New Model Army will release a documentary entitled „The New Model Army Story: Between Dog and Wolf“. Release date of the DVD / Blu-ray will be March 3rd via earMUSIC.
New Model Army will be also on tour in March and here are the dates:
Swiss-based hardrockers Gotthard recently released a new album called "Silver", a record that also celebrates 25 years of the quintet from the Tessin.
The celebration continues with Gotthard embarking on a tour through Europe, playing shows mainly in Germany with some more gigs in Spain, Italy and so on. The third concert on this tour brought the guys to Ulm, Germany. As exciting as the headliner show is the special guest that joins the Swiss on this tour. Legendary Danish metal institution Pretty Maids is part of the game as well and it was up to them to raise temperature in the Ratiopharm arena. The venue is actually the home base for the local basketball team but this night it was turned into a convert hall with a surprisingly good acoustic.
To my surprise the show wasn't sold out, a fact that might has to do with the show in Ravensburg two days earlier, a city that's just 40 minutes away from Ulm.
Anyhow, Pretty Maids started the night through metal at 20:00 and it was obvious that the Danes had quite some fans in the audience. Solid riffing from Ken Hammer, a great voice of Ronnie Atkins and a bass player being in constant motion dominated a set of almost 60 minutes. What made Pretty Maids even more powerful was the keyboarder Chris Laney who took the rhythm guitar once in a while.The new songs worked as a springboard for what came in the last third of the show. The new tunes are good but the old ones are great. "Back to Back", "Red Hot and Heavy" and "Future World" are classics in metal and it wasn't a surprise that the crows celebrated every single note played. Talking about "Future World", the album celebrates its 30th anniversary and how great would a classic Pretty Maids set be for the old school fans.
All in all the Danes ignited a metal firework and was more than just a special guest. Horns up.
After a stage rebuild it was time for Gotthard. The show was a journey through 25 years of Swiss-made hardrock and after having had some mainstream years the band went back to their roots with playing harder stuff again. No doubt, catchy melodies are still in focus but also the guitars are back in forefront which makes the tunes again more exciting for headbangers.
The stage scenery was kept very straight-forward. The drum kit was surrounded by wall of speakers with a big lettering of "Silver" right in front. A big 'Gotthard' backdrop completed the picture and it was obviously the music that should get the attention rather than a lot of frills and decoration.
“Silver River” and “Electrified” have been two great songs to start the show with and also the Billy Joe Royal cover “Hush” is a fix part of each Gotthard show. Fans were enjoying each of these songs and the concert became more a Saturday night party.
Half way down the road the quintet added an acoustic part to their show, which was OK, but it also felt like a break in an energizing rock'n'roll night. Furthermore this night became an unforgettable one for at least one girl who was invited for a dance on stage with frontman Nic Maeder during “Miss Me” was played. Up to this moment in time the show was good and solid but the real moment of turning the hall into a madhouse was with "Top of the World" when the crowd joined the chorus as being a big choir and also clapping hand filled the Ratiopharm arena.
Setlist Pretty Maids:
Location: Ratiopharm Arena, Ulm, Germany
Date: February 11th, 2017
Fates Warning is one of the most important bands in the fields of powerful progressive metal, no doubt. Over a period of 35 years (incl. the ‘Misfit’ years) the guys influenced many bands while constantly releasing albums that are milestones in metal. Regardless if it’s the groundbreaking first releases or the newer ones like “Theories of Flight”, Fates Warning always delivered excellent music that is a treat for your ears. Of course it’s a mandatory to see their show when they are close to your hometown. As we speak the quintet is on tour through Europe, a trip that included two stops in The Netherland – Uden and Haarlem.
When I arrived at the venue the first support band started their show already. Greece symphonic power metal outfit Fallen Arise have been the first ones that night and to my surprise the room was already pretty much packed. This is even more surprising considering the fact that Sabaton and Accept played the same night in Amsterdam which is just a few kilometers away. However, Fallen Arise nailed down a solid show that was built on their first two albums. It got pretty tight though on stage. The six guys could only use parts of the stage in the smaller of the two rooms, which basically means that the potential space for moving was one square meter per musician. Fallen Arise was a good start, but not more.
This didn’t change with the second band that night and one can ask the question according to what criterias the support bands for Fates Warning's current tour have been chosen. Band number two was Armored Dawn from Brazil, another sextet that had to do with the same space issues as their predecessors. The guys played in total five songs, based on their debut album that came out mid-2016. What was the gothic visual expression of Fallen Away became a ‘Manowar-like’ one with Armored Dawn and what’s a bit strange in this context is that the set included a Dropkick Murphy cover, ‘The Rose Tattoo’, which felt heavily misplaced - soundwise and stylewise. Talking about sound; no idea what the soundman did during Armored Dawn’s show, but the band didn’t benefit from his work at all. Singer Eduardo Parras was almost unhearable, the drum were too much in the forefront and also the entire mix was far away from being optimal.
After these two bands and a 30 minutes stage rebuild the curtain rose (actually the stage had a curtain that was closed during the break) for the band most people came for that night– Fates Warning. What to say? As expected, this show was a true highlight. Jim Matheos and has gang inflamed pure metal magic that night, taking the audience on a journey through metal that included four new songs as well as the brilliant milestones ‘The Ivory Gate of Dreams: VII. Acquiescence’ from the ‘No Exit’ release and ‘Through Different Eyes’ from ‘Perfect Symmetry’.
Fates Warning has a pretty stable line-up, something that benefits their music and sound a lot. However, next to the well-known Fates Warning icons Matheos, Alder, Vera and Jarzombek it was guitarist Michael Abdow who replaced Frank Aresti on second guitar. But since the axe man was part of earlier Fates Warning session it was to be nothing integrating him on this tour. This quintet nailed down a tight show that reflected 100 minutes of excellent progressive metal that combined history with present. It’s a pleasure listening to Matheos, a musician that becomes one with his guitar. Next Matheos more genius and introvert musical magic it’s power pack Joey Vera, building, together with drummer Bobby Jarzombek, a rock solid rhythm foundation for each of the Fates Warning tunes performed that night, all rounded off by a Ray Alder who obviously enjoyed every note he sang.
I think that there was nobody in the audience that night who was not impressed by a gorgeous concert of a band that stands for powerful progressive metal, performed in authentic and humble way. Fates Warning doesn’t need any gimmicks or fancy stage scenery. These guys have their songs, their setlist and their musical capabilities which is more than enough for concerts that are jaw-dropping moments.
There are two wishes though: Hopefully Fates Warning comes back soon to The Netherlands and hopefully with support band(s) that fit better to their music.
Setlist Fates Warning:
Location: Patronaat, Haarlem, The Netherlands