Markus' Heavy Music Blog

My world of music - est. 2013

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FATES WARNING announces live album

Veröffentlicht am 19. April 2018 von Markus W. in Fates Warning, News, Live, InsideOut, Prog Metal, Power Metal, US Metal

FATES WARNING announces live album

Progressive Metal pioneers FATES WARNING are proud to announce the upcoming release of their new live album “Live Over Europe” on June 29th, 2018 via InsideOutMusic.

Gathered during the group’s most recent European headlining run for FATES WARNING’s much acclaimed latest studio album “Theories Of Flight” in January 2018, “Live Over Europe” includes recordings from 8 different cities (Aschaffenburg / Germany, Belgrade / Serbia, Thessaloniki and Athens / Greece, Rome and Milan / Italy, Budapest / Hungary as well as Ljubljana / Slovenia) and a total of 23 songs in over 138 minutes of playing time, spanning 30 years of the group’s seminal career.

“Live Over Europe” was mixed by Jens Bogren (Opeth, Kreator, Symphony X) and mastered by Tony Lindgren at Fascination Street Studios in Sweden and will be available as limited 2CD Mediabook, Gatefold 3LP + Bonus-2CD or as Digital Album.

Here is the complete track-listing for the release:

FATES WARNING – “Live Over Europe“

CD 1:

1. From the Rooftops

2. Life in Still Water

3. One

4. Pale Fire

5. Seven Stars

6. SOS

7. Pieces of Me

8. Firefly

9. The Light and Shade of Things

10. Wish

11. Another Perfect Day

12. Silent Cries

13. And Yet it Moves

CD 2:

1. Still Remains

2. Nothing Left to Say

3. Acquiescence

4. The Eleventh Hour

5. Point of View

6. Falling

7. A Pleasant Shade of Gray, Pt. IX

8. Through Different Eyes

9. Monument

10. Eye to Eye

 

FATES WARNING vocalist Ray Alder checked in with the following comment about “Live In Europe“:

“We would like to thank each and every one of our fans that helped us make "Live Over Europe. We had a great time making this album and we hope that you enjoyed the shows as much as we did playing them!“

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CD review ROSS THE BOSS "By Blood Sworn"

Veröffentlicht am 11. April 2018 von Markus W. in Ross The Boss, Manowar, Power Metal, Heavy Metal, US Metal, CD Review, AFM, By Blood Sworn, News

CD review ROSS THE BOSS "By Blood Sworn"

(8/10) Ross Friedman started as guitarist, playing in a punk band called The Dictators. After having release three longplayers with this outfit the guitarist moved to Europe and joined Shakin’ Street which supported Black Sabbath their “Heaven and Hell”-tour. It was this tour that brought Friedman and DeMaio into contact which was the kick-start of Manowar. Friedman was part of Manowar’s glorious rise, a time when records such as “Into Glory Ride” and “Battle Hymns” have seen the light of day.

“Kings of Metal” was the last record Friedman was part of before he left Manowar and started quite some years later with Ross The Boss his own metal powerhouse. The debut “New Metal Leader” has been unveiled in 2008, and ten years later it’s the formidable “By Blood Sworn” that will delight metal fans all over the place.

Ross The Boss’ third album features ten songs, combining power metal a la Virgin Steele and the Manowar roots to a great total. “By Blood Sworn” doesn’t know any filler. There’s the epical “Faith of the Fallen” next to high-speed tunes like “Fistful of Hate. Most of the songs though are kept in medium pace and fire on all cylinders. You shouldn’t miss the very well-crafted title track with singer Marc Lopez showing all his metal siren skills. The high-pitch screams are just awesome, followed by the grooving “Among the Bones” which is another highlight on an album full of killer songs.

“By Blood Sworn” is a treat for every power metal fan that grew up with bands like Manowar and Virgin Steele, but also enjoyed the sound of groups like Liege Lord and Co.. This longplayer is pure metal power.

 

(8/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. By Blood Sworn
  2. Among The Bones
  3. This Is Vengeance
  4. We Are the Night
  5. Faith of the Fallen
  6. Devil's Day
  7. Lilith
  8. Among The Godz
  9. Circle of Damnation
  10. Fistful of Hate
  11. Each Dawn I Die
  12. The Oath
  13. Hail and Kill

 

Label: AFM Records

Genre: Heavy Metal

Release Date EU: April 20th, 2018

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Good news for FIFTH ANGEL fans

Veröffentlicht am 4. April 2018 von Markus W. in Fifth Angel, Power Metal, US Metal, Melodic Metal, Heavy Metal, Metal Blade, News, Time Will Tell

Good news for FIFTH ANGEL fans

Fifth Angel is one of the best melodic Heavy Metal bands of all times! Both their first two albums are true classics and have stood the test of time easily.

Fifth Angel released their self-titled debut album in 1986, the successor 'Time Will Tell' was released in 1989. Both albums have been out of print for a while and will get a luxury treatment for these re-issues. Expect the following on release date, May 18th!

Fifth Angel - 'Fifth Angel'
• Digi-CD
• 180g black vinyl
• grey marbled vinyl (EU exclusive - ltd. 300)
• orange/red splattered vinyl (EU exclusive - ltd. 200)

Fifth Angel - 'Time Will Tell'
• Digi-CD
• 180g black vinyl
• transparent lime-green vinyl (EU exclusive - ltd. 300)
• white/black splattered vinyl (EU exclusive - ltd. 200)

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CD review LEATHER "II"

Veröffentlicht am 1. April 2018 von Markus W. in Leather, Leather Leone, Power Metal, Heavy Metal, US Metal, CD Review, High Roller Records, News, Chastain

CD review LEATHER "II"

(8/10) American metal queen Leather Leone is one of the most iconic female metal singers from the US. She has an extremely powerful voice that fits very well to metal music and it was guitar wizard David T. Chastain who saw the potential coming with Leone. She did some longplayers with Chastain and her harsher way of singing was an excellent counterpart to Chastain's filigree guitar play.

It was in 1989 when Leather revealed her first solo album and almost 30 years later a next strike hits the record shops. Simply entitled "II" the album brings back a late 80's metal vibe. The eleven new songs on "II" are well-done traditional metal tracks that benefit from Leather's vocals. She's as good as she was in the earlier days and neither power nor dynamic have got lost over time.

Power metal and heavy metal fans will be highly pleased by this longplayer. Songs like the Priest-reminding "The Outsider" and the uptempo tracks like "The One" and "Juggernaut" are terrific ones and even the calmer moments are very well-done. "Annabelle" is a half-ballad, which shows that Leone can easily handle this kind of tracks without any problem.

All in all "II" became a strong metal release that I haven't expected to be that good.  This longplayer is a positive surprise that you should have heard. Thumbs up Mrs. Leone.

 

(8/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Juggernaut
  2. The Outsider
  3. Lost at Midnite
  4. Black Smoke
  5. The One
  6. Annabelle
  7. Hidden in the Dark
  8. Sleep Deep
  9. Let Me Kneel
  10. American Woman
  11. Give me Reason

 

Label: High Roller Records

Genre: Heavy Metal

Release Date EU: April 13th, 2018

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New bands confirmed for this years ROCK HARD festival

Veröffentlicht am 16. März 2018 von Markus W. in Rock Hard Festival, News, Thrash Metal, Power Metal, US Metal, Hardrock, Death Metal, Armored Saint, Memorian, Axel Rudi Pell, Coroner, Live, Tour

New bands confirmed for this years ROCK HARD festival

Four more bands have been confirmed for this years Rock Hard festival. No less than US metal legends Armored Saint will play at Rock Hard festival as well as thrash pioneers Cornoner. Furthermore local hero Axel Rudi Pell is confirmed and last but not least death metal powerhouse Memoriam will tear down the house.

The festival will take place between May 18th and May 20th in Gelsenkirchen, Germany. Further details see link below.

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CD review VISIGOTH "Conqueror's Oath"

Veröffentlicht am 8. Februar 2018 von Markus W. in Visigoth, Conqueror's Oath, Power Metal, Heavy Metal, NWoBHM, US Metal, Metal Blade, News, CD Review

CD review VISIGOTH "Conqueror's Oath"

(8/10) It was three years ago, when Visigoth debuted with “The Revenant King”. The album was acclaimed by fans and media who were hungry for traditional metal. Such a positive response was motivation enough to continue the journey. It the guys 36 month to reach the next cornerstone, which is the new album. And here it is.

“Conqueror’s Oath” is the title of Visigoth sophomore record, comprising of eight new epic metal tracks. The album feels like a logical next step for the powerhouse from Salt Lake City, Utah. As well as the tunes from the predecessor also the new material is reflecting pure metal power that has its roots in the NWoBHM as well as in US power metal from the late eighties. In that sense Visigoth reminds of days when metal gained momentum every week without getting across as being outdated.

Songs to recommend are the opener with its melodic chorus and lot of riff power. “Warrior Queen” reminded me of the earlier Stormwitch while the uptempo “Outlive Them All” reflects the NWoBHM in a perfect fashion with leads that make you think about the earlier Iron Maiden.

“Traitor’s Gate” is with almost seven minutes a longer tune with an epic approach abd it's “Blades of the Night” that acts as a well-placed counterpart. It’s a fast and furious tune with sharp solo parts and a breathless tempo. Thumbs up.

The album closes with the title track that also belongs to the epic moments on the album. It’s another seven minutes anthem that shows the entire beauty of traditional power metal.

The quintet from Salt Lake City doesn’t have an approach of starting a metal revolution. Their strength is authentic metal, inspired by bands like Omen, Cirith Ungol and Iron Maiden. If you get excited by vintage riff power that still sounds fresh and vital you should listen to this album. Eight points go the Visigoth.

 

(8/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Steel and Silver
  2. Warrior Queen
  3. Outlive Them All
  4. Hammerforged
  5. Traitor’s Gate
  6. Salt City
  7. Blades in the Night
  8. The Conqueror’s Oath

 

Label: Metal Blade

Genre: Heavy Metal

Release Date EU: February 9th, 2018

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CD review WHITE WIZZARD "Infernal Overdrive"

Veröffentlicht am 5. Januar 2018 von Markus W. in White Wizzard, Infernal Overdrive, News, Heavy Metal, NWoBHM, Power Metal, US Metal, M-Theory, CD Review

CD review WHITE WIZZARD "Infernal Overdrive"
(8/10) White Wizzard from California debut in 2010 with "Over the Top". Two  more longplayers followed and it was in early 2017 when White Wizzard mainman Jon Leon announced a new album. "Infernal Overdrive" also stand for the return of no less than frontman Wyatt Anderson and guitarist James J. LaRue, both being White Wizzard veterans from the early days of this metal powerhouse.
 

It’s a fulminant drum beat that kicks-off the album, followed by a powerful riff, all introducing the opener “Infernal Overdrive”. One of the biggest assets of White Wizzard is the mentioned return of singer Wyatt Anderson. The moniker ‘Screaming Demon’ says it all. This man is a metal siren in the best meaning of the word, enriching each of the nine songs that made it on the album.

Next to the frontman it’s the melodic guitar leads that give the album its liveliness. Reminding of bands like Iron Maiden the four-piece band also shows some US metal roots, all leading to a surprisingly good metal record.

The quartet keeps some songs short and crispy with other tracks reaching an epic length. The masterpiece in this context comes at the end and is entitled “The Illusion’s Tears”. Eleven minutes of length show the entire capabilities of this US powerhouse. Starting calm and melodic it’s again Anderson’s voice that plays a crucial role. As not expected different the song slowly builds up. It takes quite a while till the closer breaks the pattern of melody and harmony. It’s the last two minutes that mark an outburst, again with some Maiden-references in the guitar melodies.

White Wizzard sound good when being spot-on, but it’s the longer tracks being the real treat that comes with this longplayer. Tunes like “Voyage of the Wolf Raiders” and the furious “Critical Mass” include everything traditional metal is asking for.

In case you’re looking for high-pitch screams, great vocal lines, crispy riffs and a pounding rhythm you should give “Infernal Overdrive” a fair chance. You will not be disappointed.

 

(8/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Infernal Overdrive
  2. Storm the Shores
  3. Pretty Nay
  4. Chasing Dragons
  5. Votage of the Wolf Raiders
  6. Critical Mass
  7. Cocoon
  8. Metamorphosis
  9. The Illusion’s Tears

 

Label: M-Theory Audio

Genre: Heavy Metal

Release Date EU: January 12th, 2018

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FATES WARNING announces European tour dates

Veröffentlicht am 13. Dezember 2017 von Markus W. in Fates Warning, Tour, Live, Prog Metal, Power Metal, US Metal, Heavy Metal, News, InsideOut

FATES WARNING announces European tour dates

Prog metal pioneers Fates Warning announced some tour dates for Europe.

All of the upcoming European shows will be recorded for a live release to be mixed by Jens Bogren, who last worked with FATES WARNING on their “Theories Of Flight” studio album. The band commented the live release plans as follows:

“It's been 20 years since we released our only live album, “Still Life”. It's time for an update! In January we'll be recording a series of shows in some of our favorite European cities. The best of these will be included in a live album to be released in 2018. While we haven't decided on the final set list yet we're planning on about a 2 hour set with as little overlap as possible with the “Still Life” album. Hope to see you all there!” – Jim Matheos / FATES WARNING

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CD review LUCIFER'S HAMMER "Victory is Mine" - EP

Veröffentlicht am 27. November 2017 von Markus W. in Lucifer's Hammer, Heavy Metal, Power Metal, US Metal, NWoBHM, CD Review, Shadow Kingdom, News

CD review LUCIFER'S HAMMER "Victory is Mine" - EP

(9/10) Lucifer‘s Hammer is hailing from Santiago, Chile and could be, next to Procession, the next metal band from South America‘s West Coast that could reach a bigger international fanbase.

Lucifer‘s Hammer, that is Titan, Hades and Hypnos. Looking on these psydomeums could give the impresssion of being confronted with harsh black metal - wrong asumption. The trio is into traditional heavy metal being very much inspired by the NWoBHM. 

The band started in 2012 and published a debut entitled „Beyond the Omens“ in 2016. To keep the momentum going the trio worked on a next release which is the 4-track EP „Victory is Mine“. I have to admit that I belong to the group of metalheads that missed the debut. The more I was positively surprised of what reached my ears with this disc. Blistering riffs, excellent vocallines, heavy pounding drums and roaring bass brings back memories from a time when Iron Maiden started their incredibely successful metal adventure.

Lucifer‘s Hammer stands for the next generation, celebrating metal that comes from the heart and dark soul. If you want to get an idea of what the band spounds like you should listen to the epic „Thousand Nights“. It‘s a seven minutes anthem that reminds of the „Rime of the Ancient Mariner“. I don‘t need to say more. If you consider yourself as being a real metalhead you should cLl this EP your own.

 

(9/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. The Valley of the Shadow of Death / Justice denied
  2. Thousand Nights (O.O.T.S)
  3. Warriors of the Storm
  4. The Destroyer

 

Label: Shadow Kingdom Records

Genre: Heavy Metal

Release Date EU: 

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CD review PROCESSION "Doom Decimation"

Veröffentlicht am 16. Oktober 2017 von Markus W. in Procession, NWoBHM, Heavy Metal, Classic Metal, News, CD Review, High Roller Records, Doom Metal, Oldschool, Power Metal, US Metal

CD review PROCESSION "Doom Decimation"

(9/10) It was in 2010 when a band, I haven’t heard of before, all of a sudden appeared on the scene with an album that was jaw-dropping good. Procession was the name of this quartet that came from Chile, sending a strong metal message to the world. “Destroyers of the Faith” was the longplayer with which the band debut, followed by the sophomore “To Reap Heavens Apart”, which was at least as good as the debut.

In the meantime Procession, or better said their main man Felipe Plaza, relocated to Sweden, a country with a big and vital metal scene – from mainstream to underground. In such an environment inspiration is everywhere and still Plaza decided to work on recording the new longplayer in Chile. Doing this allowed the band to fully focus on the new album as well as it underlines the South America roots of Procession rather tah being seen as a 'European metal band'.

“Doom Decimation” is an album that perfectly fits into the bands discography. In total nine new songs will be a delight for traditional metal fans as well as it should be checked by worshipers of doom metal.

After the short and intense “The Warning” it’s the metal smasher “When Doomsday Has Come” that marks a first highlight on this release. The tune is a moderate paced traditional metal track that’s done in a perfect fashion. Powerful and with full engagement the quartet celebrates metal in perfection.

After such a start Procession puts a foot on the break with “Lonely are the Ways of the Stranger”. Doom metal is what you get with this exciting song before “Amidst the Bowles of Earth” leaves you slack-jawed again. Pace is still rather low, but compared with the earlier song I hear more melodic metal and US metal that’s embedded in this long but not lengthy number.

After a calm intro, “Democide” reveals again the mighty riffs in slo-mo before Procession shifts gears. “All Descending Suns” is an uptempo number that acts as a refreshing counterpart to the before mentioned tracks. And just to keep the arc of suspense high two more songs with finest quality follows of which the epical “One by One They Die” ends the album in a perfect manner. Eight minutes of old-fashioned but not dusted metal stand for the last chapter on this album that guarantees a continuation of Procession’s great work up-to-date. Heavy metal fans will love this album that proves that you get great music if passion rules the game. You wonder why it's not these kind of acts that get the support slots for bands like e.g. Iron Maiden and Co.. They would have deserved it.

 

(9/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. The Warning
  2. When Doomsday has Come
  3. Lonely are the Ways of the Stranger
  4. Amidst the Bowels of Earth
  5. Democide
  6. All Descending Suns
  7. As They Reached the Womb
  8. One by One They Died

 

Label: High Roller Records

Genre: Doom Metal

Release Date EU: October 31st, 2017

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CD review WITHERFALL "Nocturnes and Requiems"

Veröffentlicht am 3. Oktober 2017 von Markus W. in Witherfall, Adam Sagan, Prog Metal, Heavy Metal, US Metal, News, CD Review, Power Metal

CD review WITHERFALL "Nocturnes and Requiems"

(8/10) Witherfall has a background that began in 2013 when guitarist Jake Dreyer, singer Joseph Michael and drummer Adam Sagan began to write songs as a collective. Bassist Anthony Crawford completed the line-up later on and the quartet began turning their ideas into songs for the band’s debut. All this started to happen in 2014, leading to a ready-made album entitled “Nocturnes and Requiems”, Witherfall’s debut album.

Normally the first release of a band is a moment of party, joy, celebration and happiness. Things are slightly different with “Nocturnes and Requiems”. The longplayer is linked to the sad story of including the last contribution of Adam Sagan, who passed away in December 2016. All of a sudden “Witherfall’s fantastic debut became an homage to the talented drummer, with the album’s title being an idea of Sagan. This is, in a nutshell, the sad story behind this album.

But next to that, the longplayer is a terrific piece of music that reminds very much of Nevermore.  “Nocturnes and Requiems” has enough of an own identity to shine with multi-layered power metal tunes, all of them being jaw dropping good.

The album kicks-off very well. The opener “Portrait” and the following “What We are Dying For” are awesome power metal tracks, both merging energetic metal and integrated musical finesse to a great total with calmer moments being present on the debut too. Witherfall has with “The Great Awakening” an acoustic track embedded, surrounded by metal smashers. The contrast between the mentioned number and the following “End of Time” couldn’t be bigger. It’s a wild guitar part in a neo-classic fashion, that opens the latter, being the starting point for a nine minutes epos that constantly switches between big harmonies, wild leads and awesome vocal lines.

Nevermore fans should check out this longplayer. Witherfall delivered an excellent album that is, based on Sagan demise, a unique moment in metal that’s very much worth to be listened to.

 

(8/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Portrait
  2. What We are Dying For
  3. Act II
  4. Sacrifice
  5. The Great Awakening
  6. End of Time
  7. Finale
  8. Nobody Sleeps Here…

 

Label: Century Media

Genre: Progressive Power Metal

Release Date EU: October 6th, 2017

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CD review JAG PANZER "The Deviant Chord"

Veröffentlicht am 14. September 2017 von Markus W. in Jag Panzer, Heavy Metal, Power Metal, US Metal, News, Steamhammer, SPV

CD review JAG PANZER "The Deviant Chord"

(9/10) One of the most exciting news this year was the one of Jag Panzer working on a new longplayer. The power metal legend, that released ground breaking records like “Ample Destruction”, had a second peak period in the beginning of this century before radio-silence took over after their latest record entitled “The Scourge of Light”. With the exception of a boxed set in 2013 nothing new has seen the light of day. This period finally finds an end on September 29th, the release date of “The Deviant Chord”.

Things didn’t look too positive between 2011 and 2013 with band members leaving the band which almost led to a breakup. Due to an extremely strong fan base and a still big request for the longplayers things reached a turning point, leading to a comeback album which is the first one in a six years period.

The first good news with this album is the fact that the ‘old’ folks are back in the line-up since 2013 and “The Deviant Chord” is the first longplayer after many years that includes next to Mark Briody, John Tetley, Rikard Stjernquist  and Harry “The Tyrant” Conklin also guitar wizard Joe Tafolla.

“The Deviant Chord” gets out of the blocks very well. “Born on the Flame” is an uptempo track with ‘The Tyrant’ at his best, surrounded by sharp guitars and a powerful rhythm section. The galloping “Far Beyond All Fear” follows and adds a more multi-layered approach to this longplayer.

It’s the sound of a musical clock that starts the title track. Some acoustic guitars take over, together with Conklin’s soulful vocals. After almost two minutes a mighty riff breaks the harmony, introducing the heavy pounding part of this excellent tune. Another highlight, amongst all the other good stuff on this album, is the spot-on “Blacklist”, merging power and melody into great total.

A number that stands out from the rest is “Foggy Dew” in which Jag Panzer adds a Celtic folk vibe to their metal sound which actually works very well. This song has the potential to become a part of a Jag Panzer live set and will create more than a good mood. After this little excursion “Divine Intervention” brings back the ambitious power metal we know from the band, before the band adds with “Long Awaited Kiss” a cinematic anthem to this longplayer. Calmer sections alternate with bombastic parts, all in a way that it fits together, leading to one of the best tracks on the album. To show the full width of sounds also in the second half of the album, Jag Panzer added with “Salacious Behavior” a straight-forward number to the tracklist. The songs is heavy and melodic and reminds, with the melodic leads, of Iron Maiden. Also ‘Fire of Our Spirit” and the moderate paced “Dare” fits perfect into the context, rounding off an exquisite metal record.

“The Deviant Chord” is the band’s tenth longplayer and, as with the others, it's again a milestone in power metal. The quintet is back in old strength and power. Passion and dedication, that’s what can be heard on the new longplayer and I have the feeling that this album gives the band a similar boost as it was with Metal Church when Mike Howe rejoined. It’s good to have one of the spearheads of US metal back in business, releasing new valuable songs that create a demand for seeing the band live on stage again.

 

(9/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Born of the Flame
  2. Far Beyond All Fear
  3. The Deviant Chord
  4. Blacklist
  5. Foggy Dew
  6. Divine Intervention
  7. Long Awaited Kiss
  8. Salacious Behaviors
  9. Fire of Our Spirit
  10. Dare

 

Label: Steamhammer/SPV

Genre: Power Metal

Release Date EU: September 29th, 2017

 

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Mark Briody talks about the new JAG PANZER album

Veröffentlicht am 6. September 2017 von Markus W. in Jag Panzer, Mark Briody, News, Heavy Metal, US Metal, Power Metal, Interview

US Metal veterans Jag Panzer do have a new longplayer right in the starting blocks. "The Deviant Chord" will be released end of September and is another highlight in the band's rich history of milestones. Markus' Heavy Music Blog had the chance to get some more details about the new longplayer.

Photo: Steamhammer/SPV (Promo)

Photo: Steamhammer/SPV (Promo)

Markus' Heavy Music Blog: First of all congratulation to another excellent Jag Panzer album. It’s great to have Jag Panzer back in metal, with “The Deviant Chord” being the first release after a six years period. How would you describe the new longplayer to fans?

Mark Biody: Thank you for the interview!  It’s always good to talk to people.  I would describe ‘The Deviant Chord’ as classic Jag Panzer with lots of variety.  We do a few different styles of classic metal on the album and I hope that people will find it interesting.

 

MHMB: “The Deviant Chord” sounds refreshing and dynamic. It feels very much like a matter of heart more than just ‘another album’. How do you see this?

Mark: I tossed aside more songs on this album than I ever had.  I probably threw away 70 songs or riffs that just didn’t connect with me.  So for me, this album is very much from my heart.  My band members as well put a lot of effort into ‘The Deviant Chord’.  Many of them came up with multiple versions of parts for the songs.  We all worked very hard on this album.

 

MHMB: In general, the new album is, with songs like “Black List”, in my opinion more spot-on while “The Scourge of the Light” was more complex. How do you see this?

Mark: I like to vary my songwriter in complexity all the time.  Sometimes I can really connect to complex music, while other times I want more straight ahead riffs.  I think that ‘The Deviant Chord’ is a little ‘in your face’ with the songwriting than on ‘The Scourge of the Light’.

 

MHMB: When I heard “Salacious Behavior” for the first time I immediately had to think of Iron Maiden, esp. in the verse. Is this a coincidence?

Mark: I think I can hear that as well.  Iron Maiden was a huge influence on my songwriting.  They were my favorite band during my early years learning to write songs.  Steve Harris is an amazing writer, he’s one of my biggest influences.

 

MHMB: The album means a comeback of Jag Panzer. Looking on the entire discography, how would you rank the album when it comes to importance?

Mark: It’s very difficult for me to attach ‘importance’ to an album.  For me an album is a slice in time, a snapshot of the band at that moment.  For me, this album is Jag Panzer 2017, it’s what we sound like right now.  It’s how we feel musically.

 

MHMB: How did the songwriting process look like, also thinking about Joey Tafolla being part of this album after 20 years?

Mark: Joey is a world-class shredding guitarist, but he is also a master of melody lines.  His playing really adds a lot to the music and not just in the guitar solos.  We both have similar influences (Rainbow, Sabbath with Dio) so that really helps us make our guitar parts work together.

 

MHMB: You decided to release “Foggy Dew” as a lyric video, taken from the new album. Why did you guys decided to go for this song?

Mark: It was more of just me deciding instead of a band decision.  Lol!  That is a song I grew up with that my Father used to sing.  It’s very special to me.  I like our version of it too.  Since I do the lyric videos it was my choice to pick it.

 

MHMB: You described your personal attachment to “Foggy Dew” since your father sang it often. Did this fact make it easier or more difficult to arrange a Jag Panzer version?

Mark: It was easier because I have had this arrangement in my head for many many years.  I was probably 18 years old when I started hearing a metal arrangement for it.  So actually it was one of the easier songs to record on the new album.

 

Photo: Steamhammer/SPV (Promo)

Photo: Steamhammer/SPV (Promo)

MHMB: Jag Panzer released excellent metal records on a constant base but never had a real breakthrough. Instead, the band can count on an extremely loyal fan base. Does this give you guys the freedom to write the authentic music you want to play instead of following advises and recommendations from others?

Mark: Yes, we just write what we want to write.  I don’t follow trends in heavy metal and I don’t really care who is selling lots of albums and who is not.  For me, songwriting and recording is about expressing my emotions and about the sound of the band at this moment.  We don’t take advice from other people about how we should sound. We have our own sound.

 

MHMB: A new album will be released in different formats – from mp3 to vinyl. That brings me to the question what you prefer, not only when it comes to “The Deviant Chord” of course?

Mark: I prefer vinyl.  I like the sound and I like the feel of it.  But I know there are downsides to it as well – vinyl isn’t ‘portable’ you can’t play it in your car, I can’t go running listening to vinyl.  I’m ok with mp3 for that, but my favorite is vinyl.

 

MHMB: Is there a chance that we can welcome Jag Panzer for some shows in Europe in the near future? Are there any plans at this stage?

Mark: We are planning some shows right now.  Concert and tour planning is the one part of the band that I do not have any input.  So I don’t know when or where we are playing, but I can tell you I am very excited to take these songs on tour!

 

MHMB: Is there anything more you want to mention to readers of Markus' Heavy Music Blog?

Mark: Thank you!  Thank you to the fans for listening to our music and seeing us play live.  THANKS!

 

MHMB: Mark, thanks a lot for spending some time with Markus’ Heavy Music Blog. I hope to see you and the band in Europe soon

Mark Briody talks about the new JAG PANZER album
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CD review ARGUS "From Fields of Fire"

Veröffentlicht am 3. September 2017 von Markus W. in Argus, Power Metal, US Metal, Heavy Metal, NWoBHM, Cruz Del Sur, Rock

CD review ARGUS "From Fields of Fire"

(8/10) Argus debut with a self-titled album in 2009 , followed by two more longplayers and some EP's. Each of these longplayers provides  a solid portion of metal for fans of powerful music. The quintet plays a mix of classic metal which they combine with some doom parts as well and there is a more epic component weaved in. Also the new album, entitled "From Fields of Fire" isn't an exception when it comes to these trademarks. 

An intro and an outro frames seven more traditional metal tracks with an oldschool vibe and expression; songs that are merciless without getting across as being 'dusty'. Argus manages to transfer this kind of music, that had a first peak in the early 80's, into the here and now. 

The heart of the album is the extremely long „Infinite Lives Infinite Doors“. Argus is anyhow a band that doesn’t look for the short and cripsy tunes. With the exception of the intro and outro things became pretty long. Six minutes running time per song is the averge with "Infinite Lives Infinite Doors“ standing out as an eleven minutes epos. Keeping a certain level of suspense over such a long running time means that some songwriting finesse is needed. The quintet adds it by kicking-off the tune with heavy riffing and Balich’s powerful metal vocals. This mixture of power metal and US metal turns into something calmer after a few minutes. Acoustic sounds take over for a while before the track slowly builds up again to a dynamic metal beast.

Talking about louder and calmer means also that I have to mention „No Right to Grieve“. Even though I don’t like the word ‚power ballad‘, this one is such a number that starts slow and silent, ending up as an intense and energetic metal track.

„From Fields of Fire“ is an album that will be loved by fans of traditional heavy metal. If you’re a person that likes mighty riffs, galloping beats and wide-range vocals with emotional depth, you should check out this longplayer. 

 

(8/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Into the Fields of Fire 
  2. Devils of Your Time 
  3. As a Thousand Thieves 
  4. 216 
  5. You Are the Curse 
  6. Infinite Lives Infinite Doors 
  7. Hour of Longing 
  8. No Right to Grieve 
  9. From the Fields of Fire 

 

Label: Cruz Del Sur

Genre: Heavy Metal

Release Date EU: September 8th, 2017

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