The mighty Jalometalli Open Air Metal festival strikes once again with a killer killer line-up to maintain the loyal to the metal. The festival is known for relying on offering everything from traditional metal to extreme metal. Above all, it is also the classic names who have never ever visited Finland before that make this special. The legendary Teatria club is now history as it was torn down. The last year’s event was arranged in the parking lot of a big sport hall. Fortunately the organization of the Jalometalli festival decided to return the festival to its original place named Kuusisaari.
Once again the Metal Rules team hit the ground of Oulu to witness several absolutely killer bands. The whole Jalometalli festival is so unique and one of a kind that anyone reading this article should take a glance at the offering of the festival. Here is a brief article on the fest. So the time had come all of us to leave bitter sweet farewells to the old venue where we have enjoyed great music and great company throughout the years.
The domestic dance metal wonder Battle Beast kicked the set off. It was quite a clever trick from the organization to place Battle Beast to be an opening act of the fest. The band pulled a nice crowd to the open field. Battle Beast’s frontlady knows how to entertain and encourage the audience go beserk and above all have some fun. Battle Beast offered a solid set of the best of their songs.
Local Encrypted was advertised to play some kind of technical death metal so I was pretty disappointed to hear something resembling more modern thrash than, let’s say, old Atheist. Fortunately they did play some deathier stuff as well with some bass wankery but in the end this was not anywhere near my cup of tea, too young boys influenced by some new dull stuff. I don’t even remember when there was actually an interesting tech death hailing from Finland. But did I catch that this was their last gig ever? It’s good to quit when you are on top, right?
Sotajumala has been gigging several domestic metal bands during this summer. Why now as the new album titled Rauniossa (In The Ruins) by Sotajumala offers a brutal slab of the barbaric and raw death metal at its best. Sotajumala has proved to be one hell of strike on every gig, therefore Jalometalli was no exception. The five piece’s raw and uncompromising delivery left no wondering, instead the audience turned to be utter beserks. The vocalist Mynni usually expresses the standpoint of his own on what he things about issues, this time the crap religion, the islam, got mugshot from the vocalist and the audience cheered….
Hell led by Andy Sneap has been a constant visitor in Finland during the past few years. The band has rehearsed all the manners and performance with the tight. Hell’s old school metal with the modern sound grip is a perfect example of when the old school British heavy metal meets the modern day approach. The frontman’s theatrical manners and acting gave the more showman feeling and skills of his roles as the essential part of the whole HELL concept. Unfortunately Hell is not able to drag the whole theatrical visualistic arsenal to blow the stage up. Anyway the mandatory whipping session was there. All in all witnessing Hell in a more club with the gear would be the welcomed choice after.
I’ve been seeing Obscure Burial too many times already in recent couple years but I must say that these guys usually deliver the goods and so did they now. They didn’t attract that much audience in Jalometalli but we the luck few we’re treated with the black mass of robust death/black/whatever in the oldest of veins. Guys have some good hooks and riffs in their stuff and it’s rejuvenating to hear something so ancient but still fresh that it’s hard to put any tag on it. This is just metal as it’s best.
The legendary British metal squad Satan got re-activated a few years back and released the highly acclaimed album Life Sentence and will be putting out the fourth album Atom By Atom. Well the old school metal with all these extreme bands sounded the welcomed choice for sure. The classic sounds with the catchy riffs is all about what the true metal is supposed to sound. The five piece may turn out to be a bit too old for the younger generation, but it got hammered more than well to the kids. Oh by the way the frontman Brian Ross made a visit to the mighty Jalometalli a few years ago with another highly respected British heavy metal band Blitzkrieg.
Wengele (or Mengele/Insomnia as they were know back in the day) has not been doing much since their demo in 2004 but they really should. They kick ass live and even their ‘new’ material (from that 2004 demo) is pretty solid and doesn’t stick out in a bad way. But classics are classics and boy they sound good. I might be biased as a Jääli native myself but Mengele in it’s prime was one of the greatest thrash band from Finland and they still are.
CRADLE OF FILTH
If Cradle Of Filth didn’t get that highly and desperately wanted action in the audience at Wacken, but instead the Finnish audience appeared to be more appreciate toward COF. Obviouslty the frontman Dani Filth got some technical problems with the wireless system, as keeping communicating with a technician several times. However COF is either liked or disliked, but judging by the reaction of the audience, COF got the full good enjoyment back from the audience. The setlist was a basic dissection of the long career of Cradle Of Filth, should it be said Dani Filth’s. However songs had been picked up from eight album. All in all solid and routine gig from Dani and his backup forces.
The newest output by Stargazery called Star Aligned came out of blue for sure – featuring the astonishing and outstanding traditional melodic heavy metal songs. Therefore witnessing Stargazery on the stage was on the “must see” list. The band’s strong sounding melodic heavy metal sounded splendid with an awesome vocalist (having toured with Michael Schenker btw). Those ones looking for the real heavy metal without any mandatory power metal nuances, Stargazery is an obvious choice for sure.
Simpy put, Obituary ruled. Heavy and thick as hell, Jalometalli has seldomly had this perfect sound. After petty clowns of Cradle of Filth and other weak so-called metal acts of the earlier day, Obituary’s relentless slab of pure unadulterated Florida death metal was a blessing, like an oasis in the desert. The new stuff is pretty decent actually, probably best material they put out since the days of World Demise. But of course Obituary is made of from really simple ingredients, but it’s ok for a while the gig usually last. It’s good to degenerate to this primal level once in a while.
Describing the stuff played by Alfahanne aint’t that easy. it could be a a hybrid mix of black metal meets the rocking elements. being on the stage the band is definitely unpredictable and capricious. BUT Were these guys of Alfahanne in mess or something cos the whole gig looked more like out of control. The gig was pretty chaotic and hassling. Not even sure if they filled the full playing time cos the band stormed off the stage without any warning …
Saxon is an institution that is always pleasure to witness on stage but Jalometalli’s gig showcased that for a casual listener, their material is a bit uneven. The classics in the end of the setlist were awesome but the new stuff sounded bit uninspired. So it seems to be with almost every veteran band so it’s not only Saxon that should stick with the old ones. (The Inner Sanctum from 2007 had some pretty wicked stuff though) Biff Byford has this unfakeable charisma of legendary heavy metal front men so whatever Saxon actually plays, the band is still a treat to watch and hear. And when they play their “best of” stuff, there’s not many heavy metal bands that can even touch that level of quality. Andy Sneap of Hell (and others) joined the band to play on one song, a cool extra feature.
JESS AND THE ANCIENT ONES
For me, Jess and the Ancient Ones lacks soul. For me they sound like an attempt to milk the Zeitgeist from bunch of experienced metal musicians. They are too nice and safe when compared with the vivid and raw imagination of bands they draw from. That said, their gig reminded me from the glory days of Qstock, a festival happening in the same place, and especially the gig of Swedish Witchcraft there. Kuusisaari’s paviljonki is a splendid place to end a festival day with some retro sounds and packed, sweaty atmosphere. Looking the audience, I was pretty much alone with my skeptical attitude as singer Jess ruled the house with her presence.
The Finnish speed/thrash youngesters Lost Society have proved to be one hell of storm on the stage with the insane driving force. The gig at Jalometalli wasn’t any exception as to being totally out of control. The guys with the relentless passion and attitude thrashed the whole set throughout with the incredible rage. Even the playing was the second thing compared to their ultimate hassling. Even though a bit in the controlling may be needed for guys to gasp for some air.
The Domestic old school reindeer thrash metal patrol A.R.G got activated a few years back and unleashed the brutal thrashing. The old thrashers unleashed the blistering extra vaganza thrash metal set by offering a great deal of the classic ones of their own. There was no extra bullshit talking chitchat between songs, instead the four piece thrash tornado pushed with the full force ahead.
Annihilator has been crisscrossing Europe at several festivals. The Canucks managed to make it to Finland on the hectic schedule. When following Jeff Waters’ performace with the back-up forces, it couldn’t help thinking if Waters had been a vocalist since the beginning of the reincarnation of Annihilator and been a singer on every album. Annihilator might be in a different position such as Megadeth, whose frontman is recognized as the leader of the outfit. Plagued by several line-up changes and hassles Waters has taken the vocalist role over again. The four piece sounded tight and well trained, but nailed the songs with the tight playing. Even though Padden is no longer involved in Annihilator, Waters’ role as a real frontman is obvious. Despite that Waters aint that great singer. As a matter of fact Waters should have been singing since the first album to avoid all these line-up hassles.
The two men Inquisition have gained the deserved reputation during the past few years. The band has been gigging damn effectively all around. That has paid a lot as Inquisition got extremely great respond from the audience. The Frontman Dagon easily conquered the stage with the strong charisma and above all performance. Inquisition hammered the audience down by doing the intensive set of the grim sounding vicious black metal.
Candlemass without the primusmotor of the band Leif Edling sounds odd for sure. However the former Grave bassist had been recruited to take over Edling’s spot on the stage. However Edling is supposed to return back to the rank after solving the health problems. As for the set, well it has to be admitted Mats Leven is a fantastic singer, not the voice of Candlemass at all and the characteric one like the previous most wellknown singer. The set consisted of several Candlemass classic tunes. Despite the line-up has gone radical changes, something was missing from the playing though the gig sounded solid
The Swedish Tribulation is kind of odd band as the band dress up as some kind of eerie black metal, but instead the stuff is more melancholic dark metal with the obvious black metal references. That kind of stuff of Tribulation would need more darkened atmosphere in a grim club rather than an open door festival. Tribulation delivered the dismal set of the dark/blackish metal with a certain touch.
Dark Tranquillity offered a solid and quaranteed melodeathwhatevermetalgothenburg sounding metal – pretty sterile- nothing surprise. However the frontman Mikael Stanne is a great vital frontman taking the audience more than well. As for the material, well the set was a nice balance of songs from several albums. Basically it was kind of best of set from Dark Tranquillity to offer and pleased both the old and new fans.
The Finnish death/Doom metal squad Hooded Menace concluded the two day Jalometalli festival. The Deadly doomesters in an indoor club offered the lethal doom stuff with the slow heavy grip throughout the whole show. The band’s doomy riffs sounded bombastic and brutal.
Epiphone, UDR Records & Annihilator are proud to offer you an exclusive free MP3 download of “My Revenge”, from Annihilator’s new album, Suicide Society, out September 18, 2015. Suicide Society is the band’s 15th studio album and guitarist, songwriter, and longtime Epiphone Signature Artist Jeff Waters wants to let Epiphone fans to be the first to hear some Epi-made metal riffs and shredding! Just click the download button and feast your ears on this exclusive, full-song track: “My Revenge”–new from Annihilator. And stay tuned to Epiphone.com for more news from Jeff Waters and Epiphone soon!
Legendary Canadian thrash/heavy metal masters Annihilator will release their brand new (and 15th!) studio album, “SUICIDE SOCIETY”, on September 18th, 2015 via UDR Music, worldwide.
As usual, guitar wizard Jeff Waters handles all songwriting duties, plays all guitar & bass, engineers, produces, mixes and masters “Suicide Society”… and Waters is also back commanding lead vocal duties, as he did on the critically acclaimed “King of the Kill” (1994), “Refresh the Demon” (1996), “Remains” (1997) and other Annihilator albums over the years.
Waters on his return to vocal duties: “Dave (Padden/vocalist from 03-14) & I have, essentially, been Annihilator since 2003 but he resigned last December, citing having had enough of touring, being away from home and other commitments. I thank him for his 11 years with Annihilator. That said, Annihilator and I are known for never giving up and, occasionally, coming up with something even better than its former offering(s): this is undeniably the case with “Suicide Society!”
Listen to some clips from “SUICIDE SOCIETY” and see the CD cover here:
Article and pictures by Arto Lehtinen,
Marko Syrjala, and Patrick Clement
Hell yeah! It’s time to enter the mighty Swedenrock Festival. A fantastic and the most enjoyable rock and metal festival on earth. It has to be pointed out that Metal Rules has covered Sweden Rock since 2001! Therefore, it is quite logical to cover the festival again. The 2014 line up presented a wide range of metal and hard rock. Approximately 80 metal and rock bands offered one hell of an experience for attendees. Sweden Rock has been successful during the past decade as the festival has always been sold out. This year wasn’t an exception as the fest was sold out despite a lousy economic situation worldwide. It has become quite logical for us to give an in depth article on several bands performing at Sweden Rock to all the readers out there. The weather was both rainy and sunny during these four days. The Metal-Rules.com team was there to witness the bands, not for some kinda beach party crap. Unfortunately, we are not able to cover every bloody band, but hopefully you will have a pleasant reading experience… Rock on!
Interviewed by: Anders Sandvall
Thanks to Massacre Records for providing the promo pics
Here comes an update on what DuskMachine is up to. The band features a lot of well known names like drummer Randy Black, singer Joe Comeau and bass player Russ Bergquist. The interview is with Bergquist, and we spoke about the bands second album entitled DUSKMACHINE, and of course about the brilliant guest appearance on the album. If you are curious about the music of DuskMachine then continue onwards. Read the rest of this entry »
Looks like you zombies can‘t get enough of the Feast! ANNIHILATOR‘s latest masterpiece is let loose again as Limited Edition No. 2 – with re-recorded ANNIHILATOR classics on CD and the full Wacken Festival show on DVD, all in a special Ecolbook version with a new 3D cover!
This edition contains:
– The new album Feast in a CD-sized book with extra pages in the booklet
– The 15-song bonus CD Re-Kill with newly recorded ANNIHILATOR classics
– Plus a never-seen-before live DVD filmed at last year‘s Wacken Open Air, when the band opened the festival relentlessly regardless of the blistering heat!
– Not to mention a brand new 3D cover taking over where the original Feast cover left us. Which means: More zombies, and they are coming closer!
That‘s 35 songs-worth of the finest Canadian thrash metal. Pretty cool package, eh?
The Feast Ecolbook version will be available in US on March 11, 2014.
ANNIHILATOR’s 14th studio album Feast was released in August 2013 to critical acclaim and reached the charts in several countries, among them Germany (#20), Finland (#17), Switzerland (#36) and France (#76). Read the rest of this entry »
Annihilator is a Canadian thrash metal band that was formed in 1984 by guitarist/vocalist Jeff Waters. The band has sold over two million albums worldwide. Their debut album, ALICE IN HELL, is considered to be one of true classics of the thrash metal genre and Waters’ “extraordinary guitar playing skills” are widely recognized. Since formation, Annihilator has released thirteen studio albums and gone through many line-up changes. The band now consists of two official members, with Waters and rhythm guitarist/vocalist Dave Padden, who joined band ranks in 2003. The line-up is now completed with touring bassist Alberto Campuzano and drummer Mike Harshaw who also performed on the band’s latest album FEAST. Annihilator has enjoyed a strong upswing in Europe during the last few years. FEAST is their best-selling album since the late 80’s glory days and Annihilator concerts have been mainly sold out. Tonight’s show in Helsinki made no exception when over 600 metalheads find their way to witness Canadian’s finest performing in Club Nosturi. Welcome to the show!
The most prestigious Heavy Metal festival in southern Italy reveals one more surprise for the 2014 Edition!
Just a few weeks after the announcement of the first confirmed bands, the organizers of the TOTAL METAL OPEN AIR FESTIVAL spread another wonderful news to the Italian metal audience! In fact, in addition to the already announced and warmly welcomed MOONSPELL, the famous Apulian event will also feature the stainless thrash metal band ANNIHILATOR!
Since their smashing debut in 1989, that Technical Thrash Metal masterpiece called “Alice In Hell“, Annihilator came overwhelmingly among the big names of global metal scene, standing out for their unique style which today is a source of inspiration for many other big band and, at the same time, inimitable! After more than 20 years of career, the band led by virtuoso and brilliant guitarist Jeff Waters is still an amazing war machine and it showed not only with their latest highly successful album “Feast“, but also with their latest fired live appearances on prestigious stages such as Wacken Open Air, the Metal Days in Tolmin and many others in every corner of the world where big metal fans were able to find a band in excellent form and capable with every single riff to penetrate deep within every soul devoted to the sacred creed of Heavy Metal!
Annihilator is a band with 24 years of touring experience and 14 critically acclaimed studio albums under their belt. Apart from that, they’re also a heavy metal band that has managed to maintain a strong and dedicated fan-base supporting them throughout the years.
August, 2013 saw the release of Feast – the latest Annihilator studio album that includes 9 brand new killer tracks and 15 re-recordings of the band’s most well-known songs.
On October the 13th, 2013, Annihilator lads paid a visit to London’s O2 Academy Islington to present their latest material and play some of the good old Annihilator classics to a sold out room full of London’s finest metalheads.
ANNIHILATOR mainman Jeff Waters is featured in a career-spanning interview with Dead Rhetoric. An excerpt from the discussion is available below:
Dead Rhetoric: As the ’90s wore on, the band started to do better in Europe, but remained idle in America. At that point, were you like, “Forget it!”?
Waters: “Yes, I stopped looking in 1995 when I was trying to get a deal for King Of The Kill. The Japanese and European labels were signing me to good deals, but I couldn’t get anyone in North America to respond to my faxes – that was the thing back then, and phone calls. Nobody wants us, reality check. I took it as a slam against me, the industry wouldn’t accept me. If I didn’t have Europe or Japan behind me I would probably be a bum on the street or dead right now (laughs). Music is my life, I didn’t want to change band names or music styles, I got lucky.”
Dead Rhetoric: What was the tipping point in terms of you shifting your focus away from North America? Was it Never, Neverland?
Waters: “Roadrunner dropped everything that was metal. There were no bands left from that purge- Canadian or United States that had the word metal in it. You had Robb Flynn from VIO-LENCE turn into MACHINE HEAD, they didn’t start off with the thrash they have been playing recently – they had red jumpsuits on and changed their sound/image. Bands lost their record deals – nobody was in a position to carry on. Most bands just got jobs, some bands adapted and got rid of their name, changed out musicians and went on. For Machine Head that worked. We said, this is what we do. We had the luck of Europe and Japan staying with these styles and still buying our music.
My opinion would be much different if those two territories had not been there, I probably would have been quite bitter and depressed. We didn’t have an option in North America unless I wanted to change the name of the band and play a different form of music. Set the World On Fire didn’t do well in North America, but it was the second biggest album for us ever in Japan, and King Of The Kill was the biggest one there, Set The World On Fire had us headlining to 80,000 people at the Dynamo Festival in Europe, so we were going up but North America didn’t see that. I didn’t have time to tour the world and try to break back in Canada and the United States. Playing this was not the kind of music the labels wanted to sign anyway, a traditional form of heavy metal and thrash metal. Fans may have wanted it, but the industry didn’t, the clubs didn’t, the booking agents didn’t.”
Canadian metal legends ANNIHILATOR are gearing up for studio cd #14, simply titled “FEAST”, which will be released on Tuesday, September 3rd, 2013 via the UDR label. 9 brand new tracks that will kick your ass. The deluxe ECO-book version will also feature a 15-song Bonus CD… a grand total of 24 songs in one package – with a 3D cover! Read the rest of this entry »
Canuck legends ANNIHILATOR have announced a special club gig at The Brass Monkey in Ottawa, ON on April 18. The show will feature support from local metal act AGGRESSOR.
Says Waters: “I figured, since I go to this bar often to check out bands, I need to bring my guys there to have some fun before we leave for our next tour in April! Come on down, if you can get in… this will be about as intimate as it gets and expect an early start and long set! Party at my house after.”
As an added bonus to the evening, guitarist Jeff Waters is offering up one of his signature Epiphone Flying V guitars to be won. All you need to do is buy a ticket to the show and you are automatically entered into the raffle.
Tickets go on sale Friday, March 30th at 10AM through this location or in person from the venue.
Mike Mangini is an American drummer, and the current drummer for the progressive metal band Dream Theater. Mangini joined band in 2011 after the departure of founding drummer Mike Portnoy. Later on that same year the band released its latest opus DRAMATIC TURN OF EVENTS. Mangini’s earlier playing credits include Annihilator, Extreme and Steve Vai among others. He’s also well known for his work as a session musician and lecturing for years at the Berklee College of Music in Boston. Mangini has also written two books titled Rhythm Knowledge about his unique drumming techniques, a practice method for deconstructing and simplifying complex poly-rhythms and time signatures. Dream Theater opened their 2012 European leg of “Dramatic Tour of Events” from Helsinki in mid January. It was at this tour stop that we had a pleasure to sit down with Mr. Mangini and discuss the current state of Dream Theater and some older stuff as well. Read on!