Markus' Heavy Music Blog

My world of music - est. 2013

CD review SATYRICON "Live at the opera"

Veröffentlicht am 30. April 2015 von Markus W. in Satyricon, Black Metal, Classic, News, CD Review, Opera, Live, Thrash Metal, Death Metal

(9/10) When metal meets classic it's always a thin line between genius and disaster. History has shown that even big bands failed - just like this. Also Metallica with their "S&M" album belongs to this group.

Now it was time for Satyricon. The idea of merging black metal and classic isn't totally new. Satyr and Satyriocn played already a session together with the brass section from the Norwegian Royal Orchestra which was a big success. This kind of collaboration might be for some fans a sell-out while for others it's a next step in creativity. It for sure streches the borders, or even tears down walls. However, I think that Satyricon did an excellent job with this album.

"Live at the opera" was recorded two years ago. It was on September 8, 2013 when the band shared the stage with the Norwegian Opera Choir in Oslo.

The joy with "Live at the opera" is the fact that the band didn't re-arrange the songs entirely. Those are still black metal songs based on mighty riffs and the brawly vocals from Satyr. But the songs become much more intense and it is the choir, that is so well integrated that it creates goose bumps while listening. Songs like "Now diabolica" and "Die by my hand" are brilliant examples here for. It is a thrilling listening experience that you can't escape from.

Other highlights towards the end are "Mother North" with its apocalyptic vibe, but also the mighty "K.I.N.G.", which was hard to 'translate' into a choir arrangement, is a treat for your ears.

"Live at the opera" is a live document that looks back on an extraordinary and special show in Oslo. It gives fans, that haven't had the chance to join the 'party' a chance to at least partly experience and enjoy the show. I guess the entire vibe of this night can't be burned on CD/DVD.

Satyricon fans will love the release and "Live at the opera" might open up also for possible new fans. This is not a sell-out. This is musical creativity at its best. Thank you.

 

(9/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Voices of shadows
  2. Now diabolical
  3. Repined bastard nation
  4. Our world it rumbles tonight
  5. Nocturnal flare
  6. Die by my hand
  7. Tro og kraft
  8. Phoenix
  9. Den siste
  10. The infinity of time and space
  11. To the mountains
  12. The pentagram burns
  13. Mother North
  14. K.I.N.G.

 

Label: Napalm Records

Genre: Black Metal

CD review SATYRICON "Live at the opera"
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DEW-SENTEND revealed cover & tracklist from the new album

Veröffentlicht am 29. April 2015 von Markus W. in Dew-Sentend, Thrash Metal, Heavy Metal, News, Speed Metal

German/Dutch Thrash commando Dew-Sentend have finished recording their third longplayer for Metal Blade and 10th longplayer in total and will release "Intermination" the 12th of June in Europe.


"Intermination" will be released in Europe the 12th of June as a limited first edition Digipak-CD with two bonustracks as well as on vinyl and digitally.

Tracklist
1. Declaration Of Intent (1:00)
2. On A Collision Course (3:49)
3. Scars Of Creation (3:46)
4. Affect Gravity (3:56)
5. Means To An End (4:41)
6. Ode To Extinction (4:05)
7. Demon Seed (3:48)
8. Power Surge (3:53)
9. Ruptured Perpetually (3:35)
10. Living Lies (4:19)
11. Atavistic (3:38)
12. Reborn (3:32)
13. Radiation Sickness (2:05) *Repulsion cover


 

DEW-SENTEND revealed cover & tracklist from the new album
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SUPREMACY - new melodic hardrock from Germany

Veröffentlicht am 29. April 2015 von Markus W. in Supremacy, Bonfire, Jaded Heart, Casanova, Evidence One, Hardrock, Melodic Hardrock, Rock, News

Germany has a new melodic hardrock band. The name - Supremacy. The band members are well-known guys. Claus Lessmann (ex-Bonfire), Michael Voss (Casanova, Mad Max) Robby Boebel (ex-Frontline, Evidence One), Axel Kruse (ex-Jaded Heart) and Francis Bucholz (ex-Scorpions) found together to start the new group. Sounds like a new Frontiers release - is a new Frontiers release. The album is expected end of 2015/beginning 2016.

Here a few statements:

Michael Voss says: "It's a honor to work with all these gifted musicians on a full length album! After 25 years, to join forces with the fantastic Claus Lessmann takes me back into the 80’s heyday times playing in Bonfire. We'll keep that spirit alive and moreover revive it. Thanks to Serafino and Frontiers for believing!"

Claus Lessmann adds: "I am really looking forward to writing, recording and rocking with all the guys of Supremacy. We all have so much to give and it really means a lot to me to work together with those talented musicians. It will also bring back the good old days of Rock’n’Roll when my good old friend Michael Voss was on my side all across Europe back at the "Point Blank" days. A big Grazie to Serafino, Mario and all at Frontiers for their belief and for givin’ us one more reason to rock! Every little note of our songs will be a piece of our heart."

 

 

SUPREMACY - new melodic hardrock from Germany
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CD review FAT.MO.MAC "Fat. Mo.Mac"

Veröffentlicht am 29. April 2015 von Markus W. in Fat.Mo.Mac, Candlemass, News, CD Review, Blues, Rock

(7/10) What's the link between doom monster Candlemass and blues rock? It is six stringer Lars Johansson. The Swedish guitarist has decided to live his passion for blues by realising some ideas he had in mind. The result is called Fat.Mo.Mac - the band and the debut.

And since the axeman couldn't do this album all himself he teamed-up with some Swedish friends and colleagues. Amongst others it was Mats Levén, Klas Gunnerfeld and Tobbe Moen that supported Johansson in realising his dream.

There is also a tragical side connected to Fat.Mo.Mac. It was Roger E. who cranked out three tracks before dying of a heart attack. This situation was a moment to re-think if this album should be finalized. In the end Johansson decided to finish it, also as a kind of heritage for his guitar friend.

Having said all this it's time to pay some attention to the songs. Those, nine in total, are well-crafted blues numbers. Sometimes they are kept on a slow pace like the 5 minutes long "Always like that" and "Memories is all there is". Other moment are more the grooving ones like "Gearshifter" and the quite fast "Cold woman". And with the closer "Get home" you have more the impression that 'home' is in Alabama more than in Sweden.

To sum up. Fat.Mo.Mac released a solid and well-crafted blues rock album with partly infuences from Jimi Hendrix up to Jeff Beck. It is a nice album to listen to, considering the fact that Sweden isn't the mother of blues.

 

(7/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Walk alone
  2. So bad it feels
  3. Broken down
  4. Kickback
  5. Always like that
  6. Cold woman
  7. Memories is all there is
  8. Gearshifter
  9. Get home

 

Label: Red Tomb Records

Genre: Blues Rock

CD review FAT.MO.MAC "Fat. Mo.Mac"
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Oscar Dronjak adds guitar solo to WITCHBOUND album

Veröffentlicht am 28. April 2015 von Markus W. in Witchbound, Stormwitch, Hammerfall, News, Heavy Metal, Power Metal

That Hammerfall are fans of Stormwitch isn't a secret. That's why it isn't a big surprise that Oscar Dronjak contibuted with a guitar solo to the upcoming album from Witchbound. You will hear him on "Keep the pyre burning".

 

Photo by Tallee Savage

Photo by Tallee Savage

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CD review CHARLIE BARNES "More stately mansions"

Veröffentlicht am 28. April 2015 von Markus W. in Charlie Barnes, Queen, Rock, Prog Rock, Alternative Rock, CD Review, News

(8/10) For all fans of the 80's series 'Dallas' the abbreviation 'CB' stand for Cliff Barnes, the counterpart of JR Ewing. For all fans of good rock music with a progressive approach 'CB' stands for another 'Mr. Barnes'. It is the Leeds-based musician Charlie Barnes who worked on his solo debut that will be released in the coming days. "More stately mansions" is the name of the longplayer that was mainly recorded in the Chapel Studios in Lincolnshire. The vocals have been put down in an isolotaed cottage in the middle of Wales.

I haven't heard about Barnes so far and I was curious and doubting when I have first seen the cover. A well-dressed guy and a nice haircut that looks like the excellent version of a son in law was facing me. So, what kind of music to expect?

After having listened to the album several times things got clearer. As mentioned earlier we are talking about rock music, that contains quite some progressive elements - without becoming complicated.

The album starts very slow with piano and vocals. Talking about the vocals I can say that Barnes' voice covers quite range that goes up to a higher pitch. I don't want to go that far to compare him with the legendary Freddie Mercury, but there are some moment on the album where you can hear some parallels. Anyhow, the sound of the 70's Queen comes up to surface in some of the more rocking element which gives the disc a certain unpredictable hardness.

"More stately mansions" is an album that also comes with a very dense sound. It is well produced and fits this kind of music in an excellent way.

If you are looking for something else than musical fastfood you have found the right album with "More stately mansions". This record demands some time from you and the willingness to dive into the songs. The reward will be some music that can keep you excited for quite a while. In context of the album's title I would say that Barnes' debut is a stately one.

 

(8/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. More stately mansions
  2. Sing to God
  3. Easy, kid
  4. Balloons
  5. Ghosts
  6. MacbethMacbethMacbeth
  7. House
  8. Dresden
  9. Hammers
  10. Film

 

Label: Superball Music

Genre: Rock

CD review CHARLIE BARNES "More stately mansions"
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CD review MAGNUM "Escape from the shadow garden - live 2014"

Veröffentlicht am 27. April 2015 von Markus W. in Magnum, Hardrock, Melodic Rock, Melodich Hardrock, Classic Rock, News, CD Review, Rock

(8/10) If I counted right "Escape from the shadow garden - live 2014" is Magnum's ninth live album - and it's another good one the add to their discography.

The first song I heard from the British melodic hardrock band was "Les Morts dasant" from the 1985 album "On a storytellers night" it was at that time, when there was no Facebook and YouTube, the Swiss radio station DRS 3 that had a rock and metal show, broadcasted every Wednesday night from 22-24. And those guys played Magnum. From this moment on I was caught in the "Magnumania". 

What I highly appreciate is the fact that the guys created an own sound that you can identify immediately. Second of all the five piece never disappointed over all those years and delivered excellent records. 17 studio albums show a great variety of British hardrock songs - all with Magnum's trademarks.

The new live album is a twelve song long capture of their latest tour. Recorded in various locations the setlist contains songs from the last record like the opener "Live 'till you die". And there are the band's highlights that can't be missed during a Magnum gig. It's the mentioned "Les morts dasant", but also timeless pearls like "How far Jerusalem" and the catchy "Vigilante" have been played and pressed on the album. In total there are twelve song that reflect seven Magnum longplayers. A good choice.

The live album also shows how much Magnum could keep the quality in their songs. It doesn't matter if they play old stuff like "All Englang eyes" or newer tunes; they all fit together and you have a hard time to identify different periods of the band. This is what I call timeless.

As you could read so far, I like the live album, that also got a good, but authentic sound. It feels real. And also this is something I like with Bob Catley, Tony Clarkin and band mates. They stay authentic - from day one up till now.

It's great to have this kind of bands that accompany you many years. "Escape from the shadow garden - live 2014" is an album that will be loved by fans of the band and will give new fans a good overview about the disography of a great band. Thumbs up.

 

(8/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Live till you die
  2. Black skies
  3. Freedom day
  4. Dance of the black tattoo
  5. Blood red laughter
  6. Unwritten sacrifice
  7. How far Jerusalem
  8. Les morts dasant
  9. Falling from the big plan
  10. All England's eyes
  11. Vigilante
  12. Kingdom of madness

 

Label: Steamhammer/SPV

Genre: Melodic Hardrock

 

CD review MAGNUM "Escape from the shadow garden - live 2014"
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CD review JADED STAR "Memories from the future"

Veröffentlicht am 27. April 2015 von Markus W. in Jaded Star, Visions Of Atlantis, Iced Earth

(7/10) Jaded Star is the new project from Maxi Nil and Raphael Saini. Nil, known as singer from Austrian Visions Of Atlantis and Saini, who played at Iced Earth, teamed-up to kick start Jaded Star.

To continue with name dropping I can mention that it was Swedish Fredrik Nordstrom who sign responsible for the mix and mastering while the album was produced by Maxi Nil herself. The result is a strong and diverse sound. For sure a plus factor.

The music of Jaded Star reminded me most to what Lacuna Coil does since many years. Modern metal with some alternative rock elements is what you get with the ten songs. 

That Maxi Nil knows how to sing isn't a seceret. She has a quite wide range - from soulful, almost fragile vocals to hard rocking singing. The songs are well done and come with hard riffs done by six stringer Kosta Vreto. This gives the numbers a certain heaviness by still building on catchy hooklines. 

Highlights when it comes to songs is melodic opener "The mask", the heavy rocking "Stars" and grooving "Raining in Sao Paulo". All good tracks that provide a good time.

What doesn't work is "In memory". The tune is supposed to be a soulful ballad, but it leaves you cold. It's not touching. The strength of Jaded Star is when they paying harder stuff.

A thing that also could have been done better is the packaging. The cover looks more like from an average talented student from a graduating class. But the artwork shouldn't hold you back from checking the band.

The music on "Memories from the future" isn't new. Bands like the mentioned Lacuna Coil are the top dog in this segment. But Jaded Star does a good job on the new album without coming too close to the Italian five-piece.

 

(7/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. The mask
  2. Wake up
  3. Keep on fighting
  4. Stars
  5. Into the end of time
  6. Healing the inner child
  7. You'll see
  8. In memory
  9. Raining in Sao Paolo
  10. Innocence

 

Label: Sensory Records

Genre: Modern Metal

CD review JADED STAR "Memories from the future"
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CD review SIRENIA "The seventh life path"

Veröffentlicht am 27. April 2015 von Markus W. in Sirenia, Symphonic Metal, Heavy Metal, Power Metal, Female Fronted Metal, News, CD Review, Tristania

(7/10) "The seventh life path" is the seventh album from Norwegian Sirenia. The band that was founded by ex-Tristania member Morten Veland releases symphonic metal records since 2001. Sirenia continuous also one this new record with the interplay of operesque female vocals and deep growls. The old pattern of good and bad comes back in their songs, which fits well with the lyrics. Love, suffering and pain are typical human feelings, that build the base for the Sirenia songs. It seems like everything remains unaffected at Sirenia.

The new record comes with eleven songs. Except the opener "Seti" each of them is epically long. Bombastic metal tracks between five minutes and eight minutes gives you quite some value for money. But it's more than only the quantity. The quality is OK as well. 

Even though I have to admit that I'm not the biggest fan of high pitch female vocals "The seventh life path" has something that is attractive and charming. Tunes like the intensive "Serpent", the mystic "Sons of the North" and the heavy riff-based "Insania" have something that is impressive. And also "Concealed disdain" with the deep growls and the almost fragile female parts from Spanish singer Pilar Giménez Gracía, better known as Ailyn, is a treat for the ears.

It goes without saying that the production is well done. The sound on "The seventh life path" is divers and dense. The longplayer has a powerful expression and the used bombastic elements are well intergrated.

All in all I must say that the seventh record of Sirenia fits seamless into their discography and fans of the band well love it

 

(7/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Seti
  2. Serpent
  3. Once my light
  4. Elixir
  5. Sons of the North
  6. Earendel
  7. Concealed disdain
  8. Insania
  9. Contemptuous quitus
  10. The silver eye
  11. Tragedienne

 

Label: Napalm Records

Genre: Symphonic Metal

CD review SIRENIA "The seventh life path"
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CD review GAVIN HARRISON "Cheating the polygraph"

Veröffentlicht am 26. April 2015 von Markus W. in Gavin Harrison, Porcupine Tree, News, Rock, Jazz, Swing, Prog Rock, CD Review

(*/10) KScope proves again that they go for complex music rather than for mainstream. The latest album which underlines this is the longplayer from Porcupine Tree drummer Gavin Harrison. Next to this prog legend Harrison worked also together  with King Crimson and guys like Iggy Pop.

If you think that this gives you an idea about what "Cheating the polygraph" is about I must tell you that you're wrong. The new solo album from Harrison is progressive -without any doubt. But it differs quite a lot from the above mentioned references. 

The base for the tunes are Porcupine Tree songs that are fully re-arranged. The music can be described as 'big band sound'. Harrison merges swing, jazz and rock into something that sounds special. In total eight instrumentals take you on a journey through soundscapes that are a kind of 'new world' for metal fans. This also means that if you're looking for mighty riffs you should not consider this album as one you should go for. There are other releases this month that serves this menu.

But if you want to experience something new and exciting, than you're right with "Cheating the polygraph". The tunes on the longplayer are, even though they are complex and layered, easy to approach. The disc isn't too freaky but arranged in an innovative way. This is contemporary music on a high level. The song itself is the midpoint and a small masterpiece. Porcupine Tree shines in a total new light with those arrangements.

Again, you have to be open enough for this kind of music in order to start to enjoy what you hear. I don't give this album a rating since it has more a kind of exotic status on a heavy blog. However, it is worth to check it out and "Cheating the polygraph" is an excellent companion on a grey and rainy Sunday afternoon.

 

(*/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. What happens now?
  2. Sound of muzak / So called friend
  3. Start something beautiful
  4. Heartattack in a layby / Creator had a mastertape
  5. The pills I'm taking (from Anesthetize)
  6. Hatesong (Halo)
  7. Cheating the polygraph / Mother and child divided
  8. Futile

 

Label: KScope

Genre: Rock

CD review GAVIN HARRISON "Cheating the polygraph"
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CD review MISS BEHAVIOUR "Last woman standing" re-release

Veröffentlicht am 26. April 2015 von Markus W. in Miss Behaviour, Hardrock, Sleaze Rock, Rock, Melodic Metal, Melodic Rock, News, CD Review

(7/10) If the girl on the cover of this album is the ‘last woman standing’ you better not mess up with her. She seems to be a quite angry one. No idea why she’s like that but one thing is for sure. It can’t be the music on the second album from Miss Behaviour.

The band from Kalmar, Sweden decided to re-release their second longplayer after having had some issues with the record company. In order to add something extra for the fans the new version of “Last woman standing” contains two new track. They have been written in the same session as the ones being on the first version of the album, but they have been newly recorded and added to the the re-release.

The album in general comes with very good melodic rock songs. The guys show a lot of sense for big melodies based on dominant keyboards. They are arranging this by not getting too much into mainstream and become too sticky. And they don't sound old-fashion. The try to bring the sound of the 80’s together with some modern elements – a combination that works very well.  

Last but not least the sound of the album. I think it got a much better production than their latest release “Double agent”. The songs have the right punch and got a full body sound. Never too hard, never too soft and always spot on.

If the coming longplayer will pick up those trademarks again I think there will be no reason for melodic rock fans to neglect Miss Bahaviour.

 

(7/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. 1988
  2. Cynthia
  3. Give her a sign
  4. Perfect war (feat. Roland Grapow)
  5. Average hero
  6. Till we meet again
  7. Taking hostage
  8. Emergency
  9. Living the dream
  10. Last woman standing
  11. 11th hour
  12. Run 2 you (new song)
  13. True man show (new song)

 

Label: AOR Records

Genre: Melodic Hardrock

CD review MISS BEHAVIOUR "Last woman standing" re-release
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CD review SERPENTINE "Circle of knives"

Veröffentlicht am 25. April 2015 von Markus W. in Serpentine, Hardrock, Melodic Metal, Melodic Hardrock, Rock, AOR, News, CD Review

(9/10) Serpentine is a British melodic rock band that can be traced back to 2007. That was when the band started and in the meantime they had several changes in the line-up. One of the constant factors of Serpentine is guitarist Chris Gould and it was the cooperation with singer Tony Mills that gave the band some first attention.

The melodic hardrock from the five-piece reflects very much British hardrock, known from bands like Magnum and Ten. Especially the link to Ten isn't a big surprise, knowing the Gary Hughes is supporting the guys.

"Circle of knives" is the third album of the band. It follows the debut from 2010 which was named "A touch of heaven" and the 2011 release "Living & dying in high definition".

The new longplayer comes with 10 powerful hardrock tracks - all based on a solid keyboard foundation. This gives the guitars from Owen Crawford and mainman Chris Gould enough space to add the rocking elements to Serpentine's sound. It's not like what often happens , meaning the keys taking over. The balanced combination of each of the envolved instruments gives Serpentine a dense sound that is pushing quite a lot.

Next to that the band has a great sense for hooks and big arcs of melodies. Songs like the bombastic opener "Season of the witch" or the catchy "The hardest fall" are just great hardrock songs. The best tune on the album is the fast "Bound by the strings of discord". It's a melodic hardrock anthem with grispy guitars and great hooks. 

But Serpentine can also write song that are more silent. "Bleed" is one of those, a power ballad you can't escape from. It catches you.

Those have been just a few songs on the album, but the rest is equally good. This longplayer has no filler.

"Circle of knives" is a very well done melodic hardrock album that can compete with releases from Ten and Magnum. Fans of those bands should definitely give this album a chance, since you will love it. "Circle of knives" is one of the melodic rock highlights this year.

 

(9/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Season of the witch
  2. La tragedienne
  3. Forever
  4. The hardest fall
  5. Bleed
  6. Where does your heart beat now
  7. Bounded by the strings of discord
  8. Cicle of knives
  9. Such a long way down
  10. Suicide days

 

Label: AOR Heaven

Genre: Melodic Hardrock

CD review SERPENTINE "Circle of knives"
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CD review NIGHTRAGE "The puritan"

Veröffentlicht am 25. April 2015 von Markus W. in Nightrage, Death Metal, Thrash Metal, Heavy Metal, News, CD Review

(7/10) Nightrage is characterised by many line-up changes over the last years. The list of musicians that have been part of the band is a very long one - including many well-known names as well. Gus G. and Tomas Lindberg are just two out of this long list.

I still can remember when I heard Nightrage for the first time. I was sitting in the subway in Stockholm and had the bands debut "Sweet vengeance" in my mp3 player. "The tremor", for me still the best song of Nightrage, shook me awake with the brutal riff and and Topma's scream.

Four more records followed this brilliant debut, but none of the longplayers came close to this intense listening experience. Four years after having released "Insidious" Nightrage gives it a new try. "The puritian" is the name of the newest longplayer. 

The contant factor with Nightrage is Greece guitarist Maros Iliopoulos on the guitar and Swedish bassist Anders Hammer is in the meantime also seven years part of the death metal machine. But also this time there was a change in t line up. The job behind the mic is done by Ronnie Nyman, who did a good job on "The puritan".

"The puritan" is a good death metal record that shows high musical capabilities in combination with well composed songs. The production, done in the "Dug Out Productions Studio", is on a forceful level and guarantees a full sound. The new longplayer is a solid death metal record, well-crafted, but with the downer of being a bit too clean. There could be some more of a 'human factor' included in the album. More rough edges and less polishing. It would have given the record a more organic vibe which I would have appreciated. Maybe it is the constant change of band members that doesn't allow this. Or their might be other reasons. However, I miss it a bit. For the rest, cool stuff.

 

(7/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. The puritan
  2. With a blade of a knife
  3. Desperate vows
  4. Endless night
  5. Foul vile life
  6. Stare into infinity
  7. Lone lake
  8. Son of sorrow
  9. When gold turns to rust
  10. Fathomless
  11. Kiss of a Sycophant

 

Label: Despotz Records

Genre: Death Metal

CD review NIGHTRAGE "The puritan"
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BLACK COBRA on tour

Veröffentlicht am 24. April 2015 von Markus W. in Black Cobra, Tour, News, Sludge, Hardcore, Thrash Metal

Black Cobra embarked for their spring tour and has the first show tonight. Here are the dates:

BLACK COBRA on tour
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