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Iron Maiden continue The Book of Souls tour in 2017

Posted in Metal, Misc., News, Uncategorized with tags , , on 27th October 2016 by izaforestspirit

Iron Maiden will be continuing the European leg of The Book of Souls World Tour in the spring of next year. The support for all the dates will be the American hard rock band Shinedown. The first show will be in Antwerp, Belgium on 22nd April 2017 followed by a few shows in Germany before moving on to The UK and Ireland.

Here’s an official statement from their bassist and founding member Steve Harris:

“As it’s been so long since our last full UK arena tour, we really wanted to get to our fans in as many cities as possible. We’re really looking forward to it, especially visiting places we haven’t been to for a very long time like Leeds where we haven’t played since 2005 and Liverpool where we haven’t played since 1990. The whole band is really enjoying this tour and although we love playing festivals and stadiums, it is terrific to return to the intimacy and atmosphere of arenas. The songs from The Book Of Souls album and the new Maya-themed Eddies and stage sets have gone down really well and fan reaction has been amazing. And of course we know our fans appreciate us playing a lot of the older songs too, which we will continue to do.”

Here is the full tour schedule for 2017 along with a poster for the UK Tour:

Apr 22              Belgium                        Antwerp, Sportpaleis
Apr 24              Germany                      Oberhausen, König-Pilsener-Arena
Apr 28              Germany                      Frankfurt, Festhalle
May 02             Germany                      Hamburg, Barclaycard Arena
May 04             England                       Nottingham, Motorpoint Arena
May 06             Ireland                         Dublin, 3arena
May 08             England                       Manchester, Arena
May 10             England                       Sheffield, Arena
May 11             England                       Leeds, First Direct Arena
May 14             England                       Newcastle, Metro Radio Arena
May 16             Scotland                      Glasgow SSE Hydro Arena
May 17             Scotland                      Aberdeen, AECC GE Oil & Gas Arena
May 20             England                       Liverpool, Echo Arena
May 21             England                       Birmingham, Barclaycard Arena
May 24             Wales                           Cardiff, Motorpoint Arena
May 27             England                       London, O2 Arena

For more information visit:

https://www.facebook.com/ironmaiden/

http://ironmaiden.com/

 

Darkthrone – Arctic Thunder

Posted in CD, Uncategorized with tags , , , on 16th October 2016 by izaforestspirit

Darkthrone
Arctic Thunder
Released 14th October 2016
Blackened Heavy Metal
Released via Peaceville Records

The Norwegian metal duo Darkthrone doesn’t need much of an introduction. Their early albums such as ‘A Blaze in the Northern Sky’ are regarded as classics of the black metal genre. Also, let’s not forget their drummer Fenriz’s witty comments and his passion of underground music. They’re one of those bands who isn’t afraid to alter their style and experiment with something new. Since the start of their career they have gone through various transformations ranging from death metal to black metal followed by experimentation with punk and heavy metal music. Personally I lost track of them after ‘The Cult is Alive’ album back in 2006. Then recently I heard their new song ‘Tundra Leech’ on Youtube and I decided to give them another go.

First up is the familiar, eerie sounding Tundra Leech – the track which convinced me to obtain a copy of this album. It’s great to hear Nocturno Culto’s haunting voice again, sounding just as grim as he did in the band’s early days of black metal. Nocturno Culto is singing on all the tracks on here which is really good in my opinion. I’ve always preferred his harsh and creepy vocal style to Fenriz’s hooting clear vocals. As for the music, the guitars have this old school feel to them as if they were trying to replicate similar riff patterns as they used in the 90s. By ‘old school’ I mean a mixture of old school black metal with a slight thrash metal tinge audible in the guitars.

In other words it’s still very grim-sounding but it’s way too fast and too catchy to be considered “true” and “kvlt” black metal any more. Boreal Fiends stands out due the melodic instrumental intro at the start; slowly drawing you closer into the deep dark forest with the grim guitars, drums and Nocturno Culto’s haunting howls as your only guides. Then there’s Inbred Vermin, a bit of an oddity, which sees the band play around with some heavy metal and (dare-I-say-it?)…Motörhead-esque guitar patterns mid-track, neatly sandwiched between frostbitten, ultra-haunting howls and black metal guitar riffs. These guys clearly enjoy both these styles, so why not combine those two? And why not? Who says that Motörhead doesn’t go well with Hellhammer or Celtic Frost? Also why stop there when you can also add some thrash metal into the mix? That pretty much sums up what the managed to achieve rather successfully with the title track.

Overall this ‘Arctic Thunder’ sees Darkthrone revisiting their roots – the sounds that have influenced them in the early days and putting a new spin on it. It’s got the same eerie and cold atmosphere as their highly regarded black metal albums, but it’s not restricted to one specific metal genre. The closest thing I can think of to describe their current sound would be something like ‘blackened heavy metal’. Luckily I’m not any kind black metal purist, so grim and frostbitten ‘blackened heavy metal’ sounds just as good to me.

4/5
Iza Raittila

Assassinner – Another Sucker Subscribes To The Norm [single]

Posted in CD, Metal, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on 30th September 2016 by Pieni

Assassinner
“Another Sucker Subscribes To The Norm” [single]
thrash/crossover
Self-released in May 2016

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Assassinner’s “aggressive music for aggressive people” seems to have toned down a little bit in this 2-track single; either that or producer Carlos Barbosa made each instrument sound so sharp that I’m mistaking classy, high definition for less raw music. Whichever the case, the outcome is what I want to hear in the next full-length record.

I remind you that I said “less aggressive than usual”, not that the aggression was gone, so don’t be fooled by the A-Side title “Sweet Lullaby”. Unless you use “sweet” as “cool/great/peachy” when expressing your appreciation for that ominous mantra-like guitar piece towards the end, which can turn this song into an ear-worm.
Still my favorite is the B-Side, “Hate Over Grown”, as I’m a sucker (no pun intended…) for a vibrant bass line and there’s also something about the main riff. In a time when singles are somewhat underrated, Assassinner came up with something worthy.

4/5

Renata “Pieni” Lino

Ice King announces European and U.K. tour dates

Posted in Alternative, Experimental, Misc., News, Uncategorized with tags , , , on 6th July 2016 by izaforestspirit

The Belgian “Epic Avant-Barde” musician iCE KiNG is currently on a European tour.

This is for those who enjoy experimental music filled with wide-ranging vocals, baritone guitars, keyboards with varying, intense and pure melodies, tonalities and rhythms…

You can catch him live at the following locations:

29th July 2016, Aachen (DE), Chico Mendes
4th August 2016, ‘s Hertogenbosch (NL), Lohengrin
27th August 2016, Leuven (BE), Sint-Donatuspark
16th September 2016 , Bridlington (GB), The Londesborough
17th September 2016 , Warhorns Festival – Selby (GB), The Venue
28th October 2016, Tienen (BE), Living room

For more information check out:

http://iceking.be/

Beholder – Reflections

Posted in Uncategorized on 26th April 2016 by Paul Macmillan

Beholder – Reflections

Released April 12th 2016

Progressive power metal

Released via Razorline Music

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Throughout the whole of their career, one of the most noticeable, stand-out features of the Beholder sound has been the vocal style of frontman, Simon Hall. Falling somewhere between Ronnie James Dio and Blayze Bayley (although with significantly more bite and snarl), his is a voice most certainly soaked and aged in classic metal. He actually has a beautiful set of pipes for such a great mountain of a man, but plays out on the rougher end of the field a lot of the time.

On Reflections, however, the musical backdrop has altered noticeably from that on previous releases. If you’ve followed Beholder from their earthly beginnings, you’ll most likely have picked up on the djent/prog leanings which supplemented their original power/thrash sound on sophomore album The Order Of Chaos. Well, that edge has been ploughed up and lathered on with a spade for 2016. Think that sounds like a bad thing? You’re wrong. Throw any negative associations you have (involuntarily?) cultivated surrounding djent and prog in recent times clean out the window.

What Beholder have done here is create a machine out of organic parts; a kind of ironclad Frankenstein’s monster of sorts. No carbon copy from the sub-genre factory, this is cutting edge experimentation. No doubt this is informed by their old school roots, and where Hall’s vocal seem like they should clash on paper, they actually do more to make this a unique and flawless article. It could potentially see them held aloft as a contender for ‘the big leagues’, pulling up behind the Gojiras and Mastodons who have climbed the ranks on their own terms.

With a cold and angry attitude, Reflections is defiant upstart, calling the world to rights. The raised fist. The death-stare. It’s a new phase in the band’s development, and I don’t think they’ve ever sounded better.

5/5

Paul Macmillan

Al Jourgensen’s new project Surgical Meth Machine

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

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

The track-listing will be as follows:

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

Check out the cover art below:

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

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

Ben Blutzukker – Analog Blood

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

4/5

Iza Raittila