Dimmu Borgir : Death Cult ArmageddonJe ne suis pas un fan hardcore de black metal, mais, je dois avouer que certaines productions de cette scéne musicale me font frissoner, si tant soit peu qu’elles soient un peu mélodiques. C’est le cas notamment des albums de Dimmu Borgir qui ressemblent à des chefs-d’oeuvre, dont le dernier en date (si l’on exclut la réédition de ‘Stormblast’ qui est plus un amuse-gueule qu’un véritable nouvel album) ‘Death Cult Armageddon‘ sorti en 2003 est une oeuvre d’art. La structure des compos est surprenante, intégrant des parties orchestrales de toute beauté enregistrées en République Tchèque en compagnie de l’Orchestre National Philharmonique de Prague, l’un des plus réputé au monde, aux côtés des orchestres de Babelsberg, de Londres ou de San Francisco, qui ont respectivement accompagnés Edguy, Nightwish et Metallica. Ceci dit, ces parties orchestrales donnent une nouvelle dimension à la musique du combo norvégien, apportant une atmosphére bien plus malsaine en même temps qu’un regain de puissance, les deux éléments étant les bienvenus. Il est à noter que les compos elles-mêmes, bien que trés fortes et prenantes, n’auraient pas été aussi grandiloquentes et musclées sans cet apport extérieur praguois. Les arrangements sont magnifiques et les compositions inspirées. Le disque commence par un titre direct et sans concession, le diabolique “Allegiance“, suivi par le meilleur titre du disque, le trés cinématographique “Progenies Of The Great Apocalypse”, vraiment trés proche de la dernière production de Nightwish, non pas au niveau vocal, mais au niveau de l’aura de la chanson. Les troisiéme, quatriéme et cinquiéme titres (“Lepers Among Us”, “Vredesbyrd“, “For The World To Dictate Our Death”) sont eux aussi typiques du black métal, ténébreux et violents, directs. “Blood Hunger Doctrino” est un des quelques titres à part dans le répertoire des norvégiens, mêlant passages gothiques et riffs doom/heavy et un premier couplet à la Rammstein (impression soutenue à cause du piano et de la voix semblable à celle de Till Lindermann). Deuxiéme compo “chantée” dans la langue natale du groupe, “Allehelgens Ded I Helveds Rike” ne dépareillerait pas sur un album de Mayhem ou de Marduk. Âmes sensibles, s’abstenir! Dimmu Borgir seraient-ils également des fans de thrash? Plausible! En effet, “Cataclysm Children” posséde une intro thrash qui rappelle les rythmiques syncopées et rapides, incorporant de nombreux breaks, utilisées sur les disques de Destruction ou de Kreator. Nouvelle pose orchestrale dans ce déluge sonore avec “Eradication Instincts Defined”, dont l’intro est à nouveau trés basée B.O. de film. Plaisant et épique à souhait! “Unorthodox Manifesto” débute de manière belliqueuse par des samples de mitraillettes et d’avions qui bombardent un champ de guerre…Une parfaite image des activités humaines destructrices. Enfin, ‘DCA’ (étrange titre dont les initiales évoquent aussi la Défense Contre Avion utilisée en temps de guerre. Un signe?) se termine par “Heavenly Perverse”, acoustique au début, avec quelques phrases chantonnées par une femme, et qui finit bien mal, métal en diable (c’est le cas de le dire)! N’oublions pas que sur la version “Metal Book A5″ un titre bonus est présent, intitulé “Satan My Master” (tout est dit!), qui ne dure que deux minutes. ‘Death Cult Armageddon‘ est définitivement le meilleur opus des scandinaves, qui nous ont délivré, ici, un témoignage de haine pure et un message au monde entier pour le prévenir de ce qu’il pourrait lui arriver s’il continuait à se comporter de la sorte, c’est à dire de façon égoiste et sadique. Cet album a introduit une nouvelle ére pour Dimmu Borgir, qui a gravi une nouvelle marche vers le paroxysme de son talent. Vivement leur prochain “vrai” album!

Stratovarius : StratovariusAprés une crise qui aurait pu être fatale à Stratovarius, le groupe nous revient en 2005 avec un album surprenant, puisqu’étant brut de décoffrage et faisant la part belle à des riffs heavy (“Maniac Dance“, “Fight!”, “Gypsy In Me”, “Leave The Tribe”) que l’on ne connaissait pas chez les finlandais. Même aprés la sortie du single “Maniac Dance“, je n’en croyais pas mes oreilles tellement j’étais sous le choc : Stratovarius avait troqué son heavy speed hyper mélodique contre du heavy metal, relativement proche de ce que fait Koti en solo!!! Et pourtant, il ne s’agit pas d’un mal puisque le groupe y gagne en puissance et en musicalité. Les compositions semblent plus inspirées (“Back To Madness”, “Götterdämmerung (Zenith Of Power)”), la production est plus drue, plus directe, moins aseptisée. De plus, Timo Kotipelto chante beaucoup mieux et donne le meilleur de soi-même, apportant une grande proportion d’émotion (“The Land Of Ice And Snow”, “United”), magnifiant ainsi l’atmosphère sombre et pourtant trés lumineuse qui régne sur ‘Stratovarius‘. Il n’y a pas à dire : les crises sont parfois salvatrices. Pour Stratovarius, elle a porté ses fruits, juteux et agréables au palais. Les chansons ne s’avalent pas toutes crûes de façon goulue, mais s’apprivoisent aux fur et à mesure des écoutes. Leur saveur est ainsi bien plus intéressante, qui plus est lorsque le tempo est inhabituellement lent pour les finnois, ce qui ajoute une impression de lourdeur aux compos. Cet opus est un véritable OVNI dans la discographie de Stratovarius, qui pose un certain nombre d’éléments de base de la nouvelle facette du groupe qui, je l’espère, aura tendance à se développer dans le futur. Voici un véritable bijou qui ne plaira pas forcément aux fans les plus intransigeants des finlandais, mais qui de façon indubitable attirera de nouveaux adeptes. Il s’agit là, à coup sûr, d’un des meilleurs albums de l’année 2005. Stratovarius est bel et bien vivant et il nous l’a prouvé!!! Vive Stratovarius!

Dimmu Borgir : Death Cult ArmageddonJe ne suis pas un fan hardcore de black metal, mais, je dois avouer que certaines productions de cette scéne musicale me font frissoner, si tant soit peu qu’elles soient un peu mélodiques. C’est le cas notamment des albums de Dimmu Borgir qui ressemblent à des chefs-d’oeuvre, dont le dernier en date (si l’on exclut la réédition de ‘Stormblast’ qui est plus un amuse-gueule qu’un véritable nouvel album) ‘Death Cult Armageddon‘ sorti en 2003 est une oeuvre d’art. La structure des compos est surprenante, intégrant des parties orchestrales de toute beauté enregistrées en République Tchèque en compagnie de l’Orchestre National Philharmonique de Prague, l’un des plus réputé au monde, aux côtés des orchestres de Babelsberg, de Londres ou de San Francisco, qui ont respectivement accompagnés Edguy, Nightwish et Metallica. Ceci dit, ces parties orchestrales donnent une nouvelle dimension à la musique du combo norvégien, apportant une atmosphére bien plus malsaine en même temps qu’un regain de puissance, les deux éléments étant les bienvenus. Il est à noter que les compos elles-mêmes, bien que trés fortes et prenantes, n’auraient pas été aussi grandiloquentes et musclées sans cet apport extérieur praguois. Les arrangements sont magnifiques et les compositions inspirées. Le disque commence par un titre direct et sans concession, le diabolique “Allegiance“, suivi par le meilleur titre du disque, le trés cinématographique “Progenies Of The Great Apocalypse”, vraiment trés proche de la dernière production de Nightwish, non pas au niveau vocal, mais au niveau de l’aura de la chanson. Les troisiéme, quatriéme et cinquiéme titres (“Lepers Among Us”, “Vredesbyrd“, “For The World To Dictate Our Death”) sont eux aussi typiques du black métal, ténébreux et violents, directs. “Blood Hunger Doctrino” est un des quelques titres à part dans le répertoire des norvégiens, mêlant passages gothiques et riffs doom/heavy et un premier couplet à la Rammstein (impression soutenue à cause du piano et de la voix semblable à celle de Till Lindermann). Deuxiéme compo “chantée” dans la langue natale du groupe, “Allehelgens Ded I Helveds Rike” ne dépareillerait pas sur un album de Mayhem ou de Marduk. Âmes sensibles, s’abstenir! Dimmu Borgir seraient-ils également des fans de thrash? Plausible! En effet, “Cataclysm Children” posséde une intro thrash qui rappelle les rythmiques syncopées et rapides, incorporant de nombreux breaks, utilisées sur les disques de Destruction ou de Kreator. Nouvelle pose orchestrale dans ce déluge sonore avec “Eradication Instincts Defined”, dont l’intro est à nouveau trés basée B.O. de film. Plaisant et épique à souhait! “Unorthodox Manifesto” débute de manière belliqueuse par des samples de mitraillettes et d’avions qui bombardent un champ de guerre…Une parfaite image des activités humaines destructrices. Enfin, ‘DCA’ (étrange titre dont les initiales évoquent aussi la Défense Contre Avion utilisée en temps de guerre. Un signe?) se termine par “Heavenly Perverse”, acoustique au début, avec quelques phrases chantonnées par une femme, et qui finit bien mal, métal en diable (c’est le cas de le dire)! N’oublions pas que sur la version “Metal Book A5″ un titre bonus est présent, intitulé “Satan My Master” (tout est dit!), qui ne dure que deux minutes. ‘Death Cult Armageddon‘ est définitivement le meilleur opus des scandinaves, qui nous ont délivré, ici, un témoignage de haine pure et un message au monde entier pour le prévenir de ce qu’il pourrait lui arriver s’il continuait à se comporter de la sorte, c’est à dire de façon égoiste et sadique. Cet album a introduit une nouvelle ére pour Dimmu Borgir, qui a gravi une nouvelle marche vers le paroxysme de son talent. Vivement leur prochain “vrai” album!

Stratovarius : Stratovarius

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Stratovarius : StratovariusAprés une crise qui aurait pu être fatale à Stratovarius, le groupe nous revient en 2005 avec un album surprenant, puisqu’étant brut de décoffrage et faisant la part belle à des riffs heavy (“Maniac Dance“, “Fight!”, “Gypsy In Me”, “Leave The Tribe”) que l’on ne connaissait pas chez les finlandais. Même aprés la sortie du single “Maniac Dance“, je n’en croyais pas mes oreilles tellement j’étais sous le choc : Stratovarius avait troqué son heavy speed hyper mélodique contre du heavy metal, relativement proche de ce que fait Koti en solo!!! Et pourtant, il ne s’agit pas d’un mal puisque le groupe y gagne en puissance et en musicalité. Les compositions semblent plus inspirées (“Back To Madness”, “Götterdämmerung (Zenith Of Power)”), la production est plus drue, plus directe, moins aseptisée. De plus, Timo Kotipelto chante beaucoup mieux et donne le meilleur de soi-même, apportant une grande proportion d’émotion (“The Land Of Ice And Snow”, “United”), magnifiant ainsi l’atmosphère sombre et pourtant trés lumineuse qui régne sur ‘Stratovarius‘. Il n’y a pas à dire : les crises sont parfois salvatrices. Pour Stratovarius, elle a porté ses fruits, juteux et agréables au palais. Les chansons ne s’avalent pas toutes crûes de façon goulue, mais s’apprivoisent aux fur et à mesure des écoutes. Leur saveur est ainsi bien plus intéressante, qui plus est lorsque le tempo est inhabituellement lent pour les finnois, ce qui ajoute une impression de lourdeur aux compos. Cet opus est un véritable OVNI dans la discographie de Stratovarius, qui pose un certain nombre d’éléments de base de la nouvelle facette du groupe qui, je l’espère, aura tendance à se développer dans le futur. Voici un véritable bijou qui ne plaira pas forcément aux fans les plus intransigeants des finlandais, mais qui de façon indubitable attirera de nouveaux adeptes. Il s’agit là, à coup sûr, d’un des meilleurs albums de l’année 2005. Stratovarius est bel et bien vivant et il nous l’a prouvé!!! Vive Stratovarius!

interview Jaded Heart

Ce devait être une journée inoubliable, ça l’était dans les deux sens (positif et négatif du terme). Positif car vers 15 heures, nous nous sommes rendus Patricia et moi pour récupérer Virginie à la gare. Puis, nous sommes allés au Théâtre Barbey, où nous avons fait la connaissance d’Antoine et de Claude, deux reporters qui s’étaient déplacés pour faire les interviews de Helloween et de Jaded Heart, comme nous. Malheureusement, l’interview de Helloween nous a été refusée en raison du fait que Andi Deris et Mickael Weikath (la paire qui s’occupe de répondre aux questions des journaleux) étaient tous les deux encore “souffrants” de la grippe, qui les a forcé à annuler le show de Anvers (Belgique), le samedi 10 décembre dernier. Autant dire que la soirée commençait mal…Mais, c’était sans compter la gentillesse du staff de Jaded Heart qui, trés professionnellement, nous a autorisé à faire une interview avec le chanteur Johan Fahlberg et le claviériste Henning Wanner, par ailleurs, trés sympathiques. Merci vraiment à eux, de nous avoir si bien accueilli et de nous avoir consacré un peu de leur temps avant et aprés le concert. Négatif à cause des cerbères de la salle de concert qui n’autorisaient pas le port d’appareils photos aux métalleux, même aux reporters qui venaient faire leur boulot…

Mais intéressons-nous au concert. La première partie de Helloween était, donc, assurée par les jeunes germains de Jaded Heart. Ceux-ci sont d’excellents musiciens exerçant leur talent dans une sphère hard-rock métal mélodique trés catchy et moderne, bien que constitué de touches classiques par moments. Leur prestation était trés efficace, enchaînant les titres de leur nouvel album (l’entraînant “Helluva Time”) et ceux de leurs précédents opus, ceci avec un enthousiasme sans pareil qui nous réjouissait. Ce ne sont pas tous les groupes qui sourient sur scéne durant tout un concert…Cela fait vraiment plaisir à voir!!! En tous cas, une succulente mise en bouche avant l’apparition des citrouilles sur la scéne bordelaise. Bravo und danke schön für alles die Burschen!!! ;-)

Setlist Jaded Heart :

1.Tomorrow Comes

2.Somewhere

3.Live & Let Die

4.Inside Out

5.The Journey Will Never End

6.Dreams You’ll Never See

7.Paid My Dues

8.Shores Of Paradise

9.Anymore

10.Feels Like Home

interview Helloween

Aprés un court entracte, l’intro de “For Those About To Rock (We Salute You)” des rockeurs kangourous de AC/DC retentit, annonçant au public présent ce soir (qui ne s’est malheureusement pas déplacé en masse, mais on comprend pourquoi en voyant les deux dobermans enragés à l’entrée), l’arrivée prochaine de la légende vivante du “happy-métal” teuton. Mais, ce n’est qu’aprés la longue intro, extraite du nouvel album, que le groupe déboule sur scéne avec le plus long titre de ‘Keeper Of The Seven Keys – The Legacy’, le magnifique (mais lassant à la longue) “A King For A Thousand Years“, qui renoue avec la grande tradition des piéces maîtresses extraites des deuxiéme et troisiéme albums de Helloween, telles que “Keeper Of The Seven Keys” ou “Future World”, qui seront jouées ce soir. Visiblement heureux d’être dans la capitale française du bon vin, Andi et sa bande saluent le public de façon chaleureuse (en français siouplaît!), s’exprimant dans la langue de Molière à plusieurs reprises, demandant même au public de l’aider dans la prononciation de certains mots…Le groupe joue ce soir toute la setlist prévue avant le début de leur tournée européenne, en incluant “Mrs. God” et “Invisible Man”, retirées l’avant-veille à Paris, mais, dans un ordre totalement bouleversé, ce qui induit l’impossibilité pour nous de vous donner l’ordre exact de passage de chaque titre…Drôle d’idée, quand même, que d’inverser l’ordre d’une telle setlist. Enfin bon…Passant en revue ses albums principaux : ‘KOTSK 1′ (“Future World”, “A Tale That Wasn’t Right”), ‘KOTSK 2′ (“Eagle Fly Free“, “Keeper Of The Seven Keys”), ‘The Time Of The Oath‘ (“Power”), ‘The Dark Ride’ (“Mr. Torture” et “If I Could Fly”), ‘Rabbits Don’t Come Easy’ (“Hell Was Made In Heaven”) et surtout ‘KOTSK – The Legacy’ (“King For A Thousand Years“, “Occasion Avenue”, “Invisible Man” et le rigolo “Mrs. God”), le groupe se permet même quelques délires amusants avec, notamment, les duos de batterie entre Dani et Markus (trop fort avec son kit pour enfant) et de guitare entre Sascha (la véritable star de ce soir) et Dani qui sautait partout avec sa guitare-jouet, deux récréations trés appréciées par les bordelais, qui se fendent la poire pour l’occasion. Les duos revisités de cette manière sont une excellente idée, en plus de la distribution gratuite par Mister Löble de frisbees flanqués du logo de la cucurbitacée. N’oublions pas non plus, la rarissime expérience de voir (enfin!!!) Weiki sourire légérement, une fois n’est pas coutume, aprés sa démonstration, courte mais efficace, de “scat”, suite à la présentation de chaque musicien du groupe par le frontman Andi Deris, qui semblait quelque peu en retrait ce soir-là…Enfin, aprés 2h10 de pure folie, les allemands nous remercient et nous disent au revoir, s’en allant dans les coulisses sur la fabuleuse et savoureuse ballade “Light The Universe” issue de leur dernier album, interprétée en duo par Andi avec la splendide Candice Night de Blackmore’s Night.

Malgré plusieurs mésaventures, on peut dire que la soirée a été réussie. Vivement que les citrouilles et les gars de Jaded Heart reviennent nous visiter dans le Sud-Ouest (à Toulouse, ce serait parfait!) pour nous donner encore plus de frissons!!!

Setlist Helloween :

1.King For A Thousand Years

2.Eagle Fly Free

3.Hell Was Made In Heaven

4.Keeper Of The Seven Keys

5.Solo de batterie (Dani + Markus) et Solo de guitare (Sascha + Dani)

6.Mrs God

7.Occasion Avenue

8.Future World

9.If I Could Fly

10.Power

11.Invisible Man

12.I Want Out

13.A Tale That Wasn’t Right

14.Mr Torture

15.Dr Stein

16.Perfect Gentleman

interview DungeonAustralia, apart being the land of kangaroos, koalas and the Bush, is also the country of rock music. Such bands as AC/DC, Midnight Oil or INXS have proved it. But, what people don’t know is that Australia is also the country of metal, of which Dungeon was one of the most famous and best power-metal bands. Tim Lord answered my questions, giving some surprising revelations about the band !!

Can you tell the story of your band to the readers of Spirit of Metal webzine who don’t know you?

Sure! Dungeon began in 1989 in the Australian outback where Mad Max was filmed. Eventually we relocated to Sydney and recorded several albums and began to tour the country. By 2003, we were touring internationally and sharing the stage with bands like Megadeth, Nightwish, Opeth, Edguy and Nevermore. In December 2005, Dungeon split up. There’s a press-release explaining why up at www.dungeon.cd but the good news is that my new project, LORD, will be continuing to play the Dungeon songs and write music along the same style.

What was the feedback of your “preceding” album ‘One Step Beyond’?



It was pretty good ? the biggest complaint people had about it was that it wasn’t anything ground-breaking or new, but that’s not what we were trying to do with that album. Our intention was to write an album of good, solid heavy metal songs that we enjoyed listening to as much as we enjoyed playing and for that I think we succeeded. The scores we got in the reviews were mostly really good.

You just have released your “new” album, ‘Resurrection’, which is in fact a re-recorded version of the same name 1999’s album, but with a different tracklist containing the same songs. Why?



OK, when we originally recorded the Resurrection album, we were very disappointed with how it sounded because we had very limited time and money to record with. When we signed to LMP, they wanted to release our back-catalogue which included the Resurrection album. We knew that the original version was nowhere near good enough to compete with the current production of metal albums so we chose to re-record it during the same sessions as One Step Beyond. There was one song that changed from the original version; that was Severed Ties. The song it replaced is being used by our bass player from that album in his current project and we thought it would be best to let him use it in peace, plus I think the original Resurrection album needed a song like Severed Ties to make it more balanced.

Your music is a very powerful melodic power metal, more than the Gamma Ray’s one (I preferred ‘Ressurection’ to ‘Majestic’), influenced by Iron Maiden (the touch in the soli), Gamma Ray, a bit of Hammerfall, etc…Nevertheless, the structure of the songs, especially the choruses’ one, different from what the other bands do obviously, and I find them stronger than in this style. Man can remains of the choruses easily and the will to put on the album again after two or three listenings…How did you make this magic tour?

I think that growing up listening to the classic hard rock bands from the 80s like Dokken really make me think about how important a strong chorus is. There’s no reason you can’t have a memorable melodic chorus like those bands did in powerful, almost thrash metal type of music. The thrash elements give the songs the power and the hard rock elements give the songs the melody.

The songs, especially “Resurrection”, “Paradise”, “No Way Out”, “Fight” and “Judgment Day” have a special aura, surely due to, as I said before, to the choruses. Man has the impression that some of them are directly inspired from the ones used in the metal of 70’s and 80’s, it means sumperimposed choruses, very canon-like. Would you be fans of the pioneers of the metal, and especially of Queen?

Actually, no. As much as I respect Queen, I was never really a big fan. Most of our big chorus ideas come from bands like Dokken, Leatherwolf, Def Leppard and bands like that. I would imagine that those bands would be influenced by Queen to a point, though.

What was the writing/composing and recording process of the album in 1999? Was it the same as you used today? Did it evolute?

The original Resurrection was written between 1993 and 1998 and had songs which had stood the test of time and life on the road. When we went into the studio, the band was already really familiar with the songs because we had been playing them live for years. These days, because we have such a short time between albums, we collect as many ideas as we can in the time between the albums, usually between tours too, and come together with everything we have and see what we can create out of them. The last ?new? Dungeon album was One Step Beyond and it was entirely written by ideas from myself and (guitarist) Stu in about 3 months. Unlike earlier albums, we hadn’t actually played out of these songs live before recording them in the studio.

Is there a concept hidden behind the album title?

On every Dungeon album, the title is one of the first things that is decided upon, even before the songs. Oddly enough, there always seems to be a song which has the same name as the title of the album and it’s always written well after the title of the album is decided. I’m not sure how that works but it’s certainly convenient! The idea behind Resurrection was that it was a resurrection of the band at the time (we had suffered another line-up change and we’d just signed a new record deal) and it was also about heavy metal ? around that time, people were starting to get bored with Grunge music and they were rediscovering true heavy metal.

All your songs last less than 5 minutes 30, except the last title, the epic “Legend Of Huma”, which count more than 7 minutes?Do you prefer shortest and fast titles or epic and long songs? Which ones according to you are more simple to write?

It really depends on the song. I hate songs that over-stay their welcome and are just long because they drag on for no reason. If you have a lot of things to say in a song, it can still sound interesting if it’s long. Some of the longest songs we’ve ever written have been some of the easiest to write because they’ve just flowed well.

Man can also notice that there is a ballad on this album, the wonderful ?Severed Ties? (my favourite song)?Was it the 1st time you composed (in 1999) a quiet and almost ?romantic? song?



That song was actually a new one written in 2004 while we were writing One Step Beyond but it suited Resurrection better so we put it on there instead. I enjoy writing songs like this and have written quite a few of them in the past, but none that really ended up on Dungeon albums. I’m planning to record an 80s inspired hard rock album sometime where I can use a lot of these ideas.

The most suprising title is ?I Am Death?, with its guttural vocal lines. Once again, I must ask you why did you choose to put some death vocals? Who does them?

I did the vocals and they’re not as heavy as stuff like Traumatised which was on our 2003 album, A Rise To Power ? that was really black/death in style. Certain songs need a certain type of vocal to get the message across. We don’t want to feel limited by what we do. Even though people would call us a power metal band, I would hate to just do up-tempo double-bass songs with clean vocals? it would get very boring after a while.

Extreme metal fans, then?



Absolutely! But also fans of the lightest AOR too. We’re fans of all styles of metal and hard rock, so we like to include all of our influences in our writing.

Do you have good reviews for the re-recorded version?

Yeah, they’ve been fantastic ? even better than the reviews we had for One Step Beyond and A Rise To Power.

More personal questions now : first, can you reveal us what is your musical background and the bands (and musicians) which gaves you the will to play music?



I originally began getting into music because of bands like Duran Duran and 80s pop bands. From there I discovered Queensryche, Dokken, Dio and WASP, which led to discovering Slayer, Helloween, Iron Maiden, Judas Priest and eventually Kreator, Blind Guardian, Soilwork and lots more.

What are, according to you, the 10 best metal albums of 2005? And the albums of all times?



Ooh, that’s one thing I couldn’t answer. I was so busy during 2005 I just didn’t get a chance to really listen to anything other than Dungeon. Of all time? I’m not sure if these are the best albums but the ones I really like would be (in no real order):

Queensryche: Rage For Order

Helloween: Keeper Of The Seven Keys (part 1)

Iron Maiden: Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son

Slayer: Reign In Blood

Blind Guardian: Somewhere Far Beyond

Dokken: Under Lock And Key

Leatherwolf: Street Ready

Soilwork: Natural Born Chaos

Metallica: Ride The Lightning

Judas Priest: Painkiller

This list changes a bit all of the time but these are usually in or near my top 10 albums ever.

Until 2004, your albums have only been distributed in Australia and New-Zealand. Then, you signed a deal with Limb Music. Was it a relief for you?

It was 2003 for our A Rise To Power album actually, and yes, it was nice to be able to finally have a product available worldwide.

Is it simple for a melodic power metal band to find a way out from Australia, when living in this vast and desert country, more well-known for its rock’n'roll bands as AC/DC, Midnight Oil or INXS (now Green Dollar Colour), than for its power metal bands? Isn’t the distance a handicap?



The unfortunate thing about Australia is that it’s so isolated from the rest of the world, which makes any international touring extremely expensive and sadly out of reach for most metal bands here. The advantage of this is that most Australian metal bands have developed their own flavour and aggression that comes from being isolated and doing it very tough.

What is your view about the metal situation in Australia? In Europe ? In USA ?

I think in Europe the scene is very flooded right now, with many bands competing for the same tours and shows. In the USA, it’s better but they also have to compete with a lot of the NuMetal acts that have got a much larger push from the major record labels. Here in Australia, the scene is very small but we have some of the best bands in the world down here that no one has ever heard of and some of the most dedicated fans anywhere.

Do you have booked some european dates ?

Dungeon just returned from a European tour with Megadeth and has since broken up, so there won’t be any new Dungeon dates at all. However, there will be one final Dungeon album recorded very soon for release this year and the new LORD band will be touring and playing songs from that album, as well as the new LORD material. We hope that we will be able to return to Europe this year but if that doesn’t happen, definitely in 2007.

What is for you the Spirit of Metal?



For me, it’s freedom: the freedom to play the most diverse style of music in existence that isn’t following any trends or made to sound like anything other than how you want it to be. The true spirit of metal, really, is honesty.

Do you have a last thing to say to the fans?

I would just like to say thank you for all of the support throughout the years of Dungeon. I hope you enjoy the final Dungeon album and give LORD the same kind of support as you did with Dungeon. Hopefully we’ll see you on the road very soon and keep an eye on www.lord.net.au for all of the latest news. Cheers! :)

En savoir plus sur Dungeon

interview Gun BarrelI was really impressed by the new Gun Barrel’s album, the bombastic ‘Bombard Your Soul’ and this is naturally why I wanted to know more about this band and this album. When I had the chance to do an interview with them by mail, I took it immediately and worked on this interview. Rolf Tanzius answered to my questions, with a huge amount of humour…

First of all, could you introduce the band to the fans?
Hi,I`m Rolf Tanzius,the guitar player of GUN BARREL. The other ones are: Tomcat Kintgen on the bass, Toni Pinciroli on the drums and Xaver Drexler is our singer.

What was the feedback of your preceding album, ‘Battle Tested’?
?Battle-tested? got great reviews worldwide and it was a step further for the band. We got many invitations to take part at several gigs and festivals in germany and other countries.

Gun Barrel makes its comeback this year with a power heavy rock metal bomb really well intitled ‘Bombard Your Soul’, which is a very surprising album kicking the ass. But what other could we await from Gun Barrel? We can still hear the influences of the heavy 80’s and of Motörhead’s heavy rock…However, the refrains are very “german power metal” like. And this is exactly what is differentiating you from the other teutonic bands, this original mix which gaves you a particular personality : do you agree?
Yes,we do, totally correct.We like bombast refrains and also

Metal, rock n roll and old school and this is the secret of the GUN BARREL songs, we lay our heart and soul, our love and anger, our strength in our music and we believe in the things we do! Everything and everybody 110% Gunbarrel.

How do you arrive to conciliate so many styles in a same band?
Everybody of the band has his own style. We have a new song idea and each of us is free to bring in his ideas into it.. No pressure ? nobody has to play a song he dislikes! So, we get this rocknrollmetal mixture.

Is there a concept hidden behind the the title of the album or is the only link between the songs this power in the music? Can you describe us the theme of each song?
We play a straight kickin ass music, we bombard the souls of our fans and other listeners ? Our music is alarm!

All songs have a personal note and lyrics from our new singer Xaver Drexler.. He has write his and our diary I neach song. The rock n roll life style. The road life, the family, persons we don`t like, people we love, memories and the metal maniacs. But in genarel everybody is free to imagine and feel what ever he/she wants while listening to our songs.

Amazing thing, which surprised me first, is the intro, “Begging For Awakening”, which contrast strongly with the rest of the album : I thought the record was something like symphonic heavy metal, but NO, I was tricked…Who had the idea to create this sort of intro?
We gave an order to Piet Sielck. We said to him: Piet, we need the riff of ?Fearing the fears of my fears?, we need timbals, police sirens, voices, heart beating, bombast orchestras! And Piet made out of it this great intro. We were very inspired and you can hear the intro now before every gig.

The rest is really sturdy, especially “Dear Mr. Devil”, “The Fallen One”, “Bombard Your Soul” and “Bloody Pretender”. There is only one quiet (at least no as violent) song, the hard FM-ish “On The Road Again”…Why don’t you have followed your fellow countrymen and proposed to the fans a real ballad? I have the feeling that it’s not much your thing, am I wrong?
You are wrong,sorry! We plan a ballad for the next album. I think I have four or five ideas for ballads. But this is not enough ? you need a certain feeling and voice too. Nowadays we have the right singer for a ballad to become a flesh creep and Xaver is the right man for a GUN BARREL ballad.

I also noticed that the second intro riff line of “Dive Into The Flame”, which is finding itself again during all the song before the refrains and between the verses and the bridges, by intermittence, is so close to the one that AC/DC used in “Riff Raff”…is it a kind of tribute to the brothers Young’s band?
We love AC/DC but we didn’t look to their riffs. It was an idea I got when I was just playing around on my guitar and I fell in love wit it. I can’t stop playing it? pling pling..

The guitar soli are fresh and light, almost atmospheric on this title…
Yes, correct, thanks a lot, thank you for the flowers, could I invite you to any drink? You’ re my man!

What was your composing process? Who wrotes the lyrics?
First I have the riff ideas or complete songs. Yenz Leonhard and the whole band arranges later on the songs and Xaver writes the lyrics. That’s the way it goes. And so we did ?Bombard your soul?. It all over took some weeks to record it ? some very exciting weeks because it was the first album we recorded with our new singer.

The first thing which people can see of an album is its cover. Yours is really striking the eyes. It remains a bit of these of some S.O.D. albums. Who has drawn it? Do you think it represents in a good way your new album?
The idea came from Dirk Illing. His first work for GUN BARREL. He had the idea after he knew the album title.

We think it`s a very good idea and a very good work between ugly, dirty and heavy. This face bombards your soul, too, hehe????..We think you should recognize which a kind of music in it when you see the cover.

Another thing which strikes, after having put the album in his cd player is the clarity, the brightness, of the sound. Piet Sielck produced the album. How have you meet him and why this choice?
We met Piet before we recorded the ?Battle-tested? album. Piet heard our first album ?Power-Dive? and told us that he would like to produce Gunbarrel. He has ideas for our sound and also our label LMP said ?Make the album with Piet?.

We are very satiesfied with his work and so we started again with him and Yenz Leonhard. We think that ?Bombard your soul? has a heavier sound like the albums before. Piet is a metal producer and Yenz a rock’n-roller. So we made the right choice, we think.

Now I have some more personal questions. What is your musical background and your music taste?
Oh,I like all kind of music, I have to write a book to let you know all my favourites, also the other guys of the band.

But we have some groups like ?Thunderhead, Motorhead? – the classixs we all together love.

We all played in different bands here in Cologne. But all without a deal. Except Xaver with his band ?STS8 Mission?.

Toni played in a band called ?Wicked? and ?Dreamhunter?,

Tom played in a band called ?Underdog? and played in bands called ?Special guests? and ?Thunderstruck?.

Who are the musicians or bands which gave you the will to play music?
For me it were ?The Rolling Stones? and ?Black Sabbath?.

What are the albums, released in 2005, that you’d gave in your playlist? The ones who stroke you forever (since last 50 years)?
My playlist for 2005:

In flames ? Soundtrack to your escape

Hellfueled ? Born to rock

Backyard Babies ? Tinitus (live)

Dimmur Borgir ? Stormblast

And a lot of more

The ones who stroke me forever:

Rolling Stones ? Sticky fingers

Free ? Heartbreaker

In Flames ? Colony

Thin Lizzy ? Live and dangerous

Black Sabbath ? Black Sabbath

Hawkwind ? In search of space

Ozzy ? Diary of a madman

Deep Purple ? In Rock

Black Widow ? Come to the sabbath

Demon ? Night of the demon

Backyard Babies ? Total 13

The Hellacopters ? Suppershity to the max

Uriah Heep ? Sweet freedom

Bad Company ? Running with the pack

At the gates ? Slaughter of souls

How do you train your instrument? Can you give the fans who are musicians some advices about how to be perfect musicians and how to train well to be ready before a gig?
I play every day for myself at home. I never had a teacher. So I had to find my own style and technic. We train together some days before a gig and also two times a week to get things done ? you know: A man has got to do what a man has got to do ?

What is your view about the german scene? European? Worldwide?
We try to get a support tour for europe and our dream is to play worldwide because we want to meet billions of women ? but you must not tell our wives and girlfriends ? ok? Just kinding around ? no ? to be honest: we are a live-band and love to be in front of our fans. We are just travelling around in germany and promoting our album. People in Europe start to get hold of us and we took part in some international festivals like Wacken. Actual now I think we won’t have a chance in America but we have good reviews from argentina.

What is for you the Spirit of Metal?
The first ?Black Sabbath? album. The first step into the heavy life.

Do you have some side-project?
No!! Gunbarrel is on top, my one and only, and I am more than 1000% tuned to it.. We are all absolutely only Gunbarrel.

Do you have already booked some tourdates? In France?
We have to wait because we just have a new booker since these days. We hope to play everywhere, also in France!!! Keep an eye upon our homepage there you will see more.

Do you have a last thing to say to the fans?
Yes, of course:

Hi Spirit of metal readers:

We are GUN BARREL from Cologne, Germany and we salute you and try to bombard your soul next near. We wish you to a heavy christmas and also a great rocking and rollin 2006. Shake your bones and take care!

GUN BARREL

Thank you, Rolf-Gun Barrel

En savoir plus sur Gun Barrel

interview NeverwinterNeverwinter is a band which has talent, ambition and represents a new face of the metal : more atmospheric and so much more spiritual. I had the infinite chance to meet their leader, the talented composer and guitarist Rich Shillitoe, who was one of the guitarists of the british band Mercury Rain. He decided to parted ways with his former band to create a new one, more inspired and bringing metal on a new level…Man dreams while listening to Neverwinter’s music, especially thanks to the guitars, keys and the pleasant vocals done by the delightful Izzy. Discussion with a Friend…

Rich, can you tell to the Spirits who are the members of your band and what’s the story of your band?
Well The recording line-up for the new EP is as follows

Izzy ? Vocals, Woodwind

Daryl Barret-Cross ? Bass, Vocals

Rich Shillitoe ? Lead Guitars, Keys and programming

Rich Bendall ? Guitars

Miles Jefers ? Drums

The band started out as a recording project two summers ago with me and a friend of mine who is now the bass player for Bristol based thrash band Seregon. The idea was just to write and record some ideas after I left my previous band. After a while and many style changes it was clear that something good was happening with the music so I asked my childhood friend Izzy if she wouldn’t mind singing on these ideas and she jumped at the chance. Then I met Rich B in a local bar one night and we were chatting about guitars and such and we became good friends and I finally asked him to play with us. I knew miles from studying at Music College and asked him to join. Then one of my very good friends Daryl loved the ideas so much he decided to join the band playing bass which really is he second instrument although he did play bass for punk band Mr Zippy touring Japan with them. And so the recording line up as it stands today is complete.

How would you define the music you play?
It’s kind of hard to just bring it down to simple terms and genres. On its base level I would say its kind of Power Orchestral Folk Prog Death Metal Hahahaha! There are far too many elements of different genres to just call it one thing.

You’ve already recorded two excellent songs : “Last Cry” and “The twisted truth”, the one being really atmospheric with its lead feminine vocals and the second one being really technique with its virtuoso soli. What is your composing process? Who writes the lyrics?


Oh! Good question. I think personally the way I compose music changes from song to song. Ill either get an idea for a passage and write around that or ill just have a whole idea ill try and play out as closely as possible to what’s in my head. The songs within the EP will change from different feels maybe different genres as most new bands were still finding our feet and our own style. As a band were really trying to find our own style and not sounding like another *insert generic female fronted band here!* which is actually a Very hard thing to do!. As far as lyrics within the band its kind of a free for all, Izzy writes some great stuff so does Daryl and Rich. They all write in totally different ways. Izzy pours her heart out within lyrics with past experiences and different things where Daryl would sit down and really think about what he is trying to say with the lyrics. I will also write some lyrics for the EP I have already written the lyrics to Twisted Truth which is about my own personal feelings about religion and how its Both an amazing blessing yet a curse that can be taken out of context and abused.

You’ve not released a demo or an album, so when can man hope to see one out in stores?
Well as I said before were all still finding our feet and style the process is taking its time which is my fault as I’m becoming more and more like a perfectionist every day! I think one day someone in the band has to give me a kick up the backside and tell me that enough’s enough and it’s ready to be released! I really cant put a date out yet to disappoint anyone!.

You’re one of the Neverwinter’s guitarists, with the 2nd Rich, but can you tell me who gave you the desire to be a guitarist and what are your influences? Your favourite musicians?


Well my family were never that musical but the support I get from them growing up was fantastic driving me to gigs and helping out and everything I can’t thank them enough. When I was really small my parents used to play a lot of Queen and I was really enthralled by Brian May’s harmonies and arrangements and idolised him from the age of 7 when I first picked up the guitar. Then getting into Iron Maiden when I was growing up got me into metal but my main influences guitar wise now would have to be Andy Timmons, John Petrucci from Dream Theater and Steve Vai! Typical fret abuser guitarists! The way I play though comes from an interview I read with Brian May ages ago how about he writes guitar parts as melodies more then just sticking to a scale and being restricted by the notes that appear in that scale.

Why this name : Neverwinter, for your band? Is this a tribute to the same name video game?
I used to play the game a while back and I just liked the name I guess! To me a name has always just been that some of the best bands had the most stupid names like Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin its all about the music, man!

What is your view about the English metal scene and about the European scene?


Well I could write you a huge essay for this one. Basically Melodic metal in England is good as dead with only Dragon Force and Power Quest making any kind of waves in the power metal scene really. That’s why we aim to play in Europe as that is where the audience is. We do have Bloodstock festival where big European metal bands come over once a year to blow our heads off and show us how it should be done!. It’s kind of a personal aim for me to play Bloodstock with Neverwinter I suppose if I get that ill set a new bar for myself! But the European scene is amazing as far as the average British person is concerned metal is dead as our charts won’t touch any of it but in Europe you guys have metal bands charting as some pretty impressive places.

Had you already booked some dates in England?
Not yet I’m afraid, that will all be sorted out when the EP is released.

If you had the opportunity to make some tour in France, what band would you turn with?
Personally I would love to tour with Arjen Lucassen’s new band but that’s a mere dream!. There are a few English bands making some headway in France like Mercury Rain who I used to play for who have the added bonus of there lead singer Sonia being French! When were up and touring I am defiantly looking to do some French dates if its actually possible for us!

You’re also a producer. Have you already worked with some bands?
Nothing any metal heads will know. I mainly produced Drum and bass stuff around Bristol. Though most of my skills come from trial and error with my home recording equipment! Production of the EP does worry me as I never had any formal training its just a case of what sounds good to me!

What advices could you give to a band which begins its career?


I would like some advice myself! But seriously you have to truly believe in what you’re doing! Believe in it strong enough to appear arrogant if not your start doubting yourself!.

A personal question: how do you find France and French girls?


I best not answer my girlfriend will kill me! There has always been a silly rivalry with England and France there’s a lot of English rumours that I don’t believe. I have an image of French women being very cliché fashionable and elegant! Silly commercials for channel!

While talking about girls, I would like to have your point of view about female singers. What is your favourite?


Well my favourites would have to be Floor Jansen, Irene Jansen, Tarja Turunen, Heather Findlay and Loreena McKennitt.

Do you have some last words to the Spirit of Metal readers?
Yeah!, Visit Http://www.neverwinter.org.uk where we will keep everything up to date as possible. There’s a forum to chat to members of the band, song samples, merchandise etc etc. And Keep it metal! \m/

En savoir plus sur Neverwinter

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