Posts Tagged “Last Decade”

Finnish melodic metallers SONATA ARCTICA have parted ways with bassist Marko Paasikoski.

Says Marko in a statement: “I have come to a situation in my life where being a part of a touring band is not an option for me anymore and it’s time to explore other things.

“I wish to thank all the fans and my bandmates for all the good times, great shows and adventures that we have had over the last decade. The memories from this time will stay with me forever but at the moment I don’t have the motivation or the passion that is required to be in the band so it’s better for all parties involved that we go our separate ways. I wish all the best for the guys.”

Added the remaining members of the band: “”We understand Marko‘s decision and this is, of course, a thing that we have talked about during the last tour. We appreciate Marko being a stand-up guy and finishing up the ‘Stones Grow Her Name’ world tour. Thank you, Marko, for all these years and best of luck and fortunes with your future endeaveurs. We’ll miss you, bro.

“Our new bass player is Pasi Kauppinen (SILENT VOICES, ex-REQUIEM, WINTERBORN). We’ve known him for many years and he has mixed both our DVDs as well as recorded parts of our last three studio albums. He will join the band starting with the upcoming album.

SONATA ARCTICA will start rehearsing in September and enter the studio in October. The new studio album will be out next spring with a world tour to follow.”

According to Timo Isoaho of Finland’s Soundi magazine, SONATA ARCTICA vocalist Tony Kakko has written around 50 songs for the follow-up to 2012’s “Stones Grow Her Name”, with plans to track and mix the effort over a three-month period.

Regarding the musical direction of SONATA ARCTICA‘s next CD, Kakko told Soundi that he has come up with some “diverse and versatile” material this time around, and that “at least the slower and heavier stuff will find its place on next record.” The band is planning to make a slightly heavier and “more metal” album than “Stones Grow Her Name”, which was certified gold in Finland for sales in excess of 10,000 copies. Kakko also revealed that he has composed a 10-minute song for the new SONATA ARCTICA LP, but he wasn’t sure if the track was going to make its way onto the finished product.

Released in Europe on May 18, 2012 and in North America on May 22, 2012 via Nuclear Blast Records, “Stones Grow Her Name” was recorded in several studios all over Finland, mixed at Sonic Pump Studios by Mikko Karmila and mastered at Chartmakers by Svante Forsbäck. The effort was released as a limited-edition digipak, standard jewel case, vinyl and download.

“Stones Grow Her Name” sold around 2,100 copies in the United States in its first week of release. The CD landed at position No. 9 on the Top New Artist Albums (Heatseekers) chart, which lists the best-selling albums by new and developing artists, defined as those who have never appeared in the Top 100 of The Billboard 200.

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Formed when its members were still too young to buy a pint, forward-thinking Norwegians Leprous have been honing their technical, soaring, exuberant, and often impossible-to-label sound over the last decade, impressing critics and fans alike with their dynamic sound. So convincing is their musicianship and vision, in fact, that ex-Emperor frontman and prog metal giant Ihsahn recruited the group en masse to become his live band, working frequently with the group and appearing on their recordings, including their latest – and arguably greatest – opus, Coal. Despite such connections, Leprous remain an exotic and often puzzling proposition, blending metal traits with a host of other inspirations and aesthetic choices to create a unique and mesmerising experience.

“I think in the early days it’s fair to say we had a lot of inspiration from Opeth, Pain of Salvation, Porcupine Tree, Mars Volta, Dillinger Escape Plan, King Crimson and so on,” ponders lead vocalist and keyboard player Einar Solberg, “but I think in the last couple of albums we have become less directly inspired by other bands. It’s a mixture of everything we hear – even something we don’t know on the radio – and the fact that everyone in the band is involved in the writing of the songs that gives it an interesting mix.”

Indeed, while the group have seen comparisons to pretty much all the bands Einar mentions (and personally we would also add Devin Townsend and countrymen Shining to the list), Leprous are somewhat hesitant to label their own sound.

“I guess we are in the genre of progressive metal,” Einar laughs, “even though that is a pretty wide description. We started life as a metal band and have been taking whatever comes to mind when it comes to inspiration from other genres…we take influence from black metal, classical, rock music, pop music, so I think it’s difficult to describe the music we play, you have to listen to it. We are not just trying to copy another progressive metal band but are doing what I think the genre should be striving to do; to progress, to make something new and interesting and different from what you’ve done earlier.”

The band are certainly doing something new, with every part of the Leprous experience – music, live performance, even band photos – carrying a distinctly eccentric charm. But one question remains – why call the new (and possibly breakthrough) album ‘Coal’?

“It’s a nice metaphor because coal and diamonds are made from the same material,” Einar replies, “and it’s about how you use what’s given to you that turns it into what you end up. That’s true in life, but also with the album because we have the ideas but it’s how we put everything together that gives you the final result.”

Coal is out now via InsideOut

Interview by Dayal Patterson

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MCR: Gone but not forgotten, whatever you think of them

The recent news that My Chemical Romance are calling it quits after over a decade together was met with hysterical dismay by their biggest fans and vitriolic jubilation by their fiercest critics. But should we really be rejoicing in the demise of a band that undeniably changed the landscape of heavy music – and arguably for the better? Tom Doyle investigates…

So then, My Chemical Romance have announced their decision to split some 12 years after lead singer and mischief-maker-in-chief Gerard Way formed the band in the wake of the September 11th attacks.  Now that the dust has had a chance to settle, what better time to have a look at why MCR were such an important band in the story of the last decade of rock music and why metal fans, whether you like the music they produced or not, ought to care about the New Jersey quintet?

Firstly, they were a band with a firm grasp on the concept of spectacle. Their penchant for military regalia owed more than a little to Iron Maiden and the pomp and circumstance they brought to their at times knockabout punk gave it a widescreen appeal that took them to stadia across the globe – they weren’t nicknamed “Queen Day” for no reason. This is why Metal Hammer were the first mag in the UK to put them on our cover; because we could see what everyone would eventually see, that they were turning what they had into something greater than the sum of its parts.

MCR on the cover of Hammer back in 2007

Another crucial facet of MCR’s enduring charm was the role they fulfilled for their fans throughout their career. Every now and then a genuinely tribalising band come along; in the world of metal for the last 15+ years it has been Slipknot, in the world of pop-punk and ‘emo’ (or whatever you want to call it) it was MCR. These bands induce something in their fans beyond the regular adoration. To call one of these bands your own feels defining and all-consumingly powerful. Maggots and The MCRmy – not so dissimilar.

That tribalism can be a powerful force for self-definition, but be under no illusions, it is quality that is ultimately the most important thing, regardless of what specific creed of rock music the band in question are from. Hammer straddles many of those creeds; from power metal to powerviolence and beyond, it is only right that we take an embracing rather than exclusive stance.

MCR were a genuinely vital band and capable on their day of winning over fans from all corners of our diverse family. As a lover of music (as each one of you reading this surely is), it is important not to get bogged down in the seemingly ever more divided lines of sub-genre warfare. That way, dogma lies. Put it this way: apples are lovely, but you wouldn’t want to eat them all the time, would you? There’s nothing wrong with trying an orange every once in a while.

Maybe even more important than all of this, though, is the band’s relationship with the ‘mainstream press’. When vile hate rag The Daily Mail set its sights on tarring Chem’s fans as a cult of self-harming devil worshippers, it was no different to Christians Against Slipknot or Tipper Gore having a pop at Dee Snider. What was heartening to see was a group of fans, some very young, prepared to stand up for themselves and what they believed in – the right to listen to whatever they wanted to and express themselves however they see fit.

MCR’s penchant for military-inspired garb and sense of showmanship in the ‘Black Parade’ era drew comparisons to everyone from Queen to Marilyn Manson

They marched and they caused a fuss and exposed the Mail as the reactionary prats that they are – “Long live The Black Parade, we’ll listen to what we fucking want”. MCR fans weren’t prepared to take any shit, and for that we should all salute them. That’s what rock music is all about; an outsider culture that we should all be ready to stand up for and defend. My Chemical Romance mobilised this intense feeling of belonging in a new generation of fans, and for that alone they should be applauded.

Do you agree with Tom’s thoughts? Are MCR are band that we, as rock fans, should embrace? Head over to our Facebook page and let us know what you think.

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Deftones: Diamond geezers

Last night, Deftones wrapped up their UK tour with a blinding gig at London’s Brixton Academy, supported by the amazing Letlive. Out Steve was there to see it all kick off…

Despite all of their well-documented troubles, Deftones have always managed to headline venues the size of Brixton throughout the 21st century. – proof that they are one of metal’s most consistently respected and revered bands. With last year’s Koi No Yokan superbly following up modern classic Diamond Eyes, this is, quite possibly, the most anticipated tour of the year so far…

Openers 3 Paper Tigers offer an intriguing beginning, their crystallised electro post-rock is striking if not especially instant and could well be mistaken for Kraftwerk being molested by Pelican. Worth keeping an eye on.

You’d need more than one eye to keep up with Jason Butler. The Letlive singer is a wired, ticking time-bomb of a frontman and his performance alone is enough to turn his band from a good live act into a stunning one. He’s in the crowd, oops he’s under the carpet onstage, OOOH!, he just did a forward flip, AAH!, he’s playing a smashed up guitar with his microphone! All this tomfoolery would count for nought if Letlive didn’t have some of the best post-hardcore tunes of the last decade, but seeing Jason vandalise Brixton over the top of the Glassjaw/Refused amalgam of Renegade ‘86 and Muther is undeniably thrilling. Sadly the sound system doesn’t want to play along, rendering much unintelligible, and preventing the set from being stamped with the epithet “Impossible To Follow’.

It’s still a challenge laid down for Deftones, though. Not that they’ve ever been afraid of that; previous UK tours have seen them supported by critically lauded bands like Far, Glassjaw, Will Haven, Therapy? and… um… Linkin Park. Yet, they’ve never been upstaged. They’ve pushed past the corpse of grunge, walked away from the rubble of nu-metal, swatted off the challenge of metalcore, emo, djent and any other subgenre you care to mention, untouched by passing trends. When opener Diamond Eyes signals their arrival, the crowd nearly dismember themselves to its mountainous grooves. Chino Moreno’s awesome vocals and presence is so effortlessly cool he makes Samuel L Jackson look like a cast member from The Big Bang Theory.

DJ Frank Delgado adds dashes of shade and colour. Abe Cunningham hits his drums as if they’ve said something rude about his mother. New(ish) bassist Sergio Vega adds a second visual focal point with his punk rock jumping bean persona. Stephen Carpenter brings the metal, thrashing out riffs so heavy they feel like cement being poured down your throat. New tracks like Poltergeist stand shoulder to shoulder alongside genuine classics Be Quiet And Drive and My Own Summer(Shove It). As amazing an opening as it is the sound system still tries to put a spanner in the works, and many of the latter material’s nuances are lost, meaning we lack the visceral thrill of seeing the band ploughing through Head Upor and dedicating the rarely heard Dai The Flu to former bassist Chi Cheng. But when the band encore with Engine No.9 and 7 Words the little niggles are forgotten. It’s amazing to think that these songs are 18 years old, both sounding as much of a raw primal scream now as they did when they were birthed. Has there been a better band born since those days? Certainly not one that has done it the hard way like Deftones.

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With the surprising news that Dorset doomlords Ramesses are to split with immediate effect, cancelling all future shows including that of Desertfest 2013, we looked back at a classic interview with the band from way back in Subterranea in 2010. Here we go….

There are a number of images that have been circulating round the globe like a virus for the last decade. While not all immediately recognisable, they carry a hardwired message that we can all understand. A brutal image of severed arms hanging from trees along with headless, gore-dripping cadavers, near a pile of roughly hacked-off heads. Mannequins of deformed children welded together, often with genitals instead of facial features, who leer at the viewer. The flickering CCTV images of a pair of children leading the toddler Jamie Bulger away from a shopping centre. Hitler in clown make-up… Man’s inhumanity to man, the environment and all other living things; the sheer indignity of life has been rubbed in our faces in a fresh and shocking manner by violent, unexpected and shockingly juxtaposed images. These are not the covers of grindcore albums or neo-BM t-shirts however, but works of modern art created by enfants terrible Jake and Dinos Chapman. But out of all of the horrific exhibitions they have created, towering above everything else they have done is a giant room-sized piece consisting of thousands and thousands of tiny models of dead and undead Nazis, committing every atrocious act of barbarism imaginable. It is called Fucking Hell.

Some of these images, showing lead figurines of a platoon of skeletons in Nazi uniform, have been ordained to act as cover art for Ramesses’ long-awaited second album, Take The Curse. Adam Richardson, singer and bassist in Dorset based psychedelic heavy doom outfit Ramesses explains what he sees in the work created by the controversial conceptual artists: “The full piece, Fucking Hell, is nine large Perspex cabinets with a scene in each and these cabinets are arranged in a large room in the shape of a Swastika. Basically it is a representation of hell. It is the Nazis trapped in their own hell or a hell of their own making, if it needs to be spelled out for you. I can imagine some people getting the totally wrong end of the stick with this artwork, but it’s interesting because when people see it, even if they don’t normally blaspheme and it’s just muttered under their breath, they always say, ‘Fucking hell!’ And then they might say it again without realising it. So it’s a piece of art where you end up saying its name without even realising you’re doing it…”

 

When Adam, an amiable stoner who used to be in Lord Of Putrefaction, formed the heavy psych doom outfit Ramesses in 2003 with founding Electric Wizard members Tim Bagshaw (guitar) and Mark Greening (drums), he promised himself that he was never going to take the easy route. This is something that is completely borne out by his attitude towards the band’s album artwork. Rather than construct something himself inspired by The Chapman Brothers (Adam is an artist and painted the cover to 2005′s EP The Tomb), he just decided to go directly to the source.

“I basically presented to Jake and Dinos Chapman a sacred package of artwork, which contained the whole Ramesses back catalogue on all formats and a handwritten letter on some wooden parchment. They got back in touch and said they loved the gift and really liked Ramesses. We got on like a house on fire. I said I’d like to use a photograph of their piece of art Fucking Hell on the new album and they basically said, ‘Our office is upstairs. Here’s a key to the room. There’s a computer in the corner and basically, it has two hard-drives full of images of just that piece and you can have whatever you want.’ I was in that office for four hours and looked at probably about 4,000 images and set about working out the next few sleeves which include the album, Take The Curse, and the EP, Baptism Of The Walking Dead, which came out last year. That sleeve was the first piece of album art they’d ever done and it was for a three-inch CD sleeve which folded out into an inverted cross.” He pauses for a second before adding, “I’m still as overwhelmed by all of this now as I was at the time.” And it has been some time since the album was finished. “It’s been a long hard, painful road making this record,” Adam admits. It was only when we got the record back that I read ‘Recorded August 2008′… it was unbearable. It was the best part of two years really.”

But the artwork wasn’t the problem, rather another aspect of their unconventional working procedure. He explains: “Basically, the guy who recorded the album [James Thompson] specialises in recording traditional Cuban music. That’s why we wanted him! Whatever we’ve just achieved as a band, we will probably turn on its head for the next record. So we did our debut with Billy Anderson [Misanthropic Alchemy 2007] and we loved what he did for us but we just wanted to have a completely different approach for the second record. So we thought that the best thing to do was to choose someone who didn’t even know what heavy metal was, let alone how to record it! And I think it’s worked really well.” But the shock of the misanthropic, doom-laden churnings of their (amazing) psychedelic second album, proved too much for the poor mambo expert:

“The only thing that held up the record was the guy recording it and pinning him down. He was in the studio for weeks on end and there were various points where we thought we were going to have to… go and get it off him. It got pretty ugly. Even I didn’t think it was going to get finished, let alone anyone else.” But he is quick to admit the wait was worth it: “Yeah, there is so much space to be heard on the record. Nothing seems buried in six feet of sludge. It sounds like it was recorded by someone who records… Cuban music! We all really like the clarity of it.” Some of this strange sound the album is formed from can also be explained by an unusual al fresco recording technique as well: “We recorded it in two days in a barn near a Tudor mansion in Essex. It’s actually the guys from Smashdown who sponsors us, the amp manufacturer. It’s their HQ. We started recording outdoors. You can hear a few bits and pieces where it was recorded outdoors but the weather turned and the wind got up.”

He grins and adds: “You can probably hear the odd startled crow in the background if you listen closely enough…” He adds that in fine doom tradition there are some noises, some horrific and churning emanations, that have crept onto the disc seemingly without the band’s input or knowledge. Whether searching for the ultra sludge with masses of valve amps and banks of pedals or when dropping in vocal samples from hissing old VHS tapes of cult English horror movies, some (un)happy sonic accidents occurred along the way:

“Yeah, there’s plenty of that every time we lay stuff down. Every time we’ve recorded something there’s at least three or four moments where we’ll all be looking at each other with our mouths open.” But what is no accident is the horrifically enjoyable combination of Ramesses’ ancient sounding doom and the Chapman Brothers’ modern, yet equally horrific, art.

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A look back at all of our video content throughout the year. Check out some of our highlights:
– Watch our On The Record documentary on the last decade in metal
– Watch Louder Education hosted by Testament‘s Alex Skolnick with huge special guests
– Watch our Interviews from REVOLVER Golden Gods 2012
– Catch up on ASK THE ARTIST
– All of our live footage from this year

Added by: metalinjection

Tags: metal injection
Date: 2012-12-27


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This December, The Netherlands’ raging trio Vanderbuyst will bring the party back to the rock scene full-on with third LP, “Flying Dutchmen.” The following press release was also issued:

“The surging energy of Flying Dutchmen will rocket forth onto the public worldwide this December 7th via Ván Records, the label responsible for bringing such acts as The Devil’s Blood, The Ruins Of Beverast, Nagelfar and others into the cult spotlight within the last decade, in addition to having unleashed Vanderbuyst’s 2010-released self-titled debut LP and 2011-released sophomore album, In Dutch.”

Vanderbuyst and Ván Records have also proudly revealed the first single and official video for the album’s tenth anthem, “Flying Dutchman,” which can be viewed below. The album’s track listing is as follows:

1. Frivolous Franny
2. Waiting In The Wings
3. Give Me One More Shot
4. The Butcher’s Knife
5. Tears Won’t Rinse
6. Never Be Clever
7. In Dutch
8. Johnny Got Lucky
9. Lecherous
10. Flying Dutchman
11. Welcome To The Night

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Scelerata has now revealed the cover artwork for new album “The Sniper,” which can be viewed below. The following press release was also issued:

“‘The Sniper,’ the new release from Scelerata, will undoubtedly turn heads, forcing metal icons to watch their rearview mirrors as these guys pull up fast with the nitrous afterburners firing! Testosterone infused, melodic power metal best describes their music, though there are also many moments showing a progressive edge and showcasing immense vocal talent.

“The Sniper presents a stunning vocal performance from Fabio Juan, showing a much more matured band that delivers a heavier more aggressive sound, beautifully mixing power metal and melodic progressive elements ranging from angst ridden lyrics of corruption to sorrowful love lost. The huge and intricate production makes this album a must hear for any true metal fan.

“The Sniper was produced, mixed and mastered by Charlie Bauerfeind with guitarist Renato Osorio. The album also features Andi Deris (Helloween) and Paul Di’Anno (ex-Iron Maiden) as very special guests, who not only sing but helped compose and co-write the songs. Scelerata got their start with their debut Darkness & Light which was released in 2006. It was mixed and mastered by Dennis Ward and featured guest appearances by Renato Borghetti (Accordeon), Edu Falaschi (Angra) and Thiago Bianchi (Shaman).

“The band followed up with their sophomore release Skeletons Domination in 2008. This effort was mixed and mastered by Charlie Bauerfeind (Helloween, Blind Guardian, Rage, Saxon, Halford, Hammerfall, Motorhead). Performing with giant names in rock and metal over the last decade, the band is looking forward to hitting the road soon on their own headlining tours.”

“The Sniper” is set for release on November 6th, 2012 via Nightmare Records and the album’s track listing is:

1. Rising Sun
2. In My Blood
3. Road To Death
4. Breaking The Chains
5. Unmasking Lies
6. Must Be Dreaming
7. Drowned In Madness
8. Welcome Home
9. ‘Til The Day We Die
10. Money Painted Red
11. The Sniper

North American CD exclusive bonus tracks re-recorded with new vocalist Fabio Juan:
12. Spell of Time (Bonus 2012)
13. Eminence (Bonus 2012)
14. Leave Me Alone (Live Bonus 2012)
15. Phoenix Tales (Live Bonus 2012)

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Rock music at political party conventions has become increasingly commonplace in the last decade or so, and the recent Democratic National Convention was no exception.

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Massacre Records has issued the following announcement about signing a new record deal with Soul Sacrifice:

“We’re delighted to welcome Soul Sacrifice from Istanbul to our family! The band was formed in 1997 by the two guitarists Maksim and Feyzi.

“Maksim also did the vocals in the early days of the band, before he was replaced as vocalist by Baris in 1999. In 2001, Sevan (former bassist) and Cagri (former drummer) joined the band. The band recorded their first demo, ‘A Gift From An Angel.’ But the line-up shouldn’t last forever. In 2003 Onur (drums) and Özgur joined the band as a bass player and vocalist.

“Soul Sacrifice mostly plays death metal with melodic tunes but their sound is also influenced by Turkish melodies and offers varied vocals.

“The debut album ‘Stranded Hate,’ released in 2005, was a huge success. Being named ‘the most successful live band in Turkey,’ they played countless gigs in Turkey over the last decade. They had the chance to share the stage with Slayer, In Flames, Kreator as well as Dio and were opening act for Orphaned Land, Dark Tranquillity and Arch Enemy.

“Their upcoming album ‘Carpe Mortem’ was mixed and mastered by the legendary Dan Swanö and is going to be released on June 29, 2012 via Massacre Records.”

The band has also already shot a video clip for the new song “Comatose,” which is available at this location.

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