Article and pictures by Arto Lehtinen,
Marko Syrjala, and Patrick Clement
Hell yeah! It’s time to enter the mighty Swedenrock Festival. A fantastic and the most enjoyable rock and metal festival on earth. It has to be pointed out that Metal Rules has covered Sweden Rock since 2001! Therefore, it is quite logical to cover the festival again. The 2014 line up presented a wide range of metal and hard rock. Approximately 80 metal and rock bands offered one hell of an experience for attendees. Sweden Rock has been successful during the past decade as the festival has always been sold out. This year wasn’t an exception as the fest was sold out despite a lousy economic situation worldwide. It has become quite logical for us to give an in depth article on several bands performing at Sweden Rock to all the readers out there. The weather was both rainy and sunny during these four days. The Metal-Rules.com team was there to witness the bands, not for some kinda beach party crap. Unfortunately, we are not able to cover every bloody band, but hopefully you will have a pleasant reading experience… Rock on!
Having celebrated the 30 year anniversary of the first time she took the stage this past May with a two-night live concert party in her hometown of Düsseldorf, Germany in addition to shows throughout Europe, the U.K., and in Latin America, multi-decade recording artist & legendary metal maven DORO PESCH will be bringing her career-spanning anniversary show to North America this fall.
“The Anniversary Tour was incredibly well-received everywhere and we know there are many more places we need to get to,” shares vocalist & songwriter Doro. “I’m always super excited to play in the USA and Canada. Looking forward to seeing all our great fans, friends, and metalheads again. See you soon… Raise Your Fist!”
On April 3, 1975 the Mk III line-up of Deep Purple – guitarist Ritchie Blackmore, frontman David Coverdale, bassist/vocalist Glenn Hughes, keyboard player Jon Lord and drummer Ian Paice – performed at the Liebenauer ice rink, located on the outskirts of mountain-cradled Graz, Austria’s second largest city after Vienna.
Enthused by Deep Purple’s arrival in town, the local press dubbed the concert “das Rockereignis des Jahres [the rock event of the year]”. And it was – in more ways than one.
Previously unreleased in its entirety, Graz 1975 – will be released in North America on September 23th, 2014 on earMUSIC / Eagle Rock Entertainment.
After Graz, Deep Purple would play just two more shows – in Saarbrücken, Germany and Paris, France – before Blackmore left to form his new band, Rainbow. The remaining band members would regroup quickly with American guitarist Tommy Bolin in tow.
In order to preserve Blackmore’s final run of Mk III concerts for posterity, Deep Purple’s managers had brought the Rolling Stones mobile recording studio over to mainland Europe. And what a show it was! Graz 1975 is absolutely electrifying and exhilarating. Indeed, it has long been regarded as the holy grail of concert recordings among Mk III connoisseurs. A performance that has never been available in its entirety until now.
Kicking off with a blazing performance of “Burn,” Graz 1975 is a wild eight-track ride, firing on all pistons. Blackmore plays with controlled brutality. The vocal interplay between Coverdale and Hughes has never sounded so good. And, of course, stalwarts Lord and Paice give it a good kicking – and then some.
The track listing, naturally, is weighted heavily in favor of Mk III recordings, with just two songs from Deep Purple’s previous incarnation with Ian Gillan on vocals and Roger Glover on bass: the iconic “Smoke On The Water” and the almost-as-iconic “Space Truckin’.” Still, it’s true to say that, from beginning to end, Graz 1975 showcases Deep Purple Mk III at the absolute top – and also, ironically, at the end – of their game.
After almost 40 years the concert is still captivating. It is the perfect example that, for Deep Purple, there is no need for extravagant video projections or expensive fire shows to play a unique and fascinating gig. All they need is their music. It is the love and passion for their music that makes every single show a unique experience.
When RICHIE KOTZEN plays his guitar, you know it’s him. The guitar virtuoso, singer and songwriter possesses an inimitable style that’s both instantly recognizable and immediately striking. This unique style courses through THE ESSENTIAL RICHIE KOTZEN, a career retrospective collection set for release September 2 on Loud & Proud Records. It encompasses this iconic talent’s entire career of his most essential work and includes two CDs of classic material, acoustic performances, bootleg material and two brand new songs (“War Paint” and “Walk With Me”), and a DVD of music videos, acoustic performances and bootleg material. A three-song sampler, including the two new songs along with “Lie To Me,” is being serviced to rock radio stations later this month. Fans can pre-order the album at http://bit.ly/1oXRsUX.
KOTZEN personally curated THE ESSENTIAL RICHIE KOTZEN from his 18 solo albums in order to give listeners the most comprehensive, cohesive and concise introduction to his extensive body of work. “I’ve really changed and grown as an artist and as a person,” he says. “I hand-selected songs so newcomers can get into my music and learn who I am as a recording artist.”
“War Paint” builds from an opening bluesy riff into a bombastic chorus punctuated by KOTZEN’s gravelly delivery and impeccable lead playing. He explains, “It was a challenge to make a studio recording sound like a live band with only one musician playing all the instruments. I think I accomplished that on this track.” At the same time, “Walk With Me” sees KOTZEN evolving once more and incorporating a Theremin, an antique electronic instrument, into an emotive and engaging anthem. “There was a specific sound I was hearing in the song,” he reveals. “I realized it was a Theremin, so I bought one. I spent a couple of weeks learning it. I used that where the lead guitar would normally go. It was a really rewarding departure for me.”
With his guitar styles ranging from rock, blues, jazz and fusion to pop and soul, RICHIE KOTZEN has built a remarkably diverse 20 year career as a guitarist, singer and songwriter. During that span, KOTZEN toured with his trio extensively outside the United States, building a loyal fan base and selling out shows throughout Europe, Latin America, and Japan. In 1996, Fender guitars honored him with not one, but two signature model guitars. His signature model Telecaster is available worldwide and continues to be a top seller for the brand. In 2006, KOTZEN received one of his biggest personal honors when The Rolling Stones chose him to open up a string of Japanese shows placing him in front of some of his biggest crowds to date. He has not only built an incredibly successful solo career, but has also found himself writing, recording and playing live with a variety of different artists, including Jazz legends Stanley Clarke and Lenny White. He currently plays guitar and fronts the band The Winery Dogs with bassist Billy Sheehan and drummer Mike Portnoy (the band’s self-titled debut album debuted at #27 on the Billboard “Top 200 Albums” chart).
With his 20th full-length solo album on the horizon for 2015 as well as countless gigs, RICHIE KOTZEN’s legacy is only continuing to expand. “When you perform, record or write, you go to a different place,” he concludes. “It’s another world. I love hearing people react to the music and lyrics. That’s the ultimate reward.”
Stay tuned for solo touring news, which will be announced in the coming weeks.
Here’s the complete track listing of THE ESSENTIAL RICHIE KOTZEN:
1. War Paint *
2. Walk With Me *
3. Love Is Blind
4. Go Faster
5. Fooled Again
6. OMG (What’s Your Name?)
7. Help Me
8. Bad Situation
9. Lie To Me *
11. You Can’t Save Me
12. Doing What The Devil Says To Do
13. Remember (Reprise)
* never before released *
1. What Is (2014)
2. High (2014)
3. Change (2014)
4. Special (2014)
5. Paint It On (Acoustic Version)
6. Holding On (Acoustic Version)
7. Until You Suffer Some (Fire And Ice) – (Acoustic Version)
8. The Road (Acoustic Version)
9. Regret (Original Demo Version)
10. Damaged (Original Demo Version)
1. Walk With Me (2014)
2. Paying Dues (2009)
3. 24 Hours (2011)
4. Larger Than Life (2009)
5. Losing My Mind (2005)
6. Help Me (2012)
7. Chase It (2008)
8. Player (2011)
9. The Shadow (2011)
10. My Angel (2011)
11. I Would (2008)
Cinderella guitarist Jeff LaBar’s “One For The Road” was recorded in Nashville, Tennessee with long-time friend and noted engineer Ronnie Honeycutt, and mixed & mastered by Chris “The Wizard” Collier (KXM/Lynch Mob/Lita Ford). Jeff’s first solo release entitled “One For The Road” highlights both his songwriting and guitar playing abilities. It is also the first of two, seven song offerings of classic, hard rock style material that will be released via Rat Pak Records. About the album Jeff states, “This record is written about parts of my life since the hay-days of Cinderella….and there is a lot more where that came from!” The song “No Strings” features Tesla’s Troy Luccketta on drums and was mixed by Cinderella drummer Fred Coury. The song “Ode To Page” is Jeff’s acoustic tribute to Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page. Featured tracks include: “No Strings”, “Asking For A Beating”, “Muse”, “Hello Or Goodbye”, “Ode To Page”, “Nightmare on My Street” and “One For The Road”. Tracks on the CD range from classic, early Cinderella-style hard rock, to groove-laden blues rock and really captures the magic and spirit of the genre that Jeff helped create! Official release date is set for August 26,2014.
JUDAS PRIEST’s 17th studio album, “Redeemer Of Souls”, sold around 32,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release to land at position No. 6 on The Billboard 200 chart.
Comparatively, JUDAS PRIEST’s 2008 double-disc concept album, “Nostradamus”, sold more in it’s first week of release in the USA with 42,000 copies but didn’t crack the top 10 with a debut at No. 11. This marked the band’s highest-ever chart position in the U.S. In Canada, the CD opened at position No. 9 after selling nearly 4,000 units.
JUDAS PRIEST’s 2005 CD, “Angel of Retribution”, premiered with 58,000 copies in the U.S. to debut at No. 13.
Megadeth’s essential classic 1985 debut album, Killing Is My Business… And Business Is Good! has been re-issued on 180 gram heavy vinyl via Century Media Records. The album is available now – released on July 7th – in black vinyl, transparent red vinyl (limited to 500 copies worldwide) and transparent white vinyl (limited to 100 copies worldwide – exclusive to cmdistro.de).
All vinyl versions are available now at CM Distro Europe via cmdistro.de.
Montreal’s THE AGONIST will release their new album “Eye Of Providence” on November 10 in Europe and on November 11 in North America. “Eye Of Providence” is the follow up to THE AGONIST’s 2012’s album “Prisoners” and will be the debut of new vocalist Vicky Psarakis. The lead vocalist change happened in the early part of this year when previous singer Alissa White-Gluz joined ARCH ENEMY.
The band has been hard at work in the studio and has just released the second ‘Studio Update’ video.
Check it out here:
Swedish Metal institution THE HAUNTED have recently announced “Exit Wounds” as the title to their upcoming, much anticipated studio album release. The album, which sees the band return their classic deadly thrash metal sound, was again recorded with producer Tue Madsen at Antfarm Studio (Dark Tranquillity; Heaven Shall Burn, Sick Of It All, etc.) in Denmark and will be released on August 25th, 2014 in Europe and September 2nd, 2014 in North America via the band’s longtime label partner Century Media Records.
And the time has now come to debut a first new track off “Exit Wounds”. Check out the furious and relentless opening track “Cutting Teeth” via the website of UK’s Metal Hammer magazine here: metalhammer.teamrock.com
Polish technical death metal band DECAPITATED have revealed Blood Mantra as the title to their sixth studio album and follow-up to 2011’s Billboard-charting release Carnival Is Forever.
“Extreme and groove – I think that’s the best way to describe our new album,” states guitarist / songwriter / founding memberWacek “Vogg” Kiełtyka. “This time, we feel that we have something totally crushing and huge. Blood Mantra is the most heavy and mature album we’ve ever made in our career. I cannot wait to start playing these songs live because the riffs are sooo deep and powerful.”
Once again featuring artwork by Lukasz Jaszak,Blood Mantra was recorded under the direction of Wojtek and Slawek Wiesawski at Hertz Studio in Bialystok, Poland Studio – where DECAPITATED recorded 2002’s Nihility, 2004’s The Negation, and2006’s Organic Hallucinosis – and will be released this fall, marking the studio debut of new drummer Michal Lysejko.