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Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Review: Broken Down - The Other Shore

Industrial metal. It is a genre of metal that most people are introduced to by one band. Mostly by Rammstein, Fear Factory and/or Marilyn Manson eventually. Broken Down is one of the bands that you would recommend to people who try to get into industrial metal in the same rank with Rammstein. And that is not a exaggeration, because they really are that great.

If you start to listen to the album, the intro track is bass driven and the bass line leads the song, and afterwards the rest of the intro is filled by samples and some guitars that on the first take can be a little erratic and out of touch with the rest of the instruments but if you listen to it a few times it sounds very fitting.

The second song has a very different vibe. The vibe you get is more like of a reggae song than of a industrial metal song. The vocals make most of the vibe as they are very similar to a reggae singers voice, although the music is still pure industrial.

The third song has a distinct dance vibe if I dare to say it. Still the same pattern appears. The vocals and start of the song set the vibe for the song, even though the rest of the instruments in the song don't have that feel or vibe.

The fourth song is the album breaker. Not the best song but a song that brakes the pattern, because it starts like a classical music composition and it slowly descends into disharmony musically. And not in a bad way. The classical parts are something classical you would expect from a composition of classical music, then the bass starts and it descends into something more metal and the guitars at the end of the song completely fulfill the complete metal vibe of the song.

The last four songs follow the first pattern of setting the vibe. And the vibes range from some kind of pop-punk and some punk feels also. And the infusion of the various vibes with their music is perfect in the sense that you will get the vibe and that feel will not leave you even if the song is completely industrial metal in the complete sound.

The sound record quality is great. The instruments are audible and clearly heard, and the samples used in the album are also great and fit in the album and match most of the modern industrial metal in quality.

Overall Broken Dawn made a great album, one that can become the staple of the genre in future.

Written by Nikola Milošević

Official website

Final Chapter to release Legion of the Sun

Underground Symphony is proud to announce the renewal of deal with the German band Final Chapter for the release and distribution of the second album "Legions Of The Sun", after the success of the debut "The WizardQueen", published in 2004.
The line-up is composed by the leader and keyboard player Andreas M. Wimmer, the vocalist Oliver Strasser, the guitar player Michael Brettner and the drummer Michael Stein. "Legions of The Sun " is a 8 tracks power metal made in Germany, with symphonic arrangements and it will be available in January 2016, released in a limited edition in digipak packaging.
Here's the full tracklist, the Artwork and the promotional teaser.

01. Trace Of Fate
02. Sail Away
03. Garden of Fear
04. Legions of the Sun
05. Eternal Deep
06. The Key
07. The Journey
08. The Battle

Corners Of Sanctuary release "Left Scarred" video

Corners Of Sanctuary (COS) has officially released a new video for the song "Left Scarred" from their recent original album, "Metal Machine" which is now available on Metalizer Records Germany in Europe and independently through the band website for the rest of the world.

"Left Scarred" is the second single from the album and the release's first video production.

Filmed entirely in HD, the video predominately features lead singer Frankie Cross amidst an exterior Northeast Pennsylvania backdrop. "Left Scarred" was shot at historic Brooke's Mine in Nay Aug Park located within NEPA's Electric City, Scranton, PA. Scranton is also Frankie's hometown.

When asked about his experience while filming the video, Frankie had this to say, "When action is called you must immediately immerse yourself not only in the music and words but in the reality of the song core itself and stay in that mental combat zone until cut is called. "Left Scarred" is not only the title but a tapestry of horror and hope."

The video is fast paced and the edits are swift and sharp adding to the black and white motif of the song's perilous narrative. Produced by Cosmick Productions, the video was edited and directed by the independent, Philadelphia film maker Zen Say.

"It really is an amazing experience to be part of an elaborate process that makes a concept from a song come to life in the form of a music video. This medium creates another unique interpretation of the song's original meaning as well as giving the fans another form to experience the music," added guitarist Mick Michaels.

Corners of Sanctuary takes to the road in 2016 in support of Metal Machine with the "Wrecking Ball Tour". A new crowdfunding page has been created to assist in supporting the band's efforts and is now live at their official website here.

Fans' financial support is being gifted with several Official COS Metal Machine Merchandise Packages which include autographed photos and CDs, concert shirts, patches and supporters having their names listed on the COS website.

Upcoming 2016 Corners of Sanctuary shows:

Jan 2nd - The Met - Pawtucket, Rhode Island
Jan 16th - Music Rocks Autism Showcase - Live at the Nail - Ardmore, Pennsylvania
Jan 22nd - The Grog & Tankard – Stanford, Virginia
Jan 23rd - The Riff House - Chesapeake, Virginia
Jan 30th - Reverb - Reading, Pennsylvania
Mar 4th - The Maywood - Raleigh, North Carolina
Mar 5th - Memories - Waldorf, Maryland
May 13th-14th - NEPA Metal Meltdown Fest - Pittson, Pennsylvania

Official website

Blackdeath going to tour with special guest Cultus

The Blackdeath (Russia) plague returns in winter 2016, exactly one year after the big tour with Inquisition/Archgoat. This time with Cultus (The Netherlands) with a completely new live lineup as support with their first full live shows in 12 years. Only on two days both bands will play, on special request of the local organisator (The Netherlands and Czech).

Both bands will have two brand new reissues available for the first time on this tour:
Blackdeath "Totentanz" digipack
Cultus "Gezeteld in zegeruïnen" CD

The poison will be spread on these chosen days and locations:

fr 29.01 Helvete, Oberhausen, Germany (Cultus + support)
sa 30.01 OJC Maddogs, Groesbeek, The Netherlands (Cultus + support)
su 31.01 Musicon, Den Haag, The Netherlands (Cultus + Blackdeath + support)
mo 01.02 Storm Music Club, Decin, Czech Republic (Cultus + Blackdeath + support)
tu 02.02 Rock club Tartaros, Banská Bystrica, Slowakia (Blackdeath + support)
th 04.02 nArauti, Vilnius, Lithuania (Blackdeath + support)
fr 05.02 Howls Of Winter Fest, Tallinn, Estonia (Blackdeath + support)
sa 06.02 Side club, Helsinki, Finland (Blackdeath + support)

Listen to track from Blackdeath "Gift" album:

Listen to Cultus - "Tussen werelden" EP:

New music video from Amoth

Finnish progressive Metal band Amoth has released a new music video from their upcoming second album.
The album "Revenge" will be released internationally on February 19th 2016 via Inverse Records.


Monday, December 28, 2015

Stream: Helion Prime - Into The Black Hole

Official website

Stream: Bosque - Beyond

Fishing With Guns stream new album '...But The Dawn Will Come'

A few weeks after the singles "It's poutring" and then "Moshpute", French independent rock/stoner/southern-hardcore/metal outfit, Fishing With Guns just released its brand new full-length album '...But The Dawn Will Come', available right now for digital and full stream below.

A physical LP edition is currently in the pipe but in the meantime, the whole effort is also on Bandcamp and all the main legal digital platforms (Itunes, Deezer, Spotify).


Interview: Vanir

Soon Vanir will release their new album called Aldar Rök (check our review here). Time to ask them some questions! So does DutchMetalManiac's Henric van Essen.

Hello, how are you?

Fine thank you. And thanks for wanting to hear about the making of Aldar Rök!

Four releases in six years, that’s quite a release rate. Are you guys that fast, or do you simply have that many inspiration?

Good question. I guess it has to do with the fact that we love to write and record our music. That being said, we have a lot of song writers that brings a lot of cool stuff to the table and we kinda feel like, if there is a song that our crowd needs to hear! We must do what it takes to get it out there...

Releasing at that rate there’s always the risk of having to settle for less quality, how do you make sure every release lives up to a certain standard?

Every album has had its own frame when it comes to standards. Our first stuff was folky and not as perfect in the recording process as our new records which is a lot more metal focused. I guess that every album has its own criteria for what makes it good quality.

Furthermore we always write enough songs to discard the ones we don't want on an album.

How does the process of creating a release take place?

That has changed a lot from when we started. With our current lineup almost everyone comes to the table with a riff, a song or an idea, and from there we work together to finish the material . This time around we also chose to record ourselves. Sitting behind the buttons ourselves gives us a more controlled environment with the songs. There’s more time to switch back and forth between the creative process and recording process because there is a lot less time pressure. And it gives more ownership to the material as well.

Your lyrical themes, apart from mythology, are important historical events and wars. What is the reason for the choice of such often politically and religiously charged issues?

Well the historical events are because we find our Scandinavian history and lore interesting. And history in general is a cool place to find material for lyrics. The world around us is written in the blood and tears of men and women! And their stories are important to tell.

Are your lyrics historically correct, or are they your personal interpretation?

They are a little bit of both. We usually take the frame of a historical event and create a persona around it to tell the tale.

In your bio you state that you have been subject to a lot of changes in the line-up. How come?

The reason for our line-up changes has in every case been creative differences.

You also state that those changes influenced the musical style of Vanir, which is evident when you listen to your entire discography. Are you still evolving?

I think we will be in a constant process of evolving as musicians and as persons. But Aldar Rök might be the best example of what Vanir will be in the future. One thing is for sure though, we won't go backwards!

What can we expect from Vanir in both the near and the further future? For instance, do you have touring plans?

At the moment we are actually in a writing process yet again working on new material. We are planning to play some gigs in 2016/2017 but can't go into details about it just yet.

Is there anything else you would like to add or say to our readers?

We hope that you enjoy listening to the album Aldar Rök, it has been fun to record and the songs are in our opinion some of the best songs we have released to date! Keep It metal and stay strong! \m/


Sunday, December 27, 2015

Review: The Shiva Hypothesis - Promo 2015

Four guys coming from the east of The Netherlands are playing great black metal. They are called The Shiva Hypothesis and they just released their 2015 Promo containing three songs.

Starting with some slow-paced black metal, it is going fast soon. The vocals are changing from typical black metal screams to low growls, which is in my opinion a perfect combination. Speaking about changing, the instrumental part keeps changing in tempo and rhythm a lot, which makes it a little bit chaotic, but it keeps very listenable. This is some black metal for the metalhead who wants his black metal a little bit more varied than black metal usually is.

One thing I want to point out is the intro of their second song 'Praedormitium'. It starts with some vocals which are almost meditational, slowly changing in the same but with black metal vocals. Personally I think the intro is great, just as the rest of the promo.

Instrumentally it is all very nice played, especially with the tempo and rhythm changes, they still keep playing very nicely. Production-wise, it's all very nicely done. It all sounds very nice.

The Shiva Hypothesis plays some black metal in a way other than usual black metal, but in a great way. This is a very nice promo and I am looking forward to hear more of them. Very recommended to any black metal fan, but I think there are a lot of other metalheads who can also respect this. So give it a listen!

Written by Tim van Velthuysen


Lyric video: Buried Realm - The Ichor Carcinoma


Stream: Denigrate - Engraved And Hellbound


Martyr signs multiple deal for new album and management

Martyr has signed an exclusive deal with Into The LimeLight Records for their new album in combination with a worldwide promotion and publishing deal with Pure Steel Promotion and a worldwide distribution deal with Soulfood Music Distribution. As icing on the cake Martyr has also signed an exclusive management deal with Agentur EAM. The band is ready for the next step.

After one and a half years of writing new songs and a year in the studio (Jack’s Place) with producer Jack Nobelen (also responsible for the production of Circle Of 8) the new album is ready. It is a real masterpiece. Heavy, diverse, innovative but also maintaining the characteristic Martyr sound. The album includes guest appearances from:

Gert Nijboer (Highway Chile)
Nick Holleman (Vicious Rumors, Powerized, Methusalem)
Marloes Voskuil (Izegrim)
John Jaycee Cuijpers (Praying Mantis)
Andreas van Lipinski (Wolfen)

The album "You Are Next" will be released next year March/April 2016 on CD and with a special vinyl edition. The exact date will be announced soon.

Martyr: "The reason for us to choose for the Dutch Into The Limelight Records, despite the foreign interest, has to do with the good and short lines of communication as well as the fantastic label deal offer. Add to that the addition of the global promotion and publishing deal by Pure Steel, worldwide distribution from Soulfood and an attractive management deal by Agentur EAM and our choice was there. We are very happy with this deal and expect to release our new album in March/April 2016 with a grand release party."

Official website

Thursday, December 24, 2015

End of the year lists of (most of) our writers

It's Christmas Eve, so almost end of 2015.

Because of that most of DutchMetalManiac's writers are coming with their end of the year lists of albums released in 2015.

DutchMetalManiac wishes you all a very metal Christmas and we will see you soon!

Here are our end of the year lists:

Tim van Velthuysen
1. Antimatter - The Judas Table
2. Paradise Lost - The Plague Within
3. Satyricon - Live At The Opera
4. The 3rd Attempt - Born In Thorns
5. Carach Angren - This Is No Fairytale
6. Bio-Cancer - Tormenting The Innocent
7. Myrkur - M
8. Marilyn Manson - The Pale Emperor
9. Cold Snap - World War 3
10. Judas Priest - Redeemer Of Souls

Julia Obenauer
1. Amorphis - Under the red cloud
2. Enslaved - In times
3. Shapes of despair - Monotony Fields
4. Motorhead - Bad Magic
5. George Kollias - Invictus
6. Children of Bodom - I worship Chaos
7. Apocalyptica - Shadowmaker
8. Ensiferum - One man army
9. De Profundis - kingdom of the blind
10. Paradise Lost - The plague within

Nathasja Voerman
1. Lindemann, Skills in Pills
2. Marilyn Manson, The pale Emperor
3. Leaves eyes, King of Kings
4. Heidevolk, Velua
5. Xandria, Fire & Ashes
6. Powerwolf, Blessed and Possessed
7. Bring me the horizon, That's the spirit
8. Krisiun, Forged in fury
9. AHAB, The boats of the glen carrig
10. Black dahlia murder, Abysmal

Tim van der Zanden
1. Liturgy - The Ark Work
2. Raketkanon - RKTKN 2
3. The Fifth Alliance - Death Poems
4. Deafheaven - New Bermuda
5. Cirith Gorgor / Kjeld split - Unified in ceremonial worship
6. Terzij De Horde - Self
7. Panopticon - Autumn Eternal
8. Sun O))) - Kanon
9. Mgla - Exercises in futility
10. Leviathan - Scar Sighted

Henric van Essen
1. Carach Angren - This is no fairytale
2. Lacrimosa - Hoffnung
3. Scarleth - The silver lining
4. The Gentle Storm - The diary
5. Frantic Amber - Burning insight
6. Ragnaröek - Dornig
7. To Die For - Cult
8. Krayenzeit - Auf dunklen Schwingen
9. Year of the goat - The unspeakable
10. Below The Sun - Envoy

Martijn Bakker
1. Nightwish – Endless forms most beautiful
2. The Gentle Storm – The Diary
3. My dying bride –feel the misery
4. Un - The tomb of all things
5. Pentagram – Curious Volume
6. Sabbath Assembly – Sabbath Assembly
7. WILT – Moving Monoliths
8. Swallow the Sun – Songs from the North
9. Leaves’ Eyes – King of Kings
10. Moonspell – Extinct

Ahmed Winchester
1. Sirenia – The Seventh Life Path
2. Paradise Lost - The Plague Within
3. Virgin Steele - Nocturnes of Hellfire & Damnation
4. Kataklysm - Of Ghosts and Gods
5. Motörhead - Bad Magic
6. Draconian - Sovran
7. Irreversible Mechanism – Infinite Fields
8. Special Providence – Essence of Change
9. Windhand - Grief's Infernal Flower
10. Khemmis - Absolution

Glenn van der Heijden
1. Gentle Storm - The Diary
2. Nightwish - Endless Forms Most Beautiful
3. Phantasma - The Deviant Hearts
4. Melted Space - The Great Lie
5. Hollywood Vampires - Hollywood Vampires
6. Karmaflow - Karmaflow

Nikola Milošević
1. Cattle Decapitation-The Anthropocene Extinction
2. Iron Maiden - The Book Of Souls
3. Amorphis - Under the Red Cloud
4. Blind Guardian-Beyond the Red Mirror
5. Visigoth - The Revenant King
6. Claymorean-Unbroken
7. Hate Eternal-Infernus
8. Nile-What Should Not be Unearthed
9. Ensiferum-One Man Army

Joost van der Leij
1. Leviathan - Scar Sighted
2. Iron Maiden - The Book Of Souls
3. Abigail Williams - The Accuser
4. Deafheaven - New Bermuda
5. Black Tongue - The Unconquerable Dark
6. While She Sleeps - Brainwashed
7. Periphery - Juggernaut/Alpha & Omega
8. Windhand - Griefs Internal Flower
9. Cattle Decapitation - The Anthropocene Extinction
10. Machine Head - Killers & Kings

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Live review: Stahlzeit, 19 December 2015, De Bosuil, Weert, The Netherlands

Last Saturday I went to Stahlzeit, the best cover band of Rammstein. They played in the Bosuil located in Weert, the Netherlands. Stahlzeit is known for their spectacular pyro effects and the vocals of the singer Heli ReiBenweber is mostly the same as Till Lindemann's (Rammstein) voice.

The doors went open around 20:00 and in no time we were standing in the front of the stage. There was no support band so Stahlzeit began to play around 21:30. they opened with the song Reise Reise which means in English ( Travel, Travel ). On the front of the stage stood a couple of fire and confetti canons, they were so close to you that you had to back up otherwise the heat was too intense. But it definitely made the songs more pop like: Mein Herz Brennt and Wollt Ihr Das Bett In Flammen Sehen. They played also Bück Dich, with that song the keyboard player is involved as well. The singer has a fake dildo that can fire water at you and you will be soaked. The whole crowd was jumping and yelling, it was a beautiful sight. The song Pussy is mostly in English and the crowd was singing along and at the end of this song they pulled a confetti canon on stage. All the songs were performed beautifully and the instrumental was spot on.

It was a very good concert, if you like Rammstein this is a cover band for you. The band is also very friendly and will chat en take pictures with you or even on stage at some point they will interact with you. My friend that has never heard or saw Rammstein before was amazed by this performance.

Written by Nathasja Voerman

Official website

Review: Himinbjorg - Wyrd

Himinbjorg is a pagan/viking black metal band from France and a good one also. Apparently this band is active for about 15-ish years, but considering this is a underground black metal band a lot of people didn't hear of it including me.

The most fascinating thing about the band is the transitions of the songs. The intro is a kind of folkish sounding with bagpipes, almost Scottish sounding with some weird growl in French as best as I can hear. But the song after the intro is a full on black metal song, fast paced double bass and heavy riffs. And the whole album is mostly like that. And I don't mean it in a bad way, something like that is what black metal lacks sometimes.

Himinbjorg is also pushing the sound quality in black metal up a level. In general black metal is considered as the worst quality recording in metal, and it is a stereotype that ALL of black metal is like that (obviously Immortal is huge in black metal and has a very admirable quality of albums). Himinbjorg is one of the exceptions, because the quality is great, and everything has great audibility even the bass can be heard (with headphones, but still).

The vocals are sometimes unhearable, as the vocalist uses a weird technique and sometimes you can't understand what he is saying or can't understand what language he is singing in (like in the intro, I had to listen it like 5 times to understand it is French), but in general the vocals are also great and one of the better I have heard in this year.

In conclusion, Wyrd is one of the albums I would spend money to buy, and it is a great album.

Written by Nikola Milošević

Official website

Interview: Scarleth

Scarleth recently released their latest album The Silver Lining (read our review here). DutchMetalManiac's Henric van Essen asked them some questions.

Hello, how are you?

Hi! We are perfectly fine, thanks!

When I read the band’s history it becomes clear you have had a huge amount of lineup changes, more than most bands will ever encounter. How did you manage to overcome all those lineup problems and keep Scarleth going? What kept and keeps you motivated?

Well, it is not easy to continue for a long time with the band which is not commercially successful yet. That is the main reason why there were many line-up changes. But it is not my case. Scarleth was founded by me from the beginning; I just can’t let it down. I love what we are doing – it’s where motivation comes from.

You are from Ukraine, which is currently in a state of war with Russia, how did and does that influence Scarleth and its music?

This influenced the lyrics of some songs on “The Silver Lining”, for example – track called “Last Hope”. It has no direct connection with this particular war, but overall mood has this influence. Cover art of the album is another example. And the last line-up of Scarleth from Donetsk was unable to continue its activity because of the war, so the new line-up gathered together in Kiev.

Your new album is called ‘The silver lining’, what, if any at all, is the meaning behind that title?

It reflects faith and hope that war will be over soon. Second meaning is faith that the album will be a new chapter and step towards commercial success for our band.

What inspires you to write the lyrics to the songs?

Almost anything – movies, fantasy, different situations which happen every day, romantic relationship, new impressions.

When I listen to ‘The silver lining’, a great album by the way, the wide variety of styles is striking, giving me the feeling you are still searching for your final musical direction. What is the reason behind the wide variety of styles on the album?

We always like to do different things and we never see any good point in making all the songs sound the same – I think it is one of the main problems of today’s metal scene. We like to play radically different sounding songs during live performance – that is our conscious musical direction. That is what Scarleth is all about.

A substantial part of the album has been recorded by musicians that have been replaced as members of Scarleth. What is the influence of the new lineup on Scarleth and its music?
We worked with session members – and that was the only way to finish this album. That’s because of the war. New line up was not gathered at the time when band (what was left of it) moved to Kiev. Now we have new official line-up of the band which performs all the new songs live – you can check live performances on our YouTube channel.

Your live shows so far are limited to Ukraine only, what are the odds of Scarleth performing live in other countries?

We still have no reliable connection to people in Europe who can organize band’s live shows there. We are working on it – I hope the new album will help us to accomplish that.

What are your plans and wishes for Scarleth’s future?

The main goal for the band now is to visit other countries and to play live for the fans there and to promote the new CD. We also plan to release a new single and official video for it, but these are not planned for nearest future.

Is there anything you would like to say to or share with our readers?

We really hope you like and enjoy our new CD J If you have not listened to is yet – don’t delay and get yourself a copy. And stay tuned for band’s news! Thank you!

Official website

Interview: Rusty Pacemaker

A while ago Rusty Pacemaker released Ruins (read our review here). Now it's time for DutchMetalManiac's Henric van Essen to ask Rusty some questions.

Rusty Pacemaker. That is an unusual name for a band. Where does it come from?

Well, Rusty has always been my nickname long before I even started to make music . A friend of mine started to call me Rusty because of the red color of my hair. When I was thinking about a name for my musical project I just added the word ‚Pacemaker‘. I didn’t want to have a typical Doom, Gothic or whatever name. I didn’t want that someone immediately associates my name with a specific genre and I think ‘Rusty Pacemaker’ is vague enough for this purpose. I also liked the rhythm of the name as it sounds similar to ‘Lemmy Kilmister’ and it seemed as a nice word play to me. That’s the short story behind my name.

When, why and how has Rusty Pacemaker been founded?

I started to play guitar pretty late at the age of 29 in the year 2003 and only because I got a Strato imitate and a mini amp as a present. I would never even have thought me to start playing guitar that late. Nevertheless I consider that moment when I tried to get the first tones out of this guitar as the start up of my career as a musician. From the beginning on I wanted to make my own music and soon I started to work on my first songs which have been released on my debut album ‘Blackness and White Light’ in 2010. In the same year I also founded my label Solanum Records. So, officially Rusty Pacemaker came into existence in 2010. The question ‘why’ never came to my mind, it all happened so naturally, I just did. I even didn’t think about the ‘how’ you are asking me. Back then when I started to play guitar it was like if someone would open a valve and creativity started to flow. I collected instruments, recording devices, a proper software and improved my skills on my equipment over the years. I always have been driven by my creativity. I love to compose, write, record, produce and publish my music. Actually, this might be the answer to your question ‘Why’: for the love of music.

You play all instruments yourself, safe the drums, and the majority of the vocal lines are yours as well. Is there a particular reason for that? What do you like to do most? And how did you come in contact with Franz Löchinger and Lady K?

The guitar has been the first instrument I learned to play. By the way, I’m self-taught on everything. From guitar to bass playing it hasn’t been a big step or effort. That felt quite easy to me. To finish a song a singer is needed and so I just got a mic and sang. I have never been part of a local music scene so I didn’t know any other musicians and I never tried to gather some in order to found a band. I think I wouldn’t have had enough self-confidence to play in a band back then. For my first demos the drum tracks have been programmed but I was lucky to get to know Franz Löchinger after a while. He lives in the same area and we became friends. He agreed to play the drums for me what definitely honors me because he is a professional drummer and his skills on this instrument are phenomenal. Lady K is a person I know for almost a lifetime now. I love her beautiful voice and so I asked her if she wants to sing a few parts. Luckily she agreed. She is some kind of a mysterious Lady and she asked me not to give any further information about her person. What do I like to do most? The process of creation in general is extremely vitalizing and satisfying for me and I can honestly say that I like every step in this process the same. Maybe editing is something I don’t like so much as everything else. I always record three, five or even more takes. To listen through the takes, to decide which one would fit best to the rest of the material and to edit is a lot of work what exhausts and sometimes bores me. But in the end also this work leads to a satisfying result and when I‘ve finished a song it just feels good. It’s so nice to listen through the raw recordings when all takes, tracks and instruments harmonize so very well.

Ruins, as the title suggests, is a dark, at times somewhat depressing sounding album. What has inspired you to make Ruins the album it is? And why did you choose this genre of music to be your focal point?

It has never been a question of choosing a specific genre. I don’t care about genres anyway. I follow my intention when composing. I would like to give feelings a transportable form so that the consumer, the listener is being touched by my music. This is what art is all about in my opinion. Nevertheless I am a fan of heavy music since my early childhood. As most Metal fans of my age I started to listen to bands like Sabbath, Ozzy, Priest, Saxon or Motörhead. Later I discovered bands like Tiamat, Moonspell, Bathory, Lake of Tears or Cemetary for example. I always liked the dark and melancholic tunes of bands like I named you. Consequently my musical taste leads to a similar sound of my own creations. That’s unavoidable, I think. I totally agree with you that ‘ruins’ is a dark and maybe sometimes depressing album although I would prefer to say melancholic than depressing. I don’t consider melancholy as a negative feeling. It is a very intimate, yet positive feeling whereas depression is a negative, destructive feeling. And for me melancholy and music is a wonderful combination. When I write songs I actually deal with this melancholy and also with pessimistic thoughts. My songs are about greed, fear and the dark sides in our human souls. But in fact I would like to make the world a better place this way. I point out what's going wrong, I write about fear and these negative feelings which we all have in ourselves. And I hope that the listener is able to reflect on that and to reflect on his own feelings and consequently tries to do things differently.

What is your favorite song on Ruins and why?

To be honest I don’t have any favorites among my songs. If I would have favorites it would mean that I like other songs less and that‘s just not the case. I put so much work and passion in each and every song, you know. I also have different memories to each song and so an individual relationship to every song has developed and this makes it some kind of impossible for me to prefer one to any other.

Are there plans for touring? If so, what countries or even continents will you be playing?

I never performed live and I’m afraid it won’t happen in the near future. Rusty Pacemaker is a studio project and I don’t tour for several reasons which I don’t want to discuss here at this point as most of the reasons are of private nature. On the other hand, never say never and I want to be open minded to everything what could happen. If there are fans out there who want me to play live maybe I’m gonna hit the stage one day.

Are you working on new material? If so, is it along the lines of ‘Ruins’ or is it a completely different genre you’re exploring?

At the moment I’m still doing a lot of label and promotional work. But soon I want to finish the promotion of ‘ruins’ as the album is out for about half a year now. I am looking forward to be back on the guitar and write new songs as I am just too curious of how my new songs will sound like. I already have a lot of ideas and I even recorded some material yet although I haven’t got a song finished by now. I also wrote down some lyrics and I can’t wait to try out the vocal lines. There is only one song which can be considered as half finished so far. It is called ‘heavenly dark’ and this one is in fact along the lines of ‘ruins’ though it offers some new elements as well. As I told you before I truly don’t care about genres. Furthermore when composing it often feels like if I don’t have very much control over my songwriting anyway. I consider ‘ruins’ as very diversified. ‘ocean of life’ is completely different to ‘candlemess’ and ‘night angel’ totally different to ‘made of lies’ for example. My music is full of variations and features different styles in my opinion. In this sense, my future music will be quite similar, full of variations and surprising but typical Rusty Pacemaker style.

How do you see Rusty Pacemaker ten years from now? Will you have the same one-man lineup with guest appearances? Do you see yourself evolve?

It would be very nice to see the future, wouldn’t it? Life is what happens while you make other plans and ten years is quite a long time. I love to compose and write songs and it’s an amazing feeling to be creative and to share my creations with you and the whole world. This is what motivates me to move on and work hard on my next album. You know, I do all this beside my regular job and beside having a family. Often I’d love to have some more time left for my musical career but at the same time I’m grateful that I have the possibility to be creative and to live this dream. It’s nothing what should be taken for granted. I hope to come up with a new album soon but I will take all the time I need for the process of creation and that’s why I just can’t tell you when my third album will be released. But one thing seems pretty sure to me and that is that there will be a new Rusty Pacemaker album in the future.

Is there anything left you would like to share with us?

First of all I would like to thank you for this interview. I also would like to thank all the readers who have come to this point and read these words right now. Since I am part of this crazy music industry I got an impression of how hard labels and bands struggle to survive nowadays. I would like to encourage the fans to buy a physical album if they like the music and not to download or copy mp3s without paying for it. Music and art are precious and of high importance for our society and must be supported. Stay dark.

Official website

Review: Vanir - Aldar rök

Vanir is a six man outfit from Denmark, releasing their fourth full-length album since the band came to existence in 2009. During those six years quite a few changes in personnel have taken place, converting Vanir’s music style as they came and went. Over the years they have evolved from folk metal complete with associated (semi-)acoustic instruments to more death metal oriented Viking metal. Despite the fact most folk elements have disappeared from Vanir’s music, there is one aspect from folk they certainly did not abandon, and that is lyrical themes. With folk metal comes, almost mandatory, mythology as lyrical theme, and Vanir are no exception to that unwritten rule. However, they do not stick to just mythology, their lyrics also cover important historical events and wars. Although the lyrics are hard to decipher at times due to the grunting vocals, which are great I might add, the song titles are pretty much self-explanatory when it comes to the lyrical themes.

Vanir wastes no time making clear they have strayed from the folky path they had chosen in the beginning. Aldar rök opens with ‘Black legion’, a song with strong black metal influences. The ominous intro, the haunting choirs and keys (played by Stefan Dujardin), the excellent drum lines by Daniel Kronskov, the raw vocals by Martin Håkan, all these elements merge into a song that will echo in the back of your head for quite some time. ‘Pretorian’, the next song, is almost the complete opposite of its predecessor and shows the viking side of Vanir. The dark atmosphere has been ditched in favor of a more clear sound adding a victory song kind of feel to it. With a repeating, pleasant guitar riff, a decent solo and, again, Håkan’s grunts this song is exactly what I’d imagine a viking metal song should sound like. Energetic, boosting, preparing you to enter any battle with a grin of determination and invincibility on your face. It’s a good thing we don’t live in the middle ages anymore…

They hang on to the viking style for some more with ‘Unrepentant’, which has some distinct death metal elements like the rhythm section and the riffs, and ‘Broken throne’, a slightly slower paced song with great guitar work by, I assume, both guitarists, Kirk Backarach and Philip Kaaber. Next up is ‘Wrath of Sutr’, which combines all influences into one of the best songs on the album. The tempo changes, the humming bass played by Lars Bundvad, the double bass supported riffing, truly an impressive composition, leaving the daunting task of keeping up the quality for its successor, ‘The serpent’. No use for an intro then, so ‘The serpent’ starts at full speed from second one, erupting into a juicy headbanger. The perfect way to warm the audience for the last song, called ‘Drukvisen’, which can be loosely translated as ‘Drinking song’. And you know what? That is exactly what it is. If you weren’t training your neck muscles yet, you’re bound to do so when this song plays. High speed, cheerful, a great ending to ‘Aldar rök’ in my opinion.

All things considered ‘Aldar rök’ is a solid album, located in the viking section of metal, with some interesting elements from folk, death and black metal. Not really innovative or particularly original, which is never disturbing by the way, but the black metal elements, which have been expertly added, put something extra into the album giving it a little advantage over quite a few other albums from that genre. Every single song can easily stand any test of criticism or quality and the same goes for every single band member when it comes to their playing and singing skills. On top of that there’s a few gems to be found on the album as well in the form of ‘Black legion’, ‘Broken throne’ and ‘Wrath of Sutr’. The production is good, although I feel the rhythm section is a bit thin here and there. Fans of the genre can buy this one unheard and if you’re new to viking metal this is as good a start as any. One tiny point of criticism, though: You only get 32 minutes of entertainment.

Written by Henric van Essen


Sacrilegium announce reunion concert

Klub Protokultura and Left Hand Sounds are honoured to announce the return of Polish black metal legends, Sacrilegium. The first concert in almost 20 years accompanies the upcoming release of the full-length, Anima Lucifera (Pagan Records). The event will take place in Klub Protokultura in Gdańsk, Poland on 2 April 2016. Sacrilegium will be joined by equally special guests, whose names will be revealed soon!

Sacrilegium + guests

2.04. 2016

Klub Protokultura, Gdańsk, Poland

Start: 19:30

Tickets: Available from 10 January 2016

Facebook Event Page


Yukon power thrashers Sanktuary offer free download 'Corpse Blockade' via PureGrainAudio

Power thrash champions Sanktuary are returning in 2016 with their new album 'Winters Doom' to follow up 2013's widely praised 'Something Fierce'. Set to be unleashed on January 22nd, the Yukon warriors of the Canadian North have teamed up with for the premiere and free download of their second single 'Corpse Blockade'.

Bassist Cole Hume explains the track:

"A Necromancer summons the dead and forms a wall of corpses as his entourage. Moral of the story...don't fuck with this Necromancer."

Get your free download of 'Corpse Blockade' here.

'Winter's Doom' is available for pre-order at the following bandcamp link here.

1. Space Race (4:30) [Bravewords]
2. Wild Is The Wind (4:12)
3. Vermin Lord (6:50)
4. Winter's Doom (3:39)
5. Open Your Eyes (4:40)
6. Corpse Blockade (4:15)
7. Maximum Authority (4:46)
Album length: 32:55


Progressive/melodic death metallers Fall debut new track

Texas progressive/melodic death metallers Fall have partnered with New Noise Magazine for the exclusive stream of new song " dust" from upcoming album The Insatiable Weakness. Stream the song at this location.

Fall will self-release The Insatiable Weakness on January 26, 2016. Technically accomplished and musically magnificent, the album is a tour de force of dual-guitar firepower and unforgettable melodies. Chemistry is key and The Insatiable Weakness is truly greater than the sum of its parts.

Featuring the dynamic rhythm section of session drummer Dirk Verbeuren (Soilwork) and bassist extraordinaire David Gutierrez, the guitar wizardry of Daniel Benavides, and the soaring vocals and colorful keys of Jessie Santos, The Insatiable Weakness is one of 2016's first awe-inspiring journeys into the progressive metal realm.

Lyric videos for new songs "Soul Ignition" and "Harvester" can be consumed here and here, respectively. Both songs can also be streamed on Fall's Bandcamp page here.

The Insatiable Weakness was recorded, mixed, and mastered by Robert Beltran at Precision Studios. Check out The Insatiable Weakness album teaser video here.

Track Listing:
1. From Ashes
2. Not of the Sky
3. Ever Hollow
4. Harvester*
5. Cinis**
6. Desolation
7. Soul Ignition
8. dust
9. Empty
10. Gods of Ruin
11. You were but a Shade
*Guest vocals on Harvester by Jessie Frye
**Guest vocals on Cinis by Asa Dubberly


Spinebreaker: Revolver Magazine premieres "Internal Bleeding" from debut LP by San Jose death metal unit

Revolver Magazine has premiered the savage "Internal Bleeding," the track hailing from San Jose-based Spinebreaker's impending Ice Grave debut LP, which is set for release via Creator-Destructor Records in early January.

Suffer from "Internal Bleeding" courtesy of Spinebreaker at Revolver here.

Also check out the previously premiered single, "River of Pain," through Blow The Scene here.

Unloading pure audio destruction -- not overly calculated, lightning-fast or technical, but reliably menacing and heavy -- through the twelve tracks that form Ice Grave, Spinebreaker reminds the listener of the glory days of 1990s Scandinavian, Swedish and American death metal in a way that is refreshing and punishing. While the band varies in tempo, sometimes grooving into Heartwork-era down-tuned riffage, and other times blasting their way through an onslaught of tremolo and thrash, the songs never cease to impress in their ability to maintain brutally heavy, while diverse and violent in their own way.

Spinebreaker's Ice Grave debut provides a soundtrack of raw, sonic death-metal annihilation in a world of human filth, greed, and corruption. Having slithered into the Bay Area hardcore and metal community over the past two years, the band's explosive blend of European death metal is fueled through a sound and tendency for intense live performances out of love for an array of d-beat, punk, hardcore.

Creator-Destructor will issue Ice Grave on 12" vinyl and through all digital outlets on January 15th, 2016. Preorders have gone live here.

Be wary of upcoming Spinebreaker tour announcements, additional audio previews and more as Ice Grave nears release.


Blastfest unveil complete lineup & day schedule

It's been months in the making but the schedule for Blastfest 2016 is complete!

Now in its third year, the Bergen festival has not only put together yet another incredible lineup, but also one in which will be a one time only celebration of their national metal scene, one of the most influential countries in the world for metal, and the home of black metal, Norway. A 100% Norwegian lineup which includes the likes of Abbath, Arcturus, Taake, 1349, Gorgoroth and even some rare appearances from the likes of Green Carnation. Blastfest 2016 will be a truly memorable occasion.

Blastfest chief and owner Yngve Christiansen comments, "2016 will be a very special festival edition with a lineup consisting solely of Norwegian bands. The bands represented at Blastfest are the legends, those from the beginning, the ones who made it evolve... the ones who disappeared... the ones who never stopped... the ones whom you should have heard more about... and the ones you will hear about. We have done our best to make a strong lineup representing Norway in the best possible way."

A one time only celebration of the Norwegian metal scene!
Blastfest 2016 - Bergen, Norway
17 Feb - Garage, 18 - 20 Feb - USF Verftet

***Wednesday - February 17th***
Garage - Doors open 17:00 - Showstart 18:00
Chrome Division / Mistur / Svarttjern / Voluspaa / Endezzema / Blodhemn / Hadens

***Thursday - February 18th***
USF Verftet - Doors open 15:00 - Showstart 16:00
Gorgoroth / Taake / In The Woods / Dodheimsgard / Kampfar / Throne Of Katarsis / Virus / Nocturnal Breed / Viper Solfa / Vulture Industries / Execration / Gravdal / Inculter / Troldskugge / Reptilian

***Friday - February 19th***
USF Verftet - Doors open 15:00 - Showstart 16:00
Ihsahn / 1349 / Arcturus / Manes / Solefald / Nekromantheon / Djevel / Funeral / One Tail, One Head / Audiopain / The 3rd Attempt / Cor Scorpii / Krakow / Sulphur / Slegest

***Saturday - February 20th***
USF Verftet - Doors open 15:00 - Showstart 16:00
Abbath / Green Carnation / Red Harvest / Einherjer / Khold / Ancient / Cvlt / Blood Tsunami / Allfader / Evig Natt / El Caco / In Vain / Sahg / Vredehammer / Oslo Faenskap

Yet to come: Sightseeing, DJs, Signing Sessions, Exhibition, Markets, Merch and more.

Tickets on sale here.

Book accommodation at the official festival hotel here using the promotion code "BLASTFEST" for a discounted rate.

Official website

Seattle prog metal Rhine premiere single 'Paralyzed' via PureGrainAudio; new album out Feb 5th

Seattle's Rhine has teamed up with for the premiere of their first single 'Paralyzed' off their upcoming album 'An Outsider' due out on February 5th, 2016.

The track can be heard here.

Commented vocalist/guitarist Gabe Tachell about the song:

"The single "Paralyzed" by Rhine is all about tension and release. The theme is about personal experiences with sleep paralysis. This song gives people a well rounded Rhine experience, showing both the dissonant and heavy as well as the light and pretty side of the music. It's a very dynamic song that features a completely improvised solo plus a clean section that turns from sweet sounding finger picking into rock 'n roll then back into an epic metal ending with a monotonous slow outro that represents the idea of being stuck in paralysis."

'An Outsider' is the follow up to Rhine's 2011 debut 'Duality', which was first a solo effort by band founder Gabriel Tachell (guitar and vocals) whom is now joined by Alex Smolin on guitar (ex-Metameric), James Porter on bass (Ideofone), and Carlos Delgado (Inferion, ex-Death Crowned King) to collaborate on this project.

Track Listing of Album: Rhine - An Outsider
1. Dreaming of Death (11:46)
2. The Spell of Dark Water (6:20)
3. An Outsider (10:05)
4. Somewhere (3:59)
5. Paralyzed (10:50)
6. Dissolved in Fire (7:53)
7. P.R.E.Y. (5:31)
8. Into the Unknown (6:34)
9. Shipwrecked In Stasis (3:02)
10. Fragments (8:21)

Official website

Neurosis to enter the studio; band adds third San Francisco thirtieth anniversary performance and additional euro festival tour

Passing their three decade mark this month, Neurosis has confirmed that the band will be returning to Electrical Audio in Chicago with engineer Steve Albini on December 27th to record their forthcoming brand new LP, their follow up to 2012's Honor Found In Decay. Additional details on the album and its approximate release in 2016 will be revealed in the early months of the year.

Neurosis will celebrate their thirty-year milestone with a series of performances where they will deliver a massive two-hour set list, invoking material spanning their entire recorded lineage, from 1987's Pain Of Mind through 2012's Honor Found In Decay, with varied set lists at each event. These sets will span the band's entire career, showcasing the comprehensive evolution, from their primitive beginnings into the seminal, epic outfit of today, as the band's ever evolving, sonic palette has become a genre-defying template for underground music over the last three decades, avoiding genre classification.

Neurosis has added a third show at the Regency Ballroom in their origin of San Francisco in March. The newly-confirmed third show will take place on Sunday, March 6th, at the Regency Ballroom. Neurosis has selected special opening acts to open this show, today confirming the participation of longtime Detroit hardcore punk legends, Negative Approach, as well as extremely influential Salem-based punk/metal experimenters, Converge. Tickets for the March 6th show will go on sale January 6th at 10 am PST. The previously announced show March 3rd with support from Sleep and March 4th with support from Shellac have both sold out.

The following month, Neurosis will headline two nights at the mighty Roadburn Festival in Holland, April 16th and 17th, again bringing their thirtieth anniversary sets to fans, with those shows led by special solo performances by guitarist/vocalists Scott Kelly and Steve Von Till together on April 15th.

Neurosis has also announced an additional set of European tour dates separate from the thirtieth anniversary performances, returning to the European continent for a run of festival performances in August, including Festa Radio Onda D'Urto in Italy, Oya Festival in Norway, Motocultor Festival in France and Amplifest in Portugal.

Neurosis tour dates:
3/04/2016 Regency Ballroom - San Francisco, CA w/ Sleep [SOLD OUT]
3/05/2016 Regency Ballroom - San Francisco, CA w/ Shellac [SOLD OUT]
3/06/2016 Regency Ballroom - San Francisco, CA w/ Converge, Negative Approach
4/15/2016 Hat Patronaat - Tilburg, NL *Steve Von Till and Scott Kelly solo performances [tickets]
4/16/2016 013 - Tilburg, NL [tickets]
4/17/2016 013 - Tilburg, NL [tickets]
8/11/2016 Festa Radio Onda D'Urto - Brescia, IT [tickets]
8/13/2016 Oya Festival - Oslo, NO [tickets]
8/20/2016 Motocultor Festival - St. Nolff, FR [tickets]
8/21/2016 Amplifest - Porto, PT [tickets]

Official website

Downfall of Gaia announces line-up change

German extreme metallers Downfall Of Gaia announces the split with guitarist Peter. Straight from the band:

"The year is coming to an end and we would like to thank each and everyone for an intense and busy 2015!
Europe, USA, Japan and Australia - it has been a crazy ride! But unfortunately it's not only 2015 that is coming to an end. Priorities in life do change and from time to time you have to make choices and walk the path that's best for yourself even if it differs from the direction of others. So today is the day where we have to say goodbye to Peter! We would like to thank him for the last 7 years, the highs and lows, the willing and the unforgettable time we spent with each other! Our last show with Peter on guitar will be in April2016.More info soon!
Downfall of Gaia will continue as always! So right now we are looking for a new guitar player! Someone based in Berlin or Hamburg (best case/no must) with enough time, passion and willing to tour worldwide!
If this sounds like you - get in contact via Thanks!"

Official website

Decibel premieres new track from Suppressive Fire

North Carolina death thrashers Suppressive Fire have teamed with Decibel for the exclusive premiere of the title track from upcoming album Bedlam. Stream it here.

While you're at it, stream "Ironsights" exclusively at this location, courtesy of Friedhof Magazine.

Pre-order here.

Suppressive Fire will release debut album Bedlam on January 14, 2016. The album was mixed and mastered by Joel Grind (Toxic Holocaust) and features art by Par Olofsson (Exodus, Abysmal Dawn). Suppressive Fire channels the old school fury of bands like Kreator, Exodus, Death, and Sodom in creating its own brand of scorched-earth devastation. New single "The Hellwraith" is now streaming below.

1. Ceasefire
2. The Hellwraith
3. Coup d'état
4. Thy Flesh Consumed
5. Bayonet Penetration
6. Nazi Face Melter
7. Pyrophoric Blood
8. Ironsights
9. Crucify the Kings
10. Holy Masochism
11. Bedlam

Members: Joseph Bursey - Guitars // Aaron Schmidt Bass/vox // Brandon Smith - Drums

Suppressive Fire proudly hail from Raleigh, NC, along with greats such as Corrosion of Conformity and Between the Buried and Me. The trio has shared the stage with Toxic Holocaust, Wretched, Genocide Pact, The Hookers, and a slew of other bands and have no plans on slowing down. Suppressive Fire began their all-out attack on the Southeastern metal scene in 2013 and have refused to restrain the assault. Independently releasing Hellwraith (EP) in August 2014 and Covered in Conflict (Split) in 2015, the stage is now set for the unrepentant annihilation that is Bedlam.