Archive for Amon Amarth

Amon Amarth w/ support – Porto, Portugal

Posted in Gig, Live with tags , , , , , , on 13th February 2015 by Pieni

Savage Messiah, Huntress, Amon Amarth
Hard Club, Porto (PT)
11th February 2015
Promoted by Prime Artits

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Amon Amarth are very dear in my country, but it still positively surprised me that the show in Lisbon sold out a couple of weeks before the event. It didn’t sell out in Porto but it was close enough. And considering that both venues hold 1.000 people each, we’re talking about almost 2.000 metalheads “deceiving the gods” in this little corner of Europe. Not bad, huh?

 photo _DSC0110_zpsv9f8aanv.jpgEven though they could have pulled that off totally on their own, they obviously didn’t, bringing along two other bands. First one was Savage Messiah, who were playing in Porto for the first time. I don’t know how popular they were around here, but Portugal has a fair share of thrashers. And since Savage Messiah were formed in 2007 and last year were awarded as part of the Music Export Growth Scheme by the British Government, I’m pretty sure that many had at least heard of them. Still I didn’t notice the lyrics being sung along, hence my doubt. But I did listen to how loud they screamed their “Hey! Hey!” and how high they raised their fists, so if they didn’t know them before, they certainly do now, and in a very good way. Really a shame that they’ve played for such a short time – so short that photographers were rushed out of the photopit after just two songs instead of the usual three, as three would have literally meant half of the show. So it’s understandable that they’ve only played songs from their latest album, “The Fateful Dark”, even though they have two more in their baggage. The half-an-hour setlist included the opener “Iconocaust”, the “inspired by Satan” song “Hellblazer”, the title-track and “Minority Of One”, which was the last one. (5 / 5)

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https://www.facebook.com/SavageMessiahMetal

 photo _DSC0343_zpsblrxhhrr.jpgI wasn’t so stoked about Huntress and remained that way when the show was over. No, wait, I was stoked at the end BECAUSE it was over. At the time of their debut album, I wrote a review for another webzine and rated it 4/10. I’m looking at it right now and the first paragraph reads: « Huntress is a Californian heavy metal band highly overrated. Napalm Records took them in as “the undisputed newcomer of 2012” and I’m still wondering why. But then again, heavy metal always works on stage, and if you have a hot blonde with a very exposed cleavage screaming her lungs out, well, that surely calls a lot of attention. My question is – in the end of the show, do you remember any song? Did any solo, chorus or even a simple riff stick to your brain? Probably not. At least that’s what happened to me after listening to their debut “Spell Eater”. » What would you know? I was so right! Except for “I Want To Fuck You To Death”, that is, as the chorus is not just explicit but really catchy. But then again, as Jill Janus was so happy to inform, the song was co-written by Lemmy from Motörhead – so maybe the reason why it sounds distinctive.
Anyway, Jill was very energetic (as an aerobics instructor, as a friend would point out) but sadly her high pitch was far from steady. And the long screams were supported by the microphone effects. Then the guitar-hero poses of both guitarists were way too much for my personal taste. Mine and about a dozen friends who I’ve exchanged ideas with afterwards. But I guess we were a minority as the crowd gave a fiery response to Huntress (“We’re from California and we smoke a lot of weed”). So I can’t say that it was a bad concert, just that I didn’t like it.
Jill said “obrigada”, very pleased with herself by knowing the difference between “obrigada” and “obrigado” (it’s a gender thing – as a woman, she had to say the first, the latter is for men). She failed later, however, when she dedicated a song (“Zenith”, I think) to the girls, whom she called “muchachas”. That’s Spanish, Jill. But the crowd was hyped, and a crowdsurfing girl was praised by the singer: “that’s right, sister!”.
A new song, “Flesh”, was also introduced, and the set ended when “it was time to call the witches”“Eight Of Swords”. They left the stage with Jill saying “stay high”. Quite the advice… (3,5 / 5)

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www.facebook.com/HuntressKills

 photo _DSC0497_zpsvsxejzdr.jpgWe always associate Iron Maiden’s “Run To The Hills” to Indians and cowboys because of the music video. But if we look into the lyrics – “one man came across the sea…” – it could be any invader. So given the Vikings’ history, it was only suitable that this song served as intro for Amon Amarth.
Whatever I say about this show, it won’t do it any justice – regarding both the band and the crowd. It was the fifth time I was seeing these Swedes and I’ll make sure it wasn’t the last – they’re THAT kind of band. Right on the first song, “Father Of The Wolf”, I felt a boot on my head, as the crowdsurfers got into action practically in sync with the first riff.
It also didn’t take long for Johan Hegg to say good evening and welcome us to their party – in perfect Portuguese! Trust me, it’s not easy to catch our accent. That he took the time to practice meant a lot to everyone in that room. photo _DSC0458_zpsqxdwuax7.jpg
For one hour and a half, the frenzy only slowed down when Hegg introduced the songs, drank to us from his horn, and the few moments that followed “Victorious March”, marking the encore. Notice that I said “slowed down”, not “quieted”, because the crowd kept screaming and applauding, such was the frenzy. And even despite the heat, that spiked to sauna-levels.
The aforementioned encore started with the sound of thunder, the lights still dim. Then the band returned, with Hegg holding a Mjölnir in the air. Then he hammered the ground with it, Thor-like, before starting to sing “Twilight Of The Thunder God”. In the end he said it had been the last song, getting a desolated roar as response. To get one more, we had to scream our lungs out loud enough. I think it was the first time I saw a singer satisfied with our loudness on the first take. “Of course we have one more song for you!”, Hegg said, asking bassist Ted Lundström to take the lead. As expected, “The Pursuit Of Vikings” echoed, and in the last chorus, Hegg wasn’t as easily pleased with our vocal performance, pushing us further… and achieving his goal, of course.
The whole band had a smile of their faces when they left the stage, with Hegg claiming we were “fantastic” and promising to come back. The next day, they posted a thank-you little video, with the caption “Oporto should now be called Oparty”. For this kind of pun, I didn’t mind the stupid “O” that, for some reason, the English language added to the original name of my hometown. (5 / 5)

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www.facebook.com/OfficialAmonAmarth

Text & photos by Renata “Pieni” Lino

Amon Amarth about to embark on European tour

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , on 13th January 2015 by Pieni

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Still promoting their latest album “Deceiver Of The Gods” (released in June 2013 via Metal Blade Records), Swedish Vikings Amon Amarth will raid the UK, France and the Iberian Peninsula between January and February, supported by Huntress and Savage Messiah. Their own words are as follows:

“UK, Portugal, Spain and France…get ready this January for a Viking invasion! We’ll be making an extensive UK expedition where we’ll be pillaging smaller clubs in virtually every nook and cranny of the country. We’re also making a more in depth raid of France, Spain and Portugal. Finally! As support on this mission we’re bringing our friends in Huntress and up-and-comers Savage Messiah. Don’t miss this awesome night of metal and we will take no prisoners!”

Here are the targets of this pillage:

15/01/15 FR – Lille – Le Splendid
16/01/15 UK – Brighton – Concorde 2
17/01/15 UK – Plymouth – The Hub
18/01/15 UK – Bristol – Thelka
19/01/15 UK – Nottingham – Rescue Rooms
21/01/15 UK – Norwich – Waterfront
22/01/15 UK – Colchester – Arts Center
23/01/15 UK – Oxford – Academy2
24/01/15 UK – Stoke – Sugarmill
25/01/15 UK – Manchester – Academy2
27/01/15 UK – Glasgow – Classic Grand
28/01/15 UK – Leeds – Stylus
29/01/15 UK – Newcastle – Uni
30/01/15 UK – Lemmington – Assembly
31/01/15 UK – Southampton – 1865
02/02/15 FR – Rouen – Le 106
03/02/15 FR – Reims – Le Cartonnerie
04/02/15 FR – Nancy – L´Autre Canal
05/02/15 FR – Nimes – La Paloma
06/02/15 ES – Bilbao – Santana 27
07/02/15 ES – Barcelona – Razzmatazz1
08/02/15 ES – Madrid – La Riviera
10/02/15 PT – Lisboa – Paradise Garage
11/02/15 PT – Porto – Hard Club
12/02/15 ES – Santiago – Captol
14/02/15 FR – Clermont-Ferrand – Le Cooperative De Mai
15/02/15 FR – Strasbourg – Laiterie

Last autumn, Amon Amarth launched a video for the title-track of “Deceiver Of The Gods”, which is believed to be the most remarkable video of the band so far, as it features clips from the upcoming film “Northmen – A Viking Saga” – a movie where Johan Hegg himself stars as Valli.

http://www.amonamarth.com
http://www.facebook.com/OfficialAmonAmarth
http://twitter.com/amonamarthband
http://deceiver.amonamarth.com

Bloodstock Open Air 2014 Review

Posted in Festival, Live with tags , , , , , , , , , , on 24th August 2014 by Hannah

Bloodstock Open Air Festival 2014 [Down, Emperor, Megadeth & more]

Catton Hall, Derbyshire

8th-10th August, 2014

Bloodstock 2014 came and went like an almighty clap of thunder. Before I even knew it, it was August and that time of the year when the bearded horde descends upon the sleepy Derbyshire countryside for the UK’s most metal weekend. A line up chock full of interesting names that promised to deliver crushing sets, more beer than I could comprehend and a surprising number of costumes and Native American accessories awaited me. As always, I’d coughed up the extra money for a VIP ticket- again, I will say that it is WORTH IT- but this year, let me start by giving a negative review. The VIP toilets were shocking. Usually they are cleaned regularly, supplied with toilet paper and soap and all the mod-cons that help to make the price that much more acceptable. This year, however, it was horrific. I realise that with the weather they were going to get dirty- but I would have been okay with mud. Little brown fishes are not so okay.

Anyway…  After being thoroughly slaughtered by the Thursday night pre-party and starting to pick my way through the VIP bar’s 103 real ales and ciders, I awoke on the Friday morning, blinking with bleary eyes into the blazing sunshine. Fitting that the opener was Bloodshot Dawn, then. A good start to proceedings, followed by the always satisfying Entombed A.D. It’s the second time I’ve had the pleasure of watching these guys and they were just as good as before- even though they’re in a different form from last time. Irish extreme metallers Primordial followed, with an absolutely stellar set. I’d caught a bit of their set the last time they played Bloodstock, and made sure I was able to see the whole thing this time round. It was a good choice, because their particular brand of black-ish metal is excellent live. A smidgeon of thrash was added to the mix by Flotsam & Jetsam, who entertained for the whole of their set and were a good choice, as were industrial metallers Prong. Both bands were received enthusiastically by the crowd and there were few heads still during their slot on the main stage.  

Controversial opinion time- I don’t like Triptykon. I will never forgive Tom G. Warrior for the glam metal Celtic Frost ridiculousness, and even though on paper I should appreciate Triptykon’s doomy line of metal, I just don’t like it. It was all very grim and frosty and plenty of people did like it, but it definitely wasn’t my cup of tea. Hatebreed, however, reminded us exactly why they were one of the best received bands of 2012. Perfectly on form, as always, they were energetic and exciting and definitely one of the best acts of the weekend. The same cannot be said for Dimmu Borgir, and frustratingly it wasn’t their fault. I was looking forward to Dimmu Borgir; they are one of my favourite bands and their 2012 set is still one of the best I have ever seen. But this year they were plagued by technical difficulties and a sound mix so bad keyboardist Gerlioz left the stage. Arriving at least twenty minutes late, and forced to stop and start throughout, when they did play they proved that they could have been great this year. Such a massive disappointment. Friday night headliners Down took the stage to an arena buzzing with anticipation and excitement and baying for blood. And, whatever you may think of him as a person, you have to hand it to Phil Anselmo– he is the perennial frontman. They filled Catton Hall with their groovy brand of metal and crushing riffs, and teased the horde with ten to fifteen seconds of Pantera classic Walk.

Saturday morning started with, in my opinion, the performance of the weekend. Evil Scarecrow. I need to take a moment to dedicate this whole review- and, at the very least, an entire paragraph- to Evil Scarecrow. Eleven o’clock in the morning and the arena was absolutely rammed. We’re talking Special Guest to Headliner amounts of people. Very much a story of success against the odds, Evil Scarecrow are something special. They manage to be simultaneously funny and extremely clever, and also just extremely fucking good. They turned Bloodstock into a heavy metal ballroom, filled with waltzing Cyclopes (cyclopi? Just what is the correct plural term here?), they commanded first an army of (totally in sync) shuffling Crab(ulon)s, then an army of Robot(atron)s, and finally managed to get almost every lucky bastard assembled there to war-march around the sound desk. We are talking an arena wide march. Even if we only moved about ten foot forward, that’s still an impressive feat. Every single person there had a huge grin on their face. If you weren’t watching, you missed out on history.

Shining had a bit of a hard act to follow, unfortunately, and it was a shame to see such a reduced crowd watching them. Their somewhat bizarre jazz-extreme metal fusion was quite refreshing, however, and I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a saxophone on the RJD stage before- or will again. Decapitated were as expected- brutal- and Israel’s Orphaned Land were a nice surprise. I’d never really heard any of their music before, but their progressive tinged metal was much better than I thought it would be. Crowbar were awesome, with bass lines so shuddering and crushing that I could feel my liver shaking. Following their set with Italian pseudo-goths Lacuna Coil seemed a bit of an odd choice- in fact, in general I felt that the line up could have been re-arranged across all three days- but Cristina Scabbia and her cohort were on fine form. There was a nice selection of new and old, including some of the better tracks from latest album Broken Crown Halo. I know a lot of people criticize Children of Bodom for being one-trick-ponies. In my opinion, that just shows that they know what the winning formula is and stick to it. Alexi Laiho and Janne Wirman deliver guitar and keyboard solos with sickening ease that almost borders on laziness, but Laiho was his usual ball of boundless energy. An unexpected setlist including fan favourites such as Hatecrew Deathroll and Lake Bodom, they were fantastic as always.

Controversial opinion time the second- I think Carcass are past it- or at least, Jeff Walker is at any rate. It almost seemed like they were going through the motions, tearing through a set filled with classics with an almost clinical, sterile precision. Apt for a band whose latest release is called Surgical Steel, true, but it seemed like they lacked heart. Saturday evening was all about one band, anyway. Emperor took to the stage to celebrate 20 years since the release of their seminal album, In The Nightside Eclipse. They were flawless. There was an almost reverent atmosphere in the arena as they turned the temperature frosty and filled the venue with their chilly, eerie brand of black metal and reminded us all why they are and will always be one of the best in the business. Plus- when are we ever going to see Ihsahn, Samoth and Faust playing together ever again? It was an incredible moment, something I will never forget.

I will admit something now- I only saw four bands on Sunday. The celebrations from Emperor nearly killed me, and I slept through both Arthemis and Aborted. However, I have it on good authority that Arthemis put on a valiant performance, and that Aborted were savage. I managed to rouse myself from the darkness in order to make it down to watch Valkyrian favourites ReVamp perform in an absolute downpour. Floor Jansen is a force to be reckoned with, and it’s easy to see why she has been nabbed by Nightwish. She had those assembled to watch in the palm of her hand and did well despite the odds. I then returned to my tent to recover some more, only to discover that a veritable tempest was beginning to blow. The first tent to fall victim to the wind was- ironically- the Tangerine Dreams tent-hire company’s reception tent, followed swiftly by a gazebo that took to the skies with captivating elegance before landing with one leg impaled in another thankfully empty tent. A quick conversation led to the decision to pull up camp and leave later that evening, so by the time we had cleared up and packed everything in the car, we’d missed both Biohazard and last-minute stage-switchers Avatar. Obituary, however, were worth catching for some decent, straightforward and relentless death metal.

Saxon were everything I expected them to be- cheesy, fist-pumping and glorious. Good old Biff was on fine form, and they were well received by a crowd of an incredibly diverse age range. By the time they played Denim and Leather, the whole arena had been brought together and it was easy to see why so many people got on board with Saxon’s campaign to have Heavy Metal recognised as a religion in the last UK census. Amon Amarth were absolutely outstanding. Fire-breathing dragonheads, upon which guitar solos were performed,  filled the stage and Johan Hegg led the Viking hordes through a set that perfectly represented their catalogue of greats. They reminded me why they are one of my favourite bands and why I will always throw my horns up in the air when I hear any of their songs. Unfortunately, this is where my Bloodstock experience ended as we made a run for it as the weather worsened and the storm moved in. This does mean that I missed MegaDave- sorry, I mean Megadeth– but controversial opinion the last? I wasn’t particularly bothered. Had I been more in the spirit of things and had imbibed a fair bit of cider I’m sure I would have enjoyed them, but being sober and eager to leave before the wind picked up again it wasn’t much of a loss.

Bloodstock 2014 was a rollercoaster ride of technical problems, triumphant performances and crazy weather. But I would not have missed it for the world. The performance of the weekend, as I feel I have already clearly shown, was definitely Evil Scarecrow, and I will give them less than five years until they are special guests, if not headliners. Even though we’re still waiting for any announcements, there’s nowhere I’d rather be from the 6th to the 9th of August next year. I will see you then.

 

Hannah O’Flanagan

Hannah’s 2013 Highlights

Posted in Editorial/Opinionated, Misc. with tags , , , , , on 4th January 2014 by Hannah

Well, we are now 4 days into 2014, and it’s that time of year again. Time to look back and reflect on 2013, a year of great highs and lows. Personally, 2013 was a crock of shite. Ill health, family and friends dropping like daisies, rubbish chucked at me academically; I’m well shot of it. Musically, however, it was much better! We had a few absolute curve balls chucked at us, but in general I think it was a splendid year for musical releases within the metal world and beyond. So without further ado, here are my Top 10 metal albums of the year. Strap yourselves in and play the Top of the Pops theme tune as we count them down- but in no particular order. Sorry!

FinntrollBlodsvept

An absolute corker of an album, Finntroll are once again on shining form. I sometimes wonder if the rollicking band of Finnish folk-stalwarts will get one wrong, but they prove themselves time and time again.

GhostInfestissumam

In many ways, 2013 could be seen as the year of Ghost (for copyright purposes, in the ol’ U.S. of A., see: Ghost B.C.). Papa Emeritus II (or should that be 1.2?) and his ghoulish brigade seem absolutely unstoppable and this proggy, weird, almost unsettlingly catchy offering gives more fuel to that fire.

CathedralThe Last Spire

As we shall see in my ‘Top 5 Highs and Lows of 2013’ shortly, this was also the year I was forced to say goodbye to one of my favourite bands, but Cathedral’s last ever offering did not disappoint. As many observed, this seemed to bring them full circle and back to their simple, crushing doomy roots and it was a bittersweet triumph.

Chthonic- Bú-Tik

The Taiwanese black-symphonic metallers offered us this brutal follow up to 2011’s brilliant Takasago Army this year, and what an album! The troupe from Taipei constantly manage to sound fresh and never lose any of that fury, channelling their rage in their music and fleshing their sound out with that distinctive, symphonic blend of metal and traditional Taiwanese refrains.

Black Sabbath- 13

If you know me, then you know I like grinding, crushing, groovy metal. Then it must come as no surprise that this list includes 13, the phenomenal come back from the legends that are Black Sabbath. Sounding as fresh and vibrant as they did on seminal releases such as Black Sabbath or Paranoid, 13 saw Sabbath at their absolute best, and I for one am so happy to see them back.

Amon Amarth- Deceiver of the Gods

I can’t possibly list my favourite albums of the year without Amon Amarth. Some people say they are samey and don’t offer anything new. I think they know what works and stick to that winning formula. The Swedes once again brought their mythological flavoured metal to us on this stonker and I love it.

Fleshgod Apocalypse- Labyrinth

Italian technical death metal band Fleshgod have been around for a while but they are a relatively new thing for me. Having said that, Labyrinth is a great album and well deserving of a place in my top 10. For one, it’s a concept album based on mythology- the legend of the Labyrinth of Knossos, if you didn’t know, but of course you did- and for two, it does it well. Brilliant, from start to finish.

Tyr- Valkyrja

I’ll keep this short and sweet- Tyr are phenomenal. The two covers that round this album out are almost unrecognisable in their execution. The progression shown by Tyr from The Lay of Thrym to this is fascinating and I can’t wait to see where they go next.

Hell- Curse and Chapter

Really, if I’m being honest, 2013 was the year I fell in love with Hell. I can’t say enough good things about this band- they are blasphemous, outrageous, and ridiculously good fun to boot. They serve up a one-of-a-kind blend of NWOBHM and theatrics and Curse and Chapter is just outstanding. I predicted that they will be Bloodstock headliners within five years in this year’s Bloodstock review. I now make that three years.

Satyricon- Satyricon

A rather controversial choice, maybe? I know how unpopular this record has been with a lot of long-time Satyricon fans, but this long-time Satyricon fan loved their eponymous album. The thing I love about Satyricon is that Satyr is never afraid to go to places that make fans uncomfortable and force them out of that safe zone. Their albums are never formulaic and I really appreciate their bravery and daring, and willingness to shake things up. A great album.

Wasn’t that fun? Now, this next Top 5 may be a little unorthodox, but I’m a music lover. I love all music, even- SHOCK HORROR!- that which is not metal. So here are my 5 Top Non-Metal releases of the year!

HIM- Tears on Tape

HIM are one of my favourite bands- okay, you can shoot me if you want- because they do what they do incredibly well and without apologies. Tears on Tape is one of their best albums to date and it’s surprisingly heavy in parts- you can see that Ville Valo really worships a few gothic and doom metal bands in the songs on this record!

AFI- Burials

I was thoroughly mortified by Crash Love. Like, irrevocably mortified. AFI are a band I have loved since I was 12 and whilst Burials is definitely no closer to what they used to be than Crash Love or even Decemberunderground, it manages to make up for it in atmosphere and a healthy dose of gloom. Davey Havok’s voice hasn’t sounded this good in a long time, and neither has Jade Puget’s playing. Welcome back, boys!

David Bowie- The Next Day

David Bowie is the king and I worship him. Seriously, though, The Next Day is a welcome return by the Thin White Duke, 10 years after his last release, and it is an unusual, almost-awkward slice of musical bliss. This album shows more energy and enthusiasm for making beautiful music- to get pretentious, for making auditory art- than bands half his age.

Little Mix- Salute

I love Little Mix, I don’t even care. They were put together on that Christmas-number-one machine that is The X Factor, sure, but they actually work ridiculously well together as a group and they contribute to the writing of their songs to boot. Their second album, Salute, is indeed a salute to the sassy, R’n’B flavoured pop of the nineties. It works, it’s ludicrously catchy, and I love it.

Lorde- Pure Heroine

I hated Lorde the first time I heard her. Her lyrics are stupid and non-sensical (see: Tennis Court), the kind of faux-intellectualism loved by the stylish hipster crews that are the current ‘in’ crowd. She’s a clever girl with some fierce ideas, though, and by GOD did this album get under my skin after a while and now I can’t get enough of it and I’m sorry.

Okay, I’ll get back to the metal now. Rounding up my 2013 retrospective is a look at five of the most important events of the year. These are my Top 5 Highs and Lows of 2013.

Randy Blythe is acquitted

Of course, the story most people will remember this year is that Randy Blythe was acquitted of all charges on the 5th of March this year. Blythe had been facing jail after 19 year old Daniel Nosek died after being pushed from the stage at a Lamb of God show in Prague in 2010. Whilst the courts agreed that Blythe was morally responsible for Nosek’s death, they did not find him guilty of any criminal liability.

Emperor Reform for 2014 Festival Season

Yes, my friends. Legendary black metal outfit Emperor officially announced a reunion for a series of special performances, including Wacken’s 25th anniversary, BOA 2014 and Hellfest 2014. I have my ticket to Bloodstock and I can’t fucking wait, because Emperor are the bee’s proverbial knees. Oh yes.

Cathedral Call it Quits

30th April 2013 was a sad, sad day in the world of doom metal, as protectors of the groove Cathedral called it a day on the release of their tenth studio album, The Last Spire. After waving the flag for crushing, gloomy, often psychedelic doom for twenty-one years, Lee Dorrian, Brian Dixon, Gaz Jennings and Scott Carlson took their final bows. Their legacy lives on.

Joey Jordison Slipknot Shock

In a rather bizarre turn of events, the 12th of December saw the shock announcement of Joey Jordison’s departure from his ‘main’ band of 18 years for ‘personal reasons’. The plot however thickens as it has been revealed in the last 24 hours that Jordison himself had no idea of his apparent departure. Will we ever know what’s going on? Will this cause a duel to the death between Corey Taylor and Joey Jordison before Mick Thompson steps in and holds them apart by the scruff of their necks whilst the rest of the band talks sense into them? Who knows?

Black Sabbath Top Charts

Yeah, if producing an album as impressive as 13 wasn’t enough, Black Sabbath also went and topped the UK Album Charts with it. Their first offering in 18 years managed the rare feat of placing top in the mainstream charts, and how often does a bunch of hairy, lairy old metalheads do something like that? Keep going, boys.

So that was 2013. There’s a lot I’m looking forward to in 2014, but my highlight will most certainly be Bloodstock 2014. I shall see you there! To all Valkyrian readers- I wish you a Happy New Year and have a good one!

Amon Amarth to premier epic production video for Father of the Wolf at Las Vegas show in January 2014

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , on 24th December 2013 by Nico Davidson

Swedish melodic death metal Vikings Amon Amarth have announced plans to premier the epic production video for their song Father of the Wolf, taken from their latest album Deceiver of the Gods, at their Las Vegas show on 17th January 2014. The show is also the band’s first North American tour date of 2014 with Skeletonwitch and Enslaved. Fans attending the show are advised to follow Amon Amarth’s Facebook and Twitter pages for info on the time that the video will be premiered.

Fans that are unable to attend the show need not worry as the music video, which is described as being more like a mini-movie, will be available for viewing at this location on 18th January 2014.

Amon Amarth’s full North American tour dates are as follow:

Friday, January 17 – Las Vegas, NV @ House Of Blues
Saturday, January 18 – Phoenix, AZ @ Club Red
Monday, January 20 – San Antonio, TX @ Backstage Live
Tuesday, January 21 – Dallas, TX @ House Of Blues
Wednesday, January 22 – Houston, TX @ House Of Blues
Friday, January 24 – Atlanta, GA @ Center Stage
Saturday, January 25 – Tampa, FL @ The Ritz
Sunday, January 26 – Ft. Lauderdale, FL @ Revolution
Monday, January 27 – Orlando, FL @ House Of Blues (*no Skeletonwitch)
Wednesday, January 29 – Charlotte, NC @ The Fillmore
Thursday, January 30 – Norfolk, VA @ The NorVA
Friday, January 31 – Silver Springs, MD @ The Fillmore
Saturday, February 1 – Boston, MA @ House Of Blues
Monday, February 3 – Philadelphia, PA @ TLA
Tuesday, February 4 – New York, NY @ Irving Plaza
Wednesday, February 5 – Huntington, NY @ Paramount
Thursday, February 6 – Pittsburgh, PA @ Mr. Small’s
Friday, February 7 – Chicago, IL @ House Of Blues
Saturday, February 8 – Minneapolis, MN @ Mill City Nights
Sunday, February 9 – Lawrence, KS @ Granada Theatre
Tuesday, February 11 – Denver, CO @ Summit Theatre
Wednesday, February 12 – Salt Lake City, UT @ Murray Theater
Friday, February 14 – San Francisco, CA @ The Regency
Saturday, February 15 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Wiltern
Sunday, February 16 – San Diego, CA @ House Of Blues (* No Enslaved)

Amon Amarth online:

http://www.facebook.com/OfficialAmonAmarth
http://twitter.com/AmonAmarthBand

 

Bleed From Within launch video for I Am Oblivion

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , on 10th December 2013 by Nico Davidson

After playing the UK leg of Metal Hammer’s Defenders of the Faith tour with the likes of Carcass, Amon Amarth and Hell, and a recent European tour with Heaven Shall Burn, Bleed From Within have launched the video for their new single I Am Oblivion. The video can be viewed below. The song is taken from the band’s current album Uprising.

Unfortunately BLEED FROM WITHIN were forced to cancel the last two shows on the Heaven Shall Burn tour due to problems with their van. The next tour is already locked in for the spring when they will be on the road with DevilDriver and Sylosis.

Bleed From Within

31.03.2014 (DE) Munich – Backstage
01.04.2014 (FR) Paris – Le Trabendo
03.04.2014 (UK) Cardiff – Solus
04.04.2014 (UK) London – Electric Ballroom
05.04.2014 (UK) Wolverhampton – Wulfrun Hall
06.04.2014 (UK) Glasgow – Garage
08.04.2014 (IE) Dublin – The Academy
09.04.2014 (UK) Manchester – Academy 2
10.04.2014 (UK) Southampton – Mo’club
12.04.2014 (DE) Herford – X
13.04.2014 (DK) Aarhus – Voxhall
15.04.2014 (SE) Stockholm – Klubben
16.04.2014 (SE) Gothenburg – Sticky Fingers
17.04.2014 (DE) Hamburg – Gruenspan
18.04.2014 (BE) Antwerp – Trix

Other shows:
29.03.2014 (UK) Liverpool – 02 Academy
30.03.2014 (UK) Newcastle Upon Tyne – O2 Academy

Bleed From Within online:

http://www.bleedfromwithin.com
https://www.facebook.com/bleedfromwithinband

 

Primordial confirmed for Bloodstock 2014

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

Gaelic metal warriors Primordial have announced that they’ll be playing Bloodstock Open Air Festival in 2014, with bands such as Carcass, Lacuna Coil, Emperor, Megadeth and more, as well as label mates Amon Amarth.

Bloodstock will be held at Catton Park, Derbyshire on 7th-10th August 2014. Keep up to date with the very latest info on Bloodstock’s official sites at this location (Official Facebook) and this location (Official Website).

Primordial online:

http://primordialweb.com
http://facebook.com/primordialofficial

 

Hatebreed’s Jamey Jasta discusses returning to Bloodstock Open Air

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

Hatebreed were recently announced to play Bloodstock 2014 and since the band were recently in the UK for the Vans Warped Tour, Nuclear Blast’s UK team decided to quiz frontman Jamey Jasta about his favourite memories from the band’s 2012 appearance at the renowned festival. The video interview can be viewed down below.

Bloodstock will be held at Catton Park, Derbyshire on 7th-10th August 2014. Tickets for 2014’s event are still on sale at special EARLY BIRD prices – a total snip at £115 for a 4-day weekend ticket with camping. There is only a limited number of early bird tickets left. When they’re gone, they’re gone, and tickets revert to full price! Get your tickets at this location.

With the three 2014 headliners already announced, the event is shaping up to be the strongest yet. Friday night’s bill toppers are New Orleans sludgemeisters, Down. Joining them to head up Saturday night are black metal overlords, Emperor and closing out proceedings on Sunday are the mighty thrash legends, Megadeth. Also announced so far are Carcass, Hatebreed, Children Of Bodom, Decapitated, Lacuna Coil, Primordial, Amon Amarth, Obituary, Crowbar, Saxon, Prong, Flotsam & Jetsam and Evil Scarecrow. 

 

Hatebreed online:

http://hatebreed.com
http://facebook.com/hatebreed

 

Bloodstock Amon Amarth Exclusive!

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , , , on 19th November 2013 by Hannah

Bloodstock Open Air 2014 continue their run of amazing announcements with three more great bands added to the bill. Swedish melo-death giants Amon Amarth have been announced as filling the Sunday Special Guest slot, with their BOA performance a UK-exclusive show for the year. Joining them over the weekend will be metalcore stalwarts Hatebreed, returning after their triumphant 2012 performance, and Prong, who will be making their BOA debut performance. Running order is still unconfirmed as the BOA website is currently down for maintenance, but you can be assured as soon as we at Valkyrian HQ know the updated order of ceremonies we will let you know!

The date for the start of VIP Serpent’s Lair ticket sales has been confirmed as being the 16th of December, and ordinary weekend camping tickets are onsale now. BOA 2014 is looking to be an unmissable metal experience, with three solid headliners in the shape of Down, Emperor and Megadeth, and an array of fantastic bands during the weekend. Valkyrian will, as always, be in attendance and we hope to see you there!

Andy Sneap, Kev Bower and Bill Steer discuss ultimate tour line-up

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , on 12th November 2013 by Nico Davidson

Legendary British metal acts Hell and Carcass kick off their UK tour with none other than Swedish Viking death metal maestros Amon Amarth today. As such, the bands’ label Nuclear Blast decided to get Carcass’s Bill Steer and Hell’s Andy Sneap and Kev Bower together to discuss their ultimate tour line-up and why they want to see those bands on the same line-up. The discussion can be viewed below.

Catch Carcass, Hell, Amon Amarth and Bleed Within in the cities below:

Nov 12 – Birmingham o2 Academy
Nov 13 – Manchester o2 Academy
Nov 14 – Glasgow Barrowland
Nov 15 – Bristol o2 Academy
Nov 17 – London Forum

Starkill about to set out on first Euro tour with Amorphis

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , on 4th November 2013 by Nico Davidson

Chicago’s Starkill will embark on their first ever European tour this week, supporting Amorphis. The tour starts in Cologne, Germany tomorrow. Full tour dates are available below:

05.11.2013 – (DE) Cologne, Essigfabrik
06.11.2013 – (DE) Bochum, Zeche
07.11.2013 – (DE) Ludwigsburg, Rockfabrik
08.11.2013 – (DE) Munich, Backstage
09.11.2013 – (DE) Frankfurt, Batschkapp
10.11.2013 – (CH) Geneve, L’Usine
12.11.2013 – (ES) Barcelona, Apolo
13.11.2013 – (ES) Valencia, Rock City
14.11.2013 – (ES) Sevilla, Sala Custom
15.11.2013 – (PT) Lisbon, Paradise Garage
16.11.2013 – (ES) Madrid, But
17.11.2013 – (ES) Bilbao, Kafé Antzokia
19.11.2013 – (FR) Toulouse, Connexion
20.11.2013 – (FR) Paris, Divan Du Monde
21.11.2013 – (DE) SaarbrÙcken, Garage
22.11.2013 – (DE) Dresden, Tante Ju
23.11.2013 – (CZ) Zlin, Winter Masters Of Rock
24.11.2013 – (AT) Vienna, Szene
26.11.2013 – (IT) Milan, Alcatraz
27.11.2013 – (CH) Pratteln, Z7
28.11.2013 – (DE) Osnabrueck, Hyde Park
29.11.2013 – (NL) Uden, De Pul
30.11.2013 – (BE) Vosselaar, Biebob
01.12.2013 – (UK) London, O2 Academy Islington
03.12.2013 – (NL) Haarlem, Patronaat
04.12.2013 – (DE) Hamburg, Markthalle
05.12.2013 – (DK) Odense, Posten
06.12.2013 – (SE) Gothenburg, Brewhouse
07.12.2013 – (NO) Oslo, John Dee
08.12.2013 – (SE) Stockholm, Klubben

While most of their peers were listening to and playing to the “core” US-based bands, the members of Starkill spent their days cutting their chops to European metal – and the band makes no qualms about wearing their influences on their sleeves. Inspired by the likes of early Children Of Bodom à la the now classic Hatebreeder and Follow The Reaper, in addition to Nightwish, Amon Amarth, Dimmu Borgir and Dragonforce, Starkill aims to pay homage to these acts, while also putting their own spin on Euro-metal – and their new album, Fires of Life, does just that.

Starkill online:

http://facebook.com/StarKillOfficial

Hell unveil details on their new offering Curse And Chapter

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

Risen from their own sinister legacy and having disbanded in 1987, Hell were reincarnated only two years ago with the addition of Andy Sneap to guitars and David Bower on vocals, joining original members guitarist and keyboardist Kev Bower, bassist Tony Speakman and drum machine Tim Bowler. Now the British quintet are about to release their follow up to their 2011 release Human Remains which was released via Nuclear Blast. The sophomore offering, titled Curse And Chapter, will also be released via Nuclear Blast on 25th November, later this year.

Curse And Chapter will also include a bonus DVD offering six songs from the band’s show at The Darwin Assembly Suite Rooms in Derby on 23rd February 2013. As the first lead-off single, Hell will release the Age Of Nefarious. Guitarist Sneap commented on the upcoming release:

We’ve been working solid on the album for the last couple of months between gigs, although we’ve been demoing to a good standard over the last year or so. This time around the album consists of around 50% old material 50% new. We really see this as a band that’s moving forward rather than a nostalgia trip, obviously there’s a lot of history within the band, but there’s also a whole world of ideas we want to get out. We have this week left tracking, 4 more vocals and bass to get down, 2 more songs of guitar and then mix. I’m super happy with how things are shaping up, it feels more like a band on this record to me than the first, which I guess is just a natural progression of everyone playing together a lot more over the last couple of years.

Vocalist David Bower added in, regarding the lyrical content:

Alongside some of our favourite themes of historical, political and religious persecution, intolerance and prejudice, you will find some good old fashioned myths and legends being invoked and reinterpreted in our own inimitable way. We also have some songs in which the listener will be implicitly invited to solve the clues contained in the lyrics in order to find the meaning of the stories for themselves. Being completely aware that many people interpret things in ways that writers do not expect as a matter of course, it seemed logical to take that idea a little further.

Adding on from that, Bower explains the album title:

It’s a hellish play on words of the English saying chapter and verse, and also a reference to a song lyric in The Age Of Nefarious, the opening track on the record.

Hell will also be playing the Metal Hammer ‘Defenders Of The Faith’ Tour alongside label mates Carcass and also Amon Amarth and Bleed From Within. Dates are as follow:

Nov 12 Birmingham o2 Academy
Nov 13 Manchester o2 Academy
Nov 14 Glasgow Barrowland
Nov 15 Bristol o2 Academy
Nov 17 London Forum

Hell online:

http://hell-metal-band.com
http://facebook.com/hellofficial

Interview with Hiran Deraniyagala [Battlecross]

Posted in Interview with tags , , , , , , , on 21st August 2013 by hammersmashedlauren

Hailing from Detroit, Michigan, the boys of Battlecross have hit major success with the release of their albums Push Pull Destory, Pursuit of Honor, and their newest release War of Will. Playing with major metal acts and being a part of massive tours such as the Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival and Orion Music Fest, it’s no wonder that they’re well known and loved by many. They’ve taken influences of upbeat thrash, death and southern metal to create a sound that’s punishing but is also is refreshing for fans of metal.  I got the chance to catch up with Battlecross guitarist; Hiran Deraniyagala for a word or two about the new album; War Of Will as well as his musical inspirations and movies.

 

Lauren: How did you come up with the name Battlecross?

Hiran: Tony came up with it. I remember coming out of one of my classes in college and getting a text from Tony saying “What about Battlecross, as a band name?” I remember it just hit me really well. I loved it but like with all band names we always check the internet to see if anyone already had the name we came up with. No one had the name from what we could find so we both agreed it was an awesome name. It took some convincing to get the other band members to agree with it but eventually they just went with it. “Battlecross” to me represents something powerful, epic and aggressive which I think represents the music. I like the fact that our name can give people different expectations about how we sound versus a typical band name. People have assumed we’re a “Power Metal” band and obviously got something different from what they expected.

Lauren: Who are your biggest musical inspirations?

Hiran: In general I would say that we draw a common influence from Pantera, Metallica and Slayer but we each have our own musical influences that we draw influence from. Personally, I draw influence from various metal bands like Cannibal Corpse, Dying Fetus, Circle Of Dead Children, Pig Destroyer, Woe Of Tyrants, Goatwhore, Emperor, Meshuggah, Morbid Angel, Mastodon, Black Sabbath, Down, and local metal bands from Michigan like, Enkephalin, Summer Dying and GutRot. I’ve always been intrigued by the technicality and aggressiveness of extreme metal bands but also the groove of doom metal.

Lauren: How would you say your newest album, War of Will, differs from your previous releases?

Hiran: Yes definitely. War of Will is a much more focused and mature album for us. We grew as a band, from touring  and also mentally, from being in a different position as a full time touring band on a label. There are expectations that not only come from ourselves but from fans and the industry. We were under pressure to complete the album and had roughly a month or two to finish writing followed by a tour and then right into the studio. We didn’t let the pressure stop or deter us from what we had to do. We knew we had to kick it up a notch to top what we did on the first album but at the same time not lose who we are as a band. I think each song on this record has more of a dynamic. We didn’t want every song to sound the same or just play fast all the time. There’s more melody but still brutality on this record. With tracks like “Flesh and Bone” and “Wage a War” which have a lot of melody to them, then you have “Beast” and “The Will To Overcome” which reflect the brutality of the band and then songs like “Ghost Alive” and “Force Fed Lies” that are thrash style songs.

Lauren: How has touring been this last year?

Hiran: Touring has been great! We’ve had so many great opportunities that we had the pleasure of being a part of. From Trespass America with Five Finger Death Punch and Killswitch Engage, opening for In Flames, then Orion fest with Metallica and of course, Mayhem Festival with Rob Zombie, Mastodon, Amon Amarth, Children of Bodom, Machine Head and Huntress. All these tours have given us a chance to play in front of large crowds and have really helped us gain a quickly growing fan base. There a lot of bands that never get a chance to do these types of tours so we’re really thankful we’ve had the chance to be a part of these. Touring is hard work and a lot of dedication but when you bust ass and do tours like these it really makes the work all worthwhile. We’ve always been a hard working band and we know that this just the beginning to more opportunities. We don’t let these opportunities get to our head and we know that we’re still a young band that has more to prove but we’re ready.

Lauren: Have there been any memorable shows for you this last year?

Hiran: I would say most memorable show for us was Orion Music and More with Metallica. Playing a show with Metallica is a dream come true and we got to play with them in our hometown of Detroit! Not only did we play on the same bill with them but we got to be part of a press conference with the band! Out of all the great bands on the bill we were selected to do this! It was unreal and as a matter of fact I barely said a word at the press conference because I was so nervous! Never thought I would be sitting next to Metallica! To top it all off, James Hetfield and Robert Trujillo, came out on stage before we went on and introduced us! They pumped up the crowd and us! We went up there on fire and just burnt the place down with our energy and excitement. Truly a memorable and career highlight for us!

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

Hiran: I’m honestly more of a fan of scores when it comes to movies versus putting songs in a movie soundtrack. I really wouldn’t want to change the soundtrack of any particular movie I like because I feel like the music is already fitting for it but if I could I make my own movie with our music I would make an action movie. It’d be like the Expendables battling against the cast of all those dumb reality TV shows.

Lauren: Where would you like to see Battlecross in 5 years?

Hiran: My hope that our career is still thriving and that we will be touring all over the world. That’s all I really want from this band is a solid career and be playing anywhere and everywhere we can.

Lauren: Are there any plans for any upcoming tours or a new album?

Hiran: Definitely upcoming tours, we have a tour with Hatebreed, Shadows Fall and Acacia Strain this fall followed by a tour with Death Angel, 3 Inches Of Blood, Revocation and Diamond Plate! After that not sure what else is in store other than more touring and hopefully heading overseas! Can’t wait to play in Europe, South America, Japan and every where else on the globe! As far as a new album we’re not really focused on that yet other than working on some ideas on our own here and there.

Battlecross online:

http://www.facebook.com/battlecrossmetal
http://youtube.com/battlecrossmetal

Powerwolf confirmed for 2014 edition of Rockharz Festival

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , on 6th August 2013 by Nico Davidson

The wolves of metal Powerwolf have been confirmed for Rockharz Festival 2014 in Germany. The five piece band are also the first power metal band to be confirmed for the event next year. Other bands on the bill so far are Children of Bodom and Arch Enemy. More details about the festival and tickets can be found at this location.

Powerwolf online:

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

 

Battlecross stream new album for limited time

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , , , on 9th July 2013 by Nico Davidson

Battlecross have begun streaming their brand new album War of Will at their official Metal Blade landing page. This stream will be up for a limited time only, from now until 8pm GMT tonight. Additionally, the brand new music video for Never Coming Back was recently finished and can be viewed below.

Battlecross triumphantly return as one of the true champions of American Heavy Metal with their devastating sophomore release, War of Will. Co-produced at Audio Hammer Studios by famed producers Mark Lewis and Eyal Levi, the sophomore effort from Detroit’s newest soldiers of steel will soon prove as one of the most impressive follow-up releases, destined to become a heavy metal classic for fans of all sub-genres.

War of Will is now in stores and on-line. The band is on tour now as part of the Rock Star Energy Drink Mayhem Festival Tour with Rob Zombie, Five Finger Death Punch, Amon Amarth, Children of Bodom, Machine Head, Mastodon and more. For tickets and details, head to this location.

Battlecross online:

http://www.battlecrossmetal.com
http://www.facebook.com/battlecrossmetal
http://twitter.com/battlecross
http://www.youtube.com/battlecrossmetal

 

The northern barbarians return to Valk-Fest second year in a row

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on 18th June 2013 by Nico Davidson

The northern barbarian metal quartet Shades of Avalon have been confirmed to return to this year’s Valkyrian Festival following their headline performance at last year’s Valk-Fest. The band, who have been described as Conan The Barbarian meets Amon Amarth, are excited to be return to the coast of Yorkshire on the second day of the event. Festival organiser Nick Taylor, better known by his pseudonym Nico Davidson, stated:

It’s an honour to have Shades of Avalon return for this year’s Valk-Fest – Especially after they saved last year’s following a long string of problems that popped up a week before. I’m looking forward to seeing the northern barbarians wreak havoc once again in Bridlington.

The full Valkyrian Festival line-up 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
Shades of Avalon

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.

Shades of Avalon online:

http://shadesofavalon.com/
http://facebook.com/ShadesofAvalon

Download 2014 dates announced

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

The biggest weekend in the UK rock calendar took place this weekend as 90,000 people rocked out in Donington Park to headliners Slipknot, Iron Maiden and Rammstein plus a host of other bands across the weekend, which included acts such as Amon Amarth, Huntress, Black Dogs, Heaven’s Basement and more. Crowds of rock, metal and hardcore fans packed out Donington Park as the opening day of Download saw Asking Alexandria, Papa Roach, Architects, Korn and Bullet for My Valentine all perform, what were described as, mind blowing sets throughout the day, while bands like Fearless Vampire Killers, Fidlar and The Algorithm ripped up the Red Bull Bedroom Jam Stage.

Download Festival promoter Andy Copping commented:

It’s been an amazing weekend. We’ve had over 150 bands across five stages and a trio of ground breaking, world class headliners. Having Iron Maiden back 25 years after they first headlined Donington was an incredible moment. Slipknot as usual delivered an unforgettable set, and Rammstein tonight will be the first time the band have played Donington.

Fans don’t need to be too down about the fact that the weekend is almost over, as the festival organisers have announce the dates for next year and a special early bird offer as a thank you to fans. Download Festival 2014 will take place 13th – 15th June, and as a thank you to fans for a limited time Download is offering £10 off the current 2013 prices for 5-day camping tickets, 3-day camping and weekend arena tickets. All tickets go on sale at 9am on 21st June with the offer closing on 1st July. There are only 5,000 available, so visit the official Download website to get yours.

 

Carcass confirmed to tour Europe with Amon Amarth

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , , , on 13th June 2013 by Nico Davidson

Kings of the British extreme metal scene Carcass have been confirmed to tour Europe with Sweden’s favourite Viking-themed death metal band Amon Amarth. Carcass bassist and vocalist Jeff Walker comments:

We are extremely happy and flattered to have been invited by the mighty Amon Amarth on their forthcoming raids upon the fatherland and it’s borders. Carcass has not played a club tour in Germany for TWENTY YEARS!!! Yes I repeat TWENTY YEARS! This is gonna be great with both bands playing songs from their new killer albums Deceiver of The Gods and Surgical Steel! Anglo-Nordic Death Metal über Deutschland!

Tour dates are as follow:

November
7 – Oberhausen, Germany – Turbinen Halle
8 – Tilburg, Netherlands – O13
9 – Osnabrück, Germany – Hyde Park
10 – Brussels, Belgium – AB Hall
18 – Paris, France – Olympia
19 – Ludwigsburg, Germany – Arena
20 – Wiesbaden, Germany – Schlachthof
22 – Zürich, Switzerland – Komplex
23 – München, Germany – Kesselhaus
24 – Trezzo Sull’Adda (Milano), Italy – Live Club
27 – Berlin, Germany – Columbiahalle
28 – Leipzig, Germany – Haus Auensee
29 – Hamburg, Germany – Docks

Carcass recently signed to Nuclear Blast for a world-wide deal – excluding Japan – with the new album Surgical Steel to be release potentially in autumn.

Carcass online:

http://facebook.com/OfficialCarcass

Amon Amarth – Deceiver of the Gods

Posted in Review with tags , , , , , , , on 11th June 2013 by Nico Davidson

Amon Amarth
Deceiver of the Gods
Released 24th June 2013
Melodic Death Metal
Released via Metal Blade Records

Amon Amarth have been raiding, plundering and pillaging their way through the metal scene since 1998, making a name for themselves with their melodic riffs and Viking-themed lyrics, as well as some truly epic artwork. Deceiver of the Gods is the band’s ninth chapter in their metal renditions of the Norse myths.

The chilling guitar passage of the title track, Deceiver of the Gods, opens up the album before unleashing the fury of the Norse with faster, heavier riffs and Johan’s signature growls. The track is made complete by a near majestic solo. The second track, As Loke Falls, sounds bipolar – switching from roaring guitar sections and heavy vocal lines to monumental, dulcet guitar passages. The album from heavily grandiose pieces to the semi-brutal tracks with memorable choruses and poignant hooks. Johan’s vocals are as gruff and Nordic as they can be, whilst the drums have a certain liveliness to them, given the album a new feel that’s not so familiar within Amon Amarth’s studio material. The bass work thunders down like Thor’s Mjollnir crushing the head of a jotun.

There are more than a few bland songs on the album that fail to entice the ears, Under Siege being the most lacking song – Whilst it’s not a bad track, it misses a lot of the daring excitement and raw energy as found on previous releases. Blood Eagle, the track that follows Under Siege, begins interestingly enough with cries of pain and the sound of body parts being severed but as the track progresses it sounds more like a repeat episode of the previous track. Hel, named after the apparent goddess of the dead and daughter of Loki, has a completely different sound to the rest of the album, using haunting backing vocals and a slower pace for the music. The guest vocals, as provided by Candlemass’s Messiah, also add to the cold and foreboding atmosphere of the song that one would associate with a grim deity like Hel.

Warriors of the North, despite being the final track on the album, is a breath of fresh air on an otherwise stale album. Everything seems to have been taken up a level, from the sharp melodies of the guitars to the titanic bass lines and crushing drum passages, combined with the commanding and bloody vocals and the Iron Maiden-esque riffs. Whilst Warriors of the North is an anthemic way to end the album, one does have to wonder why most of the album isn’t in the same vein as it.

Amon Amarth have become predictable in their sound and their work and Deceiver of the Gods is solid evidence of this. The tracks are good and are typically of Amon Amarth’s style but at the same time they point to how repetitive the band’s music has become. Hopefully this isn’t an indicator to the future sound of Amon Amarth.

2.5/5

Nico Davidson

Amon Amarth online:

http://www.amonamarth.com
http://www.facebook.com/OfficialAmonAmarth
http://twitter.com/amonamarthband
http://deceiver.amonamarth.com

Amon Amarth release final segment of mini-doctumentary: Forging Mjölnir

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , on 11th June 2013 by Nico Davidson

The final segment of Amon Amarth’s Forging Mjölnir mini documentary premiered today! The intimate three-part account comes in celebration of their forthcoming new studio offering, Deceiver of the Gods, set for worldwide release later this month. Directed by Luke Daley, the striking black and white film offers candid commentary with each member on a host of subjects.

Watch the concluding clip where the Amon Amarth collective discuss the struggles of tour life, recording and their hopes for the future via their microsite at this location.

Having blasted onto the Swedish melodic death metal scene with 1998’s Once Sent from the Golden Hall, every Amon Amarth album has arrived bursting at the seams with power, melody and immersive storytelling centred around the richness of Norse mythology. Deceiver of the Gods captures the quintet at the peak of their powers.

Their ninth epic was recorded at Backstage Studios in Derbyshire, UK and produced, mixed and mastered by Andy Sneap, a man whose résumé includes seminal albums from the likes of Cathedral, Arch Enemy, and Cradle Of Filth. Vocalist Johan Hegg explains:

We wanted more of a live feeling to the recording and we felt that Andy’s style of producing could definitely help us with that. At the same time, knowing the records he worked on previously we felt he could probably help develop our sound so it became a little bit more angry and dangerous, without that polished sheen of our recent records.

Guitarist Olavi Mikkonen concurs, and credits Sneap with playing a pivotal role in just how aggressive the finished product is. Olavi comments:

It’s rougher, and like a punch in the face, which is what we wanted it to be. Though adding more thrash elements into a few of the songs helps the whole album sound more hostile, it’s ultimately the production that makes them sound more aggressive. On the last few records it didn’t matter how aggressive the riffs we wrote were, whenever we went into the studio at the end they just didn’t sound as intense.

In tracking the record at Sneap’s UK studio, as much as possible the band recorded long takes rather than clinically piecing things together, determined to give the album as much life as they could. Vocalist Johan continues:

Fredrik [Andersson] recorded all the drums live, with the guys playing guitars and bass along with him to get the groove of it, and that makes for the energy that you don’t get when everyone records separately, and I think that really comes across. I think that was a very good way to record for us, it gave everyone a better feel of each song, and it was a good time being in the studio and laying it all down.

Deceiver of the Gods boasts another exceptional Tom Thiel-created cover depicting a mythical battle between the Norse figures Loki and Thor. As an added bonus, Messiah Marcolin (Candlemass) makes an appearance as guest vocalist on eighth track, Hel.

For special Deceiver of the Gods pre-order packages as well as a stream of the title track, go to this location. Additionally, you can still check out Shape Shifter currently streaming via Stereogum HERE.

Deceiver of the Gods will be released in North America via Metal Blade Records 25th June, in Europe 21st/24th June and Japan on June 26th.

Following a run of European festival dates already underway, Amon Amarth will be opening the main stage of this year’s edition of the Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Fest set to commence June 29 in San Bernardino.

Amon Amarth online:

http://www.amonamarth.com
http://www.facebook.com/OfficialAmonAmarth
http://twitter.com/amonamarthband
http://deceiver.amonamarth.com