Archive for Metal Blade Records

Interview with Týr

Posted in Interview with tags , , , , , , , , on 23rd October 2013 by vmteam

Perhaps one of the greatest folkish/Nordic/younameit line-ups aside from the European spectacle of Heidenfest graced The Garage this past Saturday evening: behemoths Finntroll were joined by Metal Blade’s Týr, who are touring their latest album, and were supported by Iceland’s Skálmöld for an evening of sweltering debauchery and a raucous good time.

A long time fan of Týr himself, Jon caught up with Týr before the gig as the crowds started to swell up Holloway Road.

Absent for most of Týr’s interview was lyrical mastermind and mythology nerd Heri Joensen, who popped in his head for a few questions before ducking out, but Jon sat down with bassist (and comedian) Gunnar Thomsen, lead guitarist Terji Skibenaes, and new recruit drummer Amon Djurhuus.

Jon: Ok, introductory question: tell us something interesting about yourself!

Gunnar: I’m a plumber?

Jon: Everyone knows you’re a plumber!

Gunnar: And a diver!

Terji: Only perverted things come into my mind… I hate driving cars!

Amon: I can actually play the harmonica! 

Jon: Is the harmonica going to be on any Týr records then?

Amon: No way! Never ever! 

Jon: Gunnar, I saw you wearing a Trollfest t-shirt the other day; they’ve covered Toxic by Britney Spears. Aside from the new covers of Iron Maiden and Pantera on Valkyrja, out of any genre, what would you cover?

Gunnar: I would probably cover a Deep Purple song – I would never go so low as to do Britney Spears!

Terji: Pop song? I thought about it the other day! Chicago, It’s Hard to Say I’m Sorry – it will just be me in a one man show.

Jon: You went for a quite a power metal vibe in Valkyrja; Liv Kristine, singer from Leaves’ Eyes, joined you in ballad Lay of Our Love – have you thought about collaborating with any other musicians?

Terji: No, I don’t think we’re going to do that. 

Jon: I know you don’t align yourself with the folk metal scene, but a lot of bands use unconventional instruments- maybe not harmonicas, but accordions, violins…

Gunnar: Yeah, that’s never gonna happen – an orchestra, maybe… that could be something!

Terji: No violins though… 

Jon: I know Valkyrja has just been released, but have you started doing work on the new album?

Terji: Only demos so far.

Gunnar: They sound amazing, absolutely brilliant! 

Jon: Do you have a concept that it might focus on?

Terji: No, we don’t know yet…

Gunnar: We’ll do a cover track by The Bee Gees maybe… we’ll put a nail in our balls and- (quiet, high-pitched wails) 

Jon: That could be your stage performance next tour… Now – you cover modern issues; for example, your anti-racism song Shadow of the Swastika. Do you think any cultural values from Norse mythology are still relevant today?

Gunnar: That’s what Heri does with lyrics – he takes old situations and compares them to new situations because they’re quite similar. So it kinda draws a line between the two.

Jon: Do you like singing about modern issues or would you prefer to stick to singing only about mythology?

Gunnar: If it was up to me, we’d sing songs about cars and planes!

Terji: Sex, drugs and rock and roll! 

Jon: I think Shadow of the Swastika was a good response to the criticism you faced from people under the misconception you were a right-wing band.

Gunnar: Yeah, that whole thing came totally behind our backs. 

Jon: So from the new album, what’s your personal favourite – you know my favourite is Lady of the Slain, which I believe you wrote, Terji!

Terji: Yes I did! Mine is Another Fallen Brother.

Gunnar: It’s difficult to say, Valkyrja is my favourite- maybe because I wrote that! No, it’s difficult to say. I like the whole album.

Terji: Mare of My Night!

Gunnar: Mare of My Night is my favourite, yeah! 

Jon: That was so embarrassing to listen to… just listening to the lyrics…

Terji: Did you blush?

Jon: I did! Listening to it on my own I thought ‘you can’t say that, Heri!

Gunnar: Good! I think that’s where we should go! Getting brutally honest!

Amon: I think Mare of My Night is my favourite, too. I love playing it live- it’s a pretty cool live song. 

Jon: (Mathias from Finntroll is lounging on the sofa in the background behind Terji) What’s your favourite song, Mathias

Mathias: What favourite? No, I do know the songs! I listen to it every day! Uh, probably Mare of My Night, too.

Jon: Are there any songs you recorded but couldn’t use for Valkyrja?

Gunnar: This was what we had. We never actually record more songs than needed.

Jon: So Amon, have you ever been on tour before?

Amon: Yep, I’ve been on tour with Týr two times before – this is my third – and with Heljareyga (Heri Joensen’s side-project) also. It’s going good.

Gunnar: We bully him a bit – we’ve tried to break him in (whip crack sound)

Terji: Gunnar thinks we bully him, but we actually bully Gunnar!

Gunnar: I’m used to it!

Jon: I know a lot of fans were upset Kári (Streymoy, previous drummer) left, but the fans that have met you have said you’re cool, Amon – you’ve got our support! Can you teach us to say something in Faroese?

Terji: Spina. Spin-hora. Sperm whore. 

Jon: Would that help me to pick up a guy at a bar?

Gunnar: That would probably work on me!

Jon: Wow – next question! I’ve been listening to you since I was fifteen – so five years now. And I have to Admit that when I first started listening to you, I hated you!

Terji: Usually people do!

Jon: And now I run the UK fanpage on Facebook- funny how things change. When did you first realise you were getting noticed? I know Valkyrja is having great success in the charts and with critics alike.

Terji: Probably since after By the Light of the Northern Star was released. 

Jon: I know a lot of places in South America are crazy about anything Nordic-themed, do you find you have a good reception there as well?

Terji: Yeah, a lot! (Gunnar says ‘No’) Gunnar’s never on Facebook; he doesn’t know!

(Heri Joensen wanders over from the corner) 

Jon: Do you want to tell us about any lyrics you’re working on?

Heri: Uh, well Terji and I have talked about some stuff, and that’s all that’s happened so far. I don’t think we should mention it yet…

Terji: No, not yet.

Heri: Turn the microphone off!

Terji: Our manager will kill us…

Gunnar: No, it’s about big elephants in Africa, and the situation with the pelican that flies off and mates with the flamingos. It’s very disturbing.

Jon: I think you’re going to have to write that now! (Heri tries to run away; Jon pull him back) Stay here – there’s another one! I know a lot of my friends are starting to form bands and write lyrics about their English heritage. Do you encourage that, and how can people who are interested in that best go about interacting with, or writing about, something personal to them

Heri: I think that in the Faroes at least we have a very direct connection with our heritage, so when I started to write lyrics I didn’t have to dig very deep to find anything, and there was no artificial angle to it. I can imagine if you grew up in England that

Jon: It would be more about learning what you know from history lessons

Heri: Yeah exactly. You have to be into that sort of thing to know anything about it, but still I would encourage anyone to do it. I like it when music sounds like where it comes from and also has mythological subjects related to a band’s heritage, if you’re into that kind of thing. So when everything isn’t so internationalised.

Jon: I must say though I love the new African animal direction you’re taking, and Terji was also telling me about wanting to cover musical theatre…

Heri: I’m now officially out of the band!

Amon: Elephants in Chicago!

Terji: That’s the new album title!

Jon: Recently, fanclubs have grown amazingly for Týr. After your gig in York, I started the UK fanpage from a computer in my hostel. Now I’ve seen the Italian fanclub, the Polish fanclub, and of course the US fanclub getting lots of likes on their pages… What can fans do to help you guys?

Terji: I think talk to the local promoters… When they see more people asking for us, then it will most likely happen

Gunnar: And spread the word!

Terji: And hello to Týr Fans in the UK! Thank you for everything!

Gunnar: Rock on!

Amon: Thanks – come to our show!

Týr online:

http://www.tyr.fo
http://facebook.com/tyrband

 

Sister to release new 7″ single “Sick”

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , on 19th October 2013 by Pieni

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In anticipation of their long awaited second album – scheduled for release in early 2014 – sleaze/punk/metal act Sister will release a new single on October 28th. “Sick” will be available digitally, but also in a 7″ vinyl version, limited to 500 copies, with an exclusive cover of Roky Erickson‘s “Two Headed Dog” as B-side.

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This single comes out just before the band goes on tour across Europe, once again supporting Wednesday 13. Also The Defiled has been recently added to this For Those About To Rot tour:

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In addition to the dates on the flyer above, Sister will play a headlining show in London, at The Garage, on November 30th.

Sister online:
http://www.sisteronline.net
http://www.facebook.com/sisterband
http://www.youtube.com/sisterofficial
http://www.twitter.com/sister_official

Hail Of Bullets release lyric video for “Swoop Of The Falcon”

Posted in News with tags , , , , on 19th October 2013 by Pieni

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After the singles “Pour Le Mérite” and “DG-7”, Dutch death metal act Hail Of Bullets allows you another sneak peek into their third upcoming album “III: The Rommel Chronicles”: “Swoop Of The Falcon” is its opening track and it’s now streaming on YouTube in the form of a lyric video:

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1. Swoop Of The Falcon
2. Pour Le Mérite
3. DG-7
4. To The Last Breath Of Man And Beast
5. DAK
6. The Desert Fox
7. Tobruk
8. Farewell To Africa
9. The Final Front
10. Death Of A Field Marshal

Check out Metal Blade website to pre-order “III: The Rommel Chronicles”, which is scheduled for release on October 25th: http://www.metalblade.com/hailofbullets/

Hail Of Bullets online:
http://www.hailofbullets.com
http://www.facebook.com/hailofbulletsofficial
http://www.youtube.com/hailz666
http://www.twitter.com/hailofbulletsDM

Destrage sign with Metal Blade Records

Posted in News with tags , , , , on 19th October 2013 by Pieni

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Italian death-thrashers Destrage are now under the wing of Metal Blade Records. Their third album “Are You Kidding Me? No” is in its final preparations and is scheduled to be released early next year. A trailer can be seen on the band’s official YouTube channel:

Regarding the deal with Metal Blade, the band says: “It’s quite difficult for us to describe in few words our feelings about this moment. We just signed with one of the most important and historical metal label in the world, being welcomed as members of a big family, this is simply amazing! We’ve listened to Metal Blade artists since we were just fresh-faced kids and now we’re stoked to be part of such a great roster. We are really excited for the upcoming release and we can’t wait to bring this work on stage and tour around as much as we can. See ya all very soon!”

Deathrage online:
http://www.destrage.com
http://www.facebook.com/destrage
http://www.twitter.com/destrage
http://www.youtube.com/destrage

Rivers Of Nihil release studio video and confirm US tour with Beneath The Massacre

Posted in News with tags , , , , , on 29th August 2013 by Nico Davidson

Already with a busy schedule, Rivers Of Nihil have added a US tour supporting Beneath The Massacre in October this year. Other bands on the tour are Rings Of Saturn and Legion. The tour will see Rivers Of Nihil hit the US east coast and confirmed dates can be viewed below.

Additionally, the band have now released the first of three studio videos, recording their progress and time in the studio. The video can be found at this location where fans can also listen to Rain Eater.

The Conscious Seed of Light, will be released on 14th October in the UK via Metal Blade Records. The album was recorded in March of 2013 at Mana Recording Studios in Florida with famed metal producer/musician Erik Rutan. Guitarist Brody Uttley said:

Working with Erik was a true privilege. Coming from the DIY circuit and immediately recording with one of greatest death metal producers of all time pushed us all more than we ever could have expected, both as musicians and as people. We have grown tremendously as a band in all aspects because of our experience with Erik.

Rivers Of Nihil US tour dates are as follow:

w/ Allegaeon, Abiotic, Wretched

  • 08/27 Louisville, KY Diamond Pub & Billiards
  • 08/28 Atlanta, GA The Masquerade
  • 08/29 Destin, FL Club LA
  • 08/30 Jacksonville, FL Jack Rabbit
  • 08/31 Lake Worth, FL The Speakeasy

w/ Beneath The Massacre, Rings of Saturn, Legion

  • 10/03 Montreal, ON Underworld
  • 10/04 Amityville, NY Revolution
  • 10/05 Albany, NY Bogies
  • 10/06 Wilmington, DE Mojo 13 (Death Fest)
  • 10/08 Springfield, VA Empire
  • 10/09 Jeannette PA Gators
  • 10/10 Rochester, NY Dubland Underground
  • 10/11 Trenton, NJ Championship Bar & Grill
  • 10/12 New York, NY Tobacco Road
  • 10/13 Worcester, MA The Palladium

w/ Abiotic, Dying Fetus, Exhumed, Devourment

  • 10/26 Minneapolis, MN Skyway Theatre
  • 10/27 Chicago, IL Reggie’s
  • 10/28 Madison, WI The High Noon Saloon
  • 10/29 Cleveland, OH Peabody’s
  • 10/30 Poughkeepsie, NY The Chance
  • 10/31 Worcester, MA The Palladium (Upstairs)
  • 11/01 New York, NY The Gramercy Theater
  • 11/02 Springfield, VA Empire

Rivers Of Nihil online:

http://facebook.com/riversofnihil

Týr – Valkyrja

Posted in Review with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on 28th August 2013 by Nico Davidson

Týr
Valkyrja
Released 17th September
Viking Metal
Released via Metal Blade

Hailing from the Faroes come Týr, one of the the biggest and most influential Viking metal bands of today. Following their jump from Napalm Records to Metal Blade, the four piece soon would finish Valkyrja, the band’s seventh full-length studio album. The album’s main concept is the story of an unnamed warrior who leaves his wife in order to impress a Valkyrie so that he can gain entry to either Folkvang or Valhalla.

Blood Of Heroes opens up the album in a truly powerful manner. The opening passage signals a change of sound in Týr‘s music whereas the chorus is typically catchy, something that has become a trait in Tyr‘s music over the last couple of releases. Mare Of My Night follows, which Heri describes as being the song that he has ever written the most sexually explicit lyrics for. The song focuses on a strong driving sound with an equal measure of melody to accompany the propulsive riffs. Hel Hath No Fury, which is a brilliant play on words regarding the supposed Nordic goddess of death Hel, has a cold and furious streak woven into the guitars and a hook in the chorus.

The Lay Of Our Love begins with the typical elements of a ballad, something which is enforced by both Heri‘s and Liv Kristine‘s vocals. The guitars paint a near-romantic image with different shades of emotion contrasting with the vocals where as Nation  is the complete opposite, charging in for a frontal assault of melodious passages and aggressive vocals with reinforcements from a heavy bombardment of drums. Another Fallen Brother focuses on a more thrash-like use of guitars, with near-power metalesque vocals and a cumbersome use of bass and drums.

Grindavísan starts with a folk-like choir before the majestic riffs domineer the song. As the song becomes heavier, so do Heri‘s vocals while the folk choir make an appearance for the chorus, adding a new spin on the song and keeping it traditionally Týr sounding. Into The Sky makes for a somber metallic dirge before leading into the highly melodic and medieval sounding Fánar Burtur Brandaljóð, which is sung in a Nordic language, presumably Faroese. Lady Of The Slain, which is one of the names given to the deity Freya, comes racing in like a horde of warriors drunk on blood and glory. The guitars cut through the track like a knife through butter, allowing for the bass and drums to leave their own path of devastation.

The title track, Valkyrja, has one of the most solemn introductions on the whole album, allowing varying levels of emotion to ring out through each note. Where the faster paced aspects of the track bring a vast amount of power with them, allowing the snarling use of riffs to roar fiercely throughout the song. The album ends with two covers: Where Eagles Dare (Iron Maiden) and Cemetery Gates (Pantera) – Both of which are performed superbly with Týr‘s own unique twist on them.

Valkyrja is a change in direction for Týr, stepping forward with their sound but allowing for some room for certain sound sand elements from previous albums, making for a fusion of old Týr and new TýrValkyrja is probably the best album they’ve released thus far and definitely shows how much their sound has evolved since How Far To Asgaard.

5/5

Nico Davidson

Týr online:

http://facebook.com/tyrband

 

Powerwolf – Preachers Of The Night

Posted in Review with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 25th August 2013 by Nico Davidson

Powerwolf
Preachers of the Night
Released 19th July
Power Metal/Werewolf Metal
Released via Napalm Records

Powerwolf have become a recognisable name and band on the power metal scene, from their darker sound compared to other acts, to the corpse-paint and the almost fetish-like obsession with werewolves. Following their jump from Metal Blade to Napalm, Preachers of the Night – which is the band’s fifth studio album – was soon released thereafter.

The catchy number Amen & Attack opens the album, proving to be more infectious than the black death. The vocals are loud, boisterous and powerful added to the heavily symphonic elements and driving slabs of metal. The track proves to be a strong sword arm for the album, swinging left and right, taking unsuspecting listeners by surprise in the black of night – Which is exactly what any metal album needs to keep the attention of the listener.

Secrets of the Sacristy continues with the surprise attacks, proving to be unrelenting with the near-joy filled guitar passages and contrasting dreary symphonic lines. Coleus Sanctus (which apparently in Latin slang means something like holy testicles) keeps the strong flow of melodic riffs pouring forth whilst the vocals conjure up memorable lines that have a few hooks hidden for good measure.

The ambitious, hard-to-ignore riffs continue on through Sacred & Wild and straight into a total lycan-like metamorphosis with Kreuzfeuer which hammers out a darker, vastly sinister sound. Even the vocals have a cimmerian shade to their sound. Cardinal Sin begins with the hymn-like anthemic sound before the blazing trail of riffs bursts in. The chorus stands out the most throughtout the duration of the song.

In The Name Of God (Deus Vult) is a true power metal anthem through and through and the best track on the album. With an impressive and infectiously poignant chorus and eventful musicianship, the song soars above the rest of the album. Nochnoi Dozor is painted with a shade of dusk from beginning to end, each riff and symphonic passage adding a fresh stroke of twilight-coloured paint to the lyrics and the music. A tragic wave of sound comes crashing down throughout Lust For Blood, mixing typical power metal elements with a murkier – if somewhat vampiric sounding – concept.

Extatum Et Oratum brings a far more grand and majestic ambiance with its presence as well as references to Greek mythos, Roman nobles and dead civilisations. The guitar segments give off an intense sound, whereas the symphonic elements still bring the tragic voices. Last Of The Living Dead is a truly haunting piece of work, making a strong use of Latin lyrics and chilling symphonies with icy guitar riffs. Some of the vocal passages are still sung in English, though the most power vocal sections are those sang in Latin. The wolf howls add an eerie aspect to the song as well, as do the church bells.

Preachers Of The Night shows another development in Powerwolf‘s sound. Each track tells its own tale, both musicially and lyrically, and each track weave together perfectly to tell an overall story as well – Though some tracks are more memorable than others. Preachers Of The Night is the pinnacle of Powerwolf‘s sound.

5/5

Nico Davidson

Powerwolf online:

http://powerwolf.net
http://facebook.com/powerwolfmetal

 

Cattle Decapitation – Monolith of Inhumanity

Posted in Review with tags , , , , , , on 23rd August 2013 by hammersmashedlauren

Cattle Decapitation
Monolith of Inhumanity
Released 8th May, 2012
Progressive Death Metal/Grindcore
Released via Metal Blade Records

Cattle Decapitation is known for their catchy riffs, intense and gore-filled lyrics, and of course their absolutely insane but diabolical vocals. It was no surprise that Monolith of Inhumanity incorporated each of these well-known elements and more. With this album, it really shows how much this band has progressed in their music, going from a more grindcore based song style to adding more structure and memorable riffs into their songs. This was my favorite album of 2012 hands down just for the sheer brutality and for making the music sound heavy without and technicality.

A couple songs that stuck out for me were The Carbon Stampede and Forced Gender Reassignment. Many people are aware that the video for Forced Gender Reassignment was arguably one of the goreiest and most disgusting music videos ever made. However, every time I hear that song I can’t help but windmill at the beginning riff and become excited as the song builds up to the end where it breaks down into a super slammy riff that just finishes it off perfectly. The Carbon Stampede also a phenomenal job of creating build up as the beginning song of the album with a quiet intro that gradually goes into spiraling chaos and heaviness that is consistently heard through the rest of this album.

While I really don’t see any kind of big criticism or gripe about Monolith of Inhumanity, the only thing that seemed kind of off to me was the beginning of the song The Monolith. The slow, drawn out song isn’t something that is commonly used by Cattle Decapitation and found it weird as a song on its own. However, having it be paired with Kingdom of Tyrants in a mini film, it made the song much more of a purpose rather than it just being thrown into the mix of all these fast and brutal songs.

Even after a year, I still find myself enjoying this album and still highly regard it was one of Cattle Decapitation’s best albums. In the span of their career, they’ve definitely grew in their playing and even vocal style, and they will probably continue to grow and to create even faster, more brutal music while, of course, still create music videos and artwork that will make many people squirm. Monolith of Inhumanity is an absolutely incredible album and it’s something every metal fan should listen to!

5/5

Lauren Gowdy

 

Týr release Valkyrja studio video

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

Faroese Viking metallers Týr have been working hard on their seventh studio album, Valkyrja, which is due for release in the UK on 16th September via Metal Blade. Fans can now get a small glimpse of the creative process that is driving Valkyrja towards completion while Týr have been recording at Hansen Studios in Ribe, Denmark. You can watch the video below.

The opening track, Blood Of Heroes, is streaming at this location where the album is also available for pre-order. The limited edition pre-order bundles include Týr pendants, t-shirts, vinyl LP and the CD.

Týr are also pleased to announced that Amon Ellingsgaard will be drumming for Týr on their European tour with Finntroll later this month. Amon is the current drummer for Heri‘s side project: Heljareyga. Many fans will most likely be familiar with Amon, as he is also the nephew of former Týr Kari.

Tyr online:

http://facebook.com/tyrband

 

Rivers Of Nihil stream Rain Eater from new album

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

Rivers Of Nihil have released their first single from their forthcoming album The Conscious Seed of Light, which is due foe release via Metal Blade on 14th October in the UK. Rain Eater is now now available for streaming at this location.

The was recorded in March, earlier this year at Mana Recording Studio in Florida with famed metal producer and musician Erik Rutan. Guitarist Brody Uttley commented:

Working with Erik was a true privilege. Coming from the DIY circuit and immediately recording with one of greatest death metal producers of all time pushed us all more than we ever could have expected, both as musicians and as people. We have grown tremendously as a band in all aspects because of our experience with Erik.

As mentioned above, the debut single from the album, Rain Eater, is now streaming at this location. The artwork for the album was handled by Dan Seagrave, whose illustrious portifolio includes artwork for Morbid AngelEmtombedSuffocation and Decrepit BirthRivers Of Nihil ended up sendign a brief treatment of the album to a number of artists that they admire and though the artists seemed interested, it was Dan Seagrave who seemed to understand and appreciate it to a degree. Speaking of Seagrave, guitarist Brody said:

He really tore into it! What we see on the cover is a landscape of a world that doesn’t need mankind, we are relics here, and the sun is the only true master.

The Conscious Seed of Light tracklisting:

1. Terrestria I: Thaw
2. Rain Eater
3. Birth of the Omnisavior
4. Soil & Seed
5. Central Antheneum
6. Mechanical Trees
7. Place of Serpents
8. Human Adaptation
9. A Fertile Altar
10. Airless

Rivers Of Nihil online:

http://www.facebook.com/riversofnihil
http://twitter.com/riversofnihil
http://www.riversofnihilpa.bandcamp.com
http://soundcloud.com/rivers-of-nihil

 

In Solitude announce new album and stream title track; Sister

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

Swedish metallers In Solitude have announced their third studio album, Sister, which will be release in the UK on 30th September via Metal Blade Records. The title track, Sister, is now streaming at this location. Vocalist Pelle Åhman speaks on behalf of In Solitude:

It’s time to release our third album, and things have never felt this clear and pervasive before. This is a feeling that has permeated our whole lives during the latest year of writing and recording this album, as well as digesting and dealing with its consequences. And it has been wonderful, overwhelming and utterly devastating. Which, in the world of In Solitude, are very positive things, and exactly what was required.

It is a very special album for us, and I am very thankful and proud of my brothers (including our great friend, and producer, Martin Konie Ehrencrona), for this is truly the most visceral music we’ve ever made, and we can’t wait for you to experience it too.

You come without. And all falls within. There is a light in the world. There is a stone to the head.

Sister was recorded at Studio Cobra in Stockholm, Sweden during March 2013. The album was produced and mixed by MartinKonieEhrencrona and stands as a logical next step above and beyond its predecessor, The World.The Flesh.The DevilIn Solitude‘s strength resides in their ability to craft dark and oppressive atmospheres within the auditory realm of classic heavy metal.Sister compounds this trademark sound further, beginning with the acoustic intro, He Comes and saturates the record in an aura of uniqueness; see: Lavender and the title track.

The album concludes with an 8-minute, driving, near trance-like opus that features guest guitarist Pelle Forsberg (Watain). Additionally, Jarboe of Swans fame can be heard on Horses in the Ground. Moods range from Mercyful Fate-esque guitar flavors, shadows of Black Sabbath, the heavy dissonance of Swans, to straight-forward, ear worm riffs. In any case, one thing can be said for certain: their delivery is as genuine as it is impressive.

North American fans will have an opportunity to see In Solitude live this Fall. The band will be supporting Watain on their Wild Hunt tour beginning on October 8th in New York City. The tour also features support from Tribulation.

In Solitude online:

http://facebook.com/insolitudeofficial

Týr announce title for 7th studio album and launch new single

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

Farosese Viking metal overlords Týr recently announce Valkyrja as the title of their 7th full-length album which will be released via Metal Blade Records in the UK on 16th September. Týr once again collaborated with Jacob Hansen at Hansen Studios in Ribe, Denmark. Along with Hansen, the band recruited acclaimed drummer George Kollias to act as studio drummer and Leaves’ Eyes vocalist Liv Kristine joined vocalist and guitarist Heri Joensen for a vocal duet on The Lay of Our Love.

Blood Of Heroes, the opening track for the album, is currently streaming on the band’s MetalBlade.com landing page at this location, where Valkyrja is also available to be pre-ordered. Limited edition pre-order bundles are available that include Týr rune pendants, t-shirt, vinyl LP, and the CD.

The concept of Valkyrja is a storyline loosely based on an anonymous Viking age warrior who leaves his wife and home to impress a Valkyrie in order to be chosen for either Valhalla or Folkvang – The latter of which is the abode of the goddess Freya, who had the first pick of any slain warriors that the Valkyries brought from the battlefield. Freya is commonly regarded as the goddess of love, beauty, death, war, magic and sex. One can say the album is also indirectly about women and how they affect men and what men will do to impress and obtain women. Front man and founder Heri Joensen goes on to explain

The woman that the warrior leaves may represent the earthly women. Freya, The Lady Of The Slain, may represent the perfection of Women, and the Valkyrie is the link between the two, taking men from earthly to godly women.

Týr online:

http://www.tyr.fo/
https://www.facebook.com/tyrband

 

Battlecross stream new album for limited time

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , , , on 9th July 2013 by Nico Davidson

Battlecross have begun streaming their brand new album War of Will at their official Metal Blade landing page. This stream will be up for a limited time only, from now until 8pm GMT tonight. Additionally, the brand new music video for Never Coming Back was recently finished and can be viewed below.

Battlecross triumphantly return as one of the true champions of American Heavy Metal with their devastating sophomore release, War of Will. Co-produced at Audio Hammer Studios by famed producers Mark Lewis and Eyal Levi, the sophomore effort from Detroit’s newest soldiers of steel will soon prove as one of the most impressive follow-up releases, destined to become a heavy metal classic for fans of all sub-genres.

War of Will is now in stores and on-line. The band is on tour now as part of the Rock Star Energy Drink Mayhem Festival Tour with Rob Zombie, Five Finger Death Punch, Amon Amarth, Children of Bodom, Machine Head, Mastodon and more. For tickets and details, head to this location.

Battlecross online:

http://www.battlecrossmetal.com
http://www.facebook.com/battlecrossmetal
http://twitter.com/battlecross
http://www.youtube.com/battlecrossmetal

 

Amon Amarth – Deceiver of the Gods

Posted in Review with tags , , , , , , , on 11th June 2013 by Nico Davidson

Amon Amarth
Deceiver of the Gods
Released 24th June 2013
Melodic Death Metal
Released via Metal Blade Records

Amon Amarth have been raiding, plundering and pillaging their way through the metal scene since 1998, making a name for themselves with their melodic riffs and Viking-themed lyrics, as well as some truly epic artwork. Deceiver of the Gods is the band’s ninth chapter in their metal renditions of the Norse myths.

The chilling guitar passage of the title track, Deceiver of the Gods, opens up the album before unleashing the fury of the Norse with faster, heavier riffs and Johan’s signature growls. The track is made complete by a near majestic solo. The second track, As Loke Falls, sounds bipolar – switching from roaring guitar sections and heavy vocal lines to monumental, dulcet guitar passages. The album from heavily grandiose pieces to the semi-brutal tracks with memorable choruses and poignant hooks. Johan’s vocals are as gruff and Nordic as they can be, whilst the drums have a certain liveliness to them, given the album a new feel that’s not so familiar within Amon Amarth’s studio material. The bass work thunders down like Thor’s Mjollnir crushing the head of a jotun.

There are more than a few bland songs on the album that fail to entice the ears, Under Siege being the most lacking song – Whilst it’s not a bad track, it misses a lot of the daring excitement and raw energy as found on previous releases. Blood Eagle, the track that follows Under Siege, begins interestingly enough with cries of pain and the sound of body parts being severed but as the track progresses it sounds more like a repeat episode of the previous track. Hel, named after the apparent goddess of the dead and daughter of Loki, has a completely different sound to the rest of the album, using haunting backing vocals and a slower pace for the music. The guest vocals, as provided by Candlemass’s Messiah, also add to the cold and foreboding atmosphere of the song that one would associate with a grim deity like Hel.

Warriors of the North, despite being the final track on the album, is a breath of fresh air on an otherwise stale album. Everything seems to have been taken up a level, from the sharp melodies of the guitars to the titanic bass lines and crushing drum passages, combined with the commanding and bloody vocals and the Iron Maiden-esque riffs. Whilst Warriors of the North is an anthemic way to end the album, one does have to wonder why most of the album isn’t in the same vein as it.

Amon Amarth have become predictable in their sound and their work and Deceiver of the Gods is solid evidence of this. The tracks are good and are typically of Amon Amarth’s style but at the same time they point to how repetitive the band’s music has become. Hopefully this isn’t an indicator to the future sound of Amon Amarth.

2.5/5

Nico Davidson

Amon Amarth online:

http://www.amonamarth.com
http://www.facebook.com/OfficialAmonAmarth
http://twitter.com/amonamarthband
http://deceiver.amonamarth.com

Amon Amarth release final segment of mini-doctumentary: Forging Mjölnir

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

The final segment of Amon Amarth’s Forging Mjölnir mini documentary premiered today! The intimate three-part account comes in celebration of their forthcoming new studio offering, Deceiver of the Gods, set for worldwide release later this month. Directed by Luke Daley, the striking black and white film offers candid commentary with each member on a host of subjects.

Watch the concluding clip where the Amon Amarth collective discuss the struggles of tour life, recording and their hopes for the future via their microsite at this location.

Having blasted onto the Swedish melodic death metal scene with 1998’s Once Sent from the Golden Hall, every Amon Amarth album has arrived bursting at the seams with power, melody and immersive storytelling centred around the richness of Norse mythology. Deceiver of the Gods captures the quintet at the peak of their powers.

Their ninth epic was recorded at Backstage Studios in Derbyshire, UK and produced, mixed and mastered by Andy Sneap, a man whose résumé includes seminal albums from the likes of Cathedral, Arch Enemy, and Cradle Of Filth. Vocalist Johan Hegg explains:

We wanted more of a live feeling to the recording and we felt that Andy’s style of producing could definitely help us with that. At the same time, knowing the records he worked on previously we felt he could probably help develop our sound so it became a little bit more angry and dangerous, without that polished sheen of our recent records.

Guitarist Olavi Mikkonen concurs, and credits Sneap with playing a pivotal role in just how aggressive the finished product is. Olavi comments:

It’s rougher, and like a punch in the face, which is what we wanted it to be. Though adding more thrash elements into a few of the songs helps the whole album sound more hostile, it’s ultimately the production that makes them sound more aggressive. On the last few records it didn’t matter how aggressive the riffs we wrote were, whenever we went into the studio at the end they just didn’t sound as intense.

In tracking the record at Sneap’s UK studio, as much as possible the band recorded long takes rather than clinically piecing things together, determined to give the album as much life as they could. Vocalist Johan continues:

Fredrik [Andersson] recorded all the drums live, with the guys playing guitars and bass along with him to get the groove of it, and that makes for the energy that you don’t get when everyone records separately, and I think that really comes across. I think that was a very good way to record for us, it gave everyone a better feel of each song, and it was a good time being in the studio and laying it all down.

Deceiver of the Gods boasts another exceptional Tom Thiel-created cover depicting a mythical battle between the Norse figures Loki and Thor. As an added bonus, Messiah Marcolin (Candlemass) makes an appearance as guest vocalist on eighth track, Hel.

For special Deceiver of the Gods pre-order packages as well as a stream of the title track, go to this location. Additionally, you can still check out Shape Shifter currently streaming via Stereogum HERE.

Deceiver of the Gods will be released in North America via Metal Blade Records 25th June, in Europe 21st/24th June and Japan on June 26th.

Following a run of European festival dates already underway, Amon Amarth will be opening the main stage of this year’s edition of the Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Fest set to commence June 29 in San Bernardino.

Amon Amarth online:

http://www.amonamarth.com
http://www.facebook.com/OfficialAmonAmarth
http://twitter.com/amonamarthband
http://deceiver.amonamarth.com

 

Second part of Amon Amarth’s three-part mini-documentary, Forging Mjölnir, now online

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

In anticipation of the release of their ninth studio offering, Deceiver of the Gods, Swedish death metal tyrants Amon Amarth today unleash the second of their special three-part mini documentary. Fittingly titled Forging Mjölnir, the crisp black and white film was directed by Luke Daley and offers up intimate interviews with the band.

Watch the latest fifteen-minute segment where the Amon Amarth collective recall their earliest metal memories as well as the band’s primitive beginnings via their microsite at this location. Having blasted onto the Swedish melodic death metal scene with 1998’s Once Sent from the Golden Hall, every Amon Amarth album has arrived bursting at the seams with power, melody and immersive storytelling centered around the richness of Norse mythology. Deceiver of the Gods captures the quintet at the peak of their powers.

From the moment the title track explodes in a haze of thrash-flavoured aggression to the final mournful passages of epic closer Warriors Of The North there is not a wasted moment, the band bombarding the listener with ten tracks of compulsive and electrifying metallic fury. Whether they’re attempting to remove your face and separate your vertebrae with the deranged attack of Blood Eagle or carrying you on the back of the mammoth grooves driving We Shall Destroyand Father Of The Wolf they hit with decimating force, all the while unleashing ruthlessly captivating melodies. With the aforementioned thrash elements creeping in, as well as the old school metal and doom accents lending added depth and scale to standout track Hel, guitarist Olavi Mikkonen admits this time out the band were not afraid to wear their influences on their collective sleeve:

We decided fairly early that we should go all-in on the song writing for this album. If we had ideas or riffs that were perhaps a little too thrash oriented or traditional-metal sounding for Amon– or that were maybe too Amon or perhaps similar to what we had done in the past – we would still keep them as long as we really liked them. A few years back we would pass on those ideas and riffs, while now we feel it was right to just go with it. I think the result is that the songs are wider, they have stronger melodies, they are better composed with lots of dynamics in them, and there are no fillers or blanks on there. Everything is as good as it can possibly be, and reflects just how driven we were to make this a great record.

Deceiver of the Gods was recorded at Backstage Studios in Derbyshire, UK, produced, mixed and mastered by Andy Sneap (Opeth, Megadeth, Exodus, Arch Enemy, Killswitch Engage) and comes adorned with another outstanding Tom Thiel-created cover portraying a mythical battle between the Norse figures Loki and Thor. As an added bonus, Messiah Marcolin (Candlemass) makes an appearance as guest vocalist on eighth track, Hel.
Deceiver of the Gods will be released in the UK via Metal Blade Records 24th June.

Catch Amon Amarth at Download 2013 on Sunday 16th June, 2013.

http://www.amonamarth.com
http://www.facebook.com/OfficialAmonAmarth
http://twitter.com/amonamarthband
http://deceiver.amonamarth.com

Týr announce European tour with Skalmold and Finntroll

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

Viking metallers Týr have announced a European tour with Skáldmöld and Finntroll. The announcement was made on the band’s official Facebook page.

Tour dates are as follow:

06.09.13 Fri NO Haugesund Byscenen
07.09.13 Sat tba
08.09.13 Sun DK Aarhus Voxhall
09.09.13 Mon D Hamburg Markthalle
10.09.13 Tue D Nürnberg Hirsch
11.09.13 Wed PL Wroclaw Alibi
12.09.13 Thu PL Krakow Kwadrat
13.09.13 Fri HU Budapest Club 202
14.09.13 Sat RO Brasov Rockstadt
15.09.13 Sun RO Bukarest Silver Church
16.09.13 Mon travel
17.09.13 Tue HRV Zagreb Mochvara
18.09.13 Wed AT Wien Szene
19.09.13 Thu CZ Prag Nova Chmelnice
20.09.13 Fri tba
21.09.13 Sat D Bochum Matrix
22.09.13 Sun D Augsburg Kantine
23.09.13 Mon AT Wörgl Komma
24.09.13 Tue IT Milano R´n´R Arena
25.09.13 Wed CH Pratteln Z7
26.09.13 Thu D Aschaffenburg Colos-Saal
27.09.13 Fri D Speyer Halle 101
28.09.13 Sat D Jena F-Haus
29.09.13 Sun BE Brugge Factor
30.09.13 Mon UK Norwich Waterfront
01.10.13 Tue UK Glasgow Classic Grand
02.10.13 Wed UK Manchester NQ Live
03.10.13 Thu IE Dublin The Pint
04.10.13 Fri UK Bilston Robin 2
05.10.13 Sat UK London The Garage
06.10.13 Sun FR Lille Le Splendid
07.10.13 Mon tba
08.10.13 Tue FR Strasbourg La Laiterie
09.10.13 Wed FR Lyon La Salle Du Kao
10.10.13 Thu CH Geneve L´Usine
11.10.13 Fri FR Istres L´Usine
12.10.13 Sat NO Skien 1001 Watt Festival (Headlining)*
13.10.13 Sun ES Madrid Rockkitchen/Caracol
14.10.13 Mon FR Toulouse Le Bikini

*Finntroll and Skalmold will not be playing.

Týr are also working on their next album, which is currently untitled. The album will feature Leaves’ Eyes vocalist Liv Kristine on the track; The Lay of our Love. The album’s release date is yet to be announced but will be released via Metal Blade Records. The album will also feature legendary metal drummer George Kollibus on drums following the departure of Kari from Týr.

Tyr online:

http://www.tyr.fo/
https://www.facebook.com/tyrband
http://twitter.com/tyrband

 

Amon Amarth release trailer for threee-part documentary; Forgining Mjölnir

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

Yesterday, Swedish Vikings of Death Metal, Amon Amarth revealed a trailer for their forthcoming mini documentary which can be viewed at this location. Fittingly titled Forging Mjölnir, the short film will appear as a three-part series with each official segment slated to premiere via the band’s microsite at this location.

The Forging Mjölnir documentary comes in anticipation of Amon Amarth‘s ninth studio offering, Deceiver of the Gods. Recorded at Backstage Studios in Derbyshire, UK, and produced, mixed and mastered by Andy Sneap (Opeth, Megadeth, Exodus, Arch Enemy, Killswitch Engage), the follow-up to the band’s critically acclaimed 2011 Surtur Rising full-length delivers ten fiery battle hymns made of buzzsaw riffs and epic harmonies all driven by vocalist Johan Hegg‘s commanding Viking roar and absorbing accounts of Norse campaigns and treachery. Deceiver of the Gods comes adorned with another outstanding Tom Thiel-created cover portraying a mythical battle between the Norse figures Loki and Thor. As an added bonus, Messiah Marcolin (Candlemass) makes an appearance as guest vocalist on eighth track, Hel.

View the black and white Forging Mjölnir trailer where the band discusses their earliest musical influences,  as well as a stream of opening title track and first single, Deceiver of the Gods and special preorder info at this location.

Deceiver of the Gods will be released in the UK via Metal Blade Records June 24th.

Following a run of European festival dates next month, Amon Amarth will be opening the mainstage of this year’s edition of the Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Fest set to commence June 29 in San Bernardino.

Amon Amarth online:

http://www.amonamarth.com
http://www.facebook.com/OfficialAmonAmarth
http://twitter.com/amonamarthband

 

Ensiferum sign record deal with Metal Blade

Posted in Featured, News with tags , , , , , on 24th April 2013 by Nico Davidson

Finnish heroic metallers Ensiferum have spent the past eighteen years honing the steel of their folk-infused battle metal auditory attack. Their albums are further bolstered by a live show that has become one of the most entertaining in all of metal. Proof of Ensiferum‘s status as one of the most vital bands in modern metal was made apparent through their headlining slot on this year’s Paganfest USA tour. To further spread the band’s music to a worldwide audience, Ensiferum has forged an alliance of epic proportions with Metal Blade Records. The band inked the deal with Metal Blade CEO Brian Slagel during the Paganfest USA tour, and all parties are enthusiastic about new music and new possibilities.

Bassist and backing vocalist Sami Hinkka comments:

We are really looking forward to our co-operation with such a great and legendary label as Metal Blade. The next full length album should be out in early 2015. We have already started working with the new songs and it’s obvious that the next album will be another step ahead for Ensiferum. And now that we have united forces with mighty Metal Blade nothing can stop us! The next album is going to be something that will rock the very foundations of folk metal genre. We also would like to thank Spinefarm Records for all these 13 years, it’s been as blast but now it is time for us to move on and head bravely towards new challenges. The future looks bright for Sword Bearers!

Ensiferum will be touring throughout Europe and South America this summer as they continue their live campaign in support of their most recent album, Unsung Heroes, which was released last year through Spinefarm Records. Confirmed dates can be seen below. Ensiferum merch is also available now at this location.

Ensiferum European Festivals dates:

04/26 Oulu , FI Teatria
04/27 Helsinki, FI Virgin Oil
04/28 Losheim Am See, DE Hexentanz Festival
05/05 Istanbul, TR Headbangers Weekend Istanbul
05/18 Gelsenkirchen, DE Rock Hard Festival
05/20 Leipzig, DE Wave Gothic Treffen
06/07 Espoo, FI Kivenlahti Rock
06/20-22 Nummijärvi, FI Nummirock
06/26-30 Tokaj-Rakamaz, HU Hegyalka Festival
07/11-13 Ballenstedt, DE Rockharz Open Air
07/22-26 Tolmin, SL Metaldays
08/07-10 Jaromer, CZ Brutal Assault
08/09-10 Villena, ES Leyendas del Rock Festival
08/15-17 Dinkelsbühl, DE Summer Breeze
08/15-17 Falun, SE Rockstad Falun
South American Tour
05/28 Bogota, CO Teatro Las Vegas Nevada
05/30 Santiago, CL Blondie Club
05/31 Buenos Aires, AR Teatro Vorterix
06/01 Sao Paulo, BR Carioca Club
06/02 Rio De Janeiro, BR Teatro Odisséia

Ensiferum online:

http://ensiferum.com.
http://twitter.com/EnsiferumMetal
http://www.facebook.com/Ensiferum