SISTERS OF SUFFOCATION ft. Martin Furia – Humans Are Broken

SISTERS OF SUFFOCATION on their brand new video: “We are very excited to present to you all: The official video for our new single Humans Are Broken! This song is representative of our new album (also entitled Humans Are Broken) in many ways: The mix of brutality, melody and different genres music-wise, and the engagement with issues in contemporary society lyric-wise. The video functions as a visual counterpart to our reflection on who we are as humans, how we interact with each other and our place in this world. We are very happy with how this video turned out and hope you guys enjoy watching it as much as we did making it.”

AVANTASIA – Moonglow

Tobias Sammet recently announced the upcoming AVANTASIA masterpiece Moonglow – which will now be released on February 15th 2019 through Nuclear Blast. Today, AVANTASIA reveal the debut song trailer, to give you an initial taster of the album.

You can now pre-order the album below in various formats:

Limited Edition Digibook CD, CD, Vinyl, Vinyl Pic Disc, Limited 2CD Artbook (all formats inc signed insert):
Digital Album

Commented Tobias Sammet, “I really can’t wait to unleash Moonglow. The first reactions by press and friends have been some of the most enthusiastic comments I have ever received in my whole career of 27 years. No bullshit, it’s the truth, Sascha and I are overwhelmed!

In order to avoid boredom, in the middle of promotion and tour preparations, I was getting myself involved in every fine detail of the album sleeves, booklets and packaging, to make sure the album drags the listener into a different world. I want Moonglow to be an overall experience for escapists like myself.

My favourite edition is the giant super strictly limited art book edition with bonus track and bonus CD. A massive coffee table book with photos, interview, liner notes and illustrations by Victorian painter Grimshaw, who has been very inspirational to me. This book edition is everything it takes to invite the listener into the world of Moonglow and its process. There is also a smaller digibook version that features one bonus track and that is limited and beautiful as well. And of course there are also vinyl editions to hug, feel, watch, smell and caress. I am extremely proud of all these little treasures and can’t wait to unleash them!”

Comprising 11 tracks, the new opus once again features several guest vocalists. This time round, Tobias worked not only with well-known faces such as Ronnie Atkins, Jørn Lande, Eric Martin, Geoff Tate, Michael Kiske or Bob Catley but also with new singers like Candice Night, Hansi Kürsch as well as Mille Petrozza who help to vitalize the new AVANTASIA record. Its cover artwork was created by Alexander Jansson.

Tobias Sammet, hailing from Fulda, created the rock event AVANTASIA in 1999 and celebrated its live premiere in 2008. With over 3,5 million records sold, he is one of the most successful musicians from Germany, having worked with Alice Cooper, Klaus Meine and Rudolf Schenker (THE SCORPIONS), Bruce Kulick and Eric Singer (KISS), Eric Martin (MR. BIG) as well as many other stars from the international music business. For a long time Tobias Sammet’s AVANTASIA has been considered an insider tip. But after countless headline performances at some of the world’s largest rock festivals (Sweden Rock Festival, Québec Music Festival, Barcelona Rock Fest etc.), gold awards and several top 10 positions in the world charts, the upcoming AVANTASIA – Moonglow World Tour 2019 can only be considered the biggest rock event of the year!

AVANTASIA – Moonglow World Tour 2019
27.03.   SK   resov – Tatran Handball Aréna
28.03.   SK   Bratislava – Hant Aréna
30.03.   DE   Kaufbeuren – All-Karthalle
31.03.   IT   Milan – Alcatraz
02.04.   CZ   Prague – Forum Karlín
03.04.   DE   Berlin – Huxleys Neue Welt
05.04.   DE   Ludwigsburg – MHP Arena
06.04.   DE   Bamberg – Brose Arena
08.04.   DE   Fulda – Esperantohalle
09.04.   DE   Saarbrücken – Saarlandhalle
10.04.   FR   Paris – Olympia
12.04.   DE   Osnabrück – Osnabrück Halle
13.04.   DE   Hamburg – Mehr! Theater *SOLD OUT!*
14.04.   DE   Oberhausen – König-Pilsener-Arena
16.04.   UK   London – The Forum
18.04.   DE   Offenbach – Stadthalle
19.04.   CH   Pratteln – Z7
20.04.   CH   Pratteln – Z7
24.04.   ES   Bilbao – Santana 27
26.04.   ES   Barcelona – Razzmatazz 1
27.04.   ES   Madrid – Palacio Vistalegre
02.05.   SE   Stockholm – Arenan
04.05.   RU   Moscow – Glavclub Green Concert
06.05.   HU   Budapest – Barba Negra Track
12.05.   AU   Sydney – Metro Theatre
14.05.   AU   Melbourne – The Forum
17.05.   US   San Jose, CA – City National Civic of San Jose *NEW*
19.05.   US   Anaheim, CA – City National Grove *NEW*
21.05.   US   Chicago, IL – Patio Theater *NEW*
23.05.   CA   Montreal, QUE – Metropolis *NEW*
24.05.   US   Worcester, MA – The Palladium *NEW*

CARNIFEX – Bury Me In Blasphemy

Symphonic deathcore merchants CARNIFEX have released a brand new EP today entitled ‘Bury Me In Blasphemy’. The EP was mixed by Jason Suecof (DEATH ANGEL, CHELSEA GRIN, JOB FOR A COWBOY) and artwork was created by Zack Dunn.

Fans can now stream the release on all fine streaming platforms. It is available to purchase physically as a limited cassette and digitally from the following location:

‘Bury Me In Blasphemy’ EP track list:
1. Bury Me In Blasphemy
2. Head Like A Hole (NINE INCH NAILS cover)
3. The Heretic Anthem (SLIPKNOT cover)
4. Head Like A Hole (GOST remix)

CARNIFEX’s latest album ‘Slow Death’ was produced and recorded by CARNIFEX and Jason Suecof and co-produced by Mick Kenney (ANAAL NATHRAKH, BLEEDING THROUGH). ‘Slow Death’ was mixed by Mark Lewis (THE BLACK DAHLIA MURDER, WHITECHAPEL, DEVILDRIVER, DEICIDE) at Audiohammer Studios in Sanford, Florida. Cover art for the album was created by renowned artist and longtime collaborator Godmachine.

CARNIFEX began carving out that bond with the audience way back in 2005. Over the course of four albums—’Dead in My Arms’, ‘The Diseased and the Poisoned’, ‘Hell Chose Me’, and ‘Until I Feel Nothing’—the band attracted a diehard following. Engaging a hiatus in 2012, they returned a year later with a vicious and vigorous vitality. It’s only grown since and is on full display in ‘Slow Death’.

Sulphur Aeon – Lungs into Gills

Taken from the album “The Scythe Of Cosmic Chaos” to be released during winters solstice, the 21st of December, 2018 on double vinyl record, compact disc and via the known digital channels. cover artwork by Ola Larsson illustrations and logo by M. clip animated by

Pre-sales will start on monday, 10.december via: Ván Records,

Gotthard – “Defrosted 2”

Gotthard – “Defrosted 2” 2CD (Nuclear Blast Records) 
Battle Helm Rating
Gotta admit, while I’m not a big ‘unplugged’ fan, Gotthard have done a superb job here. Following on 21 years later from their first live release “D Frosted” comes this 24 track double release that truly shows the talent of a band with sixteen No 1 albums, over 3 million records sold, multiple awards and over 2,000 shows all over the planet! Swapping their amps for acoustics, female backing singers and a string quartet, Gotthard’s handling of their material to no less of an effect in terms of emotional power is nothing short of musical perfection, while the orchestral arrangements are masterful, taking nothing away from the original songs while instead adding deep passion and tons of heartfelt atmosphere where needed. Delivered to a live and clearly appreciative audience, the breath of numbers spans the band’s 25 year career, from the comeback single ‘Remember It’s Me’ (issued after the tragic loss of original vocalist Steve Lee) to their 1992 cover of Joe South’s (and later popularised by Deep Purple) ‘Hush’ to the hard rocking ‘Bang’ from the 2014 namesake album, which is given an even more slick n groovy finish from Nic Maeder’s silky vocals backed by the female crooners and a hammering piano that really gives a kick to the catchy chorus. Indeed, whatever the song, Gotthard not only handle it like candy, but add just the right touch to make it special and if anything, it’s that warmth and intimacy that resonates throughout, making “Defrosted 2” a star release. On ‘Feel What I Feel’, Maeder works the audience to sing along to this moving ballad, made all the more so by the deep strings before the uplifting chorus elevates your emotion to that singalong chorus that could bind any crowd. Bringing it to a boil on ‘Tequila Symphony’ through dramatic strings and a clapping audience, Maeder leads the ensemble like a maestro to build into the ultra catchy chorus where the full measure of all involved can be felt – and that, my friends, is what a true live spectacle should be all about! Completing the joy with ‘Bye Bye Caroline’, as inspired by the Status Quo classic, co written with Francis Rossi who also undertook guitar and vocal duties, “Defrosted 2” goes well beyond just another live album to reach well into the ‘special’ category. If you’ve not heard these Swiss rockers before there’s no better way to now check them out!

Metal Church – “Damned If You Do”

Metal Church – “Damned If You Do” (Nuclear Blast Records) 

Battle Helm Rating

Wow, could it be second time lucky? Anyone who remembers Metal Church’s first signing to Nuclear Blast in 1999 to release the critically acclaimed “Masterpiece”, but sadly ill fated Wacken performance due to the ill health of its members will wonder if the transatlantic phone lines weren’t burning up over this revisit – I mean, is there something in that title?! Once revered in the 80s for being able to stand up to any thrash band with their searing brand of heavy metal defined by molten riffs graced by massive hooks and savage guitar work, Metal Church was poised to follow in thrash’s second wave, stepping into the path of its great pioneers as they supported Metallica, who incidentally urged Elektra Records to sign them! Despite enjoying early commercial success, fluctuating line ups (not in the least the departure of founder guitarist Kurdt Vanderhoof) and style changes soon saw the band relegated, albeit respectably, to the second division. However, since the permanent return of Vanderhoof in 2012, the band have been regaining back lost ground with regular releases and touring, despite continuing line up changes. Solidifying somewhat in 2015 with the return of old vocalist Mike Howe, Metal Church’s momentum has continued onwards and upwards unto this 12th release. As if in further emphasis, “Damned If You Do” propels the band even higher by revisiting and taking on in its classic success formula of intense, guitar driven metal delivered through technically superior musicianship – so old fans will really lap this up! Recruiting former W.A.S.P. drummer Stet Howland who matches the band’s speed and precision, Vanderhoof has ably come to terms with shifting personnel by being steadfast in not lowering the quality standards, not to mention in his own composing, leading to a very interesting album indeed with 10 top songs. Stoked by fellow shredder Rick Van Zandt, the rapid fire razor riffs in time to Howland’s rapid fire kick drum set the aggressive vibe to the aptly titled ‘Guillotine’ as Howe screams while also adding in his own melodic soul before the unhurried heavy metal solos smoulder across it all. Powering in the riffola on ‘Rot Away’ with some meaty hooks, Howe’s high end vocals shred while the twin guitars inject tasty melodies and fire off breaks to not just keep the energy levels high but also ensure a catchy sensibility to the material. For those new to the band, this in essence is Metal Church i.e. a sugar coated lava bomb ha ha! Ending with that in mind on ‘The War Electric’, it could be 1984 again with its massive, twin guitar grabbing riff chugging menacingly before the guitars literally explode into solo frenzy, furiously attacking each other with Howe screaming very much like how I used to remember original vocalist Dave Wayne and Howland pummelling away in the background. If you wanna know what high octane heavy metal is all about then join the flock of the mighty Metal Church on this one!

Alcatrazz – “Parole Denied – Tokyo 2017”

Alcatrazz – “Parole Denied – Tokyo 2017” 2 CD / DVD (Frontiers Music) 
Battle Helm Rating
Something of a hard rock super group when it was formed in 1983 by former Rainbow and Michael Schenker Group vocalist Graham Bonnet, Alcatrazz at different moments also featured the talents of Yngwie Malmsteen, Steve Vai, Danny Johnson (Rod Stewart, Alice Cooper) and Clive Burr (for a week!) in its prestigious ranks. Despite only lasting 4 years, the band released 3 albums and thereafter, retained a cult following that has never died to this day. With Bonnet on something of a roll in recent years, as part of his 2017 Japanese tour of “The Book”, he reunited with Alcatrazz co-founders Jimmy Waldo (keyboards) and Gary Shea (bass) after 33 years for a unique series of farewell shows in Osaka, Nagoya and Tokyo. Rounded out by Mark Benquechea (drums) and Conrado Pesinato (guitars), both from the Graham Bonnet Band, “Parole Denied – Tokyo 2017” is 11 live tracks, 8 rehearsal / studio demos and a 12 track filmed DVD to bring final closure to this band in fine style. Led by Bonnet’s still amazing vocals, the material typically takes a Rainbow flavour and depending on his co-composing guitarist at the time, neoclassical, rhythmic and classic rock aspects. With Waldo’s pumping keys powering the 70s hard rock groove on ‘Too Young To Die, Too Drunk To Live’, Conrado Pesinato’s guitar brings a tasteful modern rock element that really injects the energy – and indeed, he should be commended for his starry performance throughout in being able to handle these classic songs originally conceived by those legendary guitarists oh so splendidly! Throughout it all is Bonnet, hitting the highs, every now and then fraying but simply unflappable in his soul and conveying the passion ceaselessly, all to the rapture of the appreciative audience. On the more metallic ‘Jet To Jet’ with Benquechea firing up the double bass drums, the massive melodies be they through the keys or guitars are no less dramatic and the chorus is nothing short of heavenly – not forgetting Pesinato’s brilliant neo classical guitar work – truly worthy of a concerto in his own right! Bringing it to a close on the slower, but no less punchy ‘Hiroshima Mon Amour’ with its 80s synth and high harmonies complementing the pure hard rock beat of Shea’s deep rumbling bass and a pure heavy metal solo from Pesinato, “Parole Denied – Tokyo 2017” captures this unique farewell performance both on audio and video, ensuring the legacy of this band, and its faithful fans will remain unforgotten.

Lovebites – “Clockwork Immortality”

Lovebites – “Clockwork Immortality” (Arising Empire) 
Battle Helm Rating
Wow, talk about beasts from the east! Forming part of the burgeoning wave of all female metal outfits comes Lovebites from Japan, who are currently taking Europe by a storm, having already performed at Wacken, Bloodstock and this year winning the Metal Hammer Golden Gods Awards for Best New Band! Despite a fashion catwalk model look that belies the pure metal fury running through the veins of this talented 5 piece, Lovebites certainly live up to their name in being a heavy power metal band to be reckoned with. Made up of respected names from the Japanese circuit and having become underground icons to other women metallers there, the band started working on their first EP at the end of 2016, joined by the amazing engineering team of Mikko Karmila and Mika Jussila from Finland who are known for their work with Nightwish, Children Of Bodom and Amorphis, before debuting with “Awakening From Abyss” in 2017. Since then things have sky rocketed for Lovebites and now comes “Clockwork Immortality” – and to say these ladies can play is something of an understatement! Clearly the clincher here is that while being Japanese, the band have grown up on the western gods of metal be it Crüe, Priest, Maiden, Helloween and Rage but moreover, individual musicians like Yngwie Malmsteen and Kiko Loureiro (Megadeth, Angra), making this a very European sounding band indeed. So, with a very wide range of influences fuelling each band member, coupled with the fact that crystal clear vocalist Asami (Vamps, Uverworld) sings in perfect english, makes Lovebites one helluva package! Driven by the fast but hugely melodic twin guitars of Midori (Gekijo★METALicche) and Mi-Ya (A Drop Of Joker, 21g), Asami brings in her bountiful soul through her angelic voice, making the material not just massively melodic, but hugely catchy whether delivered at hyper speed or at lesser, if no less exciting tempos. With Mi-Ya’s added keyboard talents adding both emotion and atmosphere during more delicate moments like on the closing ballad ‘Epilogue’, the 10 tracks on this impressive sophomore show nothing less than a band heading to the top. From the pure power metal heaven of ‘Addicted’ with its grand tones, the heavy rhythm of founders Miha (bassist bandleader influenced by Steve Harris) and drummer Haruna (Destrose) forms the driving platform for the crunching riffola of the twin guitarists, overlaid spectacularly by their possessing melodies (not to mention their incredible twin and individual soloing!) leaving Asami to power her own soulful highs to send you to heaven on this massive opener. With no letting up on the epic ‘Pledge Of The Saviour’, the rich melodies form the basis for a rock out groove that keeps the energy level stoked to the top as the unbelievable chorus laced by Mi-Ya’s orchestral keys adds even more catchy harmonies before that lethal twin axe attack starts the samurai sword frenzy on this glorious Maiden meets Helloween inspired track – excellent! Speeding up even more on ‘M.D.O’ while adding a thrash beat and more punky vocals, the arrangements of the song are brilliant to also incorporate slower heavier passages and power melodies before the shouted out chorus really works a treat thanks to the 5 female voices – and yes, the twin guitars are there once again slashing and soothing all over this pretty bruising number clearly showing where the ‘bite’ is. This outfit have definitely upped the ante, not in the least in Japan, where they put many male counterparts to shame as well as challenging social stereotypes through this impressive sophomore. As for me, I’ll just prepare for immortality!

Buckets Rebel Heart – “20 Good Summers”

Buckets Rebel Heart – “20 Good Summers” (Pride & Joy Music) 
Battle Helm Rating
Oh my god, it’s not very often that an album just comes by and touches your heart to leave you moved forever. Formed by the killer song writing duo of ex Bad Company and Humble Pie guitarist Dave ‘Bucket’ Colwell, along with former 720 & New Torpedoes drummer Paul ‘Taff’ Edwards, Buckets Rebel Heart is a new band formed in the spirit of 70s classic rockers like Bad Company and Humble Pie, but equally southern boogie, heartland rock and the blues. Indeed, with guest contributions from Rick Richards (Georgia Satellites), Mollie Marriott (daughter of Steve Marriott – singer and guitarist of the Small Faces and Humble Pie) and Lyla D’Souza (Kill For Eden), “20 Good Summers” is just that, composed straight from the heart and without the pressure of a label as an intended true expression of pure artistic freedom. With the line-up completed by lead vocalist Jim Stapley and bass player Dave ‘Boycie’ Boyce, previously of The Quireboys, Buckets Rebel Heart’s talent has it in bunches across the 12 tracks here, all of which I found enjoyable and moving from the southern lite rock of ‘Radio State Of Mind’, completed by trademark female harmonies and organ to the funk rocker of ‘Customised Car’ with D’Souza showing she could be ‘The Boss’ too through her powerful vocals, accompanied by brass and some truly swanky guitar. Equally, on ‘Faraway Blues’ Stapley truly moved me with his southern tones, backed by slide guitar, organ and piano on this song that hit right home in the heart. Of the more feisty numbers, then ‘Rebel Heart’ would take some beating given its groove that could rival Guns N Roses ‘Knocking On Heaven’s Heart’ and rippling in hard rock glory through its organic piano, resonating organ and not in the least, Stapley’s moving soulful vocals that brilliantly morphed into classic rock tones accompanied by some dazzling female harmonies. Closely following was ‘The Bridge’ with its undoubted feelgood vibe thanks to the deep n warm guitar, and even more uplifting harmonies, moving piano keys and Stapley’s tender tones – put it this way, you wouldn’t feel any winter blues after this one! Injecting the southern boogie on the aptly titled ‘Whiskyland’ complete with its powerful guitars, and backed more subtly this time by the harmonies and organ while Stapley cranked up his clean power, this really brought home the sound and memories of great southern legends like Lynyrd Skynyrd and Molly Hatchet. Making their live debut at the Sweden Rock Festival this year, expect to see more from this truly talented band as evidenced by this top notch debut!