August 23, 2011

Show Me The Metal South Africa!

South Africa’s chiefly known for its multi-cultural citizens, epic sunny beaches, exotic animals and Father Nelson Mandela. But don’t be fooled by the beautiful, there are a number of developing brutal Metal bands and festivals alike.
Metal in South Africa prior 1997 was not accepted nor was it given a second glance. It only gained partial momentum when three young Metal Head brothers named Dawid, Henk and Janneman Fourie found a niche in the market in 2007. They loved the harder side of music and since nobody was keen on bringing good music the shores of South Africa, they put a plan into action.

RAMfest started out as a small event with around 1500 people is now one of the biggest festivals in South Africa, with a combined attendance of over 25 000 people in 2011. The aim is to include local and international artists on the billing. In 2011 the likes of Knave, Funeral For A Friend (UK), Dead Will Tell, Alkaline Trio (USA), Die Antwoord, Van Coke Kartel and many more head banged out on stage. RAMfest is a travelling festival that makes its way around the major cities of South Africa attracting a larger fan base as well as promoting the best of the best.

For more details, visit: www.ramfest.co.za
 Another smaller festival that takes place between the four walls of Black Dahlia Club is called Mid-Year Metal Mayhem. Their aim is to promote local Metal and alternative bands. It always worth a go for a night of non-stop mosh-ing!
For more details, visit: www.theblackdahlia.co.za

August 18, 2011

Breaking Guitar! Pukkelpop 2011 (Belgium)

Alternative Pukkelpop festival, which takes place annually in Belgium, has been struck by devastating weather conditions. The wind and hail storm that occured several hours ago, has caused stages to collapse claiming the lives of at least 3 people and injuring approximately 70 people.


Billboard reports that, "There is local news video of the storm's initial aftermath showing stage equipment dangling in high winds with festival goers running for cover. Huge sound and audio towers appear toppled in the footage."

The official Pukkelpop homepage has released a statement: The Pukkelpop organisation has decided to cancel all shows tonight out of respect for the victims. We want to make our hearts and our minds silent for the festival goers that we lost and the ones that were injured.



Another Billboard report says that, "the dangerous portion of the storm reportedly lasted only 10 minutes. In new footage uploaded to YouTube, festival goers are seen dancing to the music until large hail starts to fall."

Pukkelpop has hosted some great names in Metal music; such as that of Iron Maiden, Metallica and the line-up for 2011 included Within Temptation, Apocalyptica and many more.

My thoughts are with those at Pukkelpop 2011.
You too can pay your respects at: http://www.pukkelpop.be/en/blog/pay-your-respects
Sources: Official Pukkelpop website, BBC, Billboard.com

August 09, 2011

Show Me The Metal Sweden!

Sweden is best known for their pop sensation ABBA but F@&% that! We want MOAR METAL! The likes of:
Amon Amarth

Arch Enemy 
 

Bathory

Candlemass

Hammerfal

Opeth

Meshuggah

In Flames

Katatonia


AND MANY MORE!
Metaltown is a two day affair that takes place on the harbour pier of Gothenburg. The festival began in 2004 with 5000 Metal Heads cueing to see 14 Bands on stage. Since then, Metaltown has grown to host over 22 000 Metal Heads and showcases the crème de la crème of Metal Artists.
In 2011, Metaltown took place on the 17 – 18 June. Artists on the bill included Cradle of Filth, Parkway Drive, Korn, Escape the Fate, All that Remains and many more.
Unfortunately, the Festival does not permit camping and therefore your own accommodation has to be found.
Either way, Sweden is said to be one of the largest growing Metal capitals of the world! Catch all the festivities of 2011 on the official website: http://www.metaltown.se/
Sweden Rock Festival is a four day event with 120 astounding Metal/Hard Rock/ Alternative bands on the bill. The festival originally began in 1992 featuring local bands to represent genres of alternative music. It soon made History expanding over a four day period from 2007 and bringing prominent and well respected Artists – everyone from Thin Lizzy to Alice Cooper.
The venue has changed in the past but it seems to be designated to northern town of Solvesborg.
I regret to inform you that the Sweden Rock Festival 2011 has past. The bands on the bill included Black Label Society, Helloween, Joan Jett & the Blackhearts, Rob Zombie, Ozzy Osbourne and too many more to mention.
The good news is that the Sweden Rock Festival website has began posting for 2012. So keep your eyes peeled at: http://www.swedenrock.com/
AND AND Sweden Rock Festival is hosting TWO competitions; one of them being on their Facebook Page and the other being on their e-mail list. You could be in line to win awesome Sweden Rock Festival tickets for 2012! \m/
Yours Truly

August 04, 2011

Band Horn: Sunrise (Ukraine)

From Dusk To Dawn

What started out as a band project between vocalist Konstantin Naumenko and guitarist Vitaliy Petrichenko turned out to be a zealous, die-hard and powerful band. They are from the Ukraine and their called Sunrise.
Our country doesn’t have the infrastructure and metal culture as a whole. All our show-businesses are looping on trivial pop-music. We don’t have metal TV channels, and there’s only one radio station on which you can hear metal music,” explains Naumenko.
However, Sunrise has moved from the slow growth of Metal music to produce some fine compositions taking influence from their favourite Artists.
“The influences have been changing and still are through the time. On every album you can hear some new elements. The main influences come from bands like Stratovarius and Sonata Arctica [as well as] from bands of other styles - For My Pain and Entwine,” adds Naumenko.

Listening to Sunrise music creates a very refreshing speed filled and closet thrash sound. Absolutely mind-blowing!
Naumenko informs “we have released two full-length albums and two singles. Every album shows a new step in the development and formation of our band. The first album, called Liberty, was published by Russian record label Metalism Records in 2007. It was our first big experience in songwriting and recording of our songs. It was hard because then we were the beginners and we hadn’t enough experience. But we had enthusiasm and aspiration, that’s why this album had been recorded. A big thanks to Slavik Malinin, the sound-engineer, for making that work! Then we took a thorough approach to record the second album, called Trust Your Soul. It was released in 2010 by Italian recording label EMMECIESSE /HEART OF STEEL RECORDS. By then we had vastly grown as musicians and composers. Due to labour and diligence of remarkable sound-engineers Alexey Shaddar and Max Morton this album managed to be embodied. It was very pleasant to work with these guys!”
 Every band knows that the best way to sell their music is to perform live gigs at every opportunity. Sunrise has taken to task and is expected to play at the largest festival in the Ukraine; Global East Open Air 2011.
“Yes, we are expecting a great deal from this show! And we are preparing very seriously, since we want to show that Ukrainian bands can play better than foreign stars! And of course it’s a big honor for us to play with metal monsters, at the same festival!”

However, it must be noted that the line-up of band members have changed over the past months as Naumenko includes, “There is no tragedy that our ways have dispersed. Everybody needs to move and develop, even in his own direction. The contribution of these people is certainly invaluable – our band has existed then and, as consequence, exists now due to them. Now I’m very glad to work with new musicians, Ruslan Vakulyuk (bass-guitar) and Alexey Shekhovtsov (solo-guitar). These guys are very talented and due to them you will hear the new level of our sound soon.”
So what is Sunrise currently working on now? Naumenko enlightens that the band are actively writing and recording the new songs. Sunrise is planning to record the new album in autumn which have a draft of ten new tracks.
Honestly, I cannot wait for the prowess of Sunrise and neither should you! Go visit the band’s official website at:
I end off with Konstantin Naumenko’s last words: Don’t forget about the simple human values! Let’s make this world better!
A very grand thank you to Sunrise and Konstantin Naumenko for agreeing to do this interview!