EUROPE’s brand new War of Kings Special Edition, including their “Live At Wacken 2015” DVD & BluRay, is available today via Hell & Back Recordings/UDR Music! You can order your copy via iTunes for the special edition album or Amazon for the CD + DVD/BluRay.
The set is available in three formats (2-disc Ecolbook CD+DVD, 2-disc Ecolbook CD+ BluRay, Limited Edition Deluxe Package with War of Kings CD + DVD + BluRay and Photobook), and an audio-only edition of the Wacken 2015 performance is available via digital format.
CD Track Listings:
1. WAR OF KINGS
2. HOLE IN MY POCKET
3. THE SECOND DAY
4. PRAISE YOU
5. NOTHIN’ TO YA
6. CALIFORNIA 405
7. DAYS OF ROCK ‘N’ ROLL
8. CHILDREN OF THE MIND
9. RAINBOW BRIDGE
10. ANGELS (WITH BROKEN HEARTS)
11. LIGHT IT UP
12. VASASTAN (Instrumental)
DVD & BluRay Track Listings:
1. WAR OF KINGS
2. HOLE IN MY POCKET
4. SCREAM OF ANGER
5. LAST LOOK AT EDEN
6. SECOND DAY
8. SIGN OF THE TIMES
9. PRAISE YOU
10. THE BEAST
11. READY OR NOT
12. GIRL FROM LEBANON
13. NOTHIN’ TO YA
14. LET THE GOOD TIMES ROCK
15. ROCK THE NIGHT
16. DAYS OF ROCK ‘N’ ROLL
17. THE FINAL COUNTDOWN
EUROPE recently announced their War of Kings U.S. Tour 2016! The tour begins in San Jose, CA on January 19th and hits 16 cities, coming to a close in Atlanta, GA on February 6th. See below for all current tour dates – tickets are on sale now via all major ticketing sites or www.europetheband.com.
EUROPE WAR OF KINGS U.S. TOUR DATES:
1/19/2016 – San Jose, CA @ Rockbar Theater
1/20/2016 – Anaheim, CA @ The Grove
1/22/2016 – Los Angeles, CA @ Saban Theater
1/23/2016 – Las Vegas, NV @ Hard Rock Live
1/24/2016 – San Diego, CA @ Music Box Theater
1/25/2016 – Chandler, AZ @ Wild Horse Pass Casino
1/27/2016 – Lawrence, KS @ The Granada Theater
1/28/2016 – Sioux Falls, SD @ Badlands Pawn
1/29/2016 – Shawnee, OK @ The Grand Events Ctr
1/30/2016 – Dallas, TX @ House of Blues
1/31/2016 – Houston, TX @ House of Blues
2/2/2016 – Fort Lauderdale, FL @ Revolution
2/3/2016 – St. Petersburg, FL @ The Concert Courtyard @ Ferg’s
2/4/2016 – Lake Buena Vista, FL @ House of Blues
2/5/2016 – Biloxi, MS @ Hard Rock Casino
2/6/2016 – Atlanta, GA @ The Masquerade
EUROPE’s place as a legendary hard rock band was platinum-stamped early in their career. Having enjoyed an explosive period of worldwide success in the ’80s (under-pinned by their hit album and single “The Final Countdown”), 2015’s War of Kings has seen them take full advantage of the global groundwork EUROPE have keenly re-established over the last few years.
RON MAIDEN and the award-winning Japanese electronics company ONKYO Corporation are delighted to announce the launch of their unique on-ear headphones.
The ED-PH0N3S have been specially designed to provide fans of IRON MAIDEN, rock and heavy metal the ultimate way to hear their music, with the clarity and full acoustic range required by Maiden bassist, founder member and co-producer Steve Harris.
ED-PH0N3S are available exclusively through quality audio retail chain Richer Sounds in the UK, and on-line across Europe from MaidenAudio.com now.
The official Japanese launch event is taking place at the Astro Hall in Harajuku, Tokyo on December 8th, with availability in many other countries worldwide to follow in 2016.
The companion Maiden Audio smartphone App is available for download in the Apple Store and Google Play Store. This app is available for both iOS and Android and includes exclusive IRON MAIDEN custom EQ settings.
The Maiden Audio partnership was announced at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in January. Over the following months, Steve Harris worked directly with Mark Cheffins, Artist Relations & Technical Consultant at ONKYO and their Japanese engineers. The resulting ED-PH0N3S are customised to Steve’s exacting sonic requirements delivering the ultimate audio experience when listening to IRON MAIDEN or any rock and metal music.
Steve explains how the alliance came about,
“I knew that I would need some really good headphones to use for playback of the mixes of ‘The Book Of Souls’, our new Maiden studio album. I’d actually started looking into this about eighteen months prior to when we started recording because I’d been struggling to find a design which came even remotely close to what I felt was an acceptable sonic standard for rock/metal. My main objective was for a balance that wasn’t just top and bottom heavy with hardly any mid range like a lot of headphones these days that are basically designed for dance music. I wanted a good balance across the widest bandwidth incorporating a lot more mid range frequencies, something I strongly feel is vital to appreciate the complexities of our music and rock/metal in general. A friend at ONKYO suggested I get in touch with the company to create a design that could meet my specifications. We started collaborating and have been working on them ever since, endlessly evaluating frequencies and modifying drive units, materials, cables and connectors until we achieved my ideal balance. I am now really happy with the final result!”
Mark Cheffins continues,
“We were convinced ONKYO could help Steve achieve the musical authenticity he wanted and were thrilled when he agreed to collaborate with us. It was a challenging undertaking, given Steve’s famously keen ear and ‘no compromise’ approach, but we were determined to deliver headphones that would be equal to the high standards Iron Maiden sets for its very distinctive sound. Although there are plenty of other brands marketing artist-endorsed headphones to consumers, to the best of my knowledge this is the first time the whole audio spectrum, including the all-important mid range, has been engineered to such a rigorous degree, so Iron Maiden fans can be assured the ED-PH0N3S are completely unique. These headphones have been crafted from the ground up so that Maiden fans and devotees of rock and metal music can experience the same crystal-clear sound the band prizes, right across the spectrum. With the level of detail and workmanship that’s gone into this project throughout the past year or so, I’m confident we’ve succeeded in creating a £400 plus product which can sell for considerably less.”
The suggested retail price for the ED-PH0N3S is £199/€299.
And like my recent book, Swords and Tequila: Riot’s Classic First Decade, I’m not only holding on price but lowering them a good 10% across the board. But still, remember, I am signing, packing these up and mailing from Canada.
Orders will be signed from me to you, so please specify if it’s a present for someone else. Glad to sign as Christmas present for your favourite denim and leather NWOBHM-jamming metal buddy.
One other comment, I suppose this is very close to a Who Invented the NWOBHM? because a large part of it is a celebration of the British music of the late ‘70s that caused the NWOBHM to take flight.
Ah yes, the heroic, glory-rich daze of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal!
The year was 1979, and a brash new breed of heavy metal-maker was busy shoveling dirt over the death of punk, while simultaneous mourning the waning energies—or outright demises—of hard rock’s earlier heroes, namely Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, Black Sabbath and Uriah Heep.
In Wheels of Steel: The Explosive Early Years of the NWOBHM, Martin Popoff charts the long ramp-up to this detonation of headbanging mania through the late ‘70s, arriving at the penultimate first years of this flash phenomenon, namely 1979 and 1980.
Utilizing his celebrated oral history method—rich with detailed chronological entries to frame the story—Popoff blasts through all of the reasons the NWOBHM had to happen, and then drops down on all the singles, albums, live events and conceptual trends studding those remarkable two years, an era that essentially marks a coming-out party for heavy metal.
Come join Martin, along with dozens of his old school headbanging buddies, as they together tell the tale of this ersatz genre’s birth and mischievous, defiant adolescence—heavy metal would forever be transformed, and Wheels of Steel celebrates plainly and yet powerfully, all the reasons why.
Price including shipping:
US orders: $29.00 US funds
Int’l orders (all books go air): $37.00 US funds
Canadian orders: $34.00 Cdn. funds
Ask me if you’d prefer a PayPal invoice (please indicate what country you are in), or just do yer usual and direct funds to email@example.com
Or mail payment (personal check in US funds, cash, or INTERNATIONAL money order), to:
Martin Popoff, P.O. Box 65208, 358 Danforth Ave., Toronto, Ontario, Canada M4K 2Z2
Sweet postage savings to be had for multiple orders (or two of pretty much anything—long story, ask me!), especially for US orders. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with any further questions, and see www.martinpopoff.com for descriptions, cover art and ordering info for my other available 30 or so books.
Black Flames Of Blasphemy is a myth and icon of the nihilistic and barbaric death/black metal in the catacomb of the underground. The festival has proved to be the most interesting event on the metal map already since 2009 with the most intensive and truest underground acts in line-up. The VI event has been advertised as “All Must End” meaning this will be the last Black Flames Of Blasphemy festival for the time being.
Thursday – Warm Up Day
RIDE FOR REVENGE
The three piece combo Ride For Revenge’s raw and even ritualistic sounding performance were brutal and even nihilistic. The rolling and crushing sounds were tremendous depressing. Describing the stuff of Ride For Revenge and their barbaric sounding set is definitely beyond the essential mandatory describing as it has to be experienced by yourself.
Obscure Burial’s primitive death metal fitted to the warm-up day perfectly. Even though Ride For Revenge’s savage and brutal performance turned out to be cruel therefore Obscure Burial sounded a bit soft. But Obscure Burial’s savage outcome with the murderous riff was truly how the death metal should sound and the way how a band should look with the leather and spikes.
Destroyer 666 enjoys the true loyal and cult following. That could be testified as the venue was totally packed when the the destroyers hit the stage. The frontman KK Warslut whipped the audience by offering the true evil blacked thrashing influenced stuff for the banging maniacs. The set consisted of all the so called D666 classic ones and the Motorhead cover Iron Fist dedicated to the late Phil Animal Taylor and Slayer’s Black Magic as an unexpected bonus in the end. The four piece sounded awesome tight and definitely uncompromising raw for sure.
The official two-day festival started by a relatively unknown Russian black metal trio called Blackwinged. The trio’s black metal was a combination of the blackened thrash stuff ala AuraNoir/Inferno and the grimmest Norse black metal with some epic riffs. The guys gotta spend the time on developing the unique style for the forthcoming future.
Judging by the name of the outfit it could have been expected to hear some darkened gothic influenced stuff or some eerie black metal. Instead the stuff was a hybrid mix of black meets thrash with some rocking parts. The skinny Swenssons’ blackened thrash sounded a bit odd choice amongst the other festival outfits. The way of the look of the outfit was more kind of denim and leather Obviously the singer may have found the whole event funny by clapping ala Ozzy Osbourne. Okei guys, focus on the brutality of deathrash and skip those Ozzy and rock manners.
If the Swedes offered the more blackened thrash whereas Hell Militia from France stood for the uncompromising raw death/black metal. As far as their gig is concerned well the Frenchmen truly sounded brutal and uncompromising brutal for sure. The band hammered the barbaric and nihilistic riffs with the tight grip thru the whole 45 set minute.
Xibalba enjoys one kind of cult status in the underground as already formed in the early of the 90’s. Even though the revamped Xibalba hit the stage, but following their playing and performance gave a bit of the skeptical feeling. The band sounded as if they were playing out of tune all the time. Even though Xibalba sounds sophiscated fine on outputs, for gigs the Mexican cult metallers should rehearse a bit more.
Mayhemic Truth is basically Morrigan- what the biggest difference then ? Well it is hard to say cos Beliar (used ? to) front(s) both the bands, apart from a drummer seat can be a bit changeable or windy. Well Mayhemic Truth is a rarely witness outfit on the stage, therefore the audience had gathered to have suitable places to witness Beliar. The stuff is kind of the epic Bathory era with the obvious black metal references. The sounds of the guitar were enourmous massive for sure. The band did an one hour set with the Venom cover Countess Bathory.
The Motorheadish rock stuff at the black metal festival, well.. As for Midnight, the band is such an extra ordinary outfit as they share the stage with different sort of bands. Midnight’s reckless and relentless straightforward played the rocking hard stuff caused the ballistic reaction and respond amongst the audience. The three piece’s simple and catchy motorheadish rocking riff sounded raw and a perfect way to enjoy cold drinks and bang head off. Midnight is such an interesting act with three guys whose faces are covered with black hoods because of a hybrid of the blasting rock with the certain extreme metal elements tied up.
The long time Canadian black metal horde Blasphemy was the highly expressed band in the first edition of Black Flames Of Blasphemy back in 2009. Therefore no advance announcement about the final band of the event was ever published. However it was unsurprisingy Blasphemy which had the prilivege to conclude the Friday night. The five piece’s offered the brutal and savage and above all barbaric performance. Blasphemy doesn’t show the mercy of any kind and bow to the knee down to please the audience. Black Winds’ raw growling and ripping solos by Caller Of The Storm and Deathlord are trademarked elements of the grim and sadistic bizarre sonic assault of Blasphemy.
The Polish death/black squad’s latest opus AXION turned out to be one hell of blasting brutality. The five piece Polish squad hammered the intensive grip by offering the set of the deadly metal. The guys have rehearsed in order to sound as tight as hell and truly outstanding brutal, but knowing how to slow down a bit before putting the full death metal force on. Infernal War is an extreme fine death metal squad with the brutal and technical riffs without loosing the catchiness in songs. The band proved to be a real tight playing squad on the stage, giving a perfect lesson of how death metal is supposed to sound.
Irkallian Oracle’s ritualistic show and performance with the cold dark and brutal sonic was the purest nilish at its best for sure. The whole gig and set was an utter worshipping of the darkness and the barbarism in the sounds of Irkallian Oracle. The whole occultical show was crowned by bells, incenses and all kinds of other occult related things. The sounds of Irkallian Oracle were dominating and crushing. The whole performance by Irkallian Oracle with the gloomy looking cloaks under the less lit stage looked and sounded more than obscure in a way. The band did an outstanding set to prove one of the highlights of the whole fest.
Funeral Winds from Holland presented the more traditional black metal approach. The singer entire covered in blood reminded slightly of the frontman of Impaled Nazarene and in general some similarities and mind association between two bands popped up while following their gig. However Funeral Winds’ blackish sounded quite pale after Irkallian Oracle’s sonic torment.
Goat Semen hailing from Peru was one of those bands of the fest having travelled from the farest corner of the world for the fest. Goat Semen stands for the barbaric and brutal South American black metal force. The four piece is definitely heavily influenced by the old Sarcofago and of course the legendary Blasphemy. The blasphemous and chaotic songs with the sadistic insane growling were the obvious trademarks of the South American and in this case barbaric and brutal Peruvian black metal.
Varathron was one of the first bands presenting the first wave of the true Greek black metal over 25 years ago along with Rotting Christ, Necromantia. The band has undergone several line-up changes, but the mastermind and the leader of the outfit Stephen Necroabyssions has stayed the loyal to the ancient roots of the black metal. Varathron hit the stage by, especially the older songs still sounded and breathes the ancient Greek black metal identify and it can be recognized and worshipped.
The Norwegian Mysticum had the utter privilege to conclude the last ever Black Flames Of Blasphemy festivals. The drums had been roadie away from the stage and had been replaced by a wide back screen. Several lighsystems had been placed on the stage to create the visual perspective for the show of Mysticum. The three piece unleashed the infernal maelstrom of the industrialized black metal. The visual aspects played the magnificent role creating the near epilepsy syndrome. Mysticum’s apocalyptic sonic assault was an extreme way of concluding the mighty Black Flames Of Blasphemy festival.
The last ever Black Flames Of Blasphemy is now over and obviously will never ever happen again. The whole Black Flames Of Blasphemy festival has been a tremendous success one since the first event when Blasphemy started. The whole organization behind the Black Flames Of Blasphemy festival has done a lethal job by going into the catacomb of the real underground of death/black and delivered the most barbaric, sadistic, rawest and above all the legendary names to the audience up here in Finland. It is definitely sure those guys behind the festival will bring other cult bands.
Mark Zonder joins Dragonsclaw on new album ‘Moving Target’ , Band Release first video.
Recorded over a 2 year period, Australian Metal band Dragonsclaw www.facebook.com/DragonsclawOfficial are nearing completion of their third full length release which will be titled ‘Moving Target’.
Joining the band this time around on drums is Mark Zonder (Graham Bonnet Band / ex-Fates Warning / Warlord).
Mark comments : “Having worked with Giles in Warlord , when he played me the new Dragonsclaw songs i heard a great development in their sound, and it was great to get involved on this record , these are strong powerful metal songs!”
Vocalist Giles Lavery said of the new songs , “This record finds us moving quite far away from the power metal sound of the first two releases , we wanted to make a record that was a “traditional heavy metal” record in the style of mid 80’s Judas Priest or Iron Maiden, with the raw production of something like early Twisted Sister… a focus on big memorable songs was the main priority … it has taken a long time to get this record to exactly where we want it, releasing “just another metal record” , or something that sounded like the first two Dragonsclaw records would be kinda pointless , this had to be something that took it to the next level in performance , songwriting and more … having Mark on drums was part of that plan”
Watch the first video from ‘Moving Target’ titled ‘Road Beneath Your Wheels’ here:
The final tracklisting is:
1. Road beneath Your Wheels
3. Cry Wolf
4. Don’t Break The Silence
5. (Tell Me)All Your Lies
6. Ghost Soldiers
8. Back On The Streets
9. Raise Your Fist
Friends of the fallen: We have some major news about the band and the progress of writing the next album.
First of all we must inform you that Jonathan stepped down from his vocalist duties in order to focus on family and work. We all understand and fully respect his decision and would like to thank him for his time and dedication for The Duskfall.
We decided to go to our allies in the east once more when we searched for a new vocalist. We have had a lasting friendship with Aki Hakkinen since our first shows in Finland some 10 years ago and he immediately stepped up to the plate and offered his services when he heard the news of Jonatan’s departure. Aki has years of experience from the livestages and recording music and will be a forceful output when we hit the stages in support of the upcoming release next year.
Here are his own words on the matter:
“Hello friends of the fallen (how cool to say that). I am super proud and honoured to be a part of The Duskfall – a band that i have always kept as one of the very best of swedish melodic death metal. Also I am happy to be back in the death metal scene that I was away from about the same time that The Duskfall was on a break. I have been busy with metal scene though and getting more experience in all areas of music which I hope to also give to The Duskfall and to the fans of the band. These boots are not easy to fill in…
I remember touring with The Duskfall back in around 2007 with my band at that time and it was very easy to work with the guys. We also did an interview for finnish inferno Magazine with Kai Jaakkola as they wanted to make a story of death metal singers during our tour so I’ve always had very close relations to the band. (picture attached here later) Sorry to say to the fans of Kai that he is not coming back to the band anymore even though he is a great guy and a great vocalist. I hope to bring something new to the band and I will stick around. You can expect a very active band from now on and I just love performing live. Hopefully we get to play all over the globe to the diehard fans and find new friends of the fallen! I am sure the best days for The Duskfall are yet to come!
It is super rare to find a music writer like Mikael Sandorf is. He can write a amazing complete song with lyrics and vocal lines even with drums before presenting it to the band. I can tell you guys it is a rare talent to have at this level and my job is to make it to this super high standard. I promise to give my 666% to the band and to each performance the band will make… hopefully there will be a lot of those! Enough said from me – I will let the actions and music speak more for you in the near future! I hope all you friends will be as active as we are and support The Duskfall!”
“For our “Too Late” music video we wanted to go for something simpler and get a really kick ass performance video, as we haven’t really done one yet that is purely us rocking out on a big stage. I think everyone grew up with that idea of the huge performance video from the 80’s with the huge light rigs and massive stages. Our next step after this video is obviously insane pyro and of course some sort of swing rig that allows us fly around the stage like Bon Jovi or Van Halen, but unfortunately we won’t have the budget for all that hairspray and glitter!” – Striker guitarist Tim Brown.
The band; Dan Clearly (vocals) Tim Brown (lead/rhythm guitars) William Wallace (bass) Adam Brown (drums) recorded the album themselves with the help of Randy Black (who filled in on drums while Adam was away…) and mixing genius Frederik Nordstrom (Bring Me The Horizon, In Flames, Opeth) giving them not only the time and space needed but the freedom to set up the release direct to fans worldwide.
“We’re so excited about having our music, our ideas, and our future in our own hands – ushering in a new era for the band of decisive action, dedication and forward thinking. Live life by one rule: No Limits!” – Tim Brown
STRIKER will be hitting the road with Primal Fear across Europe in February 2016.
Track Listing ‘Stand In The Fire’:
1. Phoenix Lights (3:38)
2. Out For Blood (3:51)
3. Too Late (4:52)
4. Stand In the Fire (3:39)
5. The Iron Never Lies (4:06)
6. Escape From Shred City (2:53)
7. Outlaw (4:35)
8. Locked In (3:45)
9. United (4:06)
10. Better Times (3:37)
11. One Life (4:17)
Album Length: 43:23
Anti Flag came back to Finland after 5 years since their last visit, which was the summer festival Ruisrock, and although the band has been constantly touring and releasing records, for some reason it took 5 years for them to return here. Luckily for the fans, the band decided to play a gig in Helsinki for their “American Spring” tour. Joining them in this night, and during their European tour, was The Homeless Gospel Choir.
Just a bit after 21o’clock, with people still getting inside Tavastia, Derek Vanetti, aka The Homeless Gospel Choir, got on stage. Not everybody knew what to expect for this gig, mainly because just a few people knew what kind of music or who was The Homeless Gospel Choir. I have to say that at first I thought it was a bit of an odd choice because I knew it wasn’t going to be a full band playing live and loud, just one man singing and playing accoustic guitar. Fortunately, the whole gig was a pleasant surprise. It didn’t matter the fact the crowd weren’t familiar with his songs, people seemed to enjoy this folk punk accoustic set.
It felt like a close and intimate gig between friends, which actually suited well as an opening act for Anti Flag. From his tributes to Freddie Mercury to his protest songs (and there were many according to him), Derek Vanetti definitely got a lot of fans after his 45 minute performance.
Now with Tavastia almost full, Anti Flag hit the stage and vocalist/guitarist Justin Sane screamed the first verses of “Turncoat” and from then on the whole place just went crazy. The fans during the whole gig were singing along with the band through their old catalogue: “Fuck Police Brutality”, “I’d tell you but…”, “Power to the Peaceful”, “This is the End (For You My Friend)”, and the more recent tunes like “Fabled World”, “Sky is Falling”, “All of the Poison, All of the Pain” and “Broken Bones”. As expected, during the fast paced “This Machine Kills Fascists”, there was a big circle pit that kept everybody moving.
The whole band was on fire, whether it’s a club show or a festival, Anti Flag knows how to get the whole crowd amped up even after 20 years of existence. After the more “calm” moments of “1 Trillion Dollars” and “Walk Away”, they finished the first part of the night with “The Press Corpse” and one of their most heaviest and fast songs: “Death of a Nation”.
They came back with “Hymn for the Dead”, a song that has a lot of different layers on the studio version, but live has a more stripped down vibe, and then the simple, but insane, “Fuck the Flag”, which always works well live. The band thanked the crowd and welcomed on stage Derek Vanetti to sing with them “Brandenburg Gate”, which originally has Tim Armstrong (Rancid) singing along vocalist/bassist Chris #2. This was another highlight of the gig, everybody together in arms singing with them.
To close this incredible night, they played another fan favorite: “Die for the Government”, and towards the end of the song the band stopped in order for drummer Pat to get parts of his drum set in the middle of the crowd, and Chris #2 joined him standing and singing on top of the bass drum. This is something that the band has been doing for sometime now live and many have seen before, but it didn’t diminish the impact. This very moment was the embodiment of unity, it represented perfectly the whole feeling of tonight’s gig, a sense of camaraderie among band and the everybody who came to Tavastia. On top of that, they still played another one, “Drink Drank Punk”, which closed their set.
Tonight reafirmed to those that haven’t seen Anti Flag live in many years as one of the best live bands. Just hope that they won’t take another 5 years to come back to Finland to play.
ANTI FLAG SET LIST:
Turncoat Fabled World Fuck Police Brutality I’d Tell You But… Sky is Falling Broken Bones All of the Poison, All of the Pain This is the End (For You My Friend) Power to the Peaceful This Machine Kills Fascists 1 Trillion Dollars Walk Away The Press Corpse Death of a Nation
Hymn for the Dead Fuck the Flag Brandenburg Gate Die for the Government Drink Drank Punk
The mighty Jalometalli Open Air Metal festival strikes once again with a killer killer line-up to maintain the loyal to the metal. The festival is known for relying on offering everything from traditional metal to extreme metal. Above all, it is also the classic names who have never ever visited Finland before that make this special. The legendary Teatria club is now history as it was torn down. The last year’s event was arranged in the parking lot of a big sport hall. Fortunately the organization of the Jalometalli festival decided to return the festival to its original place named Kuusisaari.
Once again the Metal Rules team hit the ground of Oulu to witness several absolutely killer bands. The whole Jalometalli festival is so unique and one of a kind that anyone reading this article should take a glance at the offering of the festival. Here is a brief article on the fest. So the time had come all of us to leave bitter sweet farewells to the old venue where we have enjoyed great music and great company throughout the years.
The domestic dance metal wonder Battle Beast kicked the set off. It was quite a clever trick from the organization to place Battle Beast to be an opening act of the fest. The band pulled a nice crowd to the open field. Battle Beast’s frontlady knows how to entertain and encourage the audience go beserk and above all have some fun. Battle Beast offered a solid set of the best of their songs.
Local Encrypted was advertised to play some kind of technical death metal so I was pretty disappointed to hear something resembling more modern thrash than, let’s say, old Atheist. Fortunately they did play some deathier stuff as well with some bass wankery but in the end this was not anywhere near my cup of tea, too young boys influenced by some new dull stuff. I don’t even remember when there was actually an interesting tech death hailing from Finland. But did I catch that this was their last gig ever? It’s good to quit when you are on top, right?
Sotajumala has been gigging several domestic metal bands during this summer. Why now as the new album titled Rauniossa (In The Ruins) by Sotajumala offers a brutal slab of the barbaric and raw death metal at its best. Sotajumala has proved to be one hell of strike on every gig, therefore Jalometalli was no exception. The five piece’s raw and uncompromising delivery left no wondering, instead the audience turned to be utter beserks. The vocalist Mynni usually expresses the standpoint of his own on what he things about issues, this time the crap religion, the islam, got mugshot from the vocalist and the audience cheered….
Hell led by Andy Sneap has been a constant visitor in Finland during the past few years. The band has rehearsed all the manners and performance with the tight. Hell’s old school metal with the modern sound grip is a perfect example of when the old school British heavy metal meets the modern day approach. The frontman’s theatrical manners and acting gave the more showman feeling and skills of his roles as the essential part of the whole HELL concept. Unfortunately Hell is not able to drag the whole theatrical visualistic arsenal to blow the stage up. Anyway the mandatory whipping session was there. All in all witnessing Hell in a more club with the gear would be the welcomed choice after.
I’ve been seeing Obscure Burial too many times already in recent couple years but I must say that these guys usually deliver the goods and so did they now. They didn’t attract that much audience in Jalometalli but we the luck few we’re treated with the black mass of robust death/black/whatever in the oldest of veins. Guys have some good hooks and riffs in their stuff and it’s rejuvenating to hear something so ancient but still fresh that it’s hard to put any tag on it. This is just metal as it’s best.
The legendary British metal squad Satan got re-activated a few years back and released the highly acclaimed album Life Sentence and will be putting out the fourth album Atom By Atom. Well the old school metal with all these extreme bands sounded the welcomed choice for sure. The classic sounds with the catchy riffs is all about what the true metal is supposed to sound. The five piece may turn out to be a bit too old for the younger generation, but it got hammered more than well to the kids. Oh by the way the frontman Brian Ross made a visit to the mighty Jalometalli a few years ago with another highly respected British heavy metal band Blitzkrieg.
Wengele (or Mengele/Insomnia as they were know back in the day) has not been doing much since their demo in 2004 but they really should. They kick ass live and even their ‘new’ material (from that 2004 demo) is pretty solid and doesn’t stick out in a bad way. But classics are classics and boy they sound good. I might be biased as a Jääli native myself but Mengele in it’s prime was one of the greatest thrash band from Finland and they still are.
CRADLE OF FILTH
If Cradle Of Filth didn’t get that highly and desperately wanted action in the audience at Wacken, but instead the Finnish audience appeared to be more appreciate toward COF. Obviouslty the frontman Dani Filth got some technical problems with the wireless system, as keeping communicating with a technician several times. However COF is either liked or disliked, but judging by the reaction of the audience, COF got the full good enjoyment back from the audience. The setlist was a basic dissection of the long career of Cradle Of Filth, should it be said Dani Filth’s. However songs had been picked up from eight album. All in all solid and routine gig from Dani and his backup forces.
The newest output by Stargazery called Star Aligned came out of blue for sure – featuring the astonishing and outstanding traditional melodic heavy metal songs. Therefore witnessing Stargazery on the stage was on the “must see” list. The band’s strong sounding melodic heavy metal sounded splendid with an awesome vocalist (having toured with Michael Schenker btw). Those ones looking for the real heavy metal without any mandatory power metal nuances, Stargazery is an obvious choice for sure.
Simpy put, Obituary ruled. Heavy and thick as hell, Jalometalli has seldomly had this perfect sound. After petty clowns of Cradle of Filth and other weak so-called metal acts of the earlier day, Obituary’s relentless slab of pure unadulterated Florida death metal was a blessing, like an oasis in the desert. The new stuff is pretty decent actually, probably best material they put out since the days of World Demise. But of course Obituary is made of from really simple ingredients, but it’s ok for a while the gig usually last. It’s good to degenerate to this primal level once in a while.
Describing the stuff played by Alfahanne aint’t that easy. it could be a a hybrid mix of black metal meets the rocking elements. being on the stage the band is definitely unpredictable and capricious. BUT Were these guys of Alfahanne in mess or something cos the whole gig looked more like out of control. The gig was pretty chaotic and hassling. Not even sure if they filled the full playing time cos the band stormed off the stage without any warning …
Saxon is an institution that is always pleasure to witness on stage but Jalometalli’s gig showcased that for a casual listener, their material is a bit uneven. The classics in the end of the setlist were awesome but the new stuff sounded bit uninspired. So it seems to be with almost every veteran band so it’s not only Saxon that should stick with the old ones. (The Inner Sanctum from 2007 had some pretty wicked stuff though) Biff Byford has this unfakeable charisma of legendary heavy metal front men so whatever Saxon actually plays, the band is still a treat to watch and hear. And when they play their “best of” stuff, there’s not many heavy metal bands that can even touch that level of quality. Andy Sneap of Hell (and others) joined the band to play on one song, a cool extra feature.
JESS AND THE ANCIENT ONES
For me, Jess and the Ancient Ones lacks soul. For me they sound like an attempt to milk the Zeitgeist from bunch of experienced metal musicians. They are too nice and safe when compared with the vivid and raw imagination of bands they draw from. That said, their gig reminded me from the glory days of Qstock, a festival happening in the same place, and especially the gig of Swedish Witchcraft there. Kuusisaari’s paviljonki is a splendid place to end a festival day with some retro sounds and packed, sweaty atmosphere. Looking the audience, I was pretty much alone with my skeptical attitude as singer Jess ruled the house with her presence.
The Finnish speed/thrash youngesters Lost Society have proved to be one hell of storm on the stage with the insane driving force. The gig at Jalometalli wasn’t any exception as to being totally out of control. The guys with the relentless passion and attitude thrashed the whole set throughout with the incredible rage. Even the playing was the second thing compared to their ultimate hassling. Even though a bit in the controlling may be needed for guys to gasp for some air.
The Domestic old school reindeer thrash metal patrol A.R.G got activated a few years back and unleashed the brutal thrashing. The old thrashers unleashed the blistering extra vaganza thrash metal set by offering a great deal of the classic ones of their own. There was no extra bullshit talking chitchat between songs, instead the four piece thrash tornado pushed with the full force ahead.
Annihilator has been crisscrossing Europe at several festivals. The Canucks managed to make it to Finland on the hectic schedule. When following Jeff Waters’ performace with the back-up forces, it couldn’t help thinking if Waters had been a vocalist since the beginning of the reincarnation of Annihilator and been a singer on every album. Annihilator might be in a different position such as Megadeth, whose frontman is recognized as the leader of the outfit. Plagued by several line-up changes and hassles Waters has taken the vocalist role over again. The four piece sounded tight and well trained, but nailed the songs with the tight playing. Even though Padden is no longer involved in Annihilator, Waters’ role as a real frontman is obvious. Despite that Waters aint that great singer. As a matter of fact Waters should have been singing since the first album to avoid all these line-up hassles.
The two men Inquisition have gained the deserved reputation during the past few years. The band has been gigging damn effectively all around. That has paid a lot as Inquisition got extremely great respond from the audience. The Frontman Dagon easily conquered the stage with the strong charisma and above all performance. Inquisition hammered the audience down by doing the intensive set of the grim sounding vicious black metal.
Candlemass without the primusmotor of the band Leif Edling sounds odd for sure. However the former Grave bassist had been recruited to take over Edling’s spot on the stage. However Edling is supposed to return back to the rank after solving the health problems. As for the set, well it has to be admitted Mats Leven is a fantastic singer, not the voice of Candlemass at all and the characteric one like the previous most wellknown singer. The set consisted of several Candlemass classic tunes. Despite the line-up has gone radical changes, something was missing from the playing though the gig sounded solid
The Swedish Tribulation is kind of odd band as the band dress up as some kind of eerie black metal, but instead the stuff is more melancholic dark metal with the obvious black metal references. That kind of stuff of Tribulation would need more darkened atmosphere in a grim club rather than an open door festival. Tribulation delivered the dismal set of the dark/blackish metal with a certain touch.
Dark Tranquillity offered a solid and quaranteed melodeathwhatevermetalgothenburg sounding metal – pretty sterile- nothing surprise. However the frontman Mikael Stanne is a great vital frontman taking the audience more than well. As for the material, well the set was a nice balance of songs from several albums. Basically it was kind of best of set from Dark Tranquillity to offer and pleased both the old and new fans.
The Finnish death/Doom metal squad Hooded Menace concluded the two day Jalometalli festival. The Deadly doomesters in an indoor club offered the lethal doom stuff with the slow heavy grip throughout the whole show. The band’s doomy riffs sounded bombastic and brutal.
Vivaldi Metal Project signs with Pride & Joy Music label; album is to be released in May 2016
Pride & Joy Music has announced the signing of the Vivaldi Metal Project.
The VIVALDI METAL PROJECT is an all-star metal project conceived and created by keyboardist, arranger, composer and producer maestro Mistheria (Bruce Dickinson, Rob Rock, Roy Z, etc.) together with bassist, composer and co-producer Alberto Rigoni. The aim of the project is to arrange and perform a metal version of Antonio Vivaldi’s legendary Baroque masterwork “THE FOUR SEASONS”.
The duo already has started to work on this project in late 2013 together and since then gathered more than 70 musicians from over the world plus the ”Sinfonietta Consonus Orchestra” and the ”Academic Choir Manolov’ to take part in this mammoth project. The recordings will soon be completed and the release is planned for late May 2016. More news on this will follow.
The cast includes performances by Rick Wakeman (YES), Mark Boals (Malmsteen / Ring of Fire), Edu Falaschi (Angra / Almah), Michael Lepond (SymphonyX), Fabio Lione (Rhapsody of Fire / Angra), Rob Rock (Impellitteri), Dani Loeble (Helloween), John Macaluso (ARK), Marco Sfogli (J. LaBrie), Andreas Passmark (Royal Hunt), Chris Caffery (Trans Siberian Orchestra / Savatage), Steve Di Giorgio (Testament), Atma Anur (T. MacAlpine, G. Howe), Tommy Denander (Radioactive / Toto), Mark Cross (Scorpions / Firewind), Sean Tibbetts (Kamelot), Mark Wood (Trans Siberian Orchestra), Roger Staffelbach (Artension), Anna Portalupi (Tarja Turunen), Milan Polak, Victor Smolski (Almanac) and many more.
Mistheria says: “It has been a big challenge for the project creators and for all the participants to re-arrange and to perform this classic masterpiece beloved by millions people all over the globe in the vein of metal music power. It took about 1.5 years to form a cast of top rock and metal singers and instrumentalists. And finally recordings now have been almost completed after a full year of working on arrangements by a strong international arrangers’ team from several countries.”
PRIDE & JOY MUSIC is a new rock, blues & metal label based in Ascheberg, Germany. Founded in early 2015 by Birgitt Schwanke, owner of the established PR agency GerMusica, former owner of Rock It! magazine and co-owner of the Yesterrock label.
The physical distribution for PRIDE & JOY MUSIC will be handled by one of Germany’s biggest independent distributors EDEL.
In promotion of his current sophomore album release “Brand New Revolution”, Ozzy Osbourne / FIREWIND guitarist GUS G. has just wrapped up a massive touring run, both supporting Kamelot and then successfully hosting guitar clinics all over Europe.
GUS G. is launching a new promotional clip for the album track “What Lies Below”, which features Elize Ryd (Amaranthe) on vocals. The stunning video-clip was once again shot by longtime visual design partner / director Patric Ullaeus (In Flames, Arch Enemy, Within Temptation, etc.) and can be seen here: https://youtu.be/kS-PLcAvuhk
In addition to further solo shows throughout the end of this year, GUS G. has now also revealed that his long-running melodic Metal band FIREWIND is finally returning to the spotlight with a new singer and selected live-activity in 2016. Henning Basse (Metalium / Sons Of Seasons), who had already toured with FIREWIND on various continents in 2007 as well as most recently with GUS G.’s solo-band, has been announced as new permanent singer for FIREWIND and will therefore be appearing on the band’s upcoming performances at the 70000 Tons Of Metal Cruise as well as Graspop Metal Meeting next year.
Leaves’ Eyes have become well known for their epic, Norse themed take on symphonic metal. Prior to their London show, we had the chance for an impromptu interview with Liv Kristine, one of metal’s most influential women. We talked about conquering the UK and Harald Fairhair’s link with the British Isles, balancing musicianship with family life, the golden era of gothic metal and her upcoming solo tour with special guest and former bandmate, Raymond Rohonyi of Theatre of Tragedy.