Finnish melancholic progressive metallers AMORPHIS released their enormously successful new album »Queen Of Time«, on May 18th, 2018 through Nuclear Blast. To present their new hymns live on stage, the band is pleased to announce that they will join forces with visionary Swedish metallers SOILWORK for a European co-headline run in early 2019. The band is currently working hard on the follow-up to 2015’s hit album »The Ride Majestic« (Nuclear Blast). The trek will mark SOILWORK‘s first tour in support of their new record. As if this package wasn’t great enough, these headliners will be supported by Ukrainian modern metal outfit JINJER plus German melodic death/doom metallers NAILED TO OBSCURITY, who are working on their Nuclear Blast debut.
AMORPHIS guitarist Esa Holopainen commented, “We can’t wait to hit the European roads and take the AMORPHIS live production to the next level with the »Queen Of Time« tour. We are really happy to bring the mighty SOILWORK, JINJER and NAILED TO OBSCURITY to this tour as well. Get your tickets now, it’s gonna be a blast from the past!”
Added SOILWORK vocalist Björn “Speed” Strid, “We are very excited about touring with AMORPHIS, as the first tour for our upcoming album. AMORPHIS have been my favorite Finnish band since I was a teenager, when »Tales From The Thousand Lakes« was my daily soundtrack. Both of the bands’ unique take on metal, will create an epic cocktail, as we roll through Europe on tour together. It’s about time, I can’t wait!”
JINJER stated, “We are absolutely thrilled and honored to tour alongside two metal giants such as AMORPHIS and SOILWORK, it’s almost too good to be true! We’ll be bringing our A game and playing some new material as well. Europe, get ready because 2019 is going to get loud!”
NTO guitarist Jan-Ole Lamberti said, “We can’t wait to get back on the road again and we are very excited to be a part of this killer tour package. We are looking forward to seeing familiar faces at cities and venues that we’ve already played in the past, but also to meeting lots of new people at places and even countries we haven’t been to yet. This is going to be great!”
It’s always a pleasure to sit and have a chat with a metal friend, especially having had a chance to work with them. Niclas Etelävuori, an amazing bass player who has been in the heart of the rhythmic part of AMORPHIS music for seventeen years, is now busy with his new band FLAT EARTH. To know more about his past and present, I had an interview with Niclas from which an excerpt can be read below:
Perhaps you agree with me that mankind is a creature of habit and seventeen years is long enough to make it difficult for any person to change or want to try new things. So I asked Niclas how he feels about those years with AMORPHIS now?
– “It was great times, it was a huge part of my life. I mean I don’t know, sometimes you just have to move on. But I have good memories and bad memories, but mostly good memories.”
In April 2017, Niclas announced his departure from AMORPHIS via a post on Facebook, where he mentioned his decision as “the hardest decision he ever made”. I asked him about it and what exactly happened during that time which led him to make that decision;
– “It wasn’t a sudden decision, it’s been growing for many years probably, five or six years but then I don’t know. I felt like things were getting just worse and people didn’t stay to their words and you know, a lot of things didn’t match. So I don’t know, I’d just had enough. We had an agreement that we do changes but it never happened. So I thought ‘this will never happen, I have to do something else’. That’s basically it in a nutshell. But it’s very complicated and a long story, it would take a week to tell it. There’s some personalities, their egos go before other things.”
FLAT EARTH, why and how was it formed? Niclas responded:
– “After a couple of weeks sitting outside drinking beer, I had to do something. Then I had this one song and my Spanish friend Juan came by and ‘yeah yeah I wanna sing on that one’, so we released this one song in Spanish with him. But I knew I had a lot of songs on my hard drive and some of them were pretty old, so I didn’t even remember what I had done. So it took weeks to listen to all of that. Then later, I started to look for somebody to play with and then Linde came up through a common friend. I liked his style always and I knew that maybe he wasn’t going to do anything after HIM finished. So then I asked him over and he was right away into it. From there on we start to look for a singer and then I have forced almost Gas to be in the band, but now he’s really into it (laughs). But Gas and I go back, we knew each other almost thirty years now. It’s all good.”
If you know AMORPHIS and if you’ve checked the FLAT EARTH single, ‘Blame’, you will also have noticed the difference in the music. So let’s see what Niclas thinks about it:
– “I feel good about it. Actually now we can do whatever we want. So it would be pointless for me to play the same music that Amorphis is doing. This is our first album and there’s a lot of different music on it already. I’m very excited when we get to play more and compose the second one.”
I was curious about the band’s name, you might be too. So I asked Niclas and he answered:
– “It was kinda from many coincidences. We had a day planned to set the name for the band at Linde’s house and it was kind of our first get together. And we were to come up with a name and we cooked food and had drinks and stuff. Linde has four hairless cats and one of them passed on as soon as we got the dinner, from a heart attack. In the end we couldn’t come up with a name that day. The next morning, we thought we have to come up with something and we had a couple of names and Flat Earth came up. Then we somehow felt that we had to give tribute to the cat, because he lost his life when we were coming up with the name. Then we also heard a story that if the earth is flat, then all the cats would shove everything off it, so we had a lot of coincidences.”
You can listen to the whole of this interview on the SoundPlayer below:
METALHEADS FOREVER, one of the biggest metal entities out there (having today more than 151000 members) and Alpha Omega‘s partner since February 2018, have posted online their June 2018 issue, featured by Alpha Omega’s PHENOMY interview, alongside ANTHRAX, AT THE GATES, AMORPHIS and many more!
To read all the interviews and the whole METALHEADS FOREVER June 2018 issue, go here and get more information at this location.
Just recently PHENOMY released their new video “Sacrifice (Live at i8 Production Studios)”, taken from their latest album “Threaten World Order” (out March 2018). Watch the video here:
Next PHENOMY shows:
July 6-7 – Metalhead Meeting 2018 – Arenele Romane – Bucharest, Romania
August 2 – Wachen Open Air 2018 – Germany
September 7 – Beirut Metal Fest – Beirut, Lebanon
Lebanese metal band PHENOMY was formed by Loïc El Haddad and Rudy Bejjani in 2014. The band’s sound is a mixture of Thrash/Groove metal with Melodies, breakdowns and tribal/ethnic rhythms. Only three month after its formation, PHENOMY performed in several local gigs and in the Persian Metal and Rock Festival in Cannakale/Troya city in Turkey alongside big names like Orphaned Land. Later on, PHENOMY released their debut album “Once And For All” and received good feedbacks from magazines and webzines, before signing a distribution deal with Via Nocturna in 2017. In Summer 2017 PHENOMY toured with Repay the eastern European countries (Hungary, Croatia, Serbia, Romania and Bulgaria). Furthermore the band supported GRAVE in Lebanon in October 2017. The band released their second album “Threaten World Order” on March 2018.
FLAT EARTH– Feat. ex-members of HIM & AMORPHIS – have released a video for the first single “Blame”. The video has been mainly shot during the recordings of the debut album in the legendary Finnvox studios, Helsinki, in February and March. Camera and post production by Tommi Mattila, who followed the band during the recording sessions to capture some documentary material. The video reflects pretty much the great mood in this new born band with familiar faces.
Watch “Blame” video here:
FLAT EARTH got started after Niclas Etelavuori (bass) fell out with the manager of Amorphis and had his exit of the band. Suddenly, Niclas was left stranded. He decided to show the world that he still had a lot to give, so he started looking for possible band mates.
Niclas explains: “After over 2 decades playing with bands I was at a point thinking that maybe I start doing something else. But then I knew I had these songs on my hard drive still, and nothing was done with them. And I just wanted to get rid of them and see what happens. But then it kind of took over and I started to focus more on that”
Linde (Mikko Lindstrom, ex-HIM, guitar) first sprang to mind, even though he still had his hands full with HIM at that time. Nevertheless, the two of them kept meeting regularly, and started working on ideas for new songs. Getting Anthony on board provided additional inspiration. And when their old band mate Mika Karppinen (aka Gas Lipstick, ex-HIM) finally joined on drums, the band’s line-up was completed. While Linde was busy playing the States and Europe on HIM’s farewell tour, the remaining trio spent their time recording drums to seven pilot demos that had previously been taped in Niclas’ basement studio. Gas brought along two of his own songs, and Anthony composed a new track for the band. Linde found an old song of his he had first fleshed out when he was only 13. The rest of the tracks were Niclas’ ideas mainly, treated to the band’s arrangements, with Anthony providing both the vocal melodies, as well as the lyrics. The basic structure for the first album was ready!
Linde remembers: “Our common friend, who’s been helping us get this band off the ground, recommended a guy named Anttoni “Anthony” Pikkarainen, who had been singing in a band named Polanski. The band had made a record, and after we’d listened to it, we had to set up a meeting immediately. I have a great feeling about our new band. Anthony had recorded with Hiili Hiilesmaa before, and the rest of us have known each other for years. It feels as if all the stars have finally aligned.”
The audible musical signposts point to the heydays of alternative rock, takes a nonchalant bow to the forefathers of all things heavy with a pinch of wistful psychedelia. Magnetically melodic, playful, exhilaratingly unconstrained and thoroughly permeated by vocalist Anthony’s passionately melancholic overto-nes, FLAT EARTH delivers in the same parcel both – the beauty and the beast. Gas and Niclas robust, yet subtle rhythmic dynamic work, pave the perfect runway for Linde’s guitar solos to freewheel and Anthony’s maudlin yet contem-plative singing, that gives the band’s sound a tint of mawkish desperation that sets them apart from any other band you’ve heard. The first single “Blame” was unleashed on April, 27th!
Finnish progressive metal giants AMORPHIS are seasoned veterans of the metal music scene, rapidly heading towards their 30 year anniversary. The band’s highly anticipated follow-up to 2015’s “Under The Red Cloud”, their 13th studio album “Queen Of Time”, produced by Jens Bogren will be released on 18th May via Nuclear Blast Records.
Metal Shock Finland Senior Manager Alison Booth caught up with bass player Olli-Pekka Laine, AKA Oppu, to discuss the epic new album and all things AMORPHIS. Look out for a special Blackdiamond’s Metal Mayhem radio show next week on http://www.totalrock.com starring Oppu and of course new AMORPHIS music! Some excerpts from the chat can be read below, with the full interview on the audio player:
On how the band feel about the forthcoming album release, Oppu stated:
“Well, it’s really exciting, it’s like being in a candy store or something! We’re even more excited than back in the day somehow. It’s like, wonderful – two videos out and one is coming next Friday from another song. And we have already played a couple of songs live in Norway and we will add a few more songs to our live set.”
Discussing “Queen Of Time” and the new areas explored this time around:
“Jens did a great job – he’s an amazing producer and he has great ideas. You can see from him that he kind of hears things in his head, in some weird way.
When it comes to the choirs and strings, that’s something Amorphis has used from Day One – even when we did our first demo, we had a human voice synthesizer on the album on a couple of songs. So in a way it’s not a new thing for us, the new things is that it’s done with a real choir and a real orchestra. We are known for wanting to explore things in our music and this is something totally new for us and yeah, we’re kind of open minded when it comes to new things and this is our way to do it this time.”
Regarding lyricist Pekka Kainulainen and the lyrical content of the songs,Oppu revealed his thoughts:
“I think that I even haven’t met Pekka, though I am his friend on Facebook and Instagram. I think he’s doing a great job, the guys have been working with him with previous albums as well and he is kind of writing the lyrics in the timeless way, that the Kalevala was written back in the days – the book which we have been using in the nineties. It’s kind of a good thing because our music is timeless as well, so the lyrics fit our music really well.
Personally, I kind of like the idea not to explain the lyrics too much, or coming up with certain themes too much because I tend to enjoy to find my own personal interpretations in the lyrics, so it would kind of boost the music. Everyone reads the lyrics in their own way and finds their own meanings.”
Talking about his favourite “Queen Of Time” tracks, Oppu explained:
“Yeah well Daughter Of Hate is great and The Bee, that has grown as one of my favourites and Grain Of Sand, which has a kind of Slayer vibe on it. They were one of the bands which inspired Amorphis in the first place, so it’s nice to have that kind of influence there as well. So maybe those three songs are my favourite and it’s really hard to pick up the top one – it could vary from one day to another.”
Oppu enthused about being back in the band:
“Well it’s great! It’s sort of familiar to be in the band but feel it’s kind of a new band, because it’s much more professional and we have a great background organisation. We have our own stage crew and the playing is much better and also the mood in the band is, I wouldn’t like to use the word ‘mature’, (laughs) but I think I will. We have all matured in a way and the guys are just great.
Everyone has developed in playing very much and for example I have discovered new kinds of music. I’m listening to a lot of jazz nowadays and I’ve played in a stoner rock band, so I play a lot more these days than I used to do. On a personal level, we were good friends, almost brothers, back in the day already and that remains. We had that spiritual connection throughout the years anyway. It kind of felt for me that I’m part of Amorphis even though I wasn’t in the band, so it was kind of a natural thing to enter again.”
On touring and the recent show in Norway:
“Yeah I’m sure we will tour like hell for the couple of next years, so it’s almost 100% certain we will come to the UK as well. We have our first European tour booked for next January.
Well, surprisingly good you know – I saw a few people singing the songs by the heart. It was kind of surprising because I wouldn’t learn any band’s lyrics before the show! But it’s great to see there are hardcore fans who are excited in Amorphis and yeah, they were received really well. We will have our first show in Finland on the 8th of June and we are playing plenty of the new stuff and also some classics.”
Discussing what’s coming up in the future for AMORPHIS, Oppu stated:
“Only gigs coming up, nothing that should be mentioned. There are some surprises which I actually cannot reveal. I’m not saying that they will happen in one year, but maybe next year there will be something special I think.
But for now we will go to tour and we will have our new stage set up. The first tour will be in North America with Dark Tranquillity and Moonspell which will be interesting to experience. We have several visitors on the album, I hope that at least some of them could join us on stage at some stage during the tour. It’s gonna take time because of the conflicting schedules, so let’s see!“
Melancholic progressive metallers AMORPHIS are about to unleash their latest offering entitled »Queen Of Time« on May 18th via Nuclear Blast! Today, the band releases their fourth album trailer, talking about their favourite album tracks as well as about all the guest musician parts. Watch it now, here: