Monthly Archives april 2012

An interview with Gotthard

I recently spoke to Nic Maeder and Marc Lynn from Gotthard to talk to them about their forthcoming album, Firebirth.

Festivalphoto: Your new album, Firebirth will be released on 1st June. First of all, where did the name come from?

Marc: It is a little bit with the story over the last one and a half years, you know since we found Nic after everything. After the accident with Steve of course we were down on the floor and you don’t know what to do, and then you see you want to make music together and you decide to go ahead if you find the right person, and then Nic showed up and you felt, ”wow this is the guy, fits perfectly, not only the voice but also personally”, and then the band caught fire...

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Diablo Swing Orchestra – Pandoras Pinata

Pandoras Pinata is the third album from Swedish band Diablo Swing Orchestra. Diablo Swing Orchestra are one of those bands that can’t be descibed easily (if at all) as they really don’t fit into any normal musical genre or category. I can imagine if you taught the inmates of a lunatic asylum to play and sing the results would be more normal than this – DSO really is quite utterly crazy music, but its also absolutely brilliant. The old saying says that there is a fine line between genius and insanity, and Diablo Swing Orchestra are proof of that – what they produce would sound insane if you descrbe it, but when you hear it then it becomes clear that its a work of genius.

Lets start with a quick look at the instruments used on the album – electric guitar, synthesiser, drums, bass (sounds ...

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Winter in eden – Echoes of betrayal

Formed in the North East of England in 2009, symphonic metal band Winter in Eden have already released an EP (At the edge of the world) in 2009 and an album (Awakening) in 2010, and are now releasing their second album, ”Echoes of betrayal”.

The band have a rich symphonic sound with nice warm vocals from singer Vicky Johnson.

The album has an impressive 55 minute running time – sadly some bands still persist in releasing albums that are barely over half an hour, and with 40-45 minutes being a typical album length then this album is certainly good value. It’s well packaged (something some smaller bands overlook) with the CD booklet including the song lyrics as well as artwork and a photo.

Brief comments on a few of the songs.

Opening track ”For the few” is a great track – opening with a ge...

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Driver – Countdown

Driver originally formed in the late 80s from the ashes of M.A.R.S. (A ”supergroup” consisting of guitarist Tony MacAlpine, drummer Tommy Aldridge, singer Rob Rock and bassist Rudy Sarzo), and released a 5 song EP before disappearing. In 2009 the band was reformed and released ”Sons of thunder”, their debut album which consisted of re-recorded versions of the 5 songs from the EP plus 7 new songs. Now they are releasing their second album which once again is a mixture of new material and old demos that have been re-recorded.

Brief comments on a couple of the tracks

”Countdown” starts off great – hard and heavy metal, and then the vocals kick in, and before long its a melodic rock song.

Some of the best guitar work is found in ”Babylon”, which seems a shame as its a European bonus track, s...

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Last Kingdom: Chronicles of the North

Limb Music/Sound Pollution

Volvo´s dealing in metal all the time, but now they also deal in heavy metal! Back in 2004 production line workers Stefan Jacobsen and Freddy Olofsson met at work, discovering their mutual enjoyment of HELLOWEEN. Two years later their first demo “Land of Dreams” appeared, and they got hold of keyboard player Stefan Malmenlid. Along with him came his brother Jimmy who assumed bass duties. The trio of Stefan, Stefan and Jimmy are the core of the band today. Musicians have come and done, and due to that the discography is made up of demos, and this latecomer of a debut. Melodic power metal is the name of the game and the band is compared to bands like STRATOVARIUS, THUNDERSTONE and BLIND GUARDIAN in the info sheet...

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Allsång på The Tivoli!

Tysk powermetal av lättaste slag besökte The Tivoli. Freedom call kan beskrivas som världens gladaste powermetal band med viss konkurrens från självaste Edguy!

Bara att tänka på Freedom Call gör en glad och att man möts upp av ett stort neonblinkande tivoli utanför TheTivoli gör att man inte kan vara på annat än toppenhumör.

Den ständigt glada Chris Bay studsar ut på scenen och drar direkt iväg i raketfart med The Eyes Of The World.

Tears Of Babylon är kraftfull och inlevelserik och världens, enligt Chris Bay gladaste låt – Farewell får publiken med sig på noterna. Freedom Call är ett bevis på att allt inte behöver vara aggressivt eller på blodigt allvar...

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U.D.O. – Celebrator

Celebrator is the new release from U.D.O. – the band fronted by former Accept singer Udo Dirkschneider. It’s hard to believe but U.D.O. has been around for 25 years – the band’s first album (Animal house) was released in 1987. While Accept have released only a few albums since Udo’s departure, he has been far busier, releasing a steady stream of new albums, with last years ”Rev-Raptor” being ther most recent U.D.O. album and whcih was also the band’s biggest commercial success. Celebrator is not a new studio album, but instead is a collection of rare tracks, spread over two CDs.
As well as marking 25 years of the band U.D.O. this album coincides with the 60th Birthday of Udo himself.

So what do we get in the album? A few collaborations (with Raven, Faktor 2, Hammerfall, and Lordi), som...

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Bang Tango: Pistol Whipped in the Bible Belt

78 Productions/Music Buy Mail/SP

BANG TANGO was not an ordinary hair metal band, in fact they were only similar in hairstyle. Their first opus, “Psycho Café” was issued by MCA in 1989 and saw the band getting major airplay on MTV´s Headbanger´s Ball. This is their sixth studio album, but counting everything before and after their studio album debut they have actually 12 releases to their name. Speaking of name the only remaining original is vocalist Joe Lesté, the ranks are completed by guitarist Scott LaFlamme, bassist Lance Eric and drummer Trent Anderson these days.

Do not expect much funk injected into the music these days. Their mainstays today are the attitude, the voice, the groovy bass and the stubbornly repetitive refrains...

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Last Autumn´s Dream: Nine Lives

GMR Music

Nine albums, a variety of fantastic musicians with a pedigree and still they are most major only in Japan. Since vocalist/keyboardist Mikael Erlandsson formed the band together with FAIR WARNING guitarist Andy Malecek they have released nine studio albums plus one live and one best of. Ian Haugland and John Levén of EUROPE came and went, in came Jamie Borger and Nalle Påhlsson from TREAT and only the latter left as he also left TREAT for THERION. Marcel Jacob (R.I.P) left us and LAST AUTUMNS DREAM too soon. But everything leads us to 2012 and the new album from Erlandsson & co.

Anyone who likes this band will be pleased with opener “In a Perfect World”. The smart opening, the refrain, the riff, it´s all there...

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Abba – The visitors (Deluxe edition)

Abba’s eighth and final album, The Visitors is the latest to get the Deluxe edition treatment from Universal. As we’ve come to expect with these Deluxe Editions, this release is packed full of extra stuff – extra songs, video footage and so on.

Disc one is the CD and contains all nine songs from the original album along with seven other songs including the demo medley From A Twinkling Star To A Passing Angel, the first previously unreleased ABBA recordings since 1994. Disc 2 is a DVD which includes rare and previously unreleased material from the archives, including TV commercials, TV appearances and more.

The album is great – despite not having any smash hit singles on it it’s still top quality stuff. The bonus tracks are also great, with ”Under attack” being my favourite...

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