Markus' Heavy Music Blog

My world of music - est. 2013

CD review SLEEP OF MONSTERS "Produces reason"

Veröffentlicht am 7. Oktober 2014 von Markus W. in Sleep Of Monsters, Dark Metal, Rock, Alternative Metal, CD Review, News, Sisters Of Mercy, HIM, Waltari

(7/10) Another band from Finland. They are called Sleep Of Monsters and their debut album "Produces reason" is available in their homecountry since quite a while. Now the band wants to take the next step and release "Produces reason" also in other countries.

The musicians aren't totally unknown guys. We have Janne Immonen at the keyboards, who is known from Waltari. Singer Ike Vil is belonging to the Babylon Whores and drummer Pätkä Rantala was part of HIM's mighty debut album.

The music of the sextett can be described as a mix out of dark metal, dark rock and a bit of post-punk. The result sound quite good, eventhough it is not 'never heard before' stuff. But Sleep Of Monsters have the sense for combining a creepy atmosphere ("Murder she wrote") with big melodies ("Christonsonday" and "Through a mirror darkly").

The opener "Nihil nihil nihil" sounds with the catchy melody like one of the harder HIM tunes mixed with a bit Sisters Of Mercy. And with "Magic without tears" the Finns open the door to a dark and gloomy world. A song for the month of November....

All in all "Produces reason" is a good debut album of a band that has the potential to catch some attention also outside of Finland. Let's see what the future will bring.





  1. Holy holy holy
  2. Nihil nihil nihil
  3. Abomination street
  4. Muder she wrote
  5. Our svage gold
  6. Christsonday
  7. Horses of the sun
  8. Through a mirror darky
  9. Cobwebs of your mind
  10. Magic without tears
  11. I am the night color me black


Label: Svart Records

Genre: Dark Metal


CD review SLEEP OF MONSTERS "Produces reason"

MOONSPELL and SEPTICFLESH together on tour

Veröffentlicht am 6. Oktober 2014 von Markus W. in Moonspell, Septicflesh, Dark Metal, Death Metal, News, Tour

Spring stands for colors and flowers. Not in 2015. Moonspell and Septicflesh will put a veil of darkness over Europe. Both will be on tpur and here are the dates:

MOONSPELL and SEPTICFLESH together on tour

CD review VINYL FLOOR "Vaudeville"

Veröffentlicht am 6. Oktober 2014 von Markus W. in Vinyl Floor, Rock, Alternative Rock, CD Review, News

(6/10) That vinyl has a revival in this highly technical world isn't a secret. The Copenhagen-based band Vinvl Floor took this trend and used vinyl for their name.  Eventhough they are Vinyl Floor which isn't really related to discs. However. The Danish guys worked on their third album that follows the 2012 release "Peninsula".

"Vaudeville" sees the light of day beginning of October and comes with 12 alternative rock tracks plus an outro. 

The album starts with "Change the song" and I think that the guys have been inspired by The Dandy Warhols' "Bohemian like you" a lot. The tune shows more than once some parallels with the band from Portland.

The other songs are garage rock numbers like "Shift" and "Sensational freedom country estate". Those are the dirty rockers on the album - played a bit faster than some others on the album.

So what are the others than? Those are the once when the band reduces speed and those are the majority. Tracks like "Castles", "Colorblind" and "Just a shadow" are trying to build soundscapes which I think isn't the strength of the band. The songs are in my opinion the fillers on the album and have been a bit annoying for me. Vinyl Floor have their momenst when they are rocking like in the before mentioned tracks. That's the real cool stuff.

With "Basket of kisses" Vinyl Floor recorded also an a-capella song which is done very well. It's just that this isn't what I was looking for.

That Copenhagen isn't far away from the sea shows "The abyss" with it's harbour song approach. Vocals, piano and a sailor atmosphere caracterize this track.

"Vaudeville" became an album with light and shadow. Some songs are really cool and some others are not my cup of tea. An OK album and next time plese a some more of the faster stuff.





  1. Change the song
  2. Shift
  3. Time your life
  4. Castles
  5. Angel of crime
  6. Just a shadow
  7. Colorblind
  8. Nation underground
  9. Sensational freedom country estate
  10. Fallen leaves
  11. Basket of kisses
  12. The abyss
  13. Angel reprise


Label: Karmanian Records

Genre: Alternative Rock

CD review VINYL FLOOR "Vaudeville"

CD review SOULBENDER "Soulbender II"

Veröffentlicht am 5. Oktober 2014 von Markus W. in Soulbender, Queensryche, Alice In Chains, Heavy Metal, Power Metal, Grunge, CD Review, News

(7/10) "Soulbender II" is not a really new album. It is actually the bands debut album with additional four new tracks. "Soulbender" was the first disc of the band with the same name. The record was release ten years ago and the reason why Soulbender got more attention than some other bands was the fact that Queensryche guitarist Michael Wilton is part of the four-piece. But it wasn't only Wilton who is more well-known. Also singer Nick Pollock is better known from My Sister's Machine - a band that had its peak in the 90's grunge period. So, Soulbender is a Seattle connection.

However, the guys found together and started Soulbender. The band plays heavy metal with some grunge influnences. Based on the earlier mentioned, this isn't a big surprise. The sound of Soulbender is somewhere right in the middle between Nevermore and Alice In Chains.

After some line-up changes in the last decade the original band found back together in 2014 and that was the kick-start for the 'new' album. Four songs have been written, a deal with Rat Pak has been signed and a release was needed.

So the band recorded the four new tracks which are all quite good. The opener "Turn anger on" is a slower riff monster that grooves quite well. "Shoal" is a bit different. It's a more quite song with a sad undertone. The grunge influences are very present in this tune. Than it gets heavy again. "Slave to reality" has a roaring riff that builds the base for the song. Next to that it's the tight rhythm section that gives the tune the drive needed.

The drums open "Seraphim" before the guitar and the vocals join in. It's a depressive atmoshere spread by the song with an underlaying feeling of discomfort.

The other ten songs on "Soulbender II" are the well-known ones from the debut. Good songs too with a powerful sound.

All in all the album is OK. It is entertaining to listen to the songs and it is better than what Queensryche has released for many years. Hopefully Wilton has still enough time for Soulbender after the 'rebirth' of Queensryche. Would be good to get a completely new album from the band.





  1. Turn anger up
  2. Shoal
  3. Slave to reality
  4. Seraphim
  5. Fix me
  6. Clockwork and compass
  7. Rabbit hole
  8. The American dream
  9. Samsara
  10. Prime time
  11. Shoot poem
  12. This ocean
  13. Hunger
  14. Three towers


Label: Rat Pak

Genre: Heavy Metal



CD review SOULBENDER "Soulbender II"

CD review YELLOWCARD "Lift a sail"

Veröffentlicht am 4. Oktober 2014 von Markus W. in Yellowcard, Rock, Alternative Rock, CD Review, News, Smashing Pumpkins

(6/10) Yellowcard is an alternative rock band from Jacksonville, Florida. It was the year 1997 when the guys released their debut called "Midget tossing". Now, 17 years further down the road the band has a new record in the starting block. The name of album number seven - "Lift a sail".

The band had quite some successes in the US and with "Southern air" they also got more popular in Europe. Chart entries in e.g. Germany and the UK have been the result. Let's see if the newest kid in town can pick up that thread again.

Yellowcard doesn't play hard music. They have some rocking guitars but their songs are mainly build on dominant, sometimes sticky, keyboard melodies.

The sound of Yellowcard has different influences. "Make me so" and "The deepest well" show melodic punk references while other ones like the emotional delivery "Madrid" represents the band from another side. Regardless if soft or harder, all the tracks are based on big melodies which are sometimes a bit too catchy. But they also spread a certain ease, which makes it OK to listen to them. 

"MSK" stands out a bit from the other tracks. It's a non-guitar song that with is based on keyboards, violin and vocals. It's a good compositon, but honestly if I want to hear this kind of music I prefer Coldplay.

I like the songs like "Crash the gates" and "Transmission home" since those are a bit wilder than some others on the album. Those tunes have actually a touch of Smashing Pumpkins and spread the most energy.

Unfortunately there are also some very trivial tracks on the album. "One bedroom" is one of those songs. It seems that the tune never really starts and in the end drowns in irrelevance. Songs like the mentioned one don't trigger any emotional reaction; and this is a pity.

What I have to say is the very professional production of the record. Neal Avron succeeded in giving the band a warm and dynamic sound that pushes even the weaker tracks on "Lift a sail".

To sum up: "Lift a sail" shows some good ideas and has also some cool songs. But the entire album is a bit too polished. Adding a few more edges would have been a good decision. The record sounds very much like 'made for success'; but at least in a professional way. If you like alternative rock music with a bigger pop appeal than this is your album. But for a true metalhead "Lift a sail" is probably not the first choice.





  1. Convocation
  2. Transmission home
  3. Crash the gates
  4. Make me so
  5. One bedroom
  6. Fragile and dear
  7. Illuminate
  8. Madrid
  9. The deepest well
  10. Lift a sail
  11. MSK
  12. My mountain
  13. California



Label: Razor & Tie

Genre: Alternative Rock

CD review YELLOWCARD "Lift a sail"

CD review MAXXWELL "Tabula rasa"

Veröffentlicht am 3. Oktober 2014 von Markus W. in Maxxwell, Gotthard, Hardrock, Rock, Alternative Rock, CD Review, News, Alternative Metal

(7/10) Maxxwell took two years to work on the new album and the result is availabale now. The name of the new disc is "Tabula rasa" and in one or another name this is also what the band did an the last 24 months.

The guys from Switzerland almost reinvented the band by turning things upside down. Maxxwell was known for hardrock made in Switzerland. In that sense they didn't differ that much from bands like Gotthard. Maybe they have been a bit less mainsteam than the Swiss hardrock figureheads, but they served the same target group. The new album still keeps this approach in songs like "Never let you go", but they also added more elements to their music. The whole new album has a much bigger alternative metal orientation than the earlier releases. It almost sounds sometimes like a hard version of Nickleback and comes close to bands like Alter Bridge. One factor in this is the new singer Gilberto Melendez. He has a quite wide vocal range and his voice fits perfect to the sound.

The first thing that is reflecting the before mentioned is the crunchy guitars on tracks like "Partykings" and "Cause I'm lovin' you". Those tracks rock very well and are much more heavy than I have expected. Another song I like is the grooving "Man of steel". Melendez can show his entire capabilities. I like his rougher vocals combined with a crispy riff and a good hookline.

Also from a lyrical point of view things changed. I don't think that you hear titles like "Fuck it!" that often from Swiss bands. Talking about Alter Bridge earlier - this is one of the tracks that shows what I mean.

A tune that also works pretty well is "Backstabber" in which Maxxwell gets support from rapper Polemikk. The results grooves like hell and I think it was a successful experiement - as long as it stays with one song.

The album sounds refreshing and the transformation into the new Maxxwell went very well. A positive surprise.





  1. Partykings
  2. Fuck it!
  3. Nothing changes my mind
  4. Trails of hate
  5. Cause I'm lovin' it
  6. Gone forever
  7. Fallin' down
  8. Man of steel
  9. Never let you go
  10. On your face
  11. Backstabber (feat. Polemikk)
  12. Run or hide


Label: Fastball

Genre: Aletrnative Rock

CD review MAXXWELL "Tabula rasa"

JUDAS PRIEST tour dates for 2014 and 2015

Veröffentlicht am 3. Oktober 2014 von Markus W. in Judas Priest, Tour, Heavy Metal, Rock, News

Judas Priest has announced tour dates for Europe, North America and Australia. Here are the European dates. The ones for North America and Australia are in the link.


14.06.   Tivoli Vredenburg - Utrecht, Netherlands

16.06.   Rockhal - Luxemburg, Luxemburg

27.06.   Atlas Arena - Lodz, Poland

23./24./25.06 Rock Fest - Barcelona, Spain

01.08.   Wacken - Wacken, Germany



QUEEN plays several shows in Europe in 2015

Veröffentlicht am 3. Oktober 2014 von Markus W. in Queen, Adam Lambert, Rock, Hardrock, Classic Rock, Tour, News

Queen and Adam Lambert will go on tour together in the beginning of 2015. The dates cover several shows in the UK, German, The Netherlands,...


Here are the dates:

Tue 13 January NEWCASTLE Arena 

Wed 14 January GLASGOW Hydro 

Sat 17 January LONDON O2 Arena

Sun 18 January LONDON O2 Arena 

Tue 20 January LEEDS Arena

Wed 21 January MANCHESTER Arena

Friday 23 January BIRMINGHAM NIA

Sat 24 January NOTTINGHAM Arena - 

Mon 26 January PARIS Zenith

Thu 29 January COLOGNE LanxessArena

Fri 30 January AMSTERDAM, Ziggo Dome

Sun 1 February VIENNA Stadhalle

Mon 2 February MUNICH Olympiahalle

Wed 4 February BERLIN O2

Thu 5 February HAMBURG O2

Sat 7 February FRANKFURT Festhalle

Sun 8 February BRUSSELS Palais 12

Tue 10 February MILAN Forum

Fri 13 February STUTTGART Schleyerhalle

Sun 15 February HERNING Jyske Bank Boxen

Tue 17 February PRAGUE O2

Thu 19 February ZURICH Hallenstadion



CD review MOB RULES "Timekeeper - 20th anniversary box"

Veröffentlicht am 3. Oktober 2014 von Markus W. in Mob Rules, Power Metal, Heavy Metal, Rock, CD Review, News

(8/10) Unbelievable. Mob Rules is already around since 20 years. Time is flying if you fun. It was in 1994 when the band was founded by vocalist Klaus Dirks and six-stringer Matthias Mineur. It took five years for the band to release their debut called "Savage land". In the meantime they added another six albums to their discography.

Now, as mentioned, Mob Rules looks back on a twenty years history which needs to be celebrated. One activity is the triple CD "Timekeeper" that reflects on the achievements of the band in all these years.

CD No.1 can be seen as a 'Best of...'  that reflects on the musical highlight of the band in 20 years.

It gets more interesting with CD 2. Mob Rules performs songs together with guests & friends like Udo Dirkschneider, Bernhard Weiss from Axxis,.... All of the tunes have been new recorded, new remasterd, including the UFO "Lights out" cover version and a new track called "Broken".

The DVD comes with a live recording from the Mob Rules US show plus the official videos from Mob Rules and some bootleg recording. I think you can't get more from a band.

"Timekeeper - 20th anniversary box" is a great collection to celeberate the big event. It is something for each fan of the band as well as for people who haven't heard about the band in the last 20 years. Happy birthday.







1.Temple Fanfare
2.Pilot of Earth
3.Black Rain
4.Cannibal Nation
5.Astral Hand
6.Close My Eyes
7.Dead Man`s Face
8.Among The Gods
9.In The Land Of Wind Rain
10.Hollowed Be Thy Name
11.Last Farewell
12.Ice And Fire
13.Lord Of Madness (Live)
14.With Sparrows
15.Rain Song (Live)

1.Insurgeria (new recorded, w/ Udo Dirkschneider & Marco Wriedt)
2.Celebration Day (new recorded, w/ Bernhard Weiß)
3.Lights Out (new recorded, w/ Peter Knorn)
4.End Of All Days (new recorded, w/ Amanda Somerville & Corvin Bahn)
5.Broken (new Track)
6.All Above The Atmosphere (new recorded, w/ Herbie Langhans & Herman Frank)
7.Coast To Coast (new recorded, w/ Michael Ehré, Stephan Lill & Chity Somapala)
8.How The Gypsy Was Born (remastered, w/ Peavy Wagner)
9.Run With The Wolf (new recorded, w/ Sascha Paeth)
10.My Kingdom Come (new Track, Orchestral Version, w/ Corvin Bahn)

1.My Kingdom Come
2.Meet You In Heaven (Live at Pumpwerk, Wilhelmshaven, 2005, prev. unreleased)


1.Children Of The Flames
2.Trial By Fire
3.Astral Hand
4.Unholy War
5.Ashes To Ashes
6.Fuel To The Fire
7.Veil Of Death
8.Last Farewell
9.In The Land Of Wind And Rain
10.Black Rain
11.Hollowed Be Thy Name

The Official Videos:

  1. Lost
  2. Ice and Fire
  3. Astral Hand
  4. Last farewell
  5. Black Rain

 - The Roadmob Bootlegs:
1.)   Telebox Fool - Live @ Rockfabrik Nuremberg (2013)
2.)   Ethnolution Tour „The Scandinavian Chapter“ (2007)
3.)   The Magic Circle Files (2007)
4.)   The Glance Of Fame (unofficial Clip)
5.)   Drumrecording


Label: SPV

Genre: Heavy Metal



CD review MOB RULES "Timekeeper - 20th anniversary box"

CD review SANCTUARY "The year the sun died"

Veröffentlicht am 3. Oktober 2014 von Markus W. in Sanctuary, Nevermore, Power Metal, Heavy Metal, CD Review, News

(9/10) When Nevermore decided to stop, there was a glimpse of hope that Warrel Dane re-activate his old band Sanctuary. It was in 2010 when the first signs of life appeared. Sanctuary reunited and played some festivals in Europe and North America. But that we have the pleasure to also receive a new Sanctuary album is more than what I expected in my wildest dreams.

Based on that my expectations have been very high. Records like the band's debut "Refuge denied" and esp. "Into the mirror black" have been milestones in metal history and I was curious, if the band could live up to the high expectations.

Now we are that far. The new disc is out there on the market, ready to be picked up. Already the opener "Arise and purify" pushes you back into 1990 when the band released their last album "Into the mirror black" (by the way, one of my first CD's). Sanctuary's gift is a unique sound that you can immediatly connect to band. The base for this are the vocals of Warrel Dane, which are pretty much one-of-a-kind. And it's the riffs from Jim Shepard, a guy that accompanied Dane already from the first Sanctuary days till today. Both are the foundation Sanctuary.

The trip continues as it started - with high quality. "Let the serpent follow me" is a bit slower than the opener, but not less heavy. It has a brutal groove and a few nice tempo changes. Than it becomes gloomy. "Exitium (Anthem of the living)" spread a dark atmosphere that has a depressive touch. Well done.

With "I am low" the album contains also a ballad that has really depth. Actually ballad is the wrong word, since the track builds up in the chorus, but has also the soulful acoustic parts too. Let's say, a power ballad.

With "Ad vitam aeternam" the record has a short instrumental that heralds the final chapter of the album. It is the title track of the album - "The year the sun died". It is an epical and slow five minutes long bouncer that reflects again the uniqueness of the band from Seattle.

Having Sanctuary back means having seen a reunion that makes sense. "Waiting for the sun to die" became the expected excellent return of a power metal legend. This album makes fun from the first to the last note and is one of my personal top 5 releases in 2014. Welcome back guys and I hope to see you on European stages very soon. And now please don't disturb me, because I have to listen to the album again...




PS: If Savatage takes the same approach, playing some festivals (Wacken 2015) and than releasing an new album a couple of years later I would be more than happy.




  1. Arise and prify
  2. Exitium (Anthem from the living)
  3. Question existance fading
  4. I am low
  5. Frozen
  6. One final day (sworn to believe)
  7. The world is wired
  8. The dying age
  9. Ad vitam aeternam
  10. The year the sun died
  11. Let the serpent follow me
  12. Waiting for the sun (Bonus)


Label: Century Media

Genre: Power Metal

CD review SANCTUARY "The year the sun died"

CD review SICK OF IT ALL "Last act of defiance"

Veröffentlicht am 2. Oktober 2014 von Markus W. in Sick Of It All, Hardcore, Punk, Punkrock, CD Review, News, Wisdom In Chains

(8/10) Talking about Sick Of It All means having it over 28 years of hardcore on a very high level. Already this fact is very remarkabale. It becomes even more outstanding while thinking about the fact that the band from New York never had a real dip. 

The hardcore quartet kept the enegry level over all those years and still spreads this rebellious spirit that makes them so authentic. 

"Last act of defiance" shows again, that the band didn't get tired. They burned 14 new tracks on the album and non of them is a weak one. All of them are standing strong as a rock. And all of them have an irresistable groove that just forces you to move. You can stand still while listening to their music. A good example herefore is "Get Bronx" with the mosh elements.

The album has also the more punky momnets like the fast "Outgunner" and "Beltway getaway" - both anthems that can lead to great moments for the coming live shows. "DNC" is another song in this category. Melody, riff and vocallines just blows you off your feet.

Another hardcore anthem that is worth to be mentioned is "2061" with an pounding bassline and hammering drums. Sick Of It All got also support from a guest on one of the tracks. It is Mad Joe Black from Wisdom In Chain that is joining in on "Facing the abyss"

On top of all that the album got an excellent production. Tue Madsen did a very good job and gave the hardcore legend a tight and electrifying sound that just fits.

Sick Of It All proves again that hardcore can be very diversified without denying the roots. An album that shows a very experienced band that kept the spirit of their youth and combined it with mature dedication. Thumbs up.





  1. Sound the alarm
  2. 2061
  3. Road less traveled
  4. Get Bronx
  5. Part of history
  6. Losing war
  7. Never back down
  8. Facing the abyss
  9. Actyour rage
  10. Disconnect your flesh
  11. Beltway getaway
  12. Sidelined
  13. Outgunned
  14. DNC
  15. Stand down
  16. With all disrespect


Label: Century Media

Genre: Hardcore



CD review SICK OF IT ALL "Last act of defiance"

CD review 1349 "Massive cauldron of chaos"

Veröffentlicht am 2. Oktober 2014 von Markus W. in 1349, Satyricon, Black Metal, Thrash Metal, News, CD Review, Heavy Metal, Death Metal

(8/10) This album sounds literally like the black sheep of the family. 1349 from Norway delivered an excellent black metal album that in my opinion belongs to the best genre releases this year.


The album contains everything a black metal record needs. A brutal sound, brawly vocals, mighty riff assaults and sometimes even some small hidden melodies. You can feel a chill breath in your neck while listening to the songs.


The good thing with the record is the ease that is spread by the album. Ease not in the sense of laid-back. Of course not; we are talking about black metal. I mean it more in the context of the band following their creative inspiration. 

The songs have a certain flow that goes through the whole album. Non of the tracks feels forced or a burden for the four-piece.


There are some parallels to Satyricon, which isn't a surprise while thinking about Frost sitting behind the drumkit in both bands since many years. It's his punch, which pushes the band a lot.


1349 doesn't reinvent black metal. But they play this more traditional way of Norwegian black metal in an almost perfect way. The tracks put a spell on you. As a listener you don't lose the excitement since the album isn't one-dimensional at all. There are enough things happening to keep you in it. This is a gift not that many black metal bands can claim for themselves.


And than there is "Golem" - a moment on the album that is different from the rest. "Golem" is a 1:40 minutes speedtrain that is spot on. No musical chatter, just uncompromising metal. The tune is a cool track on the album and a real neck-breaker.


"Massive cauldron of chaos" is an excellent black metal record that can also be tested by non-black-metal-fans.







  1. Cauldron

  2. Slaves

  3. Exorcism

  4. Postmortem

  5. Mengele's

  6. Golem

  7. Chained

  8. Godslayer



Label: Indie Recordings

Genre: Black Metal

CD review 1349 "Massive cauldron of chaos"

DEATH DTA on tour in Europe in spring

Veröffentlicht am 2. Oktober 2014 von Markus W. in Death, Death DTA, Death Metal, Massacre, Loudblast, Abysmal Dawn, Tour, News

Coming February and March, DEATH DTA – the official tribute to Chuck and DEATH featuring former members - will set sail from the U.S. in order to pay homage to Schuldiner‘s ingenuity and revive his oeuvre‘s magic over the course of the 20th anniversary of the legendary Symbolic album in selected European cities. The top-class all-star line-up will consist of two original members from Symbolic times – namely drummer Gene Hoglan (TESTAMENT) and guitarist Bobby Koelble – as well as of vocalist/guitarist Max Phelps (CYNIC) and bassist Steve Di Giorgio (TESTAMENT, SADUS). Deathly support will come from their fellow countrymen in MASSACRE (featuring DEATH‘s co-founding member Rick Rozz on guitar and DEATH’s former bass player Terry Butler) and ABYSMAL DAWN together, with French death-thrash pioneers LOUDBLAST. Sounds like a great package.

DEATH DTA on tour in Europe in spring

New teaser from GHOST BRIGADE

Veröffentlicht am 2. Oktober 2014 von Markus W. in Ghost Brigade, Rock, Dark Metal, Heavy Metal, Doom Metal, News, Video

Critically acclaimed Finnish melancholic metal band GHOST BRIGADE have released the third video teaser video in an ongoing campaign leading up towards the release of their highly anticipated new full-length 'IV - One with the Storm', which has been scheduled for release on November 7th.

New teaser from GHOST BRIGADE
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