Archive for Katatonia

Foscor complete new album and prepare for new era in band’s history

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

When dark metal outfit Foscor celebrated the tenth anniversary in 2012, they not only celebrated a decade of music but drew a line under an era in their history leading them to prepare for when they embark on the next ambitious one. With work on Foscor’s fourth full-length album now completed, and a complete visual overhaul of their online presence and logo, the groundwork for the new phase in the band’s career is well and truly established.

Formed in 1997 in Barcelona, in the Catalan region of Spain, Foscor took the traditional ‘90s Black Metal and mixed it with other classical and modern extreme styles to create a sound that has seen them through the release of 3 full-length albums, a live DVD commemorating their 10th Anniversary, 2 split releases and contributions on official Katatonia and Enslaved tribute albums, all of which have garnered them respect and a solid, and ever-growing, following.  Now, with their forthcoming album, which will be titled Those Horrors Wither, Foscor have honed their considerable musical skills and decided to take the first gigantic step away from the confines of Black Metal, towards an expansive multidimensional sound that encompasses shades of Doom and Dark Rock, Ambient interludes and a healthy flirtation with Prog.  It is a step that most clearly defines the band’s personal approach to their work, both musically and aesthetically, to date.

Commenting on the new sound and the new image of Foscor, founder and guitarist Falke and frontman Fiar had this to say:

It’s really not that strange that we would be moving in a different direction from the one we started out on because it’s a natural progression that comes from experience.  We’re not saying that our long-time fans will wake up one morning and not recognise FOSCOR any more, not at all, because we have a particular style that is recognisable as FOSCOR – but we’ve taken that style and made it into something better.  You could say that the new FOSCOR is evolution, not revolution, and, that being said, it actually needs new colours to define how we interpret Darkness, and Ideophony, who has previously worked with us on design, is the perfect partner to work with us now in physically visualising our new direction.

Foscor are currently looking for a label to release Those Horrors Wither, which includes some notable guest artists, who, somewhat unusually, rather than contributing the usual vocals or solos, have written and performed connecting passages between the tracks.  More information about Foscor can be found on the band’s website, which has been newly designed, at this location.

Foscor online:

http://www.foscor.com
http://www.facebook.com/foscor.official
http://soundcloud.com/foscor
http://twitter.com/FOSCOR_Official
http://www.youtube.com/user/FOSCORbcn
http://foscor.bigcartel.com
http://www.myspace.com/foscor
http://www.reverbnation.com/foscor

 

Damnation 2013: Bands you must see!

Posted in Editorial/Opinionated, Featured with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 11th October 2013 by Nico Davidson

The days are counting down until Damnation Festival once again lays waste to the city of Leeds with a truly heavy, dark and spectacular line-up. Here’s our list of bands you must go see at this year’s Damnation…

Rotting Christ

Chosen by Iza Raittila.

For those who are fed up with all the gimmicks present in today’s black and death metal scenes, be sure to check out Rotting Christ at this year’s Damnation Festival. These guys prove once and for all that there’s really no need for corpse-paint or fancy, “evil” looking stage-props to put on a great show. They rely solely on their energy and skills as musicians to win over the crowds. You won’t be disappointed.

Carcass

Chosen by Alex Cook.

The legendary Carcass are due to headline this year’s Damnation festival and I have heard from many people that they are the ONLY band that they are bothered about seeing. This in many ways is a shame, but such is the power of a band that so many metal fans grew up listening to. Carcass are easily one of the more accessibly Death metal bands, although suitably graphic in their lyrics, their real strength lies in the accessibility of their riffs and the urge they produce in us to bang our heads with complete abandon. I was listening to my copy of Heartwork recently (on cassette no less) and was struck by the fact that despite it being 10 years old, it still sounds fresh and heavy without being over-bearing. It is an album that leaves on imprint on your musical memory, so that when anyone mentions the band or you hear a snippet of No Love Lost, Embodiment or Doctrinal Expletives to name but a few, you are reminded why you first fell in love with the genre in the first place. That, and Carcass’s new album Surgical Steel is something of a quiet masterpiece. Unpretentious and all-encompassing, it delivers on everything we expect from Carcass which is solid, accessible and memorable material. If you’re still not sure about the merits of Carcass, let them entertain you at Damnation festival. I am certain that even if you just stick your head around the door, you will be enchanted and undoubtedly end up in the pit that ensues whenever Carcass play live.

God Seed

Chosen by Hannah O’Flanagan.

If you’re asking me why you should go and see God Seed, I’ll ask you why you’re attending Damnation at all. Made from the fall out of the Gorgoroth name dispute saga, God Seed is Gaahl and King ov Hell‘s new project that delivers insanely atmospheric black metal as only Gaahl and KoH can. They’ve triumphantly appeared at Wacken and supported Cradle of Filth on their Manticore tour, and I can guarantee the experience of watching God Seed perform will be like no other. Their 2012 debut I Begin is a good place to start if you still don’t believe me. But stand before the infernal glory of God Seed and I promise you won’t be disappointed.

Vallenfyre

Chosen by Alex Cook.

Vallenfyre are also a band to look out for at Damnation. They are something of a super-group for those whose hearts belong to early 90’s Doom and Death metal, and they do not disappoint. Featuring Gregor Mackintosh from Paradise Lost, Hamish Glencross from My Dying Bride and Adrian Erlandsson of At the Gates, you get the impression from their releases that it is just a bit of fun and that the members are stretching their wings and proving they have a capacity for a genre separate from how they have made their names. Their album A Fragile King’is engrossing and infectious and just pure, crushing, dirty death metal. Tracks such as Desecration, Cathedrals of Dread and A Thousand Martyrs reek of the infamous Boss HM2 pedal which makes any Entombed fan salivate at the mouth and it is used to spectacular effect. Expect nothing but great things if you catch them at Damnation and be sure to pick up a copy of A Fragile King beforehand so your appetite for the old school is suitably whetted.

Dyscarnate

Chosen by Nico Davidson.

No Damnation line-up would be complete without a slab of face-crushing, ear-splitting death metal and that’s exactly what Dyscarnate offer. Be it recorded or live, Dyscarnate‘s crushing use of riffs will utterly abuse you and leaving you begging for more like a glutton for punishment. Having already devastated venues across the UK and toured with bands like Fleshgod Apocalypse and most recently Psycroptic and Hour Of PenanceDyscarnate are at the front of the UK’s death metal and represent everything good about it!

Katatonia

Chosen by Lauren Gowdy.

Although their songs aren’t as fast as a majority of the bands playing Damnation Festival, Katatonia is one band that everyone should check out. Their playing is heavy and slow but filled with so much emotion that it literally will suck you into their set. Not to mention that their stage presence is captivating, and you may either find yourself headbanging slowly along with the riffs or just standing and observing the sheer awesomeness of their set. Anyone who is a fan of Opeth should definitely check out Katatonia because both bands are very similar only difference being that Katatonia does not have as many heavy songs as Opeth. They will be worth sticking around to see towards the end of the day, and I guarantee you will remember their set!

Iron Witch

Chosen by Nico Davidson.

Liverpudlian doom noise mongers Iron Witch are definitely one to keep an eye out for at Damnation this year. Straying from the classic doom sound, the Scouser quintet incorporate hardcore punk vibes and gritty riffs with their doomesque connoction that has helped put themselves on a map. Being relatively young compared to the vast majority of the Damnation line-up and other bands on the British doom scene, Iron Witch have had their fair share of success and I wouldn’t be surprised if they don’t reach the same level as Liverpudlian doom overlords Anathema.

Twilight Of The Gods

Chosen by Ian Foster.

One of the many band who will be appearing at the Damnation Festival 2013 are Twilight Of The Gods, a five piece band who were initially formed with the intent of paying tribute to the legendary Bathory and writing music inspired by them. The band have just released their debut album Fire On The Mountain. The band includes members of Primordial, Lock Up, Einherjer, Thyrfing and Aura Noir so there’s some real pedigree involved here and there’s far more than Bathory worship going on. You can definitely hear a lot of influence from the classic metal bands on the Fire On The Mountain album, but after all it’s what the band set out to do. Definitely a band for fans of old school heavy metal to check out at the festival.

[Editor’s note: If you didn’t see Primordial at last year’s Damnation, TOTG are the next best thing]

Damnation Festival will take palce on 2nd November at Leeds University Union. Tickets are available from this location.

Five reasons why you must go to Damnation 2013!

Posted in Editorial/Opinionated with tags , , , , , , , , , , on 3rd October 2013 by Nico Davidson

It’s under a month now until 2013’s edition of the UK’s darkest festival Damnation tears Leeds a new one, so Valkyrian Music editor and general Yorkshire patriot Nico Davidson has listed five reasons why you must attend Damnation 2013.

5. Yorkshire!

As you already know, Damnation is hosted in Leeds, West Yorkshire which is another reason that Yorkshire is the best county in all of the UK and of course, Yorkshire has contributed a bit to the history of metal, which pioneering bands such as My Dying Bride and Paradise Lost hailing from Yorkshire, as well as NWOBHM Saxon. Throw in Damnation into the mix and Yorkshire is definitely one of the most metal places in the UK.

If you’re unsure why Yorkshire is great or metal as fuck, then you’re probably a Lancastrian.

4. Value For Money

Given the epic line-up that is gracing this year’s Damnation, which festival director Gavin McInally described as “the best line-up so far”, the event offers a damn lot more for your money than a lot of UK events – Especially at £34 a ticket!

3. The Fourth Stage

So, unless you’ve been living in a hole or under a rock in the middle of Lancashire, you’ll be aware that this year, Damnation has added a fourth stage, which will be a blasphemous temple dedicated to doom and sludge, which means more kick ass bands to go see. Or less bands if doom and sludge aren’t your cup of tea, but they’re mostly likely are.

2. Probably The Heaviest Festival In The UK

Yeah, I said it. Damnation is probably the heaviest festival in the UK, as well as being the darkest. Anyone who’s ever been to Damnation before knows exactly what to expect but if a Damnation virgin and love your music heavy and dark, then this year’s edition is not one to miss! Plus, with it being held in Yorkshire, what more could you ask for… Aside from…

1. Carcass!

So, Carcass recently released their new album, Surgical Steel via Nuclear Blast. So, that means there’ll be a lot of new material as classic tunes that they’ll be blasting out as they lay unholy waste to the Jagermeister stage this year. Of course, if Carcass aren’t your thing then there’s other bands you can get hyped up about, but we’ll discuss that in another article.

Damnation Festival will take place on 2nd November at Leeds University Union. Tickets are priced at the low price of £34 and are available at this location.

Paradise Lost to release limited 10″ vinyl of “Tragic Illusion 25 (The Rarities)”

Posted in News with tags , , , , on 27th September 2013 by Pieni

 photo PARADISE_LOST_TragicIllusion1_zpsdf408e9c.jpg

In celebration of their 25th anniversary, Paradise Lost will release a compilation album called “Tragic Illusion 25 (The Rarities)”. As the title says, it gathers a bunch of rare tracks, even though they’ve been previously released. The exception will happen in a limited 10″ vinyl of the album, which will include the brand new track “Loneliness Remains” and new recordings of “Gothic” and “Our Saviour”. Here’s the full track-list:

1. Loneliness Remains (exclusive track of the limited 10″)
2. Never Take Me Alive (SPEAR OF DESTINY cover version) – Bonus Track “Tragic Idol” Ltd. Edition
3. Ending Through Changes – Bonus Track “Tragic Idol” Japan Edition
4. The Last Fallen Saviour – Decibel Exclusive “Tragic Idol”
5. Last Regret (Lost in Prague Orchestra Mix) – Bonus Track “Faith Divides Us – Death Unites Us” Ltd. Edition
6. Faith Divides Us – Death Unites Us (Lost in Prague Orchestra Mix) – Bonus Track “Faith Divides Us – Death Unites Us” Ltd. Edition
7. Cardinal Zero – Faith Devides Us – Death Unites Us Bonus Track “Faith Divides Us – Death Unites Us” Japan Edition
8. Back On Disaster – Faith Devides Us – Death Unites Us – Bonus Track “Faith Divides Us – Death Unites Us”, Japan Edition
9. Sons Of Perdition – Bonus Track “In Requiem”
10. Godless – Bonus Track “In Requiem” Ltd. 7″ Vinyl Box
11. Missing (EVERYTHING BUT THE GIRL Cover Version) – Bonus Track “In Requiem” Ltd. Edition
12. Silent In Heart – Bonus Track ”In Requiem” Ltd. Edition
13. Gothic 2013 (exclusive track of the limited 10″)
14. Our Saviour 2013 (exclusive track of the limited 10″)

“Tragic Illusion 25 (The Rarities)” will be released on October 21st in Europe (digitally on November 5th in North America) and features artwork by Parisian designer Valnoir. You can pre-order it at CM Distro: http://www.cmdistro.de/Search?q=tragic+illusion+25

Also, the band is pleased to announce an European tour in support of this comemorative date/release. Supported by Lacuna Coil and Katatonia (who will play “Viva Emptiness” in full, as this album has its own 10th anniversary to celebrate), the 25th anniversary “Tragic Illusion” tour will hit the following cities:

Oct. 30th – Wolverhampton, UK – Wulfrun Hall
Oct. 31st – Glasgow, UK – ABC
Nov. 1st – Manchester, UK – Ritz
Nov. 3rd – London, UK – Roundhouse
Nov. 4th – Cologne, Germany – Essigfabrik
Nov. 6th – Herford, Germany – Club X
Nov. 7th – Aschaffenburg, Germany – Colos Saal
Nov. 8th – Dordrecht, Netherlands – Bibelot
Nov. 10th – Utrecht, Netherlands – Tivoli Oudegracht
Nov. 11th – Nuremberg, Germany – Hirsch
Nov. 12th – Vienna, Austria – Arena
Nov. 13th – Solothurn, Switzerland – Kofmehl

Paradise Lost online:
http://www.paradiselost.co.uk
http://www.facebook.com/paradiselostofficial
http://twitter.com/officialpl

Century Media Records online:
http://www.centurymedia.com
http://www.youtube.com/centurymedia
www.twitter.com/centurymediaeu
www.facebook.com/centurymedia

Final bands announced for Damnation 2013

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

Doom and sludge lords ConanBlack Magician and Iron Witch are just three of the final lot of bands announced for this year’s Damnation Festival and are cast of the newly added fourth stage. The Liverpudlian trio cement the newly added doom worshiping stage with the likes of MossMourning BelovethSlabdragger and Palehorse in the bunker-like venue which is aptly named Mine.

Death metallers Dyscarnate and Diamanthian complete the extreme orientated Terrorizer stage, with Rotting ChristVoicesVallenfyreNegura Bunget and The Afternoon Gentlemen. These lot will no doubt test the integrity and structure of the Riley Smith Hall where as Polish post-rockers Tides From Nebula add the finishing touches to the eclectic Eyesore Merch stage which will also be graced by the legendary Cult Of Luna, as well as Crippled Black PhoenixThe OceanRosettaYear of No Light and finally Dirge.

Of course, Damnation wouldn’t be complete without its premier Jagermeister Stage that boasts as its headliners Carcass, with the likes of KatatoniaTwilight Of The Gods, God SeedShining and SSS. Festival director Gavin McInally said:

Not only is this by far the best line-up we’ve ever put on, but it is also the most pleasing as we’ve been able to add a fourth stage with the support of fans who’ve bought so many tickets so early in the year while reducing the number of our much-hated clashes too.

If doom, sludge and post-metal is your thing, you’ll be able to watch every band from Iron Witch to Cult of Luna without wandering more than 20 yards while fans more interested in the Terrorizer and Jager stages will be able to catch the likes of Shining, Negura Bunget, God Seed, Vallenfyre, Katatonia, Rotting Christ and Carcass in one relentless day of music.

At just £34 a ticket, we believe this line-up deserves a ‘Sold Out’ plaster across it and with five weeks of sales to go, that’s our target, so please keep up the support.

Damnation will take place on 2nd November at Leeds University Union. Tickets are available for £34 from LeedsTickets, the official Damnation website or the official Damnation Festival Facebook page.

Katatonia – Dethroned And Uncrowned

Posted in Review with tags , , , , , on 9th August 2013 by Nico Davidson

Katatonia
Dethroned And Uncrowned
Released 9th September
Ambient/Atmospheric
Released via Peaceville Records

Kings of the Swedish metal scene, Katatonia have been regarded by many as the forerunners of doom with last year seeing the release of the band’s ninth studio album Dead End Kings, which was praised throughout the metal community. A year on and Katatonia are ready to release a new and redefined version of their ninth album: Dethroned And Uncrowned.

The dreary vocal lines and misery-soaked pianos begin The Parting which is made by entrancing by the rainfall of acoustic guitars, gently easing their way through the song. The subtle orchestrated passages add to the strength of the emotion that flows throughout the track. The One You Are Looking For Is Not Here features a hypnotic vocal melody that glides with a certain mystique and elegance alongside the haunting pianos and tides of acoustic guitars. The piano sections in Hypnone are truly spine-chilling,  whereas as the guitars add an element of warmth to the song which is countered by the could vocals.

The Racing Heart is a slow, emotive song displaying the staunch use of vocals clearly, mixing them almost breathtakingly with the orchestrated sections and guitars. Buildings and Leech sail down similar routes, over subtle waves of misery and other emotion. The vocals on Ambitions sound colourless compared to the other tracks but this adds to the forlorn sound of the guitars and piano. The destitute soundings of Undo You show a change in the album whilst staying in the same vein of the album as well, something that is carried on by Lethean.

First Prayer sound eerily upbeat when played against the rest of the album but there is still that twang of despair that screams through the guitars and the album comes to its dreary finish with Dead Letters, which like the preceding track, is more upbeat in comparison to the other songs. The vocals prove to be at their most prominent on this final track, injecting new life into the album.

Dethroned And Uncrowned creates an atmospheric yet dark tranquillity, allowing for ambiance to create and set new moods and stir new emotions. It’s an interesting change in direction for Katatonia but one that have no difficulty with following and no that has breathed new life into their sound.

4/5

Nico Davidson

Katatonia online:

http://www.katatonia.com
http://www.facebook.com/katatonia

 

Six new additions announced for Damnation Festival

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

Swedish doom lords Katatonia and Norwegian black-metal masters God Seed are the latest international acts to be added to Damnation Festival.

German progressive collective The Ocean, French post-metal standard bearers Year Of No Light, Norwegian avant-garde jazz quartet Shining (not to be confused with Niklas Kvarforth’s Shining) and Irish doom titans Mourning Beloveth will also bolster the stunning bill which will be unleashed on Leeds University Union on Saturday 2nd November.

The six additions compliment an extreme and eclectic line-up which already boast Carcass, Cult of Luna, Crippled Black Phoenix, Vallenfyre, Negura Bunget, SSS, Moss and Voices with at least nine more bands to be announced. Gorgoroth re-incarnation God Seed will play Damnation Festival as an exclusive UK show. Katatonia will play 2003’s classic Viva Emptiness in its entirety.  Anders Nystrom, said:

Since it looks like November will bring us Damnation, we’re absolutely certain there’ll be some Swedish export of atmospheric dark metal coming your way with it!

We couldn’t be more psyched to celebrate our Viva Emptiness album anniversary at a festival we never got to play before. So Leeds, join us and be damned!

Brendan from Mourning Beloveth said:

We are delighted to be asked to play a small part in the metal institution that is Damnation Fest. Our recent visits to the shores of the U.K. have unfortunately been limited to stages in the capital. We would like to thank Damnation Fest for giving us the opportunity to at last rectify this grave and indefensible injustice. You guys bring the ale, and we’ll bring the Doom.

Damnation Festival could also become a four-stage event this year, reducing clashes and allowing the return of the much-missed Deathfest stage… with fans’ backing. Organiser Gavin McInally explained:

A change to licensing laws at Leeds University Union has opened up the possibility for us to use the fantastic Riley Smith Hall as a venue which fans can enjoy a pint in, but it comes with a catch.

The festival’s capacity would be pushed above the 4,000 mark and although ticket sales are better right now than at the same point 12 months ago, the venue management, somewhat understandably, don’t want to hand over their entire building, including terracing and bars to Damnation unless there’s a guarantee the numbers will justify it.

This is not a sales pitch, if you don’t believe the confirmed line-up so far doesn’t merit your £34 then don’t buy a ticket BUT if you are fully intending to be at Damnation Festival this year then booking your ticket now will help us land that fourth stage.

And if we do, Carcass and Cult of Luna will not clash for a single minute, the Terrorizer Stage will be reminiscent of our Deathfest event with death and grind from morning until night, a fourth stage will worship doom all day long and we’ll book DJs to perform in the terrace area which has been missing at Damnation since 2008.

Tickets for Damnation Festival 2013 are on sale now, priced £34, available from:Leeds Tickets , the official Damnation Festival website at or the official Damnation Facebook.

 

Witherscape reveal artwork and tracklist for debut album The Inheritance

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

Witherscape, the stunning new dark metal outfit formed by Swedish singer, multi-instrumentalist and producer extraordinaire Dan Swanö together with fellow Swedish multi-instrumentalist Ragnar Widerberg, will be releasing their debut album The Inheritance on July 29th 2013 in Europe and August 6th 2013 in North America via Century Media Records.

After having recently launched a first song sample for Witherscape to much online acclaim, it is now time to reveal the artwork and tracklisting details for The Inheritance:

1. Mother Of The Soul
2. Astrid Falls
3. Dead For A Day
4. Dying For The Sun
5. To The Calling Of Blood And Dreams
6 .The Math Of The Myth
7. Crawling From Validity
8 .The Wedlock Observation
9. The Inheritance

The Inheritance is a pretty thick concept album split into different episodes and very briefly, the Witherscape story takes place in a remote village in northern Sweden in the late 1800’s. The central character lives in Stockholm and comes from wealth, and upon the death of his family he’s informed by the family lawyer that he has inherited a large estate up north. Having been oblivious to the estate’s existence, he decides to investigate, and once he’s there all kinds of weird shit happens…, according to Dan Swanö.

The hauntingly beautiful cover artwork for The Inheritance, which can be seen above, was created by Travis Smith, who has worked with bands like Opeth, Nevermore, Death and also Katatonia before.

Dan Swanö also checked in to comment about the artwork as follows:

Both me and Ragnar are fascinated by old abandoned buildings and it was pretty clear from the start that we would have the estate our main character inherits on the album cover. We used Travis Smith as a “medium” for our visual ideas and he did a spectacular job transforming our written wishes into a real image.

Witherscape marks the long overdue return as active composer and recording artist for Dan Swanö in the world of extreme metal, after having mostly been involved on the studio mixing end of things in these past years. Granted, The Inheritance is not purely a Death Metal release, but it smoothly showcases both the heavier and the mellow sides of Swanö’s creativity and should consequently not only please fans of his earlier efforts like Moontower or the Edge Of Sanity catalogue, but also attract friends of progressively atmospheric contemporary Metal in the vein of Opeth, Katatonia or Amorphis.

According to Swanö, Witherscape has been in planning for a long time, spawned as a result of his working relationship with Widerberg, which began at a Swedish music store. The two multi-instrumentalists discovered that they had so much in common musically that brainstorming for a full-on metal project of their own was the next logical step. Widerberg quotes acts like early Judas Priest, Rush, King Crimson and Mercyful Fate as far as his inspirations in regards to Witherscape and Swanö elaborates his list to also include Judas Priest (1975-1989), Voivod, Queensryche, Rush, Marillion and Mercyful Fate.

Witherscape’s The Inheritance is the first release under a longterm worldwide recording deal signed between Dan Swanö and Century Media Records earlier this year.

Witherscape online:

http://witherscape.com
http://danswano.com
http://facebook.com/witherscape

 

Katatonia return with special triple vinyl release

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

Katatonia are set to return with a special triple-LP vinyl release featuring an epic set of classics from the band’s catalogue. Last Fair Day Gone Night features the Swedish darkened metal masters at their glorious best with this electrifying set from London’s esteemed Koko venue during a series of special celebratory shows to mark the band’s 20th anniversary during 2011’s Last Fair Day Gone Night tour.

Released 17th June on Peaceville Records, Last Fair Day Gone Night is presented on triple heavyweight 180gm vinyl in a deluxe box, with a 12 page 12″ book. Founding members Anders Nyström and Jonas Renkse are joined by long-time drummer Daniel Liljekvist along with recent members – namely guitarist Per Eriksson, plus recently recruited bassist Niklas Sandin – for an exhilarating night fuelled by a rich and extensive set of Katatonia tracks both past and present, including a special performance of the landmark 2001 album Last Fair Deal Gone Down in its entirety.

Katatonia was formed in Sweden in 1991. Their debut album, Dance of December Souls, was released in 1993, gaining the band recognition for their eclectic brand of gothic, doom and death metal. On future albums a newer, sleeker Katatonia sound came to the fore, starting with a streamlined and structured collection of melodic dark rock songs that became third album Discouraged Ones; the main evolution point for modern day Katatonia, where the band stand at the pinnacle of the dark and progressive metal genre.

Pre-order at this location.

Katatonia online:

http://www.katatonia.com
http://facebook.com/katatonia

 

DragonForce complete writing of the follow-up album to 2012’s The Power Within

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , on 15th April 2013 by Nico Davidson

UK metal icons DragonForce have completed writing the follow up to last year’s release The Power Within album, which was their first with vocalist Marc Hudson. Since his live debut with the band in July of 2011, Marc has gone on to front over 100 shows with the band in 32 countries across the globe, including arenas with Iron Maiden as well as a mammoth headlining world tour to support the album.

With a new found wealth of experience for the new singer and two years of playing together, the DragonForce machine will be at it’s most powerful when they enter Fascination Studios in Sweden in May with Jens Bogren to start laying down tracks. Known for his work with the likes of Opeth, The Devin Townsend Project, Amon Amarth, Katatonia, Soilwork and Symphony X to name a few, a killer-sounding album will be the inevitable result.
Dragonforce’s own shredmaster Herman Li says: “Right now, everyone in the band is itching to get into the studio to record probably the most epic DragonForce music ever written. With so many ideas flying around and songs already written, we decided to team up with producer Jens Bogren to help us take the DF sound to the next level and beyond!

The band will perform at Download Festival at Donington Park June 14th – 16th.

 

Dark metal band Foscor enter studio; Begin work on fourth album

Posted in Featured, News with tags , , , , , , on 11th March 2013 by Nico Davidson

Dark metallers Foscor are in the Nautilus Studios in Barcelona to begin recording their fourth full-length album. The new album, to be titled Those Horrors Wither, is the follow up to 2009’s Groans to the Guilty and marks an expansion in the band’s musical direction, away from the strict confines of black metal. Work has already started on the drum tracks, and Foscor will be posting regular updates and photos from the recording sessions on their Facebook page at this location.

With a current line-up that comprises Falke (Soul Aside, Fayrierie, ex-Lux Divina) and A.M. (ex-Vidres A La Sang) on guitars, Fiar (Melangia, Dawn Of Hate, Cabestro, live session vocalist for Graveyard) on bass and vocals, and Nechrist (ex-Shemhamphorash) on drums, FOSCOR was formed in Barcelona in 1997 and spent their first decade blending the best of ‘90’s Old School Black Metal with both traditional and modern extreme metal styles. With three full-length albums, three splits, and appearances on Katatonia and Enslaved tributes under their belts, the band released a live DVD in 2012 to commemorate their 10th Anniversary. But more than just a commemoration, the DVD also represents the end of one era for the band, whilst Those Horrors Wither, for which a label is being sought, represents the beginning of the next.

Commenting on the new direction, Foscor founders Falke and Fiar had this to say: “We have been developing our direction and sound since the very beginning, and now I think we have reached the stage where our musical abilities have increased to the extent where we can express ourselves fully though our music in the way we always wanted and we have truly come into our own. I don’t really know how you would classify the new direction, but we have expanded our musical horizons, dipping into doom, and even moments of prog, whilst keeping the claustrophobic black atmosphere. I guess you could say that the new album will be much more multi-dimensional. Fans who have been with us from the start will have probably had some kind of inkling as to the direction we will be taking, and we hope they will be very satisfied with what they are going to hear. There’s a lot of work yet to be done and we will try to keep everyone updated every step of the way. Darkness will speak again…

Foscor’s next live appearance will be on the 21st May at the Primavera Sound Festival in Barcelona where they will support Godflesh at the Sala Apolo. More information about Foscor can be found on the band’s official website: http://www.foscor.com

Foscor’s entire set from their 2012 appearance at the Aurora Infernalis Festival in Arnhem can be seen below:

 

Tarja says “No” about returning to Nightwish

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , on 4th October 2012 by Nico Davidson

Ex-Nightwish frontwoman Tarja Turunen recently told Ilatehti that she won’t return to Nightwish, stating “I would be ready to return to Nightwish – if all the band and management were changed. No one knows what I went through over the years with the band. I accept how hard it is for fans to understand my feelings.

When questioned about her thoughts on Anette recently departing from Nightwish, she stated that it did not surprise her.

Keyboardist Tuomas Holopainen dismissed Tarja at the end of a tour by presenting her with an open letter which was published on the Nightwish website at the same time, which came to great shock from fans of the band and caused many to be quite vocal about the decision. He wrote: “To you, unfortunately, business, money, and things that have nothing to do with emotions have become much more important.

Anette Olzon joined the band in 2007. At the weekend she missed a concert, telling fans she’d had to go to hospital. Nightwish played the planned show with the help of backing singers from tourmates Katatonia. Anette responded by saying that should not have happened. The following day, it was announced she’d left the band, witht eh decision being “mutual”.

The Finnish metal outfit are continuing their Imaginaerum tour with Dutch vocalist Floor Jansen [ex-After Forever/ReVamp] standing in, which has led some fans to believe that she will be joining Nightwish as their new vocalist.

Floor commented “I’m trying to find words to describe how I feel, but it’s impossible to cover it. I’m on a high. The time to prepare was scarily short. I packed and left, and printed the lyrics into my head on the way over from Amsterdam to America. Next day I jumped on board the bus and the adventure began. On the day of the first who we did a long soundcheck to rehearse. You cannot imagine how nervous I was. But the intro started, I ran on staff, and all nerves were gone. The excitement lasted the entire show and way after.

The Chant – A Healing Place

Posted in Review with tags , , , , on 31st August 2012 by hammersmashedlauren

The Chant
A Healing Place
Released August 2012
Atmospheric Rock
Released via Secret Entertainment

Having never heard of The Chant, I was a bit apprehensive to listen to their newest album A Healing Place since I’m pretty picky about atmospheric music. However, this album was absolutely nothing like I expected it to be, and it incorporated many different rock and metal band sounds that meshed wonderfully together. With the rock influences of Chevelle and A Perfect Circle mixed with the more progressive and a bit heavier sounds of Opeth and Katatonia, this album is refreshing from a lot of other newer bands who try to take beautiful, atmospheric music and add it onto a more hardcore/deathcore based songs. It’s evident that this band has worked their way up to create their own kind of sound that could not only appeal to fans of lighter rock music but to also fans of melodic and progressive metal.

Right from the start of the album, the song Outlines does exactly what the title intends and outlines a picture of what this album will sound like. Starting off softly and then working up to a faster paced sound, it sounds captivating and almost a bit spiritual in a way. Paired with the clean vocals of lpo Paasela, I was instantly hooked into the album.

The other 7 tracks had that same consistent sound as Outlines which gave me the impression that the band is pretty confident in their development as a group. They didn’t try so hard to add random solos and other instruments as most new atmospheric bands will try and do. I see a bit of an Opeth influence in that this album has only 8 songs and most of those songs span over a period of 5 minutes, and fans of Opeth know that they are known for creating very long and beautiful pieces. The vocals derive from the sound of Katatonia’s Jonas Renkse which, again, adds that heavier sound to The Chant. The guitars reminded me a lot of Chevelle in that it had a heavier sound but not too heavy which is suiting for this album.

However, I found that the saxophone solo in the song Distant Drums was a bit unnecessary and seemed out of place in the song, though the one in Outlines was incorporated very nicely. The most memorable track from this album was Ocean Speaks in that it was the shortest song on the album (just over 4 minutes) and it got right to the point while still incorporating that same beautiful sound heard throughout this entire album. The Black Corner was also another song I enjoyed from this album in that it included a bit of chanting and collective singing towards at the end of the song that can be arguably annoying to some people but it was an element I felt that made the song memorable and unique.

This album definitely took me by surprise to say the least. This album is definitely recommended for anyone who is into lighter rock, progressive, atmospheric, or melodic metal. Hopefully The Chant continues to progress in their music and keep on making albums just like this one.

4/5

Hammer Smashed Lauren

Myrah – My Deliverance

Posted in Review with tags , , , , , , , on 11th August 2012 by izaforestspirit

Myrah
My Deliverance
Released: September 2012
Gothic Metal/Melodic Metal
Released via Inverse Records

‘My Deliverance’ is the second album from the Swedish gothic metal band Myrah. It is the follow up to their 2010 debut ‘Six Feet Down’ and has been compared to the likes of Sentenced and Amorphis.

Aside from the children’s music-box style ‘Intro’ the majority album bears a fairly strong resemblance to the Paradise Lost with hints of Katatonia and current Amorphis. Take ‘Illusions’ for instance, guitar melodies and overall vocal style have clearly been inspired by the aforementioned bands. Luckily for Myrah, I happen to like most of the bands that have influenced them. Then there’s the melancholic tracks like the aptly named ‘Sorrow & Tears’ where the keyboards help to maintain the sombre atmosphere.

What caught my attention the most was the melodic voice of the singer and how well it works with the band’s depressing lyrics particularly on the title track ‘My Deliverance’ and ‘As Memories Fade Away’. I’m guessing that’s where the Sentenced comparison stems from since Myrah’s overall style is much softer than that of the pioneers of ‘Finnish funeral metal’ – mostly due to the keyboards. There’s also a touch My Dying Bride-esque gothic doom metal in here. Then again it’s not all slow and keyboard centered; as tracks like ‘A New Dawn’ show that the guitar riffs also have a part in Myrah’s sound providing a contrast to the melodic vocals.

4/5 – An excellent example of melancholic gothic metal. I recommend this to fans of Amorphis, Paradise Lost and Sentenced.

Iza Raittila

Distorted Harmony – Utopia

Posted in Review with tags , , , , , on 15th June 2012 by tobiasgray

Band: Distorted Harmony
Album: Utopia
Release date: 14th May 2012
Genre: Progressive Metal
Label: Unsigned

Few things cause more trepidation and anxiousness to this reviewer as the words ‘Prog Metal‘.  For every band that does it well, there are thousands trying to be the next Dream Theater, Tool or Opeth; tragically falling on their own pretentious swords.  Thank (insert relevent deities here) for Distorted Harmony then.

The over-arching impression of Utopia is one of sublime beauty.

Here is a band that understands that no matter how complex  or rhythmic your music, all things must serve the song.  Every instrument has its’ moment to shine, including multiple keyboard solos that are actually listenable (Bodom take note)!  Songwriting aside the strongest element of Distorted Harmony is Misha Soukhinin’s heart-rendingly gorgeous voice.  A cross between Maynard James Keenan (Tool) and Jonas Renkse (Katatonia), with hints of Muse and unusual melodic lines thrown in as a welcome bonus.

The song durations are unsurprisingly long, as to be expected from this genre, and yet your attention is held throughout.  I would recommend listening to this album as a whole, as it offers a much more rewarding experience digesting as a complete ‘works’.  The production, as practically everything else on this album, is flawless, and the band are offering it free from their homepage (although donations are welcome).

Distorted Harmony have created a universally appealing 6 track release, it’s jazz and classical influences colliding with a very Western, epic style of songwriting – somewhat surprising considering the band all hail from Tel Aviv, Israel.  ‘Utopia’ is well worth checking out, an emotional journey of an album and, as previously stated, sublimely beautiful.  Maybe next time I hear the dreaded ‘Prog Metal’, I’ll think back to Utopia and not be so cynical.

5/5

Tobias Gray.

Katatonia announce new album

Posted in News with tags , , , , , on 28th May 2012 by Nico Davidson

Katatonia, the Swedish purveyors of dark metal, have announced thatKatatonia 'Dead End Kings' front cover - high res their ninth studio album, due August 27th (August 28th North America) on Peaceville Records, will be entitled Dead End Kings. A continuation of 2009’s inspired and acclaimed Night is the New Day, as well as a leap forward into the unknown, Dead End Kings sees the quintet conjure yet another milestone in audial melancholy & angst.

Amongst their most poignant and ambitious material to date, Dead End Kings was recorded at Ghost Ward Studios and The City Of Glass. The album was produced by Anders Nyström & Jonas Renkse themselves, and mixed by David Castillo, known for his prior work with the band, as well as Opeth & Bloodbath.

Dead End Kings sees the recording debut of guitarist Per Eriksson for Katatonia, as well as recent bassist Niklas Sandin. Additionally, Katatonia is joined once again by Frank Default & his invaluable expertise on sampling & atmospherics, plus a special guest appearance by Norwegian vocalist Silje Wergeland of Dutch legends The Gathering/ex-Octavia Sperati.

Jonas (vocals) comments on the album title: Dead End Kings is about the corridors of our mind from where there is no return. Be a king or queen in your own right in these hallways, even at the dead end. Carry your burden with pride. That’s what we are doing, twenty years and counting. Kings, because we believe in what we are creating, in our own disturbing faith.

Anders (Guitars) also commented: This album has doors revolving into many different genres of music but remain disguised within the Katatonia trademark. We have walked the fine line between attempting not to repeat ourselves but also not to distance us away from what people know and love. We’re now ready to hand over the evidence and whatever the direction this has taken is now for you to decide. We’re confident the creativity and passion on this album is something that will be echoing even beyond the dead end.

Artwork is once more supplied by long-time visual collaborator Travis Smith.

Tracklisting for Dead End Kings (not in final running order)

THE PARTING
HYPNONE
UNDO YOU
THE RACING HEART
BUILDINGS
LEECH
THE ONE YOU ARE LOOKING FOR IS NOT HERE (with Silje Wergeland)
FIRST PRAYER
AMBITIONS
LETHEAN
DEAD LETTERS

Interview: Mist [Dead Summer Society]

Posted in Interview with tags , , , , , on 27th May 2012 by izaforestspirit

Dead Summer Society is the latest addition to the Italian doom metal scene. Iza caught up with the mastermind behind the project, the multi-instrumentalist Mist to discuss his influences and aspirations.


Iza: Hi there! Aside from being the main member of Dead Summer Society you are also the guitarist of How Like a Winter. What influenced your decision to start this project?

Mist: – Hi, and thanks for the review of “Visions from a thousand lives”. Well, How like a winter is a project “on hold” at this moment, but as a musician I need to create music, you know, is a sort of “soul outburst”. Moreover I wanted to create something more “personal”, something without “compromises”, a project in which I could put all my musical influences and experience, with a sort of “experimental” approach. I consider DEAD SUMMER SOCIETY as a place to search something new but in a spontaneous way, a place to completely express myself, to try new things and even experiment new sounds.

I: You often list yourself as the sole member of Dead Summer Society yet the album features a female vocalist on some of the tracks. Who is she and what’s her role in the band?

M: DEAD SUMMER SOCIETY is a one-man band considering that I write all the music and lyrics, but I like to have collaborations able to enrich the music with personality (and I can say now that I’ll have more collaborations in the future). They have the freedom to try what they want and experiment on their own. Regarding female vocals…well, there are two female vocalists on “Visions..”: Federica Fazio is the singer, Claudia M. Luisa Murella is a dark poetess who has written and performed the recitative parts on the album. They enhanced the dark/gothic approach to the music, and I’m very happy about their contribute.

I: According to the press kit you have also collaborated with Trismegisto (Cult of Vampyrism, Teeth and Thorns). Is the partnership likely to continue in the future?

M: – Of course! Our collaboration will definitely go on! Trismegisto (Stefano) is both a great singer and musician, I came in contact with him during recording sessions of his project Cult of Vampyrism’s debut album. He’s able to transform all my ideas in something every time more beautiful!

I: Some of your songs, particularly “The King’s Alone”, remind me of works by other gothic doom metal artists such as My Dying Bride. Have any of these bands had some influences on Dead Summer Society?

M: – Well, doom/gothic music surely influences my music…My Dying Bride is among my favourite bands, and “The King’s Alone” is a sort of “homage” to their genius. Other bands I love and that inspire me are Katatonia, Anathema, Paradise Lost, Opeth, Samael, Tiamat, as well as Depeche Mode and Sopor Aeternus. On the other side I feel I’m on the right way to reach a Dead Summer Society’s own style, intended as a personal and spontaneous approach to make music.

I: I’ve also detected elements of dark ambient in your music. Are there any particular dark ambient artists that inspire you?

M: – Dark ambient and also electronic are so fascinating, and I like to enrich music with these elements. I think music sounds more interesting, more captivating, more experimental. Besides metal I’m starting listening to more dark ambient and electronic music.

I: Do you see Dead Summer Society as mostly a studio project or would you like to do live performances?

M: – To be honest I think that DSS will remain a studio project, I like it as it is, I like the idea to write music and enrich it with many collaborations. Besides DSS, I’m going (slowly) on with another doom/death band which could eventually do live performances: Temple of Prometeo. Just need more time to do everything eheheeh!

I: In the event of Dead Summer Society going on tour in the future, which bands would you like to tour with and why?

M: – Well…first of all, Katatonia! Is the band at the moment I like the most, and together with Opeth I think they gave freshness to their genres. Katatonia’s music is simply great, pure emotional art. Of course I’d like to tour with My Dying Bride, a dream…but I’d also like Samael, they’re so energetic and special…

I: Which musician (living or dead) do you respect the most and why?

M: -Mmm…not so easy…a musician I really like and respect is Mikael Akerfeldt (Opeth), think is really passionate and professional, a musical genius…I’ve seen Opeth many times on stage and he’s a great front man, a fantastic musician, the best growl/clean vocals in my opinion…

I: What’s been your best memory of Dead Summer Society since its formation?

M: – Well…I was really glad about the feedback “the heart of autumnsphere” demo got from people, I received a lot of kind words and even some proposals from labels (which didn’t take to anything concrete, but we will see for the future!)…I was particularly happy for a nice review about “the heart…” on a French webzine…but a nice moment has also been when I had the “Visions from a thousand lives” cd (self produced) in my hands…satisfaction!
Well, to end…thanks for your support, and thanks a lot for the time you dedicated to DEAD SUMMER SOCIETY, both for review and interview…and of course greetings to all the readers.

Here you’ll find some links to find info and updates about DEAD SUMMER SOCIETY:
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Dead-Summer-Society/140007062732886
http://www.myspace.com/deadsummersociety
deadsummersociety@libero.it
Thanks again!
Emiliano (Mist)/ DEAD SUMMER SOCIETY

KATATONIA Studio Update

Posted in News with tags , , , , , on 1st March 2012 by Nico Davidson

Sweden’s ultimate progressive metal act, Katatonia, has posted a studio update on Facebook to fill fans in on the recording process of the band’s forthcoming full-length record.

Katatonia is currently tracking the follow-up to 2009’s, Night Is The New Day, at Ghost Ward Studios in Stockholm, Sweden with producer, David Castillo. The release is due out later this year on Peaceville Records.

The studio update can be viewed here.

Katatonia online:

www.katatonia.com
www.myspace.com/katatonia
www.facebook.com/katatonia