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EuroNoize announced for May 2019

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Event announcement: EuroNoize
Event date: 23 May 2019
More info: Scala website

EU funded "avant-garde Eurovision" event EuroNoize announced for May 2019. Featuring performances from artists such as Winnie Puhh, Asian Women on the Telephone, Mauraudeur, Felix Cubin, Sissy + more

On May 23rd, an “avant-garde Eurovision” called EuroNoize will be taking place at London’s Scala. A celebration of the obscure, the niche and the uncategorizable, music that runs deeper than national borders, EuroNoize was born from Pil and Galia Kollectiv’s grotesque fascination with the Eurovision Song Contest to represent the secret international fellowship of “punx and weirdos” stretching everywhere from Russia to Ireland… The event will feature 11 bands from around the world, who will perform one new song in front of a live audience. The event will also be streamed live online so people can cast their vote from afar for their favourite performance of the evening.

The event will bring an array of artists from across Europe such as Estonia’s cult internet sensation Winny Puhh, Russia’s Asian Women On The Telephone and Ireland’s hard-hitting feminists Sissy to represent their countries. Also, contentiously, despite being set in London and as a testament to the great talent pervading throughout the world and proudly representing a unity currently not felt throughout the country, the UK will not be represented at the event following Brexit. The event will also be hosted by Ruby Waters, drag alter-ego of Andrew Milk from the band Shopping and Kay Isgay of the band Homosexual Death Drive.

The promoters, Galia and Pil Kollectiv, who have previously curated events for Thurston Moore, Simon Reynolds and more have now been settled in London for several years but are originally from Israel – co-incidentally also the host nation of this year’s Eurovision. Please see a full quote from the organisers below as well as full line-up details here.

"The concept for EuroNoize was born of a grotesque fascination. Growing up in Israel, watching the Eurovision Song Contest was an exciting family event. Through a strange set of circumstances, Israel was included in Europe for one night, and a parade of bizarre performances in foreign languages invaded all living rooms around us. The music has always been mostly appalling, but occasionally, a subversive spectacle would penetrate the predictable blandness: a Finnish monster metal band, an Armenian serenading a giant apricot seed or a bunch of out of tune Israeli artists waving a Syrian flag. More than anything, these displays sat uncomfortably with the requirements on the one hand to represent an increasingly meaningless idea of national identity and on the other hand some kind of recognisably Anglo-American popular music. There was also something utterly fascinating about the spectacle of European bureaucracy that occupied almost half the night. Telephone lines, broadcasting authority committees and a complex system of awarded points demonstrated what the enlightened administration of international cooperation is all about. For us, amidst the sectarian violence and chaos of our home town of Jerusalem, it was as exotic as full orchestral arrangements and sequin dresses.

It might have been this early interest in music as a visual spectacle that drove our interest in the idea of the art band. Coming from a background in music journalism, we have always worked with musicians and incorporated music in our artwork. But in 2010, these fields began to merge in our band WE. Initially a performance piece, this project involved four masked musicians intoning the lyrics to famous songs in the plural, retaining little from the originals but the lyrics. It was through curating a series of art and music events spinning off of the band that we began considering the possibility of pursuing our interest in Eurovision further. As fans of the obscure, we had a good collection of barely popular music in diverse languages. What sort of Eurovision could accommodate the type of our weird music we were listening to and making? What would it mean to ask of this kind of group to represent its country of origin? It was also somehow obvious to us, without any real proof, that a network of likeminded individuals existed across the world, that a small group of aficionados in places as far away as Russia, Iceland or Malta might also share our unconventional taste. We became interested in understanding how this global subculture revolving mostly around Anglo-American music intersected with local identities on the periphery of the culture industry.

We set about planning an event where a selection of bands from the continent would be asked to perform one original song in front of a live and broadcasting audience who could vote for the winner. When the opportunity arose to apply for EU funding for the project, the Brexit referendum had yet to take place. However, by the time the project was confirmed, with a book, record, exhibition and conference to accompany a night of live performances, it had gained a new relevance. One decision that followed was to exclude Britain from the competition. It was also important, since we couldn’t afford to include every country in Europe, to try and represent its different regions. Working in partnership with The University of Reading, Kunsthall Oslo and ARE Prague, we set about selecting a line-up of exciting noise and outlandish presentations from a host of loud and unlikely nominees.

Our line-up reflects an attempt to present a broad, although by no means comprehensive European spectrum representing the east, west, north and south of the continent. One of the first bands we approached was Estonian cult outfit Winny Puhh. In 2013 Winny Puhh became an internet sensation for their performance at the Estonian pre-Eurovision televised competition. They performed a weirdo-punk number wearing wrestling gear and Chewbacca masks, singing in a crockery breaking falsetto and playing an electric banjo. Oh, and they had two drummers suspended from the ceiling upside down. Because Winny Puhh never made it to the Eurovision final, we felt we needed to correct a historical mistake by including them in EuroNoize. Also playing are experimental Russian trio Asian Women on the Telephone, who cross dada cult costumes with philosophical musings laid over heavily distorted beat. Our final representatives from the eastern European block are E.P.P.! from Serbia whose songs form short advertising jingles for non-existing products.

Although Germany’s Felix Kubin recorded his first master piece at the age of 12, he has continually challenged musical norms for nearly forty years with his high concept digital hardcore, retaining an uncompromising DiY aesthetic. By contrast, doom-noise metal outfit Golden Core from Norway was only formed in 2014, when its two members were 9 and 11. Representing France is Hassan K, who mixes Persian music and surf guitar. Italian garage-punk veteran Tab Ularasa is an illustrious shapeshifter who probably has more aliases and former bands than all the participants of EuroNoize put together. Hailing from the French side of Switzerland, Mauraudeur’s post-punk is the anti-thesis of the actual Eurovision sound, with its cool, detached vocals and spikey guitars. Ireland’s Sissy are possibly the most melodic entrants, but the hard-hitting feminist politics of songs like their pro-choice nod to Enya, “Sail and Rail”, belie tuneful appeal of their lo-fi power-pop. Finally, completing the line-up are Greek brothers Lakis & Aris Ionas who form the core of art-rockers and Lee Ranaldo collaborators The Callas.

Britain, following Brexit, is not participating.

EuroNoize will be hosted by Ruby Waters, drag alter-ego of Andrew Milk from the band Shopping and Kay Isgay of the band Homosexual Death Drive." - Pil and Galia Kollectiv

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Hallatar debut album due 27 October 2017

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Album release: 'No Stars Upon the Bridge' by Hallatar
Release date: 27 October 2017
Label: Svart Records
More info: Band website

Recently signed to Svart Records (Oranssi Pazuzu, Blaak Heat, Kairon; IRSE, Trees of Eternity and more), Hallatar are now gearing up to release their debut album 'No Stars Upon the Bridge', which is based on the lyrics and poems of Aleah Starbridge. Hallatar premiere new single 'My Mistake' with Metal Injection.

Although a brand-new name, Hallatar features among its ranks Swallow the Sun and Trees of Eternity guitarist Juha Raivio, Amorphis vocalist Tomi Joutsen, and former HIM drummer Gas Lipstick. In fact, one could see Hallatar as an extension of Trees of Eternity, whose massively acclaimed debut for Svart, Trees of Eternity, served as the swansong of vocalist Aleah Starbridge.

Juha Raivio explains the genesis of Hallatar: "After the death of my beloved and my life partner Aleah Starbridge last April, I have been gathering writings, lyrics, and the poems of Aleah to keep them safe and close to my heart. About one month after the world came down on the blackest day of my life on April 18th, I knew I needed to pick up the guitar and try to create something or I would be truly destroyed. And something did arrive out of the darkness, and I wrote the music for the Hallatar album in a week's time. I don’t have much memory of this week, not a memory of a single day of writing the music. But all I remember when going into this abyss of the writing process was a promise to myself that whatever music would come out, I would not touch or change anything of it afterwards. What mattered was that the music would stay forever as an absolute truth of those moments as they came out. I asked my good friends - and amazing musicians - Tomi Joutsen and Gas Lipstick if they would want to record this music with me, and both of them said yes without even hearing a note of it. I am forever grateful to both of them for sharing this road with me; even the weight of the process has not been easy to carry, or will be."

Adds Gas Lipstick, "I am grateful and very honoured to be asked to join this band. Juha is a dear friend of mine since many years ago, and when he told me about his vision for Hallatar and asked me to join, I said yes instantly - I just had to be part of this amazing journey. I had never heard a single note of the music before I gave my 'yes' because I didn't need to. Juha has been one of my favourite songwriters already for years, and I knew that Hallatar will be a very deep, personal, and one-of-a-kind story which I wanted to help him to bring alive."

Continues Tomi Joutsen: "I have known Juha from the year 2007, when we worked together for the first time. A couple years ago, I had the privilege to meet Juha's life partner, Aleah Starbridge, who was such a beautiful person, inside and outside, and had an angelic voice out of this world. Aleah lent her voice on the latest Amorphis album, and we called her 'the whispering ghost.' When I heard about Aleah's passing last spring, it came as a total shock and Heartbreaking news out of the blue. When Juha asked me if I would want to be part of this album and carry Aleah's flame with him, I didn't have to think twice. When everything has been taken, all that is left is the music. The sorrow strips us naked and leave us humble - this is how it sounds like."

Concludes Raivio, "What we recorded was a raw moment in time honouring the memory, lyrics, and poems of Aleah Starbridge with all its pain, beauty and darkness. There are no stars left upon the bridge to light the way anymore, but the music will always be a dim light, even in the darkest of the night."
 
 

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Wren album 'Auburn Rule' due 14 July 2017

Album release: ‘Auburn Rule’ by Wren
Release date: 14 July 2017
Label: Holy Roar Records
More info: Band website

Following on from the release of their 'Host' EP last year, London-based progressive sludge/noise-rock four-piece Wren, are now gearing up to release their new album ‘Auburn Rule’. 

Recorded at Holy Mountain Studios by Misha Hering (Memnon Sa) and mastered by Brad Boatright (Beastmilk, Fucked Up and High On Fire), the new album sees the bands most consummated material yet. Calling to mind the likes of Neurosis, Amenra and Old Man Gloom, ‘Auburn Rule’ is a masterfully bleak and aggressive collection of tracks, which traverse an unyielding foray of styles and influences with nods to post-metal, noise-rock, sludge and doom. Full of morose and slow moving ascerbic moods, tempos and soundscapes, the album seamlessly merges visceral instrumentation and vocals with moments of ominous yet ethereal serenity.  

Speaking about the new album the band said “The album is based around the same premise as the entire band and our other records so far. Our process is more of a returned contribution to the creative pool that we draw from as a collective. Lyrically, each song is knowingly vague, and throughout 'Auburn Rule' there is rarely one idea that can be summarised from each song or passage - what is more common in our work is a collection of our scattered thoughts and incomplete musings." 

Since releasing their debut self-titled EP release back in Feb 2014, Wren have been moving from strength-to-strength, despite a variety of tumultuous line-up changes and painful geographical relocations. Wren have had to make heavy sacrifices to follow through with each record and commit to their sound, and their determination shows. 

Wren have garnered healthy support from select press in their short time together, with their last EP 'Host' commanding praise from the likes of CVLT Nation, The Obelisk, Terrorizer and, most notably, Daniel P. Carter with repeat plays on BBC Radio 1's Rock Show. Supports under the likes of Minsk, Ohhms and Kowloon Walled City have helped establish the band both in the UK and EU, and Wren have also made select festival appearances at Carefully Planned and Incubate Festival and are set to appear at Raw Power later this year. 

Press reaction to date

“massive waves of abrasive and downtrend sludge core heaviness” - CVLT Nation

“a good example of their turbulent, Isis-inspired churn” - Terrorizer

"righteous in its violence, thoughtful in its execution” - The Obelisk

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Blood Command album 'Cult Drugs' out 28 April 2017

Album release: 'Cult Drugs' by Blood Command
Release date: 28 April 2017
Label: Fysisk Format
More info: Band website

After two albums, numerous EPs and four radio hits, Blood Command are hungrier for success than ever. The sound still has the distinct fingerprint of producer and songwriter Yngve Andersen: Sharp and challenging, but still so universal and seductive that you will throw your hands in the air and run into the crowd before the first chorus ends. Since the last album, Andersen has received wide recognition in Norway as a successful producer and is responsible for several local hits. But Blood Command remains his favourite pet and Cult Drugs might be the point where all of his talents finally hit their zenith. 

The band's previous album, ‘Funeral Beach’ (2012) received a 5/5 in Kerrang (who also placed them at no. 8 in their end of year list), 9/10 in Rock Sound, 5/6 in most Norwegian broadsheets. Metal Hammer UK awarded the album a 9/10, saying that Blood Command is one of the best they have heard in recent years. In 2010, Blood Command was nominated for a Norwegian Grammy for their debut album ‘Ghostclocks’. 

Blood Command have played numerous festivals such as Roskilde, Nova Rock in Austria (where they shared the stage with, among others, Iron Maiden) and The Great Escape in Brighton, where they won the "Best Concert of the Year" in Artrocker Magazine. 

The band have regularly played across Europe and have undertaken support tours with Biffy Clyro and Protest the Hero among others. 

Blood Command's reappearance shows a band that has never sounded as good as now. Singer Karina Ljone is angrier and more accurate than ever, the complexing-riffing is smoother and drummer Sigurd Haakaas sets new standards in action-drumming. The album is mixed and mastered by Blood Command’s long-time collaborator Dagger, who together with producer Yngve Andersen has made sure that the album comes together as a relentless sting of murderous hooks. 

Musically, the band reference Refused and Boney M as the main inspiration, alongside acts like The Clash, “We’re making a sonic revolution you can dance to!” boasts Andersen.  

In recent years, the band has binged on rave culture and charismatic cults like Heaven's Gate. Inspired by this and the increasing political manipulation taking place in both Europe and the US, the lyrics and the themes of Cult Drugs took form. Blood Command-main man Yngve Andersen, who himself was part of a Christian charismatic group in his youth, generally holds a positive view on non-mainstream religious groupings: “If it makes you happy and you don’t hurt anyone else, you can worship your cat as far as I’m concerned.” 

Andersen elaborates: “The title Cult Drugs comes from the realization that we're all in some ways part of a cult that informs our way of being and our ways of thinking. We’re programmed to perceive ourselves as the good guys, no matter what side we're on. Most people live with a self-manipulation so extensive that it can compare to drug addiction. It is easy to put a stigma on religious outcasts, but it’s time to admit that every human, to some extent, live in denial.” 

So, the difference between “cult people” and “normal people” could be smaller than you think. Particularly when you’re exposed to the seducing power of music. What could appear as a perfectly ordinary rock album, might prove to be a gateway to powers beyond your control.

Press reaction to date

“Funeral Beach is the sort of album you hear and think ‘Holy Scheisse’, Blood Command, where have you been all my life?” – Kerrang (KKKKK) 

 "Blood Command have combined driving anthemia, lacerating stabs of guitar-hammering ferocity, thunderous percussive workouts and a vocalist capable of carrying both a pristine melodic hook and a glass-shattering scream, to produce a body of work which simply screams ‘rock stars’ – Rock Sound

“Blood Command have the uncanny ability to sound startlingly fresh and new, while never jumping too far to land on that dreaded island of ‘quirky’. Funeral Beach is a fiercely unique, invigorating slab of catchy punk’n’roll, and it demands your full, ongoing attention.” – Metal Hammer (9/10) 

“In reality, where only good jams matter, Blood Command is fucking awesome!” – Metalsucks

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Kairon; IRSE! new album & reissued debut album due 3 February 2016

Album release:  ‘Ruination’ & ‘Ujubasajuba’ by Kairon; IRSE! 
Release date: 3 February 2016
Label: SVART Records
More info: Band website

Progressive shoegazing? Music of the outer spheres? An irrevocably mentally unstable Gentle Giant and a severely alcoholic Todd Rundgren having a love child which, after being adopted to Russia, finds himself performing a rock opera in the Ural Mountains? It is typical of the human mind to try and classify things, but when confronted with Kairon; IRSE!, many are at a loss for words. 
 
Behind the moniker Kairon; IRSE! there are four inner space travelers from western Finland. Debut album 'Ujubasajuba' already knocked the planet off its orbit, even though it was done as a DIY Bandcamp release. Despite the lack of a physical release the album found itself on many a best albums of the year -list in 2014. Since then the band has performed at various large festivals and meticulously written the new album. Titled ‘Ruination’, the album will be released by Svart Records in February 2017 on CD, double LP and digital. 
 
The band describe their music as an appreciation of the ideas and overall mentality of experimental pop musicians of the 60s and 70s, combined with a modern approach and original musical vision. Whereas the debut album was largely born out of improvisation and jam sessions, 'Ruination' is the fruit of two years of careful composing and arranging work, taking control of the chaos. Though often bundled with the shoegazer movement, Kairon; IRSE!'s music has since the beginning been a rare bird inside the scene: it rings out with a different tone, and already on the first album the influence of classic progressive rock was evident. On 'Ruination' the curiously named quartet heads further, beyond the point of no return, into their own world of sound, where power chords, arpeggios and quirky vocal harmonies flow. 
 
'Ruination' was recorded in the summer of 2016 at Tonehaven Studios producer Juho Vanhanen (Oranssi Pazuzu, Grave Pleasures) at the helm and Tom Brooke recording and mixing. "Juho shared our vision of how the album should sound", comments guitarist Niko Lehdontie, "but he also gave us a much needed outside view of the proceedings." Svart Records is set to release both Ruination and the group's first album 'Ujubasajuba' on February 3, 2017, on CD/2LP/Digital. The band is heading for an extensive Finnish tour in February, and live appearances abroad are to be expected as well. 

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Devil Gone Public debut album due 29 July 2016

Album release: ‘Smokehound’ by Devil Gone Public
Release date: 29 July 2016
More info: Band website

Formed in Sarasota, Florida in 2008, Devil Gone Public united under the guidance and mentorship of Brian Johnson (AC/DC).  The band spent a lot of their early years jamming with the likes of Johnson, Scotti Hill (Skid Row) and Donald ‘Duck’ Dunn (Booker T, The Blues Brothers), which led to the band performing extensively in support of Brian Johnson, alongside the likes of Motley Crue and Godsmack before disbanding in 2012.  

Having reformed in 2014 independently of Johnson, Devil Gone Public are now gearing up to release their debut album, ‘Smokehound’. The band’s debut is a consummate collection of visceral yet refined tracks, which effortlessly fuses elements of groove metal, stoner rock, southern metal and sludge. The lead track, ‘Euthanation’ is the perfect introduction to the new album; combining Red Fang meets Mastodon-esque guitar riffs with powerful and sneering vocals calling to mind the sounds of Lamb of God and He Is Legend. Elsewhere on the album ‘Blood Debt’ edge towards the frenzied southern influence of Every Time I Die, coupled with a very subtle hardcore influence that could be likened to that of The Chariot. Whilst closing track ‘Galactic Amnesia’ takes its cues from rhythmic and grinding desert cruisers such as Kyuss and Goatsnake, with huge churning guitars colliding with unrelenting bass lines and rhythms supplementing dynamic vocals throughout.  

'Smokehound' is an album that you can easily draw comparisons to; however, through its combination of exhilarating vocals, crushing instrumental sections and dark unforgettable breakdowns, Devil Gone Public are able to create an individual sound for themselves which is just as beguiling as it is impressive.

When creating and recording their debut the band also brought in Rob Caldwell (Iron Reagan, Goatwhore) to produce the album, as well as enlisting the talents of Jake Duncan (Maylene and the Sons of Disaster) to lay down guest guitar parts. Speaking about the album the Garrett Moore (lead vocals) said “This album comes from a culmination of our various musical backgrounds and influences, having grown up on Classic Rock, our roots are deep in Rock N' Roll and that has a lot to do with our style and sound. When we set out to create this album with Rob Caldwell, we knew we wanted to write a heavy, groovy, sludgy metal record and spent a lot of time trying different tones and worked hard to make it something we're all proud of.”

As a debut full-length album Devil Gone Public have shown a lot of promise for what is yet to come, despite this being their first full-length album in their eight year existence. This is an album that will appeal to many different listeners from the metal world and is one that is both familiar and individual all at once. It’s time to start paying attention to Devil Gone Public, because after eight years they are ready to prove that sometimes it really is worth the wait.

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Blaak Heat album 'Shifting Mirrors' due 13 May 2016

Album release: 'Shifting Mirrors' by Blaak Heat
Release date: 13 May 2016
Label: Svart Records
More info: Band website

Like an Anatolian fever dream, Blaak Heat engulfs your mind in images of mystic castle mirages, slamming body and soul into an ocean of reverb fuzz. Blaak Heat’s 'Mojave soundtracks' rest upon a rich history of musical tradition, drawing from the Middle East as naturally as from California’s deserts and beaches, with one foot still firmly rooted in the streets of Paris. The end-result is a timeless, vivid blend of thundering psychedelic rock and Arabian tonalities, an altar to heavy riffage, mind expansion, and social insurgencies. 
 
Blaak Heat are an avant-garde Parisian-American psych/stoner rock trio, now signed to esteemed and unorthodox leftfield label Svart Records (Oranssi Pazuzu, Beastmilk, Opium Warlords). Formed in Paris by guitarist/singer Thomas Bellier (ex-Spindrift) in 2008, Blaak Heat relocated to Los Angeles in 2012 with drummer Mike Amster and bassist Henry Evans (formerly of Spindrift, also). Dropping the former name of Blaak Heat Shujaa, they became more primal, more indigenous and expanded the Eastern influence by incoorperating more traditional instruments and using percussionist Nelson Bragg (The Brian Wilson Group) to embellish the developing sound. 
 
‘Shifting Mirrors' is an album that is as intriguing as it is perilously unrelenting. By exploring a range of tonalities, tempos, and traditional soundscapes, Blaak Heat are able to traverse a number of musical territories. The lead track from the album ‘Sword of Hakim’ demonstrates the best of the bands unruly, bludgeoning guitar tone, whilst also creating a technically composite and solid rhythmic approach, which brutally rolls out, leaving the listener feeling transcended.  
 
‘Shifting Mirrors’ calls to mind the sounds of bands such as Sleep, but it is conversely evident that the influences don’t end here as Bellier clearly takes inspiration from the likes of Amon Duul II, Magma, John Zorn, Turkish pop and surf rock by crafting structures that tend to lean more into the pysch realm, which still holds its metal influences proudly on its sleeve. Also buried into this, but not deep enough to be fully submerged, is the under rooted eastern influence of arrangements; track ‘Mola Mamad Djan’ is itself a traditional Afghan folk song, reworked into something altogether more sinister. 
 
The band enlisted the help of Grammy Award-winning Matt Hyde (Deftones, Slayer) to produce the material that makes up this perilous and fervent third album, whilst Bellier himself co-produced. An established producer in his own right, he used his knowledge from various degrees of involvement on records by Deftones, Soulfly, Danzig, Behemoth and more to formulate an ambitious and innovative record with Hyde at the helm.  
 
Discussing the nature of the album’s sound Bellier said: “We took our favorite Middle Eastern sounds, and reinterpreted them through the prism of our cultural baggage – weird European psychedelia, a healthy dose of vintage hard rock, experimental jazz... With Matt [Hyde], we were able to mix loud fuzz guitar tones along with traditional acoustic instruments, such as the oud and the kanun.” 
 
Blending components of progressive rock, psych, metal, and elements of traditional Arabic instrumentation, ‘Shifting Mirrors’ is the album to transcend Blaak Heat into a further field of avant garde metal/psych rock - continuing to prove their escalation with a further comprehension and awareness of their surroundings. Succumb to the mystic castle mirages; fall into the relentlessly merciless sound of Blaak Heat. 

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Oranssi Pazuzu new album 'Värähtelijä' due 26 February 2016

Album release: 'Värähtelijä' by Oranssi Pazuzu
Release date: 26 February 2016
Label: Svart Records
More info: Band website

In 2013 Finland’s Oranssi Pazuzu issued their 'Valonielu' LP, an album of timeless creative immensity that was met with ubiquitous praise throughout the world, and solidified the band’s position as one of the most forward-thinking and interesting metal bands. Now Oranssi Pazuzu returns with the follow-up album and fourth overall, the mind-bending masterwork 'Värähtelijä'.

Oranssi Pazuzu, since birth, has never been satisfied to stick with a formula. Each album has seen the band expand upon its previous incarnation and then, like a supernova, blow it up and transform again into something recognizable but completely new.

'Värähtelijä' continues in this vein, giving the band much more room to diverge and explore the vast regions of hypnotic progressive psychedelia and the nebulous outer limits of Scandinavian black metal. Songs explode with radiant ultraviolet color and plunge into the deep black darkness of innermost consciousness. If ‘Valonielu’ was the creation of a universe, ‘Värähtelijä’ is the magnification and expansion of its infinite boundaries.

A 70+ minute sprawling voyage, ‘Värähtelijä’ more accurately represents the stunning live presence of the band where the songs often span new and previously unheard dimensions of form and structure. Not meant for genre purists, Oranssi Pazuzu are on a trip all their own; modern electric pioneers on an expedition to unlock the keys to the hidden spaces all around and inside us. 20 Buck Spin and Svart are pleased to once again present the innovative brilliance of Oranssi Pazuzu and ‘Värähtelijä’.

"Värähtelijä is continuing where we left off with 'Valonielu'. But it plunges deeper into the pitch black hypnosis, combines progressive song structures to more free and flowing parts. At the same time, it’s the heaviest and the most atmospheric album we`ve done so far. The fusion between different ends of spectrum reveals new realities we`ve never discovered before. We really wanted this album to go to new places and to be the crossover album of genres we always wanted to do.

To further boost the idea, the album was done with Julius Mauranen who had previously done lots of Finnish shoegaze and indie pop albums. I think it’s safe to say that this is by far the heaviest stuff he has done and for us, working with a guy like him stretched our sound to way more dynamic and trippy horizons." - Jun-His

Press reaction to date

'Oranssi Pazuzu never disappoint' – Metal Hammer

'Their unique take on psychedelic, proggy black metal is totally otherworldly and even uplifting at times' – Terrorizer

'...trippy combination of space rock, psychedelic textures and controlled aggression' – Rock Sound

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InTechnicolour to release their debut self-titled EP on 13 November

EP release: InTechnicolour
Release date: 13 November 2015
Label: Small Pond Recordings
More info: Band soundcloud

Hailing from Brighton, stoner/groove rock quintet InTechnicolour are now gearing up to release their debut self-titled EP. A year in the making, InTechnicolour are born into the world with a refined sound and a fully functioning line-up (comprised of members from the likes of Porshyne, Delta Sleep and Physics House Band) capable of playing shows outside of their respective living quarters.  
 
'InTechnicolour' is a masterful collection of three visceral yet polished tracks which lie loosely between the slack desert groove of bands such as Kyuss and Karma to Burn. Their debut EP is an unyielding barrage of thick and fuzz infused guitars, driving drums and a relentless bass line which drives the desert cruiser onwards. However, it's clear that the bands influences don't end there as the two original compositions 'Lend Me A Crushed Ear' and 'We Are All Losing Sleep' combine simple yet deeply satisfying riffs with a dynamic vocal style, which calls to mind the sounds of Baroness, Gojira or Mastodon. Whilst the bands cover of Linda Perhacs 'Hey, Who Really Cares?' is reminiscent of the droning melancholic instrumentation of White Pony era Deftones.  
 
'InTechinicolour' is an EP that you can easily draw comparisons to and is strewn with familiarity; however, through its combination of haunting yet powerful vocals, crushingly suspenseful prog clean sections and anthemic, unforgettable choruses, InTechnicolour are able to create an individual sound for themselves which refuses to fall into the ether.  
 
When speaking about recording the EP, Dave Jackson (guitars) says, "I guess we just decided to go into the studio with the Neil Young approach to recording and play it live for the first time on record and whatever comes out the other end remains. We decided to try and make everything sound really raw and play everything quite loosely and this is what came out the other end."  
 
InTechnicolour have composed an incredibly consummate debut release, one which can easily stand side-by-side with any current modern rock releases. The band have previously been quoted as saying that they "literally have nothing to say about themselves", but with a first offering that gives listeners so much to take away, it is highly likely that there will be plenty of others that will be willing to do the talking for them. 

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Caspian premiere new song ‘Darkfield’ and announce EU/UK tour

Song premiere: ‘Darkfield’ by Caspian
Release date: 25 September 2015
Label: Big Scary Monsters
More info: Band website

Today Atmospheric rock band Caspian have premiered their brand new song ‘Darkfield’ from their forthcoming album ‘Dust and Disquiet’ which is due out on 25 September 2015 via Big Scary Monsters.

‘Darkfield’ is currently streaming exclusively with The Line of Best Fit. On the new song Best Fit say, “Sinister and seductive, 'Darkfield' spirals and builds, a raging instrumental hurtling towards a cataclysmic conclusion. Ominous drones pave the way for tribal percussion, the combination of electric intensity and natural drive entirely potent.”

Dust and Disquiet is the band’s fourth full-length album and the follow up to 2012’s stellar ‘Waking Season’. Recorded at Q Division Studios in Somerville, Massachusetts, Caspian once again tapped Matt Bayles (Isis, Cursive, Screaming Females, The Sword) to produce and mix.  

In addition, Caspian have also announced a string of EU/UK tour dates in support of the new album with support from Jo Quai and Tidal Sleep (select dates only). The tour spans 22 dates and see’s the band visit cities such as London, Glasgow and Sheffield for the first time since their last tour with Defeater at the start of 2014.

‘Darkfield’ follows on from the release of the band’s recent song ‘Sad Heart of Mine’ which was premiered over with Noisey. This was the first new song from the forthcoming album, receiving critical acclaim and upwards of 15K views upon release.

On ‘Dust and Disquiet’, Caspian again refuses to be confined by genre.  Listeners will find those familiar intricately textured soundscapes that the band has become known for on tracks like ‘Sad Heart of Mine’, ‘Arcs of Command’ and the title track, ‘Dust and Disquiet.’ 

In the center of the album, a track like ‘Run Dry’ will surprise listeners and stands alone in the band’s discography as a stark, acoustic ballad with vocals from guitarist Calvin Joss at the forefront. Elsewhere, Caspian forays into unexpected territory: ‘Ríoseco’ explores the wilder, steel-eyed side of country, and ‘Aeternum Vale’ ventures into the classical realm. 

Caspian released their last LP, Waking Season, in 2012 to critical acclaim, with Spin proclaiming it as the ‘Best Post Rock Album of 2012.’ The band followed with the release of ‘Hymn for the Greatest Generation’ in the fall of 2013, an EP that was to serve as Caspian’s epilogue to Waking Season. ‘Hymn for the Greatest Generation’ was also well received, finding praise everywhere from Pitchfork to Nylon to Alternative Press. After touring extensively in support of those releases (tallying hundreds of shows throughout 25 countries), Caspian returned to their hometown of Beverly to celebrate a decade of making music together at the historic Larcom Theatre last October. 

The band are excited to release new music and get back out on the road. ‘Dust and Disquiet’ is due out on 25th September 2015 via Big Scary Monsters and will be available for preorder on CD / 2xLP 

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Anuryzm new album All Is Not For All

Anuryzm.jpg

Album Release:  All Is Not For All by.Anuryzm
Release date: 15 June 2015
Label: 
Melodic Melodic Revolution Records

Hailing from the U.A.E, progressive metal quintet Anuryzm are now ready to release their second full length album ‘All Is Not For All’. Following on from their critically acclaimed debut album ‘Worm’s Eye View’, which was released in 2011, the new album is an uncompromising assemblage of carefully calculated instrumentation and masterful composition, which sees the band develop on their already lauded and esoteric approach to the metal genre.

Formed in Lebanon in 2003, the band now reside in Abu Dhabi and have performed extensively in and around the local & regional scenes, sharing the stage with renowned artists such as Black Sabbath, Avenged Sevenfold, Yngwie Malmsteen, Scorpions, Nightwish, Epica, Dark Tranquillity, Orphaned Land, Myrath, and many others.

‘All Is Not For All’ is a consummate collection of visceral and polished tracks, which effortlessly coalesces elements of power metal, death metal, thrash and prog. The lead track, ‘Humanoid’ is the perfect introduction to the new album; combining abrasive tech guitar riffs with vacillating harmonious yet caustic vocals. The track glides effortlessly through euphonious and symphonic synth and acoustic sections, at times even incorporating anomalous traces of eastern and jazz like arrangements.

There are clear influences from the likes of Opeth and Dream Theater strewn throughout the album, however there is an underlying familiarity in its conformation, which also calls to mind classic thrash bands such as Exodus, Testament and Iced Earth. It’s an incredibly compelling listen, which despite its sometimes disparate arrangements, is entirely beguiling in its methodical yet aberrant composition.

Additionally, the band have raised an army of venerable musicians from the metal world to take up arms on the new album with guest collaborations from the likes of Michael Lepond (Symphony X), Uri Dijk (Textures & Ethereal), Charlie Zeleny (Whiplash), and interestingly, Christopher Chaplin (the youngest son of the late icon Charlie Chaplin) who plays Cello on ‘Oceans Apart’. The album was also mastered by recording legend Bob Katz (three time Grammy award winning audio mastering engineer).

According to the band, thematically, “The album’s songs span a variety of topics including humbleness, nanotechnology, illness, astral projection, extraterrestrial encounters, love, longing and remorse, third culture upbringing, displacement and Japanese warrior code (Bushido,) to name a few.”

Whilst the value of performing arts may have diminished in the Middle East over time, it is clear that the quality has not. With a strong track record as a viable progressive metal contender from the Middle East, Anuryzm have proven that we should all be paying attention and if you haven’t been there is no better time to start than now.

PRESS REACTION TO DATE:

This is broad reaching progressive metal that exhibits a gleeful disregard for traditional limits and a satisfyingly unpredictable melodic sensibility that glues the remarkably accomplished individual performances together.”  Metal Hammer

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Rush release their 14 Mercury albums in 2015

Alum Release: Rush
Release Date: 2015
Label: Mercury

Call it 12 months of Rush as Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees ready their 14 Mercury albums for release in 2015. 

All titles will be reissued on high-quality vinyl with a download card for Digital Audio version, high resolution Digital Audio releases, while three titles will also be released on Blu-ray Pure Audio 

Los Angeles, CA – December 11, 2014 – With the release of multi-platinum Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees Rush’s self-titled 1974 debut this past April, Universal Music Enterprises (UMe) kicked off its own celebration of the legendary Canadian prog-rock band’s 40th anniversary since that first album. In 2015, vocalist/bassist/keyboardist Geddy Lee, guitarist Alex Lifeson and drummer Neil Peart, who joined the band in July, 1974, shortly after the release of that first album and two weeks before the group’s inaugural U.S. tour, will see the reissue of the remaining 14 albums in their Mercury catalog in chronological order, starting with Fly By Night, which will be available in high-quality vinyl with a download code for a 320kbps MP4 vinyl ripped Digital Audio album download; high resolution Digital Audio editions in DSD (2.8mHz), 192khz / 24-bit, 96kHz / 24-bit; and an additional Blu-Ray Pure Audio version with 96kHz / 24-bit 5.1 surround sound and stereo, on January 27. A Farewell to Kings and Signals are the other two albums which will be reissued in Blu-Ray Pure Audio. 

The remaining 13 titles will be released one or two a month through the end of the year. The band performed at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony in April, 2013 at L.A.’s Nokia Theater after receiving a loving, humorous induction speech by super-fans Dave Grohl and Taylor Hawkins, who joined the group on-stage before a crowd of boisterous Rush supporters. “When the f**k did Rush become cool?” wondered Grohl, while recounting his own history as a rabid fan. “They broke all the rules,” added Hawkins. “And isn’t that rock ‘n’ roll?”  

January 26: "Fly by Night" (Vinyl+Download Code / High Res Digital Audio / Blu-Ray Audio): The 1975 release of Fly By Night was the first to feature drummer Neil Peart, who also became the band’s lyricist. The singles included the title track and “Making Memories.” Fly By Night reached #113 on the Billboard chart, going platinum in both the U.S. and Canada. 

February: "Caress of Steel" (Vinyl+Download Code / High Res Digital Audio): The second album to be released in 1975, the band’s third release marked their emergence into more hard prog-rock styles as opposed to the blues-based style of the group’s first two albums. Singles included “The Necromancer: Return of the Prince” and “Lakeside Park.” Although the album peaked at #148 on the Billboard charts, it has since gone gold in both the U.S. and Canada.  

March: "2112" (Vinyl+Download Code / High Res Digital Audio): The group’s fourth album, first released in 1976, proved a breakthrough, highlighted by its seven-part title suite written by Lee and Lifeson, with lyrics by Peart, recounting a dystopian story set in the year 2112. It came in at #2 on Rolling Stone’s list of “Your Favorite Prog Rock Albums of All Time.”  Most Rush fans consider it the band’s definitive recording, as the album sold 3 million in the U.S., going triple-platinum.  

"All the World’s a Stage" (Vinyl+Download Code / High Res Digital Audio): This 1976 double-live album was recorded at Toronto’s Massey Hall June 11-13, during the band’s 2112 tour, with the title a nod to William Shakespeare.  The record climbed to #40 on the U.S. Billboard chart, and going platinum in the States and Canada. 

April: "A Farewell to Kings" (Vinyl+Download Code / High Res Digital Audio / Blu-Ray Audio): This 1977 release, the band’s fifth studio album, was recorded at Rockfield Studios in Wales and mixed in London’s Advision Studios. It became the band’s first U.S. gold-selling album within two months of release, and went platinum. The singles included “Closer to the Heart” and “Cinderella Man,” while the album peaked at #33 on the Billboard 200 and #22 on the U.K. album charts.    

May: "Hemispheres" (Vinyl+Download Code / High Res Digital Audio): Another favorite of true Rush fans, this sixth studio album, released in 1978, once more explored fantasy and science fiction themes in Neil Peart’s lyrics. The final track, the ambitious nine-and-a-half minute “La Villa Strangiato,” was the band’s first instrumental  The album peaked at #47 on the Billboard charts, and was the group’s fourth consecutive gold album in the U.S., featuring the singles “The Trees” and “Circumstances.” 

June:  "Permanent Waves" (Vinyl+Download Code / High Res Digital Audio): The seventh studio album was released on January 1, 1980, and recorded at Le Studio in Quebec, becoming the first U.S. album to go Top Five, peaking at #4 on the Billboard charts.  The effort marked a transition from the band’s long, conceptual pieces into a more accessible, radio-friendly style on such rock airplay hits as “The Spirit of Radio” and “Freewill,” with the album going platinum.  

July: "Moving Pictures" (Vinyl+Download Code / High Res Digital Audio):  Rush’s eighth studio album, released in February, 1981, also turned out to be their biggest-selling in the U.S., rising to #3 on the Billboard charts (and #1 in Canada), as one of the first discs to receive the RIAA’s first-ever multi-platinum designation, scoring 4 million sales to date in the U.S. on the strength of classics like  “Limelight,” “Tom Sawyer” and “Vital Signs.” 

"Exit… Stage Left" (Vinyl+Download Code / High Res Digital Audio):  Released in August, 1981, this live album was recorded during the Moving Pictures tour at the Montreal Forum and in Glasgow Scotland, peaking in the Top 10 of the Billboard charts, buoyed by live versions of “Close to the Heart,” “Tom Sawyer” and “A Passage to Bangkok.”    

August: "Signals" (Vinyl+Download Code / High Res Digital Audio / Blu-ray Audio): This September, 1982, release marked the band’s increase use of electronic instrumentation, especially sequencers and electric violin (played by Ben Mink), peaking at #10 on the Billboard charts and eventually going platinum. A total of five singles were released from the album, including “Subdivisions,” which became a live staple of their concerts, along with “New World Man,” “The Analog Kid,” “The Weapon” and “Countdown.”  

September: "Grace Under Pressure" (Vinyl+Download Code / High Res Digital Audio): Released in April, 1984, the band’s tenth studio album reached #10 on the Billboard chart and went platinum. Alex Lifeson called it “the most satisfying of all our records.” It was the first album they recorded without long-time producer Terry Brown, eventually producing it themselves.  The song’s themes were influenced by the growing tensions in the Cold War. The music itself continued the presence of synthesizers introduced on Signals, as well as incorporating elements of ska and reggae into their sound. Singles included “Distant Early Warning,” “The Body Electric,” “Red Sector A:” and “Afterimage.”  

October: "Power Windows" (Vinyl+Download Code / High Res Digital Audio): This 1985 release was Rush’s 11th studio album, and the first time they worked with producer Peter Collins, who recorded the album at The Manor in the U.K., George Martin’s AIR Studios in Montserrat and Sarm East Studios in London. It was also the group’s first CD release. More keyboards and synths were introduced into the sound, with “The Big Money” and “Mystic Rhythms” made into videos for MTV. The album once more hit #10 on the Billboard 200 and eventually sold a million copies, earning platinum status. Other singles included “Territories,” “Manhattan Project” and “Marathon,” the latter two topping the U.S. Mainstream Rock airplay charts at #10 and #6, respectively. 

November: "Hold Your Fire" (Vinyl+Download Code / High Res Digital Audio): Released in September, 1987, Rush’s 12th studio album continues the band’s commitment to exploring new songwriting territory, with Aimee Mann contributing vocals to “Open Secrets” and “Time Stand Still,” appearing in the video for the latter. The album debuted at #13 on Billboard and eventually went gold. The other singles included “Force Ten” (#3 U.S. Mainstream Rock), “Lock and Key (#16 U.S. Mainstream Rock) and “Prime Mover.”  

December: "A Show of Hands" (Vinyl+Download Code / High Res Digital Audio): The band’s third live album was released January, 1989, recorded while on tour in Birmingham, U.K., New Orleans, Phoenix and San Diego during the 1988 Hold Your Fire tour, as well as in the Meadowlands in New Jersey during the 1986 Power Windows tour. The opening track “intro” features the Three Stooges theme song, “Three Blind Mice,” a song the band used to open many of their concerts during the ‘80s. That same year, the group released a video of the same name on VHS and Laserdisc featuring the Birmingham show, while a DVD version was included as part of a 2006 box set and as a stand-alone the following year.  The album reached #21 in Billboard, going gold, with the singles including “Closer to the Heart” and 12” promos of “Mission” and “Marathon.”

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Town Portal release new album, 'The Occident'

Town Portal

Album release: 'The Occident' by Town Portal
Release date: 25 May 2015
Label: Small Pond Recordings
Listen / more information on: Bandcamp 

More than two years have passed since the riff-forging Danes of Town Portal released their debut album Chronopoly; a cult favorite among math connoisseurs and nerdy alt. rock fans alike, but a well-kept secret to most. May 2015 finally sees the release of the follow-up The Occident, honing familiar expressions into a refined, darker aesthetics that merges adventurous complexity with measured temperance. 

The road to this album has been long: an increasingly intense and, at times, seemingly directionless excavation of musical feedstock from the depth of three geeky minds; a group of weathered fishermen angling in the musical ocean to see what deep-sea dwellers they might pull to the surface, lest they be pulled down with them. While decrypting and rearranging the continuous haul of musical fragments reeled in, the band witnessed both the beginning and completion of an artificial alpine skiing slope and vast residential constructions now surrounding the small portable cabin in the outskirts of Copenhagen, in which the album was composed and finally recorded. The challenge however, wasn’t the lack of inspiration or vision but the abundance of ideas and ambition. Thankfully the result honors these efforts.

Where Chronopoly was an album obsessed with the abundant, the eccentric and the bombastic, The Occident expands and inverts the subject of fascination. Rather than fixating a gaze at the fireworks in the sky, this album toys with the magical potential of even the dullest object that, if turned to reflect the light in different ways, inspires fundamentally different perceptions. The rhythmic complexities that have come to characterize the band’s efforts are not less adventurous, but have taken on a grounded, heavily synchronized and almost tectonic quality that allows heavy head bobbing even to the most intricate of systems. The harmonies and melodies explore themes of repetition, monotony, sequence and patterns, yielding new, darker expansions of the melodic palette of the band, without ever resorting to widely favored romantic post-rock chord progressions. Instead The Occident sounds more like a record translating the influence of bands like Shiner, Hum and Polvo into a drop tuned and heavily syncopated realm of almost Meshuggah-like stringency. Rather than creating something merely alienating, the aim has been to strike the perfect balance between unpredictability and listenability and to develop narratives capable of transmitting something other than grandeur or solemnity.

The ability of instrumental music to convey readily decipherable meaning is limited. However, the context of ideas and themes in which songs are created can permeate the music, making it the carrier of more abstract notions of meaning. On Town Portal’s second album, that notion is the Occident. Not as a political comment on colonialism or as the geographical or cultural counterpart to the Orient, but as a look at our western culture through the imagined viewpoint of a cyber-archeologist in a far distant future piecing together a picture of an era from random artifacts pulled from an overflowing data ocean. A legend based as much on spam-email, pop-ups or mindfulness-pamphlets as on the cultural beacons of our time. 

The Occident was recorded by guitarist Christian Henrik Ankerstjerne and mixed/ mastered by Carl Amburn (Riddle of Steel, Traindodge, Self-Evident). It releases digitally and on vinyl through Small Pond Recordings (UK) and Subsuburban (Denmark and the rest of the world) on May 25th 2015.

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CalatrilloZ: 'Psalms of Zahyin' out on 22 June 2015

Album release: "Mutiny on the Bounty" by CalatrilloZ
Release date: 22 June 2015
Listen / more information on: CalatrilloZ website

Formed in 2009, CalatrilloZ are a progressive symphonic rock/metal quintet hailing from London. Fresh out of a serious of successful UK shows, the operatic five piece are now ready to release their debut album ‘Palms of Zahyin’.

CalatrilloZ embrace a concept of theatrical personas stating that the band are “a circus troupe of wanderers”, complete with elaborate costumes, make-up, and incredibly detailed individual backstories. The lead vocalist of the group going under the name of Zahyin, says “Through Zahyin, through his universe, my compositions are free: Jazz, Metal, Classical, and Opera they all means nothing; there is no compromise...The only limitations I have are the ones I impose upon myself. None.” This is what is to be taken away from the concept. It is not simply a fantasy world created so that CalatrilloZ can masquerade in their detailed and well imagined story, it is also a gateway to musical freedom.

‘Palms of Zahyin’ brings together vast symphonic instrumentation, which sits somewhere between power metal and the glory days of NWOBHM, together with a classically infused vocal style its best described as a neo-classical metal opera. The lead track ‘I Am Alive’ calls to mind the sounds of artists such as Faith No More, Alice Cooper and at times you can even hear flourishes that are redolent of Mesmerize era S.O.A.D. Patton-esque vocal melodies augmented with uplifting instrumentation bring the track to its pinnacle before the guitars and drums bring the whole conformation back around again for another bout. ‘I Am Alive’ is somewhat of a nostalgia trip and a welcome journey back to classic rock and metal bands from the 1970’s and 80’s merged with pristine modern production and charmingly histrionic conceptual song writing.

The album as whole is as diverse as it is consummate. Tracks such as ‘A Glimpse At A Fools Destiny’ give way to the bands more extravagant side with Tim Burton-esque melodramatic and operatic vocals, and a more diverse instrumental accompaniment. Whereas ‘Z The Psychopath’ (named after the vocalists character Zahyin) displays the bands technical proficiency merging fastidious and melodic guitar tapping with an uninhibited vocal style which culminates in a prodigious and methodically orchestrated climax.

At a time where modern metal releases are becoming increasingly abrasive and discordant, CalatrilloZ bring something back to the table; flair. Whilst dramatic story telling and thespian performance is something that is still championed by power-metal bands such as Sabaton, Hammerfall and Powerwolf, the style remains a niche within the contemporary metal world, but the careful composition and deftness in which CalatrilloZ combine the copious elements that make up ‘Palms of Zahyin’ means that it will appeal to a much wider audience beneath the surface.

CalatrilloZ is:

  • Zahyin – Vocals

  • Vargovar - Guitar
  • Azriel - Guitar
  • Mobius – Bass
  • Jimmy Sticks - Drums

Concept Back Story 

“From a broken past, a cursed present and a burning future, CalatrilloZ endlessly journey across the pages of an ever-shifting history.

Wanderers gathered from the darkened fringes of time, they disguise their anachronistic appearances in the identity of a circus troupe, performing wherever they briefly rest in their ceaseless search. While the illusion effectively shrouds their true nature, it is also an apt parallel to their existence: the lives of circus people are an eternal odyssey; they have no home but the road, no allies but each other, and no masters but themselves. Perpetual outsiders wherever they travel, their presence is a fleeting experience but a lasting memory.

Led by a madman haunted by the sins of his past, they are a ramshackle assortment of lost souls bound by their search for redemption, isolation and guilt forever driving them forwards. Scouring the four corners of the Earth for five marionettes, in each of which is imprisoned a powerful demon lord, their hunt takes them to realms where few can travel and return sane.

A storm of chaos is gathering upon the temporal horizon. Puppets are made to be commanded, and should the marionettes find themselves without a master, the demonic forces trapped within them will once again be awakened.”

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Driving Mrs Satan: Popscotch

Album release: Popscotch by Driving Mrs Satan
Release date: 28 April 2014
Label: Agualoca Records
Listen on: official Driving Mrs Satan website 

Driving Mrs. Satan is a London/Naples-based acoustic trio which reinterprets famous metal songs in a unique acoustic style. Their debut album, covering old metal classics from ACDC, Slayers, Iron Maiden, Faith No More performed with female vocals, acoustic guitars and double bass, will be released by Agualoca Records in early 2014.

Driving Mrs. Satan makes room for quiet into the history of heavy metal, borrowing lyrics and melodies from long haired 80s hard rock, conditioner-only-washing them into the whispered politeness of indie pop, and rinsing them with the passion of jazzy, sound centered, avant-pop.

Claudia’s unique voice is at once erotic and ethereal, transforming ferocious, macabre stories into joyful tales and cosy serenades through Ernesto’s carefully interweaved guitars and trembling vocals, and Giacomo’s beautifully crafted double bass structures.In the midst of a house change in a record-hot summer, Giacomo’s love for heavy metal re-emerged, and he began to re-envisage the songs that made him decide to become a musician in the first place. He found a perfect harmonic companion in Ernesto and they asked Claudia to lay down vocals on a song she never heard before in its original form, Helloween’s I Want Out: Driving Mrs. Satan was born.

The song was released online in April of 2012 together with other four: ACDC’s Hells Bells, Black Sabbath’s Never Say Die and Judas Priest’s Living After Midnight. After that, they prepared a full record and a live show to bring their music into people’s life and out of the studio.

Despite the band’s folk and world provenance, Driving Mrs. Satan have created one of 2012′s most interesting pop debuts. Indeed, their music feels like anything but hit covers –they managed to create a new, fresh and sophisticated dimension where the songs loose any weight and can be re-explored in their simplest shape. The gentle sound demands attention and anticipates possession.

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Metallic prog-rock band Arthouse Hours release 'All for One' on July 22

Album release: All for One by Arthouse Hours
Release date: 22 July
Listen: on Bandcamp 

Hailing from St Petersburg, Russia, Arthouse Hours set about creating their breed of metallic prog-rock in 2010. Their ascent to the forefront of the city’s alternative music scene was a swift one, in the wake of a first mini-album release (View of Notre Dame) in 2011. Putting the stress of several line-up changes behind them, the band formerly know as Arthouse In Your Waking Hours locked themselves away in their own custom-built studio, charged with the task of writing and recording their sophomore record. All For One is the brutal result. Armed with a hefty cannon of Russian-born riffs, Arthouse Hours step take a giant step towards worldwide recognition with the UK release of the album on July 22.

Citing multi-era heavy rock, prog, industrial and metal influences such as Yes, Converge, Godflesh and The Fall of Troy, Arthouse Hours wield a steady hand at the production desk too, always careful to allow space for them to nod towards their heritage whilst administering their own force on the proceedings. On tracks like Away they are tormented (“Every season, like a prison”), during Heavily Assaulted, they openly burn bridges (“Relegate beloved ones… I can be alone”), whilst on Like This they find solace in Closure (“Farewell my dear friend”).

Thematically, the album centres around an individual under stress. Our protagonist goes through a break up with the object of his desire. He has conflicting thoughts on this, that frequently turn to dreams. He later questions whether he has actually experienced loss, instead acquiring something that is much bigger - a realization dawns that life must go on. On it goes. 

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