New addition to Witching Hour Productions catalogue is Non Opus Dei, originating from Olsztyn, one of the most interesting acts in avant-garde black metal genre. Several weeks ago band put final touches to their first new album in three years.
Recording session started in Bat Studio in Olsztyn where drums were recorded under supervision of Szymon Czech (Nyia, Third Degree) who produced the whole album. Later the band moved to his private studio to record guitar tracks. They finished work at Studio X recording bass and vocals, and returned to Szymon’s studio for mix and mastering. Album was entitled “Eternal Circle” and will hit the stores in September 2010.
“Eternal Circle” is 30 minutes of fast, unique, avant-garde black metal. On their Myspace page (www.myspace.com/nonopusdeipoland) you can already listen to the first song entitled “The Prisoner Of The Worlds”. On the lyrical side, the concept will be based on the theory of never-ending cycle which cannot be broken. The same cycle that Nietzsche was told by his Demon.
The band comments on new label and new album: “Our first album for Witching Hour will be underlining band’s legacy, and following the path once chosen. We knew exactly what we want to achieve and how to create such extremity as “Eternal Circle”. Soon after the beginning of composing we knew there will be no place for compromise. Ultrafast drums parts set on the Eternal Circle on its path. However this in not only blast-beats based fast black metal. We focused on the melodic aspect, and most of all on intriguing but consistent arrangements, on guitars playing unusual parts in interesting harmonies… “Eternal Circle” is also the summary of our own ideology and obsession on the concept of never-ending cycle.”
Empires of Eden have released studio footage from the recording sessions for Reborn in Fire – due for release by 7Hard on July 16.
Featuring the incredible talents of Zak Stevens (Savatage – Circle II Circle) – Mike Vescera (Yngwie Malmsteen – Loudness) – Steve Grimmett (Grim Reaper – Onslaught) – Carlos Zema (Outworld) – Sean Peck (Cage), the album also includes and amazing array of talent from Australia and Japan.
The video for “Enter the Storm” features the incredible vocals of Louie Gorgievski and guest keyboard solo by Bobby Williamson (Eumeria).
Video “Enter the Storm”:
Created by virtuoso guitarist Stu Marshall (Paindivision – Dungeon), Empires of Eden is a unique, powerful and epic journey of melodic power metal.
Reborn in fire is due for release on July 16 with current reviews showing 8/10!
Kelly Garni (ex-bassist for QUIET RIOT) and great friend of the legendary and sorely missed Randy Rhoads (ex-OZZY OSBOURNE, Quiet Riot) along with Kelle Rhoads (Randy’s brother) have made a major announcement for fans across the globe. A museum dedicated to the legacy of Randy Rhoads is set to open later this year in Corona, California. The location was picked as it’s just a short distance away from Randy’s tomb in southern California. Randy’s polka-dot flying V is currently on display at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland.
Check out video of the announcement below:
Randy Rhoads was killed in a freak airplane accident while on tour in Florida on the morning of March 19, 1982.
As previously reported, 30th Anniversary Sony Legacy Editions of Ozzy’s first two legendary solo albums featuring Randy Rhoads – Blizzard Of Ozz (1980) and Diary Of A Madman (1981) – are due out in the fall.
“They definitely are coming out this year,” Sharon Osbourne told BraveWords.com recently. “They are coming out for (US) Thanksgiving and they will be on the market then. It’s going back to the original recordings with (Bob) Daisley (bass) and (Lee) Kerslake (drums). And there will be a lot of stuff that you haven’t heard before in the packages. Like certain conversations that were going on in the studio with the guys just messing around while the tape was still rolling. All of that will be added into it.”
Sharon also revealed that there’s also talk of some video footage in the archives with Randy Rhoads. “There’s two shows that we have in the archives that we are working on right now. Of course in those days, the tapes were like twenty minutes and then you had to change the tape. So we’re trying to clean it up, make sense of it. So we are working on it, along with another film we have of Randy. It will all be boxed together and it should be a great piece to have for a real fan. It will be an amazing piece.”
Shifting out in North America on Lifeforce Records
ITALY – At The Soundawn, Italy’s mesmerizing post-rock outfit, has launched a tour video montage, to give fans a behind the scenes look at their first European tour in support of their second studio album, Shifting. The video captures highlights from the band’s recent romp through Austria, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Poland, and Germany, and is set to At The Soundawn’s captivating single, “Mudra: In Acceptance and Regret”, taken from their April 2010 Lifeforce Records release. The video can be seen exclusively on MetalUnderground.com now at: http://www.metalunderground.com/news/details.cfm?newsid=56753
Formed in 2000, At The Soundawn manages to command the sounds of Mogwai and Tool, while combining them with the hardcore urgency of Shai Hulud, and the dynamic indie rock power of Radiohead. The result is a top-notch opus of progressive, ambient rock, creating one of this year’s most intriguing and mind-expanding aural outings.
The track list for Shifting is…
1.) Mudra: In Acceptance and Regret
2.) 7th Moon
4.) Drifting Lights
5.) Black Waves
7.) Prometheus Bring us the Fire
Oriental metal sensation ORPHANED LAND will continue to tour massively in support of their much acclaimed new opus “The Never Ending Way Of ORwarriOR” (OUT NOW!) as the band has just confirmed an extensive European run with Amorphis and Ghost Brigade kicking off November 5, 2010!
Vocalist Kobi Farhi states:
“Hi everyone – as you can see “The never ending tour” goes on!!! We’re very happy to add many dates in Europe with Amorphis to our schedule since they are a band we really love. We’re looking forward to seeing all of you again, so make sure you’ll be there!”
Until then, ORPHANED LAND will be busy playing several major European festivals this summer (incl. Wacken, Gods Of Metal, Summer Breeze) plus a US tour supporting Katatonia from September 8th to October 7th, 2010. To view the band’s complete itinerary, head over to
26.06. Collegno (Italy) Gods of Metal 2010
27.06. London (UK) The Underworld
06.08. Wacken (Germany) Wacken Open Air
20.08. Dinkelsbuehl (Germany) Summer Breeze Open Air
21.08. Méan (Belgium) Méan Metal Festival VI
05.11. Copenhagen (DK) Pumpehuset
06.11. Aalborg (DK) Metal Festival
07.11. Hamburg (D) Markthalle
09.11. Glasgow (UK) Cathouse
10.11. Manchester (UK) Academy 3
11.11. London (UK) O2 Academy Islington
12.11. Utrecht (NL) De Helling
13.11. Vosselaar (BE) Biebob
14.11. Aschaffenburg (D) Colos-Saal
16.11. Leipzig (D) Hellraiser
17.11. Warsaw (PL) Proxima
18.11. Wien (AT) Szene
19.11. Pilsen (CZ) KD Serikovka
20.11. Ljubljana (SLO) Cvetlicrna
21.11. Budapest (HU) Diesel
23.11. München (D) Backstage
24.11. Ludwigsburg (D) Rockfabrik
25.11. Erstfeld (CH) Transilvania
26.11. Bologna (IT) Estragon
27.11. Lindau (D) Club Vaudeville
28.11. Bochum (D) Zeche
The undisputed leaders of the extreme, NAPALM DEATH, just finished a new video clip for the song “On The Brink Of Extinction”. The track is taken from the stunning “Time Waits For No Slave” album and the video manages to perfectly mix the intensity of NAPALM DEATH live with the shocking brutality of mankind.
Singer Mark “Barney” Greenway explains the meaning behind “On The Brink Of Extinction”: “As regards the meaning of the song, we wanted to convey that the process of evolution is an amazing thing, but also to say that as human beings we have the ability to assist where other beings suffer. In other words, we don’t just let the rule of ‘survival of the fittest’ dictate that we should just stand back and either allow things to go into decline or participate in it.”
The video was recorded and edited by Daniel Brand with animations by Danny Bacchus and you can check out the video clip on the band’s official MySpace Profile and leave your comment: www.myspace.com/napalmdeath
Furthermore, the band is currently crisscrossing the globe from Europe over to Australia and Japan before returning to Europe on the Campaign For Musical Destruction Tour in November/December 2010 with Immolation, Waking The Cadaver and more. Stay tuned for more details and see below all upcoming shows by the masters of grindcore!
NAPALM DEATH live
11.06. Copenhagen – Copenhell 2010 (Denmark)
13.06 Download Festival – 2nd Stage
01.07. Sete – Theatre de la Mer (France) + SEPULTURA + WALLS OF JERICHO
02.07. Limoges – Salle John Lennon (France)
03.07. Riga – Metalshow.lv Festival (Latvia)
08.07. Neskaupsstad – Eistnaflug Festival (Iceland)
10.07. St. Wendel / Saar – Rock am Bach Festival (Germany)
23.07. Castellana Sicula (Palermo) – Sikelian Hell Festival (Italy)
24.07. Misano Adriatico (Rimini) – Boulevard Rock Club (Italy)
25.07. Trecate (Novara) – Area Feste (Italy)
30.07. St. Goarshausen – Rock Area Festival (Germany)
06.08 . Sevastopol – MHM Fest (Ukraine)
08.08. Folkestone – Hevy Festival (Great Britain)
13.08. Jaromer – Brutal Assault Festival (Czech Republic)
14.08. Bad Berka – Partisan Festival (Germany)
21.08. Koszalin – Rockfestival Generation (Poland)
28.08. Rijssen – Elsrock (Netherlands)
01.09. Perth – t.b.a. (Australia) + DYING FETUS
02.09. Adelaide – t.b.a. (Australia) + DYING FETUS
03.09. Melbourne – t.b.a. (Australia) + DYING FETUS
04.09. Sydney – t.b.a. (Australia) + DYING FETUS
05.09. Brisbane – t.b.a. (Australia) + DYING FETUS
08.09. Osaka – Club Quattro (Japan) + VENOMOUS CONCEPT
09.09. Tokyo – Club Quattro (Japan) + VENOMOUS CONCEPT
11.09. Tokyo – Earthdom (Japan)
12.09. Nagoya – Club Quattro (Japan) + VENOMOUS CONCEPT
30.09. Thessaloniki – Block 33 (Greece)
01.10. Athens – Ann Club (Greece)
02.10. Lichtenfels – Way of Darkness Festival (Germany)
03.10. Oberhausen – Death Feast Ultimate (Germany)
06.11. Berlin – SO36 (Germany)
07.11. Iduna – Drachten (Netherlands)
10.11. Lille – L’Aeronef (France)
11.11. Vaureal – Le Forum (France)
12.11. Rennes – Antipode (France)
Miami rock trio, Shroud Eater, offers free download of debut EP
MIAMI – Shroud Eater, South Florida’s DIY grunge/stoner rock trio, is offering a free download of their debut self-titled EP, in anticipation of the release of their debut full-length record, ThunderNoise, due out this fall. Inspired by all things dark and dirty, including 70’s heavy metal, and 90’s grunge/stoner rock, the three-song EP can be downloaded at: http://www.raig.ru/AT_shroudeater.asp
“We had always seen the EP as a way to distribute our music for free to as many people as possible – it’s a basic primer on who Shroud Eater is as a band, and hopefully it left people curious and interested in hearing what we can really bring to the table,” states guitarist/vocalist Jeannie Saiz. “For the ThunderNoise sessions, we have some surprises up our sleeves, and are positive that the finished album will rock your ass off.”
The EP was recorded last year at Relax, Bro! recording studio, in the band’s hometown of Miami, and it was mixed and mastered by Jonathan Nunez. Artwork comes courtesy of Shroud Eater’s own Jeannie Saiz.
“The EP is a sludgy, doom-a-riffic slab of bottom-feeding metal that could have been reared in the mucky Florida swamps alongside alligators and slithery snakes.” – Noisecreep.com
“Two ladies and one dude kick up a mighty hurricane in Miami. They’re like if Kylesa cut out the prog and played straight-up noise rock.” – Decibel Magazine
“There’s also something very South Florida in them in the vein of Cavity and Black Cobra. The opening demonic sizzler ‘We Are Beasts’ (I feel the same way) and ‘Vesuvius’ are excellent compositions, and Ms. Saiz’s vocals are soul-damaging, which is a good thing in this context.” – Miami New Times
Shroud Eater solidified their line-up in January 2009, sporting a sound of down-tuned, overdriven guitars, a thunderous rhythm section, and raw vocals of impassioned fury. After only a few short months, the band hit the Miami rock scene like a hurricane with the release of their debut EP later that winter.
Shroud Eater will once again head into Relax, Bro! this summer to begin recording their full length debut, ThunderNoise. The band will call on the acclaimed Nick Zampiello (Torche, Converge, Against Me) of New Alliance East for mastering. Stay tuned for more information!
THE WRETCHED END was formed in 2008 as creative collaboration between Samoth (Emperor/ Zyklon) and Cosmo (Mindgrinder). Samoth and Cosmo have previously worked together on the infamous deathpunk project Scum. Cosmo has also played with Zyklon on bass when Zyklon toured Europe as special guest for Morbid Angel in 2001. The two have long spoken about collaborating on an extreme metal project. Most of the material for the debut album was composed throughout 2008, and by spring 2009 a full pre-production consisting of 11 tracks was recorded.
In the summer of 2009, Swede Nils Fjellström (Dark Funeral, In Battle, Aeon) was confirmed as the drummer. The drums were successfully recorded in Strand Studio, Oslo, September 2009. The album recording continued through the end of 2009 and was completed in the first half of 2010. The recording line-up consists of Samoth on lead and rhythm guitar, Cosmo on lead and rhythm guitar, bass and vocals and Nils Fjellström on drums.
The debut album, tentatively entitled “Ominous”, will be released through Samoth’s own imprint label, Nocturnal Art Productions and marketed and distributed worldwide by Candlelight Records. Album tracks include “Zoo Human Syndrome”, “Red Forest Alienation”, “Residing in Limbo”, “Human Corporation”, “Numbered Days”, “Of Men and Wolves”, “The Juggernaut Theory”, “Fleshbomb”, “The Armageddonist”, “With Ravenous Hunger” and “Last Judgement”. The album is scheduled for release fall 2010.
THE WRETCHED END can musically best be described as a “Deathrash”, taking elements from both Death Metal and Thrash Metal. Many of the songs are quite groove orientated, and also offer a melodic side. Influences range from old-school to a more modern Death/ Thrash metal sound.
Legendary German thrashers DESTRUCTION have just announced their return to the Nuclear Blast fold!
Comments mainman Schmier:
“Sometimes I really hate the business side of my job, we have been thru some very difficult decisions in the last couple of months. Now after some weeks of hard work, I can proudly announce that DESTRUCTION is back with NUCLEAR BLAST Records!
We really wanna thank AFM Records for the great co-operation in the last years! Cheers for supporting all our craziness, I know it wasn`t always easy folks!!
Going back to NB feels like coming back home now, working with old friends is one of the biggest achievements you can have in this music business known as a “shark tank”! Almost eleven years ago, Markus Staiger and his label made it possible for DESTRUCTION to come back in a strong way, those were some of the best years the band ever had!
Hopefully this will be the last label change of the band’s career, we have returned to our home port again and it feels absolutely fantastic! We are working on a fast & furious new album that will kick ass in January 2011. Expect the roughest piece of THRASH you’ve heard from DESTRUCTION in many years!”
And A + R manager Jaap Wagemaker:
“We are very stoked to announce that legendary German thrashers DESTRUCTION will be re-joining the nuclear family again! After a small stint with another label, the band around scene icon Schmier has made the decision to return to the their label home Nuclear Blast!
Everybody knows that Nuclear Blast was the label that brought back the band with a bang with their comeback album “All Hell Breaks Loose” and the following tour they did with Kreator and Sodom. “Hell comes to your town!” was a huge success for the band as well.
After releasing several more cds and dvds the band decided to try something new, but over the years we have stayed in contact with both Schmier and Mike.
When the time was right, we decided to sit around the table and realized that the future of both DESTRUCTION and Nuclear Blast should be a path we should walk together, and so DESTRUCTION is back home!! At the moment DESTRUCTION are hard at work to seal this deal with their most thrash sounding album for a long time! The future belongs to DESTRUCTION – the mad butcher has returned!!”
BLOODSTOCK OPEN AIR has announced a further two additions to its 2010 line up. German metallers POWERWOLF will headline the SOPHIE LANCASTER stage on Friday 13th August. The Teutonic terrors look forward to their debut UK appearance at BLOODSTOCK’s 10th anniversary event.
“It’s a big honour for us to celebrate the metal mass at this legendary festival” comments guitarist Matthew Greywolf. “This will be our first time in the UK, and getting the chance to perform at the country’s biggest Metal festival is incredible. We can’t wait to unleash mayhem there!”
Since 2003, the Metal Blade signed five piece have amassed a large and loyal fanbase with their highly entertaining live show, led by ATTILA DORN, half frontman, half evil minister. With a reputation across Europe as one of the most exciting bands out there, and BLOODSTOCK’s reputation for bringing the hottest new bands in metal to the UK for the first time, their addition to this year’s line up with this exclusive appearance is a no brainer, and we look forward to their Satanic Sermon on Friday 13th August 2010.
Joining them will be British Thrash maniacs HOSPITAL OF DEATH. Originally formed in 1994 to play a one-off show, the band rediscovered their love of old school thrash at a 2006 reunion, and have kept thrashing ever since, with fun-filled songs such as “Transformers”, “Let’s Go Apeshit” and “Stairway To Hell”.
Look out for the final BLOODSTOCK OPEN AIR 2010 headliner announcement on Tuesday 15th June.
The BLOODSTOCK OPEN AIR METAL FESTIVAL 2010 will take place at Catton Hall, Derbyshire from 13th – 15th August.
BAND LINE UP SO FAR
MESHUGGAH : CHILDREN OF BODOM : FEAR FACTORY : TWISTED SISTER
OBITUARY : ROSS THE BOSS (with Scott Columbus) : RAGE : ANDROMEDA : BEHEMOTH : DEVIN TOWNSEND : DORO : LEAVES EYES : SUFFOCATION : CANNIBAL CORPSE : KORPIKLAANI : GWAR : AMORPHIS : GOJIRA : SONATA ARCTICA : GORGOROTH : BLOODBATH : BLACK SPIDERS : EDGUY : ENSIFERUM : ONSLAUGHT : SNAKEBITE :
HOLY MOSES : BENEDICTION : ENFORCER : KILLING MACHINE : MITHRAS : THE PROPHECY STEELWING : REGARDLESS OF ME : WITCHSORROW : EVILE : BONDED BY BLOOD : MORDECAI
PURIFIED IN BLOOD : DESECRATION : POWERWOLF : HOSPITAL OF DEATH
THURINGEN, GERMANY – Germany’s politically charged heavy metal outfit, Heaven Shall Burn, has unleashed their sixth studio album, Invictus, in North America today, courtesy of Century Media Records. Invictus [the full title of which is Invictus (Iconoclast III)] is the third part of the “Iconoclast” story, following the 2008 release, Iconoclast, and the 2009 DVD, Bildersturm. Like its predecessors, Invictus will again tell stories about unconventional heroes, while shedding a different light on well-known idols and legends.
The new album debuted in the 9th position on the German Media Control Charts, when it released on May 21st. This marks the first time Heaven Shall Burn and Century Media Records have cracked the Top 10 in Germany.
Heaven Shall Burn is…
Alexander Dietz – Lead Guitars
Matthias Voigt – Drums
Maik Weichert – Lead Guitars
Marcus Bischoff – Vocals
Eric Bischoff – Bass
The new full-length, which Outburn Magazine calls, “the perfect marriage of metalcore and melodic death metal,” was recorded at Tue Madsen’s Antfarm Studio in Aarhus, Denmark. The album was produced by Heaven Shall Burn’s guitarists, Alexander Dietz and Maik Weichert.
Holocaust and Krieg formed Eastern Front at the end of 2006. With an interest in the Second World War, and its effect on Europe, they were interested in exploring the history, through music; and from a subjective, personal and emotional, point of view.
Eastern Front takes a new approach to Black Metal – which has been labelled “War Torn Black Metal”. Musically, they retain a traditional Black Metal sound but experiment with other genres, like Doom, Death, folk and classical, to create a range of different atmospheres in their songs. Each song evokes the emotional experiences of battle, encompassing hope, pride, comradeship, misery, sorrow and victory.
Within a few months of forming, Eastern Front recorded a demo CD, “Promo 2007″, to get other people’s opinions about the music. Due to the decision to ‘release’ the tracks and market the CD online, the CDs (limited to 350 copies) quickly sold out and the overall response was extremely positive.
This encouraged the band to start working on further material to create a live set and tour. In the meantime, the demo tracks, and the further release of the track “Blood on Snow” raised the band’s profile to the extent that they beat over 150 other bands to be voted “The Metal Underground’s “Best Unsigned Metal Band 2007”.
“Blood on Snow”, the title track from the forthcoming debut album, was inspired by Gunter K. Koschorrek’s book “Blood Red Snow: The Memoirs of a German Soldier on the Eastern Front”. The song was recorded on Remembrance Sunday (11th November) 2007 and, along with its promotional video that has been played on American TV channels, has been responsible for generating considerable interest in Eastern Front.
This has included featuring in Zero Tolerance Magazine and on both Metal Hammer Magazine and Zero Tolerance cover mount CDs, as well as current airplay on several radio stations including Total Rock Radio, ICR FM and BBC Radio Essex.
In April 2008 the band featured on Total Rock Radio and had a two-hour feature on the station, which included interviews, airplay and a competition to win Eastern Front merchandise.
Most recently, Eastern Front teamed up with The Meads of Asphodel and 28 other UK Metal bands in December 2009 for Terrorizer Magazine’s exclusive Black Metal Xmas song titled “Song of A Hundred Roars”.
Eastern Front’s music also features in the Vertigo Films production “Faintheart”. From over 300 bands of all musical genres, Faintheart’s director, Vito Rocco, short-listed Eastern Front and four other bands to face a public vote – which Eastern Front won. The film was released in UK Cinemas in January 2009 and on DVD in February 2009. “Blood on Snow” also features on the soundtrack album released by EMI Records, alongside songs by Saxon, Human League, Tenpole Tudor and Katie Melua.
Eastern Front continues to tour. Having played throughout the UK alongside bands like: Primordial, Belphegor, Swallow the Sun, Shining, Taake, Skyforger, Primal Fear, Blaze Bayley, Brainstorm, Insision, Hate, Helheim, Averse Sefira, Obtest, Hecate Enthroned and Desecration gaining very positive reviews in major Webzines and Magazines. They also embarked on their first tour of Europe, September 2008, supporting Lord Belial and Graveworm. This tour included festival dates in Slovakia, Slovenia, Serbia, Romania, Bulgaria, and Hungary.
Eastern Front returned to Romania August 2009 to headline “Stay Metal Forever Festival 2009” in Bucharest and in September 2009 they were the main support band to Blaze Bayley on the “Best of British Night” at Metalfest 2009 in Dudley, UK.
The end of 2009 leading into the beginning of 2010 saw Eastern Front being main support to Huldrefolk, Obtest and Belphegor in London and playing at Terrorizer’s Causing Chaos for Cancer Fest 2010 in Newcastle. Gaining more positive reviews, including an 8/10 live review in Metal Hammer Magazine.
Eastern Front recently finished recording their debut album, “Blood on Snow”, at Andy La Rocque’s (King Diamond) Sonic Train Studios in Varberg, Sweden. “Blood on Snow” was then produced by Anders Backelin (Lord Belial) in March 2010.
Eastern Front are now signed to Candlelight Records and will release their debut album “Blood on Snow” later in the year. This album features a track by Les Smith (Anathema) and Brian Moss (DFA) titled “Dvenadtzat Kilometrov ot Moskvy” and is sure to take UK Black Metal to the next level.
The band had this to say:
“Eastern Front are very proud to have signed to the well-respected Candlelight Records. Candlelight Records have always been our target label for our album releases due to the number of great artists and albums they have unleashed on the world, which includes, Emperor, Opeth, Enslaved, Obituary, Absu and 1349. To now be part of this on going army of successful artists is a great achievement for our band. We feel that Candlelight Records respects and understands our artistic outlet and goals and with this new alliance we hope to take Eastern Front and U.K Black Metal to the next level.”
Three legendary heavy metal guitarists KK Downing (Judas Priest), Kimmo Kuusniemi (Sarcofagus) and Varg Vikernes (Burzum) were interviewed for an extensive US rock webzine Peacedogman “Guitargument” article.
This in depth interview makes comparisons between three generations of influential metal guitarist – KK Downing from the 60’s, Kuusniemi from the 70’s and Vikernes from the 80’s… and asks – amongst other things – about their music making methods, guitar preferences and the essence of metal. The article has some brilliant and interesting revelations!
Guitargument: The Three Guitarists interview by Devamitra Volksfaust:
“Thousands of years have seen generations of bards and minstrels shape wood, caress strings with their fingers and pick ever more complex and varied tunes for the entertainment of kings and peasants, for joy and for grief. It’s been roughly 80 years since the magnetic pick-up was invented and soon was to be connected to electric amplifiers, to make guitar the unique conducting rod between the musical forces of the past and the future. Everything from pacts with the devil to manifests against social oppression have been channeled through the thundering vibrations of the “axe”. There would be no rock music as we know without it, much less heavy metal or punk. Whichever your preferred strain may be, it’s fair to assume that a reader of this site is more or less particular, if not religious, about commanding guitar riffs and intense guitar solos.
So it was high time to arrange some serious discussion about this guitar business. Heavy metal heroes come and go and each new issue of the bigger guitar magazines demonstrates a hyped-up melo-death geek or self-possessed power metal “how many notes per second” twat bragging about expensive equipment and superficial guitar tech trivia. But as can be expected, they rarely get down to the essence of things, which is how to cut the crap and make the magic happen. The surge of infernal energy right through your brain when the guitar-driven band pulls out all the stops and reaches for the night skies: the metal moments.
K.K. Downing formed his first heavy rock band with his pal Ian Hill in 1969, at 18 years old. As a member of JUDAS PRIEST he has toured Europe, America and Asia countless times, performed on 17 albums, profoundly influenced heavy metal and speed metal in sound and presence while blowing our brains out with instantly memorable riffs and some of the most famous and widely imitated solo work in heavy metal.
Kimmo Kuusniemi, a son of little northern country called Finland where no-one had heard the words “heavy metal” before, formed his egyptomaniacal entity SARCOFAGUS in 1977, shooting both figurative and literal fire from his guitar in magisterial stage shows far ahead of the times. He released three classics of Finnish occult and progressive metal filled with his unique amplified guitar histrionics before moving on to other media , while he has continued to preach the sermon of true metal to unbelievers and act as the benevolent godfather of the Finnish metal scene.
Varg Vikernes seems more like a myth than a real person, the antagonistic metal magician of Norway, the progenitor of BURZUM, who first picked up the guitar in 1987 and barely five years later, unleashed a multidimensional wave of darkness upon the world – one that we would come to know as black metal. Hypnotic, ethereal and frightening, the runic spells of Varg’s possession never stayed the same, formulating seven albums full of the mysteries of the forest and the past, weakly imitated countless times since not only in metal, but in post rock, industrial and indie drone as well.”