Best of 2015 – Brat

January 2nd, 2016
by Brat

Top 20 Albums

1. Eclipse – Armageddonize

Eclipse – Armageddonize

Eclipse – Armageddonize

While it’s not metal technically, most of the tracks on this album are heavier and faster than a lot of metal I’m hearing these days. The last few albums have been pearlers and this one is no different.

2. Angra – Secret Garden

Four/five years is a long time between albums for a band of this calibre. While I thought the announcement of Fabio Lione as frontman for the band felt ‘wrong’ even though I’m a fan of his, he actually works.

Angra - Secret Garden

Angra – Secret Garden

3. Stratovarius – Eternal

Unprecedented writing quality puts this Stratovarius album ahead of all the others. With Eternal, the band can finally shake free of something I once read ‘Stratovarius has written the best power metal album of our generation, it’s a pity it’s spread across their entire catalogue’.

Stratovarius - Eternal

Stratovarius – Eternal

4. Serious Black – As Daylight Breaks

Serious Black - As Daylight Breaks

Serious Black – As Daylight Breaks

5. Helloween – My God-Given Right

Helloween - My God-Given Right

Helloween – My God-Given Right

6. Luca Turilli’s Rhapsody – Prometheus



 7. Cain’s Offering – Stormcrow


Cain’s Offering – Stormcrow

8. Unleash the Archers – Time Stands Still

It’s been a long time between wailing power metal vocal albums for me, but this one has returned my inner ‘Bruce Dickinson’ giving private performances for my dogs and the local kookaburras and cockatoos.

Unleash the Archers - Time Stands Still

Unleash the Archers – Time Stands Still

9. Europe – War of Kings

Europe - War of Kings

Europe – War of Kings

10. Orden Ogan – Ravenhead

Orden Ogan - Ravenhead

Orden Ogan – Ravenhead

11. Powerwolf – Blessed and Possessed

Get out your jaffle makers metalheads, because there’s enough blasphemous cheese here to feed a festival full of hungry metalheads.

Powerwolf - Blessed & Possessed

Powerwolf – Blessed & Possessed

12. Sirenia – The Seventh Life Path

Because it wouldn’t be my list without some female-fronted symphonic power metal. And, with the male growl vocals it’s got even more layers of metal.

Sirenia - The Seventh Life Path

Sirenia – The Seventh Life Path

13. Soto – Inside the Vertigo

Finally Jeff Scott Soto has released a solo album worthy of his talents. It’s dark, it’s heavy (for Soto) and has decent tempo.

Soto - Inside the Vertigo

Soto – Inside the Vertigo

14. Keep of Kalessin – Epistemology

Keep of Kalessin - Epistemology

Keep of Kalessin – Epistemology

15. Lindemann – Skills in Pills

Lindemann - Skills In Pills

Lindemann – Skills In Pills

16. Ensiferum – One Man Army

Ensiferum - One Man Army

Ensiferum – One Man Army

17. Nightwish – Endless Forms Most Beautiful

Nightwish - Endless Forms Most Beautiful

Nightwish – Endless Forms Most Beautiful

18. Circle II Cirle – Reign of Darkness

Circle II Circle - Reign Of Darkness

Circle II Circle – Reign Of Darkness

19. Apocalyptica – Shadowmaker

Apocalyptica - Shadowmaker

Apocalyptica – Shadowmaker

20. Alpha Tiger – identity

Alpha Tiger - iDentity

Alpha Tiger – iDentity

Best New Band

Serious Black

Serious Black - As Daylight Breaks

Serious Black – As Daylight Breaks

Best EP

LORD – What Tomorrow Brings

LORD - What Tomorrow Brings

LORD – What Tomorrow Brings

Xandria – Fire & Ashes

Xandria - Fire & Ashes

Xandria – Fire & Ashes

Best Live Album

Paradise Lost – Symphony for the Lost

Paradise Lost - Symphony for the Lost

Paradise Lost – Symphony for the Lost

Best Fancy-Schmancy Box Releases

Voodoo Circle – Whisky Fingers

Voodoo Circle - Whisky Fingers deluxe edition

Voodoo Circle – Whisky Fingers deluxe edition

Ensiferum – One Man Army

Ensiferum - One Man Army deluxe edition

Ensiferum – One Man Army deluxe edition

Best Remake/Re-release Album

Secret Sphere – A Time Nevercome 2015

Secret Sphere - A Time Nevercome 2015 edition

Secret Sphere – A Time Nevercome 2015 edition

Best ‘Best of…’

Heavens Gate – Best for Sale!

Heavens Gate - Best For Sale!

Heavens Gate – Best For Sale!

Best Tribute/Cover Album

Whitesnake – The Purple Album

The Purple Album by Whitesnake

The Purple Album by Whitesnake

Best Concert

I’ve been mostly absent from the live scene and the only show I saw was Def Leppard. I’ve seen them every time they’ve toured Australia and they are definitely a worthy band live to be listed as my best concert for the year.

Def Leppard in concert, Sydney 2015

Def Leppard in concert, Sydney 2015

Best Music DVD/Blu-Ray

Axel Rudi Pell & Friends – Magic Moments 25th Anniversary Special

Axel Rudi Pell & Friends - Magic Moments Blu-Ray

Axel Rudi Pell & Friends – Magic Moments Blu-Ray

Europe – War of Kings (live at Wacken)

Best Metal Movie

DEATHGASM from my New Zealand neighbours.

Deathgasm Blu-Ray

Deathgasm Blu-Ray

2015 Disappointments

My absence from the live metal scene.

2016 Hopes

One is already coming to fruition with the announcement of the first festival in Melbourne Australia, featuring Eclipse, Vanishing Point, Black Majesty, Paul Laine, Erik Grönwall (H.E.A.T.) and bucket list singer (one-time candidate to sing for Van Halen) Mitch Malloy.

To get to more metal shows – local and international.


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Best of 2015 – Jo Blackened

January 1st, 2016
by Metal Rules

Top 20 albums of 2015

  1. GORGOROTH – Instinctus Bestialis

    GORGOROTH - Instinctus Bestialis

    GORGOROTH – Instinctus Bestialis

  2. Marduk- Frontschwein
  3. Ethereal – Opus Aethereum
  4. Helllight – Journey Through Endless Storms
  5. Myrkur- M
  6. MIDNIGHT ODYSSEY – Shards Of Silver Fade
  7. Ninkharsag – Blood Of Celestial Kings
  8. The Dying of the Light – Amidst the Withering
  9. Creeping – Revenant
  10. Eïs “Bannstein
  11. Outre – Ghost Chants
  12. Images At Twilight – Kings
  13. AKHLYS – The Dreaming I
  14. Deafheaven- New Bermuda
  15. Nahtrunar – Symbolismus
  16. Temple of Gnosis – Mystervm Magnvm
  17. Tony Mills – Over my Dead Body
  18. Nightland – Obsession
  19. ALFAHANNE – Blod Eld Alfa
  20. Lychgate – “An Antidote for the Glass Pill

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Best of 2015 – Celtic Bob

January 1st, 2016
by Metal Rules

2015 has been a rough year for me on a personal level which is why my list for 2015 is not as detailed as it normally is. Without making excuses or divulging details I will say that my list nearly never happened at all. I felt that would be unacceptable to all the bands, labels and PR firms that worked so hard this past year to bring you some fantastic music. Here is my list in basic form and let us hope 2016 is a better one.

  1. Motörhead – Bad Magic

    Motorhead - Bad Magic

    Motorhead – Bad Magic

  2. Armored Saint – Win Hands Down
  3. Faith No More – Sol Invictus
  4. Slayer – Repentless
  5. Iron Maiden – The Book Of Souls
  6. Black Star Riders – The Killer Instinct
  7. Ugly Kid Joe – Uglier Than They Used Ta Be
  8. Mike Tramp – Nomad
  9. The Answer – Raise A Little Hell
  10. Whitesnake – The Purple Album
  11. BulletBoys – Elefante
  12. Queensryche – Condition Human
  13. Trixter – Human Era
  14. Nelson – Peace Out
  15. UFO – A Conspiracy Of Stars
  16. Voodoo Circle – Whiskey Fingers
  17. Europe – War Of Kings
  18. Ghost – Meliora
  19. Scorpions – Return To Forever
  20. Def Leppard

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Best of 2015 – Erich

January 1st, 2016
by Metal Rules

Top 20 Metal Albums 2015

  1. Queensrÿche  – Condition Human

    QUEENSRŸCHE - Condition Hüman

    QUEENSRŸCHE – Condition Hüman

    Pair this with Operation: Mindcrime’s The Key and it is clear that Queensrÿche is wiping the floor with Tate’s post- Queensrÿche efforts.  I will not lie and say Condition Human rivals classic Ryche albums, but after so many years of piss-poor Tate led efforts (Tribe sucks), Condition Human is a welcome and worthy effort.  Todd La Torre has assumed the vacancy left by Tate with confidence and execution while the reinvigorated core of the band has constructed songs worthy of La Torre’s performance.

  2. Paradise Lost – The Plague Within
    Paradise Lost – The Plague Within

    Paradise Lost – The Plague Within

    It took a damn long time to get from One Second to The Plague Within, but the band finally came full-circle, thanks to Nick Holmes and Greg Mackintosh’s renewed interest in the band’s death metal roots.  Combining that with the band’s gothic brand of melodic doom, The Plague Within pleased large sections of the fan base.  The Plague Within will almost certainly (and deservedly) vie for the top metal album of the year in most metal circles.

  3. Slayer – Repentless
    Slayer - Repentless

    Slayer – Repentless

    I am going to go ahead and piss off some Slayer fans by stating that Jeff Hanneman was a much better guitarist than Kerry King.  For this reason, I truly expected Repentless to suck, with King left to compose and construct all the guitar work for the new album.  I am big enough to admit I was completely wrong.  King reached deep down and channeled Hanneman while retaining his own style.  As a result, Repentless is the best Slayer album in my opinion since Seasons In The Abyss, high, but worthy praise.

  4. Stryper – Fallen
    Every year I have an album make it into my top 5 that I would never have predicted. Stryper’s Fallen is this year’s WTF.  I honestly have never been a huge Stryper fan, though I did enjoy some of their work through the years.  Fallen is the band’s heaviest album but being heavy does not always mean good.  Fortunately, the band are spot-on with the songs and riffs, everything adding up to a well-constructed album that blows all past efforts from the band out of the water.
  5. Chris Caffery – Your Heaven Is Real
    You want Savatage back and so do I.  Fortunately, Chris is happy to deliver, forging classic Savatage with Caffery’s other efforts in Doctor Butcher and his solo work.  Your Heaven Is Real is classic metal with a bite, Chris managing to deliver more edge and aggression than his old band but with well-crafted and catchy songs.
  6. Ghost – Meliora
  7. Trixter – Human Era
  8. Millennial Reign – Carry The Fire
  9. Helloween – My God-Given Right
  10. Hardcore Superstar – HCSS
  11. Orden Ogan – Ravenhead
  12. Air Raid – Point Of Impact
  13. Pyramaze – Disciples Of The Sun
  14. Lethal Saint – WWIII
  15. Artizan – The Furthest Reaches
  16. Amorphis – Under The Red Cloud
  17. My Dying Bride – Feel The Misery
  18. Hollow Haze – Memories Of An Ancient Time
  19. Blind Guardian- Beyond The Red Mirror
  20. Iron Maiden – The Book Of Souls

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Best of 2015 – Waspman

January 1st, 2016
by Metal Rules

Top 20

1. Blind Guardian – Beyond The Red Mirror

Blind Guardian - Beyond The Red Mirror

Blind Guardian – Beyond The Red Mirror

The ever meticulous Germans returned in 2015 after a five-year gap since the release of their last album – the longest break in their career thus far. BEYOND THE RED MIRROR proved without a shadow of a doubt that the time away didn’t hurt; in fact, the album is the band’s best since a little release called NIGHTFALL IN MIDDLE-EARTH.

2. Stratovarius – Eternal

Stratovarius - Eternal

Stratovarius – Eternal

With their fourth post-Timo Tolkki release, the Finnish power metallians proved that they are as strong now as they ever were in the late-90’s heyday.

3. Cain’s Offering – Stormcrow



What a year for Timo Kotipelto! 2015 was arguably his best year ever professionally with his mainstay band Stratovarius coming in just above this, and the long-awaited sophomore outing from the revered Cain’s Offering living up to expectations. Anyone who says power metal is stagnating needs to take just one listen to this album to have their words shoved back in their face.

4. Nightwish – Endless Forms Most Beautiful
The Finns’ first effort with the fan-favorite Floor Jansen at the mic was everything that you could have asked for. Bombastic, powerful, and yes, overblown, Nightwish is still the best in the game.

5. Royal Hunt – XII: Devil’s Dozen
Royal Hunt may be unfairly ignored on North American shores but that hasn’t stopped Andre Andersen and the inimitable D.C. Cooper from cranking out top-flight material. DEVIL’S DOZEN proves that they are as vital as ever.

6. Kamelot – Haven
Kamelot made a big return in 2012 with SILVERTHORN, their first with then-new vocalist Tommy Karevik. HAVEN proves that was no fluke as it’s yet another immediate and memorable album.

7. Blazon Stone – No Sign Of Glory
Running Wild may not be what they once were, but if you still crave rollicking tales of heavy metal piracy, look no further than Blazon Stone. NO SIGN OF GLORY is as strong a Teutonic metal album as you’re likely to hear and contains my single favorite song of 2015: “Fire the Cannons”.

8. Helloween – My God-Given Right
Speaking of Teutonic metal, Helloween returned this year with their 15th album of new material and even as the band moves into their fourth decade (!), they show no signs of slowing down.

9. The Black Dahlia Murder – Abysmal
ABYSMAL is anything but. The Black Dahlia Murder seems to keep getting stronger, more precise, and more vicious every time they release an album. It doesn’t hurt that ABYSMAL is as razor-sharp an death metal album as you’re likely to hear.

10. Melechesh – Enki
ENKI is probably the album I was most anticipating in 2015, and Ashmedi and crew did not disappoint me. It’s perhaps true that Melechesh didn’t cover much new ground on this one, but they don’t need to as they own this particular corner of Middle Eastern mystical metal.

11. Eclipse – Armageddonize
Eclipse is probably the best hard rock band working today and the catchy, fiery anthems on ARMAGEDDONIZE prove it.

12. Iron Maiden – The Book Of Souls
On their 16th studio album, Iron Maiden somehow manage to use all of the things people complain about (repetition, long-winded song writing) and turn them to their advantage in creating yet another compelling album with depth.

13. Vanden Plas – Chronicles Of The Immortals: Netherworld II
Speaking of compelling, Vanden Plas returned with another in a long line of spellbinding albums, proving that they remain one of the top progressive metal bands in the world.

14. DarkTribe – The Modern Age
France always seems to be the forgotten country when it comes to metal but with their thoroughly enjoyable sophomore effort, THE MODERN AGE, DarkTribe proved that they’re ready to compete with the best power metal has to offer.

15. Doomsday Outlaw – Black River
Crushing backwoods Southern metal from the U.K.? It’s as shocking as it is welcome and I definitely welcome more from Doomsday Outlaw.

16. Saxon – Battering Ram
Saxon have kept the flame burning for almost 4 decades and BATTERING RAM proves they have a lot more still in the tank. Long live the NWOBHM.

17. Act of Defiance – The Birth And The Burial
With this slab of angry, aggressive thrash, Chris Broderick and Shawn Drover show the type of metal they really want to play. This one flew a bit under the radar, but I can’t help but feel that if this was the new Megadeth album, fans would have been fawning all over it. This album grew on me the most in 2015.

18. Stryper – Fallen
Just, wow. With their previous album and now FALLEN, Stryper have released the two best albums of their controversial career.

19. Joel Hoekstra’s 13 – Dying To Live
Joel Hoekstra’s got his fleet fingers involved in a large number of projects these days, but he thankfully saved his best song writing for his fourth solo album which is jammed full of incredible & memorable tunes.

20. Hibria – Hibria
The 20th spot was a toss-up for me between this and W.A.S.P.’s excellent GOLGOTHA record, but ultimately I decided to award the placement to Hibria. These Brazilians surprised me the most this year with their most vital album since their debut more than a decade ago, capping off a great year for power metal.

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Best of 2015 – Jarod Lawley

January 1st, 2016
by Metal Rules

Top 20

Tribulation - The Children of the Night

Tribulation – The Children of the Night

#1. Tribulation – The Children of the Night

This album has featured in many End of Year lists, but whilst to others this is just a great record, to me it is more. I have loved exploring the sounds and themes of this band ever since The Children of the Night’s released, and Tribulation are now officially in the centre of my music radar.

#2. Myrkur- M

A divisive record which I don’t expect will be cropping up in many MR staff members’ lists. Nevertheless, I feel that this is at the forefront of evolution for genre which remains known as “black metal”.

#3. Luciferian Light Orchestra- Luciferian Light Orchestra

Masterminded by Christofer Johnsson, this 70s style rock ensemble could easily be the house band of Satan’s very own private club, and with choruses like those found in ‘Taste the Blood of the Alter Wine’ and ‘Sex with Demons’, everyone would want to be a member.
4. Grave Pleasures- Dreamcrash
5. Ethereal- Opus Eponymous
6. Cold In Berlin- The Comfort of Loss and Dust
7. Deafheaven- New Bermuda
8. Alfahanne- Blod Eld Alfe
9. Ashtar- Ilmasaari
10. Iron Maiden- The Book of Souls
11. Ahab- The Boats of Glenn Carrig
12. Sannhet- Revisionist
13. Marduk- Frontschwein
14. Gnaw Their Tongues- Abyss Of Longing throats
15. Black Bleeding- A Bright Future
16. Obsequiae – Aria of Vernal Tombs
17. Mgla- Excercises In Futility
18. Kampfar- Profan
19. An Autumn For Crippled Children- The Long Goodbye
20. Vaee Solis- Adversarial Light

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Best of 2015 – Arto Lehtinen

December 31st, 2015
by Metal Rules

#1. Avatarium: The Girl With The Raven Mask

Avatarium: The Girl With The Raven Mask

Avatarium: The Girl With The Raven Mask

Kind of unexpected choice to rank this to the first place, but this is such an awesome output from the Swedish Avatarium. The Candlemass mastermind Leif Edling is definitely a real riff wizard to come up great doomy oriented songs.

#2. Paradise Lost: The Plague Within

Paradise Lost – The Plague Within

Paradise Lost – The Plague Within

Wow.. I had been told in advance the next Paradise Lost output would be “back to roots”. Heard the same phrase before. But frankly Plague Within truly surprised with the real doom/death metal elements. Obviously the fans of the Depeche Mode era must have got a real shock effect when hearing this one.

#3. Slayer: Repentless

Slayer - Repentless

Slayer – Repentless

The old thrash warhorse still keeps thrashing despite the band went thru the real bedlam Repentless is a surprising vital album by Slayer. Even though Slayer is on overtime, but let’s enjoy what we still have left…

4) Mgla : Exercises In Futility
5) Ghost : Meliora
6) Amorphis : Under The Red Cloud
7) Iron Maiden : Book Of Souls
8) Queensryche : Condition Human
9) Krisiun : Forged In Fire
10) Melechesh : Enki
11) Infernal War : Axion
12) Masters Of Metal : From Worlds Beyond
13) A.R.G. : Redemption From Refaim
14) Lucifer :  Luficer I
15) Ancient Rites : Laguz
16) Morbid Vomit : Doctrine Of Violence
17) My Dying Bride : Feel The Misery
18) Gruesome : Savage Land
19) Helloween : God Given Right
20) Morgoth :  Ungod

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Macabre Omen – Interview with The One

December 31st, 2015
by UK Team

Macabre Omen – Interview with The One

Questions: Ann Sulaiman

Macabre Omen: Gods of War - At War

Macabre Omen: Gods of War – At War

Despite its significant downs, 2015 was also a year with a few ups – one of them being the release of the much lauded Greek black metal album ’Gods of War – At War’ by one-man outfit Macabre Omen. Ten years in the making since their last record ‘The Ancient Returns’, the album sees a grand marriage of pre-Christian Greece with epic metal notes without the pompous fare of others that try to do the same for the “Viking” sphere.

As intimate as it is majestically aggressive, ‘Gods of War – At War’ had received immense praise and acclaim especially in the London metal scene, where mastermind “The One” currently resides. So for this exclusive interview, I managed to track him down for a chat one fine afternoon.

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Remembering Lemmy

December 30th, 2015
by Metal Rules

Lemmy – On stage in Helsinki, Finland. December 6 2015

Condolences for Ian Fraser “Lemmy” Kilmister (24 December 1945 – 28 December 2015)

Like all Motörhead fans, many of us here feel a connection to the rebel spirit and music of Motörhead.  As Lemmy himself was anything but pretentious, we won’t ramble on. Here are just a few words, thoughts, and pictures about this irreplaceable founder, vocalist, bassist, songwriter, and LEGEND.

Go here for the official announcement about the passing of Lemmy, and for condolences from many of Lemmy’s peers. And in case anyone was wondering, drummer Mikkey Dee has confirmed that the band is over.

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Hobbs’ Angel Of Death – Helsinki Finland

December 29th, 2015
by Arto Lehtinen




PRKL Club The 18th of December



Peter Hobbs carved its immortal marks in the late 80’s by releasing the highly appreaciated debut self titled album back in 1988. Despite the second album released n 1995, Hobbs has kept the low profile until 2004 the legendary Australian metal squad led by Peter Hobbs unleashed the Australian thrash metal storm at Wacken. It was pure magical mayhem. Rapidly back to 2012 when Hobbs Angel Of Death made a debut gig ever at Jalometalli along with Slayer Blasphemy was pure old school blitzkrieg

It took a few years until Hobbs got back to Finland for the third gig, all right Hobbs made the second visit to Åland being a tiny island between Finland and Sweden. Apparently 150 old school metal maniacs had crawled to the obscure PRKL club in the centrum of Helsinki.

The domestic black thrash metal Flame kicked the night. The raw, brutal and barbaric are the essential words to describe the outcome of Flame when speaking of the lawless black thrash metal assault. Flame rages in the underground catacombs by coming up the vicious outbursting blackened metal.


IMG_6868 IMG_6872 IMG_6876

The third one was a previously rather unknown band hailing from Italy called Violentor. By the way half of the Violentor four piece line-up was the part of the Hobbs line-up as well. As for Violentor in general, the four piece band combines the straight forward rock ala Motörhead with the blasting thrash stuff with some Sodom influences for sure. Violentor’s stuff is perfect for the insane beer drinking feast.

IMG_6909 IMG_6914 IMG_6913

After the 30 minute delay Hobbs started the old school thrash mauling. Eve though the venue is small as hell it didn’t prevent the audience from causing the real battlezone in the front row. When the opening riff of the first songs such as Lucifer’s Domain cut the air, the whole crowd went total beserk. The older Hobbs material was welcomed and appreciated amongst the bangers more than well. The set was tremendous long as the four piece did nearly 90 minute set by delivering the brutal and uncompromising old school thrash assault. It was quite weird to follow how the audience had to crawl outside to gasp for the air and take care of the alcoholic current balance. The Australian thrash metal veteran and icon Peter Hobbs having greyed sophistically sounded angry and brutal, not having lost any inch and grasp in the voice. As for the new material, well frankly it sounded thrash, but time to time it sounded kind of groovy. Hobbs Angel Of Death is about to release a new album in 2016 and therefore it was quite logical to do songs off from it. To be honest the new material has to be checked out as the man definitely creates the slaying and vicious thrash riff. Hobbs have always delivered the utter brutal slab of the finest old school thrash metal assault. Hopefully he will be seen at some metal festival sooner or later.

IMG_6933 IMG_6955 IMG_6954 IMG_6942

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Mikkey Dee Confirms Motorhead Is Over

December 29th, 2015
by EvilG


Just hours after the death of Lemmy Kilmister, Mikkey Dee confirmed the obvious in an interview with Sweden’s Expressen website saying:

Motorhead is over, of course. Lemmy was Motorhead. But the band will live on in the memories of many. We won’t be doing any more tours or anything. And there won’t be any more records. But the brand survives, and Lemmy lives on in the hearts of everyone. I’m incredibly grateful over the years we had, and that we had such a good time together.

Read the full interview with Mikkey here.R.I.P. Lemmy.

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R.I.P. Lemmy Kilmister, Motörhead frontman dead at 70

December 28th, 2015
by EvilG Remembers

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Close Quarters – Bass player Martin and Guitarist KK

December 22nd, 2015
by Anders Sandvall


Close Quarters
Bass player Martin and guitarist KK

Thanks to Staffan Osterlind at Fassberg & Osterlind for setting up the interview.

Thanks to press responsible for the band: Mats Rydström
Promo pictures taken by: Lars Brundin

Additional live pictures taken from the archives of: Anders Sandvall


Close Quarters is a pretty new sleaze/rock n roll act from Vadstena Sweden that recently released their second album ALWAYS A LOT, NEVER LITTLE which totally blew my mind the first time I heard it. I decided to take a closer look at the band and hooked up with guitarist KK and bass player Martin Hederberg in order to get to know a little more about the band and their past, present and future. The band have done more than 200 shows so far and have been support act to artists like Backyard Babies, Mustasch, Electric Boys and recently they opened for Tom Keifer in Stockholm. Close Quarters sure is the next big thing from Sweden so you better check out ALWAYS A LOT, NEVER A LITTLE which includes a co-written song with Nicke Borg from Backyard Babies as well as songs that feature appearances from Spike from The Quireboys and Pontus Snibb from Bonafide.

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TOMMY HENRIKSEN – solo artist, Alice Cooper band, Hollywood Vampires, ex -Warlock

December 22nd, 2015
by Marko Syrjala




Tommy Henriksen is an American musician from New York who is best known from his current work as a guitarist / songwriter for Alice Cooper’s band and Hollywood Vampires. Henriksen is also a solo artist and sought-after songwriter, arranger, producer and mixer. He has worked with, among others: Lady Gaga, Meat Loaf, Lou Reed and Halestorm.  For the last year and a half, the Alice Cooper band has toured the world with Motley Crue. In November, the tour finally arrived in Finland. I met a good-humored Tommy in Helsinki, and here is a summary of our interesting conversation which runs through Tommy’s past career and future projects.

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Posted in 2015, Interviews | Comments (0) 20th Anniversary

December 20th, 2015
by Metal Rules 20th anniversary

September 2015 marked the 20th anniversary of  What started as the dream of one man and a couple of friends in an isolated region of Canada (the East coast island of Newfoundland), has become one of the largest, longest running, and most influential, Metal webzines on the internet.

Let’s set the picture. The Province of Newfoundland, due to its low population (roughly 550,666 people in 1995) and relative geographic isolation gets only a handful of Metal concerts a year, and sometimes none at all!  The total number of gigging Metal bands from Newfoundland in the mid-90’s were perhaps fewer than 10!   (EvilG was actually in one of the few Metal bands, Oberon, founded in 1996.) Newfoundland was about as far away from the Metal hotbeds of NYC, LA, Tampa, Helsinki, Stockholm, London, Berlin, or Tokyo as you could possibly be.  So you may be surprised to learn it all started in Newfoundland, Canada and is run by volunteers.  Many people think we are a European site, and have a large paid staff!  If they only knew… 🙂

EvilG embraced the internet early, and realized that geographic isolation didn’t matter in the dawning of the new digital age.  He founded with its battle cry of “Supporting REAL Metal“.  Like most webzines, it started with little to no money, and a small audience, as the internet as we know it was still in its infancy.  Through blood, sweat and beers, recruiting friends, volunteers, and hammering away learning primitive (by today’s standards) HTML programming we had a few milestones.

Over 20 years MR became one of the few bastions of REAL METAL on the internet. Never catering to trends, our industry reputation is stellar, our productivity is endless, and our content is king. We have more book reviews, interviews, concert reviews, DVD/video reviews, and of course album reviews than virtually every other Metal webzine on the planet. Think about that. Our archives are a massive treasure trove of photos and interviews that extends back 20 years. We often have people contacting us for information on projects they are working on, documentaries, books, and academic papers. Many new bands have had their first exposure here, their first interview, their first CD review, etc. As well, it’s always a pleasure to interview and cover the titans of Metal. This is what drives us volunteers to continue to support REAL METAL for 20 years…and onwards.

Thank you, the reader, causal, loyal and the die-hard, from dozens of nations around the world, for reading each and every day. We hope you enjoy our 20th anniversary feature!

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