Synesthesia is the first single from Counterstroke album Mindtrip Into Oblivion Counterstroke’s new video is out now! Synesthesia is the first single from Counterstroke album Mindtrip Into Oblivion (Bitterpill Music – 2014).
The video, a Bitterpill Music Production, was directed by Federico Cavallini, in collaboration with Davide Pini, Director of Photography.
Synesthesia is the song that probably best describes Mindtrip Into Oblivion’s philosophy: the constant search for our identity, descending into the hell of our own fears, and then tackle the climb again. Synesthesia video express our inner journey, dreamlike and contradictory, searching for our own truth. The video’s protagonist plans for his entire life his escape back into space, to break from his inner torments caused by the difficult situation in his family. Picking up the pieces for his project he finds himself, but in the end he realizes that the escape from the problems brought him only to loneliness and failure.
Diabolical Death/ Black Metal giants, BELPHEGOR, have uploaded the official video clip for title-track of their new upcoming album“Conjuring The Dead”! The clip was shot and edited this past May by director Walter Fanninger, and features German fetish/tattoo model Makani Terror. Check it out here: http://smarturl.it/ConjuringTheDead
Conjuring the Dead is the tenth studio album from one of metal’s most bizarre and authentic bands; BELPHEGOR. Conjuring the Deadwill be unleashed on August 5th (North America) August 8th (EU) and August 11th (UK/FR) via Nuclear Blast. Fans can pre-order the album in several formats here.
Nitte Valo (ex-Battle Beast) joins Burning Point as a new singer
Finnish melodic metal band, Burning Point, recruited a new singer and a new keyboardist. “2009 when we parted ways with Pasi (Hiltula), we decided we would continue without an “official” player in the band and use a “hired gun” in the gigs. Jarkko (Väisänen) was our first choice and he has been with us for a while now. He is a solid player and really cool guy to be with. We are very happy that he decided to join BP ranks as an official keyboardist”, band states.
Pete also decided to step down from the lead-vocalist position and continue as a guitarist. “Well, it has been a one helluva ride for 15 years to handle both, vocals and guitar, but now we thought it was time to try something totally new. I love playing and singing live, I love to be on the spotlight…but also I want the band to be in constant motion and moving forward”, says Pete. “Nitte is perfect choice as a new frontma…oh woman : ), very powerful voice and an awesome stage performer!”
“These guys are awesome and the music, just great! I love all the Burning Point songs! I’ve been away from the world of heavy metal for a while now, but now with these guys, I am back! I’m very excited and anxious to start recording the new stuff and just waiting to be on stage with Burning Point”, Nitte explains.
Band will start recording the new album within two weeks and the working title is “Polttopiste”. More news coming very soon, stay fired up!
This October, the career of rock icon OZZY OSBOURNE will be celebrated with the Epic Records/Legacy Recordings MEMOIRS OF A MADMAN collections.
Due out October 7, MEMOIRS OF A MADMAN (CD) serves as a career spanning audio release, featuring 17 of OZZY’s greatest hit singles compiled in one place for the first time in his career and will be available in a single CD, two-LP set and two-LP picture disc set configurations. Pre-order now available at Amazon.
The MEMOIRS OF A MADMAN (DVD) is a definitive visual two-disc DVD set which includes classic music videos, along with unreleased and out-of-print live performances, plus interviews from his solo career. Both sets offer fans of the multi-platinum recording artist, Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee and three-time Grammy® winning singer and songwriter hours of entertainment from OZZY’s distinguished solo career. Pre-order also available at Amazon.
On July 22, fans got a sneak peek of MEMOIRS OF A MADMAN via Twitter. By using #OzzyRules in accordance with the number of tweets, engaged fans were able to unscramble the cover artwork and unlock a video teaser (http://smarturl.it/ozzy_memoirs_teaser).
OSBOURNE’s ongoing solo career spans four decades–as both a successful solo artist and as the lead singer of Black Sabbath–and his music is as relevant today as ever; it still resonates daily on TV, in movies, on radio and at stadium sports events. OZZY’s latest solo release–his tenth studio album, 2010’s Scream–debuted at No. 4 on the Billboard charts, featuring the No. 1 Mainstream Rock smash “Let Me Hear You Scream.”
From the first notes of OZZY’s 1980’s solo debut Blizzard Of Ozz and follow-up Diary Of A Madman to classic albums No More Tears and Scream, no hard rock solo artist has had quite the same reach as OZZY; his distinctive vocal delivery and larger than life onstage persona quickly endeared him to millions of rockers. OZZY immediately had the attention of fans of heavy music with rock staples “Crazy Train,” “Mr. Crowley” and “Flying High Again.” With the 1991 release No More Tears, OZZY continued his radio success with acclaimed and hugely successful singles “No More Tears” and the smash hit “Mama, I’m Coming Home.”
The track list is as follows:
1. Crazy Train
2. Mr. Crowley
3. Flying High Again
4. Over The Mountain
5. Bark At The Moon
6. The Ultimate Sin
7. Miracle Man
8. No More Tears (edit)
9. Mama, I’m Coming Home
10. Road To Nowhere
11. Perry Mason
12. I Just Want You
13. Gets Me Through
15. I Don’t Wanna Stop
16. Life Won’t Wait
17. Let Me Hear You Scream
Details on the Memoirs of a Madman 2 DVD are as follows:
DVD One features more than two dozen of OZZY’s classic and unforgettable music videos from across his discography, including a bonus alternate version of “Mama, I’m Coming Home” and making-of footage from the videos “Let Me Hear You Scream” and “Life Won’t Wait.”
DVD Two features live performances and interview clips spanning OZZY’s solo journey, much of which makes its debut on DVD. Some selections have appeared on long out-of-print VHS releases; others will be seen here for the first time, making this an essential package for fans old and new. OZZY’s union of music and visuals could not be more perfect, and the Memoirs Of A Madman DVD showcases that to brilliant effect.
The Memoirs Of A Madman DVD track listing is as follows:
Pioneering German heavy metallers ACCEPT have released the first of three online trailers for their upcoming new album Blind Rage, due out in North America on August 19th. Episode One features guitar player Wolf Hoffman discussinghow the album title and artwork were selected. “It’s really about aggression,” he states. “Metal has never been about love and peace. It’s always been in-your-face.”
Watch the video on the Nuclear Blast YouTube channel:
Blind Rage was produced by renowned audio engineer Andy Sneap (EXODUS, MEGADETH, OPETH). The album is available as an exclusive mail-order import edition, import box set, import vinyl, digi-pak, and jewel-case CD versions. Pre-order bundles include an exclusive artwork t-shirt + a poster & photo card and can be purchased now at the Nuclear Blast USA Webshop.
SLAYER HAS COPIED W.A.S.P. FOR THEIR ENTIRE CAREER.
THE TOP TEN.
Over the years I have spent (wasted?) lots of time looking at album covers and comparing bands that I enjoy. I noticed a distinct pattern of W.A.S.P doing something and then later Slayer doing something extremely similar. Coincidence or rip-off? Let’s examine the evidence. Enjoy this feature. PS. Please read my disclaimer below…
The rock band, MR BIG, announced today that its drummer, Pat Torpey, has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease and unfortunately will be unable to perform all of his normal drumming duties on the band’s upcoming World Tour in support of the band’s new album, …The Stories We Could Tell.
“ I’ve been dealing with Parkinson’s symptoms for the past couple of years and only recently received a confirmed diagnosis as symptoms worsened. I intend to fight the disease with same intensity and tenacity that I drum and live my life by and will continue recording and performing, as always, to the best of my ability. “, stated Torpey.
MR BIG intends to announce a drummer in the near future whom will handle most of MR BIG’s drumming duties on the Fall 2014 tour and expects Torpey to jump on the drums on suitable live songs as well as participating in the groups acoustic set.
Jolly Roger Records proudly announces the come-back of Italian GUNFIRE with their new concept-album “Age of Supremacy”, out on 8th September on Cd format. The idea behind the album is the history of mankind that left the earth 1000 years ago and is now divided into two factions that evolved in different ways. The story is not based on the fight between good and evil but rather the inability of communication between two peoples in the distant and hypothetical future, as often happens today. This is the reason of war and destruction.
Gunfire were born in Ancona in 1983 and in 1984 they recorded their first, self-titled mini Lp (4 tracks), nowadays a pretty rare and expensive collectable item. They broke in 1986 and came back in 2000 with original line-up, except the drummer, adding a second guitar. “Thunder of War” was released in 2005 by German label Battle Cry. Drummer Marco Bianchella plays also in symphonic-gothic band The Dogma. Read the rest of this entry »
DOOMOCRACY from Heraklion city (island of Crete, Greece), deliver Doom Metal at its best. Amazing riffing, fantastic lead guitar parts, pounding rhythm section and one of the most brilliant voices you can hear around. Eight original compositions representing the band’s pure talent and magnificent songwriting. Fans of Solitude Aeturnus, Candlemass, Memento Mori and Veni Domine, should not
miss this one. Read the rest of this entry »
Swiss folk-metal pioneers, ELUVEITIE, have uploaded a quick teaser clip for the upcoming official music video for their track”The Call Of The Mountains”! Check it out here:
“The Call Of The Mountains” is the second single off their upcoming album, Origins, and the band has recorded it in all four of Switzerland’s beautiful national languages. Check out the multilingual track video (incl. all versions) here:
“This one’s long overdue,” states the band. “Another Origins song you say? Well, yes indeed. Finally, a song about our beautiful mountains? That, too. But also an idea we’ve considered for a number of years now: a song released not just in English and/or Gaulish, but in all four of Switzerland’s beautiful national languages! So we present to you: ‘The Call Of The Mountains’! A song about the long searched for destination at the end of the epic journey of the Celts, who were to become the Helvetians – a song about our mystical and unparalleled alps. Besides the English album version, you will find the full song in Swiss German, French, Italian and of course Romansh both on Nuclear Blast’s mail-order edition and on iTunes, where you will of course be able to get them separately, too. We can’t wait to hear how you like it!” Read the rest of this entry »
The album ‘The Art Of Vengeance’, released by Cogumelo Records in Brazil and by Greyhaze Records worldwide, is the sixth studio album from NervoChaos, the material was produced by Italian Alex Azzali and the cover art was done by Marco Donida.
REVIEW BY RYAN SPEARMAN
PHOTOS BY RACHAEL GRIFFITHS-BLACK LOTUS PHOTOGRAPHY
It’s that time of year again! Tech Fest returned for its 3rd year in the rather spacious Newark Showground, the words “step up” would be seen as a major understatement. The first major perk of this year was showers, and pretty decent ones at that. Trust me when I say that this was an absolute god send. As for the music, 2 stages were placed in one of the many extinct hangers of the former RAF base, with a 3rd added for after show parties and workshops. Spread over 4 days, the line up was a combo of bands coming up in the tech metal scene, as well as titans like Vildhjarta, Monuments and returning from a 7 year hiatus, the ever innovative SikTh. If you like our metal with that techy, groovy tang, then I guess you were there. If not, why not?
THURSDAY 10th JULY
Being the first band on at a festival is not an easy task by any stretch of the imagination. But Bristol’s VALIS ABLAZE took the bull by the horns and did a pretty bang up job all things considered. The quintet were loaded to the brim with enthusiasm and entertainment value, especially singer Adam Leonard, who is armed to the teeth with all the facial expressions and mannerisms of a grizzled old troll living under a bridge (It’s a sight to behold). The guy who stood in for guitars last minute deserves a pie, as up until this was mentioned, no one was aware of this fact what so ever, as Adam’s trusted minstrels were as solid as a rock. The sky’s the limit for Valis Ablaze as they continue to go from strength to strength, and after a performance like that, they deserved to be higher on the bill. (4/5)
THE COLOUR PINK IS GAY were intense enough, yet it was the acoustics of the second stage that proved to be their undoing. Their super sludgy, uber heavy sound was in a constant battle with the prefab construction of the former hanger, and alas, it was a losing battle. That being said though, when you could decipher wants going on, there was a certain charm to their sound, and the all or nothing approach to their set was their saving grace. They’ll be dammed if any sound problems were going to ruin their day. (3/5)
THE SUN EXPLODES, who rely more on catchy choruses and swooping melodies, rather than brute force, were plagued by the same sound problems, but not on the monumental scale as TCPIG . With a guitarist painted up like one of William Wallace’s battle brethren, they were an absolute delight to watch, and listen to. But if I could fault them at all, it’s that their choruses have been stuck in my head for days. A true sign of a job well done, although seeing singer, Dave Maclachlan’s bare ass, did add a sour note on their performance . (4/5)
Turin natives NOISE TRAIL IMMERSION, were that blend of tech and insanity which melts your brain, and leave you cowering on the floor in the foetal position, dribbling uncontrollably. I still have no idea what happened, but it defiantly gets two quivering thumbs up. A chaotic maelstrom of super techy riffs, complex drum patterns and crushing low ends resulted in a distorted colossus laying waste to the ancient Greek village that was the audience. (4/5)
Devon’s own IDIOM had little to no crowd, but that didn’t stop them from absolutely smashing it. People who didn’t attend dropped the ball there. There were top drawer in their execution, and despite being a bit more “poppy” than everyone else at the festival, they were well received by the 10′s in attendance. Idiom were a tour de force in every sense of the phrase, it was just a shame with the poor turnout, as this had the potential to be something special. (4/5)
DISPERSE were an odd one. At first, I remember complaining to myself that I could barely hear anything. Then it was as if the planets aligned, and everything was the epitome of perfection, even the risky move of adding a prodigy cover paid dividends. Guitarist Jakub Zyteci, was a machine as always, and it’s easy to see why he’s one of Europe’s best up and coming guitarists. Hard to believe he’s only 21, it’s disgusting, but in a good way. Their final song “Message From Atlantis” nearly left me in tears, and everyone else demanding one more song. A truly sterling effort. (5/5)
Liverpool heroes CARCER CITY brought the pain, despite not being “tech” by any stretch of the imagination, but they already knew that. It didn’t stop them from stirring up a frenzy like a swarm of wasps, and the crowd loved them for it. Carcer City themselves were like children with ADHD, never staying in one spot too long, and playing point blank in people’s faces. I admittedly hadn’t really heard much of Carcer City heading into this, but left saying to myself “touché Carcer City, touché”. (4/5)
The ever monstrous MARTYR DEFILED had the same destructive power as the Hiroshima bomb, as you were greeted by crushing breakdown after crushing breakdown. Their stage presence was mighty, and the crowd were out for blood. Well, most of them, as it soon became clear that some of the more “tech inclined” began to lose interest. The decision to walk off to Bump ‘n’ Grind by R Kelly, was a master stroke however. Imagine a room full of people throwing down in the pit, yet grinding up against each other. It was just as funny as it sounds. (4/5)
Rounding off a rather eventful Thursday were CHIMP SPANNER, brainchild of one of the “scenes” most influential stringsmen, Paul Ortiz. The lack of bassist did nothing to stop their sound being as beefy as always (the backing track would of helped however). The now temporarily 3 piece put on a clinic, and were just flawless on their timing and execution. Being so far away from the crowd, and not having a singer, may of hindered any other band. But their ace in the hole was an absolute blinder of a light show, kudos to whoever was behind this, as this compensated for the lack of frontman, big time! (4.5/5)
FRIDAY 11th JULY
Due to the poor navigational skills of myself, and an unnamed accomplice. Getting lost in and around Newark-On-Trent made me miss Mountains Under Oceans (apologies). But I did catch BEAR, who tried their best to inject some life in to the obviously hung-over crowd, but for the most part, to no avail. The band themselves, although a bit repetitive at times, carried on their audio onslaught regardless. Although, if you had them play during those raucous crowds of the previous night may of been an entirely different story all together. (3/5)
French melodic death metallers ATLANTIS CHRONICLES laid waste to the second stage in their first ever UK show. Attendees were greeted with an awesome wall of delightful heaviness, fiddly riffs and some over stretched lunges. I could keep going on about how heavy and tight they were, but I’ll assume you get the idea. But trust me, they delivered in more ways than one, and the crowd woke up too, which is always a bonus. (4/5)
EUMERIA were a stark contrast to AC, relying more on slick musicianship over brute strength, yet just as rewarding. Also their first UK gig, the Americans were armed with the most traditional prog of the festival so far, that’s not to say they weren’t heavy. They were just heavy without being aggressive, an accomplishment failed by many, and one that everyone can agree, worked in their favour. (4/5)
There was a lot of hype going around on social media about NO SIN EVADES HIS GAZE and rightfully so. Being only their 2nd gig, there were still signs of inexperience, which in some ways may of hindered their performance. But that being said, their brand of tech-metalcore was, for lack of a better word, intense. The potential is most certainly there, and once they get their act together, they’ll be your favourite band for sure. I predict big things. (4/5)
The much more hardcore sounding BLACK DOGS were rock solid in their execution, all with a frantic veneer painted over the top. The security personals denial of them climbing on the equipment stopped the destruction on a widespread level, which leads to the question, ‘If they played with the same crowd as Martyr Defiled, how nuts would this have been?’. Especially at the end, where both guitarists were playing right in the middle of a wall of death, you have to admire the balls to pull off said stunt. (3.5/5)
The first thing that hit me about KADINJA, was that quintessential French sound, vast soundscape ambiance, mixed an almighty sense of groove. Unfortunately, this very young band failed to deliver their full potential. I wasn’t sold on the singer at all, which to me, sounded like he didn’t fit with the band what so ever, although he has a certain guttural prowess. The band had a habit of chucking too many ideas in to the mix. I’m not saying they’re bad musicians, it’s just they have a while to find their true voice. (2/5)
Coming from north of the border, FROM SORROW TO SERENITY took no prisoners, and were so heavy, it would make you want to punch your Nan in the face (please don’t, it’s just an analogy). The addition of new material just shows how far they’ve come as a band, and dare I say it, they may rival Black Tongue as one of Britain’s heaviest bands. They didn’t put a foot wrong in 20 odd minutes of raw primal fury. I had a neck before they played, afterwards, I can only liken its consistency to instant mashed potato. (4.5/5)
RED SEAS FIRE lost a part of their identity when Nolly left for Periphery a couple of years back, with many fans saying they had lost their technical edge because of it. Fast forward to the present day, meaty tones and break neck grooves are the remedy for the loss suffered, and man alive! Does it work. Perhaps the singer Robin Adams wasn’t on par with some of his highs, yet the lows more than made up for it. Sounding like a roaring leviathan from the deep, which held hands with Petey G’s monster tones, and a rock solid rhythm tandem. The end result was widespread devastation! (4/5)
A 14 string guitarist, I’ll let that sink in for a moment, it’s nuts right? This is what happened when FELIX MARTIN hit the stage. Yet once this novelty wore off, it failed to deliver to its full potential. I put this down to the basic fact it was just two guys (guitarist and bassist), and a backing track is no real substitute for a full band line up, which leads to the question, how good could this have been with a full line up? Still though, seeing a guy play so many strings, so well, was sight to see for sure. (3.5/5)
It was business as usual for second stage headliners NO CONSEQUENCE , as they came at you with the same ferocity as a buttered up Charles Bronson. New material suggests a darker direction from the band, who are beginning to carve a nice little niche for themselves, and a direction which was more than well received. They just kept coming and coming, with wave after wave of technical brilliance. The boys from Guildford have a very bright future ahead of them, either in this form, or their one of their other forms. They also performed as a System Of A Down cover band the previous night, and yes, it was just as good! (4.5/5)
DEVIL SOLD HIS SOUL have been together for what seems like an eternity, or perhaps a little over 10 years, which in tech years, is a lot. Never the less, they showed that potential that people were talking about way back when. DSHD showed as to why they’re one of the best post-metal going today, an almighty blend of twiddly post rock ambiance, with a crushing undertone of distorted grooves. The combination of which resulted in an angst riddled performance which was near perfection. (4.5/5)
The contrast of crowds compared to the previous night had never been so evident as it was for GOROD. I put this down to a hung-over dark cloud that had crept its way onto the main stage. The French band were as tight as a gnat’s lady parts, and as heavy as the hammer of Thor, yet there was evidently something missing which I can’t quite put my finger on. Perhaps with the insanity of the previous night, this would of been something spectacular. (3.5/5)
Friday headliners VILDHJARTA however were something completely different. I have to admit it, they were quite possibly the heaviest band I’ve seen to date. Considering I thought the same of Electric Wizard the previous weekend, an accomplishment well deserved. The inventors of “thall” were simply breathtaking, with their unique style of complex drum patterns, and intricate riffs. Coupled with a sense of viciousness, it was enough to break the crowds shackles of last night’s inebriation, and turn the front of the main stage into a mess of broken bodies, lemon faces and flailing hair. (5/5)
SATURDAY 12th JULY
ORION had the unenviable task of kicking off the day, and seeing as it was so early, I’m surprised they nailed it as well as they did. Their improvement since the first tech fest has been astronomical, and there truly is no way in telling how far they can potentially go. The small, yet oddly rowdy, crowd showed their love, as the Manchester five piece laid claim as to why they should be playing at this level, and rightfully so. (4/5)
German instrumentalists THE BELLEROPHON PROJECT were a band which I found a bit strange to watch. Every time I began I began to lose interest, they’d throw thrown in something subtle that have my full undivided attention. I also think the odd 9 string bass hybrid might of had something to do with it. That being said though, the performance did lack a certain entertainment value, and without any decent focal point to think of, it took a lot to remain engaged for the whole set. (3/5)
Despite their struggles with the English language, LIES OF NAZCA are honing in on the ancient art of riff, of which there were plenty. The Italians stormed through a set, which although not very entertaining to watch, sounded huge. It’s still early for them, but given time, they can go on to achieve big things, as trust me, some of those riffs alone can carry them all the way. (3.5/5)
ACODA’s set was full to the brim with enthusiasm, and unfazed by the rising temperature of the main stage they proceeded to storm through song after song without breaking a sweat (not literally, just a turn of phrase, as anyone who was there will tell you otherwise). There was certainly a riff fest happening, as Acoda had ample up their sleeves. (4/5)
Next on the second stage, was Belgium’s NOW VOYAGER, who had a habit of lulling you into a false sense of security with gentle ambient parts, then knocking you down with the power of a sledgehammer to the face. But alas, in some aspects, they didn’t fully deliver. It was strange, on the surface they were good, yet I wasn’t really wowed by them, something was definitely missing, and I can’t quite put my finger on what.(3/5)
With the main stage as hot as a sumo wrestler sitting on your face in a sauna, and one of the biggest turnouts of the day so far, DREWSIF STALIN’S MUSICAL ENDEAVORS brought entertainment values to a new high. If only for Drewsif’s million and one groove faces alone. The addition of Nikki Simmons added a new dynamic, not seen when they played last year, who in turn was a ball of energy, despite the punishing heat. In relation to the heat, and feeling the onset of heatstroke, I apologize for missing Stone Circle, who followed on the second stage. (Sorry lads). (4/5)
Standing in for Napoleon at the very last minute, TERRAFORM played to hardly anyone, as that heat became too much for most mortal men. Sounding as meaty as a sirloin, perhaps because of the 3 guitarists. Terraform dazzled the handful in attendance, with their super bouncy grooves, and drum patterns, which I can only liken to Blaine firing Ol’ Painless in the film Predator. (4.5/5)
It was a shame a few sound problems hit MAXI CURNOW, as at times it was a tad uncomfortable to listen to. Yet when everything was running smoothly, it was a master class, pure and simple, and the added element of Mike Malyan (Monuments/ex Algorithm) added some spice to the already delicious meatball of sound. I really commend this performance, as Maxi himself informed the crowd that they only had 2 days to prepare. My feelings on this can be summed up two words, fair play. (4/5)
Sunderland deathmongers NEXILVA have set up a sort of residency for themselves at Tech Fest, playing all 3 to date, and you can see why. You look up intensity in the dictionary, and I bet you’ll find a picture of vocalist Gaz King staring right back at you, so young, yet so much rage. The rest of the band were as heavy as always, so heavy, that I bet the structural integrity of the hanger had never been tested like that before, even back in its RAF heyday. (4.5/5)
I had been saying all weekend, that the festival had an old school rave vibe to it, never was this truer than when THE ALGORITHM hit the stage. Not only fiddling around with his little box of tricks, Remi Gallego, became Tron’s answer to a Jack of all trades, playing guitar and a modified keytar also. A move which lent itself really well to his brand of metal/EDM/chiptune/any genre ever created style of music. The only thing missing was a 20ft tall inflatable unicorn, with lasers coming out of its eyes, but given the circumstances, this would have to suffice. (4.5/5)
Another band playing to nearly no one were META-STASIS, did they care though? Did they fuck! They still played as if they were playing to thousands, and I take my hat off for them doing so. The structural integrity of the building was tested once again, as they rivalled Nexilva in their sheer power, yet they played to probably one of the smallest crowds of the festival. That part I didn’t get, as someone of their calibre deserved more. (4/5)
Not metal, let alone tech, JON GOMM still won over a massive crowd, and actually had the biggest ovation of anybody who has ever played had Tech Fest in my opinion. My jaw literally dropped the second he started playing, as he was doing things with his guitar that aren’t possible for any normal man, but he’s John Gomm, so anything and everything was possible. The cover of Chaka Khan’s ‘Ain’t Nobody’ sent goosebumps throughout my body, and ending with the song so many of us love him for, ‘Passionflower’. Having him on the bill goes to show how diverse Tech Fest has become, and he nailed it. Bravo. (5/5)
Coming on to ‘Go the Distance’ from the Disney movie Hercules, MONUMENTS set the tone of where all of us were heading to, and things started out so brightly for them too. But trouble struck when Mike Malyan’s bass drum needed fixing, not once, but twice. Yet cool as you like, singer Chris Barretto wasn’t phased at all, and treated the audience with a rendition of ‘Another one bites the dust’, and a terrible joke, or 9. Technical hitches aside, they were a powerhouse as always, and everything else, was just a statement as to why they’re one of the hottest up and coming bands in the country today. (4.5/5)
SUNDAY 13th JULY
Nursing the mother of all hangovers (Honey JD is a cruel mistress), I dragged my carcass in to watch DOOMED FROM DAY ONE, I’d have to admit, I wasn’t prepared for the assault to the senses. But don’t take that as a bad comment, quite the opposite actually. Despite attempts to start circle pits falling on deaf ears, DFDO persevered and made do with the situation, and provided that shot of adrenaline to the arm that everyone needed. (3.5/5)
Opening the main stage were SHIELDS, and it soon became evident that this wasn’t to be their day. I’m sure that if fate had everything going their way, then they would be a force to be reckoned with, but alas, it just wasn’t the case. Granted vocalist Joe Edwards was a mass of energy and frizzy hair, but his vocal interplay with guitarist Sam Kubrick raised a few eyebrows in the crowd. I’ll give them an A* for effort, but fell short from the sheer quality shown by previous acts. (1.5/5)
Norway’s KODEKS were a prime example of a band not living up to their potential. There were the obvious flashes of brilliance, as at times the sounded as beefy as Bovril. But in other aspects, they fell a bit short. The vocals were all over the place, and lacked any form of consistency, but never the less, they weren’t phased, and managed to pull it off by the skin of their teeth. I will say this though, once they get it together, they’ll be a true force to be reckoned with. (2/5)
It was very questionable how AEOLIST were going to pull this off, considering their drummer had fractured his hand just mere days before. To say he, and the band themselves, pulled it off, would be a massive understatement. Their atmospheric elements paint giant soundscapes to transport you to a far away place, yet there’s this deep seeded aggression about them, which will tear your face off when you least expect it. This is one band you need in your life, and I don’t use that term lightly. (4.5/5)
AEON ZEN were another traditional prog sounding band, yet, they sounded disgustingly filthy in parts with some sheer demonic tones. It was the right blend of new and old, but despite being technically sound in their execution, it still didn’t reach that to level as you would expect them to. I don’t know what it was, maybe the cold atmosphere hanging over the second stage, or the handful of sound problems. Whatever it was, it held them back and separated them from being good, to being great. (3.5/5)
On the main stage, EXIST IMMORTAL put on a groove clinic, as the Tech Fest mainstays snapped necks everywhere! They were good at their first Tech Fest outing, but this something else, something I don’t think anyone was expecting, considering they were last minute replacements. This rampaging juggernaut more than exceeded their potential, as all 5 members were in perfect unity, like a Power Rangers Megazord, the only thing lacking was the overuse of pyro and terrible costumes. (4.5/5)
I had never heard of DESTRAGE going into this, it soon became clear that I was a fool for not discovering them sooner. It was truly a contest to see how many genres they could squeeze into a 20 odd minute set, as the Italians were a pretty kaleidoscope of noise, which made you confused as to whether bust shapes, or throw down in the pit. Their high octane performance has led me to this conclusion, easily my favourite discovery of the weekend. (4.5/5)
The UK debut of ALAYA went as well as expected for the Chicago trio, as the threesome performed like a well oiled machine. It’s just it was a little too unmemorable for my liking, nothing really stood out. I’m not saying they were bad, but just being tight and heavy can only get you so far. Maybe this is just me being biased, as I’m not exactly Alaya’s number one fan, and I’m sure if you were a fan, then this would of been perfect for you. (3.5/5)
Featuring a handful of singers, and Ryan Robb of Orion fame, FRIEND FOR A FOE were oozing with sick tones, and a stupidly heavy aura. Fresh off touring the UK, FFAF took it in their stride, and proved themselves at one of the biggest stages of them all (Well, in tech terms anyway). Although not particularly groundbreaking, they were still dominant in every other aspect, and left me feeling like one happy camper.(4/5)
MODERN DAY BABYLON have become somewhat of a favourite of mine the past couple of years, and the lads from The Czech Republic didn’t disappoint. OK, so maybe it wasn’t the most spectacular band to watch, but what they lack aesthetic beauty, they make up for with an extremely vast range of tones and grooves to wet the palette. Although, having Maxi Curnow as a guest on one of the tracks made up for what they were lacking in some respect. (4/5)
At last, a full ALIASES line up at tech fest! Those of you who know the situation from last year, will know that it was a real pain in the ass that they pulled out. But back to this year, and I think everyone can agree, it was worth the wait. It’s always going to be hard to live in the shadow of Pin’s “other band”, but with a set consisting of a fair bit of new material, Aliases have nothing to fear, as it shows they have what it takes to give “said band” a run for its money. The combo of highly techy riffs from the tag team of Leah and pin, as well as the firm, but fair vocal style of Joe Rosser, was enough to make a wolverine purr. (5/5)
I’ll have to hold my hands up, and say I’m not the biggest fan of THE SAFETY FIRE , but I can still appreciate a good band at work. They sounded huge, as the sound was so crisp for their set, although the performance itself wasn’t quite enough to change my opinion of the band, very close though. My own personal feelings aside, I get why a lot of people like them, as they were on top of their game, and if you are a fan, then this would of been the best thing since sliced bread. (4/5)
THE OCEAN took you on a journey like no other, as they were majestic and soul crushing at the same time. Being one of the headliners of last year’s Euroblast, it’s easy to see why they were chosen for the role, as their hypnotising rhythms put you in a trance like state, and they were packed with a lot of power and emotion, all thrown in for good measure. Admittedly, I hadn’t heard much of the German collective before, but with performances like that, I can safely say that The Ocean may become my new favourite band. (5/5)
The moment everybody was waiting for, and 7 years in the making, SIKTH were just as insane as they were way back when. With maybe the exception of Meshuggah, not one band has had the same impact, and inspired so many in this so called scene. For many, this was their first experience of them in a live setting (ahh, to be young again). Playing all the classics like ‘Pussyfoot’, ‘Part Of The Friction’ and ‘Bland Street Bloom’, for me, it was the best nostalgia trip that I could of wished for, Mikee Goodman’s rendition of ‘When Will The Forest Speak’ was the cherry on top of the cake of brilliance. I think I speak for everyone when I say “Welcome back, and long may it continue”. (5/5)
I’m NOT a drug addict ! I’m actually getting pretty tired of this already, but I feel like I have to tell the story from my point of view (without responding to every little detail in King’s statement, cause that would turn this into a novel). After this, it’s up to every individual to think/believe whatever they want to..
WHAT THE FUCK!!? – King has done it again !
I got 3 kids who are using Facebook and reading the news on a daily basis.
Your lieing about stuff – like accusing me of doing drugs and calling me a liar is about as low and disgusting as it gets – but it really doesn’t come as a surprise to me, because it has always been like this.
When someone puts out extreme lies about you and your character, there comes a time when you put a stop to it.
This is that time.
In the following, I will prove everything I say and I challenge Hal Patino to do the same with what he said.
HAL’S STATEMENT: „I will not go into every detail, but the salary I was offered to headline Wacken Open Air, and the 4 other shows this summer was totally ridiculous.
Two days before the first rehearsal day, I wrote an e-mail explaining my view on that topic along with a proposal for a fair and realistic salary for these shows, For this, they accused me of’ “blackmailing” !!!
I found it disrespectful, and told them that if that is how I get treated after 19 years, we part immediately !!
So I already left the band on Thursday the 17th of July, by my own choice.”
First of all, I have no problem disclosing the band salary for the European shows. For these 5 shows, it is €1000 per festival show. This salary does not include per diems for days not played on (which is on top of the salary), plus all shipping, travel, maintenance, strings, drum sticks, insurance, hotel; in short, the company bears all expenses.
We do not headline Wacken Open Air. In reality, we don’t even headline the Black Stage. Sometimes the headliner is not the last band playing on a specific stage. As far as I know, Motorhead playing right before us are the headliner for Friday August 1st on the Black Stage.
After them, Slayer plays on the Main Stage and they are the Wacken headliner for Friday. Then we cool everything down on the Black Stage from midnight.
I don’t remember who cools down the Main Stage after us.
I’m not gonna get into details on how our registered company in Denmark is run, but it’s a full company with year round expenses, and if it wasn’t for Wacken this year, I could guarantee that there wouldn’t be a US tour in the autumn.
The two indoor shows in Berlin and Tilburg are straight losses, even if sold out.
On top of this comes EVERYTHING involved in a tour and our company is unfortunately not at the level of Megadeth, Slayer, etc, and can only offer what’s possible.
We can’t go and get loans in the bank to pay Hal’s salary, however minor it may seem.
If Hal didn’t find that satisfactory, no one kept him from leaving. I just wish he hadn’t brought this up on the very day/evening I arrived in Denmark (17th of July). He’s had an entire year to think about this, and he brings it up now.
An important fact with regard to the salaries is that the entire crew and band from last year’s European tour is identical to both the European shows we’re about to do now and the US shows later this year, except for Hal.
It seems everybody is satisfied with what the company can offer at this point, except for Hal.
It doesn’t interest me one way or another whether Hal quit the band or he was asked to leave. It’s exactly the same result.
It is interesting though that Hal shipped his gear at the company’s expense to the rehearsal facilities on the very date (17th of July) when he claims that he quit the band. We have the receipt for that with stamped date. You can also see in his official statement that he says that he was willing to try to fly in for some of the early rehearsals from Norway. We’re talking after the 17th of July, which again, doesn’t make sense. Why would he want to try to arrange to fly in for rehearsals from Norway after he already quit the band?
HAL’S STATEMENT: „It’s typical King to say that I’m fired – he did the same to me back in 1990 when he told the press that I was kicked out of the band due to lack of enthusiasm and drug problems.
That was NOT the reason … It was just Too much touring, King got dropped by Roadrunner Records, and I wanted to go in another direction.
He did the same to my best friends Mikkey Dee and Pete Blakk.”
These are extremely insulting and pathetic lies.
First of all, would Hal EVER have come back to play for King Diamond if I had lied to the press about him being fired in 1990 due to drug problems?
Hal was taken back into the band, sometime after he had asked us in 2000 (I believe it was) at one of our rehearsals, which he was attending with his son, if he could ever get another chance. He swore he was totally clean and that he didn’t even drink anymore.
This, back then, made him a true hero to me, but this has of course changed now. I just don’t trust him enough anymore to rely on his contributions.
Next, can anybody explain to me what it means when Hal says that the reason he was fired was instead „too much touring”? What does this mean? When did anyone ever get fired for too much touring??
I would like Hal to present the letter from Roadrunner saying they were dropping us from the label, if he can. This is another outright lie.
Most of you already know that we bought our way out of Roadrunner by delivering to them „King Diamond Abigail LIVE 1987”, plus „Mercyful Fate – Return of the Vampire”. I also have the contract to prove this, and will gladly scan it in for all to see when I return to Dallas.
The whole problem with trust culminated while we were in the studio recording The Eye, at which time Ole Bang, Andy LaRocque and myself can vouch to the fact that Hal Patino was not to be found anywhere when he was supposed to lay down bass tracks. No one could find him, no matter how many phone calls we placed.
We ended up spending seven days watching the walls of expensive Sweet Silence studios in Denmark with absolutely nothing to do but sit and hope that Hal Patino would show up at some point.
This is actually part of the reason why we had to buy our way out from the Roadrunner contract. We were so under recouped that the label, with good reason I guess, wanted to take the over expenditure off our next recording budget.
This was simply not an option if we were to continue as a band at the time.
Seriously Hal, how dare you accuse me of having fired Mikkey Dee?! You might have forgotten, but both Andy and I remember very well Mikkey coming by Sweet Silence studios during The Eye recordings to play us the new Dokken album, which he had just recorded with them.
I have never uttered a bad word about Mikkey, whom I’ve always had the highest respect for, both as a drummer and as a person. And he knows that.
Pete Blakk had some problems like you during the recording of The Eye and the US tour prior to that, which at the time made him unreliable. A situation I think everybody knows he took care of in a very noble way.
HAL’S STATEMENT: „I am in Norway at the moment and will play two live shows with my other band, I told the KD camp that I would be able to fly back and forth so I did not miss the two first rehearsals – and the next thing I read is a statement from King where it says that I’m fired.”
Again, how is it possible to fire someone who has already quit???
I would like to address Hal, if he reads this.
Personally, I don’t care if it says you quit, was let go, or whatever with regards to what has happened, but we will obviously never be working together again. There is no trust left.
We can stop it at that, or you can continue if you want, just don’t forget that I know so many of the people you associate with just as well as you, and I know what’s going on in your life.
Your real problem is really not what we’ve been talking about these past couple of days, right?
You know, in the end, I’m really trying to be nice about this.