Welcome to the "Dawn Of Battle"


Greetings to everyone,

"In a society that I hate deeply and scars my soul daily, the foundations and rules of which I deny, being likeable would mean that I am starting to look like it..."

This is the quote that I live by the last few years but come to think of it, I could as well be living by that particular quote all my life, without even knowing it.

The purpose of this blog is to gather all my thoughts in one place, nothing fancy, just a piece of me. The articles that I write are a blend of my experiences and thoughts.

I hope some of you enjoy what you read here and Ι welcome you all to walk down that road together.

12/1/13

RUINS: Chronicle of an HIV witch-hunt


RUINS: Chronicle of an HIV witch-hunt



"RUINS: Chronicle of an HIV witch-hunt" is a documentary directed by Zoe Mavroudi.

Description:

A documentary about the shocking case of HIV criminalisation in Greece. The story of the prosecution of women who are HIV carriers, who were arrested by the Greek Police, were forced to have HIV tests, were imprisoned for criminal offences, and finally were castigated when their photos and all their personal data were published in the Greek media, only a few days before the national elections of the 6th of May, 2012.

This was another event in a series of events that took place during the last years in Greece and involved criminalisation of groups like prostitutes with HIV, Roma people and immigrants, among others, and led the Greek Neonazi Party "Golden Dawn" to be the third party in the elections, while the ruling parties that led Greece to where it is now, are still in power through a coalition government.

In the directors own words "We are not making a sacrifice, we are the sacrifice".


Full documentary: http://ruins-documentary.com/#

8/31/13

The Birthplace of Dracula





The Birthplace of Dracula
  



Being a horror movie fan for as long as I can remember myself, I always had the desire to feel like the first people who stood there in a cinema back in the day and got the first chills from a horror film. And yesterday was the perfect occasion to feed that desire.

When I saw that the original Dracula was about to be screened, I almost instinctively thought that there was no other place that I should be on the night of Friday the 30th of August 2013, than the British Museum. Christopher Lee is one of my favorite actors of all time, and Peter Cushing is also great in every single movie he has ever done. Besides being ''partners in horror'', those two actors were also born one day apart, Sir Christopher Lee was born on the 27th of May and Peter Cushing on the 26th of May. My own birthday is on the 30th of May, so that strengthens the bonds a little. Oh, and I forgot to mention that Vincent Price, another horror movie icon, was also born on May 27th. Coincidence? Or...

And there was even more for a horror movie fan to quench his thirst...

The first premiere of the 2007 restored edition of the original 1958 horror classic ''Dracula'', courtesy of BFI, had a lot more to offer than just the original film. Besides the restored version of the film, Hammer had also included lost footage and deleted scenes from a longer Japanese cut of the the film, never before seen. The premiere took place where Bram Stoker did his research for the original 1897 Gothic horror novel ''Dracula'', in the British Museum. What more is there to ask for?

I remember my uncle who had seen the original film the year it was released, telling me stories about people who were scared to death from watching it, and about cinemas full of horrified people screaming in terror. Dracula was indeed a very shocking film for it's time, I mean, we are talking about the 50s here. Although it was hardly a precise adaptation of the original novel, Dracula became the definitive film representation of the original creature, and the majestic and icy figure of Christopher Lee, became Dracula.

The novel fanatics will find many differences between the original novel and this film. First of all, Dracula does not have a mid-European accent. Also he is not looking forward to buy a house in London. In the directors own words ''The budget was so small, that Dracula couldn't afford a second home'', so Jonathan Harker also became a librarian instead of a solicitor. Dracula was also portrayed as a lover here. There are also many gaps in he plot, but director Terence Fisher, the greatest director of Hammer, kept only what was absolutely necessary. And so, he gave birth to a classic and Sir Christopher Lee, played the role of Dracula in many more films that followed.

The premiere of the film was narrated by Sir Christopher Frayling, who also showed us the original banned film poster, as well as a letter from Bram Stoker to the British Museum, where he asked for permission to do his research for Dracula.


Original poster for Dracula



Bram Stoker's letter



Watching the premiere of the uncut, restored Dracula, in it's own birthplace, was undoubtedly one of the best and most memorable nights of my life.



7/9/13

Warlord / Lordian Guard – A Night of Fury with Bill Tsamis…


Warlord / Lordian Guard – A Night of Fury with Bill Tsamis…



I never thought that I’d be able to write these words, but it seems though I must, so the following text will be more like a small testimony.

And so it begins…

Warlord was one of the very first heavy metal bands that I ever listened and loved, as well as the first band with an epic feeling in both the lyrics and the music (Iron Maiden and Manowar came into my life much later). The “W” sign of Warlord, was the first metal sign that I ever drew. The Warlord lyrics are the first metal lyrics that I ever written. The music of Bill Tsamis definitely contributed to who I am today and for that I’m forever grateful.

Having said that, I must also say that during the last 3 years, many things have happened about Warlord that have saddened me deeply. And I will have to share those things here, even if it means reliving them in a way.

Here goes nothing…

I was “Facebook friends” with Bill Tsamis since my first days on Facebook, back in 2008. At that time there was not even the slightest hope of a Warlord reunion. Well, all that changed a couple of years later. But so did many other things. Something was weird about that reunion from the start, at least from my point of view. Of course, Bill Tsamis is dealing with some serious health issues and that was definitely not helping. But I got the feeling in several occasions that he didn’t want to reunite Warlord. And I was proven right. The first problems started to appear. No certain lineup for the band, disagreements about the reissues of some records, bad comments about certain things concerning fans and responses towards Warlord, too much information about Bill’s personal life, and all of the sudden, tidal waves of “hardcore Warlord fans” coming from all over the place. It was just too much to handle.

I will certainly not get into details here, I will only say that all this fuss, didn’t make it any better for me. And then the final blow came from out of nowhere. Bill Tsamis visited the Facebook event page of the Warlord show in Thessaloniki and made all sorts of bad comments about Kreator (!), about the small presale of tickets and about the “all talk – no ticket” type of Warlord fan base. Of course at that point there already were hundreds of Warlord fans who defended (!) that rant and even dissed Kreator themselves! Suddenly Bill Tsamis was a “highly skilled musician and composer who could write better noise than Kreator” (in his own words, I have kept photos of every single comment on that thread). What happened if someone said that he liked Kreator? He “shouldn’t show up for Warlord, because he doesn’t know of good music”. What happened if someone said that he couldn’t afford to go to the Warlord show due to the economic crisis here in Greece? Well, when Bill “was 16 years old he was in economic crisis too, but he saved every last dime to see every last show”. Then why does Warlord come to Greece? Because “Everyone begged and begged Bill Tsamis to come to Greece. He didn’t want to because it was all talk, which seems to be the case for the Principal Club. If only 500 people show up, why bother? Just wait for the live DVD to come out. Why waste your time and money on Warlord? Bill knew this would happen (financial crisis blues) so why should he come?” And more blah-blah-blah… Is anyone disappointed with that statement? Then “Do him a favor and don’t show up because you never cared for Warlord and you are not fans”. And last but not least. “Warlord is nothing more than an insignificant underground metal band (not even a band) and since he has done nothing in 30 years of music career (or lack of one) he shouldn’t come. Warlord is a train wreck and has no relationship with fans whatsoever. So this whole reunion thing was wrong, but now it’s too late to call it off… too bad, huh?”

Of course Bill Tsamis posted an apology about the “Kreator-incident” afterwards, but I didn’t believe any of that.

Warlord always was a controversial band in Greece (as well as Manowar) due to certain people who wrote in magazines and connected the Warlord music with fascism and racism and all sorts of “good values”. I don’t know if Bill Tsamis is a racist or fascist, but I wasn’t all that pleased when I heard him say that “Racism is a part of the nature of man”, during an interview in a Greek metal show in TV, called “TV WAR”. I wasn’t all that pleased, because the narrow-minded fans of Warlord (and they are too many too count) have only kept that part because it suited them more than the “I’m not a racist person” sentence that Bill used to start his answer.

I could go on and on and write about more incidents in the WARLORD FAN CLUB on Facebook, but I’d rather stop here.

I wrote the questions for this interview back in 2012, but due to certain circumstances at that time, they were not answered by Bill Tsamis back then. If I was given the chance to write them once more today, I probably wouldn’t have gone through with it. I also didn’t feel like going to the Warlord shows here in Greece, or the several meet-and-greets with the band, or even some other Warlord/Tsamis-related events. At this point, I no longer consider myself a fan of the band anymore. I waited for some months before I wrote this text, hoping that my feelings towards that subject might change, but that didn’t happen. Below you can see the interview in pictures.

As far as I’m concerned, the Warlord has risen, but the fight was lost…






6/13/13

Την ΕΡΤ και το χταπόδι όσο τα χτυπάς απλώνουν




Την ΕΡΤ και το χταπόδι όσο τα χτυπάς απλώνουν



Χθες, έως της 4 το πρωί βρισκόμουν στο ραδιομέγαρο της ΕΡΤ όχι για να συμπαρασταθώ στην μικρή αυτή μερίδα που δούλευε εκεί επειδή το άξιζε και όχι επειδή είχε διοριστεί κάπου κάπως κάποτε, όπως το μεγαλύτερο ποσοστό εκεί μέσα, για να εξυπηρετήσει τα εκάστοτε πολιτικά και οικονομικά συμφέροντα … Γιατί, ας είμαστε απόλυτα ειλικρινείς, όταν τους διόριζαν χωρίς καμία αξιοκρατική διαδικασία, το κράτος ήταν ΚΑΛΟ. Τώρα που το ίδιο και απαράλλακτο κράτος δαγκώνει τα παιδιά του, είναι ΚΑΚΟ. Όχι κύριοι το κράτος πάντα σκατά ήταν. Απλά εσείς ήσασταν τα τσιράκια του, και οι εξαγορασμένες σας συνειδήσεις δεν άφηναν να δείτε την πραγματικότητα. Ήμουν εκεί λοιπόν με βασικό στόχο, να δώσω σε κάποιους να καταλάβουν ότι δεν τρώω κουτόχορτο… όπως νόμισα ότι θα είναι και ο στόχος των περισσοτέρων παρευρισκομένων, πλην φυσικά των απολυμένων που απλά θέλανε πίσω την δουλειά τους.

Η κυβέρνηση προσπαθεί να μας πείσει ότι έκλεισε την ΕΡΤ επειδή νοιάστηκε για τον πολίτη που την πληρώνει. Θέλουν να μας πουν ότι δεν έκλεισε για πολιτικά και προσωπικά συμφέροντα! Ποιος διόρισε όλα τα λαμόγια εκεί μέσα; Μήπως η ΝΔ και το ΠΑΣΟΚ; Μήπως όλα τα ανώτερα στελέχη εκεί μέσα είναι δικά τους κομματόσκυλα; Από ποιον ήρθαν τώρα να μας σώσουν, από τον ίδιο τους τον εαυτό; Αν θέλουν να μας σώσουν από την σαπίλα ας μας κάνουν την χάρη να αυτοκτονήσουν το συντομότερο δυνατόν… και ας μην φοβούνται ότι θα τους τιμωρήσει ο θεός επειδή όπως λέει η θρησκεία ‘’ η αυτοκτονία είναι αμάρτημα’’ για αυτούς σίγουρα θα κάνει μια εξαίρεση. Όλες οι εντολές εδώ και πάρα πολλά χρόνια ως γνωστόν, έρχονται από ξένα κέντρα αποφάσεων, με τους υποτιθέμενους πολιτικούς αρχηγούς σε ρόλο μαριονέτας. Κάθε τι δημόσιο τους κάνει να βγάζουν σπυράκια και φλίχτενες, γιατί πολύ απλά δεν μπορούν να το αγοράσουν, και τους χαλάει το μονοπώλιο της αγοράς. Δεν λέω, όντος μέσα στην ΕΡΤ υπάρχει ένα πάρα πολύ μεγάλο ποσοστό από λαμόγια, και ο τρόπος λειτουργίας της είναι ελεεινός, όμως ποιος τα έκανε έτσι; Όταν η σαπίλα βέβαια περιλαμβάνει την κυβέρνηση... βλέπε λίστα Lagarde… που μιλάμε για δισεκατομμύρια κρατικού χρήματος, το κράτος σφυρίζει αδιάφορα... όποτε πρόκειται για των κώλο τρίτων όμως δρα σε μία νύχτα... γιατί όπως δήλωσαν χθες στην αναγγελία τους ‘’ εμείς έχουμε πολιτική βούληση’’...

4 πιθανά σενάρια βλέπω εγώ… ίσως να υπάρχουν και άλλα βέβαια…

1) ή ο Σαμαράς και τα άλλα 2 κοπρόσκυλα του, βάζοντας τον Κεδίκογλου να πει τον φόρο της ΕΡΤ ‘’χαράτσι’’, πίστεψε ότι με την κατάργηση της πληρωμής του θα ξεχάσουμε το πραγματικό χαράτσι, και θα βγούμε με σημαιάκια να πανηγυρίζουμε, που μας έσωσε από τον παρασιτικό οργανισμό της ΕΡΤ, αυτοί που είναι μακράν τα μεγαλύτερα παράσιτα του γαλαξία…

2) ή γνώριζε ότι υπάρχουν 2 πόλοι απόψεων επί του θέματος… αυτοί που θα πουν καλά τους κάνανε που 'χαν μαζέψει όλα τα λαμόγια εκεί μέσα, και αυτοί που θα τους στήριζαν, και ήθελε να δημιουργήσει άλλο ένα ρήγμα στην Ελληνική κοινωνία ώστε την ώρα που θα τρωγόμαστε μεταξύ μας. Και τα κανάλια θα ασχολούνται από το πρωί μέχρι το βράδυ με αυτό το θέμα και την Χρυσή Αυγή, να περάσει καινούρια εξοντωτικά νομοσχέδια, φόρους και δεν ξέρω τι άλλο από τα ψιλά γράμματα, σαν αυτά που περνάνε με 200 χιλιόμετρα την ώρα από το κάτω μέρος της οθόνης, κατά την διάρκεια των ειδήσεων του STAR, και πάντα την ώρα που τυχαία δείχνει την miss κώλος 2013...

3) ή πάμε σε εκλογές εντός ολίγου

4) ή όλα αυτά μαζί… Που είναι και το πιο πιθανό σενάριο… Να δημιουργήσει ένα κλίμα που αμφισβητεί την εξουσία που υποτίθεται του έχει δώσει ο λαός, να την καλλιεργήσει μέσω των ΜΜΕ, να μας πετάξει νέα μνημόνια, χαράτσια και μειώσεις μισθών τον Αύγουστο, να πάει την χώρα σε εκλογές, και μετά να εξαφανισθεί παρέα με τα ΔΙΣΕΚΑΤΟΜΜΥΡΙΑ που του εξασφάλισαν οι εταίροι του… όπως έκαναν και τόσοι προκάτοχοι του... Σημίτης, Καραμανλής, Παπανδρέου, να πετάξει το μπαλάκι στον Τσίπρα, και να κάνει ζωή και κότα, αφού ως καλός και υπάκουος υπηρέτης, εκτέλεσε την αποστολή του (και εμάς) κατά γράμμα…

Το γεγονός όμως που με έκανε να σαστίσω περισσότερο και με απογοήτευση εισέπραξα, είναι ότι όλα τα υπόλοιπα οργανωμένα συμφέροντα ήταν στις ‘’πρώτες θέσεις’’ και ο απλός λαός, ο ελεύθερος πνευματικά λαός στα ’’ τελευταία θρανία’’. Τα σημαιάκια κυμάτιζαν σε περίοπτες θέσεις, όπως πάντα... τα all time classic συνθήματα άσχετα με το θέμα, και φτωχά σε πρωτοτυπία, ακούγονταν και κάλυπταν τις υπόλοιπες φωνές που είχαν κάτι ουσιαστικό να πουν όπως πάντα. Στο μικρόφωνο μίλησαν οι εκπρόσωποι, κάποιον ομάδων... όπως πάντα. Γενικά, ο καθένας, κολλημένος στις δικές του απόλυτες θέσεις... όπως πάντα, μίλαγε για τους Μπάτσους, για την Χρυσή αυγή, για την εργατιά, για την αναρχία και τα αδέρφια μας τους μετανάστες, για θέματα σημαντικά, δε λέω, αλλά άσχετα με τον λόγο που μαζευτήκαμε εκεί. Ο λόγος του ελεύθερου πολίτη δεν ακούστηκε ξανά, τα κατευθυνόμενα συνθήματα κατάφεραν να πνίξουν την φωνή του, κανένας εποικοδομητικός διάλογος δεν έγινε, πουθενά δεν καταλήξαμε, ακούσαμε τα τραγουδάκια μας από τους γνωστούς αριστερούς καλλιτέχνες, ήπιαμε μια μπυρίτσα με την κοπέλα μου και γυρίσαμε σπίτι όταν στις 4:00 συνειδητοποίησα ότι οι δεκάδες χιλιάδες κόσμου που υπήρχαν κατά τη 01:00 είχαν γίνει μερικές εκατοντάδες και αφού από της 02:00 μας υπενθύμιζαν κάθε 5 λεπτά από το μικρόφωνο ότι έχουν βγει εντάλματα για αυτόφωρο, και ότι αν μείνουμε λίγοι θα μπουκάρουν οι Μπάτσοι. Δεν ξέρω αν έπεσαν τηλέφωνα και πιέσεις και το κάνανε εσκεμμένα για να διώξουν τον κόσμο, η αν απλά ήταν καλοπροαίρετο και θελαν να μας κρατάνε ενήμερους για το τι μπορεί να συμβεί, πάντως από την στιγμή που το ανέφεραν ο απλός αυτός κόσμος άρχισε να σκορπάει στους 5 ανέμους με τον φόβο ότι θα βρεθούν ανάμεσα στις συμπλοκές των οργανωμένων ομάδων και των αστυνομικών.

Ξέρετε ποιο είναι το πρόβλημα αυτής της χώρας; Ότι δεν μπορούμε χωρίς τσοπάνηδες... είμαστε πρόβατα και καμαρώνουμε για αυτό… ξέρετε ποιο είναι το πρόβλημα; Ότι δεν μπορούμε να πούμε μια και καλή, στο διάολο ΝΔ, στο διάολο ΠΑΣΟΚ, στο διάολο Χρυσή Αυγή, στο διάολο ΚΚΕ, στο διάολο ΣΥΡΙΖΑ στο διάολο όλοι. Και ξέρω ότι θα πείτε και άμα τους στείλουμε όλους στο διάολο τι θα κάνουμε μετά ρε έξυπνε; Και σας απαντώ με απόλυτη ειλικρίνεια ‘’δεν ξέρω’’. Ξέρω όμως ότι μόνο τότε το μυαλό μας θα είναι καθαρό ώστε να βρει την λύση. Ξέρω ότι έχουν καταφέρει επιτυχώς, μέσα από το ξεφτίλισμα της παιδείας και της κοινωνίας, να δημιουργήσουν ανθρώπους ανάπηρους νοητικά, ανίκανους να συντάξουν μια σωστή και ορθή λογικά σκέψη, ανίκανους να εξετάσουν και να γνωρίσουν με την λογική τον εαυτό τους και τα βαθύτερα πιστεύω τους, ανίκανους να καταλάβουν και να νιώσουν τον συνάνθρωπό τους. Άτομα που χρειάζονται δεκανίκια και υποβολείς για να τους πουν, τι και πως θα στεφτούν.

Είναι προφανές ότι θεωρούν όλους τους πολίτες ηλίθιους. Όμως δυστυχώς, τους αφήνουμε να το πιστεύουν… αυτή είναι η αλήθεια. Για να ελευθερωθεί η κοινωνία, πρέπει πρώτα να ελευθερωθεί το ίδιο το άτομο από τα δεσμά που μόνο του βάζει στον εαυτό του. Και όπως είχε πει κάποιος πολύ πριν από μένα:

Εσύ ο ίδιος πρέπει να είσαι ο δάσκαλος και ο μαθητής. Από τη στιγμή που θα αναγνωρίσεις κάποιον άλλο ως δάσκαλο και τον εαυτό σου ως μαθητή, αυτομάτως αρνείσαι την αλήθεια. Δεν υπάρχει δάσκαλος και μαθητής, στην αναζήτηση της αλήθειας. Θα πρέπει να το κατανοήσετε, να το εξετάσετε, να δώσετε την καρδιά σας και το μυαλό σας, ώστε να βρείτε έναν διαφορετικό τρόπο ζωής. Αυτό εξαρτάται από εσάς, και όχι από κάποιον άλλο, επειδή σε αυτό δεν υπάρχει δάσκαλος και μαθητής, δεν υπάρχει ηγέτης, δεν υπάρχει γκουρού, δεν υπάρχει Σωτήρας. Εσείς ο ίδιος είσαι ο δάσκαλος και ο μαθητής, ο γκουρού, ο σωτήρας και ο ηγέτης. Είσαι τα πάντα.

Εν κατακλείδι, δεν υποστηρίζω άτομα αναξιοκρατικά διορισμένα από το σύστημα, λαμόγια και αυλικούς, όμως αυτά ήταν ένα πλοκάμι του χταποδιού που λέγεται κυβέρνηση. Και όπως είναι γνωστό σε κάθε καλοφαγά Έλληνα, όλα τα πεινασμένα χταπόδια, κάποια στιγμή τρώνε τα πλοκάμια τους. Όμως ξέρεις κάτι; όσα πλοκάμια κι αν φάει, αυτά θα ξαναφυτρώσουν και πάλι το ίδιο χταπόδι θα δημιουργηθεί, άσχετα με το αν προσπαθεί αυτό το μικρό χταποδάκι να μας πείσει ότι αν φάει τα πλοκαμάκια του θα μεταμορφωθεί σε ένα άλλο χταπόδι. Ότι θα αλλάξει ο Μανολιός… Το θέμα είναι να φας εσύ το χταπόδι, να το χτυπήσεις καλά και να το συνοδεύσεις με ένα καραφάκι ούζο.

Καλό καλοκαίρι να χουμε

N.K.


6/12/13

Ο Νέρωνας καίει την Ρώμη και εμείς τον χειροκροτούμε





Ο Νέρωνας καίει την Ρώμη και εμείς τον χειροκροτούμε



Ως παλιός εργαζόμενος στην ΕΡΤ ήμουν από τους πρώτους που τους βρίζω για άπειρα πράγματα. Τα εξωπραγματικά μισθολόγιά τους, το απέραντο χάος που επικρατεί στο αρχείο της, την υπεροψία η οποία χαρακτήριζε πολλούς εκεί μέσα, την προπαγάνδα που κάνανε, τα εκάστοτε επεισόδια στο Σύνταγμα τότε και στις Σκουριές τώρα τα οποία δεν έδειχναν, τα μνημόνια τα οποία χειροκροτούσαν, οι ταμπελοποίηση μερίδων του λαού και άπειρα άλλα. Πρόσφατα είδα ξανακυκλοφόρησε μια λίστα με μισθούς 100-200 ατόμων στην ΕΡΤ, οι οποίοι θα χρησιμοποιηθούν ως "μαζί-τα-φάγαμε" και για τους υπόλοιπους 2.500 εργαζόμενους, πολλοί από τους οποίους έπαιρναν κανονικούς μισθούς.

Γενικά η ΕΡΤ από όπου και να την πιάσεις βρώμαγε. Ακόμα και τώρα που κλείνει πολλοί δημοσιογράφοι δεν λένε αυτό που πραγματικά σκέφτονται γιατί ελπίζουν να τους προσλάβει αυτός που τους απέλυσε σε ένα καινούργιο φορέα. Αλληλεγγύη από δημοσιογράφους άλλων καναλιών δεν βλέπω να υπάρχει γιατί περιμένουν να μοιραστούν την "πίτα" της ΕΡΤ.

Το θέμα λοιπόν δεν είναι το ότι κλείνει, αλλά το γιατί κλείνει τώρα και ποιον θα εξυπηρετήσει το γεγονός ότι κλείνει σε μια από τις χειρότερες περιόδους της χώρας. Αυτοί που χαίρονται για το κλείσιμο της ΕΡΤ και μαζί και για την επανεκκίνηση ενός άλλου φορέα, είναι η Ν.Δ., η Χ.Α., οι Φιλελεύθεροι και οι εκάστοτε επενδυτές. Δεν είναι δύσκολο να το δει κάποιος, ήδη έχουν βγάλει τις σχετικές ανακοινώσεις τους όλοι από τους προαναφερθέντες, λες και τις είχαν έτοιμες εδώ και καιρό. "Ας πάει στο διάολο η ΕΡΤ" λένε οι Φιλελεύθεροι, "Ενάντια στα τσοντοκάναλα" λέει η Χ.Α. και πάει λέγοντας. Το ΠΑΣΟΚ και η ΔΗΜΑΡ απειλούν να φύγουν από τη συγκυβέρνηση λόγω της "μονομερούς ενέργειας" του κλεισίματος της ΕΡΤ, αφήνοντας έτσι χώρο στην κυβέρνηση για άλλες πιο ακραίες παρατάξεις. Την επόμενη φορά που θα φωνάξεις για την οποιαδήποτε ΕΡΤ "Καλά να πάθουν τα λαμόγια!" σκέψου ποιους κάνεις χαρούμενους με αυτή σου τη δήλωση. Σκέψου σε βάθος χρόνου τι πολιτικό αντίκτυπο έχει το να κλείνουν εν μια νυκτί δημόσιοι φορείς για να γλυτώσεις το δεκάρικο στο λογαριασμό της ΔΕΗ, το οποίο θα το πληρώσεις μελλοντικά σε χαράτσια και επιδόματα ανεργίας για τα τόσα εκατομμύρια άνεργους. Θυμήσου τότε, πως εσύ ήσουν αυτός που χάρηκε κάποτε που ανέβηκαν τα ποσοστά των ανέργων και πλήρωσε τα επιδόματά τους χωρίς δισταγμό.

Εδώ δε μιλάμε απλά για το κλείσιμο ενός καναλιού αλλά για για τον περαιτέρω διχασμό της χώρας. Μιλάμε για τον πλήρη και άνευ όρων έλεγχο της κρατικής συχνότητας από την κυβέρνηση και τους φίλους της τους επενδυτές. Τους ίδιους επενδυτές που έχουν ρημάξει με τις ευλογίες του κράτους τα πάντα σε αυτή τη χώρα. Τους ίδιους επενδυτές που όταν χρεοκοπήσει πλέον η χώρα θα είναι οι πρώτοι που θα φύγουν αναίμακτα. Τους ίδιους επενδυτές που στηρίζουν οι Φιλελεύθεροι, η Χ.Α., η Ν.Δ. αλλά πλέον και μια μερίδα του λαού οι οποίοι πλέον διψάνε για αίμα. Δε τους νοιάζει που είναι άνεργοι, περιμένουν να μείνει και ο άλλος άνεργος για να χαρούν. Δε τους νοιάζει που δεν έχουν μέλλον, περιμένουν να ρίξουν τη χολή τους και στο μέλλον του διπλανού το οποίο καταστρέφεται. Ακόμα και τώρα, στην ύστατη στιγμή, κανείς δεν ψάχνει την εξυγίανση αλλά μόνο την πλήρη ισοπέδωση, τον μηδενισμό και την καταστροφή. Και αυτή η καταστροφή δε θα αργήσει να χτυπήσει και την δικιά μας πόρτα.

Ο Νέρωνας καίει την Ρώμη και εμείς τον χειροκροτούμε...


5/20/13

Individual Thought Patterns Part II



Individual Thought Patterns Part II
Freedom of Mind



The artist.

I always thought that an artist, any artist, can easily live a normal live, while practicing his art as well. I couldn’t be more wrong. That’s because there are two kinds of artists, the creative artist and the reproducing artist. I consider myself closer to the first kind, although I have reproduced art by others in the past.

Reproduction.

The reproducing artist can live a normal life more easily, because he is mearly reproducing the art that someone else created, which is effortless, and that’s about all there is to say. He is the one who “catches snakes with someone else’s hands” like a Mongolian saying goes. On the other hand the creative artist has to create something, most times out of nothing. Now that is the true form of art. There definitely has to be an inspiration of course and a certain pattern, but when one picks which suits him best, all the rest is up to him. And some other times your inspiration picks you instead. But the most important thing here is not to be bound by certain “rules”. From my point of view, there should be a general “theory” behind your art, but no “rules” on how to do it.

That applies of course to any artist, in any field. Any one who uses his creative mind to create art. For example, if you ask ten writers to describe the current economical or political situation in their country, assuming that they all live in the same country, you’d get ten different stories. That is called creative writing. If you were to ask ten painters to draw a beautiful landscape with mountains and forests, you’d get ten different pictures. If you were to ask ten rock musicians to compose a song using the same pattern, you’d still get ten different songs. Adding something out of the ordinary to a rock song, like a bass solo, or some hich-pitched or operatic vocals, or even a small opera piece like Queen, boosts your creativity. Always having a certain rule or pattern that goes like “riff-riff-bridge-verse-bridge solo-riff-etc” is easier and probably more commercial, but bounds your creativity a lot. If the painters had all painted similar snowy mountains and green forests and the writers had all written something like “politicians lie, economy is bad, etc” how would that help your imagination? Simply reproducing a certain pattern, or rule, or opinion, does not help you to create. Creation is evolution, while reproducing the same old patterns, is a taking a step back. Being spontaneous and original is the power of creation.

Creation.

On the other hand, the creative artist, must free his mind of all patterns. It’s not an easy thing to do, and most people are not even willing to do it. For example, how easy would it be to see a white house and say that it’s black? To take a knife and cut your hand and say that you don’t feel pain? To look straight into your mothers eyes and tell her that she means nothing to you? It’s actually a state of being without actually being. Of disputing something, while believing at the same time. “Comfortably numb” is a phrase that I use very often. Every man with good discipline and self-control can do it. Subconsciously we all have done it at least once. The psychosynthesis of the human being consists of many layers. Imagine it being like an onion. Actually it depends on you and you alone, how much you’re going to get a situation get to you.

As far as I’m concerned, when someone is telling lies, or calling you names, or beats you up, or abuses an animal, or he’s is rapist, all these things affect each of us in a different level, and that’s because emotions are the same, but the control that each of us has over them, is not. Fear, anger, compassion, love, hate, they’re all there, but no one can impose on you how you should feel about something or someone. Only if you manage to be in a “comfortably numb” state of mind, about everything that’s happening around you, only then you’ll be able to occupy yourself with things that really matter. Only then you’ll be able to test your limits and see what is really wrong and what is right, and how all these things affect you. At this point I should mention that in two situations I rarely manage to keep my calm. And those two are when someone abuses an animal or a small child. It’s my belief that those two things are the same as destroying innocence itself, and there is no logic that can justify these situations.

Peace of Mind.

People are curious by nature. And kindness is not all that interesting to most of them, while on the other hand, planning to do something “evil” is, from a small prank to a major scam. The Chinese people have a saying that goes like this “There are only two kinds of people that are good, the one that is dead, and the one that is yet unborn”. So, are we evil by nature? Maybe so… it would be the nicest thing if one could live a quiet life while achieving his dreams at the same time, but that is simply not possible. Most of us yearn for a little adventure. Life itself is much simpler than that, but we always tend to make it more complex. We tend to use every mean possible to achieve really small and meaningless things, while at the same time we ignore bigger and more important things, like peace of mind. Here goes another saying, from the Mongols this time, which says that “One shouldn’t draw his sword to kill a mosquito”.

Education.

Educating oneself does help a lot, especially the kind of education which derives from experience, that’s why life itself is the biggest school of all. Roosevelt once wanted to explain the importance of education so he said that “Someone who never went to school, might steal a car, but he who has finished a university, will steal the whole road.”

Like I mentioned earlier, proper education never derives only from books, but also from experience. After all, many books are written by people who either have a different opinion than yours, or on many occasions, they might be trying to conceal part of the truth. Someone might think that he has failed in his attempt to obtain a proper education in his life, but what is “failure” really but a road to success? The great Thomas Edison once said that “I have no failures; I’ve just invented 50.000 things that don’t work”. Don’t let your failures get you down. Even the Greek Revolution of 1821 was preceded by over one hundred other attempts that failed. Educating yourself is vital in order to achieve freedom of mind.

Pushing your Limitations.

Every rose has its thorn though, and if one likes roses, he must come to terms with their thorns as well. Living the life of a sceptic isn’t easy, since your worst enemy is your own self most of the times. One should push himself above his limitations, but one should never impose someone else’s thoughts as his own. Your own approach on things, your own way of thinking will emerge sooner or later. But it must come on its own good time, it should never be forced.

One of the hardest things to accept is a different version of a widely accepted story, or even History itself. I’ve come to acknowledge the fact that “History” is some kind of “censored past”. A past that not even God (if he existed) could change, but then again, historians can (the irony). Most people also conceal parts of their past, parts that might be considered “crazy”, “shameful” or just plain “weird” by other people, especially the ones close to them. In that case it’s easy most of the times to accept another version of the past and live with that false past all of your life, although in most occasions people won’t believe what they’re hearing if one ever tried to explain that. That’s why most people are surprised when one shows his true nature at a point and you see them saying things like “I couldn’t believe that he/she would ever say that…” or “he/she was the nicest person/neighbour/etc I knew, how could he/she do something like that…” etc.

Freedom of Mind.

Of course there are many differences between people like religion, sex, skin colour, ethnicity, etc, but in order to really CREATE, one must set his mind absolutely FREE from such matters. Most people will try to convince you that absolute freedom is evil and that all sins derive from not following a certain rule or pattern, but I guess you just can’t please everyone. In other words, in this “moral” society which is full of lies, it’s better to be “immoral”. Being “good”, as conceived by most people, has many restrictions, while “evil” doesn’t. “Good” has rules and is restricted, “evil” is free. “Good” is full of certain patterns “evil” is creative. “Good” is a lie, “evil” is the truth. The only way to achieve Freedom of Mind is to destroy all lies, rules and patterns.

The truly creative mind in any field is no more than this: A human creature born abnormally, inhumanely sensitive. To them... a touch is a blow, a sound is a noise, a misfortune is a tragedy, a joy is an ecstasy, a friend is a lover, a lover is a god, and failure is death. Add to this cruelly delicate organism the overpowering necessity to create, create, create -- so that without the creating of music or poetry or books or buildings or something of meaning, their very breath is cut off... They must create, must pour out creation. By some strange, unknown, inward urgency they are not really alive unless they are creating. - Pearl S. Buck

“Out for my own, out to be free, one with my mind, they just can’t see, no need to hear things that they say, life is for my own, to live my own way.”

3/3/13

Domine Interview – Rising From The Flames with Enrico Paoli…




Domine Interview – Rising From The Flames with Enrico Paoli…



Prologue: Mythology and fantasy blended together under the banner of Heavy Metal. Italian epic/power metal at it’s finest, the way only Domine can play it. Enrico Paoli, the mastermind behind the band, shares a few words with us, only a week before the band visits Athens for another killer show.



Hello Enrico, nice to have you here.

Thank you very much for the interview request!

Domine is one of the oldest Italian Heavy Metal bands; you guys are around for 30 years now. Was it easy back then in Italy for new bands?

Not at all. It was very difficult for every band which decided to play Metal or Hard Rock. We were also based in a small town for many years, so things were even harder there. No clubs, no record labels, not that many Heavy Metal fans. We started to play just for the passion of music and dreaming to record an album.

Tell me a few things about your influences as a musician.

Well, I am a music fan first of all. I love many different kind of bands but I started to buy albums by Queen, Deep Purple, Rainbow, Kiss, Thin Lizzy, Jethro Tull, Kansas, Genesis, Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin and only a few years later the Metal stuff like Maiden, Priest, Def Leppard, Saxon. So the stuff from the 70’s has always been my main interest, even though I totally got into Heavy Metal during the eartly 80’s. As a musician my fave guitar players are Brian May, Ritchie Blackmore, Randy Rhoads and Gary Moore. But there are a lot of great artists which influenced me. Also a lot of writers like Michael Moorcock, Clive Barker and Frank Herbert, just to name a few.

Your first album “Champion Eternal” came out in 1997. Until then you’ve already had released several demos. What kept you from releasing the album earlier?

Because we were not good enough to get a record deal and because in the early years it was difficult to get attention anyway. Even good bands were releasing very few albums and most of them were done with truly bad productions. I don’t think there was ever a proper scene in Italy. Out band was founded by schoolmates, we were just friends who happen to like Metal, in the first years we were just learning to play. Then we started to write our own songs and record demos, but we didn’t have any budget or money for a proper studio and honestly some members of the band were not real musicians. But we were friends and we have grown up together. It took a life time to put together a real line-up of wanted to make a proper album and play correctly. By the end of the 90’s there was a kind of renaissance for Metal in Italy, with many good bands releasing good albums, that’s when we had the chance to do our debut CD. You can tell the process was EPIC indeed, AHAHAHAHAHAH!

Many people claim that “Heavy Metal died in the 90’s”. Grunge, pop and other styles of music were very popular and the music industry was focused there. What are your memories from that era?

That’s a mainstream music point of view. If you looked at the charts, it was true that grunge and indie rock bands wiped away all the glam metal bands. Some of the grunge and indie rock bands were actually good, in my opinion. Boy-bands were pretty bad. But in the underground there were always good Metal bands around, maybe more in the extreme styles than classic, but still heavy. In a way, it was actually a good thing that major labels stopped to deal with Metal labels, so bands like Priest or Motorhead went ot indie labels and the underground flourished. And by the way, Metal was never big in Italy, not even during the 80’s. The biggest Metal festivals happened from 1997 on over here.

You also played in another band called Masterstroke. What do you remember from that? Have you ever thought of doing something besides Domine?

Well, that was just a fun thing. I was a friend of the guys and I played with them for a couple of years, we even recorded an album worth of material, it was more US Power Metal kind of style, a bit like Agent Steel, Sanctuary and Exciter. When Masterstroke was over and our drummer left, Mimmo, the drummer, became a member of Domine. He was one of the musicians who made Domine’s first album possible, with his great playing and devotion to the band.

During the last decade, old school Heavy Metal got more and more popular. Old bands are reuniting; we have festivals that are 100% for underground and old-school bands and many more new are trying to sound well… “older”. Do you believe that things are better for bands now or worse?

More popular? You must be joking… I think things are really bad now, as the “scene” is so difficult, with economy crisis, illegal download and the usual disinterest from the main medias. The underground festivals are great, but in the end they are attended by the same people who have been there for years and years, with only a few exception. There have always been bands which sound “Older”, some because they want to, some because they don’t have the budget to record an album in a real studio, other because… they are old! AHAHAHAH! But this is not a popularity rise, I don’t really see it, we have played at an edition of the Heineken Jamming Festival in 2003 with Iron Maiden and they attracted 40.000 people. That’s what I call popularity. The underground has always been there but of course it’s build by a minority of people who really enjoy music. They are kept the underground alive, but they are few in numbers (but the look in their eyes… oh, that’s Manowar…)

Looking back in time, which was the best and which the worst moment of Domine?

Difficult to say. We were lucky to have some great moments during all these years, not easy to pick up the best ones. I really loved some of the gigs we have played, like being on tour in Europe with Riot, Anvil and Agent Steel, the gig at Gods Of Metal festival 2000 with Maiden, or the one supporting Judas Priest, the big one at Heineken Jamming Festival in 2003 and 2007 and most of all, it was aleays great to get the band together every time we have finished a new album and having a listening to it. In the end, we record the albums we would like to listen to. We are music fans. The first gig in Athens is a great memory too. I’m sure I’m forgetting many more moments. Worst moments… well, there are many days when I would want to stop but that happens from the very beginning. But as a matter of fact life puts you through some really hard times, much difficult than the problems of playing in a band.

The last few years every band, big or small, is around the almighty Internet Empire. Do you think that the Internet helps a band or not?

It would take hours to discuss this. Internet is a great communication tool, so of course that can help bands to promote themselves, but at the same time most people are using Internet to illegally download music, movies, pornography, games, programs, books and that’s destroying everything. It is now impossible to think about a world without internet, as it has changed the way people are using their free time. But it should be used properly. I don’t know, maybe I’m too old, but when there will be Metallica and Maiden only, maybe kids will realize they should have bought the albums of the bands they like.

Your last album came out a very long time ago. What is the current state of the band? Are you currently touring or recording?

Domine is not a full time professional job, we all have our day=jobs and families and during the last years many things happened to our personal lives, we had some very important changes, se we are not fully dedicated on a new album, even though we have been rehearsing constantly. We are working on new songs but we want to take our time to make sure we will have the right songs. We want to improve with every album and not just do a copy of the previous one, we don’t have big budgets behind us or big commitments to honor. It’s not that easy but I’m sure we will come out with the album we want to make.

What are your future plans?

To record a new album and play a few good gigs. We would love to tour the world with a stage like the one KISS are using but I don’t think it will be possible in the near future. ;)

Are there any new bands that you’re currently listening to?

Of course. I do like In Solitude, Fast Animals And Slow Kids, Jess And The Ancient Ones, Foxy Shazam, Heart Of Cygnus, Portrait, Rival Sons, Purson, Witch Mountain… I’ve just bought a new live album by a band called Led Zeppelin, I think they are good enough to go places…

You have a concert scheduled in Greece, at the Up The Hammers festival for the 8th of March. Tell us a few things about that.

We are very happy to come to play in Greece. This is our fourth time and we always have fun with you people.We are going to play mostly songs from our first two albums, as you guys love those. I’m sure we will have a good time.

What are your memories from your previous concerts in Greece?

Well, the first gig in 1999 was amazing, the club was packed with people and it was the very first gig of Stefano with the band and our very first gig outside of Italy. I got to meet people who supported the band in the 80’s, sending drachmas in enveloped to buy demo tapes. Demo tapes !?!?!?! It sounds like Jurassic era now!!

Last but not least, I want you to send a message to your Greek fans.

Just want to thank you guys for all your support and we just can’t wait to play for you guys soon. “Conquest is mine into the fight, screaming the battle cry!”


Check out the band:

http://www.dominetruemetal.com/

Next Domine gig:

http://www.up-the-hammers.gr/
https://www.facebook.com/upthehammersfestival?fref=ts


2/28/13

Sacral Rage – Deadly Bits Of Iron Fragments [EP, 2013]





Sacral Rage – Deadly Bits Of Iron Fragments [EP, 2013]



Release Date: 23rd February, 2013

Sacral Rage was formed in late 2011, from Vaggelis (drums), Dimitris (vocals), Marios (guitars) and Spyros (bass) and they’re heavusly (pun intended) influenced by such bands as Agent Steel, Jag Panzer, Vicious Rumours, Annihilator, etc. After their first and very promising 2-track promo which came out last year, Sacral Rage is back with their first EP named “Deadly Bits Of Iron Fragments”. A little less than 30 minutes of high-quality speed/heavy metal unfolds in this EP, which will be released by Eat Metal Records in late February. Having heard a lot of albums from the majority of Greek bands around, I can definitely say that this EP is definitely among the most perfectly executed Greek speed/heavy/power metal EP’s ever. Usually such efforts lack something, from vocal lines to guitars, or generally creativity. And I’m getting really tired of listening to more and more uninspired bands nowadays. One can tell from the very beginning that this EP is not among those. The guitars are top-of-the-league, from riffs to solos, from fills to harmonies, blending and backing up perfectly the speed with the melody. The vocals balance a lot from early Panzer and Priest to early Helloween, but they actually stand out on their own without being just another bad copy of either one of those bands. What I also like is that –unlike many bands with high pitched vocals- the bass and drums have a big role in the EP as well. Generally this is a very good release for fans of the old US heavy school, but also for anyone who enjoys a fresh good speed/power blast in their ears. I definitely hope that the best is yet to come for the band.

Hint: Go check a live show of Sacral Rage, they kick serious ass.

Tracklist:

01) Foreshadower
02) Return Of The Dead
03) Master Of A Darker Light
04) Born In A Cage (Raised In Rage)
05) Forced To Betray
06) Gladiator (Nasty Savage cover)
07) Burning Yearning

Lineup:

Spyros – Bass
Vaggelis F. – Drums
Marios P. – Guitars
Dimitris K. – Vocals

Links:


Download is a substitute, support real music and buy some records!

Exarsis – The Brutal State [Full Length, 2013]




Exarsis – The Brutal State [Full Length, 2013]



Release Date: 01st March, 2013

With almost 3 years of being around, Exarsis has definitely made a name for themselves. The band has given numerous live shows and they’re releasing something new every year, from demos to full length albums. Their new child will be named “The Brutal State” and it is the successor to their debut “Under Destruction”, which was released back in 2011. So, what do we have here? Some more old-school thrash metal that’s for sure! Although I’m still very attached to the bands first album, I can easily say that this is way more destructive. It’s like a bulldozer of speed/thrash. The album has not got a single relaxed moment, well, except the intro. The fact is that this album will definitely blow your minds. The guitars are going from the totally killer riffs to the speedy solos in the blink of an eye. The vocals are definitely among the most aggressive and unique vocals around. Along the whole moshpit atmosphere of the record one can also find more catchy songs, such as “Vote For Crisis”, “Toxic Terror”, “Dying Earth” and “Under Destruction”. Generally the record will not leave anyone into “Apathy, Ignorance, Oblivion” (pun intended). The themes that the band uses in their lyrics are mainly about political and social matters. These are very troubled times for Greece, as well as for the whole planet, which should make more bands focus on social matters even more and use music as a tool for expressing their beliefs or disbeliefs.

I believe that there won’t be a single thrash metal fan that will not enjoy this album, except the regular I-hate-my-guts dudes of course.

The band is giving a live show with Biocancer, Domination and Suicidal Angels at Gagarin 205 Club, on the 19th of April, 2013.

Tracklist:

01) Annihilation… Proceed!!!
02) Mind Poisoning
03) Addicting Life Waste
04) Vote For Crisis
05) Dying Earth
06) Toxic Terror
07) Surveillance Society
08) Apathy, Ignorance, Oblivion
09) Suicide Disorder
10) Under Destruction

Lineup:

Christos P. – Bass
Giorgos – Drums
Panayiotis – Guitars
Christos T. - Guitars
Alex – Vocals

Links:

Download is a substitute, support real music and buy some records!

1/22/13

Manilla Road - Mysterium [Shadow Kingdom Records, 2013]





Manilla Road - Mysterium [Shadow Kingdom Records, 2013]



Release Date: February 1st, 2013
  
The legends of Heavy Metal from Wichita, Kansas are back with their new “child”. The new record of Manilla Road is named “Mysterium” and it is the first one with the bands new drummer, Neudi and their new bass player Josh Castillo. Manilla Road are a band that really leaves you wondering about their upcoming releases, because they can really easily jump from theme to theme and from style to style, a thing that costs you some fans but also gains you some others. The fact is that the band has been delivering Heavy Metal for a little more than 35 years (with a small break) and they’re also one of the first and most important bands of the underground scene, still recording, still giving great gigs, still around in every sense of the word. And that alone says a lot.

The first thing I notice about their new record is that it has a lot of aggressiveness, much like their bands previous record “Playground Of The Damned”. Actually, the post-2000 Manilla Road, sound like their constantly changing their style. Their sound throughout all their latest releases is really hard to describe with just a label. It seems like they try to blend all the elements that the band had presented in their past releases, from epic to thrash and from prog to much darker riffs and melodies. “Mysterium” takes off exactly where “Playground…” left us. Bryan’s vocals are much smoother and more similar to Mark Shelton’s and at some points; I could say that it is somehow hard to tell which one is singing. Josh and Neudi have also done a very decent job on the record, considering that this is their first recording with Manilla Road. “Mysterium” is one of those records that grow inside you, like most of the bands releases. After all, Mark Shelton is not a musician who is recording cheesy stuff for the big arenas, but only for the true lovers of Heavy Metal music. What I also like about this record, is that it has a lot of groovy riffs which also blend perfectly with Bryan’s vocals. Mark Shelton voice sounds somehow mellow in songs like “The Battle of Bonchester Bridge” and “The Fountain” (which I’ve had the pleasure of seeing live), but instead of leaving you with a sad feeling, he leaves you stronger and with more hope towards anything. Much like the song “Art Of War” in their previous album.

Finally, this is a fine release from Manilla Road and much similar to their previous one, with a much better touch on the production though. It is a very heavy and solid album, with faster as well as darker moments. Bryan Patrick and Mark Shelton are beyond great throughout the record. I’ve come to terms with the constant changes in the band’s style and I like almost all their releases so far. Many fans tend to judge new albums by instantly comparing them to the masterpieces of the band which is wrong. Every album has something else, something new to say. I think that in this record the band combines every single style that they’ve played during the past and the outcome is indeed very good.

Tracklist:

01) The Grey God Passes
02) Stand Your Ground
03) The Battle of Bonchester Bridge
04) Hermitage
05) Do What Thou Will
06) Only The Brave
07) Hallowed Be Thy Grave
08) The Fountain
09) The Calling
10) Mysterium

Manilla Road Lineup:

Mark Shelton – Guitars, Vocals
Bryan “Hellroadie” Patrick - Vocals
Josh Castillo - Bass
Neudi - Drums

Contact Links:


Links with review posted:

https://www.facebook.com/Neudi666/posts/590236727660191
https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=162380903909389&id=222505821165293

Download is a substitute, support real music and buy some records!

1/21/13

Helloween – Straight Out Of Hell [Sony Music, 2013]




Helloween – Straight Out Of Hell [Sony Music, 2013]



Helloween is one of the greatest chapters, if not the greatest, in the German heavy/power metal scene. They’ve been around for nearly 30 years and they’re still very productive and energetic. Their previous album “7 Sinners” was actually among the best albums that the band has released during the last years, and I really didn’t expect that they could easily repeat such an accomplishment.

I wasn’t all that impressed with all the albums that came after “The Dark Ride”, but their previous album, as well as their latest release “Straight Out Of Hell”, really grab you from the face from the beginning until the end. “Straight Out Of Hell” starts with the song “Nabataea”, a classic Helloween song, which also has a very interesting videoclip and continues with the song “World Of War”, a fast paced song with a slightly more modern feel to it. The next songs are “Live Now!” and “Far From The Stars”, two songs with very strong melodies and powerful vocals. The guitars and the vocals of Andi Deris, are the two most distinct things throughout the record. The next song “Burning Sun” is another shining example of this combination. Also the keyboards have a strong presence in most songs. The next song “Waiting For The Thunder” is the classic Helloween slow intro-explosive riffs-cheesy verse. And here we are, reaching the middle of the record, to find a power ballad named “Hold Me In Your Arms”. Very nice ballad indeed, but I wanted a little something more. The next songs are the classic ‘weird-ish’ Helloween songs “Wanna Be God” and “Asshole” with an instrumental piece between called “Straight Out Of Hell”. The next song is called “Years” and it is really a very special and sentimental song. It really grows in you. The record ends with “Make Fire Catch The Fly” and “Church Breaks Down”, two of the heaviest and fastest, as well as the most meaningful songs on the record.

Andi Deris has brought a lot of himself in the band and that is more than obvious to anyone who has observed his career throughout the years. Actually Helloween is a BAND in every sense of the word, on studio and on stage as well.

Closing up, the band sounds fresher than ever in their latest release. This is definitely an album, not only for the hardcore Helloween fan, but for every fan who loves a good power metal release. I’m a big fan of old-school Kiske/Hansen Helloween, I also love their 90s releases as well as the works of Andi Deris besides Helloween. Having said that, I believe that this is one of the bands best releases.  

Tracklist:

01) Nabataea
02) World Of War
03) Live Now!
04) Far From The Stars
05) Burning Sun
06) Waiting For The Thunder
07) Hold Me In Yout Arms
08) Wanna Be God
09) Straight Out Of Hell
10) Asshole
11) Years
12) Make Fire Catch The Fly
13) Church Breaks Down
14) Another Shot Of Life (Bonus Track)
15) Burning Sun (Hammond Version) (Bonus Track)
16) No Eternity (Bonus Track)

Helloween Lineup:

Michael Weikath - Lead & Rhythm Guitar, Backing Vocals
Markus Grosskopf - Bass, Backing Vocals
Andi Deris - Lead Vocals
Sasha Gerstner - Rhythm & Lead Guitar, Backing Vocals
Daniel Loble - Drums

Contact Links:

http://www.helloween.org/
http://www.facebook.com/helloweenofficial?ref=stream

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1/19/13

ENFORCER - Death By Fire [Nuclear Blast, 2012]





ENFORCER - Death By Fire [Nuclear Blast, 2012]



Release Date: February 1st, 2013 (Europe), March 5th, 2013 (North America)


Having seen Enforcer in an explosive live performance and also, having nearly melted their first two albums, I was more than honoured to do a review on their upcoming third album entitled “Death by Fire”.

At first I was expecting something similar to their first two albums, which are both masterpieces of classic Heavy Metal. Well, nothing could be further from the truth. “Death By Fire” grabs you from the throat from the very beginning and won’t let go until you’re dead! And Death is what this album is all about, quoting vocalist and guitar player Olof Wikstrand “The album title refers to the most horrific ways to die… all lyrics on “Death By Fire” hold the same theme throughout the record: death - in all different shapes.” The record starts with a small instrumental keyboard piece called “Bells Of Hades” which kind gets you in the mood for what is about to follow. Then all hells breaks loose! “Death Rides The Night” is a classic bang-all-the-way Enforcer song. “Run For Your Life” has the perfect blend of riffs, melodies and high-pitched vocals that we love in Enforcer. “Mesmerised By Fire” is a another classic high energy song with even more aggressive vocals. During the middle of the song, there is a killer part that really adds a lot to the whole mood. “Take Me Out Of This Nightmare” is by far one of the best Enforcer songs ever written. The whole band really giving their best self, their heart and soul really went on this one. “Crystal Suite” is a great instrumental piece, in the style of old Iron Maiden but still, keeping the originality and freshness of Enforcer. The next song is called “Sacrificed” and it’s like the record is starting all over again. Melodies, screams and riffs all mixed together in an actual Heavy Metal Bomb! Along comes the most epic song of Enforcer called “Silent Hour / The Conjugation”. It is the only song that I will not analyse at all, I’ll only say this. It is indeed an EPIC composition and I could easily hear it 100 times in a row and not get tired of it. The record ends with “Satan” (he he he) one of the fastest songs ever written by the band. After all the horror of death that is present in the record, a scream shouting “Satan take me away…” is the best way to end it.

The album is less than 40 minutes, in the spirit of every classic Heavy Metal record, from Judas Priest and Iron Maiden, to Slayer and Manowar. It also helps the sound quality in the vinyl format, because when the duration is longer that 19 minutes on each side, the sound is losing it’s quality. That is all folks, keep an eye out for this record when it comes out, it is one of the best Heavy Metal albums of this year.

Tracklist:

01) Bells Of Hades
02) Death Rides The Night
03) Run For Your Life
04) Mesmerized By Fire
05) Take Me Out Of This Nightmare
06) Crystal Suite
07) Sacrificed
08) Silent Hour - The Conjugation
09) Satan

Enforcer lineup:

Olof Wikstrand: vocals, guitar
Joseph Toll: guitar
Tobias Lindqvist: bass
Jonas Wikstrand: drums

Contact links:

https://www.facebook.com/enforcerofficial?fref=ts

Download is a substitute, support real music and buy some records!

1/9/13

Skull Fist Interview – Riding the Beast with Jackie Slaughter…





Skull Fist Interview – Riding the Beast with Jackie Slaughter…



Prologue: I like Skull Fist and I can not lie! They’ve been among my favorite bands since I first heard them back in early 2010 and I was lucky enough to see them live in 2011 at the Up The Hammers Festival in Greece. Jackie Slaughter, founder, mainman and eh-man of the band, shares a few dirty words with us just one day before the band departs for their tour in Brazil.



Hey Jackie! What’s up dude? Your album “Head öf the Pack” was released last year and as far as I’m concerned, it is among my top 5 best albums for 2011. How did it went?

That's funny because it was recorded in pretty much 5-6 days hahaha well it was done over the span of 2 weeks we had little money to produce it so had to work on it at this studio after hours. Which means an hour here, an hour there haha it was still fun as hell recording though. We got drunk. Jammed out funny parts. Recorded some really funny stuff that we of course never released haha.

You are one of the bands that are really serious when it comes to their outfit. You don’t see that in many bands nowadays. What’s the philosophy behind that?

Outfit has never been a concern for me. This is just what we wear and what we look like. I don't like looking like all the other sap's here in canada. It's fuckin rad when you walk down the street and everyone is staring at you with that stupid look on there face hahahah. So we dont dress the part. We are the part!

Your song themes are mainly Metal, Metal and well… METAL! It would be a little dumb to ask about your inspirations. Which bands do you look up to?

None. Everyone and every band did there own thing and I want to do my own thing. I don't need to get inspired from what other bands have done. I make up my own inspiration.

What is a normal day in the camp of Skull Fist like?

When were NOT on tour or something it's hard to say. All of us live on opposite sides of the city so we only get together to jam or drink or go out to party. When were off tour we still rehearse about 4 times a week so we still hang out alot but everyone is off doin there own thing. I go skateboarding with Jonny. Casey eats chips and drinks redbull. I never know what the hell that guy is up to. Last I heard he was _______ girls in his __________ ___________. I cant fill in those answers since it would get him in trouble. I usually go running and shit. Jonny likes going to random bars he's never been to hahah.


How is it like being a metalhead and metal musician in Canada ? Is there a metal scene? Do you get to see a lot of shows, hang out in clubs, etc, or is it all just work, work and more work?

I've seen quite a few heavy metal clubs come and go since I moved to Toronto. 6 years ago now. The metal clubs never last or they slowly fade away into obscurity. It sucks but theres just not alot of metalheads in Toronto. Not to mention, most of them are broke ass and cant afford bar beer. And then again, lots just hangout at home and dont go out often. The thing is we dont get lots of awesome concerts in Toronto so not too many people go out and pretty much all of the metalheads in Toronto are all in bands. So everyone's always scattered about playing gigs or some shit! There definitely is a scene here. It's just not huge. I don't get to see tons of shows at least not lately since weve been touring a buttload this year but I did get to see Exciter without Beehler the other day. That was still rad. I played tetris and got free shots hahahah


Heavy Metal. What does it mean to you?

The only music that stands strong and maintains a perfect woven relationship with Musical Mastery and Lyrical genius!!! It's really the only music that empowers those that need power, I think thats what makes it so intense for people. We base our lives around this whole style of life and Its totally possible. Heavy Metal covers every aspect of life and teaches you shit from how to react to assholes and how to appreciate the large and the small things in life. Fuckin well spoken music it is!



Last year you’ve had several lineup changes. Actually, you were the only member left in Skull Fist from the original lineup of the band. How did that affect the band?

To me, there is no original lineup, because every person that someone thinks is part of the original lineup has been surpased by another. Bottom line is this. I started the band in 2006 and I write all the shit. Shred and Alison were on the E.P. and Now Jonny and Casey are on the Album. Before the release of the album I had went through shitloads of different guys and girls that had helped and hindered the fist along the way. Whatever the hell anyone would like to call the original lineup they can do. Doesn't matter to me haha All I know is Jonny and Casey are on the 1st album. And the next. And the next. Hopefully all the way to the end!  

The classic Heavy Metal sound is gaining more and more fans, unlike the 90s. Bands with the old school sound are on the loose once more! Also there are several new releases in vinyl! Do you believe that the classic sound is here to stay, or is it just another trend among fans?

I think its peek in the coming years will be a trend. As is just another trend. But then again, EVERYTHING is a trend of some sorts peeking for a number of years or only months. Heavy Metal peeked in the 80s only to have 75% of fans give up to join the grunge phase followed by the super heavy tunes phase. It's easy to know who will stay and who will go though. The true will always keep the spirit alive no matter what. I do say all the vinyl repressing is nice though. : ) 


This is one of my fav questions. Is the internet a “blessing” or a “curse” for music?

You can argue both points over and over but in the end it depends on from whos perspective. It completely destroyed the magic of searching hunting and borrowing or waiting for release dates and the glory of riding the bus to the record store and finding magic albums or bands youve never heard of before. Going to friends place and seeing albums you never even knew existed. New band photo's youve never seen before. lyrics PRINTED!!!! This is all for the listener. But then again, i'ts 10 times easier to discover great bands, as long as you can maintain the sense of wonder. Which unfortunately I dont think too many people can do. For the musician, it's by far the best thing that ever happen. I can't imagine having to search phone books or some shit or mailing people in different countries trying to find out which magazines in other countries could potentially do a review of our cds. Or calling club after club and mailing cds waiting months on end to find out of a venue will book you or some shit.  



Speaking of the Internet, what happened to that video sensation of yours with the killer-milk-carton? I’m really missing that little guy…

Total drag man. I loved that video too! But because it shows my damned penis on camera youtube took it down. So now its a goner. I'm working on blacking on the schlong shot though! It could potentially be back up in the next few weeks! 

What is it like right now in the world of music industry? Do you live of your music?

You'd be surprised some of the guys in big bands I've met that work full time jobs. Damned surprised. These next few years will decide who stays and who goes because very soon everyone will realize there is no money left in this! Once again only the true will be left!

Let’s suppose that a young musician from Canada who is just starting is asking for your advice. What would you tell him?

Wanna make it? Goodbye social life! That's the number one first step. Either you go and play video games at your loser friends place or grab your guitar and fuckin rock.

Are there any new bands out there that you enjoy listening to?

I'm going through everything Paganinni every wrote right now. Just finished Chopin haha
the last two months have been a break from straight heavy metal. Although I had been listening to MX from brazil and the few new Angra albums that came out after the 90s. New bands. hmm.. ohh! Evil Invaders from Belgium haven't heard the full EP yet just a song. Awesome. Check it!. Katana from Sweden. New Bullet album Full Pull. Listened to it with Jonny in the fist van a few days ago.

Do you believe that a band should retire after a certain time period? Have you ever seen a one of your favorite classic bands live and were disappointed after their show?

In the words of Canada's president Mr. Young. Its better to burn out than to fade away. If you can't rock like you did then don't rock at all. I think a huge amount of bands that I never thought would are losing a lot of credibility right now. It's a good thing alot of new great bands are going to replace this shit.

Greece and Germany are two countries that really praise Heavy Metal. What’s your best memory from those countries?


Greece. Up The Hammers. I don't remember much. But I do remember disappearing and everyone telling my band I got arrested and was in Jail. Best 5 days ever. I ate soo many damned Wrap things and serious amounts of ouzo. Some of the funniest guys and chicks I've ever met that I still talk to! I will masturbate with Tzaziki sauce the second I find out I'm going back. Which will be this year. For sure. Germany. You all know what im thinking. I love you, but fuck your fizzy water! In Germany the beer is so strong and never ending that sometimes the BEER DRINKS YOU. I've never been drunker than I have in Munich. I had some of the funniest nights in Germany though. Long stories. Weird situations. Rad parties. And rad friends! But man. I guess I never really think about countries. It's all the same shit. Being a metalhead is like a universal language! Everyone understands how to rock and how to party hahaha.

What’s the latest of on-the-road stories of The Fist?

People ask for stories all the time but almost all the stories we have are offensive. I just cant share those kinds of stories in print. When we get loaded together this year and we will we can talk about them. It'll include stories of mass pukings. Women who turned out to be men. Bar fires. Bar fights. Mothers with extremely young daughters (dont take that the wrong way hahahah) Poncho Piss. Well cover all the different spectrums of weird shit hahaha.

Your next tour is in Brazil right? When do you plan to visit Europe again?

We record the new album this year. Can't say when. Can't say when it releases just yet. Can't say when well be back. But it will be this year for sure.

When should we expect your new album? What are your future plans?

Can't say just yet. But were going to announce this very damned soon! We did a fuckload of touring with this last album and with the next one were going to do a fuckload more. Stay on the road. In the words of Motorhead. KEEP US ON THE ROAD!

Ok Jackie, that’s all, I’ll leave the last word up to you.

I'm taking a crap right now. It's 2 am. I wasn't tired so figured I'd shit and answer this interview. So when you read this, know that at the time I was dumping... isn't that neat?






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