Rockharz Festival 25 Is Totally Sold Out!

This year’s Rockharz Open Air is sold-out, faster than ever before. As preparations begin to host the 25th edition of the festival, it will take place from July 4th to July 7th, 2018 in Ballenstedt.  The fest is headlined by In Flames, Powerwolf, Kreator, Hammerfall, Eisbrecher, Paradise Lost, Amorphis, Knorkator, Schandmaul, Cannibal Corpse, Alestorm, Ensiferum, Exodus, Sodom, Equilibrium, Die Apokalyptischen Reiter, Finntroll, Battle Beast, Amaranthe, Bannkreis, Gloryhammer and many more. You can see the final poster below. Continue reading

Beneath The Silt – Sludge/Doom/post-Metal Roundup: feat Godthrymm, Mournful Congregation, Vile Creature

A début EP can be a very worthwhile investment for a new band, indeed. A chance to introduce the world to their sound and style, without having to commit to (or wait until you’ve written) a full albums worth of material; a chance to not just test the water, but begin to feel out what really works and what doesn’t within a band’s prospective oeuvre. And in the case of Godthrymm, boasting a cast of talented beasts a-plenty, they’ve more than made the most of the opportunity to plant their dark and melancholic flag. Continue reading

Rockharz Open Air Adds Six More Bands, Tickets On Sale Now

Rockharz Open Air is celebrating 25 years as a festival in 2018. This year’s fest is already loaded with talent and grows all the time, now with six new bands. Joining the lineup headlined by In Flames, Powerwolf, Kreator, and Hammerfall are Bannkreis, Versengold, Winterstorm, Oni, Blind Channel, Manntra with special guest, Michael Rhein (In Extremo). The fest takes place from July 4th to July 7th 2018 in Ballenstedt, Germany. Tickets are on sale now and a sellout is expected. Continue reading

Rockharz Festival Adds Powerwolf, Cannibal Corpse And Sodom To Complete 2018 Line-Up

Rockharz Festival, celebrating 25 years in 2018, has completed their incredible line-up with the addition of Powerwolf, Cannibal Corpse, and Sodom. Tickets are on sale now and Ghost Cult has the full details. Continue reading

Alestorm, Primal Fear, Ahab And More Added to Rockharz Festival

The 25th Anniversary edition of the Rockharz Festival has added Alestorm, Primal Fear, Ahab, Erdling, Letzte Instanz and Nothgard to the 2018 event. Rockharz takes place next July 4th to July 7th 2018 In Ballenstedt, Germany.

The full lineup for Rockharz 2018 so far includes: Continue reading

Avatarium – Hurricanes and Halos

Two fingers to convention, I’m jumping straight to the reveal: Avatarium are a superior breed of band that you’d be mad to overlook and Hurricanes and Halos picks things up where the sultry excellence of The Girl With The Raven Mask (both Nuclear Blast) left off. Fashioned from the music of yesteryear, don’t be fooled into thinking this is “just another” Retro outfit, or an “Occult Rock” band; this is the mastery of the music of a fifty years ago, not to be cool, or hip, but as a means of producing powerful, diverse and strong songs. Continue reading

Soen – Lykaia

Throughout Soen’s career, the comparisons and similarities to Tool and Opeth have been consistent across 2012’s Cognitive and 2014’s Tellurian (both Spinefarm). And it’s completely understandable. Founder and drummer of Soen, Martin Lopez (ex-Opeth and Amon Amarth) notes Tool to be among one of his major inspirations for their musical style. Continue reading

Avatarium – The Girl With The Raven Mask

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Leif Edling is an unsung, underrated, talented bastard, and a legend. Part-responsible for some of the finest, melodramatic slow and mystical metal known to man across the first four Candlemass releases, his seat and decanter of wine at the table of legacy and honour is assured. Founding member of one of the founding fathers, as his main gig has become more of a part-time, festival turn, two years ago he celebrated the year of his 50th anniversary on earth by putting together Avatarium.

Leaving behind the doom bent of the ‘mass to feed the muse of progressive, heavy retro-tinged rock, and allowing the 60’s and 70’s bands of his youth to influence his writing, at their very best Avatarium are transfixing. The Girl With The Raven Mask (Nuclear Blast), the second band’s full length, is retro without being Sabbathian, fuzzy without being stoner, more Hammer than Occult (any bandying around of the term “occult rock” in this direction is being  incorrectly applied for no limp or quaint quasi-folkisms abound here) and progressive without losing focus or atmosphere.

‘The Master Thief’ is Opeth-style progressive luxury and ‘Pearls and Coffins’ is a simply magnificent track, seguing from bare, Western-tinged Tarantino soundtrack led eloquently by stunning vocals into a swirling Deep Purple vortex of an org(an)asmic post-chorus coda; its’ seven minutes an epic sway. And speaking of the Purple ones, in ‘Hypnotized’, Marcus Jidell channels the spirit of pure Blackmore with a majestic mellifluent magic carpet ride of a solo.

The Girl With The Raven Mask does not crush you with weighty riffs, but instead mesmerizes, with singer Jennie-Ann Smith a rare, enigmatic and captivating talent who sparks when the songs are sparse; reminiscent of Nancy Sinatra’s version of ‘Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down)’ (sorry Cher). Given more room than on either their self-titled début, or last years’ All I Want EP, Smith is magnificent. If she had been a solo artist in the late 60’s she would be revered amongst the Joplin’s of history.

A diverse and intriguing marriage of stripped back and the grandiose, of top-level psychedelia and rock, all carried out to sea on the beguiling voice of Smith, for a while I feared The Girl WithThe Raven Mask was doomed (sic) to be one of those releases where the idea was better than the reality, but, while not every track hits the heights of the true moments of genius, the swirling, epic qualities draw you in.

 

8.0/10

 

STEVE TOVEY

 

Dark Tranquillity, The Resistance Performing at Gothenberg Sound Festival

gothenburg sound festival 2015

The Gothenberg Sound Festival is set at Tradgarn in Gothenberg, Sweden on January 2-3, 2015. The confirmed acts to perform include:

Dark Tranquillity
Mustasch
Deathening
B-Thong
The Order Of Israfel
The Resistance
Evergrey
Avatarium
Ice Age
Intoxicate

gothenberg sound festival clinics

There will also be a musical clinic held and the confirmed speakers are:

Björn Englén (Yngwie Malmsteen, Dio Disciples, Quiet Riot)
Johan Niemann (Evergrey, Tiamat)
Snowy Shaw (King Diamond, Dream Evil)
Sayit Dölen (Yngwie Malmsteen, Enrique Iglesias etc.)