Tag Archives: Century Media Records

Wyrd Ways Rock Show 24th December 2017

It’s the last Wyrd Ways Rock Show of 2017… or certainly the last one before the traditional Yuletide Behemoth, anyway. Despite the fact that this is, effective a Christmas show, I’ll only inflict one Christmas tune on you.

It’s one you’ll like.  I promise.

What else do we have for you?

Well, the last Record Of The Week is a bit of a cracker, then there’s loads of other stuff, including Nick from Nuclear Blast having a bit of a chinwag with Robb Flynn of Machine Head.

Who says I never get you anything nice?

What are you waiting for?  Press Play and turn it up LOUD!

The next show is coming… be ready!

OK sentients, since I’ve done the recording for the current show, and intend to get it published tomorrow, I’m now taking requests for the #freespinwhatever portion of the next edition of The Wyrd Ways Rock Show.   Might even be tempted to make it a bit Christmassy.

Oh yeah… I’ll also be starting to build the infamous, traditional Yuletide Behemoth, which covers the albums released during this year. The longest one I ever made topped 7 hours.

Suggest a track by clicking on THIS LINK or via the contact form, Facebook or Twitter, and I’ll trade you a shoutout – the only proviso is it’s got to be a song from an album that was released in 2017

Orphaned Land announce new album

Eastern Metal pioneers, Orphaned Land have just announced that they will release a new studio album on January 26th, 2018 via Century Media Records.

Most parts of the album, which will be entitled Unsung Prophets & Dead Messiahs, have already been recorded and Jens Bogren will once again take over mixing and mastering duties of what is to be destined to become the band’s best and biggest production so far.

The new album will feature a guest appearance from guitar virtuoso  and Prog Rock god Steve Hackett, with more guest announcements to come.

Singer and frontman Kobi Farhi comments:

“Hails from the recording studio! We are so thrilled and impatient for you all to hear Unsung Prophets & Dead Messiahs. I wish to inform our old school fans: Growls are back as well as killer melodies that will break your hearts! On a personal note: It’s such a great feeling after a career of 25 years to know that we are still at our bests by all means. Prepare for something strong! Count the days with us till Jan 26th 2018!”

The release of Unsung Prophets & Dead Messiahs will be followed by an extensive European Tour in early 2018, and will be preceded by a US tour this September.

Josh Todd & The Conflict release new video

Josh Todd & The Conflict have unveiled the video for the title track from their debut album, Year of the Tiger, which is due for release on 15th September on Century Media Records.

The video, which was directed by Chris Cuffaro (Pearl Jam, George Michael), is the first of three videos shot as a mini-concert in May in the band’s hometown of Los Angeles.  The other two videos will be released over the next few months.

Josh Todd (lead vocals):

“The album’s title track, Year of the Tiger, was one of the first songs we wrote for the record and also became one of my favourite songs I have ever written.  Like most good songs, it came together very quickly.  As soon as Stevie sent me the music, the lyrics and melodies poured out of me. I’m a huge fan of Hannibal and the show Narcos, while also being into the big cats. In Hannibal, they had a character that would feed despicable people to his pigs and I thought that was pretty demented and interesting.  Also, I am always fascinated with people that have the balls to choose a life or crime, so this track is about a guy living on the edge with a manhunt going on for his life ending in death by tigers.”

Here’s the video:

The album, Year of the Tiger was co-produced by Buckcherry guitarist Stevie Dacanay and Stone Temple Pilots drummer Eric Kretz.  Speaking about the motivation for this new project, Josh added:

“I have a lot of storytelling in me and I always wanted to start another band.  Something more reckless and off the beaten rock path.  A lot of changes had taken place in Buckcherry and I didn’t want to go another year without making new music. BC is in a great place; we have a great new line-up and we have a handful of dates to complete this year.  However, my full attention is on Josh Todd & The Conflict and the record dropping on September 15th.  We’re gonna do a worldwide tour behind this.  My goal is to give each band a break, so I can stay consistently making music without over touring and build both situations into something really cool.”

The Lurking Fear announce new album

The Lurking Fear reveal the cover and tracklisting for their new album, Out Of The Voiceless Grave

Swedish Death Metallers The Lurking Fear are soon to release their debut album Out Of The Voiceless Grave worldwide on August 11th, 2017 via Century Media Records.

The cover artwork for Out Of The Voiceless Grave, which was designed by Stefan Thanneur, can be seen above and the tracklisting for the album is as follows:

The Lurking Fear – Out Of The Voiceless Grave
1. Out Of The Voiceless Grave
2. Vortex Spawn
3. The Starving Gods Of Old
4. The Infernal Dread
5. With Death Engraved In Their Bones
6. Upon Black Winds
7. Teeth Of The Dark Plains
8. The Cold Jaws Of Death
9. Tongued With Foul Flames
10. Winged Death
11. Tentacles Of Blackened Horror
12. Beneath Menacing Sands

Vocalist Tomas Lindberg checked in with the following comment about the album’s artwork:

Stefan Thanneur understood the vision I had for Out Of The Voiceless Grave straight away.  He has portrayed the exact same nightmare vortex of interstellar death and terror that I envisioned when I wrote the lyrics and came up with the concept.  Pure cosmic evil.  Even more twisted madness than my imagination could portray.  I have been very happy to work with yet another great talent.  You can never get enough tentacles.”

Out Of The Voiceless Grave was recorded at Welfare Sounds (Bombus, RAM, Bombs Of Hades, etc.) in Gothenburg, Sweden, will be available as special edition Digipak CD, Gatefold LP on 180gr. vinyl with a poster and as Digital Download.  For vinyl lovers, the album’s LP edition will be available on classic black vinyl as well as limited coloured runs as follows: Silver vinyl (200x copies CM Distro Europe), clear vinyl (200x copies, Sweden) and golden vinyl (300x copies CM USA).

Eindhoven Metal Meeting: line-up complete!

With the addition of Pro-Pain, Soulburn and Komah the line-up for the eighth Eindhoven Metal Meeting 2016 is now complete.  Battle commences on the 16th and 17th December at the Effenaar in Eindhoven, The Netherlands.

Single day tickets are going on sale Monday 1st of August 2016.

The full festival billing with day splits is as follows:

Thursday (pre-party)
Necrophagia
Schirenc Plays Pungent Stench

Friday
Archgoat
Benighted
Bleeding Gods
Burning Hatred
Cirith Gorgor
Destruction
Endstille
Enthroned
Hail Of Bullets (featuring David Ingram (ex-Benediction, Bolt Thrower) on vocals)
Illdisposed
Mayhem (Playing the entirety of the classic De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas)
Protector
Soulburn
Toxic Waltz
Watain
Wederganger

Saturday
Aura Noir
Batushka
Bölzer
Caronte
Der Weg Einer Freiheit
Emptiness
General Surgery
Gutalax
Harakiri For The Sky
Hell
Insanity Reigns Supreme
Komah
Mantar
Memoriam (featuring band members from Bolt Thrower, Cerebral Fix and Benediction)
Moonspell (Special setlist based on the Wolfheart and Irreligious albums!)
Pro-Pain
Schammasch
Seth
Tiamat
Valkyrja

Moonsorrow – Jumalten Aika

download (7)

Century Media Records

Review by Tom Mead

amazon_badgeIt’s an oft-quoted statistic that Finland has more Metal bands per capita than any other country in the world; its population is smaller than that of London, yet you can’t move for top quality music in the land of a thousand lakes. It takes a lot to stand out and attract attention in such a fertile environment and, over the past 15 years or so, Moonsorrow have received wide praise and adulation for their idiosyncratic brand of “Epic Heathen Metal”. Borrowing various elements from Viking/Black Metal, traditional Finnish folk music (they famously sing almost exclusively in their mother tongue) and Progressive Rock, they’ve done more than most to maintain Finland’s prominent place in the metal world.

Jumalten Aika [The Age of Gods] is Moonsorrow’s 7th full-length album, their first in 5 years and first for new label Century Media. It’s an ideal opportunity to attract new fans, but luckily there’s plenty here to keep long-term supporters happy too. In standard Moonsorrow fashion, four of the album’s five tracks are over 12 minutes long, and a mixture of natural sound effects and various folk music elements are used to blend one track into the next, with the presumed intention that the album should be best enjoyed when played continuously as a whole. The title track kicks things off with several Moonsorrow hallmarks: a brooding folky intro, traditional percussion, chanting, a catchy marching tempo and frontman Ville Sorvali’s trademark anguished howl. It’s a perfect start to the album and is destined to become a fan-favourite. It also reaffirms the fact that Markus Eurén is perhaps the most underrated keyboardist in Metal. By virtue of his catchy, bombastic keyboard riffs, his playing is arguably the central part of Moonsorrow’s music; he shows that keyboards can be used in metal for more than just flashy solos or a bit of background noise.

Second track Ruttolehto [Plague Grove] starts with an upbeat section that you’d more commonly associate with Moonsorrow’s compatriots Ensiferum or Finntroll (then again, Moonsorrow guitarist Henri Sorvali plays in Finntroll as well). There are plenty of emphatic and uplifting choral and chanting sections here, though these don’t cohere perfectly with the heavier parts, meaning that this doesn’t flow as well as many of Moonsorrow’s better songs. Still it’s an enjoyable enough listen, and writing 15 minute-long songs that don’t outstay their welcome is no mean feat!

Third track Suden Tunti [The Hour of the Wolf] is a departure from most of Moonsorrow’s music; at a mere 7 minutes long, it’s the shortest song they’ve released in over a decade. I don’t know if the intention was to create a “hit single” (though they have made their first ever official video for this track…) but it does a neat job of encapsulating many typical elements of the Moonsorrow sound into a (relatively) compact package. Henri Sorvali and Mitja Harvilahti’s guitars are at the forefront here, with plenty of great old-school riffs reminiscent of the likes of Darkthrone and Candlemass, backed up by drummer Marko Tarvonen’s pounding rhythms. It’s the kind of track that can easily attract new listeners who are less accustomed to Moonsorrow’s epic sound, though the shorter running time may not be to all long-term fans’ tastes; some may consider it restrictive and inhibiting.

Tracks four and five, Mimisbrunn and Ihmisen Aika [The Age of Man], recall several elements that made Moonsorrow’s particularly epic 5th album, V: Hävitetty, so popular. There are plenty of Prog-influenced, melancholic folk melodies throughout both tracks (imagine a Pagan Pink Floyd if you will (I’d rather not! – Ed)) interspersed with old-school black metal and fist-pumping Viking rhythms. Pummelling drums and doom-laden guitars bring final track Ihmisen Aika to an emphatic close, fading to the sounds of a crackling log fire and natural song of a northern forest. It’s a thoroughly satisfying way to end an album.

There is little on Jumalten Aika that will disappoint old or new fans of Moonsorrow; all the classic elements of their unique sound are present and accounted for. It’s very much a case of business-as-usual, though the flipside of that is that there isn’t really anything new here; there’s barely anything that the band haven’t done before. Is that necessarily a bad thing though? Not in my book; you might know what you’re getting but you also know that, with a band of Moonsorrow’s talent, energy and ambition, you’re not going to be disappointed. Jumalten Aika is a worthy addition to an already impressive catalogue.

Verdict: 8/10

Wyrd Ways Rock Show CCCXXVII – Top Ten Albums of 2015, Part 2

Here we go with the second of our special programmes, celebrating the best Hard Rock and Metal albums of 2015, as chosen by those of us who put the show and the website together.

In this edition, as well as a smattering of new material from the likes of Megadeth, The 69 Eyes and Killswitch Engage, you’ll be hearing selected highlights from Dr Jim, himself, the wielder of The Hammer Of Retribution Oggcast and regular contributor.

Playlist:

Megadeth – Death From Within

Dr Jim’s Hammer Of Retribution Top 10

10. Finsterforst – Mach Dich Frei – Schicksals End
09. Grimner – De Kom Från Norr – De Kom Från Norr
08. Galar – De Gjenlevende – Tusen Kall Til Solsang Ny
07. Ereb Altor – Nattramn – Midsommarblot
06. Bloodshed Walhalla – Mather – L’Urtlen
05. Bucovina – Nestrămutat – Cărări în Suflet
04. Forefather – Curse of the Cwelled – Havoc On Holy Island
03. Clutch – Psychic Warfare – Sucker For The Witch
02. Wilderun – Sleep at the Edge of the Earth – The Garden Of Fire
01. Northern Oak – Triptych – Ellan Vannin

The 69 Eyes – Jet Fighter Plane
Killswitch Engage – Strength Of The Mind
Last In Line – I Am Revolution

Queensrÿche – Condition Hüman

Queensryche - Condition Human

Century Media

Review by Rick Ossian

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Ever since the Queensrÿche bust-up in April 2012 (following a backstage altercation before a show in Sao Paulo), there has been a LOT of internet hate for former Queensrÿche singer Geoff Tate (he of Operation: Mindcrime).  He was replaced with former Crimson Glory vocalist Todd LaTorre.  A temporary court injunction allowed both parties to use the name of the band, but in 2014 a settlement was reached with members Wilton, Rockenfield and Jackson winning the rights to use the name.  In the interim, of course, the Tate camp released their universally panned Frequency Unknown (2013), and the others released an eponymous debut, if you will, two months later.  Both outfits toured, and both survived.  Having recently listened to and reviewed the Tate camp’s latest (Operation: Mindcrime’s debut, The Key), I have to say I’m inclined to agree with the judge.  These bands are two separate entities, granted – but only one has the right to say that they are actually Queensrÿche.  In this case, the majority ruled.  In my humble opinion, the release that we are currently dealing with is the better of the two.

Now, for those of you who don’t know, Chris DeGarmo left in 1997. His most current replacement is one Parker Lundgren, who is, along with Michael Wilton, a guitarist in the band.  Bass man Eddie Jackson and drummer Scott Rockenfield, of course, remain in the engine room, and the aforementioned Mr. LaTorre is the man with the pipes.  One devastatingly accurate pair of pipes, it should be noted, particularly if he was making an attempt to sound like Geoff Tate.  He is a dead ringer vocally for their former singer, and more power to him if he is able to pull that off, because of course there will be many punters who have no idea that the singer is another bloke.

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Arrow of Time, the lead-off track, is a hard-charging rocker in the vein of just about any other Queensrÿche album that you may care to mention.  Critics will probably immediately note the similarity between the voices.  Anyone who can’t hear it may as well hang it up. If we were doing a comparison/contrast study (which DOES sometimes happen), I think we would find that they compare favourably.  As with most of the tracks herein, there are at least a pair or so of lead guitar bits on this salvo.  Save for the ballad Just Us and the title track, all or most of the tunes are also radio-friendly in length.  The way FM programming is going nowadays, if you’re not pop or country or classic rock, there are few formats willing to take a risk on new material, but with such vocal/guitar heavy treats, who knows?  A bit of airplay may indeed be in order…

Guardian finds Mr. La Torre once again emulating the man he ousted from the fold, but that may not be entirely to his disadvantage.  As I mentioned before, when one does a festival, it DOES somewhat behoove you to sound like the band that you’re in!  Guardian is another feet-first rocker with plenty of guitar work and engine room pyrotechnics.  Punters may also note that there are the occasional vocal FX inserted, reminding us once again of our heroes of old.  The phrase ‘revolution calling‘ is repeated at key points of this track – what’s THAT about?

Hellfire reminds us that Messrs. Wilton and Lundgren are NOT just background fodder.  Their work comes to the fore with astonishing regularity throughout this recording.  Plus, if you listen closely, you can hear LaTorre doing his skybound vocal impressions consistently.  The guitar figure at the end of this track is also interesteing, as is the guitar work as a whole on this entire recording.

Toxic Remedy also features some very pretty guitar work, and some chugging riffs to boot.  The vocals are positively haunting, and the rhythms are absolutely infectious.  There is more energy here as well, and the potential to be actual heavy metal and/or hard rock, depending on which term(s) you prefer.  I submit to you that the two CAN be interchangeable, but with HM you are more likely to hear screaming, pounding, hammering and more extreme musical moments overall.

Selfish Lives contains a ghostly guitar intro, vocal FX and some fairly standard riffing.  Again, the main vocal is a dead ringer for the voice of the original pipe-master, but as mentioned before, you kind of NEED to do that to a certain extent to retain any kind of credibility.  After all, without a killer set of pipes, how would you perform Queen of the Reich?  Let alone a veritable slew of others.  I submit to you that is can be a good thing to emulate your forebears.  There are times on this recording where one would be hard pressed to tell the difference.

Eye9 features a beautiful bass intro, compliments of Mr. Jackson.  Nice job, Eddie!  There are more vocal FX on board here, as well as some nice riffing on the main refrain.  Lyrically, “lost in the labyrinth of life/stuck in the middle of the two” struck me as somewhat prophetic, and it stood out.  Good writing and phrasing seem to be the order of the day with most of the tracks.

Bulletproof contains a faint keyboard intro, and more cool lyrics; “the cleanse of surrender has freed me/no longer a victim of change”.  I also really dug the instrumental cacophony at the close, and the lead guitar work was remarkable.

Hourglass is bluesy but still very good, and sounds great, sonically speaking, overall.  There is some beautiful acoustic strumming at the ending.  There is also some serious riffing and some nice lead guitar work.

The six-minute ballad-style piece, Just Us, actually sort of shimmers a bit, which we can stand if it doesn’t occur too often, right?  The vocals are top-notch, and there is some excellent acoustic strumming.  There are also several brilliant guitar bits electrically.  At the 3-minute mark, one can hear both players integrating lead (solos).  Instrumental breakdowns abound, which is par for the course.

All There Was is another interesting piece with some sweet riffing and some excellent guitar work at the intro.  The engine room is on board with this bit, as well.  I particularly enjoy a good tune when the bass guitar and the drums come to the fore.  This is another high-energy tune with an excellent fading out of sorts at the end.

The Aftermath is apparently an interlude of sorts that sets up the title track, which is also, appropriately, our closer.  Condition Human is an absolute behemoth, and at 7:45, is the longest track by far on this set.  The intro is a bit shimmery and strumming acoustics again, but if you can get past that, you can hear the majesty of this track for yourself.  Another haunting tune, and just in time for All Hallow’s Eve, too!  This is a very powerful piece, and actually enters Riff City mode (2:25).  There is a chugging, energetic tempo here, and we are headed somewhere, even lyrically; “Shake the species overtime/moralities collapse”, hollers LaTorre, and once again we also hear some vocal FX, which we should probably come to expect now, at least with this particular band.  Whenever we hear echo or whispering in conjunction with vocals, many of us think Queensrÿche almost immediately!  An excellent track, and a very good recording overall.

****/5

Sony buys Century Media?

According to sources reporting to Music Business Worldwide, Sony have bought Century Media for something in the region of $17m.

The independent Metal label was originally set up in 1988 by Robert Kampfi and the late Oliver Withöft in Dortmund, and currently has more than 50 staff across Europe and America.   Over the years, the label introduced bands such as In This Moment, Butcher Babies, Lacuna Coil, Moonspell, Nevermore, Shadows Fall and Suicide Silence to the world.

In the acquisition of Century Media, Sony has (if the rumours are true) also swept up Magic Arts Publishing, Lonely Planet Publishing, Inside Out Music, Super Ball, Rock The Nation America and other merchandise and management subsidiaries, beating Universal to the punch.

If Century has indeed been bought by Sony, it will be the biggest major label acquisition since Universal bought Eagle Rock in April last year.

As independent labels begin to consider taking back their digital rights from major distributors in the US market, this kind of acquisition will become more popular again,” one source predicted.

The rumours of interest in Century emerged three months after BMG acquired Rise Records in a multi-million dollar deal.

Said BMG CEO Hartwig Masuch at the time: “We believe music offers tremendous potential – provided you recognise the rules of the game have changed.”

According to the report, MBW understands that at least one major label head was disappointed to miss out on Rise which could well have been a motivating factor in their rumoured pursuit of Century Media.