Vader- Interview with James Stewart @ The Classic Grand, Glasgow

April 12th, 2016
by UK Team


@ The Classic Grand, Glasgow

 8th April, 2016

Interview by Pete Mutant


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Sweden Rock 2016 – June 8-11

April 11th, 2016
by Metal Rules
Sweden Rock Festival 2015

Sweden Rock Festival 2015

June 8-9-10-11 2016, Sölvesborg

Tickets here:

More details here:


Latest additions Michael Schenker Fest (With Gary Barden, Robin Mcauley Och Graham Bonnet), Symphony X, Steve Vai, Gamma Ray, Hawkwind, Vanilla Fudge, Mayhem, The Winery Dogs, Entombed Ad, The Temperance Movement, Slough Feg, Monster Truck And Rockklassiker All-Stars.

Queen with Adam Lambert, The Hellacopters, Twisted Sister, Sabaton, Megadeth, Foreigner, Therapy?, Slayer, Shinedown, Halestorm, The Hooters, Soilwork, Grand Slam, King Kobra, Mike Tramp, Eric Sardinas And Big Motor, The Struts, Sixx Am, Death DTA, Graveyard, Uncle Acid And The Deadbeats, LA Guns, The Kristet Utseende, Graham Bonnet, Neon Rose, Skitarg, Diamond Head, King Diamond, Avantasia, Blind Guardian, Anthrax, Dirkschneider, Lita Ford, Glenn Hughes, Raised Fist, Imperial State Electric, The Kentucky Headhunters, Epica, 220 Volt, The Eric Bell Trio, Banditos, Niterain, Saffire, Warner Drive, Skallbank, Friday Night Specials, Serpent, Eleine, Painted Sky, The Presolar Sands, King Albatross, Satyricon, Lordi, Loudness, Amaranthe, My Dying Bride, Dan Reed Network, Finntroll, Legion of the Damned, Gun, Robin George & Dangerous Music, Eclipse, Dan Baird and Homemade Sin, Bonafide, Tribulation, Pedalens Pagar, Twilight Force, and King Witch, with more yet to be announced.


Check out previous years’ coverage here:  2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005….

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Amorphis @ Islington Academy, London

April 10th, 2016
by UK Team


Islington Academy, London

23 March 2016

Review by Demitri Levantis
Photography by Carina Martins



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The Ultimate Revenge Of Heavy Metal – Nosturi Helsinki Finland

April 10th, 2016
by Arto Lehtinen


The Ultimate Revenge Of Heavy Metal is an entire new two day indoor festival based on the more underground and a bit obscurish metal onslaught. All in all four domestic metal outfits and nine foreing bands hit the stage to deliver the real old school metal offering. However the generation between old and new bands are balanced perfectly for example Ranger’s speed metal along with Oz’s old school flashback from the 80’s suited together more than perfectly. Metal-Rule.Com was at present during these two days, enjoying the fabulous metal assault.

When entering the venue, a couple of dozen metalheads had arrived on time to witness the previous unknown Russian band Blazing Rust. The five-piece outfit out of St. Petersburg. The combo heavily relied on the old school heavy metal elements by having the certain influences from Iron Maiden and above all Mercyful Fate. Even though the band has got a demo release out,  but a bit more rehearsing needed in the rehearsal basement to metallize the old school heavy metal sounds.


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Ranger’s ultimate and intensive hyper blasting speed metal sounded merciless and extremely tightplayed. Ranger has become more and more clockworking outfit on the stage. The four-piece’s hysterical and merciless and uncompromising brutal speed metal is just like a flashback to the heyday of speed/thrash blitzkrieg of the mid 80’s. The intensive playing with the severe headbanging and banging the drums are the catalyst for Ranger’s speedy metallic assault.


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Trial from Sweden definitely turned out to be one hell of an unexpected surprise. Trial’s occult sounding trad metal with the obvious Mercyful Fate influences sounded so spellbounding. The singer’s eccentric personal voice crowned the heavy Mercyful Fate influenced soundworld . Trial definitely came out of blue for sure. Obviously most of the crowd didn’t realize the brilliance of Trial at all cos most of the audience fled to smoke or order the beer.


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The Danish Witchcross hit the stage next  to give a lesson of the traditional metal of the heyday of the 80’s. The band seems to enjoy the cult following in the catacomb of the underground worshipped by the true old school trad metallers. The singer Kevin Moore has been involved in Son Of A Bitch formed by the former Saxon guys. However Witch Cross gave another spin of the old school heavy metal blitzkrieg. Witch Cross did what the crowd were expecting from them. The current frontman Kevin Moore was resemble to Jimmy Bain because of his habitus and look.  Witch Cross’ metal still has the flavor of sounds of both old and of course timeless aspects. The set consisted of both the old old material and the newer cuts from the latest offering  Axe To Grind. The Danish metallers brought the  positive feeling with the performance.



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The legendary Finnish OZ had the honor to conclude the opening night. The band had gone thru some changes in the line-up and the main duet of OZ, drummer and singer, had recruited the new guitarists Aas well as bassist. However OZ offered the real flashback return to the heyday of the 80’s by doing a plenty of highly worshipped songs from that era. The frontman Ape De Martini sounds as strong as back in the day. In general OZ breathes and eats the true old school metal by turning the cross upsidedown. The golden gems are still and without any doubts timeless and immortal ones.


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The second day was kicked off by a new young metal band named Satan’s Fall. Judging by the name the obvious Mercyful Fate connotations may rise up. After all It didn’t go that far from the Mercyful Fate thoughts.  Satans Fall as well relies on the old metallic gimmick. The outfit sounded pretty good, even better and more organic than on the EP release.

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Evil-Lyn had undergone the radical vocalist. The female vocalist had dismissed and was replaced by a male vocalist. The female fronted band was more interesting as the high energy filled lade kept whipping the audience on each gig. The current singer definitely sounds more professional and even a bit better in terms of the technical use of the voice. However Evil-Lyn relies on the trad metal approach with the strong pure metallic attitude, but something is missing from the flaming spirit of the performance of Evil-Lyn…

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Lord Fist relies on the old school metal approach as expected. The band sounded pretty mellow, but also vicious and tight.


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Evil Invaders literally blew the audience away and the ceiling off by giving a real lesson of the ultra brutal thrash metal. Frankly the four piece Belgian thrashers turned out to be an extreme relentless and merciless and savage at the stage. The frontman’s insane rioting playing and performance give the impression of the man would have got the brutal shock thru his skinny body. Evil Invaders hammered the Finnish crowd down and left the audience with the jaws wide open.


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Savage from the glorious years of New Wave Of British Heavy Metal had those glorious years over 30 years.  Even though the band has been on the second run since 1995 and unleashed a bunch of albums like the latest one called 7 a year ago, but they have never surrendered. The four piece offered a lesson of the true old British metal with the tight grip. Unfortunately the major audience may recognize them due to Metallica’s cover version “Let It Loose” on the demo releases. However Savage is more it is metal and old school.

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The first ever arranged the Ultimate Revenge Of Heavy Metal indoor festival was concluded by the long time German power metal veterans Scanner. As a matter of fact Scanner is quite odd band on the German power metal map as Scanner has been soldiering on since 1986, but having released only six albums. Well the only original surviving member guitarist Axel Julius hasn’t been that active with Scanner and besides the line-up seems to be altering more or less quite often. However Scanner could be as big as for example Primal Fear, if the cards had been dealt with the luck. Anyway. Axel Julius offered a highclass power metal for the Finnish metal bands by covering nearly every album that Scanner had got. The current singer, who has been Scanner for about 12 years, Efthimios Ioannidis sounded excellent and did the justified job for the older material. It has to be admitted the HYPERTRACE album sounds timeless and powerful even though the album saw the light of day back in 1988.  Scanner sounded damn good indeed and hopefully metal festivals would realize to book them.


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The festival offered a wide range of metal from the old school British metal via brutal thrash to the old German power speed metal, therefore the whole event was great and interesting. Unfortunately the major and mainstream audience who claim to be metal fans didn’t find the festival for a reason or another. Hopefully the might metal forces who were involved in the organization will be able to arrange this kind of event in the future.

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From Hell’s Heart-Top 5 album covers

April 10th, 2016
by Metal Rules

From Hell’s Heart-Top 5 album covers

Art and Metal have been inextricably linked.  From the early (and maybe current again?) days when Metal fans would make vinyl purchase decisions on artwork alone, to the modern multi-media presentations on youtube promoting albums, artwork has been critical to the success of many bands.   There have been iconic mascots, instantly recognizable logos and fonts and a host of artists who have become households names, at least among Metal households!  There are at least a dozen books dedicated to album cover art or collations of works by artists who create those amazing covers we love to look at.   In a seemingly impossible task some of our staff have picked some (but not all!) of our favourite album covers.  Enjoy! 

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Tuska 2016 – July 1-3

April 10th, 2016
by Metal Rules

This summer, yet again, will be attending and covering the mighty Tuska open air festival in Helsinki, Finland!

Tuska 2016

Tuska 2016

Below are the bands for each day. This is of course subject to change, and exact running times will be posted to the official Tuska page here:

Fri 1.7.
Avantasia, Testament, Behemoth, Kvelertak, Swallow The Sun, Cain’s Offering, Lordi, Delain, Cattle Decapitation, Mantar, Beast In Black, Bendover, Whorion, Blaakyum

Sat. 2.7.
Ghost, Anthrax, Stam1na, Turmion Kätilöt, Primordial, With The Dead, Havok, Tsjuder, Circle, Lord Vicar, Omnium Gatherum, Brymir, Crimson Sun, Mørket, Fuck-Ushima, Swallow The Sun

Sun 3.7.
Children Of Bodom, Katatonia, Hatebreed, Gojira, Diablo, Myrkur, Mörbid Vomit, Swallow The Sun

More Artists to be announced on the festival’s page!

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Moonspell + SoulLine @ Audio, Glasgow

April 10th, 2016
by UK Team

Moonspell + SoulLine

@ Audio, Glasgow

28th March 2016

Review & photos by Oliver M.

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Moonspell – Interview with Aires Pereira @ Audio, Glasgow

April 10th, 2016
by UK Team


Interview with bassist Aires Pereira @ Audio, Glasgow

28th March 2016

Interviewed by Oliver M.

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The last time we interviewed Moonspell was in Nuremberg in November 2015 during the second part of their Road to Extinction Tour. We had a very interesting conversation with charismatic vocalist Fernando Ribeiro. Since then, the Lusitanian werewolves supported Epica for their North American tour in the beginning of this year.

They’re currently touring throughout Europe to promote their last gothic monument “Extinct” for the third time. At their fantastic concert in Glasgow we had the opportunity to chat with the excellent bassist Aires Pereira. I personally would like to thank him deeply for his time and great enthusiasm. Read the rest of this entry »

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Mantar – Hanno

April 9th, 2016
by Arto Lehtinen



Mantar being a-two-man-outfit hailing from Germany has gained the ultimate following during the past few years. Mantar’s debut album Death By Burning got the excellent feedback and responds. The band’s newest opus Ode To The Flame is another piece of great slap from Mantar catapulting them into another dimension of the success. Metal-Rules.Com talked with the band’s vocalist/guitarist Hanno about the second album ODE TO THE FLAME and of course a little bit how everything started out in the first place.

Interview and pics by Arto Lehtinen

Guten abend – Hows it going there in the Mantar camp ?

Alright so far. Enjoying my last days in my new home in Florida before I go back to Europe and start the festival season 2016. Excited!

Before going any further, as Mantar is relatively a new band coming from Germany to most of readers, therefore it would be awesome to start an interview by asking how Mantar came about ?559031

We know each other for more than 18 years. Met in Bremen in the late 90s when i was playing with my kid-punk band in a local squat. We remained friends and always wanted to play in a band together but for several reasons that just happened a couple of years ago when we started playing as a two piece band called MANTAR. In 2012/2013. We both lived in Hamburg at that time. We just wanted to record a demo and put out a tape for friends and maybe play some small local shows. Well, It came different than we thought. It´s pretty much the first band we both are in that gets the chance to do all these things. Pretty funny how long it actually took us to even form a band considering how fast it went to get attention once we had our shit together. Maybe it was the right time to do so.

Did you have other older bands in the past before founding Mantar ?

Yeah, but mostly unknown local bands. Nothing you would have had heard about.

Mantar as a name has an interesting meaning behind, as a matter of fact you could shed more light the meaning of the name and how and where you got it ?

Due to the fact Erinc has Turkish roots we were thinking about the idea of choosing a Turkish name. I liked that idea. He came up with MANTAR, which as far as I know means something like mushroom or something like that. But names don´t mean shit. It just sound cool, hard and aggressive. Fits quite good for a IMG_1571band with the same characteristics.

When you started Mantar, did you have a clear vision of how Mantar is supposed to sound and look in the first place, or has the sound evolved into the entire new direction and approach ?

Well, we just got together and started jamming along. 2 hours later we knew we have a solid new band. Probably the best stuff we´ve ever did in our lives. But no, we didn’t have a masterplan and still don´t have any. We just always try to play as hard and intense as possible. We like to groove. I think that´s something we both could agree on. I love Erinc´s simple drumming. Fuck all those gimmicks.

Which bands and artists influenced you as musicians in the first place ? How have these influences effected on how Mantar sounds ?

I grew up on punk. The whole attitude, you know, this whole DIY thing was very important for me. When I was you, pretty much at the same time, I got into thrash Metal as well, as it had kinda the same vibe to me. Fast and aggressive. But my love with heavy/rock music starts well earlier than that, back in the late 80’s, when I was a kid, my dad gave me two AC/DC tapes (Highway To Hell & If You Want Blood…) that changed my life. Till this day nothing even comes close. This band is GOD to me. The whole beat, the simple riffs… This band had more influence on me than all other bands together is used to listen to. Black Metal for example came much much later into my life. Even though I really enjoy this dark atmosphere a lot. Erinc was a Kid in the heayday of Grunge music. He grew up on The Melvins, Nirvana, Mudhoney and stuff. Our roots ain´t necessarily in “Metal” music…

I don´t think we chose any kind of influence on purpose, as said, we just try to play as heavy and intense as wen can. The result is what you hear. You know, it´s always hard to describe your on music or try to analyse it. Maybe we just should´t. But more important than certain styles of music or other bands, it´s more a certain feeling that´s important for us. It´s gotta be simple and most of all, it has to groove. I think a lot of bands in any kind of extreme music genre forget about the basic and primitive needs of men. They have so many gimmicks, but don´t not how to groove and roll. We do.

Mantar is a two-man outfit consisting the singer/guitarist and the drummer, but it is interesting you have no bass player involved in the line-up, not on albums, not at the stage either. Was it a determinated and mutual decision to operate as a two piece ?IMG_1553

No. When we started simply no one else wanted to join. Easy as that. We figured out pretty quick though that we are able to raise some serious hell anyhow even without further members. It´s not about the quantity of the members. It´s about the energy and rage between the musicians.

Do you think you could add the bassist to the rank for example in the live situation or do you rather remain as a two piece at the stage as well ?

I think further members, no matter how talented, would just weaken this energy between Erinc and me. We know each other so good as friends as well as musicians we THINK and ACT like a machine when we play. No one could keep up with that.

As far as the sounds and the music of Mantar is concerned, how would you like to describe your style ? I find it a hybrid mix of sludge, doom and a bit of black and death metal…. do you share my opinion ?

As said. Names don’t mean shit. Labels and genres don´t mean a lot to us. You would have no idea how uneducated we are when it comes to all these subgenres. I do like a lot of bands that are labeled the way you described us, but to be honest I don´t know what we do or don´t. We just play and enjoy the beauty of destruction. Primal rage. Even if we would understand all these genres and what you gotta do to fit in our possibilities as musicians are very limited. What you hear on the record is what we can do best. We concentrate on that and skip the rest. Call it whatever you want. No offense. I guess labels are important for young people or a so called “scene” to justify their taste in music or their licking for a certain band. I am too old for this. We always stayed away from any certain “scene”. Never regretted that.

The second Mantar album named ODE TO THE FLAME came out on Nuclear Blast whereas the previous album DEATH BY BURNING was released on Svart. Did Nuclear Blast come into the picture and what made you ink the deal with them after all ?IMG_1559

The step toward NB was mostly a step toward a way better infrastructure. You have no idea how many people wrote us and asked why they cant get the record in their store next door or why the record is 20 bucks shipping. As the band grows we wanted to make sure to get the chance to push the record to the people. You know, we are not a super wannabe important underground elite bullshit band. We just wanna play and everyone who enjoys it is invited. And surprisingly that´s a whole lot of people so we wanted to make sure have a good partner that works well all over the world. When we decided to do another record we thought either to go even more underground or thinking big. All in between wasnt an option.  So we went for the label with the most fair deal regarding our artist freedom and the best distribution to make sure everyone have access to the record. For me most important was that no matter which label pretty much just leaves us and our music alone.

Was the deal with Svart for one album or did you have an option for the second one ?

One album. They only do that. Good label.

I can’t help asking if you were pleased with the way how Svart worked ?

They did great products and did everything we asked for when it comes to packaging and so on. Of course they know though that their possibilities are limited when it comes to promotion and all that stuff. But they don´t bother. They work with very simple and fair deals for (mostly) smaller bands. Surprisingly a lot of people got interested in MANTAR and we wanted to move on a little bit. I guess they understand and I am very glad we worked with Svart. Great Bands, great way of making “business”.

Now being on Nuclear Blast, what is the biggest difference between the small label Svart and a huge multinational label Nuclear Blast ?

Well, first of all there is not a big difference for us at all. That´s why we signed with them. We have a very strong DIY background and like to do things exactly how we want them to be. All bands should work like that. That´s what makes a band unique. Nuclear Blast just helps us pushing our shit to the people. But they pretty much leave us alone. They understand our vision.

How was the recording process of the second album ? Who was involved in the producing stage of the album ?IMG_1565

The recording was pretty much the same. Again, no prodcuer, just a friend who recorded us where we usually rehearse. Pretty simple, no gimmicks. Hard and raw. A lot of the songs weren´t even finished when we hit the studio. That´s a good way to keep thing exciting. To much comfort makes your record weak. (your band too)

Did you record the album in Hamburg from the beginning to the end or did you use other studio to expand the soundworld of Mantar ?

We recorded the drums in our hometown Bremen in a friend´s studio. We work a lot with natural room sounds to make it sound big. That why we were looking for a bigger drum room. I love how the drums sound. Good choice.

As for  the lyrical content, what kind of topics do you deal with them in the lyrics and where do you ladle all the inspirations and ideas for lyrics ?

To be honest I don´t really know. I don´t write with a certain topic or plan. I just take a piece of paper and a pen and let it flow. It sounds cheesy but my lyrics write themselves pretty much alone. I just start putting words together and the outcome almost everytime is the same kind of theme I explained above. I have no Idea where all this dark extreme and drastic content comes from. Maybe there is a side of me that comes to live as soon MANTAR starts to play. Don´t get me wrong, I am no poser and not even a misanthropic person. For me all this dark stuff is no gimmick or image and my lyrics ain´t just “occult” either. I leave that to retro rock bands and bands who need stereotypes. I wouldn’t call my lyrics “negative” either, it´s just drastic. I always try to put it in a poetic context though. I leave the preaching to other bands. We have no other message than destruction.

In general are you pleased with ODE TO THE FLAME and how it turned and sounds or do you find some things which should have been carried in other way ?

If it would not be 100% what we wanted and had in mind it would not come out. We inked the Deal with the record label AFTER we finished the record to keep the freedom of not releasing a second album at all. We were not interested in making a step backwards with a worse album than the first one.

In which way does the second album and its material differ from the debut album from your point of view ?401105

I am very confident that all people who liked the first record gonna enjoy the new one too. We didnt try to change the band at all. We know what we like. But of course we may have figured out what we are especially good in. I guess we improved the things we liked and are good in and skipped the rest. The new record is a status quo of MANTAR 2016. The best we can do. If you like it, great, if not, nothing we could do about it. I do think though we totally still have the grooving, rocking vibe as that´s definitely one of our best skills. But it´s true that this record probably turned out to be catchier but also even darker and sinister than DBB. I think we were just looking for new extremes and limits. But we really did not put to much brain in it, trust me. We are a very simple band. With simple goals. One of ´em is to be as violent as possible. Maybe we just learned in the last two years what we are especially good in and made that strength even better. As said before, next to that you wanna try some new things as you don´t wanna play exactly the same stuff all the time. And obviously I like the dark, black metal, melodic stuff a lot… so I might have improved my way of guitar playing a little bit. Overall it´s still important though not to lose your identity as a band. We like what we do. We don´t have to reinvent the wheel. People like that, I guess… But if you wanna listen to real experimental  melodic and “interesting” music we still are the wrong band for you. We want to create stress not art.

What kind of process was to create, compose and write the Mantar songs for ODE TO THE FLAME ? And how do you start creating a platform for a song ? Which comes firstly : lyrics or music ?

Most stuff is created while jamming a long in the rehearsal room with the two of us. Sometimes I bring a riff. But if it works you won´t know before we both play and jam on it. So sometimes things don´t work out at all and other stuff were you didn’t have any expectations seem to work just fine. We try to write fast, simple and focused. We don´t write songs for 2 years, we want them to sound spontaneous and raw. That´s why we enter the studio by the time when they are only 80-90 % finished to benefit from the “magic of the moment”. I complete the lyrics on the day I record the vocals. Most lyrics are made out of oparts that I write down whenever I feel like it in a little notebook I have. When we record I put together the parts that seem to fit best together.

I took a glance at the video clips of your recording process and it looked it was very intensive, but when doing the vocals do you have IMG_1569to be under the certain mood to reach the right vibe for the vocals ?

I don´t drink or take any drugs during the weeks of recording to be as focused as possible. I sleep very little and usually very bad. I don´t like studio too much. But I need to come in this focus were I can´t think about anything else than the songs and the music. Doing vocals is just a part of the process. That´what takes the longest time. Because I am not a professional singer or even professional technical “death” metal singer. I just want it sound as fucked up and pissed as anyhow possible. So I lose my voice after every song we did for at least 48 hours. But the result is quite convincing, don´t you think?

As a two man band, what kind of technology advances do you use in order to create such a massive, to be honest, crushing the sounds of which Mantar is known for ?

Volume is like a third member for us. We try to play as loud as wen can. Play I play a whole lot of amplifiers and cabinets at the same time. Big bass cabs too to bring the low end. Next to the technical part much more important is how the band plays together. A stated before we know each other very well. We THINK the same when we play. We become one. A machine so to speak.

I came across the video footage of St. Pauli Sessions, could you tell a bit more about the session ? Did you ask people to jam into the studio ? Did you wanna test the music sounds in the studio environment ?

Well, we just wanted to prove that we totally can put the record sound on stage and that we are able to pull of the same wall of sound live. We used and still use the same equipment for recording as well as for playing live. We  thought it was  a cool idea to prove it. So we invited a few friends bought some beer and just played the songs for them.

How many songs were played in the St.Pauli Sessions ?

Only 8 as we just started the band and couldn’t play the other two back then, haha. We just played 3 or 4 shows at that time. We didn’t even start touring.

I have witnessed Mantar as far as I can remember four times : Roadburn, Jalometalli and Summer Breeze and Wacken I have paid to how the drumset had been placed on the (right) side of the stage and the micstand was in front of the drum set, I assume there is IMG_1552some obvious purpose for that ?

That´s just how we started to play in our rehearsal room when we started to practice. We did that most of all for practical reasons to see what the other onje is doing and to communicate with our eyes during the songs. When we started playing shows we just kept it that way as we still totally were a brand new band and needed that for orientation. Nowadays we just do it as we are used to it. Furthermore I like they idea not playing FOR the people but having the people watching us doing OUR thing.

In general have you been utterly surprised to see the amount of interest by metal fans and press toward Mantar, obviously you didn’t expect when working on the first release ?

Yes. It was very strange and surprising. WE are grateful and take none of it for granted. Plus we don´t tale ourselves too serious. We take our band serious but not ourselves as persons. So we don´t think we are the coolest dudes ever just because people like our little band.

What is the next coming up for Mantar ? Obviously gigs ?

First I am gonna hang some more time in Florida where I live nowadays when we don´t tour and slowly get my power back as the last two years have been very exhausting to be honest. After that we will play a whole bunch of festivals all over europe and North America and hope to see as many people as possible at the shows. Plus we´ll  do a few small club shows to try the new material. We will travel countries we never have been to before and spend pretty much all summer in planes i am afraid. After the summer we will eventually tour Europe and the US and finally have two albums to play live. That´s awesome. If you can, stop by and have some beers with us. Overall we are very happy to play countried we have never been before. Having this band is a great way to explore the world. All in all I just hope to have a good time. That´s all. If it stops to be any fun it´s over.

I for one thank you for your time for doing the interview,,, but the last words are yours ….

Thanks for your ongoing and steady interest in MANTAR and your support. Spread the word and enjoy the new record.

The official Mantar sites :


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Van Canto – Interview with Ross and Stefan @ Islington Academy, London

April 8th, 2016
by UK Team

Van Canto

Interview with Ross Thompson and Stefan Schmidt

24th March 2016

Interview by Jacob Ovington

Van Canto are the only acapella metal band in the entire world. We don’t know of any others, anyway. In the beginning people laughed at their idea, but they kept on going. Having recorded six albums in ten years while steadily building up a fan-base, they’ve proved that thinking outside the box can pay off and that metal acapella is possible. We caught up with Ross and Stefan of the band before their London show to get an insight into one of the world’s most unique metal outfits.

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Van Canto @ Islington Academy, London

April 7th, 2016
by UK Team

Van Canto + Grailknights + End of the Dream

@ Islington Academy, London

24th March, 2016

Review by Jacob Ovington

Photography by Graham Hilling

A metal band without guitars? Yes, that’s right. In fact Van Canto don’t use any instruments at all, they’re the world’s first and only acapella metal outfit. All of their sound is produced by their voices, except the drums. Tonight they were headlining Islington Academy. Producing acapella metal in a studio is one thing, but the stamina it takes to manage a full headline set is another. Let’s see how they fare.

Van Canto-2
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Dirkschneider with support on Back To The Roots European Tour 2016 at Kulturbolaget Malmo, Sweden

April 6th, 2016
by Anders Sandvall

Back To The Roots European Tour 2016
Anvil – special guest
Rampart – support act

Kulturbolaget, Malmo, Sweden
25/2 – 2016

Live review and pictures by: Anders Sandvall


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KATAKLYSM take home Juno award for Heavy Metal Album of the Year.

April 5th, 2016
by J P

12933163_10153750157448375_5250099466444286459_nKATAKLYSM took home the award for “Heavy Metal Album of the Year” at the Juno Awards (the Canadian Equivalent to the Grammy’s) this past weekend in recognition of their latest masterpiece, Of Ghosts And Gods.

Comments the band:
“It was a great weekend in the KATAKLYSM world! First off singer Maurizio Iacono and his wife Suzzy were busy welcoming a healthy beautiful little girl into the world named Arianna on April 1st. During this joyful time, the rest of the boys were in Calgary attending the Juno Awards, where the band took the honors for “heavy metal album of the year “ for our latest album Of Ghosts and Gods. So the band is in full celebration mode as anyone can imagine! 

“What a crazy ride its been. We started over 20 years ago in high school playing a form of music that was totally not accepted by the masses and we didn’t care. We were rebels with a passion and we were determined to spread that through our music. Fast forward to today and that hasn’t changed a bit. That same passion and determination is still very present and stronger then ever. What HAS changed is the view and acceptance of this form of music.

“We thank the Juno’s for thinking forward and giving metal a voice to the masses. We are honored to have been recognized with our latest album Of Ghosts And Gods, which we are very proud off, but this doesn’t change who we are. It is the fans that carry us though it all and our label that believed in us from the beginning. We urge labels to do the same with developing bands and artists, that need that attention the most, especially in today’s music industry climate. We are humbled and we thank you all.“

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Metal Mayhem In May With MUSIC ON VINYL

April 5th, 2016
by Celtic Bob


n May 2016, Music On Vinyl will start releasing catalogue from the revered Heavy Metal label Roadrunner Records, courtesy of Warner Music. To celebrate, a Heavy Metal release campaign is launched called Metal Mayhem. The campaign includes first-ever vinyl releases by Murderdolls, Life Of Agony, two Nailbomb album reissues, and classic album reissues of Dream Theater, Testament and Cinderella. These releases will hit European record stores on 180 gram audiophile vinyl for a limited time in exclusive coloured editions, followed by regular black vinyl issues.

Metal Mayhem
The first batch includes the first-time on vinyl release Beyond The Valley Of The Murderdolls (2002) by Horror Punk band Murderdolls, featuring Wednesday 13, Joey Jordison of Slipknot/Scar The Martyr and Tripp Eisen of Static-X. A limited edition of 1000 individually numbered copies on blood red vinyl will be made available. Nailbomb‘s impressive debut Point Blank (1994) will get a well-deserved Music On Vinyl treatment on 180 gram audiophile vinyl. The Industrial, sample-heavy Metal/Hardcore project of Sepultura/Soulfly front man Max Cavalera and producer Alex Newport (Fudge Tunnel) got rave reviews in the mid Nineties. 2000 numbered copies on blood red vinyl will be made available, after which a regular black edition will be available. Both releases hit the streets on May 2nd.

The May 16th batch includes the final release of Nailbomb, the live album Proud To Commit Commercial Suicide, recorded at the 1995 Dynamo Festival in Eindhoven, The Netherlands. Their only live appearance, the title says it all – it’s a worthy goodbye to their fans who supported the group from day one. For this occasion, 1500 numbered copies on yellow vinyl are available at record stores all over Europe. Life Of Agony, fronted by enigmatic singer Keith (Mina) Caputo, was perhaps the most original Metal group of the Nineties, and several of their albums have become staples in record collections worldwide. They established their live reputation at the Lowlands festival in 1997, when they performed an acoustic set for thousands of ecstatic fans. These recordings, called Unplugged At The Lowlands Festival ’97, were never before released on vinyl, until now. A 2LP set, containing 7 live (electric) bonus tracks, will get a strictly limited first pressing of 1500 numbered copies on orange vinyl.

And that’s not all for Life Of Agony. On June 6th, their third album from 1997 Soul Searching Sun will also get a first ever vinyl release. To celebrate, a limited coloured pressing on yellow/orange flamed vinyl will be made available to the public. Also keep an eye out for a brand new studio album later this year from the New York based band.

Other Hard Rock related vinyl releases during Music On Vinyl’s Metal Mayhem campaign include a pitch black vinyl edition of Souls Of Black by Testament and a ice cold white vinyl edition of Long Cold Winter by Hard Rock group Cinderella (both releases are made available on May 9th, 2016). Later on in June, albums by TSOL and Apocalyptica will be released.

As a special bonus to the Metal Mayhem release campaign, Music On Vinyl will reissue one of their Dream Theater albums, Images And Words, on red/gold mixed vinyl for just a limited time. Each copy will be individually numbered and rumor has it more limited editions of Dream Theater are coming up.

Consumers can get in on the action by participating in special daily Metal Mayhem give-aways. With the hashtag #metalmayhem, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter users can share their favorite metal album pictures in order to win a random Music On Vinyl Metal Album Of The Day. One lucky winner will get all Roadrunner limited editions, a special collectible wood print by Diego Scaglia Rat (of Engravers Dungeon) and several Music On Vinyl goodies including a turntable slipmat.

More details on the Music On Vinyl website

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Interview with ABBATH

March 31st, 2016
by Robert Williams


Interview with ABBATH

Conducted by Robert Williams
Videography courtesy of Sandra Torres

Norwegian black metal pioneer Abbath is a busy man these days, promoting his debut self-titled solo effort after enduring a less than amicable split with his past cohorts in Immortal. The new album has already been introduced to the masses by way of the “Count The Dead” single and “Winterbane” music video. Abbath is joined on the new album by fellow black metal stalwart King ov Hell and confirms that the camaraderie  that was missing from Immortal is firmly in place with his new lineup. We caught up with Abbath the afternoon of his headlining appearance in Austin, Texas and discussed the new album, the current lineup, the recent reunion with Old Funeral, his thoughts on American beer and more… Watch our grim and frostbitten chat below!

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