Archive for Opeth

Within Temptation announced to headline Bloodstock plus Opeth announced as special guests

Posted in News with tags , , , , , on 9th September 2014 by Nico Davidson

In a surprise announcement earlier today, Bloodstock Festival have announced Within Temptation as one of the main stage headliners. This marks a triumphant return for the Dutch symphonic metal legends, following their UK tour earlier this year with Delain and the band’s first ever UK festival appearance at Bloodstock 2005! Frontwoman Sharen den Adel enthusiastically comments:

We’re thrilled to play Bloodstock again!  We had such a great time before and can’t wait to take Hydra to the stage at Catton Park.  It’s a really exciting time for us right now and we’re looking forward to bringing the fire!!

Slotting in to the Saturday night special guest slot are Swedish progmeisters, Opeth.  Having landed at #14 on the UK album charts last week, their highest chart position to date for new studio album, Pale Communion, OPETH are looking forward to returning to Bloodstock.  Comments frontman Mikael Akerfeldt:

We’re happy to confirm that we’ll be back at the Bloodstock festival next year!  I don’t know how many times we’ve played there now, but it’s a real great place, a nice festival run by nice people.  Too bad it’s like….a year or so away!?

Early bird weekend tickets with camping are on sale now, priced £120 (plus booking fee) from this location.  Campervan pitches are also already on sale and these move very quickly, so pick yours up ASAP to avoid disappointment.

Bloodstock will be held at Catton Park, Derbyshire on 6th-9th August 2015.  Keep up to date with the very latest info on Bloodstock’s official sites at Blodostock’s Facebook and the festival’s official website.

Vagos Open Air 2014 – 2nd day

Posted in Festival, Live with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on 21st August 2014 by Pieni

Opeth, Annihilator, Behemoth, The Haunted, Angelus Apatrida, Requiem Laus
Quinta do Ega, Vagos (PT)
9th August 2014

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Author António Parada wrote a thriller full of heavy metal connotations called “A Guardiã” (the guardian), so he thought Vagos Open Air was suitable for a presentation. I confess I totally forgot about it, so I didn’t arrive to Quinta do Ega in time of watching it. I doubt there will be an English version of it anyway, but if it happens, I’ll let you know.

Despite the 1-day tickets for Saturday being sold out and their much longer career – 16 years longer, to be exact –, Requiem Laus didn’t have a crowd as big as Gates Of Hell had had the previous day. Singer Miguel said this was their return to the stages, after two years and a half (personally, I hadn’t seen them in 7), so maybe that’s why their sound seemed so alien to the majority of the crowd. Plus they’re somewhat… introvert. Good musicians, with great death-blackish songs such as “Reflection Of God” or “Impulse”, which they performed there, but they enjoy the music on their own, not reaching out to the crowd much. So sadly they didn’t get an effusive response to their gig. (3/5)

Requiem Laus official Facebook

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Angelus Apatrida, on the other hand, unleashed hell – kicking off with “Violent Dawn”, violent is the right word to describe the circles. The Spanish thrash metal act has a solid fan base here, but even if they didn’t, the moshers would have quickly surrendered. Guitarist David G. Álvarez suffered a motorcycle accident back in March and his right leg is still on a cast. But even sitting down on a chair, he moved his upper body like there was no tomorrow. Those guys know how to be on stage and a broken leg doesn’t change that.
Among the short occasions Guillermo Izquierdo addressed the crowd – they had little time to play, so he didn’t want to waste it with talking – he mentioned they were once again recording at Switchtense’s studio (Ultrasound Studios). That meant a lot to the people, not only because it implied a new album, but also because it’s a Portuguese studio. (5/5)

Angelus Apatrida official Facebook

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Not sure when The Haunted had played here last, but it’d been quite a while. To say the crowd was eager for this gig is an understatement. And while you can never read Jonas Björler’s expression, Marco Aro’s was one of true happiness throughout the whole show, so I guess at least he was just as elated as the people watching them. Hell, he was so enthusiastic that he hit the mic against his forehead a few times until it bled, and didn’t attend to the wound until he was off stage! Anyway, whatever the others were feeling, they put everything they’ve got into the performance and all expectations were met. From “99” to “Hate Song”, going through “Undead”, “No Compromise” and the new “Eye Of The Storm” (by the way, the new album “Exit Wounds” is out in just a few days – 25th August) the “mosh ‘em all” motto in the back of Aro’s t-shirt was fulfilled. (5/5)

The Haunted official Facebook

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But in my humble opinion, it was Behemoth who put up the greatest show – even in daylight! They were also missing their cobra microphone stands and some other paraphernalia, just the cloaks and make-up. And the horned masks they wear during the final prayer of “O Father O Satan O Sun!”. Meaning the excellence of their show was due to their music – hand-picked songs from the last six albums – and attitude on stage: Seth’s “hairbanging”, Orion’s mean faces, Inferno’s sharp beats and, of course, Nergal’s leadership. I don’t think he spoke a word to the audience, but the weight of his stare on us and how he yelled at us to yell back had more communication than a speech. Simply amazing the power Behemoth holds on stage. (5/5)

Behemoth official Facebook

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In their own old-school way, Annihilator were top as well. They released a new album last year, titled “Feast”, so they played a few songs in order to promote it – “Smear Campaign”, which opened the show, “No Way Out” and “Deadlock”. Then, apart from the funny country-metal song “Chicken & Corn” (a hidden track featured in “Carnival Diablos”, from 2001), every other track was +20 years old. What a trip to the past, from where I personally highlight “King Of The Kill”, “Set The World On Fire” and – you guessed! – “Alison Hell”. Thrash metal at its best!
There was one thing I couldn’t stop noticing. When Jeff Waters was introducing the band, he mentioned Oscar Rangel’s Mexican nationality right before he introduce Dave Padden. Or at least that’s what I understood; Padden got it otherwise and said quickly, somewhat annoyed “I’m not Mexican”. I guess I’d be annoyed too if I thought that, after working with someone for 12 years, he still didn’t get my roots right. Still I think Padden could’ve had a different reaction, maybe make a joke out of it, as there were a few awkward seconds between the two guitarists. But nothing significant enough to ruin the 5 stars the gig deserves. (5/5)

Annihilator official Facebook

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Now Opeth… I’ll start with something Mikael Åkerfeldt said at some point, regarding a song I honestly can’t remember the name, but he said that “if it sounds like a fuck-up, it isn’t. It’s just us being progressive”. And this is more or less what I think of prog. Nope, it’s definitely not my cup of tea. I recognize the high quality of some of the bands/artists, but I just can’t like it. So me, and many others like me, wouldn’t have enjoyed the show (apart from Åkerfeldt’s jokes, that is). The thing is that even among the die-hard Opeth fans there are mixed feelings about the Vagos show. Some complained about the “soft” setlist, others about the somewhat shallow performance… and then there are those who were simply enthralled from the moment “The Devil’s Orchard” started to the one where “Blackwater Park” stopped. They have played VOA two years ago, and I’ve also seen them at the 9th (and last) anniversary show of the original Hard Club, and this was the weakest of those three. But like I said, prog isn’t my thing, so I could be wrong… I still laughed when he said they came from Stockholm, where other great metal bands came from, like Entombed, Dismember, Bathory… and ABBA. That the next song was actually “Super Trouper” (it was “Heir Apparent”). Or when he said it smelled like dead cat in his armpit. Or when he told a girl she could lower the “teddy-crocodile” as he didn’t know that song (it was a dinosaur plushie with a sign asking for “Coil”). Still there was something missing in his attitude – even I noticed that. Was it a bad concert? No, I can’t say that. But Opeth can do better. (4/5)

Opeth official Facebook

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Text & photos: Renata “Pieni” Lino

More pics in our Facebook page HERE.

Mikael Åkerfeldt to curate Roadburn Festival 2014

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

Opeth‘s Mikael Åkerfeld has agreed to curate the Roadburn Festival 2014 on Friday 14th April at the 013 venue in Tilburg, Holland. This means that he will personally select bands for his special event and play a headline show with Opeth.

Opeth‘s body of work is highly respected by the Roadburn crowd, which has made Mikael an ideal choice to carry on the tradition that started in 2008 with David Tibet (Current 93) and has continued with the likes of NeurosisTom G. WarriorSunn 0)))Voivod and Jus Oborn (Electric Wizard). Mikael commented:

It’s with great honour that I accepted the invitation to be the curator for the 2014 Roadburn Festival. I’m pretty damn far from being a professional booker/promoter, and I’ve never been part in choosing bands for an event apart from bands that Opeth has toured with. So this is a first for me, but I have to say I’m very excited.

I’ve reached out to a handful of my favourite bands from the past and present. As of now it looks like it will be an amazing musical event. Still brainstorming about possible bands for this glorious festival but I already know that I’m going to be like a kid at Christmas. It will be amazing! Plain and simple. Obviously Opeth will perform as well, but to be quite honest with you, our own performance doesn’t get me nearly as excited as the thought of experiencing the bands that have shown interest. It will be remarkable and memorable. A celebration, bitches!

Opeth online:

http://opeth.com
http://facebook.com/Opeth

Orphaned Land’s video for All is One now online

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , on 16th July 2013 by Nico Davidson

Following the release of their critically acclaimed album All Is One, Orphaned Land have launched the video for the title track. The video is available for viewing down below.

All Is One was mixed by Jens Bogren (Kreator, Amon Amarth, James Labrie, Devin Townsend Project, Opeth) and was recorded in three different countries: Israel, Turkey and Sweden. Ironically, these countries are Jewish, Muslim and Christian respectively, which strengthens the Orphaned Land message of unity through music. Over 40 musicians were used to flesh out the sound of All Is One, including 25 choir singers and eight classical violin, viola and cello players from Turkey.

Orphaned Land online:

http://www.orphaned-land.com
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Orphaned-Land/8776213035
http://www.myspace.com/orphanedmyspace

 

Kalmah set to release seventh studio album, Seventh Swamphony, in June

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

Kalmah, the undisputed champions of ‘Swamp Metal’  (Editor: Swap Metal? Really?) return to the scene with new studio album, Seventh Swamphony, which is the heavily anticipated follow-up to 2010’s 12 Gauge release.

After 15 years together, with six full length albums under their collective belt, 2013 sees the Finnish musicians delivering album number seven – an eight-track release showcasing this Oulu outfit’s trademark frantic, yet melodic death metal style, tempered here by a new-found ‘epic mournfulness’.

Set to be released on June 17th 2013 via Spinefarm Records, Seventh Swamphony was recorded at Tico-Tico Studios in Kemi, Finland, and features a selection of brand new tracks, mixed and mastered at Sweden’s Fascination Street Studios by Jens Bogren (Opeth, Soilwork,Paradise Lost, etc.)

Antti Kokko, Kalmah‘s lead guitarist, comments "This album marks a milestone in our careers. We have a new keyboard player, which has given a fresh edge to the music, and we are of course very satisfied with the new material. That is why we wanted to give the songs the best possible chance without compromise; we feel very lucky and privileged to have worked with Jens Bogren."

Kalmah (which translate to From The Grave in Karelian) will play Dark River Festival in Finland this summer with more festival and UK touring plans to be announced.

Incassum – Rite of Passage

Posted in Review with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on 12th November 2012 by mariadodarmata

Incassum
Rite of Passage
Released: November 24th

Melodic Death Metal
Released via Rocksector Records

Rite of Passage came to my hands – my cybernetic hands -  when I was asked if I wanted to review a female fronted melodic death metal band [editor’s note: I never told Maria the band have a female vocalist]. Personally, I hate when female fronted bands use that female factor as a “Look at me! I’m special!” card – Though some bands do need it.

The words fast and aggressive describe this album pretty good. It gives me that feeling of craving headbanging to it even in the most awkward, crowded public places. The clean vocals and occasional acoustic guitars come and refresh the songs, taking away that cheesy feeling some death metal bands have after a few songs.

Listening to Incassum, I can’t help but to think about a now extinct Prog Metal band from my area. From the vocal style to the music they are quite alike and it gives me a pleasant flashback. Sadly enough it also takes me back 5-6 years to the time I would listen to stuff that sounded brOOtal just for the sake of being brOOtal.

Sharleen Kennedy’s vocals are a mix of Candace Kucsulain (Walls of Jericho) with Lacey Mosley (ex-Flyleaf) and the music seems to me to be a mix of Swedish Death Metal with a couple of touches of Prog Rock, a tiny bit or Core and a teaspoon of Opeth’s  mysticism. To some point, it actually had a bit of a Dethklok feeling to it.

Although I have mixed feelings about the album I’m going leave those subjective matters aside and tell you that Rite of Passage is a good Melodic Death metal album. It moves away from what the Finnish have done to the genre – though I will clarify, I adore Finnish death metal. Incassum is like a breath of fresh air out of that melancholic aura that Melodeath is now. To make it into a pretty analogy, it is like climbing to a tree top after being lost for weeks in the black forest.

Incassum are not one of those bands that play on the female factor. They should get rid of the Arch Enemy stigma associated to that kind of bands and just promote themselves as what they are: A good Melodic Death Metal band.

4/5

María Mata

The Chant – A Healing Place

Posted in Review with tags , , , , on 18th June 2012 by mariadodarmata

The Chant.
A Healing Place.
Due for release:  August 20th (Europe)
Post Rock/Prog. Rock.
Released via Lifeforce Records

The most poetical common day life situations are probably going on a bus/train staring out the window or walking in the fog. They might sound like huge clichés but you are a liar if you say that you have never dived into introspection when these situations present themselves.

The kick-off song acts like a soft intro which sets the mood for the smooth melodies that, thanked be the gods, do not fall into the typical cheesiness  that a lot of progressive rock songs fall into. Instead of being tedious and exhausting, they keep your interest and are easy to listen to. When song number five begins playing I am already in love with this album. The songs are not ridiculously long, staying between 6 and 8 minutes each and there are none of those exhausting half of the song’s length guitar solos

A Healing Place is an atmospheric rock masterpiece with hints of goth and metal music. The voice of Ilpo Paasela can be compared (and pardon my daring) to Mikael Åkerfeldt’s melodic vocals and the ambient created by the mix of his voice and the calming melodies creates is cozzy and submerges you into your thoughts. If you love Opeth’s Damnation, you are going to love this album.

5/5

María Mata

Distorted Harmony – Utopia

Posted in Review with tags , , , , , on 15th June 2012 by tobiasgray

Band: Distorted Harmony
Album: Utopia
Release date: 14th May 2012
Genre: Progressive Metal
Label: Unsigned

Few things cause more trepidation and anxiousness to this reviewer as the words ‘Prog Metal‘.  For every band that does it well, there are thousands trying to be the next Dream Theater, Tool or Opeth; tragically falling on their own pretentious swords.  Thank (insert relevent deities here) for Distorted Harmony then.

The over-arching impression of Utopia is one of sublime beauty.

Here is a band that understands that no matter how complex  or rhythmic your music, all things must serve the song.  Every instrument has its’ moment to shine, including multiple keyboard solos that are actually listenable (Bodom take note)!  Songwriting aside the strongest element of Distorted Harmony is Misha Soukhinin’s heart-rendingly gorgeous voice.  A cross between Maynard James Keenan (Tool) and Jonas Renkse (Katatonia), with hints of Muse and unusual melodic lines thrown in as a welcome bonus.

The song durations are unsurprisingly long, as to be expected from this genre, and yet your attention is held throughout.  I would recommend listening to this album as a whole, as it offers a much more rewarding experience digesting as a complete ‘works’.  The production, as practically everything else on this album, is flawless, and the band are offering it free from their homepage (although donations are welcome).

Distorted Harmony have created a universally appealing 6 track release, it’s jazz and classical influences colliding with a very Western, epic style of songwriting – somewhat surprising considering the band all hail from Tel Aviv, Israel.  ‘Utopia’ is well worth checking out, an emotional journey of an album and, as previously stated, sublimely beautiful.  Maybe next time I hear the dreaded ‘Prog Metal’, I’ll think back to Utopia and not be so cynical.

5/5

Tobias Gray.

Opeth Set To Release Reissues Of Iconic Albums

Posted in News with tags , , , , , on 21st March 2012 by Nico Davidson

The End Records presents four iconic titles from Swedish metal band Opeth, as part of their acquisition of rights to the Music For Nations catalog. With collective Soundscans of over 300,000 sold, these three albums and one live DVD/CD recording present the very best of Opeth from their black metal era to their progressive rock transformation. The albums, produced by Steven Wilson of Porcupine Tree, along with the magnificent live DVD and documentary Lamentations, are necessary reissues for any Opeth enthusiast.

Be sure to catch Opeth on the 2012 North American Heritage Hunter Tour with Mastodon, beginning April 4th.

LAMENTATIONS – Special Edition:
• Live DVD and 2-disc CD live recording (first time ever that the audio and video components will be in one package)
• Includes documentary on the making of sister albums Deliverance & Damnation (available below)

BLACKWATER PARK – Casebound Legacy Edition:
• Blackwater Park package includes bonus DVD, and 28 page full-color casebound booklet / digipak
• The band’s first collaboration with Porcupine Tree frontman Steven Wilson
• First Opeth album ever released in North America

DAMNATION – Reissue:
• Departure from the band’s death metal sound and entrance into progressive rock genre
• Only Opeth album to chart the Billboard 200

DELIVERANCE – Reissue:
• Album won Swedish Grammy Award for Best Hard Rock Performance
• Appeared in the Top 20 on Billboard’s Heatseekers and Top Independent Albums charts
• Considered one of the band’s heaviest albums

US Tour Dates with Mastadon and Ghost

April 4 – State Theater – Portland, ME
April 5 – Orpheum Theater – Boston, MA *
April 6 – Metropolis – Montreal, QC *
April 7 – Sony Centre – Toronto, ON *
April 9 – Electric Factory – Philadelphia, PA
April 10 – The Dome – Wallingford, CT
April 11 – Roseland – New York, NY
April 13 – Riviera Theater – Chicago
April 14 – Intersection – Grand Rapids, MI
April 15 – Stage AE – Pittsburgh, PA
April 16 – TN Theater – Knoxville, TN *
April 18 – Diamond Ballroom  – Oklahoma City, OK
April 19 –Palladium – Dallas, TX *
April 20 – Backstage Live – San Antonio, TX *
April 21 – Concrete Street – Corpus Christi, TX *
April 23 – Fillmore – Denver, CO *
April 25 – House of Blues – Las Vegas, NV
April 26 – Gibson – Hollywood, CA *
April 27 – Fox Theatre – Oakland, CA *
April 28 – Grand Sierra Resort – Reno, NV
April 30 – Paramount Theater – Seattle, WA *
May 1 – Orpheum – Vancouver, BC *
May 3 – Edmonton Events Centre – Edmonton,AB *
May 4 – MacEwan Hall – Calgary, AB
May 5 – The Odeon – Saskatoon, SK
May 6 – Burton Cummings – Winnipeg, MB *
May 9 – The Fillmore – Washington, DC *
May 10 – The Fillmore – Charlotte, NC
May 11 – House of Blues – Myrtle Beach, SC *
May 12 – Masquerade Music Park – Atlanta, GA

*Opeth closes the show

Spires – Spiral Of Ascension [2010]

Posted in Review with tags , , , , , , on 22nd November 2011 by Nico Davidson

Band: Spires
Album: Spiral Of Ascension
Release year: 2010
Genre: Progressive Metal

Manchester based prog. metallers Spires began initially as the brain child of vocalist, frontman and producer Paul Sadler [ex InSlience/Tomb]. After completing the line-up, consisting of Paul Cuthbert [Guitar], Alex Jolley [Bass] and Chris Barnard [Drums] the band soon began gigging, making their live shows a testament to their dedication and passion for the music they write. November 2010 saw the release of their highly anticipated album Spires Of Ascension.

“Equilibrium” starts with a very progressive sounding introduction, similar to those that can be found on an Opeth track. The vocals are calm and soothing, an odd contrast with the guitars – Well, that is until the vocals turn more raw and aggressive with elements of a death metal style thrown in as well just to spice things up. The drums hold their own nicely through out the track. The guitar solo feels too early on in the track, being virtually at the halfway point. The second guitar solo feels more at home towards the end. The album moves onto “The Infinite End”, beginning calmly before slowly changing into a hulk-like raid of furious metal. The vocals keep things interesting with their death metal stylings, especially when combined with the technical and melodic guitar licks.

“Nightfall” starts with the relaxing sound of rain before the acoustic riffs coolly walk into the song, giving the listener a small break before 13 and a half minute track that is “Broken Hourglass”. The use of thunder during in the song gives the track some form of atmosphere. “Broken Hourglass” is quite eerie at the beginning – Whether this is due to the sound of the guitar or the riff being played, I will never know unless I ask the band, which at this time of morning would be a stupid idea. Anyway, back to the review – The song progresses into heavier and technical musings but still retains that eerie sound in certain sections. The clean use of vocals make a mighty return to the album during in the track. The guitars switch between clean and heavy, though mostly staying clean and melodic adding for a very progressive sound for the first half of the track. The main negative issue with the track is its length – It’s too long for the casual listener of progressive metal and may even seem dull after a few minutes. Roughly half way through, the demonic-like growls can be heard, adding a spark of freshness to the song.

”Symmetry” has a very soft rock ambience to its sound, perfect for chilling out to though this may or may not have been the intention of the band during its composition. The vocals are strong, blending well with the music. The ten piece composition that is “Martyr” follows after, beginning in a more progressive and alternative vein before evolving into something heavier and more technical. After a while, it does revert back to the softer, progressive sound, which a shame since the death metal sound is catchy in a weird sense. The vocals are diverse, like the music, which is to be expected and there’s even a cheeky use of female vocals as well to add that extra bit of spice to the already tasty mix of sounds. Coming towards the end of the album is none other than the title track, “Spiral Of Ascension”. Like the previous tracks, it has a soft, progressive sounding introduction that is both melodic and easy on the ears. The vocals begin out clean and it is a while before the song turns from a Dr Jekkyl-like sound into a more beastly Dr Hyde-like sound. The track definitely demonstrates the different influences the band have and they clearly merge them together into a masterpiece with this one track.

“A New Prayer”, which is the bonus track, finalises the album with a soft but mystifying guitar riff that slowly grows into a loud, volcanic roar of unrelenting force and power with little nibbles of melodic compositions. The other parts of the track are more along the lines of a furious assault of gunfire-styled drums and guitars before retreating back into a soft section.

“Spires Of Ascension” is kind of like the British offspring of Emperor and Opeth minus the symphonic elements. The album is enjoyable for the most part though a fan of progressive metal might struggle to find the enjoyment straight away. Definitely an album worth checking out for fans of Emperor, Opeth and Mastodon.

4.8/5

Nico Davidson

Spires will be touring with Incassum later this month. See below for dates:

24/11 NEWCASTLE TRILLIANS – FREE ENTRY!
25/11 BRADFORD RIOS
26/11 HULL RINGSIDE
27/11 GRIMSBY YARDBIRDS
30/11 KINGSTON THE PEEL
01/12 READING FACE BAR
02/12 DERBY OLD BELL
04/12 MANCHESTER ALTER EGO + ‘SWORN TO OATH’