Archive for Music

Karisma Records sign jazz rockers Ossicles

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , on 19th March 2014 by Nico Solheim-Davidson

Karisma Records, the Norwegian label that focuses on the more progressive side of music, have recently signed jazz rockers Ossicles and will be releasing the duo’s follow-up album to their 2012 release Mantlepiece. The band will be entering the studio in the summer to begin recording and it is expected that the new, as yet untitled album, will hit the streets towards the end of the year.

Formed in 2011 by cousins Sondre Veland on drums, percussion, vocals and keyboards, and Bastian Veland on guitars, vocals, bass, upright bass and keyboards, Ossicles is, according to the band, a constantly evolving project that is influenced by genres as varied as jazz, rock, avent-garde, ambient, noise and minimalism.  Mantlepiece, which was a double album released on Ossicles‘ own label, No Weather Records,  was largely written when the two cousins were around the ages of 16 and 17, but also includes later material, as well as tracks written during the recording process itself.  On the strength of this release Ossicles was invited by Mike Portnoy to appear at the Progressive Nation at Sea Festival in 2014, an opportunity the band sadly had to turn down due to the high cost of travelling to the USA to join the ship in Miami.

Ossicles online:

http://ossiclesband.wix.com/ossicles
http://www.facebook.com/Ossicles

 

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Powerwolf – Preachers Of The Night

Posted in CD, Metal with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 25th August 2013 by Nico Solheim-Davidson

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

5/5

Nico Davidson

Powerwolf online:

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

 

Spires–Lucid Abstractions

Posted in CD, Folk with tags , , , , , , , on 21st July 2012 by Nico Solheim-Davidson

Spires
Lucid Abstrctions
Released: July 2012
Acoustic
Self-Released

Hailing from the rich and diverse metal scene of Manchester, come the progressive metal quarter Spires, a band who have received critical acclaim from radio, printed and online media since their debut release of Spiral Of Ascension, back in 2010. Following their recent tour of Ireland and a busy 2011, where they toured with Incassum and two slots at the UK’s biggest metal festival Bloodstock, Spires have released their highly anticipated acoustic EP.

The grimly titled Under Bloodstained Skies opens the EP under with calm riff and intense set of vocals that add that eerie touch to the lyrics. The title track Lucid Abstractions follows next, in three parts. The track begins rather mystically with almost jazz-like musicianship that leads into the more progressive styling of the band. The main vocals are soothing, whilst the guest vocals, provided by Talena Cuthbert, add a certain warmth to the song.

Perception takes a subtle approach to the music but keeping true to the progressive spirit of the band’s sound. The vocals really stand out yet blend in well at the same time. The cello sections, provided by Jacqueline Wilson, adds a unique touch to the song. The melodic riffs of Inevitability bring a very enchanting aspect to the EP. The final track is none other than Sprial Of Ascension, which does take some getting used to when listening to this version if you’ve already heard the original version on the album of the same name. However, the acoustic version does really capture the essence of the song and project across quite brilliantly, though when I listen to it, I can’t help but epect to start hearing some major extreme metal styled riffs.

Acoustic music isn’t really my thing, save for a few artists, but Spires really have proven to be a band with a diverse and unique style. Each track contains its own unique sound and spirit without betraying the band’s sound.

5/5

Nico Davidson

Diabolical Reveals Album Title And Tracklisting

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , on 5th July 2012 by izaforestspirit

DIABOLICAL have started the recording sessions for their fifth album – entitled “NEOGENESIS”.

Guitarist Carl Stjärnlöv explains the album title: “Apart from being a physiological term, the title ‘Neogenesis’ translates to ‘new beginning’. The word originates from greek and latin and it marks a new beginning for DIABOLICAL in many ways. Furthermore the title has a much more profound significance to the theme and concept of this album.”

The band entered Necromorbus Studio in June and have already recorded the basics for the whole album. The full “NEOGENESIS” track listing:

1. Into Oblivion
2. Metamorphosis
3. Oracle
4. Ex
5. World in Silence
6. Reincarnation of the Damned
7. Fields of Nihil
8. Dialogue with the Dead
9. Wolves’ Choir
10. The Age to Come
11. Humanitas

“The drum tracks laid down are amazing, and we are all very excited about continuing to work on ‘NEOGENESIS’. There are definitely some new flavors to our sound, and most importantly, the song material of ‘NEOGENESIS’ is by far the greatest we’ve done.” Carl concludes.

The band continues recording now at the infamous Necromorbus Studio facilities, with vocalist and guitarist Sverker Widgren producing once again.

The band is continuously reporting from the album production via their studio diary on youtube, second report being posted yesterday at:

For more information on ”NEOGENESIS”:

www.facebook.com/diabolicalofficial

Dragonforce – The Power Within [2012]

Posted in CD, Metal with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on 17th April 2012 by underthenorthernstar

Band: Dragonforce

Album: The Power Within

Release Date: 15/04/2012

Genre: Extreme Power Metal

Label: Electric Generation Recordings

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This Review is dedicated to the memory of Vadim Pruzhanov’s Hair. RIP.

It’s been 4 years since the release of the last Dragonforce album, “Ultra Beatdown”, shortly after which singer ZP Theart left. It’s been a fairly brutal 4 years for the London-based Extreme Power Metallers; a new album in the works, a GARGANTUAN world tour freshly completed, and the singer, beloved of the fans, is gone? Surely, a bell tolling death for most bands? Not Dragonforce. Since footage of “Cry Thunder” was leaked, having been filmed by fans watching the band support Iron Maiden, I have been far more than enthralled. As for new singer Marc Hudson, I could hug the man. He is everything ZP was and more, and his entrance has injected huge amounts of life into the band once more. The songs are far more varied in structure, and thus make for a much more enjoyable listen, but every single one still manages to soar to the octane-guzzling heights of Glory of previous albums.

“The Power Within.” There could not be a more appropriate title. The whole album is overflowing with POWER. Herman Li and Sam Totman’s epic guitar shreddery is prominent in everything the band does, their mastery being an album’s worth of an air guitarist’s wet dreams. Drums are utterly insane; while restrained on tracks like “Cry Thunder”, the 220 bpm monster of “Fallen world” (fun fact: Dragonforce’s fastest ever song, beating “Cry of the Brave” at 215 bpm) shows off Dave MacKintosh’s insane skill. There are even a couple of moments where Bassist Fred Leclerq gets to show off his talent in several extreme bass passages. And one Mr Vadim Pruzhanov (God rest his hair) is one of the greatest musicians to ever mangle a keyboard. Wizardry is the only way to describe it. But Marc Hudson’s vocals are ridiculously good – he far surpasses the expectations of any of the fans, many of who would, in normal circumstances, be winging and pining for ZP. He has stupendous amounts of talent, and with layered vocals, he sounds positively majestic.

One of the main criticisms of Dragonforce with regards to previous works was that “all the songs sound the same.” It was often insisted that they relied purely on technical ability to make interesting songs, and that was included in every song. This is not a criticism that has any grounds on this album – the songs have for the most part been shortened to be more digestible by the listener (most previous songs were around the 7 minute mark), and not every song is a hyper-speed blast to the end. “Seasons”, “Last Man Stands” and “Cry Thunder” are all fairly different to the usual Dragonforce way, but in no way unwelcome. Songs like “Die by the Sword” also mark a return to the Lyrical style of fantasy, swords and battles, not seen truly since 2003’s “Valley of the Damned.”

This album… blew me away in a way I’m quite sure most of the albums released this year will fail to do so.  All the apprehension is gone, and we should welcome the new Dragonforce with open arms. Utterly, utterly stunning, utterly, utterly brilliant.

5/5

Alasdair Dunn of Norderobring

Tigers Jaw Stream New Song

Posted in News with tags , , , on 20th March 2012 by Nico Solheim-Davidson

Run For Cover is now streaming the brand new Tigers Jaw song No Mask from the band’s upcoming split 7″ with Black Clouds. The record comes out April 10th and is now available for pre-order on both white and blue vinyl.

Pre-order it here.

This new song is a pounding indie punk song driven by vocalists Ben Walsh and Brianna Collins’ direct and desperate chorus harmonies.  The split features two other new Tigers Jaw songs as well as Black Clouds‘ first recorded material.

Tigers Jaw‘s other vocalist/guitarist Adam McIllwee also contributed a blog post to the Run For Cover website where he discusses appealing female qualities and new Tigers Jaw material.  The blog will be part of an ongoing series where different people involved in the label and its bands contribute posts. You can rad the blog here.

Amon Amarth Announce Celebratory 20th Anniversary Shows

Posted in News with tags , , , , , on 23rd January 2012 by Nico Solheim-Davidson

Swedish Viking death metallers Amon Amarth announced that the band will celebrate its 20th Anniversary with a string of dates in Germany, Poland and Holland. The announcement on the band’s official website reads as followed:

“To celebrate our 20 years anniversary as a band we are going to arrange 5 special shows which will take place this August in Germany, Poland and Holland.

“We will perform 2 full sets with songs from our entire career and there will also be a meet and greet. More details to be announced later.

An evening with…. – the 20th Anniversary Shows are as followed:

05.08 CHEMNITZ (DE) / Südbahnhof
07.08 WARSAW (PL) / Progresja Club
14.08 SAARBRÜCKEN (DE) / Garage
16.08 UTRECHT (NL) / Tivoli
17.08 HAMBURG (DE) / Markthalle