Archive for the traditional heavy metal Category

NIGHT DEMON – Self-titled EP Releasing Via Shadow Kingdom Records

Posted in Heavy Metal, heavy metal albums, heavy metal news, Metal, metal music, Music, rock music, rock music news, traditional heavy metal, traditional metal with tags , , , , , on June 21, 2013 by Metal Odyssey

Night Demon - promo EP cover pic - 2013

On August 6th, Shadow Kingdom Records will release the self-titled four-song EP from NWOBHM-inspired upstarts NIGHT DEMON.

This California trio, featuring members of THE FUCKING WRATH, first started making noise in 2011. It didn’t take long for the band to make a name for themselves with Trad-Metal maniacs from across the globe. In fact, shortly after establishing an online presence via Bandcamp, the organizers of Germany’s Keep It True Festival offered NIGHT DEMON a place on the fest’s 2014 line-up.

British metallic stylings reminiscent of Angel Witch, Raven and Iron Maiden are kicked into overdrive with an edgier and grittier dose of American Venom. Consider NIGHT DEMON mandatory listening for any NWOBHM fan. The Shadow Kingdom Records CD release is remastered from the digital version and offers an undeniably superior sound.

Pre-orders are available at http://www.store.shadowkingdomrecords.com.

“Look out for this band; they have something special…” – AveNoctum.com

Listen to and watch below the video for the song Night Demon. This video was filmed, directed and produced by the band.

NIGHT DEMON – Track Listing:

Night Demon

The Chalice

Ancient Evil

The Ritual

Night Demon - promo band pic - 2013 - #22

NIGHT DEMON:

Jarvis Leatherby

Brent Woodward

John Crerar

_____________________________________

(Source: ClawHammer PR)

For more info on NIGHT DEMON, click on the links below!

Facebook: Night Demon

http://www.nightdemon.net

Shadow Kingdom Records - Large Logo!

SHADOW KINGDOM RECORDS:

Facebook: Shadow Kingdom Records

http://shadowkingdomrecords.com

Stone - Motorhead Tee  pic:small

LONG LIVE NIGHT DEMON.

NIGHT DEMON KICKS SERIOUS METAL ASS. METAL BE THY NAME.

Stone.

WITCH CROSS – “Rocking The Night Away” Music Video: Stone’s Metal Pick Of The Day!

Posted in Heavy Metal, heavy metal albums, heavy metal news, metal music, Music, rock music, rock music news, traditional heavy metal with tags , , , , , on April 29, 2012 by Metal Odyssey

WITCH CROSS – Here is some vintage video footage of the Danish Metal band – WITCH CROSS. From 1984, their    debut album (Roadrunner Records) Fit For Fight features Rocking The Night Away. Both album and song are Metal classics! A tried and true Metal blast from the Metal past!

Check out Rocking The Night Away below for yourself; then let the old school Metal of WITCH CROSS flow through your Metal lovin’ veins!

Fit For Fight – 1984 (Roadrunner Records)

___________________________________________________

Wanna see what WITCH CROSS is up to in 2012? Check out current WITCH CROSS vocalist Kev Moore and his very cool WITCH CROSS journal by clicking below!

http://mooremusic.wordpress.com/2012/04/29/witch-cross-still-fit-for-fighting-16

* For more info on WITCH CROSS, click the link below!

http://www.witchcross.dk

LONG LIVE WITCH CROSS.

Stone.

MARTA GABRIEL of CRYSTAL VIPER – A Metal Odyssey Interview!

Posted in Heavy Metal, heavy metal albums, heavy metal news, metal music, Music, rock music, rock music interviews, rock music news, traditional heavy metal with tags , , , , , , on April 26, 2012 by Metal Odyssey

CRYSTAL VIPER – Recently, the forever Rockin’ HARD ROCK NIGHTS and Metal Odyssey teamed up for an exclusive interview with Marta Gabriel of Crystal Viper. Besides being the lead vocalist, Marta also is a guitarist, songwriter and lyricist for Crystal Viper, to name a few. Her knowledge of music and of course, Metal, is exemplary and radiates the skies from Crystal Viper’s recent release on AFM Records: Crimen Excepta.

Originating from the great country of Poland, Crystal Viper was founded in 2003 and plays Traditional Metal with potent relevance. After the success of 2010’s critically acclaimed Legends album (their first with AFM Records), Crystal Viper has become an international player in the world of Metal. Marta is surrounded by: Andy Wave (guitars), Tom Woryna (bass) and Golem (drums).

Marta talks about the band’s dynamic new album Crimen Excepta and songwriting to the worst moments her band has experienced on tour. Here is what Marta had to say:

Can you describe how the new album “Crimen Excepta” conceptually evolved?

Marta: “Before I started composing music, I wrote a story; a lyrical theme for the album. I was inspired by history, especially holy inquisition issues, and books such as “Malleus Maleficarum”, “The Name Of The Rose”, and others. After that I started composing the actual music, and that’s really why the whole album is so different in comparison to the previous ones we’ve put out; it’s darker, heavier; there’s more real feeling in the music. It all happened, because I had the whole story in front of my eyes whilst writing the actual songs; I was able to imagine situations described in the lyrics? I would say that this album is like a movie, but instead of pictures, it is told by music.”

What has been the turning point or momentum push thus far in the Metal career of Crystal Viper? Was it the (excellent) “Legends” album or something prior?

Marta: “Thank you first of all for the compliment; I’m glad you like “Legends”! I can say you’re right in some way, and that was a turning point, because “Legends” was our first album for AFM Records. It was a huge step for us, joining a bigger label.”

“Being part of good record company means better promotion for any band, which is very important, because, except for playing live, there are then so many more opportunities for new fans to discover your band. Joining AFM was, without doubt, a huge and important step, but I would say also, that every single live show, and every single album or single release is important too, as we truly enjoy what we do.”

I find “Ghosts Of Sherwood” to be an amazingly powerful song, both lyrically and musically. With “Ghosts Of Sherwood being the theme song for the 3D horror movie “Robin Hood”, how did this all come to pass?

Marta: “Well, we’d known the German company called Digidreams Studios, which is doing this movie, for quite a while; just through the scene and through video production. It turned out that Crystal Viper’s image and music for this record was going to fit perfectly to the atmosphere of the movie, so we started cooperating and it went from there.”

“I received the screenplay, wrote the song and the lyrics, and we were off. It’s worth mentioning that this song is quite different to the usual Crystal Viper stuff; it’s heavy but really melodic. I’m very, very glad that I composed a song for a movie; the film stars the great Tom Savini, and “Robin Hood: Ghosts Of Sherwood” (to give it it’s full title) will have its premiere during the Cannes movie festival, which is really a huge honour.”

What was the chemistry like between you and Andy writing the guitar parts for this new album? For that matter, the chemistry of the entire band while recording?

Marta: “Well, the chemistry was as good as always really; I wrote all the guitar parts and all the initial music, then we were all working on it, all together. I mean, the band, our producer, everyone gets involved.”

“We produced this album in a little bit of a different way though; everything was produced like in the ’80s; you know, Flying V guitars, tube amps, and real drums all the way, no copying or corrections? Everything you hear on the album was sung or played truly. I’m very proud of the final result, and I can’t wait to hear these songs on the vinyl release!”

“Crimen Excepta” shows an enormous musical strength through its balance. How difficult is it to not stray too far on either the heavy or the light side of the Metal sound?

Marta: “Again, thank you for the compliment. But we never plan or think like that really… To say, “All right; this needs to be heavier” or something like that would be fake in some way. A good song is a good song; everything is very natural and real. What you hear on the album comes out from our hearts and soul. We play the music that we love and I compose music I would like to listen to, all the time…… We don’t want to record the same album again and again; that’s why each Crystal Viper album is a little bit different. “Crimen Excepta” is definitely the heaviest and darkest, but they’re all very different.”

Which song on “Crimen Excepta” proved to be the largest challenge for you to sing? I feel “Medicus Animarum” is a shining moment (among many), but this song certainly must push the envelope for vocal execution?

Marta: “There are many songs that are less and many more difficult than that on this album, but before entering the studio, I had a lot of time to practice, for sure – we rehearsed everything a million times. We basically always do a strong pre-production before entering the studio, so we know what to expect; what sounds good and so on.”

“We don’t like to waste time in the studio. Everything that you hear on the album was sung; we didn’t use any tricks or corrections! It wouldn’t have made sense to do that, as later, I wouldn’t be able to sing moments like that live on stage.”

“There are many bands that sound totally different on the album to on stage, or bands who re-arrange the songs to make them easier to play or sing? Of course, if they are happy with doing something like that, then fine; but it’s not our way.”

Chris Moyen created an absolutely brilliant cover for “Crimen Excepta”. How important is it to convey the music of Crystal Viper through the album artwork?

Marta: “Very… Chris Moyen did a great cover for us again – but, he’d already painted cover artwork for our second single and 3rd album, and so, now with “Crimen Excepta”, he is like part of the family. Of course, it is very important to have the right album artwork, and I would say it’s important in the case of every single band and album? The front cover artwork is like the face of the album, telling you what you can expect, so it should be chosen or painted wisely. In the case of “Crimen Excepta”, everything is one, solid piece: album artwork, lyrics and music!”

What can you attribute to the strong success of Traditional Heavy Metal in Europe over the years? Besides a dedicated and large fan base, could it be the variety of Metal festivals and ease of touring within Europe?

Marta: “The strong success of Traditional Heavy Metal, you mean? I wouldn’t say so, as some Metal genres are surely more popular these days than it; but the truth is, Heavy Metal has been here for many, many years; trends come and go, but Traditional Metal stays. I think this genre simply deserves that respect – even bands, who play more modern genres of Metal, have their roots in Heavy Metal. Old-School Heavy Metal, as well as classic rock, is a base for all genres of heavy music.”

“There’s also lately a kind of New Wave Of Traditional Heavy Metal going around; young bands playing Old School Metal, and it’s really, really great.”

Okay, what is the worst thing that ever happened to Crystal Viper while out on tour?

Marta: “Well, there are many stories to tell, and every band has some stories to share, don’t they? The one that comes to my mind, right now, sounds quite funny now, but back then it wasn’t.”

“We were playing on a small open air festival (doesn’t matter in what country…); the stage had no roof, and it started to rain. We basically had a lot of special effects on stage (guitar peddles, that kind of thing…), and as the stage got wetter, there were sparks everywhere; the stage was soaked. My guitar amp suddenly exploded because it got all wet! The roadies brought another one on, but it also exploded! It was truly a weird show, but we did our best!”

“We also once played on an open air festival in winter; it was like -10 degrees, and the organizers “forgot” to put heaters on stage? And forgot to organize any dressing room for us, as well? Pretty interesting experience, I can tell you!”

If Crystal Viper could perform at a “Metal Dream Festival”, which other bands (past or present) would be on the bill?

Marta: “There are many great acts we would love to play with, but if I could choose, then the bill would be like this: King Diamond, Nifelheim, Hell, Immortal, Black Sabbath, Candlemass, Iron Maiden, Virgin Steele, Judas Priest, the list goes on!”

“Thanks for the interview!!”

Thank you Marta for giving your time!

___________________________________________________

For more info on CRYSTAL VIPER, click on the links below:

http://www.crystalviper.com

https://www.facebook.com/crystalviperofficial

http://www.afm-records.de

LONG LIVE MARTA GABRIEL.

LONG LIVE CRYSTAL VIPER.

Stone.

KATANA – New Album ‘Storms Of War’ Coming Soon On Listenable Records

Posted in Heavy Metal, heavy metal albums, heavy metal news, metal music, Music, rock music, rock music news, traditional heavy metal with tags , , , , , on March 9, 2012 by Metal Odyssey

KATANA – Guitarist/songwriter Tobias Carlsson has issued an update about KATANA’s new album Storms of War to be released in May on Listenable records.

“It was once again recorded, mixed and mastered at Sonic Train Studios by King Diamond guitarist Andy La Rocque. We were very focused and determined right from the beginning to create a sound that no one had heard on an album since the 80s. To accomplish this, we and Andy listened a lot to albums produced by Martin Birch when mixing and setting the sound. Mostly Rainbow, Heaven and Hell by Black Sabbath, Killers by Iron Maiden and Assault Attack by MSG. It became almost our motto in the studio to ask “How would Martin have done it?” whenever we had doubts about something. The songs are mostly completely new, mixed in with some very old ideas and stuff that weren’t finished in time for the last recording. ”

“The band has been around for nearly ten years now, and for the first album we had that long to write the material. This time, most of the songs were written and rehearsed over a period of a couple of months. This has been a challenge, but a positive one that has forced our song writing to its best, and beyond.We have broken new ground with this album and played around with things that we have never done before, thus widening the range of what we are capable of musically. But at the same time, we feel that we have come a long way in defining a unique style and sound for KATANA. I would say the album is as diverse as the first one musically, yet more uniform.”

” The Japanese influences are there, especially in the epic song about the great Mongolian emperor Kubilai Khan who twice tried to invade Japan, and failed miserably both times. It is a grand story of Japanese history and mythology. But we are not limited by the Japanese influences and there are songs on this album that explore both other mythological subjects as well as themes taken from popular culture and everyday life.”

Tobias confirmed that musically, a fan of early 80s Heavy Metal will feel at home in this album as much as the previous one, and the influences are still very much early Saxon, early Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Rainbow, Grim Reaper, Manowar and so on. But more than anything, this album represents 100% KATANA.

STORMS OF WAR ARE DRAWING SOON!!

KATANA 

Patrik Essén – Guitars

Tobias Karlsson – Guitars

Johan Bernspång – Vocals

Susanna Salminen – Bass

Anders Persson – Drums

2011 was a busy year for Sweden-based Traditional Heavy Metallers KATANA. Since the release of their debut album “Heads Will Roll” last spring, KATANA not only found time to tour with both the likes of Where Angels Suffer, featuring Chris Holmes and Stet Howland (ex-W.A.S.P.) and American metal legends Lizzy Borden. They also entered the studio to record their second album, entitled Storms of War.

Hailing from Gothenburg, Sweden, KATANA has been around for several years and has already made a great name for themselves in the underground Metal scene of Sweden and Europe. In 2010, the band won the prestigious Wacken Metal Battle which earned them a slot at the Wacken Open Air, as well as the Sweden Rock Festival. Their debut album has been critically acclaimed all over the world, and Malcolm Dome of Classic Rock Magazine wrote: “This quintet will make a significant mark. This debut is only the beginning of what should be a thrilling march”.

With the new album, Storms of War, produced by King Diamond guitarist Andy La Rocque, KATANA means to prove beyond the shadow of a doubt that Classic Heavy Metal in the veins of early Iron Maiden, Judas Priest and Saxon is here to stay!

__________________________________________________

(Source: ClawHammer PR)

For more info on KATANA, click on the links below:

KATANA – Official facebook

KATANA – myspace music

LONG LIVE KATANA.

Stone.

NIGHTQUEEN – X-Mas Wonderland (Official Video)

Posted in christmas, christmas songs, Hard Rock, Heavy Metal, heavy metal news, heavy metal videos, metal music, metal odyssey, rock music, rock music news, traditional heavy metal with tags , , , , , , , , on November 19, 2011 by Metal Odyssey

NIGHTQUEEN – Since everyone and their cousin’s uncle’s, best friend’s neighbors are starting to celebrate Christmas earlier with each passing year, Metal Odyssey has decided to do the same. Metal be thy name. I couldn’t find or think of any better way than to have NIGHTQUEEN usher in the Christmas season on Metal Odyssey, than with their X-Mas Wonderland (official video). I hope you enjoy NIGHTQUEEN and X-Mas Wonderland as much as I do. Merry Christmas to all… and to all Metalheads worldwide!

* Check out more NIGHTQUEEN music videos at: Nightfairyful’s Channel – YouTube

NIGHTQUEEN:

Keely Larreina – vocals

Rex Zeco – guitar

Alan Rawson – guitar

Daniel Kells – keyboards

Steven Steele – bass

William Blodyn – drums

* For more info on NIGHTQUEEN, click on the links below:

NIGHTQUEEN – myspace

MASSACRE RECORDS

LONG LIVE NIGHTQUEEN.

Happy Thanksgiving Week America.

Let’s Get This Christmas Season Started…

Stone.

W.A.S.P. 30 YEARS OF THUNDER – Part One & Part Two: Posted On The Official W.A.S.P. Nation Website

Posted in Heavy Metal, heavy metal news, metal music, metal odyssey, Music, rock music, rock music news, traditional heavy metal with tags , , , , , , , on October 26, 2011 by Metal Odyssey

W.A.S.P. – The legendary Blackie Lawless is currently celebrating the 30th Anniversary of the Heavy Metal band he founded, nurtured and made into a dominating force, a band known across the globe as W.A.S.P. and the celebration is called: W.A.S.P. 30 Years Of Thunder. Fans can go directly to W.A.S.P. NATION and read both Part One and Part Two of W.A.S.P. 30 Years Of Thunder.

Blackie Lawless has written, in detail, the early beginnings of W.A.S.P. in Part One, (which was posted on W.A.S.P. Nation in September) and Blackie continues on with the early stages of W.A.S.P. history with Part Two (which was posted up this month of October). In the coming months, Blackie Lawless will serve up more W.A.S.P. history, as he writes about the evolution of his band and more amazingly cool stories and facts.

Best Metal buddy/Metal Odyssey’s Metal Researcher Scott Coverdale came across Part One and was ecstatic about this W.A.S.P. anniversary, bringing it all to my Metal attention… I too share in the same Metal excitement. Scott and I both congratulate Blackie Lawless and W.A.S.P.! Here’s to another 30 Years Of Thunder! Metal be thy name.

“There are those who play Heavy Metal, there are Heavy Metal legends and then there are Champions of Heavy Metal. Blackie Lawless is a Champion of Heavy Metal”. – Stone

* Visit The Official W.A.S.P. Nation website by clicking the link below:

W.A.S.P. NATION

LONG LIVE W.A.S.P.

LONG LIVE BLACKIE LAWLESS.

Stone.

DARK FOREST: Anticipated Sophomore Full-Length From NWOBHM Influenced Band – Due In November 2011

Posted in Heavy Metal, heavy metal news, metal music, metal odyssey, Music, rock music, rock music news, traditional heavy metal with tags , , , , , , , on October 11, 2011 by Metal Odyssey

On Tuesday, November 8th, 2011, Cruz del Sur Music will release Dawn Of Infinity, the sophomore full-length offering from recent label signing, UK traditional Metallers DARK FOREST, onto North American soil. Featuring ten triumphant NWOBHM-styled compositions, Dawn Of Infinity soars with over 50 minutes of glorious, unfiltered, heartfelt Traditional Heavy Metal fans of DARK FOREST throughout the underground have embraced since the band’s formation in 2002.

Two tracks from Dawn Of Infinity are now available for streaming via the label’s official Facebook page. Check out the tracks “Light Years On” and “Under The Greenwood Tree” at this location.

Cruz del Sur Music signed DARK FOREST in June of this year as the band entered the studio to record Dawn Of Infinity, after watching the young Birmingham, England-based outfit evolve over the last few  years. Bearing a strong appreciation for the forefathers of the genre, and producing the full-blooded sound of a distinctly English brand of Heavy Metal, the new album fulfills the expectations placed on one of the most interesting bands in the UK’s contemporary Traditional Metal scene, infusing British folklore and Celtic inspiration into their craft.

Dawn Of Infinity Track Listing:

Hourglass

Light Years On

Green Knight

Seize The Day

The Tor

Through The Glass Darkly

The Stars My Destination

Under The Greenwood Tree

Black Delta

Deadly Premonition

(Source: Earsplit PR)

* For more info on DARK FOREST, click on the links below:

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Dark-Forest-UK/155861227763625

http://www.myspace.com/darkforestrealm

http://www.cruzdelsurmusic.com

LONG LIVE DARK FOREST.

Stone.

SINISTER REALM – A Metal Odyssey Exclusive Interview!

Posted in classic metal, Heavy Metal, heavy metal news, metal music, metal odyssey, Music, rock music, rock music interviews, rock music news, traditional heavy metal, traditional metal with tags , , , , , , , , , , on September 3, 2011 by Metal Odyssey

(All band photos and logo provided courtesy of John Gaffney/Sinister Realm)

SINISTER REALM – Traditional Heavy Metal, aka Classic Metal, reigns supreme in 2011. With hordes of legendary Traditional Metal bands leading the never-ending charge, to this very moment as you read this, there are a good many new, hungry and talented Metal bands out there that revere Metal’s history of tradition. Sinister Realm is one such Metal band. Led by founding member and bass guitarist John Gaffney, Sinister Realm is a band that I have admired and loudly recommended, since my first thorough listen of their second studio album The Crystal Eye (Shadow Kingdom Records) which was released this Summer.

Calling Allentown, Pennsylvania their Metal home, Sinister Realm is a band amassing a loyal following of Metal fans from Trexlertown, Pennsylvania to points worldwide. Sinister Realm has created some incredible Traditional Metal that MUST be heard to understand my Metal point. It’s not everyday that I bellow with such Metal pride about a rising Metal band such as Sinister Realm. Alex Kristoff (vocals), John Risko (guitar), John Kantner (guitar), Chris Metzger (drums) and John Gaffney’s bass illuminates my eardrums with their utmost Metal talent and respect for the Metal they play.

Traditional Metal goes much farther than “the look” of denim and leather. The sound, lyrics, vibes and attitude I hear on The Crystal Eye are all-encompassing of what Traditional Metal is all about in my Metal world. Overall, Sinister Realm represents where Metal was so many years ago and where it is today, in all of its powerful glory. Sinister Realm is the real Metal deal here, fellow Metalheads.

Taking a time out from playing live gigs amid a busy schedule, John Gaffney was courteous to answer ten questions for Metal Odyssey. Covering topics ranging from the new album to respecting the history of Metal, here is what John Gaffney had to say:

John Gaffney, bass guitarist, songwriter and founder of Sinister Realm.

Stone: Can you share the goals and mindset of the band as a whole, while recording “The Crystal Eye”?

John Gaffney: With the new album our goal was pretty simple, to take a step forward from our first album. I think my mindset when I started writing the music was to just make sure that every song was as good as I could make it. I wanted to make sure there was a good amount of variety also, some fast songs, some slow and mid tempos one. I know all the other guys really wanted to make this one a good follow-up to our debut record. The goals of our band in general are to always get better and keep pushing forward, to play and perform better, to get our music out to as many metal heads as possible and in general to just keep growing as a band.

Stone: How is the songwriting and lyrics shared among the band?

John Gaffney: All the music and lyrics are written by me but the other guys definitely add their personalities to the songs. I demo everything out in a very rough format with a drum machine and me singing and the other guys take that and add their own thing to it. When I write I really think about the guys and their personalities on their instruments and I write to their strengths so that the songs feel natural to them and not like I’m asking them to play or sing things that don’t fit who they are as musicians. Even though I write the music, the strength and identity of Sinister Realm is really in the collection of all the individual players, we work and sound really good together in my humble opinion.

Stone: Just how important is the history of Metal to Sinister Realm?

John Gaffney: Very important, especially the early years of metal, I’m very much a Heavy Metal scholar. I’m always reading about heavy metal and searching out old classic bands that I may not have heard of yet. I’m a very big fan of the “golden” years of classic metal as I like to call it, 1980 to about 1984. The albums that Priest, Maiden, Dio, Sabbath, Ozzy, Mercyful Fate and many others released during those years are some of my absolute favorite heavy metal albums of all time. With the band we really try to pay our respects to those great metal classics, when we perform or work on new music all those bands are in the back of our mind, they are our benchmarks if you will, we really want to do this music justice and we consider it a great honor to be called a traditional metal band.

Stone: How did Sinister Realm and Shadow Kingdom Records find each other?

John Gaffney: Well…a bit of history on the band I guess is in order here. I used to be in a band called Pale Divine, when I left the drummer Darin McCloskey called me and said he wanted to work on some of the ideas I had that were never used in Pale Divine.  As things progressed it started sounding really good and we decided to get a proper singer and record a demo, so into the picture came Alex. I played guitar and bass on the original demo, Darin played drums and Alex sang. Darin knew Tim from Shadow Kingdom Records and ran into him when Pale Divine was playing in Pittsburgh, he passed our demo on to him and he really liked it.  At the time the demo was really making the rounds on the internet and we got a few offers from other labels but we really liked where Shadow Kingdom was at the time and the other types of bands they had so we went with them.  After we got signed we added our current guitar player John Kantner and a lead player and quickly recorded our self titled full length. Right after that Darin had to leave for personal reasons and our original lead player was asked to leave so we brought Chris Metzger in on drums and John Risko on lead guitar. Lots of gigs followed and we’ve just released our second album “The Crystal Eye”.  That’s our history in a nutshell.

Stone: What venue that Sinister Realm has played to date exhibited the most rabid Metal fans?

John Gaffney: We played a Doom Metal festival in Wisconsin this Summer that was really cool, we have a lot of great local fans who really support us also so it’s hard to pick one venue, we have fun where ever we play.

Stone: What is the biggest hurdle that confronts a Metal band in 2011?

John Gaffney: Trying to stand out above the bottomless sea of bands that are out there right now. The Internet is a great thing because anybody can get a band together, put something out and promote it. The Internet is also a bad thing because anybody can get a band together, put something out and promote it..haha. It works both ways. There are just so many bands out there now and the playing field is so so crowded that it’s really difficult to get yourself to stand out of the pack. It takes a lot of hard work and dedication and sticking to and believing in what you’re doing. Selling CDs is very difficult nowadays because there is a lot of illegal downloading and not many people are even into buying CD’s anymore. I’m old-fashioned and still listen to vinyl, in fact I have a rather large Metal vinyl collection and consider that to be one of my hobbies.

Sinister Realm – The Crystal Eye (Shadow Kingdom Records/2011)

Stone: My favorite song on “The Crystal Eye” is the title track. That song just psyches me out blindly!  Which one is yours and why?

John Gaffney: I like “The Crystal Eye” also. I think I like it because it’s a great title track and has a really good “epic” feel to it. All the guys sound great on it, I especially like John Risko’s lead solo on that one, just super cool! I love the way that guy plays. It’s just a song that came together really nicely if you know what I mean. If I had to pick a close second I would say “Signal the Earth”. I like the feel and groove of the song and I was proud of my lyrics on that one, it’s about a guy sent on a mission in space, now’s he’s trapped in his space ship alone, seeing and hearing things and trying to signal the earth that he needs help. Plus there’s a bass solo in that song… ha ha.

Stone: Is there a “dream band” Sinister Realm wants to be contacted by to support on a major tour?

John Gaffney: Any of the big classic bands like Priest, Maiden, Sabbath would be a dream. I’m also a big fan of Candlemass so I would love to be able to play in Europe or Scandinavia with them.

Stone: How many guitars do you own and which one is your favorite?

John Gaffney: Bass is my main instrument but I do own an early 80s gibson flying V guitar and a Fender telecaster guitar. As for basses, I have three. A 1978 Fender jazz bass, a 1984 Fender precision and a Geddy Lee model Jazz bass. For Sinister Realm I use the Geddy Lee bass, it has a great aggressive grinding growling sound. I use an Ampeg Svt-Pro 2 and Ampeg 4-10 cabinet live for amplification.

Stone: The talents and musical skills of Sinister Realm are obviously heard by my ears on “The Crystal Eye”. What are the other intangibles required to create such a powerful album of Traditional Heavy Metal? What is Sinister Realms “Metal X-Factor”?

John Gaffney: There’s a lot of X factors, I really couldn’t pin it down to one thing. I tell the guys all the time that it’s the little things that make a great band. Playing in tune, having good equipment, having good players and a good singer. If I had to point to one thing though I would say at the end of the day it’s songs and how their delivered. The average listener is not a musician, they are just fans of the music, so the only thing that is really important to them is if they like the songs or not. There are plenty of bands through history who had great players that never went anywhere because their songs just weren’t that good. It’s why the Beatles have lasted forever, they had great songs! So for Sinister Realm I think the X-factor is a combination of everyone’s professionalism and individual personalities wrapped around the songs, that is our “X-Factor”.

* For more Metal info on SINISTER REALM, click on the links below:

SINISTER REALM – facebook

SINISTER REALM – myspace

LONG LIVE SINISTER REALM.

Stone.

KATANA – Heads Will Roll: Traditional Heavy Metal Triumphs On This Band’s Debut Album

Posted in classic metal, Heavy Metal, heavy metal albums, metal music, metal odyssey, Music, rock music, rock music news, traditional heavy metal with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on June 13, 2011 by Metal Odyssey

KATANA Heads Will Roll – Gothenburg, Sweden is where Katana calls home, with their current lineup being established back in 2008.  The debut studio album from Katana, Heads Will Roll, was released in the U.S. on May 31st, 2011, on Listenable Records and it is a delectable bounty of Traditional Heavy Metal to devour. Heads Will Roll is an album of nine Heavy Metal songs that will stamp the time travel ticket for any old schooler… back to the days of Classic Metal glory.

The album title Heads Will Roll reminds me of the Judas Priest classic: Some Heads Are Gonna Roll, from their vintage 1984 album Defenders Of The Faith. There’s just something about heads rolling that sounds, well, Metal. All kidding aside, this debut album from Katana seems to gain more Metal steam after each song. This is an album that just sounds alive and comes across scorching in all of it’s Traditional Metal bliss the more I listen to it.

Heart of Tokyo and Asia in Sight are two blockbuster songs that are smack in the Metal middle of this album. Both songs are capable of drop-kicking poser Metal into the next millennium. Hell, this entire Heads Will Roll album screams: Classic Metal Reigns! The overall Classic Metal vibe that is captured by Katana on this album is very impressive. These are musicians that have done their Classic Metal homework and aren’t afraid to look down upon any “new” Metal trends of the week.

If I had to choose the numero uno song on this album that absolutely kicks the most major Metal ass, well then, it’s Rebel Ride. Shades and obvious influence of the Priest’s Metal guitar legends K.K. Downing and Glenn Tipton are heard, courtesy from the double guitar attack of Patrik Essén and Tobias Karlsson on Rebel Ride. This influence is clear as day and sounds Metal supreme. Both guitarists are fun to take in throughout this entire album. Back to Rebel Ride… it’s such a fantastic Metal song to get psyched-out by, that I’ve come close to pinching myself to make certain I’m not dreaming.

The vocals of Johan Bernspång resonates the essence of yesteryear’s New Wave Of British Heavy Metal. Eloquent, dynamic and consistently captivating are Johan’s vocals. No, I’m not anointing Johan as the greatest Metal singer I’ve ever heard, I’m only stating he is a Metal vocalist to keep your eyes on and your ears tuned to… for the next twenty years or more. I would have to say with certainty, that Johan reminds me of Kai Hansen (Gamma Ray, ex-Helloween). Don’t mistake me here at all, Johan comes across as a very welcomed and unique Metal vocalist to this sacred community.

At 6:50 long, the mini-epic Quest for Hades finishes off Heads Will Roll, whilst the audio senses of Iron Maiden and even Helloween are swirling through my brain. Comparisons and/or influences aside, Katana comes at me as blatant originals to the Traditional Heavy Metal genre. This band can not only play, they also present themselves as true believers and honor students of Classic Metal. Need proof that Katana is as legit as Metal itself? Then submerse your eardrums into Heads Will Roll and thank the Metal Gods that another young Traditional Metal band has gotten it right.

KATANA HAS TRIUMPHED.

KATANA:

Johan Bernspång – vocals

Patrik Essén – guitars

Tobias Karlsson – guitars

Susanna Salminen – bass

Anders Persson – drums

HEADS WILL ROLL – Track Listing:

Livin’ Without Fear

Blade of Katana

Phoenix on Fire

Neverending World

Heart of Tokyo

Asia in Sight

Across the Stars

Rebel Ride

Quest for Hades

* For more info on KATANA, click on the link below:

KATANA – myspace music

LONG LIVE KATANA.

Stone.

CRYSTAL VIPER “Legends” – An Infectious Metal Album, Receives My Metal Commendation

Posted in album reviews, classic metal, Heavy Metal, metal music, metal odyssey, Music, Power Metal, rock music, rock music news, traditional heavy metal with tags , , , , , , , , , , on January 27, 2011 by Metal Odyssey

CRYSTAL VIPER – On February 22, 2011, Poland’s Metal vindicator’s Crystal Viper will be releasing their fourth studio album  – Legends. This date is for the North American release on AFM Records. Crystal Viper beckons me with their Classic Heavy Metal sound, swirled within a Power Metal climate of songs which illuminates melodic Metal thunder! I’m telling you right now, Crystal Viper has created an album that I won’t be filing away anytime soon.

Legends is not limited to a select few songs that are desirable, this entire album has captivated me, from it’s album cover artwork to the choice talents of vocalist/guitarist Marta Gabriel. Crystal Viper plays it’s potent style of Traditional Metal at such an impressive level, they have me thinking: this band could have fit in perfectly during the early to mid 80’s. Nonetheless, Crystal Viper are making themselves be heard in 2011 and their Metal sound couldn’t be more appreciated by this Metalhead lifer.

The strength of the Classics from Metal’s storied history and big guns has kept the Traditional sound and it’s power extremely relevant in 2011. The catalogs of Obsession, Warlock, Virgin Steele and Manowar have never collected dust in any knowledgeable Metal fans collection… Crystal Viper’s new album Legends is NOT going to be a dust collector. Crystal Viper is drawing in that classic relevancy of Metal’s past and making it succeed through their own style and sound, making me salute the Metal Gods of yesteryear while I’m jumping for Metal joy at what I’m hearing on Legends today.

Marta Gabriel will undoubtedly draw comparisons to the legendary Heavy Metal Queen, Doro Pesch. This elite comparison goes deeper than just being a female lead vocalist for a rising Heavy Metal band, Marta can unquestionably sing her Metal heart out. Doro Pesch has been an elite and influential vocalist for over twenty five years. Doro is so legendary it may be unfair and too academic to start a comparison rally between these two Metal diva’s vocals. With that said, I know what I hear and Marta’s vocals give off that special and harmonious Metal vibe that I can’t overlook or deny. Marta is very well in a Metal class all her own.

I could say with Metal confidence, that Marta Gabriel’s vocals reminds me of Bruce Dickinson’s vocal range… okay, I opened up the Metal floodgates now. One or more listens one may seek out with Secret Of The Black Water may just substantiate my stating this. Sydonia Bork is a strong ballad which does not take on any characteristic of an 80’s power ballad, instead Marta gives this ballad a sincere emotion. It’s almost as if Marta has taken this ballad by her hand and guided the music to it’s stirring splendor.

Legends starts off with a spoken word intro with The Truth, that centers it’s message on the closing words: “Evil always returns and greed is blind”. Crystal Viper reminds us of humanity’s never ending battle of good versus evil with their thought provoking intro, while setting the Metal table for what enigmatic and imaginative themes lie ahead in the songs on Legends. TV War is an ACCEPT classic that Crystal Viper covers with admirable Metal proficiency. The tempo is on high and Crystal Viper makes TV War live again through their Metal moxie.

The duo guitars of Andy Wave and Marta are a delectable Metal treat for my ears. These songs on Legends are guitar driven, with a plethora of psyche-you-out leads and solos that leave me helplessly revisiting those Old School daze in my Metal mind! Black Leviathan should be as prime of an example of what I mean by – guitar driven. Blood Of The Heroes busts loose at the midway point with such guitar splendor that it’s dizzying. The Ghost Ship blends speed and Melodic Metal to it’s melting point, with an air of European Metal glory transcending throughout, especially on this songs chorus. Goddess Of Death is a fist and horns to the sky, head banging Metal anthem. This song should turn any doubters into instant fans of Marta Gabriel’s vocals and Crystal Viper’s Metal legitimacy. Goddess Of Death is perhaps my favorite song on this album… only there are so many excellent songs on Legends.

Melodic, powerful, traditional and pure Classic sounding are all ten songs on Legends. (The Truth intro doesn’t count as an actual song). Each musician of Crystal Viper has proven to my ears and senses their incisive Metal skills. Legends is an album that can’t be ignored or pushed to the side for any Metal reason. Real Metal like I hear on Legends will always prevail and stand the test of Metal time. Crystal Viper is a Metal Band and Legends is a Metal album that you MUST check out sooner rather than later. Crystal Viper has created an album they named Legends and this said album of astounding Metal has rocked my Metal soul. Metal be thy name.

* Legends features guest appearances by the following Metal “legends”: Stefan Kaufmann (ACCEPT/U.D.O.), Mat Sinner (Primal Fear/Sinner), Rhino (Manowar/Angels Of Babylon) and Sven D’Anna & Dano Boland (Wizard).

* TV War was originally recorded by ACCEPT on their 1986 studio album: Russian Roulette. This cover of TV War will be on the first edition of Legends.

* Legends was produced by Bart Gabriel (Halloween, Metalucifer, Sabbat etc.)

* For more info on Crystal Viper, click on the links below:

CRYSTAL VIPER – myspace music

CRYSTAL VIPER – Official Website

CRYSTAL VIPER:

Marta Gabriel – vocals and guitar

Andy Wave – guitar

Tom Woryna – bass guitar

Golem – drums

Track Listing For Legends:

The Truth (Intro)

The Ghost Ship

Blood Of The Heroes

Greed Is Blind

Sydonia Bork

Goddess Of Death

Night Of The Sin

Secret Of The Black Water

A Man Of Stone

Black Leviathan

TV War

LONG LIVE CRYSTAL VIPER.

LONG LIVE METAL.

Stone.

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