Παρασκευή 27 Σεπτεμβρίου 2013

ELECTRO_NOMICON and BLACK SOUL HORDE albums to be released from No Remorse Records

No Remorse Records presents on October 14, 
two new productions that will shake the metal ground. 

ELECTRO_NOMICON - "Unleashing the Shadows"

Electro_Nomicon is a band that has proven that great music knows no boundaries. This tight knit and diversely influenced group is comprised of band members from the United States and Argentina that have traveled extensively between countries to define and refine their unique sound. The energy and drive in their music is second to none. They're not looking to meet standards, they're setting new standards. Totally original and completely dedicated to their craft, the members of Electro_Nomicon each contribute a passion and dedication to excellent musicianship that forges their unique sound.
The Electro_Nomicon intercontinental connection consists of Diego Valdez (also in Helker, Triddana) on vocals, Owen Bryant on drums and Juan Josè Fornès (also in Triddana) on guitars. Individually the band members bring diverse cultural musical influences from hard rock to melodic heavy metal and power metal, and everything in between. Combined the band has found their own natural groove.

The present formation of Electro_Nomicon was put together in 2011 and they worked together for what is “Unleashing The Shadows”, their first full-length with the powerful vocals of Diego Valdez, the best descendant of the great Ronnie James Dio. With a similar voice in range and passion, Electro_Nomicon is different and yet familiar with their own natural groove and few similarities with bands like Rainbow, Dio, Masterplan and Firewind.

  View "Unleashing The Shadows" album trailer HERE
BLACK SOUL HORDE - "Tales of the Ancient Ones"
Black Soul Horde's sound is merely based on the classic heavy metal sound of the NWOBHM scene, while at the same time containing elements of the modern European heavy-power metal sound and American heavy metal-like vocals varying from brutal growls to high pitched melodies. Their lyrics are inspired by the Greek and Norwegian mythology and the respectful works of Robert E. Howard (writer of Conan), H.P. Lovecraft and John Milton, to name a few. 
Doing the kick-off of their 2013-2014 tour schedule, opening for British Heavy Metal legends Angel Witch at their homeland, Athens, Greece, "Tales of the Ancient Ones" is a classic Heavy Metal album with a modern metal approach (like the epic moments of Grand Magus), suitable for fans of both classic heavy metal and NWOBHM overlords such as Armored Saint, Omen and Manilla Road, as well as fans of the currently uprising New Wave of Traditional Heavy Metal scene. 

Join Electro_Nomicon Facebook page HERE 
Join Black Soul Horde Facebook page HERE 
Join No Remorse Records Facebook page HERE

Πέμπτη 30 Μαΐου 2013

AIR RAID live in Athens GR

Οι AIR RAID θα εμφανιστούν στην Αθήνα, το Σαββατο 8 Ιουνίου, στο Bat City Club. Μαζί τους θα εμφανιστούν οι STRIKELIGHT, RUTHLESS STEEL και GAUNTLET
H συναυλία θα ξεκινήσει στις 19:30 και η τιμή εισόδου είναι 14 euro.
Oι Σουηδοί (με άρωμα Ελλάδας) AIR RAID εμφανίζονται για δεύτερη φορά στη χώρα μας, αυτή τη φορά για τη προώθηση του δίσκου τους "Night of the Axe". Πριν μερικούς μήνες τους ξαναείδαμε στο Keep It True Festival της Γερμανίας και βρίσκονται σε εξαιρετική φόρμα, ενώ δικαίως θεωρούνται μια από τις καλύτερες συναυλιακές νέες μπάντες.
Τι να περιμένουμε από αυτούς; Όπως μας είπαν και οι ίδιοι: 
"We are really excited to perform in Athens once again, it feels like our second home, and last time was just awesome! 
As always with Air Raid, you can expect a high octane metal attack with some great surprises in the set-list. This will surely be a night to remember!" - Andy Stormchild

Διαβάστε ΕΔΩ τη συνέντευξη (στα Αγγλικά) που έδωσαν οι AIR RAID στο Crystal Logic πριν την πρώτη τους επίσκεψη στη χώρα μας, τον προηγούμενο Σεπτέμβριο.

Facebook Event HERE

Τετάρτη 22 Μαΐου 2013

Metal From Hellas Festival

Την Κυριακή 26 Μαϊου πραγματοποιείται το Metal From Hellas Festival στο Gagarin 205 Club, ένα festival το οποίο ευελπιστούμε οτι θα γίνει θεσμός, και συμμετέχουν μερικές από τις καλύτερες Ελληνικές μπάντες από ένα μεγάλο φάσμα του εγχώριου metal.

Running order:
Demolition Train 16:30 – 17:05
Mahakala 17:15 – 17:50
Chronosphere 18:00– 18:35
Wrathblade 18:45 – 19:20
Sorrowful Angels 19:30 - 20:10
Dark Nightmare 20:25 - 21:05
Wastefall 21:20 - 22:00
InnerWish 22:10 – 23:30

Demolition Train Facebook page HERE 
Mahakala Facebook page HERE
Chronosphere Facebook page HERE
Wrathblade Facebook page HERE
Sorrowful Angels Facebook page HERE
Dark Nightmare Facebook page HERE
Wastefall Facebook page HERE
InnerWish Facebook page HERE

Join Metal From Hellas Festival HERE

Τετάρτη 27 Μαρτίου 2013

Warlord, The Holy Empire and the redefinition of Epic Metal.

Eleven years after “Rising Out Of The Ashes”, and many more since the mid 80s, Warlord returns with “The Holy Empire”. Guitarist / composer William J Tsamis and master drummer / percussionist Mark S Zonder along with vocalist Rick Anderson bring back Warlord's musical innovation and establish majesty and uniqueness once again. With them, we have the privilege to hear bassist Philip Bynoe, an amazing player, three-time Grammy nominee and Emmy Award winner, known from his appearance with Steve Vai, Ring of Fire and more.
The legacy of Warlord is growing. The music is here again. The myth becomes reality for all those who will witness Warlord live next month. But how did myth become reality once again?

I remember interviewing Mark Zonder around February 2010 during the “Parallels”-reunion - Fates Warning shows. Mark was, is and I guess will be forever, my favourite drummer (along with Neil Peart). He has this unique characteristic style beyond words. Sometimes I am listening to Fates Warning or Warlord and I concentrate only in his drumming. So, back then, he was kind enough to reply my interview-mail in one day, and when the questions strayed from Fates Warning to Warlord, he told me that he was amazed that Warlord didn’t become big back in the 80s. When we discussed for the Wacken Warlord live show in 2002, he told me that he would drop everything to play with Warlord again. At that moment, I knew that everything was up to Bill’s hands.

Forward in August 2011 and I had the opportunity to do an interview with Bill Tsamis, his first since many years, a huge and very informative interview with many unknown details. Then, when he was asked, he told me that he would love to play with Mark again, but they live three thousand miles away from each other and he had family health problems, plus his daughter will enter college very soon. He would love though to do another Warlord album. Since then, Bill started to be very active in the (soon to be) Warlord Battle Choir Facebook page. Old and new fans started to gather in this little group and then the news came. Warlord is back.

Like the butterfly effect in chaos theory, one by one, things started to move very fast and one day at Bill’s birthday, he present to us a gift, a new song entitled “Night Of The Fury”. A familiar voice was there, Rick Anderson, also known as Damien King III back in the last Warlord days from the 80s and also the voice of Lordian Winds. A Warlord Anthology came out, a Lordian Guard Anthology followed, along with the “Sea of Tranquility”, and of course three live shows are confirmed. Keep It True Festival in Germany and two dates in Greece (Athens and Thessaloniki) for 2013. A new, fan-based but absolutely professional management is here now, and Sons Of A Dream Music LLC, the official company founded by William J Tsamis and Mark Zonder to produce and promote the music of Warlord.

The Holy Empire is here. Eight songs, 55 minutes of music, engineered and mastered by multi-Grammy award winner Phil Magnotti, this album is about to open a new chapter in the long history of the band. Bill created this album with the “Warlord fan” in mind, but without letting him obstruct his artistic creativity. I don’t think there will be any Warlord fan that won’t like (at least) The Holy Empire and I don’t think that Bill could offer something better at the moment. This album is made for all the Warlord fans. Mark’s contribution is something more than obvious and Rick’s voice has the Damien King aura that Warlord needs. I always believed that, even if Bill is the composer, there cannot be Warlord without Mark also.

There are songs (70000 Sorrows, The Holy Empire) that go back to the “lost” demo and rehearsal tapes of Lordian Guard - for those who know. “The Holy Empire” also, was supposed to be the title of the third Lordian Guard album, which was never recorded / released. The Lordian Guard touch is vivid in “The Holy Empire” and it wouldn’t be otherwise, since this is the evolution of Tsamis’ musical vision. There is also “Father”, known from Lordian Guard’s “Sinners In The Hands Of An Angry God” (actually it is dated back in the 80s Warlord days), but the arrangement here is superb, even if I love Vidonne’s version. The Lady’s voice after all, is something more than a simple voice for me. It is part of the music, the way Lordian Guard’s music has grown inside my heart.

“70000 Sorrows” is majestic with unique arrangement in all levels, a redefinition of Epic Metal… I could separate Epic Metal in three different forms:
1. The Barbaric - the Battle, and the quest for the Secret of Steel (Manowar).
2. The Wisdom of the Ancient Gods and the Old Ways, before the cometh of Christianity (Bathory).
3. The lyrical – Dark & Holy - Knighthood, that battles beyond Good and Evil (Warlord).
Warlord, in 2013 manage to redefine Epic Metal and take it to higher levels, combining all the different forms in one EPIC masterpiece, and keep also the uniqueness of their music untouchable. There are few active bands that can play Epic Metal and take it to another level, both musically and lyrical, because if the lyrics are childish, no matter how epic or “big” the music sounds, it remains incomplete, and if Warlord, Manowar and Bathory are the ones that define the different forms of Epic Metal over the years, there are also many others inspired from them, that continue their legacy, like War Dance, Doomsword and Atlantean Kodex.
“70000 Sorrows” has this huge emotion that dwells (for sure) in the heart and soul of Bill. His personal emotions are strong enough to touch every contemplative listener. Inspired guitar and vocal melody lines and amazing drumming from Mark lift the song to heavenly heights. 

 “Glory” has this familiar Tsamis guitar melody, a melody that fills the listener with positive bittersweet memories of lost childhood years. The lyrics are the kind of words that everyone could relate to. In a fair world, songs like “Glory” would be taught in music schools as an example of how a musician can transform emotions into musical notes.  
“Thy Kingdom Come” is a title dated long time ago and keeps the “epic” element in a more sentimental way. Anderson shines on that one and the structure of the song has a unique escalation that fades to redemption before the walls are cracked… “City Walls Of Troy”, one of the lost Warlord songs finally sees officially the light of day. A Dark Epic Metal composition in the vein of the “old”, dark, mystical Warlord-style. A song that could fit in “Deliver Us” and that means that Warlord of 2013 have strong bonds with Warlord of 1983. 30 years later and the magic cannot be lost. This is not a “usual” reunion. I can’t remember something equal; I can’t remember a reunited band with such a great release in general. Maybe Celtic Frost’s “Monotheist” is the only exception for their genre. But, there is also an unusual composition like “Kill Zone” (with Giles Lavery from Dragonsclaw in lead vocals), that somehow is so close but also so far to the “typical” Warlord style. That’s a great Power Metal moment and I would like to hear more from Warlord in this style. Obviously, Bill Tsamis is a charismatic composer and he has listened to Metal all these years, so he cannot be “out-dated”. And how could he be? After all, Warlord music is eternal. “Kill Zone” transports Warlord through time and space, from the swords and walls of Troy, to recent history and wars of the new millennium - “Night Of The Fury” continues the war but the music is more lyrical. Bill hates war; he doesn’t promote the power of America. War exists over the years in different forms and territories. Humanity can’t look away and just pass by. Same goes for some artists. War is cruelty, but it’s for real.

“Father” has a very special meaning for Bill and I am somehow related also with this song (and also “Bridge” from Queensrÿche) because of personal reasons. I can’t say more, it is always difficult to express such deep feelings in words…
And finally, “The Holy Empire”, a song that probably compact what creating music means for William J Tsamis at the current time. The spirit of Lordian Guard is here and Bill, like a musical architect, builds an Empire of unique harmonies and melodies. Mark and Philip are the stones that hold the Kingdom and the vocals are the poetry that chants what’s inside… The final march comes upon us, and this time it’s here to stay.

Don’t let “The Holy Empire” pass you by. It is an album that grows inside you day by day. It has songs that can mark your life. It stands above the mediocrity of today’s music. It is a gift. It is honest and comes from the heart and soul of William J Tsamis. It has the magic touch of Mark Zonder. It is what I was expecting, and my expectations are always high…

Πέμπτη 31 Ιανουαρίου 2013

TEN / Gary Hughes interview

TEN is a melodic hard rock British band formed in 1995 by singer/songwriter Gary Hughes. That's for those unfamiliar with TEN... For the rest, TEN is one of the best bands of its kind. Sounds simple and becomes simpler when you experience the music. There is a new album out there called "Heresy & Creed" and TEN will play for first time in Greece, so there is no better opportunity for me to exchange a few words with Gary Hughes.

So, what took you so long to come at Greece for a live show?

Greece has always been a country that TEN wanted to play but it can be very difficult to schedule in a one off show in the middle of a European tour. In the past when TEN toured it was done in a tour bus and as much as possible the gigs were all driven to this was to keep the costs to a minimum as flying a band a crew is very expensive. The exception being Japan when we always played at least three show which made the tour financially viable. The Athens shows we’re about to play have been kindly organised by our good friend Jason Thanos who’s arrange everything for us. He’s been telling us for years that the Greek rock fans are the best in the world, so now we’ve got the chance to come and find out for ourselves and play for everyone which we’re so excited about.

“Heresy and Creed” is your last TEN album, just one year after “Stormwarning”. What is the response to these two albums from press and fans?

The response has been tremendous. It’s was always a concern after our hiatus of five years between “The Twilight Chronicles” and “Stormwarning” if the fan were still out there? Thankfully we needn’t have worried because our fans are some of the most loyal in the rock work. The press we’re also very complimentary and we got some really great reviews. All in all we’re happy to be back and I can promise we won’t be leaving it five years to do the next record. We have many ideas and plans including an un-plugged DVD and also a Live DVD/album.

It is obvious that most of your songs are lyrically inspired by life, what surrounds you, and personal moments, so what grows old and dies after the love has gone? What’s more important in life?

The lyric in “After the Love Has Gone” is basically saying that your soul and reason for being is eternal and that’s what’s important but love can be a fleeting, passing moment, enjoy it for what it is because it might not be there forever.

Musically, where does your inspiration dwells?

Many things inspire me to write songs but with the “Stormwarning” album for example I wanted to go beyond the standard love or tragedy songs on previous records. My inspirations come from instances and experiences in my own life, news stories and the events in the lives of people around me. For instance with “Endless Symphony” which is a comparison between someone’s life and a musical score. The idea being life goes through many moods and emotions just like the music in a symphony the light and shade thing again. Music and life are very much paralleled and I though it would be interesting to make that comparison in a song.  I’m also inspired by Sci-Fi books and films, the dark side of the mind and strange phenomena. The song “Centre of my Universe” is based on the idea that a person can instantly become everything to you, you’re reason for being and the strengths created when those two factions meet. Another concept I had was “The Wave”, this is based on the idea that waves come onto the beach and then retract and head back out to sea. I compared the tide to the ebb and flow of our lives, again a very emotional song.

In the times of downloading and “free” music, how easy or difficult is for a band like TEN to survive? What’s your opinion about the present situation in music industry?

Each year it gets tougher and tougher for a band such as TEN to balance the books and continue. Record companies are continually reducing the advance which can make it even harder to produce a quality product with less money available. The record companies are not making what they used to so cuts have to be made. Last year we got a clear example of this when “Heresy & Creed” appeared on various free download sites before it had even been officially released. It doesn’t take a genius to know this is really bad for the band and the record company. I don’t know what can be done to stop these things from happening but I think you have to look at the bands that are still successful and it appears that the shift has taken place from making money on CD’s to making money on touring and merchandise. This is now the market place, the album is now only a vehicle for a tour and that’s where the money can be made for a band to survive in this difficult financial climate.

In the second half of the 90s, you came up with “Ten”, “In the Name of the Rose”, “The Robe” and “Spellbound”. Four melodic hard rock landmarks released in less than five years. Which are your memories of that era?

It’s interesting now thinking back to that era because at the time you’re too busy experiencing everything and living the dream that you have no time to stop and really analyze what’s actually going on. It all seemed to take place in a flash and you left thinking how did we fit it all in, in such a short period of time?  The most memorable period being for me were those first Japanese shows when we really didn’t know how we’d be accepted. We needn’t have worried, it was TEN mania from day one. I remember us being followed by fans from the airport to the hotel, then from the hotel to the show and then from the show to the “Hard Rock Café”. It was so intense but also very enjoyable, after all this is what you do it for and you have to embrace and soak it all up while you can because it definitely doesn’t last forever.

You had too many line-up changes over the years and you are always the main composer. Is TEN really a band or just a vehicle for Gary Hughes?

No one likes to see a band change personnel but sometimes it’s unavoidable. Musicians feel the need to move onto pastures new and that has to be expected. TEN is no exception but having said that we still retain 50% of the classic line-up with John, Steve and myself. TEN is still a band and everyone contributes their own ideas and styles when recording and playing live. I’m not averse to collaborating on tracks but when I write I have a complete vision of what the songs should be. It’s a system that’s served us well for the past 17 years and I don’t see any reason why it should change now.

If you could turn back time, what would you change and which are your best memories in TEN?

I’m not the kind of person that looks back and has any regrets, the past is the past and there’s nothing we can do to change it. I’m more interested in the here and now and what I’m going to be doing in the next few weeks and months As the song says “Don’t look back”. I stated in the previous question about the first Japanese shows which hold my fondest memories of the early days of TEN.

What the future holds for TEN and Gary Hughes?

TEN will continue, as always, to release records for as long as the fans want us to. We have no intention of stopping anytime soon let me assure you of that. As I stated previously we have many great ideas for the future including an unplugged and live DVD/CD. We’re also looking into the possibility releasing all the previously un-released material, studio and live, possibly as a box set containing a booklet and rare un-seen photography.

Give a message to the TEN/Gary Hughes Greek fans and what should we expect from your upcoming live show?

We’ll be hitting the stage with all the good stuff, the best of the best from each album. We simply can’t wait to be over there playing for our very first time on Greek soil. It’ll be an honour and a privilege to play in the birth place of civilization, where it all started. You guy’s have a lot to be proud of in your beautiful country. I know you’ve gone through some tough times recently and so have we over here in the UK but hey just for one night we’re gonna forget about all the negative stuff and have a real party. So please come along and help us take the roof off!

TEN latest album "Heresy & Creed" is released from Frontiers Records.

TEN will perform in Athens - Greece on March 1st, at Kyttaro Live Club. One day before, there will be a special acoustic show at Bat City Club.

Τρίτη 22 Ιανουαρίου 2013

ALIEN interview with Ken Sandin

ALIEN is a Swedish AOR / Melodic Rock band formed in Gothenburg  in 1986. Two years later they released their first self-titled album, a landmark of AOR, recently re-released from EMI/No Remorse Records. The band is active and they enjoy what they do, more than ever! At the moment, they're writing a new album and Crystal Logic speaks with bassist Ken Sandin

First of all, you will play in the next Firefest, on October 20th. It is the 10th Anniversary of the festival and also the 25th Anniversary since your debut album! What does it means for you?

Firefest is asking us back for the 10th Anniversary and of course, this is a great compliment! The reunion was all about nostalgia, we're having so much fun performing the (debut album) songs again. What could be a better place to celebrate than at FF, together with fans from all over the globe!
I’m also performing with Fergie Frederiksen (TOTO), Joe Lynn Turner (Rainbow) and Eric Martin (Mr. Big), in “LEGENDS - Voices of Rock”, headlining the festival. So, the 20th will be something else!

Your debut album was recently re-released in its original form and it seems that there are people that didn’t forget you! How important do you think is “Alien” album for AOR fans and the band?

I've come to understand it's considered an absolute AOR classic around the world. It's a cool thing to be part of the legacy of 80's melodic rock, especially since there's a new wave of bands now - some of them list us as major influence. 
For us it's THE most important record, as far as experience and success. An unforgettable insight in the process of writing, arranging, performing, producing, dealing with producers, major label A&Rs, managers, agents, media etc. Those memories will always have a special place in our hearts!

Back in 1988. What do you remember from the recordings of “Alien” and how did you sign a deal with a world wide major label like Virgin Records?

I remember it well... First session was at (ABBA's) Polar Studio, Stockholm with producer Mark Dearnley. We cut three songs, one being “Only One Woman” released as single. Relocated to Sound City Studios, L.A. with producer Chris Minto and cut a whole albums worth of songs. The U.S. recordings, plus “Only One Woman” (just had to be in there, being a #1 hit!), made up the debut album (Scandinavian version).
For the international version Virgin America had some remixes done, new album cover. Should've been Simon Fowler pics, shot in London. Scraped, of course, when Jim quit. Made new pics and the “Tears Don't Put Out The Fire” video in L.A. and the first single (2 songs) with Pete were added to the album, to introduce him.
Virgin Scandinavia had their eyes on us, so we recorded two songs (Dec ‘86) which became the first two singles (they’re both on the “Best & Rare” compilation). Our CEO presented coming releases on a Virgin head quarter briefing in London, they believed that Alien would appeal to further territories and hence rewrote our contract into a worldwide deal!

The cover for “Only One Woman” was a major hit back then, but I always preferred your original material! How did you come up with this cover and what’s the story behind “The Blob” film and “Brave New Love” in its soundtrack?

It had been 20 years since the Marbles had a hit with it (with Graham Bonnet singing his heart out!). Virgin saw the potential in an 80’s take on it, and asked us to. Turned out great!
Hollywood made the remake of “The Blob” while we were working in L.A. and our music was recommended. “Feel My Love” is in the film and “Brave New Love” in the end credits.

What do you remember from your live shows back then?

Amazing! Coming back from L.A. to find “Only One Woman” sky-rocketing the charts. Bringing the album on tour, beating box office records, being all over media. The time of our lives. 

Later there was a re-worked version of your debut album for US market with different track list and a new singer for two songs. That seems complicated, so, what Ken Sandin’s diary writes for that time?

We had to release the Scandinavian album asap, expectations were high after our chart topping single and successful tour. Preparations for the international one were more thorough. Guess it’s confusing with the change of singers. For instance, in the “Tears…” video you see Pete but hear Jim!

“Shiftin’ Gear” followed, but it seemed that something was missing from the success link. What can you recall from that time and why did you left the band?

First of all, I never left the band! We split up in the end of ‘89, disbanded. Mutual agreement, no one to use the band name without the others. What happened later is another story, out of my control.
We had the follow up album written and made a first session at Townhouse Studios, London with Mark Dearnley. “Easy Livin’”/”How Long” released as (our last) single and “Wild, Young & Free” and “21st Century Man (demo)” later on the “Best & Rare” collection. Four other songs are on “Shifting Gear”, but EMI actually plan to add our original versions as bonus for digital download.

There was quiet a difficult era for Alien during the 90s and 00s, but first at 2005 original singer Jim Jidhed rejoined the band - and also recorded a new album with the rest (“Dark Eyes”) - and finally, during 2010 the original line-up came up together. What made you guys work together again and how were these two last years for Alien?

From what I heard, “Dark Eyes” was a solo album project of Tony, with different singers (Jim being one of them), to start with. I was sure that calling it a reunion of Alien meant the original lineup would never get together... can’t make a reunion twice. But, here we are.
As I’ve said, the one album we did together has so much sentimental value to all of us. To consider playing those songs once more was a no-brainer! We’ve done few but very cool shows, like Sweden Rock Festival, Firefest, Live4AOR (Madrid) etc. …sounding as good as ever. It’s been a blast!
A new single, “Ready To Fly” (released 10.10.10), to mark the reunion. Hope you all liked it!? 

Do you think you had a missed chance for a huge break-through?

Possibly, back then. We had everything set for the international launch - major label/publisher and management backup. Supposed to open for a major act, had Jim only stayed. Who knows…

So, what the future holds for Alien?

There will be more shows. As for new music, we’re writing a new album right now, taking our time. We decided early on that if we make a new record, it shall be a natural follow up to the 1988 debut  in terms of style, melodies etc. …with an up to date production, of course.

Best regards // Ken Sandin (ALIEN)