Archive for the Metal Category

S-Tool and Battle Beast live in Tampere

Posted in Gig, Live, Metal with tags , , , , on 9th October 2017 by izaforestspirit

Profane Omen, S-Tool, Battle Beast

Olympia, Tampere, Finland

7th October 2017

At last a metal gig… It’s been a while. I haven’t seen any metal bands live since Destruction at the beginning of the year.

The show was part of Lost in Music Tampere, a city festival with a series of music events happening in several venues across the city centre. It was also organized by Nummirock Festival. This time the venue was a place called Olympia. It was my first time at this particular venue.

We missed the first band, Ikinä but we managed to catch most of Profane Omen. I’ve heard of them before but I’m not too familiar with their music. They were entertaining to watch at times but it wasn’t really my style. I’ve never been a massive fan of groove metal. 3/5

I’m a fan of Sentenced and Poisonblack, so needless to say that I was keen to check out Ville Laihiala’s new band S-Tool. Sadly their performance didn’t really live up to my expectations. They had a slow start and it took them a while to get going properly. Things improved a bit later on, and I enjoyed one of their songs – ‘Back to Zero’. They were also playing a few cover songs towards the end of the set including Metallica’s ‘Hit The Lights’. 2.5/5

 

The venue was packed by the time the night’s headliners took to the stage. It was already well past midnight by then, but luckily Battle Beast were worth the wait. Great show! The singer reminded me of Doro. Their lyrics are cheesy, almost Manowar-esque but the performance was very energetic and entertaining. Best tracks were ‘Black Ninja’ and ‘Touch in The Night’. 5/5

Overall it was a good night out even if it did finish rather late. S-Tool turned out to be a disappointment but Battle Beast were great live. I’m not too familiar with their music but after that performance I’m definitely going to check it out.

Iza Raittila

http://lostinmusic.fi/home

http://www.nummirock.fi/

 

 

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Interview with Ben Blutzukker

Posted in Interview, Metal with tags , on 5th October 2017 by izaforestspirit

Iza had a little chat with Ben Blutzukker to discuss Lego, heavy metal and his new EP ‘Ripide’.

Iza: What is behind the name ‘Blutzukker’?

Ben: It’s a song from the Swedish Vampire-Metal-Band Notre Dame. It should have that name, but it was never released. But I liked the spelling and so I named my first band after it. A short time later my own name transformed then to “Ben Blutzukker”.

Iza: Earlier this year you decided to put an end to your dark electro project Blutzukker to focus on your heavy metal project. What led to this decision?

Ben: I just felt like that. Since the last Blutzukker album in 2012 I no longer had  ideas to do new electronic tracks. And as the solo projekt “Ben Blutzukker” was my only focus for the last years I decided to tell everyone that “blutzukker” is over now.

Iza: Aside from the obvious differences in genre (dark electro vs. heavy metal), what other differences do you see between Blutzukker and Ben Blutzukker?

Ben: Hmm. That is a difficult question. I think there are many things that are the same in both projects. The vocals are absolutely the same. I also did not change my lyrical writing. So yes, mainly only the musical genres are the mail difference.

Iza: Let’s talk a about your new EP ‘Riptide’. Based on the cover art and the title track I’m guessing that it has something to do with the sea. Can you tell us a little bit about the themes for this release?

Image result for ben blutzukker riptide
Ben: When I was searching for a great artwork for this EP I saw this one and felt in love with it. Until then the EP should have a total different name. But I saw that artwork and it directly reminds me to when I wrote the lyrics for the song “Riptide”. So I decided to make “Riptide” the main song of this EP.

Iza: I’ve noticed that your sound has changed slightly since the first EP ‘Analog Blood’; the new songs seem darker, with a hint black metal in addition to the thrash metal guitars. Are you a fan of black metal, if so which bands do you like?

Ben: That is trve. I like a lot of black metal bands, especially Abbath and Winterfylleth. The recording of the EP was done by myself as I did it on “Analog Blood”. But this time I gave the job of mastering to the same studio where also the Abbath album was mastered. Nevertheless I like to mix the styles of black, death and thrash. And maybe next time there will also be a bit of Goth Metal in it.

 

Iza: On the EP, there is a cover of Illwill’s song. What made you decide to choose that particular band and song?

Ben: To push that great song, because no one knows it! Just a joke… My favorite musician is Snowy Shaw from Sweden. He was involved in Illwill (and he was also the main-figure of Notre Dame). And with “blutzukker” we played this song on stage several times. So I wanted to close the circle by recording my own version now.

Iza: Also, there is a collaboration with Pale Violett on backing vocals on the same cover track. What made you decide to work with her?

Ben: Pale Violett was part of “blutzukker”, so we made a lots of stuff together over the years. But to be honest: her recordings for this song are now 10 years old.

Iza: You have recently released a new video for the title track ‘Riptide’ which features a Lego pirate ship. This is the second of your videos to feature Lego figurines. You even have Lego USB-sticks available. I have to ask, what is it with the Lego?

Ben: I love it! I always loved it! Don’t you still love Lego?

Image result for ben blutzukker

Iza: Your previous band featured lots of humour in the lyrics, mostly connected to vampires and horror stuff in general. Is this humour element something you plan to continue with as Ben Blutzukker or is this more serious?

Ben: I think I will automatically continue like that, because that is just a part of my person. For me it is normal to not take everything too serious. Not even the blackest metal.
Iza: Is Ben Blutzukker a studio only -project or do you plan to play some live shows in the future?

Ben: I see, this question is the one I hear the most. But no, currently I like it to just be a studio project.

Iza: Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions.
Ben: Thank you! 
For more information visit:

http://facebook.com/BenBlutzukker

Iron Maiden comic book series ‘Legacy of the Beast’ coming soon

Posted in Metal, Misc., News with tags , on 2nd October 2017 by izaforestspirit

Iron Maiden are about to launch their won comic book series entitled ‘Iron Maiden Legacy of The Beast’. The series is based on their popular mobile role-playing game ‘ Iron Maiden: Legacy Of The Beast’ and it will focus on the band’s mascot Eddie as the main protagonist. The story has been written by Llexi Leon and Ian Edginton and illustrated by Kevin J. West, Jason Gorder, and Santi Casas.

Here is a more detailed outline of the plot:

The comic book series expands on the video game narrative. As dark forces conspire to corrupt the fabric of reality, Eddie’s immortal soul is shattered and strewn across the cosmos – leaving a weakened, primal Eddie to battle across space and time facing off against the twisted legions of The Beast, seeking out the lost shards of his soul, and bringing order to the realms. With each victory, and with the aid of old friends, Eddie will restore his fearsome powers as he draws ever closer to facing the Unholy foe behind his fall… and thwarting a plot to unravel all of Creation!

There will be five issues of the comic in total, the first of which is due to hit comic shops worldwide via Heavy Metal Publishing on 11th October 2017.

You can check out the cover here:

For more information visit:

http://ironmaiden.com/

http://www.heavymetal.com/

 

Cannibal Corpse unveil new album title and cover art

Posted in Metal, Misc., News with tags , on 26th September 2017 by izaforestspirit

The well renowned  American death metal band Cannibal Corpse have recently announced that their new album, the follow up to ‘A Skeletal Domain’ will be called ‘Red Before Black’.

Here is the cover art:

The track-listing will be as follows:

1. Only One Will Die
2. Red Before Black
3. Code of the Slashers
4. Shedding My Human Skin
5. Remaimed
6. Firestorm Vengeance
7. Heads Shoveled Off
8. Corpus Delicti
9. Scavenger Consuming Death
10. In the Midst of Ruin
11. Destroyed Without a Trace
12. Hideous Ichor

‘Red Before Black’ is scheduled to hit the shops worldwide on 3rd November 2017 via Metal Blade Records. This will be followed by a European tour starting in early February next year. Stay tuned for more details.

For more information visit:

http://cannibalcorpse.net

https://www.facebook.com/cannibalcorpse

 

Cradle Of Filth – Cryptoriana – The Seductiveness of Decay

Posted in CD, Metal with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on 15th September 2017 by Nico Solheim-Davidson

Cradle of Filth
Cryptoriana – The Seductiveness Of Decay
Released 22nd September 2017
Extreme Gothic Metal
Released via Nuclear Blast

If you’ve never heard of Cradle of Filth, you’ve most likely been living under a rock for God knows how long. Once hailed as the “most successful British metal band since Iron Maiden“, Dani Filth and and the band have proved their worth, despite various line-up changes throughout the years. Now the band are set to release their twelfth studio album: Cryptoriana: The Seductiveness of Decay. A bit of a mouthful, isn’t it?

The atmospheric invoking Exquisite Torments Await opens up the album with its sinister beginning, followed closely by the demoncially possessed guitars and banshee-like wails and guttural growls of Filth himself. Heartbreak and Seance glides in with the graceful sound of tragedy before the remorseless storm of guitars and symphonic sections come raging in as though a hurricane. Achingly Beautiful is a grandiose display of Dani Filth‘s vocals, charging through the tempest of unforgiving musicianship, while Schoolcraft’s narrative vocals bring a whole new dynamic to the track. The choirs and orchestration, however, truly make the song what it is – a dismal, ominous anthem.

Wester Vespertine is a furious blitz upon the ears, weaving Filth‘s, and occasionally Schoolcraft’s, refined vocals with cimmerian melodies and stout riffs. The title track, The Seductiveness of Decay, is a gloomy composition, weaving slow and fast riffs with dispiriting keyboard melodies and Gothic lyricism. Vengeful Spirit creates more of an atmosphere in its beginning, as the prophetic sound of guitar notes ring out, accompanied by Filth‘s voice. When the song comes into its prime, it is essentially a standard day in the office for Cradle Of Filth – agile, cumbersome and melodic. The part of the song that really stands out however is the guest vocal appearance from Liv Kristine, as her vocals soar majestically through the track.

You Will Know The Lion By His Claw is a swift, threatening and unwieldy track, leaving little room for prisoners as it bludgeons its way through, like a hunter chasing his prey. If you had to sum up Cradle‘s current sound with just one song, this would be it. Cryptoriana comes to its closing with Death and The Maiden, a track that is as weighty as it is shadowy, really embodying the sense of dread and darkness that one would expect to find within Victorian Gothic horror.

Cryptoriana – The Seductiveness of Decay is at the same level that Cradle‘s classic albums, such as Midian and Dusk… And Her Embrace, stand. It is a demonstration of the band’s current sound and displays their potential to keep writing awe-inspiring music.

4.8/5

Nico Solheim-Davidson

Epica – The Solace System

Posted in CD, Metal with tags , , , , , on 4th September 2017 by mickbirchy

Epica
The Solace System
Symphonic Metal, Progressive Metal
Released 1st September 2017
via Nuclear Blast Records

Epica have been on a roll as of late. Last year they came out with one of their most commercially accessible, biggest sounding and most fun album to date. They have followed this up with another little taste of this sound. The Solace System is the new EP that continues the big bombastic sound that they created on The Quantum Enigma and The Holographic Principle. When Epica are truly behind something they put their damnedest into making it sound its best.

They manage to effortlessly weave together beautifully poetic lyrics with brutally harsh and excellently composed and layered musical production. The production is simply phenomenal and every track really hits home. The tight chemistry of the band really shines through on the production, creating some really memorable tunes that feel more complex and interesting. The duel vocal stylings that they are known for sound great once again impress me as they seamlessly dart between the two. Although the EP sounds great, it does come across as a little formulaic.  The more I think about it, the more it feels like they’re treading the same water again. At times it just feels a little too… Expected of them. They really haven’t thrown much into this EP to give it it’s own identity. Maybe if they experimented with a few new ideas but there’s nothing here which isn’t territory they have covered before.

In all honesty, I keep flipping back and forth on this album. As much as it feels passe and ineffective, I’m still enjoying the work. It sounds really pretty. Simone’s vocal work is gorgeous, it sounds really clear and is filled with emotion. That is something that she can always do, she jsut throws herself into her lyrics. The music is tight and well written so I can’t complain. However, I wish they would have tried something a little different rather than give us the scraps of what probably didn’t make the cut on The Quantum Enigma or The Holographic Principle. As most of the songs sound like they could have been ripped straight off of one of them. None of the songs are bad by any stretch of the imagination and maybe these songs are different in theme. So yeah giving their own EP makes sense on that front but they could have used this as a platform to try something new.

I’m trying so hard not to make it sound like I don’t like this EP, I do. I really do. There’s some fantastic tunes and well written songs here. However, I’m one of these people that like artists to at least try something different on every release. Yet, after 15 years maybe they just know their market and know how to make the most out of their audience. As for my final thoughts on this EP… It’s good and let’s face it, if you’re an Epica fan… you’ve already bought it.

3.5/5

Mick Birchall

Shadowside – Shades of Humanity

Posted in CD, Metal with tags on 3rd September 2017 by izaforestspirit

Shadowside
Shades of Humanity
Released 26th July 2017
Heavy Metal
Released via EMP Label Group

Shadowside - Shades of Humanity

 

‘Shades of Humanity’ is the latest album from the Brazilian heavy metal band Shadowside. The band has been around since 2001 and kept active by front-woman Dani Nolden. Since then they have released a few albums and there has been a few line-up changes. The most recent addition to the band is the Swedish bassist Magnus Rosén (ex-Hammerfall). This album was recorded at the Fredman Studio in Gothenburg, Sweden with Fredrik Nordström (Arch Enemy, Hammerfall, In Flames) and Henrik Udd (Dimmu Borgir, Dream Evil) in charge of mixing and production.

The first thing that struck me when I heard the opening track was Dani Nolden’s powerful vocals. She is a talented singer with an impressive vocal range. As for the music, it fits most comfortably under the “heavy metal” bracket, although the guitars occasionally drift into thrash metal and even metalcore territory. The thing that it certainly ain’t, most of the time, is melodic or pleasant-sounding. Take Beast Inside for instance, it’s packed with aggressive guitar riffs and abrasive vocals filled with range. Parts of the song made me think of melodic death metal acts like Arch Enemy for some reason. Make My Fate contains some rather annoying sounding metalcore-style guitar patterns at the start, but luckily they do not last long and the rest of the guitar work on that song is pretty decent.

Drifter is a bit of an oddity on here due to the catchy and strangely uplifting keyboard as well as a guitar intro which makes it feel like a power metal track. The vocals are also far less aggressive-sounding on here than on most of the other songs. The song is very guitar-driven with large chunks of it being predominantly instrumental. Lastly we have Alive, which sees the band entering symphonic metal territory with the longest and the most melodic track on the album.

Overall, ‘Shades of Humanity’ is not an easy album to get into. It took me several listens. Even now that I’m more accustomed to Shadowside’s chosen sound, I still enjoy some of the tracks far more than others. I think that the lack of consistency is part of the problem. It is a bit of mixed bag with too much experimentation with different styles and not enough focus.

2.5/5

Iza Raittila