31 – 40: THE CITY IS OURS – ONE MORNING LEFT – FARGO – THE AWAKENING – EYES WIDE OPEN – DEFOCUS – THE FIVE HUNDRED – FREAKSTORM – AXEL RUDI PELL

TheCityIsOurs new single ‘Coma’

Since forming in 2015, this London based melodic metalcore 5-piece have been making strides in the
alternative rock and metal scene. Extensive UK touring of their octane-fuelled live sets, along with
the success of debut album »Low« (August 2019), which smashed into the top 5 iTunes metal charts,
with a string of singles appearing in top Spotify and Amazon Music editorial playlists, has gained
praise and recognition for CITY with peers and industry, and further cemented the loyalty and
dedication of a growing army of fans.
2019 was a very busy year for the band, with appearances at a slew of UK festivals including Camden
Rocks, Macmillan Fest, Burn It Down, Holloween, a fly in appearance at High Fives Festival in
Sweden, a headline set in the Doghouse Tent at the revered Download Festival where an audience
of 4000+ festival revellers got to witness CITY in full effect, and a sold out album release show at
Boston Music Rooms in London.
Following the departure of long-standing vocalist Sam Stolliday the band unexpectedly found
themselves in unknown territory, with a burning question – where do we go from here? 12 months
on, the band are back with the introduction of new vocalist Oli Duncanson and ready to welcome a
brand new era of THECITYISOURS.
“Oli has been a part of our team for a long time. He is a very well respected entity in his own right
amongst the music scene, having toured as a photographer with bands such as Wage War, Oceans
Ate Alaska, Our Hollow, Our Home amongst countless others. He was massively involved in bringing
our creative vision to life on our first record and has toured with us a number of times, so the personal
bonds were already very strong. We knew he had a voice in the locker. We’d seen snippets of his
capabilities over the years, so when he registered an interest in becoming a part of CITY, we knew we
had to explore it as an option.
We got him into the studio to demo a couple of tracks and clicked instantly. The vibe in the room was
electric as soon as he opened his mouth. The power and raw emotion of his voice translated perfectly
to the overall feel of what CITY was, but also opened up an exciting possibility to develop our sound in
areas we had never explored before. We immediately knew we were dealing with something very
special. The departure of Sam from the band left some very big shoes to fill, but we are confident that
you won’t be disappointed with what’s to come from the new era of THECITYISOURS.” – Mikey Page
“The band and I have been good friends for years having worked for them or bands around them, be
it on tour or creating their music videos for the last album, so in that sense I was fortunate to know
the inner workings of the band before joining. I’ve always wanted to be part of a band but it’s always
been something I was apprehensive to do as nothing previously ever seemed to feel right. I remember
being shown some demos of some new songs prior to Sam’s departure and absolutely loving the
direction and progression of the band’s sound so as soon as Mikey told me about the opening in the
band, I knew I had to take a chance!” – Oli Duncanson
New single ‘Violent’ is the band’s first offering to feature Oli at the helm of THECITYISOURS and is a
real nod to the angstier incarnation of the band.
“I think people have been a little cautious of bands like ours. We’ve always been a band that have
bridged the gaps between genres and with its successes has often left people looking to others,
perhaps afraid to admit they like what they’re hearing until its validated by one of their peers.
‘Violent’ is a line in the sand. It is the embodiment of our ethos of taking every element of our band to
the next level and making a definitive mark with the dawn of a new era. As one of the heaviest tracks
we’ve ever written, it starts hot and shows no sign of slowing down. Relentless angst from start to
finish.
‘Violent’ is arguably our most honest account as a band to date. Betrayal was never something we’d
really experienced before as a band, so dealing with events of this nature was a difficult but incredibly
insightful process to experience. The progression from sadness to anger is always a difficult period to
rationalise when contemplating the reasons for a relationship collapsing. In many cases, it’s clear that
there are reasons or regrettable actions to contextualise a series of events. However, it does not mean
that they hurt any less. This track lays it all out on the table, with a hope to providing some kind of
solace for the pain, before picking ourselves back up and coming back, stronger than ever before.” –
Mikey Page
‘Violent’ is set to be released on 26th March via Arising Empire.
“We are ecstatic to have joined the Arising Empire family, amongst a roster of so many talented
bands. The team at the label have been incredibly supportive of our creative vision for this record and
allowed us to spread our wings to create a collection of music unlike anything we have ever
attempted before. Some of our biggest influences have been associated with this great team over the
years, so we are very excited to see what the future has in store.” – Mikey Page
ALBUM
THECITYISOURS are notorious for combining emotionally driven lyrical content with a furious blend
of Rock, Metal & Pop influences, and the Sophomore album »Coma« is no exception. Taking varied
inspiration from the likes of BRING ME THE HORIZON, DON BROCO and WAGE WAR, through to
artists such as Bruno Mars, Justin Timberlake and THE 1975, the band have taken their philosophy
for cross genre diversity to new levels entirely.
“COMA depicts a complex journey of self-discovery. A metaphorical life-after-death. I’d gone through
an incredibly difficult time in my personal life which saw a number of important relationships very
close to me falling apart. Sam had parted ways with the band and there were question marks around
the future of CITY. I turned to the only thing I know for a form of respite from the emotional turmoil I
was facing, picked up the guitar and started putting how I was feeling down on paper.
The variation of themes that came to fruition were in some ways surprising to me. There was an
anger and bitterness I had never had the balls to put out in the open in such a direct manner before.
I’d always been concious of keeping things subliminal through fear of how other people might
perceive the material we were releasing. Our songs have always been written around things that have
happened to us and how it’s affected us as people, but there was a new found honesty to this record
unlike any previous attempts we had made as a band. It felt like the gloves had come off and we were
free to do exactly what we wanted to do, without the limitations of judgement we had previously
enslaved ourselves with.” – Mikey Page
There is an overarching presence of loss throughout the themes portrayed therough the lyrics on the
record. A loss of loved ones, relationships, personal control and even a contemplation for a loss of
life. However, juxtaposed against the fresh feeling, pop-centric musical arrangements that are
interwoven throughout, this record breathes a balance of infectious radio stylised hooks that radiate
an underlying positivity to an otherwise dark concept through the lyrical content.
“We have always been a band that has worn our hearts on our sleeves. We have never been afraid to
speak about or show our emotions in the public domain and this record is a true extension of that
ideology. There is a toxicity in some areas of society that often condemns the expression of emotion,
particularly in men & boys, as weakness.
These songs tell the story of some of the most difficult times of my life. I wanted to write a record that
outwardly showed the audience that it’s okay to cry. It’s okay to say you’re not okay. I hope people
are able to relate to this record in a way that they can take from it and hopefully in turn, provide a
network for people to connect with each other and make those dark days a little brighter.” – Mikey
Page
In collaboration with Oz Craggs at Hidden Track Studios (NECK DEEP, MALLORY KNOX, FEED THE
RHINO) this latest work has developed a fresh maturity in sound, through the crossing of genre lines
and limitations.
“With so much change in and around the band, we needed somebody we trusted to help us develop a
new sound that paid homage to everything people have grown to love about CITY, whilst
simultaneously closing the door on the past and embracing a new era of our band. When we decided
we were going to put together a new record, it was never in doubt that we would be returning to
Hidden Track to work with Oz again. As a long time friend of the band and producer of our previous
work, he had an insight into how we wanted to experiment with our previous formula and create
something that felt like a positive evolution of CITY.
We wanted to make a record that didn’t sound like anybody else. Something to lay down the gauntlet
and show that just being present wasn’t going to be enough this time around. We weren’t just here to
be a passive part in the music scene, but to assert ourselves within it. Following meticulous
discussions regarding the direction we wanted to pursue, Oz encapsulated our vision as trying to
marry the heaviest of Modern Metal production, with a slick pop vocal production that wouldn’t
sound out of place amongst either genre. This cemented the feel for exactly what we were aiming to
achieve and perfectly describes the final product we achieved. I believe this is sonically the best work
we have produced to date and I am excited to show the world what we have to offer.” – Mikey Page
“Prior to recording with Oz I didn’t really have any experience tracking vocals apart from doing a
cover here and there with some friends. I ended up demoing the tracks for this release remotely, using
a cheap USB mic and free audio software barely having a clue to what I was doing so going to Hidden
Track Studios was an awesome experience. I truly feel that Oz brought out the best of my potential
and we can’t wait for people to hear what’s been produced!” – Oli Duncanson

Line Up:
Oli Duncanson | Vocals
Mikey Page| Vocals/Guitar
Stuart Mercer| Guitar
Jamie Deeks | Bass
Louis Giannamore | Drums

Axel Rudi Pell new album ‘Diamonds unlocked II’ out on 30th july 2021

German hard rock guitar wizard AXEL RUDI PELL has finished recording and mixing his
latest album “Diamonds Unlocked II”, set for release on July 30th 2021 on
Steamhammer/SPV. The successor to last year’s top 5 album “Sign Of The Times” is the
follow-up to his 2007 cover recording “Diamonds Unlocked”. Pell’s carefully considered
decision not to release brand-new material for the first time in almost 15 years is mainly
based on the ongoing pandemic and current restrictions on live concerts. The 61-year-old
explains that “it makes no sense at all to put out new songs that we will not be able to
perform live.” But fans desperately waiting for a new studio album will have to acknowledge
that this kind of solution is a pretty good one indeed! PELL had been flirting with the concept
of “Diamonds Unlocked II” for two or three years, and he’s also aware of the vast number of
cover versions currently floating on the Internet, which he sees as a challenge. Of course it
depends on the selection and variety of the material, but first and foremost it is the
transformation of each individual track that matters. The result is so outstanding that PELL is
justly proud of his latest offering. “Without patting myself on the back too loudly – this is an album worth listening to from start to finish.” Instead of delivering every single note so that it
sounds exactly like the original, a cover album should, above all, be fun. And entertain and
inspire the listener, an audio algorithm which makes you get out the original versions or the
whole back catalogue of the artists presented. In this respect, “Diamonds Unlocked II” is an
offer that no self-respecting hard rock fan can refuse. It all starts with the only original
composition on the recording, a typical ARP intro entitled “Der Schwarze Abt”. “I like intros
which prepare you for the atmosphere of the songs that follow.” Setting the tone is a
blistering version of Sammy Hagar’s “There’s Only One Way To Rock” (1982), “a perfect
song” where PELL uses Van Halen’s live version during the solo, playing both Eddie Van
Halen and Sammy Hagar’s solos but in his own style. His admiration of another guitar hero,
namely Ritchie Blackmore, is no secret, so what we get is one of the most underrated tunes
from the Ronnie James Dio-fronted Rainbow line-up: “Lady Of The Lake” from the “Long Live
Rock’n’Roll” album (1978). “Rainbow never played that song live, for whatever reason. We
chose the demo version from the deluxe edition and added some typical ARP bits.” Then
ARP goes on to surprise his fans with a great version of Paul Anka’s “She’s A Lady” (bestknown in Tom Jones’s version from in the 1970s). The two Americans in the band, singer
Johnny Gioeli and drummer Bobby Rondinelli, have become huge fans of the ballad, which
has evolved into a straightforward rock number, although they were admittedly a little
sceptical in the beginning. And then back to the 1970s again with Geordie’s semi-hit “Black
Cat Woman” (1973), brilliantly redone with plenty of new verve and combined with Brian
Johnson‘s rerecording from 1989. Tony Carey, one of Rainbow’s former keyboardists (and a
friend of Axel’s), had a huge hit in Germany in 1988 with his classic soundtrack ballad “Room
With A View”, which PELL has now adopted as if it was one of his own compositions. Same
thing with Chris Norman’s hit “Sarah (You Take My Breath Away)”, first out in 1987: PELL
has charted new territories, putting in fewer keyboards and more ARP drive. One of the
biggest surprises is without a doubt “Rock’N’Roll Queen” by British indie rock band The
Subways (2005), a number you wouldn’t expect to find on an ARP record. “I’ve always liked
the song and happened to hear it on TV a few weeks back. We reduced the punk attitude a
bit and turned it into a heavy rock anthem.” There are plenty of versions of the Rolling Stones
classic “Paint It Black”, however none of them refers to Deep Purple’s 1993 live version, as
performed during Blackmore’s final tour. “I needed to do this track in ARP style, so the Purple
version fits perfectly.” “I Put A Spell On You” (Screamin‘ Jay Hawkins, 1956) is the oldest
number on the album, CCR’s version being the best-known adaptation. “It’s influenced me
big-time. I added a solo which was inspired by late Free guitarist Paul Kossoff. It’s my
favourite solo on this record.” One more highlight comes at the end: a stomping, thundering
heavy rock adaption of the ABBA classic “Eagle”, which sees ARP in top form and leaves
fans hankering for the next studio album featuring original material, scheduled for a release
in spring 2022. We can’t wait!

01) Der Schwarze Abt (Intro)
I´m always using short Intros to my albums. It gets you in the right mood to
listen to the complete work. This one has nothing to do with the German movie
of the same name, it´s a song I wrote myself.
02) There´s Only One Way To Rock
One of my favored Sammy Hagar tunes, wild and energetic! I also like the Van
Halen Live version, but I didn´t want to compete with Eddie here, because
there was only one Eddie Van Halen! R.I.P.
03) Lady Of The Lake
Very underrated track by the DIO fronted Rainbow. Melodic and mystical at the
same time, always liked this song!

04) She’s A Lady
Written by Paul Anka, but best known by Tom Jones. Don´t know why, but this
song follows me from the 1970ies on. Our version starts as a ballad and
continues as a punchy Rock track.

05) Black Cat Woman
I grew up in the 1970ies and listened to Geordie too. Brian Johnson was a great
vocalist even back in the days before joining AC/DC! There are 2 original
versions of that track, so I decided to have the best snippets out of both!

06) Room With A View One of my favorite Tony Carey songs. First heard it in a German TV movie and
liked it from the start. Was a huge Hit back in the 80ies. Very strong melody!

07) Sarah (You Take My Breath Away)
What? Chris Norman… really? Yes!!! I always liked this song. It has a strong riff
and a great melody!
08) Rock `n´Roll Queen
Heard the original song by The Subways a few years ago and liked it
immediately! Being a little punky, but has a very catchy chorus. We transferred
it to a more “Minor” ARP style attitude.
09) Paint It Black
Does this world really need another cover version? YES! Everybody knows this
song by the Rolling Stones, which has a great melody and structure. I also liked
the extended version of Deep Purple from their 1993 shows, so we combined
both arrangements into a powerful ARP symbiosis!

10) I Put A Spell On You
The original done by Screamin Jay Hawkins is a bit weird to my ears, but people
love it, because it´s that weird! I always favored the Creedence Clearwater
Revival version over that original, so we did it close to that. For me this track
has a special feeling and sometimes takes me back to the beginning of the
70ies.

11) Eagle
One of my alltime favorite songs by ABBA. Great lyrical message for being
“free”and a great melody!


Line-Up:
Johnny Gioeli – Lead and Backing Vocals
Axel Rudi Pell – Lead, Rhythm and Acoustic Guitars
Ferdy Doernberg – Keyboards
Volker Krawczak – Bass
Bobby Rondinelli – Drums

FREAKSTORM – Storm Inside My Heart releazed on 25.06.2021

To release their own album – something FREAKSTORM could never have dreamed
of a few years ago, for singer Sinah Meier and drummer Olli Fuchs were starting
as a tribute project. But in the meantime they were becoming a band that
establishes itself in the newcomer scene with its own songs.
As an appetizer for the album, FREAKSTORM send the propulsive title track “Storm
Inside My Heart” to radio/media.
The first song recorded by FREAKSTORM in 2016 was a cover of the US group
Halestorm. The goal to hand this track over to their idols personally (which indeed
happened), gave Sinah and Olli the motivation to record their own songs. The first
EP “We Got The Fire” was recorded and released in 2018.
2019 followed the internationally released EP “From Zero” which was the product of
a new era for FREAKSTORM: On the one hand the band began to work with
producer Dennis Ward (Pink Cream 69/Helloween). He supported the band to
develop a rich rock sound – a strong fundament for Sinah’s powerful and clear
voice. On the other hand FREAKSTORM since then cooperates with the German
label Major Promo Music regarding all digital releases. In May 2019 the successful
single “Can’t Keep Me Down” was released this way and at the same time
FREAKSTORM started to shoot their own music videos.
The EP “From Zero” also came as a physical CD onto the market and draw great
attention in the scene: Reviews in rock magazines, radio plays around the globe
and the jump in the Alaskan (!) charts.
Sinah und Olli worked successfully with alternating musicians. At the latest
recording session at the Kangaroo Studios (Karlsdorf-Neuthard) their producer
Dennis Ward played the bass on all tracks and Oliver Hartmann (Avantasia/
Hartmann) contributed the guitars for three tracks.
FREAKSTORM used the preceding corona break for intensive songwriting. This pays
off: The musicians officially come back with refined arrangements and a matured
sound. On August 27th 2021 the album “Storm Inside My Heart” with nine tracks
will be released – digitally AND physically with a digipack CD.

Vocals: Sinah Meier
Bass: Dennis Ward
Guitar: André Pflaumbaum
Drums: Olli Fuchs

the five hundred new album ‘a world on fire’

A World On Fire is out on July 30th, 2021 via Long Branch Records

-album concept
As the world closed its frontiers, boarded up their cities, and locked themselves inside, The Five
Hundred closed themselves off from the rest of society for 6 months to write their follow up to the
hugely successful and critically acclaimed debut, Bleed Red.
The album focuses on a morbid theme of environmental devastation, rising sea levels, climate
disaster, and the ensuing loss of entire ecosystems, cities and millions of human lives. A subject that
is particularly close to their hearts, guitarist & lyricist Mark Byrne passionately talks about the band’s
inspiration behind the album…
“The environmental catastrophe that is headed our way will cause more deaths than COVID-19 and
the solution will be far more complicated than a simple vaccine. We are all lost our shit during this
pandemic, but what’s coming next is so fucked up, we won’t know what hit us. We are simply not
ready for this.”
“We normally revel in ambiguity, and believe in leaving room for interpretation. Spoon feeding our
listeners has never really been our style, but for this record we felt the need to be blunt and direct.”

1 BLACK DOGS
A song about isolation and the plague of mental health, which spreads through society
like a contagion of anxiety, paranoia and suicidal ideations.
Vocalist John Woods-Eley speaks of the personal mental torment that inspired him to write
him to write the track… “When you are suffering from mental health issues, you are
completely alone in your head, standing on the edge, descending into the darkness. No
one can jump inside you and help you fight your demons… you’re just on your own. We
live on a beautiful planet but an ugly world, surrounded by breath-taking beauty, but all
we want to do is set it on fire… that depresses, terrifies and angers me in equal measures.
Look around us at what we have created. Plagues, floods, and fires. You can’t make this
shit up, it’s fucking biblical!“


2 THE RISING TIDE

2020 The year people are literally dying to forget. But as humanity struggles to cope with
the effects of this pandemic, the fact remains that we’re teetering upon the precipice of
something far, far worse. Never a band to shy away from the inconvenient truth, The
Rising Tide is the second single released from The Five Hundred’s upcoming sophomore
album, via Long Branch Records. And as this sonic monster-in-the-making begins its long
sweep towards our proverbial ragged shores, guitarist Mark Byrne is ready to drag the
waters – and reveal the inspiration behind the track.
“The environmental catastrophe that is headed our way will cause more deaths than
COVID-19 and the solution will be far more complicated than a simple vaccine. We are all
losing our shit at this pandemic, but what’s coming next is so fucked up, we won’t know
what hit us. We are simply not ready for this. It’s not as bad as you think – it’s much,
MUCH worse. Up until now, the scientific, political and even public discourse has focused
on increasing temperatures – degrees Celsius. In the next few years, we will talk about it
in terms of meters of sea level rise. Life as we know it, will not be the same, and we are
just letting it play out in front of our very own eyes. That depresses me beyond belief, so
I had to write about it. We are sinking in a deep blue hell. Many of the people and places
we know and love, will be dragged out to the sea. Sit back and enjoy the horror show,
because it’s your apocalypse, and you fucking paid for it. Hop on for the ride.”


3 OUR DEMISE
I remember reading a paper about how people can pass away simply because they’ve
given up. Life has beaten them and they feel defeat is inescapable.
It was a study by researchers about the “clinical markers” for ‘give-up-itis’, a crude term
used to describe what is known medically as psychogenic death. It usually follows a
trauma from which a person thinks there is no escape, making death seem like the only
rational outcome. If not arrested, death usually occurs three weeks after the first stage of
withdrawal.
The researcher quoted: “Psychogenic death is real. It isn’t suicide, it isn’t linked to
depression, but the act of giving up on life and dying usually within days, is a very real
condition often linked to severe trauma.”It’s a subject matter that triggers thoughts, perhaps analogously, that we are experiencing
a societal or ecological version of this. We have given up on ourselves, and we have just
accepted that this is the only, inevitable conclusion, to fade away, wide-eyed and
hopeless.
As a society we swing from the opposite ends of the pendulum, of environmental activism,
which society bizarrely labels as ‘extremism” to the flaccid apathy of “middle-of-the-road
Joe Public”, who questions whether any of this is even real. We don’t need two polar
opposites to war with each other, we need the middle ground to get the fuck in the water
and learn to swim.
We haven’t decided if this song is about fighting on or giving up… I guess we’ll let the
listener decide…


4 THE WARMTH
Humans are a strange species. When we see chaos, we seek to find patterns in the mess.
It’s almost as if we cannot handle the instability, so we need to come up with crackpot
ideas about secret societies planning this mess.
This song is about conspiracy theories, and how we prefer to believe in them than in the
truth, because we can’t face the cold, hard facts.


5 WALLS OF JERICHO
It’s fair to say that not a single one of us in the band is religious, but the biblical battle of
Jericho bears some significance… in that it reminds us that our enemy cannot be defeated
with physical weapons, but rather by a crowd of loud voices.


6 YOUR APOCALYPSE
“A grave to bury all our shame inside”… sets the tone for this bleak depiction of the hell
we are creating for ourselves.
It’s a grim image of what our world is fast becoming. Oceans on fire… Giant storms
colliding… You paid for the seat, but you’re only going to use the edge of it. Here is Your
Apocalypse, jump on for the ride.


7 WITH SCARS
Why did I feel like writing this song? We talk about the impact of the world’s climate going
to shit, extreme natural disasters wiping out entire towns and villages and that is scary
enough. Now imagine that the ones that will feel the impact are disproportionately the
people who already live in abject poverty. Yeah, some rich fuckers in London, Manhattan,
and Miami are gonna be “inconvenienced”, but it’s the people who are already in the slums
that will be hit the hardest, ‘cos they’ll have no place to hide.

8 OUR CURSE
By far the angriest song on the album, and if you still don’t know what we are angry about,
then you haven’t been paying attention! Our hatred for you is as pure as it is loud…


9 AGONY
Nothing makes you come to terms with your own mortality more than holding your child in
your arms for the first time.
When I first held her, the stark realisation that one day I’ll be gone, and I have to prepare
this human for life when I am no longer there to protect her. That hit me like a brick wall,
and it scared the shit out of me. At a moment when I should have been the happiest man
on the planet, I felt the black dogs walking behind me.
The song deals with the Agony of anxiety and depression, a recurring theme throughout
my lyrics, because, guess what? It’s been a recurring theme throughout my life. If you
don’t face it and confront it head on, it can swallow you up. Sometimes it can creep on
you because of external factors… Sometimes it is of my own making. If I don’t sort my shit
out, I can effectively become the architect of my own self destruction.


10 A WORLD ON FIRE
The concept for the title track and for the album itself, was borne out of sheer frustration,
at our inability to deal with the crisis. A global problem needs a global solution, and whilst
we watch the apocalypse slowly unravel, we continue to war with each other, weep into
the ocean, and breathe in the flames.
In the end we will scream for redemption, and regret the mess we made, but by that point
it will be too late.

ARTWORK CONCEPT from Giannis
” I fell for the band’s concept from the very first minute. These
lads are touching subjects that are important for ours and our
children’s future. These topics should not be ignored and the
fact the album is dedicated to them made me happy to be
involved with on it. Regarding the art, I wanted a more iconic
approach. Less realistic, less detailed and as much
personalized as possible.
The main idea of the man having his hands around the planet
was given by the band so I had the basic image in my head. I
tried to deliver an unusual piece in terms of aesthetics going a
bit out of my comfort zone. Having the man dissolve and the
planet being on fire, pretty much sums up the idea of our
suffering world. I hope the album finds its way to lots of ears
and open minds and that it works as a gateway to
understanding these important messages. It is in our hands to
keep the planet and our future safe.

The Five Hundred Bio – April 2021
Aggressive yet euphoric, empowering yet simultaneously enslaving, The Five Hundred are renowned
for overcoming adversities and laying siege to every stage they play.
Their critically acclaimed debut album ‘Bleed Red’ told the story of a band struggling with Tourette’s,
OCD, and drug addiction. It’s now the band’s time to share with the world how they’ve battled through
their vices and come out on top.
After successful tours up & down the country, Eastern Europe / Russia & an appearance at the iconic
Download festival in 2019, the quintet are back and angrier than ever with their follow up album.
May 2020, and only a few months into the pandemic, we saw the release of their first single, Black
Dogs, a song about isolation and the plague of mental health, which spreads through society like a
contagion of anxiety, paranoia and suicidal ideations.
As the world closed its frontiers, boarded up their cities, and locked themselves inside, The Five
Hundred closed themselves off from the rest of society for 6 months to write their sophomore album.
The album’s second, The Rising Tide, gave a glimpse into what will become a central theme to the
band and their music in this coming cycle: Environmental devastation, rising sea levels, climate
disaster, and the ensuing loss of entire ecosystems, cities and millions of human lives.
“The environmental catastrophe that is headed our way will cause more deaths than COVID-19 and
the solution will be far more complicated than a simple vaccine. We are all losing our shit at this
pandemic, but what’s coming next is so fucked up, we won’t know what hit us. We are simply not ready
for this. It’s not as bad as you think – it’s much, MUCH worse. Up until now, the scientific, political and
even public discourse has focused on increasing temperatures – degrees Celsius. In the next few years,
we will talk about it in terms of meters of sea level rise. Life as we know it, will not be the same, and
we are just letting it play out in front of our very own eyes. That depresses me beyond belief, so I had
to write about it. We are sinking in a deep blue hell. Many of the people and places we know and love,
will be dragged out to the sea. Sit back and enjoy the horror show, because it’s your apocalypse, and
you fucking paid for it. Hop on for the ride.”
The album concept weaves through various aspects of a generation-defining crisis, from flood to
furnace… A fitting soundtrack for the coming apocalypse.

defocus new album ‘in the eye of death we are all the same’ out 2nd july

With the upcoming release of »In The Eye Of Death We Are All The Same«, DEFOCUS enters the Metal
scene with a record full of heavy, low tuned songs, where they dive deep into the progression of the
world we are living in and how we are all affected by it. Founded by Simon Müller, Jeffrey Uhlmann,
Jonas Mahler and Marcel “Bambam” Heberling, DEFOCUS spent time making music together before
coming to light in early 2019, instantly proving their worth in the scene with their energetic live shows.
Exceedingly low guitars and driving rhythms, paired with dark and ambient melodies create a melancholic
atmosphere that characteristically stands for the thrilling sound represented on their new record. With
songs like ‚Thought Of A Vision‘ or ‚Can You See Me?‘ DEFOCUS shows what they are capable of,
combining their very own diverse style and aggressive vocals, to create catchy, yet energizing heavy songs
to delight fans of different metal genres. Faced with the global COVID-19 pandemic, DEFOCUS got to work
on their material through countless extensive late-night online sessions, allowing every member to
contribute their individual ideas and emotions.
„I remember that when we started to write all these songs, everyone was on the same page from the
beginning and we knew exactly which direction we want to go, but at the same time everyone took
inspiration from different sources. Seeing all these songs finally come together in the end makes me super
happy, because the writing process and everything around it really defined who we are as a band and
resulted in a record everyone in the band can 100% identify with.“ – Jeffrey
While the pandemic was still in full swing, all tracks were recorded remotely from home while Christoph
Wieczorek from Sawdust Recordings took care of the mix and master, that really matches the crushing
and impulsive sound of modern metalcore.
„Await hell and heaven to open the gates, bury the masses in a common grave. Regardless of ranks and
positions, IN THE EYE OF DEATH WE ARE ALL THE SAME“ from the track ‚Common Grave‘ perfectly
represents the overall theme and mood of the album.
„Mankind still tends to be living an egoistic lifestyle and there’s probably a reason why we’re not
considered as ‘social’ beings. With this being said while the world turns upside down and everything seems
to get worse and worse, everyone will die alone in the end.“ – Simon

Line Up:
Simon Müller | Vocals
Jeffrey Uhlmann| Guitar
Marcel „Bambam“ Heberling | Bass
Jonas Mahler | Drums

EYES WIDE OPEN new single ‘Devastation’

“The world is on fire!”
 Freshly signed modern metal four-piece EYES WIDE OPEN from Sweden have released their brand new single ‘Devastation

Devastation spreads through human society with pandemics, misleading information, and corrupted leaders. Why can’t we change our ways?

“Destroying ourselves and the earth with greed, depression and hate and how we all stand silent doing nothing about it, disconnected by a self-made mask.”

 ‘Devastation‘ carries the torch from the Swedish melodic death metal scene, mixing it with modern sounds and new influences inspired by metalcore. Catchy melodies, heavy drumming, pumping rhythms, and versatile vocals are merging into an own style of metal.

EYES WIDE OPEN is a four-piece modern metal band based in Karlstad (Sweden).
 With their latest album »The Upside Down« (2019) of four already released in total, they hit like a juggernaut and paved the road to a top tier within the scene.

EYES WIDE OPEN are:
Erik Engstrand | vocals
Kristofer Strandberg | guitar
Jesper Lindgren | bass
Lucas Freise | drums

THE AWAKENING release new Album “This Alchemy” 

The Awakening’s 10th album “This Alchemy” will officially release next week. The album features 10 new original compositions, along with a powerful rendition of the Alphaville classic “A Victory Of Love.”

Nyte says about the first single from the album:

“Zero Down is about the posthumous exploitation of ‘rockstars’ – something that has been happening since the dawn of rock ’n roll. It’s a song I wrote many years ago, and I am delighted to finally share it with the world, in all of its irreverent reverence.”

Based in the U.S., The Awakening is a musical project born in Johannesburg, South Africa, in the late ’90s. Ashton Nyte has released seven critically acclaimed solo albums and has collaborated on various projects with members of The Cure, The Mission, Bauhaus, and many more. “This Alchemy” follows less than a year after frontman Ashton Nyte released his solo album and book of poetry and short stories, Waiting For A Voice.

“I think the 36-date European tour I completed with Wayne Hussey in late 2019 re-ignited my drive to create more art and stay connected with those who kindly support my work. This Alchemy is, in many ways, a new creative chapter for The Awakening. It occupies a different space to both “Waiting For A Voice” and “Chasm” which I think satisfies the growth and diversity essential for an artist,” says Nyte of the new release.

FARGO Strangers D’Amour

Release date: June 25th, 2021

Tracklisting:

  1. Rain Of Champagne 3:17
  2. Gimme That Bone 3:23
  3. Closer To The Sun 4:13
  4. Time 6:04
  5. Mary Says 3:23
  6. Law Of The Jungle 3:19
  7. Homesick 3:59
  8. Dear Miss Donna Vetter 3:35
  9. No Reason To Cry 4:12
  10. Car Expert 3:32
  11. Why Don’t You 3:32

We all know that experience is one of the most valuable resources of an artist. That
irreplaceable talent of distinguishing the significant from the insignificant and always
operating with perfect timing rather than being guided by nervous impatience easily
balances out youthful enthusiasm and a penchant for experimentation. Hanover rock
act Fargo, comprising founder and bassist ´Fargopedda` Knorn, vocalist/guitarist
Peter Ladwig, who joined the fold a little later, and drummer Nikolas Fritz (Mob
Rules), has that experience and has once again deployed it: Three years after their
comeback album CONSTELLATION (2018), 25 June 2021 will see the arrival of the
group’s new (sixth) album STRANGERS D´AMOUR, proving that the band’s name
has long become a trademark in its own right.
A trademark with a few innovations, that is: True to the motto “reduce to the max”,
STRANGERS D´AMOUR presents Fargo as a trio. The essence of Fargo, consisting of Knorn, Ladwig and Fritz, had already featured on CONSTELLATION and has now
recorded eleven new songs in spring 2021, composed by Peter Ladwig and – with
two exceptions – written by Peter Knorn. “Compared to CONSTELLATION,
STRANGERS D´AMOUR sounds even more mature and rounded, with our typically
driving beats and lots of melodious chorus parts, but also with a few little surprises
thrown in,” Knorn explains. “‘Gimme That Bone’ and ‘Why Don´t You’ have Ladwig
play a Hammond organ and Fender Rhodes, as well as his guitar. And few previous
Fargo recordings match the speed of ‘Rain Of Champagne’!”
Other than that, STRANGERS D´AMOUR consists of Fargo’s familiar laid-back rock
music, that characteristic classic rock that Fargo have been known and loved for
since 1973. The six-minute ‘Time’, for example, looks back at the late 1970s and
brings to mind other Hanover acts such as Eloy and Jane, albeit stylistically more
straightforward. Knorn: “At the same time, our songs have a common thread that
links not only the new numbers but all our records: Ladwig‘s characteristic vocal style
and his distinct sense of melody are simply unmistakable.” Not to forget Knorn‘s
intelligent and frequently mocking lyrics, this time about illegal liquor distillers (‘Mary
Says’), the fight between two poodles over a bone or sex in a car (‘Car Expert’), but
also critical statements about environmental breakdown (‘Closer To The Sun’) and
even references to Goethe’s play, ‘Faust’.
STRANGERS D´AMOUR is complemented by its cover artwork featuring the three
band members’ faces in a jungle guise, as if they’d just sprung from a primeval forest.
Says Knorn: “The front cover stands for the wild and primal in all of us. Or the
animalistic element, perhaps the ability to see into the future. To recognise these
elements and to live in harmony with them, that’s what we wanted to convey with the
album title.”
The members of Fargo have always been in harmony with each other. As a
predecessor of the globally successful hardrock band Victory, which Knorn founded
in 1984 and disbanded in 2011 following their outstanding success in Europe and the
US, Fargo is one of the most distinguished German rock acts of the early 1980s.
Their debut album WISHING WELL was released in 1979, followed by three studio
recordings on EMI by 1982. Fargo have repeatedly toured all over Europe, played
with some of the greatest rock bands worldwide, touring with the likes of AC/DC,
Mothers Finest and The Small Faces, among others, and also featured on German
TV channel ZDF’s “Rock Pop”. Even Europe’s biggest teen magazine BRAVO
devoted two full pages to Knorn and his spectacular stage performance in January
1981 (part of his nightly show at that time was a legendary headfirst somersault).
After a hiatus of 34 years, Fargo returned in autumn 2017 and went on to release
their comeback album CONSTELLATION one year later. STRANGERS D´AMOUR is
the latest of six releases by a band that is once again a force to be reckoned with, in
the studio as well as live on stage.
Line-Up:
Peter Knorn – bass
Peter Ladwig – guitar, vocals
Nikolas Fritz – drums

one morning left – new album ‘hyperactive’ out: 21.may 2021

With their fourth album, the Finnish metalcore act ONE MORNING LEFT ends a five-year-long pause in releasing new material.

On »Hyperactive« the group begins a whole new chapter in their story, drawing inspiration from retro electronic- and video game music, as well as 80’s hard rock, while staying true to their heavier roots.

Changes are happening not only in the musical style, but also in the lineup. Returning from the cast of 2016’s “Metalcore Superstars” are frontman Mika Lahti, singer-guitarist Leevi Luoto and drummer Niko Hyttinen. Additional firepower is provided by new faces Tuukka Ojansivu on guitar and Miska Sipiläinen on bass guitar, as well as the return-to-form of keyboard player Touko Keippilä from the band’s original “Panda <3 Penguin” lineup. The album shapes up to be the artistic peak of One Morning Left’s musical “blood mountain”: epic lyrics carried by Luoto’s soaring vocal melodies, contrasted by the distinctive, gritty sound of Lahti, all accompanied by breathtaking keyboard leads, blisteringly fast guitars, masterful bass riffs and feverish drum parts.

The title, “Hyperactive”, reflects both the musical and the lyrical content on the album, which can be seen as a critique of modern life.

Attention spans are shortened by a flood of information, making everything and everyone hyperactive.

The lyrics deal with such topics as depression, mania, overcoming addiction, love, hate, and stress.

These issues are observed through a prism of sci-fi and dystopian themes running throughout the album. “I was heavily inspired by old school heavy metal lyrics by bands such as Judas Priest and Iron Maiden, as well as sci-fi movies and TV-series, like Black Mirror, to use fantasy as a vessel to process such heavy topics,” lyricist Leevi Luoto notes.

The songwriting process was a long and challenging one, with some tracks being started as early as 2017, but remaining unfinished until the band was strengthened by bass player Sipiläinen and keyboardist Keippilä in late 2018.

After that everything seemed to just fall into place: the band’s new, now recognizable sound, was found quickly and the process sped up with the album being finished in early 2020.

The album starts off with a bang with “Ruby Dragon”, a song about self-improvement, overcoming depression and becoming the best version of yourself. “Mika wanted a song about the board game ”Labyrinth” so I adapted that to the themes above and had a great time writing this, even though the inspirations are.. heavy,” Luoto explains. Keyboardist Touko Keippilä continues: “Ruby Dragon was the culmination point in the album writing process, as it perfectly encapsulates what we aspire our new musical style to be like. Groovy, heavy riffs and clean, glistening synthwork providing a platform for the two vocalists to deliver their lines with a raw and wild energy.”

The following track, “Neon Highway”, is a hyperactive love song full of pure chaos and fury, thoroughly resonating with the album title. As told by Leevi Luoto: “This is a straight up love song. MAD love. Also functions as the landscape-painter of the album, describing the world we’re singing about.”

Continuing the barrage of fast-paced tracks is party anthem “Sinners Are Winners”, a love letter to 80’s hard rock. Lyrically the song is a parody of the party hard lifestyle and rock’n’roll clichés. “I f****ng love the 80’s and wanted to mix those guitar mannerisms with metalcore, creating one of the most fun songs to bang your head to,” Luoto says.

Making a guest appearance with a face-melting guitar solo is producer/guitarist Joonas Parkkonen (SANTA CRUZ, LOST SOCIETY, APOCALYPTICA). Presenting a heavier and darker side of One Morning Left, “Drowned God” offers a unique take on modern metal music.

As the first song written for the album, with some parts dating as far back as 2008, the lyrics are heavily influenced by singer Leevi Luoto’s childhood. “I was super bullied as a kid, the feelings and power-fantasies of those days were the inspiration when writing this,” he explains.

Taking a completely different direction is “CREATVRES”, a danceable rock song about unity and empowerment. Groovy drum beats, heavy guitars, and bright synths create a solid backdrop for the two vocalists to shine over. “A gem of modern music,” as remarked by bassist Miska Sipiläinen, “CREATVRES” is definitely the one of poppier tracks in the band’s catalogue. “Can’t wait to see which ice hockey team adopts this as their theme song!”, Keippilä adds.

Bringing the album back to it’s speedy tracks, “Live, Laugh, Love” takes a stab at the facade of fake smiles on social media. The breathtakingly aggressive and emotional delivery of Mika Lahti takes center stage, supported by a bombardment of guitar-shredding and drummer Niko Hyttinen’s blast beats. “Full blast, no chill, just punches you in the face. That’s what I like,” Hyttinen summarizes.

With “Ruthless Resistance” ONE MORNING LEFT takes the listener on an adventure through a landscape of sci-fi and fantasy clichés in an effort to save a crew member from peril. Starting out with Ojansivu’s thrash metal-inspired guitar riffs, the song builds up to a monumental crescendo with the entire band joining up in a grand chorus. “We wanted to capture the childlike, adventurous feeling of this song. The lyrics are about friendship and trying to destroy the ”big evil” in a very Star Wars-ey kind of way” Luoto says.

Adding to the wide variety of musical styles heard on the album is “Downfall”, a funk and nu-metal inspired track, full of haunted house-esque keyboards, screeching guitars, Sipiläinen’s groovy basslines, a guest appearance by DJ Massimo and even a verse featuring underground rapper OG Ulla-Maija. The song, inspired by the graphic novel “The Killing Joke”, describes a person’s struggle coping with constant stress, depression, and anxiety. “The lyrics on this one hit the closest to home for me. Having suffered from anxiety and depression, screaming along to ”Will I ever be whole again?” sends a shiver down my spine every time,” Touko Keippilä comments.

With “Worry Less, Dance More” the band’s love for fast-paced progressive metal and alt-rock really shines through. “Probably the most fun song to play on the album. Fast tempo, absolute killer riffs, precise picking, total perfection!” Miska Sipiläinen narrates. Mika Lahti continues: “This has been one of my favorites since the demo stage. Leevi’s very topical lyrics are a take on today’s influencer culture: everyone considers themselves a “Cyber-Gandhi”, but few are able to live up to their projected standards.”

Acting as the album’s grand finale, the titular “Hyperactive” presents a ferocious amalgamation of hardcore riffing and Keippilä’s synthwave arrangements. The song squeezes out the last drops of energy one has left after listening to the album. “When creating the track, it became very clear that this will be the last song on the album. “Hyperactive” is fabricating an illusion of closure, while being a powerful and entertaining cliff-hanger for our upcoming material,” guitarist Tuukka Ojansivu illustrates. Absolutely packed with immense frustration and sadness, the album’s conclusion functions as a yang to “Ruby Dragon”’s yin, summing up the album both musically and lyrically. The vocalists’ intense delivery grants authority to the song’s message of self-examination and rebellion.

With »Hyperactive« released in May of 2021 by ARISING EMPIRE, ONE MORNING LEFT looks to add to their growing global fan base. Having gathered extensive live performance experience playing countless shows in Finland, touring mainland Europe, Russia, and the Baltics, and even performing in places such as Iceland and Japan, the group is planning on taking their entertaining and energetic live show on the road in the near future.

Mika Lahti – Lead Vocals
Leevi Luoto – Guitar & Lead Vocals
Touko Keippilä – Keyboards & Backing Vocals
Miska Sipiläinen – Bass & Backing Vocals
Niko Hyttinen – Drums
Tuukka Ojansivu – Guitar & Backing Vocals

thecityisours new single ‘coma’

Following the release of the powerfully cathartic ‘Violent’ and the introduction of new vocalist Oli Duncanson, THECITYISOURS announce their highly anticipated new album with its title-track ‘COMAout now. The album is set for release on 22nd October 2021 via Arising Empire.
There is a palpable sense of loss that ties together the band’s sophomore offering. TCIO tackles the passing of loved ones, relationships, even personal sovereignty, and self-control head-on. However, juxtaposed against their vibrant and fresh feeling, pop-centric arrangements, expertly interwoven with infectious hooks and crushing riffs; »COMA« breathes a perfect balance, radiating an underlying sense of positivity and resilience through an otherwise dark concept.
»COMA« will be available as CD and special limited coloured vinyl!
 
“COMA is an honest account of how I was feeling trying to understand why I was spiraling into a void,” expresses TCIO founding member Mikey Page. “I wrote the song as a method of coping and catharsis. It embodies a period of self-loathing where, the love I had, no matter how strong, was not enough to save an important relationship.” Page recounts. “I wanted to produce an honest account, showing that it’s okay to be vulnerable, and to encourage others to speak up and take positive action instead of internalising them and struggling alone.”

Watch ‘COMA‘ now here: https://youtu.be/aLKpCZxDnUk

»COMA« was recorded, engineered, and mixed by long-time collaborator Oz Craggs (FEED THE RHINO, NECK DEEP, MALLORY KNOX) at Hidden Track Studios and mastered by Ermin Hamidovic (ARCHITECTS, PERIPHERY, NORTHLANE) at Systematic Productions.‘
 
Following the departure of long-standing vocalist Sam Stolliday (full statement HERE), the band unexpectedly found
 themselves in unknown territory. 12 months on, they are back with the introduction of new vocalist Oli Duncanson and ready to welcome a brand new era of TCIO. Oli recounts “I remember being shown some demos of some new songs prior to Sam’s departure and absolutely loving the direction and progression of the band’s sound… so as soon as Mikey told me about the opening in the band, I knew I had to take a chance!” Page adds “Oli has been a part of our team for a long time. He is a very well respected entity in his own right amongst the music scene. We’d seen snippets of his capabilities over the years, so when he registered an interest in becoming a part of CITY, we knew we had to explore…and we clicked instantly.”
 
 More info on THECITYISOURS
THECITYISOURS is a 5-piece metal band from London who has quickly garnered attention and growing support for peers, industry, and fans alike, with their high-octane live show and the success of their debut album. »LOW« (2019) smashed into the top 5 iTunes metal charts with several singles appearing in editorial playlists with the likes of Amazon, Deezer, and Spotify (Including 2 covers on New Core and Metal UK) supporting the band.
 
 2019 was a very busy year for TCIO, with appearances at a slew of UK festivals including Camden Rocks, Macmillan Fest, Burn It Down, Holloween, a fly in appearance at High Fives Festival in Sweden, a headline set in the Doghouse Tent at the revered Download Festival to a 4000+ audience of festival-goers, and a sold-out album release show at Boston Music Rooms in London. Be sure to keep an eye on THECITYISOURS in 2021.

 THECITYISOURS are:
 Oli Duncanson | Vocals
 Mikey Page  | Vocals / Guitar
 Jamie Deeks  | Bass
 Stuart Mercer  | Guitar
 Louis Giannamore | Drums