Tag Archives: Napalm Records

Moonspell announce special shows for new album

Moonspell have announced that there will be three shows in their native Portugal to promote the release of their new album 1755: a concept album, sung in Portuguese, about the Great Lisbon Earthquake of 1755.

They will have a double date hometown show in Lisbon where you can enjoy the band’s annual Halloween party as well as watching the show. On the 1st of November Moonspell will take the event to the city of Porto, as part of the 1755 first three announced dates:

30th + 31st Oct – LISBOA AO VIVO, LISBON
1st Nov – HARD CLUB, SALA 1, PORTO

These very special gigs will be produced by the band themselves in partnership with their own label, Alma Mater Records in collaboration with Napalm Records.

At the shows you will have the chance to buy the upcoming record exclusively and straight from the band as well as watching them destroy Lisbon and Porto. The ticket holder will get a free CD or vinyl edition (first 500 tickets, the edition will be signed by the band!). The new album 1755 will hit the stores on the 3rd of November in Europe via Napalm Records. Presales will be announced soon, but you can already get your ticket to Lisbon and Porto right now!

Says the band:

“On these shows we’re gonna play 1755 in its entirety but also recover some obscure stuff we haven’t been playing for many years.

1755 is a poetic, musical and philosophical reflection of the band about the tragic event that took place on the 1st of November of 1755 in Lisbon, decimating the entire city.

It’s mostly a Metal record, with vibrant riffs, epic orchestration and vocals and lyrics which invoke the agony of that day. The band was also concerned in recreating the end of the 18th century Lisbon and there will be lots of fusion, percussion and a melodic approach to that time and to the atmosphere the great city of Lisbon enjoyed back then.

There will be ten powerful, surprising songs that echo remotely to some of Moonspell previous efforts like Under the Moonspell or Alpha Noir. But make no mistake! This is Moonspell as you never heard them before, with the fire of their native Language Portuguese and 900 years of History to unveil!

An historical, rigorous, serious, artistic record. A black beast from Portugal that the Metal scene so craves for.“

The Agonist announce new album release

The Agonist have announced they will release their new album Five on 30th September through their new label, Napalm Records.  They also released the first official video from Five, called The Moment.

Watch it here:

About making the video, singer Vicky Psarakis stated:

The Moment was probably the most exciting and demanding video I’ve had to shoot so far. Chris (bassist/FTB Visuals director) came up to me with the idea to create a “storyline” with a close up of just my face singing the lyrics underwater. And we achieved it by building a box with a plexiglas panel that fit my head, while the rest of my body was standing and perfectly dry. I guess you could say it was scary and awkward to have just your head submerged underwater and a bit dangerous to have to perform the entire song in that position, but honestly, I wouldn’t mind doing the whole thing all over again!”

If that’s not enough for you, here’s the lyric video for the first song released from the album, The Chain:

Five was produced by Mike Plotnikoff at West Valley Studios.  Mike has engineered and produced such artists as Buckcherry, Flyleaf, My Chemical Romance, Apocalyptica, P.O.D, Halestorm, Skillet, Seether, Three Days Grace, Aerosmith, and Kiss.

Maor Appelbaum handled the mastering at Maor Appelbaum Mastering studios.  Maor has had the pleasure of mastering recordings for major international acts such as: Faith No More, Yes, Starset, Ill Nino, Dokken, Fates Warning, Sepultura, Yngwie “More is more” Malmsteen, Armored Saint, Lita Ford, Butcher Babies, and more.

Five Track Listing:
1. The Moment
2. The Chain
3. The Anchor And The Sail
4. The Game
5. The Ocean
6. The Hunt
7. The Raven Eyes
8. The Wake
9. The Resurrection
10. The Villain
11. The Pursuit Of Emptiness
12. The Man Who Fell To Earth
13. The Trial
14. Take Me To Church (Hozier cover) (Bonus Edition Only)

Just to put the proverbial tin hat on it, and get their moneysworth out of Napalm’s PR team (hello Andy and Will!) the band have also announced a slew of tour dates across the world with various bands:

European Tour:
27.09.2016 – Fryshuset Klubben- Stockholm, Sweden
28.09.2016 – Sticky Fingers – Gothenburg, Sweden
30.09.2016 – Tube – Dusseldorf, Germany
01.10.2016 – Epic Metal Fest – Tilburg, Netherlands
02.10.2016 – De Kreun – Kortrijk, Belgium
04.10.2016 – Opera Concert Hall – St. Petersburg, Russia
05.10.2016 – Клуб Театръ – Moscow, Russia
07.10.2016 – Sala Becool – Barcelona, Spain
08.10.2016 – Sala la Burbuja – Castellon, Spain
09.10.2016 – Sala Maladar – Seville, Spain
11.10.2016 – Sala tbc – Lisboa, Portugal
12.10.2016 – Sala Lemon – Madrid, Spain
13.10.2016 – Sala Azkena – Bilbao, Spain

Canadian Tour with Xandria, Epica and Fleshgod Apocalypse:
04.11.2016: Quebec City, QC @ Imperial Theater
05.11.2016: Montreal, QC @ Corona
06.11.2016: Toronto, ON @ Phoenix Concert Hall

American Tour with Arkona, Epica and Fleshgod Apocalypse:
08.11.2016: Chicago, IL @ Concord Music Hall
09.11.2016: Minneapolis. MN @ Cabooze
11.11.2016: Saskatoon, SK @ Saskatoon Event Center
12.11.2016: Calgary, AB @ Marquee
13.11.2016: Edmonton, AB @ The Ranch
15.11.2016: Vancouver, BC @ Vogue Theatre
16.11.2016: Seattle, WA @ Studio 7
18.11.2016: San Francisco, CA @ Social Hall
19.11.2016: Los Angeles, CA @ The Regent
20.11.2016: Las Vegas, NV @ Vinyl at Hard Rock Hotel
22.11.2016: Denver, CO @ Summit Music Hall
23.11.2016: Lawrence, KS @ Granada Theater
25.11.2016: Dallas. TX @ Gas Monkey Live
26.11.2016: Austin, TX @ Empire Control Room
28.11.2016: St. Petersburg, FL @ State Theater
29.11.2016: Atlanta, GA @ Masquerade
01.12.2016: Baltimore, MD @ Soundstage
02.12.2016: New York, NY @ Webster Hall
03.12.2016: Worcester, MA @ The Palladium

Jinjer release third album

Being the Ukraine’s best-kept Extreme Metal secret, the technically sophisticated four-piece Jinjer represent a mix of Metalcore, Djent, Hardcore, and Groove Metal.

Their third album, King Of Everything, is the first to get a release outside their home country, and was released on Napalm Records on 4th August.

Be’lakor – Vessels

Napalm Records

Review by Tom Mead

amazon_badgeThe relentless globalisation of metal in recent years has thrown up plenty of surprises.  Fertile scenes have sprung up in the remotest corners of the world, far removed from where you’d traditionally expect.  So it is that Be’lakor, one of the most talked-about melodic death metal bands of recent years (largely thanks to their significant Facebook following), comes not from a typical location like Finland or Sweden, but from Australia.  The Melbourne 5-piece, named after a Warhammer character, have built up a reputation over the past decade as a band who sound like Metalcore never happened; they’re a breath of fresh air for fans who fondly reminisce about the Gothenburg scene’s glory days.

Vessels is Be’lakor’s fourth full-length album and first to be released on the acclaimed Austrian label, Napalm Records; such a move is bound to increase the band’s profile in Europe and beyond.  The 8 tracks span 55 minutes, and are all fairly epic and progressive in terms of both sound and delivery.  2-minute opener Luma is a short, sharp introduction; chugging, discordant riffs build to a lush In Flames-esque melody to set the tone for the whole album.  There’s a brief, crisp and engaging guitar solo before the song fades, somewhat abruptly.  It could be a minute or 2 longer but it fulfils its essential purpose; it whets the listener’s appetite for what’s to come next.

An Ember’s Arc, the first full song, starts with a gentle acoustic section that is as melancholic as it is uplifting before chugging staccato riffs and clean, crisp lead guitar parts takeover.  Frontman George Kosmas has a mighty set of pipes, with his death howl rising effectively above the band’s sonic onslaught.  Moreover, there are several parts where traditional Death Metal elements intertwine with atmospheric keyboards and acoustic guitars to create an impressive progressive landscape not a million miles away from the work of Opeth.  The album’s off to a solid start.

Vessels, overall, is an intense battle between light and dark, heavy and soft, and the next 2 tracks accomplish this most effectively.  Just shy of 11 minutes, Withering Strands is the longest track and, in many ways, the album’s centrepiece.  It’s a thoroughly energetic song with a brooding, repeating riff played as a duel between guitar and piano, with a thick, layered lead guitar melody that rivals Iron Maiden at their most epic.  It cuts to an isolated piano melody 7 minutes in before chugging guitars build back up, leading to a frantic twin-guitar section that’s right out of the At The Gates playbook.  The ending though is truly sublime; the bands gallops along in true Rime of the Ancient Mariner fashion, with dive-bomb runs along the fretboards of both guitar and bass, before the introductory riff repeats again and fades; it’s the sort of song that leaves you breathless.

Roots to Sever has a similar mood, though is comparatively brief at 7 minutes.  A gentle chamber piano riff starts things off before the rest of the band crash in, powering along at breakneck speed à la Amon Amarth at their most ferocious.  Keyboardist Steven Merry puts in a superb performance here, and throughout the album, as he expertly juxtaposes his piano with the savagery of his bandmates.

The next trio of tracks, whilst not bad, are unfortunately not quite in the same league as their predecessors.  Whelm contains great Doom elements, with the juxtaposition of piano and death howls illustrating an intense feeling of anguish but it is a key example of what happens when you try and fit too much into a song; there’s so much alternating between mid and fast paces, quiet and loud parts, that the whole thing’s quite unfocussed and haphazard.  A Thread Dissolves is a 3-minute, largely instrumental, interlude that is well executed but unnecessary.  Grasping Light is a decent mid-paced number, with some good folk metal-inspired guitar melodies, but is otherwise fairly forgettable.

Thankfully, the closing track, The Smoke of Many Fires, ends the album on a high.  At nine and a half minutes long, it’s a triumphant, fast epic. It’s probably the heaviest song on the album too, with several riffs and atmospheric elements recalling the title-track from Opeth’s Blackwater Park.  A beautiful mellow section then starts about 7 minutes in, which leads the song, and the album as a whole, to a truly satisfying finish.

Overall, Vessels is an album of two halves: there are four great tracks, one good one, and another three that are just ok. The album’s highlights, Withering Strands, Roots to Sever and The Smoke of Many Fires, are amongst the best songs I’ve heard all year and many Melodic Death Metal fans will truly treasure them.  However, it is undeniably the case that Be’lakor’s sound is HIGHLY derivative (essentially a mix of Amon Amarth, early In Flames, and Opeth), which might go some way towards explaining Vessels’ inconsistency.  There’s not much here that’s not been done countless times before and, particularly if you’re a seasoned fan of this kind of music, you will inevitably find parts of it quite boring and uninspired.  However, as is evidenced by the three tracks mentioned above, the members of Be’lakor clearly have the musical and compositional skills to be successful.  Hopefully in future, with the new backing of a larger label, they will consolidate their creativity, forge a unique identity, and deliver works of greatness.

Verdict: 8/10

Huntress to continue!

Jill Janus

Following a worrying 48 hours for the members and fans of Huntress (most notably Jill Janus herself, who obviously had a very serious encounter with The Black Dog – if you don’t get that reference, consider yourself lucky), Jill Janus released the following statement on her Facebook page:

Back to business! Yes, I am still the singer for Huntress. I’ve seen some heavy shit, but so often the things I say or do are misconstrued even by those closest to me. It is the end of an era for Huntress, we completed our trilogy, writing one album a year. I look forward to writing more Huntress records, and working on new musical projects I’ve been developing. The best is yet to come! JJx

Powerwolf – Blessed & Possessed

Powerwolf

Napalm Records

Review by Carl “DJ ThunderGod” Pickles

Buy the CD HERE and the MP3 HERE

Let’s get something straight before we start, shall we? Power Metal, as a subgenre is totally and utterly ridiculous. That has to be a given. Soaring guitars, soaring vocals, bludgeoning drums played at a speed you’d expect from bands classed as being much heavier…  Some bands, like DragonForce, take that to extremes. Other bands, like HammerFall and Sabaton play it straight down the line and create some truly anthemic stuff.

Then there is a German outfit by the name of Powerwolf. They use twisted, blasphemous religious imagery, cross-pollinated with werewolf mythology, corpse paint and monks robes as costumes. The formula should be a recipe for disaster, but it works when it really, really should be an absolute train wreck.  It doesn’t exactly hurt the German band’s cause that Attila Dorn’s voice is a truly stunning instrument. There is absolutely no way to mistake this man’s pipes for anyone else’s. Incredibly charismatic and powerful in a subgenre where many vocalists go for range rather than power, he works in a similar register to Sabaton’s Joakim Broden. Then there’s the keyboards. The best keyboard players use their instruments to add colour to the proceedings. That’s another thing that helps this insane formula work so well. Falk Maria Schlegel’s sepulchral cathedral organ matches perfectly.

Right from the off, these guys are not messing about. The opening track (which also happens to be the title track), Blessed & Possessed has “anthem” stamped through it like a stick of Blackpool rock. The momentum gained from that one takes you barrelling straight into a pummelling Dead Until Dark, before slamming down another anthem in Army Of The Night. This one has “live favourite” stamped all over it.

That takes us into the first single, Armata Strigoi, (which you’ve probably just watched above) with its staccato riff and yet another masterclass from Dorn, beautifully supported by Schlegel… and so it goes on. If your foot isn’t at least tapping, or your head nodding by this point, you really are deficient in some major way. Other honourable mentions have to go to Sanctus Dominus, Higher Than Heaven, We Are The Wild, Sacramental Sister… sod it… I’ve just realized I’m typing out the titles of the entire remaining running order. ALL the tracks on this one really hit the spot in a pretty major way. There is truly not one single track you could even think of as being “filler”.

On Blessed & Possessed, Powerwolf absolutely nail the formula. They’ve got close on previous albums, most notably on the mighty Bible Of The Beast, but for this one there is not one single misstep throughout the entire album. This is absolute perfection. It’s an incredible piece of work. The pace only really drops on the final track, Let There Be Night, but that just allows Attila to really flex his vocal cords. The man sings out of his skin on that one, and when matched with an exquisite solo from Matthew Greywolf… well, it’s not often I can be said to be lost for words, but hearing this song for the first time was one of those occasions.

Make no mistake. Powerwolf have thrown down the gauntlet and staked their claim for Album Of The Year for 2015.  This one is absolutely awesome.  What’s more, if you get the limited edition version, you get a CD of cover versions, including this one:

No hesitation at all with a rating of..

*****/5

Bloodstock Announce Sophie Lancaster Stage Bands

Bloodstock are pleased to announce Delain as Friday night’s headliner. The Dutch symphonic metal band enthused,

“We are really excited to perform at the awesome Bloodstock Festival for the very first time this summer!  Having written our previous records’ title track We Are The Others about Sophie Lancaster, it will be an extra important and special occasion for us to headline the Sophie Lancaster stage and meet up with our friends at the Sophie Lancaster Foundation (“Stamp Out Prejudice, Hatred & Intolerance Everywhere!”) again. We look forward to rocking out at Bloodstock and hope to see many of you there!”

The group are currently touring Europe with Sabaton, in support of their latest album The Human Contradiction. Watch their latest video for Stardust right here:

Italian Tech Death Metal kings Fleshgod Apocalypse will be rolling in as Saturday night’s headliner, stating:

“We’re very happy to be part of this amazing festival for the first time. It’s a great honour for us and we can’t wait to crush one of the most important stages in the UK and Europe! See you all there mates!”

The band are working on their follow-up to 2013’s Labyrinth concept album, which will hopefully surface before the end of the year. Meanwhile, head over to their YouTube channel at: http://www.youtube.com/user/FleshgodApocalypse, to see live clips from Wacken, lyric videos and even how to cook a special Fleshgod Apocalypse spaghetti dish, complete with their own brand of wine!

Also appearing Saturday will be Swiss Thrash Metal band Battalion. Bloodstock is delighted to welcome the group back to Catton Park, following their first UK show at Bloodstock in 2012. The four piece recently finished recording their third studio album and started the new year by sharing this live video of their whole set at Wacken last year:

Newly reformed Bay Area hip hop thrash funksters Mordred join the Sophie Lancaster stage bill for Sunday. The band are hard at work on a brand new album, which will mark their first new release in 20 years! You might have caught them on a brief UK visit last summer, following a triumphant Indiegogo campaign. Get a taste via brand new song The Baroness here:

…or revisit some classic Mordred with Falling Away here:

Also stepping up for a Sunday Sophie slot are fellow Italians Destrage. Signed to Metal Blade, their last album Are You Kidding Me? No! guest featured GN’R man Ron ‘Bumblefoot’ Thal on the title track. Metal Hammer writer and TeamRock Radio Breakfast Show presenter, Stephen Hill declared it his 2014 Album of the Year.  See why in the live video for song Destroy Create Transform Sublimate:

American Head Charge album name and release dates revealed!

American+Head+Charge

American Head Charge have been touring relentlessly, so it may have been easy to forget their massively successful Indiegogo campaign to raise funds for their new album amongst the insanity of their high energy shows.

The Minneapolis industrial rockers, off the back of their UK tour with Soil and (hed) PE and the Wayne Static memorial shows in the US with Powerman 5000 are gearing up for their Holiday Hangover show in Minneapolis, and Justin Fowler has taken some time to speak to the Ritual Madness podcast regarding the eagerly anticipated album release.

We just signed a deal to promote and distribute the record with Napalm Records, so we’re pretty stoked about that move… We’re calling the record Tango Umbrella, doesn’t make any sense, it’s not supposed to…

Also revealed are the release dates are scheduled.for 24th April in Europe and 28th April in the US. More details will become available with the official press release.

Ex-Evile guitarist Ol Drake mixing solo album with James Murphy

Former Evile lead guitarist Ol Drake is currently mixing his debut solo album with producer and former Death/Obituary/Testament guitarist James Murphy.

The six-string shredder has been working on his first album of extreme instrumental music, which was recorded in the guitarist’s home studio and is due to be released in 2015 under the title Old Rake.

Take a look at the album’s cover art, created by 5fingerz, right here:

oldrake_albumcover

Ol Drake comments:

“Finally, I can reveal the artwork I’ve had for the 14 months I’ve spent finding my feet, laughing at the artwork, writing and recording this album.  Fans took to calling me Old Rake instead of ‘Ol Drake’ and it kind of stuck, so I thought I’d honour their hugely creative moving of one letter by calling this solo debut Old Rake by Ol Drake and creating a logo (by Chris Gunnz) for the Ol Drake album saying Old Rake; confusing, no?  Thought not.

I’m honoured to have the great James Murphy mixing the album.  Since I was a teenager I’ve been a fan of James’ playing in Testament, Obituary and Death, so having worked with him on this has had the 16-year old in me shouting strange noises at me in my head.  You shan’t be disappointed!  Especially if you’re a guitarist.

“The album was produced by myself and James.  It has been recorded in my home studio, ‘StudiOliveR’ in Huddersbottom (I moved from Huddersfield to Ramsbottom in Bury amidst recording it) and it is now in the capable hands of Mr James Murphy; he’s currently mixing it to shred-y perfection.

In the album art, I wanted to show me raking lots of people up with a rake, because that seemed to make sense at the time.  It doesn’t now but it’s still funny.  I didn’t want a stock picture of me holding a guitar as if to say ‘Hey guys, I’m here holding a guitar and this is my album’.  I hope you enjoy it, and your support on its release will be hugely appreciated.”

Listen to a demo version of one of the tracks due to be featured on the album, Spaceship Janitor, below:

Bloodstock Sunday Night Headliner Announced!

boa2015

This Halloween, BLOODSTOCK has some howlingly good news to share!  Are you a fan of the undead?  Love Zombies?  The fiendishly brilliant ROB ZOMBIE is confirmed as Sunday’s 2015 main stage headliner, bringing his mind-blowing full production to Catton Park.

ROB ZOMBIE exclaims, “I am so ready to get on a plane, and get my ass over to merry ol’ England for BLOODSTOCK.  We’ve had some of the best shows of our lives over there and can’t wait to add this to the list.  Besides, it’s called ‘BLOODSTOCK’ so how could it not be bloody fucking fun?

Expect to witness a spectacular range of ROB ZOMBIE classics as well as choice cuts from the band’s most recent studio album Venomous Rat Regeneration Vendor.  Check out this cut of Superbeast from last year’s The Zombie Horror Picture Show DVD, which captured Rob and his Zombie bandmates John 5, Piggy D and Ginger Fish on the road and get a taster of what’s in store:

In addition to that big news, don’t forget that BLOODSTOCK’s ‘Rock Society’ memberships went on sale at 9am today, 31st October.  The BLOODSTOCK ‘Rock Society’ is effectively the festival’s ‘Members Club’, offering not only a 10% discount on your weekend ticket (and that’s on top of the already discounted early bird ticket if you’re quick enough!), but it offers punters all sorts of other cool benefits like priority access to the signing tent, special tours of backstage & production areas so you can see what goes on ‘behind the scenes,’ as well as access to the VIP Serpents Lair bar, plus a Rock Society laminate with your name and membership number, and plenty more besides.  The memberships are limited to just 300 and sell out very quickly every year, so don’t delay if you want to pick one up. Last year, these sold out that morning!  Full details can be found at http://www.bloodstock.uk.com/pages/rock-society.

Don’t want to do the zombie shuffle all the way to BLOODSTOCK?  The Big Green Coach packages have now launched.  Big Green Coach are the official and exclusive coach travel partner to BLOODSTOCK.  Sit back, relax, and let their drivers take you, your mates, and your zombie survival/camping gear direct to the festival grounds!  There are 26 locations all across the UK to choose from!  To guarantee your return seat, book here: http://www.biggreencoach.co.uk/events/bloodstock-festival-tickets-coach-travel

An ever-diminishing, limited number of early bird weekend tickets with camping are on sale now, priced £120 (plus booking fee) from http://bloodstock.seetickets.com/event/bloodstock-2015/catton-park/809956.  When they’re gone, they’re gone so grab yours now!  Campervan pitches are also already on sale and these move very quickly, so pick yours up ASAP to avoid disappointment.

Bands already announced for 2015 are Saturday’s headliners, WITHIN TEMPTATION and special guests OPETH, plus DEATH TA, NUCLEAR ASSAULT, CANNIBAL CORPSE, IHSAHN, SEPULTURA and DARK ANGEL.  More bands will be announced soon! BLOODSTOCK will be held at Catton Park, Derbyshire on 6th-9th August 2015.  Keep up to date with the very latest info on BLOODSTOCK’s official sites at www.facebook.com/bloodstock and www.bloodstock.uk.com.