MIRAGE

Mirage was created in Randers, Midtjylland, Denmark, in 1982 and soon turned the musical style into heavy metal. Two years later, the 7″ single “Shave It Off / Savin’ Love” was released, on green vinyl. It was the entrance door for the group to sign a record deal with Danish label Skylight Records.

The EP “…And The Earth Shall Crumble” was the first and only result of this record deal. Released in 1985, it turned international heads in the direction of Mirage, whose heavy metal/hard rock with distinctive hints of Hammond parts stands as a foundation of the Danish heavy scene. The English label Metal Masters heard the EP and wanted to release it as a full LP, which meant three songs were added. The band seemed to be destined for global success – much like their compatriots Mercyful Fate – in those days. Unfortunately, the label went bankrupt and Mirage found themselves without the backing of a company to release their second album. The collective released two cassette demos independently in 1987 and 1988respectively, but nothing much happened and the band slowly faded away by the end of the 80’s.

While guitarist Jan Buller, bassist Sten Roland, and keyboardist Morgue Law spent some time playing in the blues-rock band “Third Stone From The Sun”, a “…And The Earth Shall Crumble” reissue surfaced in 2002, including the tracks of the two pressings, as well as the “Shave It Off / Savin’ Love” single and the tracks from the later demos. The interest in the band continued to cross generations and, while vocalist Torben Deen had a stint with the AOR rock band “Reality Bites” and shifted to the progressive rock band “Motive” (where Morgue Law also played), the 1987 & 1988 demos were digitally reissued as an EP.

However, there’s an untold chapter from Mirage story. In the 80’s, after releasing “…And The Earth Shall Crumble”, the band wrote a second release, which unfortunately never saw the racks due to the label’s demise. Now, the band is back to tell that chapter and release that record. Expect a new classic Mirage album soon.

Link:
Facebook

Eruption

Formed in late 2004, Eruption is a thrash metal band from Ljubljana, Slovenia. Throughout the years, the band has always kept fast, guitar-based and infectiously melodic metal as their mission statement, culminating in the releases of “Lifeless Paradise” in 2009, “Tenses Collide” in 2012 and “Cloaks Of Oblivion” in 2017. These three full-lengths, accompanied by 2014’s “Live Transmissions” EP, saw the band explore classic machine gun Thrash riffing accompanied by the soaring melodic vocals and sci-fi musings of vocalist Klemen Kalin.

The energetic blend of influences allowed the band to present its music in a dynamic, furious stage show that saw Eruption share the stage with names such as Nuclear Assault and D.R.I, perform on the main stage of festivals such as MetalDays and Underwall as well as garner excellent live responses from Serbia to Germany.

Links:
Facebook
Bandcamp

Artillery

In the mid-1980s, Denmark’s Artillery established themselves as being at the cutting edge of the thrash movement, and nearly forty years later, they continue to destroy. Coming from the suburbs of Copenhagen, the band spent the early 80’s defining their sound and changing members until their debut “Fear Of Tomorrow” was released in 1985 by neat records by the classic line-up of Flemming Rönsdorf (vocals), Michael Stützer (lead guitar), Jørgen Sandau (rhythm guitar), Morten Stützer (bass) and Carsten Nielsen (drums).

Two more albums – “Terror Squad” (1987) and “By Inheritance” (1990) – were recorded until the band eventually disbanded in 1993, by then already hailed as one of the major thrash forces in Europe and the main band in Scandinavia playing the genre.

After a brief return in 1999 with the album “B.A.C.K.”, Artillery went dormant again, before it resurfaced the scene in 2009 with the album “When Death Comes”. By then, the Stützer brothers were well solid as the guitar duo and the drummer Carsten Nilsen was the other surviving member of the classic line-up. The band was completed by vocalist Søren Adamsen and bassist Peter Thorslund. From that point on, Artillery got the thrashing machine moving full-speed again, with one new album released roughly every two years, until the recent “X”. However, the band’s road was also struck by tragedy, when Morten Stützer died in October 2019 due to a blood clot. 

Nowadays, Artillery is one of the oldest and most respected bands in the thrash scene, refusing to give in to any modernity or sound changing, but always evolving and finding new ways to thrash and shoot down watery metal trends.

Links:
Facebook

Gauntlet Rule

Gauntlet Rule was formed in 2019 by guitarist Rogga Johansson (Paganizer, Massacre) and bassist Peter Svensson (Assassin’s Blade, Void Moon) with the intent of creating timeless heavy metal. The line up was completed by vocalist Teddy Möller (Loch Vostok). Despite of, or maybe because of, the style of Gauntlet Rule being a huge departure from the styles of Johansson’s and Möller’s main bands, the band manages to create an original sounding record yet maintain all the trademarks of classic metal. The songs range from speed metal to almost doom metal, but the focus on fist-pumping heavy metal is never let go. The foundation of the songs is the unrelenting riffing of the riffmaster Johansson, backed by the tight and sometimes adventurous rhythm section of Svensson and guest drummer Lars Demoké. The massive vocals of Möller set the tone for the journey through the landscapes of “The Plague Court”. Lyrical themes include horror stories, war, internal struggles, and supernatural concepts ; sometimes several of the themes in one song. 

“The Plague Court” marks the first release by Gauntlet Rule, but already new material is being worked on. While real gigs are impossible at the moment, the band is working hard to be at the top of their game once touring can resume.

The album also features the excellent vocal talents of two guest vocalists; Blaze Bayley (ex-Iron Maiden) lends his world-class pipes to the track “Dying for My Dreams”, to which he also contributed additional vocal arrangements and lyrical adjustments. The other vocalist is Lorraine Gill from cult US Metal band Taist of Iron, she adds her haunting yet powerful vocals to the track “A Choir of Angels”.

Links:
Facebook

Screaming Shadows

Screaming Shadows is an Italian metal band from Sardinia founded in 1999 by guitarist Francesco Marras. After a demo tape and a mini-cd, in 2003 the band released, as self-produced record, the first full-length entitled “Behind the Mask”.

In 2006 they signed their first record deal with the new born Italian label My Graveyard Productions and released the albums “In The Name Of God” in 2006 and “New Era Of Shadows” in 2009. Both received a good feedback from magazines and webzines.

After many concerts in Sardinia, Italy and U.K., in 2011 the band released the album entitled “Night Keeper”, with the Italian label Jolly Roger Records. In this album many important musicians of the Italian musical scene were involved, such as Alessandro Del Vecchio, Mattia Stancioiu, Pier Gonella, and many more.

In 2021 the band led by Tygers Of Pan Tang guitarist Francesco Marras is back with one of its strongest offerings yet: “Legacy Of Stone”, which will be released on November 12th. A powerful set of songs that embrace the true heavy metal and NWOBHM influences of the past, but delivers them with a cutting-edge musical sharpness and a clear punch in production. Clearly, one of the best heavy/power metal records in 2021.

Links:
Official site
Facebook
Instagram
YouTube

Meridian

Meridian is a melodic heavy metal band. It all started when drummer Klaus Agerbo and bassist Peter Bruun meet in Esbjerg, Denmark, and soon find that they share a great passion for old-school 80’s heavy metal. They decide to start a band based on that style and, joined by guitarist Søren Steffensen, the trio starts jamming old 80’s metal stuff. Singer Lars Märker joins the band in 2006, starting out playing rhythm guitar as well. This completed lineup starts writing their own songs, and quickly develop a clear musical profile. – Classical heavy metal with power and melody.

Two EPs were released in 2007 and 2009, while Meridian adjusted their line-up. In 2012 a huge leap was made when guitarist Martin J. Andersen joined the band. At the same, time the debut album started to take shape. The release came in 2013, with the title “Metallurgy”. “Breaking The Surface”, their second offering, was out in 2016 and it featured new guitar player Marco Angioni, who revealed himself as a pivotal member of the band, having also producer competencies. In 2019, Meridian’s third studio album “Margin Of Error” was released much to great fans and press appraisal. A year later, the Danish five-piece paid tribute to their influences with the cover EP aptly titled “Taking Cover”. A kind of formal ending for the first period in Meridian’s career and, while the future looks bright for the Danish band, they’re already an established powerhouse in European classic and melodic heavy/power metal.

Links:
Official site
Facebook

Photo by Lena Angioni

Anoxia

AnoxiA is a well-established act on the Danish underground live metal scene, their longevity dating back 20+ years. Hell bent on having fun during performance, AnoxiA approaches any gig fully charged, sincerely convinced that in order for the audience to enjoy, the band must enjoy. 

In 2003 the group from Nyborg released its unofficial debut album “Melanchollision”, after two demos unleashed in the three years before. 3 years later, the EP “Kept In Sin” made AnoxiA a solid part of the Danish metal scene.
The band finally unleashed the album “A Lapdance For The Devil” in 2010, their first one for Mighty Music. International recognition was waiting for them, as well as a strong road activity.

Never a band in a rush, AnoxiA made their growing fanbase wait a few more years before “To The Lions”, their 2019 full-length album, saw the light of day. But the wait was totally compensated with an old-school heavy metal record – melodic, yet hardhitting and thrashy at times. At times even a modern twist sneaks in. The songs are carved around strong riffing a wide array of vocal variation, supporting the musical landscapes.

Links:
Facebook
Official site

Photo by Camilla Lundbye

Tysondog

Tysondog hail from Newcastle in the UK. Established in 1982 during the NWOBHM boom and signed to Neat records in 1984, Tysondog grew in popularity as a heavy metal band giving them the name and status they truey deserved.

Of all the New Wave of British Heavy Metal hopefuls to sign with Neat Records in the early ’80s, Tysondog were among the most mindful of commercial metal trends, but like most of their labelmates, widespread success would elude them in the end. Alan Hunter (guitar/vocals), Paul Burdis (guitar), and Kevin Wynn (bass) were all bit players in northern England’s highly incestuous but vibrant club scene when they formed the axis of what would become Tysondog (initially using the name “Orchrist”) around 1982.  The new group signed with nearby metal label Neat, secured the services of singer Clutch Carruthers and drummer Peter Reeve, and proceeded to record their first single, “Eat the Rich,” in 1983. Albums “Beware Of The Dog” (1984) and “Crimes Of Insanity” were released and things seemed to be back on track for Tysondog, but much of their building momentum would soon to be squandered when Carruthers was sidelined by a serious car crash, and his resulting health issues.

Tysondog regrouped again in 2008 and after a few years passed seen the departure of Rob Walker on drums and Alan Hunter on Guitar, they were  replaced by Philip Brewis and Steven Morrison.

In 2018 a shock arrived in the news of retiring frontman Clutch Carruthers leaving because of health issues,

his spot was filled by French rocker Bill Kendama who helped out with great performances all over the UK and Europe. With the help of Clutch a new album, entitled “Midnight” was recorded and is ready to be released .

This records will be dedicated to great friend and road manager Danny Stephenson, who they lost in 2020.

Links:
Official site
Facebook

Metal Cross

It all began in 1983.

During the eighties and prior to the break up in 1989, Metal Cross released two demo tapes: “Metal Cross” and demo 2 “M.A.D.H.O.U.S.E.” The band also contributed on two compilation albums. The band played concerts all over Denmark and shared scenes with other major danish metal bands such as Artillery and Invocater. Metal Cross played the bands last concert in the hometown of Randers on December 16 1989 – shortly after the band dissolved.

In 2009, one of the band members were contacted by the record company Horror Records asking if the band would approve the company’s release of the band’s two demo tapes in a vinyl format. After a long period of time trying to retrieve the material from the old day’s, an agreement was reached to release the songs from the two old tapes. In addition, it was decided that the recording of the very last Metal Cross concert could also be used. In 2014 the double vinyl album “Metal Cross” was released. One LP with demo recordings and the other with the concert from 1989. In addition to this, a 7” bonus single with two live songs from another concert was released.

Following the release, Metal Cross was persuaded to play a single gig at the Metal Magic Festival in 2014. Prior to the festival performance, the band played a warm up gig for Artillery. After 26 years, Artillery and Metal Cross stood on the same stage one more time! The two jobs exceeded all expectations, and Metal Cross is back in full action again, and has played several festival gigs in Denmark and always with great feedback from the audience.

In 2019 the former singer Henrik “Faxe” left the band and Esben Fosgerau Juhl took over his place and went directly into the studio. Metal Cross has since been doing and recording new material through the last couple of years and they’re now ready to finish up our new album “Soul Ripper”

Metal Cross ambitions is not to be mistaken. They will hit all the small underground stages, to the bigger festivals and aim for a European tour as well. 

Links:
Official site
Facebook

Serpent Lord

Serpent Lord deliver a harrowing dose of occult heavy metal, with every aspect from their stage presence, to the musical production, exhuding depth and atmospheric darkness. Having shared the stage with legends such as Primordial, Rotting Christ, Blaze Bayley, Necronomicon, Innerwish, Omen, Grand Magus, Exarsis, Northwind and many others, Serpent Lord pride themselves in delivering a show to encapsulate the crowd; “For us, it’s not just a live show, it is a ritual. The songs talk about rituals, about magic and religions, about demons, so we try to create the appropriate atmosphere on our shows”. Think Archangel banners, skulls, candles, books of magic, and even stage-side monks.

Having initially founded in 2016, the 13th of May 2017 saw the band release their first demo, coinciding with their show with Omen. The band sold 150 initial copies of the demo and gained great reviews from webzines and magazines around the world. A few months later, the band hit the studio so as to records its debut album, called “Towards the Damned”. The recordings were done at Infected Studios (summer 2017-winter 2018) with George Infected (Mass Infection) as a producer. George managed to give a late eighties–early nineties sound to the band, being influenced from Iced Earth’s and Death’s sound, but with a modern aspect. On May 14 2018, the band released its first video clip taken from the album, for “The Lesser Key”. The music video was directed by Bob Katsionis (guitars/keyboards at Firewind, Outloud).

The bands debut album “Towards the Damned” was later released on September 14th 2018 via Alcyone Records which received rave reviews. The album contained ten powerful songs, from which one is instrumental, one is an atmospheric ballad and another one is written in Phrygian language. The album was selected as “Album of the Month” on the Greek Metal Hammer, while it gained great reviews from Powerplay Magazine, Fireworks, Rock Overdose, Metal.de, Rock Hard Greece, Ultraje, etc.

The band accomplished its first European tour on May 2019, called “The Damned Tour – Europe Under Damnation”, supporting the legendary thrash metal Germans Necronomicon. Serpent Lord visited Hungary, Poland, Slovakia, Czech Republic and Romania, for six shows. Before their tour, they performed at the 1st Lake Metal Festival at Kastoria, with Rotting Christ.

On November 26th 2019, Serpent Lord (GR) released their double-sided single entitled “Horned God”, which includes the song “Horned God” and a cover on Death’s “Sacred Serenity”, with clean vocals. Both the new song and the cover, show a more aggressive, progressive and atmospheric approach of the band. The single has gained great reviews from the fans and the press worldwide.

Links:
Official site
Facebook

  • 1
  • 2