Archive for Bruce Dickinson

Sonisphere Festival announce more bands

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , , , on 6th January 2014 by Nico Solheim-Davidson, the North Sea Poet

Sonisphere Festival have proudly announced more bands for its return to Knebworth in July later this year. The first to be announced who will be joining the event’s headliners The Prodigy, Iron Maiden and Metallica are Australian hard rockers Airbourne, who have amassed a legion of fans over their decade-long existence, with a high-octane live show featuring lead singer and guitarist Joel O’Keefe’s outrageous showmanship. Joel O’Keefe comments:

Us four guys are seriously fired up and chomping at the bit to bring the ‘Black Dog Barking’ Tour to Knebworth. With monumental metal juggernauts Iron Maiden and Metallica coming to shake Knebworth to the core along with Bruce Dickinson also announcing it will be the last concert of the ‘Maiden England’ tour this is a rock’n’roll event in time that can’t be missed. We are deeply honored to have the green light for an Airbourne/Knebworth assault, to get out there on Knebworth’s hallowed ground in front of that sea of heavy metal maniacs and give them every ounce of blood sweat and energy we got… And afterwards we’ll grab a case of ice cold Trooper ale’s and watch the best heavy metal bands of all time! See ya there!

US rock group Alice In Chains, Swedish pop-doom act Ghost, French progressive metal lords Gojira and Australian five piece Karnivool are also amongst the list of bands to be announced for Sonisphere 2014. Alice In Chains lead vocalist and guitarist William DuVall comments:

We’re very excited to be playing once again at Sonisphere, particularly as this year has us joining our longtime friends in Metallica. It should be a fun ride for everyone – both on and off the stage.

And last but not least Mastodon are scheduled to make their first Sonisphere appearance since 2011 alongside a band that need no introductions: Slayer, as they bring their ferociously demonic live show back to Sonisphere, following their 2011 performance as part of the Big 4 line-up alongside Metallica, Megadeth and Anthrax. With their 11th studio album due for release in 2014, Slayer will be delivering their brand of skull-crushing heaviness louder and heavier than ever before. As guitar-god Kerry King says:

Great to be back at Sonisphere this year!! Always a giant party!!!

As previously announced The Prodigy, Iron Maiden and Metallica headline Sonisphere 2014, in an historic bill guaranteed to make Knebworth’s 40thAnniversary one of the most memorable events ever staged in the grounds, especially as it is the first time ever that Iron Maiden and Metallica have appeared together on the same bill in the UK.

Sonisphere 2014 marks the return to Britain of the Sonisphere Festival, which for the past five years has been the biggest pan-European festival, playing to audiences of over 1.5 Million fans. Early Bird Weekend tickets for Sonisphere 2014 are on sale now priced at £170 (limited availability). The highly popular deposit scheme will also be running from now until April, meaning fans will be able to reserve their tickets for an initial payment of just £50. Check the Sonisphere website for further details.


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Gone Til Winter – The First Season [2011]

Posted in Review with tags , , , , , on 17th January 2012 by Nico Solheim-Davidson, the North Sea Poet

Band: Gone Til Winter
Album: The First Season
Release year: 2011
Genre: Melodic Metal

Gone Til Winter have been tearing up the British underground for the past few years, with their debut demo “Deconstruct The Season” receiving airtime in the UK, Belgium and France, as well as being played on Bruce Dickinson’s [Iron Maiden] show on BBC6. They’ve even gone as far as support former Iron Maiden frontman Blaze Bayley and Forever Never. Their latest album “The First Season” was released just last year.

The album begins a strong, guitar-heavy track called “Solemnise”. If I didn’t know it was Gone Til Winter I was listening to, I would have easily mistook these for Theatres Des Vampires due to similar sound in the vocal styles and atmospheric use of keyboards. The guitars have a slight hint of thrash elements (without the aggression or speed). “Heat Signal” tears the place up next with a Lamb Of God-esque introduction. I was definitely impressed by how much the bass work could be heard throughout the song and the way it worked with the vocals.

The album takes a lighter pace of guitar work in the soft yet semi-epic sounding form of “Kill Me”. The piano adds a distinct solemnity (is that even a proper word?) to the track which I feel works wonders with the viciously raw guitar sections (or in simpler terms, the less melodic riffs). The bass work, again, can be heard clearly though it does feel like it’s working against the piano in parts of the song. “Utopia” sounds like a polish down Epica demo – musically speaking anyway. The vocal melody is off putting at first as it feels and sounds choppy and lacking any sort of flow. The orchestrated parts are partially ReVamp sounding, creating a warmth within the music. “Deep Sleep” sound void at the beginning but it gradually builds into something worth the listen, especially with the beautiful twang of the bass strings and the rhythmic splash of drums.

”Distant Places” draws in a much darker sound, much like the way that light draws draws in the moths, with the harmonious fusion of vocals and acoustic guitar work. At a few points, the track sounds like it’s going to explode with a roar of guitars and drums, but sadly it does not. Gone Til Winter certainly know how to tease your ears with this track. The dark, acoustic sound travels into the next song “Release” bringing with it a Gothic entourage of vocals and pianos that conjure up dark images and grim feelings like a necromancer calling the dead. “The First Season” comes to a sophisticated end with “Constant Retreat”. The vocals echo a warmth that makes the song sound more welcoming while the acoustic guitar softly sings a harmonic lullaby that feels like it’s apart of the vocals.

”The First Season” displays quite the variety of different sounds, elements and influences, kind of like a musical box of chocolates. Its definitely a unique album in terms of female fronted metal as it avoids the typical elements of most female fronted metal bands (i.e. beauty and beast vocals, strong orchestration). After hearing this album, I would definitely count Gone Til Winter among my top ten favourite female fronted bands.


Nico Davidson