“Oathkeeper – Part 1”
by Jorge Patacas
Astra is a new two-man project based in Oslo, Norway. As the story goes, the multi-instrumentalist Sondre Ramstad Paulsen started to work on his own songs while he was still a teenager back in 2012 after not being accepted into the music school and being told he wasn’t good enough for his friends band, which, ironically, included the other current member of Astra, his childhood friend William Strengelsund. They both reunited in 2016 and ended up working together as a duo on the majority of the songwriting with Strengelsund providing the vocals. Their debut concept album “Oathkeeper – Part 1” is an epic journey into the ancient land of Kalgard, a saga that’s being told through ten songs of which three are instrumentals. Musically, it sounds pretty solid and interesting to keep the listener hooked on. It’s a Symphonic Metal album, yet we can easily find influences from Progressive and even Power and Melodic Death Metal with vocals ranging from clean to screaming. Every instrument is placed on the right place according to the climate each song requires and the catchy choruses will make the experience even more enjoyable.
The album will be released on April 3rd and you can listen to their first single “Hammerdown” below!
Eluveitie, Lacuna Coil and Infected Rain joined forces for a European tour by the end of 2019. One of their last stops was Oslo, so some hours before the show, we met their vocalist Fabienne Erni, who joined the band in 2017 and already recorded two albums with them, “Evocation II – Pantheon” (2017) and the recently released “Ategnatos” (2019). We discussed all things Eluveitie but also her other projects, her past, childhood, dreams and a lot more!
RISE!: – I guess you haven’t been in such a long tour before. How are you dealing with the life on the road?
Fabienne Erni: It’s going really, really well. I mean, now we’re actually on our fourth last show and I had my ups and downs, you know? I was a bit scared like “ok, it’s gonna be winter, so am I going to catch a cold?”, and then if I would, how do I cope with it when I have to sing everyday, and all of that. But it went really well, I was just a little bit sick, but still it was fine and now for me the tour could go on for two weeks or so, I have energy and I really enjoy it, specially being here in the north. I’m a huge Scandinavian fan and I took a walk today, the sun was out and it was just so good! (laughs)
R!: – You were lucky actually because the sun hasn’t been out in a long time before today (laughs).
FE: Really?! We were so lucky then, I think we had like two hours of sun now, and we took a walk, went to the sea, the castle thing and the Christmas market of course. This is what gives me energy too, just taking these walks, see different cities, catching some sun because otherwise when you sit in the club all day long, that doesn’t work. So we’re really having a good time and I’m gonna be a bit sad because it’s gonna be over and it will be a huge change because you’re surrounded by so many people all the time and at home you’re just alone again or with your family or friends, and that’s it.
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Right from the underground music scene of Oslo, Norway, Høstsabbat emerged in 2013 and it has slowly developed to become one of the most important scandinavian festivals for fans of genres such as Doom, Stoner, Psychedelic, Prog and Space Rock. This festival has a unique atmosphere, not only because it reunites some of the best underground bands from the aforementioned scenes, but because it’s being held in a church (!). Yes, once again on this year’s edition, the Kulturkirken Jakob church located in the Grünerløkka area in Oslo will be visited by both local and international audiences who will be able to experience something different and not a traditional open-air festival.
In 2019, Høstsabbat will showcase the best of the current underground scene in three different stages: the main one called The Chapel which is located in the church room, The Crypt which is a smaller club in the basement with a limited capacity of 120 people and Verkstedet, a venue and a bar located across the street from the church with a capacity of 140 people. This one will be used for Norwegian bands only.
There will also be bars and lots of merchandising, so get ready!
Høstsabbat 2019 will be held on October 4th and 5th and these are the confirmed bands so far:
THE DEVIL AND THE ALMIGHTY BLUES
STUCK IN MOTION
You can find more information HERE
MICHALE GRAVES at John Dee (Oslo, Norway)
Tuesday, March 5, 2019
by Jorge Patacas
Michael Emanuel, better known by his stage name Michale Graves, managed to make a name for himself worldwide after joining the legendary Misfits in 1995 when he was only twenty years old. Although his time as vocalist for the New Jersey band finished in 2000, his presence revitalized the band at the time with two studio albums, “American Psycho” (1997) and “Famous Monsters” (1999), which became classics, in addition to the live album “Evillive II” (1998). After that, Graves was involved in different projects including a recent collaboration with the legendary Marky Ramone, as well as releasing solo material.
In this long tour that Graves and his band are doing across the European continent, the vocalist presents some tracks from his solo career as part of the setlist, but the focus is on Misfits, so it was a great opportunity to witness again or see these songs live for the first time, depending on the case. There were people of all ages, from old school fans who are already in their fifties to those who are just turning 20, including some with classic punk aesthetics, but also several guys with metal t-shirts, especially of Black Metal bands.
There were no opening bands on this occasion, so the lights went out around 20:30, and the musicians began to appear on stage, Graves being the last to appear with his traditional make up which was consistent to what would be the performance of that night. They started with “Bedlam” from his album of the same name released in 2016, followed by the Misfits classic, “American Psycho”, with its heavy riffs and catchy chorus that made everyone vibrate.
At one point, there was a flaw in the Graves microphone after he threw the support, so while looking for another, the vocalist began playing with the audience and the band made jokes about the issue, perfectly mastering an unexpected situation. From there, the general atmosphere improved substantially in terms of audience response and also when it comes to the band, especially Graves himself was much more into the show after this technical issue. Later he referred to the weariness of the tour indicating that this was the show number 57, but despite that, he gave it all, and the energy displayed in songs like “Saturday Night”, “Shining” or “Descending Angel” caused a great ovation.
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