28.11.14

Interview with Kilmara 2014

Last month Metal Harem reviewed one of promising heavy metal album of Kilmara, a band from Spain. After some short of online communication we were able to ask for a writen interview. Kilmara drummer, Javi Morillo , is kindly answering all our questions in lengthy stories. Javi talked about how Kilmara as a band, their new album behind the scenes stories, their collaboration with Roland Grapow, and also serious discussion about how the current metal music scenes. Just read their full interview below. \m/

If you still haven't touch on this band, read their bio HERE.

Their latest album is "LOVE SONGS AND OTHER NIGHTMARES", released worldwide early this year. Check their full discography here.

Metalharem.blogspot.com, interview with KILMARA  (Spain)

Enjoy....

Javi Morillo: "Hello metalharem, it is a pleasure talking with you. This is Javi, Kilmara’s drummer..."

Q Metalharem.blogspot:  Can you briefly tell us again, who is Kilmara? Is this a full band, side project or solo project? Have you become friends each other before deciding forming Kilmara? The five of you, are you staying in one area?

 We have been dedicated only to Kilmara for a lot of years; every single project we think about is just for this band. We never wanted to put us any kind of musical limitations and, in the same way,  we never know which will be the next step for Kilmara. Obviously, this is like this, because we are friends. We know each other so much that we have forgotten for how long we do it. John, Kike and I, are the oldest members, because we played together before being called Kilmara. Wolf arrived a little bit later and Raul was the last one that came. We could say we live in the same area since we work one near the other.

Love Songs and Other Nightmares, Kilmara 3rd studio album

Q: The first impression listener going to acknowledge is your unique style. We hear bit of power metal, American thrash metal, and also death metal in Kilmara. How do you describe Kilmara styles, if possible? What kind of band that inspired Kilmara for going this direction?

We could say that what moves us close is the same attraction for the melody. Apart from that, each one enjoys music in his way. We are inspired by several groups, and we like classic groups as much as modern ones, but we always try not to be a copy of an existing one. In this last Cd we had the intention of giving more prominence to the voice and of being more consequents with Wolf’s registers. We wanted that the music would go exactly with what words want to express. 

Q: How is your 3rd album 'Love Songs and other Nightmares" being produced. Tells us the writing process, recording duration and any interesting stories about it.

After our previous disc (Don’t Fear The Wolf) many things happened in our personal and working lives that made us grow apart.  Although we tried to find time to go on with Kilmara, this became quite difficult and that was harmful to us.  However, John, who has always been the driving force in the group, found at that moment a chance to develop his creativity. We took advance of the critics (good or bad ones) that we had had about “Don’t Fear The Wolf”,  and we decided that Wolf should do all the lyrics of this new project. We were looking for a more sincere and direct interpretation. John composed the music, but he had to do some final touches after Wolf had written the lyrics. Even the vocal melodies changed several times. I went to record the drums in September 2012 taking with me some demos with different versions of the songs. The lyrics of some of the themes were recorded by Raul and John because wolf had a sudden lesion in his vocal cords. Although everything seemed a mess, we all had everything more clear than ever.

Q: And also about Roland Grapow. Can you tell us stories behind your collaboration with him. How many times have Kilmara worked together with Roland? Did he involved or influenced in creating / writing music for this album?

 “Love Songs and Other Nightmares” has been the second CD that we have recorded in Roland Grapow Studios. We had totally clear that we wanted to work again with him. He is very professional and he is also a friend. We explained him that this time we wanted to give more importance to the voice.  When I arrived ( I was the first one ) it was quite difficult because all the demos I took with me looked just like themes remnants.  He also gave me his opinion about the drums in “Don’t Fear The Wolf”. He thought they weren’t as good as they should be, and he had the intention of improving them in this last work. As soon as John, Kike and Raul arrived to Roland Grapow Studio, everything seemed to flow and Roland got really involved. He gave us some advises and he even took part in some of the backing vocals. We lived plenty of anecdotes, but the funniest for me was that he took us to a concert. His drummer (Marthus) was going to give a concert with his personal project (Inner Fear) near there, and although Marthus had recorded drums for Masterplan, Roland had never seen him playing at life.

Javier Morillo recording drum for album "Love Songs and Other Nightmares"
photo from Facebook

Q: How did you guys ended up with Sony Music, are there many new metal band that signed with 'mainstream' label as Sony. How is this going to help Kilmara in distributing your music.

The music business is not in a very good moment nowadays but Kilmara keeps on having faith in the truth record companies. We already knew that for people like us, it was going to be difficult to carry out a good distribution. We knocked on several doors and many of them were a fraud. Others were not interested in our music. In fact, Sony is being really good with us and now everything depends on the product demanding. It is simple, if things do not go further, it does not make sense that we wait a bigger investment.

Q. How is your view about metal music nowadays, in your area, Spain, Europe and across the world? As blogger we found many new metal albums everyday, is there a room for one more metal  band? How about the internet, social media, and uncontrolled music distribution over the web? 

I will let you know only my opinion. I think it is almost impossible to create something new. Besides, we have overload of music information. Record companies used to put some filters that are now lost because of the uncontrolled music distribution. This has caused quality deterioration because most of records are self produced.  Music industry is not working any more because selling discs does give enough money. Everything has been harmed by this. Groups record discs the best way we can and later….nothing happens. Nowadays, all the effort falls on a good promotion (of course, the group is in charge of it) in order to stand out from the others. The final product is often very poor because of the lack of wherewithal. Crowds just go to see a concert of renowned groups because they are the only ones that can keep the quality. Among all the options, people prefer what they have always been listening. I think it is difficult that this changes.

Q: Do you hear any fans feedback from our area, Indonesia and Asia in general, about Kilmara?

We are receiving feed back of half world! This makes up live with hopes. Knowing that our music likes gives us strength to go on.

Q: Lastly, what is your next plan for Kilmara, touring or producing new materials for next album?

We would like to tour all over the world but this is not according to our possibilities. We will do as many concerts as we can and we will go on working on taking our project as far as we can. We are already preparing new songs and really exited with Kilmar’s future.

Thank you! It was a pleasure! - Javi

and we thank you you to Javi, for the time and stories you shared to us. Please follow Kilmara on their website and social networks:

KILMARA :

Christian Wolfgang Kohl (vocals)
Jonathan Portillo (guitar)
Enrique Torres (guitar)
Javier Morillo (drums)
Raul Ruiz (bass)

Guests on their latest album:
Roland Grapow (Masterplan, ex-Helloween)
Pilar Villatobas (Resilence)

http://www.kilmara.com/
FACEBOOK
TWITTER



27.11.14

Axenstar - Where Dreams Are Forgotten (2014)

Whatever sub-genre of power metal coming out, it is always the pure the traditional power metal that stand still in the last. Axenstar had been that kind of band since their first inception. Crawling in the crowd of power metal, the Sweden quartet first find it hard to fight their fame with some of their sophomore albums. Then starting The Final Requiem and Aftermath, it is became clear that those who follow the right path will find their way. Axenstar's Where Dreams Are Forgotten is quite anticipated by power metal fans. Three years from Aftermath is enough waiting, so they are on the last minutes of being forgotten. The album exactly an upgrade continuation from Aftermath, now with more power, more riffs on their belt. Through very much traditionalist in power metal, Axenstar is not without distinguish signature. It is their vocalist Magnus Winterwild that gives Axenstar something to remember. His vocal style is actually not in the mainstream power metal where he avoid singing in traditional high pitch, in fact his style is kind of mid to low range and with strong attack in every breath.

You will find songs such as "Fear" is the most power metal can do with its trade mark guitar riff. The background is fill with thin layer of keyboard string, not too thick to get them a 'symphonic' label, but enough to gives the neo-classical feel. Speedy drumming is there also, the album has a good start. As with many formulaic song order, the following "Inside The Maze" flows nicely to continue what the first song finish. Tension is still maintained up to their third song, is "My Sacrifice" where the bombastic seems more and more. The pinnacle of their first phase attack is likely in "Curse Of The Tyrant", a short variation on drum and acoustic guitar in the intro glued us to the ground from the start. "The Return" is the beginning of their next set, with contained package of "Demise", then "Greed", then a very Helloween-ish "The Reaper" is a strong point in this section.

With exception of "Annihilation" in the intro, this album is full of power riffs parallel with galloping drums. Clear to us Where Dreams Are Forgotten is dedicated to die hard power metal fans. You will find no other disrupting non sense gimmicks blocking your way listening full blast of riffs, speedy solos and metal choruses. It is the time for Axenstar ascending to higher class of power metal arena, which I believe they already so.

Favorite tracks: Fear, Curse Of the Tyrant, The Reaper
Metal Harem class: ********** eight stars out of ten

Buy it Here - Amazon

Axenstar - Where Dreams Are Forgotten (2014)

01. Fear
02. Inside The Maze
03. My Sacrifice
04. Curse Of The Tyrant
05. The Return
06. Demise
07. Annihilation
08. Greed
09. The Reaper
10. This False Imagery
11. Sweet Farewell

Line Up:
Magnus Winterwild - Vocals, Bass & Keyboards
Joakim Jonsson - Guitars
Jens Klovegård - Guitars
Adam Lindberg - Drums
Record Label: Inner Wound Recordings

26.11.14

Megadeth Looking for New Guitarist and Drummers 2014 After Broderick and Drover Quit

The super collider news from Megadeth today is, Chris Broderick and Shawn Drover both quit the band almost simultaneously. They announced on their personal blog November 26th 2014 about it , no background stories yet. Chris had been in the band for 7 years and Shawn for 10 years, quite ever lasting in context of Dave Mustaine's band!

Official statement from Chris Broderick in quitting Megadeth:

"It is with great reluctance that I announce my departure from Megadeth to pursue my own musical direction. I want all of you to know how much I appreciate the amount that you, the fans, have accepted and respected me. I wish Dave and everyone in Megadeth all the best. I am working on a few things of my own, and hope that when they come out, you’ll all dig it.”

Drover says: “I have decided to quit Megadeth to pursue my own musical interests. I want to thank Dave Mustaine and the entire Megadeth family, as well as all the amazing fans around the world. I truly appreciate all of you. Stay tuned for info on my next musical journey.


Of course now the big question we all waiting for, the next guitarist and drummer for Megadeth, who is now left only Dave and David Ellefson on board.

To help you imagine the wildest dream, here are the list of 'vacant' guitarists and drummers available for Dave to pick!


There are six guitarists to ever officially join Megadeth, who is the next 7th guitarist?

1. Jeff Loomis - finally new Megadeth guitarist? It had been a strong rumors on social network for this to happen. The only setback truth is, Jeff  *just* joined Arch Enemy weeks ago!

2. Marty Friedman - old time fans are going crazy to petition Dave Mustaine to even considered this to be happened. Not easy since Marty is having zen-like life in Japan right now.

3. Gus G - he is roaming the heavy metal world ever since now. Firewind still his band, but he is a good choice if Dave wanted to lure him out of Firewind.

4. Christian Muenzner - of former Obscura band.

5. Doug Aldrich - of former Whitesnake, just left Dave Coverdale and join Dave Mustaine seems quite a day to call for....

6. Carl Johann Grimmark - of Narnia. Some one with something in common with Dave Mustaine?

As for drummers :

1. Dave Lombardo - it is reported that Dave himself said he is open for invitation to join the band... the greatest drummer ever for Megadeth?

1. Mike Portnoy - now fans also cried out for this to be ever happen.

2. Bobby Jarzombek - of Iced Earth, Fates Warning, Riot.

Harem Scarem - Thirteen (2014)

One should lament on how many hair metal bands that bailed out in the grunge era, just to comeback again twenty years later. On this year are the comeback of Tesla, Winger, Night Ranger, all the way to Mr.Big if they counted. One of the band that included is Harem Scarem. This melodic rock / metal group from Canada pulled out string of early albums that really stayed in the heart of melodic rock lover. They did not really disappear actually, as the band actively released albums all the decade of '90s, those just didn't catch the momentum more so than their Mood Swing-era.

Thirteen is obviously their 13th studio album. This one has a majority of Harem Scarem late era materials. "Garden Of Eden" is catchy one for the opener. Those who longing for Pete Lesperance guitar works can enjoy it here, although this album did not many repeated the 'wild' riffs happened in the Mood Swing catalog. "Early Warning Signs", "Saints And Sinners" may also close to that sense, where quick alternate picking riffs take the action. We got easy and happy hard rock tracks as in "Live It". Then the rest are very much pop rock to ballads when track like "Whatever It Takes" where the power chorus is vibe of '90s feel, and "All I Need".

Thirteen is also giving their Pledge music page, where you can find their progress. Overall it is fun to have Harem Scarem back kicking in the business. To hear Harry Hess singing in the band he arising from. As we know both Hess and Pete got a decent solo albums out there also. Thirteen is not a repeating hair metal in the '90s, more so their new interpretation of guitar orientated rock song.

Metal Harem class: ********* seven stars out of ten

Buy it Here - Amazon

Harem Scarem - Thirteen (2014)

1. Garden Of Eden
2. Live It
3. Early Warning Signs
4. The Midnight Hours
5. Whatever It Takes
6. Saints And Sinners
7. All I Need
8. Troubled Times
9. Never Say Never
10, Stardust
11. The Midnight Hours Acoustic (Japan bonus)

    Harry Hess – Lead vocals, keyboards
    Pete Lesperance – Guitars, Bass, Keyboards, Backing vocals
    Creighton Doane – Drums
    Darren Smith – Backing vocals

25.11.14

AC/DC - Rock or Bust (2014)

Instead of having an album called Man Down, Brian Johnson get us a more typical AC/DC album phrase, it's "Rock or Bust". That's right, this is the new AC/DC album, all brand new songs, the first one since 2008's Black Ice. The album marked as the first without Malcolm Young on boards. And they are closely losing Phil Rudd as well on the dramatic case in Australia. Thus where came the idea of Brian Johnson "Man Down" thing. "Rock Or Bust" is everywhere AC/DC album. It is very short, as short as the band name. We got everything we expected, Angus Young's signature Gibson axe sounds, Brian Johnson's screaming, Cliff and Phill unparalleled coordination.

The song "Rock Or Bust" is all you need to be introduce to AC/DC. Simple guitar riffs , simple "hell yeah...", "are you ready?..." intro to get everything on the roll. "Play Ball" is their single, as usual still got enough ball for being facing face to face to current world chart list. Where the song done well actually. Then on the rest of the album, one must start to admit that the band is not interesting in doing some else. This is exactly another 30 minutes of AC/DC world. It is understandable to not expected a classic Back In Black materials. Thus songs like "Got Some Rock & Roll Thunder", "Rock the House" and "Emission Control", are the most interest in term of expecting some signature AC/DC riffs yet never done before.

The album is mean to be taken in relax manner. The situation where we enjoy half nostalgic moment and the other half to salute that they are still faithful in doing so. All for the fans. Production is great, you can listen the classic guitars riffs still the same as yesteryears. Try doing it with a full volume and you can easily drown to a good headbanging session. Rock or Bust it, here they come.

Metal Harem class: ********* eight stars out of ten

AC/DC - Rock or Bust (2014)
Buy it Here - Amazon

01. Rock Or Bust
02. Play Ball
03. Rock The Blues Away
04. Miss Adventure
05. Dogs Of War
06. Got Some Rock & Roll Thunder
07. Hard Times
08. Baptism By Fire
09. Rock The House
10. Sweet Candy
11. Emission Control


    Brian Johnson – lead vocals
    Angus Young – lead guitar, backing vocals on "Dogs of War"
    Stevie Young – rhythm guitar, backing vocals
    Cliff Williams – bass guitar, backing vocals
    Phil Rudd – drums, percussion


20.11.14

Divine Ascension - Liberator (2014)

The Melbourne power metal sextet has back with vengeance. Divine Ascension is setting the people of southern hemisphere on full throttle with their second album, Liberator. As you remember, they are one of promising power / symphonic act when their debut album released in 2011. As close as to their first one, Liberator is one step upgrade for sure. This is much more serious works, stronger instrumentation and heavier singing. Jennifer Borg as vocalist is once again nailed it with her altoish voices, rather muscular one must say.

"Dawn Brings No Mercy" is ambitious symphonic intro put as an opener of the album. You will need to drill up some early Epica or Within Temptation music to draw comparison with the style Divine Ascension bringing up. On six minutes, Dawn Brings No Mercy even has enough room to put in a rather contrasting slow middle interlude, which also a sign that the band is now in full concentration to bring more progressive elements to their songs. "Stronger" is sample of their heavy symphonic track. With lively keyboardist and dual guitars, the band has a serious shredding solos to fight for. "Liberator" is the album title song that has multiple patterns to make up a good progressive metal cut, on full double pedal speed. Then also comes "My Contender Lies" which bring even further dark color and vengeance guitar riffs backed with slower tempo drumming. "Sorrow's Sacrifice" is open with clean acoustic guitar, the dynamic on this song quickly remind us to Dream Theater's Awake era sound. For some serious kick ass ballad you will need to fast forward to "Red Sky". The focus on this song is once again Jennifer Borg's vocal capabilities, which is victoriously produced here. For the rest of the album the band wrapped more headbanging power metal cuts, from melodious "Machine", "The Final Stand" to the  goose bumping acoustic "Memoria's Longing".

The album formula is their successful blending of power, symphonic and progressive in style. Then added strong character voice from Jennifer, backed with excellent musicianship by the band.  Then voila, this is a surprise winter gift to power metal fans. Oh wait, it is summer actually on their atmosphere. As a female fronted band, one thing I glad is the band did not fall in the current trend to added nonsense death metal growling voices in their song. Liberator is much serious and ambitious works compared to their debut. In the cliche of connoisseur word, their debut (As The Truth Appears) is the opening red Shiraz but Liberator is the unexpected powerful blend of Chardonnay - Semillon - Riesling (!??) from the Southern valley. Do not let this one slip without a heavy sip.

Favorite tracks: Dawn Brings No Mercy, Machine, The Final Stand, Memoria's Longing
Metal Harem class: ********** nine stars out of ten

Buy it Here - Amazon

Divine Ascension - Liberator (2014)

01. Dawn Brings No Mercy 06:31
02. Stronger 05:31
03. Liberator 06:07
04. My Contender Lies 05:48
05. Sorrow's Sacrifice 05:54
06. Crystal Tears 05:30
07. Machine 06:28
08. Red Sky 05:18
09. The Final Stand 05:46
10. Hideaway 05:52
11. Memoria's Longing 05:32

Jennifer Borg - Vocals
Karl"Inski" Szulik - Guitars
Robb Inglis - Guitars
Luke Wenczel - Drums
David Van Pelt - Keys
Jason Meracis - Bass

See also , Divine Ascension As The Truth Appears 2011 review


10.11.14

Demian Heuke - Treumal (2014)

Continuing our journey in search for excellent guitar shred album this year, come across Demian Heuke's Treumal. This is a promising debut album from this Germany based guitarist. Still quite little unknown about Demian, where the biggest clue is his connection with guitarist Adrian Weiss from the same area. Treumal is faithful guitar album that colorfully done with heavy metal as main style. It is in the same wake of other melodic shredder such as Adrian Weiss, Daniel Liverani and Marco Sfogli.

The first opening is such a simple riff yet ever green for guitar instrumental. 30 Ballons is the happy champers of I-V-vi-IV chord progression we haven't heard in long times. Dennis Hormes in guest soloing in this track. This song is a true showcase of the guitarist ability as well with frenzy licks rolling all over it. The 2nd track is This Is Now, the opening riff is a two bar licks that also familiar to ears. His guitar best friend Adrian Weiss is the invited guest. While on Jimmy, we move to mid tempo, non violence melodious song that come along with acoustic guitar accompaniment. Alive is a lively wah-wah driven song, excellent bass line at the backdrop. Iced Kingdom is the tip of shred iceberg camouflage by its calm opening. Funky Valentine is as the title suggested a funk orientated composition. Treumal is melodic mid tempo that once again very enjoyable and reflective. The other half of the album contained mostly calm and meditative composition. Such as Diminished Wind that explore the most from the diminished scale to make it as pensive as possible.

Overall a very well written guitar instrumental album. Demian Heuke balance all the thing about composition and guitar playing. The licks are bringing inspirations for listener. Treumal is a quick fall in love album where can be enjoyed by general audience and also die hard guitar fans. This album can come along shoulder to shoulder with his friend, Adrian Weiss album where he also a guest contributor.

Favorite Tracks: 30 Ballons, Treumal
Metal Harem class: ******** eight stars out of ten

Demian Heuke - Treumal (2014)
Buy it Here - Amazon

1 30 Ballons (Dennis Hormes guest solo)
2 This Is Now (Adrian Weiss guest solo)
3 Jimmy
4 Alive (Christoph Kaczmarczyk guest solo (1:08-1:40))
5 Iced Kingdom
6 Funky Valentine
7 Treumal
8 Astronomy
9 Just Breathing
10 Diminished Wind
11 Suffering
12 Daily Settlement

All guitars played and composed by Demian Heuke

Line Up:
Drums - Lars Zehner
Bass - mf-c
Guitar - Demian Heuke
Produced by Demian Heuke and mf-c
Engineered mixed and mastered by mf-c @ "mf-c`s recording hell" studio Dusseldorf / Germany 2013 - 2014
Artwork: Gustavo Sazes ASTRATA