Markus' Heavy Music Blog

My world of music - est. 2013


CD review FOREIGNER "Foreigner with the 21 Century Symphony Orchestra & Chorus"

Veröffentlicht am 25. April 2018 von Markus W. in Foreigner, Hardrock, Rock, Foreigner with the 21 Century Symphony Orchestra & Chorus, earMUSIC

CD review FOREIGNER "Foreigner with the 21 Century Symphony Orchestra & Chorus"

(*/10) To introduce a band like Foreigner is like carrying sand to the beach. I can't imagine that there are people out there that read my blog and never heard of Mick Jones and band mates. Hits like "Urgent" and "Cold as Ice" all timeless classics in rock, songs that are as brilliant today as they were in the in 1981 when my all-time favourite "4" was released.

In more than 40 years Foreigner has released a robust amount of 'Best of...' albums as well as live releases. To still capatalize on the old classics and new hits, Foreigner needed to do something new and different. Now, it might not be the newest idea on earth to combine rock music, a classic orchestra and a choir, leading to exciting new interpretation of rock songs, but it's the first time Foreigner took this approach. To spice-up things, the new interpretation of hymns like "I Want to Know What Love is" and "Double Vision" were not recorded in a safe studio environment. Foreigner teamed up with the 21st Century Symphony Orchestra and Chorus, all together performing live and in front of an enthusiastic audience.

The base for this live release were two shows that have been played in Luzern, Switzerland in May 2017. The band itself, a 58-person orchestra and a 60-person chorus combined forces and gave 13 Foreigner classics a new appeal. This event, that was the outcome of a close cooperation of Foreigner main-man Mick Jones and the Grammy-nominated composer team of Dave Eggar and Chuck Palmer, was an exciting moment in the band's history and more than a treat for fans of the iconic band. Fortunately the shows have been filmed and recorded, which makes the magic night available to all Foreigner fans as DVD, vinyl and/or CD, the latter being the base for this review.

"Foreigner with the 21 Century Symphony Orchestra & Chorus" stretches the limits and enables Foreigner smash hits to shine in a new splendor. As said in the beginning, combining rock music and classic music isn't something that's mindblowing new. However, in this case it's the excellent songs, a professional approach and a perfect execution that makes the longplayer to a special one.





  1. Overture
  2. Blue Morning, Blue Day
  3. Cold As Ice
  4. Waiting For a Girl Like You
  5. Say You Will
  6. When it Comes to Love
  7. That Was Ysterday
  8. Feels Like the First Time
  9. Starrider
  10. Double Vision
  11. Fool For You Anyway
  12. Urgent
  13. Juke Box Hero
  14. In Want to Know What Love Is


Label: earMUSIC

Genre: Hardrock

Release Date EU: April 27th, 2018


Photo: Karsten Staiger

Photo: Karsten Staiger


Interview with Felipe Andreoli from ANGRA

Veröffentlicht am 9. März 2018 von Markus W. in Angra, Heavy Metal, Power Metal, Melodic Metal, Interview, News, earMUSIC

Interview with Felipe Andreoli from ANGRA

Markus Heavy Music Blog: How are you?

Felipe Andreoli: I’m good. Everything is fine here and I hope you’re OK too.

MHMB: Yes, thanks. "ØMNI" is the name of your new album and it's again a concept album. Can you tell us a bit more about the background and how the idea was born?

Felipe Andreoli: 'Ømni' means 'everything' in latin. The main concept is humanity, reaching a new state of consciousness in a few years from now where we will be able to communicate with people in any point in time through our conscience. It will be a sort of time travel, which was the base for us to develop the concept told in 10 different science fiction stories of which each one has a particular plot while being embedded into the main concept. „The Caveman“ for example is about communicating with the cavemen, enabling people to understand the beginning of human conscience, community and society. 

MHMB: The title track(s) stand out. Both parts are awesome but it's unusual to end the album with a cinematic instrumental. Was there any specific reason to put it at the end of the longplayer?

Felipe Andreoli: "Ømni - Silence Insight" is my favorite track on the album. I think it pretty much sums-up what anger is about, especially what anger is about nowadays. It was a very collaborative process of writing and arranging this track. Everyone of us had a big input on it and we’re really proud of the song. The album sounds much like a soundtrack to a film and we have the soundtrack-like ending. I think fits the record pretty well. It’s like you listened to ten different stories and then, at the end, you have this kind of tune that goes through the all the earlier melodies that kind of reminds you of the whole record again.

MHMB: A real smasher on the record is "Black Widow's Web". I think it's the first time that you guys added growls to a song. Were these growls planned already from the beginning?

Felipe Andreoli: Yeah, the growls were planned from the beginning. We were at the 70.000 Tons Of Metal cruise in January of last year and Arch Enemy was there too. We watched their show and we were just in ‚wow‘ of how amazing Alissa is as a performer and as a singer. She is very versatile. She can growl like crazy and she has a beautiful clean voice. We immediately thought that it would be so cool having her on our new record. Fabio (Lione) knew Alissa from a tour he did with Kamelot and he said that he can ask about having her on the album. Even before he asked, we started to work on the song with Alissa in mind all the time. I think it came out really nicely with her presenting the aggressive side of the spider while the other singer, Sandy, being the softer part of the black widow. We were really amazed by the work Alissa did. She send us a ton of different files with different interpretations. It was really a pleasure to have her on board.

MHMB: Alissa's clean vocals are excellent too, but these sections in "Black Widow's Web" have been taken over by a Brazilian singer called Sandy. Who is Sandy and why adding another singer to the song?

Felipe Andreoli: Well, you’re right. Alissa’s clean vocals are excellent and you guys of course never heard of Sandy. She is huge in Brazil. Just to give you a little bit of background, she is the daughter of a very famous popular singer of typical Brazilian music and she sings since she was a little girl. Everybody in Brazil has seen her singing on TV since she was five years old and she is now 32.  You can imagine that everyone in this country knows her. And not only that she’s really famous, she’s a great singer too, and she’s a friend. When we wrote the song for Alissa, we haven't had the intro and the outro part as it is now. Me and Rafael (Bittencourt) wrote them later on and as he developed the concept of the 'black widow', he thought that it would be very wise to have someone with a very soft voice too.  We called Sandy and we were not sure if Sandy would accept to sing on the record, mainly because of her being a huge pop star. But since she has a huge respect for Angra and she’s a friend she said 'yes'. As Alissa, also Sandy was very busy and we got that files like last minute. We love the result and the combination of the two voices really adds to the song’s storytelling.

MHMB: Fabio Lione does again a great job as singer on the new album. Is Fabio in the meantime a fix member of Angra? 

Felipe Andreoli: Yes, Fabio Lione is the Angra singer and his fully committed to Angra. This entire line-up is not temporary at all and with also Marcello being a fixed band member.

MHMB: Angra will come to Europe in spring this year. What can we expect? Have you guys discussed already a setlist?

Felipe Andreoli: Yes, we have discussed the setlist. It will comprise of new songs  and classic songs. Since the shows will not be very long ones we have to be very wise in choosing the songs.

MHMB: You will be on tour with Geoff Tate's Operation Mindcrime. Is the tour a co-headliner tour or is Geoff Tate a special guest?

Felipe Andreoli: Geoff is a special guest. He has a slightly shorter set, but he is a hell of a special guest. It’s gonna be a pleasure to listen every night to "Operation Mindcrime", played in its entirety. Actually I did a couple of shows with Geoff in Brazil, playing the same record a couple of months back. He commissioned me to form a band of Brazilian musicians for him. I got together a few friends that I know are great musicians and big fans of Queensryche and we did two shows with Geoff, opening up for Mr. Big. It was amazing. Therefor it’s gonna be very nice having Geoff with us on tour. 

MHMB: As a preparation for the interview I also went on Angra's Facebook site. You guys communicate only in Portuguese (at least that's my guess 😃 ). Is there any reason why you don't post in English since you could reach far more fans.

Felipe Andreoli: You’re kind of right, but we do not only communicate in Portuguese. Since most of our fans are based in Brazil, many of the topics are directly related to the Portuguese speaking people. The more international stuff we post in English. What happens from time to time is, that people that take care of our Facebook page forget to geotag these posts.

MHMB: Is there anything else you would like to share with Markus Heavy Music Blog and its readers.

Felipe Andreoli: Well Markus , we’re really excited to release this record as we speak. We think that "Ømni" is by far the most inspired record we ever did. I don’t like to say that it’s the best record or anything like that, because that’s not up to us. As it stand right now, it’s my favorite record and we can’t wait to hit the road in Europe, go around and show this new music to the people ... and of course as well the old classics. 

MHMB: Thanks for spending some time with Markus' Heavy Music Blog and hope to see you guys at the Rotterdam show.

Felipe Andreoli: Thanks for the interview and see you in Rotterdam. Thanks. 

Interview with Felipe Andreoli from ANGRA

CD review WE SELL THE DEAD "Heaven Doesn't Want You and Hell is Full"

Veröffentlicht am 16. Februar 2018 von Markus W. in We Sell The Dead, In Flames, Spiritual Beggars, HIM, Modern Metal, Modern Rock, News, earMUSIC, Heaven Doesn't Want You and Hell is Full, CD Review

CD review WE SELL THE DEAD "Heaven Doesn't Want You and Hell is Full"

(8/10) You might not heard of this band before and therefor we need to have a look into who these guys are. Actually we are talking about well-known names in rock and metal. We Sell The Dead is no less than Niclas Engeling (In Flames), Gas Lipstick (ex-HIM), Jonas Slättung (Drömrikets) and Apollo Papathanasio (Spiritual Beggars, Firewind).

The overarching question that led to this outfit was: What, if Jack the Ripper would have been part of a band? In a metal band? This was the starting point for We Sell The Dead and their debut "Heaven Doesn't Want You and Heaven is Full".

The album sounds very interesting, which is meant in a positive way. I have to admit that I had a bit of problems to find my way into We Sell The Dead's sound. The first time I listened to it wasn't a thrilling exercise. However, there are records that need to grow and this one belongs into this category. 

Contemporary heavy metal is what you can expect of the nine songs that made it on the tracklist. These tracks are linked to each other with a common theme being the bridge. "Heaven Doesn't Want You and Heaven is Full" takes you back to the 19th century when the mentioned Jack the Ripper was up to mischief. This theme leads to morbid and dark expression on the album, starting with the creepy intro "The Body Market".

"Heaven Doesn't Want You and Heaven is Full" is an unusual album that doesn't remind of 'home-base' bands like In Flames and Spiritual Beggars. We Sell The Dead created their own sound and signature, built on their individual path through rock and metal. 





  1. The Body Market
  2. Echoes of an Ugly Past
  3. Leave Me Alone
  4. Imagine
  5. Turn it Over
  6. Too Cold to Touch
  7. Trust
  8. Pale and Perfect
  9. Silent Scream


Label: earMUISC

Genre: Modern Metal

Release Date EU: February 23rd, 2018


CD review ANGRA "ØMNI"

Veröffentlicht am 11. Februar 2018 von Markus W. in Angra, ØMNI, earMUSIC, Symphonic Metal, Power Metal, Heavy Metal, News, CD Review

CD review ANGRA "ØMNI"

(8/10) 2018 is the year Angra opens a new chapter in their career - „Ømni“. This is the title of Angra’s new album that comes up to surface mid-February via earMUSIC. The new album follows the “Secret Garden” release from 2015 and as the predecessor also „Ømni“ became a very well-crafted melodic power metal release.

Angra’s ninth studio album is the result of passionate work, done by Rafael Bittencourt, Felipe Andreoli, Fabio Lione, Marcelo Barbosa and Bruno Valverde and it’s again producer Jens Bogren who gave the album an excellent sound.

„Ømni“ is a concept album. It’s not that it’s an entire storyline. The plot is based on artificial intelligence systems that allows conscious communication between present and future human beings, reflected in each of the songs. Therefor „Ømni“ is more a collage of science fiction short stories that happen in parallel rather than a complete storyline from beginning till end.

The best moments on a well done longplayer are entitled „Black Widow’s Web“ and it‘s the Grand finale with the two parts of the title track. Let‘s start with the latter.

„Ømni“ is split into two songs of which „Silence Inside“ is the first one. Flamenco-reminding guitars introduce you into this tune. Well-done percussions join before a powerful riff adds drama to the total. „Silence Inside“ made me think of Dream Theater here and there. However, it‘s a bombastic Angra anthem that combines big soundscapes with catchy melodies and heavy riffing. „Infinite Nothing“ is the second part of the title track and it‘s a cinematic instrumental that could act in a perfect way as a soundtrack song for an outer space movie. It has nothing really to do with metal but it goes perfectly together with „Silence Inside“.

Another shade of Angra gets to forefront with „Black Widow‘s Web“. Fabio Lione shares vocals with Allissa White-Gluz, the powerful queen of growls , known from Arch Enemy. It‘s well known that White-Gluz has a far wider vocal range than solely growls. Her clean way of singing is as good as the deep growls but „Black Widow‘s Web“ shows a focus the growls only. The clean female vocal sections in this masterpiece are from a well-known Brazilian singer named Sandy and all these voices go together in a perfect fashion. This song is a thrilling one and for me it‘s the best one on the album, since it also includes excellent solos and extremely heavy riffs. Bombastic power metal can‘t include more nuances than what you get served with this extraordinary track.

These songs are the highlights on a very well-done album and the rest of the tracks can easily live up when it comes to quality.

The very rhythm based „Caveman“ is an interesting tune and also the dramatic „The Bottom of My Soul“ belongs to the thrilling moments on this album. Even the calmer sections like with „Always More“ are attracting attention while not becoming a trivial standard ballad.

„Ømni“ is an ambitious record that shows Angra in perfect shape and form. It‘s the most advanced Angra disc and definitely worth more than one spin. My conclusion: Go for it.





  1. Light of Transcendence
  2. Travelers of Time
  3. Black Widow's Web (feat. Alissa White-Gluz)
  4. Insania
  5. The Bottom of My Soul
  6. War Horns (feat. Kiko Loureiro)
  7. Caveman
  8. Magic Mirror
  9. Always More
  10. ØMNI - Silence Inside
  11. ØMNI - Infinite Nothing


Label: earMUSIC

Genre: Melodic Power Metal

Release Date EU: February 16th, 2018


CD review LOUDNESS "Rise to Glory"

Veröffentlicht am 8. Januar 2018 von Markus W. in Loundess, Rise to Glory, News, CD Review, earMUSIC, Heavy Metal, Power Metal

CD review LOUDNESS "Rise to Glory"

(7/10) Japanese rock fans have been always hungry for metal. Mainly bands from Europe and the US could reach a huge fanbase with some of these bands being even more successful in the East than in their home country. But there were also bands, hailing from Japan, starting a success story on a more global level.

In the mid 80’s, when metal reached more and more fans it was three bands from Japan that were well known – Anthem, X Japan and Loudness with the latter being a spearhead of Japanese metal. Longplayers such as “Thunder in the East” and Lightning Strikes” are still belonging to the best Japanese metal brought up to surface.

The band has been always present and it was guitarist Akira Takasaki how kept things together when it comes to Loudness. However, after having had worldwide success in the second half of the eighties Loudness’ star became less shiny in the nineties. It was the start into the new millennium and the connected 20th anniversary of the band that lead to a reunion of the original line-up and made the Eastern start rise again.

Overwhelmed by the positive reactions and feedback, Loudness continued their work and will release a new longplayer in the end of January. “Rise to Glory” is the name of this new Japanese metal disc that features thirteen new songs.

Songs you should have heard are the melodic metal anthem “Why and For Whom”, the uptempo smasher “I’m Still Alive and also “Go For Broke”, reminding of the earlier Dokken. It’s not that Takasaki and bandmates reinvent metal. There is not that much new the guys have in their offer, but what they release on “Rise to Glory” is, in general, good stuff.

Some more average tunes like “The Voice” don’t really limit a positive impression. What is a bit annoying though is the fact that songs like the title track slowly fade-out and I wonder why. It literally takes away the power and a better ending would have been very beneficial.

“Rise to Glory” is an album that gets out of the boxes very well. It can’t compete with the earlier mentioned classics but I also think that this wasn’t the expectation. Still it’s a good album that will be appreciated by fans of traditional metal.





  1. 8118 (Instrumental)
  2. Soul on Fire
  3. I’m Still Alive
  4. Go For Broke
  5. Until I See the Light
  6. The Voice
  7. Massive Tornado
  8. Kama Sutra (Instrumental)
  9. Rise to Glory
  10. Why and For Whom
  11. No Limits
  12. Rain
  13. Let’s All Rock


Label: earMUSIC

Genre: Heavy Metal

Release Date EU: January 26th, 2018


LOUDNESS returns with "Rise to Glory"

Veröffentlicht am 7. November 2017 von Markus W. in Loudness, Heavy Metal, Power Metal, News, earMusic, NWoBHM, Classic Metal, Rise to Glory

Japanese metal pioneers Loudness started very succesful into metal back in 1981. Records like "Thunder in the East" and "Lightning Strikes" are part of every seriously meant metal collection. Fortunatelly the following years could connect to these successful days and Loudness slowly disappeared from peoples radar.

2018 is supposed to be the year of change with Loudness coming back with a new longplayer. "Rise to Glory" is the promising  title of the new record that will arrive at your record store on January 26th, 2018 via earMusic. Let's see if the new disc can compete with the classics - hopefully 'yes'.




Photo: Promotion

Photo: Promotion


New SINSAENUM EP in November

Veröffentlicht am 1. Oktober 2017 von Markus W. in Sinsaenum, earMUSIC, News, Extreme Metal, Death Metal, Joey Jordison, Attila Csihar, Frédéric Leclercq

New SINSAENUM EP in November

Extreme metal band Sinsaenum, being the brainchild of Frėdėric Leclercq and Joey Jordison, will release a new EP beginning of November.  The title track is already unveiled and is entitled "Ashes".  The EP comes with a running time of 30 minutes and includes, amongst others, three brand new songs. Release date is November 10th via earMUSIC.


CD review H.E.A.T. "Into the Great Unknown"

Veröffentlicht am 18. September 2017 von Markus W. in H.E.A.T., Hardrock, News, Rock, Sleaze Rock, AOR, earMUSIC

CD review H.E.A.T. "Into the Great Unknown"

(8/10) I actually think that Swedish rock outfit H.E.A.T. knows exactly where they are going to with their band. In contrary to the album title „Into the Great Unknown“ the guys continue their journey on the road of rock and they know that it will lead them to success.

The five-piece debut in 2008 with their the self-titled album, followed by more melodic hardrock discs being released in a two years interval. For their 5th strike H.E.A.T. broke the pattern and used a bit more time. Three years after having published „Tearing Down the Walls“ the quintet is back with a new longplayer entitled „Into the Great Unknown“.

The new disc delivers what is expected from the Scandinavian quintet. The album features ten new melodic rock anthems that might not bring too much new to the table but are as catchy as we know it from H.E.A.T.. It’s a thin line between melodic hardrock and too sticky pop music. The Swedes though manage to never cross the line while still using elements from both genres. The ‚pop‘ part in this context is based on the fact that hooks and melodies will for sure attract a bigger amount of mainstream music fans. Songs like „Eye of the Storm“  and the calmer „We Rock“ are reflecting this very well. Also the bombastic title track, rounding off the album, is a tune you can’t escape from, even though airplay chances are pretty low since it is with seven minutes the by far longest track on „Into the Great Unknown“. The extra that comes with this hardrock masterpiece is the grooving middle part with a strong bass line, spicing up this extra long closer.

Next to these catchy moments there are the dirty rockers present as well. The opener „Bastard of Society“ is such a song. A pushing beat, blistering guitars and a perfectly done chorus brings you immediately into the right mood for a longplayer that includes with „Best of the Broken“ another heavy grooving winner.

H.E.A.T. delivers an album that entirely lives up to expectations. „Into the Great Unknown“ includes all the band stands for. The quintet keeps their melodic trademarks alive and evolved them towards a wider variety. Good time rock’n’roll.





  1. Bastard Of Society
  2. Redefined
  3. Shit City
  4. Time On Our Side
  5. Best Of The Broken
  6. Eye Of The Storm
  7. Blind Leads The Blind
  8. We Rule
  9. Do You Want It?
  10. Into The Great Unknown


Label: earMUSIC

Genre: Hardrock

Release Date EU: September 22nd, 2017


CD review ALICE COOPER "Paranormal"

Veröffentlicht am 24. Juli 2017 von Markus W. in Alice Cooper, Rock, Hardrock, News, earMUSIC, Sleaze Rock, Blues, CD Review

CD review ALICE COOPER "Paranormal"

(9/10) Is there anybody out there that never heard of Alice Cooper? It's hard to imagine. Even though you might not be interested in rock music you at least listened to "School's Out" once. Actually it was this song that also acted as a door opener for me. As being a metal head from the 80's my entry point was, next to "School's Out", the 1986 release "Constrictor" which started a new era for the iconic singer that released three years later with "Trash" a next multi-seller.

Almost 50 years after having published the debut "Pretties for You", Alice Cooper will unveil his 27th studio album entitled "Paranormal". In the meantime the former shock-rocker is probably less shocking than during the wild 70's but for sure Vincent Furnier is still rocking as hard and heavy as he did through out his entire career with the new studio album being as good as expected.


Together with producer Bob Ezrin the dinosaur in rock recorded a longplayer that features all the typical Alice Cooper trademarks, all captured in ten brand new tracks. 


Things kick-off with "Paranormal" - the title track. It's a gloomy song partly with some almost spoken lyrics, which gives the tune a special retro vibe. In general I must say that the numbers on the album revitalize some earlier Alice Cooper sounds done in a contemporary fashion. The album feels like a journey back in time, including a lot of pure rock'n'roll. 


"Fireball" is such a song, a tune that is simply terrific. This groove catches you from second one and standing still while listening to the track is no option. The album is charged with great songs. The first single release "Paranoiac Personality" brings back the 80's Alice Cooper while the up-tempo "Dynamite Road" is an explosive rocker that includes everything you expect from a good Alice Cooper songs.


The last third of the album comes with some nice twists. "Holy Water" includes some well-done horn-parts, followed by the kicking "Rats". This musical fast-train is the best song on the album. Alice Cooper is almost 70 years old and it's amazing how much energy still comes with this icon in rock. I love "Rats" and also the closer can easily keep the level up high. "The Sound Of A" is a well-placed counterpart to "Rats". The tune is built on bigger soundscapes and has a calmer expression. Pink Floyd influences shimmer through here and there, esp. when in comes to the melody-lines and guitar sound. It's an awesome closer, rounding of an excellent album done by an artist that's more than just an influencer. This man is a legend and the new album underlines it. Fortunately there doesn't seem to be an end in sight.


What makes this release to a special one is the bonus CD. The add-on includes two new studio tracks, performed by the original Alice Cooper Band. The singer teamed-up with the former band mates Dennis Dunaway, Neal Smith and Michael Bruce for recording "Genuine American Girl" and "You and All of Your Friends". Both tracks include a very special vibe and sound perfect. These tracks are another proof that rock'n'roll is about passion and not age. I guess that a lot of young dudes would love to write songs like the mentioned ones.


Last but not least this CD includes 6 Alice Cooper classics, recorded in 2016 in Columbus, Ohio. "Under My Wheels", "Feed My Frankenstein" and "Only Woman Bleed" belong to the best ones in hard rock history and are the icing on the cake of this fantastic release.  If you don't like this album you must be deaf.







  1. Paranormal
  2. Dead Flies
  3. Fireball
  4. Paranoiac Personality
  5. Fallen In Love
  6. Dynamite Road
  7. Private Public Breakdown
  8. Holy Water
  9. Rats
  10. The Sound Of A

Bonus CD:

  1. Genuine American Girl (New studio recordings with the Original Alice Cooper Band)
  2. You And All Of Your Friends  (New studio recordings with the Original Alice Cooper Band)
  3. No More Mr. Nice Guy (Live at Columbus, Ohio with the current Alice Cooper band 2016)
  4. Under My Wheels (Live at Columbus, Ohio with the current Alice Cooper band 2016)
  5. Billion Dollar Babies (Live at Columbus, Ohio with the current Alice Cooper band 2016)
  6. Feed My Frankenstein (Live at Columbus, Ohio with the current Alice Cooper band 2016)
  7. Only Woman Bleed (Live at Columbus, Ohio with the current Alice Cooper band 2016)
  8. School’s Out (Live at Columbus, Ohio with the current Alice Cooper band 2016)



Label: earMUSIC


Genre: Hardrock


Release Date EU: July 28th, 2017



CD review HANSEN & FRIENDS :Thank You Wacken (Live)"

Veröffentlicht am 22. Juni 2017 von Markus W. in Hansen & Friends, Wacken, earMusic, Live, Heavy Metal, Speed Metal, Power Metal, News, CD Review

CD review HANSEN & FRIENDS :Thank You Wacken (Live)"

(8/10) Kai Hansen and Wacken share a longtime common history. It was back in 1994 when Hansen played the Wacken open ait festival with Gamma Ray. At that time the festival was far away from being as big as it is these days - it was a smaller event in a city that was not known by anybody outside the village borders. Things changed over time, for Wacken and Kai Hansen.

Gamma Ray is still the main focus point of the iconic guitarist from Hamburg, but he also signed responsible for a massive contribution to Unisonic as well as he released in 2016 a solo album called "XXX - Three Decades in Metal". Hansen brought together a few friends around the table, celebrating pure metal with a bunch of songs reflecting a wide variety of rock and metal sounds. 

A logical consequence out of Hansen's Wacken-connection and the solo project led to a unique metal show on a muddy summer night in 2016 when the studio album of Hansen & Friends became alive, on stage. Supported by musicians like Eike Freesen, Alex Dietz, Frank Beck, and more, Hansen & Friends performed a set that was build on the solo release from a few months earlier. 

The cherry on this metal cake was the inclusion of some older Helloween classics which made a great show to an even greater one. Not only that tunes like "Victim of Fate", " Want Out" and "Future World' belong to the best German metal ever brought up to surface, it was the last two mentioned that brought also legendary Michael Kiske on stage. Hearing him singing these classics with Hansen on lead guitar gave a first glimpse of what fans can expect in autumn this year when the guys will be part of the 'Pumpkins United" tour.

This live release is an album that you should call your own when interested in well-executed melodic metal. Good stuff.





  1. Born Free
  2. Ride the Sky
  3. Contract Song
  4. Victim of Fate
  5. Enemies of Fun
  6. Fire and Ice
  7. Burning Bridges
  8. Follow the Sun
  9. I Want Out
  10. Future World
  11. All or Nothing
  12. Save Us


Label: earMusic

Genre: Heavy Metal

Release Date EU: June 23rd, 2017


Live report DEEP PURPLE, Ziggo Dome, Amsterdam, 02.06.2017

Veröffentlicht am 4. Juni 2017 von Markus W. in Deep Purple, Ziggo Dome, earMusic, Classic Rock, Rock, Hardrock, Blues, News, Live Review, Live, Tour, inFinite, ian gillan, roger glover, ian paice, steve morse, don airay

Live report DEEP PURPLE,  Ziggo Dome, Amsterdam, 02.06.2017

The title of Deep Purple’s fantastic new album “inFinite” leaves quite some space for speculation and interpretation, especially considering the capital ‘F’ as part of the album name. Does this mean that the iconic pioneers in rock will come closer to an end? Or will they go on forever?

What is a fact though, “inFinite” is a brilliant album that presents the best what you can expect of a band that’s in business since almost 50 years. To support this longplayer the band embarked on a long tour, covering many parts of this planet. One stop on this trip was Amsterdam with playing a show at Ziggo Dome, on of the biggest concert venue in the Netherlands.

After Canadian hardrockers Monster Truck played a solid support slot it was time for Ian Gillan, Roger Glover, Ian Paice, Steve Morse and Don Airey to enter the stage. The setlist was built on two main components. As not expected differently the new album played an important role that night and in combination with the old evergreens, the night in Amsterdam became an impressive journey through five decades of classic rock.

It was the opener of the new longplayer that also acted as kick-start for the show. “Time of Bedlam” is a great rock song, which includes some mechanical vocal parts in beginning and end, and it has been the In Gillan’s robot-like moves that visually supported those very well. What made the set to a thrilling one was the constant jump between new and old. Instead of funneling the new songs in the beginning, Deep Purple played old and new in a constant alternation, which means that with “Fireball” and “Bloodsucker” two classics followed the opener. The awesome “Strange Kind of Woman”, also from the “Fireball” album, was the bridge to some new songs. Three songs from the latest release showcased again the newer Deep Purple before the real classics filled the venue with pure rock'n'roll magic.

As soon as the first tones of “Perfect Strangers” left the speakers the audience shifted gears from ‘enthusiastic’ to ‘madhouse’, ending in a more than 10.000 people choir singing the iconic chorus of “Smoke on the Water”. This moment gave everybody in the hall the shivers and showed again that this song is THE hymn when it comes to rock music. It was a furious closure of the regular set, followed by a few minutes break in which the quintet left the stage.

Two more ‘musts’ have been part of the encore. “Hush”, the Joe South cover, was a swinging first part of the encore, before Roger Glover demonstrated the power and groove of the four-string guitar if handled with experience and competence. Excellent work. Maybe another song, taken from the rich Deep Purple discography, would have been better. However, the solo was a nice bridge to the closer of this night in rock. An impressive version of “Black Night” rounded of a concert that showed again, why Deep Purple belonged and belongs to the heavy influencers in rock. These guy are the spearhead when it come to hardrock and it’s awesome with what kind of energy the guys can easily handle an almost two hour show. Rock’n’Roll obviously keeps you young and vital – no doubt after having seen this show tonight.

Next to the well-chosen setlist it goes without saying that the sound was excellently done from the first to last song and also the band itself seemed to enjoy every single minute of this show. Each of the five band members added with their field of expertise the necessary puzzle pieces to the whole to make this night to a celebration in rock. Deep Purple stood there as a unit that had fun and pleasure of what they are doing – entertaining fans of which most of the ones being at the Amsterdam show probably accompanied the band from their very beginning. My personal conclusion after this impressive night is very clear. Hopefully the ‘infinite’ part is much more leading than the ‘finite’. This band can’t stop, especially not when releasing this kind of  excellent longplayers followed by jaw-dropping good live show. Keep on rocking.


Live report DEEP PURPLE,  Ziggo Dome, Amsterdam, 02.06.2017


  1. Time for Bedlam
  2. Fireball
  3. Bloodsucker
  4. Strange Kind of Woman
  5. Johnny's Band
  6. Uncommon Man
  7. The Surprising
  8. Lazy
  9. Birds of Prey
  10. Hell to Pay
  11. Keyboard Solo
  12. Perfect Strangers
  13. Space Truckin'
  14. Smoke on the Water
  15. Haush (Encore)
  16. Bass Solo (Encore)
  17. Black Night (Encore)


Location: Ziggo Dome, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Date: June 2nd, 2017


EZOO released a new video

Veröffentlicht am 27. Mai 2017 von Markus W. in EZoo, Rock, Classic Rock, Hardrock, News, Video, earMusic

EZoo is Dario Mollo and Garham Bonnet. The guys started a cooperation with a first output that's called "Feeding the Beast". After having posted a first video ("C'est La Vie") earlier this year EZoo unveiled a new clip - this time for "Guys From God". 

Release date for the album is June 2nd and the longplayer comes vie earMusic.


HANSEN &FRIENDS video from Wacken

Veröffentlicht am 18. Mai 2017 von Markus W. in Kai Hansen, Hansen & Friends, Heavy Metal, Power Metal, Speed Metal, Live, News, earMUSIC

As posted earlier, German guitar wizard Kai Hansen will release a live CD/DVD, capturing the Wacken show from 2016. Here comes the first video. "Fire &Ice" is newly posted and acts as an appetizer for the upcoming release.

Street date is June 23rd and the album comes via earMUSIC. Stay tuned for more.


CD review DRAGONFORCE "Reaching Into Infinity"

Veröffentlicht am 16. Mai 2017 von Markus W. in Dragonforce, Heavy Metal, Speed Metal, Thrash Metal, Power Metal, News, CD Review, earMUSIC

(8/10) Dragonforce is a band that can build on a very solid fanbase as well as the guys are also confronted with metalheads not really appreciating their high speed metal approach. Opinions differ when it comes to Dragonforce.

However, fans of Frederic Leqlercq and Co. will look forward to May 19th when Dragonforce will publish their newest longplayer "Reaching Into Infinity". The record comes with twelve new songs and with a bonus track as part of the special edition package.

The band's seventh studio release is an interesting one since the sextett varies their music quite a lot. "Reaching Into Infinity" contains these racing metal tunes that we know from Dragonforce. "Judgement Day" and "Astral Empire" are uptempo tunes as we know it from earlier releases by the sextett.

But there's more to discover than only high-speed metal tracks with furious guitar solos. "Silence", as an example, is a ballad that is positioned in the middle of the album which gives this longplayer and the listener a moment to breath. A song that's coming with a more moderate pace too is "Ashes of the Dawn". Here we're talking about a strong power metal anthem that's entertaining from beginning to end. To balance these moments Dragonforce recorded "WAR!" which is the most brutal tune in this release. The band shifts gears when it comes to this song, entering the fields of thrash metal. It has a melodic bridge but all in all it's a raging metal assault that belongs to the winners on this longplayer.

Another tune you should check-out is the epical "The Edge of the World". Eleven minutes of well-crafted metal, that's what this song is about. It features light hand guitar solos, heavy riffs, good breaks and a mid-pace tempo. What acts as the peperoni on this metal pizza are the growls that are weaved in, giving this epos an unexpected twist.

I never belonged to the die-hard Dragonforce supporters but I have to admit that this album is entertaining; coming with variations and tweaks that are exciting and fun to listen to. "Reaching Into Infinity" might be attractive for more people than only Dragonforce fans.





  1. Reaching Into Infinity
  2. Ashes of the Dawn
  3. Judgement Day
  4. Astral Empire
  5. Curse of Darkness
  6. Silence
  7. Midnight Madness
  8. WAR!
  9. Land of Sahttered Dreams
  10. The Edge of the World
  11. Our Final Stand
  12. Hatred and revenge
  13. Evil Dead


Label: earMUSIC

Genre: Heavy Metal

Release Date EU: May 19th, 2017

CD review DRAGONFORCE "Reaching Into Infinity"
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