REVIEW AND PHOTOS BY ARTO LEHTINEN AND MARKO SYRJALA
Slipknot enjoys a fanatical and loyal following up here in Finland. Less than a year ago, Iowa’s masked mongers rampaged and nailed the Finnish audience in the old Ice Hall. Seeing them quite soon again was quite an unexpected and pleasant surprise. Approximately 6000 fans crawled through the frostbitten capital of Finland to witness both Suicidal Tendencies and Slipknot. Yes you did read it right – Suicidal Tendencies!
KISS Kruise is an annual festival which is held on a most luxurious cruise liner in the Caribbean. The event brings together the band’s most loyal and die-hard fans around the world. What makes this event unique, is the fact that fans can hear rarities and obscure songs that the band does not play elsewhere. The band is also very interactive with fans. Everyone has access, for example, to get a picture with the band and everyone will get signed memorabilia. The band members are involved in various activities. Paul Stanley was cooking pizza in front of people and Gene Simmons and his family were judges in belly flop contest. Tommy Thayer played guitar solos and the competitors tried to recognize the solos and Eric Singer was judging “almost famous” competition where KISS cover bands were playing against each other. The whole Kruise is about KISS, of course, but the line-up also included many other great bands and artists. This year included: Steel Panther, Lita Ford, Fozzy, Dead Daisies, and a number of smaller bands. This report is a synopsis of KISS Kruise V including the concerts and other interesting events. Read on!
EVIL DRIVE RELEASES THE LAND OF THE DEAD on January 22
Finnish melodic death metal-band EVIL DRIVE with the amazing Viktoria in front, presents ‘The Land of The Dead’! Evil Drive is founded 2013 in Kotka, Finland. The band was originally formed because the aim was to set up a band which has not previously been heard. All the musicians in the band, have a history in a number of different bands and different genres. The band has incorporated many different musical styles, leading press and fans to label them as melodic death metal with a twist of 80’s style thrash metal. But in fact Evil Drive’s sound is therefore the combination of all of its member’s musical history. Evil Drive was originally started by vocalist Viktoria Viren, her husband and guitarist Ville Wiren and drummer Juha Beck. Guitarist Niko Huusari joined bands ranks soon later with the original bassist Jussi Mäkinen who was replaced by Marko Syrjälä in June of 2014. All band members are huge metal fans and they share the same taste in music. Some common favorites are Iron Maiden, Metallica and Slayer. In November 2013, they released their self-titled debut EP, which got a lot of attention in Finnish media. At the same time they released their first official music video “Bullet”, which soon became a hit in YouTube. The band filmed video for “The Land of the Dead” in the summer of 2014 it was followed by “War” in September of 2015. In August of 2015 it was announced that Evil Drive signed a worldwide record deal with Danish label Mighty Music.
WACKEN METAL BATTLE CANADA is proud to announce this year’s 2016 battle rounds and line up of over 100 bands competing across the country in Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, Winnipeg, Saskatoon, Regina, London, Hamilton, Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal. This is WMBC’s fourth year showcasing Canada’s top independent metal talent to the world stage at Wacken Open Air in Wacken, Germany, which holds an attendance of over 80,000 metalheads from around the world. For the last three years that Wacken Metal Battle has been held in Canada, it has produced two world champions Vesperia (2015) and Crimson Shadows (2013) to triumph at the international Wacken Metal Battle beating out over 30 other representing countries from around the globe.
Satan’s Fall are a Finnish heavy metal band formed in early 2015 in city of Helsinki.
Band is heavily influenced by 80’s traditional heavy, speed and US power metal.
‘Seven Nights’ digital demo is available for streaming now on Bandcamp and 7″ vinyl (ltd. 333) coming out via Underground Power Records around March-April and tape (ltd. 100) via Iron on Iron Records in February.
Saxon, the legendary English heavy metal band, was founded in 1976. They are one of the pioneers of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal, and during the 80’s Saxon established themselves as one of Europe’s biggest metal acts. The band is still going strong and they tour on a regular basis. They have released 21 studio albums including their newest, BATTERING RAM, which came out in October 2015. The band arrived Finland on 6th of December along with Motörhead and Girlschool. I then sat down with the band’s long-term guitarist Doug Scarratt in Helsinki and we discussed many different topics such as touring with Motörhead and the new Saxon album.
Edit: It should be noted that when this interview took place, we had no idea what was going to happen for Lemmy in just a few weeks… 😥
“Winter’s Doom is a big step up for us and a step our homeland of the frigid North directed us in. The vast emptiness and shear mammoth proportions of this landscape lend a very helpful hand in open palm smacking the creative juices right into you. In this album the songs are faster, heavier and all around more to the tune we have always been drawn to. I’m sure all who listen will agree this is our best offering to date!”
(Sanktuary bassist, Cole Hume)
Napalm Records power/melodic death metallers and 2013 International Wacken Battle winners CRIMSON SHADOWS have announced the departure of Jimi Maltais, and the addition of Blackguard’s Paul ‘Ablaze’ Zinay as the band’s new vocalist.
“With sadness, we would like to announce that Jimi Maltais and the band are parting ways. Jimi has provided the band with his crushing vocals and charisma for 10 great years but he is seeking other opportunities in his life. We would like to thank him for the awesome memories and effort he put forth with Crimson Shadows,” says the band.
Joining Crimson Shadows will be Paul Zinay of Montreal-based
melodic death /power/folk metal band BLACKGUARD. Zinay comments,
” I’m elated to be joining my brothers in Crimson Shadows and share the burdens and triumphs of the eternal mile together. I’ve loved and respected this band since they started and to be asked to join their ranks is an honor and a privilege. Cheers to new and bright future for Crimson Shadows ! “
Zinay will be joining Crimson Shadows just in time to record the band’s follow up to their acclaimed label debut,’Kings Among Men’, for a Napalm Records release in late 2016 or early 2017. “We are extremely excited to have Paul Ablaze join the ranks of Crimson Shadows. Having known Paul since early in our career as well as sharing the stage multiple times over the years, we know he is the perfect front man to lead the Crimson Warriors into battle. With his combination of intense vocals and high energy live performance this will open a new chapter for Epic Metal and dawn a new era for Crimson Shadows.”
Fans of the band can see Jimi perform his last show as front man on January 30th at Spot One in Brampton, Ontario.
NOCTURNE, Austria’s most promising Black Metal outfit, has released via french label UNLIGHT PRODUCTIONS, a division of DRAKKAR PRODUCTIONS, their slaying debut album.
In total nine abyssic hymns are featured, including a crushing cover of DE INFERNALI’s song ‘Sign Of The Dark *’ (composed by Jon Nödtveidt of DISSECTION, THE BLACK, OPHTHALAMIA, etc.) with Dan Swanö (EDGE OF SANITY, NIGHTINGALE, PAN.THY.MONIUM, etc.) on vocals.
With a total playing time of more than 54 minutes the following songs appear on this release :
Return To Chaos [7:53]
Into The Great Below [4:28]
Ama Lilith [7:12]
He Before Whom The Sky Shakes [7:34]
Son Of Darkness [5:32]
Sign Of The Dark * [5:23]
– NOCTURNE is: Essark (vox), Tenebris (battery)
– Album produced by Essark and Stefan Traunmüller
– All session strings by Stefan Traunmüller
– All strings and vocals recorded and mixed at SOUNDTEMPEL STUDIO Freilassing (Germany) by Stefan Traunmüller (GOLDEN DAWN, RAUHNACHT, etc.)
– Drums recorded at KK-Studios Salzburg (Austria), engineered by Krystian Koenig
– Album mastered at NECROMORBUS STUDIO Stockholm (Sweden) by Tore Stjerna (WATAIN, FUNERAL MIST, etc.)
SPLIT HEAVEN – DEATH RIDER – Release Date: March 25th 2016
The wait is almost over, after more than two years since SPLIT HEAVEN’s last release, Mexico’s speed metal demons return. Their last effort, ”The Devil’s Bandit”, was released on our sub label Pure Legend, but this new album is coming back through Pure Steel Records, like we did with “Street Law“ in 2011.
Now in 2016, Split Heaven is back with a vengeance with their new album “Death Rider”. They have formed an alliance with their new singer Jason Conde-Houston, from Seattle, the frontman of US Metal band Skelator. He is strongly influenced by high pitched legends like Helstar’s James Rivera and Primal Fear’s Ralf Scheepers.
As always, Split Heaven is keeping it true, this time with “Painkiller” style double bass drumming, “Thundersteel” style guitar melodies, and glorious NWoBHM style solos. This album features an uptempo smasher “Speed Of The Hawk”, the spanish fistpumper “Descarga Letal” as well as the striking opener “Death Rider”. The explosive, crushing, “Death Rider” will take the hearts of many Metal maniacs by storm! Split Heaven returns stronger than ever!
01. ‘Death Rider’
02. ‘Awaken The Tyrant’
03. ‘Battle Axe’
04. ‘To The Fallen’
05. ‘Speed Of The Hawk’
06. ‘Ghost Of Desire’
08. ‘Talking With The Devil’
09. ‘Descarga Letal’
Split Heaven is:
Jason Conde-Houston (vocals)
Carlo “Taii” Hernández (guitar)
Armand “Hank” Ramos (guitar)
Tomás Roitman (drums)
Speed of The Hawk video & single will be released in the last days of January along with the band’s brand new website.
Heavy Metal Band Kill Ritual (Amon-Ra, Imagika, Rage of Angels) announce headline U.S. tour, debut show at 2016 Winter NAMM, and sign worldwide deal with Extreme Management Group
With the announcement of their 2016 spring headlining tour, Heavy Metal act Kill Ritual has now joined the massive roster of Extreme Management Group, Inc. Kill Ritual will be making their live debut at the 2016 National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) convention this Friday, January 22nd at Malone’s in California followed by a spring tour starting February 29th.
Kill Ritual would also like to welcome new guitarist and member Byron Nemeth (Sacred Heart, Amon-Ra) to the fold on second guitar. You can find out more about Byron (at his) website.
Kill Ritual released their new album Karma Machine in 2015 along with a video for the song “Rise” (link below) that was mixed/mastered by guitar legend, King Diamond member, Andy LaRocque at his Sonic Train Studios.
2016 ushers in a brand new year for Kill Ritual with their new Management team at Extreme Management Group.
ABOUT Kill Ritual
Formed in 2010 by former members of Imagika, Dark Angel, and Eldritch, Kill Ritual launched themselves into the metal world with their debut CD “The Serpentine Ritual” in 2012 on Scarlet Records and the band was immediately rewarded with great reviews and positive reaction from fans around the world. The band then completed a US tour in the fall of 2013 and followed it up with the release of their 2014 CD “The Eyes Of Medusa” on Golden Core/ZYX and again received great press and accolades from fans worldwide.
February 2015: Kill Ritual recruit Vocalist David Reed Watson (Rage of Angels, D.N.A., Electric Messiah, The Constant) to record their new CD “Karma Machine”.
September 2015: They release their newest CD “Karma Machine” on Scarlet Records which was produced by Guitarist Steve Rice at his Fossil Sound Studios and mixed/mastered by Guitar legend, King Diamond member, Andy LaRocque at his Sonic Train Studios in Sweden.
2016 ushers in a brand new year for Kill Ritual with their new Management team, Extreme Management Group, Tone Deaf Touring, to line up their Spring 2016 Tour as well as adding second Lead Guitarist, Byron Nemeth (Amon-Ra, Sacred Heart, Byron Nemeth Group) to the mix.
After reaching the 1 million plays on Spotify in December 2015 for “The Attraction of Opposites”, Ravenscry announces that they have entered the studio to work on their third full length.
“We are in the Ravenstudio since some weeks” says the vocalist Giulia Stefani “and we are working at our best, we have a lot of material to work on and we can already say that it will be a concept album for sure”.
After “One Way Out” and “The Attraction of Opposites” Ravenscry isn’t stopping, the Italian band is preparing to launch a new album sounding more elaborate and are searching for some new elements without sacrificing their distinctive sound.
Meanwhile the band is constantly updating the fans through its social networks and the official website.
Death Dealer continued to lay down the gauntlet with the release of their second full length “Hallowed Ground” following hot on the heels of their scorching debut “War Master” (Coincidentally my album of the year for the 2013 Best Of list) I bought “Hallowed Ground” on the day of release and this album hasn’t left my CD player yet. From the Wild West themed opener “Gunslinger” to the band’s infectious current single “Break the Silence” (for which there is an epic music video) to the extremely aggressive ass kicker that is “Plan of Attack” and those are just the first three tracks! This all-star lineup of Ross The Boss Friedman (Manowar, The Dictators NYC) Sean Peck (Cage) Stu Marshall (Empires of Eden) Mike Davis (Halford, Lizzy Borden) and Steve Bolognese (Into Eternity) is at the top of their game on “Hallowed Ground” and I would definitely recommend this album to all fellow metalheads!