Friday, July 15, 2011

Featured Today! "Barren Earth, Juvaliant..."

Hello L&D listeners!

You guys having a blast with L&DR!? I want to thank you all like always for your support and keeping L&D alive! Don't forget to check Sorrow Eternal Blog for excellent bands and albums reviews. You can find their banner on this blog or Facebook Featured pages! Here's Today Featured Bands!

"Barren Earth"
Barren Earth (FI) - The prime mover in the creation of Barren Earth was bass player Olli-Pekka Laine. In 2007 his then current band Mannhai was becoming less active. He also started to have some musical ideas not quite fitting Mannhai's stoner rock style of music. He tempted drummer Marko Tarvonen with death metal ideas which was easy, as Tarvonen was eager to team up with Laine, and guitarist Janne Perttilä. Together they explained the new idea to keyboardist Kasper Mårtenson, who joined the group after a week's contemplation. Laine and guitarist Sami Yli-Sirniö had been planning to establish an "authentic" prog rock band. Barren Earth was not exactly or solely that, but nevertheless Yli-Sirniö agreed to step on board. The band still was short of a lead singer. They went into the studio and came out with an instrumental demo. Now Marko Tarvonen came up with an idea of asking Mikko Kotamäki, who he had toured with, to take the vocal responsibilities. Barren Earth was prepared to play some pure serious death metal at the first place. This, however, was not the outcome, because of Kasper Mårtenson. According to Laine, their death metal was to be "some straight growling and sawing", but after Mårtenson had demonstrated his first Barren Earth song (along with the growls and all) to the rest of the band, they decided that Mårtenson's keyboard melodies should become an essential part of the sound. That song was "Forlorn Waves" which ended up to their debut album. The original plan was not followed in the vocal duties, either. Kotamäki was known for his death grunting, but in Barren Earth he sang clean, clear vocals as well. Almost everyone gives a vocal input to the band. Sami Yli-Sirviö does a great deal on arranging the vocals and harmonies and takes care of a lot of vocal leads alongside Kotamäki. If Mårtenson had a major effect on music becomming more melodic than what it was supposed to, the way of arranging the vocal duties by the band adds to it. The band was signed to the British record company Peaceville Records. Laine had sent a link to the band's Myspace site to many companies and one of the companies that replied was Peaceville. Peaceville was particularly interested in the band, as they had been looking for a Finnish metal group to sign. In November 2009 the EP Our Twilight was issued, including four songs. Strangely enough, the same year came out an album by another Finnish band Swallow the Sun, called New Moon. Some people noticed a connection to Stephenie Meyer's Twilight saga of vampires, her novels being Twilight and New Moon. When Laine was asked about that, he said he'd never heard of these vampire movies or books. At the end of March 2010 they issued their debut album Curse of the Red River. One of its nine songs was the title song of the previus EP, "Our Twilight". The debut album received a good reception. It has been announced that a second Barren Earth album will be released in August–September 2011. In November 2009, right after the EP had been issued, Barren Earth performed its first gig, in the club Dante's Highlight in Helsinki. However, the LP coming up on March 2010, most of the festivals had already been booked bands for the summer 2010. Barren Earth had a gig on Tuska Open Air Metal Festival, though. On February 2011 Barren Earth played a five week tour in North America under the name "Finnish Metal Tour 2011", alongside other Finnish bands including Finntroll, Ensiferum and Rotten Sound.

"Juvaliant"
Source: Juvaliant Official...
Juvaliant (AU) - The creativity displayed by the Austrian band JUVALIANT is suggested by the unusual band name. JUVALIANT is a word that they made up themselves and yet there is more behind it than just a bunch of letters. JUVALIANT is the combination of two words: The first part comes from the Latin name of Salzburg, Juvavum and the second part from the English word valiant. Which is very suitable for the Austrian lads' debut album, "Inhuman Nature": prepossessing, progressive, heavy, catchy and often bombastic. As far as style goes, the band is definitely in the elite class of their métier: in progressive and symphonic metal. They deserve a lot of respect and appreciation to be able to establish themselves here. And JUVALIANT have more than deserved it, for their debut album is a superb collection of excellent compositions, which will knock the socks off any discerning fan of the genre. When guitarist Robert Schönleitner and drummer Sebastian Lanser founded the band in 2003, they had just one aim - to create progressive power metal and to write music of the kind that they themselves were enthusiastic about. As neither of them was a newbie in the Austrian scene, they used all the contacts they had to put together a competent line-up. Difficulties are regular occurrences in the young days of any band, so here too, musicians came and went until a stable constellation was established in 2006, with which the two band founders could realize their dream. But it was a stony path until that point. The Salzburgers called themselves FALLEN ANGEL at that time and they played as many live gigs as they could, even opening for The Gathering in Salzburg at one point. But because every change in their fraternity also brought new musical aspects with it, they came to the conclusion that the band name FALLEN ANGEL did not reflect their musical criteria and that they were only one band of many of the same name all over the world who were elbowing for a place on the ladder. However, at first they decided against a change of name and it wasn't until 2006 when the line-up appears to be a stable one and their musical direction became clearer, that the only possible next step was an album of their own. At the time the band comprised of guitarist Robert Schönleitner and drummer Sebastian Lanser, singer Thomas Strübler, Saso Gacnik from Slovania (keyboards) and Aleksandar Vesic (bass) from Croatia. They wrote new material and made definite plans for their first album, which came about in 2008. In the Dreamsound Studios in Munich they recorded their debut album, "Inhuman Nature" under the watchful eye of Jan Vacik (Lanfear, Visions Of Atlantis, Serenity) and decided that it was now time to change the band name. JUVALIANT was born! With the completed album in their hands, the lads from Salzburg set about finding a suitable label. In the meantime the first copies of the album were finding their way onto the desks of music journalists. In the "Up and Coming" section of the German magazine, "Heavy", the album was blessed by a fantastic review. At the same time, contact was made with Limb Music and they quickly agreed on a long-term deal with the Hamburg Label. "Inhuman Nature" need not be ashamed of being compared with internationally known bands from the prog metal scene. With convincing artwork by the Columbian artist Felipe Machado Franco, who had already worked for Iced Earth, Rob Rock, Power Quest, Ayreon and Axel Rudi Pell, the optical aspect of the high class nature of the album has not been overlooked. On "Inhuman Nature" JUVALIANT present nine tracks of the highest quality in both composition and musicianship. The sheer variety of the tracks on which neither heaviness, melody or bombastic choruses are ignored, high recognizability has been programmed by default. Whether it is an ass-kicking track like "Doomsday Machine" with its staccato-like riffs or the eleven minute long, symphonic "Cold Distance Of The Universe", the band sparkles with an impressive dynamic. Despite the sometime involved song structures such as that of "Heroes (We Will Be)", recognizable melodies and choruses are constantly present. "On Wings Of Steel" combines classical bombastic elements with a straight riffing which does full justice to the word "Steel" in its title. JUVALIANT also clearly distance themselves from standardized mondane lyrics and do not indulge themselves in the fantasy themes common to the genre, instead facing the inhuman sides of human existence such as war, terror, discrimination, worries and pain, as well as the inhumane side of nature. Thus the title "Inhuman Nature" with its double meaning, and the cover artwork unite these two subjects. Whichever way you look at it, JUVALIANT and their debut album have come up with a very impressive statement of their musical visions.


~Thanks for your support and listening!
Keep'n Metal \m/

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