Archive for Tarja Turunen

Paradise Lost announce exclusive show in Roman theatre

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , , on 14th March 2014 by Nico Davidson

Yorkshire Gothic metal lords Paradise Lost have announced an exclusive show to take place on 20th Spetember this year at Plovdiv, Bulgaria in its magnificent Roman theatre. For this special one off event, the band will be joined by he renowned Plovdiv Philharmonic Orchestra who were founded nearly 70 years ago and are made up of over 100 highly qualified musicians. The orchestra has its roots in the hundred year old orchestral tradition in Plovdiv and over the years has launched the careers of many world-famous conductors.

The prestigious evening will be promoted by Bulgaria’s independent radio station Radio Tangra Mega Rock and orchestrated by conductor Levon Manukyan who wrote the first metal ballet and is the founder of the Levon Manukyan Collegium Musicum orchestra. During his career Levon has previously given the classical treatment to rock and metal works by Marilyn Manson, Alice Cooper, Dream Theater, AC/DC, Evanescence, Guns’n’Roses, Kiss, Led Zeppelin, Nirvana and Judas Priest, and worked with world-famous soloists including ex-Nightwish vocalist Tarja Turunen.

This event will mark a key milestone in Paradise Lost’s, already esteemed, career as they make their first ever performance accompanied by a full live orchestra.

Paradise Lost online:

http://paradiselost.co.uk
http://facebook.com/paradiselostofficial

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Sorronia announced as support to Tarja Turunen for six European dates

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , , , , on 15th January 2014 by Nico Davidson

Hungary’s up-and-coming symphonic metallers Sorronia have been confirmed as support for six European shows for Tarja Turunen later this month. Tour dates are as follow:

Jan. 28th – Aula Magna – Lisbon Portugal
Jan. 29th – Sala Arena – Madrid, Spain
Jan. 31st – Santana 27 – Bilbao, Spain
Feb. 1st – Salamandra 1 – Barcelona, Spain
Feb. 15th – Rocking Chair – Vevey, Switzerland
Feb. 16th – Theatro Giovanni Da Udine – Udine, Italy

Sorronia have released its first album, titled Words of Silence, on 28th October, 2013 via Bakerteam Records with world-wide distribution. The beautiful album artwork was handled by the talented artist Alexandra V Bach who also worked with acts like Kamelot and Adagio. The album was warmly welcomed by the audience and the press. The support role on Tarja’s upcoming European tour isn’t the first time that Sorronia have supported a well known act on the female-fronted scene as just recently they were on a shorter tour with the German symphonic metal powerhouse Xandria by visiting Spanish cities: Madrid, Valencia, Barcelona, Zaragoza.

Sorronia online:

http://facebook.com/SorroniaOfficial
http://twitter.com/SorroniaBand/
http://youtube.com/SorroniaOfficial

 

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Within Temptation unveil title of sixth studio album

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , on 8th November 2013 by Nico Davidson

Dutch symphonic rockers Within Temptation have revealed that their sixth studio album will be released on 31st January 2014 and shall be titled Hydra. For those who are unfamiliar with Greek mythology, Hydra is the name of a nine-headed monster that apparently could not be killed. Guitarist Robert comments on the album title:

It’s like us. What’s more, Hydra is a perfect title for our new album, because like the monster itself, the record represents the many different sides of our music.

Within Temptation collaborated with several special guests on Hydra: Tarja Turunen, Dave Pirner of Soul Asylum and metalcore hero Howard Jones, formerly of Killswitch Engage as well as US hip-hop icon Xzibit. Robert also comments:

Xzibit is amazing. And We Run song is about how you’ve got to live your life now. He’s rapping at full force on this song, it’s really heavy.

Sharon adds:

Xzibit brings a new element to our music that we’ve never had before! It’s a new cross-over and we love it!

As for the near-legendary Tarja, Sharon recalls:

The way she delivers those high melody lines left us all speechless. We had a great time, and the fans responded beyond our expectations.

One of the album’s heaviest tracks, Dangerous was recorded with the former Killswitch Engage singer Howard Jones, whose epic vocals are a perfect fit for Sharon’s. Frontwoman Sharon comments about Howard:

I always loved Howard’s voice. He makes the song even heavier than it already is. That song is one of my favorite songs on the record and one of the fastest we’ve ever written. It has the most bass drums we’ve ever used, too, and a very fast riff which we doubled with synths. It’s not a typical synthesizer, though – it’s distorted like a guitar, and it’s very aggressive.

Hydra goes from strength to strength with Whole World Is Watching, featuring Soul Asylum’s singer Dave Pirner.

Right now, Hydra can be pre-ordered in two luxury formats: the Digital premium version and a Deluxe Box Set including extra Hydra products.

The digital premium album, complete with digi-booklet, will be available on iTunes and includes 18 audio tracks and a music video. The digital premium album features bonus Evolution Versions of four new songs, which contain audio commentary from Robert and Sharon and give you unique access to the development of the songs, their lyrical inspiration and the sound of the initial demos and vocals.

Tracklist:

1. Let Us Burn
2. Dangerous feat. Howard Jones
3. And We Run feat. Xzibit
4. Paradise (What About Us?) feat. Tarja
5. Edge Of The World
6. Silver Moonlight
7. Covered By Roses
8. Dog Days
9. Tell Me Why
10. Whole World Is Watching feat. Dave Pirner
11. Radioactive (originally performed by Imagine Dragons)
12. Summertime Sadness (originally performed by Lana del Ray)
13. Let Her Go (originally performed by Passenger)
14. Dirty Dancer (originally performed by Enrique Iglesias)
15. And We Run- evolution track
16. Silver Moonlight – evolution track
17. Covered By Roses – evolution track
18. Tell Me Why – evolution track
19. Paradise (What About Us?) feat. Tarja – Music Video (exclusive to iTunes premium version)

Pre-order the digital premium version of Hydra here.

Digital pre-orders in North-America will start soon.

Within Temptation online:

http://within-temptation.com
http://facebook.com/wtofficial

Metal Female Voices Festival @ Wieze, BE

Posted in Festival, Live with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 22nd October 2013 by Freya

Tarja, Lacuna Coil, ReVamp, Delain, Leaves’ Eyes
Oktoberhallen, Wieze
18th-20th October

In Belgium, October stands for falling leaves, rain and a ton of female fronted metal. For the eleventh time the Oktoberhallen in Wieze flooded with fans of this genre to attend the Metal Female Voices Fest or MFVF. This festival has a very loyal fanbase, some of them even travelled a good part of the globe to get there! I had the pleasure to meet some dedicated metalheads from Israel and Argentina, and it’s safe to say that they weren’t the only international visitors.

On Friday, the first day of the festival, the doors opened at 19h00 as there were only two acts. I have no idea if that was also the reason behind the smaller crowd, but it was noticable that there were a lot more attendees on Saturday and Sunday. But that didn’t stop Liv Kristine from giving it her all with her solo project! Liv Kristine by herself, accompanied by a band of course, is a little more indie/rock than Leaves’ Eyes, but that doesn’t take away of the fact that she has an amazing voice. Fans of Leaves’ Eyes were lucky this weekend, because the band attended the festival on Saturday. But for now, back to Liv Kristine. As the crowd continued to grow, she enchanted us with her adorable smile and charisma. Paris Paris and Skintight opened the set, followed by a fragile Fake a Smile. Trapped in Your Labyrinth was definitely one of the highlights of the show, together with ‘Libertine’. With these songs Liv Kristine showcased that a delicate voice can rock just as much as a more solid voice. As a nice surprise, a few Theatre of Tragedy songs made it into the set: Venus and Image. Overall, this was a perfect fresh and joyous opener for what turned out to be an outstanding edition of MFVF. [3.5/5]

After Liv Kristine, the stage was invaded by Eve’s Apple. And I mean invaded! Eve’s Apple isn’t a normal band with about 5 or 6 members, it’s a collective of female singers. Some of the ladies who sung some beautiful covers were: Lisa Middelhauve (ex-Xandria), Charlotte Wessels (Delain), Iliana Tsakiraki, Kassandra Gruszkowki, Annamaria Cozza, Zuberoa Aznarez, Aiylin Gimenez (Sirenia), Grace Meridan, Heidi Parviainen, Mary Zimmer, Marcela Bovio (Stream Of Passion), Clémentine Delauney (Serenity), Karolina Pacan (Skeptical Minds), Sabrina Valentine, Laura Vargas, Mariangela Themurtas (Tristania), Lindsay Schoolcraft (Cradle of Filth), Sanna Salou, Angel Wolfblack, VK Lynne and Maxi Nil (Visions Of Atlantis). Some of the biggest hits in rock were brought out for this special occasion, so we had the opportunity to listen to adaptations of Stargazer (Marcela Bovio and Kassandra Novell) and Poison (Clémentine Delauney and VK Lynne). Every now and then the fire underneath the songs died out a bit and made way for a softly glowing ember like Behind Blue Eyes(Mariangela Themurtas, Maxi Nil and Charlotte Wessels). Personally, Show Must Go On (Karolina Pacan and Angel Wolfblack) would have been in the list of amazing duets as well, but technical issues caused some trouble. The vocals drowned in a wall of sound and that’s too bad, because it had a lot of potential. Towards the end all the ladies got together on stage to thank Maxi Nil, and to sing a few songs of course! The two final songs of the evening were quite appropriate: All we Are and Stars. [3/5]

As the final notes of the evening died out the crowd turned to their tent, car or bus, only to return in a few very short hours!

On Saturday the doors opened at 10h00. And even though it was still early, there was a relatively long queue in front of said doors. And what a nice wake-up call we got once we got inside! Our neighbours from the North sent Magion to MFVF, and they were an astonishing discovery! Myrthe van Beest has an enchanting voice, which is a perfect match for compelling songs like Neverending Winter and Shallow Grounds. During Greed the horns went up, and the crowd slowly started shaking off the mists of morning. [4/5]

Azylya should definitely get the award for creepiest intro at MFVF. The Belgian band played a home game and brought two masked dancers and a creepy little girl with them. She fit right in with the eerie music and lighting. The venue was starting to shed a bit of the initial chill, but things definitely got hotter when Jamie-Lee Smit brought out some fire during Darkness Ascending. Electroconvulsive was a vocal mix between a kick in the teeth and a gentle embrace. Overall, Azylya told an enchanting story with a lot of power. The mix of classical elements with metal, and the two contrasting voices were a true delight! [4/5]

Victorians – Aristocrats’ Symphony brought a touch of the past to MFVF, with stunning costumes (I still want to steal the jacket that Utis wore). Songs like Descent of Your Destiny and Prince of Night paint a picture of times long gone, but with a modern twist. After the show they told us they were a bit worried about the quality of the sound, but I don’t think they had anything to worry about. [3.5/5]

Serenity came to MFVF to promote their new album War of Ages. Singers Clémentine Delauney and Georg Neuhauser sound very well-balanced and they compliment each other. Georg ran and jumped around every inch of the stage, never standing in one place more than a few seconds, and you could see he was having a good time. But there was also room for a more intimate song: Fairytales was touching and intense. A nice surprise was the guest appearance from Charlotte Wessels during Serenade of Flames. Serenity knows how to entertain and satisfy an audience. [3.5/5]

Canadian band Kobra and the Lotus brought heavy metal to Wieze, and how! Nayana struck like a poisonous snake and this feisty animal did not lose it’s grip. Kobra Paige has a hypnotic and overwhelming voice and she took the stage with confidence and spirit. And it gets better! She is backed up by an impressive wall of sound consisting of fierce guitars and raging drums. Songs like 50 Shades of Evil or Forever One have potential to become true metal anthems. Dark Passenger was preceded by a drum solo that showcased the sills of the drummer and My Life stood out to me due to its unique guitar riff. Afterwards Kobra Paige shared some words of wisdom with me: love and metal, that’s what it’s all about. I couldn’t agree more. [5/5]

I admit it, at first, I was a bit sceptical about Kontrust. I saw a few of their videos on YouTube and felt like I had no idea what to expect. The intro made me feel like I was at Octoberfest rather than Metal Female Voices Fest so I had the urge to roll my eyes, but I stand corrected! Kontrust knows how to get a party started. They were a lot of fun and the crowd clearly enjoyed their lighthearted songs like Hey DJ, U Say What and Bomba. Sock and Doll was another example of what makes Kontrust unique: I’ve never seen a band use sock puppets before… But it worked! The horns went up and I saw a lot of smiles around me. [4/5]

After Kontrust it was time for the headlining acts of the day: Leaves’ Eyes, Delain and Lacuna Coil.

Liv Kristine took the stage once more this weekend, this time as part of Leaves’ Eyes. Since Leaves’ Eyes is practically a synonym for symphonic metal, that’s exactly what we got: riveting melodies and an angelic voice with a heavier counterpartner. Their new album Symphonies of the Night will be released in November so at MFVF we had the privilege to hear a few new songs such as Galswintha, Fading Earth, Symphonies of the Night, Maid of Lorraine and Hell to the Heavens. And I can tell you, these songs are something to look forward to! The crowd clearly enjoyed the new material, but most hands, horns and fists were raised during songs as My Destiny, Elegy and Take the Devil in Me. (And Alexander Krull still has the most awesome hair!) [4/5]

Delain opened their set with Mother Machine, a song taken from their album We are the Others. Charlotte Wessels appeared on stage dressed in white and she swept the crowd right off their feet. The entire show she continued to encourage the audience to sing, scream or clap along. Go Away and Virtue and Vice from the album April Rain were played next, accompanied by sparks and an audience on fire. Charlotte reached the higher notes with ease and before we knew it they were halfway through the set. We were in for another great surprise though, because during No Compliance, Charlotte was joined by none other than Sharon den Adel (Within Temptation) for a special duet. Sharon didn’t leave after one song though, much to the delight of the audience. She sang Restless, a song by her own band Within Temptation, accompanied by Martijn Westerholt (former keyboardist of Within Temptation) on the piano. Sharon wasn’t the only guest appearance of the set though. Georg Neuhauser of Serenity joined Charlotte on stage for Control the Storm. They clearly enjoyed this duet, which was another cherry on this scrumptious Delain-cake. During the encore Charlotte had the crowd jumping once again with The Gathering. Delain said their goodbyes with We are the Others, together with the crowd who was singing along with an amazing amount of spirit after an already long day. [4.5/5]

Day two wasn’t over yet though! Lacuna Coil was the final act of the day, and they had something special planned for MFVF. They played the entire Karmacode album. It truly was a trip to the past since Karmacode came out in 2006. The band took place on stage wearing the masks they used during the Karmacode tour, but unfortunately we could only see Cristina Scabbia and Andrea Ferro. The lighting was horrible! It was really difficult to see any of the musicians during the entire set, which was disappointing. But back to the music! Karmacode is an album filled with hits like Fragile, Enjoy the Silence and Our Truth. Lacuna Coil definitely took a risk here, because not every song on the album is a hit. Because of that, at times it felt like an unusual show. The entire show was very interesting and I hope that this concept will inspire other bands to do the same. After a short intermezzo Cristina and Andrea returned in a their latest uniforms to end things with a bang! They gave the crowd a small but oh so sweet taste of absolute hits such as Heaven’s A Lie and Spellbound. To top it of they sang two songs of their latest album Dark Adrenaline: the haunting Trip the Darkness and a very energetic Kill the Light. [4/5]

So far, MFVF XI was a great success, but the third day was filled with bands who were ready to blast day 1 and 2 out of the water.

On Sunday the doors opened an hour later, which was a blessing after two long days. At noon, Hell City was present to defend the Belgian honour. And they did a great job! Hell City was fierce and on fire. Michelle Nivelle gave the crowd no excuse to be sleepy-eyed for another minute. With songs like This Mortal Loss and Demons to Rest we were showered with Grade A metal. The final song of their set was the new single Ice Cold Rage, which can be downloaded on their website. [3.5/5]

After this little Belgian treat it was time for a more exotic band: Hungarian folk metal band Dalriada made it very difficult to stand still, with energetic and up-tempo songs such as Napom, Fényes Napom and A Dudás. Unfortunately, where I stood, the crowd only clapped along (major props to a friend of mine though, who taught us all a lesson in headbanging). Maybe it was still a bit early, or the audience was saving their energy for the headliners of the day. Too bad, because it could’ve been an awesome party. [3.5/5]

After Dalriada I skipped a few bands myself, but I was back just in time to see Crimfall. The members of the band looked like they fought their way over to Wieze (blood, blood everywhere!), but they still had a ton of energy left! Helena Haaparanta and Mikko Häkkinen were accompanied by a group of merry huntsmen, who seemed to be having a lot of fun on stage. Songs like Wildfire Season paint an epic picture in the mind of the listener. Another example of their story-like songs is Silver and Bones about a son repeating his father’s mistakes. Even though Crimfall had a few technical difficulties, it was a truly wonderful journey. [4/5]

A little sidenote: it turned out that MFVF was one of the last shows with Helena: Crimfall is looking for a new singer. I wish them all the best!

Onward to the two big names of MFVF XI! The past year the buzz around Floor Jansen has been immense, so it feels like she doesn’t need an introduction anymore. The new leading lady of Nightwish proved to us all that we shouldn’t fear for the future of ReVamp. On the contrary, their new album Wild Card explores new musical territories, and sounds quite heavy. I must add that I found the new album a bit chaotic at times, but live it clicked together like clockwork. Precise, strong and compelling. The audience started clapping the second the lights went out, and was treated with a part one of The Anatomy of a Nervous Breakdown trilogy from Wild Card: On the Sideline. Part two (The Limbic System) and three (Neurasthenia) were played later on in the set. From the get-go, Floor amazed us all with her impressive voice. She has a range from operatic and angelic all the way to grunts, and she makes it sound so easy. To name just one example seems foolish, but Precibus perfectly highlighted her vocal range. And if that’s not enough, she’s an awe-inspiring presence on stage. Dressed in red, she truly was on fire. She kept on interacting with the crowd, and they responded within a heartbeat. From the first album, Head Up High was the first song to be played, followed later on by both In Sickness ‘Till Death Do Us Part: Disdain and Disgraced. In the end ReVamp said their goodbyes with Wolf and Dog, but according to all the horns, applause and requests for an encore, the crowd would have loved a few extra songs. [4/5]

So far the entire weekend was a weekend for the history books, but MFVF XI presented us with one more name, which made it impossible to forget: Tarja. After a theatrical intro she appeared on stage and launched into In for a Kill. It always stikes me how blissful Tarja looks on stage. She was born to sing, to give her heart and soul to the audience. This positive energy radiated throughout the venue and the crowd was happy to reciprocate with applause, singing, and raised hands. 500 Letters was greeted with cheers as though it was a classic hit, but it is in fact a song from her new album Colours In The Dark. Sing for Me and ‘I Walk Alone’ were the first ballads in the set, and they gave me goose bumps! Tarja proves time and time again that she has an incredible voice. Time to linger on this fact wasn’t part of the deal though. Falling Awake and Anteroom of Death shook us all awake.

People who have seen Tarja live before, know she usually doesn’t stick to one outfit, so Never Enough ended with an formidable band solo by cellist Max Lilja, Christian Kretschmar playing the keyboard, guitarist Alex Scholpp, bassist Anna Portalupi and Mike Terrana behind his impresssive drum kit. And indeed, at the beginning of Mystique Voyage, Tarja appeared in her second outfit of the evening (with matching microphone!) and she picked up the pace! Die Alive and Until my Last Breath had the crowd jumping in no time, as they should! Neverlight and Medusa were the final song before a short intermezzo and the intro for Victim of Ritual by Mike Terrana. He is a true magician with drumsticks! And things got memorable after this song. Tarja sang Wish I Had An Angel with passion and flair, and slowly reminded everyone of the fact that she promised us something a few weeks before MFVF. She didn’t have to ask us twice if we were ready, we were! For the final song of the festival, she invited Floor Jansen on stage for a duet. Together they sang Over the Hills and Far Away. Not only did their voices sound like all kinds of heaven, they were genuinely having a blast. They hugged, were dancing, and shared some words of wisdom with us: we have to keep the love going! [5/5]

After this epic duet, the time had come to say goodbye to MFVF XI. And on the way home I’m sure everybody was looking back on a wonderful edition to bring some warmth into the very cold night. Time to start looking forward to MFVF XII perhaps?

Freya Cherlet

Photography by Freya Cherlet.

 

Sauna Open Air 2013 – Tampere, FIN

Posted in Festival, Live with tags , , , , , , , on 9th June 2013 by izaforestspirit

Nightwish, Sabaton, Volbeat and many more
Ratina Festival Park, Tampere, Finland
8th – 9th June 2013

Sauna Open Air is an annual metal festival held in the city of Tampere. It has been running since 2004 and prides itself in showcasing a large variety of Finnish bands along with some international acts. This year the venue was moved to the Ratina Stadium located in the city centre within easy access of all transport routes.

Saturday 8th June (Day 1)

Stratovarius
I was still in the entrance queue as this band started playing. I can’t say that I’m too familiar with their music but even I recognized some of the hits such as ‘Black Diamond’ and ‘Hunting High and Low’. There’s nothing quite like a bit of power metal to get you in a festival mood. 3/5
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Children of Bodom
The band I’ve been waiting for! I’ve been a fan of their music for many years now and so my expectations for the show were high. Luckily Mr. Laiho and co. know how to entertain the home crowd. They mentioned playing in their hometown of Espoo earlier and called for Tampere to start a mosh-pit and make it’s bigger than the one in Espoo. They played a healthy mix of new songs from ‘Halo of Blood’ such as ‘Transference’ along with some old favorites including: ‘Needled 24/7’, ‘Bodom After Midnight’ (one of my personal favorites), ‘Everytime I Die’, ‘Hate Me’, ‘In Your Face’ and ‘Downfall’. It was an impressive show with lots of guitar solos, fast keyboards and Alexi Laiho’s signature semi-growls. 4.5/5
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Opeth
Hailing from Sweden, this progressive melo-death troupe was one of the few non-Finnish bands in the line-up. There’s not an awful lot that I can say about this band except that I used to like their music back when they played something resembling melodic death metal. I’m sure that progressive rock and metal fans would love it. 2.5/5
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Finntroll
This band of freakish woodland creatures showed up on stage draped in full costume complete with troll ears and scary make-up. I’m not too familiar with the latest album but based on that performance I can safely say that it sounds catchy and definitely benefits from being played live. Lucky for me they also played some of the older songs including the crowd favorite ‘Trollhammaren’ which really got the mosh-pit moving. Overall it was a great show, fun to watch and dance along to. 4/5
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Nightwish (with Floor Jansen)

I’ve seen these guys live before, in Helsinki back when Anette was their singer. That show suffered from a case of bad vocals, which were often drowned out by the guitars, and the singer being slightly ill that night…

This was 10 times better. Aside from the impressive stage decorations and pyrotechnics, the main attraction was the guest singer Floor Jansen (ReVamp/ex-After Forever) whose powerful voice and charismatic stage presence won the audience over. Her heartwarming attempts at Finnish proved a hit with the crowds. Nightwish played a mixture of older songs including: ‘She Is My Sin’ (a personal favorite), a cover of ‘Over The Hills and Far Away’, ‘Dark Chest of Wonders’, ‘I Wish I Had An Angel’, ‘Nemo’ along with some newer material such as ‘Storytime’, ‘I Want My Tears Back’ and ‘Amaranth’. It’s surprising just how big of a difference the lead singer makes to a band’s performance. I really liked Nightwish with Tarja Turunen, hated them with Anette Olzon and really enjoyed them with Floor Jansen at the helm. Let’s just hope that they retain her services and make her a permanent member of the band. 4/5
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Sunday 9th June
(Day 2)

Hardcore Superstar
This was one of those bands I’ve heard a lot about though I’m not too familiar with their music. Based on today’s performance, what I can say is that they played decent sounding rock and drew in a sizable crowd. The music itself was rather catchy at times and had a slight Guns’n’Roses feel to it.
2.5/5
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Sabaton
The Swedish power metal battalion sure know how to make an entrance. They chose to have ‘The Final Countdown’ playing in the background as they come on stage. Nice touch! The last time I heard them was at Tuska festival last year when they concentrated mainly on older material, playing only one track from the new album. This time their set-list included lots of tracks from ‘Carolus Rex’ such as ‘Gott Mit Uns’, ‘Lion From The North’, ‘Poltava’and the Swedish ‘Karolinens Bön’ along with some old classics such as ‘Ghost Division’ and ‘The Art of War’.
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They also played some local favorites, songs connected to Finnish history such as ‘The White Death’ and ‘Talvisota (Winter War)’. Frontman Joakim Bróden even found time to crack a few jokes, comparing the band to The Village People, attempting some basic Finnish (“Terve Tampere!”) and greeting the band’s youngest fan, a three year old boy who had come to watch the show with his parents. A great show! 4/5
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Overall it was a very enjoyable two day festival. It’s great to see that Tampere can host these kind of events and that you don’t always have to travel to Helsinki to witness a good metal festival. My favorite performances were Children of Bodom and oddly enough Finntroll. I was also pleasantly surprised by Nightwish. Sabaton delivered yet another solid performance, not the first but hopefully not the last either.

Iza Raittila

 

Symphonic metal titans Leaves’ Eyes added to MFVF 2013

Posted in Featured, News with tags , , , , , , , on 24th March 2013 by Nico Davidson

German-Norwegian symphonic folk metallers Leaves’ Eyes have been confirmed for the Metal Female Voices Festival, which takes place every October in Belgium. This comes as exciting news for fans the band’s frontwoman Liv Kristine, as she’ll be performing twice at the festival – With Leaves’ Eyes and as part of her solo project.

In related news, Leaves’ Eyes have recently began the vocal recordings for their upcoming album, Symphonies of the Night.

Tickets and information for the Metal Female Voices Festival in Belgium can be found by clicking the image below.

 

Local band announced for MFVF

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

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

 

Crossover rockers Kontrust announced for MFVF

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , on 22nd March 2013 by Nico Davidson

Following a constant flow of announcements, Kontrust are the latest band to be added to the Metal Female Voices Festival in Belgium, which will take place from 18th – 20th October, later this year. Tickets and further information are available from the festival’s official website that can be found here. The festival’s full line-up so far is: Tarja TurunenDelainReVampVisions Of AtlantisSerenityAnneke Van GiersbergenKobra & The LotusImperiaStream Of PassionVictoriansChaostarL‘EndeviDalriadaCrimfall CadaveriaKontrust.

 

Crimfall and Cadaveria announced as latest additions to MFVF

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

Finnish energetic folk metallers Crimfall and “horror metallers” Cadaveria are the two latest additions for Belgium’s Metal Female Voices Festival, which is considered by many to be one of Europe’s premier “female fronted metal” festivals.

The full line-up for this year’s MFVF is as follows:

Tarja TurunenDelainReVampVisions Of AtlantisSerenityAnneke Van GiersbergenKobra & The LotusImperiaStream Of PassionVictoriansChaostarLEndeviDalriadaCrimfallCadaveria.

Full information on the festival and how to buy tickets can be found at this location.

 

Interview with David Homer [Apparition]

Posted in Interview with tags , , , , , on 31st January 2013 by Nico Davidson

Created 16 years ago by David Homer, Apparition have sailed through the UK’s underground scene, supporting more well-known acts such as ReVamp, Delain and Sarah Jezebel Deva.

With a performance coming up at The Dames of Darkness Festival and their recent album released through Ravenheart Music, David Homer, bassist for Apparition has a chat with Valkyrian Music’s Nico Davidson.

Nico: Your album For Vengeance… And For Love… was released recently, what are the main concepts on the album?

David: They are just different stories sang to music. No real concept except maybe ‘freedom’.

Nico: How does For Vengeance… And For Love… differ from previous Apparition releases?

David: Well, I was the only person on this album that was on the debut Drowned in Questions. The songs on For Vengeance are a lot heavier, better production because we took more time and I did the keyboards on all but two of the songs. I visited this keyboard player called Adam a few years ago and by watching him picked up tips on how to be creative with the keys instead of just playing simple chords. Thankfully, he is in the band now.

Nico: You’re playing the Dames of Darkness Festival in May. How are you feeling about that?

David: As we are hosting the show I am just hoping it all works out and that the bands and fans leave happy with good memories. If it is a success we might do others.

Nico: I understand you’ve shared the stage with Delain in the past. Are you looking forward to sharing the stage with them again at Dames of Darkness?

David: Yes because when we played with them the first time I didn’t really know them or their music. When I watch them this time it means the day is nearly over and I can relax.

Nico: How would you say that Apparition differs from the other “female-fronted” bands on the scene?

David: We are classed as symphonic metal and goth metal and we use live keyboards and not backing tracks like most bands both big and small. I feel there is enough creativity in the band to show that we don’t need orchestras or choirs. Not to say I don’t like bands that do have these parts because I do but it’s just not for us.

Nico: How would you describe your music to a potential fan?

David: If we jammed without vocals and keyboards we could be seen as a Metallica type band. By adding Sakara’s [Apparition‘s new frontwoman] wonderful singing and Adams keyboards we give the music atmosphere and feeling.

Nico: Apparition have played a number of different shows, some of which have been in support of acts like Sarah Jezebel Deva, ReVamp and Tarja Turunen. Which show would you say was the best one you’ve played?

David: My favourite show by far was with Sarah Jezebel Deva in Liverpool. We were really tight and had so much energy that night. The Tarja show was good because we played in front of many people and it was good to meet the lady herself.

Nico: Aside from the aforementioned Dames of Darkness Festival, what other plans do the band have for 2013?

David: We’re going overseas to play again. Last year we played at Angels Rock festival in Belgium with Azylya and ExLibris which was very cool. Before that we need to work hard at practices with new guitarist Nick and hopefully new drummer Alex.

Nico: What’s the meaning behind the band’s name, Apparition?

David: There isn’t one, it just sounds right for a gothic kind of metal or rock band.

Nico: Excluding yourselves, which band from the UK would you say are the best on the current British metal scene?

David: I am not saying this because we toured with them but I really love Sarah Jezebel Deva‘s band because they have great songs. Each night after we played I would still enjoy watching them even after ex amount of shows. Also Saturnian, a symphonic black metal band we played with at the Liverpool show were amazing. Everyone who knows our then guitarist Owen will tell you he never shuts up  BUT he was quiet for about the 30 minutes that they played. At first we thought he had gone to the lap dancing club next door but nope, he was transfixed!

Nico: Thanks for your time, David. I look forward to seeing you all at Dames of Darkness in May.

You can follow Apparition at these locations:

https://www.facebook.com/apparitionband
http://www.myspace.com/apparitionworld

 

Interview: Doro Pesch

Posted in Interview with tags , , , , , , , on 16th October 2012 by Nico Davidson

Doro has been a household name on the international metal scene for many years now, earning herself the title as the Queen of Metal. Kick starting her career in Snakebite, before joining Beast and eventually forming Warlock, as well as having a long standing solo career, Doro has stood against the test of time and proven herself time and time again. With the release of Raise Your Fist [review can be read here], Nico catches up with Doro for a chat about the new album, today’s female fronted metal scene and Terminator!

Nico: Hi Doro, how you doing?

Doro Pesch: I’m good. I’ve played some gigs, ja and I did a tour all over the world. I was in New York last week and I’m back in Germany and I’ve got a new album [Raise Your Fist] coming out next week [19th Oct] and we’re going on tour shortly.

N: Sounds like you’ve had fun then.

D: Ja, ja, ja. It’s always an adventure. Nothing ever gets boring.

N: So you’ve got the new album, Raise Your Fist, coming out on 19th October. Are there any concepts or lyrical themes that run through the album?

D: Ja, actually there is. The whole theme of the album is keep fighting the good fight and there’s a lot of anthems that I think will make people feel good and will really be connected to them, especially the song Raise Your Fist In The Air or the anthem on there called Rock Till Death and there’s some old school metal songs on it; one’s called Take No Prisoner and the other’s Revenge and another called Little Headbanger. And there’s some ballads on it. One of my favourite ballads on it is the one I did with Lemmy called It Still Hurts. It’s definitely one of the highlights and Lemmy sings so great on that song. And there’s another special guest who is Gus G – The guitarist for Firewind and Ozzy Osbourne who is playing on Grab The Bull (last Man Standing) and that’s another uplifting song which has some good metal power, some metal energy.

N: What would you say is your favourite track from the album?

D: Oh, I would say It Still Hurts [Featuring Lemmy] and Raise Your Fist In The Air and the last one on the album that is called Hero which is in honour of Ronnie James Dio and is dedicated to Ronnie because he meant so much to many, many fans including myself and it was a great honour to tour with him a couple of times. The first in ‘87 and again in 2000 and in the last ten years [before his passing] we had become really great friends.

N: If you could go back to when you first began singing for bands like Beast and Warlock, what advice would you give yourself?

D: Actually, I wouldn’t. It’s always been such an adventure and I wouldn’t want to miss anything in the past. It was always a hundred and fifty percent and trying to go for it and ja, to keep the ball rolling. I think the most difficult time was when grunge was suddenly becoming huge. That was the only time that we thought “We hope metal comes back” and when it did come back, I can appreciate it even more and I’m so grateful for everything that’s gone so well. Metal’s so big, so huge right now. I would say that was the only time I could have done with advice but it was not in our hands, but it’s good to live through some hard times and you know, work harder, be stronger, that saying – what doesn’t kill you, only makes you stronger. I think that’s absolutely true. So, that time only when grunge was taking over metal but everything else was great.

N: Speaking of metal, more specifically, female-fronted metal, over the recent years female-fronted metal has become bigger with bands like Epica, Lacuna Coil and Nightwish making huge success on the scene, with younger and smaller bands like Aonia and Alice In Thunderland making a name for themselves as well. How do you feel that the metal scene, in particular, the female-fronted metal scene, has changed since your career first started?

D: Ja, I think it’s great. There are so many great singers, musicians and all girl bands, it’s fantastic! And now, I think it’s much more better than it was in the eighties. Back then, it was just a handful of women and a handful of bands – There were fantastic bands that I loved like Rock Goddess from the UK and Girlschool, The Runaways. But now, I think it’s much more balanced. I think everyone is doing a fantastic job and that women really do get respected. It’s not even a big deal any more in this day and age. In the eighties, I think there was maybe some, you know, sexism going on which personally, I never felt but it was something you read from the articles in the magazines or the video producers would be putting naked, sexy girls in the videos of the bands with guys. It did not look so dignified but in this day and age, I think it is dignified. I like to try and support them on the scene, all the great female singers and musicians. On the next America tour, we’ll be touring with Sister Sin – They’re from Sweden but there’s a great singer with them called Liv. But I think the most important thing is the music, everything else is just secondary. So it doesn’t matter where you come form or if you’re a man or woman. The music always shines through.

N: You’ve done several collaborations and duets with bands and vocalists over the years,  like Tarja Turunen [Ex-Nightwish], Blaze Bayley [Ex-Iron Maiden/Wolfsbane] and Lemmy [Motorhead]. What would you say is the most fun duet or collaboration you’ve done so far?

D: Every collaboration I’ve done so far has been a total highlight in my life. Everyone was different, sometimes you just had one or two days in the studio and I loved doing the duet with Pete Steele, but unfortunately he’s not alive any more. It was great, it means so much to me. But with Lemmy, ja, I’d say that was the greatest for me because it was at a time, when we did our first duet on my Calling The Wild album about twelve years ago, I was in in a sad desperate state of mind because my dad, he died, he was my best friend. I love him so much, he was so supportive. I had wrote Lemmy a letter weeks before that and I said “Hey Lemmy, we’re label mates now. I don’t know if you remember me but I was the little girl at the Monsters of Rock festival” and I put a picture of me with Lemmy in the letter and I said “If you feel like it’s a good idea, maybe we could do a song together or something” and then some weeks later, my dad passed away and I was devastated. A few days later, I was picking up black clothes for my mum because of the funeral and then the phone rang. I didn’t feel like picking up the phone because I was so sad and I didn’t feel like talking with any body. And my mum said “Hey, don’t you want to see who it is?” and I said “No, mum. I don’t want to talk to anybody” and she “Well, how about you check who it is?” and then I looked at my phone and it was an AA number and I just wow and she said to pick it up, and I picked up the phone and it was Lemmy. I just thought oh my god, it’s Lemmy, you know and just wow. He said he’d got my letter and that we should do something together then I said “Lemmy, I’m so sad, I don’t even know if I want to do anything, my dad passed away recently”. He said “Doro, you know what? I can hear that you’re in pain and it’s very important that you do something. Come to AA and we’ll do something nice”. Then I went to AA and we did two duets, Alone Again which Lemmy wrote a beautiful acoustic guitar piece for and the Motorhead classic Love Me Forever. I must say, Lemmy was a kind of angel for me. He gave me something which, you know, nobody could have done for me. That was probably the most important duet for me but the other duets were great too and it was a great honour for me to work with such lovely people. But Lemmy might have saved my life, so I’m happy he came to sing on my new album again as well on the song It Still Hurts.

N: How would you describe the new album in five words?

D: Only in five words? Oh god! I would say: Powerful! High energy! Very emotional! Very positive! And a good mixture between old school metal and fresh new powerful sounds!

N: You’ve been active for the metal scene for years now, so what do you feel that you owe the longevity of your career to?

D: The most important part… The fans! Always, always the fans! I owe it all to the fans because their energy, their love, their support, was what was always made me wanna go on! They helped me through the hard times like the nineties when grunge was so, so big. The fans were always there, always supporting me. They [the fans] are the most important thing in my career and in my life, it always was the fans and always will be the fans and to me, that’s the important thing. I made a conscious decision at 24 or 25 that I wanted to totally dedicate my life to the fans and not like, have babies or get married and I’m so grateful to be part of the metal family.

N: Speaking of the fans, in particular, the female ones. What’s it like being an inspiration to female metalheads around the world?

D: It makes me so happy! Somebody feels inspired and when people are like “Oh, we saw your video and started a band” or when the girls start singing or playing drums or the guitar, it always makes me so happy! If I can give somebody good energy or inspire someone to go into music and try, even if it’s as a hobby – Music is the greatest thing in my life and it’s so great when people feel inspired to make music.

N: Speaking of bands, given your years of experience as a musician, both touring and studio based, what advice do you have for young bands that are appearing on the scene today?

D: GIVE IT YOUR ALL! Hang in there! Follow your heart, your gut, your instincts! Do what you feel is right! Always got for it! Never, ever give up! Be yourself, even when people tell you that you should this or this or go in this direction. Give it your all and try and find good people who will always support you and believe in you and even if there’s nobody there or nobody believes in yourself, try believe in yourselves, give it one hundred and fifty percent, even if it takes longer than you think. Just keep at it, you will definitely be rewarded. Try and find good people who like the same music or the same style to form a band where everyone gets along. Do what you feel is right, even it’s not the latest trend or the flavour of the month. And take the advice of a good lawyer when it comes to signing contracts and stuff and always look after the business stuff as well. I always so into the music that I didn’t care or pay attention to the business and sometimes we’d sign stuff without the advice of a lawyer and I did stupid things. The rock and roll is all good fun but always get someone to help you when it comes to signing contracts just to make sure you don’t sign your life away and that you always keep your freedom to do what you want to do.

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

D: Let’s put it this way, I would love the chance to add some parts to my favourite movies, Terminator and Terminator 2. I would love to add some parts to give it a hardcore feel or maybe some powerful guitars to the scenes where people are being chased and make it even more intense and make it a little bit more metal but I wouldn’t replace the whole soundtrack but only add to where I think I could add things and give it our own little metal touch.

N: Is there anything you’d like to say to the readers?

D: Yeah, I wanna say to all the readers that I’m looking forward so much to coming back to the UK in November and that I hope everyone is doing well! I wanna thank everyone for their tremendous support and that the start of the New Wave Of British Heavy Metal was the start for me and it’s what influenced me the most, bands like Saxon and Judas Priest, so I feel at home in the UK and that I hope to see everyone in the UK in November and that I hope everyone loves the new record. I love you guys and girls, keep metal alive!

N: Thanks for your time, Doro! Have a good night and take care.

D: Thanks, Nico. It was every good talking with you. Take care.

 

Tarja says “No” about returning to Nightwish

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

Ex-Nightwish frontwoman Tarja Turunen recently told Ilatehti that she won’t return to Nightwish, stating “I would be ready to return to Nightwish – if all the band and management were changed. No one knows what I went through over the years with the band. I accept how hard it is for fans to understand my feelings.

When questioned about her thoughts on Anette recently departing from Nightwish, she stated that it did not surprise her.

Keyboardist Tuomas Holopainen dismissed Tarja at the end of a tour by presenting her with an open letter which was published on the Nightwish website at the same time, which came to great shock from fans of the band and caused many to be quite vocal about the decision. He wrote: “To you, unfortunately, business, money, and things that have nothing to do with emotions have become much more important.

Anette Olzon joined the band in 2007. At the weekend she missed a concert, telling fans she’d had to go to hospital. Nightwish played the planned show with the help of backing singers from tourmates Katatonia. Anette responded by saying that should not have happened. The following day, it was announced she’d left the band, witht eh decision being “mutual”.

The Finnish metal outfit are continuing their Imaginaerum tour with Dutch vocalist Floor Jansen [ex-After Forever/ReVamp] standing in, which has led some fans to believe that she will be joining Nightwish as their new vocalist.

Floor commented “I’m trying to find words to describe how I feel, but it’s impossible to cover it. I’m on a high. The time to prepare was scarily short. I packed and left, and printed the lyrics into my head on the way over from Amsterdam to America. Next day I jumped on board the bus and the adventure began. On the day of the first who we did a long soundcheck to rehearse. You cannot imagine how nervous I was. But the intro started, I ran on staff, and all nerves were gone. The excitement lasted the entire show and way after.

Score samples released from upcoming Nightwish movie

Posted in News with tags , , , , on 24th August 2012 by Nico Davidson

Just moments ago Nightwish released a clip containing samples of the soundtrack from their upcoming movie, Imaginaerum. The soundtrack will be released 9th November and can be pre-ordered here.

You can listen to the samples below.

Nightwish are also on tour around the UK in November with Pain.

Tour dates can be found on the official Nightwish website.