Each gig has a unique feel to it based on any number of obvious factors, venue, date, time, indoor vs. outdoor, bands all those things come into play. I was looking forward to the Children Of Bodom/Death Angel/Tyr gig for a number of reasons.
The show was held in the MacEwan Hall Ballroom (Capacity: 1000) in Calgary, Alberta and over the years I have seen dozens maybe even low hundreds of bands there. It is a familiar, nice venue and I was going with a bunch of friends. Compare this to a gig I saw in Toronto last year, at a venue I had never been in, seeing bands I had never seen and going by myself in a city I don’t live in. Very different ‘feel’ to each concert, not bad just different. If I had to define it, I’d say that the COB show in support of their latest excellent album HALO OF BLOOD was a safe, comfortable gig. Those aren’t usually words associated with a Metal gig, but nonetheless it was pretty laid-back. Or at least…I was pretty laid-back. I have had the pleasure of seeing each band on the bill at least 4-5 times each previously.
Before the show, I also had the pleasure of having supper with Mark and Rob from Death Angel at a nice restaurant so we arrived on time with a full belly, a few drinks in us and lots of friends in a familiar venue to see three bands I love. I have the entire catalogue of all three bands in my collection.
Tyr was up first with a disappointingly short five-song set. It was the biggest stage I have seen them on to date and they plundered through five cuts ending strong with ‘Shadow Of The Swastika’. With seven full-length albums under their belt they could have headlined a two-hour gig in my mind. (COB has 8 albums and Death Angel has seven as well, so Tyr are just as established, just not as popular in North America. They were of course the least well-known but because it was an early Sunday night all-ages gig there was a very decent crowd early on.
Death Angel was up next and it is hard to be impartial, but they played to their largest crowd in the last five times they have been here. They were happy to be on the COB tour because they aid it introduced them to a whole new audience. I found that quite curious as I assumed that COB fans and DA fans were one and the same, but I was mistaken. Compared to last time they were in town with Anthrax and Testament (which was an older, mostly male old-school trash crowd) this gig was way younger and way more girls.
Death Angel won over people in the audience being by far the heaviest, fastest band on the bill. Mark had cut off his dreadlocks and the band just ripped into it opening with. The crowd was in a good mood that night as Canada had just won a Gold Medal in the Men’s Hockey at the Sochi Olympics. Mark addressed the crowd as ‘Gold medal winning motherfuckers’ (which got a huge roar of approval) before they ripped into ‘Claws In So Deep’ from their last studio album RELENTLESS RETRIBUTION.
The Mark III line-up with the new rhythm section Damien Sisson (bass) and Will Carrol (drums) have really settled in making this in my mind, the strongest line-up. They finished off with the a teaser, the classic intro riff from ‘The Ultra Violence’ before ending with what has become their signature closing song, ‘Thrown To The Wolves’ the opening track from the third album THE ART OF DYING.
Admittedly, it was Children Of Bodom’s crowd, I could tell it was a younger crowd, the beer gardens were not that full! The ages ranged from 5 to 65 and the hall was as it sat comfortably full at about 800 souls and bodies were flying! The stage had three sets of six multi-coloured strobes on tall stands that made for a simple, but effective light show. The sound was crystal clear which is good to emphasize the higher end with the heavy keyboard and guitar sound the band has. The pacing seemed a little off but the band was only a few dates into the North American tour and maybe had to work out a few little timing measures. The band had some pre-recorded spoken word interludes and Alexi was a little lower key than I had seen in him in previous years. The Finnish frontman did thank us (Canada) for ‘…beating the shit out of Sweden’(!) in Hockey which was appreciated by the crowd.
The band ran through a good cross selection of their catalogue playing cuts from every album except, RELENTLESS RECKLESS FOREVER. I found I still preferred the cleaner burning, faster cuts from the first three albums, (SOMETHING WILD, HATEBREEDER, FOLLOW THE REAPER), before they injected more modern sounds into their delivery. ‘Are You Dead Yet?’ seemed to be a crowd favourite with lots of singing and bodies flying. There was some really nice trade-off soloing between Alexi and Janne (keyboards) during ‘Towards Dead End’ from HATEBREEDER.
They finished predictably with ‘Downfall’ but it was nice to hear them come back for an encore and close with ‘In Your Face’. I had seen the band many times and they were as good as ever. I know that does not sound like a glowing endorsement but it was like I said a good gig, no surprises and had a lot of fun being there. It is a good triple bill and if you can catch them on the eight-week north American tour do it and arrive on time to see Tyr!
Each year, British heavy metal legends SAXON honor a fine tradition of paying homage to England’s patron Saint George by putting on a spectacular annual show on St. George’s Day (April 23rd). The band’s new live album, St. George’s Day Sacrifice – Live in Manchester, was recorded at last year’s performance on that special day, specifically at The Ritz in Manchester, England during the band’s ‘Sacrifice World Tour’. The album, mixed and mastered by Andy Sneap and produced by SAXON vocalist Biff Byford, hits stores in the U.S. on April 29, 2014 via UDR Music.
This 2 CD set (also available in digital format) finds a blistering performance covering a collection of SAXON’s finest work from 1979 up to 2013. A very special rendition of ‘Broken Heroes’ goes straight to the heart and is dedicated to The British Armed Forces. This is SAXON at their best – a real treasure rejoicing every fan.
St. George’s Day Sacrifice – Live in Manchester tracklisting:
CD 1 – running time 61:05 minutes
02 Wheels Of Terror
03 Power And The Glory
04 Made In Belfast
05 Rock’n Roll Gypsy
06 And The Bands Played On
07 I’ve Got To Rock (To Stay Alive)
08 Night Of The Wolf
10 Broken Heroes
11 Guardians of The Tomb
CD 2 – running time 59:08 minutes
01 Never Surrender
02 Ride Like The Wind
04 Stand Up And Fight
05 Dallas I PM
06 747 (Strangers In The Night)
07 Wheels Of Steel
08 Strong Arm Of The Law
09 Denim And Leather
10 Princess of The Night
SAXON’s most recent studio album, Unplugged and Strung Up, debuted at #52 on the Billboard Heatseekers chart, as well as #89 on the Top Rock chart in its first week of release! Unplugged and Strung Up is an amazing full-length release of fresh twists on classic tracks. Featuring staple SAXON stormers such as ‘Motorcycle Man’, ‘Strong Arm of the Law’ and ‘Dallas 1pm’, it is a quintessential part of any collection. Recorded, mixed and mastered with Andy Sneap in Derbyshire, UK last year, Biff and co. re-evaluated, re-worked and re-energized the towering likes of ‘The Eagle Has Landed’ and ‘Crusader’ by introducing orchestral dynamics to offer added dimension. ‘Frozen Rainbow’ from the band’s 1979 debut, gets a stunning acoustic reprisal which transports it into a power ballad to be proud of, whilst ‘Red Star Falling’ soars and sweeps the emotions with its orchestrally-arranged dovetail. Buy your copy today – available in digipack version – here via Amazon.
BRAINSTORM will release their new studio album, Firesoul, on April 4th via AFM Records on CD, Ltd. Digipak, Ltd. Special Edition, Ltd. Vinyl. They have unveiled the Firesoul special edition fanbox, which features:
- Firesoul digipak CD (including 2 bonus tracks & live bonus CD)
- Brainstorm dog tag
- 5 tarot style signed autograph cards
- guitar pick
- a box of matches
- 5 € Brainstorm merch coupon
‘Erased By the Dark’
‘Descendants Of The Fire’
‘Recall The Real’
‘Feed Me Lies’
‘What Grows Inside’
‘… And I Wonder’
BRAINSTORM – Special Edition Firesoul Album Fanbox Details
The time has come to reveal the 2014 lineup of Heavy Montréal presented by Molson Canadian, the can’t-miss rendezvous of heavy music lovers, back for its sixth edition this year. As announced previously, in order to reach a maximum number of fans, the festival will continue to widen its horizons by presenting a larger variety of bands, making it possible for the rock and metal family to expand and to attract festival-goers from all around the world.
Among those who will shake up Parc Jean-Drapeau on August 9 and 10, we find the ultimate heavy metal band, METALLICA, who will perform their only show in North America this summer at Heavy Montréal. Every ticket holder will be able to send their request to the band with code provided to them following their purchase. Furthermore, it will be an all-request show, with a setlist picked by the fans! Other confirmed acts include SLAYER, ANTHRAX, LAMB OF GOD, APOCALYPTICA, EXODUS, SYMPHONY X, OVERKILL and many more!
A fourth stage will be added this year in order to showcase more artists, including many local bands, and to maximize the festival experience for the fans. And, after a ton of success last year, the Heavy Maniawrestlers will return to Heavy Montréal this summer. More details will be announced about this in the next few months.
Weekend passes for Heavy Montréal 2014 will go on sale on Friday, March 7th at noon via HeavyMontreal.com. New this year: Gold Weekend Pass holders will have access to the Heavy Montréal terrace, a multi-level platform offering a premium view of the two main stages, with access to private washrooms and exclusive food and beverage stands.
Weekend Passes – Early Bird prices (taxes and service fees included)
Weekend Passes – General Admission : $165
Weekend Passes – Gold: $400
Those prices are available for a limited quantity of passes! Weekend passes are valid for two days and are non-transferable.
Heavy Montréal will announce more bands, the August 8th lineup in the city and the daily lineup soon. 2014 will undoubtedly be an explosive year for Heavy Montréal!
Legendary artist ED REPKA has redesigned the classic DARK ANGEL logo with amazing results!
View the new DARK ANGEL logo below:
Guitarist JIM DURKIN comments on the bands new logo and 2014 return:
“I can’t tell you how happy I am about the return of DARK ANGEL in 2014. These are a great bunch of guys and I wouldn’t have it any other way. We went back to our roots and got ED REPKA involved in the redesign of the classic logo. Dark Fuckin Angel have been working very hard on the music, I cannot wait to bring this monster back to the fans.”
As previously reported, DARK ANGEL will reform for a limited number of appearances in 2014.
The confirmed lineup for these rare and unique, select 2014 shows are:
* Gene Hoglan (drums)
* Jim Durkin (guitar)
* Eric Meyer (guitar)
* Ron Rinehart (vocals)
* Michael Gonzalez (bass) Read the rest of this entry »
The weather has darkened, the north winds have arrived with an Arctic chill and that’s just outside the Kentish Town forum this evening. The venue itself is preparing for an onslaught of the deepest and most violent creatures it has seen for a long time, with bands from the black , death and gothic genres of metal with ballistic beats, harrowing screams and brutality that can only come from the most skilled of lyrical poetic masterminds. Read the rest of this entry »
For a Tuesday evening, The Underworld is bombarded with energy from the off with a superb choice of local support and two bands worthy enough of the headline slot, all out with one aim – to party hard.
Review by CelticBob & EvilG
All photos by CelticBob
Vince Neil & Slaughter – Feb 15th, 2014 Mile One Center, St. John’s, NL
After a show postponement and a day’s worth driving I finally get to see Vince Neil on home turf. This was his first time ever performing in the Province of Newfoundland, same for special guests; Slaughter. Was it worth the wait? Read the rest of this entry »
German Metal Icon Udo Dirkschneider (U.D.O.) signs a long-term contract with AFM Records. The new deal includes the release of 3 albums plus 3 dvds.
“We feel very comfortable with AFM Records and we appreciate the good vibes” says Udo Dirkschneider. “The mutual understanding is perfect and our individual wishes and ideas are respected and converted. This is obviously hard to find in the music business nowadays”.
Jochen Richert is very proud that U.D.O. remains part of the AFM family. “We wanted such an extensive deal with U.D.O. because the cooperation has proved fertile in the past. U.D.O. is one of our biggest acts, sales figures have grown constantly; this proves that – together – we are successful!”
SF Bay Area Metallers KILL RITUAL featuring former members of Imagika and Dark Angel, are streaming the title track of their upcoming album, The Eyes Of Medusa, due out April 4th via GoldenCore Records/ZYX Music. Listen to ‘The Eyes Of Medusa‘ below.
Next year’s 70000 Tons Of Metal has unveiled the itinerary for next year’s cruise! Round 5 of the World’s Biggest Heavy Metal Cruise will leave Ft. Lauderdale on January 22nd and head to Ocho Rios, Jamaica and venture back to Ft. Lauderdale on January 26th.
70000 Tons Of Metal 2015
“What do you get if you take 60 Metal Bands and have them play 120 Shows for only 3000 Fans on one Cruise Ship going to Jamaica?
Progressive metal maestros Dream Theater have always been diligent Finnish visitors. The band made its live debut in Finland in 1995. This show on Feb.24th, 2014 was their tenth show here. The band released its 12’th studio album DREAM THEATER in September 2103 and it’s been a worldwide success on the charts. The album has received critical acclaim and the first single “The Enemy Inside” was nominated for a “Best Metal Performance” Grammy Award. Understandably, the recovery process took its time but it stands to reason that the band is doing very well without its founding member/drummer Mike Portnoy who left the band under difficult circumstances in 2011. It’s time of another “Evening with Dream Theater”!
Thanks to Tom Hack for getting this interview done.
Thanks to Massacre Records for providing the promo pics.
Here comes an update on what’s going on in the Darkane camp. The band recently released the album THE SINISTER SUPREMACY which took five years to get out to the masses. A lot has happened in the band during these years and the original singer Lawrence Mackrory (F.K.U.) has joined forces with the band again. I had the opportunity to have a really nice chat with Mackrory. The band is considered as one of the leading acts within the Swedish thrash metal scene.