MAGNUM: Live at Club Tavastia, Helsinki

April 17th, 2014
by Marko Syrjala

Bob Catley


7′Th of April 2014

Club Tavastia, Helsinki


British rock band Magnum finally returned to Finland for the first time in 25 years.  The band released its 18’Th studio album ESCAPE FROM THE SHADOW GARDEN on last month and started the “Shadow Garden” tour now from Helsinki.  Although the sales numbers are quite different compared to the 80’s the album has been a great success. Album reviews have been very positive all along the line and it’s been charting highly across the Europe including the band highest rank in the UK album chart since 1992’s SLEEPWALKING. While it is true that times have changed a lot since 1989, the band still managed to attract more than 350 people, which is not all that bad on Monday night in Helsinki.  It’s time to “Rockin’ Chair” again!

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Mustasch with support act Eat The Gun on Thank You For The Demon Scandinavian Tour 2014 Kulturbolaget Malmo, Sweden

April 17th, 2014
by Anders Sandvall

mustasch_logo_2 (2)

Mustasch – headline act

Thank You For The Demon Scandinavian Tour 2014
Eat The Gun – support act

Kulturbolaget, Malmo, Sweden
21/3 – 2014

Reviewed and live pictures by: Anders Sandvall


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Crystal Viper – Interview With Marta Gabriel

April 17th, 2014
by Erich Heintzelman
Crystal Viper - Logo

Crystal Viper

Interview With Marta Gabriel of Crystal Viper

Conducted by Erich Heintzelman

I caught up with Marta Gabriel not long after the release of Crystal Viper’s newest album POSSESSION, a concept album about… you guessed it possession.  The topic is very dark,  and unashamedly metal much like the band and the lady herself, who takes recognizable pride in the her approach to traditional metal.  Marta discussed the new album, the band’s touring plans, and who her dream collaboration would include.

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METAL ALL STARS – Live at Hartwall Arena, Helsinki

April 17th, 2014
by Marko Syrjala
Metal All Stars

6′th of April 2014

Hartwall Arena, HELSINKI


The Metal All Stars touring circus landed at Finland in April. The whole tour had been advertised to have all the legendary heavy metal stars altogether such as Rob Halford, Vince Neil, Cronos, Tom Araya, Phil Anselmo and the former Megadeth guys Nick Menza and Martin Friedman. However the tour turned out to be one hell of a bluff when these legends vanished from the poster or announced no taking part in the Metal All Stars thing at all. Obviously the organization behind the curtains hasn’t pleased the bands and musicians that much either. When Metal All Star finally arrived after wild rumours and gossips, the 12000 seat Hartwall Arena was literally empty when only 2000 had crawled to witness the Metal All Stars. Well the Metal-Rules.Com was at present, witnessing this eccentric spectacle. Read the rest of this entry »


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KIX Sign With Loud & Proud Records

April 17th, 2014
by Celtic Bob


Look for KIX– Steve Whiteman (lead vocals), Jimmy Chalfant (drums, vocals), Ronnie Younkins (guitars), Brian Forsythe (guitars) and Mark Schenker (bass)—to release their first new album in almost two decades on July 22, thanks to their new partnership with Loud & Proud Records.  What makes the project even more exciting and anticipated is that the album features the band’s original line-up, with the exception of Schenker on bass.

“The boys and I are so happy that our old friend, Tom Lipsky, has invited us to join the Loud & Proud family,” exclaims Whiteman.  “We worked with Tom and Madelyn Scarpulla on our last studio album, SHOW BUSINESS, and we’re looking forward to working with them again with the release of the first new KIX album in almost 19 years!  We’ll still be coming to a dump near you very soon!”

Loud & Proud Owner & President Tom Lipsky adds, “What I have always loved about KIX is they make rock ‘n roll fun.  What I love about their new music is that it’s pure, genuine KIX music, straight up guitar rock with no compromise.  They’re not chasing trends or trying to re-invent themselves.  They’re simply doing what they do best…and now they can do it Loud and Proud!”

Marking the re-emergence of KIX in early-2000’s, the band had teamed up a few times a year to test the waters with reunion shows in the Maryland/Pennsylvania, which were very well received.  Then in the summer of 2008, KIX performed outside the mid-Atlantic for the first time in 13 years at two of the biggest rock festivals in the U.S.  Rocklahoma in Pryor, OK and Rock the Bayou in Houston, TX.  The band was hailed by many music websites and attendees as “Best Performance” at both festivals, where they played alongside Sammy Hagar, Alice Cooper, Tesla, Queesryche, Ratt, and more.

As the demand for new music has never subsided and in fact has only increased over the last few years, the band decided that they can no longer ignore the overtures from their fans and are currently recording new KIX songs.  The new album, due out summer 2014, is produced by Taylor Rhodes, who last worked with KIX on 1991’s HOT WIRE album.  Rhodes has also written hit songs for Aerosmith, Ozzy Osbourne and Journey.

Stay tuned for new album news, which will be announced in the coming weeks, and check out KIX on tour at any of the following stops (with more to be announced soon):

DATE               CITY                             VENUE

Fri 4/25             Columbia, MD               M3 Festival
Sat 5/24            Pryor, OK                     Rocklahoma
Sat 5/31            Sandusky, OH               Ohio Bike Week
Fri 6/6               Vernal, UT                     Thunder Rocks
Sat 6/21            Idaho Falls, ID               Rock The Falls
Fri 7/25             Royalton, MN                Halfway Jam
Thu 7/31            Leemore, CA                 Tachi Palace Casino

About Loud & Proud Records:

Loud & Proud Records is an independent record label founded in 2007 by Tom Lipsky whose mission is to provide a true and transparent partnership between artists and their record label.  Labels under Lipsky’s direction in the past (CMC International, Sanctuary Records Group) have been among the market leaders in the veteran artist space with releases by Neil Young, Lynyrd Skynyrd, KISS, Robert Plant, Morrissey, Earth Wind & Fire, The Allman Brothers Band, Widespread Panic, Iron Maiden, Megadeth, Bad Company and more.  In a previous joint-venture with Roadrunner Records, Loud & Proud was responsible for new albums by Rush, Lenny Kravitz, Rob Zombie, Lynyrd Skynyrd, KISS, Kenny Wayne Shepherd and The Steve Miller Band.  Loud & Proud’s current roster includes five-time Emmy Award winning actor and musician Jonathan Jackson and his band Enation, supergroup rock band The Winery Dogs, renowned jam band The String Cheese Incident, multi-platinum country artists BlackHawk, Seattle’s alternative Walking Papers, critically-acclaimed singer/songwriter Willie Nile, powerhouse rockers KIX and the classic Starship featuring Mickey Thomas.  Loud & Proud Records is a registered trademark of Lipsky Music, LLC, and is distributed in the U.S. and Canada by RED and in the rest of the world by earMUSIC/Edel AG.


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Another typical mainstream-media, anti-Metal smear campaign.

April 16th, 2014
by J P

Another typical mainstream-media, anti-Metal smear campaign.

by JP

In the early morning of April 15th, 2014 a young man in the city of Calgary, Alberta stabbed five people to death at a house party. Despite a population of over million people, the city is quite safe recording only a few murders a year. Until this point there had been only five homicides in 2014. The media dubbed it the worst mass killing in the history of Calgary.

Later in the day it was revealed that the suspect in custody, who had been charged with five counts of first-degree murder, had written a message on his Facebook account. His last message was the title of two songs by the band Megadeth, ‘The World Needs A Hero’ and ‘Dread And The Fugitive Mind’, both songs are from the bands ninth album from 2001, THE WORLD NEEDS A HERO.

The media are immediately trying to make a connection between the song titles and the killings. It is very common for the media in an attempt to place blame and/or justify and/or explain the actions of the criminals in these situations have often used Heavy Metal media as a scapegoat. From high-profile cases involving Ozzy Osbourne and Judas Priest to this most recent example, Heavy Metal has been the target for many people trying to find quick, easy answers to a difficult situation. Unfortunately the situation is the same in Calgary as media attempts to create a story and find place blame. Within hours of the killings, two of my colleagues who work in the Metal industry were phoned by a reporter digging for information in an effort to sensationalize the story. It is my feeling that this is reprehensible, shoddy reporting and an attack on Heavy Metal. Did the media ask the following questions?

What was the last video game the suspect played?

What was the last book the suspect read?

What was the last magazine the suspect read?

What was the last Youtube video the suspect watched?

What was the last movie the suspect watched?

What was the last poem he read?

What was the last art gallery he went to?

Were these questions asked and reported on? No, automatically the ‘smoking gun’ of two song titles by a Heavy Metal band are faithfully trotted out as a possible link and motive. Why is it they immediately jump to the conclusion that Metal had some part in the actions of the suspect? I have no doubt in the next few days ‘experts’ will be analyzing the lyrics of these songs in an attempt to find a connection.

There may even be deeper, uglier motives as the mainstream media may want to attack and discredit Megadeth and by extension band-leader Dave Mustaine, an outspoken, right-wing, Christian conservative. This is pure speculation on my part.

In an effort to combat unfair and inaccurate representations of Heavy Metal and of I have taken a moment to provide some factual information about the case.

The last FB post allegedly read…Dread and The Fugitive Mind. The World Needs A Hero. 10 words that cause such an uproar. Let us examine each song individually.

Dread and the Fugitive Mind

Lyrics (D. Mustaine)

Let me introduce myself I’m a social disease .

I’ve come for your wealth leave you on your knees .

No time for feeling sorry, I got here on my own .

I won’t ask for mercy, I choose to walk alone .

What’s yours is mine and what’s mine is mine too .

If you shake my hand better count your fingers .

What if I do get caught? what if there is no judgment? .

If I’m right I lose nothing, if you’re right I lose it all .

I ought to get caught because I’m doing something wicked .

I’m guilty haunted by my fear and the only consequences .

Are dread and the fugitive mind .

You built walls to protect you so no one will infect you .

Pursued by those out there that vanish in thin air .

Come a long way to find what you really left behind .

You don’t know when the end is but it’s coming fast .

What’s yours is mine and what’s mine is mine too .

If you shake my hand better count your fingers  

What if I do get caught? what if there is no judgment? .

If I’m right I lose nothing, if you’re right I lose it all .

I ought to get caught because I’m doing something wicked .

I’m guilty haunted by my fear and the only consequences .

Are dread and the fugitive mind.

Originally, when the song first came out I personally had interpreted this song as referring to drugs as the ‘social disease’ as Mustaine was in the throes of his heroin addiction at the time with his band falling apart around him. However, in subsequent interviews Mustaine revealed that the song is in fact about organized religion. This song (and album) was written well BEFORE Mustaine became a born-again Christian in the spring of 2002, as per his autobiography. In an interview with Ultimate on October 5th, 2013 Mustaine says the songs is about Pascal’s Wager.

“It’s like the whole Pascal’s Wager thing that I sang about in ‘Dread and the Fugitive Mind;’ it’s better to live your life like there’s a God and to find out there isn’t, than to live like there’s no God and find out there is.”

From Wikipedia….

Pascal’s Wager is an argument in apologetic philosophy which was devised by the seventeenth-century French philosopher, mathematician, and physicist Blaise Pascal (1623–1662). It posits that humans all bet with their lives either that God exists or does not exist. Given the possibility that God actually does exist and assuming the infinite gain or loss associated with belief in God or with unbelief, a rational person should live as though God exists and seek to believe in God. If God does not actually exist, such a person will have only a finite loss (some pleasures, luxury, etc.).[1]


The World Needs A Hero

Lyrics (D. Mustaine)

An iron fist quietly sits inside the velvet glove

Take control, untouchable just like God above

I can’t escape, wrapped in red tape, what will become of me?

If I object, then I defect my country ’tis of thee

The white house is calling

Tell them I’ll call them back

Just tell them anything

Yeah get them off my back

The world needs a hero

Not that I would ever lie but I have no choice

Words I say heard today are not mine, just my voice

Nato is on line 1

They want to talk to me

Tell them that I’m not in

Tell them that I’m not free

The world needs a hero

Phantom rule, the hidden jewel who’s really in control?

On puppet strings, a nation swings undermined by moles

The U.N. is on hold

Tell them I’ll call them back

Yeah tell them anything

Just get them off my back

The world needs a hero

Dave the white house is calling

They want to talk to me

Tell them that I can’t be bought

Tell them that I’m not free

The world needs a hero.

In an interview in April of 2001 with the Greek webzine Mustaine had this to say.

“Well…I’m saying the world, I didn’t say Greece needs a hero. If you watch the news, it’s pretty fucked up. Bombings, wars, floods and earthquakes and shit. You see stuff like in California some kid just went to school and shot a bunch of his schoolmates. I should have said a fuckin’ American needs a hero.”

In the past, Mustaine has been an outspoken individual publically criticizing the American government and specifically the U.N. and the lyrics may be interpreted as a call for some ‘hero’ to replace the organizations of government (White House), the U.N. and the military (Nato) as an attempt to solve the world’s problems.

Armed and educated with this information about the actual meaning of the lyrics as directly quoted from the author of the lyrics, it would take the most irresponsible, sensationalistic journalist (or one with an personal agenda) to try to interpret these lyrics in any way shape or form as a call to kill people or motive for murder. We have a song about religion and one about politics. There is no possible link between these songs and the violent crime committed in Calgary.

In this case the media is acting too quickly and irresponsibly in trying to attribute blame to Megadeth and Dave Mustaine for these killings, even if they are only doing it implicitly by leaving out information or emphasizing other information. Why was it even mentioned? If the suspects’ last words on Facebook had been ‘I had a hamburger at McDonalds for lunch’ or he had typed ‘Vivaldi’s Four Seasons’. It would have not made the news. Some people may suggest I’m being paranoid but if you look at similar cases of violent crime in North America, it is extremely rare that the suspects musical preference is ever mentioned, unless he or she is a Heavy Metal fan.

I understand the media has an agenda. It is an extremely competitive and a profit driven mandate to be first to ‘break local news’ or get a story, which in turn raises the prestige of the station and attracts viewers and consequently advertising dollars. The negative side is that in the mad rush to be ‘first’, very often journalistic integrity and actual investigative research goes out the window so the story can be the lead on the six o’clock news. Pressures and deadlines are huge and journalists make compromises that impact the true story. The bodies aren’t even cold yet, it was less than 17 hours since the crime and already media is struggling to place blame and unfortunately the nearest easy target was Megadeth and Heavy Metal in general.

The following day (April 16th) the media was all over the story but unfortunately the reporting had some mistakes and assumptions.

-The National Post has said that the suspect posted a song on FaceBook. This is incorrect. There was a post of two song titles. No lyrics. No music. No context. (Gerson, April 16th, p. A6)

-The Globe And Mail said that there was one song title posted, not two. This is open to interpretation. Was the suspect referring to the single song from the album THE WORLD NEEDS A HERO, or was he listing two songs from the album of the same name? It is interesting that the Globe assumed that that it was one song ‘Dread and The Fugitive Mind’ and printed some lyrics from the one song that could be interpreted as ‘negative’ as compared to printing lyrics from the song, ‘The Worlds Needs A Hero’ which is a much more positive song. (Jones, April 16th, p. A7)

-The Calgary Herald went as far as say, “The music of Dave Mustaine and his band, Megadeth, has been linked to the worst mass slaying in Calgary’s history… (Bell, April 16th, on-line version)

Unfortunately, this sad situation in Calgary, is just one isolated example of a decades long, systematic campaign by the mainstream media to smear and discriminate against Heavy Metal, with little regard for the actual motive or cause of the crime.

Here is what we do know.

1. There is no context in which the suspect posted the 10 simple words. Was he responding to a question? Eg. What are your favorite Megadeth songs?’

2. Calgary Police have not released any statement or comment (to date) about the motive or any connection to the song titles.

That is the total sum of knowledge about the alleged connection between the band and the motive for the crimes. Nothing.  Zero. And yet the mainstream media seems insistent on creating news to drive the tragic story. This is not investigative journalism. This is an example of jumping to conclusions and shoddy fact-checking at best and at worst, part of the campaign to discredit Metal and implicate Megadeth and Dave Mustaine.

We here at will be watching this story with interest and most importantly (more than any connection to music, motive or causation) we hope that there is a thorough and unbiased investigation, eventual trial, prosecution and an  appropriate punishment for the individual charged with these horrible crimes.



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Amaranthe Interview @ 02 Islington Academy

April 16th, 2014
by UK Team


02 Islington Academy

5th April 2014

Interview by Ben Spencer
Photography by Graham Hilling



Before tonight’s show gets under way both Photographer Graham Hilling and I are joined with two of the three vocalists from the highly esteemed European Metal outfit Amaranthe to learn more about their ever growing international success and interesting fusion of sounds they bring to the Metal scene.

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Deals Death Interview @ 02 Islington Academy

April 16th, 2014
by UK Team

Deals Death Interview

@ 02 Islington Academy

5th April 2014

Interview by Ben Spencer
Photography by Graham Hilling

Ollie Ekman of Deals Death

Ollie Ekman of Deals Death

Straight after an interview with tonight’s head liners Aamranthe, we journeyed outside the 02 Academy and were met by Deals Death front man Ollie Ekman who suggested we conduct our interview on the band’s respective Tour bus. Once inside, he informs us not to stare too long at the lights due to risk of burning our retinas (laughs), and so we begin to learn more about the Finish Metal titans whose sound has been evolving ever since their early formation in 2007.

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Amaranthe @ 02 Islington Academy

April 16th, 2014
by UK Team


@ 02 Islington Academy


Review by Ben Spencer
Photography by Graham Hilling



After wrapping up an interview with Deal’s Death, it was time to race from their tour bus to tonight’s venue for the opening act Smash Into Pieces. Read the rest of this entry »


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D.A.D 30 Years Tour 2014 – Danish tour at Grå Hallen Copenhagen, Denmark

April 16th, 2014
by Anders Sandvall



30 Years Tour 2014 – Danish tour

Grå Hallen



8/3 – 2014

Reviewed and live pictures by: Anders Sandvall






The Danish rockers in D.A.D are celebrating 30 years as a band this year and the band is out on a celebration tour across Denmark. During all these years have the band only gone through one member change and that was when drummer Peter Jensen left the band in 1999. He was replaced by the extremely talented Laust Sonne but besides that has the bands line up stayed intact for 30 years. The bands latest studio album came 2011 called DIC.NII.LAN.DAFT.ERD.ARK and in January 2014 came the compilation album DISN30LAND AF30R D30K. The bands debut album was released back in 1986 and is titled CALL OF THE WILD. The band kicked off the tour in Denmark and later this year is the band heading out in Scandinavia and Europe to do festival shows amongst others. The Danish leg of the tour ended with the show at Grå Hallen in Copenhagen. The venue is situated in Christiania which is known for being a city in the city founded by hippies and where pushers sell lighter drugs openly. More info about Christiania can bee found here

Grå Hallen is the bigger venue of two in Christiania and it inhabits 1040 visitors. The club was sold out since the tour was announced. It was a bit hard to find Grå Hallen because there wasn’t a single sign inside Christiania, it’s hard to describe what it looks like there, it has to be experienced. The doors was scheduled to open at 9 and the band was going on stage at 10 and there were no support act. A line outside started to form around 8 and the line grew as the time went by. There were no problems getting in and I could see the stage at the other side of the club. The stage was pretty big and high up and behind the drums hung a backdrop portraying the original logo of the band with the cow skull. On the skull was lines carved marking 30 years of the band.

Parts of the PA system was put on the stage and parts hung in the air so it was a great deal of space for the band to use on stage. The venue was jammed with people and shortly before 10 was I let into the photopit and it was time for the show to begin.

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The club turned pitch black and the crowd began to cheer and scream. The members came out, faced the drums and kicked off the night with the instrumental “Rin Tin Tin” as an intro. The three frontmen stood with their back towards the crowd while playing and faced the crowd when they kicked off one of their mega hits in “Riskin It All”. Of course sang all of the fans along in almost every song this night and “Riskin It All” marked the beginning of the sing along. Jesper took of his guitar and asked if Christiania was psyched to see the show tonight. “Ride My Train” followed.

The band consists of:

Jesper Binzer – lead vocals, guitar

Jacob Binzer – guitar

Stig Pedersen – bass

Laust Sonne – drums

A guitar solo in the middle by Jacob extended the song and Jesper wanted to hear everyone one in the hall shout “Come on Laust we know you got it” several times before it was time to kick off another amazing song in “Overmuch”. Pedersen has got numerous of custom made bass guitars in different shades and forms and he began the show with playing the see-through one. Jesper thanked the crowd so much and said the fans was wild. Pedersen took over the mic and said it was his turn to sing. He usually sing “Riding With Sue” but he surprised us and kicked off “Jackie O”. It was a really nice surprise to hear Pedersen sing that song for once. Both Jesper and Pedersen climbed the amps to get closer to the crowd and the fans lifted their hands to salute their heroes. Then followed “Cloudy Hours” taken from the 1997 album SIMPATICO which was followed immediately by “Ninteenhundredandyesterday”.

Jesper spoke in Danish in between the songs so it was a bit hard sometimes to hear what he was saying. Jesper said that it was no secret that the band had been touring for a long time and for many years and now was it time for Jacob to show the audience that he still got it said Jesper and looked at his brother when he kicked off “Call Of the Wild”. The fans exploded when they heard the intro and the sing a long became even louder than before. The crowd was so ecstatic they even began to crowdsurf during the song. The song transformed at the end to “Jonnie” with Pedersen on vocals again. Once again it was really nice to hear Pedersen sing, I think he’s a great singer and thinks he should sing more both live as well as on album. It was really nice to hear him sing something other than “Riding With Sue”. “Trucker” and the more current “Monster Philosophy” which was made as a mash-up. It sounded excellent! When Jesper sang Yippie-ah-yeah which is a few lines of the chorus, the rest of the band sang ‘You’ve got a monster philosophy’. It was a perfect mash-up. Binzer said he wanted everyone in the hall to song the chorus to “Trucker” which everyone did. Then was it time for all the women to sing chorus and the men sang the chorus to “Monster Philosophy”. At the end sang everyone their part together and it was a fun way to invite the crowd to take part of the show. Jacob contributed with another long solo in “Lawrence Of Suburbia” before it was time to play “Money Always Takes The Place Of Life” which started out in a country version.


I couldn’t but be amazed how tight and solid the band is. They sure are skilled musicians that knows exactly what to do on stage and how to get a crowd going. The many years of touring have made the band one of the best live acts around. I have seen the band many many times since the beginning and in many places and countries and have to say that no one takes D.A.D on a live stage at home in Copenhagen, Denmark. Something extraordinary happens with the guys when they play in Denmark. “Empty Heads”  and “Little Addict” followed which was made extra long with solo by Jacob. Jesper shouted Hey Hey Hey and Pedersen changed his bass guitar to the rocketbass before it was time to play, in my opinion, the weakest song in the set list “Reconstrucdead”. The song is taken from the 1995 year album HELPYOURSELFISH which is my least favorite one with the band. While the band played was the stage filled with smoke and Jesper wanted the crowd to sing a long with him. Jesper continued with saying that it has taken Laust 15 years to play metal but now it’s time and the song turned into a thrash metal song with Sonne banging fretless on the drums. Jesper wanted the fans to give a hand for and say hello to Sonne who kicked off “Everything Glows”. Again there was some crowd surfing and there was no doubt that this song was one of the particular favourites amongst the fans. Pedersen changed to his Chevrolet-bass and the final song for the ordinary set “I Want What She’s Got” followed. Pedersen always use to be dressed up as something when they play live but not this time. Sonne did a shorter drum solo and Jesper said he wanted everyone should scream Come on Laust we know you got it, repeatedly. While Sonne did his solo both Jesper and Pederson faced him with their backs against the crowd. Then Jesper jumped down on the stage wanting the fans to say,  ‘Come on Laust we love you!’.  Since it was International Womens Day Jesper wanted all of the women in the crowd to shout,  ‘Come on Laust! We know you got it!’,  which they did. That all made the song really long to say the least. That ended the show and Jesper thanked the fans and said that they had been fantastic.


90 minutes flew by but that was not all the band had in store for the fans. They shortly returned on stage to kick off “Counting The Cattle” done in a hip-hop beat. It was so hot that Jesper only had a t-shirt on and the entire band smiled and seemed to be having a great time on stage. At first didn’t the fans hear what song they played but when they heard the lyrics they clapped their hands and screamed of joy. The fans sang the chorus on their own and it was a simply brilliant version of the song. “Ill Will” followed and it was turned to a metal song at the end. Straight after that followed “Simpatico” and once again let Jesper the fans sing the chorus. The amazing “Evil Twin” followed and that song made the fans go even more crazy. That song ended the first rounds of encores and the band once again went off stage. Jesper said thanks so much Christiania you have been amazing tonight goodnight and the band went of stage.



But the fans wanted to hear even more from their idols and D.A.D made their second entrance on the stage for the night. The classical “I Won’t Cut My Hair” came as first in line and it was made extra long by a solo from Jacob. Jesper said it had been an amazing night and that the band was so thankful for all the support they got through the years from their fans. The band left the stage but soon came Pedersen out again because it was one song that was missing, a song they can’t leave without having sung and it was of course their monumental hit “It’s After Dark”. As soon as Pedersen opened his mouth and started to sing took the fans over. The fans sung the entire song together with Pedersen and almost overpowered him. That song marked the absolute end of the show and the band once again thanked the devoted fans.


Over 2 hours of excellent music was played this evening and I didn’t want the show to end. D.A.D sure proved why they are one of the most popular bands from Denmark and why they have lasted for 30 years. This was an amazing show and I’m really glad I could attend it. It was an amazing set list and the mash-up between “Trucker/Monster Philosophy” was brilliantly executed. It didn’t matter at all that the band left out a few classical songs, the set list was jammed with other gems. The set list was so great that I didn’t mind the extended versions of few of the songs. Another highlight was the odd version of “Counting The Cattle”. I’d never thought I was going to hear it in a heavy hip-hop beat. Besides the smoke there were no special effects like pyro or moving drums or stuff like that. It was only the band and their music and that was enough. It was amazing to be able to see them in Denmark and the show was the best one I’ve seen in a long while. If you have a chance to see the bands anniversary tour then don’t miss it! I congratulate the band for 30 years in the business.


Set list

Rin Tin Tin (intro)

Riskin It All

Ride My Train


Jackie O

Cloudy Hours


Call Of the Wild/Jonnie medley

Monster Philosophy/Trucker mash-up

Lawrence Of Suburbia

Money Always Takes The Place of Life

Empty Heads

Little Addict


Everything Glows

I Want What She’s Got

Encores I

Counting The Cattle

Ill Will Simpatico

Evil Twin

Encore II

I Won’t Cut My Hair

Encore III

It’s After Dark


d.a.d_logo_1_gra_hallen_2014 (2)


Thanks to Pyg Grunderup at Beatbox Booking And Concerts, Denmark for help with press/photo pass. And thanks for all the help during all the years.

Thanks to Dorthe at Beatbox Booking And Concerts, Denmark for help with press/photo pass.

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Thanks to the nice staff at Grå Hallen.



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Signus Regis – bandleader/bass player Ronnie König

April 16th, 2014
by Anders Sandvall




Bandleader/bass player Ronnie König – Signus Regis

Interviewed by: Anders Sandvall
Thanks to Emil Westerdahl at Ulterium Records for setting up the interview
Thanks to Ulterium Records for the promo pictures of the band
Thanks to Ulterium Records for the additional live pictures of the band taken by: Daniele Fuligno, Michael Bolli and Nate Summer-Cook



Signus Regis – the Slovakian heavy metal band unleashed their third album EXODUS last year. The album is a theme album with guests vocalists like Göran Edman, Daisa Munhoz, Michael Vescera and Lance King. Since I thought the album was great I thought I should hook up with bandleader/bass player Ronnie König in order to get to know a little bite more about the band and their history. We handled issues like EXODUS, the matter of guest vocalists, the line-up and labels. Another topic that was handled was also the status of heavy metal/hardrock in Slovakia. Enjoy.



Hi Ronnie thanks for taking the time making this interview today. I thought we could begin to talk about the brand new Signum Regis album called EXODUS.

Yes I’m ready let’s go.  

How long did it take to write and record the album?

Some songs that made it to the album were quite old, some were written in the last minute, so you cannot say exactly. Maybe, if you summed all the time, it could be 2-3 months.

The band’s previous album THE EYES OF THE POWER came out in 2010. What had the band been up to in between the release of that album and EXODUS?

In 2010, as we released the second album, we wanted to start playing live, but Göran was not so interested in traveling and doing all the things, that are related to playing live so I started looking for a new singer. We found a guy called Josef Vlaschinsky, who is a great singer but he sings only in Czech language. This is the reason, why we did a project called TRIGGER with him. It is quite different from the SIGNUM REGIS sound but also metal. There are some great songs on that album. We also played few shows with our old band VINDEX.

That album was a theme album right? And EXODUS is also a theme album. How come you wanted to make another album in the same shape but more grand?

Yes. This was not the original intention. In the beginning there were 3 songs that made one unit. Those were Let Us Go!, Wrath Of Pharaoh and Exodus. I thought that they could make an EP or a little trilogy on an album. When I presented this to Emil of Ulterium Records he came up with the idea to extend it and do a whole concept album.


What is EXODUS about? Could you tell us the story behind it?

Exodus is the second book of the Bible and our album is about it. We cover all the most important chapters of the story of Exodus: the enslavement of Israelites, Moses on Mount Sinai, Moses talking to the Pharaoh, The Ten Plagues, Exodus and the victory.

The album’s teaser was featured on Youtube before it was released. What did the fans think of the teaser?

From what I read I can tell that the feedback was very positive.

EXODUS is not only a theme album, but an opera like Avantasia. There are a lot of guest appearances on the disc. When was the idea to make a metal opera born?

We don’t use the term opera because we don’t have different roles for each singer. As mentioned we had a hard time finding a new singer. After a longer time of not being able to find anyone, there came this idea to do it all with guests.

What separates this album from the likes of Avantasia or Genius – the metal opera?

In my opinion we are more guitar oriented more metal and less theatrical.

Was it hard to decide which singers you wanted to have on the album?

No. The tricky part was to choose the right song for each singer. Eventually we did it very well because most of the reviewer thought that each song was tailor made for each singer. The truth is that it was the other way round.

Michael Vescera, Lance King, Göran Edman and Daisa Munhoz are few of the many, that contributed to the album. Was it hard to convince them to join forces with you?

No, it was more about scheduling and availability if they could do it for the release date.

How was it to work with the legendary Göran Edman this time?

Actually, we didn’t work together this time. The Helloween cover “Sole Survivor” was recorded few years ago. I have great memories of working together with him. It was always exiting to listen to how he would approach the songs and come up with his own ideas.

Is the band happy with the cover artwork?

Absolutely. Both front cover and booklet artwork are very well done.


When the band began working on the album, were you under pressure to achieve something “better” than THE EYES OF POWER?

No. I don’t feel this kind of a pressure. I am the kind of a person, who always tries to be better than before and I always believe that this time I am working on the best record so far.

Do you think that the band has developed musicwise since the release of THE EYES OF POWER? If so, in what way?

We’ve been making continual progress in 3 ways. We are a better live band, we are more tight and technically better. Second one is the album production. From album to album, we have always managed to have a better production. The third one is in the songwriting. With years of experience I think we have a better sense for a good song. It is the ability to spot a dynamical flaw in a song and basically getting the best out of every musical idea.


Do you think that your older fans are going to like EXODUS?

We already have a lot of feedback so I know that they like it :)

How would you like to describe what kind of music Signum Regis plays?

I am not very much into the labeling business but I think that power metal or heavy metal as a label for our music is fine.

Besides guest singers EXODUS also featured a row of guest musicians like Ivo Hofmann and Libor Krivak to mention a few. Was it hard to get them to join you?

No, because they are my friends from another band where I play – Symphonity. Both of them did an outstanding job.

According to the bio are also the old member Ado Kalaber and Adrian Ciel playing on the disc is that correct?

Correct. With Adrian it was the same situation as with Göran. He played drums on Sole Survivor, which was recorded some time ago. Ado has moved to another country, so that is the reason why he is not playing with us anymore but he is our good friend so it was nice to have him at least as a guest.

The bonus track “Mountain Of God” is featured on my promo version of the album. Is the song also featured on the regular version?

That track is not featured on the digital release it is a (physical) CD bonus track.

SignumRigis_promo_2014_Daniele Fuligno 1

Are you happy with the final outcome of EXODUS or do you feel that you should have done anything in a different way?

There are always things, that could have been done differently but none of it is a big deal. We are happy about the final outcome.

The album also features a cover of the Helloween song “Sole Survivor” are you guys fans of Helloween or how come you chose to make a cover of that song?

Yes, we like Helloween but the idea to do it is related to a Helloween tribute album that was supposed to be released some time ago. At the end of the day we decided to have it rather on our own album. I think we did a pretty good job with that song.

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Studio and production

Where was the album recorded and where did the guests record their parts? I guess that not everyone came to join you in the studio :)

You are right. The instruments were recorded in our own studio and the rest was recorded in the local studios of each guest.

The band is listed as producers, how involved were you in the production process?

We mean production in terms of being in charge of choosing the right songs of being our own main critics in doing the main decisions about the whole process of album creation.

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Was it hard to mix/produce all the various singing parts together?

I some cases we had to improve or EQ the tracks so that they would match all the other tracks. Sometimes it was a bit harder but none of that was a huge problem. With today’s technology with my new Cubase software these things fall into the category of “business as usual”.

What’s the hardest thing with producing your own album? Isn’t it hard to stay objective?

Yes, it is but in a band you have few heads that listen to where the album is going they all have their opinions so the subjectivity is reduced a little bit. We also had the role of executive producer – Emil Westerdahl who had the final word to the outcome so there is always a helping hand around you just need to grab it. We have never worked with a professional producer so I can’t really compare it but I would guess that it is easier to follow your own gut feeling than doing it all according to someone else’s opinion.

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You and guitarist Filip Kolus made the mixing, how was that?

That has been our way of working for a long time. I do the first phase of the mixing on my own and present the rough mix to Filip and the rest of the guys. Filip does a deeper analysis and writes a summary with remarks. Then I implement it and improve the mix. We might do it few times like that. Eventually we come to a final version.


Tommy Hansen made the mastering in his Jailhouse Studio in Denmark. Was any of the members part of that process?

No, we communicated with Tommy via email.

Have you been in Denmark if so did you like it there?

Not yet but I would love to go there one day.

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You have worked with Hansen before, how was it to work with him again?

Yes, we have. He mastered our debut album. He did a great job, so we wanted to have him doing it again.

Signum Regis – Exodus [album teaser]


Label and management

Was it hard for the band to land a record deal?

It depends on what’s your perspective. I read really weird story about musical legends. Even Beatles were rejected by some labels. There are famous musicians, who still have their applications as a reminder of how hard it was to get where they are today. From this point of view, it was relatively easy for us to get a deal. On the other hand I can tell you too that I sent dozens and dozens of promo packages to various labels and most of the time there was no response at all.

The debut album was released by Locomotive Records but they just disappeared, what happened?

I have no idea but I think I would not be far from truth if I said that their sales were sinking and they simply went bankrupt.


Who owns the legal rights to the first album? Do you have any thoughts of re-releasing the first album?

We do and we already shared the rights with Ulterium Records. The debut album was re-released digitally via Ulterium Records with a bonus track called The Endless Road.

In 2010 you signed a deal with the Swedish label Inner Wound Recordings, how come you inked a deal with them?

We contacted a bunch of labels, but Emil knew us a little bit from the Elements Of Rock festival. I am not sure if he saw us playing there or if someone gave us a good recommendation. The truth of the matter is that we started communicating together and soon there was a mutual interest in working together.

Whats the biggest difference between working with Locomotive Records and Inner Wound Recordings?

It looks to me that when we signed the deal with Locomotive Records we boarded on a ship that was already half way under water. As far as I can remember we were one of their last releases. Of course at that time I didn’t know about it but soon I started getting farewell emails from the employees that they are moving on and so on. Due to this fact our working together with Locomotive Records was very short but I liked the guys that were communicating with me. I hope they are all doing well now. With Inner Wound Recordings / Ulterium Records, it is a whole new level of cooperation. There is a very honest and pleasant communication between us. I see it not only as a business deal. I consider Emil Westerdahl a dear friend of mine.

EXODUS is released by Ulterium Records which is a sisterlabel to Inner Wound why isn’t it released by Inner Wound?

It’s about fine matching to the catalog. With the third album we fit better to Ulterium Records.

Do you see any problems in the fact that the label is based in Sweden and the band in Slovakia?

Not at all. I see it as an advantage. The net of contacts is simply larger when we operate on an international level.

Ulterium Records is working together with the promotion agency Connecting Music, do you think the co-operation works fine?

I believe it does but I am not familiar with the details. It’s not in my scope.

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Are you happy with the work the label have put into the band and the album so far?

Absolutely. It has been good since the very beginning and it’s getting even better.

UR is releasing the album in Europe but what about the rest of the world, who releases it there?

Meanwhile it was released in US as well.

Are you currently working with any management?

No I’m not.


Did you and guitarist Kalaber and Kolus knew each other before you formed the band back in 2007? Have you been a part of any other bands before you formed Signum Regis?

Yes, we played together in a heavy metal band called VINDEX.

SignumRigis_promo_2014_Michael Bolli 6

Where does the band name come from and what does it mean?

My brother who writes the lyrics for us came up with this name. It means “royal signature”. It sounds good its original, there is no other band with this name and it fits our music well.

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Is Signum Regis a band or a project?

It started as a project and it developed to a real live band.

Was it hard to find band members? I’ve read that you had problems with finding a singer?

Totally. Finding the right people is the hardest thing. Once you have the line-up, you take it for granted and it becomes all natural, but if you don’t it’s very hard. There are so many things that are important. You need to find someone who is from your area and not from the other side of the world it has to be a kind of a person that can get along with you and all the other guys in the band. He has to have similar motivation to play and similar goals he wants to achieve he has to have the same or similar taste for the music he has to be good enough for the band. With that said you do the odds of finding someone like that. Even big bands often have hard time finding a replacement.

SignumRigis_promo_2014_Nate Summer Cook 1

You got Göran Edman to sing in the band, how was it to get such a legend into the band?

I think that I had a lucky hand, when I was sending him the first bunch of songs. He liked them and that was the most important thing for the cooperation to start.

What did the media and critics think of the bands self titled debut that came 2008?

We got some pretty positive reviews. Some people really loved it. There were also some negative but that’s something you can never avoid.

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The album was also released in Japan, what did the Asian fans think of your music?

Honestly I don’t know much about how it went there. We got some nice messages but that’s all I can tell. We need to go there for a tour and then we will see, haha :)

The drummer Ludek Struhar left the band in 2009. Was it an expected departure?

Yes he saw himself more like a guest than a regular band member.

SignumRigis_promo_2014_Nate Summer Cook 3

He was replaced by Adrian Ciel but he also left the band the same year, how was that? Did the member changes make any mark in the rest of the band?

Adrian likes our music but he is not from our area. There was no problem for him to come to the studio a couple of times and record the album but when we wanted to start playing live and rehearse regularly the distance the travelling soon became a problem for him so decided not to be a part of the live band. He was the one who suggested to contact his friend Jaro Jancula our current drummer.

Are all the current band members from Slovakia?

Yes they are.

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How’s the metal scene doing in Slovakia? Are there many clubs and venues for harder acts to play in?

Over the years I’ve been getting this question and always answering it quite negatively. Fortunately recently there has been a lot of positive development here. There are a lot of great concerts around world-class musicians are coming to play here and most importantly, there is a bunch of great bands from Slovakia. I would recommend to check out bands One Second, Hotel Persona Grata, Castaway, guitarist Peter Luha to name a few.

SignumRigis_promo_2014_Nate Summer Cook 5

Does the band members have any bands or artists in common that you look up to or are inspired of?

No I don’t think that anyone of us has a concrete musical idol. On there other hand, there are dozens or hundreds of musicians that we like respect and learn from.

SignumRigis_promo_2014_Nate Summer Cook 6

Where in the world do you have your biggest fanbase?

Wild guess: Slovakia, Switzerland, Brazil.

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Past, present and future

Have you done any touring outside Slovakia so far?

Two weeks ago we played in Switzerland next month we will be playing in Germany and Netherlands.

Would you like to come out an tour and perform more than you have done in the past?


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Who’s been taking care of the vocals on the shows you’ve done?

Mayo Petranin.

On the promo pictures I’ve seen there are only three members in the band, is the band still consisting of three guys?

No that was just the Exodus studio line-up but there are 5 of us now.

SignumRigis_promo_2014_Nate Summer Cook 9

I’ve read that the band had a warm up gig at the end of February how was that and who did you warm up for?

That’s true. We were rehearsing for the show at Elements Of Rock in Switzerland that I mentioned. I think it went well and the show at the festival went even better. There are also 2 videos of that show on our youtube channel.

How would you like to describe a live show with Signum Regis like?

I think that we are that kind of a band that can reproduce what is on the CD with a good deal of precision. In addition to that, people often appreciate the energy and the spark that we create on stage. We don’t use any pre-recorded samples we play it all live.

Are there any plans on heading out on a proper European tour/shows soon?

No not yet but we are open to any proposals.

Do you have any festival shows booked for the summer so far?

There is a big festival in Slovakia called Lumen. We just received an email that we will be there. Soon it should also appear on their website.

The band got a really nice website, who runs it? Do you think it’s important to be active on the social forums that’s around nowadays?

Thank you very much. I run it myself. I think it is essential to be out there virtually. Especially for new bands.

What’s the most common question the bands get from fans?

Fans usually ask about the next gig in their area.

SignumRigis_promo_2014_Nate Summer Cook 10

Last year did Kalaber leave the band did that interrupt the work with the album?

Not really. He has always been more into playing live and less into playing locked up in the studio.

Who takes care of the vocals in the band today?

Same guy since Autumn 2013 – Mayo Petranin.

Are you going to take in another guitarist or are you going to focus on having one guitar player in the future?

We are just fine with Filip being the only guitar player in the band and we have no plans to hire a second guitar player at the moment.

Are you happy with what Signum Regis has achieved so far?

Yes we are very happy but we believe there is more to be achieved in the future. We are nowhere close to having our dreams come true :)

Are there any interest for the band in Asia and America?

Yes, we are still young :) and willing to travel and see the world.

What would you like to say to the ones who haven’t discovered the music of Signum Regis yet?

I would tell it like it is: we are metal heads who take our music and our band seriously. We are already experienced musicians with good technical and songwriting skills. I would recommend our website and youtube channel so that they can make their own opinion. Now there are some metal fans who are not interested in any new bands and all they need is a new Metallica record every 8 years but for those who are still passionate about the scene and who are eager to discover something new. I believe Signum Regis is one of the bands that they might want to check out.

Could you give three reasons why the readers should buy EXODUS?

Great songs great singers and cool lyrics.

Well, that was all for now. Do you have any words of wisdom to share with the fans and readers?

Thank you Anders for taking your time and preparing this well-researched set of questions. It was a pleasure to answer them. Big thanks to the visitors of for reading this interview and for visiting!

Thanks a lot for taking the time to make the interview. I wish you and the band all the best in the future!

Thanks so much.

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Iced Earth w support at Worldwide Plagues Tour 2014 – European leg at Lilla Vega Copenhagen, Denmark

April 16th, 2014
by Anders Sandvall



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Iced Earth – headline act

Worldwide Plagues Tour 2014 – European leg

Warbringer – special guest

Elm Street – support act

Lilla Vega



16/2 – 2014

Reviewed and live pictures by: Anders Sandvall





The American heavy metal act Iced Earth is out on a European tour supporting their latest album PLAGUES OF BABYLON. Unfortunately the band leader Jon Schaffer didn’t manage to keep the line up from the last album DYSTOPIA intact and new members in the band are Luke Appleton on bass and drummer Jon Dette. The show in Copenhagen was one of the last ones on the tour then the band heads down to Australia and South America before the tour continues to America. The support act Elm Street comes from Australia and as special guests we find the labels mates in Warbringer.  I was really impressed by PLAGUES OF BABYLON and I was really looking forward to see Iced Earth this night. The club where the bands was going to play is called Lilla Vega and is located in downtown Copenhagen. The club inhabits about 500 visitors and I was quite surprised when I saw the choice of venue. I thought that Iced Earth would play at larger venues than Lilla Vega. Strangely were there also tickets left to the show. The doors opened at 8:00 and Elm Street was scheduled to begin the night at 8.30. Not many people was waiting in line outside the club when I showed up but the ones that was there seemed happy and was looking forward to see Iced Earth. A few hardcore fans had bought tickets to the meet and greet and they were already inside the club when the rest of us was let in at 8. The Danish crowd usually turns up when it’s time for the headline act to play and this night was no exception to that rule. Therefore there weren’t many people to see the first act.

Elm Street

The show kicked off as soon as the members showed up on stage. The band consisted of four guys from Australia that play heavy metal. Two songs were played after which the singer thanked the audience for the applauds and said that the band was really exited to be in Copenhagen. Band members are:

Ben Batres – lead vocals, guitar

Aaron Adie – guitar

Tomislav Perkovic – drums

Brandon Farrugia – bass

The band thanked both Iced Earth and Warbringer for an amazing tour and Batres said that they wanted to see a circlepit in the next song which was “Heavy Metal Power”. Before that had songs like “Heatracer” and “Barbed Wire Metal” had been played and even though the crowd was small the ones that was there made their best to support Elm Street. I thought the band did a good job and time flew by quickly. Suddenly announced Batres their last song and asked if we were ready for Warbringer. “Face The Reaper” ended the 30 minute show and Elm Street’s time in the limelight at Lilla Vega was over.


The clock was now 9 and as soon as Elm Street went off stage began the crew the work to prepare the stage for Warbringer. Warbringer used the same drums as Elm Street and the change of gear went pretty fast. There were no photo pit in front of the stage and now had people began to show up. I understood pretty soon that it was going to be a bit hard to take pictures because the Iced Earth fans always use to be a bit wild. Already at ten past nine was it so time for Warbringer to take on Copenhagen. The lights went out and suddenly stood the band there.


All of the members but the singer began the show and as soon as he showed up the band kicked off the show with “Scars Remain”. It was full speed ahead from the very start and the fans seemed to love it. “Iron City” followed and singer Kevill thanked the fans so much for their support before it was time to kick off “Severed Reality”. Warbringer are:

John Kevill – lead vocals

Carlos Cruz – drummer

John Laux – guitar

Adam Carroll – guitar

Ben Mottsman – bass

Kevill ran around like a maniac on stage during the show and took over the small space that was on stage. Warbringer’s music can best be described as thrash metal with hints of grindcore. Kevill said it was nice to be in Copenhagen and asked if the fans wanted to hear more. He also wanted to see a circlepit in front of the stage during the next song which was “Living Weapon”. A few brave fans tried to create a circlepit but it didn’t go so well. Most of the fans stood still and watched the band quite calmly. Kevill seemed to be frustrated of the lack of circle pit and said that the fans the next time could come and see the show with their parents and that they maybe could teach the fans to do a proper mosh pit! The show continued with “The Turning Of The Gears”, “Total War” and “Living In A Whirwind”.


Kevill said that only Sweden remained on the tour before the band was done with the European leg of the tour and that the tour had been a blast. “Demonic Ecstasy” and “Hunter-Seeker” ended the show and Kevill thanked Iced Earth so much for letting Warbringer be a part of the tour. As soon as the last song had ended took the band off their instruments, thanked the crowd and walked off the stage. Another 40 minutes was gone and soon was it time for the headline act. Warbringer did a great job warming up the crowd and had a great set list that included both older songs as well as more current ones. The only negative thing with the show, and the same goes for Warbringer, was the poor lights. The sound system worked great but it was worse with the lights.

Set list

Scars Remain

Iron City

Severed Reality

Living Weapon

The Turning Of the Gears

Total War

Living In A Whirlwind

Demonic Ecstasy


A huge drum kit at the back of the stage was revealed by the crew and soon we could see a huge back drop with the cover of the new Iced Earth album on it. On each side of the drums hung smaller backdrops with parts of the new album cover on them and it was pretty crowded on stage from all the gear the crew put out. More people had arrived to the club and with them also more excitement. The temperature began to rise and a positive vibe could be sensed. And after 30 minutes of waiting was it then time for Iced Earth to conquer Lilla Vega and Copenhagen.



Iced Earth

While the intro played the band entered the stage and the first song out for the night was the title track to the new album “Plagues Of Babylon”. Singer Block rushed on to stage during the intro to the song and the fans gave he and the rest of the band a really warm welcome to Copenhagen. “Democide” followed and especially the fans at the front of the stage went totally crazy. Block moved from side to side of the stage connecting with the fans and it seemed like he really appreciated the support the band got from the fans. The line up of Iced Earth is:

Jon Schaffer – guitar

Stu Block – lead vocals

Troy Steele – lead guitar

Luke Appleton – bass

Jon Dette – drums

Block thanked the fans and asked if they’re doing fine. It was time to play a song taken from the previous album and the song was “V”. Block said that the next song had Schaffer written to his grandfather and it was the beautiful song “If I Could See You” taken from the latest album. Contrary to the two previous bands was the lights working in favor of Iced Earth and the crowd followed the bands moves and sang a long in almost every song. “The Hunter” made all of the fans scream like crazy and the band seemed to be having a great time together on stage. They felt solid and tight and everyone knew exactly what to do on stage. Block have grown like a front man since the last time I saw them live and I think the did a great job fronting the band. The constant touring did the band good. Block asked if we had energy left and pointed to the fans up on the balcony that they had to scream more because the fans down on the floor were beating their ass. It was now time to head back in time and to the album SOMETHING WICKED THIS WAY COMES and the song “Burning Times”. Block wanted everyone in the club to sing a long with him in the middle of the song.


The next song “Red Baron/Blue Max” was taken from the album THE GLORIOUS BURDEN and I couldn’t but be impressed by how great Block sang the older songs. Even though he have some similarities with both the old singers Matt Barlow and Tim Owens he managed to the songs to his own and totally blew my mind. Block went off the stage in the middle of the song and it was time for bandleader Schaffer to do a lead guitar show off. “Blessed Are You”, “Vengeance Is Mine” and “Cthulhu” continued the night and it felt like the audience had listened to the new songs because they sang along in them as loud as they did in the older songs. Schaffer looked as always really cool and he and Appleton backed up Block on vocals and again, it felt like the band had a great time. “My Own Savior” followed and it felt like the band had a bit of time pressure on them. Block didn’t do much talking in between the songs instead they kicked off every song pretty fast after each other. Block had the fans to scream and cheer  and the crowd seemed to love every minute of the show.


Block once again disappeared from the stage and instead Appleton and Schaffer took the center position and fired off “The End?”. After the song handed Block out the mic towards the crowd and wanted them to scream for him. He said it was time to go back to the album THE DARK SAGA and the beautiful song “A Question Of Heaven”. Block let the fans sing the first chorus and Block sang the rest of the song with great passion and feeling. That great song ended the ordinary set of the show and the band went of stage. One hour and fifteen minutes had gone since the band kicked off the show but that was not enough for the crazy fans, they wanted to hear more from Iced Earth.


Iced Earth shortly returned to the stage and Block wanted to see some hands in the air while they fired off “Dystopia” as the first encore. From the album SOMETHING WICKED THIS WAY COMES came the next encore in “Watching Over Me” which Schaffer wrote about his friend who got killed in a motorcycle accident. Block said that song was very special to the band and that the song is one of his personal favorite songs to sing. He wanted everyone to sing a long in the song with him. And this was also one of the fans favorite songs and everyone sang along throughout the song. Block urged the crowd to give a warm applaud for both Elm Street and Warbringer for opening for Iced Earth and then was it time for the last song for the night. Block counted 1-2-3 and the fans scream ICED FUCKING EARTH! but Block wasn’t happy and encouraged everyone to scream louder and after the third attempt he was happy. Of course followed “Iced Earth” which always is the ultimate ending of an Iced Earth show.


The show ended after 1.40 at 11.55 and both the fans as well as the band seemed to be really happy and satisfied with the show. I have nothing negative to say about the show, everything was great!! It was an amazing set list and even though I lacked a few of my personal favorite songs the set list was great. The crowd was dedicated and brought out the best of the band. It was nice to see that Block had grown and matured as front man and he is a brilliant singer. The only thing that could be better next time is if the club can fix a photo pit, it was really hard to take pictures amongst all the waving hands and banging heads. This was an amazing evening in every possible way and I really hope that Schaffer can continue to keep this line-up solid.




Set list

Plagues Of Babylon/Apocalypse (segue)



If I Could See You

The Hunter

Burning Times

Red Baron/Blue Max

Blessed Are You

Vengeance Is Mine


My Own Savior

The End?

A Question of Heaven



Watching Over Me

Iced Earth

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Thanks to Thomas Strimmer at Century Media HQ Germany for help with press/photo pass.

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Posted in 2014, Concert Reviews | Comments (0)

Saxon on Mini Tour Of Europe – 2014 Kulturbolaget Malmoe, Sweden

April 16th, 2014
by Anders Sandvall


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Saxon – headline act

Mini Tour Of Europe – 2014

Dirty Passion – support act




9/3 – 2014

Live reviews and photos by: Anders Sandvall



As everyone probably knows Motorhead and Saxon were supposedly heading out on the road together at the end of last year. Sadly Motorhead was forced to cancel because of Lemmy’s health condition and the tour was put on ice. The tour was re-scheduled to take place this year but was once again was canceled. Saxon was scheduled to do a few solo shows during the tour and the show in Malmoe actually took place, not originally last year but in March this year. The Saxon “tour” contain 7 shows in both Britain and Europe and the band hasn’t released a new album but is out supporting their latest studio album SACRIFICE that came 2013. The latest release from Saxon is a compilation disc featuring classical Saxon tunes done acoustical and orchestral called UNPLUGGED AND STRUNG UP. Saxon fans can look forward to the soon to be released live album ST. GEORGES DAY SACRIFICE LIVE 2014 recorded during the SACRIFICE WORLD TOUR at The Ritz in Manchester England.

Kulturbolaget was the venue that hosted the Saxon show this night and the club sure is one of the best venues in Sweden for hosting intimate club gigs. Support act was Dirty Passion which is a Swedish local sleaze/hardrock act that have opened for Saxon before. The club holds about 850 visitors and the show was almost sold out. Because of other commitments I arrived to the show a bit late and came to the club in time for Saxon to enter the stage. I headed quickly to the photo pit and arrived just in time to get into the pit and so was it time for the legendary NWOBHM heroes to enter the stage in Malmoe.

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The crowds middleage was pretty high and many of the fans in the club had probably followed the band since the start. That didn’t stop everyone from screaming their lungs out when Saxon showed up on stage and kicked off the show with “Sacrifice”. Byford showed up after the intro had been played and the already ecstatic crowd went even crazier when they saw Byford. Saxon is:

Biff Byford – lead vocals

Paul Quinn – guitar

Nigel Glockler – drums

Nibbs Carter – bass

Doug Scarrett – guitar

Byford immediately let the crowd take over the chorus and all of the fans sang their lungs out. Byford thanked the crowd for the support and fired off “Power And The Glory” and once again was Byford’s vocals almost overpowered by the blessed fanbase. Byford seemed to be really happy on stage and the crowd followed his every move and he sure had the audience in the palm of his hand right from the very start. Byford once again thanked the fans and said that it was nice to be back in the land of the vikings. He said it was time to travel back in time and fill our heads with “Heavy Metal Thunder”.


Both old classical tunes as well as more current songs were played this night and as always stood Byford in the middle of the stage looking cool with Quinn at the left and Scarrett to the right of him. Carter ran around on stage and was everywhere at the same time. Byford were also active on stage and his voice sounded as magical as ever. There were no sign of tiredness at all, he is one of the best singers in history and have managed to maintain his voice in perfect shape and condition. The next song up was taken from the album THE INNER SANCTUM and it was “I’ve Got To Rock (To Stay Alive)” and at this point had the temperature begun to rise inside the club. At the middle of the song turned Byford down the tempo and only bass and drums were playing. Byford told everyone in the club to jump up and down with him and so everyone did. He also sang the chorus together with the crowd only accompanied by bass and drums.

Byford then told us that the next song was written 44 years ago and it was a song that he thought was as current now as back then. “Stallions Of The Highway” continued the show and that song doesn’t belong in the set that the band normally plays live. The song is excellent and it was really nice to hear it live. As anticipated the band was really tight and everyone complimented each other extremely well. It was fun to see such experienced and skilled musicians perform live and it was good to relax and enjoy the show. Byford said that he really appreciated the intimacy of the club and that it was so nice to be playing in a club and not only on festivals. He asked if the fans had any requests for songs and the fans began to shout out which song they wanted to hear. Byford went out on the edge of the stage and asked a fan how young he were, 14? asked Byford and then asked what the guy wanted the band to play. The young fan said “Hammer Of the Gods” and Byford said O, luckily for you we know that song and laughed  and fired off the song. I saw the set list on the stage and it said simply “request” so whatever the fans wanted the band to play they were going to play it.


“Solid Ball Of Rock” followed and now had the temperature gone tropical. The fans at the front of the stage were soaking in sweat and so was the band. The place got hotter and hotter for each song. In the middle of the song took the fans over and cheered, sang and clapped their hands. However Byford wasn’t satisfied and said that the crowd sounded like the Norwegian fans which made the fans scream even louder. Byford wanted them to sing even louder and said “C’mon aren’t we in the land of the vikings?”. Finally he looked satisfied and continued the song. He wanted us to say Hi to Glockler behind the drums and kicked off “Dallas 1 pm” which is one of my personal favorite songs.

“Night Of The Wolf”  followed and then Byford said they were going to do something special and play two songs in one. It was “Sailing To America/Rock N Roll Gypsy” that followed. “747 (Strangers In the Night)” followed and the entire band seemed to be enjoying their time on stage and the huge support from the crazy fans on the floor. Again the band surprised me with “Sailing To America” and “Rock N Roll Gypsy” which are songs they usually doesn’t play live. It was nice to hear the more unexpected choice of songs as well this night. Byford said that the band wasn’t going to play at Sweden Rock Festival this year but at Wacken Open Air in Germany and that show was going to be very special and Byford wanted everyone to come and see the band in Wacken. He also told us that the band had written some new songs to the next album and the album is going to be released at the end of this year. And then it’s time for the band to head out on a proper European tour. Byford said that we weren’t getting rid of the band so easy. The tour is going to take place during October/November 2014. At the middle of “Wheels Of Steel” said Byford that it was time for everyone in the audience to sing and divided the audience into two groups and ordered the right wing to sing on his command and then the left wing.  The show ended with the two classical tunes  “Strong Arm Of the Law and “Wheels Of Steel” before the band thanked and went of the stage.


However they returned shortly and fired off “Crusader” as the first encore and totally blew down the place and the fans went totally ballistic when they heard Quinn play the intro on his guitar. It felt like that was the song that the fans really had waited for to hear. Byford introduced Paul Quinn in the middle of the song and he did the guitar solo. The amazing  “Denim And Leather” followed and the encores finished off with “Princess Of The Night”. When the song ended Byford once again thanked the fans and the band went of stage and the lights came on and 20 minutes of brilliant encores was over. All together lasted the show for about 1 hour and 45 minutes and it felt like I could have listened to the band for at least one more hour.

The band was at the top of their game and the crazy crowd made the evening even more memorable. The lights and sound worked great and the set list was jammed with classical song as well as more unusual choices. It was the perfect set list. It was nice to hear “Sailing To America” and “Rock N Roll Gypsy” and there was no doubt that the fans loved the show as much as I did. It was only to bow for the masters of NWOBHM!


If you want to see Saxon live they’re doing a few festival shows in Europe this summer. Otherwise be sure to check them out when they return on a proper tour later this year.

Set list



Power And the Glory

Heavy Metal Thunder

Battalions Of Steel

I’ve Got To Rock (To stay alive)

Stallions Of the Highway

Hammer Of The Gods

Solid Ball Of Rock

Dallas 1 pm

Night Of The Wolf

Sailing To America/Rock N Roll Gypsy

747 (Strangers In The Night)

Strong Arm Of the Law

Wheels Of Steel



Denim And Leather

Princess Of The Night


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Thanks to Emma Svensson head of press at Kulturbolaget for help with media pass.

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Thanks to the security/staff for a nice treatment.


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Posted in 2014, Concert Reviews | Comments (0)

Interview with Dave Garcia (Cage, Hellscream)

April 16th, 2014
by J P

Interview with Dave Garcia of Hellscream and Cage.

by JP

Dave Garcia (2013) - 600 x 600

Tell us about your new project, Hellscream!

Hellscream is a musician band that is comprised of the meeting of the minds of myself and Norman Skinner. The music is primarily a heavy edged power metal project.

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How did you meet up with Norman Skinner?

This was a meeting by chance that happened at the 2011 NAMM show in Anaheim California. We started talking about what we had going on and at that time I was looking for a great vocalist to do a new project. He instantly said he was very interested and we exchanged our contact info and soon after began writing songs.

Because Hellscream is so new to the Metal scene there does not seem to be much info yet. Who else is in the band and will you be touring soon?

The CD was written entirely be Norman and myself. Norman created all lyrical content, helped with arrangements and sang like an animal! All of the instrumentation was performed by myself in my studio. We have had a great response to the debut album and are looking forward to another CD with a tour follow up! Due to our other band obligations we are currently involved with scheduling will be critical. I have a great selection of potential players lined up for the next cd already.

This is perhaps a tougher but fair question. Cage and Hellscream are quite similar stylistically being both US Power Metal. What made you want to branch out and work on another project?

This was really a fun project! I had about a nine month period where the Cage camp was distracted so it made sense for me to keep busy! Norman and I worked exclusively by e-mail only! We were transferring files back and forth using Protools software. I am really sure we only spoke to each other at most three times the entire year while we were writing the cd. All else was only by e-mail!

What special significance does the title MADE IMMORTAL have for you?

I thought that the song was so freaking awesome and with the way the entire project evolved it was a perfect title for the CD!


Hellscream - Made Immortal cd cover 600 x 600


How are the song-writing duties in Hellscream divided up? Does one guy bring the main riff or is a collaborative effort born out of jamming?

I was the one that would write the riffs and do some examples of arrangement. I then would send Norman the the mp3 for him to review. Norman would then send back to me an arrangement with lyrics.

Who handles the lyrics?

Norman Exclusively!

Switching over to Cage, last time I chatted with Sean he said the latest record is going to be a horror-themed concept album. Can you tell us more about it?

Yes! The new CD is basically two thirds of the way completed. it is a horror theme concept album based on a 45,000 word mini novel that Sean Peck wrote! The title of the cd is “Ancient Evil”and takes place in England around 1819. There will be also special guests on the CD and so far it is really sounding amazing!

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There has been a pretty seismic lineup change with three-fifths of the bands changing over. I know Cage has always been you and Sean but can you tell us a bit about what precipitated the membership evolution?

The current line up is by far the best we have had the pleasure to work with! The reality is that Cage has been cranking out music for 22 years! There have been some great relationships with previous members and will always have great memories of all the awesome shows and touring together!

Are you going to shop the new Cage album to labels or continue to maintain your independence?

It has worked well for us to remain independent! We have a fantastic fan base world wide and appreciate their loyal support!

Hellscream - Dave Gacia (Guitars - Cage) 2 - 600 x 600

Since your nickname is Conan, are you looking forward to the new Conan movie, THE LEGEND OF CONAN with the return of Arnold Schwarzenegger?

I am! He was a big influence on my earlier years as a competitive bodybuilder!

What do you to keep in shape, both physically and in terms of playing?

I still work out every other day at the gym! I still watch the type of food I consume however not as severe as I used to be when I was active in competitive bodybuilding. Because of the stress on the hands I do play as much guitar as possible to minimize the effects from weight training.

Have you ever thought about doing a solo album?

I have some fantastic projects coming up that sound really exciting! Anything is possible! I am working with Benjamin from Online Metal Promo to help further opportunities moving forward!

Hellscream - Dave Gacia (Guitars - Cage) 1 - 600 x 600

Do you keep in touch with the Voz guys?

Morrie is my bro! i have had some fun tours and experiences with him for sure! We are also in touch through Facebook!

What does 2014 hold for both Hellscream and Cage?

Look forward to the new CD “Ancient Evil” and we are touring in Europe In July 2014′. There also is a midwest tour being scheduled in November! The live shows are extremely fun for The Cage boys and we deliver pounding in your face true metal power every time!

Thank you!


Posted in 2014, Heavy Metal, Interviews | Comments (0)

Fatal Smile announce retirement

April 15th, 2014
by J P

Mr. Y of Fatal Smile released a statement to the press.


At some point in your life you’ll have to ‘kill your darlings’…and it’s with a heavy heart I have to inform you that I’m laying my dear band FATAL SMILE to rest…

I sure know it’s a really bad timing with a new album to be released & we just kicked off our first show of the tour last nite…But at a certain point in life you’ll have to make decisions if things are really worth doing it…??

I have come to that point when the answer is no, it’s no longer worth sacrificing everything in my life, my heart & soul just to keep the ‘FS-train’ rolling…It’s been an epic journey since I started the band back in 1995 & I had a blast ‘living the dream’… A million thank’s to all of you for your endless support & love during those ‘Fatal years’ & thank’s to all the band members during this time.

I will sure keep writing & playing music, that’s for sure!!!

Take care & be well.

Peace & Love,

Yüksel Unutmaz aka ‘MR. Y’


Photo by Dave – Access Rock


Posted in Industry News | Comments (0)

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