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Melody of the Soul

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Metal Summer Festival and the Biggest Fiasco of my Life

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Well..  on 24th of May 2014, there was Metal Summer Festival, which hosted some bands like Fallen, Kırmızı, Mezarkabul ( Pentagram ), Arch Enemy and Manowar. I was so excited to see Manowar after 4 years ( my last time was  in 2010 at  Sonisphere İstanbul ) but this time,  it turned out to be the worst concert of my life.

The sound system was so awful and sound technicians were also terrible. At first two bands,  it was OK but possibly it was because of the fact that those were the  first hours of the event and people really didn’t care about the warm uppers. Fallen was ok, I was late to concert a bit due to traffic but it’s OK right? 😀

Then Kırmızı took stage ( A band which consisted of only female members,which is a little bit rare thing here in Turkey ). Personally their own songs are not my type. Lyrics mostly sounded like “I hate all male creatures.” “Don’t say goodbye.” “Stupid, asshole males.” to me.  Anyway,  the songs they covered were pretty good;  they played Overkill‘s “Necroshine” and I screamed my ass off!
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After these two bands,  Mezarkabul took stage. After Murat İlkan departured the band due to his medical conditions, their new vocal Gökalp Ergen ( ex- The Climb, which was an awesome band ) is pretty much a big disappointment for me. His performance on old songs were really bad, yet his breath cannot take him to the end of any song he sang, even the songs he composed after he joined  the band. But all of these aside, the sound was so low and even though I was close to the stage,  I could figure it out and people were like “What the hell?“.

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Photo: Caner Güneri

When Arch Enemy took stage, I was so excited to see the new vocalist live, Alissa White-Gluz with them but again a new disappointment occured. But this time it was not also the band but the sound system. The sound was so low, it was so low that the crowd lost their interest in the band’s performance but started to boo and curse the sound technicians. Afterwards people started throwing things to the sound technicians where they do their mojo. At a moment, everyone started to protest and sit down during the concert. Then they opened up the volume a bit but it wasn’t enough. Personally I didn’t understand the band’s performance at all. Well, they also left the stage early. I can’t even write a full set list here due to the fact that I have no idea what they played at some point because I didn’t even hear them.

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And then Manowar here on stage at last. Before they took stage, we heard from a couple of organizers that the sound technicians were Manowar’s crew and they didn’t let warm up and support bands to sound equal with them. But there is no official statement released and I can only say these were rumours. Well, if this is true, shame on Manowar. It was the worst coward move ever a band did, seriously.
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If we talk about their performance it wasn’t even close to a good performance, yet I can clearly say that it was really really bad. During the first three songs, there were a lot of synchronization problems. Furthermore,  the sound on guitars were on and off during the concert like when you try to plug your headphones to mp4 player yet you couldn’t push enough and it sounds like a little bit horrible or on and off sometime to time, it was like that.  The sound was high but still they couldn’t fit the instruments each other. Like guitars were lost behind the drums and I was nearly dead after hearing so much sub bass. During the concert there were a lot of video shows between some songs. The sixth song was Blood of the King and it was the song that I joined the concert at last. The video before the song made me so excited, I screamed like hell. Well you can guess it = ) it was The Warrior’s Prayer!

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Manowar concert had ups and downs during the performance. At some point Joey Demaio played a solo performace and personally it was so bad that I wanted to kill myself after it. It sounded so horrible. People made the same expressions with me ” What the fuck was that?”. Well,  after this concert I can only say they were OK. Classically they came back one more time again but made it look like they came on stage two times during the performance. However, I told to myself “please, one time is enough, just end this terrible performance right now.”

Well the best thing happened in concert was Demaio’s 10 minute-long Turkish speech. He also expressed his condolences to the crowd regarding the mine accident at Soma, Manisa, where 300 people lost their lives tragically.

By the way between the concerts, Timur Akkurt was going the be the DJ but Manowar crew didn’t let him perform. He also confirmed that they only let other bands perform 25 decibel lower than Manowar. He made his statement to us after the concert (Well we were all drunk and chatted by coincidence )

In conclusion Metal Summer Festival was quite bad. An investment to music that had been wasted in mist.

Here are the setlists of last 3 bands;

Mezarkabul aka Pentagram

1- Intro/1000 in The Eastland
2- Ölümlü
3- Unspoken
4- Wasteland
5- Geçmişin Yükü
6- Şeytan Bunun Neresinde
7- Give me Something to Kill the Pain
8- Beyond Insanity
9- Gündüz Gece
10- Lions in the Cage
11- Tigris
12- Bir
13- For Those Who Died Alone aka ftwda (Closure after performance)

Arch Enemy ( Well if I heard it right it was something like this )

1- Enemy Within

2- War Eternal

3- Ravenous

4- My Apocalypse

5- Dead Eyes See No Future

6- As the Pages Burn

7- No Gods No Masters

8- Nemesis

Manowar;

1- Intro/Manowar
2- Blood of my Enemies
3- Sign of the Hammer
4- The Lord of Steel
5- The Dawn of Battle
6- The Warrior’s Prayer ( Fallen Brothers video – a memory of the lost brothers )
7- Blood of the Kings
8- Kingdom Come
9- Heart of Steel ( Before the song a video )
10- bass solo-Sting of the Bumbelee
11- Wheels of Fire
12- Hail and Kill
13- Kings of Metal
————–
14- Warriors of the World United ( Before the song Joey Demaio speech )
15- Black Wind Fire and Steel
16- The Crown and the Ring ( Closure )

 

An Interview With XANDRIA : New Album With New Vocalist Dianne

We recently encountered with German symphonic and gothic metal band Xandria. Past few months they changed their vocalist and not long ago they released a brand new album “Sacrificium”.

Today Xandria is celebrating their 20th year in music and still rocking hard despite the changes in the line-up like Manuela Kraller‘s [former vocalist] departure. We talked about a lot of stuff stuff with the guys but let’s not spoil it more. Here are the words of Steven Wussow [bass] and Dianne van Giersbergen [vocals].

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Hello! Thank you accepting our interview. As we begin; I want to ask about your new album “Sacrificium” . How do you feel about it, and how are the feedbacks so far?

Dianne: Hi! And thank you so much for your interest. We are very happy to promote our new album and to speak to you. Speaking of the album: we are thrilled and so, so happy about the many positive feedbacks we have been receiving so far. Every day more compliments are coming to us through our pages, the tour is going great and the people really seem to enjoy our new songs live. We couldn’t have hoped for anything better!

Steven: Also a nice “Hello” from me! Yes we are still so stoked, so overwhelmed by all the positive reactions on “Sacrificium”. We are having the time of our lives right now.

It has been a while since Manuela Krallers left but could you tell us what happened?

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Steven: Actually nothing dramatic. She just didn`t want to do it anymore. She wanted to have time for other things or projects. Just take a step back from the music business in the way it is handled with a touring band like Xandria. A sad, but understandable decision. So what could we do instead of wishing her all the best & letting her go.
I know it has been a while but how did Dianne join the band? Dianne van Giersbergen is a really good vocalist in my opinion and as
far as I listened, “Sacrificium” has been ‘risen’ by her contribution.

Steven: You are absolutely right. Dianne puts the whole material onto another, even higher level. We are still impressed. By the time it became clear that Manuela is leaving, we all sat together and thought about who might be a good lady to fill the vacant spot. Actually our co-producer Joost van den Broek came up with Dianne’s name. We met, rehearsed one Saturday afternoon and there we were again. Dianne is not only an excellent singer & musician, she also has a great sense of humor, which made it pretty easy to connect with us boys. Guess we found a little diamond 😉
Your first music video of the album has been shot for the song  ‘Nightfall’ ( If she’s there,  say hi and I might fall in love with her 😀 ). Do you have any other plans to shoot another one? ( Well,  there’s the lyric video of ‘Dreamkeeper’ too. )

Dianne: Haha well ‘hi’ to you too! And thank you for your compliment! Shooting a video takes up a lot of time, of course there is the actual day of recording, but it all begins with writing a script, getting the location and props organized, making sure nothing is overlooked and of course handling everything budget wise. The purpose of the video is also to provide the audience with a first glimpse of the album before it is released and to be a teaser, so to say.

Keeping that all in mind it is not very likely to shoot another video for this album. But I must agree that the music we make is really suited to be accompanied by video so if we get a good offer for it you can count me in.

Well I am pretty sure that Xandria fans are waiting to see you guys live. Do you have some upcoming concert dates for us?

Steven: Right now we are on the first part of a European Tour which is mostly covering Germany, Austria & the UK. Second part might happen late this or early next year. Then we have some summer festivals, the US tour with Sonata Arctica & Delain, more festivals in October and another tour that is not 100% confirmed… You see: A busy year for us.

The Sacrificium World Tour will last something like 2 years and will hopefully take us to every place where people want to hear us play.

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Can you tell us about your lyrical themes? Your songs are mostly deep and sometimes giving hope but sometimes touching the broken hearts.

Steven: At first Marco [Heubaum; guitars,vocals,keyboards] is a great lyricist! He has the gift to wrap up different topics in beautiful pictures and awesome metaphors. So we have a wide range of introspective, sociocritical or even beautiful love stories on this album. Just take your time to discover the lyrical world of “Sacrificum”. It will be worth it! Promise!

What is your favorite song in the album and why?

Steven: This is a mean question. It is like having 13 kids and you are forced to name your favorite one… There is actually no song that I don`t like a lot. But the one that has a special personal meaning for me is ‘Dreamkeeper’.

Dianne: When I joined Xandria I have been already for 20 years in the business. Playing for everyone who wanted me to do so. So I thought 20 years might be enough and it could be good time to call it a day with making music no-one ever wanted to hear. I wanted to maybe write a book no-one wants to read. Hahaha..

Then the Xandria boys invited me to a rehearsal. I drove up there in the middle of a terrible snowstorm (no joke!). And the rest is history. My dream is still alive and Xandria is my “Dreamkeeper”.
This question is directly for Dianne. You have a beautiful voice, a trained voice I assume? How do you protect your voice and any suggestion of practicing to fans on the road of singing the way you do?

Dianne: Correct, I have studied classical music at the conservatory for 7 years. First the Bachelor course and then a Master for which I also researched the vocal cross over between metal and classical music.
It is through this study but also the experiences I build up through concerts with my other band Ex Libris that I have learned how to handle my voice. But I must admit that with every tour I learn a little bit more.
The trick is really to take good care of your instrument, like every musician. In my case this means: get as much sleep as I can, live healthy, don’t smoke and avoid smoking areas, don’t drink alcohol (I only drink alcohol –wine- when I do not have to sing that day or the next), and always sing to your best technical capabilities.Dianne_feature_2_200dpi

What do you guys do besides music? Any other occupation or hobbies?

Dianne: A favorite hobby of mine is making jewelry. If you watch our ‘Nightfall’ video, then you will see me wearing a necklace made from bass guitar strings and a headpiece, both of them I made myself.

Steven: I love listening to music (which I usually do in every free second!) or going to concerts if there is any time left for it. So no real hobby for me 😉 Just Rock`N`Roll.

What do you think about musical evolution? There is so much crappy music ( I’m ashamed to call that music but.. ) on the world and
personally industrial and popular music has been killing pure, good and real music. What can you say about those situations?

Steven: Puh difficult question… You know I try not to judge about other people’s efforts making music or art. If you don`t like it, just don`t listen to it. Just like I do. Hahaha. But what can we and our comrades do? Just make the best records we can make and hope to as reach as many people as possible and make the world a better place with much more rock`n`roll!

The world is working on cruel basics and yet another catastrophe occured in Turkey and hundreds of souls lost by accident in lignite
coal mine in Soma/Manisa. When do you think this corporate greed will end or will ever end and start giving value to life?

Steven: Yes this is cultural, worldwide problem. Or should I better say it is THE main problem of our society, of the whole wide world. Humanity is on decline. No one cares about the people anymore. Everyone only sees the money that is earned with those people`s bitter & hard work. The rich getting richer and the poor starve in their shit. When will it end? When every one of us starts changing his mind and his attitude towards these mechanisms. We have the freedom of speech, the right to vote… these are our tools. If a change is still possible? I don`t know. But we will never find out if don`t try!

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Thank you for sharing your time to answer our questions but before we close our conversation, do you have any last words for fans?

Dianne: Thank you so much for your support and faith in Xandria, and also for giving me a warm welcome into the band. I am really looking forward to meeting you all and singing our music for you!

Steven: A huge “Thank You” also from me for all your love, support and dedication! We really, really appreciate that! Hope to meet as many of you somewhere out there! See you on the road my friends!

Special thanks to : Dianne van Giersbergen, Steven Wussow and Mona Miluski at Napalm Records.

More info :

Xandria Official

Xandria Facebook

What’s going on with Warbringer?

Well, recently Warbringer announced that their co-founder and guitarist John Laux and the drummer Carlos Cruz are out of band. After these events vocalist John Kevill made a facebook announcment and made some minds confused. His statements indicate that the two members were not even with the band on the previous tour and that is also not really clear. Personally Warbringer some blood during the IV: Empires Collapse album that was released in 2013. Despite some “It’s awesome man!” critics they were not really on the table. I guess that might made the two members decide to leave. After the departure of these two bandmembers, the band might really call the game over gong.
Well here’s his statement without a scratch;

“So guys, all our fans and supporters, Kevill here up way too late drinkin’, there’s some bad news and as our awesome fans you guys deserve to know. I don’t feel right about our prolonged silence on this issue and I think it’s time we clear things up.
Drummer for the 3rd and 4th records Carlos Cruz and founding guitarist John Laux have left the band. This is a huge and devastating blow to us, and it makes even my own self doubt our future. Carlos made great contributions on the last two records, and John Laux started the band with me, we wrote our first songs together.
The more astute listeners have noticed this, as our last tour we did not have either of them on board. As for the why’s, I don’t entirely understand it myself, so I can’t provide a decent explanation here. I really wish I understood more than I do.
Still remaining is myself, founding member Adam Carroll (he’s back) and bassist of the fourth record Ben Mottsman.
This is why you haven’t heard much from us lately, why the nonstop touring machine has grinded to a halt, and why any updates here are more about the past than they are of the future.
Honestly I have my own doubts on if we can continue, or if it will be right if we do. At the same time, I started this band out of high school, it is my first and only band, and everything I feel I’ve accomplished in life that I can really be proud of is tied to this in one way or another. I have plenty of ideas left, and Adam has a million sweet riffs, and to be honest I never wanted this to be over, I wanted to tour straight through the fourth album and go onto the fifth. I felt like this band has evolved on every album, developed its own brand of ripping thrash metal, and I only wanted to continue that further.
So I need to ask all you guys, what do you think of this? In light of all I just said, do you want to hear another Warbringer record, or come see us again?
Basically, are you guys still with us?
At any rate, if you listen to any of the music we have made, remember to play it loud. Whatever the outcome may be, keep rocking.”

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( Yeah yeah, a sad black and white photo…  )

Well as you can see he is asking fans’ opinion about the future of the band and he left the door wide open. So before acting too quick and write “go on man!” on their pages; think it through. Do you think the band will rock hard with two new members or they will suck like hell? Do you really want to see your dream band fall or rise like a phoenix? Give me your opinion people.

The poll is on!

[ALBUM REVIEW] Dust Bolt – Awake the Riot

Band : Dust Bolt

Album : Awake The Riot

Release Date : 30.05.2014

Record Label : Napalm Records

Genre : Thrash metal

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Dust Bolt is a German thrash metal band formed at Munich in 2006 under a different name and they were playing punk songs at first. After a short period they changed their name to Dust Bolt and became a thrash metal band. Band members are; Bene M. ( Bass and Backing Vocals ), Nico R. (Drums), Flo D. (Guitars) and Lenny B. (Vocals, Guitars).  These days, they started to be more promising in thrash metal arena. After the release of  “Violent Demolition” in  2012, they shared the stage with so many bands like Obituary and Hypocrisy and now they are about to release their second studio album “Awake the Riot” in 30th of May this year. Lets see what does the German muscles prepared for us.

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The album contains 12 songs and starts with “Living Hell”. When you start listening to this album, be sure that you’ll hear familiar tones. Like this first song “Necronomicon” came through my mind. In this album you can feed with Heavy Metal, Speed Metal and Thrash Metal all together. Personally this album shows how a thrash metal album should be. At first I thought they will stick to the same rythms the whole album like most of the thrash bands these days and bore me to death but nope, they didn’t. After 3 songs they switched the whole concept. And after another 3 songs another change in the drums and another 3 guitars. You can divide this album in groups all includes their own feelings. Tempo is all different in these groups and personally this makes the album sound like Bay Area thrashers which I missed the most. But still there is one thing I’m asking from all thrash metal bands; guys please stop making songs about thrash metal or a song contains thrash in its name ( 5th song “Agent Thrash” ). It started to become a lame act for thrash arena. The last song “Future Shock” which is an Evil Dead cover also proves me by the changes of concepts and rythms. Cool choice for the closure of the album. Also if you are a little patient there is another surprise awaiting for you. Anyway, my favorite songs of this album are “Living Hell” , “Awake the Riot – The Final War”, “Drowned in Blind Faith” and on top of all those “The Monotonus Distant Scream”.

Well in the end it all comes to great riffs and awesome vocal combinations,  what makes this album really good. I can’t say the same thing about the drummer but he managed to prove me wrong by changing the rythms in songs. Cool stuff to listen. Not totally screaming “Shut up and take my money!” but it’s definitely a good investment for your ears.

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“Awake the Riot”   Tracklisting

1) Living Hell

2) Soul Erazor

3) Beneath the Earth

4) You Lost Sight

5) Agent Thrash

6) Living a Lie

7) Awake the Riot – The Final War

8) Eternal Waste

9) Drowned in Blind Faith

10) Worlds Built to Deceive

11) The Monotonous – Distant Scream

12) Future Shock ( Evil Dead Cover )

Dust Bolt is :

Lenny B.  – Vocals /Guitar
Flo D. – Guitar
Bene M. – Bass
Nico R. – Drums

More info :

Dust Bolt Facebook

 

Here are some tour dates if you like to listen them live;

16.05.14 CH - Alt St. Johann / Rock the hell Festival
28.05.14 DE - Hamburg / Marx
29.05.14 DE - Berlin / Cassaiopaia
30.05.14 DE - Leipzig / Bandhaus
31.05.14 DE - Geisewind / Out and loud Festival
06.06.14 DE - München / Raw Release PArty (No Show)
14.06.14 DE - Balingen / Sonnenkeller
20.06.14 DE - Regensburg / Alte Mälzerei
11.07.14 DE - München / Backstage (with Obituary)
19.07.14 DE - Ahlimbsmühle / Headache inside Festival
26.07.14 DE - Borkovany / Woodstock Festival
08.08.14 DE - Chemnitz-Mittelbach / Rock im Betonwerk
05.09.14 DE - Dülmen / Alte Spinnerei 
06.09.14 DE - Kleinwenkheim / Bonebreaker Festival
19.09.14 DE - Wiesau /  Stormcrusher Festival
15.11.14 AT - Liebenfels / Hellfeier
28.11.14 AT - Linz / Ann & Pat Thrasher Alliance

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