At Metallica’s stop of the Worldwired tour at Olympiastadion in Berlin, Robert Trujillo and Kirk Hammett played a cover version Rammstein’s most popular song, ‘Engel’. At most shows, Hammett and Trujillo cover songs from local favorites and legends. Fan-filmed video footage of the performance can be seen below. Continue reading
Anticipation can cloud over artistic impact. After the best part of a decade, single ‘Mein Land’ and live opener ‘Ramm4’ are the only glimpses of new material the world has seen from the mighty Teutonic titans. Since 2009’s stellar Liebe Ist Für Alle Da (Universal), the world has held its breath in baited wait for a seventh Rammstein studio album. Does this towering decade of monolithic expectation dull the impact of brand new single, ‘Deutschland’? Continue reading
Mar 10: DooRNroosje – Nijmegen, Netherlands
Mar 11: Rockfabrik – Ludwigsburg, Germany
Mar 13: Grünspan – Hamburg, Germany
Mar 14: Zeche – Bochum, Germany
Mar 15: Biebob – VosselAAR, Belgium
Mar 17: O2 Academy islington – London, England
Mar 18: Warehouse 23 – Wakefield, England
Mar 19: ABC 2 – Glasgow, Scotland
Mar 20: Academy 3 – Manchester, England
Mar 21: Rescue Rooms – Nottingham, England
Mar 22: The Marble Factory – Bristol, England
Mar 24: La Machine – Paris, France
Mar 25: Le Marche Gare – Lyon, France
Mar 27: Rock Star – Bilbao, Spain
Mar 28: Copernico – Madrid, Spain
Mar 29: Razzmatazz 2 – Barcelona, Spain
Mar 31: Z 7 – Pratteln, Zurich – Switzerland
Apr 01: Backstage Halle – Münich, Germany
Apr 02: Live Club – Milano, Italy
Apr 03: Explosiv – Graz, Austria
Apr 04: Szene – Vienna, Austria
Apr 05: Club 202 – Budapest, Hungary
Apr 08: Fabryka – Crakow, Poland
Apr 09: Proxima – Warsaw, Poland
Niclas Engelin is someone who is no stranger within the Gothenburg metal scene. His latest “other” band is Engel and are about to release their fourth album called Raven Kings via MRI/Sony RED on January 27, 2015.
Engel began in 2005 when Engelin and former The Crown guitarist Marcus Sunesson began writing music leaning more towards a crossover sound mashing melodic metal with industrial elements. Their debut album Absolute Design was released in 2007, and had previously toured Europe supporting Amon Amarth and Dimmu Borgir.
They have shuffled members in recent years, and now the lineup features Mikael Sehlin on vocals, Steve Drennan (Amon Amarth) on bass and Oscar Nilsson (Saint Deamon, Miseration, Despite) on drums.
While Engelin has a busy schedule touring and playing with In Flames, he found time to write new Engel songs. He shared how he is able to make this happen, despite his hectic touring schedule.
“First of all, I have a lovely wife, and when I’m home…this may sound a little bit boring but I have to do it like this. I work when my wife is at work, and our kids are at kindergarten. Then I’ll sit down and do it, because as I said before I write all the time and I vibe to it. Then at night I’ll play the acoustic. I’ll get my main oomph and I’ll do it tomorrow. I work very strictly like this. Then I have some kind of deadline to work towards.”
He pointed out that he will not be touring with Engel, even though he is a key songwriter in the band. “I will not be touring with the band. I’ve got my hands full with In Flames and family. My wife would be….’divorce!’ That’s the way I work.”
“They tour without me. They’ve done that for a couple of years. They’re really, really good.”
Will we ever see Engelin tour with Engel, or even an occasional live appearance when In Flames has some down time? He was not so optimistic about it happening.
“No I used to do that back for some time. I found out I did that for some time and the fans were like ‘hey…you weren’t there…fuck you!’ So therefore I’m not in any of the promo pics.”
“You know about Savatage and Jon Oliva? He used to be something like that.”
As for a future Engel tour supporting In Flames, he only commented “that would rule!”
Interview By Rei Nishimoto
Here are the “Top 25″ albums I heard this year that didn’t quite make my Top 25. Maybe there’s something in this for you to check out?
As is always the way I’m discovering more great albums from this year now from everyone else’s lists, so, looking forward to checking out Code Orange, Indian, Krokodil, Hark all amongst others!
ANAAL NATHRAKH – Desideratum
Relentless anarchic vitriolic mix of black metal and intense industrial. Reviewed this one – you can read the review here: https://ghostcultmag.com/anaal-nathrakh-desideratum/
ANTROPOMORPHIA – Rites ov Perversion
Old school influenced Death Metal. Good vibe. Nowt new, but bloody well done. Reviewed this one n’all: https://ghostcultmag.com/antropomorphia-rites-ov-perversion/
ARCH ENEMY – War Eternal
Best one they’ve done since Burning Bridges. New vocalist is better than Gossow too. Ha, another I reviewed if you’re interested. https://ghostcultmag.com/arch-enemy-war-eternal/
ARTIFICIAL BRAIN – Labyrinth Constellation
Mental Death Metal.
AUTOPSY – Tourniquets, Hacksaws & Graves
More great Autopsy, innit
COFFINWORM – IV.I.VIII
Hateful, with big, skull crushing riffs. Heavy, weighty. Bit of sludge, bit of doom.
CONAN – Blood Eagle
Epic, heavy doom, innit. Reviewed n’all: https://ghostcultmag.com/conan-blood-eagle/
DARKEST ERA – Severance
Bit of trad, bit Celtic, good riffs, strong vocals. Promising. Good band, good album. Another I wrote about. https://ghostcultmag.com/darkest-era-severance/ (Not necessarily the song I’d have chosen for a vid, but decent enough)
DELAIN – The Human Contradiction
Poppy, bit more symphonic than I was expecting. Went down a storm at Wembley with Within Temptation too.
DEVIN – Dark Matters
Aka Ziltoid 2. The heavier, more symphonic, more metally of the two parts of the double album. I like it, just a bit too much monkeying around at the expense of the songs, for me.
DRAGONFORCE – Maximum Overload
Not quite as good as ‘The Power Within’ but still proving they write better songs since changing vocalists. Some belters on here, tbf.
ENGEL – Raven Kings
Like In Flames, but heavier guitars and catchier choruses. I like this one (well, I like them all on here, or they wouldn’t be on here, but this surprised me). Wrote about it, too. https://ghostcultmag.com/engel-raven-kings/
EPICA – The Quantum Enigma
Took a few listens, but once it clicked, there’s a lot going on but it’s bloody massive. Symphonic to the max. Another I wrote about. https://ghostcultmag.com/epica-the-quantum-enigma/
GRAND MAGUS – Triumph & Power
Ronseal Metal. Doesn’t quite compare to Hammer of the North or Iron Will to me, but big Valhalla filling songs. Very enjoyable, if no surprises. Another of mine. https://ghostcultmag.com/grand-magus-triumph-and-power/
I AM HERESY – Thy Will
Haven’t listened to it for a while, but appealed a lot at the start of the year, and a good combo of metal and hardcore that mixes it up a bit. https://ghostcultmag.com/i-am-heresy-thy-will/
JOB FOR A COWBOY – Sun Eater
Took me by surprise this one. Adding a large dose of Ulcerate to their sound, but all the better for it. Rather than rattle clattering through a load of sterile overly tight DM/core, they wrote some (very) heavy songs, too.
KING 810 – Memoirs Of A Murderer
The marmite album of 2014! Ha, I liked it. Big angsty anthems. Not perfect, but some quality tunes. Korn meets Slipknot fo’ sho’, but some different stuff going on too. Another one off the review list! https://ghostcultmag.com/king-810-memoirs-of-a-murderer/
LORDI – Scare Force One
I like Alice Cooper. I love King Diamond. This mixes the two with aplomb, delivering a monster munch bunch of good fun tracks. https://ghostcultmag.com/lordi-scare-force-one/
MORBUS CHRON – Sweven
Interesting album, this one. Don’t think I’ve quite given it all the time it deserves, but another I’ve liked this year that doesn’t just sit in a box. It starts from Death Metal but doesn’t stay there.
OBITUARY – Inked In Blood
Really good comeback album. Big grooves. Big riffs. Great tunes. Well done. Best Obi’s album since ‘Cause of Death’ , for me.
ORIGIN – Omnipresent
This is a relentless fucker, this one. Love the aggression, love the riffing, love the technicality, love how much it just wants to punch you in the ear drums.
SLEEP OF MONSTERS – Produces Reason
Babylon Whores are one of my “hidden treasures”, probably the most underrated band of all time, always loved Ike’s vocals, too. He doesn’t quite hit it with his new outfit, but some cool gothy, dark/death rock going on. Grabbed this one for review as soon as it appeared in the inbox. https://ghostcultmag.com/sleep-of-monsters-produces-reason/
SLUGDGE – Gastronomicon
Only heard this once so far, but really impressed me on first go, will be getting a fair few listens going forward. Interesting modern melodic death metal.
TOMBS – Savage Gold
Black metal meets post-metal. Really good shit.
WITHIN TEMPTATION – Hydra
Started the year with this one. Massive pop-metal. Preferred the last one and Silent Force, but it’s got some big old songs, mofos. https://ghostcultmag.com/within-temptation-hydra/
Not content with plying his trade with one major label band, guitarist Niclas Engelin, who stepped into the Jesper Strömblad sized hole in the In Flames line up on a permanent basis in 2011, teams up with long-standing partner in crime Marcus Sunesson (ex-The Crown) for Raven Kings (Gain/Sony), the fourth installment of his near-eponymous band Engel, and his stamp, and that of his day job, is all over this new release.
Engel are keen to show that the metal does indeed flow in their veins, and the decision to kick the album off with two ragers works from a dynamic point of view, particularly considering the exemplary production job undertaken by Jacob Hansen (Volbeat), although the decision to utilize new vocalist Mikael Sehlin’s harsher tones at the onset of the album instantly draw comparisons with Anders Friden, which for a side project that are not a million miles away from the furrows being ploughed by his other band, is potentially too thin an ice to be stomping army boots on.
Where they do come into their own, though, is as the album progresses and the bands’ keen ear for a hook is accentuated and highlighted, be it riff, groove, vocal melody or chorus that provides it, this is an album full of catchy moments and Soilwork-ed passages, with Sehlin operating much more effectively in the melodic ranges, sounding not too dissimilar to Sebastian Bach’s more Slave-ish moments, and with a power and tone reminiscent of Chris Jericho.
While the band have termed themselves Melodic Death Metal there is no escaping that the core sound of Engel is intrinsically close to that of In Flames, particularly as electronic and “industrial” nuances fleck both the Jester’s and this ancillary outfits’ sound these days, or that the term “Death” in that descriptor is a bit of a red herring. Yes, their hooky song-based modern metal (I’m loathe to add the word core on the end as it almost by default detracts from what they produce) is heavy without resorting to ultra beatdowns to bring the weight, but it is in the melodic and the catchy where they thrive, as, ultimately, Raven Kings is a worthy release of contemporary, commercial metal.
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