DEVIN TOWNSEND announces new album ‘Empath’

Canadian heavy music artist Devin Townsend has officially announced the release of his forthcoming new album ‘EMPATH’ for the 29th March 2019.




In the lead up to the album’s release, Devin will walk fans through how ‘EMPATH’ came together with a series of documentary episodes recorded as phone conversations during the course of the albums recording. Watch him explain more in this video: https://youtu.be/lZBcGuM_UpE

Devin comments: “Hello everybody, this is Devin Townsend and I would like to formally announce that after almost a year and a half of working, I have finished ‘EMPATH’. Now this record has taken me down a lot of very interesting psychological and technical avenues and the process was documented from the very get-go by a series of documentary videos that I have done, that outline everything from the gestation of the idea to the actualisation of it, through all the existential ups and downs that went on. As such this record is different to any record that I have released thus far, and trying to get people on board for what it is versus what it isn’t, I think needs to be dealt with in a different way.
Stay tuned for the making of ‘EMPATH’ – the video series.


Over the past few years, the success that Devin has slowly worked for has fortunately come with the power to control his own creative destiny. The recent successes with the DVD from a sold-out Royal Albert hall, or his 2012 ‘Retinal Circus’, or last year’s ‘Ocean Machine’ live DVD with the Orchestra and Choir of State Opera Plovdiv has put him in a position where with the new album ‘EMPATH’, he will once and for all define himself as a musical force outside of any particular genre classification.

On this album Devin has decided to see what would happen if all the styles that make up his current interests were finally represented in one place. To finally shake the fear of expectation, and just do what it is he was meant to do creatively, ‘EMPATH’, true to the name, is about allowing the audience a feeling for a variety of musical emotions. The musical dynamics represented on this single album are broad, challenging, and immense. To approach this sort of work with a long history of what makes heavy music ‘heavy’, allows this to be done with a type of power rarely heard.

Joining Devin on this album is Frank Zappa alumni Mike Keneally as music director, as well as Morgan Ågren (Mats And Morgan, Frank Zappa, Fredrik Thordendal), Anup Sastry (Monuments, Periphery), Samus Paulicelli (Decrepit Birth, Abigail Williams), Nathan NavarroElliot DesagnesSteve VaiChad KroegerAnneke Van GiersbergenChé Aimee DorvalRyan Dhale and the Elektra Women’s Choir.

A bold statement with massive production values and dynamic, uncompromised musicality. This is a statement about not only pursuing creative freedom in a conservative scene, but also trying to show that heavy music is truly a valid musical tool.

‘EMPATH’ will be released on Limited 2 CD Digipak (including an entire disc of bonus material), Standard CD Jewelcase, Gatefold 180G 2LP Vinyl + CD + LP-booklet & as digital album. The full track-listing is as follows:
 1. Castaway
2. Genesis
3. Spirits Will Collide
4. Evermore
5. Sprite
6. Hear Me
7. Why
8. Borderlands
9. Requiem
10. Singularity Part 1 – Adrift
11. Singularity Part 2 – I Am I
12. Singularity Part 3 – There Be Monsters
13. Singularity Part 4 – Curious Gods
14. Singularity Part 5 – Silicon Scientists
15. Singularity Part 6 – Here Comes The Sun
Last year Devin announced a special ‘An Evening With’ tour that would see him performing acoustically, as well as taking part in a fan Q&A at each show.

The full list of dates are as follows, many of which are already sold out:

7th March – The Piano Man Jazz Club, New Delhi, India SOLD OUT
8th March – Levi’s Lounge, Mumbai, India SOLD OUT
29th March – Savoy Theater, Helsinki, Finland SOLD OUT
30th March – Savoy Theater, Helsinki, Finland SOLD OUT
31st March – Sodra Teatern, Stockholm, Sweden SOLD OUT
1st April – Edderkoppen, Oslo, Norway SOLD OUT
2nd April – Bremen Theater, Copenhagen, Denmark
4th April – PassionKirchhe, Berlin, Germany
5th April – Stodola, Warsaw, Poland
6th April – La Fabrica, Prague, Czech Republic SOLD OUT
7th April – Freiheiz, Munich, Germany SOLD OUT
9th April – Kulturkirche, Cologne, Germany SOLD OUT
10th April – Grunspan, Hamburg, Germany
11th April – Bravo Kerk, Haarlem, Netherlands SOLD OUT
13th April – Reading 3, Tel Aviv, Israel
24th April – Bush Hall, London, UK SOLD OUT
25th April – Bush Hall, London, UK SOLD OUT
26th April – St George’s, Bristol, UK SOLD OUT
27th April – City Varieties, Leeds, UK SOLD OUT
29th April – Jam House, Edinburgh, UK SOLD OUT
30th April – Glee Club, Birmingham, UK SOLD OUT

Remaining tickets can be found here: https://bnds.us/hotp9q

Devin’s varied back catalogue is also being celebrated with lavish vinyl box-sets under the name of ERAS. Having already released parts 1 and 2 earlier in early 2018, the end of the year saw the release of part 3, which features some of his most recent work with Devin Townsend Project, including the albums ‘Accelerated Evolution’, ‘Epicloud’, ‘Sky Blue’, ‘Transcendence’ & the first ever vinyl release of the second part of the DTP’s now legendary Royal Albert Hall show. Order your copy of this deluxe 10 LP box-set here: https://devintownsendproject.lnk.to/ErasIII

DEVIN TOWNSEND online:
http://www.hevydevy.com
http://www.facebook.com/dvntownsend
http://www.omerch.com
https://twitter.com/dvntownsend
https://www.instagram.com/dvntownsend/
https://www.youtube.com/user/poopynuggeteer/featured
INSIDEOUTMUSIC online:
www.insideoutmusic.com
www.youtube.com/InsideOutMusicTV
www.facebook.com/InsideOutMusic
www.twitter.com/insideouteu
www.insideoutshop.de

DEVIN TOWNSEND explains more about his upcoming album “EMPATH”

Nightwish and Beast in Black take over Milan

After a couple of years of waiting, Nightwish eventually came back to Italy with their ‘Decades World Tour’, a show which the Italian fans awaited for longer than a year and that would not leave the public disappointed.

Perfectly in time with the announced schedule, Nightwish’s guest of honour for the night, Beast in Black, walked on stage. The power metal band didn’t hold anything back and managed to have the first rows dance and jump from the very first songs. Their setlist included classics such as “Eternal Fire” and heart-wrecking ballads (“Ghost in the Rain”), which was followed by a surprising, extremely fun and aesthetically innovative performance of the “craziest song [they] have ever written”, “Crazy, Mad Insane”: an unexpected chorepgraphy and led-sun glasses amused the audience. The band also performed the single “Blind and Forzen”, after which the lead singer invited everyone present to watch the new music video; he also announced the upcoming leading-tour which will kick off from Europe in the near future.

Once the opening act walked off stage among the crowd’s cheers, it soon was time for Nightwish. The screen showed a polite request not to use phones, in order to better enjoy the band’s road trip through memories. Troy was the first to appear and soon the rest of the members were visible as well. They wasted no time and started off in big style with fire, smoke and the exciting triplet “Dark Chest of Wonders”, “Wish I had an Angel” and a gem, “10th Man Down”: the public received the delivery so well that Floor had to note that it was the greatest start so far. The show continued with songs from the last album mixed with more or less played tracks from earlier records, including a mgistral cover of “Elvenjig”, fittingly followed by “Elvenpath”. Each performance was accompained by amazing and breathtaking artworks that included wolves and winterscapes, fireworks and smoke, which made the atmosphere (quite literally) hot and impossible to predict. Unexpectedly, “The Carpenter” and “The Devil and the Dark Deep Ocean” were played too, the latter one introduced as a twisted “love story”. In the meantime, in the background the audience could occasionally see Tuomas and Floor gleefully sipping wine. The ever-present “Nemo” didn’t miss its opportunity to have everyone dance and scream, and in general the fans were having a visibly great time, there was obviously a lot of jumping and moving, so much that at some point during the show a member of the audience felt sick and needed to be carried out by paramedics. Floor was clearly distressed but still managed to hold the stage with class and natural talent: she took the chance to thank the Italian fanclub (Nightwishers Italian Official Fanclub) for the gift received during the meet and greet: a very peculiar one indeed, considering that the band was given a star named after them. The members expressed their gratitude and once the singer made sure that the sick person was doing better, the gig took off from where it left. During the whole performance no fire, head nor fumes were spared, and during “Ghost Love Score” a moving sea of orange and reddish confetti was added, leaving everyone in awe, a final parting goodbye that left everyone present quite emotional.

 

            After the show Floor and Troy stopped by to say thank you and greet some fans, confirming that the band too had a great time during the evening. Needless to say, Italy seems to be ready to welcome them again anytime soon, to say once again “we were here”.

Review by Michela Sereni

 

Interview: Max Ater

Born and raised on the coast of Southern Maine, 25 year-old pop/country phenomenon Max Ater has quickly taken New England by storm with his powerful voice and lyrics. No stranger to the stage, Max spent his teenage years honing his skills at open mics, community theatre, and at fairs and festivals throughout the state. In 2012, he gained state-wide attention for his performance at “Maine’s Got Talent!” scoring first place with an original song. With the support of friends and family, Max took his original music throughout New England and quickly built a loyal fanbase. In 2013, he released a self-produced EP Up ‘Till Now, debuting his talents not only as a songwriter but for production as well. A few years later, Max was grand champion of Maine’s Soundoff 2016 competition.

Teen Art Out: Before anything else, we would like to know how it all began for you.  What turned you to music in the first place?

Max Ater: I turned toward music in high school after finding a knack for producing music on my computer. I’d always loved writing so when I found my voice, I put the two together and quickly found a real passion for the craft. A couple years later, I started to perform my music at open mics around Maine and then fairs and festivals. I realized fast that performing live was a rush I really wanted to chase.

Teen Art Out: Does your new EP Small Town have a recurring theme? Is there a planned connection between the songs?

Max Ater: There wasn’t any planned connection between the songs but throughout the process of writing this record, I definitely started to hear a story emerge. Each track draws from elements of my life here in Maine and I think that naturally ties this record together.

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Teen Art Out: Is there any artist with whose lyrics/music you can relate and who also inspired you?

Max Ater: Working on this new record turned me towards some really great artists that not only inspired this latest EP but I know will to continue to impact me. Artists like Thomas Rhett and Keith Urban, both of whom write and record a really unique mix of Pop and Country. I spent a lot of time over the past two years studying their style and choices. Over the years, I’ve fallen in love with the writing style of John Mayer and his ability to take really big ideas and break them down into incredible tunes. That’s a challenge! Very recently, I’ve been deeply moved by the music of David Gray.


Teen Art Out: You are creating a really nice combination of pop and country music. What builds the country part? Is it your own instrumental composition?

Max Ater: I spent a lot of time with Karl Anderson, the producer of this record, simply talking about how we wanted to approach the production of these tracks. The initial demos lacked any solid country vibe and that was on purpose because we wanted to build around a foundation of pop. My focus was on discovering the melodies, usually early on behind the piano. The country vibe is due in large part to the live drums that session drummer Jason Hartless tracked. He brought liveliness into the production that balanced the heavier elements of pop.

Teen Art Out: In what way did your hometown inspire you? It seems to be one of the “main character” of your current music and upcoming EP.

Max Ater: Imagery is essential to me as a songwriter. Every song I write has a setting, however disconnected from the final lyrics, that I always come back to for inspiration. To be honest, I don’t fully understand why my mind chooses the setting it does sometimes but it ends up being a powerful lyrical palette. My hometown of Bath, Maine is perfect for this. It spans the spectrum of rural and urban living and of course, the people are a beautiful inspiration as well! At the same time, I’ve never thought of being inspired by Bath as a choice for me. I was born and raised here.

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Teen Art Out: What do you have in mind when writing the lyrics for your songs? What is the main purpose you want to achieve?

Max Ater: My goal has always been to find that balance between lyrics I truly connect with and lyrics that connect with others. Taking big ideas and sifting out their most relatable form is what songwriting is all about for me. There’s no other feeling in the world quite like finding the right words and being able to share them through music.


Teen Art Out: On another note, would you ever consider writing for someone else?

Max Ater: I’ve considered it, but have yet to have the opportunity to do so. If the chance arose, I’d be more than happy to give it a try.

Teen Art Out: Which do you think would be the challenges that this would imply?

Max Ater: I think it’d be a matter of confidence. Writing lyrics is a deeply personal experience for me and learning how to open up like that for another artist would be a challenge but I suspect a very fulfilling one.

Teen Art Out: Is there any song that you wrote just to let your emotions out and which is so personal that it won’t see the public light?

Max Ater: Of course! I have tunes that would seem absolutely strange to others but they helped me process and recover from tough times along the way.

Teen Art Out: If you could use only one instrument for a song without changing your musical style, which one would it be?

Max Ater: It would have to be piano! I’ve written a majority of my tunes behind the keys. I think it offers the widest array of possibilities for me when it comes to capturing my style of music.

Teen Art Out: Should you describe music in three emotions, which would those be?

Max Ater: Hopeful, Powerful, Heartfelt

Leprous, Agent Fresco, and 22 in Bucharest – Review

We all know why we gathered on 6th September in the lovely Quantic Pub, on a warm autumn evening. To witness the expression of art in its best progressive form. To forget about everything that upsets us and enjoy the beauty of three amazing bands. To remember that even if the summer is gone, we still have places to be and people to see. As some would say, just a regular night with Leprous, Agent Fresco and 22.  The show started according to schedule, with a modest audience. I knew nothing about 22 before the show. I actually found out they are going to play one day before. A prog-rock band from Norway which turned out to be a big influence in both Leprous and Agent Fresco’s careers. They define their own music style as an eclectic, energetic and stadium-appealing progressive rock outfit, which I can’t really speak against. Unfortunately, they only played for half an hour or so, but they killed it! So much energy, so many positive vibes and such a good and clean sound. It’s easy to tell the similarities between these three bands, as 22 made a perfect introduction to what was there to come.  As a personal opinion, I think they got less audience than they deserved. I did come with some expectations regarding Agent Fresco. I discovered this band by accident while listening to some Leprous and immediately fell in love with them. Their music is both complex, being a mix of many genres, and cinematic with a hint of soul and many „math moments”. On stage, everything sounded even better. Arnor’s voice is just impressive and clean.  The atmosphere was surreal, as their music is straight genius. We all got to enjoy both famous songs as Dark Waters and Pyre and other less know, like See Hell and The Eyes of a Cloud Catcher. As the songs kept coming, the volume of the people inside the venue increased. There is something about Agent Fresco, almost magical, that sends good vibes and makes you feel confident, but not like moving a mountain confident,  just „life is short, enjoy it” confident.  It is definitely a band I am eager to see again and if you don’t know about them, listen to them and buy their work cause its worth it. Leprous is a band that doesn’t need any introduction anymore. A band that grew in a few years more than others did in decades, and became, easily, one of the most influential progressive metal bands. Their approach of the genre is one of a kind, psychedelic, with heavy drums, both distortion and clean sounds on guitars, melodic piano parts, and Einar’s incredible voice.  On 6th September, they came, they saw and they conquered our hearts. As I said many times before, one just can’t have enough of this band or their music. Every show is a journey, every song is a rollercoaster of emotions, states of mind, thoughts, and feelings. This journey started with a beautiful cello intro, followed by „Bonneville”, the first track from „Malina”. It’s a bit funny but still impressive to see how the audience reacts to Leprous concerts. It the beginning, everyone has a „hit me with your best show” face and they slowly grow to be speechless, gazing with big eyes, singing every word, pouring love and respect, as the band goes through many stages and songs. On stage, things stay the same, as the guys are chill and quiet in the first moments, then they lose their minds and everything turns into a live piece of art. One hour and a half passed like five minutes for me. The transitions from the older songs like „The Flood” to “From the Flame”  shows us the band’s ability to pass from heavier metal sound to a song with more of a sensitive note, making the whole show flow like a wave. You know it’s gonna disappear but you always hope it will come back. I think the best you can achieve, as a band, is when your music goes deeper than the hearing. When you feel it in your bones when Einar’s voice is sending chills down your spine when Simen’s bass rhythm vibrates through your whole body and Baard’s drums follow the heart beats. You can clearly see how every member of the band gives 101% up there, enjoying and working at the same time.   Because we were such a good audience and the first SOLD OUT show from the tour, the band spoiled us with “Angel”,  a Massive Attack song.  As everything comes to an end, so does their journey, when the sound gets more serein but still imposing and everyone gets sad because they know it’s coming. Besides the great music, we got to see some very cool video projections and a nice „light-show” that completed the concert, along the way.   The guys played both songs from their latest material and some old songs, for the old Leprous fans. It was a show to remember and definitely one to repeat. For everyone out there that is a Leprous fan and did not get the chance to see them, wait no minute longer! It’s a must! As a gift for us, after the show, all the bands came for a small talk, some pictures, some autographs, and many smiles. Big congrats to the sound team, because they did a great job, as always. Another thing that made me happy was the merchandise area which had various goodies and many clients. I really enjoyed the organizing part, as the concert had a very friendly vibe with no golden circle pits, no excessive rules and so on.      

Interview: Jason Hartless

You have started playing and touring at a very early age. How do you now look back to that time?

I was very lucky to have parents that were very supportive and a father that understood the business and guided me into the direction to get me where I am today. It’s really crazy to look back and to think I was only 14 years old when I toured for 3 months opening for Motley Crue; but I got my feet wet with touring very early that it has allowed me to walk into many gig and touring situations without having to audition.

You have attended music classes at Berklee College of Music. How do you see the need for formal education in the music industry?

I am a Music Business major and I feel that it is extremely to have the proper education in an industry that is as fast paced as the music industry. In the age of DIY musicians try to compete with each other, the artists that are making money are artists that have industry professionals behind their career knowing the ins and outs of the whole machine that is the music industry. So learning the real tricks of the trade helps me build my career in other aspects of the industry.

How scary a moment was to decide to become a full-time musician? Were there people around you discouraging you?

I started messing around on my dad’s drums when I was about 6 months old; once I was about 3 years old, I really began to play the full kit and jamming with musician friends of my dad’s. By the time I was 5 years old, I began to play professionally around Detroit doing cover gigs and really found a love for the instrument. I really began touring North America around the age of 12, its funny because I have been playing music my whole life, so I never really even thought about it as a job; I really didn’t even realize that this was my career until I had been doing it professionally for a long time hahahaha.

What are some of the best drum songs out there?

Hmmmm That’s a hard one, each song created has such a different vibe and groove that it is very hard to pick the best parts.

Being a session musician, you have been involved in a lot of diverse projects. Is there still some style you would love to experiment with but haven’t had the chance?

I am always listening and working on different styles that what happens is I get really into a certain style for a while and try to learn as much about that style as possible, and then move on to something different. After a while I end up revisiting a style and work on that more. So its always about getting better and learning new stuff.

You are also a managing partner of Prudential Music Group. Can music and business coexist, or do they take parts from each other?

Prudential Music Group is a music conglomerate that houses 2 record labels and a publishing company. We are very happy to be distributed through Sony RED/Orchard for many years. As a musician and as a business executive, it really helps allow me to look at the industry from both sides and really allows me to be as ethical as possible when working out deals between my company and artists because I understand the value of artists work. I have always been a fan of the commercial aspect of the industry and figuring out what music and product would appeal to the consumer because if there is no consumer appeal, there is no business.

With Rouge Records, you are re-releasing vinyls. In an industry many claim to be dying, why go into record and vinyl sales?

Well the vinyl industry has been growing each year; vinyl sales were up 19% the first and second quarter in 2018, so the consumer want is increasing. Vinyl is really the only physical format that is really selling these days and I believe it is a combo of people from 40-60 years old that want to relive the joys of rebuilding their vinyl collection, plus the millennial generation wanting have a more kinesthetic experience listening to music. Plus, in the age of streaming, we are able to generate revenue quite easily due to the prices that vinyl is at these days, however the downside is manufacturing costs are very high. The big plus doing in the vinyl industry, we are headquartered in Detroit, MI, which Jack White just opened Third Man Pressing in the heart of downtown, so we partnered with them to press all of our vinyl.

If we look at big rock festivals, particularly in Europe, the headliners are the same as 10 or 20 years ago. It would seem that there are not that many younger bands able to “rival” the greats. What do you personally make of that? 

The biggest issue that I see these days is the oversaturation of the number of bands; plus, the amount of DIY bands that think that they are “make it” by putting their music on iTunes. It is very strange because I have been having this same discussion with a lot of colleagues lately. As you pointed out, when you take a look at the bands headlining festivals, arenas, theatres, stadiums and amphitheatres, most of those bands were headlining in the 70s and 80s; other than a few newer country and pop artists. Looking ahead 10-15 years, most of those 70s and 80s bands will be retired, so the real interesting questions are, “who will be filling 2,500+ cap rooms in 2030?” “Will there be enough artists that can keep some of these venues open?”. It will be a very interesting topic that will become more relevant as soon as more artists retire.

You have also been involved in educational videos and school programs. What would you say makes a good teacher, particularly a good music teacher?

A great music teacher exposes students to different musicians, different styles and different music. I approach my teaching to really teach the student work ethic; I don’t hold hands and will call a student out as soon as they play something wrong. It might sound harsh, but really a job as a teacher is to give them the info, let them give the info a try, and then tell them when the info is wrong. This very much how my teacher of many years, George Dunn, taught me. It teaches musicians to think on their own, and when you hold hands in a lesson, the student doesn’t get to fail and learn from their mistakes.

When you step outside the studio or concert hall, what are your favourite things to do?

I am a huge hockey nut. So, I am always at Detroit Red Wings’ games when I am home from the road.

Moonspell – “Lisboa Under The Spell” DVD Review

On February 4th 2017, a piece of history was written in the dark book of Portuguese gothic metal act Moonspell. Lisboa Under The Spell was recorded that day at their show in Campo Pequeno Arena and it was released as a live DVD not so long ago, on August 17th via Napalm Records.

Here is Moonspell’s statement: “We are thrilled to announce the release of our brand new live DVD/Blu-ray/3CD live album, entitled ‘Lisboa Under The Spell’! It was recorded live on our breathtaking capitol city of Lisbon and it’s nothing short of an epic trek of more than three action-packed hours! We have played ‘Wolfheart’‘Irreligious’ plus ‘Extinct’ in full, invited a bunch of guests, summoned our biggest strength to be up to the task, and it feels awesome to unleash a long-awaited live release from MOONSPELL. This edition will be full packed with amazing material, bonus CDs from the shows, a in depth documentary about the band, top sound, dramatic flair and a human picture of thousands of Portuguese witches and wolves under the spell. A great document of what we are on and off stage. Don’t miss out and visit Lisbon through the eyes of MOONSPELL fans and the genius work of director Victor Castro.”

Before diving into the actual details, I must say that, in my humble opinion, the title of this DVD sums it up pretty nicely. I have seen Moonspell in a live concert twice and it felt indeed like being under a spell. From my point of view, frontman Fernando Ribeiro is one of the most charismatic figures in the metal scene. He is simply a mountain of passion on stage, always knowing how to connect with his audience. He never leaves blank spaces during their performance and he manages to make you feel like being a part of the show. You would think that after 25 years of performing on stages all over the world, one might get tired of doing the same thing over and over again, but not these guys. The force of connecting with everyone, the feelings driven by their music, the passion for performing are still there and they are doing a hell of a great job, hopefully for many years to come.

I am by no means an expert when it comes to videography, but Victor Castro managed to direct and create a very interesting and detailed documentary and he also managed to feature the lives of these five artists outside their comfort zones, meaning the stage, showing us a glimpse of their everyday lives, since we sometimes forget that the people we usually cheer for during shows, are also… regular human beings. The lightshow and the color scheme are well-chosen, the sound is accurate and pleasing, decors change accordingly and the audience is explosive. I do believe those 4000 fans were very lucky to be there.

And thus the show begins with the first act, Wolfheart, their debut album from 1995, played in its entirety. I am pretty sure this was a treat for fans of early Moonspell and also a delight for those who couldn’t be present at past tours. I don’t want to give away too much, but I have to mention the Vampiria moment. This whole album is a work of art, but Vampiria seems to be one of those performances that can put one in a trance and Fernando’s voice… oh boy. From this act, Napalm Records released a video of Alma Mater, one of the songs that can shake you to the core and I can only imagine how special it is for the Portuguese audience.

Act II follows with another favorite of Moonspell fans all over the world and that is Irreligious, their 2nd album released in 1996. Raven Claws brings the lovely Mariangela Demurtas on stage, singer of Tristania and also wife of Moonspell guitarist, Ricardo Amorim. I really loved the way Fernando presented her: “born Italian, but the owner of a Portuguese heart”. Who says these guys can’t be romantic? But enough with the cutesy things, since the following tracks are some of the forte points of this whole show: Mephisto, Herr Spiegelmann and, of course, Fullmoon Madness. A mix of fire, strength, mystery and the most delightful madness, will take over you while enjoying this part of the concert. Napalm Records also released a video for this act, featuring Herr Spiegelmann, with a very special moment as you can see below. This song was inspired by the book The Perfume, written by Patrick Suskind.

Act III is represented by Extinct, their tenth full-length album released in 2015. The pace is changing, shifting into a more modern Moonspell sound, but nonetheless, a very catchy and intriguing chapter of this band’s history. I remember there were a lot of upset fans back in 2015, who disagreed with the adopted changes in style, but I am pretty sure this album grew on them in the meantime. I was hooked on it since the first listening session and I believe this album was a successful musical exercise, proving that Moonspell is capable of bending the rules, adding new elements to their music, while still remaining on the same track that gained them notoriety throughout the years. Being capable of such changes only proves a great deal of growing up as an artist. Moving on, there are a few surprises featured on this act as well, but I will let you discover them on your own.

All in all, this DVD is very enjoyable to watch and if you are a Moonspell fan, you will surely treasure it. To be performing for 25 years is really not something to be ignored, especially in this difficult metal scene. Moonspell managed to gift us a show to be remembered. It all ends with Fernando voicing some of his thoughts after the show has ended, but you will have to check it out by yourself. Having said this, I am looking forward to their journey and hopefully to another concert since they have released their concept album 1755, on November 3rd 2017. Fingers crossed!

DVD & Blu-Ray:

I  ROCKUMENTARY – band documentary by Victor Castro

II WOLFHEART SHOW – full album played live

  1. Wolfshade (A Werewolf Masquerade)
  2. Love Crimes
  3. Of Dream And Drama
  4. Lua D’inverno
  5. Trebaruna
  6. Ataegina
  7. Vampiria
  8. An Erotic Alchemy
  9. Alma Mater

 

III IRRELIGIOUS SHOW – full album played live

  1. Perverse Almost Religious
  2. Opium
  3. Awake!
  4. For A Taste Of Eternity
  5. Ruin & Misery
  6. A Poisoned Gift
  7. Raven Claws (Feat. Mariangela Demurtas)
  8. Mephisto
  9. Herr Spiegelmann
  10. Fullmoon Madness

 

IV EXTINCT SHOW – full album played live

  1. All Gone From The Wild (Intro)
  2. Breathe (Until We Are No More)
  3. Extinct (Feat. Carolina Torres)
  4. Medusalem
  5. Domina
  6. The Last Of Us
  7. Malignia
  8. Funeral Bloom
  9. A Dying Breed
  10. The Future Is Dark

 

V  MAKING OF – show day

 

VI GALLERY – live and backstage pics

 

Get your copy here:

https://www.moonspell.rastilho.com/highlights/

https://shop.napalmrecords.com/moonspell-lisboa-under-the-spell-deluxe-box.html

Review by Cristina Țurlea

Beyond The Black – “Heart Of The Hurricane” Album Review

Two years have passed since their last release, but time has come once again for German symphonic metal act Beyond The Black to dive straight into the Heart Of The Hurricane! No, not literally, don’t worry. Heart Of The Hurricane is the name of their new album, that will be released very soon on the 31st of August via Napalm Records.

Image result for beyond the black heart of the hurricane

Here is a statement from the band regarding their new material: “Can you feel the thunder? After a turbulent phase in the short history of BtB, we can say that we came out stronger than ever! Witness to that is our first single “Heart of the Hurricane”, which takes you through a sonic thunderstorm to be reckoned with! We absolutely cannot wait to unleash this storm upon old and new fans alike, as we are sure that this new chapter will take us on a beautiful journey through dark and light!”

And indeed I can totally agree that it has been a journey through darkness and light, as they said. This album is very energetic, even though it possesses a gloomy atmosphere that resounds through the lyrics, contrasting with the overall heavy sound of the songs, that will just not let you stay still.

From my point of view, I would divide the album in two parts: the first part would be represented by some more catchy tracks with fresh elements added to the sounds that we were accustomed to and the second part is the one that stays true to what we have heard on previous albums. Is this bad? Is this good? Nonsense. I believe this is the right recipe for a varied, dynamic album that will surely please both old and new fans of the band.

Hysteria opens the album with a burst of energy, setting the course for what will follow next and that is Heart Of The Hurricane, the first single released for this album. Somehow this one gives me the feeling of a run towards a dangerous adventure, from where one will get out as a different, stronger person. Wisely chosen as a first single, it has the catchyness that I was mentioning early.

Through The Mirror has a more mellow start, gentle piano notes accompanied by Jennifer’s low vocals, creating an empowering contrast that will surely give you goosebumps. I noticed that the Mirror seems to represent a theme for this album, as we will see in the video for the next song and maybe even towards the end of the album. I don’t know, it might be just a coincidence, but it fits perfectly, metaphorically speaking.

Million Lightyears is next and it made me extremely happy to hear the lovely, clean voice of Chris Hermsdörfer on this one, since he is not only a very talented guitarist, but the man can also sing wonderfully! I just love how their voices entwine.

Song For The Godless has such a kick-ass, mighty sounding, somewhat medieval intro and it immediately made me think of In The Shadows. You will be listening to a madly awesome guitar solo on this one. I just need to say that the whole atmosphere of this track is simply uplifting. The first slow track makes an appearance, Escape From The Earth, featuring a very gentle Jennifer, in an emotional scenery, that reveals a burdensome transition from the previous tune. What will follow, is a return to the roots for sure! I was actually curious if/when this will happen during my listening session. Beneath A Blackened Sky has some serious symphonic vibes mixed with majestic choirs. Headbanging incoming during the chorus, be warned. The mentioned vibes continue in the next one, Fairytale Of Doom, a track that made me think of Amberian Dawn. It’s a powerful song for the broken-hearted, with a well-chosen name and a favorite of mine. Much potential in this one I see! Nerd alert. Moving on, Chris makes a vocal appearance again on My God Is Dead, but with some cool growls this time, sending shivers down the spine. I feel that Jennifer’s voice could shatter one’s heart during the chorus, being so expressive, pouring all of her being into the song. Dear Death and Freedom are two pieces with fast riffs and beats, making one feel like on a rollercoaster. As far as concerning Scream For Me, I do believe this one would be a favourite for the public, if performed live: slow start followed by a bombastic chorus. And it’s time for the ballad, Breeze, piano and choir driven, lead by the gentle, but powerful Jennifer, who is simply amazing when it comes to ballads, managing to reach straight into your soul with her singing style. I declare Echo From The Past another favorite of mine. I find it hard to explain, but it’s just one of those songs that sticks to you and you love it from start to end, with no questions asked. It clicked with me probably because it has all the ingredients needed for an awesome tune: impact, balance, a lovely, subtle orchestration in the background, sustaining all the instruments together with the vocals in a neat equilibrium. The album ends with Parade, a fit conclusion after the journey made through the spectrum of feelings that were pinpointed by the previous tracks, encouraging one to be true to his/her self, no matter what.

Do listen to this album with an open mind and I guarantee you will fall in love with it. It clearly shows that teamwork, precision in the details, a lot of passion and perseverence will set you on the right course. Beyond The Black managed to deliver an album showing a great deal of variety, worthy of one’s collection.

Tracklist:

  1. Hysteria
  2. Heart Of The Hurricane
  3. Through The Mirror
  4. Million Lightyears
  5. Song For The Godless
  6. Escape From The Earth
  7. Beneath A Blackened Sky
  8. Fairytale Of Doom
  9. My God Is Dead
  10. Dear Death
  11. Scream For Me
  12. Freedom
  13. Breeze
  14. Echo From The Past
  15. Parade

 

More info about the band:

www.facebook.com/beyondtheblackofficial

www.beyond-the-black.com

www.facebook.com/napalmrecords

www.instagram.com/beyondtheblack_official

 

Pre-order Heart Of The Hurricane:

https://shop.napalmrecords.com/beyondtheblack

 

Review by Cristina Țurlea

Varna Mega Rock 2018 – Nightwish, Apocalyptica, Glenn Hughes, Kamelot

For two days (18-19 August), Varna Mega Rock attracted thousands and thousands of people with an unbeatable line-up of Kamelot, Glenn Hughes, Apocalyptica, and the big headliners, Nightwish. The festival is a very special one, so close to the beach, which was enjoyed by fans and bands alike. The weather was good, with a nice breeze blowing.

The first night was very exciting, starting with local acts Krossfire (who brought Romanian singer Aura on stage for a special song) and Kikimora. Then it was time for Kamelot, who absolutely killed it. They didn’t have to go so hard, and yet they did that!! They made sure the public was not standing still for a single moment. There were times I thought they were over-doing it with the Hey! Hey!, but they gave it their all and got the same from the public. Their setlist was as inspired as always, mixing the old classics with songs off their new album. Very special mention for “Here’s to the fall”, a very emotional ballad where the public joins in with their cell phone lights.

Many people were left wondering how Kamelot was not headlining the day. But they soon got the answer when Glenn Hughes got on stage. Best known for his bass and vocal work with Deep Purple, he is a legend of music and it felt like an honor to be able to see him. In a very purple hippie outfit, he impressed us all with his voice and moves, with energy, with dedication. Unlike Kamelot, he did not have to try to rile up the crowd. You just knew he came to do his thing and his many years in the music were showing, having the public eat out of his hand. He was humble and friendly in a way that made you forget just how big he was. He kept saying that it wasn’t the public who came to see him, but him who came to see the public. Of course, Smoke on The Water was the highlight of the performance.

All in all, a very strong day, great music, impeccable organisation. The latter was only true, however, for the first day. On the second day the gates were supposed to open at 4:30 and at almost 6, the stage wasn’t set up yet. The Nightwish screens and pyro were still being set up. I was allowed in the venue and got to see what was happening, but unfortunately, the hundreds and hundreds of people waiting had no idea why they were left outside for two further hours. Delays are bound to happen in the music business (not that I understand how the truck didn’t get there a good two days after their previous concert, which was 4 hours away). However, the way organizers deal with it is problem. I feel like they could have done a better job communicating with the people, both online and offline. Moreover, it would have been nice to distribute some water to the people waiting for hours outside the gates, ready to run and wait some more hours in the front of the stage.

Because of this huge delay, the first 2 bands had to be cancelled. I felt sorry for them, because they were there, dressed, prepared, ready to hit the stage, and they couldn’t. They had made plans and relied on the idea that they would share the stage with Apocalyptica and the mighty Nightwish.

However, the day started with Apocalyptica, who blew my mind. I have no idea how I hadn’t seen them before. Absolutely incredible and slightly insane show of energy for cello players. This time they were playing Metallica by Four Cellos, a fully instrumental show, but one where the public came in to fill the lyrics of the most famous Metallica songs. Huge show by them, definitely worth seeing again.

Finally, the Nightwish intro! We are doing this! What a show that was! Celebrating 20 years of activity, Nightwish are coming with Decades, a compilation album showcasing their most essential songs. While Greatest Show on Earth or Ghost Love Score were sure to be in the setlist, I loved hearing Dead Boy’s Poem, Come Cover Me, Elvenpath. Their show was a masterpiece of vocal and instrumental prowess, energy, joy, great music, and, of course, FIRE! I appreciated that the stage was high and far enough for the first row not to feel extra scared of being burned alive, even though giant flames were going on in front of them, giving off tremendous heat.

Image may contain: 1 person, on stage, night and outdoor

Other highlights of the show were I Want My Tears Back – a song where the public is always invited to dance and jump – or Slaying the Dreamer, which is just pure insanity. Song after song, we were show why they are the greatest. Compared to the previous Nightwish concert, I felt the Varna crowd a bit … quiet, especially when the band “left the stage” before the encore and they were mostly followed by silence. But with Ghost Love Score as an encore, the public revived to scream and dance and marvel at how amazing Floor’s vocals are.

Image may contain: 1 person, smiling, playing a musical instrument, on stage, night, concert and indoor

All in all, I am very happy with the fest, but it is also so because I did not wait for hours in the sun. They had a decent selection of food and drinks and the queues were not bad. The line-up was absolutely incredible, so I am sure that all fans will only remember the great feelings, that they got to see Kamelot, Glenn Hughes, Apocalyptica and NIGHTWISH!

Let me know when the next edition of Varna Mega Rock is, because I am coming!

 

Rockstadt Extreme Fest 2018- Review

After four days and four nights of extreme metals and some not so extreme but still around, I finally found my words. I wish I could but I have nothing bad to say about Rockstadt Extreme Fest. I truly believe that it is one of the best metal festivals, if not the best, we have in Romania. Everything was flawless, from my point of view.
The info point was much appreciated and also that liitle flyer with the map and the schedule made things a lot easier for many of us.


The location of the festival is just stunning, surrounded by mountains, close to the beautiful city of Rasnov, but at same isolated. Being at the base of the citadel, it allowed us to take short trips, to visit the surroundins, the cave, the city, and, of course, Râșnov citadel. One thing that was difficult to take was the temperature difference. During the day, you could’ve gotten a nice tan by only walking around the are, while during the night, if you were not drunk enough, you needed a long sleeve, a hoodie and a jacket.

About the pricing system, there was some waiting, but most of it was at the entrance. It’s hard to let hundreds of people in through only three checkpoints, while there were others trying to get out. Other  than that, I understand the food bar was a bit crowded, and that is pretty much all. Personally, I never stood more than five minutes for a beer or anything to drink. For tokens, tho, the line was always busy. The food was very good and eveyone appreciated the longdrinks, shots and the others alcooholic drinks the bar served.

I didn’t sleep in the camping areas but I think there some things worth metion. First, in spite of the all complaints, I think the price was really cheap, for what you get. Both camping areas were clean, organised, had security, so only the people with those special bracelets could get inside and some of the nicest bathrooms I saw, regarding the live show. First, there were separate spaces for women and men, and both areas had showers (in containers, with sinks and mirrors) and very clean toilets (from what I’ve heard, there was someone who came once in a while to clean them). I am sure everyone appreciated that, especially the girls. Still, the one thing that kept the campings from perfection was the lack of shade. Of course, the area was surrounded by forests so there was plenty outside the campnig.

Also, two bands were not able to perform but the organizers dealt with the problems in such way it was not even noticeable and everything went on schedule.

Every  night had an after-party where people had lots of fun. It was interesting and satisfying at the same time to see hundreds of metalheads dancing on metal/rock/pop, dubstep and many others genres. I think that says a lot about the maturity of the audience, being able to have fun no matter the music. Last night had a special edition of ’90 tunes, which was a real blast, with people dancing on the stage, everyone jumping around on songs like Captaion Joe (and actually doing the dance), la isla bonita and so on. It was quite an end after four days of extreme metals.

I think that other things that people appreciated were the concrete sidewalks, the ”charging area” for those who slept in tents and had little access to a power source for their phones, and the organizers attetion for preventing the „mud”, the classical mud we’re used to at this event. Fortunately, the weather was on our side and we received four full days of sun. There was also a pretty generous merchandise area, with a wide range of t-shirts and CD-s.

About the concerts, I think every band brought something different  and unique on the stage. Though I appreciated every person  that got up on the stage, I didn’t got to see all of bands (but I’ve heard most of them). Regarding the show, the sound was almost flawless, with small exceptions, but overall better than what I got from a festival so far.
Because it would take many pages and much time for you to read them, I will stick to what I think were the best live actions. I will also be a bit cliche, but most of the headliners slayed the stage. WASP came with so much energy and power, it shocked everyone, and I am so grateful I got to see a piece of music history along with some other thousands of people. Powerwolf put on one hell of a show, even without all their fire toys, kept the audience alive with energy and enthusiams, while singing about werewolves and vampires in their homeland. Some people complained about the sound not being high enough. I think it was more than decent. Amorphis was impressive in a… different way. Their music has lots of soul and feeling, so it was more emotional, to say so, with songs like Silver Bride and House of Sleep. One great thing about Amorphis. Their live performance is so close to the recoreded version, it hurts. Obituary is not my cup of tea but people described the show with some big words.

 

In the last night, InFlames ended the festival with a show to remember. With a full Wacken stage set, with lights, led screens, projections, light pillars and fireworks, everything was insane. It was late, after four days of boiling during the day and freezing during the night and everyone enjoyed every second of the show. There was a great communication with the audience, the guys smiled all the time and were obviously excited to be there.
I will also mention Septicflesh here because they had a show that impressed me beyond any expectation and I think they deserve to be close to the headliners.  Their music is more than fascinating and seing them live really brings everything to a whole new level. You can’t help but feel their music.
Other bands I really enojoyed from the main stage were Dirty Shirt (which I saw before but never get tired of), Brujeria, which were totally crazy, with their mexican vibes and funny attitude combined with the hard guitar riffs and drums. GoatWhore had an interesting sound and Belphegor made a really nice show.
Fleshgod Apocalypse finally managed to get on the romanian shores, after being robbed and having to cancel their concerts, including the one from the Indoor Rockstadt. Man, they killed that stage. First, their costumes, make up, attitude were basically yelling that was going to be good. Their mix of classical, renaissance sound combined with extreme drums and guitars, alongside the beautiful opera voice of Veronica  and the deep powerful vocals of the leadsinger just takes you to a very interesting trip through „space and time”.

About the second stage, first band that got my attention was W3 4R3 NUM83R5, which was also the first band I got to see from all the festival. I knew some songs from them but never got the chance to see them performing live. Pleasant surprise. The sound was very good, some nice djent, lots of energy, great communication with the public.  Also, Sur Astru was a very interesting experience and I think these guys are going places. Impure Vilhelmina and The Thirteenth Sun had pretty good shows but I would enjoy more to see them in separate shows, as I think they could do even better.  Gutalax was at least fuuny to watch, and they had show people kept talking about.  As for the main stage, the sound was nice and clean and every band played according to schedule, no events, just more crowded by the day, which was a good thing.

As I said before, I wish there was something even remotely bad about this festival, but it isn’t. I talked to people that never missed an edition of REF and they said this festival is just getting better and better, more and more professional. I asked some that came this year for the first time and they were surprised. As for me, I shall never miss a year of Rockstadt Extreme Fest. Congrats to everyone who puts tons of  effort, every year, into making this, the best metal festival from Romania.