miércoles, 22 de noviembre de 2017

SAVAGE MASTER – Creature Of The Flames (2017)

1.Child of the Witch     03:26    
2.Burning Leather  03:22          
3.Dark Enchantress  03:13        
4.Creature of the Flames  05:48            
5.Death or Glory (Holocaust cover)     03:14  

Brandon Brown - Bass
Larry Myers - Guitars
Adam Neal - Guitars
Stacey Peak - Vocals
John W. Littlejohn - Drums (2016-present)

Desde sus comienzos en el año 2013 está banda americana de Kentucky no ha dejado de producir ni de estar ahí sacando nuevas canciones o girando, y poco a poco se van labrando un nombre y un lugar en la escena del heavy metal actual. No solo por hacer temas con garra y suficiente calidad compositiva sino sobre todo por la actitud de sus canciones y su puesta en escena. Si os fijais en la foto que acompaña a este nuevo ep os llamará la atención a la similitud que existe con las portadas de los míticos Witchfinder General, ellos no esconden sus raíces musicales ni sus influencias, se notan en su música, en sus vestimentas ochenteras y en las versiones que incluyen como la de los Holocaust en este nuevo lanzamiento, el abc del heavy metal que marcó una época.

Con este nuevo Ep empatan a dos entre eps y largas duraciones, ya el año pasado os comentamos su buen segundo disco With Whips and Chains e incluso entrevistamos a Stacey Peak. La buena noticia es que nada ha cambiado desde entonces, los temas siguen sonando con igual garra, unos más elaborados que otros, pero todos con mucha actitud, heavy metal sin aditivos, sonido ochentero sin paliativos.

Abren el ep con Child of the Witch, un corte de riffs y ritmos a lo Iron Maiden del number of the beast, es decir, su época dorada. La voz característica de Stacey entre rasgada y aguda, con un estilo retro y un estribillo logrado y muy coreable que hacen que sea un tema que enganche a la primera, con eso sonido new wave tan típico.

Burning Leather arranca con un riff marca new wave que lanza el tema a toda mecha, con un gran acompañamiento en las voces con ese punto de locura que hacen que el tema suene valiente y maravillosamente disparatado, llegando a rozar por momentos el speed metal de corte centroeuropeo con un riff excepcional que sabiamente repiten en varias ocasiones a lo largo del tema. El solo es bastante normalito pero el tema rebosa actitud.

Dark Enchantress levanta el pie del acelerador y es un medio tiempo de heavy metal ochentero que practicaban bandas como Lizzy Borden, Armored Saint, Wasp, de guitarras emotivas, con mucho efecto y que siempre encienden el tema con riffs muy acertados, como el que meten para acabar el tema después del solo que lleva todo el sello de autenticidad de unos Holocaust.

Y llega el temazo del ep, excluyendo la versión, Creature of the Flames es un tema que desde el inicio con esa guitarra tan true metal te deja adivinar lo que se viene encima. Un medio tiempo a lo Omen, concinado a fuego lento, de melodías épicas y donde Stacey se deja la voz y con una similitud en la interpretación típica de todo un Tim Baker, estridente y desgarrada, sonido oscuro, under, un tema de esos de alzar el puño sin descanso, que esconde una sorpresa con el arreón final para de nuevo acabar el tema con sonido épico. Después de tremendo trallazo que mejor que cerrar esta nueva entrega con todo un clásico de los eternos Holocaust? Lo clavan y rinden honor al tema original que nunca pasará de moda. Los Savage Master siguen a lo suyo, trabajando y sonando siempre clásicos y muy heavys, una baza segura.

You and me (by Living Death)

lunes, 20 de noviembre de 2017

Interview with MYTHRA

by Vpower

The Band: Mythra
Country: United Kingdom
Answers by: Vince High (vocals)
Photos by: Marta Gabriel

MYTHRA, a big name born in the NWOBHM, are still around and with a great new album under the arm. They are mainly the same band that built their name in the early 80s and we talk to their frontman Vince High to learn they are so excited at present as they used to be when they were giving their first steps 40 years ago.

Hi Vince, for those who love heavy metal is great to see that a mythical band as
Mythra are still active and with the power you display in "Still Burning"

Yeah!  It's great to be back playing live gigs and recording/releasing new
music \m/

Let’s review your story a little. Mythra was formed in 1976, more than
forty years ago. Do you remember the beginnings?

Definitely, we were just kids who wanted to play music and be like our
heroes.  Played a lot of Black Sabbath, UFO, Thin Lizzy songs when we were
starting out.  Then progressed and started writing and playing our own
music.  Great days, great memories

As many bands of the NWOBHM you were not able to release a full-length
during the 80s, although you made a name around and we can consider Mythra
as one classic band

Our Death & Destiny EP was recorded in 1979 at the time the NWOBHM was
emerging.  It sold well and stayed in the Indie Charts in the U.K. for 12
weeks.  We recorded a full album but the label we were signed to at that
time did not put it out.  Nothing to do with the band.  That full album plus
five new bonus tracks was eventually released as our Anthology album
'Warriors Of Time' in 2015 by Skol Records.  The company's CEO Bart Gabriel
has been awesome for MYTHRA and has also produced our brand new album 'Still
Burning' for High Roller Records.

What was the best and the worst of those crazy early years? Any funny or
especial story to tell?

Haha yeah lots of crazy things.  One of the best was when we played the
Heavy Metal Barn Dance with Motörhead, Saxon, Girlschool etc in 1980.  We
were very young and the security guys wouldn't let us in as they didn't
believe we were a band playing the festival. We knew Saxon from playing
previous gigs together and they had to tell security we were MYTHRA hahaha

Saved by Saxon! What can you tell us about your current line-up? I think the band’s core is still intact…

It's almost the original band really.  Four of us were involved back in the
day and we have been joined by our drummer Phil Davies who is an awesome
musician, a real powerhouse \m/

Mythra has gone through several halts along time, but I guess you never
lost contact with the heavy metal thing, right?

We love Metal...it's in our DNA for sure.  I think that will come across
when people hear the new album 'Still Burning'.  Metal is a lifelong passion
for Mythra \m/

In 2003 arrived “The Darkener”. But it is not until present that you
entered the studio for recording an album. How did you decide to resume the
tasks and record a new album?

'The Darkener' was simply a collection of demos that John and I wrote and
recorded in 2002/03.  It was never a full band project and wasn't officially
released.  I mentioned Bart Gabriel earlier and the coming of the new album
is really thanks to him.  He put out our Anthology album on his label and
then brokered the deal for our new album with High Roller Records after we
played at the legendary Keep It True Festival in Germany last year.  He is a
true Metal fan which is important to us!!!

"Still Burning" is your new album’s title, some kind of statement as “we
are still alive and kicking”?

Yes definitely, we feel really honoured that High Roller Records signed us
to record the new album as they are an awesome label.  They have done so
much to keep NWOBHM music like ours alive and accessible to the fans!!!  The
first verse in Still Burning sums it all up for us..."Flame still burning,
fever strong, temperature rising, can't be wrong, rhythm pounding, defining
the song, live the moment, sing along...the flame still burning"

Yeah it sounds as an anthem. In fact "Still Burning" is a fist of an album, you still sound fresh and with amazing power after so many years

Absolutely, We achieved what we set out to do...stay true to our NWOBHM
roots but have a contemporary sound and feel!!!  We are really very very
happy with the album and hope it will lead to future recording adventures as
we have a lot of passion and creativity still to unleash hahaha

How long have you been working on the composition? Was it harder than
expected to complete a full album?

We completed the whole album, from writing, rehearsals, pre production and
through to recording in around 4 months.  It wasn't difficult for us as the
whole band are writing and we loved what we were creating musically!

Awesome. When you were writing the songs you were thinking we should sound this way or another or you just let the music flow and there it is!?

We just let the music flow once the basic structures of the songs were
sorted...just doing what came naturally to us

I appreciate the quality of every track in the album but the variety is
also a point. We find a little of rock, heavy, speed metal, the New Wave

There's always been variety in our music which is what our fans like...guess
it comes from letting the music flow and doing what comes naturally as I
said earlier

Vince you still keep your vocal stream all intact it seems, a great work
and a mark in your sound

Thank you.  I have always done what comes naturally when it comes to
singing.  I try to stay healthy and look after my voice which helps.  I've
never tried to sound like anyone else.  The guys in the band think I have an
identifiable, original sound and style which is one part of the overall
MYTHRA identity.

Sure it is. Ride the Storm is one of my favorite songs, with it mixing of some 70s
tunes and the current metal approach, past and present together?

Great thanks!  We love all the songs on the new album and think Ride The
Storm will be a favourite with the fans at live gigs for sure.  Like a lot
of our songs it has the powerful guitar riffs, driving bass and drums, and
the uplifting sing along choruses: METAL!!!

Comparing the old songs to the ones in your new album how do you feel?

We love the older songs and the new.  'Still Burning' has all the trademarks
of our older songs but with a more contemporary feel which we really love.
The reaction to the new songs we have played at recent gigs has been
amazing.  The fans love our new music and that makes us very very happy!

For the younger people maybe the name of Mythra has no meaning, listening
to your new album even they could think you are a new band, just formed,
which is also good, isn’t it?

That's awesome for sure if it happens, a real compliment thank you.

But for the veterans it will be a great satisfaction to see that Mythra is
still armed and ready and they will be willing to see you playing live. Any
tour programmed?

Yes definitely, after the album release we are playing several festivals in
Europe including 'Up The Hammers' in Athens, Greece and 'Heavy Metal
Maniacs' in Amsterdam, Netherlands before flying over to the United States
of America in October to play 'Frost & Fire' Festival in California.
Hopefully more dates to be added soon as we love playing live!

Mythra was one of the great bands out from the NWOBHM, do you think we will
ever see again something similar to that age in the Metal world?

The NWOBHM was unique for sure, born of a particular place and time!  There
are younger bands emerging constantly across the globe however which is
great for the future of Metal and for the fans.  On our travels at gigs we
have seen some great younger bands keeping the flame alive.  The likes of:
Night Demon, Crystal Viper, Savage Master, Terminus, Mean Machine,
Neverworld and Toledo Steel are amongst many many more worldwide that are
helping keep Metal alive and giving it a great future \m/

How do you see the Metal scene in the UK nowadays?

As with everywhere else there is an underground Metal scene in the UK, and
younger bands emerging all the time which is great to see.  Dedicated people
forming bands, putting on gigs and helping to get the music 'out there' to
the fans.  Long may it continue...

What are your plans for the future?

For MYTHRA we are really looking forward to the release of the new album.
The reviews to date have been excellent and reactions to the new songs at
gigs has been awesome.  We love live work, meeting up with fans at gigs.  We
love writing and recording too.  We want more!  Bring it on... \m/

Vince High (MYTHRA)


En Metalbrothers.es tenemos una sección dedicada a los guitarristas, esos grandes de las seis cuerdas que marcan la diferencia entre el ser o no ser de una banda, con el permiso de algunos vocalistas. Y entre ellos tenemos a uno de nuestra tierra, Alberto Cereijo, conocido por ser el guitarra de los eternos Suaves http://metalbrothers.es/bios/guitarristas/alberto-cereijo/

DARK AVENGER – The Beloved Bones: Hell (2017)

1.The Beloved Bones  06:19     
2.Smile Back to Me     04:51    
3.King for a Moment   05:10    
4.This Loathsome Carcass  05:45         
5.Parasite 04:47            
6.Breaking Up, Again  05:12    
7.Empowerment  04:23            
8.Nihil Mind     05:48    
9.Purple Letter  06:05  
10.Sola Mors Liberat   03:34    
11.When Shadow Falls  04:45            

Gustavo Magalhães - Bass
Hugo Santiago  - Guitars
Mário Linhares - Vocals
Anderson Soares - Drums
Glauber Oliveira - Guitars

Los Dark Avenger son una banda brasileña con más de 20 años de historia y varias grabaciones en su mochila, este en concreto es el cuarto disco de su carrera, han pasado cuatro años de su último disco de estudio aunque hace un par de años sacaron un directo. Su propuesta gira en tono al power metal.

The Beloved Bones arranca el disco a base de violines, teclados y ritmo power metal, también con groove. Es un power con sustancia, muy teatralizado, en ello tiene bastante que ver la voz de Mário Linhares, realmente potente. Este primer tema resulta entretenido, con distintos ritmos e incluso cierto aire progresivo. Smile Back to Me es un power más tradicional se podría decir, al estilo Rhapsody, lo mismo se puede decir de King for a Moment, una canción de power muy estándar, quizás le falta su propio sello pero al menos la personalidad del vocalista y un poco de groove le dan más potencia.

This Loathsome Carcass me parece mucho más interesante con su mezcla de power melódico, folk y una dosis de progresivo, un medio tiempo muy correcto con un estilo tirando a unos Symphony X. Parasite es un power al estilo de bandas como Angra, Threshold, Evergrey, con muchos arreglos y distintas fases que le dan a este grupo esa capa de progresivo que los hace más frescos e interesantes.

Breaking Up, Again  es un paso más hacia el sonido progresivo, donde las guitarras suenan especialmente bien y se adueñan del tema. Empowerment sigue esa misma línea aunque tiene un estribillo más pegadizo, una combinación de elementos que recuerda al estilo de los Pagan’s Mind. En Nihil Mind sin abandonar los elementos anteriores, buscan más las melodías y unas líneas vocales muy pegadizas, parada de rigor para arrancar con el solo, un corte grandilocuente, con pompa y buenos arreglos, de lo mejor del disco.

Nos acercamos al final del disco con Purple Letter donde sobresale la actuación del frontman y el buen solo atmosférico. Sola Mors Liberate es una balada muy pausada, a base de piano y solo de guitarra al estilo Blackmore, le da un toque de frescura al disco. Y parece que le han pillado gusto al asunto porque finalizan el disco con una segunda balada, con acústicas y diversos instumentos de cuerda, una forma relajada y poco frecuente de acabar un disco.

Si te gusta el power metal con ciertos aires progresivos estos brasileños te harán pasar un buen rato, tienen calidad técnica y hacen composiciones fáciles de disfrutar, sin complicarse demasiado la vida pero que se salen un poco de lo de siempre.

Puntuación: 7/10

Wretched disfigurement (by Under The Church)

lunes, 13 de noviembre de 2017

Interview with SIDDIUS

by Vpower

The Band: Siddius
Country: USA
Answers by:  Khalid Stetkevych (guitars)

Siddius has been in my headphones since I discovered the guys’ debut album "When Time is Time Again", I can’t just unplug it. Classic heavy metal in the vein of bands like Savatage, Iron Maiden, Deep Purple and so on. This is an awesome display of elegant and catchy songs with a big guitar execution by Khalid Stetkevych, and even a slight prog approach on some tracks. No doubt, labels will go crazy to sign them up and deliver their first album in proper cd edition, vinyl too, I presume.

First of all, we would like to know more about Siddius. We know you are from Indiana and that you play high class heavy metal, but apart from that we almost know nothing

 Alex and I have been friends for over 20 years, and we started playing music together in 2003 - when we were about 13 years old. We came up with the name Siddius in 2005.  We took a hiatus between 2008 and 2014 as Alex and I went to separate universities.

I am a huge fan of Savatage, so when I read your album’s title I cannot stop thinking about Savatage’s song “Tonight he grins again” when it says that of Time and time and time again I'm just looking for a friend… So, something to do with that or just my imagination flying away?

 I've never even heard of Savatage.  Just kidding. They're one of my favorite bands

Apart of that, I do feel a Savatage sound in some of the Khalid’s guitars, for example in On the Open Sea

When it comes to guitar tone, I have always loved Criss Oliva (of Savatage).  I've learned from the way he structures a guitar solo, but I have definitely been more influenced by Marty Friedman, of Megadeth fame, in regards to licks and inflection.

This is your very first release, Khalid. How long have you worked in that piece of good taste and amazing heavy metal that is your album When Time Is Time Again?

Some of the smaller ideas go as far back as 2006, with a couple structures dating pretty far back as well.  "On The Open Sea" has some ideas that date back to 2006 or 2007, while "When Time is Time Again" was first drafted in 2008.  Most of the music was originally structured during our hiatus, but they developed considerably in 2015.

Apart of Savatage guitars, we also can find classic influences as Dio, Rainbow, etc. But this is my opinion, what bands have influenced you?

Alex, Andrew, and I grew up on the likes of Iron Maiden, Megadeth, Helloween, and Savatage.  I've loved the works of the legendary Heavy Metal producer Martin Birch: Deep Purple. Rainbow. Black Sabbath's "Heaven and Hell", and Iron Maiden. Our keyboardist is the older brother of our bassist, and he was the one that really introduced Alex and me to Heavy Metal. Our drummer has been huge fan of Tool, but he also grew up as a very advanced violin player. Hayden is a big fan of the classic rock/ blues rock singers – Coverdale, Plant, (David Lee) Roth, Scott, and Johnson.

A family with good taste indeed J I don’t want to disregard any member in the band, but Khalid, your work on guitar is just divine, amazing riffs, amazing solos, great atmosphere in a word

Oh my, Mr. Alberto, you're making me blush.

Just the truth, my friend. Khalid, when did you start playing guitar and who were your “guitar heroes”?

I started playing in 2002.  I am a huge fan of the work and stylings of Marty Friedman. Any of my extended arpeggio ideas are inevitably born from Marty's influence, while the idea of the climatically held wailing notes is from that Criss Oliva influence.   As an adult, the players whose styles have affected me most are probably Marty Friedman, Uli Jon Roth, Steve Morse, Allen Hinds, and Carl Verheyen.

The majesty that runs throughout When Time Is Time Again would no be possible, however, without a rhythm base that does what is needed to be done in every moment

I wouldn’t quite say that our drummer and bassist “do what needs to be done”.  If anything, I would say that their parts are quite note-y and over-the-top. Alex Welp is a prolific riff writer – or the prolific riff writer – and he completely wrote all of the riffs found on “A Conversation Between Death & Man” and “On the Open Sea”.  I pushed him and our drummer, Pat, to really flex their musical vocabulary – I wanted the music to be living and breathing.  There are parts where I wanted it to sound like the music was crumbling apart so we could all come back together with an extra sense of authority. While it is very much a “produced” sounding album, with layered voices and cascading harmonies, I did not want it to sound as quantified as many modern albums.   I wanted nothing to be perfectly repeated, so you get these very real and living performances from the bass and drums. Because of this, some of our simpler arrangements are less obvious because of the way that each instrument develops over the course of a song.

Andrew Welp work on keyboards contributes to create that incredible atmosphere you transmit

We worked on trying to avoid that Yngwie/ Jens Johansson sound.  As much as we love his work in Stratovarius, I wanted to avoid those power metal synth tones.  So we tried to diversify tones, putting an organ tone through a Marshall for the Jon Lord leads, using a clavinet sound, throwing otherwise cheesy synth sounds through a wah pedal, and so on. Of course, we used plenty of straight piano. 

And last, but not least, Hayden Frasier is a powerful vocalist that almost can do anything at any time

 Hayden can nail almost any Rock 'n' Roll voice, so we spent a lot of effort on making sure that we found his voice. Alex, Andrew, and I had almost all of the lyrics and vocals written before we started working with Hayden, but once we had him in the studio, he pulled and twisted things.  Hayden and I reworked a lot of the lyrics and ideas together, and it was a wonderful process.

What are the lyrics about?

 The album is about approaching the end.  While there is something of a narrative, I would rather the listener unravel it for themselves.

I like very much the cover, it has that 80s air from the classic heavy metal acts

We worked together with Tristan Thompson to get some of my sketches into full form.  The artwork for the album is actually based on the imagery from the songs “When Time is Time Again” and “On The Open Sea”.

We get only 8 songs in the album, but they are like 8 gold grains. Any favorite?

I couldn't possibly choose a favorite.  “A Conversation Between Death & Man” is the most riff intensive.  “Nothing’s There” has a wonderful dueling section between Alex (bass), Andrew (keys), and me.  It has the biggest chorus. “On the Open Sea” has a huge duel between bass, guitar, keys, and ride cymbal, which culminates into one of the big climaxes of the album. “Don’t Be Afraid to Run” ends with probably the longest single solo on the record.  “Surfing on the Sands of Time” is a neat little duet between bass and guitar that has drums for support.

“When Time is Time Again” is the album’s epic.  You get probably the greatest performances from Mr. Frasier, while you also get an extended instrumental section with lead work from every member.  “Frayed Chords” is a little piano diddy that builds into …  “Broken Strings”.  This song features the singer quite heavily, and it ominously drives the album to a finish.

Awesome. Have you played already in front of an audience?

Our original incarnation gigged consistently for about 4 years, while this current group has been more or less confined to our area in the last two years of gigging.  We are hoping to be able to expand our reach now that we have finally finished our first album.

It will surely be something not to miss. After listening to your album I cannot still believe you have not been signed by any label, or am I wrong?

Now that we have a product, we would love to discuss possibilities.

How can anyone purchase your cd?

You can download or listen to the album on Amazon, iTunes, and Spotify.  Otherwise, our product is completely D.I.Y., so we are still working out some of the kinks in regards to the manufacturing and distribution of physical copies.

Please, advise me when you have your physic CD ready, I book a copy from now.  And last, the composing machine is off now or you continue working in new songs?

We already have the building blocks for another album or two. We've begun to work out some of the material for our next recording as a group.

Yeah! Thanks, Khalid, wish you the best!


Tiempo para hablar de una de las mejores bandas que dio el power americano, banda conocida a nivel underground pero que no tuvo el éxito que su calidad merecía, hablamos de Griffin http://metalbrothers.es/bios/biografias/griffin/

EASTERN HIGH – Garden Of Heathens (2017)

1.Bottled Insanity  04:49           
2.Eyes of Heaven  04:12
3.Evil Inc.  03:24          
4.Ghost of the Sea  04:46         
5.Garden of Heathens  04:46
6.Clandestine Hunger  05:01     
7.The Pretender  05:05             
8.Afterglow   06:23        

Johan Svensson - Guitars
Ola Svensson   - Vocals

Aquí tenemos este binomio sueco formado el año pasado y que se estrena con un interesante disco por el sonido y la ambientación que le dan al mismo. A eso ahora lo llaman progresivo, en mis tiempos ochenteros se le llamaba rock atmosférico o sicodélico, cuestión de etiquetas o modas. De todas formas, hay que hacer la salvedad de que es un grupo que tiene un pie en el metal y otro en el rock, de vez en cuando se desmelenan y le dan más potencia a su música, lo que contribuye a que resulte más entretenida en mi opinión.

Empezamos la andadura con Bottled Insanity, uno de los temas más inspirados del disco donde consiguen un sonido de metal moderno pero al mismo tiempo oscuro y enigmático, me recuerda por su ambientación a ese gran disco, poco reconocido, de Halford que es Crucible. La voz principal, igual que a lo largo de casi todo el disco, lleva un estilo entre gótico y sicodélico y en este tema la combinan con guturales también. Redondean el tema con un punteo heavy potente e interesante.

En Eyes of Heaven tiran de mucho groove en los riffs y eso combinado con la voz de predicador de su vocalista crea un efecto muy atractivo. El tema va ganando en velocidad e intensidad, el sonido de las guitarras enfatiza el carácter progresivo de esta canción, con mucha atmósfera, rematando la faena con una parada y un riff killer que te deja en pleno éxtasis, asistimos a un gran comienzo de disco.

Evil Inc es un tema de estructura mucho más sencilla, se podría calificar como groove metal con toques gothic, la sal la ponen la variedad de las voces, uno de los apartados fuertes de esta banda, y algún riff que tira hacia el thrash, sonando como un látigo en medio de la composición. Tienen esos detalles que hacen que los temas cobren frescura y no resulten planos y previsibles.

Ghost of the Sea es una balada de rock progresivo, atmosférica y con feeling. Garden of Heathens es uno de los temas que menos me convencem, es más un rock alternativo que progresivo, con un sonido hardcore, pero las paradas las usan para meterle ambientación y subir el nivel compositivo.

Clandestine Hunger es un rock progresivo de inicio atmosférico y con guitarras desfasadas y buenos riffs ambientales, otro de los puntos fuertes de este combo, saben como crear una buena ambientación y eso le da a su propuesta un estilo propio, especial, algo difícil de conseguir. El cuadro se completa con un cambio de ritmo que da paso a voces guturales, ritmo veloz y punteo heavy ambiental, otro de los cortes más logrados del disco.

The Pretender es un groove ambiental, en este caso suenan más metaleros, recogiendo el testigo del primer tema que os comentaba, para mí es cuando mejor suenan, cuando combinan la ambientación de voces y guitarras con ritmos más cañeros y riffs más potentes. Acaban con Afterglow, el tema más largo del disco, que hasta la mitad se podría calificar de balada anestesiante y que a partir de ahí revolucionan con guitarras de sonido doom, gran clima y un solo ambiental largo y cargado de sensaciones que completa un buen tema con dos caras, una de las características habituales a lo largo de todo el disco.

Buen debut el de esta banda sueca, el vocalista tiene personalidad y además de eso saben dotar a sus temas con un sentido especial, tienen carisma y eso es raro de ver o de lograr, es de esos discos que invitan a darle al play otra vez.

Puntuación: 7,5/10

Viking (by Aria)

jueves, 9 de noviembre de 2017


by Vpower

The Band: Radio Free Universe
Country: Canada
Answers by: George Panagopoulos (vocals)

RADIO FREE UNIVESE is a rock band from Canada, and when I say rock it means rock with all consequences. George Panagopoulos is the driving force behind the project and he takes it serious all the way, he puts all the energy on it and well… the result is just there, their first full length album, “Casa del Diablo”, an intense rock album with lyrics that count. George Panagopoulos has his ideas very, very clear, as you can check below.

Hello George and congratulations for your debut album Casa Del Diablo, we would like to know more details about the band’s story, what can you tell us?

It's a long story.  I wanted to start a real rock band, something unique only because it was not trying to be anything at all.  I first played music because it was fun. It made me feel amazing after.  Feeling the crush and grind of a well rehearsed band is magic.  I wanted that without the drama.  Needless to say it took a lot of drama to get to this place. There are a lot of great musicians who have been a big or small part of this unveiling along the way, but we are finally here; free and excited to be in this.  It really takes time to find 4 guys in love with the sound each of us makes.

Before recording this Casa Del Diablo have you released any songs or this is your very first record?

We tried but this is our first real release.  The chemistry just wasn't there. The band was trying to produce itself. I had to learn to have two hats and working with Glen Robinsion showed me how to be a real Gemini.

Radio Free Universe is at least a curious name, how did you choose it and what is the meaning behind it?

Well radio free Europe was and is a resistance broadcast that promotes freedom in unfree countries by broadcasting the free press.  We kind of feel too many musicians get garbled in the fashion of music.  What their friends or society thinks is cool.  They aren’t really writing songs they are repeating a condition that they have learned to be a part of. For us we feel the songs have their own ego. They each have something unique to give us and they must be allowed to give it regardless of our attitude.  We've all had to learn how to play different styles to accommodate what the songs want.  Not what we think they want.  There is a way we go about that.

RFU are four guys, any one more responsible than the others in the creation of the songs?

Well, we all write riffs of sorts, then in a jam, I kind of surf.  Words and melodies just flow in of and then out.  The songs whisper things they want you to say.  Sometimes I'll be close to hearing a whole phrase then someone in the room akin to the process kind of feels a word here or there.  Perhaps someone comes up with a part or two and the others just hear what should happen next. We really have turned it into a process that serves the songs as they are being created.

How long did you need to complete your album Casa Del Diablo and how was the process?

Well at first it was just an EP and that happened fast.  The songs were already mostly done.  We had so many songs, perhaps 40 recordings and a hundred ideas.  Then Glen Robinson came in.  He helped us pick 4 tracks.  We had a blast with him.  He reminded me who I needed to be when recording the band.  From there we decided we didn't just want to be one of those bands with an EP (sorry if you’re one of those bands we still love you). We had enough to put our best foot forward.  Jetpack Records (my indie label) has a great studio, a real Neve class A console and well we just dug in.  I recorded and mixed the rest of the album with Mark McMaster (a budding engineer from Hamilton, ON). We made an amazing space with great gear and even better energy.  Producing the rest was easy.  Glen Robinson had really gotten the process set for us. I sent him the tracks after we mixed them and he mastered them.

By the way, it seems you have a natural instinct for cool names, why Casa Del Diablo, why in Spanish?

Well after the record was done it was clear to me that it was about America and her masters.

What are the lyrics about? I think you have dedicated enough time to it and the result is that we got songs with a meaning, not just the typical cars & girls rock song, right?

As mentioned these songs need to exist. There are already written somewhere on the other side.  I mean magnolia girl was actually an out of body experience I had where someone handed me the entire song.  I came out of it, went to the studio and recorded it right away.  I remembered every lyric.  Others took some sculpting to get them to be what they wanted. Leaving the authenticity of each moment behind sometimes takes time.  I really feel bands are cheating themselves if they don't allow themselves the opportunity to record and play a great amount. I mean this is how you find and play back moments of pure connection.  Once we did that it was clear to see this album was about America.  Something is happening right now. The country is completely divided.  The media isn't free, it's owned by money and so are its political actors.  I don't believe in the devil, but I do believe that if there was one he or she would live in the White House.

Surely a hot issue right now. You play a rock in a variety of styles: 70s, 80s, sometimes commercial, raw other times, it contributes to make your album very fun and easy to listen

Again, it's not us. I mean we love all kinds of tunes.  The songs want to be played.  So we play them.

You, George, deliver a great execution on vocals, a key element in any rock band. What has more weight in your music, the vocals or the guitars?

Well you can't have one without the other.  Not in this kind of music.  They owe each other dearly.  The vocal will always take the song places. But they can't get there without the band. (And I do mean band.) They are really all just as important.

The album was mixed and mastered by Glen Robinson (Voivod, Gwar), quite a point, isn’t it?

So yeah, Six, Disclosure, American Gun, and 18 Wheels produced mixed and mastered by Glen.  The rest is produced and mixed by George (the singer/me) and Mark McMaster. All mastered by Glen, I mean really he pushed the standard and process in the beginning and that made the rest possible.

What bands have influenced more you sound?

So I hate this question :-) it’s like asking a chief who’s food he likes to eat. To me the songs own me, I don't own them. They tell us what they want. We try not to impose our influences on them.  If we have to learn how to play Middle Eastern modes for the song we will.

Hahaha, I do like the answer, George. Have you played any of these songs in your gigs?

Much better question! :-) Yes, when we feel we needed it.  We've been known to Motorhead, The White Stripes and The Beastie Boys.  I hope that shows exactly how diverse our taste is.  We very rarely play covers now though.

Prior to your debut album, you have made quite a name for yourselves on the live scene in Southern Ontario and greater Toronto area since your formation in 2010,  right?

Yes, we played our asses off everywhere. We worked so hard that we would eventually love or hate one another.  This all led to shedding, eventually you are left with four guys who love each other. I mean after each rehearsal we actually tell each other that. The music live really is the pay off.

As it should be. Canada has a big scene in many genres of rock and metal, how do you see it? Is it easier to be a rock band or a metal band in Canada? Or it is just the same crazy thing hahaha?

Yes, we've literally played in between 5 really metal bands.  They all came in to appreciate it. What I love about metal is it's real. It's all emotion. If you play rock with that kind of passion, then metal fans will love you.

Good point. Now a classic question or debate. Some people think that rock is a style that has come to a no exit road, always repeating the same models, what do you think about it?

Nah, I can say that about anything.  The problem is there is way too much crap.  People join bands and don't work at it. They show up drunk and smoke pot or whatever and play once a week if their lucky.  No one can afford anything because they all have other priorities. You’re going to suck if you do. To me they are white noise. They are destroying the live music scene. When you put the time in, new meaning and things always come out.  Real cats don't give a fuck.  They practice all the time and write all the time. They take advice, they will do anything and play and play and play, 6 billion people on earth and everyone is different. To make each one of us took two lives of living! In most cases a quarter of a century each. That's why we're all unique. It's beautiful.  Music can be like that. Just work at it as hard and you can and have as much fun as you can. Put the time in. Something new will always come from it.   When you have to think about being different you have already failed. Practice and you will be different in time.

Another good point for you. Are you preparing a promotional tour? Any dates out of Canada?

Yes, an agent is coming on board to handle that.  We're going to radio and talking to you and hoping we can say hi to a few people. When the second single is out a tour should be booked.

Great. What are your plans for the future?

 Trying to release a video, tour play record :-)

Thank you very much for your attention, George, rock on!

Wow thank you!!