Markus' Heavy Music Blog

My world of music - est. 2013

Live review TRIPTYKON, Roadburn Festival, 013, Tilburg, 13.04.2014

Veröffentlicht am 14. April 2014 von Markus W. in Triptykon, Live Review, Roadburn, News, Thrash Metal, Death Metal

The contrast couldn't have been bigger than on this Sunday. Outside the venue it was a beautiful spring day. The sun was shining, it had 16 degress, blossoms overloud the nature with colors and green leafs started to grow. The total opposite on the inside of the 013. Triptykon, the band of former Celtic Frost and Hellhammer leader Tom G. Warrior, created an acoustical inferno which was in the total contradiction to the outside world. I think that heaven and hell could be closer together than on this Sunday. On top of that it was April 13 in 013. What an unholy combination.

Live review TRIPTYKON, Roadburn Festival, 013, Tilburg, 13.04.2014

It was 21:00 when the light went out and the stage was set for the masters of dark and extreme heavy metal. Exciting to see them back at the Roadburn festival where they actually had a few years ago their very first gig. The second thrilling thing was to see the band performing songs from their new album. It was the first show after the release of "Melana chasmata".

After an intro Triptykon started directly with a new song, the epical long and heavy "Black snow". The band hammered this song merciless into the crowd. Based on that the direction was set for the coming 80 minutes. Additional new song which have been played are the fast "Tree od suffocating souls" which was highly appreciated by the crowd.  But also the Celtic Frost classic "Tyrants of souls" and "Winter" found the way on the setlist. The Hellhammer period got attention too by playing "Messiah". All in all it was a great mix between old and new. It was a journey through all different phases of Tom G. Warrior. Also remarkable the 'Uhhh' screams in the crowd between the songs, which have been commented by Warrior saying: "It seems I'm getting old. You do it better than I do". But of course he was better .

Bass player Vanja Slajh needs also to be mentioned. It was amazing with what energy and power this petite person treated her instrument. She must have had bloody fingers after the show looking on the way she hammered on the four strings. And the result was worth it. First of all the bass is a crucial instrument in Triptycon's sound and together with drummer Norman Lonhard she created the base for the massive sound of the band.

It was a great show and the highlight at the Roadburn Afterburner. A dignified closing act for one of the most established indoor festival in Europe.

Live review TRIPTYKON, Roadburn Festival, 013, Tilburg, 13.04.2014

Setlist:

  1. Crucifixus
  2. Black snow
  3. Goetia
  4. Circle of the tyrants
  5. Tree os suffocating souls
  6. Vision of mortality
  7. Altar of deceit
  8. Messiah
  9. The prolonging
  10. Winter

 

Location: Roadburn Festival, 013, Tilburg, The Netherlands

Date: 13.04.2014

Live review TRIPTYKON, Roadburn Festival, 013, Tilburg, 13.04.2014
Live review TRIPTYKON, Roadburn Festival, 013, Tilburg, 13.04.2014
Live review TRIPTYKON, Roadburn Festival, 013, Tilburg, 13.04.2014
Live review TRIPTYKON, Roadburn Festival, 013, Tilburg, 13.04.2014
Live review TRIPTYKON, Roadburn Festival, 013, Tilburg, 13.04.2014
Live review TRIPTYKON, Roadburn Festival, 013, Tilburg, 13.04.2014
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CD review NIGHTQUEEN "rEVOLUTION"

Veröffentlicht am 13. April 2014 von Markus W. in Nightqueen, Symphonic Metal, Heavy Metal, CD Review, News, Power Metal

(7/10) Nightqueen from Gent, Belgium have produced a new album. It is called "rEVOLUTION" and brings you nine symphonic metal tunes. I haven't heard of the band before and after I pressed the play button I had to look into the label info sheet who is singing on that album. I had the immediate feeling that this is Jutta Weinhold from Zed Yago. But it's NOT her singing on this record; it's Keely Larreina. Still amazing how much her voice sounds like the one from Jutta in certain songs of the album.

One of those is the opener "The hunter". After a little bit of a strange and unnecessary  intro (you hears steps, a blade, a scream and a murder) you get compensated by a straight forward power metal track which could have been from the earlier mentioned Zed Yago.

Also the second track goes a bit the same direction. Relaxed in the verse the song builds up to a powerful chorus. The choice of these two tracks as openers is a good one and makes you curious for more. With "Beyond the gates of heaven" it becomes really theatrical. It has a touch of an rock opera and sounds like a mix between Meat Loaf and Savatage. It's a cool song eventough it doesn't reach the level of the two mentioned bands. "Scream in the night" is a uptempo track with choral parts - a bit of Powerwolf - and the final song "Queen of the night" is a melodic power anthem, which belongs probably to the best 2-3 tunes on the album. With 10 minutes it is by far the longest track on the album and contains all the trademarks of the band. Symphonic and bombastic power metal that stands out from the other tracks on the album.

The production is OK, but not exceeding. It is powerful but esp. the rhythm section sounds too undifferentiated. This is a pity because it reduces the positive impression of the album.
 
Everybody who counts the early Zed Yago to their faves should give this album a chance.
 
(7/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. The hunter
  2. Love after life
  3. Revolution
  4. Rain of blood and fear
  5. Beyond the gates of heaven
  6. Scream in the night
  7. Demoncracy
  8. The watcher
  9. Queen of the night

 

Label: Wildgame Music

Genre: Symphonic Metal

CD review NIGHTQUEEN "rEVOLUTION"
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CD review MACH 22 "Sweet talk intervention"

Veröffentlicht am 13. April 2014 von Markus W. in Mach 22, Hardrock, Rock, News, CD Review

(6/10) Mach 22 is a young band from Philadelphia, USA.  Beginning of May they will release their first album called "Sweet talk intervention". The five guys play hardrock music which is inspired by bands like Skid Row and Guns'n'Roses.

The production of their album is pretty good and powerful. Jeff Labar, who also worked already with bands like Cinderella, was responsible herefore.

When it comes to the music I think that Mach 22 delivers a solid hardrock album. Not more, but also not less. It's nothing really innovative on the silver disc, but what they are performing is OK. 

The power ballad "Stone rose" is one of my faves. Also the cool grooving track called "Radio" is a song worth to listen to. With the 'uhuhuhu' it even reminds a bit to the Stones. "Backslider" is a fast tune which rocks pretty well. It's a good party song eventhough the chorus sounds a bit odd.

Next to the better tracks there are also tunes which I think sound unfinished. The hooks don't really work that well on songs like "Go ahead" and also the opener "Constant denier" doesn't really pick up pace. For me those songs are missing the final kick and its a pity that those are the first two tracks on the album.

As said earlier, "Sweet talk intervention" became a solid hardrock album and future will tell if Mach 22 can compete with other bands in this genre.

 

(6/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Constant denier
  2. Go ahead
  3. Don't you give me
  4. I'm just a man
  5. Stone rose
  6. Backslider
  7. Made to love
  8. Radio
  9. One trick pony
  10. Nevermind

 

Label: Self released

Genre: Hardrock

CD review MACH 22 "Sweet talk intervention"
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CD review TRIPTYKON "Melana chasmata"

Veröffentlicht am 12. April 2014 von Markus W. in Triptykon, Thrash Metal, Death Metal, Heavy Metal, News, CD Review

(9/10) Triptykon is back. The band of Tom G. Warrior released their second album. It's called "Melana chasmata" and contains nine songs. The metal community looked very much forward to this record, which is now finally released.

If one of the main reasons for music is to express emotions, Triptykon is spot-on. The band creates an atmosphere with their songs, which is not comparable to any other band in this genre. Listen to each of the nine tunes makes you literlly feel the anger, despair and distress. You can feel the unease growing in you and you still continue listening. It's amazing and I think, that no other extreme metal band comes even close to that.

The album starts surprisingly fast and thrashy. "Tree of suffocating souls" got a fast beat which hammers merciless through the entire song. The almost eight minutes long opener is exciting from the first to the last tone. I like the grooving middle part most with the spoken voice section and some oriental sound fragments. "Boleskine house" reduces the pace. It's a slow riff monster with a dominant bassline. Tom's vocals, often almost sprechgesang, works great in combination with Simone Vollenweiders (she contributed on Celtic Frost's "Monotheist" already) almost fragile voice. "Altar of deceit" proves, that 'heavy' doesn't mean to play as fast as possible. It is another slow song which builds up walls of guitars. You can compare the track with lava, which flows slowly and threatening down the vulcano. Time for a faster tune again. Indeed. "Breathing" is exactly this. It's the fastest song on the album.

CD review TRIPTYKON "Melana chasmata"

With "Aurorae" the album also has a song, which was written a while ago. The tune was part of the "Monotheist" session and was not used for the album. When I heard the song for the first time I was reminded to bands like Fields Of The Nephelim. A hypnotic vocal line is merged with partly acoustic guitars. The song builds up to a heavy dark metal song with a strong gothic pattern. For me one of the highlights of the album. After the mean and depressive "Demons pact" and the slow "In the sleep of death (Tom uses here in some parts his clean vocals) the next highlight of "Melana chasmata" starts. The 12 minutes long "Black snow" is a journey through suffering, agony and pain. This song is the soundtrack for the apocalypse. "Waiting" is almost like the silence AFTER the storm. Starting with a simple bass and Vollenweiders vocals the tune stays the most fragile one on the entire album.

"Melana chasmata" is another milestone in heavy metal music and you have to decide if you're ready for this almost 70 minutes long journey through history, occultism and human disintegration. For sure one of the top ten records in 2014.

 

(9/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Tree of suffocating souls
  2. Boleskine house
  3. Altar od deceit
  4. Breathing
  5. Aurorae
  6. Demon pact
  7. In the sleep of death
  8. Black snow
  9. Waiting

 

Label: Century Media

Genre: Thrash-/Death Metal

CD review TRIPTYKON "Melana chasmata"
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CD review BELOW "Across the dark river"

Veröffentlicht am 11. April 2014 von Markus W. in Below, Doom Metal, CD Review, News, Candlemass, Procession, Black Sabbath

(7/10) Doom metal from Sweden - does that ring a bell? Of course it does. The mighty Candlemass are omnipresent. Since the masters of doom slowed down bit, the community was looking for a dignified successor. It seems that this search comes closer to an end. The nname of the band is Below.

They have published already a four track EP earlier in their career and now it's time for their debut full-length album called "Across the dark river" which comes via Metal Blade.

The album contains seven epically long songs and one short intermezzo called "In my dreams". With 35 seconds those dreams seems to rather short.

But talking about the songs. The seven minutes long opener "Trapped under ground" is showing a clear reference to Candlemass, which by the way are also seen as a big inspiration for the band. Slow riffs are dominating the song and the tune is excellent doom metal. Down tuned guitars and minor melodylines are reflected in each track and represent the trademarks of doom. Additionally the voice of singer Zeb is to mention. His way of singing reminds a bit to doom legend like Messiah Marcolin and Tony Martin, who, respective Black Sabbath, have been influencers for the band too. Eventhough Zeb doesn't reach the high benchmark of those singers -yet.

Next the these good points there are also few weaker things on the album. For me the album looses  a bit of the excitement in the second half. This has nothing to with the each song in specific. It is more the feeling, that all the songs follow a kind of the same pattern. This is something which reduces the positive impression of the record. If I look on genre godfathers like Candlemass or also Solitude Aeturnus I have to say that these guys have more variations in their songs. The potential is there. Another thing is that Below plays solid and traditional doom metal. Basically this can be seen as something positive, but it also doesn't make the album stand out from other good doom discs like from e.g. Procession.

A word also regarding the production. This was in the hands of Andy La Roque who gave the band and the album a very good doom sound. Sometimes you have the feeling that there are even those small Kind Diamond moments, which is of course not a surprise..

"Across the dark river" became a good doom metal debut album. Fans of this genre will like this album for sure. And let's see what the future will bring. The first step is set, but it seems to be very tricky for all the newer doom bands to step out of the huge shadow of Candlemass and also Black Sabbath.

 

(7/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Trapped under ground
  2. Bid you farewell
  3. Ghost of shepard
  4. Portal
  5. In my dreams
  6. Mare of the night
  7. The whitechapel murder
  8. Across the dark river

 

Label: Metal Blade Redords

Genre: Doom Metal

CD review BELOW "Across the dark river"
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CD review THE ROBERT CRAY BAND "In my soul"

Veröffentlicht am 10. April 2014 von Markus W. in Robert Gray Band, Blues, Rock, CD Review, News

(9/10) Robert Cray is back with a new album from The Robert Cray Band. This is maybe not the most heavy stuff, but it is awesome blues music which is for sure interesting for all fans from Joe Bonamassa and Gary Moore in his blues period. 

Just to get an understanding that we are not talking about a nobody here, you should know that Cray played already together with legends like Eric Clapton and John Lee Hooker. And he got his place in the Blues Hall Of Fame - with only 57 years. This is pretty amazing.

"In my soul", which was recorded in the Santa Barbara Studio and produced by Niko Bolas, reflects all the trademarks of Robert Cray. The songs, eleven in total, are mainly blues based, spiced up with soul and R&B elements. The result is almost an hour of soulful music which is perfect for chilling after a hard day of work. Robert Cray is first of all a great guitar player, but he is more than that. Cray has also a great voice which fits perfect to this kind of music. It's very clear vocals, but they have from time to time a bit of a smoky touch too. 

My highlights of the album is the fast and grooving opener "You move me", followed by the exciting Otis Redding cover "Nobody's fault but mine" with its cool horn parts and the enthralling rhythm. But also the slower "What would you say" is an awesome piece of music. The highly emotional song is about dreaming about a better world - and you can feel this in each note of the tune. With "Deep in my soul" the album also has Crays interpretation from a Bobby Blue Bland song which sounds brilliant. The slow and sensitive "Pillow" is the last track on the album, which sends you out into the night air again, happy and with a smile on your face.

Eventhough my big fave from The Robert Cray Band still stays "Poor Johnny", I like his new record a lot. And it doesn't matter if you might be a 'die hard' metalhead or not, you should at least check out this record. It's cool music from cool guys.

 

(9/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. You move me
  2. Nobody's fault but mine
  3. Fine yesterday
  4. Your good thing's about to come to an end
  5. I guess I'll never know
  6. Hold on
  7. What would you say
  8. Hip tight onions
  9. You're everything
  10. Deep in my soul
  11. Pillow (Bonus track)

 

Label: Mascot Label Group

Genre: Blues

CD review THE ROBERT CRAY BAND "In my soul"
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CD review IAN ANDERSON "Homo Erraticus"

Veröffentlicht am 10. April 2014 von Markus W. in Ian Anderson, Jethro Tull, Rock, Prog Rock, CD Review, News

(9/10) During all the years I appreciated the music from Ian Anderson and Jethro Tull. I can remember standing in the local record shop in 1982 and listening to "The broadsword and the beast". I was never a die-hard fan of the band but I always had a lot of respect of what the band did and released. Songs like their 'smash-hit' "Locomotive breath" are just excellent.

What also gained my respect are the unique trademarks of the band. Jethro Tull managed to create music and a sound which are very very unique. You can immediately identify a song of the band. It's the melange out of rock, folk and hardrock which makes it so special. On top of that there is the voice of Ian and his German flute. 

Photo: Kscope (Promo)

Photo: Kscope (Promo)

Ian Andersson released in 2012 part 2 of "Thick as a brick" which brought back the artificial character of Gerald Bostock. The story of Gerald as being the eight year old boy who wrote the lyrics for "Thick as a brick" found its continuation in 'part 2'. 

Now, with "Homo Erraticus", Anderson brings Bostock back again. This time he meets Anderson again after being in politics for 40 years. Based on an unreleased script from the historian Ernest T. Parritt George decides to write again some songs. The story is about milestones in the British history and is told by several different characters like a monk, a smith, a nomad during stoneage and even Prinz Albert.

The story is a real journey though time. For me it's the best and most profound one Anderson has wrote so far. Starting 7000 years BC with "Doggerland" the trip continues though the Iron Age, 17th century and so on. Towards the end of the album, in 2044 the world is in chaos. Catastophies, no water, no fuel and no hope. A gloomy ending of mankind and a real end time scenario, which Anderson/Bostock describes. But it's not the end. Everything starts from scratch again which is described in the last track "Cold dead reckoning. 

The music on "Homo Erraticus" reflects all the earlier mentioned trademarks. After listening to the album several times I was thinking, why I haven't paid more attention to Jethro Tull till now. But it's never too late. The prog rock combined with the German flute and folk elements create a magical soundscape which put you under the spell.

The album, which will be released on April 18th, is for me one of the most mature and sensitive album in the successful history of the band. Check it out and remember: it's never too late.

 

(9/10)

CD review IAN ANDERSON "Homo Erraticus"

Tracklist:

  1. Doggerland
  2. Heavy metals
  3. Enter the uninvited
  4. Puer ferox adventus
  5. Meliora sequamur
  6. The Tumpike Inn
  7. The engineer
  8. The pax Britannica
  9. Tripudium ad bellum
  10. After these wars
  11. New blood, old veins
  12. In for a pound
  13. The browning of the green
  14. Per errationes ad astra
  15. Cold dead reckoning

 

Label: Calliandra Records

Genre: (Prog) Rock

 

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Live review GOTTHARD, De Boerderij, The Netherlands, 08.04.2014

Veröffentlicht am 9. April 2014 von Markus W. in Gotthard, Live Review, News, Hardrock

Time again for Swiss hardrockers from Gotthard to play another gig in De Boederij in Zoetermeer. This was the first time after two years that they came back to The Netherlands. The band had already a few shows in Holland during the last years and played even festivals like the Arrow Rock festival in 2008  and Bospop in 2004. But Gotthard never reached the status which they have in countries like Germany and Switzerland where they also fill easy bigger venues. 

 
Whatever the reasons herefore are; it can’t be the music and it can’t be the five guys. The show they played in Zoetermeer was again excellent from all perspectives. Not recognisable that it was the first show since quite a while for the band. They played together really tight, had a good sound from the first song on and had obviously fun to be back on stage. It seemed that they enjoyed playing the new material as well as the older band classics. I think it is also a nice experience for them to play a smaller venue since the connection and interaction with the fans is much better.
 
The new songs, the guys from Switzerland played, are from their current release „Bang!“. With in total six songs (if I counted right) the new record also got the most attention. Understandable, since the two concerts in the Benelux (they will play Antwerp one night later) are the warm-up for the official release show in Zuerich on April 11th.
Live review GOTTHARD, De Boerderij, The Netherlands, 08.04.2014

Gotthard started their show around 21:30 with a short intro, followed by the title track of the new album "Bang!". A perfect tune to bring everybody into a rock'n'roll mood. „Bang!“ was followed by two more new songs - „Get up 'n move“ and „Feel what I feel“. This triplepack set the tone of voice for the coming 90 minutes. Pure rock’n’roll which electrified the fans from the very first minute on. And it was a give and take between the band and the audience. The band played with a lot of passion, the fans enjoyed this very much and the band got even another push by this. Great to see that Gotthard has also  such a solid fan base in Holland. 
 
The middle of the show had a more relaxed part with ballads like "Deja vu" from the new album and "Heaven". These acoustic songs fitted quite well into the setlist and gave the audience a bit time to breath after the energizing start of the show.
 
This more silent moment was followed by riffs again. Another two new songs have been played before the band's classics got their attention. „Lift u up“ and „Anytime anywhere“ are catchy songs which work perfect in a live environment. The cool stage acting of all band members emphasized this even more.
 
After a small break the crowd could enjoy three more songs and everybody thought, that this was it. Not really. The light was still out and there was hope in the audience to maybe get another song as an extra. And yes, indeed. The band came back again with „Mighty Quinn“ which sucked the last energyout of the fans.
 
The Gotthard show was a great way on what to do on a Tuesday night and you just saw happy faces leaving De Boerderij. The right push in the middle of the week and I hope for two things: that they also get more attention in The Netherlands and that it doesn’t take another 2 years till they will be back.
 
Live review GOTTHARD, De Boerderij, The Netherlands, 08.04.2014
Live review GOTTHARD, De Boerderij, The Netherlands, 08.04.2014

Setlist:
Intro
Bang!
Get up 'n move
Feel what I feel
Remember it’s me
Right on
Hush 
C’est la vie
Heaven
Spread your wings
Jump the gun
Need to believe
Sister moon
Lift u up
Anytime anywhere
 
1st Encore:
One life one soul
Starlight
Top of the world
2st Encore:
Mighty Quinn 
 
Venue: De Boerderij, Zoetermeer, The Netherlands
Date: 08.04.2014
Live review GOTTHARD, De Boerderij, The Netherlands, 08.04.2014
Live review GOTTHARD, De Boerderij, The Netherlands, 08.04.2014
Live review GOTTHARD, De Boerderij, The Netherlands, 08.04.2014
Live review GOTTHARD, De Boerderij, The Netherlands, 08.04.2014
Live review GOTTHARD, De Boerderij, The Netherlands, 08.04.2014
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SEPULTURA on tour in Europe in summer

Veröffentlicht am 8. April 2014 von Markus W. in Sepultura, News, Tour, Thrash Metal

After the successful tour from Sepultura together with bands like Legion Of The Damned and Flotsam & Jetsam the Brazilian thrash institution is coming back to Europe. Here are the dates:

SEPULTURA on tour in Europe in summer
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CD review H.E.A.T. "Tearing down the walls"

Veröffentlicht am 8. April 2014 von Markus W. in H.E.A.T., Hardrock, Rock, CD Review, News

(8/10) Another great melodic rock album from Sweden. This record makes fun, sounds fresh and is the right soundtrack for the coming summer. The twelve awesome melodic rock songs on "Tearing down the walls" are the right soundtrack for your next party.

The guys from Väsby, Sweden release in these days their fourth longplayer which sounds like a logical continuation of their last record called "Address the nation". Since years the band gains more and more fans and is in the meantime very well known, also outside their home country. 

H.E.A.T. manages to combine great melodies with a hard rocking guitar. This leads to catchy songs which are never drowning in sweet sugar. The rocking compontent is always present. 

The opener "Point of no return" could almost be seen as nomen et omen. With those good songs there is simply no way back. "A shot of redemaption" has in the verse a country rock touch, which makes it special. It could be from the soundtrack for the last season of 'Sons Of Anarchy'. With "The wreckoning" the album also has a short and gloomy intermezzo in the middle of the playlist, before the party continues with the title track. Starting with vocals and acoustic guitar the tune builds up to a cool rockin' half ballad. Worth to listen to. After "Mannequin queen", which is probabaly the most mainstream and AOR oriented song on the album, it get's rocking again. "Emergency" is a typical riff oriented hardrock song with hooks you don't forget that fast. Of course there is a ballad needed on such an album too. This one is called "All the nights" and is mainly performed by vocals and piano. For me one of the better ballads I have heard in the last months. "Eye for an eye" convinces the listener with a pounding rhythm and great harmonies, while "Laughing at tomorrow", the final song on the album, is another AOR rocker which combines all the trademarks of the band.

H.E.A.T. became over the last years for sure an important act in this genre and the band confirms with "Tearing down the walls" that the journey just started. We can expect to hear more of them in the future. Great album.

 

(8/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Point of no return
  2. A shot of redemption
  3. Inferno
  4. The wreckoning (instrumental)
  5. Tearing down the walls
  6. Mannequin show
  7. We will never die
  8. Emergency
  9. All the nights
  10. Eye foe an eye
  11. Enemey in me
  12. Laughing at tomorrow

 

Label: Edel Records

Genre: Hardrock

CD review H.E.A.T. "Tearing down the walls"
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Interview with Andy B. Franck from BRAINSTORM

Veröffentlicht am 8. April 2014 von Markus W. in Brainstorm, Power Metal, Heavy Metal, News, Interview

A few days before Brainstorm released their new album "Firesoul" I had the chance to have a chat with singer Andy B. Franck. We talked about the new album, the heaviness of the "Firesoul" and the release shows. It was interesting things Andy had to tell. Enjoy reading the interview:

 

Markus' Heavy Music Blog: Hi Andy, How are you?

 
Andy B. Franck: Hi Markus, I’m good thanks. I hope everything’s OK with you too.
 
MHMB: Yes, everything’s OK over here in Holland. How is it with Brainstorm?
Must be very exciting weeks for you guys with the new album in the pipeline.
 
Andy: Indeed. We are very happy at this moment and very satisfied with the new album. We had of course some expectation when it comes to „Firestorm“, but I have to say that we are impressed about the really positive reactions so far. This came almost a bit unexpected, but it’s a very nice situation. Since we also had it with earlier albums a bit of the other way round we are very glad this time with the positive feedback.
 
MHMB: I fully agree. The new album sounds almost like in the earlier days of Brainstorm, esp. since the last two albums have been a bit more complex and  interlaced. Therefore it was a good experience to listen to a Brainstorm album which is raising hell.
 
Andy: Right. I think there are periods in the life of a band when you think that you can change and adjust a few thing here and there. But in the end the fans want to hear from a band what they appreciated from the beginning. Actually this is also what you can do best as a band - doing what you’re grown up with. There is a saying: 'cobbler stick you your last‘ and that also goes for a band. I also don't think that the last two records have been bad. Not at all. We tried out new things and left a bit the save road we have been on for so many years. But the songs and the sound of the new album fits us better and we are back on track.
 
MHMB: It was on a morning car ride when I heard the album for the first time and I can tell you that I was immediately awake. The songs are heavy, rocking and melodic. That was a cool experience and what I understand from you is, that it was a conscious decision of the band to go back to roots.
 
Andy: Yes. Actually we already started to think about the „Firesoul“ songs during the last tour. We had to decide on the setlist for the shows and it was sometimes hard to find the right songs from the newer records since it was not easy to reproduce them on stage in the best way. That was an indication for us, that we might have made some of the tunes too much studio based. We went into the studio with songs which haven’t been totally ready. We used the time there to finalize these tracks. That had the effect, that due to all the technical possibilities in the studio everything sounded great. But it’s another story if you have to play the songs live. Therefore we decided this time to spend more time in the rehearsal room. We worked on the new material till we got so far that we could say: now the songs are 100% worked out and they fit. That’s why we had to postpone the album a couple of times, but we think that the result was worth it. Those songs are now exactly how we wanted them to be and they are perfect for playing them live.
 
MHMB: You mentioned the last tour; if I have it right in mind you have been supporting Primal Fear at that time. Interesting enough they also released a heavier and more straight forward album a few weeks ago. You could be tempted to think, that both bands inspired each other for a more heavier record.
 
Andy: We had awesome tours with Primal Fear and we had a lot of fun too. Last time we actually have been together for two tours at which the second one has been the even more successful one. With such a positive tour vibe, combined with the reaction of the fans for the song like e.g. from „Liquid monster“, it’s easier to go back to the songwriting and deliver basic heavy stuff. 
Photo: AFM Records (Promo)

Photo: AFM Records (Promo)

MHMB: And you HAVE this heavy stuff on the album. Tracks like „Shadowseeker“ and „Descendants of the fire“ are real highlights. Talking about those song; I have the feeling that I can hear a bit of Judas Priest here and there. Is that correct?
 
Andy: You know, we are playing heavy metal. The principles and the base is mostly similar or even the same. You can’t really do a lot of fancy new stuff. You can tweak things a bit here and there, but there will be in one or another way often a comparison with more established bands. And of course Judas Priest was one of them. They can be seen, together with bands like e.g. Iron Maiden, as the founders for the whole genre. Due to that you can call those bands as an inspiration for us and we see it as an honor to be compared with these icon bands. Priest actually knows about us and they have been asked once in an interview, which bands they think are exciting. That was about 10 years ago and they mentioned, next to a few other bands, also Brainstorm. Therefore I don’t have any issue with a comparison with Judas Priest. Not at all.
 
MHMB: Being mentioned by those guys sounds really great. Talking about the songs, how did the songwriting go this time?
 
Andy: Basically it was the same procedure as always. Todde and Milan, our two guitarists, came with the basic idea and we worked those further out together with the whole band. My focus is than more on the lyrics and the vocal lines. That’s our standard way and we also want to keep it like that since it works out pretty well. The difference was, as mentioned already, not in the songwriting - it was in the time we spend in the rehearsal room.
 
MHMB: You mentioned that you take care about the lyrics. Wherefrom do you take the inspiration for those?
 
Andy: As soon as I know that we are heading for new songs and a new record I start to follow news, magazins and documentaries even more intensively than normally. I’m trying to get some more background information about certain topics in order to understand things in a better way. That means that I take my inspiration from real life - politics, religion and human interaction. Those are our Brainstorm topics. We are not in a fantasy world, we are in the here and now.
 
MHMB: Let’s talk a few minutes about the cover of „Firestorm“. It seems that you guys wanted to create a package which goes back into the 2003 - 2005 days. It reminded me  to e.g. „Metus mortis“ and „Soul temptation“.
 
Andy: It was a conscious step towards a new cover designer. I think that we got great covers in the past and we took now the next step. We had the feeling that, based on the spirit in the band, this was needed. Felipe (Machado Franco) is a big fan of the band and has offered already in past to do a cover for one of our records. So, we talked to him and described a bit our thoughts and what he did based on this input is what you can see on the cover of „Firesoul“. That it looks a bit similar to „Soul temptation“ surprised us actually as well, but it was good surprise.
Photo: AFM Records (Promo)

Photo: AFM Records (Promo)

MHMB: After a break of 7-8 years you also worked again together with Achim Koehler as producer. How did that happen?
 
Andy: We turned the time back (he said with a smile). After we had a good time during the recordings of „Downburst“ and „Memorial roots“ together with Sascha (Paeth) in Wolfsburg we decided to work this time again with Achim. After he heard the new material for the first time he also said immediately that he wants to do this. Since he produced some of our earlier records and since he also was on tour with us, we know him very well. So we agreed pretty fast to do the album together. Based on a good understanding for each other, Achim was aware from the beginning what we wanted and we knew what to expect from him. Therefore we could focus on the music from the very first minute on without spending time into a „we need to get familiar with each other“ period.
 
MHMB: Brainstorm will promote the new album with four release shows. Can you tell us more about the shows (the interview was done in front of the shows).
 
Andy: We actually planned in the beginning to play two shows. But in the end it became four concerts, which are really special ones as well. We will play the entire new album during those shows. It doesn’t happen very often to play the whole album, but since we are really proud of the new tracks we decided to go for all of them during those four gigs. This is doubtless an exciting thing for us, since we have to play one hour completely new material. That demanded a bit of rehearsal, but it's special and it makes fun. And last but not least it is a kind of 25 years celebration fro the band too.
 
MHMB: True, Brainstorm exists 25 years this year. Are there more special events that we can expect?
 
Andy: We’re doing the four shows, but we haven’t planned extra things so far. And it’s not only 25 years of Brainstorm. It is also the tenth record and I’m teasing the other guys a bit with ‚15 years Andy B. Franck‘ in the band too (he smiles). So it is three anniversaries in one year. This is quite funny, but it also shows how fast time goes by. We have seen a lot of bands coming and going in all those years and we are very happy to be still in business with Brainstorm. 
 
MHMB: Beside the release shows, how about a tour for the new album? I have seen that you are playing some festivals during summer. Is there more in the pipeline?
 
Andy: We will be most probably on tour in autumn, during September and October, but nothing is signed yet. We hope that all works out well.
 
MHMB: That sounds good. I hope that also Holland is on the list.
 
Andy: As far as it looks right now we will come to Holland even for two shows.
 
MHMB: That sounds great. I hope to see you during the shows. Andy, thanks a lot for the interview. It was great talking to you and say regards to the other guys.
 
Andy: You’re welcome and thanks for having me. See you in autumn during the shows.
 
 
 
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ANATHEMA tour dates in Europe

Veröffentlicht am 7. April 2014 von Markus W. in Anathema, Tour, News, Prog Rock

Prog rockers Anathema will be on tour later this year. Here are the dates:

Source: Anathema on Facebook

Source: Anathema on Facebook

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CD review THREE LIONS "Three Lions"

Veröffentlicht am 7. April 2014 von Markus W. in Three Lions, Hardrock, Rock, CD Review, News

(8/10) Another melodic hardrock album with AOR influences? Yes. Boring? No, not at all. 

Three Lions is the band of Vinny Burns (Dare, Ten, Asia) on guitar, Greg Morgan (Dare, Ten) on drums and Nigel Bailey on vocals and bass.

The guys wrote twelve melodic rock songs which they release on the debut of the band. Their musical history gives already a hint about the music. Dare and Ten are reflected in the sound of the band. Three Lions plays a bit harder than Dare and includes less dark and dramatic elements in their songs than Ten does from time to time. Next to those bands it's also a bit of Foreigner in the sound of Three Lions. The romantic "Two hearts beat as one" shows definitely some parallels with "I wanna kow what love is". Nothing wrong with it, just obvious and to mention. Other great songs are e.g. the rocking opener "Trouble in a red dress" which is build on an excellent melody. The chorus just sticks. This track is also the first single release from the new album. A good choice in my point of view. One of my personal faves is "Holy water" with an cool riff and a bit of a blues feeling. Whitesnake isn't that far away during this song, esp. in the verse. "Kathmandu", and this is not a surprise, has some Indian influences while "Hellfire highway" is another straight forward hardrock song with a gritty guitar and tight keyboards. The album has with "Sicilian kiss" also an instrumental which is a reference to the blues moments of Gray Moore - at least it sounds very much like it. A good and emotional track eventhough it doesn't reach the perfection of the six stringer from Belfast. 

The production was in the responsibility of well known Alessandro Del Vecchio. He gave the band a powerful sound. Del Vecchio produced a lot of bands in the last month and there was a tendency that those bands sounded similar more and more. Not this time. This is remarkable.

I like the album. It contains good music performed by experienced musicians with a sense for great melodies and hooks. "Three lions" makes appetite for more.

 

(8/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Trouble in a red dress
  2. Hold me down
  3. Twisted soul
  4. Winter sun
  5. Just a man
  6. Holy water
  7. Two heart beats as one
  8. Kathmandu
  9. Made for one another
  10. Magdalena
  11. Don't let me fall
  12. Hellfire highway
  13. Sicilian kiss

 

Label: Frontiers Records

Genre: Hardrock

CD review THREE LIONS "Three Lions"
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New live DVD from RONNIE JAMES DIO in May

Veröffentlicht am 6. April 2014 von Markus W. in Ronnie James Dio, Dio, Heavy Metal, News

It was on December 12 in 1993 when Dio played a show in the legendary Hammersmith Apollo in London. This show was filmed and was so far unreleased . Eagle Vison will now release this concoert on CD/DVD/Blu-Ray in May this year.

 

Line-up:

Ronnie James Dio (vocals)

Vinny Appice (drums)

Jeff Pilson (bass)

Tracy G. (guitar)

New live DVD from RONNIE JAMES DIO in May
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