Vanden Plas – “The Epic Works 1991-2015”

Frontiers Music Srl is excited to announce the release of ‘The Epic Works 1991-2015’, a stunning box
set collection from Vanden Plas, the German masters of progressive metal. It contains eight studio
albums, an EP, a live recording and a bonus disc entitled ‘Bonus Treasures’ that consists of unreleased,
bonus, rare and demo tracks. The full list of titles included is:

1 Colour Temple
2 AcCult
3 The God Thing
4 Far Off Grace
5 Spirit of Live
6 Beyond Daylight
7 Christ 0
8 The Seraphic Clockwork
9 Chronicles Of The Immortals: Netherworld [Path One]
10 Chronicles Of The Immortals (Netherworld II)
11  Bonus Treasures (Physical Edition Only) : see track listing below

A strictly limited edition of 1500 copies worldwide, this box set also includes a booklet with notes written
by Stefan Glas (Rock Hard, Underground Empire magazines) and Marco Magin (Breakout magazine),
plus never-before-seen pictures and band notes for each album.

Frontiers will also make a selection of releases available on vinyl for the first time on 2xLP gatefold
180g coloured vinyl, including ‘Colour Temple’, ‘The God Thing’, ‘Far Off Grace’, ‘Beyond Daylight’ and
‘Christ 0’. Collectors beware – these will be manufactured in very short runs and then discontinued.

“We are very proud of this box set, which contains the demos, singles and studio albums we released
during this period,” says guitarist Stephan Lill. “Lots of time was spent gathering these releases,
covering almost 25 years, into a very nice package with a detailed band history, lots of pictures with our
fans and us together, and much more. For us, and I think for our fans too, it is very exciting to follow our
musical development from the melodic power rock style we played at the beginning of our career to the
progressive metal we are known for today. Eight studio albums, a live release, an acoustic release, plus
a collection of all the bonus tracks we did during this period are on display here. The bonus track
collection showcases the other side of Vanden Plas: acoustic versions of songs of our own, covers of
influences like Dokken or Kansas and special treats like a cut from our rock opera ‘Ludus Danielis’ or
the song we wrote for our favourite soccer club 1. FC Kaiserslautern. It almost seems a bit unreal when
you see all these releases together, considering the fact that at the same time all the band members
were engaged in theatre productions such as ‘The Rocky Horror Show’ or ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’, and
that we also wrote five rock operas which were performed in several German theatres. I hope our fans
will enjoy this musical journey as much as we did and still do.”

For over two decades, Vanden Plas have been flag bearers for intelligent, intense, progressive metal.
From their debut album, ‘Colour Temple’, right up to the recent saga, ‘Chronicles Of The Immortals’,
(which saw them collaborate with bestselling author Wolfgang Hohlbein), the band have consistently
wowed the progressive metal world with their amazing music.

This set is an unmissable occasion to get to know in-depth the abilities and art of one of progressive
metal’s greatest bands.

‘BONUS TREASURES’
Tracklisting
1 Kiss Of Death
2 Point Of Know Return
3 Gethsemane
4 Shape Of My Heart
5 Combien De Larmes (How Many Tears – French Version)
6 Raining In My Heart
7 Godmaker (Acoustic Radio Version)
8 Days Of Thunder
9 Fire
10 Ridin’ The Wind
11 Eleyson
12 Das Ist Für Euch

Flight Brigade – Tinderbox

Indie rock band Flight Brigade announced their brand-new studio album Chased by Wolves will be released on Friday 13th September on Rebel Cinema Records via Wixen Music Publishing. To celebrate the news, the band have released their new single Tinderbox today.

Chased By Wolves is tough and tender with a rebellious spirit. What doesn’t crush you makes you stronger, so this record’s about coming together in the face of adversity. ‘It draws on personal experiences, life stories from those close to us and we couldn’t help but be affected by what has been going on in the world politically and culturally’. It’s a positive record that looks to see what’s possible, finding strength, joy and resilience from human kindness and in that way attempting to overcome that sometimes powerless feeling.

The title track, Chased By Wolves tells of the band’s experience, navigating and overcoming legal threats. An initiation which gave them their first taste of the infamous ‘wolves’ and ‘sharks’ lurking beneath the waters of the music industry.

Fury Road, Heartbreaker and Tinderbox explore the beauty and fragility of relationships. Brainwave pays homage to Seth Baines, brother of lead singer Ollie, and his courageous battle with epilepsy. Since the album was recorded, Seth was diagnosed with brain cancer and tragically passed away in November 2018. The album is dedicated to Seth, the band’s brother, video maker and greatest supporter.

The lyrics of penultimate track, How Your River Runs Through Me, encapsulates the themes of the album as a whole. Ollie puts himself in the world of Cormac McCarthy’s novel The Road, imagining journeying with his young son through an apocalyptic wasteland in search of hope and community. The power of community to bring positive change is something this seven-piece have experienced in spades and something they have the passion and desire to share.

FLIGHT BRIGADE – OCTOBER 2019 UK TOUR DATES

Manchester, Retro
Thursday 3 October

Chester, Telford’s Warehouse
Friday 4 October

Newcastle, Head Of Steam
Saturday 5 October

Milton Keynes, The Craufurd Arms
Thursday 10 October

Reading, Readipop
Saturday 12 October

Southampton, Joiners
Sunday 13 October

Bath, The Bell
Wednesday 16 October

Bristol, Mr Wolfs
Thursday 17 October

Isle of Wight, Strings
Friday 18 October

Exeter, Cavern
Saturday 19 October

Brighton, Latest Music Bar
Wednesday 23 October

London, O2 Academy 2 Islington
Thursday 24 October

Birmingham, Centrala
Friday 25 October

Guildford, The Star Inn
Saturday 26 October

Entombed – “Live Clandestine – Act I & II”

Entombed – “Live Clandestine – Act I & II” (Threeman Records)

Battle Helm Rating

A unique experience, “Live Clandestine – Act I & II” was a special one off concert in 2 parts featuring the original members of Entombed (Nicke Andersson, Uffe Cederlund and Alex Hellid), the Malmö Symphony Orchestra and Choir to perform the band’s sophomore release in entirety! Presented by Swedish Music journalist / TV host Per Sinding-Larsen, who wittily covers the history of Entombed along with the impact of “Clandestine” on the Swedish music scene and then gracefully introduces the band members along with the orchestra, it’s clear that this is an evening like no other for all involved. In the first act, the band, along with Robert Andersson (Vocals) and Edvin Aftonfalk (bass) of Morbus Chron sit in as part of the ensemble as they cover the 11 songs under the masterful conducting of Josef Rhedin. Full marks have to be given to composer Thomas Von Wachenfeldt, whose superb interpretation of death metal into a classical, symphonic format, rather than plank the music outright, has worked impressively, lending to a dark, film score epic that even astounds the band and orchestra themselves – not to mention the rapturous international audience! Equally, the filming is also brilliant, with plenty of close ups of the scaling and fret board work of Uffe Cederlund and Alex Hellid – the concentration on their faces clearly reflecting the desire for nothing short of perfection in this unique moment of a lifetime. After a break to set a stage, the second act follows with only the band performing the entire album, again with plenty of close ups and angles in the film footage bringing an intimate club feel to the show, yet reflecting the excellent acoustics of the symphony hall as they perform classics like ‘Sinners Bleed’, ‘Stranger Aeons’ and ‘Chaos Breed’ once more, a far cry from those early days when they were pioneering what would become recognised as Swedish death metal. Definitely a life changing moment for all…..

D-A-D – “A Prayer For The Loud”

D-A-D – “A Prayer For The Loud” (AFM Records)
Battle Helm Rating
Indeed, it doesn’t sound like Denmark’s most famous hard rock band have quietened down in the 8 years since their last release! Originally called Disneyland After Dark, D-A-D have released 11 albums and are well known on the international touring circuit for their no frills but instantly catchy red blooded rock touched by a hint of punk. From adrenaline soaked rockers to heart grabbing ballads, the strong melodies are present throughout and in abundance be it through the vocals and guitar work, going straight for your heart and soul, whether tenderly or to rock you out into the morning! “A Prayer For The Loud” doesn’t err from this winning formula, and despite the band being formed in 1982, it’s amazing how the 11 songs don’t owe their sound or style to any era, but rather the timeless essence of the band themselves, who remain with the same line up of the Binzer brothers, Stig Pedersen and Laust Sonne. Opening with the aptly titled ‘Burning Star’ the clash of raw riffs, hard back beat and luring twanged melodies instantly hook you through the big, live sound to clap and sing along before the magnetic solo just blows you away – wow. Bringing in the blues on ‘A Prayer For The Loud’, the plucked strings do all the talking before the volume hits into the massive chorus dripping with rock energy and passion – a D-A-D trademark if there ever was one! Mid tempo but ever so kick ass is ‘Nothing Ever Changes’ with its groovy melody gliding along to Jesper Binzer’s vocals, the rock energy building through Pedersen and Sonne’s hard hitting rhythm into…well, you guessed it – another monster singalong chorus that would resonate equally in a club or a stadium thanks to the respected talent of this band. Although lighter, ‘The Sky Is Made Of Blues’ is heart grabbing from the off thanks to the soulful, tender blues tinged guitar wailing occasionally and of course, yet more melodies oozing throughout with undying passion. Then there’s the simple acoustic beauty of ‘A Drug For The Heart’, a guaranteed tear jerker especially after the crooning solo, attesting to D-A-D’s composing brilliance, and then some. Sending you off into the night full of rock n roll dreams is ‘Happy Days In Hell’, a mid tempo rocker harking back to the early days with its heavy twanging guitars, raw vocals heaping in the hooks and constant melodies constantly only eclipsed by another award winning chorus. Yeah, D-A-D are back. B-I-G. T-I-M-E.

Emil Bulls – “Mix Tape”

Emil Bulls – “Mix Tape” (AFM Records)

Battle Helm Rating

Close to 25 Years on and this Bavarian alt nu metal band have come a long way since their beginnings in a covent school! Coming off the back of their 12th release “Kill Your Demons” and 2 sold out tours, Emil Bulls have decided to put together a special mix album for their fans. Usually confined to the studio while blowing off excess energy in between recording songs or compiled for long car journeys, it has long been in the life of these guys to play covers and that’s exactly what “Mix Tape” is – 14 of their most favoured tracks from a list of over 300 songs! Special in their hearts from the days of their youth but more importantly being inspirational in staying true and never surrendering, “Mix Tape” is a massive thank you to the fans of Emil Bulls for supporting them over the years, while beckoning them to continue their journey together! Certainly no roughly cobbled together ‘compilation’ of raw demos or outtakes or re-mixes, each artist’s song writing has been analysed and then re-worked carefully into the style of Emil Bulls without losing the original’s special character. Given the sheer diversity of styles on show here I really take my hat off to these guys for pulling this off exactly how they’ve intended, whether its on ‘Survivor’ by Destinys Child to ‘Jesus He Knows Me’ by Genesis and ‘We Built This City’ by Jefferson Starship. More impressively, whilst the likes of Billy Idol (‘Rebel Yell’) and the Pixies (‘Where Is My Mind’) have long been known to me, less familiar were Bruno Mars’s ‘Grenade’, which has been re-worked brilliantly not just to make it heavier but to bring out its deep chorus and harmonies even more, while Placebo’s ‘Every You Every me’ has been made even more melancholic yet also uplifting in its overall radiance – excellent! Ending with MGMT’s ‘Kids’, which although close to the original thanks to that unforgettable melody, the sound instead here is massive, taken to stadium proportions thanks to the heavy chundering grooves that really add…well, balls to it that work a treat. “Mix Tape” is a whole lot more than what its modest title might suggest, and in many cases the work of Emil Bulls has taken those wimpy originals to more beefy levels befitting my appreciation. Respect!

Fleshgod Apocalypse – “Veleno”

Fleshgod Apocalypse – “Veleno” (Nuclear Blast Records)

Battle Helm Rating

The maestros of orchestral death metal have returned! After the bombastic supremacy of “King” comes “Veleno”, meaning ‘venom’ which this 5th album certainly doesn’t lack in whatsoever. If anything, one has to wonder just how these Italians manage to skirt so close to the edge time and again, blending hyper speed death metal with wild, harpsichord pianos, furious string arrangements and massive orchestral effects to achieve their jaw dropping songs reeking of simultaneous savagery and sophistication! Genius or madness, call it what you will, but not even the departure of guitarist/vocalist Cristiano Trionfera and vocalist/guitarist Tommaso Riccardi has dented the silverware of this illustrious band. Up has stepped founder multi instrumentalist Francesco Paoli from drums to now take over the vocals and guitar, joined by drummer David Folchitto (Stormlord) and guitarist Fabio Bartoletti (Deceptionist) – along with a full string quartet, a classical percussionist, a baroque choir and guest musicians in the shape of Maurizio Cardullo (Folkstone) and Daniele Marinelli playing Uilleann Pipes and mandolin respectfully. Together they produce not just a successor to “King” but a masterpiece encompassing the band’s sonic and aesthetic greatness to date! From the opening cannonade of ‘Fury’ with its dense instrumental mix, the nuclear precision propelled drums overdrive the song of multiple vocal styles – including that massively powerful choir – graced by neo classical guitar melodies and of course, the classical instruments themselves adding even more weight to the thunderous sound, or more subtly in their own brilliance. Slowing things down but adding a huge, dark atmosphere on ‘Monnalisa’, quiet in places through evil rasps or unleashing the full symphonic splendour of the choir in all its blissful highs, not to mention some incredibly passionate guitar and a female soprano contrasting with the beastly vocals, few songs could hold my soul transfixed as this did. But the ultimate destroyer for me was ‘Absinthe’, so rocking and raging but equally tender and ever so majestic thanks to its flowing orchestral melodies, the throat raw vocals contrasting superbly with the choir’s baritones, and naturally, those incredible, unrelenting drums. Along with some high speed technical fretboard runs almost bordering on cacophony, yet through a skilfull mix of tempos, the song is fashioned into nothing short of an spectacular concerto. So what more can I say, except bravo and encore!

Sinners Bleed – “Absolution”

Sinners Bleed – “Absolution” (War Anthem Records)

Battle Helm Rating

Hail to the return of Sinners Bleed! Formed in the late 90s, this German death thrash band soon rose to prominence thanks to their acclaimed debut “From Womb To Tomb”, playing Wacken Open Air, Party San Open Air, Inferno Festival, Fuck The Commerce and sharing stages with the likes of Nile, Cryptopsy, Suffocation, Destruction, Dismember, Vader, Malevolent Creation, Sadus, Misery Index and Holy Moses. Sadly, band and personal issues forced Sinners Bleed to go on a lengthy hiatus, however, 16 years later they have returned with a vengeance on “Absolution War”. Still with the original core of Jan Geidner (vocals), Sebastian Ankert (guitar) and Eric Wenzel (drums), along with new members Arne Maneke (guitar) and Henrik Fuchs (bass), one can appreciate what all the fuss was about given they haven’t lost their touch at all – in fact, they’ve actually gotten nastier! With the blistering sound that brings a real menace atmospherically, the 10 tracks also have plenty of technicality dropped in at just the right moments along with dark and heavy metal melodies to ensure the material is catchy and appealing besides its obvious aggression. Comfortably drawing inspiration from both the old days and modern times, songs like ‘Age Of The Crow’ with its powerful technical drumming and hyperspeed riffola inducing plenty of groove to the twisting, catchy melodies set the tone brilliantly thanks to the massive sound – not forgetting Geidner’s grim, guttural drawls. Hammering on in ‘Dawn Of Infinity’ with the guitars chundering while letting out the occasional squeal, Geidner’s hoarse vocals themselves lend to the odd scream but it’s the slow, unhurried passages that allow the menace of the number to soak uncomfortably into your soul even while the solos bring forth neo classical splendour – terrific. Ending with no mercy on ‘Obedience’ as Geidner’s rough roars match the (over) powering drums threatening to smash your eardrums as the dirty guitars whirr and scythe like dark tornadoes before an excellent heavy headbanging passage resplendent with drum rolls and precision beats keeps you on edge for the racing end of frantic fretboard scaling and cymbal decimation. “Absolution” is a fitting return that begs no forgiveness whatsoever!

Entrapment – “Imminent Violent Death”

Entrapment – “Imminent Violent Death” (Dawnbreed Records)

Battle Helm Rating

Soul tearing Swe-deth metal from Holland! Yes boys and girls, Entrapment started off as a one man project in 2010 under the auspices of multi instrumentalist Michel Jonker (Inhumanised, ex-Absorbed, ex-Makiladoras, Suffering Quota, ex-Massive Assault, ex-Descent to Hell, ex-Venders of Smut). Since then he has released 3 full length albums, expanded into a full line up and shared the stage with acts such as Obituary, Sadistic Intent, Sonne Adam, Coffins, Asphyx and Master over the years! The reason for his success is simple: sticking to the classic winning Swe-deth formula while tantalisingly lacing his material with hints of US death metal like Autopsy and equally some evil Slayer influences here and there. Sadly though, it is believed that Entrapment will cease to be an active project after this final album, although I have to say that Jonker has gone out in fine style given the impressive, catchy material here! Screaming in on ‘Sanctifying Putrescent’, the visceral Schuldiner roars work brilliantly in unison with the Slayer guitar wails and diddly dee frenzy backed by hammering drums, while the slow passage of soulful guitar and distorted bass adds an interesting contrast before blast beating back to the end. In tribute to death n roll comes the excellent ‘Sacrilegious Congregation’ with its ultra heavy bass really making for a foreboding beginning before the chopping frenzy is unleashed along with some sickly drawls before a colossal groove does some serious nervous system damage – just what the doctor ordered eh Michel heh heh! Heading to the tropics for the insane Sepu-holocausto of ‘Morbid Habitation’, it’s the speedy punk thrash blitz complete with rock n roll trimmings and droning Sabbath doom soaked riffs that really make you appreciate Jonker’s vision of taking what he likes best and putting it all together. I mean, fuck the rules – prepare for the final blood battle!

DESTRUCTION – Making Of The ‘BORN TO PERISH’ Cover Artwork

Legendary German thrashers, DESTRUCTION, have revealed the cover artwork to their upcoming 17th studio album, »Born To Perish«.   This stunning visualization was created by acclaimed artist Gyula from Hungary, who has also created artwork for ANNIHLATOR, GRAVE DIGGER, STRATOVARIUS, TANKARD and many more.

The album will be released on August 9th, 2019 via Nuclear Blast.

Gyula states”Schmier wanted to get a simple and different image than my previous DESTRUCTION covers. When we discussed the new concept, I was happy with this approach because I had the chance to use a different tool, no painting but ink-drawing style. When the band mentioned the album title, I got the idea of a crest composition without the typical brave lion or eagle but vultures with two heads and we filled the image with several symbols. I love this DESTRUCTION cover – maybe my fave I did for them so far!”

Mastermind Schmier adds:„We wanted something basic this time. I had something like an emblem in mind, a stamp, a DESTRUCTION coat of arms. We had so many great colorful graphical covers in the past, this dark album title needed something different. This record marks the debut of the four piece DESTRUCTION again, I am very happy with the result and that the great Gyula understood right away what direction we wanna go – the album is vicious, dark and hard hitting, the cover-art is the perfect prelude for that!“

»Born To Perish« was recorded in January & February 2019 with VO Pulver (PRO-PAIN, BURNING WITCHES, NERVOSA etc.)  at Little Creek Studios in Switzerland and is the first DESTRUCTION album featuring Randy Black on the drums and new 2nd guitar shredder Damir Eskic!

Tour dates:

21.06.              D         Duisburg – Rage Against Racism
06.07.              HR       Pula – GoatHell Metal Fest
07. – 10.08.     CZ        Jaroměř – Brutal Assault
08. – 10.08.     D         Schlotheim – Party.San Open Air
16.08.              BG       Varna – Rock Fest
31.08.              A          Breitenstein – Metal Escalation Festival

»Killfest 2019 – Part II«
w/ OVERKILL, FLOTSAM AND JETSAM
12.09.              P          Porto – Hard Club
13.09.              E          Madrid – La Riviera
14.09.              E          Barcelona – Salamandra
17.09.              D         Saarbrücken – Garage
18.09.              D         Nuremberg – Hirsch
19.09.              D         Oberhausen – Turbinenhalle
22.09.              D         Herford – X
23.09.              D         Wiesbaden – Schlachthof
24.09.              B          Antwerp – Trix

08./09.11.        D         Weissenhäusser Strand/Ostsee – Metal Hammer Paradise
07.12.              D         Balingen – Crazy X-Mas

Death SS – WHERE HAVE YOU GONE?

DEATH SS, the Italian pioneers of Horror Rock / Metal, teamed up with Skol Records, and will reissue their classic early recordings in the form of four double CD albums. The limited edition series will include the following releases: “The Story Of Death SS 1977-1984” coupled with “The Horned God Of The Witches” (both recorded by the first line up of the band), “In Death Of Steve Sylvester” coupled with “Black Mass” (both recorded by the second line up of the band), and “Heavy Demons” coupled with “The Cursed Concert” (both recorded by the third line up of the band).

Fourth in the series will be a double disc collection of all the original single and EP releases that DEATH SS published in the ’80s and in the ’90s. All the recordings will be mastered from the original sources by Bart Gabriel (CIRITH UNGOL, PAGAN ALTAR, SORTILEGE).

DEATH SS was founded in 1977 by Steve Sylvester, with the aim of forming a group that encompasses all its particular interests for occultism, horror films, erotic comics and rock music, in an original way. The singer, then just a teenager, decided to apply the concept of “glamor” with a strong visual characterization to five characters inspired by stories of terror: the Vampire (the singer), the Mummy (the bass player), the Werewolf (the drummer) , the Zombie (the guitar player) and the Phantom Of The Opera (the keyboard player). DEATH SS literally means “in DEATH of Steve Sylvester” – name chosen to mean the symbolic “DEATH” of the human state of Steve Sylvester (SS) and its rebirth from the beginning under the light of the Occult, without any political reference. Immediately considered a cult band for their shocking and theatrical live shows, they have influenced generations of other bands all over the world, being in fact to be considered as the progenitors of Black Metal, even if musically their formula has always been marked from a constant stylistic evolution record after record.

Their most recent studio album entitled “Rock ‘N’ Roll Armageddon” was released in 2018. Last year Italian label Black Widow Records released a triple CD compilation entitled “Terror Tales – A Tribute To Death SS”, that includes DEATH SS classics performed by bands such as WATAIN, SIGH or BULLDOZER.