Markus' Heavy Music Blog

My world of music - est. 2013

CD review TONY MILLS "Over my dead body"

Veröffentlicht am 23. März 2015 von Markus W. in Tony Mills, Queensryche, TNT, Shy, Hardrock, Heavy Metal, Melodic Metal, News, CD Review, W.E.T.

(8/10) Tony Mills got the first bigger attention as being part of the British AOR band Shy. But the musical history of the singer from Solihull, UK covers much more. He was part of TNT as well as of bands like Serpentine and China Blue. He also released a few solo albums of which the newest one was published a few days ago. "Over my dead body" is the name of the longplayer that was triggered by Mills' heart attack in 2010.

Mills gathered together some excellent musicians. Guys like Paul Sabu supported him on the album together with Robert Sall (W.E.T.) and many more. And he could win Neil Kernon for the mixing.

So, what's to report about the songs? I have to say that I was doubting if I put the new album from Tony Mills into the CD player. I was thinking more about Queensryche or Goeff Tate. But it couldn't be Queensryche and the songs have been far too good for a Geoff Tate album. However, I wasn't aware that Tony Mills sounds that much like Tate in his earlier Queensryche days. If you want to find out what I mean you should listen to tracks like the opener "Time won't wait" and "No love lost". Especially the last mentioned one with the samples comes close to the "Operation mindcrime" times. 

A song that gets under the skin is "My death". It's a slower tune that reflects the title very well. It is a sonic version of the fight between life and death - a mix between desperation and hope. Something Mills went through by having an heart attack at the Oslo airport in 2010. 

"My death" is also a turning point on the album. "Over my dead body" has a menacing vibe in the first half that builds up and has its climax in "My death". From this moment on it seems that the dark clouds slowly disappear and the songs get more positive. Tracks like "Somewhere in London" are great hardrock songs that have a strong AOR touch. And "Free spirits" is an almost swinging tune that reminds to Queen in some parts.

Tony Mills offers his fans an album with a lot of different shades of melodic metal. It is an emotional journey through 10 great tunes based on real life. 

Fans from Queensryche will like this album. And the same goes for fans of well-crafted melodic rock/metal performed by a great singer. Thumbs up.

 

(8/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Time won't wait
  2. 28 flights
  3. We should be on by now
  4. No love lost
  5. Gate 21
  6. My death
  7. Bitter suite
  8. Northern star
  9. 4 in the morning
  10. Somewhere in London
  11. Free spirit

 

Label: Battlegod Productions

Genre: Melodic Metal

CD review TONY MILLS "Over my dead body"
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CD review WHILE SHE SLEEPS "Brainwashed"

Veröffentlicht am 23. März 2015 von Markus W. in While She Sleeps, Metalcore, Groove Metal, Nu Metal, Modern Metal, Heavy Metal, News, CD Review, In Flames

(8/10) I have to admit that I missed While She Sleeps' debut "This is the six". My first touchpoint with the band from Sheffield was a few month ago when they opened for In Flames. Since I haven't seen the band earlier I was very curious about their music and their show. After their 30 minutes long performance I was impressed. And having a look into the audience showed that I wasn't the only one. Cool as well was the fact to see the first smaller pits already at the opener.

Now While She Sleeps releases finally their long awaited second longplayer. Actually the album should have been released far earlier, but singer Loz Taylor had some problems with his vocal chords that even let to two surgical operations. Now things are good and "Brainwashed" is out in the stores. It's packed with 14 song plus the intro - all together one hour of heavy While She Sleeps music.

What I like with the band's music is the mix of different elements. They play metalcore, but they find a smart way to combine it with melodies and groove without loosing the heaviness. This adds another dimension to their music that is more than only shouting and playing fast.

To pick out some songs is hard with this album. "Life is a tension" is maybe one tunes that stands out a bit. It's a very straight-forward track that has high speed while the chorus more grooving. 

Also the title track is a raging metal eruption that is hard to escape from and "Torment" is a heavy song with some Soulfly-like guitar sounds. The tune is a good example how metalcore, groove metal and modern metal can merge into a thrilling melange.

The finale furioso is reserved for "Modern minds". It's also the longest tune on the album - at least this is what the playlist makes you think. Starting with a nice melody and clean vocals the song starts pretty relaxed. No doubt about the fact that the tune gets harder along the way, but the catchy chorus stays as a constant factor throughout the track that even has a silent piano part embedded. The add-on with this tune is the 'hidden track' in the end which is an acostic one minute number.

I could continue that way with more songs, but I think it's better to listen to "Brainwashed". While She Sleeps released an energetic longplayer that shows the potential of the young band from the UK. Give it a try. You will not be disappointed.

 

(8/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. The divide
  2. New world torture
  3. Your evolution
  4. Brainwashed
  5. Wer are alive at night
  6. Our legacy
  7. Four walls
  8. Torment
  9. Kangaezu ni
  10. Life is tension
  11. Trophies of violence
  12. No sides, no enemies
  13. The woods
  14. Method of madness
  15. Modern minds

 

Label: Search and Destroy/Sony Music

Genre: Metalcore

CD review WHILE SHE SLEEPS "Brainwashed"
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CD review FATEFUL FINALITY "Battery"

Veröffentlicht am 22. März 2015 von Markus W. in Fateful Finality, Metallica, Heavy Metal, Thrash Metal, Power Metal, Speed Metal, News, CD Review, Exodus, Machine Head

(7/10) Weil der Stadt is actually a quite nice small city in the South West of Germany. But it's also the homebase of Fateful Finality - a band that shudders the city with their metal storm.

The four-piece band started in 2007 and they went through a lot of concert before they had their first highlight. In 2012 they won the Metal Battle competition of Wacken and in the meantime they band has signed with SPV/Steamhammer. This fruitful collaboration led to the second album of the band called "Battery".

If you think about thrash and 'battery', what comes up in your mind? True, Metallica . The sound of Fateful Finality has some cross-references to the four-piece from the Bay Area ("Possession" and "Unchained"). But also bands like Machine Head and Exodus aren't totally unkown at Fateful Finality.

The eleven songs on the new album sound fresh and modern. Each of the tracks has the right level of harshness that is combined with a good melody that makes the songs pretty straight-forward. The guitars are firing off pretty hard riffs, the rhythm section pushes and the vocals are spot one. Roaring heavy metal that can lead to neck problems due to intense headbanging.

"Battery" became a solid modern thrash metal album that comes with a lot of power. It has limited moments of surprise but it is an entertaining listening experience that deserves seven points.

 

(7/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Possession
  2. Get things straight
  3. Dirt in the closet
  4. Never there
  5. Facades
  6. Misfits
  7. Rite
  8. Unchained
  9. Under pressure
  10. Suck me dry
  11. Remain in mind

 

Label: SPV/Steamhammer

Genre: Thrash Metal

CD review FATEFUL FINALITY "Battery"
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CD review DER WEG EINER FREIHEIT "Stellar"

Veröffentlicht am 22. März 2015 von Markus W. in Der Weg Einer Freiheit, Black Metal, Death Metal, Thrash Metal, Heavy Metal, News, CD Review

(8/10) Würzburg, Germany is the homebase of Der Weg Einer Freiheit. Der Weg Der Freiheit stands for raw und uncompromising black metal in epical length. The tracks on "Stellar" are between 6 and 12 minutes long and present one of Germanys best black metal bands.

A thing that is remarkable is the cover. First of all I like the strong impression combined with simplicity. But it's even more standing out since the release date of "Stellar" was on March 20 - a day when a partially eclipse happened over Europe. Maybe conisidence or planned - however a cool sidenote. It felt like the sky is promoting the album.

"Repulsion", the opener, stands out in many ways. The title in English is the first remarkable distinction from the rest. Secondly the song comes with clean vocals in the first half what is unusual for the band too. "Repulsion" spreads a very melancholic vibe in the beginning before it becomes mean black metal anthem on a high level. In the last section the silence after the storm takes over again with some piano sounds. What an emotional journey.

"Requiem" starts slow and with a forceful riff. After this start the songs takes up speed and develops into a brutal sonic orgy. "Einkehr" jumps between dynamic parts and raging beats before the 3 minutes long "Verbund", with its blastbeats doesn't take any prisoners. "Eiswanderer" is a nine minutes long black metal epos that is structured in a way that the tune can keep the excitement till the last note. 

It is "Letzte Sonne" that marks the end of the album and the tune is my personal highlight on "Stellar". A twelve minutes long black metal track can become easily very boring after a while. Not with this one. Der Weg Einer Freiheit built in so many different elements into this epos that it can be even seen as a summary of the entire album. Slower parts turn into fast section, mournful silent elements morph into angry screms where frontman Nikita Kamprad is screeching as if there would be no tomorrow. A closer couldn't be much better.

"Stellar" is a black metal record that deserves some attention. The combination with avangarde elements sounds quite good and the disc is a 50 minutes long intensive emotional metal journey.

 

(8/10) 

 

Tracklist:

  1. Repulsion
  2. Requiem
  3. Einkehr
  4. Verbund
  5. Eiswanderer
  6. Letzte Sonne

 

Label: Season Of Mist

Genre: Black Metal

CD review DER WEG EINER FREIHEIT "Stellar"
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New single from RAVEN

Veröffentlicht am 21. März 2015 von Markus W. in Raven, Heavy Metal, Power Metal, NWoBHM, News, Video

There is a new Raven album on its way. "Extermination" will be the name of the next longplayer that will be released in April. The first song is posted and is called "Destroy your monsters". Classic metal from Newcastle.

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NIGHTRAGE revealed a new song

Veröffentlicht am 21. März 2015 von Markus W. in Nightrage, Death Metal, Thrash Metal, Heavy Metal, Video, News

"Stare into infinity" is the second single from the coming Nightrage album called "The puritan". Death metal the Swedish way. Here you go...

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New video from A LIFE DIVIDED

Veröffentlicht am 21. März 2015 von Markus W. in A Life Divided, Nu Metal, Alternative Metal, Modern Metal, Video, News

German A Life Divided posted a first video from a song taken from the upcoming album. "Inside me" is the name of the tune and the album got the titel "Human". A typical A Life Divided track with a catchy melody.

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CD review GLOOMBALL "The quiet monster"

Veröffentlicht am 21. März 2015 von Markus W. in Gloomball, Heavy Metal, Groove Metal, Modern Metal, Alternative Metal, CD Review, News

(8/10) "The distance" was the name of the debut of Gloomball from Germany. The second record is called "The quiet monster" and it's for sure not quiet.

Gloomball plays alternative metal with some modern metal riffs. All embedded in a good melody that makes the tunes catchy, but not chessy.

The opening duo, that follows the intro, is a great chosen entry to the world of Gloomball. Heavy riffs, screaming guitars and rock attitude show the energetic side of the five-piece. 

"The quiet monster" becomes more silent with "All beauty dies". Towards the end a slow riff takes over but the song stays in a moderate pace and spreads a melancholic atmosphere.

Listen to the first notes of "Sirens (Die alone)" might give you imrpession that also this track is a softer one. Wrong. The acoustic guitar morphs into a heavy riffing one and the number is one of the hardest songs on the album. It belongs to my top 3 on "The quiet monster". And I was reminded to Die Schweisser, at least in some parts. Good food for your CD player.

The best song in my opinion is "Sullen eyes". Again kept in mid pace the song is a real groove monster that is an open invitation for headbanging. In the chorus the melody breaks through by still having the riff as the foundation.

And in case you want to have a song with a hit approach you can listen to "(Don't surrender)" with the catchy melody. A composition that is approachable for a bigger audience.

What is also worth to be mentioned is the powerful sound of the album. The mix gives each instrument enough space while the entire longplayer got a dense expression.

The second strike of the band from Mannheim, Germany is a well done continuation of their journey that started a few years ago. I guess the fanbase will increase with "The quiet monster", Give it a try.

 

(8/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. The quiet monster
  2. Monster
  3. Straight to hell
  4. All beauty dies
  5. Towards the sun
  6. Sirens (Die alone)
  7. One more day
  8. Sullen eyes
  9. (Don't) Surrender
  10. Unbreakable
  11. Blood red world
  12. Blue is truning into gray

 

Label: Steamhammer / SPV

Genre: Alternative Metal

CD review GLOOMBALL "The quiet monster"
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CD review SORCERER "In the shadow of the inverted cross"

Veröffentlicht am 20. März 2015 von Markus W. in Sorcerer, Candlemass, Doom Metal, Solitude Aeturnus, Heavy Metal, Power Metal, News, CD Review

(9/10) Doom is alive. That's great news. And there is a new/old band that will bring a smile on all melancholic faces of doom fans. Sorcerer is back with a new album. 

The band from Stockholm isn't new. Let's say that they had a longer break. The year of Sorcerer's foundation was back in 1988. After a few demo releases and a compilation the band came to an end. It took till 2010 when bassplayer Johnny Hagel (ex-Tiamat, ex-Sundown) and singer Anders Engberg (220 Volt) re-vitalised the band for a show at the Hammer Of Doom festival, followed by a gig at the Up The Hammer festival in Greece. The rest of the gang was easily found and the result of their cooperation is first real debut of the band - after 27 years. 

Eight songs have been chosen to end up on the album. All of them great doom anthems that can easily live up to songs from Candlemass and Solitude Aeturnus. Slow riff dominate the scene, sometimes endlessly repeated. 

It's hard to pick a few songs since they are all great. Regardless if you're listening to the slow "Lake of the lost souls", the Sabbath-/Dio like "Exorcise the demon" or the mighty title track "In the shadow of the inverted cross"; each of the tunes is pure gold for metalheads.

What needs to mentioned too is the excellent vocal performance of Anders Engberg who does a really good job on the album. The range of his voice is quite big -  from silent parts like in "Prayers for the king" up to higher tones in the faster "The gates of hell".

"In the shadow of the inverted cross" is a treat for (doom-) metal fans and should get a spot in your collection. Check the album - it is worth it. I would not wonder if this album ends up in some 2015 year polls.

 

(9/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. The dark tower of the sorcerer
  2. Sumerian scirpt
  3. Lake of the lost sould
  4. Excorcise the demon
  5. In the shadow of the inverted cross
  6. Prayers for a king
  7. The gates of hell
  8. Pagans dance

 

Label: Metals Blade

Genre: Doom Metal

CD review SORCERER "In the shadow of the inverted cross"
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POWERWOLF reveals cover of the new album

Veröffentlicht am 19. März 2015 von Markus W. in Powerwolf, Heavy Metal, Power Metal, News

Here it is:

POWERWOLF reveals cover of the new album
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News from THE DEAD DAISIES

Veröffentlicht am 19. März 2015 von Markus W. in The Dead Daisies, Kiss, Rock, Classic Rock, Hardrock, News

The Dead Daisies - a name you're not familiar with? Than it's time for getting more infos about the band

The Dead Daisies is a classic rock cooperation that incudes well knwon musicians. It is Marco Mendoza (b), Dizzy Reed (key), David Lowy (g), Richard Fortus (g), John Corabi (v) and drummer Jackie Barnes that are working right now on the new longplayer "Revolución". The album will be released on May 29.

In addition to the new album the band will be also on tour in Europe together with Kiss. Sounds like a cool summer.

Photo: Katerina Benzova

Photo: Katerina Benzova

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Re-releases from HEXX "No escape" and "Under the spell"

Veröffentlicht am 19. März 2015 von Markus W. in Hexx, Power Metal, Heavy Metal, News, US Metal

Metal Blade re-issues two classics from Hexx - one of the the most underrated bands in power metal. Both albums are real highlights and re-releasing them as vinyls is a great idea.

And if you want to hear the abnd from San Fransisco, California live, no problem. The band comes to Europe for a show at the Headbangers Open Air festival in Germany.

 

HEXX - "No Escape"
(released in 500 copies; 200 x 180 g black, 200 x "ice blue vinyl", 100 x "clear with blue haze vinyl")
Side A:
1. Terror
2. Invader
3. The Other Side
4. Look to the Sky
5. Beware the Darkness

Side B:
6. Night of Pain
7. No Escape
8. Live For the Night
9. Fear No Evil
+ Bonus Track:
10. Search For The King (taken from "Paradox" Demo)


HEXX - "Under The Spell"
(released in 500 copies; 200 x 180 g black, 200 x "blue with haze vinyl", 100 x "blue/black splattered vinyl")

Side A:
1. Hell Riders
2. A Time of War
3. Edge of Death
4. The Victim
5. Under the Spell
6. Suicide

Side B:
7. Out for Control
8. The Hexx
9. Fever Dream
10. Midnight Sun
+ Bonus Track:
11. Edge Of Death (live 1986)

Re-releases from HEXX "No escape" and "Under the spell"
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CD review TOTO "Toto XIV"

Veröffentlicht am 19. März 2015 von Markus W. in Toto, Rock, Hardrock, Classic Rock, AOR, News, CD Review

(8/10) I don't think that I have to introduce Toto to you. They are well known since many years and can look back on a successful career. My first touchpoint with the band was in 1982 when they released "Toto IV" - an album that had a chart entry in many countries and contained hit singles like "Africa" and "Rosanna". The new album "XIV" picks up these times and like keyboarder Steve Porcato said: "We are treating this like it is "Toto V", our following "Toto IV".

Now we are living in 2015 and it feels like yesterday that the mentioned hits accompanied me in my youth. However, the music of Toto is still around, which is something very good. It feels like a constant factor in fast changing times.

The backbone of Toto is guitarist Steve Lukather, keyboarder David Paich and keyboarder Steve Porcaro. All three had and have a main impact on the sound of the band and together with singer Bobby Kimball they are/have been the figureheads of the band. In this context I don't want to forget bass player Mike Porcaro who lost his fight against ALS a few days ago (R.I.P.). This is a sad moment for the family, band and the fans and it makes "XIV" to a kind og legancy for the great bass player and founding member.

A few years ago also a change behind the microphone took place. Kimball left Toto and was replaced by singer Joseph Williams who had in the meantime already some live appearences with the group, incl. the live album "35th anniversary tour - Live in Poland". But the new album is the first studio record with the new man behind the mic. How will it sound?

I have to say that the new disc became a good one. As mentioned, with naming it "XIV" the band also placed a crossink to the famous forth album. And it's more than only the title of the album that reminds to the milestone record of Toto.

The album starts very energetic. "Running out of time" has an excellent groove and the song creates a curiousity to hear more. "Burn" was one of the earlier released videos and it follows the rocking opener. The tune is kept more silent with piano before it turns into a hard rocking song halfway. "Holy war" is a typical Toto songs with all the trademarks of the band before "21st century blues" shows the bluesy side of Toto. I like this expression of Toto's sound and I was reminded a bit to the earlier Whitesnake songs from the '1987' period.

"Orphan" has a surprisingly positive expression before with "Unkown soldier" starts. It a more trivial track and I never really got into it. It's an OK song but the other ones on "XIV" are better.

The soulful "The little things" is another catchy tune before with "Chinatown" a swinging number follows that could have been almost coming from Chicago as well.

I have to say that the album gets more silent in the second half. "All the tears" belongs to those tracks and also the closer "Great expectations", in bigger parts, fits into this scheme. However, that last mentioned one shows quite some prog element and comes with a great guitar solo from Lukather. Prog rock per excellence.

One of the highlights on "XIV" is called "Fortune" - a song with a slightly different vocal line and excellent hooks. It's almost a bit jazzy.

Toto does what they can do best - writing really good songs with excellent arcs of melodies, rocking guitars and alot of thoughtfulness too. Fans of the band can go for the new album without hesitation. Good stuff and a brilliant translation for the 80's to the 21st century.

 

(8/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Running out of time
  2. Burn
  3. Holy war
  4. 21st cebtury blues
  5. Orphan
  6. Unkown soldier (for Jeffrey)
  7. The little things
  8. Chinatown
  9. All the tears that shine
  10. Fortune
  11. Great expectations

 

Label: Frontiers Records

Genre: Rock

 

 

CD review TOTO "Toto XIV"
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Live review U.D.O., Zoetermeer, 16.03.2015

Veröffentlicht am 18. März 2015 von Markus W. in U.D.O., Accept, Heavy Metal, Power Metal, Melodic Metal, Live Review, News

It was a Monday night when the metal package of U.D.O. had a stop in Holland. I can remember that when I talked to Udo he wasn't sure if the tour will bring him to The Netherlands. Having this in mind I was even happier when the show was announced.

The start was done by Garagedays. The four guys from Austria haven't had the benefit of a too packed venue. It was still a lot of space in De Boerderij when they entered the stage. But the guys didn't care and enjoyed their show. Solid metal songs, somewhere between power metal and thrash, met an energetic stage acting and The guys have been a positive surprise and they proved that Austria is more than only Jodelmusik.

Sister Sin came next. Their Warlock and Doro inspired metal worked very well. Playing new songs from the latest record "Blacl lotus" as well as tracks like "Outrage" from the "Sound of the underground" longplayer the band warmed-up the metal community very well. Anhd a few metal heads in front of the stage celebrated the band from Gothenburg throughout the entire set.

The four-piece band played a tight gig and had a good mixed sound. It's always impressive with how much power is singing seeing this delicate woman on stage. Where does she take all the power from?  A well chosen support for the headliner: U.D.O.

Photos: Markus Wiedenmann
Photos: Markus Wiedenmann
Photos: Markus Wiedenmann
Photos: Markus Wiedenmann

Photos: Markus Wiedenmann

Covered in a camouflage net the stage was set for the legendary singer with the big voice. 

From the first note on it was clear that we can expect a real metal night in De Boerderij. Starting into the set with the fast "Speeder" from the new album was an excellent choice. And also the following 19 songs didn't take any prisoners either. Focusing on new songs while having a good mix with older material made the night to a headbanging paradise.

I was impressed by the energy the band transfered. It seems that the generation shift within U.D.O. had something vitalizing for the group. The new guitarists Kasperi and Andrey had obviously a lot of fun on stage and not to forget the punch of Udo's son Sven being responsible for the drums since a few weeks.

The spirit of those young guys together with the experience of Udo and Fitty formed a tight playing band with a dense sound.

Going back to the setlist; there have been of course some Accept songs too. The encore turned De Boerderij into a metal madhouse. The crowd highly appreciated "Fast as a shark" as well as "Balls to the walls". Hearing those tracks with Udo behind the mic makes still a difference. I think that also "Princess of the dawn" was planned to perform, but due to timing issues this classic was sacrificed. Maybe a bit of a downer but since the alomst 100 minutes long shows was filled with great tunes it was something that could be handled.

Having seen the show was an excellence experience. Real heavy metal and a headbangers paradise. A great thing to spend a Monday night and you missed something if you haven't been there.

Photos: Markus Wiedenmann
Photos: Markus Wiedenmann
Photos: Markus Wiedenmann
Photos: Markus Wiedenmann
Photos: Markus Wiedenmann
Photos: Markus Wiedenmann
Photos: Markus Wiedenmann
Photos: Markus Wiedenmann
Photos: Markus Wiedenmann
Photos: Markus Wiedenmann
Photos: Markus Wiedenmann
Photos: Markus Wiedenmann
Photos: Markus Wiedenmann

Photos: Markus Wiedenmann

Setlist:

U.D.O.

  1. Speeder
  2. Blitz of lighting
  3. King of means
  4. Decadent
  5. Independence day
  6. Black widow
  7. Never cross my way
  8. Mystery
  9. Under your skin
  10. Tears of a clown
  11. Secrets in paradise
  12. Faceless world
  13. Pain
  14. Untouchable
  15. Let me out
  16. Metal machine
  17. Metal eater
  18. Break the rules (Encore)
  19. Fast as a shark (Encore)
  20. Balls to the walls (Encore)

Sister Sin:

  1. Food for worms
  2. Outrage
  3. Chaos royale
  4. Heading for hell
  5. Desert queen
  6. Fight song
  7. On Parole
  8. Sail North
  9. Hearts of cold

 

 

Location: De Boerderij, Zoetermeer, The Netherlands

Date: 16.03.2015

 

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