Monday, April 18, 2011

Featured Today! "Uriah Heep, Suspyre..."

Hello L&D headbangers!

Ready for your Metal dosis of the day? Here are today featured bands!

"Uriah Heep"
Uriah Heep (UK) - Added their latest album "Into the Wild". Uriah Heep formed in London, England, in 1969 and regarded (along with Deep Purple and Led Zeppelin) as a seminal classic hard rock act of the 70s. Uriah Heep's progressive/art rock/heavy metal fusion's distinctive features have always been massive keyboards sound, strong vocal harmonies and (in the early years) David Byron's operatic vocals. Twelve of the band's albums have made it to the UK Albums Chart (Return to Fantasy reached #7 in 1975) while of the fifteen Billboard 200 Uriah Heep albums Demons and Wizards was the most successful. In the mid-70s the band had phenomenal success in Germany where the «Lady in Black» single spent 13 weeks at #1.Uriah Heep's audience declined by the 1980s, to the point where they became essentially a cult band in the United Kingdom and United States. The band maintains, though, a significant following, and perform at stadium-sized venues, in the Balkans, Germany, Japan, the Netherlands, Russia and Scandinavia. They have sold over 30 million albums worldwide.

Suspyre (USA) - Suspyre's sound is heavily influenced by a wide variety of musicians and bands, including Dream Theater, Opeth, Symphony X, Igor Stravinsky, Mahler, Mozart and Bach. In the summer of 2001 with a jam session at drummer Chris Myers' house with guitarists Gregg Rossetti and Rich Skibinsky. Rich approached Gregg and they conversed. Kevin O'Hara, a singer whose musical interests include The Backstreet Boys and Medieval music, was asked to be the singer. His debut performance was a mind-blowing metal version of "The Star-Spangled Banner," America's National Anthem. Gregg left for college in August while Rich and Chris were still in high school. When Suspyre started working on their first album, they realized changes needed to be made. Due to the direction in which the recordings were going, the abilities of some members were questioned on how they will fit in the new music. First was the replacement of Chris Myers with Sam Paulicelli, then the replacement of Raffaele Gerace with Clay Barton. Response to The Silvery Image during this time period was strong. To follow up on a good album, the band sought to make an even better album, A Great Divide. The first half, The Alignment of Galaxies was composed in August 2005, while The Silvery Image was still in its final stages of completion. The second half, The Origin of a Curse was composed in November 2005, when the band decided a full-length was a better idea than just releasing the first half as an EP. During this time Suspyre parted with bassist Kirk Schwenkler. Noah Martin from Atlanta, Georgia was hired to record the album. The permanent replacement for Kirk is now Andrew Distabile, a friend of the band whom actually switched from guitar to bass in order to play. A Great Divide was finally released on March 20, 2007 through Nightmare Records. To help promote the album, Suspyre traveled to Mokena, Illinois to participate in the Chicago PowerFest 2007. After the Chicago Powerfest performance, Sam Paulicelli left the band to pursue other opportunities(eventually joining the black metal band, Abigail Williams) .The band finished recording their third album, When Time Fades… which was released on Sensory Records on September 30, 2008. Suspyre played with Odin's Court & Dark Empire for two east coast shows the first weekend of August. On August 2, 2008, they announced that April Sese joined the band as their new keyboardist. Suspyre put on a CD Release Performance/Party with special guest drummer Charlie Zeleny on September 20, 2008 to promote the new album, and traveled to the Netherlands for the ProgPower Europe festival in October 2008 with Zeleny as well. In January 2009, co-founder/guitarist Rich Skibinsky left the band to pursue other opportunities (joined the punk rock band Kelsey & The Chaos).In February 2009, Suspyre announced a new drummer, Gabe Marshall. In June 2009, Andrew Distabile, bassist, replaced Rich on guitar. Sam Bhoot joined the band on bass for their debut performance at The Art of Prog Series at the North Star Bar in Philadelphia on July 26, 2009, and the ProgPower USA showcase in Atlanta, GA on September 10, 2009.

"TBM Logo"
The Black Mages (JAP) - An amazing Prog Metal/Instrumental band project of the legendary Nobuo Uematsu (yes FF composer).The Black Mages was a Japanese instrumental rock band formed in 2002 by Nobuo Uematsu, Kenichiro Fukui, and Tsuyoshi Sekito, three composers for Square Enix. Uematsu is the composer of the majority of soundtracks in the Final Fantasy video game series. The band arranged Uematsu's compositions in  progressive metal rhythm, achieved with the additional use of synthesizers. Since its inception, the band had expanded to six members with the addition of Keiji Kawamori, Michio Okamiya, and Arata Hanyuda. On August 7, 2010, Nobuo Uematsu announced the band had disbanded, though he would continue to perform rock arrangements of his music as a part of another band, the Earthbound Papas. The band has released three studio albums. Their first was released eponymously as The Black Mages in 2003, and contained arrangements of Final Fantasy battle themes. The second album, The Black Mages II: The Skies Above, was released in 2004 and featured additional pieces besides battle themes including the group's first original song, "Blue Blast ~Winning the Rainbow", which was created for Japanese K-1 fighter Takehiro Murahama. The third album, The Black Mages III: Darkness and Starlight, was released on March 19, 2008. The Black Mages did not tour as a band, but performed several concerts to promote their album releases. For their first album they performed in Shibuya and Kanagawa, Japan in 2003 and later released a live video of the first concert on DVD exclusively to Uematsu fanclub members. They repeated this for the release of their second album, performing inKawasaki and Osaka, Japan in 2005 and similarly released on DVD to fanclub members. The third album saw a performance in Yokohama, Japan in 2008; a DVD of the show was released commercially on March 25, 2009. In addition to these concerts, The Black Mages made live appearances at two Final Fantasy concerts, More Friends: Music from Final Fantasy and Voices - Music from Final Fantasy. My respects to this band is amazing the fusion they did here and this band is not only for gamers or fans of FF is for fans of good music! Highly recommended and catchy! (like the chocobo song haha j/k) ~Enjoy!

Cloudscape (SWE) - The history about Cloudscape started in 2001 when Mike Andersson (Vocals), Björn Eliasson (Guitars),Patrik Svärd (Guitars), Haynes Pherson (Bass) and Roger Landin (Drums) decided to quit their previous bands in order to focus on Cloudscape. After recording several demos ´penned by Mike Andersson and Björn Eliasson during 2001 to 2004 Cloudscape contacted production company Roastinghouse productions in order to ask them for help getting the word out about Cloudscape to the music industry.Roastinghouse liked the music of Cloudscape and a management agreement was signed shortly thereafter. Cloudscape entered the prestigious Roastinghouse studios in 2004 and recorded their self titled debut album which was produced by Anders “Theo” Theander (Allen/Lande Project, Pain Of Salvation). This album was sent out to various record labels by management company Roastinghouse in order to get attention from record labels. Several record labels showed interest in Cloudscape but, it was German label Metal Heaven that signed Cloudscape to their roster for the European territory. Cloudscape also inked a licensing deal with Japanese label Marquee/Avalon for the Asian territory. The debut album of Cloudscape was released in Asia in December 2004 and all over Europe in January 2005. The feedback from fans, press and media turned out amazing and many reviewers was stunned by the high quality debut album of Cloudscape both songwise, by performance and by the top notch album production. Cloudscape describes their music to be Melodic metal with progressive touches and their music probably appeals to fans of Evergrey, Symphony X, Dream Theater, Yngwie J. Malmsteen, Pagan’s Mind etc etc.Cloudscapes ambition was to compose songs that are in between the progressive metal genre and also the more straight forward melodic metal genre in order to reach out to a wider audience such as genuine metal fans and also fans into the more progressive side of metal. Cloudscape puts the melodies in the first room and they don’t necessary compose progressive songs for the sake of making them progressive. Cloudscape also filmed a promotional video for the song Under Fire (directed by Rainer Holmgren) which later on have become a Cloudscape favourite song during their live shows. Cloudscape did several liveshows in their home country (Sweden) to promote their self titled debut album and in late 2005 they did their first live appearance abroad at Progpower Europe in The Netherlands (baarlo). Cloudscape went back to the Roastinghouse recording studios in January 2006 to record their second album entitled Crimson skies. Crimson Skies was produced by Pontus Lindmark (Allen/Lande Project, Nostradameus). Cloudscape established their own trademark and style within the melodic metal genre with Crimson skies and once again Cloudscape received fantastic feedback from fans, press and media all over the world (even better than the self titled debut) and Crimson skies ended up in top 10 lists of “best metal album of the year 2006” in various magazines and webzines. Cloudscape also inked a deal with U.S label Nightmare Records for the U.S and Canadian territories. On June 9, 2006 Cloudscape did a live performance at Sweden’s biggest and most popular rock festival called Sweden Rock Festival. The demands for Cloudscape live shows slowly but surely increased during 2006 and 2007. Cloudscape did several live shows during 2007 both at festivals like Progpower UK, Norway Metal Heart festival etc and single gigs. The demands for Cloudscape continued to grow. Cloudscape is a genuine live band and the good reputation about Cloudscape being a great live act started to spread more and more. Cloudscape also filmed a promotional video for the song Demon tears directed by Rainer Holmgren. On September 3, 2007 Cloudscape entered the Roastinghouse studios again to record their third album entitled Global Drama and once again Pontus Lindmark was hired to handle the producing duties.Cloudscape consider Global Drama to be the most experimental and varied album in the Cloudscape discography so far and it includes songs that are among the heaviest and rawest songs they’ve written mixed up with songs that are more dynamic and atmospheric blended with the typical Cloudscape touch that they’ve established with their previous albums. Cloudscape continued their crusade and they keep gaining more and more fans day by day worldwide and performed highly acclaimed shows at the prestigious Bloodstock Open Air festival (UK) and Progpower Scandinavia (DK) + more shows during 2008 and 2009. Global Drama was unleashed on August 18, 2008 through “Goldencore (zyx) / Roastinghouse Records” (EU) and “Nightmare Records” (U.S and Canada)!! In early 2009 drummer Roger Landin and bassplayer Haynes Pherson unfortunately decided to leave Cloudscape for personal reasons and in 2010 also Björn Eliasson decided to leave to pursue his own musical endeavours. But, remaining original members Mike Andersson and Patrik Svärd was not ready to give up the band and therefor decided to arrange auditions with several possible replacements to Björn, Roger & Haynes and found awesome musicianship and friendship in drummer Fredrik Joakimsson, bassplayer Håkan Nyander (also in Supreme Majesty) and locally known guitarplayerDaniel Pålsson. Cloudscape will enter the studio in early 2011 in order to record their new album which will be produced by Micko Twedberg (ex Debase). The new members in Cloudscape fits in perfectly in all ways and Cloudscape is ready to conquer the world with the forthcoming album to be entitled New Era….the hunger, excitement and drive in the spirit of Cloudscape is now stronger than ever and Cloudscape are eager to get out and tour as soon as they possibly can!!

Keep'n Metal \m/

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