SOILWORK Frontman Thinks 'The Living Infinite' And 'The Ride Majestic' Albums Flew 'Under The Radar'

SOILWORK Frontman Thinks 'The Living Infinite' And 'The Ride Majestic' Albums Flew 'Under The Radar'

In an interview with Steve Harrison of “The Unchained Rock Show”, frontman Björn “Speed” Strid of Swedish metallers SOILWORK shared the positive reaction to their latest studio album, “Verkligheten”, and his belief that its predecessors, “The Living Infinite” and “The Ride Majestic”, didn’t get the acknowledgment they deserved.

“What I felt with this album, we did the double album, ‘The Living Infinite’, which we thought was ‘Okay, here it is,'” he said (hear audio below). “We were extremely proud and we’re still proud of that album, but somehow, it got really good reviews, but it seemed it went under the radar a little bit. Same with ‘The Ride Majestic’, and suddenly, ‘Verkligheten’, it seems like everyone is picking up on it. Hopefully, because it’s so damn good. We’re really proud of it, but something happened there and I’m really not quite sure what.”

Strid also discussed whether it’s frustrating when SOILWORK releases an album and it doesn’t do as well as anticipated, while other albums seemingly get noticed by the most unlikely of people.

“You never really know,” he said. “When you think, ‘Okay, here it is. This is the perfect album.’ Then it’s like, you want to share it with the world because you’re so damn proud of it. It seems like a lot of people somehow miss it. With this album, it seems like even the people that haven’t listened to the band, for I don’t know, ten years, is like ‘Oh, but I picked up this one!’ It’s like a childhood friend who doesn’t even listen to metal is like ‘I’ve heard your new album!’ I’m like ‘You don’t even listen to metal!’ ‘Yeah, but that ‘Verkligheten’ is really good!’ Something happened there.”

SOILWORK‘s eleventh studio album, “Verkligheten” was released in January via Nuclear Blast. The first-edition digipack, as well as the vinyl versions, also contain the exclusive “Underworld” EP, containing four more songs. The digipack version also features special artwork with lavish foil print.

“Verkligheten” is SOILWORK‘s first to feature drummer Bastian Thusgaard, who replaced Dirk Verbeuren in 2016.

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SOILWORK Frontman Thinks 'The Living Infinite' And 'The Ride Majestic' Albums Flew 'Under The Radar'
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CLÉMENTINE DELAUNEY Says VISIONS OF ATLANTIS Wants To 'Redefine The Borders' Of Symphonic Metal

CLÉMENTINE DELAUNEY Says VISIONS OF ATLANTIS Wants To 'Redefine The Borders' Of Symphonic Metal

Led by NIGHTWISH and with EPICA, DELAIN and WITHIN TEMPTATION also making headway, symphonic metal is often pigeonholed because of the bombastic traits so intrinsic to its sound. The style’s formula is often duplicated by bands from all corners of the globe presenting lineups similar in formation, usually with a lone female frontwoman joined by a mostly male supporting cast. While this setup is generally the path of least resistance for newer symphonic metal acts, it is also a double-edged sword — detractors are often quick to point out the similarities between its bands.

According to VISIONS OF ATLANTIS frontwoman Clémentine Delauney, her band is committed to “redefining the borders” of symphonic metal in hopes of expanding their sound and fanbase. In a recent interview with France’s Loud TV (see video below), Delauney was asked how her role in VISIONS OF ATLANTIS has expanded since she joined the band in 2013, and what it means for the band’s sonic development.

“Since the previous record, ‘The Deep & The Dark’, I was given the amazing chance to take part in the whole writing process, the lyrical process, writing the lyrics, [which] I was involved [in] since the first record we did together,” she said. “I really felt like I was starting to make this band my own when I really could convey my own ideas, my own emotions, things I really wanted to talk about throughout our music. It’s even more true with our new record, ‘Wanderers’, because I was even more involved in writing the melodies. I wrote one personal song, again, for that record; the title track, ‘Wanderers’, it’s a song of mine. With time, I really feel as one when I’m on stage and performing these songs and singing the lyrics that I wrote that are things that are really connected with who I am. I feel like one soul onstage with a message to deliver. There’s no longer me and music. It’s one now.

“I think it became a new trademark for VISIONS OF ATLANTIS to not stick to the strict definition of what symphonic metal sounds like,” she continued. “We actually would like to widen the genre and the style and to do dare say, ‘We do symphonic metal. But symphonic metal can sound like all these kind of songs. Not just the bombastic, highly orchestrated music.’ We do have tracks like this, the opening track ‘Release My Symphony’. It’s the longest track on the album. It’s a very epic track with a lot of things going on with the orchestral [elements], but with the more classical sort of singing. This one totally represents the symphonic metal genre. We go from that to the most intimate songs, also. This is what we’re able to create. This is what we want to share with people as well. We are a symphonic band and we want to open up the genre. Sort of redefine its borders.”

“Wanderers” will be released on August 30 via Napalm Records. The album will be the first to feature new male singer Michele Guaitoli.


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CLÉMENTINE DELAUNEY Says VISIONS OF ATLANTIS Wants To 'Redefine The Borders' Of Symphonic Metal
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SOULFLY's MAX CAVALERA Doesn't Have A Retirement Plan: 'I Want To Play Forever'

SOULFLY's MAX CAVALERA Doesn't Have A Retirement Plan: 'I Want To Play Forever'

Impact metal channel conducted an interview with SOULFLY frontman Max Cavalera prior to the band’s July 12 appearance at the Rockmaraton festival in Dunaújváros, Hungary. You can watch the entire chat below. A few excerpts follow (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).

On reflecting on SOULFLY‘s career since the band’s 1997 formation:

Max: “I think it’s cool. There’s a lot of music. I don’t have any regrets, really. I think it’s really exciting to have so much material. There’s a lot of records in that time. ‘Ritual’ was our 11th album. I’ve been with some of these guys in SOULFLY more than any other band. Like Marc Rizzo [guitar] has been with me since 2004. Now I have my son [Zyon] playing [on drums], which is a dream come true for me. I really like this SOULFLY with Mike [Leon, bass], Marc and Zyon. We have really good chemistry between us. I think it’s cool I set out to be something a little bit different from SEPULTURA, and it turned out to be a little bit different. I still have the stuff I do with Igor [Cavalera, former SEPULTURA drummer and Max‘s brother] when we go back to the old records like we did with ‘Roots’. We’re doing ‘Beneath The Remains’ in November, I think, here in Europe, and ‘Arise’. It’s a lot of fun. So I get to do both. I still play those old records that I love, and I have SOULFLY‘s whole catalog, like the setlist, I can really change from day to day. We never really repeat the same setlist. I’m proud of the work. I’m proud that SOULFLY stood our ground and rode the wave.”

On the greatest lesson he’s learned as a musician:

Max: “I think the best is ‘No Hope = No Fear’. It’s kind of like a song that means a lot to me because it’s where I was at that time when I wrote it. It’s a really strange feeling to have when you don’t have any hope, it’s like you don’t have any fear. You just do whatever you want. I think a little bit of that. I don’t get caught up too much on the ‘technical’ side. I like more of the more loose attitude, more about the energy and the spirit than try to be too technical. I don’t care much for that. And have fun, because if you’re doing this and you’re not enjoying it, stop doing it. You have to enjoy what you’re doing.”

On who is on his “bucket list” to work with:

Max: “All the classic singers to me, all the classical gods are still alive: Ozzy Osbourne, Rob Halford [JUDAS PRIEST], Bruce Dickinson [IRON MAIDEN]. That right there, it’s the three I’d really like to do something with. But we’ll see. I’m very happy with the collaborations I’ve done so far. The last record we had Randy [Blythe] from LAMB OF GOD and Ross [Dolan] from IMMOLATION. That was really cool. So, yeah, we’ll see what happens. Those three would be really cool to do something with. From the era I grew up with, the SEPULTURA [era], Tom Warrior from CELTIC FROST, TRIPTYKON, I would like to do something with him. I also like ABBATH. I don’t know. We’ll see. It’s cool. We’ll see what happens. I love collaborations. Eventually, something always comes up.”

On the eventual void that will be left when metal’s classic bands retire or its members pass away:

Max: “I think it’s life. It’s a part of life. It’s just how it is. The whole SLAYER [retirement] thing. I don’t understand how they do it. I want to play forever. I don’t have a retirement plan. I don’t know what to do if I’m not playing music. If I’m not playing, creating, I go nuts, literally, I go insane. But, that’s them. They’re doing it. Good for them. I’m happy. They’re a really great band, influenced a lot of people. They created a lot of great music. That’s how they want to go out. But there’s always going to be newer bands coming up. There’s a whole gang of new bands. I like a lot of the heavier stuff in America right now like GENOCIDE PACT, GATECREEPER. There’s good music all the time. It’d be a change of the guard. I’m happy that we still have IRON MAIDEN; we still have JUDAS PRIEST; we still have SAXON. Some of those bands are still holding up. To me, that’s cool. That’s exciting.”

“Ritual” was released last October via Nuclear Blast.

SOULFLY‘s 22-date trek U.S. tour will kick off on September 3 in Dallas, Texas and make stops in Baltimore, Houston and Albuquerque before concluding in Los Angeles on September 29. Support on the tour will come from UNEARTH (September 3 – September 16), INCITE, PRISON and ARRIVAL OF AUTUMN.

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SOULFLY's MAX CAVALERA Doesn't Have A Retirement Plan: 'I Want To Play Forever'
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CLUTCH's NEIL FALLON: 'Live Music Takes The Front Seat Over Everything Else'

CLUTCH's NEIL FALLON: 'Live Music Takes The Front Seat Over Everything Else'

Neil Fallon of Maryland rockers CLUTCH was recently interviewed on episode 104 of the “DOMKcast”. You can now listen to the chat using the widget below. A couple of excerpts follow (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).

On CLUTCH being such a formidable live act:

Neil: “I think — we don’t need to get too philosophical — live music takes the front seat over everything else. Albums and recorded music are all well and good, but I think the real spirit of what keeps us going is getting up onstage. It’s been that way for thousands of years. It’s no different now despite all the technological advances. I’ve been doing this for almost 30 years, and I still get a kick out of it. As we’ve gotten older, we’ve become much more defensive and protective about it, realizing that making a living in the creative arts is a pretty rare thing to do these days.”

On the difficulties younger bands face trying to get noticed and start a career in music:

Neil: “I don’t envy them at all in trying to be heard over all the noise. We had the best of both worlds in that starting in the ’90s, we had the support of major labels, but then a lot of bands dried up pretty quickly. The Internet really changed everything for us because people started sharing music. One of the things we had a problem with majors is that they didn’t know how to describe or pair us with other bands. So, it became a lot easier once people had the chance to listen to the music. Even though they were listening to a pirated copy, if that means they come to a show, then great. That, I think, is a fair trade. Nowadays, trying to get heard is got to be a real challenge for young bands. I’m not a big fan of bands being enticed into doing stuff that doesn’t have to do with music — just doing silly crap on social media outlets seems kind of cheap and distracts from the real spirit of the thing. I’m 47 years old and I’m starting to develop a ‘get off my lawn’ attitude. [Laughs]”

On the rationale behind releasing CLUTCH‘s collection of outside-of-the-box covers, “Weathermaker Vault Series”, on only digital platforms:

Neil: “It’s an experiment for us. We’d never done it this way. People of my age, we grew up with albums and cassettes, then CDs. We’re certainly not abandoning physical copies, but younger people, I don’t think it really bothers them in the least that their phone or their computer is their primary way of enjoying music. So in order to also basically just keep people’s attention in between albums, we’ll release a song here and there every couple of months over the summer. We’re not quite ready to do a full-length LP yet, so it was a way for us to do some cover songs, which is always a good exercise learning-wise, but it gave us a bit more elbow room to see if this idea would even work. If it does, maybe after putting out a dozen things, maybe we’ll press up some vinyl and put them all on there sort of like a compilation. Like you said, we are our own record label, so we have to figure it out as we’re doing it. There’s no one telling us what to do. We’re going to go back into the studio in September and record some more songs. We don’t know what yet, but that’ll probably get us songs up until the end of the year. So, I would imagine at the earliest, at the beginning of next year, I would imagine at that point, we’ll probably start thinking about new material.”

On what has kept CLUTCH‘s core lineup together since their 1991 inception:

Neil: “I think we have a mutual understanding that CLUTCH is only these four guys, and we have to be very protective about it. You’ve got to have a good sense of humor. Once you do your first tours in a van, there’s no more secrets. Everybody knows these things. You’ve got to learn — if something is driving you crazy, you’ve got to learn the lost art of shutting up; just roll with it. We still hang out in our free time and have a laugh. Some of that might be dumb luck. There are bands who are wonderful onstage but couldn’t even speak to each other offstage. To me, that would be a really toxic situation. Certainly, I couldn’t do that for 25, 30 years.”

CLUTCH‘s latest studio album, “Book Of Bad Decisions”, was released last September. The record sold 26,000 copies in America during its first week of availability, giving the group its third consecutive Top 20 album on the Billboard 200.

“Book Of Bad Decisions” was completed at Sputnik Sound studio in Nashville, Tennessee with producer Vance Powell.

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CLUTCH's NEIL FALLON: 'Live Music Takes The Front Seat Over Everything Else'
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NETHERBIRD Feat. Ex-AMON AMARTH Drummer FREDRIK ANDERSSON: 'Saturnine Ancestry' Single Now Available

NETHERBIRD Feat. Ex-AMON AMARTH Drummer FREDRIK ANDERSSON: 'Saturnine Ancestry' Single Now Available

“Saturnine Ancestry”, the new single from the Swedish melodic black/death metal act NETHERBIRD, which features ex-AMON AMARTH drummer Fredrik Andersson, can be streamed below. The song is taken from the group’s upcoming album, “Into The Vast Uncharted”, which will be released on September 27 via Eisenwald.

The band’s founder and vocalist Nephente states: “‘Saturnine Ancestry’ is the first single, and also the opening track of ‘Into The Vast Uncharted’, thus it sets the tone for the album, both when it comes to the music and the lyrical themes. I would say that ‘Saturnine Ancestry’ is dark, looming and existential, and quite introspective as are most of my texts on this album.”

NETHERBIRD has blurred the boundaries between black, death and other extreme strains of heavy metal since 2004. The band was founded by like-minded individuals among the Swedish metal scene with the intentions of creating harsh metal while drawing inspiration from black and death metal without any regards, or limitations, to the structures surrounding each respective sub-genre.

While originally conceived as a studio project, NETHERBIRD featured a wide array of renowned guests and guild members to add their personal touch to the musical canvas: Adrian Erlandsson (AT THE GATES, THE HAUNTED, ex-CRADLE OF FILTH, ex-PARADISE LOST), Janne Saarenpää (THE CROWN), Daniel “Mojjo” Moilanen (THE PROJECT HATE, KATATONIA), among others. Even the further history of NETHERBIRD as a band credits a long list of versatile musicians, such as Nils Fjellström (NORDJEVEL, ex-DARK FUNERAL), Tobias Gustafsson (ex-EUCHARIST), Erik Röjås (STERBHAUS, ex-DECADENCE), Love Stark (MEPHORASH, WITHERSHIN), to join the unit at different stages and refine its sound with their unique skills.

Over the years, NETHERBIRD has released four full-length albums and made a number of tours across Europe, including several festival appearances. Their latest album is 2016’s critically acclaimed “The Grander Voyage”, which catapulted the band into the higher echelon of extreme underground metal. Now it is time for the next step with the release of “Into The Vast Uncharted” via Eisenwald.

“We are very pleased to announce that we have signed to Eisenwald and that our next album, ‘Into The Vast Uncharted’, will be the first release we do with them,” says Nephente. “We see this collaboration as a natural step for us, and we feel that Eisenwald share our vision and musical direction. Onwards!”

NETHERBIRD is:

Johan “Nephente” Fridell – vocals
Pontus “Bizmark” Andersson – guitars, keyboards, backing vocals
Tobias “Tinitus” Jakobsson – guitars, backing vocals
Johan “Nord” Nordin – guitars, vocals
Micke “M.A.” André – bass
Fredrik Andersson – drums


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NETHERBIRD Feat. Ex-AMON AMARTH Drummer FREDRIK ANDERSSON: 'Saturnine Ancestry' Single Now Available
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