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CD round-up: Music I grabbed at Leyendas del Rock this summer!

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I’ve been meaning to do a short piece about this for ages, but time seemed to slip away, and the Leyendas festival is all but a distant memory. However, the three albums I bought while wandering the stalls on the perimeter are still all getting plenty of play here at Moore Music towers. I wanted to share them with you. Firstly, we have a lovingly packaged Sentenced album, in a nicely illustrated cardboard slipcase, containing not one but two of their albums on one CD. Hailing from Finland, theirs is a tale that ultimately ended in a tragedy. They began as a melodic death metal outfit, morphing more into heavy metal later on.  The band hold some interest for me for many reasons, one of which is the fact that I spent a month in their hometown of Oulu many years ago, while touring with a band up around the Arctic circle. The main album on here, ‘Amok’, recorded in ’95, is widely considered to be their breakthrough album, and it is paired here with ‘Love & Death’, which features songs recorded around the same time as Amok, and a curious cover of Billy Idol’s White Wedding’. Probably because the songs were all recorded around the same time, the two albums go well together here, and the band’s musicality is well to the fore – it’s a great listen.

The band finally split in 2005 and a mere four years later, Guitarist and founding member Miika Tenkula died, on February 19, 2009. He apparently had succumbed to a genetic heart condition. As a footnote, some months after Miika’s death, Sentenced released a box set of 16 CDs and 2 DVDs chronicling their entire career in a coffin-shaped box. The box-set also included rare and previously unreleased tracks.

Mystic Prophecy (Deu) - Savage Souls

Next on the list was Savage Souls from German band Mystic Prophecy. This version came as a ‘book’ CD – the album being in the front, and a bonus DVD in the back, featuring a live appearance at The Matrix in Bochum. The DVD’s a nice bonus, but it’s the studio album that really shines. formed in Bad Gronenbach in 2000, this release dates from 2006. they seem to have a lot of personnel changes, but the vocals and guitar work on this album are great. They’re like a cross between U.S. and European power metal. A nice surprise, this.

ACCEPT

Finally, I had to invest in Accept’s latest release ‘Stalingrad’ after they delivered a blistering set at Leyendas. I really like Marc Tornillo’s vocals , shades of Brian Johnson- and a great fit for the band. Produced by Andy Sneap, Stalingrad is an album that shows a band still at the top of their game. There’s so many standout tracks on here. Not only that, i picked up the special edition, which includes a live DVD featuring performances from Bang your Head and Monsters of rock festivals in 2011 and 2010 respectively , and the music videos for ‘Teutonic Terror’ (one of my favourite Accept tracks) and the (dare I say, infectious?) ‘Pandemic’.

So, three beauties, and a great festival to boot!

Kev Moore

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November 14, 2013 Posted by | Metal, Music, Recording, Rock, Thoughts, Writing | , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Intensity in Tent City – Leyendas del Rock 2013

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Last week, my partner Miki and I decided to sample some metal on ‘the other side of the curtain’, by attending the Leyendas del Rock festival in Villena, Spain, as concert-goers rather than as an appearing artist. Some Metal colleagues from Holland, the band PICTURE, were going to be on, ( we are appearing at the Very ‘Eavy Festival in Holland with them in 2014) – and that also gave us a chance to meet up with a mutual friend, Mark Oosterwijk, who had travelled from Holland with the band.

Chatting with Mark before Picture take the stage

Chatting with Mark before Picture take the stage

We arrived ahead of the crowd on the Wednesday night, in The Boomobile , our live-in music & art studio on wheels, and parked up in the middle of the campsite. By the morning, the gathering of metalheads had begun, and we were quickly surrounded by tents, vans, campers, and amazingly creative structures made from tarpaulines!  It was hot and dry, and when the wind was up, I was reminded of Joe Bonamassa’s “Dust Bowl”!

The organization of the whole festival, right down to the logistics of parking, stewarding, amenities and policing was superb. This is an event in it’s eighth year, and it seems to be one welcomed by the town of Villena with good grace, and runs very smoothly.

I managed to catch a few of the Spanish metal bands, some of whom were very good. LEO JIMENEZ were good, and DARKSUN in particular stood out, – I would have missed them if NASHVILLE PUSSY had arrived on time, as Darksun’s spot was brought forward and onto the main stage! DORO came out all guns blazing and seems to be cultivating an amazing young fanbase, there were some real young kids down the front giving it the ‘horns up’!

DORODORO

I was particularly looking forward to TESTAMENT and VENOM, who were headlining the Friday night, and they didn’t disappoint. Testament really gave the crowd a good pounding, and Cronos and his band have aged well, the years adding a gravitas and an ability the early Venom lacked.

cronosCronos of VENOM

PICTURE took the stage early on the Saturday evening, delivering songs from their latest album Warhorse and songs stretching back over their 30 year career, including songs from Eternal Dark, which I particularly liked. It was good to see Mark headbanging to his favourite Dutch countrymen!

Picture of...PICTURE!

Picture of…PICTURE!

The band of the festival for me were ACCEPT. They were simply in a different league to everybody else, in stagecraft, sound and musicianship. “New guy” (relatively speaking) Mark Tornillo looked entirely at home in Udo’s shoes fronting the German metallists, and has something of Brian Johnson about him. The material drawn from their last two albums is very strong indeed. Songs like Teutonic Terror (my personal favourite) Pandemic, Hung, Drawn and Quartered and Stalingrad just grabbed you by the throat, and old favourite Balls to the Wall can’t fail! It seems their resurgence continues apace, there is fire in their bellies and the fun they’re having on stage is clearly apparent, and infectious.

ACCEPT

The whole vibe of Leyendas del Rock was cool, it was fun to hang in Villena for these few days and get some Metal in! Let’s hope the festival runs for at least another eight years!

Kev Moore

August 17, 2013 Posted by | Metal, Music, Rock, Touring, Writing | , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments