Archive for Musical ensemble

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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First bands announced for Valkyrian Festival 2014

Posted in Featured, News with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 30th November 2013 by Nico Solheim-Davidson

The fourth edition of Valkyrian Festival has been confirmed for Friday 21st November through to Sunday 23rd November. Tickets are currently available for pre-order from this location and are priced at £20 (excluding P&P). Valk-Fest 2014 will be in aid of Rape Crisis.

Scottish blackened folk royalty Cnoc An Tursa have been confirmed to headline the opening night of Valkyrian Festival 2014 on Friday 21st November. Hailing from the historic settlement of Falkirk, Cnoc An Tursa have become one of the most respected and well known bands from north of the wall and without a doubt will bring something new to the masses at Valkyrian Festival 2014. Joining Cnoc An Tursa on Friday 21st November will be Yorkist metallers Pantheon who have been confirmed as main support.

Confirmed as the headlining act for Saturday 22nd November are Belgian gothic metallers Azylya, who made their UK debut at a sold out Dames of Darkness Festival earlier this year, where they supported Dutch symphonic rockers Delain. Since then, Azylya have played a few more times in the UK and were featured at Belgium’s Metal Female Voices Festival earlier this year in October. Azylya frontwoman Jamie-Lee comments:

It is an honour to be headlining Valkyrian Festival, especially in aid of such a worthy charity. We’re looking forward to playing to our UK fans again. We hope to see you all there.

Solo artist Sakara will be main support on Saturday 22nd November. The alternative pagan solo artist, who spent a brief stint as frontwoman for Apparition earlier this year, released her debut album Blood & Stone via Ravenheart Music in 2011 and since then has received positive reviews. The follow-up album will be released in 2014 via Ravenheart Music. Sakara also comments:

I am over the moon to have such a great opportunity to play Valk-Fest 2014. I look forward to seeing you all there. I’m also looking forward to sharing the stage again with Azylya!

Also added to the Saturday line-up are West Midlandic symphonic metallers Divided We Fall and Yorkshire metal mobsters Hamerex.

Valkyrian Festival 2014 is sponsored by Black Phoenix Rising Metal Forums and custom Gothic jewellers The Crypt of Curiosities. Weekend tickets are available from this location for £20. The event is in aid of Rape Crisis.

 

Crossfaith launch new music video

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , on 12th July 2013 by Nico Solheim-Davidson

Japanese band Crossfaith have released the first taste of forthcoming album Apocalyze. The band released the video for We Are The Future earlier today which offers a glimpse of what to expect from the band’s upcoming dance-orientated yet heavy release.

Crossfaith online:

http://crossfaith.jp
http://facebook.com/crossfaithofficial
http://twitter.com/CrossfaithJapan

 

Fortid founding member issues statement about upcoming album and other projects

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , , on 6th July 2013 by Nico Solheim-Davidson

Einar Thorberg, the founding member and frontman of Norwegian Extreme Pagan Metallers Fortid has issued an update on the progress of the band’s fifth full-length album.

“The drums have been finalised, and we’re well into the pre-production stage and happy with the way things are progressing.  With this album I didn’t want to make a repeat of 2012’s Pagan Prophecies or any of our other albums come to that, so there will be more diversity in tempo, and maybe even an occasional flirtation with pop/rock, but not enough to upset our fans.  The lyrical concept of the album deals with the quest for knowledge and a deeper understanding of oneself and the universe through Nordic tradition and the story of Odin.  The lyrics will be in Icelandic, which is my mother tongue and allows me to express myself more personally and deeply than I could in any other language.

Thorberg formed Fortid in Iceland in 2002, essentially as a solo project, and released the first two parts of the Völuspá Trilogy, the full-length albums Thor’s Anger and The Arrival of Fenris, before moving to Norway and releasing the third part, Fall of the Ages.  By this time Fortid had a permanent line-up which today includes Thorberg on guitars and vocals, Øystein Hansen (ex-Thornbound) on guitars, Rikard Jonsson (Forcefed Horsehad, ex-Deject) on bass and Daniel Theobald (Curse, Den Saakaldte, Etherial Forest, Sarkom) on drums.

As well as Fortid, Thorberg has a number of other projects he is involved in, one of them being Midnattsvrede which has largely remained dormant since 1994, but is now active again, and set to release a split album with another of his projects, CurseMidnattsvrede’s contribution will be 4 tracks, one of which will be a cover of Ved Buens Ende’s Carrier of Wounds, a song that Thorberg is particularly excited about, having laid the groundwork for it back in 2007.  As he explains:

Finally the piece is going to come to light, and we’ll be interpreting it in a whole different way.  The track blends perfectly with Midnattsvrede’s own material and if you know VBE you’ll get some kind of idea of what to expect – but only partly!

Curse’s contribution will be one very long song which is divided into four separate tracks dealing with a blend of philosophy and science. It won’t be in the Black ‘n Roll style of Curse’s last album, but will hark back to the more atmospheric style that the band used on the split with Skydom.

In July, Thorberg will hit the stage at the Eistnaflug Music Festival in Reykjavík, Iceland, with Potentiam, the band that he fondly refers to as “the slowest working band there is”.  Despite this, after 16 years Potentiam is still going strong, with drums and half the guitars already recorded on what will be the band’s fourth full-length album which will feature eight tracks in the gloom-laden style for which Potentiam is known.

If Fortid and three other projects were not enough, Thorberg has also finished recording an album with Gudmundur Óli Pálmason from Sólstafir for Unknown Circle, a band he calls his new “experimental pet project”.   No decision has yet been taken as to how to proceed with Unknown Circle, but the album is ready and waiting.

Fortid online:

http://www.facebook.com/fortid
http://www.youtube.com/FortidNorway
http://soundcloud.com/fortid
http://fortid.bigcartel.com/
http://www.reverbnation.com/fortid

 

Sea of Giants – The Greater Good

Posted in 'Core, CD with tags , , , , , , , , on 3rd July 2013 by Nico Solheim-Davidson

Sea of Giants
The Greater Good
Released 29th June 2013
Northern Deathcore
Released via eMortal Records

Since 2011, Sea of Giants have smashed their way through the Yorkshire scene, support acts such as Dead Harts, Grader, Giants, Sirena, Annotations of an Autopsy and more, becoming one of the hardest working bands in the East Yorkshire area. Hailing from the sea battered town of Bridlington, the five piece band already have two releases under their: Into The Deepest Depths and Northern Idols. The Greater Good is the third addition to the band’s career thus far.

Rehabilitated opens the EP before launching into the threatening and crushing track Reality North. Frontman McGougan’s vocals dominate the song, exchanging heavy handed blows with the combative use of riffs, provided by Mangan and Axup, and warlike rhythm sections. Every Wave wanes in the raw, primal energy that was offered up in the previous track but supplies some of Barlow’s most destructive bass work. Trenches rushes in like a bull in a china shop but provides a new dynamic on the band’s already cumbersome sound.

Changing Colours is too short lived of a track and has more potential if it were a longer song. Nevertheless, it still embodies Sea of Giants’ most staunch elements as well as some memorable clean vocal lines towards the end. Seasick starts up with a noticeable hook, reeling the listener into a storm of furious riffs and raging vocals. The lyrics add a very personal and emotional touch to the music, which blends in magnificently with the melodic licks and screaming rhythm passages. The calm, melodic section creates a whole new atmosphere and sound – one that keeps the song fresh.

The Greater Good is definitely a milestone that Sea of Giants have reached and displays the band’s evolution since starting up two years ago. Whilst it may not be everyone’s cup of tea, it shows what the Yorkshire quintet have to offer and why they’re one of the best acts on the northern circuit.

4/5

Nico Davidson

Sea of Giants online:

http://www.facebook.com/seaofgiantsuk
http://www.twitter.com/seaofgiantsuk
http://seaofgiantsuk.tumblr.com

 

The Moth Gatherer stream new album, A Bright Celestial Light

Posted in Featured, News with tags , , , , , , on 11th April 2013 by Nico Solheim-Davidson

The unconventionally – and emotionally – sounding metal duo The Moth Gatherer have made their entire new album available for streaming prior to release date. The debut full-length entitled A Bright Celestial Light will hit the shops on CD and vinyl on April 16th worldwide via Agonia Records. It can now be listened to in full at this location or down below.

The Moth Gatherer is recommended for fans of music in the vein of Neurosis, Pelican, Breach or Cult of Luna. “We just want our music to be an emotional explosion,” comments Alex, the band’s co-founder. “A lot of the songs is about death, missing people you loved who have passed away and losing hope in mankind. We want the music to make you feel like you can move mountains with it. I wish for that when people hear our recording, they start to dream away.

Tracklist:
1. The Water That We All Come To Need
2. Intervention
3. A Road of Gravel and Skulls
4. The Womb, The Woe, The Woman
5. A Falling Deity

The band is: Alex Stjernfeldt and Victor Wegeborn, who both handle guitars, bass, electronics, vocals and drums.

Retail pre-orders for A Bright Celestial Light are being taken now at this location.

More on the band at the following links:

http://www.facebook.com/TheMothGatherer
http://www.themothgatherer.com/

 

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