Archive for King Diamond

King Diamond Announces North American Tour

Posted in News with tags , , , , on 23rd June 2014 by hammersmashedlauren

And the rumors are TRUE! The legendary King Diamond has announced a full North American tour for the fall! After hearing rumors for weeks about a possible tour and the leak of a date in New York City, the band has confirmed a 19 date tour across the U.S and Canada. The band will have it’s original lineup, and King Diamond will be doing their full European festival stage show for each date! A special guest act will be supporting which will be announced later on.

A limited edition King Diamond jacket will be available through the fan club pre-sale (http://www.showstubs.com/) that begins tomorrow, June 24th. Tickets will be on sale online for the rest of the public nationwide on Friday, June 27th.  Here is a list of dates taken from the official King Diamond Facebook page:

 

 

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Bloodstock Open Air 2013: The Year of Thrash

Posted in Festival, Live with tags , , , , , , , , on 5th September 2013 by Hannah

Bloodstock Open Air Festival 2013 [King Diamond, Lamb of God, Slayer & more]
Catton Hall, Derbyshire
9th-11th August, 2012

Bloodstock 2013. What a weekend. From the 9th to the 11th of August, hordes of fans of some of the best music on the planet once again descended on Catton Hall in Derby in order to pray at the altar of metal, beer, metal, partying, and more metal. As always, I was there, this year having forked out for a VIP pitch, tent and pocket money in hand, ready to drink my way through the extensive bar and watch some awesome bands tear it up. This year was dubbed ‘The Year of Thrash’ by many, and I think I’d agree- how unfortunate for me that I’m not thrash metal’s biggest fan, then! Before I dive into the music, let me just say one thing: for the extra £100, i.e. more or less the same overall price as a ticket to Download or Reading, a VIP ticket is worth it. If you are able to save or can afford it outright, I would recommend it to anyone, just for the actual proper toilets. I know it’s a bit weird for me to be praising some bogs, but you would understand if you had the ability to use them. They had proper wooden doors, proper toilet rolls, proper sinks, proper soap, proper TOILETS. Amazing.

Right then. Let’s talk Bloodstock proper, shall we?

The Thursday night offerings had always been a bit of a mystery to me; I’d always seen Thursday as an opportunity to get in some drinking, have fun, and eventually wander over to the SOPHIE tent for the late night DJ. However, with an incredible pre-festival line up, I thought I’d better get over. Unfortunately (well, it was also pretty cool), we got chatting to the awesomely friendly guys that were camped around us and before we knew it, we had missed the first three bands! Luckily, we were able to make it over to watch Yorkshire’s finest warriors Ravenage absolutely lay waste to those assembled, with their unmistakably Medieval folk- and death- flavoured metal. Their set had everyone jigging, headbanging, horn-throwing: basically, everyone was enjoying themselves. I particularly enjoyed the tent-wide Drunken Sailor singalong. Magical!

Following Ravenage was the world’s premier metal BeeGees tribute act- yes, you read correctly- Tragedy. Never have I seen or heard a bigger crowd of bearded metalheads singing and dancing along to disco classics such as ‘You Should Be Dancing’, ‘Jive Talking’ and, of course, ‘Saturday Night Fever’ and ‘Staying Alive.’ Tragedy filled Thursday evening with glitter, sequins, lipstick, hairspray, disco-balls, glamour- it was glorious. Such a perfect way to begin the weekend with a beautifully camp bang.

Friday’s main stage offerings began with Earthtone 9. These guys gave a lot of energy during the early slot, and put on a good show, but they weren’t really my cup of tea. Not what I expected, and they weren’t bad at all, but I wouldn’t choose to see them again. Followers Death Angel were everything you’d expect- brutal, straight up thrash metal- and again, they weren’t my cup of tea. However, Ex Deo were fantastic. The ex-Kataklysm troupe brought Rome to Derbyshire and they made me feel like an absolute traitor by the amount I enjoyed them- Rome are the enemy! They were immense and one of the highlights of the day for me. Even though I was really looking forward to them, Dark Funeral unfortunately suffered greatly from issues with their sound, and their frosty, evil atmosphere was completely lost in the mix. Many bands would actually suffer from this over the course of the weekend: followers Firewind, from example, were plagued with sound issues throughout their set. I’m not technically minded at all, but my brother informed me that the vocals were turned up too high. It’s a shame because Firewind were putting on a great performance.

One thrash band that I have to put up my hands and admit to loving is Municipal Waste. I can take their brand of thrash- fun and silly and all about the partying. Last time they played Bloodstock they broke the record for the greatest number of crowd-surfers during one song, so what would they do this time? A crowd-wave, of course, complete with absolutely epic wheelchair-surfer. Whoeever you are, I salute you! Next up were Voivod– another band that I have to be honest and say I didn’t really enjoy. The Canadian metallers did put on a good show if you were a fan, though. Veteran German heavy-metallers Accept thoroughly enjoyed their time on the main stage, something that was obvious and spilled out into the crowd. Their slot was a fantastic display of nostalgia and horn-throwing sing-alongs. Get your balls to the wall, indeed!

Headliner King Diamond has been requested constantly by Bloodstock fans over the past few years (myself included), and so his appearance felt like something of a coup. I will admit that his performance was probably quite confusing if you were not a fan or familiar with his material, but I have to be selfish and say that he was blinding. One of the best performances of the whole weekend! He gave us full theatrics- with Grandma, Miriam Natias and all his chums making an appearance, turning the stage into a Gothic, demonic crypt complete with wrought-iron fencing and a glowing, menacing sigil of Baphomet. King himself was absolutely on form, showing himself to be completely recovered from his near-fatal illness of a couple of years ago, and managing to reach notes with clarity he hasn’t shown in years. Completely outstanding.

I must admit that I missed Saturday’s opening act, Stormbringer. What I could hear from my tent, however, was pretty impressive. Bloodstock favourites Beholder gave it all of their energy and passion, as usual. I love watching this band- they clearly appreciate every opportunity Bloodstock is giving them, and it shows. Long may their success continue! 3 Inches of Blood were everything I expected. I only knew two of their songs, and unfortunately both of these songs were played really early within their set- something I didn’t expect at all, because if you know only one 3 Inches of Blood track, it would be ‘Deadly Sinners’, am I right? Regardless, they were very good and the crowd loved them.

Hell… what can I say about Hell? The best performance of the weekend? An utter revelation? Neither of these seems strong enough. I was absolutely blown away by Hell’s set- I had never managed to get to see them play live before, and I am kicking myself for it. Frontman David Bower clearly still possesses his Equity card, but the professionalism and sheer slick nature of his performance was still incredibly impressive. He had every single member of their enormous crowd right in the palm of his outstretched hand, and worked the stage like an infernal evangelical preacher. The moment he stepped out dressed like a giant faun, complete with pyrotechnic pitchfork, I knew that Hell were now one of my favourite bands. They deserved the huge crowd they managed to attract, and between you and me? Their crowd was bigger than Lamb of God’s. Church was in session on Saturday, my burning soul loved every second of it, and I guarantee you that Hell will be headliners within the next five years.

Kataklysm were brilliant, although struggled to follow Hell a little bit. French’s best Gojira were crushing, as usual and expected. I have to admit to being in a little bit of a daze for these two bands, but luckily this daze was lifted for Sabaton. The power metal veterans had suffered a few problems with their luggage, losing a trunk full of costumes on the journey over to the UK, and seeing Joakim Brodén step out wearing simply a plain black vest and their signature urban camo trousers was a little jarring. Thankfully, a helpful member of the crowd stepped in and lent him their own metal-panelled cyber-goth vest, and the show could go on! Sabaton have to be one of the nicest bands currently on the scene, and Joakim proved his own merits when he gifted two young fans (aged around 9 and 11, if I remember correctly) who were by the barrier with his own wristband and sunglasses.

Saturday ended on a bit of a juxtaposition. Tobias Sammet’s guest-studded Avantasia set was breathtakingly beautiful, a rock opera in the middle of a dirty field. I think everyone expected it to be a spectacle, but I was able to sit back and let the music wash over me, engrossing me totally. It was just gorgeous, and they were another highlight. ‘Controversial’ headliners (controversial for the same tired reasons that Machine Head generated controversy last year) Lamb of God, however, left me wanting, a little bit. Even the ridiculously amazing announcement that Emperor will be headlining next year’s festival couldn’t keep up the energy throughout their set. They were marred by safety issues with the barrier, with frontman Randy Blythe pleading with the crowd to watch out for each other, but there just seemed to be a little bit of a flat atmosphere. I was expecting them to be victoriously received by the crowd, given Blythe’s recent acquittal, but I think the sight of countless fans leaving before their set had finished speaks volumes.

Special mention must go to two bands on the SOPHIE stage on Saturday- Mael Mordha and PowerQuest. Irish doom metallers Mael Mordha served up a folky slice of ‘Gaelic’ doom metal and reminded me why it’s one of my favourite genres of metal. PowerQuest’s set, my brother informed me, was a bittersweet triumph, being their last ever performance as a band, featuring members of their old line up and filled with nostalgic tracks from the career of one of the most criminally underrated bands in the UK. They will be sorely missed.

I have a confession to make. At some point between Saturday night and Sunday morning, I caught a bug. I don’t know what it was, but I spent most of Sunday unable to keep any food or drink down. Subsequently, I missed the first three bands, dragging my sore self away from my tent and into the arena in time to see Fozzy. I didn’t know what to expect from these guys, being eager to keep an open mind, but I was pleasantly surprised. They were brilliant, straight-up metal, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Chris Jericho was clearly over the moon to be on that stage, loving every second and I have to say- he is an absolute nutter. At one point, he climbed right up the lighting rig and sang one song from the top of the stage. Brilliant, and I might have to watch out for Fozzy in the future. Finish metallers Amorphis were excellent, delivering their strange blend of prog, folk and death metal to an incredibly receptive crowd- I have to listen to some more of their material, because I really enjoyed what I heard! I must admit to missing Exodus, but I have it on good authority that they were as brutal as one would have expected them to be. Devildriver were nicely nostalgic for me- I’m not too familiar with much of their stuff, but I was a huge Coal Chamber fan back in the day so I loved watching Dez Fafara and his cohorts do their thing. ‘Hold Back The Day’ was a highlight of a set full of metal camaraderie and a focus on enjoying yourself.

Here’s the confession that may get me lynched- I missed most of both Anthrax and Slayer, and I’m not that sorry. I spent most of Anthrax unconscious in my tent, from dehydration, pain and exhaustion: but I have to admit, the one song I managed to catch at the end was very good. Anthrax had an awful lot of energy, clearly enjoying every second of being there and grateful for every fan. The same could not be said for legendary thrash metal tyrants Slayer. I am truly sorry to say this, but Slayer were boring to me. They just got on stage and played their songs: there was no performance there at all. I also personally find their music very repetitive. However, I will concede that I am sure it was the best part of the weekend for the countless baying Slayer-heads in attendance, and I only managed to catch a couple of tracks from their set, ‘War Ensemble’ included.

I also have to mention Gibraltan metal quintet Breed 77, who tore apart the SOPHIE set earlier on Sunday. I am a huge fan of Breed 77 anyway, and they delivered song after song of underrated brilliance, peppered with insights from people living inside the Gibraltarian/Spanish political conflict. Dedicating the bruising ‘Insects’ to both an unelected UK-government and a group of Spanish fascists was a particularly genius move on Paul Isola’s part.

Other highlights of my weekend included meeting Alien Loves Predator and Judge Dredd (the latter of which was pulled up on stage during ‘I Am The Law’ in Anthrax’s set), and sampling some delicious beverages over in the VIP bar. I think the best drink I had all weekend was Bruce Dickinson’s Trooper, which is like the Iron Maiden warbler himself- mellow, laid back and easy going. You can actually buy bottles of Trooper in certain supermarkets, so I would implore you to Google and find out!

Bloodstock 2013 was a mixed barrel for me as far as the music was concerned. However, I actually go to Bloodstock for the experience and the people just as much as I do the bands. It’s always better when you like a significant portion of the line-up, of course, but I enjoyed more than I thought I would and managed to have a whale of a weekend, even with a final day marred by illness.

Emperor next year? I’ll see you there.

 

 

 

Hannah O’Flanagan, 2013

Memory Garden complete recording of Doomain

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , on 5th February 2013 by Nico Solheim-Davidson

Swedish epic doom metal band Memory Garden have finished the recordings for their upcoming fifth album Doomain. The album was recorded at Annoying Sound Factory and SolnaSound Recording by the band with a little engineering assistance from Mike Wead (King Diamond) during the lead guitar sessions. The mix was done by Dan Swanö at Unisound.

Memory Garden elaborate on the project: “The recording of Doomain must be the most relaxed album session we’ve ever done. We recorded most of the album ourselves in our own studio and took the time we wanted and needed to get it done. Dan Swanö helped us getting the rig together and he provided us with the tools to do it and from there we did it ourselves. The lead guitar sessions were done at SolnaSound Recording by Simon & Mike Wead. When it all was done it was sent to Dan Swanö and Unisound for mix and mastering. The final album is amazing and we are so thrilled to get it out to all of you.”

The band comment on the album title: “We wanted a short and effective title to this album. It’s a little game of words referring to the style of music we play “doom metal” and the actual word “domain”. We see this album as a statement of what Memory Garden stands for music-wise and this album is certainly down our alley, it’s in our Doomain.”

Doomain will be released the 12th/15th of April via Metal Blade Records in Europe on vinyl and as a Digi-CD and on April 15th in North America via all digital music retailers.

Memory Garden has just recently resigned to Metal Blade Records. Memory Garden was found in 1992 in Sweden and have since then released four albums, two of them under the flag of Metal Blade Records (Verdict Of Posterity in 1998 and Mirage in 2000).

Memory Garden:
Stefan Berglund – Vocals
Simon Johansson – Lead Guitars
Andreas Mäkelä – Guitars
Johan Fredrikson – Bass Guitar
Tom Björn – Drums

Album art, track listing, and music from Doomain will be released soon. Stay tuned!

http://www.memorygarden.se
https://www.facebook.com/memorygardenofficial

 

Hell on Earth… At Bloodstock

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , on 17th January 2013 by Nico Solheim-Davidson

NWOBHM legends Hell have been confirmed for Bloodstock 2013. The announcement came only a couple of hours ago when they were announced alongside Belphegor for the Ronnie James Dio stage on Saturday 10th August.

Bloodstock is set to take place on 8th-11th August at Catton Hall in Derby. Other bands already confirmed for Bloodstock 2013 include Lamb of God, Firewind, King Diamond, Whitechapel, Ex Deo and Kataklysm, with many more to be announced. Tickets and further info can be found here.

 

Whitechapel confirmed for Bloodstock 2013

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , on 5th December 2012 by Nico Solheim-Davidson

Whitechapel have just been announced for Bloodstock 2013 along with Kataklysm, Avantasia and Ex Deo.

They will join headliners Lamb of God and King Diamond and special guests Anthrax.

Friday August 9th

Ronnie Jame Dio Stage

King Diamond
Accept
Municipal Waste
Dark Funeral
Firewind
Ex Deo
 

Saturday August 10th

Ronnie James Dio Stage

Lamb of God
Avantasia
Kataklysm

Sunday August 11th

Ronnie James Dio Stage

Anthrax
Devil Driver
Amorphis
Fozzy
Whitechapel

Whitechapel’s self-titled fourth album was released in June through Metal Blade, and the band spent the summer melting tarmac on the Mayhem Festival tour in the US (alongside Slipknot, Slayer, Motorhead… and Bloodstock compadres, Anthrax).

Check out the new video for Possibilities Of An Impossible Existence here.

Bloodstock 2013 will be held in Catton Park, Derbyshire on August 8th to 11th. Tickets for the festival are on sale now and can be purchased from the official website: http://www.bloodstock.uk.com

King Diamond sign worldwide deal with Metal Blade Records

Posted in News with tags , , , , , on 4th December 2012 by Nico Solheim-Davidson

Metal Blade Records is pleased to announce that Grammy Award nominated King Diamond has signed a new 3 album worldwide record deal with the label.

King Diamond released the following statement: “This is gonna be awesome! Another perfect piece of the puzzle. We have the full backup of Metal Blade, and there’s an understanding between us that goes much, much deeper than before.

Our new business setup will noticeably benefit the fans in so many ways. You must have already noticed some of all the cool new stuff that is happening.

Now we can’t wait to get out there and start touring again!

King Diamond is quite possibly the most recognizable and prolific personality ever in heavy metal. Revered by icons as big as Metallica and Pantera to inspiring new upstarts like Goatwhore; King Diamond, the man and the band, have left an indelible mark on the history, and now again, the future of heavy metal.

In August of 2008, King Diamond joined Metallica on stage at Ozzfest in Dallas to perform the Mercyful Fate medley made famous from the Garage, Inc. album. Additionally, King Diamond was featured alongside Motorhead‘s Lemmy Kilmister as a playable character in Guitar Hero: Metallica in 2009.

By 2012, King Diamond was prepared to return to the stage for a select number of shows. The band’s triumphant return to the stage were the highlights of both the Hellfest and Sweden Rock festivals in France and Sweden. Fans at these festivals were treated to the largest and most involved stage production in the band’s storied history. Horror concepts from multiple albums were used in the décor; fans can rest-assured that this show will only get larger and more impressive at future performances.

King Diamond‘s 30+ year musical career is one of the most storied in history of heavy metal, but the tale is not yet over. The most recent release, 2007’s Grammy nominated album Give Me Your Soul…Please, stands as one of the most critically-acclaimed albums in an already iconic discography. Future albums will feature entirely new horror stories, concepts, haunting orchestrations, and the band’s signature brand of heavy metal from the mind of King Diamond and the talented group of musicians in tow: Andy La Rocque, Mike Wead, Hal Patino, and Matt Thompson. Many more albums, tours, and ventures lay ahead.

For news, updates, and all things King Diamond, click here.

 

Lamb Of God confirmed for Bloodstock as headliner

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , on 7th November 2012 by Nico Solheim-Davidson

lamb-of-god-wallpaper-10

US metallers Lamb Of God have been announced for Bloodstock next year as the Saturday night headliner. This will be their only UK festival appearance and they will join the likes of previously announced headliner King Diamond plus thrash metal icons Anthrax, Greek power metallers Firewind and WWE superstar Chris Jericho’s band Fozzy! Lamb Of God will also be joined by new additions Dark Funeral and Amorphis.

Bloodstock Open Air will take place 8th-11th August 2013 at Catton Hall, Derbyshire. Tickets are available from the official Bloodstock site which can be found here.