10/29/2014

CD Review: Manach Seherath - Manach Seherath

Note: If you have a own band or project that you think might fit in well here for a review or as a presentation / introduction please drop me a line or two in a E-Mail. Please see my profile for my E-Mail adress. I appreciate new suggestions very much so please don't hesitate to contact me. I'm also interested in band news / updates / tourdates so please keep the stuff coming. Thanks!

If you're having troubles writing in English please send me a E-Mail in your preferred language or use the free Google Translator to transfer your message to English. I also use that tool, it's of course not perfect but I think it will mostly likely work out for our purposes.

Short introduction

Manach Seherath is a Symphonic Heavy Metal band from Italy, whose name in a dead ancient language means 'to draw from the source'. This cryptic phrase, with all that it hides, is well representative of the marriage of heavy rhytms with epic keyboards and mysterious lyrics, which togheter make the trademark of M.S. sound: a modern heavy metal band which doesn't forget the gloomy lessons of the past.

(c) by Manach Seherath, used with kind permission


The project took the first steps in summer 2012, when Mich Crown after a period of forced musical inactivity,decided that the time had come to back on stage wih a brand new band. After searching and recruiting all the other members the band began in december 2012 to write the first songs of this demo. 
The recordings were done in June 2013. At the moment Manach Seherath are busy with preparing the songs for their first full length album.

Summary / Player / Download Link

From the very first seconds the band reminds me in a very, very positive way of the first records that Tad Morose did back in the day. To be precisely I speak about a mixture between albums like "Leaving the past behind", "Sender of thoughts" along with the heavyness of a album like "A mended rhyme". All of these are amongst my favorite albums as they mix the sheer power of metal with great melodies and the dark touch of melodic keyboards which add so much to the atmosphere. I often wish Tad Morose, as much as I love their more powermetal-oriented current albums which are top notch would give these keyboards a chance to come back in.

This band happily has heard my call somehow. But they did more: they've managed to get some very majestic, powerfull vocals in there as well. Those remind me of the times when Mathew Barlow sang for Iced Earth. This means that the vocals come with a very unique style and tone. I like the lyrics, they tell of ancient tales and fit perfectly to the concept of the record. The cover you can see above gives some idea of that.

(c) by Manach Seherath, used with kind permission


The songs are very diverse, atmospheric and also long tracks (most of them are over six minutes in durance). Tracks one and three and very straight forward while number two comes in a bit more complex and needs some rounds to fully sink. Don't let this stop you from listening. It will add a lot to your enjoyment and it's great if a record won't get boring even after having it heard for several times.

The demo is a free download and I highly recommend to pick it up! Just jump over to Soundcloud and start downloading and hit the follow button while you are waiting for the download to finish. Especially if you agree to what I've written above you'll be very happy once you've done that. In addition you can listen to the three tracks here on my blog. The band kindly also added one more online bonustrack to their rooster on soundcloud, which is a short version of the track "All in all".

Be sure to keep an eye of this great band by following them via their account on Facebook.





Track-by-Track Review


Arti Manthano


A short intro starts the song. Someone knocks on your door twice, a door is opened up and here we go!
After some clearing up of the speakers like at a show the already mentioned keyboards welcome the listener with some notes before the crushing guitars step in and the drums slowly move the song forward. It's like you're introduced to another world and this part is there to take you over there.

After a short time the song starts to get faster and the vocals come in. A fast uptempo track this one surely is a competition in holding the line and not losing the breath. A short breakup with keyboards introduces yet another change in the tempo to build a bridge to the majestic refrain. Without losing any more time the song jumps back to the uptemo formula. Another bridge takes you to the refrain once again. Towards the middle of the song there's another change in the song structure that is introduced by one of these old school screams that you may know from the old school Heavy Metal records where this element was often to be found.  A fine element that most of today's albums are sadly missing.

A midtemp and very groovy part follows up. It's time for some guitar solos which once again turn out to be of the more oldschool direction. Finally we go back to the very first style of the track, so more uptemo in here.  Some more slower parts towards the end, very rough and hard but with the keyboard theme in them bring this song to the ends and fade into eternity...

Timeless

A very dark and slow introduction. The song takes heavy first steps but you can still hear keyboards in the background. This first part feels a bit as it is a spoke introduction to a longer tale. Vocals come in very high and majestic and it all remains in this style. As if a procession takes place, just one intermission with some hacked stuff.

The vocals then come in to the climax, reminding me a bit of one of King Diamond's infamous screams. A short repeating of the very beginning of the song towards the end with only keyboards and drums brings this to come full circle.

All in All

This could easily become a hymn! Majestic keyboards form a bright intro combined with the follow-up military drums. The track itself presents itself as a midtempo song  with much of this vocal-style that Matthew Barlow used on the "Burnt Offerings" album along with very high notes in the refrain.

It all comes in very compact and the guitar solo shows of some of the virtuosity of the guitar player. A reprise of the intro shortly after the solo leads over to some mystic part with more percussive elements and some spoken, narrative elements. This part closes the timeless trilogy and with a abrupt cut the demo also ends here. A perfectly fitting ending for a great epic!

I hope more than everything that we will hear some more from this band. They've in my eyes brought back a style in the Heavy Metal Universe which I thought to be lost for a long time. Happily this demo proves that I've been wrong.

10/23/2014

A Light Within shows writing vocal session clip for upcoming EP

The Alt-Rock / Post-progressive band A Light Within is working on new material for the next EP. Having made their first step with the release of the "Preface" EP which can be heard in my review about the release the band is preparing the follow-up mini-album these days.

This snippet shows the process of writing vocals to a live instrumental take of "Between Shores". I've never seen such a teaser before, but it feels like it takes one directly into the creative working process the band is currently in.

Not one of the "usual" studio impressions though. Very cool vocals and I also like the style of the video that fits to the music. It feels a bit haunting and the atmosphere is very tight. I've also had a interview with the band a while ago so head over to find out more about this outstanding band.



The band will play two liveshows in the upcoming time:

Oct 23
The Riot Room
Kansas City, MO

Nov 08
with Various Hands and The Travel Guide
The Bay, Warrensburg MO 64903

Update 2014/11/07: The band has added two new snippets from the recording sessions to their Youtube channel. They used video in photoshop! Just click below to see them both plus all the other stuff that the band has uploaded so far.


10/21/2014

Free Generation Prog Festival 2014 sampler up for download

In a few weeks the "Generation Prog Festival 2014" will take place over here in Germany at Nürnberg on 15th of November 2014.

The company doing the promotion for the event "Prog Sphere" has set up a free download sampler that features one track of each of the bands of the festival as song
1-5 of the sampler. Tracks 6-10 are bonus tracks by bands that are taken from the Generation Prog Records roster.

For all those who prefer to stream instead of downloading the compilation I've included the player below. The full download can be found on the Bancamp page of Prog Sphere Promotions.

Find out more about the Generation Prog Festival 2014:
www.generation-prog.com

Order your festival tickets and affordable hotel packages here:
www.generation-prog.com?page_id=1172&lang=en

10/18/2014

Free livestream of Soul Healer record release party today

Don't miss the livestream of the record release party of the finish melodic metal band Soul Healer today 10:15 CET (info: show starts on 22:15h for all of my german readers).

Just make sure to tune in at the streaming page at the official website of the band.

SoulHealer are celebrating the release of the new album “Bear The Cross” with a release gig at their hometown Kajaani on Saturday 18 October. To give all the fans around the world the chance to be a part in this special event, the show will be streamed live as video all around the world.

Never heard of the band before? No problem, just check out the video below to see if you like their music. :-) And if you do, hit the Like button for the band on Facebook as well.

10/17/2014

CD Review: Wild Smiles - Always tomorrow

Note: If you have a own band or project that you think might fit in well here for a review or as a presentation / introduction please drop me a line or two in a E-Mail. Please see my profile for my E-Mail adress. I appreciate new suggestions very much so please don't hesitate to contact me. I'm also interested in band news / updates / tourdates so please keep the stuff coming. Thanks!

If you're having troubles writing in English please send me a E-Mail in your preferred language or use the free Google Translator to transfer your message to English. I also use that tool, it's of course not perfect but I think it will mostly likely work out for our purposes.

Short introduction

The fast-rising trio Wild Smiles comprises the brothers Chris and Joe Peden with drummer Ben Cook.  Hailing from Winchester, Wild Smiles were amazed when their first forays made such a splash. Their 2013 7”, Sweet Sixteen/Tangled Hair, took in elements of Beach Boys surf pop, Velvet Underground drones, Wall Of Sound beats, Jesus & Mary Chain low-fi garage clatter and Nirvana filth. A dazzling stew of sound, it was simultaneously classic, timely and forward thinking – it seemed amazing no one had smashed such sprawling decades of music together before.

A five-track Wild Smiles EP followed on Geoff Barrow’s Invada label that summer, led by the MBV-flecked Take Me Away, and, in that song’s spirit of escape, the band hit the road for much of the rest of the year, earning their touring chops before going on to sign with Sunday Best. Wild Smiles then took time out to concentrate on honing their songwriting on their debut album "Always tomorrow".

(c) Wild Smiles, used with kind permission


Lyrically the album traces a thematic arc of growing up and getting out, the struggles of the debt-heavy, priced-out youth generation. Indeed, many of the songs on the album tackle issues that most other young bands are too scared or ignorant of to approach.

“People my age can't get a job,” Chris sings. “Nothing to do, it’s so fucked up/People my age can't get a job/Get a house, get a car, get a life… who’s there for us?” While I’m Gone and the single, Never Wanted This, are bold rejections of the mundane sort of life we’re expected to settle for: “I could get a job I could wear a suit/A monkey in a suit to make some money”.
“It’s our perception of life,” says Ben. “Not the voice of a generation but just how we three see it.”

Summary / Player / Download Link

Classic Rock 'n' Roll all the way straight from the beginning to the end! That's what comes to my mind when listening to this album. If you're into such classic bands like the Ramones you should hit the play button without doubt. It's dirty Rock with hammering guitars and raunchy vocals that perfectly fit for the next party.

The groove is very direct along with he bass guitar lines. The album has few diverse parts in them, it comes around as direct as it could be. You could even imagine to listen to a live show that's cut into songs while played in the studio without audience. But sure as it is, if you dislike such stuff because you prefer heavier stuff you won't be happy with this one. Try it out, I've had a good time
with this album.

The full album stream isn't up yet, so I've put the tracks here that are available so far. If there should be a stream of the whole record that comes from the band or label I'll update the review and include it here.

Update 2014/10/22: Finally the full album stream is up! Head over to the Consequence of Sound website to hear it.

Update 2014/10/27: Today is the release date of the record. So I've added the full album stream for you to enjoy while (hopefully) reading my review.


The album will see the release on Sunday Best Recordings on 27th October. Just jump over to get a copy on CD or have a look at the digital download offer.
You can stay in touch with the band through their website, Facebook or the Twitter account.

Track-by-Track Review

Fool For You
This one goes in straight forward and gives you a good idea of what this band is all about. A hard riff opens this one up, the rest of the band quickly kicks in directly after that.
The refrain hits your ears without warning and won't leave it that fast anymore. A very classic way to write such a song. Some repeats of the refrain and the end comes fast and direct.

Never Wanted This 
A slower start. The typical way to get a hymn started. The refrain is also a bit slower but with much roughness in the guitars. It then comes back to the formula of the beginning.
Once again a song to be remembered.

Always Tomorrow
1-2-3-4 you can imagine the drummer to count before a hit on the snare drum starts this one. A straight riff rocker. The refrain comes very embeded into the song structure so the song remains once piece from the beginning to the end.

Everyone’s The Same
The Rock scheme of the past three songs is left for a while. A midtemo stomping track with some easy guitars and spacy vocals. The end leaves you with some vibrating guitars and fades the track softly to the end

Hold On
Yeah, we're back on track the rhythm seems to scream. Very dirty and hard guitars gives this one a lot of drive. Some variations on the vocals before more loud guitars push one back to the ground.

The Best Four Years
A change of rhythm once again. A bit slower but very punchy in style this song is a mid-tempo Rock song in a very classic way. The guitars scream it out very loud. Feels ike some look back on a good time. Surprisingly a "long" song compared to the other tracks of the record.

The Gun
A straight rocker right from the start, the guitars create a hook in the ears while the vocals are a bit more dry on this one. Not so much reverb mixed in here. Anyway it feels a bit different from the rest.

Figure It Out
Wow, this rushes out very fast. The band kicks it very heavy on this one. Pretty near to Metal this one goes.  The refrain is very catchy again. Reminds me a bit of old Nirvana songs.

Girlfriend
I'm out with my girlfriend and we're having a good time this one shouts out. A very direct tune, no hidden catch just jump on the train and have fun. This one has a great refrain and is instantly on my mind since the first listen. If you're feeling down play this one LOUD and you'll feel better. A potion of fresh air will come your way.

See You Again
The amp screams a bit at the beginning. The evening with the girlfriend is over but you can be sure you'll see each other again. Once again a very dirty and distinctive sounding piece of Rock music, the refrain is soft but fits very good to the mood.

I’m Gone
The band returns for one more song before the show is over. But there's no complaining in sight. Instead the band rocks it out 'till the end. A last rockin' greeting but the refrain gives hope we'll see a return.
I hope we'll hear again from this band. Never thought a band would come around with such a direct straight on forward album these days but happily Wild Smiles have presevered this original Rock 'n' Roll style in their hearts.

10/16/2014

New fun series Metal Grashopper kicks off first episode

Hehe, how to become a real Heavy Metal musician and maniac? Well, you could ask one of the guys in the realm of metal bands to coach you. ;-)

Comedian Dave Hill may've thought the same when putting together the storyline for the new web series "Metal Grashopper". Featuring Phil Anselmo from the Band DOWN this new series gives you the chance to check out every week one new episode on how the thing is coming along.

If you want to know more about this nice webseries make sure to hit the Like-Button on the Facebook page that has been set up. Most of all: have fun with this! :-)



Update 2014/10/25: Epidsode 2 is up and running. :-)

Black Label Society annouce 2015 tourdates

Some guitarists become very well-known for their style and work with famous names in the world of Heavy Metal. One of them surely is Zakk Wylde.

From his 20 years with Ozzy Osbourne and his inception of Black Label Society in 1998 Wylde has widely been considered as one of modern rocks’ true guitar heroes with his taste for metal, blues, doom and southern rock. His collaborations have led to a string of multi-platinum albums, including Osbourne’s biggest selling ‘No More Tears’ for which Wylde wrote all the music.

Just check out one of his actual productions with the video for the song "My Dying Time".

The band has now annouced the tourdates for hitting the road in Europe in 2015. The line-up of the band will deature Zakk Wylde along with Dario Lorina (Guitar), John DeServio (Bass) and Jeff Fabb (Drums). Here are the dates with links for purchasing tickets for each show:


2015 UK TOUR

WEDNESDAY 11 FEBRUARY                      O2 ABC, GLASGOW - £20.00 Tickets
THURSDAY 12 FEBRUARY                         THE INSTITUTE, BIRMINGHAM - £20.00 Tickets
FRIDAY 13 FEBRUARY                               THE ROUNDHOUSE, LONDON - £22.00 Tickets
SATURDAY 14 FEBRUARY                         O2 ACADEMY, BRISTOL - £20.00 Tickets
SUNDAY 15 FEBRUARY                             O2 ACADEMY, LEEDS - £20.00 Tickets
TUESDAY 17 FEBRUARY                            UEA, NORWICH - £20.00 Tickets
WEDNESDAY 18 FEBRUARY                      ROCK CITY, NOTTINGHAM - £20.00 Tickets
THURSDAY 19 FEBRUARY                         MANCHESTER ACADEMY - £20.00 Tickets

EUROPEAN TOUR DATES

SATURDAY 21 FEBRUARY                         MELKWEG, AMSTERDAM, NETHERLANDS €27.50 Tickets
SUNDAY 22 FEBRUARY                             ANCIENNE BELIGIQUE, BRUSSELS, BELGIUM €28.00 Tickets
TUESDAY 24 FEBRUARY                            BATSCHKAPP, DORTMUND, GERMANY €28.00 Eventim & Ticketmaster
WEDNESDAY 25 FEBRUARY                      FZW FREIZEITENTRUM WEST, FRANKFURT, GERMANY €28.00 Eventim
THURSDAY 26 FEBRUARY                         LE BATACLAN, PARIS, FRANCE €32.00 Tickets

SUNDAY 1 MARCH                                   TRAIN, AARHUS, DENMARK 275.00 DKK Tickets
TUESDAY 3 MARCH                                  ROCKEFELLER MUSIC HALL. OSLO, NORWAY 385.00 NOK Tickets
FRIDAY 6 MARCH                                     NOSTURI, HELSINKI, FINLAND €41.00 Tickets
SUNDAY 8 MARCH                                   ROCK CAFÉ, TALLINN, ESTONIA €32.00 Tickets
MONDAY 9 MARCH                                 FORUM PALACE, VILNUS, LITHUANIA $30.00
WEDNESDAY 11 MARCH                          B90, GDANSK, POLAND 110.00 PLN Tickets
THURSDAY 12 MARCH                             CLUB STUDIO, KRAKOW, POLAND 110.00 PLN Tickets
SATURDAY 14 MARCH                             Z7, BASLE, SWITZERLAND 46.00 CHF Tickets
SUNDAY 15 MARCH                                 LES DOCKS, LAUSANNE, SWITZERLAND 50.00 CHF Tickets

Album Buy links:

Buy ‘Catacombs of the Black Vatican’ on CD/Vinyl here
Buy ‘Catacombs of the Black Vatican’ on iTunes here

Artist links:

10/14/2014

Check out the full new Exodus album online

Finally Exodus have released a brand-new album entitled "Blood in, blood out" . The album can be seen as a sort of gathering together of some of the old-school heads of the Bay Area Thrash scene.

The song "Salt the wound" features orginal member Kirk Hammett on guitars who contributed a guitar solo to this track. Chuck Billy also took the time to give his outstanding voice to the record with the vocals for the track "BTK". Exodus-guitarist Gary Holt currently is also busy with recording the new Slayer album. However Exodus will be on tour for the rest of the year, playing shows with Suicidal Tendencies. You can find the proper dates at the tourdates section of the bands website.

Yahoo music has been given the honour to stream the full record already in advance. So if you'd like to check out the album before buying it, jump over to the Yahoo Blog entry and give the record a listen.

10/10/2014

Diamonds Are Forever return with storybased videoclip from the upcoming album

One of the things I always enjoyed about Heavy Metal and all it's corresponding styles is the redemption feeling it gives. It often has some sort of "cleaning and healing" effect on me and in some way this song perfectly fits as a example for that. After listening to this one I often feel empty but good. Somehow it has a similar effect like Slayer has for me. Their superior musical brutality somehow cuts bad feelings and emotions and keeps you going this way. Let's see how you feel about this band and song.




No more than 3 years ago, the metal band Diamonds Are Forever made their fist appearance on the underground metal stage in their local town of Cluj-Napoca, RO.

Now, after two EP-s released and a live DVD, the band published a first look into the upcoming full length album with the video for "My fragile heart will feed the darkness". The bands next live appearance will be tomorrow 11th October 2014 in their hometown of Cluj-Napoca, Romania at the Flying Circus Pub.

For all of you who are new to this band, they are a metalcore band. Their music is a bit different than common metalcore bands out there, since a lot of their style is based on a combination of powerful vocals and guitar riffing with a lot of melodic riffing in between. You may say a lot of metalcore bands do this too, but Diamonds Are Forever don't use a default song pattern. They don't have one! Most of their songs are formed of non-repeating riffs. That's a bit unusual, but it seems they have found the way to manage them into their style.

Their songs are like a story that takes the listener from point A to point B, but when you reach that final destination, they make it worth you followed.

At the moment the band is preparing their first album and here's a little snippet of what is to come...



If you want to keep a eye on the band have a look on the band's website as well as on Facebook and make sure to check their Youtube channel every here and there.

10/09/2014

Shaman's Harvest present video for earcaching track Dangerous

Wow, who says hard music cannot be combined with a catchy refrain and melody? This band proves it is indeed possible. They remind me a bit of Nickelback but pretty much from back in the day when the band sounded much more heavier and rougher than these days. But this band has much more to offer. It comes with a much more darker note which feels very authentic and straight from the heart. The lyrics seem to speak about a man with nothing to loose...


Shaman's Harvest - Dangerous - Official Video on MUZU.TV.

In fact this song feels in some ways as if it is about the band’s frontman Nathan Hunt, who was diagnosed with and treated for throat cancer but pushed forward to make sure the disc was completed and now is cancer-free, elaborates on the song: ‘First time I heard a pseudo finished version of that song I thought, “Well hell, that’s a bad motherf—er.” There isn’t anything nice about ‘Dangerous.’ It feels like power and energy. Once I came to terms with the cancer diagnosis it took on a whole new meaning — one of triumph. It feels like a psych up song for empowerment.’

The band's second album "Smokin' Hearts & Broken Guns" has been released in Europe on September 15 through the Mascot Label Group. If you want to know more about the band make sure to check out the band's website and see their Facebook page to stay in connection with the band.

Fresh Thrash with new song from upcoming Cripper album

German thrashers Cripper have recently revealed the first preview track from the upcoming record "Hyëna" and it's a killer track if you ask me. Very, very straight thrash going directly from the very first riff up to the climatic ending this one takes no prisoners no question. Fine stuff that makes you bang your head from the first time you hear it.


In Europe the album will be released as a limited CD+DVD Digipak package. The DVD will have the full Metal Days Open Air show from 2014 on it so it sounds well worth checking out. Besides that a vinyl release in different colours has been announced,too. For album will be released through Metal Blade Records.


In addition some tourdates have already been confirmed so make sure to see the band live. They are well worth checking out, saw them in December 2013 in Lingen (Germany) on a tour with Hate Sphere so I had the chance to see how the band takes the stage and how the people react towards them. They ruled the stage!

18.10.14 Kiel (DE) - Rockcity Festival
07.11.14 Echsenbach (AT) - Rock on Schindler
12.12.14 Eindhoven (NL) - Eindhoven Metal Meeting
13.12.14 Genk (BE) - Iron Steel Fest II
31.12.14 Nürnberg (DE) - Aqua Ruction MS Franconia
31.01.15 Gronau (DE) - Monster Metal Festival

10/06/2014

Relapse Records handing out free Sampler with unreleased songs

Do you remember the good old Relapse Records Label? It's the legendary label that brought some classic records to you. One example I remember very well is one of the very first Amorphis albums, Tales from the throusand Lakes. The album really brought some progressive elements to the realm of Death Metal and it made me more aware than ever of this musical style in the Heavy Metal world that I mostly ignored before.

Happily the label is still around and active and provides us this fall with a fresh, annual label sampler that's been set up for free download. You can listen to the full 26-tracks big pack below. Besides already released stuff you'll also get to hear some tracks that give a first impression of upcoming releases of the label featuring Gruesome, Publicist UK, and Ecstatic Vision. If you want to download the songs just go to the Bandcamp site of the record label and do so.

10/01/2014

Psych Rockers Two Skies give a first taste of their album

Now as the summer leaves and the autumn slowly comes in sight I think there will be a huge longing in a lot of us for a warm place to stay and some time to dream away. Some music can help you to escape from the daily cumber and stress and the band Two Skies offer with the single "Stay" a good way to do so.



It's classic Rock mixed with a lot of emotional and very spacy parts in there. The melodies and the vocals make you think of a different world to live in. Track one "Stay" is a faster track with a punchy rhythm but a lot of jammed guitars and the warm vocals bring in the mood to the song.

Track two introduces a long version of the song "Ocean", this time a lot slower than the previous piece of music. It offers more variations in itself and has also a part in there that leaves you in silence with only a few soft notes flying through it.

If you decide to pre-order "Stay" via Bandcamp for 2 GBP you'll not "only" get the two tracks as a high quality download but will also be rewarded with the the full album once it's released.

As a alternative a a limited 7" single (300 pieces only) is also available for pre-order from the same bandcamp site. The vinyl version includes a special edit of the B-side 'Ocean' that is not available digitally. The price of 5,99 GBP includes the single plus the download of the two digital songs and also the album when it's released.

(c) Two Skies, used with kind permission


The band will be on tour in England this fall:

OCT

25th Barnsley ~ Opium 10

NOV

1st Liverpool ~ Sound Food & Drink
2nd Nottingham ~ Jam Cafe
3rd Lincoln ~ The Jolly Brewer
4th Sheffield ~ West St Live
5th London ~ Hope & Anchor
6th Brighton ~ Bleach
7th Manchester ~ The Castle
8th Stoke ~ Underground
14th Sheffield ~ Plug (single launch night)

For further informations about this outstanding band make sure to see the several sites, the band has opened up including a website the presence on Facebook and as well as a account on Twitter.