Movie Review – Wacken 3D – Louder Than Hell (2014)

Experience the biggest metal festival in the world, in 3D, and louder than hell.

Rating4

Wacken 3DIt’s undeniable that Wacken Open Air is the biggest, most exciting and most badass Heavy Metal festival in the entire world. For instance, it only takes couple of days after the festival is over for the next year’s edition to be sold out. If you’ve already had the indescribable pleasure of attending this 4-day monstrous gathering in your life (and I’m pretty sure that if the answer is “yes” you’ve already repeated that metallic ritual many times through the years) you have the chance to go back in time and feel that energy again by watching the awesome documentary entitled WACKEN 3D – LOUDER THAN HELL. And if you’ve never been to Wacken, this is your chance to take a special journey to the heart of the festival, with the 3D screening making you feel like you’re right there with over 75,000 metalheads from all over the world celebrating life and heavy music.

Filmed with 18 stereoscopic 3D cameras during the 2013 edition of the festival, this excellent documentary by award-winning director Norbert Heitker will show you exactly what happens once a year to a calm farming village in the middle of a Northern German countryside, when it becomes the centre of the universe for all things metal. You’ll be able to see in details what it is to camp at Wacken, the daily routine of fans and bands, what musicians think of the festival, and even go crowd-surfing and mud-diving with the more lunatic fans. Not only that, you’ll also have a good time watching some electrifying performances by metal giants such as Deep Purple, Anthrax, Motörhead, Rammstein, Alice Cooper, Lamb Of God, and many more.

12_WackenIn my opinion, as a huge supporter of the underground of heavy music, the best part of the entire documentary is when they focus on some of the national winners of the already famous Wacken Metal Battle, showing what it is to be an up-and-coming band playing at the most important metal festival on earth. There are awesome bands from Uruguay, Romania, Canada and so on showcasing their music to thousands of fans, but my favorite one in terms of creativity and feeling were the Chinese Metal Battle winners Nine Treasures. All members of the band are from Inner Mongolia, with all lyrics being sung in Mongolian, which is beyond incredible. You have to watch it to understand what I’m talking about, and if one day those guys read this review, I would like to ask them to kindly send us their material for review. It would be a huge pleasure for us at The Headbanging Moose to do that.

06_WackenIn case you live in Canada and do not have any plans for tonight (well, even if you do have plans you should definitely cancel them), there will be a special WACKEN 3D – LOUDER THAN HELL “One Night Only Across Canada” event today, October 29 at 7:30pm at several Cineplex theaters. You can check more details at the official Facebook event, see where the movie will be playing by clicking HERE, and also grab your tickets at the official Cineplex website. In addition, following the Cineplex Yonge-Dundas screening in Toronto, Steve “Lips” Kudlow and Robb Reiner of Anvil will be in attendance for a Q&A, and if you cannot make it today but you live near Ottawa the movie will also be playing soon at the Mayfair Theatre, located at 1074 Bank Street, Ottawa, Ontario.

Best moments of the movie: The unique moments of glory provided by the Wacken Metal Battle bands from different countries, the iconic Rammstein playing Du Hast with thousands of fans screaming the lyrics together with the band and, of course, all the classy mud scenes.

Worst moments of the movie: The fact that there were no subtitles when a fan or a band spoke in a language different than English, especially when it was in German. At least the version I saw had no subtitles. Oh, and unfortunately there were no interviews with Lemmy.

Released in 2014 Jumpseat 3Dplus/Wüste Film

Bands and artists featured in the documentary
Rammstein
Alice Cooper
Deep Purple
Motörhead
Henry Rollins
Trivium
Ragnarok
Lamb Of God
Annihilator
Anthrax
…and many more!

Collectibles Review – Iron Maiden Clothed 8” Action Figures

This time, Eddie decided to dress up for the party.

Rating1

Maiden-figuresAlthough the new Iron Maiden Clothed 8” Action Figures by NECA (National Entertainment Collectibles Association) were launched in 2014 and the official NECA website states those are now discontinued, I believe they’re worth a review anyway so awesome they are. There are only two versions available, The Trooper and The Mummy, each with their own unique characteristics and accessories and, more important than that, as the description says they’re both clothed, becoming some sort of tribute to the traditional action figures from the 70’s featuring cloth costumes.

650x-14903_Trooper_8inch_Doll

Iron Maiden – 8″ Clothed Action Figure – The Trooper

The first of the two action figures to be launched was The Trooper, back in July 2014, featuring a tattered Union Jack flag and saber accessories. This Eddie is so cool and so well-crafted you will feel like one of those collectors who refuse to take the action figure out of its original box to avoid any type of damage to it. There are other versions of “The Trooper” Eddie available in the market, like the head knocker bobble head, but the fact Eddie now comes with actual clothes turns it into a must-have item for your personal collection of Eddies. This action figure might be discontinued on the official NECA website, but that doesn’t mean you cannot find it on other websites such as Amazon, or even at some physical toy/games stores.

Iron Maiden – 8″ Clothed Action Figure – The Mummy

Iron Maiden – 8″ Clothed Action Figure – The Mummy

It might have taken a few extra months for The Mummy to be released (it was launched only in September 2014), but it was totally worth the wait. Pretty much the same that was said about The Trooper is applied to The Mummy, with the additional fact that it was launched in conjunction with the 30th anniversary of Iron Maiden’s unparalleled masterpiece Powerslave,  and of course its corresponding World Slavery Tour 1984-1985. This version of the action figure is just as superb as The Trooper, featuring chains that can be connected to Eddie’s mouth, as well as an alternate head that reveals more of his face. Its clothes are so detailed I wonder if each unit produced wasn’t manually sewn and assembled. Moreover, just like The Trooper, you can find The Mummy at Amazon and maybe at other physical stores in your city.

In short, there’s no reason for you not to buy both The Trooper and The Mummy. I cannot tell which one is my favorite, as both are incredible and look really awesome among my other action figures and bobble heads. And besides, you’ll spend only between 45 and 75 US Dollars with each one, which is not a huge investment if you think of how valuable those items will be in a couple of years. Our good friend Eddie decided to really dress up for the party this time, so do not disappoint him and send him an “invitation” to join you at your own Heavy Metal celebration at your place.

Accessories Review – Iron Maiden 2015 Calendar

If you don’t have the new Iron Maiden calendar embellishing your wall and your house yet, run to the hills!

Rating6

00_Iron Maiden Calendar 2015As another year comes to an end, it’s time to get ready for 2015 in style with the brand new Iron Maiden 2015 Calendar, by Heavy Metal titans Iron Maiden. Do not even think about purchasing one of those mellow calendar full of puppies, or that one with boring flowers from who knows where. You don’t want to let “Uncle Eddie” down with that meaningless sensitive attitude not suitable for a true Maidenmaniac, do you?

Once again published by Danilo Promotions Limited, the material, dimensions (42.3 x 29.7 x 1 cm) and weight (322 g) are very similar to all previous editions, but I’m pretty sure you don’t care that much about those minor details, right? What you really want to know is: which Eddies and/or images were selected to make all your months in 2015 a lot more beastly and fun?

First of all, the layout is a slightly different from the superb 2014 edition of the calendar, with Iron Maiden “abandoning” their traditional typography for a more generic style. Although I understand they wanted to freshen up the final product with this move, I believe all Maidenmaniacs around the world will be a little disappointed with that. I mean, this was one of the most unique characteristics of their calendar, so why changing it to something so bland?

In regards to the images chosen for each month, Iron Maiden applied the same idea as for their 2013 edition, which means they mixed some Eddies from their event T-shirts with live pictures taken during their terrific Maiden England Tour 2014. I don’t know if their plan is to do the same stuff every two years, intercalating a calendar with only event T-shirts/images with a calendar with a mix of images and pictures of the band, but for me the ones without those live shots are a lot more interesting. Besides, they can always add their live photos as an extra smaller item to each month if they want to, which is something they already did in the past.

From the 12 months of 2015, my favorite ones are by far July and September, which represent their event T-shirts from their 2014 Nordic events and their epic performances at Hellfest and Main Square Festival in France, respectively. From their live shots, I would say March, April and October are the best ones.

One suggestion I would make to the band regarding the content of the calendar would be very easy to do and something awesome for all their fans: why not adding a simple note (it can be just a couple of words) to the days where Maiden has a song about? For instance, the song The Longest Day is about the D-Day, the Allied invasion of France during World War II that commenced on June 6, 1944, so there could be something like “D-DAY (The Longest Day)” on June 6, as straightforward as that. Or maybe October 25 for The Trooper, July 31 for Paschendale, and so on.

In summary, despite not being a boring calendar, it’s not brilliant either. It’s still worth the investment, especially because it’s cheap compared to many other calendar types available in the market, but it could have been a lot better and not just one more calendar. You can purchase it at the Iron Maiden official  webshop, at Amazon, and many other online or physical stores. If you don’t have it hanging on your wall yet, what are you waiting for to run to the closest store or buy it online? The Iron Maiden 2015 Calendar is gonna get ya, no matter how far. As long as it’s before 2015 actually starts, of course.

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Website Review – Metal Moose Radio

An awesome 2-hour 100% indie show based in Oklahoma City featuring all types of heavy music from all around the world.

Rating1

Metal Moose Radio“Of all the wonders of nature, a tree in summer is perhaps the most remarkable; with the possible exception of a moose singing ‘Embraceable You’ in spats.” – Woody Allen

Those beautiful and inspiring words by one of the craziest and most amazing filmmakers of all time are perfect for introducing to you the Metal Moose Radio, a radio show/website based in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, United States, dedicated to playing and supporting underground and/or unsigned musicians, venues and management companies.

Before anyone asks, the Metal Moose Radio has absolutely nothing to do with The Headbanging Moose, except for our love for heavy music and support for independent bands. It’s just an “amoosing” coincidence! Founded and managed by Moose Jaques, this radio station airs every week The Metal Moose Show, a 2-hour indie show that features all genres and subgenres of Heavy Metal from bands and artists from different parts of the world, from the most obscure Black Metal to 100% mellow Hard Rock.

Metal Moose Radio_Moosefest01

Moosefest Oklahoma City

Here are the main links where you can listen to the show, get in contact with the radio station and check the bands featured on each episode:

Facebook
Twitter
YouTube
Tumblr
Spreaker

After taking a listen at some of its most recent episodes, I have to admit The Metal Moose Show can be really mind-blowing for regular people who are not familiar with the independent music scene, and also a total delight for metalheads who are always avid for new stuff. There are so many awesome bands on the show that do not make it to the biggest Rock N’ Roll radio stations for obvious reasons, such as payola (and therefore not being “listed” in their top 40 mainstream), that it’s pretty hard to select a few as an example of how diverse, unique and entertaining The Metal Moose Show can be.

Anyway, here are some interesting bands and songs recently aired on The Moose Metal Show you probably don’t know anything about:

Cadaveria – Flowers In Fire
Zombie Death Stench – Darkstar Creation
Jennasyde And The Watchers – My Poison
Mortuary Science – Harvesting Putrefaction
Gathering After Ashes – Subconscious
Kissing In Graveyards – Little Psycho

Metal Moose Radio_Moosefest02

Moosefest Tulsa

Furthermore, if you have a band (and a functioning brain) and would like to see it on the show together with the ones listed above and many more, here are the very quick and easy steps you MUST follow in order to have your music played at The Metal Moose Show:

1. Send music in mp3 format
2. Include a bio
3. Must give written permission to air your music on The Metal Moose Show

Send all of these requirements to mooseriffworks@gmail.com

And last but not least, the Metal Moose Radio is currently organizing two festivals called MOOSEFEST, one in Oklahoma City and one in Tulsa, with lots of cool bands for a very decent price. These are excellent chances to show your support for the indie scene while enjoying some good heavy music. Just do not expect to listen to any moose singing an old popular song in spats, of course.

And as a taste of what The Metal Moose Show can offer for you, here’s the full September 9, 2014 episode. Grab a beer (or a Cheetos) and get ready to bang your fuckin’ head!

Attraction Review – Arnold Schwarzenegger Museum (Thal bei Graz, Austria)

You want to know what is best in life? To crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and to visit the Arnold Schwarzenegger Museum in Austria!

Rating1

Arnies_Life_ThalIf you’re a fan of Heavy Metal, you’re probably a fan of the one and only Mr. Arnold Schwarzenegger too. Also known as the Austrian Oak, the Styrian Oak, The Governator or simply Arnie, he is unquestionably the greatest action movie actor of all time, the most successful bodybuilder in history and, of course, a hero for millions of people all over the world. Movies like The Terminator (I, II and III), Predator, Last Action Hero, Conan the Barbarian, The Expendables II, among others, are either an inspiration for many heavy music bands such as Austrian Death Machine, with awesome songs like Get To The Choppa and I Need Your Clothes, Your Boots, and Your Motorcycle, or their soundtracks are full of powerful Heavy Metal/Hard Rock tunes like AC/DC’s Big Gun, Megadeth’s Angry Again and, of course, one of Guns N’ Roses’ greatest hits, the awesome You Could Be Mine. Who doesn’t love when Arnold stares at Axl Rose, grins and walks off in the official video for this song?

IMG_2667

“I’m a cybernetic organism. Living tissue over a metal endoskeleton.”

That’s why the third (and last) installment of my recent trip to Europe will be dedicated to reviewing one of the coolest museums in the world, and by far my favorite one of all: the Arnold Schwarzenegger Museum (or Arnie’s Life) in Thal bei Graz is not just a regular museum with some of Arnold’s old stuff and memorabilia, but a place where you can live his life and truly breathe all his accomplishments as a Hollywood star, his work as a the Governor of California and his exceptional achievements in bodybuilding. And the location of the museum was not chosen in vain, as it’s the actual house where Arnold grew up and spent a great part of his life, including his childhood and adolescence, and where he started his path to glory in the world of bodybuilding. Moreover, the overall quality of this amazing collection of documents, awards, props and everything else you can imagine about his bodybuilding, acting, political and personal life is enhanced by all the beauty and peace of the sorroundings of Thal. Arnold himself said many times how all the nature and peace in Thal inspired him to be a protector of the environment, especially during his years as “The Governator”.

In regards to the museum itself, I would say the top must-see items available are everything related to his role as the T-800 terminator, including his totally awesome Harley-Davidson from Terminator II, all his bodybuilding equipment (which by the way are all original from when he started working out), and many documents and other items related to his years as a politician. In addition, things like the sword used by the mighty Conan, the jacket and gun used by Sheriff Ray Owens and the costume used by Mr. Freeze make the whole experience even more fun, and of course, the Arnold statue at the entrance of the museum, just outside the front door, is truly inspirational for anyone, even if you have never been a fan of Arnie.

DSC05464

“Conan, what is best in life?”

Finally, although many people say the museum is located in the city of Graz, it’s not that easy to get there from the city centre, especially walking. Arnie’s Life is actually located in the city of Thal, which is about 20 minutes from downtown Graz if you’re driving. I went there by car and used my GPS, typing in the museum’s postal code (8051) instead of the city name as it wasn’t finding Thal in the list of cities, and that worked perfectly. However, if you’re backpacking and travelling by train or bus only, there are some options available by public transportation from Graz which you can see HERE.

DSC05456

“The best activities for your health are pumping and humping.”

To sum up, instead of “getting to the choppa”, get to Arnie’s Life and enjoy all your moments there: it’s such a pleasant and entertaining environment you won’t even notice time quickly passing by. In a world where pretty much all blockbuster movies are pure garbage and the actors and actresses have zero charisma, it’s good to “go back in time” and admire the history of a man that has always helped change the world for better, no matter what he does. I just loved the museum, and when I left it the only sentence I could think of was, of course, I’LL BE BACK!

Opening hours
Monday to Sunday, 10 am to 5 pm (last entrance: 4:30 pm)

From June 1, 2014 on: every Saturday and Sunday guided tours through the museum (start: 11 am, 3 pm)

Admission charge
Adults: € 6,50
Concessions*: € 5,00
Children from 5 to 14 years / school groups: € 3,00
Regular guided tour: € 10,00 (unique for a group)
Audioguide (German or English): € 2,00

* Valid for groups of 10 or over, children up to age 15, teens, students up to age 27, senior citizens over 65 or on presentation of a valid pensioners´ ID, challenged people, military and community service conscripts, unemployed persons.

Contact info & location
Arnold Schwarzenegger Museum
Linakstraße 9
A – 8051 Thal, Austria
+43 (0) 316 571 947
http://www.arnieslife.com/

 

Beverage Review – AC/DC Premium Lager Beer

Australian Hard Rock icons are back in “beer”, although not as good as expected.

Rating7

IMG_1641For the sake of heavy music, Australian Hard Rock gods AC/DC are not going to retire as many websites and newspapers like the National Post and Billboard said a few weeks ago. Those were only false rumors promptly denied by the band itself, which means we can keep enjoying AC/DC’s unparalleled music legacy without worrying (at least for now) about the band breaking up. However, just as many other huge heavy music icons in the world, such as Iron Maiden, Motörhead, KISS, among others, Angus Young & Co. are investing in other sources of income or alternatives for the gigantic tumble all physical album sales and even part of digital sales have been suffering in the past decade due to illegal downloads.

Thus, one of the most explored markets by all of those bands, including AC/DC, is the alcoholic beverage industry, and among the AC/DC beverages we have the AC/DC Premium Lager Beer. The band’s motto for their beer is “Australian Rock meets German beer”, and according to their website, “If you wanna rock hard, you need the right beer. AC/DC, the infamous Hardrock Legends from down under, have been delivering true rock for the last 40 years. Now they give their name for true pint-sized Australian taste as well.” In addition, the information AC/DC provides about their beer is that “AC/DC Premium Lager Beer is 568mL of true German Premium Lager with mouthwatering 5.0% alc. This lager fires up your tongue like TNT, comes with a great beer-loving taste and is brewed in accordance with the Rock`n Roll manifesto of 1973 and the German purity law of 1516.”

The only problem is that, besides those powerful words and the beauty of the can, nothing else really stands out when you actually taste the beer. It’s just an average golden color beer with a tiny white head that doesn’t last for too long, and a not very exciting malt taste with hints of grassy hops. The aroma of corn and grains is not bad, but it’s not as good as many other lagers in the market, and also the beer tends to become too watery after a while if you don’t drink it fast. I know this happens with many other beers, but believe me, with the AC/DC one this “process” is extremely fast, and if you are a head lover you’ll probably hate this beer.

One thing that really bothered me after drinking the AC/DC beer was the unpleasant bitterness in the aftertaste. I enjoy drinking all types of beer, including some very bitter ones once in a while, but if the beer leaves that strong bitter taste after you’re done with it, then it’s an issue for me. I’m not sure why they called a beer that leaves such an unpleasant taste in your mouth a “German premium lager”, because I’ve never tasted a premium beer with that negative characteristic. And that’s what will probably disappoint all AC/DC diehard fans the most: the fact that a beer that’s being sold as “Australian Rock” with “German beer” feels more like a rip-off marketing strategy than something natural and honest. How can it be German if it’s brewed in France? I’m far from being a beer connoiseur, but that disparity between countries doesn’t make much sense to me.

IMG_1644Anyway, if you’re still interested in trying it, the AC/DC beer is available in Austria, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Germany, Luxembourg, Romania, Russia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and probably in some other countries not listed, like Australia, Italy and France. By the way, why is it not listed as available in their home country (Australia) and in the country of production (France)? There’s either something missing from their official website, or their distribution strategy is one of the weirdest and most incomplete things I’ve ever seen in my entire life.

You can go to their “Dealer” section on the official website and search for a dealer where you can buy some AC/DC beer, and if you live in Canada it’s available at The Beer Store, just browse by location to find the nearest store to where you live, and you can also check the list of all other beers available in each store.

To sum up, although we’re talking about one of the biggest Rock N’ Roll bands in the history of mankind, their beer is just average and worth just a single try, nothing more than that. If I were you, as a Heavy Metal fan, I would go for a Trooper Beer, which is a lot more tasty and well-crafted than the AC/DC one, and the price is not that much higher. Unfortunately, the AC/DC Premium Lager will not shake you all night long. At least not in a good way.

Beer details
Category: Imported
Attributes: Light
Type: Lager
Country: France
Brewer: Brasserie Licorne Sas
Alcohol Content (ABV): 5.0%
Price: CAD$ 2.25 (1 × Can 500 ml)

Album Review – Syndrome / Colourful Cows EP (2013)

An interesting and totally experimental alternative outside the world of Heavy Metal.

Rating5

Colourful CowsWhenever you want to have a “break” from all the intensity of Heavy Metal (if that’s humanly possible), an interesting alternative is the EP Colourful Cows, launched in 2013 by Israeli/English Electro-Rock Alternative band Syndrome. Formed in 2010 and based in Israel and London, UK, this independent band adds a lot of different elements and experimental techniques to their regular instruments, generating a unique sonority that will certainly please fans of alternative music.

According to the band, the EP tells the first part of a story about the “Colourful Cows”, a metaphor to our life and society, and their music is totally designed based on virtual and real instruments mixed together, live sampling, programmed synthesizing and new live performance methods. All this “technical” explanation might not make a lot of sense for anyone who’s not connected to this world of electronic/experimental music. However, after listening to the entire EP, you’ll be able to better understand their proposal.

The first track of the EP, Exhibition Trial, works as a welcome card to what the band can offer us: it’s a very experimental song, with heavy keyboards and some moments that make me feel I’m inside a “psycho circus”. It’s a good start that will make you want to listen more of Syndrome’s music. The following song, Change, is a song full of special electronic effects and samples that also has an interesting intro with a female voice saying we have to shoot “them” in the head in order to kill them. Are they referring to zombies, or maybe to real living human beings as per the original idea of the album? Even being a huge fan of zombies, I choose the second option without a shadow of a doubt.

SyndromeThen come Open The Gate, a ballad with several elements that remind me of what artists like David Bowie usually present in their compositions, and L.Q.C, a more Rock N’ Roll and by far the heaviest song in Colourful Cows, which nice solos mixed with strong synths and drumming made it my favorite of all.

Colourful Cows has three more tracks that are completely different from one another: Exhibition Trial II is an instrumental ballad based on a calm and smooth piano; Get My Words is another crazy music voyage, full of synths and with a curious synthesized guitar solo; and the outro Colourful Cows is totally experimental and as odd as it can be.

The music in Colourful Cows is so “weird” that I didn’t know where to add this review, if in the 2013 New Releases or in the 2014 New Releases. Well, guess what? Neither category was selected, first because the EP was released back in August 2013 (a long, long time ago), and second because it’s not Heavy Metal at all, so it couldn’t be added to any of those categories anyway. That’s why it ended up here in the middle of the Other Reviews, which might sound weird, but remember that’s what Syndrome are and enjoy doing after all.

Last but not least, if you’re a musician interested in knowing more about how Syndrome creates their music, go to their technical webpage called Insight, which displays video clips demonstrating their technology and methods.

Best moments of the album: Exhibition Trial, Change and L.Q.C.

Worst moments of the album: Open the Gate.

Released in 2013 Independent

Track listing
1. Exhibition Trial 3:29
2. Change 3:09
3. Open The Gate 3:12
4. L.Q.C 4:18
5. Exhibition Trial II 3:00
6. Get My Words 3:59
7. Colourful Cows 1:23

Band members
Eric Shlomi – vocals
Amo – guitar & synth
Kiki Kalifa – guitar
Shaltiel Elul – synth & conductor
Gil Zissu – bass guitar
Dima Shchukin – soundman

Website Review – Metal Travel Guide

Worldwide Rock and Heavy Metal Location Guide.

Rating4

mtgIf you’re visiting a different city, province or country for the holidays, or if you’re already booking all your flights, trains and hotels for your vacations next summer, you might want to add to your trip some good Heavy Metal, right? Why not having a beer or two (or three, or four…) at a Metal pub, maybe watching a cover band or an original new band playing, instead of going to the same boring restaurants and pubs everyone goes during holidays?

An excellent source of information in terms of pubs, venues and some festivals is the Metal Travel Guide, a pretty straight forward website that lists many different Rock and Metal locations all around the world, divided by continents, countries and cities, and where users can review the locations and rate them on a scale from 0 to 5 (similar to what I use in my reviews). This is what they have on their homepage explaining what MTG is:

“The Metal Travel Guide (MTG) is the internets largest and longest running worldwide directory of places for rock music and heavy metal music fans.

MTG is a continuously growing database of bars, venues, clubs, events & shops from across the globe, added and reviewed by people like you!”

mtg01By reading the reviews you can have a good idea of the places, if they’re still open, the prices, type of music etc. For example, take a look at the MTG page for the rock pub called ROCK & NUBBE, located in Lisbon, Portugal: it has its full address, opening hours, phone number, Facebook page, and a couple of reviews saying it’s a nice option for any day of the week. Some locations even have a picture to make it easier for travelers to identify them as soon as they get there.

Of course I haven’t been to most of the locations listed on MTG. however, I can talk about the ones located in São Paulo, Brazil as I used to live there and have a beer at all those places at least once a month, like Blackmore Rock Bar and Manifesto Bar, where by the way I saw Blaze Bayley playing live twice. Those two pubs are awesome for Friday and Saturday nights, always with a good selection of tribute bands from a variety of Metal giants such as Iron Maiden, Metallica, Black Sabbath, Pantera, Slayer, Judas Priest, Nightwish, among others. Another place I would recommend from the list is Galeria do Rock, a huge Rock and Metal shopping mall located in the heart of the city, offering all kinds of Metal stuff and memorabilia. The only issue with this one is that the neighborhood is extremely dangerous, but if you go with some friends during daylight that’s fine.

mtg02The page for the Canadian pubs and venues unfortunately doesn’t seem to be updated regularly, with very few options and almost no reviews, especially in Toronto (Montreal is a little better, with a lot more places and reviews added). What a shame for such a big and beautiful country, where Rock and Metal have always been part of its history. Without any doubt, the best selection of Rock and Metal pubs can be found in the page dedicated to Europe, of course. It’s an almost perfect source for metalheads that are backpacking around the Old Continent during the summer.

You can also visit their Facebook Page, where there are lots of headbangers from all continents discussing about good Rock N’ Roll and Heavy Metal pubs and parties to go when you’re visiting a different city or country, and also keep updated with new additions to the website by following their official Twitter.

In summary, I recommend you take a look at all options from MTG before packing your bags. Because travelling can be awesome, but travelling with Heavy Metal is a true celebration of awesomeness.

Accessories Review – Iron Maiden 2014 Calendar

Don’t remember what day is today? Iron Maiden can help you.

Rating2

Iron Maiden calendar 2014_frontNext year will be my third consecutive year  using the Iron Maiden official calendar. I know that new technologies are pretty cool and that we don’t need almost all types of paper stuff anymore, especially with all the apps we have in our smartphones, but nothing beats an awesome calendar like this one from Iron Maiden. Moreover, as I had two previous versions of it, I guess I have enough “expertise” to review the 2014 one.

First of all, the 2012 calendar was terrific and by far my favorite one, mainly because it was all designed based on the event T-shirts from The Final Frontier World Tour. Each month represented a different country, region or event, providing us some kind of “journey around the world in 12 months”, making the final result really above and beyond. Then came the 2013 calendar (which I’m still using, of course), but this time it was not that good, albeit containing some nice images from event T-shirts mixed with pictures of the band playing live during the Maiden England North American Tour 2012.

Now with the 2014 calendar Iron Maiden go back to almost the same concept as for 2012, with each month representing an event T-shirt from their Maiden England Tour 2013, except for the month of May which is dedicated to their Trooper Beer. I enjoyed a lot the new calendar focusing again on Eddie, especially the months of February (Scandinavia), July (USA) and December (Brazil), and the fact that they left the live pictures as a secondary part of the whole product.

Published by Danilo Promotions Limited, the quality of the material used in the calendar is extremely good and resistant to falls (mine fell off the wall a couple of times and they’re all good) and even to water. Regarding the size, it’s about the same as any regular calendar (42.4 x 29.8 x 1 cm), and its weight is only 299 g.

You can find the 2014 calendar at the Iron Maiden official webshop, at Amazon.ca or at any regular store in your city for about 15 Canadian dollars. I bought mine at one of the Calendar Club stores at the Toronto Eaton Centre, and the cost was about two dollars more expensive than online. However, remember there’s still the shipping to be added to the final price if you decide to buy it online on Iron Maiden’s US Official Merchandise or on their UK Official Shop.

Anyway, the calendar is worth every penny, and it’s a very nice way to remember all those important international dates, all UK, US and Canada holidays, as well as the birthday of each band member. In my opinion, it’s an excellent Christmas gift for that Maidenmaniac friend you have at school or work, and even for your brother if he behaves himself and promises not to touch your Heavy Metal LP or CD collection again without your permission.

Not only that, you can use your calendar for one of those famous “calendar countdowns” we see in so many movies and TV series for a very special day in your life. How about using it for a countdown to that Maiden England Tour 2014 concert in Europe you’re attending during your summer vacation, for Wacken Open Air, Bloodstock Open Air, Summer Breeze, Tuska Open Air, Heavy MTL or any other crazy Heavy Metal festivals all over the world?

Oh yeah, you can use it as a reminder for your spouse or partner’s birthday too. Just please be careful not to “hurt” Eddie’s feelings by adding “things” like flowers and glitter to your calendar.

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App Review – Heavy Metal Encyclopedia

Excellent app if you are searching for more information about a specific Heavy Metal band, album or genre, or even browsing for something completely new.

Rating3

unnamedAs I’ve already mentioned a couple of times here and many other times in real life, if you really love Heavy Metal you MUST ignore MTV, Much Music or any other music channel available in Canada or anywhere else. What we see on TV is not real music, and not even close to what Heavy Metal really is, despite one or another band that reaches stardom like Iron Maiden or Metallica. But then again, what they show on TV from those bands is usually their worst material.

When I was a kid/teenager, I used to “hunt” for some new bands and musicians at a special place in São Paulo (Brazil) called Galeria do Rock, where I discovered bands such as Grave Digger, Running Wild, Stratovarius, Cannibal Corpse, Children of Bodom, Axel Rudi Pell, among many others. However, nowadays that place seems a bit useless with all the apps and information we can get with our computers and smartphones. That’s why I want to focus today on a not-so-new free app created to increase your knowledge of heavy music, called Heavy Metal Encyclopedia or simply HME.

screen568x568The name says everything: it’s an online encyclopedia specifically designed for Heavy Metal and Hard Rock, which means you will not find any crap like Lady Gaga or Backstreet Boys there. There are several different types of search and filters you can apply when using the app, for instance you can filter by the year the albums were launched, or by music genre such as Viking Metal, Metalcore, Classical and Brutal Death Metal.  My favorite filter is by country, mainly because I believe this is the most fun when searching for something unique or completely out of the mainstream. Did you know Andorra has 3 Metal bands? What about Uruguay with 98 bands, South Korea with 175 or Oman with only one band called Arabia, which surprisingly plays Black Metal?

Or maybe you want to be a little bit more conservative and start with an already famous band. Let’s get for example our friends from the Big 4, Anthrax: with the HME app, you can read about their history, check all their discography including classic albums like Among the Living or their most recent release Worship Music, as well as check some info from many related bands like Exodus, Kreator, Sodom, Slayer, Nuclear Assault etc. And if you have the Spotify app installed in your smartphone or tablet, you can also listen to many Anthrax tunes or music from almost all of the other bands available.

screen568x568 (1)I’m not sure how often new information is added to this app, or if anything new is being added there anymore. For example, I couldn’t find some of the 2013 releases like Trivium’s Vengeance Falls or Helloween’s Straight Out of Hell. Maybe the app has been abandoned, who knows. One more thing, I just don’t understand why bands like Queen, AC/DC, Bon Jovi, Steel Panther and Aerosmith are not available in the app. One might say it’s due to their music style, but why then others such as Motley Crüe, Poison and Deep Purple are there?

Finally, it’s also possible to share the info you discovered/found through Facebook, Twitter, AirDrop, message or email, and you can even use it together with the other app I reviewed here, Songza, to expand your horizons in the world of Heavy Metal by browsing for unconventional bands on HME and then searching for that band’s material on Songza. The options are limitless, unless of course the app is no longer active/being updated, then we can limit everything until 2011/12.

Get the free HME app
App Store | Google Play