EAST BRUNSWICK ALL GIRLS CHOIR
Gallery By Tracie Tee
Gallery By Tracie Tee
Well, it’s time for album number 2 from METAL ALLEGIANCE the band featuring Alex Skolnick, Mark Menghi, Mike Portnoy & David Ellefson. Casper got to sit and have a killer chat with Mark Menghi ins and out about this new release.
It began as a celebration of heavy metal, powered by the almost tribal bond shared between the extreme music community’s most revered trailblazers, armed with a list of contributors onstage (and off) that read like a Wikipedia entry on the genre itself. Now, with their second album, METAL ALLEGIANCE achieves the seemingly impossible once again. Beyond any doubt, the all-star “project” has cemented its position as a true band.
An adrenaline-soaked, thrash-worshipping, groove-driven, diverse, yet more sharply focused effort than its no-less-impressive predecessor, the mere existence and urgent brilliance of Volume II: Power Drunk Majesty silences any doubt as to the band’s earnest intention, purposeful resolve, and resilient dedication to all things heavy metal.
That singular tenacity, once the time is carved out, extends itself to the traditional vibe of the band’s writing methodology, as well. “We don’t just phone it in,” bassist and co-founder David Ellefson explains. “These are real songs, written by real humans, in the same room. As complicated as it often makes our lives to do that, it’s a real band.”
“We wrote these songs, in my basement, playing them in rehearsals before we ever hit record,” adds drummer and co-founder Mike Portnoy. “It’s important to stress that this isn’t one of those email projects where everybody just sends files back and forth. Like a garage band, each of these songs began with playing together, banging it out, old school.” He likens the energy to METALLICA’s Kill ‘Em All and EXODUS’ Bonded By Blood.
Emerging from prolific writing/jamming sessions with two different configurations of the group’s four co-founders, with nine guest vocalists across ten tracks, Volume II: Power Drunk Majesty boasts new METAL ALLEGIANCE anthems like ‘Bound By Silence,’ ‘Liars & Thieves,’ ‘Mother Of Sin,’ and ‘The Accuser,’ alongside the esoteric mood of ‘Voodoo Of The Godsend’ and expansive album closer ‘Power Drunk Majesty (Part II).’
Lyrical missives abound, many of them reflecting the frustrating state of the world, through an aggressive perspective that transcends partisanship in favor of unbridled rage. Bassist/co-founder Mark Menghi, in particular, had a lot to get off of his chest. “It’s not a political record with a liberal or conservative agenda,” he says. “It’s about what American society is becoming today and how much it sucks to be a pawn in the system.” There’s an equal amount of emotional exorcisms conducted on the album as well, as Menghi, in particular, went through a period of upheaval and turmoil in his private life.
Volume II: Power Drunk Majesty presents a cohesive vision, a straight-ahead almost throwback thrash attack that’s still grooving and modern. “With both albums, we got together to see what would happen and in both situations, we surprised ourselves,” says guitarist/co-founder Alex Skolnick. “On the first album, we were like kids in a candy store. It’s a diverse record, which is great. On this one, we went for a more unified sound, and with fewer guests.”
Getting the core of METAL ALLEGIANCE together once is nothing short of a minor miracle, considering the complex crisscross of schedules and outside obligations. That Ellefson, Menghi, Portnoy, and Skolnick have written and performed together multiple times and produced not one but two studio albums are nothing short of astounding. It’s evidence of their total commitment to the spirit that METAL ALLEGIANCE embodies, to the force of their unique creative chemistry, and to the fans.
The year after they first performed as METAL ALLEGIANCE on MOTÖRHEAD’s Motörboat Cruise in 2014, the group issued a surprise debut album of original material, packed with the caliber of guests that crowds at their live shows would rightfully expect. Considering songs like ‘Pledge Of Allegiance,’ ‘Let Darkness Fall,’ and ‘Can’t Kill The Devil’ rose to the level of excellence of the myriad iconic acts associated with them, it was inevitable that lightning would strike twice with the arrival of the sophomore set from the band.
The first METAL ALLEGIANCE album featured contributions from past and present members of LAMB OF GOD, SLAYER, EXODUS, PANTERA, MACHINE HEAD, LACUNA COIL, JUDAS PRIEST, ARCH ENEMY, and ANTHRAX to name but a few. On »Volume II: Power Drunk Majesty«, the core membership is once again strengthened by a small army of friends, an eclectic mix of metal legends, visionaries, and firebrands.
Vocalists include Trevor Strnad (THE BLACK DAHLIA MURDER), John Bush (ARMORED SAINT), Bobby “Blitz” Ellsworth (OVERKILL), Mark Tornillo (ACCEPT), Johan Hegg (AMON AMARTH), Max Cavalera (SOULFLY), and Floor Jansen (NIGHTWISH). »Volume II: Power Drunk Majesty« also marks the return of unofficial “fifth Beatle” Mark Osegueda (DEATH ANGEL) and Troy Sanders (MASTODON).
Bush debuted ‘Bound By Silence,’ one of the songs written over an initial jamming period of four days (with lyrics inspired by a late night conversation Menghi had in a bar with a terminally ill Vietnam veteran) with METAL ALLEGIANCE at the House of Blues in Anaheim in January, 2018. “John Bush is one of my favorite all time heavy metal singers of my generation,” says Ellefson.
‘The Accuser,’ which opens the album, was another song that came together quickly, featuring lyrics co-written by both of the band’s bass players. “Trevor Strnad is somebody from a newer generation of metal and doing it really well; he killed that track,” enthuses Skolnick, who is responsible for much of the vocal phrasing on the LP.
Skolnick was similarly impressed with the Dutch singer who handles the album’s closer. “Floor from NIGHTWISH, what a musician! She came up with this whole new melody. The way it interacts with the music, it’s almost like an instrumental. It’s beautiful.”
Menghi relished the opportunity to collaborate lyrically with Blitz (‘Mother Of Sin’) and Tornillo (‘Terminal Illusion’), particularly given the deeply personal nature of the subject matter, which he shared with the singers in the process. The two bass players of METAL ALLEGIANCE did a strong amount of lyrical collaboration, as well. “Dave is the king of the one-liners,” says Menghi.
Skolnick’s virtuoso, tasteful and melodic lead guitar work is joined by guest soloists who represent a wide spectrum of generations and styles: Andreas Kisser (SEPULTURA), who regularly appears with METAL ALLEGIANCE live; Nita Strauss (ALICE COOPER), and the one-time guitar teacher for a pre-TESTAMENT teenaged Alex Skolnick, Joe Satriani.
Menghi, who worked as an executive in the musical equipment industry, was thrilled when Satriani quickly accepted the band’s invitation. “It’s completely humbling to have people I looked up to growing up now saying ‘yes’ to my phone call or text. It’s crazy.”
“Working with Mike, Dave, and Alex is always awesome,” he adds. “I put the most pressure on myself. I have the most to prove. I have to be on my A-game at all times. I have to exceed all expectations. At the end of the day, I get to do what I want to hear as a metal fan and I’ve gotten to write and record with about 40+ musicians, people like Phillip Anselmo, Randy Blythe, Bobby Blitz. It’s incredible.”
Now two albums deep, METAL ALLEGIANCE stands triumphantly as more than a project.
“As much as METAL ALLEGIANCE started as kind of an all-star party atmosphere, once we did the first record, it showed we clearly had some artistic merit,” Ellefson observes. “We wanted to do a second one, so when we go out and we perform, whenever and wherever that may be, we have even more material that the fans of our individual bands can sink their teeth into and really get behind as an artistic endeavor.”
Portnoy agrees. “METAL ALLEGIANCE is a labor of love and gives me an outlet that I don’t have in any of my other bands or projects. Dave, Alex, Mark, and all of the regulars who tour with us, like Gary Holt, Mark Osegueda, Andreas, I love all of these guys. They’re just cool to hang out with, they’re fun to jam with. This is so much a part of what I love to do that I personally always try to make time for it whenever I’m asked.”
Likewise, Ellefson summarizes the METAL ALLEGIANCE spirit with a simple mantra:
“It’s good friends making great music together.”
Something has entered the atmosphere.
Foretold through street posters, heralded through (not so) hushed murmurs of the people; Good Things Festival has once and for all emerged from the vast unknowns, bringing forth a new era for Australian alternative music fans, ushered in by an unstoppable army of some of the heaviest, and most alternative bands the universe has on offer.
What looks like an event from another galaxy, Good Things Festival, while out of this world, is not a hologram. With key launch sites located in Brisbane, Sydney, and Melbourne, it would seem Australia’s East Coast is all well within the range of Good Things Festivals sonic rays.
No one could predict such a Festival would be happening in our sleepy part of the Milky Way. But as we speak, across the gulf of space, minds immeasurably superior to ours begin to draw up their plans…to rock out.
Having performed over 1100 shows across the globe and sold more than 40 million albums worldwide, The Offspring are one of rock’s most exciting and enduring bands. The band is no strangers to Australian stages, but this time will be unique for the band and fans alike, with the group performing their genre-defining record, Smash from top to bottom. Released in 1994, Smash remains the highest-selling album of all-time on an independent label and features iconic fan favourites including Bad Habit, Gotta Get Away, Come Out And Play and Self-Esteem. They will be performing Smash in full for the very first time to Australian audiences and a rare bucket list for all The Offspring fans. You won’t want to miss out as you’ll never get this chance again.
Known far and wide as a truly incendiary live act, Stone Sour has built an international fan following through countless headline tours and performances at famed festivals such as Rock In Rio. They’ve achieved great success across all of their releases. From their eponymous debut album in 2002 where singles such as Get Inside and Inhale each received Grammy Award nominations for Best Metal Performance. They continued to have success with 2006 Come What(Ever) May reaching #21 on the ARIA chart, 2010’s Audio Secrecy debuted at #6 on the ARIA chart. The House Of Gold & Bones Part 1 debuted at #13 while Part 2 saw Stone Sour reach #4 on the ARIA chart. Their most recent album Hydrograd debuted at #2 on the ARIA chart. The 2CD special edition of Hydrograd – featuring 13 rare or unreleased tracks including an acoustic version Song #3 as well as covers of hits from Rage Against the Machine, Soundgarden, and Van Halen – will be released on August 31.
Throughout the course of seven albums, All Time Low has earned five Top 10 debuts on the Billboard Top 200, peaking at #2. 2017’s Last Young Renegade stormed to #5 on the Australian ARIA chart. Their catalog of anthems includes the platinum-certified “Dear Maria, Count Me In” and gold-certified “Weightless” and “A Love Like War [feat. Vic Fuentes],” which received the highest honor of “Song of the Year” at the 2014 Alternative Press Music Awards. To date, they’ve garnered five Alternative Press Music Awards, five KERRANG! Awards, and been crowned “Best Pop Punk Band” at the Top In Rock Awards. Along the way, they’ve appeared in Rolling Stone and Billboard and graced the covers of Alternative Press and KERRANG! multiple times in addition to performing on The Tonight Show, Conan, and Jimmy Kimmel LIVE! Known for unforgettable shows around the globe, they’ve also ignited stages everywhere from Voodoo Music Experience to Warped Tour and on the road with Blink-182, Fall Out Boy, Green Day and more.
After twenty years, Dropkick Murphys remain bigger than ever, having sold over 6 million albums worldwide. The band continues to sell out venues around the world. They’ve played Boston’s Fenway Park and been personally invited to share the stage with everyone from Foo Fighters to Bruce Springsteen to Mumford & Sons. The group’s single “I’m Shipping Up To Boston”– from 2005’s Certified Gold The Warrior’s Code–has sold nearly 2 million copies. “I’m Shipping Up To Boston,” a song with lyrics penned by Woody Guthrie, gained mainstream notoriety after being prominently featured in Martin Scorsese’s Academy Award-winning film The Departed. It can be commonly heard at sporting events and on television as a theme song for many sports teams (even outside of Boston).
Bullet For My Valentine are one of the biggest British metal acts in music history. Five albums in, they find new ways to invent intelligent noise and remaining unshackled by the legacy that comes with being masters of the trade. After initially forming as Jeff Killed John in 1998, eventually securing a five-album major label deal, their 2005 debut The Poison and 2008 follow-up Scream Aim Fire would provided an injection of what heavy music was very much lacking at the time. Consecutive full-lengths Fever, Temper Temper and Venom would cement their stature as modern masters, selling millions of albums worldwide and being crowned Best British Band at the Kerrang! Awards three years in a row – where they’ve also been awarded for Best Single, Best Live Band and Best British Newcomer. It’s not just the press and fans that have afforded them such faith – even the heroes that inspired them in the first place, bands like Iron Maiden and Metallica, have personally selected BFMV to hit the road and share the stage with them.
Over the last 15 years The Used have released a collection of albums that have shaped the space of the alternative rock scene. High energy live shows, gut wrenching relatable lyrics, and melodies that blended pop sensibility and hard rock creating the perfect combination to make an everlasting impression on fans globally.
BABYMETAL, the Japanese metal outfit will be making their long-awaited Australian debut as part of Good Things Festival. They have performed around the world and on the main stage at UK’s prodigious festival Sonisphere Festival 2014 in front of 65,000 festival goers and supporting Lady Gaga on her ArtRave: The Artpop Ball Tour that same year. BABYMETAL have taken the main stage at the massive Reading & Leeds by storm and have shared stages with the likes of Red Hot Chili Peppers, Metallica, Guns N’ Roses and Korn. BABYMETAL’s campaign for world domination continues, with only the Fox God knowing what the future will hold. For years, fans have been asking…SCREAMING for BABYMETAL to tour Australia and Good Things Festival has risen to the occasion.
GOOD THINGS FESTIVAL LINE UP:
The Offspring (Performing ‘Smash’ In Full)
All Time Low | Dropkick Murphys
Bullet For My Valentine | The Used
BABYMETAL | The Smith Street Band
Dashboard Confessional (Performing songs from ‘The Places You
Have Come To Fear The Most’ + Fan Favourites)
Mayday Parade | La Dispute
Northlane | The Wonder Years
Waterparks | Tonight Alive | Scarlxrd | Emmure
Palaye Royale | Make Them Suffer | Waax
Boston Manor | Void Of Vision | Ecca Vandal
DATES AND VENUES:
Friday 7 December – Melbourne Showgrounds, Melbourne
Saturday 8 December – Parramatta Park, Sydney
Sunday 9 December – Brisbane Showgrounds, Brisbane
General Public tickets on sale Thursday 30 August, 9am through www.oztix.com.au
All shows are licensed and all ages 15+ (Please see ticket conditions for age restrictions).
Venues and lineup subject to change
For more information head to www.goodthingsfestival.com.au
The last time Stryper were in Adelaide was, incredibly, more than a quarter of a century ago, in a time when hair-metal was still king and grunge was still truly alternative.
Despite this previous gig being so long ago, I remember it well, mostly because it was so different from any other hard rock gig I’d been to at that point. I may have been barely old enough to drink but I had been to enough gigs already to know that it was highly unusual to be lining up outside Thebarton Theatre in the early afternoon sun to get into a venue that didn’t have beer on the menu. I put this down to Stryper, as a ‘Christian-metal’ band, trying to model good Christian behavior and encouraging a sober early bedtime for everyone on a Sunday.
This time around, it was a very different experience and a more typical rock gig.
Aside from the later hour and the serving of adult refreshments at The Gov, Stryper now had ex-Firehouse bassist Perry Richardson in the band and sadly, lead guitarist Oz Fox was not with the band for this tour. Only days before the band were due to leave for Australia, Oz suffered a brain seizure on stage in Las Vegas and was deemed not well enough to travel. With Oz’s blessing, the band decided to continue with the tour as a three-piece.
By the time support act Sonic Divide opened the show, there was a healthy sized crowd already at the venue and this first set of the night was full of enough epic sounding melodic rock to keep everyone in good spirits. The 6 piece’s big sound and the fact that the band’s guitarist formerly played with Disciple (an Adelaide Christian band who opened for Stryper all those years ago at the aforementioned earlier gig) made Sonic Divide a suitable and popular support tonight.
Second support act Rosemont (formerly Love Cream) seemed a little misplaced with their light-hearted vibe and somewhat funky pop-rock sound but they played well enough to keep the feel-good atmosphere in the room until Stryper made their appearance.
The headliners’ set started with frontman Michael Sweet making a low-key entrance to the stage to welcome everybody to the gig and to talk about the Oz Fox situation. From here it became obvious that this would be an intimate performance rather than a big over-the-top rock show. This seemed to suit the crowd who had filled The Gov on this Sunday evening and there was a genuinely warm feeling in the room between the band and the punters who had come to worship at the altar of Stryper. The set kicked off with a couple of more recent Stryper songs, Yahweh from their 2015 album Fallen and The Valley from the new album God Damn Evil. From here on, the set was mostly made up of classic 80s Stryper hits and tracks from the new album. The crowd sang along in full voice to classics Calling on You and Free from the To Hell with the Devil album which came early in the set, and everyone then seemed to embrace the newer material just as much as the more familiar classics. The set took a more casual turn when Michael brought out the acoustic guitar for a quiet solo rendition of Lady from the early 90s album Against the Law. From here on though, it was full steam ahead as the set was closed with rocking crowd-pleasers including Always There For You, Soldiers Under Command and To Hell with the Devil. There may have been an intimate feel to the show due to the banter coming from Michael Sweet between songs but the performance from the band was pure arena rock in execution and delivery. Relatively new bassist Perry Richardson still looks like the hair-metal rock star he was in Firehouse back in the early 90s, Robert Sweet still plays the drums like a true showman (all hair and sweat), and Michael’s playing and powerhouse vocals are still as great as they’ve always been.
As fantastic as this gig was, and as good as all three members of Stryper were tonight, the presence of Oz Fox was definitely missed. His lead guitar and backing vocals were the only things missing from the sound on the night and he would likely have been in the thoughts of most people in attendance. As the lights came on and the band left the stage I’m sure there were a lot of people praying for Oz to make a speedy recovery and hoping for another chance to see the full Stryper show in Australia in the not too distant future.
Review Contributed by Kym Robey
Gallery By Tracie Tee
BUTCH WALKER is a singer, songwriter, and producer whose skills run from radio-friendly pop to high-attitude hard rock. Walker launched his public career with the band SOUTHGANG, who inked a contract with Virgin Records. The hard rock band group released two albums before splitting up, and Walker eventually resurfaced with MARVELOUS 3. Walker gained a brief taste of major-label success during the ’80s and ’90s — particularly with MARVELOUS 3, whose single ‘’Freak of the Week” became a modern rock hit in 1999 — Walker traded his bandmates for a solo career. Meanwhile, he also established himself as an in-demand producer by working with high-profile artists like Avril Lavigne, Katy Perry, and P!nk.
The production work increased his reputation within the industry, and he quickly signed a solo contract with Arista. Left of Self Centered marked his solo debut in 2002; embodying the singer’s nonconformist attitude and playful rock & roll swagger. This was followed by 2004’s Letters which was released on Epic!
The production work kept rolling in and was at the helm for some for such big-name artists as Avril Lavigne (Under My Skin), P!nk (I’m Not Dead), and Tommy Lee (Tommyland: The Ride). The experience further boosted his industry profile and helped shape the sound of his next solo album, 2006’s The Rise and Fall of Butch Walker and the Let’s-Go-Out-Tonites. The album spun stories of drugged-out starlets, struggling wannabes, late-night adventures, and wild parties in L.A.; it was also Walker’s most fully realized record to date. Ever the multitasker, he returned to the production booth for several new projects — most notably Katy Perry‘s One of the Boys, which became a smash success during the summer of 2008 — before returning to his solo career that fall with Sycamore Meadows.
Watch MARVELOUS 3 ‘’Freak of the Week’’
I Liked It Better When You Had No Heart followed in 2010 and featured a new backup band, the Black Widows. The new group also played on Walker’s next album, Spade, which appeared 2011; that same year, he published an autobiography called Drinking with Strangers: Music Lessons from a Teenage Bullet Belt. Walker did some production work in the next two years — he showed up on Taylor Swift‘s 2012 album Red and helmed Fall Out Boy‘s 2013 comeback Save Rock and Roll — and teamed with producer Ryan Adams for his next solo album, 2015’s Afraid of Ghosts. His production credits don’t stop there he has steered the ship for Panic! At The Disco, Gavin DeGraw, Keith Urban, Weezer, Carley Rae Jepsen, The Wombats and many many more…
Watch BUTCH WALKER ‘’Bed On Fire’’
After producing the solo debut for Gaslight Anthem leader Brian Fallon Painkillers, Walker returned to the studio to cut another solo effort, the country-accented 2016 effort Stay Gold.
Walker is also an incredible songwriter and many of his songs have been hits for other artists, including Avril Lavigne, Sevendust, Injected, The Donnas, Hot Hot Heat, American Hi-Fi, Default, Gob, Midtown, Puffy AmiYumi, Pete Yorn, Fall Out Boy, Quietdrive, The All-American Rejects, SR-71, The Academy Is… and recently The Cab, Saosin, Never Shout Never, Weezer, Dashboard Confessional, and All Time Low.
This is one show not to be missed. A master singer and songwriter performing songs that span his illustrious career.
Butch Walker January 2019 Tour Dates:
Friday 25 January MELBOURNE Northcote Social Club
Saturday 26 January – BRISBANE Woolly Mammoth
Sunday 27 January – SYDNEY Oxford Art Factory
Tickets On Sale: Friday 24th August @ 9:00am AEST
He is one of the most recognisable and notorious frontmen of all time and DEE SNIDER ascended to hard rock royalty in the early 1980s as the lead singer for New York-based heavy rockers, the multi-platinum sellers TWISTED SISTER. The charismatic and outspoken SNIDER in 1985, alongside John Denver and Frank Zappa, testified against censorship in regard to the Tipper Gore led PMRC (Parents Music Resource Center) — SNIDER and company topped the charts in 1984 with the all-purpose us-against-the-world anthems We’re Not Gonna Take It and I Wanna Rock. DEE SNIDER and TWISTED SISTER changed the face of MTV and the rock and metal world forever. Apart from those two monster singles, TWISTED SISTER also released all-time classic tracks like Stay Hungry, The Kids Are Back, You Can’t Stop Rock And Roll, The Price, Under The Blade and more! After the 1987 dissolution of the group, he embarked on a series of solo and group projects such as WIDOWMAKER and DESPERADO.
But there is more to SNIDER than just his musical prowess and presence. He has starred in several reality TV shows including The Celebrity Apprentice, Gone Country with John Rich, MTV’s Rock The Cradle with his son Jesse and Growing Up Twisted, an A&E series featuring the entire SNIDER family and their Long Island lifestyle. He was also a frequent host on MTV Networks and his own long-running nationally syndicated radio show House Of Hair is heard on more than 200 stations in North America. His career as a voiceover artist has resulted in Dee being heard in many radio and TV commercials, documentaries and a year-long stint as the introductory voice on MSNBC. His autobiography Shut Up And Give Me The Mic was a huge success as was his Podcast Snider Comments. He also had a starring role on Broadway in the hit musical Rock Of Ages, there isn’t much Dee can’t do. SNIDER has also just recently unleashed his critically acclaimed new album ‘For The Love Of Metal’
Now the legend himself Mr. DEE SNIDER is headed to Australia for a unique set of shows in Sydney and Melbourne!
Each city will be treated to one SPOKEN night and one SHOUTED! SPOKEN nights: these will see Dee being interviewed on stage and telling stories about his life, career and a real in-depth look at the man himself, then an audience question and answer forum. This will be a very intimate, once in a lifetime opportunity. Plus on these nights there will be a special VIP meet and greet opportunity available, which includes entry to the SPOKEN night, front and second row seats and the first 20 buyers get to ask Dee a question over the mic from the audience, and meet Dee after the event for a photo and 2 items signed.
The SHOUTED nights: These shows will see Dee hit the stage backed by his full band and slam out a killer setlist top heavy with classic TWISTED SISTER Material.
Don’t miss the chance to witness a true rock legend the frontman of TWISTED SISTER, DEE SNIDER on stage in two very different environments and two that he absolutely thrives in. If you are a true SMF, you won’t be Dee-sappointed!!!
DEE SNIDER JANUARY 2019 TOUR DATES:
Thursday, 31st January – Sydney – Manning – SPOKEN
Friday, 1st February – Sydney – Manning – SHOUTED!
Saturday, 2nd February – Melbourne – Croxton – SHOUTED!
Sunday, 3rd February – Melbourne – Croxton – SPOKEN
TICKETS ON SALE: Thursday, 23rd August, at 10:00am EST.
Well only a month until THERION hit our shores for the first ever time. Casper spoke with have band mastermind / guitatrist Christofer Johnsson as to what to expect!
THERION was founded in 1987 by Christofer Johnsson their debut album Of Darkness… “was released in 1991 and was a huge success for the band within the underground Metal scene. THERION began as a very creative Death Metal band, pushing limits of the contemporary sound and grew beyond themselves. In the course of the years, the bands’ style developed in a quite unique way and between 1991 and 1996 THERION released groundbreaking records, one being more special than the other.
In 1996 THERION released Theli which would be the ultimate breakthrough for the band. At this time THERION turned towards a more opera-like, progressive and even orchestral sound. Vovin and Deggial are dominated by the new style of catchy symphonic opera metal Christofer invented. Then came Secrets of the Rune, their first concept album, dealing with Nordic myths and influenced by Scandinavian Folk music. The double record Lemuria / Sirius B was a huge success then THERION engaged themselves with the recording of Gotihc Kabbalah and The Miskolc Experience. After that Christofer decided it was time for a change: Sitra Ahra was done with a completely new lineup.
THERION have evolved from a mere death metal act into one of the first projects to take a trip towards the world of classical music, setting the initial standards to a style later known as symphonic metal. When 15-year-old prodigy Christofer Johnsson founded THERION as a death metal band in 1987, little did he know that exactly 30 years later he would put the final touches to a project that will go down in history as symphonic metal’s most ambitious release. While ‘rock operas’ are no longer an unusual concept, this term will now receive a new meaning when the curtain opens for Johnsson’s lifelong creation: Beloved Antichrist is the title of his spectacular brainchild, consisting of 3 full-length CDs. It is more than just a concept album; it’s a complete rock opera unveiling a sweeping story inspired by Vladímir Soloviov “A Short Tale Of The Antichrist“.
Joining THERION are THE DEVIL who is a mysterious and highly original Cinematic Metal act that has innovated by creating an entirely new genre within metal music. The band features an international line-up of masked musicians that deliver a unique live show, complete with cinematic movie projection in sync to the entire live performance.
Further experimental elements of THE DEVIL music is the selective use of historical and political conspiracy-laden samples in place of traditional vocals which reveals a powerful message encoded within the music. THE DEVIL exposes a great secret. A grand conspiracy…
THE DEVIL self-titled debut album was released worldwide through Candlelight Records / EMI and released three official music videos from that album, ‘Universe’, ‘Extinction Level Event’ and ‘Alternative Dimensions’.
Wednesday 12th September – MELBOURNE – Max Watt’s
Thursday 13th September – BRISBANE – The Triffid
Friday 14th September – SYDNEY – Manning Bar
An exclusive event. A unique experience. Limited VIP meet and greet tickets will be available.
TICKETS ON SALE FRIDAY 20 JULY 9 AM
Gallery By Roger Brooks
ANNISOKAY – the German five-piece act is setting new standards for heavy and melodic rock/metal music. ANNISOKAY are frontman Dave Grunewald, singer and guitarist Christoph Wieczorek, second guitarist Philipp Kretzschmar, bassist Norbert Rose and drummer Nico Vaeen. The band was founded in 2007 in Halle an der Saale by Christoph and Norbert. Christoph was already a well-known guitarist of the local metal scene before and started to build a new band in which he wanted to sing for the first time.
ANNISOKAY have already released three full-length albums and a 4-track cover EP of Michael Jackson’s classics, to honor one true musical genius – who is the inspiration of the band’s name. The unusual name came to the founder’s minds when they discussed interesting lyrics of other artists. In Michael Jackson‘s song ‘Smooth Criminal’, a girl called Annie is attacked in her apartment. But why? And is Annie okay? The idea of the band name is to give a positive answer to this question, so: yes, ANNISOKAY! The well-established indie record label SPV signed the band in 2014. Since then the band is validated as one of the most talented German bands of international distinction. Both of their last records hit the top 100 of the German album charts (Enigmatic Smile: #68; Devil May Care: #74).
ANNISOKAY have laid their musical foundation with a driving rhythmic and melodic backbone that brings to life both soulful singing and aggressive shouting. They’ve toured several times throughout Europe and the UK and even Eastern Europe. The band has played several headlining shows in Russia, Belarus, and Ukraine and already established a massive following and an ever-growing fan base. Highlights include sold-out support-shows for PARKWAY DRIVE in Moscow and St. Petersburg.
ANNISOKAY are going to release their fourth full-length album in2018. To accelerate the pace, ANNISOKAY has inked a record deal with Arising Empire. The new album will be titled Arms – a short word with a huge meaning in many ways, both positive and negative. Nothing in this world is just black or white. Is armament a sign of strength or just an expression of one’s own weakness? Does the winner raise his arms to heaven or is it a sign of helplessness? A closer look is necessary. Thus, the variety of meanings offers the listener the freedom to decide whether we are dealing with arming or disarming. Whether we close our arms or open them for a hug?
But what kind of sound has ANNISOKAY? After three studio albums, it was time to find out about this – and the expected new fresh wind came along. Guitarist and vocalist Christoph wrote the first song ideas and demos when the band toured extensively in 2017. The goal was to write “good songs” that are completely free of typical genre clichés or current sound trends. “I stopped listening to new bands and wondering which of these sounds or ideas I could try for ANNISOKAY and what their fans like about them. Instead, there was only me and my guitar and I started writing! It’s all about emotions and about translating the stories of the lyrics, mostly written by our bassist Norbert, into the music,” says Christoph, musical mastermind and producer of ANNISOKAY. Christoph Wieczorek is a full-time music producer and owner of a brand-new and modern recording studio in Halle an der Saale. Thus, ideal conditions to write songs with his own band “at home” and also produce them there! “The recording process for Arms was very long and intense. Sleepless but creative nights have been a normal thing during this time but that’s okay because we prefer to work at night. Nobody bothers us, everything is calm and the whole mind can concentrate much better on creativity,” says Christoph.
The guys wanted to have the “ANNISOKAY sound” much rougher and more real than on previous albums. The drums were recorded without any digital drum samples so the aggressive playing style of drummer Nico Vaeen was captured completely unadulterated and immortalized on the record. Furthermore, instruments such as violins or pianos were recorded live for the first time to guarantee an even more organic sound. As another producer besides Christoph, Benny Richter got involved this time. Benny is an exceptionally gifted pianist and songwriter and he has already produced several albums for genre leaders like CALIBAN or EMIL BULLS. “Working with Benny was great! We have checked each of the song ideas together down to the smallest detail and analyzed the weaknesses and strengths of the songs. That way some small changes came out that have made the big difference in the end. Benny has a great feeling of harmonies and chords and so he brought some musical influence into the songs that you rarely hear in this genre these days. In my own music, I am actually very resistant to get goosebumps. But this time I got that feeling in many moments, even after many weeks of working on the songs,” says Christoph about the collaboration. Electronic sounds have always been an important part of the sound of ANNISOKAY. “For this album, we have used sounds from the 80’s and early 90’s. We love the sound aesthetics of the synths from that time and we think that the atmosphere really suits our new songs!” says Christoph. Also artwork, booklet and band photos are based on the 80s theme, which is particularly exciting for shouter Dave. The frontman is a big fan of movies, fashion and music of the 80s and early 90s and is called the “Screaming Retro Dude” by his fan community. His passion for this time period can be recognized at first glance: 80s icons Madonna and Silvester Stallone, in his role as Rambo, are immortalized on Dave‘s hands with tattoos. Following the style of the 80s, the entire recording process was documented with Polaroid photos. These can be found in the booklet of the new album. The cover art also shows a bunch of Polaroid photos.
The new album will be a declaration of passion and commitment to becoming an even bigger name in the metal scene. ANNISOKAY will be setting sail to new shores and tour around the whole world from the USA to Japan, e.g. with I SET MY FRIENDS ON FIRE. More to be announced soon!
Dave Grunewald | shouts
Christoph Wieczorek | clean vocals/guitar
Norbert Kayo | bass
Philipp Kretzschmar | guitar
Nico Vaeen | drums