May 30, 2011

Band Horn: Orphaned Land (Israel)

WARRIORS OF THE ORPHANED LANDS
Contrary to popular belief, the Metal scene began in Israel back in the 80’s around the same time that Thrash and Black Metal became popular in Europe and The States. Unfortunately, the mainstream bands have received more recognition and those over the hills remained undiscovered until a brave Metal Head named Sam Dunn made an astonishing breakthrough.
“We loved the first movie by Sam, A Headbanger’s Journey, and when he asked [Orphaned Land] in Wacken [Open Air] 2006 to be a part of his next film - we were thrilled!” exclaims Orphaned Land guitarist Matti Svatizky.
Doom Metal Band, Orphaned Land; hail from the depths of Israel pushing forward their tightly-infused music which has a sturdy message of unity.
“We have always seen ourselves as a drop of light in the Metal world - which embraces darkness.”
It is with no doubt that Orphaned Land has to face a number of challenges as Svatizky explains;
“Israel is quite a secluded country culturally. The Western culture is banned there most of the time, and sometimes illegal, while in Israel there is a great yearning to Western culture. This puts a great geographic challenge on Israeli artists, especially when they’re young. In America or Europe anyone can just hop on a bus or even on his own private car and tour around, in Israel it is not possible, because of cultural differences and because of security issues.”
Ironically, it is through the cultural differences that Orphaned Land has developed a warm fan-base joining in from around the Globe. Whether it is a Viking or an Egyptian – Orphaned Land welcomes all their fans. Svatisky elaborates;
“Our fans are usually people who look for that extra [x – factor] in music. They either have some “Arabic” background, or they are doom metal fans who like the more melodic stuff, or they are progressive metal fans, or just people who are looking for good and interesting music. Our fans have always been special to us.”
It amazes me that Orphaned Land has been able to conjure the idea of harmony through their music. As their album The Never Ending Way of ORwarriORalbum reflects. “Or in Hebrew means Light, so OrWarrior is a little word game meaning warrior of light. Light has always been a strong motive with Orphaned Land. The warrior of light is someone who fights for everything that is good, and among these things are love and unity. During the whole album there is a self-search. You can see people who are self searching, they always tend to get connected to their inner silence, be more pacifist, and more calm. All religions talk about kindness of heart and high moral standards. This is our view as well,” describes Svatisky.
Even Kirk Hammett of Metallica agrees that Orphaned Land’s works are transcendent.
“We’re huge fans, and Metallica is a huge band, and it was a great experience to see how the big ones work [while] opening for Metallica in Israel.  We talked with the guys, and Kirk Hammett even asked for our CD, which he later stated in Metal Hammer as the best CD he heard lately,” continues Svatisky.
It goes to show with perseverance great things can be accomplished but even people trying to make a difference in the world have to face setbacks too as Svatisky explains; “for a low point, I’d say that during our North American tour, our driver ditched us 4 shows before the ending of the tour and stole some money. We were left helpless in the middle of the US with nothing we could do since none of us can drive a bus and for a few hours we were sure that the tour was going to end. There’s a happy ending though, Lincoln Archibald, who did the merchandise sales for Katatonia, [which Orphaned Land opened for], agreed to drive the bus for us and practically saved us.”
If Orphaned Land can be described in a nutshell – it would be attractively diverse on numerous levels of Metal. With the addition of the Arab Orchestra of Nazareth, Steven Wilson of Porcupine Tree, the smooth vocal poetics, the Eastern strings and the Metal power – its sublime.
The verdict is out, Orphaned Land are definitely a band to keep an eye on!

Thank you to Matti Svatisky (Orphaned Land) and Stefan Franke (Century Media), for agreeing to make this interview possible!
Editorial Written by Lav Nandlall

May 25, 2011

Show Me The Metal Norway!

KINGDOM OF NORWAY – infamous for a number of Metal sub-cultures and Metal conjectures. For example;
Varg Vikernes (that Bastard!)

Drop-dead gorgeous Fjords

Pagan Gods

Vikings

Salmon

Highest Global Peace Index in the World

 Hole in the Sky (The Last Supper)
A number of theories surround the Hole in the Sky festival but my favourite is that the Festivals name originated from a Black Sabbath song which appeared on their Sabotage album.
Enough of a History lesson – get up and get some last standing tickets to Hole in the Sky which takes place on the 24 – 27 August 2011 in Bergen! The Band billing is epic – Immortal, Satyricon, Enslaved and Mayhem (the Big 4 of Black Metal) alongside expect to see, Helheim, Primordial, Marduk, and many more. A new element to the show will be a special opening show with Wardruna presented by Amber Booking in conjunction with Hole in the Sky.
If you are a holder of any of the Hole in the Sky tickets then you shall receive a discount on the Wardruna gig.
Visit the following sites for specific details on where to crash, venues, prices and nitty-gritty details.

 Hove Festival
On the lines of carbon neutral – Hove festival takes the prize. Hove festival is about ideal settings, eclectic music, outdoor fun and Art.
You can mingle, learn, listen and watch at the Hove Festival which is hosted in Tromoya Arendal on the 28 June – 1 July 2011.
It is like a party in the woods with a band list which includes; Linkin Park, the Strokes, 30 seconds to Mars, All Time Low, Blood Command, Brandon Flowers and the list goes on.
Book tickets, find your camping tree and read more information at:

Inferno Metal Festival
I regret to inform you that 4 days with 50 bands has passed.
We look forward to it in 2012!
*Look at my prior interviews with Demonic Resurrection who performed at Inferno Festival 2011.*



Norway Rock Festival
Formerly known as Kvinesdal Rock Festival – Norway Rock Festival takes place in a field in Kvinesdal near the river Kvina. Norway Rock Festival is aimed at bringing a number of popular bands to the people; both young and old!
The Festival is held during 7 – 10 July 2011. There is a scrumptious billing that includes: In Flames, Blind Guardian, Breed, Volbeat, TNT, Black Label Society and many more!
If the music is doubtful, then take a break by swimming in the lake or even fishing in the lake but remember a licence is required for fishing.
Check out the fundamentals at:


Yours Truly,

The Metal Goat

May 22, 2011

Show Me The Metal Netherlands!


Netherlands or Holland is well-known for its cannabis, Van Gogh art pieces, the youngest population in the EU and the infamous Heineken beer. Sounds like a piece of surreal paradise!
Now let’s add some Heavy Metal Festivals to that list!

Dokk’em Open Air
The sixth edition of Dokk’em Open Air takes place on the 28 May 2011 near the village of Bornwird. It boasts a free campsite, 2 stages of Metal Manic Fun and 16 bands. The Metal Bands on the bill include; Hammerfall, Vader, Evergrey, Trigger the Bloodshed and many more.
The most awesome thing about Dokk’em Open Air is that the Festival provides transport to all those hardcore fans who attend. The transport is available for those who need to return home or those who have had a bit too much festival fun.
For more information on the festival, the wheelchair facilities or to review the bill, visit http://www.dokkemopenair.nl/
Hurry, there are only seven days left for some Dutch Metal Fun!

Elsrock
One thing is for sure – it is never easy to organize a festival of any kind. It requires a lot of time, patience and money! Most of the time, metal festivals are under-funded or unable to receive permits for Hard rock/ Heavy Metal music to be played on certain grounds as the music is not considered kosher.  
However, Daredevils who live, breathe and eat Metal Music, push for those permits and scrounge for funding until they can make the Metal Festival a reality. An example of those Daredevils, are the organizers of Elsrock.
After four and a half months of waiting for one permit, 12 months of waiting for legitimate paper-work, using their funds for proper sound equipment and being shredded in the press – Elsrock Metal Festival was born in 2006.
Expect to see the likes of Destruction, Samael, Marduk, Nuclear Assault, Unleashed and many more at the Elsrock Metal Festival 2011 which takes place in Rijssen, Netherlands on 27 August 2011.
With a staggering average of 1000 Metal Head visitors pouring in – you cannot go wrong!
For more information visit: http:// www.elsrock.nl/

ProgPower Europe
The Netherlands play host to progressive and power metal bands at the ProgPower Europe festival which takes place at Sjiwa in Baarlo. The bands and Metal Heads are hosted at a castle in the vicinity of the festival for a whole weekend!
For 2011, the bands on the billing are Mekong Delta, Seventh Wonder, Redemption, Sky Architect and many more.
The small scaled yet quite international festival is said to take place from the 30 September 2011 – 2 October 2011. For more detailed billings, confirmations and accurate venues – please visit http://progpower.eu/

 Yours Truly,
The Metal Goat



May 18, 2011

Band Horn: Sober Truth (Germany)

Licks Outta Hell



I came across a clean thrash Metal Band while on my travels in Bonn, Germany. They exude so much raw energy; sophisticated talent and an almost clean power thrash in their music.  The Band is called Sober Truth and comprises of four wayward souls who are die-hard Metal enthusiasts. Torsten Schramm is the lead singer with harmony vocals and a brutal passion for beer. Tobias Thauer is the superbly tight bass player with a squeaky clean record.  TJ Anger is the drummer who knows that it is truly metal with the second pedal and Hamid Haghugh is the lead guitar player in an untouchable league of his own.
Sober Truth has brought Germany to a brutal Metal craze by winning the North-Rhine Westphalia Battle of the Bands 2009. It is no surprise, considering the band has a solid fan base and has over 50 live shows in their band history. They are currently on the roster of TaktArt bookings.
 And rightly so, as Sober Truth’s new single Outta Hell shows: 15 songs that blow like a hurricane out of the speakers and connect the sombre melodies with brute-complex rhythms and razor-sharp bass lines.

Show Me The Metal Lithuania!


If you are a visitor to Lithuania, you are greeted with bread and salt. Bread is considered very important in Lithuania so expect a loaf of bread wrapped in a towel with a pinch of salt.
Lithuania has a small sub-culture of Metal Heads which was encouraged by a few fanzines; like Raganos ir Alus. It became one of the more popular satirical Soviet Union magazines and later took on the heavy metal scene. Unfortunately Raganos ir Alus is no longer in publication but it did pave the way for a Metal Head crowd. For the last publication of Raganos ir Alus – there was a distribution of small packed baked bread to go with the magazine. Now you know - bread is important in Lithuania.
Kilkim Zaibu
Kilkim Zaibu is one of the more well-known Heavy Metal Festivals in Lithuania. It showcases a number of the Baltic Metal bands and the Pre-Christian ideologies. There is a strong mix of Military style bands, Folk accentuated and Black Metal artists.
 The festival has been going strong since 1999 and has almost always taken place in Varniai, Lithuania. It is said that this is the festival where the Battle lines are drawn, weapons are sharpened and the brutal clash of Metal begins!
Kilkum Zaibu takes place between 23-25 June 2011 (solstice). This year expect to see Rotting Christ, Skyforger, Gods Tower, Luctus and many more.
Tickets are well cheap and the website has explained every mode of transport to get to the festival area. For more information visit: http://www.kilkimzaibu.com/