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Sunday, November 23, 2014

INTERVIEW: SUICIDE SILENCE's Mark Heylmun - "India Is On Our Radar In 2015"

The success of a new singer replacing the much-beloved older one is always like the toss of a coin. Heads, you can be like Ronnie James Dio in Black Sabbath's ''Heaven and Hell' revival; tails, you could turn out like Tim "Ripper" Owens in Judas Priest's 90s low point. Unless you're Alissa White-Gluz with Arch Enemy, in which case, that coin may as well have landed upright on its edge. Hernan "Eddie" Hermida's entry into deathcore stalwarts Suicide Silence sadly was under more tragic circumstances. After the shocking death of longtime vocalist Mitch Lucker in a motorcycle accident in 2012, the band brought Eddie in as his replacement after almost a year of inactivity. Since then, the group have stoically ushered in the new era of Suicide Silence; from the Mitch Lucker Memorial Show, through their live performances, and finally into their new album 'You Can't Stop Me'.

Recently Metal Wani writer Fernando Bonenfant had a chat with Suicide Silence guitarist Mark Heylmun. he discusses new album "You Cant Stop Me", songwriting, European Tour, response from fans, Mitch Lucker's Legacy and possible debut gig in India.

Stream The Entire Interview below:



Big Thank You To Nuclear Blast's Markus Jakob for the support \m/

REVIEW: CHRYSALIDE - "Personal Revolution"

Let’s face it; most “true” metalheads today wouldn’t touch EDM with a ten-foot pole infected with Ebola at the end. However, some acts like KMFDM and Atari Teenage Riot have won their grudging respect with their “hardcore” industrial techno sound and edgy themes. This time, French electro-industrial group Chrysalide have come in to fill that description, with their new concept album ‘Personal Revolution’.

Chrysalide have set themselves from other industrial acts by choosing total sonic destruction and harsh vocals over speed or groove. While this formula has given them a unique identity, ‘Personal Revolution’ includes just those influences and not much else. In spite of having an interesting concept and decent music, it doesn’t show much musical evolution at all.

The first track “Welcome to the 21st Century” is a spoken-word intro delivered in what I could only assume is a mock Japanese accent, making it hard to take very seriously. However, the slightly minimalistic “Question Everything” does make a nice entrance with its industrial-style distortion, sequenced synth-lines, background sound and intense vocals. The next track “Tomorrow is too Late” places emphasis on the low end, but still has that same mid-pace tempo of the previous track.

In fact, that is just one of the problems with the music in ‘Personal Revolution’. It’s one thing to experiment with or retain your musical style in new releases, but quite another to keep the listener’s attention while doing all this. Chrysalide may have properly honed their sonic assault through their previous two albums, but on this album, they just sound like they’re going through the motions. There are a few stand-out tracks like the glitchy “We Are Not Cursed”, the resounding drum-based flavour of “Another Kind of Me”, and the heavy industrial drone of “Cynicism is a Poison”. Other than those, many of the tracks here just sound tired and unexciting, the chief offenders being “Keep Calm” and “Beside the Impossible”. The vocals in the album also seem to lose their intensity with each successive track; “All Demons” actually has the potential to spice things up with its modern hip-hop beat, only to let it go down the drain with its lazy-sounding vocals. And as mentioned before, it really doesn’t help that none of the songs here go faster than that same mid-pace tempo.



Thankfully, ‘Personal Revolution’ starts to close on a good note with the somewhat ironic “Substance over Style” and the title track “Personal Revolution”. Both have good beats, and the latter track shows off some interesting soundscapes and laser-like synths to make up for its rather hollow vocals. Finally, “I Had a Dream” attempts to close off the album on a grandiose note, and works for the most part. For any Indian listeners not getting this, try to imagine the ending of an Amogh Symphony concept album.

In summation, ‘Personal Revolution’ has its moments, but isn’t really a great step up for Chrysalide. It will probably appeal to that niche crowd who swears by legit industrial acts like Skinny Puppy, but this reviewer thinks that greater things could’ve been expected from the group. And Chrysalide, there’s nothing wrong with speeding things up once in a while. Just add that speed and groove to your sound template, and watch all the Guetta-maniacs and Afrojack-offs plaguing the Electronica scene run for cover.


Rating: 7/10


--
Reviwed By,
Sairaj Kamath

REVIEW: PRIMORDIAL - "Where Great Men Have Fallen"

2014 has been a fantastic year for metal and a lot of my favorite bands released some amazing albums and so much music is still out there to be explored. Black metal in the recent years has really stepped up its game and has caught my attention the most when compared to other genres. Primordial has been one of my favorite bands for a while now, and I adore every one of their albums. The music always had the odor of what I would think the 12th century and voyages smelled like. A new Primordial album was exactly what was required to finish off this year with a high, and like any of their previous albums, ‘Where Great Men Have Fallen’ failed to disappoint.

The album is the quintessential essence of Primordial - the absolutely enchanting vocals of Nemtheanga that once more engulfs you in melancholy, the pungent medieval Irish atmosphere, heartfelt melodies, and topnotch poetry/lyrics and enraged riffing. The cold and gloom it brings perfectly suits for a winter evening listen.

The album starts off with the title track that talks about how liberty is a myth and we are hand-tied by the ones in power, and is a remembrance of the fallen men who fought for the motherland. It is a mid tempo track with an anthemic chorus and is absolutely rage inducing. The vocal highs are spectacular as well. “Babel’s Tower” is pretty much a blackened doom metal track with crescendos. I can talk about the vocal power all day, but the effortless adaptation of the vocals to a doom style is praiseworthy. The track steadily picks up pace in the second half of the track and features a beautiful guitar solo. “Come the Flood” is another song that make you feel like you are on the deck of a ship and are watching the sea awaiting the flood as the rain hits your face. This is some pumping music. “The Seed of Tyrants” is a straight up black metal track with the typical tremolo and blast beats combination and is a crazy-as-fuck track. The track starts off with Alan shouting ‘Traitor!!’ and the bludgeoning of drums begin, reminding of Primordial’s 90’s albums. The vocals are not completely shrieks, but are somewhere between that and singing. Right after that savagery, you are presented with a riff that resembles a bit Black Sabbath in the next track “Ghosts of the Charnel House”. This is another track that can be placed in the blackened doom section, and we can see a possible Dead Sovereign influence that Alan is a part of. 
“The Alchemist’s Head” is the first track that contains black metal shrieks. The track is dark and eerie and it gets you a bit uncomfortable in the mid-section. This is one of my favorite tracks of the album. “Born to Night” is another epic pre-war galvanizing tale in the form of a song – something Primordial are so great at doing. “Wield Lightning to Split the Sun” is a perfect ending to this outstanding album. They bring out the acoustic guitars for the track that gives it the folk touch. Another heart-wrenching vocal performance by Alan, and tracks like these make you fall in love with bands.

‘Where Great Men Have Fallen’ is another monumental album for Primordial, and another badge on their ever-so-perfect discography. They ooze talent and technical prowess, and they make moving music and this album is a great example. A sense of fulfillment gushes in when you reach the end of the record, a sign of a well-made album. This is among the best albums released this year. 
Rating: 9.3/10


--
Reviewed By,
Prateek Kulkarni

REVIEW: PINK FLOYD - "The Endless River"

The 15th and concluding record of Pink Floyd, “The Endless River”, comprises a collection of 18 works – the essence of over 20 hours of unreleased sessions from the 1994 record “The Division Bell” with the trio David Gilmour, Nick Mason and Rick Wright, re-explored by Gilmour and Mason and produced by Gilmour, Roxy Music's Phil Manzanera, Youth and Andy Jackson –which extends across four sections, and clocks a little over 53 minutes.

It is the continuum of the record “The Division Bell”, and consequently, receives its title from the parting lyrics “…The endless river, forever and ever…” of “High Hopes”, the final tune of “The Division Bell”. Furthermore, with the wizardry of his musical genius pulsing at the heart of its music, this album is a tribute to late Richard "Rick" Wright.

The album as a whole:

Birthing waves of feels and ambiances, this album of Floyd presents the earnest colloquy between Gilmour’s guitar and Mason’sskins in a psychedelic space jam expression, and is made whole with the mystique of the melodies of Wright’s keys. While it does not carry the monumental, above and beyond stature of the usual Pink Floyd albums, “The Endless River”embodies perfection in simplicity and moves the listener with subtle intricacies that otherwise go unnoticed, unfelt.

The seamless flow of music of the album narrates a nostalgia infused tale that carries the listener through the years of Floyd. It is not to say that there is repetition, but rather to say that it is an amalgamation of elements which made Pink Floyd who and what they are, through the years. Also, part of the beauty of this album lies in the magic of how they have masterfully morphed the sound and music of Pink Floyd two decades ago and unified it with who Pink Floyd is today.

Moreover, this album seems to me is one that is deeply personal; the few words hidden in “Things Left Unsaid” and “Talkin’ Hawkin’”, and the lyrics of “Louder than Words”, all seem to express something that relates to the unspoken conflicts that have become intimate to the band over the years. However, “The Endless River” goes beyond a sorrowful tale of the conflicts and mistakes of the past. It is neither simply asalutation for a departed friend, nor a whisper of an adieu to Floyd’s disciples. This album seems to me is the juncture where alpha meets omega.

In addition, this album radiatesthe light of closure that shines at the end of thecoarse uneven cobblestone street,stained with loss, pain, blood, sweat, tears,words that cannot be taken back and choices that cannot be undone.The epilogue of the fourth side “Louder than Words”, the only piece of the album which carries vocals, I feel is the sum of this sentiment.

“The Endless River” speaks to the splinter that rustles in dark corners of the mindof the listener, longing for closure never found. Ergo, this is not one for words, this is one to be felt and experienced in the silence of a moment of clarity.

The individual compositions:
While not elaborating on each piece of the album, I will emphasize on a few tunes from each side, or movement, of the album to give you an insight into what is in store.

Side one

Side one’s “It’s What We Do”carries elements of the sound of “Wish You Were Here” album’s “Welcome to the Machine” and exudes the vibe ofa space-ambient instrumental reinterpretation of the song, taking the listener back in time.



Side two

While “Skins” is an elegant expression of the percussive artistry of Mason, “Anisina”, acolorful passagewhere the saxophone, guitar and synths/ keyssplendidly intertwine with one another, adds one more to the saxophone melded masterpieces of Floyd.

Side three

“Allons-Y (1)” encompasses elements of the sound of “The Wall” album’s “Another Brick in the Wall” and is reminiscent of another milestone of the band’s journey.

“Autumn ‘68” which captures Wright jamming on a pipe organ built in the Royal Albert Hall during the set up before Floyd’s 1968 performance at the Royal Albert Hall (the performance after which they were banned from ever playing at the Royal Albert Hall again) is a piece which captures melancholic serene beauty in its true essence.Furthermore, the apt title “Autumn ‘68” addsto this tune of tribute as it reminds the listener of “Atom Heart Mother” album’s “Summer ‘68”which was written and sung by Wright.

“Talkin’ Hawkin’” features parts of the same quote of Stephen Hawking featured on “The Division Bell” album’s “Keep Talking” and is another intriguing piece on the side three of the album.

Side four

Side four of “The Endless River”,concludes with the only piece with vocals, “Louder than Words”, which holds the sentiments of the band and their parting words to the world. With it ends the album, and the revolutionary journey of almost half a century.

If you are a fan of ambient music, someone who prefers to listen to an album in its entirety and experience it unfold through its course, and a person with an unrestrained mind open to something different, something novel, this is an album for you. Furthermore, if you are a fan of Pink Floyd, keep in mind that this maybe the last time you would get to witness their magic, their unparalleled brilliance. Leave your opinions and judgments out the door, and just let yourself immerse in the subtle beauty of this album.


Rating: 7/10

 
--
Reviewed By,
Vimukthi Karunaratne

Saturday, November 22, 2014

INTERVIEW: HAREM SCAREM's Pete Lesperance On 'Thirteen' - "It's Got Everything You Expect From HAREM SCAREM"

Harem Scarem is a Hard Rock outfit hailing From Ontario, Canada that was formed back in 1987. The band recetly got out of a 5 year hiatus in 2013 and are ready with their comeback album 'Thirteen' which also happens to be their 13th studio album. To promote the same the band came up with a campaign called 'Thirteen weeks to Thirteen' where every week for those thirteen weeks the band will come up with a new studio update or behind-the-scene footage. The album launches on the 5th and 7th December in Europe and North America Respectively.

Recently, Editor-In-Chief Owais 'Vitek' Nabi and Srishti Das got a a chance to speak to Harem Scarem guitarist, Pete Lesperance about the hiatus, the comeback EP and Thirteen. Pete also spoke about his work during the hiatus and the entire working of Harem Scarem through the ages.

Stream The Entire Interview below:

Friday, November 21, 2014

INTERVIEW: LYRIEL's Linda Laukamp : "Do What You Want To Do, If You Don't Have A Problem No One Should Have One"

When you say thinking out-of-the-box and doing something new by broadening the horizons of metal with the usage of instruments, Lyriel has to be one of the foremost bands on your list. With a cello and a violin in the official line up of the band, they don't just stop here on breaking the shackle. Lyrial is in fact a very unique band with an extra unique factor of two stunning women in the band. Hailing from Gummersbach, Germany, Lyriel is a heavy metal band that was formed in the autumn of 2003. The band started of as a folk metal band but slowly moved towards play a more symphonic metal kind of music. The band came out with their newest album 'Skin and Bone' in September and is expected to release a new EP in mid December followed by their second live DVD in January.

Recently, Srishti Das from Metal Wani got an opportunity to interview Linda Laukamp, one of the members to play the unique instrument cello. She also takes charge of backing Jessica Theirjung on the vocals. Linda spoke about the new album, the formation on the band and breaking ground with their unique line up, the role of women in metal today and new material coming up soon from the band. Here, is an interview with one of the most sophisticated and unique woman in metal.

Stream The Entire Interview Below:

REVIEW: HIDEOUS DIVINITY - "Cobra Verde"

Originally formed in 2007, Hideous Divinity is a technical death metal band hailing from Italy. Their debut full-length release ‘Obeisance Rising’ showcased the band’s immense musical prowess in their rock-solid delivery of absolutely no-gimmick-death metal- both articulate and ferocious! Two years after ‘Obeisance Rising’, Hideous Divinity recently released their much-awaited second full-length album ‘Cobra Verde’, a brilliantly orchestrated odyssey of brutality and darkness! Drawing influences from the likes of death metal titans such as Nile, Decapitated, Hate Eternal and Behemoth, the album comprises of nine songs presented with relentless abandon.


Track list:

1. In My Land I Was A Snake
2. The Somber Empire
3. Cobra Verde
4. Salt In The Martyr's Tear
5. Sinister and Demented
6. Desolation Within
7. The Alonest of the Alone
8. Adijnakou
9. The Last and Only Son (Ripping Corpse cover)

The journey through a barrage of face-melting death metal begins with the opening track “In My Land I Was A Snake”. The song begins with some experimenting with noises, the pace of the groove steadily building up to ceaseless ferocity. Right at the onset, the album reflects an idea of the sheer assault it promises, with a great deal of aggression and undeniable energy providing it a strong foundation.

The album proceeds to embrace a much heavier sound with manifold technical guitar work, well-thought structures, powerful vocal delivery, changes in pace, and beautifully executed solos, never compromising on the incessant fury! The title track “Cobra Verde” features a good deal of melancholy and builds up to an absolutely destructive cannonade of diverse, aggressive and somewhat unconventional drumming and a high-paced barrage of bone-crushing riffs. The song boasts of a beautiful structure which upholds a flowy melody, thus rendering itself fierce as well as atmospheric.



The overall approach of the album remains more or less consistent throughout and is enriched by the changing tempos, the atmospheric dimension, the emotive riffs, the spectacular production with each instrument individually coming across and an awe-inspiring percussive execution. It also exhibits a good deal of unconventional elements like the yelled utterings in “Salt In The Martyr’s Tear” and the surprising bass interludes in “The Somber Empire” aiding to the sonic annihilation.

“Sinister and Demented” portrays the seasoned technical efficiency of the band in the unrelenting guitar work and noteworthy innovative drumming. The song generates a magnificent thought process with unusual melodies and enticing details like the monotonous riffage and drumming which wind up the song. Songs like “Sinister and Demented” and “Desolation Within” render ‘Cobra Verde’ a death metal album of high order. “Desolation” is a strongly compelling track with merges the right amount of melody and a remarkable guitar solo with a massive slab of heaviness.

The album is yet another instance of Hideous Divinity’s brilliant production which puts forth a unique overall tone often highlighting the ‘gloomy’ guitars, and clear and resonating percussions, thus establishing the desired atmosphere around the crux of consistency and brutality. Highlights of ‘Cobra Verde’ are also the songs “Alonest Of The Alone” which features Dallas Toler-Wade from Nile, and not to forget “The Last And Only Son”, a Ripping Corpse cover. In “Alonest Of The Alone”, the epic prowess of the two vocalists perfectly complement each other and leave a memorable impact.

‘Cobra Verde’ is an album upholding skilful songwriting, melancholy and ferocity, as well as glimpses of subtlety as key elements which present the album as an innovative and unique work endorsing the highly acclaimed values of Hideous Divinity.


Rating: 9/10


--
Reviewed By,
Debarati Das

NEWS: Rock Legends UFO To Release 'A Conspiracy Of Stars' Album In February, Details Out

British/American rock legends UFO will release a new album, "A Conspiracy Of Stars", on February 23, 2015 in Europe and March 3, 2015 in the U.S. via Steamhammer/SPV. The band consisting of Phil Mogg (vocals), Paul Raymond (keyboards, guitar), Vinnie Moore (guitar), Andy Parker (drums) and Rob De Luca (bass) recorded almost a dozen new songs, produced and mixed in the Kentish town of Deal by Chris Tsangarides, renowned for his work with acts such as JUDAS PRIEST, THIN LIZZY and GARY MOORE.

"A Conspiracy Of Stars" will be available as a digipak (including poster and bonus track), jewel case, vinyl double LP and for download.

Says the band about the new CD: "'A Conspiracy Of Stars' is another successful combination of those typical UFO elements with fresh, contemporary ideas. We're confident that not only our longstanding supporters will get their money's worth, but that younger rock fans will also enjoy the album. We look forward to seeing you on tour!"

UFO will hit the road in February and March 2015, playing Germany, Poland, the Czech Republic, Lithuania and Switzerland, and more, followed by a tour of Britain and Ireland in April and May.

NEWS: SAMMY HAGAR: VAN HALEN Brothers 'F**ked Me Around About Four Times'

Ten years ago, Sammy Hagar reunited with VAN HALEN for a tour that ended acrimoniously, and it turns out that was the last time he spoke to the some of the guys in the band.

Asked by VH1 Radio Network's Dave Basner if he still keeps in touch with his former bandmates, Hagar said: "I figure [former VAN HALEN bassist] Michael Anthony and I are the other half. Ed [Van Halen, guitar] and Al [Van Halen, drums] are always going to be Ed and Al. [I] love the guys, [but] we don't get… I can't say 'we,' [because] I get along with Al, but I can't get along with Ed."

He continued: "That last reunion tour was just a horrible experience for me. I wrote about it in my book, and I'm not sorry I said all those things. I was kind, in my opinion, to what really happened on that thing. It was really a bad deal."

Sammy added: "Those guys, I hate to just say it, but I gotta say it, those guys fucked me around about four times and that's it. I mean, how many times are you going to let somebody just fuck you? Look at what they did to Mikey. I mean, come on, they didn't even tell him that he was out of the band; he reads it in fricking Rolling Stone [magazine] or something that Wolfie [Van Halen] was the [new] bass player in VAN HALEN. The guys that do that, it's just not cool, and I don't care to be around people like that or play with them, so we don't have a relationship."

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

NEWS: STEVEN WILSON Announces New Album Details & European Tour

Steven Wilson, four-time Grammy nominee, multi-instrumentalist, producer, and one of the hardest working artists in music, has announced that he will embark on a UK & European tour in March & April 2015 to coincide with the release of his long-awaited fourth solo album ‘Hand. Cannot. Erase.’ due for release in March 2015 on Kscope. Tickets go on sale at 10am on Friday 21 November.

The tour and album follow the critical and commercial success of his third solo album ‘The Raven That Refused To Sing’ released in February 2013 and a run of sold-out shows including London’s Royal Albert Hall.

Steven Wilson said: “I’m happy to announce the first tour dates to promote my forthcoming album ‘Hand. Cannot. Erase.’, starting in the UK before hitting Europe. We are currently developing a show that I hope will raise the bar both musically and visually from my previous tours, with a set list based around the new album (of course), as well as casting the net further back into my songwriting past for a few surprises.”

Thu 12th March, UK, Cambridge, Corn Exchange
Fri 13th March, UK, Cardiff, St David’s Hall
Sat 14th March, UK, Manchester, Bridgewater Hall
Mon 16th March, UK, Edinburgh, Queens Hall
Tue 17th March, UK, London, Troxy
Wed 18th March, UK, Wolverhampton, Civic Hall
Fri 20th March, Germany, Cologne, E-Werk
Sat 21st March, Luxembourg, Rockhall
Sun 22nd March, Germany, Stuttgart, Teatrehaus
Tue 24th March, The Netherlands, Utrecht, TivoliVredeburg
Wed 25th March, France, Paris, Olympia
Thu 26th March, Belgium, Antwerp, Trix Club
Sat 28th March, German, Neu Isenburgy (Frankfurt), Hugenottenhalle
Sun 29th March, Switzerland, Pratteln, Konzerfabruk z7
Mon 30th March, Italy, Milan, Teatro Della Luna
Tue 31st March, Italy, Rome, Teatro Sistina
Thu 2nd April, Germany, Munich, Kongresshalle
Sat 4th April, Austria, Vienna, Ottakringer Brauerei
Sun 5th April, Czech Republic, Prague, Hybernia Theatre
Tue 7th April, Poland, Krakow, ICE Congress Hall
Wed 8th April, Poland, Lodz, Klub Wytwornia
Thu 9th April, Germany, Berlin, Columbiahalle
Fri 10th April, Germany, Hamburg, CCH2
Sun 12th April, Denmark, Arhus, Train
Mon 13th April, Denmark, Copenhagen, Amager Bio
Tue 14th April, Sweden, Malmo, Palladium
Thu 16th April, Sweden, Gothenburg, Konserthuset (Concerthouse)
Fri 17th April, Sweden, Stockholm, Debaser Medis
Sun 19th April, Finland, Helsinki, The Circus
Tue 21st April, Norway, Oslo, Sentrum Scene
Thu 23rd April, The Netherlands, Zwolle

Steven Wilson, has not only been busy recording his fourth solo album, but continues to be the leading light in, the saviour of catalogue reissues and the album format, with brand new stereo and 5.1 mixes of Tears For Fears’ classic album ‘Songs From The Big Chair’ as well as releases for XTC, King Crimson, Yes, Jethro Tull, and the forthcoming Roxy Music reissues.

Full details of Steven’s fourth solo album ‘Hand, Cannot. Erase.’ will be revealed shortly.
www.stevenwilsonhq.com

UPCOMING GIG: Symphonic Metal Giants EPICA To Headline MOOD INDIGO 2014

Over the years, Mood Indigo has been known to bring the fans’ favorite bands in some of the most unique genres of English music to India and this year is going to be no different with the Livewire Nite, the International Music Concert at the main-stage of the festival set to be headlined by symphonic metal band, Epica, from the Netherlands.

The music of the band which will be performing live on the 28th of December 2014 unites the characteristics of metal music like heavy drums and guitars with symphonic instruments and choirs. The band has its unique style featuring female vocals and male growls, performed by Simone Simons (Lead Vocals) and Mark Jansen (Rhythm Guitar, Vocals) respectively. The other four members of the six-membered band, Coen Janssen (Synthesizer, Piano), Ariën van Weesenbeek (Drums, Backing Vocals), Isaac Delahaye (Lead Guitar, Backing Vocals) and Rob van der Loo (Bass) compose music for the lyrics of the tracks written by Simons and Jansen. Apart from its own music, the band has also composed background scores for a lot of Hollywood movies the most popular of them being, Pirates of The Caribbean and The Lord of the Rings.

Most of the bands’ famous albums which include Cry for the Moon (2003), Requiem for the Indifferent (2012) and The Quantum Enigma (2014) consist of songs which largely deal with philosophical topics, including science, religion, and world events. The lyrics of their songs complement modern thoughts on societal circumstances very well and have struck a chord with a vast majority of metal-heads in the word and India as well. The band is also known for the visual and lively nature of its performances with all band members continuously engaging the crowd with their lively guitar solos and headbanging. Although their good performances can be attributed mainly to the quality of their music, the beauty of their lead singer Simone Simons is something that doesn’t easily go unnoticed. Simone who runs her own blog on fashion in music is always well prepared for the concerts and ensures that the audience can never take their eyes off the stage during the performance.

What makes the concert most special in the social context is that much like the patriarchal Indian society, metal music has been a genre traditionally dominated by men with growling voices, it represents the first time that a female-fronted metal band will be playing in India. On being questioned whether being a female artist was a challenge in the international music industry, the lead vocalist of the band, Simone Simons replied, “It used to be tough in the beginning but I don’t think it is any different these days. Once you find a great team of artists to perform with you, the success of your music has nothing to do with your being male or female.”




Simons is a brave survivor of the fatal disease MRSA which once threatened to curtail her music career back in 2008, having fought off the disease successfully, she was blessed with her first child last year and has been balancing the duties of motherhood with her music tour commitments ever since. With the dates of Mood Indigo this year being 26th to 29th December 2014, located in the heart of the festive period between Christmas and New Year, getting an international act to perform at the festival was always going to be a very big challenge. The failure of other major college festivals located well outside festive clashes due to high costs goes a long way towards establishing the Herculean nature of the task at hand. For Ishan Rakshit, the head of the concerts team responsible for bringing Epica to the festival, the feeling is yet to sink in – “Epica was one of our top choices from the start due to versatile range of music and wide appeal among the Indian fans. For us it was always about bringing new music to India, thereby enabling music lovers across the country to savor each of their songs. To have actually lived up to the expectations of the fans community with more than 4 months of concentrated effort is a great feeling.”

“Since they are flying to India for the first time, we will make sure that the Indian audience gets to know them well and we have a lot of interviews and interactive sessions planned with them.”, said Gunjan Gupta, the media head of the festival. Mark Jansen, the rhythm guitarist of the band also expressed his enthusiasm at performing in India for the first time – “We have always wanted to play in India! It is our first time in the country and an excellent time for us to connect with our fans in Asia.” The Indian music industry too is thrilled with the announcement. Subir Malik, member of the well-known band Parikrama hailed it as a fantastic achievement – “Symphonic metal is a very interesting genre of music and being a fan myself I am thrilled to hear the announcement. This is also shot in the arm for metal music in the country, a genre which has ceded ground to EDM and progressive rock in the recent years.”


Click Here To Book Your Tickets Now

PREMIERE: BLACK SHEEP WALL Release New Single 'White Pig' From New Album "I'm Going to Kill Myself"

BLACK SHEEP WALL are gearing up for the release of their next full-length, which will go under the heading of 'I'm Going to Kill Myself'. The band comments: "It's crazy how much can change in a year or two, but when you think about our history those who have been following us shouldn't be surprised", states guitarist Scott Turner. "We're very excited about the release of 'I'm Going to Kill Myself', and the debut of Brandon as our full time vocalist after doing close to 7 years of duty on bass. His voice is the voice I've been waiting to have in the band for years.

The album was just as much a labour of love as it was an arduous and brain wracking process. Once you hear the songs you'll know what I mean. They are a test of endurance as Jackson and I purposely tried to push the limits of taste for the album which I sometimes like to think of more as a special project than a true follow up album.

'I'm Going to Kill Myself' is unique to us in that rather than sitting down for formal song writing sessions we kind of just wrote songs through conversations, and with odd symbols and notes on paper that translated to guitar, bass, and drums in the studio. As for the album art, the always amazing Jeff Rogers really came through with beyond amazing artwork that really captures not only the album, but who we are as a band. I don't think we'll ever do anything like this again so hopefully you all enjoy it, and not really want to kill yourselves after like I wanted to while making this album."

Listen To The First Single "White Pig" Below:



Follow BLACK SHEEP WALL :

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

INTERVIEW: ABYSMAL DAWN's Charles Elliott On The Business Side Of Metal : "There Is Barely Any Money, But The Most Important Thing Is To Be Too Stubborn To Give Up"

Hailing from Los Angeles, Abysmal Dawn plays an aggressive mix of Modern Death Metal. They are known for their unique early 90's American Death Metal style of music with lot of melodic elements, creating an all together new blend of music.The bands diverse, but focused writing style is one of the many reasons why their newest album 'Obsolescence' was absorbed very well and considered as their most well received album so far. Having toured with some major bands like Sceptic Flesh, Inquisition and Carach Angren during the same time the album came out, the band has succeeded to take their music out to the fans

Recently, Metal Wani's writer Rakesh Pothengil & Srishti Das got an opportunity to interview Charles Elliot, guitarist and vocalist of the band. In the light-hearted and fun interview, Charles spoke his views about illegal downloading and how it really affects a band in the long run. He spoke about the band members and the writing and promoting process of the band. Charles spoke about why the band loves touring and spoke about his side project Bereft. All of this plus, how its important to keep pride in what you do and be too stubborn to let it all go even though the industry may not be in the best financial state.

Catch all this and more, only on the interview below:

INTERVIEW: TRIOSPHERE’s Ida Haukland : "Everyone Needs To Prove Themselves To The Audience, Irrespective Of The Gender”

Triosphere is a progressive power metal act hailing from Norway. They released launches their new album after their traditional 4 year gap between albums called ‘The Heart of the Matter'. The album was released on the 7th of November and has seen some great reviews that state that the 3 album old band has only progressed into a more mature band since their last album ‘Road Less Travelled’ in 2010. The band is known majorly for it’s perfect merge of modern metal with an old classical touch to it and a hard rock aura.

Recently, Srishti Das from Metal Wani got an opportunity to talk to Ida Haukland, the vocalist and bassist of the band. Yes, it’s not usual to see a metal band with a female vocalist, but also being a stunning bassist at the same time definitely leaves your mouth wide open in awe. Ida talks about her journey to achieve what she has achieved and talks about the entire story of the band and the new album. She also talks about the trend that the band has followed over the decade of their existence where they released an album exactly every 4 years and promises that the next will not take that long. Ida also states that it’s high time for the band to be a headliner instead of a supporting act.

For more from this beautiful, talented lady, so full of life, catch the interview below.

REVIEW: MORS PRINCIPIUM EST - "The Dawn Of The 5th Era"

Melodic death metal for me has mostly been disappointing in the recent years (barring a few bands), where many melo-death releases have very less death metal in it. A few bands like Kalmah keep my hopes up for some heavy melodic death metal, and Mors Principium Est is one band that still keeps the death metal in melo-‘death’. All their previous albums have consistently been heavy and melodic with great drums, though their sound has gotten a bit monotonous. ‘The Dawn of the 5th Era’ is their 5th full length album, and it is very much like what you would have guessed their new album would sound like. The album consists of the typical MPE melodic and catchy riffs, cool guitar solos and great-as-always drums.

The album starts off with an analog clock ticking as eerie symphonies howl over in “Enter the Asylum”. The intro flows into “God Has Fallen”, when the Gothenburg metal-sounding guitars kick into gears. The first half of the track is a pretty straight forward melo-death song, but at the halfway mark, things get interesting when the blast beats storm in and pave the way to a wonderful guitar solo. “Leader of the Titans” starts off with an anthem-like intro and features some really cool drum work, as well as having enough aggression to make you pump your fists.

“We Are the Sleep” is a very catchy track with an abundance of melodic and technical riffs here, along with some great neoclassical shredding and breakdowns. “Innocence Lost” has a lot of early In Flames/Dark Tranquility influence. “I Am War” has a cool breakdown followed by a crisp guitar solo, but I found the rest of the track pretty forgettable. However, with “Monster in Me”, the band experiments with a bit of symphonies here to make it unique. “Apricity” is a slow-tempo instrumental track featuring keyboards and a really beautiful and soothing guitar solo.

“Wrath of Indra” is a highly energetic and rhythmic track with an epic chorus section. This track would definitely be great for moshing if and when they play this live. “The Journey” has a slight black metal touch with its evil riffs, the menacing atmosphere and the blast beats in the second half, making it the darkest track of the album. The final track “The Forsaken” is accurately summarizes the whole album; it is filled with melodic riffs, heavy breakdowns, a mixture of screaming and growling vocals, catchy slowed-down sections and great neoclassical shredding.

All in all, this album is a staple melo-death release – plenty of melodic riffs, breakdowns, guitar solos and some aggression. The fantastic drumming needs a special mention here, and the album art is very appealing as well. There are a few memorable tracks in the album, but a lot of it is what you have heard before from the band. There isn’t a lot of experimentation going on in the music and the band is sticking to what it has been doing in their past releases – and why not? They have been producing some decent melo-death for all these years, and they are continuing to do so. 



With ‘The Dawn of the 5th Era’, MPE are making their mark as a mainstay in modern melo-death. The album is definitely recommended for all melodic death metal fans – be it the old-school or the new. I would give this album 7.8/10, but you would +1 the score if you are into melo-death and the band.

Recommended Tracks: “We Are the Sleep”, “Wrath of Indra”, “The Journey”


Rating: 7.8/10


--
Reviewed By,
Prateek Kulkarni

Monday, November 17, 2014

NEWS: SLIPKNOT's COREY TAYLOR: 'With All Due Respect To GENE SIMMONS, He Needs To Get Out More'

Slipknot singer Corey Taylor was interviewed by KLAQ's Lisa Sanchez and a lucky radio station listener, Christopher Schoemann, on October 29 in El Paso, Texas. You can now watch the chat below.

Asked for his opinion on the recent report that not one artist has managed to sell more than one million albums in the U.S. the first nine months of 2014 and how it relates to Gene Simmons' comment that "rock is dead," Taylor said: "I think people put too much [focus] on sales. 'Cause that doesn't relate to how many people have heard it. You know what I'm saying?! And in this day and age, it's more about getting people to hear the music. I mean, we had three million views of the Knotfest live streams. You don't get an award for that. We had so many million views of 'The Negative One' video and 'The Devil In I' video. You don't get awards for that. So, for me, what we did was great."

He continued: "I love the fact that we had the highest sales in a first week for a metal band [with Slipknot's fifth album, '.5: The Gray Chapter'], the whole year, in a long time, to be honest. I'm proud of that. But at the same time, that doesn't relate to how many people have heard it, and how many people have gone out and bought specific songs. Just the fact that we had 65,000, almost 70,000 people, over the weekend of Knotfest, I mean, that proves something, you know?! You don't always need a platinum album to relate that to success. So, with all due respect to Mr. Simmons, he needs to get out more."

Simmons told Esquire magazine in September — in an interview conducted by his son Nick— that "rock did not die of old age. It was murdered. Some brilliance, somewhere, was going to be expressed and now it won't because it's that much harder to earn a living playing and writing songs. No one will pay you to do it."

Simmons went on to elaborate that as a result of file-sharing and other issues, record label support for rock music was not available like it was when Kiss was coming up, concluding, "It's finally dead. Rock is finally dead."

NEWS: AC/DC's 'Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap' Gets Sales Bump After PHIL RUDD's Arrest

According to Billboard.com, AC/DC's 1976 single "Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap" was given a sales boost following news that drummer Phil Rudd was charged with trying to procure a murder.

According to data from Nielsen SoundScan, the song sold just under 2,000 downloads in the week ending November 9 — up 21 percent from the previous week. It marked the tune's biggest sales week since April.

Shortly after news of Rudd's arrest broke, the Internet responded with thousands of people and news organizations making some reference to Rudd and the "Dirty Deeds" songtitle. A couple of more prominent examples can be found below.

On November 6, Rudd was charged with attempting to "procure murder" by New Zealand police but the charge was dropped a day later by the Crown Solicitor Greg Hollister-Jones after a meeting with Rudd's attorney, Paul Mabey, and police. Rudd must return to court on November 27, where he still faces one charge of threatening to kill as well as possession of meth and marijuana, which his lawyer described as "minor."

AC/DC issued a statement last week on Rudd's arrest, saying that Phil's absence will not affect the release of the band's new album, "Rock Or Bust", and the group's upcoming tour.




Sunday, November 16, 2014

INTERVIEW: POLYPHIA's Scottie LePage On 'Muse': "We've Adopted A Pop-Goes-Progress Style"

Polyphia is a four piece instrumental progressive band hailing from Texas. The band recently came out with their debut full length studio album called 'Muse'. They aim on starting a new trend of ‘Pop goes Progressive’ and have rightly done so since their formation. Polyphia is one of the new bands fresh, young and full of energy, looking to find their place and working very hard towards it. They created a space in the minds and hearts of many with their interesting play through videos on YouTube and have created quite a loyal following for themselves. The band has made us aware of themselves with their catchy and melodic melodies with intense, technical riffs creating a very complicated but a simple ad soothing aura at the same time. 

Recently, Srishti Das has a chance to interview one of their guitarist Scottie LePage asking him about the journey, the struggles, dreams and what they have in stored for their followers in the future. Read further to see what Scott had to say.


1. You guys have had a lot going on over the last year – singles to an EP to now the full fledged studio album, Muse. How are you guys keeping up to the beat?

Scottie: We’re just trying to stay on the grind and work as hard as we can to keep things productive, whether that be touring or writing new material. Anything it takes to get the work done!


2. You guys are really young and have achieved everything on your own with minimal help including the self funding on Muse. How has the entire journey been so far?

Scottie: Yeah, we've really had a pretty packed agenda over the past year and a half. After releasing our EP, we knew we wanted to take an extended period of time to grow before releasing anything big again. We spent the next 8 months just releasing play-through videos, extending our reach, and working on getting better at our instruments.


3. Now that you guys have reached the dream destination, what has been the greatest challenge and the best thing about your journey up to this point? If you had an option to redo the whole thing, would you do it differently?

Scottie: Earlier this year, we did an Indiegogo crowd-funding campaign to raise money to record our new album. From the planning, to the creation of the video, to the shipping of everything, it has been quite an adventure for just the four of us. Fortunately for us, all of our fans have been crazy generous and understanding throughout the whole thing. Thanks to them, we've been able to deliver an album that we're all very proud of. We all see it as a learning and growing experience and wouldn't change a thing.


4. You are going on tour with some of the most successful bands currently in the scene including Monuments and The Contortionist. Both recently came out with two spectacular new albums too. How does it feel? Is this exactly what the band wanted to achieving before starting out?

Scottie: Our recent tour with Monuments was actually our very first time touring. Being able to travel all over the country and meet people who appreciate what we do and are affected by it was one of the coolest things we've been able to do so far. We love meeting people and have definitely made some friends along the way.


5. If you ask me, the signature style for the band are the soulful, melodic and very technical guitar riffs. Most of the emphasis is on the guitars. However, what did Polyphia always plan to be and have things gone exactly as planned?

Scottie: We’ve always wanted our music to stand out, and we’re always trying to find ways to make our music sound unique and refreshing. I’d definitely say we’re all satisfied with how things have panned out; we’ve been learning a lot as we move forward in our careers and we’re excited to see what else the future has in store for us.


6. You guys have labeled yourself as a ‘Pop-Goes-Progressive’ band. How would you describe what you guys are here to do and how did you collectively as a band decide to come up with it?

Scottie: We wanted to experiment with an entirely new sound that was completely new for us, and considering we all love so many different types of music, we figured we’d give a more poppy style a go. We’re definitely going to be experimenting with other genres as well; I’m really looking forward to how that will end up sounding!


7. What is the basic song writing procedure and how do you guys manage yourself and keep up the discipline to work on music? What did you aim at before writing Muse or Inspire? 

Scottie: Before Muse or Inspire, Tim and I would stay up all night trying to write the shreddiest things we could come up with. Now, the writing process is much more focused on being tasteful with our music and keeping structure in mind. As far as discipline goes, it’s just a matter of Tim and I realizing that we need to bust out some new material, and doing most of it at once really helps us with the flow of writing and keeping up with consistency.


8. Since you released Inspire you kept an eye out for a vocalist, conducting some YouTube auditions. How has the search been? Are you still looking for an opportunity to move away from the ‘Instrumental Band’ tag?

Scottie: A few years ago, we announced a vocalist search and looked around for a while. At some point we just decided as a band that we weren't interested in playing music with vocals yet. We've never ruled out having one in the future, and may even collaborate with vocalists later, but for now, we're all really enjoying being an instrumental band.




9. You guys managed to create a great stir in the metal following audience with the help of social media, especially with your interestingly shot DIY YouTube playthrough videos. What’s your take on the new era of Social Media Marketing? How did you come up with this idea?

Scottie: The internet is a wonderful place. Each day, hours and hours are spent on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook directing traffic to our YouTube videos and vice-versa. Using Social Media as a vehicle for exposure is something we try to fully utilize.


10. Criticism is a major part of a musicians’ life, especially in metal. The band has received a lot of criticism for the way you guys look. What do you feel about the whole notion about having to look a specific way to match your genre? 

Scottie: Maintaining a solid, unified image is very important, whether people like to admit it or not. You can get up on stage wearing all black, or you could all look like a bunch of Justin Bieber wannabes; whatever works best, but we’ve found that having a unified appearance definitely works better for us. 


11. Entering the music scene on your own has had to have been a challenge, what are the things that you love and hate about the scene? Has being exposed to the entire atmosphere changed you guys?

Scottie: Growing as a band and as individual musicians has been a delightful experience. We're all flattered and humbled to the fullest for the support we've received up to this point. Any increase in exposure is just an opportunity to meet more fans and learn more about the music business. We're changing for the better, if anything!


12. How do you think you guys have grown and matured with Muse? How was the experience working with many skilled and successful artists on the album? How has the reception with the audience been?

Scottie: The reception to Muse has exceeded our hopes; watching our first full-length record hit #76 on Billboard without any label support is a surreal experience. All the featured artists on Muse are incredible and have been a pleasure to work with, and everyone seems to really dig the direction we took with Muse, which is very reassuring considering the drastic change in sound it has from Inspire. 


13. You and Tim have noted some skilled shredders as your inspiration. Would you guys consider of working with a different kind of sound or playing later in future?

Scottie: Absolutely. Tim and I listen to many different genres of music and take inspiration from a lot of different things; whether it’s experimenting with a new chord progression, learning a new guitar lick, or hearing something catchy on the radio, we try to incorporate as many different sounds and styles we can into our music and guitar playing.


14. What should the world expect from Polyphia in the future?

Scottie: Lots of tours, lots of new music and lots of different sounds in our future material! 


15. When you yourself look at your band, what do you see?

Scottie: I see four best friends who all have the same dream working extremely hard to create something completely from scratch.

NEWS: MINISTRY Announces 2015 Touring Lineup

Industrial metal pioneers Ministry have confirmed their touring lineup for next year. Joining mainman Al Jourgensen in the band's latest incarnation will be guitarists Monte Pittman and Sin Quirin, bassist Tony Campos, drummer Aaron Rossi and keyboardist John Bechdel.

In an interview with "The Classic Metal Show" earlier in the year, PRONG mainman Tommy Victor, who has played extensively with the Jourgensen-led combo in the past, spoke about how Al's well-documented alcohol and drug use has impeded the Ministry leader's ability to perform onstage and the negative impact it might have had on other bandmembers, including guitarist Mike Scaccia and bassist Paul Raven, who both passed away in recent years.

"Yeah, it's a hard situation to be in," Victor said. "When I got in there, I was running five miles a day, I was clean and sober. And then, the environment around there... by the time I got out of a couple of tours, I was smoking and drinking again. That's the decision I made. In order to fit in, you know, you've gotta do certain things. However, a guy like Sin Quirin, he was able to work with Al and keep his own identity, and I've gotta give him a lot of kudos for that, and Al respected him for that. So you can get caught up, or you don't get caught up, and that's the decision you make."

He continued: "You can't blame Al for Mike's and Raven's departure from this realm, really. Everyone's got their own personal decision to make, and choose their own lifestyle. So you can't blame anybody else."

Asked if it is solely the environment that has fueled destructive behavior in Ministry or if it has anything to do with the creative process within the band, Victor said: "No. I think that any kind of substance abuse and that whole thing delays and clouds the project. And I hope Al can get to that point right now. But he's always relied on that in order to believe that he's creative on the whole thing. Hopefully, when he pulls out of whatever he's going through, he can realize… Maybe he can come back and start being just a vehicle for what's out there in the universe and able to put a true record together rather than all these interferences from the attachment to whatever he thinks is going to enable his creativity. Which, I just think it's a false mentality."

Ministry's 13th studio album, "From Beer To Eternity", was released in September 2013 via 13th Planet Records.

Ministry 2015 is:

Al Jourgensen - Vocals
Monte Pittman (PRONG, MADONNA) - Guitar
Sin Quirin - Guitar
Tony Campos (SOULFLY, STATIC-X) - Bass
Aaron Rossi - Drums
John Bechdel - Keyboards

INTERVIEW: ANAAL NATHRAKH's Dave Hunt On "Desideratum" - "It's Multi-faceted, Soaring & Desperately Unpleasant Album"

In a world full of death metal bands that all sound the same, everyone using the same guitar tones and drum, few bands really stand above the rest with truly unique sounds. Anaal Nathrakh is one of those bands, combining black metal, grind, industrial, some electronic and pure chaos from the depths of the blackest abyss. I can’t think of any band that matches their sheer ferocity and relentless songwriting abilities. Between David Hunt’s incredible vocal range and Mick Kenny’s savagely brilliant guitar work, there is no room for filler in any of the Anaal records. Two years after the band’s last record Vanitas, Anaal Nathrakh is back with a new album "Desideratum" with a whole new soundtrack for the apocalypse. It is Anaal Nathrakh doing exactly what they do best and I cannot begin to describe how much I love it. You can feel all the hard work that went into this record paying off as each note rips apart your air space. The whole albums feels like someone forcing your head underwater until just before you black out, pulling you out to catch your breath and then shoving you back in. It’s chaotic and overwhelming in the best possible ways.

Recently Metal Wani's writer Owais 'Vitek' Nabi had a chat with frontman Dave Hunt. He discusses new album "Desideratum", songwriting, inhuman vocal samples, why Black Metal scene has saturated and much more.

Stream The Interview Below: