Band Horn: Zero Division (Germany)

Hair Metal is something very different therefore I am not particularly a fan. Conversely, I saw this band on stage and they impressed me. They look like they walked out of a vogue catwalk but their lyrics, vocals, style and crowd interaction told another story.
So, with nothing to lose and everything to gain, Zero Division has entered the music industry! The five-piece Glam rockers, from North-Rhine Westphalia, proved that they are smart, cheeky and determined to revive the 80’s Rock panorama.
The D.I.Y attitude of Zero Division has permitted to the self-produced EP release of Through the Night in August 2010. The EP may lack certain professionalism but the quality of song writing and production is remarkable. Zero Division confirms that it is not about quantity but quality that makes a superior EP.
Smooth vocals, distinctive musical arrangements, a showdown of glam and on-stage vigour are what Zero Division is made of. So much so, that they won the Breaking the Silence Band Competition 2010 by TaktArt. The prize entails a four-day session at the Big Easy Studio. With the sounds of commercial success, one can only expect better.
Look out for the Glam Rockers who have the definite X factor – they could be the next big obsession. (And you read it here first!)  http://www.zero-division.com/ 
Yours Truly – The Metal Goat                          
                                                                                   
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Band Horn: Chromium (South Africa)

“The limits are only those that one creates, and Art doesn’t have limits,” states Hannes from Chromium, a prominent Metal band in South Africa. He is on point! Chromium is a D.I.Y band with no limits and that is how they have earned a reputation worthy of enigmatic character, brutal Metal and diligent artistry.
Chromium started as a “bedroom project” in 2005 except it expanded to a successful release of albums, quality endorsements as well as a 2010 tour in the United Kingdom.
“The tour went great man, it was a lot of fun and a great bonding experience for us, I think every time we do something like this it brings the guys closer together, which inevitably ends up in the band’s live performance being tighter and a lot more energetic!” says Jared of Chromium. He adds that the highlights were, “making our own Black Metal music video in a cemetery – just for fun! Standing at Stone Hedge definitely made me feel like we’re on the road to making a difference, it’s hard to explain but when you can stand there with your guys and know that we’ve done this together – it’s quite rewarding.”
Unfortunately there are the not so rewarding parts of a tour as Hannes points out, the low lights are “not sleeping enough.”
Jared Gunston is the guitarist of the band as well as the producer behind the Chromium albums. As Hannes says, “It works great; Jared knows what he wants so things get done quicker.”
Chromium is currently in recording and according to Hannes and Jared; the album will be out in April 2011 whilst the Album launch is in March followed by a tour in South Africa. The album will be significantly different than the previous releases with more thrash metal and pleasant melodies.
Every band progresses (or at least should reach a level of progression) and the same goes for Chromium as Jared enlightens. “I think we’ve all become a lot more comfortable with each other, we trust each other on stage so there’s never a moment where you’re thinking –oh no, here comes that part we’re all gonna screw up! Our saying at the moment is we just Wing it and we do, keeping the shows natural and fun. Hannes has started doing a lot more crowd interaction now that he has a microphone as well as harmonies, Justin and Adrian really gets the crowds going too.”
Many bands are judged by their influences or their genre. So, please don’t ask, what does Chromium sound like? Rather make your own opinion and follow the link http://www.chromium.co.za/
In my opinion, fucking awesome for a band who has been in the running for five years! Their artistry is of high quality and as a band they are professional. In fact, Chromium just proved that they are limitless.

Final Words:

The Metal Goat: If each Chromium Band Member could give another Band Member an award for 2010, what would it be? (I won’t ask why!)

Jared: I’d give Hannes the Piele Certificate. Justin the ZY Trophey and Adrian the Bleh Card.

Adrian: Jared – the fish bowl award – it will be a mini gold fish bowl trophee, Hannes – the sunday lunch award, Justin – cleo award

Hannes: Adrian, for having the guts to start all this again and to Shaun Pearson, who had the guts to follow his dreams.

Yours Truly – The Metal Goat

Blog off with the Metal!

Apologies to the readers for blogging off – been doing too much of that:

 Next week before the New Year got more posts on Metal Festivals, interviews with German bands; Zero Division and Chronic and a special interview for 2011 with Lordi!
If you have any bands that you want to see featured on this blog or any suggestions to add – leave a comment.

Until then keep it Metal! Feel the steel!
Yours Truly – The Metal Goat

Show Me The Metal Finland! (Part Two)

Finnish Metal Events Oy is well-known for hosting the Finnish Metal Expo (see previous blog post) and Tuska Open Air Metal Festival.
Tuska Open Air Metal Festival
Tuska “Pain” Festival is one of the largest Heavy Metal festivals in the Nordic countries since 1998. The festival takes place predominantly in June and July, in the surrounding areas of Helsinki, Finland.
In 2002, 2005, 2008 and 2010; tickets for Tuska were sold out! Don’t you just find it awesome when people support the steel?
So where do the wayward souls go to for 2011? Tuska Open Air Metal Festival will take place on the 22-24 July 2011 at the new location of Suvilahti, Helsinki, Finland. Four stages, over 50 Metal bands and a crowd of steel! Expect to be brutally murdered by Arch Enemy, At the Gates, Exodus, Enslaved, Meshuggah, Killing Joke, Kvelertak and many more!
There is a ticket special price happening at this time so visit:

 

Jalometalli Metal Music Festival
Live Music organizers in Oulu, Finland, got together in 2002 to put a special Metal event. However, it was in 2004 that the plan came together and the first Jalometalli Metal music festival was held with a line-up of 21 bands.
Over the years, the festival grew and has hosted several foreign bands. In 2005, Jalometalli added another feature called the Jalometalli Winter Festival.
For 2010, Jalometalli had an indoor and a mainstage. Both stages featured awesome Metal bands like Gorgoroth, Carcass, Triptykon and many more.
If you want to know more information or get updates for 2011: http://www.jalometalli.net/
(Photo by: Mikko Törmänen)
Yours Truly – The Metal Goat

The Memory Remains (2)

Hellfest in France by A French Girl

I just love Hellfest. I went there three times and I plan to go back there this summer. The first time I went there it was in 2007. There was a big fuss because on the first day there were huge problems concerning the organization. Some bands didn’t play, and there was a very long delay of several hours on the main stage (at this time there was one main stage, one middle-size stage and a small one in a tent). The weather really sucked, it was muddy all over the place. And it’s because of the weather that they had technical problems (water + electricity = not a good combination) on the main stage.
What I remember is that despite the weather, the wet socks, the “sleeping in the car because it was so muddy and dark we didn’t want to camp after all”, I really had a lot of fun! The billing was great, I think it was the best billing I’ve ever seen! Well I guess I’m exaggerating a bit, but believe me, seeing Emperor on the last day was totally magic, literally. I just remember I was never bored.

I went back there in 2008 and 2010. The billing was great as well (otherwise I wouldn’t pay 130 fucking Euros) and the weather as well! The organization got better and better. Still the toilets/showers are not perfect at all but I think you can’t expect much from metal festivals, or even from festivals in general. Since 2008 they’ve added some fancy decoration, at night it really looks great! (You certainly have to google it!) Sound quality is average. Sometimes it’s really good, sometimes it really sucks, especially on some scenes. It’s a pity because almost all the black and death metal bands play under the “Rock Hard” tent, but I found that the sound was always awful. So when you really like black and death and don’t really want to see the bands on the main stage, you’re quite fucked.

Oh that’s something I really love about Hellfest: the billing is REALLY various. I think there are all metal genres. I love the balance between straight-forward metal (hard rock/heavy/black/death), punk/hardcore, and doom/stoner/sludge. I personally like stoner rock a lot and the festival always offer some great stoner bands! Some years you can think there’s not enough black metal, that’s why some of friends don’t want to join. But as I enjoy other genres like stoner, I’m almost always happy about the billing.

On the other hand I think there are too many bands. Therefore there are some bands playing at the same time and when you like them all you really have to choose.

One huge downside is that food is so fucking expensive in Hellfest. I am French and Hellfest is a French festival, and man, I can tell the prices are a joke. A big joke that isn’t funny at all. Fortunately the drinks are not too expensive.

The Memory Remains

Metal Heads show support for the steel and have sent in a number of reviews from their personal experiences at Metal Festivals. Most of these festivals – I have not covered as yet on Air Guitar Blog but don’t despair – I will get there.

Sonisphere Bucuresti by Metal Head from Norway
Awesome shows, chaotic festival.

I went to Sonisphere Bucuresti because Manowar played there. The Big Four, Manowar, Heaven and Hell and Rammstein was one of the best line-ups I had ever seen!

One example of poor organizing was after we entered the festival early on the first day. We entered to get a festival wristband or something similar. That we didn’t get and we had to keep our tickets throughout the festival. By the third day my ticket (which had been in my pocket) was so torn that I was yelled at by the ticket lady. When we were leaving still early on the first day a girl by the entrance told us we couldn’t leave! Once we were inside we had to stay. We laughed at this of course and another guard let us out, but this gave us a feeling that things were a bit chaotic.

The bands delivered. Manowar melted our faces for one hour, which was way too short. And the big four delivered great gigs each one better than the last. Sunday was sweltering and Anathema soothed my tired head while I sweated out yesterday’s beer. Rammstein closed the festival in great style with a wide array of pyrotechnics and disturbing behavior.

I had a couple of gripes (the queue for the toilets and the food became melted into one) but chaos and metal go hand in hand right? [No doubt!] Overall an awesome festival!


Show Me The Metal Finland!

Kimmo Kuusniemi said it best on his documentary title; Finland is the Promised Land of Metal. Think about it, how many Finnish bands have made it to the Metal Charts? How many Finnish Bands have a good repertoire in non-European countries? Why is Finland more accepting of Metal as opposed to other countries?
Nobody can attest that Finland is the Land of Metal but to gain understanding as to why the small Scandinavian country has a big following in Metal – watch the documentary.
The documentary is by Kimmo Kuusniemi who formed the band Sarcofagus in 1978, officially the first Finnish Progressive Heavy Metal Band. Kuusniemi left Finland when the market for Metal was barely existent but returned in 2008 to question the philosophy and history of Metal since the market expanded in his absence.
  
Finnish Metal Expo
Established in 2005, the Metal Expo is said to be every Metal Head’s dream come true. Not only do you get to greet and meet bands and fans but you are in for a festival and Metal awards. Always a winner when the Metal goods can be updated at the merchandise market.
At the 2010 festival Korpiklaani, Apocalyptica and Swallow the Sun made an appearance. If 2010 was given the Metal nod then 2011 – should raise the stakes.
Next year expect The Man-Eating Tree, Battle Beast, Accept, Deathchain and Sabaton to take to the stage. The 2010 Finnish Metal awards, the Industry Day and the Century Media band contest will be taking place on the 17-19 February 2011.
To get a one-day ticket or to rub shoulders with the Metal monsters, visit http://www.fme.fi/

I know – I know! This Blog Post is far from over! I have good reasons for that and the readers will see it shortly. So in the next Blog, Finland shows more Metal!

Siina kaikki nandaan taas – The Metal Goat

Show Me The Metal Denmark! (Part Two)

Royal Metal Festival
Metal Royale – a Danish non-profit organization hosts the Royal Metal Festival annually since the establishment in 2006. Not much information has been leaked into the internet about Royal Metal Festival but a lot can be said about the 2010 line-up; Sepultura, Decapitated, Sodom, Hamlet and many more. The 2011 line-up should be even better!
Metal Royale hosts a number of smaller events as well as a Battle of the Bands and Metal promotions in Denmark.
For more information, photographs and events to keep you moshing, visit http://metalroyale.dk/
I am a little hesitant blogging about Roskilde Festival in Denmark. To my knowledge – it is one of Europe’s biggest festivals and brings in a staggering number of fans annually. Dating back to 1971, Roskilde hosts its own media, camp sites and theatre acts.  
Truth be told, it is not a Metal festival rather a World Music festival – hosting the biggest names in all music genres.
For example; Black Sabbath and Snoop Dogg shared a stage in 2005 while Metallica and Robbie Williams played after each other in 1999.
Nonetheless, if you want to know more about the nude run and the like – visit http://www.roskilde-festival.dk/
I know the readers are going to raise the Horn to the next Blog post – Heavy Metal Festivals in Finland!

Yours Truly – The Metal Goat

Show Me The Metal Denmark!

Denmark has produced some fine citizens from Johannes Vilhelm Jensen to Hans Christian Anderson as well as Metallica drummer, Lars Ulrich. Surprisingly, Denmark is also home to a number of Metal festivals.
Velkommen to Kill-Town Death Fest
Underground death metal heads come to surface at the D.I.Y festival in Denmark held by a group of music enthusiasts called the “Undergrundsmusikkens Fremme”. The aim of the festival is to put an emphasis on music and bands as opposed to money and fame. There are no commercial sponsors and the festival is based on voluntary work. Furthermore, there are no appointed Headliners as all Bands have equal treatment.
The year of 2010 saw the debut of Kill-Town Death Fest with bands from Scandinavia and a few from outside the European borders. Copenhagen is the base of Kill-Town Death Fest over a period of 3 days. At the festival, the audience has a variety of events, access to merchandise stalls, food stalls, cinema showings, kicker tables and 2 show stages. Also to note, that all food served at the festival is vegan.
So far dates have been announced for Kill-Town Death Fest 2011. No bands have been confirmed as yet but do keep an eye out at http://www.killtowndeathfest.dk/
 Fun Tip: Kill-Town Death Fest allows volunteers to enter the festival for free. If you would like to know more information, click on the above link and navigate the page to “volunteer”. Good deal, right?


Aalborg Metal Festival
The concept of Aalborg Metal Festival started in 2002 and since then has been an annual event. The year of 2010 saw a massive rumble in bands such as Napalm Death, Katatonia, Orphaned Land, Vira and Macabre.
Sometimes a concert is just not enough so the festival played host to a Zombie Fashion Show by RagnaRock Fashion. A Metal market was opened to the public with a number of merchandise, music gear and assorted Metal collectables. Then there is the infamous Captain’s Cabin! In other words, Metal Karaoke!
If you think you can add “more cowbell” then visit http://site.aalborgmetalfestival.dk/ for more information.
Day of Decay
Day of Decay is a Metal festival that made its first appearance in 2010 and is also located in Aalborg. The 2010 line-up consisted of bands from Denmark, Sweden, Germany, United States and one United Kingdom band – Trigger the Bloodshed.
The festival works on a two stage basis – one being an indoor venue and the other being an outdoor venue.
To help the Danish music scene, Day of Decay hosts a warm-up music festival with the supporting acts taking to the stage. This took place before the official Day of Decay festival.
The Day of Decay 2011 website is under construction – have a look next year.
In the next Blog post: Denmark (Part Two)

Yours Truly – The Metal Goat

Show Me The Metal Czech Republic! (Part Two)

Surprise, surprise! Czech Republic has more Metal Festivals to offer. This festival lasts 4 days in the summer of July and takes place in Rudolf Jelinek Distillery in Vizovice. Which open-air festival am I writing about?
Masters of Rock  
The host agency Pragokoncert has brought to you Masters of Rock since 2003. The idea and aims behind the concert was to uplift the Czech music scene as well as bring foreign bands on to Czech soil.
2010 hosted several bands each with their own repertoire but each band remained true to the hard rock/metal genre [if you want to debate about that].
213 days to go till Masters of Rock 2011! According to Czech Press releases – Finntroll, Eluveitie, Guano Apes, Hammerfall, Tleskač and 29 other bands are in the line-up! Damn, awesome!

For more information on tents, tickets and agression: www.mastersofrock.cz/

Yours truly -The Metal Goat