CD Review: God In A Cone - Earth my prison (Experimental, 2018)

This project has become a surprise bag for me everytime I look inside. You can never know what comes next - this time around it's more of the heavy side along with much positive vibes.

The front cover of God In A Cone's Earth my prison Artwork : Ble Logo : Daniel Goudelis, (c) by God In A Cone, used with kind permission
Nick Marinos is the head and creative force behind God In A Cone. He works constantly on new material and it sounds like he has a lot to say to the world. All the previous releases already proved that he is able to write material of very different kind of styles. It's his open-mind attempt that is biggest strength in my eyes.

For this round of songs the more slightly heavier side seems to have influenced Marinos songwriting. But the songpackage is also far more treated with good vibes than ever before. The cool thing is that the tracks remain to catch your ears so quickly that listening is a massive joy straight from the first minute.

Track-by-Track breakdown
The intro "Necrology" spreads irritation with it's spoken parts and few rhythm patterns but the second one "Relief" goes straight to the strong meat. It surprised me with it's gothic hard guitar attack and dark vocals.

Happily it also shows that the fine tradition of earcatchy refrains is not gone.  But you'll have to get on further to track two to get this clearer. From there on the record shows it's openess far more. Good vibes start to spread and give me a kick to start into the day.

"Sell a life" sounds like the first acoustic attempt from Marinos. I love to hear that. It's just great. It's not sadness but easyness coming along through my speakers.

Follow us "River Down" and have a party. This track invites you to have a good time. Light instruments touch you before some heavyness comes shining in. "XFool" will let you dance with it's pumping rhythm and light keyboards. The refrains want's you to sing along to it.

"Inside the globe" gives a slower to the end. You'll come down to this one without being let down. A great way to close and round out a great time - once again a slightly more heavy way like on the beginning of the disc and also the longest track.

Purchase-Link and Preview-Track
This release will come around for the first time on a Compact Disc. Make sure to have a eye on the God In A Cone Facebook page for the exact release date and where to order your copy.

This is a release not to be missed - it's the soundtrack to your great summer of 2018. Well worth some bucks. Make sure to let your friends know about it.  

Music is pure positive power against worries and this record proves why.


Metal Singles & Dating Community Bound By Metal opens it's doors

Do you often feel lonely and left behind on your own with all the stuff life provides? A new love is like a new life they say. Sure it's not sunshine all the way when you have someone by your side (I spoke about the darker sides in the previous post) but going all alone in solo mode surely can also negative effects with it. We all need a bit of uplifting at times I think.

But where to find your significant other? The internet has become a big place to look and find. The Metalmusic plattform Bound By Metal shows a heart for singles and has opened up a free and open Single and Dating platform to show yourselves and your likes in metal music.

A look at the Bound By Metal website

It has been proven that new partners often speak about music in the first time while they
get to know each other. So this could be your chance! Visit www.boundbymetal.com to sign up and start getting to know other Metal maniacs. Over 1000 people have already joined the community.

The use of this service is free of charge and will remain this way. In addition to that
you'll take part in a raffle automatically with joining the site. The prices are given away
in waves each time a new total number of members is reached. So make sure to notify others of this great new opportunity to find your loved one's and unlock the next raffle stage quicker together.

P.S. The Bound by Metal portal also supports nearly all the Metal bands out there and introduces them with full discography and videos. One more reason to join forces with them.


From Ashes To New look behind bad relationships

Are human relationsships always a good and fine thing? Sure they often are complicated and it can also be something that let's you suffer. Somehow these thoughts came around to me while I was listening to this brand new video of From Ashes to New.

A bandpicture of the revamped band From Ashes To New. Photo Credit: Graham Fielder

Most of all the way the vocals express the lyrics I could imagine a person having a relationsship bringing them to insanity and no end suffering. I hope the one being talked about is on the way to feeling better this present days.

As for me I'd encourage everyone out there to let go of negative connections. It's not worth it. You spent endless time and energy on something that won't work out in the end. Don't hesitate or think about it any longer. Make a clear decision. Make a cut. You'll feel better when it's over.

This single is a first teaser of the new From Ashes To New record "The Future" that will see the light of day 20th April 2018. So far I'd say it goes a far more direct and bringing things on point attitude to the table than the previous material did but of course I've become cautious of judging albums too early. One song hardly can tell anything of how the full length will turn out. That's at least what I've learned this far.

It's for sure a good idea to follow the band through Facebook or on Instagram to keep a further eye on the next steps towards the album release.


Single Review: Swirl - The Lift (Heavy Rock, 2018)

Feeling bad? This one track will help you get back in a good mood.

Swirl came to me as a band playing the classic heavy rock note but having spread own ideas and fine undertones all over their sound. This track called "The Lift" comes around as a first sign of new music from the US band.

The cover of Swirl's new single "The Lift", (c) by Swirl, used with kind permission

The sound is much shaper, clearer and compact than on the previous release - the Swirl disc that contained songs that also were used in the "Ditch Day Massacre" movie. I think that's a big plus. You can access the music much faster this way I think. Overall the song does what the track name promises -  it lift's my feelings up. It has a easier feeling with it compared to the older tunes.

What else has changed? The vocals are outworked more and point the listener's attention to various corners of the song. It shows evolvement no question. The last third is a bit rougher with repeating the chorus over and over again and much heavier guitars in the sound. That goes a bit deeper under the skin. That's why I would say they do heavy and not just hard rock.

Puchase Link & Stream
You can pick the song up as download single as part of the running GoFundMe campaign. If you purchase the track over there you will not only get the electric but also the accoustic version of "The Lift" as a bonus.

If you spend some more money you can get your hand on some more cool stuff in return. For instance the band is open to play a house party for people living in certain regions of the US - wouldn't that rock your next birthday party? Just imagine you can say you have the band onstage tonight that has songs that were used in the "Ditch Day Massacre" movie. People could rock out to this all the way! Overall the more you give the more new music the band can produce.

If that doesn't fit your needs you can still get the onetracker as regular download on the portals such as iTunes but this only secures you the electric version.

Song Stream
Listen and relax.

Keep a eye on Swirl with Facebook or check the good old homepage of 'em.


Blacktop Mojo calls to keep the heart free in new video

Music can set emotions free. They come out for me the most and in it's purest form when a band plays a acoustic track. I don't know why but it's always a deeply moving moment for me. I can't say anything just sit there feeling touched so deep inside.

This moment came along as I recently sat at my laptop and watched a live recording of Blacktop Mojo's acoustic performance for the song "Underneath". Enjoy every second of this fragile and breathtaking performance.

Besides the fine music the lyrics hold a important piece of advice for living life. Nathan Gillis, Drummer of the band explains what the band want's to express with this track.

"I've seen firsthand how bitterness and anger can destroy a person from the inside out. This song is about that, but also saying "I understand what happened, and I'm sorry you went through the painful things  that brought you to this point" Keep your heart free , forgive people even if they don't deserve it."

The studio version of this song comes of the band's great record entitled "Burn The Ships". Don't miss out this gem and make sure to pick up a copy out of the band's hands. 


Ektomorf & Dead Horse Trauma on European tour March 2018

This package that startis to tour straight on March 2nd promises to be a cool package. While Ektomorf should be well known to metal maniacs with their classic and full blast thrash performance it's cool to see they give a unusual opening act a chance.

This time the slot is taken over by Dead Horse Trauma. The band surprised me with the vocal performance on the song "Left Unsaid". It's not too often to be found that the vocalist transport's the message with such great undertones that add his inner feelings to the sound. It sounds as if the performs more from the heart than from the strict formula. The other band members add a pounding and compact riffing sound to the package that make the whole song push straight forward. It feels round and moves me inside.

Come and give these two band's a loud and great welcome on their shows in Europe.
Tickets and more info can be found at http://DHTtour.com and http://DeadHorseTrauma.com

Update 09/03/2018: The show at Zollhaus Leer  / Germany on 22.03.18 has been cancelled. All purchased tickets will be refund at the place of purchase. A replacement show at a different location is in the makings. More info on this will hopefully be available at the event page on Facebook.

3/02 - Pitcher - Düsseldorf, Germany
3/03 - Markthalle - Hamburg, Germany
3/04 - Klub Muzyczny Liverpool - Wroclaw, Poland
3/05 - Aching - Colmar, France
3/07 - Altherax - Nice, France
3/08 - Palazzo Bowling & Beat Club - Chur, Switzerland
3/09 - Metbar - Lenzburg, Switzerland
3/10 - Woody's - Schleiz, Germany
3/11 - Viper Room - Vienna, Austria
3/13 - Barrák Music Club - Ostrava, Czech Republic
3/14 - Nuke - Berlin, Germany
3/15 - Rock Café - Prague, Czech Republic
3/16 - L.A. Cham - Cham, Germany
3/17 - Das Rind - Rüsselsheim, Germany
3/18 - De Verlichte Geest - Roeselare, Belgium
3/19 - From Hell - Erfurt, Germany
3/20 - Chemie Fabrik - Dresden, Germany
3/21 - Alte Zuckerfabrik - Rostock, Germany
3/22 - Kulturzentrum Zollhaus - Leer, Germany
3/23 - Factory Event Center - Magdeburg, Germany
3/24 - Baroeg - Rotterdam, Netherlands
3/25 - Rock Fabrik - Ludwigsburg, Germany
3/26 - Backstage - München, Germany
3/27 - Vègàllomàs Klub - Szombathely, Hungary
3/28 - Form Space - Cluj-Napoca, Romania
3/29 - Narancs Rock Cafe - Békéscsaba, Hungary
3/30 - Sypka - Morkovice, Czechia
3/31 - Hellraiser - Leipzig, Germany
4/01 - MC Fabrika - Ceske Budejovice, Czech Republic

Here's the flyer if you'd like to have a copy of it as quick reminder.

GerSwitzer Dead Horse Trauma’s new album, LIFE can be found here:

Physical: https://goo.gl/PlHJ4p
iTunes: https://goo.gl/k2kEko
Google Play: https://goo.gl/IL9lyC
Amazon: https://goo.gl/6FIuyv

Check the band's homepage or Facebook for constant updates.




What would Jesus sell?

Also Metal music is often associated with darker parts of life there is in fact a sidearm that has a look upon the christian side of our music. It's called White Metal and I became most aware of it when I went to a show of Narnia.

They opened up for Dio and had this lion as a backdrop. I remember they played "The Awakening" that evening and it talked about the spiritual side and how we start to face it.

Back in present day I nearly forgot about this until this documentation knocked on my door. There are some guys out there that call themselves BadChristian. They want to take a sharp and critical look upon how Christianity is connected with (Metal) music. What is going on behind the curtains of this business? This is what the documentary will be about in my eyes. It will be told from the view of those who have been involved into this business themselves.

The campaign picture of "What would Jesus sell?", (c) by BC Media, used with kind permission

 A quote of the Kickstarter page tells more details about what this documentary aims to be:

"As the music industry has declined over the past few decades, dwindling returns have incentivized the profit-securing practice for Christian artists and labels to project an image that is often contrary their individual values.

Our goal is to craft a documentary that

    Uncovers the truth about dishonest image control
    Explores the profit motives that influence faith-based music
    Redeems the honest aspects of the industry & artists involved"

Matt Carter, CEO of Bad Christian, explains, “I’ve been involved with the Christian music industry for 15 years. There are these huge gulfs between the insiders and the consumers, and between the consumers and the general mainstream  public. This creates so many weird, interesting, and often depressing realities and stories. We are excited to bring some of it out into the light of day.”

The documentary is being directed by James Wightman, a long-time filmmaker for Emery and BadChristian. “Internally we’ve been brainstorming and developing this idea and proof of concept for almost two years, and it seems like the perfect story for BadChristian to be able to tell like nobody else can. Everyone involved with this project has at different times, benefitted from, believed in, and been burned by this crazy industry. The whole goal with the documentary is to tell those stories honestly, because it seems that the public is largely unaware of the inner-workings and the nature of it, both good and bad.”

Have a look at the trailer for a better idea of the project.

Currently a Kickstarter is running asking to support them on their mission. Producing quality stuff takes money no question but the team has already started to work on the project out of their own pockets. By now the time has come to go into final production stages so more cash is needed to finish things. In return there's a wide range of rewards. They go for a reasonable price that's compareable to what needs to be paid at local stores.


How to survive the music industry in 2018

Music is a fine thing. It makes you feel great, it heals and often reveals truth for me. The dark side is that it doesn't pay off the same way for those who create it. How can I have my costs covered at least and which things do I need to take care of? There are so many things to choose from...

Noah "Shark" Robertson had a sit down and deep reflection about this topic. He wrote up his experiences and thoughts in the following lines. Noah is a full time touring musician, he runs two record labels called "Zombie Shark Records" plus Swimming With Sharks Records and is involved in other ways in music like being a Teacher, Writer, Marketer, Promoter  You can contact him through the mentioned links of his record companies.

Heavy Metal Underdogs is glad to have been given permission to publish this article which hopefully will have lots of helpful hints for you. As for me it had some new information in it which I think more people out there should know. I've included some music showcasing Noah's abilities on the drums with the text so it won't be too silent all around you. It's a long read but worth it.

It’s no secret that the music industry is constantly changing at an incredibly rapid rate. Labels, artists, and other music business professionals who don’t pay attention to the ever-evolving landscape can easily get left in the dust. It’s important to stay ahead of the curve and recognize what’s new. But it’s even more important to remember the small things that yield big results. This applies to everyone trying to achieve success, not just music personnel. Here are just a few tips to surviving the music industry:

Pay attention.

Learn what the current trends are and what you can do to meet new demands. The music industry is a living, breathing organism and it is fickle! Research what the top players in the industry are doing and ensure that you remain competitive. Read articles, watch videos, subscribe to magazines… do what you have to do to stay relevant. Keep up!

Don’t be afraid to ask for help.

Some people have too much pride. There’s no shame in asking others for guidance. This is how some of the most successful people in the world have achieved success. Having the courage to ask for help, could save you tons of time. Ask somebody who’s been there and done that. The worst that can happen is they tell you to get lost. But most of the time, they are glad to share their knowledge and expertise. Try it out!

Be passionate.

As technology makes music production (and pretty much everything) more accessible to the average person, we are seeing a massive surge in the number of bands and artists out there. The problem is a lot of these “artists” aren’t true artists. They’ll be gone in a flash. One easy thing you can do to separate yourself from the crowds is to just love what you do. If you love it and you’re passionate about it, it will come through in your art and others will take notice. It’s simple!

Surround yourself with successful people.

This should be a no-brainer. Look around you… Are your friends and peers successful? This is one of the most commonly overlooked pieces of advice. Take a note from highly successful entrepreneurs, actors, and rock stars by surrounding yourself with people that are successful. Cut out the negative, pessimistic people from your life who will only drag you down and surround yourself with positive, optimistic people who are actually working towards their goals. Success is contagious!

Be Careful Who You Take Advice From.

It’s easy to want to seek advice from people who have been unusually successful. It just makes sense. But remember, the best kind of advice comes from people who have failed miserably and are aware of their mistakes and what they did wrong. They will have more to teach about what NOT to do and the processes and obstacles involved with reaching your goals and finding success. Beware!

Be persistent.

Success doesn’t happen overnight. Most of the time, musicians and artists never make it because they gave up too early. Some of the biggest artists in the industry were struggling in a van for years before they struck it big. You have to stick with it and truly believe in what you are doing. Never let anything get in your way or stop you. Go for it!

Build a strong team.

You can’t do it all yourself. You’ll need to put together a team of people who can help you. This may take some time, but every successful band has an entire team behind what they do. From booking, to management, to press and marketing… Build a great team of people to take over some of these duties so you can focus on what you truly love to do. Make music!

Treat your band like a business.

You have a name. You’re selling merchandise. You’re selling your music. Like it or not, your band is a business. Most musicians know nothing about business and it ends up hurting them immensely. People come along and take advantage of them or they make poor business decisions because they simply don’t know anything. And whether you view your band as a business or not, the government surely does. It’s important to obtain a business license (which is simple to do) and protect yourself. It can prevent other bands from using your name and provides a million other benefits you may not be aware of. This will also allow you to obtain a Tax ID Number. The more successful you become, the more responsible you must become for your actions. It will help you in the long run to just learn this stuff now. Otherwise Uncle Sam could come after you once you start selling a lot of albums and merch. In reality, everything you do as a band should be documented. Most bands aren’t even aware of the fact that pretty much everything they spend money on – band equipment, promotional materials, flyers, travel and touring expenses, insurance, gas, hotels, and even food – is all tax deductible! Learn it!

Get incorporated.

It’s expensive being a musician. EVERYTHING costs money. Incorporate your brand, so you can receive tax breaks and manage your expenses properly. It can help protect you as an individual and can be majorly beneficial to your positive financial growth. It may seem difficult, but it’s way easier than you think. There are a ton of resources and websites out there to help you out. Incorporating will establish your band as a separate legal entity and you and your bandmates will not be held personally liable for the band’s debts. There are many other benefits as well. Do it!

Know your rights, get registered.

Most musicians and artists have no idea what copyright laws are and how they work. Protecting your art from theft is easy! And if you’re recording and writing your own music then you will want to have a clear understanding of what Performing Rights Societies are and how they collect money for you. I’m sure a lot of you have heard of BMI and ASCAP, but aren’t sure what they even do. Find out! And be sure to only register for ONE of them. These entities monitor your works, such as when your song is played on the radio or on TV or in a film, and they make sure you get paid for it! Another popular one is SoundExchange, similar but not the same as the others. Registering is easy and fast. Do some research!

Don’t be afraid to spend money.

I see a lot of bands out there with horrible logos, horrible album covers, horrible websites. A lot of bands actually think that if they have to pay money for something, then it’s a “rip off”. This is a dangerous mentality. As with any business, it costs money to make money. Most bands just don’t want to spend the money. But these things can make or break your band. It’s all about first impressions. Whether it’s a fan or a record label, you want to make the best first impression you possibly can. If you’re not willing to spend the money to improve your image and look, then at least invest time in learning how to do it yourself. Look better!

Connect on Social.

These days, most of us are already on top of this one. Everyone is a social media expert! But some bands and artists need to be reminded to engage with their fans and represent their brand effectively. Not every single thing has to be selling to your audience or about your music. Be sure to post about other things as well, such as your favorite artists or things you love as an artist, etc. People love behind the scenes and getting insight into your lives. It makes a difference!

Take Care of Yourself.

What good are you to your fans if you’re dead? Eat healthy and exercise regularly. It will help your endurance, performing live shows and moving around on stage effectively without tiring out. It will also keep you around longer, so you can create more art. Duh!

Email Marketing.

This is a big one that a lot of bands miss. It’s a huge opportunity that every band should be taking advantage of. As thousands of posts scroll past in your news feed on your favorite social media platform, it’s easy to see how something could get lost or be missed by your fans. An email is delivered directly to the “customer”, waiting for them to open. Direct email marketing is one of the biggest things you can utilize to grow your business. Offer a free song to your audience, in exchange for their email address. Or put out an email sign up sheet at your merch table and start building your email list. This will allow you to update fans on what’s new with the band and offer them new products as they become available. If somebody gives you their email address, they are asking you to contact them. Don’t miss out!

Focus on details.

They say, “The devil is in the detail.” It’s true. I see so many bands with terrible bios and info sections of their websites. And most of this is due to just not proofreading and going over your work. Check, double-check, and recheck everything. If you send an email to a manager or record label that is riddled with spelling errors and grammatical errors, chances are they won’t take you seriously. It’s literally the lowest common denominator of being successful. Details!


Many musicians and artists believe they are god’s gift to music and/or art. They think they’re already good enough and they don’t need to improve. This is a dangerous way of thinking and can land you in a “rut”. Progress is an important part of the journey. Take pride in honing your craft. Get better!

Stay Humble.

Artists and musicians can have a very egotistical view of their music and career after they receive even a little success. They become cocky and disrespectful and begin making unusual requests of labels, venues, and members of their team. You’ve heard of the term “diva”? Nothing good can come out of this. It usually results in having a horrible reputation. Word will get around quick and people won’t want to work with you. Don’t be that guy or gal!

Give Back.

Up and coming musicians need your help, advice, wisdom, and support. Teach, mentor, donate to good causes… do whatever you can to give back to the music community. There is nothing more satisfying or rewarding than watching another artist or musician flourish from what you have shown them or taught them. If you are experiencing success, donate to a cause that provides opportunities to other people less fortunate than you. There are a lot of organizations and charities out there that provide instruments and music lessons for kids who can’t afford it, and that’s just one example. There are many ways to give back. It’s important!

Of course there are millions of ways to become successful, but hopefully these tips helped you along in your journey to excellence! Think better, live better, do better, be better!

Article by Noah “Shark” Robertson


CD Review: Metalsteel - Beyond The Stars (Clasic Heavy Metal, 2017)

A concept record taking things back to basics. No heavyweight production, no special effects overload. Just pure music crafted directly of the instruments of those loving Heavy Metal music

The wonderful frontcover artwork for Metalsteel's "Beyond the Stars" album, (c) by Metalsteel, used with kind permission
This album has set a view on the power of the songs alone. You can feel that the composers of the slowenian band Metalsteel prefer their art to be pure and to be delivered this way to the listener.

Thus said the songs need to stand stronger than ever to reach the audience and they do with much ideas, variations and sing-along choruses. The last element like all the music stems from the musicians themselves. There are no choirs pushed up to sound big on this record but the backing vocals introduce the message with such emotion that they will adress you instantly and invite to sing along. Think of being at a show and you just can't help but need to add the choir all around you.

The songs span a wide sort of feelings, from softer half-ballads (End of the World) to straight midtempo tracks but most of the duration the double bass power set's the motor for the music and keeps it coming fast. The lead vocals change on some parts to the more rough direction, something warmly welcomed because it brings in a fresh touch.

My favorites are the title song making me imagine being on a journey beyond the stars myselves and the track "Materialist No More" with it's more edgy guitars and hard riffing mixed up with variations ranging from fast to midtempo and even soft parts.

Purchase-Link & Preview-Track
Fans that love the pure but also modern sound will welcome this silver disc the same way I do. Let's have some good feelings and rock out to this straight. The hardcopy in a beautiful digipack package comes around for ten Euros directly out of the band's hands at www.metalsteel.net

Listen to one track with the video below to get a idea of Metalsteel's sound.

Contact and Tour Dates
Make sure to see them live starting end of February 2018 in their homecountry Slowenia. All dates are up on their homepage or tune in to the social world of Facebook to be notified of a show near you.


Who brought paradigm shift to the guitar player world?

As some of you may've read in previous interviews here on the Underdogs page inspiration can be sourced of various things. But paradigm shift? Something that changed things for times to come? That doesn't happen often I think.

Today we have a nice little article preview for you out of the hand's of the Rock Candy magazine talking about this subject. The mag is a print product available online and in many shops worlwide. It is put together by respected UK rock journalists Derek Oliver, Howard Johnson and Malcolm Dome, all frontline writers for the legendary Kerrang! magazine in the golden era.

The cover of the February / March 2018 edition of Rock Candy magazine, (c) by Rock Candy magazine, used with kind permission
It talks about iconic as well as more unknown acts of past and present days (for instance the making of Judas Priest's "Screaming for vengeance" album). You can get your copy from the papermag's homepage and follow them on Facebook.

Read on and find out what Steve Vai say's about paradigm shift in the world of guitar players.

Speaking exclusively about his deep appreciation of Edward Van Halen in the new issue of Rock Candy magazine, Vai told editor Howard Johnson, “There are so many guitar heroes I love, and maybe even prefer over Edward in a sense. But the two guitar players who really created a paradigm shift in my opinion were Jimi Hendrix and Edward Van Halen. Everybody else has contributed wonderfully to the art form. But when you look at scope of their individual contributions and how they became pivotal turning points for guitar playing, those two guys were the most effective.”

In a wide-ranging interview all about the Van Halen legend that forms part of Rock Candy mag’s 14 page VH feature in the current issue, Vai recalls hearing Edward’s playing for the first time when he was a student at Berklee College of Music in Boston in the late ‘70s.

“’You Really Got Me’ came on the radio, with the ‘Eruption’ solo tagged on at the start,” he explained. “We were just all completely stunned.”

In a long and illustrious career, Steve Vai has produced some of the most loved guitar music ever recorded, while also bringing his outstanding combination of flash and technique to some of rock’s greatest acts, including Whitesnake and, of course, David Lee Roth. Between 1985 and 1989 Vai performed a number of Edward’s songs alongside the former Van Halen frontman during the height of Roth’s solo career.

“Playing Van Halen songs is such a hoot,” he told Rock Candy. “Especially when you’ve got David Lee Roth singing them! ‘Panama’ is just great. ‘Unchained’ and ‘Ain’t Talkin’ ‘Bout Love’ too. We’d play a whole lot of Van Halen tunes and they were always wonderful. The parts were constructed perfectly, because Edward has real completeness as a guitar player.”

The full interview can be found in the issue February / March 2018 of Rock Candy magazine. Other bands also featured in this issue are:



We lost track show T-Shirt artwork creation process

Have you ever thought about how difficult and time-consuming it is to draw a T-Shirt design, one of the many that we love to wear everyday? Melodic metal band We lost track have taken up this topic and put together a timelapse video that shows that.

While you can listen to a powerful yet very direct and not too complicated track of the female fronted combo you can spot the creator Timon Kokott drawing the band's T-Shirt design. I never thought this would take so long and require so many detailed work to have a finished product in the end. It's always impressive to see how dedicated creating art is.

Find out more about the band We lost track with a look upon their website or check 'em out on Facebook.


New Model Army announce Nights of 1000 voices

To sing along together to a song is awesome. It gives a special feeling as if you're a part of something bigger that is all around you. This event may hold a lot of those moments.

New Model Army have announced a revolutionary two-night event at the Round Chapel in Hackney, London, April 13th/14th/15th 2018.

You know those moments when a band plays quietly and the whole audience sings the words? Sometimes, these are the most emotional experiences - because singing together is the oldest and most basic form of human art, something primal and truly shared. So we are planning two nights of just this, which, to the best of our knowledge, has never been attempted by any band ever.

We have chosen the Round Chapel in Hackney both for its amazing open acoustics and for the circular layout of the room, which we believe will be perfect for the spirit of the event.

A picture of the Round Chapel in Hackney

These are not concerts as such; this is a community singing event for all those people who love our songs, who love singing and love the feeling of singing together with others. The venue will be fully seated around a small stage constructed in the centre of the room; the whole band will be playing but the arrangements will be deliberately stripped down and very quiet - there will be no big PA system. The nights will be all about the participation and voices of everyone who comes.

While we are open to suggestions, ultimately we will choose the songs that lend themselves best to the idea – strong melodies and slower, easy vocal rhythms will suit best and we will vary these over the two nights. We will issue song-books (included in the price of the ticket) as we understand that people often know particular lines and choruses but usually not all the lyrics; and, of course, we plan to record and film both nights.

If you love singing and love New Model Army songs and love the sense of community that we have created over the years, we hope you’ll join with us from all different corners of the World for these special nights.

Tickets went on sale from the band’s own website at www.newmodelarmy.org (in order to undercut crazy ticket agency fees) on two weeks ago and sold out within an hour.

UPDATE: A further Sunday matinee show on the afternoon of April 15th has now been announced. Tickets here https://shop.newmodelarmy.org/product/nights-of-a-1000-voices-sunday-april-15th-2018/

Here is one of the newer New Model Army tunes to have a idea of what could be:


Album Preview: Cut The Architect's Hand - Thus Always To Tyrants

Some time ago we featured the US thrash 'n' death band Cut The Architect's Hand on our Facebook page. The guys offered a blast of furious thrash anthems on their Bandcamp page so it was a fast decision that they should be presented on there with a post.

In the meantime the combo entered he studio once again to bring on new blasting tracks in the form of the "Thus always to tyrants" album. We had a ear on two of the new tunes and here is what came along.

The cover of the new Cut The Architect's Hand record, (c) by Cut The Architect's Hand, used with kind permission

The whole thing starts out with a typical number called "Tried by war, decided by victory". It's a smasher, direct in your face attack that reaches your ears. The band reminds me of Testament as the San Francisco thrashers were in their Demonic era but with a bit more dirty and rough sound. This should be warmly welcomed by all those looking for a way to let all their agressions out in a positive way to have a redemptive feeling in the end. 

The second one "Surrounded By Ghosts" does it quite different. While being powerful and feeling riff-packed it plays around with tempo variations and throws in unusual bass guitar elements. This comes around a bit more detailed and finer woven and calls for a re-listen. It's sort of progressive thrash at times. I have not heard such structure in a long time and it was a big pleasure to find something like this. It's my favorite of the two preview numbers and makes me curious to hear what the new record will sound like in the end.

The new record is set for release on 23 March 2018. Finally follow the gang further on Facebook to be notified of upcoming shows and more news regarding the release.

Here is a stream of the new thrash tunes:


Looking for Electronic-Drumset

Some of you may already have guessed or know it: I played a instrument back in the day. The drums were my passion and it was much fun. But things changed, I stopped playing and sold my accoustic set years ago .

These days the old spirit grabbed me once again so the itch to start drumming once more is there. This time around only a electronic set can be used as my neighbours would complain a lot otherwise.
I'm on the lookout for a Edum set like this - the Alesis DM lite
Has anybody of you guys out there one for sale? I live in germany so any offer from here would be prefered as it is easier to handle. Since at a beginner level a simple kit at a low price would be great.

Please send me a Email or use the contact form at the top of the navigation bar at the right side (always visible no matter which site of my blog you've called up before).

You can also contact me through the Facebook page of the Heavy Metal Underdogs or leave a comment under this post along with your Email.


CD Review: Sweeping Death - Astoria (Modern Thrash, 2017)

Unusual is the main word that describes this silver round of thrash the best.

Cover: Jeff Carr, (c) by Sweeping Death, used with kind permission
If you think that there are way to many thrash bands out there that sound the same Sweeping Death may give you back fresh hope. While their overall attitude is based on the classic sound it's the experimentation that gives the meat to the bone. I think of the way of the production. It's easier to enjoy their tunes - they are hard produced but not that heavy to enjoy. It's the vocals. They are loud but their are never harsh or rude but always fit to the noise. You may wander around in wonder listening to them the first time. Is this really thrash?

Yes, it is but seen from a different point of view. I like those new attempts on a classic way of the metal music. It's band's like Sweeping Death that dare to go new ways even where tradition may say that it's forbidden to do this. They don't care and go their own way.

You can hear the fun the band spreads round playing tracks like "Devils's Dance" - the compact riffs played fast combined with the punchy drums and vocals shouting it out. You can't help but need to bang your head. It put's a big grin on your face. It's easier feeling all the way and doesn't give this pressed dark feeling but lift's you up from your everyday sorrows.

Purchase-Link & Stream
I think that's something worth your reward giving some coins for the record. You can purchase the album via Bandcamp. A deluxe edition of the record with new coverart and a bonus track is available, too. Best of all have a ear on their offers right here in the stream.

I'm looking forward to see where this band goes next. "Astoria" sounds promising and no one knows what's on the guys mind while typing these lines. Let's hope they'll continue their couragous path.

Finally see the band's website for extended band info and updates such as tourdates.


Lebowskii hand new EP for special price

Just recently Grip Inc. came back to my mind. Having looked through their releases I asked if any band out there would have taken up their path...

Looks like my question has been answered. The preview track of the coming EP of Lebowskii shoots out the same agressive yet very detailed look towards sharp, compact riffage rounded out with some own nice ideas that shine every here and there. The drumming also goes in that direction going a bit abroad the standard pattern every here and there. Thankfully the vocals are rough but not to over screamed.

In addition to that the band has set up a special pre-order price with their label Music Records from France. From January 16th till February 15th, "Liquidators" will be available as a Digipack hardcopy for 4,50 € instead of 7€ on the webstore of Music-Records.

Lebowskii Liquidators promo banner, (c) by Lebowskii, used with kind permission

Lebowskii will be on tour to promote their new EP in 2018 and 2019. Make sure to check their Facebook account for details.


CD Review: Manach Seherath - Timeless Tales (Symphonic Heavy Metal, 2018)

A ancient book long lost has been found again...Symphonic Heavy Metaller's Manach Seherath have put out one hell of a epic debut album. 2018 kicks off heavy!

Having heard their demo back in the day it gave me great feelings because it reminded me of a style in metal music long lost. The use of keyboards was outstanding.

The cover of Manach Seherath's debut album Timeless Tales drawn by Roberto Toderico, (c) by Manach Seherath, used with kind permission

Story Telling
This time around the band has taken all of their strengths and exanded them to the very maximum. The biggest one is the ability to give the listener a narrative experience - you know the way a good story is told. But they underlay the fine lyrics with even more power letting their instruments speak out properly and heavily skilled.

What can be found inside?
The album turned out to be a surprise to me. I didn't expect such a fast album when it comes to tempo. Just listen to the opener "The Cursed Collector" and you know what I'm writing about. The vocals have evolved a lot since the days of the demo. There's much more volume and variations in them and they sound more dry and professional this time. Plus they reach much higher parts. Think of the classic vocalists of the 80s and you know what I'm speaking about.

As for the music: there are many diverse sides to be heard on the record. Also the overall style is constant and can be heard as trademark on all of the tracks they vary and every tale has a own vibe and character with it.

There are always changes coming in and I didn't had the feeling that the album became too one-sided instead there were surprises around every corner. I think that's one of the hardest parts for band's like Manach Seherath - to keep the listener entertained. But the band kept a close eye upon this and "Timeless Tales" has many changes in it that will keep you at the stereo. So many details that have been put inside of tracks such as "Restless" or "Chasing The Beast" that will reward re-listeners with many fine moments. The guitar solos for instance are furious. Many times they give a new ignition to a different section of the song.

The timing is challenging on this silver disc. There are fast parts to be heard many times but you can also find slower parts that come creeping through your boxes. "Asleep" is the song that stands out as proof of this for me. I love band's that use this formula but they are rare. This song package holds this special something I'm after. It's hard to believe how the band managed to get all of this together. It's such a big bag of fun to listen. All the up and down's "Sword in the mist" has gives the feeling of experiencing a adventure of depth and intensity yourselves. Close your eyes and you'll feel.

The tracks of the demo have been included at the end of the record but have been outworked and fully professionallised for the album. They sound bolder, straighter and darker this time. Happily the songs have not been changed otherwise too much.

Booklet with a extra
The lyrics have been visualised on the outside of the release and the design of the booklet. I feel that this could be a unique mark this offering could point on the map of releases. There are illustrations to be found that point towards the meaning of each track on the page of the corresponding lyrics . It is one more reason beside all the great music to pick up this album. It's a full feature experience well worth all your money and time.

Purchase-Link and Preview-Track
Make sure to keep a eye on the Manach Seherath Facebook page. That's where you'll be notified where to buy the record but I'll also update this post as soon as the release details come in. Below I can give you a listen to one full track of the album.

You can already purchase this track as a digital single with more songs and bonus material in high quality format at the Bandcamp page of the symphonic Heavy Metal band.


Jarface found new love after show

Happy new year! Maybe one of your aims for 2018 may be finding your significant other. But how to find a new love? Well, musicians for instance may sometimes have some obstacles to overcome first.

This nice story we got of Australia's post-grunge band Jarface let's you know how things can turn out if you try to find someone you can team up with. :-)

A bandshot of Jarface, (c) by Jarface, used with kind permission
The new single Absolution is a notably positive track tracing the beginning and first meeting of a future couple.

"Absolution was written after meeting my partner on a late night out at a Smith Street bar.
I was there after we'd played a show at another venue and I remember spending most of the night trying to convince her I was actually in a band".

So the meeting not only resulted in finding a new partner but was also cast in stone in form of a new song. "Absolution has this groove that was inspired by the blues tunes that were being played that night."

Find out more about the band and their brand new record "Not They See" with a look and follow-like on Facebook.