Ministry – AmeriKKKant

Posted in CD, Metal with tags , on 14th March 2018 by izaforestspirit

Released 9th March 2018
Industrial Metal
Released via Nuclear Blast Records

Ministry doesn’t need much of an introduction. They have been a part of the industrial metal scene since the early ‘80s and they have gone through several changes over the years. They even split up a few times only to re-unite again a few years later. Now Uncle Al and his motley crew are back with another politically themed album – ‘AmeriKKKant’.

The first track I Know Words is essentially just ambient noise with some distorted samples from speeches by Donald Trump. It sets the scene well enough but other than that it doesn’t really offer much. I was actually tempted to skip it after the first few seconds. Luckily the one that follows it, Twilight Zone is a much better song, possibly the closest Ministry has come to recreating their old “classic” sound from the ‘The Mind Is A Terrible Thing To Taste’ and ‘Psalm 69’ -eras. The harmonica works a treat as do the gritty, eerie-sounding rhythmic guitars. This is the Ministry that I was hoping to hear!

As usual with Ministry, they like to make a statement and this album is no exception. In here the themes include: US politics, gun violence, ANTIFA and the Ku Klux Klan. Victims of A Clown caught my attention due to the use of turntables in addition to the other instruments. Apparently their current line-up also includes a DJ. Luckily the turntable noise is mostly in the background and it seems to suit the overall tone of the music. The angry, thrash metal-esque We’re Tired of It is one of the highlights, despite being the shortest song on here. It gives the record a much needed boost, an extra shot of adrenaline to keep going…

In summary, ‘AmeriKKKant’ is a creepy album which leaves the listener with a sense of dread, some confusion and anger. I guess that must be how a lot of Americans feel at the moment… Sadly with only a handful of memorable songs, it’s hardly a Ministry masterpiece. It’s not bad but they can do so much better.


Iza Raittila


The Godiva return, wrapping up this year’s Laurus Nobilis Music

Posted in News with tags , , , , , on 11th March 2018 by Pieni

The two missing names in the Laurus Nobilis Music 2018 bill have been revealed: Atreides and The Godiva. The former hails from Northern Spain and the latter from Famalicão, hometown of the festival itself.

The Godiva were quite popular in the Portuguese underground back in the early 2000s, until they decided to step away for an unknown-period-of-time. The hiatus is now over and they will close this year’s edition of Laurus Nobilis Music Famalicão. Here’s the full schedule:


Metal DJs will entertain the crowd every night for about an hour, after the last band leaves the stage.


Stone Free Festival announce headliners

Posted in Festival, Metal, Misc., News, Rock with tags , , , , on 10th March 2018 by izaforestspirit

London’s prime classic rock event Stone Free Festival is now in its third year. This time it will take place on Saturday 16th June – Sunday 17th June 2018 at The O2 in London, The UK.

This year the headliners will include Scorpions, Megadeth (exclusive UK shows) along with YES and former Supertramp frontman Roger Hodgson. 

In addition to the main performances the festival will also have a range of other unique attractions such as the Speak Easy Lounge, an acoustic beer garden and a vinyl record fair.

Here’s the official poster:

For more information visit:


Therion w/ support – Porto, Portugal

Posted in Gig, Live with tags , , , , , , , on 2nd March 2018 by Pieni

Therion, Imperial Age, Null Positiv, Midnight Eternal
Hard Club, Porto (PT)
21st February 2018
Promoted by Notredame Productions


In Portugal, scheduling an event for 7 p.m. in the middle of the week isn’t going to work out very well for the opening acts; but with four bands on the bill and an almost two-hour-slot for the headliners, there’s not much the promoter can do. Speaking of, a big thank you to Carlos Freitas and the whole Notredame Productions team for bringing such show to us and for letting Valkyrian Music cover it.

DSC_0077.jpgMidnight Eternal was the first band on stage. Frankly, I’d never heard of them before, but then again, symphonic power metal with a female lyric voice – and occasional male growls – isn’t exactly my cup of tea… Among the few people at the venue by that hour, there were a handful responding enthusiastically to their music – either they knew them already or the band caused quite the first impression on fans of the genre. Yep, they’re good.

Introducing their self-titled debut album, released in 2016, the band from New Jersey – as said by Raine Hilai; you shouldn’t trust everything you read on Facebook, where their page locates them in Manhattan/New York – charmed the small but “loud” (using Raine’s own words) crowd with songs such as the “first song they’ve ever written” “Masquerade Of Lies”, “Signs Of Fire” and the almost-9-minute long “First Time Thrill”.


Female singer as well, but completely different posture, Null Positiv followed suit. That so-German alternative, post-industrial sound which “recognizes the signs of the times”, to quote their own motto. Even if Elli Berlin joined Therion on stage to sing “Din” later on, this was the most “displaced” band on the bill, but given their feisty performance, “diversity is the spice of life” earned a new meaning. “Hass”, “Labyrinth”, “Friss Dich Auf” or “Koma” were just some of the songs that left the crowd – considerably bigger now – pretty hyped, Null Positiv’s impact being the exact opposite to their name.


If the Germans were the furthest from Therion in genre, Russian Imperial Age were the closest, with their symphonic/opera metal. The release of their third album earlier this month outlined their setlist, but they couldn’t go without performing “Anthem Of Valour” or “Aryavarta”. The combination of Aor’s tenor voice with Kiara’s soprano and Corn’s mezzo soprano, spiced up here and there by some growls of Vredes and Belf, filled the venue with a supreme vibrancy, overlaying striking melodies welcomed by everyone.


With such foreplay, it took only the first chords of “Theme Of Antichrist” to drive the crowd to a climax which would last throughout the almost-2-hour long performance of therionhc3Therion. Some highlights of their latest opera – including “Temple Of New Jerusalem”, which Thomas Vikström introduced by asking us to imagine ourselves inside a church, adding right away “boring, I know” – mingled with highlights of their whole career and we’ve witnessed a hell of a show (pun intended regarding “Beloved Antichrist”). Vikström was pretty talkative, as his usual, but the final words had to come out of founding member Christofer Johnsson. He remembered the last time they’d played in Porto, 20 years before – yes, 20! – and asked if any of us had been there. A few had – me included – and so he thanked us for the “old school support”. And he asked us to scream the title of the song that, like then – and almost always – finishes their shows, the imperative “To Mega Therion”.

Text & photos by Renata “Pieni” Lino


At The Gates reveal new album details

Posted in Metal, Misc., News, Studio Report on 1st March 2018 by izaforestspirit

Swedish melodic death metal band At The Gates have recently announced that their new album, the follow up to ‘At War With Reality’, will be called ‘To Drink from the Night Itself’.

The cover was designed by the Romanian artist and musician Costin Alexandru Chioreanu. Here’s an extract from the official statement by the band’s front-man Tomas Lindberg about the artwork and the theme:

“The inspiration for the actual front cover piece is taken from the Pergamon Altar, on display at the Pergamon museum in Berlin. It is of course linked closely to the concept that the whole record is based upon, but more on that later. But I will throw a name out there, for the interested ones; Peter Weiss.
I can’t wait to get the whole record in my hands now, as this is just one of the many great artwork pieces that Costin has created for us on “To Drink From The Night Itself“…”

You can see it here along with the track-listing:

At the Gates - To Drink from the Night Itself

1. Der Widerstand
2. To Drink From The Night Itself
3. A Stare Bound In Stone
4. Palace Of Lepers
5. Daggers Of Black Haze
6. The Chasm
7. In Nameless Sleep
8. The Colours Of The Beast
9. A Labyrinth Of Tombs
10. Seas Of Starvation
11. In Death They Shall Burn
12. The Mirror Black

The album will be out on 18th May 2018 via Century Media Records. There will also be a new single and a video coming soon.

For further details go to:


Savage Machine – Abandon Earth

Posted in CD, Metal with tags , , , , on 27th February 2018 by izaforestspirit

Savage Machine
Abandon Earth
Released 19th January 2018
Heavy Metal/Power Metal

Savage Machine - Abandon Earth

It’s been two years since I reviewed Savage Machine’s single; now here I am reviewing their debut album ‘Abandon Earth’. I’m already familiar with two of the tracks since they were on the ‘Event Horizon’ single. Based on the description, this is a concept album about a post-apocalyptic world in which humans are at war with the machines. So, it’s traditional heavy metal with a science-fiction theme. That sounds promising, let’s see what we have here…

This is actually a little more complex than I expected it to be. In addition to the predominant classic/NWOBHM-style heavy metal, there are also some elements of power metal. Take the The Hunter for example, the guitar structures made me think of the old albums by Helloween mixed with the story-telling vocal style of Iron Maiden. Then they reduce the pace with a ballad called Time Traveller,  a melodic heavy metal/thrash metal hybrid which reminded me of the early works of Iced Earth. Good guitar work!

Speaking of guitars, the “rifftasic” Event Horizon and classic heavy metal style ‘Savior’ are the undisputed highlights of the album. The former is an energetic, fast piece of thrash metal packed with killer guitar riffs. As for Savior, I already liked it two years ago and it hasn’t lost any of its appeal.

In summary, it has to be said that there’s not a single filler track on here. There’s good variety in the pace with just enough ballads to please fans of melodic metal and power along with plenty of faster songs for the thrashers amongst us.


Iza Raittila


Bill for Laurus Nobilis Music Famalicão 2018 almost complete

Posted in News with tags , , , on 25th February 2018 by Pieni

Ever since its first edition, back in 2015 we’ve been supporting and covering the “metal day” of Laurus Nobilis Music Famalicão, in Portugal. Last year saw the growth of the bill, by adding a secondary stage, and this year we see the “growth of weight”, as all three days will be heavy ones. Needless to say, we’ll be covering the full festival this time.

There are still two bands to announce, but so far it features some of the Portuguese finest. As for the international headlining acts, we’ll have Dark Tranquillity and Septicflesh:


We’ll get back to you with the full schedule as soon as the two last bands are revealed.