Literally everyone with any sense knows that Halloween is the only good holiday. Some people might argue otherwise, but they are all Hallmark ad executives and therefore not to be trusted. Think about it. Continue reading
Today we take a trip back to October 21, 1987 on the anniversary of the release of the second album by King Diamond called Abigail, released on Roadrunner Records. Continue reading
As some of you know, Tuska 2013 was my fourth Tuska. However, it was my first with any sort of press access. While I’m not exactly new to the world of “press,” I am very new to the world of festival press. Getting into a show on my home turf was not such a big deal, but this was Finland and I was determined not to screw this up. With my passport in hand and 120 borrowed Euros wedged between my fingers, I secured my press pass (making absolutely sure to display it prominently around my neck wherever I went) and went to work.
Being a total press n00b, I was actually worried that for some reason I wouldn’t be allowed to bring my camera into the photo pit…despite the fact that I had a photo pass and a working camera. I wish I could go back in time and smack my nervous Nelly ass in the face.
We met up backstage — our illustrious webmaster Sam, his awesome fiancée Merja, Jason Lekberg of IKILLYA fame, and his awesome wife Laurie. Perhaps I was too nervous and excited to feel like a fifth wheel. Perhaps my friends are just cool like that.
Wintersun were my first band of the day, and as usual, they rocked my socks. I saw them at Gramercy Theater in New York City in December along with literally everyone else, and they were unsurprisingly one of the highlights of the Tuska festival. There were a few times where the rest of the band got a little lost from the drums, which honestly could have just been an open air-related issue. That said, it didn’t negatively impact the performance at all. Jari’s voice always gives me the chills, and the entire band is so talented that they could all play out of time with each other and it would still sound beautiful.
One of the biggest surprises of Wintersun’s set was the relative lack of audience response to their opener, “Sons Of Winter And Stars.” They played that song in the US and all my friends and I went totally nuts. Most of us knew at least half of the words. Otherwise, crowd response was adequate. People were clearly having a lot of fun.
Now here’s where things get hairy. With Sam by my side, I felt like I could do anything and go anywhere. Without Sam by my side, I became a timid little girl. Suddenly, entering the photo pit felt like a daunting task, and going backstage was completely unthinkable. Next year I will have the confidence to wander around more on my own, but this year was a little overwhelming.
I had really been looking forward to seeing Kuolemanlaakso at the festival, but unfortunately I found myself unable to find the stage at which they were slated to perform. I had gotten word that my bag arrived at Helsinki Vantaa airport, but there was no way I was going to risk missing any acts to go get it, so I was stuck in my increasingly uncomfortable sandals for the duration. After wandering the entirety of the festival grounds three or four times, I decided it would be best to settle down before my feet got torn up even further.
While I wasn’t exactly disappointed to see Bolt Thrower, the disappointment over missing Kuolemanlaakso probably tainted my experience a little. I didn’t actually know a whole lot about Bolt Thrower, except the few songs that I heard on Turntable. They were good and I will definitely see them when (if?) they come to the United States. Sadly, my shyness prevented me from entering the pit during the Bolt Thrower show, but I got a couple of decent shots from the crowd.
More of the same with Amorphis — just a few audience POV pictures this time. In hindsight, I really don’t know what I was afraid of. The photo pit is a friendly place, and I had direct permission to be there. In later days, I loosened up, but I’m still kind of mad at myself about the first day. Anyway, except for the fact that Amorphis didn’t play my favorite song of theirs, their set was really awesome. “Silver Bride” and “On Rich And Poor” especially ruled.
King Diamond capped off the night, and he was, in a word, loud. I’ve seen a few bands that aged out of awesomeness long before I got a chance to see them — King Diamond is not one of them. The legendary frontman is 57 and I would have forgiven him for losing a bit of his edge, but he certainly has not. My only complaint about his stage show was that Satanist themes, though very Diamond-y, are a little passe. I thought the actors were a lot of fun to watch, in a cheesy community theater sort of way, but a pregnant woman walking across a stage and collapsing…I guess it didn’t move me, and I’m not sure if it was supposed to.
The absolute worst part of the King Diamond show was all the annoying drunk people outside the festival grounds after the show, trying out their best King Diamond impression. Drunk screaming teenagers are annoying enough when they’re not trying to sing.
On Tuska Day 1, I learned a couple MORE valuable lessons, and they are as follows:
-Showering with publically available antibacterial soap is only slightly better than not showering at all.
-Finland summers go from cold at night to sunny and humid in the morning. Drink water before sleeping outside to avoid death.
-Always wear comfortable shoes on a plane, even if the less-comfortable ones are more easy to remove for security.
Coming up next…
Tuska Open Air Metal Festival (June 28, 2013)
Finnish power metal giants Stratovarius were added to the Tuska 2013 lineup today, as well as other hometown favorites Lama, Dreamtale, and Betrayal At Bespin. The 3-day festival’s running order has not yet been set in stone, nor has the lineup, but Stratovarius will headline on Sunday, June 30. So far, the Tuska schedule is as follows:
Friday, June 28
THE DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN
CUT TO FIT
Saturday, June 29
WE BUTTER THE BREAD WITH BUTTER
DARK BUDDHA RISING
DR. LIVING DEAD!
DE LIRIUM’S ORDER
Sunday, June 30
BETRAYAL AT BESPIN
Tickets for Tuska 2013 are on sale HERE, so get ‘em while they’re hot!
Unlike most of our Hails, Magus Beast actually has a very long history. They started out in 1985 as a band called Aggressor — not the most original name, but it was the mid-80s and that’s the way things were. Aggressor made a name for themselves in the local NYC scene, eventually opening up for legendary bands like Nuclear Assault, Overkill, and Testament. The band changed their name to Magus Beast 15 years into their career, and solidified their current lineup in 2010.
If you’re wondering why I’m writing about a band with so many years under the belt, it’s because I only just now heard of them and they’re already probably in my top five local thrash bands ever. I’m unsure how Magus Beast go to be NYC’s best-kept secret — people should be shouting about them from their rooftops. After their electrifying (and likely glass-shattering — Ron Scauri’s vocals are an out-of-this-world combination of King Diamond and Bobby Blitz) performance at Wednesday’s U.D.O. show at Gramercy, I was shocked to discover that the band had such a modest following.
I’m still a n00b so I don’t know the name of the song below, but neither does the person who uploaded this awesome video! Better buy all of Magus Beast’s albums just to be sure.
For today’s From The Vault,we take a trip back to December 25, 1985 to a song by the one and only King Diamond, No Presents for Christmas. Continue reading
The illustrious King Diamond has signed a worldwide three-album deal with Metal Blade Records! His official statement regarding the deal is as follows:
“This is gonna be awesome! Another perfect piece of the puzzle. We have the full backup of Metal Blade, and there’s an understanding between us that goes much, much deeper than before.
Our new business setup will noticeably benefit the fans in so many ways. You must have already noticed some of all the cool new stuff that is happening.
Now we can’t wait to get out there and start touring again!”
News of the signing comes a few months after some vague but promising hints at a 2013 Europe/US tour, so we’ll likely see more news from the metal master in the coming months. Stay tuned!
Tonight (September 8th) King Diamond will be a guest on That Metal Show on VH1 Classic at 11PM EST. Diamond, who is a first time guest on That Metal Show will talk about his recent heart surgery, his career in metal and what’s to come in the future. Continue reading
Everyone gets nostalgic now and then. After all, there’s a reason we have a From The Vault column — getting down to old school jams is one of life’s greatest joys! Iron Kingdom, much like a lot of my favorite heavy metal bands these days, are bringing back sounds from the ’70s and ’80s. Their influences shine through brilliantly, especially in the “King Diamond with a dash of Rob Halford sprinkled liberally with Bruce Dickinson” vocals. These guys (and classically trained drummer gal Amanda Osterman) aren’t innovating anything but they are rocking out, and it’s hard not to fall in love with their catchy tunes.
These Canadian traditionalists have only been around in their current incarnation since 2011, and their debut album Curse Of The Voodoo Queen was released late in the same year. If you’re in the frozen north, I highly recommend checking them out since heavy bands like this tend to be best enjoyed in person. I’m all the way down here, so you’ll just have to come back here and tell us how great their performance was. In the meantime, all us non-Canadians have YouTube.
Official Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/ironkingdom
Official merch store: http://ironkingdomsofficialmerchstore.bigcartel.com