Label : Termo Records
Review by Tony Cannella
The Norwegian art-rock band White Willow has been around for a long time. This is my first experience with them, so I was surprised to learn that their newest album “Terminal Twilight” is the bands 6th overall, with their debut being released in 1995.
To say that the music contained on “Terminal Twilight” is eclectic would be an understatement. White Willow infuses their music with such different influences as Jazz-fusion, electronica, orchestral, 70s style prog rock and topping it off with a bit of the avant-garde. Their music plods along at a deliberate, sedate pace and the vibe is almost kind of dark. They almost remind me of a cross between the great fellow Norwegian band The 3rd and the Mortal and Pink Floyd. There is plenty of great musicianship on “Terminal Twilight” starting with the 7-minute “Hawks Circle the Mountain”. White Willow mixes shorter 4-5 minute songs with longer epic type numbers. The most memorable song for me was the epic “Searise” which clocks in at 13-minutes. The whole thing lasts for about an hour and other songs that are highlights include: “Red Leaves”, “Floor 67” and “Natasha of the Burning Woods”. Continue reading »
Interview by Lindz Riot
Out of California comes a quirky band by the name of Clandestine. They came together in early 2006 and has since been a powerhouse of musical releases for those into complex alternative rock and heavy riffed progressive metal. Their biggest achievement so far is the creation of their full length album “The Invalid” mixed by producer Sylvia Massey. Just being signed to Nightmare Records, the album will be released worldwide in early 2011 along with a music video. The band is in hopes of making it over to Europe soon to perform to their growing fan base there. Fronted by the powerfully voiced June Park, a South Korean native who’s endured quite the adventure over to North America, I had the chance to interview her via email to pick at her brain and see exactly what the bands all about:
It was a natural choice to express this sound and image for us. Progressive music and ideas, human psychology and surrealism have influenced us both musically and mentally. The challenge is how purely and effectively we can deliver such visions without being forceful or redundant.
Clandestine stands for mystery, secret, deception and a hidden meaning. Do you find this word describes your music perfectly?
I think it’s quite effective in the sense that I’m lyrically expressing what is beneath our minds – the thoughts or ideas that you know are there but you try to suppress, ignore or hide from others. I’m not a psychologist but I tend to overanalyze the state of mind and strive to find the personal interpretation of it. The music we write goes along with that theme to complete the showcase of our world or secrets.
I’m the only lyricist in the band and writing the vocal melodies is also entirely my job. For “The Invalid” I and our guitarist Dan Durakovich equally collaborated on writing the music. I expect to involve everyone else in the band to take part in the writing process for the next album, because one of my favorite parts about creating music is fusing different influences into something that is fresh and not easily expected.
So which song is closest to you? Did you fully write it?And what’s the story behind it?
The album’s title song, “The Invalid” is about a patient who is suffering from an incurable disease longing for their right to die. First of all, I’m not one of such patients but I used to get very ill for no apparent reason. It kept coming back periodically for almost 10 years, haunting and paralyzing me in agony each time it hit. That really made me think about the people who are experiencing much more pain than me, such as the ones with a terminal illness or unidentified disease. I tried to imagine the unfathomable amount of pain they must go through while I was sick. In the song, I’m not trying to say that people in such conditions should be able to choose life or death. What I wanted to express was the physical and mental suffering that cause some people to involuntarily yearn for such an extreme choice. I truly support the idea that every minute of life is precious, but also can see how every minute of it can be so cruel.
You have quite the education behind you. Are you a believer that knowledge is power?What’s the most important lesson you’ve learned along the way?
Knowledge could be a powerful thing but it depends on how we utilize it. I have learned that there is nothing wrong with not knowing something but having no desire to learn is a problem. It’s not from the academic stand point; it’s about life in general. Some people hold the idea of changing in abhorrence because they are used to what they think they know.They always say they hate this and that for no apparent reason. They don’t want to accept the fact that someone else knows more about something than themselves and disapprove of others for their efforts to change the world to be a better place. I could have been one of those people if I didn’t continue my education. I used to have a very unidirectional attitude toward what was happening in the world. I believe it was because of my fear induced from the lack of knowledge. Now I can better embrace different aspects of society with comfort.
The Musician’s Institute is world renowned for its excellence in producing top quality musicians. How has your experience at M.I. been for you? Do you find it super challenging?
Interview by Marcy Bell
Rock noir band Belladonna is going back to the UK after their successful recent tour in April. We had the pleasure to send a few of questions to Luana, the ravishing singer and co-founder of Belladonna with the guitarist/producer Dani.
So Luana you´re going back to the UK, but please before every questions please let Femme Metal readers know the adventurous trip you did to reach the UK a couple of months ago. Thirty-six hours from Rome to reach the first gig in London…
First of all thank you very much for asking us to do this interview!! The last trip in UK was one of the funniest adventures we had in our life!! Due to the volcano’s eruption every flight in/from/to Europe was cancelled…and ours too! So we just drove for thirty-six hours from to London singing to ourselves “it’s a long way to the top if you wanna rock’n roll”
Belladonna is a totally DIY band so you and Dani manage everything. Is it difficult combine the artistic side with the business one? In that way you became the biggest Italian rock phenomenon next to Lacuna Coil and you played with, among others, Nine Inch Nails, Korn and Duff McKagan. That´s amazing, isn´t it?
Yes as a DIY band we take care of everything! It’s not difficult to do – very tiring sometimes… but the satisfaction you get by doing things by yourself it’s priceless!! And yes it’s amazing what happened to our little band without having to yield to all those compromises bands always have to bow down to when they are signed to a label.
Two albums are out: “Metaphysical Attraction” and the recent “The Noir Album”, released also in the Uk. What are the main differences between them?
The greatest difference between “Metaphysical Attraction” and “The Noir Album” is in the means used to record the latest one. We actually recorded it in Sylvia Massy’s awesome studio in California… but the approach to the recording was the same : no click, very few overdubs, no samples – just a hi energy rock band playing noir songs.
Your story started from internet. Your MySpace was one of the most viewed in the net, do you think that these kind of new technologies can help music? In your opinion what will be the future social network to become as powerful as MySpace?
We absolutely think that without MySpace today we’d not have been here talking about our music. So we believe that internet can be very helpful for all independent artists. At the moment Facebook seems to be the best candidate… everybody seems to be on it nowadays.
What is your so-called “Rock Noir”. The genre has also its own page on Wikipedia and now other bands are using this term you coined to define their music. You have actually created a new rock music genre.
Yes we were amazed when we discovered the Rock Noir Wikipedia page and to find out that so many bands have taken to call their music Rock Noir – it’s very flattering for us.
You played also a few times in the USA. Once at the famous SXSW Festival in Austin (Texas) and in LA at the Key Club and at the Fonda. Did you enjoy these experiences and are you planning to go back to the USA?
We totally enjoyed our American experiences and we can’t wait to come back to the States…which should happen in the Fall of this year!
Which songs do you like to play live the most? Your fans say that you are improving with every concert and that you kick ass on stage, what is your feeling in front of them? They have created a “Belladonna Family”…
We love to play every one of our songs since every time it’s a different emotional experience for us….we totally love all our friends and fans!!….
You are sometimes compared to Lacuna Coil, because you are both from Italy, but the difference between your music and theirs is clear. What are you feeling about being compared to a popular band such as Lacuna Coil? Have you ever meet them?
Yes sometimes it happens that people compare us to Lacuna Coil, even though we sound totally different, as anybody that has heard both bands can hear. We have met them a few times and we totally love them: they are incredibly nice and down-to-earth people and of course they are an awesome band – the best rock’n'roll band to come out of Italy ever, no question about it – so it’s always an honor for us to be compared to them!
What about a new album? Are you thinking about it?
All is very secret… all I can say is that we are working on it!
What are Belladonna dreams?
Our story so far totally felt like a dream… our dream now and forever will always be to never wake up!
Besides being Belladonna´s singer and songwriter you are also a philosopher. Do you think your wide knowledge helps you and the band in the writing process?
I think that it can help as anything else you read or experience…I mean life itself is always the main source of inspiration for me.
Your personal blog on Belladonna´s Myspace has been listed in Myspace “Most Viewed” blogs. Why did you open this private diary to the public? Can your fans expect other essays from you about social important issues as you did in the past?
When I started to write my blogs my goal was to share my point of view about different topics in a simple way (as opposed to simplicistic) because I always believed that people on MySpace were still human beings with their feelings, their brain, their opinions… not just numbers to use hype up our MySpace page! Maybe in the future I’ll blog again…but at the moment I really don’t have enough time… being a working-class-singer of a DIY band with our profile takes up all of my time nowadays
For Femme Metal you are a very atypical band because even if we follow many rock-metal female fronted bands none of them have so many girls in their line-up. Besides you there are Tam, on bass and Alice at the piano. You are three gorgeous girls, how is your relationship? Is it easy to get along with Dani and Alex, the only 2 guys in the band?
Me, Alice and Tam are wont to call ourselves “The Three-Headed Monster”… we are so close, especially on tour, that we totally feel like one… and people are often scared of us, ha! And as I said before Belladonna are – clichéd as it sounds, it’s the truth – a family so of course the two boys and us three girls have a wonderful relationship… even though the two boys are somewhat scared of the three tigers, or, rather, of “The Three-Headed Monster”!
What are your personal dreams?
I have so many dreams… my biggest is to find a way so that every very talented artist can be able to work and express his/her soul freely, without any filters of any kind!
Label : BMG Rights Management/Audioglobe
Review by Tony Cannella
Trans-Siberian Orchestra has been spreading their Holiday cheer in the U.S. for close to 15-years. In 2000 TSO released their first album of non-Holiday music titled “Beethoven’s Last Night” and in honor of the bands first European jaunt this album has finally been released in Europe. As with all of their albums, “Beethoven’s Last Night” features a virtual who’s who of some of the best talent you will find. “Beethoven’s Last Night” is an involved concept album that features over 70-minutes worth of music. TSO offers the listener a wonderful mix of epic metal combined with Classical music to present the listener with a soaring musical experience. Some truly talented singers such as Savatage alums Jon Oliva and Zak Stevens add their talents to some of the characters. Female vocals do not show up until track 10 when Patti Russo takes the helm as the character Theresa on the track “The Dreams of Candlelight”. She can also be heard on various other tracks including “After the Fall”. Sylvia Tosun as Fate is allowed to shine on the closing number “A Final Dream”. More highlights – of which there are many – include: “What Good This Deafness”, “Mephistopheles”, “The Dark” and “Mephistopheles’ Return”. Enough good can’t be said about this great array of talented musicians that makes up TSO. There is a reason that they have amassed a huge following among metal and non-metal fans alike.“Beethoven’s Last Night” is a perfect example of the genius of TSO.
Rating – 90/100
- What Good This Deafness
- What Is Eternal
- This Moment
- The Dreams of Candlelight
- Requiem (The Fifth)
- I’ll Keep Your Secrets
- The Dark
- Fur Elise
- After The Fall
- A Last Illusion
- This Is Who You Are
- Mephistopheles’ Return
- Who Is This Child
- A Final Dream
- Jody Ashworth – Beethoven
- Patti Russo – Theresa
- Jon Oliva- Mephistopheles
- Guy Lemonnier – Young Beethoven
- Jamie Torcellini – Twist
- Sylvia Tosun – Fate
- Zak Stevens – The Muses
- Dave Diamonds – The Muses
- Doug Thoms – The Muses
- Robert Kinkel – Piano And Keyboards
- Jon Oliva – Piano, Keyboards & Bass
- Al Pitrelli – Lead, Rhythm & Bass Guitars
- Paul O’Neill- Rhythm & Acoustic Guitars
- Chris Caffery – Guitars
- Jeff Plate – Drums
- Johnny Lee Middlenton – Bass
- Dave Wittman – Drums, Guitars & Bass Inserts
Style switcher only on this demo version. Theme styles can be changed from Options page.
- Anneke Van Giersbergen
- 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
- I Left the Planet – “I Left the Planet” EP (2011)
- Grimes – “Visions” (2012)
- Грай [Grai] – “О Земле Родной” ["O Zemly Rodnoj" - "About Native Land"] (2011)
- Gin Wigmore – “Gravel and Wine” (2011)
- Funin – “Unsound” (2011)
- Fenrir – “Echoes of the Wolf” (2012)
- Carina Hanselmann – Arven
- Barbara “Babs” Brawand – Caladmor