Contributor Steven Stolper was on point enjoying the findings at the annual ProgPower USA Festival that takes place in Atlanta, Georgia at the Center Stage Atlanta theater and as already noted in one of the earlier chapters, PiercingMetal has NEVER been to the event despite the occasional interest. Fortunately, Agent Stolper was sending a final transmission to the Metal High Command from the field about this mission. Here now are his transcribed views bout the fourth and final day of ProgPowerUSA XVIII.
ProgPowerUSA XVIII Day 4: 3 days of nonstop music and parties take a toll on the body and the mind, so difficult choices had to be made and some sets were skipped. Pain and Amaranthe namely. All of the Day 4 bands except the opener were from Sweden, a testament to the country’s great contribution to the genre and popular music in general.
Seven Spires (USA):
Australia’s Teramaze was originally scheduled to perform in the opening timeslot, but unfortunately had to cancel a few days before due to health issues. That was upsetting because Teramaze was one of the bands I was looking forward to the most. Their latest album, Her Halo, was a really tasty slab of melodic prog metal. Boston’s SevenSpires answered the call and rushed to Georgia to bring their brand of metal to the masses. Seven Spires play aggressively melodic euro power metal with a female singer named Adrienne Cowan, who does both clean and extreme vocals equally well. Their video single, Cabaret of Dreams, sounded true to its name live, like a metallized groovy cabaret number. Other songs were more traditional, with many pounding harsh voiced numbers. The band had a very energetic stage presence and did a good job whipping the somewhat sleepy audience back into fighting shape.
Continue reading ProgPower USA XVIII Day Four Musings (9/9/2017)
A short while ago a wave of sadness and dread hit Metal fans across the nation and the melancholy only increased as more and more reports about Katatonia returning to the USA for a month-long tour became apparently clear. Well, as clear as tears would let one see at least. The sorrow was palpable at the revelation and when it comes to Katatonia this is a very good thing. A friend once said to me “if listening to Katatonia music makes you happy then you’re doing it wrong” and with that I will share the bands revelations and dates along with a very solemn poster.
The Band Commentary:
We’re excited to announce our ‘Fallen Hearts of North America’ headline tour in March & April 2017.
Guitarist Anders Nyström comments “We did three North American tours in support for ’Dead End Kings’ and it’s been three and a half years since the last one when we toured with Cult Of Luna, so having already embraced the new cycle of ’The Fall Of Hearts’ over here, we are eager to once again cross the Atlantic to continue from where we left off and to reap what we planted over there.”
Vocalist Jonas Renkse introduces the bands they have chosen to join them on the tour “We are very excited to finally announce our headline tour in North America for The Fall of Hearts. Also invited for this run are post-rock titans Caspian and young, promising act Uncured. Come out and celebrate the downfall of hearts (and everything else) with us!”
Continue reading “Let Sorrow Reign”; Katatonia Announces “Fallen Heart Of North America” Tour For 2017
If Lord Seth only knew what he was setting in motion when he began penning the words for “Dance Of December Souls” so very long ago.
So this might shock some of the younger Metal fans out there but today is the 20th Anniversary of the debut album by Katatonia; a crushing, Doom-laden piece of Atmospheric Melancholy that snares you upon your first listen. The band was only three members in the proper lineup at this time with Blackheim (Anders Nystrom) on electric/acoustic guitars, Lord Seth (Jonas Renkse) on drums, percussion and voices, and Israphel Wing (Guillaume Le Huche) on bass. The keyboards were delivered by a session musician Day DiSyraah. Now I will admit that I would not find myself exposed to this band for a very long time and several albums later and I guess one of the primary reasons was based on 1993 being a very different geography for music (especially Metal) here in the United States. Our local region record stores (yes there were still plenty of those at the time) we stocked in full with the Grunge movement stuff and the debut by Radiohead but this kind of Metal was not going to be too easy to chance upon. Remember also that the World Wide Web was still only building as far as the public was concerned so your chance of discovering this kind of music as an early adopter was on the limited side. You would be most successful if you had friends from the country where the band came from who were letting you know about it or by digging deep into a European Metal magazine like Kerrang!!!
Continue reading Katatonia’s “Dance Of December Souls” Still Solemn After All These Years (12/14/93-12/14/13)
Venue: Gramercy Theatre (New York, NY)
Opener: Swallow The Sun, Orphaned Land, Gwynbleidd
Label: Peaceville Records
I started my September concert adventuring with the crushing Melodic Death Metal of Order Of Ennead who played over at Santo’s Party House last week and it was good warm up to the festivities happening over at the Gramercy Theatre this evening. Tonight was the Atmospheric Melodic Doom of Katatonia from Sweden who would be joined by Swallow The Sun care of Finland and this alone would make for an amazing show without any additions. We would of course be getting a lot more for it would be complimented by Orphaned Land and local talent Gwynbleidd. I had to say that I was really looking forward to this show because it had been a long time since half of the players had been enjoyed in concert while the other half were only recently seen by this music scribe and left me totally impressed. The show would be held at the Gramercy Theatre and be sold out for many days by the time it actually would be taking place. I made sure I was inside nice and early because I didn’t want to miss a second of what was going to happen. Here is how it went down.
Continue reading Katatonia @ Gramercy Theatre (9/10/2010)
Title: “The Wacken Carnage”
Label: Peaceville UK
Release Date: 6/2/2008
Genre: Death Metal
It’s not too often that you find the term “super group” applied to the likes of a Death Metal band, but when it comes to this particular lineup for the band Bloodbath is most certainly makes sense. The Swedish Death Metal group delivers the no-holds barred approach to the genre and this rare concert appearance from 2005 is not something we can easily expect to see again based on the daytime gigs of its roster. The supposed “one time only gig” finds Michael Akerfeldt and Martin Axenrot (members of Opeth) handling the vocal and drumming duties, while Anders Nystrom and Jonas Renske (guitar and bass respectively) hail from the Doom Metal band Katatonia. Rounding out the project is Dan Swano (Nightingale/Edge Of Sanity) who not only provides crushing guitar riffs but also additional and very necessary growling. According to research this was the band first ever live performance and supposed to be the only one as well for the band was formed as a studio only side project based on the very busy schedules that its members are involved in on a daily basis and while the future might find this to be a different case altogether I am glad that the cameras were on hand to capture this one. The film finds the guys dressed in bloody tatters as the pummel the audience with a very traditional brand of Swedish Death Metal. The sound while different from the USA brand of the stuff is no less heavier or intense and what made this most interesting for me was that it offered the viewer the chance to see these musicians performing outside of the roles that we know them most from. Seeing Akerfeldt with no guitar for example is one thing, and to find him doing nothing but the gut-wrenching soul tortured growls as opposed to any level of melodic singing is the other. It’s true that while Opeth offers many levels of heaviness across the board there is much more brutal intensity being brought to the table during “Cancer Of The Soul” and “Eaten”. Clearly the bands subject matter is very along the lines of their equally brutal name.
Continue reading “The Wacken Carnage” by Bloodbath