Label: High Roller Records
Review by Tony Cannella
The world of female fronted metal has never been stronger. There are great bands representing each genre (and sub-genre) of the metal universe. Whether or not they have a female singing is irrelevant, there are so many good bands, period. Personally I love the current crop of traditional heavy metal bands like Benedictum, Crystal Viper and HolyHell. Now you can add one more band to that list… Ladies and Gentleman from Sweden, I give you SlingBlade. Sorry, I don’t mean to be overly dramatic, but once in a while a band will come along that will remind you why you got into heavy metal in the first place. For me – thanks to their fantastic debut album “The Unpredicted Deeds of Molly Black” – SlingBlade is one such band. Continue reading »
Interview by Matteo BussottiPsychedelic rock, stoner rock and metal in a well-crafted mixture? This is what High Priest of Saturn are! We interviewed the singer, Merethe, to hear something abound this new band’s history, their plan for the future (watch out, a new album is coming!) and more stuff. Ladies and gentlemen, here I introduce you Merethe Heggset from High Priest of Saturn! Enjoy! Hi Merethe! Welcome to Femme Metal, it’s a pleasure to have you here! My first question is about the band: how did the whole project start?
I wrote a few songs that I wanted to try out with a band (I had never played with a band before), Robert and Andreas helped me out and the songs evolved. We decided to record a two song demo, which people seemed to like a lot, so we continued writing and the band progressed and changed further into what it is today. Robert moved to Oslo and is now in a great band called Spectral Haze.What can you tell us about the band’s name? I guess it’s related to the whole “60s psychedelic” world and imaginary, and…it’s very fascinating, let me say that!
We wanted something related to Saturn, as the mythology and symbolism of it appeal to us and fit our music well. Andreas came up with the final name, and we thought it was perfect. Continue reading »
Label : Svart Records
Review by Matteo Bussotti
Coming from Trondheim, Norway, High Priest of Saturn take inspiration from stoner and 60s-70s psychedelic rock. All this is made by only 3 musicians, Merethe Heggset (Bass Guitar and Voice), Martin Sivertsen (Guitar), Andreas Hagen (Guitar and Drums), and the result is quite pleasing, even if it’s not perfect. The first resemblance which popped up in my head was with The Flaming Lips‘ latest album, “The Terror”: atmospheric music and eerie, low (in volume) vocals. And this is pretty much the whole album.
Each one of the songs (or should I define them “Musical experiences”) is based on this simple formula…but, sincerely, they kinda sound the same to me. Continue reading »
Interview by Miriam C.
For the second time in this webzine we give space to the Italian progressive power metal band Lunocode promoting their latest work “Celestial Harmonies”. This time the questions have been replied by drummer Perseo Mazzoni and singer Daphne Romano. Just a curious info – this interview was scheduled to be face to face but ’cause of the bad weather our editor Alessandra didn’t make to be at the location by the way at the end it come out a real nice, as always.
Hi Perseo and Daphne, welcome to Femme Metal Webzine and how are you??
Perseo: Fine thanks, a bit tired but happy. The last two weeks have been great with two concerts, the first in acoustic, at Teatro di Anghiari with the show “C’è Vita intelligente sulla Terra?” (Is there intelligent life on Earth?) togheter with Francesco Cecconi and the last, just two days ago, in Rome, with Ivory Moon and Blind Horizon. We discovered that our acoustic side works very well and playing in a theater is something very special, something magic.
Daphne: Yes, two different and exciting gigs. The acoustic set in particular: I have to admit that it’s been really thrilling.
Well, first of all, do you mind give us more insights about your biography?
Perseo: Lunocode formed in 2004 under the name “Anima”. We played mainly cover for about 2 years and had another singer. Then we started writing new material and in 2006 we released the demo “Birth”. The demo went well and we continued writing new material. At the end of 2010 we gained a contract with Spider Rock Promotion and in January 2011 we released the EP “Last Day of the Earth” that also went very very well. At the end of 2010 our previous singer left the band and we found Daphne. After releasing “Last Day” we continued writing and in January 2012 we released our debut album, titled “Celestial Harmonies”. And here we are.
According the site, the band’s name “lunocode” is a wordplay between Lunokhod and the english word Code. From where did you get it?
Perseo: I was watching a documentary about this Russian rover sent on the moon. It’s been the first radio controlled rover to be sent on another planet. I thought it was very interesting and I proposed this name to the band. Giordano came out with the wordplay and everybody liked it so we took it as the new band name.
In your discography we can count the demo “Birth”, the “Last Day of the Earth” EP and your debut “Celestial Harmonies”. As I remember “Last Day of the Earth” EP was a stand-alone piece of concept. This time with “Celestial Harmonies”, as your label states “It’s a moving journey thru the Cosmos with the purpuose to search the origins and life’s origins” although you declare that the album is not a proper concept. Can you tell us more about the album’s lyrics?
Perseo: “Celestial Harmonies” is not a concept in the sense that we’re not telling a single story that starts on a song and continues through the other songs of the album like a concept album usually do. “Celestial Harmonies” has a fil rouge, a loose connection between every song, but it’s not a concept. Every song tells something about humankind, the cosmos, life or nature and things like that so, in a sense, is a trip through cosmos, a voyage by which we can explore the meaning of life, the universe, the pain and the joy of being alive.
“The Origins of Matter and Life” is a suite long almost 30 minutes. What insight can give us about it and also are the suite’s lyrics a concept ?
Perseo: “The Origins of Matter and Life” is actually a story which develops through the songs “On Matter and Mind”, “High”, “The Cosmic Architect”, “Tree of Life”, “Crossing the Line” and “Albert II”. Is a fictional story about a character (at the very end his identity will be revealed) who starts thinking and, by this act, gives birth to a universe in which he finds himself in. He then starts exploring this new world and he asks himself questions about what’s happening all around him and even to himself. Following this questioning the story of this suite unfolds till the end when a dramatic turn of events occur. I prefer not to explain all the details of this story, as I think everyone, if interested, has to discover the message by himself.
For what I get the album was mastered by Ronan Chris Murphy, that has worked with legends like King Crimson, Steve Morse and Ulver. When and how you have contacted him and why work specifically with him?
Perseo: I followed him on internet, on his YouTube channel, on his Facebook and as I think he is a great engineer and producer, I asked him if he was interested in working with us. This was happening in 2010, during the “Last Day of the Earth” mixing sessions. He said yes and I sent him all the audio bounces. As I find myself very confortable working with him, I contacted him again in 2011 and asked him to master “Celestial Harmonies”. Again, he said yes and I sent all the material. He made a great work and he was surprised about the songs quality and the big step forward we made in songwriting during the last year. Working with him has been so great!
“Celestial Harmonies”‘s cover transmit a feeling of peace. Do you mind explain the meaning’s cover building into your personal opinion about it?
Perseo: I too think so and this sense of peace was one of the goals I wanted to achieve with this cover I developed. The airplane you can see on the cover has a particular meaning to me, as actually is a wheater vane my grandfather has built. The cover is in fact a photo and not a computer generated image.
What are the band’s influences?
Perseo: I think we are working hard to find and extract our real self so for sure there are influences but I think they are becoming more unconscious day after day. If I had to name just one band, I would name Anathema.
What difference you can see between the debut EP “Last Day of the Earth” and “Celestial Harmonies” in matter of musical style and lyrics? Do you feel more mature?
Perseo: There are big differences but, at the same time, the differences are not so big. In both albums the writing style of the lyrics remains the same, maybe in “Celestial Harmonies” our acoustic side is more prominent, but even in “Last Day of the Earth” there is a completely acoustic song called “Invisible Tears”. Maybe in “Last Day of the Earth” the songs sounded more heavy but even in “Celestial Harmonies” we have heavier songs, like “The Cosmic Architect” or “Sin Cara”. I think “Celestial Harmonies” is a more mature work, and a natural evolution from “Last Day of the Earth”.
Daphne, what are is your musical background? Did you ever do any vocal training?
Daphne: I like different kinds of music like rock, metal and electronic. About my influences, I can say Freddie Mercury, Anneke van Giersbergen and Lisa Gerrard have always been a great inspiration for me. Today I found with Lunocode some new colours in my voice and in my soul that I’ve never suspected to have. I think I’m evolving…but, who doesn’t? I studied opera singing for 1 year, years ago. Now I’m studying modern singing with a great Italian singer. I think singing is a vast world where you can always discover something new: I’m curious, I have a thirst for knowledge and I think exploring the voice potentialities is one of the most stimulating and satisfying elements of singing.
What we can expect next? I read in the website an East European tour with Theatres des Vampires…
Perseo: Yes, we’ve been on tour with TDV and JTR Sickert and it’s been a great adventure and a great experience for the whole band. They are smart and nice people and we enjoyed very much visiting East Europe and Turkey! Then, two weeks ago, as I already said, a dream came true for me, to play with Lunocode in a real theater, in acoustic. We played 10 songs in Teatro di Anghiari (Tuscany, Italy) for about an hour of show. We re-arranged some songs from “Celestial Harmonies” and “Last Day of the Earth” in acoustic and we even played “The Origins of Matter and Life” from start to end! The show has been recorded so maybe we will use those recordings in the future! Other plans for the future? We have some ideas to record a new album, you will hear from us soon!
Daphne: Yes it‘s been amazing and crazy sometimes! Cool musicians and stuff, great audience, life on the road and foreign countries.
Well, Perseo and Daphne, I really thank you for this interview, I hope you like it! Please greet our readers (and your fans) freely! Thanks again!
Daphne: Thanks to you and all the readers of Femme Metal Webzine! See you soon!
Interview by Erwin van Dijk
An interview with Liv Kristine from Leaves’ Eyes. This interview is all dedicated to the forthcoming album “Njord”.
“Njord” is the third full length Leaves’ Eyes album. (the other two were “Lovelorn” and “Vinland Saga”).
I am absolutely happy and satisfied with the album. We’ve never worked this hard before with a production, but we’ve reached our goal. I would even say, we even went further than we thought was possible, technically seen. It has always been important to me that our sound and art is authentic, i.e. that you can hear from the very first tunes that this is Leaves’ Eyes! We also want that our audience really get the feeling of being on a wonderful journey. I feel that our music needs a special well-written and interesting concept which is just as important as the sound, and “Njord” gives you all this.
“Vinland Saga” introduced the Viking elements in Leaves’Eyes. But “Njord” also seems to have some Irish themes, like the songs “Emerald Island” and “Irish Rain” . With “Njord” comes the EP “My Destiny”, which contains besides the song “My Destiny” in two versons also an acoustic version of “Scarborough Fair” and two non album tracks.
“My Destiny” is a song you can easily “tune into”. It’s a good way to introduce the album (out 28.08.), although you will of course have less commercial songs on the record, too. On “My Destiny” is actually an EP, for the price of a single, with four non-album tracks, and one extra album song.
“Vinland Saga” was a concept album. Is “Njord” written with the idea to tell a story or are it twelve individual songs?
The lyrics mainly deal with characters from northern mythology (e.g. “Njord”, “Fröya’s Theme”, “Nine Wave Maidens”, “Ragnarok”), or with places and historical happenings (e.g. “Scarborough Fair”, “The Battle of Maldon”, “Emerald Island“,“Irish Rain”, “Les Champs de Lavande”). This is why I found it necessary to deal with all these different languages. “Vinland Saga” is based on Leif Eirikssons discovery of America, even the EP, “Legend Land”, which followed soon thereafter. “Njord” has a much broader concept, travelling through history, and into Nordic mythology. It has always been important to me that our sound and art is authentic, and that our audience really get the feeling of being on a wonderful journey.The lyrics are written in 8 languages (english, middle-high german, old-english, gaelic, norwegian, icelandic, french and one “self-made” linguistic fictional phonetic sequence)… I even sat down to study a bit French to be able to write one French lyric. I did study Old-English and Middle-high German, so it was really nice to be able to use this knowledge. Gaelic is completely new to me, though, but fortunately I found a wonderful person who helped me. “Njord” is an album that demands an expansion in linguistic terms.
This is your third album. What are the differences between “Njord” and “Lovelorn” and “Vinland Saga”?
Our debut “Lovelorn” was very refreshing and a wonderful start for the band, also the press and the audience were surprised. However, you shouldn’t forget that we all have a huge experience and knowledge as musicians of Atrocity and former ToT (Theatre of Tragedy) to rely on. This brings Leaves’ Eyes a wide step forward, so we were really no newcomers in our genre. Moreover, I really have to say that Atrocity + Liv Kristine is a magic formula! I took my experience from my favourite ToT releases “Velvet Darkness They Fear” and “Aegis” as a basis for Leaves’ Eyes music. Our second album “Vinland Saga” was a manifistation of the music of Leaves’ Eyes – we had “settled” in the genre gothic metal with female vocals. “Njord” is the perfection of both our 2 former albums. Since the first demo recordings for “Njord” we have been able to achieve goals that we thought back in 2007 after the “Vinland Saga” release would be quite impossible. I am so proud of my band members – “Njord” is a dream coming true, and all the hundreds of sleepless nights were worth it. We all have developed as musicians and technicians and this is experience that is unpayable. “Njord” (producer: my husband Alexander Krull) has a power to it that even is more intense than any previous production I’ve been part of. Technically, we constantly have new ideas and aims. We have our own studio and therefore we have the opurtunity to specialize in technical tasks concerning album and DVD productions. “Njord” has even a more bombastic but delicate sound that “Vinland Saga”, because techniques allows it. We recorded the classical parts in Minsk (Lingua Mortis, supervised by Victor Smolski), we had a complete local choir (Al Dente) singing the choir parts, moreover, a special artist playing solos on special instruments like the uillian pipe and the whistle. All this makes this album a multilayered and highly interesting experience for our listeners, for your ears, hearts and minds. If I should describe “Njord” in four words I would say bombastic, emotional, contrastive, and pure.
Where do you get the inspiration for the songs. Some sources are clear, like Ireland and the Norse mythology but what really inspires you to write a song?
It’s first of all my love for my homecountry, the Norwegian Nature, history, my family, the culture – everything I grew up with! I feel that our music needs a special well-written and interesting concept, and I want to travel through time and space. For me history has always been extremely interesting, and even when I left my homecountry Norway and moved to Germany 12 years ago, I had more books about the Vikings with me than clothes and shoes. I have travelled a lot and been able to see a lot of the world. History, languages, and geography has always interested me. Thorsten is the main composer of Leaves’ Eyes, he works out his ideas on his guitar. “Irish Rain”, however, was an idea I had one early morning. I hurried to the studio and worked out the tunes with him. Sometimes, ideas just appear to my mind, like a complete “song”.
And can you tell us something about the songs on “Njord” and “My Destiny”?
We recorded 18 (eighteen!) songs, and all of them are placed on the single “My Destiny” (out now) or the album “Njord” (out late August). Our listeners will get a lot for the money. That’s a way for us saying “thankyou” to our fans and friends all over the world. To mention a few examples, “Fröya’s Theme” is one of my favourites on the album, too, next to “Irish Rain”. “Fröya’s Theme” is about eight minutes long, it includes five languages, inclusive two “speaking” parts done by Alex and myself respectively. It tells the story about Fröya, the Goddess of sex with her extreme power of beauty. However, her lover Od leaves her as he has “wandering eyes” for other beautiful women. Fröya travels around and through the worlds in Northern Mythology to find him. Her tears are made of gold and they heavily strike the earth. This song is an epic masterpiece composed by Tosso, our guitarist.
Is “Scarborough Fair” a Simon and Garfunkel cover and if it is, why did you choose this song?
I was an exchange student in the English town Scarborough, and I got very interested in their culture. This song is a folk song sung in the middle ages, also by the Vikings, on a trading market, in Scarborough. I wanted to rewrite the tune into a more heavy version and I am very happy with the result!
“Les Champs de Lavande” is a French title. Lavande means Lavender and the South of France (the Provance) is famous for its wide fields (champs) of lavender.
Can you tell us something about this song and why is it a bonus track?
As we had composed the instruments for this song, I thought about France immediately! I immediately sensed the smell of my favourite flower and scent, lavender! The Provance Lavender was famous already in the Middle Ages. I sat down and tried to put together a Franch lyric, and a friend of mine in France corrected it. This song just had to be about Lavender, and it sounds more authentic and special when it is sung in French.
While recording “Njord” you were supported by The Lingua Mortis Orchestra under the aegis of Victor Smolski and a classical choir. Most people will know Victor Smolski from his work with Rage. And this band does not exactly belongs to the same genre as Leaves’Eyes.
How did you find him and what was his influence on “Njord”?
We met Victor during a Rage/Leaves’ Eyes’ show in Greece in 2007. We are so happy that he liked the idea of working with us. It adds the important depth and bombastic character in our music.
The Special Edition will have a Drakkar (viking ship). What can we expect?
This is a way for us saying thank you to our fans and friends. Remember, many of them are collectors. I used to collect Madonna and Black Sabbath/Ozzy special merchendise objects.
One of the things that would make a lot of fans happy is a duet between the Espenæs sisters. (think of Beyonce and Solange Knowless doing a duet). Have you ever considered this for “Njord”?
It’s not that easy since my sister moved back to Norway a couple of years ago, however, I am planning a duet on our fourth album, which will be a folk-oriented album, planned to be released in summer/fall 2010.
Do you already have some details about an upcoming tour?
Europe in November 2009, USA/Canada December 2009, then Europe and Russia in the beginning of 2010, and another long tour in the Autumn of 2010. Moreover, we have planned an acoustic tour between 28.08.-02.09 (please check the news!). We will play a capella in some of the Media Markets, for free for our fans, and we will have a lot of time to make photos with everybody, have a chat with our fans and friends and write some autographs. I enjoy acoustic tours. It’s a nice way to keep up our close relationship with our audience, moreover, we are able to show that we are good musicians and can play live without a huge stage with a huge technical plan behind everything.
And which songs can we expect live?
A set-list still has to be decided on.
Although I think you will be very busy with the promotion of “Njord” this year and 2010 I would like to ask when we can expect a new Atrocity album and a new Liv Kristine solo album?
It’s been 3 years since “Enter My Religion”, and it’s always good to gain a different aspect of your own art after some time has passed by. Right now, I am just about to finish the final recordings of my third solo album, and I see things in a new perspective now. “Enter My Religion” was an expensive production on a major label, however I made the decision in 2008 to release my third solo album on a another label, with a smaller budget, but having more freedom about the whole process, from the very first demo track, until the final master. I am very proud of “Enter My Religion”, however I have developed as an artist and technician and my third album will be a huge step forward. I have put my focus on sounding just like myself, recording songs in one take, so you “get” me with everything I am, my character, my emotional level, my breathing, sometimes perhaps perfect, sometimes maybe not. I just want the audience to hear ME, not some singing lady with a pretty nice voice. I want to creep up inside your hearts and senses. I wrote all the songs together with Torsten (guit. Leaves’ Eyes), all the lyrics myself, and my husband Alex is the producer of the album. Atrocity are already finishing their next Atrocity feat. Yasmin “Calling the Rain”, which will be out end of 2009/beginning of 2010.
Style switcher only on this demo version. Theme styles can be changed from Options page.
- Inviolate – “Feast of Ashes” EP (2012)
- Illnath – “Third Act in the Theatre of Madness” (2011)
- Hysterica – “The Art of Metal” (2012)
- Hand of God – “The Hand of God” (2013)
- Flames of Fury – “FoF” EP (2013)
- Effloresce – “Coma Ghosts” (2012)
- Marie Fredriksson – “Nu!” (2013)
- Anneke Van Giersbergen
- Ines Lukkanen – Embassy of Silence
- Leaves Eyes’ – “Symphonies of the Night” (2013)
- Phildel – “The Glass Ghost” EP (2013)
- Lita Ford
- Sarah Teets – MindMaze
- Susanna Vesilahti – Unshine
- Trobar de Morte – “The Silver Wheel” (2012)
- Viper Venom – “In Venom Veritas” (2012)
- Via Obscura – “Gedanken” (2012)
- The Mariana Hollow – “Velvet Black Sky” (2012)
- Storyum – “Insomnia” (2012)
- Snei Ap – “Hidden Floors” EP (2013)
- Sin7sinS – “Carnival of No Tomorrow” (2012)
- MaterDea – “Satyricon” (2011)
- Rampart – “War Behast” (2012)
- Lita Ford – “The Bitch is Back… Live” LIVE ALBUM (2013)
- Epysode – “Fantasmagoria” (2013)
- Beyond God – “Dark Light of Dawn” EP (2013)
- Ayreon – “The Theory of Everything” (2013)
- Seremonia – “Ihiminen” (2013)
- Tuomas Tuovinen & Eveelina Kojo – myGrain
- TEODASIA announces European Tour with TARJA TURUNEN