Monthly Archives juli 2011

Draconian: A Rose for the Apokalypse

Napalm/Sound Pollution

Swedish band DRACONIAN have released their fourth outing welcome release for the fans I believe. Their previous album, “Turning Season Within” arrived in 2008, so it has been a while. Jens Berggren at Fascination Street Studios has been turning the knobs, to guarantee an ultimate experience according to the info sheet, so what about it?

Opener “The Drowning Age” is among the best I´ve heard from the band! They are a bit harder/rougher, which suits the vocals, and there is a force they don ´t always muster. The variety of the ensuing “The Last Hour Ancient Sunlight” is also well suited, and the riff is quite simple but effective. I quite like Lisa´s voice, as well as the keyboards. There is something cozy about the DRACONIAN doom...

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Marienbad: Werk 1: Nachtfall

Massacre/Sound Pollution

MARIENBAD was a town in former Germany Sudetenland (now the Czech Republic) that was flooded in the sixties. All inhabitants were relocated, all but twelve that refused and preferred to stay and wait for death. Quite a cosy setting for an epic depressed doomy outing like this. Masterminded by EISREGEN personnel M. Roth and Yantit, vocals and guitars/keyboards respectively, who are augmented by West on bass and Allen B. Konstanz on drums. Another thing is that you get two versions, both German and English lyrics versions are included.

Is there a difference between the same story in two languages? I believe there is. First up there is a certain vibrato to M Roth´s vocals in German that is not a s clear in English...

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Tuska Open Air Metal Festival – Day 3 review

The last day of the festival was nicely thought by the organisers. Only 3 bands on the main stage, with the last show ending at 9 PM so that everyone could get home in decent time and start the working week on Monday somewhat rested. We went there early to watch the performance of the crazy Norwegians from Kvelertak. I just saw them live 2 weeks prior to Tuska, at Norway Rock festival, and they had such an amazing show that I had to convince everyone I could to go and see them. And I am pretty sure no one was disappointed. The 6 piece band from the West coast of Norway play a weird mix of punk/black metal as far as I noticed, but I wouldn’t be surprised if people find other genres in their music...

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Tuska Open Air Metal Festival – Day 2 review

Saturday at Tuska had the main stage reserved for more ’mellow’ music – at least if you consider all the thrash and death from the first day. The opener was Epica, Dutch symphonic/progressive metal led by a very charismatic Simone Simons surrounded by long hair tall Dutch men. With a bunch of nice keyboards and guitar solos supporting Simone’s melodic voice, the band was really loved by the people gathered early in the afternoon. It’s also a nice show to watch as everyone has a great time on stage and I like the sight they create when the long haired stop in front of the metal cooling fans and start looking like Medusa impersonations.

I went for a short while in the building hosting the 4th stage and was nicely surprised by the intensity of Medeia’s brutal death metal...

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Tuska Open Air Metal Festival – Day 1 review

Helsinki’s ’pain’ festival as I was told the name translates into, goes all the way back to 1998 and has seen a yearly growth in the number of attendees and also the quality of bands that performed on its stages. The 2011 edition (22 – 24 July) was the first one held in a new location, called Suvilahti, a former industrial area by the way it looks, with less vegetation but surrounded by factory buildings which had their advantages at times. The Finnish weather was incredibly friendly for the three days and except few minutes of rain, we were greeted by a lot of sunshine. My biggest positive surprise at this festival comes from the people, especially the employees/volunteers working as guards or serving drinks and foods...

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Human Zoo: Eyes of the Stranger

Fastball/Sound Pollution

HUMAN ZOO sure stands out. Not many hard rock bands employ a saxophone player these days, or ever before. The band history starts in 2004 and comprises two previous albums, their debut “Precious Time” (2006) and the follow-up “Over the Horizon” (2007). The basic formula is simple but seemingly secure: They go for a steadfast 80´s hard rock sound, with the addition of the occasional sax. I think they have done well, sporting three albums in only five years, plus numerous gigs with the likes of THE SCORPIONS, AXXIS, KROKUS and U.D.O. The line-up has been a solid affair comprising of vocalist Thomas Seeburger, guitarist Ingolf Engler, Keyboardist Zarko Mestrovic, bass player Markus Ratheiser, sax player Boris Matakovic, and drummer Kevin Klimesch.

This is on...

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Consfearacy: S/T

Massacre/Sound Pollution

Brian O´Connor (ex. VICIUOS RUMORS) on vocals, Ira Black (ex. VICIOUS RUMORS, LIZZY BORDEN, METAL CHURCH) on guitars, plus Fabian Schwarz and Guenter Auschrat, guitars and bass respectively, from THE NEW BLACK, this looks very interesting! Their collective experience can hardly be measured, and there is so much routine. Heavy power-tech-thrash is their game, how good can it be?

This is perhaps a little too American for their own good. There is a lot of inventive guitar work, a seriously strong voice and a fine rhythm section consisting of Guenter and drummer Timo Weiss. Fans of OVERKILL will feel at home most of the time, and there is a strong nineties vibe. But far too many songs are merely ok due to a touch of MEGADETH...

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Arachnes: A New Day

Lion Music/Leading Digital Platforms

ARACHNES are part of Lion Music´s new digital venture. The band hails from Italy and is based around vocalist Enzo Caruso and his guitar playing brother Frank (STRINGS 24). They list influences from a wide scope, denoting DEEP PUROPLE and QUEEN via YES, ELP, as well as MILES DAVIS and classical music. Eleven new songs plus a cover of DEEP PURPLE`S “Fireball” are on offer.

Opener “I Know the Darkness” is a fine example of YES inspired Italian power metal. The slight prog touch blends well with Frank´s guitar work and a nice enough refrain, a highlight. The first half of the album is the most interesting, and they really excel. YNGWIE MALMSTEEN is probably the number one influence, though not cited, but still a vibrant part...

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High Voltage festival – 23/24 July 2011

The second high voltage festival took place on 23rd and 24th July 2011. The line-up was superb – some really top bands on the bill including Judas Priest, Slash, Thin Lizzy, Queensryche, Dream Theatre, Jethro Tull and many more.

The location for the festival was once again Victoria Park in London – a large park in Hackney with good transport links (they’d have been a lot better had LUL not decided to shut half the underground lines for the weekend).
The park gives plenty of space for the event, but does come with a major problem – its in a residential area, so the council imposes strict noise levels that are far lower than most similar event have to work with...

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Thin lizzy @ High Voltage – 23/07/2011

A few years ago, Thin Lizzy weren’t at the top of their game. The new lineup however, with Ricky Warwick as their frontman is back on form and today they make things look easy as they put in an excellent performance packed with classic hits including ”Jailbreak”, ”Whiskey in the jar”, ”The Boys are back in town” and ”Waiting for an alibi”.
For ”Dancing in the moonlight”, Michael Monroe joined Thin Lizzy on stage to accompany them on saxophone. Ricky Warwick is a superb frontman and while some old diehards will never accept any version of the band that doesnt include Phil Lynott, most fans are happy with the current lineup. A nice touch was dedicating one of the songs to Phil Lynott and Gary Moore – two former and deceased Thin Lizzy legends.
The large crowd certainly looked to enjoy the...

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