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domingo, 17 de junio de 2018

Interview with THE OSIRIS CLUB



by Vpower




The Band: The Osiris Club
Country: UK
Answers by: Andrew Prestidge (drums, guitar, keys)

Inspired equally by comic books and horror fiction, the nine tracks that comprise their new album “The Wine-Dark Sea” are a darkly psychedelic journey into sound that won’t leave you indifferent. For the occasion we got Andrew Prestidge answering our questionnaire.

The Osiris Club (TOC) is a very cool band with its own personality starting by their curious name, what’s the meaning behind TOC or how did you choose the name?

The Osiris Club is a secret society that is featured in the Hellboy stories, by comic book writer Mike Mignola. It added to the theatricality  of the bands image and anonymity.

TOC is publishing his sophomore album “The Wine-Dark Sea”, another chapter of psychedelic rock, crazier than its predecessor?

In our opinion, we feel that the new album is more accessible, the emphasis was more on creating good songs, than good ideas. There are still crazy moments.

You are London based band, however this second album was recorded in Oslo, how was it?

Chris Fullard works with the band Ulver, which also includes producer Anders Moller. The album was recorded at Subsonic Society.  The studio had loads of vintage gear as well as an array of vintage synthesizers loaned to us by the guys in Ulver, that we put to good use, it was a great inspiring experience.

The cover artwork is fresh and exotic as your music and it has involved drummer Andrew Prestidge on its elaboration

From my collaborator Julia Harris's  description of the album cover, "The Wine Dark Sea's", main dolls house design was inspired by the strange stories of Robert Aikman, in particular, "The Inner Room", which is about a haunted doll's house. Working in collaboration with musician and artist Andrew Prestidge, we combined photography, graphics and illustration for a collage effect to work in conjunction with surreal themes of the book and essence of the music.

When you do the standard thing it seems everything is easier because you don’t need to imagine almost anything, just follow the pattern, but in your case it seems every record is a big effort of imagination and composition

We always think in terms of the bigger picture,  taking inspiration from film, art,  literature and comic books to create an interesting concept. There are also many music influences but we tried to create something original and unique.

What are the lyrics about?

Side 1 of the album, tracks 1 - 7 are all influenced by the short stories of horror writer Robert Aikman. Side 2 of the album, features vocals and  lyrics written by Simon Oakes, "Citadel of the Fly", is based on the sorcerer, necromancer and black magician, Gustav Strobl, a character from the Abe Sapien books, that are part of the Hellboy Universe. The second section,  , "A Winters night on Sentinel Hill", was based on the French magazine, "Heavy Metal's 1980's adaptation of H.P. Lovecraft's "The Dunwich Horror".

Although we could put you under the label of progressive rock I think your music has a so big range that even that label can get short

Yes it's a lot of influences, I would say progressive, psychedelia, post-punk, gothic rock, pop and metal.

What songs in “The Wine-Dark Sea” were more difficult to finish up?

Everything was fairly straightforward, I recorded all the demos at home and got Sean and Simon to add lyrics and vocals. Possibly the long piece "Winters night/Citadel was the hardest to put together, but easier to put together in rehearsals.

I think there have been some changes in the line-up, how stable is the band right now and how has it affected the sound in your new album?

The current line-up of, Sean Cooper, Raf Reutt, Chris Fullard, with the addition of Alasdair C. Mitchell (bass), Marc Tondour (keys) and Hanna Pettersson (tenor sax) is a much more solid line up. The recording of the "Wine Dark Sea", was much more of a band effort, whereas the Blazing World was just Chris and myself.

For the release of “The Wine-Dark Sea” on 23.02.2018 you repeat with the guys on Indie Recordings, right?

Yes, that's right, Indie Recordings will be releasing our new album.

You will play on the Roadburn Festival in Tilburg too, it seems the year will you many emotions

 We are not playing Roadburn this year, but we will be playing more shows this year.

 What are your plans for the future?

To play more shows and record new album.

Thank you very much for your attention Andrew and have a great 2018!

Thanks Alberto, regards Andrew.

LEATHER – II (2018)




1.Juggernaut  (3:15)
2.The Outsider  (4:32)
3.Lost At Midnite  (4:35)
4.Black Smoke  (4:41)
5.The One  (3:17)
6.Annabelle  (5:38)
7.Hidden In The Dark  (4:51)
8.Sleep Deep  (4:25)
9.Let Me Kneel  (3:54)
10.American Woman  (4:22)
11.Give Me Reason  (4:02)

Leather Leone - Lead Vocals
Vinnie Tex - Lead, Rhythm and Harmony Guitars
Daemon Ross - Lead Guitars
Thiago Velasquez - Bass Guitar
Braulio Drumond - Drums

Se habla mucho de las divas del metal y Doro siempre es la que ha tenido más nombre y caché desde un punto de vista comercial, pero con todos mis respetos hacia la buena vocalista alemana, la garra y la fuerza que siempre ha transmitido Leather Leone creo que la hacen acreedora con más derecho que nadie a ese título, además que por discografía no hay color entre ella y la teutona. Y es que si un hacha como David Chastain, un auténtico estudioso de esto de la música, un personaje bastante peculiar, que le dedica muchas horas y esfuerzo a sus composiciones, si él en su día llamó a Leone y muchos años más tarde volvió a contar con ella para volver a poner a los Chastain de actualidad, es porque la gran vocalista reunía sobrados méritos para ello, personalidad y carisma nunca le han faltado.

Pero además de su carrera con Chastain, Leone sacó en 1989 un disco en solitario de puro heavy metal, buen año y buena cosecha y la Leather que ponía también su impronta en la época dorada del heavy metal. Casi 30 años más tarde vuelve a resucitar ese proyecto, aunque con gente diferente a bordo y saca estos once  nuevos temas que seguidamente os voy a comentar de manera breve, heavy metal cien por cien, sin aditivos.

Juggernaut es el tema que abre el disco y Leone hace gala de esa voz potente y rasposa que apenas ha perdido nada en tres décadas, realmente algo encomiable. Se trata de un buen tema de heavy metal con rollo neoclásico en las guitarras, un estribillo muy logrado, por compararlo diría que lleva una onda muy similar a un Impellitteri, sobre todo con Bonet al frente.

La cosa sigue con The Outsider un tema de esos de heavy metal de toda la vida, es bastante sencillo pero destila actitud, los punteos cumplen y al final se sacan unas melodías bastante buenas. Lost At Midnite es un tiempo muy Chastain, heavy increscendo con un punteo con mucho efecto, Leather sigue a lo suyo, sin aflojar en ningún momento.

Black Smoke  es un tema donde de entrada parece que el protagonismo lo acapara la vocalista pero a medida que transcurre la canción la van enriqueciendo en matices, riffs pegadizos, solos en diferentes escalas y velocidades y un corte potente de heavy americano a lo Attacker o Vicious Rumors.

Uno de los aciertos de este disco es que aunque se mueve en unas coordenadas bien definidas cada canción tiene su personalidad y suena diferente. The One está entre el heavy y el speed metal, la voz de Leone siempre reconocible con sus habituales subidas de registro y su chorro de voz, no es un tema complicado pero sí con mucha pegada y un buen solo heavy a lo Guns.

De nuevo vuelven a sorprender con Annabelle, un inicio acústico y melódico que más parece propio del genial Axel Rudi Pell, es un tema con mucho feeling, una semibalada o un medio tiempo con más melodía que caña, aunque sí tiene sus momentos más heavys en los que Leone echa más madera a la caldera, con un final donde arremeten con fuerza.

Hidden In The Dark y Let Me Kneel  son dos canciones  de heavy speed metal donde combinan de manera genial los potentes riffs con buenas melodías. Sleep Deep es un tema de ritmos bastante pesados o atrancados donde el punteo se mueve más hacia el hard rock.

American Woman lleva un sonido muy Judas Priest, clásico, de ritmos adictivos y con gran abundancia de punteos. Punto final con Give Me Reason, hard heavy donde rescatan la suciedad en las guitarras de unos Motorhead, pero es una canción bastante ecléctica y diferente al resto del disco, suena fresca la verdad, con guitarras rockeras que recogen influencias de los Van Halen o Steve Vai, la verdad es que finaliza el disco de manera inesperada pero muy interesante, eso sí, Leone sigue dando caña porque ese es su estilo inconfundible.

No es un disco de grandes virtuosismos, seamos sinceros, pero sí con mucha actitud y con las ideas muy claras de hacer temas con mucha pegada, acordes al poderío vocal de posiblemente la mejor vocalista que ha dado el heavy metal en toda su historia. Un disco digno de su categoría.

Puntuación: 8/10

BOB KATSIONIS – Prognosis & Synopsis (2018)




1.Prognosis  04:00
2.Secret of the Nomads  04:00
3.Tomorrow Starts Today 04:30
4.Dark Matter  04:00
5.Asymmetric Parallels 04:10
6.Aegean Sunset  04:02
7.The Messenger  04:55
8.Cold Embrace  05:00
9.Amnesia  05:00
10.Synopsis  06:00

Bob Katsionis- all

Muchos años contemplan la prolífica carrera de este músico griego. Este es su proyecto instrumental y con este entrega su quinto disco. Pero además de este proyecto ha tenido múltiples colaboraciones a lo largo de su carrera, por ejemplo ha girado con Firewind y ha sido miembro de bandas como Revolution Renaissance, Septic Flesh o Nightfall, entre otras. También ha colaborado en la composición de temas de Kamelot o Epica, así como para numerosas bandas en Grecia, un currículum largo y bien surtido.

Una de las cosas más interesantes de Katsionis es que puede ser considerado un 4x4 desde el punto de vista instrumental, no solo es un gran guitarrista sino que los teclados tienen también una gran importancia en su música.

En Prognosis nos encontramos con un sonido power progresivo dominado por las buenas melodías pero también con un poderoso sonido heavy en la guitarra, me gusta la garra que le mete este músico en las seis cuerdas pero siempre sonando limpio, en este caso el acompañamiento de teclados es el que le da el aire más power al tema.

Inicio con guitarra española en Secret of the Nomads, un tiempo más pausado que el anterior corte, más ambiental y progresiva, con mucho sintetizador y el tema acaba tomando velocidad con un solo melódico donde demuestra sus buenas dotes compositivas.

Melodías power de nuevo en Tomorrow Starts Today, los teclados ponen la melodía power y con los riffs de guitarra le da más impacto al tema, una buena combinación que hace que sus temas tengan gancho sin sonar demasiado comerciales. Dark Matter es uno de esos temas donde os comentaba que se ve a un músico más volcado hacia los teclados, un tema completamente llevado por los sintetizadores y con un sonido new age que crea una atmósfera relajante y ensoñadora.

Asymmetric Parallels devuelve el papel protagonista a la guitar, un tema con excelentes melodías y también con un sonido power folk oriental, incluso con cierto regustillo neoclásico, donde Bob se despacha a gusto a base de meter solos. Seguimos con el power melódico de Aegean Sunsetm, una canción que destaca por sus continuos cambios de ritmo, demostrando de nuevo la facilidad que tiene este artista para componer temas, no es de extrañar que lo llamen de tan renombradas bandas para que les arregle los atascos.

The Messenger es un tema muy cinemático, plagado de sintetizadores, también sonido new age, y algún punteo ambiental a cargo de la guitarra que en este caso pasa bastante desapercibida, destila buen gusto. De nuevo sonido giutarrero a lo John Petrucci o  Kevin Moore en Cold Embrace, guitarras on fire y sintentizadores metiendo ambientación con sonido new age. Amnesia es uno de los temas más pausados del disco, coinsigue un ambiente muy relajado a base de teclados y unas guitarras que tienen el aire distendido de un Carlos Santana. Cierra el disco con Synopsis a base de power metal neoclásico.

Un disco divertido de esuchar por parte de todos los públicos, algo nada fácil de conseguir en un album instrumental. Bob demuestra que no solo es un gran guitarrista sino también un gran compositor y un más que notable teclista, una joya este caballero que nunca sabes con lo qué te puede salir en el futuro.

Puntuación: 8/10

Nevermore (by Symphony X)


jueves, 14 de junio de 2018

AXEL RUDI PELL – Knights Call (2018)




1.The Medieval Overture  01:43           
2.The Wild and the Young 04:20          
3.Wildest Dreams   05:43         
4.Long Live Rock  05:34          
5.The Crusaders of Doom  08:01         
6.Truth and Lies  04:48             
7.Beyond the Light  07:45         
8.Slaves on the Run  05:13       
9.Follow the Sun  05:12            
10.Tower of Babylon   09:50  

Johnny Gioeli- Lead and Backing Vocals
Axel Rudi Pell- Lead, Rhythm and Acoustic Guitars
Ferdy Doernberg- Keyboards
Volker Krawczak- Bass
Bobby Rondinelli- Drums

Ninguna presentación necesita este mito viviente del hard heavy alemán, a sus 57 castañas ya no tiene nada que demostrar y si sigue en esto es porque disfruta con lo que hace, sobre todo componiendo, ya sabemos que no es muy dado a las giras. De momento, tiene previsto pasar por España para tocar en el Rock Fest, dudo que añada muchas más fechas.

Con este genial guitarrista tengo una relación de amor-odio, me explico. Recnozco su enorme calidad, su talento y sobre todo su estilo propio, cuando escuchas sus solos de guitarra sabes que estás delante de Axel Rudi Pell. Pero en su contra siempre he tenido la espinita de es que es un músico que no arriesga nada en absoluto, y con los años esto solo se ha acentuado, lo mismo que le pasa a muchos artistas que llevan muchos años en esto, te siguen sacando discos pero parece siempre el mismo disco. Si bien hay que decir que en su caso sus discos nunca bajan de un nivel de calidad notable, por eso sigue teniendo muchos admiradores después de tantos años, se puede decir que es un tipo honesto y muy fiable.

Con estos antecedentes sería una locura pensar en un disco revolucionario a estas alturas, y no lo es. De hecho el line-up mantiena a Gioeli al micro, para mi ni de lejos el mejor vocalista que ha tenido la banda, aunque sí muy solvente, pero es que ya forma parte de la familia. También hay que destacar al gran Rondinelli en los bombos, cuando tienes calidad te rodeas de gente buena, como no podía ser de otra forma.

Tras la obligada intro nos encontramos con el primer tema propiamente dicho, The Wild and the Young es un medio tiempo típico de la banda, donde Gioeli siempre se encuwntra a gusto, tiene un sonido bastante ochentero y lo más interesante son esos riffs heavys con el sabor de los Scorpions de los 80, el punteo por supuesto marca de la casa, como no podía ser de otra forma.

Wildest Dreams es una hard rock con cierto regustillo bluesy en algunos momentos, en todo caso la clásica semibalada con el dueto de teclados y guitarra de toda la vida de Rudi. Long Live Rock es un tema de esos en los que se pone más heavy, riffs clásicos y también reconocibles y un sonido a lo Accept con el apoyo de coros.

Seguimos con clasicos clichés de la banda, toca el tema largo en el que por el medio nos encontraremos el largo pasaje instrumental donde el jefe se recrea a modo de jam session y con los teclados dándole la réplica de manera más breve, el típico tema de ritmo hipnótico donde por supuesto los punteos del pequeño alemán se convierten en el foco de atención.

Truth and Lies, llega el tema instrumental, y es uno de los pocos temas del disco donde ofrece un sonido que se desmarca un poco de la etiqueta hardrockera de su sonido, en algunos pasajes se nota la influencia del rock de los 70 y en otros le da un enfoque más epic a la guitarra. Los teclados están metidos con mucho gusto y además es uno de los pocos temas donde se ve a un Rondinelli más suelto y saliéndose un poco del guión establecido.

Beyond the Light, por supuesto, el momento para la balada no puede faltar, una más que añadir a su arsenal de baladas y que en algún momento incorporará a un nuevo recopilatorio de las mismas. No hay nada que destacar especialmente, el sonido de siempre y quizás el final muy lento y que alarga de manera considerable, como siempre cumple y deleita con su calidad y buen feeling, pero no sorprende en absoluto, parece que he escuchado este tema mil veces.

Slaves on the Run es otro de esos temas muy a lo Gioeli, que parece que ya lo lleva haciendo desde los tiempos de Hardline, un tema muy comercial donde el estribillo se repite unas cuantas veces. De similares costuras está hecho Follow the Sun aunque en este caso el ritmo es más vivo y las melodías acertadas. Por fin, se pone fin a un nuevo album del gran guitarrista alemán con el tema más largo de todo el disco y otro de los que ofrece un poco de novedad, tampoco desbordante, sobre todo por el enfoque sinfónico que le da al tema y por las excelentes melodías orientales que consigue, por desgracia el ritmo se mantiene imperturbable a lo lago de todo el tema, cuando estaba pidiendo a gritos una aceleración para meterle más nervio, además de que el bueno de Gioeli se las canta todas por igual, tanto le da balada como heavy metal.

En conclusión, casi ninguna sorpresa, un disco más con el sonido de siempre de Axel Rudi Pell, para mi ni de lejos de lo mejor de su discografía pero si un disco con suficiente calidad y buen gusto, no le saldría otra cosa ni aunque lo intentase. Supongo que los fans clásicos aplaudirán con las orejas, mientras que los que buscan o esperan un Axel Rudi Pell más heavy pues ya pueden ir perdiendo toda esperanza. Y ahora verlo en directo, sin duda un placer.

Puntuación: 7/10

NORTH HAMMER – Stormcaller (2018)




1.Avatar (4:46)
2.Wanderer (3:42)
3.Written In The Stars (3:27)
4.Magic Mead (4:11)
5.Tip of The Spear (3:49)
6.A Soldier's Song (4:34)
7.Black Forest Rain (2:10)
8.Spellbinder (3:36)
9.North Hammer (3:26)
10.Lion's Winter (3:34)

Andrew James – all

Este es el proyecto de este músico canadiense y debuta con este disco. Avatar es el primer tema del disco y lleva una orientación de death melódico con un sonido similar a bandas como In Flames, Dark Tranquility o Amon Amarth por el rollito más festivo, insertando algunos blasts a lo largo del tema y dos punteos, no sorprende pero es agradable al oído.

Wanderer ya nos introduce en los elemntos folk, ese folk melodeath mucho más comercial que el anterior corte, donde lo más interesante es el trabajo de guitarra, me resulta un sonido demasiado blando y manido, aunque a veces lo trata de potenciar con los ritmos acelerados de batería, pero acaba yendo más hacia el power de bandas como Alestorm, Turisas o Running Wild que hacia un sonido más contundente.

Written In The Stars es un corte de folk melódico a lo Finntroll o Wntersun, pero predomina la melodía sobre la contundencia. Magic Mead es un medio tiempo con sus aceleraciones y sonido demasiado previsible y endulzado para mi gusto.

Tip of The Spear es un tema que nada entre el power folk y el death melódico, siempre desde la vertiente más comercial de y accesible de su sonido, el disco va dejando un poso a que todos los temas suenan muy similares y parecen casi cromos repetidos, en este lo más novedoso son las voces chillonas que tampoco motivan demasiado. A Soldier's Song es un medio tiempo que se desmarca un poco de los anteriores temas y juega de manera correcta con los coros y las ralentizaciones.

Black Forest Rain es un breve corte instrumental seguido por un death power metal de nuevo más visto que el tbo en Spellbinder, un refrito de bandas como Children of bodom o los citados Alestorm, solo salvable el punteo melódico. North Hammer prometía más de principio con el solo melódico pero acaba usando los mismos coros y riffs de los que tanto uso hace a lo largo del disco. La cosa no acaba mejor con Lion's Winter, que de nuevo vuelve a sonar a clon de todas las bandas citadas.

Le falta personalidad al disco, no ofrece nada que llame especialmente la atención salvo algún momento a la guitarra, por lo demás tira por el camino ya marcado por muchas bandas con anterioridad y con un sonido que acaba siendo demasiado blando y empalagoso, aunque siempre lo trata de disfrazar con algunas guturales, algunos blast beats o coros aquí y allá, pero el efecto final se resiente.

Puntuación: 5,5/10

Thrash metal holocaust (by Vortex)


miércoles, 13 de junio de 2018

NAXATRAS – III (2018)




1.You Won't Be Left Alone  (11:18)
2.On the Silver Line  (9:56)
3.Land of Infinite Time  (12:04)
4.Machine  (10:50)
5.Prophet  (8:02)
6.White Morning  (7:13)
7.Spring Song  (5:32)

John Delias - Guitar
Kostas Harizanis - Drums
John Vagenas - Bass & Vocals

Tercer disco que presenta esta banda griega y sus influencias no pueden ser más jugosas y apetitosas, la sicodelia sale a relucir en todo su esplendor así como las influencias del mejor rock de todos los tiempos, el de los setenta, junto con aspectos más de heavy doom que nos trasladan al legado de los padres Black Sabbath.

You Won't Be Left Alone nos presenta esa mezcla a lo grande con una canción de más de diez minutos, rock de los setenta, un poco de southern rock y también de sonido doom, con unas partes ambientales realmente logradas. Pero no acaba ahí la cosa, en sus delirios musicales se dan también hacia el space rock y el jazz rock. Es una banda que sorprende por su amplitud de miras y por lo bien que combinan todos esos elementos sin que el resultado sea un batiburrillo ininteligible, es como si tomas la locura mágica de un Jimi Hendrix y la conjugas con el halo de misterio y de encanto que siempre han destilado unos Pagan Altar.

On the Silver Line nos acerca al sonido del funky rock, buenos solos y partes ambientales sin fronteras explorando el sonidro retro y que te trasladará a la propuesta de bandas como Pink Floyd, Yes, Doors, una buena base rítmica que lo pone en bandeja para que vayan desgranando melodías y sicodelias a ratos. Por cierto, que aún no lo he comentado, los temas salvo arreglos puntuales son del todo instrumentales, y sin embargo el disco resulta de lo más ameno.

Entra el tema más largo del disco, Land of Infinite Time hace gala de un sonido rockero más clásico, es un tema más pausado, que va transcurriendo de manera lenta y cadenciosa, con sus melodías y su rollo travel, para rematar metiendo el punteo, con un estilo blues. Machine se decanta más hacia el rock ambiental, con influencias de grandes  como Hendrix, Ray Vaughan, con su parada sicodélica donde se dedican a meter sonidos experimentales.

Prophet nos ofrece el primer tema donde aparece la voz con un papel relevante, un tema de ritmos catatónicos, con su pausa y sus guitarras a lo Black Sabbath y el punteo de stoner sucio y carismático para dejar un buen sabor de boca. White Morning es un rock blues clásico, calidad y ritmos lentos, no te pongas este disco si lo que buscas son temas con tralla, estos griegos nos proponen un viaje más profundo y transcendental. Spring Song es un tema todavía más lento que el anterior con el rock de los setenta por bandera y la calidad siempre como estandarte. Un disco que requiere de sucesivas escuchas para ir extrayéndole todo el jugo, porque esconde más de lo que parece a primera vista, tendrás que ponerle la oreja si quieres captar todos esos matices.

Puntuación: 8,25/10

Sucker for punishment (by Razor)


martes, 12 de junio de 2018

Interview with SACRED LEATHER



by Vpower



The Band: Sacred Leather
Country: USA
Answers by: Dee Wrathchild (vocals)


On “Ultimate Force” SACRED LEATHER brings the hammer and anvil, the silver and steel, magic and might, providing one of the most convincing representations of metal to be heard in 2018. Hoppefully we will have the chance to bang ours heads with a gig by this guys in the old continent. For now, let’s learn a bit more about this promising band.




Hello Dee, I don’t have very clear the origin of the band and how did you get to this first album, please enlighten us

Cheers. Sacred Leather formed three years ago or so. Over the course of those years, we have been through some member changes and general re-tooling in order to assemble the right group of HEAVY METAL maniacs to execute our desired sound. “Ultimate Force” contains this adversity within it. We have created the exact record to which we intended.

You are releasing your first full-length, "Ultimate Force", what does it mean for you?

“Ultimate Force” is a HEAVY METAL record. Although true to the traditional format, we have really carved our own place with this release. It simultaneously covers a wide range of flavors and emotions while coming off cohesive and deliberate in its delivery. This is what we sought out to accomplish. Each member of Sacred Leather shares a mutual vision for this band and that comradery should be apparent within our most recent endeavor. 

How long have you worked on "Ultimate Force" and how were the composition tasks?

“Ultimate Force” is comprised of tracks which were written over the course of the last few years. The way these songs were composed varies from track to track. JJ Highway (lead guitar) serves as the primary songwriter in Sacred Leather, however some of the cuts came together in a more organic fashion with the full band present. Magnus Legrand (bass) also contributes to songwriting.

You have signed by Cruz Del Sur Music, an European label being a band from USA, that means the European market is more relevant for you?

I believe that to be true. Europe is responsible for some of our most influential bands. In addition, the HEAVY METAL maniacs across the pond seem to possess a fire and relationship with their music which surpasses its utility here in the states.

Sacred Leather’s music will satisfy to all those guys in love with classic heavy metal or those missing the 80s, true or false?

True. We genuinely love the 80’s format of metal and apply that to every facet of this band. Aesthetic, songwriting, stage show, artwork, production, etc…

I think good melodies are one of your marks, right?

Absolutely. Good melodies are a staple to every good (non-extreme) metal band. Without the ability to execute and navigate melody, you are restricted in the emotions you are capable of conveying.

Any guy leading the band in terms of sound and composition or whatever?

We are all contributors. As previously stated, JJ Highway is our primary songwriter. Each member of Sacred Leather owns a leadership role to some capacity. “Ultimate Force” was recorded and engineered by our guitarist Carloff Blitz. It was produced by/largely composed by JJ. The artwork, merchandise, videos, marketing, etc…was all created by Magnus Legrand (bass). Jailhouse (drums) serves as the foundation to which we can build upon. And I, (Dee Wrathchild) act as the figure head. I am the voice, the contact point, and a facilitator in this operation. Sacred Leather is a DIY juggernaut executing on all cylinders.

Listening to your music one can believe the good times of bands as Iron Maiden, Scorpions, etc are back. Are bands as Sacred Leather the natural replacement for the big bands?

That is our intention. The bands we love will not be around much longer. The demise of these legacy acts does not mean that the love for the genre will die with it. There must be bands to which the torch can be passed to. Sacred Leather would love to take that roll.

You have included a 9 minutes song in the album, The Lost Destructor, which wraps it up. But it’s not the only case because the ballad Dream Searcher is more than 8 minutes

Yeah there are a couple of longer tracks on the record. Each song is just the length we feel is necessary to convey the concept per track. There is never a conversation within the band to the likes of: “Let’s make a really long song…” It just happens. There are also some slightly shorter songs on the record with a little less foreplay.

Other styles in Metal have gone through good times and bad times, but it seems heavy metal has kept a continuation status

We are not exposed to many bands doing what we are doing here in the states. We can’t speak to what’s going on elsewhere, however we have witnessed a grave divergence from the traditional roots of HEAVY METAL in general.

Have you already played these songs in any gigs?

Absolutely. Each song on the record has been performed at one point or another. Some more than others.

Any tour programmed? Who is hungrier for heavy metal, Europe or USA?

Keep up with us on social media for these kinds of announcements. Europe is hungrier for HEAVY METAL and we hope to unleash the leather on ya’ll very soon.

Thank you very much, Dee!

Cheers.

GREYSTONE CANYON – While The Wheels Still Turn (2018)




1.Keeping Company With The Dead (0:45)
2.Astral Plane (4:13)
3.In These Shoes (4:54)
4.Cinco Cuerda Bandito (1:36)
5.Take Us All (5:11)
6.Sombrero Serenade (1:25)
7.River of Fire (4:35)
8.Path We Stray (4:41)
9.The Sun Sets (6:17)

Darren Cherry – Vocals / Guitars
Richard Vella – Guitars
Dave Poulter – Bass
Luke Wilson – Drums

Primer lanzamiento de esta banda australiana de curioso nombre y que tiene que ver con la temática del mítico far west, que es cierto que vivió tiempos más gloriosos sobre todo en el cine pero que es un clásico que nunca decepciona, lo mismo que la buena música que entregan estos australianos.

La cosa arranca con la intro Keeping Company With The Dead a base de voces y acústicas y con ese estilo de western que ya nos va poniendo en situación. Luego llega Astral Plane, un zambombazo de tema, de lo mejorcito del album. El inicio tiene un toque de rock sureño pero pronto cambia hacia un speed melódico, a ritmo de cabalgada y tirando de groove a tope en los riffs, suena clásico pero también moderno gracias al efecto que meten en las guitarras. Un tema con carisma, con ritmos galopantes y que te arrastra sin remisión hasta culminar en un punteo limpio de libro.

In These Shoes vuelve a recurrir al sonido del lejano oeste en los primeros acordes de la canción, se trata de un medio tiempo con una buena base rítmica que va variando entre el heavy y el speed metal. Una de las cosas que más me agrada de estos australianos es que no se recrean innecesariamente en los temas, la duración tiene los minutos justos y cada segundo cuenta y aporta cosas, para qué alargar la película si no tienes nada interesante que ofrecer. Un corte donde hacen más hincapié en las melodías y donde sacan a relucir unos buenos riffs marca Judas Priest.

Cinco Cuerda Bandito es un breve tema instrumental donde si cierras los ojos te podrás imaginar al bueno de la película apostado en una esquina con su Winchester en ristre a la espera de que llegue el malo y su tropa. Take Us All es una semibalada, hard heavy melódico que aceleran esporádicamente, tienen la magia de bandas como Queensryche, Crimson Glory o Lethal, con un heavy de aires progresivos y guitarras frescas que realmente te transportan a otra dimensión. El vocalista tampoco se queda atrás, si bien hay que reconocer que las guitarras dominan la música de este combo con una clase digna de unos Heir Apparent.

Otro breve interludio con Sombrero Serenade a base de guitarra española, vuelven a demostrar su buena técnica y clase. River of Fire es una balada al estilo más tranquilo de hard rock de bandas como Tesla o Rose Tatto, destaca especialmente el bombardeo de solos que meten a lo largo del tema y por fin aceleran el asunto en el tramo final. Path We Stray vuelve a tirar de la vena heavy progresiva de la banda, sin duda para mi su enfoque más fresco e interesante. La pista está dominada por un gran riff hipnótico que se repite a lo largo de todo el tema que también aderezando con diversos arreglos de guitarra, hasta llegar al solo final con un estilo muy emotivo a lo Criss Oliva.

La última canción del disco es The Sun Sets, la más larga con difrencia pero para mi gusto la menos interesante también. Es un tema muy comercial y relajado al estilo Tesla o Bon Jovi, realmente no me pega demasiado con el resto del disco, sobre todo con las partes más fulgurantes y agresivas del disco, el cuerpo me pedía otro tema rápido para cerrar el album y este último tema me deja bastante frío. De todas formas, la carta de presentación de esta banda es estupenda y por exigirles para futuras entregas les pediría un disco con algo más de duración y menos temas instrumentales o interludios de por medio, pero ojo que el heavy melódico progresivo que practican es de alto octanaje, cuando pisan el acelerador especialmente.

Puntuación: 7,75/10

IRON KOBRA – Kerker & Drachen (2018)




1.Kerker und Drachen
2.Schall und Rauch

Don "The Warrior" Viper - Bass
Lightning Lord Python - Guitars (lead), Vocals
Sir Serpent  - Vocals, Guitars
Cimmerian Conda – Drums

Banda alemana que formada en 2008 y que cuenta en su haber con dos discos, eps, disco en directo y un split. Este es su segundo ep, sólo son dos temas y realmente sabe a poco porque es un grupo que tira del sabor más tradicional del heavy metal con connotaciones speed metal al más puro estilo centroeuropeo.

Bueno mejor dos temas que nada, supongo que estarán trabajando en su nuevo disco, ya que el último es de 2015 y estos dos nuevos cortes sirven para decirles a sus aficionados que están en los fogones preparando la nueva entrega. Los temas están cantados en alemán, algo no muy habitual a día de hoy entre las bandas germanas, pero lo cierto es que  el idioma teutón no le va nada mal a los energéticos temas de esta banda.

Kerker und Drachen es el mejor corte de los dos, desprende adrenalina por los cuatro costados, una canción de puro heavy speed metal. Ya empieza con punteo y riffs veloces, sin tregua y sin pausa, con un ritmo demoledor y unas voces agresivas aunque no excesivamente sucias. Donde si que tiran un poco de suciedad es en los riffs, con un sonido influencia del rock eterno de los Motorhead. No aflojan un solo momento hasta meter el punteo, realmente no se complican para nada con el tema, pero lo cierto es que hacen de la sencillez y la pegada su gran baza y es un tema de esos que en directo suena que atruena, me recuerdan a nuestros queridos Muro.

Schall und Rauch es un tema donde bajan un tanto los decibelios y la agresividad, se mueve entre el heavy melódico y el speed metal, eso sí, constantes licks guitarreros y finalmente a mitad de tema se calzan las botas, pisan el acelerador a tope y con su cinto de balas se dan al speed metal como si no hubiese mañana, al más puro estilo alemán, todo actitud. Ya os digo, se centran más en la energía que le meten a los temas que en complicar las composiciones o adornarlas. Pues eso, las espadas en todo lo alto y a esperar su nuevo disco.

Zombie (by Vorbid)


martes, 5 de junio de 2018

Interview with SAM RUSSELL



by Vpower



The Band: Sam Russell
Country: United Kingdom
Answers by: guitar & songwriting

SAM RUSSELL, in case you don’t know him yet, is a virtuoso guitarist that has just kicked off his career as musician with his debut album “Impetuous Desire”. If I have learnt something about this great guitarist is that he is not only an amazing guitarrist, he is also a guy very respectful, smart and full of energy, with a good sense of humour. Moreover, he has surprised me for his  humbleness, you don’t expect that when you talk to a star guitarist. Together we analyze his album in full detail, apart of some chat about his childhood, present and future. One of the coolest interview I’ve ever made, if you allow me to say it.




Hi Sam! Congratulations for your first album Impetuous Desire

Thanks Alberto! It was a great project to wrap up! Thank you for having me, taking the time to do this, and for building such a kickass site. MetalBrothers.es is a great piece of work!

Thank you very much for your kind words! Before talking about your new album we would like to know more about you as a guitarist. When did you fall in love with the 6 strings and how did it happen?

It was a bit of a round about route. My first experience was when I was quite young, around 10 or so. My family didn’t really listen to music. A guitar teacher started at my school, I thought it would be cool, so some friends and I started taking lessons. My grandparents bought me a 3/4 size acoustic guitar (which I still have) and I had lessons with my friends for 5 weeks or so. The lessons weren’t very good! The teacher mysteriously quit one day (the class must have been quite a cacophony) and then I didn’t really do anything for a few years.

When I was 15 or so, my mum was working at a local university, in their music department. A student was trying to make some extra money and looking to teach people bass guitar, asked my mum if her kids (me) would be interested. So I take some bass lessons, which were fun. Then somehow I ended up taking a couple of drum lessons for a few weeks.

I was talking to my Dad about the lessons one day. He said something along the lines of “Why are you playing bass? Isn’t the lead guitar the one that does all the cool stuff?” (sorry bass players! I know this isn’t true, but hey, people have all sorts of misconceptions!). Anyway, guitar lessons soon started.

It was then my guitar teacher introduced me to Steve Vai, Joe Satriani and Yngwie Malmsteen. My mind was blown... and I was hooked! The obsession with getting better and better began. The only thing that sucked was that it took me years to even approach being able to play the music that inspired me haha!

Quite a story, I suppose that first acoustic will be safe and under lock. To be an exceptional guitarist you must have a natural talent or you must spend 10 hours a day practicing as Yngwie Malmsteen? What is your case?

Oh man, I wish! I must be the least talented person at music that ever existed. I SUCKED at music when I was at school. My timing was reputably atrocious, I had no sense of rhythm, I was just totally obsessed with playing as fast as I possible could haha!! So I practiced a LOT. Unfortunately, it took me over 10 years to find a teacher that could actually teach me the things I needed to know. Most teachers give you an exercise and tell you to just do it. This teacher taught me how to do it... which was a vital distinction I didn’t realise existed until I started taking lessons with him. That teacher is Tom Hess, and I’m very grateful him for helping me with my playing. If it wasn’t for him, I would still be some hack kid struggling to play.

When I started doing some teaching of my own, I researched talent. It turns out... there actually isn’t any such thing as talent, in the way people tend to think of it. Most human beings learn pretty much anything at the same rate. Genetics only come into play when there is a physical requirement, such as bone length in power lifting, or height in basketball. What is different is the approaches that are taken to learning, the quality of tuition and how the student reacts to the challenges they face learning. It is a very interesting subject!

I mean... there is no such thing as a shred guitar gene! Anyway, after finding a good teacher, I made more progress with a couple of hours practice a day than I did doing 5 hour practice days, like I did at university.

Well, that gives me some hope, maybe I still have a chance to make a decent guitarist of myself haha. What guitarists have influenced your playing? How would you define your style?

I’ve had elements of my playing compared to Steve Vai, Joe Satriani and Yngwie; probably because I was so obsessed with them when I was younger. There are a few friends of mine that are totally insane players that have influenced me a lot in recent years, Dan Mayhew, Jure Golobic (Stray Train), Charlie Long and Gottfrid Waxin. Grab a few clean pairs of underwear before watching these guys play!! Their playing is off the wall. Every time I see them play I think “fuck, I have to sit down and get my ass in gear!”

Hahaha Surely they think the same when they watch you playing. Sam, you spent a week in America studying with Steve Vai, how was it? What did you learn from him or him from you…?

That was really cool. It was great to just to be up close and find out a bit more about him as a person, the man behind the enigma as it were. I would bump into him in the hotel corridors and stair case, which was surreal. Unfortunately, I said exactly the same thing to him every time, “Urrr errrrrm hi, you’re Steve Vai” hahahaha!

I was totally star struck. He was doing presentations about the ‘inside’ of the music business, so he had a former manager, his studio engineer, live band, a legal guy and other people from across the industry talk to us. Very interesting and I learned a lot about how things work.

I don’t think he learned much from me! Apart from maybe some experience in how to deal with start struck fans that display a temporary IQ equivalent to a door stop!


Hahaha amazing.  What’s your goal as a guitarist, I mean you would to like to develop a long career in music or you are focused on other paths as teaching others, etc?

As a guitar player I am looking to develop a long career in music and keep elements of teaching in there. I like figuring out musical ideas and sharing them is fun, but developing myself as a musician and building a career writing and performing music is what I am currently working on. I’ll be doing some workshops and releasing some instructional DVDs in the near future. For me, the goal is to be better than I was last week.

You have created your own band and you have added members that really support and enhance your project as Jason Bowld. It was going to be a one-man band or you had in mind a full band from the very beginning?

Jason isn’t a member of the band, I hired him for the drums for the record. I always wanted a full live band, and also to be able to work with different musicians whose accomplishments I admire. I figured the best of both worlds would be to get different guest musicians on a record and have a live band to play the record.

Sam, you do all the songwriting or the other guys provide also some ideas, lyrics, etc…?

I’ll always take a free idea! haha. I did all the writing for the record. I hired a singer to help me rewrite a lot of the vocal melodies (some of the original ones totally sucked) and then I rewrote lyrics based on those melodies, keeping to the original lyrical theme. For drums, for some songs I wrote out bits of ideas for what I wanted, but for most of it, I said to Jason to do whatever he thought was appropriate and really go for it. And he did, the drums are awesome. All the guitars and bass I wrote apart from the slide part in Passing Light. The producer, Phil Kinman, wrote that. I would never have thought of adding a slide guitar part in, but he did, and it was perfect. He also told me to change a few bits and pieces which he thought didn’t make sense in some of the riffs. Some of the solos were written before going into the studio, some I had ideas for and we pieced together in the studio.

One solo there was one bit I couldn’t figure out what it needed and I had to come back two weeks later to do it. It was really silly, a 2 second phrase at the end of one song.

The singer on the record, Dan Leigh, contribute some lyrical ideas too. He did a stellar job and really got involved in the project. When I hired him, I was a bit worried (because I didn’t know him), that he would just do what he was told, but he really got up in in and gave it the business, contributing ideas, harmony parts and bringing enthusiasm to the table. His skills and range are totally off the wall, he was vital to the record, I think it would have sucked without him. I can’t wait to see how he kills it doing the songs live!

You have also counted with the stellar appearance of legendary Doro Pesch on one song. How was it? Did you compose the song first and afterwards invited her?

I wrote the song first, recorded it with a demo vocal part, and then sent it to her manager. I wasn’t really expecting much, but when I got a reply saying Doro loved it and had been singing along to it in her car I had a cheshire cat smile on my face all day!!!

I discussed the idea of having Doro sing on that sing with my producer, he recommended putting together a full demo to properly convey the song. It was a very smart idea and a successful strategy. There is a little vocal harmony at the end of Leigh Woods, that Phil had the idea of putting in. It was from the original demo and the two parts lined up *perfectly*, by total chance. It was a real nice touch. Phil has a great set of ears for ideas like that, great guy.

How was working with Doro?

I had no idea what to expect, but it was incredible. It was totally weird meeting someone who you saw play at festivals and go to their shows, you talk about their records with your friends... and then you are in a studio in Germany working with them! She was the nicest person I have ever met, has a great work ethic and you know she has the skills to back it up. I could have spent all week talking to her and learning new ideas, I wish I had taken a whole album to record rather than one song!

It’s one of those experiences that every guitar player and musician must dream about... to make a record with people you admire as your heroes....

... and it is way better than you could possibly imagine. To every musician reading this: Work hard and give it a shot. It’s worth it, but you’ll never realise how much it is worth until you are there, doing it.

How long have you worked on the composition of Impetuous Desire?

It took a couple of years. It was a lesson in learning to write songs, I had no idea what I was doing and had to figure it out. Before writing the record I think I had only written one song from start to finish, a thrash song I called “Skeleton Taxi Driver”. Maybe I’ll release one day as an April Fools Joke haha.

For Impetuous Desire, I had to get my guitar playing better so I was good enough, and I had to learn how to write lyrics. One thing I learned from doing my masters in astrophysics was how to analyse a system, and a song is really just a system. An arrangement of instruments and ideas. So I started analysing songs, figuring out what made them work, why people listen to certain genres over others. I started reading books on writing lyrics. I had to overcome a lot of self doubt. When I was I reached about halfway in the project the doubts and fears of “What if everyone thinks I suck?” and “Who am I to write a record?” started coming through and I had to figure out how to get over that and get on with it.

Fortunately I managed to get over that with the following ideas:

1) It doesn’t matter what I do, as long as I do it to the very best of my ability.
2) It doesn’t matter what I do, as long as I learn and work to make it better the next time.
3) Lose myself in the excitement of a new musical and bringing it to life, that’s where the magic is.

I learned a lot about myself too, in terms of what motivates me and how I emotionally operate. It was an interesting experience.

I will take some of those thoughts for my next master in psychology, a great experience, tahnks for sharing it. Your debut album Impetuous Desire offers a good variety of pieces, heavy metal is dominant but we also get some hard rock dosis

I wanted to write a mixture of music. The idea behind Impetuous Desire wasn’t to release an album of a specific genre, but to put together a collection of material that I enjoyed writing and will enjoy performing. That’s why I had some heavy metal, some more rock pieces, a cello ballad and a more death metal style song. It was all things that were fun for me to put together. I tried to put the song first each time, and decide what would be appropriate for the piece.

I didn’t want to write an album that sounded the same all the way through. On a micro, middle and macro level; a human needs variation to continue being interested. A phrase in your guitar solo needs variation to be interesting. The whole guitar solo needs variation to be interesting. The song needs variation to be interesting. The album needs variation to be interesting. That was one of the ideas I tried to work into the album.

I would say you are more a team player than most star guitarists that use to absorve more minutes in every song, you really work the riffs and do not fill the song with solos…

At one point I was worried I had too many solos haha!! Then I remembered it was my record and I could do whatever the hell I want with it. So I put some more in. One aim of the record was to have really solid and fun to play riffs, with shredding guitar solos arranged around them. I had two reasons for that:

1) It would be more fun live. I don’t want to be staring at my shoes focussing on ultra complex riffs on stage. That would be boring for me and the audience... and what would be the point in playing live at all?
2) When I’m famous and on Guitar Hero, it will troll the players. They’ll have a nice easy riff for 2 minutes then get slapped in the face with a shredding guitar solo hahahaha. I can’t say all the compositional requirements for the record were very mature.

The cover artwork underlines who is the boss here in a fashionable way :)

That’s my favourite description of the cover I have heard so far! I wanted to do something that would capture peoples attention and imagination, most band photos are really boring. I could stand around in sunglasses trying to look mean, but I tried something different. I have the next few album covers planned out... they’re even better!

Haha I believe you! Next albums will go in the same direction as Impetuous Desire? May be an instrumental album some day in the future?

I’m not sure I would do a whole instrumental album. I have a few classical pieces I want to have a crack at, but I think they will take a couple of years to learn. The next rock/metal albums will follow the same principles - strong songs, with riffs, and crazy solos. Some instrumental sections and more classical style arrangements. I’ve been talking to a composer that works on operas and the occasional Hollywood movie - he mentioned collaborating so we might do something together for the next record. Some sort of vocal aria with guitars in it... I’m not quite sure how it will work but I am excited to find out!

Wow it promoses big emogtions yeah! In 2015 Sam Russell travelled all over Europe running workshops for different guitar schools, in England, Scotland, Norway and Slovenia… You will continue with these workshops around?

Yes I have a few planned. I’ll be doing on in Madrid in March and I’m planning a few more in the UK.

What are your plans for the future?

I have to take my playing to the next level, get some live shows going and write the second album. In the immediate future I’m doing some workshops and finishing off my website (I had no idea being a musician involved so much time one Wordpress...)

Joe Bonamassa is the hardest working Blues guitarist on the scene and, with his team, has built an awesome career for himself. That’s captured my attention.

Welcome to the “fascinating” world of Wordpress hahaha. Thanks for your attention Sam and for sharing your ideas and emotions with us, it was really fun!

Thank YOU for the interview and a place on your killer website man! I hope the Metal Bros reading this get a kick from it.