Archive for Amon Amarth

Månegarm – Legions of The North

Posted in Review with tags , , , , , on 7th June 2013 by izaforestspirit

Månegarm
Legions of The North
Released 28th June2013
Viking Metal/ Black Metal
Released via Napalm Records

 photo legions_zps1358826a.jpg

‘Legions of The North’ is the new album from the Swedish viking metal band Månegarm. It is the follow up to their 2009 release ‘Nattväsen’.

After short, atmospheric instrumental Arise we head for the battlefields with the title track offering a good balance of guitar riffage and harsh, almost black metal style vocals. The drum patterns owe a lot to the black metal genre as well. If there ever was such a genre as “blackened viking metal”, Månegarm would be its torch-bearer. Take Eternity Awaits for instance, on one side it has these ultra catchy folk metal style guitar melodies and cheesy backing singers and then there are the frostbitten black metal vocals creeping in. Same can be said for the folk chants in Hordes of Hel. It might sound like an unusual mix, but believe me it works.

The march goes on into wintry forests as Tor Hjälpe sheds any traces of the happy folk tunes and replaces them with some grim black metal. I’m not sure what to make of the clear backing vocals though; they don’t seem to really fit the style of that song… Other noteworthy tracks include Sons of War which features some catchy rock guitar melodies and vocals that mimic war cries and Fallen which reminds me of their fellow countrymen Amon Amarth.

Overall this is album proves there is a lot more to Viking metal than fake swords, horned helmets and drinking tunes. It can be dark and powerful as well as melodic and catchy at the same time, which is a rarity these days.

4/5

Iza Raittila

 

Behemoth forced to cancel Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival appearance

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , on 6th June 2013 by Nico Solheim-Davidson, the North Sea Poet

Polish blackened death metal band Behemoth have been forced to cancel their upcoming appearance on the Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival due to their drummer Inferno taking ill and requiring surgery. The band’s frontman Nergal comments:

This must have been the most difficult decision we were forced to make in recent years. Behemoth is known for not cancelling any shows or tours. But this is not something we can do when we are missing our driving force, the man behind the drums – Inferno. Unfortunately, he was hospitalised due to appendix surgery and it’s gonna take him few months to fully recover and get back to shape. We are trying to save selected European Festivals with a fill in drummer [Krimh, ex-Decapitated], but we won’t be risking doing a full-on prestigious tour like the Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival without Inferno. Behemoth is a solid unit and any part of this unit missing makes us weaker, and that is not how we want to present our new material to our fans. Please, accept our apologies and be patient, we shall return to Europe (this fall) and the US (early 2014) empowered and motivated as never before!

The Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival is set to kick off on Saturday 29th June in San Bernardino, CA and features bands such as Rob Zombie, Five Finger Death Punch, Mastodon, Amon Amarth, Machine Head, Job For a Cowboy, Battlecross, Children of Bodom, and many more. For tickets, dates, contests, and more, head to the Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival Official Site and follow the tour on Facebook and Twitter.
Behemoth’s recently announced forthcoming full-length album, The Satanist, is scheduled for a fall 2013 release.

Behemoth online:

http://www.behemoth.pl
http://www.facebook.com/behemoth
http://www.metalblade.com/behemoth
http://twitter.com/behemothband

Second part of Amon Amarth’s three-part mini-documentary, Forging Mjölnir, now online

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , , , on 4th June 2013 by Nico Solheim-Davidson, the North Sea Poet

In anticipation of the release of their ninth studio offering, Deceiver of the Gods, Swedish death metal tyrants Amon Amarth today unleash the second of their special three-part mini documentary. Fittingly titled Forging Mjölnir, the crisp black and white film was directed by Luke Daley and offers up intimate interviews with the band.

Watch the latest fifteen-minute segment where the Amon Amarth collective recall their earliest metal memories as well as the band’s primitive beginnings 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 centered around the richness of Norse mythology. Deceiver of the Gods captures the quintet at the peak of their powers.

From the moment the title track explodes in a haze of thrash-flavoured aggression to the final mournful passages of epic closer Warriors Of The North there is not a wasted moment, the band bombarding the listener with ten tracks of compulsive and electrifying metallic fury. Whether they’re attempting to remove your face and separate your vertebrae with the deranged attack of Blood Eagle or carrying you on the back of the mammoth grooves driving We Shall Destroyand Father Of The Wolf they hit with decimating force, all the while unleashing ruthlessly captivating melodies. With the aforementioned thrash elements creeping in, as well as the old school metal and doom accents lending added depth and scale to standout track Hel, guitarist Olavi Mikkonen admits this time out the band were not afraid to wear their influences on their collective sleeve:

We decided fairly early that we should go all-in on the song writing for this album. If we had ideas or riffs that were perhaps a little too thrash oriented or traditional-metal sounding for Amon– or that were maybe too Amon or perhaps similar to what we had done in the past – we would still keep them as long as we really liked them. A few years back we would pass on those ideas and riffs, while now we feel it was right to just go with it. I think the result is that the songs are wider, they have stronger melodies, they are better composed with lots of dynamics in them, and there are no fillers or blanks on there. Everything is as good as it can possibly be, and reflects just how driven we were to make this a great record.

Deceiver of the Gods was recorded at Backstage Studios in Derbyshire, UK, produced, mixed and mastered by Andy Sneap (Opeth, Megadeth, Exodus, Arch Enemy, Killswitch Engage) and comes adorned with another outstanding Tom Thiel-created cover portraying 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.
Deceiver of the Gods will be released in the UK via Metal Blade Records 24th June.

Catch Amon Amarth at Download 2013 on Sunday 16th June, 2013.

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

Battlecross post behind the scenes studio footage for “War of Will”

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , , on 4th June 2013 by Nico Solheim-Davidson, the North Sea Poet

Last week, Battlecross unveiled the title, cover art, and first single from their upcoming new album, War of Will. This week, the Battlecross lads have posted the first of two studio videos. The clips were filmed entirely by the band as they were holed-up at Audio Hammer Studios in Florida. In this first instalment, fans will be treated to raw video of session drummer Shannon Lucas tracking songs for the album, as well as other candid clips from throughout their time in the studio. Watch clip #1 at this location. At that page, fans can also stream Force Fed Lies  and pre-order the album.

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. Levi comments on the album:

War of Will triggers a strange Déjà Vu while feeling completely brand new.

After a fist-pumping debut, impressive breakout tours in 2012, Battlecross will continue their climb as one of metal’s most impressive new bands with appearances at Orion Music +More with Metallica, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Deftones and Suicidal Tendencies in the band’s hometown of Detroit and the 4th Annual Gwar-BQ with Municipal Waste and Corrosion of Conformity.

War of Will will be released on 8th July 2013 via Metal Blade just as the band head out for the summer on the Rock Star Energy Drink Mayhem Festival Tour with Rob Zombie, Five Finger Death Punch, Amon Amarth, Children of Bodom, Machine Head, Behemoth, Mastodon and more. For tickets and details, head to the official Rock Star Mayhem website.

Battlecross online:

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

Amon Amarth post first part of mini-documentary: Forging Mjölnir

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , on 29th May 2013 by Nico Solheim-Davidson, the North Sea Poet

As previously announced, today Amon Amarth unveil the first of their special three-part mini documentary titled Forging Mjölnir. Filmed and directed by Luke Daley, the up-close-and-personal clip – which includes stunning black and white nature footage and Norse artwork – celebrates the imminent release of the band’s ninth studio offering, Deceiver of the Gods.

The six-and-a-half minute segment; where vocalist Johan Hegg and bassist Ted Lundström elaborate on the mythological themes found within their latest epic; can be found on the band’s microsite at this location. Not many bands can claim their ninth album as the most powerful, dynamic, and plainly aggressive of their career, but then Amon Amarth have consistently upped their game with every successive release. Having exploded onto the Swedish melodic death metal scene with 1998’s Once Sent from the Golden Hall, every 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. Vocalist Johan states:

Every time we start working on new music we begin with the idea that we’re going to write the best album ever. We knew we wanted a more aggressive, live feeling to this record but there’s no formula behind what we do. We just try to write something that takes us a step further than the last record, and is something that will excite us and our fans. Deceiver Of The Gods is the result.

Sample the album’s fourth track, Shape Shifter now streaming here, at this location.

Deceiver of the Gods was recorded at Backstage Studios in Derbyshire, UK, and produced, mixed and mastered by Andy Sneap (Opeth, Megadeth, Exodus, Arch Enemy, Killswitch Engage). The follow-up to the band’s critically adored 2011 Surtur Rising full-length offers up ten maniacally heavy battle hymns rife with the band’s absorbing harmonies and Hegg‘s commanding Viking roar. Deceiver of the Gods comes adorned with another outstanding Tom Thiel created cover portraying 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. Deceiver of the Gods will be released in North America via Metal Blade in the UK on June 24th.

Amon Amarth Summer 2013 European Festival Tour:

06/01 Forta Rock Festival ˆ Nijmegen, NL
06/06 Sweden Rock Festival ˆ Solvesborg, SE
06/07 Rock Am Ring ˆ Nurburgring, DE
06/08 Sonisphere ˆ Sonisphere, FR
06/09 Rock Im Park ˆ Nurenberg, DE
06/11 MeetFactory ˆ Prauge, CZ
06/12 Eter Club ˆ Wroclaw, PL
06/14 Copenhell ˆ Copenhagen, DK
06/15 Noval Rock ˆ Nickelsdorf, AT
06/16 Download Festival ˆ Donington, UK
06/21 Nummirock ˆ Nummijarvi, FI

Amon Amarth

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

Amon Amarth release trailer for threee-part documentary; Forgining Mjölnir

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , on 21st May 2013 by Nico Solheim-Davidson, the North Sea Poet

Yesterday, Swedish Vikings of Death Metal, Amon Amarth revealed a trailer for their forthcoming mini documentary which can be viewed at this location. Fittingly titled Forging Mjölnir, the short film will appear as a three-part series with each official segment slated to premiere via the band’s microsite at this location.

The Forging Mjölnir documentary comes in anticipation of Amon Amarth‘s ninth studio offering, Deceiver of the Gods. Recorded at Backstage Studios in Derbyshire, UK, and produced, mixed and mastered by Andy Sneap (Opeth, Megadeth, Exodus, Arch Enemy, Killswitch Engage), the follow-up to the band’s critically acclaimed 2011 Surtur Rising full-length delivers ten fiery battle hymns made of buzzsaw riffs and epic harmonies all driven by vocalist Johan Hegg‘s commanding Viking roar and absorbing accounts of Norse campaigns and treachery. Deceiver of the Gods comes adorned with another outstanding Tom Thiel-created cover portraying 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.

View the black and white Forging Mjölnir trailer where the band discusses their earliest musical influences,  as well as a stream of opening title track and first single, Deceiver of the Gods and special preorder info at this location.

Deceiver of the Gods will be released in the UK via Metal Blade Records June 24th.

Following a run of European festival dates next month, Amon Amarth will be opening the mainstage 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

 

Amon Amarth release details about ninth studio album

Posted in Featured, News with tags , , , , , , , on 16th April 2013 by Nico Solheim-Davidson, the North Sea Poet

Swedish Viking-themed death metallers Amon Amarth recently unveiled the details of their ninth studio album. Titled Deceiver of the Gods, the epic offering of Viking-styled death metal was recorded at Backstage Studios in Derbyshire, UK, produced, mixed and mastered by Andy Sneap (Opeth, Megadeth, Exodus, Arch Enemy, Killswitch Engage). The cover art was, once again, completed by Tom Thiel and depicts a mythical battle between the Norse deities Loki and Thor (Editor’s note: The artwork looks partially like a scene from the movie, Thor). Fans will also recognize a special appearance on this album with Messiah Marcolin (Candlemass) providing guest vocals for eighth song, Hel (Whom in Norse mythology is the goddess of the dead and ruler of Helheim). Deceiver of the Gods will be released in the UK via Metal Blade Records 24th June, along with the rest of Europe and the album will be released in Germany, Austria and Switzerland on 21st June.

The band’s vocalist Johan Hegg comments:

We feel very excited about this new album, and personally I feel that Deceiver of the Gods is the strongest album we’ve ever done. By far! I’m confident that all our fans will enjoy this ‘punch-in-the-face-of-a-record!

Opening title track and first single, Deceiver of the Gods is currently streaming at the band’s official Metal Blade page, where you’ll also find special pre-order info. You can also listen to the track below.

Deceiver of the Gods Track Listing:
01. Deceiver of the Gods
02. As Loke Falls
03. Father of the Wolf
04. Shape Shifter
05. Under Siege
06. Blood Eagle
07. We Shall Destroy
08. Hel
09. Coming of the Tide
10. Warriors of the North

Described as a compelling synthesis of buzzsaw riff work, melodic harmonies and soul-severing rhythms punctuated by vocalist Johan Hegg’s callous Viking roar and gripping accounts of Norse battles and treachery, Deceiver of the Gods is the follow-up to the band’s critically lauded 2011 Surtur Rising full-length. Finding placement on multiple charts worldwide the record is among the band’s fastest-selling albums to date. Surtur Rising sold approximately 15,000 copies in the United States in its first week landing the band at #34 on the Billboard Top 200 and #1 on the Billboard Top Hard Music Albums. Around the world Surtur Rising also charted in Germany at #8 on the Top 100 chart, #19 on Canada’s Top 200 Chart, #12 on Austria’s Top 40 Chart and Switzerland’s Top 100 at #20.

Amon Amarth will be opening the main stage of this year’s edition of the Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Fest set to commence June 29th in San Bernardino . Prior to that they’ll be at the 2013 edition Download, sharing the stage with the likes of Airbourne, Rival Sons and Limp Bizkit!

Amon Amarth’s summer 2013 European festival tour dates are as follow:
06/01 Nijmegen, NL Forta Rock Festival
06/06 Solvesborg, SE Sweden Rock Festival
06/07 Nurburgring, DE Rock Am Ring
06/08 Amnéville, FR Sonisphere
06/09 Nurenberg, DE Rock Im Park
06/11 Prague, CZ MeetFactory
06/12 Wroclaw, PL Eter Club
06/14 Copenhagen, DK Copenhell
06/15 Nickelsdorf, AT Nova Rock
06/16 Donington, UK Download Festival

Amon Amarth online:

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

 

DragonForce complete writing of the follow-up album to 2012’s The Power Within

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , on 15th April 2013 by Nico Solheim-Davidson, the North Sea Poet

UK metal icons DragonForce have completed writing the follow up to last year’s release The Power Within album, which was their first with vocalist Marc Hudson. Since his live debut with the band in July of 2011, Marc has gone on to front over 100 shows with the band in 32 countries across the globe, including arenas with Iron Maiden as well as a mammoth headlining world tour to support the album.

With a new found wealth of experience for the new singer and two years of playing together, the DragonForce machine will be at it’s most powerful when they enter Fascination Studios in Sweden in May with Jens Bogren to start laying down tracks. Known for his work with the likes of Opeth, The Devin Townsend Project, Amon Amarth, Katatonia, Soilwork and Symphony X to name a few, a killer-sounding album will be the inevitable result.
Dragonforce’s own shredmaster Herman Li says: “Right now, everyone in the band is itching to get into the studio to record probably the most epic DragonForce music ever written. With so many ideas flying around and songs already written, we decided to team up with producer Jens Bogren to help us take the DF sound to the next level and beyond!

The band will perform at Download Festival at Donington Park June 14th – 16th.

 

The Sword and Huntress prepare to conquer Download 2013

Posted in News with tags , , , , on 16th January 2013 by Nico Solheim-Davidson, the North Sea Poet

Both The Sword and Huntress, along with bands such as Limp Bizkit, Korn, Airbourne, Enter Shikari, Cancer Bats, Amon Amarth and 30 more names have been announced to play Download 2013.

They’ll be joining headliners Slipknot, Iron Maiden, and Rammstein, as well as Bullet for My Valentine, Mastodon, Stone Sour, Volbeat and Coal Chamber, for what’s set to be THE biggest weekend in the rock calendar on 14-16 June 2013 at the ‘home of rock’, Donington Park.

The Sword have just decimated the UK on the back of their latest album Apocryphon.

The almighty operatic banshee Jill Janus and the boys from Huntress will also make a welcome return after their three shows here last year. Huntress have stated that they’re honoured to be playing this year’s Download Festival and have promised to unleash fury at festival.

Weekend and Day tickets for Download 2013 are on sale now and available from this location.

Apocryphon by The Sword is out now on Napalm Records.
BUY IT AT THIS LOCATION.

Spell Eater by Huntress is out now on Napalm Records.
BUY IT AT THIS LOCATION.

Black Dogs are bound for Download 2013

Posted in News with tags , , , , , on 16th January 2013 by Nico Solheim-Davidson, the North Sea Poet

Northern Heavy Groove act have been confirmed for this year’s Download Festival. The band have gone toe-to-toe at shows with some of the scene’s biggest post-hardcore acts such as Bring Me The Horizon and they’ve even played with rising stars like Demoraliser and Betraying The Martyrs.

Download Festival will take place at Donington Park on 14th-16thJune and features bands like Amon Amarth, Iron Maiden, Cancer Bats and many more on this year’s line-up. Tickets and further information can be found at this location.

Amon Amarth ready to pillage Download Festival

Posted in News with tags , , , , , on 16th January 2013 by Nico Solheim-Davidson, the North Sea Poet

Swedish melo-death metallers Amon Amarth, who are known for the Viking themes throughout their music, have been confirmed for Download Festival later this year. They’re amongst the 37 bands that were announced today on the official Download Festival Facebook page.

Download Festival will take place at Donington Park on 14th-16th June. Tickets and further information can be found at this location.

Amon Amarth’s latest album Surtur Rising was released in March 2011 via Metal Blade Records.

Hammerdrone – A Demon Rising EP

Posted in Review with tags , , , on 20th December 2012 by izaforestspirit

Hammerdrone
A Demon Rising EP
Released: July 2012
Blackened Death Metal/Death Metal
Self-released

‘A Demon Rising’ is the debut EP from the Canadian blackened death metal band Hammerdrone.

First up is the title track with some Behemoth-style death metal guitar riffs. The singer’s growling or more accurately gurgling reminds me a little of other death metal acts such as Six Feet Under. There’s also hints of early Amon Amarth in some of the guitar patterns and the vocal style which can be heard on ‘Last Stand On Gibraltar’. Though unlike Amon Amarth, these guys have also incorporated a thrash metal tinge to their guitars, hence the Behemoth comparison.

‘Another Winter’ has an atmospheric intro in which the guitars provide a contrast the eeriness of the howling wind in the background before the vocals kick in. That particular track offers some pleasant sounding melodic guitar riffs. In ‘Annihilation In Equilibrium’ the emphasis shifts briefly towards the vocals which vary from growls to the occasional shout before the EP reaches its climax with an impressive guitar solo towards the latter half of the track.

Overall this is EP offers a range of different styles from death metal, melo-death to blackened death metal. Their style may not be the easiest to categorize but that only adds to the appeal.

3.5/5

Iza Raittila

 

Legacy of Vydar – A Hundred Miles

Posted in Review with tags , , , , , , , on 30th August 2012 by Nico Solheim-Davidson, the North Sea Poet

Legacy of Vydar
A Hundred Miles
Released 16th October 2011
Death Metal
Self-Released

Hailing come Germany, come death metal sextet Legacy of Vydar. Differing themselves from other bands of the genre, LoV bring with them a three guitar assault on the ear drums, almost like a death metal version of Iron Maiden. Their most recent album, A Hundred Miles was released almost a year ago.

My War, the first track on the album, has a very industrialesque sound that screams from the guitars, while the drums, bass and obviously the vocals, throw in a very powerful, very epic death metal sound. The riffs collide back and forth like raging waves smashing against cliffs. The title track, A Hundred Miles, unleashes a melodic styling upon an unsuspecting listener, almost coming across like an Amon Amarth track.

Too Far really did take me by surprise, beginning with a very melodic, very calm riff that was carried along by a heavier riff and callous drumming before it transforms into a howling beast of aggressive riffs and demonic vocal work. My Soul Unleashed is another Amon Amarth-styled track, only somewhat lacking in energy, which is a shame as I think this track would make for a decent mosh pit anthem. No Remorse displays a use of very intelligently performed riffs that come blasting more fierce and terrifying than the A-bomb. The vocals add a beastly sound that seems like the last piece of the puzzle in this track, completing and making it one of the stand out tracks of the album.

Hope And Despair is a very calm instrumental, that eases you into that false sense of security before the violent wails of The Trail begin charging like a bull that’s just seen red. Vidar, which is undoubtedly about the Norse god of the same name, is another stand out track on the album, displaying influences from varying Viking metal bands while sticking to the band’s own sound at the same time, fusing everything together into a masterpiece of pure death metallic goodness.

Hold On pulls no punches when it comes to melodic riffs and rhythmic drumming. The band have carefully balanced out the aggressive vocals and melodic music in a beautiful and artistic manner on this track, keeping that balance there with the tempo changes as well. For such a bloodthirsty sounding track, Still Alive, sounds subtly cheery and hopeful at the same time, as its violent sounding riffs get the blood flowing. Not The End is certainly an ironic title for a title that is the end of the album. The riffs scream out eerily familiar to Twilight of the Thunder God, invoking a truly epic sound that really gives the album a brilliant end.

Germany is renowned for its metal scene and with Legacy of Vydar on the scene, its going to get much better. Legacy of Vydar are one of the few death metal bands that really do proper melodic riffs and A Hundred Miles really displays each member’s talent as well as the ever-growing sound of the band, so if you like a clean, crisp sound topped with guttural growls and fierce riffs, A Hundred Miles is one for your collection. Hopefully we’ll hear more from these hard rocking Teutonic warriors of metal very soon.

4.7/5

Nico Davidson

Versus The World–Drink. Sing. Live. Love.

Posted in Review with tags , , , , , , on 27th July 2012 by Nico Solheim-Davidson, the North Sea Poet

Versus The World
Drink. Sing. Live. Love.
Released: 31st July 2012
Alt. Rock
Released via Viking Funeral Records

Versus The World rung a bell the second I received their new album Drink. Sing. Live. Love. however at first I wasn’t sure where I had heard the name (aside from the Amon Amarth album of the same name) but it wasn’t until recently I realised I’d first discovered these Santa Barbara rockers through one of the WWE games that one of their songs were featured on.

The album is taken on a wild ride at the beginning of She Sang The Blues. While the riffs display a furious raw sound which I’m somewhat familiar with, the vocals are more tame compared to the music. Mason Grace changes completely from the previous track, becoming more of a heavy pop punk track that does match the vocals very well but can be a bit of a come down for anyone expecting driving force of angry riffs.

A Fond Farewell is another pop punk based track where the riffs, again, work well with the vocals, emphasising their unique sound. Following the short dialogue at the beginning, The Kids Are Fucked offers up a lovely serving of aggressive, in your face and melodic guitar playing and violent drum work. The vocals have a callous touch to them as well, adding emphasis to the song. Fortunately Lullaby allows the fierce guitar stylings to continue for a short while before coming more tame and laid back.

These Bones sounds very much like a Paramore track but with male vocals instead, which can be somewhat entertaining. A Love Song For Amsterdam keeps the pop punk sound flowing from the last track, minus the Paramore sound. The following track Crooks & Liars takes on a different sound to everything else on the album, featuring more emphasis on the bass, which rings out powerfully like church bells in the morning. Oh Brother Where Art Thou doesn’t particularly stand out though some of the riffs are well composed and played.

The next two tracks, In The Fear Of The Finale and Donner Pass, travel down the same road, musically, displaying angsty riffs and callous drum work. Angry February is a very sombre affair, mixing a range of different, solemn emotions together in the form of staunch vocals and slow guitars and rhythm. We Were Alive finishes the album in a melodic, pop punk fashion.

Drink. Sing. Live. Love. is a hard one to judge due to its diverse sound though this might cause it to not be everyone’s cuppa tea. However, the album is enjoyable though there are some parts that need polishing.

4/5

Nico Davidson

Former Blaze Bayley guitarist returns

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , on 27th July 2012 by Nico Solheim-Davidson, the North Sea Poet

Former Blaze Bayley guitarist, Jay Walsh, returns with new UK based thrash metal outfit Bull Riff Stampede (featuring British and Italian band members who’ve shared stages with Anthrax, Sabaton, Amon Amarth, Sikth etc).

Bull Riff Stampede’s debut album ‘Scatter The Ground’ is out now.

Bull Riff Stampede are turning heads; having already been billed with Sepultura, Evile and playing the UK’s prestigious Download Festival.

 

Shades of Avalon release debut video

Posted in News with tags , , , , , on 7th June 2012 by tobiasgray

Manchester based Viking Death Metal band, Shades of Avalon, have released their debut music video – and Valkyrian Music have been given an exclusive link!

Entitled Maldon’s Legacy, it will be the lead track on the forthcoming ‘Northern Barbarians’ EP that will be released later this year:

Shades of Avalon will be playing both Leatherfest (Jun 30th) and Valkyrian Festival (Nov 24th), and you can find their full schedule including further gig announcements etc at http://www.facebook.com/shadesofavalon

Winterhymn – Songs For The Slain

Posted in Review with tags , , , , on 2nd June 2012 by izaforestspirit

Winterhymn
Songs For The Slain
Released: October 2011
Folk Metal
Self-Released

‘Songs For The Slain’ is the debut album from the American folk metal band Winterhymn.

The violin in the opening track ‘In the Troll Forest’ adds an interesting touch to what so far sounds and (judging from the band photos) looks like America’s answer to Ensiferum. The catchy, violin-infused folk metal continues with tracks like ‘Castle Kelly’ and the somewhat Irish/Waylander-esque sounding ‘Stand Your Ground’.

Then there’s the more sombre-sounding tracks like ‘Up From The Roots’ and ‘Witch’ in which the violin has a slightly melancholic feel to it. ‘Under the Hunter’s Moon’ reverts the emphasis back to the guitars making it more metal-sounding though, as always the violins and overall catchy melody ensure that the folk elements are never too far behind. The aptly named ‘Alesong’ features what sounds like a bunch of rowdy guys drinking at a canteen complete with the catchy accordion and violin combo making this akin to a bastard child of Eluveitie and Finntroll. Yes, this is definitely a drinking song or if you’ve had too much already you’re probably stomping along to the tune!

Other highlights include ‘Blood Eagle’ which combines the sombre violins with Amon Amarth -style guitars and vocals, and ‘The Berserker’s Curse’ which features a power metal-esque guitar solo towards the end.

4/5- Winterhymn, thanks for cheering me up on a rainy day!

Iza Raittila

Sarah Jezebel Deva w/Support @ Yardbirds, Grimsby

Posted in Gig, Live with tags , , , on 23rd May 2012 by Nico Solheim-Davidson, the North Sea Poet

Bands: Sarah Jezebel Deva, Winter In Eden, Soulsphere, Gloomlurker
Location: Yardbirds, Grimsby
Date: 20th May 2012

Even though it was only a few months ago that Sarah Jezebel Deva had already toured the UK, it felt like it had been longer than that. This was the fourth show of the tour, though sadly missing Apparition due to reasons that I can’t remember. By the time I finished my interview with Sarah, the show had already begun.

As I entered the venue, I was greeted by a brutal wall of riffs and dominating drum work as the opening band, Gloomlurker, performed a staunch cover of Guardians Of Asgaard, in similar fashion to Amon Amarth. Apparently this was Gloomlurker’s first show though it was hard to tell if they were being honest or just joking as their death metal orientated set was well performed, making a good use of snarling guitars and monstrous vocals. The band’s sound was clear and defined, with a certain roaring distorted sound thrown into the mix. The one thing that let down this band’s set was the lack of stage presence, though, musically, they are a pretty solid outfit.

The Grimsby based blackened death metal sounding quintet Soulsphere, who looked a bit like a cross between Dragonforce and Slayer, proved to be just as brutal as the opening band, using in synch drums, tight riffs and demonic vocals. There were some tasty melodic riffs thrown into their set as well for good measure but it was their performance The Killing Call that stuck out the most in my opinion, with it’s thrash-meets-black metal sound and mosh-a-long energy. The band’s frontman proved to be a force to reckon with, both vocally and energetically, making for an interesting performance from Soulsphere.

Winter In Eden were the replacement for Apparition. I couldn’t help but think, when they began with their domineering symphonic sound, that their sound rings in a similar vein to Nightwish though the vocals weren’t very Nightwish sounding but they did add a certain melodic sound to the flawlessly played keyboards and differing riffs which ranged from symphonic metalesque to more classic rock based, especially in the last song of the set: Lies. The band had a certain atmosphere around them as they performed, which is an odd little way, helped to enhance their diverse sound. Winter In Eden‘s set is certainly one of the more memorable performances I’ve seen the past few years and they deserve a bit more recognition for their work and music.

A tense, somewhat dramatic mystique had took hold of the audience at Yardbirds as Sarah and her band made their way to the stage. One of the stand-out songs of Sarah’s set was This Is My Curse, taken from the Malediction EP. The song itself had a slight extreme metal sound to it, which matched Sarah’s vocals perfectly. The riffs sounded to be executed perfectly. The performance of A Matter Of Convenience felt more like a raging beast of riffs and drums, yet was justly performed like a well rehearsed dance recital. Even though Sarah stayed in the same spot for a lot of her set, she still managed to keep the attention of the crowd. Of course, the rest of the band put on a great performance as well, especially during The Corruption of Mercy, which despite being slower paced, still rung out with an epic sound that really did display the band’s talents, although it was I’m Calling that sounded and felt to be the perfectly performed part of the night. Either way, Sarah proved one thing, on Sunday night and that is that’s she’s a goddess on the microphone and her band, which consists of Ablaz, Dan, Azz and Damjan, are all just as talented as she is.

It was good to see Sarah perform in a more healthy state (the last time I saw SJD and her band, she was ill) and the support acts fit perfectly on the bill, despite the first two being more on the brutal and destructive side of music.

Nico Davidson

***Photography by David Ferret Taylor***

Corretja – ‘American Ragnarok’

Posted in Review with tags , , , , , , on 30th April 2012 by tobiasgray

Band: Corretja
Album: American Ragnarok
Release date: October 2011
Genre: Metal
Label: Unsigned   –  http://corretja.net

 

 

Melodic death metal, with viking imagery and titles such as ‘A Battle For Lundene’; deathly vocals and blastbeats…this isn’t the new Amon Amarth album, but it’s a worthy addition to the (battle)field.  From Virginia USA, igniting the fires of European pagan metal – electronics included – on their home shores, Corretja have produced an album celebrating both American history and Norse mythology.  The tracks are concise (the longest clocking in at 3.55), and relentless in their energy.

From the American civil war to London’s bloodstained streets, ‘American Ragnarok’ is constantly throwing surprises and new ideas forward.  The opening tracks set the tone with pounding blasts, epic twin leads and atmospheric keyboards, then ‘Bull Run II’ introduces clean, electronically harmonised vocals intermittently – and the sample of a bull!

After 5 tracks of similarly powerful melodic DM (with thrash elements), ‘Throne of Bebbenberg’ appears with a minute long blast of old school, no frills death metal, minus keyboards.  It provides a quick detour from the established sound and nicely sets up the closing numbers ‘Enjoy the Violence’ and ‘Thrashowar’ – a drastically reimagined cover of Depeche Mode’s ‘Photographic’ and a fitting tribute to Manowar’s drummer Scott Columbus respectively.

Corretja have an admirable DIY ethic, and while the programmed drums and prominent keyboards lack the ‘polish’ of major label releases, this does not detract from the charm, energy and aggression of the album.  The songs are well written, the instruments played well and the delivery is consistent.  The band want to pay tribute to metal and they have totally succeeded.

With eight tracks in 20 minutes, there’s no danger of getting bored, the variety of riffs on display and the catchy melodies keep you enthralled until the end.

4.5/5

Tobias Gray.

Gorod – A Perfect Absolution [2012]

Posted in Review with tags , , , , , , on 26th January 2012 by Nico Solheim-Davidson, the North Sea Poet

Band: Gorod
Album: A Perfect Absolution
Release Date: March 2012
Genre: Progressive Death Metal/Jazz
Label: Listenable Records

It’s not every day that you come across a French metal act [unless you actually follow the French metal scene in the same manner that people follow their favourite celebs on twitter], so it was a shock I found Gorod’s upcoming album in my e-mails. The band are described as progressive death metal and jazz on their official Facebook and they’ve been around since ‘97 – Originally formed under the moniker Gorgasm (sounds like the name of a dodgy pornographic snuff film, doesn’t it?). Anyway, Gorod’s newest release A Perfect Absolute, due for release in March, is based on the history of 10th century Kiev. More specifically, in the year 945 when Igor, King of Kiev was murdered (probably in a brutal manner) while collecting a “tribute” while visiting his Pagan neighbours the Derevlians, who lived in a forest. After the incident, his widow, Olga, avenged him in an extremely harsh manner before converting to Orthodox Christianity. That’s your history lesson for today, readers.

I find the genius combination of subtle birds singing and tragic orchestration to work well as a build up for the main part of “Birds Of Sulphur”. The guitars virtually smash it up with strong back up from the drums and vocals. The melodic licks are quite reminiscent of Lamb of God and to a broader extent, Amon Amarth.  The second half of the track sounds more along the lines of Death, only heavier and faster. “Sailing into the Earth” stomps on the ears with its guitar work like a herd of raging elephants, the only different being is that the former is much more pleasing on the ears, especially the brutalising use of drums. The third track “Elements and Spirit” might sound like the name of some sort of Wiccan book of shadows but musically, it’s more on the power metal-meets-Mario sounding side of things with a hint of Children of Bodom mixed in with it as well provided by the keyboards – though this could be a sound caused by the 70s jazz influences. The most shocking thing about this track is the vocals… Don’t worry, they’re still barbaric enough to melt your next door neighbour’s face but as I was saying, the vocals do come as a shock due to the slight use of clean vocals for one line and then a more semi-raw vocal style later on.

The vicious sounding axe-work and thundering rhythm sections of “The Axe of God” are to the ears like flagons of mead are to a Viking: Pure enjoyment. The solo reminds me, for some strange reason, of Megadeth while the slower section seems to have a sense of grandeur mixed with sorrow. “5000 at the Funeral” take the album down the slow lane with a solemn, possibly jazz-like musing of guitars, strings and piano giving the album a unique sound compared to most death metal releases. The percussion seems to be quite industrial and alternative before the wailing of Arch Enemy-sounding riffs hurl themselves into the fray with an epic-yet-harsh narration that gradually evolves into a fierce snarling roar of metallic growls. For the most part, the track seems very drum-orientated which will please any drummers that listen to the album. And for any guitarists reading this, don’t worry, there’s plenty of neck-braking riffs.

The romantically named “Carved In The Wind” brings back the epic, poweresque guitar sections mixed in with the overpowering vocal work and bonecrushing rhythm section. The track is pre-dominantly Lamb of God sounding, especially towards the end which does make the song as tasteless as water. Nearing the end comes “Vangarian Paradise” which really does spice up the album with its mix of metal and funky jazzed up riffs. The snarling roars that are the vocals oddly sound brilliant with the unique sounds on the track. The album coms to its end with “Tribute In Blood” which is a dangerously good mixture of blasphemous vocals and demonic riffs as well a brilliant way to finish the album.

Gorod are certainly masters of their trade when it comes to welding together metal and jazz into an unholy yet enjoyable union of blasphemous, face-melting music and “A Perfect Absolution” is no different. Gorod literally take the good parts of 70s jazz and death metal to create the masterpiece that is this album.

4.8/5

Nico Davidson