True Black Dawn and Behexen live in Tampere

Posted in Gig, Live, Metal with tags , , , on 14th January 2018 by izaforestspirit

Kyy, True Black Dawn, Behexen
Olympia, Tampere, Finland
13th January 2018

My first concert of 2018! It’s been over a year since I’ve been to a black metal gig – not since Tampere Black Mass two years ago. Behexen is one of the big names within in the Finnish black metal scene and this was their first Tampere show in ten years.

Unfortunately I arrived too late to catch the first act, another Finnish black metal band called Kyy. I did however, see all of True Black Dawn’s performance. By then the venue wasn’t just full but officially sold out. Massive queues to bar and the tightly packed hall were just some of the challenges one had to face to catch a glimpse of the bands. I really struggled to get some decent-looking photos. But enough of that, let’s talk about the show…

True Black Dawn are an established black metal act who have been around in various guises since the mid 1990s. I knew them under their old name Black Dawn and only recently did I discover that they released a new album under the new name not so long ago. Music-wise they reminded me of old Marduk, Funeral Mist and most prominently of Enochian Crescent. The last band name shouldn’t come as much of surprise, since up until recently they shared the same singer. Good show but it sounded a little too familiar, almost as if I have heard similar bands before. 3/5

 

Behexen were worth the worth wait. Though not flawless, their performance was memorable. I particularly enjoyed hearing an old classic ‘The Celebration of Christ’s Fall’ and ‘Rakkaudesta Saatanaan’ from the new album. They also played ‘Kiss of The Dark Mother’ but sadly that didn’t sound quite as good as it does on the record. 4/5

In summary, black metal isn’t always the best genre to see live. Some bands are better than others. Out of all the black metal gigs I’ve been to, only a handful have been memorable. I cannot comment about Kyy; True Black Dawn were fairly average live but Behexen put on good show.

Iza Raittila

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Caelestia – Thanatopsis

Posted in CD, Metal with tags , , , on 4th January 2018 by izaforestspirit

Caelestia
Thanatopsis
Released 8th December 2017
Symphonic Gothic Metal /Melodic Death Metal
Released via EMP Group/SPV Europe

Caelestia - Τhanatopsis

Thanatopsis’ is the second album from the Greek symphonic metal band Caelestia. They have been around since 2012 and they have toured with bands such as The Vision Bleak, Arch Enemy and Draconian. This latest opus was mixed and mastered at Fredman Studio, Gothenburg Sweden by Fredrik Nordström.

My knowledge of the Greek metal scene is limited to just two bands: Astarte and Rotting Christ. I’m particularly fond of the latter…This however doesn’t really sound like either of these. What we have here is an interesting fusion of female-fronted Gothic metal with hints of melodic death metal and symphonic elements. Depending on the song, their music can sound very melodic and pleasant e.g. Dancing With The Demons or harsh and aggressive with elements like death metal growls, abrasive drumming and guitars mid-way through Devil’s Game and the opening of  Travel to Eternity.

If it wasn’t for the melodic death metal elements, I would have probably dismissed this as yet another Nightwish clone. Admittedly their female singer Dimitra Talamamtes Vintsou has a similar voice to that of Tarja Turunen but that’s where the similarities end. Their unusual blend of styles is what makes Caelestia stand out. The mixture of symphonic Gothic metal with melodic death metal maybe a little too much for your average Gothic metal fan. Luckily my taste in metal is more diverse than that. I actually like the contrast between the harsh and the melodic sounds and the dual vocal configuration works surprisingly well. The closest thing I can compare this to would be mid-career Therion; melo-death with symphonic elements but without the choir.

In summary Caelestia’s album turned out to be a lot different from what I expected. Their music doesn’t really fit one specific genre but they do a good job of taking the best elements of various styles to create something memorable. So if you’re bored to listening to Nightwish wannabe Gothic metal or melo-death bands still trying to replicate the “Gothenburg”-sound, then I suggest you give ‘Thanatopsis’ a go.

4/5
Iza Raittila

Turbowolf announce European tour dates

Posted in Misc., News, Rock with tags , , on 2nd January 2018 by izaforestspirit

Good news for fans of the British hard rock band Turbowolf. They are currently putting the finishing touches on their new album ‘Tree of Life’ which is scheduled to be released on 9th March 2018 via So Recordings.

The band will also hit the road again soon after the album hits the shops. They will embark on a tour of Europe and The UK starting in Manchester Academy on 9th March. For the full schedule see the poster below:

For more information visit:

http://www.turbowolf.co.uk/

https://www.facebook.com/turbowolf/

Pieni’s highlights of 2017

Posted in Editorial/Opinionated with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 1st January 2018 by Pieni

2017 was quite the roller-coaster, hence my somewhat absence. But that doesn’t mean I’ve paid less attention. My live highlights this past year were:

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  1. W.A.S.P. at O2 Forum Kentish Town (London)
  2. Infraktor at Metalpoint (Porto)
  3. Equaleft at Hard Club (Porto)
  4. Ugly Kid Joe at AgitÁgueda (Águeda)
  5. Hills Have Eyes at River Stone (Penafiel)

In terms of records I might have been a bit careless, but these titles are awesome nevertheless:

heartlessoppressor

  1. “Heartless Oppressor” by Primal Attack
  2. “1755” by Moonspell
  3. “Infinite Shadows Of Memories” by The End Of Grace
  4. “Hegemony” by Samael
  5. “Medusa” by Paradise Lost

Top-5 videos:

  1. “In Tremor Dei” by Moonspell
  2. “Never Quit” by Hills Have Eyes
  3. “Like Orpheus” by Orphaned Land
  4. “Blood And Chaos” by Paradise Lost
  5. “Black Flag” by Iced Earth

And expectations/anticipations for 2018:

infexhaust

  1. The release of “Exhaust”, Infraktor‘s debut album!
  2. After the single “Never Quit” blowing my mind away, can’t wait to see what Hills Have Eyes will deliver next.
  3. The release of “Dropout”, Breaking Today’s debut EP, and how it will turn out live (pretty dynamic, I’m sure).
  4. Crashdïet have a new singer, Gabriel Keyes, and judging by the first single featuring him, “We Are The Legion”, I foresee a bright future for the Swedes.
  5. Just a few days ago, in what I’ve considered one of their best live shows ever, Equaleft played two new songs, two powerful new songs. Hoping to listen to the rest of this upcoming second full-length album in 2018.

Happy New Year folks!

Renata “Pieni” Lino

Iza’s Highlights of 2017 part 2: Industrial & other non-metal

Posted in Editorial/Opinionated, Industrial, Rock with tags , , , , , , , , , , on 30th December 2017 by izaforestspirit

This year saw the return of some of my favorite industrial artists. I also made some new discoveries and I checked out some genres that I would have never thought that I would listen to. So here are my top 10 industrial and other non-metal albums of 2017:

1. Suicide Commando – Forest of the Impaled
Genre: Aggrotech/Harsh Industrial/Harsh EBM

 

2. Grendel – Age of the Disposable Body
Genre: Aggrotech/Harsh Industrial

Grendel - Age of the Disposable Body - 2CD

 

3. Blutengel – Leitbild
Genre: Synth-pop/Gothic EBM

 

4. Aurelio Voltaire – Heart-Shaped Wound
Genre: Dark Cabaret/Goth/Alternative Rock

 

5. The Crüxshadows – Astromythology
Genre: Dark Wave/EBM

Cover-Astromythology

 

6. Scandroid – Monochrome
Genre: Synth-wave

 

7. Centhron – Allvater
Genre: Aggrotech/Harsh Industrial

Image result for centhron allvater

8. Blue Stahli – Anti-Sleep Vol.4
Genre: Electro-rock/ Funk-rock/instrumental

Image result

 

9. Cephalgy – Gott Maschine Vaterland
Genre: EBM

Cephalgy - Gott Maschine Vaterland - CD

 

10. iVardensphere – Hesitation
Genre: Power noise/Tribal Industrial

One album that didn’t make my top 10 was Celldweller’s ‘Offworld’; a good effort but no match for his earlier work. I prefer his heavier, more metal-oriented albums.

Best Live Show
Nachtmahr live at Lumous Gothic Festival

Biggest New Discovery
Aurelio Voltaire

Most Anticipated Albums of 2018

New albums from God Module and FGFC820.

Happy New Year Everyone!

Iza’s Highlights of 2017 part 1: Metal

Posted in Editorial/Opinionated, Metal, Rock with tags , , , , , , , , , on 29th December 2017 by izaforestspirit

2017 is almost over which means that it’s now time for my annual “Best of” or “Highlights” as I prefer to call them. This year’s edition will be in two parts – metal and industrial. So without further ado here are my top ten metal releases of 2017:

1. Kreator – Gods of Violence
Genre: Thrash Metal

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2. Cradle of Filth – Cryptorina: The Seductiveness of Decay
Genre: Extreme Gothic Metal

 

3. Lacrimosa – Testimonium
Genre: Gothic Rock/Symphonic Metal

Image result for lacrimosa testimonium

4. Lord of the Lost – Swan Songs II
Genre: Dark Rock/Gothic Rock/Classical

Image result for lord of the lost swan songs ii cover

5. Ex Deo – The Immortal Wars
Genre: Symphonic Death Metal

Ex Deo - The Immortal Wars

6. Cannibal Corpse – Red Before Black
Genre: Death Metal

7. Mono Inc.- Together Till The End
Genre: Dark Rock/Gothic Metal

Together Till The End

8. Doyle – As We Die
Genre: Heavy Metal

Doyle - As We Die

9. Barathrum – Fanatiko
Genre: Black Metal/Doom Metal

Barathrum - Fanatiko

10. Eisbrecher – Sturmfahrt
Genre: Industrial Metal

EISBRECHER - Sturmfahrt

 

Marilyn Manson’s ‘Heaven Upside Down’ didn’t make my top ten list but it’s still a good album which I would recommend. I haven’t been to too many gigs this year but out of the metal shows I’ve attended my favorite would have to be Destruction live in Tampere.

Biggest New Discovery: Mono Inc.

Most anticipated albums of 2018

New albums by Powerwolf, Devilment and hopefully Behemoth.

That’s all for now. Stay tuned for the industrial/other non metal edition coming soon.

Ex Deo announce 2018 European tour with Ensiferum

Posted in Metal, Misc., News with tags , , , , on 23rd December 2017 by izaforestspirit

The Canadian symphonic death metal band Ex Deo are due to hit the European shores again next year. This time they have teamed up with the Finnish folk metallers Ensiferum for their ‘Path To Glory’ tour starting in April 2018.

For the full schedule see the poster below:

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For further information visit:

http://www.ensiferum.com/

https://www.facebook.com/Ensiferum/

https://www.facebook.com/exdeo/