New EP Battle Against Damnation Cover Art and Tracklisting Revealed.
Japan’s heavy metal crusaders LOVEBITES follow up their blistering debut album Awakening From Abyss with new mini-album Battle Against Damnation, revealing its track listing, cover art and video to lead track “The Crusade” today – watch it HERE.
The band have partnered with JPU Records for the mini-album’s release on 08 June 2018in North America and Europe, and in Japan on 06 June 2018 via Victor Entertainment. The release is also available for digital pre-order now via iTunes with “The Crusade” as an instant gratification download – get it HERE.
Lead track “The Crusade” sees LOVEBITES – who are nominated “Best New Band” in Metal Hammer’s Golden Gods Awards 2018 – pay their respects to British heavy metal. Their admiration for it deepened further following the band’s appearance at a UK event and their headline performance at The Underworld in Camden in November 2017.
“Break The Wall” is the first song joint-written by miho (bass) and miyako (guitar, keyboard) and is propelled forwards at breakneck speeds through thrash metal riffs and grandiose solos, and features a change of atmosphere midway through before hurtling towards its dramatic finale.
The final two tracks “Above The Black Sea” and “Under The Red Sky” share similar names and themes. The former written by miyako, the latter by LIGHT BRINGER keyboard player Mao, both tracks see the classically trained pianists pen a metal-themed love letter to the works of Sergei Rachmaninoff, a composer from the Russian empire of the late Romantic period and inspirer of metal today.
Bass-player miho and vocalist asami comment on the themes and title of the mini-album;
“Humanity is faced with battles on a daily basis. Each person has their own fight, whether it’s illness, time, solitude, war or something else they have to face.” (miho)
“However, we consider that humanity’s most serious adversary is its own destiny. Sometimes it’s essential to defy the fate bestowed from the heavens. Battle Against Damnation depicts such a fight.” (asami).
Skilful engineers Mikko Karmila and Mika Jussila of Finland’s legendary Finnvox Studiosonce again return for mixing and mastering duties on all tracks. Similarly, the cover illustration is handled once again by David Lopez Gómez and Carlos Vicente León, the Spanish team behind LOVEBITE’s debut album cover art and German heavy metal band HELLOWEEN’s best album SWEET SEDUCTIONS.
LOVEBITES will appear at two of Europe’s biggest metal festivals this summer, appearing at Wacken Open Air on 04 August, the same day as HELLOWEEN, ARCH ENEMY and DIMMU BORGIR; and Bloodstock Open Air on 10 August alongside JUDAS PRIEST, EMPEROR and KAMELOT. The band will also tour Japan with ANTHEM as part of the Headstrong Festival 2018 and performed at the Vans Warped Tour Japan last month.
Lovebites on Twitter
Some bands play stadiums, others dodgy clubs and pubs, but Altered Sky – a rock band from Glasgow very much of the Biffy Clyro and Paramore mould – took ‘intimate venue’ to ridiculous levels last year playing homes of fans.
When I meet them today they are camped upstairs at Broadcast in Glasgow a few hours shy of their final UK tour date as Ross (bassist) explains the logic behind such an unorthodox itinerary “People on Vacation were doing a house party tour playing an acoustic set in living rooms and we thought we could do that” adding “fans really appreciate the connection I guess. It’s a lot closer than playing a gig”. Lead singer and hyper excitable Ana chips in “we learned we could fit lot of people into one room!”
The other members of the band in the stifling heat of the upstairs office at the venue are Ryan (guitar) Amy (drums) and Tara (guitarist) but they sit mostly silent as Ross and Ana do most of the talking. Last year the band managed to nab a spot on Bob Harris’s Apple Tree Sessions after a hopeful Tweet was picked up by Whispering Bob himself “he’s just like the king of music” exclaims Ana before adding with a hint of incredulity about meeting him “that’s the voice! That’s the body of the voice!”.
Tomorrow the group will support the mighty Big Country at Clydebank Town Hall “It’s our second time, actually” says Anna about the occasion “They’re so cool! Such lads, well, old lads actually!” before Ross quickly removes the foot from Ana’s mouth, observing “I think being in the presence of someone who has been there and done it, we can learn a lot; the way they carry themselves, the way they handle the show. They exude that experience”.
Altered Sky are still not at the stage where they can resign from their day jobs and even have to slog out a staggering 18 hours rehearsal per week when required “it fills up the time when you would be doing other things” acknowledges Ana “the practice studio becomes a second home”.
The hard working nature of the band is obvious and when I ask what’s the most important thing they could tell other aspiring rock acts, Ana advises “knowing [your] instrument inside out and really striving to be the top of your game. You have to have that effort on top to take it to the next level” with Ross explaining “playing with four other personalities makes a huge difference to how you play, that’s probably the most important thing to begin with”.
All that effort is beginning to pay off. On Kerrang radio the band were on the same play list as Iron Maiden and Black Sabbath “why are we next to these people?!” laughs Ross; and soon they are trotting off on an Asian Tour. Since Asian music is my thang I ask if they are familiar with any bands from this neck of the woods; “One OK Rock” says Ana and after a slight pause sheepishly suggests Babymetal. If anything, this wakes Amy out of her Kraken-esque silence “oooooh Babymetal!” she coos while everyone else laughs.
So what’s all this effort and 6 hour rehearsal sessions and playing in fans houses all about? Is there a long term plan for all of this? Ana fills me in “I hope the band can really make a musical mark, not just in the UK. If can we maybe get across to America, have our second album out and have a growing fan base, a couple of really really good support tours, certainly in five years I want to be touring the world on our own headline show” before beaming “I can’t imagine doing anything else. We’re gonna do it!”
I think I’m pretty good at making predictions. I predicted Trump would turn out to be a massive douche bag and the unstoppable rise of a certain Japanese rock band. So here I’m making another one: keep an eye out for this bunch of crazy kids because they might be coming to a front room near you sooner than you think.
Altered Sky are on tour in Asia from 20th September till 18th October 2017 and are working on their next album.
Maybe it’s a combination of the skewed camera angle and the sheer “we don’t give a fuck” performance that makes this track great. And the fact you can’t really see the screeching singer frame-left only adds to the deliciously unhinged nature of the music.
Now…if only BABYMETAL could do something this rough…
Here’s the thing: that rant was shot back in the mid 1990’s. Some folks will recognise Anselmo’s ridiculously racist rhetoric “black on black crime… no one cares about black on white crime” as no different to the language FOX News uses in order to denigrate blacks, black advocacy groups and black protesters today. And FOX News are about as racist as it gets (allegedly).
What a douchebag. And I was a Pantera fan too 😦
X JAPAN (L-R): Pata (guitar), Heath (bass), Yoshiki (composer, drums, piano), Toshi (vocals) and Sugizo (violin, guitar)
As X JAPAN lay down tracks in a Los Angeles studio for their as-yet-untitled album, Japan’s most iconic rock band have announced that the world premiere of the new documentary film from Passion Pictures–‘WE ARE X’–will take place this week at the Sundance Film Festival. ‘WE ARE X’ explores the evolution, groundbreaking history and hopeful future of the land of the rising sun’s most legendary rock group. X JAPAN have sold 30 million singles and albums combined and continue to tour the world performing sold-out shows to massive arenas in 16 countries throughout the U.S. and Europe.
On Friday, January 22 at 9pm, YOSHIKI–songwriter, drummer, classically-trained pianist and the creative force of X JAPAN–will perform live with a string quartet for the first-ever Sundance Festival Base Camp party, presented by Canada Goose. YOSHIKI will headline the Festival Base Camp, a new outdoor venue located at Swede Alley, behind Main Street. Other artists confirmed to perform include Dan Deacon, Flying Lotus and Neon Indian.
“It’s overwhelming to see the full documentary ‘WE ARE X,’ says Yoshiki of X JAPAN. Stephen Kijak and John Battsek opened doors, which I shut and never intended to re-open. I didn’t realize that on the other side, dark memories could co-exist with a meaningful future. Audiences will be a witness to our history and future.”
Saturday, January 23 will mark the world premiere of ‘WE ARE X’ in the World Cinema Documentary Competition at Prospector Square Theater in Park City at 2:30pm. YOSHIKI and the film team will be on hand for the red carpet at 2:00pm and a Q&A after the premiere. ‘WE ARE X’ was created by the production team behind the Academy Award- winning film Searching For Sugarman: producer John Battsek (Passion Pictures) alongside renowned director Stephen Kijak (Stones In Exile and Scott Walker: 30 Century Man— (executive produced by David Bowie). From X JAPAN’s massive success (over 30 million albums, singles and videos sold) and sold-out tours worldwide, ‘WE ARE X’ chronicles the triumphs and tragedies of this legendary quintet who will never give up. On Sunday, January 24, YOSHIKI will perform live at the ASCAP CAFÉ at Sundance at 4:00pm.
X JAPAN initially split up in 1997 after playing their fifth New Year’s Eve show at the 55,000-capacity Tokyo Dome; they have now sold out the Tokyo Dome a record 18 times. The group reformed in 2007 and have released three singles: “I.V.” in 2008, “Jade” in 2011 and “Born To Be Free” in late 2015. They’ve been touring worldwide ever since–and in October 2014, the group performed their debut Madison Square Garden show in New York before announcing the new album and ‘WE ARE X’ film releases slated for 2016.
I made the finals in 2014 with my fancy foodblog and hopefully will make 2016’s with this nonsense.
If you feel like voting (you do!) visit this link