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spinefarm records

CD review IHSAHN "Àmr“

Veröffentlicht am 1. Mai 2018 von Markus W. in Àmr, Ihsahn, Black Metal, Prog Metal, Prog Rock, Rock, Avangarde, Contemporary, Spinefarm Records

CD review IHSAHN "Àmr“

(9/10) Like with the earlier releases Ihsahn delivers another curveball when it comes to new album. It is hard to predict what you get with a new longplayer done by this extraordinary creative mind. The only thing that's for sure is that an Ihsahn album contains music that isn't from the shelf. It’s music and sounds that stretches the limits and challenges fans, listeners and maybe even Ihsahn himself.

The opener „Lend Me the Eyes of Milenia“ shows the entire spectrum of Ihsahn musical creativity. Synthizers kick off the song and you have to double check if you‘ve started the right disc. After some seconds sounds get swept by evil vocals that go together with the mentioned keyboards. A few more seconds and things become crystal clear. Welcome to Ihsahn‘s new masterpiece. Hoarse vocals and an unholy vibe characterise an excellent songs that include all you could wish from a new Ihsahn album.

The dark beauty with this longplayer is the cross-genre approach of the former Emperor frontman. Harsh black metal elements are interacting with melodic parts in a perfect fashion and even melodic anthems like „Sámr“, build on bigger soundscapes, fit into the context of „Àmr“.

The moment you have the feeling of having identified the patterns of this album it‘s another twist that opens another sound pattern.

„Àmr“ includes many aspects of contemporary metal music. There isn‘t one moment on the album that doesn‘t positively surprise you as a listener. „Marble Soul“ for example begins gloomy and with a hellish grin before things turn into a catchy chorus that reminds of prog rock. „Wake“ is another tune that‘s build on a similar approach. Raw black metal and progressive moments make the song sound like a black metal version of a Devin Townsend track.

As on „Arktic“ it‘s musical genius, unbound passion, a creative flow and a lot of willpower ton stretch borders, making this longplayer to a fascinating release that shows the fact that metal can be extremely creative and divers.





  1. Lend Me the Eyes of the Millenia
  2. Arcana Imperii
  3. Samr
  4. One Less Enemy
  5. When You are Lost and I Belong
  6. In Rites of Passage
  7. Marble Soul
  8. Twin Black Angels
  9. Wake
  10. Alone (Bonus) (Poem by Edgar Allan Poe)


Label: Spinefarm Records

Genre: Progressive Avangarde Black Metal

Release Date EU: May 4th, 2018


BULLET FOR MY VALENTINE reveals a new song

Veröffentlicht am 27. April 2018 von Markus W. in Bullet For My Valentine, BFMV, Gravity, News, Modern Metal, Metalcore, Alternative Metal, Spinefarm Records

Photo: Spinefarm Records (Promo)

Photo: Spinefarm Records (Promo)

Bullet For My Valentine will release with "Gravity" their next studio album by June 29th, 2018. The first single has been unveiled already and it's entitled "Over It". Here you go...


CD review THE SWORD "Used Future"

Veröffentlicht am 26. März 2018 von Markus W. in The Sword, News, Spinefarm Records, Rock, Classic Rock, Heavy Metal, Hardrock, CD Review

CD review THE SWORD "Used Future"

(8/10) The first time I got the chance to listen to The Sword was back in 2009 in Antwerp, Belgium when the band opened for no less than Metallica. I still remember that I liked their sound and songs, but their at that time more traditional metal was also something I haven’t expected as opener for thrash icons Metallica and their special guest Machine Head.

Anyhow, in the meantime we are 9 years further down the road and The Sword is an established rock band. The new album “ Used Future” is available as we speak, a longplayer that comprises of 13 new songs, showing a continuous move towards classic rock.

John Cronise, founder and main songwriter, crafted the album together with his band mates “Bryan Richie (b), Kyle Shutt (g) and Santiago Vela (d), showcasing a mature rock outfit that found their sound.

“Used Future” is an exciting album that’s built on classic rock, stoner elements and some Sabbath-inspired doom moments. The work result is the most creative record the quartet released to date, stating wide range of sounds.

A prelude is guiding towards the opener “Deadly Nightshade”, a thrilling song that includes all the earlier mentioned. It's this retro vibe, embedded in the thes tune, that reminds of the early days of rock, referring to bands like T-Rex and Led Zeppelin.

Tracks you shouldn’t miss on “Used Future” are for sure the cool 70’s reminding title track, the grooving “Sea of Green” and easy going “Back of Thoth”, followed by “Brown Mountain” which is a terrific instrumental with a bit of a Pink Floyd feel included. It's a cornerstone on this album.

"Used Future" became an well-done rock album that satisfies by its cool sound, relaxed vibe and cool expression. Thumbs up.





  1. Prelude
  2. Deadly Nightshade
  3. Twilight Sunrise
  4. The Wild Sky
  5. Intermezzo
  6. Sea of Green
  7. Nocturne
  8. Don’t Get Me Too Comfortable
  9. Used Future
  10. Come and Gone
  11. Back of Thoth
  12. Brown Mountain
  13. Reprise


Label: Spinefarm Records

Genre: Classic Rock

Release Date EU: March 23rd, 2018


CD review BLACK LABEL SOCIETY "Grimmest Hits"

Veröffentlicht am 10. Januar 2018 von Markus W. in Grimmest Hits, Zall Wylde, News, Hardrock, Doom Metal, Heavy Metal, Southern Metal, Blues, Spinefarm Records, BLS, Black Label Society

CD review BLACK LABEL SOCIETY "Grimmest Hits"

(8/10) One thing directly in the beginning. The title „Grimmest Hits“ is misleading. It transports the idea of a „Best of...“ which is not the case at all. „Grimmest Hits“ features 12 new songs. After having clarified this I must also say that the title fits the longplayer very well, but more in the sense of grim songs that are all hits. „Grimmest Hits“ doesn‘t include any filler. Zakk Wylde, Mr. Riff Power, delights again with his excellent guitar play that‘s embedded in well-done songs, combining metal, rock and blues to a great total. Black Label Society found their own sound and trademarks, all coming back on the new record. 

Wylde‘s guitar opens the album - how could it be different. „Trampled Down Below“ is the name of this excellent opener that also includes a rolling bassline and the typical vocals, all  immediately reminding of Zakk Wylde‘s Ozzy Osbounre days. A mighty solo part completes an well-done opener in the typical Black Label Society fashion. 

Most of the songs are rocking and loud. Regardless if you listen to the bluesy „Seasons of Falter“, the roaring single release „Rooms of Nightmares“ or the doomy „Disbelief“, it‘s all awesome metal songs. 

Next to these songs, each with a lot of riff-power, it‘s the calmer moments that are best when it comes to this longplayer. „The Day That Heaven Had Gone Away“ is such a soulful moment, a song with a Southern rock touch that gives you the shivers. Another tune that shows the more sensitive and emotive side of the Black Label Society is „The Only Words“. For me it‘s this track being the real highlight on the album. Intensity and emotions don‘t need loud sounds. Sometimes it‘s the counterparts that make a difference and „The Only Words“ is one of those.

„Grimmest Hits“ is a excellent album that combines powerful riff energy with a down-to-earth approach. Nothing on this album sounds forced or feels strange. It‘s an album that’s authentic and real, exactly what was expected. Good stuff from one of the most influential contemporary metal guitarist. 





  1. Trampled Down Below
  2. Seasons Of Falter
  3. The Betrayal
  4. All That Once Shined
  5. The Only Words
  6. Room Of Nightmares
  7. The Love Unreal
  8. Disbelief
  9. The Day That Heaven Had Gone Away
  10. Illusions Of Peace
  11. Bury Your Sorrow
  12. Nothing Left To Say


Label: Spinefarm Records

Genre: Heavy Metal

Release Date EU: January 19th, 2018


CD review ROYAL THUNDER "Wick"

Veröffentlicht am 3. April 2017 von Markus W. in Royal Thunder, Classic Rock, Hardrock, Rock, Alternative Rock, News, CD Review, Spinefarm Records

(9/10) The first time I took notice of Royal Thunder was two years ago when the four piece band from Atlanta. Georgia released an album called “Crooked Doors”. I was very impressed of what I got to hear. Royal Thunder released an album that was build on a sold foundation of classic rock with a singer, Mlny Parsonz, who was not only singing some lyrics – she was living each and every singer note in these quite personal songs.

Almost to date two years later the anticipated third album will be shipped to the record stores and it’s named “Wick”. The longplayer comes with twelve new songs that can easily live up to the quality of the sophomore record “Crooked Doors”.

Royal Thunder songs are not fully written and arranged before the band enters the studio. Actually it’s a lot of creativity that evolves to great tunes while recording the album. On of the songs though that was almost finished before starting the recording was the first single release. As it fits to the release date it’s “April Showers” that is an impressive and powerful track, belonging to the highlights on an excellent done longplayer. As with the earlier release its; Parsonz powerful vocals, with a lot of feel included, that enriches each of the 12 songs. Another song I want to stand still for a second is “Plans”. Based on an idea of bass player Will Fiora the song belongs to most intense ones on an album that’s full of climaxes. Acoustic guitar, vocals and a powerful drumbeat dominate the scene, giving the number a different appeal than the rest of the numbers of “Wick”.

Actually I could mention each of the tunes since they are all good. However, “Wick”, the title track” is another one I would like to mention. It’s an emotional song with strong lyrics. The song gives a wider range of interpretation. Besides that it was Mlny’s frustration during the songwriting that lead to these lyrics and you can feel the angriness on the one hand with a ‘don’t give up’-energy level that comes with it too.

“Wick” is an album that is mind-blowing in a sense that it comes with songs that gets under the skin. It’s the musical masterpiece that comes with lyrics that are more than just words. These songs are like a photo of a band at this very moment in time.





  1. Burning Tree
  2. April Shower
  3. Tied
  4. We Slipped
  5. The Sunking Chair
  6. Plans
  7. Anchor
  8. Wick
  9. Push
  10. Turnaround
  11. The Well
  12. We Never Fell Asleep


Label: Spinefarm Records

Genre: Classic Rock

Release Date EU: April 7th, 2017

CD review ROYAL THUNDER "Wick"

Interview with Mlny and Josh from ROYAL THUNDER

Veröffentlicht am 31. März 2017 von Markus W. in Royal Thunder, Classic Rock, Rock, Hardrock, Blues, News, Interview, Spinefarm Records, Psychedelic Rock

Photo: Spinefarm Records (Promo)

Photo: Spinefarm Records (Promo)

"Crooked Doors" was the anticipated second album of Atlanta, Georgia based Royal Thunder. The recorded exceed expectations and brought the four-piece band on the radar of fans of intense rock music. After such a success expectation went up when it comes to the bands newest album "Wick". After some hard work the quartet presents with "Wick" a record that adds another step in developing Royal Thunder's sounds. Markus' Heavy Music Blog had the chance to talk to Mlny and Josh who gave some more insights into background of "Wick".


Markus’ Heavy Music Blog: Thanks for spending some time with Markus’ Heavy Music Blog.

Mlny Parsonz: Thanks. We really appreciate it.

MHMB: With “Wick” you guys have a great new album in the starting blocks and my first question is, if you can tell us a bit more about the album and how you guys approached it?

Mlny: Well, first of all thank you for the compliment.

Josh Weaver : The way we did the new album is that it all came from us playing live and living life. We were experiencing losses, happiness, frustration and everything in between. All this means a constant change of people. What we did is that we put all the emotions and the things we experience in life into our music.

MHMB: When you mention the emotional aspect, I have the feeling that the new album, as well as “Crooked Doors’, is a very emotional album when it comes to music and lyrics. Are the lyrics also based in very personal experiences?

Mlny: As Josh said, we take the inspiration for our music and for the lyrics from everyday life. The lyrics are about emotions and experiences we all walked through together. I draw a lot inspiration from the different relationships in my life – good and bad.

In the past I have been more on a soul-searching journey, which was reflected in the lyrics. For “Wick” I was in different place. I knew exactly what I wanted. I knew what was happening and how I felt about everything, which means that the search wasn’t so much there. I think it is more a collection of the wisdom gained through those experiences, like pieces of this larger puzzle. And since we’re still moving and living, there will be new collection of life experiences to put after this on the next album. You could say “Wick” is like a photo in time that captures us in a place we were in.

MHMB: “April Showers” is one of these intense songs on the new album. Why have you chosen this song as the first single of the new album?

Josh: I’m don’t really know why we have chosen that song, but it feels like a very well-rounded song to pick and it was the only song we had pretty much written for the album before we went into the studio. And since the album is coming out in April we thought that it’s also very much appropriate to chose “April Showers” as the first single.

MHMB: When I was preparing for this interview I read a statement from you guys saying that “Wick” was the hardest album to make. Can you explain what made “Wick” so hard to do?

Josh: Actually they are all very hard to make, mainly because you don’t want to repeat yourself and you want to create something new and fresh. Therefore, we had to get in touch with our feelings to put them into our sound and into the lyrics. We wanted to clean corners and that’s a very hard thing, but we wanted to do it right.


Photo: Spinefarm Records (Promo)

Photo: Spinefarm Records (Promo)

MHMB: The first two albums have gotten very positive feedback and my question is, if this increased the pressure you felt while working on “Wick”?

Mlny: For me, I definitely felt pressure. It was unnecessary pressure that I put on myself. It wasn’t coming from the label, the management, fans or people around me. It was coming from me. After having done “Crooked Doors” I had the feeling that I had used up all my creative ideas and I tortured myself a little bit with that. But the pressure I put on myself wasn’t necessary because the truth is, you just have to listen to the song and keep digging. It’s all in there and it’s just a matter of believing that it’s in there. It’s not like it doesn’t exist. I always start off kind of rough, putting pressure on myself and than I realize that it is going to be OK. It also should be hard because if you work hard you are going to feel it. It should be challenging to work hard on something and sure you get tired, but never get tired in a way that you give up because in the end it gives something good and positive back to you.

MHMB: Another song that stands out a little bit from the rest is “Plans”. The vocals and the drumbeat are quite dominant in this song. Did that idea come spontaneously or was it more planned?

Mlny: That was a very natural progression. It was something that Will wrote and he mentioned that he had this idea that he was just jamming with his acoustic guitar. He started to play it for a while and it stuck. So, we thought: “Let’s track it. That’s fucking awesome”. That song just unfolded on its own and I appreciate the compliment on the vocals. I was really inspired by Will’s song and where he went, which inspired me to go where I went. That’s our way of doing things. We feed each other and we respond to what the others are doing.

MHMB: You mentioned jamming which brings me to a thought I had when listening to the album. “Wick” sounds very vital and it feels like a lot of ideas where actually created in the studio. Is that assumption correct?

Josh: Yeah. I think “April Showers” was written for the most part, together with just one or two parts from “Wick”. Other than that we completely wrote the album in the studio. Everything was like one building block after the other. Writing the songs in the studio and putting them together one after the other, that’s pretty much how we did it.

MHMB: Why did you guys choose “Wick” as the title? Is there a deeper meaning behind “Wick”?

Mlny: I have to say that I named that song “Wick”. Even though it’s the title track, it’s a bit detached from the album but it slightly relates to it. When it comes to the meaning, I don’t want to say too much about it since I want people to interpret the song however they want to. Anyhow, I was sitting in the studio together with Joey (the producer) and it was one of these days when I was frustrated. I felt like every time I took a pen and a paper nothing was coming out. I felt so frustrated and irritated, so I came to a point when I just thought ‘fuck it’. Not that I really meant it like that, it was more the headspace I was in. Joey reacted like: “Wow, that’s a feeling. There’s something to say about that”. So I went just through it and aired out all my frustrations. It was like standing there with a candle, starring at the wick and not being able to find the fire to light the wick and ignite the flame. You know, I’m human and yeah, it was one of these days where I didn’t really know where to find this fucking fire, but obviously it’s there. The album title is related, reflecting the whole journey of standing there, holding a candle and looking at the wick. Looking for the flame and the fire behind, which means that it’s all around you. That’s the bridge and the story behind the album title and song.

MHMB: Mlny and Josh, thanks a lot for your time and for giving us some more insights about the new album.

Josh: Thank you very much for having us and also thanks to all the fans out there, supporting us. We look forward to coming to Europe to play some shows and make some new fans. So, thank you and see you on tour.

Interview with Mlny and Josh from ROYAL THUNDER

WOLFHEART tourdates and new album

Veröffentlicht am 5. Januar 2017 von Markus W. in Wolfheart, News, Tour, Live, Doom Metal, Death Metal, Heavy Metal, Black Metal, Extreme Metal, Spinefarm Records

Wolfheart announced a new album called 'Tyhjyys" which means 'emptiness'. The record will be released on March 3rd via Spinefarm Records.

Furthermore the band's on tour as we speak. Here are the dates:

WOLFHEART tourdates and new album