Let’s do a time travel experiment: we send back in time some of today’s music production possibilities and we check what a Heavy Metal band from 1986 can come out with, and we call it STREET FIGHT.
A pack of urban outcasts has been recruited: the ugly city alleys are about to get uglier.
At the helm of this project is Marco Angioni (Meridian, Withering Surface), producer and multi-instrumentalist, who recorded most of the instruments: lead and rhythm guitars, keyboards, bass, and drums. On vocals: Stefan Jensen (Exelerate) and Sofia Schmidt (Ethereal Kingdoms).
Special guests are: Rasmus Bom Andersen (Diamond Head), Soren Andersen (Electric Guitars), Michael Catton (Tainted Lady), Chris Catton (Boys From Heaven) Lars Märker (Meridian), Michael Bastholm (Artillery), Michael Hvolgaard Andersen (Withering Surface, Thorium), Martin J. Andersen (Blindstone), Klaus Agerbo and Peter Bruun (Meridian).
“Second Hand Hero” is out now on all digital platforms via From The Vaults.
Lineup: Marco Angioni – guitars, bass, keyboards Anders Peter Bruun – bass Klaus Agerbo – drums Sofia Schmidt – vocals Stefan Jensen – vocals
Fresh after being signed to From The Vaults, epic doom metallers ALTAR OF OBLIVION announce the release of the EP “Burning Memories”. The five tracks were recorded in 2016 just after the completion of the band’s third full-length. Now, seven years later, the EP is finally ready to see the light of day. On it, the band conjures up classic timeless epic doom metal, whilst at the same time exploring untrodden ground under the gloomy auspices of this Nordic collective.
The origins of Altar of Oblivion can be traced back to 2003, when Martin Sparvath (guitars/vocals) and Allan Larsen (drums) formed a duo called Summoning Sickness. Around three years later, this doubtful project morphed into Altar of Oblivion and the entity went from playing simple black/speed/ heavy-metal to epic doom metal. To complete the lineup, two new members in the shape of former opera-singer Mik Mentor and bassist/caffeine-addict Christian Nørgaard were recruited, and the band has, so far, several demos, EPs, a live album, and three full-lengths under its belt. Now, a new chapter opens up for Altar Of Oblivion, while the band closes the door on a brilliant past before looking forward to a new album in 2024.
“Epic doom is not a subgenre that many bands even attempt, let alone excel at, still less expand upon, so this Aalborg five-piece deserve mad props for bringing new life to this profound outsider sound. With the frosty melancholy of Candlemass, the mystical drama of Solitude Aeturnus and the barbarian brawn of Solstice, AOO mix in new levels of emotional vulnerability via the Robert Smith-ish vocals of Mik Mentor, and never get lost in sluggish gloom, maintaining trad metal fundamentals with a strong, clear vocal line, a sturdy gallop and a spine-tingling melody” Chris Shantler (Metal Hammer UK)
“Burning Memories” is out now on MLP (180gr black vinyl, limited to 300) and digital formats via From The Vaults.
Lineup: Mik Mentor – vocals Martin Meyer Sparvath – guitars & guitar-synth Jeppe Campradt – guitars C. Nørgaard – bass Danny Woe – drums Jannick Nielsen – keyboards
Five years after “Footprints In The Rock”, NWOBHM unsung heroes TRESPASS are back with a superb new album entitled “Wolf At The Door”. Encompassing issues and subjects close to their hearts – especially environmental themes – the album were written by founding member, guitar player and vocalist Mark Sutcliffe at his home studio, being later recorded at Crooks Hall Studios, all in the wilds of Suffolk. Nigel Palmer (Raging Speedhorn, Satan’s Empire) then polished altogether in Lowland Masters.
This typical British environment helped Trespass maintain their NWOBHM signature twin-guitar sound, while having a drive and energy in the rhythm section that transports them right back into the 20s. The artwork, by Mark Wilkinson (Iron Maiden, Judas Priest) put the final touch in a release that won’t disappoint the old-school fans, as well as new ones.
Trespass was formed in 1979 in Sudbury, Suffolk by Mark Sutcliffe (guitar, vocals) and his brother Paul on drums. The band enjoyed success and critical acclaim as part of the New wave of British Heavy Metal in the early 80s, although it has only released a few singles and an EP – the cult “Bright Lights”, from 1981. Songs such as “One Of These Days”, “Stormchild” and “Bright Lights” have made their mark.
In the 90s, Trespass was back in full action and in 1993 the band finally released their long-awaited debut album “Head”, helping keep the NWOBHM flame alive in a dark decade for traditional metal. The second album, self-titled, surfaced in 2015, and the group didn’t need another decade for a follow-up, with “Footprints In The Rock” being released three years after, with reactions, confirming that Trespass music is still enjoyed by rock and metal fans all over the world. While preparing the next full-length release, Trespass is currently rehearsing a set of classics old and new, for UK and European shows next year.
“Wolf At The Door” is out now on LP (black vinyl, limited to 500), CD and digital formats.
Lineup: Mark Sutcliffe – guitar/vocals Joe Fawcett – guitar Jason Roberts – drums Wil Wilmot – bass
EXELERATE is a power thrash metal band from Denmark. They play fast and aggressive riffs combined virtuose guitar solos and high-pitched vocals to create a new, yet familiar brand of metal. They quickly found strength in combining their individual music influences to create a mix of thrash, power and prog metal. It set the stage for the aggressive, but still approachable sound and the complexity of the compositions that all of their songs are made of.
They are inspired by bands like Megadeth, Anthrax, DIO and Dream Theater and make heavy use of both the traditional and the new in metal. They have a great focus on how their music is perceived in a live situation. “It’s in a live environment you get the chance to grab new listeners by the collar and show them how it’s done”, lead singer Jensen comments. “They need to be enticed, inspired and spoiled until they can’t get enough. It is therefore important for us to give them something to latch on to, like a catchy melody, a fantastic solo or just a massive breakdown. It’s all a part of capturing the audience’s attention and keeping it”.
Exelerate is, now in 2023, in full swing with their debut album under the Danish label From The Vaults. The record consists of new and original material, designed to showcase just how metal should sound in 2023. It’s a concept work where every track tells a story about humankind’s tendencies towards both dominance and submission. The themes go from old religions to contemporary ideology worship and even further into the ultimate submission to our own mortality.
“To date, these are the most ambitious compositions I have ever been a part of writing, and I am incredibly proud of the end result”, Jensen says. “It has taken up many hours, days, weeks, years in the rehearsing studio, and the entire effort is realized in full on the album, I think”.
“Exelerate” was recorded with the help of, among others, Casper Augustenborg as the drum recording engineer and Io Brix Klarstrup, who pulls double duty as both the band’s bass player and recording engineer. The skilled hands of Marco Angioni (Angioni Studios) have made sure that Exelerate sounds better than ever, with a new massive sound that the listener easily can let their face melt away to.
The album’s artwork was made by the danish artist Steen Jensen who, with his airbrush and proclivities towards the dark and strange, has made a surreal visual universe inspired by the opening track on the album “Arrival”.
As a classic old-school heavy metal band, Exelerate will proudly begin touring with its debut album in 2023.
“Exelerate” is out now on LP (black vinyl, limited to 300), CD and digital formats via From The Vaults.
There’s no denying… Music has become, even in its more extreme and heavier forms, a “market”. Sales figures are thrown, marketing plans are drawn, social media strategies are put into place. And the “success” outcome is measured by stream counts, quick likes without even listening to the whole album and views countings. Week after week, the machine is grinding more releases and bands, always moving forward, with listeners overwhelmed by the quantity of new music at their disposal.
CROM’s new album was not written and recorded for this “market”. Mastermind Walter “Crom” Grosse has played that game (and won in, for that matter) with Dark Fortress (he served there as bassist and guitarist between 1997 and 2001), but he retreated to his Bathory-inspired musical influences and stood his ground with his project Crom, which slowly turned into a three-man army. “The Era Of Darkness” is the new battlefield of the trio and, once again, it breathes and lives heavy metal in its most epic forms. From big chorus to gigantic, fist-pumping solos and breathtaking guitar leads, the new Crom album is a collection of varied but cohesive heavy/power metal anthems that will get your blood pumping once again for true metal, if you listen to it properly – paying attention to the lyrics, active listening and giving it enough spins, instead of just turning to the next release stream after a few minutes.
“The Era Of Darkness” out now on digital, CD and LP (black vinyl, limited to 300 units) via From The Vaults.
Lineup: Walter “Crom” Grosse: vocals, choirs, lead & acoustic guitars, bass Steve Peyerl: solo guitar Thomas Hagl: drums
Denmark has a thing or two to say about traditional heavy metal and hard rock. As the nation that gave birth to bands such as Mercyful Fate, Artillery, and Pretty Maids, the steel seems to be strong in the country’s soil. Steel Inferno is one of the latest offerings in this line of succession. The raging speed metal machinery from Copenhagen has been, in the last decade, among the local frontrunners in the new resurging wave of traditional heavy metal.
And now the band’s third full-length album “Evil Reign”, is unleashed. It features a handful of ferocious metal assaults that leaves no listener spared. The collective appeals in an irresistible manner to fans of classic metal in the vein of Agent Steel, early Slayer, and Overkill and to everyone who is into speed and intensity mixed with a sense of malicious melody. With a timeless production made in Angioni Studios by Marco Angioni (Tygers Of Pan Tang, Iron Fire, Meridian), “Evil Reign” is the heavy/speed metal battlecry of 2022.
Steel Inferno was formed in 2012 and has since its formation released two full-length albums: “Aesthetics of Decay” in 2016 and “…And the Earth Stood Still” in 2020.
In 2020 the band joined forces with a new singer – Chris Rostoff – and while the world was shut down the band started to write new songs. The band then signed with From The Vaults in 2021 and entered Angioni Studios in early 2022. The result is the album “Evil Reign” which takes the band in a slightly different direction. If the Steel Inferno’s early material was akin to European metal like early Accept and Judas Priest, the newer material is closer to some of the earliest US power metal bands such as Helstar and Jag Panzer – all mixed with a fundamental inspiration from early thrash and speed metal.
“Evil Reign” is out now on digital, CD, and LP (black vinyl, limited to 300 units) via From The Vaults.
Lineup: Chris Rostoff – vocals Jens Andersen – guitars Thierry Zubritovsky – bass Lars Lyndorff – guitars Krzysztof Baran – drums
Let’s go back to the 80s. Back then, there were no style boundaries. You were either into heavy metal rock or you were not. Bands like Scorpions, Pretty Maids, W.A.S.P. or TNT gathered a legion of loyal fans around them looking for the thrill of screaming guitars and epic melodies. More than fans, we were family. The heavy rock family. Many bands have, since then, tried to capture the feeling of those days. Many have failed miserably, but others have succeeded to give us a glimpse of that golden era. Among the latter, the Danish collective MERIDIAN is one of the most brilliant. They’ve been shaping their sound in three studio albums since 2013 and even in an unapologetic covers EP where they showed their diversity of influences. But now it’s time for a whole different ball game. Enter “The 4th Dimension”.
As with many quintessential albums, the latest studio offering from the Danish five-piece comes, musically, with a wide variety of songs, from real heavy numbers (“The Road Back To Hell”, “Warning Shots”) to really melodic hard rock songs (from which “Say That You Want Me” is a perfect example). Not forgetting epic songs (“Dreamers”) and fast tracks like “Remove Your Crown”. As in the 80s, no boundaries, no overthinking. “The attitude was ‘Everything is possible and anything goes’”, guitarist Marco Angioni comments about the writing process. “If a song is good and we all like it, it goes on the album”. Again, an attitude that screams “80s” from the top of its lungs.
Produced, mixed and mastered by Angioni (a renowned producer himself, with bands such as Tygers Of Pan Tang, Steel Inferno and Iron Fire in his resume) and recorded in Angioni Studios between October 2021 and January 2022, “The 4th Dimension” is one of those career-defining albums in which Meridian reaches full maturity and shoot for the stars.
“The 4th Dimension” is out now on digital, CD, and LP (marbled transparent orange/black vinyl, limited to 300 units) via From The Vaults.
Lineup: Lars Märker: vocals Martin J. Andersen: lead and rhythm guitars Marco Angioni: lead and rhythm guitars Peter Bruun: bass Klaus Agerbo: drums
Apocalypse is not necessarily a bad thing. The actual meaning of the word is ‘revelation’. But through the ages it was shown over and over again that ‘to reveal something’ is to ‘face something bad’. Of course, we could go on and on by asking ‘But what does bad actually mean?’ Let’s face it – doom or delight is in the eye of the beholder.
The apocalyptic concept behind the upcoming ERUPTION’s fourth studio album “Tellurian Rupture” is about bleak, dark, and heavy things. At least for civilizations, that is. Yet with a fall of an empire comes rebirth. Forged under the grey skies ridden with COVID-winds, when every prognosis seemed hopeless and induced despair, “Tellurian Rupture” was not an easy undertaking. Through perseverance, blood, sweat, and tears a behemoth of power-infused thrash metal was born.
“Tellurian Rupture” is Eruption’s most ambitious album to date. It’s epic, dark and technical, explosive at one time and brooding the next minute, yet it still maintains the foundation on which every Eruption’s album was built – catchy melodies, sharp riffing and memorable vocal hooks. The album is a gargantuan listening voyage, an emotional rollercoaster of anger, despair, fear, but also hope.
As the planet’s crust ruptures and ancient titans rise once more witness the destruction, embrace chaos, and welcome rebirth!
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. All 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 Warbringer, Nuclear Assault, D.R.I, Iced Earth, perform on the main stage of festivals such as MetalDays and Underwall as well as garner excellent live responses from around Europe.
“Tellurian Rupture” is out now on digital, CD and LP (black/gold vinyl, limited to 300 units).
Lineup: Klemen Kalin: vocals Gregor Lavtar: guitars Gregor Kamenšek: guitars Nika Krmelj: bass guitars Ivan Cepanec: drums
An intro and a creaking door welcome you into the MIRAGE universe. Full throttle from the off!
That’s no wonder. The Danish band’s debut album “…And The Earth Shall Crumble” created quite a stir in 1985 in both the Danish and in international metal scenes. And, to say that in a year when Accept’s “Metal Heart”, Megadeth’s “Killing Is My Business…”, Dio’s “Sacred Heart”, W.A.S.P.’s “The Last Command” and Iron Maiden’s most Faust live album “Live After Death” were released, it’s quite a bold statement.
Then again, Mirage was no ordinary band. Their melodic blend of heavy metal and hard rock turned their songs into absolute hard’n’heavy hymns, that aged really well, while “…And The Earth Shall Crumble” turned into a gem very sought-after in the following decades.
But now is 2022. After a hiatus of more than three decades, Mirage is finally back with their second album.
Wait a minute… “Second album”?
You heard it right. The record Mirage should have released some thirty-odd years ago is finally a reality! Back in the late 80s the band had to quit because the English record company sent their royalties to their Danish record company, who pocketed the money and filed for bankruptcy! Despite interest from the Danish label Medley Records, the second album was never released, though all the songs were written.
So, everything on the upcoming Mirage album was written in the late eighties.
On the back of the first album (“…And The Earth Shall Crumble”, released in 85) it was written: “Watch out for the sequel”. Alright, here is the band again, back in the very recognisable Mirage style: Metal with melody and good lyrics!
“The Sequel” is out now on digital, CD and LP (black vinyl, limited to 300 units) via From the Vaults.
Back in the early 80s, the Danish heavy metal scene was taking its first steps, learning a (very) own path away from the strong rock and punk rock backgrounds that the country provided their youth. Those were the years where the highly acclaimed metal bands Mercyful Fate and Artillery took form. But also a few others that, in the following years, saw their career follow different paths and fates, loading to disbanding with a band or simply fading away. Formed in 1983, Copenhagen-natives EVIL were one of these bands. Their debut demo, already in ‘83, set the Danish heavy metal on fire with their heavy metal frenzy and their now-mythical 1984 EP “Evil’s Message” was the confirmation that Denmark had probably one of the strongest metal scenes in Europe back then. Unfortunately, that wasn’t meant to last and the band disappeared from circulation in 1985.
A return to action was later tried in 2015, with original drummer Freddie Wolf, now on guitars, leading a new line-up that released the debut album “Shoot The Messenger”. But Evil’s career still wasn’t meant to be and the band laid dormant again… Until now!
The mighty Evil is now re-born with new joining members including vocalist Martin Steene (Iron Fire, ex-Force Of Evil), drummer Henrik Molin (ex-Shadowspawn), bassist Jakob Haugaard (Iron Fire) and guitarist Nikolaj Ihlemann (ex-Nightlight), continuing the original inspirations of bands like Judas Priest and Accept.
In its current re-vitalized form, Evil has recorded ten new songs. The album, titled “The Book Of Evil”, was produced in Hellfire Studio, Copenhagen, and Antfarm Studio, Aarhus, mixed and co-produced by rewarded metal producer/mixer Tue Madsen. “We have made the new material in the spirit of the eighties but with a modern metal state of mind” Freddie Wolf says.
The band is now ready to take back a leading role among old-school metal bands.
Evil is coming!
“Book Of Evil” is out now on digital, CD and LP (crystal and golden vinyls, each limited to 300 units), via From The Vaults.
Line-up: Freddie Wolf – guitar Martin Steene – vocals Henrik Molin – drums Jakob Haugaard – bass Nikolaj Ihlemann – guitar