WEEK 150 – THE RAVEN AGE

My HeadBangers, welcome from London, England the Melodic Metal Band:

THE RAVEN AGE

“Betrayal of the Mind”

“The Face That Launched a Thousand Ships”

Let’s look at some bio on this band:

The Raven Age are an English Heavy Metal band formed in London in 2009 by guitarists Dan Wright and George Harris (son of Iron Maiden bassist Steve Harris).

In 2014, the band recorded and released their self-titled EP before supporting Steve Harris British Lion and Tremonti on separate tours. The band then supported Iron Maiden on The Book of Souls World Tour in 2016. On 2 August 2016, the band announced that their debut album, Darkness Will Rise, would be released in December 2016, but it was instead released in March 2017. The band supported  Anthrax on the Among The Kings European Tour in 2017. They followed by supporting Killswitch Engage and Tremonti on their tours in 2018.  The band released their second album, Conspiracy, on 8 March 2019. Conspiracy has received over 130,000 views on UTube as of 12 June 2019.

Let’s meet the band:

George Harris – Guitars (2009-present)

Matt Cox – Bass, backing vocals (2012-present)

Jai Patel – Drums (2013-present)

Tony Maue – Guitars (2017-present)

Matt James – Lead Vocals (2018-present)

“As the World Stood Still”

My Thoughts:

Well my HeadBangers there you have it.  I admit that it’s not Black Death Metal, to me it’s more melodic/rock.  But whatever it is I really like it.  Sometimes we need songs that calm us inside.  That brings a reason to the madness that continues to spin out of control on this planet.  I like to be able to just sit back, close my eyes and listen to it.  No hair moshing here, just some really good music and a little down time.  We all need that.  When I can’t take hearing anymore news about the government, people killing each other, having to look over your shoulder every where you go and don’t forget your MASK, and your shots, yeah I’ve had both mine, now it’s a damn booster, but it will never end, there will always be something crawling around that wants to get us.  So enjoy your down time, listen to some good music and just breathe my HeadBangers, fingers crossed it will get better.

That’s it for this week my HeadBangers.  Join me next week for another band and another song, in the meantime don’t stand to close to the fire if you can’t handle the burn…..

 

 

WEEKLY BAND LIST

  • Week 150 – Nov 12 – The Raven Age – Heavy Metal – London, England
  • Week 149 – Nov 5 – Penny Billionaires – Hard Rock/Electronica – Phoenix, Arizona, USA
  • Week 148 – Oct 29 – Blood Red Throne – Death Metal – Kristiansand, Norway
  • Week 147 – Oct 22 – Shepherds Reign – Metal/Hard Rock – South Auckland, New Zealand
  • Week 146 – Oct 15 – Shadow of Intent – Deathcore – Hartford, Connecticut
  • Week 145 – Oct 8  –  Darzamat – Atmospheric Black Metal – Katowice, Poland
  • Week 144 – Oct 1  –  Jungle Rot – Thrash/Death Metal – Kenosha, Wisconsin, USA
  • Week 143 – Sep 24 – Lifechanger – Melodic Rock – Amsterdam, Netherlands
  • Week 142 – Sep 17 – Testament – Thrash Metal – Berkeley, California
  • Week 141 – Sep 10 – Bleed From Within – Heavy Metal – Glasgow, Scotland
  • Week 140 – Sept 3  – At The Gates – Death Metal & More – Gothenburg, Sweden
  • Week 139 – Aug 27 – The Soul Of Bushido – Thrash Metalcore – Lorraine, France
  • Week 138 – Aug 20 – WoR – Aggressive Groove Metal – North Carolina, USA
  • Week 137 – July 3 – Wolves In The Throne Room – Atmospheric Black Metal – Olympia, Washington
  • Week 136 -June  26 – Deathbale – Postapocalyptic Viking Death Metal  – Germany
  • Week 135 – June 19 – Repaid in Blood – Pure Fking Geek Metal Revisited – San Jose, Calif
  • Week 134 –  June 5 – Wardruna – Dark Folk Metal – Bergen, Norway
  • Week 133 – May 28 – Rotting Christ – Black Metal – Athens, Greece
  • Week 132 – May 21 – Carmilla – Metal – Sverige, Sweden
  • Week 131 – May 14 – Wake Up Frankie – Thrash/Rock/Metal – Helsinki, Finland
  • Week 130 – May 7  – Disquiet – Melodic Death/Thrash – Utrecht, Netherlands
  • Week 129 – Apr 30 – Thanatos – Extreme Thrash/Death Metal – Rotterdam, Netherlands
  • Week 128 – Apr 23  – Arched Fire – Heavy Speed Metal – Lapland, Finland
  • Week 127 – Apr 16 – The Haunted – Heavy/Melodic Death Metal – Gothenburg, Sweden
  • Week 126 – Apr 9 –  Updates 
  • Week 125 – Apr 2  –  All Taken – Hard Rock with a little Grunge – Los Angeles, California
  • Week 124 – Mar 26 – Aeon Of Awareness – Melodic Death Metal – Germany (Song Review)
  • Week 124 – Mar 25 – Scythian Fate – Dark Prog Thrash – Sydney/Melbourne – Australia
  • Week 124 – Mar 24 – Hate & Deceit – Danish Melodic Death Metal – Slagelse, Denmark
  • Week 123 – Mar 21 – Beyond the Pale – Dutch Metal – Utrecht, Netherlands
  • Week 122 – Mar 12 – Thy Kingdom Will Burn – Melodic Death Metal – Kouvola, Suomi
  • Week 121 – Mar 5 –  H.E.A.T. –  Hard Rock/Heavy Metal – Uppsland Väsby, Sweden              
  • Week 120 – Feb 26 – Temple Balls – Hard Rock – Finland
  • Week 119 – Feb 19 – Aeon of Awareness – Melodic Death Metal – Germany
  • Week 118 – Feb 12 – Vreid – Black Metal / Black n Roll – Sogndal, Norway
  • Week 117 – Feb 5 – Artilharia – Heavy/Melodic/Speed/Thrash Metal – Brazil
  • Week 116 – Jan 29 – This week was for Alexi, COB, Rip my dear HeadBanger
  • Week 115 – Jan 22 – Paradise Lost – Death/Doom/Gothic Metal – Halifax, West Yorkshire
  • Week 114 – Jan 15 – Wintersun – Power/Folk/Melodic Death Metal – Helsinki, Finland
  • Week 113 – Jan 1 – Dark Tranquillity – Melodic Death Metal – Gothenburg, Sweden
  • Week 112 – Dec 25 – SepticFlesh – Greek Symphonic Metal – Athens, Greece
  • Week 111 – Dec 18 – Die From Sorrow – Melodic Death Metal – Beijing, China
  • Week 110 – Dec 11 – Fireproven – Progressive Metal – Finland
  • Week 109 – Dec 4 – Wolfheart – Winter Metal – Myrskylä, Finland
  • Week 108 – Nov 27 – Angelus Apatrida – Thrash – Albacete, Spain
  • Week 107 – Nov 20 – Gojira – Heavy Metal – Bayonne, France
  • Week 106 – Nov 13 – Enslaved – Prog/Black/Viking Metal – Sveio, Norway
  • Week 105 – Nov 6 –  Like A Storm – Metal – Auckland, New Zealand
  • Week 104 – Oct 30 – Firewind – Power/Heavy Metal – Thessaloniki, Greece
  • Week 103 – Oct 23 – Shiraz Lane – Rock – Vantaa, Finland
  • Week 102 – Oct 16 – The Agonist – Metal – Montreal, Canada
  • Week 101 – Oct 9 – Butcher Babies – Heavy Metal – Los Angeles, CA
  • Week 100 – Oct 3 – BaYaT – Alternative Rock – Novi Sad, Serbia 
  • Week 98 –  Sept 25 – Dirt – Rock – Heksinki, Finland
  • Week 98 –  Sept 18 – Unearth – MetalCore – Boston, Massachusetts
  • Week 97 –  Sept 11 – Stratovarius – Power Metal – Finland
  • Week 96 –  Sept 4 – SynlakrosS – Mel Death Metal – Valencia, Spain
  • Week 95 – Aug 28 – Striker – New Wave Heavy Metal , Canada
  • Week 94 – Aug 21 – Turisas – Metal –  Hämeenlinna, Finland
  • Week 93 – Aug 14 – Tyr – Metal – Faroe Islands (Part of Denmark)
  • Week 92 – Aug 7 –  After Release of EP – Interview with WuF, Kasperi Merilainen
  • Week 91 – July 24 – Review of EP – Wake Up Frankie – Helsinki, Finland
  • Week 90 – July 17 –  SPECIAL ON THRASH METAL BANDS
  • Week 89 – July 13 – SPECIAL ON MELODIC DEATH METAL BANDS
  • Week 88 – July 10 –  Hinayana Band – Melodic Death/Doom – Austin, Texas
  • Week 87 –  July 3 –   Viikate – Rock/Metal – Kouvola, Finland
  • Week 86 – June 26 – Lumberhead – Metal – Leipzig, Saxony (Germany)
  • Week 85 – June 19 – Nidhoeggr – Pagan Death Metal – Bern, Switzerland
  • Week 84 – June 12 – Aetherian – Dark Melodic Death Metal – Athens, Greece
  • Week 83 – June 5 – Frosttide – Epic Dark Folk Metal – Jyväskylä, Finland
  • Week 82 – May 29 – Amthrya – Advantgarde Death Black Metal – Italy
  • Week 81 – May 22 – Suicidal Angels – Trash – Athens, Greece
  • Week 80 – May 15 – Heart of Jordan – Alter Metal – Lansing, Michigan
  • Week 79 – May 8 – Parasite, Inc. – Melodic Death Metal – Aalen, Germany
  • Week 78 – May 1 – Wake Up Frankie – Grove/Trash/Rock – Helsinki, Finland
  • Week 77 – Apr 24 – Abbath – Black Metal – Bergen, Norway
  • Week 76 – Apr 17 – Entombed – Dark/Rock Death/Metal – Stockholm, Sweden
  • Week 75 – Apr 10 – Cruish-Nir – Gothic/Doom – Romania
  • Week 74 – Apr 3 – [Amatory] – MetalCore – St. Petersburg, Russia
  • Week 73 – Mar 27 – Njord – Viking Rock – Sandviken, Sweden
  • Week 72 – Mar 20 – Mystic Prophecy – Metal – Dortmund, Germany
  • Week 71 – Mar 13 – Astralborne  – Melodic Death Metal – Toledo, Ohio
  • Week 70 – Mar 6 –  Shakra – HardRock/Metal – Trub, Switzerland
  • Week 69 – Feb 28 –  The Browning – Metal – Kansas City, Missouri
  • Week 68 – Feb 21 –  Tempting Fate – Hard Rock/Metal – Los Angeles, California
  • Week 67 – Feb 14 –  Dynazty – Hard Rock/Metal – Stockholm, Sweden
  • Week 66 – Feb 7  –  Dreyelands – Melodic Progressive Metal – Budapest, Hungary
  • Week 65 – Jan 31 – HoundWolf – Heavy Metal – Witten, Germany
  • Week 64 – Jan 24 – Shadecrown – Melodic Death/Doom/Thrash Metal – Finland
  • Week 63 – Jan 17 – Sea of Treachery – Heavy Metal – Cincinnati, OH
  • Week 62 – Dec 21 – Immersed in Darkness – Black Metal – Brownsville, Texas
  • Week 61 – Dec 14 – Skälmöld – Metal – Reykjavík, Iceland
  • Week 60 – Dec 7  –  The Local Band – Rock – Helsinki, Finland
  • Week 59 – Nov 30 – Re-Armed – Melodic Death/Thrash Metal – Kerava, Finland
  • Week 58 – Nov 23 – Ashen Crown – Metal – West Midlands, UK
  • Week 57 – Nov 16 – FEJD –  Swedish Folk – Trollhattan, Sweden
  • Week 56 – Nov 9 – Forever Still – Hard Rock/Metal – Copenhagen, Denmark – This is where it all started.  ONE YEAR AGO, THEY WERE THE FIRST LET’S REVISIT
  • Week 55 – Nov 2  –  Krigere Wolf – Black Death Metal – Catania, Sicily
  • Week 54 – Oct 26 – Aephanemer – Melodic Death Metal – Toulouse, France
  • Week 53 – Oct 19 – Infected Rain – Nu Metal/Nu Metalcore – Chișinău, Moldova
  • Week 52 – Oct 12 – The Veer Union – Hard Rock/NuMetal – Vancouver, BC
  • Week 51 – Oct 5 – Ligature Marks – Metal – Portland, Oregon
  • Week 50 – Sept 28 – AEolian – Metal – Palma, Spain
  • Week 49 – Sept 21 – Smorrah – Thrash/Death Metal – Gelsenkirchen, Germany
  • Week 48 – Sept 14 – Beyond the Styx – Hardcore Metal – Tours, France
  • Week 47 – Sept 7 – Brackish Tide –  Metal – Somerset County, MD
  • Week 46 –  August 31 – Kryptos – Old School Heavy Metal – Bangalore, India
  • Week 45 – August 24 – Spyder Volt – Alternative Rock – Laredo, Texas
  • Week 44 –  August 17 – Descent of The ArchAngel – Underground Metalcore – US
  • Week 43 –  August 10 – Dark Messiah – Heavy Metal – Winnipeg, Canada
  • Week 42 –   August 3 – Arcsin -Modern Melodic Progressive Metal – Miami, FL 
  • Week 41 –  July 27 –  Methane Metal – Southern Thrash Metal – Sweden/Jersey
  • Week 40 –  July 20 –  Bloodred Hourglass – Melodic Death/Thrash – Mikkeli, FI
  • Week 39 –  July 13 –  Atarka – Metal – Birmingham, UK. 
  • Week 38 –  July 6   –  Silverbullet Band – Symp Heavy Metal – Riihimaki, Suomi
  • Week 37 –  June 29 –  Hammer Down Hard – New Age Hard Rock/Metal
  • Week 36 – June 22 –  Syth Glasgow – Old School Metal – Glasgow, Scotland
  • Week 35 –  June 15  – Virtues – Metalcore – Brisbane, Australia
  • Week 34 –  June 8  –  Vovkulaka  – Dark Angry Evil Metal – Odessa, Ukraine
  • Week 33 –  June 1  –  Executioner  – Hardcore Thrash – San Antonio, Texas
  • Week 32 – May 25 – Night Shadow – Power/Speed Metal – San Diego, California
  • Week 31 – May 18 – Primitive Machine – Rock, Dublin City, Ireland
  • Week 30 – May 11 – Daggerplay – Punk, R&R, Power Pop, Helsinki, Finland
  • Week 29 – May 4 –  Kalmo – Finnish Doom Metal – Kerava, Finland
  • Week 28 – April 27 – Repaid in Blood – Pure Fucking Geek Metal – San Jose, CA     
  • Week 27 – April 20 – Arch Enemy – Melodic Death Metal – Halmstad, Sweden 
  • Week 26 – April 13 – Falling Into Red – Hard Alter Rock – Pittsburg, PA
  • Week 25 – April 6 – Tulsadoom – Evil Barbaric Heavy Thrash – Vienna, Austria 
  • Week 24 – March 30 – Dream Troll – Old School Rock – Leeds, England
  • Week 23 – March 23 – The 69 Eyes – Goth & Roll – Helsinki Finland
  • Week 22 – March 16 – Ghost Season – Alternative Metal – Athens, Greece
  • Week 21 – March 9 – Vane – Pirate Melodeath Metal – Poland
  • Week 20 – March 2 – Ravenscroft – Rock – Orange, California
  • Week 19 – Feb 23 –  Love Machine – Heavy Rock – Milano, Italy
  • Week 18 – Feb 16 – Children of Bodom – Melodic Death Metal – Espoo, Finland
  • Week 17 – Feb 9 – 10 Gauge – Hard Rock – England, UK
  • Week 16 – Feb 2 – Everlit – Hard Rock – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Week 15 – Jan 26 – Victim of Illusion – Progressive Rock – Turin, Italy
  • Week 14 – Jan 19 – September Sky – Alternative Metal – Indianapolis, Indiana
  • Week 13 – Jan 12 – The Edge of Reason – Post Hardcore – Regensburg, Germany
  • Week 12 – January 1, 2019 New Years Day – The HU BAND – MONGOLIA
  • Week 11 – Dec 29 – Apocalyptica – Rock/Metal – Helsinki, Finland
  • Week 10 – Dec 22 – Hidden Scars – Prog/Indus Metal – Las Vegas, Nevada
  • Week  9 –  Dec 15 – In Hell – Black Death Metal – Lille, France
  • Week  8 –  Dec 08 – Fireproven – Prog Death Metal – Tampere, Finland
  • Week  7 – Nov 30 – Amon Amarth – Death Metal – Tumba, Sweden
  • Week  6 – Nov 23 – Chernobyls Uterus – Grindcore Metal – Pripyat, Ukraine
  • Week  5 – Nov 17 – Five Finger Death Punch – Metal – Las Vegas, Nevada
  • Week  4 – Nov 10 – Universal Theory – Gothic Metal – Madrid, Spain
  • Week  3 – Nov 03 – Mawcore – Hard Rock/Metal – Chambersburg, Pennsylvania
  • Week  2 – Oct 27 – Sin7 Band – Heavy Metal – Minneapolis, Minnesota
  • Week  1 – Oct 20 – Forever Still – Hard Rock/Metal – Copenhagen, Denmark

 

WEEK 149 – PENNY BILLIONAIRES

My HeadBangers welcome from Phoenix, Arizona the Hard Rock-Electronica Duo:

Penny Billionaires

“Awoken”

Let’s look at some bio provided by the band:

 Formed during the 2020 pandemic, Penny Billionaires is an Alternative Rock Duo from Phoenix, AZ that blends elements of Hard Rock and Electronica.  Greg Jacks, from the multi-platinum pop-rock band Superbus met Evan Berg at a show in downtown Phoenix where the two immediately hit it off.  Throughout the years they began playing shows together and co-writing music.  It wasn’t until the pandemic, where the two decided to lock themselves up and develop PB.  Together the band teamed up with Grammy-award-winning engineer/producer, Jeremy Parker who mixed and produced bands such as Evanescence, Disturbed, Slipknot, to record their first E.P.  The band released their first single, “Awoken” on September of 2021 on Symphonic Distribution.

Evan Berg is their vocalist and Greg Jacks on drums.  Listen to that song above, Awoken, I absolutely love their energy and how they put everything they have into it.  It just grabs you from the first note to the very last.  If a song ever had me jumping around the room doing some moshing it is this one.  Hard, raw, and in your face….

PB released Awoken on September 17, 2021 and will be releasing their second single, BRKDWN, on November 12. They are planning to release a new single every 6 weeks towards their album release in April 2022.  And I have heard it guys, trust me you will love it.  It was the first song Evan developed in his garage that later influenced the start of the band. It’s a straight-up heavy, aggressive song about being fed up and down to the last straw.   The two wrote a handful of songs originally dubbing the collection as Electronic Dance Metal where they would then reach out to Arizona Engineer and Producer, Jeremy Parker to take on the project.  By the time the first set of singles were complete Greg and Evan decided to go all-in on this exciting new project, leaving their pasts behind them.

The band has been featured on multiple publications, including the Professional Adult Nightclub DJ Association (PANDA) charting their first single, “Awoken” at #5 in October 2021 and got playlisted on hundreds of Spotify Playlists ranging from 5000 to 1 million followers.  With co-producer, Jeremy Parker these guys are well on their way.  They are set to tour extensively beginning in the Fall 2021 and throughout 2022.

My Thoughts:

Well my HeadBangers there you have it, this is what is possible during Covid and lock down.  I am always amazed when I first hear songs that were conceived during Covid.  There are quite a few bands I’ve heard that have created the most amazing songs during this time.  It only goes to show you what the human spirit can achieve, and these songs come from the depths of their creators souls.  Whether upbeat or downbeat everything they are feeling is released through their music.  It really is some of the best isn’t it.  We’ve all heard it, and I think it is going to continue for a little longer.  Every band on the blog has touched me in some way that draws me to them.  Music affects everyone, but Metal does more than that, it literally grabs you by the throat and carries you away.  Where it takes you is only up to you, but follow it, don’t resist it, you never know where you will end up.

That’s it for this week my HeadBangers.  Join me next week for another band and another song.  In the meantime, don’t stand too close to the fire if you can’t handle the burn…..

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

WEEK 148 – BLOOD RED THRONE

My HeadBangers welcome from Kristiansand, Norway the Death Metal Band:

BLOOD RED THRONE

“Transparent Existence”

“Itika”

Let’s look at some bio on these Norwegian Death Metal Kings:

Blood Red Throne was formed in Kristiansand, Norway, during the peak of black metal in 1998 by former Satyricon guitarist Daniel “Død” Olaisen and Emperor bassist Terje “Tchort” Schei.  Inspired by bands like Death, Cannibal Corpse and Deicide.  Blood Red Throne play death metal in a Scandinavian style, mixing old school, traditional and Swedish death with riffs and elements of black metal. The band has released 10 albums.

Blood Red Throne started in 1998 when Død and Tchort (while playing in Satyricon at that time), decided to form their own band. Tchort had been playing death metal since 1989 with his band Green Carnation, which was one of the first death metal bands in Norway, and Død had been a huge fan and of the genre since 1992 . Tchort was also the bass player in Emperor in the early 1990s and has been involved with bands like Carpathian Forest and Einherjer. The band soon got in touch with a drummer living in their hometown by the name of Freddy Bolsø, and Blood Red Throne was born. Soon after bassist Erlend Caspersen joined the newly formed group. The band recorded a demo, entitled Deathmix 2000 with Ronni Thorsen from Trail of Tears providing the vocals. This demo got positive feedback and Blood Red Throne got offers from labels right away. Finally having recruited long-time friend Mr. Hustler as the permanent frontman, the same line-up recorded the debut Monument of Death and released it through Hammerheart Records in 2001. The limited edition included a package called ‘The Suicide Kit’, which not only contained the actual album, but also a printed razor blade and a poster. The kits were hand numbered in the band member’s own blood. Blood Red Throne never did any live shows with this line up, Freddy Bolsø moved back to his hometown and the band had to find a new drummer.

Espen “Beist” Antonsen  The Sickening joined and the band recorded Affiliated With The Suffering in 2002 and this was their last album through Hammerheart Records. The band did two European tours and the Inferno Fest with this lineup and Beist left as they were about to record their first album for Earache Records. With the help from Bernt Moen, Blood Red Throne managed to record their third album, Altered Genesis. Altered Genesis was released in 2005 and after this release, Mr. Hustler had to leave the band due to work commitments and Vald was handed the microphone. To make things easier, Blood Red Throne also had to find a permanent and local drummer, and this led to the recruitment of Anders Haave. He joined the band in 2006 and Blood Red Throne went on a new European tour several live shows until going into the studio to record their fourth album, (Come Death), for Earache Records.

Blood Red Throne released their fifth album, Souls of Damnation on June 1, 2009 through Earache Records.  The digipak version of the CD included a DVD to celebrate the bands 10-year career.

“Skyggemannen”

Blood Red Throne was confirmed February 7, 2009, to play at the Infernofestival in Oslo which took place April 8–11, 2009. It was set to take place on the stage called BLÅ, where they played with bands like Terrordrome.

On April 23, 2010, Blood Red Throne announced via a MySpace blog post that guitarist Tchort was leaving due to “work and family commitments” and was being replaced by Ivan “MeathooK” Gujic of  Neongod for the remainder of their tours and gigs that year.   A short time later, it was announced in another post that 19-year-old Emil Wiksten would be taking over the position of drummer.

Both as headliners but also as support tours with Dimmu Borgir, Enslaved, Suffocation, Cryptopsy to name a few.  They have also done big festivals as Wacken, Hellfest, Bloodstock, 70,000 Tons of Metal and many more.

Let’s meet the band:

Yngve “Bolt” Christiansen – Vocals (2011-present)

Daniel “Død” Olaisen – Guitar (1998-present)

Ivan “Meathook” Gujic – Guitar (2010-present)

Stian “Gunner” Gundersen – Bass (2018-present)

Freddy Bolsø – Drums (1998-2002, 2015-present)

My Thoughts:

HeadBangers, just listening to these guys slams me like I’m hitting the wall going 110.  The music, that heavy, fast, ready for the mosh pit sound is one I just can’t stop listening to, I’ll pass the mosh pit but I’ll watch lol.   They play with such intensity it’s hard to stop watching them, I can imagine what seeing them live would be like.  They say they are Death Metal, but I feel like there’s a little of my favorite Thrash metal in there.  What do you think?   Here again I find another band that I’ve never listened to, and my list is getting long.   Their videos are killer, I like watching Bolt, throw those songs out without missing a beat, and that voice just keeps going and going. Check out more videos on UTube and follow them on all your social media.  These guys are perfection, what more can I say.  You will have to judge for yourselves, but I don’t see it begin a hard decision.

That’s it for this week my HeadBangers.  Join me next week for another band and another song.  In the meantime don’t stand to close to the fire if you can’t handle the burn…..

 

 

 

WEEK 147 – SHEPHERDS REIGN

My HeadBangers please welcome from South Auckland, New Zealand, the Metal/Hard Rock Band:

SHEPHERDS REIGN

“AIGA”

“Le Manu”

Let’s look at some bio on these tribal warriors, give to me by the band:

Tribal. Supremely talented. Fiercely noble. Richly proud.  Shepherds Reign are bringing their house to your ears, mind and heart, their power and passion unequivocal, their musical voices luminescent and majestic.  You’d do well to start paying attention…

Hailing from South Auckland New Zealand, and thus Polynesian by birth and blood, Filiva’a James (vocals and keytar), Gideon Voon (guitar), Oliver Leupolu (guitar/production), Shaymen Rameka (drums) and Joseph Oti-George (bass) are not playing games. Shepherds Reign is life, Shepherds Reign is survival, Shepherds Reign is mental and physical health and Shepherds Reign is what they are on this planet to do.  Their voice is their mighty, fearsome music and their vocation is to share with the world every aspect of lives and cultures deserve the international ear. Whether unleashing the raw, guttural tribal roar of “Aiga” or the biker-rough riffery which is “End of The Trial”, there is a special passion and power in every single note Shepherds reign share with the world, a rare presence which demands the world stage.

Shepherds Reign carry a motivation and execution which defies logic. Their videos have become a thing of independent heavy metal/hard rock legend, with narratives and production values which embarrass many an established international act, and in a covid19 era, they have managed to amass 2 million+ YouTube views with the video for “Le Manu”, whilst “Aiga”, released on December 5th 2020, has already amassed over 150,000 views.

As for their live show, Shepherds Reign are famous in Australia for their primal performance, one which evokes many aspects of their cultural heritage and fierce Polynesian pride. There’s the enormous intimidating presence of James, a towering hulk of humanity adorned with the shark tooth necklace (as are all the band members) who demands your full attention and gets it. Then there’s the gargantuan riffs and twisting dual melodies of Voon and Leupolu, whose virulent virtuosity is undeniable. Rounding out the sound is the crushing, bombastic Rameka/George rhythm section, which gives Shepherds Reign their propulsive, dynamic metal sound.

Here’s the truth.
Whether you choose to engage or not, Shepherds Reign’s raw passion, determination and sheer goddamn talent is going to be bringing them to major international stages worldwide as covid19 is wrangled.  Theirs’ is an inevitable journey.  You’d be doing yourself a favour to get on-board now before the train’s left the station and you’re kicking yourself black and blue…

“LEGEND”

Let’s meet the band:

Filiva’a James – Vocals and Keytar

Shaymen Rameka – Drums

Oliver Leupolu – Guitar/Production

Gideon Voon – Guitar

Joseph Oti-George – Bass

My Thoughts:

I have been looking at this band for awhile now and I finally had an open week and emailed them.  I was so happy when Oliver got back with me.  First, these guys met in High School and some at Music School.  The name Shepherds Reign to them is like a metaphor for each of them being a Shepherd that leads their flock whomever that may be.  You know I love to know how a band picks their name.  Thanks again to Oliver for getting back with me, I’m so glad you did.

As I said something kept drawing me back to this band.  I think my love of Nordic Folk Metal had peaked my interest because Shepherds Reign has kept the Tribal look and in their own words primal performance, cultural heritage and fierce Polynesian pride, that they carry into their music and gigs.  When I was in Finland, lucky enough to see the last Tuska Festival in 2019 before Covid, those Nordic bands just had me heart and soul and still do to this day.  That’s why I am always so interested in bands all over this planet that add their heritage to their music and Shepherds Reign does that.  Such a strong, hard performance.  You can see it in their videos, and feel it when the perform.  This Covid as really stopped bands from touring and it sucks.  I would love to see these guys in person and I have no doubt that when the world gets back to normal they will be touring.  Check them out on FB, Twitter, Instagram, they are everywhere.  You won’t be sorry, their music is killer…..

That’s it for this week my HeadBangers.  Join me next week for another band and another song.  In the meantime don’t stand to close to the fire if you can’t handle the burn…..

 

WEEK 146 – SHADOW OF INTENT

My HeadBangers please welcome the Deathcore Band from Hartford, Connecticut:

SHADOW OF INTENT

“From Ruin…We Rise”

“Intensified Genocide”

Well my HeadBangers what do you think?  I’m not saying anything right now cause if I start I’ll keep going and I want you to hear about these guys from my home state.  Let’s look at some bio:

In 2013 Ben Duerr and guitarist Chris Wiseman met playing in separate bands at a local concert. The group was initially formed as a studio project. They were inspired by Halo and the name “Shadow of Intent” came from a ship in the game series bearing the same name. Duerr describes himself as a Halo nerd and stated that their music follows the storyline of the Halo novels.  They are not signed to a label and have released their albums independently. They have released three studio albums to date, along with two instrumental versions of previous releases.

The group released their EP Inferi Sententia on July 18, 2014 and debut album Primordial on January 10, 2016. The tracks on both albums were produced via homemade recordings. All of the tracks on Inferi Sententia were re-recorded and featured on Primordial. The drum tracks are programmed on both releases. Keyboard and orchestral samples are also present on these releases.

Duerr was responsible solely for writing and performing the lead vocals during the production process while Wiseman was responsible for all of the remaining songwriting.

On September 19, 2016 they announced the addition of Matt Kohanowski on drums, marking the end of the group’s time as a two-man project. On March 31, 2017 they announced the addition of new members Federico Zuccarelli on guitar and Keith Kohlhepp on bass. This brought the total members of the group to five.

On April 28, 2017 Shadow of Intent released Reclaimer, their first album without programmed drum tracks and the first album to feature a unique player on each instrument. It reached #4 on the iTunes metal chart at debut. It was described by MetalSucks as “nothing short of a triumph of symphonic deathcore”.

The band released The Instrumentals on October 20, 2017. The album contained instrumental versions of all of the songs from both of the preceding albums.

“Malediction”

In December 2017, Shadow of Intent began touring with their now four-man lineup. They played their first live shows at the Webster Theater in Hartford CT and at the Gramercy Theater in New York City.

On March 30, 2018, they released their first single ‘Underneath a Sullen Moon’. This was the first track which was not Halo-themed and their second released track which did not begin with the word ‘The.’ The band went on their first major tour in the Spring of 2018 supporting Carnifex on their Chaos & Carnage tour headliner. Oceano, Winds of Plague, Archspire, Spite, Widowmaker and Buried Above Ground accompanied Shadow of Intent on this tour. In the Summer of 2018, the band toured alongside Whitechapel, The Black Dahlia Murder, Fleshgod Apocalypse, and Aversions Crown.

On December 14, 2018, the group announced that Anthony Barone would be joining the group as their drummer.

On August 16, 2019 Shadow of Intent released Melancholy which included a remastered version of the aforementioned single as one of the tracks on the album. Francesco Ferrini of Fleshgod Apocalypse contributed to the orchestral work on this album. Melancholy has been described as a concept album depicting mass suicides orchestrated by a demonic goddess. This album marked a departure from writing strictly Halo-themed music. An instrumental version of Melancholy was also released on November 22, 2019.

In the Winter of 2020, the band performed on their first major headlining tour throughout the United States accompanied by Inferi, Signs of the Swarm, and Brand of Sacrifice.

On November 8, 2020 the group announced they were parting ways with Anthony Barone and that Bryce Butler would be replacing him.

In October, The band announced their fourth studio album, Elegy, for a January 2022 release.

Let’s meet the band:

Ben Duerr – Lead Vocals (2013-present)

Chris Wiseman – Guitars, Backing Vocals, Programming (2013-present)

Andrew Monias – Bass, Backing Vocals (2018-present)

Bryce Butler – Drums (2020-present)

My Thoughts:

Never in a million years did I think I would hear growl vocals like this from an American Band, and I am still in shock.  This band has everything you look for in a Metal Band.  It has the rough, fast sound of the instruments and those vocals.  I’ve never heard a voice that leaves me speechless, lol, and that says a lot.  I have see some of the best growl vocalist, Tomi Joutsen of Amorphis, Jarkko Koukonen of Bloodred Hourglass and Mathias”Vreth” Lillmåns of Finntroll.  Ben Duerr, has these vocals that draw me like a moth to the flame.  They are so deep, but yet so clear, how he can hold that sound is amazing, and not to be taken for granted.  Just to maintain that voice and keep it in shape is not easy.  It is something that must be taken care of if it’s to last.  Growl vocals date back to 800 BC, I am 100 into my growl vocals.  This band has impressed me so much with their songs and the energy they bring to the stage.  I hope they tour my way, I would love to see them at a gig.  There are bands and then there are great bands.  I know this band is meant for greater things.  I know this year with Covid and now the Variant and Flu, and the list goes on, but to all the Metal Bands, do not give up, keep doing your thing, trust me the best has yet to come…..

That’s it for this week my HeadBangers.  Join me next week for another band and another song, until then don’t stand to close to the fire if you can’t handle the burn…..

 

WEEK 145 – DARZAMAT

My HeadBangers please welcome from Katowice, Poland the Atmospheric Black Metal Band:

DARZAMAT

“The Sleeping Prophet”

“The Great Blaze”

My HeadBangers there is nothing that stirs my blood more than the sound of the guitar and bass that is part of European bands.  It is such a different sound, I have tried to explain it so many times but if you can’t hear it my explaining it falls on deft ears.  Some people have “the ear”, I have been told I have it.  Basically what it means is that a person can tell where a band comes from by the sound of their instruments.  To me it is plain as day, to others they can’t tell the difference.  When I hear my European, Nordic Bands it just makes me come alive.  It is such a rush, like water to a person dying of thirst.  That may sound dramatic but that is how it makes me feel.  There’s nothing else that can compare to it for me.

Let’s look at some bio on this incredibly talented band:

Darzamat is a Polish atmospheric black metal band, founded in 1995. After a few initial releases the founding member Flauros (vocals) managed to gather musicians who have since been identified as the band’s core: guitar players Chris and Daamr, female vocalist Nera and keyboard player Spectre. The album Semidevilish, released in 2004, established the sound of the newly consolidated band and gave it strength to start appearing more regularly on stage.

The following year saw the release of Transkarpatia. The album, produced by Andy LaRocque, the guitar force behind King Diamond. As a result, the name Darzamat started to be featured on posters for such European festivals as Rock Hard Open, Wave Gothic Treffen, Hard Rock Laager, S-Hammer Festival, Last Night on Earth, Dong Open Festival, Moscow After Midnight and Metal Head Mission. At that time, the band found themselves performing for an ever widening circle of audiences in Balkan states, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Belgium, Holland, Italy, France and Germany. Also around that time Darzamat embarked on tours supporting Sabaton in Benelux countries and Moonspell in Poland.

The year 2007 saw the band perform on Winternachtstraum Festival and on the 21st edition of the venerable Polish Metalmania Festival, organized since the 1980s. This performance was documented on the DVD album Live Profanity (Visiting the Graves of the Heretics) was released internationally.

In the 2009 Darzamat landed a worldwide record deal with Massacre Records, a German label, and delivered the fifth album of its career, Solfernus’ Path, also made available in Japan. This  marked the first time the band ever ventured into a concept album territory. Andy LaRocque moved from the production seat to the guest-musician spot and contributed a solo on ‘The King of the Burning Anthems’. The song, along with two other ones—’Pain Collector’ and ‘Chimera’—was selected to promote the album and all three were made into videos. Darzamat toured in Poland, Mexico, France, Czech Republic, Ukraine and Belgium, then returned to Poland to make an appearance at the Castle Party Festival.

In 2011 the band took a long break. Nera used her time away to focus on her solo project, NeraNature, which features gentler, atmospheric rock laced with electronics. She delivered three albums, with the latest one, MagJa, released in 2018. Flauros, on the other hand, decided to bring back the black metal act Mastiphal. In 2011 Parvzya (Witching Hour) was released, the first new full-length since the 1995 debut For a Glory of All Evil Spirits.

In 2019 Darzamat announced a new album “The Burning Kingdom”. The fans can expect another concept album, picking up the story right where its predecessor left off. Flauros, the main creative force behind the work, has revealed that this chapter takes place in London and that the lyrics for the album were penned by him and a long-time friend and writer, Jesion Kowal. Musically, the album opens a new era in Darzamat’s history: gone are the keyboards, up till now characteristically prominent. In their place the band inserts more diversified and complex guitar sounds. Pre-production and recording sessions for The Burning Kingdom were overseen by Maurycy Stefanowicz of Vader fame; production and mixing were handled by one of the most talented Polish producers, Jaroslaw Baran. The record was due for release in 2020.

Let’s meet the band:

Rafal “Flauros” Góral – Vocals (1995-present)

Agnieszka “Nera” Górecka – Vocals (2003-present)

Krzysztof “Chris” Michalak – Guitar (2001-present)

Marek “Markus” Tkocz – Bass (2009-present)

My Thoughts:

As I said at the beginning, the sound of this band stirs my blood and calls to me.  As one that has had the pleasure to hear many European/Nordic Bands live, unless you can experience it you don’t know what you are missing.   Don’t get me wrong American Bands always bring their game as you can see by the ones that are on the blog.  As a metal blogger I’m not supposed to be partial to one type of metal, band, or country they hail from, however, it maybe because one side of my grandparents were from Belgium the other side from Canada, maybe just something in the blood.  Either way  Euro/Nordic Bands just play and I follow, that’s just how it is.  As with Darzamat, there is something in the sound, in the words, that gets me on another level.  Music is not just music to me.  It’s so many things, it’s the bigger part of my life.  It keeps me sane in this time of confusion, the mess this planet is in.  The one thing that is always there, any day and any time is the music.  I can close my eyes and let it take me where ever it wants, like I said it’s more than just music, more than just sound.  It’s life to me, it’s the most important thing….. 

That’s it for this week my HeadBangers.  Join me next week for another band and another song.  In the meantime don’t stand to close to the fire if you can’t handle the burn…..

 

WEEK 144 – JUNGLE ROT

My HeadBangers please welcome from Kenosha, Wisconsin USA the Thrash/Death Metal Band:

JUNGLE ROT

“A Burning Cinder”

“Terror Regime”

Well my HeadBangers what do you think of these guys???!!!  Again I found another band that’s been around a long time, but as usual I didn’t know about them.  So with that being said let’s look at some bio on this fine oiled machine called Jungle Rot, gotta love it:

Jungle Rot was founded in 1992 as a side project by Jim Harte and Joe Thomas, members of the Illinois thrash metal act, Prisoner. The band’s name refers to Jungle Rot, an infection of the skin that occurs in tropical climates. The band recorded their first demo Rip Off Your Face, a fun offering of immature death metal heavily influenced by the likes of S.O.D. and Celtic Frost. Then, they acquired Kenosha-based guitarist Dave Matrise (Num Skull, Nocturnal, Fatal Violence) in 1993. It was not until 1994 when Matrise took over that the band got serious and started to take off. The band refined their style and released their second demo Skin The Living in 1995, which is the year Matrise acknowledges the band began.

After their first two demos, the band was signed to the American independent label Pure Death Records, owned at the time by Jamey Jasta of Hatebreed, where they released their first album, a repackaging of their second demo Skin The Living, in 1996. In late 1997, their second album, Slaughter the Weak was released on independent label Pulverizer Records.

The EP Darkness Foretold was released in 1998 by the small label S.O.D. Records, which was spearheaded by the creator of the underground music magazine Sounds of Death, and featured covers of Slayer’s “Fight Til Death” and Carnivore’s “Jesus Hitler”. The initial pressing of Darkness Foretold came with a limited edition Jungle Rot Comic Book. The next two full-length studio albums, 2001’s Dead And Buried and 2004’s Fueled By Hate were released by Olympic Recordings in partnership with Century Media Records.

In 2005, the current core of Jungle Rot came together when Matrise enlisted the talents of Chicago native James Genenz (Fleshgrind, Avernus, Dead For Days, Reign Inferno, God Dementia) on bass guitar and Geoff Bub (Destiss, Putrid Dissentary) on guitar.  With songwriting duties now shared between the three members, and the bulk of the lyrics being forthwith written by Genenz, Matrise was now able to take his band to the next level.

“Paralyzed Prey”

Touring ensued with bands like Deicide, Goatwhore, Cattle Decapitation, Krisiun, The Black Dahlia Murder, 25 Ta Life, Hate Eternal, Incantation and Vital Remains. In mid-2006, the band released the album Warzone on Crash Music. This recording marked the first album to feature the now current Jungle Rot core of Matrise, Genenz, and Bub. In 2008, they headlined a European tour with support from Warmaster, Downswitch, and Walking Corpse.

The band signed with Napalm Records in January 2009 and released What Horrors Await in June 2009. A European tour with Six Feet Under followed shortly thereafter along with a headlining run across the United States. In April 2011, the band signed with Victory Records and released Kill on Command on June 21, 2011.  On March 19, 2013, Jungle Rot released their eighth album through Victory Records, titled Terror Regime. The band went on tour to support the album with metal groups including Suffocation, Obituary, Broken Hope and Decrepit Birth.

On April 14, 2015 it was announced that Jungle Rot would be playing the entirety of the 2015 Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival, and performing on the Victory Records stage.

In early 2015 the band played the prestigious 70000 Tons of Metal cruise, and announced via their social media that they were working on their ninth studio album, Order Shall Prevail, to be released later in the year on Victory Records. Pre-orders for the album were announced on May 26, along with the album’s track listing, release date of June 30, and a stream for the single “Paralyzed Prey.” On May 27, 2015 it was revealed that Max Cavalera (Sepultura, Soulfly, Conspiracy) would be lending his vocals on the track “Fight Where You Stand”. On June 29 the official music video for the single “Paralyzed Prey” premiered on Vevo.

On March 7, 2016 Jungle Rot released a video for the track “Doomsday” via Victory Records. The band was also announced as part of the 2016 edition of the Metal Alliance Tour alongside Dying Fetus and The Acacia Strain.

In the summer of 2017, Jungle Rot completed a successful US and Canada tour with legendary German thrash band Destruction and California’s Warbringer, performed in Central America, headlining shows in Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Guatemala, and Mexico; and announced that they would be entering the studio in January 2018 to record their 10th studio album to be released in mid-2018. It was also revealed that former drummer Jesse Beahler would perform the drums on this new album.

On June 8, 2018, the band announced the upcoming release of their self-titled tenth album. Two singles were released in June 2018: “A Burning Cinder” and “Fearmonger”, the latter featuring guest vocal contributions from Destruction frontman Schmier. The album was released on Digipak CD, vinyl, and limited cassette on July 20, 2018.

June 2018, bassist/lyricist James Genenz was assaulted by a group of individuals during the late night hours outside his place of employment which left him with multiple injuries including a shattered ankle. After 2 surgeries, James was forced to sit out of the entirety of touring for the remainder of 2018 which included a North American jaunt with Havok and Extinction AD.  In the spring of 2019, James regrouped with the band and they hit the road starting in Europe with a headlining tour with openers Ultra-Violence, where the band played through Austria, Slovakia, Italy, Switzerland, Germany, Belgium, Great Britain and Holland. Jungle Rot returned to the states and immediately hit the road with Deicide, Origin, and The Absence for another month before turning around and heading back to Europe for a few weeks. During this run Jungle Rot performed headlining shows in Holland, Sweden, Poland, Germany, France, Hungary, Czech Republic and made appearances at the metal festivals Brutal Assault, Party San Open Air, Stonehenge Festival, and Poet Fest. Jungle Rot returned home and performed at the Full Terror Assault Festival in Illinois and a hometown show before beginning to work on their next album.

Spenser Syphers was announced as the new permanent drummer for Jungle Rot in June 2019.

Due to the Covid pandemic, much of the live activities for Jungle Rot have been cancelled this year. The band has instead finished writing their 10th studio album with plans to record in October and November, to be released by an undisclosed label in 2021.

They have a long history, but I felt I should tell all of it because they earned every fking year of it.  So now are we ready to meet these guys, who play an aggressive style of thrash influenced death metal and are known to slow stomp melodies into their speed-thrash style. Most of the lyrical subjects deal with war, torture, murder, death, and corruption.  Hey what more could we ask for?

Spenser Syphers – Drums (2019-present)

Dave Matrise – Guitars, Vocals (1994-present)

Geoff Bub – Guitars (2005-present)

James Genenz – Bass (2005-present) and Guitars (2004-2005)

 

My Thoughts:

My HeadBangers know I love a band with history and Jungle Rot has history.  I also love a band that sings about problems on this planet with a side order of darker things that plague this world.  Jungle Rot is all that and more. Their videos are excellent, check them out on UTube. Without question love those vocals and when I watch Dave, that face with those vocals I have to admit he’s got them down, oh did I mention the hair yep you all know how I am with the hair, the longer the better.  It does get cold up there in Wisconsin and winter is coming.  Someone please tell me how they came up with this name, it’s driving me crazy.  My hope and wish is that Covid and all its variants will become manageable, I don’t believe that it will ever totally go away.  To many bands, and other jobs, have been affected and we all feel the need to be free again.  To go to that first gig and hear the band and the MetalHeads going wild, I miss it, we all miss it, but it will come.  Some places are already starting to open up and allowing gigs.  The world is in turmoil, an I ask Jungle Rot to keep singing guys, help us get through this mess. You have just added another fan.  

Well my HeadBangers that’s it for this week.  Join me next week for another band and another song.  In the meantime don’t stand to close to the fire if you can’t handle the burn.

 

WEEK 143 – LIFECHANGER

My HeadBangers welcome from Amsterdam, The Netherlands, the Melodic/Hard Rock Band:

Lifechanger

“Information Overload”

Let’s take a look at how this band started given to me by Wouter Smit:


Lifechanger started in 2017 as a music project by Wouter Smit (main composer and lead guitarist) and Peter Moltmaker (lead vocalist).

Wouter had been a guitarist in several local hardrock bands (Overlord, Wild Vinx) and wrote several songs.  Wouter: “As a writer, composer and guitar player I am influenced by different bands like Thin Lizzy, Queensryche, Whitesnake, Symphony X, Threshold, and guitar players like Eddie van Halen, Gary Moore, Yngwie Malmsteen, John Sykes, Tony MacAlpine, Vito Bratta, Greg Howe, Nuno Bettencourt, and Dan Huff, among others.”

Peter had starred in several musical theater productions and had worked with Arjen Lucassen of Ayreon on the Theater Equation project, starring James Labrie (Dream Theater), Marcela Bovio (stream of Passion), Irene Jansen (Star One) Anneke van Giersbergen (The Gathering), Joost van den Broek (After Forever), Marcel Coenen ( Sun Caged)  and many others.

Together they started recording the songs Wouter had written and also wrote some songs together, resulting in the first Lifechanger Album, that was released in 2017. The album got great reviews on the debut CD like this one: https://www.decibelgeek.com/lifechanger-lifechanger-album-review/  where they had a lot of great remarks, quote: ” The opening track “Information Overload” immediately hits you with this incredible piercing guitar tone that highlights the awesome production.  Great vocal overall, but would be a radio hit if it had those big Def Leppard backing vocals.  Excellent epic sounding opener.”

The band got great reactions of melodic rock and hardrock fans, and in 2019 they recorded their first music video for the song “Sara”.

“Sara”

Because the song “Information Overload” got a lot of reactions from fans, a video was created for that song too in 2020:
https://youtu.be/uWE3RwJH3us

Meanwhile the band began writing new songs for a follow-up album, with more metal-style songs, some epic songs and some songs leaning more towards melodic hardrock.

But then in 2020 the pandemic started, which was the cause of gigs being cancelled, and of several band members getting other priorities.  At this moment (September 2021) the songwriting is mainly done by founder Wouter Smit, and he will also write new songs together with Peter Moltmaker in the near future.  Songs are currently recorded as demo versions.

For the new album they are also currently looking for people who help them with the final recordings, so this album will be all that our fans want and more!
 
The follow up album is expected to be released in 2022, and before the release they will release updates in the near future.
 
Check out the Lifechanger website http://www.lifechangerband.com for more information.
 
To stay up to date, please follow Lifechanger on twitter https://twitter.com/LifechangerBand.
 

Let’s meet the band:

Peter Moltmaker is the lead singer of the Lifechanger Band. Peter gained his experience as a singer in several theater productions, among which “The Theater Equation” by Ayreon.  Peter’s own words: “I began singing at an early age. My family stimulated me to follow singing lessons at the age of 17. As a classically trained singer, I have participated in many opera productions. As a former member of a musical group, I have given a number of solo performances in the theater. My musical interest however is broader. As a singer I am mostly influenced by (progressive) metal singers like Russel Allen, Jorn Lande, Geoff Tate and James Labrie, among others.”

Wouter Smit is guitarist in the Lifechanger Band. Together with Peter Moltmaker he wrote the songs for the first Lifechanger CD, producing and recording the band’s first demo’s in the process. Wouter’s own words: “After I got classical guitar lessons at age 11, my first live performances were as a guitarist in punk rock bands at age 16. Soon I started playing different hardrock and metal styles. After several years playing in different hardrock bands and doing some studio work, I wanted to create my own songs and compositions. As a writer, composer and guitar player I am influenced by different bands like Thin Lizzy, Queensryche, Whitespace, Symphony X, Threshold, and guitar players like Eddie van Halen, Gary Moore, Yngwie Malmsteen, John Sykes, Tony MacAlpine, Vito Bratta, Greg Howe, Nuno Bettencourt, and Dan Huff, among others.”

Daan van Zelm is guitarist in the Lifechanger Band. Before Lifechanger he has played with several bands and projects like Avalanche, Anne Groen and InPetto. With this he has gained a lot of live experience in various rooms including the Milky Way, P3 Purmerend and Patronaat Haarlem. Furthermore, his band Avalanche has an EP and a number of self-recorded demos with works written largely by Daan. Music he is listening to is 80’s rock bands like Iron Maiden, Queensryche and Bon Jovi. Also, records from Tool, Gojira and Pink Floyd are played gray. With Lifechanger, Daan has found a new band for extensive live performances, and to contribute his own musical stuff to any new work of Lifechanger.

Miguel Corrales is the bass guitar player in Lifechanger. Miguel picked bass inspired by his brother in law and joined some friends to form a band called Herejes when he was 17 in Southern Spain. After a long break due to course of life came back to music scene in Amsterdam where he played original music of Herr Blitz and T.U.B.T. alongside 90’s Rock cover projects like Sunday Eve of The Conservatives.  By joining Lifechanger he has renewed his love for Hard Rock and Heavy Metal and rejoined the inspiration of his earlier influences like Iron Maiden, Dio, Whitesnake and of course Barón Rojo (Volumen Brutal is a must-know album to understand Heavy Rock in Spain in the 80’s).

Arjen van Alphen is the drummer of Lifechanger.

My Thoughts:

I love the story of how this band started, unlike guys that start in the garage at 16, they were in the adult world at jobs like most of us.  Two people meet and with the love of the music and some hard work have made a band.  Then bam 2020 and Covid, the world as we know it stops, everything changes, bands have no gigs.  But with this down time most bands have retreated to their inspirational places and begin to write new songs.  When gigs start back up totally again we my HeadBangers will be in for a world of new music.  Until then we wait and listen to everything we can, and some old favorites.  In the meantime, my job is to find bands you haven’t heard of and bring them to you.  So here we are, listen and enjoy.  I’ll keep you updated with any news or new music I hear.

That’s it for this week my HeadBangers.  Join me next week for another band and another song.  Until then don’t stand to close to the fire if you can’t handle the burn…..

 

WEEK 142 – TESTAMENT

My HeadBangers welcome from Oakland, California; the Thrash Metal Band:

TESTAMENT

“Rockpalast”

“Pol’and’Rock Festival 2019

OMG another band that I just found out about, yes I know sacrilege, for a band that’s been around since 1983, well we live and learn don’t we my HeadBangers.  That’s why I’m here, finding my way through all the bands this planet has to offer.  This Thrash Band has really gotten my attention.  38 years on the stage and I am totally captured by this band and the high energy performances they continue to give.  These are some hard core men my HeadBangers.  And I love my men hard core and rough around the edges, please what else is there FFS.  Now let’s look at some bio on these guys.

Testament is an American Thrash band from Oakland, California.   The band was formed in 1983 under the name Legacy, the band’s current lineup comprises guitarists Eric Peterson and Alex Skolnick, lead vocalist Chuck Billy, drummer Gene Hoglan, and bassist Steve Di Giorgio. Testament has experienced many lineup changes over the years, with Peterson being the only remaining original member, though they have since been rejoined by one of its songwriters Skolnick, who was out of the band from 1992 to 2005. Billy replaced original singer Steve Souza who left the band in 1986, prior to the recording of their first studio album, The Legacy, and has been a member of the band since. He and Peterson are the only members to appear on all of Testament’s studio albums, with the latter being the only constant member overall.

Labeled as one of the “big six” of the 1980s Bay Area thrash metal scene,  Testament is often credited as one of the most popular and influential bands of the thrash metal scene, as well as one of the leaders of the second wave of the genre in the late 1980s. They have also been referred to as one of the “big eight” of thrash metal, along with Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer, Anthrax, Exodus, Overkill and Death Angel.

The band has sold over 1.4 million albums in the United States since the beginning of the SoundScan era and over 14 million copies worldwide. To date, Testament has released thirteen studio albums (one of which is a Collection of re-recorded songs), four live albums, five compilation albums, twelve singles and three DVDs. After signing to Atlantic Records in 1986, and changing their name from Legacy to Testament, they released their debut album The Legacy in 1987, followed a year later by The New Order (1988); both albums were acclaimed by critics and the press, including heavy metal-related publications. The band achieved mainstream popularity with its third album Practice What You Preach (1989), which was Testament’s first album to climb up the Top 100 on the Billboard 200 chart.

A string of more successful albums were released during the early-to-mid-1990s, including Souls of Black (1990),  The Ritual (1992) and Low (1994), with the first two also entering the Top 100 on the Billboard 200 chart. After Atlantic dropped the band in 1995, Testament (who had at this point had begun to experiment with a death metal-influenced sound) continued to record and perform until their temporary hiatus in 2001, when Billy was diagnosed with cancer. By 2005, his cancer was in remission and Testament had resumed activity, which briefly saw a reunion of The Legacy lineup and member changes in the interim.

Since Skolnick’s return to the band, Testament has experienced a resurgence of popularity, with two of their studio albums—Dark Roots of Earth (2012) and Brotherhood of the Snake (2016)—entering the Top 20 on the Billboard 200, and they have continued to tour consistently.  The band released their latest studio album, Titans of Creation, on April 3, 2020. They are working on new material for their next studio album as of 2021.

The band, along with Exodus and Death Angel, took part in The Bay Strikes Back tour of Europe in February and March 2020. Following the tour, Chuck Billy and his wife Tiffany tested positive for COVID-19, making him the third person to have contracted the virus during the tour following Will Carroll of Death Angel and Gary Holt of Exodus. Bassist Steve Di Giorgio was later diagnosed with COVID-19, becoming the second member of Testament to have tested positive for the condition.

So as you can see Covid can get anyone at anytime, and it is everywhere.

“Practice What You Preach – 1989”

Let’s meet the band:

 

Eric Peterson – guitars, backing vocals (1983-present)

Chuck Billy – lead vocals (1986-present)

Alex Skolnick – guitars, backing vocals (1983-1992, 2005-present)

Gene Hoglan – drums (1996-1997, 2011-present)

Steve Di Giorgio – bass (1998-2005, 2014-present), backing vocals (2014-present)

My Thoughts:

As a true metalhead, headbanger, hardrocker, do you ever hear a band for the first time and ask yourself “How the hell have I never heard this band before??”  That’s how I feel about these guys.  In my defense there’s no way I could listen to every band at once.  Every band on the blog gets a week of my life, I breathe, eat, and sleep them.  This is why I do what I do.  It’s so interesting looking behind the scenes of a band.  There’s always so much more than just the music, even though that’s all most people care about.  There are good times, bad times, times they struggle with that one song to make it right, band mates leaving and new ones coming, struggles with money, and personalities just like the rest of us.  However, they have the talent, drive, and desire to put all that emotion into a sound that sends us HeadBangers into the fire!  That’s what this band does to me, I’m standing really close to the fire.    The vocals, the energy and pure excitement on all their faces when they are on stage doing their thing, you can feel it.  I’m so glad they have stuck with it over almost 4 decades, and they are still tearing that stage up.  They really are the heart of Thrash and I absolutely love it.  Keep banging it out guys and I’ll be listening.

That’s it for this week my HeadBangers.  Join me next week for another band and another song.  Until then don’t stand to close to the fire if you can’t handle the burn…..

 

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