Archive for Deathstars

Interview with Liv Sin

Posted in CD, Metal with tags , , , , , , , , on 28th August 2019 by mickbirchy

Ahead of the release of their new album Burning Sermons on the 6th September, Mick spoke to Liv Jagrell of Swedish heavy metal band Liv Sin. They discussed the production and songwriting of this record in comparison to their previous 2017 album, Follow Me, as well working with some of metal’s heavy hitters. Also, read Liv’s thoughts on women in metal, her biggest piece of advice for new bands and how she has overcome her biggest setback.

 What do you think is the biggest difference between the new album Burning Sermons and your previous album Follow Me?

I think that the biggest difference is in the sound of the album because we’ve brought in electronics and synth sounds. There are more keyboard and orchestral arrangements. This was not present on the first record. Maybe a song or two, but for the first album, it was more just a straight forward heavy metal sound.  However, on this record, we wanted a little bit more of a diverse sound, as a result, we took out some of the guitar-riffing and added in the more electronic sound. So we chose to work with a producer who could help us achieve this. 

I wanted to get on to the production a little bit here. I’ve read that you worked with Emil Nödtveidt  (Deathstars guitarist). What was it like to work with him and what do you feel he added to the album that you really appreciated?

Obviously all of the keyboards, electronics and orchestral arrangements which none of us could have done. He was just a pleasure to work with, it felt like there was no real effort to communicate my ideas with him and he was able to give us the best product possible. I would love to work with him again. I mean, he definitely put his stamp on the music. You can here that Deathstars sound on some of the songs. I feel that he took the songs to another level by adding things that we would not have thought of. 

Another note I have read was that you brought in Björn Strid (singer of Soilwork and The Nightflight Orchestra) for the song “Hope Begins To Fail”. What was it like bringing him into the studio and working with him?

Also, pretty amazing! Björn is an excellent singer, also I am a big fan of Soilwork, I have loved that band since they started. I also like The Nightflight Orchestra too, not 100% my type of music but it shows how versatile he is as a singer. I think that his voice worked really well in the song. We also got him to do the video shoot with us and he is such a funny guy we just had so much fun on set for that music video. Also, I would love to work with him again as well. 

That’s fantastic, I loved hearing that on the album as well. Just moving on to the lyrical aspect of the album. What is your favourite song from a lyrical standpoint on this album and what do you feel is the main message of your lyrics?

Quite hard to say as all of the lyrics are very personal to me. As when I write lyrics, it’s kind of like therapy for me as I try to process my own internal thoughts. However, I always like the idea that these songs can help someone else as well. So, on some the songs, I wrote more from more of my experience or things that I wish would happen. Then, on the other hand, I want to write songs that I think might encourage people. Like the song “At The Gates of The Abyss”, which is a song where I’m trying to inspire people to not give up, at least not today, this is not the day where we all fall. Also, in the song “War Antidote” there’s a line in the chorus ‘Hail To The Freaks’ and I feel this is embracing people who might feel that they don’t belong and try to give them encouragement to continue. That is the main thing I want to get across. That, it’s okay to be different and we can continue together.

That was pretty inspiring. I personally have been loving the album, I just think it’s a more whole and complete album than the first one.

Thank you, yes. Also, we had way more time with this record. I think we worked through the songs much more than on the first album. I think as well, we’ve found a sound that we really like and want to continue with.

Yeah, it feels like a record with more time gone into it. Not that I didn’t like the first album but I thought it was interesting to hear the evolution of your sound. There seemed to be far less fast-paced and intense metal tracks and more of a general grandiose metal sound. What is your process for working the lyrics into the music? Does the idea for the song come first or do the themes of the lyrics come first and then you try an match it?

It depends…. Mostly though, we come up with the melodies and rhythm first then try to piece the words and meaning into that melody. Sometimes, it just does fit and you can become really frustrated and then that leads to “Grahhhhgh, damn it, fuck it!” because you really want that particular rhythm and melody but you also want to say a specific line you can’t find anything to match. I have spent many evenings just staring and working on one sentence and getting nowhere. At that point, I just go “fuck it, it’ll wait until tomorrow”

So with the release of this new record, it’s a given that your new setlist will be mostly new material. Are there any songs from Follow Me that you plan to keep on the setlist?

I think the two that we kinda have to keep are “Let Me Out” and “Killing Ourselves To Live” because they are the main songs from Follow Me. Also, because they are great songs and they work well with the audience. We are also keeping “Hypocrite” as for us, it’s an awesome live song. Also, we’re planning on keeping “Emporer of Chaos” as it fits in very well with the newer songs, because it’s more of a political song and because audiences really like it.

From the last time we spoke, you said that your favourite song on Follow Me was “The Fall”. Any chance that could make it on to the setlist?

It could… But since we have “Chapter of The Witch”, it might be too much as it’s another intense fast-paced song and I don’t want too many of those working their way on to the setlist. So right now we’ve taken away “The Fall” to put in “Chapter of The Witch”. I mean you learn when you tour and “The Fall” has a tendency to be a little too fast, it’s not a really groovy track so we didn’t get the response that we hoped it would have got. I mean I really like the song, but it’s a really hard song to play live. 

Excellent, I mean I really like that song too, so if there’s a chance to hear it live again, I’m always there. Just moving away from songwriting now. What are your thoughts on the progression of women in the metal world, as they are becoming more and more prevalent in a metal context?

It’s interesting that this is even a question but understand why. I hope that it will develop further than it is, it’s definitely better for sure, certainly more so than when I first started in music. You’re seeing many more bands of just women or band with women in them. I hope it will develop further and I hope one day you won’t even have to call attention to it. You know, so we’re at a point where the term “female-fronted” for example is no longer something that is needed.

Yeah, it is kinda silly when you think about it, as long as the music is good, who cares who is playing it. Another question, I think is very interesting. From your experience across your whole career, what is the one piece of advice you give to a new up-and-coming band starting in the industry today?

Since the music business has changed so much since I started, it hard to say. As things that used to be true, aren’t anymore. One thing I will say is you can’t lie to new bands about how much work you have to put into it. Nothing is going to happen for free and if you are not committed, dedicated and not truly ready to sacrifice things, this is not the industry you want to be in. Because you have to sacrifice financial security, friends, families and whatever in order to make it work.  You know, you have to take tours before birthdays, festival slots before weddings. If you’re not prepared to do that, you will be disappointed and you will feel like a failure because you won’t make it very far. I know that sound really harsh because you want to encourage people but it’s also the truth and if you’re not ready there will always be someone who will stand over you. At the same time, I have always been that kind of person to stand on my own and do what my heart tells me otherwise I wouldn’t be here. 

However, if you’re willing to make that kind of sacrifice then it is worth it in the end because music is such a necessary thing, we need it in the world as a world without music would be a hard one to live in.

I couldn’t agree more music is so important, it’s the main thing I use to ignore that fact the world is dying and going to crap. So, just end on and this my favourite question I ask. What is the hardest thing, professionally or personally, you have had to overcome and how did you overcome it?

Hmm, that’s a hard question, give me a minute. So, actually, this is it. I’m afraid of flying and aeroplanes in general. Whenever I sit in a plane, which you do a lot on tour, I ask myself “Why am I doing this?” but I’m still doing it anyway. I think that if I didn’t have this passion for music, I would never face that fear as much as I do. I would probably not go on a plane at all. Yet, today I’m facing that fear all of the time. I always wonder to myself, why isn’t flying becoming easier, because I’m doing it so much. Yes, you have fear but having such a strong feeling inside of you to face that fear is important and once you have that, yes it might not become easier but doing the thing enjoy becomes more rewarding.

Interview and words by Mick Birchall

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Liv Sin – Burning Sermons

Posted in CD, Metal with tags , , , , , , on 26th August 2019 by mickbirchy

Liv Sin
Burning Sermons
Hard Rock, Heavy Metal
Released: 6th September 2019
via Despotz Records

A few years ago I reviewed the debut album from Liv Sin, Follow Me. The Swedish quintet has made big strides in the metal world since then. Armed with Liv Jagrell on vocals and channelling their love of heavy metal, the band are making their return with the new album, Burning Sermons. Everything that made the previous record great is here too. From their gut-busting musicianship to the powerful and emotional lyrical content, this album rips hard and has that old-school heavy metal flavour that will captivate an older audience and entrance a newer crowd. I have to say that I am a bit of a fan and this album has everything that I look for in a metal record. Also, like the last album, Liv Sin has invited some special guests to help this album rock all that little bit harder.  On the upcoming single, “Hope Begins to Fade”, Liv duets with Björn Strid, singer of Soilwork and The Nightflight Orchestra.​

Purely from a production point of view, this album sounds so good. The guitars are heavy and the drums hit with intensity. Everything is mixed with such a glorious tone and it makes Liv’s vocals stand out so much as she delivers the lyrics with such conviction. One song where this is so noticeable is “Death Gives Life Meaning”. The aggressive, forceful tone really drives the point home while the frantic energy of the instrumentation performs beautifully and is mixed so well. The production was done by Deathstars guitarist Emil Nödtveidt who has really created an amazing atmosphere here for Liv Sin, with bombastic tones that just scream, “listen to this!”

The lyrical content is well presented here, with themes of personal struggles and hardship. Liv Sin really put their best foot forward in this department, with poetic imagery and well-chosen lines. The lyrics themselves are quite interesting when thinking about them. The way she chooses to communicate her feelings and how it blends into the music is really great. I really like the song “At The Gates of The Abyss” for this reason, the way all of the elements of the band mix with the lyrics, creating a powerful and interesting song.

This is a really great record! I liked the first album but really enjoyed this one. It’s new metal music with a very old school mentality. Liv Sin is very quickly becoming one of my favourite metal bands. This album just felt more like a complete package, the new sound with the keyboards and synth work mixed in with the guitars and Liv’s forceful and powerful delivery. It all sounds so brilliant and I have to say I love this new direction the band is taking. Definitely, one to check out and one I need to see live sooner rather than later.

8/10

Mick Birchall

Deathstars live in Tampere, Finland

Posted in Gig, Industrial, Live, Rock with tags , , on 28th September 2014 by izaforestspirit

Woland, Deathstars
Klubi, Tampere, Finland
27th September 2014

Deathstars and I go way back… I first discovered them in my late teens, back in 2003 when their debut album was released. I liked them then and I still like them now. This was actually my third Deathstars gig – I saw them at a festival once then again a few years later when they supported Rammstein. The last show I saw was at a massive stadium; a venue which though perfect for Rammstein, was way too big for these guys. They struggled to connect with the audience and looked uncomfortable when faced with such a massive crowd.

Tonight was much better. The venue, Klubi was considerably smaller and packed full of eager fans.

The warm-up was a Finnish black metal band called Woland. These guys were only on for half an hour so there’s not an awful lot that I can say about them based on such a short performance. Their style is melodic and atmospheric at times. They sounded decent but there was nothing particularly exciting about their music. 3/5

Deathstars
The night club Klubi offers more intimate setting that Whiplasher and his motley crew thrived in. They played a good mix of old and new tracks including ‘Explode’ and ‘The Devil’s Toys’ from the new album and several classics such as ‘Tongues’, ‘Synthetic Generation’, ‘Play God’ and ‘Blood Stains Blondes’. The two main highlights of the night for me were the ultra catchy ‘Death Dies Hard’ and one of my personal favorites ‘Cyanide’.

This was definitely the best Deathstars gig I’ve been to. It just shows what a big difference the venue makes to the overall experience. Deathstars are best suited for a small club venue and I’m glad that they came to my city. 4.5/5



Iza Raittila

Deathstars – The Perfect Cult

Posted in CD, Industrial, Metal with tags , , , , , , on 13th June 2014 by Pieni

Deathstars
“The Perfect Cult”
Industrial goth
Released on 13th June 2014
Via Nuclear Blast

 photo Deathstars-ThePerfectCult-Artworkcopy_zps3f44e279.jpg

Deathstars have always had a dark sound and image, but in the five years that have passed since their last studio album, that darkness seems to have grown thicker. No, I’m not saying you’ll feel like you’re attending a funeral or visiting the depressive ward of a mental institution – by the contrary. But while “Synthetic Generation” and “Termination Bliss” sparkled defiantly, their sharp beats and aggressive licks an invitation to rebel, Deathstars started to soften the edges in “Night Electric Night” and the process eventually lead to a classy glowing seduction with “The Perfect Cult”. It’s more mature, more sober, aiming to enthrall you rather than blasting you. And at the same time, it’s a darkness that’s pretty much alive. I guess this definition could light up a “gothic rock” neon sign in your minds, but that’s not the case either. This is something else. This is… well, it’s Deathstars. I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve heard people saying they’re like a mix of this and that, but I still think they’re quite unique.

On the official trailer of the album you hear Nightmare Industries claiming that the guitars “have never sounded so heavy”. Well that’s no salesman talk and there’s really no other way to say it – they’re the heaviest so far. Which doesn’t mean its nature has changed; one still recognizes Nightmare’s watermark, but in a more intense outcome. There’s even a solo in “Temple Of The Insects”! How about that?

Skinny Disco’s bass has also become more solid, making all the difference in songs such as the first single “All The Devil’s Toys” or the title-track.

Whiplasher Bernadotte’s vocal style is probably the one thing that remains unchanged – the deep, strong pitch against the raspy whispers here and there. What did change though was the increased number of overlapped and backing vocals in the choruses, creating an effect of grandeur. Like “Explode”. Or “Ghost Reviver”. Or even “Noise Cuts”. Hell, all of them!

On the aforementioned trailer, Nightmare also said that this was the first album recorded with live drums. I confess I didn’t notice any difference, meaning that Vice is that good. Although there’s something on the drums of “Asphalt Wings” that sounds more… human.

Last but not least, the wider range of synths, from the creepy and cold patterns of “Bodies” to the eighties’ vibe in “Fire Galore”, going through the sneaky keys of “Track, Crush & Prevail”, there’s all kinds of electronic flavors here.

Personally, I would’ve preferred if they had stuck with the spunky nature. But at the same time, I’m the one who’s always encouraging bands to risk a change so they won’t repeat themselves. Plus, by the third time I was listening to “The Perfect Cult”, the new not-so-edgy sound had started to grow on me and I just had to admit its greatness.

4 / 5

Renata “Pieni” Lino

Deathstars new single “All The Devil’s Toys” out today

Posted in News with tags , , , , , on 11th April 2014 by Pieni

 photo 1509244_10152346664309645_720116506355413930_n_zps556c0875.jpg

Deathstars 4th album, “The Perfect Cult”, will be out in June (13th in Europe, 16ht in the UK and 24th in the US) but its 1st single, “All The Devil’s Toys” hits the European digital stores today (Northern Americans will have to wait another four days, thoug). Here are the links:

iTuneshttp://georiot.co/DeathstarsATDTiTunes

NB MP3: http://smarturl.it/DeathstarsATDT-NBMP3

Amazon: http://georiot.co/DeathstarsATDTamazon

Google Play : http://smarturl.it/Deathstars-ATDT-Play

Check out also the first official trailer (or Episode 1), posted on Nuclear Blast‘s YouTube channel yesterday, where guitarist Nightmare Industries talks about the production of the upcoming album, the first with drummer Vice:

Official Website

Official Facebook

 

Deathstars reveal details on upcoming album The Perfect cult

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , , on 11th March 2014 by Nico Solheim-Davidson

Swedish industrialist rock band Deathstars will be returning with a huge blast with the release of their highly anticipated upcoming album The Perfect Cult. The album was documented in several studios: drums, guitars and bass were recorded in Bohus Sound Recording, Kungälv Sweden, vocals in Gig Studios in Stockholm, Sweden and keyboards, orchestration and editing was done in Black Syndicate, Stockholm. Mixing was handled by legendary Stefan Glaumann (Rammstein, Within Temptation). For the drum, guitar and bass-production, guitarist/keyboardist Nightmare worked together with Roberto Laghi (Emtombed, In Flames) at Bohus Sound Recording. The Mastering was done by Svante Forsbäck (Volbeat, Rammstein) at Chartmakers, Helsinki, Finland.

Commenting on the theme of the lyrics, vocalist Whiplasher said:

All the tracks are about our lives. Each song is a reflection on a situation or a topic that deals with our experiences, usually from a jet black perspective.

The tracklisting for The Perfect Cult is as follows:

01. Explode
02. Fire Galore
03. All The Devil’s Toys
04. Ghost Reviver
05. The Perfect Cult
06. Asphalt Wings
07. Bodies
08. Temple Of The Insects
09. Track, Crush & Prevail
10. Noise Cuts

Deathstars online:

http://deathstars.net
http://facebook.com/deathstars

 

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Deathstars announce 2014 UK tour

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , , , , on 6th November 2013 by Nico Solheim-Davidson

Sweden’s very own glam-death outfit Deathstars have recently announced a string of UK tour dates in March next year. The tour will be in support of their upcoming, highly anticipated album which is set to be released in February of next year via Nuclear Blast. This will be Deathstars’s first album since their the band’s 2009 release Night Electric Night. The recordings will take place in Studio Bohus with Roberto Laghi who will co-produce the album together with Nightmare Industries. Lead vocalist Whiplasher Bernadotte comments on the forthcoming full-length album:

Deathstars is an adventure for us. It’s as if it is a phenomenon of it’s own, and our forum for destruction, glitter and darkness. We are very excited about the new material and every time we hit the studio we never know what the outcome will be, i mean we have a general idea but we’re never a 100% sure how the final result will be until we’re done and can sit back and listen to it.

Tour dates as follows (Ticket links included):

Tuesday 25th March- London – The Garage

Wednesday 26 March – Manchester – Academy 3

Thursday 27 March – Wolverhampton – Slade Rooms

Deathstars online:

http://facebook.com/deathstars
http://twitter.com/deathstars