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martes, 14 de agosto de 2018

Interview with NECRODEATH



by Vpower



The Band: Necrodeath
Country: Italy
Answers by: GL (bass), Flegias (vocals), Pier Gonella (guitar)

The return of the legendary Italian Thrash Black band! ‘The Age Of Dead Christ’ is NECRODEATH’s 11th album, 33 years after their inception into the scene, when the now legendary demo tape ‘The Shining Pentagram’ was released. NECRODEATH go back to their roots releasing one of the fastest, most violent and brutal chapters in their deadly musical path and we were fortunate enough to have the chance to talk to this Italian Metal institution. Enjoy it!


"The Age Of Dead Christ" is you 11th album, more than 30 years of career, how do you feel about it?

GL: 33 years of career Necrodeath is a life! we have experienced many emotions and experiences that have made us grow both as musicians and as people ... The band was born in 1984, publishing the first demo in 1985, since then 33 years have passed (the age of the dead Christ). We are still here after all these years playing and having fun as in the past, we still have a lot of energy to concentrate on music and this new album proves it.

Since the legendary demo The Shining Pentagram and first album Into the Macabre only Peso remains as an original member. How is the current Necrodeath from inside?

GL: from 1984 to 1989 the band had a different formation, with Peso (drums) a founding member together with Claudio (guitar). In 1990 the band broke up to be reformed in 1998 with a new formation where the only original member remained Peso. The current line-up has been stable for about 10 years and I think it will last for a long time. The fundamental thing for a long cohabitation is to get to know each other and understand each other, the music will do the rest!

I suppose the title of the new album is directly connected with the history of Christ, how did you choose it?

Flegias: Actually the title is not really connected with the history of Christ, the link is with the age when Christ died and the years of our career: 33 years. So this is the reason why we have chosen this title. The lyrics deal with an historical consideration and speak about if it's right to say that Christ has sacrificed himself for people and his apostles after his death immediately started to spread his name everywhere...why in the years thereafter this belief became a slaughter, killing millions of people in God's  name until the coming of the Enlightenment?

 The cover artwork is also very explicit in that sense and also features the band’s old logo

Flegias: The cover album was drawn by myself, trying to recreate the typical demotape graphic of the eighties. Particularly we took inspiration from Hellhammer's demotape “The Triumph Of Death”. We wanted to recreate the same feeling that we wanted to give also with the music, that is a throwback to   our sound. This is why we have also chosen to use our old logo.

What are the lyrics about?

Flegias: Every song have a different story from the others. They range from historical to religious and fantasy themes but behind each one of them you can find actual issues. We like describing the raw reality  referring to the past, our intent is to reflect on how much mistakes of the past continue in being perpetrated nowadays.

This album is really aggressive and goes back to the roots of your sound…

GL: Yes, this album was designed to play aggressive and old school, we did not want a perfect album, but a sound aggressive dirty and heavy. We composed it very quickly and recorded just as fast to capture the essence of the song. For us it was very natural to compose it and we are happy. We were inspired by our first works and all our musical background that has its roots in classic thrash death black metal, so this album recalls the 80/90 years and that sound. We are receiving good feedback and this gives us great pleasure.

You have included a new version of the classic ‘The Undead’ from your album Into The Macabre with A.C. Wild of Bulldozer on vocals, right?

PIER: Yes! Bulldozer are great friends of us. So many times A. C. Wild has come on Necrodeath stage playing The Undead with us. So finally this was the perfect album for moving this collaboration to the studio

This might well be your best album in the new century, what do you think?

GL: for us every album has a story to tell and we are proud of every composed song. Surely "the age of dead Christ" is a record that we like a lot and that I hope will please many people. When we compose a song we never think what effect it will have on those who listen to it, so every time is a new bet .... the important thing is  for us  to be satisfied with the work done.

How long have you worked on "The Age Of Dead Christ"? All flowed smoothly?

PIER: About two years. We don't live close so we cannot practice a very day. Usually after some gigs we      will remain in studio for a couple of days making practice and writing new material. Because we wanted to record everything live and together the work was harder and longer, but we had goodtime also!

The black, raw & aggressive Thrash you show in "The Age Of Dead Christ" will continue on next releases or was just the ocassion for celebrating the 33 years?

PIER: We don't know at the moment. "The Age of Dead Christ" became alive naturally, not because of the 33years of career. We plan every album when we start composing...anyway at the moment the raw & aggressive way is a good way...

I suppose you will tour around, anything already programmed?

GL: yes ... we have many concerts already scheduled and many are coming in these days. We will play mainly in Italy from March to October 2018, but also some dates in Europe. We will try to schedule as many concerts as possible to make our new album known and to meet new friends. So we hope to play in your country too!

On Metal music any past time is better or future is all that matters?

Flegias: Obviously in the past metal music has lived important moments that won't be repeated but of course we must look at the future and not avoid on memories of the past.  Necrodeath are always searching new musical feelings without forgetting its own origin and the past.

Thank you very much for your attention, if you wish to add something…

PIER: Thank you for the interview and the support! Check out our new release on CD  www.scarletrecords.it  and Vinyl www.tfhrecords.com . Keep you updated on our upcoming shows around Europe www.necrodeath.net

CHEVALIER - A Call To Arms (2018)




1.Under The Sceptre  (6:29)
2.The Sorcerer  (4:41)
3.The Awakening  (5:40)
4.Chevalier  (4:31)
5.Ride For Revenge  (5:41)
6.Defenestration  (5:23)

Emma - Vocals
Tommi - Guitars
Mikko - Guitars
Joel - Drums
Sebastian - Bass

Relanzamiento del ep que ya habíansa sacado en 2017 pero en formato digital, ahora en formato cd y vinilo gracias a Gates Of Hell Records. Es una banda de sonido under y muy true se podría decir, siguiendo los cánones clásicos de los 80 y con una vocalista feminina que aporta mucho al grupo, algo no muy habitual en bandas de speed metal. Ya os hemos comentado su anterior trabajo y os decíamos que era una banda que prometía emociones fuertes, y eso se confirma con este nuevo trabajo.

Under The Sceptre nos muestra un speed metal melódico con unos arreglos de guitarra fulgurantes, suena épico, suena under y true metalero a tope, a ello contribuye también la producción bastante cruda que le han dado a los temas, me parece que han acertado plenamente con la tecla. La voz de Emma es también uno de los puntales de su música, no esperéis una voz melódica, es under, rasposa, chillona a veces y ciertamente le otorga mucho carácter a la banda. Un primer cañonazo de tema muy interesante que recuerda a bandas centroeuropeas como Atlain, Mandator y un poco la épica veloz de los míticos Brocas Helm.

The Sorcerer arranca con un riff heavy de esos que supuran maldad y acto seguido lanzan su ataque speedmetalero, riffs consistentes y de nuevo su sonido crudo que les aparta de la tendencia mayoritaria actual de vendernos un producto superpulido, parece que volvemos atrás en el tiempo a la época de los casettes. Velocidad y crudeza al estilo de bandas como los Adx, Acid y un poco también al aire oscuro de los Mercyful Fate en las guitarras. Buenos y feroces alaridos a cargo de Emma que lo borda, punteos veloces y sin zarandajas.

No dan lugar a la tregua con The Awakening, a degüello desde el principio, un breve ralentí instrumental y vuela a la carga. Estos Chevalier hacen un speed que no adolece de melodías, pero más bien oscuras, no tan felices como las bandas power speed ochenteras. Además, en este corte le meten más épica a las guitarras y eso se nota en que respecto a los anteriores es un tema con más diversidad en los ritmos, combinando las partes veloces con las ralentizaciones de epic heavy. Los coros están muy logrados y contribuyen a construir la atmósfera del tema, muy al estilo de otro excelente grupo como son sus compatriotas los Legionnaire, y por supuesto los eternos Brocas Helm.

Chevalier es otro tema donde las melodías épicas siguen compartiendo protagonismo con el speed metal, aunque este último es el estilo predominante. Riffs ultrarápidos con 0% de azúcar y 100% de agresividad y actitud, además es un tema con un estribillo muy coreable.

Tiempo para ponerse en modo heavy melódico con Ride For Revenge, con un comienzo muy ambiental. Pero como lo que llevan en la sangre es la velocidad no tardarán en darle auténticos hachazos al tema, de todas formas es una pieza más ambiental y que va creciendo en intensidad hasta llegar a la parada épica de la que salen desbocados.

Último tema con Defenestration, es un tema más lineal que los anteriores y con unas melodías no tan logradas, aunque actitud la tienen toda, los solos cumplen y van siempre en el sentido de buscar más el feeling y la fuerza que la técnica, y lo consiguen con creces. Les dará confianza para por fin afrontar un disco completo que es lo que ya les va tocando y donde, ahí sí, tendrán que dar el paso adelante y confirmar que son una banda capaz de meterse entre los mejores del género.

Kill in the... (by Black Sabbath)


lunes, 30 de julio de 2018

MARK SHELTON R.I.P.


Mark Shelton se nos ha ido, demasiado pronto, demasiado joven, en un momento creo que de los más inspirados de su carrera, tanto con Manilla Road como con su nuevo proyecto Hellwell. Además, estaba girando más que nunca. Lo vi varias veces encima de las tablas, era de esos músicos que te conquistaba por su calidad técnica, su feeling tocando la guitarra, pero también por su entrega y por el aura que desprendía, esa que sólo tienen los seres especiales.

Los dioses querían tenerlo más cerca y nos lo han arrebatado, podían haber esperado unos cuantos años más, pero su egoísmo nunca ha tenido límites, eso no ha cambiado. Allá donde estés Mark Shelton, seguiremos disfrutando de tu legado y recordándote con cariño y admiración..


Interview with SOLSTICE



by Vpower




The Band: Solstice
Country: United Kingdom
Answers by: Paul Kearns (vocals)

A new album from Solstice is like manna for the hungry souls of the metal legion who loves their music. So, at last the long awaited third album from the band is here and I do believe "White Horse Hill" will not dissapoint anyone and will put Solstice once again among the bands that play for the Gods. Hopefully we will have not to wait another two decades to get another chapter from these epic doom machine. For now, let’s enjoy the new amazing chapter and these few words with Paul.




Hi Paul!, when we talk about Solstice we are referring to one of the big names in the Epic Doom, that’s why a halt of 20 years since your last full-length almost killed us lol

A long,long time. It was already 14 years since New Dark Age when I joined the band, so in that sense 20 years doesn't seem so crazy 'cos it's been many years since people accepted that a lot of time was gonna pass before the follow up to New Dark Age would arrive. But....time takes time, and only time decides.....

With your demo “To Sol A Thane” from 2016 we saw our teeth grow longer and longer with each listening, the new album completely confirms your great moment

I think the To Sol A Thane release, being that it was essentially a demo, was a very good representation of Solstice as we were at that stage (2016). It also, I think, gave a very good indication of where we were heading too!

Personally it does this quite a bit better than our Death's Crown Is Victory EP did, and that's simply because the opening song – I Am The Hunter –as far as I'm concerned is absolutely not up to the standard of all the other songs that have been written since Andy and I joined the band. And, again, just my opinion...but I think Death's Crown itself (the title track) towers over that song in every way.

On the other hand, I think the three songs on To Sol A Thane are equally representative of what we wanted to and hoped to capture. As far as the album? I think it's the same blue print as the To Sol A Thane recording but with 20 years of hope and patience realised!

 All the songs in the 2016 demo are included in your new album, any variation on those tracks from the original recording?

Yeah, nothing major. Some altered bits and pieces, some new brush strokes added to the canvas (guitars in the chorus of To Sol A Thane, as an example). Vocals too. Fundamentally the same with some added shade and coluring to the melodies here and there. The version of For All Days, And For None though.....that's quite a bit different to the first version.

"White Horse Hill" is an enourmous display of riffs, epic melodies and brilliant solos, as ever with Solstice. How do you start composing a song?

Well, I can give you a simplified answer – the song is started when Rich Walker starts composing it. OK, so that doesn't give the whole picture when considering that the version you now hear has input from the rest of us......

I write the pretty much all the lyrics these days.....but, let's be honest when it comes to music the words that are used are more or less window dressing. Don't misunderstand, I absolutely strive to write words that I can stand behind and that the band can feel respect and pride for....but they don't add to the song in my opinion.

Vocal melodies are where I can contribute to the songs. And, I truly hope in the great universal tapestry we are all a part of that those vocal melodies do themselves the justice Walker's music deserves. Remember, without any riffs/songs/music there is no call for those vocal melodies!

If we're gonna focus specifically on the new album though? The solos of Andy Whittaker are the X factor I think. He is a proper lead guitarist in the proud tradition of Heavy Metal a very accomplished lead player. His real talent though is being able to write solos that are a part of the songs, rather than being  'on top' of the songs. Just listen to Under Waves Lie Our Dead, and to the solo...it's the high point of the song in my mind...better and more memorable than the chorus I came up with. Does that mean I failed in my role as the singer in that song? I hope not. It's more that I think Andy's solo in that song is a moment of genius!

Thanks for the detailed picture. "White Horse Hill" is the product of 20 years of maturing ideas and compositions or the effort is far more recent?

All songs on the album are written from 2014 onwards. In that respect, it's all 'brand new' music, but that doesn't mean that some of the riffs might have been written 10 or more years ago.....I have no idea about that. But, as songs? It's all new.

 Your great epic feeling is present in every song, what do you think is the secret formula of your sound?

Rich Walker! They're his songs, and always have been.

No discussion. White Horse Hill is one of the best songs in the album and probably one of the first you wrote, right?

Of all the songs that are on the album? Yes, that's the first one we started working on.


Any song in the album that means more for you than the others?

For me? For All Days, And For None – it's of strong personal value to me.

What are the lyrcis about?

There's no answer for that question really! There's no common theme or anything like that.

The cover artwork by Chris Smith fits in perfectly with the album whole mood

I love the continuity, the framing of the images, the colours he uses. And I think it's quite different from what's common these days....... Of the three pieces we have used in the album's design, I especially love the 'Under Waves......' image! For me, it just sums up what I feel about the album and I think it's aesthetically quite beautiful!

I have read on an official statement from the band that the new album was not written for the CD/Download market but rather for that purest the vinyl format. That means you might release more new songs or that you have more new songs ready at the moment?

No! There's no other music yet! Anyone who's familiar with Solstice knows that nothing comes fast! Hopefully it won't be too long before we start on something new though! The only other thing worth mentioning is that we have re-recorded Death's Crown Is Victory. I believe that's gonna be a bonus track on the US version of the CD???
Or maybe on both European and American? Actually, I'm really not sure....but it's going on one of the versions of the album as a bonus track

The production in the album is another strong point, we ain’t gonna find the so common nowadays pure and crystalline sound, it sounds clear but also a bit raw and real!

I definitely agree with you on that point! So, I'm  not a musician...I cannot play a single note on any instrument, nor do I have a good ear for technical things in music. I know that I particularly like old Death Metal productions – the old Entombed /Dismember /Grave sound from Sunlight Studios. Apart from that I am quite clueless. However, on our new album I really love how it's obviously got clarity in the sound and everything...but thankfully doesn't have this 'perfect' sound that is common these days. It sounds like a band, it doesn't sound like 'copy and paste' in Pro Tools.

The recording was done in the same place where we rehearse, the owner has built a studio. So whilst we all did our parts. Rich and Andy spent hours and hours there with the engineer working on it. Those guys did all the hard work. Then Andy's brother, Richard, works in a big studio in London and he mixed the album for us at a very low price, and used a LOT of his own time to get it done. Without Richard Whittaker, we would never have been able to afford to do the album as we have done it!


Paul, in your opinion what is the main difference between the Solstice of “Lamentations” and the Solstice of "White Horse Hill"?

24 years and four members......

Haha simple enough! Solstice is one those bands that many reviews quote to define a style as Epic Doom, how do you feel about it?

Sure...it's absolutely fine in my opinion. Human beings label/categorise/tag everything. It's just a part of language. I might disagree with it, or I might not. Doesn't matter I'm not gonna tell people what they should or should not say, that's what people like Kim Kelly do. Not everyone has the  ego or sense of self importance to be that full of themselves!

I know it may be too early for this question, but the sooner we prepare for it the better lol, we will need to wait again 20 years for another outstanding album or you are already in full composition mode?

Well, let's actually have the album physically released first. One step at a time! It has taken two full decades to get White Horse Hill done, so I can't even try to imagine a follow up album. We'll start with some new stuff whenever Rich has something. There's probably nobody on this planet sower than him when it comes to new songs...but if that's what it takes for music as good as he has written over the last 30 years or so, then I see no problem! Short answer is: it's too early to say!

Well, at least the prospect gives us hope! Thank you very much for your time and congratulations for the great new album, if you wish to add something…   

Thank you very much for taking the time, effort and interest to listen to the album and send these questions. Be good!

SANHEDRIN - A Funeral For The World (2018)



 
1.Riding On The Dawn  (4:00)
2.A Funeral For The World  (6:23)
3.Demoness  (5:27)
4.Collateral Damage  (7:18)
5.Faith Healers  (4:20)
6.No Religion  (7:09)
7.Massive Deceiver  (4:06)
8.Die Trying  (6:46)

Jeremy Sosville - Guitar
Erica Stoltz – Bass, Vocals
Nathan Honor - Drums

Ojo a esta banda americana formada en 2015. Debutaron con su primer larga duración en 2017 y es de esos en los que se recomienda ponerse el cinturón, atarse los machos y... disfrutar como un enano. Se trata de un power trío que en su primer año de existencia sacó un ep de título homónimo, pero nada hacía presagiar la avalancha de caña y calidad que nos depara este excelente disco.

Como breve introducción, comentar que han fichado por Cruz del Sur, un sello que respira calidad y bun gusto y que se orienta sobre todo a bandas de heavy metal, eso ya es un buen antecendente para el que no los conozca. Además han tocado junto a bandas de prestigio como Cauldron, Khemmis o Satan. El disco salió ya el año pasado, autoproducido por la propia banda, pero ahora lo relanzan con Cruz del Sur. Por eso, ya el año pasado Vpower os lo comentó, ahora os daré yo mi opinión, aunque básicamente coincidimos en la calidad de la banda y en lo prometedor de su propuesta.

El arranque de disco con Riding On The Dawn es un trallazo de heavy old school que suena a bandas como  Warlord y Chastain sobre todo. La voz de Erica es uno de los puntos fuertes del grupo, no sólo tiene poderío, también tiene personalidad, para mí la heredera natural de la mítica Leather Leone. Un tema que es una apisonadora y que acaba desmadrado, igual que yo cuando lo escuché por primera vez.

A Funeral For The World empieza más lento y ofrece una de las cualidades notables de este grupo como es que son capaces de ofrecer distintas versiones de sí mismos, no se anclan en repetir el mismo tipo de tema una y otra vez. Este ofrece un repertorio de riffs de heavy stoner a lo Black Sabbath. Por el medio intercalan pausas acústicas donde Erica me vuelve a asombrar con su versatilidad. Un gran tema, mucho feeling, buena atmósfera y por encima un estribillo ganador, lo tiene todo.

Demoness de nuevo ofrece un gran contraste con el tema anterior, vuelven a sorprender en este caso con un hard heavy de riffs y ritmos alegres, pasamos de las sombras a la luz del sol. Otro de los puntos fuertes del grupo son los solos, siempre desprenden fuerza y están muy inspirados. Este es un tema con una tensión muy propia de los Scorpions de los 80.

Collateral Damage sigue la ruleta rusa en cuanto al sonido de esta banda, para algunos esto puede ser frustrante, a mí por contrario me parece una ventaja. Este es un tema claramente influenciado por el sonido nwobhm, suena a bandas como Iron Maiden, Demon, pero también en otras partes lleva un sonido más a heavy americano a lo Chastain. Mención especial para el solo atmosférico de gran nivel.

Faith Healers y No Religion son dos temas que llevan una onda muy similar, creo que la mejor forma de entender su sonido es compararlos con los primeros tiempos de los Queensryche, aquellos en los que se movían todavía entre el heavy clásico y el heavy progresivo. De hecho, en estos temas Erica sueno muy a lo Tate, pero al de antes... De todas formas, sus temas tienen muchos matices, así que también podréis encontrar atisbos del heavy británico y del heavy Usa de unos Lethal, por ejemplo.

Massive Deceiver vuelve a orientarse hacia el hard rock, sucio y potente, suena a Skid Row, Guns... típico sonido americano, de toda la vida, con una gran ejecución, pero no es la cara del grupo que más me gusta, brillan más cuando se ponen más heavys y hasta le dan un toque progresivo a su estilo metalero. Y en ese sentido va el último tema del disco, Die Trying. Alternan de manera magistral la ambientación, las acústicas y el heavy potente, suenan clásicos, desprenden magia y nos entregan como gran colofón final el mejor punteo del disco, muy atmosférico, rematando el tema con unos riffs muy Iommi. Para mi es un disco de notable alto, si bien creo que ganaría si se centrase un poco más su propuesta en el heavy ambiental o más progesivo, pero el heavy. Pero son tan buenos que todos los temas suenan de lujo, y tienen una vocalista llamada a hacer grandes cosas. Disco recomendadísimo.

BULLET – Dust To Gold (2018)




1.Speed And Attack  2:35
2.Ain't Enough  2:38
3.Rogue Soldier  3:01
4.Fuel The Fire  3:26
5.One More Round  3:07
6.Highway Love  3:22
7.Wildfire  4:00
8.Screams In The Night 2:50
9.Forever Rise  4:04
10.The Prophecy  0:28
11.Hollow Grounds  3:49
12.Dust To Gold  5:31

Alexander Lyrbo - guitars
Hampus Klang - guitars
Gustav Hector - bass
Hell Hofer - vocals
Gustav Hjortsjö - drums

Los suecos Bullet son una banda bastante conocida dentro del movimiento revival, quizás una de las de más éxito internacional, aunque en mi modesta oponión dista bastante de ser la mejor y mucho menos la que ofrece un sonido más fresco u original, pero les va bien con su propuesta, eso es innegable. Y luego tienen a un señor que se llama Hell Hofer y que es para mí el que marca la diferencia y hace que este grupo sueco suene especial y por encima de la media.

La banda se formó en 2001 y con este presentarán en abril su sexto disco de estudio. Los orígenes de la banda se remontan al pasado del voceras y el guitarrista que tocaron juntos en una banda de versiones antes de montarse el carro ganador de estos Bullet. Doce son los temas que nos presentan en este nuevo album que arranca con la que es para mí la mejor canción con diferencia del disco, la movida y potente Speed And Attack, el título es ciertamente premonitorio. Una combinación de heavy y speed metal, con sonido ochentero, que le sienta estupendamente al grupo, no sé porque no se prodigan más con este tipo de temas. No aflojan el ritmo en ningún momento, ni siquiera para el intercambio de solos y el posterior riffeo melódico para cerrar el tema.

Ain't Enough cambia el decorado por completo, se trata de un medio tiempo de esencia rockera en plan Acdc, Accept, está bien pero después del subidón anterior me sabe a poco. Rogue Soldier es un hard heavy sin complicaciones ni en las guitarras ni en los ritmos, usando el estribillo y la voz de Hell como principal arma arrojadiza.

El disco entra en una cierta fase de sopor con Fuel The Fire, ni rastro de la adrenalina con la que arrancaron, una pena. Otro tema básico a lo Accept, distorsión, melodías, con apoyo de coros y buscando el riff facilón, guitarras dobladas y solo, más de lo mismo con buena ejecución, correcto y tarareable.

Por fin con One More Round recuperan el sonido más heavy, eso sí, sin abandonar las melodías y los arreglos que tanto gustan de hacer. Cero riesgos, zona de comfort, únicamente el solo le pone las pilas a otro tema en la media del disco. Highway Love tiene un inicio con guitarras rockeras a tope, de nuevo los australianos de Angus Young y compañía te vendrán a la memoria, buen feeling en el solo y parte final muy party en plan Kiss, nada nuevo bajo el sol, y es que estos Bullet nunca se han caracterizado por innovar en el sonido, tiran de los clichés de toda la vida.

Wildfire vive de la espectacular voz de Hofer y de los punteos, un hard heavy al estilo teutón sin más historia. Suben un peldaño la velocidad con Screams In The Night, un tema donde de nuevo vuelven a sacar la esencia heavy metal, que personalmente es la que más me gusta de ellos, sobre todo cuando pisan el acelerador, y que hace gala de un sonido Judas Priest sin concesiones.

El tramo final del disco sigue tomando impuslo gracias a Forever Rise , sin duda uno  de los temas con más carisma del disco, gracias al poderío vocal y a las buenas melodías que desarrollan. The Prophecy es una breve intro para Hollow Grounds, de nuevo otro tema de auténtico heavy a lo Judas Priest, Saxon, buenos destellos de guitarra y coros potenciando el sonido. El punto final al disco lo ponen con Dust To Gold, posiblemente el tema más complejo o elaborado del disco, se inicia con un sabor Accept en formato balada, pero afortunadamente el tema va ganando en calidad gracias a unas buenas guitarras atmosféricas, cierto aire épico y creciendo a medida que avanza. Un disco un tanto irregular, con un comienzo potente, luego una fase intermedia más sosa y unos últimos temas donde sacan lo mejor de sí mismos. Demuestran una vez más que lo suyo no es inventar nada, pero tienen un gran vocalista y unos guitarras que suben el nivel, para mí una banda que brilla más en directo que en estudio.

Puntuación: 7/10

lunes, 23 de julio de 2018

Interview with JOHANSSON & SPECKMANN



by Vpower




The Band: Johansson & Speckmann
Country:  Czech Republic / Sweden / Norway
Answers by:  Rogga Johansson (guitar, bass)

The deadly duo JOHANSSON & SPECKMANN is not a duo anymore, but they sound as every fan ever expect from them. Now they strike back with their fourth attack, armed with nine new tracks full of old school death metal, that they know so well how to achieve, guys with scars all over, they have fought many battles. No time for ballroom dancing, posers stay away.




Hi Rogga, "From The Mouth Of Madness" is your forth album and we see the family is growing with the presence in the line-up of Kjetil Lynghaug and Brynjar Helgetun? We can consider them permanently onboard?

Yes indeed, without them the sound would be very much different so they are a very intergal part of this project.

"From The Mouth Of Madness" is preceded by a collaboration on the first MEGASCAVENGER album, how was it?

Well we worked so well toegther on that song, so we both agreed that making more music toegther would be very much fun, and thats how it all started and now we have four albums out...

"From The Mouth Of Madness" is the follow-up to the much acclaimed "Edge Of The Abyss", a step forward or the same level?

Yes very much so I would say. THis time we took the same sound but refined it a bit further, there are more heavy parts more melodic parts this time, and the sound is a bit more heavy aswell I think. The voals are stellar just as always, some very cool ideas in these songs I think.

Brynjar Helgetun also repeat on drums and he does a convincing execution

Brynjar is a monster haha, he just do what we ask him, wich is to do awesome drums from his own ideas of how he wants it all to sound. Bryjar writes all the drumparts himself, so he is to thank for the awesome groove and heaviness of the album.

No unpleasent surprises, good old school death metal, how was the composition process?

Same as always really, I sit down and churn out a bunch of riffs that turn into song structures, and then I end it to Brynjar for drums. After that Kjetil comes by and does his amazing lead work and finally we send it all premixed to Paul, and he enters the studio and does his thing and then we mix and master it all.

Kjetil Lynghaug is on charge of lead guitar, how has it pushed your songs?

Well it hasnt pushed my songs in terms of writing, but it has elevated the sound of the project so much, he does these crazy cool and virtuoso solos that really makes the music shine. Hes quite a genius, and when he comes in and does the solos he hasnt even heard the songs before haha.

Rogga Johansson is kind of a institution in Death Metal music, with your curriculum it must be so easy to sound as Death was meant to be originally

I have my sound I think, be it good or bad for other people, its not for me to say or really care about much. I write what i write, it comes out fast and easy mostly, and then an album is done, its been like that always almost haha.

"From The Mouth Of Madness" is a bulldozer from beginning to the end, would you underline any track?

I really couldnt, but theres a reason why the opening few songs of the album are all rather heavy, as I think opening up with a heavy bunch of songs instead of fast ones is unusual and works great, atleast this time for us it did I think.

The fantastic cover artwork by Roberto Toderico follows the trend of last’s album

Yes it does! Its just like the previous piece an artowrk he had for years, and we thought it fit us perfectly, especially since the previous one was in the same style, and really capyured the feeling of the music if you ask me.

With four albums in your saddles JOHANSSON & SPECKMANN is already a renowned band, I suppose you will have many invitations or projects offers, hard to concentrate in just a thing at the moment?

We all have different projects all the time, but when its time for this project, we all take the time to make it as good as we can, and I think it has worked great so far.

By the way, hopefully we will have more of J&S for many years, because if any of the two bosses in the band quits we would have the name uncomplete… haha?

Haha yes! Well if its just Paul left I guess it will turn back into Speckmann Project haha.

True as hell haha Any specific intentions for this 2018?

Not really, no shows planned. However theres a 7" split single coming this summer, wich is related. Its our main bands that are doing it, Master and Paganizer. That will be very very cool.

Thank you very much for your attention Rogga, keep kicking asses! if you wish to add something…

Nothing really! Thanx fo the great interview!

AGAINST EVIL – All Hail The King (2018)




1.Enemy at the Gates                
2.The Army of Four                  
3.All Hail the King
4.Stand Up and Fight!
5.Sentenced to Death               
6.Bad Luck                  
7.We Won't Stop
8.Gods of Metal                       
9.Mean Machine

Noble John  - Drums
Shasank Venkat - Guitars (lead)
M Sravan Chakravarthi - Guitars, Vocals
Siri Sri - Vocals, Bass

India es claramente un mercado en crecimiento en esto del Metal, tanto en estilos tradicionales como el heavy como en otros más extremos. Esta banda se estrena con este disco, previamente habían publicado un ep, se formaron en 2014.

Tenemos un intro acústica a la que le sigue The Army of Four un heavy tirando de sonido groove y medio tiempo de corte épico. Por ahí van a ir los tiros a lo largo de todo el disco, buscan el sonido epic pero también la parte comercial, combinando la parte más true de unos Visigoth, Argus con la más comercial de unos Hammerfall, Manowar.

All Hail the King es un medio tiempo con groove en los riffs y melodías que en algunos momentos recuerdan al sonido de las bandas británicas de la new wave, repitiendo el mismo riff hasta que meten la consabida pausa para hacer el punteo melódico, cumple pero no es un tema aniquilador.

Pisan un poco el acelerador con Stand Up and Fight!, la voz que hasta el momento no era nada digna de mención en este caso se hace acreedora de una mención por sus tonos más agudos que le dan más carácter al tema, coros a lo Striker y un heavy de factura sencilla que busca el feeling, con un estilo a lo Ambush en las melodías.

Sentenced to Death da un paso más y se agradece la velocidad que le meten al tema, suena a una fusión entre speed metal o thrash groove con heavy. Bad Luck vuelve a sonar revival, sonido tan bien acuñado por bandas que ya se han hecho un nombre como Ram, Cauldron, Striker, siguen esa estela. We Won't Stop es un corte más heavy epic a lo Iron Sword, con esa habilidad que tienen los portugueses para hacer heavy de guerreros combinado con fases de speed metal desbocado, riffs simples pero efectivos y un buen solo melódico.

Gods of Metal sigue recurriendo al groove, algo que en algún momento pues les queda bien pero que a lo largo de todo el disco me resulta un poco cansino, quizás es que sea demasiado purista pero creo que si quieres sonar épico y clásico sería un recurso a usar más puntualmente. Se trata de un tema monoriff, algo también bastante habitual a lo largo de todo el disco, donde la voz da un poco más de sí y donde los arreglos melódicos son los que hacen que el tema tenga un poco más de gancho.

Final con Mean Machine un heavy de sonido americano pero que sigue la misma fórmula de todos los temas anteriores, toman un esquema básico a base de guitarra y ritmo sostenido y con variaciones muy esporádicas hasta meter el punteo. Suenan bien, ojo, pero se hacen bastante previsibles y les falta desarrollar su propia personalidad, darle su punto al tema, un heavy epic demasiado visto y sin un elemento que resulte rompedor o característico del grupo, eso sí, agradable al oído para todos los que gustamos de este estilo.

Puntuación: 6,5/10

Swarmig opulence (by Imperial Triumphant)


miércoles, 18 de julio de 2018

Interview with LEATHER



by Vpower




The Band: Leather
Country: USA
Answers by: Leather Leone


No need to introduce Leather Leone, it’s great to have her back with her solo project LEATHER, as it’s great to have a few words with one of the icons of Heavy Metal of all time. She began her singing career by joining up with guitar wunderkind David T. Chastain and listening to Leather’s new album seems time has totally frozen,  her voice still rules.




Hi Leone, next April you are presenting your second album under the project Leather, it seems you are in full activity mode?

I am back in the game slowly but surely.   I have found my band I am banging down every door.

Your first solo effort was Shock Waves in 1989. What did you make resurrect this project after so many years

The loss of Ronnie Dio changed my life’s course.   It made me reevaluate everything about my musical life.  It didn’t happen right away, but 6 years later a door opened. I marched in.

The musicians involved in this new record have nothing to do with those almost 30 years ago, except for yourself of course. How did you recruit the people? Satisfied with their job?

Rodrigo Scelza (management), Vinnie Tex, Thiago Velasquez, Braulio Drumond are  my family, my band.  I met Rodrigo in 2014 when he had asked Chastain to tour Brasil.    He said no, but I was introduced to him.   Our relationship started then. I was lucky enough to be part of the Rob Rock tour in Spring 2016. That is where I found them. We were using the same band with the exception of guitar player Vinnie Tex.  After listening to them one night, I told Rodrigo this was my new chapter.   He agreed....We began. And yes.   I am more than satisfied.

“II” is the title of your new solo album, it means it is in some way musically related with Shock Waves

It just made sense.   It is the 2nd real record I have done under my name .  And when I think about it, I am # 2 in a lot of my life stories. I am extremely comfortable there...lol

You have chosen the path of a classic sound for your new album “II”, but at the same time it sounds powerful and modern

Thank you. I strive to always make powerful music, and this band is my force.  We didn’t necessarily plan the sound.  Although Rodrigo did have an idea of what he wanted me to do, but honestly it just happened.   Vinnie, Rodrigo and I really just had a great working relationship which took off once we found our wings.

Although “II” can be described as heavy metal I like that every song has something different, some of there more speed oriented, others more heavy or mid paced…

I agree. I enjoy that aspect of" Leather II " also.  Again we just let it happen  naturally. Our stars were definitely aligned....

What is a constant throughout the album is that Leather Leone’s voice seems almost the same as 30 years ago. How do you keep the voice stream? Healthy customs? A good DNA?

 I have to work at it.  I drink a lot of water, I run. I try to sleep.... And as my mother says to me god has blessed you!!!! I am also so  inspired by "the boys" which is what you are hearing.

How long did you work in the album? The songs are all brand new or had something in reserve from years ago

We started working on it this past summer.  All the material is brand new.

All in all, this a very consistent album, far from the typical one that can be named an “all for the money”, this is an honest work

Lol, if I did music for money I would stopped before I began.   This is a  record of love and the passion we have to express ourselves along with the Metal family around the world. This band thrives on playing music together.

The album cover artwork is also the classic picture from the 80s showing who is in charge here hehe 

The artwork was done by Jobert Mello at Sledgehammer Graphix.  The photos done by Luciana Pereira dos Santos in Brasil.   They did a great job conveying our vision.

Leather Leone is a name that has grown together with Chastain’s career, I could not understand one without the other

Its time.  I am grateful for all the great music Chastain wrote that led me here, but I can and will stand on my own. It was inevitable when I met Rodrigo I would get back in the game.

Do you miss something from the 80s? Any story you would like to rescue from the old days?

It was a great time. I worked my ass off to be part of the Metal scene.. So decadent and loud!!   But I don't live in the past. My future  with the Leather band is much more interesting...

After many years out of Chastain you recorded Surrender to No one in 2013, what happened in the middle?

I got into animal medicine and Pit Bull rescue.  I am still involved on both.  I have been blessed to do the 2 passions in my life.  Music and animals.

In 2015 arrived We Bleed Metal, are you preparing a new album with David at the moment?

There are no plans at this moment to do another Chastain record.

You are considered one of the best voices of heavy metal, that put more pressure on your plans or you do what you prefer at any moment?

Thank you!  No,  it doesn't put anymore pressure on me than what I put on myself.   I strive  to get better with every note I sing. Vinnie Tex,( my guitar player) kicked my ass recording this record!  So I have my work cut out for me!!!!!!

As the Metal star you are I would like to address you one question that has been a dabate for many years already: what will happen with Metal when big names as Leather Leone, David T. Chastain, Rob Halford, etc retire?

Not sure it will ever happen for any of the aboved mentioned musicians...lol Metal is alive and well no matter who it is.

Cheers for that. Are you ready to tour with your solo project? Any dates confirmed so far?

Yes!!!!  We are confirmed for" The Power of the Night Fest" in July in Cypress. There are many conversations going on...we will see. We will tour this year... We are so ready.....

Cypress, lucky guys… Thank you very much and congratulations for your career and great moment

Love and Dio