Friday, 18 May 2018

AMORPHIS premiere video for 'Amongst Stars'


Queen Of Time, the latest offering of melancholic progressive metallers AMORPHIS, is out TODAY via Nuclear Blast. To celebrate the occasion, the band are premiering the official music video for their third single 'Amongst Stars', featuring Anneke van Giersbergen. 

Watch over on YouTube: 

Esa Holopainen comments:
"'Amongst Stars' turned out as one of the most solid songs on the album. The song itself was not the easiest one to work with. We tried a lot of different variations during the pre-production and finally Jens‘ co-producer friend Per Aldeheim came up with these great vocal lines and idea for a duet. We have been privileged to work with Anneke before so it was pretty clear to ask her to help us out with the song. As everyone knows her voice is more than stunning and she is surrounded by incredibly positive aura. As a result we have a really beautiful and catchy duet where both singers do unbelievable work. We are extremely happy that Anneke was available during the time of our recordings and it was great to get her to the video as well. Lucky us.”

Anneke van Giersbergen adds: "When AMORPHIS asked me to participate in a song for their new album, I immediately said yes without having to listen to it first because I knew it would be good. But when they sent it to me to start working on it and I was totally blown away! It's such a powerful and melodic song, I am proud to be part of it. The video for this song is equally epic. The guys of AMORPHIS look and sound fantastic and I am truly happy to ride with them on this journey towards their new album.”

The album is available for order in various formats, here: http://nblast.de/AmorphisQueenOfTime

Queen Of Time track list:
01. The Bee
02. Message In The Amber
03. Daughter Of Hate
04. The Golden Elk
05. Wrong Direction
06. Heart Of The Giant
07. We Accursed
08. Grain Of Sand
09. Amongst Stars
10. Pyres On The Coast
Bonus Tracks (DIGI, 2LP, and MAIL ORDER EDITION only)
11. As Mountains Crumble
12. Brother And Sister

Listen to opening track 'The Bee', here:

The album was produced by the renowned Jens Bogren (OPETH, AMON AMARTH, KREATOR). The cover artwork, which was created by French artist Jean 'Valnoir' Simoulin from Metastazis, perfectly captures the feeling of the lyrics and the music.

DEVILDRIVER - Reveals Part Three of the “Outlaws ‘Til The End: Vol. 1” Interview Series


New Album, Outlaws ‘Til The End: Vol. 1, out July 6, 2018 via Napalm Records
Pre-Order Here:
Physical/Digital/Bundles - http://smarturl.it/OutlawsTilTheEnd

Featuring Guest Appearances by John Carter Cash, Ana Cristina Cash, Randy Blythe & Mark Morton of Lamb of God, Hank3, Lee Ving of Fear, Wednesday13, Burton C. Bell of Fear Factory, and Brock Lindow of 36 Crazyfists

Globally renowned, chart-topping band DEVILDRIVER recently announced the upcoming release of their highly-anticipated full-length album of outlaw country-gone-metal anthems, Outlaws ‘Til The End: Vol. 1. The monstrous collection of savage metal interpretations will be released via Napalm Records on July 6, 2018, and pre-orders are available now in multiple physical (click “official store”) and digital/streaming formats via http://smarturl.it/OutlawsTilTheEnd. Merch bundles are also available via the official store.

Additional merchandise such as t-shirts, long-sleeve shirts, flasks, keychains, and more are also available here:

Today, DEVILDRIVER is pleased to reveal the third video in a series of new interview commentary videos supporting the release of Outlaws ‘Til The End: Vol. 1. The third segment, entitled “The Guests”, features members of DEVILDRIVER discussing what is was like to have so many iconic guests featured on the album, as well as album guests John Carter Cash, Randy Blythe of Lamb of God, Lee Ving of Fear, Hank3, Wednesday 13, and Burton C. Bell of Fear Factory reminiscing about how they came to be involved and their different approaches to recording the tracks.

In the video, drummer Austin D'Amond says: “It’s crossing sh*t off of a bucket list… like, really? I got to do a cover song of this legend [Johnny Cash] and his son [John Carter Cash] is on this f*cking track – wow, that’s bad as hell…. every one of these guests, it’s not like it’s some half-assed thing… they’re wailing on this sh*t. They’re psyched to be a part of it and we’re psyched to have them. It’s an honor.”

Check out the “The Guests” segment in the video commentary series here:

Watch other videos in the series here:
“Intro to Outlaw Country”: https://youtu.be/hbcl74deLcY
“Is This a Country Album?”: https://youtu.be/gpQofOshhpQ

Don’t miss the first single from Outlaws ‘Til The End: Vol. 1, DEVILDRIVER’s rendition of Hank3’s “Country Heroes” featuring Hank3 himself: https://youtu.be/lpm9QrPKfWE

From the opening seconds of Hank3’s “Country Heroes” onward, Outlaws ‘Til The End: Vol. 1 is simply one of the most invigorating records the band have made yet. More importantly, these evocative, irresistible songs have all been wholly rebuilt from the ground up, powered by the classic DEVILDRIVER sound and embellished with Fafara’s unmistakable feral roar. Outlaws ‘Til The End: Vol. 1 was produced, mixed and recorded with Steve Evetts (Dillinger Escape Plan, Every Time I Die, Sepultura, The Cure), and co-produced by DevilDriver guitarist Mike Spreitzer. The album was mastered by renowned engineer Alan Douches. 

Completing this unprecedented project is a host of metal and country luminaries providing unforgettable cameos: horror metal icon Wednesday13 lends his incensed rasp to George Jones’ “If Drinking Don’t Kill Me”, 36 Crazyfists frontman Brock Lindow brings fire and soul to Steve Earle’s, “Copperhead Road”, and Fear Factory’s Burton C. Bell helps to turn Richard Thompson’s anti-war classic, “Dad’s Gonna Kill Me”, into a brooding gothic metal extravaganza. Meanwhile, Lamb of God members Randy Blythe and Mark Morton contribute to an exhilarating decimation of Willie Nelson’s “Whiskey River” before Randy makes a second appearance on DEVILDRIVER’s version of cowboy standard “Ghost Riders In The Sky”; the latter featuring the son and daughter of Johnny Cash himself, John Carter Cash and Ana Cristina Cash. The album also features the iconic voice of Fear, US punk rock legend Lee Ving, on Johnny Cash’s “The Man Comes Around” and David Allan Coe’s “The Ride”.

DEVILDRIVER Outlaws ‘Til The End: Vol. 1 track listing
1. "Country Heroes"
Written by Hank Williams IIIPerformed by Hank3 & Dez Fafara

2. "Whiskey River"
Written by Johnny Bush and Paul Stroud; recorded by Willie NelsonPerformed by Randy Blythe, Mark Morton of Lamb of God & Dez Fafara

3. "Outlaw Man"
Written by David Blue; recorded by the EaglesPerformed by Dez Fafara & Neal Tiemann of DEVILDRIVER

4. "Ghost Riders in the Sky"
Written by Stan JonesPerformed by John Carter Cash, Ana Cristina Cash, Randy Blythe & Dez Fafara

5. "I'm the Only Hell (Mama Ever Raised)"
Written by Bobby Bobby Borchers, Wayne Kemp, Mack Vickery; recorded by Johnny PaycheckPerformed by Dez Fafara & DEVILDRIVER

6. "If Drinking Don't Kill Me (Her Memory Will)"
Written by Harlan Sanders, Rick Beresford; recorded by George JonesPerformed by Wednesday13 & Dez Fafara

7. "The Man Comes Around"
Written by Johnny CashPerformed by Lee Ving of Fear & Dez Fafara

8. "A Thousand Miles From Nowhere"
Written by Dwight YoakamPerformed by Dez Fafara & Neal Tiemann of DEVILDRIVER

9. "Copperhead Road"
Written by Steve EarlePerformed by Brock Lindow of 36 Crazyfists & Dez Fafara

10. "Dad's Gonna Kill Me"
Written by Richard ThompsonPerformed by Burton C. Bell of Fear Factory & Dez Fafara

11."A Country Boy Can Survive"
Written by Hank Williams Jr.Performed by Dez Fafara & DEVILDRIVER

12."The Ride"
Written by J.B. Detterline Jr., Gary Gentry; recorded by David Allan CoePerformed by Lee Ving of Fear & Dez Fafara

Still charging forward, proudly against the grain and on the form of their lives, DEVILDRIVER have never made a record like Outlaws ‘Til The End: Vol. 1 before. But then, nor has anyone else. The perfect marriage of badass country grit and neck-wrecking groove metal supremacy, it’s a pistol-packing game-changer delivered by true heavy metal outlaws.

Stay tuned for more new music and videos coming soon in anticipation of Outlaws ‘Til The End: Vol. 1.

Upcoming DEVILDRIVER performances:
10.07.18 MI - Chesterfield / Diesel
12.07.18 WI - Oshkosh / Rock USA
13.07.18 IL - Joliet / The Forge
14.07.18 MI - Battle Creek / Music Factory
15.07.18 OH - Mansfield / The World-Famous Historic Ohio State Reformatory, Home of the “Shawshank Prison” – INKCARCERATION Music and Tattoo Festival

09.08.18 ES - Barcelona / Razmatazz 2
10.08.18 ES - Villena / Leyendas Del Rock Fest
11.08.18 BE - Kortrijk / Alcatraz
12.08.18 UK - Derby / Bloodstock Festival
14.08.18 IE - Belfast / Limelight 2
15.08.18 IE - Dublin / Tivoli
17.08.18 FR - Motocultor, Festival
18.08.18 FR - Colmar / Le Grillen
20.08.18 DE - Frankfurt / Zoom
21.08.18 DE - Munich / Backstage Halle
22.08.18 DE - Nuremberg / Hirsch
23.08.18 DE - Cologne / Gebaude 9
24.08.18 DE - Sulingen / Reload Festival
25.08.18 DE - Neuborn / NOAF Festival 

DEVILDRIVER online:

DEVILDRIVER is:
Dez Fafara - Vocals
Mike Spreitzer - Guitar
Neal Tiemann - Guitar
Diego Ibarra - Bass
Austin D'Amond - Drums

Amorphis `Queen of Time` Review


Changing musical direction in a career can for some bands bring on the footsteps of doom, yet for some it becomes their calling. Yes, a few fans will undoubtedly turn their backs on the band, claiming divorce, yes the band has altered course and certainly in Amorphis’s case it was done for the right reasons. 

Amorphis hail from the magical metal world of Finland, where bands seem to spring up and create such fantastic and mesmerizing music that accomplishes two major things. Firstly, they appear to be able to appeal to the general public ala Nightwish, secondly, Amorphis and others from their country appeal essentially to the Metal throws, tread that line so perfectly. 

Ok so with that in mind let’s get into the new album `Queen of Time`. Produced again by Jens Bogren, whose influence certainly pushed the band’s versatile elements from `Upon a Red Cloud’ into what we have before us. 

Taking the album as a whole, it’s one that personally was on repeat and so easy to lose oneself in the music and go on the fantastical journey through the Finnish mindset. 

A huge part of the album is how the band utilize Tomi’s vocals, he can take both death metal growls that are not just grunts but very audible and soaring vocals and mix them together with ease. Take the song `The Bee’, a perfect example of the album as a whole and Tomi’s vocals are used similar to that of symphonic bands like Nightwish use their singers and instruments to lift the band and the music to a crescendo. 

Another interesting aspect of the album is how the band have implemented other instrument into the fold, in particular, the use of choirs throughout and especially on the track `Message In Amber`. The best thing here is nothing sounds out of place or disjointed, the use of the choir and indeed, later in the album a Saxophone on `Daughter of Hate’. It’s all perfectly balanced. 

The album as a whole has a very cinematic feel and takes you on a journey, `Wrong Direction` and `Amongst Stars` are just huge, grand epics. Listening to the track `Amongst Stars’ which has guest vocals by Anneke van Giersbergen, whose voice coupled with Tomi’s lends the track a huge sense of a majestic tale. 

Overall, I personally loved this album. Amorphis combines so many sounds together within their music and `Queen of Time` perfectly represents their ethos. It’s got massive melodic moments that soar and lifts the music into such magical moments that are arena ready; the album has some very fascinating uses of instruments that within the realms of Metal aren’t commonplace such as a Saxophone. Although, the album in parts may feel a little long to some, yet personally, it takes you on a journey and one that’s not over too quickly. 

`Queen of Time’ is a fantastic representation of Amorphis, it has everything. It boarders the cinematic, the accessible nature of pop music along with the driving heart of death metal. 

10/10 – Amorphis have built upon `Upon A Red Cloud’ to create a genuine masterpiece! 

Stand out tracks: 
`The Bee’, `Daughter of Hate’ and `Amongst Stars’ 

Track Listing: 
1. The Bee 
2. Message In The Amber 
3. Daughter of Hate 
4. The Golden Elk 
5. Wrong Direction 
6. Heart of the Giant 
7. We Accursed 
8. Grain of Sand 
9. Amongst Stars 
10. Pyres on the Coast 

Amorphis online: 

Friday, 11 May 2018

AMORPHIS discuss favourite tracks & guest artists



Melancholic progressive metallers AMORPHIS are about to unleash their latest offering entitled Queen Of Timeon May 18th via Nuclear Blast. Today sees the release of the fourth album trailer in which the band discuss their personal favourite tracks off the new album, as well as the guest musicians who appear on it.

Watch here:

The band recently released the official video for the epic and mesmerising second single, 'Wrong Direction': 

The album is now available for pre-order in various formats, here: http://nblast.de/AmorphisQueenOfTime


Queen Of Time track list:
01. The Bee
02. Message In The Amber
03. Daughter Of Hate
04. The Golden Elk
05. Wrong Direction
06. Heart Of The Giant
07. We Accursed
08. Grain Of Sand
09. Amongst Stars
10. Pyres On The Coast
Bonus Tracks (DIGI, 2LP, and MAIL ORDER EDITION only)
11. As Mountains Crumble
12. Brother And Sister

Listen to opening track 'The Bee', here: https://youtu.be/xf_4uvymwRw 

The album was produced by the renowned Jens Bogren (OPETH, AMON AMARTH, KREATOR). The cover artwork, which was created by French artist Jean 'Valnoir' Simoulin from Metastazis, perfectly captures the feeling of the lyrics and the music.

Esa comments: "I guess Queen Of Time turned out as a massive surprise to all of us. During the rehearsing and pre-production we didn't have any idea that Jens had this huge picture inside of his head about the landscape of the album. It's a very natural continuation to »Under The Red Cloud« but with steroids. The songs are more aggressive but there's more dynamics, harmonies and orchestral arrangements present. The result is AMORPHIS as something you've never heard before! Essentially, working with Jens worked really well. As a person he is very similar to us - we share the same kind of weird humour and we all like to work hard." 

With lyricist's Pekka Kainulainen's words, the lyrical theme is universal: "Cultures rise, flourish, and are destroyed. The story of man is the story of searching, finding, and forgetting. A single spark can set the world afire, a single idea can give birth to a new culture. The greatest can stagnate into insignificance, the smallest can hold the power for change. The lyrics on this album are distant echoes of ancient forest peoples, from a time when meaning was proportioned by the cosmic forces that govern birth and death. If the connection was lost, they sought for a strand of knowledge, found a new direction, and a new age began."

Wednesday, 9 May 2018

At The Gates `To Drink From The Night Itself` CD Review


They emerged from one of the picturesque suburbs of Gothenburg; At The Gates were a standout, cutting a swath throughout the Metal world, which ended abruptly after the seminal album `Slaughter Of The Soul` in 1995. 

Reformed in fire for a summer only tour in 2008, the world assumed that this would be the one and last chance to catch the influential band before they would vanish never to be seen as At The Gates again. 

Yet 2014 the internet was abuzz with news that At The Gates were about to drop a new record, `At War With Reality` hit and boy did it not disappoint. As a comeback album there’s always plenty of pressure added in for good measure, imagine that pressure when the length of time clocks in at nearly 20 years. 

So 4 years later, it’s good timing for At The Gates to put out a new album. `To Drink From the Night Itself’ comes out in a few weeks and well is it worth the effort to go into your local record shop (yes, remember those?) or pick it up on Amazon or the tunes of I? 

Simple answer is yes, yes 100%. If you love everything that At The Gates were, are and forever will be then this will be right up your proverbial alley. From start to finish, `To Drink From The Night Itself’ showcases just how important the band have been in the development of the Swedish Metal landscape and this ensures that it keeps a foothold influencing further Metal bands on a global scale. 

One of the many interesting aspects about this album is not just the way in which the band utilizes ripping hostile guitars parts along with Tomas’s unique vocal style, that personally I feel has like a fine wine got better with age. Importantly, a vital aspect of the band is in its use of melody, building up atmospheres within songs through the use of not just guitars but added instrumentation. 

From the opening prelude `Der Widerstand’ which is complete with strings and eerie piano, which launches into devastating and title track of the album, it is a pretty effective way of building up the excitement levels to fever pitch. Certainly, the album opener has all the hallmarks of a Hans Zimmer score or John Williams’s movie soundtrack. 

`To Drink from the Night Itself’ is the band’s first main single. Oh and boy does it deliver, it’s got that trademark aggressive melody that repeats so that after a few listens you can replay the track over in your head. An interesting aspect of this song and throughout the album is the lyrical concepts that the band has used, for example, how art can be perceived and whether the aim of that art is to deliver a positive message or be used to control and subjugate an entire population ala the propaganda used during the Nazi parties reign in Germany. What bands like `At The Gates` help do is provide a mirror to society and ask is this really what you enjoy? Is this how life should be? To that the only answer can be truly from you. Very philosophical don’t you think. 

The track `Daggers of Black Haze’ is another perfect example of how the band creates and expertly uses melody and increasing melodic elements by adding in more traditional instruments to build the track and create a more layered and dense atmosphere for the listener. 

Overall I personally enjoyed this album. It’s a dark melodies, coupled with the now trademark Swedish Death Metal traits is solid throughout. The use of additional instruments assists to build up and give new layers to tracks that keep the listener engaged and does not simply make the album a one dimensional piece that can be so prevalent within the Death Metal genre. 

`To Drink from the Night Itself’ is certainly is a perfect successor to `At War With Reality’. It drives home `At The Gates` ethos and themes to a T. Everything any fans of Swedish Death Metal could need. 

9.5/10 – Everything At The Gates does and does exceptionally well. Learn from the masters! 

Stand out tracks: 
`To Drink From The Night Itself’, `Daggers of Black Haze’ and `The Mirror Black’ 

Track Listing: 
1. Der Widerstand 
2. To Drink From The Night Itself 
3. A Stare Bound In Stone 
4. Palace Of Lepers 
5. Daggers Of Black Haze 
6. The Chasm 
7. In Nameless Sleep 
8. The Colour Of The Beast 
9. A Labyrinth Of Tombs 
10. Seas Of Starvation 
11. In Death They Shall Burn 
12. The Mirror Black 

At The Gates online: