Opeth Announce UK Tour

Swedish band Opeth have announced a run of UK dates in November, this is in addition to their prior announced Dublin and Belfast shows. Tickets go on sale at 10am on Friday 16th from usual vendors and Livenation. Supporting the band will be Enslaved, also on label Nuclear Blast.

Dates are as follows:

Wed 15th Nov – MANCHESTER O2 Ritz

Thu 16th Nov – GLASGOW Barrowlands

Fri 17th Nov – BELFAST Limelight

Sat 18th Nov – DUBLIN O2 Academy

Sun 19th Nov – NOTTINGHAM Rock City

Tue 21st Nov – BRISTOL O2 Academy

Wed 22nd Nov – BIRMINGHAM O2 Institute

Check out their recent video for Era from their twelfth album Sorceress:

The 2017 Download Festival Preview

Download has come back round once again. It is indeed that time of year again, when the people begin to pray for sunshine and salivate over the once again stacked line up for the Donnington weekend. If you are struggling to find all the bands you should be seeing, that’s understandable, the line up has something for everyone and even some hidden gems as well, that’s why we’re here to help! We’ve got a list of all the bands we are gonna be seeing over the weekend with a few words to help sway your decision. These are in no particular order cause there are quite a lot of bands we wanna go see…

Main Stage 

A Day To Remember 

In the middle of a world tour it’s surprising that A Day To Remember have found time to perform at Download this year. The festival regulars should find a great crowd responding to their strong setlist, if the rest of their tour is anything to go by. A Day To Remember represent the heavier side of pop-punk in a very mixed line up for 2017, and performing on the headline stage should be fantastic exposure for their latest album, which peaked at no.6 in the UK album charts back in September. Supporting them on tour were Moose Blood, who are also performing on Sunday on the Avalanche Stage.

Sabaton

The Swedish power metallers are making a pit stop in the UK for Download, before continuing on to France for Hellfest. Also performing on the headline stage on Friday alongside the likes of Mastodon and System of a Down, it’s great to see such an underrated band do so well in the UK. The group are currently coming off their USA/Canada leg of their world tour, which will end in August with the Sabaton Open Air festival.

 

Northlane

Having silently dropped an absolute belter of an album in Mesmer, Northlane swiftly reminded everyone why they are such an exciting band. Bringing their sound to the main stage this year, it’ll be the perfect litmus test to find out just how capable they are to take that next step towards the bigger stages. Expect huge choruses, oddly timed riffs and a lot of energy.

 

Orange Goblin

Riffs, beers and a lot of smoke is just a few of the key ingredients that make Orange Goblin such a formidable yet hugely enjoyable band. Their stoner metal roots mean that there is always a strong groove present but the pace that Goblin put into their music means its just a cut above the rest. If you like having fun and headbanging till your can’t look up any more then be sure to see Orange Goblin.

Mastodon

Mastodon are a tricky band to pin down. Across their lengthy career the group have been many things; heavy, progressive, intricate, and always impassioned. From the cryptic notes of Crack The Skye through the rock-driven power of Once More Around The Sun to the impressive new album Emperor of Sand, they have more than enough material to drive a whirlwind set. The band are no strangers to Donington Park, and they will be returning to the main stage to deliver their craft to the masses. Those who have seen the band play live before will know there is something for everyone in their performances, from the most dedicated fan to newcomers who will revel in the power of these experienced musicians. Don’t skip on Mastodon.

 

Creeper

The last year or so has seen Creeper move from shock-rock wannabe’s to a sensational crowning jewel of British alternative music. With their self-identified cult following, the band have developed a spellbinding, ephemeral live performance which cannot fail to draw in the listener. Their recent debut album Eternity, In Your Arms saw the Creeper play their largest shows to date and make each stage their home, and Download’s Main Stage promises to be no different. With a powerful concept weaving through their discography, catch Creeper on Saturday to watch a story come to life in an awe-inspiringly powerful way.

Zippo Encore Stage

Baroness

Being one of the most consistent brilliant bands on the circuit today, Baroness bring a beauty to their often monolithically heavy sound, and with their most recent album Purple they were able to prove once again why they’re just utterly fantastic. Expect their set to be deafeningly loud but still not to be missed as the band display their incredible tightness as a band and also their stellar back catalogue.

 

Suicidal Tendencies

The hardcore punk rock legends released their 13th album World Gone Mad last year and are still very much in the swing of touring it. With their trademark energy and attitude coupled with classic tracks like Institutionalized and War Inside My Head it’s likely to go off like stale milk, so don’t miss out.

Kvelertak

Hailing from Norway, Kvelertak fuse together the party attitude of old school rock and roll and fuse with the seething anger and intensity of black metal for a frighteningly potent mixture. Sure to be bringing all the riffs they can muster along with a few owls for good measure, check them out for something a little bit different in your weekend.

 

Suicide Silence

Maybe a controversial one, but despite their huge flop of an album that resulted in massive backlash back in February but you cannot forget that this band is still a ironclad behemoth of the metal world. With a back catalogue as fierce as any of their stable mates, their added fuel from the controversy seen earlier this year could result in an incendiary performance.

 

Clutch

Now it is fair to suggest that ‘bad song’ or ‘poor performance’ are phrases that Clutch are completely unfamiliar with. With their infectious bluesy groove and bloody marvellous song writing, Clutch will inevitably tear the house down and deliver a set of the weekend.

Opeth

Having a history of writing flawlessly brilliant death metal before open their wings and proving to be brimming with melody and intelligent proggy goodness, Opeth are a band that will always be counted on to deliver stunning music. If you are unfamiliar with the Swedish legends, find yourself a copy of Blackwater Park and listen to the perfect marriage of brutality and gentle calm.

 

Anathema

Almost Britain’s answer to Opeth, Anathema went from being a punishingly heavy doom band to opening up to more gorgeous soundscapes that have resulted in a varied and epic back catalogue. If, by the Sunday of the weekend, you are tired and require something soothing, beautiful and played with surgical precision, go listen to anathema and rest your weary eyes.

 

Avalanche Stage

Four Year Strong

Four Year Strong have been touting their easycore style for years now, which means they’ve become damn good at it. The band recently embarked on an extensive tour to celebrate the tenth anniversary of their timeless record Rise or Die Trying. It is quite possibly impossible to avoid having fun with Four Year Strong on the stage. They’re buoyant, energetic and entertaining with some crushing breakdowns. The band’s most recently self-titled album dropped in 2015 boasting huge songs like We All Float Down Here and Go Down In History and the band are just as comfortable with them as they are with the tracks they’ve been playing since they started. Whether you’re familiar or not, rock up to see Four Year Strong blow the crowd away.

Every Time I Die

There isn’t an argument that exists as to why you shouldn’t go watch one of the best hardcore bands on the planet tear the stage a new asshole. Seriously, the moment the Buffalo boys walk on stage that whole tent is erupt into glorious, glorious chaos.

 

Dinosaur Pile-Up

Dinosaur Pile-Up a band that created from the ashes of frontman Matthew Bigland’s former band Mother Vulpine, their named taken from a scene in the 2005 adaptation of King Kong. They have an incredible post-grunge sound with influences such as Smashing Pumpkins, Slayer and The Beach Boys which makes their sound one of a kind. Their third album Eleven Eleven was released in 2015, the title track is filled with heavy riffs and heart felt lyrics. The band are currently on tour in the US supporting  on the first half of their tour before heading back to finish it off in July.

 

Grove Street Families

The Grand Theft Auto-based hardcore act are looking to bring the streets to the big stage! With their main discography being based around strong EP presence, the band have built a strong UK following through the hardcore scene with their boisterous live crowds and with them able to switch up their structure of flows in between songs, whether it be the heavier beatdown style section of Street By Street or the anthemic choruses in Big Smoke And Mirrors, it will showcase something fun and, most importantly, enjoyable about your last day at Download.

Code Orange

Releasing a brutal yet strangely easy to get into album with Forever, the Code Orange kids will be bringing their branded of anxiety inducing hardcore to download. Code Orange are a dominating outfit and their live shows are pretty counter intuitive to dental welfare so watch yourself in the pit.

 

Normandie

Not three months on from supporting Yellowcard on their Final Tour, Normandie are currently still touring through Europe. Dropping in on Download before heading back to the Netherlands, Normandie deserve their slot on the Avalanche Stage on Saturday. The heavy alternative group are hugely talented and hopefully performing at Download will give them the exposure they deserve.

 

The King Blues

The King Blues are an interesting group, a true punk vibe mixed in with the political hatred makes them a popular choice for shows and festivals. With their latest album The Gospel Truth covering subjects like mental health, Brexit and politics – it’s easy to see why they’re doing so well for themselves and why their shows always sell out so quickly. If you fancy getting out some anger or having a sing-a-long then go and check them.

 

Astroid Boys

Astroid Boys bring nothing but a giant party. The Cardiff based grime/hardcore collective mix dirty beats and heavy instrumentals layered with a duo of vocalists. With just finishing a headline tour and heading back out again in the autumn with Enter Shikari, it shows that they bring something for everyone. With a new album bound to be announced soon, you’ll most likely get the chance to see a couple of new songs played!

 

Knuckle Puck

Arguably the best pop-punk band on the planet at the moment, Knuckle Puck write impassioned and clever music for a genre that has been stagnating in creativity for the past few years. Their Copacetic record represented a band that possessed the talent to take the genre to the next level it has been looking for, so be sure to check out the very possible future leaders of an entire genre.

The Dogtooth Stage

Venom prison

If you fancy some death metal fronted by a female, you have to check out Venom Prison. Moving on from the hardcore Wolf Down, Larissa brings her absolute best brutality with Venom Prison and her vocals are second to none. Having just supported Suicide Silence and Deez Nuts on their UK tour, they’ve gained fans all around the country and it’s not hard to see why when you see the energy and passion put into their live shows.

 

IDLES

Punk quintet IDLES will be showing their one of the best punk acts around at Download festival. With their passionately angry lyrics and ferocious guitar riffs these guys are bringing punk back. You thought these guys were angry already, depending on the election results on 8th June these guys may be 1000 times angrier. Their most popular track Well Done encapsulates the distain at the apparent class divide in England at the moment. The video for Well Done seems plain but captures the simplicity of the lyrics perfectly.

Fizzy Blood

On the back of a sold out tour with While She Sleeps, Fizzy Blood will be bringing their Punk Rock ‘n’ Roll to Donnington Park. Fizzy Blood aren’t strangers to festival appearances after performing at an array of England based festivals such as Sound City, Live At Leeds and Tramlines, as well as international renowned festivals such as SXSW and Korea’s Zandari Festa. Fizzy Blood’s latest single Pawn is jam packed full of everything great about this band, catchy lyrics along with head banging guitar riffs. With an incredible 80’s style music video filmed entirely on VHS this is a perfect contrast to this track. Be sure to catch Fizzy Blood at a number of festival’s this summer, including Camden Rocks, 2000 Trees and Tramlines.

 

Holding Absence

One of the fastest rising post hardcore acts of the last decade are starting to make waves in the festival circuit and with the hype already being around two songs released, the Welsh contingent are definitely turning some heads early before the release of any more material. Permanent and Dream Of Me showcases so far everything you need to know about the band and when you finally see them, you will want to know so much more about this five piece.

 

I The Mighty

Giving you some more post hardcore for your second day at the festival, this californian quartet are looking to make more of a presence with a new album on the way as well. Their latest album Connector shows off their musical prowess and technical capabilities with their older material as well emphasising what they’re about. The band are able to change from their elegant melodies within tracks such as The Lying Eyes Of Miss Erray that only helps elevate their songs that give more of a punch with aggression. If you have no other band on your schedule, this is a group that deserve your undivided attention.

 

Opeth – Sorceress

If there’s one thing that’s clear when it comes to Swedish Metal pioneers Opeth, it’s that they are a changeable beast, unwilling to stand still inside of trend or mainstream bandwagons. Since the daring one-two punch of Deliverance and Damnation, with their light and darkness approach, through to 2004’s Ghost Reveries, showcasing a modern, stylized feel, the band have slowly unraveled their sound, spotlighting individual elements and characteristics to great effect. In recent years, the band have relinquished Mikeal Akerfeldt’s death growls in favor of a 70’s prog-influenced song-craft. The new direction received mixed reactions with Opeth purists, and with this in mind comes the band’s twelfth studio album Sorceress.

We are ushered in with the delicate, medieval tones of Persephone, a lilting two minute prelude which finds elegant guitars mixing with spoken word to longing effect. Sorceress then begins with a towering, funky organ riff leading into monolithic heaviness. Its a unique starter and contains enough commercial savvy to please both fans new and old. The Wilde Flowers stomps away, a catchy refrain takes us into a lush guitar-laced midsection, before building back up to melodic anarchy for the finale. Akerfeldt’s clean vocals loom tall and are a defining factor in anything post-Heritage being labelled ‘Prog’. He provides many a highlight though, helping the classic rock tones of Strange Brew and Chrysalis sound fantastically bluesy, the latter charging through its 7 minutes armed with dueling solos of the highest order. Maybe this is not what most would want from an Opeth record, but it proves successful here and a middle finger to anyone faulting the bands new approach.

The band continue deep into prog-land with the twists and turns of Era, showing off driving tempos and massive hooks. Elsewhere the back to back combo of Sorceress 2 and The Seventh Sojourn feel like the soundtrack to a lucid dream. The Jethro Tull-folk of the former showing gentle grace, while the latter harnesses Zepplein-esque orchestration for an exotic, cinematic vibe. Recorded at legendary Rockfield Studios in Wales, the production allows for everything to slide into place smoothly, the album echoing the legendary music that was shaped there.

What Sorceress lacks in progression from previous two records, Heritage and Pale Communion, it more than makes up for in songwriting and class. There is still a contrast, between sprawling epics and fragile folk, as demonstrated on the reflective Willow O The Wisp and previously mentioned The Wilde Flowers. Psychedelic pop elements even creep in with the waltz-piano of A Fleeting Glance, showing that while Opeth may have found a familiar path to tread over the past few albums, that they still have the ability to display inventiveness and charm. Overall, Sorceress is not going to please everyone, but after filling the Royal Albert Hall and with Top 20 albums either side of the Atlantic, one would assume Akerfeldt and crew don’t mind all that much.

VOLA – Inmazes (Re-release)

Progressive music, especially in the metal spectrum, has evolved greatly since classic’s like Moving Pictures. Bands like Dream Theater and Porcupine Tree amped up the sound and led the way for new generations to put their own stamp on what had come before. Today, the genre has absorbed so much, the template has grown, befitting of the very word ‘progressive’ and with debut LP Inmazes, Denmark’s VOLA are here to push that template one step further.

The Same War springs to life with a mammoth riff, setting precedent for the rest of the album. A staccato verse leads the way for a brilliant half-time chorus, reminiscent of Opeth at their most accessible. Accessible is a key word here with the immediacy of Inmazes being vital in keeping the listener’s attention. Second track Stray The Skies certainly does this, harnessing the album’s catchiest riff and orchestral arrangements to give the song a unique atmosphere. The keys of Martin Werner provide layering and memorable melodies to the album, which alongside lush vocals, lend a Depeche Mode quality to the record. Starburn‘s airy intro gives the listener a chance to breathe before the storm arrives again with another huge chorus ending on an elephantine guitar part right out of the Rush playbook.

With Inmazes the band creates an overarching and consistent feel, much like a well directed movie, locking the listener the into the cosmic soundscape of its creator. Asger Mygind’s cryptic lyrics bring depth to the record, his warm vocal tones slotting smoothly atop the polyrhythmic interplay of the rest of the band. The production here from Mygind is crisp and hits big in all the right places, with rhythm section of Felix Ewert (drums) and Nicolai Mogensen (bass) providing a backdrop for colossal guitars and textured electronica. This allows mini-epic’s such as Owls, with its transformative mid section, to dynamically shift in mood and pace without missing a step.

With Emily, the band unveil the heart of Inmazes, bridging the gap between the scintillating guitar/keyboard interplay of Your Mind is a Hopeless Place and the moog-laced romanticism of Gutter Moon. It shows the band at their ambient best, exposing VOLA as something more than just Meshuggah-esque guitars and catchy choruses. Emily’s inventive nature spreads to the rest of the record and helps build to a climactic final few tracks. Feed The Creatures starts with Bjork-like vocals and tranquil synths, before a gloriously 80’s chorus soars over more polyrythmnic riffery. The title-track closes out the album in a remarkable fashion. All Mr Bungle keys and oddball guitars to start, the song twists its way through a hyper-melodic collection of the bands strongest points ; including a wonderfully chorus-heavy guitar solo and canyon-sized vocal lines, fading to a glassy, shimmering close.

With Inmazes, VOLA have achieved something rare. An album that fuses accessible melodies, crushingly deep guitar tone and mesmerizing electronics into an expansive wall of metallic groove-based sound. An album which is immediate but will reward the listener with repeated listens. More importantly, an album that will undoubtedly show its influence in years to come.

Inmazes is out now on Mascot Records. Check VOLA out on Facebook.

Be Prog! My Friend Announces Their First Band – Ulver

Be Prog! My Friend Barcelona’s biggest prog festival and with last years event being headlined by Steven Wilson and Opeth have announced that they will be returning in 2017. The event is set for 30th June – 1st July at Poble Espanyol which is described as being one of the most important tourist destinations in Barcelona.

The venue for the event is also an architectural museum but will be unleashing it’s doors to the sound of some unbelievable Progressive Music by the time June 30th comes around.

The festival have also announced their first band to be performing will be Ulver. Ulver are an Norwegian experimental dark ambient group with such classic albums as their black metal trilogy (Bergtatt – Et eeventyr i 5 capitler (1995), Kveldssanger (1996) and Nattens madrigal (1997)) and material from their new album ATGCLVLSSCAP (2015). 

Tickets are currently available at a reduced price of 75 Euros (£63.17) but will only be available for a limited time only – you can buy tickets HERE.

Be Prog! My Friend is also only 12km away from the nearest airport and regular cheap flights are available from the UK. Bands will also be playing mid/late afternoon each day giving people ample time to tour the surrounding city. Travel details can be available now.

 

Opeth Announce Details For Their Wembley Arena Show

Progressive Metal legends Opeth have announced their plans to perform two sets of music. These include hits from their past catalogue and tracks from the upcoming Sorceress record and a second special set featuring tracks exclusively from Damnation (2003) and Deliverance (2002). 

Opeth have decided to make the decision for the second set following the announcement that the band will be releasing the “Deliverance/Damnation” box sets that was recently re-released as a combo package via the newly revived Music For Nations Label.

Fans can now pre-order the upcoming album Sorceress which is due for release September 30th.

Opeth will play Wembley Arena on 19th November, tickets are available for the show, – here.

 

 

Vola Announces Tour With Katatonia And Unleashes New Video

Vola have announced that they will support Katatonia on the bands upcoming September – November European Tour including several stops in the UK. The band will also be supporting Agent Fresco as part of the upcoming bill.

The band have also released an animated video for their track Gutter Moon this will be taken from the bands upcoming album Inmazes due for release on 16th September 2016 via Mascot Records. The band have been described as being progressive combining elements of bands like Opeth and Devin Townsend with Steven Wilson. The track can be viewed below.

Opeth Release New Video

Opeth have released their new video for Sorceress which is taken from their upcoming 12th album Sorceress  due for release on 30th September via the bands own imprint label Moderbolaget Records via Nuclear Blast.

A variety of formats will be released including; CD, 2 CD Digipack, 2LP Vinyl (in various colours at 180 gram) and a Deluxe Edition Wooden Box Set.

Digital pre orders will also be available via iTunes, Amazon and Google Play.

Opeth will play Wembley Arena on 19th November tickets are available – here 

Packages available include:

Standard CD:
1. Persephone
2. Sorceress
3. The Wilde Flowers
4. Will O The Wisp
5. Chrysalis
6. Sorceress 2
7. The Seventh Sojourn
8. Strange Brew
9. A Fleeting Glance
10. Era
11. Persephone (Slight Return)
2CD Digipak:
CD 1
1. Persephone
2. Sorceress
3. The Wilde Flowers
4. Will O The Wisp
5. Chrysalis
6. Sorceress 2
7. The Seventh Sojourn
8. Strange Brew
9. A Fleeting Glance
10. Era
11. Persephone (Slight Return)

CD2 (bonus)
1. The Ward

2. Spring MCMLXXIV
3. Cusp Of Eternity (live)
4. The Drapery Falls (live)
5. Voice Of Treason (live)

2 x LP vinyl (180 gram, various colours):
Side A
1. Persephone
2. Sorceress
3. The Wilde Flowers
4. Will O The Wisp
Side B
5. Chrysalis
6. Sorceress 2
7. The Seventh Sojourn
Side C
8. Strange Brew
9. A Fleeting Glance
10. Era
11. Persephone (Slight Return)
Side D
12. The Ward (Bonus Track)
13. Spring MCMLXXIV (Bonus Track)

Deluxe Wooden Box Set:
* Sorceress red & beige colored 2LP / 180g
* Sorceress 2CD digipak w/ bonus tracks
* Sorceress 5.1 mix DVD in slip sleeve
* Peacock quill (pen style)
* Notepad
* 12“ poster of cover artwork
* Lenticular
* Pin of artwork
* 12“ signed photocard w/ Opeth promo photo
* Hand number 0001 – 20000 box. /short: numbered certificate
* Parchment paper with Opeth logo watermark

Retail Box Set (Europe Only):
* Sorceress rosewood colored 2LP / 180g
* Sorceress 2CD digipak w/ bonus tracks
* Sorceress 5.1 mix DVD in slip sleeve
* 12“ poster of cover artwork.
* 12“ photocard w/ Opeth promo photo
* Parchment paper with Opeth logo watermark

For more information visit Opeth’s website here –