Graveland + Nokturnal Mortum @ Kolovorot Nove Kolo, Kiev

July 8th, 2017
by UK Team

Kolovorot Nove Kolo: Graveland + Nokturnal Mortum + Burshtyn

@ MonteRay Live Stage, Kiev

24th June 2017

Review & photos by Oliver M.

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Pro-Pain’s Gary Meskil stabbed in Brussels

July 6th, 2017
by Arto Lehtinen

This past Monday night, Gary was the victim of a Robbery and Attempted Murder in Brussels. He was pick-pocketed of cash, credit card, and passport, struck on the head with an ice pick and then subsequently attacked by a gang of individuals. The police have confiscated more than one weapon and they have established the identities of some of the suspects. Gary was quickly admitted to ICU after suffering head trauma (including several fractures to his face and jaw) and massive blood loss. Since then he has stabilized and is trying his best to recover, but future surgery may be necessary. We regret to inform the fans that the shows scheduled for Roeselare (July 7th) and Osnabruck (July 8th) are now officially cancelled. We will make sure to keep you all informed of any other cancellations and on Gary’s progress.

Thanks for your support at this difficult time.


Posted in Hard Rock, Metal News, Thrash Metal | Comments (0)

There’s just 37 days to go and counting! Bloodstock 2017!

July 5th, 2017
by UK Team

Are you counting down the days yet to BLOODSTOCK 2017?  There’s just 37 days to go – that’s a mere 5 weekends!! Maybe you’re making plans which campsite you’re going to stay in? Perhaps the brand new Ragnarök campsite, named by you, the fans? Or maybe you’ve just picked up your day ticket?

Did you know that BLOODSTOCK’s online ‘click & collect’ service allows you to pre-order your 2017 merch for on site collection?  Festival attendees can snap up their faves now without fear of their size/design being already sold out on the day.  Just pre-order anything with a click & collect logo at bloodstock/ and collect at the merch stall in the arena at any point over the weekend, knowing your item is guaranteed and paid for! You can pre-order until Monday 7th August.
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The Dead Daisies release “We’re An American Band” video

July 5th, 2017
by Celtic Bob


The band is proud to announce the release of an American Classic “We’re An American Band” in celebration of Independence Day and all it stands for.


Singer John Corabi:

“We first did “American Band” by Grand Funk Railroad for our troops in South Korea. We wanted to bring a little bit of something “American” to our men and women in uniform, and give them a taste of home. So, what better way than a classic American tune by a legendary American band. The song went over so well we decided to keep playing it and subsequently recorded it for our “Live and Louder” album. Enjoy the Daisies version, the video, and your FREEDOM the troops are fighting for on this celebration of our independence as a young, sovereign nation!!!”

Fresh from their European Tour playing at some of the biggest Rock Festivals and Sold-Out headline shows, culminating in beyond capacity headline performances in Salzburg, Budapest, Prague & Japan, the band are making their way to the USA. Don’t miss them on their first-ever North American Headline Tour entitled “The Dirty Dozen” marching across the USA in August. Get tickets here:

The Dead Daisies’ latest live outing “Live & Louder” continues to garner explosive reviews around the world and is quickly becoming a fan favorite being viewed by them as “best sounding Live Album of all time”.

Rock & Roll is indeed alive and well!!!


Doug Aldrich (Whitesnake, Dio) – guitars, John Corabi (Mötley Crüe, The Scream) – vocals ,David Lowy (Red Phoenix, Mink) – guitars, Marco Mendoza (Thin Lizzy, Whitesnake) – bass Brian Tichy (Ozzy Osbourne, Foreigner) – drums

About The Dead Daisies:

Influenced by 70’s and early 80’s rock, The Dead Daisies sound is soulful and accessible – equal parts of Aerosmith, Bad Company and Foreigner: muscular vocals, bluesy riffs, big choruses, powerful melodies and strong hooks. With stellar musicianship and pulverizing live shows, fans worldwide are discovering the band that is bringing back Rock & Roll!

The band features in their ranks some of the finest Rockers on the planet, among them one of the premier lead guitarists of this day and age, Doug Aldrich (Whitesnake, Dio). He completes a powerhouse line-up consisting of charismatic singer John Corabi (Mötley Crüe, The Scream), bassist extraordinaire Marco Mendoza (Thin Lizzy, Whitesnake), drummer to the stars Brian Tichy (Ozzy Osbourne, Foreigner) and bringing the thunder from down under, Australian rhythm guitarist and founder David Lowy (Red Phoenix, Mink).

About Grand Funk Railroad:

Grand Funk Railroad, sometimes shortened as Grand Funk, is an American rock band popular during the 1970s, when they toured extensively and played to packed arenas worldwide. David Fricke of Rolling Stone magazine once said, “You cannot talk about rock in the 1970s without talking about Grand Funk Railroad!” Known for their crowd-pleasing arena rock style, the band was well-regarded by audiences despite a relative lack of critical acclaim. The band’s name is a play on words of the Grand Trunk Western Railroad, a line that ran through the band’s home town of Flint, Michigan.

Spotify Link:

iTunes Link:

Official website :

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Blaze Bayley (IRON MAIDEN singer 1994-1999) Coming to USA and Canada, August-September 2017

July 5th, 2017
by Celtic Bob

Blaze has enjoyed many highs in a career spanning over 30 years from the excitement around his first band WOLFSBANE to his elevation to global fame fronting the most influential British metal band ever ~ IRON MAIDEN, after which he has pursued a solo career which has seen the release of 9 studio albums from the classic ‘Silicon Messiah’ in 2000 to the current resurgence via the ‘Infinite Entanglement’ trilogy.

The 2017 World Tour began in February in Malta and Northern Ireland, moving on to shows in Scotland, England, Wales, Belgium, France, Spain, Italy, Switzerland, Germany, Netherlands, Slovenia, Austria, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Finland, Sweden, Norway and Greece. In July there is also a trip to Serbia and Bosnia.

Music Video ‘Escape Velocity’ filmed at Bruce Dickinson’s facility at Cardiff Airport & taken from the stunning ‘Endure and Survive’ album released March 2017
As well as the success with his solo releases, Blaze has recently been sought after by other contemporary artists ~ in 2016 at the UK’s premier music festival DOWNLOAD Blaze was guest singer with DISTURBED and a year earlier was even hunted down by SABATON who invaded the stage at Blaze’s show in Warsaw, Poland for an impromptu version of Iron Maiden’s ‘Man on the Edge’. In 2017 he was invited to play the inaugural Heavy Scotland festival headlined by ARCH ENEMY and BEHEMOTH.

Guest performance with DISTURBED at Download Festival in 2016. Fellow guests Lzzy Hale of HALESTORM and Ben Burnley of BREAKING BENJAMIN.
Blaze appears at 2 mins 22 seconds.
In August – September, Blaze is bringing his 2017 World Tour to USA and Canada, backed by his regular recording and touring musicians taken from British heavy metal band ABSOLVA….
Chris Appleton ~ lead guitar and backing vocals
Martin McNee ~ drums
Karl Schramm ~ bass and backing vocals

The guys from Absolva are no strangers to a heavy schedule, having toured previously in their own right with the likes of ICED EARTH, SAXON, MICHAEL SCHENKER and Y&T, as well as their own headline shows.

The full schedule for USA and Canada is as follows….

8/9 Sellersville, PA Sellersville, Theater
8/10 Brooklyn, NY Saint Vitus
8/11 Poughkeepsie, NY The Chance
8/12 Rockbridge Baths, VA (Private show)
8/13 Baltimore, MD Fish Head Cantina
8/15 Syracuse, NY Sharkey’s
8/16 Montreal Piranha Bar
8/17 Ottawa Brass Monkey
8/18 Quebec L’Anti
8/19 Toronto Rockpile
8/20 London East Side Bar and Grill
8/21 Detroit, MI Token Lounge
8/24 Columbus, OH Al Rosa Villa
8/25 Janesville, WI Backbar
8/26 Bolingbrook, IL Tailgators
8/27 St. Louis, MO Fubar
8/30 Ft. Worth, TX Rail Club
8/31 Austin, TX Come and Get it Live
9/1 Houston, TX Concert Pub North
9/2 San Antonio, TX Rockbox
9/4 Hollywood, CA Whisky A Go Go
9/7 Eugene, OR Old Nick’s
9/8 Portland, OR Bossanova Ballroom
9/9 Seattle, WA El Corazon

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Interview with author Martin Popoff

July 2nd, 2017
by J P

Interview with Martin Popoff

by JP


After a recent surge in publishing from the prolific Martin Popoff we decided to get caught up! 

How do you do it?  You have released (and are about to release) another four to six books in the last eight months!  (Rush, two books about Thrash, Motorhead, Metal Collecting, Ted Nugent)   That is more books than most people write in a lifetime. How do you maintain such a pace of creativity of productivity?

Well Josh, it’s a combination of the following. First of all, I’m a fast writer. The Ted Nugent you mentioned, is just an update from the earlier version, and a little bit of that is going to be happening in the future, so I supposed to some people, it looks like I’m having a new book happening when these happen. Also, some of these aren’t completely from scratch. They are using stuff not used from my 1700 interview archive. That goes for the New Wave of British Heavy Metal trilogy, the thrash trilogy, of which the third one is finally now in layout. But then again, some things are hugely and completely from scratch, like this Album by Album series for which I’ve done a Rush book, and I’ve got the AC/DC coming out in the fall. Actually, come to think of it, excruciatingly from scratch is my Led Zeppelin book, also out, I think, in the fall, where I basically had to write 400 words on every single Led Zeppelin song. That was tough, heavy writing, but it’s gratifying, good writing as well. Okay, last thing, this is my full-time job! Almost nobody who does these books has this as their full-time job. And even more, even when full-time job, say, 15 years ago meant “heavy metal journalist,” and that meant our magazine, writing bios, writing for other magazines and websites, all of that has fallen away, some of it by choice, some of it by no choice, and what I’m left with, essentially, is working 80% of my time, at least, on these books. I also have done, and continue to do, although less lately, quite a bit of work for Banger Films. So yeah, come to think of it, there were a few years there where I was full-time over there, and you can see the production drop off a little bit when that happens. But yes, dammit, I’m fast. And, oh yes, one other thing, I’ve realized a limitation as I get older, and that’s that I’d better do the heavy writing between about seven in the morning and may be 10:30, 11, because after that, my IQ drops 10 points an hour.

How is the carpal tunnel syndrome?

I don’t think I have it! Yes, you’re right, I had those scarce throughout the years, and still every once in a while when I type a lot, I feel some kind of strain, but it’s just a vaguely sore hand, and probably not carpal tunnel. So knock wood, I can still do a bunch of this for a bit, although I’m really trying to divest and deliberately cut way back when I hit 55, which I’m classing as a sort of retirement age, in honour of my dad retiring at that age, and mom I think even a little earlier, although as a nurse, she had some shoulder and back problems as well. But it was great to see how much busy living they’ve gotten in since officially being done work at 55. Both of them are workaholics anyways, so they’ve done a million things since then, but the regular 9 to 5 job was gone.

On a similar vein, what is your writing routine?    Have you never just stalled out and sat staring at the blank page, thinking’  ‘Now what’?   Do you feel a lifetime of collecting and archiving has finally paid dividends in that you have mountains of rare, raw material that needs to be synthesized into books?

Yes, to answer that second part first, what helps motivate me to get a book done is the fact that I have all this great footage that I haven’t used yet. And having said that, I finally embarked upon another thing I’ve been meaning to do for years, just taking my raw interviews and putting them into books by genre, called the Popoff Archive series. I’ve done four of them so far. And I want to do more. But I’m also being very careful that what goes into those is mostly, conceivably, not footage that I’m planning to use in another type of book. To answer the first part of your question, as I mentioned above, I have to really make sure that I’m doing any heavy lifting, super brain-shaking writing, at eight, nine, 10 in the morning. It’s actually gotten bad that I’ve talked myself into disqualifying that I can do it at any other time. As the afternoon wears on, I do easy stuff, like pack up books. Actually, a big part of my job isn’t writing, it’s actually signing and packing up and mailing books, because a good pile of my books are available only through my website. And those self-published books are actually printed in very low quantities, and weirdly, it works out to the same sort of unremarkable blue-collar pay, but pay nonetheless, doing it that way. Best cure for writer’s block? Again, write in that period, where you tell yourself this is when I have to get it done. Deadlines also help. Also just knuckling down and starting. Plus remember that old adage, writing is rewriting. So just blast it down onto the page, do a second pass, and all of a sudden it starts to look like something. I also tried doing what I’m doing exactly right now, which is speaking this into voice recognition software. Sometimes I write that way for that first pass, and then of course it needs major cleanup, but it’s a great way to get thoughts down quickly.

How is the international market for your books?  Do you have many translated editions?

Yes, I suppose I have about, I don’t know, a dozen or 15 different books out in six or seven or eight languages. I really doubt they sell all that good, because all of these languages have a way smaller readership base than English, of course. Heck, I’ve got books in Czech, Polish, even Bulgarian. Finnish. But I also sell a lot of my self-published books, which of course are all in English, to mainland Europe. But man, I’m not sure I’ve sold a single book to Africa, other than South Africa. I don’t think I’ve ever sold a book to India. Nor to China. Maybe one or two to South Korea, I’ve got a couple customers in Hong Kong, a few to Japan, but not that many, considering that I’ve written four Deep Purple books, a Rainbow book, a Dio book, and books on all sorts of other bands that supposedly were pretty big over there. But yes, lots of English books all over mainland Europe. Plus a fair bit to Brazil, the Ukraine, Russia, the odd book to Mexico.

A tough but fair question….I noticed the your new Motorhead book BEER DRINKERS AND HELL RAISERS has the exact same title as Neil Daniels 2014 book about ZZ Top.  Was that a bit of a screw-up by the publisher?

That was me picking that title, and I love that title, because I love mixing bands together like that. Of course, Motorhead covered that ZZ Top song, and ZZ Top are one of my favourite bands. But that would’ve been me, forgetting that, or not noticing that. But now that you mention it, I don’t even care. That kind of thing might’ve bugged me 20 years ago, but I don’t care anymore. Also, up until recently, I used to think there was no way I could write books on bands that there are already books on. Heck, if I had that attitude now, I’d never have any projects.

As a collector, what do you feel about this recent trend of product branding (especially alcohol and hot sauce) from Metal guys?

I think it’s a great idea, but they should come up with some more innovative and cool in different products, rather than hot sauce and booze all the time. But I love it. A brand is a brand and it should be used is much as possible. These are playful things. This is not whether Harley Davidson should have a cologne or, I don’t know, a car company should make vacuum cleaners. This is just fun stuff. Nobody really cares about synergy between product lines or whether it’s the stamp of quality. It’s just another cool thing to collect with Megadeth stamped on it.

In your recent book about Metal collecting (METAL COLLECTOR)  I noticed a contributor suggested that collecting Metal stuff will be dead within 25 years.   I know through private conversations between us that you have also scaled back your desire to accumulate ‘stuff’, hard copies etc. collecting Metal soon be a dead art and we will all just have digital services?    On a related point, what are you going to do with all your stuff?    I understand you have donated parts of your collection to a university?

No, collecting will never be dead, and I predict CDs will come back the same way vinyl has, which is essentially as a physical thing to collect with that band’s name on it. The collecting gene is so strong. And collecting music stuff has almost always mostly not been about having the music itself. If you are a guy with 22 different pressings of Number of the Beast, the desire to do something like that doesn’t matter if we’re in a streaming culture or an eight-track tape culture.

You went back to the well again with your third book about Rush.  What is it about these guys that makes it so easy and so fun to write about?  Have they seen and/or endorsed the book at all?

Basically, when I was approach with that idea, the first thing I said was there was no way in hell I could ever write another book on Rush. But the beauty of that concept is I was to gather up a bunch of experts, and just have a cool ol’ roundtable bunch of interviews and get their views. So all I was really writing in that book is those introductions, which of course was a chore, because yes, I’ve written that sort of stuff already across a couple of Rush books. But, indeed, that was the only Rush book I could write. So there’s nothing in particular about those guys that makes it easy to write about. In fact, they’re very hard to write about, because you’d better take what they do pretty seriously.

How is the Thrash series coming?  Have you had a lot of positive reception about the symmetry of design/layout, book spines etc, for this and the NWOBHM series?

As I’ve mentioned, the third and final book in the thrash series is now with my layout guy, Eduardo. It’s called Tornado of Souls: Thrash’s Titanic Clash, and it covers late 1986 to 1991, the end of 1991, I believe, which brings in the Black Album, the American leg of Clash of the Titans and the rise of Nirvana. Yes, I’ve had some of that fun slingshot effect by designing these to all look similar, and in fact similar to the New Wave of British Heavy Metal trilogy, which also has a tie-in to these because they all use the timeline with quotes and lots of memorabilia shots, method. But no, they haven’t sold that great. I had no choice to move into the ‘80s, because I’ve kind of written about everything in the ‘70s already, if I was going to continue doing this. But in fact, my Megadeth book didn’t do that great either, and here I am doing this thrash thing, and it’s not doing that great. Even the New Wave of British Heavy Metal, has done about double the numbers. Not sure why that is, but I get such a kick out of just having this stuff out in the world, that it’s probably going to be full steam ahead, even when I don’t think it’s going to be financially worth it.

What is your best selling book of all time?

That would probably be the first Rush book, Contents Under Pressure, which was an authorized biography of the band. It’s strange, it’s now something like a dozen years old, maybe even older, and the publisher, ECW has not thought to ask me to update it. And I’ve already even updated the Rush illustrated history book that I did for Voyageur Press. That one has done quite well also. And it’s funny, those damn Collector’s Guide series of reviews books have done pretty darn good over the years. In terms of the self-published, band bios, the two that began as Metal Blade books, well, there were actually four in total, but two of those have done pretty good over the years, and that’s the Blue Oyster Cult and the UFO. I want to update the UFO some day, and the Blue Oyster Cult has gone through a couple of updates already. But I don’t know, I don’t feel like I sell that many books. I feel thankful for the sales I get, because when me and my buddies get in doom and gloom conversations, I almost start feeling like nobody remembers any of these bands. I mean, God, recently, I’ve done books on Max Webster, Montrose and Riot. Pretty crazy. And actually, come to think of it, the Max Webster and the Riot have done quite well. The Montrose, not so well, but slow and steady.

What is on the horizon for new titles?

Well, I want to do the power metal book of the Popoff Archive series, and possibly a black metal one for that. I mean, I got about 10 more those that I can do, it’s just prioritizing, figuring what is cool enough to make a proper book out of, and of course, trying not to overlap with something I want to do a different kind of book on, in terms of using up that footage. Actually, I finished another book for Voyageur Press exactly like the Led Zeppelin, where I analyse, review, break down, stuff all the trivia in that is ever known, on every Clash song. I also still want to get a book done on the invention of punk, sort of what happened in detail from about 1972 to 1975. And then I have three books that I’m working on for publishers that I can’t mention, because nobody knows about those yet.

Lastly how can all out readers get copies of your books?

Well, they can go to, where there’s a page of description or picture of the book cover, some time some pictures of the inside pages, plus PayPal Buy Now buttons for American orders, Canadian orders and international orders. Anything that I have PayPal buttons for there, which is almost every one of my books that is in print, I will be signing to you or whoever you want, and then shipping from here. Like I say, well, if I was to work it out, I would say that more than half of my meagre income every year is from being a mail order guy for my own books. It’s not royalties, advances, working for Banger, odd little writing jobs the come along, it’s producing my own books or buying my own books from the publisher, signing them, and mailing them. And yes, people need to realize that most of the books that I self publish and produce myself are printed in the low hundreds. And sometimes they get reprinted and sometimes once they’re gone, they’re gone.

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Rainbow + Mostly Autumn @ The Hydro, Glasgow

July 2nd, 2017
by UK Team

Rainbow + Mostly Autumn

@ The Hydro, Glasgow

June 25, 2017

Review by Pete Mutant

Photography by Gavin Lowrey

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VENOM INC. Discuss the Writing Process Behind “Avé” in Second Episode of Video Interview

July 1st, 2017
by EvilG

VENOM INC. Discuss the Writing Process Behind “Avé” in Second Episode of Video Interview Series
New Album, Avé, out August 11, 2017 via Nuclear Blast | Pre-Order Here
“Blood Stained Earth” Headline Tour with Goatwhore, Toxic Holocaust and The Convalescence Begins September 1 – Meet & Greet Packages Available!

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MAYHEM: Norwegian Black Metal Icons Announce Second Leg Of Purgatorium Europæ Tour This Fall; De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas Earns #40 Spot On Rolling Stone’s 100 Greatest Metal Albums Of All Time

July 1st, 2017
by EvilG

“…a purposely gloomy and aggressive beast, and one that makes no concessions to outsiders, instead following its own willful and destructive path without any apology. Give it the time it deserves… and it will be with you forever.” — Team Rock on De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas


Norwegian black metal icons MAYHEM will embark on the second leg of their European live takeover this fall. The Purgatorium Europæ – Pars Duorum tour will commence September 29th in Berlin, Germany and ravage its way through twelve countries and nineteen cities, drawing to a close on October 27th in Gothenburg, Sweden.

MAYHEM is commemorating the release of their 1994 landmark De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas full-length with a worldwide tour performing the monumental record in its entirety. The cornerstone record recently earned the #40 spot on Rolling Stone Magazine’s 100 Greatest Metal Albums Of All Time, the prestigious publication noting, “…Mysteriis… remains a singularly potent document, its expressions of alienation and nihilism lent an icy severity by Aarseth’s lacerating guitar buzz, session vocalist Attila Csihar’s arcane croak and presentation of Dead’s lyrical gothic terror and the pummeling drums of Hellhammer (Jan Axel Blomberg).” See the full list at THIS LOCATION.

MAYHEM Purgatorium Europæ – Pars Duorum:
9/29/2017 Colombia Theater – Berlin, DE [tickets]
9/30/2017 Reithalle – Dresden, DE
10/02/2017 Wizeman – Stuttgart, DE [tickets]
10/03/2017 Orpheum – Graz, AT [tickets]
10/04/2017 Le Gueulard – Nilvange, FR [tickets]
10/05/2017 Essigfabrik – Cologne, DE [tickets]
10/06/2017 Hardrock Fest – Avelgem, BE [tickets]
10/07/2017 Soulcrusher – Nijmegen, NL [tickets]
10/08/2017 MS Connection – Mannheim, DE
10/09/2017 Le Grillen – Colmar, FR [tickets]
10/15/2017 Jas Rod – Marseille, FR [tickets]
10/17/2017 Orion Live Club – Rome, IT [tickets]
10/18/2017 Stuk – Maribor, SL
10/19/2017 Randal – Bratislava, SK [tickets]
10/20/2017 Mega Club – Katowice, PL [tickets]
10/21/2017 Progesja – Warschau, PL [tickets]
10/22/2017 Melna Piektdiena – Riga, LT
10/23/2017 Tapper – Tallinn, EE
10/27/2017 Brewhouse – Gothenburg, SE [tickets]

MAYHEM recently self-released De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas Alive. Captured live in Norrköping, Sweden in 2015 during the band’s headlining set at the Black Christmass Festival, the show marked MAYHEM‘s first time ever playing De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas in full. De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas Alive was recorded, mixed, and mastered by Tore Stjerna and NBS Audio and produced by vocalist Attila Csihar and guitarist Teloch with light production by Anne Weckstrom, stage design and production by Jonas Svensson, video recording by Thornfields Production, and video editing by Tamàs Tarczi. The offering is available now on CD, LP, and DVD, as well as digitally. A second pressing of the vinyl edition will be released June 30th on various limited versions.

For CD orders, go to THIS LOCATION. For LP orders, visit THIS LOCATION. In Europe go HERE. For digital orders go HERE where you can also stream the record. The record is also available digitally via Amazon, Spotify, Apple, Deezer, and Tidal. For the full concert, video on demand, and download, visit MAYHEM on Vimeo at THIS LOCATION.

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Road To Jerusalem – New band featuring members of The Haunted, Hypocrisy, Konkhra etc.

July 1st, 2017
by EvilG

Check out the new band Road To Jerusalem. The band is an international act formed late 2016 in Copenhagen featuring members of US, Denmark and Sweden.

The band is:

Per Møller Jensen – Drums (The Haunted, Invocater, Konkhra etc)
Andreas Holma – Bas (Hypocrisy, Scar Symmetry, Soilwork etc)
Michael Skovbakke – Guitars (Konkhra etc)
Josh Tyree – Vocals.

Check out this song from their upcoming release :

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Ritchie Blackmore’s Rainbow – Live In Birmingham 2016

July 1st, 2017
by Robert Williams

Reviewed: July 2017
Released: 2017, Eagle Records / Universal Music Group
Rating: 3.5/5
Reviewer: Robert Williams

It took a very, very long time but at long last after decades of fiddling around with renaissance fair music in Blackmore’s Night; Ritchie Blackmore finally decided to strap on an electric guitar and deliver a hard rocking like only the storied living legend is capable of producing. Ritchie performed a handful of shows in 2016 and this double-disc set captures the Birmingham performace where Ritchie included “Soldier of Fortune” and “Burn” which were not performed at the two shows in Germany where the “Memories In Rock” DVD was filmed.

Recorded at the Genting Arena at the NEC, Birmingham; Ritchie and his backing band comprised of singer Ronnie Romero, bassist Bob Nouveau, drummer David Keith and the master of the keys Jens Johansson open things up with the Deep Purple classic “Highway Star”. The mix is a little strange on the first song as drums and keys are more dominant and in my opinion Ritchie should cut through a lot louder, especially on an aggressive guitar driven number. Luckily the mix does seem to improve as the band plays on or perhaps my ears just adapted to it. Ronnie Romero is a very capable vocalist, he has that soulful, bluesy approach that reminds me a bit of Dimeo era Riot. All era’s of Ritchie’s rock career are represented as fans are treated to all the hits like “Since You Been Gone” “Man On The Silver Mountain” “Perfect Strangers” “Long Live Rock & Roll” “Stargazer” and of course, “Smoke On The Water”.

The accompanying booklet is pretty simple, no lyrics just a few live shots of the band and credits. This was an enjoyable trip down memory lane but much like the excellent “The Ritchie Blackmore Story” DVD released by Eagle Vision a few years back it leaves the listener wanting more. Hopefully Ritchie Blackmore’s Rainbow will perform a US tour and we can all enjoy the magic of his guitar playing in concert! Until then, this double live album is as close as you’re likely to get! I’d recommend this CD to all fans of Deep Purple, Rainbow and Ritchie Blackmore let alone for it’s historic significance as the return of the axeman.


No Videos Available

Track Listing:
Disc One
1. Highway Star
2. Spotlight Kid
3. Mistreated
4. Since You’ve Been Gone
5. Man On The Silver Mountain
6. Soldier Of Fortune
7. Difficult To Cure (Beethoven’s Ninth)
8. Catch The Rainbow

Disc Two
1. Perfect Strangers
2. Long Live Rock N’ Roll
3. Child In Time
4. Stargazer
5. Black Night / Woman From Tokyo
6. Burn
7. Smoke On The Water

Ritchie Blackmore – Guitar
Ronnie Romero – Vocals
David Keith – Drums
Bob Nouveau – Bass
Jens Johansson – Keyboards
Candice Night – Backing Vocals
Lady Lynn – Backing Vocals


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Jorn – Life On Death Road

July 1st, 2017
by J P

Reviewed: July 2017
Released: 2017, Frontiers
Rating: 2.5/5
Reviewer: JP

It’s been 17 years since Jorn Lande the Norwegian vocal powerhouse decided to start a solo band.

Jorn who was already quite known from his work with bands like The Snakes, Ark, Beyond Twilight and later on with Masterplan. He’s the type of singer that it’s hard getting by unnoticed once you’re exposed to his voice. A style instantly recognizable. A perfect cross between David Covedale (Whitesnake, ex-Deep Purple) and Ronnie James Dio (if you don’t recognise THAT name stop reading now!) mixed with a personal approach and tons of charisma and there! You got yourself one kick ass singer who can compete anyone of the already established great ones!

Jorn (the band) has been Lande’s vehicle of delivering new music for quite some time now. In fact LIFE ON DEATH ROAD is his 13th studio release. Lucky or unlucky? Let’s check it out.

LIFE ON DEATH ROAD follows the same recipe Jorn albums have been following since their 1st release back in 2000 titled “Starfire”. Jorn are trying to fill the gap between the established arena metal/hard rock bands of mid ‘80s that means flashy and meaty guitars embellished with plenty of solos with a slight neoclassical touch (paying maybe a tribute to the great Yngwie Malmsteen), massive drum sound, plenty of sing along moments, some emphasis on power ballads and of course Jorn Lande’s dominating voice in the center of the mix. So as you can imagine new album doesn’t distance itself from past efforts on the contrary it embraces them as much as possible. However it’s what this recipe aiming for that always put me off (and the same goes for the majority of ‘80s giant metal/hard rock bands). In order of becoming approachable to a large audience you tend sacrificing things like speed & power and generally create music that doesn’t rely so much on heavy guitar riffs but mostly on hooks. And this is were things can really go wrong ‘cause no matter how good and talented musicians are it doesn’t necessary mean they can write good or catchy songs! The result sounds a bit generic to my ears and Jorn’s latest offering definitely isn’t an exception to the rule. LIFE ON DEATH ROAD is mostly driven by mid tempo tunes and of course Jorn as always excellent singing. But that’s all. The whole record sounds predictable with few aces under its sleeves (if any).

It’s more than obvious that all members of Jorn are accomplished musicians and the level of performance is set quite high, but what good is this if you don’t have the music to back your skills up?
One thing that annoyed me was the fact that there are no really interesting melodies for Jorn’s voice to truly shine. A few exceptions exist on songs like “The Optimist” where Jorn shows a surprisingly softer side of his singing and almost sounds like a different man! The whole album reminded me a bit of Dokken and it seems that this is the gap that Jorn are trying to fill up but in my opinion the effort is half -hearted.

For me Jorn should really go out and create a full metal album who isn’t afraid of being of what each member actually is in reality, and that’s heavy metal musicians. It’s sad to see so much potential remaining unused and underutilized in favor of general acceptance and radio friendliness. Hope this will change in the near future!


No Videos Available

Track Listing:
1. Life on Death Road
2. Hammered to the Cross (The Business)
3. Love Is the Remedy
4. Dreamwalker
5. Fire to the Sun
6. Insoluble Maze (Dreams in the Blindness)
7. I Walked Away
8. The Slippery Slope (Hangman’s Rope)
9. Devil You Can Drive
10. The Optimist
11. Man of the 80’s
12. Blackbirds

Jorn Lande Vocals,
Alex Beyrodt Guitars
Mat Sinner Bass
Alessandro Del Vecchio Keyboards
Francesco Jovino Drums


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Rhapsody of Fire – The Legendary Years

July 1st, 2017
by Metal Rules

Reviewed: July 2017
Released: 2017, AFM
Rating: 4.0/5
Reviewer: Manos X

Rhapsody of Fire is an Italian band formed way back in 1993 under the name Thundercross and released a demo called “Land of Immortals” in 1994. In 1995 they switched their name to Rhapsody and started a new musical journey with the demo “Eternal Glory” released on the same year, that brought ‘em a record deal with Limb Music leading to now famous debut “Legendary Tales” 2 years later.

Rhapsody turned lots, lots of heads with their unique style. Standing in a fine cross between power metal the way Helloween (with Michael Kiske) used to perform and embellishing it with plenty of elements from classical music, plenty of narration and samples and generally introducing a film score quality in their sound which was quite unique and unusual for the time. As far as I know they’re the only band claiming to have invented a new genre under the (lame) title “Hollywood metal”. Of course all of the above were combined by superb musicianship in both guitars and keyboards and a singer who seemed to have found an ultimate balance between metal and operatic performance.

A lot of time has passed since then and Rhapsody have certainly an impressive career that features a little bit of everything. Plenty of releases (11 to be exact but not always of similar quality), hundreds of shows, numerous member changes (which led to their original singer for 21 years Fabio Leone quitting the band in 2016 after original guitarist/composer left in 2011), problems with label & management leading to yet another change name change (Rhapsody of Fire as from 2006) just to mention a few.

In 2016 Rhapsody introduced new singer Giacomo Voli and planned a special release for 2017. This is where “Legendary Years” enters. The album’s title seems like a fitting ending for a period starting 20 years ago with “Legendary Tales”. This album actually features new recorded versions from probably their best songs. This is probably the best way of introducing their new front man and same time throwing him instantly on deep waters in order to prove his worth but it is also a statement that current Rhapsody version can play everything from their rich catalog just as before if not better.

I have to confess that while I was always fond of the band I never considered myself a die hard fan. I found the majority of their albums lacking in power that was sacrificed for a more intellectual approach aiming to combine metal and classical music. Plus the fact that the whole concept that the majority of their albums relied on seemed at best little bit childish as far as lyrics go.

“Legendary Years” can be considered as a best off album and it serves that goal perfectly. Rhapsody of Fire appear to be in great form and have no problem reproducing even their most difficult and demanding songs. New singer Giacomo Voli sounds brilliant but also differs a lot from his predecessor. With a more modern and less operatic approach he manages sound convincing and do justice to the songs. Gone is also the characteristic Italian accent and unless this guy actually sings a phrase in his native language no one could ever guess his origins. There are some issues on some operatic parts where he falls a little bit short but that’s to be expected since this guy is utilizing a different vocal approach. And this is an impressive feat on its own since there wasn’t a moment where I was left recollecting Leone’s performances of the past.

There are plenty of highlights here “Flames of Revenge”, “Land of Immortals”, “Emerald Sword”, “When Demons Awake” just to mention a few. Rhapsody of Fire’s performance is flawless all the way and this certainly raises the bar quite high for their next release.

Rhapsody of Fire have returned with what seems is an appetizer for the next effort, which I have the notion will try to make a difference in comparison to their past releases. Till then….


No Videos Available

Track Listing:
1. Dawn of Victory
2. Knightrider of Doom
3. Flames of Revenge
4. Beyond the Gates of Infinity
5. Land of Immortals
6. Emerald Sword
7. Legendary Tales
8. Dargor, Shadowlord of the Black Mountain
9. When Demons Awake
10. Wings of Destiny
11. Riding the Winds of Eternity
12. The Dark Tower of Abyss
13. Holy Thunderforce
14. Rain of a Thousand Flames

Giacomo Voli Vocals
Alex Staropoli Keyboards, Harpsichord, Piano
Roberto De Micheli Guitar
Alessandro Sala Bass
Manuel Lotter Drums


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Tim Holman – Impact

July 1st, 2017
by J P

Reviewed: July 2017
Released: 2017, Shred Records
Rating: 3.5/5
Reviewer: JP

Sometimes good old-fashioned guerilla style marketing works. I was on my way to the radio station (CJSW, Calgary, Alberta) where I host a long running Heavy Metal radio show. AS I walked by a notice board I saw a flyer/poster that caught my eye. It was an ad for an album by a local artist. Intrigued, I took note and contacted the artist, Tim Holman. He was kind enough to forward me a copy of his album IMPACT and I’m glad he did because it is excellent. Long-time readers know I have been a loyal supporter of my local scene for decades with many Calgary bands getting space in the hallowed halls of Accordingly I want to introduce Tim Holman to a broader audience.

IMPACT is an independent CD, on the Shred Records label. It is a nice package with simple but effective layout and design. The digi-pak houses a booklet with liner notes and so forth. Holman is a shredder by trade, a guitar hero and virtuoso. This (mostly) instrumental nine-track album is classic guitar hero stuff and I mean that as a sincere compliment. Holman comes from a classic 80’s style instrumental school. The diverse album demonstrates his full competency and flair on many styles of playing. I hear strains of Satriani, some neo-classical flash, and some chicken-pickin’ diversity of John 5 in tracks like ‘Hillbilly Boogie’. The Satriani reference is warranted as he has a cut called ‘Who Let The Satch Out?’ There are a couple of tunes with vocals, my favourite being the musical playful and lyrically cheeky, ‘Outside Cat’. To me the album highlight is the monster-shred showpiece called, ‘The Rising…Dawn Of The Apocalypse’. Joe Stump would be proud! To top it all off the production is great.

I found IMPACT to be extremely refreshing in a city with well over 75 active Metal bands and almost all of them in the very same narrow spectrum of Thrash/Death/Black Metal genres. Oddly enough the bands getting the biggest buzz are the ones NOT in the extreme styles, ones who are setting themselves apart from the pack. I could easily see Holman getting picked up by Shrapnel in the US or Lion in Finland and getting to the next level. IMPACT made an impact on me, so you should consider checking out Tim Holman.


No Videos Available

Track Listing:
01. Lift Off
02. Hillbilly Boogie
03. Abaddon
04. Who Let the Satch Out
05. I’ll Still Have the Strength
06. Outside Cat
07. Impact
08. The Rising… Dawn of the Apocalypse
09. The Pilgrimage

Tim Holman


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Okilly Dokilly – Howdilly Doodilly

July 1st, 2017
by J P

Reviewed: July 2017
Released: 2017, Indie
Rating: 2.5/5
Reviewer: JP

I’m always on the hunt for bizarre things in the realms of Metal. I had been at the recent Sabaton/Leave’s Eyes/Battle Beast show (May 2017) and it ended quite early. I had learned through the Metal grapevine that a Simpsons-themed Metal band was playing a gig later that night at a bar down the road. I’m always up for an adventure so off I went to check out this bizarre thing.

The band is called Okilly Dokilly and it was pretty fun show. All the musicians were dressed up as the character Ned Flanders from the television program The Simpsons. It must be hot as hell to play in wool sweaters on stage! I liked the music enough to buy the indie disc at the merchandise booth and share my thoughts of it with you.

HOWDILLY DOODILLY is a 40-minute, 13-track joke. I am a fan of the television show so the gag / gimmick/ novelty idea of having a Metal band with image and lyrics patterned off the Ned Flanders character is just too good to be true. Each song title and the vast majority of the lyrics are directly lifted from quotes from Ned Flanders (or his family). There is no booklet but the lyrics are printed inside the foldout digi-pak and each song has a helpful reference from which Season and which episode the song is based on. As a fan I recognized most, but not all of the quotes/jokes. The lyrics are very minimalist, the singer, ‘Head Ned’ just essentially repeats a few phrases over and over and over. There is very little depth, they take the gag and pound it into the ground, especially on tracks like ‘They Warned Me’ and ‘Nothing At All’. Fortunately all the songs are short in the three-minute range. I was quite surprised, I was sure, before I listened to HOWDILLY DOODILLY (one of Ned Flanders favourite phrases) that there would be samples of Ned Flanders voice, but surprisingly none were to be found. I suppose the Simpsons creators (and affiliated owners and studios) are pretty protective of their show but I’m sure under fair-use laws the band could have sampled 15 second quotes in for fun effect without any major litigation.

Musically is where the project falls down. The music is a garbled mess of generic Metalcore. Constant scream-shout yelling juxtaposed with whispered whined-talked vocals are pretty grating. I must admit there is a pretty big range from kinda gothic type vocals to death growls but very little actual singing. The songs have all the hallmarks of poorly written songs, big, crunchy break-downs all over the place, virtually no harmony or melody to speak of and it doesn’t even come off as that heavy. No guitar solos! There is way too much ‘core’ and punk influence. This reminds me a lot of bands like Pyschostick, quirky, weird but fun and energetic at the same time. To make it a bit worse very often there is this shimmering sheen of video gamed styled, industrial tinged keyboards all across the albums, making it even harder for the band to take seriously. All the extra and unnecessary bleeps and blorps make it sound like you are listening to an Atari 2600 or Sega Genesis game or something. There is quite a bit of diversity, acoustic guitar introductions, spoken word parts but it still all comes across as a bit of a mess. They even dabble in a rocking, hillbilly country tune in the form of ‘Panic Room’.

I’m pretty divided on this while album. I love the idea, the concept and execution are solid, it’s fun, it’s unique and will certainly get the band some attention, no doubt. However to just sit and listen to HOWDILLY DOODILLY more than a couple of times is not all that entertaining. The music falls short and like any joke you hear, it gets less funny the more often you hear it. I’m going to split the difference, high marks in some areas, low marks in other areas leaves us with an average album. I’d recommend this for fans who like those quirky things like Hevisaurus, Powerglove and other fun metal / pop culture themed crossover acts.


No Videos Available

Track Listing:
1. “White Wine Spritzer”
2. “Flanderdoodles”
3. “Vegetables”
4. “Nothing at All”
5. “You’re a Jerk”
6. “Sacrifice”
7. “Press Destruct Button”
8. “More Animal Than Flan”
9. “They Warned Me”
10. “Donut Hell”
11. “Panic Room”
12. “Godspeed Little Doodle”
13. “All That is Left”

Head Ned – Vocals, guitar, bass, mandolin, percussion
Red Ned – Keyboards
Stead Ned – Guitar
Thread Ned – Bass
Bled Ned – Drums


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