Posts Tagged “Quite Some Time”

KATATONIA and OPETH have historically been muttered in the same breath as fellow impresarios of fugue metal, even if the former hasn’t been anything remotely close to metal in quite some time. Of course, the bands shared Mikael Åkerfeldt through the Nineties, so they were bound to share the spotlight as well. Over the years, however, the two bands have become divisible even while rolling as touring mates. Since “Discouraged Ones” and “Last Fair Deal Gone Down”, KATATONIA have taken ongoing steps away from a pure metal path. OPETH continues to embrace it while exploring new courses, as “Damnation” and most recently, “Heritage”, have proven. In both cases, their progressive refinement is world-class.

Since their transformation that came as much out of necessity due to Jonas Renkse‘s battered vocals that demanded a clean-sung repertoire, KATATONIA has excavated labyrinths of atmosphere in search of an alternative and prog-grounded emotiveness. Long gone is the dusky grit from the early years when KATATONIA was the two-man operation of Renkse and Anders Nyström. As if the duo could foresee where the band has found itself on the heels of “Brave Murder Day”, one of the band’s last authentic metal albums. Today, KATATONIA keeps a spotless yet spacious music space, while Jonas Renkse has evolved into a beguiling, if frequently sullen vocalist.

Last year, KATATONIA took another major step away from their metal roots with “Dead End Kings”, a revelatory album that stripped down even more static than ever before. “Dead End Kings” pushed out heavy tones incrementally while embracing piano, synths, strings and an overall gentler touch that nevertheless hit home.

Now this year comes “Dethroned & Uncrowned”, a largely acoustic reworking of the “Dead End Kings” album for Kscope, sister label to the band’s main hub, Peaceville Records. Suffice it to say, KATATONIA strips things down even further on the redux, manufacturing even more elegance out of these eleven songs. While “Dead End Kings” manages to flex stray bars of electric muscle, “Dethroned & Uncrowned” hones deeper on the six- and twelve-string dreaminess that served as the former album’s epicenter, now this one’s apex.

Instead of making this a pure acoustic project, KATATONIA spills extensive piano scales, chamber fugue, Mellotron, synthesized beats, brass, reed instrumentation and acoustic bass to broaden the plaintive moods of the original songs. “Dethroned & Uncrowned” is thus stunning and quixotic, even more so than “Dead End Kings”. Every song in transition is a success, most notably “The Parting”, “The One You Are Looking For is Not Here”, “Lethean”, “Hypnone” and “Dead Letters”.

The near-naked character is essentially the same throughout “Dethroned & Uncrowned”, which means this re-imagination is demure, seductive and inspiring, even with KATATONIA‘s frequent themes of dirge and despondency. The lulling melodies of “Dead Letters” is so gorgeous one could picture it accompanying a Gothic romance film. In particular is a singular acoustic twine draped across an encompassing bridge that feels both windswept and amorous. This version of “Dead Letters” is by far one of KATATONIA‘s most engaging and articulate productions to-date.

The breezy cello and deeper accented piano plucks on this take of “The Parting” is enthralling in its own right, while THE GATHERING vocalist Silje Wergeland‘s vertigo-inducing parts on “The One You are Looking for is Not Here” are pushed up towards the front of the mix this time. The strategy allows for more congruency with Jonas Renkse‘s fervent swooning. Together the duet sounds as captivating as the massive layers of synth, string, piano and echoing percussion heaped into this inveigling cut of the song.

There are only a couple of spots on “Dethroned & Uncrowned” where electric guitars are retained, such as “Hypnone” and “Ambitions”. In turn, the distortion is struck altogether from the jazzier, piano-driven noodling on “Buildings”, the one moment on “Dead End Kings” that came close to constituting actual metal attributes.

This album’s version of “Ambitions” slinks on an erotic crawl via an echoing drum machine as it does with smooth syncopation and flirtatious Mellotron on “The Racing Heart” prior to. In the latter’s case, Jonas Renkse pulls off a near-close imitation of Seal. “Undo You” later rides upon tertiary coatings of cello, Mellotron and piano that garnish the primary acoustic spools and Renkse‘s placid wheedling. Despite the deathly odes of the song, “Undo You” gains momentum on this version from its initial conveyance of desperateness, nudging out of its bleak conundrum with flowing aspiration.

While absorbing the soul-torn despair of its predecessor, “Dethroned & Uncrowned” thrusts “Dead End Kings” onto a more dignified platform where further grandeur is raided and then pampered with the deepest respect. This could’ve been a cheap ploy to ride the success “Dead End Kings”, but it’s a testament to KATATONIA‘s gifted ensemble they manage to far outclass its predecessor. “Dethroned & Uncrowned” mirrors OPETH‘s magnificent “Damnation” in certain fashions, but KATATONIA proves here they have smartly mapped out their future, one that could find them scoring a film project or gracing an orchestra hall. Without using direct metal overtures, KATATONIA has helped legitimize the genre with as much class and poise as their celebrated countrymen.

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On September 11, Andrew Schizodeluxe of The Rock Pit conducted an interview with guitarist/vocalist Mille Petrozza of German thrash metal veterans KREATOR. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.

The Rock Pit: Well, let’s talk about the new DVD, “Dying Alive”. How did the idea of this new DVD come about?

Mille: Basically, it was the middle of the tour that we felt it went very well, we had many people at the shows and we knew it was a huge production and we wanted to give fans something back, like the memory. We felt this was the perfect time after 10 years of our last official DVD release, “Live Kreation”. We felt it was about time to come out with a new live DVD/live record package and we talked to the record company about it and they supported us and went along. We got a team of 24 cameras into the Turbinenhalle in Oberhausen, which is very close to where we live, and we had full control over everything that happened to make sure that the quality was 100% guaranteed.

The Rock Pit: Watching the live show on the DVD, there seems to be so many cameras around, you seemed to have captured every angle possible. Was that the band’s idea or was that someone else’s idea?

Mille: That was our idea — ours and the director. We talked about this for a long time and we definitely wanted to make sure that… I mean, it’s always different to when you are in a room and watch a band, it’s a different feel than being in your living room and watching it from your sofa or whatever, so we wanted to make sure that we got an impression of what it’s like to come to a KREATOR show.

The Rock Pit: I ask this question with a few other thrash bands regarding the recent resurgence of thrash metal in general. Obviously, the genre has never gone away but it seems to have crept back in a big way recently, which we haven’t seen in quite some time. What’s your take on this new interest in the genre?

Mille: For me, it never felt like it went away. It quietened in the ’90s, but that was metal in general, but now it’s stronger than ever because people have grown up. A lot of the bands that have been around back then that are still around are a little more controlled with how they handle things and they are more experienced. It comes down to the music. Now they live by fans that have grown up with this kind of music. Back in the day, neighbors were like strangers to this music and so the whole industry has changed. In my opinion, it has a lot to do with self-confidence nowadays; it’s a whole different deal. Nowadays, we are more confident in what we do and I think I can speak for a lot of the bands, a lot of the old-school thrash bands that nowadays when you get the feedback from the new generation of bands, it gives you a lot of energy.

The Rock Pit: Obviously you did a bit of experimenting in the ’90s and then came back to the thrash sound. Do you think you would ever try a different direction again or do you think you will stay in the thrash genre?

Mille: I think we experiment within our music. In the ’90s, we experimented on a whole album, nowadays we experiment within certain parts of certain songs but people don’t see that experimenting as much as we did in the ’90s. A lot of the elements, like in “Phantom Antichrist”, for example, is something that we took from that era and put it into our new music, so it’s always in motion. Our music always develops and we can look back on many, many hours that we have tried, riffs or melodies that we tried in the ’90s and we still profit a lot from that. It was not for nothing, even though some of the ’90s experimental albums weren’t that well received by the audience, for us, musically, it made us grow.

Read the entire interview from The Rock Pit.

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With Steph Carter recently leaving the fold, Gallows are in the midst of another rocky period for their already turbulent career.

In a week where we’ve seen Nine Inch Nails perform their most intimate UK date in forever and both Green Day and Skindred make considerable, statement-making downsizes themselves, it’s no short order to suggest that the Watford-founded crew have picked a tough few days to land an intimate gig of their own. Plus there’s the small matter of Reading and Leeds looming.

Luckily, we have every confidence that they’re gonna absolutely smash it. Chances are that the UK’s finest punk band for a generation will be firing on all cylinders to give us a taste of what to expect come this weekend, and with mysterious punk/metal supergroup The Hell set to make their debut live appearance as main support, it’s probably safe to bet that this will be a gig that keeps people talking for quite some time, and with the threat of the Macbeth being closed hanging over the evening, there’s an important message behind the music tonight, too!

Anyway, why are we even trying to convince you of why this is worth your time? It’s fucking Gallows! Get yourself a ticket and go lose your shit. Go on.

GET YOUR GALLOWS TICKETS HERE

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Devin Townsend has been talking about doing a second Ziltoid record for quite some time, but apparently it's all coming to fruition now! So we all know that Devin's been working on an album called Casualties of Cool that's been talking about for a while, but now the man himself has announced that he's not only done with that, but will …

The post DEVIN TOWNSEND Begins Work On Second Ziltoid Record! appeared first on Metal Injection.

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Swedish death metallers DEMONICAL have parted ways with drummer Fredrik Widigs and guitarist Johan Jansson due to “personal and priority-related matters.” The remaining members of the band write in a statement: “These decisions have been in the making for quite some time but now all parties consider them final and official.

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In October 2012, THIN LIZZY announced that they would not be recording new material under the THIN LIZZY moniker.

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Ronnie James Dio: True icon

Wendy Dio, wife of the late, great Ronnie James Dio, has commented on the progress of the much-anticipated Dio tribute album that has been mooted about for quite some time now.

“We have a lot of [artists] who are working on [their contributions to the tribute album],” Wendy commented at this past weekend’s Icons & Idols-Rock ‘N’ Roll Auction. “Metallica has already finished theirs for us and Anthrax and Glenn Hughes [have completed theirs as well]. Rob Halford‘s working on it. I think Alice Cooper‘s working on it. Motörhead, [in] January we’ll get theirs. So we’ll have a whole classic CD ready next year, and so I’m hoping to then ask the younger bands to do a tribute to Ronnie as well, so we can do two CDs: a classic one and the younger bands.”

Lemmy And The Boys: Paying Tribute

On which “young bands” she’d like to see get involved, she adds, “I haven’t approached anyone, but who I would pick would definitely be Korn, Avenged Sevenfold… Anyone that’s been influenced by Ronnie or Ronnie’s music, and I think it would be a great tribute and it would be great fun to do, too.”

Avenged Sevenfold: back in 2013!

This sounds like it could be absolutely amazing. Someone get Jonny D and M Shadows on the phone!

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Ronnie James Dio: True icon

Wendy Dio, wife of the late, great Ronnie James Dio, has commented on the progress of the much-anticipated Dio tribute album that has been mooted about for quite some time now.

“We have a lot of [artists] who are working on [their contributions to the tribute album],” Wendy commented at this past weekend’s Icons & Idols-Rock ‘N’ Roll Auction. “Metallica has already finished theirs for us and Anthrax and Glenn Hughes [have completed theirs as well]. Rob Halford‘s working on it. I think Alice Cooper‘s working on it. Motörhead, [in] January we’ll get theirs. So we’ll have a whole classic CD ready next year, and so I’m hoping to then ask the younger bands to do a tribute to Ronnie as well, so we can do two CDs: a classic one and the younger bands.”

Lemmy And The Boys: Paying Tribute

On which “young bands” she’d like to see get involved, she adds, “I haven’t approached anyone, but who I would pick would definitely be Korn, Avenged Sevenfold… Anyone that’s been influenced by Ronnie or Ronnie’s music, and I think it would be a great tribute and it would be great fun to do, too.”

Avenged Sevenfold: back in 2013!

This sounds like it could be absolutely amazing. Someone get Jonny D and M Shadows on the phone!

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Los Angeles based act Polarization has issued the following announcement about parting ways with the band’s drummer:

“We regret to inform you all that after years of hard work, touring, writing, recording and being an amazing friend, our drummer Tom Asvold has been forced to return to his homeland of Skärvången, Jämtlands Län, Sweden.

“This WILL NOT affect any of our shows/tour plans we have coming this winter/next year as we have been aware of this situation for quite some time now, and have found an amazing ‘fill in’ for Tom, who we can’t wait for you all to meet. More info on that later.

“In the meantime we wish our friend the best of luck in his journey. Here’s to you Tom! You will be missed.”

For more info on Polarization, head over to the band’s Facebook profile here.

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Austrian symphonic metal act Serenity announced the departure of the band’s founding member, keyboardist Mario Hirzinger. The band made several attempts at changing Hirzinger’s mind, especially, in light of what has now been disclosed as his planned final performance at this year’s ProgPower USA festival. Though the band cancelled some tour dates, 11 new dates in March of 2013 have been confirmed, though the cities and venues have not yet been disclosed. The statement on the band’s Facebook Page reads:

“With great mourning we have to tell you all that our dear friend, keyboardist, song & lyrics writer as well as founder of SERENITY leaves the band as of now…

“We already knew his decision for quite some time and fully understand Marios wish for something new. Though we hoped to change his mind especially with such a great experience like PP USA, which was always planned as Marios last appearance with SERENITY. Well – we made him change his mind twice already – but not this time (more on that in his statement).

“The Departure of Mario is a fact now and as a result we’ve been reconstructing SERENITY throughout the year already. We also have fixed arrangements with Marios successor who will be announced at a later date.

“Mario, we honestly thank you for a great, never forgettable time, lots of cool and funny tour stories, lots of (great) work too,… We will see us for a drink or two ;-)

“You can also read Marios statment below!

“Yours SERENITY

“Dear friends and fans! It took me a long time to think about it and now it’s on me to explain my decision – well, to sum it up even if it may sound strange: I’ve got to move on. At very first let me tell you it’s got nothing to do with any personal issues, the guys still are and always will be some of my closest friends; I’m very thankful for every single minute I could spend with them in the recent years on stage, on tour, in the rehearsal room, visiting great places all over Europe as well as here in Austria! Of course there sometimes had been moments of tension and serious discussions, every band knows that, but most of the time we just had great, occasionally quite silly fun, knowing we were a strong team of different characters working together and spending times off work in a meaningful way.

“The main point is, symphonic metal is not my favourite genre – never has been – and my music taste in general has changed in recent times. This year there had been a couple of happenings showing me I’ve got to seriously change some things in my life and leaving Serenity is the first one. To be honest, it was not the first time I thought about that. The moment feels right to me now, I will continue creating music and lyrics on my own, also with other people, but without any business pressure or other limitations. Just for fun, just to see what’s there ‘hidden’ in me and waiting to be set free. Even if I liked touring and being on stage with Serenity a lot, I cannot carry on pretending I totally dig this sound and the whole business. I want to be an honest guy and don’t want to back something if I’m not really into it. And everyone, especially the fans, deserves honesty here.

“I will move and most probably, if everything works out well, I will begin to study something – at least that’s my plan so far, I have the strong feeling that I’m not at the end of my possibilities in life. Leaving the band will also give me some ‘space’ for all that. Yes, I’m one of the founding members, I gave the band its name back in 2001 and yes, it had been an absolutely great time. But somehow I think I’ve seen it all now and that chapter should be closed to give way for another one. With all those remarkable impressions and great memories – our September gig in Atlanta as ‘climax’ – I don’t quit with a bad feeling. And I won’t miss things like driving vans hundreds of kilometres by night and day, fast food on the road, broken backstage showers and toilets, half full beer cans left behind on a table in the nightliner, dropping off on bumpy roads, all those strange unwritten ‘business laws’ and the … hm, let’s say not really exemplary behaviour of some people in that business. The adrenaline rush right before a show, the cheering of the crowd, the first cold beer after the show, great backstage dinners with all the crew, funny and interesting conversations, getting to know new, sympathetic people, seeing a lot of impressive places especially on off-days, the ‘wall of sound’ when the on-stage sound mix is just awesome, the cozy tourbus bunk and feeling like in a cradle in there when travelling by night … these are things I certainly will miss. But one thing I won’t have to miss is the friendship with Clèmentine, Georg, Tom, Fabio and Andi which is highly important for me! And I know I’m very lucky to have these great people in my life. So, my dear gooooiiiis ;-) , I wish you all the best for the future of Serenity and all your upcoming plans – hold on to your dreams! I’m already looking forward to some crazy tour stories being told while having a beer or a coffee together!”

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