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Wednesday, January 28, 2015

INTERVIEW: U.D.O.'s Udo Dirkschneider Discusses Why 'Decadent' Is One Of The Best Heavy Metal Album Of His Career

U.D.O have been hard at work once again creating their 15th full release (11th since their return from hiatus) ‘Decadent’. Udo Dirkschneider is no stranger to Heavy Metal after fronting Accept, and along with the material in his prior U.D.O career, high expectations were amassed, in which I wasn’t disappointed. Merging the past with the present in such a way is no small task, and the bands able to pull it off well are few and far between. U.D.O have managed this perfectly while capturing the quintessence of Heavy Metal. Udo Dirkschneider shows no sign of wear-or-tear after all these years, and still seems to be on top form with his unique style and varied vocal techniques. From the opening track to the final one, ‘Decadent’ is packed to the brim with head-banging classic heavy metal which follows on well from their previous release ‘Steelhammer’ - not venturing too far away from its sound while still adding an extra depth to the music.

Gearing up for the reelase of new album "Decadent", Metal Wani's Editor In Chief Owais 'Vitek' Nabi had a chat with legendary frontman Udo Dirkschneider. He discusses new album "Decadent", songwriting , German heavy Metal Scene, His opinion on "Fast As A Shark" as first speed metal song, His opinion on ACCEPT New Album "Blind Rage", His opinion on ACCEPT firing Herman Frank and Stefan S and much more.

Stream the Entire Interview Below:

REVIEW: VENOM - "From The Very Depths"

Venom, formed in 1979 is one of the superlative metal bands which enriched the glory of the New Wave Of British Heavy Metal by inspiring generations of metal that followed. Venom is considered one of the pioneers of the entire sub-genre of black metal and has in its casket some of the most important albums of all time! The fact the Venom laid the groundwork for black metal and has to its name thirteen studio albums which explored a plethora of possibilities speaks volumes of the band’s stature in the history of metal. The band is now all set to release its much-awaited fourteenth studio album ‘From The Very Depths’ on January 27, 2015.

Venom has been playing across two remarkably different generations of heavy metal and has witnessed a slew of changes and developments. The fact that bassist/vocalist Conrad “Cronos” Lant is the only original member left in the band does not take away from the unrivaled character and essence of Venom’s music.

Track Listing:

01. Eruptus
02. From the Very Depths
03. The Death of Rock 'n Roll
04. Smoke
05. Temptation
06. Long Haired Punks
07. Stigmata Satanas
08. Crucified
09. Evil Law
10. Grinding Teeth
11. Ouverture
12. Mephistopheles
13. Wings of Valkyrie
14. Rise



The album is a magnificent musical odyssey which explores a variety of distinguished elements ranging from the awe-inspiring guitar work and noteworthy rendition of scales backed by basslines and pounding grooves from the dark pits to the assertive theme pertaining to blasphemy in the title track. A good deal of experimenting with speed adorns the album with the commanding quality and the slowdown-and-guitar-solo in “The Death of Rock ‘n’ Roll” and the rather laid back attribute of “Smoke” which upholds a few impactful power metal elements. 

“Temptation” showcases some notable hard-hitting grooves and somewhat melancholic and gory guitars, especially on the chorus. “Long Haired Punks” features a variety of captivating details like the significant chorus, fantastic basslines and an overall anarchic impression. Songs like “Stigmata Satanas” and “Crucified” brandish bold aspects such as facets of crust punk bedecked with those of extreme metal and a few time-honoured heavy metal grooves respectively.

In a nutshell, ‘From The Very Depths’ is an excellent album upholding power, ferocity, musicality and a self-assured slab of headbanging material despite being distinct from the illustrious styles eminent in older albums such as ‘Black Metal’. This album is definitely top-notch (if not groundbreaking!) which boasts of brilliant production, noteworthy details and the unapologetic spirit of Venom!


Rating: 9/10


--
Reviewed By,
Debarati Das

PREMIERE: Stream DER WEG EINER FREIHEIT New Single 'Requiem' From New Album "Stellar"

Black metal remains a musical chimera. From its fiery beginnings this extreme style proved to be as diverse as productive. German sons of this northern spawned darkness often display a penchant for bold aggression and directness as embodied by ENDSTILLE and NEGATOR. These virtues are also embraced by DER WEG EINER FREIHEIT. Yet the Franconians do not simply follow heavily trodden paths. Adding fragile moments of psychedelic meandering, these Germans have also been compared with WOLVES IN THE THRONE ROOM or DEAFHEAVEN. An extra dose of melancholy points towards their named influence IMPERIUM DEKADENZ and there are far more details to be discovered within the many layers of their harsh but strongly melodic new masterpiece 'Stellar'. Founded in 2009 by guitarist Nikita Kamprad and vocalist Tobias Jaschinsky, DER WEG EINER FREIHEIT immediately gained attention in Germany with their self released debut 'Der Weg einer Freiheit' (2009). Limited to 200 copies the full-length quickly sold out and a new and improved version with real drumming was officially published in 2010. Following the EP 'Agonie' (2011), their sophomore album 'Unstille' (2012) created a strong buzz beyond German borders despite all lyrics being written in their native tongue. Having performed along such diverse acts as WOLVES IN THE THRONE ROOM, NEAERA, THE BLACK DAHLIA MURDER, and WAR FROM A HARLOTS MOUTH prestigious festivals such as Summer Breeze Open Air and Wolfszeit Festival invited the band. In 2014 DER WEG EINER FREIHEIT impressed a Norwegian audience at Blastfest in Bergen to the point that they received immediate offers for further shows. In the meantime main songwriter Nikita Kamprad had taken over vocal duties after co-founding member Tobias had quit. In late autumn, the Germans entered Ghost City Recording studios to work on their third full-length 'Stellar', which is now ready to hit the world with irresistible force. Get ready and brace for a massive black impact!



Tracklisting

01. Repulsion
02. Requiem
03. Einkehr
04. Verbund
05. Eiswanderer
06. Letzte Sonne
07. Idyll (bonus track)
08. Unendlich (bonus track)

Line-up

Nikita Kamprad: guitars, vocals
Tobias Schuler: drums
Sascha Rissling: guitars
Giuliano Barbieri: bass

More Details Here:

www.facebook.com/derwegeinerfreiheit
www.facebook.com/seasonofmistofficial 

NEWS: KISS's Collaboration With MOMORIO CLOVER Z: 'Yume No Ukiyo Ni Saitemina' Video Released

KISS has collaborated with the Japanese pop group MOMORIO CLOVER Z on a new single, to be released on January 28. The track "Yume No Ukiyo Ni Saitemina" was composed by KISS guitarist/vocalist Paul Stanley and Greg Collins, with lyrics written by Yuho Iwasato. MOMOIRO CLOVER Z performs the song, with KISS providing background vocals and instruments. It will be released in two versions — "Momoclo Edition" and "KISS Edition" — via iTunes in 120 countries. A music video for the track, featuring both bands, was shot in Las Vegas and can be seen below.

Both the "Momoclo Edition" and "KISS Edition" of "Yume No Ukiyo Ni Saitemina" will feature the title track and one same coupling song, but the "KISS Edition" will include the track titled "Samurai Son", which was made using "Yume No Ukiyo Ni Saitemina" as its base. It is sung by KISS while MOMORIO CLOVER Z members participate on vocals. The "Momoclo Edition" will come with a Blu-ray disc which contains the music video for the title track instead.

"Samurai Son" will also be made available on KISS's upcoming Japanese compilation "Best Of KISS 40", alongside 19 tracks spanning the band's four-decade career and a DVD featuring three exclusive live performances.

MOMORIO CLOVER Z will open for KISS on March 3 at the Tokyo Dome.

"Best Of KISS 40" track listing:

01. Samurai Son (U.S. mix) (KISS vs. MOMOIRO CLOVER Z)
02. Rock And Roll All Nite
03. Shout It Out Loud
04. Beth
05. Hard Luck Woman
06. Detroit Rock City
07. Calling Dr. Love
08. Christine Sixteen
09. Love Gun
10. I Was Made For Lovin' You
11. Shandi
12. I'm A Legend Tonight
13. Lick It Up
14. Heaven's On Fire
15. Tears Are Falling
16. Crazy Nights
17. God Gave Rock 'N' Roll To You II
18. Psycho Circus
19. Modern Day Delilah
20. Hell Or Hallelujah

Limited-edition DVD:

01. Psycho Circus
02. Shout It Out Loud
03. Hell Or Hallelujah

NEWS: FEAR FACTORY's BURTON C. BELL On Upcoming Album: It's 'The Sound That Fans Have Always Expected'

FEAR FACTORY recently entered NRG Recording Studios in North Hollywood, California with longtime producer/collaborator Rhys Fulber and engineer Mike Plotnikoff to begin tracking its new album for an early 2015 release via Nuclear Blast Entertainment. The CD will be mixed by acclaimed British producer Andy Sneap, who has previously worked with MEGADETH, KILLSWITCH ENGAGE, EXODUS, TESTAMENT and ACCEPT, among many others.

Asked by Silver Tiger Media how far into the recording process for the new album FEAR FACTORY is at the moment, the band's vocalist, Burton C. Bell, said: "We are still working on it. [It's taking] longer than expected, but, you know, it's classic FEAR FACTORY sound, the sound that fans have always expected, but I think because we are taking our time, the songs are really well crafted. Without losing the edge or the angst. Without losing the essence of FEAR FACTORY, but they are well-crafted songs. We are working on the album cover right now. We have really connected with artist Dave McKean, who did the album cover for 'Demanufacture' and 'Obsolete'. He is working on something. We have an album title that we are happy with which really represents a good FEAR FACTORY title."

Asked if there is a particular subject focus of the album, Bell said: "It's based on science-fiction, essentially futuristic concepts. It's bringing the concept of man versus machine around again, but this time, the way I'm thinking about the machine is that it's fully cognitive and fully understands where its place is and what it needs to do. So the machine has very human qualities now."

NEWS: MEGADETH's DAVID ELLEFSON: 'We're Moving Forward With Writing A New Album'

In a brand new interview with Spotlight Report, MEGADETH bassist David Ellefson spoke about how life has changed for the band following the recent departures of drummer Shawn Drover and guitarist Chris Broderick.

"It is obviously going to be different without them," he said. "We spent five years together with them in that lineup; that is a long time. We did multiple live albums with them, two studio albums, [and] we toured together. So it's a bit like some family members are gone. Especially through the holidays, I've kinda been a little sad about it.

"I realize that they wanted to move on to something else, and I support them as my friends, but selfishly, I'm definitely going to miss them, for sure.

"Things are moving forward, of course, and there will be a new development happening on that front."


Asked about the progress of the search for Drover and Broderick's replacements and whether MEGADETH will be bringing back some former members, Ellefson responded: "I can't talk about it yet; I can't say anything. Most importantly, we're moving forward with writing a new album. Once we get into the studio to record it, then the lineup will naturally evolve around that."

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

REVIEW: HATE - "Crusade:Zero"

You have to admit, it is awe inspiring to listen to a band that’s been putting out evil and aggressive music since the 90s, and which oozes detestation even in 2015. That’s the great thing about extreme metal musicians - the fury and vitriol doesn’t mellow down with age. This is truer in the case of Hate. This group of blackened death metal experts from Poland just put out their ninth studio album, recorded at Polish Hertz Studios, entitled ‘Crusade:Zero’ via Napalm Records, and they show no signs of slowing down.

The interesting thing about this album is the two consecutive intro tracks. The first one, “Vox Dei (A Call From Beyond)”, is a full orchestral piece that puts you in the mindset of waiting for an imminent battle with a horde of orcs. In the next one, “Lord, Make Me An Instrument Of Thy Wrath!”, you can just see the expanse of the orc army replacing the very horizon before your eyes. This track then fades into the first proper song called “Death Liberator”. This 6-minute song carries the war-like vibes forward, not being too riff-y but being there for the purpose of setting the mood. However, the constant lower-register growls of mainman Atf Sinner and the pummelling drums by Pawel “Pavulon” Jaroszewicz never let the song become boring.

“Leviathan” is huge, a great build up that leads into a big-sounding part. You really feel the black metal on this one; menacing riffs accompanied by unrelenting blast beats. This song showcases the band in all their ugly yet masterful glory. “Leviathan” also shows us that Hate are great songwriters. They are adept at bringing back parts and including nuances in their music, which makes this album a satisfying listen. By the time you reach the title track “Crusade Zero, you are well-versed with the whole idea of the album and what Hate are going for. “Crusade Zero” is another mammoth of a song, with a well-deserved song title.

The rest the of album pummels through with “Rise Omega The Consequence!” and “Dawn Of War” with the dramatic and orchestral ending, “Black Aura Debris”.  However, I wish there were more riffs on the faster and technical side, because they are certainly capable of it. But I guess full-fledged technicality wasn’t the purpose of this album. One can also easily infer that this band is for fans who adore the blackened death metal sound, and not for those who look for meanderings from the genre. Sure, there are interesting elements on this record like the two intro tracks and the cinematic interludes, but other than those, there’s nothing out of the ordinary.

What must be taken note of is the fact that this band has released new music in 2015 even after the sudden and untimely death of their bassist Slawek "Mortifier" Arkhangelsky in 2013. It proves how strongly they believe in their music and how strong they are as individuals.



All in all, ‘Crusade:Zero’ is a fun album to listen to. They are up there with contemporaries such as Behemoth, Vader and Decapitated and have successfully preserved the Polish extreme metal sound. 


Rating: 8/10


--
Reviewed By,
Shoumitro Roy

REVIEW: THE AGONIST - "Eye Of Providence"

At the height of their popularity and after their 2012 album ‘Prisoners’ (their most solid album till date), The Agonist announced in March last year that vocalist Alissa White-Gluz would be leaving them to join Arch Enemy and would be replaced with vocalist Vicky Psarakis onboth clean and growl vocals. After less than a year, they are ready with the new album, ‘Eye of Providence’.

The Agonist is a majorly metalcore band from Canada and have centred on themes like moral concerns, animal rights, societal topics and the general state of the world we live in. The band has had a varied musical style with abstract sound structures and dynamism to the addition of the both clean and heavy vocals. But did this recent line up change have a big impact on the band’s sound? Let’s see.

There is a lot at stake here after ‘Prisoners’, as The Agonist has been seen so far to have a chaotic but precise, and almost progressive music sense with their previous offering. But “Gates of Horn and Ivory” starts with less ferocious riffage than expected. Vicky Psarakis’ growls sound aggressive but not as powerful, though her clean vocals give out a controlled vocal length. The song surely makes you headbang, and the little guitar solo snippets by Danny Marino show why Agonist has always stood in the first place. However, by the time “My Witness, Your Victim” starts, you can already feel an element of sameness here;  and it’s not even the third song yet. Disappointment creeps in with the lack of complexity and craziness in this record. There are headbangable moments here, but they are taken away instantly with the clean vocals and the almost mainstream chorus parts that remind you of the generic “female-fronted metal” tag.

The true dilemma arises when the creative and powerful intro riffs in songs like “Danse Macabre”, “I Endeavour” and “Faceless Messenger” transition into monotony by the time you start enjoying them. The song structures are repetitively agonizing and dull, which is heartbreaking because there is a lot of talent here demonstrated by everyone. Psarakis surely can match Alissa, if not surpass her, but the limitations and over-produced song structures deem otherwise. There is something holding The Agonist back here; whether it is their attempt to match the success of ‘Prisoners’ or the accessible sound of this record as a whole is unclear.

“Perpetual Notion” suddenly changes the mood of the album, sounding ferocious and groovy after the otherwise acoustic intro, with both the growls and the clean vocals sounding much more impressive. The band shows experimentation again from this point, with Vicky showcasing her memorable melodies and brutal growls. Drummer Simon McKay sounds more innovative and frankly just unstoppable.

Things continue to look up with “Necessary Evil”, showcasing almost Arch Enemy-like intensity. The emphatic breakdowns coupled with Vicky’s beautiful vocal range are nothing less than incredible. Guitarists Danny Marino and Pascal Jobin spit out amazing guitar solos, riffs and pinch harmonics.  “Architects Hallucinate” starts with an alluring intro, and drives straight into the depths of hell with Vicky’s vocals coupled with the riffage, which perfectly complement each other. “Disconnect Me” starts in perfect melodic death fashion with a relentless pace, with Vicky perfecting the “beauty and beast” form of vocals with ease. That being said, the dynamic “Follow the Crossed Line” is easily one of the stronger tracks on the album.

Ballads like “Perfect Embodiment” and “A Gentle Disease” both showcase only clean vocals (a rather mundane thing to say here), with the latter being more of an acoustic ballad and interlude. Nevertheless, it puts bassist Chris Kells in the driving seat by flaunting an ambient Bass-driven outro , which is easily one of the most memorable parts of the album. However, the seven-minute long “As Above, So Below” seems unnecessary, surely being the bands experimental take,. It becomes a chore to listen to, giving a rather weak end to the album.


All in all, The Agonist may not be what they used to be because of this significant line-up change. Vocalist Vicky Psarakis has made a powerful debut here, but could have better with her lyric placement, timing and execution. Being an average album (with its moments, of course), I see this as more of a “debut” for their new era. I do hope that by the next album, they might become more powerful than before.


Rating: 6.5/10



--
Reviewed By,
Sarthak Khanna

NEWS: PHILIP ANSELMO To Be Honored With 'Musical Artist Of The Year' Award

According to Nola.com, former PANTERA and current DOWN singer Philip Anselmo will be honored with the Musical Artist Of The Year award at the 2015 President's Arts Awards.

This year's President's Arts Awards will be hosted at the St. Tammany Parish Justice Center in historic Downtown Covington, Louisiana on January 31 at 6 p.m. This years festivities will feature food from over 21 St. Tammany Parish restaurants, live music from Ronnie Kole and Christian Serpas, dance performance by Javier Juarez and a theatrical performance by the Slidell Little Theatre.

You can purchase tickets at the following locations:

St. Tammany Parish Government's Grants/CRT Offices,
21410 Koop Drive, Building C, 1st floor window
Mandeville, LA 70471

St. Tammany Parish Emergency Operations Center, Public Information Office
510 E. Boston St.
Covington, LA 70433

Tickets for the Appetite for Art Gala are $75 per person or guests may purchase tickets to the Patron Party hosted by Chef John Besh and the Gala for $150.

NEWS: UDO DIRKSCHNEIDER: New ACCEPT Lineup Performs Live 'Without Any Emotion'

Dani Buarque of the "Lokaos Rock Show" recently conducted an interview with former ACCEPT and current U.D.O. frontman Udo Dirkschneider. You can now watch the chat below.

Asked how it feels for him to see ACCEPT continue with a new singer (ex-TT QUICK frontman Mark Tornillo) as his replacement, Udo responded: "What can I say? I mean, I was watching a show of ACCEPT in Hamburg, and I was a little bit disappointed. It was without any emotion. For me, there was no band on stage. Playing-wise, it was okay, but it was without any emotion. It was automatic — like, do it and then go."

Regarding whether he woud ever consider reuniting with his former ACCEPT bandmates in the future, Udo said simply, "No."

Dirkschneider also spoke about what he is able to do musically with U.D.O. that he couldn't do while he was a member of ACCEPT.

"Let's say it in this way: With ACCEPT, the name ACCEPT, if I continued with the name ACCEPT, then you have to do something… what the people know under the name ACCEPT," he said. "I think with U.D.O., I think I'm more free."

Monday, January 26, 2015

NEWS: Stream JAGGED SURGE New Music Video "SOS (Saving Our Soldiers)"

Heavy Metal band JAGGED SURGE, have released the video for their independent song release titled SOS(SAVING OUR SOLDIERS)

According to the band,"SOS(Saving Our Soldiers) is an anthemic song, which pays tribute to soldiers and highlights the need for a country towards addressing the apathy of soldiers, once they are discharged from the battle lines." JAGGED SURGE hails from Bangalore, India and have been prominently performing in their country's festival circuit .They describe their sound as armed with a unique stealth, infused by genres of Classic Hard Rock, Old School Metal and Modern Metal strains. The band has stated that they are currently working on an EP, to be released later in the year.

INTERVIEW: AMON AMARTH's Johan Soderberg On European Tour & Upcoming New Album

I was eagerly waiting to see Amon Amarth after a 5 long years gap. Day two of Amon Amarth's month long trek around Europe saw them stop off at Brighton's Concorde 2 for the first time of their career. This will be their last tour in support of last years critically acclaimed album “Deceiver of the God's” before the viking fellowship begin work on their yet untitled tenth album. A band as accomplished as Sweden's Amon Amarth who are no strangers to packing 5k plus venues with their now legendary long boat was always guaranteed to take Brighton by force. Vocalist Johann Hegg conducted his horde, urging them to let their inner vikings out which sounded cheers so loud it would shake the foundations of valhalla itself. From start to finish Amon Amarth siphoned the energy of Nordic fury in a barbaric skirmish of dominance and absolute power.

Before the storm, we at Metal Wani had a chat with guitarist Johan Soderberg. He discussed European Tour with Huntress and Savage Messiah, how they choose bands to tour with, status on their upcoming album which is slated to release in 2016, his opinion on critics and dedicated fanbase.

Stream The Interview Here:

REVIEW: ORDEN OGAN - "Ravenhead"

Orden Ogan, power metal's most promising foursome from Germany, has released their fifth full length album ‘Ravenhead’ in January through AFM Records. Each of their previous four albums has received great reviews and are still frequently talked about to this day, and this release has already proved itself to be the same. Frequently compared to Blind Guardian, as the German metal scene is probably the most competitive today, I would argue that the comparison is no longer applicable. The band has grown into themselves so well over the past few years that they are setting themselves apart from that need entirely.

This release is the first that the band as a whole shared songwriting processes in, though frontman Seeb Levermann took up the brunt of the work. It's easy to hear a strong difference in the sheer heaviness and movement in the music, more so than ever before. The album begins with a fantastic and eerie intro, and then explodes immediately into the title track, “Ravenhead”. Tied together by fantastic lead and rhythm guitar, this song has some killer melodies throughout and a huge chorus to top it off. The layered vocals and keyboard combination send chills down my spine every time, as this band is one of the best out there to make you truly feel the music rather than just hear it.

“F.E.V.E.R.” was the band's first single for the record, and they released an amazing music video along with it, directed by Rainer 'Zipp' Fränzen who also directed the band's 2012 video for “The Things We Believe In”. If you have seen the music video, you already have a strong sense of the artistry and passion behind this release. While the chorus is repeated quite a few times throughout the song, it is accompanied by phenomenal musicianship that hits harder than ever before. On the topic of heavy and hard-hitting tunes, “Here At The End Of The World” is one of the strongest on the record, with guest vocals from Chris Boltendahl (Grave Digger), and galloping drum and bass lines that send it over the edge.

Another guest appearance is Joacim Cans (Hammerfall) on “Sorrow is your Tale” which is likely my favorite track on the record. Joacim's voice fits so well with the band, but the real shining moment in the song is the soaring chorus and vocal arrangements that take “catchy” to a new level. A huge, moving guitar solo ties in all of the music perfectly and brings the song to its last chorus creating a wonderful finale. “In Grief and Chains” is a small instrumental preparing the listener for the final track “Too Soon”, which is a gorgeous ballad highlighted by some seriously emotional lyrics and beautiful vocal work.

Truth be told, the only flaw in this release is the lack of a more story telling-like atmosphere, as the main focus of most of the music lies in a repeating chorus. The verses as a whole are short and to the point, but the choruses are larger than life and repeat many times throughout the songs. With that being said however, this release doesn't feel repetitive or boring, and keeps my attention as well as any other Orden Ogan albums have done.


As if I can stress it any more, that this album is a stunning work of beauty, I will say it again. This album is full of larger than life choruses, heavy, intricate drum and bass work, and fantastic guitar work worthy of naming this their best release yet. Orden Ogan has stepped up to the top of their game with ‘Ravenhead’, and are absolutely setting the bar high for the German metal competition in 2015.


Rating: 9.5/10


--
Reviewed By,
Mattie Jensen

REVIEW: U.D.O - "Decadent"

U.D.O have been hard at work once again creating their 15th full release (11th since their return from hiatus) ‘Decadent’. Udo Dirkschneider is no stranger to Heavy Metal after fronting Accept, and along with the material in his prior U.D.O career, high expectations were amassed, in which I wasn’t disappointed.

The initial response I had to the album was of reverting to a simpler time in music whilst bringing a positive nostalgia flow, which added to the enjoyment of the album. Merging the past with the present in such a way is no small task, and the bands able to pull it off well are few and far between. U.D.O have managed this perfectly while capturing the quintessence of Heavy Metal.  

I thoroughly enjoyed the guitar work of Kasperi Heikkinen and Andrey Smirnov here. The rhythmic patterns range from simplistic to complex, showing great variety. Melodically, you have the standard metal licks within the songs which are occasionally coupled with more progressive and power-based tunes which come across exceedingly well.    

A few choice cuts include “House of Fake”, which has a great sing-along chorus due to the duet-styled and layered textures of the vocal melodies, as well as the nifty fretwork during the guitar solo. Aside from kicking off with an intro that reminds me of “Shipwrecked” by Alestorm, the constant rhythm of the bass drum leaves little space for silence. The toms keep a similar pattern  and provide a barrage of sound, underlying the held chords of the guitar and the whammy squeals of the leads.     

“Pain” has a powerful major melody throughout which ups the atmosphere in comparison to the other tracks on the album.  The lyrics are great, kicking in with “I give my finger to the system, I give my finger to you all”. The spoken word section with the excerpt of “Try eating some of your own shit” made me chuckle.

“Under Your Skin” has a faster tempo compared to to the rest of the album, which makes it more memorable. The lead guitar creates some epic little riffs throughout, and along with numerous eclectic guitar solos and a hooky chorus, makes it my favourite song from ‘Decadent’.
     

Udo Dirkschneider shows no sign of wear-or-tear after all these years, and still seems to be on top form with his unique style and varied vocal techniques. From the opening track to the final one, ‘Decadent’ is packed to the brim with head-banging classic heavy metal which follows on well from their previous release ‘Steelhammer’ - not venturing too far away from its sound while still adding an extra depth to the music.


Rating: 9/10


--
Reviewed By,
James Dean

REVIEW: AIR RAID - "Point Of Impact"

Swedish band Air Raid’s second full-length studio album ‘Point of Impact’ transports the listener back in time to the 80’s when the heavy metal world was ruled by giants like Judas Priest and Iron Maiden. The album is reminiscent of the sound incorporated by these traditional heavy metal bands, and is visible in terms of the part played by each instrument in giving it that sound.

Vocalist Arthur Andersson switches between high and low pitches almost instantaneously in places, with his wide range of clean vocals adding a zing to the upbeat nature of Air Raid’s sound. Dave Destructor’s drum patterns drive the band forward with simple, peppy grooves (with lots of mid-tempo double bass).

Guitarists Andy Stormchild and Johnny Nightshredder lay down scores of interesting riffs and solos that, along with the vocals, form the crux of the comparison drawn between Air Raid and the legendary traditional heavy metal bands. Bassist Rob Thunderbolt follows the other musicians’ parts while giving the sound the essential low rumble that comes when the vocals and guitars are on the higher end.

Likewise, every other aspect of the band’s new effort is fairly straightforward in nature, be it the song structures, or the time signatures used. However, the question will inevitably arise: “Hasn’t this already been done before?” Answering that question leads us to the biggest flaw in ‘Point of Impact’. People might say, “they sound too much like this band, or too much like that band”. In the worst case scenario, Air Raid might be even labelled as rip-offs.

However, that “flaw” is definitely not universal in nature. Although the Swedish band’s music resembles that of Saxon or Iron Maiden, judging the degree of that resemblance is purely subjective. Furthermore, allowing that resemblance to affect your appreciation of the music is also subjective. One can decide only after picking up a copy of ‘Point of Impact’ and allowing it to grow on him/her.


Now, looking at the album from a completely neutral perspective, it is a fun and interesting release. With no filler, no gimmicks and only 8 songs in its track-list, ‘Point of Impact’ keeps the pace going from start to finish. “Wildfire”, “Vengeance”, and “Madness” are some of the stand-out tracks from the album. However, all the songs resemble each other quite a bit in many ways, leaving something to be desired for a listener likes surprises or variation in his/her music.


Rating: 6.5/10


--
Reviewed By,
Rishabh P. Mansur

Saturday, January 24, 2015

PREMIERE: Stream INNER SANCTUM's New Lyric Video "Wake Of Destruction"

Death/Thrash metal heavy weights Inner Sanctum from Bangalore, India have released a video for ‘Wake of Destruction’, their first single from their upcoming sophomore release ‘Legions Awake’.

The follow up to the critically acclaimed EP ‘Provenance’, ‘Legions Awake’ promises to deliver to the listener the trademark Inner Sanctum sound, melodic, groovy and inherently crushing with tracks that are potential metal anthems such as Realms of Oblivion, March of the Wounded, Guardian, to name a few.

About the Band:

Inner Sanctum is India's premier metal band and is Asia's benchmark in the thrash/death metal genre. Inner Sanctum was awarded the "Band of the Year 2007", "Band of the year 2009" and “Emerging Band of the year 2010”.

Inner Sanctum supported metal band Metallica, Slayer, Testament, Carcass, Sikth, Karnivool and Periphery to name a few. In the summer of 2013, Inner Sanctum embarked on an 8 city tour of Europe with festival appearances at Metalfest Poland and a slew of club shows across Germany.

Album Production

Inner Sanctum has continued its association with award winning producer/engineer Lasse Lammert, LSD Studios Germany, for the new record who is renowned for his stellar production with thick punishing guitars and massive yet crisp drum sound. Lasse Lammert has worked with Alestorm, Svartsot, Halcyon Way, Synarchy, Trials etc.



Video Production

For the video, Inner Sanctum commissioned Igor Omodei from Uneven Structure, the French progressive metal band. Igor is one of the most sought after designers whose arrangements are gorgeous and breathtaking to say the least. Igor Omodei has worked with Basick Records, Euroblast, Xerath, Escape the Cult, The Dali Thundering Concept etc.

Contact Details

Inner Sanctum – Email: management@innersanctum.in

Friday, January 23, 2015

GIG REVIEW: AMON AMARTH & HUNTRESS Live At Brighton, UK

Day two of Amon Amarth's month long trek around Europe saw them stop off at Brighton's Concorde 2 for the first time of their career. This will be their last tour in support of last years critically acclaimed album “Deceiver of the God's” before the viking fellowship begin work on their yet untitled tenth album.

Opening band of the night were London's Savage Messiah who's mammoth songwriting and flawless live execution has seen them rapidly rise through the ranks of the London underground scene, bagging them their most high profile support slot to date.

Savage Messiah made the most of their short set to bedazzle the well assembled crowd with a devastating display of hearty thrash and furious soloing which warms the winter crowd in a display of unadulterated energy and hearty charisma. Frontman Dave Silva even gave a shot-out to Brighton's homegrown Mammothfest which saw them again slay Brighton in November last year.

Prior to Huntress' performance all evidence of a sold out show began to take effect; cramming into the back of the venue like packed sardines. The reason became strikingly clear within seconds of Huntress storming the stage. With the band rocking behind her, Jill Janus' vocals threatened to de-roof the venue, soaring above the mix like a Powerslave era Bruce Dickinson with a vibrato wider than the slack-jaw wielding viking metal fans watching for the first time.

Other than the attempt to rouse a camel toe chant, Huntress performance was a serious affair taking the stage like a group not settled on anything less than pure domination. It was Huntress ' imagery and marketing that had me suspicious prior to the show, feeling the overt female sexuality on display was either pandering to a predominant male audience or a display of defiance and strength. It was fortunately the latter that has Janus and her group of doom-metal troubadours reminding me to always let the music come first leaving the naysayers left to fade away in a sea horns and roars.

A band as accomplished as Sweden's Amon Amarth who are no strangers to packing 5k plus venues with their now legendary long boat was always guaranteed to take Brighton by force. Opening tracks “Father Of The Wolf” and “Deceiver Of The God's” instantly get the crowd involved with the audience singing back the introductory guitar harmonies. Vocalist Johann Hegg conducted his horde, urging them to let their inner vikings out which sounded cheers so loud it would shake the foundations of valhalla itself.

From start to finish Amon Amarth siphoned the energy of Nordic fury in a barbaric skirmish of dominance and absolute power. The encore kicked off with Johann appearing from the side of the stage with an oversized replica of Thor's hammer prior to “Twilight Of The Thunder God” displaying in a nut shell just what makes Amon Amarth relevant in 2015. Even the most astute of metal fans would have a hard time not enjoying the band that performed in front of us. With the final frequencies of “The Pursuit Of Vikings” ringing out, the packed audience now merry on the spirit of metal and mead empty the venue leaving Amon Amarth free to take their battle cry further around Europe.


Special Thanks To Metalblade UK's Andy Turner for the support \m/


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Review By,
David Tobin

Thursday, January 22, 2015

INTERVIEW: KEEP OF KALESSIN's Obisidian C Discusses Why "Epistemology" Is An Epic Extreme Metal Album

Keep Of Kalessin have returned in 2015, a full five years after their last album with their latest release 'Epistemology'. This band has always been one to push their boundaries as well as defying the norms of genre-specific music. Versatility has always been a strong point for them, with their ability to incorporate various elements ranging from symphonic drones and powerful instrumentation to Obsidian's vast vocal range and the relentless riffage that make you feel like you're in the middle of a momentous battle of sorts. With "Epistemology", Keep of Kalessin have definitely experimented a little with their sound and stepped out of their comfort zone in this album. It shows their ability to maintain that classic black metal vibe interwoven with melodic riffs and more airy yet dark elements. There's no obvious push of aggression on the tracks, but more of a dark elegance that they've tried to deliver with each song on this album.

Gearing up for the release of their highly anticipated new album, Metal Wani's Editor In Chief Owais 'Vitek' Nabi had a chat with frontman Obsidian C. He discusses new album 'Epistemology', songwriting, black metal scene, upcoming tours and much more.

Stream The Entire Interview below:

GIG REVIEW: DARK TRANQUILITY & INSOMNIUM Live At The Palladium, MA

January 7th, The Palladium in Worcester Massachusetts. Wednesday night. The bill was Dark Tranquility and Insomnium. Here, I will take you through my journey in pursuit of metal.

As an individual that, at the time of this writing, has done many interviews but only a couple face to face interviews, contacting the tour manager can be more nerve wracking than actually talking to the band artists themselves. The reason for this, I think, is because the tour manager is an unknown variable. When you are preparing for the interview, you learn everything that you don’t already know about the artist through many sources. You get a good idea for who the artist is and what their personality is like while you have no idea whether or not the tour manager is a self absorbed uppity douche or not. The tour manager for this particular tour was a man named Jorge, and he was a perfect gentleman.

Jorge told us to meet them by the bus at around 6:00 pm. We got to the bus at that time and he promptly met us there to inform us that the bands ran off to find a bite to eat. He asked us if we minded waiting (very politely as if we had a choice) and so we waited. And waited… and waited. Mind you we were waiting outside in sub zero temperatures (Fahrenheit) with a strong wind bearing down on us driving the chill to almost unbearable levels. We waited for about a half an hour that felt like an eternity in frozen hell, but, in reality it was not an unreasonable wait until gentleman Jorge let us into the side entrance of the venue and led us through dingy corridors to where the interviews were to be conducted.

We sat down and waited for the band to finish with some meet and greets that were still left before we would have our time with the artists. We watched as Mikael Stanne warmly greeted his fans, and while I have not seen many of the meet and greets, I know that it doesn’t always go that way. When he was done with the fans, he sauntered over to us and sat down for a great chat that can be found here. I must say, the old adage goes “never meet your heroes, for there is always a chance that your hero may be a douche” but that saying was proved to not always be the case spectacularly. Talking with Mikael Stanne will always be one of the highlights of my journalistic career. Once we said our goodbyes and parted ways with Mikael (who was eager to get back to drinking) we turned to find Niilo Sevanen of Insomnium lurking in the shadows, patiently awaiting his turn to speak with us. It was pretty surreal having him come up to us like that, a man whose mind has produced such deep and emotional music. You can find our conversation with Niilo here.

The show opened up with Seven Spires, the first of two local openers. Seven Spires is a female fronted symphonic metal band from the Boston area. They kicked the place into high gear right off the bat with a high energy performance with lots of great chanting sing a long parts. When Seven Spires was done priming the crowd, the next of the two local openers took the stage and rocked the face off of the joint.

My Missing Half was the second band. They play a melodic death metal style that was very well matched to the tour package. They have the emotional weight and thoughtfulness of Insomnium with the Melodic mastery of Dark Tranquillity, and I can think of no other band on the local New England circuit that would have been more suited to opening up for these bands. I have seen My Missing Half many times but I can honestly say that I have never seen them more on point that they were that night. They delivered music to the crowd that set the pace for the rest of the night. On to the main attraction.

Insomnium took the stage and instantly the energy was palpable. The first notes rang out and Niilo stepped to the mic and sang… but no voice was audible. A major malfunction of sound was a struggle for the rest of the night. When the volume on the vocals was fixed, the guitars began to feed back. When the feedback stopped, the bass would start overpowering everything else and the sound became muddy. It was always something, never perfect. Always far from perfect as far as the sound goes. I have been to this particular venue many times through the years and this was the worst that I have ever heard the sound quality there, but that being said, Insomnium still delivered an awe inspiring set. From the magically haunting melodies to the profound lyrics to the thunderous heaviness of the metal that they craft, Insomnium cut through the sound issues and blew the audience out of their combat boots.

Now for the main course. The legendary Dark Tranquillity took the stage and from the first note the opening song, The Science of Noise, the crowd went super nova and never stopped until the very end. Song after song, pit goers and crowd surfers gave every ounce of energy that they had to offer, rendering any imperfections on the sound board irrelevant. I’m sure that the people in the back would have taken issue with the sound, but from where I was standing (or rather trying to stand) in the middle of the pit, all that mattered was the feeling of the music and the energy of the crowd that was feeding the band. They played quite a few songs off of their latest album, Construct, but managed to touch upon most of their expansive career as well with songs such as Damage Done, The Wonders at Your Feet, There In, The Lesser Faith, and many more. Sure, there are songs that I’m sure the crowd would have loved to of have heard, but with a 10 album catalog, they had to chose wisely and they weren’t going to make everyone happy, though I didn’t see any unhappy faces in the crowd. The energy reached a fever pitch as they played through Final Resistance, then obviously feeding off the energy of the crowd; they said to hell with the encore and just kept playing. They played Endtime Hearts and then closed the night out with the absolute crowd favorite, Misery’s Crown. There was not a voice in the house that was not singing along to the chorus. Mikael and the boys absolutely killed it, as always.

The night came to an end and everyone shuffled out; some walking, some limping, some floating. All in all it was a very memorable night. The sound issues not withstanding, the bands were amazing, both the local openers and the main attractions. My only hope is that next time these bands come around; they are not plagued with the sound issues that they were that night.


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Written By,
Wild Bill