Archive for Metalcore

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

Rytmihäiriö live in Tampere

Posted in Gig, Live with tags , , , , on 19th October 2019 by izaforestspirit

I Revolt, Rytmihäiriö
Jack The Rooster, Tampere, Finland
18th October 2019

Autumn is here. The leaves are falling, the nights are getting longer and Halloween is only weeks away… I haven’t been to a live show since the Rammstein performance back in the summer. There have been a few gigs that caught my attention but I simply did not have the time. Last night I decided to take a gamble and try something new. This was one of those occasions when I knew very little about either of the bands. Rytmihäiriö is a band that I have heard of but I am not too familiar with their music. Someone claimed that they are similar to Turmion Kätilöt, whom I like, so I decided to check them out.

The event took place at rock pub called Jack The Rooster. The pub serves food in the day time then it is transformed into a small live show venue at night.

First up was I Revolt. This is an up and coming Finnish band which was established two years ago. Their style is pretty difficult to classify. It sounded like an amalgamation of thrash metal, metalcore and Entombed-esque melodic death metal. I wasn’t super keen on their cover of a Slipknot song but the show had its good moments.

Someone told me once that there is a thin line between what is hardcore punk and what is thrash metal. Well, Rytmihäiriö is somewhere around the boundary zone. The guitar riff patterns bear some resemblance to thrash metal but the vocals and the overall attitude is decisively more hardcore punk. Perhaps a little too punk for my liking. They have their fans and they drew in a sizable crowd. Sadly the music was not something that I enjoy.

Overall, it was a decent night out. Now I know what Rytmihäiriö are all about. I like thrash metal but hardcore punk has never really been my thing. I Revolt put on a good show and it would be interesting to see how their sound develops.

Iza Raittila

Escape The Fate announce ‘This War Is Ours’ 10th anniversary tour

Posted in Misc., News with tags , , , , on 9th November 2018 by izaforestspirit

The American rock band Escape The Fate have announced that their ‘This War Is Ours’ 10th anniversary tour will come to Europe at the start of next year. The tour celebrating the 10th anniversary of the release of their debut album starts in The United States in December 2018. Then the European leg of the tour begins on 24th January 2019 in Bristol, The UK .

Here is the full schedule:

January 2019
Thu 24th – Bristol, UK, Thekla
Fri 25th – Manchester, UK, Gorilla
Sat 26th – Nottingham, UK, Rock City
Sun 27th – Dublin, Ireland, Voodoo Lounge
Mon 28th – Belfast, N. Ireland, Limelight 2
Tue 29th – Glasgow, Scotland, Garage
Thu 31st – Antwerp, Belgium, Zappa

February 2019

Fri 1st – Cologne, Germany, Kantine
Sat 2nd – Copenhagen, Denmark, Pumpehuset
Sun 3rd – Stockholm, Sweden, Fryshuset
Tue 5th – Helsinki, Finland, Nosturi
Thu 7th – Oslo, Norway, Parkteatreret
Fri 8th – Goteborg, Sweden, Sticky Fingers
Sat 9th – Hamburg, Germany, Grunspan
Sun 10th – Berlin, Germany, Bi Nuu
Mon 11th – Munich, Germany, Backstage Halle
Tue 12th – Prague, Czech Rep., Futurum
Thu 14th – Vienna, Austria, Szene
Fri 15th – Milan, Italy, Live Club
Sat 16th – Zug, Switzerland, Galvanik
Mon 18th – Paris, France, Le Trabendo
Tue 19th – Eidenhoven, Holland, Dynamo
Wed 20th – London, UK, Electric Ballroom
For more details visit:
http://www.escapethefate.com.
https://www.facebook.com/escapethefate/

All That Remains announce new album and European tour

Posted in Misc., News, Studio Report with tags , , , , , on 5th October 2018 by izaforestspirit

It’s busy times ahead for the American metal band All The Remains. Their new album ‘Victim Of The New Disease’ will be out on 9th November 2018 via Fearless Records. It is rumored to be their “ heaviest record since ….for We Are Many” and it will feature a guest performance from Danny Worsnop (Asking Alexandria).

You can check out the cover art here:

All That Remains - Victim of the New Disease

They will also be hitting the road in December 2018 supported by Sevendust with a series of European dates starting in Southampton in The U.K.

Here is the full schedule:

01.12 – Southampton, Engine Rooms, The U.K.

02.12 – London, Electric Brixton, The U.K.

04.12 – Manchester, Academy 2, The U.K.

05.12 – Glasgow, Garage, Scotland

06.12 – Nottingham, Rock City, The U.K.

07.12 – Bristol, Swx, The U.K.

09.12 – Paris, Glazart, France

10.12 – Cologne, Luxor, Germany

11.12 – Berlin, Columbia Theater, Germany

12.12 – Prague, Meet Factory, Czech Republic

14.12 – Wroclaw, Firlej, Poland

15.12 – Vienna, Flex, Austria

17.12 – Munich, Backstage Halle, Germany

18.12 – Aarau, Kiff, Switzerland

19.12 – Amsterdam, Melweg Oz, The Netherlands

In the meantime you can enjoy their latest lyric video ‘Fuck Love’:

For more details visit:

https://www.facebook.com/allthatremains

http://www.allthatremainsonline.com/

 

 

 

The End Of Grace – Infinite Shadows Of Memories

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on 9th May 2017 by Pieni

The End Of Grace
“Infinite Shadows Of Memories”
metalcore
Released: 10th May 2017
by Illumnirec

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Where I come from there’s a saying that goes something like “who awaits always achieves”. And then someone twisted it, creating a new and pretty negative version, that says “who awaits gets desperate”. The latter translated my state of mind in the recent past regarding a full-length record by The End Of Grace, which I’ve been waiting for since the band got together. But it’s finally here and I’m living the original version of the saying, as waiting for “Infinite Shadows Of Memories” totally paid off. Between the two EPs “Lost In Transition” and “Unity”, there had already been an evolution in the songwriting, its features emboldened; but “Infinite…” is more than an upgrade of said features, it’s a new path straying away from the traditional metalcore they’ve begun with.

The crystal-clear clean tones have been replaced by somber, deep ones, still contrasting perfectly with Kriss’ growls; the focus on breakdowns is water under the bridge, the main priority now based on the musicality and not on sounding tougher than leather – even if they do sound relentless nevertheless. It’s just a whole new level of melody, more mature.

The ominous catchiness of “Life On The Line”, the yearning of the title-track, the collision of opposites of “Breathe”, the daring “Ride The Dark”… This record is a rollercoaster of emotions and shows TEoG pushing the proverbial envelope with their music. Hell, a whole stack of envelopes! It’s not even clear what it should be called anymore, but whether you go for “blues-core, deathcore or metalcore” (quoting the upbeat “We Really Don’t Know Yo”), this is The End Of Grace.

5/5

Renata “Pieni” Lino

Exist Immortal – Breathe

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on 17th December 2016 by Pieni

Exist Immortal
“Breathe”
progressive metalcore
Released: 3rd November 2016
Via Primordial Records

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So, progressive metalcore is a thing, eh? Not sure why these labels still surprise me… A more common one is “experimental metal”, but then again, “Breathe” goes beyond common, making the fancy “progressive metalcore” somewhat more fitting.

This is their second full-length record, and even if “Darkness Of An Age” shaped what they sound like now, “Breathe” exhales (pun intended) a refinement that the debut lacked. Refinement and maturity, as their eagerness in thinking outside the box took them just far enough. For instance, the fooling-around with the tempo in “Saviour” is never too daring; the weeping guitars in “In Hindsight” are never too grieving, the same way the brutality in “Invisible Lines” isn’t too callous. The songwriting was carefully laid out in order to sound exquisite but not weird. There’s also a purpose behind every breakdown of “Follow Alone” and the bluesy hints of the title-track aren’t random, so no matter how elaborate and sophisticated the melodies turn out (the ominosity of “Release” is quite stunning, by the way), they will flow easily through both the most demanding and the more straight-forward ear-drums. But it’s still a piece that I would especially recommend to those with a taste for modern aggression.

4,5/5

Renata “Pieni” Lino

As Lions announce new EP and video

Posted in Misc., News with tags , , , on 4th October 2016 by izaforestspirit

The British hard rock band As Lions have just announced that their debut EP will be released soon. Their first piece of work will be entitled ‘Aftermath’ and it is scheduled to hit the shops on 14th October 2016 via Better Noise Records. The CD version will be available in Europe and there will be digital copies available for purchase in The U.S.A.

You can check out the cover art and the track-listing below:

  1. Aftermath
  2. White Flags
  3. Deathless
  4. World on Fire

As Lions was formed last year by Austin Dickinson (son of the Iron Maiden frontman Bruce Dickinson) after the his previous band Rise to Remain call it a day.

You can listen to the title track ‘Aftemath’ here:

 

For more information visit:

http://aslionsband.com/

The End Of Grace – Unity

Posted in Review with tags , , , , , on 3rd June 2016 by Pieni

The End Of Grace
“Unity” [EP]
metalcore
Released: 3rd June 2016
Via Ilumnirec

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If you know The End Of Grace and have been following their story, you may find this title a bit ironic, given the recent major line-up change in the band. I see it the other way around, a tribute to what makes us one and not what divides us (check the words on the artwork – they’re not exactly random). First of all, the departure of 3/5 of the band had nothing to do with falling outs – it’s just life and its usual way of forcing people to make hard choices; they may not partake in the songwriting and performance anymore but they’ll always be a part of TEoG. And then there’s founder Jimmy Bergman’s passion for this project, which will keep it alive no matter what – a true unity with music.

Now that you have my two pennies on the title, let’s go for what really matters. When I’ve last spoken to the boys (interview here) they told me there would be more breakdowns They weren’t fooling around! All songs are much richer in that department, making them sound heavier, thicker. Well, all except the ballad “Fighting For Another Day” (I still smile at the term “ballad” when Kriss Clark is busting up his throat to growl like that, but there’s no other thing to call such bleeding melody) – this one has its own heaviness and there’s no need for extra breakdowns for that.

There’s also more riffs/more elaborate guitar structure, more meaningful lyrics and a better complicity between the aforementioned growls of Kriss and the clean tones of Johan. I had the chance to see “The End Of Grace” (yes, they named a song after themselves) in concert (report here) and witness how such briskness works live. Well let me tell you that “If You Fall”, “Never Break” and “Trigger” will cause the same restless effect. This is what metalcore is all about.

It’s been already three years since the release of “Lost In Transition” but it seems like yesterday, as those songs keep rolling on my playlists. I’m pretty certain the same will happen with “Unity”.

5/5

Renata “Pieni” Lino

Dead By Wednesday – Darkest of Angels

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on 20th May 2016 by izaforestspirit

Dead By Wednesday
The Darkest of Angels
Heavy Metal
Released: 15th July 2016
via EMP Label Group

‘The Darkest of Angels’ is the new album from the American Heavy Metal band Dead by Wednesday. The band was originally formed back in 2005. Since then they have gone through a number of line-up changes, the most recent being the departure of their singer Joe Morbidelli last year due his addiction problems. This album was recorded with the help of several guest vocals including: Brian Fair (Shadows Fall), Rob Dukes (Generation Kill, ex- Exodus) and Jon Arch (Arch/Matheos, ex-Fates Warning) as well as their new singer Rob Roy on one track. All the songs are centered around the theme of addiction.

The departure of the frontman is the type of thing that can make or break a band. As this is my first encounter with Dead By Wednesday, I don’t know much about how they used to sound prior to the line-up changes. Based on what I’ve read, their older material was a mixture of metal and hardcore. This new album is said to be heavier with more emphasis on metal. So let’s see what we have here…

Well for starters, there’s eleven tracks on here each featuring a different vocalist. The music itself is fairly consistent, melodic and mostly guitar-driven heavy metal. Some of the songs incorporate guitar patterns from both groove metal and even the odd metalcore-style break-down added in the mix.  Self-Medicate (feat. Paul Stoddard) is a good example of how all these elements can be successfully combined to produce something memorable. Sadly it’s the vocals that put me off some of the songs such as Power Troopers (feat. Ceschi & David Ramos) which is a mish-mash of System of Down -esque progressive wailing and shouts. Similar things can be said about the cacophony that is Phoenix Rising (feat. Kris Keys). It’s a shame because the guitar riffs are actually pretty good at times.

Highlights include the title track featuring John Arch and The Surgeon featuring the band’s new singer Rob Roy. Out of these, Darkest of Angels is one of the more melodic songs on here which has a certain power metal feel to it due the playful guitar tunes and Mr. Arch’s melodic vocals. What a relief to my sore ears! The other track that I enjoyed is, oddly enough; an acoustic song The Surgeon, the only song to feature the band’s new singer. Based on this I can see that he’s a good vocalist who seems comfortable and more importantly fully capable of clear vocals. It would have been interesting to hear him have a go at the more aggressive vocal styles that are present on this album. Other notable songs include Defining Fire (feat. Antony Hämäläinen & Waylon Reavis) and the thrash metal -tinged Break When I’m Dead (featuring Eric A.K. of Flotsam & Jetsam)’.

Overall this album is probably not the best one to tune into as an introduction to Dead By Wednesday. With so many different singers and a wide variety of different vocal styles it’s really difficult to deduce what these guys actually sound like. I would have preferred to hear more songs with their new singer Rob Roy. Instead this album feels like the band is still trying to find their feet again and establish a new identity.

3/5

Iza Raittila

More Than A Thousand w/ support – Madrid, Spain

Posted in Gig, Live with tags , , , , , , , , , on 9th February 2016 by Pieni

More Than A Thousand, Hills Have Eyes, Cannibal Grandpa
Starving Conciertos, Madrid (ES)
2nd February 2016
Promoted by HFMN Crew/Avocado Booking

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After the announcement of a no-end-in-sight hiatus, the time has come for the “Before We Go” farewell tour of More Than A Thousand. It kicked off last Tuesday in Madrid (Spain), along with their long-term buddies Hills Have Eyes. Swiss hardcore act Promethee would join from the third date on, leaving the two Spanish dates to be supported by Spanish bands. In Madrid, deathcore Cannibal Grandpa had the honors of doing so.
 photo _DSC0122 copy_zpsjcuib21z.jpgFounded in 2013 and having released their debut album, “Feed Your Food”, a few months ago, these youngsters seem to already have a considerable number of followers. Some of them were there, singing along and slamdancing like there was no tomorrow. Well deserved, as Cannibal Grandpa are indeed good in what they do. Too bad the stage was too small, otherwise I’m pretty sure there would’ve been more movement up there. Still, they managed to put up a vigorous performance, living up to the brutality of songs such as “Face To Face”, “Grey Man” or “Legacy”.

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www.facebook.com/cannibalgrandpa

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More than wanting to say goodbye to More Than A Thousand – I believe I’ll have a chance to do so in our homecountry – I wanted to see/support Hills Have Eyes outside our borders. I was even wearing my “Antebellum” tee, but the venue was freezing (the damn AC was unnecessarily in full mode) and eventually I had to put on my jacket. Oh well.
HHE’s setlist was quite even between “Strangers” and the latest “Antebellum”. When you have three amazing albums and you’re not playing as headliners, the choice gets tough, but the guys did a great job, performing the “most mandatory” songs.
“Anyway, It’s Gone” was one of them, although Vasco from More Than A Thousand didn’t join Fábio on the vocals, as he does in the studio version (and often live as well). That was kind of bittersweet – it would have been something to see those two forces together once again, but HHE didn’t have that many fans in the house, and inviting Vasco over would have felt like a cheap trick to win the crowd’s affection. And given the general response throughout the show, they did win it.

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www.facebook.com/hillshaveeyes

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When the lights went out, hinting the beginning of More Than A Thousand’s last concert in Madrid, the people clustered so tightly around the stage that it felt like their number had doubled. And then the first echoes of “Feed The Caskets” brought the place down. Like their “brothers” HHE – a title Vasco dearly used more than once – MTAT also focused on just their two latest albums. Nothing against what they’ve played – me and everybody else sang loudly along the whole time – but more like what they haven’t played. As a farewell tour, I was hoping for a longer show and a bit of every phase in their discography (although we did listen to a snippet of “The Red River Murder”, as someone in the crowd screamed for it whenever he had the chance). But it was still an intense goodbye, with Vasco using some funny Spanish expressions he apparently had just learned, or more serious remarks like the song he dedicated to The Ghost Inside and the heartfelt advice about never giving up of our dreams, no matter what/who. Those verses from the chorus in “No Bad Blood” – “this is who we are / these words will last forever” – came truly alive that night.

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www.facebook.com/morethanathousand

Text & photos by Renata “Pieni” Lino

Hills Have Eyes – Antebellum

Posted in Review with tags , , , , , , on 2nd October 2015 by Pieni

Hills Have Eyes
“Antebellum”
Metalcore / post-hardcore
Release: 2nd October 2015
Via Hell Xis Agency

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Formed over a decade ago, I only took notice of Hills Have Eyes early last year. But they caused such an impression, both on stage and in studio, that I’ve been dearly referring to them as “probably the best Portuguese metalcore band” (the “probably” being there just so I won’t sound pretentious – to me, they are indeed the best). So even though my rational side tried to control my expectations, I’m only human and they sky-rocketed pretty much on the same day I learnt a new album was on the way. Luckily for me, these guys seem to never disappoint.

If I had reviewed the debut “Black Book” and the sophomore “Strangers”, both would have got 5 stars; but in “Antebellum” HHE stepped up their game. They’ve always exceled in combining the most in-your-face riffage with the catchiest choruses – probably because even the more melodic passages kept a spunky spirit to them. But here there’s a bigger balance between those elements, producing a more mature sound.

Whenever they’re shredding away like there’s no tomorrow and entwine a certain darkness in the process, in songs such as “Eternal Bond” or “Answers In Blood”; when the heaviness of “Oathkeeper” or “Hide Your Scars” mingles with an upbeat rock vibe; the vibrancy of “Red Serpent” or the title-track; the silky touch of a female voice amidst the sharpness of “The Bringer Of Rain”; the molten guitar solo in “The Outspoken King” or the power in the ballad “Make It Right”; all songs were carefully written, filled with unique details, so that each and every one of them leaves an imprint of its own. What more can a music lover ask for? And when Hills Have Eyes say they’ve put their hearts and souls on this album, as much cliché as it may sound, you just know that there are hardly better words to describe it.

5/5

by Renata “Pieni” Lino

Hills Have Eyes launch new video

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , on 26th July 2015 by Pieni

In anticipation to their third full-length “Antebellum”, Portuguese metalcore act Hills Have Eyes have just released a video for the song “The Bringer Of Rain”. The track is already known to some of the fans, as the band’s been playing it live for some time now, and it’s now available for purchase on iTunes (click here).

Regarding the upcoming album, which was financed by a crowdfunding campaign, HHE say:

“A brand new chapter is coming for Hills Have Eyes.

After a couple of years, we’re back with a new record that will be released in September. A record without the support of any radio or media, in a country where our music style is often ignored & forgotten – even if several times these bands have a lot more followers than the hipster bands that are cool to support and to be related with. But no worries, ’cause we got the most important support of all: YOU that listen to our music; YOU that come to our shows; YOU that buy our merch and YOU that keep pushing us forward. On the 26th July the first single for ‘Antebellum’, ‘The Bringer of Rain’, will be online and it’s all because of you. THANK YOU.”

And here it is:

www.facebook.com/hillshaveeyes/

The End Of Grace recruits Andreas Hagman as their new drummer

Posted in News with tags , , , , , on 15th June 2015 by Pieni

It’s been announced today that Andreas Hagman is the new drummer in THE END OF GRACE, after Thomas Manell‘s departure in April. Andreas, who’s recently joined THROUGH THE CRACKS as a temporary replacement for Daniel Holmgren (currently studying in the USA), has found a permanent place among the metalcore band from Gothenburg.

The band has shared one of the tryout songs that convinced them Andreas was the right man for the job:

TEoG are working on their upcoming new release, which should be a 5-track EP. Now that the line-up is complete again, the process should be faster.

www.facebook.com/TheEndOfGrace

Skitarg w/ support – Gothenburg, Sweden

Posted in Gig, Live with tags , , , , , , , , , on 14th April 2015 by Pieni

BatAAr, The End Of Grace, Skitarg
Sticky Fingers, Gothenburg (SE)
10th April 2015
Promoted by NEMIS GBG

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Clown metal is a big thing in Sweden, at least when it comes down to Skitarg. But support acts BatAAr and The End Of Grace caused quite a fuss as well that night.

 photo bataar1_zpsvgxsjmry.jpgDespite my often trips to Sweden and the crash-course I’ve taken last year on its native language, I’m still not able to maintain a conversation in Swedish (reading is okay, talking not so much). This means I can’t tell you what BatAAr-Seb said to the screaming crowd that welcomed the band. But then again, it’s the music that counts, right? They themselves must think the same, as their borderline visual kei image is toned down once they’re on stage, in comparison to what you see in their videos and promo photos.
Between the exquisite prog of “Riskbreaker”, the spirited melodies of “The Distance” and “Owls And Snakes”, or the extremeness of “Refrain From Your Porcelain”, BatAAr’s sound may be hard to label in matters of genre, but pretty easy to do so in terms of quality: DAMN GOOD! Adding that to how comfortable they are on stage and how they give themselves to what they’re playing, it all can only result in a show worth attending to. (5/5)

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https://www.facebook.com/BatAAr

 photo teog1_zps52y9pbfy.jpgJust like BatAAr, The End Of Grace also come from Gothenburg, but since Kriss is British and addressed the audience in English, I can be a bit more thorough regarding the singer’s speech. For instance, I can tell you about the at least half a dozen times he said “oh my God you’re fucking crazy” and “we love you all”. If you’ve been following our posts on these guys, you know I’ve been to quite a few TEoG shows, so trust me when I say that Kriss wasn’t kissing ass – this crowd was the most vibrant I’ve ever seen on a TEoG show. There was even a wall of death at the beginning of “Beneath The Waves”, right after a cool, melodic new intro – guess they got inspired by Frodd‘s remix of it for the B-side of their latest single “Final Burden”.
They’ve been hard-working on their upcoming debut album and less than a month since the release of the aforementioned “Final Burden”, they were ready to introduce another new song – a song about being in a band, how that means “brotherhood”, and so it’s only natural that it was named after the band itself. The response to “The End Of Grace”, the song, was as massive as to the rest of the gig, which makes me believe the album will get a killer feedback once it’s finally out.
And because of that brotherhood, this being drummer Thomas last show felt like “losing an arm”. He got quite an ovation from the crowd and then BatAAr-Seb got on stage to help Kriss sing the last song “Fist Face Bleed”. Thomas couldn’t have asked for a better farewell show. (5/5)

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https://www.facebook.com/TheEndOfGrace

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The house had been crowded for both supporting acts, but for Skitarg it was fully packed, leaving no doubt that they lived up to their headlining status.
Sure, their creepy-clown makeup and flashy outfits cause an impressive visual impact, but if we strip those away, we’re still left with a very active and powerful performance. So if you’re thinking that Skitarg’s popularity is only due to their looks, think again. And songs such as “Jag Bryter Nacken Av Din Häst”, “Du Har Keps Och Knarkar” or “Utvecklingsstörd” made the crowd go wild in mosh circles and loud sing-alongs, proving my point.
At some point, close to the end, TEoG-Kriss joined on stage, not to sing but just to fool around with Barnet. Sadly I had already put away the camera, as the aforementioned mosh was too vicious for my bones’ sake and I had retreated to a safe point at the back. Yeah, it was that kind of show, that kind of party. (5/5)

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https://www.facebook.com/skitarg

A big thanks to Martin Efternamn for the help with the Skitarg song-titles.

Text & photos by Renata “Pieni” Lino.

European headlining tour for Of Mice & Men

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , on 19th February 2015 by Pieni

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In promotion of the reissue (or deluxe edition, if you prefer) of “Restoring Force”, now “Restoring Force: Full Circle”, Of Mice & Men will embark on an European headlining tour in March:

March 11 – Machine Moulin Rouge/Paris, FR
March 12 – Live Music Hall/Cologne, DE
March 13 – Melkweg/Amsterdam, NL
March 14 – Gruenspan/Hamburg, DE
March 16 – Tyrol/Stockholme, SE
March 17 – Tradgarn/Gothenburg, SE
March 19 – C Club/Berlin, DE
March 20 – Backstage Halle/Munich, DE
March 21 – Kofmehl/Solothurn, CH
March 23 – Substage/Karlsruhe, DE
March 24 – AB/Brussels, BE
March 26 – O2 Guildhall/Southampton, UK
March 27 – O2 Academy/Bristol, UK
March 28 – O2 Brixton Academy/London, UK
March 30 – Barrowlands/Glasgow, UK
March 31 – O2 Academy/Newcastle, UK
April 2 – Rock City/Nottingham, UK
April 3 – O2 Academy/Birmingham, UK
April 4 – Academy/Manchester, UK

The 2015 version of the album will hit the stores next Monday (23rd February) and includes three new songs and an acoustic version of “Feels Like Forever”, the full tracklist as follows:

 photo x7y3py34_zpstr1szmny.jpg01. Public Service Announcement
02. Feels Like Forever
03. Bones Exposed
04. Would You Still Be There
05. Glass Hearts
06. Another You
07. Break Free
08. You Make Me Sick
09. Identity Disorder
10. You’re Not Alone
11. Space Enough to Grow
12. Broken Generation
13. Something To Hide
14. Never Giving Up
15. Feels Like Forever (Acoustic Version)

Under the direction of Max Moore, the Orange County band has also filmed a video for one of the new songs, “Broken Generation”:

www.ofmiceandmenofficial.com/

www.facebook.com/ofmice/

More Than A Thousand w/ support – Porto, Portugal

Posted in Gig, Live with tags , , , , , , , , , , on 8th December 2014 by Pieni

More Than A Thousand, Devil In Me, Hills Have Eyes, Kandia
Hard Club, Porto (PT)
6th December 2014

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Last Saturday, Hard Club welcomed what is probably the best metalcore band in the country and their special guests, who are also high in the ranks of popularity around here. The result? An unforgettable, explosive night!

 photo _DSC0028_zpsf3c3054b.jpgFirst band on stage was Kandia, the “only local band”, as singer Nya would remark. She would also motivate the crowd by saying something like “let’s show these bands from the south that Porto knows how to rock”. Having just 20 minutes to play (“but sometimes quickies are good too, right?”, she teased), and also to give something different to the fans who have been seeing their recent shows, they’ve replaced “Caution + New Breed” with “Noise + All Is Gone” as the kick-off of the gig. The crowd was very responsive to Kandia, which was really good to see, since the other three bands were much more aggressive and I wasn’t sure how their fans would react to Kandia’s alternative rock.
As I said before, when reviewing their concert at Vagos Open Air, even though all musicians put their heart and soul in the performance, it’s Nya who gets the ultimate prize in stage attitude, enhancing the energy and emotion of the songs – the last one of their short but enthralling set being “Karma”. (5 / 5)

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www.facebook.com/Kandiamusic

 photo _DSC0095_zps1558035b.jpgHills Have Eyes took some time to get on stage as there was some problem with the sound. People were getting impatient and eventually the show started, even if the tech wasn’t 100% satisfied with the sound. But the crowd clearly didn’t care – when a band puts up a show like Hills Have Eyes does, imperfect sound is a minor detail. Such an adrenaline discharge! At some point singer Fábio Batista asked who was seeing Hills Have Eyes for the first time and a bunch of arms were raised. But that didn’t mean they’d never heard of them before, ‘cause the choir of voices singing along the songs was way too loud. And those who weren’t singing, were vigorously headbanging or moshing – Hills Have Eyes are definitely loved and everybody wanted to shake Fábio‘s hand when he jumped in the pit and greeted the fans.
When you don’t have too much time to play, it’s only natural that you focus on your latest work and neglect the older stuff. That’s what Hills Have Eyes did (as much as I’d have loved to listen to “Daydreaming Isn’t So Good After All”, for instance)– the set was almost entirely focused on “Strangers”, the “almost” meaning a new song called “Bringer Of Rain”. Since “Strangers” was released in 2012, it’s about time its follow-up starts getting shape!
Just like the studio version, Vasco Ramos from More Than A Thousand joined Fábio on stage to sing “Anyway, It’s Gone”, and then the title-track of “Strangers” closed a gig that lasted a bit longer than Kandia’s but still not long enough. Hills Have Eyes have just been added to my bands-to-see-as-headliners list. (5 / 5)

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www.facebook.com/hillshaveeyes

 photo _DSC0482_zps4ee3ba12.jpgDevil In Me was the only band I didn’t know, even though, apparently, they’re quite big. But then again, hardcore isn’t really my area of expertise… Their light show was poor, so I could barely see the guys. Singer Poli paced around like a wild animal in a cage, guitarist Matos stretched his legs in high jumps… I guess that even if the lights were clearer, I’d still have trouble seeing more than blurs of movement. Okay, I’m exaggerating, but I can’t find another way to pass through the idea of the blitz that was going on up there. And down there too, as the mosh and crowdsurfing was soon matching the aggression of the sound.
Three albums out, the fourth, “Soul Rebel”, is on its way. So among songs like “Only God Can Judge Me” and “The End”, we got to hear the title-track of that upcoming record and even sing along the chorus, as singer Poli made us scream “like a lion” in response to his “soul rebel”. The crowd roared like lions indeed.
There’s no hardcore band who doesn’t point a finger to the joke that’s our political and economic situation, but among that Poli said something else, something more positive – “when you’re at home, listening to music, listen to it with open ears, ‘cause music is much more than clothes and appearance, it sends a message”. Nice! (5 / 5)

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www.facebook.com/devilinmeband

 photo _DSC0573a_zps8488e600.jpgI won’t say that there were “more than a thousand” people watching the show not just because it would be a tacky pun but also because it wouldn’t be accurate – one thousand is precisely the capacity of Hard Club and there was still room to breathe. But barely! And since they’d played at that very venue, for the same number (give or take) of people, just nine months before, that says A LOT about More Than A Thousand. And if we used emoticons here on Valkyrian, here’s where I’d put a heart.
The setlist was pretty similar to that one of March (and this is a mere statement, not at all a complaint), replacing “Lost At Home” for “Cross My Heart”, and “Black Hearts” and “Make Friends And Enemies” for an “old school 5-track medley” – something Vasco claimed that they’d never done before.
And the order of the other songs was changed, like opening with “Feed The Caskets” (my personal favorite) or “We Wrote A Song About You” being played more or less in the middle of the show. For this one, like in March, and in so many others whenever Fábio is available, the singer of Hills Have Eyes joined in. The two bands have been close friends for a long while, and one can tell by the way Vasco and Fábio insult each other – “but we like each other very much. It’s something gay”, said Vasco.
Unchanged were “Midnight Calls” and “In Loving Memory (Life Flashes)”, when Vasco stood alone on stage, playing the guitar himself. And the mandatory “No Bad Blood” closing it up with golden key – hearing the whole room singing “this is who we are, tonight we’ll stay together” is especially flesh-crawling. (5 / 5)

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www.facebook.com/morethanathousand

Vasco thanked the other bands and everybody who got out of the house to support Portuguese bands, but he forgot someone: the ONLY security guy who did a hell of a job handing the moshers and crowdsurfers all by himself. I tip my hat to you, Joel!

Text & photos by Renata “Pieni” Lino

One year later – interview with THE END OF GRACE

Posted in Interview with tags , , , , on 2nd December 2014 by Pieni

Formed in December 2012 between Stockholm and Gothenburg, THE END OF GRACE has been under my radar practically ever since. I made sure to be present on their live debut, at Rockbitch Boat 2013, and took the chance to interview them at the time (read it here). Now, exactly one year later, the boys played the same event… and there I went again, and had a chat with them, again. I sat down with Johan (clean vocals/bass), Jimmy (guitar) and Thomas (drums), and eventually Kriss (growls) joined us. And what was supposed to be just a quick catching-u, ended up being quite a long conversation, both riveting and amusing.

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Renata: It’s been exactly one year since your first show, but you’ve played quite a few meanwhile. What was the best and worst experience you’ve had so far?
Jimmy Bergman: The best experience was when we were on tour with OUTTRIGER. It was so much fun!
Thomas Manell: Actually… no! ‘Cause Johan wasn’t there!
Jimmy: Yeah, I know, but it was really amazing for us!
Thomas: What do you have to say about that, Johan?
Johan Hagman: Well, I had the best time of my life when you were out there touring, so… (laughs)

Renata: So for you, Johan, what was your best show?
Johan: It was NOT the OUTTRIGER tour… (laughs). I don’t know. It was really fun last night, actually. It really felt like people stepped out to the plate. After one year we’ve hopefully grown together that much, so it felt good, it felt cool. I think that was one of the best shows. But soundwise it must have been Sticky Fingers because they have the best sound. Now the worst show…
Jimmy: That was also the OUTTRIGER tour (laughs). There were like… four people!
Johan: Ha, now I get it. But we had so many shows with crappy sound…
Thomas: Kryptan…
Jimmy: Definitely Kryptan!
Johan: Oooooh! Sure, sure! Kryptan!
Thomas: It was very well set, we got hotel rooms, food, beer…
Johan: Too much beer…
Thomas: True, we had too much beer. Anyway, they took care of us but the show itself was just… terrible!
Johan: The sound was terrible and we got drunk. After that we decided not to drink again before shows.
 photo _DSC0040_zps5cfc20ac.jpgThomas: Robert (Åkerlund, guitar) was sooooo pissed, yelling at the sound guy. We had programmed all the sound before, the soundcheck took like one hour and a half, two hours – which is extremely long for a soundcheck – and then when we’re supposed to start playing, everything that they had memorized is gone! As for the funniest experience, I think it was with SEVENTRIBE. That tour we played in Linköping, Gothenburg and Stockholm? That was really much fun. And the Rockbitch Boat this year and last year. It’s a good event, there are lots of people… and we get to hang out.

Renata: I remember that last year, your first show was also the first time the five of you were playing together. That’s still your MO, rehearsing separately?
Johan: Didn’t you hear our soundcheck last night?
Thomas: That was rehearsal! (laughs)
Johan: That was the first time we’ve all played the new song (“Final Burden”) together, so that was rehearsal. We can’t rehearse but people can tell that we focus on the positive sides. We do what we do and it works.

Renata: Speaking about “Final Burden”, the reception by the crowd was so great! Were you expecting that?
Johan: I think people are embracing the new sound. That new song is harder and I think people like that. I saw what bands the kids out there had on their t-shirts and it’s right down our alley. And we’ve been talking about sounds for soooo long… So if one song, that no one ever heard, gets that reaction…
Thomas: It’s such a good thing!

Renata: Which reminds me that you, Johan, were afraid of ruining the TEoG sound given your hardcore preference/influence, but after listening both “Beneath The Waves” and now “Final Burden”, I don’t think anything’s ruined at all – just as I expected!
Johan: Ah, but “Beneath The Waves” was written long before!
Jimmy: It was maybe the first song we did with THE END OF GRACE.
Johan: Anyway, it was never a problem. We’re so open now, we have the sound that we’re aiming for. I was unsure at the time but it’s really never been a problem.

Renata: So in comparison to “Lost In Transition”, what can the fans expect from this upcoming new album? photo _DSC0291_zps8ea75ad2.jpg
Jimmy: Faster riffs. And more riffs in the songs.
Johan: Yes, much more riffs! More breakdowns too.
Jimmy: Really fast drums…
Thomas: Yeah, we’ll see about that… (laughs).
Johan: Cleaner. Better.
Jimmy: Harder.
Johan: More… us, in my opinion. More Kriss, more me, more Jimmy, more Robert, more Thomas… You know, we can send a metalcore song to Thomas and then he grooves it up. That’s the funny thing – we want the drums in a certain way but then he… I can’t explain it! It gets groovy! All of a sudden it’s groovy. What the fuck, this works! It’s not supposed to, it was supposed to be a drum machine! (laughs) But yeah, faster, heavier, and even more focused on the choruses.

Renata: On that first gig, Robert was still a stand-in guitarist, replacing Sulan Von Zoomlander. What did he bring to the band when he became a permanent member of TEoG?
Thomas: Yesterday me and Johan were talking about how Jimmy and Robert work together as guitarists. Not just how they play but what they do on stage – taking each side, jumping on the speakers and just giving it all to the audience. That’s one of the things that tells you how well they work together.
Johan: They have a healthy rivalry. If Jimmy does something, Robert has to do it too but he has to do it a bit better. And then Jimmy has to best him… you know?
Thomas: And you said that it makes YOU want to do better!
Johan: Exactly! Hopefully I can make them do what they do and feel comfortable around me, ‘cause I can’t play bass that well, I just focus on banging my head and then they can focus on doing their shit. And then all of a sudden they’re standing on speakers! (laughs) It feels like they get fired up from each other and it’s “fuck it, I have to do better than him”.

Renata: So you’re more consistent, more whole as a band?
Johan: I hope so! But it comes with baggage. We’ve been playing together for so long (Jimmy, Johan and Robert played in ROAD TO REPENT before THE END OF GRACE) and we all know each other so well that it’s easy to fall into the trap of doing it as we used to. The same problems, the same issues, same discussions… That hasn’t been a problem yet but I believe it won’t be as we’re more open now.
Renata: And you’ve been through that before, so now you know how to find a way.
Thomas: You’ve learnt from it.
Johan: And especially with this band, where we never see each other. With the other band it was three times a week, but this time we never see each other.
Renata: You don’t have time to get tired of each other.
Johan: Exactly! It’s a blessing and a curse (laughs).

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Renata: Last time we also talked about making a video (which you ended up doing for “Beneath The Waves”) and how the budget was the biggest obstacle. What we didn’t talk about was – if you had an unlimited budget, how would you like to make a video?
Thomas: Personally, I’m not a big fans of videos where you just see the band standing and playing in a certain scenario. I’d like to try animations and stuff like that. Try to build a story – fiction or whatever. That would be cool.
Renata: Any special storyline in your head already?
Thomas: No, that would depend on the song.
Renata: Something according to the lyrics then. And you guys?
Jimmy: I’m with Thomas. I don’t like to see just the band, I want a story behind it. It’s more fun to see.
Renata: Animation too or… ?
Jimmy: I hope for a big production actually. Girls… cars… you name it.
Johan (while Thomas laughs): What the fuck?! Have you even heard what you’ve said? “We want girls, we want cars”… whaaat??? (laughs).
Thomas: One of my favorite bands nowadays, I think I actually like their videos more than their music… (pauses) well, they’re both good.
Johan: They are called THE END OF GRACE(laughs).
Thomas: They’re called OK GO – definitely no metalcore but I love their music videos. They’re in them themselves where they do all these fucked up things. In one (“This Too Shall Pass”) they have these Rube Goldberg machines and they jump from one to another, just like a domino. They drop one domino and it goes all the way around through the whole music video. That kind of things! So it’s interesting to see the video.
Renata: It catches your attention.
Jimmy: Girls… cars… (laughs).
Johan: BRUDAR (girls in Swedish)! Well I don’t have a problem with a performance video. I think it’s cool, more old-school-ish, but it depends on how you do it. it’s not good to see a performance video shot from one angle, you have to do something else, something special. Like in BULLET FOR MY VALENTINE’s video “Tears Don’t Fall” where they introduce the water, and then you have their song “Hand Of Blood” where they go SLAYER and it’s raining blood and shit like that. That’s cool. Of course I could see something with a storyline and I think lyrical meaning works really well.

Renata: You’ve told me last year how the expression “deathcore popcorn” came about. Tell me now about the “angry pop” hashtag that I’ve been seeing in all your Instragram photos!
Jimmy: Yeaaaaah… that was me. Again (grins). There’s this band that I won’t say the name where the guy hates metalcore. He called it “angry pop”. But I actually think it’s perfect for us! We ARE an angry pop band! So I took it!

Thomas: And Kriss is here! We can do all the questions again… (laughs).

Renata: Is there anything about this past year that you want to share? Something that’s happened or that you’ve planned for the near future?
Jimmy: World domination! (laughs).
Thomas: Jimmy is moving to Gothenburg, close to Kriss, and I only have two hours of driving to Gothenburg from where I live…
Renata: So it’s not world domination, it’s world chaos…
Thomas: Ha ha, yeah, it’s world chaos! But I think that’s going to change a bit how we’ll work from now on. We will be able to rehearse and Johan and Robert can come down once in a while.
Kriss Panic: I happen to know a flashy new studio.
Johan: Progress! We’ve got a practice room! And we’ve got an album…
Renata: Any idea of when it’s going to be released?
Johan: Let’s say… we don’t. It’s better that way. We’ve got the songs. That’s it for now.

Renata: What about “Final Burden”? Will it be released as a single?
Johan: It’s just a new song. I don’t know about the other guys, we haven’t talked face-to-face about it yet, but in my opinion it’s just a new song.
Thomas: You’re so mysterious! (laughs)

Renata: I think it’s good to keep some things to yourselves. Nowadays things are posted on the internet so on-the-spot, every idea that later it doesn’t sound so good anymore or just can’t be fulfilled. I remember, for instance, someone posting “TEoG is so unstable!”, when Sulan left, because you’ve had all those line-up changes before. But that’s common in the beginning. So many major bands went through it but at the time there was no Facebook to post about it and so you’d only come to know the line-up that would be playing a show or recording an album.
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Johan: It’s so easy to post stuff on Facebook. It’s better to be a bit more careful. But when it comes to stability, this band it’s not unstable AT ALL. There will be no more line-up changes. I don’t think any of us would want to keep on playing if someone would quit right now. It’s a special feeling. If Kriss would leave, how would we ever find someone who could… what did Robert say? It was in Swedish and I can’t find the right words in English.
Thomas: Oh yeah, last night! It was so beautiful!
Renata: Call him!
Johan: He’s asleep, he’s hung-over (laughs). It was something like Kriss being able to suck the audience in and make them feel like they’re right there in your face.
Thomas: Exactly! Thar Kriss can make that person in the back of the room feel like he’s in front of the stage. His way of entertaining. He really REALLY entertains the audience. That is something that’s unique and it has become a sort of a trademark for us. We’re a live band after all.
Kriss: This is maybe weird for a singer to say, but my inspiration on stage isn’t any singer. It’s actually Jimi Hendrix. I see myself inside Jimi. I don’t always sing the same way ‘cause I think that makes a better show. If you’ve seen us a bunch of times, and you see the same thing over and over again, I think it gets boring. So I change it. Not all of the time, I’d say 90% of it it’s the same, but I switch things around a little bit. I think music is organic and you can change things, especially on a live show. When you write music, in your head it’s dead on. but once you’ve sung it or played a bunch of times, you think “oh, I wish I’ve done this way, I wish I’ve done it that way” and it’s always a kind of progression. Maybe not so much with the guitars, but with vocals it’s fun to do.
Johan: And there’s room for it.
Kriss: That’s why I love you guys because none of you goes “uh, what the fuck?”. It’s fun, you know? Have fun on the fucking stage! Enjoy what you do! That’s the more important thing. And the crowd sees you having fun and that you’re digging it… We’re on a journey for every show, so follow us!
Thomas: Like yesterday. I think we had a great crowd, considering the fact that we were the first band out and people were still drinking in their cabins or whatever. But we had a great crowd who built a fucking mosh pit! That gives you a special feeling.

Renata: That thing you’ve said of “enjoying what you do” being the most important thing. I totally agree. I think you have to please yourselves first. It pisses me off when some people accuse a band of disregarding their fans just because they wanted to try something new.
 photo _DSC0251_zpsb1e38e02.jpgKriss: I think it’s a fine line. As a band, from a business side – which I deal with (Kriss is a promoter and band booker for Klubb Defused at Sticky Fingers) – sometimes you have to put yourself out for others. We are a metalcore band, by definition, and within those boundaries you can mess around but… SLIPKNOT have made pretty much the same album for four albums but they love it. They’ve now changed their sound and developed it. I think that’s the way forward. I don’t think we’ll be needing to make a radical departure from our sound, we’re not going to turn into SABATON anytime soon, but you can evolve, you can grow the music. And for us, the way we’re set up – living in different parts of the country – we do our best to put up the best possible show that we can. But I think that from day one it’s just been about the energy. Pure pure energy. I believe that if you’re going to do a show and people come and pay money to see that shit, you’re not going to just stand there. We’re not a dance band, we’re not going to be still… we get into it, it’s fuckin metal! You shake your head and jump around the stage. That makes for a great show, it’s what people want to see. If you’re on a boat like this, with 30 bands, how do you separate yourself from the others? I figure you just go in the attitude “I’m going to blow everyone away in this fucking killer live show”. And I also think heavy metal fans are very forgiving about certain things. To me the most important thing is to see a killer live show, people giving it all. I think the crowd respects that more. I know a lot of bands who can stand there and be super tight but that’s not a live show to me, that’s listening to a cd. And if I want to listen to a cd, I can do that back home. I want to see some guys shake their heads up and down. I had my club night and I saw I KILLED THE PROM QUEEN. They played at Sticky Fingers at the small stage and I’ve never seen a band make that stage look so big. It’s the tiniest stage, you’ve seen us on there, and they just made it seem huge. And I think that’s the key, if you can nail that. Last night the stage was really small but we made it look fucking huge. We opened up. We’ve played with some bands and they’ve not learned how to use the stage yet, while we just kind of go in and… If there’s something to jump on, we’re on it! If something provides me a fucking hangoff, I’m doing it! I’m going to bring this fucking whole show into your face. Jump into the audience… I’ll join your moshing! You know, let’s do this!
Thomas: It gets more natural to do that because we’re not getting together that often. So every time we meet for a gig it’s like… I’m going to be super Swedish now, but it’s like when you let the cows out in the spring, they go super happy. photo _DSC0075_zps7968191c.jpg
Johan: We’re like cattle, that’s what you’re saying…
Thomas: Yeah, we’re like cattle, man (laughs). I love these guys, both as persons and as my fellow musicians. Being up on stage and playing with them it’s the best thing I know. And that reflects itself, people can tell. You can go up and do a great show as a band but it can be fake, like a built-up show. But it comes natural for us. Being us is enough. (Addressing Kriss) what was it that you said about a year ago, in Stockholm, at Pub Anchor? “I’m just being me” or something.
Kriss: Oh, right! “I don’t do pressure, I just do me”. In the beginning I had nerves doing shows with the boys, but now it’s just a relaxed and calm feeling. It’s like a relationship you have with someone, in a sense that when you first start you’re always a bit tentative but then, after a certain amount of time… It’s like my relationship with my girlfriend, I wake up in the morning and it’s just natural. And that’s what it’s like being on stage. Right now it’s just natural, everyone’s very comfortable with what’s going on. I have to say I’m super stoked that Johan’s back ‘cause he’s poured the energy back into the band, especially on this boat. We just missed that, it’s just not the same. Niklas (Aggemyr, THROUGH THE CRACKS) did a great job but we can’t replicate Johan. He’s that little bit of glue that binds us together.
Thomas: And for those of you who can’t see it, Johan has a tear in his eye. (laughs)

Kriss: One thing I love is watching all of us develop as human beings, not just as musicians. Like Johan getting married, I’m getting married next year… we are all in a different place, we’re not that band just going out trying to score chicks. We’re just about playing music, literally. And I think that’s more positive. We’ll have a drink, as we did last night, have some fun, but it’s more focused on the music. And I think that’s a more positive thing for us because that really comes out. We’re not worrying about other shit and we’re more together as a band because of that.
Johan: We want to be positive. We are all positive beings. photo _DSC0200_zps5588e570.jpg
Kriss: We were talking about lyrics… how do you write metal that’s positive? It’s quite a difficult thing! ‘Cause the way I sing it’s pretty brutal at times, so how do you turn that into positivity? Me and Johan had talked about it and I think you can still be angry but positive at the same time. Obviously it’s metal, we’re not going to sit and write love songs in that way. We ain’t gonna be Barry White(laughs)
Johan: As Kriss said, metal, traditionally, is angry and it’s a great way to get all your frustrations out. And most lyrics are kind of negative. And I think the future is being able to write songs about positive things because, like I said, no one in this band is a bad dude.
Kriss: I’m a badass dude, what are you talking about? (laughs)
Thomas: But he has a big heart.
Johan: That’s the thing! Everyone has a big heart! Why should we not show that in our lyrics? There’s not a song in the new album that involves anything negative.
Kriss: I think we’ve developed. It’s still angry but we’re just taking a different perspective on things. We’ve changed as human beings since the first stuff came out. I think we’re just trying to connect with people from a different angle, it’s more about personal experiences than anything else.
Johan: Just take “Final Burden”. It’s an angry song but it’s anger towards yourself, to what you’ve done, what you have to become to be a better person. We all want to be better persons, we all NEED to be better persons. Why not write music about that instead of “I wanna fucking kill you”? (starts singing SLIPKNOT’s “Disasterpiece”). Nothing wrong with that, but… I’m really really proud of the lyrical meaning for all of the songs now because we’re all positive dudes, we should make music about positive messages.

TEoG official Facebook

Text & photos by Renata “Pieni” Lino

Sonic Syndicate – Sonic Syndicate

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on 3rd July 2014 by Pieni

 Sonic Syndicate
“Sonic Syndicate”
Modern metal
To be released on 7th July 2014
Via Nuclear Blast Records

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Being a die-hard fan of Sonic Syndicate, to say I was eager for this album is quite an understatement. But precisely due that “die-hardness”, I knew how this 4-year hiatus was necessary, after the new challenges the boys and girl had to face in their lives, both as musicians and human beings. Now if you ask “was the wait worth it?”, I’ll ask back “is that a trick question?!”.

Generally speaking, it’s heavier, brisker and more intense and daring than anything they’ve ever done. On detail: “Day Of The Dead” kicks off with a dark and ominous instrumental work that lasts 33 seconds before exploding into something massive – a pounding drum pattern, defiant guitar riffs that the bass line, as subtle as it is, still strengthens, the deep and angry vocals and the electronics popping up here and there, just for seasoning. The synths become more solid, although playing in the background, during the chorus, where there’s also more melody and the clean vocals kick in, aiming for (and scoring) catchiness.

In “Black Hole Halo”, on the other hand, the synths are very much alive, which doesn’t cut the heaviness down at all – not even in that break around minute 3:20, where for brief seconds you’ll feel like you’re in a rave.

“Long Road Home” is probably the most sharp-edged song here, followed by “It Takes Me”, in contrast to the ballad “Unbreakable”. Although “ballad” doesn’t quite cover it. Sure, it’s the most sweet-sounding track, but there are a few little outbursts of energy that don’t comply with your average definition of “ballad”.

Suiting its title, “My Revenge” is darkly menacing (even if Nathan Biggs sings that “this is not a threat”). Speaking of whom, I take the chance to highly praise his vocal skills, a wide range of pitches and styles that are finally revealed in full.

Still he called on Björn “Speed” Strid, from Soilwork, to help him singing in “Before You Finally Break” and the outcome is stunning, one voice completing the other. The song itself is already brilliant, that twist the chorus takes in its rhythm a true breath of fresh air within the modern metal/metalcore songwriting. Way to go, Mr. Robin Sjunnesson!

“Catching Fire” has a rock seduction to it and a quite classy guitar solo (yes, you read it well – a solo. It’s rare, but it does happen once in a while).

“See What I See” is straight-forward riot act with one of the most melodic choruses in the album. But “So Addicted” has one of the most enthralling, probably given the level of emotion the song pours out. And there’s something victorious about “The Flame That Changed The World”.

There’s also three bonus tracks that my promotional copy didn’t include, but given everything I’ve already told you about “Sonic Syndicate”, it’s safe to assume they meet the same quality standards of the rest of the track list.

For the talent I know they have, I was sure they wouldn’t let me down. But I can’t help smiling like a child on Christmas morning when I listen to this album and see that faith totally rewarded.

5 / 5

By Renata “Pieni” Lino

We Came As Romans at HMV Dublin on 18th June

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , on 16th June 2014 by Pieni

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For the first time in their career, We Came As Romans are about to play a couple of shows in Ireland. And in addition to it, they will perform an acoustic session and in-store signing in Dublin, at HMV – Grafton Street, on Wednesday 18th June, between 13:00 and 14:00.

The two Irish gigs are at the following locations:

17.06.14 Northern Ireland Belfast @ Mandella Hall
18.06.14 Ireland Dublin @ Fibber Magees

www.wecameasromans.com
www.facebook.com/wecameasromans
www.nuclearblast.de/wecameasromans

The End Of Grace release video for “Beneath The Waves”

Posted in News with tags , , , , , on 28th February 2014 by Pieni

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The End Of Grace new single, “Beneath The Waves”, has been available on iTunes and Spotify since midnight. Several comments from fans on social networks (Facebook, Instragram…) claim that this is their best song so far.

The band feels the same and thought a video for it was in order. It has just been released on their official YouTube channel:

TEoG online:
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