4/25/2018

Single-Preview: The Lazlo Device - You stumble, I Fall (Post Rock, 2018)

This beautiful piece of Post Rock packs all the facettes such music is able to show into one compact track.

The cover of the new The Lazlo Device single "You stumble, I Fall". (c) by The Lazlo Device, used with kind permission

This new track of London-based post-rockers The Lazlo Device is going to be released this very friday 27th April 2018. It's the title tracks of the upcoming album of the same name. Heavy Metal Underdogs had a pre-listen to the new single and here's what came around:

Out of a misty intro the song beginns. "You stumble, I Fall" starts out as a harmonic, clear track. Everything is set in a balanced mood with straight vocals, drums and guitars. But as time goes by the song changes. The cymbals announce the change with their constant ringing. More rougher guitars slowly begin to fade in adding a more ghosty and moving note to the tune. Finally the rough notes start to take over bringing in a more harsh sound with distorted experimental sounds. The end comes shortly - a mixture of the more melodic and the rough parts melting together and bringing the single to an end.

I can share a little snippet of what's to come with all of you.

'You Stumble, I Fall' is set to drop on 27th April, with two more singles to follow before the release of the album later in the year.

You Stumble, I Fall album tracklisting:

1. These Eyes

2. Change

3. Sleep Till Summer

4. Beetle

5. Known To You

6. Blanket

7. Alderon

8. Mt Songo

9. I Don't Know

10. Fleeting Seconds

11. Fix Your Sights

12. You Stumble, I Fall

Keep a eye on the band through Twitter, Facebook or their Homepage. That's also the places where you'll surely will be notified of where to purchase the track once it's released. 

4/22/2018

Shower Sharks coming to a bathroom near you

In these all too hard times we're living in having a laugh is great. Here is a little preview of a horror/comedy short film that is currently in the works by musician Noah "Shark" Robertson, known as drummer of bands such as Motograter and The Browning and founder of Zombie Shark Records and Swimming with Sharks Records. It comes around a bit funny and slightly scary so it made me curious about what is coming up there.

The poster for the horror/comedy short film "Shower Sharks", (c) by Noah Robertson, used with kind permission
Shower Sharks synopsis:

Noah, a shark-obsessed, struggling musician, has begun writing a screenplay for a low-budget feature film entitled, Shark Slayer. Scrambling to complete his script, his town of Surf Beach, California is turned upside down when news spreads of a small, unknown species of aggressive shark making its way up shower drains and attacking people while they are bathing. Noah remains skeptical, until he comes face to face with the menacing monsters himself. Will he complete his epic masterpiece, or succumb to the peril of the Shower Sharks?

Until 7nd of May 2018 a GoFundMe Campaign is running that let's you pre-order a copy of Shower Sharks as DVD. 15 Dollars a copy are asked for to cover the costs of finishing the movie, printing it on Digital Versatile Discs as well as submitting it to proper festivals. The film is slated to hit horror movie festivals in October of 2018 .If you order you'll have your name in the credits and will get a signed copy on DVD with bonus material.

As for me this looks cool because low budget often means you have to work around stuff and things and can not rely on special effcts alone. That can end up in something different compared to mass market releases. Finally: how will the soundtrack turn out like? Well let's keep a eye on the Facebook page of Noah "Shark" Robertson to keep up to date about what's going on in the Shower Sharks camp. 

4/17/2018

CD Review: Interdrive - EP3 (Alternative Stoner Metal, 2016)

This came in at the right time on a stressy Monday evening - what a healthy cure.

The cover of Interdrive's "Aetheral" EP, (c) by Interdrive, used with kind permission

Summary
On a first listening this is typical brutal release. But as always a second look pays off. It's those moments when you take a closer look that you'll spot what makes this so special. It's the many ups and downs this EP provides that gives the music this mark - here comes something special to you.

I love those mixed vocals. The roughness of the dark toned voice just suits good to the agressive structured parts while the softer voice gives those melodic sections it's silk moments you need to be balanced. It's further great to hear that no moment lasts all too long in here. Just like in real life it changes quickly all the way throughout the duration of the whole material. The tempo is different on all tracks so it should offer something for all tastes out there.

A additional plus is the drummers work. Without ruining the music he moves like a shadow underlining the songs with the proper groove - that's not to be found all too often. Every here and there like in the opening track the songs changes over and moves to a time off - taking a time out of the usual structure. This feels refreshing and re-news the attention to the music. Overall the productionis fat and modern but not feeling overproduced or unreal.

Purchase-Link and Album-Stream
With every purchase you help a band to grow further. So spending a few spared bucks on this one will give you a calming down everytime you need it. Buy the digital version at Bandcamp or iTunes.

Contact
Connect with Interdrive on Facebook to keep a eye on the further progress. It's a pleasure to seesomething grow so it's well worth following them.

4/12/2018

SpiteFuel Interview Dreamworld Collapse album (2018)

The german heavy rockers SpiteFuel are pushing on forwards. Having completed a massive string of live dates in support of the first full length "Second To None" the five-pack didn't hesitate to prepare new material. They announced early that they had plans in mind to do a classic concept record in the style of the big releases of the past. Few snippets surfaced speaking of a Science Fiction like story along with first text sketches plus a vocalwork preview on Facebook.

Finally more concrete "Dreamworld Collapse" was announced to feature elements of female vocals, classic arrangements and a massive sound package telling a tale of rebellion and courage set in a dytopian future of mankind.

This teased Heavy Metal Underdogs more than enough so we asked Stefan Zörner, vocalist of the band and Tobias Eurich, guitarist of SpiteFuel to give us some more insights into this promising record. Dreamworld Collapse is set for release on 27nd April 2018 via MDD Records. Be sure to pre-order the Digipack at the Online-Shop of the label or secure a copy at Amazon.

Heavy Metal Underdogs: The album artwork is very impressive and shows a main scene of the story. Did you have already an own idea of this or did Kris Verwimp come around with this scene?

The cover of the upcoming SpiteFuel record "Dreamworld Collapse" drawn by Kris Verwimp, (c) by SpiteFuel, used with kind permission


Stefan: Kris did a FANTASTIC job. He is a great artist and I am very impressed by his art! Oh, and I gave him the storyline and some thoughts. Then he started do draw his sketches and we had a good exchange of ideas during the process.

- Which part did you work on first: the story concept or the music?

Tobi: The album itself consists of the story concept written and elaborated by Stefan and the musical concept by me. So Stefan had this idea of the present story years ago for his second novel “Die Stadt am Ende der Zeit” which means town at the end of time and will probably be released in 2019. Independently I’ve started to compose the main songs “Brilliant White Lies” and “The Dreamworld Suite”. After talking a lot about our wishes of a concept album and realizing it, the musical concept grew. Of course with the help of our axeman Timo(Iconic Failure, Under Fire) and Mastermind Micha Fiedler who did the orchestration. Simultaneously Stefan finished the story concept.

- The introduction of the world has a little of a political system with it. Did you had real scenarios of our current situation in mind when writing this?

Stefan: Hm, I´m influenced by life itself. My writing is a kind of reflection on what I see. Always. On the other hand I really love to be ambiguous, hahaha! You can also “just” enjoy a cool SciFi story! So… feel free to interpret and speculate. 

 

- Do you think that your work on the vocals and guitars were the hardest to do to date? Was there a time you thought one track or section would be impossible to complete?

Stefan: Not really! The practical approach was different, but I think every particular song, I sing is the hardest one, and the next one will be the next hardest one and so on. That´s my aim! “Stillstand ist der Tod”, as we Germans say!

Tobi: It was definitely more complicated than the “Second to None”-Sessions. The songs are more complex but there is progress every day and I totally agree with Stefan we never thought we can’t handle it.


- How do you prepare for laying down vocal tracks? Do you try to get inside the mood or situation of the track you want to perform? The story changes many times during the album duration.

Stefan: Jah, it really depends on moods and true feelings. To perform a concept album is more like to act in a movie or to recite a poem in many ways. It was a big challenge for me, but it also was total fun and something “new” for me to sing. And I really LOVE new experiences, man!

- Do you read Science Fiction stories in your free time?

Stefan: Of course I do! I used to read hundreds of SciFi books, have visited thousands of planets, civilisations and cosmic wonders, yeah! I love the golden era of SciFi and Asimov, Edmond Hamilton, Leigh Brackett or Jack Vance had a major influence, I think! 

A promoshot of the band SpiteFuel done in 2018, Photo Credit: SpiteFuel
 

- Do you think that the creation of Dreamworld Collapse brought the band members closer to each other?

Tobi: YEPP!! Everyone is a part of this incredible journey and every member did a great job. We all love the concept and made our own ideas about it and so all in all we are even stronger than before. One for all and all for one!

- Did you come around points where you wanted to give up on the concept and record a "normal" album instead?

Tobi: No! It is our dream to do this. Stefan and I are a bit freaky and megalomaniac –HAHA -but we like the challenge. We knew it will be hard to do it but giving up is not an option.

- Finally: do you believe in love on first sight? 

Stefan: No. But I believe in love. And love is an growing thing, the more you know, the deeper it gets. Love is everything!

Tobi: I don’t believe in love it’s never worth the pain that you feeeeel…. Thanks Stefan for reminding me the next two days of this masterpiece of music. HAHA.
But yes I do. Well, especially I believe in falling in love at sight. Love needs work, trust and time …but it’s the most beautiful thing we all can feel.

Make sure to connect with the band on Facebook to get further hints of how "Dreamworld Collapse" will sound like. 

SpiteFuel also has a compact website placed on the web that has a good overview on the upcoming shows that have been confirmed for the album release plus the time afterwards. 

4/09/2018

Single Review: Saarnastuoli - Kohtalon Kinnas / Sininen Voima (Doom Metal, 2017)

This digital single impressed me with it's complete oldschool attempt. I remember having heard such stuff from tape back in the early days of listening to metal music. I like this slower start, the way the song builds up while the rhythm keeps pushing constantly. Later on it kicks in with more drive giving it a positive note, too. The end feels a bit like being with the band in their rehearsal space but I think most of you guys out there will love that feeling. 

Their sound is abrasive but for sure the proper soundtrack to come down from the start into a new week. Black Sabbath have for sure found the one's taking over the torch they left behind in a way that should satisfy the old legends.

Saarnastuoli are based out of Finnland. The vocals are held in finish language and that's something that points them out of other bands writing and performing in the same genre. They gave me a shot on Facebook presenting me this release. Currently the band is on hold. Anyway feel free to join them on the social network with the like button. Maybe it helps to bring in some fresh motivation to push on. I would love to hear more from them.
The doom metal band Saarnastuoli, Photo Credit: Riikka Rissanen.

4/01/2018

CD Review: Gungnir - Ragnarök (Viking Metal, 2018)

It's time to go into the brutal direction. But this band sneaks in lot's of fine tuned elements that you  normally wouldn't expect of such a release that has been heavily inspired by the classic Bathory albums.

The cover of Gungnir's debut EP "Ragnarök", (c) by Gungnir, used with kind permission

Introduction
Gungnir were formed by Yngve (Flames, Deviser, ex-W.E.B.), along with long-time friend and bandmate in other projects Jim havok (Chained And Desperate), on October 2016. Inspired by Bathory's legacy they created a band with the sole purpose of reviving ancient sagas and myths, found in the Norse mythology and the Eddas.

After taking all of 2017 slowly composing and recording, they recruited Ithonas from the Hellenic black metal band Dizziness to handle the vocals for the EP. Zel from the mighty Ancient also appeared as a guest vocalist for the cover in Bathory's "Enter the Eternal Fire" cover.

Summary
The soundshell is held in the absolute classic direction. This means it's pure and direct in-your-face metal all the way. The band doesn't fiddle around too much with setting up but lay's it down heavy and raw.

Anyway while listening to the EP and banging to the rough notes you'll spot little but important changes in the sound taking you away from the dominating songwriting freshing up the sound. It's those moments that you'll open your ears and wonder what's going onthere. It's the unusual use of rhythm and/or guitars that come in at points where you wouldn't expect them.

For instance there is the track "The Wanderer". The drums go a disctinctivly different direction. First I wondered a lot how that should fit to the direction chosen. But similar to the vocals they are more versatile not only brutal. A bit of battle glory feelings and a bit of the noise of the battlefield can be imagined this way.

"Fenrir" is wrapped in a more compact soundcase. I helps to keep the agression level up. The vocals are fat in here. Again a nice contrast to the other tunes.

Preview-Track-Stream and Purchase-Link
As a quick introduction I recommend to go with the track "Fenrir".



Please take this as a recommendation to pick up a physical copy - you'll be rewarded a cover of Bathory's "Enter the Eternal Fire" as bonus material. A picture of the tape on Facebook already looks tasting with it's white styled sleeve and the white-housed tape inside.

The CD will be released through Metal Throne Productions (limited to 500) and the tape will be spread by Mercyful Hell Prods (limited to 150). While typing this the physical edition of both CD and tape are sold out from the band directly but can still get them from the labels. Meanwhile the digital version of the EP is still available from Bandcamp.

Keep in touch with the band through Bandcamp or Facebook or even Google Plus.