by Arta Gailuma — Photojournalist — February 14, 2018 at O2 Institute in Birmingham, U.K. — Midnight Eternal, a Symphonic Metal band from the USA, was a very solid start to the evening. Some impressive vocals from the lead singer Raine Hilai as well as great guitar solos from Richard Fisher. I had heard few bits from German metallers Null Positiv latest album Koma before, have to say, was not very impressed with the production. Though to my surprise, their live set was brilliant. Great change of vocal styles – brutal growls contrasting with clean singing- masterfully performed by Elli Berlin. A band with plenty of on-stage character. Next on stage was the Russian Power Metal band Imperial Age which has a strong connection with this evenings headliners. Some of Therion’s members were featured on their latest album The Legacy Of Atlantis, released in 2017. Therion started out in 1988 as a Death Metal band and little they knew at the time that the idea of adding orchestral elements to their sound would make them pioneers of a whole new Metal subgenre. Today we cannot talk about Symphonic Metal origins without mentioning this band. Unique as this band is- definitely [...]
DOYLE to Play 20th ANNUAL NEW ENGLAND METAL & HARDCORE FEST! Legendary Misfits Guitarist Doyle Wolfgang Von Frankenstein will be launching the As We Die World Abomination Tour 2018 this Spring. Beginning February 21st in Clifton, NJ, the tour winds through North America before crossing to the UK March 26th in Birmingham, England, and will later move through Russia before finishing up April 9th in St. Petersburg, Russia; KILLUS and DeadXll will be joining on the UK and Russia run. Upon his stateside return, Doyle will also be performing at the 20th annual New England Metal & Hardcore Fest on April 21st at The Palladium in Worcester, MA. As We Die World Abomination Tour 2018 US Dates: 02/21 @ Dingbatz – Clifton, NJ 02/22 @ Diesel – Pittsburgh, PA 02/23 @ Buffalo Iron Works 02/24 @ The Lost Horizon – Syracuse, NY 02/25 @ Blackthorn 51 – Elmhurst, NY 02/26 @ Voltage Lounge – Pkiladelphia, PA 02/28 @ Shaka’s – Virginia Beach, VA 03/01 @ The Calico Room – Wilmington, NC 03/02 @ Drunk Horse – Fayettevill, NC 03/03 @ High Drive – Gainseville, FL 03/04 @ Side Tracks Music Hall – Huntsville, AL 03/05 @ Firebird – St. Louis, [...]
by Arta Gailuma — Photojournalist — February 10, 2018 at The Asylum in Birmingham, U.K. — A great little venue for Brum’s alternative crowd The Asylum was hosting tonight the wonderful VUUR, the Dutch Progressive Metal band led by singer, lyricist, ex-The Gathering vocalist Anneke van Giersbergen. The group are on their first tour after releasing debut album In This Moment We Are Free – Cities in the fall of 2017. To everyone’s surprise, the show was held in the small room of the venue and the artists were only a few feet away from the photo pit. First on stage came Exploring Birdsong, Prog Rock band from Liverpool. Even though the Kate Bush-inspired vocals were at times slightly insecure, and overpowered by the instruments, the group’s piano-driven sound set a great mood for the start of the evening. Having only launched in September 2017, the band did a brilliant job supporting VUUR. The talented musician, with an amazing vocal range and radiant smile Anneke van Giersbergen, has been involved in many musical projects and collaborated with many artists over the years before creating her own band VUUR. This evening set consisted of cover-pieces from Anneke’s previous collaborations as well [...]
by Alexandra Mrozowska — Sr. Columnist — It would have been quite a shock if a band renowned for their sound and style and considered a classic had suddenly decided to switch genres during the recording of its 20th album. And although such a move would have surely sparked a discussion among the fans of the respective group, there’s no guarantee their opinions would have been enthusiastic. With their twentieth studio release Lost On The Road To Eternity, the British ensemble Magnum don’t risk such a scenario. However, the five-piece led by the guitarist and songwriter Tony Clarkin and singer Bob Catley remains far from being stuck in a rut too and appears even strengthened by the addition of new members (the keyboard player Rick Benton and the drummer Lee Morris). There’s always been that intangible yet recognizable aura to Magnum’s sound that differentiated them from many of its counterparts in Melodic Hard Rock genre. Lost On The Road To Eternity is no different from its predecessors in this respect. Take “Forbidden Masquerade” as an obvious example. It’s heavier, more guitar-oriented and Progressive vibe to it echoes early Magnum output whereas frequent changes of pace and sound intensity throughout the [...]
by Alexandra Mrozowska — Sr. Columnist — Rock ‘n roll ain’t easy, says Dizzy Reed – not only the second longest-standing member of Guns N’ Roses who joined the band in 1990 and remained with them ever since but also a co-founder of cover band Hookers & Blow and now a solo act. It’s little wonder this catchphrase has become a title of his first solo effort hitting the shelves right now as both music- and lyric-wise, the album portrays the ups and downs of rock’n’roll lifestyle. Although incredibly busy with his ongoing tenure in reunited Guns ‘N Roses as well as promoting Rock ‘N Roll Ain’t Easy, Dizzy caught up with Hardrock Haven to share a few thoughts about his recent endeavors. Hardrock Haven: Although you’re active in the music industry for roughly three decades, Rock ‘N Roll Ain’t Easy is your first solo album. When did the idea for making a solo album appear? Is it more like a reflection of your current state of mind or a resultant of all your experiences past and present? Dizzy Reed: The ideas for the songs first appeared in my head about ten or eleven years ago. I decided then that [...]
When the short, dark winter days will be behind us and spring in full force will be time to begin the open air season (don’t forget to start planning it now though while the tickets are still available). No better way to get the ball rolling than with the Rock Hard Festival. What began in 90ies as an irregular music event to celebrate Rock Hard Magazine anniversaries has grown into a known, much-anticipated festival featuring a long list of international artists of different genres of metal. Since 2003 Hard Rock Festival has been an annual event held at Amphitheatre Gelsenkirchen in the Ruhrgebiet area in Germany. Rock Hard Festival 2018 edition will take place from 18th to 20th of May and Rock Hard team have put together a very exciting program for us. There will be something to please everyone’s taste. Brit heavy metal legends Saxon never disappoint. Just released their latest album Thunderbolt, I am sure, they will treat fans with new material as well as some classics. New Jersey thrash metallers Overkill is no newbie’s to Hard Rock festivals- in fact, they already belong to fans favorites. Former Scorpions lead guitarist and one of the earliest contributors to [...]
Archives of Magick Volume 3, is a collection of rare and unreleased tracks from guitarist Toby Knapp. 14 total tracks. Spanning 30 years of recording from this virtuoso guitar player, including the 2018 track Cold Warrior which shows Knapp at his fiery finest in the way of shred! Liner notes included from Mr. Knapp himself. “I feel honored to be releasing this collection of songs,” says Shredguy’s Michael McDowell. “Toby has proven to be one of the most prolific and creative guitar players in heavy metal for three decades now. He is always challenging himself … and this collection shows the different avenues he has traveled in his playing. From the collection of demos that got him signed by Mike Varney at Shrapnel Records, to working with drummer Travis Brumley, vocalist Sheldon Bare, and bassist Chris Payette, in the band Defile, to the present time with the full throttle shred track Cold Warrior … you are getting a chronicle of a heavy metal guitar hero.” The disc is now on sale at Shredguy records online store www.shredguyrecords.storenvy.com.
by Alexandra Mrozowska — Sr. Columnist — Back With A Vengeance is a title of a new album recorded by David Reece alongside Bonfire guitarist Frank Pané and Purpendicular members Malte Frederik Burkert and Berci Hirleman. However, the singer – known from such acts, as Accept, Banglore Choir, Tango Down or Bonfire – doesn’t seem to be in particularly vengeful mood as he looks back on his career and mistakes made along the way. Looking forward is what he focuses on these days instead, now that the new Sainted Sinners is out – but as he reveals in his interview for Hardrock Haven, it’s only a beginning of what 2018 holds in store for David Reece… Hardrock Haven: David, the last time we chatted was when you performed with the Italian musicians – Mario Percudani, Stefano “Skool” Scola and Alessandro Mori – under the moniker of Reece-Percudani Group. What’s happened to this collaboration? David Reece: To be honest, RPG is just a project between friends although I maintain a great working relationship with Mario Percudani and Tanzan Music Studios. Mario produced all the vocals on the new Sainted Sinners album Back with A Vengeance. Hardrock Haven: In 2016, you and [...]
by Arta Gailuma — Photojournalist — February 6, 2018 at the O2 Academy Institute in Birmingham, U.K. — While She Sleeps+ Counterfeit+ Blood Youth, February 6th, 2018 O2 Institute Birmingham, UK On this cold February night, three very energetic bands were bringing in the crowds to O2 Institute in Birmingham. Blood Youth, who only have released their first full album Beyond Repair in April 2017, performing with such a passion- no wonder they are gaining success very quickly. Counterfeit is raw and loud. With their first album Together We Are Stronger out these London punk rockers after supporting While She Sleeps in the UK will be crossing the big pond for their American tour. While She Sleeps who in 2012 won Kerrang! Best British Newcomer award are no newbies anymore. Three studio albums later the band has gained a huge loyal fan following across the globe. Their last album You Are We saw the daylight after a very successful crowdfunding campaign and WSS had become DIY band since. Highly Suspect & Welles Concert Photo Gallery Slim Jim Phantom Slim Jim Phantom02 Slim Jim Phantom01 Slim Jim Phantom04 Slim Jim Phantom03 Slim Jim Phantom05 Slim Jim Phantom06 The Damned01 The Damned [...]
by Derric Miller — Managing Editor— The Sioux Falls, S.D. music scene doesn’t have the same poetic resonance as “The Seattle Scene,” but when it’s consistently one of the best cities to raise a family in, one of the Top 10 cities where to retire and even Forbes Magazine chooses it as the 2017 #1 small city for business and careers … there’s not a lot of economical struggles or even societal woes to bring out depressive angst or a smothering fear of the future. Things are good in Sioux Falls. That doesn’t mean the music scene wasn’t rife with talent around the same time Grunge was giving Seattle an eternal nickname. Bands like Violet had the talent and songwriting ability to make it on any world stage; Janitor Bob and the Armchair Cowboys gave Sioux Falls “The Happy Song,” the polar opposite of “Smells Like Teen Spirit” and truly a favorite locally-grown song of almost everyone in Sioux Falls 40 or older; hell, even an acoustic mostly comic duo The Cartwright Brothers wrote their own “American Pie” timeless classic with “Rollercoaster Ride,” an everyman song. Sioux Falls had the talent … but they didn’t always have THE METAL. That [...]
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