Vanden Plas to release Netherworld II album soon

Vanden Plas is such a dedicated progmetal band, I love the song structures and vocals so much. It feels to me as if their music goes somehow deeper, it has more depth to offer and most of all the tracks are played with a lot of power, always giving it a good balance between progressive elements and the needed agressive and direct parts that keeps the music moving forward and enjoyable for fans of the heavy music style.

They've for years now put out one strong record after another yet it seems not many recognize them. I remember having hear them first on a sampler CD of the german Rock Hard megazine back in 1999 which featured the track "I can see" and was overwhelmed by the way the vocals came out on that one. Over the years I've always had a eye on them, every here and there. Now the time is getting closer for the release of a a new record - the follow up to last years "Netherworld" album. This first trailer gives me chills offering a wide overview on the new CD.

The new release will be called "Chronicles Of The Immortals: Netherworld II" and will see the light of day on 6th November 2015 through Frontiers Records. Here is the tracklist:

VISION 11even * In My Universe
VISION 12elve * Godmaker´S Temptation
VISION 13teen * Stone Roses Edge
VISION 14teen * Blood Of Eden (* All love must die) (* The rite)(* This is the night)
VISION 15teen * Monster
VISION 16teen * Diabolica Comedia
VISION 17teen * Where Have The Children Gone
VISION 18teen * The Last Fight
VISION 19teen * Circle Of The Devil

A first full song "Stone Roses Edge" along with a fine band-performance has been installed on Youtube as well. Make sure to connect with the band through Facebook or see their website from time to time to keep for more news, tourdates and so on.


Warfield release old-school thrashing video for "Barrage Fire"

Allright, the weekend has finally arrived for all of us. The perfect time in my eyes to let some pressure burn that has been built up in the recent days. One of the best ways to do so in my eyes is to grab some good old thrash classics and then headbang like there's no tomorrow. :-)

Happily young bands are still around that haven't forgotten all the lessons of the classic past but also maintain the style with adding own trademarks to the typical rough and pushing sound of this metal genre. A good example for that are Warfield from Germany.

(c) by Warfield, used with kind permission

While their sound reminds me on a first listen a lot of old school Bay Area bands and german classics such as Sodom or Destruction it also quickly becomes clear that they've added a straight forward feeling to the sound. It's not that monotone soundwise it goes with more diversity and most of all it's more direct and heavy leaving behind everything that could lead to a feeling of "the band has fiddled around to much with this and that". It's easier to go out of yourselves with the music. Just try it with the video below and have fun.

Lyrically the band set's a focus on political and social mistakes and also keeps a eye on the wars going on these days.

The band has put out a EP in 2014 entitled "Call To War" which you can purchase right here. 

You can see Warfield live during the following shows in Germany:

10.10.15 Zweibrücken
11.12.15 Mainz
16.01.16 Landau
12.02.16 Kaiserslautern

Also make sure to check out their social sites such as Facebook, Youtube or BackstagePRO.


BangerTV starts up with first videos on youtube

Sam Dunn is a well-known name in the world of Heavy Metal documentaries. I was first introduced to his work as I saw the documentary Flight 666 which shows Iron Maiden touring around the globe in their own airplane.

Next was the Metal Evolution series which was the first that gave a detailed insight into the history of Heavy Metal with focussing on one subgenre and it's development in each episode. He also was the first to set up a proper family tree of our beloved music from the beginnings up to today. But what is he up to today?

Sam Dunn's newest project is called BangerTV. Details on the full BangerTV channel launch are still to be released but at the moment fans can already preview some stuff from BangerTV through the Youtube Channel. Here's a short overview of what you can watch right now. You can find the proper videos through the name of the category that it is labeled with (for example Raw and Uncut Lamb Of God )

Raw and Uncut - The very best interviews from Banger's 10-year history, with brand new director's commentary from Sam Dunn. Check out interviews with Bruce Dickinson, and a young Lamb of God.

This Band Changed My Life - From the extensive interview archive of the creators of BangerTV, metal musicians share the artists, albums and concerts that made them who they are today. Here's one example of that:

Metal Giants - New original interviews with metal's legacy artists. Starting with Kerry King from Slayer and Nergal from Behemoth.

New clips will be added every week. To get notified on the further developments connect with BangerTV using Facebook or subscribe to their E-Mail-Newsletter on their homepage or add the Youtube channel to your watch list.


Live-Review: A Place To Fall / FiftyFour Planets / Acoustic Steel - Lingen 19.9.2015

So this past weekend hopefully will stay some time in my mind. It was time for the local town party. The whole city of Lingen is changed into a big open air location at the end of each summer offering a wide variation of music to check out for free for everybody.

This big wheel gave the chance to take a impressive look from ca. 35 meters above over Lingen

As part of this event you can find one place that offers a special section that keeps it mostly a bit heavier for the younger people of the city. It's called "Rock am Pferdemarkt" and it had a good line-up this 2015 edition offering three of my favorite local bands on Saturday. A note: there were more bands playing but I will ignore those here since they don't fit to the musical style of my blog so I will stick to the heavy bands of the line-up

First out were "A Place To Fall" which offer a mixture of Hardcore / Heavy Metal along with a fine mixture of melodic riffs and melodies. I arrived early to the show so I was able to see the band doing the soundcheck. The band was going to lay it down heavy that was made for sure. They had brought along a good package of speakers so they were really playing loud. Plus they had prepared the stage with some whistle blowers which they used every here and there at the show. Finally the band took the stage and got into the set very well. Most of all vocalist Sebastian Molleker gave a good signature of his abilities. It payed off that he doesn't had to play the bass guitar anymore and could concentrate of the vocals. On one song he screamed the parts as if he was collecting them up from deep inside and was letting off some real pressure. That was towards the end of the set and I feel that he was getting better with every minute that allowed him to get out of himself a bit more.

Malte Hornung, the lead guitarist showed some cool riffs and it was a good mixture of heavyness with fine melodies put inside that made me curious on the upcoming release that the band is currently working on. Make sure to check out the track below so you won't miss out them. If the band had been given a stage time in the later evening time I'm sure the band would have had the chance to gather a lot of new fans. At this time it was too early for most of the people to show up. Keep in mind that the show already started at 18:50 h so I thing you can imagine it. I for one was very happy that I didn't missed them out. I would have really regret if I had chosen to stay at home.

Afterwards it was time for the change over which turned out pretty short. The crew and bands really kept things short and quick but nevertheless made sure the sound was kept in good quality. Next to go were "FiftyFour Planets". Having seen them twice before I was curious what the band was going to do with the big stage since they previous shows were at a small live club here in Lingen called "Alter Schlachthof". The band used the place really well, most of all the Synthesizer Christoph jusmped around a lot as he seems to enjoy a lot. :-) The band has a own idea of sound mixing up classic Punk Rock elements with Synthesizer sounds and a good potion of Hardcore heavy elements. So on some parts they really keep it straight forward to the direct classic punk attitude just to go over without further ado to the hardcore parts that make a pushing, raw sound while the synths give some fine melodies to your ears you won't forget so fast anymore.

It's these versatile mix of sounds that keeps in your ears and makes the music thrilling and you can never know what's comes next. The drum patterns are sometimes kept unusual giving it a even more own character. You should definitely check out their noise in the tube player below. The only thing I still cannot feel fine with is the reaction of the audience. Why not give some applause to the band, why not show some enthusiasm? The band really layed it down heavy so there was absolutely no reason to hang around calmly and not giving the slightest form of reward to the band. The vocalist was right as he counted the applauding people and pointed at them (I was one of them :-) and thanked them for their reaction.

Last to go on my list were "Acoustic Steel". As their name already let's you guess they are drawn towards the heavier side of music but in a acoustic form. That said you may expect the usual tracks to be heard, mostly slow stuff and ballads. Sure the band has them in their set but most of all they also pick up tracks from the really heavy depths of metal like Slayers all-time classic "Seasons in the abyss" that you wouldn't even think of to be remade in a acoustic version. But this band manages to do so in a serious way, so all of the typical elements of the original tracks are kept intact, it's just that they rework them to fit to their attempt to the music. It's even cooler that the drummer uses Cajons and percussion to play his parts and that fit's also to the picture. Their set was filled with a lot of classics amongst them some Iron Maiden numbers like "Run to the hills" and "Fear of the dark" but they also weren't afraid to pick up Body Counts "Copkiller" for a acoustic version. The audience reacted quite well and showed some cool sing-along with dancing and giving a lot of applause to the band which was well deserved.

The peak of the show in my ears was their cover of AC/DC's "Thunderstruck" which I never had thought the people to go along so much on it. I guess the australian rocker may even have liked to see this performace for themselves. Anyway here I've got their current videoclip for you to check out. Besides going serious on the music the band also put's out some fun stuff making sure they never take things too serious so it's also good for having a smile on this very monday. The only thing I would wish for is the band to write own songs and play them. I love their covers but it would also be cool to see them performing their own numbers. But I've hope that this will happen since they aren't around for too long yet.

All in all it was a cool evening and I enjoyed every minute of it. Please keep the good work up all you people at the team of the "Rock am Pferdemarkt" as well as all of the bands showing up there. Hope to see you all around again!


Manach Seherath to play first show with new guitarist

Happily Symphonic Heavy Metal Band Manach Seherath found a new guitarist after some time of rehearsing several candidates. The new man on the guitar is called Joe Dardano (ex-Marshall; ex-Heavenshine).

In addition to this already great news the band announced their next live show, which is going to take place on 30th of September 2015 at Hades Pub in Naples. The band will play stuff from their first demo as well as give a insight into the upcoming album. There will be no entrance fee taken so don't miss out this show and band. See the promo poster for all the details of this event.

The opening act on this evening will be thrash-black metal outfit Terrorfront, a band from Naples,too. They have a EP coming up called "We don't come in peace" and will kick in to the evening with a very raw and heavy package of music. The single for the EP already sounds promising so get ready for them.

Make sure to let the people out there know that you'll take part on the show through the Facebook event page and invite all of your friends to this special night full of metal!

In the meantime check out some music from both bands in the player below.


New Tenants to crush crossover sytle with more heavyness

Do you remember how the 90s turned out for the Heavy Metal Scene? Crossover was the big sign of time at this period bringing a new look upon our genre with mixing in unusual elements to the sound like Rap and a lot of electronic stuff.

These days things have become a bit silent around the bands of those times like Rage Against The Machine or Limp Bizkit. Nevertheless there is a new band coming up from the underground that I could imagine to take over. They are called New Tenants and are located at Buchloe, Germany (Ostallgäu). The band was founded in 2013 and describes their style as "Rapcore" mixing together elements from old-school-hiphop with the heavyness and explosive elements of Metal.

(c) by New Tenants, used with kind permission
In contrast to other bands they put in a more explosive element to the sound which gives it more power. It's like when you know something has been set on pressure for a long time in the sound and then finally there's the little spark bringing it all out to to set everything on fire and burst all around. That's what makes this band so enjoyable in my eyes. Plus the vocalist really works the lyrics out in a powerfull way giving it a faithfull note so you know that he knows what's he's talking all about. But best of all check it out as usual for yourselves on the Bandcamp player below.

The album is available for 6,99 Euro on Bandcamp. Also don't miss out to take a look upon their accounts on Facebook, YouTube or Backstage Pro to make sure you won't miss out the band's further activities. For example some live shows are said to be announced soon.


Scorpions Show at Barclays Center on 12th September to be streamed for free

The liveshow of the Scorpions at Barclays Center, Brooklyn NY will be streamed for free on Sep 12, 2015, 9:05 p.m. ET. through the Yahoo Live service. You can see the show in the player below or check out the event page for more details on the stream.


Metalheads help Refugees with download sampler

Currently a lot of people are fleeing from the desolate situation in their home countries. They hope to find a better way of living in other parts of the world. But their start into the new life often is a problem. Some don't speak the language and most of all they are not common with the new situation and surroundings.

Happily there are organisations out there that help these people out. But of course these organisations need to have the money to be able to help. Radio Diabolus has decided to set up a call to the bands out there. Bands are able to contribute music to a sampler that is released via Bandcamp in two parts. It is a non-profit sampler - all proceeds will go to organizations helping and supporting refugees. Part one has been released yesterday and can be streamed for free below. If you'd like to support this great idea please head over to Bandcamp and buy the sampler for 7,49 Euro. It features 20 tracks in total.

Since so many songs were contributed so far the organizers decided to split the release into 2 volumes! The second one will be released in about 2 weeks. Bands and artists who still want to join sampler vol. 2 can still send the digital material until the 21st of September 2015.

The songs need to meet the following conditions:

- Songs must be in 320 KB MP3 format.
- Songs must sound clear and mastered - Please NO Demos.
- Band biography
- Band picture if available

It doesn't matter whether the band is under contract with a record label or not because it is not a sampler only for newcomers. If the participating band has a contract binding we would need the label's permission to use the song for the planned sampler.
Please send entries to: this E-Mail adress.
(please use the sampler title in the subject line)


Interview with coverartist Roberto Toderico (todericoart.com)

Here we go with a brand new interview in the series of talking to coveratists who should be afforable also to small bands out there in the Heavy Metal cosmos.


Roberto Toderico
This time we had a word with Roberto Toderico, known as todericoart out there. Located in south Italy, Roberto mostly focusses on doing artworks for extreme metal bands. Amongst the most famous cover he did so far you'll find some works for bands like Sinister and Asphyx.

Contact Data

If you'd like to get in touch with Roberto Toderico please use one of these links.

Email Roberto Toderico

The Interview

Heavy Metal Underdogs: What were your first steps in painting / creating artwork? Did you already work on this in school?

Roberto Toderico: I started drawing as a child... Then my first "step" was classic vandalism at school: drawing logos, skulls and stuff on desks and walls... with markers, pens, knives, fire... i was pretty creative! eheheh Then quit art for more then 10 years cause of my job in graphic and advertising... but i was really un-happy with that job, i'm glad i stepped out of it!

Why have you specialised in extreme music? Is there something that you favor in this music direction compared to other styles in Heavy Metal?

I think it's not only about the music since i listen to all kinds of metal (not only the extreme), much probably it's my taste for horror and supernatural that pushed me to stay focused on extreme metal... But right in this period i'm working for various act in classic heavy metal (Tygers of Pan Tang for example) and even prog/aor projects, I enjoy testing my fantasy in various directions.

Looking at some of your works on Facebook you seem to prefer the more black-and-white painting technique. Do you prefer it or is it that the bands ask for it?

The so called "old school" art, those grim lineworks in black ink, are deeply radicated in Death Metal as much as in me: it's a raw form of art, very instinctual, very effective...
I don't have a preferred style but, if i have to create something the traditional way, then i totally stick to black inks!

Which painting techniques do you prefer overall?

Acrylic painting actually but hope to have enough time to test oil painting one day!

What does inspire you to paint? Are there different sources where you draw it from? How much input does come from the bands you work with?

With no doubt I am the classic metalhead of the 80's: i'm all into horror movies, comic books, videogames... and Metal does the rest! Many great artists of the 80's inspired me and even if i produce a lot on digital art, i feel like my approach is not "modern" at all...When discussing with bands about concepts i'm opened to all ideas: even the worse one can be developed in a good artwork using the right style and creative approach...

Many of your works show monsters or mutilated humans. Could you also imagine to work on real life stuff?

Sometimes I do work on real life stuff... but reality kinda bores me. I do real-life mostly for practicing.
I'm not really into gore horror even! my favourite kind is surreal art with dark-occult atmosphere... but if the bands ask for gore... they'll get it for sure!

You recently held a exposition at Faust Fest VI. How did you choose the artworks for the event? Can you already say when the next exposition will take place? Is there maybe also a way to meet you personally at a festival or something?

Well my art expos are really rare cause i spend most of the time producing art and when i have a break i prefer to stay in the moshpit... this is how i intend a vacation! :D
For the Faust Fest VI expo i've choose a series of traditional arts made on classic poster paper, i like the rough impact of gig posters, i totally love them!
The easiest way to meet me is to check my page on facebook and see all the gigs i'll try to attend douring the year: it worked pretty good at Party.San 2015 i love to have good time with people at gigs! Anyway, art expos are still in plan for the next year... so stay tuned! ;)

Can people buy prints of your work?

I'm working hard on it and soon will be possible, the best way to be updated on my projects is my facebook page www.facebook.com/todericoart  , i'm also working on a personal brand for merchandise and tons of more things, i love to keep myself busy 24/24 ! ;)

Contact Data

If you'd like to get in touch with Roberto Toderico please use one of the links below.

Email Roberto Toderico


Got a song? Work with Flying Colors and their team to bring it to life

In support of Heavy Metal Truants Monster Rock Auction, the progressive/rock supergroup Flying Colors (Steve Morse, Dave LaRue, Neal Morse, Casey McPherson, Mike Portnoy) have offered a "Create a Song" experience to record a song with the band and their team. The winner will write a song with creative guidance from the band, have studio time with their exec producer, and mix/master with their engineers. The auction is in aid of Nordoff Robbins, ChildLine and Teenage Cancer Trust.

View the auction at: flyingcolorsmusic.com/auction
Auction Closes: Monday 07 September BST at 19:00 h

Start by sending your demo to Steve Morse, Casey McPherson, Neal Morse, Dave LaRue and Mike Portnoy. They'll each listen, and send you back their individual, creative feedback. Then, hit the studio with Bill Evans, and track your masterpiece with mirth and fervor. Next, have your song mixed by Rich Mouser, the man behind their albums as well as every studio release by Transatlantic, Neal Morse, and Spock's Beard. Next up, give your song the final polish with mastering by Dan Shike, the golden ears behind their #1-charting Live from Europe, and many other chart-topping albums. It's the full Flying Colors experience! (Please see the auction listing here for full details.)

Here is a overview on the organisations which will be aided with the money made out of this auction:

Nordoff Robbins is the UK's leading private provider of music therapy services. Their trained network of music therapists work with people of all ages and with a range of conditions. They deliver thousands of music therapy sessions per year in care homes, day centres, hospitals, schools and our own centres and are also developing a range of other music and health projects aimed at bringing music to more and more people in local communities. Find out more here.

ChildLine is a private and confidential service for children and young people up to the age of 19. You can contact a ChildLine counsellor about anything -no problem is too big or too small. Call free on 0800 1111, have a 1-2-1 chat online or send an email.

Teenage Cancer Trust are there to give young people the support and expert treatment they need when they hear the word ‘cancer’. The charity needs to raise at least £80million in the next five years to help every young person with cancer in the UK have access to the specialist care they provide. Learn more at their website.


Final Coil reveal new acoustic track

Sometimes there are videos out there that give you this feeling from the start that something special is hanging in the air. It's as if a certain feeling or moment has been captured within a melody or the full song. This track then stand's for something and more than anything that could ever be said with a million words it tells you a story that you can re-feel.

That's what happened to me when I first heard and saw the brand new Final Coil song for the track "Failed Lights". It's starting with this soft melody and starting to drift onwards from there before coming to a rougher climax towards the end that you nearly have the feeling as if you'd been on a journey to a place far away. The last soft notes give it something even more special when returning to the soft style of the beginning letting you alone with your thoughts. Just try this out for yourselves in the video below.

Keep a eye on the band's Facebook page so you won't miss out on the further activities of them. The band is also playing a one-off acoustic date at Duffy's Bar on Thurs 8th October. so you might be happy to catch them live.