Acoustic Steel releases video for their version of "The boys of summer"

Can you imagine yourselfs a band doing acoustic coverversions of Metal songs just like "Thunderstruck" (AC/DC) or even "Wasted Years" (Iron Maiden)? This band called "Acoustic Steel" has taken the mentioned songs and re-arranged them to fit with acoustic guitars and Cajons as drums. I've seen them several times live now and it has been some fantastic and impressive performances they provided towards the audience.

A while back the band released their very first EP on Rock Range Records. In the meantime the guys have filmed a first video for one of the songs from that EP called "The boys of summer". The original track was done by Don Henley and this is what Acoustic Steel made of that song:

Don't forget to check out the band's Facebook page and give them a like. If you want to order a copy of the first EP of the band, go to the webshop of Rock Range Records.
The next show the band is going to play will be tomorrow here at Meppen, Germany at the Jam Center  together with two other bands called Against Randy and Kleinstadt-Trio.


Divides explores inner torment in "Drag The River" music Video

What I like so much about music and videos is that they can tell a story and sometimes have a effect on you that will give you redemption. In addition to that it fascinates me how creative bands work these days. They don't need much to express their message but when they do it's often something you can relate to.

These thoughts quickly came to my mind when I saw the video "Drag the river" from the band "Divides". Marie who performs the vocals has brought things up for thought when she describes the topic of the lyrics with her own words: "This song was really cathartic for me to write," says Marie. "As humans, we tend to make choices from time to time that are really fucking stupid. 'Drag The River' is about digging out those parts of yourself and casting them away."

It's a great expression of a topic I think we all already had to deal with. The cool thing is that the band uses such a few simple elements (shouting, screaming, cutting the hair and most of all the mirror) to express the message of the lyrics perfectly.

Musically the band jumps back and forth through various styles of heavyness and tonality, something which is quite hard to get by. But it makes the track even more intensive and interesting. I think it perfectly represents the inner twist the person is in. Music can express so much more than words ever could...

(c) by Divides, used with kind permission

The song is taken off the band's upcoming album (release date and title is still yet to be announced). Make sure to keep a eye upon the band's website, Facebook or Twitter accounts to stay up to date about all the further release activities.


Graspop Metal Meeting & Hellfest to be streamed this weekend

Two big names in the world of Heavy Metal festivals are broadcasting at least parts of the big festival line-ups - both totally for free!

First to go is the Graspop Metal Meeting which gives you the chance to see some bands on two different channels. You need to have Silverlight installed on your device to be able to watch this.

Underneath of the stream window you can check out the schedule of the bands that will be streamed - check for the green or partly green marked fields in the overview. Those bands will be shown, or at least some tracks from their set.

Keep in mind that the schedule changes over the day - bands may be added to the broadcast list very shortly (just for example: I saw two changes in the few moments of time I took to write this article - so check back often :-)  At the moment I'm typing this these bands are confirmed for today (Saturday 20th June)

Orphaned Land
Danko Jones
Judas Priest

Update 2015/06/22: It's sadly over but there's still a chance to see stuff from the Graspop Metal Meeting at the concert video archive that has been opened up. Go and watch it while it's up!

The next one to check out is the Hellfest from France. There it's a bit more complicated. Leave the guy with the gray face on the top of the page behind and scroll to the six pictures below. Hover over the stream you desire (they are sorted with the date and stage name) to see the bands that are scheduled for the live stream. One more click and you can watch it. Or even better: see the bands you want directly here on my page. Great to see the people from Arte allow embeding streams to other sites. Thanks for that! The streams start at 17:15h today.

Update 2015/06/22: It's sad to see the festival is already over now. :-( But wait, some stuff can be seen again (or for the first time if you missed it out). The Hellfest livestream page is now a archive of some of the festival performances. :-) You can watch shows from Sodom, Children of Bodom, Scorpions, Faith no more and many, many more on the linked page. Enjoy (again)!

This is what is confirmed for the Altar & Temple stage at the moment for this very saturday:

Desultory 17:25
Finntroll 18:15
Coffins 19:10
Ensiferum 20:05
Skinless 21:10
Obituary 23:35
Venom 00:40

This overview shows what will be shown from the main stage:

L7 17:50
Slash 18:40
Killing Joke 19:45
Faith No More 21:45
Scorpions 23:25


CD Review: Darling Down - Never Tell

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 don't hesitate to contact me. I'm also interested in band news / updates / tourdates so 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 band in my eyes is a classic symphonic metal band which is termined by the haunting, strong and sometimes even fragile voice of lead vocalist Amanda Legault as well as through the hard, compact guitar riffs while the rhythm section keeps the punch constantly and heavily moving forward.

Committed to lyrically thoughtful and melodically engrossing songwriting with powerful hooks, Darling Down's lyrically relatable songs full of enough edginess, passion and real life to appeal to a wide audience. The deep lyrics are sometimes juxtaposed with eerily strong, pretty vocals and heavy guitars, as on their earlier recording, “Revenge is Sweet Like Cherries.”

In 2014 Darling Down released the new album, “Never Tell,” produced by the nationally acclaimed producer/ engineer/mixer Chuck Alkazian (Soundgarden, Trust Company, Pop Evil) and recorded at Pearl Sound Studios. “Never Tell". This album features guest appearances by Clint Lowery of Sevendust, Vinnie Dombrowski of Sponge, Stephen Richards of Taproot, and Brett Hestla of Dark New Day.

(c) by Darling Down, used with kind permission

The band has performed alongside many notable acts including Theory of a Deadman, Nonpoint, Taproot, Smile Empty Soul, Pop Evil, Red, Ra, Framing Hanley, Saving Abel, Evans Blue, Saliva, Hed PE, Mushoomhead and many more. Make sure to see the linked websites for tourdates and more information.

Official website: www.darlingdown.com
Reverbnation: http://www.reverbnation.com/darlingdown
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/darlingdownband

Summary / Purchase Links / Player

The record comes as a package full of beautifull and heartfelt music. While the music is kept straight forward and comes directly to the point with the pumping rhythm and sharp guitar riffs and effects (very cool effects at some parts that really rip the tone for a while) it's also the contrast with the female vocals that gives this album such a great atmosphere.

Those vocals are set with many variations. Sometimes they are powerfull and strong, sometimes you can feel the doubt in there and some parts feel like fragile, broken pieces. There are quite some parts in there where you party to the music but there are as much in there that will make you think again or even cry a bit.

"Never tell" is a superb record which should find a lot of fans out there, especially if you like music in the style of Evanescence or In This Moment you should definitely give the songs in the player a listen. The fine thing about this record is that it comes with so many various songs on it. So it will feel like a musical journey when you listen to it - something which only very few records offer to the listener.

The album has been released worlwide digitally, so you can purchase it directly through itunes or at the Amazon MP3 Store. If you prefer to download music to your Smartphone you might like the possibility to download the album at the Google Play store.

Update 2015/06/24: If you're in need to save some money you can purchase a "Value Edition" of the album the band just released via Bandcamp. It contains the first seven tracks of the album so it misses out the softer songs of record but you'll only need to pay 5 Dollars to get your hands on this. 

Track-by-track review

Pressure (feat. Stephen Richards)
A direct and very powerfull start to the album. The song goes straight forward and the vocals show the direction - while kept more compact in the verses it's the refrain with releases the Pressure unleashing the full vocal power and letting some of the pressure burn. The guest appeareance of Stephen Richards adds some diversity and surprise towards the songs end. Great opener!

Collide (feat. Clint Lowery)
Pumping, hard riff and rhythm starting this one. This goes over to a straight rocking number and back to the compact riff of the beginning again. A soft refrain giving it a softer note. Very melodic and direct tune.
The song start directly with music and vocals together. Pumping riff in here with a very catchy refrain that perfectly fits to the message of the lyrics and reveals some fragileness that makes the music of Darling Down so special. The guitar effect ripps this nicely up and will make you even more remind this one.

Never Tell
A burning riff kicks this one in before we are lead over to a sharp riff-hacker. The refrain gathers a lot of guitar power along with straight vocals keeping it more straight forward yet with a yelling ending that lasts at especially at the end for a good amount of time and ends with a hard riff-cut.

Empty Nights
It's time to relax a bit. A beautifull half-ballad with much power and technical finesse. Strong refrain showing even more of the deep emotions Amanda Legault is able to transport through her voice. Very cool ending giving some live-feeling towards the record (as if you're directly with them in the studio).

(c) Darling Down, used with kind permission

No Expectations
Some variation in here. A slower midtempo number with some nice bass guitar arrangements. A fine solo section part you wouldn't expect - a surprise on the first listen and also fine for listening again to it. The song burns out in blast of melody and great vocals - so much intensive feelings in here.

Gypsy Soul
Anothere diverse track showing a different side to the band's sound and giving a good idea on other musicial sides this band is also able to perform. Softer and slower tune yet with a very intensive refrain. A good bridge to the upcoming tracks which are all softer.

Sex Drugs & Rock 'n' Roll
Surely not what you would expect from the title. Not a party song, not a track saying it's good. But surely one saying it's time to get sober again. A very fragile and sensible acoustic ballad with great vocals.  

Scars (Acoustic)
What can be made of such a powerfull track when transformed into a acoustic track? This example shows how great this can turn out. The message comes out even stronger. If you like the distorted version already you'll love this one. Hope they'll do it live one or another day.

Empty Nights (Orchestral Mix)
Soft orchestration was carefully added to the outstanding vocal performance giving this a more breath taking atmosphere. This gives so much positive vibes that you don't want to let it go. A great song to end this fine album with. I've given it a repeat immediately and will do again and again. Go and get this album!


Metal Church post 2015 version of Badlands

Not too long ago Metal Church announced that vocalist Mike Howe returned to the band. A sensation in my eyes since I always loved his vocal performance a lot on albums like The Human Factor, Blessings in disguise or the Hanging in the balance album.

Now the band has released a re-recorded and also slightly re-worked version of their classic "Badlands" on their Facebook page. The track means a lot to me and this new recorded version does justice to it. The production is hard and dry and I love it for being this way. It comes in direct, just as if played live. This one is setting me on fire. A new album is in the makings and announced for fall 2015.

This is the exact description that is attached to the audio stream for all those of you who'd like to know more about the details of this one:

Metal Church “Badlands 2015” mixed by Chris “The Wizard” Collier. Recorded - June 2015. Featuring Mike Howe (vox), Kurdt Vanderhoof (guitar), Jeff Plate (drums), Steve Unger (bass) and Rick Van Zandt (lead guitar) New album coming Fall 2015 on Rat Pak Records.


Bevar Sea taking us inside of the studio with full new song

Yeah, india's doom metal band Bevar Sea has entered the studio a while back to lay down their new written songs on tape. Happily enough for us the band is sharing some insights into this creative working process by letting us hear some of the new material in advance.

(c) by Bevar Sea, used with kind permission

This time they've released the full new track "Where there's smoke (there's a pyre)" on Soundcloud. As far as I can hear this one is showing a bit of the faster side of the new album since it's a pushing forward track yet it has all the strong and pure riffing trademark's for which doom metal became so loved and liked for.

What I like on top of this is that it comes along packed in such a traditional sounding production. It feels as if you could be inside of the rehearsal room with Bevar Sea and hear them playing. I love the roughness of the sound, it gives such a hard, heavy and direct feeling to the music. The song made me feel well all the way.

The new record is entitled "Invoke the bizarre" and has been set for release on 1st September 2015. Make sure to see the band's Soundcloud page, there's already more preview stuff up there for you to check out... And give the band a like on Facebook to be sure not to miss out the further recording process.


A Place to Fall upload new tune from the coming record

The second album from the german band "A Place to Fall" is taking shape step by step. The band has uploaded a new full track to Youtube which shows again a very versatile and technical but also raw and heavy approach to writing music in a modern way without forgetting traditional elements.

I like those little elements and variations the band put's inside - it gives them a different note to the obvious heavier elements and makes listen closely well worth it. Same goes for the vocals which vary from clear and pure to dark and screaming.

The full record will be entitled "Call to salvation" and is planned to be released in 2015. Until then check out "We're fading away". Make sure to keep track of the next band steps by following them on Facebook or visit their homepage. They are doing shows from time to time, mostly local gigs in Meppen but they are also confirmed to play in Hannover in December 2015. Just check the proper section on their website.


First audioclips from upcoming Annihilator album online

Does every good time have to end some or other day? Looks like it this way. At least it is like this with Annihilator. This time Dave Padden, for 11 years now the new vocalist and guitarist of the band decided to leave. He disliked being so long on the road and being away from his other duties. A great vocalist in my eyes - he could really sing all of the Annihilator songs very, very well. This includes the massive tracks from Never, Neverland.

The good side on this is that Jeff Waters is back on vocals again. I like his voice a lot on the albums "King of the kill" and "Refresh the demon" - those are amongst my favorites of the band and he has sung on both of them.

Waters also recruited "King of the kill" bass guitar player Cam Dixon for the new album "Suicide Society". Happily we can already hear how all of the changes sound like since the band has put out a album trailer. I think you'll be surprised about Jeff's vocals. 20 years after the mentioned records his voice has developed in a new direction - maybe you'll be surprised as much as I was...

The album is going to be released on UDR Records on 18th September 2015 followed up by a European tour in autumn this year. Go and see the band's Facebook profile for the exact dates and coming updates.


Rock am Ring 2015 shows to be streamed online and later on demand / TV

Yeah, the festival season has opened up it's doors. Next to go is the famous "Rock am Ring" festival which will take place the coming weekend from Friday 5th June to Sunday 7th June 2015.

You can also be part of the show if you can't make it there (like me)! There will be a free and legal livestream available on the websites of SWR (german TV station), DasDing and on the sites of Ring Rocker. All the streams start daily at 18 pm (CEST, german time) and will run up to 3 am in the night.

The exact timetable and the list of the bands that will be streamed will be released in the upcoming days. So far it is confirmed that the gigs of the Foo Fighters, Slipknot, Beatsteaks, Broilers, Eagles of Death Metal, Fritz Kalkbrenner, Clueso,Bad Religion, Kraftklub, Slash, Interpol, Papa Roach and Yellowcard will be shown online.

I'll update this article as soon as I have info on that so please keep checking back from time to time. 

Update 2015/06/08: Is it all over now? Yeah, the festival is over. But streaming is not. :-) This week TV station EinsPlus is showing Best Of stuff from Rock am Ring 2015 starting today until coming Friday. Best of all: you can watch the stuff online at this location.

Update 2015/06/07: Here we go again. :-) This is day three and the final one of Rock am Ring 2015. Today we can look forward to some special shows I think. Let's hope the stream capacities and our internet connections will keep going strong. Always keep in mind that there's also a audio only stream out there. That one worked out fine for me yesterday. :-)

Livestream 1: EinsPlusLivestream 2: SWR3Livestream 3: DASDING
00:00 Slipknot

21:30 Foo Fighters20:30 In Flames
19:15 Beatsteaks20:00 Beatsteaks
18:55 Parkway Drive18:55 Parkway Drive19:15 Beatsteaks
18:35 Eagles of Death Metal / Godsmack17:10 Papa Roach16:30 Papa Roach
18:00 Papa Roach / Frank Turner16:10 Frank Turner16:10 Frank Turner

15:25 Godsmack

14:55 Eagles of Death Metal14:55 Eagles of Death Metal

Update 2015/06/06: Here comes the timetable for today (Saturday). I still hope they will show the set from Slash as announced some days ago. Let's hope and see...


21:50 KIZ
21:35 Prinz Pi
20:05 Kraftklub
18:45  Fritz Kalkbrenner (showing for the second time)
18:00 Bilderbuch
17:00 Interpol


21:50 KIZ
21:35 Prinz Pi
20:05 Kraftklub
19:35  Fritz Kalkbrenner (showing for the second time))
18:25 t. b. a.
18:00 Bilderbuch
17:00 Interpol


01:45 Marsimoto live
01:05 KIZ
23:35 Deichkind Live
22:50 Interpol
21:55 Prinz Pi
20:20 KraftKlub
19:35 Bilderbuch
18:25 t. b. a.
18:05 Feine Sahne Fischfilet

Update 2015/06/05: The timetable for friday has been released. The shows will be shown on three different webpages. Each site features one stream that will only broadcast a part of the festival. Here's the exact overview with direct links to all the three streaming sites, all times are CEST.

If you prefer to listen only to the shows then you might be happy to know that the Ringradio also streams the shows but they start airing off stuff not before 18h daily.

Livestream 1: EinsPlus

Livestream 2: SWR3

Livestream 3: DASDING

01:35 Uhr Fritz Kalkbrenner

01:00 Uhr Concert-Highlights

00:40 Uhr Bad Religion

23:45 Uhr Mighty Oaks

23:10 Uhr Concert-Highlights

21:55 Uhr Clueso21:55 Uhr Clueso21:55 Uhr Clueso
21:30 Uhr Yellowcard20:25 Uhr Tocotronic
20:25 Uhr Tocotronic18:20 Uhr Broilers
19:20 Uhr Donots15:50 Uhr Bad Religion13:45 Uhr Donots
18:20 Uhr Broilers14:50 Uhr Yellowcard
18:05 Uhr T√úSN

For all those living in germany it should be mentioned that the show of Die Toten Hosen will be aired exclusively through the TV station Das Erste. From 8th to 14th June special broadcasts of the format "BEATZZ in concert" will daily show off stuff of the festival starting each day at midnight.

Prior to the Rock am Ring fest a radio stream will update people in germany and nearby of the things going on in the festivak location Mendig. For all those who don't live there: you can listen to it through the apps for amartphones. Pick your copy for the iOS or get the version for the Android smartphone system.
A webbased version of this so called Ringradio can be found on the website of SWR3.

After the festival you'll find some stuff of the festival online from 8th June to 12th June 2015 on the websites of SWR and DasDing.

Most of all: have fun through the festival days and enjoy summer!