The Year In Review – Top 10 Hard Rock/Heavy Metal Albums of 2013

Christmas is just around the corner, and it’s that time of the year where our ears are tortured by those boring old songs (unless you listen to something like this, the best Christmas song ever!), but at least our stomachs are rewarded with some delicious food and drinks. It’s time to look back and see what went right in our lives, our mistakes, and make plans for the coming year. And why not listing the best Heavy Metal and Hard Rock albums of 2013, which pretty much constituted the soundtrack of both our good and bad moments this year? Here are my top 10 albums of 2013, excluding EP’s, best of and live albums. I hope you enjoy the list!

Helloween_Straight Out of Hell1. Helloween – Straight Out of Hell
The German Power Metal masters are back with their most awesome album since The Time of the Oath.
Best song of the album: Straight Out of Hell

Chthonic-Bu-Tik2. Chthonic – Bú-Tik (REVIEW)
The best Heavy Metal band of the East delivers another superb album full of strength and creativity.
Best song of the album: Defenders of Bú-Tik Palace

TriviumVengeance3. Trivium – Vengeance Falls (REVIEW)
A brilliant lesson in heavy and fast riffs from Matt Heafy and his crew, proving why they are a reference in the world of heavy music.
Best song of the album: Brave This Storm

Outlaw_Gentlemen_&_Shady_Ladies_Album_Cover4. Volbeat – Outlaw Gentlemen & Shady Ladies
This band from beautiful Denmark takes another huge step to conquer the world of music.
Best song of the album: Dead But Rising

Serpents_Unleashed5. Skeletonwitch – Serpents Unleashed (REVIEW)
A magnificent and gruesome Thrash/Death Metal album from one of the most prominent new bands in the U.S.
Best song of the album: I Am Of Death (Hell Has Arrived)

Motörhead_Aftershock6. Motörhead – Aftershock (REVIEW)
Do you enjoy some good old Rock N’ Roll? If so, you must listen to this album.
Best song of the album: Do You Believe

Nemesis_by_Stratovarius7. Stratovarius – Nemesis
Stratovarius delivers an amazing album, their best since Timo Tolkki left the band in 2009.
Best song of the album: Halcyon Days

Amon-Amarth-Deciever-of-the-Gods8. Amon Amarth – Deceiver of the Gods
Not as unique as Surtur Rising, but still a mighty and powerful album from this Swedish Melodic Death Metal band.
Best song of the album: Father of the Wolf

Black_Dog_Barking_(Album_Cover)9. Airbourne – Black Dog Barking
As long as our mates from Down Under are alive, Rock N’ Roll will never die. Get ready to rock!
Best song of the album: Live It Up

SuperCollider10. Megadeth – Super Collider
“MegaDave” and his band return with a very interesting mix of Heavy Metal, Hard Rock, Country and Folk music.
Best song of the album: Kingmaker

And here are the other albums that would make my top 20 list this year:

11. Black Sabbath – 13
12. Lordi – To Beast or Not to Beast
13. Carcass – Surgical Steel
14. Tarja – Colours in the Dark (REVIEW)
15. DevilDriver – Winter Kills (REVIEW)
16. Sepultura – The Mediator Between Head and Hands Must Be the Heart (REVIEW)
17. Children of Bodom – Halo of Blood
18. Six Feet Under – Unborn
19. Dream Theater – Dream Theater
20. Pink Cream 69 – Ceremonial

These are some of the new releases already announced for 2014 that deserve to be listened to, and that will most probably be reviewed on this blog:

Axel Rudi Pell – Into The Storm
Chrome Division – Infernal Rock Eternal
Iced Earth – Plagues Of Babylon
Primal Fear – Delivering The Black
Gamma Ray – Empire of the Undead
Within Temptation – Hydra
Steel Panther – All You Can Eat
Behemoth – The Satanist

And finally, maybe we’ll have brand new material from giants such as Iron Maiden, Slayer and Judas Priest, who knows? Or something new from great bands that have been “quiet” for a good period of time like Exodus, Arch Enemy, In Flames, Cannibal Corpse, Testament, The Agonist, among others. Let’s wait and see, or even better, let’s wait and LISTEN!

Metal Xmas and a Headbanging New Year! See you in 2014!

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Metal Chick of the Month – Mia Coldheart

mia01

Rock Me Like The Devil!

Despite the fact that Angela Gossow is German, she is the lead singer of a Swedish band, so let’s stay around that same country for the second edition of the Metal Chick of the Month. This time I’m going to talk about Mia Coldheart, the lead singer and guitar of the awesome all-female hard rock band Crucified Barbara. Actually, I could talk about all four girls from the band, but let’s focus on one at a time to avoid any heart attacks, right?

Of course her last name is not Coldheart, and I’m pretty sure she doesn’t have a cold heart at all. Her real name is Mia Karlsson and she was born on August 21, 1980 in the municipality of Tyresö, located in the Stockholm County in Sweden. And as you can see, she’s the only non-blonde in the band, which doesn’t mean she’s less beautiful than the others. Quite the contrary, her long dark hair makes her stand out among the other girls, and adding to that her powerful voice we have the perfect recipe for not only an amazing singer, but for a true hard rock frontwoman.

I believe Crucified Barbara would not be the same successful band without Mia’s voice. However, for those who don’t know it, the band started as a punk rock band back in 1998 and at that time she used to play the guitar only (unfortunately, I couldn’t finds any old material of the band to show how their music was). She became the lead singer of the band in 2003, just a couple of years before the band released their debut album, and in less than 10 years she has become a reference for many hard rock female singers all over the world.

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One thing that always comes to my mind while listening to Mia Coldeheart singing are the similarities between her voice and Lzzy Hale’s voice, from Halestorm. However, I prefer Mia’s voice a thousand times, and in my opinion the only reason for Crucified Barbara not being as famous as Halestorm is the fact that they’re not from North America, as I mentioned here. Pay attention to Mia’s voice in different songs and you’ll see how versatile her voice is, from a soft and smooth singing in the ballad Count Me In to a more hard rock approach in Rock Me Like The Devil, and a true heavy metal voice in the Motörhead-ish song The Crucifier. Lzzy is a great singer, but her voice sounds the same in every song, and besides, I’ve had the chance to check Mia and Lzzy singing live in some videos and Mia kicks fuckin’ ass. Besides, she plays the guitar all the time while singing, not only in some songs. If you don’t trust me, take a look at Crucified Barbara playing Bad Hangover live at Sweden Rock Festival (also check how cool the Swedish language is) and you’ll see what i’m talking about!

Talking about Mia’s biggest influences in music, I saw an interview where she said she started to play guitar because of Nirvana and the whole Grunge music scene, but then she started listening to bands like Dream Theater, Megadeth, and Helloween, and guys like Marty Friedman helped define her guitar style. Regarding her vocals, she said her biggest influence was Gigi Hangach, from the band Phantom Blue, who by the way was her motivation to actually start singing heavy music.

Mia’s entire career has been built with Crucified Barbara only, with which she has recorded three albums so far: In Distortion We Trust (2005), ‘Til Death Do Us Party (2009), and their most recent and my favorite one called The Midnight Chase (2012). Besides that, she has just recorded some additional vocals to some material from a Swedish progressive metal band called Mind’s Eye in two of their albums (Walking on H20, from 2006, and A Gentleman’s Hurricane, from 2007).

If you’re a fan of Halestorm, but would like to listen to something faster and heavier, you will love Crucified Barbara and especially Mia Coldheart’s voice. She will rock you like the devil, I’m pretty sure about that.

Equipment
Gibson Flying V (Gothic 2001)
Mesa Boogie Dual Rectifier amp
Mesa Boogie 4×12 Rectifier cabinet
Rotosound strings 10-52

Personal website/blog
www.coldheart.se

“Don’t wait to find the perfect band. You can’t sit home and dream about a band. You have to get out, meet people, play with a lot of different people.” – Mia Coldheart

Album Review – Motörhead / Aftershock (2013)

They’re Motörhead, and they play Rock N’ Roll.

Rating4

Motörhead_AftershockAlthough I consider creativity and innovation crucial when reviewing a new album, I simply ignore that if the band in question is Motörhead, AC/DC, KISS or the Ramones. I don’t expect and don’t want to see Lemmy playing the piano and singing about the crisis in Syria or Angus Young adding any electronic shit to his music. I just want them to keep on rocking until the end of the world, and that’s exactly what you’ll find in Aftershock, Motörhead’s brand new album: 100% pure Rock N’ Roll!

The first track of the album, Heartbreaker, has some really heavy bass lines and sounds pretty good for a live performance. Then comes Coup De Grace, another fast track with funny lyrics and good solos, and Lost Woman Blues, which is Motörhead playing a high quality blues with Lemmy singing beautifully from the bottom of his heart. The next track, End Of Time, is simply fast and heavy while the next track, called Do You Believe, is my favorite one from the album for some beers at a Rock N’ Roll pub.

The following three songs make up a nice sequence to listen to while on the road: Death Machine has a cool guitar solo, Dust And Glass can be used as a “strip-tease” ballad, and Going To Mexico, well, as a Brazilian guy I prefer “Going to Brazil” (if you know what I’m talking about), but this song is pretty badass too. Another one of my favorites is Silence When You Speak To Me: this track has a great message from our “God” Lemmy, with some terrific riffs and lyrics. On the other hand, Crying Shame is my bottom one here, because although it’s traditional Motörhead, it sounds just like a filler track.

motorheadworldpromonew_638The last four tracks of the album have their ups and downs: Queen Of The Damned is a good track that reminds me a lot of Ace of Spades (maybe it was on purpose as we have the “ace” on one song and the “queen” on the other one?); Knife is not bad, but it lacks a little more punch; Keep Your Powder Dry is one more suggested song for a day on the road; and Paralyzed is what the band has mastered doing since the beginning. In other words, it is fast, heavy and kicks fuckin’ ass!

The front cover art is by far their best one since Inferno, from 2004, and the lyrics are the same as always, but who cares, right? Regarding the musicians, Phil offers us a ton of awesome riffs and solos again, and Mikkey keeps on smashing his drums perfectly. And what else is left to say about our 67-year old Rock N’ Roll icon Ian Fraser “Lemmy” Kilmister? I think the best definition for Lemmy is a beautiful “poem” declaimed by the characters Chazz, Rex and Chris Moore in the classic movie Airheads (if you’ve never seen it, you’re a loser):

Chazz: Who’d win in a wrestling match, Lemmy or God?
Chris Moore: Lemmy.
Rex: Beeeehhhh!
Chris Moore: …God?
Rex: Wrong, dickhead, trick question. Lemmy IS God! 

In summary, all songs sound the same as many awesome Motörhead classics such as Overkill, Iron Fist, Fast and Loose, Ace of Spades, The Chase is Better Than the Catch, Going to Brazil, among others, which in the end is exactly what we were waiting for. The day Lemmy, Phil and Mikkey record a “Metal Opera” or a conceptual album about the life of some French king, the world will come to an end. Until then, let’s have a beer and bang our heads together with our girlfriends, friends, family or anyone else that enjoys some good Rock N’ Roll, because that’s what this band plays.

Best moments of the album: Do You Believe, Going To Mexico and Silence When You Speak To Me.

Worst moments of the album: Crying Shame and Knife.

Released in 2013 UDR GmbH

Track listing
1. Heartbreaker 3:05
2. Coup De Grace 3:45
3. Lost Woman Blues 4:09
4. End Of Time 3:17
5. Do You Believe 2:59
6. Death Machine 2:37
7. Dust And Glass 2:51
8. Going To Mexico 2:51
9. Silence When You Speak To Me 4:30
10. Crying Shame 4:28
11. Queen Of The Damned 2:41
12. Knife 2:57
13. Keep Your Powder Dry 3:54
14. Paralyzed 2:50

Band members
Lemmy Kilmister – bass guitar, vocals
Phil Campbell – guitar
Mikkey Dee – drums

Interview – Larry Paterson (Iron Knights)

Heavy Metal drummer and writer Lawrence ‘Larry’ Paterson (Arbitrater, Metalhead, Chokehold, Blaze Bayley, Raven Lord, Iron Knights) talks about his drumming style and career, his passion for World War II, his books, Blaze Bayley, Iron Maiden, his current band Iron Knights, and more.

Larry_PatersonThe Headbanging Moose: You have already played in your career with many different bands such as Chokehold, Blaze Bayley, Iron Knights and Raven Lord. What are the main differences you found playing with each one of those bands? Did you have to adapt your style to their music, or did they accept your ideas in their creative process?

Larry Paterson: Actually, I never really adapted to suit the bands – it’s more you bring what you have into it. You will always alter what you are doing slightly anyway to match the other people’s playing; but the same influences always come into play really, even if you are headed in slightly different directions. From the bands you mentioned above, in three of them I had a lot of creative input into everything; the drumming itself, but also ideas for arrangements and so on. I don’t play guitar well at all, or sing, but I can still hear ideas that may or may not work, in the same way that guitarists have good drum ideas. That way it becomes a real collaboration between everybody and the songs can really evolve into the magic of that band. If there’s no magic – then you haven’t got the right guys 🙂

Raven Lord was one where creative input wasn’t wanted at all, so that didn’t last long for me 😉

Chokehold, Blaze Bayley and Iron Knights all have/had the same buzz for me – particularly on stage. Good straight down the line heavy metal, maybe with a twist here and there. That’s what I like to write and play 🙂

THM: There’s a new Iron Knights song available for download in the band’s official website, called Destroyer, which by the way is really good. Is that exactly what the fans can expect from the new Iron Knights album that you’re planning to release in 2014? How about future tours? Are you planning on touring only the UK and parts of Europe, or are you going to extend the tour to other parts of the world such as Latin America, USA/Canada, Australia and Japan?

LP: Thanks very much; glad you like it. It’s definitely the way things are headed 🙂 Iron Knights really needed to evolve from what it started out as, and it has done so. The new stuff coming out is sounding really strong to my ears and I can’t wait to get it on the road. Ultimately, it’s a new band so will take time to grow, but we want to play anywhere and everywhere that we can. May take a while to get out of the UK – and we still have a TON of work to do here – but we want to play anywhere that wants us!

saxontour4THM: You have just finished a tour with the band/project called James Rivera’s Sabbath Judas Sabbath in the UK. Can you give us more details about this project? Who are the other musicians in the band? I saw the setlist for some of the concerts and it’s an awesome mix of the heaviest Priest classics with the best songs from the Dio years. How were the songs selected for this tour?

LP: It’s good fun this one. Beam (the bassist from Iron Knights and SJS) and I met James when we supported Vicious Rumors in Europe. At the time Iron Knights was the original lineup and falling apart more and more each day. But James already had this thing going in other countries where he would fly in and do the cover set. Beam and I grew up on this stuff, so it’s always a blast to play it and we got our friend Shoi Sengupta and Paul Nazakardeh in on guitars (both EXCELLENT players from the band De Profundis). James had the setlist which we added one or two tracks to and voila…we’re off. Great fun, and of course James can actually hit the notes in stuff like Painkiller and Screaming For Vengeance!

THM: Let’s imagine you had a similar type of project, but with focus on the material from all your previous bands, from your start with Arbitrater until today. If you had to select 15 or 20 songs to play on tour, which songs would you pick and why?

LP: Wow…that’s a hard question. Hmmm…well I can tell you that the reason for all the songs I choose would be because they have a lot of feel to me; either in the vibe of the song or sometimes just the speed (I like a bit of fast drumming every now and then!) Well, in no particular order they would be:

1. Judge And Jury (Arbitrater)
2. Choose Your Weapons (Arbitrater)
3. Life On Loan (Chokehold)
4. Legion (Chokehold)
5. Faith Of Fear (Chokehold)
6. The Man Who Would Not Die (Blaze Bayley)
7. Robot (Blaze Bayley)
8. Smile Back At Death (Blaze Bayley)
9. God Of Speed (Blaze Bayley)
10. City Of Bones (Blaze Bayley)
11. Voices From The Past (Blaze Bayley)
12. Comfortable In Darkness (Blaze Bayley)
13. Ludovico Technique (Metalhead)
14. Crack In The System (Blaze Bayley)
15. Post Work Syndrome (Chokehold)

That should make me sweat a bit 🙂

THM: You have written around 9 non-fiction histories of Germany’s Second World War U-boat service since the year 2000 due to your passion and interest in the Second World War. Could you give us more details about those books and where we can find them for sale? When did your passion for this type of topic start, and why did a Heavy Metal drummer like you suddenly decide to write many books about it? Have you ever turned any of the stories in your books into music, or are you planning to do so?

LP: Actually, I have been interested in WW2 since I was a kid. One of my Grandfathers was in the ANZACs in WW1 and the other in the Royal Navy in WW2 and they taught me that people were people no matter who they fought for. So I started to specialize in the German forces. My main areas of study were actually the Army and Waffen SS but I spent several years as a scuba instructor and was diving on a lot of German wrecks from the Second World War when I lived in France. That led to me writing a book about the U-boat service which became my specialist field. It’s important to me, this kind of history, and it’s a human story, not a political one. I have been lucky enough to meet some amazing people who served in all of the German forces, not to mention the Allied ones, and it’s always very humbling.

I haven’t actually written any songs about it – but there are plenty that feature war as a kind of theme.

THM: As a drummer and at the same time a connoisseur of World Wars, what’s your opinion about the Iron Maiden song Paschendale, which is about the Battle of Passchendaele that took place during the First World War and that had Canada as one of its most important players? Have you ever played this song live, with friends or by yourself?

LP: I think that is one of the best Maiden songs for years! My Grandfather (the ANZAC) was involved in that battle as part of the Australian Army and I have his memories of it that he wrote down before he died. Terrible battle! And Adrian Smith managed to capture all that imagery in the song. It’s brilliant musically and emotionally. I have jammed along with it, but never played it properly.

THM: You have also written a book about the Blaze Bayley band’s history entitled At The End Of The Day, published in 2009 with an update in 2010. Could you give us more details about this book, and where can we find it? How is your relationship today with Blaze and the other guys that played together with you then?

LP: Well, it’s still available through my website and as a Kindle version on Amazon. I had a great time in that band though we definitely didn’t see eye to eye by the time I left. I’m in touch with them all every now and then and hope they’re all moving on okay. I know Jay has Bull-Riff Stampede now which is doing great things here. Haven’t really spoken to Blaze much, but you never know what’ll happen in the future.

?;&????xV4xV4xV4xV4`^+&??????????CALZDFE02Cur.ZDFI02CML018001001THM: Canada is not very famous for generating a lot of heavy music bands, although we have some good ones such as The Agonist, Annihilator, Anvil, and of course one of the best progressive rock bands of all time, Rush. What do you know about the current Heavy Metal scene in Canada, and what are your favorite artists and bands from here (if any)? Are there any new Canadian bands that you would recommend us?

LP: Actually – I don’t know too much about the Canadian metal scene other than the bands you mentioned. I’ve only been to Canada once and loved it. The only band I saw was a covers band that did an amazing version of Sympathy For The Devil (can’t remember much else…..I had a beer or two…). I do remember thinking that the Canadian music scene in general seemed pretty healthy, but that was in the late 90s so no idea how it is now. It can be hard to break out of your home country, so I’m guessing there are lots of good bands that are trying to make that break.

THM: Thanks a lot for your time! Would you like to send a special message to all headbangers in Canada?

LP: Thank you for your interest! A special message? You guys live in a fantastic country – Keep metal alive – Support smaller bands – Don’t let the bastards grind you down!….and buy the new Motorhead album! 😉 Hope to get over there sometime.

Links
Larry Paterson Official Website | Facebook | Twitter YouTube
Iron Knights Official Website | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube

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