Nightwish have announced their only UK date of the year – a one-off show at London’s Wembley SSE Arena. HUGE! The metallers will be making history when they take to the stage at Wembley on December 19, by being the first-ever Finnish band to headline the venue.
“Who would have thought about headlining at Wembley Arena one day when we were starting our UK touring history from the downstairs of the legendary Astoria Club in London over ten years ago. This truly is a dream come true for us!” says Tuomas.
Support on the night will come from Arch Enemy and Amorphis, and tickets will be going on sale this Friday at 10am from the Kerrang! Ticket Store. Get on it!
Frontiers Music Srl will release the new album from KISKE/SOMERVILLE, titled "City Of Heroes", on April 17 in Europe and April 21 in North America. KISKE/SOMERVILLE is the musical collaboration between vocalists Michael Kiske (HELLOWEEN, UNISONIC, PLACE VENDOME) and Amanda Somerville (TRILLIUM, AVANTASIA) and this new recording is certainly going to be one of the highlights of the season in rock music. Kiske's soaring overtones seem to blend perfectly with the ethereal quality and diverse range of Amanda's voice and this time the results are truly over the top.
"City Of Heroes" sees Mat Sinner (PRIMAL FEAR, SINNER) and Magnus Karlsson (STARBREAKER, PRIMAL FEAR) handling most of the songwriting (with a song contribution "Breaking Neptune" from Sander Gommans, formerly of AFTER FOREVER, and Amanda Somerville herself) and with Sinner overseeing the production in various recording studios in Europe. Jacob Hansen (VOLBEAT, AMARANTHE, PRIMAL FEAR, PRETTY MAIDS, DORO) then took care of the mix of the album ensuring a sonic quality second to none. KISKE/SOMERVILLE's self-titled debut album instantly aroused enthusiasm in the rock and metal community. The two videos off the CD — "If I Had a Wish" and "Silence" – amassed approximately three million plays to date.
Considered a "metal diva" in the European symphonic metal scene, Amanda Somerville is an American singer-songwriter from Flint, Michigan whose catalog of projects, guest appearances and live shows is an impressive body of work. Since 1999, she has divided her time between the U.S. and Europe, primarily Germany and The Netherlands. She co-wrote the metal opera "AINA" and has been a vocalist, songwriter, producer and/or vocal coach for many bands like AVANTASIA, EPICA and KAMELOT, giving her more credibility in metal circles than she ever bargained for. Some of her most recent endeavors include working with renowned artists Alice Cooper, Bonnie Tyler, Ian Gillan (DEEP PURPLE) and many others.
Hamburg-born singer Michael Kiske is best known as the former lead vocalist for the German metal gods HELLOWEEN. After his departure from the band, Kiske recorded four solo albums, participated on various metal and rock related projects, such as PLACE VENDOME, and he also performed with numerous bands as a guest vocalist. In late 2009, he formed the hard rock/heavy metal band UNISONIC, together with his former HELLOWEEN bandmate Kai Hansen, and began touring again after 17 years.
If Joey Tempest still can’t nail a Geordie accent then the fact that he nailed just about every note of hard rock anthems old and new gave the popular Swede instant credit where an expectant crowd was concerned. Throw in the fact that he mentioned Ant and Dec in the same breath as Brian Johnson and David Coverdale and it was clear from the outset that the 80s rock god has lost none of his self-deprecating sense of humour and ability to work a room.
In fact Tempest and his band mates have rarely looked so relaxed, so confident and so certain that their new material ranks alongside the best of a bulging back catalogue. One third of this 80-minute set was devoted to choice tracks culled from new album War Of Kings and there were few complaints from the rapt masses: the band’s best record for two decades nudged into the top 50 of the UK album charts 24 hours later but it’s way, way better than disappointing first week sales suggest.
Days Of Rock N Roll found a place in between decades-old standards Rock The Night and The Final Countdown as the band’s penultimate song and yet it didn’t sound out of place with a riff that confirms guitarist John Norum’s rich vein of songwriting form. It was just one of a slew of new tunes that added weight to the theory that Europe’s initially unexpected trasformation from pop metal heroes to blues rock gods is now complete.
Black Star Riders have undergone a transformation of their own in the last five years – timing the decision to release original music with the move to put the final incarnation of Thin Lizzy to bed. An assured set combining jukebox classics The Boys Are Back In Town, Whisky In The Jar and Emerald with the Radio Two playlisted Killer Instinct and evocative Soldierstown showcased frontman Ricky Warwick at his charismatic best.
There were signs that enduring guitar hero Scott Gorham is taking more of a back seat but the super cool American still sparkled on the solos that mattered. Those quick off the mark were fortunate enough to catch vibrant opening act The Amorettes – three women from Glasgow evoking the spirit of the Runaways and capturing the sound of classic Saxon. Not a natural fit for this classic rock double header, the trio didn’t care one jot. Expect big things from these brilliant new Brits.
Asked how it feels being the only woman in AMARANTHE, singer Elize Ryd told The AU: "Within the band, it's fine, because [the other members of the group] see me as their sister, you know? But sometimes we are very different, because I like to do different things than the guys do, so sometimes I feel very alone. And also, I feel that the women in metal always get objectified in a different way than the guys, and I think it's very unfair. I'm definitely a feminist in that perspective.
It's usually the haters that write bad things about the women, and I think it's just wrong. Also, it's different for me than [someone like] Floor [Jansen from NIGHTWISH] because I am one of three singers in the band, and usually, when someone has a bad comment about the band or the sound, they usually put the focus on me, even though there are five other guys they could have criticized. I also read very, very, disrespectful comments that are focused towards me because I’m a woman — not because I'm an artist just like the other guys — so there is a difference. But I also get a lot of good critique. Mostly it's love."
Regarding how she stays positive in this business, Elize said: "I stay positive thanks to all the positive critique I get, and the love I get from so many fans. I have so many fans who I feel the most amazing love from, so it's thanks to them I get more and more strong. It's definitely the good responses that I'm sucking in, and all the bad stuff, I try to keep it outside my life. I still think it’s very important to actually point at people who are disrespecting you because you are a female. I don't have any patience or acceptance for it."
KAMELOT and DRAGONFORCE were caught up in the civil unrest in Baltimore on Monday evening (April 27) as they were getting ready to hit the stage for the first show of their joint North American tour. The Soundstage in Baltimore where the two bands were meant to be playing was two blocks away from the rioting, but the violence was getting ever closer.
DRAGONFORCE guitarist Herman Li said;" We thought it was a little weird that all the local shops were closed. In fact, the only place open was the venue with a massive queue of fans still trying to get in. As we were warming up, ready to go onstage, we heard a state of emergency was declared and the show immediately postponed due to the safety of the fans." The KAMELOT/DRAGONFORCE show has been rescheduled for today (Thursday, April 30), with doors opening early at 6 p.m. and the end of the show being 10 p.m. due to the citywide curfew imposed by the authorities for the entire week.
KAMELOT's new album, "Haven", will be made available on May 5 in North America and May 8 in the rest of the world (excluding Asia) via Napalm Records as part of an exclusive licensing deal through the band's Kamelot Music LLC. Produced by Sascha Paeth and mastered by Jacob Hansen, "Haven" is a massive album that is sure to please critics and fans alike. Guest musicians on the CD include Alissa White-Gluz (ARCH ENEMY), Troy Donockley (NIGHTWISH) and Charlotte Wessels (DELAIN). The breathtaking cover and artwork was created by Stefan Heilemann and additional art/layout was done by Gustavo Sazes.