Concerts Music

Concert review: Iron Maiden 29/06/2016 in Finland

After seeing the legendary Australian AC/DC taking the stage at Kantola Event Park in Hämeenlinna last summer, it was again time to organize for second time a huge 1 day concert in this town, located around one hour away from Helsinki, with British metal icons Iron Maiden visiting Finland again as part of their Book of Souls World Tour.

First of all, kudos have to be given to the organizers LiveNation for improving significantly the logistics and organization of the event: the venue had considerably less assistants than last year, but in some way that helped to improve the general feeling around. A great selection of food trucks providing the visitors with a wide choice not to starve, cigarettes for sale, the drinking area considerably big and much closer to the scenario than last year and without having to wait one hour to order a liquid beverage, portable toilets also abundant and easily accessible, the path to reach the main gate less crowded and a lot of improvised bars around the park so you could stop for a drink in your way in and out of the concert.

Even the transportation improved. Although there was only one train available to go back to Helsinki after the show and was sold out, this time Express Bus company arranged efficiently many buses at 01:00 so everybody who wanted to come back to their home places could do it on due time.

Iron Maiden

If we add to all this that the weather was nicely warm and sunny, you have the perfect cocktail for a successful day of good metal music. And the offer was wide, apart from Iron Maiden finishing the night, before the spectators had another British, The Raven Age, the legendary local Finnish metal band Stratovarius and the Swedish Sabaton opening up.

As yours truly is a hard worker and takes a while to arrive to Hämeenlinna from Helsinki, I could only see the end of Sabaton’s gig. The Swedish visit the neighboring capital quite often, as they already gave a solid show last year at Tuska festival, and know very well how to please the Finnish audience.

Around one hour later, Iron Maiden took the stage. This would be my fifth time seeing them, the fourth time in Finland after having assisted to their concerts at Sonicsphere in Pori, at Ratina Stadium in Tampere and at the Olympic Stadium in Helsinki.

As positive things of their show, the balance between new songs from their last album Book of Souls and the old classics was perfect. It helped that actually the last album has a very acceptable quality. After a first leg of the show concentrating on their last release, the last part focused on some of their old anthems. A few nice surprises like Powerslave and for my own surprise, to feel that my favorite song of the night was Blood Brothers, with a final part of guitar riffs that gave me goose bumps. It was probably the best song of the night together with Hallowed by the Name. Another pleasant surprise was that for a change, the show was not ended with 2 Minutes to Midnight but with Wasted Years.

The negative thing: the quality of Dickinson’s micro was awful. A lot of problems with the audio so his voice was continuously getting overlapped by the guitars every few seconds. A redundant problem that, although it seemed to improve a bit after The Trooper, was repeatedly suffered all over the show.

In any case, the fans seem gladly to forgive that, counterbalanced by a good setlist, Dickinson always amusing when addressing the audience and the typical great visual paraphernalia that accompanies every Iron Maiden gig with Eddie the monster fighting against Dickinson, huge inflatable monsters, the guitar players running around the stage and Janick Gers throwing it into the air and some of the best designed t-shirts in the heavy metal universe that you could purchase for a decent price in any merchandising shop around the venue.

Everybody left happy and in high spirits, and even when being a Wednesday night, that did not stop many Finnish metal heads from also leaving quite drunk (remember, it was a sunny summer day in Finland so cans of beers were blossoming in every corner of the parks of the city). Already looking forward to seeing who will come next summer to Kantola Event Park to delight us once more with good rock and metal!

Articles Concerts Misc Music

Mustasch on Tour!

Mustasch are starting their European tour this wednesday at Bastard Club in Osnabrück followed by many big summer festivals as Nordic Noise Festival (DK), Peace & Love (Swe) and Jurassic Rock (FI).

Upcoming Tour Dates:

04-May-2016 Wed Osnabrück (DE) Bastard Club
05-May-2016 Thu Karlsruhe (DE) Substage
06-May-2016 Fri Dresden (DE) Beatpol
07-May-2016 Sat Frankfurt (DE) Das Bett
09-May-2016 Mon Hannover (DE) Faust
10-May-2016 Tue Wien (AT) Chelsea
11-May-2016 Wed Dornbirn (AT)
12-May-2016 Thu Dortmund (DE) FZW Club
13-May-2016 Fri Kiel (DE) Die Pumpe
14-May-2016 Sat Copenhagen (DK) Nordic Noise Festival
21-May-2016 Sat Finland Helsinki (FI) Radio Rock Risteily XIX
10-11 Jun-2016 Fri Germany Loreley, St. Goarshausen (DE) RockFels Festival
07-Jul-2016 Thu Sweden Borås (SE) Sommartorsdagarna
07-09 Jul-2016 Fri Sweden Borlänge (SE) Peace & Love
16-Jul-2016 Sat Estonia Haapsalu (EE) American Beauty Car Show
22-Jul-2016 Fri Sweden Stockholm (SE) Kungsträdgården, Putte i Parken
05-Aug-2016 Fri Sweden Rejmyre (SE) Skogsröjet
06-Aug-2016 Sat Finland Mikkeli (FI) Jurassic Rock

with more to be added…

Articles Concerts Misc Music

Imagine Dragons live in concert in Helsinki at Hartwall Areena. 27.01.2016

Just a few years ago, if a rock band would introduce themselves to the audience playing in a big venue as coming from Las Vegas, Nevada, most of the people would have thought automatically of The Killers. But not anymore, Imagine Dragons, the young Americans from the city that never sleeps, have suffered a meteoric raise with just 2 studio albums released, Night Visions (2012) and Smoke + Mirrors (2015) that led them to appear in the capital of Finland for first time as show headers.

I was really curious to see them live also for first time ever, having heard so many good things about them, and not forgetting that if you are just a normal human being who watches movies, sees TV or play video games during the last 3 years, at some point you are going to recognize easily their 4 or 5 biggest hits once they start being played.

Imagine Dragons

As other compromises did not allow me to check the opening band Rival Sons and just arrived to Hartwall Areena a few minutes before Imagine Dragons started, I cannot give an opinion about them. Around 15 minutes after 21 Imagine Dragons stepped onto the stage and from there on that was madness coming out of the throats of hundreds of fans that would turn crazy on every movement or wink that Dan Reynolds would dedicate them on stage.

The venue had around 3/4 of capacity fulfilled, which is not bad taking into account that the concert took place a Wednesday and the weather in Helsinki did not really invite to go out. As I said, a lot of female teenage fans among the audience, but also audience pretty mixed with all kind of ages and looks. I even saw myself sitting close to me an old couple in their sixties that were really thrilled with every song. And that seems to be the strong point of Imagine Dragons, although sometimes they may sound too edulcorated (there were moments in the show when I was really thinking that they sound as some kind of Black Keys for teens) and aimed at young fans, they do not overdo it and they have the enough amount of good doses of rock to reach a wider audience. The vibe is always positive, soft indie rock with touches of funk, electronic music, ska… Listening to them live automatically transports you mentally to a warmer place, like watching a sunset during a beach party.

Undoubtedly their vocalist Dan Reynolds is the one where most of the eyes are focused on. Dan looks in general like a good boy with a touch of hipster mischief, the kind of pal that you could share a smoke in the terrace of a bar or accept as the new girlfriend of your sister. But the same with their style, the band does not overdo that “cool pose” and that is something that makes the difference. They really seem honestly flattered with the chance given to play for bigger audiences, they are humble and grateful in their interaction with the public (Dan commented that “he was blushing” when some female shouted a spicy comment at him in the middle of the show) and they had the small detail after the show to stay a couple of minutes throwing guitar picks, drum sticks and greeting goodbye to the audience, small details that make the difference.

Imagine Dragons

About the concert itself, the scenography was decent but nothing mind-blowing, the quality of the sound was ok taking into account that Hartwall Areena does not have the best acoustic eve for live shows and although I got a bit cold at the beginning, once they started to play hits like It’s time, I found myself rising from my seat dancing with the rest of the crowd. The big fireworks came at the end of the show when they linked anthems such as Demons, On Top of the World, I bet my Life and Radiactive with a very fun cherry on top of the cream as all the members were switching position onstage while hammering mercilessly big drums.

Things to improve? Maybe the setlist was a big short in general, and also the guitar solo Wayne Sermon did not provoke any special reaction on me (that could be cause once some months ago one sees a master as Joe Satriani, it is impossible then to measure with same standards). But all in all, I left the venue happily surprised and satisfied with a band that probably will have a lot to say in the indie rock scene during the last years. Not a bad plan to fight with positive energy and good music the gloomy cold weather of Helsinki.




It’s Time

Forever Young
(Alphaville cover)


Hopeless Opus/Polaroid

Guitar Solo

I’m So Sorry


The River

Bleeding Out / Warriors / Amsterdam / Tiptoe / It Comes Back To You / Smoke and Mirrors


Drum Solo

On Top of the World

I Bet My Life

Friction / Radioactive


The Fall

Features Music

Demons Of Old Metal Premiere New Single

British metallers Demons Of Old Metal recently streamed their latest single “The Quiet Ones” via Puregrainaudio! Taken from their upcoming new album “Dominion”, which is due for release on December 7th, fans of the band can check out their latest offering ahead of time!

Check out “The Quiet Ones” here –

Sat somewhere between classic Exodus, Pantera & GWAR; theatrically tinged British metallers Demons Of Old Metal have been making an unholy din across the UK for a while now. And if latest record “Dominion” is anything to go by, they’re just getting started!

Formed at the tail end of 2010 by four veterans of the UK metal circuit with the sole intention of cranking out classically tinged metal and engulfing venues in a sea of blood, sweat and beers. Coupling a cracking knack for writing quality songs, their penchant for schlock horror imagery and an otherworldly stage show, DOOM set about putting together their debut record; “The Demonic Chronicles Vol I”. Released on Halloween 2012, the response from fans and the media alike was overwhelmingly positive and saw the band begin making a name for themselves.

Demons of Old Metal

In 2013 the band released “The Demonic Chronicles Vol. II”; a further addition to their stunning repertoire. This was followed in 2014 by the final part of “The Demonic Chronicles Trilogy” which was greeted with critical acclaim in Europe and the U.S. They proceeded to hit the road and carve their mark viciously into the psyche of the British live scene; scoring slots at Beermageddon in the UK, as well as shows in Ireland.

Simultaneously, they began work on their new record “Dominion”. Set for release on December 7th 2015, “Dominion” stands as a huge leap forward, as the band have pushed their musical boundaries and created a work that will no doubt appeal to fans of both the new and old schools. Tracks like ‘You Version 2.0’, ‘Fakeskin’ and ‘Behind The Mask’ are groove laden gems on a record full of brilliance. Tall and short of it; you need Demons Of Old Metal in your life.

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London Rockers Reverted Announce Intimate Launch Show

London based hard rockers Reverted have announced a very intimate release show for their upcoming new record “Stripping The Worms”; an acoustic re-recording of their debut record “Sputter The Worms”, on November 3rd.

The band are set to appear at the legendary Shaka Zulu, a lush African themed bar and restaurant in Camden Town, where they’ll be premiering their new video “Time” and performing live renditions from “Stripping The Worms”.

Vocalist Tony Vega had this to say on the record and its launch:

“Stripping The Worms” is, for us, an intimate voyage of sorts. We aimed to preserve crucial elements of the songs while giving way to new gripping and exciting structures.


Fans can check out the band’s open invitation and choice clips from “Stripping The Worms” here –

Completed by guitarist Danny Ruiz, drummer Ozzy Preciado and bassist Luis Lopez; Reverted formed in 2010 and quickly set to work putting together their debut EP “Tolerance” in 2011. They followed “Tolerance” up with the successful “Sputter The Worms” in 2012, which elevated the band to higher levels; selling thousands of copies independently and scoring the band coverage in Kerrang!, Metal Hammer, Classic Rock and Powerplay Magazine. The band also gained airplay on Total Rock and countless other stations across the UK, Europe and the US with the single “Die My Saint”.

The video for “Die My Saint”, their first music video, was released later that year with appearance on national TV such as Scuzz, Kerrang & MTV. The clip captured both the band’s explosive energy and their commitment to storytelling. In 2013 the band began working with acclaimed producer Pedro Caparros (Breed 77, The Answer) on their latest record “Stripping The Worms”; an acoustic re-imagining of “Sputter The Worms”.

Alongside their incredibly output, the band have secured support slots with American Head Charge, Evile, Fozzy, Kill Devil Hill and countless others. Not content with ruling the London scene, the quartet are set to hit the road throughout 2016 with tours in Central & South America, and Europe before heading home for a headline UK tour.

With a new album in tow and an insatiable hunger to hit the road, Reverted are looking to end 2015 with a band and lead a trail of fire through 2016. Book your ticket for November 3rd now, before they sell out!

Articles Concerts Misc Music

Raging Speedhorn Announce Support For Winter UK Tour

UK Sludge legends Raging Speedhorn have announced Ten Foot Wizard & Telepathy as the support acts on their upcoming UK tour this November!

The band are set to embark on a six date UK tour in support of their upcoming, as yet untitled, new record which is set for release in early 2016. Their first release since 2007’s “Before The Sea Was Built” and their first to feature new guitarist Jim Palmer.

The dates for the tour are:

Thu, 26 Nov 2015 – The Globe, Cardiff
Fri, 27 Nov 2015 – The Underworld, London (Support acts – Gurt, Ten Foot Wizard & Telepathy)
Sat, 28 Nov 2015 – Slade Rooms, Wolverhampton
Sun, 29 Nov 2015 – The Corporation, Sheffield
Mon, 30 Nov 2015 – Star & Garter, Manchester
Tue, 1 Dec 2015 – The Exchange, Bristol


The band, who launched a Pledge campaign earlier this year for their new record, have recently announced that fans participating in the Pledge will received a free live EP as a thank you.

Fans wanting to contribute to the Pledge can do so here –

Raging Speedhorn formed in 1998 and went on to release four records, the most successful being their second release “We Will Be Dead Tomorrow”, recorded by Billy Graziadei & Danny Schuler of Biohazard fame. The band achieved chart success with ‘The Gush’ in 2001, toured continuously with acts like Slipknot, Ill Nino, Rammstein and Will Haven, and performed at countless festivals across the globe, including main stage at the inaugural Download Festival in 2004. They split in 2008 following the release of their last record “Before The Sea Was Built” and a subsequent tour of Japan.

Concerts Music

Room Full Of Strangers Hit The Road

US Punk mob Room Full Of Strangers are set to hit the road through Germany this autumn in support of their new album “Bad Vacation”, which is set for release on October 30th through True Trash Records & Godless America Records!

The band will be appearing at the following dates:

Oct/24/15 FR – Tranqueville-Graux, La BaZka
Oct/27/15 DE – Dresden, Chemiefabrik
Oct/28/15 DE – Berlin, Cortina Bob
Oct/29/15 DE – Hamburg, Monkeys Music Club
Oct/30/15 DE – Essen, Freakshow Bar
Oct/31/15 DE – Bonn, Kult 41
Nov/04/15 DE – Kaiserslautern, The Clearing Barrel
Nov/05/15 DE – Würzburg, Immerhin
Nov/06/15 DE – Leipzig, Zoro
Nov/07/15 DE – Crailsheim, Juze

For US whatever-punks Room Full Of Strangers, in 2015, it’s a Love / Hate situation. It would be easy for a band of working class guys, with roots in America’s Rust Belt, struggling to make ends meet, to embrace hate, lash out and become big drinking, fist-fighting, rock n roll clichés. In fact, for a period of time, that’s exactly what happened. The sons of immigrants and factory workers, Room Full Of Strangers haven’t always managed to plough the path of controlled chaos that they currently inhabit – for a while it was just chaos. It wasn’t so long ago that their shows were sparking mass brawls and, in one terrifying instance, witnessed the tragic overdose of a member on stage…


Led by front man Mick Mcluan, it was time to embrace their struggle, and the difficulties of being in a penniless band, in a very different way. They looked to other Rust Belt bands like The Stooges, Dead Boys, DEVO, Pere Ubu and Lux Interior, and instead adopted a new outlook – one they’d need to stick to, if they were to come out of this alive and well. The band got pro-active. Their own self-promoted (huge) warehouse parties drew the attention of proper venues and producers. The offers were coming thick and fast, and they now boast a live show so renowned that they’re invited invited to play CMJ every year and fests such as SXSW, CBGB Fest and have shared stages with acts as varied as Joanna Gruesome, Fan Modine (members of Neutral Milk Hotel), Jacuzzi Boys, Capsula (Bilbao Spain), The Misfits and – GG Allin’s band – The Murder Junkies.

Naturally it wasn’t long before acclaimed knob-twiddler and Godfather of the NYC underground art punk scene, Mark Kramer, known as Kramer (Jacuzzi Boys, Half Japanese, Sonic Youth, Daniel Johnston, Butthole Surfers) discovered the band and put them in the studio. The resulting sessions became new album ‘Bad Vacation’ – an album packed with collective experience, ferocity, punk spirit, all set to an us-against-the-world party soundtrack. This is a band who is influenced by its own collective personalities and life experience, and a band that ardently refuses to write music that is derivative of the sound du jour.

“Bad Vacation is about real people, places and things, and reflects on our life story as band. It’s kind of like being the main character in the movie Shawshank Redemption. At first you’re screwed, then screwed a little less and ultimately, if you’re patient and persistent, you get to crawl through a sewer pipe of crap to your freedom.”

~ Mick McIuan – Room Full of Strangers

Designed to carry you signed, sealed, delivered, in a sweaty heap on the floor, ‘Bad Vacation’ serves as a reminder that bad trips happen, but you can always come out the other side.

Concerts FREE! Blog Music

Swiss Metallers Herod Debut New Video On Noisey Ahead Of Deathcrusher Tour!

Teutonic Quartet’s New Clip Announce Ahead Of Support Slot on Deathcrusher Tour With Carcass, Napalm Death, Obituary & Voivod This Winter!

Swiss noise mongers Herod have premiered their latest video, Northern Lights, through Noisey on October 13th ahead of their upcoming slot as part of the stunning Deathcrusher tour; opening for legendary death metallers Carcass, grindcore overlords Napalm Death, Floridian extremists Obituary and Canadian thrash gods Voivod!

The video can be seen here –


The dates for the tour are:

Friday, 23 October – Wulfrun Hall – Wolverhampton, UK
Saturday, 24 October – Barrowlands – Glasgow, UK
Sunday, 25 October – Limelight 1 – Belfast, Northern Ireland
Monday, 26 October – Vicar Street – Dublin, Ireland
Tuesday, 27 October – Motion – Bristol, UK
Wednesday, 28 October – Northumbrian University – Newcastle, UK
Thursday, 29 October – The Forum – London, UK
Friday, 30 October – The Ritz – Manchester, UK
Saturday, 31 October – Trixzaal – Antwerpen, Belgium
Monday, 2 November – Live Music Hall – Köln, Germany
Tuesday, 3 November – L’Usine – Geneva, Switzerland
Wednesday, 4 November – Longhorn – Stuttgart, Germany
Thursday, 5 November – Folimanka Hall – Prague, Czech Republic
Friday, 6 November – The Factory – Magdeburg, Germany
Saturday, 7 November – Aalborg Metal Festival – Aalborg, Denmark
Sunday, 8 November – Tradgar’n – Gothenburg, Sweden
Monday, 9 November – Arenan – Stockholm, Sweden
Wednesday, 11 November – B90 – Gdansk, Poland
Thursday, 12 November – Rprogresija – Warsaw, Poland
Friday, 13 November – Täubchenthal – Leipzig, Germany
Saturday, 14 November – Music Hall – Gieselwind, Germany
Sunday, 15 November – Simm City – Vienna, Austria
Monday, 16 November – Backstage – Munich, Germany
Tuesday, 17 November – Estragon Club – Bologna, Italy
Thursday, 19 November – Schlachthof – Wiesbaden, Germany
Friday, 20 November – Astra Kulturhaus – Berlin, Germany
Saturday, 21 November – Speedfest – Eindhoven, Holland
Sunday, 22 November – Garage – Saarbrucken, Germany
Monday, 23 November – La Cigale – Paris, France
Tuesday, 24 November – Le Transbordeur – Lyon, France
Thursday, 26 November – Sala Riviera – Madrid, Spain
Friday, 27 November – Cine Teatro – Lisboa, Portugal
Saturday, 28 November – Sala Santana 27 – Bilbao, Spain
Sunday, 29 November – Sala Razzmatazz – Barcelona, Spain

Initially the brainchild of guitarist Pierre Carroz, Herod formed in Switzerland back in 2011 and have since gone on to carve a solid niche for themselves in the realm of head crushingly heavy metal with their 2014 release “They Were None”. Recorded by renowned Swiss producer Julien Fehlmann (The Ocean, Coilguns and Unfold) and mastered by Svante Försback (Volbeat and Rammstein), “They Were None” was met with universal praise by the media, and has seen the band go on to tour Europe a number of times.

Be sure to catch this stunning outfit this winter when they rip a blackhole through Europe with some of the finest extreme metal bands on the planet!

Articles Concerts Misc Music

Nordic Thrashers Dienamic Announce Japanese Tour

Norwegian thrashers Dienamic are heading to Japan for the second run of dates! The band are heading over to support their new record “Afterlife” which will be released in Japan on September 3rd.


The band are to play the following dates:

Sept 3rd – Flying Son, Sendai
Sept 4th – Tight Rope, Nagoya
Sept 5th – Wild Side, Tokyo
Sept 6th – Wild Side, Tokyo

Straight from the heart and right in your face! Dienamic has a super energetic and intense live show, with unique audience contact and a great atmosphere. The band first saw the light of day in 2010, and ever since the first live show following the release of their self titled EP they have been bringing it on the stage.

With over 60 live shows to date, they have become a bone crushing five piece metal act that will definitely leave a mark on the world. The band has already toured Japan, most of central and eastern Europe along with their home country Norway. This band is addicted to touring and get out there every chance they have!

Concerts Features Interviews Music

Blind Guardian in Helsinki 2015. Interview with guitarist Marcus Siepen

In a chilly spring Finnish evening the first fans queue at the doors of Nosturi while around the corner, at the terrace of Nosturi ‘s restaurant, some members of the epic German metal band Blind Guardian chill out before the show and attend their media compromises.

It is there where, sitting relaxed at a table, FREE! Magazine meets their guitarist Marcus Siepen for an exclusive interview:

Thanks for your time Marcus! As I guess you know Finland well as you have visited here in the past, what are your feelings when coming back here?

-Oh it has been great. We have played here a couple of times, we played at Tuska Festival and has always been great, the people are great and we have friends here in Finland. Me and my wife spent the whole day yesterday walking around the downtown with friends and we are looking forward to the gig!

Do you know good bars around the city?

Actually I have been to a metal bar, Prkl, and we have also been to Steam bar, that looks amazing. So yeah, we have been walking around.

What do you think of the Finnish audience, some people think they are a bit different when compared to other countries where they scream a lot.

They are a good audience, they are calmer here, yes. It changes it anyway from country to country. Spanish fans are different from German fans and German fans are different from Swedish fans and Swedish you cannot not compare them to Brazilians. And that is fine, as far as you know how to handle them. I don’t need to have people screaming all the show in order to see the fans are enjoying.

Blind Guardian

The band is cancelling 2 dates in Russia after this gig in Finland. What are the reasons if I may ask?

There were problems with organization and stuff and sadly we had to cancel, which is a pity.

So you will play in Russia, Belorussia and then Australia and Japan and after that you will have a summer break. Will there be time to relax or busy preparing your incoming live album?

We are already booked for the studio so we have to go through recordings and stuff and we also want to do a couple of rehearsals and there are still some songs that are on the list to be played that we have not played so far and we want to be ready for the next block of the tour. We leave for South America in September and we will be on the road almost until Christmas. And next year will continue, all the festivals, more individual shows, we will be on the road until Autumn next year.

I have heard that you were planning for long to do this orchestra album. Will there be time with this hectic schedule to work on that one?

There will be. The original idea was maybe to finish it on the summer break, which now will be occupied by the live album stuff, but we definitely would like to finish it next year. So that is a fixed plan.

Coming back to the current tour, even when talking to some of my Spanish friends who saw you in Madrid, we commented if you guys ever get tired when audience request “Majesty” all the time…

Yes we do! You know, Majesty is not a bad song, not at all. The thing is that it was written in 1986, so it is almost 30 years old and you know, at some point I really do not get the obsession with that song, when there are so many songs to choose from! But you know, we play it. It is just that we cannot always give in to the crowd to dictate the set. The funny thing is, in one of the shows we played recently, we actually put Majesty on the setlist, and we did not put Valhalla on the setlist. What happens? Right from the beginning nobody screams for Majesty, everybody starts to scream for Valhalla! Hehehe. And we are like fuck! What is this?! What is wrong?! Hehehe. So we ended up playing Valhalla as well…

I remember to have seen you myself live on the Forgotten Tales Tour when I was 16, more than half a life ago. How do you notice the change with the past of time with the audience. Is it still people who grew with the band or do you see new generations coming too?

It is a mix, and that is the great thing. Normally when we go on tour, we always see people who seem to be growing with the band, who were there on previous tours and they keep coming, but we also see younger kids, and that is great for us, as it means we are keeping old fans but we are gaining new ones as those kids are too young to have been in all those previous tours. It is great to see new generations digging our music.

And for you, how do you keep motivated after so many years playing?

We love what we are doing. I do not need to motivate myself as this is what we love to do. Anybody in the band. We still love the music that we are playing and we still love touring. Obviously sometimes you get tired of touring because it is demanding, all the travelling and stuff. So sometimes we look forward to taking a break at home, but then when we take the break we are looking forward to the next tour block because playing live is just awesome.

What about your new album Beyond the Red Mirror. Has it been particularly demanding as you have collaborated with different orchestras, 3 different choirs, etc.

It has not been different than previous stuff. People have been telling in the past “it will not be possible to play that song live” and it was possible. We have a keyboard player with us and it is perfectly possible to play all that stuff.

Blind Guardian

How do you perceive the reaction of the people to the new album?

The reaction has been pretty awesome. What normally happens in the past is whenever we went on tour with a new album and we play new songs, reaction to the new songs have been a bit calmer compared to the old classics and only on the next tour they were on even level. This time is different, we play 4 new songs and there is a 5th one coming that we are still rehearsing a bit and they seem to be instant classics. The reactions are almost the same as with Valhalla, Majesty, etc. The reviews of the album have been excellent, not only on magazines but also when you talk to people.

I know you are also a fan of fantasy books and they represent a big source of inspiration for the lyrics of the band. Do you follow Game of Thrones?

I love the books, I read all of them in a row and I am waiting for book 6 to be released. But I have a kind of love/hate relationship with the TV show. As if you consider it as only a show, it is very well done, great actors and settings… but they fucked up the story. They changed it so many things… and that is why I fucking hate it. I even did not watch The Hobbit movies for that reason. When Jackson announced he would do the Hobbit, I was curious, but when I read he was planning to do 3 movies of a book of 200 something pages… I did not want to see them. If somebody makes a movie out of the book The Hobbit, then it should be based on The Hobbit. Not 10% on the book and 90% on things that could have happened.

With Game of Thrones I watched the first 4 seasons and most likely I still will watch the 5th one, because as I said it is a love/hate relationship. When I watch it I try to forget the books but in the end I keep bashing and cursing, but then I keep watching it. If you could disconnect the show from the books, it would be awesome, but I keep thinking “That is wrong, they do not go there, they do not do that”.

Is it true that when Jackson was preparing the Lord of the Rings trilogy movies, there were contacts with the band to take care of the soundtrack?

The whole story got blown up a bit out of proportion. Yes, at some point we were asked to send some samples. There were some sites where fans could vote who they wanted to participate and our name kept popping and we were asked to send some stuff. Actually the orchestra project would have been fitting. But if we would have got that job, we had not released any album, our priorities was not releasing soundtracks. It would have been a cool experience but we preferred to focus on our albums.

Anything else you want to add for the readers?

Actually yes, for readers in Helsinki and everywhere worldwide. A message from the band to the fans: If you come to a gig, please leave the fucking phones on your pockets and try to see the gig with your own eyes, you will see the colors with better resolution, it is even 3D and better than 4k. That would be my message to readers! Hehe. It started a couple of years ago and it is getting worse and worse. Taking pictures are fine, but I have seen people standing on the front row not moving recording the whole concert for two and a half hours. If you want to see the DVD, go to the fucking shop and buy it, the quality is better. And as a band, it is not fun to play in front of phones! We want to play in front of an audience that enjoys! There are people who even record the show with an iPad!

So with that request full of sense, and with my 1996 concert ticket signed by Marcus, we let them rest for the show during the night.

And what came later? A venue really fully packed at Nosturi, fans delighted, a great setlist, new songs matching perfectly with the old classics, some surprises as hearing Guardian of the Blind and some other songs that almost brought a tear to the eyes of many old fans like Bright Eyes or The Bard’s Song… and a few requests from the audience to play Majesty that were dismissed :)))

Blind Guardian Setlist at Nosturi in Helsinki. 2nd of June 2015

1. The Ninth Wave 

2. Banish from Sanctuary 

3. Nightfall 

4. Fly 

5. Tanelorn (Into the Void) 

6. Prophecies 

7. The Last Candle 

8. Miracle Machine 
9. Lord of the Rings 
10. Guardian of the Blind 

11. Bright Eyes 

12. And the Story Ends 

13. War of Wrath 

14. Into the Storm 

15. Twilight of the Gods 

16. Valhalla 

Encore 2:
17. Wheel of Time 

18. The Bard’s Song – In the Forest 
19. Mirror Mirror

Concerts Music

Norwegian Black Metallers Aura Noir, Khold & Dodheimsgard Added To Trondheim Metal Fest Line Up

Fans of Norwegian black metal rejoice, as scene legends Aura Noir, low-end heavy mob Khold and avant garde outfit Dodheimsgard have been announced to join the already stunning line up at this year’s Trondheim Metal Festival!

Formed in 1993 by Aggressor (Carl-Michael Eide) and Apollyon (Ole Jørgen Moe), Aura Noir released their debut EP Dreams Like Deserts in 1995. In 2004, they were the first band to be signed to Tyrant Syndicate Productions, a sub-label of Peaceville Records, run by Nocturno Culto and Fenriz. Their fifth studio album, Out to Die, was released through Peaceville in March 2012, with a new record is set for release this year featuring Blasphemer (Mayhem) on guitar.

Khold was formed in Oslo in 2000 by Sarke (drums) and Gard (vocals & guitar) after the split of their former band, Tulus. In late 2000, they signed with Moonfog Records, the former label of Satyricon frontman, Satyr. They toured internationally with a number of big extreme metal bands, including Behemoth. Following a brief hiatus, they returned in 2008 with the crushing Hundre År Gammal. The band released their latest record Til Endes in September 2014 through Peaceville Records.

While, Dødheimsgard (also known as DHG) formed in 1994. Initially a straight-up black metal band, they changed tact with 1999’s 666 International, which saw them change into an experimental and avant-garde/industrial band. The band released their fifth studio album, A Umbra Omega, on March 16, 2015.

Be you a fan of the fast, the dark or the dirge-ridden; TMF have got you covered.

TMF are also happy to announce their new sponsors; US based metal giants Metal Sucks and Scottish crafts company Asgard.

Thondheim Metal Fest

Asgard had this to say of the new partnership:
“It’s a great pleasure to be sponsoring the Trondheim Metal Festival. As a business, we draw a lot of our influences from Norway’s Viking culture. Trondheim has been an important city for a very long time, and it is fantastic to now see it on the European festival map. Their selection of bands always includes a number of our favourites, and we look forward to seeing some awesome gigs there in October.”

Further to this, TMF’s sixth outing will be held at the glamourous Scandic Lerkendal Congress Hotel, both the newest hotel in Trondheim, and also the biggest conference hotel in Norway. Complete with three stages; sporting a total capacity of 2200, a metal market area, Q&A’s, clinics, cinema, meet & greets, quizs, tattoo stands, restaurants, bars, snack shop, gym, sauna, lounge areas and exciting travel excursions around Trondheim. In short, TMF in 2015 is not to be missed.

At 75 meters, the hotel is also Norway’s third tallest building; with a skybar/conference room on the top floor, which has an exclusive panoramic view of the city. This will be used for a series of activities during the daytime, and will be turned into a skybar with metal karaoke once darkness falls.

Festival head honcho Eirik Teller had this to say:

“This festival has always evolved, with adding something new and fresh every year. And when our city of Trondheim got an even bigger conference hotel last summer, it was clear as day, we had to have the festival there! Being that it´s actually on-site with Lerkendal Stadium (home of footballers Rosenborg), it gave us some real advantages, both logistically and also to enhance the experience for the audience. And of course, now we can call it a “stadium festival”!

And with the newly addition of great bands like Aura Noir, Khold and Dødheimsgard, we´re really knocking on the Norwegian metal spirit, but we also have so many great bands, yet to be announced! So, all in all, this will definitly be the biggest year in the festival´s history, yet. And we´d like to invite you all to a truly unique festival experience, where the hotel is the venue and the venue is the hotel! Hellcome to Trondheim!”

The festival’s current line-up includes British black metallers Anaal Nathrakh, Finnish folk metallers Korpiklaani, Irish black metallers Primordial, British thrashers Evile, German thrashers Tankard, Greek black metal legends Rotting Christ, Norwegian metallers Circus Maximus, legendary Swedish rockers Crucified Barbara & German artist Mambo Kurt!

Previous headliners of the festival have included Behemoth, Devin Townsend Project, Gojira, At The Gates, Napalm Death, Electric Wizard and more.

Ticket prices for the event are as follows:

Two-day Festival Pass
1190,- NOK + Ticket fee

One-day Festival Pass

Hotel Only (festival ticket not included)
Single Room Incl. Breakfast (per day)
NOK 695, – + Ticket handler fee

Double Room Incl. Breakfast (per day)
NOK 795, – + Ticket handler fee

Advanced tickets can be purchased here:

Festivalhotel: Scandic Lerkendal | Phone: (+47) 21 61 51 00 | Mail: | Reference: “Trondheim Metal Fest”

Concerts Features Music

Never A Hero To Give Free Album On UK Tour

British Alt rockers Never A Hero have recently announced in conjunction with their upcoming UK tour that they’ll be giving away copies of their new album “UnEvolution” free to all ticket holders!


The band are set to embark on the following dates this February:


To claim your free record, people need to pre-order tickets from the band’s website –

The album will be available for general release on March 30th through the band’s website.

Never A Hero are an alt rock band based in the UK. The band formed in 2009 when members from 2 bands merged together to write new music diverting from their usual styles.

The band has seen a few line­up changes throughout the years with introduction of lead singer Phrixus, lead guitarist Kaji and the departure of DJ/backing vocalist Mr. White and lead guitarist/vocalist Toby C. In 2010, the band recorded their debut EP Socially Awkward at Outhouse Studios in Reading, which was re­released in May 2012 and is available for digital download from all major sites.

The band also received airplay and were played on TV for their debut single Form Heroes To Angels. In 2011, the band released their 2nd single and music video Trippin’ On Speed which they filmed in Lowestoft.

At the end of 2011 and the beginning of 2012, the band performed on 2 tours of the UK and in the Spring of 2012, they started work on their debut album. The album was recorded at Monkey Puzzle House studios in Woolpit and was released in November 2012. The first single from the album Bleed Between The Lies, was Burning Skies, which was released on the 2nd July followed by Screams of Silence, released in December.

Features Music

ESCAPETHECULT New Video Clandestine is out!

ESCAPETHECULT continues their creative research between music and video art and releases a new
music video for “Clandestine” which is taken from their “All You Want To”.

This time this is a proud collaboration with a Belgian based director and artist Pasquale Baseotto of “FrictionMedia”.

A mastermind of ESCAPETHECULT Peter G. Shallmin comments:
“The title of the song speaks itself – “Clandestine” meaning is a “secret”, “hiding something”, “the
meaning behind”, “a truth between the words”.

This time we are going into mysterious characters and occult symbolism in 7 scenes, 7 different worlds,
7 spaces, 7 secrets, 7 demons, 7 sins. We are happy to work with Pasquale, his impressive personal input
and professional approach turned out into a wide video novel with lots of details, epic dark atmosphere
and sophisticated interlacing the images and visual elements with the lyrics”.

Creative director, Pasquale Baseotto says:

“While most artists need a calm atmosphere to create, as humans we often desire a sense of
community. Not many artists get a chance to actually work with others much, certainly not at worldwide
level. When Peter gave me the opportunity to collaborate on making a music clip, for his upcoming
album ESCAPETHECULT ‘All You Want’, I was both surprised as overwhelmed by his proposition…”

Shallmin continues:

“It was a pleasure to communicate with Pasquale. We gave him a full independence and freedom to
move in any direction although there were some thoughts written. “Written” means that we’ve
described the whole idea in few sentences provided with some images, photos and video links, that’s all.
The full concept and the final model were actually written and released by Pasquale, he was very
accurate and precise in blueprinting ideas with so much devotion to details. We just have to be patient
and wait for the update from him…”

The owner of “FrictionMedia” states:

“Working with Peter was for me one of the highlights of my career. From concept to completion, we
aspired that same creative direction and we quickly agreed on the concept of the clip.
I really enjoyed the whole experience and the opportunity to be part of the bigger picture.
With the ability to help raise awareness for this new international supergroup debut, and the chance to
meet and talk with other artists, even if it wasn’t face to face.
Our key aim was to offer the fans a visual interpretation of the song “Clandestine” that embodied both
the atmosphere of the music as the underlying meaning of the lyrics.”

“All You Want To” is out now!


Features Music

Joy Shannon & The Beauty Marks Release Midsummer Witch Hunt

Irish neo folk multi-instrumentalists Joy Shannon & The Beauty Marks are set to release their new video “Midsummer Witch Hunt” just in time for Halloween!

The Beauty Marks’ newest music video is for the song “Midsummer Witch Hunt” from their stunning new album “Mo Anam Cara.” Created through a collaboration with Los Angeles-based horror film director Matt Kollar, the video was inspired by European witch trials of the Middle Ages and, along with the song itself, is a defiant tribute to the millions of women who were killed for being practicing pagans, free-thinkers or outsiders of various kinds during that era.

Joy Shannon and the Beauty Marks are a Celtic pagan folk band fronted by the Irish multi-instrumentalist singer Joy Shannon on Celtic harp, cello and harmonium. The Beauty Marks have released 5 studio albums: “As in the Wilderness” (2008), “The Opium Wars or Love in Lieu of Laudanum” (2009), “The Black Madonna” (2010), “Out of My Dreams and Into My Arms” (2011), and “The Oracle” (2013, Kalinkaland Records, Germany). The Beauty Marks are currently releasing their 6th studio album “Mo Anam Cara” on Joy’s own esoteric label Triple Goddess Records.

Joy Shannon

The albums of the Beauty Marks have been called “otherworldly and darkly beautiful epics of love, loss, and devotion”. Their albums showcase Joy Shannon’s intricate Celtic harp work, supported by her layers of orchestral cello arrangements and vocals that are at times angelic and, at other times, emotionally dark and raw. Shannon’s compositions are often inspired by ancient Celtic and Norse pagan mythology, interwoven with layers of historical references, personal stories and seductive imagery within the lyrics.

The album “Mo Anam Cara” is Shannon’s most conceptual, pagan and ghostly work to date, based entirely on the ancient Celtic calendar with a song for every holiday from Samhain to Mabon, complete with stories of the goddesses that govern each time of year. The title of the album “Mo Anam Cara” means a soulmate or spiritual guide in Irish, and has a double meaning within the work. The goddesses who occupy each song track can be viewed as spiritual guides, teaching the lessons of nature at each time of year, while many of them also sought their own soulmates in various ways within their mythological stories. The resulting album is a richly layered, circular album whose imagery takes listeners on a spiritual journey through the seasons of the year and back again.

A true mixed-media artist, Shannon’s background is in the visual arts. She has illustrated much of the album art for “The Beauty Marks” as well as directing and designing their music videos. For the last several years, Shannon has collaborated with photographer and cinematographer Xun Chi to create much of the visual imagery associated with the band, from the album cover photography to the music videos for the songs “The Horse Latitudes” (2011), “As You Are” (2011), and “Alkonost” (2013). Additionally, Shannon collaborated with tattoo artist Mike Giant and filmmaker Austin Page to create a music video for the song “Liam Neeson“, which features her being tattooed by Giant.

Features Interviews Music

Interview with Peter Shallmin of ESCAPETHECULT

Peter Shallmin, bassist and orchestrator of this project, tells to FREE! Magazine Finland more about one of the most interesting rock bands that have seen the light during this ending year of 2014: ESCAPETHECULT, counting with a luxurious line up with members scattered all over the world from such prestigious bands as Primus or King Diamond as well as his personal views towards music and the future projects that could await the band for 2015:

Thanks a lot for taking your time to answer FREE! Magazine ́s questions! Can you tell us a bit from where came the idea to form the band, being all the members geographically so far away? I have read that Internet played an important part of putting the project together.

Thank you, Antonio! Yes you are right. Internet does the whole deal to make happen this extremely hard to realize project. Just imagine, we are from different lands USA, Sweden, France and Siberia and we can not simply now just communicate but also compose music and record together. Yes it takes a lot of time but, damn, it’s so exciting!

To say where the idea came I should make a flashback to my youth when I was a 14-years old boy when I’ve heard PRIMUS in the first time with their “Frizzle Fry”. My jaw was dropped when I’ve heard it. This was exactly what I wanted to play some day but through my own angle. A truly unique band I sincere love. I was dreamed to play with Tim Alexander someday, this idea has been not forgotten and finally it was happened through many years with ESCAPETHECULT.

Mike Wead is another pro I admire through the years and value so high from MEMENTO MORI era and then KING DIAMOND. I’m a lucky one to say he is my long-time partner in another band KAMLATH, I rely him on everything. After years of research for the vocalist I was rewarded with Matthieu Romarin of UNEVEN STRUCTURE – he is exceptional talent. It’s a great experience indeed and the result was mind-blowing.

In most of the media ESCAPETHECULT is announced as a new “superband”. What is your feeling when you read that, does it help that most of the members belong or have belonged to renamed rock bands?

It doesn’t have a sense for us. The main and the most important is the music we can create together and play to this world. Being “supergroup” or being called “superband” is mainly for mass media, we are too far from that. Without doubts the ESCAPETHECULT’s line-up is very attractive but, believe me, the main intention, my driving force was not to “collect” the names but to play with the musicians I sincere admire. I’m quite lucky to have a chance to work with such legends as Tim Alexander and Mike Wead. As for Matthieu he is a rising star, you’ll hear more about his talent.


What is what this project adds to the members of the band different from their other current or past bands as a musical and personal experience?

I think, it’s my personal point of view, that it gives an opportunity to create something completely another, open the door into another universe and philosophy. Every person involved brings something different from what you are doing now or did in the past. The creative process is the most exciting thing that always brings unexpected results. You can’t plan, can’t specify and can’t control the idea when it becomes a part of the collective of creative minds. It’s magic. It expands beyond… Tim, Mike and Matthieu are top-notch professionals and their personal approach and contribution is priceless and unique.

How would you describe to a new listener what they would expect from “All You Want To” first album?

Actually “All You Want To Escape The Cult” is the full (hidden) title of the debut. Weird, bizarre, eccentric, eclectic, distinctive, hypnotic, beautiful, mature, multi-layered with many musical styles, full of hidden meanings and signs and finally not heavy/aggressive as someone expected/wanted reading the names of the line-up.

Your album was released last 21 of September. How do you feel that has been the media and audience response so far these first months?

We are keeping get different reviews and feedbacks. From the highest shouts to disappointment. Associations to other bands sometimes are very bizarre. We are fine with it. The reaction always different because our music is very complex and we’ve expected this…it’s normal. Everything goes natural and we are open for criticism. You never beat the fact that we did it and we are all loved making “All You Want To” the way we like, it’s up to you to accept or decline. Everything goes as it should go.

Do you have any favourite track in the album?

Every single song is the short but deep and sincere fragment that resonates with our souls. I’m quite sure that if we do not like the song it would never have appeared on the album. The whole thing went smooth, each song has own charisma. All of them are our favorites.

Will there be in the near future any possibility to see you all members sharing stage and playing your songs live?

We’d love to and some steps were already planned for the coming 2015 year. We’ve got some interesting offers for tours and we’d happy to play it for our kind audience. It’s very demanding project that requires a detailed attention, a serious management and many technical aspects to achieve. We still have to do many things together in the real time to confirm that we are ready: a new album, new videos. At least for now our concentration is mostly on the composing process and then to record the second album.

And a short fast questionnaire:

-Biggest influences as musicians?

From the old good days bossa nova to grind core, forward-thinking classics as Mussorgsky, Stravinsky, Schnittke, contemporary and experimental jazz, psychedelic, funk and SALSOUL disco.

-What are the current bands you enjoy the most listening to?

Depends on many factors. Last time I enjoy being in silence. This year I discovered CROBOT, ISAAC DELUSION, new NIGHTINGALE, BLOODBATH, SEBASTIEN TELLIER were amazing…

-What musicians you would love to share stage with?


Anything you want to add guys?

Few words to our new listener: We will be glad to hear that our debut has touched you, transformed something within, given strength, returned from somewhere, unlocked a “window” or even just brought a fresh breath. Every single word will inspire us to create new music. And thank you, dear Antonio, for this interview. We wish FREE! MAGAZINE the best of luck!