INTERVIEW: Part II with Arjen Lucassen on Ayreon, Rock Operas, Vin Diesel, and Star Trek

Ghost Cult scribe Lorraine Lysen caught up with the great Arjen Lucassen of Ayreon for a wide-ranging interview a few months ago. They chatted about The Electric Castle Live project, the visuals of Ayreon Universe live, working with John de Lancie, rock operas, concept albums, Vin Diesel, Star Trek TNG, upcoming new music, and much more. 
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INTERVIEW: Arjen Lucassen on Ayreon, Past, Present, and Future – Part 1

Ghost Cult scribe Lorraine Lysen caught up with the great Arjen Lucassen of Ayreon for a wide-ranging interview a few months ago. They chatted about The Electric Castle Live project, his entire career, upcoming new music, and much more.  Continue reading

Within Temptation to Stream Iconic “Black Symphony” Concert This Week

Within Temptation will stream their first arena show with orchestra on social media: watch Black Symphony live at Rotterdam’s Ahoy Arena on Thursday, April 30, at 7.30 PM UK time, on the band’s Facebook, YouTube or Twitch channel. For the first time in their career, Within Temptation bundled their strength with the Metropole Orchestra (led by Jules Buckley) and a 20-voice classical choir, lifting the band’s fast-driven and bombastic tracks to an even higher level. Within Temptation performed the spectacular show on February 7 2008 to 10.000 fans, surprising them with appearances by special guests Mina Caputo (Life Of Agony), Anneke van Giersbergen (The Gathering) and George Oosthoek (Orphanage) while covering every hit from their discography up to 2008, including Mother Earth, Stand My Ground and All I Need. News is expected soon from the WT camp about upcoming activities, hopefully, that will mean new music. Continue reading

DVD REVIEW: Ayreon – Electric Castle Live and Other Tales

Come with me now; be joyful. It is time to enter The Electric Castle!”

After the wild success of the Ayreon Universe shows in 2017, where an audience of international Ayreonauts was treated to a best-of selection of Ayreon’s most popular songs, the Poppodium 013 once again opened its gates to the gentle hordes in September of 2019. 2018 had seen the twenty-year anniversary and the re-mixed and -mastered version of Into The Electric Castle, and thus it was a logical step that this new live show centered around that album, a favourite of many. To the great thrill of not only the fans but the artists as well, Arjen managed to gather most of the cast members of the original album, and the most admirable substitutes for those who couldn’t make it. Continue reading

EXCLUSIVE: Mark Jansen of MaYaN Shares His Favorite Symphonic Death Metal Albums

Legendary Dutch symphonic death metal collective Mayan (or MaYaN) is releasing their incredible new opus Dhyana next Friday, 21st of September, via Nuclear Blast Records. In this exclusive interview with mastermind Mark Jansen (Epica/After Forever), he discusses his personal Top 3 Symphonic Death Metal albums ever, only at Ghost Cult! Continue reading

Delain – The Human Contradiction

delain album cover PromoImage

Dutch symphonic metal five piece Delain have just released their highly anticipated fourth full-length output, which lyrically continues the well-received We Are The Others (2012). The more generic gothic metal of the early days has been replaced by a distinctive sound, which inclines more towards symphonic metal and is heavier, more melodic and more original than ever before in the career of the formation.

 

The quintet displays great attention to detail, the rhythm section of Otto Schimmelpenninck van der Oije (bass) and Sander Zoer (drums) lays a firm foundation for Timo Somers passionate fretwork, which lends Delain’s sound a very energetic vibe. Moreover, the band has paid particular attention to the vocals, which are a lot more varied then on previous releases.

 

On the one hand that is surely due to Charlotte Wessels diverse vocals, which are as sweet as they are powerful and manage to draw you in completely. Over the last years, the chanteuse’s voice has become considerably more distinct and expressive, making her much more mature as a vocalist and resulting in her best performance as yet.

 

On the other hand it’s down to the versatile input of the assembled guest musicians. Most prominent amongst them, certainly Nightwish’s Marco Hietala, whose intense voice forms a stark contrast to Charlotte’s more endearing tones and who provides the two songs he sings in (‘My Body Is A Battleground’, ‘Sing To Me’),with a rougher edge. A further highlight on the record are George Oosthoek’s powerful grunts in the philosophical ‘Tell Me, Mechanist’ and last but not least the impressive growls of Alyssia White-Gluz (Arch Enemy, ex-The Agonist), in the highly symphonic but at the same time rather heavy, ‘The Tragedy Of The Commons’, which are a true delight for every metal head.

The Human Contradiction (released on their new label home, Napalm Records) contains nine carefully crafted and evocative compositions, which strikingly display all of Delain’s trademarks, energetic riffing, catchy melodies and arresting female vocals, but also present some fresh elements. With keyboarder and mastermind Martijn Westerholt (ex-Within Temptation) back in the producer’s chair, the band has managed to fashion their best release to date, making you want to hit the repeat button over and over again.

Delain band USE first in interview

9.5/10

Delain on Facebook

Isabell Köster