Certainly, Orphaned Land are now Israel’s biggest heavy metal band. When the five-piece released last album ‘The Never Ending Way of ORwarriOR’ in 2010, it seemed like the band were entering an even bigger phase of their careers. If anything, the quintet’s fifth studio album gives us a sense that their popularity could inflate even more in the coming years. Orphaned Land maintain their important message of peace in ‘All Is One’ and convey it with a charismatic multicultural mash-up of beautiful folk instrumentation, concise melodic metal and a grandiose orchestral backing.
Enochian Theory embarked on a number of UK tour dates with The Enid and TesseracT this month. The talented trio are set to release ‘This Aching Isolation’ as a single on May 8th– from last year’s impeccable second album ‘Life…And All It Entails’. The Portsmouth band have been steadily gaining fanbase after the album widely impressed anyone with a penchant for prog, alt rock, metal and ambience in equal share. I interviewed the three-piece before the opening show of their tour with The Enid at The Cluny, Newcastle to find out more on the album’s impact, the band’s influential themes and their diverse demographic.
Things are changing for Chimp Spanner. Three years ago, the one-time home-based project of multi-instrumentalist Paul Ortiz caught Basick Records’ attention and so began a transitory period for the talented musician. After ‘At the Dream’s Edge’ was reissued by the UK-based label, Chimp Spanner gave us another bout of astonishing technical metal with last year’s ‘All Roads Lead Here’ EP before Ortiz took his ambitions from his insular home-based studio to the stage. Last year marked Chimp Spanner’s first step onto US soil. Me and SoundShock’s Jason Hicks interviewed Ortiz in North Wales – the afternoon before his dazzling performance alongside bandmates Boris Le Gal and Jim Hughes at this year’s Hammerfest Festival.
Less than a year ago, Acolyte frontman Malekh spoke to me for an interview on SoundShock’s Breaking The Waves section. Since then, the progressive black metallers have signed to Mordgrimm and are set to release debut album ‘Alta’ (see review here) in May. Certainly, it’s an exciting time for the Manchester band. But that’s not it. Listening to ‘Alta’, it’s clear that 2013 is shaping up to be an exciting year for British metal debuts too. I have a follow-up chat with both guitarist/composer Malekh and frontman JT to find out how life has changed since landing a record deal and completing an astonishing debut album.
Gojira were a rising star in the metal world. Now, the band have surpassed ambitions to simply ‘play metal’ with their environmental themes and unique twist on technical metal gaining global notoriety. The French four-piece drop by Newcastle on a chilly Bonfire Night to kick off their UK tour in support of stunning new album ‘L’Enfant Sauvage’.
Formed earlier this year, Norwegian act Khonsu have made a debut album that dwarfs most other newcomers’ attempts in 2012.
Five-piece Stealing Axion made their first steps into the musical world when they formed in 2009 and crafted a self-released debut EP by the start of 2010. It gained them praise in all corners of the internet; from nit-picking ‘djenty’ forums to technical guitar-loving sites. They must have been doing something right, because by the end of 2011, the progressive metallers were signing to Century Media/InsideOut. Now, after acquiring the production and mastering skills of TesseracT’s Acle Kahney, the Pacific, North West act have a debut full-length on the way and a UK tour to boot. SoundShock caught up with guitarist and vocalist Dan Forbrich to find out more on the budding band.