even though the growls and screams assume a big role, it’s the pop-ish clean tones that always take lead in the choruses. So eventually you feel like this is not a real fusion but just the addition of some elements of one genre into the basic structure of another. The opener “Suburban Romance” is the most balanced track, followed by “Schoolyard Warfare”, but the majority of the album heads towards the dancefloor – especially “Wild At Heart” and “Kill The DJ”. And then there’s the ballad “Ghosts” which… Well, it’s a ballad. ‘Nuff said.

On the other hand, the nature of “Neverland” is so mainstream that it may actually cause some fuss. I still think it lacks substance.

2/5

Renata “Pieni” Lino

Daemona – The Demon Inside [Single]

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on 20th February 2016 by Nico Davidson

Daemona
The Demon Inside
Released 1st March 2016
Death Metal
Self-Released

Hailing from East Anglia, the home of the infamous Black Shuck, come the fearsome death metal quartet Daemona. Formed in 2012, the band have left nothing but a path of devastation in their wake and have had the honour of playing alongside the likes of Devilment and Nervosa.

The Demon Inside roars into action immediately, displaying the snarling talent of guitarist Strix and bassist Dan as riffs as cold as a Norwegian winter blast their way through the speakers. The vocals, as provided by The Cuntess, are a fiery and unholy abomination that leaves you begging for more as the riffs continue to thunder down like brimstone from the sky.

The Demon Inside is a stormy taster of what Daemona offer with their vehement anthems of hatred. Every death metal fan needs to hear this single.

4.5/5

Nico Solheim-Davidson

Daemona online:

http://facebook.com/DaemonaMetal

Abbath – Abbath

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on 19th February 2016 by izaforestspirit

Abbath
Abbath
Released 22nd January 2016
Black Metal
Released via Season of Mist


The ex-Immortal frontman Abbath is back with a new album, his debut release under his own moniker after parting ways with his former band members. He is joined by two other musicians, bassist King (God Seed, Ov Hell, ex-Gorgoroth) and drummer Creature aka Kevin Foley (ex-Benighted, live drums for Sepultura and Decapitated). The album includes a cover of Judas Priest’s ‘Riding on the Wind’ and an old Immortal track.

Straight from the start we’re greeted by a barrage of thrashing guitar riffs, Creature’s relentless pummeling drums and of course Abbath’s signature black metal vocals. So far, so grim and frostbitten, which is exactly what I expected this music to be. Winterbane sounds as though it was a leftover from one of last two Immortal albums, possibly ‘Sons of Northern Darkness’. Other parts made me think of Abbath’s currently dormant project I.

The pace tends to vary, shifting between the aggressive and intense,”blackened heavy metal” war anthems like Count Your Dead; the ferocious acid rain of guitars that is Fenrir Hunts to the more melodic, mid-career Bathory-style Viking black metal tracks like Root of the Mountain. On the whole, it’s the subtle details that make certain tracks stand out more than others. This is one of those albums that requires a few listens in order to be fully appreciated.

In summary, this is a fairly decent black metal album. My only issue with it is that it doesn’t offer anything distinctively different to what Abbath has done before. Only time will tell how this band will develop in the future.

4/5

Iza Raittila

Al Jourgensen’s new project Surgical Meth Machine

Posted in News, Uncategorized with tags , , , , on 14th February 2016 by izaforestspirit

Ministry frontman Al Jourgensen has recently launched a new project called Surgical Meth Machine. The band’s music has been described as ‘industrial speed metal’ and Mr. Jourgensen stated that their songs have an average speed of 220bpm and “are not for the faint of heart”. The self-titled debut album is due to hit the shops on 15th April 2016 via Nuclear Blast Records.

The track-listing will be as follows:

1. I’m Sensitive
2. Tragic Alert
3. I Want More
4. Rich People Problems
5. I Don’t Wanna
6. Smash And Grab
7. Unlistenable
8. Gates Of Steel
9. Spudnik
10. Just Go Home
11. Just Keep Going
12. I’m Invisible

Check out the cover art below:

http://www.nuclearblast.de/en/label/music/band/about/4199926.surgical-meth-machine.html

https://www.facebook.com/surgicalmethmachine/

New Vesania video ‘Notion’

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on 11th February 2016 by izaforestspirit

The Polish symphonic black metal band Vesania have released a new video for the track ‘Notion’ from their fourth album ‘Deus Ex Machina’ which was released back in 2014 via Metal Blade Records.

Here’s a statement about the video from their singer and guitarist Orion (also in Behemoth):

“This video we made for ‘Notion’ is not a typical music video clip. It’s more of a motion picture, and it’s over 6 minutes long, so get ready for lots of details. It’s a cinematic variation based on the idea behind the song. It tells a story of a follower, a story of being fascinated and making things you dream of, real for yourself. Becoming what you once called an idol for yourself. And then, the perspective changes once you reach this new different point of view. You realize you have more power than you can handle and at the same time, the art you create is just a way of fighting things you’re too weak to fight anywhere else. There’s a deceit in being the audience and the actor at once.

Check it the clip here:

 

https://www.facebook.com/VesaniaOfficial

http://www.metalblade.com/europe/de/artists/vesania/

More Than A Thousand w/ support – Madrid, Spain

Posted in Gig, Live with tags , , , , , , , , , on 9th February 2016 by Pieni

More Than A Thousand, Hills Have Eyes, Cannibal Grandpa
Starving Conciertos, Madrid (ES)
2nd February 2016
Promoted by HFMN Crew/Avocado Booking

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After the announcement of a no-end-in-sight hiatus, the time has come for the “Before We Go” farewell tour of More Than A Thousand. It kicked off last Tuesday in Madrid (Spain), along with their long-term buddies Hills Have Eyes. Swiss hardcore act Promethee would join from the third date on, leaving the two Spanish dates to be supported by Spanish bands. In Madrid, deathcore Cannibal Grandpa had the honors of doing so.
 photo _DSC0122 copy_zpsjcuib21z.jpgFounded in 2013 and having released their debut album, “Feed Your Food”, a few months ago, these youngsters seem to already have a considerable number of followers. Some of them were there, singing along and slamdancing like there was no tomorrow. Well deserved, as Cannibal Grandpa are indeed good in what they do. Too bad the stage was too small, otherwise I’m pretty sure there would’ve been more movement up there. Still, they managed to put up a vigorous performance, living up to the brutality of songs such as “Face To Face”, “Grey Man” or “Legacy”.

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www.facebook.com/cannibalgrandpa

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More than wanting to say goodbye to More Than A Thousand – I believe I’ll have a chance to do so in our homecountry – I wanted to see/support Hills Have Eyes outside our borders. I was even wearing my “Antebellum” tee, but the venue was freezing (the damn AC was unnecessarily in full mode) and eventually I had to put on my jacket. Oh well.
HHE’s setlist was quite even between “Strangers” and the latest “Antebellum”. When you have three amazing albums and you’re not playing as headliners, the choice gets tough, but the guys did a great job, performing the “most mandatory” songs.
“Anyway, It’s Gone” was one of them, although Vasco from More Than A Thousand didn’t join Fábio on the vocals, as he does in the studio version (and often live as well). That was kind of bittersweet – it would have been something to see those two forces together once again, but HHE didn’t have that many fans in the house, and inviting Vasco over would have felt like a cheap trick to win the crowd’s affection. And given the general response throughout the show, they did win it.

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www.facebook.com/hillshaveeyes

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When the lights went out, hinting the beginning of More Than A Thousand’s last concert in Madrid, the people clustered so tightly around the stage that it felt like their number had doubled. And then the first echoes of “Feed The Caskets” brought the place down. Like their “brothers” HHE – a title Vasco dearly used more than once – MTAT also focused on just their two latest albums. Nothing against what they’ve played – me and everybody else sang loudly along the whole time – but more like what they haven’t played. As a farewell tour, I was hoping for a longer show and a bit of every phase in their discography (although we did listen to a snippet of “The Red River Murder”, as someone in the crowd screamed for it whenever he had the chance). But it was still an intense goodbye, with Vasco using some funny Spanish expressions he apparently had just learned, or more serious remarks like the song he dedicated to The Ghost Inside and the heartfelt advice about never giving up of our dreams, no matter what/who. Those verses from the chorus in “No Bad Blood” – “this is who we are / these words will last forever” – came truly alive that night.

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www.facebook.com/morethanathousand

Text & photos by Renata “Pieni” Lino

Colour of Noise – Colour of Noise

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , on 7th February 2016 by izaforestspirit

Colour of Noise
Colour of Noise
Released 4th December 2015
Classic Rock
Released via Colour of Noise/Townsend Music

‘Colour of Noise’ is the debut album from the Brighton-based, British classic rock band of the same name. The band was formed last year by guitarist Bruce John Dickinson (Little Angels) and Matt Mitchell (Furyon). They describe their sound as “steeped in the spirit of the late 60’s British Blues Boom and early 70’s Stadium Rock”, and cite Free and Led Zepplin as influences.

We’re off to a good start with Can You Hear Me? – a very radio-friendly rock song with playful guitar melodies and a chorus that is both catchy and easy to sing along to. Yes, I can hear you, loud and clear, just keep on rocking! And so they do, offering another nine tracks of energetic and highly entertaining classic rock packed with catchy guitar tunes and melodic vocals.

Some of the tracks were so catchy that I actually started swaying along to the tune whilst writing the review. For example, the chorus in Drive It Like You Stole It has that rock’n’roll feel to it and the “bouncing” guitars makes this song one of the most memorable ones on the album. There’s the odd slower track on here but none of them quite reach the epic ballad levels of complexity. Last but certainly not least is the aptly named Great Day for Rock and Roll, another very enjoyable classic rock tune which is sure to make you want to get up and dance.

In summary, listening to this has been a pleasant experience. What I like most about Colour of Noise is that their music is very uplifting and leaves you in a positive mood. Good job guys, keep on rocking!

4/5
Iza Raittila

Fleshgod Apocalypse – King

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on 5th February 2016 by Pieni

Fleshgod Apocalypse
“King”
Symphonic/technical death metal
Released: 5th February 2016
Via Nuclear Blast

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The more I listen to Fleshgod Apocalypse, the more I realize that those who say that mixing classical music with death metal is a bad idea, they’re just speaking based on their personal musical taste; in truth, whether you like the outcome or not, such mix is brilliant. The splendor of the former contrasting with the brutality of the latter, but the intensity and overwork that both share? What’s there not to love?

Now that we’re clear on where I stand regarding the genre, it really comes as no surprise how high I’ll praise this “King”. Fleshgod Apocalypse just nailed every aspect of the so-called symphonic/technical death metal. In case you missed the promotional single “The Fool”, go and listen to how those medieval piano keys interweave so fittingly with the shredding rhythm of the rest of the instruments. And then check out the sinister tone of “Cold As Perfection” and “Gravity”. And also the epic symphony of “And The Vulture Beholds” or “A Million Deaths”. Sure, we could live without the operatic “Paramour (Die Leidenshaft Bringt Leiden)”, where Veronica Bordacchini takes the lead, and the instrumental title-track. But both add an exotic touch to the whole package. Saying “King” is Fleshgod Apocalypse’s best album might be debatable, so I’ll settle with “the most consistent”.

5/5

Renata “Pieni” Lino