PAIN, the Swedish metal force led by multi-instrumentalist and producer PeterTägtgren (HYPOCRISY,LINDEMANN), are ready to unleash the follow-up to 2011’s ‘You Only Live Twice‘. After the substantial success of Peter‘s LINDEMANN project with RAMMSTEIN vocalist Till Lindemann, he retreated and took time to write another industrial metal album entitled ‘Coming Home’. The release of this record is scheduled for September 9th via Nuclear Blast.
Yesterday, the band reveal the third album trailer instalment:
Check out the lyric video for Black Knight Satellite:
The band recently announced that they will be hitting the road for a full European headline tour this autumn.PAIN will join forces with the German gothic metal outfit THE VISION BLEAK.
Check out the confirmed tour dates:
w/ THE VISION BLEAK DYNAZTY
BILLION DOLLAR BABIES
13.10. D Berlin – Astra
14.10. D Wuerzburg – Posthalle
15.10. D Leipzig – Hellraiser
16.10. CZ Prague – Meet Factory
17.10. A Vienna – Szene
19.10. D Ludwigsburg – Rockfabrik
20.10. D Munich – Backstage
21.10. CH Lausanne – Les Docks
22.10. D Lindau – Vaudeville
23.10. D Essen – Turock 24.10. UK London – Underworld 25.10. UK Bristol – The Fleece
26.10. UK Wolverhampton – Slade Rooms
27.10. F Paris – Petit Bain
28.10. E Barcelona – Razzmatazz 2
29.10. E Madrid – Changó
30.10. P Lisbon – RCA Club
01.11. E Bilbao – Stage Live
02.11. F Marseille – Jas Rod
03.11. F Lyon – Ninkasi Kao
04.11. F Nancy – Nancy On Rock Festival*
05.11. D Markneukirchen – Music Hall
06.11. NL Tilburg – 013
08.11. B Antwerp – Trix
09.11. D Hamburg – Klubsen
10.11. DK Aalborg – Aalborg Metal Fest
11.11. S Gothenburg – Brewhouse
12.11. S Stockholm – Debaser
17.11. FIN Kuopio – Henry’s*
18.11. FIN Oulu – Hevimesta*
19.11. FIN Helsinki – Nosturi*
24.11. FIN Tampere – Klubi*
25.11. FIN Jyväskylä – Lutakko*
26.11. FIN Seinäjoki*
(*without THE VISION BLEAK)
20.08. D Dinkelsbühl – Summer Breeze
Swedish experimental heavy-rock pioneers OPETH have released the second instalment, “Studio Report – Episode 2,” of their in-depth, behind the scenes series on the making of their 12th studio album, ‘Sorceress’. The highly-anticipated record is due out on September 30th via the band’s imprint label Moderbolaget Records with Nuclear Blast Entertainment.
Opeth recently released a lyric video for the record’s title track “Sorceress“, which has has already received mass critical praise from fans and critics alike.
Additionally, OPETH, with their label, have launched a variety of pre-orders for physical copies of ‘Sorceress”. The record will be available in an array of formats and editions including Standard Jewel CD, 2CD Digipak, 2LP Vinyl (in various colors at 180 gram) and a Deluxe Edition Wooden Box Set.
OPETH will return to the UK for a headline show at Wembley Arena on Saturday 19th November. Tickets are on sale now from www.livenation.co.uk.
Full tour dates as follows:
05.11. S Stockholm – Annexet
06.11. N Oslo – Konserthus
07.11. DK Copenhagen – DR Koncerthuset, Koncertsalen
08.11. D Hamburg – Docks
10.11. A Vienna – Arena
11.11. D Stuttgart – LKA Longhorn
12.11. D Munich – Theaterfabrik
13.11. CH Zurich – Volkshaus
14.11. I Milan – Alcatraz
16.11. D Cologne – E-Werk
17.11. B Brussels – AB
18.11. NL Tilburg – 013 19.11. UK London – SSE Arena Wembley
21.11. F Paris – Le Trianon
23.11. LUX Luxemburg – Den Atelier
24.11. D Berlin – Astra Kulturhaus
Or catch the band on the following festivals, before they embark on a US headline tour together with THE SWORD:
30.07. FIN Oulu – Qstock Festival
05.08. P Corroios – Vagos Open Air Festival
19.08. B Hasselt – Pukkelpop Festival
24.09. USA San Bernardino, CA – Ozzfest
w/ THE SWORD
29.09. USA Pittsburgh, PA – Stage AE
30.09. USA Silver Spring, MD – The Fillmore
01.10. USA New York, NY – Radio City Music Hall
02.10. USA Boston, MA – House Of Blues
04.10. CDN Montreal, QC – Metropolis
05.10. CDN Toronto, ON – Massey Hall
07.10. USA Detroit, MI – The Fillmore
08.10. USA Akron, OH – Good Year Theater @ East End
09.10. USA Chicago, IL – Riviera Theater
10.10. USA Minneapolis, MN – First Avenue
12.10. USA Oklahoma City, OK – Diamond Ballroom
13.10. USA Houston, TX – Warehouse Live
14.10. USA Austin, TX – Emo‘s
15.10. USA Dallas, TX – Gas Monkey Live!
18.10. USA Las Vegas, NV – Brooklyn Bowl
19.10. USA Tempe, AZ – The Marquee
21.10. USA Sacramento, CA – Ace Of Spades
22.10. USA San Francisco, CA – The Warfield
24.10. USA Portland, OR – Roseland Theater
25.10. USA Seattle, WA – The Moore
26.10. CDN Vancouver, BC – Orpheum
“An 8 year project: an electro, psychedelic, prog rock, science-fiction concept album about a human used on an interstellar spacecraft to propel the ship using the kinetic energy in his blood-flow. The ship is suffering a mutiny as the sister ship powers beyond contact.
The captain of the vessel is accosted, beaten and finally ejected into space. Soon his voice is heard over the ships tannoy system causing the fearful, scattered crew to spiral into madness. The voices trace back to the ships teleportation device, which gives our human captive a means to escape.
His liberation is short lived as he finds himself marooned on a desolate moon, where it’s clear his fate is as one with the ship’s unfortunate captain. As one they are all left helplessly adrift amongst the stars that seldom shine”
This is the introduction to this delightfully bonkers journey, written and performed by Ludovico ‘G’ LaRoche, through the history of both music and the adventures of an experimental science project in space travel and it does it no justice what so ever.
Musically it is a journey through some serious good music condensed through the whole concept. There is some serious use of sampling to bookend the album accelerating through the various ages of rock/pop the 60s psychedelic heyday through to Prog to electronic Berlin school to downright rocking out. You cannot really single tracks out here as it is a whole suite of tracks that make up something greater than the sum of the parts.
Beginning with a scan across the airwaves in the way we used to turn the knobs on the old radios snippets of classical and psychedelic 60s pop tracks and interspersed with radio sci fi dialogue.
Straight into Propulsion Galactica Pt 1 a sitar sound dominates the track and a gruff harmony vocal line, straight from the summer of love. Part 2 comes straight from the Hawkwind play book of the mid 70s, it seamlessly spans Psychedelia to space rock without missing a beat. Sistership (XYZee) makes good use of sound clips from what sounds like a fifties Sci Fi radio series, it’s Buck Rogers meets the Forbidden Planet. The style is that of mid 80s synth pop Berlin School, overtones of electronica with hints of scratching. Mutiny – now, if you can imagine Lemmy singing prog and having a huge influence on the actual production then you have an idea.
Terminal Velocity has a Crimsonesque feel about it with a huge keyboard impact at its core. Anyone remember Wendy Carlos and the massive Moog sound? then welcome to the Pilgrimage with fat dirty guitar threaded through and anthemic track of huge sonic proportions..
Fast forward a bit and Marooned flows into Amongst The Stars That Seldom Shine which has a guitar line that has captured Brian May’s sound impeccably showing the end of the journey and bookend samples again with a lovely use of a classic Floyd Track.
Overall imagine Hawkwind, Syd Barratt, Lemmy and Public Service Broadcasting on an acid trip and then locked in a studio, yeah that’s what I thought too……
This is the official title track from Swedish progressive legends OPETH’s twelfth studio album, SORCERESS, out September 30, 2016 via Moderbolaget Records / Nuclear Blast Entertainment.
2016 marks the monumental return of one of heavy rock’s most unique, revered and fearless bands of the last three decades, Opeth. Over the years, the experimental, prog veterans have continuously reinvented themselves, pushing the boundaries of their craft and expectations of fans and critics alike.
OPETH’s new album, ‘Sorceress’, their first for Nuclear Blast via the band’s imprint label Moderbolaget Records, is proof chief architect Mikael Åkerfeldt has a near-endless well of greatness inside. From the album’s opener Persephoneto The Wilde Flowers and Strange Brew to the album’s counterpart title tracks Sorceress and Sorceress II, OPETH’s twelfth full-length is an unparalleled adventure, where visions cleverly and secretly change, colors mute as if weathered by time, and sounds challenge profoundly.
Sorceress Track List:
3. The Wilde Flowers
4. Will O The Wisp
6. Sorceress 2
7. The Seventh Sojourn
8. Strange Brew
9. A Fleeting Glance
11. Persephone (Slight Return)
”The new album “Sorceress” is our 12th studio album since our beginnings in 1990,” says Åkerfeldt. “I find it difficult to understand that we’ve been going on for 26 years, let alone that we’ve made 12 records now, all of which I am very proud of. ”Sorceress” is no exception. I love this album, as does the whole band. I wrote the music during 5-6 months and we spent only 12 days recording it at Rockfield studios in Wales. I find that once again we’ve taken a step forward. Or sideways, Or backwards. Somewhere!? It’s different! It’s extremely diverse. And if I may say so myself, extremely good.
I feel the right to say that since I like to think I know this band better than anyone on the planet. Also, I always manage to detach myself from the record and listen as a fan. It’s a fine little record. My favorite in our discography right now. Of course. That’s how it should be, right? It’s both fresh and old, both progressive and rehashed. Heavy and calm. Just the way we like it. Hopefully there’ll be others around the globe sharing this opinion. It was a joy to make it. A fucking joy to record it, and a sheer joy listening to it. So there you have it!”
For Sorceress, OPETH returned to Rockfield Studios in Wales, also home to pivotal releases from Queen, Rush and Judas Priest, where the Swedes had tracked Pale Communion in 2014 with Tom Dalgety. The band spent 12 days recording at the countryside venue among its serene and inspiring surroundings. The result is nothing short of a powerful and intriguing record that will add yet another layer to the band’s celebrated career.
About fifteen years ago I was rooting through a ‘bargain’ box of CD’s and came across one called ‘Jet Set Radio’, by Vulgar Unicorn, intrigued by the name and attracted by the price it found a place in my growing collection.
Then there was a time I collected my children for an all too rare visit from their Mum’s in Yeovil, a place full of history but devastated by modernity. As I wound up a hill toward their dingy council estate, I passed a theatre on the side of which a poster advertised a band, The Pineapple Thief (TPT). Again intrigued by the name I sought out what information I could and acquired ‘137’ and ‘Variations on a Dream’, and to this day they have remained my favourite two CDs of this band’s output; until this day…..
I still marvel how I came across this band and the fact I never realised the link between Vulgar Unicorn and TPT until a number of years later whilst browsing the sleeve notes to find the name Bruce Soord appeared on both. Now an established and sought after producer, dabbling in Wisdom of Crowds (with Katatonia’sJonas Renkse) and with a solo album under his belt that appears to have rejuvenated his musical intent he returns with the 11th studio offering under the TPT monicker, ‘Your Wilderness’.
Fresh from watching their stunning performance at Be Prog My Friend festival in Spain,as headliners on the Friday evening, (report available here on Progradar), I had mixed emotions about reviewing this. I have always really liked this band and rate them alongside Porcupine Tree (PT), though I have never agreed with the comparisons in music style that some seem to find.
That said, whilst brilliantly produced and lovingly packaged, I had felt the last couple of albums, despite credible reviews, had an air of frustration and the feeling of treading water. I had feared that as have others, their ascendency and Bruce’s rising popularity in the industry may turn them into mediocrity and (the only comparison I will draw) that they may fade and disappear like PT. You stupid boy, Thompson!
The cover picture could be interpreted as being in a wilderness and facing a difficult summit to climb, but I should have more faith……
A drum beat introduction leads in to Bruce’s distinct vocals as he berates being In Exileand the one line repeated chorus of “Don’t be afraid to miss me” ensures from the offset this album is not going to go amiss. As the music swells and the guitar riffs in identifiable TPT style dig in to your mind the song ends with notes from stalwart Steve Kitch‘s keyboards ricocheting into a distant canyon at the beginning of this musical pilgrimage.
Beautiful acoustic strumming and the inimitable airy vocals from Bruce take up the journey into No Man’s Land, and are joined by Steve’s piano for the ride. Slight pause for effect then the percussive rolls of guest drummer Gavin Harrison, (I know, Porcupine Tree, but still no comparisons) kick in redefining the sound, with Bruce’s cries floating over the top as further guest Darran Charles’ (Godsticks) guitars burst in with spine tingling energy and the bass playing of third man in the core trio, Jon Sykes, more than ably drives the engine of this vehicle through the canyon of music.
It has to be said that not having a permanent drummer at the moment does not detract. In fact, whilst bringing their own individual skills to the table, all the guest artists knit neatly into the TPT signature sound, adding a refreshing impetus.
Acoustic chords and a burst of electric guitar shoot out and Bruce advises he cannot Tear You Up, before the guitar flashes a short burst again and leaves way to the piano and vocals before crashing in with a heavy riff adding more energy to the drive and it definitely begins to feel like all these currents run to you, as it ends abruptly on those words.
The rhythms and riffs weave in and out returning at intervals on this album, linking tracks and connecting to the whole pathway of the album.
A gentler electronic sound with rhythm loops, like the breeze stirring desert sands along a dried up river, drifting across That Shore that once teemed with life. As the layered harmonizing echoes round a moonlit sky and you pull in for a rest, contemplating the aural massage of notes soothing your brow as you watch the sunrise.
As the orb rises in the sky, light guitar chords spread across the track and the bass heats up, Bruce encourages it’s time to make your move. You had best get under-way andTake Your Shot at the listening journey ahead as you are carried on another racing track, kicking dust in the face of non believers as you hurtle down the gravel road in search of musical pastures ahead and your tail-lights disappear into the early morning haze.
A feeling of calm guides you on acoustic guitar, keys and dreamy soundscapes as you wind down the car window and a cool breeze of clarinet from John Helliwell (Supertramp) gently ruffles the balmy air. You are all alone no one around in this wide expanse and you must Fend For Yourselfif you wish to discover what lies ahead. Calmly you make your way fingers drumming on the wheel to the gentle rhythm of the engine and a feeling of contentment with Bruce’s vocals imparting the details of where you are heading, to the woodwind.
Looping guitar chords fuel the drums as you make your way and Bruce urges you not to forget The Final Thing on Your Mind as the heat of the the music swells carrying you on, with orchestral lines guiding you down the straight track. The keyboards plot the course on the penultimate longest track, regret in Bruce’s restrained vocals at a broken relationship gone cold. Hurrying strings set the pace, the guitar solo points you toward your destination and the ticking of your engine sees this out.
As early evening approaches acoustic guitar shows you a coast coming into view, the familiar lights of a city flickering on as the sun drops away, almost there and Bruce reminds us of Where We Stoodat the start, a warm but fading memory. The echoing guitar and final piano refrain guides us smoothly home.
You can stand in the musical desert, you can blink at the sun and not want to go anywhere, or wish you were back where it all started. On this album, for me, the band seem to have regained focus and direction, overtaking their recent output and whilst I look back to the grand canyons they have journeyed before, I am more than happy to take a ride with them and see what lies ahead. Join us if you wish, there’s plenty of room and the ride is sweet.
All bands pics – credit Rob Monk.
Released 12th August 2016 (19th August in France).
Glass Hammer are due to release their 18th studio album, ‘Valkyrie’, in September and I managed to grab a few words with main man Steve Babb and vocalist Susie Bogdanowicz.
The follow up to last year’s ‘The Breaking of the World’ is a concept album in the vein of ‘Lex Rex’ and ‘The Inconsolable Secret’ and will see Bogdanowicz take a bigger role than on previous releases she has appeared on.
Steve told me,
“Fred and I both contribute lead vocals on the album. The lyrics of ‘Valkyrie’ were, for the most part, intentionally written so that the female lead would gradually come to the fore. To my ears the whole thing has more impact that way. The male vocals tend to convey the darker parts of the story while Susie really had to bring out the more emotional moments and the hopefulness that our albums tend to convey.”
The concept behind the album is the struggle of a soldier’s return home from the horrors of war, to the girl that loves and who must ultimately find her way to him.
When asked what it was like to to create a concept album with Glass Hammer, Susie went on to say,
“I really enjoy seeing the creative process behind a Glass Hammer concept album. There’s the beauty and complexity of the songs written with these musical threads that unite the album; and then there are these gorgeous lyrics that usually have a much deeper meaning. It’s such a rich and fulfilling experience.”
The stunning album art is by Michal Xaay Loranc who also handled the design for ‘Ode To Echo’ and ‘The Breaking Of The World’.
The tracklist for ‘Valkyrie’, released 27th September, is as follows: