lunes, 30 de octubre de 2017

Interview with MORAST

by Vpower

The Band: Morast
Country:  Germany
Answers by:  J. (guitar)

A chat with J, guitar of German dark metal combo MORAST. On March 31st the will release their first full-length "Ancestral Void", you see the cover art and you can imagine already what it will be all about. But if you want to know more details better read on.

Hello J and congratulations for you debut album "Ancestral Void"

Thank you.

Ancestral Void was forged in Düsseldorf in 2015, how did it happen?

 Yes, we started the band in September 2015. F. (vocals ) and myself  were talking about doing a project since 2014 but we were still busy with our other bands. In summer 2015 we asked R. (bass) and later L. (drums ) to join us and they didn't reject.

In 2015 you got a demo and in 2016 kind of a split tribute to the figure of Quorthon. What can you tell us about it?

We recorded a 4 song Demo after two months of existence. Everything evolved really fast. We played our first shows and started to write on the first album. In spring 2016 we were asked by Cvltnation to record a Bathory cover for one of their digital tribute compilations. When we played a show with Ultha we talked about releasing both of our songs from that comp physically later released by Vendetta Records.

"Ancestral Void" is your first full-length album, how long have you worked on it?

We worked on it one year.

Any important difference between your new album and your very first approach in your demo?

 The only difference is that we became a better unit and started to improve our sound and musical identity. As I said the Demo was more like an unpolished, raw outburst.

How was the composition process of your new album?

I came up with some riffs and/or songs I had written at home and we arranged it together in our practice room. Some songs evolved within the whole year, some were written in almost on practice.

Morast cannot be classified in only one metal subgenre as black metal or death metal, but you feel more identified with what?

 We feel no need to identify with one specific subgenre. If people want to classify it, do it. For me it's just Metal. Dark and obscure.

All of you guys have already some experience before Morast, what part of it has shown in your new project?

For me it's only the bleak and negative approach. That's the essence of my musical craft.
Dark atmospheres combined with rage on riff guitars make your sound very especial

That's good hear, thanx. Don't get me wrong bands don't necessarily have to sound different but I like stuff that has its own identity and is not limited to a certain formula. There are so many boundaries and limitations. I hope we will find our own artistical freedom some time. Still working on it.

That takes us to another point, Doom is also part of your sound. Loss is a clear example of that…

Yes, Doom in every aspect.

The cover art is a good reflection of what we are gonna find on "Ancestral Void", the shadows surrounding the light…

 Yeah, the artwork fits perfectly with the mood and atmosphere of the record, I guess.

You have signed by Totenmusik, how do you feel about it?

Totenmusik is the shit, dude! Toni, the man behind the label, supported us right from the start. Not to forget Sven from Ván Records who also provides total support.

Greetings to Toni then. What bands have influenced your sound?

Triptykon, Winter, Killing Joke, Neurosis, Bathory, The Cure etc...

Nowadays, the borderlines between subgenres are less clear than ever, that is good or bad in your opinion?


Clear. Have you already played any gigs around? Any tour arranged?

We played a couple of gigs and have some coming up. Maybe we will do a small tour at some point. We will see...

What plans do you have for the future?

Writing new songs and total annihilation.

You are on the way to get it. Thanks for your attention, J!

Thank you!


En Metalbrothers.es os hablamos de una de las bandas más carismáticas del underground metalero, los americanos Cirith Ungol, que después de años de ausencia están de vuelta, dando conciertos y preparando nuevo disco. Para saber más acerca de ellos pincha aquí http://metalbrothers.es/bios/biografias/cirith-ungol/

BINARY CREED – A Battle Won (2017)

1.Servants  04:56          
2.Lurking in the Shadows  04:34           
3.In a Time to Come    04:07    
4.The Fallen King  04:36          
5.The Ones to Bleed    04:27    
6.Safer Than Now  04:07         
7.A Better Man  04:04             
8.Black Storm  03:07    
9.These Hands 04:23    
10.Journey Without End  04:17          

Robert Rasmussen Ahlenius - Bass
Peter Widding - Drums
Stefan Rådlund - Guitars
Peo Olofsson - Keyboards
Andreas Stoltz - Vocals

Este es el segundo disco de esta banda sueca, mayormente dados al power aunque con algún rasgo progresivo pero muy ligerito, nada de virtuosismos a la vista. La banda se estrenó en 2014 con su primer disco, un año después de su fundación, reconozco que hasta ahora no sabía nada de ellos y ya anticipo que personalmente han quedado lejos de impresionarme o al menos entusiasmarme con su sonido, pero vamos por partes. Parece que este segundo disco se estrenó ya el año pasado en algunas zonas, aunque hasta este mes de septiembre no se ha estrenado en el continente americano.

La cosa empieza con Servants, quizás uno de los temas más destacados del disco, realmente interesante el inicio heavy con teclados de estilo clásico, para acabar metiendo el estilo power y un vocalista con una voz que al menos aquí suena con bastante carisma.

Lurking in the Shadows es un medio tiempo pero de sonido power metal y con gran presencia de teclados, donde van subiendo el ritmo, pero resulta un tema bastante lineal y previsible, lejos del interesante inicio de disco. In a Time to Come es otro tema de power sinfónico a lo Edenbridge, Therion, con excesivos teclados para mi gusto, pasable pero no emociona excesivamente. The Fallen King padece los mismos males que el corte anterior, con un vocalista que acapara excesivamente la atención, a veces te dan ganas de decirle que se calle un poco y deje opción a los guitarras, en este caso dos solos, uno power y otro más ambiental, le ponen un poco de sal a un tema por lo demás muy normalito.

The Ones to Bleed arranca bien con un riff de speed power, por desgracia el tema no sigue por esos derroteros y tira más hacia un power a lo Helloween de Deris, incluso con riffeos muy típicos de la banda germana. Sorprende que tiren de groove en momentos puntuales y el solo hay que pillarlo con cronómetro porque dura un suspiro, un tema que se queda a medio camino. No mejora la cosa con Safer Than Now, un medio tiempo con mucho teclado, groove y un vocalista que no se calla ni debajo del agua.

A Better Man es la balada del disco, tampoco es la mejor cara del grupo, cansina y con escasa gracia. Después de lo anterior el power de Black Storm te sabrá a gloria, un tema muy Kamelot con el mejor estribillo del disco, pero de nuevo las guitarras carecen de pegada y el solo es cutre y cicatero y te deja con la miel en los labios.

These Hands es un tema sin chispa, un medio tiempo de riffs que no emocionan. Lo mismo pasa con Journey Without End, un tema soso, lineal y sin cambios, donde echarás de menos que las guitarras cobren más fuerza y protagonismo. Una banda que no da malas sensaciones pero que solo emociona en contadas ocasiones, suena a muchas otras bandas y les falta personalidad, las guitarras carecen de protagonismo, justo el que le sobra al vocalista, mucho por mejorar, aunque creo que tienen capacidad para ello, como demuestran en el primer corte de este disco.

Puntuación: 5,5/10

Aiming for the sky (by Air Raid)

jueves, 26 de octubre de 2017

Interview with CRYSTAL VIPER

by Vpower

The Band: Crystal Viper
Country: Poland
Answers by: Marta Gabriel (vocals, guitar)

I talk to CRYSTAL VIPER, a heavy metal phenomenon of the current scene. And who better to talk with than MARTA GABRIEL. She represents all that heavy metal is about: energy, dedication, passion and a way of living. If you have never talked to her o read any interview before I guess you will be positively surprised by her natural charming and her attitude. Moreover, she is not just another beauty, she delivers true heavy metal in every Crystal Viper’s album. Enjoy it.

Hello Marta and congratulations to all the team for your new album “Queen Of The Witches”

Marta: Hello! Thank you!

After more than 13 years of existence and six albums we can say that Crystal Viper is already a classic band, a big name of the current heavy metal scene, what do you think?

Marta: To be totally honest, I don’t count the years before recording out first album, because that was a time of looking for right band members, Crystal Viper was more a project back then. The first official lineup established in 2006, and that lineup recorded our first album "The Curse Of Crystal Viper". I don’t think that Crystal Viper is a big name on the current Metal scene, but does it really matter? I don't think in such categories, most important is to enjoy what we love to do: composing and playing Heavy Metal!

Cheers for that! In your opinion, what has been the most important moment on Crystal Viper’s path?

Marta: I suppose that for each of us that moment would be different, but for me, personally it would be the release of our first album. When I was a teenager, I loved to perform, to sing and to play, but I didn’t even dare to dream about being signed to a record label, about playing live shows on a big festivals and so on. After our first album got released, I understood that everything is possible, all dreams can come true, and all I have to do is to believe and work very hard.

Of course, Crystal Viper would not be what it is without Marta Gabriel, may be you can change other pieces but not that…

Marta: I agree with you, because from the very beginning I’m the only composer in Crystal Viper, so the style of music that we play, is a style that I created. Our fans and friends used to say that my voice is also very characteristic, so I believe that without me it would be totally different band.

And talking about new members, Błażej Grygiel is the new bass player. What can you tell us about your current line up?

Marta: With Andy and Golem we are friends and band mates for 11 years right now. Blazej joined the band after our previous bass player, Michal, decided to leave the band 2 years ago. But what’s funny, it was Michal who recommended Blazej to us, they are actually best friends.

Your new album “Queen of the Witches”, out February 17th through AFM Records, has all what any Crystal Viper’s fan can expect: catchy melodies, fast tempos, great guitars, awesome vocals…

Marta: Thank you! Indeed, our fans can expect from “Queen Of The Witches” everything that Crystal Viper is all about, classic Heavy Metal, with melodic songs, aggressive vocals, pounding rhythms and heavy riffs.

Comparing it to previous albums what is your opinion about this “Queen of the Witches”?

Marta: I think this is our best album, seriously. There is a new energy, you can hear real emotions while listening to our songs. Maybe it’s because of such a long break, it’s been 4 years from our last album "Possession", and 3 years from our last live show, so everyone in the band was beyond excited to work on it.

Some people still consider your debut album The Curse of Crystal Viper your best album till date

Marta: I know, and I can understand that, because every single person has own taste. For me our first album was like trying if we really can do this. I was not an experienced composer, I couldn’t play other instruments except piano back then. I was at the beginning of my journey with singing in the style in which I sing today, everything was very wild and, I don’t know how to name it, very "first". Our skills were different, for sure we all are better musicians today, than we were 11 years ago.

How long have your worked on “Queen of the Witches” and how is the composition process inside the band?

Marta: I’m still the only composer in the band. It's difficult to answer how long it took to write this album, because there is never a specific moment when “I start” writing. I keep on composing all the time, I have literally hundreds of song ideas. The process is the same for years, when I start working on the album I revisit some of the old ideas, I complete them with new ideas, and I simply do the album, without thinking how many songs I have, or how many are missing. I don’t think about the time frames, and I don’t have any deadlines.

When composing a new album you think about what the fan expects from you or you are just driven by the inspiration of the moment?

Marta: There are only inspirations. I always compose music that I love, and love to listen, and I believe this is one of the reason that we still exist as a band. Our music is real, we are true as musicians, we don’t pretend we are someone else. We never try to fit in current trends, because for it wouldn't be real art anymore. The honest art is about making what your hearts tell you to do, not about doing what other people expect you to do.

It’s nice to see that Marta’s raspy voice sometimes, high-pitched others, is still intact after so many years, a cornerstone in your sound. Marta, have you developed your singing style naturally or you have been inspired by others?

Marta: I always try to push myself to the limits, because when I do that, I discover new things in my voice. And of course other vocalists also have been a huge inspiration for me, like Leather Leone, Tony Martin or Rob Halford. While recording albums, and playing live shows, I always try to pull out what’s the best in my voice, and I always imagine the situation I’m singing about at the moment, because when the emotions are real, you can do an amazing things with your voice.

"Queen Of The Witches" offers a wide repertoire of songs that go from the classic heavy metal to the ballads or some speed metal…

Marta: I agree, every single song is a bit different than the others. It’s because when I was working on songs, I was inspired by different things, and I wanted to be sure that the music match the lyrics. All these songs are full of real emotions, and I think you can hear that when listen to them. These changes in the mood refer to the story that is told on the album. When you will sit down with a booklet in your hands and you will follow the lyrics, you will see it's all one big piece, the music and the lyrics. It's like watching a movie, but with music instead of pictures.

Together with Marta’s voice I would say the other big asset in your music is the amazing melodies you are able to produce and the attitude you show in every song

Marta: Thank you! I think that Crystal Viper songs are so melodic because of my inspirations. I’ve always been a huge fan of music, I’m also a classical trained pianist, so there’s been a lot of music around me from my very early years. I’ve always loved musicals, like “Hair”, “Fiddler On The Roof”, “Phantom In The Opera”, operas, movie soundtracks, Mike Oldfield, and all genres of rock and metal in which you can find good melodies.

Awesome. What songs of this “Queen of the Witches” will enter you live setlist?

Marta: It will be faster to tell you which ones we won’t play, the ballads: "We Will Make It Last Forever" and "Trapped Behind". Not because we don’t want to, but because it’s not possible for us to put a grand piano on stage. I don’t want to perform playing on keyboard, it would be weird for me. But I really hope to perform “Trapped Behind” one day, with grand piano on stage. That would be awesome.

Yes, that would be something not to miss at all. I suppose you are programming an extensive and international tour to promote your new album, what countries will you go through?

Marta: In about one month we are going on European tour, and after that we will play several separate live shows as well. We will play in Germany, Austria, Czech Republic, Poland, Hungary, France, Switzerland, and Belgium. I hope more dates will show up soon!

Hopefully you will invade Spain with your hordes. What gig or gigs from past years you remember with more affection?

Marta: It’s difficult for me to say, because when I go on stage, I totally lose control. It’s like crossing a border of another dimension, where stage, band and people in the crowd are the whole world. I go totally crazy, and I totally lose control, and very often, when I go off stage, I don’t even remember what was exactly going on! This is why I love making music, and afterwards play it live. Man, I don’t need drugs, put me on the stage, and leave for an hour (laughing)! You give your energy to the people who came to see you live, and afterwards they are giving that energy back. We really enjoy what we do every single time, and when our fans do so, this is what makes a good live show!

Yeah, that’s an amazing spirit, Marta, pure fire I would say.  I have had the opportunity to salute Marta and I can say that although she sounds and looks as a divinity on stage she is a very accessible person, like any metalhead attending any gig, something that I suppose the fans also appreciate very much

Marta: Thank you very much, nice to hear that. I just live my life as I want, I don’t pretend and I’m not trying to be anyone else. I’m just a person, who loves Heavy Metal, I'm a fan who keep on buying CDs and go to live shows of favorites bands. These things are part of my life, for me Heavy Metal is not only making music and playing in a band, it’s a lifestyle!

True as hell. Marta you have also played guitar with Jack Starr, how did that collaboration arise?

Marta: We have the same manager and producer, I mean Crystal Viper and Jack Starr's Burning Starr. When Burning Starr got booked for the Keep It True Festival in Germany, where they were supposed to record a live album, they had no 2nd guitarist, so I was asked to join the band. We had few rehearsals in Germany, played the festival together, and next year guys asked me to join them again, when they were playing their tour in Europe.

In what moment did Marta Gabriel decide to dedicate her time to the Heavy Metal? How did you start on this?

Marta: I don’t remember the moment exactly. There was a lot of different music around me from my early years, so I suppose I heard something somewhere, and started to look for more. I remember first bands that made me feel like “wow, this is awesome” were Virgin Steele, Iron Maiden, Black Sabbath, Warlock, Blind Guardian and so on.

Marta, surely many teenagers, and not so young guys too :)  have a photo of Marta Gabriel on their school folders or notebooks. How do you feel about it? Do you consider yourself a Metal icon?

Marta: Metal icons are usually a bit older than I am (laughing). But seriously, I meet with our fans after our live shows, and they’re usually very nice and kind, they’re taking photos with me and ask about signing some stuff and so on, but I know my place. I don’t consider myself as a Metal icon, but as a person who tries to continue their legacy. Some of the Metal icons are for me Rob Halford, Ronnie James Dio, Doro, Tony Iommi, Lemmy, Glenn Tipton (my metal god!) and others.

Your humbleness just makes you bigger. And finally, what are your Crystal Viper’s plans for the future?

Marta: We currently focus on promoting "Queen Of The Witches" and on the forthcoming tour, and after that we plan and hope to play as many concerts as possible. This is most important at the moment.

Thank you very much for your attention Marta, we wish you a big success with “Queen of the Witches”

Marta: Thank you for the interview, it was a pleasure! Metallic regards to all Spanish Metalheads, we are Metal Nation!


Metalbrothers.es os hablamos de esta gran banda nacional que vivió sus momentos de gloria en los años 80 http://metalbrothers.es/bios/biografias/banzai/

BELL – Tidecaller (2017)

1.Secret Mountain  04:23         
2.Cross in the Sky  06:06         
3.Tidecaller   05:29       
4.Awoken   01:33         
5.Reach Out    04:47    
6.Blackened Sun  06:39            
7.Locked and Burrowed  05:45            
8.Dawn of the Reaper  06:15    
9.Angels Blood   07:52           

Martin Welcel - Vocals & Guitar
Manne Flood – Drums
Jesper Ljung – Bass

Primer disco que sacan estos suecos y es un buen estreno el suyo. Una banda formada recientemente por Manne Flood (batería) y Martin Welcel (guitarra, vocalista) durante una de esas noches locas que muchos hemos tenido en el que el alcohol nos anima a hacer y decir cosas que en circunstancias normales no diríamos, y que muchas veces depués en plena resaca nos arrepentimos de haber dicho jajaja, pero esa es otra historia y será el capo Vpower el que se encargue de indagar en esos asuntos si es que tiene ocasión de hablar con ellos, vamos con el tema musical.

Estos Bell son una banda que se toma su tiempo en las composiciones, con un heavy doom o un doom heavy en el que los tiempos pausados ganan por goleada, prueba de ello es este primer tema Secret Mountain donde lo que más destaco es la pureza de las guitarras, con ese sonido heavy de toda la vida, con unas influencias de los eternos Black Sabbath y un vocalista que no es espectacular en sus registros pero que sí es sólido y le da consistencia a las canciones.

Cross in the Sky es otro tema de tiempo lento doom, con la voz como especial protagonista y un solo que ilumina el tema con su emotividad y épica. Tidecaller da título al disco y es un tema más dinámico, con guitarrazos limpios y coros bien trabajados que le da un aire más heavy, con otro solo brillante entre el true y el epic, en mi opinión el apartado más destacado de este trío sueco, ojo a los solos.

Awoken es un interludio ambiental, Reach Out es un tema mayoritariamente doom, una mezcla entre unos Lord Vicar y la épica de unos Atlantean Kodex, con las guitarras que ponen el contrapunto brillante, para un tema que muere poco a poco a base de acordes lúgubres. Con Blackened Sun siguen mostrando su sobriedad y elegancia, un medio tiempo heavy no exento de épica, con guitarras dobladas y una parte final doom de sabor mesiánico.

Locked and Burrowed me parece uno de los cortes más especiales y frescos del disco, quizás porque su sonido de heavy folk se desmarca un poco de la tendencia general del disco y porque goza de un trabajo de batería muy dinámico y de excelente ejecución que no se da en los otros temas donde lo que predomina son los tiempos pausados. A destacar también el sabor de folk oriental que le imprimen al tema en los acordes.

Dawn of the Reaper es otro tema bastante largo donde cocinan las sensaciones a fuego lento, con un inicio ambiental y un riff agudo y superadictivo que revoluciona el tema y que le imprime un carácter espectacular, repitiéndose a lo largo del tema. Por último, Angels Blood  pone el colofón final con un heavy doom de grandes coros y guitarras ambientales coronadas con un solo genial marca de la casa. Excelente el estreno de esta banda sueca, y además apostaría que lo mejor de ellos todavía está por llegar.

Puntuación: 8/10

Set to kill (by Devastation)

sábado, 21 de octubre de 2017

Interview with STRIKER

by Vpower

The Band: Striker
Country: Canada
Answers by:  Timothy Brown (guitars)

This is not the first time we talk to Canadian STRIKER. And it’s normal because they never stop working and releasing new material. In 2016 they released their album “Stand in the Fire” and this year they are a back with a fantastic new album, “Striker”. We got this fast interview with Tim, we thanks him for the extra effort when touring.

Hello Tim and congratulations for a new album, “Striker”, the fifth in your career


With the release of “Striker” I think we can say that you guys are the dream of every metalhead, you work so hard and always deliver the goods

Ha Ha thanks again! Well it's a lot of hard work, so it's not quite as dreamy as it may look... But we are doing some really cool things and getting lots of great opportunities!

We were greatly surprised by the release of “Striker” only one year after the release of your previous album “Stand in the Fire”. Did you had the songs half composed a year ago or they are brand new?

They are all mostly brand new! We all enjoy writing music so it's something we are always interested in

Nowadays the usual process is album-tour ever 2 or 3 years, with “Striker” you are “breaking the law” hahaha as the Metal God would say, how? Why?

Well we are on our own label now, we can do whatever we want! We have no label telling us what to do or how to do it. Labels these days are stuck in the past and we are just doing what the fans are responding to.

But it’s not only the quantity, it’s also the quality. Because “Striker” is in my opinion your best effort to date, pure heavy metal, full of energy, clean and direct as a thunder

Thanks! It's also my favourite Striker album to date as well. I think we just wanted to focus on making good music, and we really wanted to cut out all the extra bullshit that might be in an album.

You have chosen “Striker” as the name for the album. It is kind of a definition, like if you were saying “ey guys this is our purest sound”

Yea you nailed it! We thought this album was a good summary of our sound. If someone has never heard Striker before, this is the place to start!

The covert artwork also goes in that direction, simple but striking hahaha

Yes exactly! We wanted something different, but also stripped down yet elegant.

You have released it through Record Breaking Records, how was it and how do you feel with the result?

So far so good! Record Breaking Records is our own label, and we have had great response from fans and the industry. I think going independent is the only way to go if you want to make it in the music industry these days, traditional labels are a thing of the past.

Cool. I would like to remark the work on riffs and solos by you, Tim, you are so  inspired

Ha ha thanks! I just try to shred as hard as possible!

In my opinion the solos have a natural taste that remind me of the Randy Rhoad’s legendary style

I try really hard to make sure the solos are very melodic, and that the solos are a song in and of themselves. I think Randy did that a lot, where each of his solos were their own song so to speak.

You have included an Ozzy’s cover, any particular reason for it?

It sounded good! We wanted to do an Ozzy cover and we liked Desire a lot.

I think you are at the highest moment of your career in terms of composition, at a level that allow us to say that Striker is nowadays one of the most inspired heavy metal bands

We just try to write good music! We are always learning and we like to try and find as much inspiration as possible from lots of different genres of music.

As we commented in our review, there are not weak points in your new album, so it would be hard to select a few songs for the gigs. Have you made your choice already?

That was definitely a hard choice! We ended up choosing songs that were closer to the other bands we have been touring with for now.

Because I suppose you will go out to present your brand new album, as you did with “Stand in the Fire”, right?

Yes! Right now we are on tour in Europe with Sonata Arctica. The tour is 7 weeks long and has been packed every night! We hope to have some more news to announce soon!

You have made several covers from big bands along the years. But I think you are on the way to get covered by others in the future, to be a reference in a word

That would be cool! We've seen the occasional guitar solo cover on facebook and instagram!

Are you releasing any video or whatever to promote “Striker”?

We released a video for "Born to Lose", and we hope to have some new music videos out after we get home from the European tour

Thank you Tim, we hope to see you around Spain soon and enjoy with your live music

Thanks for the kind words! And thanks to all the fans, without you we couldn't survive!


En Metalbrothers.es os hablamos de Angel Witch, una de las leyendas de la NWOBHM http://metalbrothers.es/bios/biografias/angel-witch/

MARC VANDENBERG – Highway Demon (2017)

1.Highway Demon
2.Blue Eyes
3.Bad Paradise
4.The Last Battle
5.How Do You Feel
7.You´re Like Poison
8.When I Turn the Key
9.The Final Chapter
10.Total Eclipse

Marc Vanderberg – guitar

Segundo album de este guitarrista alemán de hard rock de toda la vida. Ojo, aviso a navegantes, no confundir con el mítico exguitarrista de Whitesnake, el señor Adrian Vandenberg, el nombre es parecido pero no es igual y además tienen estilos bien diferentes. Este Marc tira hacia el hard rock pero con ramalazos de heavy metal y también de estilo neoclásico, de hecho se le compara y lo veréis a lo largo de los temas con excelsos guitarristas como Malmsteen o Marcello.

Vanderberg es el compositor de los temas y el guitarrista, de los demás componentes poco o nada se sabe, al menos en la información que nos ha llegado ni se les menciona, lo que da idea del tipo de proyecto que tenemos delante. De todas formas, después de escucharlo y comparado con otros cracs de la guitarra como el egocéntrico Malmsteen hay que decir que este alemán no está tan obsesionado con su propio reflejo en el espejo y hace unos temas donde lógicamente brilla la guitarra pero tienen un equilibrio, una buena estructura y suenan clásicos.

El disco empieza con Highway Demon, un hard rock melódico con su punto heavy, tiene actitud y chulería como corresponde a un buen tema de hard rock. La producción es excelente y la melodía de las guitarras me recuerda a otro alemán, el melódico Axel Rudi Pell, aunque este Vanderberg le da un sonido más potente en este tema. Buen solo y parada de rigor para volver al riff.

Blue Eyes me gana por el espectacular sonido de las guitarras, un heavy neoclásico, con buenos solos y licks continuos. El vocalista cumple con su función y tiene un deje a Rob Rock. Un tema que te recordará a grandes bandas como MSG, UFO o Impellitteri, gran tema de aires neoclásicos.

Con Bad Paradise empieza el tema punteando y es un hard rock de ritmo vivo y guitarras de hard heavy, la estructura es sencilla, de toda la vida, pero las guitarras salvan el tema. The Last Battle vuelve a meternos el sonido neoclásico en las guitarras tan típico de Malmsteen, con ese hard rock de sonido clásico y guitarras elaboradas, un medio tiempo que nos deja además buenas melodías y mucho feeling a veces de raíces blueseras.

Seguimos avanzando y How Do You Feel es uno de los temas más simples de este trabajo, una balada al estilo Scorpions, Bon Jovi, no tiene mucha historia salvo por las guitarras de Vanderberg que tiran del sonido neoclásico. Indispensible es otro balada, y van dos seguidas, aunque esta empieza con punteo y eso ya le hace ganar puntos, aparte de los consabidos punteos las baladas diría que no son el punto fuerte, no es que sean malas pero carecen de la inspiración o del feeling de los temas cañeros, quizás ahí se le nota más el que sea un grupo conformado alrededor de un guitarra más que un grupo donde todos los miembros aportan.

You´re Like Poison es un hard rock clásico que nos vuelve a subir la moral, mientras que When I Turn the Key es un hard heavy de sonido neoclásico a lo Impellitteri, el sonido en el que parece que este técnico guitarrista se encuentra más cómodo, en este caso con un buen apoyo de teclados. The Final Chapter es otro tema donde Vanderberg acapara focos desde el solo del principio, con bastante efecto en las guitarras pero también con mayor incidencia de teclados que nos trae al sabor de bandas clásicas como House of Lords.

Acabamos el recorrido con Total Eclipse y por supuesto no podía faltar el tema instrumental en el repertorio, dejándonos de nuevo un giutarreo de estilo neoclásico. Lo dicho, un disco bastante compensado, con las idas de olla y el ego típico de esta clase de guitarristas pero que nos deja temas de buen hard rock, donde no solo brillan los solos sino también los riffs y hace que el disco mantenga un buen nivel, no sólo técnico sino también a nivel de entretenimiento, nada que ver con los pestiños que viene sacando Malmsteen desde hace muchos años. Es solo su segundo album pero es un guitarrista que apunta alto sino es que el ego no le gana el pulso.

Puntuación: 7,75/10

Stronger than steel (by Jack Starr)

miércoles, 18 de octubre de 2017

JAG PANZER – The Deviant Chord (2017)

1.Born Of The Flame 4:00
2.Far Beyond All Fear 3:49
3.The Deviant Chord 5:37
4.Blacklist 4:19
5.Foggy Dew 3:20
6.Divine Intervention 3:30
7.Long Awaited Kiss 6:16
8.Salacious Behavior 4:07
9.Fire Of Our Spirit 4:37
10.Dare 5:17

Harry Conklin – vocals
Mark Briody – guitars
Joey Tafolla – guitars
John Tetley – bass
Rikard Stjernquist - drums

Jag Panzer es un nombre de sobras conocido para cualquier under que se precie, no necesitan presentación. Llevan desde principios de los 80 entregando grandes discos de heavy power y esos son muchos años dando caña. Qué tienen que demostrar a estas alturas? Absolutamente nada. De hecho, el propio Briody ha dicho siempre que la banda es algo más que un grupo de música, es un grupo de amigos, por eso no se entiende la misma si en ella no figuran nombres como Conklin o Tafolla o Tetley o Rikard... No, por suerte, o por desgracia, en esto de la música hay algo más que dinero, hay pasión, hay ganas de hacer buena música, de dejar tu impronta, de hacer cosas grandes. Por eso, Jag Panzer ha vuelto, porque después de pasar momentos de crisis entre 2011 y 2013 cuando no sabían muy bien para dónde tirar, por fin la banda ha vuelto unida y reforzada y con ganas de demostrar casi cuarenta años después que siguen estando entre los mejores.

Cuando tienes enormes discos en tu discografía como Ample Destruction, Thane to the Throne, etc, siempre te van a comparar con lo que has hecho en el pasado, es inevitable. Ellos son conscientes de ello y además siempre quieren estar a la altura de las circunstancias, no se trata de sacar un disco porque toca, como hacen muchos viejos dinosaurios, como todos sabemos, se trata de sacar el mejor disco que puedas en cada momento, y eso lo llevan a rajatabla. Para muestra este The Deviant Chord, vamos a destriparlo.

Born Of The Flame es el tema encargado de abrir fuego y para mí es el menos interesante de todo el disco, pese a ello no es un mal tema, para nada, simplemente adolece de una estructura demasiado simple o conformista, aunque con las señas de identidad de la banda. Tenemos la voz de Coklin, tremendo el estado de forma de este señor, y los guitarrazos típicos de la banda, aunque le falta algo de variedad y es un tema para mí gusto excesivamente lineal y más comercial de lo acostumbrado en ellos, repitiendo en exceso el estribillo, pero sí que es un tema con calidad y consistente.

A partir de ahí todo va como la seda. Far Beyond All Fear lleva un ritmo de cabalgada desde el principio, un tema de heavy power, por momentos acelerado por momentos más pausado y heavy a lo Dio o los Sabbath de Martin, es decir, heavy con solera combinado con ritmos power, un tema de aires ochenteros donde la banda brilla con luz propia por su calidad e inspiración.

The Deviant Chord empieza con acústicas y Conklin que amolda su poderosa voz a registros baladísticos, cuando entra la distorsión nos dejan un tremendo medio tiempo de riffs cargados y poderosos, con un excelente solo marca de la casa. Me parece correcta la elección de este tema para dar título al disco porque es una de esas canciones que se convierten en himnos y arrasan en directo, un clásico. Tiene la magia de bandas como Judas Priest y Riot, como ellos Jag Panzer juega en la liga de los grandes. Y de nuevo vuelvo a llamar la atención sobre la atronadora voz de Conklin, uno de los mejores vocalistas de heavy metal de todos los tiempos y que increíblemente conserva su poderío intacto después de tantos años. Y si lo has visto en directo sabes que no se trata de una voz de botón, el tipo da la talla sobre el escenario y clava los temas, un portento.

Después de la descarga a fuego lento del tema anterior, Blacklist se inicia con mucha más rabia, riffs poderosos y con su dosis de oscuridad, perfectamente acompañado por registros más oscuros por parte de Conklin, que sigue haciendo lo que cada canción pide en cada momento. Me encanta el enfoque que le dan a este tema, un heavy que recoge el testigo de los Mercyful Fate, reuniendo heavy potente con tintes occult y terror. Un tema de dark heavy con un trabajo espectacular en los riffs y solos, con unas melodías que se te clavan como puñales. Temazo incontestable y el disco que sigue creciendo a cada paso.

Foggy Dew empieza lento y sigue aportando matices con una épica medieval y de fantasía. A medida que pasa el tema suben un peldaño la velocidad y se orientan hacia un power con tintes folk con un soberbio Conklin, menudo estado de forma en que se encuentra este vocalista. Divine Intervention es otro tema brillante entre el power y el heavy, sacando grandes melodías, guitarras dobladas, a ratos suena a Maiden, a ratos suena a la épica de unos Visigoth, y es que suena a lo que son, a Jag Panzer de toda la vida.

El disco no afloja, desde el primer tema sigue para arriba sin descanso. Long Awaited Kiss es el tema más largo del disco y es una delicia escucharlo, van intercalando acústicas de sonido folk con distorsión, construyendo una gran atmósfera que culmina en un solo excepcional de true metal y con mucha melodía, que por momentos recuerda a los mejores tiempos de Zakk Wylde.

La voz de Conklin tiene tantos matices que es fácil buscarle similitud con distintos artistas, pero sin duda en los registros graves y más pausados me recuerda a Dio y a eso suena Salacious Behavior, por lo menos hasta que le meten las partes power, con un solo cien por cien heavy y a tope de velocidad, otro gran tema, con unos coros bien ejecutados. Fire Of Our Spirit se inicia con un punteo y es uno de los cortes más veloces del disco y en el que las guitarras toman más protagonismo. Curiosamente las voces se desarrollan más a través de coros que en la voz solista de Conklin que mete un par de poderosas líneas, es como si fuese un tremendo tema semiinstrumental.

Y ya está aquí el final del disco, Dare es la culminación de esta gran obra, un corte de heavy melódico donde Conklin vuelve a estar soberbio y le da un aire epic al tema. Para completar otro gran corte tenemos unas guitarras a caballo entre el sonido neoclásico y el heavy de toda la vida.

Los Jag Panzer vuelven por la puerta grande después de seis años sin sacar disco. Un disco que está a la altura de su legado y puede mirar directamente a los ojos a los grandes clásicos de la banda. Y lo increíble es que esto lo siguen haciendo después de cuatro décadas, cuántas bandas tienen esa capacidad de inspiración compositiva? Pocas, muy pocas, por eso los Jag Panzer son una de las bandas más grandes de nuestro rollo, aunque sigan viviendo en el mundo underground. Los Jag Panzer presentan su candidatura a disco del año.

Puntuación: 9,6/10

Take me to... (by Professor Emeritus)

lunes, 16 de octubre de 2017

Interview with BATHSHEBA

by Vpower

The Band: Bathsheba
Country: Belgium
Answers by: Michelle (vocals)

We are here today to talk about new Doom sensation BATHSHEBA. As you may know already guys we don’t give a damn about commercial stuff or trends, this is Metalbrothers.es’ territory all the way and Bathsheba fits perfectly on it. A band with their own personality, as Michelle points out, they are the blend of several different characters and the result is brilliant. They give the doom approach a new sense and Michelle’s voice is a clear example of that. You never know how is going to be in music business, but this guys have it all to make a stand out. Plus, Michelle’s opinions are cool and different, to say the least.

Hello Michelle and congratulations for your first full length album “Servus”

Thank you very much! And thank you for this interview!

Good to have Bathsheba and Michelle on the microphone, not singing just talking this time J Michelle, you are not new in this business, you have experience from previous bands, what’s your story?

Yes although we are a new band, we all have a little history in music already. You might know Jelle mainly from Sardonis, a heavy 2 piece band that just stopped previous year. Dwight is known from bands as Disinterred and Raf used to play in Gorath and in Death Penalty with me. I set my roots in music with Serpentcult. I also have another project that is called Leviathan Speaks, which is more ambient triphop with noise. The music scene in our area is quite interesting and there’s some nice and good musicians reaching out to each other. Jelle and Dwight wanted to start a band. Jelle knew me from the tour we did with Grand Magus, Sardonis and Serpentcult. And I knew Raf because we were friends. Et voila.

How has your previous works in bands such as Death Penalty or Disinterred influenced your sound in Bathsheba?

That’s an interesting question indeed. I think you mainly take the experience with you. Every band is different and in every band you are another version of yourself. I think through the experience you develop your own sound or style. You always take something with you to the next band or project that you have developed or learned in the previous thing you were doing.

Your name has something to do with the Hebrew myth of Bathsheba?

Yes. When looking for a band name we were thinking of having ‘someone’ representing us. It didn’t matter if this representative would be a male or a female. We just wanted to have someone with a very complex and colored personality representing us. Bathsheba has many faces. She’s dark, seductive, kind, mysterious, clever, she is the Daughter of the Oath, mother of King Solomon,… And on a deeper level as well there is much to tell about her, even though she is somewhat in the background.

You released a demo in 2014 and an ep in 2015. Is there an evolution regarding your new album?

There is definitely an evolution. In 2014 we were still very much looking for an identity as we just started this band, end 2013, early 2014. Although we are still the same, we also really grew. Two demo songs are also on the album. That’s ‘The Sleepless Gods’ and ‘Manifest’. Then we recorded the 10 inch in 2015. Servus of course still has somewhat the same tone. A song like ‘Conjuration of fire’ still carries that heavy doom but we also developed more apart from of that doom genre. ‘Ain Soph’ and ‘I, at the end of everything’ carry a somewhat more black metal feel. My personal favorite is ‘Demon 13’. I can’t even put my finger on a style there. It’s very outrageous and honest. I think this was the most important thing to us to come to a point that you can express utter emotion indifferent to what style you are bringing.

A great analysis, indeed. How long have you dedicated to the composition of Servus?

Of course there are two songs we did in 2014 on there but apart from that we wrote a good one and a half to two years on it I think. All together taken. We like the idea of letting things develop naturally and record when you are really ready. Some bands like to hurry and I do say I got impatient too at moments. But you know this is something that when you record it, you can’t undo it. It will be out in the world like that so you better be sure that you make it the best you can and that you are ready for it.

Is there any big force inside Bathsheba that shines more than the others in terms of composition or musical direction?

That’s something interesting to think about. I think the doomy aspect, the slow, heavy sound is very important to us. But for Servus it was also important to get out of that more typical thing. I think we all had that urge to explore something more. We are all equal and I couldn’t see BATHSHEBA continuing without any of us. I think that is a big force too. The fact we are all equally important and we are all very different.  A big motivator for me personally was sorrow and frustration and to be able to express that as much and honest as possible.

What is the story you tell in Servus in terms of lyrics?

Servus is like waking up in the morning and realizing that everything and everyone is your enemy. The moment you wake up and open your eyes and you feel the walls closing in and you’re being smashed towards the walls of fact. You feel tired and heavy, even more than when you went to sleep. You get up wondering why you exist at all. There’s so much sorrow. Sorrow from life itself, events that happen, people you lose,… But there is also some intrinsic sadness. An understanding about life and our own inability to see how beautiful it can be. So it’s almost a hymn to the burden of life you are carrying both on an earthly and spiritual level. It also has some frustrating and schizophrenic moments where you are almost happy to wallow in the decay. Like you are the chosen one, hated by all and you love it. Because you feel better knowing you are not part of the society who live with their eyes closed. Sadness, sorrow and hurt never disappoint. You can get so lost in your own mind. The abyss of your own mind can reach levels so deep you couldn’t ever fantasize about that. But indeed sometimes there is also sun, let’s try to not forget that.

Kind of a big nightmare it seems…, something we have all felt or experienced one moment or another I guess. I would like to remark, Michelle, your great work on vocals, you really make a difference with other acts

Thank you so much. Well the guys agree on that it is different and very personal. I try to become myself more and more vocally. I think it’s pointless to sing like anyone else. How could I if what I express is what is inside of me. Then it’s so personal that it has to be me you know. And when this somehow sounds good to people then I think I can just say that I’m very grateful to be able to sound like that. My main purpose wasn’t to sound good, it was to sound honest. And with doing that I am really satisfied. It’s the first time in my career that I actually like my voice and that I can actually listen to my own album and enjoy it and undergo what is happening, what we have done.

Moreover, you have a great ability to create a thick dark and bizarre atmosphere

I could say as a person I am quite dark. I mean I’m also very light. But, there is a certain dark side of me that is very present. And I am somewhat a bizarre person I know that. I don’t mind, I don’t want to change either. I think I lack of any technical knowledge so the only thing I can do is give a part of myself in what I am doing. So naturally this darkness and bizarre thing that is a big part of my personality is expressed in what I do. Musically I think the atmosphere again comes from the fact that we are all very different and we all have different ideas.

I praise your sincerity and maturity. Dwight delivers some tremendous  riffs and solos along the album, with some psycho rock and stoner feeling

Yes Dwight is a rare character. When I met him I really didn’t know what to make of him. Sometimes he does something and I feel it completely differently. Or visa versa. So we are somewhat adversaries. It’s hard sometimes to let go of your own judgement or preferences but it somehow works. So during our process we really developed a trust in one another. I also really don’t like solo’s too much but what he did on Manifest for instance… There’s a riff I truly immensely love and the solo he did is so full of feeling that even I have to love it. He comes up with very diverse riffs. One moment there’s an epic riff and another moment it’s more a death metal riff but he has this natural weirdness I suppose and it just works somehow.

We are talking about six songs in your album and no one less than five minutes, with Manifest over ten minutes. How is a gig by Bathsheba?

Haha yes. It’s sometimes difficult when you only have 35 or 40 minutes. We have a fixed set for now that is about 45 minutes but if we have to play less it’s sometimes really a puzzle to do so. We somehow always manage, sometimes we ask for 5 minutes more. Because if you play 35 minutes that means 4 songs if you include manifest and the samples… Which to me is really not enough to express myself often. But after 45 minutes I gave so much I’m entirely finished too. So 50 minutes would be perfect. We could play the whole album with samples then.

Talking about Manifest, it’s one of my favorite tracks and I think a clear statement of what Bathsheba is able to deliver now and in the future, a brutal new force in the Doom scene

For me personal it was the song I liked less because well there’s obviousely not so much singing so it’s not a very exciting song for me to do. We mostly end our concert with this song because it gives me the chance to calm down again when I finish. Also the guys can do their thing and it’s a good song to finish a gig I think. When I listen to it myself, yeah I hear it. It’s a great and powerfull song, it’s really a manifest I think. I also think it’s Jelle’s favorite and maybe the other guys favorite too.

You have signed by Svart Records, how is going the promotion of you great new album?

We are working together with Svart records and Bidi van Drongelen from Bidi Bookings. We can’t complain for now. Noisey had the première of streaming the album, we were on Never mind the Hype Radio, Metal Hammer.de had the premiere of the lyric video for Ain Soph, We had interviews with Zero Tolerance, Rock Hard Italy, you guys etc. So I think we are spread about and people are talking about the album. We are very grateful to Svart and Bidi for all the support and of course to all of you, sincerely.

Great to hear so. Have you released any videos or any other promo material or you will do it in the near future?

We did the Demon 13 video, Ain Soph lyrics video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wzd3Kyod9WU
And now we are mainly preparing to do live gigs and in meanwhile slowly writing some new material. It’s all good to make video’s and let people see some footage of the band, but the focus for us has to be in making music and playing our gigs well live. We also like that kind of mystery where a band doesn’t shove themselves in everyone’s face all the time.

How do you see the current Doom scene?

I’m not so much in most doom to be honest. I find it a bit boring most of the time. Doom I really like or music that has a doomy touch are bands like Blutch and Thee plague of Gentlemen but they both don’t exist anymore. I like things like Primitive Man or Bongripper, Raketkanon has some interesting doomy parts,… I don’t think I’m the right person to talk about doom music. I know very little of doom bands. Doomed Gatherings in Paris previous year, where we played had some great bands playing like Throw me in the Crater, Toner Low, Mantar,… I think doom needs a serious innovation as we are seeing now in the black metal scene. I think black metal is now much more interesting than doom nowadays.

A very interesting opinion, once again. Belgium is a too small market for a big doomy monster in constant growth as Bathsheba?

Belgium has a cool metal scene and doom has had some expension but indeed Belgium is Belgium. We are a bit spoiled I think. There are so many great Belgian bands and luckily some of those bands even make it to the main stream. Things like Amenra or Steak Number Eight. They are pretty underground musically but still attract a great audience. So I’m very glad that things like that are possible! I don’t think though it will happen to us because we are already a weird trade within the tiny doom scene.

Well, who knows, let destiny do his part… Have you planned some tour dates around? What countries will you play through?

For now we haven’t any tour dates fixed. I hope to announce some cool gigs soon. What I can announce is our release party 30th March in the Botanique in Bruxelles together with the release of Emptiness new album. We play at Roadburn in the Netherlands, Rodeofest in Belgium, Dragonfest in the UK,…

We won’t be there, too far from home, but we wish the best. What can we expect from Bathsheba in the future?

Hopefully more good music, more growth, some nice live shows, maybe a tour,… I hope we can continue our path and become better, wiser, deeper,… and always be ourselves.

Thank you very much Michelle for your time and interesting opinion, keep your glorious path

Thank you so much for having us. It was a pleasure to answer your questions. We really hope to come to Spain and play there and reach out to you guys! Thank you for reaching out to us!