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Haken – To Affinity…and Beyond

…e this deep into their career. Speaking with drummer Raymond Hearne across Skype lines, this half-hour conversation flowed quickly. You’ll learn more about the collaborative approach behind the new record – the challenges vocalist Ross Jennings faces in terms of lyrics during the ever changing songwriting process, as well as a little bit of debate regarding vocalists and drummers for one of Raymond’s all-time favorites Iron Maiden. Dead Rhetoric:…

Olathia – Travel, Asskicking, and Beer

…eck out music and that’s always a good time. Emig: It’s so very much a word-of-mouth thing. There are some good record stores that you can hit and post flyers for your show – that definitely gets the word out. The other kick ass thing about Cleveland – you’ve got New York over here, Chicago over there, you can head south – weekend warrior all the way. Dead Rhetoric: When I saw Olathia, there did seem to be a group that was very aware of you and we…

Obscura – High-Tech Cosmos Part I

…e listener is getting tired. There’s no space to breathe. It’s not all high-speed – “Ocean Gateways” was super-slow and crawling and Morbid Angel-like. It was the most brutal song on the album from my perspective. This was the song where everyone had a moment to breathe. This was the idea behind the different tempos of Akroasis. We have fast songs, like “Sermon of the Seven Suns” and “Fractal Dimensions” but on the other hand, you have songs with…

Sinbreed – Creator of Power

…hasn’t been as important in current times because record sales are not back- even if vinyl is coming back- people can much quicker check out a song online than look up cover art. If I hear a new band, I will at first listen to it on social media, then find the cover to see when it’s coming out. For me as an artist, I do see the problem from the fan perspective, but it’s important for the fan to get the whole package- high quality band photos, nice…

Textures – Phenotypic Expressions

…ing the double-album, but we thought it would take the focus off the double-albums. The double-albums I’ve heard have too much info. When you have 20 songs at one time, then song 14 doesn’t get appreciated in the same way. There’s too much there. So we split it into two releases. Musically, Genotype will be very different from Phenotype. It will be more proggy, more stretched-out. The fusion stuff is in there, but the heavy parts are in there as w…

Chastain – We Bleed Again

…n or myself, they will listen to whatever we do. It’s not a method, or plan- you do songs, you create songs and you pick the best ones. It’s never really an issue with us about that- of course we are never going to come out with a thrash record, or a pop rock record. We have this certain wave that we hit when we write and perform together. Dead Rhetoric: Recording in the modern world has moved to more of a home environment with trading files throu…

Amberian Dawn – Expanding Horizons

…Many critics like to label every band as a power metal band or as a thrash-metal band etc. but with Amberian Dawn this labeling might be a little more challenging to do. Dead Rhetoric: I especially enjoyed the semi-blast beat section of the heavier “Rise of the Evil” as well as the playful “Knock Knock Who’s There” from the new record – are you conscious of progress to not have the band stagnate this deep into your career? Seppälä: When it comes…

Gentlemans Pistols – Forward with Sincerity

…like a true harmony. It’s not static where someone plays the same line one-third or one-fifth above the previous one, it’s weaving in and out in different directions. We got a buzz of that, I’m hoping that people will hear it that way too. Dead Rhetoric: I noticed a little tip of the cap in the main riff to the title track as similar to “Revelations” from Iron Maiden – does James have a love for these UK forefathers in addition to his 60’s and 70…

Children of Bodom – Chaos Reigns

…d runs and roar that their fans desire. Reason enough for me to seek out a Skype chat with bassist Henkka Blacksmith, who is very laid back and quick with his answers in our allotted short time together. You will learn more about his multiple language proficiency, their unique cover choices, and pinnacle moments for their career – and do seek out the new album as it’s possibly their strongest studio output in over a decade. Dead Rhetoric: The new…

Chaos Frame – A Progressive Metal Adventure

…lshit. I don’t want to see your cats. Dead Rhetoric: Will it take another 4-5 years for the third Chaos Frame album to hit the market – or are you already trying to get a head start on the writing? Hodsdon: “CF3” is already partially written. I think we’ve got about three songs and then 11-12 minutes of an epic in progress. It’s a rolling cycle – Paths was probably half written when Another Life came out, and so forth. And in fact, Paths was finis…

Ambush – Traditional Fire

…t comes to art. Dead Rhetoric: Are you a collector in the heavy metal world- if so, what do you consider some of your most prized possessions? Jacobsson: I don’t know. I’m very much into 70’s prog, I have a lot of vinyl – 400-500 pieces that I really love. I really love this Finnish act Pekka Pohjola, I have finally got all of those albums. Dead Rhetoric: What can you tell us about the Ambush brand of beer that I saw pictures of from your official…

Amorphis – Red Clouds Approaching

…xture that the band can truly call their own. We were able to grab a brief Skype session with guitarist and founding member Esa Holopainen to catch us up to speed on Amorphis’ latest. We talk band consistency, artwork, US touring, and of course, plenty about Under the Red Cloud. Dead Rhetoric: You’ve had a remarkably consistent line-up since Eclipse. How much do you feel that contributes to the band’s progression and songwriting? Esa Holopainen: I…

Stratovarius – Seeking Eternal Respect

…Rhetoric: The song “Shine in the Dark” has a little bit of a modern electro-keyboard hook that seems a tip of the cap to Amaranthe, who you co-headlined with on a European tour in 2013 – what can you tell me about this song, as well as the 11:39 closer “The Lost Saga”? Kotipelto: “Shine in the Dark” it was not really influenced by Amarnathe at all because it was composed by Jani L. and I, and Jani wasn’t on that tour. We wrote it 1 ½ years ago. Th…

Ahab – Nautical Authenticity

…track most doom bands would touch… Droste: Yeah, but that was our intention- to do a non-typical metal song, to do something different. The record label wanted to do this 7 inch single, and they needed 5 minutes on this record. We knew we couldn’t do a 5 minute song, so we decided to do a cover song. In my opinion you need to have a connection to the song to do it well. We wrote a big list with many candidates and there were songs that had this co…

ANVIL Announce New Album Title

…s campaign strives to do so while truly providing fans with unique, once-in-a-lifetime experiences and personal, one-on-one opportunities that they will never forget. ANVIL’s 2009 movie documentary, The Story Of Anvil made them famous the world over. Their albums are considered landmarks among a musical genre. Their 2011 release, Juggernaut Of Justice, and their 2013 release, Hope In Hell, were powerful and unrelenting. Anvil Is Anvil will be thei…

Wolfheart – Winter’s Shroud

…that Wolfheart will be able to come over to the United States at some point- even if it’s a one-off festival appearance at say the Maryland Death Festival? Saukkonen: There have been some requests for the band already, especially about the Maryland Deathfest. There has been a few tours on the table already, it’s a tricky region to play. It’s going to demand quite a big investment from the label also, it’s in the hands of Spinefarm at the moment. T…

Tad Morose – Return to Demonius

…Rhetoric: St. Demonius is the new record for Tad Morose, and second with ex-Steel Attack vocalist Ronny Hemlin. Do you feel a sense of stability and forward momentum now after being in such a holding pattern during the mid-2000’s and early part of this decade? Christer ‘Krunt’ Andersson: Yes, of course. It’s always an unbelievable relief to get the opportunity to do more than one album with us. It feels really good, we have two albums and a whole…

Cradle of Filth – Mutating and Surviving

…g back to more of the very fast, melodic twin-guitar harmonies, like Priest-on-crack type stuff – that’s something else that’s going to appeal to the fans. Especially those from the Dusk to Damnation sort of period. Dead Rhetoric: You mentioned the literary piece, how much research do you do before writing an album? Filth: Quite a bit, but not a huge amount because I’ve been into this stuff forever. The ideology about the title track being based l…

Unleash the Archers – Feed the Metal Beast Part I

…this a great conversation. You will also learn more about her favorite sci-fi movies and novels, her feelings on that dreaded ‘female-fronted’ tag, as well as a lot of talk about Lost Horizon and their burgeoning Canadian metal scene. Dead Rhetoric: You’ve settled in Vancouver, British Columbia since 2011, did you ever feel like it was harder for you to get involved in metal in comparison to the thriving scene across Montreal and Toronto in the e…

The Great Discord – Not Your Parents’ Progressive Metal

…f the fans, some people really latched onto it and we’ve gotten compliments- while some people really hate it, and can’t get over the clean singing. They don’t like it at all, and I understand that- but that is something that we take as a positive I guess because we are trying to stir up some emotions with our songs. Anger and hate are also emotions that are out there more than ever, and it gives people something to talk about. Dead Rhetoric: What…

Civil War – March Across Hell

…as they are establishing their own style, especially through Patrick’s Dio-esque range and versatility. Another Skype chat is in order, so let’s hear what Patrick has to say in regards to the new album, meeting a lot of his heavy metal heroes, and NHL Stanley Cup predictions amongst the conventional power metal topics. Dead Rhetoric: Civil War began in 2012 when 4 members of Sabaton left the group due to the incessant touring schedule and the des…

Sirenia – Old Is New Again

…came up for you to leave in 2000. What circumstances prompted this decision- and how quickly as a result did Sirenia develop? Veland: Things happened really fast. We parted ways in January 2001, it only took a couple of weeks after we split up that I had Sirenia on its feet. At that point we were only 3 members and we hadn’t found our female singer at that point. We had a band name and we had new material- a few of the songs obviously came from ma…

Magic Kingdom – The Savage Dragon Returns

…their own), the band has tried their best to remain steadfast in their neo-classical, power metal dealings. Signing with prominent record label AFM probably helps reaffirm their commitment, as the band intends on being more of a viable act on the live front. Gaining a wonderful Skype connection, Dushan is quick with answers but very enjoyable on a conversational level. Be prepared to learn about the state of young guitarists, his crossroads betwe…

Enforcer – Beyond Steel

…umental cuts like “Diamonds” or “Crystal Suite” into the middle of an album- and make these songs as dynamic as the vocal driven material. How do you know as a songwriter when something is meant to stay as an instrumental- and how much refinement takes place from a song’s creation to what we the listeners hear as a final product? Do you end up reshaping material and cutting out the excess filler or riffs that don’t work? Wikstrand: Well that is tw…

Ensiferum – Battle for Honor

…ferent parts of the city to play. It was fun, all the four shows we had 300-400 people that came out every night. Dead Rhetoric: Are there any other territories you would like to get Ensiferum to play but haven’t as of yet? Lindroos: So far we are only missing one continent – and that is the North Pole. That would be awesome to play over there- I have heard that Metallica has played a show over there, so it should be doable. Then we can say that a…

Venom – From the Depths of Hell

…p which costs money, I’m friends with Jeff Waters of Annihilator so I can e-mail him now, I can Skype, I can talk to fans online from South America. You can reach a lot of people. In music it takes away a bit of the mystery, people know everything about you. People will say ‘I want to know what Kerry King had for lunch on Tuesday’, and then they will go on the Internet to find this out. It’s nice to have a little bit of mystery about people, I kno…

Serious Black – Not Just Another Supergroup

…ee of your initial metal singers that you really aspired to become delivery-wise or power-wise through your style. Who impresses you most these days in the melodic, power, or progressive metal genres as far as singers, and what do younger singers need to focus on in the future? Breed: I can start on the last bit, because that’s easier. Focus on finding your own identity. Focus on finding ways to emote. Find a way through your voice to communicate…

MindMaze – Hedging Heady Horizons Part I

…at types of doors open on a label front that didn’t as an independent, self-financed, self-released power/progressive metal band? Teets: The album’s only been out for about three weeks so I can’t give the long term analysis of this. Unquestionably we’ve seen a big difference in the way certain websites and print magazines treat the band. On Mask of Lies we did all of the promotion ourselves, and there are a lot of independent bands that will still…

Triosphere – Just Doing What They Love

…gothic, symphonic type sound. I still wouldn’t feel it’s fair to say female-fronted metal band though, at least that’s what I think myself. Which frustrates me even more when people say we are a female-fronted metal band. It would be really nice to believe that we are being acknowledged solely because of the sound we have, the music, and that we have achieved a sound that makes it unnecessary to point out that it’s a female singer. Dead Rhetoric:…

Machinae Supremacy – Metal’s New Breed

…crificing the established Machinae Supremacy style? Stjärnstöm: The “finger-style” acoustic guitar on “Europa” is performed by the very talented Mike Dawes, a Machinae Supremacy fan with his own successful music career. He told me he wanted to collaborate on a song as we were making Rise of a Digital Nation but there was no real track that did his talent justice on Rise, so we waited and made sure we had a track that would benefit from this on Pha…