Archive for Wintersun

Lonewolf – The Fourth and Final Horseman

Posted in CD, Metal with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on 1st July 2013 by Hannah

Lonewolf
The Fourth and Final Horseman
Released: July 2013
Power Metal
Released via Napalm Records


The Fourth and Final Horseman is a valiant effort from French power metal powerhouses Lonewolf. At times reminiscent of other fully fledged champions of the genre like Sabaton, or indeed legends such as Manowar or Blind Guardian, they also promise variety and versatility with tinges of Children of Bodom, Wintersun and even the late, great Bathory. However, this variety never fully manifests, and it’s something that lets the band down here.

Don’t get me wrong, in the long run, I think TFAFH is a cracker of an album. Jens Börner’s often criticised vocal style actually works in their favour, in my opinion; his voice is intensely gravelly, very throaty and I can understand why it puts people off, but I think it elevates their sound beyond the normally ultra-slick and squeaky clean production of most power metal bands and adds a heavy, gritty edge to their music. Of course there is a major Running Wild influence throughout but Lonewolf get too much flack for this and I think it’s time we accepted that, and moved on!

There are some fantastic tracks on offer here. Opener and title track ‘The Fourth and Final Horseman’ is a strong start, with a simple, repetitive and infernally catchy chorus that will get stuck in your head for the rest of the day- a formula Lonewolf tend to stick to throughout the rest of the album! Here, Börner and guitarist Alex Hilbert definitely show off their virtuoso capabilities with spiralling guitar harmonies; again, a formula they will stick to. Most of the time, this faithful adherence to this tried-and-tested method of song writing doesn’t detract from their sound, and I am tempted to say if something works, then by all means go for it! It works well in tracks ‘Hellride’ and ‘Time for War’, for example, but leaves ‘Throne of Skulls’, ‘The Brotherhood of Wolves’ and ‘Guardian Angel’ quite uninspiring.

Where TFAFH reaches its most impressive heights for me is in the tracks that promise echoes of something more; those hints of variety that I mentioned previously. ‘The Poison of Mankind’, for example, starts very strong with an almost cinematic, choral tinged opener that slowly builds into a stomping tune that eventually reverts to the usual Lonewolf formula, but still maintains that atmosphere created by the start of the track. A similar effect is achieved in ‘Dragonriders’, with its almost Celtic, folk-tinged melodies and in album closer ‘Destiny’, in which a slow, almost acoustic feeling promises a brooding and atmospheric closer before it once again falls into simply another stomping, energetic power metal track.

Don’t get me wrong; their formula works, and I don’t think any of the songs on this album are bad; on the contrary, they are impressively energetic, and good all-round metal songs with more than a tinge of the retro. I just wish they had the balls to stick with the slower, more melodic and quieter elements sometimes! This is why the standout track for me, by far, is the only one in which they manage to maintain that epic, melodic atmosphere throughout, and that is in the Bathory-esque ‘Another Star Means Another Death’. Change the vocals and it wouldn’t sound that out of place on Hammerheart or Blood Fire Death. It begins with a beautiful, brooding, slow burning melody that quickly builds into heaviness but manages to keep that brooding atmosphere bubbling throughout.

Overall, there is some fantastic guitar work going on throughout this album, and I enjoyed most of it. However, I can’t help but think that Lonewolf would silence their critics if they only managed to shake things up a bit, and show off the versatility that is so blatantly hiding under the surface. Having said that, I do think that this is a good album and a must for any fan of power metal, and I even think that this would be a good choice for those that don’t usually dabble in the genre. A good effort; I just want to see more variety on the next album.

3/5

Hannah O’Flanagan

 

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Savage Messiah confirm UK tour with Wintersun and Bloodshot Dawn

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

Savage Messiah have confirmed a UK tour with Finnish metallers Wintersun and fellow UK metal band Bloodshot Dawn.

Savage Messiah will be taking a break from recording their as-yet untitled new album to take part in the five-date trek, which kicks off on 16th July at the Garage in London.  The band will then be heading out around the UK again in October on a mini headlining tour.

Savage Messiah’s lead guitarist Joff Bailey comments:

Me and the boys will be taking a break from recording our new album in July to tear up the road again around the UK with Wintersun!  The band is in fighting form at the moment and we’re set to raise absolute hell around the UK on this tour and our headline shows in October!  We’ll also be previewing some brand new songs taken from the new record throughout all of these dates, making it the heaviest Savage Messiah set list to date!  It really is gonna kick ya fuckin’ skulls in.  Mark our words… WE MEAN FUCKIN’ BUSINESS!!  We really can’t wait to rip the throat out of these shows and catch up with all the Savages around the country!  See you in the pit – then at the bar, mutha fukkas!  BRING IT!

See Savage Messiah live at the following shows:

Jun. 14 – London, UK – The Garage (w/ Nekrogoblikon)
Jul. 16 – London, UK – The Garage (w/ Wintersun, Bloodshot Dawn)
Jul. 17 – Manchester, UK – Club Academy (w/ Wintersun, Bloodshot Dawn)
Jul. 18 – Nottingham, UK – Rescue Rooms (w/ Wintersun, Bloodshot Dawn)
Jul. 19 – Newcastle, UK – O2 Academy 2 (w/ Wintersun, Bloodshot Dawn)
Jul. 22 – Bristol, UK – O2 Academy 2 (w/ Wintersun, Bloodshot Dawn)
Oct. 29 – Manchester, UK – Sound Control
Oct. 30 – York, UK – Fibbers
Oct. 31 – Birmingham, UK – The Temple
Nov. 01 – London, UK – Borderline

Savage Messiah online:

http://facebook.com/SavageMessiahMetal
http://twitter.com/savagemessiah

 

Æther Realm – One Chosen by the Gods

Posted in CD, Folk, Metal with tags , , , , , , , on 4th February 2013 by Hannah

Æther Realm
One Chosen by the Gods
Released 8th January 2013
Folk/Death Metal
Self-Released

North Carolina’s Æther Realm– no, they’re not from Finland- are a brilliant band that play no holds-barred, folk spirited metal that rouses the soul and provides an excellent soundtrack for generally epic activities- from pillaging villages to playing Skyrim. Their debut album, ‘One Chosen by the Gods’ is a solid and impressive offering that is incredibly atmospheric, and very strong from the first track to the last.

Opening on the mighty ‘Oak’, the album dives headfirst into epic folk melodies that are intertwined expertly with harsh vocals and an excellent use of both hard, metallic riffs and a softer, instrumental sound. As with the rest of the tracks, the lyrics are effective and play along to the ‘Viking’ theme exceedingly well. Second track ‘Journey of Discovery’ begins with an atmospheric, almost cinematic sound. In fact, this wonderful song in its entirety would be suitable for a fantasy epic. Fantastic effort here, with a good use of vocals and instrumentation throughout. This epic quality continues with ‘Hourglass’, which also contains a nice variation in tempo throughout, and helps to keep the album as a whole even more interesting. There are some very intricate melodies at play here, which adds to the multi-layered feeling of the track altogether. The band’s namesake song, ‘Æther Realm’ is a much faster paced track, with a heavy, stomping tempo that is reminiscent of horses galloping into battle. As heard on the previous song, this track contains some nice tempo changes and this helps to showcase the talent of the band well.

If I had to pick a favourite of the nine tracks on offer here, track number five would probably be it- but the fact it was so difficult for me to decide this shows how strong all of the songs on this album are! ‘Swampwitch’ is an incredibly catchy tune, with an infectious refrain and an impressive and not too excessive guitar solo. I particularly like the group of voices shouting the title throughout the chorus. Eponymous track ‘One Chosen By The Gods’ has a ferocious beginning, and it doesn’t disappoint as the track progresses. It’s a fantastic, rasping battle-cry of a song, complete with pounding, machine-gun drums. There’s an interesting use of symphonic keys in the mix here, which adds another melodic element to the track and lends it an almost video game-esque quality to the sound. Next song, ‘Ravensong’, includes a great use of choral vocals, with (the almost signature) sweeping melodic background- another excellent song, which is becoming something of a trademark for Æther Realm! The penultimate offering, ‘Winter’s Grasp’, is almost progressive in parts, and lends itself well to comparisons with Wintersun. Even so, in some ways this would be the weak link of the album, if it was at all possible to single out any of these songs as being ‘weak’- I merely feel, personally, that a slightly rawer, folk edge would have lent itself to the song a little better. Album closer ‘Odin Will Provide’, however, is a truly epic way to bring this triumph of an album to a close. Here are, once again, a strong melody, supported by fantastic and intelligent lyrics and another catchy refrain. This track ensures that the album makes its mark on your memory!

Overall, ‘One Chosen by the Gods’ is an excellent debut offering from a band that is well on their way to taking their place in the glorious ranks of the other Viking-clad folk metal behemoths. Æther Realm’s sound is somewhere in between Ensiferum and Wintersun, and if they can constantly deliver goods as solid as this, they will have nothing to worry about. A fantastically impressive set of songs, with no real weak link among them, and it has certainly whetted my appetite for more. I look forward to seeing what more Æther Realm have in store.

5/5

Hannah O’Flanagan

 

Wintersun confirm shows in Spain for 2013

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , on 7th December 2012 by Nico Solheim-Davidson

Finnish metallers Wintersun have confirmed three shows for Spain for 2013. Locations and dates of the shows are as followed:

June
24 – Bilbao, Spain – Rockstar
25 – Madrid, Spain – Caracol
26 – Barcelona, Spain – Apolo 2

Wintersun are currently on a North American tour with Eluveitie and Varg. The band are also confirmed to play Metalfest and Beastival in Germany as well as Tuska Open Air in Helsinki, Finland.
Below are the remaining dates on the North American tour:

December
7 – Louis’ Pub – Saskatoon, SK
8 – West End Cultural Centre – Winnipeg, MB
9 – Station 4 – Saint Paul, MN
11 – Bottom Lounge – Chicago, IL
12 – Peabody’s – Cleveland, OH
13 – The Opera House – Toronto, ON
14 – Mavericks – Ottawa, ON
15 – Club Soda – Montreal, QC
16 – Imperial – Quebec City, QC
18 – Water Street Music Hall (at The Club) – Rochester, NY
19 – Mr. Small’s Theatre – Millvale, PA
20 – Gramercy Theatre – New York, NY
21 – Royale Boston – Boston, MA

 

Exclusive Wintersun live stream

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , on 18th October 2012 by Nico Solheim-Davidson

The fans had to wait for 8 years but on Monday (22nd) the new Wintersun album Time I will finally be released via Nuclear Blast! To shorten the wait, the band is currently streaming the whole album on their homepage and they have also revealed all lyrics to the songs. Click here to stream the album!

The band will also be headlining the Heidenfest tour 2012.

Here you can find all info, dates, running orders and more by clicking here.

“TIME I” track listing:

1. When Time Fades Away
2. Sons of Winter and Stars
I Rain of Stars
II Surrounded by Darkness
III Journey Inside a Dream
IV Sons of Winter and Stars
3. Land of Snow and Sorrow
4. Darkness and Frost
5. Time

The bonus DVD includes:

1. Land Of Snow And Sorrow (Live At Rehearsals, Helsinki)
2. Darkness And Frost & Time (Live At Rehearsals, Helsinki)
3. Sons Of Winter And Stars (Live At Rehearsals, Helsinki)
4. Licks & Tricks Of TIME I With Each Band Member
5. Sons Of Winter And Stars – Project Demonstration (Interview at Jari´s Home Studio)
6. Photo Gallery (Live At Rehearsals, Helsinki)

Pre-order the album „TIME I“ here:
Nuclear Blast Europa:

http://www.nuclearblast.de/de/shop/artikel/gruppen/51000.1.nuclearblast.html?article_group_sort_type_handle=rank&custom_keywords=wintersun%20time%20I

 

Wintersun official album teaser available

Posted in News with tags on 24th September 2012 by Nico Solheim-Davidson

The new Wintersun album TIME I will be out on October 19 via Nuclear Blast. The band will headline the so-called Heidenfest Tour in Europe October/November and embark on a North American run with Eluveitie end of 2012.  

TIME I will be available as follows:
 
–          Limited Mediabook (Hard cover, wide format) CD + DVD
–          Limited Mediabook (Hard cover, wide format) CD + DVD + Instrumental CD of ‘TIME I’, Certificate (Limited to 500 copies, exclusively available at Nuclear Blast)
–          Limited Mediabook (Hard cover, wide format) CD + DVD + signed photo card Jari Mäenpää (Limited to 1.000 copies, exclusively available at Amazon.de)
–          Limited Mediabook (Hard cover, wide format) CD + DVD + WS Logo Shirt gray/black (exclusively available at Levykauppa Äx)
–          CD Jewelcase
–          Digital download
–          iTunes digital download w/ ‘TIME I’ booklet
 
The bonus DVD includes:
 
1. Land Of Snow And Sorrow (Live At Rehearsals, Helsinki)
2. Darkness And Frost & Time (Live At Rehearsals, Helsinki)
3. Sons Of Winter And Stars (Live At Rehearsals, Helsinki)
4. Licks & Tricks Of TIME I With Each Band Member
5. Sons Of Winter And Stars – Project Demonstration (Interview at Jari´s Home Studio)
6. Photo Gallery (Live At Rehearsals, Helsinki)
 
 
Pre-order the album TIME I at the following locations:
 
Nuclear Blast Europe
Nuclear Blast USA
Levykauppa Äx, exclusive CD/logo shirt bundle 
EMP
Amazon.de limited edition
Amazon

Heidenfest trailer available with two new Wintersun songs plus new show confirmed

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

It took mastermind Jari Mäenpää of Heidenfest headliners – mighty genre legends Wintersun from Finland – exactly one album to write epic metal history: Wintersun came out in 2004 and will be followed by a new milestone called Time I soon. The wait is almost over…

The tour will be completed by Korpiklanni, Varg, Trollfest, Krampus as well as special guests at the extended shows. HEIDENFEST 2012 – the ultimate party-program with several highlights, new albums, new music which will spice up your misty Autumn and mood!

A special fan package offer is now available: get your Heidenfest ticket, t-shirt and CD for a killer price! Order now here.

HEIDENFEST 2012
Presented by Metal Hammer, Legacy, Noizeletter, Musix, X-tra-X, Metalnews.de, BLAST!

WINTERSUN
KORPIKLAANI
VARG
TROLLFEST
KRAMPUS
+ SPECIAL GUESTS at extended shows*
FINNTROLL + EISREGEN (DE Shows) + ARKONA (NL Shows)

19.10.2012 DE – Oberhausen, Turbinenhalle *Extended Show*
20.10.2012 DE – Stuttgart, LKA Longhorn *Extended Show*
21.10.2012 NL – Tilburg, 013 *Extended Show*
22.10.2012 CH – Pratteln, Z7
23.10.2012 CH – Fribourg, Fri-Son ***NEW***
24.10.2012 IT – Bologna, Estragon
25.10.2012 AT – Wien, Gasometer
26.10.2012 DE – Leipzig, Hellraiser
27.10.2012 CZ – Prague, KD Vltavska
28.10.2012 PL – Krakow, Studio
29.10.2012 DE – Hamburg, Markthalle
30.10.2012 DE – Berlin, Postbahnhof
31.10.2012 DE – Munich, Backstage
01.11.2012 DE – Saarbrücken, Garage
02.11.2012 DE – Geiselwind, Music Hall *Extended Show*
03.11.2012 DE – Giessen, Hessenhallen *Extended Show*
04.11.2012 BE – Antwerp, Trix

www.heidenfest.eu
www.facebook.com/heidenfest
www.rockthenation.eu