VOLCANOVA – SUPER DUPER VAN

Iceland based power-trio Volcanova will release “Super Duper Van” today, July 31, 2020. The single is the last one leading up to their upcoming debut album “Radical Waves”, out August 21, 2020 on The Sign Records. Released with a music video, “Super Duper Van” tells the tale of a never-ending ride through outer space in a magic, flying camper, and has an epic chorus made possible by the band’s three singers.

“Super Duper Van” is the third and final single leading up to Volcanova‘s debut album “Radical Waves”. The Icelandic band, whose resumé includes 2 full UK tours and opening gigs for Elder and The Vintage Caravan to name a few, has written a true anthem. “Super Duper Van” offers everything one could expect in a well-written stoner rock song – fuzzy riffs, headbanging bass grooves and spaced out lyrics. Adding to that is a tasteful use of vocal harmonies, rarely found in this genre of music.

The album, “Radical Waves”, is to be released on August 21 by The Sign Records. An album that, in short, can best be described as a collection of uplifting moments with epic guitar solos that are underpinned by head banging bass grooves complemented with a tasteful use of cowbell!

Volcanova was founded in the summer of 2014 with principle song writer Samúel Ásgeirsson on guitar and vocals and after a few lineup changes the band finally settled on a winning formula with Þorsteinn Árnason of (Rock Paper Sisters) on bass and vocals and Dagur Atlason (Churchhouse Creepers) on drums and vocals.

The single “Super Duper Van” is out everywhere on July 31, 2020. Volcanova’s debut album “Radical Waves” is released by The Sign Records on August 21 on vinyl, colored vinyl, CD and digital format.

Pre-order the album HERE: https://freighttrain.se/?s=volcanova

JD Simo – Love

On the new single from his upcoming self-titled solo album, frenetic funk strumming by JD Simo gives way to a passionate vocal delivery as a raucous riff then roars, JD tempering buzzing feedback with a hypnotic hook. Described by Guitarist magazine as “a very appealing sum of James Brown meets Prince dashed with fuzzed out 70’s rock”, the song certainly contrasts with the record’s recent opening salvo, the psychedelic soulful ‘One Of Those Days’.

As for its lyric, JD states that “the song is about how fucking divisive everything really is in this country. It was written pre-pandemic, but it’s obviously eroded even more. I come from a bit of a messed-up background. On a daily basis, like many of us, I rely on a multitude of self-help steps in order to remain healthy. Loving yourself as much as you love everyone else is pretty damn important.”

Recognised as a formidable guitarist who can channel iconic six stringers such as Jimi Hendrix and Jimmy Nolen while adding a large dash of blues and soul, at 34 JD is already a seasoned session musician who has also paid his dues as a frontman, initially as part of the group SIMO and more recently as a solo artist.

A number of JD’s contemporaries appear in a video to promote ‘Love’, including Grammy winners Luther Dickinson (North Mississippi All Stars, The Black Crowes), Charlie Starr (Blackberry Smoke), Todd Park Mohr (Big Head Todd & The Monsters), Webb Wilder (Fat Possum Records) and Patrick Sweany (Black Keys collaborator), plus Nashville darlings The Weird Sisters, Johnny Moeller (Fabulous Thunderbirds), Lillie Mae (Third Man Records, Jack White band) and more.

JD explains that the video “is dedicated to the human condition. During these unprecedented times, I have taken great solace in having more contact with my community and peers than ever before. It is beautiful and inspiring! We have all banded together, learned new skills and tried to grow into better humans as well as artists. So, instead of hiring someone to make this video, my extremely creative friends and I made this on our smartphones. Trying to embody the essence of love, which is present no matter if you are close or far apart.”

ATHON – Reverse Satyr

Of what started as a cover project in 2014, paying a tribute to bands alike Mastodon, Black Tusk, Red Fang or Sleep, should soon become a hot tip of Italy’s eclectic underground scene, when ATHON began to create their own tracks and sound. The four-piece collective hailing from the alps of Varese, Italy, combines their various influences with individual ideas, songwriting and a personal trademark sound, balancing graciously between the elements of stoner, sludge and doom metal. After ATHON played several shows performing their very own stamp of a musical identity live, they gained the attention of Italy’s powerhouse label Argonauta Records, who is proud to welcome ATHON to their high class artist roster and for the release of the band’s debut album!

“We are convinced that the first release is the fundamental starting point for any band.” ATHON comment. “Having found a record label interested in our project is certainly a great satisfaction …. now our next goal, with the release of the record, will be to make ourselves known by a wider audience and with the support of Argonauta Records we are sure to achieve our goal.”

ATHON’s self-titled debut will see the light of day on September 25th, 2020 with a pre-sale to start via Argonauta Records soon, and will contain 5 blistering tracks showcasing 40 minutes of pure, raw and finest sludge, doom and stoner metal. Today, the band shared a first glimpse of what to expect from their upcoming record, listen to the first single, “Reverse Satyr”, here.

Manticora – The Farmer’s Tale, Pt. 3 – Eaten by The Beasts

MANTICORA, the Danish prog-thrash veterans, are releasing the first
single/video from their upcoming album ’To Live To Kill To Live‘, the
follow-up and 2nd part of a huge concept, to 2018’s ’To Kill To Live To
Kill‘ – both albums, based on the 334-page horror/thriller novel that
leadsinger Lars F. Larsen wrote (also released in 2018).

The video for the song “Eaten By The Beasts” deals with the brutal
murder of a young criminal, who has raped the daughter of a farmer. The
farmer hires a hitman to get rid of the rapist, and the rapist is eaten
alive by a number of huge, hungry pigs, owned by the farmer. It’s all
karma, and the video is based on the concept.

The music on both albums was recorded partially in the band’s own studio
and recorded/mixed in Hansen Studios, with World-famous producer, Jacob
Hansen (Volbeat, Destruction, a.o.) who also produced the first two
MANTICORA albums back in the last millenium.

MANTICORA have released 8 critically acclaimed albums, since 1999, and
toured numerous times around Europe, North America and Japan + played at
prestigious festivals, such as Wacken Open Air, Sweden Rock Festival,
Copenhell, Karmøygeddon, ProgPower USA and many more.

Pre-order ’To Live To Kill To Live‘ HERE: https://smarturl.it/VSP156

Calum Ingram – Dancing in the Moonlight

To celebrate the release of his long-awaited double A side 7” inch vinyl single “Dancing in The Moonlight” and “Demon Eyes” today, alternative rock and roots cellist, singer and multi-instrumentalist Calum Ingram releases the music video for ‘Dancing In The Moonlight’.

Grimgotts – Rise Again

London power metal band GRIMGOTTS have just released the lyric video “Rise Again.” The song is taken from their upcoming album “Sagas” which is being released in August. The band commented “We’re beyond happy to release our latest track ‘Rise Again’, a song about great heroes in a distant land and the battle against evil. We were inspired by all things epic, over the top and powerful! If you’re into epic metal, fantasy literature and catchy anthems, this might be for you!”

Fans of Rhapsody of Fire, Dragonforce, Sonata Arctica, and Alestorm will be signing up to set sail with London symphonic power metal band Grimgotts.  Originally formed in 2015 as a Harry Potter parody outfit, Grimgotts has since graduated into their own original fantasy realm: the mythical land of Andria. Their well-received albums Lions of the Sea(2017) and Dragons of the Ages(2019) chronicled epic battles between men and dragons on Andria’s high seas. And now the band is on the eve of releasing the EP Sagas, which will continue the ahem, saga, of Andria.  Due out on August 14th, 2020, its four tracks feature blistering keyboard work and rousing vocal lines that will raise the fists and drinking horns of their audience.

Having supported the German power metal band Victorius and Australian folk metallers Lagerstein, and with a killer discography that’s only growing, Grimgotts is on their way to taking over the Andrian oceans, if not planting their flag on the European power metal scene. As Carl Fischer of GBHBL.com puts it, “May those UK metal pirates continue to invade our minds and enhance our senses with their imposing and symphonic music for many years to come, always fighting for glory, for freedom and for metal!”

This EP is part of a trilogy of releases (Tales, Sagas & Legends)  that will be released as one full album later in the year.

Listen to Tales: https://grimgotts.bandcamp.com/album/tales

TO KILL ACHILLES – Venom

TO KILL ACHILLES are a five-piece alternative rock band from Dundee, Scotland. The band are set to release their sophomore album via Arising Empire. Taking lyrical inspiration from personal life experiences and musical influence from a wide variety of alternative genres has allowed them to create a piece of art which fully encapsulates the band’s message: “We only exist when we exist together”.

To celebrate the addition of TO KILL ACHILLES to the Arising Empire family and their upcoming material, we present you the re-release of ‘Venom’ – a strong and emotional song, packed with a punch.

TO KILL ACHILLES have extensively toured across the UK, the majority of Europe and Russia with bands such as WE CAME AS ROMANS, COUNTERPARTS, WHILE SHE SLEEPS, I KILLED THE PROM QUEEN, HEART IN HAND, BETRAYING THE MARTYRS and many more.

Lionheart – Interview

Following the recent release of their amazing 4th album “The Reality Of Miracles”, the legendary Lionheart, cult British NWOBHM super group, are once upon the world – Shan Siva talks to the iconic, but highly personable Steve Mann (McAuley Schenker Group, The Sweet, Eloy, Michael Schenker Fest)! Continue reading

Primal Fear – “Metal Commando”

Primal Fear – “Metal Commando” (Nuclear Blast)
Battle Helm Rating
Openly consistent since their self-titled debut in 1998, Primal Fear are a well-recognised fan favourite, both in the studio and on the live front, with “Metal Commando”, their 13th album proving no less across its fiery and passionate 11 tracks! That said, while the sound of Judas Priest was certainly evident in their early work, this has since been extrapolated into a sound of their own although the traces of their inspiration are still there. Always maintaining high standards throughout with the emphasis on sticking together as a team even if that meant parting ways with some members, has garnered a healthy respect for Primal Fear from its fanbase and even critics knowing that the music is the most important aspect for this band. Indeed, as the heavy riffs laced with beautiful melodies chug in on ‘Along Came The Devil’, the performance is thick and tight, with a guitar sound that is so dense you cannot fail to air punch and headbang in this made for the live setting track, especially when Ralf Scheepers’ classy soul and soaring screams take it into a high of their own – wow. Resounding with power metal melody and double bass drumming on ‘Halo’, the guitars chunder out another maelstrom over which Scheepers’ screams compete with the squealing guitars until the bountifully soulful chorus in stark contrast holds you utterly captivated – unless you’re understandably singing along in utter bliss of course! Upping the heart beat with speed on ‘My Name Is Fear’ with its superbly catchy mix of chainsaw guitars, pounding drums and beautiful Germanic guitar melodies, Scheepers’ singing brilliantly takes the song through emotional twists and moody turns in building to the epic chorus of ‘…I am your evil..destroyer of Eden..’, culminating with wailing guitars to the song’s sharp dramatic ending. Closing with the 13 minutes of ‘Infinity’, the melancholic atmosphere of quiet guitars, sad vocals and somber choirs soon gives way to another powering mix of heavy riffs, deep melodies and moving acoustic work, varying in combination and style to keep the pulse racing throughout, yet ever mindful to maintain the emotional pulse in its unescapable, culminating effect on the soul – truly brilliant. Indeed, you’d be hard pressed to find fault in this release, ‘consistent’ as it may be, but undeniable in its labour of love.

Blue Öyster Cult – “45th Anniversary – Live In London”

Blue Öyster Cult – “45th Anniversary – Live In London” CD / DVD / Blu-Ray (Frontiers Music)
Battle Helm Rating
Continuing their series of special releases this year including “Hard Rock Live Cleveland 2014”, “40th Anniversary – Agents Of Fortune – Live 2016” and “iHeart Radio Theater N.Y.C. 2012” came “45th Anniversary – Live In London”, a 15 song live extravaganza recorded at the Stone Free Festival in 2017! A unique performance that saw the band perform their 1972 self-titled debut in its entirety followed by a string of classics, the full show was recorded and videotaped in 4K UHD. With the classic nucleus of Eric Bloom (Vocals, Guitar, Keyboards) and Donald ‘Buck Dharma’ Roeser (Guitar, Vocals) still at the helm after 53 years (!), the likes of ‘Then Came The Last Days Of May’ melted like butter into my skin as the soothing organ keys and serene guitars, with their fluid breaks, danced this 10 minute near instrumental into my heart effortlessly, and as the pace and guitar intensity picked up to screaming levels pounded along to by Jules Radino’s hammering drums, the generous cheers from the O2 crowd could only be matched by my own excitement. Rocking in as hard as it gets on ‘Cities On Flame With Rock And Roll’ with its immortal lines of ‘..three thousand guitars, they seem to cry, my ears will melt, and then my eyes..’, the huge grooves and funky rock n roll proved to be completely irresistible as they hooked me in, and like the audience, I was induced to roar out the chorus ‘..with rock and roll!!..’ in total possession. Although more trippy, ‘Workshop Of The Telescopes’ was still resplendent with a deep ‘n’ catchy chorus that once again took hold of me while the guitar work was nothing short of magical as it echoed the lyrics of ‘..I am a sailor on the raging depths, and I know a thing or two..’ – indeed, I was hard pressed to dispute it! ‘..oh, I think I hear something big coming this way now..’, well, no prizes for guessing as the gargantuan riffs to ‘Godzilla’ filled the Indigo arena, Radino’s pounding drums echoing and contrasted superbly the trippy hippy harmony vocals and girlie wails to this Cult classic hit. Followed by the band’s highest charting success, ‘Don’t Fear The Reaper’, with its unrelenting allure of darkly charming guitars, church organ keys, psych and rock ‘n’ roll guitar instrumentals, this 7-minute wonder made an even greater culmination to this already special show perfectly captured for posterity!