Voyager release surprisingly different styled new video single

It's great to see bands evolve. As we all grow older and our lives and views change so does music. I can remember a time when I thought that this is boring but these days I think it's far more the normal way. Just look around you - everything changes. It's seems to be the only constanty in life.

The band Voyager, (c) by Voyager, used with kind permission

The Prog metal band Voyager have taken the opportunity to record a brand new track for the fans ahead of the upcoming tourdates in Australia and Europe. The cool thing is that the track surprised me when I heard it. It's going on the first listen on a bit different style and tonality then their previous material on the "V" album. That's cool because I expected something much different when I got the info. Let's see what you think about it.

Scott Kay-Guitarist, says
"We're opening 2016 with a bang! We're stoked to be releasing a new song, Misery is Only Company, with a video showcasing the writing process of the song! You'll be able to catch us playing the new tune on our forthcoming European run in April with Leprous and Earthside! We're loving the new track; it's a little different, but still has that distinct Voyager sound. We hope you enjoy it!"

The band are heading out on the following tour dates with the likes of Leprous, Epica and Earthside in the coming months.

Wednesday 16 Mar - The Studio, Auckland – Voyager + Epica
Friday 18 Mar – Max Watts – Brisbane - Voyager + Epica
Saturday 19 Mar – Max Watts – Sydney - Voyager + Epica
Sunday 20 Mar – 170 Russell – Melbourne - Voyager + Epica
Thursday 31 Mar – Musikundfrieden- Berlin – Voyager + Leprous + Earthside
Friday 1 Apr – W2 - S’Hertogenbosch – Netherlands - Voyager + Leprous + Earthside
Saturday 2 Apr – Cacaofabriken – Helmond – Netherlands - Voyager + Leprous + Earthside
Sun 3 Apr – Poppodium Duyker – Hoofddorp – Netherlands - Voyager + Leprous + Earthside
Tue 5 Apr – Logo- Hamburg - Voyager + Leprous + Earthside
Wed 6 Apr – Turock – Essen- Germany - Voyager + Leprous + Earthside
Fri 7 Apr – Z7 – Pratteln – CH - Voyager + Leprous + Earthside
Sat 8 Apr – La Laiterie – Strasbourg - Voyager + Leprous
Sun 9 Apr – Durbuy Rock Festival – Belgium - Voyager + Leprous

Make sure to check the band's Facebook page for all further updates.


Fins a Luminous share haunting Double A side single

This brand new digital single released by UK based band Fins A Luminous shows that you can also work with fine electronic elements to create a deep and intense atmosphere. I think it's the idea that stands behind the music and how detailed it's worked out that decides if it touches the listener.

The cover of the Double A side single, (c) by Fins A Luminous, used with kind permission

This said the single starts out rather soft and silent with "Setting Souls". The song is styled in a minimalistic way but once you let it sink in you'll discover what this simpleness will do for you. It's this easy toned style that helps to concentrate on the music itself. This track that will take you away from your everyday life and lead over to a more relaxed state of mind. Enjoy some refreshing of your soul while listening to it.

The second number "Funeral Shake" gives things a more raw and powerfull tonality featuring elements of drone and shoegaze in it. While it still creates landscapes of imaginations through the music it definitely goes a bit deeper and works with various sound layers to create it's atmosphere. The lyrics are inspired by the Twin Peaks series.

If you enjoy what you hear don't hesitate to go to Bandcamp and pick a copy of this release. While the band has been so kind to give it away for free please consider giving at least a few bucks back on a donation basis to help them creating more atmospheric and refreshing tunes for you.

Follow the band through their social accounts on Facebook or Twitter to stay up to date about all the upcoming works of Fins A Luminous. You can also visit Soundcloud for more tunes of the band.


Reveries End takes a journey through a ocean of emotions

The vocals on this one speak so much about the contrast between good and bad. The feelings first keep you in a melancholic feel with thoughts spinning through time. Some darkness comes rushing in with blacked styled vocals.

The songs structure changes to a more moving feeling that seems to be feed from the dark voice. Finally the softer tonality comes back before a final dark parts let's the song come to a end. A haunting musical experience, a journey through emotions and feelings as they come and go through the human mind...

Reveries End is a female fronted melancholic metal band founded in the spring of 2011 in Tampere, Finland.
The song "A Thousand Facets" is taken of the current album "Edge Of Dark Waters" which is going to be released on 28th February 2016 via Sliptrick Records.

Sadly female vocalist Sariina who was a vital part of Reveries End has decided to leave the band. The band is currently looking for a new voice so if you feel you have what it takes please don't hesitate and contact them through the band's website or use Facebook to get in touch.

The band "Reveries End", (c) by Reveries End - used with kind permission


CD Review: Charm Designer - Everlasting

A dark and mysterious Gothic / Doom record. Besides the typical growling vocals it features a lot of groove, melody and a lot of blistering, haunting atmosphere. If you like a mixture of these ingridents you shouldn't hesitate and take a close look at "Everlasting".

Short Introduction

Charm Designer is a Gothic / Doom metal band located in Columbia. It was the first time for me that I had the chance to listen to a band from that country so I was extremly excited how they would attempt writing songs. Plus I didn't listen to a album of that genre for some time so I felt it would be a good idea to check it out.

My attention was raised even more as I got to know that the follow-up to 2008's “Blood Sounds” was recorded with legendary producer Waldemar Sorychta, known for his work with Samael, Tiamat, Lacuna Coil, Sentenced and Moonspell among others, being the first time for him to produce a Latin American band. The artwork was designed by Romanian artist Costin Chioreanu (At The Gates, Arcturus, Vulture Industries, Primordial, Arch Enemy, etc.).

The cover of Everlasting, (c) by Charm Designer, used with kind permission


Charm Designer did a outstanding job on this one. The album contains eight brand new tracks that will take you on a wild ride through your inner feelings and emotions. It's filled with all that makes us humans and it goes to all the extremes we all endure and are pushed through every day. It sounds extreme and will give you pain at some points but after all the harsh parts and heavyness there's always release and silkness coming back in giving you freezing chills and giving you the breath back. In the end it will strenghten you for all that still is yet to come.

The album lives of it's contrast of dark, brutal vocals and the much lighter contra female voice parts. The same goes for the music. Sure there's darkness and heavyness all around but it never presses you down. It still pushes on forward through the groove and there's always some melody shining through. Black clouds and silver linings. The best way to quickly check out if the record is for you is to see the lyric video of the title track which you can find at the Player and Purchase Link section further down in this review. If you feel like it touches you the you should give the full album a listen, because there's a lot more yet to come so prepare yourselves for the ride...

Album Overview

The album is well balanced but there are some tracks I'd like to point out. Besides the title track my personal favorites are Never After and most of all Inertial Dream for their very heavy attitude and remembering me of old classic Gothic metal times.

Disruption is one of the most flexible cuts of the full length bringing together a good mixture of oldschool and slightly modern elements. But all the modern stuff is kept in a discret way. They are never overused and only taken if they add to the mood so it sounds authentic. Some tracks have a length of nearly seven minutes but never sound lengthy. If you prefer the shorter one's make sure to listen to Mentors, it goes out as a very straight number.

It should be mentioned that the band did a cool cover version of Depeche Mode's "Policy of truth". The song remains intact in it's structure through the cover conversion, but you can heavily hear that Charm Designer put their signature of Doom 'n' Gothic brutality on it. It's a good cover I can see this going down quite well in Gothic or Metal clubs on a saturday night with many people handbanging along to it.

Player and Purchase-Link

The album is available through the store of the band's record company Inverse Records as a physical CD.
There also the chance to buy a mp3 version of the record from Amazon. 

Update 2016/02/20: You can also place your order via the band's Facebook account. Read this info sheet they released for detailed info. They also have some nice goodie packs available with T-Shirts plus CD and you can also ask for other combinations. Just send them a message and they'll put together a nice package for you.

As far as I've seen there's no album stream available so I've added the official lyric video of "Everlasting" here to give you a quick idea of the band's sound and style.

Update 2016/02/22: The album has been uploaded to streaming services such as Spotify and Deezer. I've added the Deezer widget under the YouTube lyric video of the title track. Also if you're not registered to the service you can at least listen to some 30 second clips of the album.




Ways. use silence perfectly on first single

"The music is not in the notes,but the silence in between."

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

This quote crossed my Facebook feed some days ago and I think it perfectly fits to the song "Misty Hope" of the Rock/Hardcore band Ways. from Paris (France). This is a unique song! Wow, not many bands manage to put out such unique stuff on the first attempt.

Besides putting the silence on the right places it's also the mixture between softer and heavier guitar parts that makes this track sounding so great. The vocalist put's his all and everything into the vocals and it's one of the few times in a videoclip that I have the feeling to stand in the first row where you can feel the rough energy of the musicians coming directly your way.

This is the first single of the bands upcoming EP named "Watching From Afar" which will be available soon via the Bandcamp page of Ways. That's also the place where you can pick up a free download of "Misty Hope" in the audio format of your choice, so don't miss out this chance to grab a great song.

The cover for the EP "Watching From Afar", (c) by Ways. used with kind permission
Make sure to follow them via Facebook or Twitter as well as Instagram for all the latest updates coming along with the impending EP release.


Band history of doom band Nest speaks of hope

Making music has never been easy. And in fact it still is like this these days. I cannot understand some people saying making music is free. It's not. You need to buy equipment, you need a rehearsal space (a lot of bands need to pay a rent for that) and in the end you need to make a record and promote it with a decent video. Everyone of these steps (and some more) needs to be backed finacially. Plus in the end you can never know if the people out there will like and buy your stuff.

But there are also signs of hope out there in the darkness. One is the story of the doom/sludge three-piece called Nest situated in Stockholm, Sweden. Read below how things went out for them and listen to their full record in the stream below.

It started in 2011 with two brothers, Fredrik & Jonas, and a riff. The riff is key, for it carries the song, driven only by understated and economical drumming. For this the band  needed the right drummer, but good drummers are few and far apart. The brothers happened upon a Frenchman named Dave, a drummer with death metal roots that brought that extra something to the fold. Nest was now a three piece. A band. The idea came to life and the riff became a song.

(c) by Nest, used with kind permission

A couple of riffs later, the songs became a set, and Nest played their first show at a bar called Snövit, known to play host to punk shows. People seemed to like it.

When the time came to record their songs, they knew that the heaviness was there but wanted to capture the raw nerve of the punk influences that might get lost in hazy riffs. They turned to their friend Mattis Rundgren (Makabert Fynd/Dissekerad/Kakafoni) for the recording. The result is the self-titled debut, released in 2015.

The band was now faced with a new problem: how to get that recording out into the world. Nest opted for a DIY approach, pressing CDs and selling them themselves, in hopes that they could sell enough to afford a vinyl pressing.

At a bar in Tilburg, Holland, during the Roadburn festival, Fredrik and Jonas met up with their dear friends, Craig and Andrew, from the new country across the sea, Since they, too, worship at the altar of the riff, they were given CDs and t-shirts. The words spoken after that went something like this:

Craig: So when do I get to hear this on vinyl?
Fredrik: When we've sold enough CDs and shirts to afford it.
Craig: If I start a label, would you consider letting me release it?
Fredrik: Yes. That would be awesome!

Not long after that Tribunal of the Axe Records was born, and the record was pressed.

If you'd like to purchase a copy on vinyl just head over to the Bandcamp page and get one of the limited physical releases or the digital version.

What I like in the band's sound so much is that they keep things raw and direct. It's not that much polished and it's kept simple and straight forward. If you like bands like Black Sabbath, Electric Wizard and the like I think you'll love this.

Make sure to stay in connection with Nest through their Facebook page or have a look at the label that helped them to do the vinyl pressing - here's the link to Tribunal of the Axe Records Facebook site.


Interview with artist Senyphine (2016)

Short Introduction

The female french freelance ilustrator cover & concept artist Senyphine works on a wide variety of fields. She is active in the character design as well as in environmental art, kid's art, comic strips, tattoo design and album covers. Her paintings speak of a very own language and breathe a own atmosphere. That's why I wanted to take a closer look upon the person behind the paintings and here is some nice look behind the scenes and explanation on her diverse portfolio of art.

A portrait of Senyphine, (c) by Senyphine, used with kind permission

Contact Data

If you would like to get in touch with Senyphine please use one of the links given below:

Website : http://www.senyphine.com
Facebook fan page  : https://www.facebook.com/senyphine
DeviantArt : http://senyphine.deviantart.com
Instagram : https://www.instagram.com/senyphine
Twitter : https://twitter.com/senyphine
Pinterest : https://fr.pinterest.com/senyphine

The Interview

Heavy Metal Underdogs: How did you start with painting? Was there something in your life that gave a initial start to this?

Senyphine: For as long as I can remember, I always drew and I never stopped drawing. Painting is cathartic for me. It helps me to turn bad feelings such as anguish or stress into a drawing. Very early and still today, I was fond of comic books, halloween / vampire legends and animation movies (Miyazaki, Tim Burton) and all of this influenced me a lot. Before living from my art, I worked in a metal / gothic record store and I naturally started to collaborate with musicians to design CD Artwork. The initial start was the album « Dusk and a embrace » from Cradle Of Filth. It was not a painting but I really liked the atmosphere that emerged from it. Also I admired ( and I still do) the work of Travis Smith ( Katatonia, Amorphis…)

This is the cover of the album The Great Promenade of Fools & Ghosts of the  Alternative / Musical Mischief / Psychedelic Punk Cabaret band MARQUIS OF VAUDEVILLE, from Dallas, TEXAS (USA) released in 2012. (c) by Senyphine, used with kind permission

How do you go along when it comes to creating a new picture?

Working for a variety of projects, the process is always different. If it is a commissioned work, I have the initial idea given by the client (the universe, history, the structure of the project). I started with rough sketch and I modified it according to the feedbacks in order to closely fit to the project. It is a real collaboration.
If it is a personal work, It is quite different as I have only an idea or just a feeling as a starting point. The details or the colors can change till the very end as I do not plan anything when I paint.

Having looked through your artist booklet (portfolio) on DeviantArt (the link opens a new browser window that directly displays the portfolio) seems that besides cover for music you also set a focus on computer games and illustrations for books for children. How did it all come together? Do you maybe also play computer games from time to time?

You are right, I work on a variety of projects and mostly on book cover and children’s book.   I have sometimes the opportunity to illustrate computer game but I don’t have much time to play to it  ;)  I think that it is a good thing to work on various  projects because you go outside of your conform zone, you push the limits, learn new techniques that you are going to adapt or use on another project. It improves your skill and it is also very helpful to step back on your work.

Picture of the unreleased browser game HEXAL, (c) by Senyphine, used with kind permission

Which painting techniques do you prefer? It seems to me as if you prefer a very fine and detailed look upon pictures when creating them - there's a lot of dedication to details in your work.

I was first exclusively a traditional artist and then I learned to use digital media. Mixing all the traditional mediums, numerated textures and playing with the layers on Photoshop. I always start to draw, paint (pen, ink, charcoal pen, watercolors, acrylic painting) and finish all the details on Photoshop with a Wacom Cintiq tablet.
It is a way for me to explore all the possibilities of each medium and to get the effect that will better fit to the mood. The colors depend on the atmosphere I want to give to the illustrations. The atmosphere is the most important element of my work because it is the very essence of it. And when I find it, I can focus on all the details of the picture.

Where do you draw your inspirations from?

Everywhere, I am curious. I get some inspiration from old legends about witches, Halloween, but also by Tim Burton's movie or by the books of Lovecraft and A.E POE, mangos, Comics, DeviantArt (web), street art.…  My travels through Spain, Egypt, Bali, Germany, England, Canada have all influenced my work in the designs of the houses, trees, perspective....For example, the picture "The Raven" has been painted just after my travel to Egypt. The position of the raven (profile) is reminiscent of Egyptian paintings. The shade of the house in the background was directly inspired by the city of Cairo; you can hardly see the houses there because of the pollution all these elements are inspired by the poem of E. A. Poe.

The Raven (c) by Senyphine, used with kind permission

Do you favor steampunk or other styles of art?

I have a passion for Leonard De Vinci and its wonderful flying machines and I like Jules Verne too.  So, when I paint personal work I usually design some steampunk  machines and characters. So, let’s say that I favor Steampunk style

The proportions of persons you paint are also often different to those in real life. Do you like the people to focus on the face rather than on other parts of a person or other elements in the picture?

No, I prefer that the people focus on the whole picture and the story / message conveys through it. I like to give a eerie atmosphere to my work, painting dreamlike landcapes or odd characters close to the fairy tales, children’s tales and fantasy litterature. So the caricature is a  good way to twist the reality and to enhance the pose and the facial expression of the character.

This a painting of the musicians of the band MARQUIS OF VAUDEVILLE  in a dandy zombie style included inside the booklet. (c) by Senyphine, used with kind permission

Contact Data

If you would like to get in touch with Senyphine please use one of the links given below:

Website : http://www.senyphine.com
Facebook fan page  : https://www.facebook.com/senyphine
DeviantArt : http://senyphine.deviantart.com
Instagram : https://www.instagram.com/senyphine
Twitter : https://twitter.com/senyphine
Pinterest : https://fr.pinterest.com/senyphine


Iranian metal musicians from Confess imprisoned - lawyer or goverment help wanted

We often forget how much freedom of spreech is worth. Please help and spread the word about the band members of the thrash band Confess. Maybe we can help them to get a specialist lawyer or someone else in goverment position who can make his influence count to get them out.

What happend? Nikan Siyanor Khosravi and Khosravi Arash Chemical Ilkhani are members of the thrash metal band Confess. Both men were arrested by the Army of the Guardians of the Islamic Revolution and are facing now charges of blasphemy, advertising against the system, running an illegal and underground band and record label promoting music considered to be Satanic, writing anti-religious lyrics and granting interviews to forbidden foreign radio stations.Both band members, aged 23 and 21 have been imprisoned since last November until finally making bail on February 5th, paying the equivalent of  $30,000 US.

The penality they could face is a minimum of six months to six years in prison, and worse, if they are found guilty of the blasphemy charge, they could be executed,

In a public statement a friend of the musicians reported that all online accounts of the bands have been taken over by the government.

I'm posting this to help spread the word and as said to find people out there that could really help in the case. Other sites such as Metal Injection have set up articles, too. I've decided to grab the image below from Metal Injection for a faster spreading of the word.
If you can also spread the image and/or this article on your sites / networks or drop by on Twitter with the hashtag #FreeConfess that would be greatly appreciated. Thanks for your help!!!

Update 2016/02/12: A online petition on change.org has been started. It is adressed to the President of Iran Hassan Rouhani with the aim to free the band from jail. I hope signing it can help further to create some positive influence in the matter.

Help to free Confess, please spread the image as often as possible.

If you don't know the band yet, here is a song for streaming.


New Jeff Healey song surfaced and lost album announced

Jeff Healey came to my attention several years ago when I started exploring more and more bands. I was surprised to see him playing the guitar laying on his knees while I knew that he was in fact blind. He nevertheless managed to get some outstanding effects out of the guitar and developed a diverse and impressive playing technique. I also liked his songwriting which ranged from agressive tunes up to slow songs. At some times he reminded me a bit of Jimi Hendrix.

It's sad to know he died much too early on March 2, 2008 at age 41 after a three-year battle with sarcoma cancer. He would have turned 50 this year and it's a gift we can still enjoy his tunes.

Moreover as of now we can also listen to some new songs from him, thanks to the efforts of the Jeff Healey Estate. The long lost album "Heal My Soul" will be released soon. But first of all enjoy the new song "Daze of the Night" right here:

In a joint statement, Jeff Healey Estate Co-Administrators Cristie Healey and Roger Costa said, “Heal My Soul is a project that we have wanted to tackle for years. A 'lost' album, it contains material recorded during one of the most creative periods in Jeff's rock career. Until now, it has never seen the light of day. Jeff was very proud of this work and it features some of the most powerful and impassioned performances he ever committed to record. With complete creative control we've laboured hard, tracking down recordings, identifying the right performances, restoring them to their proper stature and mixing and mastering them from the ground up. This has been a true labour of love for us from beginning to end and we're absolutely thrilled to be able to finally share this significant release with the world.”

Pack shot of the new album "Heal My Soul" (C) by Jeff Healey Estate, used with kind permission

Healey is remembered as one of the most outstanding guitarists and performers of the past 30 years. He lost his sight during early childhood due to retinoblastoma, a rare form of eye cancer. Playing guitar since the age of three, he developed the distinctive lap-style guitar technique that helped bring him international attention by his late teens. A Grammy nominee and JUNO Award winner, his five releases with The Jeff Healey Band totaled millions of sales worldwide. Over the course of his career, he also shared stages and earned the admiration of countless other musicians including B.B. King, Eric Clapton, the Rolling Stones, George Harrison, Stevie Ray Vaughan, and the Allman Brothers Band.

You can see the Album trailer here:

The tracklist of "Heal My Soul":

01.Daze Of The Night
03.Baby Blue
04.I Misunderstoo
06.Love In Her Eyes
08.Kiss The Ground You Walk On
09.All The Saints
10.Put The Shoe On The Other Foot
11.Under A Stone
12.It's The Last Time

Release Date
March 25, 2016

Available formats
2LP+Mp3, CD and Digital.

Jeff Healey Online






Brutai show how different songwriting these days is

Today's upcoming bands have a lot more complexity and variation in their sound. Sometimes it's not easy at all to sort out the elements that come along when you start listening to their music.

I mean their are sometimes these straight songs that come with a clear structure. A straight riff, the fitting rhtyhm to it and some vocals with the typical song structure marking the way through the song.

As of today it takes various times to get through all of the stuff because some of them are so complex and diverse you wonder how it's all coming together. A good example for that is the London-based modern Metal band Brutai who have just released a new single with accompanying music video for their track 'Deep', taken from their forthcoming album which is due for a summer release.

While the beginning goes in straight with some vocals and a good amount of riff hacking kicks into the song it's quickly getting diverse when the vocals change for the first time from the clear style over to the harsh and deep tonality. This is where the song starts to grow in my ears in some sort of monster style, much heavier and harder.

It's followed up by a pumping and pushing part which leads back to the first formula. After the next break of deep vocals their's another ride taking the track to a rougher edge. Finally the end part is quite different from what can be heard of other bands - what a different yet cool way to end a song and letting it fade out with some soft keyboards...

Felix Lawrie (Frontman, Guitarist) says about the track:
"Lyrically, Deep is about a time when we were struggling as a band during the writing process of the album. It talks about challenges we faced when overcoming adversities such as writers block and other struggles in our personal lives. We needed to come back and finish what we started. This song is a reminder to never give up."
Photo credit: http://www.willirelandphotography.co.uk/
(Left to right-  Mathieu Bauer- Drums, Alex Lorimer- Backing Vox and keys, Felix Lawrie- Frontman/Guitarist, Henry Ryan- Guitars, Christian Sturgess- Bass)
The band has some live dates coming up so don't miss them out if you're around:

25th February- The Underworld Camden (supporting Textures)
10th March- Hammerfest (Wales)

If you'd like to have a copy of the song check out Bandcamp or itunes to purchase it.

Also make sure to mark their social accounts with a like or follow so you won't miss out on the further developments via Facebook or Twitter.


Interview with Mistheria about Vivaldi Metal Project.com (2016)

(c) by Vivaldi Metal Project, used with kind permission

Short Introduction
The all-metal-stars VIVALDI METAL PROJECT involves 70+ world-famous musicians from all around the globe such as

Rick Wakeman (YES), Michael Lepond (SymphonyX), Fabio Lione (Rhapsody of Fire / Angra), Rob Rock (Impellitteri), Dani Loeble (Helloween), Marco Sfogli (J. LaBrie), Andreas Passmark (Royal Hunt), Chris Caffery (Trans Siberian Orchestra / Savatage), Steve Di Giorgio (Testament), Atma Anur (T. MacAlpine, G. Howe), Tommy Denander (Radioactive / Toto)

The Project will make a Metal version of Antonio Vivaldi's legendary masterpiece “THE FOUR SEASONS”. Moreover, the project features the "Sinfonietta Consonus Symphonic Orchestra" conducted by Szymon Morus and the "Academic Choir Manolov" conducted by Darena Popova. Here you can hear a short trailer:

The international Vivaldi Metal Project was launched at the end of 2013 by keyboardist, composer and producer Mistheria (solo artist who also worked with such top artists as Bruce Dickinson, Rob Rock, RoyZ among others) together with his co-producer, bassist/composer Alberto Rigoni (solo artist,TwinSpirits).
The album release is set on 2016. More names will be unveiled soon!

In the meantime, The Vivaldi Metal Project launched a crowdfunding campaign on PledgeMusic with the album pre-sales (will be available as mp3 for digital download or USB key and on CD) and various additional exclusive options such as autographed CDs, CD boxes, Skype interviews, online lessons and shows. A part of donations will be used for charity purposes. More information is available at this location: http://www.pledgemusic.com/projects/vivaldi-metal
The campaign is up and running so there's still a chance of picking up one of the exclusive offers.

Heavy Metal Underdogs was very curious when we first heard about the project. Happily we had the chance to talk to one of the masterminds behind the project (Mistheria). Find out how it's like to be when the production of such a massive project lies in your hands, the current status of the ongoing recording process and get to know about the further future plans in this interview. 

Heavy Metal Underdogs: Who had the initial idea to the project?

Mistheria: Hi Joern! I've started thinking to a symphonic-metal remake of the Vivaldi's "The Four Season" several years ago, then on 2013 I made a demo to check how it would have sounded, I liked the idea and moved ahead...

Why did you pick the four seasons suite?

M: I've been listening to this masterwork thousand of times during my life, simply I love it! Then I found a Piano reduction score (quite rare music sheet) and played it time by time for my personal enjoyment, but then the vigorous rhythmic, the wonderful melodies and metal-oriented harmonies convinced me to arrange them mixing my two favorite genres, Classical and Metal.

Is Vivaldi amongst your favorites / influences that made you start with music?

M: Definitely yes! I was a kid, and I found a Classical collection in the newsstand and asked to my parents to buy the first issue, it was dedicated to Bach, Handel and Vivaldi ...

Why did you decide to split up all the several parts to various musicians instead of sticking to only a few?

M: Because I think to Classical music and Vivaldi are an "universal world of music" that artists must live and enjoy together and give, each one, his/her own contribution, like in the real world each of us make possible the other people living through his/her own job and activity, in the same way each artist should contribute creating this metal-opera adding personal talent, musicality, feel and love.

Mistheria in the studio, (c) by Mistheria, used with kind permission

Can you please give a little overview on the steps that were necessary to build up such a massive project? I know at least that it needed around two years of preparation before the project could start into the recording phase.

M: The basic idea was that I'd have arranged the full opera and give the parts to the various artists, something I do for my solo albums. So I made couple arrangements but then I felt that it would have been a new album of mine instead to be a real “project”. So, one day I submitted my idea to involve other arrangers to my co-producer Alberto Rigoni, he loved the idea as well. So, I've started calling some friends that, I knew, they would have loved work on it as arranger and afterward we launched some contests to engage new arrangers. This took some months since I had to collect demos, listen and analyze them, give directions, suggesting changes, etc. Meanwhile, artists were invited as performers and we've started receiving lot of requests from any artists to participate (still arriving in our inbox as we talk...). A lot of material for me to check and sort out... We started recordings after year and half since the project has been launched.

Can you already give a little insight on who will exactly play which part of the suite or should it be kept as a surprise until the release of the record?

M: Well, time by time we post on our social networks about recordings progress and the most of time we also mention the songs that they have worked on... the exact lineup of each song is not complete yet so we cannot give it out, several artists are still recording, some parts can be switched among artists for production needs, etc. However, following us on www.facebook.com/vivaldimetalproject anyone can try to collect the info and for some songs maybe already get the final picture.. ;-)

Is the list of musicians contributing to the project already complete or can people who would be interested in joining the project still get in touch with you?

M: Let's say that the 90% of lineup is complete. We have a “waiting list” quite long of musicians (many of time very excellent artists) which already sent their request time ago, but, you know, it's pretty impossible to give a spot to everybody at the moment, because we're looking now to fill some very specific parts which require very specific requirements. Sometime I give a look back to the guest-list and pick some artist which I think can complete some parts still unassigned, etc. Some artists have been recalled after one year … sometime it is not a nice job to do for me and especially I hate to say no to someone which would have loved to participate, I thank always for understanding.

Mistheria and Alberto Rigoni, (c) by Mistheria and Alberto Rigoni, used with kind permission
How did you find the best fitting musician for each part of the suite?

M: As said, I needed and still need hours per day to analyze artists' skills, a proper study on their works and musical attitudes (of course except the well known artists which I've already worked with or that I simply know from their past albums). Then I write down some memos and immediately assign them to a song, although not as a definitive choice. Then, days after I'm back to that assignment, checking if I was right or maybe need to change it, etc. A long process, sometime choices are hard to make and at risk, but that's my job here...

Will the finished product also include parts of modern metal music (use of harsh effects, brutal production, low tuned guitars etc.) or do you prefer a more classic attempt on the songwriting?

M: I love some intersection of genres although keeping always tightly the final goal. I've required some harsh parts, low tuned guitars, etc. during the recordings, and during the mix we'll tune and add them even more.

Do you think their will be live-performances of the album with at  least some of the musicians that contributed to the project in the future?

M: There is already an idea about it and we've already got some interesting and nice proposals for live shows. I cannot focus on it right now, since my main job at the moment is to complete the recordings and mix the album. Several artists which recorded on the album have already given their availability for live performances. There are already some collaborators and agencies working on it, we'd really love the Vivaldi Metal Project live on stage!

Do you see the chance of putting together a DVD one day that shows the making of the recordings in detail?

M: This could be a very nice idea although it's the first time someone asks me about. Well, sure it'd be interesting as a “bonus” material and we've definitely to consider it, I'll pass your idea to my staff... thanks for such a great suggestion! ;-)

All the best and have a great rockin' weekend :)

M: Thanks to you Joern and to all Heavy Metal Underdogs readers! Please, keep following the Vivaldi Metal Project on www.vivaldimetalproject.com


GC Project Album shows drummers part in music

How much a drummer contributes to the music of a band? A lot I think. But I would agree to say it with Mike Portnoy's words that the stuff the drummer adds to a bands sound has to come at the decent time. He or she should know when to play more in the front row or better to stay in the back.

Here's one recording I came along that reminded me of what Portnoy said. It features Giacomo Calabria who's vita is quite impressive. But before going into the details just let the music speak and listen to one of the tracks of his recent progressive and diverse output "Face the odds" that covers many genres of music.It's this mixture of so many playing techniques in Calabria's drumming that make this music so exciting. It feels as if it is changing all the way through the song.

Giacomo Calabria has been on the scene since 1992. Once graduated at University of Music in Rome, he played live and recorded demos with several bands from the Naples rock/metal scene. He played on the album "A New Day" from Silent Field, for Nocturnal Music label, followed by a live tour. After moving to Ferrara, he recorded "Rock, Groove, Sexy & Funky" (2004) with Alias, "Misteriosevoci" (2005) and "Rebus" (2008) with Barock Project, for the french Musea Records label. He recorded two songs with GOS (Ivano Zanotti, Vince Pastano, Giorgio Santis) in 2006. Official drummer for Rain from 2011 to 2014, he played in "XXX" tour, "Mexican Way" album and the following 9-months tour. Member of Ypnos (actually in studio recording their first album) and Coda (Deep Purple and Led Zeppelin tribute).

Giacomo Calabria, (c) by Giacomo Calabria, used with kind permission

On September 2014 he started writing songs for his solo project, the GC Project, the Giacomo Calabria's solo project. After three years on tour in Italy and Europe, studio recording and many sessions, his desire is to play music that includes many genres, progressive, hard rock, heavy metal, blues, latin, and play with several artists who are friends too, to create an album with different kind of sounds, attitudes and interplay, All songs and lyrics are written by Giacomo Calabria.

The album is titled Face the Odds, released on december 7th 2015 by Sliptrick Records, and contains 11 original tracks and one ghost track, The Black Page #1, tribute to Frank Zappa, and it's available in stores, on Itunes, Deezer, Amazon music, Google play, Musimania, KKBox and others platforms.

Make sure to stay in connection with him via Facebook or follow him on YouTube.


Exes for Eyes and more bands help fan in dire need with low priced album sale

Toronto, ON based metal outfit EXES FOR EYES along with the support of Canadian metal bands Endast, Great Sabatini, Last Scattering, Odium, Planet Eater, Sparky, Out of The Ruins, Ninjaspy, KYOKTYS, Mad Trapper, BornBroken and Of Reverie are teaming up to help raise cancer treatment funds for a long time metal fan whom has been battling AML (Acute Myelogenous Leukemia).

All the bands have come together by selling all their albums for $1 at the following link: http://www.exesforeyes.com/#!help-josh/oj2ce

More music will be available in the coming days so please keep checking back for updates at the website of Exes For Eyes.

Exes for Eyes have recorded the following video to explain the reasons behind the campaign:

Big James (vocalist of Exes For Eyes) comments the situation with these words:
"This picture was taken at Heavy Montreal, right after one of the most important performances/moments of Exes For Eyes' career. Josh was there showing us love and support, and now it's our turn to show HIM love and support through some difficult times.

Back in March, Josh was diagnosed with AML (Acute Myelogenous Leukemia). After several treatments, chemo, and a stem cell transplant, Josh and his family were informed in December that the Leukemia had returned. The doctors are doing what ever they can to help Josh, but some of the treatments are not covered by OHIP...one of the treatments will cost almost 7000 dollars.

We've banded together with some close friends in the scene to help raise money for these medical expenses. Several bands (including Exes For Eyes, Endast, The Great Sabatini, Last Scattering, Planet Eater, Out Of The Ruins, Sparky, Ninja Spy etc.) will all be selling their album for $1.00 here at ExesForEyes.com with all proceeds going towards Josh's treatment for the duration of his GOFUNDME campaign. Keep checking back, as more music will added in the coming days. On top of purchasing music, if you wish to make additional contributions directly to Josh's campaign, please click HERE."