10/30/2015

Happy Halloween with free Freakangel Live DVD

Happy Halloween weekend everyone! Tomorrow night is the night of horror. :-) Have you prepared yourselves for trick or treat? I have done at least a little decoration for my flat. This shows the windlight mummy I've build with simple parts.

My self-build windlight mummy :-)

Here's how to build your own one: all you need is a old and clean sausage glass. Wrap it with a gauze bandage. You'll need to fix the beginning and the end of the badage with some tape. Don't overleap too much or the candle won't shine through enough. Finally take some black paper and make two black dots with a perforator. Cut out two round pieces out of white paper. Affix both on the bandage and put a lighted tea candle inside of the glass.

As for the real metal treat I've found this nice one for you:
It is the full concert DVD of Industrial-Metal artist Freakangel who have released their live DVD "The Show Of Violence" for free. It includes is a 45 minute live performance video that was filmed during Freakangel's "The Ones To Fall" tour in the winter of 2014 in their home town of Tallinn, Estonia. The full DVD-HD recording can be streamed for free via the bands website as well as Freakangel's YouTube Channel. Freakangel states "They have made the video available for free to thank their fans for the many years of support". The video can be found below.

"The Show Of Violence" is also be available as an eleven track live album. It has been released as a digital only album by the Belgium based label Alfa Matrix. It can be purchased HERE. Finally: have a good Halloween party!

10/28/2015

PANIKK release free EP to pass the time til the next album

So Nuclear Assault, the legendary thrash metal band from the USA that played the music in such a traditional way without any modern elements put inside their sound has announced to call it quits after the upcoming EP release and the following shows. To explain the split-up I remember that the band said in a interview that they all have different lifes to follow these days which keep them busy and don't allow them to keep the schedule like back in the day.

But who will carry on the torch? PANIKK seems to be the answer. Their music reminds me a lot of the old times when I used to meet with friends and listen to records from bands like PANIKK. I like the oldschool sound, it makes it clear from the beginning that you listen to stuff from the traditional style without all the modern stuff attached. Besides the reference to Nuclear Assault I think they add slightly elements of technical playing techniques that give the sound a very sharp approach when it comes to timing and precision. Think of the way Megadeth and Xentrix like to write their music.

The band has already a full length album out since 2013 titled Unbearable Conditions. At the moment they are recording the follow-up album. Since it takes a lot of time to record a full album that meets the high standards that are set in the thrash genre these days it is scheduled for a release in 2016. Having thought on the support from the fans the band decided to release a free EP to give their followers something to cross the waiting time.

(c) by PANIKK, used with kind permission

Properly labeled as the "Pass the time" EP you can download it directly from the Bandcamp site of their new label Xtreem Music or have a first isten to it directly here on my page. Note that the content of the EP can be described as all killers, no fillers. To be honest I've been blown away by the power and precision along with the tyical fun feeling that listening to thrash can give you. It's a record I love to hear.


If you want a physical copy of this EP, which comes as a limited edition, you can buy it directly at the band's own Bandcamp site for just 2 Euro.

To buy a CD copy of their debut album "Unbearable Conditions", click here.

Don't forget to like them on Facebook or Twitter to keep in touch with them about the further progress of the upcoming album.

10/23/2015

Chasing Dragons funding upcoming album teaser EP

Leeds, UK based Metal Band Chasing Dragons are currently running a crowdfunding campaign to help getting the cash needed to record a 3-track record, fully produced by Lee Batiuk of Regal House Studios, featuring songs from the debut album "Faction".

The EP entitled "Faction: Prologue" is meant to be a teaser to the band's upcoming first full length record that the Chasing Dragons are working on since some time. Having found a new bass guitar player in the meantime the band decided to give the album the time it needs to be a decent recording. Since the fans are waiting for new material it sounds a good idea in my ears to build a bridge to the debut record with a EP teaser.

Being a independent band the campaign has been set up to raise the money for the whole recording process as well as for creating a video to help promote the release. The goal has already been reached but there's still time to reserve your copy and help the band to get a bigger and better PR & radio campaign and produce more merchandise for their fans.

There are lots of nice goodies available at the Kickstarter page to choose from that many fans may like, amongst them singing along to one of the EP's tracks, a guest appeareance in the music video as well as music teaching lessongs for vocals or drums via Skype or also in-person. You may also go on stage with the band during their set if you decide to choose that reward. The basic download comes along for 3 GBP and the other options are of course a bit more expensive.

10/19/2015

CD Review: Final Coil - Closed To The Light

Band Introduction

Final Coil are a metallic grunge band located at Leicester, England. They've put out various EPs / albums on Bandcamp which all represent a own style the band is capable to play so if you listen to the various stuff you'll be surprised to hear how different they can sound like.

The "Somnambulant" record they've put out in 2014 saw the band going into a acoustic direction offering very sensible and deeply-emotional songs. In the time between "Failed Lights", a brand new and in my ears excellent acoustic song saw the light of day on YouTube, it's a recording of a web-broadcast the band did a while ago.

Only few details on the next record were spread through Facebook in the meantime. But this will end today....

(c) by Final Coil, used with kind permission


Summary / Purchase-Link

Having heard the songs I've talked about above I was absolutely sure that the band would come around with another acoustic record. The new track sounded like a perfect fit, a bridge between the "Somnambulant" tunes and the beginning of a more progressive era of new longer acoustic tracks held in the typical Final Coil style.

The cool thing is: everything about this was totally wrong. :-) In fact what can be heard right here is the heaviest stuff the band has come up with today. I would call it the heaviest songs the band has put out up to this point. The guitars are absolutely sharp and ripping everything to pieces that stands in their way. Meanwhile the drums and bass guitar maintain a fine note of rhythm, giving in a hard, dry and deep punch into the sound. The vocals put a perfect layer over this, transporting much of the emotions of the tracks.

Everything is held in a very tight style, it's crushing heavyness coming from every corner of the sound. It doesn't even leave a single chance of easy sound on most of the tracks (the last song is a exception from that). If you like your music heavy and ultratight this EP will make you more than happy.

In fact I would call this a mixture of the first EP "Goodbye to all that" and their second effort "Live with doubt". Don't miss out this gem. The EP will be released on 2. November 2015. You'll be able to get a free listen / download for a first spin over at Bandcamp starting at that day. There will also be a limited edition CD available. Please buy one of the CDs so underground bands can keep making music and move on. It's worth listening to it numerous times, a EP mixing up all the various styles of the band and bringing them out in the most beautiful form. Progression and heavyness in all of it's beauty.

Player 

The fine thing as of today is that Heavy Metal Underdogs can give you exclusively a first listen of one of the tracks of the brand new EP. I'm very proud that the band picked my blog for this song premiere. It's a honour for me. So without further ado enjoy the track "Daylight Fades" right here.


Track-by-track review

A short intro called "Close to the light" gives in some atmospheric touches with guitar effects and some vocal extracts before a sharp guitar cut comes rushing in quickly leading over to the first full track.

While the first track "Daylight Fades" starts with a simple rhythm it becomes quickly clear that the band had a hard sound in mind when writing this track. The repeating of the text is a kicker in my ears. Especially the second "can't" repeated several times makes this harking back to your mind. Some of the guitar sounds even remind me of good old Jimi Hendrix and his special sound effects. The bridge between the first refrain and the second refrain could easily be described as a sonic guitar bomb. I love this effect! The end of this first song offers a compressed part that only slightly let's room for variations but those played kick the number up even higher. it's like a glimpse of light falling out of a dark mass shaping a form into the darkness for just a few moments but long enough to keep you longing for more.

"Goodybe to all that" picks up where "Daylight Fades" left off, showing what the band is able to do with re-writting a classic track. This incarnation of the track features a much more compressed and heavy guitar sound compared to the original track. Besides that it leaves away most of the playing effects of the 2010 release giving a sharper focus on the main-theme of the song. It shows impressively that reduction can be a fine way of giving a track a new and much heavier interpretation. Nevertheless it doesn't mean the song works only with cutting away things. Moreover these elements were added back again but in a different and harder format. It's now all distorted, yet you will need some fine playing skills to get to replay this I'm sure.

The final track "Closed to the light" is a surprise to the listener. It stands out of the other material giving some redemption after the brutal heavyness that stormed through your ears before. The song starts out softly with some drums and few vocals. The volume is rising all the while as the music slowly starts to build up more. The tonality is set softer, more dreamingly at this point. Much room for the more progressive site of the band on this one. This touches softly the "Somnabulant" era but with more punch and drums before some slightly heavy guitars keep coming in. The vocals are very intense with much drum fills performed to the last silent corners of the song. The last third brings in some heavyness in the guitar section giving some thoughts to the legendary Pink Floyd. A epic masterpiece in my ears. After all I'm listening to the whole record on repeat. It's a big pleasure to have the chance to listen to such a talented band.

10/15/2015

Groove Thrashers Amentia look into the Eyes of Medusa

So last time I posted here I looked back soundwise on the beginnings of the Thrash Metal scene with the album stream from Aggravator's current output "Populace Destructor".

But how can the Thrash genre go on forwards and evolve further? Maybe a look to Sweden can help here. A band named Amentia currently is in the process of recording for the upcoming release. Two bandmembers should be familar to readers of this blog: Peter Jonsson (guitars) and Peter Wexell (drums). Both were already active in Senate Of Prevail (who are currently on hold) and have made up this new band.

Amentia describes their style on the Facebook page as Groove Thrash Metal. Maybe the groove element can help to bring in some new variations to today's Thrash scene. I think it's also a question if some variations can be integrated into the material. Diversity is what makes songs more attractive, exciting and less monotone in my eyes. Besides that band's playing this style these days are playing it a lot harder and heavier than ever back in the day. I often wonder how they make it possibe to bring in even more power to the sound.

This also goes for the first single Amentia have put out. Entitled "Eyes of Medusa" this is for sure a massive track! I like the heavyness of this one. Ludvig Setterlind's voice sounds hard and dark and I often wonder about the bandwith he is able to sing. But it's great to hear it also comes with some variations in the mood. Very haunting moment when I heard the slower part for the first time. Just check out the video to find out if you agree.



If this video has made you curious longing for more just head over to Amentia's Facebook site. There you can find some more trailers the band has already uploaded for you to enjoy.

10/13/2015

80s Thrashers Aggravator stream full album "Populace Destructor"

Do you often browse through your record collection and find yourselves picking the old school thrash albums from back in the 80s? The production on these albums was often done in a much more dirty and rough way. The songs were harder and directer, this feeling of shred coming directly from the speakers was far more present then it is these days.

If you stick to albums like Overkills "Taking Over" then this album "Populace Destructor" from american old school thrashers Aggravator is for you. Listening to it this album took me way back to the time when I discovered this genre and started to liked it more and more. Besides the mentioned reference to Overkill the sound is also influenced by early Sepultura, Kreator and Slayer. Aggravator proudly shared the stage with such gods like King Diamond, Toxic Holocaust, Exodus, Incantation, Suffocation, Autopsy... among others!

(c) by Aggravator, used with kind permission

The cool thing is that we can let you all out there have a listen to the full album right here, so enjoy some classic thrash now.


The album was originally released already in 2014 but has been re-released on 10th October 2015 by Dead Center Productions to extend the distribution on the European side, and to reach all the fans who could miss this piece of thrash. You can buy the full album from the webshop of the band or have a look on the label's Facebook presence.

10/10/2015

Elferya streams first track of new album "Eden's Fall"

Female voices can be such a strong element in the sound of a band! This sentence came to my mind when I listened to a track of the brand new Elferya record, that has hit the shelves exactly one month ago.

(c) by Elferya, used with kind permission
This one touches my mind so deeply because it has such a intensive atmosphere to offer. That starts out with the many variations in the vocals in the first part of "Cruel Night". If fits so perfectly to the stomping power and the heavyness of the track.

The second part is set up with the music taking a bigger role and getting louder all the while. Yet the vocals keep up it's massive impression on the listener. It all comes over to me as a sort of musical expression full of passion. It feels as if you're giving your all and everything of  your spirit and the feelings of this very moment into this one piece of music. Just check out this epic piece of music.


Elferya are a melodic symphonic power metal band based in Switzerland. Also the band is unsigned yet they managed to gather quite a impressive Fanbase on Facebook already.

(c) by Elferya, used with kind permission

Elferya is going to celebrate the album release with a mini-tour in their homeland starting already today. Here are the dates.

10.10.2015 Switzerland, Avenches, Aventicum Culture Club

23.10.2015 Switzerland, Versoix, Caves de Bonséjour

30.10.2015 Switzerland, Echallens, ZR Live Music

29.11.2015 Switzerland, Pratteln, Z7

You can purchase the full length album directly through the band's webshop. If you're yet not sure if the record meets you expectations check out the album trailer below. It is short, but gives a good overview on the album and also some insight into the recordings of the record. Also make sure to see the official website for more album trailers and videos.

10/08/2015

Mike Portnoy uses Hello Kitty drumset to play metal classics

You don't need to have much equipment to play some nice drum tracks. ;-) 
This video is quite a nice idea.

What can you play on a children's drumset? Let's say you've got some sort of Snare, one Hang-Tom and a Bass-Drum with a single pedal as well as one Splash cymbal. Does it work to play some metal classics upon such a limited set? Check out the video below and you'll know. :-) Just one hint: Slayer's Raining Blood works!
Thanks for putting out so much fun Mike Portnoy!

10/07/2015

Odd Crew releases new album and video "Mark These Words"

Maybe you guys remember that I've written about the crowdfunding campaign of Odd Crew here on my blog some time ago. The campaign was a half-success on the financial side but the band refused to give up.

Problems with Visa's for America also made the original plans impossible but the band managed to work around this as well and re-deceided to record the album in Sweden with the help of Daniel Bergstrand as a producer, mixing was done by Jason Suecof and Alan Douches took care about the mastering of the new material.

The new album entitled "Mark These Words" will see the day of light in two days and you can still pre-order your copy through the band's website for 7,50 Euro plus shipping and handling. The band also opened up a presence of Bandcamp where you can get the songs digitally. Currently two tracks of the new record are available (Mark These Words and Lay On Me).


In the meantime check out the video for the title-track of the record. The refrain is a killer. I like the direct and brutal riffing along with the vocals. Those are kept heavy and hard but it's also great when they go over to the clean part. It's cool to see a vocalist changing without any ado from one style to another. Besides that the groove and push of the drums give a lot of positive energy to the listener. Enjoy. :-)


The band is also going to do some shows in support of the album, here are the exact dates with links to the venues on Facebook.

16.10 - Plovidv - Театъра / The Theater
17.10 - Burgas - Bar Bez Ime / БАР БЕЗ ИМЕ Бургас
22.10 - Bucharest - Question Mark
23.10 - Ruse - Karaoke Star / Караоке Стар
24.10 - Stara Zagora - Club Jam
29.10 - Veliko Turnovo - BAR ROCKA ROLLA
30.10 - Varna - VARNA LIVE CLUB
12.11 - Blagoevgrad - Club UNDERGROUND
21.11 - Sofia - HRISTO BOTEV HALL

For more updates check out the band's Facebook page or go to their official website.

10/05/2015

Drooble - a network dedicated to the needs of musicians

Social sites are important to a lot of people these days. As you can see on my blog I include links to plattforms where you can connect with bands and musicians nearly with every post. 

But all of the functions offered on those sites doesn't fit very much for the needs of musicians. I mean: you can read/listen to the stuff, you can write with people, give your comments etc. but it isn't very interactive when it comes to making music itself and earn money with your skills. The existing tools also only fit slightly to create a community, a one-stop place to bring all the people together that are living and loving music from their heart.

Here comes the good news - a team of enthusiasts lead by Melina (a guitarist and a brave entrepreneur) are building a project that is already making a Revolution for all people who love music.
Melina, Founder of Drooble
Imagine a place where you could connect with people who are passionate about music. Where you can learn from others and share your own knowledge and inspiration. Imagine a place where you can grow as a musician and earn a living doing what you love.

This place is Drooble – a web-based platform that connects all people who love music - fans, learning musicians, music teachers, performing artists and bands, record labels, booking agents, sound engineers. Everybody.
Right now in Drooble people can:
- Jam online for free
- Give lessons and get paid
- Take lessons and get better.
- Create Artist/Band Pages
- Find Bandmates and like-minded people

It sounds pretty cool, so if you don’t want to waste another minute, join Drooble today at Drooble.com. It’s free.

If you'd like to know how much the people creating the Drooble network are musicians themenselves just check the video below. It shows Traiko and Melina doing a Joe Satriani cover while taking a small break from working.

10/01/2015

CD Review: Vision Lunar - Luna Subortus

Band Introduction

The band was founded by Alexandre Julien (who has also played in Soufferance, Citadel Swamp,Éphémère and Vision Éternel, to name a few). From 2006 to 2007 Vision Lunar released seven demos. After going through a hiatus and ultimately breaking up in early 2009, a complete discography CD was issued, entitled “Phase One (2006-2009)”. This was given away to close friends and collaborators eventually released as a free download, massing over four hundred downloads since October of 2010.

A re-issue of that release was put out on a limited run of CDs starting August 29th 2015 by Abridged Pause Recordings. This second pressing features upgraded artwork, proper chronological track listing and a new song that was discovered in 2014, not found on the original issue.

Alexandre Julien started working on new Vision Lunar material back in February of 2015. After some re-thinking he finally re-animated the band and has just recently put out a brand-new EP entitled "Luna Subortus".

(c) by Vision Lunar, used with kind permission
Summary

So normally when I think of Black Metal I mostly think of very brutal music. It brings the raw power and energy of metal out the most direct and sounds uncompromising like only few. This band called "Vision Lunar" has surprised me a lot. It is Black Metal for sure but with a very atmospheric and haunting attitude in it. It shows that this musical style is not necessary limited or even bound to it's pure darker tone but can also bring in a lot of melody and vibe to it.

Album-Stream
 

Track-by-track Review

Listening to the new EP on Bandcamp I was very pleased to be introduced with a melodic first track called "Desperation". It takes you into a own mood which makes you calm. It perfectly fits to the change of nature which is going on these days with the summer leaving and the silence and darker sounds of autumn coming it. It also prepares you to listen closely.

The second track "Spiritus Luna" see's us going into a heavy metallic guitar storm, proofing the riff abilities of Vision Lunar. Here comes the moment that you realize the heavyweight of the EP. Still it all remains a instrumental song. I think band's doing instrumental stuff need to bring a lot to the table to keep the listener at the Stereo system but this riff monster definitely manages to do so.

Finally the third song "In Hues of Blood Orange" leads you away from the heavy style and brings you back to the melodic site of the record. You're leaving with your mind filled with new impressions. Plus I think you'll long for more once you've taken a ear on this. A very promising release and one which made me think on a different and new way when it comes for mixing musical styles that may sound impossible on a first try.

Final Words and Purchase Link

What makes this release so special is that it follows a sort of release circuit. In earlier times of the band from 2006 to 2007 Vision Lunar released seven demos, always on the day of a  full moon. The September 28th 2015 release date was chosen deliberately as it was the night of a full moon and also a lunar eclipse.

The full moon captured in Lingen, Photopgraphy taken from me in 2014

"Luna Subortus"  (meaning "revived moon" in Latin) is offered digitally. A cassette version is also in the works. Just head over to the Bandcamp page of the record company to purchase the EP.
There's also a physical version available on CD that comes in a clear DVD case for all readers living in Europe. Just head over to the website of Winterwolf Records (based in Germany) or visit their shop at Ebay to get a copy.