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Firebrand Rock & Metal Express

Quartz Moonspell Enisferum FM

Evil Invaders Knock Out Kain Secret Rules Thunder Tygers Of Pan Tang Tysondog Issue 2 - Price = Free


Page 46 Tysondog FM Page 47 Eclipse Crash In Clouds Page 48 Tygers Of Pan Tang Page 49 Jorn Lande & Trond Holter The Clan Destined Page 50 James Holt Thunder Page 51 Michael Schenker’s Temple Of Rock Jared James Nichols Page 52 Hasse Froberg & Musical Companion Secret Rule Page 53 YES Page 54 Doris Brendel & Lee Dunham Page 55 Core Issa Page 56 Black Whiskey City Lights Page 57 Motor Sister Page 58 Sweet & Lynch Level 10 Page 59 Quartz Page 60 Knock Out Kaine Nocturnalia Page 61 Talon Lykain Page 62 Spiders Ancient Rites Page 63 Ruby The Hatchet The Crunch Page 63 Emigrate

Page 65 The Order Of Apollyon Devast Page 66 Enisferum I.N.C

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News Top 5 Videos Top 5 Covers Games Dungeon Gig Listing

Page 10 Circus Of Horrors Page 24 Saxon

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Page 14 Evil Invaders Page 18 Winters Edge Page 22 Dave Evens Dementia Aware Fest Page 26 Moonspell Page 36 Quartz Page 38 KhaØs Page 42 Secret Rule

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Well what a strange month…Without doubt the hottest talking point of the month has been my decision to close Firebrand Rock Radio down as a division of the business. As always there are various rumours floating around the t’interweb thingy… But I thought I would give you a heads up as to the real versions. So, No I have not been arrested for lewd acts with a goat, No I have not run off and bought a desert island somewhere, and there is definitely no truth in the rumour that I am the Stig.

have been great introducing new acts, getting to talk to some of my heroes etc. We are now focusing our efforts on the magazine as it has a great future with a well established readership. Additionally I personally enjoy the challenge of working with new artists so I dedicate my efforts into running Skyfire Interactive and helping get these great new bands out there to the press and radio. With all my old team setting up a new venture called Platinum Rock Radio which I am sure will be a success, you will get the same great talent just in a brand new place. Go give them some love people.

Simply put a business has to able to survive financially or at least break even and with the world now becoming flooded with internet radio stations massively diluting the listener base the only way to Peace & Respect as always actually get higher visibility was to pour thousands of pounds into the venture to take it in a new direction Doc which as I am sure you can understand is bad business if we are not even making enough to break even. Having said that the last 5 years of Firebrand

Editor In Chief Rick Palin Magazine Editor Lee Walker Senior Media Consultant Rachel Whiston Contributing Writers Reg Richardson Nick Giles Rick Palin Download Contents Team Judith Fisher Rick Palin Reviewers Aaron Price Graham Pritchard Gavin Griffiths Joey Lowebins Phil Kane Rob Birtley Stephen Brophy

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*All content and layout are copyright of Firebrand Magazine. Any attempt to distribute Firebrand Magazine to another site for purposes of download is strictly prohibited. All Firebrand Magazines are property of Firebrand.*

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Toto XIV - Toto’s First New Studio Album In Ten Years!

assembled band-mates bring to shots are cut on beats and the life. TOTO XIV is the band’s first projections breathe with the pulse album of new material since of the song.” Frontiers Music Srl has 2006’s Falling In Between. announced a March 20 release However, the band personally Buy | Facebook | Twitter date for TOTO XIV in Europe, with considers the new album to be the The UK and Oceania on 3/23, and true follow-up to TOTO IV, which North America on March 24. The made the band global superstars. album will hit retail globally, with specific dates for territories in Watch the video for 'Orphan' Asia, South America and others to follow. Configurations include CD, with a deluxe edition available featuring a "making of" documentary on DVD, expanded booklet that includes an in depth Furyon Confirmed As Headliner story and interview about the new For SOS Festival, UK Tour March album alongside exclusive pictures UK Rockers Furyon are confirmed in ecol-book packaging. Additionally as Headliner for SOS Festival, Toto XIV will be available as a 2LP which will take place Must Be The Holy Ghost Release vinyl set, and a Super Deluxe in Manchester, UK on July 17-19, Music Video for ‘Immoral limited edition which includes the 2015. Also confirmed for the Support’ Deluxe CD/DVD edition, 2LP vinyl, festival are Blaze Bayley, an exclusive poster, t-shirt (large The soulful, electronic artist Must Triaxis, Tysondog, Collibus, Knock size only), and lithograph. Be The Holy Ghost has released a Out Kaine, to name a few. very visually stimulating music Furyonhave recently video for his song "Immoral confirmed dates for Support". The track is off the debut a UK headlining tour in March record Get Off, released last year 2015, in support of their second via Cardigan Records. Layered album release ‘Lost Salvation‘, electronic rhythms fused with released on February 23, powerful vocals and thick guitars 2015 via Dream Records. make up the elements of this The dates are as follows: anthemic track. March 20 – The Square, Harlow, “It’s either a pimp’s bad acid UK w/ Fahran trip or a musical narrative March 22 – The Concorde 2, unveiling multiple personalities in a Brighton, UK w/ Fahran psychedelic and unsustainable March 24 – The Audio, Glasgow, relationship,” laughs Jared UK w/ Fahran Draughon, the mastermind behind March 29 – The Barfly, London, The new album is a realized Must Be The Holy Ghost. “This was UK w/ Fahran vision three plus decades in the one of the most enjoyable projects March 30 – Bannerman’s Live, making exhibiting world-class I’ve been a part of. The Gorbachov Edinburgh, UK musicianship, masterful brothers and I took a crazy idea April 04 – Rebellion, Manchester, arrangements, topical lyrical and ran with it.” UK commentary, and melodies that That “crazy idea” is rooted in More dates t.b.a. the collective genius of Lukather, his music, Draughon says. “It’s a Paich, Porcaro, Williams and their very musical video, so many of the

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More Bands Announced For SOS For more information please visit the festival website Festival at www.sosfestival.net SOS Festival announces more bands, including Triaxis and Furyon who headline the Friday and Anti-Flag Reveal Evocative Sunday respectively. They're joined 'American Spring' Album Artwork by the following bands on the Dean Plus Full Tracklist Hocking (main) Stage.... Tysondog, Collibus, Obzidian, Secret Rule, Historically, Pittsburgh-based punk Amethyst, Captain Horizon, Nick stalwarts Anti-Flag have always Hellfort, Vice, Sister Rose and Kill had important, socially conscious Or Cure. messages to convey and musical Meanwhile, on the Metal statements they've been driven to Nation Radio Acoustic Stage there make, and that ethos remains are 2 additions - Absolva frontman intact with new album, American Chris Appleton brings his acoustic Spring – their Spinefarm show (Sunday), complete with Records debut, due out May 25th. guests Luke Appleton (Chris' The band has shared the brother and bassist with Iced front & back album artwork, and Earth) and Wizz from Belgian band the images will certainly spark Wizz Wizzard. Captain Horizon will conversation and perhaps inspire also play the acoustic stage, change, which is the spirit in which following their performance on punk rock was initially founded. main stage earlier that same day There are plenty of ways in (Saturday). which the viewer can interpret the For more details on some of vivid artwork, which features a these bands please visit the online woman wearing a black hajib veil, version of this release while the back cover shows an here.... http:// American soldier in combat www.mwaweb.com/ fatigues; both of their faces are sos_announcement_04mar2015. obscured by an exploding pink html flower. All the above bands will join "The songs on American the headliner already announced Spring are an aggressive critique for the Saturday - former-Iron of the global social and political Maiden and Wolfsbane frontman climate of 2015," Anti-Flag explain. Blaze Bayley who will play an "The artwork is no different. The exclusive "Silicon Messiah" 15th cover art is meant to challenge anniversary set. our collective view of violence and SOS is presented by peace. The entire American Rocksector Records and 2015 Spring package includes essays, will be the 8th such event. personal liner notes, and further Previous headliners include I AM I, information behind the driving GUN, Black Spiders, Heaven's forces of each song, detailing ways Basement, Absolva and Beholder. for us all to take action against In 2015, the event takes injustice in the world. place 17-19th July and tickets, The American Spring is now." which are already on-sale, are On March 31st, the first outstanding value once again at track on the album, ‘Fabled World’, £15 for a weekend, £10 for will be premiered worldwide. The Saturday or Sunday single day full album track-listing is as follows: tickets. Friday night is charged separately at £5 or for weekend American Spring ticket purchasers it's included in 1)Fabled World the price. 2)The Great Divide The venue is Radcliffe Civic, 3)Brandenburg Gate in the town of Radcliffe which is 4)Sky Is Falling located approximately 7 miles 5)Walk Away north of Manchester city centre. 6)Song For Your Enemy

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7)Set Yourself On Fire 8)All of The Poison, All of The Pain 9)Break Something 10)Without End 11)Believer 12)To Hell With Boredom 13)Low Expectations 14)The Debate Is Over (if you want it) www.spinefarmrecords.com ATP Iceland 2015 Line-Up Additions Public Enemy, Swans, Lightning Bolt, Bardo Pond and more added to ATP Iceland 2015 Line Up Camping Packages and Ticket Deposit Scheme Now Available 2nd – 4th July 2015 2014 Wrap Up Video

All Tomorrow's Parties are thrilled to announce the new line-up additions for the third edition of ATP Iceland festival in 2015, held at the former US Air Force base Ásbrú in Keflavík near the nation's capital. Joining confirmed acts like Iggy Pop, Drive Like Jehu (appearing at their only European summer festival in 2015),


Run The Jewels, Deafheaven, Vision Fortune, headliners Belle & Sebastian as well as Godspeed You! Black Emperor are Public Enemy, Swans, Lightning Bolt, Bardo Pond, Grísalappalísa, Valdimar, Stafrænn Hákon, Oyama, Mr Silla and Kippi Kaninus. Politically charged NY hip-hop clique Public Enemy have achieved nothing short of legendary status and by this point are regarded as seasoned festival performers of the highest calibre. This year’s slot in Keflavik will be the group’s first appearance in Iceland. In addition, Michael Gira’s unflinching experimental rock outfit Swans line up beside 90s Philly space-rock pioneers Bardo Pond, while Lightning Bolt bring their much-lauded, furious, live performance, playing tracks from their critically acclaimed new album Fantasy Empire.

time they had together.” Oliver Weers: “It’s not an easy decision, we have together decided that I leave the band. Miracle Master will be looking for a new screamer now, so I sincerely wish them the best of luck with that! Love and appreciate all the support from fans and friends and hope for your understanding.” Because of this departure, Miracle Master are searching for a new vocalist. The band ask that all interested parties send applications to promo@rockngrowl.com

audiences with their distinctive brand of heavy, down-tuned melodic rock. Their third full-length, Ultraluminal, finds the band building sonic skyscrapers on the foundations laid by their previous two LPs. With its ten expertly-crafted new songs co-produced by veteran recordist Andrew Schneider (Big Business, Cave-In, Pelican) and mastered by Carl Saff (Guided By Voices, Young Widows), the album is an unequivocal game-changing declaration from one of America's most compelling underground bands. Today the band debuts the first track from Ultraluminal courtesy of Noisey. Check out the track "The Armageddon Announce New Light You Stole" HERE. Vocalist The CD version Christopher Amott 's new of Ultraluminal is available for band Armageddon who recently pre-order from the Translation released their new album' Captivity Loss Records Shop HERE. The LP and Devourment' through version is available HERE. ATP Iceland 2015 Line-up (so Listenable records in January, European fans can purchase the far): album HERE. Iggy Pop, Drive Like Jehu, Belle and have announced the departure of Matt Hallquist who Antony Delving deeper into the sonic Sebastian, Public Enemy, Swans, Hämäläinen has now replaced as terrain mined by groundbreakers Godspeed You! Black Emperor, like Failure, Helmet and Run The Jewels, Mudhoney, Loop, a new permanent vocalist. In the early 1990s, Antony Quicksand, City Of Ships delivers Lightning Bolt, Bardo Pond, Kiasmos, HAM, Ghostigital, Ought, Hämäläinen started playing bass, an innovative take on contemporary post-hardcore to Clipping, The Bug, Younghusband, drums, and singing for multiple bands based both in the USA and create an undeniably powerful Xylouris White, Deafheaven, Finland providing vocals for listening experience. Iceage, Chelsea Wolfe, The Field, the Arizona death metal Transcendent, discerning, and White Hills, Ghostigital, Oyama, band Slaves For Scores , then ultimately cathartic in its Vision Fortune, Grísalappalísa, Nightrage in 2007. contemplative approach, Valdimar, Stafrænn Hákon, Mr The band commentUltraluminalproves the band's Silla, Kippi Kaninus, Tall Firs, ed : "We're happy to announce capability in fusing their Grimm Grimm. that Antony Hämäläinen has characteristic gnarled riffs with accepted the position as full-time brilliant hooks to match. vocalist for Armageddon. We are Ultraluminal marks its Miracle Master Looking For New looking forward to working with territory with expansive guitar Singer him as he brings great energy to work, growling bass lines, and the band, both on and off stage." thunderous drumming. Vocalist German hardrockers Miracle Armageddon intend to Eric Jernigan harnesses his Master have started a search for announce more tour dates shortly trademark shifts from soaring, a new singer following the depature of vocalist Oliver Weers. and have already been working on gravel-throated anthems into new killer material for a new tranquilizing melodic bliss, just as The band is currently working on album. the songs themselves effortlessly the second album and a few cascade in coruscating crashes. summer shows are booked. Tracks like "Alarm" and "Medata According to a press Blues" demonstrate immaculate release: “The band is really sad City Of Ships to Release poise and imaginative lyrical about the decision, but they Ultraluminal March 20th prowess as City Of Ships keeps a respect it. They wish him all the white-knuckled grip on their best for the future and want to Since forming in 2006, City Of thank him for the unbelievable Ships has consistently impressed surging dynamics.

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Interviewed by Lee Walker Firstly who’s Kaine and whys he being knocked out?... Ha ha, there is no answer to that, as it is blowing in the wind. In all seriousness though why call the band Knock Out Kaine? It's a play on words, Knock Out (KO) Kaine....KOKAINE if you will, that's not to say we are condoning the use of the old Adult icing sugar... It's kind of a metaphor for getting high on Music, or rock n' Roll!!! So it wasn’t all part of a fiendish plan to get people to ask for KOK?

Of course... There is always a together a sequel to something hidden agenda and ulterior motive! which had so much critical acclaim? The first album (‘House Of Sins’) Thank you very much, yeah, we were aware of the mountain we had to climb for this one, which is why this record has been in production in terms of writing and demoing new songs for the last 18 months... We wrote around 25 songs and cherry picked the the best 10.... In terms of production we worked our arses off demoing and arranging the songs, was a truly fantastic release, I with different musical parts and remember stumbling across it vocal harmony arrangements so accidently via Dust On The Tracks . How do you begin to put that we had everything down and

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Each song is about different points in my life from childhood until now solid before we even entered the studio for recording proper.... And even though we recorded this record on a much tighter budget than we had for "House Of Sins"....we feel we have topped our debut both in terms of writing and production, we wouldn't release it if we didn't feel that we had.

his throne room came from.... We Asked Christian Wallins (who is one of my favourite pop culture artists) to take this concept along with the idea of the jester in his throne room and run with it.... We gave him the album demos to get a feel for the music.... And he came back a couple of weeks later with the album cover... We love In terms of the new album (‘Rise what he has done with it, the very Of The Electric Jester’?). What is fact that you asked the question means we have achieved our aim an electric Jester when it’s at Thanks. home? The Jester is me... He is also Lee, Jim and Danny... He incorporates What can you tell the elements of all of us in the band... Rock&Metal Express readers about the album? A personification if you will, of Knock Out Kaine. It's a concept album of sorts… Lyrically it is the most personal collection of songs that i have The album cover is ….um written to date... Each song is interesting and definitely not what I would associate with your about different points in My life from childhood until now, although style of music. Was this the songs don't run in intentional? I'm not a big fan of the concept of chronological order (I don't believe in the concept of time being genre, it conjures the idea of linear)... It's a retrospective of my musical and artistic constraint, time and experience on this puts the artist in a box, with this record we have tried to push the revolving ball of Rock, as seen through the eyes of the Electric barriers away and pulled on our Jester. myriad influences, it has been liberating... That's where the idea for the character of the jester and What do you have lined up for the

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rest of the year? Touring, Video shoot, Touring, Touring and Touring... We are touring the Uk in March and April, the first video from the new record is also being shot in March, then its off to tour Europe in June, Festival season, and more live shows up until Christmas, when we will all fall into a great heap on the floor, take a swig of whiskey, smile and breathe "aaaaand relax".... Then get back up and jump right back on the merry go round next year! Are there any messages that you would like to pass on to your fans? Stay with us folks...get your ticket, board the Kaine train.... We have only just begun!!!


streets are invaded by a swarm of zombies, the demise of which is sparked by the Great Fire of London!

well-practised, if precarious, sword swallowing skills followed by Captain Dan's nemesis, the acrobatic Voodoo Warriors. The The show opened with Captain Dan (yes, this is the Circus of Horrors acts were, as same Dan who superglued usual, accompanied by a rock-laden soundtrack supplied by his knob to a vacuum cleaner and whose story the Interceptors from Hell sporting a slightly different line-up went viral when the BBC's coverage of said from the previous tour but story was the subject of a suffering no loss in quality or drive to the music. question in the House of Commons) appearing on stage Camp Dracula made his first sporting a very stylish kilt which was raised in a flash to reveal his appearance as he wheels on a bell The zombies hit Wolverhampton as the Circus of Horrors rolled into wedding tackle yet again and this jar containing Zombie Zowie dressed (for 'dressed' read 'very largely set the tone for the town with their Night of the partially dressed') as a nun; she remainder of the show! Zombie show hosted by the emerged from the jar to great ever-creepy Dok Haze and his applause from kiddies and adults Dok Haze quickly made his first band of miscreants.This tour celebrates 20 years of the Circus showing alongside Zombie Zowie alike. The show continued with the knife-throwing of Psycho Sean and of Horrors and the show is set in and the show moved along at a brisk pace with appearances from London at the time of the Great Hannibal Hellmurto displaying his Plague where the corpse-filled

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his assistant Doynamite, fire-eating from Anastasia IV and a zombie or two harassing the audience. We had the Sinister Sisters' aerial acrobatics, the balancing acrobatics of Sergey and Hanna, the Adagion Wonders and we were suddenly back to Captain Dan flashing his ballsack (yet again) dressed as Tarzan. This time his appendage was strapped firmly(!) to an impressively heavy ball and chain which was not in the least bit hypnotic as it swung back and forth between his legs. If this was Dan's version of a penis enlargement treatment it wasn't working.

me left nut in, me right nut out cos I shook it all about.....' Just when you may have thought it safe to open your eyes again shock, horror, Captain Dan is back and this time he had his hoover with him which did somehow manage to attach itself to his knob...again. He really should get the appliance checked out or exorcised or something because this keeps happening! Henry really is a sucker for punishment.

The Sinister Sisters reappear to display some impressive moves on the aerial silks and Dok Haze loses his head, literally, after an incident Time for some audience with a knife slit the throat of one of participation as four unfortunate the sisters and he gets a severe lads were dragged up on stage to short, back & sides. The show 'assist' in a trick presented by Dan drew to a close but not before and Camp Dracula. A simple Anastasia was suspended by her balancing trick which enabled Dan hair to give a dazzling fireworks and Drac to identify one poor soul display. The show finally ended with who would make repeat the skyline backdrop glowing bright appearances through the red as London burned, consuming remainder of the show including the zombies and making the one where Camp Dracula came on streets safe again. If you missed in thong and tights to sit on his this tour make sure you get to see knee, my eyes still haven't the next one because it's just nuts! recovered. Fortunately there was no wardrobe malfunction this www.circusofhorrors.co.uk evening which could have allowed part of Drac's anatomy to escape the confines of the thong, unlike on one of the evenings that followed. I can see it now, Camp Dracula singing 'I've got me right nut out,

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Interviewed by Lee Walker Thank you for taking the time out for a quick interview you are about the release the new album shortly. Have you had much feedback from the album yet? Yes most of the feedback that I have had has been really good. I have done a lot of Australian press over the last couple of days actually and they have all been serviced with the record and it seemed to be going down well in Australia any way *laughs*. The main thing though first and foremost is that we are happy with it and we really think we have done a good job with this one. I had a lot of fun writing it, a lot of fun

recording it and I think you can hear that on the album. It’s essentially a good time rock and roll record. Interesting that you mentioned the Australian press. A lot of people came across you thanks to that tour you did with AC/DC which went on for two years. How do you prepare for something like that? You try not to think too much about it. You learn as you go on a tour as big as that. All you can really do is prepare forty five minutes of music that you think to going to do the band justice. Once

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you are up there in front of thousands and thousands of people there is no preparing for it you just have to run with it. You try and take a few deep breaths before it all kicks off and get up there and do your thing. Did the tour go as expected or was there any surprises along the way with it? We didn’t know what to expect. We had never been in that situation before. We were playing Maddison Square Gardens, Wembley Stadium, the Hockenheim Formulae One ring and we just didn’t know what to


expect which was part of the fun everyday was an electric experience. It was an exhilarating year and a half and it’s a moment in my life that I will never forget. It was a big big step up for any band really. Was you expecting anything like that to ever happen to yourselves when you started off? We have always had a very strong belief in the bands potential and right from the get go, when we first put the band together, we was very focussed on giving it a proper go. It was never really just a hobby. It started off playing every Saturday afternoon and decided to see where it would take us. We was very focussed from a very early stage to getting out of Northern Ireland first and foremost and seeing where our music would take us.

understand each other and get on. We have the odd disagreement, the odd row like any long term relationship but we patch up our differences and we get on with it. We are still enjoying making music.

Just scanning over the names for you albums and they all seem to be quite interesting, you started with ‘Rise’, there’s ‘Everyday Demons’ and now ‘Raise A Little Hell’ . How do you come up with all these names? Is there some sort of formula? ‘Raise A Little Hell’ has a song on the record called ‘Raise A Little Hell’ and there is song was there before the album title was. Just dealing with that record. When we came back from Spain and was playing the album back you could tell that there is a good time vibe running though it and you can hear l that we was having fun in the I was going to say you started off studio and we wanted a title that back in 2000 according to your really captured that sentiment and Wikipedia and you are still going ‘Raise A Little Hell’ hit the nail on now the head really. It’s not a conceptual thread which runs Yes its been nine years since we released our debut record and through all our records by any stretch we deal with them one that’s where the timeline really begins. That’s when we started project at a time really. touring the UK and Europe and started getting a few support slots You mentioned Spain there. Why with bigger bands. It’s been a long did you pick to go to Spain to time and I would like to think that record the album? we could make a decent record at It was the producer’s decision this stage. really. He had just renovated his great grandmother’s house in a What do you put the bands town up in the mountains just longevity to? Lately we have had north of Madrid and turned it into a lot of bands who started off a residential studio. We didn’t need to have our arms twisted to well and then with a blink of an go there. We thought it sounded eye are gone but you have kept like it would be a lot of fun and it on going? We never really contemplated not was. When we got there we was doing this. We have been lucky in informed the annual fiesta was about to kick off and run for a that people have bought our records and they come to see us fortnight which basically involved play at our shows so that enables bull running in the morning, drinking in the afternoon, bull us to keep doing what we do. I fights in the evening and more think our personality helps as we drinking into the small hours. We are four very different people in the band and that is why it works. got our heads down and would go It’s like that space in the middle is to the bull running and then go to what The Answer is both musically the studio and do some work all day and head out and observe the and from a personality carnage as the rest of the town perspective. We just seem to

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had been drinking the whole day so if you can imaging the craziest St Patricks Day celebrations that you have ever been involved in on a daily basis for a fortnight that was what it was like. That whole fiesta atmosphere fed into the record as well I think. The album itself is due out shortly did it all go together as planned? When we are heading into the studio to record a record there are bits and pieces of songs that aren’t quite finished because we like to leave a bit of space for the magic to happen and when the red light gets turned on you just go for it because with our kind of style and sound you need a bit of spontaneity in it so it doesn’t become too uniform and too much like work. So it needs to be loose and free. Even with the song writing process there was no set remit other than let’s just make a racket and have a good time doing it. Thankfully in the studio the bits of space that we had left for the songs to develop really came together nicely and there are a few songs on the record that sound particularly organic and free flowing and that’s because of just being in the moment. I know that you have some dates lined up for the UK tour Do you have any festival appearances lined up yet as well? In the UK there are a couple which we are as good as confirmed for but they haven’t been released yet so we will keep you posted on that. We have been confirmed for a bunch of European festivals including Hellfest in France, Wacken in Germany. Proper big rock and metal festivals which will be a lot of fun to play. Do you have any messages that you would like to pass onto the fans? Just to check out our new record and keep believing and that we will see you on the road sometime soon.


Interviewed by Stephen Brophy Photocredits - Wim Op de Beeck

Hi Joe, to start with I'd just like to say congratulations on the excellent new album "Pulses Of Pleasure" which must have you pretty psyched. So with the release of Pulses of Pleasure around the end of February what are the plans for Evil Invaders in 2015, will it just be Touring nonstop? And have you any plans to play in the US ? No plans for the US so far man, maybe in 2016? Who knows! We have 2 tours planned here in Europe and some big festivals in the summer! We’ll be joining Majesty in March and we’re

teaming up with Skull Fist in May/ June. We’ll keep on updating our facebook page with more gigs! So keep an eye on it! We hope to keep on improving our live performances and take things a bit more professional so we’re also focussing on that in the meantime! We’ll be doing a bigger club show in April which will be filmed, so within a couple of months we’ll be able to share our show with you guys through the internet. We’re working on some really cool stuff and the venue probably will be packed, so hopefully everything turns out well

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during the set haha. It wouldn’t be the first time that things go wrong while we’re being filmed, but I guess that’s part of Rock n Roll, right? Anyway, we hope to be coming to the US as soon as possible, but for now we hope that we can deliver some wicked videos so that you guys can have a glimpse of what we’re doing here Europe! What do you think of the current resurgence in the Thrash Metal genre and who do you like from the new breed of bands? I think there’s a good scene and there are plenty of fans! The


crowd is always raging and stagediving at the shows and they really support the bands they like! When it comes to thrash metal I really like the old bands like Exodus, Vio-lence, Kreator, Overkill or Forbidden way more than the modern thrash bands. There are a few new bands like Ranger from Finland or for example Toxic Holocaust (but they’ve been around for quite a while though). Lost Society are a really cool live band too and they’re really talented musicians. But unfortunately I always have the feeling that new thrash bands are missing a lot of creativity.

hahahaha). There are a lot of young olschool bands here such as Hammerhead, Bones, Carnation, Cizin, Witch Trail, Horacle, Gae Bolga, … We’re all friends and we all support eachother as much as we can.

There are some different variations of Vinyl releases for the Pulses Of Pleasure, have you guys noticed a healthy amount of Pre-orders for the vinyl version and as a young band what is your take on the current resurgence in Vinyl Releases? We love vinyl man! I personally prefer the standard black vinyl but What is the Metal scene like in I understand some collectors Belgium? We all know bands like really love all this colored and Channel Zero and Ancient Rites, limited edition stuff. We noticed a but are there many other up and lot of people did the preorder but coming bands like yourselves? we also sold an insane amount of In my opinion the metal scene in copies at the release party itself Belgium is really healthy! Plenty of last weekend! It was total madgigs, plenty of venues and a ness at the merch stand hahaha! shitload of open-minded metal maniacs! We have a pretty big While on Tour what do you guys fanbase here. We just did our do when you have time off? release show last Saturday and If we have the time, we always the show was sold out! 500 check out the neighbourhood and maniacs making a total mess of try to do some sightseeing. In the the place (and the stage evening we look for some kind of

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after party or a cool bar or club to hang out if the venue closes early. We hardly have time off actually. When we’re on tour we try to play as many shows as possible and we’re travelling a lot so most of our time off is in a van or a tour bus haha. We’re just doing some random stupid shit most of the time. So do you think that the current line-up of the band is going to continue to develop and that the best is yet to come ? At this point in time you are the only original member left, but at the same time with your first album being released maybe this is the first really stable version of the band? I hope so! I’ve got a really good feeling with this line up. We’re all heavy metal maniacs and the band is our priority. This is what we live for and we all get along really well. Of course we don’t always agree but we really try to communicate well because I think that’s really important! We can all just say what we really think to each other and that’s a must if you’re always on the road together. If you start piling up frustration the bomb will


explode one day and that’s when shit happens. So we really try to avoid that by being straight forward. But yeah, from all the line-ups we’ve had so far I think this one has to be THE ONE haha. I don’t think we’ve ever had a stronger band than this and everyone seems to motivate one another as everyone is starting to reach a higher level both shredding-wise as song writing wise. I also think this is the most “raging” line-up so far as everyone is really into METAL haha. We’re having fun and you’ll probably notice this also on stage, that’s for sure!

real genuine metal up your ass! We love that vibe and we combine it with our own view on thrash/ speed/heavy metal. Again, I think there are cool new bands out there, but I don’t really see us as another next Thrash Metal How do you approach the writing band. I think process? Is it all hands on deck that if you in a room, or piece by piece and would check us out at a then just pull it all together in a show you’ll definitely agree. studio? Most of our songwriting is done at Do you think album number two home individually but we record will follow the same formula or do our stuff and send it to one you think that the band’s sound another and give comments or will change as time goes on? discuss it at the rehearsals. We rewrite if necessary and everybody I have absolutely no idea man! We participates in the songwriting. But will just write new stuff and we’ll see what it sounds like. We don’t so far I have always written the lyrics. It’s hard for me to sing lyrics think too much when we write music. The songs just have to be I didn’t write myself. Most of the time I write about things I have felt good and energetic. If we like the or things that happened in my life songs, we will record and release or around me. It’s different if you them. Of course you know what have to tell somebody else’s story kind of music we like so you could if you know what I mean. I’m one have an idea of what the next with the song when I can sing stuff album will sound like. We will that really makes sense to me always be a combination of a lot of stuff but there will always be a personally. certain amount of aggression and It's pretty much unavoidable with melodies in our music. the style of music that you play, I think our music will only improve because we’re still improving and but do you ever get tired of the constant references to the past experimenting as musicians. We’re not afraid to try new things. and the 80's Thrash/Speed As long as we like the stuff we Metal scene? Not really, I see it as a compliment! write ourselves. It’s a bit cliché, but That’s the music we love and the I’m quite sure that the next record bands back in the day seemed to will be way better, even though I’m really happy with what we did on be so talented and special compared to the new bands. We this record. But only the future will really want to revive that time and tell hehe. bring back that energy that the bands back then were creating. If Have you ever thought of just doing one or the other, I mean you look at the old gigs from the playing guitar or doing vocals, classic bands like Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Black Sabbath,… it’s rather than doing both ?

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It would make things a lot easier for me I can tell you that! Hahaha I love singing, but it sucks to be a singer. You have to take care of your voice. Especially on tour. So far I haven’t lost my voice on tour but there are some days that the singing is way harder. In winter it’s terrible when you have to sing when you’re having a cold. And on stage it’s really exhausting because I don’t have the time to take a little break. I’m running around, playing guitar and screaming like a raging madman haha. We don’t want any boring moments in our setlist to keep the energy flowing so I often forget to drink in between the songs… But don’t get me wrong… I love what I do and it’s great to be able to scream out all the anger and frustration that gets piled up inside of me from time to time. But it would be easier if I wouldn’t have to focus on 2 things at the same time. But I don’t want to give away my guitar nor my microphone haha. Thanks again for taking the time out to talk to us, looking forward to seeing you guys live again soon.


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Interviewed by Lee Walker Ok I’m here with the Jeremy from Winter’s Edge. Thanks for taking the time out for a quick interview Your welcome

you may also know him from Spinning Death Machine and Emersis was one of the people that convinced me to push this

I know that you have been involved with quite a few bands over the years. Why did you decide to resurrect Winters Edge? My main reason for it is because Winter’s Edge was my 10th band I’d been in and after we split as a band, it made me think that I’d had enough for being bands that don’t last very long or the musicians move on and so forth so I decided to keep the name and go completely solo. What are the main differences this time round with this new version of the band? Well Dave Hartley the original singer from Winter’s Edge that

using Guest Musicians from around the world and really using different styles throughout each song to attract a much larger audience but also to give fans much more to look forward to as the styles progress. For those people out there just hearing about the band now what can you tell them about it? Its more of a Metal Solo Project than a band but I’d say it has almost has every element a metal or rock fan is looking for, Features a huge number of guest musicians, We have a Ferryman as a mascot and generally we all just try to deliver the best material the fans want to hear.

Metal Project along with him being a big part of it. I wanted to go further than the original Winter’s Edge by

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You guys are about to embark upon the “In Charge Of The Tour 2015” tour with Thunder And


Lightning. Are you looking forward to it? Yeah really thrilled to have them over in the UK with us.

list yet can you let the Rock&Metal Express readers know who they are? On this tour we have SevenSmith from the ACM in How did you come to be a part of Guildford, Gutlocker, BlackForge, the touring line-up? Control The Storm, Celestial After I managed to form a touring Wish, Chemikill, HUNDRED, band for Winter’s Edge, I got Awaker and one more to announce. involved with organising the first Metal Temple Festival, which is taking place in March in the Uk, I Are there any messages that wanted to get a band from abroad you would like to pass on to the so I choose Thunder And magazine readers? Lightning as they just blew me I would like say thank you for away as musicians. taking your time in the interest of As they were willing to come Winter’s Edge along with all the over I wanted them to get the other bands involved in the tour, If most out of being in the Uk so I you're based in any of the areas decided to do like a double where we are touring this march, headlining tour with them come along and rock with us for a featuring Winter’s Edge and I cheap price. became the promoter for the tour I am a massive music lover as well. and generally all I care about is producing the best music I can for I know that there are quite a few you fans to enjoy so cheers for the bands on the bill on this tour. For support. anyone who hasn’t seen the full

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Interviewed by Lee Walker With so many diseases and long terms health issues out there why choose Dementia as the beneficiary of the festival? A dear friend of mine Jules Barrett works as a Dementia nurse and everyday she witnesses the devastating affect the illness has on everybody involved, not only the sufferer but also the family and friends. She approached me in 2013 with a thought on holding a musical event to raise funds and awareness for Dementia UK. I saw my own Grandad suffer with Dementia in his latter years and

the impact was devastating on us all. Other charities over the years have had more of a high profile than Dementia, every single charity is as important as the next one, we just felt could help in a very small way with something that was personal to us.

support and tales of people close to them suffering. Even those who couldn't make the event due to scheduling issues or tour commitments have shared our poster and offered their backing be it via personal support or signed merchandise for our raffle. It has been truly humbling once Have you had much support from again. the rock and metal community? We have had some truly amazing How did you select the location of support from the rock community, the festival? from the UK and also from the In 2013 Jules Barrett and myself States. Bands and artists have held the first ever Dementia contacted me to offer their Aware-Fest at Scruffy Murphys in

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Birmingham city centre. The event was a huge success (even though we were under 6 inches of snow) and nearly ÂŁ1000 was raised. This year we wanted to take things even further by offering 2 stages and that meant along with the merchandising areas we clearly needed a larger. My co-organiser Richard Forbes and myself immediately thought of The Roadhouse as it ticked all of the boxes, we could now offer an Acoustic Stage so make the event even bigger, the capacity is approximately 250 (up from 100 at Scruffy Murphys) so more people equals more money raised on the day. The logistics of parking and load-ins are better suited at The Roadhouse so we are very pleased with our choice of venue for Dementia Aware-Fest 2015. In terms of the lineup I see quite a varied mix with a Daylight Robbery, Falling Red, Vicious Nature and Gypsy Lee Pistolero immediately caching my eye as bands I recognise. How did the lineup came together? In 2013 we decided straight off that we needed to offer quality and musical variety to the audience. Not too much extremity as the bill needs to flow and not jar with bands clearly not fitting in. We may be a charity event but it is the same ethos when promoting any gig; are the bands compatible etc?. For example as a reviewer I know that Daylight Robbery and Falling Red command similar sized audiences and both have albums under their belt, but they are just different enough to make proceedings interesting and varied. Likewise all the way down the bill on both stages. Vicious Nature and Lovebite cater for different audiences yet wouldn't alienate anyone seeing them from

either camp. Gypsy Lee Pistolero is an eclectic performer yet will easily follow the bands leading up to his headline slot on the Acoustic Stage. Richard and I both came up with a 50/50 split, in that we both chose same number of bands, and then we whittled the list down to the best bill we felt we could promote to help us raise money for Dementia UK. We feel we have pulled out all the stops this year. Are there any more bands/

Wigan and London for example and the response via the venue and ticket site has been very good. We are very excited and hope the event sells out in advance. Will this event become a regular feature or is it strictly a one off event? Yes most definitely. My ultimate goal is to have a Dementia Aware-Fest in every major city in the UK on the same day each year. A concerted nationwide effort to help raise funds and awareness. Our 2013 event was the first of its kind. The first time an All-Day event had been staged raising funds for Dementia. I know we can make it all bigger and better. Are there any messages that you would like to pass on? Every single one of us is affected by Dementia one way or another during our lifetime. It may be our parents, relatives, loved ones, children, our friends or even ourselves. Please show your support for this wonderful cause by attending or donating. Dementia Aware-Fest 2015 will be a multi band all day rock gig at the Roadhouse in Birmingham . Help us beat our 2013 total and have a great day of Rock N Roll at the same time .

Main Stage : Daylight Robbery , Falling artists left to be announced or is Red, Vicious this the final lineup? Nature, Lovebite, Devil This is the final line-up. There may Red, Chemikill,The Remedy and be one or two surprises on the day Crows & Crosses have been though. confirmed as appearing Acoustic Stage : Gypsy Lee How has the advance ticket sales Pistolero, The Blacklist been? Have they hit the type of Saints & Devil Red level that you had been opening There is also a Go Fund Me page set up for anyone who for? wishes to donate but can't attend The feedback we have had has been wonderful, I myself have posted tickets out as far afield as gofund.me/c2by7

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Support - Hell and Beyond The Black

I was really looking forward to seeing, and being deafened by, Saxon yet again; what I wasn't expecting was the quality of the two outstanding support acts. The first of those acts was Beyond the Black, a young female-fronted metal band from Germany. My metalometer indicated that this was a fairly

musical band with the vocals, from Jennifer Haben, being dynamic but somewhat restrained; no screaming, no shouting just a very attractive voice and a little bit unusual. This was not symphonic metal, Jennifer's voice was pretty mainstream rock most of the time but still able to deliver the slower songs with a high level of integrity. The band showcased their imminent album, Songs of Love and Death, due for release on February 13th with several of the songs, including the title track, being highlighted. The sound is accomplished, very tidy, very tight but the band have come into an arena that has plenty of competition from bands such as Nightwish and Lacuna Coil so may struggle a little bit to make their mark. That said, the short set was very good, if a little off-base, considering what was to come. Next up was Hell and this

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was the first time I'd seen, or heard, the band; I wasn't prepared for the level of entertainment that was to follow! Hell originally formed over 30 years ago reforming in 2008 after a hiatus that lasted more than 20 of those 30-odd years. The band have a theatrical style, and if you can imagine a hybrid between the Rocky Horror Show, Jesus Christ Superstar and the Addams Family - you'd really be nowhere close to visualising Hell! The band are also no strangers to controversy, with the first incarnation of the band causing outrage within the clergy by featuring an exploding bible on stage; this was all part of the definition of doom metal! The basis for the current line -up began when the band reformed in 2008 with the later addition of Dave Bower (aka David Beckford) on vocals. The original, 1980's line-up of the band failed in their only attempt to release an album and this eventually led to the band breaking up. However, since reforming the band have had


2 releases, Human Remains (2011) and Curse & Chapter (2013) both from Nuclear Blast. Their set used songs from both albums which were delivered with the finesse of a lump hammer to the back of the head. This was pounding, doom metal at its best and with the wild visuals of the band it made for a hell (sic) of an entertaining set! The set opened with Gehennae Incendis from Curse & Chapter and ended with On Earth as it is in Hell from Human Remains and between the two Dave Bower milked the audience for all he was worth while the quite outrageous Kev Bower and Tony Speakman strutted alongside. Excellent stuff! Once again the faithful supporters of Saxon had turned out again to provide a capacity crowd at the Wulfrun Hall for the rearranged gig from late 2014 following the news that Nigel Glockler had suffered from a traumatic brain aneurism which required surgery. In Nigel's place tonight was U.D.O. drummer Sven Dirkschneider, Nigel's former drum tech. Tonight's show was something of a retrospective; with no new album to promote the setlist focussed mainly on early material with many of the songs coming from five of the first six albums released between 1980 and 1984. The emphasis was certainly on crowd participation because of the nine albums

sampled the band played eight title tracks. Motor Cycle Man from 1980's Wheels of Steel album opened the show followed by album title tracks Sacrifice and Power and the Glory. It didn't take long for the crowd to start singing along and Biff Byford wasn't slow to point the microphone towards the audience. The band have lost nothing in terms of musical skills it was just a bit of a shame that the bands most recent album, Sacrifice, only contributed one solitary song to the setlist. Still, there were few complaints as Byford, Quinn, Carter, Scarratt and Dirkschneider hammered through the set which ended with Princess of the Night from 1981's Denim and Leather album. A very short respite saw the band return to the stage to finish with three classic title tracks; Wheels of Steel, Strong Arm of the Law and, finally, Denim and Leather. It was good to see the band survive the recent events and to return as a thoroughly well honed unit - we all hope Nigel's recovery continues sufficiently well to allow his return. The lack of newer songs in the set meant nothing to the die-hard fans who went away happy in the knowledge that their drummer was recovering and hopefully isn't quite ready to hang up his sticks just yet. Dirk did do a superb job in his absence. Classic songs from a classic band, a great night.

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Interviewed by Lee Walker Hi Fernando, just listening to the new album (‘Extinct’) and I am liking what I am hearing. Have you had much feedback for it yet? Yes. Best feedback was that we were really proud since the moment we finished it in Sweden. There is a certain aura about this album, which made this album especial. We really can't tell why sometimes but that's the beauty of it and how much we do love it. I just hope we pass this sensation to everyone willing to listen to Extinct and/or write about it. While listening to the album I’m

hearing hints of classic goth bands like the Sisters Of Mercy as well as doom, for want of a better phrase, bands such as Type O Negative and ‘Draconian Times’ era Paradise Lost. Are these bands which influenced you? Very much indeed. Both Type O and PL are on the top of our list of influences and favourite bands and I think all the bands share a true devotion over Sisters of Mercy and Fields of course. I also love Peter Murphy and Nick Cave as well. I think they all end up in what we do and I believe that's such a cool cycle with musicians, an influence

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that poor record sales or bad reviews can't break. How would you describe the new album? Lyrically: up close and personal musically: a much needed fresh breath. Do you have any favourite tracks on it? I love all of them and we worked hard to get them all to the next level. But my favourite right now is The Future is Dark, a letter to my son Fausto, a beautiful song of darkness but of some hope as well.


While I was looking through posts about the band I came across the bands Wikipedia page and noticed a quote which states that “In July 2010 it was reported that the Portuguese Postal Service would release "a collection of stamps that represent the most significant rock moments and records from Portugal," which included Moonspell's first album, ‘Wolfheart’”. It must be pretty immense to have that happen. Was you surprised when it occurred? Yes! As surprised as honoured! We were contacted by the Postal Service from Portugal and we

were so thrilled. After all, we kick started our band sending lots of tapes around, and the money we spent on stamps was unbelievable. So it feels some justice was done. It was one of the highlights of our career together and I can’t describe the great feeling i had when I posted stuff using our own stamps.

rest of the year? We will start touring in Europe and then Mexico, Canada and US. Then, summer festivals ;). Whole dates are published in our social networking. Basically we are taking Extinct on the road, we can't wait to play it live.

Are there any messages that you would like to pass on? What would you say has been the Listen without prejudice! We tried bands greatest achievement to to make a record that has of date? course a metal root but that is The stamp? Hahahaha! Seriously unafraid of going other places keeping a band from Portugal alive musically. And see you on the road, is our biggest achievement! keep us away from extinction. What do you have lined up for the

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Interviewed by Lee Walker Hearing the album described as “A sequel of sorts” for Troublegum leads to pretty hefty expectations especially when quite a lot of people will view Troublegum like myself as one of the best albums to come out of the 90s . The first question I have got to ask you has to be do you think it will live up to this hype? I don’t think its Troublegum 2. I think people have picked up on the fact that we were looking for a way in for the lyrics, usually with Therapy? albums there is a loose concept within them. ‘Troublegum’

was about growing up,’ Infernal Love’ was about the dark, ‘A Brief Crack Of Light’ was about the gravity of existence. I think with this one the music was written and vocal melodies I needed a subject to write about and we had just done the Troublegum shows last year I thought ok I had written the song ‘Still Hurts’, the first track on the album with no lyrics, and I thought this reminds me a little bit of ‘Knives’ its got a stop start thing. So I thought about the guy who wrote that song and wondered what is going on in his head twenty years from now and

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when I started thinking about that I got the lyrics down and it had a knock on effect with the rest of the record, the guy from ‘Die Laughing’ he ended up in ‘Good News Is No News’, the guy from ‘Brain Saw’ is the guy who wrote ‘Deathstimate’ and it meant that the domino effect worked as the music was all there and the album was all there I was just stuck with the lyrics and once I took that kind of approach everything came really quickly with the lyrics. So its almost as if that guy were around now what would he be like? Is he still as angry? What’s he angry


about? We are not trying to on, a few of the ones that we liked compete with Troublegum, we just are for use later on. I think this used it as an ‘in’. time around like the last two records we made the Yes you have gone one record as arrangement a little more unusual saying “Clearly it would be idiocy and made the sound a lot more unusual this time around . This for us to attempt to recreate Troublegum, because that was a time round it was a bit more complex because it was written different era, and a different using a phone a lot of it is a lot band line-up” how did you go about getting using that type of more direct . The one which really mindset with the current lineup changed a lot is ‘Vulgar Display of with the lyrics side of it? Was it Powder’ from how it was originally written. There is a drum beat of all continuous when you kicked garage band and I put that into into it? garage band and I sang over it and Once it started yes. That’s the thing once it starts I just unlock it played a little keyboard riff instead thats the same with every record. of a bass line and it completely changed the beat of it. I think really The lyrics are normally the last thing we do and you start to think ‘Deathstimate’ as well. ‘Deathstimate’ is a lot more “I’m stuck I’m stuck, oh God am I up-tempo and is the last track on going to be able to meet the deadline am I going to be able to write. Have I got anything left?” and then once I get one song done I know where ‘I’m going the rest of it just follows through. I think this time around I suppose the theme to the album would be album and how people deal with anger and how it changes over a couple of decades from an incompetent rage which was how it would have been in 1994 to maybe some sort of questing, probing, irate kind of anger which is how it is now. Hopefully it has a bit more considered contempt to the anger rather than just blind rage. the album and when we got into the studio Tom Dalgety was kind of going this sounds like Sabbath In terms of ‘Disquiets’ construction I seem to recall that meets Portishead and we made something with a bit of a drum lick you have said you tried to do it the way TG was in that you would and beat and a Jon Bonham thing “whereby I’d take my guitar, play going on that completely changed the shape of it. Stuff like ‘Still a song, record it on my phone Hurts’, ’Tides’, ‘Good News Is No and then send the song to the guys ‘finished’. Was it really like News’ was pretty much done using that? Was it straight forward or an acoustic guitar and vocals in was there issues with regards to the kitchen on an iphone. doing it that way? The thing is with the band. We Interesting that you mentioned have got 11 tracks on the album, ‘Vulgar Display Of Powder’ as I we did something like 21. Not all of was actually going to ask you them obviously made the album. I about that Was that aimed at would sit in the kitchen, records anyone in particular or just the bits of it and send them to the scene in general back then? other guys. The ones that are on I think that was the last time that the album are the ones we agreed

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amount of money was around bands and that amount of money was around the industry. Now we are left with a culture of have and have not like everything else in society. If you are Lady GaGa great if you are a young band starting out somewhere in the middle of England you haven’t got a hope. In those the days everyone knew digital was just around the corner and it was blast I suppose. For a little while I dabbled in that madness as well but it was the majority of people we ran into in the business we learnt pretty quick and got somewhere where we wanted to be. Yes I still have very vague memories of it back then just about *laughter*. It was defiantly a bit of blur then. One of the things I was going to ask you about was about the track’s that went into the album. I think you covered this point briefly earlier. How many of them do you think will be popping up as “B-sides” to singles? There are two tracks ‘Armed With Anger’ and ‘Demons! Demons!’ I think are going to be on the “B-side” to the ‘Still Hurts’ single. They were originally two of the first songs that was written. They were very ultra punk not unlike like ‘SLF’ meets ‘Nowhere’ on ‘Screamager’ but we just thought in light of Green Day being so successful they might not sound right for us. We recorded them in a very garage rock style, they are very, very raw. If you look over the album there is a track called ‘We Kill People Who Kill People Because Killing People Is Wrong’ which has a kind of groovy stoner rock vibe which was not right for the record but was still a very good track and there are a few others including a great instrumental called ‘If You Drag And Pull Over’ which is amazing. Its like Black Flag and very dark and judgemental. We will be releasing that at some point. There are plans for later in the year to


release a second single. I am sure ‘Touch And Go’ and we said that if that they will come out through we can get a record out on the that. same label as Big Black and The Butthole Surfers we would be If there was one song to look out happy and then it happened. We for on the new album what would only aimed for little victories like that we only ever looked for the it be? next record ahead we didn’t ever My personal favourite is have a plan where we saw ‘Deathstimate’ because its quite ourselves. I think that’s probably unusual for us and then it goes why we are still around I think if we into quite an expected Therapy? had had a plan we would have split melody but then goes off in the up and reformed and split up and hypnotic thing at the end. I was trying to think of seeming like Mick reformed. Ronson would have played on David Bowies record and for some I know that you have the tour reason it ended up sounding like a lined up as well as the album but big fat stoner riff. I think that’s the what else have you got lined up one it has got a really simple, for this year? Do you have any fragile melody but it has also got festival appearance lined up? this big, beefy riff. One of things I have always wondered since you brought the album out is was there ever a ten year plan for the band or was it lets just see how far it goes? No. That title to the album ‘Ten Year Plan’ came from a discussion I had with James Bradfield from the Manic Street Preachers. We are good friends and we were chatting one night in the pub. The Manic’s never really had a plan as such and later on they just did what they wanted to and we was discussing how a lot of bands have come along these days and they tend to have a ten year plan where they plan where they want to be and normally it does not involve music it involves acting or production somewhere down the line. I still remember when we paid for our very first 7” single ‘Meat Abstract’ our ambition was to have it on the wall of Caroline Music in Belfast which was indy shop. We thought if we can get our 7” up among the new releases we would be happy and then we started talking to record labels on the back of that single and our favourite record came out on an American Record label called

We are talking about that at the minute. I have just got off the phone with someone earlier. The plan is the ‘Disquiet’ UK and a handful of dates in Europe. Then we will hopefully try to grab as many festival appearances as we can. There will be news on the website as soon as we find out. The plan is then to come back to the UK and do more ‘Disquiet’ shows September/October and then in November I think there will be around 5 ‘Infernal Love 20th Anniversary’ shows. We did the ‘Troublegum’ one last year so we will probably do about 5 ‘Infernal Love’ shows doing the whole album as well as the relevant

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“B-sides” that was around at that time, then in December I think that I will probably go out and do an acoustic tour again, but from the Therapy? Point of view there will be two ‘Disquiet’ tours one before Summer and one afterwards, then an ‘Infernal Love’ tour before Christmas. There will also be a second single at some point to coincide with the ‘Disquiet’ tour. In terms of the ‘Troublegum’ tour were you surprised by how well that went? I was very surprised by the reaction we got. It was lovely that all the gigs had sold out and for us that was brilliant for us to go on the road and know it would be packed out. I think the response we got from the crowd was the best thing really because sometimes when you have been around for as long as we have you can go on tours and some time when we go back to the same towns time and time again that it feels like you are taken for granted. Its almost like we are the family dog who has been around for ten years. *laughter* its almost like “Good old Therapy?”. It was good for so many people to approach us and tell us how much the record meant to them and how much it had helped them through difficult times I think that gave us a real impetus to get the bit between the teeth and keep on going again. It just meant so much to us. Do you have any messages that you would like to pass onto your fans? I can’t believe that the three of us are still doing this after all these years. We are now on album number 15 and we are still getting new ideas for stuff all of the time and I can’t thank people enough for the support over they years and to be honest without those people we are nothing so we would like to thank them.


Tides “Tides is a song I’d written long ago, under the influence of Husker Du, one of the evergreen mainstays of my musical education: they’re one of those band that I sometimes take for granted and then every now and then I’ll listen to three of their albums in a day and get completely inspired to write something. When I lived in Dun Laoghaire in Ireland I used to live near the harbour, and some nights I’d stay up all night to try to get inspiration for songs and I often ended up going down to the pier and just looking out at the waves. Later on I found out that Samuel Beckett used to get a great deal of influence from that as well. One of his plays, Krapp’s Last Tape, has this character sitting with a tape player, playing back audio diaries of his youth, and there’s a bit where Beckett talks about getting the inspiration for his best work while standing at Dun Laoghaire harbour. So I took that low point in my life and how I managed to dig myself out of it as an inspiration. Originally it was written kinda like Die Laughing or Nowhere off Troublegum, with a catchy Husker Di-influenced chorus, but we took a bit of influence from bands like My Bloody Valentine with the brief section of warped guitar. I think Therapy? fans who liked Lonely, Crying, Only and Die Laughing will like this song.”

about the negativity in this world: we all know people who’re kinda Eeyore-ish, who’re just drawn to negativity, and the subject of the song is a composite of people we know who’re like that.”

wouldn’t speak to anyone, three oddballs from Ballyclare and Larne, turned up to play shows people would just look at us like ‘Who are these people?’ But that suited us fine. When I first played this song to Neil [Cooper] he said Fall Behind ‘That riff could have been on “This was originally a kind of breezy Babyteeth’ and we decided to keep it up-front and sonically in-your-face garage rock song, with a bit of a swing to it, but when Tom heard it like that.” he came back and said ‘Maybe we could toughen this up a little bit, Helpless Still Lost make it a bit more driving and a bit “The vibe we were going for here heavier.’ It’s kinda written about was kinda like Unbeliever from myself, and how if I’m not careful Troublegum: when we wrote that it’s easy to fall into either song originally we wanted hip-hop retrogressive nostalgia or into drums and Helmet riffing, and this bitterness: it’s a way of me trying had a similar genesis. Neil came to pull myself up by the bootstraps up with the drum beat first and I and get on with life.” started playing this continuous riff over and over on top of it. But that sounded a bit <too> old school, so Idiot Cousin worked on it more: when you’re “People sometimes think that Good News Is No News basing a song on one riff (as we when Therapy? appeared on the “I was originally trying here to write music scene we were immediately have before on songs like a song a bit like Depeche Mode, seen as cool, but that’s so far from Unbeliever and Opal Mantra) you and I think that might still be really have to focus on the the truth! There were a lot of obvious in some of the established bands in Belfast at the dynamics, to make sure that it instrumental bits, and in the time, and when a chubby guy with doesn’t sound one-dimensional phrasing of the guitar. Lyrically the a beard, a little guy with round and dull.” inspiration came from us talking glasses and a big tall guy who

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Insecurity “We’ve been playing this song live for quite a while, and it always goes down well. I wanted something with the same kind of feel as [Joy Division cover] Isolation from Troublegum… but not one written by someone else! It’s almost as if we’ve been listening to Joy Division’s Unknown Pleasures and Black Sabbath’s first album simultaneously and blended the two together.”

Words Fail Me “This is not dissimilar to Idiot Cousin: it has a punk-ish vibe and veers off into Dead Kennedys’ territory at the end. The idea behind it is quite literal: it’s basically about the frustration of being undone by language, when you literally can’t find the words to explain or get a grasp of a situation.”

seem quite nihilistic, but with us it’s more a reflection of just getting on with things.”

Deathstimate This might be my favourite track on the record. I had the riff and the chorus for this, and I said to Tom Dalgety ‘I want this to sound like Portishead are playing Black Sabbath’. He put together a drum loop and got Neil to play over it, Torment, Sorrow, Misery, Strife and I played the riff, and we like “We’ve had this song for ages, and how it sounded, with this really Vulgar Display of Powder it’s almost like a second cousin to heavy, almost 70’s style riff over the top of these funky drums. The “I had this title for ages, and it was 30 Seconds off our Infernal Love day after we demoed it, Tom came basically written about hanging album. It’s got quite an obvious, around rock festivals in the ‘90s catchy chord progression, but the down to breakfast and played us a and the various characters that important thing for us was getting track he’d hear online, with Beth [Gibbons] from Portishead you’d meet in clubs and backstage the rhythm right, and we finally areas while on the road. It’d be settled upon hardcore-style, covering the song Black Sabbath, and so we were quite chuffed that hypocritical of me to say that it’s in-your-face drums and that damning drugs, but it’s damning seemed to click best. The original that concept was actually a the effects that certain drugs can title of the song was I’ve Had 18 reality!” have on certain people. I had this Straight Whiskies, I Think That’s A classic Therapy?-sounding, blunt, Record, which were apparently stabby riff and the lyrics fitted well Dylan Thomas’ last words, but we over that and then we added this decided that might be a little long! kind of Ozzy Osbourne-melody on It’s a little tongue-in-cheek: with the chorus.” another band the lyrics might

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TurboWolf Rich Gift

1

Profane and the Sacred Words

2

Gravil Beyond Reprieve

3

North Seasons Never Forget tHIS

4

Devilâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S Train Down On You

5

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Tygers Of Pan Tang Tygers Sessions The First Wave

1

Quartz Too Hot TO Handle

2

Doris Brendel and Lee Dunham Upside down World

3

Jorn Lande & Trond Holter Dracula Swing Of Death

4

Devast Into Decimated Reality

5

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Interviewed by Lee Walker The last time I spoke to you guys must have been two or three years ago back when you were letting the world know that you had reformed. Did the part reform plans of the band go as planned? Yes sort of I think as we had no real plans and didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t know what to expect so everything else has really been a bonus for us as such. We were all very excited about the prospect of reforming the band following the response to our charity gig performance supporting our good friends Cryer

at The Asylum in Birmingham on 16thDecember 2011. Progress has been slow but steady, however we are getting there eventually as there was a lot of catching up to do from the point of playing wise and rehearsing material, because we are not as young and fit as we were. We are somewhat amazed at how much interest there is still in the band both from fans that followed us from those early days and from fans that are discovering us more recently either from seeing us perform live or by finding us via the internet.

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In terms of the new release (‘Too Hot To Handle’) a lot of the material was originally written way back in the very early 1980’s. What was it like revisiting that era of the band? There are quite a wide range of differing emotions and feelings really as this was a time of great change for the band. Geoff had already left to join Black Sabbath back in 1979 and we (Quartz) had decided to carry on as a four piece outfit having some limited success with releases on the independent label of Reddington’s Rare Records and then more success with MCA and the “Stand Up and Fight” album. When Taffy and Derek decided to leave Mick and I didn’t want the band to fold so we assembled a new band. With these new personnel came a different approach to the music and a slightly different sound for the band too. Our first new line-up featured a young David Garner, who we are pleased to say has now returned to the fold and is our vocalist again, but then after about a year David decided to leave and he was replaced by Geoff Bate… So, although this transfusion of “new blood” into the band resulted in an increase in creativity with writing being quite prolific during this period the changes and instability in the band would ultimately be our downfall and eventually led to our demise in 1984 when we decided to call it a day and go our separate ways.

that we had totally forgotten about so that was quite exciting for us. Bart Gabriel from SKOL Records was very interested in this volume of material and all parties agreed it would be a great way to reintroduce the band to the general public with David singing and to air those unreleased tracks whilst we were in the process of writing and recording new material. We do hope that people and our fans will like the different and alternative versions of some of the songs on this cd format which were then further developed and refined for release back in 1983. Plus folks will also get the opportunity to hear the stuff that never actually made it on to vinyl.

used in a film score for a zombie movie and if that does come to fruition that would be a fantastic achievement for the band at this stage of our career. We have reworked a couple of older tracks too so we have roughly a cd album length of material that is in the mastering process as we speak. The new material contains some of the heaviest stuff we have written to-date and we are really pleased and very excited about this new project. David and Geoff (Nicholls) are sharing the lead vocal duties so there is a lot of light and shade on the album with a contrast of vocal styles to suit the different songs we have chosen to record. The band have a couple of gigs pencilled in for April so we will be starting rehearsals Are there many differences soon and working some of the new between the songs as they are presented now compared to how songs into the set to see how they are received at the shows and they were on the original then take things on from there recordings? I think Bart has done a superb job hopefully. post-production and in Are there any messages that you re-mastering the tracks and in would like to pass on to your that he was able to clean up the fans? songs and compensate for any tape deterioration due to age and First of all (and most importantly) a storage problems. There are big thank you to each and every one of you for all your support over some subtle differences but basically the tracks are as they the many years and for your continued support in the future. If were recorded back then at Outlaw Studios in Birmingham with you do get the chance to come and see us performing live warts and all. Sadly with some of the songs that we found the tapes somewhere down the line please were damaged or the recordings come and say hello to us either were not of a good enough quality before or after the gig because without you there would be no to be used but it was real a trip Quartz. Finally please remember down memory lane for us in that all the latest news and listening to and reviewing those What prompted you to put this information regarding the band tapes after all these years I can release together? etc. can be found on our official Following on from the success of tell you. Facebook page at:our reunion people were asking us www.facebook.com/ at gigs and via our Facebook page The big question that has to be asked though is that is the band QuartzBackintheBand whether we had any unreleased working on new material and if so stuff from back in the day. We went searching and actually found when can we expect to see it? a shoe box full of old tapes. We …. And the answer to that question were surprised to hear some old is a resounding “YES”. It has demo versions of songs from the however taken us much longer “Against All Odds” era of Quartz that we had ever anticipated or that featured David on vocals and expected it would but I am even some with Taffy Taylor delighted to be in a position to tell singing with David and Geoff you that we have written and (Bate). We also unearthed some recorded ten brand new tracks. A songs amongst some cassettes couple of these tracks might be

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Interviewed by Lee Walker Hey guys, thanks for taking the time out for a quick interview. Our pleasure Lee! With a name like KHAØS I was expecting much heavier sound. Has this type of preconception ever created issues for the band? Not really. The name and the way it’s written might suggest something really heavy. Of course our sound deals with modern heavy music and all songs have a common denominator which is Hard Rock. I really like heavy sounds, like down tuned guitars

and distorted drum sounds. Our name is primarily to do with something suddenly born out of nothing, the word KHAØS should perhaps be seen from this point of view. The amount of heaviness per se is not a factor that determines the way we interpret music. Some songs are heavier than others, some deal with ‘darker’ topics, like changing the world or just changing yourself, but it’s all about how the listener takes it, with their own personal reality. KHAØS is much more than a stereotypical band that wants to celebrate a party all night long, it goes a bit

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further and the real heaviness can maybe found somewhere else, mostly in our message and lyrics. How would you describe the bands sounds? Fresh Modern Hard Rock with a good blend of heaviness and melody. Soulful and energetic mid-tempo songs enriched by thought provoking lyrics with a deep meaning. Muscular and filigreed at the same time, with lights and shadows. Music with a big potential I would say. Some of the songs, like for instance the album opener ‘After The Silence’


or ‘Exalted’ are just timeless songs. You can’t relate them to a specific musical period, they are treating timeless subjects and I think this is one of the messages of this band. In one of the most recent reviews Teresa Hopkins from Metal Shock Finland was mentioning our singer Chandler as “some kind of angel/warrior with his beautiful yet commanding voice, leading an army of grinding, riffing, low-tuned guitars and hard-hitting percussion”. I think this is the best description for our sound.

done ok so far. Don’t ask me how (laughs). Sometimes I would really like to take my guitar, go down to the practice room and show the guys a new riff or idea. This kind of direct contact is surely missing but I don’t know if this is really a handicap to be honest. We can talk about music using other tools. The distance forces us to work more efficiently and to focus on our job without being distracted. This is a big plus and not an issue. At the time it wasn’t really planned to pick different musicians living in different countries, it was a spontaneous choice. Basically I was looking for quality and players How did the band come able to step straight in to my together? project without giving them too We first met on the many assignments. The musical Internet and in a virtual studio ideas were all there and the guys room (laughs). We wrote an EP only had to fill it with their personal together without knowing each other really well. But let me please contents and give them some life. We began to go deeper and introduce the band to your intensify our collaboration using readers. Khaøs consists of Chandler Mogel on vocals, myself, everything what modern Mark Rossi on guitar, Nic Angileri technology can offer and at the end of the day we didn’t miss on bass and Trevor Franklin on drums. I formed this band back in almost anything. Our work feels equally organic. The way how we mid 2012. I’m also writing the majority of songs and took care of exchange ideas works pretty well even if we’re living four thousand the album, video production and artwork design. You probably know miles away from each other! (laughs) Chandler Mogel as one of the hardest-working independent singers in rock and his recent ‘Risen’ is the follow up to your work with Greek/US Melodic Rock ‘Rising’ e.p. Has the band band Outloud. I knew Trevor from changed much in the time different common band between the two releases? experiences in Switzerland and we Absolutely not. We knew we would do something new recorded both things with the again. Bass player Nic Angileri same line-up, the same producer was a good recommendation from (Rolf Munkes) under similar our mutual friend Jgor Gianola conditions. In terms of production (guitarist for UDO, Gotthard). A and sound with the album we man with a glorious past and a continued what we have previously vivid present. Just to mention two begun. They are very similar names, he has played as a touring works, albeit I think they have their musician with Swiss rockers own vibes and characters. On both Gotthard and was for several products you will find modern years the bass player for Jorn oriented Hard Rock tunes with Lande. A nice combo isn’it? catchy riffs and melodies. For ‘Risen’ we just took more time and Do you have many issues with you will probably hear a much band members living in both more cohesive band on this record. Of course ‘Rising’ was our America and Europe? Of course the distance starting point for this new record issue is something not very easy to and has been omnipresent in our manage, but we have somehow minds during the whole recording

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process. For instance as reference sound for the mixing of the guitar sounds. ‘Risen’ is for sure a logical continuation. The recording sessions for ‘Risen’ begun just one week after the EP came out. So in just one week there wasn’t much time to reinvent the wheel or redefine our approach or sound. How would you describe the new album? As a good example of an album that testifies the state of today’s world. With a pinch of criticism, but leaving the listener with a positive message of hope. Musically I think ‘Risen’, as band product, came out a bit different than planned. Somehow it sounds less modern and heavy and even has a kind of ‘classic’ side on it, something organic that we discovered while mixing the album. It’s something you can’t control or plan in detail, it just happened and I think, below the line, this is the real specialty and surprise of this album. The blend between clean voices, melodies and hooks on the one side and heavy guitars and vigorous rhythms on the other, juxtaposed with some brilliant and very inspired lyrics. What do you want more? Hey bands sometimes pay big money to achieve that and in our case it just happened! What do you have lined up for 2015? Well we will meet again by the end of April and will be playing together three gigs in Switzerland. This is after the video shoot and the video release that took place last November our first leg of ‘real’ gigs! KHAØS going loud and nasty, I can’t believe this is gonna happen soon (laughs). Of course we would like to repeat this in the near future, adding perhaps some summer festivals in and outside Switzerland. We would like to visit UK at some point. We’re just looking around at the moment and nothing concrete is planned as we speak but I’m pretty sure we will


be doing something again since we response has been very positive. already had couple more requests. We are glad people are really Fingers crossed! getting it. I hope some more people especially in the UK will find Are there any messages that you the way to discover ‘Risen’. You can purchase the album on the would like to pass on to your official site of Plastic Head, our fans? First of all many thanks for taking distributor in UK, or through iTunes and Amazon. It’s a great your time! We are really blown record that needs to be heard. On away with some of the nice compliments we get on the music, our Facebook site you can the album and videos. Overall the purchase t-shirts and a limited

collector edition of our EP ‘Rising’. This is the best way to support this band and to keep this project alive. Here are the links where you can find our album. Shops: Plastic Head Amazon iTunes

After The Silence

Exalted 40


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Interviewed by Lee Walker When I listen to your music I immediately think of Lacuna Coil. Have you had many people make similar comparisons? Angela - Hi Lee! This might happen because Lacuna Coil is one of the few bands, and the only one in Italy, where there's a female voice who sings with pop rock melodies. Maybe also because Cristina and I are both “little Italian girls” :D Andy - Yes, surely because ‘Lacuna Coil’ is the only Italian band (close to our genre) also known abroad.

album reviews, our music includes several genres mixed up together, so we don't know what kind of music we play anymore hehehehe I’m joking! But I believe that anyone can listen to different kinds of music such as pop, prog, rock, metal…and I believe this is the right way to listen to our music. Andy - I agree with Angela, I can add that our music is a mixture of powerful sounds and soft melodies.

creating a new project with Michele) contacted me asking what I was doing in that moment and if I was available. I had a lot of stuff I had written, so I sent him my work. In no time my lyrics and melodies were arranged by him. It was fantastic! The album was almost ready and we completed the opera with Michele and Ruben.

The album cover for your new release (‘Transposed’) looks very Star Trecky aka the Borg if you How did the band come don’t mind me saying, and keeps together? Angela - I met Andy 13 years ago in line with a ‘Transposed’ For anyone who has not had theme. Was this use of imagery chance to check you out yet how in a temporary project but then intentional? would you describe you style of we haven’t seen each other for Angela - We have never thought several years. In September music? 2013, Andy (who was thinking of of Star Trek . We sent our album Angela - According to the last and our concept to Simona

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Speedy Saccoccia (our graphic designer by Midria) who, during the night, had a vision of what became our cover album. Her inspiration started with a post organic vision in an imaginary future, a human body manipulated by the system who wants to escape because she is aware of her condition. Could you talk the readers through the album? Angela - First of all, I have to explain something: often in my lyrics, the key character comes from the future. The key character of our concept is a woman who is represented in the image on the album’s cover (from this moment I’ll call her ‘SHE’). She has a role for the future of human beings. Sometimes the key character can also be someone in specific situations that I consider states of mind caused by human weaknesses or by mental infrastructures injected into the mind by the system. Speaking from the point of view of an observer or trying to give voice to a victim of the system or just telling a story someone lived.

who recognize themselves in this state of mind and help them find the strength to find a way out.

song about all the demons (fears, nightmares, anxieties, etc…) we are trying to escape from in our everyday life. The same demons we will suddenly be forced to face.

The Sin - This song represents a possible situation that we often hear when we watch the news. My Doors - It’s a search inside Many crazy people who kill for love ourselves in order to open the and passion. closed doors to access new perceptions. True Friend - A woman who has lost faith in life and her inner child helps her to find a way to smile again. Lifeless - SHE tells about how the world used to be and how human beings ruined everything. Sensation - Here depression itself speaks to the victim...But depression is a victim too, a victim of someone who doesn’t love himself/herself.

Vision - Have you ever begged for someone's love? This is Vision Dawn of Crisis - This song is a hymn to the cycle of life, birth, death, eternity until the world will live.

I know that you have several Italian dates already announced but can we expect to see in the UK at all? Andy - Yes, we have done some I Don’t Wanna Be - I don’t wanna gigs in Italy, and we will do another one in February for the release be’ is about the current party of our album and there will socio-political situation we are be many other gigs in April. We living. It’s referred to people who are planning to tour in Europe in are manipulated by those who have the power and we don’t want May and July, very soon we will release all the details. We will to be like them. We’re tired of listening to promises and excuses surely play in the UK, too! of people who only take care of Do you have any messages that their own interests. you would like to pass on? Andy and Angela - Yes, we would Sleep Forever - SHE describes like to invite everyone to listen to The Journey - In this song I how bad human beings can be. our songs because there is much consider depression one of the Reena - SHE is suffering looking at more than just music. We would most common illnesses. I wrote humans’ pain and sees like to thank you for this space and this song for all those who are support. Ciao! going through a difficult moment. I imagination as the only way out. hope my words can help those Secret Place - Secret Place is a

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Tysondog

Cry Havoc

Record Label

Rocksector Records

Release Date

20 April 2015

Reviewer

Rob Birtley

Highlight

Shadow Of The Beast

Named after a pooch of a band member Tysondog originated from the northeast of England, they were part of the 80’s explosion of Metal known as N.W.O.B.H.M and number among some talented bands that large scale success didn’t happen for. The band now consists of John Carruthers (vocals), Kev Wynn (bass),Paul Burdis (Guitar),Phil Brewis (Drums),Stevie Morrison (Guitar).Their sound well you know the formula twin guitar attack, hopefully fast tempo, pounding drums and bass in short early Maiden/Sabbath. First track is ‘Cry Havoc’ it’s available as a free-bee from Rocksector and starts off at

break-neck speed. Sound effects of civil-war and a thudding bass begin the rest of the track is a natural Head-banging narcotic. Next comes ‘The Needle’ the pace slows, this is doom-laden Sabbath circa Sabotage but not as compelling. ‘Parasite’ follows and brings to mind ‘Children of the Grave’. ‘Nemesis’ opens with an interesting single guitar. The percussion is a tour de force and vocal Di’Anno like the whole thing recalls slower tracks from Killers. Title track ‘Shadow of the Beast’ opens Maiden-like and atmospheric. The band is storytelling on a large scale. Fine switches in tempo all held together with an interweaving bass line and dynamic drumming make it the standout track. ‘Into the Void’

FM

well forget the Sabbath song of the same name this one is lesser Maiden. ‘Cold as Ice’ is a strange creation and sounds like the ‘Rime of the Ancient Mariner’ opening grafted onto ‘Enter the Sandman’. This album begins at full throttle then gradually slips its foot of the pedal. Good singing throughout falling midway between Di’Anno and Dickinson. Capable guitars and a solid rhythm section, some great drumming at times, all very worthy and true to the genre and there by hangs the tale. The album ends up feeling slightly dated lacking some spontaneity and engagement. It’s far from bad it just doesn’t sparkle.

Heroes And Villains

Record Label

Frontiers Records

Release Date

20 April 2015

Reviewer

Stephen Brophy

Highlight

You’re The Best Thing About Me

An institution of British Melodic Rock, the heady days of the 80's, their triumphant 2007 Firefest return, FM continue release relevant music, not just Tour greatest hits. Heroes And Villains, the follow up to 2013's Rockville , not that it was a poor album, I quite enjoyed it, but I think Heroes And Villains is a step up from that. There are some cracking tracks on here such as the closing track "Walking With Angels" which is just a wonderful ballad with Steve Overlands voice being the main instrument. Right through the album though this one is just a delight to listen to, be it Jim's guitar, Jem's keyboards, Merv's & Pete so solid bass &

drums, or the masterful vocals of Mr. Overland himself, just tonnes to admire on Heroes And Villains. With FM it's smooth sounding and classy melodic rock music, but we also get some grit and a nice mix up in the song style. "Digging Up The Dirt" kicks things off nicely and has a nice little edge to it, where "You're The Best Thing About Me" is classic FM, can't wait to hear this one live, massive chorus and the one I come back to over and over. Great to see "Cold Hearted" from last years excellent Futurama EP, it was the strongest of those new tracks and fits in well, no fillers

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here, have FM changed over the years, yes, but that's not a bad thing, they have a more modern sound for now, it certainly all seems to come together well in a live setting and more than anything the band seem to be all very much involved in the whole process and loving it. If you haven't been an FM fan, take a listen to this one, you may be pleasantly surprised, it's a great piece of work and I think one that will stay on my playlist for some time to come.


Eclipse

Armageddon

Record Label

Frontiers Records

Release Date

20 February 2015

Reviewer

Stephen Brophy

Highlight

Live Like I’m Dying

One of the most anticipated 2015 releases, soundbites were excellent, I say this now, Armageddonize will be in my Top10 albums at yearend. Eclipse have created one of those albums that slams you in the face and every time you listen to it you hear something new. Under the guidance of Erik Mårtensson and Magnus Henriksson there's plenty of riffage, drums are strong and powerful from Robban Bäck, a great variation of song choice here, Melodic but some with a harder edge.

work throughout and as with a number of more up beat songs there's an anthemic drive to them, and it just keeps going with "Stand On Your Feet" and 'The Storm", this is another album with such a strong start, if you liked 2012's Bleed And Scream I can't see this not being an album you will love, eleven quality tracks that make you want to get out of your seat and shout out the chorus.

another rocker, really well constructed, Erik's vocals are excellent. Whether a fan of Melodic Rock or not this album should be explored, poured over and just enjoyed, I'm drawn back to this one over and over, it's getting regular airplay in my headphones. A wonderful piece of work and so exciting, I believe most of this album will be immense live, get out and catch them on their UK Tour in March, Eclipse just get stronger. Personally, standout track on the Armageddonize is their fifth album, album is "Live Like I'm Dying" which and encompasses all of the is just stunning, a little like a experience gained working with pressure cooker, it builds, ebbs other artists as well as pushing A great start to an album "I Don't and flows, with elements almost forward as a very solid unit. Want To Say I'm Sorry" is a classy approaching a ballad while at rocker, just balls out, terrific guitar times on the edge of breaking into

Crash In Clouds

Living On A Tightrope

Record Label

Kan Records

Release Date

6 June 2014

Reviewer

Rick Palin

Highlight

Living On A Tightrope

Crash In Clouds, what can I say about this band, great name, highly unusual, and to match that a really great sound to the band as well. Fronted by Vikki Elliot delivering a strong vocal performance who in a way reminds me of Transvision Vamp’s Wendy James. A very raunchy and powerful vocal delivery.

high degree as this these days with most bands out there sounding pretty much a carbon copy of the next one to come through the post. Crash In Clouds strive to be something different and they carry this off very well.

The album “Living On A Tightrope” may have been around for a while (Originally released in 2012) now Hailing from South Wales which but I thought it was well worth the these days seems to be a mecca effort to review this stunning little for new and upcoming talent, number. Twelve tracks that fit so countless ufo sightings and the well together that the album flows majority of the world’s collection of smoothly and keeps the pace and sheep jokes this band is definetly timing perfectly to deliver 48 one to be taken seriously delivering minutes of ear candy. Michael a rock/ pop rock sound quality Arundel’s guitar work is quite a that is rare to pull off to such a pleasure to behold as well.

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The performances on this album sound very tightly knit as well and makes me wonder what they sound like live, something to try and check out this year! The band must surely be getting ready to release new material soon, and I for one will be waiting to hear what Crash In Clouds come up with next. If you are unfamiliar with this band I seriously suggest you check them out, you won’t be disappointed.


Tygers Of Pan Tang

Tyger Sessions: The First Wave

Record Label

Skol Records

Release Date

28 February 2015

Reviewer

Phil Kane

Highlight

Hellbound

‘Tygers Sessions: The First Wave’ is actually a reissue of two EPs. In 2010, after a lot of cajoling, the Tygers decided to return to the ‘Wild Cat’ album and celebrate the 30th anniversary of its release by rerecording six of Robb Wier's favourite tracks. These were released as ‘The Wildcat Sessions’ EP. In 2011, the band did the same again for the ‘Spellbound’ album, releasing 'The Spellbound Sessions’ EP. Both were put out independently through the band’s web site and fan club, both limited to 1000 copies apiece and of course, both sold out pretty sharpish. Now they have been gathered together for the first time by Skol Records, given a hefty repackaging, and again limited to a 1000 copy run (well done. See what I mean about the questionable business acumen?).

an absolute metal blast, bloody great. Oh, you can hear the naive formative first steps in there, especially on the ‘Wild Cat’ material, but it sounds so fucking motoring; no beer belly pub rock stodge here, ‘Suzie Smiled’ and ‘Gangland’ especially benefitting from the redux, ‘Hellbound’ is a corker. The big thing is the vocals, courtesy of one Jacopo Meille; what a voice. A little Percy Plant, ‘Don’t Stop By’, a bit Lenny Wolf, ‘Mirror’, gutsy as hell. Deverill was good, but this Italian is the mutt’s nuts, giving a whole new dimension to the material, especially that originally sung by Cox, ‘Don't Touch Me There’ for instance. That's not to say the rest of the band aren't good, they most certainly are, ol' Robb gathering around him a top notch troupe, but Meille's performance has to be the stand out. If memory serves me right, The original material, produced by the band haven't messed about Chris Tsangarides, sounded ok, with the arrangements too much but given the modern day at all, leaving the modern treatment, and new personnel, it’s technology (using original mic

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positionings to capture the vibe of the original sessions apparently) and mind set to give it all extra heft. There are plenty of young upstarts today trying to recapture the spirit of an age long gone, but this is how it should be done; flab free, spirited. After the disappointing third album ‘Crazy Nights’, the Tygers hit pay dirt with fourth ‘The Cage ’ guitarists Fred Purser and John Sykes in town, which spawned the hit singles ‘Rendezvous’ and cover 'Love Potion No 9'. Yet, the record company stepped in again with demands for more covers, effectively shafting them to such an extent the band split. So, are there any plans for more of these anniversary EPs to celebrate the Tygers’ former glories? Dunno, but how about it Robb?


Jorn Lande & Trond Holter

Dracula Swing Of Death

Record Label

Frontiers Records

Release Date

23 January 2015

Reviewer

Rob Birtley

Highlight

Walking On Water

I’m always am a bit apprehensive about ‘Rock Operas’. Take two Norwegian stars singer Jorn Lande and guitarist Trond Holter (Teeny of Wig Wam) use the gory tale of Vlad the Impaler and add a Metal soundtrack and you get this album. The rest of the cast are Bernt Jansen – Bass, Per Morten Bergseth – Drums and Lena Fløitmoen Børresen – Duet vocals. The question is does this show bring the house down or fold after the first act?

is also the first video off the album. Jorn lets rip with a beast of a vocal, guitars match heavy but still melodic, drumming crisp and precise. The break is Celtic reminiscent of Thin Lizzie, the whole song could stand alone. Title track ‘Swing Of Death’ camps it up in a 1920’s flapper style and reminds me of ‘The Rocky Horror Show’ of which I’m not a fan. ‘Masquerade Ball’ is another scene setter. Starting with piano and Jorn in mellow mode then the mood darkens. There is something The curtain rises with ‘Hands of ‘Phantom of the Opera’ about it Your God’. It’s a narrative funeral and gets equally corny when you march of a song done in Jorn’s hear the lip smacking vampire’s trademark blues heavy mid-tempo kiss. ‘Save Me’ is the first of the Metal. ‘Walking On Water’ follows duets. For some reason Sarah

The Clan Destined

Brightman’s performance as Christine comes to mind. ‘Queen Of The Dead’ picks things up again. It has the same bounce as the recent Allan/Lande album solid metal. ‘Under The Gun’ is the best of the duets closing the show Evanescence style. I Love Jorn’s voice, the playing is great but as a whole it doesn’t work for me. Its Savatage meets ‘The Rocky Horror Show’ with added Lloyd-Webber. Moments when the music slows the cornball lyrics can be cringe worthy and it’s not something I intend revisiting soon.

In The Big Ending

Record Label

Hammerheart Records

Release Date

2 February 2015

Reviewer

Lee Walker

Highlight

A Beautiful Start To The End Of The

Martin Walkyier is a name synonymous with legendary lyrical ability be it through his work with Sabbat or as part of the true Pagan metal pioneer’s Skyclad. ‘The Clan Destined’ continue where Skyclad left off , originally put together as a demo in 2006 ‘In The Big Ending’ is now given another lease of life. As a standalone release ‘In The Big Ending’ falls somewhere between an album and a long e.p at only 6 songs long but that said when all songs on the album are simply flawless I am happy enough to overlook that.

would wonder if Martin was destined for ‘The Clan Destined’ all along, personally I remain hopeful that this release will act as a catalyst for Martin and spur him on to new releases. Simply put ‘In The Big Ending’ is a must have for all fans of folk metal.

A more philosophical person

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James Holt

Hot In The Face Of It All

Record Label

James Holt Music

Release Date

2 March 2015

Reviewer

Phil Kane

Highlight

Whatever Happened To John

James Holt is a bit of a progeny. Classically trained on the piano, guitar, and cello, a First Class BA Honours Degree in Music, he is now studying for a MA in Music Composition. Brian Eno loves him. I think it’s safe to say the future is bright for this youngster. With the exception of the first track, this is a six track EP of predominantly laid back, acoustic west coast folk. The vocal has a whiff of Dylan, the songs have a twee, very 'Going To California' vibe. Given a mandolin, 'To Go Where The Wind Blows' and the title track aren’t that far off Ian Anderson at his most charming. Basically, ‘In The Face Of It All’

would not be out of place on any modern day surfer hippy dude's playlist. The dominant acoustic work is propped up by occasional samba rhythms, a little laid back piano, the arrangements relaxed, the songs annoyingly sticking in your head. Not as remorselessly miserable as Ray Lamontagne, or as irritatingly chirpy as Newton Faulkner, ‘In the Face Of It All’ treads the middle ground of quiet introspection that isn't that bad to be honest. If you hadn't been told different you'd think it could almost be an old David Gray demo. Even the most hardened metal heads need a moment or two to just sit and ponder their navels and this makes a fair shoe gazing

Thunder

soundtrack. Yet strangely, opener ‘Whatever Happened To John?’ is cut from a very different cloth (and the one that caught the ear of Eno), suggesting James is still finding his way about. It’s the sort of rock ‘n’ roll that possesses a vaguely new age groove with its rockabilly bass, picking guitar lines and the sporadic jolt of a hefty riff in the chorus, the vocal remaining lazy in a Dylan style of things, a bluesy lonesome train harp complementing the rocking sunny groove; by far the best track on here.

Wonder Days

Record Label

earMUSIC

Release Date

16 February 2015

Reviewer

Rob Birtley

Highlight

Wonder Days

Ever have a long term relationship end in a whimper rather than a ‘Bang’? Well that’s just what it felt like in 2009 after Thunder announced they had finally called it a day. Many said the single ‘On the Radio’ was the final death knell of a band frustrated by lack of air play but I kept the faith and always thought there was unfished business between me and Thunder and I’m glad to say I was right.

opens with the title track. Shivers run down your spine from the first note and memories of Bad Company circa Straight Shooter delight your ears. This is the complete story about growing up in Rock & Roll with a soulful felt hook. ‘The Thing I Want’ is their archetypal up tempo number and reminds me a lot of ‘She’s So Fine’ yes it’s that good. ‘The Rain’ opens simply country with acoustic guitar slowing the pace. Danny delivers a vocal supreme as only he Wonder Days is the classic Thunder can the counterpoint of bass and construction of Blues, Rock and Soul guitar so simple yet so compelling. built on the solid foundations of ‘Black Water’ has a melody akin to Free, Bad Company, Deep Purple, the Kinks on one of their not so Led Zeppelin and Stevie Wonder. sunny afternoons mixed with early Encapsulating most of the best of the Foreigner, combines a definitive early 70’s/80’s, all done with a modern 70’s vibe and exquisite guitar riff pin-sharp modern production and from Luke. The rhythm line in superb musicianship. The album ‘Prophet’ is pure Heart from

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Barracuda given a Led Zeppelin treatment a strange combination that works so well. ‘Chasing Shadows’ also has a Led Zep vibe with another fine bass line. Thunder have struck again unleashing their best release since ‘Laughing On Judgement Day’. Producing an album that would have sold by the shed load in the 70’s yet still sounds timeless, which flows seamlessly one quality track into another. Fans of the band will love it and I’m sure that’s the audience Morley, Bowes and company have targeted. ‘Love Walked In’, made me ‘A Better Man’ and took me to ‘Higher Ground’. Thunder Welcome Back it’s Wonder Days is ‘All I Ever Wanted’.


Michael Schenker’s Temple Of Rock

Spirit On A Mission

Record Label

Inakustik

Release Date

23 March 2015

Reviewer

Rob Birtley

Highlight

Something Of The Night

What can I tell you about Metal Mickey that you don’t already know? Not a lot really. This is his second album from The Temple of Rock project the line-up is Michael Schenker – Lead/Rhythm Guitars, Doogie White – Vocals, Herman Rarebell – Drums, Francis Buchholz – Bass, Wayne Findlay 7 String Guitar/Keyboards. You should also know just what sound to expect from a name-check that’s full of UFO/Scorpions/ Rainbow stalwarts so the question is does Michael’s Temple really Rock? This album finds not only White in fine voice the renascence of Schenker’s guitar pyrotechnics

also continues. The overall sound tends towards a heavier complexion, shades of Martin/Dio era Sabbath mixed with Scorpions and touches of earlier Rainbow are the order of the day. Track 7 ‘All Our Yesterday’s’ sums it up an early solid Sabbath beat, fine Dio’esque vocal, a lyric of mixed metaphors RJD would have been proud of topped off with a sweet solo. You’ve heard bits of it before in other places but it’s done so well reminding me of ‘Children Of The Sea’ at times. ‘Vigilante Man’ opens with singing that wouldn’t have been out place on Headless Cross and the track does rekindle Martin era Sabbath memories. It’s also the first single from the album

Jared James Nichols

and has some of Michael’s best playing on it. ‘Saviour Machine’ is also in this vein. Epic in moments and has a touch of Ten in the short bridge before returning to Heavy mode. ‘Something Of The Night’ is right out of the Dio song book in his up-tempo mode. Great Vocal compliments stunning guitar. This good album comes close to great. I don’t know if it’s deliberate but after listening on monitors and headphones I have to point out the production lacks punch and dynamism which would make these fine songs and playing truly 3 ‘D’ instead of a bit flat re-mastered I’d of scored it higher.

Old Glory & The Wild Revival

Record Label

Listenable Records

Release Date

6 April 2015

Reviewer

Rob Birtley

Highlight

Playing For Keeps

Jared James Nichols, name not familiar well let’s recap. Originally from Wisconsin Jared got his first guitar aged 14, played well over 500+ gigs by the time he was 21, now turned 22 has opened for Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Derek Trucks, and Honey Boy Edwards, to name but a few. Based in Los Angeles, playfully described as a shredder his Blues/Rock/Soul stylings combine intricate guitar solos with real world lyrics and rugged vocals. The line-up is completed by the Swedish born Rhythm Section of Eriik Sandin (Bass) & Dennis Holm (drums).

than any 20 something should have pounds your earlobes. Compulsive, gripping what a start! ’Crazy’ reminds me of the Rockier moments of Danny Bryant especially in the opening. The pace slows with brooding blues licks of ‘Let You Go’. This track has the riffs of Free, a catchy chorus and Blue-eyed soul by the shovelful. ‘Can’t You Feel It?’ ups the tempo with an infectious foot-stomping bluesy shuffle. Nichols nails the vocal, live it has to be the ‘Sing-along’ track on the album. ‘Now Or Never’ is bareknuckle blues, featuring only Nichols, acoustic guitar and bass-drum/ ‘Playing For Keeps’ is the opener. A hi-hat providing the beat. Old Free/Hendrix vibe hits first then school yes just shows sometimes the vocal with more angst and grit less is more. ‘Sometimes’ uses a

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latter-day Skynryd riff (circa God and Guns), has all the Southern-fried flavour of the band’s slower songs and a guitar sound that goes down smoother than Jack. The cover of Robert Johnsons ‘Come On In My Kitchen’ is not as poignant as the Keb Mo rendition, fine effort none the less. The music closes with 2 live tracks recorded at the Viper Room the second is my highlight. This album contains a cornucopia of multifaceted soulful blues hewn riffage, the production and mix is tight and crisp. Nichols raspy blues vocal sound unforced and natural throughout. A contender to JB’s crown well may be.


Hasse Froberg & Musical Companion

HFMC

Record Label

Glassville Records

Release Date

16 March 2015

Reviewer

Phil Kane

Highlight

Pages

It’s been a long stressy day with the boss on your back for most of it, but now you are sat at home in front of a roaring fire, slippers on, a good book on yer lap, a shot of the hard stuff to hand. There’s no telly, the hatches are battened down, the storm rages on outside, coat and boots dripping dry by the back door. The dog sleeps at your feet, knackered. So what do you listen to? A bit of Yes or Gabriel’s Genesis perhaps, some Gentle Giant or Focus? Na, too demanding. Tull? No! You’ve had quite enough of the English bucolic, thank you very much. How about a bit of Floyd or Asia? Nope. Let’s try this new 'HFMC' album then, maybe it will help you decompress a little.

synths, a parping Hammond and a nostalgic upper range vocal, the odd flute, a few strings. A light sprinkle of Queen? Yep. Is there a bit of Macca in there too? Yes there is, but which one, Beatles or Wings? And where do those short moments of poignancy come from? Aha, time to recharge the glass and jolt the old grey matter into yielding those old memories.

beef up the gossamer intricacy. Yet it has charm, carrying a warm affection for its roots; a perfect introduction for those unfamiliar with the stuff wanting to dip their toe in the water.

Blasted through a decent rig 'HFMC' isn't bad to be honest. For the prog vet it may prove undemanding and unashamedly retro, comfortable in its heritage, ‘HFMC’ is something of a polite, a little bland, dreamy. smorgasbord of styles from the Lacking the lightness of touch of classic tradition of high English the past it confirms the originals prog with a few extras thrown in to still hold the high ground, still taste, Holst even. The Great Plains benefiting from the advantage of pomp prog of Kansas suddenly innovation. Certainly, none of that pops into your head. Damn, forgot book will get read, you'll be too about them; always do, busy trying to work out what is unfortunately. It's not twee, the nicked from where, so perhaps connotations of the word are too one of those old classic prog Built on jazzy, flowing solo guitar detrimental here; let's just say albums wouldn't have been a bad and piano work, ‘HFMC is strewn delicate then, though the odd idea after all. with very familiar passages and burst of Purple power does motifs. The sweeping old fashioned occasionally bumble through to

Secret Rule

Transposed Emotions

Record Label

Rocksector Records

Release Date

16 February 2015

Reviewer

Lee Walker

Highlight

I Don’t Wanna Be

Hailing from Rome, Secret Rule add an extra bit of Italian flare to the increasing ranks of Rocksector Records.

envelopes you as the futuristic symphonic sounds carry you into another dimension culminating in the addictively catchy ‘I Don’t Wanna Be’ leaving you in doubt ‘Transposed Emotions’ starts as it that ‘Transposed Emotions’ is a means to go on with a mix of must have for fans of female symphonic , almost gothic edged, fronted symphonic metal. metal with big sweeping choruses and chunky metal riffs leading to comparisons with fellow Italians Lacuna Coil particularly as both bands have female vocalists. As the album progresses the richness of the songs rapidly

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YES

Like It Is. YES At The Bristol Hippodrome

Record Label

Frontiers Records

Release Date

8 December 2014

Reviewer

Phil Kane

Highlight

Your Is No Disgrace

Ssshh, listen. Do you hear that? A distant whirring sound? That, people, is the sound of punk spinning in its grave; its mission to see the death of prog, classic rock blah blah fucking blah a complete, miserable failure. Worse, it now has to live with the fact that, really, it was/is just as bloated, hypercritical, and greedy as those it despised (some punkers even having a go in the political arena, oh the irony!). Punk’s failure has been compounded by its movers and shakers becoming bread head advertising fodder for the insurance and diary industries, whilst the big dinosaur outfits they kicked against just carry on as if nothing ever happened, getting better all the time and here to prove the point we have 'Like It Is: Yes at the Bristol Hippodrome'.

Andersons' material. Though he strains sometimes, he certainly doesn't disgrace himself. The overall musicianship is grade A+, sounding effortless, relaxed. The material itself is classic stuff, prog fests ‘Yours Is No Disgrace’, ‘Going For The One’, ‘Starship Trooper’ and ‘Parallels’ offset by the acoustic whimsy of ‘Wonderous stories’ and the country rag of ‘Clap’ already widely commented on, seventies prog that really can’t be bettered, the entire ‘Like It Is…’ literally a highlight. The jams are kept tight within the structures of the original pieces, meanderings kept close to home. It's just a pity it is not in 5.1 surround sound, but hey, it still sounds good when cranked up on a decent rig.

albums, so c'mon Frontiers, stop messing about and get yer shit together, you could've at least given us a damn code to down load the missing bit of the gig ferChristsake.

For those unfamiliar with Yes' material, don’t take any notice of the idiots on the forums. If you are a Yes vet, then you've probably already posted yer petty nit picking of an album that is, by and large, a masterpiece. You will read a lot of negative comments re the vocals. Yes, the vocals of Jon Davison and predecessor Benoit David do lack the crystal clear elfish quality of the truly unique Jon Anderson. Yes, both vocalists can be a bit pitchy. Yet fair play to them both for giving it a go and on the whole, So, we get two of Yes' classic do/did the stuff justice, certainly albums, live, in their entirety, but neither disgraced themselves ‘Like It Is’ was recorded at Bristol's where's the damn third? Why do despite the hurdles of Anderson’s Hippodrome in May 2014, where bands insist on releasing live ding bat lyrics. Jon Anderson Yes performed three albums in albums but not entire gigs? In this jumped ship years ago; get over it, their entirety; ‘Closer To The instance, we are missing the move on. Ignore the trolls and Edge’ (sadly not included here), opening ‘Closer To The Edge’ their shitty little comments. ‘Going For The One’ and ‘The Yes segment of the concert. Why? Is Album’, and what can I say ‘cept this some sort of a head fuck or is I dread to think how many live it's absolutely top notch, prog in its there a cynical money spinning albums Yes have put out over the purist form, though not the bands hidden agenda (you know, the years, I'm sure the rivet counting best live album (confusing I know, super deluxe version that will no fans will no doubt be able to tell us, but it’s true). The sound is doubt appear within the year; the then get this anyway. So really, this immaculate, the production money shot)? Or was that part of scribble is aimed more at the doesn't turn it into a studio tech the gig so bad that it was deemed casual fan, or prog novice; just get fest, hence it sounds live. Vocalist unusable (not from the reports I've it. Jon Davison does a bang up job of read)? Yes aren't exactly averse to taking on the unique Jon releasing monolithic multi disc live

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Doris Brendel and Lee Dunham Upside Down World Record Label

Sky Rocket Records

Release Date

20 April 2015

Reviewer

Nick Giles

Highlight

Life Is A Mushroom

Life is a funny old thing, when at its best it usually throws some stunning surprises at you. I have been awaiting news of the next release by Doris Brendel and Lee Dunham for some time now. This incredibly creative pair has already made a strong mark in the music world. Once again, Doris is collaborating with producer and multi-instrumentalist Lee Dunham, guitarist of rock/metal band Primary Slave, this time using an array of musicians to contribute to the progressive sound. Doris is the daughter of famed classical pianist Alfred Brendel, her distinctive vocals were the driving force behind 1990s alt-rockers The Violet Hour, who were signed to Sony when they released their now revered, classic album ‘The Fire Sermon’ in 1991. Combine all of this with the delightfully driven husky vocals delivered with true inimitable style and then you may get an inkling of what to expect. Do not be fooled and expect the unexpected as Upside Down World will take you on a sumptuous journey through a musical kaleidoscope lasting about 48 minutes. This album both explores and showcases a plethora of musical facets, Upside Down World is a thrilling ride. From the start this album nails you down and spins you around. Upside Down World kicks off with a deliciously raunchy track, The Devil Closed The Door On Me which pushes Doz’s

incredible vocals to a variety of limits and is a hard hitting dynamically delightful rock track. Every time that I hit the play button this album stops me in my tracks, it is beyond belief and utterly irresistible. The Devil Closed The Door On Me is a magnificent introduction to Upside Down World.

one of Doris Brendels previous releases, ‘The Last Adventure’. It is a beautifully flowing gentle track filled with haunting vocals and flowing melodies leading to Slap Me And You Die. This track rocks out with panache and style creating a gargantuan soundscape which is truly irresistible. This links ever so sweetly into Accessorise which is All fans and followers of Doris a track that has a slight pop edge Brendel should know to expect the to it, very reminiscent of Doris and unexpected. After the drive and Lees previous release Not Utopia. Tumbling Away then takes you into another musical journey where everything and anything is possible and this flows sweetly onto and into A Little Act Of Defiance which fires you into another deliciously rocking aural orbit. After this you are drawn into Upside Down World. This track, in context to the album, is beautifully retrospective and leads onto Still Running which carries you through the musical looking glass on a scintillating melodic voyage which leads to Life Is A Mushroom. This diverse dynamo and funky track puts all expectations in perspective. It closes this musical journey in true party style. If I had to sum up Upside Down World in on word I would use phenomenal, I have just adrenaline of the opening track placed it on top of the list for 45 second link track throws a ‘album of the decade’. Need I say delightful curveball at you and puts more, Upside Down World any expectations into perspective. creates a new benchmark in modern rock. Adored instantly reminds me of

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Core

Platform

Record Label

recordJet

Release Date

12 December 2014

Reviewer

Phil Kane

Highlight

Compliant

Core is a Swiss duo comprising one Ms Curry (b. 1982), composer, vocalist, drummer, keys tinkler and Mr Reti (b. 1964), composer, keys, guitars, bass and backing vocalist. Between them they must have at least four decades of musical experience to draw on. Coming together in 2013 to capitalise on the “…inner circle feeling of the two…” (it sez ‘ere), the pair have recorded three albums, ‘Platform’ being the third and they really should’ve known better.

produced all by themselves within an ultra-short time, using very little correction and few re-recordings”, and you can tell. The vocal is flat, the compositions just shy of plagiarised, the execution pitifully weak on sparkle or ideas; artistically bankrupt. The duo has obviously lacked the shite filter of a studio team, or anyone else who might have the bollocks to point out their shortcomings, no one to listen objectively to the final playbacks. Core would like us to think of ‘Platform’ as some sort of a I’ll not waste time beating about the progressive rock mix but in reality bush here, this album is truly woeful, it’s just the sort of nasty talentless unremittingly bad, the promo blurb porn of forlorn corporate BGT/Xfac proudly claiming ‘Platform’ was wannabes. Beyond the redemption “composed, arranged, played, of any auto correction ‘Platform’ is recorded, mixed, mastered and devoid of heart and soul, so gutless

Issa

and lacking in passion that it should in no way have been considered a viable commercial proposition at all. Poor to the point where parody blurs into profound piss take ‘Platform’ is nigh on insulting, wrong on so many levels. If you think you've got nothing better to do with eight quid, buy yer kids sumut to eat and leave Core to starve; serves ‘em right too. Any positives? Just one; ‘Platform’ is fully compliant with the commands of the eject button on the death decks. Unless you want to use the disc you’ve wasted burning it off as a target to synchronise the sights on that old Springfield ‘03 rifle you’ve just cleaned up in which case, that’s two.

Crossfire

Record Label

Frontiers Records

Release Date

20 February 2015

Reviewer

Stephen Brophy

Highlight

Raintown

Like 2012's Can't Stop release Issa's new album is a well made piece of Hard Rock with positives from the start, the title track "Crossfire" flying at you. In fact for an eleven track album the first three tracks are really very strong indeed, culminating in what is for me the standout song on the album, the exquisite duet with none other than FM's Steve Overland, "Raintown" just has a real touch of class that elevates this song to heights not too many achieve, absolutely cracking song.

it's really hard to fault this album overall, a couple of tracks don't quite hit the mark for me, but they certainly aren't sub standard. Issa and Frontiers guys have managed to do it again here, a really good quality album that manages to produce a bit of everything, not surprisingly there's strong keyboards all over the album, with production being handled by John Greatwood and James Martin (VEGA), and I'm finding this one a little less poppy and a little more rock, which in my book is never a bad thing, but at the end of the day The album continues as it started, it's another accomplished piece of other highlights being "Fight Fire work from a talented female With Rain" and the rather vocalist, on this album the Guitar, excellent "Ghost Inside My Heart", Bass and Keyboards are being

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looked after by the Martin brothers and Michael Cruise (Drums), each doing a fine job in the process. There is a maturing process with each album so the next album should be outstanding. Whether a fan of Issa's previous work or not this album has a lot going for it and is well worth a listen, with other guest appearances from Robert Sall, Steve Newman, and Pete Newdeck amongst others, hopefully we will get to see these songs getting played live over the coming year as some of these tracks will sound terrific live.


Black Whiskey

Heavy Train

Record Label

Rocksector Records

Release Date

9 February 2015

Reviewer

Phil Kane

Highlight

Hungry For Bullets

‘Heavy Train’ is a classically British riff loaded melodic biker rock album that’s good, but leaves you feeling slightly undernourished, a little unsatisfied, though as a warning shot across the bows it works a treat. There are certainly touches of The Answer, Thunder even, and echoes of Skin in there, but what would Badlands or Zak’s Pride ‘n’ Glory have done with it, or better still; Stevie Salas (Sass Jordan’s Rats? No? Tut tut, Shame on you)? If Black Whiskey could have just loosened their grip on nostalgia, especially during the first part of the album, (which, admittedly isn't that tight, but check out ‘All Seeing Eye’), there's a hell of a stomping blues rock album busting a gut to get out on ‘Heavy Train’. The initial song structures and arrangements sit a bit too close to NWOBHM at times, which sells the project and the band's obvious ability short. Unsurprisingly muscular given the history of the band, which takes in

thrash, NWOBHM, alt etc..., it’s maybe a little too direct, ‘Heavy Train’ really could do with a little more depth, a bit more light and shade to break it up, a sparkle that experience should’ve supplied. So, ‘Heavy Train’ languishes at the heavier Brit metal end of the blues spectrum (the band hails from Surrey), but it’s all there nonetheless: good songs, good playing, the big balls groove with a sympathetically restrained production, the thundering stomping riffs, and a surprisingly soulful vocal (nearer a Gillen croon than the screech of Cormac or husk of Bowes and Rodgers), ditto the flowing lead guitar work. ‘Heavy Train’ matures the deeper in you go, the funk allured to by the references less the claimed thump of Free and Zepp, more the bounce of Badlands, occasionally offset by the metal, witness ‘Stone Cold Comfort’. It’s heavy duty melodic rock done with a wink to the southern states without resorting to trite attempts at chicken scratch, an eye on the road, the title track, ‘Save

City Lights

My life’, ‘The Devil Rides’ and ‘Hungry For Bullets’ carrying the faint whiff of fresh grits on the griddle, exuding a certain soulful groove that a lot of outfits these days lack, though it does unnecessarily make life hard for itself; the bluesy ‘The Coming Storm’? Ah, for the want of a bottle neck and Dobro, they used power chords. ‘Heavy Train’ is, despite its weaknesses, just that; a juggernaut of an album that sadly won’t blow yer tits off on the first listen, if at all, yet it will likely mature with age, though probably into nothing more than a connoisseur’s lost gem. If Black Whiskey is to capitalise on the potential of the massive rocked up thumping blues sound it’s stumbled across, a producer will be needed for the second album who will bully the band into digging deep, reaching down beyond the influences and references and drag out its true character.

Acoustic EP

Record Label

InVogue Records

Release Date

13 February 2015

Reviewer

Gavin Griffiths

Highlight

Jeremy’s Song

A little over a year ago, Ohio based hardcore/pop-punk’s City Lights decided to call it a day. Each member wanted to move on and pursue different careers within the music industry, and, under no animosity, they parted ways. Vocalist Oshie Bichar however insists that despite there being no more tours, he plans to keep City Lights alive as a studio project and just recently released this; the rather simply titled ‘Acoustic EP 2’. The five tracks on offer are quaint re-recordings of songs from

earlier releases, not quite on the same level as ‘Damnesia’ by Alkaline Trio, if I’m to compare it to anything, but you get the idea. We start off with ‘The Dark Side’, which despite its name is a blissfully stripped back, jolly sounding number, although being really rather emotionally raw. ‘Truth Is’ and ‘Cold And Grey’ follow suit with they’re cute campfire style delivery, the simplicity of the acoustic approach allowing the lyrics to shine, emphasising the melancholy littered throughout each song. ‘So Much More To

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Give’ and then finally, ‘Jeremy’s Song’ end things with more of the same, wrapping up what is a sweet little EP. While it’s not pop-punk, and definitely not anything like Oshie’s current band Beartooth, it is a pleasant little collection of recordings and ultimately should satiate the fans who are still upset over the breakup.


Motor Sister

Ride

Record Label

Metal Blade Records

Release Date

10 March 2015

Reviewer

Phil kane

Highlight

Devil Wind

Much kudos to the mighty Scott Ian; instead of celebrating his birthday (his 50th) like everyone else, y'know, with the regulation booze, drugs, women blah blah blah… he decided to rope in a few thrash happy friends, the wife (obligatory), and arranged a gig at his home to resurrect a few ditties by one of his favourite bands. For added authenticity, he convinced a certain Jim Wilson, that band's guitarist/vocalist, to join in. The band in question? Mother Superior. "I wanted to cherry-pick a set list of my favourite Mother Superior songs and get these guys together and have the concert at my house," Ian says of the event. Don't matter what you think of Ian, he certainly has taste.

Iggy Pop, Mike Patton, and Queens of the Stone Age. They managed to release ten albums of their own too; busy boys. Mother Superior was a heavy blues rock outfit with class, one of America's better kept secrets. In short, the absolute dogs bollocks.

Anyway, Ian’s birthday bash resulted in this album, 'Ride'. Motor Sister (the name taken from ‘Little Motor Sister’ I suspect) had such a blast the band decided it would be a neat idea to go into the studio and try to recreate the buzz of the event. They succeeded too. 'Ride' is chunky, soulful, stomping blues rock par excellence. It sounds gritty, like a bunch of first takers should. The metallic heritage of So, who's Mother Superior? Well Motor Sister gives the riffy songs I'll tell yer, cos yers gonna need to the bollocks they need, but the know. Mother Superior was a boys still keep it deferential, check popular club outfit outta Los out the big syrupy ‘Fool Around’ Angeles between 1993 and and the glad ‘n’ greasy alt country 2011. They played a mix of heavy 'Head Hanging Low'. A good half of soul, blues and stomping riff heavy ‘Ride’ is taken up with tracks from Americana, a little alt country too. Mother Superior's finest hour, They also deputised as backing 'Moanin'', the rest lifted from band for Henry Rollins and worked earlier Mother Superior albums, as session men for U2 producer but it’s the 'Moanin'' material that Daniel Lanois, Tony Visconti, Alice shines;, the metallic 'Fork In The Cooper, Meat Loaf, Emmylou Road' and ‘Get That Girl’ and riff Harris, Sparks, Anthrax, Wayne heavy 'This Song Reminds Me Of Kramer, Lemmy, George Clinton, You' and ‘A-Hole’ in particular, but

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the rolling 'Devil Wind' dealing the killer blow, probably the best song the band ever wrote. Considering their thrash heritage, Motor Sister captures the heft and a little of Mother Superior’s subtleties admirably, maintaining the rumbling vaguely Aerosmithy spit ‘n’ lick spirit of the originals helped no end by Wilson’s voice, the songs great, the playing excellent. Yet Motor Sister hasn’t offered anything new. With the original material still easily available, 'Ride' is really just a vanity project that really should've been left, at best, a bonus disc of covers, and thus hard to weigh up. I suppose the album does shine a light on one of Americana's more obscure beefy footnotes, and if it encourages just one grebo to go hunt down MS' stuff then job done. Had ‘Ride’ been original material, it would’ve been truly impressive, immense even, a definite 8/10 at least, but it’s not; it's lazy, the opportunism vaguely insulting, hence the mark. If you are not familiar with the work of Mother Superior, then check out the original 'Moanin'' album to start with and leave 'Ride', as good as it is, to the Anthrax and Bay Area completest.


Sweet & Lynch

Only To Rise

Record Label

Frontiers Records

Release Date

23 January 2015

Reviewer

Rob Birtley

Highlight

Me Without You

Sweet & Lynch consist of Michael Sweet ( Stryper) guitar/ vocals ,legendary Shredder George Lynch (Lynch Mob, Dokken)lead guitar, James Lomenzo (Megadeth, White Lion, Black Label Society) bass and drummer Brian Tichy (Whitesnake). Put together by Serafino Perugino, President of Frontiers Music. The songs were co-written by Sweet & Lynch with Sweet producing. Expect to hear classic cuts of 70/80’s Hard Rock fashioned from the likes of Journey, Bad Company, Dokken and Stryper. ‘The Wish’ opens proceedings. From the first note the stature of these players’ towers over you. It’s exactly what you’d expect a fine

alloy of Stryper/Dokken Metal, Sweet’s vocals soaring high over Lynch’s swirling riffs. Next up is ‘Dying Rose’. Close your eye and you’re transported to Rodgers era Bad Company. ‘Love Stays’ reminds you of another Blues influenced band Mr Big with a guitar line out of the Dan Huff/Giant song book especially in the solo, the perfect Power Ballad. ‘Rescue Me’ opens with Hammond and Guitar, the Bad Co. Blues backbeat is easy to detect the harmony backing vocals transport this track out of the ordinary into the sublime. ‘Me Without You’ begins with foreplay between Lynch’s stripped-back melancholic guitar and Sweet’s plaintive vocal. The band makes a

Level 10

seamless entry and it maintains an acoustic quality until the wonderful guitar solo starts. Zippos and hankies at the ready for this one. ‘Recover’ is a fist pumping Rocker straight from the Stryper stable. Sweet uses every inch of his vocal range and Tichy powers the track along like an All American V8. The structure of ‘Divine’ owes a lot to very late Beatles with a lot better drumming than Ringo’s, you could imagine this being played on a roof somewhere in London. Great singing and Huge playing Melodic Rocking at its best I could think of a thousand like sayings to describe this album but I’ll just finish in saying you will Love it.

Chapter 1

Record Label

Frontiers Records

Release Date

23 January 2015

Reviewer

Stephen Brophy

Highlight

Cry No More

A "Project" I've been looking forward to, Level 10 consists of the major talents of Russell Allen (Symphony X, Adrenaline Mob) on vocals and Mat Sinner (Primal Fear, Sinner) on Bass, with these heavyweights it would be fair to think the band would be filled out with talent and experience, but wow, the twin attack of Alex Beyrodt (Primal Fear, Sinner) and Roland Grapow (Helloween, Masterplan) on Guitar, Randy Black (Primal Fear, Annihilator) on Drums and Alessandro Del Vecchio (Hardline, Silent Force) on Keyboards. This is definitely a SuperGroup. Russell Allen's on absolutely top

form here, one of best rock/metal vocalists of modern times, it's great to hear him cutting loose on tracks like the opener "Cry No More", it's a killer track sounding great from the start, and like the rest of the album brilliant guitar work as expected, powerful riffage, tracks like the aggressive "Blasphemy" and "Demonized" are Metal right through, while "All Hope Is Gone" a much slower more sombre affair. Twelve songs with a melodic edge and played to this quality really are hard to ignore. There are few Metal albums like this in recent times, really hope there's lots of airplay out there, and leads to more work of this standard from the sextet,

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Chapter 1 is my melodic metal album so far this year, and maybe for 2015. Extremely talented and busy musicians that have multiple bands, it would be awesome to see them Tour this material, it certainly stands tall, sit back turn up to eleven and listen, if one riff doesn't hit another will, then Russell arrives on the back of it and takes you to another place, and we haven't mentioned the rest of the music that balances it all. Thank you Level 10, Chapter 1 is going to be one of my go to albums for the year, one that makes sure nothing sticks in a rut.


Quartz

Too hot To Handle

Record Label

Skol Records

Release Date

31 January 2015

Reviewer

Phil Kane

Highlight

Love ‘Em & Run

Skol Records are hailing 'Too Hot To Handle' as a completely new release, "…a collection of 16 previously unreleased songs recorded between 1981 and 1982…", which is a bit disingenuous at best, the album basically 1983s 'Against All Odds' minus 'The Wake' and ‘Streetwalker’ (why? who knows) peppered with five genuinely unreleased session tracks from around '82/'83. My copy of the original 'Against All Odds' went west years ago, so I cannot compare therefore I'll leave the arguing of the toss to the aficionados. 'Too Hot To Handle' is English melodic hard rock given that characteristic buzzy metal edge of the period. It has melody by the ton, sharp riffs, dual lead work reminiscent of Lizzy, the heavier metallic songs like 'Madman’, 'Buried Alive' and

'Frontline', 'Hard Road' (a vague retread of 'Satan's Serenade'), 'Silver Wheels', and 'It's Hell Livin' Without You' inject speed into the Sabbath-lite grunt and the odd moment of proto doom. Quartz also tried on the American melodic rock thing for size, and finding it fitted ditched the beer belly NWOBHM stodge to some extent, sounding a little more expressive, 'Just Another Man' even tries to take on Survivor at their own pulsing pop pomp game, evoking that early 80's feel when NWOBHM was stretching out and discovering the injection of a little melody was no disgrace. Quartz’s sound was quintessentially English, unfortunately Magnum had already cornered the market in the quaintly baroque and Priest had long bent it into something far more metallic and arresting, so Quartz were doomed to fail but

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still, ‘Too Hard To Handle’ is a solid album; mature, technically competent, sophisticated. Yet, no one has bothered to do anything about the dated ham fisted production which remains a little too belt and braces even for back then; thready, weak, lacking punch, the whole affair sounding bitty like a cheap compilation. There are some great songs and excellent ideas and with a bang up remastering job and a remix with an ear for detail, these songs could've sounded massive, though the dated style of song writing may have still given the game away. With no worthwhile added value in the way of bonus tracks, no ‘Satan's Serenade’ or ‘Nantucket Sleighride’ for instance, the inquisitive might try the Anthology compilation instead, should the urge take them.


Knock Out Kaine

Rise Of The Electric Jester

Record Label

Rocksector Records

Release Date

2 March 2015

Reviewer

Rob Birtley

Highlight

Because You Were There

Lincoln-based rockers Knock Out Kaine consist of Dean Foxx: lead vocals, Danny Krash: drums, Jimmy Bohemian: lead guitar and Lee Byrne: bass guitar. Formed in 2005 the band won KERRANG!'s Best Unsigned Live Act in 2008, "Rise Of The Electric Jester" is their 2nd album. With influences such as Van Halen, Cheap Trick, AC/DC, The Wildhearts, Steelheart, Motley Crue and Aerosmith expect to hear a lot of Good Time Bluesy/Dirty Rock and Roll.

Brady of HellYeah! The rest of the band is ‘Tight’ and Dean Foxx’s vocal rips out in Vince Neil style. ‘Fire And Smoke’ is more Bluesy and grinds along nicely from the start with the groove of Aerosmith. ‘How Would I Know’ has a piano line like something recorded at Abbey Road with a sixties Beatles/Cheap Trick vibe that’s also found in a number of Wildhearts song. ‘Diamond Blue’ is also out of the Cheap Trick play book especially in the harmonies. ‘Ain't Your Kind’, ‘Boxes’ and ‘One More For The Road’ are righteous The opener is ’16 Grams of Heart rockers with thumping rhythms Attack’ it’s also the freebie single and solid hooks that will be live and features a trademark solo by favourites in the future. ‘Flying guest lead guitarist Christian Blind’ is a stadium anthem which,

Nocturnalia

in a world of playlist free radio, would be a major hit single. ‘Because You Were There’ has a touch of G’N’R slower countrified songs about it, yes this is the slow one and lighters in the air moment. This isn’t an album to analyse over regardless of its clever lyrics, tight playing and many influences. Just make sure the fridge is well stocked, you’ve switched off the phone and drawn the blinds, and then kick right back and turn the volume up all the way and enjoy. I’m damn sure that’s just what the band intended and they’ve succeeded 110%.

Above Below Within

Record Label

Gaphals

Release Date

23 March 2015

Reviewer

Rob Birtley

Highlight

Lady Of The Woods

Nocturnalia were known as Nocturnal, (not to be confused with the German Black/Thrash Metal band), is a 5 piece from Linköping Sweden. The line-up is Dennis – Drums, Linus – Vocals, Martin – Bass, Kalle – Guitar and Linus – Guitar. Their sound is described as a mix of Stoner, Psychedelic Rock, Southern Rock and Blues. Above Below Within is their second studio album. The album opens with the acoustic piano number ‘Vandringen’ it has a distant rumbling in the background like a rocket engine and could have been plucked from the soundtrack of 2001. This mood is shattered by Fuzzy 70’s guitars/solos with

psychedelic vibe of ‘Within His Lies’ best described as Melodic Hawkwind even down to the distant/distorted vocal mix. ‘The Watchman’ also opens Sci-Fi then goes off on a tangent in a Rush type of way, still the singing is in a strange part of the mix far-off and vague. ‘Lady Of The Woods’ has a ‘Wish You Were Here’ quality. Thankfully the vocal is more prominent and it has a Gilmore-esque guitar solo and keyboards to match. ‘Sing My Soul To Sleep’ has a nice bass line and an odd Blues/Stoner feel once again remote vocal and the Hawkwind overtones. It ends with strange industrial sounds like the thudding of air-conditioning

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working overtime. The last track ‘Towards The End’ restores some sanity heading back towards the Floyd sound. I have to admit Nocturnalia have left me bewildered with this release. At times it makes sense at others it makes as much sense as the legendary ‘Spinal Tap’ album ‘Jazz Odyssey’. I believe the band have mixed and produced the album themselves which in hindsight was a mistake. Yes they can play, yes the singer can sing but most of the time it sounds like he’s busking at the wrong end of a long subway tunnel. I’m afraid I can recommend this one except for curiosity value.


Talon

Fourplay

Record Label

Escape Music

Release Date

20 March 2015

Reviewer

Phil Kane

Highlight

Holly Wood

Oh fucking hell yeah, when you've gorged yersel’ on retro NWOBHM and doomy stoner psych (ugh! Terrible word), had your fill of metal’s muscle men and the demon tormentors, ‘Fourplay’ blows onto your death deck like a warm summer’s breeze. Talon was born from the ashes of Voxen (nope, I dunno either), and since its formation in 2002 has now released four albums, five if you count the ‘Fire In Your Soul’ (a two disc bonus heavy reissue of their debut). With singer Michael O'Mara returned to the fold, Talon have got their mojo back and popped off an energetic fire cracker of an album that is unashamedly 80s melodic metal.

keynote subtlety. It's muscle bound west coast melodic hard rock that says fuck you to the Swedes; at last, the Yankie response. Hell, ‘Fourplay’ even had my neighbours asking what the hell I was listening to (much to my displeasure). There isn't a bad track, you could dip in and find a gem anywhere. If you prefer more melody and less grunt, slip on ‘Raise ‘Em High’, ‘Sin City Sister’, the semi acoustic ‘I Don't Wanna Cry’ and ‘Set Me Free’. For those partial to a bit more kick, try 'Holly Would', ' Evil', 'Spun' and 'There Ain't Nothin' In The World Like A Rockin' Band' (which very nearly got the nod for album highlight), 'Love Is Like A Drug To Me' too. To be fair, the whole album has plenty of poke, even the superficial ‘Fourplay’ is thumping guitar driven fluff of obligatory ballad 'Tonight' American AOR in the true tradition of masks a bit of a wallop. The only the genre, a must have for every fan’s niggle is the bass; it bops and bobbles go-to CD shelf. The guitars are big, about underneath the melody, which the soloing surprisingly spritely is fine, but just occasionally you'll be without too much shred, the vocals wishing Phil Keller would just put his strong and clear, the production head down and lay on a proper keeping the grunt without losing the grumbling rumble to really underpin it

Lykaion

all, rather than the funky throb he favours; with its big chorus ‘It's A Fine Line Between Love And Lust’ would’ve benefitted hugely. On saying that, ‘Fourplay’ remains an album for those who are partial to a fist punching two guitar attack AOR whilst grinding those hips, having a bloody good blast. Of course, this sort of muscular AOR isn't new, it’s been used more than a few times to resurrect not a few flagging careers, a lot of new ones too, and with ‘Fourplay’ Talon give those gnarly old veterans and younger upstarts a fair run for their money. ‘Fourplay’ motors with a gritty sensuality that really belongs on the death deck of a big winged open topped car cruising a desert highway on a sultry evening, yer bird hanging her tits over the windshield, hair flowing in the slipstream, after going south. Oh dear Lordy, have mercy on this poor man's mortal soul but this album sounds that good.

Heavy Lullabies

Record Label

Bakerteam Records

Release Date

20 February 2015

Reviewer

Gavin Griffiths

Highlight

End Of Time

Read this brief description -‘It’s like listening to Bon Jovi who have been drunk and suddenly start playing like Megadeth’ – now that’s either utterly brilliant, or a complete nightmare…luckily, we’re able to find out, because it supposedly sums up Roma based metal outfit Lykaion very well. With a love of all things heavy, and a tendency for the more gothic inspired touches of Sentenced and Nevermore, they’ve offered up their newest album; ‘Heavy Lullabies’. Opening up with the main title

track, it’s a slow brooding instrumental, bleak without sounding depressing, before the album gets properly started with ‘For Love’. A drastic change of pace; some straight-up hard riffs, with the Sentenced influence and style clear as day in Alessandro Sforza’s vocals; abrasive for the most part, almost pained. ‘I Don’t Love You Anymore’ is a lovely thought-out power ballad that’s sadly stripped however, of any emotion by the afore-mentioned vocals, which by contrast is the opposite for tracks such as ‘End Of

61

Time’ and ‘Out Of My Heart’, some great melodic hard rock here, before we end up on ‘Till’ The End’, another slow burner. Ultimately Lykaion are a mixed bag that’ll please a small demographic; they’ve got the combination of metal and hard rock nailed, they’ve got the well placed melodies and subtle notes of gothic-rock, fans of the likes of Poisonblack will very much enjoy it for example, but other than that, this isn’t going to revive the genre, despite some very promising moments.


Spiders

Shake Electric

Record Label

Spinefarm Records

Release Date

24 November 2014

Reviewer

Stephen Brophy

Highlight

Give Up The Fight

Spiders have been on my radar since the time I really started getting into fellow Swedes Graveyard, 2011. "Fraction", a single that year, just got in my head, took a hold and wouldn't let go. Ann-Sofie's smoky vocals and a groove born in the 70's that just suits these guys down to the ground. 2012's debut album release Flash Point was very good, and now we have the follow up Shake Electric, and to be honest it's nothing earth shatteringly new, but it never was going to be, nor would you want it to be. Ten solid bluesy Rock songs, rhythm let by solid drumming, wonderful bass runs all over the

place and at times some really nice guitar work or the odd harmonica thrown in for good method. and there's never anything wrong with good musicians making classy sounding rock music. Tracks like "Shake Electric", "Back On The Streets" and "Give Up The Fight" are the stand out tracks here, but there's a working groove all over the album, with some little differences added here and there, like additional backing vocals, or some harmonica, all adds to shape songs a different way which helps to blend a fine album. Shake Electric's more an album you listen to a number of times before it really sinks in and gets you, where

Ancient Rites

Flash Point was more immediate, but this is a better album. Introducing a track like "Hard Times" brings a different element to their work, possibly a more simple song, but excellent and changes the pace up nicely following the rock orientated "Give Up The Fight", there's a development in their sound, but not drastic changes, just subtlety in the changes, Spiders are a band that not many of my friends have heard about, hopefully word's breaking out following this release and they get more European dates in 2015, excellent band well worth checking out.

Laguz

Record Label

Massacre Records

Release Date

20 February 2015

Reviewer

Stephen Brophy

Highlight

Under The Sign

Ancient Rites are one of those bands that never seem to get mentioned in the same breath as their peers. They have never been prolific or sought the limelight too much, but there has always been something interesting about them, certainly not a straightforward or bland dark metal band. Laguz is only their sixth studio album. Laguz is the follow up release to 2006's Rubicon, which I really enjoyed, and we still have a lot of the same elements in the new album, lots of keyboards and orchestral accompaniment in the intro's, with keyboards as usual being very prevalent throughout certainly at least sharing the

limelight with guitars and drums. In places still almost a mix of folk metal and a more extreme darker side at times. Overall I think Laguz is not as heavy as some of it's predecessors and maybe over time it will grow on me more, but initially certainly it's not grabbed me in the same way, that's not to say that it doesn't have it's positives, tracks like "Under The Sign" or "Von Gott" where the dual vocal assault works really well, as I think it does anywhere it is used in the album, in fact it is in these more aggressive tracks that you are drawn in more. Also "Mind" is quite excellent, a song where they

62

manage to create the atmospheric drama they seek. At times, as I have found before with their music the introductions can dominate a little bit too much, yes they can provide an epic lead into a track, but every now and then it's nice to have the meat of the song accessible straight away. Still a very solid album and hopefully the follow up will not take another seven years.


Ruby The Hatchet

Valley Of The Snake

Record Label

Tee Pee Records

Release Date

24 February 2015

Reviewer

Phil Kane

Highlight

Valley Of The Snake

They use the minor chord progressions of Sabbath to give us a record of dark, doomy, vampish rock that would probably be very popular on the disco decks down in the basement of the Hotel California. Booked out but can't leave? Fuck it, let's groove to Ruby The Hatchet.

that extra something to set it apart want to call this album heavy psych from the hundreds of other doomy (ugh) rock; the sort of stuff that female fronted outfits out there. needs a hallucinogenic to fully appreciate, and they’d be right, it is. ‘Valley Of The Snake’ smacks of obscure early seventies leaden The whole thing sounds a bit too rock, a for-connoisseurs-only proto two dimensional, making a highlight metal that the Ebay mob pay hard to pick out, a bit too several hundred pounds for. Riff reverential of the doomy Sabbath heavy doomy blues rock that tries inspired retro plod. That is until the Blue Cheer, Sabbath, Heep, to crank it up without sounding too last track, ‘Valley Of The Snake’, Rooster, yep, this Philly lot have contrived, and on the whole when the electric bludgeon is done their homework. Doomy as managing the trick; just. A spindly swapped temporarily for a more fuck, especially 'Tomorrow Never Hammer Horror keyboard gives acoustic west coast tripped out folk Comes' (which very nearly got the the whole affair a psychedelic groove, initially at least. That's nod here), darker than a witches danse macabre air, the buzzy when the band demonstrate their gusset, they've thrown in a female guitar molasses thick, the drums abilities, finally exhibit a bit of light vocal to give it that extra twist. suitably muted, the production just and shade, allowing a little of an Thankfully, Jillian Taylor resists the this side of righteously murky. eastern promise this album craves, urge to flip into screaming harpy ‘Valley Of The Snake’ perpetually a bit of flower child mode and sticks gracefully to a mid threatens to flip into droning trancy experimentalism to shine through, range, drugged out, Grace Slick space rock territory. With no track albeit briefly; the slide and acoustic croon that shoved through an echo weighing in at less than five work, the slow build giving the track box sounds quite impressive. The minutes, all six are obvious power and depth, the subtle flute girl can't sing the blues, but hey, candidates for the extended wig making you wonder what else the neither could Slick. On the whole, out treatment on stage when Ms band can do. Maybe next time, eh? the extra effort to hone the sound Taylor requires the powder room. has paid off, though it still lacks Rock's intelligencia will chance

The Crunch

Neon Madonna

Record Label

Cargo Record

Release Date

23 March 2015

Reviewer

Lee Walker

Highlight

Neon Madonna

‘Neon Madonna’ came as a bit of a surprise to me. When it popped up unannounced. My first thoughts was that it reminded me of The Clash with its mix of old school punk meets almost reggae and its catchy radio friendly choruses.

Crunch are frontman Sulo Karlsson (Diamond Dogs), guitarist Mick Geggus (Cockney Rejects), bassist Dave Tregunna (Sham 69 / Lords of the New Church) and drummer Terry Chimes (The Clash).

When I scanned though the bio it made a lot of sense when I saw who The Crunch actually was and which bands they were associated with. In no particular order The

The only fault that I can find with the single is that it is just that – a one track single, however the album that it is taken from is just around the corner so there is no

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excuse for not trying it out.


Emigrate

Silent SO Long

Record Label

Vertigo

Release Date

17 November 2014

Reviewer

Phil Kane

Highlight

Faust

Let’s get the obvious out of the way first for those who don't know (and if not, why not?), shall we? Emigrate is the baby of Rammstein's guitarist Richard Zven Kruspe. When the mighty Rammstein is idle for too long, ol' Richard reactivates the Emigrate sleepers and knocks out something just to keep those fingers nimble, the mind busy, and always a treat. Yet if you think this is just a side project that apes the Rammstein formula, then y'all can think again; it's big and brash, heavy duty electronic enhanced metal dance music that has a more commercial slant, a less sinister S&M atmosphere. So, 'Silent So Long': and they have been too, seven years since debut 'Emigrate' graced us with its presence and while the first album was obviously an excuse for Kruspe to scratch an itch, 'Silent So Long' pushes things a bit further, mixes things up a bit, experiments, the album's range quite broad, though ‘Rainbow’ still recalls the memory. He's also managed to rope in a few of his buddies to cover the mic, amongst them Lemmy, Marylin Manson, and Korn's Jonathan Davis. In fact, with the rest of the band, Rich has gathered around himself a pretty

sophisticated bunch of tech heads, performance artistes, and musicians. The mix of Teutonic metal and industrial techno electronica is sweeping in its grandeur, the general overriding feel dark, almost apocalyptic, the album a master class in reigning in ideas, using just what is needed. The English lyrics (and let's face it, with the same lyrics in German, the effect is almost martial. Rammstein could make a lullaby sound like a death threat) and guest vocalists lend the groove an almost sexual slant; svelte, brooding, hot. Oh, the substantial stomping metal chassis and accompanying grunt is there, like on ‘My Pleasure’ and ‘Eat You Alive’, but the band use it to hang its more experimental urges with quite brilliant effect; 'Happy Times' and 'Hypothetical' with their industrial techno gilding of the old Zepp lilly, 'Get Down' with its early hours underground drum 'n' bass erotic club mix groove which makes its pummelling finale all the more punchy, the Teutonic take on the old Motorhead thing on 'Rock City', with Lemmy’s help. Then there's the hip grinding joy of the title track with its big sassy heavy blues riff. In fact the experimenting, whilst nowhere near heavy handed, serves well to

64

make the metal, er, more metallic; not just the sound of industrial drop hammers working through the night, but the sound of industrial drop hammers working through the night controlled by androids; precise, perfectly synchronised, banging; 'Faust'! The sound of metal being dragged kicking and screaming into the modern era; metal for the digital age. The Rammstein aficionado will chance love it but if you find their thing a little too brutal, then 'Silent So Long' may prove a better proposition with its dancy commercial take on the Teutonic industrial. Is it better than the first album? Some would say so. It's certainly more assured, confident, but it’s too different a take on the same theme to say for sure. Down to what mood yer in I suppose. Ironically, despite an increased accessibility, 'Silent So Long' doesn't seem to have fared as well as its predecessor chart wise, which is a bit puzzling, but hey, don't let that put you off. If you want to find out just what a metal band that isn't afraid to fiddle with things a bit sounds like, get this exceptional piece of work.


The Order Of Apollyon

The Sword And The Dagger

Record Label

Listenable Records

Release Date

16 February 2015

Reviewer

Stephen Brophy

Highlight

Our Flowers Are The Swords And The

The Sword And The Dagger is the second album from French Black/ Death Metal band The Order Of Apollyon. There have been some changes in lineup since The Flesh was released in 2011 and only B.S.T. remains leading the band from that era. So with a fresh band what do we expect from a new release ?

it. Thankfully this isn't just an aimless blast fest, the underlying religious theme's actually work very well with the music that's produced here, the only thing that I just don't find adding to this album is the chanted Intro track "Own The Youth", which as with a lot of Into's these days I just find a little pointless, almost added because everyone in the genre does it, it's Well once again musically it's very even more out of place when strong, with lots of different leading into such an excellent nuances, some killer riffs and track as "Hatred Over Will", which intelligent patches of melody just tries to pull your insides out added to tracks when it makes and the wailing guitars attack what sense, take "The Curse Is Poured they've left behind, excellent Upon Them" as an example, still an opener. aggressive song, but definitely a melodic element running through

Devast

What The Order Of Apollyion manage to do really well, and better than most of their peers is to employ really worthwhile and well thought out tempo changes and style mixes in their music, you can pick out all sorts of stuff here, elements of Thrash, Death and Black Metal but used wisely for the sake of the music, like in the excellent "Our Flowers Are The Sword And The Dagger". In reality this is an eight song album, but excellent when the foot is on the accelerator. Keep your eyes open for this release, and I'm sure there's more to come from these guys.

Into Decimated Reality

Record Label

Gore House Productions

Release Date

9 March 2015

Reviewer

Stephen Brophy

Highlight

Dismembered Alive With Extreme Violence

If you are looking for fluffy bunnies and angelic voices then Devast are definitely not for you, but if you are looking for extreme, relentless aggressive Death Metal then you have definitely come to the right place. After a six year hiatus Algeria's Devast are back, have relocated to South America and have a new album Into Decimated Reality. This has definitely hit the spot, absolutely relentless, it's quite different to their first release, 2008's Art Of Extermination and a much better album, production is far better and it's a little bit more accessible. The "Remains Of Human Decomposition" Intro sets the

scene nicely with human screams and garbled eerie noises leading us into eight pummelling and relentless tracks. Everything appears to have been pushed up at least a couple of notches and the experience the guys have gained and put into practice makes this seem like a new band, which in some ways they are, but the addition of Frank on drums and Markos, whose vocals are excellent throughout, one negative for me is the slightly overdone guttaral belch at the start of "Radical Excruciation Concept", it's just overdone and doesn't really add to the track throughout, still, the album version of the track is also a big step up from last years

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demo. If you are a fan of bands like Dying Fetus or Cattle Decapitation check out this one, there is more to come from this lineup, really good and dirty work, yes this is brutal stuff and sounds exactly as it should. "Dismembered Alive With Extreme Violence" is my highlight here, has a touch of thrash in the guitar work too which blends in well, Nice job Devast.


Enisferum

One Man Army

Record Label

Metal Blade Records

Release Date

23 February 2015

Reviewer

Stephen Brophy

Highlight

One Man Army

There are times when people look at Folk Metal with scorn, mockingly or just completely ignore it, well listen up, there are bands that produce and play this style of music at a brilliant level, Finland's Ensiferum are one such band, they have a great tone and when in full flight are a force to be reckoned with. One Man Army is the follow up to 2012's Unsung Heroes, which garnered mixed reviews, but wasn't quite as good as some of their earlier work, having said that trying to follow the previous release From Afar wasn't going to be an easy task. Back to the present and after a mellow

instrumental introduction Ensiferum really go on the attack with "Axe Of Judgement" which just attacks the senses immediately, yet still manages to mix in almost choral backing vocals and chanting, and then just ramps up again, excellent stuff and you are left in no doubt that this band can straddle and mix genres at ease and successfully. Highlights are the epic "Cry For The Earth Bounds" and the title track.

don't disregard them without giving this a bloody good listen, extreme vocals don't always work well with that underlying gallop, but they really make it work. and the music behind Petri Lindoos vocals is terrific, can swing from mellow through gut splitting in a moment, get this and let something different wash over you, the closer "Neito Pohjolan" may be the one thing that for some is a little too different or too straight ahead folk music, but as a band strength of conviction is important.

Ensiferum are right back on form and I for one can't wait to hear this new album live, lots of scope for these guys to once again get out and educate a new legion of fans,

I.N.C

Black Hearse Serenade

Record Label

Ferocious Records

Release Date

21 October 2014

Reviewer

Stephen Brophy

Highlight

The Lies We Devour

Formed in the late 80's, they built an impressive name, playing shows with the leading lights of the Thrash scene, sharing stages with Exodus, Megadeth and King Diamond, releasing two albums, Razorback and The Visitor, everything seemed positive, but as with many other bands the start of the 90's changed everything, label support started drying up and the guys decided to bow out of a crazy business. May have been a surprise how long it too them to get involved again, but it's now been five years since their return with the excellent Bleed The Line EP and four since their last album, Heaven Sent...Hellbound. Have to say for a band that had a twenty

year hiatus they slotted right back in without a blip and managed to sound as fresh as a group of teenagers.

and my highlight "The Lies We Devour". Only the title track for me just doesn't seem to grab me, but it's not a bad song.

I'm embarrassed having missed this release in October 2014, have been making amends by blasting this one lot and it's a belter. There's nothing overly fussy about what INC do, it's heavy, aggressive thrash with guitars sharp enough to slash you in two. INC still contains three fifths of the original lineup and I think that often helps after a long break just to pick up the batten again and rock. Highlights here include opener "Stirring The Flock" that blasts off the cobwebs, "No Turning Back"

Thrash Metal is what these guys were born to play, Gergely's vocals, the twin guitar slaughter and killer drums are great, but they never try to sound like anyone else and they still manage to maintain that air of freshness, this album is another excellent piece of work that can only lead to added anticipation for the follow up, if thrash with an edge is up your street get stuck into this.

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Heroes Charge Announces triggered entrance that opens Thrilling New Heroes, Dungeons during Campaign and Elite battles · Nightmare Mode - A wicked and Arenas expansion of Crusade with double Hit mobile game shows off loot drops hundreds of hours of fresh · Soul Stone Shop - One of content at GDC nearly a dozen specialty shops in Heroes Charge - We've the land of Kron, now run by been able to deliver an incredibly Swordmaster who replaces rich content cadence for Heroes Marshall Merchant, allows players Charge with twice monthly to trade soul stones for rare hero updates that include three new gear heroes and multiple new features · Four New Legendaries which players enjoy over extended Depths Voice, Savage One, Mystic session times, several times a and Lightning Elemental day. transform into heroes with Heroes Charge, the wildly immense power once players addictive free-to-play mobile battle reach L90 Orange and complete arena card game, announced the Legendary quests. today that it will be showing off “We've been able to deliver exciting new gameplay at the an incredibly rich content cadence Game Developers Conference for Heroes Charge with twice next week in San Francisco as a monthly updates that include featured game in "Demo Days: three new heroes and multiple Accelerated" on the Supersonic new features which players enjoy stage at Booth 942. over extended session times, Producer Jim Ngui will be on several times a day." said Jim hand to provide guided tours of Ngui. "Aiming to include the latest additions to the game. something for everyone, this On display will be just released 1.8 month's expansion features features and March’s electrifying Ancient Temple, which has a heroes: broad appeal for both new players · Lightning Spirit - Backline and veterans, as well as mage who can instantly shuttle Nightmare Mode, which is back and forth in the battlefield intended for players who have well and damage weak targets developed heroes and a stronger · Ancient Protector grasp of team compilation." Frontline supporting hero who “We’re doing it differently, possesses crowd-control, from how we’re giving away regeneration and DPS skills valuable gems, gold and stamina · Death Bringer - Frontline in-game throughout the day, to tank who can swallow down an how we’re reaching players in the enemy illusion to make himself home with TV,” said Tony Cerrato, more powerful and has an Marketing Officer of uCool, the ultimate skill that disables small independent enemies from casting any skills California-based game studio that · Ancient Temple - An exciting develops and publishes Heroes new dungeon with a randomly

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Charge. "Following the success of our Super Bowl ad, we're also thrilled to announce that we've just signed with the ESPN Networks as sponsor of Heroes Charge Halftime Report during the NCAA Basketball Championship Week, otherwise known as "Champ Week," which is the prelude to the final major tournament that begins in March. The Heroes Charge Halftime Report will air over five ESPN Networks and in over 100 conference championship tournament games for both Men's and Women's basketball. The first spot debuts during GDC!" Physical Launch of Dying Light in Europe, Asia, Africa, and Oceania | ‘Accolades Trailer’ feat. Marilyn Manson Released Dying Light is finally available as a boxed release in across Europe, Asia, Africa, and Oceania. Techland’s latest zombie title has already become a best-seller in the United States and has been reported as the fastest selling new IP in the survival horror genre. “We’ve already seen millions of players enjoying their zombie survival experience” – says Adrian Ciszewski, Game Director. “With the physical launch of the game in new territories, we hope the population of the quarantine zone will grow even more. Both announced and unannounced new content is still coming toDying Light , so our fans can rest assured we’ll keep them entertained for a long time.”


To celebrate the release and the great critical reception of the game , today Techland released a ‘Dying Light Accolades Trailer’ featuring ‘Killing Strangers’ from Marilyn Manson’s latest album ‘The Pale Emperor’. Key Features: Go Anywhere, Climb Anything – Whether you jump between rooftops, climb walls or attack foes from above, you can move around the city with ease and speed. Creative Brutality – Fight using a diverse selection of melee weapons: knives, bats, axes, as well as loud but powerful firearms. Make use of unusual weapon upgrades and construct your own tools of combat. Hunter by Day, Prey by Night – In daylight you can explore the city and search for supplies with relative ease. After nightfall, though, the zombies become much more agile and dangerous, so you have to use all available means to survive till sunrise. Mastering of the Art of War OtherSide Entertainment discusses the strategic combat in Underworld Ascendant In most fantasy RPGs, fighters are not the sharpest tools in the shed. Rather than relying on their brains, they use their ample brawn. Wading into a battle, slashing and smashing every foe in sight. Nothing wrong-headed with that style of character. Can be great fun! Underworld Ascendant welcomes players who want to play a straight up, traditional fighter character. But fighting can go much deeper than simply brawn. Finesse. The tactics of maneuvering back-and-forth with an opponent in a flowing, dynamic engagement. Mastering a weapon. Learning your opponent's weakness, then using that against them. Players who choose to focus on fighting will be able grow into masters of the art of combat. What does this mean in terms of game play? Here is one

illustrative example... [Caveat. Please understand that we are still in prototype. What is described below is our best guess at how combat will likely work well. But as we have learned from making games such as Ultima Underworld and Thief, often you discover further along in development that changes from the original design plan are needed to achieve the best gameplay. So this is just a starting point.] Romulus, a master swordsman, has just turned a corner to spy a Dire Faerie, hovering in the middle of a large and high-ceiled chamber. The Faerie has not yet noticed Romulus, so he decides on a stealthy approach to try to get close, unnoticed. Romulus closes in quickly, and is nearly on top of the Faerie before it becomes of aware of the fighter's presence. The Faerie spins and tries to fly away, but Romulus is able to land a blow to one of the Faerie's wings before it can get out of reach. The damage to the wing makes the Faerie's flight unsteady; harder for it to maneuver outside of Romulus' range. Romulus has achieved his first objective of the battle, to neutralize the Faerie's advantage of flight. Now he closes in for the kill. Since Romulus has fought Faeries before, he has learned some of their weaknesses. The game reveals this by showing a glow on the Faerie's left chest, which is especially vulnerable. Romulus closes in to try to land the killing blow... This is just one way this battle might evolve. Each battle will be fluid and dynamic, with the player having choices to make, tactics to adjust. As players master that art of warfare, they will gain new skills that layer into these choices. Some skills will make them simply deadly, but o thers will open up new tactics they can try using. It is worth highlighting that in Underworld Ascendant combat

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will not be a fast, twitch experience. Even though gameplay is played out in fluid first-person 3D, the pace will be slower than a "shooter", giving players more time to make tactical decisions. Likewise, it will not be a game about pixel precision landing of blows. Your fighter's character skill will factor into the success of landing blows, more so than your quick twitch ability. If you are role-playing a master swordsman, we want you be able to actually fight just like a master swordsman, even if you've never hefted a real sword in your life. Paired with the Improvisation Engine, combat in the game is not just about whittling away your opponent's hit points. With maneuvering, knowledge and planning the combat possibilities are practically endless, and ensure that Mages aren't the only ones who fight with flashy tricks! OtherSide Entertainment https://www.kickstarter.com/ projects/othersidegames/ underworld-ascendant

DeNA and Square Enix Unveil the Ultimate Final Fantasy Experience Final Fantasy: Record Keeper Announced for iOS, Android; Japanese Megahit Comes to North America in Spring 2015 DeNA and Square Enix (OTC: SQNXF) today announced Final Fantasy ® : Record Keeper ™, the first mobile game where players will be able to experience the complete Final Fantasy universe. Currently in development for iOS and Android, Final Fantasy: Record Keeper is the only game to let players relive favourite moments across all past Final Fantasy instalments and build a team of classic characters. Set to launch this spring, fans can pre-register at FinalFantasyRecordKeeper.com beginning today to receive updates about the game and unlock special in-game characters including Tidus from Final Fantasy X. In Final Fantasy: Record, the


entire Final Fantasy universe is at player's fingertips! Featuring an all -star cast of characters including Tidus, Lightning, and Cloud, players recruit their favourite heroes from across the entire Final Fantasy franchise to form the most dynamic team of all time. With a massive roster of characters, the possibilities are endless! Characters can each be completely customized and equipped to the fullest with iconic gear, powerful spells, summons, and hundreds of weapons to choose from. Gameplay in Final Fantasy: Record Keeper is as strategic and challenging as ever with the classic Final Fantasy Active Time Battle (ATB) system in place. Players battle their way through the most epic Final Fantasy moments, woven together for the first time on mobile with an all-new tale. Featuring skill-based interactive gameplay, players plan attacks, carefully choose tactics, and engage enemies in active time battles. " Final Fantasy: Record Keeper delivers the ultimate Final Fantasy experience for the dedicated and passionate fans of this franchise and we are excited to work with Square Enix to bring it to players worldwide this spring," said Shintaro Asako, CEO of DeNA West. "We have seen great success with Final Fantasy: Record Keeper in Japan, with over five million downloads since the game launched," said Ichiro Hazama, Producer at Square Enix. "From classic characters and iconic moments to the legendary battle system, the game is resonating with fans and mobile gamers alike." Final Fantasy: Record Keeper will be available in spring 2015 as a free download in the AppStore and Google Play. Fans can pre-register at FinalFantasyRecordKeeper.com for updates, and unlock powerful in-game content at launch.

New Mobile Game from F84 New heroes featured in the Lets You Command Epic Super- game include Captain heroes from Stan Lee’s POW! Steamhammer, a Russian strongman with a steam-powered Entertainment suit, Seer, a kid genius and Fresh from the imagination of powerful psychic, and many more. Stan Lee comes, ‘Stan Lee’s Hero Villains include Lord Hibiculus, Command’, an innovative new leader of the Dark Gnome aliens mobile game available on all iOS from Gnomulon, and Sand Witch, devices Spring 2015 an ancient mummy awakened by F84 Games a curse. (www.f84games.com) announced “At POW! Entertainment we that they are in development with always look to share new legendary comic creator Stan Lee superhero characters with our and POW! Entertainment fans in different and exciting ways, (www.powentertainment.com), to and Hero Command is the perfect bring a new superhero experience example of how we can combine to mobile devices. Stan Lee’s Hero classic Stan Lee characters with Command is an action/adventure new digital platforms,” says Gill game starring powerful new Champion, CEO of POW! heroes, villains, and even Stan Lee Entertainment. Combining F84 himself. Fans of Stan Lee will find Games proven success in the themselves at the controls as mobile game space (Survival Run they meet, play and interact with with Bear Grylls) and POW! his newest crew of super Entertainment’s influential heroes. Stan Lee’s Hero position in launching new Command will be available as a superheroes, Hero Command is “Free to Play” download on iOS sure to be an instant hit among all and Android devices March 19th ages. To learn more about the 2015. game, please visit “Fans of my classic superheroes are going to love the www.f84games.com/stanlee new characters they can play as in Hero Command,” says Stan A New Type Of Final Fantasy Lee, Chief Creative Officer at Presented In Gameplay Overview POW! Entertainment. “Plus, the Trailer For Final Fantasy Type-0 game has me as a character – Hd what more could you want!” Stan Lee’s Hero With the launch of Final Fantasy Command stars Stan Lee himself Type-0 ™ HD less than a month as the leader of Hero Command, away , Square Enix® today who gives players their released a new gameplay assignments and dispatches overview trailer featuring: heroes to save the day . As an · The history and ever-expanding game, players will environments of the war-torn discover and interact with new Kingdom of Orience; playable heroes across exciting · The fourteen brave young new scenarios released warriors of Class Zero; regularly. Players will be met with · The action-packed battle a blend of humor, action and system, with customizable magic suspense. spells; and “We’re thrilled to create an The ability to summon original hero series with a legend · fearsome monsters known as like Stan Lee. Our goal for Hero Eidolons. Command is to develop a fun and Final Fantasy Type-0 familiar experience that doesn’t HD offers a new type of Final take itself too serious. Frenetic Fantasy® experience that will action, new and exciting characters, all Free to Play.” Says captivate a new generation of players as well as long-time fans. Jeff Hardy, CEO at F84 Games.

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The new trailer can be viewed on YouTube: “A New Type of Final Fantasy” – Game Overview Video:

entertainment system and PlayStation®Vita handheld entertainment system (with Remote Play). With major patch updates including the most recent Patch 2.5 “Before the Fall,” and the upcoming major expansion, Heavensward™, Final Fantasy Xiv: A Realm Reborn offers players exciting new playable content on a regular basis. Related Links The Lodestone Square Enix also confirmed that a Official Website secret movie will be included in the Official Facebook game. The mystery-shrouded Official YouTube movie can be unlocked when a Official Twitter player meets certain requirements of the game. ‘Echo Dawn: Shattered Visions’ Now Available On iOS® Offers An Over 4 Million Registered Epic Turn-Based RPG Of Worldwide For Final Fantasy Xiv: Legendary Proportions! A Realm Reborn Unveil the world of Echo Dawn, a Square Enix Inc., today announced classic console-style RPG where that the total number of discovery, strategy and challenge registered accounts for Final Fan- are at your fingertips. Fully tasy® Xiv: A Realm Reborn® - not customize your party, stats, and including those from free trial difficulty level. Oh and in the now exceeds 4 million globally. process, you will save the world To celebrate the 4 million and be a hero of Legendary accounts, Square Enix is holding a proportions. Ninja included! free login campaign from Friday, Indie developer PixeLight February 27, 2015 (12:00 A.M. Games is excited to announce the PST) to Monday, March 9, 2015 worldwide release and availability (12:00 A.M. PST). During this of their mobile launch-game, Echo time, adventurers taking a break Dawn: Shattered Visions, now from Eorzea can once again available for download on the iOS® experience all that Final Fantasy digital app store priced at USD Xiv: A Realm Reborn has to offer - $3.99. free of charge! The longer than usual free login campaign will also give players the chance to experience the newly implemented contents of Patch 2.51, which features the highly anticipated Manderville Gold Saucer. Eligibility · Players who have previously Echo Dawn: Shattered purchased and registered Final Visions offers deep, tactical Fantasy Xiv and whose service gameplay in an epic 15-hour long account is set as inactive during fantasy RPG, in which the first the campaign period. humans face corruption and This title offers the growing ultimate destruction. Delve into a community multiple options from story of memories, blood, death, the PC to the PlayStation®4 betrayal, love, life and friendship, computer entertainment system, and all that comes with it. Be the PlayStation®3 computer challenged with turn-based

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combat that allows you to discover hundreds of abilities and equipment. Test your strategic prowess to see if you can decimate your enemies, emerge victorious, and unravel the bold and daring story. Echo Dawn: Shattered Visions offers a high level of customization. Select your party of four characters from an assortment of seven different classes such as healers and bards, and configure each character to your specific style of play. Do you want your ninja to be slow and hit for high damage? Or would you rather have a lightning fast ninja that does medium damage? Then again, maybe you just want to relax and throw shurikens so you can poison your enemies to death! The possibilities are endless, but choose wisely for your choices will determine the outcome of your battles. Out of all the abilities and items in the game, you decide what works best for your party. For each level, you choose the stats that you wish to improve for each character, and while heavy armor with lots of Stamina works well if you want a defensive style of play, others might opt for a more aggressive approach, and put the party on the line for maximum damage. Echo Dawn: Shattered Visions provides a great story, deep gameplay and 50 levels of exciting RPG action. Designed for players of all ages and experience levels, you can choose how epic of a challenge you want. Choose from one of four levels of difficulty. But that is not all. Echo Dawn features hidden boss battles to give you the ultimate challenge to test yourself. Are you prepared? Echo Dawn: Shattered Visions is available for download from here: https://itunes.apple.com/us/ app/id966063568 Journalists interested in a promo code, further information, or additional assets are welcome to contact PixeLight Games by sending an email to:


info@pixelightgames.com. Members of the press are encouraged to visit the following hotlinks for updates to this, and upcoming news about other great games by the developer: Developer Website Facebook Twitter YouTube™ Channel

A Druid's Duel Launches on Steam A game of simple rules and complex strategies! Surprise Attack Games and ThoughtShelter Games are pleased announce A Druid's Duel for Win, Mac and Linux. To understand A Druid's Duel, t ake a board game like Chess, where each piece has a set of rules that govern it. Then, add in the ability to capture, create, and destroy tiles on the board. Finally, use the captured land to generate resources to buy new pieces. Perhaps Tom Chick, professional strategy game reviewer and the big boss over at Quarter to Three summed it up best, "A wonderfully plucky exercise in territory control, chess -like simplicity, mana management, landscaping, and rampaging bears." Welcome to the Realm of Six Seasons, where the predictable cycle of nature's seasons has turned constantly since time began. But now, something is wrong. Something (or someone) is tampering with the precious Seasons, making a complete mess of the Realm. The Druids of the Esoteric Orders have long fostered this fertile landscape and tended to this delicate mystical balance. And it is up to Warren, a young druid fresh from his Esoteric Training, to discover what is causing this disastrous mixing of Seasons. A Druid’s Duel is available on Windows, Mac, and Linux via

Steam and their own website and Tank warfare becomes even more other digital stores. Find out tactical now, as the straightest more at Druid’s Duel or Steam. route isn’t necessarily the fastest one! Update 1.47 also sees the War Thunder Unleashes the "Big implementation of in-game items, Guns" in Update 1.47 which players can obtain in a number of ways, including daily Gaijin Entertainment announced login bonuses, special gifts, that Update 1.47, titled "Big winning battles and through the in Guns", for the award-winning -game store. Players can use MMO WWII online game War them immediately or store them Thunder is now live. Now War for future use. Examples include Thunder’s eight million players worldwide have access to a slew boosters for research points for individual players or for the whole of new and improved features, team, discounts for particular including map improvements, vehicles, chances to get premium graphical enhancements and planes or tanks and much more. additional armored vehicles and aircraft. To see the full list of new Wagers are special items that allow players to set some improvements and features, check out the official patchnotes. conditions (e.g. several victories in The name Big Guns signifies the row) and get a huge reward if the arrival of the biggest vehicles they succeed. Of course this is not the from WWII to War Thunder: the complete list of new features that formidable bomber B29 Update 1.47 “Big Guns” yields, as Superfortress, with a wingspan there are binocular views and larger than some modern driver cameras for more realistic airliners, and the super-heavy tank game modes, operable tank, Pz.Kpfw.VIII Maus, which weighed an incredible 188 tons. canopies for aircraft, night lights and contrails for planes and Additionally, the USSR gets the early version of the legendary Il-2 improved performance and graphics quality for low-end PCs. Sturmovik, which has the most For more details and to see the detailed armor modelling (30 complete list of new and improved individual components) on any features, please check plane in a flight sim to date and sets the new standard for future the developers blog and patchnotes. aircraft in War Thunder. Overall, 14 new planes and Check out the latest trailer: tanks join the War Thunder arsenal. Plus, with Beta-testing for the American tank line-up now complete, all players can use more than 30 US WWII tanks in high intensity battles. War Thunder ground battles become even more realistic with the addition of different terrains. Now tanks move faster over roads, but drift more and slow down when they hit mud or soil. Adding even more realism, the tanks actually slow down and start to chew up the earth, carving deep grooves in the tank’s path, and of course this off-road driving affects the vehicles’ appearance, leaving them covered in dirt and dust.

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Amaranthe March 17 London O2 Academy 19 Glasgow O2 ABC 21 Nottingham Rescue Rooms Angel Witch March 14 Dublin Voodoo Lounge 15 Belfast The Limelight 2 Architects March 09 Bristol Motion 10 Monchester The Ritz 11 Glasgow O2 ABC 12 Birmingham The Institute 13 Nottingham Rock City 14 London Roundhouse 27 Dublin The Academy 28 Belfast Oh Yeah Music Centre Ashestoangels March 26 Harlow Square 28 Manchester Satans Hollow 29 Newcastle Think Tank 31 Bridgewater Tiki Beach April 01 London Barfly Asomvel March 23 Edinburgh Bannermans 24 Kendal Bootleggers 25 Leeds Bad Apples 26 Manchester Rebellion 27 Birmingham The Firehouse 29 London The Unicorn Baby Chaos April 10 London The Barfly 18 Glasgow Stereo Cafe Black Star Riders March 10 Nottingham Rock City 11 Cambridge Corn Exchange

14 Wolverhampton Civic Hall Cancer Bats April 22 Birmingham Insititue 23 Manchester The Ritz 24 Norwich UEA 28 Newcastle University 29 Glasgow O2 ABC 30 London Forum Collisions March 2015 26 Manchester Sound Control 27 Newcastle The Globe 28 York Fibbers April 2015 03 Worthing Pangalactic Festival 04 Brighton The Green Store 05 Bournemouth The Anvil 06 Plymouth Tiki Bar 07 Southampton Joiners 08 London O2 Academy 2 Islington 10 Essex The Square Corrosion Of Conformity March 09 Nottingham Rescue Rooms 11 Bristol Bierkeller 13 London Electric Ballroom Dan Patlansky April 27 London The Boarderline 28 Sheffield Greystones 30 York Fibbers May 07 Poole Mr Kyps Dictated March 12 Dublin Fibbers 13 Limerick Dolans 14 Galway Roidin Dubh Dropkick Murpheys March 17 Dublin Vicar Street

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18 Glasgow Barrowland 19 Manchester Academy 20 Nottingham Rock City 21 London O2 Academy Brixton 22 Birmingham O2 Academy Echosmith April 22 Birmingham O2 Academy 3 23 London Dingwalls 25 Manchester Deaf Institute 26 Glasgow King Tuts Eclipse March 10 London Underworld 11 Grimsby Yardbirds 12 Edinburgh Bannermans 14 Pwllheli HRH AOR 15 Swansea The Scene 18 York Fibbers Enisferum March 24 London O2 Academy Islington Europe March 16 Bristol O2 Academy Fleetwood Mac May 27 London The O2 28 London The O2 June 08 Birmingham Genting Arena 09 Birmingham Genting Arena 12 Manchester Arena 16 Glasgow SSE Hydro 17 Glasgow SSE Hydro 22 London The O2 24 London The O2 26 London The O2 27 London O2 Arena 30 Leeds First Direct Arena July 01 Manchester Arena 04 Birmingham Genting Arena


05 Leeds First Direct Arena 08 Glasgow SSE hydro Fozzy March 13 Exeter Lemon Grove 14 Southampton 1865 15 Brighton Concorde 2 Funeral For A Friend March 14 Bournemouth Sound Circus 15 Exeter Cavern Godsized March 24 London Barfly Camden Halestorm March 09 Wolverhampton Civic Hall 10 London The Roadhouse 12 Southampton O2 Guild Hall 13 Cardiff University Great Hall 14 Manchester O2 Apollo Hardcore Superstar March 17 Nottingham Rock City Joe Satriani November 01 Manchester O2 Apollo 02 Birmingham Symphony Hall 03 Glasgow Royal Concert Hall 04 Sheffield City Hall 05 Cardiff Saint Davidâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Hall 07 Southend Cliffs Pavillion 08 Bristol Colston Hall 09 Portsmouth Guildhall 10 London Eventim Apollo Kamelot March 12 Dublin Button Factory 13 Pwllheli Hard Rock Hell 14 London O2 Academy Islington Kodaline March 09 Nottingham Rock City 10 Southampton Guild Hall 11 Norwich UAE 12 Bristol O2 Academy 14 Birmingham Institute 15 Leeds O2 Academy 16 Newcastle O2 Academy Less Than Jake March

04 Glasgow O2 Academy 05 Birmingham O2 Academy 07 Nottingham Rock City 09 London Koko 10 London Koko 12 Manchester Academy 13 Bristol O2 Academy 14 Leeds O2 Academy Lordi March 24 Exeter Lemon Grove 25 Wakefield Warehouse 23 26 Manchester Club Academy 17 Glasgow Classic Grand 29 Southampton The Moâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Clb April 01 Reading Sub 89 03 Chester Live Rooms 04 Bristol The Marble Factory 05 London O2 Academy Islington 06 Brighton Concorde 2 Lynyrd Skynard April 21 Glasgow Clyde Auditorium 22 Manchester O2 Apollo 23 London Eventim Apollo Monument April 10 Manchester Rebellion 11 Sheffield The Corporation 12 Southampton Talking Heads 14 Glasgow Audio 16 Cardiff Fuel 17 London Barfly Nickleback November 13 Sheffield Motorpoint Arena 14 Glasgow SSE Hydro 16 Newcastle Metro Radio Arena 17 Manchester Arena 19 Liverpool Echo Arena 21 Birmingham Genting Arena 22 Nottingham Capital FM Arena 24 London The SSE Arena Wembley Obliteration March 06 London Unicorn Papa Roach March 10 Bristol O2 Academy 11 Southampton O2 Guildhall 12 London Roundhouse 14 Glasgow Barrowland

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15 Manchester Academy 17 Birmingham O2 Academy 18 Nottingham Rock City 21 Belfast The Limelight Placebo March 09 Leeds O2 Academy 10 Liverpool Mountford Hall Reef March 19 London Scala 20 Liverpool O2 Academy 21 Manchester Academy 2 26 Nottingham Recue Rooms 27 Norwich Waterfront April 02 Inverness Ironworks 03 Aberdeen Garage 04 Edinburgh Liquid Rooms 05 Newcastle Riverside Royal Blood March 09 Dublin Olympia 11 Wolverhampton Civic Hall 13 London O2 Academy Brixton 14 Nottingham Rock City Satyricon April 07 Manchester Sound Control 08 London Scala Skarlett Riot March 22 Newcastle Cluny 2 Sister March 11 Edinburgh Bannermans 12 Consett Stepth 13 Pwllheli Hard Rock Hell 14 Nottingham Doghouse 15 Sutton In Ashfield The Diamond 17 London Underworld Status Quo April 20 Glasgow Royal Concert House 21 Sheffield City Hall 23 Wolverhampton Civic Hall 24 Portsmouth Guildhall 26 London Eventim Stiff Little Fingers March

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06 Bournemouth O2 Academy 18 Leeds O2 Academy Sting & Paul Simon April 10 Glasgow The SEE Hydro 12 Birmingham LG Arena 13 Manchester Phones 4 U Arena 15 London The O2 System Of A Down April 10 London SSE Arena Superfecta March 21 London Surya Texas April 18 Brighton Dome 19 Birmingham Symphony Hall 20 Salford The Lowry 22 Glasgow Royal Concert Hall 24 Dunfermline Alhambra 25 Edinburgh Queen’s Hall 27 Gateshead The Sage 28 Hull City Hall 29 Nottingham Royal Concert Hall May 01 Bath Forum 02 London Palladium 03 Margate Winter Gardens 05 Cardiff St David’s Hall 06 Reading Hexagon The Answer March 09 Manchester Academy 3 10 Leeds The Key Club 11 York Fibbers 12 Aberdeen The Lemon Tree 13 Glasgow The Garage 14 Newcastle Riverside 16 Grimsby Yardbirds 17 Liverpool Arts Club 18 Southend Chinnery’s 19 Nottingham Rescue Rooms 20 Birmingham Institute 21 Sheffield The Corporation 23 Norwich Waterfront 24 Bristol Motion 25 Brighton Concorde 2 26 London O2 Academy Islington 27 Exeter Lemon Grove 28 Southampton 1865


The Moody Blues June 06 Plymouth Pavillions 07 Cardiff St Davids Hall 08 Brighton Centre 09 Bristol Colston Hall 11 Bournemouth BIC 12 London Eventim Apollo 13 Ipswich Regent Theatre 14 Oxford New Theatre 16 Manchester O2 Apollo 17 Nottingham RCH 18 Sheffield City Hall 20 Birmingham LG 21 Liverpool Philharmonic 22 Newcastle City Hall Therapy? March 27 Bristol The Marble 28 Gloucester Guildhall 31 Brighton Concorde 2 April 01 Lodon Scala 12 Portsmouth Wedgewood 13 Cardiff The Globe 14 Reading Sub 89 16 Birmingham Rainbow Warehouse 17 Nottingham The Rescue Rooms 18 Manchester Academy 2 19 Leeds Brudenell Society Club Thunder March 12 Leeds First Direct Arena 13 Birmingham NIA 14 London Eventim Apollo Toto May 21 Glasgow Royal Concert Hall 25 Manchester O2 Apollo 26 London Eventim Apollo

U2 October 25 London The O2 26 London The O2 29 London The O2 30 London The O2 November 06 Glasgow The SSE Hydro 07 Glasgow The SSE Hydro U.D.O April 04 London O2 Academy Islington UK Subs May 14 Wolverhampton Robin 2 16 Manchester The Ritz November 27 Doncaster Leoart Uriah Heep April 25 Holmfirth The Picturedrome 26 Leamington Spa The Assembly 28 York Fibbers 29 Newcastle Riverside May 05 Southampton Engine Rooms 06 Bristol Marble Factory 08 Brighton Old Market Wednesday 13 March 10 Wolverhampton Slade Rooms 13 Glasgow Cathouse 14 Nottingham Rescue Rooms 15 Bristol Marble Factory 18 Cardiff Globe While She Sleeps April 22 Birmingham Insititue 23 Manchester The Ritz 24 Norwich UEA 28 Newcastle University 29 Glasgow O2 ABC 30 London Forum Whitechapel May 05 Manchester GB Academy White Widdow March 10 Mansfield Diamond 11 Bolton The Railway 14 Pwllheli HRH/AOR

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Firebrand's Rock & Metal Express - Issue 2  

Welcome to Issue 2 of Firebrand's Rock & Metal Express. In this month's issue we are full to the rafters of interviews of the likes of Ther...