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CD review METALLICA "Hardwired... To Self-Destruct"

Veröffentlicht am 18. November 2016 von Markus W. in Metallica, News, CD Review, Thrash Metal, Speed Metal, Heavy Metal, Power Metal

(8/10) With a new Metallica album it’s like with a new iPhone. Both are connected to a strong brand (yes, I would say Metallica is a brand and a band in the meantime) that has an exciting history by creating something that was new and revolutionary in its day. Apple turned the digital world partly upside down and Metallica did the same when it comes to metal. The ‘fathers’ of thrash metal released with their first three records some milestones in music history, classics that are timeless and still spread their fascination up to today.

Based on all this, expectations are very high when something new is announced. However, there isn’t really clear what is to expect and also what can be expected stays blurry. Especially when it comes to Metallica things get even more interesting knowing that the last releases at least got some diverse feedback and have been partly disappointments, not even thinking about the album they did with the legendary Lou Reed.

A few songs of the new album has been published already earlier as downloads and video clips. These tracks made a good impression and fueled the expectations for a new, wild and furious Metallica album.

Today is the moment when the rubber hits the road – showtime. “Hardwired … to Self-Destruct” hits the shelfs and after having heard it a couple of times so far I must say that it belongs to the best stuff I’ve heard from the band in this century. It feels like the band found back to their roots, leaving all the experiments behind and focus on thrash metal again.

The new longplayer starts brave and fast. The three minutes long title track is an awesome opener that hits bull’s eye. Solos are back, there aren’t any experiments and in the end it’s raw energy that’s spread.

Also the next three tracks, ”Atlas, Rise!”, the slowly creeping “Now That We’re Dead” and the up-tempo “Moth Into Flame”, are coming without any frills. It’s the riffs, the groove and the heaviness, that's what stands in focus. The four-piece from San Francisco created songs that include more than ones cross-references to the early days longplayers by being straight to the point. Merciless riffs are dominating the scene supported by a rhythm section that's firing on all cylinders, something that makes each of the tracks to real headbangers.

With all this a more silent song is needed too. “Halo on Fire” is its name and it’s a power ballad that reminds of “Until it Sleeps”.

With all the positve there are two moments as well when the four-piece falls back into the patterns of the latest releases. “Am I Savage?” is one of them. Even after a few times listening to this tune it still doesn’t work. It feels fragmented and ms=issing the flow that's so present in most of the other tracks. The same goes for “ManUNkind”, a number that also doesn’t belong to the highlights on the newest output.

The good thing though is, that it’s only these two tracks, while the rest is a pure pleasure for metalheads. And the fact that “Hardwired...to Self-Destruct” closes with the high speed “Spit Out the Bone” gives every listener a last good impression. The tune is a remarkable grand finale of an album that presents the band in a good mood, with a good sound and (mostly) very good songs.

In the end “Hardwired…to Self-Destruct” covers 30 years of Metallica with a tendency towards the earlier days, all reflected in 80 minutes of entertaining metal music

Again, it’s like with an iPhone. You might expect rocket-science, but in the end it’s the early trademarks that have been further developed to a next level and that’s, I guess, what most of the fans appreciate.

 

(8/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Hardwired
  2. Atlas, Rise!
  3. Now That We’re Dead
  4. Moth Into Flame
  5. Am I Savage?
  6. Halo On Fire
  7. Confusion
  8. Dream No More
  9. ManUNkind
  10. Here Comes Revenge
  11. Murder One
  12. Spit Out The Bone

 

Label: Universal Music Group

Genre: Heavy Metal

Release Date EU: November 18, 2016

CD review METALLICA "Hardwired... To Self-Destruct"
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CD review APOCALYPTICA "Plays Metallica by Four Cellos"

Veröffentlicht am 5. August 2016 von Markus W. in Apocalyptica, Heavy Metal, Thrash Metal, News, CD Review, Metallica, Four Horsemen, Cello, Classic

(8/10) May 10th, 1996 was a date in metal history that marked the beginning of a new level of classic meets metal. Four guys from Finland, each of them an excellent cello player and studied musicians, took thrash metal classics and arranged them in a totally new way.

Apocalyptica was (and is) the name of the band that covered Metallica tracks and played them as instrumental versions for their Apocalyptica "Plays Metallica by Four Cellos" album.

Twenty years went by and the success story of the band went on and on. The guys started to record own songs, sometimes instrumental, sometimes with guest singers, they did a classic cooperation and so on. Now it's time to go back to the beginning, celebrating the 20st anniversary of "Playing Metallica by Four Cellos" with a new re-release.

Totally remastered and with three new bonus songs the album shines even more than the original version. "Nothing Else Matters" was newly recorded and also "Battery" and "Seek and Destroy" have been added to this re-release.

Connected to this special edition as CD, there will be a vinyl version of the album too that includes 2 LP's with 180gr. each as a gatefold. Next to the black version there will be a white one too that is limited to 500 pieces.

All in all we're facing a re-release of an important metal album that set new standards for metal meets classic.

 

(8/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Enter Sandman
  2. Master of Puppets
  3. Harvester of Sorrow
  4. The Unforgiven
  5. Sad But True
  6. Creeping Death
  7. Wherever I May Roam
  8. Welcome Home (Sanatorium)
  9. Battery
  10. Nothing Else Matters
  11. Seek and Destroy

 

Label: Odyseey Music Network

Genre: Cello Metal

Release Date EU: July 22nd, 2016

 

 

CD review APOCALYPTICA "Plays Metallica by Four Cellos"
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METALLICA will release a live album recorded at the Bataclan

Veröffentlicht am 25. Februar 2016 von Markus W. in Metallica, Thrash Metal, Heavy Metal, News, Speed Metal, Power Metal, Eagles Of Death Metal, Bataclan

The Guardian published a post that talks about Metallica, releasing a live album recorded in the Bataclan club. The show has been part of a promotion activity for the band's "St. Anger" album. All proceeds will go to the victims of the November 13th attacks.

April 16th is mentioned as mentioned as being the release day and the album will feature nine songs.

The name of the record will be "Liberte, Egalite, Fraternite, Metallica! - Live at Le Bataclan". See more details below.

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CD review MEMORAIN "Duality of Man"

Veröffentlicht am 16. Januar 2016 von Markus W. in Memorain, Thrash Metal, Speed Metal, News, CD Review, Metallica, Overkill, Bay Area

(7/10) Memorain from Greece started in 1999 and one thing that stands out over the years are the various changes in the band's line-up. It was in 2014 when an almost full renewal of the band took place. Aris Nikoleris (g), Sevan Barsam (d) and Vagelis Kolios (v) joined in at that time and it seems that the band is quite stable since then.

The guys from Athens, Greece can look back on six full-length albums with the next one to be released pretty soon.

End of January "Duality of Man", longplayer number seven, will be available at your record dealer. The album comes with eleven new thrash anthems that are mainly based on the eighties Bay Area metal. The sound of Metallica shines through more than once, but there is more that influenced Ilias Papadakis and Co.. "Lost in Vain" is, especially in the beginning, inspired a lot by Slayer's "Raining Blood" and "The End of Hope" comes surprisingly melodic.
The guys also include some East Coast references in their sound. "The Last of Light" for example has some parts that are influenced by New York's Overkill. The chorus almost sounds like having Blitz behind the mic.

Memorain's sound might not be very innovative and the bands trademarks aren't maybe that unique. However, "Duality of Man" rocks very much and is real headbanger stuff.

 

 

(7/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Demons Hunt
  2. Guardian Knight
  3. The Giant
  4. The Last of Light
  5. Inside My Eyes
  6. The End of Hope
  7. Lost in Vain
  8. The Cresent
  9. Broken Dreams
  10. Since I Remember
  11. The Final Message

 

Label: ROAR

Genre: Thrash Metal

Release Date EU: January 29th, 2016

CD review MEMORAIN "Duality of Man"
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New MEGADETH song

Veröffentlicht am 1. Oktober 2015 von Markus W. in Megadeth, Thrash Metal, Speed Metal, News, Video, Heavy Metal, Metallica

Dave Mustaine's Megadeth published with "Fatal Illusion" a new song. The song is taken from the upcoming album that will be released late 2015/beginning 2016. Here is already the tracklist:

  1. Death From Within
  2. Fatal Illusion
  3. Conquer... Or Die!
  4. Lying In State
  5. Me Hate You
  6. The Emperor's New Clothes
  7. Dystopia
  8. Bullet To The Brain
  9. Last Dying Wish
  10. Post American World
  11. Look Who's Talking
  12. The Threat Is Real
  13. Poisonous Shadows
  14. Melt The Ice Away (BUDGIE cover)
  15. Foreign Policy (FEAR cover)
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CD review ABATTOIR "Vicious attack" re-release

Veröffentlicht am 22. Juni 2015 von Markus W. in Abattoit, Overkill, Thrash Metal, Speed Metal, Heavy Metal, News, CD Review, Metallica, Testament

(7/10) I guess that it's a few small things that sometimes decide of being successful or not. Listening to the latest re-release of Abattoir's "Vicious attack" triggered this thought again. The band, that was founded in 1982, had the same starting conditions as genre collesgues from e.g. Overkill. While the New York five-piece is still around, releasing great albums and play well perceived shows it became more quiet around Abattoir. There have been even times when the band disbanded, reunited just to split up again a few years later.
 
But who knows; maybe the newest re-release if their debut album that might break the spell and brings them back again. "Vicious attack" was the name of the debut album that was initially released back in 1985. The eight songs are all raw thrash metal tracks that presents a hungry young band. The joy with this album is this unique spirit from the eighties thrash metal times. Abattoir's songs aren't the most technical advanced ones. But it's metal that hits you right into the face.
Brutal riffs like in "Stronger than evil" are just awesome. This is pure power, combined with passion and dedication.
 
Also the title track with the dominant bassline are great. It feels like Overkill meets US metal. If it's needed to place a cover version on an eight song album can be discussed. But since it is a cool and respectless version of Motörhead's "Ace of spades" it's more than OK.
 
I'm not sure if this re-release will put Abattoir more into the spotlight. But I'm sure that the band will gain some new friends which might lead to a new album. I appreciated the trip back to a time when I discovered my passion for metal.
 
 
(7/10)
 
 
Tracklist:
  1. Screams from the grave
  2. Vicious attack
  3. The enemy
  4. Ace of spades
  5. The living & the dead
  6. Stronger than evil
  7. Don't walk alone
  8. Game of death
 
Label: Marquee Records
Genre: Thrash Metal
CD review ABATTOIR "Vicious attack" re-release
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CD review MANDOWAR "Hellboys from cow"

Veröffentlicht am 10. Juni 2015 von Markus W. in Mandowar, Metallica, Dio, ACDC, Pink Floyd, News, CD Review, Rock, Folk

(3/10) Tom, Nailz and Joe, better known as Mandowar, have a new album in the starting box. "Hellboys from cow" is the title and it is number three already. So far so good.

If you have missed Mandowar so far, don't worry; you haven't missed a lot. What the trio does is to take hardrock-/metal songs and put those in new dresses. It's a kind of folk and polka mix, based on guitar, mandoline and bass. The result is something that was hard to stand for me. 

The first thing is, that such an idea isn't something new. My first reaction was, that this is a The Bosshoss clone, since those two guys also started with covering songs in a country syle way too. However, maybe the music is good. No, it isn't. AC/DC's "Thunderstruck" and "You shook me all night long" ended up in a version that is renamed into "Alexander Strack" and is awful. I guess Angus would never come back to Germany if he would hear this. The same goes for the mighty "Master of puppets" from Metallica. "Engel" that starts with Kindergarten-like recorder isn't much better either. And I'm very happy that Dio doesn't have to hear the "Holy diver" version.  

Where it works best is with Pink Floyd's "Wish you were here" and "(Ghost) Riders in the sky" from Stan Jones, very well known in Johnny Cash's version.

I'm aware that this album should be seen as a fun interpretation. The bad things with humor is, that everybody has a different one. I couldn't smile in these 39 minutes and was happy when the last note was played.

2 points for being brave to do something like this and 1 point for "Wish you were here" - means 3 points in total. There is better stuff to spend the hard-erned money for.

 

(3/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Alexander Strack
  2. Engel
  3. (Ghost) riders in the sky
  4. Hellboys from cow
  5. Holy diver
  6. Kashmir
  7. Master of puppets
  8. Radar love
  9. Wish you were here

 

Label: Singalongsongs

Genre: Folk Rock

CD review MANDOWAR "Hellboys from cow"
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CD review PERZONAL WAR "The last sunset"

Veröffentlicht am 31. Mai 2015 von Markus W. in Perzonal War, Thrash Metal, Power Metal, Heavy Metal, News, CD Review, Metallica

(8/10) If you are releasing records since 19 years you can't play bad music. Perzonal War are around already since such a ling time. Sailing under the flag of Perzonal War in the beginning the band published the first demo back in 1996. since then the band releases regularly new records. The last one was "Captive bleeding" from 2012 that was also the first one via Metalville.

Perzonal War's thrash metal has been inspired by the mighty Metallica and discs like "Different but the same" and "Faces" also reflected those cross-references very much. Even on the new longplayer you can hear those influences back. But compared to the newer Metallica Perzonal War still plays thrash metal the is uncompromising. This doesn't mean that Perzonal War sounds oldschool. They added enough modern elements to their sound to make it exciting instead of sounding old fashion.

An example is the slower "Never look back" with the silent verse, the forceful chorus and an almost doom riff. Very well done. Just 'ohohoh' part feels a bit misplaced.

The opener "Salvation" shows the power metal side of Perzonal War. It's a heavy tune that combined hardness with a quite catchy expression. 

Doubtless that there are the thrash assaults too.  "Metalizer" is one of those as well as the hammering "Speed if time" with a heavy groove and a dominant bassline. Also "The last sunset" and "Times of hate" doesn't take any prisoners.

Perzonal War's "The last sunset should get a run on your record player. It's modern thrash metal album from a band that never denied their roots while continuously develop further. 

 

(8/10) 

 

Tracklist: 

  1. Salvation 
  2. Speed of time 
  3. 30 years 
  4. Never look back 
  5. Metalizer 
  6. When faith has gone forever 
  7. What would you say 
  8. The last sunset 
  9. Times of hate 
  10. I see nothing 

 

Label: Metalville 

Genre: Thrash Metal 

 

 

CD review PERZONAL WAR "The last sunset"
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CD review TRAUMA "Rapture and wrath"

Veröffentlicht am 13. April 2015 von Markus W. in Trauma, Metallica, Omen, Power Metal, US Metal, News, Heavy Metal, CD Review

(8/10) Trauma can be seen as the band where a bass player called Cliff Burton started. Yes, indeed - Cliff Burton from Metallica, a guy that died far too early in a tragical way. Eventhough he was just for two years in the band and left already before Trauma released the debut album, Trauma is often reduced to this fact. But that's not fair.

Beside this detail Trauma was also off for quite a while - actually 31 years - which had as a result that almost nobody could remember the band. The debut album "Scratch and scream" was published in 1984 and it took till 2014 to see some more serious signes of life again. The four-piece re-released the debut and started to record some new songs.

Those ended up on the second record that is released 31 years after the debut. This sounds like a world record to me. 

However, after having heard the album I must say that it was worth to produce this disc. Eventhough the timespan was that long, "Rapture and wrath" feels like if the bands second album was released in the end of the 80's. Trauma, for whatever reason, managed to transport the oldschool feeling from those days into the new century. 

It starts with a good but basic production. The album got a good sound that has a certain warmth and isn't that over-produced as some other releases in theses days. 

The ten tracks on the album are passionate oldschool US metal. If you count bands like Omen, Liege Lord and Lizzy Borden to your favorite metal bands, than you should give this longplayer a serious chance.

The opening triple gives you a clear indication of what you can expect from Trauma. The energetic opener "Heart of stone", the faster "When I die" and the slow, but intense "The long way home" are great power metal songs and especially the last mentioned one is a real highlight. And for one or another reason I had to think about the earlier Fates Warning when I heard the track. I wonder why. 

Especially the vocals of Donny Hiller are worth a note. He has the right voice for this kind of music and can handle deeper sounds as well as higher screams. Sometimes things might not be perfect, but this can be balanced with passion and dedication.

Also the faster "Under the light" brings back long forgotten times and makes "Rapture and wrath" to a really good metal album that will get some more rounds on my record player. Horns up.

 

(8/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Heart of stone
  2. When I die
  3. The long way home
  4. Pain
  5. The walking dead
  6. Kingdom come
  7. Egypt
  8. Under the lights
  9. Don't treat on me
  10. Too late

 

Label: Pure Steel Records

Genre: US Metal

CD review TRAUMA "Rapture and wrath"
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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 EXODUS "Blood in blood out"

Veröffentlicht am 10. Oktober 2014 von Markus W. in Exodus, Metallica, Testament, Thrash Metal, Heavy Metal, Speed Metal, CD Review, News

(9/10) I can remember 1987 when I heard Exodus' "Pleasure of the flesh" for the first time. It was an album that blew me away. Of course it was the peak of the Bay Area thrash scene with bands like Metallica, Testament. Vio-lence... but Exodus had something extra already at that time. It was that raw energy that the band spread which was authentic and special.

Since then I'm following the band and have seen the good ("Pleasue of the flesh") and bad times (like "Force of habit"). However, it was great to see that the band had the awesome comeback in 2004 with "Tempo of the damned". That was really good metal stuff. 

One important factor for the successful Exodus records was Zetro Souza. It is the vocals of the guy which added so much to the Exodus sound. Not that Rob Dukes, who followed him as singer of the band, did a bad job on the other albums. I actually appreciate very much what he did so far with Generation Kill. But Zetro vocals fit so perfect to Exodus - it's just a match.

Therefore I was pretty happy that Zetro is back again at Exodus (hopefully still doing some more stuff with Hatriot too). But it is not only him. It is the entire line-up with Holt, Hunting, Gibson and Altus that delivered a masterpiece of thrash metal. Those guys really seem to fit together very well. They stand as one unit.

Now, let's have a look into "Blood in blood out". The title is an idea of Gary Holt. While watching the TV series "Gangland" the guitarist explained that he has seen similarities with the band. You're bleeding to get in and you're bleeding to get out. Of course not literally, but...

Compared to the more complex and epic 'Exhibit' albums the new strike is spot-on. The songs are straighforward and don't take any prisoners. The start into the album is a bit unusual. Exodus decided to begin with samples that sounds together with the joining guitars like from the "Judgement night" soundtrack. But this impression doesn't last long. The typical Exodus riff makes it clear - we are talking thrash metal.

The title track "Blood in blood out" continues this trip. The blazing fast song comes with a galloping rhythm and monstrous leads. 

Some songs are also to highlight when it comes to the lyrics. The fast "Collateral damage" is about the power of some people in executive suites and the fact that they steer/influence the life of the many. And the tune comes with a massive chorus too. Cool lyrics, cool sound. Another track with a very up-to-date topic is "Numb" - a song that broaches the issue of loosing empathy by being overwhelmed of death and murder on TV.

Next to Zetro Souza there are more 'former members that are back'. Kirk Hammett from Metallica joined Exodus for one song. The founding member on the six string had a guest appearance and contributed with a solo on "Salt in wound".

And last but not least it was Chuck Billy from Testament who has a guesst appearance too. He added some vocals (shouts) on the mighty "BTK". 

The bouncer is a reprise of all the before heard trademarks of the band. It's a fast and well-crafted song with some clever breaks along the way and slow, but mighty riff in the middle.

"Blood in, blood out" beacme the excellent thrash record I was hoping for. Good stuff. Go for it.

 

(9/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Black 13
  2. Blood in blood out
  3. Collateral damage
  4. Salt the wound
  5. Body harvest
  6. BTK
  7. Wrapped in the arms of rage
  8. My last nerve
  9. Numb
  10. Honor killings
  11. Food for the worms

 

Label: Nuclear Balst

Genre: Thrash Metal

 

 

 

 

CD review EXODUS "Blood in blood out"
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EXODUS publishs "Salt the wound" video feat. Kirk Hammett

Veröffentlicht am 28. September 2014 von Markus W. in Exodus, Thrash Metal, Metallica, Slayer, Heavy Metal, News, Video

Here comes the new lyric video from thrash legend Exodus. The song is entitled "Salt the wounds", feat. Kirk Hammett. The six stringer from Metallica hooked-up with his old fellows from Exodus for a guest appearance.

Secondly the song is great since former sinher and Hatriot founder Zetro Souza is back on board. The album seems to become a great one and I hope that Gary Holt doesn't focus on Slayer too much. Exodus is the future.

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New EXODUS lyric video feat. KIRK HAMMETT

Veröffentlicht am 9. September 2014 von Markus W. in Exodus, Metallica, Thrash Metal, Speed Metal, Heavy Metal, Video, News

Exodus released a new song as lyric video. The tune is called "Salt the wound" and feat. Exodus founding member and Metallica guitarist Kirk Hammett.

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Setlist and photos from METALLICA at Pinkpop 2014

Veröffentlicht am 10. Juni 2014 von Markus W. in Metallica, News, Pinkpop, Thrash Metal, Heavy Metal, Rob Zombie

It's seldom that "Ride the lightning" becomes so real than last Monday at Pinkpop. Due to an heavy thunderstorm the Metallica show had to start appr. one hour later than scheduled. Anyhow, here is the setlist:

 

  1. Battery
  2. Master of puppets
  3. Welcome home (Sanitarium)
  4. Ride the lightning
  5. The unforgivven
  6. Lords of summer
  7. Wherever I may roam
  8. Das but true
  9. Fade to black
  10. ... and justice for all
  11. One
  12. For whom the bell tolls
  13. Whiskey in the jar
  14. Nothing else matters
  15. Enter sandman
  16. Fuel
  17. Creeping death
  18. Seek & destroy

 

With "Lords of summer" the band presented also a new song, which sounds promising. 

Photo: Paul Barendregt
Photo: Paul Barendregt
Photo: Paul Barendregt

Photo: Paul Barendregt

....uups. And one photo from Rob Zombie too ;o)

 

By the way. Do you have already your ticket for the Rob Zombie show in Utrecht, The Netherlands on 01.07.. Worth to check it out.

Photo: Paul Barendregt

Photo: Paul Barendregt

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