Archive for Gothenburg

Interview with Through The Cracks

Posted in Interview with tags , , , , , , , , on 30th September 2015 by Pieni

Just a little more than a year has passed but a lot has changed in Through The Cracks since I’ve last talked to founder Jimmy Bergman about it (read here); a new interview was in order. I amended that on the day the band played their first show (report here), catching up with them before soundcheck. It was a sunny afternoon in Gothenburg, so we had our interview outside, near the canal that runs close-by Sticky Fingers.

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Renata: hello boys and girl. Thank you so much for taking the time to talk to me on such an important day for you. When I interviewed Jimmy last year, Through The Cracks had a whole different line-up, so I’d like to start there. Sara, how did you join the band?

Sara Lindberg: Well, I knew Niklas (Aggemyr, bass) from before. He recorded me with my old glam rock band, Lazy Lizard, when I was just 16 years old. Then on Facebook he wrote me a couple of times “oh, come down and try out for my band”. But I was skeptic at first. I didn’t like what they were doing at the time, the song that he sent me, so I was always coming up with excuses like “I don’t know if I have the time”(laughs) But I ended up going to the studio and it was great fun. Especially because they said I could make changes, write new lyrics and new melodies, so it turned out a really good match.

Renata: I guess that’s an automatic “no” to my question regarding hearing the first two singles (“Breathless” and “Marionette”) with your voice…

Sara: Exactly! We’re not playing those songs!

Renata: I also read on Jimmy’s blog that you wanted to go heavier. How heavier?

Jimmy Bergman: Death metal! (everybody laughs)

Sara: A little bit more… progressive. I really like Alter Bridge because I love the way Myles Kennedy sings, with a lot of heart, a lot of soul… it’s beautiful! And the riffs and the music are heavy and still groovy… I think they’re more advanced than some of the other bands. And that’s the direction I want us to go. I want our music to touch people.

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Renata: Niklas, your turn: how did you go from producer to bass player? Do you even know how to play (laughs)?

Niklas: Yes, I promise! You’ll see it tonight. I’ve actually played bass for some 20 years now. I think it was when we recorded “Marionette” in my studio that Jimmy asked me to join the band. I thought “yeah, what the hell”.

Jimmy: But it was when he toured with The End Of Grace (Jimmy’s other band – Niklas replaed bass player Johan Hagman while the latter was on paternity leave) that I thought of it. That tour was his trial by fire. (grins)

Renata: And since we’re talking about TEoG… Andreas, how did you ended up replacing Daniel (Holmgren, currently studying in U.S.A.)? You actually like it or you’re just giving a helping hand to your band mate Jimmy?

Andreas Hagman: Well, to be honest… this sucks. (everybody laughs) No, it was Sara who came to me at a gig and said they needed a stand-in drummer. I don’t know if they were desperate or if she wanted me…

Sara, interrupting: No! I really thought Andreas was good.

Andreas: So she asked me if I wanted to join the band, I said I’d think about it… But then I heard the demos she sent me and I really liked it. I think this band is stepping up their game and can go far, so even just as a stand-in member, I’m stoked.

Renata: Well, you’re in the promo shots, so…

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Sara: Yeah, he’s part of the band! (Note: meanwhile, it seems that Daniel isn’t coming back and Andreas was made full-time member of Through The Cracks).

Renata: And how’s the songwriting process? Everybody’s involved or Jimmy’s the big boss?

Niklas: The thing is that Jimmy works like two hours a day… (everybody laughs) No, I’m joking, but he has more free time than the rest of us and so he sits down and works on the songs. But that’s cool ‘cause he has great ideas and records many great songs. Then he sends them to the rest of us and we let Sara take on the lyrics and the melodies, but we all add a little something to the process, we all have a saying in it.

Sara: Jimmy isn’t a dictator. (grins)

Renata: And how do you write the lyrics, Sara? You think of a theme you want to approach and you adapt it to the song, or it’s the song that inspires the lyrics?

Sara: The latter. When Jimmy sends his stuff over, I try to figure out some fitting lyrics to that melody, to that vibe. If it’s a sad song it’s got sad lyrics, if it’s an angry song, I’ll write about something that makes me mad…

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Jimmy (joking): She writes angry songs about meatballs. (everybody laughs)

Sara: I write songs about Jimmy being a dork. (grins) But my dad actually said to my mom that if “Mother” was about her, then “Hateful Things” had to be about him. (laughs) But he was joking.

Renata: And favorite songs? Which is your favorite?

Sara, Jimmy and Andreas: “Soulless Man”!

Niklas: Yeah, the new song is good, but my favorite is “Learn To Run”.

Sara: That’s because you sing on it!

Niklas: No, it’s not because of that! I really think that that song has something more than the others, much more spirit in it.

Sara: Well, one of the reasons I prefer “Soulless Man” it’s because it’s challenging to sing it. It’s not hard but it gives me the chance to show a side of my voice that I really like to use, that it’s fun to use.

Renata: And when will we be able to hear this new song?

Niklas: Well, you’re going to hear it tonight (grins). We’ll release it as a single this autumn. Then after the New Year we should return to the studio. We haven’t decided yet if it’s going to be an EP or a full album; we’ll see how many songs we come up with. But we’ll be working on it and we’ll be posting updates on Facebook, so stay tuned.

Renata: Jimmy, Through The Cracks is your baby. When you started it out a little over a year ago, did you think this is where you’d be today?

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Niklas: Did you think you’d have me in your band? (everybody laughs)

Jimmy: No, to be honest no. Through The Cracks started as a ballad project, with lots of string arrangements. But I like heavier songs and I think that now we have a great mix of both, so we’re going in the right direction. Our new song, for instance. “Soulless Man” is groovy, has more riffing and not so many back tracks. That’s what I want for Through The Cracks now.

Renata: And expectations for tonight?

Jimmy (quoting The End Of Grace): World domination! (everybody laughs)

Sara: That nobody fucks up. And that there will be a lot of people coming to see us. This is my first gig outside of Stockholm so I’m a bit nervous but also excited for having new faces seeing me. I hope they see us and think “look at them, what a cool band!”. I hope they’ll like us.

Renata: I’m sure they will. Thanks again for this little chat and see you in a couple of hours, on stage!

Through The Cracks: Thanks for your support!

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www.facebook.com/ThroughTheCracksBand

Text & photos by Renata “Pieni” Lino

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We Are The Catalyst w/ Through The Cracks – Gothenburg, Sweden

Posted in Gig, Live with tags , , , , , , on 13th September 2015 by Pieni

We Are The Catalyst, Through The Cracks
Klubb Defused, Gothenburg
4th September 2015
Promoted by Kriss Clark/Klubb Defused

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After rating their debut EP, “Hateful Things”, 5/5 (read here), I wanted to see if Through The Cracks could match it up live. They can.

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In support of We Are The Catalyst, Through The Cracks took the stage for the first time last weekend, at Klubb Defused/Sticky Fingers, in Gothenburg. It was precisely the title-track of their EP that kicked off the show, the first notes extended and revamped to form an intro. The crowd didn’t stand that close to the stage, which disappointed me a bit, but every time I glanced back, they were moving their bodies to the rhythm, and would cheer loudly at the end of every song – so the distance, in this case, wasn’t a bad sign after all. All members of the band were quite restless themselves, Jimmy (guitar) and Niklas (bass) even synch-jumping at some point, and Sara headbanging that red hair of hers, as beautiful as her voice, never going out of tune once, not even at the highest notes. After the songs from the aforementioned EP, they closed the gig with a thrilling new song, “Soulless Man”, that follows the heavier path Through The Cracks have announced wanting to ride on. “Soulless Man” should be released as a single this fall.

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www.facebook.com/ThroughTheCracksBand

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We Are The Catalyst were more popular among the crowd, as they’ve been around for about three years now and have a longer discography – an EP from 2013, “Panem et Circenses”, and a full-length from last year, “Monuments”. There was even a group of what seemed to be die-hard fans (and probably friends) of bass player Joni, as they kept screaming his name. But friendships apart, the band’s good, really good. They play alternative rock, just like their support act, and also have a girl – Cat – as lead singer; but guitarist Kenny take a big part in the singing, and the combination of both is quite powerful. Songs such as “Never Fall”, “Not Alone”, the catchy “Fight For Air” and the brilliant cover of Swedish House Mafia’s “Don’t You Worry Child” kept everybody in high spirits.

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www.facebook.com/WATCofficial

In a nutshell, I had a blast: witnessed the live premiere of a promising act, and got to know another dynamic rock band. My trips to Sweden always pay off.

Text & photos: Renata “Pieni” Lino

Nightrage: new album with new singer

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , , on 25th February 2015 by Pieni

Four years after “Insidious”, death metal act Nightrage is back with a new album, recorded with a new singer in a new studio, and to be released under a new label – Ronnie Nyman (from Swedish hardcore band Always War) gives voics to “The Puritan”, that shall hit the stores on April 24th, via Despotz Records. Artwork and track listing below:

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1. The Puritan
2. With a Blade of a Knife
3. Desperate Vows
4. Endless Night
5. Foul Vile Life
6. Stare into Infinity
7. Lone Lake
8. Son of Sorrow
9. When Gold Turns to Rust
10. Fathomless
11. Kiss of a Sycophant

‘The Puritan’ is an uncompromising, dramatic and melodic death metal journey in its purest form. Eleven tracks crammed with brutal riffs, unforgettable hooks and the biggest production on any Nightrage release. Trends come and go but Nightrage always deliver!”

www.facebook.com/nightrage

Despite announce new bass player

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , , , on 23rd January 2015 by Pieni

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After enrolling Zoran Panovic last month for the third guitar, prog/melodeath metallers Despite have now announced Anthony Cui as their new bass player, replacing Mathias “Matte D” Dagerhed, who left the band in November due to lack of time and other personal reasons. With the line-up complete, the band from Gothenburg, Sweden, is ready to hit road, while writing the follow-up to their latest EP “Epic”.

Says singer Peter Tuthill: “It feels absolutely killer to have Anthony on board! I had a gut feeling about him right from the get go, and I’m positive he will be a fresh blood injection into the veins of Despite.”

As for the man himself, he claims: Despite is a killer ride and I’m absolutely stoked to be on board. Home is where the gut tells you it is, and thanks to Despite‘s warm welcome I know where I’ll be. The future is NOW!”

“Epic” was released in January 2014 and in November the band brought to light the single “Chaos Trigger”:

http://www.despiteofficial.com/
https://www.facebook.com/DespiteOfficial

In Flames – Siren Charms

Posted in CD, Metal with tags , , , , , on 4th September 2014 by Pieni

In Flames
“Siren Charms”
Melodic Metal
To be released on 5th September 2014
Via Epic Records

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A smile lit up on my face when I heard that In Flames would release a new album. That smile still glowed when the first single “Rusted Nail” was available. Not a spectacular track but good enough – the guitar licks in the intro flow pretty easily through your ears; Fridén’s vocal tone – mainly clean but harsher here and there and backed by occasional screams – sounds quite pleasant; an exquisite bridge preceding the first chorus, and the catchy melody of the latter…  There’s something standard in the riffing, though, hence the “not a spectacular track”.

Then the aforementioned smile got wider with the release of “Through Oblivion”, a melancholic song, almost depressive, that stirred something in the darkest side of me.

But then I listened to the whole album and the smile faded, almost completely. We already knew the “melodic” was growing stronger and the “death” was dimming, so it isn’t a big surprise that “Everything’s Gone” is the only true heavy song in “Siren Charms”. What disappoints me is that it’s not a very good song. The heaviness of “When The World Explodes” is better, but the softer parts are weak, not because they’re, well, soft and slow, but because they don’t seem to have any spirit in them. This one features soprano Emilia Feldt, who has a beautiful voice but doesn’t help this track at all. Weren’t sirens supposed to have an enthralling vivid chant? Feldt uses a very languid tone here.

Also “Paralyzed” and “Dead Eyes” make justice to their titles, being quite dull tracks. “With Eyes Wide Open” is a nice ballad, though, and “Filtered Truth” has a rock-ish vibe, a lively sound that’s refreshing to hear in the end.

The production is amazing, but something’s missing in “the whole musical picture”. And it’s not the more melodic approach that bothers me. It’s its lack of ability to embrace my senses and leave a positive remark.

3 / 5

By Renata “Pieni” Lino

Göteborg Metal Fest – Gothenburg, Sweden

Posted in Festival, Live with tags , , , , , , , , , on 28th July 2014 by Pieni

Lost Seconds + Chasing Neverland + BatAAr + The End Of Grace
Valand, Gothenburg
25th July 2014

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Göteborg Metal Fest was this really cool event that took place last Friday. Well, cool in the sense of “awesome”, because the literal meaning, regarding temperature… dear Lord! As The End Of Grace-Kriss would later say, “it was like playing in a sauna”.

The original line-up included A Silent Escape and pointed BatAAr as the headliners. But about a week prior to the show, The End Of Grace were announced as the headliners and A Silent Escape’s name erased, just like that. No one gave an explanation for these changes and I didn’t ask for any either – I don’t know A Silent Escape well enough to be bummed by their cancellation, and as you probably know by now, TEoG is one of my favorite bands and so I was stoked to see them topping the bill. Even if just for “prestige” sake, as every band played exactly the same time (half an hour).

I got delayed and almost missed the first band, Lost Seconds (sorry guys). So I’m not very comfortable in saying that I wasn’t impressed with them, as I’ve only seen the two last songs. Especially because I was now listening to them on Spotify and they sound good enough (“Broken” and “Forgotten” particularly standing out). It just seemed they needed a little bit more of attitude – the passion’s there, they just have to let it flow outwards. (3,5 / 5)

Lost Seconds on Facebook

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Chasing Neverland, on the other hand, got on stage like they owned it. A solid discharge of anger, with a handful of fans backing it up loudly. Their debut album “Dissonance In Harmony” was released early this year, I think, and songs such as “Hollow Eyes” (for which there’s a video), “Two Birds One Stone” and “Treat Her Right” seem to be quite popular. The latter is barely one minute and a half long but in this show it lasted a lot more than that, the chorus being sung over and over again by the crowd – let’s face it, “treat her like a princess, fuck her like a porn star” has a catchy ring to it… (5 / 5)

Chasing Neverland on Facebook

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Last year, at Rockbitch Boat, I was advised to see BatAAr’s show. I ended up not following that advice and when I checked them out later on, I was really pissed at myself. So I was more than happy for this chance to make up for that mistake. Needless to say that both the music lover and the photographer in me were enthralled by their show – despite the aforementioned heat, the bad lights and the smoke machine. They’re playing Rockbitch Boat this year once again and this time I’ll make sure to watch it and bring you a detailed report. They have a new single/video out, “Riskbreaker”, but I invite you to take a look at all their YouTube channel and listen to everything that’s up on Spotify, so you can grasp the full talent and diversity of this band. (5 / 5)

BatAAr on Facebook

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Now, what’s there to say about The End Of Grace that I haven’t said before? Oh, wait, there is something – this was their best show! And the funny thing is that the heat affected the band’s computer and some of the backtracks simply didn’t play; that Thomas wasn’t playing on his drumkit and, according to him, “some things were missing” so he wasn’t totally satisfied with his performance at the end; that, again because of the heat, Kriss’ voice was somewhat broken near the end; that they skipped one chorus in “Metal Mulisha”… But a great show doesn’t need to be technically perfect – for that, you stay home and listen to the studio recordings. A great show is all about the band’s commitment to their music and the empathy they establish with the crowd. Who, by the way, was just as amazing – there’d been lots of headbanging and a small mosh pit in Chasing Neverland, and BatAAr had some devoted fans screaming along the lyrics, but The End Of Grace got the most vigorous circles and fists in the air. Kriss covered every inch of that stage, and during “Fist Face Bleed” (that BatAAr-Seb helped singing) Jimmy jumped into the front rows, playing his guitar side-by-side a fan in a TEoG t-shirt. And since they improvised well enough to make up for the little slips I pointed out, which also takes skill, I say it again without second thoughts – best TEoG show I’ve seen so far. (5 / 5)

The End Of Grace on Facebook

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Text & photos by Renata “Pieni” Lino

Dead By April w/ support – Gothenburg, Sweden

Posted in Gig, Live with tags , , , , , , , , , , on 20th February 2014 by Pieni

Dead By April, Seventribe, The End Of Grace
Sticky Fingers/Klubb Defused, Gothenburg
14th February 2014

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With the release of their third full-length album, Dead By April threw a release party – read “concert” – in one of the most famous venues in their hometown. The End Of Grace and Seventribe had already announced a gig there on the same date, although on a different stage (Sticky Fingers has a middle and a top floor stage), so I guess having those two bands as support was a matter of chance, not a plan. Personally, I was more than happy with that line-up.

Despite merging the events, The End Of Grace and Seventribe still performed in the middle floor (Klubb Defused), which was wise. Let’s face it – no matter how amazing they both are, it was DBA’s night and the majority of their pop-metal fans isn’t exactly keen on fierce metalcore. So it’s better to play on a smaller stage in a smaller room that will fill up easily, than in a bigger stage where the room would be almost empty.

Being the younger band (they were formed in late 2012), TEoG played first. They’ve been gathering a solid fan base – me included – since the very beginning and especially after the release of the “Lost In Transition” EP, so there was a considerable number of people singing along the choruses. The rest of the crowd seemed to surrender to the band’s sound and vigour, as when I looked around, everyone was either headbanging or smiling approvingly.
They played the aforementioned 5-track EP, kicking off with “Betrayer” and ending with the title-track, and in-between presented us with a new song which will be released as single on 28th February – punchy riffing and with a catchier-than-ever chorus, “Beneath The Waves” has everything to be a hit.
As in their first live gig, at Rockbitch Boat last November, Sebastian from Bataar got on stage to sing the Swedish verses in “Fist Face Bleed” – and spike the people in the front row with a beer shower… Speaking of that first show, TEoG have only played two more between that and this one but you could see a major difference in their self-confidence. I know that despite the Plexiglas cage in which the drum kit was set, this stage was still bigger and allowed them to move around, which didn’t happen at Rockbitch Boat. But it was more than that. Their performance was thicker, more intense. And even though there wasn’t a killer mosh pit, the response was great, which must have had a special meaning to singer Kriss, as he’s been working as a promoter there at Klubb Defused for over a year. [5 / 5]

www.facebook.com/TheEndOfGrace

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I was glad of finally having the chance to see Seventribe live. I’m a subscriber of Sweden Rock Magazine, and when they won the Released, Live and Unsigned contest and got to play at Sweden Rock Festival 2011, the single “Dream Me” came with the magazine and completely won me over. But that was it – I totally lost track of them afterwards. Well that won’t happen again.
I’d seen live videos of them, but even if I hadn’t, when a metalcore band gets on stage wearing some kind of school Summer uniform where the shirt is pink, you just know that something wicked is coming your way. Even if someone is missing. Seventribe is an eight-piece but I only counted seven members. I don’t know what happened, and I hope one day I can see the full line-up in action, but maybe it was for the best – things were pretty crammed up there already. Still, they managed to jump and headbang and dance and whatever, without bumping into each other or missing a note. Eventually, near the end, two of them hopped into the middle of the crowd and played from there.
As I’ve said before, I’d lost track of them and only when I learnt they would play a couple of shows with The End Of Grace did I remember of checking what they’ve been up to since that single on Sweden Rock. Well, a new EP, “Reborn”, had been released last year, and even if I really enjoyed it, I confess I didn’t memorize the songs, except for “Be Reborn”. I can tell you for sure that they played that one, as I was humming along the melody, but can’t tell you much more about the setlist (apart from the mandatory “Dream Me”). There’s a video for “Takedown Syndrome” and a recent lyric one for “The Aftermath”, and “Wings Of Belief” is their most played song on Spotify, so maybe these were some of the songs played that night. Whatever those were, they were loud, aggressive, a total adrenaline discharge. [5 / 5]

www.facebook.com/seventribe

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As expected, the top floor of Sticky Fingers was crowded. I tried to get close to the stage but quickly gave up – the first three or four rows were already packed with eager fans. So if I was disappointed when Dead By April didn’t play more than 45 minutes, I can only imagine how those fans must have felt. But at the same time… to say I’m unimpressed with “Let The World Know” is quite an understatement. That’s why I haven’t written the review about it yet, as it’s taking me quite a while to process it and find the right words in order to be fair. It’s not that it’s a terrible album, but… Let’s just say I was glad that this release party didn’t include the entire track-list and that old songs such as “Losing You” or “Within My Heart” were strategically played here and there.
This was also the first full show of Marcus Rosell as the new drummer. Marcus has played with DBA several times in the past, as a stand-in drummer for Alex Svenningsson whenever he needed to step out of some gig. But now that Alex has left for good, it was only natural that Marcus’ role would become permanent. So natural that there wasn’t even an official announcement. It took the video for “As A Butterfly”, where Marcus is featured, for the fans to realize the new line-up change. Alex would recently confirm his departure on his own Facebook page, but since main songwriter Pontus Hjelm is still on board and Marcus’ face is already familiar to the fans anyway, there shouldn’t be any fuss about this.
The intro of “Beautiful Nightmare”, the first track in the new album, echoed and thrilled screams followed suit. Truth be told – even if I’m still struggling with the new songs, DBA are all about emotions and put their full hearts in their performance and establish an empathy (no pun intended regarding their song with the same name) with the audience, which are essential features in a great live show. And that’s what this was – short but great. [4,5 / 5]

www.facebook.com/deadbyapril

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Text & photos by Renata “Pieni” Lino