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Vandallus – Outbreak

Posted in Metal, Rock with tags , , on 8th December 2019 by izaforestspirit

Vandallus
Outbreak
Released 12 December 2019
Hard Rock/Heavy Metal
Released via Mercinary Records


’Outbreak’ is the latest album from the American hard rock band Vandallus. The band has been around since 2015 and it features several members from the power metal group Eternal Legacy. This is my first encounter with Vandallus so I had no idea of what to expect. The amusing looking cover art would suggest anything from heavy metal to sleaze rock via classic rock. Well, there is only one way to find out…

If hard rock is your thing, you are in for a treat. There is a lot to like on here; from the catchy vocals, memorable choruses to the well timed and skillfully executed guitar harmonies. I particularly enjoyed the playful guitar tunes on Not Alone. It sounds very uplifting and puts the listener in a good mood. Then there is the slightly slower, melodic Bang The City Down– another enjoyable hard rock tune and Shotgun Lady with a catchy chorus and good, bluesy guitar work. Once again the guys sound like that they are having a good time in the studio.

Many of the songs sound like they been inspired by old school hard rock from the 80s. As far as the structure goes, this album is pretty straightforward and it is fairly easy to get into. Like the guy on the front cover, sometimes you just need to sit back and enjoy the ride. Motorbikes are not really my thing but I do like hard rock and heavy metal.

Overall, I quite enjoyed listening to ‘Outbreak’. It is definitely one of the more memorable hard rock albums I have heard this year.

7/10

Iza Raittila

Hellsinki Industrial Festival 2019

Posted in Alternative, Festival, Industrial, Live with tags , , , , , , , , on 24th November 2019 by izaforestspirit

Cygnosic, Priest, Blutengel
Nosturi, Helsinki
22-23 November 2019

Helsinki…It’s been a while…The last time I visited the city was for the Memmaker and Zardonic concert back in 2016. Since then I really have not had much time to travel there. I hoped that I would go back someday if there was a reason to go there. Earlier this year the German synth-pop duo Blutengel were announced as the headliner for Hellsinki Industrial Festival. So that was it, my reason to go.

Saturday 23 November 2019

I decided to attend only one day of the festival, Saturday. The venue was Nosturi, which is located by the seaside in the Hietalahti district of Helsinki. I have been there many times before but sadly this festival will be my last time at Nosturi. The venue is due to close by the end of the year and the building will be knocked down to make way for residential premises in 2020.

First up was the Greek dark electro artist Cygnosic. This was one of those cases when it took a live performance for me to notice and really get into a band. I have heard the name Cygnosic before but I never really got round to checking out his music until now. Great show! The music was creepy, atmospheric and very danceable. Just how I like my dark electro. I will definitely check out more of his music.

Next was a Finnish industrial metal band called Fear of Domination – the only metal band in the whole festival line-up. Whilst their show was entertaining to watch, I struggled to get into the music. It sounded like a mish-mash of industrial metal and melodic death metal. They have two vocalists, a man doing the death metal growling and a female singer doing the clean vocals. That worked well enough for most of time but the cacophony of melodeath guitar riffs and the overuse of Pain-esque “disco” synth was a little too much for my liking.

I did like the Swedish synth-pop trio Priest though. The band was formed back in 2017 and the original line-up featured former members of Ghost. There has been some line-up changes since then but the concept remains the same. Three guys known as Sulphur, Salt and the vocalist Mercury came to the stage draped in elaborate gimp-like outfits and masks. Mercury has a multi-faceted and very unique voice. The music was entertaining and fun to dance to. They did a good cover of Radiohead’s ‘Street Spirit (Fade Out) at the end.

Then it was time for the headliners Blutengel. This was their first time in Finland. Great show. The front-man Chris may not be that used to speaking to a non-German speaking audience. Sadly the Finnish crowd were not that well versed when it came to singing along to the lyrics of ‘Engelsblut’ but that did not stop them from enjoying the show. I certainly did. It was great to hear some of the Blutengel classics such as ‘Children of The Night’ and ‘Bloody Pleasures’ along with the new hits such as ‘Black’ and ‘Morningstar’.

Overall, I am glad that I decided to travel to Helsinki for Hellsinki Industrial Festival. I finally got to see Blutengel live and I discovered Cygnosic. Priest were pretty good too. It’s a shame that Nosturi will be closing this year. Hopefully they will open a new music venue in Helsinki in the future.

Iza Raittila

Hanzel und Gretyl reveal new album details

Posted in Industrial, Metal, Misc., News, Studio Report with tags , , , on 16th November 2019 by izaforestspirit

It’s only been a year since their last effort ‘Satanik Germanik’… Now the American industrial metal duo Hanzel und Gretyl are ready to unleash their latest creation onto the world next month. The new opus will be entitled ‘Hexennacht’ and it is expected to hit the shops on 13th December 2019 via Metropolis Records.

Here is the cover and the track-listing:

Hanzel und Gretyl - Hexennacht

1. Hexennacht
2. Draconia Teutonik
3. Nüll
4. Vultures ov Death
5.Wolves + Witches
6. Jägermond
7.Der kaiz3rn8tor
8. Hellmeister
9. Triple Hexxx
10. Cursed Be
11. O Great Hekate
12. Ein kleine Hexennacht Muzik

For more details visit:

https://www.hanzelundgretyl.com/

https://www.facebook.com/pg/hanzelundgretyl/

Three founding members leave Children of Bodom

Posted in Metal, Misc., News with tags , , , on 3rd November 2019 by izaforestspirit

It’s been over twenty years, thousands of live shows, world wide tours and ten albums. Now it looks as though this might be the final chapter for Children of Bodom. A few days ago Henkka, Janne and Jaska (three of the band’s founding members), made a shocking announcement that they will be leaving the band before the end of the year. Here is an extract from the official statement:

”It is with heavy hearts that we announce that 2019 will be the last for Children Of Bodom with this line-up.

After almost 25 years with Bodom, thousands of shows & 10 albums it is time for Henkka, Janne and Jaska to step back and change direction within their lives. All three will miss the fans and supporters in every city in every country the band ever played.

The last show of this line-up will be on the 15th of December at Helsinki Ice Hall. Tickets still remain for some of the Finnish shows in December.

Alexi and Daniel will have further announcements about their plans to keep creating new music in the future.

Thanks again for everything – Children Of Bodom”

The band’s front-man, Alexi Laiho has yet to comment on what will happen next. The band’s latest album ‘Hexed’ was released earlier this year via Nuclear Blast Records.

Finnish fans can still catch the band live with the current line-up on the following dates:

5.12.2019 Seinäjoki, Rytmikorjaamo
6.12.2019 Oulu, Teatria
7.12.2019 Tornio, Teatria
10.12.2019 Helsinki, Tavastia (Sold Out)
11.12.2019 Tampere, Pakkahuone
12.12.2019 Turku, Logomo
13.12.2019 Jyväskylä, Lutakko (Sold Out)
14.12.2019 Jyväskylä, Lutakko (Sold Out)
15.12.2019 Helsinki, Black Box

Children of Bodom - Photo

For more information visit:

https://www.cobhc.com/

https://www.facebook.com/childrenofbodom/

Nile – Vile Nilotic Rites

Posted in CD, Metal with tags , , on 29th October 2019 by izaforestspirit

Nile
Vile Nilotic Rites
Released 1st November 2019
Technical Death Metal
Released via Nuclear Blast Records

Nile - Vile Nilotic Rites

Regardless of whether you love or hate them, there is no denying that Nile have left their mark on death metal music. For over two decades now, Karl Sanders and the gang have treated the metal community to their signature sound – their own unique blend of technical death metal and ancient Egyptian themes or “Ithyphallic metal” as they call it. Personally I have a somewhat complicated relationship with their music. As far as death metal goes, I like them but they have never been a favorite of mine and I like some of their albums more than others. My favorite album by them is ‘In Their Darkened Shrines’ and ‘Ithyphallic’ is the one that I like least. I quite liked their previous effort though, so I decided to give this new album ago.

Well, the good news is that Nile have managed to successfully replicate the same level of brutality and technical guitar work as they have done in the past. Sanders’s growling sounds just as vicious as ever and shredding guitars are just as savage. Yet that is not what makes Nile stand out. If all I wanted was to hear some growling and shredding guitars, there is no shortage of brutal death metal bands that do the same thing. What makes Nile so memorable is the atmospheric instrumentals and the prominent Egyptian themes. For that you have to skip to the fourth track Seven Horns of War. The intro really sounds like an ancient army on the march, complete with war horns and battle drums . Then mid-way through, they slow the pace down and the song adapts to an atmospheric tone with keyboards, eerie whispers, choirs and chanting audible in the background. For a brief period you can still hear the battle horns just as the death metal guitars and growling re-emerge.

Seven Horns of War isn’t the only track to feature atmospheric instrumental parts. There are many others on here. For example, the short ambient instrumental Thus Sayeth the Parasites of the Mind deserves a mention. Nice work Mr. Sanders! The melodic sounds of the bağlama and ethereal voices almost made me forget that I’m listening to a death metal album. On the opposite end of the spectrum there are tracks such as Snake Pit Mating Frenzy which is just pure, brutal death metal.

In summary, ‘Vile Nilotic Rites’ is a multi-faceted and complex technical death metal album that might take a few listens to get into. I cannot say that I enjoyed all the songs but I would be happy to play most of them again. As far as Nile albums go, this is one of their better releases.

7/10
Iza Raittila

Rytmihäiriö live in Tampere

Posted in 'Core, Gig, Live, Metal, Punk Rock with tags , , , , on 19th October 2019 by izaforestspirit

I Revolt, Rytmihäiriö
Jack The Rooster, Tampere, Finland
18th October 2019

Autumn is here. The leaves are falling, the nights are getting longer and Halloween is only weeks away… I haven’t been to a live show since the Rammstein performance back in the summer. There have been a few gigs that caught my attention but I simply did not have the time. Last night I decided to take a gamble and try something new. This was one of those occasions when I knew very little about either of the bands. Rytmihäiriö is a band that I have heard of but I am not too familiar with their music. Someone claimed that they are similar to Turmion Kätilöt, whom I like, so I decided to check them out.

The event took place at rock pub called Jack The Rooster. The pub serves food in the day time then it is transformed into a small live show venue at night.

First up was I Revolt. This is an up and coming Finnish band which was established two years ago. Their style is pretty difficult to classify. It sounded like an amalgamation of thrash metal, metalcore and Entombed-esque melodic death metal. I wasn’t super keen on their cover of a Slipknot song but the show had its good moments.

Someone told me once that there is a thin line between what is hardcore punk and what is thrash metal. Well, Rytmihäiriö is somewhere around the boundary zone. The guitar riff patterns bear some resemblance to thrash metal but the vocals and the overall attitude is decisively more hardcore punk. Perhaps a little too punk for my liking. They have their fans and they drew in a sizable crowd. Sadly the music was not something that I enjoy.

Overall, it was a decent night out. Now I know what Rytmihäiriö are all about. I like thrash metal but hardcore punk has never really been my thing. I Revolt put on a good show and it would be interesting to see how their sound develops.

Iza Raittila

Mgła – Age of Excuse

Posted in Metal with tags , on 18th October 2019 by izaforestspirit

Mgła
Age of Excuse
Released 2nd September 2019
Black Metal
Released via Northern Heritage Records

Mgła - Age of Excuse

The Polish black metal outfit, Mgła have come a long way since I first discovered them back in 2006 when the two Eps ‘Presence’ and ‘Mdłości’ were released. The line-up has not changed, Mgła is still a two-man team comprising multi-instrumentalist singer M. and drummer Darkside. They have additional live musicians for the live performances.

So this brings me to the duo’s latest work – ‘Age of Excuse’. There are six tracks, all labelled as Age of Excuse I – VI. A key part of what makes a good black metal song is the atmosphere, the creepier and the more bleak it sounds the better it gets usually. Everything about this album conveys eerie and nihilistic vibes. First there is the ultra-grim looking front cover. Then the first things you hear as soon as you press the play button, are the disturbing sounds of vocalist M. gnashing his teeth just before the guitars kick in. When the guitars enter the frame, they only add to the overall bleak atmosphere as do the vocals. It must be pointed out that this sounds a lot like their other project Kriegsmaschine.

It’s pretty pointless to discuss the tracks individually as the are essentially just six parts of the same concept. These guys have managed to maintain a good balance between the coarse guitar riffs, the drum work and the melodic tones without compromising the overall atmosphere. Even with the odd melodic guitar part, the music still sounds very bleak. It’s like walking through a forest at night, in deep fog. You can get accustomed to it but definitely is not pleasant.

In summary, ‘Age of Excuse’ is easily one of the best black metal albums that I have heard this year. It is great to see just how far Mgła have come and how much their sound has developed over the years. I would happily recommend this to any black metal fan.

8/10

Iza Raittila