Archive for Belgium

Greenfire confirmed as latest addition to Valk-Fest 2014

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , , on 13th June 2014 by Nico Davidson

VFPoster

Already boasting a monumental line-up featuring the likes of Scotch black metal royals Cnoc An Tursa, Azylya from Belgium and Dutch progressive powerhouse Ex Libris, Valkyrian Festival is proud to announce the addition of Manchester-based posh rockers Greenfire to this year’s bill.

The festival, which is now sponsored by Neue Regal Radio as well as Wolf Band Management, The Crypt of Curiosities and Black Phoenix Rising Metal Forum, is in aid of Rape Crisis. Weekend and day tickets are available from this location. The event is set to take place at Basement (Formerly Shades Nightclub) in Bridlington from Friday 21st November to Sunday 23rd November. The event is an all-ages event.

The full line-up for Valkyrian Festival 2014 is as follows:

Fri. 21st November
CNOC AN TURSA (Headliner) – Bharghest (Main Support) – Drekavac – Exile The Traitor – Crooked Lizard (Opener)

Sat. 22nd November
AZYLYA (Headliner) – Sakara (Main Support) – Sorronia – Northern Oak – Badge – Chemikill – Mørktår – Divided We Fall – Clunge Hammer

Sun. 23rd November
EX LIBRIS (Headliner) – Reign of Fury (Main Support) – Wretched Soul – Ethereal – Aonia – Alice In Thunderland – Enkelination – Tears of Martyr – Greenfire – Synchronix – Avalon

Enthroned stream new song via MetalSucks.net

Posted in News with tags , , , , on 25th March 2014 by Nico Davidson

Belgian metallers Enthroned have recently began streaming their new track, The Edge Of Agony, which is taken from their third studio album Sovereigns which set for worldwide release on 15th April through Agonia Records. The track is being streamed exclusively by MetalSucks.net at this location.

 

Enthroned online:

http://www.facebook.com/Frater.Silurian

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Kraken Metal Fest announces date of second edition

Posted in News with tags , , , , on 3rd March 2014 by Nico Davidson

The organisers of the new Belgian metal festival, Kraken Metal Fest, have announced the date for the second edition of the festival as 25th October 2014. The organisers also announced that the festival will feature eight bands from Belgium and three bands from other countries, meaning the festival will boast eleven bands overall. Further details are to be announced.

Last year’s Kraken Metal Fest featured the likes of Azylya and Apparition, amongst others.

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Northern Oak and more confirmed for Valkyrian Festival 2014

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , , , , on 11th February 2014 by Nico Davidson

ValkFest14-MarchAnnouncement

Suavely dressed Yorkshire folk metal septet Northern Oak have been announced to support Belgian symphonic metallers Azylya at this year’s Valkyrian Festival, which will take place from 21st November to 23rd November, while the gothic metal opera septet Aonia have been announced to support Dutch progressive metallers Ex Libris the following night at this year’s Valkyrian Festival.

Joining Northern Oak to support Azylya are Midlandic female-fronted thrash sextet Chemikill who will be gracing Valkyrian Festival with their old school metal sound while joining Aonia to support Ex Libris will be Glaswegian death metal thugs Exile The Traitor.

Two local acts, in the form of instrumental death metal trio Bharghest and classic rockers Alice In Thunderland, have also been announced for Valkyrian Festival. Bharghest will be sharing the stage with Scottish black metal royalty Cnoc An Tursa on the first night where as Alice In Thunderland will be joining Aonia and Exile The Traitor as support to Ex Libris on the final night of Valkyrian Festival 2014.

Valkyrian Festival will take place at Basement in Bridlington from Friday 21st November to Sunday 23rd November. The event is all-ages but valid ID will be required for the bar. It will also be the first edition of the Valkyrian Festival to feature a European headliner. Tickets are available for £15 from this location. The line-up is as follows:

Fri. 21st November
CNOC AN TURSA
(Headliner) – Bharghest (Main Support) – Drekavac Pantheon

Sat. 22nd November
AZYLYA
(Headliner) – Sakara (Main Support) – Northern Oak ChemikillMørktår – Divided We Fall

Sun. 23rd November
EX LIBRIS
(Headliner) – Reign of Fury (Main Support) Alice In ThunderlandAoniaExile The Traitor

Valkyrian Festival is sponsored by The Crypt of Curiosities and Black Phoenix Rising Metal Forums. For further details, head over to the official Valkyrian Festival Facebook page. Other Valk-Fest news can be found on the official Valk-Fest Twitter.

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Ex Libris, Drekavac, Mørktår and Reign of Fury announced for Valkyrian Festival 2014

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 21st January 2014 by Nico Davidson

Drekavac have been announced as support to fellow Scottish black metallers Cnoc an Tursa on Friday 21st November at Basement in Bridlington as part of Valkyrian Festival, which is in aid of Rape Crisis. Founded in 2011 by lead singer Hyperion, guitarist Mite, and drummer Mephistopheles, Drekavac made their debut onto the underground metal scene via a limited CD demo entitled The Litanies of the Dead in 2012. Inspired by black metal from its inception to its modern incarnations and inspired by folk, death metal and other musical elements, the band’s music was resplendent in its aggressive and melodic vocals, guitar work and relentless drums.

Less than a year later, the band’s fluid line up solidified with Xross on bass and Sceadugenga on Lead guitars. The band recently entered the studio to record their debut album Incipit Demonas Pandorum, which promises to be an impressive release.

Keeping in the vein of black metal, London misanthropic black metal coven Mørktår have been announced for the second day of Valkyrian Festival on 22nd November, where they will be sharing the stage with Belgium’s Azylya as well as Hamerex, Sakara and Divided We Fall. This will be Mørktår’s second show in Bridlington, following their show on 22nd November 2013 where they supported Finnish death metal titans Re-Armed at an almost sold-out show.

Created in 2006 as a solo project, Mørktår had never released a demo until an anonymous drummer was hired in 2008. Cries from the Dungeon was originally self-released in just London and Bergen, Norway. After this release, the drummer parted from Mørktår due to personal and musical differences with Thrym Mørktår. Again Mørktår was a solo project. This time self-releasing Reaped by Death E.P. Mørktår signed onto Thorn Laceration Records in early 2009 and re-released Cries from the Dungeon and Reaped by Death. Fra dette Mørk… was another self-release, limited to just 9 copies with blood stained cassette covers. In 2011, Vordhr (ex-Salems Orchid) was hired and an instrumental demo was released, limited again to just 9 copies on cassette only. Later in 2011 Mørktår recorded another demo, Now Cold and Dead… this time with a new bassist, Morrigan. This demo caught the attention of Salute Records from Sweden, who re-released it on a professional CD-R format. In 2013, a new drummer in the name of Sinmara has been added to the roster, replacing Vordhr, who left in 2012, creating an even more stable line up than the previous.

Bringing with them a more 80s styled thrash and NWOBHM dominated sound to the final night of Valkyrian Festival 2014 with them are metal band Reign of Fury, who played their festival show at Bloodstock 2012. Since the release of their highly acclaimed debut album the band have made an impressive impact on the live scene, becoming well known for their shows. Reign of Fury are also currently working on their second album which is due for release later this. The band commented:

Reign of Fury are very excited to be part of a fantastic event in aid of such an important cause. As a band that’s highly motivated to use their music for positive effect, playing Valkyrian Festival has been an ambition since we first found out about it. The blend of bands planned for 2014 make this one to watch, and we can’t wait to hit the stage and play for the NE fans!

Dutch progressive powerhouse Ex Libris will also be making their return to the UK as the final headliner for Valkyrian Festival 2014, making this their first UK show since The Dames of Darkness Festival in 2013 where they support fellow Dutch metallers Delain. The band whom features the very talented soprano vocalist Dianne van Giersbergen, also the frontwoman for German symphonic metallers Xandria, released their new album Medea on 18th January. Ex Libris will also be playing a number of shows around Europe this year, including one with Azylya in Holland on 22nd February. Further Ex Libris news can be found at their official Facebook page.

Valkyrian Festival will take place at Basement in Bridlington from Friday 21st November to Sunday 23rd November. The event is all-ages but valid ID will be required for the bar. It will also be the first edition of the Valkyrian Festival to feature a European headliner. Tickets are available for £15 from this location. The line-up is as follows:

Fri. 21st November

CNOC AN TURSA
Drekavac
Pantheon

Sat. 22nd November

AZYLYA
Sakara
Mørktår
Divided We Fall

Sun. 23rd November

EX LIBRIS
Reign of Fury

Valkyrian Festival is sponsored by The Crypt of Curiosities and Black Phoenix Rising Metal Forums. For further details, head over to the official Valkyrian Festival Facebook page. Other Valk-Fest news can be found on the official Valk-Fest Twitter.

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Castles announce UK tour

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , , , on 6th January 2014 by Nico Davidson

Belgian hard rockers Castles have announced a UK tour in support of their recent release Fiction or Truth? The Belgian trio will hit British shores for six shows in March. Of the upcoming dates, vocalist and guitarist, Edward Godby commented:

We love coming to play gigs in England because there’s nothing Jerry and I enjoy more than watching Bertrand eat his own weight in late-night onion rings at some long -lost service station, and we all benefit greatly from a nice Tescos shop at 3 in the morning.

Also, the gigs might be good. We’re playing with some great bands – Satanic Dystopia, Denim and Leather, Canaya, USA Nails and False Flags to name but a few. Hopefully they’ll all do their hair nicely for the occasion.

Castles’ UK shows in March are as follow:

Saturday 01/03 – Cardiff – The Moon Club – W/ A Thousand Arrows (last ever show!)
Sunday 02/03 – London, Camden – The Black Heart – W/ USA Nails and Canaya
Monday 03/03 – Derby – The Hairy Dog – W/ TBC
Tuesday 04/03 – Manchester – Kraak – W/ Satanic Dystopia and Denim & Leather
Wednesday 05/03 – Leeds – The Packhorse W/ Canaya, False Flags and Shields
Friday 07/03 – Portsmouth – The Edge of the Wedge – W/ Attack! Vipers!

Fiction or Truth? was released in November 2013 via Palm Reader Records. A video for the track Palm Reader taken from the album can be viewed below.  Fiction or Truth? was recorded in summer 2013; Castles headed to Godcity Studio in Salem, Massachusetts to record under the direction and guiding hand of Kurt Ballou (Converge, Torche, Cave In), whilst mastering duties were handled by Brad Boatright of Audiosiege in Portland, Oregon. Initially the album was released on a “pay what you want” basis, with hundreds of people taking advantage of the offer. The album is now available for €5 from the Castles bandcamp, or in physical format from the Palm Reader Records website.

Castles online:

http://castlesband.net
http://facebook.com/castlesofficial
http://twitter.com/therealcastles

 

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Azylya announce first ever Holland show

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , on 5th December 2013 by Nico Davidson

Belgium’s up-and-coming heavy hitters of the symphonic metal scene Azylya have announced their first ever show in The Netherlands. The event will take place place on 22nd February 2014 at Popcentrale in Dordrecht, Holland. The band will be supporting Dutch opera metallers Ex Libris, who they played with at this year’s Dames of Darkness Festival in Bilston near Wolverhampton.

In related news, Azylya have also been announced for an exclusive UK headline show at the Valkyrian Festival in Selby on 22nd November 2014. Tickets for Valkyrian Festival are available at this location for £20 (excluding P&P costs).

Azylya online:

https://www.facebook.com/pages/AZYLYA/108712706476?fref=ts

 

First bands announced for Valkyrian Festival 2014

Posted in Featured, News with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 30th November 2013 by Nico Davidson

The fourth edition of Valkyrian Festival has been confirmed for Friday 21st November through to Sunday 23rd November. Tickets are currently available for pre-order from this location and are priced at £20 (excluding P&P). Valk-Fest 2014 will be in aid of Rape Crisis.

Scottish blackened folk royalty Cnoc An Tursa have been confirmed to headline the opening night of Valkyrian Festival 2014 on Friday 21st November. Hailing from the historic settlement of Falkirk, Cnoc An Tursa have become one of the most respected and well known bands from north of the wall and without a doubt will bring something new to the masses at Valkyrian Festival 2014. Joining Cnoc An Tursa on Friday 21st November will be Yorkist metallers Pantheon who have been confirmed as main support.

Confirmed as the headlining act for Saturday 22nd November are Belgian gothic metallers Azylya, who made their UK debut at a sold out Dames of Darkness Festival earlier this year, where they supported Dutch symphonic rockers Delain. Since then, Azylya have played a few more times in the UK and were featured at Belgium’s Metal Female Voices Festival earlier this year in October. Azylya frontwoman Jamie-Lee comments:

It is an honour to be headlining Valkyrian Festival, especially in aid of such a worthy charity. We’re looking forward to playing to our UK fans again. We hope to see you all there.

Solo artist Sakara will be main support on Saturday 22nd November. The alternative pagan solo artist, who spent a brief stint as frontwoman for Apparition earlier this year, released her debut album Blood & Stone via Ravenheart Music in 2011 and since then has received positive reviews. The follow-up album will be released in 2014 via Ravenheart Music. Sakara also comments:

I am over the moon to have such a great opportunity to play Valk-Fest 2014. I look forward to seeing you all there. I’m also looking forward to sharing the stage again with Azylya!

Also added to the Saturday line-up are West Midlandic symphonic metallers Divided We Fall and Yorkshire metal mobsters Hamerex.

Valkyrian Festival 2014 is sponsored by Black Phoenix Rising Metal Forums and custom Gothic jewellers The Crypt of Curiosities. Weekend tickets are available from this location for £20. The event is in aid of Rape Crisis.

 

Motörhead reschedule European tour

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , , on 5th November 2013 by Nico Davidson

Following the statement released by Motörhead’s mainman Lemmy where he said that he’s not quite ready to hit the road yet, Motörhead have rescheduled their upcoming European tour.

New tour dates are as follow:

February
13 – Glasgow, Scotland Academy
14 – Newcastle, UK – City Hall
16 – Manchester, UK – Apollo
17 – Wolverhampton, UK – Civic Hall
19 – London Brixton, UK – Academy
20 – Nottingham, UK – Royal Concert Hall
22 – Paris, France – Zenith
24 – Deinze Belgium – Brielpoort
25 – Germany, Hamburg – Sporthalle
27 – Germany, Munich – Zenith
March
1 – Frankfurt, Germany – Jahrhunderthalle
2 – Berlin, Germany – Velodrom
4 – Dusseldorf, Germany – MEH
5 – Stuttgart, Germany – Schleyerhalle
8 – Linkoping, Sweden – Cloetta Center
10 – Horsens, Denmark – Forum Horsens
12 – Oslo, Norway – Sentrum Scene
14 – Helsinki, Finland – Hartwell Arena

Motörhead‘s new album, Aftershock, is giving the band some of their highest chart positions ever around the world!

Germany – #5 *
Finland – #5 *
Norway – #6 *
Switzerland – #6 *
Austria – #7 *
Sweden – #8 **
France – #12 *
Denmark – #14
USA – #22 *
Canada – #22 *
Spain – #23
Italy – #24
Belgium ( Wallonia) – #35
Belgium (Flandern) – #61
Holland – #64

* – notes highest chart position ever
** – highest ever since 1982’s Iron Fist

Motörhead online:

http://imotorhead.com

Metal Female Voices Festival @ Wieze, BE

Posted in Festival, Live with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 22nd October 2013 by Freya

Tarja, Lacuna Coil, ReVamp, Delain, Leaves’ Eyes
Oktoberhallen, Wieze
18th-20th October

In Belgium, October stands for falling leaves, rain and a ton of female fronted metal. For the eleventh time the Oktoberhallen in Wieze flooded with fans of this genre to attend the Metal Female Voices Fest or MFVF. This festival has a very loyal fanbase, some of them even travelled a good part of the globe to get there! I had the pleasure to meet some dedicated metalheads from Israel and Argentina, and it’s safe to say that they weren’t the only international visitors.

On Friday, the first day of the festival, the doors opened at 19h00 as there were only two acts. I have no idea if that was also the reason behind the smaller crowd, but it was noticable that there were a lot more attendees on Saturday and Sunday. But that didn’t stop Liv Kristine from giving it her all with her solo project! Liv Kristine by herself, accompanied by a band of course, is a little more indie/rock than Leaves’ Eyes, but that doesn’t take away of the fact that she has an amazing voice. Fans of Leaves’ Eyes were lucky this weekend, because the band attended the festival on Saturday. But for now, back to Liv Kristine. As the crowd continued to grow, she enchanted us with her adorable smile and charisma. Paris Paris and Skintight opened the set, followed by a fragile Fake a Smile. Trapped in Your Labyrinth was definitely one of the highlights of the show, together with ‘Libertine’. With these songs Liv Kristine showcased that a delicate voice can rock just as much as a more solid voice. As a nice surprise, a few Theatre of Tragedy songs made it into the set: Venus and Image. Overall, this was a perfect fresh and joyous opener for what turned out to be an outstanding edition of MFVF. [3.5/5]

After Liv Kristine, the stage was invaded by Eve’s Apple. And I mean invaded! Eve’s Apple isn’t a normal band with about 5 or 6 members, it’s a collective of female singers. Some of the ladies who sung some beautiful covers were: Lisa Middelhauve (ex-Xandria), Charlotte Wessels (Delain), Iliana Tsakiraki, Kassandra Gruszkowki, Annamaria Cozza, Zuberoa Aznarez, Aiylin Gimenez (Sirenia), Grace Meridan, Heidi Parviainen, Mary Zimmer, Marcela Bovio (Stream Of Passion), Clémentine Delauney (Serenity), Karolina Pacan (Skeptical Minds), Sabrina Valentine, Laura Vargas, Mariangela Themurtas (Tristania), Lindsay Schoolcraft (Cradle of Filth), Sanna Salou, Angel Wolfblack, VK Lynne and Maxi Nil (Visions Of Atlantis). Some of the biggest hits in rock were brought out for this special occasion, so we had the opportunity to listen to adaptations of Stargazer (Marcela Bovio and Kassandra Novell) and Poison (Clémentine Delauney and VK Lynne). Every now and then the fire underneath the songs died out a bit and made way for a softly glowing ember like Behind Blue Eyes(Mariangela Themurtas, Maxi Nil and Charlotte Wessels). Personally, Show Must Go On (Karolina Pacan and Angel Wolfblack) would have been in the list of amazing duets as well, but technical issues caused some trouble. The vocals drowned in a wall of sound and that’s too bad, because it had a lot of potential. Towards the end all the ladies got together on stage to thank Maxi Nil, and to sing a few songs of course! The two final songs of the evening were quite appropriate: All we Are and Stars. [3/5]

As the final notes of the evening died out the crowd turned to their tent, car or bus, only to return in a few very short hours!

On Saturday the doors opened at 10h00. And even though it was still early, there was a relatively long queue in front of said doors. And what a nice wake-up call we got once we got inside! Our neighbours from the North sent Magion to MFVF, and they were an astonishing discovery! Myrthe van Beest has an enchanting voice, which is a perfect match for compelling songs like Neverending Winter and Shallow Grounds. During Greed the horns went up, and the crowd slowly started shaking off the mists of morning. [4/5]

Azylya should definitely get the award for creepiest intro at MFVF. The Belgian band played a home game and brought two masked dancers and a creepy little girl with them. She fit right in with the eerie music and lighting. The venue was starting to shed a bit of the initial chill, but things definitely got hotter when Jamie-Lee Smit brought out some fire during Darkness Ascending. Electroconvulsive was a vocal mix between a kick in the teeth and a gentle embrace. Overall, Azylya told an enchanting story with a lot of power. The mix of classical elements with metal, and the two contrasting voices were a true delight! [4/5]

Victorians – Aristocrats’ Symphony brought a touch of the past to MFVF, with stunning costumes (I still want to steal the jacket that Utis wore). Songs like Descent of Your Destiny and Prince of Night paint a picture of times long gone, but with a modern twist. After the show they told us they were a bit worried about the quality of the sound, but I don’t think they had anything to worry about. [3.5/5]

Serenity came to MFVF to promote their new album War of Ages. Singers Clémentine Delauney and Georg Neuhauser sound very well-balanced and they compliment each other. Georg ran and jumped around every inch of the stage, never standing in one place more than a few seconds, and you could see he was having a good time. But there was also room for a more intimate song: Fairytales was touching and intense. A nice surprise was the guest appearance from Charlotte Wessels during Serenade of Flames. Serenity knows how to entertain and satisfy an audience. [3.5/5]

Canadian band Kobra and the Lotus brought heavy metal to Wieze, and how! Nayana struck like a poisonous snake and this feisty animal did not lose it’s grip. Kobra Paige has a hypnotic and overwhelming voice and she took the stage with confidence and spirit. And it gets better! She is backed up by an impressive wall of sound consisting of fierce guitars and raging drums. Songs like 50 Shades of Evil or Forever One have potential to become true metal anthems. Dark Passenger was preceded by a drum solo that showcased the sills of the drummer and My Life stood out to me due to its unique guitar riff. Afterwards Kobra Paige shared some words of wisdom with me: love and metal, that’s what it’s all about. I couldn’t agree more. [5/5]

I admit it, at first, I was a bit sceptical about Kontrust. I saw a few of their videos on YouTube and felt like I had no idea what to expect. The intro made me feel like I was at Octoberfest rather than Metal Female Voices Fest so I had the urge to roll my eyes, but I stand corrected! Kontrust knows how to get a party started. They were a lot of fun and the crowd clearly enjoyed their lighthearted songs like Hey DJ, U Say What and Bomba. Sock and Doll was another example of what makes Kontrust unique: I’ve never seen a band use sock puppets before… But it worked! The horns went up and I saw a lot of smiles around me. [4/5]

After Kontrust it was time for the headlining acts of the day: Leaves’ Eyes, Delain and Lacuna Coil.

Liv Kristine took the stage once more this weekend, this time as part of Leaves’ Eyes. Since Leaves’ Eyes is practically a synonym for symphonic metal, that’s exactly what we got: riveting melodies and an angelic voice with a heavier counterpartner. Their new album Symphonies of the Night will be released in November so at MFVF we had the privilege to hear a few new songs such as Galswintha, Fading Earth, Symphonies of the Night, Maid of Lorraine and Hell to the Heavens. And I can tell you, these songs are something to look forward to! The crowd clearly enjoyed the new material, but most hands, horns and fists were raised during songs as My Destiny, Elegy and Take the Devil in Me. (And Alexander Krull still has the most awesome hair!) [4/5]

Delain opened their set with Mother Machine, a song taken from their album We are the Others. Charlotte Wessels appeared on stage dressed in white and she swept the crowd right off their feet. The entire show she continued to encourage the audience to sing, scream or clap along. Go Away and Virtue and Vice from the album April Rain were played next, accompanied by sparks and an audience on fire. Charlotte reached the higher notes with ease and before we knew it they were halfway through the set. We were in for another great surprise though, because during No Compliance, Charlotte was joined by none other than Sharon den Adel (Within Temptation) for a special duet. Sharon didn’t leave after one song though, much to the delight of the audience. She sang Restless, a song by her own band Within Temptation, accompanied by Martijn Westerholt (former keyboardist of Within Temptation) on the piano. Sharon wasn’t the only guest appearance of the set though. Georg Neuhauser of Serenity joined Charlotte on stage for Control the Storm. They clearly enjoyed this duet, which was another cherry on this scrumptious Delain-cake. During the encore Charlotte had the crowd jumping once again with The Gathering. Delain said their goodbyes with We are the Others, together with the crowd who was singing along with an amazing amount of spirit after an already long day. [4.5/5]

Day two wasn’t over yet though! Lacuna Coil was the final act of the day, and they had something special planned for MFVF. They played the entire Karmacode album. It truly was a trip to the past since Karmacode came out in 2006. The band took place on stage wearing the masks they used during the Karmacode tour, but unfortunately we could only see Cristina Scabbia and Andrea Ferro. The lighting was horrible! It was really difficult to see any of the musicians during the entire set, which was disappointing. But back to the music! Karmacode is an album filled with hits like Fragile, Enjoy the Silence and Our Truth. Lacuna Coil definitely took a risk here, because not every song on the album is a hit. Because of that, at times it felt like an unusual show. The entire show was very interesting and I hope that this concept will inspire other bands to do the same. After a short intermezzo Cristina and Andrea returned in a their latest uniforms to end things with a bang! They gave the crowd a small but oh so sweet taste of absolute hits such as Heaven’s A Lie and Spellbound. To top it of they sang two songs of their latest album Dark Adrenaline: the haunting Trip the Darkness and a very energetic Kill the Light. [4/5]

So far, MFVF XI was a great success, but the third day was filled with bands who were ready to blast day 1 and 2 out of the water.

On Sunday the doors opened an hour later, which was a blessing after two long days. At noon, Hell City was present to defend the Belgian honour. And they did a great job! Hell City was fierce and on fire. Michelle Nivelle gave the crowd no excuse to be sleepy-eyed for another minute. With songs like This Mortal Loss and Demons to Rest we were showered with Grade A metal. The final song of their set was the new single Ice Cold Rage, which can be downloaded on their website. [3.5/5]

After this little Belgian treat it was time for a more exotic band: Hungarian folk metal band Dalriada made it very difficult to stand still, with energetic and up-tempo songs such as Napom, Fényes Napom and A Dudás. Unfortunately, where I stood, the crowd only clapped along (major props to a friend of mine though, who taught us all a lesson in headbanging). Maybe it was still a bit early, or the audience was saving their energy for the headliners of the day. Too bad, because it could’ve been an awesome party. [3.5/5]

After Dalriada I skipped a few bands myself, but I was back just in time to see Crimfall. The members of the band looked like they fought their way over to Wieze (blood, blood everywhere!), but they still had a ton of energy left! Helena Haaparanta and Mikko Häkkinen were accompanied by a group of merry huntsmen, who seemed to be having a lot of fun on stage. Songs like Wildfire Season paint an epic picture in the mind of the listener. Another example of their story-like songs is Silver and Bones about a son repeating his father’s mistakes. Even though Crimfall had a few technical difficulties, it was a truly wonderful journey. [4/5]

A little sidenote: it turned out that MFVF was one of the last shows with Helena: Crimfall is looking for a new singer. I wish them all the best!

Onward to the two big names of MFVF XI! The past year the buzz around Floor Jansen has been immense, so it feels like she doesn’t need an introduction anymore. The new leading lady of Nightwish proved to us all that we shouldn’t fear for the future of ReVamp. On the contrary, their new album Wild Card explores new musical territories, and sounds quite heavy. I must add that I found the new album a bit chaotic at times, but live it clicked together like clockwork. Precise, strong and compelling. The audience started clapping the second the lights went out, and was treated with a part one of The Anatomy of a Nervous Breakdown trilogy from Wild Card: On the Sideline. Part two (The Limbic System) and three (Neurasthenia) were played later on in the set. From the get-go, Floor amazed us all with her impressive voice. She has a range from operatic and angelic all the way to grunts, and she makes it sound so easy. To name just one example seems foolish, but Precibus perfectly highlighted her vocal range. And if that’s not enough, she’s an awe-inspiring presence on stage. Dressed in red, she truly was on fire. She kept on interacting with the crowd, and they responded within a heartbeat. From the first album, Head Up High was the first song to be played, followed later on by both In Sickness ‘Till Death Do Us Part: Disdain and Disgraced. In the end ReVamp said their goodbyes with Wolf and Dog, but according to all the horns, applause and requests for an encore, the crowd would have loved a few extra songs. [4/5]

So far the entire weekend was a weekend for the history books, but MFVF XI presented us with one more name, which made it impossible to forget: Tarja. After a theatrical intro she appeared on stage and launched into In for a Kill. It always stikes me how blissful Tarja looks on stage. She was born to sing, to give her heart and soul to the audience. This positive energy radiated throughout the venue and the crowd was happy to reciprocate with applause, singing, and raised hands. 500 Letters was greeted with cheers as though it was a classic hit, but it is in fact a song from her new album Colours In The Dark. Sing for Me and ‘I Walk Alone’ were the first ballads in the set, and they gave me goose bumps! Tarja proves time and time again that she has an incredible voice. Time to linger on this fact wasn’t part of the deal though. Falling Awake and Anteroom of Death shook us all awake.

People who have seen Tarja live before, know she usually doesn’t stick to one outfit, so Never Enough ended with an formidable band solo by cellist Max Lilja, Christian Kretschmar playing the keyboard, guitarist Alex Scholpp, bassist Anna Portalupi and Mike Terrana behind his impresssive drum kit. And indeed, at the beginning of Mystique Voyage, Tarja appeared in her second outfit of the evening (with matching microphone!) and she picked up the pace! Die Alive and Until my Last Breath had the crowd jumping in no time, as they should! Neverlight and Medusa were the final song before a short intermezzo and the intro for Victim of Ritual by Mike Terrana. He is a true magician with drumsticks! And things got memorable after this song. Tarja sang Wish I Had An Angel with passion and flair, and slowly reminded everyone of the fact that she promised us something a few weeks before MFVF. She didn’t have to ask us twice if we were ready, we were! For the final song of the festival, she invited Floor Jansen on stage for a duet. Together they sang Over the Hills and Far Away. Not only did their voices sound like all kinds of heaven, they were genuinely having a blast. They hugged, were dancing, and shared some words of wisdom with us: we have to keep the love going! [5/5]

After this epic duet, the time had come to say goodbye to MFVF XI. And on the way home I’m sure everybody was looking back on a wonderful edition to bring some warmth into the very cold night. Time to start looking forward to MFVF XII perhaps?

Freya Cherlet

Photography by Freya Cherlet.

 

Absolva confirmed for Bloodstock and reveal artwork for new release

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , on 29th July 2013 by Nico Davidson

British metallers Absolva have just been confirmed for this year’s Bloodstock Open Air, making it their second Bloodstock appearance two years running. The band originally appeared on  the Jagermeister Acoustic Stage at last year’s Bloodstock, shortly after their formation and a successful string of Irish and Scottish tour dates as special guests to Iced Earth.

This year, Absolva will be playing the Sophie Lancaster Stage on Friday 9th August before they dash to Belgium on Saturday 10th August for Summerrock. The band have also revealed the artwork for their upcoming Beyond Live CD and DVD release.

 

Absolva were born in May 2012, in the wake of Fury UK bassist Luke Appleton joining Iced Earth, and from inception the new band earned a reputation as an inspiring live act. Following the 2012 Bloodstock and Iced Earth shows, the band released debut album Flames Of Justice in November to critical acclaim and set about a rigorous touring schedule with a 16 date European Tour towards the end of the year, followed by a further 33 date European Tour early in 2013. The later tour included 8 shows as special guests on the Michael Schenker Temple of Rock and Lovedrive Reunion Tour. Absolva‘s impact on the British and European scene has therefore been immediate.

Absolva online:

http://www.absolva.com
http://www.facebook.com/absolva

 

Saille release video for Blood Libel

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

Belgian black metal band Saille have recently released the video for their single, Blood Libel, taken from their second album Ritu which was released via Code666 Records and Aural Music on 18th January. The story portrayed in the video is based on the actual incidents of blood libel, which is a false claim that religious minorities murder their children to use their blood in aspects of their religious ceremonies or holidays.

The video for BLood Libel can be viewed below. The video was directed by Nicolas Daenens who previously worked with Saille for their video for Plaigh Allais two years previous. The video for Blood Libel was shot on location in a region of Belgium called Meetjesland, which featured both the woods and abandoned church that appear in the video.

Saille online:

http://saille.be
http://facebook.com/saillemetal

 

Absolva announce Beyond Live European Tour, plus live DVD and CD release

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

British metal trio Absolva have announced their upcoming European Tour which will promote the Beyond Live DVD and CD release scheduled for September. The live release will feature the band’s sell-out headline show recorded at Wizzfest in Belgium earlier this year as well as some backstage footage and special bonus features.

Absolva was born in May 2012, in the wake of Fury UK bassist Luke Appleton joining US powerhouse Iced Earth, and from inception the new band earned a reputation as an inspiring live act. Following a debut show at SOS Festival in the band’s home town of Manchester, the band played 3 shows as special guests with Iced Earth followed by a memorable performance at Bloodstock Open Air. The debut album Flames Of Justice was released in November 2012 and promoted with a 16 date European tour including a special show at London Underworld. A further 33 date European tour was completed February-June 2013 which included 8 shows as special guests on the Michael Schenker Temple of Rock and Lovedrive Reunion Tour. So far, with 53 shows under their belt in the 10 months from July 2012 and a debut album which has earned undoubted critical acclaim, Absolva has made an immediate mark on the British and European metal scene.

The tour schedule confirmed so far as the following:

31st August – UK, Burnley, Sanctuary
6th September – UK, Newcastle, Trillians
14th September – Belgium, Hamme, Rock Fest Hall
15th September – Belgium, Roeselare, De Verlichte Geest
19th September – UK, Ipswich, Railway
20th September – UK, Bromsgrove, Rock and Metal Circus
21th September – UK, St.Helens, Pool Saloon
5th October – Norway, Trondheim, Rock Heaven
12th October – UK, Leeds, Full Moon Dog Festival
16th October – UK, Manchester, Ritz (special guests with Queensryche)
17th October – UK, London, Barfly
18th October – France, Arras, Blue Devils Bar
19th October – Netherlands, Nijmegen, Rockcafe Backstage
20th October – Netherlands, Tilburg, Little Devil
25th October – Germany, Muhlhausen, Kulturfabrik
26th October – Germany, Berlin, Blackland
27th October – Czech Republic, Litvinov, Attic Rock Club
1st November – Poland, Tychy, Underground,
7th November – Netherlands, Eindhoven, The Rambler
8th November – Germany, Herdorf, Rattenloch,
9th November – Belgium, Namur, Magick

Further dates to be added soon. Prior to the above tour dates Absolva will play these summer festivals:

15th June Belgium, Wervik, Skull Fest
10th August Belgium, Erpe-Mere, Summerrock
17th August UK, Wakefield, Fox Fest
24th August UK, Stoke, SCARfest

The live DVD and CD will be available with a special pre-order fanpack option – more details soon. Following the Beyond Live tour, Absolva will enter the studio in November and December to record a second studio album for release in 2014.

Absolva online:

http://absolva.com
http://facebook.com/absolva

Sharon Den Adel to perform with Delain at MFVF XI

Posted in Featured, News with tags , , , , , , on 2nd May 2013 by Nico Davidson

Sharon Den Adel, frontwoman of world renowned symphonic rock act Within Temptation, has been announced as a special guest for Delain’s performance at this year’s Metal Female Voices Festival in Belgium.

Aside from Delain, Tarja, Anneke van Giersbergen and Stream of Passion, amongst many others will be performing at this year’s edition of MFVF. The festival takes place from the 18th – 20th October at the Oktoberhallen in Wieze, Belgium. You can get your tickets this location.

For more information on the festival and the complete line up, check the Metal Female Voices Fest website.

In related news, Delain have also been announced as support for the first leg of Within Temptation’s world tour next year. Dates as follow:

January
16 – Lyon, France – Radiant
17 – Paris, France – Zenith
20 – Toulouse, France – Bikini
21 – Nantes, France – Zenith
22 – Lille, France – L’Aéronef
24 – Birmingham, UK – Academy
25 – London, UK – Wembley Arena
27 – Manchester, UK – Apollo
28 – Glasgow, Scotland – Academy
29 – Newcastle, UK – Academy

February
1 – Berlin, Germany – Columbiahalle
2 – Hamburg, Germany – Sporthalle
3 – Köln, Germany – Palladium
5 – Ludwigsburg, Germany – Arena
6 – Frankfurt, Germany – Jahrhunderthalle
7 – München, Germany – Tonhalle
11 – Antwerp, Belgium – Lotto Arena
14 – Amsterdam, Netherlands – Heineken Music Hall

Delain online:

http://delain.nl
https://www.facebook.com/delainmusic

Within Temptation online:

http://www.within-temptation.com/
https://www.facebook.com/wtofficial

Delain will also be headlining the Dames of Darkness Festival next month in Bilston, near Wolverhampton. Further details can be found here. Delain’s next album, Interlude, featuring remixes of classicDelain tracks as well as new and exclusive tracks and DVD footage will be released through Napalm Records next month and can be pre-ordered here.

 

Delain announced as support on Within Temptation 2014 tour

Posted in Featured, News with tags , , , , , , , on 25th April 2013 by Nico Davidson

Dutch symphonic metallers Delain, who have become one of the biggest sensations on the symphonic scene, have been announced as the support act on Within Temptation’s 2014 world tour. Delain will open up for Within Temptation at their shows in France, Germany, the UK, Belgium and the Netherlands.

Tour dates are as follow:

January
16 – Lyon, France – Radiant
17 – Paris, France – Zenith
20 – Toulouse, France – Bikini
21 – Nantes, France – Zenith
22 – Lille, France – L’Aéronef
24 – Birmingham, UK – Academy
25 – London, UK – Wembley Arena
27 – Manchester, UK – Apollo
28 – Glasgow, Scotland – Academy
29 – Newcastle, UK – Academy

February
1 – Berlin, Germany – Columbiahalle
2 – Hamburg, Germany – Sporthalle
3 – Köln, Germany – Palladium
5 – Ludwigsburg, Germany – Arena
6 – Frankfurt, Germany – Jahrhunderthalle
7 – München, Germany – Tonhalle
11 – Antwerp, Belgium – Lotto Arena
14 – Amsterdam, Netherlands – Heineken Music Hall

Delain online:

http://delain.nl
https://www.facebook.com/delainmusic

Within Temptation online:

http://www.within-temptation.com/
https://www.facebook.com/wtofficial

Delain will also be headlining the Dames of Darkness Festival next month in Bilston, near Wolverhampton. Further details can be found here. Delain’s next album, Interlude, featuring remixes of classic Delain tracks as well as new and exclusive tracks and DVD footage will be released through Napalm Records next month and can be pre-ordered here.

 

Ill Niño w/Ektomorf – Vosselaar, Belgium

Posted in Gig, Live with tags , , , , , on 23rd April 2013 by Freya

Ill Niño / Ektomorf
Biebob, Vosselaar, Belgium
30th March 2013

Ill Niño decided to bring their Latin vibe to little Belgium with a stop on their European Epidemic Tour, and they brought the Hungarian band Ektomorf with them to warm up the crowd. Their latest album Epidemia was released in October 2012 so this tour was the perfect opportunity for the band to introduce the new songs.

Even though I said little Belgium, it did take us a while to get to the venue. At some point I thought we wouldn’t make it in time to see Ektomorf, but we were lucky. When we entered the small but cosy venue the band was still setting up their gear. And I was in for a pleasant surprise! Ektomorf, live, is raw, heavy and in your face. Songs like Black Flag and Unscarred are filled with an angry kind of energy and Zoltán Farkas sounds a lot more intense live. Although I did get the feeling that his voice was drowned by the music. The crowd wasn’t really bothered by this and a good part of them decided to give it their all. Still, I’m under the impression that the main part of the audience came to the Biebob to see Ill Niño. [3/5]

After this set it was time for the people to cool down and wait for Ill Niño to light the place on fire once again. And I mean it, by the end of the night the temperature inside of the venue reached tropical heights. Vocalist Cristian Machado must have been sweating like hell in his jacket. That didn’t stop him from pouring his entire being into every single song. Like a ringleader he dragged everyone along, accompanied by charming guitarists and a drummer and percussionist who clearly enjoyed themselves. These two even had a little drum battle going on.

If You Still Hate Me, I Am Loco and When it Cuts made the crowd go wild. These songs build up slowly and make everybody sing along, until the song and the crowd explode into a powerful and musically very clean yet strong madness. And this happened over and over again. Songs from the new album like Eva (for the ladies) and Epidemia were also popular with the crowd, and besides more heavy guitars and drums we also got to enjoy intense, screeching and roaring vocals.

Halfway through the show we had a impromptu break, but it wasn’t the band who decided to take it easy. The Biebob thought that Ill Niño was a bit too heavy, and in the middle of a song the sound went out. The band handled it professionally though and after a few minutes the rowdy crowd could go back to their crowd-surfing, people-pushing and devil-horn-showing behaviour. And this took place almost the entire show. Another example of the fact that the crowd loved the show came along with Te Amo…I Hate You. I spotted many middle fingers and people singing along. And although quite a few photographers clustered together on the front row, they switched up taking pictures with head banging, so it didn’t look like a dead zone out there.

I was happy to spot some of their typical Latin sounds in songs like What Comes Around and Corazon of Mine. The ‘acoustic’ guitars appeared on stage for a moment and took us on a little trip to an exotic destination. That’s also why I was hoping for the Spanish version of How Can I Live, pero me encanta la canción en Inglés también. [4/5]

The next day, after the ringing in my ears subsided, I felt glad I got to enjoy these two bands live. Like I said, I was pleasantly surprised by Ektomorf. I really liked their sound, which sounds deliciously heavy live. I did miss a little bit more action from the crowd.

Ill Niño treated us to a selection of their best songs, and a treat it was! The entire set turned into an intense session filled with energy, passion and amazing music. It’s always great when the audience is having fun, but it seemed like the band was enjoying it as well. The small venue made the show seem a lot more intimate and powerful at the same time, and improved the interaction between the band and the crowd.

Freya Cherlet

 

Symphonic metal titans Leaves’ Eyes added to MFVF 2013

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

German-Norwegian symphonic folk metallers Leaves’ Eyes have been confirmed for the Metal Female Voices Festival, which takes place every October in Belgium. This comes as exciting news for fans the band’s frontwoman Liv Kristine, as she’ll be performing twice at the festival – With Leaves’ Eyes and as part of her solo project.

In related news, Leaves’ Eyes have recently began the vocal recordings for their upcoming album, Symphonies of the Night.

Tickets and information for the Metal Female Voices Festival in Belgium can be found by clicking the image below.

 

Local band announced for MFVF

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , on 23rd March 2013 by Nico Davidson

Local act Hell City have been announced for this year’s Metal Female Voices Festival at Oktoberhallen in Wieze, Belgium. The five piece classic metal outfit, whom are influenced by the likes of Iron Maiden, Metallica and Led Zepplin, will join the likes of Tarja Turunen, Stream of Passion, Delain and more for the three day festival from 18th – 20th October, later this year. Tickets and further information are available from the festival’s official website, which can be accessed by clicking the image below.

 

Crossover rockers Kontrust announced for MFVF

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , on 22nd March 2013 by Nico Davidson

Following a constant flow of announcements, Kontrust are the latest band to be added to the Metal Female Voices Festival in Belgium, which will take place from 18th – 20th October, later this year. Tickets and further information are available from the festival’s official website that can be found here. The festival’s full line-up so far is: Tarja TurunenDelainReVampVisions Of AtlantisSerenityAnneke Van GiersbergenKobra & The LotusImperiaStream Of PassionVictoriansChaostarL‘EndeviDalriadaCrimfall CadaveriaKontrust.

 

Crimfall and Cadaveria announced as latest additions to MFVF

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , on 21st March 2013 by Nico Davidson

Finnish energetic folk metallers Crimfall and “horror metallers” Cadaveria are the two latest additions for Belgium’s Metal Female Voices Festival, which is considered by many to be one of Europe’s premier “female fronted metal” festivals.

The full line-up for this year’s MFVF is as follows:

Tarja TurunenDelainReVampVisions Of AtlantisSerenityAnneke Van GiersbergenKobra & The LotusImperiaStream Of PassionVictoriansChaostarLEndeviDalriadaCrimfallCadaveria.

Full information on the festival and how to buy tickets can be found at this location.