Let Me Hear You Scream Sweden Rockkkk.Well the annual roadtrip to Swedenrock by the Finnish Metal Rules.com team is already into it’s 11th year! The 2011 line up presented a wide range of metal and hard rock in the line-up. Over 70 metal and rock bands offered one hell of an experience for the 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 and the ticket price had risen a little bit. ver these 11 years of coverage, 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 aspects like in 2010. It either rained or was windy with a little sunshine. 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… Enjoy or die!!!
As always, the top albums are for releases from 2010 that are full albums (no EP’s or demos). They also have to be new studio albums for 2010, not re-recordings, re-releases, cover songs, or live material. Below the combined TOP 30 are links to each staff members personal "best of" lists which besides the top albums contains such things as best new band, best DVD/Blu-Ray, disappointments of 2010, greatest hopes for 2011, personal metal discovery of 2010, and various other metal-related categories. Enjoy!
The Top 30 Heavy Metal Albums of 2010
(Click the album cover to read our review.
If no review is available the link it to the band’s MySpace page.)
1. Accept – Blood of the Nations
Wolf Hoffman’s reaction to the band’s #1 placement in our list was:
"Sensational!!! We are so happy about this reaction by the fans. This last year has been nothing short of phenomenal for Accept."
BLOOD OF THE NATIONS is a fantastic album, so fantastic that it very easily came out on top when we compiled our best of 2010 list! In the media, producer Andy Sneap said when he worked with the band he made them go back and listen to the 80’s albums, and it worked. Accept have delivered the album they needed to make. Accept reformed with a vocalist who is just as good as Udo Dirkschneider. Vocalist Mark Tornillo rages through the songs with power and charisma, without being a clone. Accept have proven to the world in 2010 they are still relevant, powerful, uncompromising and most of all entertaining. Welcome back!
2. Blind Guardian – At the Edge of Time
Easily the best and strongest Blind Guardian album since NIGHTFALL IN MIDDLE-EARTH with a maximum of variety and everything that has turned these guys from Krefeld into what they are today: one of Germany’s most successful and influential metal bands. With AT THE EDGE OF TIME, Blind Guardian returned to the fold in total triumph. This is an album to be enjoyed for numerous repeat listens. Newer fans should eat it up, and older fans should be appeased with the band’s renewed emphasis on their thrashy roots.
3. Ratt– Infestation
Ratt is Metal. Always have been and likely always will be. From their appearance on the very first Metal Massacre compilation in 1981 alongside the likes of Metallica, Malice, and Bitch, to the new 2010 album, Ratt have always been among the heaviest of the so-called "hair metal" bands. So despite what the revisionists may think, Ratt have a firm spot in the development and evolution of the Heavy Metal genre and have earned their spot in this year’s list. Sonically the Ratt Pack is back! The band had stated they wanted a real up-tempo record and distinctly aimed for the classic sound. They nailed it. It’s all there, the swagger and slight sneer of Pearcy voice, the fluid and fiery soloing of DeMartini’s axe-work, the complimentary work of Cavazo…it’s a beautiful thing to behold!
4. Triptykon – Eparistera Daimones
Thomas Gabriel Fischer (AKA Tom G. Warrior) has nothing to prove to anyone. As the principal architect behind Hellhammer and Celtic Frost, Fischer’s body of work is the reason that many bands exist today. Two years since Celtic Frost’s very public dissolution, Fischer could have easily opted to rest on his laurels and bask in the afterglow of his evil legacy, but nooooo. To the contrary, Fischer has assembled a new band and recorded an album of new material that’s arguably some of the best in his career. Triptykon is the band, EPARISTERA DAIMONES is the album, and yes – it’s as good as Fischer has promised it to be!
5. Melechesh – The Epigenesis
Black/Death/Middle Eastern "Mesopotamian Metal" extremists made a big impact this year. Originally from IsraHELL and now based out of the Netherlands, the band has been around in some form since 1993. That Melechesh are able to maintain the album’s early momentum through to the record’s dying moments makes what they have achieved with THE EPIGENESIS that much more remarkable. Unlike so much of what passes for modern-day extremity, every one of this disc’s eleven tracks bristles with its own identity and design. It will demand a lot of attention – this definitely isn’t the record to whip out at your next kegger – but the rewards far outweigh the investment. Absolutely superb in every way.
6. Helloween – 7 Sinners
Helloween are very comfortable right now. They are back on a major label, the line-up has been stable for probably the longest stretch in the bands history, and they have fallen into a great pattern of releasing a studio album every couple of years (right around Halloween naturally). Relaxed, confident and mature the band have nothing to prove but instead of delivering a complacent record, the band have delivered the fastest, heaviest album of their career. It’s their 26th release over and 13th full-length studio album of all-new, original material. Lucky #13 for the band sees a crowning achievement with 13 killer cuts spread across the hour. Helloween have delivered a masterpiece. It will quickly silence all the fans who couldn’t stomach UNARMED from earlier this year.
7. OverKill – Ironbound
The veteran New Jersey boys return with a compelling slab of unmistakeably old school thrash that is tinged with a fine mix of groove, progressiveness and melody that separates Overkill from the multitudes of carbon-copy thrashers out there. This is modern thrash the way it should be played: roots in the 80s but with its direction and ambition befitting a metal scene on the cusp of its 30-year anniversary. It’s a beautiful thing to behold: while most of their contemporaries have split up or sold out, Overkill are still doing their thing, updating and improving but never forgetting where they came from.
8. Nevermore – The Obsidian Conspiracy
Five years – that’s how long Nevermore made us wait for a sequel to the still awe-inspiring THIS GODLESS ENDEAVOUR. By modern-day standards that’s an absolute eternity, the length of which only the likes of Slayer or Metallica could reasonably be expected to get away with. Regardless of delay, the album is a perfect example of heavy metal in its purest, most intelligent and provocative form. As always the band defies classification with elements of power, thrash, prog, blended together into a mixture that is uniquely Nevermore.
9. Sabaton – Coat of Arms
Sweden’s war metallers, Sabaton, have been consistently moving to the forefront of the power metal movement in the last few years. COAT OF ARMS continues Sabaton’s fine tradition of power metal with bite. The band is in fine form throughout and do not disappoint. You listen to a Sabaton album for the pounding marches (“Uprising”) the fast assaults (“Midway”, “Screaming Eagles”), and the catchy hooks and choruses (every damn song!) and COAT OF ARMS has it all!
10. Halford – IV – Made of Metal
Finally! Halford was really overdue. Despite having a skeleton of a catalog, Halford really needed to put some meat on the bones of his solo career. MADE OF METAL is really only the third studio album of all new material in over 10 years. Sure the catalog looks impressive but in reality, live albums, demo albums, EP’s, digital only live albums and novelty Christmas albums are just filler. Halford needed to deliver the goods and we’re pleased to say he is still made of Metal. The album clocks in at a whopping 14 tracks at over an hour it is his longest solo album to date.
Number 11 to 20
11. Crazy Lixx – New Religion
12. Iron Maiden – The Final Frontier
13. Scorpions – Sting In The Tail
14. Immolation – Majesty and Decay
15. Avantasia – The Wicked Symphony / Angel Of Babylon
(New York, NY) — eOne Music has signed a world wide deal with NY rock band BRONX CASKET CO. “I am totally psyched to be working with eOne for the new Bronx Casket release! They did an amazing job with the Overkill record and I know they will do the same for this. Having a label home where people “get” it and are psyched to work a record is a great feeling, ” says front man DD Verni.
The band originally formed in 1998 by Overkill co-founder and bassist DD Verni. Having played in one of the most respected thrash bands ever for over 2 decades, why have another band. Two reason states DD, “the challenge of writing interesting new material and for fun of course!”
The bands second release caught the ear of playwright Andrea Lepcio. Soon after, Verni and Lepcio were collaborating with 3-time Tony Winner Hinton Battle to direct and choreograph. Soon the seeds of The “Bronx Casket Co, A New Musical” were planted. Verni quickly recruited several members from the Trans-Siberian Orchestra to perform. The cast consisted of performers from the Broadway shows Hairspray, Rent and Dance of the Vampire. There have been several performances off-Broadway for producers/backers and the show is still in the writing stages. It has a gothic/Broadway score with a twisted love story woven throughout. Songs from the first two Bronx Casket Co. releases are included in the show, as well as 13 new songs D.D. Verni penned just for the musical.
It’s been five years since BRONX CASKET CO last released an album and has been well worth the wait. Verni concludes, “This Bronx Casket record is the best we have done, and we are looking forward to getting out on the road and doing some shows.” As with every Bronx Casket Co release Verni has charted new territory, and stretched his writing boundaries.
For more information on The Bronx Caskett Co, visit:
Night Of The Vinyl Dead has released OVERKILL’s Wrecking Everything – Live as a limited edition double-LP gatefold vinyl including a 12-page booklet and card stickers. The album is limited to 500 hand-numbered copies.
Previously released on CD through Eagle/Spitfire Records in 2002, the album features the following tracklisting:
REVIEW AND PICS BY MARKO SYRJÄLÄ AND ARTO LEHTINEN
As everyone who was there still recalls, last year’s Tuska wasn’t a highlight experience when it comes to bands. This was surprising as there were some killer names on the bill such as Suicidal Tendencies, Pestilence, My Dying Bride. Obviously, last year was some kind of intermission for booking bands to pull more people. Thankfully, this year’s Tuska event was completely different. The line-up definitely looked more than awesome. The legendary Megadeth headlined Sunday, Nevermore on Saturday and above all the Canadian guitarist, wizard, and music genius, Devin Townsend. Japanese j-rock groups were not seen at Tuska. Instead the death metal bands ruled such as Obituary, Nile and of course domestic bands such as Sotajumala ja Torture Killer. The festival was an utter success. The whole weekend was totally packed….and above all Megadeth crowned the whole three day metal inferno.
Sad but true, Tuska will not be held in the heart of Helsinki in the upcoming years. The park of Kaisaniemi will be a construction zone as the whole area will be improved to be better and more enjoyable. However, it is going to be interesting to see how the new area will work for metal bands. At least the upcoming area has proven itself to be a good festival area as there have been a couple of festivals and gigs arranged there so far. This is a farewell to the Kaisaniemi park and the current Tuska formation.
(New York, NY) — Thrash legends OVERKILL will be re-releasing their record “Immortalis” and DVD “Live at Wacken Open Air” on October 5th, 2010 via eOne Music. This will be a CD/DVD combo release with three new unreleased live tracks. Those tracks are:
Within Your Eyes (from “Relix” CD)
Blood and Iron (from “Feel The Fire” CD)
Nice Day…For a Funeral (from “Horrorscope” CD)
OVERKILL have also officially announced the second leg of their “Killfest 2010” tour. Killfest will continue in areas the band has not played in many years. Bay area masterminds, FORBIDDEN are set for main support. “It’s going to be a KILLER run, thrash-thrash-thrash! Having FORBIDDEN along for the ride in November will put this totally over the top, just the way we all like it! Bite down hard, here we come!” says front man Bobby “Blitz” Ellsworth.
Tickets are now on sale here [http://bit.ly/dzweV2]. There is also a special VIP package available that will allow fans one-hour early access to the venue for a special pre-show meet-and-greet.
OVERKILL released “Ironbound” earlier this year which charted at 168 on the Billboard Top 200, the band’s fastest selling record in 16 years. A video was also filmed a video for “Bring Me The Night”in Brooklyn, NY with director Kevin Custer (HATEBREED, TESTAMENT, SUFFOCATION). View the video here [http://bit.ly/b2apDP].
After thirty years of wrecking necks live, East Coast thrash metal legends Overkill are still in their prime, as evidenced by this year’s excellent onslaught of an offering dubbed "Ironbound". Hitting the road in support of the new record, the green and black attack headlined the aptly-named KILLFEST tour atop a bill that also featured God Dethroned, Vader, Evile, Warbringer and Woe of Tyrants. Overkill frontman Bobby "Blitz" Ellsworth is in good spirits this night in Austin, Texas as he cracks jokes and fills us in on life out on the road. The subject of the evening is primarily focused on the pummeling new Overkill record and the band’s immediate tour plans. Rather than placing too much emphasis on the twenty-fifth anniversary of the band’s debut album "Feel the Fire", Blitz seems very content with the band’s present achievement and looks to the future of the band with excitement and anticipation. Tonight’s concert is further proof why now is as good a time as any, to be an Overkill fan.
Review and pictures by Arto Lehtinen, Niko Karppinen and Luxi Lahtinen
Finland is definitely one hell of a paradise for metalheads as there are five to six metal festivals arranged all around Finland during the summer time. One of those metal festivals which has started becoming more and more known is Jalometalli up in the north of Finland. The whole festival started as a small event, mostly consisting of local bands. Jalometalli has since grown, attracting plenty of killer and catchy names such as Onslaught, Testament, and Rotting Christ. This year’s event was no exception with several first time visitors such as Overkill, Trouble and Mortal Sin. It is obvious most of these bands have been all time favs of the Jalometalli organization. The festival is not a big massive gathering of tens of thousands of people. Instead, the event is a small, true, intense metal event with visitors having travelled from far away. This is the very first time ever when Jalometalli festival is covered by Metal-Rules.com. And if you live somewhere in the northern part of Sweden, Norway or Russia, start seriously considering having a roadtrip to the next Jalometalli event as the line-up of 2009 will surely be full of pleasant surprises…
Enjoy the article and some video clips in it, too!
For an introduction to what Bloodstock Open Air is all about, check out my preview of it here. Suffice it to say that BOA is the only proper UK outdoor metal festival that is devoted to true metal of all genres. This would be the first time I was making the trip up to the Midlands to cover this amazing festival.
Reaching there late Thursday night, we set up camp and went off to explore. BOA has one of the most random things I’d expect at a metal festival: a shisha tent! Armed with a 1.5 litre bottle of JD and two bongs of shisha, we spent the night there meeting weird and crazy people (Frida from Sweden, if you’re reading this, get in touch!). After a disgusting fry-up at the All-Day Breakfast bar, I went off to bed to catch some shut-eye before Friday’s bands. Good start to BOA!
Interview By Arto Lehtinen / Transcription by Blake Wolfe
Overkill is definitely and without any doubt one of the longest running and the most hard working touring thrash bands around today. The legendary New York thrash metal squad haven?t slowed down any inch. They just keeping on thrashing year after year. Even though our Canadian collegue Lord Of The WasteLand did a real massive in-depth interviewwith the frontman of Overkill Bobby Ellsworth, but I couldn?t turn down an opportunity of doing another interview with Ellsworth who politely answered a few questions.
Twenty years is a long time?longer than some of the readers about to pore over this interview will have even been on this Earth, yet thrash legends, Overkill, are celebrating that monumental anniversary with the release of their 14th studio album, entitled RELIXIV (pronounced ?Relics?). A lot has happened in those twenty years and the band has seen many members come and go but with vocalist Bobby ?Blitz? Ellsworth and bassist D.D. Verni at the helm from day one, Overkill is ready to take on the world with a huge tour (finally including Canadian and U.S. west coast stops) and a celebration of sorts for having survived twenty years in the heavy metal trenches.
I spoke with Ellsworth in early-March and found him to be one of the funniest subjects I have ever interviewed. After clearing the air with a discussion about the NHL players? strike, we got down to business with a 85-minute chat about the new album, big plans for the band?s 20th anniversary, the early days of Overkill, surviving the 90s, his health, why there are always ten songs on their albums, what?s it?s like being known as the ?working man?s metal band? and about a hundred other things! Enjoy?