Icelandic post metal band Sólstafir have won the award for 'Best Rock Album of 2020' at the Icelandic Music Awards with their latest album 'Endless Twilight of Codependent Love'. The Icelandic Music Awards (Íslensku Tónlistarverðlaunin) can be seen as the Icelandic version of the Grammys. Find more information here.
'Endless Twilight of Codependent Love' was released in November 2020. Listen to the album here or order a copy in the Season of Mist shop.
A quarter of a century after singer / guitarist Aðalbjörn "Addi" Tryggvason co-founded atmospheric Icelandic metal quartet Sólstafir, they continue to follow their cardinal rule – that there are no rules. For them, writing an epic 10-minute song without a traditional verse/chorus trade-off feels natural. While they have done two albums in English, he mainly sings in their native tongue and his vocals are as much an instrument as a vessel for words. Their videos equally showcase the band and their Icelandic world that they commune with.
And their music flows however it pleases. “Having been a metal band for a long time and gone through shoegaze, atmospheric black metal, and post rock, I just feel privileged being able to mix all my favourite genres and get away with it,” says Tryggvason.
In the world of Sólstafir, artists as varied as The Beatles, Kraftwerk, Darkthrone, Ennio Morricone, and Billy Corgan swirl inside their heads, and such influences seep into their musical ether. Funnily enough, the cover for the group’s latest album Endless Twilight of Codependent Love might remind one of a famous Smashing Pumpkins album cover.
Painted in watercolour by Johann Baptist Zwecker in 1864, The Lady of the Mountain is the female personification of Iceland. It was first published in a book of Icelandic folk tales but was never shown in public. A black and white woodblock replica by the artist is what Icelanders have known until recently when two citizens found the original hidden in a Welsh museum gallery where it had been in storage for a century. Now it is back home and adorning the cover of the new Sólstafir album.
“Everybody knows the image of the Lady of the Mountain,” declares Tryggvason. "All of a sudden, the original pops up and it’s like, ‘Oh my god, these are the most beautiful colors I've ever seen. And why does it remind me of Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness?’ So that's purely accidental. When we saw this photo, we had to use it. It's too beautiful.”
While early Sólstafir lyrics delved into Nordic mythology and critiques of organized religion, more recent songs explore their spiritual connection with nature, and lately, mental disorders ranging from depression to alcoholism and the taboo behind men in particular discussing those things for fear of being perceived weak.
“That’s the real darkness that you can't see, but you can feel it and people around you can feel it,” explains Tryggvason. “Of course, there are serial killers and plagues and whatever through history. But in modern day life, that's the true darkness around you. People kill themselves every day, and often people close to you who have been feeling so bad.”
He says the most personal song on Endless Twilight of Codependent Love is “Her Fall From Grace,” the lone track in English. It chronicles the pain of watching a loved one succumb to mental illness.
“It's very sad when you love someone and you see them get sick,” muses Tryggvason. “Like Layne Staley said, ‘Slow suicide is no way to go.’ But you’re just watching on the audience bench, preparing for the phone call. ‘Hey man, Johnny's dead.’ ‘All right, I knew Johnny was gonna die. I've been watching him in slow motion.’” He likens the experience to seeing a relative or parent be consumed by Alzheimer’s and turn into a different person than one remembers.
Although the band’s lyrics are predominately in Icelandic, that does not prevent outside listeners from appreciating the emotional power of their music. It has been said that many fans can feel his pain even if they do not overtly understand what he is singing about.
A beautiful moment in that regard occurred when Sólstafir played Bogota, Colombia in September 2017. It was the smallest show on their South American tour, and they presumed it would not be as lively. The 300 strong throng proved them wrong. “It felt like I was in Queen at Wembley Stadium,” Tryggvason recollects fondly. “They sang every goddamn word in Icelandic. How can you explain that?”
Such passionate reactions have not gone unnoticed in their homeland. Iceland picked Sólstafir to play a total of six events New York City, Seattle, and Toronto last fall called “Taste Of Iceland.” Tryggvason says the band enjoyed the event and their intimate industry showcases at Pianos (NYC) and Livenation (Toronto) during that same trip.
Counter-intuitive thinking has helped Sólstafir evolve and mature. The new track “Or” opens with a languid, bluesy feeling but gradually transforms into an angst-ridden, guitar-driven dirge. When they conjured their breakthrough song “Fjara” in 2011, the group feared its mellow nature might put off their longtime metal followers. Instead, they embraced it. That tune, along with the ambient, banjo-laden track “Ótta,” allowed the group to play both the Brutal Assault festival in the Czech Republic five years ago and then a family-friendly music event in the Netherlands the next weekend. The new rager “Dionysus” even features a return to their black metal roots that was not planned; the song just turned out that way over a year-long span.
“Our audience grew bigger and more diverse by us just being ourselves and doing nothing different really,” notes Tryggvason.
One of the joys for him and his bandmates – bassist Svavar "Svabbi" Austmann, guitarist Sæþór Maríus "Pjúddi" Sæþórsson, and newer drummer Hallgrímur Jón "Grimsi" Hallgrímsson, who contributed some lyrics this time out – is that their perception of how their new music will turn out never corresponds with reality. It is that unknown factor that keeps things exciting.
“You can never foresee band magic,” declares Tryggvason. “The whole purpose of this is cooking up magic. And if you're cooking up magic with four or five weirdos, you can never foresee what's going to happen. You can't buy that. You have to live it or grow it.”
Aðalbjörn Tryggvason - Vocals, uitar
Sæþór M Sæþórsson - Guitar
Svavar Austmann - Bass
Hallgrímur Bárðdal - Drums
Maltese death metallers Beheaded have won in the 'Best Metal' category at the 25th Malta Music Awards. This is the third time in Beheaded's history when the band was nominated and won.
In 2019 Beheaded released their sixth full-length album "Only Death Can Save You" via Agonia Records. The album was followed by a European tour alongside Incantation and Hate and saw the band perform at summer festivals such as Party San Open Air (Germany) and Motocultor (France). The same year Beheaded embarked on a headlining Brazilian tour with Nervochaos and Jupiterian.
Beheaded rolled into life in 1991 with Malta as a backdrop to its caustic roots of death metal. Drawing inspiration from death metal hailing from Europe and the US at that time, and diving head on in the tape trading, zine and snail mail networks, Beheaded created its demo "Souldead" in 1995. With its strong statement and character, both European and worldwide record deals preceded the final cementing of the band as a placeholder in the extreme music scene. With six official releases under its belt, respect was gained through the energetic live set tying its relentlessness to its pure death metal inner sanctum. Several tours and festivals in Europe, US and Asia have channelled this thick skinned aural punishment to crowds all over, bringing more and more devoted followers.
Tool has won a GRAMMY Award® for Best Metal Performance (“7empest”).
Danny Carey (drums) and Justin Chancellor (bass) accepted the awards at today’s Premiere Ceremony in Los Angeles.
“7empest” is from the band’s fifth studio album: Fear Inocolum (RCA Records). The 10-song collection arrived in late August, debuting at #1 on Billboard’s Top 200. Critically, the album was met with equal enthusiasm. NPR said “Fear Inoculum was worth the 13-year wait,” The Atlantic dubbed it “precise and devastating,” Revolver declared it “a masterpiece that will be dissected for years to come” and Entertainment Weekly said the collection is “deeply satisfying, both as a distinct artistic statement and as accidental fan service to a base that expects nothing less than unflinchingly unique artistic statements.”
The Los Angeles-based band has previously won three GRAMMY Awards®: Best Metal Performance (1998, “Ænima”), Best Metal Performance (2002, “Schism”) and Best Recording Package (2007, 10,000 Days).
Tool formed in 1990, and have released five studio albums: Undertow (1993), Ænima (1996), Lateralus (2001),10,000 Days (2006) and Fear Inoculum (2019); two EPs: 72826 (1991) and Opiate (1992) and the limited-edition boxset Salival (2000). TOOL is Danny Carey (drums), Justin Chancellor (bass), Adam Jones (guitar) and Maynard James Keenan (vocals).
Swedish Melodic Folk / Black Metallers Wormwood nominated for 'Best metal album of the year' at P3 Guld
The Swedish melodic folk/black metal-band Wormwood has been nominated in the best metal/rock album-category of the year by P3 Guld. The gala will be held in Gothenburg in January 2020.
Vote for ’Nattarvet‘ now: https://www.p3guld.se
P3 Guld is an award ceremony that was established in 2003 by the national Swedish radio station P3 and is being held in the beginning of every new year. The P3 Guld award has been given out to outstanding artists in the music field and consists of nine different categories.
This year‘s gala will take place on January 18, 2020 and broadcasted live on national television. The jury consists of music experts as well as the vote of the Swedish people. Past winners include huge global artists such as Avicci, The Hives and Robyn and in the metal category you‘ll find Sweden‘s finest metal exports Opeth, In Flames and the ever so popular shock rock band Ghost.
The Swedish melodic folk/black metal-band Wormwood raised critical acclaim among the global music press with their sophomore full length “Nattarvet”. A concept album about the Swedish winter landscape and the famine in the end of the 19th century.
Multi-platinum quintet Bring Me The Horizon have received a GRAMMY award® nomination in the Best Rock Album category for their latest album amo, out now on RCA. This marks the band’s second nod from The Recording Academy following their Best Rock Song nomination last year for “MANTRA,” the lead single from the album.
The news comes on the heels of Bring Me The Horizon’s U.S. headlining “Threesome Tour” and brand new track “Ludens” which they contributed to Timefall, an album of new music inspired by the highly anticipated “Death Stranding” video game available on PlayStation 4.
Bring Me The Horizon is one of the most electrifying and successful rock bands to emerge from the UK. amo, was released earlier this year and was named as “one of the most anticipated albums of 2019” by Billboard and described by NME as “bold, brilliant and boundary-pushing.” “MANTRA,” was a Top 5 hit at Rock Radio and earned the multi-platinum-selling act its first-ever GRAMMY award® nomination for Best Rock Song. Bring Me The Horizon has spent 2019 touring the world in support of the critically acclaimed amo. The group has sold over 4 million albums globally to date, played sold-out shows in over 40 countries, including a sold out night at the Forum in Los Angeles and two sold out nights at London’s O2, wowed a traditionally non-rock crowd at Glastonbury Festival in 2016 and 2019 and stole the show at high profile festivals across Europe all summer. Bring Me The Horizon is vocalist Oli Sykes, guitarist Lee Malia, bassist Matt Kean, drummer Mat Nicholls and keyboardist Jordan Fish.
Award-winning Canadian Melodic Death Metallers Kavara to release debut album 'Weathered & Lost' on 31st May
Fresh off the Forest City London Music Awards' bestowal of "Best Metal Act of 2019," Canadian Melodic Death Metal quintet Kavara are proud to announce the May 31 release of full-length debut album Weathered & Lost. The album's first single, "Scarecrow," can be streamed below.
"Scarecrow" (Bandcamp) - kavaraofficial.bandcamp.com/track/scarecrow
"Scarecrow" (YouTube) - youtu.be/Tt4t3SnDkvg
Emerging from the smoke and debris left by the explosive launch of 2016 debut EP Overthrown, Kavara ratchets up the intensity, hones the songwriting to a fine point, and devastates the hemisphere with 11 tracks of dyed-in-the-wool melodic death metal! Eschewing trends in favour of authenticity and letting the music do the talking, Kavara's Weathered & Lost is Death Metal par excellence. Up the volume and revel in the glory of Death! Weathered & Lost was recorded at Icehouse Studios in Goderich, Ontario
Pre-order Weathered & Lost - kavaraofficial.bandcamp.com/album/weathered-lost
Kavara is a melodic death metal band hailing straight out of the depths of the Forest City (London, Ontario). Formed in 2015 through Fanshawe College's Music Industry Arts program, Kavara released their debut EP Overthrown a year later while also playing shows all around Ontario. They've shared the stage with some well-known bands (Skeletonwitch, Beyond Creation & Insurrection) and toured on the east coast, where they had their first festival performance at Freedom Fest in the Field!
Kavara takes influence from many genres from both the past and the present, and is always working on new material to deliver a consistent supply of impressive music and powerful messages. With a wide range of musical backgrounds, the members are able to create an innovative sound for the heavy metal world.
Influences: Children of Bodom, Death, The Black Dahlia Murder, Cattle Decapitation, Lamb of God, Dethklok (and many others!)
Serena Dorton - Vocals
Chris Strange - Guitar
Mike MacGibbon - Guitar
Spinny Guilbault - Bass
Steve Cummer - Drums
Australian Prog Metal wizards Ne Obliviscaris share live footage and are nominated for Indie Music Award
Progressive metal masters Ne Obliviscaris will soon be embarking on their previously announced tour dates in Australia with label mates Beyond Creation. In conjunction with the upcoming trek, the band has shared pro-shot live video footage from their concert in Montreal from October 10, 2018. The clip, which was recorded and edited by Dr. Light Productions, can be viewed here!
Vocalist/violinist Tim Charles comments:-
"Our live show is to us is such a vital part of what we do. That chance to really feel the connection between you and the audience through the music is something so special. It's what we live for. When performing in Montreal last October we had the chance to film the show and are pleased to release this live video of two songs - 'Libera Pt 1/Urn Pt 2.' We are excited to get back on the road playing here in Australia in a couple weeks time alongside some amazing bands for what is going to be our biggest ever headline shows anywhere in the world, before heading back to Europe for a festival tour in June as well. We hope you enjoy the video and that we see you at a live show sometime soon!"
Additionally, Ne Obliviscaris have been nominated for an Indie Music Award in the Metal/Hardcore song category for the track "Intra Venus." Fans can vote for the song here!
Blackened death metallers Sectorial have been nominated for a Best Ukrainian Metal Act award in the category of Best Metal Band. The award show will take place on December 22nd in Kyiv, Ukraine. Event details can be found here.
Best Metal Band nominees:
Sectorial recently unleashed their third full-length entitled "VYR" via Noizr Productions on November 9th, 2018 to follow their sophomore release "We Are The Titan's Rising Ashes"(2015), which won two BUMA awards for "Best Metal Video" (Tree Eater) and "Best Metal Album".
"VYR" captures the band's advancement in both musicianship and sound, every instrument, every bit of music on this release has its own story. Featuring 12 brutal tracks mixed and mastered by Warkhoros, the album showcases an assault of diversity, from intense blast-beats to acoustic compositions to using different ethnic instruments such as drymba / munnharpe, jouhikko, bukkehorn, flutes, duda, and trembita.
The band comments:
"Capricious and unpredictable streams of life, violent waves and the hypnotic blue of the the universe’s depths... an element that can withstand anything that will happen on the way... a bottomless stellar sky, reflected on a calm mirrored surface that in an instant turns into an incredible dance of the wind and drops, and spins in a gigantic powerful VYR."
Music Video "The Observer"
Music Video "Inhuman Ones"
CD and digital album order for "VYR" available on Noizr here, Bandcamp, iTunes, Amazon, Google Play
Recorded, mixed, and mastered by Warkhoros, Tyrant Studio.
Cover artwork and print design by Lita Akhmetova.
Ivan 'Burz' Kozakevych - Vocals, Folk Instruments
Igor 'Reich' Kovalenko - Drums, Percussion
Dmytro 'Trit' Vashchenko - Guitars, Backing Vocals
Boris 'Karis' Krivous - Bass, Backing Vocals
April 13 - BingoClub - Kyiv, UA - Metal East: Нове Коло - Warm Up Show - info
Metallica to receive Polar Music Prize; Swedish award given in recognition of excellence in the world of music
On Thursday, June 14th Metallica – along with fellow laureate Dr. Ahmad Sarmast, founder of the Afghanistan National Institute of Music (ANIM) – will be awarded the Polar Music Prize from His Majesty King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden.
How to Watch: If you live in Sweden, you can tune in to TV4 or stream the ceremony on TV4 Play beginning at 18.00 CEST.
If you live or are stationed in Afghanistan, you can catch the ceremony broadcast on TOLOnews.
For fans outside of the Polar Music Prize broadcast regions, fans can follow Metallica’s socials as they explore Stockholm on Tuesday, watch Lars participating in the “Meet the Laureates” Polar Talk on Wednesday, and for the ceremony itself on Thursday.
Metallica commented "We are truly humbled and inspired to be recognized in this manner and hope you will follow along with us throughout the whole experience."
For more information about the Polar Music Prize visit polarmusicprize.org.
Metallica was formed in 1981 by drummer Lars Ulrich and guitarist and vocalist James Hetfield and in the nearly 37 years since, they’ve pretty much done it all. If you need to know more, loads of facts can be found on Wikipedia…and some of them are even true. The band recently wound up the European leg of their WorldWired tour and will be taking their in-the-round production to the US kicking off on September 2, 2018, in Madison, WI.
Crossbones, the metal squad from Tirana, Albania, has been nominated in the "Breakthrough European Band" category at the GMA Awards 2017.
Voting is open until December 28, 2017. You can vote here: http://globalmetalapocalypse.weebly.com/gma-awards.html
Winners are announced on December 29, 2017
This is the first time ever that Albania is represented in the international rock / metal scene music awards.
Global Metal Apocalypse