The Crown – Motordeath

On March 12, The Crown will release their new album, Royal Destroyer, via Metal Blade Records. For a first preview of Royal Destroyer, a video for the new single, “Motordeath” (directed and edited by Christoffer Tönnäng), can be viewed at: www.metalblade.com/thecrown – where the record can also be pre-ordered in the following formats:

– jewelcase-CD
– ltd. digipak-2CD (incl. ‘Deathrace 13’ bonus disc w/ 13 tracks)
– 180g black vinyl (EU exclusive)
– midnight blue marbled vinyl (EU exclusive – limited to 400 copies)
– red-hot orange marbled vinyl (EU exclusive – limited to 200 copies)
– golden clear w/ blue and white splatter spot vinyl (EU exclusive – limited to 200 copies)
– clear w/ gold splatter vinyl (Kings Road exclusive – limited to 100 copies)
– viole(n)t blue marbled vinyl (US exclusive)

Having celebrated their thirtieth anniversary in 2020 [their first eight years spent as Crown Of Thorns], The Crown have proven themselves one of the most enduring forces in death metal. In 2021, they further up the ante with Royal Destroyer, a record that sets a new standard for the genre. “It is our album number ten, so now we are in the big boys club,” says bassist Magnus Olsfelt. “I think it in some ways is our crowning achievement, and it encompasses our sound across all albums on one defining record. It’s got it all – the early 90s death metal stuff, the haunting melodies, the thrash, the punk, the grind, the heavy metal and the more epic and doomy stuff.”

With 2018’s Cobra Speed Venom, the band reached the same lofty heights as their 2002 landmark release, Crowned In Terror, but they were primed and ready to write its successor. “It surely set the bar up high for a follow up,” Olsfelt explains. “But it’s more inspiring than daunting. We have a real good vibe in the band, so we know we are capable of creating great stuff if we all just put our hearts to it and work hard.” Confident, they pushed ahead, with the idea of making a sequel to Cobra Speed Venom – a sequel meaning “more of everything”.

Together with legendary producer Fredrik Nordström, the band tracked the resulting 10 songs at Gothenburg’s Studio Fredman. “We push ourselves to the limit, really trying to make everything as good as it can get, trying to make every song as impactful as possible,” Olsfelt states. While he believes that people need to hear the album themselves to be able to accurately describe it, Olsfelt also asserts that The Crown have achieved something that makes for a “continuous whole” – while being diverse. There are also some surprises in store for fans. “We have some of the most intense stuff ever, like one song is about one minute long, and we also have a ballad!”

MORK – ARV (from Katedralen)

With Mork’s new album Katedralen due for release on 5th March, the Norwegians have revealed the album’s first video and track “Arv”. “Finally I am able to reveal the first taste of the new album, ‘Katedralen’. The song “Arv” was the very first track that I both wrote lyrics and put down vocals for, on our new album. It is a very personal track, for sure, a real heavy, slow and groovy piece with melancholic melodies that captures the essence of the atmosphere I was striving for. The video, we created within the majestic and imposing Fredriksen Fortress, which looms above my hometown of Halden.” Thomas Eriksen comments.

Katedralen, the band’s 5th album,  is undoubtedly their most accomplished work to date, pushing new creative frontiers with a more dynamic approach to the song composition and an expanded breadth to the riffs and melodies, weaving a new masterpiece, the result, is a true personal work of intense spiritual catharsis from main-man Thomas Eriksen, he explains “The path I have walked from the first album up to this current day has been much needed for me to really find myself and what Mork is. The album has everything I want in an album, grooves, harshness, grandiosity, sadness, beauty and power. No rules, other than to respond to what comes out of my mind and soul while creating.”

The concept behind the album title Eriksen continues, “‘Katedralen’ (cathedral) is actually an old one I’ve had laying around since the early days of Mork. I always had a vision of a vast desolate cold and dead land and a gigantic cathedral where lost souls are kept for all eternity. I remember fantasizing it being a concept EP, I suppose much like ‘Det Svarte Juv’ was envisioned back in the day. However, that one did not end up as a concept album. ‘Katedralen’ is not a concept album either, but I see now that all the tracks tie neatly together after all. In the end all the lost souls end up at the base of the massive cathedral.

‘Katedralen’ was performed and recorded by Eriksen at Likkjelleren Studio; mixed by both him and Freddy Holm at Kleiva Studio and with mastering once more carried out by Jack Control at Enormous Door (Darkthrone). The album also notably includes guest appearances from Nocturno Culto of labelmates Darkthrone, Dolk of fellow countrymen Kampfar, & finally Eero Pöyry of funeral doom masters Skepticism.

The suitably stark artwork once again appears courtesy of revered French artist David Thiérrée. Mork was created by Thomas Eriksen in 2004 & was primarily a side-project from inception until the debut album, ‘Isebakke’, in 2013. Since then, the band has rightly earned their accolade as one of the top Norwegian black metal acts of recent years, receiving strong endorsements from their peers.

Katedralen will be released on CD, gatefold black vinyl LP and digitally (pre-orders receive “Arv” as an instant download), through Peaceville on 5th March and is available to pre-order https://mork.lnk.to/Katedralen

The band have announced they will be supporting the new release with live shows – currently the following is confirmed which includes an album launch show in Oslo, Wacken Festival 2021 and the rescheduled dates with Winterfylleth.

Headline Shows

6th March              Norway, Oslo – Rockefeller – album launch show – tickets on sale here: https://www.ticketmaster.no/event/652149

4th April               The Netherlands, Utrecht  – venue tbc

Festivals

3rd April             Germany -Munich – Dark Easter Metal Meeting

9th April                 Denmark, Aarhus  – Royal Metal Fest

10th April              Germany, Lichtenfels  – Ragnarök

21st May               Austria, Vienna – Vienna Metal Meeting

29-31st July         Germany – Wacken Open Air Festival

21st August          Poland – NCM Festival, Pyskowice

Special guests to Winterfylleth – rescheduled dates 2021

13th May – London (UK) – Boston Music Room

14th May – Cologne (DE) – Club Volta

15th May – Cottbus (DE) – Zum Faulen August

16th May – Abtenau (AT) – The Temple

17th May – München (DE) – Backstage

18th May – Aarburg (CH) – Musigburg

19th May – Ljubljana (SI) – Orto Bar

20th May – Budapest (HU) – Dürer Kert

22nd May – Villingen (DE) – Klosterhof

23rd May – Gent (BE) – Throne Fest

24th May – Manchester (UK) – Rebellion Club

ANNEKE VAN GIERSBERGEN – Hurricane

Lyrically, and musically, the award-winning Dutch artist lays her soul bare with the most evocative record of her career – captivating song-stories told with acoustic guitars, strings, horns, percussion, and Anneke’s hypnotic vocal harmonies. Anneke van Giersbergen announced the release of her new solo album ‘The Darkest Skies Are The Brightest’ last year.  Today sees the release of the second single and video of said album, called “Hurricane”. Anneke comments on the single as follows: “For the new album I wrote a lot of songs filled with messages of love and heartache, but I also went on a more propulsive journey, with darker storytelling. The percussive opening groove of ‘Hurricane’ is maintained until a slightly ominous middle section. The track closes with heavy drums and a glorious trumpet solo.”

‘The Darkest Skies Are The Brightest’ is available for pre-order. The album will be available as eco-friendly CD Digipak (plastic-free), as 180g Gatefold LP (incl. the album on CD) & as digital album. It will be released on February 26th, 2021.

Click here to pre-order the album: https://annekevangiersbergen.lnk.to/TheDarkestSkiesAreTheBrightest

The album’s title, ‘The Darkest Skies Are The Brightest’, refers to the idea that, when facing personal challenges, we are forced to find answers to life’s biggest questions. But, at this point in her near-three-decade-long music career, this solo album – and, crucially, the heartbreak that inspired it – was not something Anneke van Giersbergen ever anticipated writing.

In 2018, Anneke began working on new material for her metal band, VUUR. Although their debut album, ‘In This Moment We Are Free – Cities’, was met with a mixed reception, fans were warming up to their heavy, progressive sound. Therefore, a rapid follow-up album would surely establish Anneke’s return to fronting a metal band. However, behind the scenes, these were troubled times. Anneke shares, ”My belief in VUUR saw me spend all my savings on recording VUUR’s debut album and taking the band on the road. After completing our first touring cycle, I realized that more VUUR would mean yet more, huge financial risks.” To make matters worse, in 2018, her long-lasting marriage, which had always been wonderful, unexpectedly saw a storm approaching. Anneke adds, “I instantly knew I needed to write music about fixing my life. This creative endeavour would be far too personal for a VUUR album. And it would also require solitude.”

With just her acoustic guitar and basic recording gear, Anneke retreated to a small house near the woods, just outside her hometown of Eindhoven. She let go of the pressures of what VUUR’s future might be, and fell into the meditative process of writing a solo album. In 2019, work continued on the new songs. In 2020, Anneke asked her friend and producer, Gijs Coolen, to help finish the album. Throughout the completion of the album, Anneke’s fragile, acoustic song-stories were fused together with an alchemy of panoramic strings, horns, and percussion. The resulting 11-track record has all the intimacy of Anneke serenading an audience of one, combined with surprising departures into swampier, foot-stomping grooves.

The Japanese art of kintsugi has inspired Anneke to use a repaired heart as the album’s symbol. Kintsugi teaches that bringing together the pieces of a broken object – with the use of a precious metal – adds value and uniqueness to it. And, instead of giving up on their marriage, Anneke and her husband decided to take the time to mend their bond. They now cherish the repaired heartbreak as something profoundly valuable. Their journey through this personal storm, and the album that Anneke created in the eye of it, proves that the darkest skies truly are the brightest.

Sunstorm ft. Ronnie Romero – “Swan Song”

Sunstorm is a project created and overseen by Frontiers president Serafino Perugino and was originally designed to showcase a musical style similar to the melodic rock/AOR roots of vocalist Joe Lynn Turner. After five successful releases, Sunstorm is now a vehicle for one of the most impressive vocal talents to emerge in recent years – Ronnie Romero, also of Lords of Black and Rainbow.

Given Turner’s desire to work on heavier music styles away from the original direction envisaged by Perugino and much loved by Sunstorm fans, it appeared that the project might be at an end. However, knowing that new music being crafted would elevate it to the forefront of the scene, Perugino decided to keep it alive, with the powerhouse singer Romero a natural choice to replace the formidable Turner.

With producer Alessandro Del Vecchio on regular songwriting duty, the brand new ‘Afterlife’ will take many in the rock fraternity by surprise! For the very first time, Ronnie Romero enters the realm of melodic hard rock…with outstanding results!

On joining Sunstorm, Romero states: “For me, it is very special to take part in this album as it has always been one of my favourite Frontiers projects. To accept the huge task and responsibility of replacing JLT is a challenge I just couldn’t pass up! Working with Alessandro was also fantastic. There are strong and very melodic songs throughout the record and I’m pretty sure Sunstorm fans are gonna love every track, as do I. Especially the singles, with ‘Swan Song’ probably being my personal favourite. It is a very melodic song, with a lot of backing vocals, which is something that I always wanted to do, as it is a special and different approach on the vocal production side for me. The band sounds fantastic, too, and I can’t wait for the fans to listen to the album! At this point, it’s cranking in my car everyday. : )”

Adds Del Vecchio: “‘Swan Song’ is a very special song for me. Maybe you write a song or a letter or whatever and it’s you conveying your instinct that something that will happen in the future? Like a future you are envisioning through your words? Here’s what this song is about. Anybody can relate to losing a friend or breaking up in a relationship and crying out your own swan song. I honestly think this is one of the best songs Simone [Mularoni, guitars] and I have ever written together, and it showcases the melodic and emotional side of Ronnie’s voice and Simone’s best soloing on top of a very inspired band. I couldn’t be happier that Frontiers chose this song as the first single. The perfect bridge into our future as a band. Melodic, deep, inspired and anthemic. This is Sunstorm at its best!”

ENFORCER – From Beyond – Live In Mexico

Swedish heavy metal band ENFORCER are proud to present their second live album, Live By Fire II, which will be released through Nuclear Blast Records on March 19th 2021. Today, the band have released a live video for the first single ‘From Beyond’.

Pre-order the album in the format of your choice: http://nblast.de/Enforcer-LiveByFireII

Olof Wikstrand comments: ”’From Beyond’ has, since the release of that album, become a live favourite both for the band and the audience – and of course this is the first preview of our new concert video! Just watch the crowd’s reaction in this video!”

Live By Fire II offers an intense and passionate performance captured in front of a truly dedicated and wild audience in Mexico City 2019. Live By Fire II lets you experience ENFORCER at the top of their game and marks an outstanding live record documenting the group’s steady path to global recognition in recent years. It also serves as a stunning reminder of how many heavy metal anthems ENFORCER have crafted on their five studio albums so far! From the speed metal attack of ‘Destroyer’, ‘Searching For You’, ‘Midnight Vice’ to perfect sing-alongs like ‘From Beyond’, ‘One Thousand Years In Darkness’ and ‘Take Me Out Of This Nightmare’, the enthusiastic crowd and powerful sound of Live By Fire II result in a captivating and extremely entertaining listen.

Physical formats of the release will include extensive booklets containing a tour programme, liner notes and tons of photos compiled and designed by vocalist/guitarist Olof Wikstrand recapturing ENFORCER’s touring cycle for the albums From Beyond and Zenith during the years 2015-2020. Live By Fire II will be released as gatefold 2LP with 16-LP sized booklet, CD with 28-page booklet, and digital album.

Nanowar Of Steel – New Music Teaser 2021

Italy’s finest, NANOWAR OF STEEL – famous for their beloved metal parodies and cheeky hit songs such as “Valhallelujah” and “Uranus” – have turned to their fans and supporters on social media today in a new, heartfelt and honest statement about the band’s current situation. After gathering millions of clicks on YouTube and Spotify, as well as just recently re-releasing their popular 2018 album Stairway To Valhalla, the band will be undergoing a major stylistic shift and a new musical direction.

NANOWAR OF STEEL states: “We’re getting close to the 40 years old threshold and after so many years in the music industry we have to face the fact that – despite the growth we experienced in the last years and an important record deal with Napalm Records – metal and heavy music in general cannot give us the kind of financial sustainability our lives require at this stage. If you follow us on social media, you should already be aware of the fact that we have announced a radical change of direction our music will take. We can now state that this change means our new style will be considerably lighter and oriented towards a broader audience. We’re sorry to put this in these terms – which might sound way too cold and materialistic – but we want to make things clear before our fans and all those who, in the last years, supported us for what we were, a parody METAL band. With our new music, new projects and new energy we are aiming at climbing the charts, going to Sanremo, join the Eurovision and – first and foremost – conquer the hearts of those who do not know the band we’re mocking when we sing ‘By sunlight we ride, ten thousand side by side’.”

WHITE VOID – This Apocalypse is For You

Today, eclectic Norwegian hard rock band White Void are proud to present This Apocalypse Is For You, the second single from their upcoming debut album, Anti, which is scheduled to be released on March 12th 2021. Like its predecessor this catchy up-tempo tune is accompanied by a stylish music video, but now the imagery is a lot more surreal and symbol-laden.

Pre-save Anti on the streaming platform of your choice: https://backl.ink/143515448

Pre-order the album Anti here: http://nblast.de/WhiteVoid-Anti

Front man Lars Nedland comments on the song: “The absurd can never be permanently accepted. It requires constant confrontation, unbroken revolt. If you fail revolting, this apocalypse is for you! This is a song about crises. Also, it’s a song to put some boogie in your life. Because everyone needs boogie! The video was beautifully created by animation wizard Joakim Storsve and editor Daniel Øverland, and draws inspiration from the oil painting Adrift by Jeremy Geddes, which incidentally serves as the cover for our debut album. Enjoy the uproar, the cosmonauts and the boogie.”

CARCOLH – “Works Of Death”

February 15, 2021, will see French heavy doom metal act, CARCOLH, release their sophomore magnum opus, titled “The Life And Works Of Death”, via Sleeping Church Records.

With their epic 2018- debut, “Rising Sons Of Saturn”, the collective hailing from Bordeaux and Saint-Nazaire, France, burst into the heavy doom world like a steamroller, shaking the stages with their monolithic sound of heavy slowness, traditional doom and blackened metal. Featuring former members of bands alike Sweven, Pozor, Sun Preacher, Dead Toys or Bruit, CARCOLH may not be strangers to the scene, but with their upcoming album they will most likely step out from being one of Europe’s best kept doom secrets.

But give ear, as the band just shared a first single from “The Life And Works Of Death”! “Works Of Death is the 1st single from the album, whose lyrics are inspired by the blood books of Clive Barker as well as the fantastic tales of Maupassant and Edgar Poe.“ CARCOLH explains. “Death plays the central role and reveals their work. The musical heritage of Count Raven or The Gates of Slumber is tinged here with more traditional Heavy as well as atmospheres borrowed from Black Metal.”

 

The Last Internationale – Modern Man (Live at Arda Recorders)

The Last Internationale are thrilled to announce new video ‘Modern Man’ from their latest record ‘Live At Arda Recorders’, which was released in December 2020.

Vocalist Delia Paz, comments: “We live in a time where “Girl Power” has been reduced to a hashtag, used by countless celebrities and companies to sell products. The #metoo movement continues to welcome leaders that directly carry out heinous violence against women and children throughout the world, via drone strikes and crippling economic policies. These victims have been completely ignored by mainstream feminists. Anyone, including myself, who tries to expose this hypocrisy is immediately silenced and shamed. “Modern Man” is a song that gives a voice to the overlooked and disenfranchised women all over the world. I hope it encourages everyone, not just women, to think critically and speak up against all injustices and oppression. We will not be silenced!”

The track is taken from recently released live album “Live At Arda Recorders”, which captures both the groups explosive and intense live style but also allowing the audience to feel the soulful blues roots that run deep through their sound.

The album can be purchased here via links below:
Digital: https://TheLastInternationale.lnk.to/Liveatardarecorders

Physical:
Worldwide excl. USA: https://thelastinternationaleukeurostore.bigcartel.com
USA: https://thelastinternationale.bigcartel.com

SOLBRUD – Øde Lagt

Today, black metal boundary-pushers Solbrud reveal a new live video of “Øde Lagt.” The track is the first to be revealed from a special audio/visual live album, Levende I Brønshøj Vandtårn, set for international release on March 26th via Eisenwald. See & hear the brand-new live video of Solbrud’s “Øde Lagt” HERE.

Since their formation in 2009, Danish black metal act Solbrud have forged melodic and evocative compositions in raw, storm-like, and atmospheric soundscapes. Their self-titled debut album was released in 2012, and in 2014, the infernal Jærtegn followed, displaying a natural sense for complex songwriting that was further cultivated on Vemod in 2017. All three albums and the quartet’s intense live performances have consolidated Solbrud as a band with a special, artistic vision unfolding in uncompromising and boundary-pushing black metal. Besides their sonic output, the band have remained an insider tip but collected awards and praise from Danish/Scandinavian press all along the way (Gaffa Music Awards, Newspapers, Steppeulven: Danish Critics Award) and played renowned festivals (Roskilde, Inferno, Copenhell).

Solbrud are also known for performing at unique locations, with special care for lights and props, which now results in Levende I Brønshøj Vandtårn, a carefully curated live double-album and video. All tracks were recorded inside Brønshøj Water Tower in Copenhagen at two totally sold-out nights. The tower is known for its brutalist architecture and unique acoustics – 15 seconds of natural reverb, which creates a fitting atmospheric backdrop for the monumental sound of the band. On top of that, the tower was freezing cold, amplifying the nature of the music.

Levende I Brønshøj Vandtårn consists of eight tracks, including songs from all three previous Solbrud studio albums. Some songs have been rearranged and woven together, taking the special acoustics into account, while others blast through in their original form. In addition to their set, the new song “Sjæleskrig” was added to their setlist, which resonates hauntingly in the great tower’s reverberance.