Saturday, August 27, 2011

Featured Today! "Katatonia, Edguy...

Hello L&D Listeners!

Working hard to give you the best, the new, the Indie and the classic! As you know L&DR is growing very fast and is all Thanks to you for listening and supporting one of the best stations of the Live365 network (users feedback) with a HUGE variety of the best music genre in the world METAL! Up the irons!! \m/ Here's Today Featured Bands!

Katatonia (SE) - Katatonia formed in 1991 in Stockholm, Sweden and was brought together by long time friends, Anders Nyström (aka Blakkheim) and Jonas Renkse (aka Lord Seth). After more than a year of rehearsals and composing, the first real fruits of their labour came to light in mid 1992 with the release of the demo ‘Jhva Elohim Meth’, recorded at Sweden’s Gorysound Studio and produced by the multi-musician Dan Swanö. The demo sold out immediately, bringing Katatonia to the attention of Dutch label Vic Records, who went on to re-release the demo as a mini CD, titled ‘Jhva Elohim Meth – the Revival’. With the CD selling out fast and their reputation spreading like a wildfire through the underground, the duo knew they would need a fuller line-up to move the band up and forward. So, bassist Guillaume Le Huche (aka Israphel Wing) was enlisted to their ranks, enabling them to perform live in concert for the first time in their career. Things progressed at pace and at the end of 1992 the trio entered into a one-album deal with the now defunct Swedish label No Fashion records. April 1993 saw Katatonia re-enter Gorysound (now renamed Unisound) to record their first full-length album ‘Dance of December Souls’, produced by Katatonia and Dan Swanö. It then seemed like the album would never see the light of day, but was eventually released in a desirable match to the album title in December 1993. The album was an immediate hit with both the critics and the metal scene. Gone were the black metallic meanderings of their earlier attempts, to be replaced with distinguished melancholy & epic melodious emotion. An essential and now classic chapter in the doom metal genre. The reaction to the new sound was just what Katatonia needed to hear, encouraged and driven by the ever growing quest for progression, they pushed the boundaries even further and set about re-entering Unisound in early 1994 to record the classic 10 minute goth epic ‘Scarlet Heavens’. The track eventually found a home, with Misanthropy records releasing it as a limited split 10″ (with Primordial in 1996). Spring 1994 and Wrong Again records approached the band to appear on a compilation album they were putting together and in the same year Italian label Avantgarde Music approached them with a new record deal. Determined to still make a successful future in the metal scene, the band returned to the sound crafted on ‘Dance of December Souls’ but compressed the epic proportions into a more live adjusted style. Back at the familiar Unisound studio, Katatonia emerged with the tracks ‘Black Erotica’ and ‘Love of the Swan’ for the compilation and the ‘For Funerals to Come’ ep to be released by Avantgarde Music in early 1995. Katatonia then surprised everyone by taking a sabbatical the whole following year. Nyström & Renkse’s problem to find a complete & stable line-up to help them realise their master plan eventually made the two members destined to go separate ways. The time that followed, Renkse spent his time in a new founded side project called October Tide while Nyström divided his occupation in newly formed constellations Diabolical Masquerade and Bewitched. Eventually frustrated by abandoning the uncharted promising future of Katatonia and little action within the walls of gloom, the friends got back together with a different approach and reunited Katatonia in early 1996. Now finally, having found a new permanent third member in ex-October Tide guitarist Fred Norrman, the trio went back into the ever open doors of Unisound, but this time armed only with ideas and an intricate vision, no actual songs had been written at this stage. After a two week’s recording session, Katatonia emerged with the album ‘Brave Murder Day’, proof positive that this new daring way of working had paid off. Opeth’s Mikael Åkerfeldt was asked to step in and perform vocal duties after Renkse declared his voice had taken its toll. Katatonia & Dan Swanö’s production values perfectly captured the highly original and newly emerging Katatonia sound; emotional and cutting edge, simple and direct while still retaining the dark void so integral to the whole Katatonia vibe. The band had re-invented their sound and this album proved to be a groundbreaking influence for many bands to emerge thereafter. After successfully touring Europe for the first time in the autumn of 1996, Katatonia felt excited to re-enter the studio early 1997 to quickly unleash new material. Facing the fact that their second home Unisound had closed its doors for good, they chose the only logical alternative in Sunlight Studio located in their home city of Stockholm. Figuring this would push their originality and experimentation to new places the result was justified in the mini-album ‘Sounds of Decay’, again for Avantgarde Music. Produced by the band & mixed by Tomas Skogsberg the CD followed a similar path to ‘Brave Murder Day’ and again saw Mikael Åkerfeldt perform vocal duties. Fuelled and at the top of their peak of creativity, it wasn’t long before Nyström, Renkse & Norrman and new member and bassist Mikael Oretoft returned to Sunlight later again in mid 1997, to begin work on their third full-length album ‘Discouraged Ones’, a rebirth of sorts, which saw Renkse again take his old classic role as Katatonia’s combined vocalist and drummer. This time Åkerfeldt’s input moved from a primal screamer to the more eloquent vocal producer position, and it is on this release we get the first real taste of Renkse’s clean and distinct vocal style. A brave and radical move away from the old was a big risk for the band, but the sheer quality of the music on offer blew all away. The gothic flourishes of yore having been replaced by more contemporary leanings, dealing with feelings of loss and desolation, of despair and hope. This is where the band had fully taken off on their dark stylistic turn. Peaceville Records had been following the bands career from almost the very beginning, but it was ‘Discouraged Ones’ with its modernity and dynamics that made the label really fall in love with their sound. Realising that Katatonia was perfect for their roster of highly original acts, the label offered the band a long-term deal, spanning five albums. Delighted to find themselves working with a label that had previously produced some of their favourite music, Katatonia now back again as a trio, set about working on their fourth studio album in 1999, ‘Tonight’s Decision’. This album saw Katatonia back in Sunlight, produced again by the band with Åkerfeldt still co-producing the vocals; they were skilfully assisted by Tomas Skogsberg on the mix. The old long-time producer/mixer Dan Swanö came on board as this session’s guest drummer – enabling Renkse to focus all his attention on his ever-improving sharp vocals. With strong international distribution now firmly in place via Peaceville, Katatonia saw their popularity soar to unimagined new heights and at the end of the year Katatonia toured Scandinavia opening up for the legends Paradise Lost with a brand new line-up in Fredrik Norrman’s brother Mattias Norrman on bass and Daniel Liljekvist on drums. Being busy in the millennium year of 2000 recording the fifth album and also visiting Poland and USA together with Opeth on a number of gigs, Katatonia released ‘Last Fair Deal Gone Down’ in the early summer of 2001. The album release was preceded by a 3 track CD single, the title track being ‘Teargas’ culled from ‘Last Fair Deal Gone Down’ and spiced up by two tracks specially written for the single – ‘Sulfur’ & ‘March 4′. Perhaps more than ever, we saw Katatonia really expanding in their self-belief. With their hallmark tears of sorrow spilling over the songs, there was also a confidence and warmth about the band that added a new dynamic to the sound. Maybe this was due to the fact that Katatonia produced the album themselves over a vast period of time; maybe it was the persuasive use of light and dark, used to illustrate perfectly the emotional gravitas of the songs, either way this was the album that made the whole world sit up and listen. Renkse really had come into his own as one of the most honest and distinctive vocalists around from this scene. There was vulnerability in his vocal style that made you believe every word, giving ever so much without sounding fake. All this underpinned by the genius guitar work of Nyström, who seemed to have opened up the door from that slightly narrow gothic doom sound to rays of modern darkness and an altogether more contemporary approach. After the success of the ’3 days-3 countries’ sprint that was the Peacefest in March 2001, Katatonia came back to the UK in May and embarked on a headline mini tour. Fuelled by the crowds reaction, they were quick to set their sails on a full tour opening up for Opeth later same year taking place in Central Europe and the UK again. To coincide with the tour Katatonia released their second single of 2001 – ‘Tonight’s Music’. The title track again was taken from their last album, ‘Last Fair Deal Gone Down’, released in March. The EP also contained the exclusive tracks ‘Help Me Disappear’, and ‘O How I Enjoy the Light’. 2002 was in total a pretty silent year for the band and the months were mostly spent with by having time off mixed with writing for the next album. April 2003 saw the release of Katatonia’s sixth studio album for empty souls and hearts. Titled ‘Viva Emptiness’, the album was recorded in the dark Swedish winter at 301 Studios in Stockholm and Fascination Street in Örebro, at the end of 2002. Produced by Nyström/Renkse and mixed by Jens Bogren. Using the metal genre as an early template Katatonia had never been a band to stand still or stagnate in any way. With this album, the band now proved to be purveyors of an understated kind of grandeur that had long outgrown all or any generic restrictions, still ostensibly digging deeper into the identity of a metal band. Without a halo of limiting genre above their heads, the music alone said more about the enigmatic Swedes than a 1000 word effort ever could. The release was supported by a full European headline tour over the months April and May, 2003. In 2004 Katatonia toured Scandinavia two times and did a mini European tour and a bunch of festival shows all around the world. In between the live activity, the band yet again took well-deserved time off and started planning the next moves and how to create their next masterpiece. The New Year 2005 brought the release of two compilation albums. The first being Avantgarde Music’s ‘Brave Yester Days’, a complete look back into the early days of 1992 – 1997. Included over 2 discs were the singles, demo, compilation tracks and a selection of the finest moment on the two first full-lengths. Peaceville’s ‘The Black Sessions’ was the second compilation featuring 2 discs of classic material from 1998 – 2004, plus a DVD concert from 2003′s Viva Emptiness tour filmed in Poland. Included were all the singles and b-sides to date, together with the very best tracks from 1998′s ‘Discouraged Ones’ up to 2004′s Viva Emptiness (including ‘Wait Outside’, an unreleased track from the ‘Viva Emptiness’ sessions). To warm up and get a doze of live action before making a start on recording the new album, the band hit the road in March added to the Metalmania bill, playing a few dates in Eastern Europe. Renkse and Nyström then returned home to the making of their seventh album and spent the whole spring completing the process. At the end of the year the band made it to Russia for the first time in their career, playing the two biggest cities to a crowd that had been waiting over a decade for the dark quintet to arrive. In the dying light of 2005 and Katatonia delivered their brand new single, ‘My Twin’ (a 4-track EP containing 3 exclusive tracks) and, shortly after, their decisive seventh full-length album, aptly titled ‘The Great Cold Distance’. The album was recorded in the summer of 2005 at Fascination Street Studios, Örebro, Sweden and was released early 2006 to universal acclaim. This was backed up soon afterwards by the release of follow-up single, ‘Deliberation’ and extensive touring throughout Europe in the Spring supported by label-mates Novembre and topped off with an American tour with Moonspell later on in the year, concluding a fantastic year for the band.Katatonia gained great commercial & critical response to the album with many hailing it as the band’s greatest work. Two more singles were lifted from the album (‘Deliberation’ & ‘July’) while both singles were also accompanied by video tracks. The band went from strength to strength with their extensive touring & festival duties before the release of ‘Live Consternation’ in 2007, which captured the band live at their glorious best at the Summerbreeze festival in 2006. Katatonia would then resume writing for the eagerly awaited follow-up to ‘The Great Cold Distance’ after having completed a headline American tour in 2007. With such a monumental album to follow, it was 2009 before Katatonia was ready to enter the studio for their eagerly awaited eighth studio album, ‘Night is the New Day’. It was recorded throughout July 2009 & was co-produced, engineered and mixed by David Castillo. Recording was divided between Studio Mega ( for drums) and Ghost Ward Studios, where most recording took place & which provided a dose of inspiration from the darker corners of life with it’s choice of location, as Anders describes: “Broken glass, blood on the walls at the front door to the building and threatening messages written on the elevator – Even excrement and urine on the floor in the basement that makes you wonder if the caretaker is a serial killer himself”. Mastering was completed at Fascination Street Studios (where ‘The Great Cold Distance’ was recorded) with Jens Bogren. A continuation of the heaviness, depth & atmosphere of their previous album, ‘Night Is the New Day’ is also a more multi-dimensional effort – waltzing between prog moments, doom, folk & the classic melodic anthems that are the staple of Katatonia’s uncompromising sound, completed by the haunting tones of Jonas Renkse’s journeys of urban & emotional decay, & now joined by Frank Default on keyboards, notable for his work on the track ‘Unfurl’ from the ‘July’ EP – utilising his expertise to the fullest to texture the soundscapes.

Edguy (DE) - (Yes! "Age Of The Joker" is on L&DR) They were all classmates in 1992 and who set out to conquer the world and to play concert halls around the globe. For almost ten years they set up their gear themselves in small European clubs between Berlin and Torino, traveling around in a mobile home to fight for the breakthrough that they so desperately desired. That breakthrough has certainly been achieved as today EDGUY are doubtlessly the most successful Heavy Metal export that started out in Germany after the glorious decade of the eighties. Even the masterminds of the German rock legend “Scorpions” call Edguy their legit heir to the throne and invited EDGUY to be their special guest during the Scorps‘ farewell arena tour. Despite having repeatedly conquered the international charts, EDGUY are actually still underrated in their home country. But it only takes a brief look at the solo project of their front man Tobias Sammet to understand the status of EDGUY and their vocalist in the international Rock and Heavy Metal scene. Legendary guests such as shock rocker Alice Cooper, Klaus Meine and several other members of bands such as the Scorpions, Kiss or Judas Priest committed themselves to collaborations for the “Avantasia” project of the 33-year old Hessian. It may be hard to imagine in today‘s fast moving music business, but three out of the four fellows who founded the band in February 1992 at the age of 14, are still traveling around the globe together year after year: Sammet and the two guitarists Jens Ludwig and Dirk Sauer. In 1997 the current line-up was completed by adding Felix Bohnke on drums and Tobias “Eggi” Exxel on bass. Although it almost reads like a fairy tale, in the beginning not many believed in this band. When their self-produced debut album “Savage Poetry" was released in 1995, all that the then foursome received from the public was ridicule. Neither record labels nor the press took handmade melodic Hard Rock seriously, and certainly they hadn’t waited for the “Heavy Metal boygroup” that EDGUY was called at the time; because of their young age and their so-called “dated” sound. Nevertheless there was one small independent label that was willing to sign the band which gave the group the chance to officially release and get their second album “Kingdom Of Madness” into stores. But because of devastating reviews most copies remained in the stores and were shipped back to the label just a few months later. It certainly appeared that EDGUY had bombed! However, in 1997, EDGUY‘s career was about to get a boost by the following turn of events. Without any support from their record label the band went for broke and took out a loan to finally finance a proper album production. At this point the band‘s future was hanging by a thread. All the studios had been booked and paid for upfront, and then, the band’s drummer decided to quit at the same time they were to enter the studio. With a last-minute solution of a temporary substitute the band started the recordings for what would become the “Vain Glory Opera” album in Germany and finished the album in Helsinki, Finland. When the album hit the stores in 1998 worldwide reviews were fantastic, and the word spread like wildfire around the globe. Without any marketing campaign the album sold over 50,000 copies in European and Japan just a few weeks after its release. Meanwhile, having become a five-piece band EDGUY set out for the first time on a full fledged European tour, from Sweden to Greece and in between, to play for their steadily growing fanbase. It was the very same year that EDGUY entered the studio again to work on their first album with the new line-up, the slightly over ambitious “Theater Of Salvation” that nevertheless granted the band their first chart positions in Germany and Scandinavia in early 1999. Finally the record label started to advertise the album properly, and EDGUY headed off on another ten-week European tour, supporting bands such as Hammerfall and focusing on Scandinavia and France. Taking things a bit easier in 2000 by just rerecording their debut album and playing a few support shows of Iron Maiden during their Metal-2000-stadium-tour, EDGUY found themselves at another important cornerstone of their career. In September 2001 their fifth album “Mandrake” was released and it hit the Top-20-album charts in Germany and several other countries. Finally, EDGUY was not only established in Europe and Japan, they were furthermore acclaimed as one of the most important bands of a new generation of traditional Metal acts. During the “Mandrake“ world tour EDGUY played to tens of thousands of fans in Japan, South America, Mexico, Australia, Canada, USA, Russia, and many Western European countries. Within a few years EDGUY had become much more than just a marginal note on the Heavy Metal map of the world. During the European leg of that particular tour the first official live album “Burning Down The Opera- Live” was recorded. The album was released in 2003 and was to become EDGUY‘s last contractual album on AFM-records. Later in the year EDGUY signed a contract with industry giant Nuclear Blast/ Warner Music Group, that released the next studio album “Hellfire Club” in 2004. The album became a big commercial success, featured EDGUY‘s first top-40-hit single “King Of Fools”, and resulted in another extensive tour with many sold out shows all over the world. Even though the band‘s unbroken tenacity was obvious from the beginning of their career nobody would’ve dared to predict such a sustaining success for Germany‘s new Heavy Metal flagship. In the following years EDGUY would underline their status on countless occasions, be it with the slightly goofy “Rocket Ride“ (2006), “Tinnitus Sanctus“ (2008) or the greatly entitled “Fucking With Fire” live DVD (2009). Each of those international chart breakers was followed by a world tour that also brought the band to the USA on a yearly basis. It may have seemed obvious that Blues Rockers Aerosmith asked EDGUY to be their special guest of the German tour in 2007, the US-legend’s first European tour in over ten years. In 2010 the band didn’t tour as much as usual and only played a few gigs across England and Scotland, an eleven date arena tour with the Scorpions and a few more chosen support shows (eg. with Iron Maiden in Spain and Ozzy Osbourne in Japan). Unforgettable for fans and the band might have been one legendary instance on stage in England during the Bloodstock festival. Only a few days after England’s football team been knocked out of the world cup in the round of the last sixteen by the Germans, Tobias surprised fans and press alike with the brave tongue in cheek announcement: “We may have lost the war, ...but we made it to the quarter finals!” The press reactions summed up what is quintessential EDGUY: “If you are German and mention the war and England’s football defeat against Germany in one sentence on an English stage, and 10,000 people cheer - well, you must be doing something right!”
It‘s most probably this mixture of dangerous humor and the infectious joy of playing energetic songs that deliver the basis for this continuously growing success. At least every EDGUY fan can certainly confirm that their concerts are what make this band so very special. And it is that live energy that the band has managed to capture on their brand new effort “Age Of The Joker” (out on August, 26th 2011). Tobias explains: “We just composed, arranged and recorded just like that, without analyzing too much. It doesn’t make sense to wonder if it’s maybe too soft or too heavy or too slow or too fast. We have never done market research to find out what to do or what to avoid. Radio won‘t play it while most fans will love it. That’s a luxury situation, isn‘t it? We just play music, that’s it!”

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

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