61 – 70: THE JOKE JAY – IMAGINATURE – VERITAS – MESENTERY – THE UNITY – VARDIS – KATRE – BY THE KNIFE – MAESTRO – METALBATS (EX-VORTEX)

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METALBATS (ex-VORTEX) in memory of Martjo Brongers

Out of a Vortex emerged a bunch of Metalbats.


Some time ago, everyone could have noticed that Vortex, an old school Metal band from Groningen, the Netherlands lost its founder and motor-hand, guitarist Martjo Brongers, as he passed away end of 2019. It meant the end of Vortex.

Few people must have thought about what would happen with the other members of this legendary Metal band. Less was known, but at last we have news for all the fans and lovers of eighties Metal and especially Vortex.

After having taken time to grief, and sequentially thinking about future steps, Henk Bosma (drums), Orion Roos (guitar), Harm ten Hoove (bass) and Yuryen Thunderfox (vocals) decided to continue their musical route as Metalbats.

While looking at all the songs that were produced while Vortex was still booming and playing on several festivals and in impressive halls, there were several songs that had never been played live, simply because it’s impossible to fill a one hour, or a one and a half hour concert with all the songs of the rich repertoire of good old Vortex.

Here lies a nice opportunity to let everyone enjoy the songs that up ’till now were only available on recordings, like LP’s and CD’s. So let us introduce to you this new band called Metalbats, with repertoire of classic Vortex Metal songs in a for all of you new and hopefully enjoyable presentation!

some words about VORTEX

Since 1979 Heavy Metal band Vortex is working its way up in this world, playing in a traditional old-school style, known as NWOBHM.
After all these years it showed everyone that Vortex is more popular than ever.
2019 Vortex celebrate it’s 40th Anniversary with a lot of old and new material.
And finally at last they will share all their releases on Bandcamp.

Beware, the Bats are still flying.

Some tapes with long lost ideas, unfinished songs and other long forgotten metal treasures are the base for this new album of VORTEX from the northern part of The Netherlands. Guitar player Martjo Brongers (also STEEL SHOCK) found it on a dusty shelf somewhere, not realizing that these recordings still existed. It was like holding a holy grail in his hands. After listening to it, the material was far too good to put back on the shelves again and VORTEX decided to re-record the songs and complete musical treasures that they found to release it thirty-two years later. Good heavy metal will never lose its value, not even after thirty-two long years.

It’s the year 1985, when VORTEX released their EP ‘Metal Bats’. It changed the life of many headbangers in the netherlands. A year later their debut album ‘Open The Gate’ appeared and people who live in Bourtange still have nightmares of that one day, when five heavy metal guys knocked on the doors of the fortress fortified city and shouted out loud that they had to open the gate. They actually didn’t know, that the guys of VORTEX were recording their first video clip, which even made it to the BBC quiz ‘Never Mind The Buzzcocks’.

After this release, things went pretty quiet or so it seems. Today, we can witness what happened after ‘Open The Gate’ with the release of ‘Them Witches’. The long lost 1987 written material sees the light of day at full force. The original recordings that the band found are rehearsal tapes, recorded in the studios of Popbureau in Groningen. These holy grails will now be exposed to the hungry metal fans.

The band has gained a lot of experience, power and quality. These songs will really blow you away pretty easily, because they received that 2019 treatment, which was just what they need to sound as all-destroying, as VORTEX do now.

A tsunami and earthquake alert has been put out already. This ass-kicking, skull splitting, headshaking material will make you proud to be a metal head and that’s what you are about to receive with this new album.

This album will literally give your eardrums an orgasm and it has been realized with witches help.

This masterpiece even contains the cooperation of Jurjen ‘Thunderfox’ Tichelaar and Martjo ‘Whirlwolf’ Brongers in ‘Gonna Hit You’. Two master minds joining forces and they will astonish you with this killer song. Next to this, you are also able to enjoy a new version of ‘The Breath’ and eight other rough diamonds that will make your heart beat faster and the adrenaline flow wild in your veins.

Guitar explosions of Orion Roos and Martjo Brongers, thundering drum beats of Henk ‘The Tank’ Bosma, the stunning bass parts of newcomer Harm ten Hoove and the powerful maniacal vocals by Jurjen will definitely blow your mind.

VORTEX will turn back time for thirty-two years. It’s the year 2019, but once you’ve pushed the ‘play’ button of your CD player, you will step into a time machine that will set you right back into the previous millennium, in the year 1987.

After these 1987 recordings, VORTEX introduced themselves as the ‘Hammer Of The North’ in 2003, they bid us ‘Welcome To Metal Land’ in 2005 and they ‘Drink Bat Blood’ in 2010. ‘Remains’ is their last full-length release from 2014, but the band surprised us many times with some amazing compilation albums and this one’s no exception to the rule . This album will really blow you away, so mark my words. Better fasten your seatbelts before listening and don’t you come complaining, because I did warm you!

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MAESTRO

Maestro was originally formed back in Juli 1989 by Orion Roos (currently also guitarist with the Dutch heavy metal band Vortex/Metalbats from the city of Groningen, since 1999)  and by bass player René van Zonneveld (ex-Vortex). Maestro plays their own compositions of mainly Melodic (Hard)Rock music. Ranging between rock ballads, AOR  and Heavy Metal.

In the beginning of the nineties, two demonstration cassettes were released. These demo cassettes are highly sought after and are collectibles nowadays. These cassettes were promoted with many live gigs, back in the day.

Through the years, many band members came and went. Because René and Orion joined the heavy metal band Vortex, there was little time left for Maestro. But in the summer of 2008 they picked up Maestro again, pretty much where they left off.

New recordings were made with Praying Mantis (UK) guest singer John ‘Jaycee’ Cuijpers and Pepijn Gros (Ivy’s Dream) behind the drums.

After a while singer Anne Blouw joined Maestro and  drummer Jahrin Kersten replaced Pepijn. René also left the band to be replaced by bass player Peter Douwenga (ex-Vortex).

Together with the new band members, plans were made to make new recordings in order to get more live gigs. The recordings went great and were officially released as an extended play compact disc. Maestro – ‘Can’t Stop (Thinkin’ ‘Bout You)’ was released at the end of 2018 by record label Big Bad Wolf Records from The Netherlands. Due to catchy songs it still gets a lot of radio airplay.

Soon after this release singer/guitarist Wouter Zuiderveld joined Maestro.

In January of 2019, Maestro decides with record labels Big Bad Wolf Records and Headbangers Records to master and release the earlier made recordings with singer John ‘Jaycee’ Cuijpers as a promotional CD called ‘On The Run’.

Currently Maestro is working on a full-length album which shall be released in 2022. The new album will include at least ten new original songs. At the moment, Maestro is still looking for a fitting record label.

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BY THE KNIFE

BY THE KNIFE is raw, no-nonsense, and straight to the point. BY THE KNIFE is a project born in blood, sweat, and tears. The New single “REVENGE” is a perfect example of not only this bright new artists’ pure energy, but also their’ dedication to making passionate music for the downtrodden in the Metal masses.

LINKS:

https://youtu.be/CyfX3xoAj54
https://www.facebook.com/ByTheKnife/
https://open.spotify.com/artist/7rwyuRQabvJEQwYBPLETRt?si=FHQxaZYpQbSwvu62BLBodQ
https://music.apple.com/us/artist/by-the-knife/1589734770

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KATRE

Katreis a Berlin-based instrumental post-rock/metal band formed in 2014. The band takes its name from the old Arabic word katre which means the “drop”. One distinguishing aspect of Katre is that they tell stories with their songs and create concept albums. Their debut album Encounters, released in 2017 via Fluttery Records, focuses on the concept of existence, i.e. conception and birth, growth and self-awareness. Encountersreceiveda very warm welcomein the rock scene and entered at #9 in iTunes Top 200 Releases Rock Chart in Turkey.Due to civil wars, global warming, political persecution, and starvation, the number of people looking for security is increasing day by day. The latest reports indicate that refugees make nearly 1% of the world population as of 2021.Behind the Resilience, the 2ndstudio album of the banddeals with this topic and tells a refugee story. In particular, the songs focus on the different phases of refuging, such as the life of this family before the war, the start of the events, escaping, challenges on the way up to Europe, the feeling of being an unwanted person and trying to adapt to a new life.Behind the Resilienceis produced by Chris Edrich (Gojira, Tesseract, The Ocean, Klone, Leprous) and will be available on digital platforms on 30thSeptember 2021.

Katre is (from left to right)

Şah Cihan İngin –Synthesizers

Okaner Ertuğrul –Drums

Hasan Koç –Guitars, e-bow, MIDI strings

Özgür Şepşül –Bass guitar

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VARDIS will releaze on the 26th of November 2021 their live-album ‘100 M.P.H. @ 100 Club’

VARDIS were forged out of Glam, Punk, Heavy Metal, Blues and Rock´nRoll in the crucible of 1970s northern England. They are a product of Rock music across three generations: inspired by the great Rock´nRollers and electric bluesmen of the 50s and 60s, learning their
craft on the Hard Rock and Punk circuits in the 70s, before signing with Logo/RCA in 1979
and achieving prominence in the 80s as part of the New Wave Of British Heavy Metal. Their
ferocious musical attack directly influenced the development of thrash and speed metal
across North America and Europe, cited by metal giants such as Metallica and Megadeth.
Never losing sight of the melodic sensibilities of their earliest influences, Vardis’ unique
heavy groove has endured as truly original.
In 1980 they released the entirely live, classic debut album ‚100 M.P.H.’ that famously
”GUARANTEED NO OVERDUBS”, before hitting the road in a brutal touring schedule.
Kicking off with the infamous Heavy Metal Barn Dance alongside Motörhead and Saxon at
Stafford’s Bingley Hall in July, Vardis then joined Hawkwind on the 33 date Levitation Tour
before embarking on their own 100 M.P.H. tour. 1981 saw no let up, with Vardis recording a
BBC Session for Tommy Vance and releasing their first studio album, ‚The World’s Insane‘,
accompanied by a tour culminating with the legendary Heavy Metal Holocaust in Port Vale,
alongside Ozzy Osbourne and Motörhead.
Ignoring label pressure to be “more like Van Halen”, 1982 saw Zodiac placed in the world’s
top 15 guitarists by Sounds Magazine, as Vardis embarked on a UK Tour with Slade and a
headline European Tour supporting third album ‚Quo Vardis‘. ‚Quo Vardis’ pushed the
boundaries of heavy music, with saxophone, bagpipes and mandolins alongside
collaborations with Squeeze pianist Jools Holland and Status Quo’s Andy Brown. This led to
mixed reviews from the conservative Metal press, while open minded journalists and DJs led
by John Peel on BBC Radio 1 championed the band’s sense of fun and experimentation.
1983 – 1985 was an enforced hiatus for Vardis, as a two year legal battle with management
precipitated lineup changes and missed opportunities. Emerging from court victorious but
disillusioned, Vardis released the stripped down album ‚Vigilante‘ in 1986 on indie label Raw
Power, an indictment of industry use and abuse, before Steve Zodiac walked out on the
music business for good.
Nothing was heard from the band for nearly three decades, despite the release of two
compilation albums: ‚The Best Of Vardis’ (1997) and the double CD ‚The World`s Gone Mad:
The Best Of Vardis’ (2002). In 2014, Zodiac was coaxed out of retirement on social media by
the old hardcore and new fans who’d discovered the Vardis legacy. Vardis toured Europe
and released fifth album ‚Red Eye‘ in 2016 through SPV/Steamhammer, cementing one of
rock’s most unlikely comebacks. Vardis have lost none of their unpredictable edge, and 2019
witnessed a triumphant appearance at Leicester´s ‚O2 Academy’ alongside English grindcore
legends Napalm Death that surprised many, proving yet again that their special brand of
Rock’n’Roll transcends both genre and time.
Friday 13th March 2020: the true enormity of Covid19 was not apparent, but an uncanny
atmosphere was palpable everywhere. With live venues still open in England, and rockers
from all over Europe assembled on Oxford Street London, Vardis would play. For two hours,
‚100 Club’ escaped a troubled World, and the energy forged that night by Steve Zodiac
(Guitar) Joe Clancy (Drums) and Roly Bailey (Bass) with a brilliant crowd was captured for a
2021 double live album release on SPV/Steamhammer.
We present to you the Vardis live experience on record for the first time since 1980: ‚100
M.P.H.@100 Club’, “GUARANTEED NO OVERDUBS”!

Track listing:
CD1

  1. Out Of The Way 3:10
  2. Steaming Along 3:21
  3. Paranoia Strikes 2:10
  4. Situation Negative (Boogie Blitz) 5:37
  5. Red Eye 3:41
  6. Dirty Money 3:06
  7. Mods & Rockers 5:25
  8. Don’t Mess 2:55
  9. Shoot Straight 4:22
  10. Move Along 5:35

CD2

  1. Destiny 3:05
  2. The Lion’s Share 3:04
  3. Radio Rockers 3:38
  4. The Loser 5:47
  5. Head Of The Nail 3:45
  6. Jolly Roger 4:33
  7. Let’s Go Again 3:21
  8. 100mph (I won’t Go To Hell) 9:15
  9. If I Were King 5:20
  10. Living Out Of Touch (encore) 3:17
    Vinyl bonus track:
  11. 100 Soundcheck 2:58 (bonus track)

Line-Up:
Steve Zodiac (Guitar/Voice)
Joe Clancy (Drums)
Roly Bailey (Bass)

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THE UNITY will releaze on the 12th of November their live-album ‘The Devil You Know’

Sometimes the seemingly most surprising idea can also be the most obvious: German-Italian
melodic metal act The Unity, consisting of Gamma Ray members Henjo Richter (guitar),
Michael Ehré (drums) and bandmates Gianbattista Manenti (vocals), Stef (guitar), Jogi
Sweers (bass) and Sascha Onnen (keyboards) are set to release their first live album ‘The
Devil You Know – The Unity Live’ on Steamhammer/SPV on 12 November 2021, their very
own reaction to the lockdown, which has still not been fully lifted. “For months, music fans
were denied the most important thing in their lives: live concerts! That’s why we decided to
give our fans exactly that, The Unity live,” explains Michael Ehré, adding: “Some may feel
that it’s a little early to bring out this kind of recording after only three studio releases. But for
us, this is both a salute to our fans and a consolation to make up for the many shows that
didn’t happen.”
‘The Devil You Know – The Unity Live’ was recorded between 2017 and 2020 during tours
through Germany and a number of other European countries, at shows in small, overheated
clubs with sweat dripping from the walls, but also at big festivals such as the Masters Of
Rock in the Czech Republic and in Germany at the Karlsruhe Knockout Festival and the
Bang Your Head in Balingen. The track listing focuses on material from their albums ‘The
Unity’ (2017) and ‘Rise’ (2018), but in ‘We Don’t Need Them Here’ also includes the single
release from their third album ‘Pride’ (2020), a song which was discussed controversially at
the time of its release and was one of the highlights of their tour with Rhapsody Of Fire.
Talking of which: The Italian band was only one of several renowned groups with whom The
Unity have toured extensively. Just as unforgettable were their concert tours alongside
Sinner, Edguy and Axel Rudi Pell, where The Unity presented their outstanding skills every
night, advertising their subsequent equally acclaimed headlining tours.
Due to its numerous concerts, it comes as no surprise to experts how rapidly the group has
developed during the first four years of its existence. ‘The Devil You Know – The Unity Live’
shows excellently rehearsed musicians, bursting with enthusiasm and proving their
impressive live presence not only with their greatest hits ‘No More Lies’, ‘The Storm’, ‘Never
Forget’ and ‘The Willow Tree’, but also in direct contact with the audience, thanks in
particular to frontman Gianbattista Manenti, who has evolved into a world-class vocalist,
forming a tight unit with his technically accomplished band colleagues.
The first single release from ‘The Devil You Know – The Unity Live’ will be a live clip featuring
‘Close To Crazy’, with excerpts from The Unity’s performance at the Masters Of Rock in
Vizovice, Czech Republic, in front of an audience of 22,000 and with comedy star Sascha
Grammel and his famous puppet, the “eagle pheasant” Frederic Freiherr von Furchensumpf,
putting in a guest appearance. The latter has been a self-confessed The Unity fan for years
and frequently comes to the band’s shows. The album was mixed and mastered by Achim
Köhler, and the front cover courtesy of Felipe Machado (Gamma Ray, Blind Guardian, Iron
Savior) introduces The Unity’s new mascot Dave, who is honoured by the album title.
Manenti says: “There is an English saying: ‘Better the devil you know than the devil you
dont’. We think this motto perfectly describes the situation the world currently finds itself in.” Last but not least: The booklet, designed by Alexander Mertsch (Deep Purple, Saga etc.), presents an extensive photo collection with lots of live pictures and a number snapshots of fans, who will definitely like to remember the bands great shows. Looking at it this way, for
both band and fans alike, this live album is much more than simply a consolation prize!

Tracklisting:

  1. Revenge 1:21
  2. Last Betrayal 4:22
  3. No Hero 6:00
  4. No More Lies 5:11
  5. Welcome Home 4:41
  6. Firesign 5:47
  7. The Storm 5:54
  8. We Don´t Need Them Here 3:58
  9. The Willow Tree 5:09
  10. You Got Me Wrong 5:09
  11. Close To Crazy 3:54
  12. Never Forget 8:32

Line-Up:
Gianbattista Manenti (vocals)
Michael Ehre (drums)
Henjo Richter (guitars)
Stef E (guitar)
Jogi Sweers (bass)
Sascha Onnen (keyboards)

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MESENTERY are back! new album ‘Soulfucker’ out on the 11th of February 2022

MESENTERY already attracted attention in the early 2000s with their first three releases and now, after
a break of almost ten years, they announce their comeback with their new album “Soulfucker” in a
combative manner, to be released on February 11, 2022, via Dr. Music Records. Frontman and guitarist
Marcel Braun is ready to inject fresh life into the newly formed band from the Hamburg area with the
varied ten tracks and their mixture of Death Metal, Thrash as well as other Extreme Metal influences.
Between hard old-school riffs, brutal grooves and harmonious melody peaks, diabolic suspense is
built up. “Soulfucker” has been recorded at the legendary Chameleon Recording Studio Hamburg,
featuring mastermind Marcel Braun on vocals, guitar and bass and Eryc Botz on drums. Produced by
Eike O. Freese (Helloween, Alice Cooper, Heaven Shall Burn), the album is defined by anger and pain
about the misbehavior of society. This manifests itself, especially in the title theme, which is based
on the unsparing biography “Seelenficker”, where the author using the pseudonym Natascha traces
her relentless, unprettified time on drug-related prostitution and as a crystal meth addict. The album’s
lyrics are a warning and depict with full harshness and mercilessness what is going on in our sick,
self-centered and greedy society.
MESENTERY were founded in 1992 by Marcel Braun and Carsten Pickbrenner and joined shortly after
by guitarist Florian Triska, bass player Boris Stellmann and shouter Christian Busch. In the year 2000,
after three demos, the debut album “Blood Rain” was released, as well as later the EPs “Slaves” and
“Bound Windows” via Low Records. Together they played numerous shows and toured with the Chilean
Death Thrash underground cult band Undercroft. After the tragic death of bassist Boris Stellmann in
2014, the friends initially put the band on hold and devoted themselves to other projects. But over
the years, MESENTERY were not out of the bandleader’s mind and so he awoke his formation from
the icy, deep sleep two years ago. Initially, he continued developing the sound on his own and created
the new Death Metal album “Soulfucker” quite single-handedly. In the meantime, he convinced his
old bandmates Florian Triska and Carsten Pickbrenner to bring MESENTERY back on stage with a full
line-up. The ten songs of “Soulfucker” literally scream for their baptism of fire in the clubs. With the
melancholy single “The Time Before Death”, the sinister tracklist begins. Here, the Germans deal with
the transitoriness and waste of a useless human existence, characterized by blind consumption and a
non-existent meaning. The second hard-hitting and aggressive single “2025” shows a world plagued
by war, with countries that only care about their own advantage exploiting the world until they fall into
the abyss. For both singles, MESENTERY teamed up with English video artist Andy Pilkington of Very
Metal Art (Judas Priest, Onslaught, Sortout), which produced viciously direct lyric videos perfectly
reflecting the message of each song with a morbid charm. The driving and energetic track “Inevitable”
shows a world that has sealed its fate without hope of redemption. “Virtopsy”, in turn, is a critique
of our digitalized world, trying with melodic disharmonies and harsh guitars to wake up the listener
from a nightmare of total surveillance, where everyone strays naked and helpless through society.
Both songs will also be released as singles, with stunning music videos produced by Medienhaus Köln.
“Soulfucker” is a treat for underground Death Metal maniacs with its aggressive attitude, the exciting
and drastic title theme as well as socio-critical lyrics, not only instrumentally. MESENTERY definitely
are not on the scrap heap yet with this straightforward and relentless album and not only fans of bands
such as Unleashed, Carcass or Hail Of Bullets should check out this record.
Tracklist:

  1. Soulfucker
  2. To Be The Odd One Out
  3. Punisher
  4. The Time Before Death
  5. Damned Liars
  6. 2025
  7. Inevitable
  8. Virtopsy
  9. Quo Vadis
  10. Mesentery
    Discography:
    2022 Soulfucker (Album) | Dr. Music Records
    2008 Bound Windows (EP) | Low Records
    2003 Slaves (EP) | Low Records
    2000 Blood Rain (Album) | Low Records
    Website: www.facebook.com/mesenterymetal | www.instagram.com/mesentery_ban
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VERITAS have released their album ‘Threads Of Fatality’

In 2012, Greg Wenk started looking for members and decided on Veritas, which means truth. After some changes the current line-up are: Denny Anthony-vocals, Greg Wenk-guitar, Geno Alberico-bass, Mark Zonder-drums

In March of 2020, Veritas signed a deal with Amplified for worldwide distribution of their first full length cd in physical and digital formats. The cd has 14 tracks and was mixed by Daryl Bolicek at Wild Horse Recording in Minnesota and mastered by Thomas Juth at Svenska Grammofon studion in Sweden. The cd released on August 28th, 2020 worldwide and has already received great reviews from Germany, Sweden, USA, Poland.

polish symphonic metal band IMAGINATURE just released deput-album

on October the 2nd 2021 Polish symphonic/power/prog metal band Imaginature released international their long-awaited debut full-length album Imaginature.

Recently the band released their third Single “Atonement”.

The music of IMAGINATURE contains heavy guitar riffs and bombastic drum section, with keyboards, whistle & pipes in the style of symphonic/power/prog metal.

The name IMAGINATURE comes from mixing the words “imagination” and “nature”, which reffer to composing style of the band. Despite of the keyboardist, the rest of its members has no musical education, but creativeness and imagination are something more desireable for them. Coming up with such band name they combined two opposite things, yet each of them bares great power. 

The band worked with guest appearances of musicians from such renowned bands as Sunrise, Pathfinder, Thermit, Moyra.

THE JOKE JAY finally dropped the long-awaited video & single ‘Awake’ from the deput double-album ‘Awaken’! The album releases on the 29th of October 2021

The Joke Jay finally releases the official single “Awake” accompanied by a music video from the
upcoming debut double-album “Awaken” which fans have been impatiently waiting for. The album
“Awaken” will be officially released worldwide on the 29th of October 2021 via all trusted dealers.

The Joke Jay, the new band around namesake Joke Jay (And One), producer and synth-pop
mastermind Olaf Wollschläger (Vorsprung durch Technik), and allrounder Hilton Theissen (Zoodrake,
Akanoid, Dark Millennium) presents themselves with their debut double album “Awaken” in the timeless
and individual appearance of a classic rock/pop band with various influences from alternative rock to
electro styles of the 70s to 90s, and an approach of uncompromising, musical debauchery.