Archive for Metallica

Metallica live in Hämeenlinna

Posted in Gig, Live with tags , , , , , on 17th July 2019 by izaforestspirit

Bokassa, Ghost, Metallica
Kantolan Tapahtumapuisto, Hämeenlinna, Finland
16th July 2019

Metallica, it’s been a while… The last time I was at a Metallica show was back in 2007 when I still lived in The U.K. They were and, in many ways, still are one of my favourite bands. I have always hoped that some day I will get to see them live again and this year I finally got that opportunity. This was one of the main events that I was looking forward to. This time the venue was Kantolan Tapahtumapuisto (Kantola Event Park) near the city centre of Hämeenlinna. I do not normally travel to Hämeenlinna and this was my very first time at the venue so I planned my trip well in advance.

Everything went as planned. The one thing that I cannot predict too well however is the weather. It was sunny when I arrived, then there was some heavy rain and thunder just I approached to the entrance. Luckily it did not last long and it had mostly cleared up by the time Bokassa took to the stage. I’m not really into stoner-punk but I have to admit that they were entertaining to watch. It was far more energetic than your average stoner rock, so not a bad start to the night. 3/5

I never really understood the hype surrounding the Swedish hard rock band Ghost. I keep hearing their songs on the radio and seeing their videos on Youtube. Yet I find it hard to fathom why they are so well regarded. I mean if you ignore the elaborate outfits and the imagery, the music itself is good but nothing ground-breaking. This was the first time that I have seen them live and I actually liked the performance. Their singer, Cardinal Copia, as he now calls himself, has a very charismatic stage presence. 4/5

Then it was time for the main event. The Metallica show was absolutely spectacular. They played most of the classic hits including: ‘Master of Puppets’, ‘Enter Sandman’, ‘One’, For Whom The Bell Tolls’, ‘Nothing Else Matters’, ‘Seek and Destroy’. The set also featured some songs from the mid-career period and several from the latest release ‘Hardwired to Self-Destruct’. There was pyrotechnics, lots of visual displays and even fireworks at the end. One of my favourite moments was the Rob and Kirk guitar medley when the performed a cover a Finnish rock classic – Popeda’s ‘Kuuma Kesä’. I could have done without ‘Frantic’ from the dreaded ‘St. Anger’ album and perhaps played more songs from ‘Death Magnetic’ instead, but that is the only extremely minor fault with what was otherwise a flawless performance. 6/5

Overall, I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to see Metallica live again. Twelve years is a very long time to wait but it was totally worth it. The show was an experience that I will cherish for many years to come.

Iza Raittila

Trauma – As The World Dies

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on 20th August 2018 by izaforestspirit

Trauma
As The World Dies
Released 11th May 2018
Thrash Metal/Heavy Metal
Released via The Orchard

Trauma - As the World Dies
‘As The World Dies’ is the third album from the American thrash metal band Trauma. The band was originally formed by vocalist Donny Hillier in 1980 during the Bay Area Thrash Metal movement. The original line-up featured bassist Cliff Burton who then went on to join Metallica. Following the release of their debut album in 1984, the band went on a long hiatus before reforming again in 2013. The current line-up includes Greg Christian (ex-Testament) and former Danzig guitarist Joe Fraulob.

At first I thought that this was going to be one of those straightforward, classic thrash metal albums with fast, aggressive songs and shouting vocals. It turns out that’s not actually the case, there’s more to it than just that. The unmistakable Bay Area thrash metal sound is definitely present, audible in opening riffs and the drums on tracks such as the guitar-driven From Here to Hell. However, in addition to that there are also some more classic heavy metal elements such as melodic vocals, which reminded me a little of early Iron Maiden and to some extent Ozzy Osbourne. The guitar style and pace varies depending on the song ranging from the fast and furious to the melodic and more technical such as the title track.

Last Rites caught my attention as one of the slower tracks on here and probably the closest thing to a ballad. This time the guitars take a backseat and the song highlights Mr. Hillier’s impressive vocal range. Great vocals and an emotional performance. But, if you’re not a fan of ballads have no fear for there’s more ferocious thrash metal to come.

Overall ‘As World The World Dies’ turned out to be more complex than I originally thought. It’s a good mix of Bay Area thrash metal and classic heavy metal with enough variety to please fans of both genres.

4/5

Iza Raittila


 

Social Stain – Social Stain

Posted in Review with tags , , on 30th January 2017 by izaforestspirit

Social Stain
Social Stain
Released 13th January 2017
Hard Rock
Self-Released

‘Social Stain’ is the debut album from the Finnish hard rock band of the same name. The band was formed in 2014 by bassist Toni Broman and their sound is heavily influenced by ’90s hard rock and metal bands including Alice in Chains, Guns’N’Roses and mid-career (The Black Album/Load-era) Metallica.

We’re off to a good start with the first two tracks Breakout and Dead Man Talking paving the way towards what promises to be an action-packed joyride fueled by catchy guitar tunes and “sing along with your hands in the air” hard rock vocals. The Metallica influence is fairly easy to detect – both the guitars and the vocals have that Load-era Metallica vibe. Vocalist Teemu Kokkonen also likes to add the occasional “yeah!” to some of the songs, though nowhere near as often as Mr. Hetfield does. Social Stain have a fairly relaxed, rock’n’roll/punk attitude with the emphasis being more on having a good time rather creating any complex structures or dark and profound lyrics.

Then just when you think you have figured out what Social Stain are all about, they suddenly decide to slow down the pace and deliver a slower ballad, At Peace. This song proves that if you look past the easy going, punky attitude, you will discover that these four guys are skilled musicians who are totally committed to bringing you the best hard rock album that they can offer. But don’t worry if ballads aren’t your thing, just move on to the next song for more catchy, guitar driven hard rock tunes including the title track.

In summary, Social Stain clearly like their ’90s -style hard rock – denim, leather, beer, motorbikes etc. Yet there is nothing vintage about their music. Whilst this debut album definitely has that playful feel to it, it is also very well composed and performed. What’s great about it is there are no real filler tracks on here.

4/5

Iza Raittila

Iza’s Highlights of 2016 (Part 2: Metal)

Posted in Editorial/Opinionated, Misc. with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 31st December 2016 by izaforestspirit

Time for the second part of my highlights of 2016, the metal edition. This part was much harder to write than the first because it took me a long time to chose my top ten metal of albums and even longer to decide on the winner. So here are my top ten favourite metal releases of 2016:

1. Vader – The Empire
Genre: Death Metal

This year, Vader strikes back with ‘The Empire’… Let’s face it, they were kind of asking for comments like this with that kind of an album title. Star Wars jokes aside, this is a really good piece of work. If you’re looking for some new death metal to check out, I would strongly recommend this album. Unlike their previous work, the masterpiece that was ‘Tibi et Igni’, ‘The Empire’ shows a back to basics approach. No complex structures or atmospheric intros, just good, old-school thrashy death metal. Best tracks: ‘Iron Reign’, ‘No Gravity’ and ‘Army-Geddon’.

2. Rob Zombie – The Electric Warlock Acid Witch Satanic Orgy Celebration Dispenser
Genre: Hard Rock/Industrial Metal

This year’s runner up deserves an award for coming up with the one of the longest album titles in years. I tend to refer to it simply as ‘The Electric Warlock’… Whilst still no match for his first two albums, ‘The Electric Warlock’ is Rob Zombie’s best work in years. Favourite tracks ‘The Hideous Exhibitions of a Dedicated Gore Whore’, ‘In the Age of the Consecrated Vampire We All Get High’ and the ultra cheesy but super catchy ‘The Life and Times of a Teenage Rock God’.

3. Devilment – II- The Mephisto Waltzes
Symphonic Gothic Metal/ Groove Metal

For those of you who read my highlights of 2015, you might remember my comments on the latest Cradle of Filth album. This year their vocalist Dani Filth has been busy working on the second album for his other band Devilment. ‘II- The Mephisto Waltzes’ is a delightful opus which happily mixes a variety of metal genres including Gothic, symphonic and groove metal. There’s even a touch of humour in the lyrics and several references to horror movies, modern horror literature and art – most notably Alfred Hitchcock and Stephen King. Best tracks are ‘Hitchcock Blonde’, ‘Dea Della Morte’ and ‘Full, Dark No Stars’.

4. Mortiis – The Great Deceiver
Genre: Industrial Metal

Ever since the Norwegian musician Mortiis started his own band in the mid ’90s, there has been some debate as to what category their music fits into. The older works are very much dark ambient, followed by the synth-pop period of ‘Smell of Rain, turning into the latest era of industrial rock. Their latest effort, the ultra creepy -sounding ‘The Great Deceiver’ is undoubtedly their heaviest and most complex album to date which is why I chose to include it in my metal top 10. Best tracks: ‘Doppelganger’, ‘Demons are Back’ and ‘Shining Lamp of God’.

5. Moonsorrow – Jumalten aika
Genre: Pagan Black Metal

Moonsorrow caught my attention after I saw them live at Tampere Metal Meeting Festival in the summer. I like some of their older material and after hearing some of the new songs live I decided to check out their newest album ‘Jumalten aika’. This is one of those releases where there are no real outstanding tracks, but rather the whole album is worth listening to in full. It’s one of the best pieces of pagan black metal that I’ve heard in a long while.

6. The Vision Bleak – The Unknown
Genre: Gothic Horror Metal

German Gothic horror metal duo The Vision Bleak are back with a new album. ‘The Unknown’ struck me as being somewhat “Lovecraftian”, both in the visual concept of the cover art and the the lyrical themes. Musically it is in every bit that you can expect from a Vision Bleak album; eerie Gothic horror metal with some doom influences added creating the soundtrack to your worst nightmare. Best tracks ‘The Kindred of The Sunset’ and ‘Into the Unknown’.

7. Metallica – Hardwired…To Self-Destruct
Genre: Thrash Metal/Heavy Metal

Just in case anyone is wondering why the new Metallica is so low down on this list, the truth is that I expected it to be better than it turned out to be. After all, it’s been eight years since their last studio album. Needless to say that the expectations were high. I wasn’t expecting this to be another ‘Master of Puppets’ or ‘Ride the Lightning’ but I was hoping for something along the lines of ‘Death Magnetic’ which I really enjoyed. Luckily ‘Hardwired…To Self-Destruct’ isn’t as bad as ‘St. Anger’ but it’s hardly a masterpiece. To be honest I think that it would be have been better off as an EP with just four or five tracks instead of the 12 songs and 13 music videos. I definitely like the first disc more than the second one and my favourites include: ‘Moth To The Flame’, ‘Dream No More’ and ‘Spit Out The Bone’.

8. Sabaton – The Last Stand
Genre: Power Metal

Sabaton are one of the very few power metal bands that I like. I’ve always enjoyed their live shows and I’m very fond of the concept album ‘Carolus Rex’. As with all Sabaton albums, their latest piece of work doesn’t disappoint as far as the historical themes go. This one tells the stories of eleven defensive “last stand” battles. Each song focuses on a different battle from various historical events ranging from ancient Greece, medieval Scotland, the two World Wars to Japan at the time of the samurais. That sounds awesome in principal, if only the actual music was that good. Sadly it isn’t. It’s ok but not great and most of the time Sabaton are just recycling old ideas, changing the themes but making similar music. The only tracks that I liked are: ‘Shiroyama’, ‘The Last Battalion’ and ‘Blood at Bannockburn’.

9. DevilDriver
Trust No One
Genre: Groove Metal

DevilDriver - Trust No One

The only real groove metal entry on this list, ‘Trust No One’ is DevilDriver’s best work in years. It is an aggressive beast of guitar-driven groove metal made all the more powerful thanks to Dez Fafara’s vicious growls. Best tracks: ‘Trust No One’ and ‘Daybreak’.

10. Theatres des Vampires – Candyland
Genre: Gothic Metal

It’s been a while since the Italian Gothic metal band Theatres des Vampires have released anything new. I’ve been a fan of their music for many years and so I was keen to get my hands on a copy of their latest piece of work. ‘Candyland’ is somewhat more metal-sounding than its predecessor ‘Moonlight Waltz’. There are notably less vampire themes on here compared to the previous album but other than that not much has changed. Sonya Scarlet is still the key figure in Theatres des Vampires. Whilst I still prefer their older works, back when Lord Vampyr was still a member of the band, I did enjoy this album. Best tracks ‘The Morgana Effect’ and ‘Resurrection Mary’.

 
Biggest New Discovery: Powerwolf
Best live show of 2016: Powerwolf live in Tampere
Most anticipated albums of 2017:
Ex Deo – The Immortal Wars
New albums from Cradle of Filth and (hopefully) Behemoth.

That’s all from me for now. Happy New Year!

Metallica – Hardwired… to Self-Destruct

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on 25th November 2016 by mickbirchy

Metallica

Hardwired… To Self-Destruct

Heavy Metal, Thrash Metal

Released: 18 November 2016

via Blackened Records

So, it’s been 8 long years of buildup and hype. For many metal fans though, some trepidation. As Metallica don’t have a sparkling reputation for album releases. In my opinion, they haven’t made a solid album since “The Black Album”. I mean they’ve had the odd decent tune here and there. They just haven’t made a solid full album. So this album, Hardwired… To Self-Destruct was met with a lot of ears. How is it?…. It’s good. I’m not going to say great but it’s good. I think the whole thing is really damn good and definitely their best work in a long time. I guess it was too much to expect them to release a full on thrash album. Then again I don’t think they needed to.

The album sounds great. The production is sharp and they sound tight. Particularly on the title track ‘Hardwired… To Self-Destruct’ and on ‘Atlas, Rise’. The riffs are nice and they actually sound somewhat like Metallica. Weird, I know. Through both discs they’re pretty damn consistent. With a well composed and well arranged sound. It feels like someone took the time to put it together. I like the experimentation with other types of metal too. Ok, they’re not going crazy with this album, they’re playing it pretty safe, still it’s nice to hear.

Saying that though. I do feel that this album plods along at points. Never enough to get boring but it does feel a little long winded. This is way more apparent on disc two. Which feels like Metallica are overstaying their welcome. There are some nice riffs though, like the opening to ‘Confusion’ and I quite like the last song ‘Spit Out The Bone’ it was a good way to cap off the album. So hey not all bad there.

So, yeah Metallica are back. I’m not going to say this is a return to form. However, it is a solid album, and that’s all I really wanted from them. Just something that I can play and have a little fun with. Hardwired… works quite nicely. It’s got some brilliant songs, excellent guitar solos and it sounds like Metallica actually wanted to make this album. Which makes this a good album in my books.

3/5

Mick Birchall

More details about the new Metallica album

Posted in Misc., News, Studio Report with tags , on 12th September 2016 by izaforestspirit

Yes, it’s really happening… We’ve been hearing about Metallica working on a new album for quite some time now. Well, it turns that they really were working on some new material. The long-awaited follow up to ‘Death Magnetic’ and the ‘Beyond Magnetic’ EP will be entitled ‘Hardwired…to Self -Destruct‘. You can check out the cover below:

This will be a 2CD album featuring the following tracks:

Disc 1
1. Hardwired
2. Atlas, Rise!
3. Now That We’re Dead
4. Moth into Flame
5. Am I Savage?
6. Halo on Fire

Disc 2
1. Confusion
2. Dream No More
3. ManUNkind
4. Here Comes Revenge
5. Murder One
6. Spit Out the Bone

‘Hardwired…to Self-Destruct’ will also be available  in digital form via iTunes, on vinyl and as a 3CD deluxe edition featuring an extra disc with the demo versions of the songs plus the studio version of ‘Lords of Summer’. The official, worldwide release date is 18th November 2016 which also happens to be Kirk Hammett’s birthday.

For more details visit:

https://metallica.com/

https://www.facebook.com/Metallica

 

 

Machine Head reveal details for Killers & Kings

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , , on 13th March 2014 by Nico Davidson

Over twenty years combined with seven critically acclaimed albums and multiple world tours to their credit, very few can deny that Machine Head are one of THE kings of metal (Basically, eat your hearts out, Manowar).

This summer Nuclear Blast will have the enormous privilege of releasing Machine Head’s next full-length album, which is also the band’s debut for the label. In anticipation and to celebrate Record Store Day (19th April 2014), Nuclear Blast will be releasing a limited edition 10” featuring a demo version of a brand new track entitled Killers & Kings. Never heard or released before, Machine Head fans have been waiting for new music from the band for the last 3 years and Killers & Kings will not disappoint. Side B of the release will also feature Machine Head covering two tracks by the southern California hardcore outfit Ignite. Frontman Robb Flynn comments:

I remember growing up in the thrash scene and always wanting to hear the demo version of songs. You searched them out. Thankfully my buddy Jim was a big ‘tape trader,’ and through trading we had both Metallica demos, Exodus demos, bootlegs of songs sometimes ‘years’ before they came out. I knew how to play every note of Pleasure Of The Flesh by Exodus, easily two years before the record was out! My friends and I would debate the merits of each, but we all agreed, It was so much cooler to hear it BEFORE the album is out! So we’re gonna do that for you. I can’t wait for you guys to hear this stuff.

This limited edition 10” will also feature four alternate covers with two specific colours.

Killers & Kings 10” tracking listing:

Side One: “Killers & Kings” (demo version)
Side Two: “Our Darkest Days/Bleeding” (Ignite cover)

Machine Head are currently in the studio recording their eighth album for an early 2014 release, followed by a massive worldwide tour cycle.

Machine Head‘s most recent studio release, 2011’s Unto The Locust, entered The Billboard 200 chart at position No. 22 – putting them in the Top 25 for the first time in the band’s history. The album was the follow-up to the 2007 Grammy nominated metal milestone The Blackening, widely hailed as one of the finest metal albums of the last decade, which led the band to an extensive three-year tour, sharing the stage with such heavy hitters as Slipknot and Metallica.

Machine Head online:

http://machinehead1.com
http://facebook.com/MachineHead
http://youtube.com/machinehead

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Alestorm announced for Sonisphere 2014

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , on 13th February 2014 by Nico Davidson

Scottish pirates Alestorm have been announced for this year’s Sonisphere Festival, which already boasts the likes of Iron Maiden, Metallica, Slayer, Carnifex and more.

Sonisphere will be held at Knebworth Park on 4th – 6th July 2014.  Keep up to date with the very latest info on Sonisphere’s official sites at this location.

Alestorm have just arrived at Lasse Lammert’s LSD-Studio in Lübeck, Germany,  to record their 4th full-length album, which will be titled Sunset on the Golden Age.

Alestorm online:

http://facebook.com/alestormband/

 

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Sonisphere Festival announce more bands

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , , , on 6th January 2014 by Nico Davidson

Sonisphere Festival have proudly announced more bands for its return to Knebworth in July later this year. The first to be announced who will be joining the event’s headliners The Prodigy, Iron Maiden and Metallica are Australian hard rockers Airbourne, who have amassed a legion of fans over their decade-long existence, with a high-octane live show featuring lead singer and guitarist Joel O’Keefe’s outrageous showmanship. Joel O’Keefe comments:

Us four guys are seriously fired up and chomping at the bit to bring the ‘Black Dog Barking’ Tour to Knebworth. With monumental metal juggernauts Iron Maiden and Metallica coming to shake Knebworth to the core along with Bruce Dickinson also announcing it will be the last concert of the ‘Maiden England’ tour this is a rock’n’roll event in time that can’t be missed. We are deeply honored to have the green light for an Airbourne/Knebworth assault, to get out there on Knebworth’s hallowed ground in front of that sea of heavy metal maniacs and give them every ounce of blood sweat and energy we got… And afterwards we’ll grab a case of ice cold Trooper ale’s and watch the best heavy metal bands of all time! See ya there!

US rock group Alice In Chains, Swedish pop-doom act Ghost, French progressive metal lords Gojira and Australian five piece Karnivool are also amongst the list of bands to be announced for Sonisphere 2014. Alice In Chains lead vocalist and guitarist William DuVall comments:

We’re very excited to be playing once again at Sonisphere, particularly as this year has us joining our longtime friends in Metallica. It should be a fun ride for everyone – both on and off the stage.

And last but not least Mastodon are scheduled to make their first Sonisphere appearance since 2011 alongside a band that need no introductions: Slayer, as they bring their ferociously demonic live show back to Sonisphere, following their 2011 performance as part of the Big 4 line-up alongside Metallica, Megadeth and Anthrax. With their 11th studio album due for release in 2014, Slayer will be delivering their brand of skull-crushing heaviness louder and heavier than ever before. As guitar-god Kerry King says:

Great to be back at Sonisphere this year!! Always a giant party!!!

As previously announced The Prodigy, Iron Maiden and Metallica headline Sonisphere 2014, in an historic bill guaranteed to make Knebworth’s 40thAnniversary one of the most memorable events ever staged in the grounds, especially as it is the first time ever that Iron Maiden and Metallica have appeared together on the same bill in the UK.

Sonisphere 2014 marks the return to Britain of the Sonisphere Festival, which for the past five years has been the biggest pan-European festival, playing to audiences of over 1.5 Million fans. Early Bird Weekend tickets for Sonisphere 2014 are on sale now priced at £170 (limited availability). The highly popular deposit scheme will also be running from now until April, meaning fans will be able to reserve their tickets for an initial payment of just £50. Check the Sonisphere website for further details.

 

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Behemoth’s Nergal discusses imagery and concept behind video for Blow Your Trumpets Gabriel

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , on 18th December 2013 by Nico Davidson

Polish extreme metal legends Behemoth recently unveiled their video for Blow Your Trumpets Gabriel and it’s one of the most visual displays released by the band, as well as their most unique and startling masterpiece. The song is taken form the band’s upcoming album The Satanist, which was produced by Behemoth, Wojtek and Slawek Wieslawscy and Daniel Bergstrand in Hertz Studio. It was then mixed by Matt Hyde (Slayer) and mastered by Ted Jensen (Metallica, AC/DC) at Sterling Sound. The cover art, which is also being revealed today, is a painting by renowned Russian painter and occultist, Denis Forkas. Nergal‘s own blood was used in the paint when creating the cover artwork and additional artwork was created by Metastazis and Zbigniew Bielak.

Nuclear Blast, whom the band are currently signed to, recently had a chat with Behemoth’s frontman Nergal. The video below Nergal explains the concept behind the video and how Grupa 13 were able to make the band’s masterpiece a reality. The uncensored video for Blow Your Trumpets Gabriel can be viewed at this location.

The Blow Your Trumpets Gabriel digital single is available to buy on iTunes on and can be ordered here. Fans can also pre-order the Limited Edition CD + Bonus DVD version of the album over on Amazon at this location.

Behemoth online:

http://behemoth.pl
http://facebook.com/behemoth

Behemoth post third video teaser online

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

The legendary Polish extreme metallers Behemoth recently announced that they will release their long-awaited new album The Satanist in February 2014. The first official taste of the album will manifest in the form of the official single and video Blow Your Trumpets Gabriel. The video was produced by Grupa 13 and will be released 4th December. But a series of teaser videos can be seen online, including the new third teaser, which can be viewed below. The first and second teasers can be found at these locations: Teaser OneTeaser Two.

The Satanist was produced by Behemoth, Wojtek and Slawek Wieslawscy and Daniel Bergstrand in Hertz Studio. It was then mixed by Matt Hyde (Slayer) and mastered by Ted Jensen (Metallica, AC/DC) at Sterling Sound. The cover art, which will also be revealed on 4th December, is a painting by renowned Russian painter and occultist, Denis Forkas. Nergal‘s own blood was used in the paint when creating the cover artwork and additional artwork was created by Metastazis and Zbigniew Bielak.

The limited edition 12″ EP of Blow Your Trumpets Gabriel will be released on 4th December 2013 via Behemoth/New Aeon Musick in Europe and will be released as a gatefold with each copy hand numbered and signed by the band. There will be only 2,000 copies of the EP available: 1000 white and 1000 black.

The 12″ EP can be pre-ordered via Behemoth‘s webstore (white vinyl and black vinyl) and will contain the first single off of The Satanist, plus two non-album tracks: If I Were Cain and a cover from Polish Post-Punk New Wave legendary band SiekieraLudzie Wschodu. Pre-orders will also be available at indiemerch.com/metalbladerecords and nuclearblast.de.

The Blow Your Trumpets Gabriel digital single will be available to buy on iTunes on the 12th December.

Behemoth online:

http://behemoth.pl
http://facebook.com/behemoth

 

Behemoth prepare to unleash video for Blow Your Trumpets Gabriel; video confirmed as first official album teaser

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , , on 7th November 2013 by Nico Davidson

Infamous blackened death metal legends Behemoth recently announced that they’ll be releasing their new album the Satanist in 2014 and the first official glimpse of the album comes in the form of their new video Blow Your Trumpets Gabriel. The video, which was produced by Grupa 13, will be released on 4th December BUT a teaser can be viewed below.

The Satanist was produced by Behemoth, Wojtek and Slawek Wieslawscy and Daniel Bergstrand in Hertz Studio. It was then mixed by Matt Hyde (Slayer) and mastered by Ted Jensen (Metallica, AC/DC) at Sterling Sound. The cover art, which will also be revealed on  4th December, is a painting by renowned Russian painter and occultist, Denis Forkas. Nergal‘s own blood was used in the paint when creating the cover artwork and additional artwork was created by Metastazis and Zbigniew Bielak.

The limited edition 12″ EP of Blow Your Trumpets Gabriel will be released on 4th December via Behemoth/New Aeon Musick in Europe and will be released as a gatefold with each copy hand numbered and signed by the band. There will be only 2,000 copies of the EP available: 1000 white and 1000 black.

The 12″ EP can be pre-ordered via Behemoth‘s webstore (white vinyl and black vinyl) and will contain the first single off of The Satanist, plus two non-album tracks: If I Were Cain and a cover from Polish Post-Punk New Wave legendary band SiekieraLudzie Wschodu. Pre-orders will also be available at indiemerch.com/metalbladerecords and nuclearblast.de.

The Blow Your Trumpets Gabriel digital single will be available to buy on iTunes on the 12th December.

Behemoth online:

http://behemoth.pl
http://facebook.com/behemoth

Avenged Sevenfold and Rob Zombie announced for Download Festival 2014

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

Announced in the early hours of this morning on the official Download Festival Facebook pageAvenged Sevenfold will be headlining Friday 13th June. This will be their first time headlining Download Festival but it will also be the firs time they headline any UK festival, making it a very special occasion for the band and their fans. They’ll be joined by special guest and horror metal lord Rob Zombie, who is set to return to the main stage after his headline performance on the second stage back in 2011.

The next Download announcement will be made tomorrow at 8am. Standard tickets are currently available at 2013 prices for a limited time only. Click here to snap yours up.

Interview with Hiran Deraniyagala [Battlecross]

Posted in Interview with tags , , , , , , , on 21st August 2013 by hammersmashedlauren

Hailing from Detroit, Michigan, the boys of Battlecross have hit major success with the release of their albums Push Pull Destory, Pursuit of Honor, and their newest release War of Will. Playing with major metal acts and being a part of massive tours such as the Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival and Orion Music Fest, it’s no wonder that they’re well known and loved by many. They’ve taken influences of upbeat thrash, death and southern metal to create a sound that’s punishing but is also is refreshing for fans of metal.  I got the chance to catch up with Battlecross guitarist; Hiran Deraniyagala for a word or two about the new album; War Of Will as well as his musical inspirations and movies.

 

Lauren: How did you come up with the name Battlecross?

Hiran: Tony came up with it. I remember coming out of one of my classes in college and getting a text from Tony saying “What about Battlecross, as a band name?” I remember it just hit me really well. I loved it but like with all band names we always check the internet to see if anyone already had the name we came up with. No one had the name from what we could find so we both agreed it was an awesome name. It took some convincing to get the other band members to agree with it but eventually they just went with it. “Battlecross” to me represents something powerful, epic and aggressive which I think represents the music. I like the fact that our name can give people different expectations about how we sound versus a typical band name. People have assumed we’re a “Power Metal” band and obviously got something different from what they expected.

Lauren: Who are your biggest musical inspirations?

Hiran: In general I would say that we draw a common influence from Pantera, Metallica and Slayer but we each have our own musical influences that we draw influence from. Personally, I draw influence from various metal bands like Cannibal Corpse, Dying Fetus, Circle Of Dead Children, Pig Destroyer, Woe Of Tyrants, Goatwhore, Emperor, Meshuggah, Morbid Angel, Mastodon, Black Sabbath, Down, and local metal bands from Michigan like, Enkephalin, Summer Dying and GutRot. I’ve always been intrigued by the technicality and aggressiveness of extreme metal bands but also the groove of doom metal.

Lauren: How would you say your newest album, War of Will, differs from your previous releases?

Hiran: Yes definitely. War of Will is a much more focused and mature album for us. We grew as a band, from touring  and also mentally, from being in a different position as a full time touring band on a label. There are expectations that not only come from ourselves but from fans and the industry. We were under pressure to complete the album and had roughly a month or two to finish writing followed by a tour and then right into the studio. We didn’t let the pressure stop or deter us from what we had to do. We knew we had to kick it up a notch to top what we did on the first album but at the same time not lose who we are as a band. I think each song on this record has more of a dynamic. We didn’t want every song to sound the same or just play fast all the time. There’s more melody but still brutality on this record. With tracks like “Flesh and Bone” and “Wage a War” which have a lot of melody to them, then you have “Beast” and “The Will To Overcome” which reflect the brutality of the band and then songs like “Ghost Alive” and “Force Fed Lies” that are thrash style songs.

Lauren: How has touring been this last year?

Hiran: Touring has been great! We’ve had so many great opportunities that we had the pleasure of being a part of. From Trespass America with Five Finger Death Punch and Killswitch Engage, opening for In Flames, then Orion fest with Metallica and of course, Mayhem Festival with Rob Zombie, Mastodon, Amon Amarth, Children of Bodom, Machine Head and Huntress. All these tours have given us a chance to play in front of large crowds and have really helped us gain a quickly growing fan base. There a lot of bands that never get a chance to do these types of tours so we’re really thankful we’ve had the chance to be a part of these. Touring is hard work and a lot of dedication but when you bust ass and do tours like these it really makes the work all worthwhile. We’ve always been a hard working band and we know that this just the beginning to more opportunities. We don’t let these opportunities get to our head and we know that we’re still a young band that has more to prove but we’re ready.

Lauren: Have there been any memorable shows for you this last year?

Hiran: I would say most memorable show for us was Orion Music and More with Metallica. Playing a show with Metallica is a dream come true and we got to play with them in our hometown of Detroit! Not only did we play on the same bill with them but we got to be part of a press conference with the band! Out of all the great bands on the bill we were selected to do this! It was unreal and as a matter of fact I barely said a word at the press conference because I was so nervous! Never thought I would be sitting next to Metallica! To top it all off, James Hetfield and Robert Trujillo, came out on stage before we went on and introduced us! They pumped up the crowd and us! We went up there on fire and just burnt the place down with our energy and excitement. Truly a memorable and career highlight for us!

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

Hiran: I’m honestly more of a fan of scores when it comes to movies versus putting songs in a movie soundtrack. I really wouldn’t want to change the soundtrack of any particular movie I like because I feel like the music is already fitting for it but if I could I make my own movie with our music I would make an action movie. It’d be like the Expendables battling against the cast of all those dumb reality TV shows.

Lauren: Where would you like to see Battlecross in 5 years?

Hiran: My hope that our career is still thriving and that we will be touring all over the world. That’s all I really want from this band is a solid career and be playing anywhere and everywhere we can.

Lauren: Are there any plans for any upcoming tours or a new album?

Hiran: Definitely upcoming tours, we have a tour with Hatebreed, Shadows Fall and Acacia Strain this fall followed by a tour with Death Angel, 3 Inches Of Blood, Revocation and Diamond Plate! After that not sure what else is in store other than more touring and hopefully heading overseas! Can’t wait to play in Europe, South America, Japan and every where else on the globe! As far as a new album we’re not really focused on that yet other than working on some ideas on our own here and there.

Battlecross online:

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

Revocation – Revocation

Posted in Review with tags , , , , , on 19th August 2013 by Pieni

Revocation
Revocation
Released on 5th August 2013

Technical Death/Thrash Metal
Released via Relapse Records

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Naming their 4th album after themselves may not be very original, but apart from that, nothing seems to deserve being criticized in this “Revocation”. The thrash is more aggressive, the death is sharper, the prog is fiercer… every aspect is a notch or two more consistent.

Their best feature has always been the guitar work and the shredding-meets-technique of every track is remarkable – even if some riffs sound a bit familiar. Let me point a few highlights: “The Hive” made it to single, probably because it’s the most ferocious track in the album, the most straightforward in terms of brutality. The latter is less brisk in “Archfiend”, the guitars more polished, including a few moments of an acoustic one towards the end, leading to a fluid old school solo. “Fracked” has a very heavy metal initial rhythm, that eventually evolves to something more progressive and – once again in the solo – returns to a more classic and melodic tone. “Invidious” is the most exquisite and experimental track, blending everything that technical death is about with some banjo chords and gang vocals. There’s also a djent approach with the instrumental “Spastic”, and whoever gets the deluxe edition can also enjoy a very loyal cover of Metallica’s “Dyers Eve”. I confess I was hoping for a little revamp of the guitars, but there’s no significant changes there. But that’s just a cover, after all – what they had to do with their own songs to achieve a status of excellency, it was certainly done.

5/5

Renata “Pieni” Lino

Local band announced for MFVF

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

Local act Hell City have been announced for this year’s Metal Female Voices Festival at Oktoberhallen in Wieze, Belgium. The five piece classic metal outfit, whom are influenced by the likes of Iron Maiden, Metallica and Led Zepplin, will join the likes of Tarja Turunen, Stream of Passion, Delain and more for the three day festival from 18th – 20th October, later this year. Tickets and further information are available from the festival’s official website, which can be accessed by clicking the image below.

 

Metallica – Not performing Black album at Soundwave Festival

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

According to both Australian website Musicfeeds.com.au and BraveWords.com, Soundwave 2013 festival boss AJ Maddah has confirmed that thrash metal legends Metallica will not be doing a Black Album set at Soundwave, which they had done in their performances at a number of European festivals last year. The festival’s boss confirmed the news via Twitter when he tweeted: Not a rumour. They’re not doing Black Album.

The full dates for Soundwave 2013 are as follows:

February
23 – Brisbane, Australia – RNA Showgrounds
24 – Sydney , Australia – Olympic Park

March
1 – Melbourne, Australia – Flemington Racecourse
2 – Adelaide, Australia – Bonython Park
4 – Perth, Australia – Claremont Showground

The line-up for Soundwave 2013 features bands such as Anthrax, Slayer, The Sword and While She Sleeps, amongst others. The full line-up can be found at this location.

 

Astaroth End Silence With New Album To Be Released Later This Month

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

Legendary Italian metal pioneers Astaroth have announced the release of their first ever full-length album through She Wolf Records on 21st December. The album, entitled The End Of Silence, was produced by the band’s bassist, Saverio ‘Shining’ Principini, and engineered by Michael Tacci (Metallica, Whitesnake) in Los Angeles. The End Of Silence marks the band’s first new output since their 1985 cult classic, The Long Loud Silence mini-LP, and reunites the original members Principini, guitarist Max Cipicchia and drummer Jan D’Amore. American born newcomer Ace Alexander will be handling vocal duties in place of original frontman Bob Cattani.

This is the album we were supposed to make after The Long Loud Silence but didn’t get the chance to for a myriad of reasons“, stated  bassist Principini. “All of the songs we’ve recorded for The End Of Silence were originally written in the mid 80’s as we prepared for our second record. Luckily, we found a bunch of old murky live tapes which helped reignite our collective memories. Even though it’s now a quarter century later and everything’s changed so much, we feel that these recordings very much embody the original Astaroth spirit. This has been a total labor of love for all of us and we can’t wait to share this with our old fans as well as hopefully make a few new ones along the way.

The End Of Silence tracklisting:

‘My Sleeping Beauty’
‘Dilemma’
‘Nero’s Fire’
‘Apocalypse In The Living Room’
‘The Siren Song’
‘Dreams Die First’
‘Stand Or Fall Together’
‘In Spite Of Destiny’
‘Mystic As Tarot’
‘Chainless Slaves’

Excerpts of all the songs are posted in streaming audio at this location.

More on Astaroth here.

 

King Diamond sign worldwide deal with Metal Blade Records

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Brainwashed – Wrecked

Posted in Review with tags , , on 19th July 2012 by izaforestspirit

Brainwashed
Wrecked
Released: January 2011
Thrash Metal
Self-Released

‘Wrecked’ is the debut album from the Polish thrash metal band Brainwashed.

It doesn’t take long before the opening track ‘Bringing Out Of Death’ shows it’s true colors as the latest addition to the current thrash metal revival. You could call this a tribute the old school thrash metal, as this band started its career in 2004, so long after the golden age of thrash metal and the rise of the Big Four. The guitar riffs are pretty much what you would expect to hear from any band of this genre. The vocals remind of old Metallica as do some of the guitar solos on tracks such as ‘I, Leader’.

There’s nothing old school about the title track ‘Wrecked’ however, which owes more to the likes of Municipal Waste than to ’80s thrash metal. Luckily that doesn’t make the solos any worse than those on the previous tracks. In fact there’s something really catchy about the chorus and the riffs fit the overall style of the track. I’m not too keen on the change in vocal style on ‘Beast Within Me’; which is a shame in a way as the music itself isn’t too bad. Similar things apply to ‘Give Me Your Blood’ which, despite the variation of vocal style and overall song structure, retains some consistency when it comes to the guitar solos.

Other noteworthy tracks include: the old school style ‘Voices In My Head’, which features a good guitar solo, and ‘The Battle/Back To War’ which reminds me of the early works by Exodus.

3.5/5 – Overall not bad but somewhat lacking in consistency.

Iza Raittila