Thursday, December 31, 2015
Wednesday, December 30, 2015
Tuesday, December 29, 2015
number 69 of Metal Bulletin Zine (Washington state, U.S.) is now available for reading online and downloading. * Vendul (free) War Atrocities Endless Recovery Runemaster (free) prog countdown: top 30 albums of 2015: 20-11 by The Man of Much Metal concert calendar upcoming concert: January 2, 2016 in Everett: Zafakon, Calamity, Kill Closet + more shows www.fuglymaniacs.com
BURNING POINT Finnish power metallers BURNING POINT are an active part of the European Metal scene since the late 90’s. Led by mastermind Pete Ahonen, the band has released five studio albums since then, all to critical acclaim. In 2014, Ahonen (who was responsible for vocals and guitars) asked former Battle Beast singer Nitte Valo to join the band as new vocalist. As Nitte loved Burning Point’s music ever since, she agreed and is now a steady member of the band. Now the first album with Nitte has been recorded: simply titled “Burning Point”, the CD includes five brand new songs and six BURNING POINT classics in re-recorded versions. It’s inevitable to realize that Nitte’s presence and unmistakable voice adds the special something to the already established band. BURNING POINT are now bursting of power and motivation. Ahonen has composed some of his best tracks yet and the re-recordings make the classics shine like never before. Also, sonically “Burning Point” is the best sounding album the band has released so far. And seeing this promising new constellation, it is just the beginning with much more to come… In addition AFM will re-issue the first four BURNING POINT albums „Salvation By Fire“ (2001), „Feeding The Flames“ (2013), „Burned Down The Enemy“ (2007) and „Empyre“ (2009), all scheduled for a July 17th release and about to include numerous bonus tracks. BURNING POINT - Queen Of Fire (2015) // official clip
'Watchtower On the Moon', recorded live at various venues across Europe. * * * Just about everything that you’ve read before about Threshold will have classified them as a Progressive Metal group. Countless international reviewers and even their own press biographies have bandied around the term with no genuine fear of contradiction. Ten albums into a career that began in London’s leafy suburbs back in 1989, it’s time this situation was reassessed. Sure, heavy metal and progressive rock are the cornerstones of the group’s sound, but as proven by the consummate quality of their last several albums, Threshold are a classic hard rock band, built upon high-quality musicianship, enormous quantities of musical light and shade and, above all, memorable, hummable songs. Few bands are capable of gracing the stage of a leather ‘n’ studs gathering such as Bloodstock, as Threshold did in 2004, or conversely the hard rock all-dayer the Firefest, at which they played three years later. Their music is eloquent and deeply melodic without relying upon the usual gratuitous levels of power and repetitive twiddly bits. "The key to Threshold is songs," believes long-serving keyboard player Richard West. "By all means we have all those extra ingredients, but without the song you’ve nothing." "I’ve no objection to the label," elaborates Damian Wilson, among the finest singers of the current hard rock scene, "it only bothers me when causing people, who might otherwise enjoy us, to shut themselves off. Nobody likes being pigeonholed." ‘For The Journey’ is the sextet’s third studio release for Nuclear Blast Records, following in the slipstream of ‘Dead Reckoning’ (2007) and ‘March Of Progress’ (2012’). The latter album saw the return of Wilson, the band’s vocalist from 1992-1993 and 1996-1998, after the departure (and subsequent tragic demise) of Andrew ‘Mac’ McDermott. Over this trilogy of records, a thread of consistency and confidence has allowed Threshold to excel whilst treading their chosen path. "Since the band joined Nuclear Blast we’ve tried to make the ultimate Threshold album," Richard West nods. "I love what we’ve done with ‘For The Journey’, but I can’t wait for the next one. I’m so happy that there were just two years between albums instead of five." The liaison with Nuclear Blast has certainly armed Threshold with a more professional and competitive mindset than ever before. Back in 2007, West admitted: "Our attitude was to sleep. Until Nuclear Blast came along; we’d make an album and if it was raining outside then we’d just disappear for another two years." West guffaws when reminded of the above. Plainly, Threshold are not that band anymore. "When you’re younger it’s very easy to allow relationships or minor disputes to get in the way," he theorizes. "As band members, people and friends everybody has grown and we know how to work best together." "There was some in-fighting in Threshold’s early days," Wilson affirms. "Now we’ve got to know each other and become really great friends, which makes the music a lot easier." An ‘in-house’ production from West and guitarist Karl Groom - the latter of whom has been employed by Dragonforce, Trigger The Bloodshed, Pendragon and Yes - delivers a warm, crisp and colourful sound, packing a powerful kick to match the huge creative advances of the music. Play it on headphones - you’ll be blown away by the extra little details. West considers ‘For The Journey’ "a more personal record than ever". Its key topics remain a colourful mix of science, politics, the environment, religion and everyday life, but the keysman says: "We’re older and mellow and less prone to ranting about injustices. Rather than pointing our fingers at the world we're asking questions of ourselves. On this album you’ll find songs about honesty, perseverance and forgiveness. That’s where the title comes from; it’s songs for the journey of life." Threshold have utilized longer than average tracks as centrepieces of all their Nuclear Blast-era records. The almost 12-minute epic ‘The Box’ continues the trend. "We try to leave the listeners to interpret our songs in their own way because everybody’s imagination is different," Richard explains. "However with ‘The Box’ it’s quite simple: it’s the analogy of the modern world meeting its older counterpart, and becoming enveloped." Despite amassing a ten-album catalogue Threshold have never sounded fresher, brighter or more essential. Whilst sales of popular music continue to diminish, ‘March Of Progress’ was the band’s most popular record by a considerable margin. The statistics speak for themselves - Germany (#28), Switzerland (#30), Sweden (#43), Austria (#55), Netherlands (#70) and France (#102). "People seem to be buying a lot less pop music than they did, but our CD’s sell more and more each time," West observes. "Seeing Mastodon’s new album [‘Once More ’Round The Sun’] in the UK Top Ten is something that would never have happened years ago. It certainly feels as though the climate is shifting." The various band members are involved in an array of high profile outside projects, but with respect to such endeavours, it’s coming back to Threshold that really feels like home. "As much as everyone loves being away, it’s still the biggest thrill," Wilson sums up. ‘For The Journey’ is the latest remarkable record by a remarkable band. Just do yourselves a favour: Leave the term ‘prog-metal’ at the door. - Dave Ling (Classic Rock, Metal Hammer and Prog magazines) THRESHOLD - Watchtower On The Moon (OFFICIAL LIVE VIDEO)
AT THE GATES - The Night Eternal (OFFICIAL VIDEO). Taken from the album "At War With Reality". At the Gates is a Swedish metal band from Gothenburg, Sweden, and a major progenitor of the melodic death metal (or Gothenburg death metal) sound. Initially active from 1990 to 1996, the band reformed in 2008 for a limited 6-month reunion tour. However, they reformed for a second time in 2011, and have since continued to perform live. The band released their comeback album ‘At War with Reality’ (their first album in 19 years) in October 2014. Early career (1990–1994) At the Gates were formed in 1990 by former members of the death/black metal band Grotesque. They recorded a debut EP, Gardens of Grief, for the Dolores record label. The EP led seminal metal label Peaceville Records to sign the band, and they released their debut full-length album, The Red in the Sky Is Ours. After the recording of their second studio album, With Fear I Kiss the Burning Darkness, founding member and guitarist Alf Svensson left the band in 1993 to pursue tattoo artistry, Graphic Novel illustration and his solo project ‘Oxiplegatz’. He was soon replaced by former House of Usher guitarist Martin Larsson, who the band knew from the early tape-trading scene. The band continued touring Europe, and were filmed for a Headbangers Ball special (VIDEO) featuring a tour date in the United Kingdom in July 1994. Success and breakthrough (1994–1996) In 1994, At the Gates released their third album, Terminal Spirit Disease, which was hailed as a breakthrough album. The band continued touring and in 1995 released their most commercially and critically successful album: Slaughter of the Soul, on Earache Records. This album firmly rooted the band as one of the leaders of the Swedish metal scene and was labelled as a benchmark album in the Gothenburg sound by AMG. Decibel Magazine hailed it as “the most influential death metal album of the next decade”. The band received international attention for the album, gaining them a U.S. tour and heavy rotation of the music video for Blinded by Fear on MTV in America, but despite this international success, the Björler brothers departed in 1996. The remaining members decided it would be impossible to continue without them, so the band broke up. Post-breakup (1996–2007) When At the Gates broke up in 1996, drummer Adrian Erlandsson, bassist Jonas Björler, and guitarist Anders Björler formed The Haunted. Tomas Lindberg has worked with many bands including Skitsystem, The Crown, Lock Up, Nightrage and The Great Deceiver, and is currently in Disfear. Erlandsson left The Haunted to join Cradle of Filth. In 2001, Peaceville Records released an At the Gates retrospective called Suicidal Final Art. Reunion (2008–2013) On October 18, 2007, At the Gates announced several reunion shows for mid-2008, including Getafe Electric Festival, Roskilde Festival, Ruis Rock, Wacken Open Air, Graspop Metal Meeting, Sweden Rock Festival, Gods of Metal, Hellfest Summer Open Air, Castle Festival, and Bloodstock Open Air, as well as a tour of Japan with The Dillinger Escape Plan, Into Eternity, Pig Destroyer, and Mayhem in May 2008. Throughout July 2008, they toured the US and Canada on what was dubbed the “Suicidal Final Tour”, and played their final UK show at Bloodstock Open Air on Sunday on 17 August 2008. They finished their last show in Athens, Greece, with guest The Ocean on 21 September 2008. The band’s performance at Wacken Open Air in 2008 is available on The Flames of the End, which also includes clips of songs from other venues and a documentary (Under A Serpent Sun – The Story of At The Gates) that covers the history & the reunion in its entirety. On January 21, 2014, At the Gates released a video on YouTube showing a distorted video (see above) with lines of text on it, followed by text saying “2014”, possibly hinting toward possible lyrics for an upcoming album. On January 27, 2014, the band revealed on Facebook via a new cover photo and profile picture, that their confirmed fifth record would be titled ‘At War with Reality’ and would be released in the fall of 2014 through Century Media. AT THE GATES - The Night Eternal (OFFICIAL VIDEO)
Monday, December 28, 2015
PARADISE LOST - Victims Of The Past (Live in Plovdiv). Taken from the DVD "Symphony For The Lost". Century Media Records 2015. * * “It is during our darkest moments that we must focus to see the light.” ARISTOTLE Rare is it for a band to have had such a long lasting effect on the musical landscape they exist within. Since their formation in Halifax, West Yorkshire, Paradise Lost have thrived in perpetual darkness: a place where rays of light seldom threaten to break the black clouds, where nightmares last an eternity. While the course of their sonic evolution has spawned countless others sworn to the dark, all pale in comparison to the original Gothic metal pioneers. It would be fair to say without Paradise Lost, many of today’s doom-gloom bands would never have existed – 2nd album ‘Gothic’ still being considered ground zero for gothic metal. With their 5th album ‘Draconian Times’ international breakthrough beckoned as the band continued to forge their own path and explore more electronic and symphonic-led musings, building one of the most loyal fan-bases the world has to offer in the process and spawning chart positions across Europe. Celebrating their 25th anniversary with a special performance at UK magazine Metal Hammer’s Golden Gods ceremony, the band were given the Inspiration award for their contributions to heavy music. Now returning with opus number fourteen ‘The Plague Within’, Paradise Lost are once again refining the chemical equation to their sonic alchemy with the kind of creative invincibility few can afford. It’s a collection of songs that will surprise even the most seasoned of fans in its ambition: a monochrome miasma of morbidly uplifting anthems and heart-aching melancholia. Theirs is a pain born of the human condition itself as our fragile minds struggle to cope in a world overrun by demons. “It’s easy to consider songs like ‘No Hope in Sight’ as totally negative from the offset,” offers singer Nick Holmes. “This isn’t necessarily so. It just depends on how comfortable you are in yourself. As each generation comes along, we in turn shuffle nearer to the edge. It’s a potentially grim prospect, but ironically, as I grow older I am less worried about death than ever before. And on certain off days filled with bad news, misunderstanding, lying and all the horrendous pointless death in the world, I could almost welcome it.” Paradise Lost There’s a sense of irony in that their first album to be entirely recorded on home soil in a number of years is arguably the quintet’s coldest offering yet. Produced by Jaime Gomez Arellano [Ghost, Ulver, Cathedral] at London’s Orgone Studios, the frostbitten riffs thunder beneath the bittersweet euphoria of Nick’s vocals, drifting between rich melodic soars and icy snarls. It’s an organic body of work that confronts the trials and tribulations of struggling alone in darkness, but also one that treads incredibly exciting and genuinely new sonic ground in the process. “‘Punishment through Time’ was the first song we put together,” explains Nick. “As usual when we begin a new album, we try to clear the slate. After 14 albums it can be difficult to know where to start, but even though it’s a distant memory, the best option is usually to think about the music we loved and excited us as teenagers and I guess this song is a result of that. With a real 80s vibe, I think it’s the only song of its kind on the album.” It’s this very love for what they do that has elevated Paradise Lost to the higher echelons of metal majesty. With a longstanding stable line-up that increasingly seems a rarity in today’s music scene, theirs is a creativity born of collective dominance: a mutual and shared dedication to creating something that will stand the test of time. And, of course, we’ve grown to expect nothing less from the Great British trailblazers. “As far as writing goes, being impulsive doesn’t always work and can be risky,” he continues. “But we decided to write a total doom song halfway through recording the drum parts for ‘Beneath Broken Earth’. Much to our drummer Adrian’s horror, no doubt! ‘An Eternity of Lies’ actually took the longest to get together, with originally about 15 different versions until we settled with the final one.” Continually searching and striving for creative independence like this could very well be the secret to Paradise Lost’s success. If you’re searching for cheap thrills, look elsewhere. This is a band that sacrifice themselves through music, bleeding and suffering for their art in a way that puts many of today’s so-called artists to shame. Going out of their way to avoid tried and tested formulas that have worked in the past, Paradise Lost choose and openly embrace the road less traveled. That’s most definitely something to be proud of and long may it continue… Amit Sharma PARADISE LOST - Victims Of The Past (Live in Plovdiv)
ARCH ENEMY - You Will Know My Name (Live in Korea). Century Media Records 2015. Track from 'War Eternal', Century Media Records, 2014. ** ** "The greatest challenge for me is to keep improving every aspect of the compositions and arrangements," says ARCH ENEMY founder/guitarist Michael Amott about new album, War Eternal. "I’m always searching for ‘the perfect ARCH ENEMY song.’ When I started the band in 1995 I had the idea to create the most heavy melodic band of all time." And he did. Over the course of 19 years, ARCH ENEMY, under Amott’s guidance, crafted 10 acclaimed full-lengths, dominated sales charts, and toured the globe. If Amott were a smart man, he’d retire now to some tropical island with his favorite Michael Schenker records in tow and the setting sun on his face. But neither he nor ARCH ENEMY are done. Not by a long shot. With vocalist Alissa White-Gluz replacing long-time frontwoman Angela Gossow in 2014 respectively, War Eternal is ARCH ENEMY reborn. "Changes in the band lineup are hardly ever looked upon favorably by the fans," Amott acknowledges, "which I completely understand. Nonetheless, it does happen and the changes that have been made in the ARCH ENEMY camp were necessary in order for the band to survive and keep going. I love the energy of working with new people and Alissa has certainly brought a lot of talent and enthusiasm to the band!" When Amott recruited Angela Gossow to front ARCH ENEMY for the Wages of Sin effort, he changed extreme metal forever. With White-Gluz, he has a new weapon. She’s a veritable firebrand on War Eternal, her unrelenting roar, cruel rasp and unique looks are the mark of a woman ready to conquer the world. "My goal is to keep ARCH ENEMY alive and thriving!" White-Gluz exclaims. "I want to open a whole new chapter for ARCH ENEMY, powerful and diverse, all the while respecting the legions of fans that love traditional ARCH ENEMY. Fans can expect loads of pure fucking metal." At 13 tracks, War Eternal is the quintessential ARCH ENEMY album. It’s both a nostalgic nod to the band’s past ("Never Forgive, Never Forget", "No More Regrets") and stunning example of what’s possible in the future ("Down to Nothing", "Time is Black"). But if there’s a standout track—a spearhead—it’s the title song. Unveiled to the world on Youtube, "War Eternal" marches defiantly against the mundane, two raised fists to the constraints of society and the cage it desperately tries to put on us all. In it, White-Gluz proves she’s the next generation of great, while Amott and the rest of ARCH ENEMY play as if "War Eternal" is their last song. That "War Eternal" amassed an astonishing 1.5 million views the first 10 days is telling of its conviction and power. "There are a lot of details in this album that excite me as a songwriter and guitarist," Amott grins. "Personally, I’ve pushed myself harder as player on War Eternal and feel I’ve gone to another level this time, which is very rewarding. I actually think the whole band has kicked everything up a notch or two." Produced by the band and mixed and mastered by Jens Bogren (Opeth, Paradise Lost) at Fascination Street Studio, the Swedes’ 10th full-length is unrelentingly brutal yet remarkably polished. "We could afford any big name producer at this stage in the game," says Amott. "Having the band produce the album was a natural and logical way of working for us at this point. It was critical that we bring out the true ARCH ENEMY sound, the essence of the band on this record and who knows that better than us? Jens Bogren did an outstanding mixing and mastering the album. It was my first time working with him and I am more than impressed with his talent." The album was hailed as "Album Of The Month" in Terrorizer (UK), Powerplay (UK), Metal Hammer (Germany), Rock Hard (France), Metallian (France), Scream (Norway), Sweden Rock (Sweden) and got more than positive reviews all over the world; additionally, War Eternal achieved career-best chart positions for the band in the USA (#44), Germany (#9), Finland (#5), France (#56), and The Netherlands (#36), plus the best UK chart entry (#85) since Doomsday Machine (#81). ARCH ENEMY were also honored to appear on the front covers of Revolver (USA), Legacy (Germany), Rock Hard (France), Inferno (Finland), Up (Netherlands), Aardschok (Netherlands), Metal Maniac (Italy), Pro Rock (Bulgaria), Into The Pit (Thailand) and many more magazines. Right after the release of War Eternal, the band kicked off their eternal touring with sublime festival shows at Wacken, Sweden Rock and many more, followed by a world tour with Kreator (with whom they released a split 7" single later in October 2014). During the USA headline tour with Kreator, the band decided to part ways with guitarist Nick Cordle. Christopher Amott (the brother of ARCH ENEMY founder/bandleader Michael Amott) joined the band for the remainder of their American headlining tour and Jeff Loomis (ex-Nevermore) stepped in for the following European dates with Kreator. Jeff will continue for another busy year in 2015 and beyond. Jeff Loomis states: "I'm very excited to be playing with ARCH ENEMY. Michael Amott and I have stayed in contact over the years since we toured together when I was playing in Nevermore. Not only do I admire his guitar playing and songwriting, but I also consider him a close friend. To be able to share the stage with Michael, Sharlee, Daniel and Alissa is something I'm really looking forward to. 2015 is going to be a great year... See you all on tour!" Michael Amott (guitars) comments: "The prospect of working with Jeff Loomis moving forward is truly awesome! Jeff Loomis is one of the best guitar players in the metal world in my opinion, as well as being a long time friend. I look forward to tearing it up on stages around the world together as we continue on the ‘War Eternal' touring cycle throughout all next year and beyond!" ARCH ENEMY - You Will Know My Name (Live in Korea)
Sunday, December 27, 2015
German progressive metal masters OBSCURA are poised to return with fifty-two minutes of their most expansive, dynamic, and innovative music to date! 'Akroasis' is due out February 5, 2016 via Relapse Records on CD/2xLP/Digital. Founded in 2002 by guitarist/vocalist Steffen Kummerer, German progressive death metal band OBSCURA caused a stir when they – out of nowhere – toured as support for the legendary Suffocation on the band’s European tour in 2006 and independently released their debut album Retribution that same year. From its very beginnings, the band (named after Gorguts’ inimitable 1993 full-length) demonstrated an uncanny ability for blending different forms of technical, cerebral metal into a coherent synthesis of death, thrash and black metal merged with progressive elements. Following this auspicious start, OBSCURA‘s lineup was bolstered by a number of star-studded additions to the band’s lineup. In late 2007, OBSCURA added drummer Hannes Grossmann (ex-Necrophagist) and bassist Jeroen Paul Thesseling (ex-Pestilence) as new permanent members, while guitarist Christian Muenzner (Spawn of Possession, ex-Necrophagist) came into the ranks in early 2008. In 2009, after being acquired by Relapse Records, the band released Cosmogenesis, a marvel of technical and progressive metal that firmly established OBSCURA as one of modern extreme metal’s leading lights. Not one to bend to convention, OBSCURA distinguished themselves and their unique brand of music via the tasteful use of vocal effects, fretless bass, philosophical underpinnings, and other elements rarely touched on in extreme metal. In addition to cracking the US Billboard charts, the release of Cosmogenesis saw OBSCURA embark on their first worldwide tour, which included visits to North America, Europe, and Japan. Cosmogenesis was followed in 2011 by Omnivium, which was lauded by Decibel, Terrorizer, Metal Injection, and dozens of others as a landmark achievement in technical music. That album entered the US and German charts while enabling the band to conduct another run of extensive touring across the globe, now joined by fretless bassist Linus Klausenitzer (Noneuclid). The band embarked on multiple world tours with such renowned artists as Cannibal Corpse, Nile, Suffocation, Atheist, Death To All, The Black Dahlia Murder, Children of Bodom, Devin Townsend and countless others including numerous festival appearances at Summer Breeze, Hellfest, Inferno Festival, Neurotic Deathfest, and many others. In 2014, Muenzner and Grossmann left OBSCURA to focus on personal endeavors. Their positions were filled by jazz guitarist Rafael Trujillo and fusion drummer Sebastian Lanser (Panzerballett). Now, five years since the release of the universally-acclaimed Omnivium, the progressive metal masters are poised to return with their strongest and most dynamic release to date. The aptly-named Akróasis (Greek for “hearing” or “listening”) draws on all the various elements of OBSCURA‘s signature sound and combines those qualities into a cohesive and mind-blowing whole. Produced by the band and V. Santura (Triptykon, Pestilence), Akróasis is eight songs diverse enough to serve as a near-comprehensive introduction to all of extreme metal. Packed to the gills with virtuosic musicianship, compelling themes, and airtight songwriting, Akróasis will undoubtedly breathe new life into death metal, progressive metal and beyond. OBSCURA - "Akroasis" (Official Music Video)
Saturday, December 26, 2015
- - Seattle region concert calendar by Metal Bulletin Zine (Washington state). If you know of other metal concerts in the area, please get in contact with Metal Bulletin Zine, here, on Facebook or on Twitter. - - - - -
Brought forth in 1988, BROKEN HOPE was the brainchild of guitarist/chief-lyricist-songwriter, Jeremy Wagner. Though Jeremy was still attending High School, his passion and drive for bringing the band out of obscurity was apparent from the start. In 1989 and 1990, BROKEN HOPE recorded two demo tapes which landed them a deal with the underground label, Grind Core records. In 1991, BROKEN HOPE spewed forth their debut album, Swamped In Gore, which subsequently launched the band out of the underground and into the mainstream. Swamped In Gore was not only ahead of its time musically but it was also the first digitally-recorded death-metal album yet again showing the forward thinking of the then fledgling act. By 1993, BROKEN HOPE broke away from their first record label and quickly was immediately approached by Metal Blade Records. BROKEN HOPE released four albums with Metal Blade Records: The Bowels of Repugnance, Repulsive Conception, Loathing, and the re-release of Swamped In Gore. 1995's Repulsive Conception, reached CMJ New Music Monthly's Metal Top 25 chart, as did the follow-up, 1997's Loathing. The first four albums are stellar examples of the fury and sheer brutality possessed by BROKEN HOPE, and is also the albums that etched BROKEN HOPE’s place in death-metal history. The first decade for the band was filled with non-stop writing, touring, and constant visibility with each album. BROKEN HOPE’s music has received praise from bands such as SLIPKNOT, DEVILDRIVER, THE BLACK DAHLIA MURDER, DYING FETUS and many more. By the end of the ‘90’s, BROKEN HOPE produced and released their fifth album: 1999’s, Grotesque Blessings. After North American and European, BH founder—Jeremy Wagner—cleaned house and put Broken Hope into “metal hibernation” in 2002. In 2007, BROKEN HOPE’s original Loathing lineup sat down face-to-face to discuss reuniting and doing a world tour. Due to personal scheduling conflicts, the guys were unable to make anything happen after this special meeting. On January 20, 2010, original BROKEN HOPE vocalist Joe Ptacek committed suicide. He was only 37 years old. Before his death, Ptacek met with Jeremy Wagner and Shaun Glass and discussed the resurrection of BROKEN HOPE. With Ptacek’s death, Wagner and Glass took time off to reconsider their next moves. In 2012, Jeremy Wagner resurrected BROKEN HOPE and vowed to make the band a full-time monster—forever. BROKEN HOPE made their long awaited return to the realm of Death Metal on the highly successful Carnival of Death tour. BH’s high-intensity COD live offerings received top-praise, and confirmed that not only was BROKEN HOPE back, they were also more rabid than ever. The band went on to perform at the 2013 editions of Extremefest (Germany) and Maryland Death Fest to stellar reviews which leads us to a new chapter in the annals of BROKEN HOPE. In 2013, BROKEN HOPE put pen to paper and signed a worldwide deal with Century Media Records. Their sixth album, OMEN of DISEASE, released in October 2013 release. OMEN of DISEASE opened with a big first week, hitting #2 most-added at US radio, nearly breaking into the top 10 at CMJ, and with the track “Womb Of Horrors” added as a Flavor Track at Music Choice. OMEN of DISEASE also dropped with nearly 1,100 copies sold in its first week of release. Trevor Strnad of THE BLACK DAHLIA MURDER makes a guest appearance on backing vocals for the track, “Rendered Into Lard,” and OMEN of DISEASE also features the artwork and return of BROKEN HOPES’s former (and brilliant) album cover artist, Wes Benscoter (SLAYER, KREATOR, MORTICIAN plus many more). BROKEN HOPE has supported OMEN of DISEASE with non-stop touring over the last year-and-a-half with tours including DEICIDE, IMMOLATION, OCEANO, and festival appearances at BRUTAL ASSAULT, NEUROTIC DEATHFEST, OBSCENE EXTREME, and more. BROKEN HOPE recently overhauled their lineup with the addition of Matt Szlachta (ex-CHIMAIRA) on lead-guitars, and bassist, Diego Soria (Disgorge). BROKEN HOPE finished their FIRST-EVER “HEADLINE” TOUR across EUROPE last April (2015) and appeared at the OBSCENE EXTREME CZECH and MONTREAL editions. In September, BROKEN HOPE released their first-ever Live Concert Blu-Ray DVD and Live Album package via CENTURY MEDIA RECORDS. Directed by Tommy Jones (SLAYER, LAMB of GOD, DEATH ANGEL), this Live Concert combo titled, “LIVE DISEASE at BRUTAL ASSAULT,” the Live Blu-Ray and CD capture BROKEN HOPE’s intense and bludgeoning headline set in front of 25,000 fans. The Live CD hit #5 on CMJ’s LOUD ROCK/METAL charts the first week of release with DJ’s and reviewers collectively praising “LIVE DISEASE” as one of the greatest sounding Live CD’s and greatest visual Concert DVD’s in extreme metal. BROKEN HOPE is almost finished with the writing of their 7th album which will see release from CENTURY MEDIA sometime in 2016.
Mortician was founded in 1983 by five young metal fans in the town of Satteins, Austria. After several months of powerful practices the band hit the stage for its first concert on the 31st of March in 1984, offering an amazing show for 300 metal maniacs. From then on the band played several concerts through its local area mainly at metal/rock clubs and biker weekend parties. In the spring of 1986 the band recorded its first demo “Street Warrior”, which received amazing feedbacks and motivated the band to go into the studio once again in the summer of 87 to produce the nowadays highly appreciated EP “NO WAR”, which has being recognized as a cult item among the specialized press and heavy metal fans. After a lot of local success and the great reaction over the “No War” EP Mortician got selected as one of the best ten metal bands in Austria and was invited to play together with Sepultura and Sodom in Vienna on 1989. After this, also in the year 1989 the band recorded its next demo tape entitled “Break The Rules” and keep on with the hard promotional work playing concerts around Austria. In 1990 due to different personal reasons the band ended up splitting and each of its members took different paths. After 19 years, in 2009, the founding members of Mortician, Thomas Metzler (guitar) and Patrik Lercher (bass) decided to reunite the band. As the original singer and drummer were not available any more they decided to hire Daniel Khan for the vocals and Antee for the drums. Shortly after the reformation the band signed a record deal with Pure Steel Records and in autumn of 2009 the entire Mortician’s material from the 80s was re-released under the title “No War and More”. During 2010 Mortician was booked for the festivals “Up The Hammers” in Athens and “Keep It True” in Germany which gave the band the next kick and positioned it again in the sight of the metal fans from Europe. In November of 2011 the band went into studio once again to record its first LP called “Mortician” under Pure Underground Records label, which achieved a great response worldwide and was highly acclaimed by the press. Through this new Mortician’s era the band shared stage with a lot of great bands like Black Label Society, Magnum, Sepultura, Sodom, Tygers of Pan Tang, Demon, Raven, Biohazard, Lordi, Vicious Rumors, Jag Panzer, Leatherwolf, Jaguar, and supported the European tour of Lillian Axe. As well it performed at the “Pounding Metal Festival” in Madrid, the “Metal Headz Open Air” in Germany, the “After Dark Fair” in Czech Republic, the “Metal Rites Festival” in Greece, etc In November 2014 the latest album “Shout for Heavy Metal” was released becoming an immediate success, with a great demand through the entire world and receiving great reviews from the media. As well, together with the release of the album, a final update to Mortician’s lineup was announced, directly from Mexico, the drummer Alex “Black Cat” joined the band. Since then the band has focused in the promotion of the new album playing gigs across all Europe and started preparing the new songs for a forthcoming album.
The foundation for what was to become SoulHealer was laid in late 2009. After a few line-up changes, the last of them almost directly after the recordings, they released their first EP Dreamcatcher early summer 2010. The first 300 copies of the EP sold out in less than a fortnight which was a whole lot quicker than the band or anybody else had anticipated. After an EP launching gig SoulHealer did shows around the Kainuu area, always with a huge response from their crowd. At the end of 2010 SoulHealer enjoyed their first international appearance in Kostomuksha Russia at a local festival Nord Session, invited there by none other than the mayor of the city of Kostomuksha. In February 2011 the band began to record their first album "The Kings of Bullet Alley", which was released on 17th of July , and received almost only great reviews from the press. The following tour "The Bullet Alley Road Show" was a great success and brought the boys to places in Finland, they have never been before. One of the most memorable shows of the tour was the appearance at Sotkamon Syke festival opening for Amorphis and Tarot among other big names. At the beginning of 2012 SoulHealer started to write new songs for a follow up for their debut album. One new song called Wicked Moon is featured on the Metal Crusade CD Compilation in German Heavy magazine No 141, which came out end of June. Almost at same time SoulHealer has signed a worlwide deal with Pure Legend Records. One highlight in 2012 was the first concert ever in Germany at the Warmup Show of the Headbangers Open Air at the Lauschbar in Itzehoe on 25th July. In late summer bass player Teemu Aho quit the band for personal reasons. A replacement was found pretty fast with Pasi Laakkonen. In October Soulhealer entered the studio to record the follow up for the debut album “The Kings Of Bullet Alley”. After the band finished the recordings in early 2013, the mix and mastering was done by Janne Tolsa at Note-On Studio, they had to deal with another departure. Drummer Timo Immonen decided to quit the band, as he wanted to spend more time with his family, and SoulHealer got more and more time consuming. A new man behind the drums was found pretty fast again with Jani Nyman. A new chapter in the history of SoulHealer is the release of the first album “Chasing The Dream” on their label Pure Legend Records on May 10th 2013.
Hollow Haze formed in 2003 by Nick Savio with the idea to put together a new original “Hard & Heavy” sound. After some sessions at Remaster Studio, the soul of the band was strongly outlined and just a fews months later the first outset album “Hollow Haze” (My Graveyard Productions – 2006) was released. At the end of 2008 the band signed for Crash & Burn records…The second album “The Hanged Man” got a great response from magazine and hard and heavy web sites…A great step ahead for the band!!!! With a great production Hollow Haze outlined once and for all their “big heavy dark” sound. The official videoclip of "Coming from Hell" was released on December. On January 2011 the new album “End of a dark Era” got great feedback from the music business and several shows followed the album release. Thanks to a new management deal with Alpha Omega management on 2012, the band has been on tour with TARJA around Europe. On march 2012 an headliner Israel mini tour get a great response from magazine and web site. On June another great opportunity: A deal with Bakertem records for the new album Poison in Black recorded at Remaster Studio. On September the band released the new videoclip "Haunting the Sinner". HOLLOW HAZE offers an Hard & Heavy Metal mixed with a screaming, warm melodic voice and deep intensive chorus where the listeners can find many different music backgrounds taken from the past metal glories and from the modern rock compositions. Thanks to their passion and hard work the group face every music style and innovations, trying to be competitive in the world-wide stage with their new 4th album "Poison in Black"!!!!. On February 2013 Fabio Lione joined the band as the new singer. At the same time Hollow Haze announced the collaboration with Nightbreeder and the Wintermoon Orchestra for the new 5th album, recorded at Remaster Studio and Mixed by Sascha Paeth at Gate Studios.
Friday, December 25, 2015
new issue: 68 of Metal Bulletin Zine Awe Phrenetix Crimson Day IT Affliction Gate Thulnar Escarnium Bastard Grave Rhine Spinebreaker Jameson Raid Nahum Mandragora Malevola prog paradise: top 30 albums of 2015: 30-21 by The Man of Much Metal www.issuu.com/metalbulletinzine/docs/metalbulletin68
Wednesday, December 23, 2015
- - Seattle region concert calendar by Metal Bulletin Zine (Washington state). If you know of other metal concerts in the area, please get in contact with Metal Bulletin Zine, here, on Facebook or on Twitter. - - - - -
** ** German power metal band GAMMA RAY has an appropriate song on this matter, from 1991: "Rich and Famous" ("Sigh No More" album) ** I don't believe in fame, I believe in music. I don't believe in money, I believe in the power of love. I know I got a brain and I know how to use it. I don't want no one to stick his finger in my pie. You think you put your best foot forward But it is moved by someone else. In blind belief you follow every path that says: I lead you to a universe of fortune, fame and luck. Do you really wanna be - rich and famous, rich and famous. Do you really wanna be - rich and famous now. I don't believe in Rock 'n' Roll illusions. I don't believe that what they say must always be the truth. I don't believe in good guys against bad guys. I just might as well say I believe in Santa Claus. You think you put your best foot forward But it is moved by someone else. In blind belief you follow every path that says: I lead you to a universe of fortune, fame and luck. Do you really wanna be - rich and famous, rich and famous. Do you really wanna be - rich and famous now. Mr. Big shot what is your game Mr. Big shot what is your final aim. Now you wonder who is to blame. Mr. Big shot what is your final aim in life. Rich and famous, house with two hours, big jacuzzi, car with TV. Private airplane, furs and diamonds, seafood cocktails- CRAP AND BULLSHIT! Do you really wanna be - rich and famous, rich and famous. Do you really wanna be - rich and famous now. www.facebook.com/theoriesgrind/?fref=ts