Archive for Soilwork

Pieni’s highlights of 2019

Posted in Editorial/Opinionated with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 31st December 2019 by Pieni

2019 was a bumpy ride and despite attending fewer shows and writing less for Valkyrian Music, this past year still had plenty of memorable moments. Here’s my favorite live ones:

samaellnmf19

  1. Samael at Laurus Nobilis Music Famalicão (Louro)
  2. Infraktor at Vagos Metal Fest (Vagos)
  3. Equaleft at Hard Club (Porto)
  4. D.A.D. at Hard Club (Porto)
  5. Overkill at Hard Club (Porto)

Records:

Rust

  1. “Rust” by CrashDïet
  2. “We Defy” by Equaleft
  3. “Verkligheten” by Soilwork
  4. “West End” by The 69 Eyes
  5. “I, The Mask” by In Flames

Thank you Ozzy for filming the kind of music video I like the most – with an actual story to it. In the absence of that, something amusing and/or featuring visual impact will do:

  1. “Under The Graveyard” by Ozzy Osbourne
  2. “Idiots” by CrashDïet
  3. “Deutschland” by Rammstein
  4. “Trve As Fvck” by Hills Have Eyes
  5. “Already Dead” by Hollywood Undead

I have a handful of expectations for 2020 but, at the moment, I believe these are the ones I’m most eager about:

HHE2019

  1. The Hills Have Eyes new album and its release show (no date announced yet but hopefully it won’t be postponed much longer).
  2. The Hollywood Undead new album, “New Empire, Vol. 1”, and their gig in Madrid which I’ll be attending in a couple of months.
  3. W.A.S.P. will embark on a tour where they’ll only play songs out of their first four albums. Already got my ticket for the Barcelona show.
  4. Sister posted something on their Facebook page which included a #newalbum, so I’m looking forward to that as well.
  5. Seems like Kiss are saying goodbye to the stages. Whether this is indeed their last tour or not, I won’t miss it.

Happy New Year!

Renata “Pieni” Lino

Interview with Liv Sin

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on 28th August 2019 by mickbirchy

Ahead of the release of their new album Burning Sermons on the 6th September, Mick spoke to Liv Jagrell of Swedish heavy metal band Liv Sin. They discussed the production and songwriting of this record in comparison to their previous 2017 album, Follow Me, as well working with some of metal’s heavy hitters. Also, read Liv’s thoughts on women in metal, her biggest piece of advice for new bands and how she has overcome her biggest setback.

 What do you think is the biggest difference between the new album Burning Sermons and your previous album Follow Me?

I think that the biggest difference is in the sound of the album because we’ve brought in electronics and synth sounds. There are more keyboard and orchestral arrangements. This was not present on the first record. Maybe a song or two, but for the first album, it was more just a straight forward heavy metal sound.  However, on this record, we wanted a little bit more of a diverse sound, as a result, we took out some of the guitar-riffing and added in the more electronic sound. So we chose to work with a producer who could help us achieve this. 

I wanted to get on to the production a little bit here. I’ve read that you worked with Emil Nödtveidt  (Deathstars guitarist). What was it like to work with him and what do you feel he added to the album that you really appreciated?

Obviously all of the keyboards, electronics and orchestral arrangements which none of us could have done. He was just a pleasure to work with, it felt like there was no real effort to communicate my ideas with him and he was able to give us the best product possible. I would love to work with him again. I mean, he definitely put his stamp on the music. You can here that Deathstars sound on some of the songs. I feel that he took the songs to another level by adding things that we would not have thought of. 

Another note I have read was that you brought in Björn Strid (singer of Soilwork and The Nightflight Orchestra) for the song “Hope Begins To Fail”. What was it like bringing him into the studio and working with him?

Also, pretty amazing! Björn is an excellent singer, also I am a big fan of Soilwork, I have loved that band since they started. I also like The Nightflight Orchestra too, not 100% my type of music but it shows how versatile he is as a singer. I think that his voice worked really well in the song. We also got him to do the video shoot with us and he is such a funny guy we just had so much fun on set for that music video. Also, I would love to work with him again as well. 

That’s fantastic, I loved hearing that on the album as well. Just moving on to the lyrical aspect of the album. What is your favourite song from a lyrical standpoint on this album and what do you feel is the main message of your lyrics?

Quite hard to say as all of the lyrics are very personal to me. As when I write lyrics, it’s kind of like therapy for me as I try to process my own internal thoughts. However, I always like the idea that these songs can help someone else as well. So, on some the songs, I wrote more from more of my experience or things that I wish would happen. Then, on the other hand, I want to write songs that I think might encourage people. Like the song “At The Gates of The Abyss”, which is a song where I’m trying to inspire people to not give up, at least not today, this is not the day where we all fall. Also, in the song “War Antidote” there’s a line in the chorus ‘Hail To The Freaks’ and I feel this is embracing people who might feel that they don’t belong and try to give them encouragement to continue. That is the main thing I want to get across. That, it’s okay to be different and we can continue together.

That was pretty inspiring. I personally have been loving the album, I just think it’s a more whole and complete album than the first one.

Thank you, yes. Also, we had way more time with this record. I think we worked through the songs much more than on the first album. I think as well, we’ve found a sound that we really like and want to continue with.

Yeah, it feels like a record with more time gone into it. Not that I didn’t like the first album but I thought it was interesting to hear the evolution of your sound. There seemed to be far less fast-paced and intense metal tracks and more of a general grandiose metal sound. What is your process for working the lyrics into the music? Does the idea for the song come first or do the themes of the lyrics come first and then you try an match it?

It depends…. Mostly though, we come up with the melodies and rhythm first then try to piece the words and meaning into that melody. Sometimes, it just does fit and you can become really frustrated and then that leads to “Grahhhhgh, damn it, fuck it!” because you really want that particular rhythm and melody but you also want to say a specific line you can’t find anything to match. I have spent many evenings just staring and working on one sentence and getting nowhere. At that point, I just go “fuck it, it’ll wait until tomorrow”

So with the release of this new record, it’s a given that your new setlist will be mostly new material. Are there any songs from Follow Me that you plan to keep on the setlist?

I think the two that we kinda have to keep are “Let Me Out” and “Killing Ourselves To Live” because they are the main songs from Follow Me. Also, because they are great songs and they work well with the audience. We are also keeping “Hypocrite” as for us, it’s an awesome live song. Also, we’re planning on keeping “Emporer of Chaos” as it fits in very well with the newer songs, because it’s more of a political song and because audiences really like it.

From the last time we spoke, you said that your favourite song on Follow Me was “The Fall”. Any chance that could make it on to the setlist?

It could… But since we have “Chapter of The Witch”, it might be too much as it’s another intense fast-paced song and I don’t want too many of those working their way on to the setlist. So right now we’ve taken away “The Fall” to put in “Chapter of The Witch”. I mean you learn when you tour and “The Fall” has a tendency to be a little too fast, it’s not a really groovy track so we didn’t get the response that we hoped it would have got. I mean I really like the song, but it’s a really hard song to play live. 

Excellent, I mean I really like that song too, so if there’s a chance to hear it live again, I’m always there. Just moving away from songwriting now. What are your thoughts on the progression of women in the metal world, as they are becoming more and more prevalent in a metal context?

It’s interesting that this is even a question but understand why. I hope that it will develop further than it is, it’s definitely better for sure, certainly more so than when I first started in music. You’re seeing many more bands of just women or band with women in them. I hope it will develop further and I hope one day you won’t even have to call attention to it. You know, so we’re at a point where the term “female-fronted” for example is no longer something that is needed.

Yeah, it is kinda silly when you think about it, as long as the music is good, who cares who is playing it. Another question, I think is very interesting. From your experience across your whole career, what is the one piece of advice you give to a new up-and-coming band starting in the industry today?

Since the music business has changed so much since I started, it hard to say. As things that used to be true, aren’t anymore. One thing I will say is you can’t lie to new bands about how much work you have to put into it. Nothing is going to happen for free and if you are not committed, dedicated and not truly ready to sacrifice things, this is not the industry you want to be in. Because you have to sacrifice financial security, friends, families and whatever in order to make it work.  You know, you have to take tours before birthdays, festival slots before weddings. If you’re not prepared to do that, you will be disappointed and you will feel like a failure because you won’t make it very far. I know that sound really harsh because you want to encourage people but it’s also the truth and if you’re not ready there will always be someone who will stand over you. At the same time, I have always been that kind of person to stand on my own and do what my heart tells me otherwise I wouldn’t be here. 

However, if you’re willing to make that kind of sacrifice then it is worth it in the end because music is such a necessary thing, we need it in the world as a world without music would be a hard one to live in.

I couldn’t agree more music is so important, it’s the main thing I use to ignore that fact the world is dying and going to crap. So, just end on and this my favourite question I ask. What is the hardest thing, professionally or personally, you have had to overcome and how did you overcome it?

Hmm, that’s a hard question, give me a minute. So, actually, this is it. I’m afraid of flying and aeroplanes in general. Whenever I sit in a plane, which you do a lot on tour, I ask myself “Why am I doing this?” but I’m still doing it anyway. I think that if I didn’t have this passion for music, I would never face that fear as much as I do. I would probably not go on a plane at all. Yet, today I’m facing that fear all of the time. I always wonder to myself, why isn’t flying becoming easier, because I’m doing it so much. Yes, you have fear but having such a strong feeling inside of you to face that fear is important and once you have that, yes it might not become easier but doing the thing enjoy becomes more rewarding.

Interview and words by Mick Birchall

Liv Sin – Burning Sermons

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on 26th August 2019 by mickbirchy

Liv Sin
Burning Sermons
Hard Rock, Heavy Metal
Released: 6th September 2019
via Despotz Records

A few years ago I reviewed the debut album from Liv Sin, Follow Me. The Swedish quintet has made big strides in the metal world since then. Armed with Liv Jagrell on vocals and channelling their love of heavy metal, the band are making their return with the new album, Burning Sermons. Everything that made the previous record great is here too. From their gut-busting musicianship to the powerful and emotional lyrical content, this album rips hard and has that old-school heavy metal flavour that will captivate an older audience and entrance a newer crowd. I have to say that I am a bit of a fan and this album has everything that I look for in a metal record. Also, like the last album, Liv Sin has invited some special guests to help this album rock all that little bit harder.  On the upcoming single, “Hope Begins to Fade”, Liv duets with Björn Strid, singer of Soilwork and The Nightflight Orchestra.​

Purely from a production point of view, this album sounds so good. The guitars are heavy and the drums hit with intensity. Everything is mixed with such a glorious tone and it makes Liv’s vocals stand out so much as she delivers the lyrics with such conviction. One song where this is so noticeable is “Death Gives Life Meaning”. The aggressive, forceful tone really drives the point home while the frantic energy of the instrumentation performs beautifully and is mixed so well. The production was done by Deathstars guitarist Emil Nödtveidt who has really created an amazing atmosphere here for Liv Sin, with bombastic tones that just scream, “listen to this!”

The lyrical content is well presented here, with themes of personal struggles and hardship. Liv Sin really put their best foot forward in this department, with poetic imagery and well-chosen lines. The lyrics themselves are quite interesting when thinking about them. The way she chooses to communicate her feelings and how it blends into the music is really great. I really like the song “At The Gates of The Abyss” for this reason, the way all of the elements of the band mix with the lyrics, creating a powerful and interesting song.

This is a really great record! I liked the first album but really enjoyed this one. It’s new metal music with a very old school mentality. Liv Sin is very quickly becoming one of my favourite metal bands. This album just felt more like a complete package, the new sound with the keyboards and synth work mixed in with the guitars and Liv’s forceful and powerful delivery. It all sounds so brilliant and I have to say I love this new direction the band is taking. Definitely, one to check out and one I need to see live sooner rather than later.

8/10

Mick Birchall

Soilwork – Verkligheten

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on 8th January 2019 by Pieni

Soilwork
“Verkligheten”
Melodic death metal
Released: 11th January 2019
Via Nuclear Blast Records

soilwork - verkligheten - artwork

When I reviewed “The Ride Majestic”, about three and a half years ago (damn, feels like yesterday!), I said something about being surprised with how Soilwork could still impress me. Well this time they didn’t catch me off guard: I’m still impressed but I was counting on it.

A fellow reviewer said they’ve gone more melodic but I don’t think that’s quite it; I mean, sure, “Verkligheten” is a more melodic record, but I don’t think it was intentional. I believe they’ve just focused more on being intense than actually heavy, and such deeper sound enhanced the melodies which have always been a part of Soilwork. Take the latest single, “Stålfågel”, for instance; those initial synths bearing an Alan Parsons whiff, the growls of someone who Wikipedia claims to be Alissa White-Gluz (but it’s not) a mere shadow in the background of the chorus and the so straightforward solo result in an enthralling combination that’s way more than just “melodic”. it’s still my favorite song, by the way, even if I stood a bit disappointed when the lyrics didn’t match the title’s tongue. In fact, despite the Swedish album title, all songs are sung in English. Shame. At least one should be pretty interesting.

Tomi Joutsen was also invited to snarl over “Needles And Kin” but his presence is much more highlighted – the own nature of the song enabling it. I dare saying this is the heaviest song (“Arrival” right behind it), the riffing and drumming even reminding some black metal refined act, but the chorus always featuring some harmony to go along with the rest of the album.

I really hope “The Ageless Whisper” makes it to the live shows as it’s a very anthem-like track which I already imagine everybody clapping their hands to, in sync with the drums in its intro and later on, right before the solo. But several others, and for several reasons, are prone to turn the crowd into a bunch of happy campers ‘cause I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one loving “Verkligheten” as a whole.

5/5

Renata “Pieni” Lino

Narcotic Self – Cut The Chord

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on 5th June 2016 by izaforestspirit

Narcotic Self
Cut The Chord
Released 6th May 2016
Thrash Metal/Heavy Metal/Groove Metal
Self-Released

‘Cut The Chord’ is the third album from the American heavy metal band Narcotic Self. They have toured with a number of renowned metal bands including Slayer, Exodus and Soulfly. Their music is a mixture of classic thrash metal with other metal genres along with some experimental elements. This album features Björn “Speed” Strid of Soilwork as a guest vocalist on one of the songs.

Kicking off the album is the title track, an aggressive and brutal metal song filled with thrashing guitars, pummeling drums along with abrasive and angry shouting. Then, when you least expect it, they slow down the pace towards the end of the track and treat you to a short but well executed melodic instrumental. It’s just enough for you to take a deep breath and relax before the usual onslaught of guitar, drums and shouting returns, raising hell inside your eardrums. Generation Victim (feat. Björn Strid) is a fairly straightforward piece of aggressive, thrashing groove metal which reminded me of the early works of Machine Head, DevilDriver and to a certain extent Lamb of God.

Hell in My Head caught my attention due to the deceptively melodic guitar intro at the start. There’s some experimentation in the guitar parts and briefly a change to a softer, more melodic vocal style halfway through the song. This time the melodic elements last a little longer than they did in the title track. The problem is that I’m not entirely convinced that the random changes suit the rest of the song. The transition between the two is just not as fluid as it should be. Then it seems that Narcotic Self decided to have another go at the more melodic side of metal/rock so they created Creeper, a song which is predominantly slow and melodic. At least for the most part… Then, all of a sudden, the aggressive shouting and thrashing monster re-emerges. It’s almost like the other half of the song was composed by another band. Luckily the rest of the album marks a return to good old brutal and vicious thrashing groove metal with only occasional bits of clear vocals sprinkled in to soften the blow. For example, Brainslave shows how well executed guitar work can make a song memorable for all the right reasons.

Overall, this album left me feeling a little confused. I’m not entirely sure that I understand what Narcotic Self are trying to achieve here. I would have been perfectly happy had these guys just stuck to a specific style be it thrash or groove metal but the random mid-song experimentation is very off-putting. Those bits aside ‘Cut The Chord’ should appeal to fans of Lamb of God and Machine Head.

3/5

Iza Raittila

Soilwork – The Ride Majestic

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on 18th August 2015 by Pieni

Soilwork
“The Ride Majestic”
Melodic death metal
Release: 28th August 2015
Via Nuclear Blast Records

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Soilwork haven’t had the need to prove themselves to me for a long time now. After albums such as “Figure Number Five”, “Stabbing The Drama” or the previous “The Living Infinite”, they’ve achieved a solid rank on my list of bands. But I confess I didn’t think they could impress me more either. Well I’m biting my tongue right now.

The richness in details was taken to the next level and the result is a classy mix of extreme rhythms with vibrant melodies. The first title track (yes, first – there are two, although the second adds “(Aspire Angelic)”, to make the difference) is the bridge between “The Ride Majestic” and “The Living Infinite”, given the similarity in riffs and licks. If you listen to one album after the other, this track makes a smooth, natural transition between them. Because “Alight The Aftermath” will then sound like an outburst of power; way faster, way heavier, way darker.

“Death In General”, on the other hand, is the least heavy track (which doesn’t necessarily mean light). Its composition is too enthralling and seductive, the drums achieving a tribal beat on a couple of occasions, and Mr. Speed showing he can do whatever he wants with his voice.

The bluesy intro of “Enemies In Fidelity”, which underlines some further parts in an otherwise thrash/death composition. The earworm-ish chorus and break of “Petrichor By Sulphur”. The epic, extreme piece that “The Phantom” is through and through (definitely my favorite). The sharpness of “The Ride Majestic (Aspire Angelic)”, in contrast with the gloominess of “Whirl Of Pain”. A gloominess that continues on “All Along Echoing Paths” but at a heavier pace. The mosher-friendly of “Shining Lights”, featuring a massive guitar work. And the deep grand finale of “Father And Son Watching The World Go Down”. Eleven new tracks, all majestic indeed.

5/5

Renata “Pieni” Lino

Soilwork to release first live DVD/BlueRay

Posted in News with tags , , , , , on 5th February 2015 by Pieni

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After an almost-20-year career and 9 studio albums, Soilwork are about to release their first ever live DVD/BlueRay, with its corresponding audio CDs – “Live In The Heart Of Helsinki”.

23 songs were recorded at Circus Club, on the 21st March last year, two of them including guest appearances by Floor Jansen from Nightwish and Revamp and Nathan J. Biggs from Sonic Syndicate:

01. This Momentary Bliss
02. Like The Average Stalker
03. Overload
04. Weapon Of Vanity
05. Spectrum Of Eternity
06. Follow The Hollow
07. Parasite Blues
08. Distortion Sleep
09. Bastard Chain
10. Let This River Flow (feat. Floor Jansen)
11. Long Live The Misanthrope
12. Tongue
13. Nerve
14. The Chainheart Machine
15. The Living Infinite I
16. Rise Above The Sentiment
17. Late For The Kill, Early For The Slaughter
18. Rejection Role
19. Black Star Deceiver (feat. Nathan J. Biggs)
20. As The Sleeper Awakes
21. Sadistic Lullabye
22. As We Speak
23. Stabbing The Drama

The setlist will be divided in two CDs, while the DVD/BlueRay will also include two documentaries (“Spectrum Of Eternity: A Brief History Of Soilwork” and “Behind The Scenes Of The Living Infinite”) and drumcam videos filmed during the songs “Long Live The Misanthrope”, “Rise Above The Sentiment”, “Spectrum Of Eternity” and “Tongue”.

Frontman Björn ‘Speed’ Strid commented: “There could’ve not been a better time than now, with 10 albums out and a very varied back catalogue to choose from. Our line up now is 50 % original members and 50 % fresh blood, which makes it all more interesting. Especially since the newest members have brought so much to our sound and have continued to inspire us to write new and exciting music and also brought a new found energy on stage. Now is definitely the time to see us. Trust me.”

Set for release on 16th March, via Nuclear Blast, a trailer for the DVD has been pumping on YouTube for a few days now:

Pre-order your copy:
DVD + 2 CD –  http://bit.ly/LITHOHbase
BlurRay + 2 CD –  http://bit.ly/LITHOHblubase

www.soilwork.org

www.facebook.com/soilwork

Vagos Open Air 2014 – 1st day

Posted in Festival, Live with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 19th August 2014 by Pieni

Kreator, Epica, Soilwork, Sylosis, Kandia, Gates Of Hell
Quinta do Ega, Vagos (PT)
8th August 2014

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This year’s edition of Vagos Open Air was bigger in every sense of the word – it lasted one day longer than usual, it had more people coming in, and it had also the greatest bill so far. Kudos for promoters Prime Artists!

National Gates Of Hell must feel proud, and not just for kicking the festival off: it’s not easy for an underground band to gather so many people on a hot Friday, at 5 o’clock in the afternoon, but they made it! There was a sea of people like there’s never been for an opening band, in all the 6-year history of the festival! Of course they’ve been working hard for it in the last few years, especially since the release of their debut album, playing all over the country and winning fans with their ballistic live shows. But it still was a wonderful surprise to see such a crowd screaming and moshing for them. And the size of the wall of death on the last song, “Critical Obsession”! Singer Raça thanked everyone – both fans/friends and those who were watching them for the first time – but truth be told, they wouldn’t have got that response if they weren’t just as good. The credit is all yours, boys! Keep it up! (5/5)

Gates Of Hell official facebook

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Things cooled down a bit, but only in terms of “brutality” – Kandia is a modern/alternative rock band, so no mosh pits for them. But that doesn’t mean that their show was less electrifying. It was just a different kind of voltage. Especially singer Nya Cruz, who looked totally at home on stage. They’ve released two albums so far, but neglected the first one completely, focusing just on the latest “All Is Gone”. Last year, they won the international music contest Global Rockstar with one song from that album, “Scars”. “We’re not going away, we’re here to stay!” was the introduction to that song, as its first verse reads “I’m here to stay”. But more than an introduction, it’s a statement, a motto – and the grip they had on this gig is proof that they will stick to it. (4,5/5)

Kandia official facebook

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It was the first time Sylosis were playing in Portugal (after pulling out of the Epic Industrialist Tour, in 2012) and Josh Middleton admitted they weren’t expecting such a reception. The crowd was happy to finally experience live songs such as “All Is Not Well” and “The Blackest Skyline”, so the circles began spinning once again, at full force. And when Josh asked for TWO circles – one at the left, one at the right – they were eager to comply (same as the headbanging to the sound of nothing, but that’s been done before by other artists – the two circles, now that was new). At some point Josh said that this was the last gig of Rob (Callard, drummer), since he would be pursuing a career as a singer… in a Mariah Carey cover band. Such talented musicians and so humorous… no wonder no one cared about the “little” fail of asking if we were ready for Kreator while playing a riff from Slayer’s “Raining Blood”… (5/5)

Sylosis official facebook

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It had been 11 years since I’d last seen Soilwork – which was the last time they’d played in Portugal. So I don’t know if it’s usual for them to use The Alan Parsons Project’s “Sirius” as intro, but for me, it was a really nice surprise. And it links so well to “This Momentary Bliss”, the first song of their set! A set that I confess was hoping to be a bit more diverse, given the years of absence from the Portuguese stages. But their latest album is a magnificent double piece, so it’s only natural they wanted to focus on the killers of “The Living Infinite”. Still they went back a couple of times – “The Average Stalker”, “Bastard Chain”… –, closing with a golden key with “Stabbing The Drama” (“I think you know the chorus to this one”, said Mr. Björn Strid). The circles weren’t as constant as in the previous band but only because Soilwork’s sound doesn’t require so – there’s a reason why it’s called “melodic” death metal. In terms of intensity, they were just as “crazy and wild” (to use Strid’s own words). (5/5)

Soilwork official facebook

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There were LOADS of Epica fans in Vagos, so whoever thought it was a mistake to invite them again (they performed at the first edition of the fest) couldn’t be more wrong. Simone Simons’ voice was better than the last time I’ve seen them, in the “Requiem For The Indifferent” tour, but still a bit “shaky” here and there. The most blatant case was “Cry For The Moon”, where her voice was smothered by the choir backtracks and not because something failed with her mic. It’s just that female voices also change with time and it’s been 10 years since Simone first recorded that song. Maybe that’s why she took the chance to introduce the band, singing the names and their instruments instead of the original lyrics. Nice trick! But no one seemed to care anyway, as the strong and positive attitude of the whole band made those flaws look like small details.
They played a few songs from the latest album, “The Quantum Enigma” – including the first three tracks plus the new hit “Unchain Utopia”, but Simone said they would be back in November, in a promotional tour for this album. The crowd was thrilled to hear that. (4,5/5)

Epica official facebook

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Okay, it’s true that a Kreator gig is always a Kreator gig, and even when they’re bad, they’re still pretty good. But sometimes they’re REALLY awesome – like this time! From “Mars Mantra / Phantom Antichrist” to “Flag Of Hate / Tormentor”, Mille Petrozza got some of the best “Portuguese circle pits” that he kept asking for – having played here so many times before, he knew what he was talking about when he specified the nationality, giving them an unique identity. But with such a performance it was hard not to raise hell – the stage wasn’t big enough for their fire show, but the human heat made up for it.
For the encore, and the aforementioned medley of “Flag Of Hate” and “Tormentor”, Petrozza got on stage holding a flag, saying that when they released that album (“Endless Pain”), back in 1985, Michael Jackson was still alive. The rest of the band played a few chords from “Billie Jean” and the crowd roared. But the roar was much louder when he talked about the album that Judas Priest released five years later, as its title was the opposite of “Endless Pain”“Painkiller”, with the main riff of its title-track echoing. The true explosion came, of course, when Petrozza stopped talking and the medley itself began. (5/5)

Kreator official facebook

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Nevel a dull moment on this first day – except for the background music between songs, which was literally the same over and over. The metal DJs that took the graveyard shift should have been hired for the day as well…

Text & photos: Renata “Pieni” Lino

More pics in our Facebook page HERE.

Dark Essence Records post tracklisting for Alfapokalyps

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

Norwegian label Dark Essence Records recently unveiled the tracklisting for Alfapokalyps, the upcoming album from Swedish rockers Alfahanne. The ten-track album will be the debut full-length release from Alfahanne, a name that is relatively new on the scene compared to some of the label’s more venerable artists, yet it is a band that has managed to tempt the likes of Taake’s Hoest, Shining’s Niklas Kvarforth, and Helheim’s V’gandr to make guest appearances on Alfapokalyps.  Set to hit the streets on the 10th of February, Alfapokalyps was  mixed by Tore Stjerna at the Necromorbus Studio.  Artwork, as seen above, is by Mikael Skoog. The tracklisting for Alfapokalyps is as follow:

1. Bättre Dar – guest vocals from Niklas Kvarforth (Shining)
2. Ormar Af Satan
3. Såld På Mörkret – guest vocals from Hoest (Taake)
4. Dödskult
5. Rocken Dör
6. Syndarnas Flod
7. Alfa Hordes
8. Indiehora – guest vocals from V’gandr (Helheim, Taake)
9. Där Drömmarna Dör
10. Alla Ska Mé

Formed in 2010, Alfahanne’s debut release came in 2013 with the release of the Grym split 7” with Sweden’s Shining. Alfahanne plays what its members describe as Alfapocalyptic Rock, which mixes Black Metal with Classic Rock and Punk, all topped off with some Goth influences.  It is music that is both powerful and beautiful whilst at the same time is ugly, and about which the band says:

When you are into it you don’t feel pleasure and you don’t feel pain but you definitely FEEL.

Whilst Alfahanne might be a fairly new name to a lot of people, the band’s members, which include Pehr Skioldhammer on Vocals and Guitar, Fredrik Sööberg on Guitars, Niklas Åström on Drums and Jimmy Wiberg on Bass,  have been around the Black Metal scene since the early ‘90’s, playing in bands like Vinterland and early Maze Of Torment.

Alfahanne’s next live appearance will be on the 16th of April at the Dark Essence Records Club Night at the Inferno Festival in Oslo.  They are also set to appear at the Tons of Rock Festival alongside Sabaton, Sepultura and Soilwork in June.

Alfahanne online:

https://facebook.com/alfahanneofficial
http://reverbnation.com/alfahanne
http://youtube.com/channel/UCzlnEhv8tEx2GNRAqVduRMQ
http://soundcloud.com/alfahanne

 

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Soilwork announce UK 2014 tour

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , on 27th November 2013 by Nico Davidson

After their sold-out show at The Camden Underworld in London, which was their first UK date in four years, Swedish metal tyrants Soilwork have announced a four-date UK tour for March in 2014.

The band’s current studio album, which is also their first double set, The Living Infinite was the first Soilwork release to chart in the UK national album charts. Gathering excellent reviews, it was praised by Metro as “a slab of heroic, chest-beating Scandi-metal“. Metal Hammer championed their output, “The Swedes have somehow risen to their own mighty-challenge and produced a consistent, cohesive and remarkably dynamic banquet of blistering modern metal that amounts to a wholesale broadening and sharpening of their sound“. They were also granted a much sought after KKKK Kerrang! review that stated “sixteen years in and it’s clear Soilwork still have fertile imaginations“. UK dates are as follow:

March 11th – Bristol, The Fleece
March 12th – Manchester, Sound Control
March 13th – London, Islington Academy (special guests to Overkill)
March 15th – Birmingham, Library

Their support for these dates will be Darkane and System Divide.

Soilwork have also been confirmed for Hammerfest 2014 with the likes of Grand Magus, Overkill and Kreator.

Soilwork online:

http://soilwork.org
http://facebook.com/soilwork

Soilwork release lyric video for “Tongue”

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , on 17th October 2013 by Pieni

 photo Soilwork2013a_zps754d3de2.jpg

“The Living Infinite”, Soilwork‘s much acclaimed double album (read our review here) has produced videos for “Spectrum Of Eternity” and “Rise Above The Sentiment”. Now it’s time for a lyric video for “Tongue”:

The band is about to tour intensively across Europe, with Keep Of Kalessin and Sybreed:

Nov 02 Brewhouse, Goteborg, Sweden
Nov 03 Parkteatret, Oslo, Norway
Nov 04 Klubben Stockholm, Sweden
Nov 05 Dynamo, Norrköping, Sweden
Nov 06 Club 700, Orebro, Sweden
Nov 07 Huskvarna Folkets Park, Huskvarna, Sweden
Nov 08 Aalborg Metal Fest, Aalborg, Denmark
Nov 09 KB, Malmö, Sweden
Nov 10 Amager Bio, Copenhagen, Denmark
Nov 11 Markthalle, Hamburg, Germany
Nov 12 Essigfabrik, Cologne, Germany
Nov 13 Camden Underworld, London, United Kingdom
Nov 15 Colos-Saal, Aschaffenburg, Germany
Nov 16 Matrix, Bochum, Germany
Nov 17 Biebob, Vosselaar, Belgium
Nov 18 Z7 KONZERTFABRIK, Pratteln, Switzerland
Nov 19 Feierwerk, Munich, Germany
Nov 20 Szene, Vienna, Austria
Nov 21 Club 202, Budapest, Hungary
Nov 22 Haus Auensee, Leipzig, Germany
Nov 23 Winter Masters of Rock, Zlin, Czech Republic
Nov 24 Majestic Music Club, Bratislava I, Slovakia
Nov 25 Alibi, Wroclaw, Poland
Nov 26 New York, Vilnius, Lithuania
Nov 27 Rock Cafe, Tallin, Estonia
Nov 28 Tavastia, Helsinki, Finland
Nov 29 Parkkahuone, Tampere, Finland
Nov 30 Rytmikorjaano, Seinajoki, Finland

Soilwork online:
http://site.soilwork.org/
https://www.facebook.com/soilwork
https://twitter.com/soilwork
http://instagram.com/soilworkofficial

Gloryhammer announced for Hammerfest VI

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

Gloryhammer – the new power metal band spearheaded by Alestorm frontman Christopher Bowes – have been announced for Hammerfest VI next year in Wales. They will be joining a host of other bands that includes KreatorOverkillSoilwork and Unleashed.

Hammerfest VI takes place at Haven Hafan y Môr Holiday Park, Pwllheli, Gwynedd, North Wales from Thursday 13th – Sunday 16th March 2014. Further details can be found at the Hammerfest official website.

Gloryhammer online:

http://gloryhammer.com
http://facebook.com/gloryhammer

Kreator reveal cover artwork for upcoming ‘Dying Alive’ DVD

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , on 13th June 2013 by Nico Davidson

Teutonic thrash overlords Kreator have revealed the cover artwork for the band’s upcoming live DVD/Blu Ray Dying Alive, which will be released 2nd September via Nuclear Blast.

The DVD/Blu Ray features the band’s sold out homecoming show in Oberhausen, Germany on 22nd December 2012 after an extensive 45 days European tour in support of their highly successful album Phantom Antichrist. The packed and sweat driven show was filmed by 24 cameras as well as guitar and even mosh pit cams.

The DVD/Blu Ray contains the show, a behind the scenes documentary as well as video clips. Approximate total running time: 115 minutes. Dying Alive will be issued in the following various formats:

DVD/2CD
Blu Ray/2CD
Double Vinyl

You can pre-order Dying Alive at this location.

Kreator will also be playing at Hammerfest ‘Book Of The Dead’ along with Nuclear Blast label-mates, Soilwork, Overkill and Grand Magus on 13th – 16th March. For more info and tickets head over to this location.

Kreator online:

http://kreator-terrorzone.de/
http://facebook.com/KreatorOfficial

 

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.

Sarah Jezebel Deva–Malediction

Posted in Review with tags , , , , on 24th June 2012 by Nico Davidson

Sarah Jezebel Deva
Malediction
Released 28th May 2012
Symphonic Metal
Released via Listenable Records

virselis

Sarah Jezebel Deva is becoming somewhat of a household name in the darker netherworld of the symphonic metal scene and yet still somehow stays unknown at the same time, through no fault of her own. Malediction is the latest release in Sarah’s extensive discography and made its live debut during SJD’s UK tour back in May.

This Is My Curse is the starting point of the EP and what a way to start. The track unleashes some violent, extreme metal orientated riffs, along side some poetically performed symphonic sections. The drums adapt well to the ever changing sound of the song. The guest vocals, provided by Dani Filth, add a very grim and tragic sound to the track and it’s somewhat nostalgic to hear Sarah and Filth performing, vocally, together again – However, it’s Sarah’s vocals that really shine out the most.

The second track, Lies Define Us, which features Bjorn Strid (Soilwork) begins with a piano dominated section which works well with the guitars, before going into a vocal and piano section that really demonstrates the strength of Sarah’s vocals. Bjorn, surprisingly, works well, vocally, with Sarah. The guitars and drums feel more laid back throughout the song before still scream with some subtle extreme elements. The more obvious symphonic elements add a depth of character to the song, adding emphasis on both sets of vocals as well The final part of the EP, When ‘It’ Catches Up With You, seems to combine the best elements of the previous two tracks, excluding the guest vocalists. The symphonic references and extreme metal based riffs are ripe throughout the track, evolving the song into a masterpiece of powerful vocals and hypnotic music.

The sound that Sarah and her band create develops and evolves with each new release and Malediction is no different. I just wish it was a longer release, but nevertheless, Sarah Jezebel Deva has released yet another first class release.

5/5

Nico Davidson

Interview: Sarah Jezebel Deva, Dan Abela and Damjan Stefanovic [20th May 2012]

Posted in Interview with tags , , , , , on 23rd May 2012 by Nico Davidson

I was fortunate enough to be able to catch an interview with former Cradle of Filth backing vocalist Sarah Jezebel Deva and a couple of her band mates at Yardbirds in Grimsby, where we chatted about music, the tour, mythology and ctaching flights to and from Endor on a goose’s back.

Nico: You alright guys? Right, my first question is the most generic question, and one I’m so sick to death of asking bands but how’s the tour gone so far?

Dan: Yeah. It’s gone great, actually. We’ve had three gigs so far, so it’s going alright.

Sarah: One cancelled.

Dan: Yeah, one cancelled.

Sarah: Because of the promoter, being a… Well, you know. All the promoters we’ve had so far have taken chances on us and been so lovely to us, they’ve helped us, they know the situation, they know how hard it is for all the bands out there, people taking chances, people not taking chances and some of the promoters have had us back like Rob from here [Yardbirds, Grimsby] and Sal from Whiplash Productions in Liverpool. They’ve had us before, it didn’t go successful before, but they loved it and seem to believe in us and that’s what we’re happy with. And the fans, they believe in us, they’ve supported us and what more could you ask for? Of course, being anally screwed everyday isn’t good but if it wasn’t for the niceness of the fans and the promoters.

Dan: Don’t stay at Travel Lodge. Use Premier Inn.

Sarah: Oh no, some of the Travel Lodges have been really, really nice.

Nico: Eh, moving on, your new EP Malediction is due for release at the end of the month [28th May], what would you say are the biggest influences behind it?

Sarah: Madonna. Prince. Boyzone. Serbian rap artist that I can’t pronounce the name of. Our influences? If I could answer this before you [Dan] say something stupid like Nightwish and…

Dan: I was gonna say Lacuna Coil.

Sarah: I actually don’t think our influences shine majorly through our music. We are predominantly into extreme metal. Apart from him over there who likes Beatles and Chas and Dave but we are predominantly a band that are into extreme metal and we try to let that shine through. We do not want to be the typical female fronted band. We try to make sure it’s not the typical female-fronted band. We don’t sing about dragons, butterflies, getting a flight from Endor on a goose’s back.

Nico: You’ve just pretty much described Nightwish’s lyrics there.

Dan: Over the hills and very far away.

Sarah: So, if I was going to say what our influences are on this album, mostly me and Dan wrote the EP but I would say our influences are just extreme metal and we don’t try to copy anyone. Though there’s going to be loads of people, because we’ve had Dani Filth on one track, "oh, it’s Cradle of Filth!" – No, it’s not. It’s SJD. Having Björn Strid [Soilwork] on one of the songs, it doesn’t sound like Soilwork but people are still gonna label you so, yeah, our influences are basically whatever happens happens.

Dan: I like black metal and I know you do too, Sarah, but I mean that’s the thing. It’s a funny old one, I would say it is predominantly like the old black and death metal scene.

Damjan: I think it depends on who writes the riffs, like the song with Björn on it, Dan basically wrote all the riffs for that.

Sarah: Actually that’s not completely true.

Damjan: Dan wrote of the riffs for that. Anyway, from my point of view on the drums, I’m not as into death metal as these guys are, so when I heard the riffs and stuff, it was more about listening to them and thinking "How am I going to make this feel and sound the best it could be? How am I going to make sure it’s not a repetitive thing over and over again? And when it changes section, how do I make sure each section stands out without having to over play it or over complicate it?".

Sarah: As he [Damjan] says, he’s not into the same type of stuff as us which is great because you have the diversity.

Damjan: There’s a bit of crossover but not as much. So for me, it’s just about writing stuff that’s going to sound memorable that I’d wanna listen to again and I think we managed that.

Sarah: And we’ve got to give the bassist, Ablaz, some credit as well. He predominately wrote When It Catches Up With You. Dan just made it sound better. No, not like that. Obviously when I come up with a song, like Silence Please and The Eyes That Lie, I present them to Dan and he changes a few bits, just like Damjan has produced a song, for the next album but we’ll change little bits to suit his playing and the way I sing and the way the others play. So we all contribute but up until recently, it’s been predominately me and Dan.

Damjan: I think that’s really to do with the line-up and it changing as much as it has.

Sarah: Yeah, the line-up has changed but as a band, and I know we’re totally straying away from the question now, but as a band we have totally gelled together. We just need to get Damjan into some good music.

Nico: Going back to what you’ve just been saying about the song writing, since you and Dan are the main songwriters, how does a song writing session go between you two? Do you go off into separate rooms and do your own thing or do you get together and jam?

Sarah: We write really well together. It’s a bit hard for me sometimes because I don’t play guitar. But when I’ve got a riff, I sing it to him and he spends a week working it out but me and him gel and it’s hard to break away from that when we know other people wanna get involved. It’s funny because we’ve had the argument before that no one gets involved and now they’re all wanting to get involved. It’s always relaxed, really, isn’t it?

Dan: Basically, all we do is go into the studio and start working. We always go in with the intention of writing a new song, it’s never one of those things where people say "oh yeah, phoned them in the middle of the night and told them I have an amazing riff". We always go in there and get our ideas together and present. We always do it in the studio, which I find helps because obviously I run it, so we just set up and get going.

Sarah: Legacy London Studios.

Dan: And that’s what good because we always put it from the point of view that we are going to play these songs live as well. We’re not one of those bands goes "let’s go do something that’s completely…" and then you can’t do it live. It’s what I hate, especially when you see certain bands and hear their albums and you think "Fuck me, that’s incredible!" but you know you’ll never hear it.

Nico: That’s true. Going back to what I was about influences earlier, where do you find the influence for your lyrics?

Sarah: Life, people, shit people, good people. I find it easier to write about shit people than good people because they’re really boring. All the shit experiences I’ve had in life, situations, circumstances, situations that have affected the people close to me. I’ve done a few kind of mythological songs, like Sirens and Silence Please. Silence Please is about a banshee, but you know, the evil banshee.

Nico: I thought banshees were always evil. If you look into the Irish mythology…

Sarah: Well, you’ve got the sirens of the sea, which are theoretically banshees as well, since they signify death.

Nico: I always thought the sirens were different to the banshees, with one being Greek and the other being Irish, unless I’ve got something mixed up.

Dan: Yeah, they invented the euro.

Sarah: Sirens lead sailors to the rocks, they use their beauty to lead them to their deaths. But yeah, there’s a few other songs I’ve written about mythology and fantasy. I’m Calling by Angtoria for example, I know this isn’t Angtoria but I’m Calling is about when I used to go into the bathroom and roleplay.

Dan: [suppressed laughter]

Sarah: Don’t laugh! You know like kids have imaginary friends, well I had an imaginary boyfriend who would whisk – Okay, this is what happened. Basically, instead of washing, I would have this thing in my head of this evil man feeding me evil pills and then this prince would ride up and save me from the evil guy. They were little fizzy kinda pills, could have been sterogen for false teeth, I don’t know but I swallowed. That’s what it’s about, just fantasising as a kid. But as I was saying, most of my lyrics are based on shit people, shit in life, bad things. I just cannot sing about good things, I find it very, very difficult. And I can’t sing about things I know nothing about either, like even, Silence Please – My bed use to be near the window and you know foxes make that – beautiful as they are are – make that horrible sound and it’s a scary fucking sound. And I read about banshees once and I was convinced that sound outside my window was a banshee. Used to scare the shit out of me. So, that’s what that’s based on, a nightmare and such. But yeah, I just write about things I know about. As I said, I can’t write about dragons and fucking Endor and…

Nico: So, basically you can’t do the whole Nightwish lyrical concept?

Sarah: I just can’t.

Damjan: I personally have never been into that, so I prefer this kind of thing.

Sarah: I just think you need to sing about what you know, I’m not saying I’ll never expand.

Damjan: I find as a musical listener, that’s the kind of thing you relate to more.

Sarah: And I’ve been very lucky, the fan connection has been phenomenal. The amount of people that come to me and who can relate to my lyrics. I’m glad I can do that. I’m glad I’ve lowered the suicide rate.

Azz: Going back to what you said about lyrics and singing about things you know about, I don’t see how anyone can put emotion and energy into anything that’s bullshit fantasy stuff anyway.

Sarah: Exactly, exactly. I think you need to connect with your audience and you know, a lot of my lyrics are depressing. Like, This Is My Curse is about the fur industry. And I was saying to Dan when I was writing the lyrics, I didn’t want it forced into people’s faces. Most people won’t know it’s about the fur industry, until you read it and see what Dani Filth contributed lyrically. These animals are raised and are treated like absolute shit and then skinned alive for fur, for fashion. And I would loved to have said that in a song but it doesn’t come across and it would have sounded crap. So, you have to find a poetic way to get your message across. And as I said, you gotta have feeling for that audience to believe what you’re singing about, that you have passion about your music. You have to really feel and know to get that message across and I think we do. I know these guys don’t write my lyrics but they know that I am quite a big person but take A Matter Of Convenience, that’s based on people who like to shag around.

Nico: Sounds like the population of Brid to be truthful… Anyway, moving on, you guys have been confirmed to tour with Tristania in Europe later this year. How are you feeling about it? Like going from headline tours of the UK to support act in Europe?

Sarah: Azz isn’t doing the Europe tour and it’s a bit of a sour subject, so he’s sitting out for this one but he will be doing everything else over here over us, which is as equally important but it’s a brilliant step for us because it goes up.

Dan: We’ve met them a few times before as well and we get on really well with them. So, that’s going to be on the things that’s cool about it is the fact that it won’t be strangers walking into the same room together.

Sarah: We just hope this is a step up for us. We’ve got some stuff going on in December and obviously the Female Metal Voices Festival in Belgium as well. We’ve had some amazing things go on this year but the last three weeks has obviously knocked some of us down. Me and Dan mostly, because we’ve put so much into it, that’s not to say no one else but because me and Dan predominately run as much as we can because other people have got other stuff going on. So, it’s affected us more, so hopefully what’s going on the end of this year will set us up for next year.

Dan: And you’re definitely going to see a big change for the next album.

Nico: Sounds good, sounds good. Right, this next question is for you, Sarah. Back in December, you announced you would be featuring on the new Cradle album: Midnight in the Labyrinth, which obviously came as a shock to a lot of us. How did that come about? Because obviously for a while you’ve said you wouldn’t be working again with Cradle of Filth.

Sarah: Nostalgia. I love the old Cradle albums, love the old Cradle songs. To be able to sing those songs again and because I knew it would make a lot of older Cradle fans happy. I thought it would be good for us. I think that me and Dani go well together, vocally.

Nico: Well, to be honest, in my opinion, I think Cradle’s sound, in the female vocals, has drastically gone down hill since you department. No disrespect to your replacement.

Sarah: There’s been a few.

Nico: Really? Why doesn’t anyone tell me these things?

Sarah: Well because it’s band lies. Like when we fire Damjan, it will be due to unforeseen circumstances but really, I don’t think any band really do tell the truth, I don’t think many bands tell the truth. I think some bands find it unprofessional to tell the truth but we try to always tell the truth because in the end you need a fucking good memory to lie. It’s lovely that a lot of people do think that but there’s probably are the same number of people who think I’m shit. But in my defense and I’ve said this in loads of interviews, when you’re just a backing singer in a band, you don’t have any rights and you can’t control how you sound and no one takes you seriously. I’m sure if you flick through YouTube, you’ll find lots of videos taken from mobile phones and other footage of me sounding like I’ve got my head up a cow’s arse. Some of it is atrocious, it’s because if you can’t hear yourself, you can’t pitch and that’s one of the reasons why I was glad to not be with Cradle of Filth any more because I’m a singer. It’s my life and I’ve spent fourteen years doing oohs and aahs and now I can prove I actually have a voice. Going back to do the Cradle album is no big deal and I enjoyed. I said nostalgia but there’s a lot of rumours going around that I’m going to join them. Would I go back? I’ve had this question with Dan, as in Dan Abela. If the circumstances were right, I would do some stuff. But at the end of the day, they also have to want me back. It’s got to be a mutual thing and for the right reasons.

Nico: Speaking of the rumours, I’ve had several e-mails from my readers and your fans, basically asking if there’s ever going to be the possibility of you doing  a tour or a one-off live show with Cradle sometime in the future. doing tracks from the albums you’ve featured on?

Sarah: I can’t answer that. Whatever will be, will be. Under the impression that they 100% don’t have a female singer and they’ve got Wacken coming up. I’ve said to Dani, if you want help, I will step in. Let’s see what holds. But this band comes first! I will not sacrifice anything for this band. This band comes first.

Nico: Going back to what you’ve been saying about Cradle, at the same time you announced that you’d be featuring on the next Cradle album, you said you’d be going back to work with Angtoria at some point in the future, so, what is happening with Angtoria at the moment? When can we expect something from Angtoria?

Sarah: I think again it’s a case of when it happens, it happens. Chris has a studio and he’s so busy working for other bands. We did try put a timeline of May on it but it’s just not gonna happen. It’s gonna be when it happens. I hope we have something by the end of this year. It will happen because me and Chris are close, we get on well and we’re on the same page. It’s the same kind of relationship as me and Dan. It’s really just a case of when it happens and I hope it does.

Nico: Well, I know a lot of your fans, my brother included, want it to happen. So obviously, there’s a lot of people looking forward to any news about Angtoria – Well, any good news about Angtoria. My next question is for you, Dan. Now, obviously you run your own studio, Legacy London, as a studio proprietor, producer and sound guy, how do you feel that home recording is affecting the face of music, compared to studio recording?

Dan: It’s a very hard question because in terms of people doing their own recording, I think there’s nothing wrong with that. I think it’s a good thing that people are embracing technology and I think they’re getting better as song writers but a lot of the time I think they’re getting lazier as players, being brutally honest with you. But I don’t think that people realise the amount of time it takes for a band to a good album and this is what you see a lot of these days and people that go into a good studio and spend a good amount of time working on a professional album. You can always tell when a band has a good album and when they’ve half arsed it. Even with bigger bands. You see a lot of bigger bands these days: "Yeah, we decided to self-produce it" and they’ve done a massive record before and funnily enough that massive record before sounds amazing and the next one sounds shite. Fucking shite. The guy who runs the studio with me, Joe, me and him literally spend the best part of the whole day, every day, working with bands and you need that other person’s input, you really do. You need someone else to tell you what’s right, what’s wrong, even like, I’m in my own band and I’m recording it, you lose sight, always. You always lose the goal, you need someone whose got that extra set of ears to tell you where you’re going wrong and where you’re going right and obviously Joe does that for us. But bands need that.

Damjan: I think that really depends on the specific band or person you’re thinking about because one of my other bands, we recorded the drums with Dan and the rest at home but we still had that input from Dan and we’ve been recording with him for years, like EPs and stuff. But I think it depends on what you want out of music and your own personal music and for some people, it’s a money issue as well. It depends what direction you wanna take it.

Nico: Alright, next questions. What would you say is the most challenging thing about being a musician?

Sarah: Most challenging thing? As long as we communicate with each other, there’s nothing that is challenging, as long as we’re honest with each other. We’re not always going to agree with one another, I’m not always going to like his riff and he’s not always gonna like my melody, we’ve just got to make sure we don’t lie to each other and that we communicate with each other and I think a lot of bands have lost that. Now, I do know that the bigger the band gets, the more politics are involved, money, managers. The bigger the bands get, the greedier people get. The more people want a cut of what you do. It’s all us that put in the fucking hard work and as long as we don’t lose sight and are all open minded. I wouldn’t say this is challenging, I’m just saying that we all have to pull our shit together and make it work.

Nico: Last couple of questions now. Where would you like to see the band in five years time?

Dan: I don’t mind where we end up, so long as it’s a natural progression. It’s like I think we have the potential to carry on for another five years but we’ll just see where it ends up really. Maybe in a bin. Hopefully next year, you’ll see a few progressions in the tours and maybe some festivals and another album as well. It should just carry on as it is.

Nico: Alright, before we finish up, do you guys have anything to say to the readers?

Dan: Thank you for your support.

Sarah: Just give us a chance, whether you’re a fan or not. Whoever’s reading, you’ve got to give new bands a chance. So, forget what you think you know. If you’re judging someone on their image, or a bit of footage on YouTube that’s been filmed on a mobile phone, make up your own mind by actually leaving your house and checking these bands out because you could be missing a real gem.

Dan: Put it this way, any band you name, be it In Flames, Soilwork, Cradle of Filth, Dimmu Borgir, they all started off playing in a pub somewhere. Go support local bands because if you want your next Metallicas and your next Iron Maidens, they’re always going to start in these small venues, so go down and support local metal.

Sarah: Yeah, you have to because all these bands started somewhere with a chance and I know that people don’t have the money and sadly you do have to pay to see a band but nothing’s free. Just because you’re payign a ticket of £6 doesn’t mean the band is getting that money and then off down to the pub later. It’s that ticket price which is helping the bands to play your local area. Without the support and open mindedness of the listener, the scene is going to die and after the conversations with certain good promoters, who are struggling, who are not going to be promoting, the good promoters leave and the little kid promoters come in thinking "Ah, I can make some money from this band" and the moment when that’s what you’ve got in every city, goodbye to the scene, I’m telling ya. We’ve dealt with that, a few kids, even on the first tour with The Dead Lay Waiting, a kid thinking "I’ll charge £9 on the door, this and that, gonna do really well", he lost shit loads of money because he got greedy and cancelled the next show, fucking over the people that were gonna go to that show. I know it costs to do these gigs but it’s not about money, if you believe in the scene, you’ve got to take chances. Don’t read rumours, make up your own mind, you know? Even album reviews, it takes a year…

Dan: He reviews albums…

Nico: Don’t worry about it.

Sarah: What I mean is that it takes us, as a band, a year to write an album, to produce it, to mix it, to master it, to sit down. It takes a reviewer less than five minutes to rip it apart. There’s good productive journalism and there’s fucking lazy journalism that goes "sounds like this band, sounds like that band". Again, there’s a large amount of journalists who want their five minutes of fame. Reviewers need to remember that they have the capability of influencing thousands of people with their opinion and it’s your opinion if you think we’re shit or not. It’s up to the listener to think "This review thinks it’s shit but you know what, I’m going to go check it out". I think we’re losing that ability to think for ourselves and allowing ourselves to be dictated by magazines and adverts.

Nico: Very true. Well, thanks for that, guys and have a great show tonight.