Sep 062013
 

(Here’s the third and final part of Andy Synn’s review of 2013’s edition of the SUMMER BREEZE festival in Germany. Part 1 is here, and Part 2 is here. Once again, Andy provides video that he filmed at the performances.)

The third, and final, day of the festival was a funny one. It seemed (at the time) that this was going to be the day when I only saw a few bands – particularly as I had a long gap planned at one point to do some shopping and eating and such. But, now that I look back on it, I see that I actually watched a good seven full sets, most of them pretty long, five of them from bands I absolutely adore. So, all in all, actually a very, very good day.

 

Oddly enough the first band of the day was to be Portugese goth-metal masters Moonspell, a band I’m not really a fan of, per se, but whose stellar performance at Inferno earlier this year definitely made me want to check them out again.

Consummate showmen, with an enviable brace of infectious songs and killer riffs, the group managed to turn a brightly-lit early afternoon slot into something of a gothic mecca, their passionate performance crafting a clear and well-received connection with the crowd before them.

We were also treated to one of those wonderful “festival moments” when current Tristania singer singer Mariangela Demurtas came out to add her vocals to a fantastic run-through of “Raven Claws” (although her awkwardly sexy dancing and casual clothes felt oddly at odds with the song’s darkly seductive vibe). Continue reading »

Apr 042013
 

(NCS writer Andy Synn has returned from Oslo’s Inferno Festival, held on March 27-30, 2013, and brings us a multi-part report of what he saw and heard, along with photos. Check out the previous installments here and here.)

Day 2 of the festival had fewer bands I was particularly dying to see, so I decided to check out some different acts I’d never seen before, so as to make better use of my time and to fulfil my journalistic pretensions a bit more.

We decided to have a later start to the day, arriving in time to see Aeternus hit the stage and introduce the crowd (if any introduction was needed) to their twisted take on the darker side of the black/death metal aesthetic. Drawing liberally from all the various spheres of the metallic spectrum, the group performed like a well-drilled musical machine, though their focus on slippery shifts between styles meant that their live stage presence was a little more unassuming than most.

Though the band last played here 11 years ago, there was very little rust to be found on them, as they bled their instruments dry of every hypnotic riff and spiralling, dissonant lead they could wring out of them. Continue reading »

Dec 222012
 

Much earlier this month we reported the announcement of the VOICES FROM THE DARK tour of North America, co-headlined by Marduk (Sweden) and Moonspell (Portugal) and including the talents of Inquisition (U.S.), The Foreshadowing (Italy), and Death Wolf (Sweden) (which features members of Marduk). At the time of our earlier report, no dates had yet been announced. Now they have.

I’m gratified to see that it will be stopping in Seattle. I know this will make you happy, because I know you want me to be happy and I am indeed happy about this tour, especially because of the chance it will give me (finally) to see Marduk and Inquisition. Maybe you will be able to see this tour, too. But if not, I will still be happy, and therefore you will still be happy.

FEBRUARY

2/20 Springfield, VA @ Empire
2/21 Poughkeepsie, NY @ The Chance
2/22 Worcester, MA @ The Palladium
2/23 New York, NY @ Gramercy Theatre
2/24 Montreal, QC @ Club Soda
2/25 Toronto, ON @ Wreck Room
2/26 Millvale, PA @ Mr. Small’s Theatre
2/27 Chicago, IL @ Reggie’s
2/28 Saint Paul, MN @ Station 4 Continue reading »

Dec 022012
 

This post is about two foreign invasions of North America that are scheduled to occur next year, but these invaders will be welcomed with open arms. I initially thought I’d wait to feature these tours until the schedules were released, but I’m so excited about them that I’m goin’ with it now.

Both tours are being produced by Rock the Nation America, which is the booking agency partnership created about a year ago between Kataklysm/Ex Deo frontman Maurizio Iacono, his agent and Canadian metal promoter Stephan Mellul, and Century Media Records.

PAGANFEST AMERICA IV

The first tour — Paganfest America Part IV — will be headlined by Finland’s Ensiferum and also features Tyr (Faroe Islands), Heidevolk (The Netherlands), Trollfest (Norway), and Helsott (Los Angeles). We’ve prominently featured all of those bands except Helsott, and it sounds like we need to find out more about them because the rest of the line-up kicks ass.

This tour was just announced on Friday and no dates or places have yet been revealed. All I know is that the tour is scheduled to kick off in late March 2013 and will cover both the United States and Canada. I guess I may finally have to break down and get a drinking horn. Maybe a battle ax. Possibly some animal skins. Because I don’t want to be the only person in the audience who doesn’t look awkward.

VOICES FROM THE DARK

News of this tour surfaced several weeks ago, and I’ve been waiting for release of the schedule . . . and am still waiting. The line-up is vicious. Marduk (Sweden) and Moonspell (Portugal) will be the co-headliners, and the tour will also include Inquisition (U.S.), The Foreshadowing (Italy), and Death Wolf (Sweden), which features members of Marduk. Continue reading »

Apr 212012
 

I’m getting yet another slow start this morning, but I have something to hold you while I finish the post I intended to finish last night.

If you couldn’t deduce it from their name, the Portuguese band Moonspell have a thing about werewolves.  They also have a new album due for release by Napalm Records on April 27 (May 8 in NorthAm) called Alpha Noir. There will also be a special edition of the album that includes a second CD called Omega White. The album features dual cover art by Seth Siro Anton, one of which you can see above.

Now, back to the werewolves. About a week ago, the band released an official video for an Alpha Noir song called “Lickanthrope”, the title of which is kind of a play-on-words for another name for werewolf — “lycanthrope”. There’s some licking in this video, as well as other scenes of debauchery and weirdness in a bar that’s probably not like the ones you may patronize. Red Riding Hood also makes an appearance, and of course there’s . . . the change. Must have been a full moon rising when they filmed this.

The video has way-above-average production values, and the song is a scathing yet addictive romp. Amuse yourselves after the jump, and I’ll be back with something else soonish. Continue reading »

May 272010
 

More than a month has passed since we posted our last update about the 70,000 Tons of Metal Cruise, and we figured it was time to check in again.

Since our last update, Exodus, Forbidden, and Testament have signed on. That’s a heavyweight injection of Bay Area thrash into this floating festival (we’ll give you the complete current line-up of 18 bands after the jump). Plus, in related news, the Swedes have gotten in on the act by putting together their own metal cruise (more on that after the jump too).

If you don’t know what this cruise is, we’ll fill you in: The organizers have chartered a cruise ship (Royal Caribbean’s “Majesty of the Seas”) capable of carrying 40 metal bands (which means they’re still targeting 22 more bands to fill out the line-up) and 2,000 fans, departing Miami on January 24, 2011 for a 5-day, 4-night cruise in the Caribbean, including a stop at the Mexican island of Cozumel.

The 70,000 Tons of Metal cruise has got great potential — both good and bad. It could be a truly awesome experience. It could also be a clusterfuck of cosmic proportions. And there’s no way to know which it will be until that cruise ship limps back into port, probably on fire, at the end of the voyage.

We’ve got some thoughts about what could make it orgasmically good, and what could make it suck big-time. But we’d bet the farm that unless Royal Caribbean is run by metalheads (not likely), they have no fucking idea what they’re about to get themselves into, and that increases the risk of suckage.  (more thoughts, and other related stuff, after the jump . . .) Continue reading »

Nov 232009
 

So you all have probably read some things by the author islander, but there’s a new girl in town! I’ll be writing about the music I love and things I’m passionate about. Here is the music I love Continue reading »