8/29/2015

Senate of Prevail look back on the past time with new video

Memories can be sweet gifts. Sure they also can be bad and often we tend to look upon the bad those. It's so easy to forget the good things that happened in a world that is filled with problems.

Anyway, the swedish band Senate of Prevail currently is on hold after having powered all around for nearly a full year with recordings and live performances. They gathered some fans during that process including me and I've posted many of their stuff here on my blog. Just click this link to get a fast overview on those posts. I miss those days...

Happily the guitarist Peter Jonsson recently looked through the band's video archives and compiled a clip showing some nice scenes of the band's history. He also mixed a older track of Senate Of Prevail called "October Sky" and put both things together. The video shows material that has never before seen in any of the band's videos that came out during the last months.

It's well worth checking out. It's the music but also the memories that got me so quickly. My favoite scene is Anton Forsman playing the drum kit at the start of the video and looking like the "Wasn't I supposed to do this?" look at the end and then Pecka Wexell (the drummer of the band) comes rushing in with the forklift as some sort of reaction. :-) 

Enjoy these sweet memories and keep an eye on the band's Facebook page. Who know's maybe one day they'll be back? I'm keeping my fingers crossed for that!

8/27/2015

Pre-listening of the new Tad Morose album St. Demonius

The full new Tad Morose album is up for listening. But better hurry, it's only online 'til friday. You can check it out at the website of the Decibel Megazine. The official release date is 28th August 2015. If you can't purchase the record at a store near you then you may order through the webshop of the band's record company Despotz Records.

Having heard the first half of the record I was very satisfied what the band has put out this time. Most of the tracks are midtempo but with steaming heavy guitar riffs and most of all very, very high pitched vocals. To me it sounds like a mixture of the new Tad Morose that we experienced on "Revenant" with elements of the past, most of all the "A Mended Rhyme" album came to my mind but without any keyboards in the sound at all. Therefore guitar effects have been used to give the tracks a deeper and atmospheric flair. Like that a lot. Can't wait to hear the second half. :-)

The band will be on tour in Europe in a good week. If you want to check out the dates just see my article about it.

8/24/2015

Interview with From Ashes To New

From Ashes To New is a Rap-rock / Alternative Metal band from Central Pennsylvania. I first came along the band when I was introduced to the lyric video of "Downfall". At that moment I wasn't in a good mood due to some things happening in my life that weren't positive and I was looking for something to cheer me up a bit. 

(c) by From Ashes To New, used with kind permission

The positive uplifting lyrics along with the power that the words "So don't let go" were thundered inside the refrain gave me a lot of strength so I was curious to get to know more about the band. I ended up on the website where the next video was waiting for me. This time "Stay this way" found another like with it's more rough power in it. 

So I wanted to know more about the band and happily had the chance to do so. Matt Brandyberry, who is responsible for Vocals/Guitar/Keys/Programming kindly gave me some information about the way the band works when writing songs, the message of the lyrics as well as about the upcoming album "Day One" and the bands relation to their fanbase.

Heavy Metal Underdogs: In the biography I've read that Matt Brandyberry's first takes in music were related to the Hip Hop scene and writing rhymes but later changed to Rock music. What was the trigger that changed you to focus more on the heavier side of music?

Matt Brandyberry: There are a few different things that lead me to metal. The first thing was not a good thing and actually gives me ground for my lyrical purpose and helping others be themselves. I rapped when I was a young teen. Everyone told me to quit, not because I wasn’t good, but because I was a white teen from a small town. So what did I do? I listened. At the time of me quitting rap the “Numetal” was starting to take off. I gave up rap all together and switched to guitar. Bands like Sevendust, Linkin Park, Drowning Pool, and Disturbed were at the top of my playlist. 

The lyrics in many metal bands are talking about the dark or gloomy side of life. You often use a more positive way of looking at things. Is it maybe a sort of message or giving the listener a piece of hope you want to do with doing different lyrics?

As I answered in the previous question, it’s all about going after what you love. Never take no for answer in this life. We honestly only live one time and we need to be ourselves during that process. Don’t waste your life being something that you’re not, while listening to what others want you to be. Go get yours. 

(c) by From Ashes To New, used with kind permission
Are most of inspirations for the vocals taken from your everyday personal life or where do you draw them from?

That’s where it’s all derived from, yes. 

With the approach of having two vocalist in the band: do you have a sort of scheme for each vocalist or do you try with every song who can do the proper vocal lines better?

We just write whatever feels right. If it’s rap, if it’s rap. If it’s singing, it’s singing. We write from the heart not from a schematic. 

How do you attempt each song in the writing process? Is it mostly Matt that comes around with the ideas or do you put all the ideas you have on a pile and work on them in rehearsal to see what fits best?

It starts with me (Matt). I have a small studio in my house, so it helps make the writing process easier. Chris and Branden are usually in the beginning stages as well. We all like to put our 2 cents into a song before it’s finished, so more lately it’s becoming a full band thing. We like it better as it evolves. 

The Downfall EP shows a wide variation of styles as well as on emotions. Will you focus on these mixture or even go on a heavier way on the upcoming record? (You can preorder "Day One" at the Pledgemusic page of the band.)

We don’t have a set way to do things. If it feels right we do it. We go from soft with pianos and strings to heavy, straight up screaming on the record. You’ll have to wait and see! 

Having seen that you've hit the road recently with Hollwood Undead: have you guys given up all your jobs lately and are focussing on the band alone or do you still work besides playing tours and recording new stuff?

We are all full time musicians now. We believe in this thing with everything we have, so we’re all in. 

Your fans seem to be very inspired by the music. Many of them have just contributed in the lyric video for "Downfall". Have you gotten feedback from them how your music influences their lives? I know of a good bunch of songs for myselves that have kept me going in my life through various hard times in my life.


We get great feedback all the time. That’s what are music is here for, to inspire and encourage everyone to chase their dreams and be themselves. It feels good to know that your own personal trials and tribulations are helping someone else conquer there’s. We’re here for others because it’s becoming harder and harder to find someone else who is. We as people need each other. A constant battle will only cripple our species. 

Since you have been on road recently: is there any funny story that happened that you would like to share with our readers?

I mean we’re always doing funny shit! We end up at Walmart 9 times out of 10. I guess the best way to see the stuff we do is follow our social media and add us on Snapchat FATNofficial. 

Thank you very much for taking the time to answer these questions!

You can connect with the band on Facebook, Twitter and Youtube,
The band is going to hit the road in a few days alongside Five Finger Death Punch, Papa Roach and In This Moment.

8/20/2015

Strangelet hitting the road 2015

In the very first days of 2015 I discovered a young band called "Strangelet". I remember it was a very cold day I heard and saw the video for "Privilege of Power" on the screen and was immediately blown away. This brandnew band provided this feeling of a typical hungry underground band that is going straight to the heart with it's direct and raw power.

What me amazed even more was the fact that the band produced the whole album "First Bite" on their own (except for the mastering) and that the sound comes in crashing as a full blown, professionell production. I think that's besides all the other stuff that bands have to fight with something not too many acts come around with. But you can easily check out the quality of the band for yourselves in the video below.


In the time since those days the band was able to do a couple of shows and will do some more in 2015. You can see them on the following dates here in southern germany.

(c) by Strangelet, used with kind permission


If you would like to buy a copy of their album "First Bite" for 10 Euro you can contact them at their website or Facebook page. After all I know: I'm tainted forever. ;-)

Update 2015/09/18: The band currently is taking part in a online voting for a slot on this years  METAL HAMMER PARADISE Festival (13.11.2015) featuring acts like "Helloween", "J.B.O.", "Black Label Society", "Destruction", "At The Gates", "Rage" and "Sepultura". Please take a minute and support them by voting for Strangelet. Your vote could really help to push the band further on their way. Thanks!

8/17/2015

Interview with magician Joel Givens (Magic That Rocks)

Some illusionists draw a lot of inspiration from metal music and it's themes and use the music for their shows. The "Raising Hell" video from Iron Maiden came to my mind when I thought of where I've first seen something that is a collaboration of these two styles of art.

Anyway, these days magic is often performed directly at the street or at a venue directly before the eyes of the crowd or one single person. Sometimes it's a small group of people who are involved in the scenery.

That means the tricks that are shown are different of course (not performed in a big format on the stage alone) but nevertheless they can still be very impressive. I always like to see those stuff, it somehow has a calming effect on me and I like it to see a illusion that's not explainable from the outside. I love not to know how the trick is done. For me it should be seen as a special moment in time, a gift that is given to you.

(c) by Joel Givens, used with kind permission

One of them is Joel Givens, a magician who performs especially for the stars of screen, sports and music like Godsmack, Pat Benatar, Michael Jordan, Yes, Dan Akroyd, ZZ­Top, Kevin Costner, Train, Third Eye Blind, Like A Storm, Peyton Manning, Alice Cooper and others as the "Magic That Rocks". Have a look upon the ring-trick that the magician performed for Godsmack frontman Sully Erna & drummer Shannon Larkin backstage at the 2015 Carolina Rebellion, May 2, 2015-Charlotte, NC.



We here at Metal Underdogs had the pleasure to ask Joel a few questions about his job and how it came together that he spezialised in performing for musicians in the area of Heavy Metal.

Metal Underdogs: How did you come to perform magic arts? 

Joel Givens: As, a young kid, around 10 i had a family friend show me a card trick and showed me how to do it. i did that same trick for the longest time. as fate would have it a book fair come through my school and i saw a book on magic. i bought it and learned the tricks in it. in middle school and high school, i always played with various tricks and was something i always did, adding routines all along. then in the early 90’s companies started asking me to do some of their events so i started doing corporate events for money and have continued ever since.
 

What made you move over to perform for musicians, especially for those playing the more heavier side of music? 

its the style of music i listen to on a daily basis, so it seemed like a good fit, doing magic and creating routines with Guitar picks, drum sticks and things that metal or rockers would use. and as i listen to music of the people that i like I’m always getting ideas for tricks based on lyrics etc. it has just been a natural process for me.

Joel Givens with Godsmack frontman Sully Erna & drummer Shannon Larkin

Since Joel Givens performs at VIP areas and for big bands: can "normal" people also witness your performances live?

Yes, “ Normal” people can. at all the events i do, I’m always out before the shows and after hanging out and showing people the things i did for the stars. they will ask what i did and how they reacted, so i’ll do some of the same routines for people to give them an idea. a lot of the times after the bands are done they will go hang out at a local pub, and over a few beers i’ll do some stuff also.

Is there a way to get access to these performances?

Yes, we are offering tickets to fans of our site and Facebook page. a few of the concerts we are giving away tickets and the meet and greets with me as part of a contest. sometimes the questions are about the band or band members. sometime its about the new cd coming out etc. the winners of the contest gets to go back with me and meet their favorite stars.
 
If you've become curious now head over to his Facebook page and who know's maybe you're the next one who get's involved in one of his tricks. One can never know.

As one more teaser to Joel Givens abilities here is another one of his tricks. It's called "Shadow Coins". Go and find out what it is all about and let the magic take you away for a while...

8/14/2015

Win tickets for the Wacken Open Air 2016

As hard as it is to believe but the 2016 edition of the world's biggest Heavy Metal Open Air has already sold out. So what can I do if I would like to be there anyway I can hear you say? (the same thing I do say :-)

There is at least one chance for people living in germany, swiss or austria. The record company Warner Music is currently running a raffle where you can win a ticket for yourselves and one more person. Just follow this link and fill out the form. All you have to do is to name three of your favorite songs of bands that have ever been performed at the festival. But be quick: the deadline for the raffline is Sunday 16th August 2015.

The organizers will use all the song titles that have been send in to create a Spotify playlist that should help to skip the waiting time 'till the next festival for all of us.

Besides the festival tickets there's also a chance to win CD/Vinyl packages out of the special price campaign of the record company that features bands such as Nightwish, Saxon, Motörhead, Napalm Death, Alice Cooper, Airbourne, Annihilator, At The Gates, Sabaton or Sepultura.

The following bands have already been confirmed for Wacken Open Air 2016:

Blind Guardian, Axel Rudi Pell, Ministry, Dragonforce, Unisonic, Therion and many, many more.

8/13/2015

Tad Morose to kick off European Tour in September in support of new album "St. Demonius"

Things may take a while in life but in the end they can turn out for the good. That's what I thought when I got the info that Tad Morose will finally be able to play a proper tour for their brand new record entitled "St. Demonius". The band will be joined by their fellow countrymen in Silent Call, so you'll also be able to discover a new band if you don't know them yet. I've discovered a lot of new bands live and often it was a very pleasant surprise that came my way. So one more reason to go to one of the shows. :-)

The complete tour dates are shown on the poster below.

(c) by Tad Morose, used with kind permission

Tad Morose have been part of the heavy metal scene for over 20 years, and so far time they released seven studio albums. Their newest, eighth offering, "St. Demonius" is scheduled for the August 28th release via Despotz Records. The new album is the second release in a row featuring ex-Steel Attack singer Ronny Hemlin, after the release of 2013's "Revenant."

In an interview with metalshockfindland.com, guitarist Christer "Krunt" Andersson said about the new album following: "It’s Tad Morose kind of metal, a little bit more of everything I think. A lot of the lyrics are about the crap that’s going around in today’s world, people never ever seem to learn from history. And all the religious bullshit that’s going on, why can’t people just sit back, shut up, play heavy metal, drink beer, smile and have a good time? Let everyone believe in whatever they believe, as long as they don’t hurt anybody. That’s a lot of the things going on in the lyrics."

If you haven't heard some music of the new Tad Morose record then here is the video for "Your own demise" for you to check out.

8/11/2015

INDIAN INVASION 2015: free online compilation of metal bands from India

The metal scene in India is very active and alive! If you're following this blog regulary you know that the bands from that region like Bevar Sea, Grey Shack or Inner Sanctum have released great material in the recent time or are at the moment working on new releases that sound already very promising from the previews available.

But what about all the other bands from there? How do the bands from that part of the world sound like, what is their (fresh) attempt on Heavy Metal music? You can easily check that out for yourselves with the brand new free sampler "Indian Invasion 2015" which has been set up for free download as well as for streaming on the pages of the excellent Headbangers India blog. 

The package is completed by fine artwork from Headbangers India author Ishaan Kumar.

(c) by Ishaan Kumar / Headbangers India



These bands and tracks are featured on the Indian Invasion 2015 compilation:

01. Albatross – Jugglehead the Clown
02. Heathen Beast – Drowning Of The Elephant God
03. Dormant Inferno – Deliverance
04. Sycorax – Designing Eradicaton
05. Bevar Sea – Where There's Smoke (There's A Pyre)
06. Primitiv – Lords Of Primitiv
07. Zygnema – The Phoenix Effect
08. Against Evil – War Hero
09. Shepherd – Spite Pit
10. Chaos – Violent Redemption
11. Demonic Resurrection – Trail Of Devastation
12. Before The Holocaust – Clockwork Orange
13. The Minerva Conduct – End Creation
14. Biopsys – Surgical Symmetry
15. Trinergic – Rise Of Xyrith

Inside the zip file weighting around 161 MB in size you'll also find a pdf file with detailed information for each band. It contains links to websites letting you quickly gather more information about the artists (mostly their sites on social networks) so you will quickly have a good overlook on the featured styles. Further links for streaming more songs and contact data as well as URL's for purchasing the full releases are provided in the document.

One thing I can promise to you: it will be a journey letting you discover bands you don't want to miss out anymore. The bands have created exciting songs which combine the best from the past and present days of Heavy Metal history. And while you're waiting for the download to finish why not log in to your favorite social network and let your friends know about this free sampler? They'll for sure like to know about this cool summer goodie!

It's also a good choice if you know a friend out there celebrates it's birthday and you're on the lookout for a proper gift. Just link him to the compilation and I think that will be one thing he'll remember being a something special even years later.

By the way: this is already the second compilation released by the crew of Headbangers India. If you would like to get to know some more bands from India just see my post about the first sampler which is still up for streaming and free download.

8/08/2015

WDR to broadcast round-up of With Full Force 2015

The legendary TV show "Rockpalast" has visited the "With Full Force" Festival in 2015 for the first time to show people out there what was going on there.

The german TV station WDR has announced to broadcast the result, a big three hour broadcast of this years edition of The Full Force Festival. The show is running in the night from Sunday, 9th August to Monday, 10th August starting at 0:15h (CEST).

You'll be able to see stuff of the following bands:

Kreator, Heaven Shall Burn, Parkway Drive, Lamb Of God, Die Kassierer, Agnostic Front, Sick Of It All, Pro Pain, Fear Factory, Terror, Heaven Shall Burn, Knorkator, Diablo Blvd., Obituary and Arch Enemy.

Update 08/12/2015: The full package has been added to the on demand archive! Having seen it I can only give many thumbs up for this. They people behind the best of managed to put together a good round-up, it never get's boring and it keeps you on the screen through a good mixture of live and interview footage all along with impressions of visitors of the festival and their opion of what's going on. Enjoy. :-)

The TV station happily has a livestream up and running so I hope many people will be able to check this out.

Another Television station called MDR will show the package for a second time on 19th August 2015, starting at 23.35h (CEST).

Some preview stuff including some live-performances as well as a lot of interview footage is already online over at the website of Rockpalast as well as the newly opened up Youtube channel. 

Here's one example, the interview with Mille from Kreator filmed at the With Full Force Festival 2015.

8/06/2015

CD Review: Suffer No Fools - Songs For The Restless Youth

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 prefered 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 

Suffer No Fools was formed in Ealing in 2015 and is comprised of Ali Khan on vocals, Jack Kirby and Jamie Newdeck on guitar, Alex Bain on bass, and Mike Taylor on drums. The band set out to combine the best of their influences in order to create something contemporary that also harked back to the last few decades of metal. This led to a band that had the speed and melody of Metallica, the groove of Rammstein and the crushing edge of Killswitch Engage.
This EP entiled "Songs For The Restless Youth" is the very first release of the band which saw the light of day in May 2015 on Bandcamp. 

(c) by Mesozord, used with kind permission


Summary / Purchase Links / Player

This record has hit me like a storm! Wow, for sure a real pure thrash album but also not just one of the many. What's so different here? It's first of all the little details the band worked in on the songs. Just for example there are all these melodic, relaxing guitar parts in "The Bombing Campaign" plus the very melodic chorus which set's deep in your mind once listened to it. Then we have the track "Prey" which has a very unusual clean guitar going with it in the songs refrain. It's otherwise a raw and typical thrash metal track but this little element harks back and makes you give it a re-listen.

Then there are the vocals that are held in a bit softer tonality than usual thrash vocalists keep them - but I like it that way. It gives a bit more relaxed feeling when listening to them - something that's a big pro in my eyes since some thrash records tend to be a bit exhausting while listening to them. Just hit the play button and start enjoying this cool record.


The EP has a good variation of songs on them, it's midtempo as well as tracks going straight to the meat with more speed. You can easily headbang along to them but also pick them up later to have a closer listen. Most of all the music never get's monotone and has many parts in them that invite you to re-listen to them. So it's well worth spending the 4 GBP on them for a download in various formats on Bandcamp. There's also a very limited edition run as a physical CD up for purchase for all those people living in the UK.

Please support the artist by buying this recording and go to their shows. We need such talented musicians putting out so diverse and fresh records much more in my ears. If you prefer to buy your music on other sites than Bandcamp you can pick up the digital release on itunes, Spotify as well as on Amazon MP3.

Also make sure to visit the band on Facebook since they are going to play some shows in support of the record, just check in to see a detailed list of dates. There's also the possibility to keep in touch with the band on their ReverbNation page or have a look on Youtube to keep a eye on them. Soundcloud users can also stream and connect with Suffer No Fools through their account on that service.

Track-by-Track Review


1.Acheron
The intro to the EP. A dark und mysterious theme comes close to the listener. You can feel that something is coming near, yet you don't know what it is. It feels like some powers above you choose your destiny in those moments - like putting it together on a big map. Finally the guitars come in with distortion so you know the band is setting up and the storm is about to come down...

2.The Bombing Campaign 
Rough guitars start this one out leading you in step by step. Slowly the pressure builds up to explode in a double axe heavy hitting attack with accompaining drums. The vocals step in giving it back a relaxter feeling and a bit more melody back into the song. A slow intermission leads over letting you miss the refrain and bringing you to verse two. More crushing guitars ripp up the track before some clear guitars form a softer breaker into the track. The refrain shows up for the first time and the whole structure is repeated afterwards. A extensive solo-parts comes in before the clean part returns. The end brings back the beginning theme so the circle is perfectly closed on this one.

3. Prey
A straight and direct riff opens this song up. A short shredding intermission leads over to the refrain which has this clear, high notes in them I mentioned at the summary section. Very unusual and not heard often such idea will you surely turn your head and wanting to have a replay. Maybe you'll like it as much as I do - a big contrast to the traditional thrash song structures but a idea that's highly welcomed. There's more of that towards the end in a own clear section of Prey.
   
4. Forgiven Or Forgotten 
It's time to headbang a lot if you've not already on the previous tracks already. The most straight forward track of the record going directly to your ears and wanna surely make you have a party with your friends. Just forget all the troubles with the world and enjoy this one! The song has some cool specials in them like the distorted vocals at the beginning or the double-bass drum attack at the last third of the song leading to a very blistering solo bursting out of the music. Love this one!

(c) by Carly Marson, used with kind permission

5. Abyss
A bit more epic intro opens up to a midtemo piece of music with fast drum-fills in them. The refrain comes more stretched yet as a very welcome diversity for the writer of these lines. It's a very atmospheric element the refrain creates. Once more something that goes out of the usual song structures and gives a feeling of freshness. Guitars and drums go in a very close hand-in-hand connection on Abyss. Details have been outworked very sharp, must have surely taken some time to get this on that level on tape.
  
6. Dirge Of The Old Gods 
A classic riff open this one up very shortly. Short and sharp riffs are fired out very well together with much diversity on the drums pushing it through various changes in speed. Reminds me a bit of the compact riff-hacker Testament sometimes composes yet vocals are formed much more around the songs structures to fit in with groove and riffing structures. 
     
7.Into The Breach
Some open riffs start this shotly before a massive double-bass drum patters puts in more pressure to the final song of the EP. The refrain is stretched a bit more out before a riff change leads in some distorted vocals and opens up the way for a very compact riff intermezzo in a sort like the old In Flames had them back in the day. The drummer puts in some very hard timing-critical parts in here, reminding me a bit of Slayer with Dave Lombardo. More sharp riffs make me feel so good, sounding like the guitars were directly fusioned with drums, a totally tight sound mixture comes your way. Great ending for a great EP!

8/04/2015

Periphery giving free home recording lessons

So many band are recording and producing their material themselves these days. Digital recording and mixing/cutting equipment has become affordable for many bands and the chance to work on the songs as long as you like and/or need is surely a big pro for going this way.

But how are the several steps done properly? There are many decisions to be made and stuff to be set up before a good sound comes along. The  progressive rock/metal band Periphery has teamed up with CreativeLive Music & Audio and decided to give a free online recording workshop which will be hosted by bassist/producer Adam "Nolly" Getgood and drummer Matt Halpern.

The exact date for this event is August 26th and 27th from 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. PDT / 1:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. EDT. You can also see the exact time for your timezone when clicking on the proper gadget on the stream website. You will be able to see how drums are tracked in a live session, other lessons will cover areas such as tuning, microphone selection and positioning and how to work around common problems while recording music.

Finally the result will be given a complete mix with a session of the "Juggernaut" album recordings from Periphery along with the drums recorded in the workshop.

Finally make sure to click over to the Studio Pass session and to enlist to this fine way to learn more about homerecording for free.

If you haven't heard something of the band yet check the short video snippet below to hear how the band sounds like.