Review of Newsonic’s ‘Vorax’

Review by Ryan Murray | August 17, 2019

Newsonic, a band from Rio de Janeiro Brazil, released their newest album “Vorax” on June 27th, 2019. I had actually never heard of this band before, however I had been asked to check them out and review the album. I’m so glad I gave them a listen. I’ve been through Vorax several times now, and I can’t stop listening to it! It’s a great blend of hard rock, progressive metal and even symphonic metal. The band sounds similar to bands such as Dream Theatre, Symphony X, and at times even more straight hard rock like Creed.

Below is a review of a select few tracks from the album, followed by my overall feelings on the album.

The album opens up with a track called “Tornado”, which has a very progressive metal sound to it. After a lighter 17 second intro, the main riff kicks in, so get ready for a “tornado”! (Pun intended). This song very much reminds me of Dream Theatre instrumentally. Anderson’s voice is powerful, yet very well balanced.

This song, to me, is about the fear of loss, particularly of a loved one. We can all relate to losing a loved one. That feeling of hopelessness in the face of such great sadness. Sometimes, death is self inflicted, and with that comes anger, confusion, hurt and sadness.

“Winds of death that bring me tears
Painful waters of an angry sea
Bear down on my hope
I think I cannot resist”

This part speaks to me on a personal level. I’ve had many losses of loved ones in my life, two of which were from suicide. When I lost two loved ones from suicide, it was more painful than I had ever imagined. The tears that flowed were out of pain, but also out of anger and the fear of “Could I have done anything differently?” These feelings would bear down on me to the point where I felt like I was drowning.

Another track that I really enjoy is “I’m Alive”. I love the symphonic metal intro with strings and guitar at the forefront. For me, this songs speaks of victory of those who try to knock us down. We’re all too familiar with that feeling; whether it be someone in your family, someone at work etc. For the longest time, I was in a very toxic work environment, surrounded by those who wanted to knock me down. Sometimes it’s out of jealousy, other times it’s just because the person trying to knock you down is insecure, and needs to make themselves feel above you.

“Just take your aim
And try to shoot me down
If you sow evil seeds
You will reap my revenge”

Too many times in that toxic work environment did I fell like I was being shot down, stabbed in the back, etc. To me though, I learned the hard way that it was only because I gave those people power over me by allowing them to shoot me down. The more evil they were towards me, the harder it got. But I eventually learned that my revenge came in the form of rising above them and being a better person than they were.

The next track that really jumps out at me musically is “King of Ice”. This song really has a Creed vibe to me. Between the instruments and the vocals, this song reminds me a lot of them. While I can’t personally relate to what the song speaks of lyrically, I very much enjoy the vocals and sound of this song. The melody, specifically in the chorus, is great!

The final track I’ll talk about is “Terminal”. This track musically is awesome, and I absolutely love the vocals on this one. This song, to me, talks about how fragile life can be, and how we spend our time is so important. While I wasn’t very close with him, my Father passed away from cancer when I was like 14 years old. At the time, I didn’t even know of his diagnosis until it was late in the stages. (My full brother and I lived with our Mom, so we hardly even saw Dad). We had spent some time over the years prior visiting, and building some sort of relationship, but once Mom found out about the Cancer, she kept us away for some time, just because she didn’t know how to tell us. When she finally did tell us, it was already close to the end. I maybe spoke to him once or twice on the phone before he passed away.

“If you knew that my condition is terminal
You would try to stop time
But we both know
Time had come”

This, to me, feels like my Dad saying this to me. If I had known his condition at all, I would’ve tried to have spent some more time with him before his time had come. (I have to add that I don’t in anyway blame my Mom for this. She did what she thought was best and I stand by her decision 100% because she always has out best interest in mind.). I do to this day though wonder what it would’ve been like to spend more time with him before he passed away.

I’m very happy I was told about this band by Jessica. I’ve always enjoyed this type of music and vocals and this band doesn’t disappoint! I really hope they make it big.

Overall Rating: 4.5/5

Review of Tarja’s ‘In the Raw’

Review © Jessica Clingempeel | CEO Of Ethereal Metal Webzine | Tarja's USA Admin

I have been a fan of Tarja’s since she has been with “the band”. I have followed her then and throughout her entire solo career. I have had the privilege to review most of her albums. As a huge music lover, I tend to stay with those who move me the most. Tarja, and many others already know that her music has been an earthly savior to me. Without her music I would have succumbed to the abused past, depression, to the suicidal thoughts. Even then, not every song of Tarja’s have moved me to the point of tears. Every album has its treasure, but for an entire album to move me can be hard. In the Raw has done that. This entire album has moved me to tears, and with every listen that passion I have for these tracks grow stronger. No artist has ever done this to me, NONE!

The album starts off with Dead Promises which many have already heard as it was released as the first single. The album version however features Björn “Speed” Strid who gives his own sound to the song. While Tarja’s solo version is great, Björn made it even better. I also have to mention the song is at its best live. The rawness and the power is greatly seen on stage.

The second track, Goodbye Stranger, also features another collaboration with Cristina Scabbia of Lacuna Coil. This is a collaboration many fans have been wanting for years now and finally it has come to light. I don’t think this song would have worked without Cristina honestly. The melodies blend very well and each vocalist gives their own touch to the song.

The main track that won me over was the song You and I. It is a simple ballad accompanied by a piano, but the lyrics will pull at the heartstrings of the hardest metalhead. This song alone is what won me over without having even finished the album yet. Not everyone has that special someone, I never thought I would, but am blessed to now. Then it goes into the next track, flowing smoothly as if one full song, The Golden Chamber.

The Golden Chamber contains very few lyrics, which are in Finnish. The music and the humming of Tarja’s voice takes you to another world and even without many words tells a story. Tarja, being a huge fan of film music, integrated that into this song, and I think it could be used in a film.

I have to also give credit to everyone else who has worked on this album. The instrumentations are well blended and complement her voice well in this album. The orchestration is also very well done and put together. It would be interesting to hear just an all orchestral version of this album.

Without spoiling too much of this golden treasure I will end the review here. This album contains something for everyone, no matter what genre you are into. Some songs are heavy, some are not, but there are no flaws. That could be the fangirl in me talking though. Make your own opinion. Expect the unexpected.

Other album mentions: Tommy Karevik from Seventh Wonder/Kamelot and Carlinhos Brown.

Overall Rating: 5/5

Pre-order the album now at: Out August 30th, 2019.

Hyde: Live at The Fillmore in Silver Spring, MD | May 15th, 2019

Review © Jessica Clingempeel | CEO of Ethereal Metal Webzine | Tarja's USA Admin

Japanese rocker, Hyde, visited Maryland opening for acts Sevendust and In This Moment, along with Light the Torch as another opener. Hyde was the highlight of my evening as that was the main act I was going to see.

I have been a fan of Hyde for about 20 years, ever since he was the vocalist of the band L’Arc-en-Ciel. I was also a fan of Hyde’s acting career though I have only seen one movie, Moon Child, with Japanese rocker, Gackt. Having been a fan for so long as soon as I saw the show announcement I immediately went to see ticket prices. I was disappointed when no VIP tickets were confirmed for this particular date as a meeting would have been the cherry on the cake. My friend and I did manage to snap a photo of Hyde in his bus though. 😉

Though I was only there for Hyde, the other bands were great as well. I had never seen or even heard much of Light the Torch before the show, however they were really great and I have become an instant fan. Sevendust were another highlight as I have been a fan for a few years. Was really excited when they managed to sing two of my favourites! If you have never heard of Sevendust or Light the Torch do so now.

In This Moment, however, were a disappointment, at least for me. I use to be a fan of ITM with their previous albums, but the music doesn’t seem as important to them as much as the theatrics and presentation are now. Please guys, go back to the music. The props are too much and takes away from the lyrical content and the overall enjoyment of a live show experience. If I want to go see a play I will. I have to give you guys kudos for the finale though. That was the best part of your entire performance.

There were several others who were only there for Hyde as they left as soon as he was finished. Being my first Hyde live experience I was not disappointed. He puts on one hell of a performance, has a great voice live, and even likes to smash his own props (video below haha). If you have never heard of Hyde before but are a fan of jrock and awesome shows, please check this guy out. Another downside, apart from no VIP, was that we were literally at his bus, not many others around, and he did not come out. Come on man! How often do you come to the East Coast of the USA?

Even with the main act being a major disappointment, Hyde and the other bands made it worthwhile. If In This Moment had been playing alone, I would have been majorly disappointed! Next time give Hyde more show time. 😉

© Photos & Video belongs to Jessica Clingempeel

Review of Tarja’s ‘Dead Promises’ Single

Several people wanted to write a review on this single for the webzine so you will be reading several here. Mine is first, enjoy and be sure to listen to the song (video at bottom, along with a sample of the album version feat. Bjorn from Soilwork) and order this album. Out Aug. 30th, 2019!

All Photography © Tim Tronckoe
Review © Jessica Clingempeel | CEO of Ethereal Metal Webzine | Tarja's USA Admin 

Dead Promises, given the context of the lyrics, has no bearings on Tarja’s promise to deliver a heavier and darker album. This track promises to deliver and succeed! The beginning starts out heavy, gets heavier in the middle, and ends heavy. The instrumentation meshes well with the melodic and emotional context of Tarja’s voice, making this song an outstanding first taste of what I assume will be the album to beat this year.

Instead of focusing on the musical elements of this album, since we already have several reviews, I will focus on the lyrical context and what this song means to me. A little bit of a personal story if you will.

We have all been given a dead promise or two or a thousand. Countries have been given many from the “leaders”. We have all fallen victim to such promises. I was the victim for most of my life, since early childhood. I was given broken promises by my father almost every time I would see him. The promise of love, safety and protection, being there for me. All those promises were dead, were empty. I never saw much love, I never had protection, he was barely ever there, and with him I experienced all kinds of abuse, if not by the hands of him, then by the women and their grown children he would take me around.

I was given dead promises by my ex. The relationship was nothing but control, fights, etc. One-sided, always about him, I was last. These two are just small examples of what I endured in life. Those men were the reasonings for my disbelief in love, my struggles with any kind of relationships (friendship or intimate), and my trust and hatred for humanity that kept getting worse. I had put up a wall and thought nothing or no one would ever get close to and hurt me again as long as I was in charge and kept that wall up. It was just recently I have learned to love again. I met a man that I never thought existed. He has been kind, loving, and every promise so far has been kept and fulfilled. I tore my wall down and gave him the chance. If I hadn’t I would not have ever seen true love.

This song challenges everyone and is a lesson for those of us who have been lied to and hurt. We have all fallen victim to someone and/or something. We can either keep the walls we have built up or we can tear them down, forgive those who hurt us (for us), and trust again. Otherwise we will never know what love is, a good life, nor ever see our dreams become reality. As always, Tarja has hit a personal level for me. She has been my earthly saviour, apart from my mother, because if it were not for her and her music, I would be dead today. I was on the verge of suicide so many times, use to self-harm, pull hair out, scream, cry, hate the world, but it was her music that saved me. This is why I am so loyal to this woman. This new album, after only one song, proves to be another fit for me on a personal and emotional level. As always Tarja, thank you. *

Review © China Tosin | Contributor of Ethereal Metal Webzine  

In short: Very guitar-based, riff-based, with a very important bitter message that hit the hearts of those who habitually break promises or have their promises let down, Tarja’s out there to retribute!

This song’s message seems to be about empty promises in relationships or family conflicts that are not fulfilled and it keeps adding up the pain when the promises keep creating expectations of improvement but not much effort in achieving. However, it can likely to apply outside interpersonal context too, such as unfulfilled political hopes, corporate failure in compensating their services. The line “Dead promises, games you play will kill your dreams…” sends a strong message about those who give empty promises will actually be the ones hurting, too. The vocals are pretty minimal compared to Tarja’s other songs that are a bit more complex, but executed it well, kept it concise, catchy, and powerful.

The music is on the heavier and faster side of her discography, very guitar-based and riff-based. The lead riffs, the main heavy riffs, and choice of sound give the song a “bitter” and “dry” feeling which fits the message. No solo in heavier Tarja songs had not ever been a bad thing, as this song gives you a varied and harmonized version of the lead riff near the end.

The dynamics of the song are very well plotted, as there are parts that the lead riffs playing alone giving excitement and build up, things get heavy on the main riffs and chorus. In the verses are laid down with less distorted guitar picking and bass guitar on higher register makes the song fit the “dry” feeling. *

Review © Jade | Reviewer of Ethereal Metal Webzine

Dead Promises, the first track released to the public from Tarja Turunen’s new album “In The Raw”, is a thunderous song with plenty of guitar and a traditional hard-rock feel. In The Raw is definitely an album title this song belongs on – the music and lyrics combined make for a very naked song, aggressive and not even having to put up a fight to get to the front of the musical line and be noticed. Tarja stated that this new album was going to be darker and heavier than previous albums, and she definitely delivers here.

Turunen’s powerful vocals shine brightly on this track, but the missing element was a heavier, darker vocal – a growl, if you will. From my quick review of the Album Version preview of Dead Promises, this is solved with the addition of Björn “Speed” Strid of SOILWORK. While the single version is a fantastic preview, the album version seems like it’s going to have that one extra element needed to make a perfect heavy metal song. (Though it’s been proven over and over again that Tarja Turunen shines beautifully on her own.)

Overall, Dead Promises was a perfect peek into what’s to come. A crowd pleaser to say the least (as it won a Metal Hammer poll for best new music in metal for the week of its release by a LANDSLIDE), I can say this much: we’re all dying to see it live.

Review © Zach Brehany | Contributor of Ethereal Metal Webzine

If this new single shows us everything, it looks like her promise of a Winter Storm is about to be unleashed with fury, anger, and the darkest corner of herself as a person. We’ve seen this transformation of a classical singer with an exceptional voice to her now being a powerhouse or a vocalist. And yet, years later, we are drawn back into her spell.

The last hard rock album she put out, The Shadow Self, was all about the darker Tarja and the sides of her that are deranged, emotional, and hidden beneath scars of damage she as endured as a performer. If this song is any indication of what the album will entell, we are about to start seeing the wounds uncovered and bloody. 

“Dead Promises” lyrically are as deep as any other song she has put out (brings to mind the lyrics to “I Walk Alone”, “Dark Star”, “Never Enough”, and “Innocence”). They are all recollections of her past with people, theorizing that they deal with Nightwish. When looked at it from that angle, this is a natural progression of herself as an artist: she is moving on, but won’t forget what happened to her for her to be where she is at now. 
The song does create a strong sense of sorrow when you are left thinking about all the promises people have made but keep on breaking. The message, I believe, is that we need to move on from all of that. Those that have betrayed us will no longer be able to continue living their best life because they built there’s off of lying, betrayals, and promises that amount to nothing. We will always have to deal with people like that, but they are not our problem; we don’t have the right to give ourselves to those kinds of people because they will only hold us back. Tarja is moving on from the past and that is what she is telling us to do. 

The instrumentation for this track is what threw me off the most. It feels like she is also moving away from her usual pure orchestration that was what started her career with both her Christmas album “Breath From Heaven*” and “My Winter Storm” and going back to the hard rock elements from “What Lies Beneath” and “Colours in the Dark”. This song isn’t about sounding as sweeping and operatic, but more in your face and out in the open. It’s an interesting choice, but I am left wondering how the rest of the album will play out.

This is a good look into the album and a song I’m sure will be a fan favorite. We are seeing Tarja transform more into the queen of hard rock that we know her as and it seems there is no way to go back. She’s hear to sucker punch us into looking deeper in ourselves and we can only hope that emotionally we will handle what it is like to strip ourselves from what we see and embrace what we find in the raw.  *

Photos © Tim Tronckoe 2018-2019
Review © Ryan Murray | Contributor of Ethereal Metal Webzine

Dead promises – we all hate them. But what can they teach us?

In Tarja’s new song “Dead Promises”, Tarja’s departure from symphonic metal is obvious within the first 30 seconds of this amazing track. (The heaviness kinda brings me back to Ciaran’s Well from My Winter Storm) The intro is lead guitar based. It makes me wonder if Tarja had some influence from Stratovarius during the “Nordic Symphony”. Anyway, at about :17 seconds in, the first power chord hits, and gives you an idea of what this song is made of. Just wait for it. Then the main riff, with drums, kicks in at about :46 seconds, which is where I’d imagine the pit will break out? 🙂

Tarja’s melodies in this song are extremely catchy, no surprise there. What I find most intriguing though is, for a lack of better words, the “rawness” of Tarja’s emotions throughout the melodies. I’ve been a huge fan of Tarja since about 2001, but I’ve never heard such raw emotion coming from her as I have in this song, both lyrically and melodically. This album is said to dive into the raw state of Tarja’s emotion, bringing us into a very personal place lyrically. This song doesn’t disappoint in that regard.

This song truly demonstrates Tarja’s writing ability to hook the listener within just seconds of the song. Driving/heavy guitars, grooving and pulse pounding drums and yet, subtle verses. Tarja’s vocal versatility shines in “Dead Promises”; from her light yet driving “ahh ahh ahhhh”’s during the intro and in between verses, to her more laid back voice during the verses “I’ve seen the walls collapsing, breaking down countless times”, to her belting out “Dead Promises” in the choruses.

“Dead promises
Games you play will kill your dreams
Promises mean everything
Life won’t look back for you”

This line in particular means a lot to me. I’ve had someone in my life that I’ve known since I was 9 years old. This person always made promises that they’d be there to support me, and would always be there to help me grow. Then the back biting and the dead promises started. This person did everything they could to break me down, and eventually, killed a dream for me. I however then look to the line in the second verse “Why can’t you see that your powers will weaken and fall? Oh why, you seem to forget what you make us recall.” This person only had power over me because I allowed them to. Thankfully, I got myself out of that toxic situation and have made new dreams that are becoming reality.

For me, this song reminds us of what empty promises have taught us throughout our lives. We can chose to be a victim, or a victor. We can’t let those who hurt us with empty promises define who we are, and they only define who we are if we give them the power to do so.

If this song is any indication as to what the rest of “In the Raw” holds, I absolutely can’t wait. I always find a true connection to music that is honest and raw; music that pours out emotion and doesn’t hold back. Tarja always pushes the boundaries with her music and tries new things, and because of that her music is always evolving. *

Overall Rating: 4.5/5

Interview with Zack of Abated Mass of Flesh

Interviewed by Jessica Clingempeel

Abated Mass of Flesh Facebook

Watch Zack answer the questions and/or read below!

First, tell us a little bit about the band; how did the idea for the band’s name come about?

Hello, we are a brutal death metal band that started in 2011. When we started, we wrote lyrics centered around the Christian faith. This was something that gained us a fair amount of attention. People seemed to be drawn to what we were doing, so that was very encouraging to us. Since then, we have expanded our sound by experimenting with genres such as slam and deathcore. Our name was derived from the word “Abated”. I haven’t really heard that term used before and it seemed unique. So I wanteed to create a name that represented our sound and grabbed people’s attention. “Abated” means to reduce or take away and “Mass of Flesh” was added to resemble humanity as a whole. The original concept of the name was meant to represent the denial of human flesh and instincts as an act of worship before God.

Zack, at the beginning you did the vocals, but decided to place your brother, Matt, as the vocalist. What was the reasoning for that?

Matt and I have always been close and we work great together as a team. After the release of our first EP, it was time to move on to the next release. I was thinking of ways to make it different and more dynaminc, so I decided to have him take over on lead vocals for “Brutal Death”. It was more encouraging and motivational having him on board and I wanted him to be a part of what I was doing and it’s been great having him a part of this band. It means alot to both of us.

Some would say that the sound of your band is very interesting, especially being a Christian band. Have you had any criticisms from people who don’t understand the death metal genre?

Maybe a little in the beginning. We were on a Christian label and had some push into internet world. Alot of people started hearing about us, some understood it and some didn’t. But we haven’t really had any major critisism over the years. I feel that people now see where we are coming from and see that we share a genuine passion for making music together.

Were there any challenges when recording ‘Eternal Harvest’? How did this album differ from previous?

There were some challenges. Most of the songs on that album were already written but we didn’t have enough material for a full length record. So we decided to re-record “Violence” and “Deathcrusher” and write some new ones in the studio. We hit a stopping point not long after we started and put the release on hold for over a year. During that break, we spent our time playing shows and releasing EPs. We eventually picked it back up full steam and finally released it.

Sammy Slamdance (Abyss Walker) was featured on the song ‘Caverns’. What was it like working with him and any chance of him being featured on any future releases?

That’s a possibility. It was great working with Sam. He’s very professional and has a great sense of humor. He alow produced, mixed and mastered the album. We felt pretty relaxed working with him and we were satisfied with how the album turned out.

There were some re-recordings on this album. What made you guys decide to re-record the selected songs, are there plans for any more re-releases?

We had been playing those songs live for a while and wanted to have the updated versions featured on the release. We play them differently now, so we wanted to include them with the new touches we added: different drum patterns, time signatures and guitar leads.

Regarding re-releases, the latest release was the re-recording of ‘Moth And Rust In The Temple Of Putridity’. What made you want to re-record this album? Were there any major changes?

It was in discussion for a few years. One day I was online and saw where there were some that wanted to have it re-released. It didn’t take much to encourage me to start the process. Right away, I decided to start working on the songs and artwork. I didn’t want that release to be an exact copy of the original. So alot of the songs are different. In some ways, it’s a completely different album. Different riffs, drum parts and time signatures were introduced. Overall, it was a fun experience to revisit those old songs and give them a new feel.

Besides Christianity, what other inspirations do you draw from when composing lyrics?

I would say life experiences and alot of experiences with emotional and mental instability. Several lyrics were written about anxiey because that was something I have dealt with for years and it definitely shows in the earlier material. Some lyrics touch on coping with modern day society and the complexity of finding hope and faith during dark times.

Has there been any song(s) that was hard to compose? Any that are very personal?

Alot of the songs are personal to me because I have written them from my own perspective. Matt usually gets strong vibes when we play “Saul I Am” live. We also feel alot of energy when we play “Premonitions Of The Infected”. Some songs have been more difficult to write musically and play live. We don’t get too technical with our playing, but sometimes the pace can be challenge on the faster songs. Guitars have always been “slow and low” as we like to say, but our drummer Riley is always pushing himself to new limits with his playing and we’ve been able to see him grow over the past 5 years. It’s been incredible.

If you had to introduce one of your albums to a new listener, which album would you choose and why?

That’s a good question. It would probably have to be “Eternal Harvest” because of the quality. People seem to gravitate to that album the most and I think it is a good representation of where we are at currently as a band.

There are so many metal festivals around the world that I think AMOF would do well in, including Wacken. Are there any particular festivals you guys wish to play? How about bands you would love to tour with?

We have had the privilage of playing Exodo Fest in Mexico as well as Audiofeed in Illinois. We have had the best of times at both festivals and we look forward to playing them more in the future. Playing a festival like Wacken would be an incredible experience, hopefully that will open up for us as a possibility in the future. We always love playing shows with our friends in Broken Flesh and Taking The Head Of Goliath. We have made friends with some amazing people on the road and we look forward to seeing our friendships grow.

What other bands do you guys like to listen to?

We have a wide variety of interests. Let me try to give you a long list of bands that we jam often: Tomb Mold, Devourment, Spectral Voice, Suffocation, Pathology, Abigail Williams, Cannibal Corpse, Cephalotripsy, Condemned, Morbid Angel, Defeated Sanity, Dark Funeral, Malevolent Creation, Bathory, Slayer, Xasthur, Katatonia, Deicide, Cradle Of Filth, Ingested, Venom, Whitechapel, Testament, Darkthrone, Epicardiectomy, Satyricon, Death, Emperor, Gorguts, Amorphis, Burzum, Decapitated, Carcass, Antestor, Meshuggah, Dying Fetus, Immortal, Wolves In The Throne Room, Behemoth, Mortification, Broken Flesh, Dimmu Borgir, Napalm Death, Mortitian, Earth Crisis, etc. We are also into several post rock bands, noise projects, trance music, ambient music, electronic music, traditional heavy metal bands, jazz, alternative and grunge bands, indie bands, metalcore and deathcore bands, hardcore/punk bands, etc. Our interests are always growing and expanding.

What are the various other projects of the band members? How are they going?

We have several projects outside of Abated. I’ll start with mine: Numbered With The Transgressors, Cadaverous Contingency, Propitious Vegetation and Flayed Alive. Other projects we are associated with: Weathertalk, Sadspeller, NGC 4414, Crypric Rising, Envothril, Triple Threat, Men Without Armies, etc. Riley and Thomas are associated with several more projects and bands. All of these works keep our creative juices flowing when we aren’t busy working with Abated.

What are some other hobbies that the band members love to divulge in besides music?

Hiking, kayaking, graphic design, painting, traveling, movies, beer, coffee, working out/exercise, cooking, coffee, fitness/nutrition, shopping for records, spending time with our families, etc.

Many have varying opinions when it comes to Christians listening to secular music, what are your thoughts on that topic?

People have different thoughts on this topic. My answer is not for everyone. Christians deal with this in their own way. I had a history of limiting my music based on my beliefs. My interest in other bands grew and my beliefs begin to change. I listen to music for the sake of the music. If it makes me feel something, then it has an impact on me and that is what music and art is all about. I may not agree with the topics and content of alot of the music I listen to, but that does not mean it isn’t good music and art. As an artist and musician, I personally don’t want to be so close minded to what’s around me. I have opened myself up over the years and I feel like I find out more about myself each day. To me, life is about experiences and growing and learning from them, not building a camp and drawing your lines. If there is music and content out there that makes people uncomfortable and stresses them out, maybe it’s in their best interest to avoid that content for the sake of their own well being.

What is the band up to now as far as recording goes? Anything in the works?

Yes, we have been writing a new album and playing some new songs. Things are going really well, we have grown closer together as a band and have had more opportunities to play shows lately. This has given us a chance to play some of the new material live and the response has been great so far. We’re really excited to get these songs recorded and put this next album out.

What else would you like to say to the readers?

First, thank you for this interview. These are really good questions and they were fun to answer. And we would like to thank everyone for the support and interest in what we do. It has been a great journey watching this band grow. We have had countless memories and we look forward to many more. We appreciate each and every single one of you. Be blessed and take care of one another. Peace!

Tarja Graces New York City

© Photo: Eric Pefley

Review by Jessica Clingempeel
Admin of Winter Storm USA | Ethereal Metal Webzine

September 9th, 2018 will be a night that will never be forgotten in New York City. It was a long wait for the return of one of the most influential female singers in the metal world today, but the wait was well worth it.

First, the opening band, Symfinity. Seann, the vocalist, came out to greet me as we were waiting outside, and he is an awesome guy. I had the pleasure of getting an interview with this band a few weeks prior to the show and every musician seem to be very humble and down-to-earth. This is a band that you need to check out and see live. So many musicians and instruments, one must wonder, how can they even keep up with everything though. Haha! Seriously though, don’t miss them and don’t be afraid to walk up to them and start a conversation, very nice people!

Symfinity performed several songs, including their new single “Dynamite”. My favourite, however, would have to be “Everything I know Explodes”. I could be biased though as this was one of the first songs I heard from this band and instantly loved.

After Symfinity, fans patiently waited for Tarja to grace the stage. The intro started, and people began packing into the venue like sardines desperate to get as close to the stage as possible. I am a 5’0, tiny woman, GIVE ME SOME SPACE PEOPLE! (haha) Easy to get lost here…moving on..

No Bitter End begins, and screams filled the room as Tarja comes on and begins what is going to be one hell of a show. Though in the beginning there were some tech issues with the mic, Tarja handled it like a champ. Ok, it was cute. 😉 Considering this woman is a powerhouse, a microphone wasn’t even needed.

The setlist contained 15 songs, which includes songs from every solo album and a Nightwish medley.  Every set was a flawless performance, with the acoustic being breathtaking. A standout performance, of course, was ‘Diva’. Tarja comes out wearing, now dubbed the ‘Diva’ crown, that was given to her in Brazil. The entire performance was superb. Though I wish the setlist had included ‘Supremacy’ and ‘Too Many’ I wasn’t disappointed at all. The entire show was AMAZING. Every musician, including Symfinity, gave their all and were flawless. I don’t think anyone left the venue that night dissatisfied, and if they did, I did not notice it. All I saw was passion from the fans and from the musicians.

© Photo: Jessica Clingempeel

Of course, the show was ended with the traditional bow and “HIT SONG”. Several people were waiting for that moment and Tarja headbanging through severe neck pain should prove she is passionate for music and for her fans. Please Tarja, look after yourself and as much as we love to see you head bang, no need to make yourself hurt and sick for us! We will love you no matter what. 😊

Hopefully there will be a return from Tarja soon (soon, soon, not Tarja’s usage of soon)  because my ass will definitely be on another eight-hour train ride from Virginia to New York, and standing another 4 to 5 hours in the chilly, rainy weather to be there. Yes, she is that worth it people! Being a fan for over 15 years should prove that.

For those who did not get the chance to meet Tarja yet, your time will come, and the wait will be worth it. Tarja is a very sweet woman and she tries to give time to everyone.

Mad props to Eleonora (she knows who she is.) The rudeness of some people and frustrations you have to put up with, you have balls! Thanks! Thanks to the rest of the crew and band for everything. ❤

© Photo: Jessica Clingempeel

© Video: Jessica Clingempeel