Archive for Lacuna Coil

Lacuna Coil and Eluveitie live in Tampere

Posted in Gig, Live with tags , , , , , on 15th December 2019 by izaforestspirit

Infected Rain, Lacuna Coil, Eluveitie
Pakkahuone, Tampere, Finland
14th December 2019

My last gig of 2019! Mid December; still over a week until the holidays start. This is the time of the year when most people are getting ready for the festive season. It is rare to find any decent gigs on at this point in the year. Sometimes you might get lucky though…As soon as I found out that Eluveitie were in town I decided to go. I’ve seen Eluveitie once before, oddly enough at the same venue four years ago. They have had some line-up changes since then and they released one of the best albums I have heard this year.

The show was sold out and the venue was so packed that they had opened up the next door venue, Klubi to create extra space.

First up was a Moldavian metalcore band called Infected Rain. I’m not the biggest fan of metalcore, but I have to admit that vocalist Elena Kataraga aka Lena Scissorhands did a good job of agitating the crowd. They even succeeded in getting a mosh-pit going towards the end of their show.

Then it was Lacuna Coil’s turn. I have never seen them live before. I used to listen to some Lacuna Coil when I was younger but I lost track of them over the years. I couldn’t really get into the newer material but I was happy to hear some of the older songs such as ‘Swamped’, ‘Heaven’s A Lie and their cover of ‘Enjoy The Silence’ live.

Then it was time for the headliners, Eluveitie. Once again they did not disappoint. There are not many folk metal bands out there who are capable of delivering a show this good. A flawless blend of celtic folk instruments, two very different singers with melodic death metal. They played lots of songs from their latest opus ‘Ategnatos’ including ‘Rebirth’ and one of my new favourites ‘The Slumber’ along with a Swiss language version of ‘Call of The Mountains’ and ‘Inis Mona’.

In summary I am glad that I decided to attend the show. I had a great time. I got to see Lacuna Coil live for the first time. Luckily the set included a few tracks which I recognized. Eluveitie were as good as they were the first time that I saw them live. It’s good to see that the line-up change has had a positive effect on the band and I hope that they will return to Finland soon.

Iza Raittila

Bloodstock Open Air 2014 Review

Posted in Festival, Live with tags , , , , , , , , , , on 24th August 2014 by Hannah

Bloodstock Open Air Festival 2014 [Down, Emperor, Megadeth & more]

Catton Hall, Derbyshire

8th-10th August, 2014

Bloodstock 2014 came and went like an almighty clap of thunder. Before I even knew it, it was August and that time of the year when the bearded horde descends upon the sleepy Derbyshire countryside for the UK’s most metal weekend. A line up chock full of interesting names that promised to deliver crushing sets, more beer than I could comprehend and a surprising number of costumes and Native American accessories awaited me. As always, I’d coughed up the extra money for a VIP ticket- again, I will say that it is WORTH IT- but this year, let me start by giving a negative review. The VIP toilets were shocking. Usually they are cleaned regularly, supplied with toilet paper and soap and all the mod-cons that help to make the price that much more acceptable. This year, however, it was horrific. I realise that with the weather they were going to get dirty- but I would have been okay with mud. Little brown fishes are not so okay.

Anyway…  After being thoroughly slaughtered by the Thursday night pre-party and starting to pick my way through the VIP bar’s 103 real ales and ciders, I awoke on the Friday morning, blinking with bleary eyes into the blazing sunshine. Fitting that the opener was Bloodshot Dawn, then. A good start to proceedings, followed by the always satisfying Entombed A.D. It’s the second time I’ve had the pleasure of watching these guys and they were just as good as before- even though they’re in a different form from last time. Irish extreme metallers Primordial followed, with an absolutely stellar set. I’d caught a bit of their set the last time they played Bloodstock, and made sure I was able to see the whole thing this time round. It was a good choice, because their particular brand of black-ish metal is excellent live. A smidgeon of thrash was added to the mix by Flotsam & Jetsam, who entertained for the whole of their set and were a good choice, as were industrial metallers Prong. Both bands were received enthusiastically by the crowd and there were few heads still during their slot on the main stage.  

Controversial opinion time- I don’t like Triptykon. I will never forgive Tom G. Warrior for the glam metal Celtic Frost ridiculousness, and even though on paper I should appreciate Triptykon’s doomy line of metal, I just don’t like it. It was all very grim and frosty and plenty of people did like it, but it definitely wasn’t my cup of tea. Hatebreed, however, reminded us exactly why they were one of the best received bands of 2012. Perfectly on form, as always, they were energetic and exciting and definitely one of the best acts of the weekend. The same cannot be said for Dimmu Borgir, and frustratingly it wasn’t their fault. I was looking forward to Dimmu Borgir; they are one of my favourite bands and their 2012 set is still one of the best I have ever seen. But this year they were plagued by technical difficulties and a sound mix so bad keyboardist Gerlioz left the stage. Arriving at least twenty minutes late, and forced to stop and start throughout, when they did play they proved that they could have been great this year. Such a massive disappointment. Friday night headliners Down took the stage to an arena buzzing with anticipation and excitement and baying for blood. And, whatever you may think of him as a person, you have to hand it to Phil Anselmo– he is the perennial frontman. They filled Catton Hall with their groovy brand of metal and crushing riffs, and teased the horde with ten to fifteen seconds of Pantera classic Walk.

Saturday morning started with, in my opinion, the performance of the weekend. Evil Scarecrow. I need to take a moment to dedicate this whole review- and, at the very least, an entire paragraph- to Evil Scarecrow. Eleven o’clock in the morning and the arena was absolutely rammed. We’re talking Special Guest to Headliner amounts of people. Very much a story of success against the odds, Evil Scarecrow are something special. They manage to be simultaneously funny and extremely clever, and also just extremely fucking good. They turned Bloodstock into a heavy metal ballroom, filled with waltzing Cyclopes (cyclopi? Just what is the correct plural term here?), they commanded first an army of (totally in sync) shuffling Crab(ulon)s, then an army of Robot(atron)s, and finally managed to get almost every lucky bastard assembled there to war-march around the sound desk. We are talking an arena wide march. Even if we only moved about ten foot forward, that’s still an impressive feat. Every single person there had a huge grin on their face. If you weren’t watching, you missed out on history.

Shining had a bit of a hard act to follow, unfortunately, and it was a shame to see such a reduced crowd watching them. Their somewhat bizarre jazz-extreme metal fusion was quite refreshing, however, and I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a saxophone on the RJD stage before- or will again. Decapitated were as expected- brutal- and Israel’s Orphaned Land were a nice surprise. I’d never really heard any of their music before, but their progressive tinged metal was much better than I thought it would be. Crowbar were awesome, with bass lines so shuddering and crushing that I could feel my liver shaking. Following their set with Italian pseudo-goths Lacuna Coil seemed a bit of an odd choice- in fact, in general I felt that the line up could have been re-arranged across all three days- but Cristina Scabbia and her cohort were on fine form. There was a nice selection of new and old, including some of the better tracks from latest album Broken Crown Halo. I know a lot of people criticize Children of Bodom for being one-trick-ponies. In my opinion, that just shows that they know what the winning formula is and stick to it. Alexi Laiho and Janne Wirman deliver guitar and keyboard solos with sickening ease that almost borders on laziness, but Laiho was his usual ball of boundless energy. An unexpected setlist including fan favourites such as Hatecrew Deathroll and Lake Bodom, they were fantastic as always.

Controversial opinion time the second- I think Carcass are past it- or at least, Jeff Walker is at any rate. It almost seemed like they were going through the motions, tearing through a set filled with classics with an almost clinical, sterile precision. Apt for a band whose latest release is called Surgical Steel, true, but it seemed like they lacked heart. Saturday evening was all about one band, anyway. Emperor took to the stage to celebrate 20 years since the release of their seminal album, In The Nightside Eclipse. They were flawless. There was an almost reverent atmosphere in the arena as they turned the temperature frosty and filled the venue with their chilly, eerie brand of black metal and reminded us all why they are and will always be one of the best in the business. Plus- when are we ever going to see Ihsahn, Samoth and Faust playing together ever again? It was an incredible moment, something I will never forget.

I will admit something now- I only saw four bands on Sunday. The celebrations from Emperor nearly killed me, and I slept through both Arthemis and Aborted. However, I have it on good authority that Arthemis put on a valiant performance, and that Aborted were savage. I managed to rouse myself from the darkness in order to make it down to watch Valkyrian favourites ReVamp perform in an absolute downpour. Floor Jansen is a force to be reckoned with, and it’s easy to see why she has been nabbed by Nightwish. She had those assembled to watch in the palm of her hand and did well despite the odds. I then returned to my tent to recover some more, only to discover that a veritable tempest was beginning to blow. The first tent to fall victim to the wind was- ironically- the Tangerine Dreams tent-hire company’s reception tent, followed swiftly by a gazebo that took to the skies with captivating elegance before landing with one leg impaled in another thankfully empty tent. A quick conversation led to the decision to pull up camp and leave later that evening, so by the time we had cleared up and packed everything in the car, we’d missed both Biohazard and last-minute stage-switchers Avatar. Obituary, however, were worth catching for some decent, straightforward and relentless death metal.

Saxon were everything I expected them to be- cheesy, fist-pumping and glorious. Good old Biff was on fine form, and they were well received by a crowd of an incredibly diverse age range. By the time they played Denim and Leather, the whole arena had been brought together and it was easy to see why so many people got on board with Saxon’s campaign to have Heavy Metal recognised as a religion in the last UK census. Amon Amarth were absolutely outstanding. Fire-breathing dragonheads, upon which guitar solos were performed,  filled the stage and Johan Hegg led the Viking hordes through a set that perfectly represented their catalogue of greats. They reminded me why they are one of my favourite bands and why I will always throw my horns up in the air when I hear any of their songs. Unfortunately, this is where my Bloodstock experience ended as we made a run for it as the weather worsened and the storm moved in. This does mean that I missed MegaDave- sorry, I mean Megadeth– but controversial opinion the last? I wasn’t particularly bothered. Had I been more in the spirit of things and had imbibed a fair bit of cider I’m sure I would have enjoyed them, but being sober and eager to leave before the wind picked up again it wasn’t much of a loss.

Bloodstock 2014 was a rollercoaster ride of technical problems, triumphant performances and crazy weather. But I would not have missed it for the world. The performance of the weekend, as I feel I have already clearly shown, was definitely Evil Scarecrow, and I will give them less than five years until they are special guests, if not headliners. Even though we’re still waiting for any announcements, there’s nowhere I’d rather be from the 6th to the 9th of August next year. I will see you then.

 

Hannah O’Flanagan

Lacuna Coil – Broken Crown Halo

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on 24th March 2014 by mickbirchy

Lacuna Coil
Broken Crown Halo

Released 31st March 2014
Gothic Metal/Pop Metal
Released via Century Media

To be perfectly honest, I have had an on-off relationship with Lacuna Coil over the years and was seriously impressed with the 2012 release “Dark Adrenaline”, because of this, I was hoping that this was the start of them coming back to the more Gothic sounding symphonic metal rather than the alt. rock sound they’d been going with, but, this isn’t the case with Broken Crown Halo.  It’s another rock record, which is fine, but this leaves little the atmosphere, the tone and overall makes you wish for something a little extra.

Although it’s not what I was expecting, there is still a lot to like with this album, it starts quite well with the song Nothing Stands in Our Way.  A nice opener with a heavy tone and some cool synth in the back of the production, it’s almost a throwback to the previous album.  Then it goes downhill and fast with onslaught of, quite frankly, lazy sounding music and there is nothing to keep you invested in the songs.  At times there is interesting, even beautiful imagery in the lyrics such as in Hostage to the Light and it’s that imagery that kept me somewhat hooked into the album as the music itself was lackluster.  The band have said “We’ve always been fascinated by the differences and comparisons between real life and fairy tales, and on this album we decided to mix the two worlds when writing our lyrics”  and they do manage to write this in to some of the songs to great effect, giving a sense of wonder, however the music never complements it.

It is only by the halfway point of the album that I become interested in the music again, particularly with the song I Forgive (But I Won’t Forget Your Name), it’s only by this track that the actual music captures my interest rather than the lyrics alone and it seems they keep building on it as the last part of the album is really good.  Sure, there is nothing ground-breaking, but there seems to be a passion during these song.  I became fascinated with the tonal shift, the synth wasn’t just there to sound pretty, it creates an atmosphere whilst the guitars drive the songs forward.

If I were to recommend any of the tracks, definitely check out Infection & In The End I Feel Alive, simply put, these are the two track I found the most interesting.  They are not just throwing old sounds at you nor are the songs boring.  The lyrics are deep and I feel show off what the band was trying to achieve with this album the best.

As one of the bigger names signed to Century Media records they show no sign of slowing down now, this being their seventh record and although this wasn’t the dark and Gothic symphonic metal I had hoped for, it is still a good album.  This is by no means is this a good “jumping on point” if you have never listened to Lacuna Coil before, but the fans of the band and the genre there is clever imagery and enough of a heavy tone to keep your interest.

3/5

Mick Birchall

Lacuna Coil online:

http://lacunacoil.it
http://facebook.com/lacunacoil
http://twitter.com/lacuna_coil
http://myspace.com/lacunacoil
http://youtube.com/lacunacoil

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Lacuna Coil premiere lyric video for Die & Rise from upcoming album

Posted in News with tags , , , , , on 17th March 2014 by Nico Davidson

Italian metallers Lacuna Coil are currently on tour throughout the US but that hasn’t stopped from premiering the lyric video for Die & Rise, taken from their upcoming album Broken Crown Halo, which will be released at the end of this month through Century Media. The lyric video can be viewed below.

Lacuna Coil online:

http://lacunacoil.it
http://facebook.com/lacunacoil
http://twitter.com/lacuna_coil

 

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Apocalyptica premier video for Stormy Wagner

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , on 16th December 2013 by Nico Davidson

Apocalyptica, the Finnish cello rock unit, have premiered the video for Stormy Wagner, which can be viewed below. The song is apart of the band’s new live album Wagner Reloaded – Live In Leipzig, for which the band teamed up with MDR Leipzig Symphony Orchestra. The perfectly timed release of the album marks the 200th anniversary of the birth of legendary German composer Richard Wagner. Cellist Eicca Toppinen comments:

It’s complex to record a live album with an orchestra, because there are so many lines, microphones and there’s one stupid drummer, who beats the shit out of the drums and creates so much noise that everything is spoiled afterwards. It’s a challenge, we prepared well in advance, and Sven Helbig, the orchestrator, did a great job in making it run together, it works.

For Wagner Reloaded – Live In Leipzig, Apocalyptica created new compositions based on Wagner’s body of work and his life, teaming (with award-winning choreographer and dancer Gregor Seyffert to stage a brilliant and magical, cross-genre event featuring a live concert and theatrical production.

Since its inception, the Finnish cello-based heavy rock group Apocalyptica has been mining the classical form and structure creating compositions that are both unpredictable and unforgettable. From the Metallica covers that turned the music scene on its ear to 2007’s Worlds Collide — which saw the group collaborate (with everyone from Slipknot’s Corey Taylor to Rammstein’s Till Lindemann and Lacuna Coil’s Cristina Scabbia) — Apocalyptica have released seven studio albums featuring numerous cello-based instrumentals and vocal-based songs. They’ve explored styles from atmospheric interludes to fast, battering rhythms — their music has always been gripping, dynamic and full of melody.

Apocalyptica online:

http://facebook.com/Apocalyptica

Three more bands confirmed for Bloodstock

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on 28th November 2013 by Hannah

Lacuna Coil, Carcass and Primordial have been announced as the latest acts on an increasingly epic bill for Bloodstock Open Air 2014!

Italian metallers Lacuna Coil will be bringing their sonic wall of Gothic-tinged sound to Catton Hall for the second time, performing the Ronnie James Dio stage on the Saturday. Frontwoman Cristina Scabbia reflected on their return with a sneak peek of what fans can expect from their set:

“It will be LACUNA COIL’s second time there and I’m curious to see how the festival has grown.  We will have songs from the new album and some LC classics, so see ya all in the summer!”

The legendary Carcass will be acting as Saturday’s Special Guests , and after their triumphant debut release with Nuclear Blast, Surgical Steel, gained wide acclaim and rave reviews, they have promised to be ‘firing on all cylinders’ with their set. Also announced are Irish gaelic metal outfit Primordial, returning after a victorious set in 2011. This may be one of your only opportunities to catch them next year, so don’t miss it. All three bands join an exceptional roster including Emperor, Down, Megadeth, Saxon and Amon Amarth, and with Early Bird tickets selling fast, it might be time to secure your place at what is promising to be the metal event of the year.

As Jeff Walker commands, “Let there be rot!”

Primordial confirmed for Bloodstock 2014

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

Gaelic metal warriors Primordial have announced that they’ll be playing Bloodstock Open Air Festival in 2014, with bands such as Carcass, Lacuna Coil, Emperor, Megadeth and more, as well as label mates Amon Amarth.

Bloodstock will be held at Catton Park, Derbyshire on 7th-10th August 2014. Keep up to date with the very latest info on Bloodstock’s official sites at this location (Official Facebook) and this location (Official Website).

Primordial online:

http://primordialweb.com
http://facebook.com/primordialofficial

 

Hatebreed’s Jamey Jasta discusses returning to Bloodstock Open Air

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

Hatebreed were recently announced to play Bloodstock 2014 and since the band were recently in the UK for the Vans Warped Tour, Nuclear Blast’s UK team decided to quiz frontman Jamey Jasta about his favourite memories from the band’s 2012 appearance at the renowned festival. The video interview can be viewed down below.

Bloodstock will be held at Catton Park, Derbyshire on 7th-10th August 2014. Tickets for 2014’s event are still on sale at special EARLY BIRD prices – a total snip at £115 for a 4-day weekend ticket with camping. There is only a limited number of early bird tickets left. When they’re gone, they’re gone, and tickets revert to full price! Get your tickets at this location.

With the three 2014 headliners already announced, the event is shaping up to be the strongest yet. Friday night’s bill toppers are New Orleans sludgemeisters, Down. Joining them to head up Saturday night are black metal overlords, Emperor and closing out proceedings on Sunday are the mighty thrash legends, Megadeth. Also announced so far are Carcass, Hatebreed, Children Of Bodom, Decapitated, Lacuna Coil, Primordial, Amon Amarth, Obituary, Crowbar, Saxon, Prong, Flotsam & Jetsam and Evil Scarecrow. 

 

Hatebreed online:

http://hatebreed.com
http://facebook.com/hatebreed

 

Metal Female Voices Festival @ Wieze, BE

Posted in Festival, Live with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 22nd October 2013 by Freya

Tarja, Lacuna Coil, ReVamp, Delain, Leaves’ Eyes
Oktoberhallen, Wieze
18th-20th October

In Belgium, October stands for falling leaves, rain and a ton of female fronted metal. For the eleventh time the Oktoberhallen in Wieze flooded with fans of this genre to attend the Metal Female Voices Fest or MFVF. This festival has a very loyal fanbase, some of them even travelled a good part of the globe to get there! I had the pleasure to meet some dedicated metalheads from Israel and Argentina, and it’s safe to say that they weren’t the only international visitors.

On Friday, the first day of the festival, the doors opened at 19h00 as there were only two acts. I have no idea if that was also the reason behind the smaller crowd, but it was noticable that there were a lot more attendees on Saturday and Sunday. But that didn’t stop Liv Kristine from giving it her all with her solo project! Liv Kristine by herself, accompanied by a band of course, is a little more indie/rock than Leaves’ Eyes, but that doesn’t take away of the fact that she has an amazing voice. Fans of Leaves’ Eyes were lucky this weekend, because the band attended the festival on Saturday. But for now, back to Liv Kristine. As the crowd continued to grow, she enchanted us with her adorable smile and charisma. Paris Paris and Skintight opened the set, followed by a fragile Fake a Smile. Trapped in Your Labyrinth was definitely one of the highlights of the show, together with ‘Libertine’. With these songs Liv Kristine showcased that a delicate voice can rock just as much as a more solid voice. As a nice surprise, a few Theatre of Tragedy songs made it into the set: Venus and Image. Overall, this was a perfect fresh and joyous opener for what turned out to be an outstanding edition of MFVF. [3.5/5]

After Liv Kristine, the stage was invaded by Eve’s Apple. And I mean invaded! Eve’s Apple isn’t a normal band with about 5 or 6 members, it’s a collective of female singers. Some of the ladies who sung some beautiful covers were: Lisa Middelhauve (ex-Xandria), Charlotte Wessels (Delain), Iliana Tsakiraki, Kassandra Gruszkowki, Annamaria Cozza, Zuberoa Aznarez, Aiylin Gimenez (Sirenia), Grace Meridan, Heidi Parviainen, Mary Zimmer, Marcela Bovio (Stream Of Passion), Clémentine Delauney (Serenity), Karolina Pacan (Skeptical Minds), Sabrina Valentine, Laura Vargas, Mariangela Themurtas (Tristania), Lindsay Schoolcraft (Cradle of Filth), Sanna Salou, Angel Wolfblack, VK Lynne and Maxi Nil (Visions Of Atlantis). Some of the biggest hits in rock were brought out for this special occasion, so we had the opportunity to listen to adaptations of Stargazer (Marcela Bovio and Kassandra Novell) and Poison (Clémentine Delauney and VK Lynne). Every now and then the fire underneath the songs died out a bit and made way for a softly glowing ember like Behind Blue Eyes(Mariangela Themurtas, Maxi Nil and Charlotte Wessels). Personally, Show Must Go On (Karolina Pacan and Angel Wolfblack) would have been in the list of amazing duets as well, but technical issues caused some trouble. The vocals drowned in a wall of sound and that’s too bad, because it had a lot of potential. Towards the end all the ladies got together on stage to thank Maxi Nil, and to sing a few songs of course! The two final songs of the evening were quite appropriate: All we Are and Stars. [3/5]

As the final notes of the evening died out the crowd turned to their tent, car or bus, only to return in a few very short hours!

On Saturday the doors opened at 10h00. And even though it was still early, there was a relatively long queue in front of said doors. And what a nice wake-up call we got once we got inside! Our neighbours from the North sent Magion to MFVF, and they were an astonishing discovery! Myrthe van Beest has an enchanting voice, which is a perfect match for compelling songs like Neverending Winter and Shallow Grounds. During Greed the horns went up, and the crowd slowly started shaking off the mists of morning. [4/5]

Azylya should definitely get the award for creepiest intro at MFVF. The Belgian band played a home game and brought two masked dancers and a creepy little girl with them. She fit right in with the eerie music and lighting. The venue was starting to shed a bit of the initial chill, but things definitely got hotter when Jamie-Lee Smit brought out some fire during Darkness Ascending. Electroconvulsive was a vocal mix between a kick in the teeth and a gentle embrace. Overall, Azylya told an enchanting story with a lot of power. The mix of classical elements with metal, and the two contrasting voices were a true delight! [4/5]

Victorians – Aristocrats’ Symphony brought a touch of the past to MFVF, with stunning costumes (I still want to steal the jacket that Utis wore). Songs like Descent of Your Destiny and Prince of Night paint a picture of times long gone, but with a modern twist. After the show they told us they were a bit worried about the quality of the sound, but I don’t think they had anything to worry about. [3.5/5]

Serenity came to MFVF to promote their new album War of Ages. Singers Clémentine Delauney and Georg Neuhauser sound very well-balanced and they compliment each other. Georg ran and jumped around every inch of the stage, never standing in one place more than a few seconds, and you could see he was having a good time. But there was also room for a more intimate song: Fairytales was touching and intense. A nice surprise was the guest appearance from Charlotte Wessels during Serenade of Flames. Serenity knows how to entertain and satisfy an audience. [3.5/5]

Canadian band Kobra and the Lotus brought heavy metal to Wieze, and how! Nayana struck like a poisonous snake and this feisty animal did not lose it’s grip. Kobra Paige has a hypnotic and overwhelming voice and she took the stage with confidence and spirit. And it gets better! She is backed up by an impressive wall of sound consisting of fierce guitars and raging drums. Songs like 50 Shades of Evil or Forever One have potential to become true metal anthems. Dark Passenger was preceded by a drum solo that showcased the sills of the drummer and My Life stood out to me due to its unique guitar riff. Afterwards Kobra Paige shared some words of wisdom with me: love and metal, that’s what it’s all about. I couldn’t agree more. [5/5]

I admit it, at first, I was a bit sceptical about Kontrust. I saw a few of their videos on YouTube and felt like I had no idea what to expect. The intro made me feel like I was at Octoberfest rather than Metal Female Voices Fest so I had the urge to roll my eyes, but I stand corrected! Kontrust knows how to get a party started. They were a lot of fun and the crowd clearly enjoyed their lighthearted songs like Hey DJ, U Say What and Bomba. Sock and Doll was another example of what makes Kontrust unique: I’ve never seen a band use sock puppets before… But it worked! The horns went up and I saw a lot of smiles around me. [4/5]

After Kontrust it was time for the headlining acts of the day: Leaves’ Eyes, Delain and Lacuna Coil.

Liv Kristine took the stage once more this weekend, this time as part of Leaves’ Eyes. Since Leaves’ Eyes is practically a synonym for symphonic metal, that’s exactly what we got: riveting melodies and an angelic voice with a heavier counterpartner. Their new album Symphonies of the Night will be released in November so at MFVF we had the privilege to hear a few new songs such as Galswintha, Fading Earth, Symphonies of the Night, Maid of Lorraine and Hell to the Heavens. And I can tell you, these songs are something to look forward to! The crowd clearly enjoyed the new material, but most hands, horns and fists were raised during songs as My Destiny, Elegy and Take the Devil in Me. (And Alexander Krull still has the most awesome hair!) [4/5]

Delain opened their set with Mother Machine, a song taken from their album We are the Others. Charlotte Wessels appeared on stage dressed in white and she swept the crowd right off their feet. The entire show she continued to encourage the audience to sing, scream or clap along. Go Away and Virtue and Vice from the album April Rain were played next, accompanied by sparks and an audience on fire. Charlotte reached the higher notes with ease and before we knew it they were halfway through the set. We were in for another great surprise though, because during No Compliance, Charlotte was joined by none other than Sharon den Adel (Within Temptation) for a special duet. Sharon didn’t leave after one song though, much to the delight of the audience. She sang Restless, a song by her own band Within Temptation, accompanied by Martijn Westerholt (former keyboardist of Within Temptation) on the piano. Sharon wasn’t the only guest appearance of the set though. Georg Neuhauser of Serenity joined Charlotte on stage for Control the Storm. They clearly enjoyed this duet, which was another cherry on this scrumptious Delain-cake. During the encore Charlotte had the crowd jumping once again with The Gathering. Delain said their goodbyes with We are the Others, together with the crowd who was singing along with an amazing amount of spirit after an already long day. [4.5/5]

Day two wasn’t over yet though! Lacuna Coil was the final act of the day, and they had something special planned for MFVF. They played the entire Karmacode album. It truly was a trip to the past since Karmacode came out in 2006. The band took place on stage wearing the masks they used during the Karmacode tour, but unfortunately we could only see Cristina Scabbia and Andrea Ferro. The lighting was horrible! It was really difficult to see any of the musicians during the entire set, which was disappointing. But back to the music! Karmacode is an album filled with hits like Fragile, Enjoy the Silence and Our Truth. Lacuna Coil definitely took a risk here, because not every song on the album is a hit. Because of that, at times it felt like an unusual show. The entire show was very interesting and I hope that this concept will inspire other bands to do the same. After a short intermezzo Cristina and Andrea returned in a their latest uniforms to end things with a bang! They gave the crowd a small but oh so sweet taste of absolute hits such as Heaven’s A Lie and Spellbound. To top it of they sang two songs of their latest album Dark Adrenaline: the haunting Trip the Darkness and a very energetic Kill the Light. [4/5]

So far, MFVF XI was a great success, but the third day was filled with bands who were ready to blast day 1 and 2 out of the water.

On Sunday the doors opened an hour later, which was a blessing after two long days. At noon, Hell City was present to defend the Belgian honour. And they did a great job! Hell City was fierce and on fire. Michelle Nivelle gave the crowd no excuse to be sleepy-eyed for another minute. With songs like This Mortal Loss and Demons to Rest we were showered with Grade A metal. The final song of their set was the new single Ice Cold Rage, which can be downloaded on their website. [3.5/5]

After this little Belgian treat it was time for a more exotic band: Hungarian folk metal band Dalriada made it very difficult to stand still, with energetic and up-tempo songs such as Napom, Fényes Napom and A Dudás. Unfortunately, where I stood, the crowd only clapped along (major props to a friend of mine though, who taught us all a lesson in headbanging). Maybe it was still a bit early, or the audience was saving their energy for the headliners of the day. Too bad, because it could’ve been an awesome party. [3.5/5]

After Dalriada I skipped a few bands myself, but I was back just in time to see Crimfall. The members of the band looked like they fought their way over to Wieze (blood, blood everywhere!), but they still had a ton of energy left! Helena Haaparanta and Mikko Häkkinen were accompanied by a group of merry huntsmen, who seemed to be having a lot of fun on stage. Songs like Wildfire Season paint an epic picture in the mind of the listener. Another example of their story-like songs is Silver and Bones about a son repeating his father’s mistakes. Even though Crimfall had a few technical difficulties, it was a truly wonderful journey. [4/5]

A little sidenote: it turned out that MFVF was one of the last shows with Helena: Crimfall is looking for a new singer. I wish them all the best!

Onward to the two big names of MFVF XI! The past year the buzz around Floor Jansen has been immense, so it feels like she doesn’t need an introduction anymore. The new leading lady of Nightwish proved to us all that we shouldn’t fear for the future of ReVamp. On the contrary, their new album Wild Card explores new musical territories, and sounds quite heavy. I must add that I found the new album a bit chaotic at times, but live it clicked together like clockwork. Precise, strong and compelling. The audience started clapping the second the lights went out, and was treated with a part one of The Anatomy of a Nervous Breakdown trilogy from Wild Card: On the Sideline. Part two (The Limbic System) and three (Neurasthenia) were played later on in the set. From the get-go, Floor amazed us all with her impressive voice. She has a range from operatic and angelic all the way to grunts, and she makes it sound so easy. To name just one example seems foolish, but Precibus perfectly highlighted her vocal range. And if that’s not enough, she’s an awe-inspiring presence on stage. Dressed in red, she truly was on fire. She kept on interacting with the crowd, and they responded within a heartbeat. From the first album, Head Up High was the first song to be played, followed later on by both In Sickness ‘Till Death Do Us Part: Disdain and Disgraced. In the end ReVamp said their goodbyes with Wolf and Dog, but according to all the horns, applause and requests for an encore, the crowd would have loved a few extra songs. [4/5]

So far the entire weekend was a weekend for the history books, but MFVF XI presented us with one more name, which made it impossible to forget: Tarja. After a theatrical intro she appeared on stage and launched into In for a Kill. It always stikes me how blissful Tarja looks on stage. She was born to sing, to give her heart and soul to the audience. This positive energy radiated throughout the venue and the crowd was happy to reciprocate with applause, singing, and raised hands. 500 Letters was greeted with cheers as though it was a classic hit, but it is in fact a song from her new album Colours In The Dark. Sing for Me and ‘I Walk Alone’ were the first ballads in the set, and they gave me goose bumps! Tarja proves time and time again that she has an incredible voice. Time to linger on this fact wasn’t part of the deal though. Falling Awake and Anteroom of Death shook us all awake.

People who have seen Tarja live before, know she usually doesn’t stick to one outfit, so Never Enough ended with an formidable band solo by cellist Max Lilja, Christian Kretschmar playing the keyboard, guitarist Alex Scholpp, bassist Anna Portalupi and Mike Terrana behind his impresssive drum kit. And indeed, at the beginning of Mystique Voyage, Tarja appeared in her second outfit of the evening (with matching microphone!) and she picked up the pace! Die Alive and Until my Last Breath had the crowd jumping in no time, as they should! Neverlight and Medusa were the final song before a short intermezzo and the intro for Victim of Ritual by Mike Terrana. He is a true magician with drumsticks! And things got memorable after this song. Tarja sang Wish I Had An Angel with passion and flair, and slowly reminded everyone of the fact that she promised us something a few weeks before MFVF. She didn’t have to ask us twice if we were ready, we were! For the final song of the festival, she invited Floor Jansen on stage for a duet. Together they sang Over the Hills and Far Away. Not only did their voices sound like all kinds of heaven, they were genuinely having a blast. They hugged, were dancing, and shared some words of wisdom with us: we have to keep the love going! [5/5]

After this epic duet, the time had come to say goodbye to MFVF XI. And on the way home I’m sure everybody was looking back on a wonderful edition to bring some warmth into the very cold night. Time to start looking forward to MFVF XII perhaps?

Freya Cherlet

Photography by Freya Cherlet.

 

Paradise Lost unveil new track titled Gothic 2013

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , on 3rd October 2013 by Nico Davidson

Yorkshire’s own Gothic-doom lords Paradise Lost are currently premiering their newest track, Gothic 2013, which is slab of darkness taken from their upcoming release Tragic Illusion 25 (The Rarities). The aforementioned album will be released on Monday 21st October.  the new track can be streamed below.

All tracks found on the compilation are previously released rarities — except the new track Loneliness Remains, newly recorded Gothic 2013 and Our Saviour 2013. These three tracks will also appear on a 10” Vinyl (CM Distro Europe exclusive white Vinyl; limited to 100 copies) that includes a CD booklet and CD insert.
Nick Holmes comments on Gothic 2013:

When the opportunity came up for us to re-record Gothic, we were really pleased because it meant that we could finally do the song justice (production wise) and Simon Efemey had the chance to give it his polish. Gothic has often been considered a bench mark in our early career and it was good to revisit it.

Paradise Lost online:

http://paradiselost.co.uk
http://facebook.com/paradiselostofficial
http://twitter.com/officialpl

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

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

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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

Lacuna Coil in studio to record follow-up to Dark Adrenaline

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

Inspired by the massive amount of positive feedback for Dark Adrenaline, Italian symphonic goth rockers Lacuna Coil are now in the studio to record the follow up to their 2012 release Dark Adrenaline. The Italian sextet recently started the recording process for the upcoming album with producer Jay Baumgardner, who has worked with a list of renowned and diverse acts that includes Papa RoachEvanescenceSevendust and P.O.D. Following the first days of recording, the band’s vocalist Cristina Scabbia happily commented:

I am so excited to work on new stuff… I am sure a lot of people will be mesmerized by the cinematic vibe of the new album that’s underway. I’m very happy to have the chance to work with Jay. Not only is he a pro in what he does, but I am just loving the fact we are going to experiment with new sounds and are getting a different point of view about our art. We’re swamped with the music already… Lacuna Coil is back baby!

Co-vocalist Andrea Ferro also commented:

We met Jay a few years ago in L.A. and had a really positive feeling about him, as he has produced and mixed some of my favourite records and some very relevant rock/metal albums. We have decided to work with him, because he has the ability to work together with the band towards a common vision without driving the band away from their sound.  In the studio there is the right energy that allows common people to achieve uncommon results!

Guitarist Cristiano “Pizza” Migilore also had something positive to say:

Yeah, and we’re very excited about finally recording new songs –  and I can assure you that the new stuff kicks ass!

Lacuna Coil will also be joining Paradise Lost on their 25th anniversary tour next around the UK. Dates are as follow:

30.10.2013 (UK) Wolverhampton – Wulfrun Hall
31.10.2013 (UK) Glasgow – O2 ABC
01.11.2013 (UK) Manchester – Ritz
03.11.2013 (UK) London – Roundhouse

Lacuna Coil online:

http://www.lacunacoil.it
https://www.facebook.com/lacunacoil
http://www.myspace.com/lacunacoil
http://www.twitter.com/lacuna_coil

Vagos Open Air 2013 – 1st day

Posted in Festival, Live with tags , , , , , , , , , on 17th August 2013 by Pieni

Lacuna Coil, Sonata Arctica, Evergrey, Moonsorrow, Bizarra Locomotiva, Secret Lie
Quinta do Ega, Vagos (PT)
9th August 2013

Photos originally taken for Portuguese webzine Sound(/)Zone.

This year’s edition of Vagos Open Air suffered some changes: new place (Quinta do Ega instead of G.D.Calvão field), new date (second weekend of August instead of the first)… And also for the first time the bill featured a non-metal band. Sure one of the guitar players was wearing a Motörhead tee and the other one is a famous metalhead around here, plus the violinist could fool you into thinking they were some kind of folk metal band. But nope, Secret Lie is a pop rock band. A good one, no doubt, but still pop rock. It was a bold move from Prime Artists to make them open the festival, but in the end it kind of worked out. They brought some of their own fans, who were pretty enthusiastic, and the general metal crowd just went along.
Besides a few songs from their debut and only album, “Behind The Truth”, they also played some Vivaldi stuff and finished the set with a brand new song, “Little Taste Of Fun”, with Tó Pica (the aforementioned famous metalhead) holding a sign from a fan, asking him for a pick, but that his biggest dream was still having a sign from a female fan asking him to get her pregnant.

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As variety is the spice of life, something totally different (and more suitable for the fest) came up afterwards – national industrial titans Bizarra Locomotiva. They haven’t released anything new since 2009 (“Álbum Negro”) but this year they’re celebrating their 20th anniversary, so…
Singer Rui Sidónio could easily be the poster boy for some energy drink, standing still not being an option. On and off stage, as during “A Procissão dos Édipos”, the very first song, he jumped into the audience and danced with the fans for quite a while.
“Anjo Exilado”, a song which features Fernando Ribeiro (Moonspell) in its studio version, had a different special guest here – Tó Pica.
A short but awesome show – as always – which finished with “O Escaravelho”.

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I don’t know if Moonsorrow’s setlist was their usual one, but since it was the first time the Finnish Vikings were playing in Portugal, performing all songs from different albums couldn’t be better. It was like a best-of. Of course that, given the long length of each track and barely an hour to play, they couldn’t visit their whole discography. Still they made a hell of a party with “Unohduksen lapsi”, “Köyliönjärven Jäällä “, “Taistelu Pohjolasta”, “Sankaritarina “ and “Kuolleiden Maa”.

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Their Swedish neighbours from Evergrey had never played in Portugal either. I still think their melodic dark prog works better indoors, but as the sun was setting, it also created the right mood to embrace songs such “As I Lie Here Bleeding”, “Rulers Of The Mind” or the beautiful Dilba cover “I’m Sorry”. “Frozen”, “Monday Morning Apocalypse” and “Blinded” were some of the heaviest tracks of a great gig that closed with a golden key in the form of “A Touch of Blessing”.

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I don’t consider Sonata Arctica a power metal band anymore, especially since their latest “Stones Grow Her Name”, which is heavy rock to my ears. But when it comes to live shows, putting together both the old and the new stuff, the Finns deliver metal – as simple as that. Not even the ballads “Alone in Heaven” and “Tallulah” broke that feeling. And whether it was something classic like “FullMoon” or a newbie like “I Have A Right”, the crowd sang along to every word – screaming louder in the choruses, of course. But it was near the end that Tony Kakko asked for the usual “sing-after-me”, where besides a few variations of “oooohhhhh”, also a “Tony, shut the fuck up” was included – this because the show was about to end with “Don’t Say A Word”. Unless the outro “Vodka” counts as a song for itself.

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Lacuna Coil are indeed a lot heavier and darker now, like the title of their last album, “Dark Adrenaline”, suggests. They played “Swamped” and “Heaven’s A Lie”, but didn’t go further back than that.
Depeche Mode’s “Enjoy The Silence” has become a mandatory track, even if they covered R.E.M.’s “Losing My Religion” more recently. Leaving “Upsidedown”, “Trip the Darkness” and “Spellbound” for the encore, the Italian band promised not to let another ten years pass until they’d return. The crowd was more than happy to hear that.

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Text & photos by Renata “Pieni” Lino

Paradise Lost celebrate 25th anniversary with special guests Lacuna Coil

Posted in Featured, News with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on 21st May 2013 by Nico Davidson

Thirteen albums into Paradise Lost‘s 25 year career, namedropping is pointless. The only band they can and should be held up against for comparison and consideration is… Well… Paradise Lost.

With a career dating back to 1988, and their official recording debut in 1990 (Lost Paradise), the band has been riding and rollercoaster of highs and lows. Guitarist Aaron Aedy remembers the early days:

I remember our first rehearsal at Studio X in the Dean Clough complex of Halifax, it was Saturday March 26th between the hours of one and four pm. We had a few ideas flying around and managed to write our first opus ‘Blood-filled-eyes’ and start our 2nd ‘Plains of Desolation’, I can only describe these songs as unique.

Afterwards we all went to the pub after to celebrate. Three and a half months later we were playing live, supporting Acid Reign and Re-Animator at the legendary Frog and Toad Night Club in Bradford. We had a 30 minute slot and only 15 minutes of music so we played one song twice, attempted a Sodom cover we hadn’t even learned and Nick [Holmes, vocals] did his stand up for the rest of it.

Throughout their career, Paradise Lost have not only created and defined genres and styles, but almost immediately transcended them. From the crawling, harrowing doom of their 1990 debut Lost Paradise, to the electronic flourishes prevalent in 1997’s One Second, 1999’s Host and 2007’s comeback to the heavier side of metal In Requiem and the latest opus Tragic Idol in 2012, their sound has continued to evolve vastly, but haunting melody and dark rock power has remained at the very core of their identity.

In 1991 the band released Gothic, not so much an album title as the definition for an entire genre, while the influence 1995’s huge-selling masterpiece Draconian Times – the missing link between Metallica and the Sisters of Mercy – echoes loudly in today’s scene, with the likes of Cradle of Filth, Nightwish and HIM owing a huge debt to their knack for injecting heavy rock with their trademark dark sheen.

Now it’s time to celebrate 25 years of glamour and gloom with four anniversary shows in October to which the band have invited their friends Lacuna Coil. Another, very special guest, will be announced shortly for those dates.

Paradise Lost anniversary shows:

Oct 30th – Wolverhampton – Wulfrun Hall (www.wolvescivic.co.uk)
Oct 31st – Glasgow – ABC (www.ticketweb.co.uk)
Nov 1st – Manchester – Ritz (www.kililive.com)
Nov 3rd – London – Roundhouse (www.kililive.com)

Tickets go on pre-sale Wednesday 22nd May and general sale Friday 24th May and a special VIP package is available to buy (limited to 25 per venue) which includes:

  • An exclusive deluxe box containing 2 engraved beer glasses featuring all the bands album titles and crown of thorns logo.
  • Exclusive VIP Only T-Shirt with artwork from the forthcoming Tragic Illusion album.
  • A 180 gram vinyl copy of the reissued landmark Gothic, personally signed by all the band members.
  • Crown of Thorns Tote Bag
  • VIP lanyard and laminate allowing you access to the show
  • Early access to the show
  • Meet and greet with the band
  • Photo opportunity with the band (please bring your own camera)

Nick had this to say about the forthcoming anniversary shows:

25 years IS a long time, on the surface we may look ramshackled, but playing music for so many years has kept us young in our hearts and I truly believe that a youthful spirit is one of the greatest things you can’t buy in a pub.

We have written many albums, played many concerts; we are older and not really any wiser, but there is a strong possibility we may play a song you thought we never would. So please come along and join the celebrations with us, including our biggest UK headline show to date!

Lacuna Coil’s frontwoman Cristina adds:

Paradise Lost were in between the bands that strongly influenced me as a singer, when I started my career with Lacuna Coil, so it is just awesome for me to realise we’ll share the stage with them on this upcoming tour.

I am sure that the dark vibe coming from the stage will totally embrace old school and new fans making it an event you absolutely CAN’T miss! Boy, I can’t wait!

Stay tuned for more exciting anniversary announcements including a special audio surprise for fans!

Paradise Lost online:

http://www.paradiselost.co.uk
http://facebook.com/paradiselostofficial

Lacuna Coil online:

http://www.lacunacoil.it
http://www.twitter.com/lacuna_coil
http://www.myspace.com/lacunacoil
http://www.youtube.com/lacunacoil
http://www.facebook.com/lacunacoil

Lost Effect – Embrace The Silence

Posted in Review with tags , , , , on 23rd January 2013 by Nico Davidson

Lost Effect
Embrace The Silence
Released: 10th January 2013
Melodic Metal/Yorkshire Metal
Self-Released

Lost Effect are one of the few bands that I’ve been following with an intense passion – which has probably bordered on obsession more than a few times – for the better part of two years. When the Embrace The Silence EP arrived in my letter box, I was more than happy to finally have my hands on it.

On my first listen of the EP, I thought I’d started spinning the wrong CD due to the soft beginning of the opening track, Leap Of Faith. Fortunately, the rising beast of guitars rise from the depth, signalling the beginning of the blasphemous onslaught of heavy, destructive and somewhat melodic music. Emily’s vocals are quite literally sweet music to the ears, soaring out majestically like an eagle flight while keyboardist Dave’s vocals display a vast surge of opposition, allowing the two differing vocal styles to meld together artistically.

The guitars, performed by Steven and keys twin poetically aside one another, constructing a gothic softness and sonorousness which is particularly broadcasted throughout the EP’s title track, Embrace The Silence and We Are The Damned, whilst they seem to sing out a more melancholy set of harmonic, dulcet dirges through the rest of the EP. Of course, the rhythm sections, which are belted out by drummer Pete and bassist Shaun, shouldn’t go without note as they provide a subtle thunderous roar to the music, helping blend it all together to give Lost Effect a fresh, original sound.

Embrace The Silence clearly isn’t the work of an amateur band, it’s the carefully crafted art of a band that has the potential to go toe-to-toe with bands like Lacuna Coil and Evanescence. Lost Effect will soon be masters at their craft and if Embrace The Silence is a sign of what’s to come from the band, then we’re all in for a treat.

5/5

Nico Davidson

Lost Effect are:

Emily Burt – Vocals
Dave Wells – Keys & Growls
Steve Wells – Guitar
Shaun Wainman – Bass
Pete Rutherford – Drums

Follow Lost Effect at:

http://losteffect.co.uk
https://www.facebook.com/losteffect
http://www.youtube.com/user/losteffectband
http://www.myspace.com/losteffectband
https://twitter.com/losteffectband

 

Lacuna Coil FOH Russia pics

Posted in Misc. with tags , , , on 18th October 2012 by Nico Davidson

Front of House photos from Lacuna Coil’s recent stint in Russia:

Pictures by Richard Wolfgang. Also, thanks to Mikey Bolton for sending them in.

Interview: Doro Pesch

Posted in Interview with tags , , , , , , , on 16th October 2012 by Nico Davidson

Doro has been a household name on the international metal scene for many years now, earning herself the title as the Queen of Metal. Kick starting her career in Snakebite, before joining Beast and eventually forming Warlock, as well as having a long standing solo career, Doro has stood against the test of time and proven herself time and time again. With the release of Raise Your Fist [review can be read here], Nico catches up with Doro for a chat about the new album, today’s female fronted metal scene and Terminator!

Nico: Hi Doro, how you doing?

Doro Pesch: I’m good. I’ve played some gigs, ja and I did a tour all over the world. I was in New York last week and I’m back in Germany and I’ve got a new album [Raise Your Fist] coming out next week [19th Oct] and we’re going on tour shortly.

N: Sounds like you’ve had fun then.

D: Ja, ja, ja. It’s always an adventure. Nothing ever gets boring.

N: So you’ve got the new album, Raise Your Fist, coming out on 19th October. Are there any concepts or lyrical themes that run through the album?

D: Ja, actually there is. The whole theme of the album is keep fighting the good fight and there’s a lot of anthems that I think will make people feel good and will really be connected to them, especially the song Raise Your Fist In The Air or the anthem on there called Rock Till Death and there’s some old school metal songs on it; one’s called Take No Prisoner and the other’s Revenge and another called Little Headbanger. And there’s some ballads on it. One of my favourite ballads on it is the one I did with Lemmy called It Still Hurts. It’s definitely one of the highlights and Lemmy sings so great on that song. And there’s another special guest who is Gus G – The guitarist for Firewind and Ozzy Osbourne who is playing on Grab The Bull (last Man Standing) and that’s another uplifting song which has some good metal power, some metal energy.

N: What would you say is your favourite track from the album?

D: Oh, I would say It Still Hurts [Featuring Lemmy] and Raise Your Fist In The Air and the last one on the album that is called Hero which is in honour of Ronnie James Dio and is dedicated to Ronnie because he meant so much to many, many fans including myself and it was a great honour to tour with him a couple of times. The first in ‘87 and again in 2000 and in the last ten years [before his passing] we had become really great friends.

N: If you could go back to when you first began singing for bands like Beast and Warlock, what advice would you give yourself?

D: Actually, I wouldn’t. It’s always been such an adventure and I wouldn’t want to miss anything in the past. It was always a hundred and fifty percent and trying to go for it and ja, to keep the ball rolling. I think the most difficult time was when grunge was suddenly becoming huge. That was the only time that we thought “We hope metal comes back” and when it did come back, I can appreciate it even more and I’m so grateful for everything that’s gone so well. Metal’s so big, so huge right now. I would say that was the only time I could have done with advice but it was not in our hands, but it’s good to live through some hard times and you know, work harder, be stronger, that saying – what doesn’t kill you, only makes you stronger. I think that’s absolutely true. So, that time only when grunge was taking over metal but everything else was great.

N: Speaking of metal, more specifically, female-fronted metal, over the recent years female-fronted metal has become bigger with bands like Epica, Lacuna Coil and Nightwish making huge success on the scene, with younger and smaller bands like Aonia and Alice In Thunderland making a name for themselves as well. How do you feel that the metal scene, in particular, the female-fronted metal scene, has changed since your career first started?

D: Ja, I think it’s great. There are so many great singers, musicians and all girl bands, it’s fantastic! And now, I think it’s much more better than it was in the eighties. Back then, it was just a handful of women and a handful of bands – There were fantastic bands that I loved like Rock Goddess from the UK and Girlschool, The Runaways. But now, I think it’s much more balanced. I think everyone is doing a fantastic job and that women really do get respected. It’s not even a big deal any more in this day and age. In the eighties, I think there was maybe some, you know, sexism going on which personally, I never felt but it was something you read from the articles in the magazines or the video producers would be putting naked, sexy girls in the videos of the bands with guys. It did not look so dignified but in this day and age, I think it is dignified. I like to try and support them on the scene, all the great female singers and musicians. On the next America tour, we’ll be touring with Sister Sin – They’re from Sweden but there’s a great singer with them called Liv. But I think the most important thing is the music, everything else is just secondary. So it doesn’t matter where you come form or if you’re a man or woman. The music always shines through.

N: You’ve done several collaborations and duets with bands and vocalists over the years,  like Tarja Turunen [Ex-Nightwish], Blaze Bayley [Ex-Iron Maiden/Wolfsbane] and Lemmy [Motorhead]. What would you say is the most fun duet or collaboration you’ve done so far?

D: Every collaboration I’ve done so far has been a total highlight in my life. Everyone was different, sometimes you just had one or two days in the studio and I loved doing the duet with Pete Steele, but unfortunately he’s not alive any more. It was great, it means so much to me. But with Lemmy, ja, I’d say that was the greatest for me because it was at a time, when we did our first duet on my Calling The Wild album about twelve years ago, I was in in a sad desperate state of mind because my dad, he died, he was my best friend. I love him so much, he was so supportive. I had wrote Lemmy a letter weeks before that and I said “Hey Lemmy, we’re label mates now. I don’t know if you remember me but I was the little girl at the Monsters of Rock festival” and I put a picture of me with Lemmy in the letter and I said “If you feel like it’s a good idea, maybe we could do a song together or something” and then some weeks later, my dad passed away and I was devastated. A few days later, I was picking up black clothes for my mum because of the funeral and then the phone rang. I didn’t feel like picking up the phone because I was so sad and I didn’t feel like talking with any body. And my mum said “Hey, don’t you want to see who it is?” and I said “No, mum. I don’t want to talk to anybody” and she “Well, how about you check who it is?” and then I looked at my phone and it was an AA number and I just wow and she said to pick it up, and I picked up the phone and it was Lemmy. I just thought oh my god, it’s Lemmy, you know and just wow. He said he’d got my letter and that we should do something together then I said “Lemmy, I’m so sad, I don’t even know if I want to do anything, my dad passed away recently”. He said “Doro, you know what? I can hear that you’re in pain and it’s very important that you do something. Come to AA and we’ll do something nice”. Then I went to AA and we did two duets, Alone Again which Lemmy wrote a beautiful acoustic guitar piece for and the Motorhead classic Love Me Forever. I must say, Lemmy was a kind of angel for me. He gave me something which, you know, nobody could have done for me. That was probably the most important duet for me but the other duets were great too and it was a great honour for me to work with such lovely people. But Lemmy might have saved my life, so I’m happy he came to sing on my new album again as well on the song It Still Hurts.

N: How would you describe the new album in five words?

D: Only in five words? Oh god! I would say: Powerful! High energy! Very emotional! Very positive! And a good mixture between old school metal and fresh new powerful sounds!

N: You’ve been active for the metal scene for years now, so what do you feel that you owe the longevity of your career to?

D: The most important part… The fans! Always, always the fans! I owe it all to the fans because their energy, their love, their support, was what was always made me wanna go on! They helped me through the hard times like the nineties when grunge was so, so big. The fans were always there, always supporting me. They [the fans] are the most important thing in my career and in my life, it always was the fans and always will be the fans and to me, that’s the important thing. I made a conscious decision at 24 or 25 that I wanted to totally dedicate my life to the fans and not like, have babies or get married and I’m so grateful to be part of the metal family.

N: Speaking of the fans, in particular, the female ones. What’s it like being an inspiration to female metalheads around the world?

D: It makes me so happy! Somebody feels inspired and when people are like “Oh, we saw your video and started a band” or when the girls start singing or playing drums or the guitar, it always makes me so happy! If I can give somebody good energy or inspire someone to go into music and try, even if it’s as a hobby – Music is the greatest thing in my life and it’s so great when people feel inspired to make music.

N: Speaking of bands, given your years of experience as a musician, both touring and studio based, what advice do you have for young bands that are appearing on the scene today?

D: GIVE IT YOUR ALL! Hang in there! Follow your heart, your gut, your instincts! Do what you feel is right! Always got for it! Never, ever give up! Be yourself, even when people tell you that you should this or this or go in this direction. Give it your all and try and find good people who will always support you and believe in you and even if there’s nobody there or nobody believes in yourself, try believe in yourselves, give it one hundred and fifty percent, even if it takes longer than you think. Just keep at it, you will definitely be rewarded. Try and find good people who like the same music or the same style to form a band where everyone gets along. Do what you feel is right, even it’s not the latest trend or the flavour of the month. And take the advice of a good lawyer when it comes to signing contracts and stuff and always look after the business stuff as well. I always so into the music that I didn’t care or pay attention to the business and sometimes we’d sign stuff without the advice of a lawyer and I did stupid things. The rock and roll is all good fun but always get someone to help you when it comes to signing contracts just to make sure you don’t sign your life away and that you always keep your freedom to do what you want to do.

N: If you could replace the soundtrack to any movie with your own music, which one would it be and why?

D: Let’s put it this way, I would love the chance to add some parts to my favourite movies, Terminator and Terminator 2. I would love to add some parts to give it a hardcore feel or maybe some powerful guitars to the scenes where people are being chased and make it even more intense and make it a little bit more metal but I wouldn’t replace the whole soundtrack but only add to where I think I could add things and give it our own little metal touch.

N: Is there anything you’d like to say to the readers?

D: Yeah, I wanna say to all the readers that I’m looking forward so much to coming back to the UK in November and that I hope everyone is doing well! I wanna thank everyone for their tremendous support and that the start of the New Wave Of British Heavy Metal was the start for me and it’s what influenced me the most, bands like Saxon and Judas Priest, so I feel at home in the UK and that I hope to see everyone in the UK in November and that I hope everyone loves the new record. I love you guys and girls, keep metal alive!

N: Thanks for your time, Doro! Have a good night and take care.

D: Thanks, Nico. It was every good talking with you. Take care.

 

Kobra and the Lotus–Kobra and the Lotus

Posted in Review with tags , , , , , , , on 19th June 2012 by Nico Davidson

Kobra and the Lotus
Kobra and the Lotus
6th August 2012
Metal
Spinefarm Records

Kobra and the Lotus have been on the rise in the Canadian metal since their formation, they’ve gone onto support the likes of Judas Priest and Slash, as well as play some of the world’s most renowned festivals including Download and Hellfest. August will see the release of the band’s self-titled album.

50 Shades of Evil opens up sounding like a sped up version of Iron Maiden and Dio. The vocals are beyond powerful, bringing back memories of the NWOBHM era. The guitar sections ring out some strong, aggressive riffs along with some great licks, enforcing the NWOBHM sound of the vocals. The song title Welcome To My Funeral really does give off the impression of some form of cheap doom metal composition however the track is far from being cheap or doom metal sounding. The guitars belt out some very exotic sounds through out the song while the vocals add a dash of sobering melody to the piece, that balances out well with the aggressiveness of the drums and the exotic riffs.

Forever One starts off sounding much like the beginning of a Rob Zombie track before it morphs into something more power metalesque. The vocals prove to be a fierce force to be reckoned with, bouncing off the Rob Zombie-like and power metal-styled riffs and drum patterns. Musically speaking, Heaven’s Veins, takes the album down the hard rock route of savage guitar riffs and raw, domineering vocal work mixed in with a callous use of drums and bass. My Life takes the album back down the path of metal, bringing in some more thrash-like elements and an extra dashing of aggression. Nayana (My Eyes) begins with a punchy riff before the track becomes a fast-paced demonic force of snarling guitars and thunderous drums. The vocal sections are solid as they have been in the previous tracks.

Sanctuary is a breath of fresh air for the album, straying partially from the vicious stylings of the songs that preceded it with a harmonic piano and vocal section. The subtle calmness of the track is chased away by the eventual roar of guitars and drums, which does lessen the sound and effect of the song. Lover of the Beloved is another track that strays from the dominating and violent sound of the album. The track revolves around a powerful, awesome bass section that rings out louder than the bells of Notre Dame. No Rest For The Wicked is an interesting track, sounding like a dark power metal anthem. The last track of the album is none other than Aria Of Karmika. The introduction is brilliant composed atmospheric passage that leads gently into an assault of well-played riffs and punchy vocal melodies. The keyboard sections add a bit of harmony to the chaotic mixture of drums and guitars, balancing the song out just right.

When it comes to female fronted metal, most people will automatically think of Nightwish, Epica or Lacuna Coil – and in some circumstances, Arch Enemy – but following the release of Kobra and the Lotus’s self-titled album in August, that soon could change. Kobra and the Lotus have proven that female fronted metal doesn’t need to be symphonic to kick some serious ass.

4.5/5

Nico Davidson

HDE to support Exodus Calling

Posted in News with tags , , on 2nd June 2012 by Nico Davidson

Bristolian gothic metal outfit Her Dark Embrace have been confirmed to support Exodus Calling later this year, after winning the fans votes. Once we find out the dates, we’ll be sure to let you know.

We Are The Others [Delain Tour Review]

Posted in Gig, Live with tags , , , , , , , on 17th May 2012 by vmteam

This year I was able to follow Delain around the country on their We Are The Other Tour (I swear, I’m not a stalker!), celebrating the individuality of people known as the ‘others’. The album concept was inspired by the tragic case of Sophie Lancaster, where she was brutally murder because of stereotyping. This tour saw Delain’s fourth tour around the United Kingdom, joining Delain on the road were American metallers Halcyon Way, a band that seemed almost wasted on this tour and would probably of benefitted more from touring with the likes of Dragonforce or Arch Enemy. Also, on the tour were Amada Somerville’s own solo band Trillium. The UK tour in the started at the HMV Institute in Birmingham, situated just 5 minutes from the Bull Ring Shopping Centre. The city saw Delain’s first ever UK show at the Femme Metal Festival in 2009 and like Charlotte said ,and I agree, it was like coming home.

Starting up the shows were Halcyon Way, their name being said differently to how it’s spelt, a band like I said before I felt were a bit wasted on the tour and should of really toured with the likes of Dragonforce and would appeal to fans perhaps more to fans of Bullet For My Valentine or Malefice or other acts along those lines. Their music saw a heavier and more violent approach to music, hinting towards the metalcore and post-hardcore styles. Their performances were heavier than that of Trillium and Delain. With their performance totalled in a full six songs on their set list, although I could not seem to find where the songs ended and started during the first two shows and they seemed to be doing a never ending amount of songs. The Birmingham show saw that the band came straight from Paris to Birmingham to perform. Halcyon did have a strong reaction from the crowd but the performance felt to be lacking something. The last song, On Black Wings (taken from their album Inctrination), which for me, was the best. This was the same for the Sheffield show as well. The third night I saw them, in Manchester, was in a small and more intimate venue which saw them bloom and do a far more powerful performance than the previous nights with more input from the crowd. I think they are a band to watch for future reference but I feel that they weren’t anything too special, but as I said they’re a band to look out for. I would be surprised if we see these in the UK anytime soon. However, it is safe to say that the Delain Nation (a name for Delain fans), got a massive shock when it came down to it.

Like most people in the Delain crowd they had probably heard the most notable song for Trillium which is their promotional single Coward. The first time hearing this, it felt as if it was something that just didn’t click with me but it had grown on me over time. This tour saw lead singer Amanda quite sick with a doctor having to come and see Amanda just before the Sheffield show, which did mean a slight decrease from her performance over the next two shows: Sheffield and Manchester but at least she was able to carry on. Like Halcyon Way, it saw the same set list through out the tour, however with just one album to play tracks from, and the unlikely hood of hearing an Epica song, there wasn’t a vast selection of songs for them to perform. The HMV Institute was Amanda’s first show in the UK, even after touring all over the world with other acts like with Epica and Kamelot. I was surprised by how much I actually liked Trillium live during the first night we were able to see the curvy Amanda jump up and down on the stage and become in her element with the music, something that unfortunately was not seen at the Manchester show. I, however, would recommended checking out Trillium.

During this tour I have been able to encounter Delain’s performance at all different angles from being right at the front to far at the back and of course, slap bang in the middle. Delain have been one of my favourite bands to go and see live since I experienced of their live shows at Rio’s in Leeds back in 2010. Unlike other bands, after seeing them, they start to lose their touch, such as when I saw Lacuna Coil in Stoke-on-Trent and Manchester after seeing them in Liverpool, however this certainly was not the case with Delain. I was surprised as to how much I actually enjoyed all of the concerts on this tour, despite having the same set list throughout the tour. Being at the back for the first show I was able to see everything that they show had to offer as well as the very vibrant audience. The show saw new songs from Delain’s third album We Are The Others, scheduled for release June 4th here in the UK. Delain kicked off the set with a song from the new album, which I failed to remember the name of.

From here the band performed a mixture of songs which surprised me when I heard a lot of tracks from their first album Lucidity and as many new songs from We Are the Others. One of the first songs that were played during any of the shows was the title of the new album and the tour, We Are the Others, a song that celebrates indifference and uniqueness. A lot of songs made it is obvious that Delain have taken a sort of turn from what would be considered their typical sound, as the new songs tended to have more meaning surrounding life.

The Sheffield show celebrated Charlotte’s 25th Birthday. Unlike I had originally expected no one came out with a lit up cake on the stage for the audience to sing like with other bands, but I suppose they have their traditions and other bands have theirs. The same structure was given to the show and had the same songs involved as the first night with the same jokes but good.

As a rule, I don’t usually like shows in Manchester but unlike the others, the Manchester show seemed to have shined through with the crowd. Unlike previous nights, it seemed that See Me in Shadows was performed better, as in Birmingham is seemed that given the emotion of the song it was not that well delivered. The Manchester show also saw better lighting than the previous nights and had more energy throughout this show.

The Gathering was the best song of the night and the last, it saw the audience jumping up and down, more so than at the Sheffield show, although the best song of the Sheffield show was The Gathering, along with April Rain. The Manchester show, also saw people involved with the Sophie Lancaster charity premier the new songs from the album that were inspired by the tragedy of her death.

In total the best show out of the three was the Manchester show, despite the band slightly putting their foot in it with the remarks about Manchester City winning the title and losing to Manchester United, with the Birmingham show not even close, it really was the best show that I have seen in a while. Anyone who missed out, should definitely keep an eye out for the next time Delain tour in the UK.

Danielle Eley