Review by Anna Dumpe & Ryan Lee Spearman
Photography Michelle Murphy
Note: For coverage of the more rock orientated bands from the festival, go here.
One of the greatest news to shake the world of heavy metal arrived in 2013 when it was announced that everyone’s favorite rock and metal festival Sonisphere is returning to the hallowed grounds of Knebworth after 2 years of silence and is bringing the best acts of rock and heavy metal to the UK.
Alongside festival headliners The Prodigy, Iron Maiden and Metallica, over 100 bands appeared on five stages throughout the weekend of 4th to 6th July, 2014 and we were there to witness it all for ourselves.
From the first performances of Friday to sore heads on Saturday and Sunday, Metal-Rules.com UK team surely enjoyed Sonisphere to the fullest and we’re happy to tell you all about it.
Yes it’s been confirmed by Tate and his management that this is the end. Yes, the name has been confirmed as changing to Operation Mindcrime and yes, what fans are witnessing on tour now is the end of a legacy in rock and metal music fronted by one of the genre’s most unique and easily recognizable voices. What comes next, we don’t have the answers to.
A collision from deep time to present: a half-meter long worm with deadly jaws that lived 420 million years ago, and paleontologist Mats E. Eriksson (Lund University) who discovered its impressive and never-before-seen remains. A diehard fan of Scandinavian metal legend King Diamond, Eriksson dubbed the creature Kingnites Diamondi. With this ancient organism’s musical nomenclature, connections were formed to deliver a fierce metal hymn — AT THE GATES frontman Tomas “Tompa” Lindberg vocalizes the piece backed by American industrial black metal upstarts INVERTIA — the black cherry on this cake being the participation of one of Germany’s top dark ambient talents SEETYCA.
Eriksson composed the lyrics based on the scientific paper he authored about the fossil polychaete worm Kingnites Diamondi, and conveys the story of the predatory creature from a first-person narrative point of view, that of the creature itself. The story focuses on the inferred life style of the creature, in fact a true “Deep Time Predator”; its subsequent entombment, fossilization and how the remains are used as environmental proxies by scientists today. As a lifelong heavy metal fan, Eriksson’s lyrics ooze of dark, metallic features and like the name of the fossil itself, the wording flirts with the musical legacy of King Diamond. Read the rest of this entry »
Diabolical death / black metal giants, BELPHEGOR, have made their entire new album Conjuring The Dead available for streaminghere. Conjuring the Dead is the tenth studio album from one of metal’s most bizarre and authentic bands; BELPHEGOR. Conjuring the Dead was unleashed on August 5th (North America), and will be out on August 8th (EU) and August 11th (UK/FR) via Nuclear Blast. The minions of death can now pre-order the album in several formats from the Nuclear Blast web shop.
Continuing with the momentum of celebrating their 25-year anniversary, Sweden’s extreme metal deviants MESHUGGAH proudly announce the upcoming fall re-issue of 2004’s one song EP, I, via Nuclear Blast. Album artwork & concept are courtesy of MESHUGGAH drummer Tomas Haake, who comments on the EP’s mutant resurrection:
“This 21 minute madness that is the song ‘I’ is something we’ve always been extremely proud of!! Originally recorded for Jason Popson’s Fractured Transmitter record label, this was a ‘one off’ that NB gave us the go ahead for – as we were under contract with them. Our plan was to just quickly write a little nugget of a song to help our friend Jason to kinda kickstart his label. It wasn’t quick, however. We ended up spending a couple months on this thing as it just kept evolving and kind of took on a life of its own.
“This song is really different as it wasn’t ‘written’ in the normal sense, but recorded without anything more than very open guidelines/ideas as to what kind of style we wanted each part to have. For example: The initial 1½ minute drum fill is an excerpt of around a 15 minute recording of me just randomly going off on a kick/tom fill. Once we had chosen which part of it to use, we had to chart out the hits on paper and guitarists Fredrik [Thordendal] and Mårten [Hågström] then basically used sight-reading/Avista to get the hits right while recording.
The third trailer for (r)Evolution, the ninth studio album by Swedish heavy metallers HAMMERFALL, is now available for viewing on the Nuclear Blast YouTube channel: www.youtube.com/watch?v=ygt5davx3q8
(r)Evolution – called “the essence of HAMMERFALL at its very purist” by guitarist, songwriter, and founding member Oscar Dronjak – is due out in North America on September 2nd. The album was produced by Fredrik Nordström(DIMMU BORGIR, SOILWORK, OPETH), who also helped produce the first two HAMMERFALL albums, 1997’s Glory To The Brave and 1998’s Legacy Of Kings. Album artwork is by German artist Andreas Marschall (BLIND GUARDIAN, KREATOR, IMMOLATION).
“For this album, we’ve taken everything that makes HAMMERFALL HAMMERFALL and evolved it,” Dronjak has stated.
The remaining members of legendary metal pioneers RIOT are back and are ready to unleash the follow up to 2011’s reunion record ‘Immortal Soul’. They are ready to unleash music in the great RIOT tradition that the fans come to know and love. RIOT V is ready to ‘UNLEASH THE FIRE!’
This marks the first release from the band without the late great founding guitarist Mark Reale who passed away in early 2012 and was limited on his participation on Immortal Soul because of his health issues. The band was encouraged at the request of Mark and the Reale estate to forge ahead in his honor and will dedicate this new offering to him. The album promises to please fans of the ‘Thundersteel’ era of RIOT as main song writer and long time Reale music collaborator Don Van Stavern does much of the writing as he did on ‘Thundersteel’ and ‘The Privilege of Power’. Don is joined by long time RIOT band mate, song writer and Reales guitar partner of over 20 years Mike Flyntz to create what they feel is something they are proud to call a RIOT record and Reale would have thought that as well. RIOT has a tumultuous history of member, label and management changes throughout the bands 30 plus year career but one things for sure, a bands longevity is through good music and if this new record is any proof, they will be around for years to come.
RIOT, like Johnny, are back again! Through the storm of lifes obsticles the guys are joined by powerhouse vocalist extraordinaire Todd Michael Hall (Burning Starr, Reverence), Frank Gilchriest (Virgin Steele, Riot’s Army of One) and former Mike Flyntz guitar student and resident shredder Nick Lee and are ready to raise the flag in honor of the RIOT legacy of music and our fallen band mates and the fans who have been demanding RIOT for years. This new onslaught headlined sold out shows in Germany, Greece, Spain and Italy and headlined the prestigious festivals Metal Assault and Metal Apocalypse early this year with rave reviews and festivals including Bang Your Head with Twisted Sister and Anthrax, Metal Days with Megadeth and Volbeat and they headlined the Headbangers Open Air with bands including Warlord and Anvil and top it off with the headlining performance on next years Keep It True 2015 Festival which is already sold-out!
The new record is slated for an October 22nd release in Scandinavia, an October 24th release in Germany, an October 27th release in Europe and an October 28th release in the US and Canada via SPV/Steamhammer. The album will be available as a digipak version with one bonus tack, a double gatefold coloured vinyl version also with one bonus track, as a standard version and download.
RIOT are consistently on radio and metal charts worldwide, as well as being a part of New York City’s Top 20 most influential metal bands and numerous mentions on VH1’s That Metal Show with Eddie Trunk and staff sighting RIOT as one of the innovators of Metal music in America and beyond! The new CD promises to be a true successor to the legacy of ‘Thundersteel’, ‘The Privilege of Power’ and “Immortal Soul”. RIOT V truely are Metal Soldiers and will keep marching and fighting the good fight to bring you the music you’ve come to know, love and expect.
The Big Book of Hair Metal: The Illustrated Oral History of Heavy Metal’s Debauched Decade
Cats, this is the most elegantly and ingeniously designed Popoff book ever (see samples below)… I’m just in awe with what they did with it. Here’s the publisher hype on ‘er:
The Big Book of Hair Metal tells the explosive history of hair metal in an burst of color, facts, figures and outrageous quotes, so many and so rich of unseen material, that this book serves as the ultimate encyclopedia of the form.
An oral history jacked up by mountains of trivia, dates, sales figures, concert milestones, gold and platinum designations…. there’s never been a history so complete, a tale so fully and entertainingly told.
Piles of kaleidoscopic photography and memorabilia shots make each page come alive, as every major event in the long life of glam metal—from its birth in the UK glitter rock movement of the early ‘70s, through the supposed “death” of glam by grunge, and beyond—is commemorated using the novel approach of oral history combined with hard facts, specific dates, detail that brings back those happy memories of al those bands trying to be seen and heard on the Sunset strip.
Martin Popoff, author of 48 books on heavy metal, is a known authority on this particularly happy and fondly remembered form of heavy metal, a genre that still accounts for healthy album and concert ticket sales year in, year out.
The Big Book of Hair Metal makes use of Martin’s archive of mostly unpublished interviewed footage from the following bands, most of which Martin has interviewed multiple times, names you know and love such as…
…Autograph, Badlands, Bang Tango, Black ‘N Blue, Blue Murder, Bulletboys, Cinderella, Damn Yankees, Dangerous Toys, Def Leppard, Dokken, Enuff Z’Nuff, Europe, Extreme, Faster Pussycat, Firehouse, Great White, Guns ‘N Roses, Hanoi Rocks, Helix, Jackyl, Keel, Kick Axe, Kingdom Come, Krokus, L.A. Guns, Lillian Axe, London, Love/Hate, Loverboy, Motley Crue, Mr. Big, Night Ranger, Poison, Quiet Riot, Ratt, Rough Cutt, Saigon Kick, Skid Row, Slaughter, Stryper, Tesla, TNT, Twisted Sister, Ugly Kid Joe, Vixen, Warrant, W.A.S.P., White Lion, Whitesnake, Y&T and Zebra.
In addition, Martin has talked to producers, managers, club owners, concert promoters, photographers, label executives, and many of the bands from an earlier era who, during the ‘80s, became, to varying degrees, part of the glam story, namely Aerosmith, Cheap Trick, Alice Cooper, Judas Priest, Kiss, Ted Nugent, Ozzy Osbourne, Saxon, Scorpions, Triumph, Van Halen and many more. Then there are glam “revival” bands, plus instrumental originators such as Sweet, The Runaways, Starz, Angel, Legs Diamond, Foreigner and Boston.
Finally, Martin had at his fingertips, a vast research archive of magazines covering this period, perfect for the odd pertinent quote he couldn’t find in his personal conversations with these rockers.
All told, what Martin proposed a work wider in scope—and indeed intellectual heft— than simply Hollywood. The Big Book of Hair Metal encompasses the roots of glam, concert trends, production trends, the club scene, flyering, the power ballad, the impact of MTV, vocal styles, shredding, glam’s crossovers with shock rock, punk and early metal, regional scenes around the world, fashion, finer points of the music business and of course, plenty of sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll.
However, the focus is on this almost entirely and uniquely American music, as it existed from approximately 1983 through 1991. This is the golden era of glam metal, and its locus and focus is in Los Angeles. The celebration of that period serves as the trunk of the book, but with myriad connections and comparisons made, illustrative quotes regularly fleshing out the tale.
With respect to images, for the project, Martin had at his fingertips a near endless supply of photography plus on the memorabilia side, a vast collection of LPs, CDs, 45s, backstage passes, and a huge collection of advertisements for albums and for gigs/tours, used to illustrate entries throughout the book. Ergo there goes hundreds of shots, along with over 80,000 words of text, spread over 225 yummy 8 3/4” x 11 1/4” pages, full color throughout, hard cover like hard candy.
Price including shipping from Canada (the book will be signed, by me, to you unless otherwise requested):
US orders: $38.00 US funds
Int’l orders: $53.00 Cdn. funds
Canadian orders: $46.00 Cdn. funds
PayPal happily accepted. Ask me if you’d like a PayPal invoice (please indicate what country you are in), or just do yer usual and direct funds to email@example.com
Sweet postage savings to be had for multiple orders (or two of pretty much anything – long story, ask me!).
Or mail payment (personal check in US funds, cash, or INTERNATIONAL money order), to:
P.O. Box 65208, 358 Danforth Ave.
Toronto, Ontario, Canada M4K 2Z2
Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with any further questions, and see www.martinpopoff.com for
descriptions, cover art and ordering info for my other available 30 or so books (and no, Ozzy won’t be up at the site for another week or so, but yes, I have some and they are ready to ship).
See www.martinpopoff.com for info on my 45 books.
Smokin’ Valves: A Headbanger’s Guide to 900 NWOBHM Records
2 Minutes To Midnight: An Iron Maiden Day-By-Day
Scorpions: Top Of The Bill
ANVIL have parted ways with bassist Sal Italiano and have replaced him with Chris Robertson. ANVIL frontman Steve “Lips” Kudlow told M.E.A.T.’s Drew Masters “Chris has actually been in the ANVIL camp for some time now, having been both their rehearsal bassist, as well as part of their road crew.” LIPS also stated that he’s “glad the band is, once again, all Canadian — that is the heart and soul of Anvil”. Chris becomes the 5th bassist to be in the band. ANVIL’s fourth bassist, Sal Italiano, joined the band as the replacement for Glenn Gyorffy (a.k.a. Glenn Five or G5) in January 2013.
Fan-filmed video footage of ANVIL’s July 25 performance at the Headbangers Open Air festival in Brande-Hörnerkirchen, Germany — featuring Robertson on bass — can be seen below.
Footage of Chris with ANVIL at Germany’s “Headbangers Open Air Festival” performing “Winged Assassins”:
The below message was posted by the official Nightwish page this morning.
“How to begin telling something that you wouldn’t want to have to tell, although you know that the decision you made is the only (at least the only right) one you could make at the moment? I face this dilemma now, and will do my best to find the right words.
For a number of years, I have suffered from occasional but very difficult insomnia, something that has been my unwanted companion during many of our tours, too. I’ve done my best to try to control it or at least to cope with it. Still, we don’t even really know why we need sleep, so unfortunately there’s not much information available on why some of us suffer from sleeplessness. There is no 100% cure for the problem.
During the last month, it has become evident for me that due to my insomnia, I can’t fulfill my duties as a musician in the way that I’d want and with the precision that the music deserves. Thus I have decided to step aside from my duties as the drummer of Nightwish during the recording of the forthcoming album and the subsequent tour. I will still be involved in managing the day-to-day affairs of the band, but the dearest and the most important thing, playing, is, for the time being, not possible. Time will tell what the future holds.
On a personal level, my decision obviously feels indescribably sad. Fortunately, looking at it with some distance, it is “just” part of the constant, inevitable ebb and flow of life. The sad things are part of it as well as the beautiful, unforgettable experiences and adventures that I’ve already had the pleasure to experience in spades. Surely, there will still be many adventures ahead, too.
My good friend Kai Hahto will play drums on the forthcoming album. I’m extremely grateful that he didn’t hesitate for a minute when he decided to help us in this challenging situation. What comes to touring, everything is still open, but we will let you know as soon possible what the line-up will be.
If beginning this was hard, so is ending it. So maybe I will just quote something fitting.
“You can only lose something that you have, but you cannot lose something that you are.”― Eckhart Tolle
Best regards, Jukka Nevalainen / Nightwish”
Kai Hahto pictured below in a promotional photo from SMI Music:
The underworld is no stranger to having a plethora of bands grace its intimate stage and surroundings with tonight’s focus turning its hand to the doom and sludge variety. Headlining this evening are the cosmically acclaimed Church of Misery mid journey from their homeland of Japan, joining them are home grown attributes ; Slabdragger [from Croydon] and openers ; Wolfshead [from Hampshire].
Church of Misery
Without further a do three-piece Wolfshead [4/5] arrive on stage with a bit of a re-arrangement from this years Desertfest, not only venue wise [having played the Black Heart previously] but also the bands line up shift, moving Leigh from Bass and Vocal duties and putting his raw energy behind the drum kit instead. As a new bassist joined them on stage [Mark Roberts] who brought a new flair and mixed things up a bit while still keeping a undeniable crunch to the rhythmic section
The set encompassed their current releases; Self titled EP [released March 2012] or Single “Sword of Fire [released September 2012]. The mood for the set chosen for the evening was heavily focused on making it have a deeper, sludgier sound that resonated around the walls of the underworld and drew attention to their effective stage presence. That re-sparked energy into the crowd that had been worn out by the sun drench of the day.
The show from the band over all had punches of chugging riffs, an overall sound that lay somewhere between Clutch and Mastodon having a chance meeting with a tempo warper. Highlights included the doom Ginger Baker drum sounds, clever distribution of vocals ranges over the two front men – similar to that found in the Melvins.
Up next are SlabDragger [3.5/5] the luxuriously heavy three piece, who don’t waste any time getting stuck in to their groove. Combining a minimal vocal outage from dual front man Sam [vocals/guitars] and emphasis mainly on Yusuf [bassist and vocalist] to take the wheel.
Working through a set that was inclusive of tracks from January 2013 release ; “Regress”. With a punkier edge to the set, there are moments when the new sound doesn’t transpire as well as it could do, but with the occasional burst of flamboyance from the dark depths of sludge-esque vocals from Sam, who has been playing in bands for nearly 15 years and having recorded in over 100 bands is no stranger to making a show work and swiftly makes up for the change within Slabdragger.
Overall towards the end of the set the punking up of vocals over a rumbling bass, slow and churning riffs and Godzilla stomping drums seemed to work in favour and created a new sound for the band.
Church of Misery
Church of Misery [4.5/5] have arrived to a screaming maze of beer and anticipation before them, the band still in the flourish of musical excitement of “Thy Kingdom Scum” [released 2013] they have been globe trotting and alike with fellow bill sharers performed at this years Desertfest.
Church of Misery
The crowd where ready and willing to be taken on the journey that falls somewhere between history and insane with a set inclusive of such memorable killers as Dennis Rader, whose song “B.T.L” is appropriately titled. As well as Richard Speck’s “Born to raise hell”a track which is the bands most anthem worthy tune. All encased and delivered with a gripping, catchy and energetic performance that captivated the raw sonic propulsion of their message.
Church of Misery
A set that would not be over without plenty of traumatically unsettling wheers and wizzes, created with vocal alternations, expansive keyboards experimentalism that then broke into slick and well oiled almost clean guitar work, which naturally gained disturbance again with a power play that was a full on celebration of Iommi. By the end of their set the audiences ears where punched, bruised and a little intimated by the sonic delights.
Church of Misery
There seems to be something of a delicacy with Church of Misery an outfit who combine their corrupt lyrical delights that fall between madness and brilliance and solid enjoyment of the heavy fuzz that can be surroundings for it. Tonight’s gig has been no different with a crowd of old and new fans before them, all leaving with an impression upon them mainly one that involves it being stuck on replay in the minds of every witness – after all they where born to raise Hell!
Finland-based symphonic metal act NIGHTWISH are proud to announce their newly-inked North American deal for the U.S. and Canada via Nuclear Blast Entertainment. The band’s as-yet-untitled eighth studio album will be the first to feature new Dutchvocalist Floor Jansen, who has toured with the band since October 2012.
Expanding the territory of NIGHTWISH’s initial European collaboration with Nuclear Blast‘s HQ in Germany since 2004’s Oncealbum, NBE President and A&R Chief Monte Conner looks forward to the growth of the band’s new line-up:
“It was a pleasure to work with NIGHTWISH at my former label, but now in my new capacity at NBE, I will be more directly involved with the band than ever before. I would like to thank NIGHTWISH and their management for their continued faith in and loyalty to me. I am particularly excited at the prospect of hearing Floor Jansen’s debut studio recording with the band. Her performance on last year’s live release Showtime, Storytime completely blew me away and proved why she is the PERFECT singer for NIGHTWISH.”
QUAKE THE EARTH has released their awaited new video single “The Legacy We Leave”. The band has been busy in writing new material and doing recordings at Mastervox studios. This is the first new treat from Finland’s metallic hardcore avalance since the release of the debute album “We Choose To Walk This Path” in November 2012. CLick to www.quaketheearth.com to check it out!
After a roasting hot day, Sunday 20th July saw some hardcore fans heading up into the heat of Angel to the O2 Islington for the London leg of the “THRASH INVASION TOUR” with the O2 playing host to One Machine supporting Nightlord, Artillery and Onslaught. In this small, intimate venue metal enthusiasts geared up for a full on evening of thrash. And were not disappointed.