Helloween is a German band founded in 1984 in Hamburg. The band is one of the pioneers of the power metal genre and their albums KEEPER OF THE SEVEN KEYS I & II, MASTER OF THE RINGS and THE TIME OF THE OATH are considered masterpieces of the genre. The band has gone through numerous changes, but the current line-up, singer Andi Deris, guitarists Michael Weikath and Sascha Gerstner, bass guitarist Markus Grosskopf, and drummer Daniel Löble has been stable since 2005. Helloween releases its 15th studio album titled MY GOD GIVEN RIGHT on 25th of May. Andi Deris visited Helsinki in April to promote the forthcoming album, and here’s what the man had to say about the album, its creation process, the future/past, and about life in general. Read on!
Almost three months after a very successful European tour (including many sold out gigs), HammerFall had the great idea to offer an exclusive headlining show in London on the 9th of May. As the 2014/2015 World Wide (r)Evolution tour didn’t have any UK date, it was expected that the Swedish templars would come to the British lands soon or later.
New Jersey’s progressive metal masters SYMPHONY X are set to release their brand new, ninth studio album called Underworld on July 24th via Nuclear Blast Records.
SYMPHONY X have triumphed, creating a panoramic “album rock” experience in an era cursed with diminishing attention spans. “This new one is about the song, really crafting each one on its own, to be as strong as it could be” says Michael Romeo, chief writer in the band, and proprietor of The Dungeon, the tricked-out studio in which the album was crafted, newly equipped with the latest in technology required to execute the band’s famous symphonic and orchestrated touches.
“Musically, Underworld has things reminiscent of the bands previous albums but this one definitely has its own individuality,” stated Michael. “Every element added was in service of the song, so the album flows and becomes a total listening experience from start to finish. Every song is to-the-point and fine-tuned, with us paying a lot of attention to the hooks, voices, riffs, and keeping the interest and the energy high for the entire record. It is heavy and aggressive as fuck when it needs to be, yet soaring and emotional at other times. I think the balance is just right. It had to have all the elements of what we normally would do, just tweaked up a notch and really fine-tuned. You know, industry people have talked about how we’ll never see a complete album again, and that idea. I wanted to defend the reputation of the album, and really try to make Underworld worth listening to as a whole record. It’s what I love about great individual songs, but still an album experience. I don’t want to sound like I’m preaching, but it was a point we wanted to make. It was about the progression of the whole record. It speeds up here and then it dips down here. It all makes sense together, it all works together and it all flows together.”
The pioneers of industrial-tinged extreme metal, FEAR FACTORY, will hit the road this July in anticipation of their upcoming Nuclear Blast Entertainment debut. “We are beyond excited and honored to be touring with our great friends in COAL CHAMBER,” states the group. “It’s been years since both bands have shared the same stage together. It’s funny that it took us all these years to actually tour together but we are stoked that it’s finally happening!”
Tickets go on sale everywhere on Friday May 22nd at 10 am local time. Additional headlining FEAR FACTORY shows to be announced shortly.
Here is the official music video for the title track from Helloween’s fifteenth studio album, My God-Given Right. Out May 29th (EU), June 1st (UK) and June 2nd (NA) via Nuclear Blast Records.
Director Oliver Sommer (AVA Studios) comments:
″The story tells itself with the first look on the artwork: it seems to be a film still and you only have to press the „play“-button…
So the female protagonist flees – reminiscences to different (post)apocalyptic films and stories are deliberated – from an army of robotic pumpkin soldiers through an empty world. On the other side, the band performs in frightfully beautiful, rocked out ambience. When the tough girl realizes, that she won’t escape, she turns around and kills her chasers with a grenade which looks like the torch from the Statue of Liberty… it is immersed in snow on the cover artwork and in sand in the clip. Our post-apocalyptic world is a white desert, which exists in reality in Germany. The industrial disaster area, our hero is fleeing in and the band is performing in, is an incredible and giant area of the ex-steelworks (heavy metal!) Maxhütte – both locations are real wastelands…!″
With strong competition from Greek black metallers Varathron at The Dome, Latvia’s favourite sons Skyforger still pulled a sizeable audience for their show at the elusive Electrowerkz venue. While a number of English youngsters outside the metal scene came along, possibly for the novelty of seeing a Latvian folk metal band, the main draw was from the Eastern European population of London.
Not often do musicians from the other half of the continent seem to tour, and knowing that Poles Praesepe and Thy Worshiper were also on board made it seem like a night dedicated to this part of London’s current underground scene.
From the vault of one of the most respected and groundbreaking British hard rock outfits to emerge from the NWOBHM scene, the legendary Girlschool, comes two never before released concert recordings now ready to be shared with the world courtesy of Deadline Music. Both shows present powerhouse performances by the original, classic Girlschool line-up featuring guitarist/vocalist Kim McAuliffe, bassist Enid Williams, drummer Denise Dufort, and the inimitable lead vocalist/guitarist, the late Kelly Johnson. First up, London 1980, released on CD, demonstrates the awesome power of this band in a live setting before their hometown audience, as they perform cuts from their recently released and soon to be classic debut studio album Demolition including “Emergency” and “Nothing To Lose,” plus their explosive cover of The Gun’s “Race With The Devil!” Then, Glasgow 1982 picks up where the London show left off, featuring high octane performances of tracks from both 1981’s Hit and Run and 1982’s Screaming Blue Murder including “The Hunter,” “Live With Me” and more! These performances eventually lead to the ladies’ first U.S. tour later in 1982 opening for Iron Maiden and Scorpions, and establishing a devout fanbase in the States. This historic performance is available on both CD and in a special limited edition purple vinyl pressing.
Girlschool are still going strong performing and recording with lead guitarist Jackie Chambers (who replaces Kelly Johnson). The band is currently touring North America through mid-June, after which they will embark on a massive European tour with Motörhead and Saxon in November! See www.girlschool.co.uk for details.
‘SEVEN SINS’ is the fifth Stormzone album and features 12 brand new studio tracks sure to please fans of classic heavy metal! Recorded in Fire Machine studios, Belfast, Northern Ireland, ‘Seven Sins’ combines powerful guitars , soaring vocals and crunching bass & drums wrapped with classic melodies .
The CD booklet includes a code within it’s pages allowing fans to enter it into the Stormzone website, www.stormzone.tv, enabling them to download a further 4 brand new songs not available on the album!
The previous four Stormzone albums have attracted great reviews in the UK and abroad . UK reviews for their last offering , ‘Three Kings’, in 2013 include:
Classic Rock :7/10 Stormzone live Up to their name and then some . Lighting To The Nation! Metalhammer :7/10 First Rate singer . Tuneful ingots of molten itensity.Old school HM strikes gold! Powerplay : Nothing short of Magnificent. If you call yourself a HM fan do yourself a favour . Fireworks : Quite Phenomenal. You won’t find many better True Metal albums this year.
The new album was recorded after the band completed a successful series of festival dates in 2014 including Sonisphere and Bloodstock, as well as a highly regarded support tour with legendary metal Gods Saxon! This year sees the band carry on as before with ‘Seven Sins’ being released just before the band embark on a series of Spanish festival appearances, including Skulls of Metal in Jaen and Leyendas Del Rock in Alicante. Further dates including more shows with Saxon are also to be announced shortly.
JOHN ‘HARV’ HARBINSON – LEAD VOCALS
DAVID BATES – DRUMS
STEVE MOORE – GUITARS
GRAHAM McNULTY – BASS
Band website: www.stormzone.tv
In an era teaming with bands led by virtuoso guitarists and fronted by a singer with killer pipes, British rockers Rainbow stood head and shoulders above the crowd. Ritchie Blackmore’s hugely influential guitar playing mixed baroque bombast with blues rock brilliance, and laid the perfect sonic foundation for the versatile vocals of the late, great Ronnie James Dio. When Dio left the band in 1978, Blackmore along with drummer Cozy Powell recruited another vocal powerhouse, singer Graham Bonnet, and together with other new recruits including Deep Purple bassist Roger Glover and Coliseum II keyboardist Don Airey, recorded what would be one of Rainbow’s greatest achievements, their breakthrough album Down To Earth. Not only did that masterpiece spawn the band’s first charting single “All Night Long,” it also contained the all-time classic, rock radio staple “Since You Been Gone.” The subsequent Down To Earth Tour became the stuff of legend with a groundbreaking light show and a set list packed to the gills with fan favorites like “Man On A Silver Mountain” and “Long Live Rock And Roll” but still plenty of room for Blackmore’s own six-string pyrotechnics.
Now these incredible performances are being released for the first time with the pomp and pageantry worthy of these historic recordings, courtesy of L.A.-based Purple Pyramid Records. Available now is Denver 1979, an extraordinary concert album pressed on vinyl in 3 different colors – red, green, or blue – and packaged in an eye-catching holographic foil gatefold jacket. And coming August 21 is a super deluxe 3CD box set featuring full-length concert recordings from Denver, Long Island, and Chicago each packaged in its own individual sleeve next to a whole boatload of classic rock goodies including a 1” color button, embroidered fabric patch, a Ritchie Blackmore signature guitar pick, and a combo bottle opener/keychain – all beautifully contained in a gorgeous red-velvet lined box. For fans of this extraordinary band, there can be no bigger pot of gold!
2014 was a very busy year for Sonata Arctica. First of all, they released their eighth album “Pariah’s Child” which marked the return to their old melodic speed metal roots. Then, they re-recorded the whole “Ecliptica” album to celebrate the 15th anniversary of this first opus. The Finnish wolves are currently on tour throughout Europe to promote this new re-recorded version. Before the beginning of their concert in London (the only UK show), I had the opportunity to meet their charismatic vocalist and founding member Tony Kakko. I asked him some questions about “Ecliptica – Revisited; 15th Anniversary Edition” and their early years as well.
Iron Maiden announced that following his recent MRI Scan, singer Bruce Dickinson was today officially given the all-clear by his specialists. Just before Christmas, Iron Maiden vocalist Dickinson visited his doctor for a routine check-up. This led to tests and biopsies which revealed a small cancerous tumour at the back of his tongue.
Dickinson says: “I would like to thank the fantastic medical team who have been treating me for the last few months, resulting in this amazing outcome. It’s been tough on my family and in many ways it was harder for them than me. I’d also like to send a heartfelt thanks to all our fans for their kind words and thoughts. I’m a firm believer in trying to maintain a positive attitude, and the encouragement from the global Maiden family meant a great deal to me. Right now, I’m feeling extremely motivated and can’t wait to get back to business as usual, as soon as I can!”
Iron Maiden Manager Rod Smallwood adds: “We are of course all absolutely delighted that Bruce’s doctors have pronounced him free of cancer. Although Bruce is naturally eager to resume Maiden activities, it will take a while before he is completely back to full strength, as we explained previously. Because of this, the band will not be touring or playing any shows until next year. We know our fans will understand the situation and, like us, would prefer to wait until Bruce is back to his usual indefatigable levels of fitness before going out on the road. For now, the focus will be on putting the finishing touches to the new Iron Maiden studio album and that is what we will be concentrating on over the coming weeks. The release however will definitely be this year. Meanwhile, I’d like to echo Bruce’s words and thank all Maiden fans. You have been incredibly patient, putting Bruce’s health and well-being first during this difficult time and the band and I appreciate all your positive support.”