New Behemoth album coming in September

Posted in Misc., News, Studio Report with tags , , , on 11th May 2022 by izaforestspirit

The legendary Polish blackened death metal band Behemoth have just announced that their new album, the follow up to ‘I Loved You At Your Darkest’ will be entitled ‘Opvs Contra Natvram’. Here’s what their front-man Nergal had to say about it:

The album title means ‘going against the current’. It’s the negative of the values and morals and ethics that I, Nergal, stand against. I’ve seriously been wrestling with destructive tendencies in pop culture – cancel culture, social media, and tools which I feel are very dangerous weapons in the hands of people who are not competent to judge others. That’s something which I find very destructive and disturbing – and extremely limiting coming from an artists’ perspective.

This album is my middle finger to that.

Here’s the cover art and track-listing:

  1. Post-God Nirvana
  2. Malaria Vvlgata
    3.The Deathless Sun
  3. Ov My Herculean Exile
  4. Neo-Spartacvs
  5. Disinheritance
  6. Off To War!
  7. Once Upon A Pale Horse
  8. Thy Becoming Eternal
  9. Versvs Christvs

‘Opvs Contra Natvram’ will be out in digital and a variety of physical versions on 16th September 2022 via Nuclear Blast Records. Those who opt for the physical formats will have a choice of a white or black covers for the limited vinyls and the CD digibooks.

For now you can check out their video for the new single ‘Ov My Herculean Exile’:

For more information go to:

https://www.behemoth.pl/

https://www.facebook.com/behemoth

CrashDïet – Automaton

Posted in Review with tags , , , , , on 5th May 2022 by Pieni

CrashDïet
“Automaton”
Glam/sleaze rock
Released: 29th April 2022
Via Dïet Records

crashdiet-automation

As many shades as glam & sleaze music can take, one can only go too far without stepping out of character and keeping the outcome fresh at the same time. But six albums later, CrashDïet still nail it.

“Together Whatever”  has the carefree rhythm and triumphant message of a rock anthem – the same formula they’ve used in the past with “Riot In Everyone” or “Generation Wild”, and yet sounds so state-of-the-art.

I’ve once said something about CrashDïet taking in the traits of the golden ages of glam rock and making them their own in the present day, and “Shine On” is the epitome of such statement – a tribute to the eighties, the electronic undertones and the defiant chanting finishing a true earworm with class.

The beginning of “Dead Crusade” is a dead ringer (no pun intended) of “Anarchy”, true, but it soon evolves to something more seductive, something you’d want to sway to instead of acting up. In fact, the melodies of this album are the richest (so far) in their discography – no, I don’t mean just the weeping of the acoustic guitar in “I Can’t Move On (Without You)” but, for instance, every catchy bit of “Darker Minds” or “We Die Hard”. The same fiery songwriting but a more elaborate, more mature result. The older, the wiser?

And speaking of wise… to say I’m not the biggest fan of Steel Panther is an understatement, but I acknowledge the legends they’ve become, and if the Swedes needed a somewhat-husky-sexy voice to contrast with Gabriel’s bright pitch in the pulsing “Powerline”, Michael Starr was definitely the smartest move.

Wherever Dave Lepard’s soul may be, I’m sure it’s proud.

9/10

by Renata “Pieni” Lino

Hevisaurus live in Lempäälä

Posted in Gig, Live with tags , , , on 18th April 2022 by izaforestspirit

Hevisaurus
Idea Park, Lempäälä, Finland
18th April 2022

It’s been two years since my last live show. Back in the first year of the pandemic I went to see The 69 Eyes live under coronavirus restricted conditions. Back then it was all about the face-masks, crowd control and hand-sanitizer. Live-streams became the new normal and live shows were a rare treat. Now two years on there’s a vaccine available and the new strands of the virus are more mild which means that live shows and other events are now back on the agenda.

Hevisaurus is a Finnish heavy metal band who specialize in playing fantasy-themed heavy metal music for children, dressed in dinosaur costumes. My children are both fans of the band. This particular show was a free event held at the IdeaPark shopping mall in Lempäälä on the last day of the Easter period. The show was geared up for children, taking place in the afternoon with an allocated slot for the young audience. The parents were encouraged to move to the sides so that the children could get a good view of the band.

One of the things that’s great about Hevisaurus is that the music itself is actually really good, old school heavy metal which makes it fun for people of all ages to listen to. My kids had a great time rocking out to some of the biggest hits including: Räyh!, Ugala Bugala, Liskodisko and my daughter’s personal favorite, the lullaby ‘Viimeinen Mammutti’. It was heartwarming to see the whole crowd singing along.

In summary, this was a fun day out for me and my family. It was the very first show my daughter has ever been to and I’m glad that she enjoyed it. I’m really happy that I got to see a live show after such a long break. Hopefully this won’t be my only gig this year.

Iza Raittila

New Lord of the Lost EP coming next month

Posted in Misc., News with tags , , , on 17th April 2022 by izaforestspirit

Less than a year since the release of their latest album ‘Judas’ and the German Gothic metal band Lord of The Lost show no signs of slowing down. They have new EP called ‘The Heartbeat of The Devil’ coming next month. This is a companion piece to ‘Judas’ with the title track being from that album. Check out the full track-listing and cover art:

1.The Heartbeat Of The Devil
2.Judas (Lady Gaga Cover)
3.Children Of The Damned (Iron Maiden Cover)
4.Wig In A Box (Hedwig And The Angry Inch Cover)
5.The Heartbeat Of The Devil (Piano Version)

‘The Heartbeat of The Devil’ will be out in both physical and digital formats on Napalm Records on 6th May 2022. For more information go to:

https://www.facebook.com/lordofthelost

https://lordofthelost.de

https://lordofthelost.bandcamp.com/

Warrior Soul – Out On Bail

Posted in Review with tags , , , , , , , on 17th April 2022 by Pieni

Warrior Soul
“Out On Bail”
Hard Rock
Released: 4th March 2022
Via Cargo Records

warrior-soul-out-on-bail

As factual as the expression “Out On Bail” may sound, given that it was the title chosen by Warrior Soul for their latest album, it must be seen as some kind of defying statement. When listening to the opening track, “We’re Alive”, one can clearly hear the “we’re back in the game” message of someone who has just done time. The cliché motto of every insurgent in “One More For The Road”. The scorn towards white-collar offenders in “Hip Hip Hurray”. A whole rebel speech/attitude, and so I guess the raw, almost punk approach fits. The same with Kory Clarke’s voice, which is way hoarser than I remember. No, scratch that – it IS hoarser than it used to be, nothing to do with my memory; time’s just gone by and wasn’t at all kind to his singing skills. And after two or three songs, you can’t help but reconsider that “broken” is more accurate than “hoarse”. Especially when the songs themselves are played in a somewhat sloppy manner. Yes, I know I’ve mentioned a punk-ish approach and so a reckless performance could be part of the picture. But something feels off. “Cancelled Culture”, however, has a pretty catchy rhythm – that bass intro bringing a smile to my face – but then Clarke tries to sing along such catchiness and he just can’t keep up, and what could’ve been the one song I’d actually enjoy, turns out to be another disappointment. So I choose “End Of The World” as the best track here, as it shows a more elaborate and melodic guitar work, with an edgy vibe to it, where Clarke spoils it a little but doesn’t ruin it completely…

4.5/10

Renata “Pieni” Lino

Interview with Johan van Roy from Suicide Commando

Posted in Interview with tags , , , , on 31st March 2022 by izaforestspirit

Iza had a chat with Belgian artist Johan van Roy from the Harsh EBM/ industrial band Suicide Commando about touring during the COVID 19 pandemic, live streams and his upcoming single and new album.

Here’s the full interview:

Last year you released a new single called ‘Trick or Treat’ and now there’s a new album in the works. Can you tell more a bit more about what can we expect from the new album?

Meanwhile the album is completely finished. Most of the songs were written during the pandemic and I think you can also hear it in the result, it sure did not become a “happy” album nor an easy listening album.
It still has the typical suicide commando ingredients but I also think this became the hardest suicide commando album to date, somehow you can feel the frustration of the last 2 years in the new songs. So it will be a bitter black album !

Suicide Commando’s music tends be very harsh sounding for EBM with lots of violent themes. Where does all violence come from?

I think we all have violence inside of us, it’s just a matter how to deal with aggression and violence, and for me my music is the perfect way to get rid of my aggression, my violent emotions … for me my music is also my therapy.
Furthermore we’re living in a world full of aggression and violence, just switch on the radio or the television and you get bombed with violence in the news, open the newspaper and you get confronted with violence … so my music is just a reflection of what we see or hear in every day life.

The pandemic has caused lots of distruptions with tours and shows being cancelled. Even the shows that weren’t cancelled went ahead with lots of restrictions. What are your thoughts on playing live shows under Covid 19 restrictions?

Well I considered it as a necessary evil. Of course it was really frustrating not being able to go on tour and have contact with our fans and audience. But on the other hand I’m happy we at least could do a few live shows, even those with a sitting audience. It was a weird feeling to play in front of a sitting audience, but I’m still happy we could do these few shows.
We now finally can start doing live shows again in more normal conditions, it’s still a bit strange as you notice people are still cautious and reluctant, and some people still prefer to stay safe at home, but slowly things will get back to normal … I hope !

Archive footage – Suicide Commando live at Electrowerkz, Slimelight London, UK in 2013.

Another thing that the pandemic has brought about was the rise in popularity of livestreams. Have you ever considered doing a Suicide Commando livestream?

We got a few requests to do such livestreams but in our constitution it was as get as impossible as we all live pretty far away from each other, and Torben (my live keyboarder) even lives in Germany, so coming together for such a livestream wasn’t even possible.

Has the Russian war with Ukraine had any influence on your new song Bang Bang Bang?

The song “Bang Bang Bang” was written already some months ago, so the song itself has nothing to do with the current war in Ukraine. The song actually is about gun violence, but of course it also got a new dimension with the current war. But no matter what, the message is clear, guns kill !

Finally once this pandemic is over and all the restrictions have been lifted are there any countries which you would like to tour for the first time?

Tour for the first time won’t be an easy thing as we already played in so many different countries all over the world, but of course I still have some dream locations left, for example I’d love to tour Australia or Japan one day.

Suicide Commando’s new single ‘Bang Bang Bang!’ will be released on April 14 in digital download and limited edition MCD via Out of Line Records (Europe) and Metropolis Records (USA & rest of the world).

Meanwhile you can check out his new video for ‘Trick or Treat’:

For more details visit:

https://www.facebook.com/IIXIII

https://suicidecommando.bandcamp.com/

New album from Michael Monroe coming this summer

Posted in News with tags , , , on 25th March 2022 by izaforestspirit

The Finnish hard rock musician Michael Monroe has recently announced that his new album ‘I Live Too Fast Die Young’ will be out in both digital and physical formats this summer on 10th June 2022 via Silver Lining Music.

Here’s the cover and track-listing:

1.Murder The Summer Of Love
2.Young Drunks & Old Alcoholics
3.Derelict Palace
4.All Fighter
5.Everybody’s Nobody
6.Antisocialite
7.Can’t Stop Falling Apart
8.Pagan Prayer
9.No Guilt
10. I Live Too Fast To Die Young
11. Dearly Departed


For now you can check out the video for his new single ‘Murder The Summer of Love’.

The band will also be touring Europe this spring. Here’s the full schedule:

08 Apr – House of Rock Bar, Kouvola (FI)
14 Apr – Möysän Musaklubi, Lahti (FI)
15 Apr – Hyvinkääsali, Hyvinkää (FI)
16 Apr – Olympia, Tampere (FI)
21 Apr – Tavastia Club, Helsinki (FI)
22 Apr – Ikaalinen Spa, Ikaalinen (FI)
04 Jun – ROCK HARD FESTIVAL, Gelsenkirchen (DE)
06 Jun – K.B. Hallen, Copenhagen (DK)*
9-11 Jun – SAARISTO OPEN AIR, Kaarina (FI)
10 Jun – ROCK IN THE CITY, Kuopio (FI)
11 Jun – SWEDEN ROCK, Sölvesborg (SE)
15 Jun – Dolina Charlotty, Charlotta (PL)*
17 Jun – Stadthalle, Zwickau (DE) *
18 Jun – AZKENA FESTIVAL, Vitoria-Gasteiz (ES)
21 Jun – Mitsubishi Electric Halle, Dusseldorf (DE)*
22 Jun – Jahrhunderthalle, Frankfurt (DE)*
25 Jun – HELLFEST, Clisson (FR)
29 Jun – Ippodromo San Siro, Milan (IT)*
07 Jul – SAUNA OPEN AIR, Tampere (FI)
08 Jul – ROCK IN THE CITY, Oulu (FI)
14-17 Jul – VAUHTIAJOT, Seinäjoki (FI)
16 Jul – ROCK IN THE CITY, Rovaniemi (FI)
29-30 Jul – SKOGSROJET FESTIVAL, Rejmyre (SE)
04-06 Aug – WACKEN OPEN AIR, Wacken (DE)
04-06 Aug – VAASA FESTIVAL, Vaasa (FI)
27 Aug – HRH Sleaze, Sheffield (UK)
*Supporting Alice Cooper

For more information go to:

http://michaelmonroe.com

https://www.facebook.com/michaelmonroeofficial

New single from Vengeant

Posted in Misc., News with tags , , on 15th March 2022 by izaforestspirit

Vengeant, the Magic: The Gathering inspired, Swedish symphonic metal band are back with a new single called ‘Avalanche of Fire’.


It’s available on all streaming platforms including Spotify.

For more information visit:

https://www.facebook.com/vengeantofficial/
https://www.instagram.com/vengeantofficial/

Sabaton – The War To End All Wars

Posted in Review with tags , on 7th March 2022 by izaforestspirit

Sabaton
The War To End All Wars (History Edition)
Released 4th March 2022
Power Metal
Released via Nuclear Blast Records

World-renowned Swedish power metallers Sabaton are back with yet another historically themed album. ‘The War To End All Wars’ is the sequel to their 2019 release ‘The Great War’, continuing with the theme of World War I. This time time I opted to check out the limited ‘History Edition’ version which includes some voiceover narrative intro about the historical events which inspired the songs. It’s an optional extra treat for the history buffs among the metalhead population but entertaining nonetheless.

So anyway, moving on to the music. Unlike their previous opus, this album seems to be big on the ballads. I’ll start with my favorites; the best of the ballads is the anthemic, piano-centered Christmas Truce with an emotionally charged chorus that is both sombre and memorable. Stormtroopers is another good non-ballad with some decent guitar riffs. Then there’s the energetic and bombastic The Unkillable Soldier, which is easily my favorite track on the album. It is the fastest song, packed with great guitar work and a showcase for Joakim Brodén’s melodic vocals. I really enjoyed reading about the soldier who inspired the song too. Then there’s the keyboard-driven Soldier of Heaven, another catchy song that I enjoyed singing along to.

In summary, ‘A War To End All Wars’ is a decent effort from Sabaton. Music-wise it’s not dramatically different from its predecessor ‘The Great War’. For a long time fan like me I pretty much knew what to expect from it. Not all the songs are great but I find myself discovering new favorites with every listen.

7/10

Iza Raittila

Zwaremachine – Conquest 3000

Posted in Review with tags , , on 1st March 2022 by izaforestspirit

Zwaremachine
Conquest 3000
Released 17th July 2021
EBM/Industrial
Self-Released

‘Conquest 3000’ is the second album from the American EBM band Zwaremachine. The project has been around since 2011. They describe their style as “minimal hypnotic industrial body music”.All their releases are available from the Bandcamp page.

So after a few listens I can state that what we have here is a classic EBM album with a futuristic, dystopian theme. The vocals remind me of Sascha Konietzko from the German industrial metal band KMFDM. “Minimal” seems to be the keyword here as this album is full of catchy yet simple synth-driven EBM songs. The vocals are more spoken word rather than actual singing but they work well with the music.

One of the tracks which caught my attention was Toymaker, which features a memorable chorus and works as a dance track. Speaking of dance tracks, Parasol is definitely a good one. It’s hard to listen to it without being tempting to sway and stamp your feet to the tune. I also enjoyed Resist where the heavy bass lines are paired with synth melodies to produce a very danceable song.

In summary, ‘Conquest 3000’ is a well-executed classic EBM industrial album which I would recommend to fans of early KMFDM and bands such as Front 242. Retro, minimal yet very catchy.

7/10

Iza Raittila

Efpix – No More Remorse

Posted in Review with tags , , , on 20th February 2022 by izaforestspirit

Efpix
No More Remorse
Released 15th December 2021
Industrial Metal/Melodic Death Metal
Self-Released

‘No More Remorse’ is the second album from the Russian industrial death metal band Efpix. Alexander Kondrashov came up with the project concept back in 2009 but it wasn’t until 2013 when the band was formed.

Now, I like industrial and I like death metal but, based on my experience a good combination of these two genres is incredibly rare. The results can range from the sublime such as Zyklon’s debut ‘World Ov Worm’ to the downright ridiculously bad such as Morbid Angel’s ‘Illud Divinium Insanus’. So where does Efpix fit in?

Well, there’s only one way to find out.

Efpix’s signature brand of industrial is the Gothic style, industrial rock variety used by Deathstars or The Kovenant. The keyboards provide a good contrast to the harsher-sounding, melodeath growls. For example, on Erasing The Stars they managed to maintain a healthy balance between the two with the keyboards complementing the guttural vocals and guitar work rather than sounding like a cacophony. One thing I’m not so keen on are the clean vocals on some of the tracks as Watch. That song is a little too pop-ish for my liking. Luckily most of the other songs are more metal-sounding and guitar- rather than keyboard-driven. My personal favorites include: the vicious yet oddly catchy electronics-infused, death metal track Mankind Anthem and the symphonic and atmospheric Scorched.

In summary, ‘No More Remorse’ turned out to be better than I expected. It has some flaws and there’s a couple of songs which I dislike but as far as industrial death metal goes it’s a pretty decent album. I would recommend this to fans of The Kovenant and Deathstars.

7/10

Iza Raittila

New Hocico album coming this spring

Posted in News, Studio Report with tags , , , on 15th February 2022 by izaforestspirit

The Mexican industrial duo Hocico are back with a new album. The follow up to ‘Artificial Extinction’ will be called ‘HyperViolent’. Check out the cover and track-listing:

1. When The Trumpets Of Hate Blow
2. Broken Empires
3. Acts of Aggression
4. Un Sepulcro Sin Cadaver
5. What Are Nightmares Made Of?
6. Hacked Society
7. El Jardin de Las Locuras
8. Backstabbers
9. Lost World
10. Black Reflection
11. N.W.O.
12. Crown of Knives
13. Peccata Mundi

HYPERSIDE EFFECTS (Bonus CD):
1. Weapons of Resistance feat. Aaron Matts
2. Odio Bajo el Alma (Version Mariachi)
3. Black Mirror
4. Dog Eat Dog (Desputes Remix)
5. The Fall

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‘HyperViolent’ will be released in the following physical formats: double CD, vinyl, cassette, a limited collector’s edition box as well as digital download on 14th April 2022 via Out of Line Records.

In the meantime you can see their video for ‘Backstabbers’:

For more details visit:

https://www.facebook.com/hocicoofficial
https://www.hocico.com/

Metallica’s Kirk Hammett’s solo EP coming soon

Posted in News, Studio Report with tags , , , , on 9th February 2022 by izaforestspirit

Kirk Hammett the legendary guitarist of world renowned heavy metal outfit Metallica has recently announced that he will be releasing his debut instrumental EP ‘Portals’ this spring. Here’s a statement from the artist:

The initial concept for Portals started with that one song. Following that, I realized I could create different soundtrack moments. These songs are what I call ‘Audio Cinematic;’ I’m creating sounds and pieces of music for the movies playing in my head. Hopefully they’ll create movies in other people’s heads in a similar fashion.

Check out the cover art:

Learn More About Kirk Hammett's Portals

The EP will feature guest performances from Edwin Outwater (LA Philharmonic also present on Metallica’s S&M2) and Bob Rock plus others. ‘Portals’ will be available out worldwide in both physical and digital formats on 23rd April 2022.

For more information visit:

https://www.metallica.com/
https://www.facebook.com/Metallica

https://www.facebook.com/kirkHammett

Kreator – Violent Revolution (Re-Issue)

Posted in Review with tags , , , , , on 31st January 2022 by Mickelrath

Kreator
Violent Revolution (Re-Issue)
Thrash Metal
Released 21 January 2022
via Nuclear Blast Records

When German thrash super-titans, Kreator want to treat their fans. They sure know how to do it. In these Covid times, you can’t just embark on a massive anniversary tour. So what can you do? Well, remind them of how good you are by re-releasing one of your most iconic albums and adding on a second part with live cuts to prove that you still rule the stage. Yeah, that would about do it. So we have Violent Revolution, an album that is widely considered to be the spark that kicked off the 2000’s thrash metal revival. Also, guess what, I’ve never actually listened to it until now, well not in full. I’ve seen Kreator live so I know they’re a top-tier band. However, I’ve never taken the chance to listen to this record in full. So now’s a better time than any.

The album is definitely something else. I can hear how this was so influential to the thrash metal community. The riffs are tight and the energy the album produces is relentless. The songs are really well constructed with excellent structure and creative guitar work. The bass and drums lay an excellent foundation and are perfectly in sync. Something that definitely translates to their live show. The pulse-pounding songs hit that sweet spot of heavy and melodic where you can feel every beat of the drums but it still has somewhat of an anthemic quality. Then when the lead guitar kicks in it just put the power levels over the top. Simply put, there are excellent examples of musicianship laced through every part of the record. 

Then when you get to the second part of this reissue, aptly named Bootleg Revolution. You hear the band put all of that into practice. Living proof that it wasn’t “studio magic” that made them this good. You feel that genuine passion in each recorded live performance on the album. That musicality lives in them and you feel the energy of the crowd headbanging away. I must say that these are some of the best live recordings I’ve heard on any “live” album. You get just the right amount of live band, talking between the set and crowd noise. All are so well balanced. Looking at the list of places the recordings are pulled from, you really get a grasp of their impact on the metal community at large. Brazil, Korea, Istanbul & Wâldrock Festival. Hearing the reception and how loved they are, really speaks to the metalhead in me.

Obviously, the album is a 10. There’s a reason it still holds up and it is still so loved all these years later and something I would feel comfortable recommending to any newcomer to the thrash metal world. Keep rocking Kreator and I look forward to the next time I can get in a mosh-pit at your show.

10/10

Mick Birchall

New album from Dawn of Ashes coming this spring

Posted in News, Studio Report with tags , , on 20th January 2022 by izaforestspirit

American industrial black metal band Dawn of Ashes have recently announced that their new album, the follow up to 2020’s ‘The Antinomian’ will be called ‘Scars of the Broken’. Here’s the cover art and track-listing:

  1. (Descending) Torn Inside
  2. Love Is Asphyxiation
  3. The Despondent Hole
  4. EMDR
  5. Bane of Your Existence
  6. (Limbo) Numb
  7. It Comes in Waves
  8. Heart Beats Cold
  9. Turn It Shallow
  10. Scars of the Broken
  11. The Antidote
  12. (Ascending) Catharsis

Dawn of Ashes - Scars of the Broken

‘Scars of the Broken’ will be released in both physical and digital formats on 18th March 2022 via Artoffact Records. In the meantime you can check out their new single ‘EMDR’.

For more information go to:

https://dawnofashesofficial.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/Dawnofashes/

Existance -Wolf Attack

Posted in Review with tags , on 9th January 2022 by izaforestspirit

Existance
Wolf Attack

Released 29th October 2021
Heavy Metal/Melodic Power Metal
Released via Black Viper Records

Existance - Wolf Attack

Wolf Attack’ is the new album from the French heavy metal band Existance. The group was formed back in 2008 and they have been the opening act for Adrian Vanderberg, Joe Lynn Turner and Skull Fist. This album was mastered by Jacob Hansen who has also worked with U.D.O, Primal Fear and Volbeat.

So what we have here is eleven tracks of very uplifting melodic power metal packed with playful guitar tunes. Highlight Vampire is particularly entertaining thanks to the high-pitched vocals and infectiously catchy guitar riffs. A great start to the album. I also enjoyed Rock n’Roll, another cheerful heavy metal track that is bound to put a smile on your face. The chorus is simple but fun to sing along to and the guitar work is just as lively.

Another track that caught my attention is Sniper Alley which has a varied pace and features some of the most catchy guitar work of the album. Then there’s You Gotta Rock It, a very enjoyable guitar-driven heavy metal song with strong AC/DC vibes.

In summary, I enjoyed listening to ‘Wolf Attack’. It’s a very well executed and highly entertaining album which I would happily recommend to fans of both melodic power metal and classic heavy metal.

8/10

Iza Raittila

Pieni’s Highlights of 2021

Posted in Editorial/Opinionated with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 31st December 2021 by Pieni

2021 was way less tough than 2020 but it was still tough enough. In November I’ve finally attended some gigs with no restrictions, but in December this new COVID-19 strain brought some new rules and I’m getting a little apprehensive regarding some plans I’ve made.. But I’ll talk about it in the “expectations for 2022”. I’m still including one live stream in my top-5 gigs because the “real” ones didn’t happen before June and that one in April (which included an unplugged section and stories about the songs they’ve performed) still meant a lot to me:

infraktoraa45
  1. Infraktor at Metalpoint (Porto)
  2. Equaleft at Hard Rock Cafe (Porto)
  3. Hollywood Undead at MixOne Sound (“Undead Unhinged” live stream)
  4. GoDark at Metalpoint (Porto)
  5. Sugiru at Metalpoint (Porto)

My favorite records:

Aeromantic II
  1.  “Aeromantic II” by The Night Flight Orchestra
  2. “Worship” by Hypocrisy
  3. “Hermitage” by Moonspell
  4. “SepulQuarta” by Sepultura
  5. “Aggression Continuum” by Fear Factory

From big movie-like productions to the simplicity of the ocean, going through animation, here are the videos whose producers I tip my hat to the most:

  1. “Burn For Me” by The Night Flight Orchestra
  2. “Funeral Derangements” by Ice Nine Kills
  3. “Treading Water” by Danny Rose
  4. “Ich hasse Kinder” by Till Lindemann
  5. “Children Of The Gray” by Hypocrisy

My expectations for 2022 are, in general, all the postponed concerts and festivals that should have taken place in the last couple of years. But then there are these specific items:

HHE2021

  1. This is the 4th time I put here the 4th Hills Have Eyes album, so let’s hope that the matching number 4 is the lucky strike…
  2. The Hollywood Undead headlining gig in Hanover (June).
  3. The W.A.S.P. 40th anniversary gig in Madrid (March).
  4. Really curious about The Halo Effect album (and gig in Lisbon).
  5. A chance to see Pitch Black live, after missing their long-awaited return due to health issues.

Enjoy 2022 as much as possible, peeps. Stay safe.

Renata “Pieni” Lino

Iza’s Highlights of 2021

Posted in Editorial/Opinionated with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 29th December 2021 by izaforestspirit

Another year of no gigs for me but thanks to the Covid 19 vaccine I was able to travel abroad and watch a movie at the cinema. Then new strain of the virus led to new restrictions and event cancellations. It remains to be seen whether I can go to any concerts next year but for now I’m happy with watching live streams and listening to music. Here are my highlights of 2021:

1. Cradle of Filth – Resistance is Futile
Genre: Symphonic Black Metal/Extreme Gothic Metal

Cradle of Filth - Existence Is Futile

It’s been many years since Cradle of Filth have made an album this good. It reminds me of their eerie Gothic horror masterpiece ‘Midian’. Best tracks: ‘Crawling King Chaos’, ‘Suffer Our Dominium’ and ‘How Many Tears To Nurture A Rose’.

2. Therion – Leviathan
Genre: Symphonic Metal

Therion is a band I used to like but I lost interest in their releases over a decade ago. Then I saw their video for ‘Tuonela (featuring Marco Hietala) and I decided to give their new album a go. It turned out to be everything that I love about Therion – mythical themes, operatic vocals and movie soundtrack -style atmospheric symphonic metal. In addition to ‘Tuonela’, my favorite tracks are ‘Eye of Algol’ and ‘Nocturnal Light’.

3. Bodom After Midnight – Paint The Sky With Blood
Genre: Melodic Death Metal/Power Metal

Bodom After Midnight, Paint the Sky with Blood, 10" Vinyl - Backstage Rock  Shop

This one is technically an EP but in this case I decided to make an exception. This is Alexi Laiho’s (ex-Children of Bodom) swansong, the last three tracks he recorded with his new band before he died last year.

4. Helloween – Helloween
Genre: Power Metal

Helloween - Helloween

While it’s no match to ‘The Dark Ride’, Helloween’s self-titled is the most memorable power metal album I’ve heard this year. Very uplifting and energetic from start to finish. Best tracks: ‘Fear of The Fallen’, ‘Skyfall’ and ‘Best Time’.

5. Blue Stahli – Obsidian
Genre: Industrial Rock/Electric Rock

This album is the final part of the industrial artist Bret Autrey aka Blue Stahli’s Dead Channel Trilogy and my favorite one out of the three. Energetic industrial rock at its finest. Best tracks: ‘The Mountain’ and ‘One Last Breath’.

6. Lord of The Lost – Judas
Genre: Gothic Metal/Dark Rock/Industrial Metal

I had some serious doubts about Lord of The Lost being able to produce another good album after the masterpiece that was ‘Thornstar’. The reason why ‘Judas’ is so low down on this list is because I didn’t like the second disc as much as the first. I think that it would have been better if it was shorter. Best tracks: ‘Priest’, ‘For They Know Not What They Do’ and ‘Born With A Broken Heart’.

7. Hate – Rugia
Genre: Black Metal/ Blackened Death Metal

Hate - Rugia

Hate tend to get overlooked by many extreme metal fans and dismissed as a Behemoth clone. Whilst they also come from Poland and they play blackened death metal, the similarities end there. Their music is far less technical than Behemoth but it’s just as dark and bleak. I love the Slavic mythology themes on here. Best tracks ‘Rugia’ and ‘Resurgence’.

8. Lacrimosa – Leidenschaft
Genre: Gothic Metal

Finally a new album from one of my favorite Gothic metal bands. This one has the same melancholic ambience as their previous opus ‘Testimonium’ along with some heavier, more metal songs. Best tracks: ‘Kulturtasche’ and ‘Raubtier’.

9. Blutengel – Erlösung – The Victory of Light
Genre: Synthpop/ Darkwave

For those who don’t know I have a thing for vampires and German electronica which is what got me into Blutengel. The latest opus from the German darkwave duo features several really good dancefloor hits including: ‘The Victory of Light’, ‘Wir Sind Das Licht’ and ‘Darkness Awaits Us’.

10. Eisbrecher – Liebe Macht Monster
Genre: Industrial Metal

If you like industrial, Neue Deutsche Härte and you’re looking for some new exercise music then ‘Liebe Macht Monster’ is the album for you. Best tracks: ‘Es lohnt sich nicht ein Mensch zu sein’ and ‘Nein Danke’ and ‘Dagegen featuring Dero Goi (Oomph!, Die Kreatur).

Honorable mentions:

Ex Deo – The 13 Years of Nero
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sSVkjiUxW0M
Theatres des Vampires – In Nomine Sanguinis
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6XCn6mihi6s
Powerwolf – Call of The Wild
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bf5SMqG-JHk

Most anticipated albums of 2022 – Sabaton – The War To End All Wars, new albums from Suicide Commando and Agathodaimon.

Happy New Year Everyone!

Iza Raittila


Dargor – Descent Into Abyss

Posted in Review with tags , on 19th December 2021 by izaforestspirit

Dargor
Descent into Chaos
Released 6th May 2021
Atmospheric Black Metal
Self-Released

Dargor - Descent into Chaos

Then a lot of people hear the words “black metal” and “Poland”, the first band name that usually comes to mind is Behemoth. Even if their style has shifted away from their black metal roots to create a mixture of black metal and death metal; more commonly known as blackened death metal, they remain the country’s most recognizable and successful extreme metal band. But those who are more familiar with the Polish metal scene will know that there are other black metal bands worth checking out such as Mgła, Vesania or Batushka to name but a few. This brings me to ‘Descent into Chaos’ – the second EP from the Polish black metal band Dargor. The project was launched in 2018. Both their EPs are self-released and available from their Bandcamp page.

So, what we have here are five tracks of melodic atmospheric black metal. There’s a subtle balance between the eerie yet melodic guitar work and the coarse-sounding vocals. The opening track Abysses is a good example of this contrast. The guitars create a haunting atmosphere and the vocalist really does sound like a tortured soul crying out in pain. Another song that caught my attention is Decay which features more eerie and atmospheric guitar tones, ghastly vocals ending with a surprisingly melodic and soothing keyboard outro.

In summary, ‘Descent To Chaos’ is definitely one of the more memorable black metal releases I’ve heard this year. If Dargor continue along the same path they’ll have a bright future ahead of them.

7/10 Iza Raittila

Sorg – Haf Sem Ber Tímans Og Harmanna Farg

Posted in Review with tags , , , , on 28th November 2021 by Mickelrath

Sorg
Haf Sem Ber Tímans Og Harmanna Farg
Dark Metal, Black Metal
Released 9th June 2021
Self Released

It’s always interesting looking under the hood of the metal world. Sometimes you dig up gold and sometimes you find something that’s very pure in potential. So let me introduce you to Sorg a one-man metal project from Iceland. Víðir “Mýrmann” Thrastarsonand is an Icelandic painter, musician, and philosopher who put this interesting album together.  Haf sem ber tímans og harmanna farg (roughly translated: A sea that carries time and hare disposal) takes on themes of alchemy, romanticism, folklore, philosophy, and history. I have to say I was engaged and impressed all at the same time. The fact that this was all produced by one person astounds me and it clearly took a powerful vision and great persistence to make. 

Sonically the album is dark and brooding with Víðir’s vocals brewing in the background. The album chugs along at the same pace throughout. The guitar roars to life on all of the tracks and there is just such a heavy presence of bass. The drums are a bit faded in the background and I would have liked them to be a little more present in the mix to give the album a bit more impact. The whole album feels a little one-note. However, Sorg just hits that note as hard as possible. The album is really heavy, so yeah this is not for the average consumer of music. There are no hooks or earworms to be found here. But the dark poetry in this album really hit hard once the iffy production aside.

This is something that you have to be in the mood for. It’s a small project that’s been made outside of the mainstream publishing system. So it doesn’t have that clean sheen of a major label release. It’s definitely difficult to listen to because of that lack of quality production. Also, the songs seem to be missing that big punch of a good hook. However, I still feel the writing that is there is interesting enough. Like I said there’s pure potential here and I hope Sorg continues to improve. 

7/10

Mick Birchall