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:
Following the successful open heart triple bypass surgery in November 2010, legendary KING DIAMOND has announced his return to the stage with two exciting open air events. He will be headlining the Rock Stage at Sweden Rock Festival on Saturday, June 9th. For more details visit Swedenrock.com.
King Diamond will also be headlining the Main Stage 2 at Hellfest in France on Friday, June 15th. For more details visit Hellfest.fr.
King Diamond joined forces with Nick Storch at ICM and Paul Ryan at The Agency Group. Nick Storch will be in charge of booking King Diamond concerts in North and South America, and Paul Ryan will be in charge of booking King Diamond concerts in Europe and Rest of World.
Says King, “It is great to be in the top professional hands of Nick and Paul. They both come highly recommended by Brian Slagel of Metal Blade, who personally suggested the partnership that is now in effect. ICM and The Agency Group have so much combined experience, which will open new doors for us. When it comes to getting us back on stage again, we all agree on how to bring King Diamond to a whole new level. Within a few weeks, we should be able to announce the first part of our plan. Welcome on board and stay heavy.”
SNOWY SHAW is Alive! …is the title of the brand new live album with Snowy Shaw.
After more than 20 years professionally in the music business with countless bands and projects Snowy Shaw has earned a reputation as a multi talented artist and instrumentalist. As well as composer, lyricist, designer and visionarie madman in general.
It was bound to happen sooner or later, and many are the fans and followers who have waited for this one-of-a-kind character to go solo, and finally, here he is !
Starting off by delivering a kick ass show the world has never witnessed before with an unmatched repertoir of classics and hits when Snowy together his band play ”All his favorite songs – By All his former bands”: King Diamond, Notre Dame, Mercyful Fate, illwill, Dream Evil, Therion, Dimmu Borgir, XXX, Memento Mori etc…
The Snowy Shaw line up:
Kristian Niemann – Lead Guitar ( ex Therion )
Mannequin De Sade III – drums ( ex Notre Dame )
And female bassist/vocalissa Hellinor
( now replaced by Vicky Valkyria )
Snowy himself – lead vocals, drums, guitars, bass and keyboards.
This live album was captured on the world premiere showcase gig of his solo show that took place in the hometown of Gothenburg, Sweden on May 27th 2011.
For this special occasion Snowy invited some good old friends for guest appearances :
Andy La Rocque – King Diamond, Illwill, Death
Mike Wead – Mercyful Fate, Memento Mori, King Diamond,
Hal Patino – King Diamond, Maryann Cotton
Mats Levén – Therion, Krux, Yngwie Malmsteen
Kee Marcello – Europe, Easy Action, K2
Thomas Vikström – Therion, Candlemass
Snowy just recently decided due to the astonishing response and many offers from festivals promotors and booking agencies to postpone the much anticipated live DVD release with the intention of having even more material filmed and included from the upcoming shows.
Good news! This means that with a little bit of luck you might have a chance to attend one of the shows and experiencing this spectacular, incredible show of Snowy Shaw first hand., in real life.
Vinyl? Yes, there are current plans of releasing Snowy Shaw is Alive! as an exclusive super deluxe limited edition vinyl double live album in the beginning of 2012.
A very merry heavy X-Mas!
Available on Itunes worldwide just a few days before X-Mas!
Artwork by Snowy Shaw. Illustration by Andrej Bartulovic.
The brand new Snowy Shaw website & webshop will be launched before the end of 2011 : www.snowyshaw.net
King Diamond: Cardiac Rehabilitation 'graduation' picture
KING DIAMOND’s wife Livia has checked in with an update on the metal legend’s health. He underwent open heart triple bypass surgery in November 2010:
Some of you have been asking for an update on King’s health, so I thought I’ll write what’s been going on.
King has just finished his cardiac rehabilitation program this past Friday, and graduated with flying colors. Thanks to the wonderful people at the rehab center, his exercise regimen help him gain a lot of muscle, and start on the road of building up good endurance. We will start regular exercises now to get the endurance up to nice levels.The examinations by his heart surgeon and cardiologist revealed that his health is steadily improving, and they all expect him to feel better than ever, 15 years younger than he really is.
I am immensely proud of what he has achieved in these short 3 months, stopped smoking entirely, changed diet and doing regular exercise among other things. I cannot say anything certain about when he will be back working on King Diamond related things, but he is looking forward to finishing the DVDs eventually, and he is most certainly not stopping music.
I hope this information was helpful, I can honestly say that his progress has been nothing short of amazing. He is the strongest person I know.
He would also like to extend his huge gratitude to all of you, for your absolutely amazing support. It has really meant a lot to him.
Enjoy his Cardiac Rehabilitation ‘graduation’ picture….”
The Danish hard rock veterans Pretty Maids returned to Finnish soil after a 19 year absence. Pretty Maids still featuring the surviving original member Ronnie Atkins and Ken Hammer visited the legendary club Tavastia back in 1992 when grunge was raging and traditional hard rock was basically dead meat. Back in 1990, Pretty Maids did the most memorable outdoor festival performance along with such names as Sodom, Running Wild and Uriah Heep at the Giants of Rock in Hämeenlinna. Well years have passed by since then and Pretty Maids have been gigging effectively during all these years. Therefore getting the Danish rockers to Finland was definitely about time for sure. Having two gigs booked in a row in Helsinki and up in Oulu was definitely an unexpected and above all pleasant surprise and also suspicion if people are still interested in Pretty Maids. Both the agents and the bands must have been utterly surprised to have app. 400 people at each show. That was far beyond than expected in the first place.
KING DIAMOND’s wife Livia has posted the following update at the official band fan club Covenworldwide.org:
“Let me catch you all up on the past couple of weeks’ happenings, because it affects many things. On Monday, November 29th, King had to be transported to the nearby hospital by ambulance. After several different tests were done and the EKG machine showing abnormalities, the doctors recommended that he get a cardiac catheterization.
Cardiac catheterization is a procedure where the doctors lead a very thin tube up from the leg and into the heart, where it injects dye into the bloodstream. Then a camera at the end of the tube takes many pictures of the heart’s arteries, looking for blockages. After this was done, they determined that King had several heart attacks, and three of his heart’s arteries were the cause: one was completely blocked, the second was 90% blocked, and the third was 65% blocked.
The only solution to this was an open heart triple bypass surgery.
If you are interested in the details of how this surgery is performed, please look it up online. I will only touch on the basics. The sternum (breastbone) is cut in half and pulled apart, to expose the heart. Veins are harvested from other places of the body, in King’s case it was his left leg and chest wall. The person is then hooked up to a machine that practically does the job of the heart, circulating and oxygenating the blood.
The heart is then stopped, and the lungs collapse (the lungs stop working since the blood is being oxygenated by the machine). The surgeon then sews the harvested veins in place, bypassing the found blockages. Once the surgery is done, the surgeon moves the ribs and breastbone back into place and wires it together. The chest is closed as well. They use an electric pulse to start the heart and a breathing machine is lead into the lungs to restart breathing.
King’s surgery took approximately seven hours.
Everything went well, and King was taken to ICU for recovery. He was walking and eating solid food already 2 days after the operation, and he was the first one in the history of the hospital who walked on his own power from the ICU to normal care. 10 days after the ambulance took him to the emergency room, he is at home and is recovering well. It will be a few months before he feels completely normal and is without pain.
He would like to mention here that he’s eternally grateful for the wonderful staff at Centennial Medical Center who took care of him. Dr. Kourlis, Dr. Kamili, Dr. Alang, Nurse Christie and Nurse Thomas among many others made sure that he got the best care and attention he could ever have hoped for.
They were always very nice to me too, letting me stay overnight in the ICU after visiting hours were over.
In light of this, he will be taking a break from music and the music business altogether until further notice.
He very much wants to write new music, finish the DVDs, and go on tour, but for now, all those things are in the distant future and he’s not thinking about them.
Please understand that the King Diamond band is not stopping, disbanding or anything of the sort. King’s health is first priority, and when everything is going good with him, the music will resume.
Thank you all very much for reading this and STAY HEAVY.”
King Diamond (born Kim Bendix Petersen) is known for his extensive vocal range, in particular his usage of falsetto fronting both the King Diamond band and the legendary MERCYFUL FATE.
KING DIAMOND guitarist Andy La Rocque (pictured) has confirmed to BraveWords.com that he has joined forces with past and present members of HAMMERFALL and YNGWIE MALMSTEEN to form and as-yet-unnamed supergroup.
Says Andy, “We are recording just a few songs to start with, just to see if there is interest in this thing.”
The lineup is as follow:
Magnus Rosén (bass – ex-Hammerfall)
Andy La Rocque (guitar – King Diamond)
Anders Johansson (drums – Hammerfall, ex-Yngwie Malmsteen)
Mats Olausson (keyboards, ex-Yngwie Malmsteen)
Mikael Ågren (vocals/guitar – ex-NOSTRADAMEUS)
The group will be working on the new songs at La Rocque’s Sonic Train Studios in Varberg, Sweden. Stay tuned for further updates.
Drummer/Vocalist/Bassist of Therion, Dimmu Borgir, Mercyful Fate, King Diamond & Dream Evil
Interview by Lord Of The Wasteland
Snowy Shaw is a veteran of the heavy metal wars. Since first surfacing with King Diamond back in 1989, to his tenure with Dream Evil, Therion and briefly Dimmu Borgir earlier this year, Shaw’s multi-instrumentalism and ever-broadening artistic vision have kept him busy both in the spotlight and behind the scenes. Despite his wearing many hats, Shaw has always remained a unique and interesting character.
This interview, conducted initially to showcase Snowy Shaw’s joining Dimmu Borgir, was consequently forced to change direction after the rather sudden announcement that Shaw was leaving Dimmu Borgir and re-joining Therion. This shift was even more confusing given the fact that both bands were set to release their latest CDs within days of each other.
As Snowy does his best to diplomatically explain the various moves, it is clear that there is more to the story, but we will have to wait to hear that. In the meantime, enjoy this lengthy chat with one of metal’s more charismatic personalities.
Vocalist Kacper Rozanski, Guitarist Mike Wead and Simon Johansson
Interviewed by: Anders Sandvall
Thanks to The Boss of Vic Records Roel van Reijemersdal for all the help
Thanks to Vic Records for the promo pictures of the band taken by: P. Hellström and K. Alutoine/Seance
THE BLACK SWAN EPILOGUE is the name of the excellent debut album that comes from the Swedish progressive doom metal act BibleBlack. The band consists of some very well known Swedish musicians like Mike Wead (King Diamond, Mercyful Fate) and his partner in crime Simon Johansson (Memory Garden, ex- Steel Attack). They have joined forces together with Tobhias Ljung on drums, Jonaz Bulund on bass and Kacper Rozanski on lead vocals and this is what they came up with. A brilliant debut album. I had the pleasure to have a talk with Kacper, Simon and Mike about the band, the future as well as some personal matters with Mike.