Archive for Watain

Paul’s Top Ten Live Performances of 2018

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on 13th January 2019 by Paul Macmillan

As these end of year lists tend to go, a lot of those based on releases are quite similar. So, to side-step that, this one is going to be quite the personal account of various live experiences. Some may have been shared with tens of thousands. Others with barely one hundred. The one conjoining feature of each and every one is that they are embossed upon my own memory as something far beyond the average. So, without further ado,  and in no strict order, here’s my top ten list of live performances from 2018.

1 – Virus at Smashed Fest, Perth, SCO

While this was an amazing show to be part of, for many reasons, one of the things which will stay vibrant and real in the memory is the performance of headliners Virus. Headed by self-proclaimed “geriatric thrasher” Coke Finlay, this was the first of a big set of shows celebrating the 30th anniversary of their Force Recon album. At around an hour and a half, it was a pretty demanding gig, but they laid down the riffs and showed the young uns how it’s done!

2 – Arroganz at The Viper Room, Vienna, AT

While on a run to Vienna, we decided to take a chance on a local show. I had no idea who any of the bands were before buying tickets, but a quick advance scan of online videos quickly showed it was a full black metal event. While every band churned out a quality performance, it was Arroganz who really clinched it. Bringing their own sludgy death-groove riffs to a hard-hitting BM tradition, to sent me home with a big grin and a big handful of merch.

3 – Krysthla at Hordes Of Belial, Dundee, SCO

This Northamptonshire based tech-death outfit have got to be among the top five of British extreme metal bands at present. The never fail to blitz the audience at every show, from toilet gigs to big fests. Their first time at Hordes Of Belial saw them take on main support on stage one, and I have to say, they just blasted the place in half, leaving the Dundee crowd completely and utterly shell-shocked. The level of intensity delivered was simply unhinged.

4 – Power Trip at Bloodstock Open Air, ENG

Somehow, I hadn’t properly heard Power Trip before this show. A friend camping with us let me listen to a snippet or two, but the sound didn’t really let me know what I was in for. From start to finish their mid-afternoon onslaught was irresistible, and saw me inexorably drawn into the pit for a band with which I was previously unfamiliar. I didn’t remember having “my shit” with me when they kicked off, but I had sure as hell lost it by the time they were done.

5 – Vuur at The O2 ABC, Glasgow, SCO

Having been a fan of vocalist Anneke van Giersbergen’s previous band, The Gathering, for many years, I’d put my expectations on hold for this one. I was surprised to see the evening’s activities were to take place in a small-ish, cosy room of the (sadly now destroyed) venue. This only elevated the special charm of what turned out to be a beautifully intimate show, featuring emotional favourites, acoustic renditions, and sparkling new numbers.

6 – Annihilator at QMU, Glasgow SCO

It’s always great to see Testament, but I think I speak for everyone who was in attendance at this event, when I say Annihilator were truly the kings of the kill. Tighter than Scrooge McDuck’s bum, they smashed out hit after hit, Jeff Waters commanding the crowd with a maniacal grin. There was no huge stage spectacle. No special occasion. No tricks and traps. Just a phenomenal performance, at a great gig, from a band who nailed every aspect of being them.

7 – Watain at Wacken Open Air, DE

Have you seen Watain live? I’d only ever seen videos before. Witnessing their 2018 show live (twice, actually) was really something else. So much atmosphere. And so much fire! It’s no wonder they are gathering a mass fan-base with increasing pace, as being there could make you feel like you’re part of something bigger. Something empowering. Something dark. Looking close, one could even see rituals being muttered between lyrics. If the heat didn’t melt your eyeballs first.

8 – Suicidal Tendencies at Bloodstock Open Air, ENG

The odds were stacked against this legendary band making BOA, from the sound of things, mainly in the form of  various ‘transport issues’. When they finally arrived, their set shifted from the RJD stage to the smaller Sophie tent, they rolled straight into high-energy mode. Seemingly powered up by the trials of the day, they went on to make their show all about the audience, getting a kid involved in the drumming, and one wheelchair bound crowdsurfer pushed up and down the stage by Mike Muir. Simply lovely and legendary.

9 – Heilung at Wacken Open Air, DE

“Ethereal” is probably the one and only single word which could begin to describe this experience. Taking to the medieval themed Wackinger outdoor stage, in the middle of the night, Heilung swamped the intoxicated masses. I didn’t manage to catch them on their subsequent tour, but it’s really hard to imagine indoor venues matching the character of this performance being cast out into the dark of Germany’s witching hour. It was simply one of those moments in time which I don’t believe it will be entirely possible to replicate. You were either there or you weren’t. I would love to watch them again, but I suspect I would be chasing the elusive “first hit”.

10 – Slayer at SSE Hydro, Glasgow, SCO

Well, at the start of this article, I did say these events were in no particular order, but you know what they say about rules. The live metal crown of this year absolutely has to go to original thrash titans, Slayer. Aside from hosting one of the best under-cards for a long time, the atmosphere when the headliners took to the stage – seemingly for the last time in Scotland – was insane. This was not only down to them playing at their best. Credit is also due to the production crew, because they transformed that venue into another world. One last time, we were taken into Slayer territory, deeper than we had ever dared before. It was one Hell of a farewell.

2018 – It was a real live one…

Arroganz. Photo Paul Macmillan/Slow Dragon Music

Paul Macmillan

Watain release first video for Outlaw; UK tour in process

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , , , on 5th December 2013 by Nico Davidson

Swedish black metal titans Watain have released the first music video for their song Outlaw. The song is taken from the band’s recent musical opus The Wild Hunt, which was released in August earlier this year through the band’s own label His Master’s Noise via Century Media. The video is produced by Watain and Johan Bååth who already directed the band’s Opus Diaboli DVD in 2012. The video can be viewed below. Watain comment:

The Outlaw video is a knife stab in the face of today’s clean and witty metal scene and yet another step for us to bring back something real and extreme into this limping music movement.

The band also started their UK tour earlier tonight and can be caught live at the following dates:

Dec 06 Glasgow, Garage, UK
Dec 07 Birmingham, The Library, UK
Dec 08 London, Electric Ballroom, UK

Dec 13 Eindhoven Metal Meeting, NL
Dec 14 Paris, Le Trabendo, FRA

09.01.2014 Amplifier Bra, Perth, Australia (Watain only)
10.10.2014 The HiFi, Melbourne, Australia
11.01.2014 The Factory Theater, Sydney, Australia
12.01.2014 The HiFi, Brisbane, Australia
23.01.2014 Fryshuset
25.01.2014 Lille Vega, Vesterbro, Denmark
20.06.2014 Hellfest, Clisson, France
07.-09.08.2014 Party-San Open Air, Schlotheim, Germany

More dates to be confirmed soon.

Watain online:

http://templeofwatain.com
http://facebook.com/watainofficial

Watain announce tour through the old world

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

Swedish black metallers Watain recently released their latest offering of black metal hymns in the form of The Wild Hunt which impressed both fans and media alike. Following their extensive North America tour in October and November, the band will set fire to European stages to present their new musician opus live. Those who witnessed Watain‘s album release show in Uppsala, Sweden last month will know exactly what to expect while  those who missed it will have to remain curious and is advised to not miss it. The band comments:

It will be with the dead of winter that we shall come hunting through Europe again. By then the dry heat of summer will be long gone, moistened by gasoline and tears, ready to explode into a storm of panic and euphoria, death and metal, war and pain, sodomy and lust! So gather yourselves and prepare, forbidden fires and unearthly lights shall illuminate the winter nights…

UK tour dates are as follow:

05.12.2013 Manchester, Academy 2
06.12.2103 Glasgow, Garage
07.12.2013 Birmingham, The Library @ The Institute
08.12.2013 London, Electric Ballroom

Watain online:

http://facebook.com/watainofficial

Svartsot and Old Corpse Road confirmed to play York

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

Once again, Asgard are another night of furious metal to the city of York at the end of the Jorvik Viking Festival. This year will see the show headlined by Danish metal titans Svartsot who have never headlined a show on British shores. This will also be the band’s first ever UK show. Joining them as main support are one of the UK’s finest black metal covens: Old Corpse Road, who hail from the dusky location of Darlington. Drawing heavily on British folklore for their influence, Old Corpse Road are the perfect addition to the bill. The opening act is to be confirmed.

The show will take place on 22nd February 2014 at Fibbers in York. Tickets will be available soon from Asgard as well as the venue and other ticket outlets.

Svartsot online:

http://svartsot.dk
http://facebook.com/svartsot

 

Watain’s ‘The Wild Hunt’ enters the charts

Posted in Misc., News with tags , on 4th September 2013 by izaforestspirit

Swedish black metal band Watain have recently entered their national charts in their home country with their new album ‘The Wild Hunt‘ at #1. Even in the second week the album is still in the top five. Elsewhere ‘The Wild Hunt’ is also make waves, reaching #18 in the German charts and #158 in the Billboard Top 200 in the USA. This follows a highly successful, sold-out album release party held in their band’s home city of Uppsala, Sweden last month.

As a token of appreciation to the fans, Watain offers a gift – a free download of the b-side from the ‘All That May Bleed’ 7” single released on Summer Solstice, June 21st, 2013. The Side B is a track called ‘Play with the Devil’ originally recorded by the Black/Heavy Metal band Taiwaz in 1988, in Watain’s hometown Uppsala and features Gottfrid Åhman from In Solitude participates on solo guitar. To access the download click here: http://thewildhunt.se

Here’s a message from their frontman, E.: “It’s always a special feeling to release an album with Watain; to let the levee break and have the hungry waters gush forth again, swallowing everything in its way. Hail to all of our supporters who gave the release of The Wild Hunt the attention and dignity it deserves! See you on the long and winding road that now lies ahead of us.”
 photo Watain_zpsdb106182.jpg

http://www.templeofwatain.com
http://www.centurymedia.com

In Solitude announce new album and stream title track; Sister

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , , on 19th August 2013 by Nico Davidson

Swedish metallers In Solitude have announced their third studio album, Sister, which will be release in the UK on 30th September via Metal Blade Records. The title track, Sister, is now streaming at this location. Vocalist Pelle Åhman speaks on behalf of In Solitude:

It’s time to release our third album, and things have never felt this clear and pervasive before. This is a feeling that has permeated our whole lives during the latest year of writing and recording this album, as well as digesting and dealing with its consequences. And it has been wonderful, overwhelming and utterly devastating. Which, in the world of In Solitude, are very positive things, and exactly what was required.

It is a very special album for us, and I am very thankful and proud of my brothers (including our great friend, and producer, Martin Konie Ehrencrona), for this is truly the most visceral music we’ve ever made, and we can’t wait for you to experience it too.

You come without. And all falls within. There is a light in the world. There is a stone to the head.

Sister was recorded at Studio Cobra in Stockholm, Sweden during March 2013. The album was produced and mixed by MartinKonieEhrencrona and stands as a logical next step above and beyond its predecessor, The World.The Flesh.The DevilIn Solitude‘s strength resides in their ability to craft dark and oppressive atmospheres within the auditory realm of classic heavy metal.Sister compounds this trademark sound further, beginning with the acoustic intro, He Comes and saturates the record in an aura of uniqueness; see: Lavender and the title track.

The album concludes with an 8-minute, driving, near trance-like opus that features guest guitarist Pelle Forsberg (Watain). Additionally, Jarboe of Swans fame can be heard on Horses in the Ground. Moods range from Mercyful Fate-esque guitar flavors, shadows of Black Sabbath, the heavy dissonance of Swans, to straight-forward, ear worm riffs. In any case, one thing can be said for certain: their delivery is as genuine as it is impressive.

North American fans will have an opportunity to see In Solitude live this Fall. The band will be supporting Watain on their Wild Hunt tour beginning on October 8th in New York City. The tour also features support from Tribulation.

In Solitude online:

http://facebook.com/insolitudeofficial

The Wild Hunt begins now

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , , on 14th August 2013 by Nico Davidson

This week sees the beginning of The Wild Hunt – the latest album from Swedish black metal heroes Watain, which is released today (14th August) in Sweden, 16th August in Germany, 19th August in the UK, 20th August in the US and the rest of the world early next week. More info on the new album can be found in this interview with Watain vocalist E.

The Wild Hunt will be released in the following formats:

–standard CD jewelcase
–limited edition CD mediabook
–2LP, 180gr black vinyl
–limited edition box set
–digital download

Pre-order links and audio samples can be found on the band’s official website.

On 24th August, Watain will conduct the grand opening ceremony of The Wild Hunt world tour in their hometown of Uppsala. They will be joined by In Solitude and Degial. The tour will continue into North America – Dates as follow:

Oct. 8–New York, NY–Irving Plaza
Oct. 9–Philadelphia, PA–Underground Arts
Oct. 10–Worcester, MA–Palladium Upstairs
Oct. 11–Montreal, QC-Foufounes Electriques
Oct. 12–Toronto, ON–Opera House
Oct. 14–Detroit, MI–The Magic Stick
Oct. 15–Chicago, IL–Bottom Lounge
Oct. 16–Minneapolis, MN–Triple Rock Social Club
Oct. 18–Denver, CO–Marquis Theatre
Oct. 19–Salt Lake City, UT–In The Venue
Oct. 21–Seattle, WA–Studio Seven
Oct. 22–Vancouver, BC–Rickshaw
Oct. 23–Portland, OR–Hawthorne Theater
Oct. 25–Oakland, CA–Oakland Metro
Oct. 26–Los Angeles, CA–VEX
Oct. 27–Phoenix, AZ–Rocky Point Cantina
Oct. 28–Albuquerque, NM–Launch Pad
Oct. 30–Austin, TX–Red 7
Nov. 1–Atlanta, GA–Masquerade Hell
Nov. 2–Charlotte, NC–The Casbah
Nov. 3–Baltimore, MD–Baltimore Sound Stag

European tour dates are still to be announced.

Watain online:

http://templeofwatain.com
http://facebook.com/watainofficial

 

Watain present new song from upcoming album, The Wild Hunt, plus exclusive cover

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

In anticipation of the release of their upcoming album, The Wild Hunt, Sweden’s sinister black metal cultists Watain have unveiled anther new song from the album. The new song, The Child Must Die, can be heard down below. Watain made comment on the song:

The Child Must Die is a song of sorrow and liberation, of the sacrifices that the path of adversity requires. Musically it shows yet another side of The Wild Hunt, being more Heavy Metal-rooted perhaps than All That May Bleed.

In related news, Watain have also teamed up with American Decibel Magazine to give fans a white-on-black flexi disc for an exclusive cover of Fuck Off, We Murder, as made famous by GG Allin. Head to this location to listen to the cover. Commenting on the cover, Watain had the following to say:

Driven by an inner fire and a genuine contempt for society and all its particles, GG Allin lived and died as a true rock n roll outlaw, and is to this day an inspiration for anyone to whom conformity and authority are things that must be fought and eliminated, not only by words but by action.

The flexi disc for Fuck Off, We Murder will be available for subscribers only in Decibel’s September issue (out in August).

Produced once again by Tore Stjerna at his Necromorbus studio in Alvik (Sweden), The Wild Hunt is a sonic and lyrical tour-de-force that explores Watain‘s roots, such as Bathory and Dissection, while also remaining truly unique. Having lost none of their integrity, Watain continues to push the boundaries of the scene with their fifth full-length, refusing to compromise their sound and vision. Amid the tracks teeming with the band’s classic sound, The Wild Hunt also features clean vocals (a first for the band!) which, as front-man Erik puts it, “…is just us being brutally personal and honest. It shows another important facet of the Watain world.” As this new album will soon prove, Watain truly lives in a world all their own.

The Wild Hunt is due out 19th August in Europe and 20th August in North America through the band’s own label His Master’s Noise via Century Media Records.

Watain online:

http://www.templeofwatain.com
http://www.facebook.com/watainofficial

 

Watain announce formats for upcoming album The Wild Hunt

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , on 10th July 2013 by Nico Davidson

Taking things to the next step – whatever the costs are. This has always been Watain’s goal from day one and this has never been truer than with The Wild Hunt, their fifth full-length album coming out 19th August in Europe and 20th August in North America through the band’s own label His Master’s Noise and Century Media Records.

It would be easy to call this the most important album of their career but then again, all their albums are. Yet resting on their laurels never was an option and so Watain decided to go into seclusion for over six months to compose their new album, followed by four long and excruciating months in four different studios to record this beast. With mixing duties handled by the faithful Tore Stjerna at the famous Necromorbus studio in Alvik (Sweden), The Wild Hunt marks another gigantic achievement and most importantly once again ups the ante compared to Watain’s extremely well received previous releases.

The Wild Hunt will be released worldwide in the following formats:

Standard CD Jewelcase (and digital download)
1. Night Vision (3:39)
2. De Profundis (4:33)
3. Black Flames March (6:21)
4. All That May Bleed (4:36)
5. The Child Must Die (6:04)
6. They Rode On (8:43)
7. Sleepless Evil (5:38)
8. The Wild Hunt (6:21)
9. Outlaw (5:07)
10. Ignem Veni Mittere (4:39)
11. Holocaust Dawn (7:07)

Limited Edition CD Mediabook with additional artwork
1. Night Vision (3:39)
2. De Profundis (4:33)
3. Black Flames March (6:21)
4. All That May Bleed (4:36)
5. The Child Must Die (6:04)
6. They Rode On (8:43)
7. Sleepless Evil (5:38)
8. The Wild Hunt (6:21)
9. Outlaw (5:07)
10. Ignem Veni Mittere (4:39)
11. Holocaust Dawn (7:07)
12. …

2LP, 180gr black vinyl in special Gatefold cover
Side A
1. Night Vision (3:39)
2. De Profundis (4:33)
3. Black Flames March (6:21)
4. All That May Bleed (4:36)

Side B
5. The Child Must Die (6:04)
6. They Rode On (8:43)

Side C
7. Sleepless Evil (5:38)
8. The Wild Hunt (6:21)
9. Outlaw (5:07)

Side D
10. Ignem Veni Mittere (4:39)
11. Holocaust Dawn (7:07)

Limited Edition Box Set
Contains:
2LP, 180gr black vinyl in special Gatefold cover
Limited Edition CD Mediabook with additional artwork
Altar cloth (100cm x 100cm) *
Poster (120cm x 60cm) *
Metal pin *
Postcards *
‘When Stars no more shine’ 7” single * (The 1st Watain song ever written,  in 2 versions from 1998 and 2013)*
* exclusively available in the Box Set

This version is limited to 1,000 copies worldwide, available through normal retail channels.

2,000 copies the Limited Edition Box Set will contain the 2LP in gold vinyl, only available through CM Distro – the pre-order start will be announced soon.

2,000 copies of the ultimate Limited Edition Box Set will contain the 2LP in red vinyl, a signed postcard and a very special second ‘XI’  7” single (Music and lyrics by Jon Nödtveidt and Set Teitan, performed by Watain)  that won’t be available anywhere else, exclusively available to pre-order now at the band’s own shop WolfWear.net.

All That May Bleed, the first single of Watain’s new album The Wild Hunt, is now available as a 7” and digital download.

On the 24th of August, Watain will conduct the grand opening of The Wild Hunt world tour in their hometown Uppsala. For those who want to see Watain’s infamous live ceremony taken to a new level; this is your chance. The venue chosen for this night of unchained metal magic is Svandammshallarna, located in the heart of the city. Tickets are on sale now at this location.

Watain online:

http://www.templeofwatain.com
http://www.facebook.com/watainofficial

 

Watain reveal tracklist and artwork for fifth studio album ‘The Wild Hunt’

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

Sweden’s most notorious metal extremists, Watain, reveal the album cover artwork and tracklist of their fifth studio album. Executed in oil and mixed materials, the cover of The Wild Hunt was done by Zbigniew M Bielak, the very same artist who was responsible for the Lawless Darkness artwork. The piece depicts one of the inmost shrines of Watain‘s temple. As on every classic still life, each object has a significant meaning, while each song of the album is also connected to an object.

The Wild Hunt track listing:

1. Night Vision
2. De Profundis
3. Black Flames March
4. All That May Bleed
5. The Child Must Die
6. They Rode On
7. Sleepless Evil
8. The Wild Hunt
9. Outlaw
10. Ignem Veni Mittere
11. Holocaust Dawn

The Wild Hunt will be released August 19th in Europe and August 20th, 2013 in North America by His Master’s Noise, via Century Media Records.

Watch the video below get a first impression of the first single All That May Bleed. Side B is a track called Play with the Devil originally recorded by the Black Metal band Taiwaz in 1988, in Watain‘s hometown Uppsala. Gottfrid Åhman from In Solitude participates on solo guitar in Watain‘s version. The All That May Bleed single will be out next week (June 21st 2013) and will be available through www.wolfwear.net and www.cmdistro.com.

On the 24th August, Watain will conduct the grand opening of The Wild Hunt world tour in their hometown Uppsala. For those who want to see Watain‘s infamous live ceremony taken to a new level; this is your chance. The venue chosen for this night of unchained metal magic is Svandammshallarna, located in the heart of the city. Tickets are on sale now from this location.

Watain online:

http://templeofwatain.com
http://facebook.com/watainofficial

 

Watain announce video trailer for All That May Bleed from upcoming album The Wild Hunt

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

Swedish black metallers Watain have released All That May Bleed, the first single from their upcoming album, The Wild Hunt. Head below to get your first impressions of the single. The band commented:

All That May Bleed shows but one facet of a quite diverse album, but we chose this song as a first glimpse into The Wild Hunt because of its bombastic lunacy and white-eyed malevolence which could be said to constitute a main foundation for the album. The lyric is an invitation to sacrificial blood letting, ecstatic zealotry and human sacrifice. The salt of Satan in the wounds of Christ!

Side B is a track called Play with the Devil originally recorded by the Black/Heavy Metal band Taiwaz in 1988, in Watain‘s hometown Uppsala. Gottfrid Åhman from In Solitude participates on solo guitar in Watain‘s version. The All That May Bleed  single will be out June 21st, 2013 in the following formats:

*Black 7″ vinyl – limited to 2,000 copies worldwide
*Red 7″ vinyl with sticker (only available from www.wolfwear.net) limited to 500 copies worldwide
*7″ Picture disc limited to 500 copies worldwide available from www.cmdistro.com and www.wolfwear.net
* Digital Download

Watain’s upcoming album The Wild Hunt will be released 19th August in Europe and 20th August 2013 in North America by His Master’s Noise, via Century Media Records. On the 24th of August, Watain will conduct the grand opening of The Wild Hunt world tour in their hometown Uppsala. For those who want to see Watain‘s infamous live ceremony taken to a new level; this is your chance. COmmenting on the tour, the band stated:

The plan is to make this concert everything we have ever wanted our concerts to be. In a touring scenario it is impossible to drag along all the horrors and infernal machinery we need for that, but performing in our hometown allows for a much more grandiose and spectacular stage show and performance. Mark our words, this will be one to remember!

The venue chosen for this night of unchained metal magic is Svandammshallarna, located in the heart of the city. Tickets will be released on Friday the 7th of June.

Watain online:

www.templeofwatain.com
https://www.facebook.com/watainofficial/

 

Watain unveil title of fifth studio plus release date

Posted in Featured, News with tags , , , , , , , , , on 1st May 2013 by Nico Davidson

Infamous Swedish black metal band Watain have recently announced the title and release date of the upcoming album. The band posted the following update on their official Facebook page:

After 120 nights of iron will and ardent magic, the fifth fullength album of Watain is now complete. With broken bones and burning hearts we have ploughed our way through deepest winter into a new wilderness, to which we will open the gates at summers end. The Wild Hunt will be released on August 19th in Europe and August 20th in USA. Beware the rising star of dawn…

The album was mixed again at the Necromorbus Studio in Alvik, Sweden by Tore Stjerna. The band had no further comments. More details will be unveiled soon.

Formed back in 1998, the first two albums Rabid Death’s Curse (2000) and Casus Luciferi (2003) established the band firmly within the underground scene whereas Sworn To The Dark (2007) and especially Lawless Darkness (2010) helped them conquer a wider audience making them one of the most talked about acts in recent years. Musically rooted in classic black metal inspired by the likes of Venom, Hellhammer, Bathory, Mayhem and Dissection as well as the grandeur of old Iron Maiden, Metallica and oddly enough Rainbow, it is the larger-than-life aesthetics and total dedication to their art that elevates Watain beyond almost any other extreme metal band out there. Watain is satanic metal at its most frightening and fascinating.

After celebrating their 13th anniversary with the release of the DVD/double live album Opus Diaboli (2012) under the band’s own imprint His Master’s Noise, followed by an US tour with Behemoth, The Devil’s Blood and In Solitude earlier this year plus celebrated shows at Wacken and Bloodstock Open Air, 2013 will see the release of Watain‘s much anticipated fifth studio album The Wild Hunt via His Master’s Noise in collaboration with Century Media Records.

Watain online:

http://www.templeofwatain.com
https://www.facebook.com/watainofficial/

Orphaned Land reveal artwork for sixth studio album, All Is One

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

Oriental metal pioneers and warriors of light, Orphaned Land, will be releasing their long awaited new album All Is One on June 24th 2013. This release will be the band’s 6th full length and marks a huge step forward. Today, the band revealed the incredible cover artwork for All Is One created by the French artist Metastazis (Paradise Lost, As I Lay Dying, Sonne Adam, Watain), incorporating perfectly the three signs of the biggest religions as one. The artwork can be viewed below.

The album will be available as Limited Deluxe Book Edition including three bonus songs and a bonus DVD, as well as Limited double Gatefold LP including the three bonus songs and in different vinyl colors. A standard Jewelcase CD format and digital download will also be available.

All Is One tracklist:
1 All Is One
2 The Simple Man
3 Brother
4 Let The Truce Be Known
5 Through Fire And Water
6 Fail
7 Freedom
8 Shama’im
9 Ya Benaye
10 Our Own Messiah
11 Children

Orphaned Land online:

www.orphaned-land.com
www.facebook.com/pages/Orphaned-Land/8776213035
www.youtube.com/user/OrphanedLandTV
http://www.lastfm.fr/music/Orphaned+Land
http://www.myspace.com/orphanedmyspace

 

Bloodstock Open Air 2012 Review

Posted in Festival, Live with tags , , , , , , , on 21st August 2012 by Hannah

Bloodstock Open Air Festival 2012 [Behemoth, Machine Head, Alice Cooper & more]
Catton Hall, Derbyshire
9th-12th August, 2012

So, another year, another Bloodstock. This year was probably one of the most controversial for a good number of years; mainly based around line up. Not only was there a massive furore over the choice of Machine Head as Saturday’s headliners, there was also much discussion of the line up, in general, being poor. Swathes of apparent regulars made it clear that the line up meant they were not purchasing tickets. This didn’t affect Bloodstock in any way, mind. There were over 11,000 people in attendance- the biggest number to date- and the organisers were able to enjoy the fact that their VIP packages totally sold out, and there were not many regular passes left by the time the weekend came around. This year’s Bloodstock was also notable for another, more special reason. Over the course of the weekend, many of the live performances were streamed world wide for the first time ever, and this decision proved to be a resounding success; over 200,000 people across the globe tuned in to watch live footage of the festival throughout the duration of the weekend. In terms of ticket sales, bums on seats and world domination, Bloodstock outdid themselves this year. But what of the festival itself?

Friday started off with a ridiculous heat wave. The fields of Catton Hall overflowed with sweaty, melting metal heads, most of them sweltering in the commonly worn uniform of black band shirt and jeans or camouflage trousers. But this sudden appearance by the sun did not stop them from turning out in multitudes to check out all three stages (four, if we count the Jagermeister Truck acoustic stage). With a cold one in my hand (one of 60+ real cask ales and ciders on sale in the Serpent’s Lair; the extra £100 odd was worth it just for that selection) I trudged to the main stage to enjoy the first few bands. Reading’s Malefice started proceedings with a valiant performance, filled with power and energy and determined to make a name for themselves. These newcomers pulled in a respectable crowd for the first slot of the day, and in my opinion started the festival off well. Followers Freedom Call kept up the energy with forty minutes of pure, cheesy German power metal, and I’m not ashamed to report that it was glorious. Their set was certainly a ‘happy metal party’ and they got the crowd jumping along to most of their songs. With their upbeat melodies and cheerful yet clumsy, Olympics centred banter, almost everyone watching their set had a stupid grin on their faces by their closer. Grand Magus were predictably epic, and the freshness of their material and stage presence makes it easy to forgot how long they have been around for. The Swedish stalwarts showed how thumping heavy metal is meant to be done.

Unfortunately for myself, I was unable to see most of the second half of Moonsorrow’s set as I quickly fell ill with what I now recognise as heatstroke, but the first half I did see was fantastic. They played a good selection of their material, and managed to put on a great performance, despite the fact that much of the crowd was flagging in the somewhat unexpected heat by this point. Their set was also far too short, especially considering most of their songs hit the nine minute mark, and it can only be hoped that they don’t leave it too long til they tour the UK as headliners. I have it on good authority, thanks to my temporary co-correspondent Joe (my brother) that Iced Earth absolutely slayed it. In three words, they were pounding, soaring and epic. The screams of ‘Iced Fucking Earth’ that echoed around the arena barely needed any encouragement from the band themselves, and they left the crowds begging for more. In complete contrast, and in a somewhat controversial claim, Joe felt that Sepultura were a massive disappointment. Clumsy and clunky, they played a set that didn’t contain enough new stuff to be purely Derrick Green era-stuff, nor enough classics to be a ‘classic Sepultura’ show, even despite the inclusion of songs such as ‘Refuse/Resist’ and ‘Roots’. I was back to the arena in time for Dio’s Disciples, the special tribute set up in memory of the late, great Ronnie James Dio, metal legend and namesake of Bloodstock’s main stage. And what a tribute it was. Each and every member of the band put their heart and soul into the performance, and it showed. Nearly every member of the band was almost in tears during their set, and they gave rousing renditions of some of Dio’s best known songs, including ‘Holy Diver’, ‘Stargazer’ and ‘Rainbow in the Dark’. We still love you, Ronnie. Whilst Dio’s Disciples got all emotional on the main stage, mention must be made of Hull’s Infernal Creation, who tore up the New Blood stage in the same slot. Bastard, Neiphrobous and Sin were joined by Cryptic Age’s Tom Keeley for the performance, due to bassist Beleth’s recent ill health (swift recovery, dude!) and they laid down their black metal credentials for all to see. Neiphrobous had the disappointingly small crowd in the palm of his outstretched claw, and whilst they deserved to pull a far greater number of people, those that were in attendance were treated to a thirty minute long aural assault of the highest calibre. A fantastic performance by a brutal underground band, deserving of greater success.

The atmosphere in the main arena grew noticeably chillier during the set up for Watain, and it wasn’t just the onset of the evening. There was almost as much of a buzz for these guys as there was for Friday headliners Behemoth. When asked about who they were here to see, countless people answered ‘Fucking Watain!’. All inverted crosses, flaming sigils and fire, Watain were truly a spectacle. Frontman Erik Danielsson (E) soaked the crowd- and pre-prepared, poncho and cagoule wearing security- with blood from a silver chalice, as ominous red lights zoomed over the crowd. They delivered their special blend of hauntingly beautiful and brutal black metal to the masses assembled in the fields of Catton Hall. Their stage show was uncompromising, being the masters of the theatrical and experts in creating an atmosphere both electric and somewhat unsettling. I managed to grab E for a quick chat on Saturday evening, and he summed their performance up in a concise way:

            I think it was very beautiful, it was during the sunset, and the sun came down in a very fitting way I would say. As far as Bloodstock goes, it’s another one of those places where two-leggers gather in the same place. I have an extremely hard time dealing with that, and it’s getting to the point of nausea, but at the same time it’s a good place.

All hail the black priests of metal!

After being suitably roused into a black, unholy frenzy, headliners Behemoth materialised on the stage in a flash of blue light and fog like a furious quartet of Cenobites. It is so, SO good to be finally writing a review of a performance by Behemoth at Bloodstock, and just as good to see Nergal, victorious in his battle with leukaemia, absolutely ripping Bloodstock a new one. The truck full of pyro they commissioned to trek across Europe from Poland meant that they were fully able to flex their blackened muscles and deliver a full Behemoth show to the baying crowds. Ferocious and uncompromising, they delivered a spectacle that will stay in the minds of all those assembled for a long time to come. On the visual front, they did not disappoint. Burning crosses, hooded monks, and a brilliantly clever use of fog and lighting to create a massive, Ronnie James Dio stage sized Polish flag, they looked spectacular. They sounded spectacular, too. With a set list that included fearsome renditions of songs old and new, including my personal highlights ‘Christians to the Lions’ and ‘Slaves to Serve’, Nergal, Orion, Inferno and Seth were the masters of the hordes as Friday evening closed in an infernal frenzy of blackened death metal. Behemoth fucking ruled.

On to Saturday, then, and after catching the end of what proved to be an energetic set by Benediction, on came ZP Theart of ex-Dragonforce fame, and his new band IamI. Theart had a lot to prove today, and even though his distinctive vocals strained a little at times, their raw sort of power metal worked quite well. He obviously loved being on the stage, and whilst it has to be said that their material bordered on repetitive, they gave a commendable performance. Following the power metal was Taiwan’s ChthoniC, who were, in a word, brilliant. They brought their folk-inspired, mythologically-powered black metal to the assembled crowds and performed beautifully. Freddy Lim, erhu in hand, made firm friends with the crowd and inspired an anti-Chinese roar of ‘Taiwan! Taiwan!’ to erupt among the arena. Even though many of them may not have understood the significance of Lim’s impassioned tirade against the Chinese occupation of Taiwan, they sympathised with ‘Chinese Taipei’ and were intensely receptive to the band’s atmospheric sound. The less said about Mayhem, the better. I was intensely disappointed with their lack of performance and the overall sloppy state of their set. Even Attila was boring. They came onto the stage and seemed to leave again soon after, without much fuss. So very anti-climactic. In contrast, the newly reformed Sanctuary were a surprising success. Even though their reformation will probably be at the expense of the fantastic Nevermore, it’s good to see Sanctuary back together. They really entertained the crowd with an energetic and upbeat set, satisfying both old and new fans. One band that personally surprised me were Hatebreed. I did not expect to enjoy the Connecticut hardcore maniacs, but I really did. They gave a performance full of energy and proved themselves to be very proficient at what they do. With Hatebreed, circle pits were always guaranteed but what was good to see was that the pits, orchestrated by frontman Jamey Jasta with safety on his mind, were instructed to help anyone that fell back up to their feet. Hatebreed are a brotherhood, and no one gets left behind or forgotten, as was evident with their touching dedication to the recently fallen, including the Rev, Dimebag, Dio and Paul Gray. Due to other commitments, I wasn’t able to catch much of Testament’s set, but the view from Joe was that they were sick. They played a good selection of old and new and more than satisfied the crowds.

Saturday’s controversial headliners Machine Head came onstage will everything bared and a mentality of proving to everyone present that they deserved to be there. They were there for their fans, but also for every single person who would have rather seen someone else take their place. In my opinion, they more than deserved that headline slot, and proved so with a visceral, rib shaking performance. Clearly humbled and in awe of Bloodstock as a whole, Machine Head plunged into their set with no holds barred. They spattered their set with a good selection of tunes, including fan favourites ‘Imperium’ and ‘Darkness Within’. As had been advertised since their announcement, they also played the 5 ‘Burn My Eyes’ tracks that had been voted for by the fans, in honour of the 20th anniversary of the first live show they ever played, in Mike Scum’s house, for a ‘destroy the house’ kegger party. Fantastic. The tracks chosen- ‘Death Church’, ‘A Thousand Lies’, ‘Blood for Blood’, ‘Block’ and ‘Davidian’– were received with an almost rabid response; a personal highlight was definitely ‘Block’, a track that absolutely slayed the crowd with its chugging intensity. Robb Flynn also proved that his reputation as one of the ‘nice guys’ of metal is more than apt, with a touchingly heartfelt speech about the true, accepting spirit of metal and how stoked he was to be playing on the stage with so many of his metal brothers in attendance. He also showed how much of an expert he is at creating a rapport with the crowd, and even instigated some sort of epic battle between Wolverine and Banana-man. Machine Head’s headliner slot will go down in history as one of the most divisive but brutal sets in Bloodstock history.

There were a number of fantastic performances on both the S.O.P.H.I.E. and New Blood stages on Saturday as well. Witch Sorrow and Winterfylleth both put on fantastic performances; Witch Sorrow’s sludgey, droney doom metal shaking the bowels of all those cooped up in the sweaty, beer soaked S.O.P.H.I.E. tent, and Winterfylleth delivered a set full of competent, slick black metal. But the day has to be given to the mighty Orange Goblin. The fact that the crowd literally spilled out of the tent and created lines at least seven men deep as a huge number of people struggled to watch them can probably attest to the Goblin’s strength on Saturday night. Sludgey, sleazy and soaked in booze and weed, the Goblin were on form and should have been on the main stage. However, the underdog status of the second stage suited them well. Their performance was painfully effortless, and they delivered a strong, sublime set, filling the S.O.P.H.I.E. tent to the rafters with stoner madness. There were also strong performances over at the New Blood stage. Newcastle’s Reflection in Exile were brilliant, and better than many of the bands on the main and S.O.P.H.I.E. stages. Dare I say that they were better than Mayhem? Regardless, they gave their all in the performance and were rewarded with the total attention of a sizeable crowd, pulled into the New Blood stage and away from main stagers Hatebreed. Reflection in Exile are worth watching out for. Saturday’s New Blood headliners, Manchester’s Gone Til Winter, served up a slice of brilliant, dark power metal. Stealing a good size crowd in from Testament– though they deserved many, many more- they performed with their hearts on their sleeves. Vocalist  Talena is a fantastic front woman, with an easy and likeable demeanour and a good amount of stage presence. Their set list included a number of tasters from their upcoming debut LP, Hiding From The Sun. I wish them every success in the future; and good luck to Talena on the forthcoming birth of her baby!

The final day of Bloodstock 2012 dawned with a brilliant performance from epic Canadian metallers Kobra And The Lotus. I think it’s safe to say that Kobra Paige and her troupe of heavy metal warriors won over a new legion of fans on Sunday. And holy hell, can Kobra Paige sing! KATL were a fantastic way to start the final day of BOA, and served up a delightful portion of soaring, traditional heavy metal. Corrosion of Conformity were much better than I thought they would be. I didn’t expect their groovy, sludge metal to be as good as it was, but I was pleasantly surprised. Good set, despite the need for a bass amp half way through! All that can really be said about Nile is that they were fucking brutal. They played a good mix of their stuff, from older material to brand new tracks. My personal highlights were the brutal Sacrifice Unto Sobek, Execration Text and Lashed To The Slave Stick. Their mystical, Egyptological, brutal death metal crushed the arena, and their show was so intensely amazing that it didn’t even matter that the heavens opened part way through. It would be hard for any band to follow such a flawless set, but it could have proven disastrous for Black Dahlia Murder. So many people didn’t want them to be here, and so BDM had an awful lot to prove. But prove it they did. By the end, the crowd had grown into a respectable size and enjoyed their unapologetic brand of death metal mayhem. There were two people in the crowd who certainly enjoyed their set, as their doggy style adventures proved. I think BDM proved many of the haters wrong, and showed that they deserve their place on the line up as much as anyone else. I also dearly hope that Brian Eschbach got his cheesy chips with gravy. As was expected, Bloodstock favourites Evile played to an incredibly enthusiastic crowd and did not disappoint. Even though they seemed endearingly puzzled at the fact that this year saw their fourth year on the line up, they clearly loved being back on the main stage, as did the crowd. The Huddersfield troupe performed a really strong set, including the rabidly received ‘Cult’. Metal underdogs Anvil gave a roaringly successful, and somewhat poignant, performance. They were clearly enthused to just still be performing, and were well received. The success of their story was evident by the number of Anvil patches that could be seen on denim and leather jackets throughout the arena, standing side by side with big names such as Judas Priest, Megadeth and Iron Maiden. Well done, Anvil!

Goth/doom veterans Paradise Lost seemed to delight the crowds with a competent set that entertained whilst being slightly sloppy. Their set list spanned their whole career fairly well, so there was guaranteed to be something there for everyone. From a selection that included game changing album Draconian Times, Nick Holmes and his gloomy troupe played reasonably well, and finished with crowd pleaser Say Just Words. Paradise Lost could have been so much better, but with all said and done they were more than satisfactory. A band that did not disappoint was 2008 headliners and ‘special guests’ Dimmu Borgir. I’m not ashamed to say that Dimmu were probably one of the bands I was looking forward to the most all weekend, and they were astounding. They returned to the main stage with a triumphant performance, full of characteristic bombast and malignantly beautiful orchestrations, and oozing with dark charisma. They had the crowd lapping up every single note and ravenously devouring each morsel proffered, from ‘Gateways’ and ‘Dimmu Borgir’ to ‘Puritania’ and ‘Progenies of the Great Apocalypse’, with surprise appearances from ‘Vredesbyrd’ and closer ‘Mourning Palace’. It’s good to see that they have not lost any of the atmosphere brought by ICS Vortex’s clean vocals; in fact, the majestic choral recording created sweeping, epic atmosphere that melted with the brutal nature of the rest of the performance perfectly. A darkly beautiful, flawless set from one of the most professional and well-oiled bands in the industry.

What can I say about Sunday night headliner Alice Cooper? It’s been just over a week since I returned from BOA and I’m still getting over the spectacle of it all. Alice is 64 years old, and he wiped the floor with most of the other people who had been up on that stage before him. He has still got exactly what it is that made everyone fall in love with him back in the seventies, and I hope he never loses it, because he is fantastic. The anticipation started to build from the moment the vast, opaque banner was pulled up in front of the stage, obscuring the set up and preparations underway behind it, and the time it took to get the stage ready to be Coop’d seemed to fly by. The atmosphere in the arena, as Vincent Price boomed out from the speakers, was electrifying with excitement. Everyone was shoulder to shoulder as people squeezed in, trying to get the best view possible of what was to come. And what did come? A performance that showed everyone exactly how it is done. Starting with ‘Black Widow’, the man himself appeared atop a vast, cobwebbed lectern, resplendent in his spider suit, every single audience member dancing on his hands like puppets. A showman to the very end, Alice proceeded to entertain and beguile for an hour and a half that was stuffed with hits, favourites and rare titbits. I can honestly say that Cooper’s set was the best thing I have ever seen. Unlike the normal, pared down festival performances many bands deliver, Alice Cooper put on a full show, complete with guillotine, skewered paparazzo, pyrotechnics, dead dolls and a giant, guitarist chasing Frankenstein’s monster. I don’t think it would be possible for me to choose a favourite track, but the moment Alice donned a white lab coat and red, elbow length gloves during the opening chords of ‘Feed My Frankenstein’, I knew that Bloodstock 2012 had turned into an ‘I was there’ event. I was there to see Alice Cooper conquer, and prove that he is at the absolute pinnacle of rock showmanship. Almost every single band on the line up, from Watain and Dimmu Borgir to Machine Head and Black Dahlia Murder owe something to Cooper. Without Cooper, the rock concert as we know it would not exist. Theatricality and performance in concert would not exist. Without Cooper, the metal world would be a much less colourful place. Catton Hall turned into a cacophony of noise as every person present hoarsely shouted along with ‘Poison’, ‘Hey Stoopid’ and ‘No More Mr Nice Guy’, and whooped with delight as the unmistakable opening riff for ‘School’s Out’ rang out through the arena. Alice finished his set by striding onto the stage, Union Jack in hand, for a fittingly ferocious ‘(I wanna be) Elected’. Alice Cooper was absolutely phenomenal, and I will remember the feeling I got when I was watching him, a man I have looked up to and admired since I was seven years old and first heard ‘Poison’, for the rest of my life.

Bloodstock 2012 was an incredible achievement, crushing records and paying homage to some of the greatest names in modern metal. I’ll see you in 2013.

Hannah O’Flanagan, 2012