Imagine a weekend of nothing but pure heavy fucking metal.
Imagine being surrounded by the friendliest 15,000 people who share the same passion for heavy metal music and lifestyle. Imagine a place where it is respectable to have beer for breakfast and drinking until you drop in an accomplishment. Imagine a festival where you can see over 100 heavy metal bands and pretty much none of them suck.
Ladies and gents, this ain’t no heavy metal fairytale!
This is Bloodstock Open Air – the greatest heavy metal music festival of our times. It’s a place where metal heads run free, headbang until their heads roll off, shout ‘SLAYEEER!’ and avoid shower for 4 days straight.
It just does not get any better than this.
Our Metal-Rules.com UK team were privileged to attend Bloodstock Open Air 2013 and see things for themselves…here’s a ‘little’ insight of what went down.
REVIEW AND PHOTOS BY ARTO LEHTINEN AND MARKO SYRJALA
TUSKA AFTERPARTY FEAT. MARKY RAMONE’S BLITZKRIEG REVIEW BY CHRISTER USENIUS
The Tuska Open Air Festival is definitely a real metal festival institution amongst all other metal festivals in Europe. This current area, Suvilahti, almost located in the heart of Helsinki, only a few kilometers away from the downtown, is the new home for Tuska for the second time. Suvilahti is more like an industrial environment with burning and hot asphalt underfoot. Tuska faced a serious battle to pull the audience as another festival named Rock The Beach was arranged on the same weekend in the Helsinki area. The line-up of that festival mostly pulled the normal radio friendly audience whereas the die-hard metal freaks arrived at the Tuska Open Air Festival. Tuska however managed to pull about 25.000 visitors during the weekend. That was pretty good as the line-up did look good, not that tempting to pull a mainstream audience.
Nightwish and Testament, and of course the legendary Danish King Diamond were headliners, but of course a few cult metal bands like Bolt Thrower, Lama, had to be witnessed. The festival was an nice success although the event wasn’t sold out. Metal-Rules.com was present to check out a lot of bands and enjoy the metal in different forms.
Reviewed and live pictures by: Anders Sandvall
Guest contributor: Ulrika Henriksson
For the fourth year in a row, it is once again time for this years edition of Copenhell Festival. The festival is the largest metal/hardrock festival in Denmark and located in the outskirts of Copenhagen. The organizers, Live Nation Denmark, had outdone themselves this year and booked more bands than ever. They had also branched out music-wise and this year was not only dedicated to the more extreme forms of metal but also to traditional metal. The bands that performed included: In Flames, Ghost, Accept, Sabaton, Testament, and the Danish metal legend King Diamond who’s show closed the festival at Saturday night. Read about the great festival below. Read the rest of this entry »
There is not much rotten in the state of Denmark this sunny Friday afternoon as the metal festival Copenhell, for the fourth time, is about to take place in the heart of the capital Copenhagen. 10.000 metal-fans are fitted into a playground of everything related to the Scandinavian metal-scene; Vikings, burning churches and a small cemetery for your resting pleasure. The gates to hell have once again opened and this year with an ever so growing and bigger line-up than the previous years. Read the rest of this entry »
KING DIAMOND has issued the following tour update regarding the Graspop Metal Meeting 2013, taking place in Dessel, Belgium June 28th – 30th:
“Quite a few people have had some questions regarding our performance at the Graspop Festival in Belgium. Here is how I understand it:
IRON MAIDEN headlines Stage 1 on June 30th. We headline Stage 2, which is called Marquee 1, also on June 30th, but after Iron Maiden’s performance. Initially, we were only offered a one-hour slot on the Marquee 1 stage, before Iron Maiden would play Stage 1. We respectfully declined the offer, since we would not have been able to do our full set. In the meantime, Iron Maiden has requested to play earlier (time slots 9 pm – 11 pm) on Stage 1, which opened up a time slot on the Marquee 1 stage after Iron Maiden’s performance, which would give us the opportunity to play our full show anyway. We have accepted that offer.
So: Iron Maiden will headline Stage 1 in time slot 9 pm – 11 pm.
King Diamond will headline Marquee 1 stage in time slot after Iron Maiden, performing our full headline show.”
King Diamond recently signed a new three-album worldwide record deal with Metal Blade Records.
Says band namesake King Diamond: “This is gonna be awesome! Another perfect piece of the puzzle. We have the full backup of Metal Blade, and there’s an understanding between us that goes much, much deeper than before. Our new business setup will noticeably benefit the fans in so many ways. You must have already noticed some of all the cool new stuff that is happening. Now we can’t wait to get out there and start touring again!
King Diamond’s 30-plus year musical career is one of the most storied in history of heavy metal, but the tale is not yet over. The most recent release, 2007′s Grammy nominated album, Give Me Your Soul…Please, stands as one of the most critically-acclaimed albums in an already iconic discography. Future albums will feature entirely new horror stories, concepts, haunting orchestrations, and the band’s signature brand of heavy metal from the mind of King Diamond and the talented group of musicians in tow: Andy La Rocque, Mike Wead, Hal Patino, and Matt Thompson. Many more albums, tours, and ventures lay ahead.
According to the Mayan calendar the world was supposed to end today, so if you’re reading this it’s safe to assume the Mayans were way off base. Just as well, too, because GMM2013 will shake Dessel to its foundations and we’ve got 15 new confirmations to help us do just that: Korn, Bullet For My Valentine, King Diamond, Testament, Hellyeah, Ghost, Katatonia, Caliban, Moonspell, Unleashed, Entombed, Red Fang, Amaranthe, Veil Of Maya and Varg.
Our best season’s greetings and a fantastic start to the new year!
About the new names:
With King Diamond we’re adding a legendary band to our 2013 lineup. The Danish heavy metal band around the eponymous lead singer arose in the mid-eighties from the ashes of another legendary metal act called Mercyful Fate and quickly rose to prominence. King Diamond’s 30+ year musical career is one of the most storied in history of heavy metal, but the tale is not yet over! The most recent release, 2007’s Grammy nominated album ‘Give Me Your Soul … Please’, stands as one fo the most critically-acclaimed albums in an already iconic discography. You will be treated to the largest and most involved stage production in the band’s storied history. Horror concepts from multiple albums will be used in the décor! Feast your eyes and ears on this creative centipede at GMM2013!
Korn and Bullet For My Valentine need no introduction and we’re pleased to welcome these three household names back to our festival. Why? Because they’re popular as hell, they enjoy playing here and they deserve it. Welcome back guys!
Red Fang is a catchy heavy stoner rock band. After several successful tours supporting Mastodon and a first headlining tour in 2012, these guys are more than ready to make their mark on the major European festival stages.
For thirty years, the mighty Testament has been a tower of strength in the thrash landscape. Ever since the release of their epic debut ‘The Legacy’, the band around Eric Peterson and Chuck Billy has been a force to be reckoned with. Five years after their last GMM performance these thrash pioneers are back to treat us to the best of three decades of uncompromising thrash.
Metal Blade Records is pleased to announce that Grammy Award nominated KING DIAMOND has signed a new 3 album worldwide record deal with the label.
“This is gonna be awesome! Another perfect piece of the puzzle. We have the full backup of Metal Blade, and there’s an understanding between us that goes much, much deeper than before.
Our new business setup will noticeably benefit the fans in so many ways. You must have already noticed some of all the cool new stuff that is happening.
Now we can’t wait to get out there and start touring again!”
KING DIAMOND is quite possibly the most recognizable and prolific personality ever in heavy metal. Revered by icons as big as Metallica and Pantera to inspiring new upstarts like Goatwhore; KING DIAMOND, the man and the band, have left an indelible mark on the history, and now again, the future of heavy metal.
In August of 2008, KING DIAMOND joined Metallica on stage at Ozzfest in Dallas to perform the Mercyful Fate medley made famous from the Garage, Inc. album. Additionally, KING DIAMOND was featured alongside Motorhead’s Lemmy Kilmister as a playable character in Guitar Hero: Metallica in 2009.
By 2012, KING DIAMOND was prepared to return to the stage for a select number of shows. The band’s triumphant return to the stage were the highlights of both the Hellfest and Sweden Rock festivals in France and Sweden. Fans at these festivals were treated to the largest and most involved stage production in the band’s storied history. Horror concepts from multiple albums were used in the décor; fans can rest-assured that this show will only get larger and more impressive at future performances.
KING DIAMOND’s 30+ year musical career is one of the most storied in history of heavy metal, but the tale is not yet over. The most recent release, 2007′s Grammy nominated album Give Me Your Soul…Please, stands as one of the most critically-acclaimed albums in an already iconic discography. Future albums will feature entirely new horror stories, concepts, haunting orchestrations, and the band’s signature brand of heavy metal from the mind of KING DIAMOND and the talented group of musicians in tow: Andy La Rocque, Mike Wead, Hal Patino, and Matt Thompson. Many more albums, tours, and ventures lay ahead.
King Diamond returned to the limelight after a long break. The whole band had been put on hold when the legendary Danish metal icon experienced several health issues. However, the man returned from the world beyond to show that King Diamond still reigns supreme in the metal world. I had the great pleasure to talk to the guitarist of King Diamond Andy LaRocque about the return to the stage, the song writing process and of course his producer role for several bands. Enjoy!
King Diamond guest on upcoming episode of That Metal Show!
King Diamond fans, rejoice! Metal Blade Records has teamed up with the infamous master of metal himself, KING DIAMOND, to unleash a brand new official website and line of official merchandise. KingDiamondCoven.com is the new go-to spot for all things KING DIAMOND and MERCYFUL FATE; there you will find all the latest news, videos, photos, tour dates, discography, and more! In the brand new official web store, items ranging from t-shirts, hoodies, gym shorts, and bootie shorts, to items like beanies, sweat cuffs, and backpacks are currently available for preorder with more items set to be added each month! Designs will cover KING DIAMOND’s entire catalog, not just the Metal Blade releases, so be sure to head over to KingDiamondStore.com (European fans go HERE) to check out current designs available for preorder and be sure to check back every few weeks for new designs and exclusive items including limited items that once sold out, will not be made again.
Metal Blade Records’ team has been working tirelessly around the clock with the King himself to bring his devoted fans high quality and highly demanded merchandise; gone are the days of having to pay too much money for low quality bootlegged merch! All items are being made with the upmost care to design and quality, worthy of even the most devout fans celebrated collection.
In other KING DIAMOND news; King recently took a trip out to Southern California to be a guest on the 11 season of VH1 Classic’s “That Metal Show” with hosts Eddie Trunk, Jim Florentine, and Don Jamieson. Tune into VH1 Classic on Saturday, September 8 @ 11pm EST. Go HERE for all the latest news on “That Metal Show.”
Move over Batman – there’s a new symbol dominating the night sky as Hellfest’s mighty H calls brothers to arms for a weekend, that quite frankly, would strike fear into the heart of many a-charging army. As one of the official t-shirt’s states: Keep repeating – it’s only music… it’s only music… it’s only music… Read the rest of this entry »
ARTICLE AND PICTURES BY ARTO LEHTINEN, MARKO SYRJALA and PATRICK CLEMENT
“We Are The Saints Of Los Angeles” – screamed Vince Neil into the mic when Motley Crue headlined the last day of the Swedenrock fest. Well, once again the Finnish Metal-Rules.com team made their annual roadtrip to Swedenrock. Metal Rules has covered Swedenrock since 2001, therefore it is quite logical to cover the festival again. The 2012 line up presented a wide range of metal and hard rock. Over 70 metal and rock bands offered one hell of an experience for attendees. Sweden Rock has been successful during the past ten years as the festival has always been sold out. This year wasn’t any exception as the fest was sold out despite the lousy economic situation worldwide. It has become quite logical for us to give an in depth article of several bands performing at Sweden Rock to all the readers out there. The weather once again showed positive and negative sides. It either rained, or was windy, or quite warm. But we were there for bands, not for having some beach party crap. Unfortunately, we are not able to cover every bloody band, but hopefully you will have a pleasant reading experience… Rock on!
The legendary Canadian metallers Exciter is considered as a pioneer of thrash/speed metal because their albums were some of the very first in that genre. Years have passed by since those early days as the current line-up consists of the only one surviving original member in the ranks – John Ricci. However, the band still enjoys a true cult following. That could be testified when a couple of thousand people had crawled to witness the Canadian heavy metal maniacs in action. The four piece delivered a good deal of both old material and newer material in their set. Songs such as “Long Live Loud”,”Heavy Metal Maniac”,”Pounding Metal” and of course a few newer songs for example “Aggressor”,”Evil Omen” belonged to the one hour setlist. The current vocalist Kenny “The Mouth” Winter is capable of reaching the upper registers with his singing; John Ricci hasn’t given up his style an inch, just relying on spikes and leather, the bassist looked like a monster on stage. Frankly, Exciter sounded like true pounding Canadian metal.
I Am the Beast
The Dark Command
Victims of Sacrifice
Heavy Metal Maniac
Rising of the Dead
Stand Up And Fight
Slaughtered in Vain
Rain of Terror
Long Live the Loud
Violence & Force
The re-united British hard rockers Little Angels were one of the first performers on Thursday and because of a traffic jam, when we finally reached the venue, the band had already played almost half of their set. The band has now managed to put together the classic line up: Bruce John Dickinson on guitar, Jimmy Dickinson on keys, Mark Plunkett on bass, drummer Mark Richardson on drums an vocalist Toby Jebson who’s also fronting the current incarnation of Fastway. The Little Angels set consisted of material from their entire career and included their best known songs like: “Don’t Prey for Me” and “Young Gods” which was a final encore for the show. All in all, this was an entertaining performance and the guys clearly enjoyed being back on stage together. Hopefully these few booked shows will lead the band into a full-time reunion in the future?
She’s a Little Angel
Kickin’ Up Dust
Radical Your Lover
The Way That I Live
Don’t Pray for Me
Too Much Too Young
Gary Holt was once again recruited to handle the guitarist duties to Slayer so some definitely wondered if Exodus would be forced to cancel the European tour again. The most unexpected thing came about when the former guitarist Rick Hunolt stepped in to stand up for Gary Holt on the European dates. At least Hunolt blew the whole stage up with his restless and wild performance, leaving the other guys to gasp for air. Whereas Lee Altus and Jack Gibson mostly remained in one spot on at the stage, focusing on playing and head banging. The frontman Rob Dukes kept encouraging the flegnmatic Swedish audience to arrange some kind of havoc. He did succeed in the near impossible task when a small circle pit started out in the audience. The setlist was pure Exodus as consisted of classic songs and newer material for example “Black List”, “And There Were None”, “The Ballad of Leonard And Charles”, “Toxic Waltz” and a number of other classics. Exodus was in the fire – Does Exodus need Gary Holt on the stage anymore..hmm ?
Night Ranger debut time at Swedenrock! It finally happened after almost 15 years of trying by the Swedenrock organization. And the band did not disappoint. Playing all their biggest hits and anthems, a couple of new ones from their latest effort SOMEWHERE IN CALIFORNIA and a few ‘covers’ by bands the respective band members has been in; Jack Blades in Damn Yankees – ‘Coming of Age’ and ‘High Enough’ and Brad Gillis in Ozzy Osbourne’s band – ‘Crazy Train’ ! More highlights being ‘(You Can Still) Rock In America’ with the one and only Dee Snider guesting and the Kelly Keagy sung ’Sister Christian’, perhaps the biggest hit of Night Ranger.
Lay It On Me
Sing Me Away
Coming of Age
Growing Up in California
The Secret of My Success
Eddie’s Comin’ Out Tonight
Touch of Madness
When You Close Your Eyes
(You Can Still) Rock In America
Don’t Tell Me You Love Me
The current doom metal boom has brought several old names back on the map. For example, the mighty Saint Vitus rose from the world beyond and released a new album earlier this year. Therefore the four piece has been booked by several European metal festivals. As for the Swedenrock festival, playing under the bright sun during the day light isn’t the most perfect timing and environment for a band like Saint Vitus. Of course, doom metal rolled and ruled, but this sort of dismal doom metal needs a darkened club with the smokey atmosphere, not massive open-air festival. However, the legendary St. Vitus sounded doomy, but otherwise a bit boring.
I Bleed Black
Let Them Fall
The Bleeding Ground
Look Behind You
The Waste of Time
Born Too Late
U.S. glam metalers / 80’s parody band Steel Panther made their second appearance at Swedenrock. It looks like there’s no end in sight for this bands ever growing popularity. The band now performed on the Rockstage and it seems that even this stage is not big enough for the Panthers. The place was entirely packed when the band opened the show with “Supersonic Sex Machine” and “Tomorrow Night”. Nowadays classics “Fat Girl”, “Asian Hooker” and “Death to All But Metal” made people shout noisily a long and there was a true party feeling on the air during the whole set. Steel Panther were now as good as ever but at times it did feel that this was something what’s been seen and heard many times before. The same songs, mostly the same jokes and “stage elements” were present. Perhaps it would be a good idea for me to have a little break before the next Panther show because otherwise the band will start to taste like a wood for sure?
Supersonic Sex Machine
Fat Girl (Thar She Blows)
Just Like Tiger Woods
Turn Out the Lights
Eyes of a Panther
Girl From Oklahoma
Party All Day (Fuck All Night)
It Won’t Suck Itself
Eatin’ Ain’t Cheatin’
17 Girls in a Row
Death to All but Metal
Sepultura keeps on going with the current line-up even though fans are outspoken and eager to see the return of the classic line-up. However, Sepultura fronted by Derrick Green did a killer gig by playing a wide range of songs from several Sepultura albums at Swedenrock. The Brazilian thrash four piece appeared to be in a good mood on stage. The current drummer Eloy Casagrande is an extremely skilled drummer with sharp and tight playing. Paolo Jr has grayed a lot and his appearance is not unlike some sixty year old man. Kisser still has fire and passion left in his playing. Derrick Green is a real monstrous relentless frontman encouraging the audience go beserk. Although the band works well on stage, it does feels that it is kind of cover band.
Dark Wood of Error
Dead Embryonic Cells
Convicted in Life
What I Do!
Septic Schizo / Escape to the Void
Roots Bloody Roots
Sebastian returns to Swedenrock! This gig was supposed to happen a few years back but Bach then missed his flight and couldn’t get to the festival site on time for the gig. A few years later and he still has the same band and a new record out, KICKING & SCREAMING. The set consists of many Skid Row tunes mixed with solo stuff, almost 50/50. Sebastian did prove that he still is an A-class frontman. However, sadly, there’s a feeling that’s something missing during many of the Skid Row songs… For the encores Dee Snider is once again guesting, and it’s a perfect fit!
Slave to the Grind
Kicking & Screaming
Here I Am
(Love Is) A Bitchslap
Piece of Me
18 and Life
As Long as I Got the Music
My Own Worst Enemy
I Remember You
We’re Not Gonna Take It
Youth Gone Wild
Has the success of Dimmu Borgir decreased during the past few years in Sweden? Or, why did the band play on the third stage? A few years back the Norwegian symphonic black metallers shred the second stage. Well, it is hard to say, but at least Dimmu Borgir pulled a horror godly sounding show in the darkening Swedish landscape. The band sounded majestic, pompous, and looked like a one kind of freaky monstrous group under the massive lightshow after the sunset. The set was basically traditional Dimmu Borgir including songs such as “Mourning Palace”, “A Succubus in Rapture”, “The Serpentine Offering”, and “Progenies of the Great Apocalypse”. The audience seemed to enjoy the show from their heart.
Soundgarden comeback gig and debut at Swedenrock. There were many of those this year, and thankfully so. For starters one has to appreciate the lights, look, and atmosphere of the Soundgarden stage – perfectly suiting their sometimes moody and depressive, occasionally still and sometimes raw music…Soundgarden taking their time with the reunion and with baby steps slowly building seems to pay off – the band now being in good form, especially frontman Chris Cornell. Almost all their biggest songs were heard, including their new one ‘Live to Rise’. A new album will be released this coming fall. Soundgarden had a good reception although the band style (the dreaded grunge) isn’t what everybody expected from a Swedenrock headliner.
Searching With My Good Eye Closed
Let Me Drown
Blow Up the Outside World
Fell on Black Days
Live to Rise
Burden in My Hand
Black Hole Sun
Room a Thousand Years Wide
Jesus Christ Pose
Beyond the Wheel
Slaves & Bulldozers
Besides Dimmu Borgir, Dark Funeral presented more of the black metal assault at Swedenrock. In wake of the eerie sounding intro, the blackened metal warriors strut like penguins in the line onto the stage. Although the band looked grim with the panda make-up, but soundwise Dark Funeral sounded extremely horrible. For some reason the sounds were entirely muddy, hearing the vocals or guitars turned out to be quite painful. However, the pyros and the stage set up looked grim. Song by song the sounds improved a bit to have the decent quality. As for the current singer Nachtgarm, his manners were meant to look evil, but it mostly brought the humoristic aspects. In a way, the former singer, Emperor Magus Galicula, was the real roots of all evil at the stage.
Last night (June 9th) KING DIAMOND made his return to the live stage (after recovering from open-heart triple-bypass surgery in November 2010) at the Sweden Rock Festival 2012, being held this weekend in Sölvesborg. His career-encompassing set-list featured guest appearances from MERCYFUL FATE’s Hank Shermann and Michael Denner, MOTÖRHEAD’s Mikkey Dee and VOLBEAT’s Michael Poulsen.
King Diamond performed the following set-list:
Matt Thompson drum solo
‘At The Graves’
‘Up From The Grave’
‘Let It Be Done’
La Rocque plus Mike Wead solo
‘Shapes Of Black’
‘Come To The Sabbath’ (with Mercyful Fate’s Hank Shermann and Volbeat’s Michael Poulsen)
‘Eye Of The Witch’
‘The Family Ghost’
‘Halloween’ (with Mercyful Fate’s Michael Denner and Motörhead’s Mikkey Dee)
Check out our video from the King Diamond press conference HERE.
In this press conference, King says the show at Sweden Rock will be their biggest production ever. Also discussed is the possibility of new material from the King Diamond band ("Not quite YET"….). Guitarist Andy LaRocque says it’s good to be back doing what he loves.
Some other comments from the video:
King: "It’s difficult to talk about reunions of Mercyful Fate as there’s been so many line-ups."
King: "You will be surprised [with the show] tomorrow."
King: "It’s sad when people kill for their religion…people try and force it down people’s throats. People can believe what they want, but keep it to yourself."
"Plans to write a book about your life"?
King: "Maybe someday, there’s a lot of interesting stories…maybe a tape recorder, many bottles of wine and get it all on tape. There’s so many stories, not just music…"
King Diamond live in 2007. Photo taken by Arto Lehtinen for Metal-Rules.com.
Legendary Danish heavy metal singer King Diamond (KING DIAMOND, MERCYFUL FATE) played a surprise three-song set this past Friday, January 27 at Tree’s in Dallas, Texas during the “5th Annual Nomad Recording Studio Throwdown”. King, who appeared without his trademark makeup, was joined for the performance by Michael Harris on guitar, Neil Brincks on bass, J.T. Longoria on guitar and Matt Thompson (KING DIAMOND, SHAOLIN DEATH SQUAD) on drums. King also presented awards at the event, which featured additional performances by BORN & RAISED, SHAOLIN DEATH SQUAD, LOVE STRICKEN DEMISE and RIVETHEAD.
Fan-filmed video footage of King’s surprise set — consisting of the songs “The Family Ghost”, “Burn” and “Evil” — can be seen below.
Nomad Recording Studio is a full-service, Pro Tools and analog recording facility based in Carrollton, Texas. Nomad offers exceptional recording, as well as mixing and mastering services.
King Diamond previously stated about Nomad engineer/producer J.T. Longoria, “He is unbelievable; he is the best guy I ever worked with in a studio.”
The success of the “Nomad Recording Studio Throwdown” is credited largely to Nomad’s sponsors, who lend their names, financial support and merchandise/product to the event. The money they raise goes to the Blue Star Connection, a charity which helps put musical instruments into the hands of children who are battling cancer or other life-threatening diseases.
King Diamond (real name: Kim Bendix Petersen), 55, underwent open-heart triple-bypass surgery in November 2010. He has since completed his cardiac rehabilitation program and has stopped smoking entirely, changed his diet and is getting regular exercise, according to his wife Livia Zita.
King Diamond made his long-anticipated return to the stage with his MERCYFUL FATE bandmates Hank Shermann, Timi Hansen and Michael Denner on December 7, 2011 at the second of four intimate shows at the Fillmore in San Francisco as part of METALLICA’s week-long celebration of its 30th anniversary as a band for fan club members only.
As previously reported, KING DIAMOND will play only two shows in Europe this summer: