Archive for Floor Jansen

Nightwish – Endless Forms Most Beautiful

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on 19th April 2015 by mickbirchy

Nightwish
Endless Forms Most Beautiful
Symphonic metal
Released on March 30, 2015
Via Nuclear Blast Records

OK, so I’m not going to pretend like I’m the biggest Nightwish fan. However, I am a fan of the symphonic metal genre and they are a big part of that world of music and I did enjoy their last outing Imaginaerum, like, a lot. So, when I got Endless Forms Most Beautiful I was wondering what the band had in store, as this is the first album with new singer Floor Jansen, who to me seemed like a good match for them; she has a fantastic voice and I was wondering how the band were going to use her for this album.

Now the intro is out of the way, I’ll just say it: this album is bad, really bad, but… The bits that Nightwish get right are pretty fantastic.  I can honestly say that some of the riffs and melodies on this record are actually really good. It’s like a bad Disney movie, bad and hard to sit through, but dammit, when they get it right, they get it right.  Same can be said for this album, it’s all pretty hit and miss. Believe when I say, I hate that I have to hate this album, because a few changes here or there and this would have been solid, or at the very least listenable. The album opens with the tune “Shudder Before the Beautiful” which is actually pretty catchy and works pretty well. Same can be said for a range of song on the record, catchy and definitely show signs of interest and promise but ultimately don’t leave much of an impression on me. Tuomas Holopainen’s compositions always have this weird charms to them but it’s the song he wrote with Marco Hietala that particular stand out for me, especially Yours Is An Empty Hope.

To be perfectly honest, I think it’s because the album feels mostly lifeless. I’m willing to concede that yes, a lot of work went into this record, but everything feels so lifeless and non committal. It just feels empty. Also I don’t think Floor Jansen is used to her fullest potential, I know that was the intention but why? It’s like a pirate ship having 50 cannons and then choosing not to use 25 of them, it makes no sense. Also the production sounds a little muted, I always find myself having to turn the volume up, I couldn’t explain this to save me it’s weird.  Alot of it just sounds like their trying way too hard to sound big and symphonic, and when you’re struggling to sound symphonic, it makes everything sound so fake around you and it’s hard to be invested in the music.

The only couple of songs that I really enjoyed on this album are, Yours Is An Empty Hope, which is this high octane rush of a song, it gets you pumped and the music is vaguely interesting here.  Also the title track, Endless Forms Most Beautiful, is pretty decent too, well paced and balanced.  Other than that, I couldn’t recommend this at all.

Overall, well no, I don’t like it.  I know that sometimes different doesn’t always mean bad, but here I feel Nightwish kept too much the same from their records with Anette Olzen. If she was singing here, this might have been salvageable, but you can’t change the singer and keep the old song writing patterns, that makes no sense.  Ultimately I can’t say I like this album, but this has had high critical praise elsewhere, so what do I know…

2/5

Mick Birchall

Nightwish unveil second album trailer titled The Lake

Posted in News with tags , , , on 31st July 2014 by Nico Davidson

Finnish titans of symphonic metal, who now feature Floor Jansen (ReVamp, MaYaN, ex-After Forever) as their vocalist, recently banded together to begin work on the bands next album, which will also be the band’s first studio album to feature Floor. The album is scheduled for a Spring 2015 release via Nuclear Blast. Nightwish recently posted the second trailer for the new album. The trailer can be viewed below:

Nightwish online:

http://facebook.com/nightwish

Sorronia announced as support to Tarja Turunen for six European dates

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , , , , on 15th January 2014 by Nico Davidson

Hungary’s up-and-coming symphonic metallers Sorronia have been confirmed as support for six European shows for Tarja Turunen later this month. Tour dates are as follow:

Jan. 28th – Aula Magna – Lisbon Portugal
Jan. 29th – Sala Arena – Madrid, Spain
Jan. 31st – Santana 27 – Bilbao, Spain
Feb. 1st – Salamandra 1 – Barcelona, Spain
Feb. 15th – Rocking Chair – Vevey, Switzerland
Feb. 16th – Theatro Giovanni Da Udine – Udine, Italy

Sorronia have released its first album, titled Words of Silence, on 28th October, 2013 via Bakerteam Records with world-wide distribution. The beautiful album artwork was handled by the talented artist Alexandra V Bach who also worked with acts like Kamelot and Adagio. The album was warmly welcomed by the audience and the press. The support role on Tarja’s upcoming European tour isn’t the first time that Sorronia have supported a well known act on the female-fronted scene as just recently they were on a shorter tour with the German symphonic metal powerhouse Xandria by visiting Spanish cities: Madrid, Valencia, Barcelona, Zaragoza.

Sorronia online:

http://facebook.com/SorroniaOfficial
http://twitter.com/SorroniaBand/
http://youtube.com/SorroniaOfficial

 

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Epica unveil live clip of Martyr of the Free World; taken from new live DVD Retrospect

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , , , , on 27th November 2013 by Nico Davidson

23rd March this year saw Dutch symphonic titans Epica celebrate their 10th anniversary as a band with a special concert known as Retrospect. Accompanying the band on stage for the 3 hour show was the seventy piece Extended Reményi Ede Chamber Orchestra and the Miskolc National Theatre Choir. The event was filmed for the band’s new live DVD, also known as Retrospect. The band have posted the live clip of Martyr of the Free World (Taken from their Design Your Universe album) from the DVD online. Watch the clip below:

Epica online:

http://epica.nl
http://facebook.com/epica

 

Ghost Love Score live clip available online; taken from new Nightwish DVD: Showtime, Storytime

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

Next month sees the release of Nightwish’s new DVD: Showtime, Storytime and in anticipation of the release, the band have posted another clip from the DVD online. This time of the track Ghost Love Score. The clip can be viewed below.

The Showtime, Storytime DVD will be released in the UK on 2nd December 2013 and is available for pre-order at this location.

Nightwish online:

http://nightwish.com
http://facebook.com/nightwish

 

New trailer for Nightwish – Showtime, Storytime DVD available online

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

Finnish metal outfit Nightwish – who are now fronted by ReVamp vocalist Floor Jansen – are set to release their new DVD Showtime, Storytime next month and in anticipation of the release, the band have released another trailer for the DVD. You can get a glimpse of life on tour with Nightwish down below.

The Showtime, Storytime DVD will be released in the UK on the 2nd December 2013 and is available for pre-order, here, at this location.

Nightwish online:

http://nightwish.com
http://facebook.com/nightwish

 

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.

 

Floor Jansen announced as a permanent member of Nightwish

Posted in Misc., News with tags , on 9th October 2013 by izaforestspirit

The world-renowned Finnish symphonic metallers Nightwish are pleased to announce that singer Floor Jansen, who accompanied them throughout their Imaginaerum World Tour, will become a full-time member of the band.

Here’s what Miss Jansen had to say on the subject:
“Words cannot describe what I feel! This union is beyond everything and I cannot tell you how wonderful it is to continue this amazing journey with my new brothers! Once I had a dream…and this is it!!!”

 photo floorjansenhorns_zps6fd686b9.jpg

Also joining the ranks is Mr. Troy Donockley (uilleann pipes, low whistles, vocals). Here’s the official statement from the band:

“Originally we were going to wait until 2014 to make a decision about the future line-up of the band, but the past year has clearly shown us that Floor and Troy are perfect matching pieces to our puzzle, and we are really grateful of the bond that has grown between all of us. We love you guys.”

Tuomas
Marco
Jukka
Emppu

http://www.nightwish.com

ReVamp’s Floor Jansen give fans track by track run down of Wild Card

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

ReVamp frontwoman and currently Nightwish touring vocalist Floor Jansen has offered up some insight into the lyrical context that comprises ReVamp’s new Wild Card. The album is due out 26th August. The videos can be viewed below.

Regarding the new album’s lead-off track, Anatomy Of A Nervous Breakdown: On The SidelineFloor shares:

Three songs are connected to this [Anatomy Of A Nervous Breakdown] theme about the burn-out time that I had. I hope that my words make sense to other people who’ve been through something similar or even in completely different situations.  For me it’s good to get rid of certain demons, but it’s not a pure selfish act. I always hope other people can relate to it in a way that fits to their lives.  On The Sideline’is literally about standing on the sideline of my life.  That’s how it felt when I was sick. Everything went on, and I didn’t, and I was just looking at it.  And it also gave me the time to reflect on how things had been. Even though it was scary, I felt blessed with what happened . . . That’s also why the last sentence in the lyric says, ‘It made me so humble / I’ll stay a little while longer.’

ReVamp online:

http://revampmusic.com
http://facebook.com/ReVamp

ReVamp post series of trailers online

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , , on 14th August 2013 by Nico Davidson

Wild Card; the second studio album from Dutch symphonic metal band ReVamp – who are fronted by former After Forever vocalist and current touring Nightwish vocalist Floor Jansen – is set for release on 26th August.

ReVamp recently posted a five minute trailer about the recording process of ReVamp. The trailer features album producer Joost Van Den BroekReVamp‘s drummer Mathias Landes, as well as keyboardist and co-songwriter Ruben Wijga and guitarist Jord Otto. The trailer can be viewed below.

ReVamp previous Wild Card trailers can be viewed at the following locations: TRAILER ONETRAILER TWOTRAILER THREE

The lead single from Wild Card, titled The Anatomy Of A Nervous Breakdown: On The Sideline, is now available for purchase from iTunes at this location and displays Floor Jansen‘s unique vocals.

The guest vocalists on the album are Mark Jansen (Epica), Johan van Stratum and Marcela Bovio (Stream of Passion), Daniel de Jongh (Textures) and Devin TownsendReVamp will be touring Europe with Kamelot in November, later this year.

Wild Card tracklist is as follows:

01. The Anatomy Of A Nervous Breakdown: On The Sideline
02. The Anatomy Of A Nervous Breakdown: The Limbic System
03. Wild Card
04. Precibus
05. Nothing
06. The Anatomy Of A Nervous Breakdown: Neurasthenia
07. Distorted Lullabies
08. Amendatory
09. I Can Become
10. Misery’s No Crime
11. Wolf And Dog
Bonus Track:
12. Sins

ReVamp online:

http://www.revampmusic.com/
http://www.facebook.com/ReVamp
http://twitter.com/ReVampOfficial

Nightwish set to capture upcoming Wacken performance for DVD release

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , on 31st July 2013 by Nico Davidson

Nightwish recently reached triple platinum status in Finland for their album Imaginaerum which is regarded as the band’s pinnacle masterpiece. They have also reached gold status with the album in several other European countries. The band also released their highly successful fantasy motion picture, Imaginaerum by Nightwish and have toured all around the globe in support of both these releases. The Finnish metal legends are now approaching what is to be the end of their album cycle with the last three shows in support of Imaginaerum closing in soon. So, to celebrate the grand finale of Imaginaerum, Nightwish will be recording their ENTIRE show at this year’s Wacken Open Air – The world’s biggest metal festival – for a Blu-Ray/DVD release. The band’s mastermind and keyboardist, Tuomas comments:

The time has come soon to wrap up the magical & memorable one-and-a-half year Imaginaerum World Tour 2012-2013! We still have three shows left, one of them being at the legendary Wacken Open Air Metal Festival on the 3rd of August. This show will be something extra special, since it will be released later this year on DvD/Blu-ray, together with a massive Imaginaerum World Tour 2012-2013 documentary. Our darling flying Dutchwoman, Floor Jansen (ReVamp/ex-After Forever), has been nothing but incredible during her time in Nightwish on this tour, so this is a perfect opportunity to immortalize the current vibe of the band on film!

More info soon to be revealed! Also, be sure to check out Floor‘s other project, ReVamp, with new record Wild Card set for release on 26th August 2013.

Nightwish online:

http://www.nightwish.com
http://www.facebook.com/nightwish

 

ReVamp reveal tracklist for upcoming album; Wild Card and new trailer

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , on 20th June 2013 by Nico Davidson

Dutch symphonic metal band ReVamp, fronted by Floor Jansen (Nightwish/ex-After Forever), have revealed the tracklist for their upcoming album Wild Card as well as details about guest musicians featuring on the release and a new trailer. During in the trailer, Floor talks about the guest musicians who feature on the album. The trailer can be viewed below. The tracklist is as follows:

01. ‘The Anatomy Of A Nervous Breakdown’: On The Sideline
02. ‘The Anatomy Of A Nervous Breakdown’: The Limbic System
03. Wild Card
04. Precibus
05. Nothing
06. ‘The Anatomy Of A Nervous Breakdown’: Neurasthenia
07. Distorted Lullabies
08. Amendatory
09. I Can Become
10. Misery’s No Crime
11. Wolf and Dog
Bonus track:
12. Sins

In related ReVamp news, the band’s Kickstarter campaign has been a success and the band have raised enough funds to go on tour, starting in September according to a recent post on the band’s official Facebook page.

ReVamp online:

http://www.revampmusic.com/
http://www.facebook.com/ReVamp
http://www.twitter.com/floorrevamp
http://www.youtube.com/user/musicrevamp
http://www.myspace.com/revamp

Sauna Open Air 2013 – Tampere, FIN

Posted in Festival, Live with tags , , , , , , , on 9th June 2013 by izaforestspirit

Nightwish, Sabaton, Volbeat and many more
Ratina Festival Park, Tampere, Finland
8th – 9th June 2013

Sauna Open Air is an annual metal festival held in the city of Tampere. It has been running since 2004 and prides itself in showcasing a large variety of Finnish bands along with some international acts. This year the venue was moved to the Ratina Stadium located in the city centre within easy access of all transport routes.

Saturday 8th June (Day 1)

Stratovarius
I was still in the entrance queue as this band started playing. I can’t say that I’m too familiar with their music but even I recognized some of the hits such as ‘Black Diamond’ and ‘Hunting High and Low’. There’s nothing quite like a bit of power metal to get you in a festival mood. 3/5
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Children of Bodom
The band I’ve been waiting for! I’ve been a fan of their music for many years now and so my expectations for the show were high. Luckily Mr. Laiho and co. know how to entertain the home crowd. They mentioned playing in their hometown of Espoo earlier and called for Tampere to start a mosh-pit and make it’s bigger than the one in Espoo. They played a healthy mix of new songs from ‘Halo of Blood’ such as ‘Transference’ along with some old favorites including: ‘Needled 24/7’, ‘Bodom After Midnight’ (one of my personal favorites), ‘Everytime I Die’, ‘Hate Me’, ‘In Your Face’ and ‘Downfall’. It was an impressive show with lots of guitar solos, fast keyboards and Alexi Laiho’s signature semi-growls. 4.5/5
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Opeth
Hailing from Sweden, this progressive melo-death troupe was one of the few non-Finnish bands in the line-up. There’s not an awful lot that I can say about this band except that I used to like their music back when they played something resembling melodic death metal. I’m sure that progressive rock and metal fans would love it. 2.5/5
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Finntroll
This band of freakish woodland creatures showed up on stage draped in full costume complete with troll ears and scary make-up. I’m not too familiar with the latest album but based on that performance I can safely say that it sounds catchy and definitely benefits from being played live. Lucky for me they also played some of the older songs including the crowd favorite ‘Trollhammaren’ which really got the mosh-pit moving. Overall it was a great show, fun to watch and dance along to. 4/5
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Nightwish (with Floor Jansen)

I’ve seen these guys live before, in Helsinki back when Anette was their singer. That show suffered from a case of bad vocals, which were often drowned out by the guitars, and the singer being slightly ill that night…

This was 10 times better. Aside from the impressive stage decorations and pyrotechnics, the main attraction was the guest singer Floor Jansen (ReVamp/ex-After Forever) whose powerful voice and charismatic stage presence won the audience over. Her heartwarming attempts at Finnish proved a hit with the crowds. Nightwish played a mixture of older songs including: ‘She Is My Sin’ (a personal favorite), a cover of ‘Over The Hills and Far Away’, ‘Dark Chest of Wonders’, ‘I Wish I Had An Angel’, ‘Nemo’ along with some newer material such as ‘Storytime’, ‘I Want My Tears Back’ and ‘Amaranth’. It’s surprising just how big of a difference the lead singer makes to a band’s performance. I really liked Nightwish with Tarja Turunen, hated them with Anette Olzon and really enjoyed them with Floor Jansen at the helm. Let’s just hope that they retain her services and make her a permanent member of the band. 4/5
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Sunday 9th June
(Day 2)

Hardcore Superstar
This was one of those bands I’ve heard a lot about though I’m not too familiar with their music. Based on today’s performance, what I can say is that they played decent sounding rock and drew in a sizable crowd. The music itself was rather catchy at times and had a slight Guns’n’Roses feel to it.
2.5/5
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Sabaton
The Swedish power metal battalion sure know how to make an entrance. They chose to have ‘The Final Countdown’ playing in the background as they come on stage. Nice touch! The last time I heard them was at Tuska festival last year when they concentrated mainly on older material, playing only one track from the new album. This time their set-list included lots of tracks from ‘Carolus Rex’ such as ‘Gott Mit Uns’, ‘Lion From The North’, ‘Poltava’and the Swedish ‘Karolinens Bön’ along with some old classics such as ‘Ghost Division’ and ‘The Art of War’.
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They also played some local favorites, songs connected to Finnish history such as ‘The White Death’ and ‘Talvisota (Winter War)’. Frontman Joakim Bróden even found time to crack a few jokes, comparing the band to The Village People, attempting some basic Finnish (“Terve Tampere!”) and greeting the band’s youngest fan, a three year old boy who had come to watch the show with his parents. A great show! 4/5
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Overall it was a very enjoyable two day festival. It’s great to see that Tampere can host these kind of events and that you don’t always have to travel to Helsinki to witness a good metal festival. My favorite performances were Children of Bodom and oddly enough Finntroll. I was also pleasantly surprised by Nightwish. Sabaton delivered yet another solid performance, not the first but hopefully not the last either.

Iza Raittila

 

ReVamp reveal album art and title of upcoming album

Posted in News with tags , , , , on 7th June 2013 by Nico Davidson

Dutch metallers ReVamp have just announced the title and cover art of their forthcoming studio album set for release via Nuclear Blast on 26th August 2013. The record is entitled Wild Card – a title that according to singer Floor Jansen, came about as follows:

This album became the most aggressive album I’ve ever made and in the lyrics I tell a lot about my personal experiences of the last years. This resulted into some heavy stories and some openhearted ‘screams’ I needed out of my system. It matches the violence of the music in a great way, we wrote as a great team! But not one sentence or word can really cover the contents of this album. Its variety in all its ingredients makes it almost impossible. A wild card is an unpredictable and unforeseeable factor. You don’t know what you’re getting, or when. That’s this album! It’s 100% ReVamp and it’s your wild card!

The artwork is quite a literal reflection of this, Floor continues:

I am the queen of hearts on it, who is a wild card herself. You see a ‘nice’ and a ‘nasty’ queen. The nasty one has a cracked lip, cuts in her face and a bleeding heart in her hand. The other queen looks nice even though queens of hearts never truly are… Again, what is it you’re going to get? In that respect it visualizes the music, from aggressive and nasty to melodic and pretty. This theme has been important to me personally throughout my career and also in this album I played with it to the max. I used my voice in so many different ways now! The music invited me to do this, I am super proud of the amazing guitar riffs, the versatile and groovy but mega tight drums and the keyboard sounds and arrangements that bring something new to the table. We hope you like our wild card!

Watch a first album trailer, including video footage from the studio and a brand-new song snippet below:

The artwork was created by Richard Stark (no relation to House Stark) of NI Concept and Design.

ReVamp online:

http://revampmusic.com
http://facebook.com/ReVamp

 

ReVamp launch Kickstarter campaign

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

Dutch metallers ReVamp, whom are fronted by Floor Jansen who is best known for her recent touring stint with Nightwish, have recently launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds to go on tour. Further details can be found at this location.

ReVamp are also working on their second album at the moment which will be released in August through Nuclear Blast, following the release date being pushed forward from September. The album will feature Stream of Passion bassist Johan van Stratum. The album’s title and artwork are still yet to be revealed.

ReVamp online:

http://www.revampmusic.com/
http://www.facebook.com/ReVamp
https://twitter.com/ReVampOfficial

 

ReVamp move album release forward plus announce new bassist

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

Dutch symphonic powerhouse ReVamp, fronted by Floor Jansen who recently acted as on-tour vocalist for Nightwish, have announced that they are moving the release dates for their currently untitled second album forward. The announcement came via the band’s official Facebook page. The new release dates are:

21st August – Sweden
23rd August – Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Finland, Norway
26th August – UK, France, Benelux, Spain, Portugal, Denmark, Poland
27th August – Italy

Release dates for Japan and the US are to be announced.

In recent and related news, ReVamp also announced the addition of their new bassist; Henk Vonk, who is replacing Jaap Melman who left before the recording of the second album. Stream of Passion’s bassist Johan van Stratum filled in bass duties for the second album. Henk Vonk comments on joining ReVamp:

I’m stoked to have been asked to join the ReVamp ranks. I’ve known Jord and Ruben for years and have played with other ReVampers before in other projects. This is a great honour and I look forward to see each and everyone of you on tour!

ReVamp online:

http://revampmusic.com
http://facebook.com/ReVamp
https://twitter.com/ReVampOfficial
http://www.nuclearblast.com/revamp

The Dames of Darkness Festival 2013 – Bilston, UK

Posted in Festival, Live with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 24th May 2013 by Nico Davidson

Delain, Visions of Atlantis and more
The Robin 2, Bilston, UK
Saturday 11th May 2013

For the first time in five years, The Dames of Darkness was set to return with one hell of a line-up. Featuring Delain as the headliners and Visions of Atlantis as main support, what more could be asked for? Well, how about six more bands from all around the UK and Europe, including Azylya, Ex Libris, Chemikill and more.

Beginning the day were melo-power metallers Incarna. Fronted by the innocent looking Emily, the four piece band stood out from other bands on the bill, dropping the use of keyboards (as is found with so many “female-fronted” bands on the scene) for a sound with more balls, more emotion and more crunchy riffs. Belting out enchanting melodies and a near operatic vocal sound, the 400 plus crowd were clearly mesmerized by Incarna; and who wouldn’t be after such a powerful and emotive performance? [5/5]

Chemikill brought a more thrashy, in-your-face sound with them – sort of what Megadeth would sound like if Mustaine was born a chick. The riffs were gritty and violent, contrasting with the ruthless drumming and the thundering bass and even during in the performance of the more calm track Wych, Chemikill were proving themselves to be a force to be reckoned with. The band’s frontwoman, Natalie, certainly knew how to work the crowd; whipping them into a near-bloody frenzy, with fist pumping and chanting. Natalie’s vocals were definitely one of the most impressive things about Chemikill’s set; incorporating growls and cleans vocals, as well as a more belting style as well. [4/5]

Following Chemikill were the Dutch powerhouse Ex Libris (Latin for “from the books”), fronted by the soprano Dianne, who took to the stage like a Gothic Aphrodite. The band sound was heavier and darker than could have been expected for anyone who wasn’t familiar with their music and it was made more mystifying by the overwhelming vocal range of Dianne, which was demonstrated to its full an extent during in their softer songs. The use of the ethereal keyboard passages and melodic guitar sections helped to emphasise the band’s dark sound that was beautifully portrayed throughout their performance. [4.5/5]

Playing the UK for the first time, Azylya brought with them a heavy Gothic sound mixed with in frontwoman Jamie-Lee’s performance art. Jamie-Lee’s vocals came out a like a siren’s call, luring the crowd into the rocks that was the band’s guitar-driven sound blended with the more death metal-based vocals of Yohann. Disappointingly though, the keyboards that make up the Gothic part of Azylya’s sound were played back, though it still helped to the eerie atmosphere of their performance. [4/5]

Apparition, the host band of The Dames of Darkness, belted out their own distinct brand of darkened rock and metal, with vocals that resembled the likes of Floor Jansen, Amy Lee and Anette Olzen. The cumbersome use of bass differed from the calmer yet aggressive use of guitars, though there were parts during in Apparition’s set that the guitars were barely audible due to technical issues. Barring the tech issues, Apparition still played a blistering set. [4.7/5]

With powerful and refined vocals and stage presence aplenty, Whyzdom went down a treat. The French “philharmonic metal” sextet blasted their way through an aphotic set with staunch symphonic elements and colossal riffs. The male vocals weren’t very inspiring and sounded flat compared to grandiose sound of Whyzdom. Lead vocalist Marie appeared to be in her element as she kept the crowd entranced with her soothing voice, one that added a certain Cimmerian touch to the performance. [4.5/5]

This was the second time that Visions of Atlantis had come to the UK, but the first time that they played a British festival and they were definitely one of the most anticipated bands of the night. Despite the fact that Maxi mistook Bilston for Birmingham, she worked to the crowd to her favour as did co-vocalist, Mario. The symphonic passages had a certain hypnotising and overwhelming effect to them, strengthening the band’s overall sound and making up for a lack of bass. Mario and Maxi proved to be a great duo, vocally; adding a new depth of emotion to VoA’s music though there were some issues with the microphones that Mario was using. The guitar sections were played with razor-sharp precision and energy, working well with the keyboards and drums. [5/5]

And then came Delain, who proved to have a strong live presence as well as a solid live sound, that made their studio work pale in comparison. Playing a set that featured songs from all four of their albums, everything seemed to meld together in perfect harmony. Charlotte sounded to be on top form as the keyboards, courtesy of Martijn, beautifully accompanied Charlotte’s vocals. The guitar and bass passages belted out harder than a leather belt being struck across the face. See Me In The Shadows was definitely one of the best parts of Delain’s performance at Dames of Darkness, though some of their newer material was extremely enjoyable as well. [4.5/5]

The Dames of Darkness Festival certainly had some of the UK’s and Europe’s best “female-fronted metal” bands with a great crowd from beginning to end. Hopefully we won’t have to wait another five years for the next one. And while it might be a bit adventurous to say at the moment, with festival season only around the corner, The Dames of Darkness might go down in the books as the best UK festival of 2013.

Nico Davidson

ReVamp announce release dates for second album

Posted in Featured, News with tags , , , , , , , , , on 8th May 2013 by Nico Davidson

Dutch metal band ReVamp – who are fronted by Floor Jansen, who recently accompanied Nightwish on their world tour – have announced the release dates for their second album, which is to be released via Nuclear Blast. The album will hit mainland Europe first on 6th September, followed by the UK on 9th September, Japan on 12th September and finally the US on 17th September. Vocalist Floor comments:

Never before in my career I faced a situation like the one we were in with this album. It was a huge challenge because of several reasons. My sickness caused a major break between the first album and tours plus the writing of the first ideas for the second album and the actual finalization of those songs and the album. And right at the moment we started to pick everything back up after I was sick I joined Nightwish. Like a winter and a summer storm, they bring unexpected things, some nasty ones and some amazingly wonderful!

Also the recording of this album was unlike any I did before because I was on tour with Nightwish most of the time. Guided by Joost van den Broek (ex-After Forever, songwriter first for the ReVamp album) the talented musicians of ReVamp recorded all the instruments and when I came back to The Netherlands I stepped into the studio to find a rough diamond. A shiny dark crystal: ready for my vocals. That was magical! The singing went smoother than ever before. The lyrics are like a roadmap through our storms and through my personal detours and horrors.

The result of this trial will be released on album in September 2013. With pride we can announce our partner in crime from the first album will again join forces with us! Metal and rock giant Nuclear Blast will again make sure ReVamp’s new album reaches YOUR music collection wherever you are on this metal loving planet!

ReVamp online:

www.revampmusic.com
http://www.facebook.com/ReVamp
https://twitter.com/ReVampOfficial
http://www.nuclearblast.com/revamp

Floor Jansen begins recording vocals for second ReVamp album

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

Former After Forever vocalist and current touring Nightwish vocalist Floor Jansen has recently entered the studio and began recording vocals for ReVamp‘s second album which is due for release in autumn 2013. Floor Jansen comments: “I will start recording the vocals for the second ReVamp album next week! Been working on the last vocal lines and lyrics today and have some days ahead to spend on this great part of my work as musician! The [other] guys [in the band] have been working their asses off already recording the drums, guitars, bass and keys. Can’t wait to hear the finished result pounding through the speakers… but we all have to be patient a while longer.

 

Leaves’ Eyes @ Manchester Academy [Live Review]

Posted in Gig, Live with tags , , , , , , on 24th October 2011 by Nico Davidson

Bands: Leaves’ Eyes, Stream Of Passion, Awake By Design
Location: Manchester Academy, Manchester
Date: 20th October 2011

I have no idea why Awake by Design were touring with Leaves’ Eyes and Stream of Passion I think the tour would have been better, but not only that they didn’t have any of the same elements that the other two bands offered. With low communication between the band and the audience it was probably good that they had a short set (only a couple of songs) though to be fair the amount of space that they were given – which was next to none – they just had enough to fit the band on and off, which maybe they could of done better with a bit more space.

In 2007 Stream of Passion had to cancel part of their European tour, one part of this tour was in the UK when immigration denied Stream of Passion from entering the UK on suspicions that they were coming here to actually settle in the UK illegally, each member was separated and questioned but despite providing the legal documents they were unable to come over to the UK, that was 4 years ago and Stream of Passion hadn’t even announced a UK yet they talked about returning until the original support act Visions of Atlantis had to cancel their shows in the UK, Czech and France because of Mario Plank voice problems but seemed to be able to make it for their MFVF where they will be shooting there live DVD.

Stream of Passion opened with a song from the new album Darker Days (released June 2011) entitled Lost. They continued to play a lot of songs from their latest album, so if your an old fan there wouldn’t be a lot of songs that you would know, though they did perform Passion and Out of The Real World – Passion is from their first album Embrace The Storm, where the Marcela told the crowd that  it’s a really old song and told everyone to raise their hands and clap within time. They also had one from their second The Flame Within, my favourite song of the night was Collide (there new single), I was happy to see lead singer Marcela Bovio using her violin for the show and did on a numerous of songs through the show but also how she was okay at head banging on the stage I have only every seen that on Cristina Scabbia of Lacuna Coil and Floor Jansen (ReVamp), and how the whole band seemed to be on their music and great hopefully Stream of Passion will get more recognition for what they do as they are great to see live and musically talented. I think that the band enjoyed there time in the UK, more so in London and will be returning (according to their official site and also Marcela mentioned) that you can see Stream of Passion at Fused Festival 2012. 4.5/5

Its been 5 years since Leaves’ Eyes last visited the north of England, so by performing in Manchester they definitely made up for lost time, despite Academy 3 only being a small venue the gig did not sell out but they did have a heavy and respectful crowd which Liv Kristine Espenaes Krull did mention. They kicked off their set with Spirits’ Masquerade, Liv being the last one to come onto the stage in a pure black medieval styled dress with corset around her middle, the sleeves edges of the dress and designed in a gold pattern, where she wore fish nets and high heeled shoes (which she later used to put holes in the set list) as the song progressed she held her hand out and touched everyone that she can reach in the audience.

The next song was from their first album Lovelorn, and is the first song I heard of Leaves’ Eyes, this is Ocean’s Way during the introduction Alexander Krull walks on with his desirable waist length, who encourages the audience to be a bit more brutal referring to his wife as ‘too nice’ and demands that the audience throw their fists in the air. The pair make a great duo Liv’s soft vocal with Alex’s definitely make Leaves’ Eyes unique.

I thought that My Destiny would be the last song or one of the last songs on the set list if not the last song but was pleasantly surprised when it appeared to be the third song in the list, this maybe because Alexandra was already on the stage? Who Knows. The audience is silent and Liv begins to sing the beginning vocals gently taking a quick break to tell the audience she loves them before the guitar riffs start off, Alex’s still encouraging the audience especially to call back at him often holding his ear to crowd in response to get more noise out of us.

From there I don’t know the order of the songs that they played, though the set list was cut short with songs like In To Your Light not being played because of lack of time, the band did continue to play songs from all 4 of their albums, one I didn’t think that they would play was Farewell Proud Men this is probably the songs that Liv came close to head banging and often raising her arm up in the arm to create the rock on symbol \m/

Not long after these songs they began to be slower songs with them playing Krakevisa which was dedicate to the horrible tragedy that happened in Norway this year with a man killing loads of teenagers, the song was sang in Norwegian and has the element of folk in it, the song i think is on about the hunting and killing of something.

After another song the perform Elegy probably one of the mans most famous and icon songs that appears in their second album Vinland Saga, the crowd is encouraged to clap along with the rhythm of the song and to call out the lyrics making sure that the crowd are were on the rising vocal range begin the song ‘Are you ready to sing really high? Are you?”. From this song there o into some musical difficulty with the intro of To France beginning, the crowd than edges them to carry on singing along to To France’s chorus, the next song is obviously To France.

The Last Leaves’ Eyes song is one that I didn’t think would even be on the set list and is off third album Njord Frøya’s Theme, Alex joins his wife on stage to perform their last song.

Leaves Eyes are great performers and the next time that they are in the UK you should totally go, a Security memeber after the show and told Liv that he had never heard of them before but totally enjoyed it. Definitely 5/5.

Danielle Eley