70000 Tons Of Metal Adds Vio-Lence, Ross The Boss, Seven Witches, Toxik, Aeternam and Brujeria

House of Blues, Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino, Las Vegas, NV 8/18/19

The 70000 Tons Of Metal is right around the corner, kicking off next week, and have confirmed some late additions to the cruise. Setting sail with the current bands on the bill and the fans are Vio-Lence, Ross The Boss, Seven Witches, Toxik, Aeternam and Brujeria. Round X (10) of 70000 Tons Of Metal will sail January 7 to January 11, 2020.Continue reading

Michael Schenker Fest, Sortilège, Soen, Trollfest, Grave Digger, and More Booked for 70000 Tons Of Metal Cruise

The tenth annual 70000 Tons of Metal Cruise has been dropping some incredible bookings for the 2020 cruise this January. Recently added bands are Michael Schenker Fest, Sortilège, Soen, Trollfest, Grave Digger, and more have been added to the cruise lineup! Schenker’s appearance makes the Official 50th Recording Anniversary for him as an artist. For the cruise he will be joined by a very special compliment of musicians:Continue reading

Atrocity – Okkult II

I have always had a lot of time and respect for Alexander Krull. Not only does he share a name with a vastly underrated and not at all terrible fantasy masterpiece (shut it, you…), but throughout his time as the main man of Atrocity he has constantly railed against just doing the straight up and normal, be that by releasing an eighties covers album about fifteen years before it was cool to do so, collaborating with darkwave könige, Das Ich, dark acoustic EP’s with Celtic folk singers, or by mixing massive Prong-ridden grooves with Death and Gothic metal on meisterstück, Blut (Massacre). Continue reading

Midnattsol – The Aftermath

Having fronted symphonic Viking metal act Leaves’ Eyes and goth metal legends Theatre of Tragedy, as well as appearing as a guest vocalist on countless different projects over the years, Liv Kristine Espenæs has finally united officially with her sister – who has herself appeared as a guest vocalist on several Leaves’ Eyes releases – and joined Nordic folk metal act Midnattsol.Continue reading

Leaves’ Eyes – Sign Of The Dragonhead

 

After switching over to a new vocalist in April 2016, following the seemingly acrimonious departure of Liv Kristine, Leaves’ Eyes presents their first album with Elina Siirala on vocals. The new record is titled Sign Of The Dragonhead (AFM), and once again dives Dragonhead first into Nordic mythology and culture. Continue reading

New England Metal And Hardcore Festival 19, At The Worcester Palladium

The long running New England Metal And Hardcore Festival held its 19th annual event recently and the lineup was excellent. As usual, fans came from all of New England and even further reaches of musicdom to hangout and rock at the grand old lady of music venues in Massachusetts, The Worcester Palladium in Worcester, MA. Hillarie Jason covered the festival once again for Ghost Cult and shot the awesome pictures for this piece! Continue reading

New England Metal And Hardcore Festival Testament, Sabaton, Sepultura, Katatonia, Hammerfall, Prong And More

 

Sabaton, by Lisa Schuchmann

Sabaton, by Lisa Schuchmann

The long running New England Metal And Hardcore Festival returns for a 19th time with Testament, Sepultura, Prong, Kublai Khan, The Last Ten Seconds Of Life, Varials, Left Behind, No Zodiac, and Precious on Friday and Sabaton, Katatonia, Hammerfall, Amorphis, Caspian, Delain, Swallow The Sun, Battle Beast, Leaves Eyes, and Circuit Of Suns.

. More bands TBD.Continue reading

Liv Kristine – Vervain

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Now apparently, this latest effort from Leaves Eyes vocalist Liv Kristine has been sold to us as ‘Ambient doom’. I can safely say that no version of doom has been anywhere near Vervain (Napalm) but within is a sound of some melancholy, despite adding only a touch of gravity to the more expected symphonic template.

Opening track ‘My Wilderness’ houses a sense of despair, lush keys creating a stirring atmosphere while Liv’s heavenly tones are accompanied by haunting backing vocals. The ensuing ‘Love Decay’ features dramatic 80s goth vocals from End of Green‘s Michelle Darkness, adding to the dark pop-rock feel which is given further piquancy by an spiky riff and crashing drums. The title track’s strange synths and gentle but driving beat underpin a gorgeous vocal which is Tori Amos-like at its height: indeed the quirky Goddess is evinced on a number of tracks here, not least in the roughed-up dub of ‘Creeper’ and closer ‘Oblivious’, both full of sparing leads and woolly key fills in the worst traditions of 80s AOR.

It’s a plaintive sound, that largely gothic instrumentation and dark, icicle-drop keys giving the style expected to the Benatar-ish ‘Stronghold of Angels’, which is given a harder edge by a wonderful contribution from Doro Pesch and some heady harmonies. Though devoid of extremity, even weaker moments such as the occasionally feeble ‘Hunters’ are given a little oomph by Kristine’s soaring, crystal-clear voice, full of emotion; the layered backing vocals; and those ‘riff and rhythm’-laden choruses. There’s a hint of Kate Bush also on the edgy ballad ‘Lotus’, evincing a bitter coffee in a lonely Parisian cafe.

There’s an unmistakable air of European rock about it all, even when that riff kicks in, yet it’s emotive despite the clinical over-production and delicious for devotees of heartfelt operatic rock. Liv’s honeyed notes are effortless, even aching on the mournful ‘Two and a Heart’, and overall it’s fairly pleasant though not the sort for rough old me. Catchy, sweet, and choc-full of darkness and melody, it’s Gothic Symphonia with an even softer heart.

6.5/10

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PAUL QUINN