Archive for the Featured Category

Nico’s Highlights of 2013

Posted in Editorial/Opinionated, Featured with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 31st December 2013 by Nico Davidson

So, it’s that time of year when everyone picks out their highlights of the year. I figured that this year, I’ll jump on the bandwagon. So here are my highlights of 2013… Including a few non-metal releases!

Best Albums Of 2013:

1. Leaves’ Eyes – Symphonies Of The Night

2. Azylya – Sweet Cerebral Destruction

3. Wretched Soul – Veronica

4. Seduce The Heaven – Field Of Dreams

5. Hecate Enthroned – Virulent Rapture

Best Live Acts of 2013:

1. Re-Armed

2. Azylya

3. Delain

4. The CockRockets

5. Bharghest

Best Yorkshire Bands of 2013:

1. Severed Heaven

2. Bharghest

3. Narcotic Death

4. XIII

5. Skull Branded Pirates

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Best Non-Metal Albums of 2013:

1. Janet Devlin – Hide & Seek

2. Kelly Clarkson – Wrapped In Red

3. Ben Parcell – Expectations

First bands announced for Valkyrian Festival 2014

Posted in Featured, News with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 30th November 2013 by Nico Davidson

The fourth edition of Valkyrian Festival has been confirmed for Friday 21st November through to Sunday 23rd November. Tickets are currently available for pre-order from this location and are priced at £20 (excluding P&P). Valk-Fest 2014 will be in aid of Rape Crisis.

Scottish blackened folk royalty Cnoc An Tursa have been confirmed to headline the opening night of Valkyrian Festival 2014 on Friday 21st November. Hailing from the historic settlement of Falkirk, Cnoc An Tursa have become one of the most respected and well known bands from north of the wall and without a doubt will bring something new to the masses at Valkyrian Festival 2014. Joining Cnoc An Tursa on Friday 21st November will be Yorkist metallers Pantheon who have been confirmed as main support.

Confirmed as the headlining act for Saturday 22nd November are Belgian gothic metallers Azylya, who made their UK debut at a sold out Dames of Darkness Festival earlier this year, where they supported Dutch symphonic rockers Delain. Since then, Azylya have played a few more times in the UK and were featured at Belgium’s Metal Female Voices Festival earlier this year in October. Azylya frontwoman Jamie-Lee comments:

It is an honour to be headlining Valkyrian Festival, especially in aid of such a worthy charity. We’re looking forward to playing to our UK fans again. We hope to see you all there.

Solo artist Sakara will be main support on Saturday 22nd November. The alternative pagan solo artist, who spent a brief stint as frontwoman for Apparition earlier this year, released her debut album Blood & Stone via Ravenheart Music in 2011 and since then has received positive reviews. The follow-up album will be released in 2014 via Ravenheart Music. Sakara also comments:

I am over the moon to have such a great opportunity to play Valk-Fest 2014. I look forward to seeing you all there. I’m also looking forward to sharing the stage again with Azylya!

Also added to the Saturday line-up are West Midlandic symphonic metallers Divided We Fall and Yorkshire metal mobsters Hamerex.

Valkyrian Festival 2014 is sponsored by Black Phoenix Rising Metal Forums and custom Gothic jewellers The Crypt of Curiosities. Weekend tickets are available from this location for £20. The event is in aid of Rape Crisis.

 

Valk-Fest line-up changes; Old Corpse Road replace Gone Til Winter as headliner

Posted in Featured, News with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 28th October 2013 by Nico Davidson

Both Gone Til Winter and Shades of Avalon have withdrawn from this year’s Valkyrian Festival. Gone Til Winter withdrew from the festival and postponed their entire UK tour, which was to take place next month, due to ill-health whereas Shades of Avalon withdrew form the line-up due to their recent parting with their drummer. Glaswegian black metal suits Maelstrom have also withdrawn from the line-up due to work commitments.

Old Corpse Road will now replace Gone Til Winter as the headlining band on Saturday 30th November and Leeds metallers Bludger have replaced Maelstrom. This will also be Bludger‘s last UK show before they tour Europe’s holy land of metal: Finland. Tour dates can be found here. Newly formed metal band Bharghest will also be opening up the first night of Valkyrian Festival on Friday 29th November, making it their second show – their debut show will be at Shades Nightclub on Friday 22nd November, supporting Finnish death metal lords Re-Armed. And last but not least, Twilight’s Embrace have been confirmed as main support on the final night of Valkyrian Festival 2013, supporting the co-headliners Severed Heaven and Andraste.

There are still two slots spare on the second day of Valk-Fest. The bands to be booked for these two slots will be picked by public vote. The poll can be found at this location.

The bar will also be open throughout the festival but valid ID will be required for the purchase of alcohol. There will also be a raffle hosted on the second day to help raise funds. Prizes will include a limited edition Valk-Fest 2013 mug, items donated by Victory Records, Napalm Records and Meta

Valkyrian Festival will take place at Shades Nightclub in Bridlington from Friday 29th November through to Sunday 1st December. The festival is in aid of Rape Crisis and weekend tickets are available for £5 from this location.

 

Interview with Liv Kristine [Leaves’ Eyes]

Posted in Featured, Interview with tags , , , , , , , , , , on 17th October 2013 by Nico Davidson

Liv Kristine is best known for her work as the vocalist for Leaves’ Eyes and former singer for Theatre of Tragedy. As well as fronting one of the most iconic symphonic metal bands on the scene, Liv is also a solo artist and has collaborated with a number of different bands including Cradle Of FilthAtrocityDelain and most recently she appeared on the track The Lay Of Our Love, which is featured on Tyr‘s new album Valkyrja.

With the release of Symphonies Of The Night just around the corner and a UK tour confirmed for January 2014, Nico catches up Liv Kristine to discuss all things Leaves’ Eyes as well as popular TV series Game Of Thrones, her solo project and rumours about Leaves’ Eyes appearing at the next Dames of Darkness Festival…

Nico: Hi Liv, how are you doing?

Liv: I’m good thank you. It’s been a busy day, but in a positive way, you know. Lots of interviews and we’re rehearsing because we’ll be playing the Metal Female Voices Festival in Belgium in a couple of days. I’ll be there with my solo band on Friday and with Leaves’ Eyes on Saturday so yes, we’re busy!

Nico: Sounds like you’ll be having fun though. Is there a meaning behind the title of the new album Symphonies of the Night?

Liv: Um, a meaning or the concept in general?

Nico: A bit of both really.

Liv: Okay, well we came up with the title pretty late in the recording process. I actually had a song called Carmilla from Sheridan Le Fanu’s horror novel from 1871. So the song, which came to be titled Symphony of the Night, was originally titled Carmilla. But we were discussing the title within the band and we weren’t really sure. What happened was pure luck: I was typing an interview and the journalist was asking me about my influences and I mentioned Tchaikovsky, who wrote the Symphony of the Swan Lake and I thought that’s it! This is an album of eleven symphonies of the night, so there we go! So Carmilla is still the main character in the title song, but the title got changed. Things happen, we are a very creative band.

Nico: I was listening to the previews of Symphonies of the Night that Napalm uploaded to YouTube earlier. There is a definite evolution in the band’s sound, changing direction compared to previous Leaves’ Eyes albums. Is this what you were aiming for with this album, and will this be a future direction you will be taking for future releases?

Liv: Well, I’d rather put it this way: Leaves’ Eyes isn’t a planned thing when we start composing. We throw everything into pre-production and what was already there, were two songs: Eileens Ardency and Saint Cecilia. They just didn’t fit on the Meredead [released in 2011] album when it comes to atmosphere. So they weren’t leftovers but they were on no album after the release of Mededead,  so we decided to start working on them. And then we realised that this was a good point to start from. You know, this year we have the anniversary of 10 years of Leaves’ Eyes so we have experienced a lot of being on the road, and all these albums we released and we’ve gathered a lot of experiences. For most of the band members Leaves’ Eyes is twenty, twenty five years of experience. Everything is there on this album, you won’t miss anything. It’s a very powerful album, I agree on that.

Nico: On previous Leaves’ Eyes albums the use of different languages made an appearance on the tracks. Will this be the same with Symphonies of the Night?

Liv: On Symphonies of the Night we’ll have modern English of course, Shakespearean English, some Norwegian, a little bit of French and a little bit of Irish. That’s five languages, I think on the Njord album we had eight languages and on Meredead six languages. I just love languages and I studied linguistics for years so it’s something I really like doing.

Nico: What would you say is the track that stands out on the new album?

Liv: Well that’s the most tricky question you could’ve asked me. Right, um.. This morning in my car I was listening to Ophelia, which is the final track of the album. Of course it’s Shakespeare’s Ophelia, the daughter of Polonius, in Hamlet. That’s my main character, and Ophelia is a quite straightforward and rocky song. It might sound like it doesn’t have a complicated structure like for example Saint Cecilia or Nightshade but Ophelia was the second to last song we recorded. We needed quite a lot of time for Ophelia to finish it in the way we wanted it. All of us: Alex, my husband, our producer, Thorsten my red-haired guitar player and myself are perfectionists. It’s great to have our own studio because then we can keep working until the three of us are satisfied. Ophelia was a tough one but I think it turned out great and at the moment it’s my favourite, if I’m allowed to have one.

Nico: You recently featured on The Lay of Our Love which is on Týr’s latest album Valkyrja. What was it like, recording that track with Týr?

Liv: Actually, I recorded my vocals here in our studio in Germany. But every time I think about doing a duet it’s always the music itself which decides. If I like the song I’ll do it. Heri from Týr helped me out in Wacken last year when Leaves’ Eyes headlined Wacken Open Air. He helped me out on Solemn Sea, one of our tracks. So when Heri asked me ‘Liv would you mind? I have a duet and you would fit very well on it’. I just loved the song and I have good news because we’ll be shooting a video clip for that track in a month! I’m really looking forward to that, it will be in Belgrade.

Nico: Ooh, excellent! I’m looking forward to that. With the recent collarboration with Týr, do you think it will help expose Leaves’ Eyes to Týr fans and Týr fans to Leaves’ Eyes?

Liv: I hope so, I really hope so! If Heri wouldn’t mind, we should tour together some day cause I think we have a potential common fanbase. The thing is, Leaves’ Eyes hasn’t toured a lot in Scandinavia. We should to that very soon, especially in my homeland. Týr is very well known in Scandinavia so that would be an absolutely amazing package.

Nico: I completely agree. A Leaves’ Eyes/Tyr tour would be amazing.

Liv: Thank you. We now have told the universe.

Nico: Speaking of touring, Leaves’ Eyes is scheduled to return to the UK next year in January with Atrocity and Pythia. Are you looking forward to the tour? Which cities are you excited about?

Liv: Absolutely! We toured the UK and Northern Ireland last year with Firewind and that was absolutely amazing. We played at places where Leaves’ Eyes had never played before and for Firewind as well it was absolutely amazing. I remember Cardiff very well because I spent a couple of months there when I was an exchange student. So Cardiff is pretty well-known to me. But of course Manchester is always packed, London is always packed. We will play in some of the venues we played with Firewind as well. We’re building up a fanbase in those places so I’m really looking forward to be back over there in the UK. We have an amazing fanbase in the UK and Northern Ireland. I was really surprised to see that there are so many fans who know about our music in the UK, and many journalists as well. I’ve had quite a few UK interviews this week so that’s good.

Nico: Last time I interviewed you, which was in Manchester last year, when Leaves’ Eyes was there with Firewind, you mentioned that you were a fan of Game of Thrones. So, if you could be any character from the Game of Thrones universe, who would you be and why?

Liv: That’s an even trickier question than the one you asked me before! Oh dear, oh dear… I’m not really sure. It must be Daenerys. Well okay, she’s blonde so it should be her.

Nico: She’s a good, strong character.

Liv: She’s great, she’s amazing yes.

Nico: Going back to touring, are there any future plans for you to tour your solo project around the UK?

Liv: I hope and pray that there will be next year because it’s certainly time to play some solo shows in the UK as well. The only shows I have this year for Liv Kristine, for my solo project, is Nagold in Germany and Pratteln in Switzerland. So those are the two gigs, but they are exclusive gigs. Leaves’ Eyes and Atrocity will be touring most of the rest of the year so we will be very busy. China, Taiwan, Thailand, Russia, Romania, Bulgaria, Germany, Belgium. Lot of things happening! The end of December is the right time for exclusive solo shows but the UK, 2014..let’s cross our fingers.

Nico: That’s what I’m hoping for.

Liv: Me too.

Nico: Speaking of shows. I’ve heard a few whipserings around the internet from associates of mine that Leaves’ Eyes might be playing the Dames of Darkness festival in the UK next year. I was wondering if there is any truth to this?

Liv: Wauw, I mean that would be absolutely killer! It would be fantastic. Well you know, bookers know things before the rest of the band does so..let’s make it happen.

Nico: I hope it does happen because Dames of Darkness this year was phenomenal and it would be so much better if Leaves’ Eyes was playing it.

Liv: Thank you, thank you very much! I’d love to be there.

Nico: Last question. This is a fan question, asked by April Mccaffrey: if you could have a superpower, which one would it be and why?

Liv: A superpower… Okay, you took me by surprise there! When I was a kid I always thought it would be fantastic to be able to look into the future, to know what is going to happen. But I’m not sure if I need that anymore. It’s a very good question actually. Sometimes I wish I could change things for the better of it. Sometimes, especially when it comes to children and children suffering on this planet, it feels like we are just sitting here being comfortable and warm while on the other side of the planet children are dying because of hunger. That’s when I think I would just like to be able to beam myself to that place and do something. Maybe that’s a project for the future. If I ever get tired of playing gigs and singing that would be something I would like to do, to be part of helping projects concerning children who are suffering on the other side of the world.

Nico: I wasn’t expecting that answer. You’re certainly a kind and caring individual. Thank you for your time Liv, I hope you have a good night.

Liv: Thank you very much, it was a pleasure talking to you again. Take good care and hope to see you in Manchester in January.

Nico: You too, Liv! Have a good night!

Leaves’ Eyes online:

http://leaveseyes.com
http://facebook.com/leaveseyesofficial

Ibanez Iron Label RG 7 String RGIR27E

Posted in Featured, Gear Reviews, Misc. with tags , , , , , , , , , , on 16th October 2013 by vmteam

Specs:

  • 3 piece Maple/Bubinga neck
  • 25.5” scale length
  • Basswood body
  • Rosewood Fretboard
  • Jumbo Frets
  • EMG 707 Pickups (bridge and neck positions)
  • 3 Way Blade Switch
  • 1 Volume
  • Latching Killswitch
  • EDGE-ZERO II Bridge

The Ibanez RG is probably one of the most recognisable and iconic guitar shapes in the long history of the guitar. Its sharp points and beautiful curves give it elegance with a touch of venom. Through its many iterations, the RG has been the workhorse model of choice for guitar players around the world, from jazz to metal. In the metal world it has secured its standpoint by morphing its uncompromising playability to suit the needs of six string players, seven stringers and 8 string djentelmen alike. The range of options is vast on this particular model, with hardtail versions for players who want absolute stability, and vibrato models for those that want to drop bombs and scream the place down.

The Iron Label series has been a welcome refreshment to the ideas of building the shred machine. The series combines all the features and playability of the existing models, the variety of fixed bridge or double locking vibrato units, string count and gorgeous looks with that one thing we all find hard to swallow when we look for our guitars; affordability. Ibanez threw it all on the line and created an affordable, reliable, uncompromising weapon of maximum shred, and have been reaping the rewards.

This particular model, the RGIR27E, is one of two 7 string examples on show within the body shape. Its main feature is the double locking EDGE-ZERO II Floating vibrato unit. The other version of this is a fixed bridge affair, denoted by the F in the model number (RGIR27FE). Both feature EMG 707 pickups for the ultimate sound of brutality, a 25.5 inch scale neck to handle not only the standard six strings with outstanding stability, but cater for the low B string with ease. It aptly manages to retain the string tension, whilst allowing great articulation of the low notes. If you find that low B isn’t brutal enough for you, slap some heavier strings on and tune down to A or G and unleash a fire breathing monster of death and destruction, and it will even hold a low F with a good amount of accuracy, (and a damn good set up job).

The EDGE-ZERO II is a development of the original Ibanez Edge series of double locking vibrato units, and it certainly lives up to the reputation built by it’s forbearers. Because of the unit being double locking (strings lock at the bridge and at the nut of the neck) the system allows extreme changes in pitch, both up and down and tuning stability is rock solid. As the strings terminate at the locking saddle on the bridge, the transfer of vibrations through the bridge to the body is a direct transfer. This allows the guitar to sustain notes whilst being manipulated by the vibrato, and harmonics can be held for extended periods of time. The fine tuners on the bridge allow for precise tuning when the strings are locked down, and allow quick tuning changes if a string slips out of tune. As if that wasn’t enough, the bridge is a recessed floating affair, so the strings can be pulled sharp and allows for all sorts of musical devilry.

The neck on the RGIR27E is fast, flat and wide for all kinds of shred play. The unfinished Maple feels extremely comfortable and rigid, combined with the Bubinga stripe running through the centre to enhance the rigidity and tone of the neck. The older Ibanez necks were a combination of Maple and featured a couple of Walnut stripes and were a multi-ply neck configuration, that were superbly sturdy, and featured some of the thinnest neck profiles imaginable. This particular neck feels ever so slightly thicker, but still feels amazing to play, both from a lead standpoint and a rhythm perspective. With a 400mm radius, the neck is fairly flat, and that allows for lower string heights, so the super low action is a breeze to play with. Some people find these necks hard to adjust to, because they have had to compromise with other necks, which are rounder, fatter and harder to contend with. Ibanez have given the best of both worlds and taken the neck into another dimension. A Rosewood fret board warms up the sharp attack of the Maple, whilst keeping the clarity of the notes. The absence of fret markers can be off putting at first, but take comfort in the fact that the side markers are visible even under stage lighting, so you shouldn’t get totally lost whilst wandering around slaughtering innocent victims with your brutal shredding.

The audio department is covered with the addition of one of the best, if not the best, active 7 string pickups on the market today, the EMG 707. The 707 has been the pickup that companies have tried to emulate for many years now, and some consider it to be the only 7 string pickup worth talking about. EMG asked their line up of 7 stringers what they were looking for in a pickup and almost all of them reported back saying “We want the 81 in a seven string format”. And thus it came to pass that the 707 was an 81 with a bit more, and gave rise to the demonic soapbar pickup that adorns the guitars of some of the best guitarists who utilise the un-natural 7 string guitar with great destructive power: players such as Jeff Loomis, Rusty Cooley, Dino Cazares, Christian Olde Wolbers and many more besides. Because of the ceramic magnets inside the 707, the notes are crystal clear, and have a remarkable bark and bite under crushing amounts of gain. The 9 volt battery that powers these pickups allows for true power, (there is even an 18 volt mod to soak the power and give even more output from the guitar).

When choosing a body wood, most people overlook Basswood as a cheap, undesirable wood. But as many more companies offer Basswood as a body wood choice nowadays, it is becoming a very popular choice among Pros and bedroom shredders alike. Lighter than mahogany, but just as full sounding, but with more emphasis on the lower end with a well defined mid range, Basswood is an excellent compliment to a maple neck. Add in the EMGs and an EDGE-ZERO II Bridge, and you are ready to decimate your audience with the first note.

Finally, we get to the all important bit of price. For most signed artists, endorsements will either pay for, or discount their instruments. For us mere mortals who can’t even get money off our shopping, this is a dream, one that is very rarely achieved. We scrimp and save just to afford a set of strings most times and purchasing a new guitar only happens when a store has a sale, or someone we know has had enough of their axe and wants their newest toy (or needs to buy toys for the new arrival in the form of a screaming, puking firstborn). Quite easily the best thing about the Iron Label series is the price range. The standard fixed bridge 7 string is offered, without it being a sale or having a big discount, for the miniscule price of £515.00 at Andertons music store in Guilford (online prices/store prices may vary). The EDGE-ZERO II version is priced at the tiny price of £599.00 at Andertons (again prices may vary) which is an amazing price for such quality craftsmanship and for a guitar that will rip audiences in two.

And so to recap, the Ibanez Iron Label RG, in either version, is a great addition to your arsenal, whether it’s your first 7 string or just another weapon to use. The Ibanez Iron Label series has you covered.

Dan Eastwood

Damnation 2013: Bands you must see!

Posted in Editorial/Opinionated, Featured with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 11th October 2013 by Nico Davidson

The days are counting down until Damnation Festival once again lays waste to the city of Leeds with a truly heavy, dark and spectacular line-up. Here’s our list of bands you must go see at this year’s Damnation…

Rotting Christ

Chosen by Iza Raittila.

For those who are fed up with all the gimmicks present in today’s black and death metal scenes, be sure to check out Rotting Christ at this year’s Damnation Festival. These guys prove once and for all that there’s really no need for corpse-paint or fancy, “evil” looking stage-props to put on a great show. They rely solely on their energy and skills as musicians to win over the crowds. You won’t be disappointed.

Carcass

Chosen by Alex Cook.

The legendary Carcass are due to headline this year’s Damnation festival and I have heard from many people that they are the ONLY band that they are bothered about seeing. This in many ways is a shame, but such is the power of a band that so many metal fans grew up listening to. Carcass are easily one of the more accessibly Death metal bands, although suitably graphic in their lyrics, their real strength lies in the accessibility of their riffs and the urge they produce in us to bang our heads with complete abandon. I was listening to my copy of Heartwork recently (on cassette no less) and was struck by the fact that despite it being 10 years old, it still sounds fresh and heavy without being over-bearing. It is an album that leaves on imprint on your musical memory, so that when anyone mentions the band or you hear a snippet of No Love Lost, Embodiment or Doctrinal Expletives to name but a few, you are reminded why you first fell in love with the genre in the first place. That, and Carcass’s new album Surgical Steel is something of a quiet masterpiece. Unpretentious and all-encompassing, it delivers on everything we expect from Carcass which is solid, accessible and memorable material. If you’re still not sure about the merits of Carcass, let them entertain you at Damnation festival. I am certain that even if you just stick your head around the door, you will be enchanted and undoubtedly end up in the pit that ensues whenever Carcass play live.

God Seed

Chosen by Hannah O’Flanagan.

If you’re asking me why you should go and see God Seed, I’ll ask you why you’re attending Damnation at all. Made from the fall out of the Gorgoroth name dispute saga, God Seed is Gaahl and King ov Hell‘s new project that delivers insanely atmospheric black metal as only Gaahl and KoH can. They’ve triumphantly appeared at Wacken and supported Cradle of Filth on their Manticore tour, and I can guarantee the experience of watching God Seed perform will be like no other. Their 2012 debut I Begin is a good place to start if you still don’t believe me. But stand before the infernal glory of God Seed and I promise you won’t be disappointed.

Vallenfyre

Chosen by Alex Cook.

Vallenfyre are also a band to look out for at Damnation. They are something of a super-group for those whose hearts belong to early 90’s Doom and Death metal, and they do not disappoint. Featuring Gregor Mackintosh from Paradise Lost, Hamish Glencross from My Dying Bride and Adrian Erlandsson of At the Gates, you get the impression from their releases that it is just a bit of fun and that the members are stretching their wings and proving they have a capacity for a genre separate from how they have made their names. Their album A Fragile King’is engrossing and infectious and just pure, crushing, dirty death metal. Tracks such as Desecration, Cathedrals of Dread and A Thousand Martyrs reek of the infamous Boss HM2 pedal which makes any Entombed fan salivate at the mouth and it is used to spectacular effect. Expect nothing but great things if you catch them at Damnation and be sure to pick up a copy of A Fragile King beforehand so your appetite for the old school is suitably whetted.

Dyscarnate

Chosen by Nico Davidson.

No Damnation line-up would be complete without a slab of face-crushing, ear-splitting death metal and that’s exactly what Dyscarnate offer. Be it recorded or live, Dyscarnate‘s crushing use of riffs will utterly abuse you and leaving you begging for more like a glutton for punishment. Having already devastated venues across the UK and toured with bands like Fleshgod Apocalypse and most recently Psycroptic and Hour Of PenanceDyscarnate are at the front of the UK’s death metal and represent everything good about it!

Katatonia

Chosen by Lauren Gowdy.

Although their songs aren’t as fast as a majority of the bands playing Damnation Festival, Katatonia is one band that everyone should check out. Their playing is heavy and slow but filled with so much emotion that it literally will suck you into their set. Not to mention that their stage presence is captivating, and you may either find yourself headbanging slowly along with the riffs or just standing and observing the sheer awesomeness of their set. Anyone who is a fan of Opeth should definitely check out Katatonia because both bands are very similar only difference being that Katatonia does not have as many heavy songs as Opeth. They will be worth sticking around to see towards the end of the day, and I guarantee you will remember their set!

Iron Witch

Chosen by Nico Davidson.

Liverpudlian doom noise mongers Iron Witch are definitely one to keep an eye out for at Damnation this year. Straying from the classic doom sound, the Scouser quintet incorporate hardcore punk vibes and gritty riffs with their doomesque connoction that has helped put themselves on a map. Being relatively young compared to the vast majority of the Damnation line-up and other bands on the British doom scene, Iron Witch have had their fair share of success and I wouldn’t be surprised if they don’t reach the same level as Liverpudlian doom overlords Anathema.

Twilight Of The Gods

Chosen by Ian Foster.

One of the many band who will be appearing at the Damnation Festival 2013 are Twilight Of The Gods, a five piece band who were initially formed with the intent of paying tribute to the legendary Bathory and writing music inspired by them. The band have just released their debut album Fire On The Mountain. The band includes members of Primordial, Lock Up, Einherjer, Thyrfing and Aura Noir so there’s some real pedigree involved here and there’s far more than Bathory worship going on. You can definitely hear a lot of influence from the classic metal bands on the Fire On The Mountain album, but after all it’s what the band set out to do. Definitely a band for fans of old school heavy metal to check out at the festival.

[Editor’s note: If you didn’t see Primordial at last year’s Damnation, TOTG are the next best thing]

Damnation Festival will take palce on 2nd November at Leeds University Union. Tickets are available from this location.

Happy Yorkshire Day! Yorkshire’s Top Five Bands

Posted in Editorial/Opinionated, Featured with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on 1st August 2013 by Nico Davidson

In celebration of Yorkshire Day (WOO!), we decided – Well, more like our Yorkshire loving editor – that instead of drinking (Yorkshire) tea and eating (Yorkshire) pudding and just being generally Yorkshire, to compile a list of Yorkshire’s top ten bands. Of course, it probably would have been more appropriate to compile a list of ten reasons to as why Yorkshire is official more metal than Lancashire.

5. BAL-SAGOTH

From their ridiculously long album and song titles to having once boasted Dan Mullins (My Dying Bride) and Dave Mackintosh (Dragonforce) amongst their ranks, this band have remained underrated and largely unknown compared to other acts. Also, vocalist Byron Roberts’ lyrical stories are soon to be expanded into short stories and graphic novels, written by Byron himself and illustrated by fantasy artist Martin Handord. Also, they look rather metal in the below picture.

4. EVILE

Hailing from the lovely market town that is Huddersfield, Evile pretty much burst onto the scene, kicking as much ass as humanly possible – Which by Yorkshire standards is a lot. Having toured extensively through the UK from 2004 – 2006, as well as the Netherlands in 2006, Evile managed to land a contract with Earache and since then have toured with the likes of Kreator and Megadeth and supported bands like Machine Head and Sabbat, Evile are keeping Yorkshire on the metal map.

3. PARADISE LOST

Perhaps one of the most influential bands to ever appear on the British doom metal scene, Paradise Lost, who hail from Halifax, were pretty much worshipped by Katatonia – As stated by Jonas Renske  that Katatonia started off as“ Paradise Lost fanboys” – Pretty metal, huh?. Being apart of the Peaceville Three, alongside fellow Yorkshire doom band My Dying Bride, Paradise Lost pretty much pioneered what has become to be known as gothic metal.

2. MY DYING BRIDE

Dark, dreary and typically northern, My Dying Bride embody all the qualities of Yorkshire in their Yorkshire, from their sorrowful violins to the mournful vocals. Regarded by some as the “Godfathers of Doom”, My Dying Bride, alongside fellow Yorkshire folk, Paradise Lost, were at the core of the gothic metal movement – Though none of the newer gothic metal bands even hold flame to My Dying Bride.

1. SAXON

Originally known as Son of a Bitch, Saxon are the front-runners of the NWOBHM scene and probably are the most successful Yorkshire metal band on the scene. They’ve also established themselves as one of Europe’s biggest acts!

Lost Effect added to Valk-Fest 2013 line-up

Posted in Featured, News with tags , , , , , , , , , on 17th June 2013 by Nico Davidson

The first in the three announcements this week, York metal act Lost Effect have been confirmed to play the second day of Valk-Fest, who have had the privilege of playing with acts such as With One Last Breath and RSJ, as well as theFALLEN and most recently, Nya. Guitarist Steve comments on the confirmation:

So we’re bringing our unique style of Melodic Metal back to Bridlington! Having worked with Valkyrian Music for a while now we’ve gotta say we’re excited to be added to the 2013 bill alongside some amazing bands! Shades Nightclub know what we’re about and we what we do and we always enjoy giving it what we’ve got there! There’s some great talent on the bill, some familiar faces we’ve gigged with before and some we haven’t, either way we can’t wait to play alongside such a great array of bands representing metal! See you down the front!

The full line-up for Valkyrian Festival, so far, is as follows:

Friday 29th November:

Ravenage (Headliner)
Dead Man’s Conspiracy
Storm of Embers

Saturday 30th November

***Headliner TBA***
Nya
Narcotic Death (Special Guests)
Aonia
Old Corpse Road
Lost Effect
Maelstrom
XIII

Sunday 1st December

***Headliner TBA***
Alice In Thunderland
Innersylum
Severed Heaven
Dakesis
Spekulus
Powercake
Terra Omnia

This year, Valkyrian Festival is in aid of RapeCrisis. Information on RapeCrisis can be found at this location. Donations can be made direct to the charity via the Valkyrian Festival JustGiving page which can be found here. Weekend tickets can be found at this location for the low price of £5 (excluding P&P).

Valkyrian Festival 2013 is now officially sponsored by online gothic and custom-made jewellery store, The Crypt Of Curiosities.

In related Valkyrian Festival news, Aonia will be headlining a Valk-Fest fundraiser at Shades Nightclub, in Bridlington on 7th September with support from Spekulus and Penance, the latter of which [performed at last year’s Valk-Fest. Further support acts to be announced and a lot more bands are still to be announced for Valkyrian Festival 2013. Further Valkyrian Festival announcements and info can be found here.

Lost Effect online:

http://losteffect.co.uk
http://facebook.com/LostEffect

Candlemass premier Under The Oak from Roadburn Festival live album

Posted in Featured, News with tags , , , , , , , on 28th May 2013 by Nico Davidson

Today, doom legends Candlemass premiere the new live track Under the Oak at the Roadburn Festival website. The track hails from Candlemass‘ vinyl-only Epicus Doomicus Metallicus – Live at Roadburn 2011 album, set for international release on June 14th through Svart Records. Candlemass‘ debut album Epicus Doomicus Metallicus is a genre-defining classic if there ever was one – the starting point of modern epic doom metal, even. In 2010 and 2011 Candlemass invited the original Epicus vocalist Johan Längqvist back into the fold for a few select shows celebrating the album’s 25th birthday. This vinyl-only release captures the band performing Epicus Doomicus Metallicus album live at the sold-out Roadburn Festival in Holland, April 2011. Mixed from a professional 32-track recording and mastered vinyl under the supervision of the band’s founder and mainman Leif Edling, this is the ultimate live version of the classic. CandlemassUnder the Oak (live) can be heard in its entirety here, at this location.

The Svart release has the album spread over three sides of vinyl and an etching on side D. The two LPs are wrapped in a gatefold jacket, and the set is available on black or white vinyl. Both versions are limited to 400. Leif Edling comments:

No volcano could stop us this time to perform the Epicus album at the Roadburn festival in Holland. It was a very special day, filled with great music, incredible fans, and a band that had a lot of fun doing this! After 25 years original, Epicus singer Johan Längqvist is onstage with us to perform something that people say is one of the doom metal classics. And I think we did a pretty good job there at Roadburn. We played well, and the show was a total success! So here it is, Candlemass live at the Roadburn festival… As it was, no overdubs… Recorded on 32 channels… A fine slice of legendary doom released on big, fat, double-packed vinyl!

Candlemass online:

http://www.candlemass.se
http://www.facebook.com/candlemass
http://www.twitter.com/candlemass
http://www.myspace.com/candlemass

ReVamp move album release forward plus announce new bassist

Posted in Featured, News with tags , , , , , , , on 28th May 2013 by Nico Davidson

Dutch symphonic powerhouse ReVamp, fronted by Floor Jansen who recently acted as on-tour vocalist for Nightwish, have announced that they are moving the release dates for their currently untitled second album forward. The announcement came via the band’s official Facebook page. The new release dates are:

21st August – Sweden
23rd August – Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Finland, Norway
26th August – UK, France, Benelux, Spain, Portugal, Denmark, Poland
27th August – Italy

Release dates for Japan and the US are to be announced.

In recent and related news, ReVamp also announced the addition of their new bassist; Henk Vonk, who is replacing Jaap Melman who left before the recording of the second album. Stream of Passion’s bassist Johan van Stratum filled in bass duties for the second album. Henk Vonk comments on joining ReVamp:

I’m stoked to have been asked to join the ReVamp ranks. I’ve known Jord and Ruben for years and have played with other ReVampers before in other projects. This is a great honour and I look forward to see each and everyone of you on tour!

ReVamp online:

http://revampmusic.com
http://facebook.com/ReVamp
https://twitter.com/ReVampOfficial
http://www.nuclearblast.com/revamp

Legendary UK drummer Shaun Taylor-Steels joins Severed Heaven

Posted in Featured, News with tags , , , , , , , , , , on 26th May 2013 by Nico Davidson

Shaun Taylor-Steels, better known by his pseudonym and stage name Winter, has recently replaced Hayley Morgan as drummer for Yorkshire black metal act Severed Heaven. The announcement was made on the band’s official Facebook page. Shaun is best known for his work with Yorkshire doom metal bands Anathema and My Dying Bride, whom he is currently the studio drummer for. Shaun commented on his newly appointed position as Severed Heaven’s drummer:

I’m really happy to be involved with Severed Heaven and I’m looking forward to recording and playing their particular brand of darkness!

Severed Heaven are currently working on the follow-up album to their 2011 album, Incessant Darkness. The band will also be appearing at Khaos Festival in August in Rotherham and Valkyrian Festival in December in Bridlington.

Severed Heaven online:

http://www.severedheaven.com/
https://facebook.com/severedheaven/
http://myspace.com/severedheaven/

Týr announce European tour with Skalmold and Finntroll

Posted in Featured, News with tags , , , , , , , on 25th May 2013 by Nico Davidson

Viking metallers Týr have announced a European tour with Skáldmöld and Finntroll. The announcement was made on the band’s official Facebook page.

Tour dates are as follow:

06.09.13 Fri NO Haugesund Byscenen
07.09.13 Sat tba
08.09.13 Sun DK Aarhus Voxhall
09.09.13 Mon D Hamburg Markthalle
10.09.13 Tue D Nürnberg Hirsch
11.09.13 Wed PL Wroclaw Alibi
12.09.13 Thu PL Krakow Kwadrat
13.09.13 Fri HU Budapest Club 202
14.09.13 Sat RO Brasov Rockstadt
15.09.13 Sun RO Bukarest Silver Church
16.09.13 Mon travel
17.09.13 Tue HRV Zagreb Mochvara
18.09.13 Wed AT Wien Szene
19.09.13 Thu CZ Prag Nova Chmelnice
20.09.13 Fri tba
21.09.13 Sat D Bochum Matrix
22.09.13 Sun D Augsburg Kantine
23.09.13 Mon AT Wörgl Komma
24.09.13 Tue IT Milano R´n´R Arena
25.09.13 Wed CH Pratteln Z7
26.09.13 Thu D Aschaffenburg Colos-Saal
27.09.13 Fri D Speyer Halle 101
28.09.13 Sat D Jena F-Haus
29.09.13 Sun BE Brugge Factor
30.09.13 Mon UK Norwich Waterfront
01.10.13 Tue UK Glasgow Classic Grand
02.10.13 Wed UK Manchester NQ Live
03.10.13 Thu IE Dublin The Pint
04.10.13 Fri UK Bilston Robin 2
05.10.13 Sat UK London The Garage
06.10.13 Sun FR Lille Le Splendid
07.10.13 Mon tba
08.10.13 Tue FR Strasbourg La Laiterie
09.10.13 Wed FR Lyon La Salle Du Kao
10.10.13 Thu CH Geneve L´Usine
11.10.13 Fri FR Istres L´Usine
12.10.13 Sat NO Skien 1001 Watt Festival (Headlining)*
13.10.13 Sun ES Madrid Rockkitchen/Caracol
14.10.13 Mon FR Toulouse Le Bikini

*Finntroll and Skalmold will not be playing.

Týr are also working on their next album, which is currently untitled. The album will feature Leaves’ Eyes vocalist Liv Kristine on the track; The Lay of our Love. The album’s release date is yet to be announced but will be released via Metal Blade Records. The album will also feature legendary metal drummer George Kollibus on drums following the departure of Kari from Týr.

Tyr online:

http://www.tyr.fo/
https://www.facebook.com/tyrband
http://twitter.com/tyrband

 

UK metal legends Carcass sign to Nuclear Blast for worldwide deal

Posted in Featured, News with tags , , , , , , , on 23rd May 2013 by Nico Davidson

Disinterred British extreme metal legends Carcass have signed to Nuclear Blast Records for the world – excluding Japan. Surgical Steel, the band’s first studio release since their 1996 LP Swansong, was produced by Colin Richardson (Naplam Death, Bolt Thrower, Gorefest, Cannibal Corpse) and mixed/mastered by Andy Sneap (Megadeth, Accept, Exodus, Testament). Joining guitarist Bill Steer and bassist/vocalist Jeff Walker in the band’s current incarnation are new drummer Dan Wilding (Aborted, Trigger The Bloodshed) and guitarist Ben Ash (Pig Iron, Desolation, Liguefied Skeleton). Expect some guest vocals from original sticksman Ken Owen as well, when Surgical Steel is released world-wide this Autumn.

Carcass has released the following statement regarding their new found partners in medical deviancy:

We are pleased to announce that we have found the perfect home for Surgical Steel, the first Carcass album for, what, eighteen years?! We’ve inked a deal with Nuclear Blast for our new baby.

We have to thank Markus Staiger for his enthusiasm and belief in what he heard, but mostly his ability to take advantage of Jeff with a bad hangover when he visited the office in Stuttgart to let him be the first to hear the rough mixes. Nuclear Blast has managed to secure this release despite interest from all the main players in what remains of the metal ‘music industry’.

We’re also looking forward to working with our pals in the US Office, who have done favours for us behind the scenes over the last few years. On a personal note, Jeff  looks forward to his and label manager Gerardo Martinez‘ friendship to come crashing down in flames and tears in a few months.

As long as we don’t mention ‘The War’ we think we’re going to do just fine with our new Teutonic home!

Nuclear Blast owner and founder Markus Staiger commented:

One of my all-time favourite UK Metal Bands signed recently to Nuclear Blast – it feels like a dream come true. When Jeff Walker let me listen to the new record I knew immediately that Carcass made one of their best albums ever! It is a perfect mixture of Heartwork and Necroticism with a massive production to boot. The album is without a doubt just as perfect and lethal as surgical steel itself, and exactly what both old and new fans have waited for eagerly all of these years!
I am very proud to say, Carcass – welcome to the Nuclear family. It is an honour to work with this legendary metal band.

North American label manager Gerardo Martinez adds:

First of all, apologies to the many that were wondering where that signing statement was the other day. Well, we didn’t anticipate the prenuptial agreement to take this long but here we are, and about to release to the world what many people said would never happen: a new Carcass record!

All joking aside, this is a dream come true. All I can say is that even the biggest critic, Señor Walker himself included, will find this to be one of the best Carcass albums. It already sounds like a classic and I can’t wait for people to hear it. ‘Time to die, die in pain’!!!

Carcass has released several classic albums over the years, including Decibel Magazine “Hall of Fame” inductees Heartwork and Necroticism – Descanting the Insalubrious, and their influence has changed the face of extreme metal with every consecutive release. Whether it was inventing gore-grind (i.e. Reek of Putrefaction, Symphonies of Sickness) or creating the template for melodic death metal (i.e. Heartwork), Carcass has always made records by which bars were set and rules were broken. Upon the band’s dismantling in 1996, fans mourned the loss of the seminal act and longed that the group would return again one day. In 2007, the metal world got its wish as Carcass reformed to play several  sold-out reunion shows around the globe. Once again re-motivated to administer a shot of cynicism and infectious riffs into the arm of a sickly metal scene, founding members Bill Steer and Jeff Walker began writing what would become the latest output of their highly influential career, Surgical Steel. Only the choicest of cuts were made, and blood sweat and tears were shed to bring us a record worthy of the Carcass legacy. In short, Surgical Steel is just what the doctor ordered.

Carcass festival appearances for 2013:
Maryland Deathfest (USA)
Metaltown (Sweden)
Brutal Assault (Czech)
Party San (Germany)
Damnation (UK)

Carcass online:

http://facebook.com/OfficialCarcass

 

Paradise Lost celebrate 25th anniversary with special guests Lacuna Coil

Posted in Featured, News with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on 21st May 2013 by Nico Davidson

Thirteen albums into Paradise Lost‘s 25 year career, namedropping is pointless. The only band they can and should be held up against for comparison and consideration is… Well… Paradise Lost.

With a career dating back to 1988, and their official recording debut in 1990 (Lost Paradise), the band has been riding and rollercoaster of highs and lows. Guitarist Aaron Aedy remembers the early days:

I remember our first rehearsal at Studio X in the Dean Clough complex of Halifax, it was Saturday March 26th between the hours of one and four pm. We had a few ideas flying around and managed to write our first opus ‘Blood-filled-eyes’ and start our 2nd ‘Plains of Desolation’, I can only describe these songs as unique.

Afterwards we all went to the pub after to celebrate. Three and a half months later we were playing live, supporting Acid Reign and Re-Animator at the legendary Frog and Toad Night Club in Bradford. We had a 30 minute slot and only 15 minutes of music so we played one song twice, attempted a Sodom cover we hadn’t even learned and Nick [Holmes, vocals] did his stand up for the rest of it.

Throughout their career, Paradise Lost have not only created and defined genres and styles, but almost immediately transcended them. From the crawling, harrowing doom of their 1990 debut Lost Paradise, to the electronic flourishes prevalent in 1997’s One Second, 1999’s Host and 2007’s comeback to the heavier side of metal In Requiem and the latest opus Tragic Idol in 2012, their sound has continued to evolve vastly, but haunting melody and dark rock power has remained at the very core of their identity.

In 1991 the band released Gothic, not so much an album title as the definition for an entire genre, while the influence 1995’s huge-selling masterpiece Draconian Times – the missing link between Metallica and the Sisters of Mercy – echoes loudly in today’s scene, with the likes of Cradle of Filth, Nightwish and HIM owing a huge debt to their knack for injecting heavy rock with their trademark dark sheen.

Now it’s time to celebrate 25 years of glamour and gloom with four anniversary shows in October to which the band have invited their friends Lacuna Coil. Another, very special guest, will be announced shortly for those dates.

Paradise Lost anniversary shows:

Oct 30th – Wolverhampton – Wulfrun Hall (www.wolvescivic.co.uk)
Oct 31st – Glasgow – ABC (www.ticketweb.co.uk)
Nov 1st – Manchester – Ritz (www.kililive.com)
Nov 3rd – London – Roundhouse (www.kililive.com)

Tickets go on pre-sale Wednesday 22nd May and general sale Friday 24th May and a special VIP package is available to buy (limited to 25 per venue) which includes:

  • An exclusive deluxe box containing 2 engraved beer glasses featuring all the bands album titles and crown of thorns logo.
  • Exclusive VIP Only T-Shirt with artwork from the forthcoming Tragic Illusion album.
  • A 180 gram vinyl copy of the reissued landmark Gothic, personally signed by all the band members.
  • Crown of Thorns Tote Bag
  • VIP lanyard and laminate allowing you access to the show
  • Early access to the show
  • Meet and greet with the band
  • Photo opportunity with the band (please bring your own camera)

Nick had this to say about the forthcoming anniversary shows:

25 years IS a long time, on the surface we may look ramshackled, but playing music for so many years has kept us young in our hearts and I truly believe that a youthful spirit is one of the greatest things you can’t buy in a pub.

We have written many albums, played many concerts; we are older and not really any wiser, but there is a strong possibility we may play a song you thought we never would. So please come along and join the celebrations with us, including our biggest UK headline show to date!

Lacuna Coil’s frontwoman Cristina adds:

Paradise Lost were in between the bands that strongly influenced me as a singer, when I started my career with Lacuna Coil, so it is just awesome for me to realise we’ll share the stage with them on this upcoming tour.

I am sure that the dark vibe coming from the stage will totally embrace old school and new fans making it an event you absolutely CAN’T miss! Boy, I can’t wait!

Stay tuned for more exciting anniversary announcements including a special audio surprise for fans!

Paradise Lost online:

http://www.paradiselost.co.uk
http://facebook.com/paradiselostofficial

Lacuna Coil online:

http://www.lacunacoil.it
http://www.twitter.com/lacuna_coil
http://www.myspace.com/lacunacoil
http://www.youtube.com/lacunacoil
http://www.facebook.com/lacunacoil

Interview with Martijn Westerholt [Delain]

Posted in Featured, Interview with tags , , , , , , , on 17th May 2013 by Nico Davidson

Delain recently headlined the Dames of Darkness Festival in Bilston, near Wolverhampton and Nico was able to grab hold of the band’s founding member, main songwriter and keyboardist, Martijn, for a chat about all things Delain, the band’s recent move to Napalm Records and other things.

Nico: Hi Martijn, it’s nice to finally meet you. How are you doing?

Martijn: I’m fine, I’m great thanks.

N: Good to hear. Our first question actually comes from a fan: which albums have inspired you to become a musician?

M: That’s a good one..Well I don’t know if albums triggered me to become a musician, but my first albums I bought were We Can’t Dance, by Genesis, an album from The Police I think. And slowly the music became a little bit harder and noisier. So it just evolved like that.

N: In your opinion, what are the best and worst parts about being in a band?

M: The best parts are that you meet a lot of people from a lot of cultures. You come in a lot of places. It’s not like people think, that you do a lot of sightseeing, because most of the time you don’t have time for that. But in general of course you do see a lot of places and that’s very nice. Perhaps the best thing about being a musician is that if you write music, it ends up on your album and you see an album being born. That’s terrific, that’s magic. And that’s one of the best parts I think. The worst is that its hard work and you have to be creative with financial means. It’s a lot of pressure. People always have an opinion about you or about your music so you have to deal with that otherwise you shouldn’t be a musician. I think that’s the bad thing.

N: Delain’s most recent two albums, We Are The Others and Interlude have a more accessible sound than the previous two albums. Do you think this is the sort of sound Delain is going to be going for in the future?

M: To be very honest, it’s not that we do something like that deliberately; like ‘okay let’s make a softer album now’. For example with Interlude we had a lot of material which we didn’t use yet and we had a lot of requests from fans asking for releasing a DVD, releasing special material and that’s what we did. Coincidence had it that this was more of the softer material. And with our last full album We Are The Others, we just went with the flow and it can be open to use grunts again in the next album for example. I just don’t know, it’s about what comes out of your mind and then we go with the flow and see what happens.

N: Earlier this year Delain signed to Napalm Records. What were the reasons behind moving from Roadrunner Records to Napalm?

M: Well, Roadrunner was bought by Warner, like the big label who people also know from movies for example. Their music department is Warner Music and they bought Roadrunner. They fired a lot of people and I actually saw this label going down, which was a shame. They originated in Holland actually, they were a really big label, a really good label. But when we released We Are The Others there was a transition going on and for us it was really, really bad. It were really hard times and fortunately at a certain point we were free to go. And then we talked to a lot of other labels and we ended up with Napalm because Napalm thought the same about what direction we wanted to go. It was the best deal and I think this label fits us really well. We are also as of yet still very satisfied to work with them and from what I understand also the other way around. So it’s good that we changed.

N: Recently you [Delain] released Interlude and just last year you released We are the Others. Have Delain started writing any new material for the next album?

M: Absolutely, we’re very busy with that right now because we would like to release a new album beginning 2014. Then we’re going to play with Within Temptation. It would be very nice if we can release around that time. On the other hand you can never control a creative process. You can stimulate and guide it to a specific direction and the more time you have to write the faster it will go of course. But it’s going to be a challenge to get it done but we’re working on it. So we’re writing new material as we speak.

N: Will there be any main concepts within the new material, like with We Are The Others it was celebrating being different and not being part of what society classifies as the norm.

M: In general we do aim to have a general theme in an album, but we’re not there yet. So for now I don’t know, I just don’t know.

N: Obviously big things have been happening for Delain this year: signing to Napalm Records and being announced being to tour with Within Temptation early next year. What does it feel like to suddenly have a huge buzz around you since the release of We Are The Others?

M: That’s of course very good, it’s always good for a band to have a big buzz going on. Actually, last year was very difficult for us when we were still at Roadrunner. I even thought about quitting completely because what we wanted with that album didn’t happen. People who we worked with for a very long time were going and now it’s completely turned around, flipped over to a very positive vibe and it can go very fast. I’m very happy about that and it supports the band members as well of course, having this buzz going on. I’m really happy with that.

N: When it comes to writing new material, where do you draw your inspiration from?

M: It can be a lot of things. It can be a song I heard, a movie I’ve seen. Most of the time it’s just feeling like writing and then things come out. There’s not really a concrete thing which makes me write. It’s just a general urge to make some music. Most of the time we’re together: me, Charlotte and our current writer Guus. We work together on it and it just happens.

N: Which band, excluding your own band Delain, would you say is your favourite on the symphonic metal scene at the moment?

M: That’s a good one! I’ve always been a fan of Nightwish. I’ve been a fan of the writing of Tuomas, so I would say Nightwish.

N: Are there any other plans for Delain this year besides playing at Dames of Darkness and playing the Metal Female Voices Fest in Belgium in October?

M: We’re doing a really special show, it’s actually our last show, in November in Holland. That’s going to be a really special one with special effects, guests etc. And we’re going to do the support tour of Kamelot for the US in September. And then it’s writing and recording new material.

N: Out of the two current tours that you’ve got coming up, which one would you say is the one you are looking forward to the most?

M: That’s a good one..I think our special show is one I’m looking forward to. I’m looking forward to all of them actually. And I’m looking forward to the tour for the US because I like the country a lot. And I’m looking forward to seeing new places so I look forward to that as well.

N: If you could replace the soundtrack to any film with your own music, which one would it be and why?

M: The soundtrack? That’s a good one…That’s a difficult one…I think We Are The Others would fit a movie very well. So I would take We Are The Others but if I have to choose one movie now… Perhaps a Marvel movie, like The Avengers or something like that, or Iron Man. I would like that very much.

N: Sounds like good choices. Do you have anything you would like to say to our readers before we finish up?

M: I hope that they like our latest release very much. I hope they can enjoy it and I hope to see them soon at a show. That would be nice.

N: Thank you for your time Martijn, have a good show tonight.

M: Thanks a lot!

 

Delain online:

http://www.delain.nl
https://www.facebook.com/delainmusic/
https://twitter.com/delainmusic

 

ReVamp announce release dates for second album

Posted in Featured, News with tags , , , , , , , , , on 8th May 2013 by Nico Davidson

Dutch metal band ReVamp – who are fronted by Floor Jansen, who recently accompanied Nightwish on their world tour – have announced the release dates for their second album, which is to be released via Nuclear Blast. The album will hit mainland Europe first on 6th September, followed by the UK on 9th September, Japan on 12th September and finally the US on 17th September. Vocalist Floor comments:

Never before in my career I faced a situation like the one we were in with this album. It was a huge challenge because of several reasons. My sickness caused a major break between the first album and tours plus the writing of the first ideas for the second album and the actual finalization of those songs and the album. And right at the moment we started to pick everything back up after I was sick I joined Nightwish. Like a winter and a summer storm, they bring unexpected things, some nasty ones and some amazingly wonderful!

Also the recording of this album was unlike any I did before because I was on tour with Nightwish most of the time. Guided by Joost van den Broek (ex-After Forever, songwriter first for the ReVamp album) the talented musicians of ReVamp recorded all the instruments and when I came back to The Netherlands I stepped into the studio to find a rough diamond. A shiny dark crystal: ready for my vocals. That was magical! The singing went smoother than ever before. The lyrics are like a roadmap through our storms and through my personal detours and horrors.

The result of this trial will be released on album in September 2013. With pride we can announce our partner in crime from the first album will again join forces with us! Metal and rock giant Nuclear Blast will again make sure ReVamp’s new album reaches YOUR music collection wherever you are on this metal loving planet!

ReVamp online:

www.revampmusic.com
http://www.facebook.com/ReVamp
https://twitter.com/ReVampOfficial
http://www.nuclearblast.com/revamp

Scott Ian to hit UK on spoken word tour

Posted in Featured, News with tags , , , , , , on 2nd May 2013 by Nico Davidson

Guitarist and metal legend Scott Ian will hit the UK in May and June on his spoken word tour, entitled… Speaking Words. Ian commented:

I guarantee everyone who comes to my show will have a good time. There’s a saying, ‘there’s no story so good a drink won’t make it better’. My stories, plus drink, equals killer night out. Besides, don’t you want to know how tomato sauce can kill any STD? I have the answers.

Tour dates as follow:

24.05. UK Oxford – O2 Academy
25.05. UK Cardiff – The Gate
26.05. UK Gloucester – Guildhall
27.05. UK Plymouth – White Rabbit
28.05. UK York – The Dutchess
29.05. UK Rugby – The Vault
02.06. UK Stoke – Underground
03.06. UK Manchester – Sound Control
04.06. UK Newcastle – The Cluny
05.06. UK Glasgow – The Arches
06.06. UK Coke – Cyprus Avenue
07.06. UK Belfast – Limelight
08.06. UK Dublin – Button Factory
10.06. UK Bournemouth – O2 Academy
11.06. UK London – The Garage

Tickets are available online at Ian’s official site, which can be found here.

Scott Ian online:

http://scott-ian.com/
https://www.facebook.com/scottian?fref=ts

Anthrax online:

http://anthrax.com
http://facebook.com/anthrax

Earache launches first Kickstarter campaign, fans have chance at a new printing of classic Nocturnus album

Posted in Featured, News with tags , , , , , , on 2nd May 2013 by Nico Davidson

Earache Records has launched its first ever Kickstarter campaign, offering fans a new 2013 printing of the classic Nocturnus album Thresholds, fully endorsed by the band’s founding member and drummer Mike Browning.

Recorded at the legendary Morrisound Studios in Tampa, Florida and originally released in 1992, Thresholds became a new benchmark for technical death metal and has become a regular request from fans since going out of print.  The fan-funded repressing will see the album taken from the original DAT tape, mastered in FDR (Full Dynamic Range), and cut by Noel Summerville, who was responsible for the original vinyl cut. Head to the Kickstarter campaign page now at this location.

The new Nocturnus vinyl pressing will be available in the following quantities and colours:
100 – Clear
200 – Green
300 – Purple
400 – Black

Fans are able to pledge now for the following options:
* Pledge £15 or more – choice of black or purple vinyl LP
* Pledge £18 or more – green vinyl LP
* Pledge £50 or more – clear vinyl signed by Nocturnus founding member and drummer Mike Browning, plus a CDR copy of the album, a woven Nocturnus patch (9cm x 8cm), and a Nocturnus logo t-shirt in your choice of size
* Pledge £100 or more – black vinyl LP plus your name in the thanks/credits of the entire print run

The campaign is running from now until Monday, July 1st, with orders expecting to be shipped in August if the target amount is reached.

For more information and to put your pledge in, head to the Nocturnus Kickstarter page now at this location.

Earache Records online:

http://www.earache.com
http://www.facebook.com/earacherecords
http://twitter.com/EaracheRecords
http://earache.tumblr.com

Preachers of the Night artwork revealed

Posted in Featured, News with tags , , , , , , , on 2nd May 2013 by Nico Davidson

Teutonic werewolf metallers Powerwolf have unveiled the artwork to their upcoming album Preachers of the Night, which is the follow up to the band’s 2011 album, Blood of the Saints, which was released via Metal Blade.

Preachers of the Night is due for a summer release this year via Napalm Records. The tracklisting for the album is as follows:

01. Amen & Attack
02. Secrets Of The Sacristy
03. Coleus Sanctus
04. Sacred & Wild
05. Kreuzfeuer
06. Cardinal Sin
07. In The Name Of God (Deus Vult)
08. Nochnoi Dozor
09. Lust For Blood
10. Extatum Et Oratum
11. Last Of The Living Dead

Powerwolf online:

http://www.powerwolf.net/
https://www.facebook.com/powerwolfmetal

 

Huntress announce new album Starbound Beast

Posted in Featured, News with tags , , , , , , , , , on 2nd May 2013 by Nico Davidson

Huntress are back with the follow up to their debut album Spell Eater, which was released in 2012. The album entitled Starbound Beast has been confirmed for release on July 1st in the UK via Napalm Records.

The artwork was created once again by Vance Kelly (Slayer, Ghost B.C., Mastdon). The band recorded the album at Hobby Shop Studios in Los Angeles, CA, working with famed producer Zeuss (Shadows Fall, Hatebreed, Agnostic Front). In support of Starbound Beast the band will be touring across North America this summer as part of the Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival and will play Download 2013 in June. More updates with regard to Starbound Beast will be issued soon.

Huntress online:

http://huntresskills.com
http://facebook.com/huntresskills
http://twitter.com/huntresskills