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Stryper is a Christian metal/hard rock band from California, USA. The band was formed in around 1983 when bassist Timothy Gaines and guitarist Oz Fox joined their forced with for Roxx Regime members Robert and Michael Sweet. Stryper became the pioneers in the mainstream popularization of Christian rock/metal music. Stryper enjoyed great success during the mid/late 80’s. Their most successful album was TO HELL WITH THE DEVIL which went platinum in 1986. The band also got two gold record for their albums SOLDIERS UNDER COMMAND and IN GOD WE TRUST. Unfortunately the band started to lose its popularity in the early 90’s. The band’s final release was AGAINST THE LAW which was released in 1990. At that point the band tried to drastically change their image and lyrical message. The sound was heavier and gone was their trademark, the yellow and black clothing and big hair. The band really tried to get rid of their old glam image but although critics liked the band’s new style their old fan base claimed that they were not being true to their roots and the album sold poorly. Michael Sweet left the group in 1992 and decided to concentrate on his solo career. The rest of the guys decided to carry on without him but it wasn’t long until the band split up.
During the following years Tim and Oz formed the band Sin Dizzy, Michael released several solo albums and Robert played in many bands including Blissed who released album in 2002. In 1999 Michael joined Sin Dizzy on stage in Puerto Rico and they performed a number of old Stryper classics. It was his first performance with Oz and Tim since his departure in 1992. The next year, the first Stryper Expo was held in New Jersey and there, for the first time in eight years, the whole original Stryper performed together on stage. The band did some more gigs every now and then and in 2003 they were asked by Hollywood Records to write some new music for the upcoming 7: THE BEST OF STRYPER compilation. A full tour followed and on next year band released its first live album 7 WEEKS: LIVE IN AMERICA.
Timothy Gaines departed in late 2004 and he was soon replaced by Tracy Ferrie who had earlier played in Michael’s solo band. The band started to record a new album and as a result they released REBORN in August of 2005. The CD was the groups heaviest to date and it received a positive response both from fans and critics. In 2006, after two years of production, the band finally released its first DVD: GREATEST HITS LIVE which was filmed in 2004 in Puerto Rico. The group started to work on the follow up for REBORN in 2006 and since then the album’s release has been delayed for many reasons but it should finally see the light of day in the summer of 2008. Last November I managed to sit down with the whole band in Turku before their sold out show in Turkuhalli and here is the latest from the Stryper camp, enjoy!
INTERVIEW AND LIVE PICTURES BY MARKO SYRJÄLÄ
TRANSCRPTION BY ANDY OSBORN
Interviewed by: Anders Sandvall
Thanks to Lars Chriss for arranging this interview
Thanks to Metal Heaven for the promo pictures of the band
Guitarist Michael Weikath
Interview & live pictures by Luxi Lahtinen
Transcription by Andy Osborn
The history of German speed/power metal force Helloween dates back to the late 70´s when Helloween was formed by guitarist Kai Hansen, guitarist/vocalist Piet Sielck, Ingo Schwichtenberg on drums and Marcus Grosskopf on bass. The band was still called Second Hell in 1981 – and then even later the name was changed to Iron Fist (in 1982) before the band took their current Helloween name in 1983 as the name of their band.
The band´s second guitarist Michael Weikath came to Helloween from a band called POwerfool, replacing Piet Sielck (who actually ever wasn´t quite in Helloween) – and also bringing over such known Helloween anthems as "Cry for Freedom" and "Starlight" that both appeared on the band´s self-titled 5-song EP in 1985.
That, as a brief introduction to Michael´s history as a part of this magnificent German metal band.
Ever since Helloween have released 13 studio albums (off which KEEPER OF THE SEVEN KEYS – PT. 1 & 2 have undoubtedly become instant classics in Helloweeen´s own reportoire), done many successful world tours by covering nearly every single corner on this planet – and simply played their way out straight through the hearts of many new´n´old Helloween fans more than over 3 decades already.
The band´s current tour together with Gamma Ray and Axxis, going under "Hellish Rock Tour 2007-2008", reached Helsinki on December 11th, 2007, and always so curious Metal-Rules.com was there of course to find out how´s the tour been going for them thus far – amongst other things naturally as well. Mikhael Weikath stepped in as a volunteer to talk about the tour, etc., so let´s hand over a microphone to him up next…
Interview by Luxi Lahtinen
Live photos by Marko Autio
Transcription by Andy Osborn
The cherishers of ancient Egyptian mythology Nile, have been touring hard for their latest album, ITHYPHALLIC. The album has been breaking some chart positions in many countries, and naturally strengthening Nile´s own position as one of the leaders of today´s death metal scene. The band is undoubtedly in its best strike nowadays – and their album sales prove that even more firmly.
The Nile war troops hit Helsinki on one cold evening on November 24th, 2007 – and only just 2 hours before the scheduled showtime, I managed to talk briefly to Karl Sanders about the ongoing tour, their latest bone-crusher ITHYPHALLIC and even a bit more regarding Nile´s future plans.
Special thanks to Silke from Tough Enough Promotion & Management for getting me booked this interview with Karl Sanders.
Read the rest of this entry »
Andy B. Franck – Brainstorm & Symphorce
Interviewed by EvilG
Transcription by Alxs – Live Pics By Arto Lehtinen
Andy B. Franck is easily one of the better metal vocalists to emerge in recent years. His tone, power, and melody-lines combine to make a style that is hard not to get into. Since Symphorce’s first album, I’ve followed Andy’s band and his Brainstorm stuff. It was with Symphorce’s BECOME DEATH album however that I personally catapulted Andy from “good vocalist” to one of my favorites. In this interview we talk about the demands of being in two bands, the perhaps precarious position Symphorce finds itself in right now, the creative process, and what 2008 and onwards has in store for Andy. Enjoy.
Dokken was originally formed in the late 1970’s when guitarist George Lynch and drummer Mick Brown joined forces with vocalist Don Dokken and bassist Jim Montaneras. Together they recorded BACK IN THE STREETS. In 1978, future Ratt bassist, Juan Croucier joined the bands ranks and released BREAKING THE CHAINS in Europe in 1981. Jeff Pilson replaced Croucier soon and started to write TOOTH AND NAIL. That album was released in 1984 at it became a huge success. It included several hit singles: "Just Got Lucky", "Alone Again", and "Into the Fire". It sold over one million copies in the US alone and peaked at #49 on U.S charts. One year later the band released their next album UNDER LOCK AND KEY and it was also very successful including such anthems as: “In My Dreams" and "It’s Not Love". Dokken did many successful tours and opened for bands like Aerosmith, Twisted Sister and Scorpions.
Dokken returned to studio in late 1986 to record another mega successful single DREAM WARRIORS for the horror movie NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET 3 – the soundtrack but it wasn’t until late 1987 before they released another album BACK FOR THE ATTACK. This became their most popular release and it reached #13 on U.S charts with the help of such smash singles: "Burning Like A Flame" and Heaven Sent". Dokken was on top of their game but unfortunately they broke up due "creative differences" between Don and George soon after the release of live album BEAST FROM THE EAST in late 1988. Don Dokken recorded his first solo album UP FROM THE ASHES with all-star lineup including guitarists John Norum (ex-Europe) and Billy White, bassist Peter Baltes (ex-Accept), drummer Mikkey Dee (ex-King Diamond).
Around late 1993, Don started to talk again with Mick Brown, who had recently left Lynch Mob which was George Lynch’s band at that time. They joined up with Jeff Pilson, who was fronting his own War and Peace band, and started to write new songs. In 1994, they sent new material to George Lynch, who was impressed with the material. Together, they decided to reform Dokken and record a new album DYSFUNCTIONAL which was released in 1995.
Unfortunately, old problems resurfaced and the band lost George again after another release of album SHADOWLIFE in 1997. Dokken decided to continue with new guitarist Reb Beach (ex- Winger, Alice Cooper) and ERASE THE SLATE was released in 1999. A live album and awarded DVD LIVE FROM THE SUN came out in 2000 but then Reb decided to leave and join Whitesnake. Soon after, Jeff Pilson decided also leave and they were later on replaced by bassist Barry Sparks (Ted Nugent, ex- Uli Jon Roth) and Don’s old friend John Norum. LONG WAY HOME was released in 2002 but in the middle of the tour Norum was gone and he was then temporary replaced by Italian guitarist Alex DeGrossi. Jon Levin (ex-Warlock) joined in 2004 and since then he’s been a permanent guitarist and stayed on Don’s side. HELL TO PAY was released later on the same year and since then band has been more or less active doing a lot of touring and working on a new album which is titled LIGHTNING STRIKES AGAIN.
I managed to meet Don himself in October prior their show in Copenhagen and here are results of our interesting chat. ENJOY !!!
INTERVIEW AND LIVE PICTURES BY MARKO SYRJÄLÄ
TRANSCRPTION BY ANDY OSBORN
Necros Christos – Mors Dalos Ra
Interview and pics by Arto Lehtinen
The German death metal squad Necros Christos have ‘piece by piece’ conquered the catacombs of underground death metal with several releases since the early of the 00’s. The most recent output titled TRIUNE IMPURITY RITES is full-on true death metal with a classic ancient grip. The album presents true and above all raw death metal from beginning to end. It isn’t any surprise why NC have got more and more attention. The band’s leader Mors Dalos Ra agreed to be interviewed for Metal-Rules.com to tell us more about the cult album and other issues.
Shepherds Bush Empire, London
8th January 2008
All live pics and review by HannTu
Back in the early 90’s when the underground death metal scene was strong and vital. Several obscure death metal bands were formed all around the world and demotapes were spread thru tape trading. One of these obscure death metal bands was Sinoath from Italy. The band’s first demo FORGED IN BLOOD, released 1991, was quite Nocturnus influenced death metal. The demo was praised and was spread thru tape traders like wildfire. Due to several line-up changes and finally the eccentric full-length finally led to the demise of Sinoath. A few years ago the original surviving member Salvatore Fichera resurrected the old band from the ashes. After hearing new songs on their Myspace page, it was more than obvious I had to get in touch with Salvator to find out about the rebirth of Sinoath.
COUNTING THE NUMBERS CD Release Show
Live at Junctions, December 29th, 2007
St. John’s, Canada
Live Review by EvilG
Photos by By Ashley Hiscock
The 1st of January 2008
The Old Ice Hall
Pics by Marko Syrjälä and Arto Lehtinen
Article by Arto Lehtinen
Nightwish definitely creates emotional feelings amongst fans all around the world. The band’s pompous and symphonic hymns create a unique musical experience and journey into the world of souls of Tuomas Holopainen. Above all Mr. Holopainen’s extremely talents and skills to compose capturing and dramatic songs have utterly spelled thousands and thousands of hearts.
Interview By Lord of The Wasteland
Transcription By Claudia
***Priest Live in Finland 2006 Pics by Luxi
Freevil is possibly a new name for you but you might recognize the name Tomas Andersson from Denata. Andersson and Co are now releasing new material with their brand new act Freevil and do I say that they will not make any fans of thrash/death/heavy metal with a satanic twist un-happy. Andersson has been interviewed earlier in metal-rules.com when the Freevil teaser was unleashed this summer but here comes a more in-depth and personal interview.
Interviewed by: Anders Sandvall
All pictures are from the bands home page
20. 12 2007
Ice Hall, Helsinki
It’s been more than five years since Marilyn Manson last visited Helsinki. Now he’s returned with an all new line up supporting his latest album EAT ME, DRINK which was released in June 2007. This show was the very last concert on the European leg of “The Rape of the World” tour. Although his new album hasn’t been as successful as some of its predecessors, Manson still has a lot of demand here, as the concert was completely sold out.
REVIEW AND PICTURES BY MARKO SYRJÄLÄ