A perfect example of how to do female-fronted symphonic power metal. Strength, melody, speed and colour. A must have album for every lover of this genre.
Second year in a row my top pick is a female-front band. 2014 has been a good year for women in metal. It has been a year of metal feasting with so many of the ‘big’ names releasing albums, but I seem to have enjoyed listening to the newer bands this year.
1. Black Label Society – Catacombs of The Black Vatican
Black Label Society- Catacombs of The Black Vatican
This last BLS album continues the very remarkable comeback for Black Label Society. Probably among their best albums; but is compact, mature, energetic and looks perfectly focused. Along with its character, retains the element of freshness, implemented through small changes in their music. This is a perfect example of how to variate your music after almost 25 years.
ACCEPT have parted ways with guitarist Herman Frank and drummer Stefan Schwarzmann.
Says ACCEPT in a statement: “ACCEPT would like to thank Herman Frank and Stefan Schwarzmann for being with us these last four-plus years, for making themselves available whenever needed and for rocking their asses off!
“We and the fans all knew that they had their own careers and that eventually we would run into scheduling and other conflicts beyond our control.
“Herman and Stefan are now ready to take on the world, with their own band PANZER, a Nuclear Blast record deal under their belts and a new album!
“We are parting as friends and wish them nothing but success!
“We ourselves are getting ready for 2015 — another year of heavy touring!
“We would like to say thanks again to our fans around the world for their huge support and for the fantastic year 2014!
“The ‘Blind Rage’ world tour continues in 2015.”
Herman joined ACCEPT in 1982 shortly before the release of the band’s “Restless And Wild” album and exited the group for the first time after the arrival of 1983’s “Balls To The Wall” LP.
When ACCEPT reunited for festival appearances in 2005, Herman handled second-guitar duties alongside founding axeman Wolf Hoffmann, with Schwarzmann sitting behind the kit.
Frank and Schwarzmann were involved in ACCEPT’s comeback with new singer Mark Tornillo and have appeared on their last three studio albums: 2010’s “Blood of the Nations”, 2012’s “Stalingrad” and 2014’s “Blind Rage”.
Frank and Schwarzmann are currently involved in a new project called PANZER, also featuring vocalist and bassist Schmier, best known as frontman of DESTRUCTION.
PANZER’s debut album, “Send Them All To Hell”, was released on November 28 via Nuclear Blast.
The “Punk Rock But Kinda Not” tour featuring headliners Down stopped in Calgary Alta., to play at Flames Central on December 14, 2014. Main support for the tour was Orange Goblin from England. Bl’st was not able to make it so Australia’s King Parrot were the only other band on the bill this evening. The upper levels of the venue were closed off for a private function, but this tour probably could have sold a lot more tickets to pack the upper tiers. The party upstairs did come out to watch Orange Goblin and Down it didn’t look completely empty in the upper levels.
When ‘Heroes’ was released to critical acclaim earlier this year, it was obvious that Sabaton’s inevitable UK tour would be a mighty success. With arguably their best material since 2005’s ‘Primo Victoria’, it came as no surprise that Wolverhampton’s Slade Rooms sold out months before Sabaton’s return to our shores. Read the rest of this entry »
Once again Thomas G. Fischer made and created amazing heavy and depressive riffs on the second album titled Melana Chasmata. The utter heavy and slow songs literally rip the heart apart and turn the mind insane. Amazing album in every aspect.
2. At The Gates – At War With Reality
At The Gates – At War With Reality
When At The Gates started working on their new album, it was kind of hard to expect the material to top the early stuff. But with this album, At The Gates proved themselves by being one hell of band with killer catchy and vicious riffs.
3. Accept – Blind Rage
Accept – Blind Rage
Holy crap, the third album with Mark Tornillo is bloody awesome old school heavy metal release.
4. Behemoth – The Satanist
5. Exodus – Blood In Blood Out
6. Judas Priest – Redeemer Of Souls
7. Machine Head – Bloodstone & Diamonds
8. Autopsy – Tourniquets, Hacksaws and Graves
9. Primordial – Bloodstone & Diamonds
10. Bodycount – Manslaughter
11. Electric Wizard – Time to Die
12. Bloodbath – Grand Morbid Funeral
13. Sanctuary – The Year the Sun Died
14. Cannibal Corpse – A Skeletal Domain
15. Vallynfyre – Splinters
16. Taake – Stridens hus
17. Hirax – Immortal Legacy
18. Obituary – Inked in Blood
19. The Skull – For Those Which Are Asleep
20. Master’s hammer – Vagus Vetus
Best Ep 2014
Bölzer – Soma (Ep)
Bölzer – Soma (Ep)
The Swiss two piece band has caused the relentless fuss in the extreme metal scene. The Some Ep is a real sonic pleasure of a mix death/black. Bölzer needs to be checked out by all these ones looking for the brutal and barbaric death/black metal.
Best new band
I had no clue of this band nor heard in advance. I happened to end up to the tent stage at the Summer Breeze festival and discovered this band fronted by the beautiful sounding lady. I had to follow the show as whole. This new retro-rock band will be on the next hype level for a while.
Isten Fanzine – Don’t Break The Ghost
Isten Fanzine – Don’t Break The Ghost
That magnificent package of the old school metal fanzine published in the last 30 years as one massive book is impressive as hell. Every goddamn metalhead must obtain this massive reading experience to learn how the underground was based on the DIY attitude.
Best concert of 2014
Dark Angel – Swedenrock 2014 and Jalometalli 2014:They made and came back and conquered all the way!!!!!
King Diamond – Jalometalli 2014: Fucking freaking awesome show.
Carcass – 70000tons of Metal 2014: Seeing Carcass under the Caribbean sky in the middle of the sea was magical.
Biohazard – Summer Breeze Festival 2014: Pits and crowd surfing and ultimate tight playing.
Album disappointments of 2014
Loudness – The Sung Will Rise Again: Well I’d rather listen to their 80’s stuff for sure.
We’re delighted to announce Jason Conde-Houston as our new singer and front man!!
As soon as Jason told us he was interested on being part of Split Heaven, we knew it was him. Of course, we have heard him with his band Skelator before, but when he sent the audition an we listened what he did with “Danger Zone”, immediately stopped hearing other vocalists.
We want to thank all singers who sent their demos, we got auditions from México, Spain and U.S.A and now, finally, we decided to have Jason as a part of the Split Heaven dynasty.
Jason says: “It is an honor to announce that I am joining Split Heaven as their new singer. I have been a fan since 2010 when I heard their first album “Psycho Samurai”. This does not mean the end of Skelator, I think this will make me a better musician and give both bands more connections around the globe.”
MANDRAGORA – the new sensation in Old-School Heavy-Metal from South-America & France based old-school Metal Label INFERNÖ Records are particularly happy to announce that both parts found an agreement which will result in a record deal.
Although no release-date has been yet defined, you can expect the first full-length album by MANDRAGORA somewhere in 2015 – more infos will come later on time as soon as new details have to be revealed. The Debut Album will be recorded at the Quarter Note Studios in Lima-Peru with Paul Pinto as Music Producer. It is also agreed that a limited cassette edition of the band including their demo, songs from the EP and two new songs could be shortly released early 2015 – you’re warned, stay tuned.
Four years since their last LP release “Godfather In Black”, Italian/British black metallers Abgott had finally returned to London as part of their European 2014 tour. Though not even half of the London scene were able to turn up, due to Winter being the most competitive season for big name gigs, it was ultimately their loss for missing not only the return of one of their own (due to frontman Agamoth’s part in the scene for more than a decade) but a show that wore the spirit of black metal on its sleeve. Read the rest of this entry »
70000TONS OF METAL is proud to announce that ANNIHILATOR mastermind Jeff Waters has invited ex-vocalist COBURN PHARR to feature in their performances when The World’s Biggest Heavy Metal Cruise sails to Jamaica in January 2015. Pharr was lead vocalist on ANNIHILATOR‘s critically acclaimed and best-selling 1990 release “Never, Neverland” which includes classics such as “Road To Ruin”, “I Am In Command”, “Reduced To Ash” and “Phantasmagoria”.
Waters comments: “Seeing as how it is the 25th Anniversary of my favorite ANNIHILATOR album, I thought it would be a lot of fun to invite Coburn with us to perform some of the songs he was a part of. I haven’t seen him since 1992 so I think the fans are going to spot us having lots of conversations about the old days (and my 80’s hair style)! Current ANNIHILATOR vocalist Dave Padden is very much looking forward to this as he is a huge fan of that album and Coburn, but also because he won’t have to play and sing those songs hahaha…!”
Jeff Waters will also be hosting JAMMING WITH WATERS IN INTERNATIONAL WATERS All-Star Jam which will feature members from the 60 bands on board 70000TONS OF METAL 2015, which includes ARCH ENEMY, APOCALYPTICA, BEHEMOTH, BLIND GUARDIAN, CANNIBAL CORPSE, DESTRUCTION, MICHAEL SCHENKER’S TEMPLE OF ROCK, NAPALM DEATH, THERION, VENOM and many more!
70000TONS OF METAL, The Original, The World’s Biggest Heavy Metal Cruise, will sail Thursday, January 22, 2015 on board the Royal Caribbean “Liberty Of The Seas” from Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale, FL to Ocho Rios, Jamaica and will not return to the real world until Monday, January 26, 2015
Ticket prices start at USD 666 Per Person (plus Taxes & Fees), which includes all on-board entertainment, non-alcoholic and non-carbonated beverages, most on-board restaurants and even 24 room service!
In September, Primal Fear announced former Angra drummer Aquiles Priester as the replacement for Randy Black, who recently left the band due to personal differences.
The band stated simply: “We’re proud that such an amazing artist is joining our band.”
Priester made his live debut with Primal Fear on December 20th in Karlsruhe, Germany at the Knock Out Festival. Fan-filmed video from the band’s set is available below:
“Knock Out Festival and the last show of Primal Fear in 2014 done. Aquiles killed it – thanks to the crew and everybody involved in the festival! After a very busy year and our highest entry ever on Pos. 13 in the German charts with Delivering The Black we will thank our friends and fans for busy & fantastic year! We have a lot of plans for 2015 incl. recording a new album, coming back to South America and first of all the 70.000 tons of metal cruise! CU soon!“
Kill Ritual have made the unreleased track “Drop Dead Gorgeous” available for free download and streaming on Sound Cloud and Reverb Nation The song comes off their 20 14 release “The Eyes Of Medusa” as a thank you to all the fans that have support us the last few years. The track was recorded at Fossil Sound and engineered /produced by Kill Ritual guitarist Steve Rice.
Mr. Rice comments on the tune, “This track reflects a little different style for the band in some ways as it starts off very deceivingly with a ballad type intro , but gets to the Metal fairly quickly after that. It’s a nice tongue in cheek tale of the kind of girl you’d like to take home, but wish you hadn’t!”
In other Kill Ritual news the band will complete the mixing and mastering in March 2015 with Andy LaRocque handling the job at his Sonic Train Studios once again. The band expects a Summer 2015 release of the yet untitled CD.
BLABBERMOUTH.NET revealed the news that former SCAR THE MARTYR singer Henry Derek Bonner has joined the as-yet-unnamed new band formed by ex-MEGADETH members Chris Broderick (guitar) and Shawn Drover (drums).
Broderick stated about how his new group came together: “Through talking with Shawn Drover, we’ve talked about how we had all this material that was never gonna get released, all these killer, heavy riffs that we had written and stuff, and so we just decided, ‘Hey, why don’t we put the stuff out? Why don’t we form a band and get out these killer riffs, just to see what people think?’ So we formed a band, we’re working with a killer singer — he’s awesome — and we’ve got record labels that have made some good offers on the table, and we’re really excited about where that’s gonna go.”
Asked whether the new band has a name, Chris said: “Here’s the funny thing: we have many names. But the problem today is that there are so many bands out there that the first thing we’ve gotta do is run them by trademark and make sure that we can get… We don’t wanna run into the ‘GHOST’ and the ‘GHOST B.C.’ issue, right?! So we’re looking into trademarks on the names, and I would love to tell you, but we wanna save some of it for our official press release, and we’ll talk about the singer then, and we’ll have the record label on board by then.”
Regarding whether the musical ideas that are being used in the new band are things that were originally presented to MEGADETH and were turned down or if they are brand new compositions, Chris said: “Some of them were presented, but then some of them also… I’d be, like, ‘Oh, this isn’t appropriate for MEGADETH, their sound.’ I have a tendency to write very complex stuff, and so I’ve gotta watch it when I write and submit for MEGADETH under that kind of… I wanna make sure it’s not too complex and too crazy and all over the place. So those are the things that I would have held back.”
At long last, the wait is over: SATAN’S HOST deliver their masterwork with “Pre-dating God” Parts 1 & 2! Both albums will be released simultaneously by Moribund Records on January 19th, 2015 in Europe/UK and January 20th, 2015 in North America. Striking while the iron’s hot after 2013’s critically acclaimed “Virgin Sails”, the two-disc “Pre-dating God” sees Satan’s Host going from strength to strength, creating epic ‘n’ dynamic HEAVY METAL anthems that immediately stick in the brain. With a storied history that spans five decades, Patrick Evil’s devilish warriors here bring together their two distinct periods – the traditional/true metal of their early work, and the blasting black metal of their middle period – and tastefully modernize it into a sound that is totally all their own. With Harry “The Tyrant” Conklin (JAG PANZER, TITAN FORCE) delivering his best vocal performance ever, right now, no one’s able to touch SATAN’S HOST for sheer mastery and uniqueness: “Pre-dating god” Parts 1 & 2 will soon be a metal classic for time eternal! Recorded between July and September this year at Flatline Audio and produced, engineered, mixed, and mastered by Dave Otero, both parts of SATAN’S HOST “Pre-dating God” feature artwork by the legendary Joe Petagno.