Final line-up for the October edition of Close-up cruise announced. Tickets still available.

Metal, booze and lots of great bands on a Viking ship! What is it? Where? When? Do NOT calm down, do not sit back and relax, do not waste more time, but check all the information about the upcoming metal cruise organized by the Swedish Close-up magazine.

And don’t be quick screaming at us: ”We are poor metalheads, we are not (tattooed) millionaires!” This cruise isn’t like the others. This one will not cost you a fortune like Full Metal Cruise of Wacken or 70 000 Tons of Metal. You can get in Close-up cruise as cheap as for 60 euro per person. The price includes bed in cabin for 4 people and access to all the live shows on board. Is that affordable now or what?

Close-Up Cruise 21

The October edition of the Close –Up cruise will take place on 26-27th October and will offer the following live music treasure: MARDUK, ENSLAVED, ROTTING CHRIST, MYRKUR, THYRFING, FIRESPAWN and IXXI. After a recent line-up changes, the final poster now has WITCHERY and EREB ALTOR, replacing CARACH ANGREN.

It’s still not too late to get your ticket for this crazy metal sailing on board of the majestic ship “Galaxy” from Stockholm, Sweden to Turku (Abo), Finland by the official web site of the hosts Tallink Silja.

Close-Up Baten 21-Efterfest

The traditional Efterfest will be on 27th, held by Debaser and will give stage of DIABOLICAL, THE UGLY and WORMWOOD. It has free entrance from 19:00 h to 20:00 h and if you are one of the cruise survivors, then you can get for free till 21:00 h. If you are late, then you will need to pay ticket of 120 Swedish Krone.

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MIDAS FALL and RAISED BY SWANS with concert in Sofia

The Scottish Alternative Post-Rock band MIDAS FALL will once again visit Sofia on November 22nd with a concert at the Live & Loud Club as part of their European winter tour. Combining elements of alternative and Post-Rock, Ambient and Goth Rock as well as Progressive and Electronica influences, the music of Liz and Rowan is soaked with undertones of autumn pensiveness and melancholic beauty. Together with songs from their entire discography, the band will present us with material from their upcoming fourth album set to release spring of 2018.

Their support act will be the Canadian solo artist and multi-instrumentalist RAISED BY SWANS whose music carries with it the ghostly aura of nostalgic contemplation and introverted loneliness. His visit is part of a second tour with MIDAS FALL, during which we will hear songs from his previous three albums along with some from his new album due 2018.

Midas Fall in Sofia

The venue doors will open at 20:00 and RAISED BY SWANS will be the first to get on stage at 21:00. Tickets will be 12 BGN with the option of pre-purchase through the eTicketsMall ticketing portal as well as on the spot on the day of the event.

ARKONA unveil details about their upcoming album “Khram”

“Khram”, is the Russian word for temple – and the upcoming title of ARKONA‘s hotly anticipated, eighth studio album, set to be released on January 19th 2018 via Napalm Records.

A “Khram” is a temple shrouded in natural mysticism slumbering behind nocturnal treetops, yet open to everyone. The sincerity and depth that binds all five band members together resonates in the sumptuously dark cover artwork and leading lady Masha`s lyrics that are written in her own blood (which is also part of the artwork)! ARKONA may have used sound samples in their early days, but nowadays cellos, brass parts, wind instruments and throat singing are recorded live meticulously and flow naturally into the band’s harsh metal tunes.

Arkona

Arkona

Now Russia’s leading Pagan Metal band has unveiled the stunning album artwork for “Khram”.

Arkona - Khram

Arkona – Khram

The track list will read as follows:

1. Mantra (Intro)
2. Shtorm
3. Tseluya zhizn’
4. Rebionok bez imeni
5. Khram
6. V pogonie za beloj ten’yu
7. V ladonyah bogov
8. Volchitsa
9. Mantra (Outro)

In support of their upcoming album, ARKONA will be heavily touring in early 2018.

Make sure to catch them live and on the following dates:

01.02.2018 – SI – Winter Days of Metal Festival
02.02.2018 – HR – Zagreb / Boogaloo
03.02.2018 – RS – Novi Sad / SKC Fabrika
04.02.2018 – RO – Cluj Napoca / Form Space
08.02.2018 – GR – Athens / Kytarro Live
09.02.2018 – GR – Thesalonniki / Eightball
10.02.2018 – BG – Sofia / Mixtape 5
11.02.2018 – RO – Bucharest / Fabrica
28.04.2018 – SE – Stockholm Slaughter

with KORPIKLAANI, HEIDEVOLK & TROLLFEST:

15.02.2018 – BE – Antwerpen / Trix
16.02.2018 – DE – Hamburg / Markthalle
17.02.2018 – DE – Oberhausen / Turbinenhalle 2
18.02.2018 – NL – Amsterdam / Melkweg
20.02.2018 – FR – Paris / Elysée Montmartre
21.02.2018 – FR – Nantes / Stereolux
22.02.2018 – FR – Toulouse / Le Bikini
23.02.2018 – ES – Madrid / Sala BUT
24.02.2018 – ES – Barcelona / Salamandra 1
25.02.2018 – FR – Lyon / Transbordeur
27.02.2018 – DE – Aschaffenburg / Colos-Saal
28.02.2018 – DE – Berlin / Columbia Theater
01.03.2018 – CZ – Prague / Meet Factory
02.03.2018 – DE – München / Backstage
03.03.2018 – DE – Stuttgart / LKA
04.03.2018 – CH – Pratteln / Z7
05.03.2018 – IT – Milano / Magazzini Generali
07.03.2018 – AT – Graz / Orpheum
08.03.2018 – AT – Vienna / SIMM City
09.03.2018 – DE – Leipzig / Hellraiser
10.03.2018 – DE – Geiselwind / Musichall
11.03.2018 – DE – Hannover / Capitol

BLACK FRONT: “We March” 10″ picture EP

It has been 2 years since Turkish Industrial Metal duo BLACK FRONT released their first full-lenght album, “TheForgotten” . During these 2 years the world contiued on its path to become an even more violent place where people are killed in large numbers at one time and the band’s own country went through numerous “terror attacks” and “coupattempts”, as well.

Luckily, BLACK FRONT went through only positive changes: With the addition of Yusuf Güney on bass they became a trio and started playing gigs & they also spent these two years recording both their second album (TBA on Corvus Records) and their second EP, “We March”.

Black Front - We March

Black Front – We March

Since the band has originally been formed as a moral outcome of 2013 riots, the two songs on Side-A of “We March” is the moral outcome of the lastyear’s “coupattempt”. With the conservative, religious government gaining more and more power, a lot of Turkish intellectuals, journalists and academics are forced to leave Turkey and move to the West. This reflects on the opening track, “Death March”. The band uses the term “Death March” (i.e. makinga group of people walk until they die,) as a metaphor for what is happening today within Turkish Republic and asks the inevitable question: Does the history always repeat itself?

The second track on the EP, “Black Heart & Red Sky” is Tanju Can’s ode to one of his favourite movies, Milcho Manchevski’s “Before The Rain” and perhaps to his Balkan roots, bringing the theme of forced departure full circle.

B-Side of the EP has 2 unique and thought-provoking remixes: My Trip’s take on “Death March” and Shrine’s take on “Ninety Degrees” from the band’s debut album. The sea redefinitely not boring, predictable “dance” remixes but fully formedartistic compositions using the original tracks as starting points.

2017 and onward swill see the band playing more concerts and releasing their second full-lenght record, “Hail The Fallen” on Corvus Records, which will include all exclusive songs.

BLACK FRONT personnel:
Tanju Can: Voice
Mert Yıldız: Guitar, Programming
Yusuf Güney: Bass

BLACK FRONT discography:
Self-Titled EP 2014 (Self-Released)
“Dedication” EP 2014 (Self-Released)
“The Forgotten” LP 2015 (Corvus Records)
“We March” EP 2017 (Corvus Records)
“Hail The Fallen” LP TBA (Corvus Records)

MOONSPELL: Premiere of brand new lyrics video

There’s only one Metal band that is able to hit official album charts on #1 in their home country Portugal, while they belong to the worldwide pioneers of dark art: Naturally and for the first time ever, MOONSPELL’s brand new album “1755” comes and is sung in Portuguese. Set for release on November 3rd 2017 on Napalm Records, this record will outclass all standards you have ever heard from MOONSPELL before!

The conceptual album dramaturgy feels like a detonation of the mind. “1755”, the 13rd studio record by MOONSPELL, is more than just the band’s new magnum opus: It’s the musical version of the year of horror where a giant earthquake wrecked their hometown Lisbon.

“1755” is a dark adventure in medieval landscapes – emotionally, technically and completely earthshaking!

Moonspell - 1755

Moonspell – 1755

Now the band premieres a new lyric video for the song “Evento” (English: “Event”), vocalist Fernando Ribeiro informs us: “Bury the dead. Take care of the living”. Is one of the most famous quote of Marquis of Pombal (Sebastião José Carvalho e Melo), the minister of the King who together with the crowds of Lisbon and his engineers rebuilt a new Lisbon from the ashes and ruins of the old in just one year time. Event talks about fate, a dialogue built between the narration of the day and the state of mind of Lisbon’s inhabitants and the all powerful choir telling me to be still and accept God’s will. This conflict and the desacralisation of Lisbon is one of the most interesting aspects of this accursed day. A fight that allowed Portugal to step out finally from the Middle Ages and make the country’s entry into Enlightenment.”

The track list of “1755” reads as follows:

1. Em Nome Do Medo
2. 1755
3. In Tremor Dei ( featuring Portuguese guest vocalist Paulo Bragança! )
4. Desastre
5. Abanão
6. Evento
7. 1 De Novembro
8. Ruínas
9. Todos Os Santos
10. Lanterna Dos Afogados

Moonspell

Moonspell; Photo by Paulo Mendes

Italic Black Metallers SELVANS reveal limited edition picture LP

First released in Digital and Digipak CD formats on Avantgarde Music in 2015, SELVANS’ “Clangores Plenilunio” MCD is now available for the first time as a Limited Edition 12″ Picture LP via Vendetta Records.

Following the demise of DRAUGR , SELVANS was formed by frontman Haruspex, with the idea of bringing back to life the mysticism and the folklore that the different ethnic inhabitants of Italy left behind them over the ages. Something that the band has been able to do very successfully, not only through their music and lyrics, both in the studio and live on stage, but also aesthetically.

Selvans - Clangores Plenilunio

Selvans – Clangores Plenilunio

Sadly, SELVANS‘ first drummer, Jonny, was killed in a motorbike accident shortly after finishing recording the drums and part of the vocals for “Clangores Plenilunio”. The vocals and lyrics were completed by Haruspex, and the MCD was released as a tribute to Jonny.

Selvans - Clangores Plenilunio

Selvans – Clangores Plenilunio

With artwork conceived by Haruspex and actualized by Eba Art, and with the addition of the previously unpublished lyrics for the tracks “Lupecale” and “Clangores Plenilunio”, track listing on the Picture LP is as follows:

1. Lupercale
2. Clangores Plenilunio
3. Prologue
4. … In the Woods (IN THE WOODS cover)
5. Epilogue

SELVANS in Sofia, Bulgaria, October 15, 2016:

Check the full gallery of SELVANS in Sofia.

ENSLAVED “E”, Nuclear Blast 2017 (Review)

ENSLAVED – E: Kjellson rules, dark metal lives

ENSLAVED‘s E is an enthralling experience. It is disturbing and uneasy to assess after spinning a few times. Criticisms which one tags seem to evaporate, with one’s head left ringing. “Progression” aside, ENSLAVED is and will by all accounts remain an extreme metal band.

Storm Son is “classic” ENSLAVED off the Ruun and Vertebrae era, rather pleasingly adorned with a solo which seems to come out of Maiden’s Alexander The Great.

The River’s Mouth bears a strong resemblance on OPETH, dominated by the band’s new clean vocalist. The prominent part in Sacred Horse is yet another Oriental motif one would connect with MELECHESH rather than vikings, and the song drags on after Grutle stops commanding the team.

Enslaved - E

Enslaved – E

With Axis Of The World, it becomes clear he commands the whole parade. The song starts a simple and straightforward heavy metal (Run To The Hills this time?), and evolves into an infatuation of the keyboardist with (let’s say) Weather Report – which will also mark the beginning of the next song, Feathers Of Eolh, however in a way less interesting than 70s jazz-fusion and jazz-rock (which this album seems to pay some tribute to, rather than being infused with Floyd this time). The songs seem to meander or drone on, perhaps intentionally, emphasised by the slumberous (whenever it’s not too cheery) clean vocal, and the psychedelic effect of hypnotic incantations. These vocals, however, seem squeaky-clean, in stark contract with Grutle’s grim command. His cooperation with the previous, more melancholic vocalist felt somehow symbiotic, while with E, I have the feeling Grutle and Hakon have recorded separately and unaware of each other. Nevertheless, the songs have interesting progressions, which don’t leave one bored. Indeed, the masterpieces of Isa and Ruun might have felt too compact, too cohesive, while we’re often thrown off-board here, which may or may not be a good thing. The epitome of that sensation is Hiindsiight, featuring light jazzy quitar and sax out of Spyro Gyra, and uber-heavy vocals.

Enslaved

Enslaved

This is a record which cannot be adequately “told”. It’s a hotchpotch one should warm up (to) for oneself.

Warming up is not good enough for me – I need to be smashed and melted – and this is exactly what Djupet did. The latter half of the song is part proper black metal ENSLAVED, part tribute to Celtic Frost, with the sheer aim to outdo them. It ends on a doomy recitative spell, so I don’t even bother to find What Else Is There. I can only bow down to this black metal master, who – however bad taste it is to mention – renders overly hyped SATYRICON  into non-existence.

Without Grutle Kjellson, this record may be interpreted as aesthetically-pleasing psychedelic-toned display of musical literacy; with him, it is dreadful – a high-order compliment in terms of dark aesthetic.

ENSLAVED might well steer clear of territories already walked by geniuses in the 70s, and go back “to their roots”, which seems to be the wish of the majority of their listeners. Then, I will go back with them and learn all about black metal – which I’ve never so far bothered to do.

Ideally and wishfully, I’d see them do more doom.

P.S. Ignore this review. The album evolves with each listen, fluent and nearly flawless. It demands immersion and repels discourse; once crushed, one is elated. Transcending its parts, it becomes an unitary wholeness. As someone wrote: “The Vikings moved from the drake to the shuttles and flew to the stars. This happened a long time ago. But on this album, it’s somehow especially felt. I’m waiting for the elk.”

01. Storm Son
02. The River’s Mouth
03. Sacred Horse
04. Axis Of The Worlds
05. Feathers Of Eolh
06. Hiindsiight
07. Djupet (bonus track)
08. What Else Is There? (RÖYKSOPP cover; bonus track)

Diana Chavdarova (9/10)

SAMAEL “Hegemony”, Napalm Records 2017 (Review)

Caring little whether or not SAMAEL have a political message, their “Hegemony” is one of “pleasure and delight, extended in souvenirs”.

It seems these French Swiss (and Spanish) charmers have arrived at one coherent blend to consolidate their sound throughout the years. The album could have well been self-titled, presenting the ultimate formula for our aesthetic satisfaction. This isn’t to undermine the artistic produce, but to emphasise it isn’t just interesting or challenging like many of the contemplative post-metal acts; that it doesn’t demand from the listener, but lavishly caters for him.

Samael - Hegemony

Samael – Hegemony

SAMAEL have a staunch yet not a huge fan base, which can be ascribed to the fact they are an exquisite pallette of rigor and splendour, which is rare in metal. The symphonic score enters into a racy relationship with the gutturally alluring vocal, both intricately nuanced and precisely accentuated. There are of course lovers of the darker, stickier SAMAEL side, as well as those enjoying their uplifting electronic rhythms; and while their previous album, Lux Mundi, was closer to the former (in The Truth Is Marching On in particular), Hegemony displays the brand of the Reign Of Light/Solar Soul era a little more obviously. Echoes can be heard from beautifully adorned songs like Heliopolis and Western Ground; and while the anthemic side (as in On Earth for example) is here, it is well counterbalanced with other elements as to not sound overly accessible. Black Supremacy is an example of older and newer era SAMAEL in one, and while Red Planet works as the compelling hymn of the album, anthemic nature is inherent in all tracks in its former half. While happy with the frenetic synth and copious melody, I begin to miss the enticing obscurity of songs like Born Under Saturn from Passage – and then we arrive at the second part of this thirteen-course plate, gradually catering for our darker, more decadent urges.

Samael

Samael

While I see SAMAEL as a lushly crafted Swiss clock counting intervals of delight, their social and philosophical appeal is never to be underestimated: conscience and autonomy of thought, in order to arrive at the appreciation that “our quest for harmony is the pinnacle of humanity”.

Samael

Samael; Photo Credit: Aline Fournier

What makes SAMAEL a great band, in the end, is the fact their poignant offerings serve only as a reminder what awaits us live.

1.Hegemony
2.Samael
3.Angel of Wrath
4.Rite of Renewal
5.Red Planet
6.Black Supremacy
7.Murder or Suicide
8.This World
9.Against All Enemies
10.Land of the Living
11.Dictate of Transparency
12.Helter Skelter
13.Storm of Fire (bonus track)

Diana Chavdarova (9/10)

Gallery: ARCH ENEMY in Sofia

ARCH ENEMY in Sofia,Bulgaria,  September 21, 2017, Universiada Hall.

Photographer: Kiril Gruev ©

Check for full gallery in The Other Side.