ProgPower USA 2012 Recap Day 1

ProgPower USA 2012 had one of its most diverse line ups in the festival’s history. Here is Justin Richardson’s recap of the first day of last September’s festival, which included performances by Sinbreed, Kingcrow, Amaranthe, Serenity, Primordial, Redemption and Epica.

Review recap and all concert photography by Justin Richardson.

Musk Ox

Musk Ox: The Hellbound Interview

“I first saw Musk Ox perform in southern Ontario in the late spring of 2009. I was struck by the contrast between ambient acoustic music and a vibe that is perfectly resonate with that of many progressive, folk, and black metal bands. Musk Ox inhabits a place within two different styles of music, and gives us cause to appreciate both and ask questions about the relationship between them. My interactions with Nathanaël Larochette have always been easy due to his being such a friendly and approachable person, and I am thrilled that he took the time to answer my questions.”

Interview by Jonathan Millard-Smith

Postcards from NatalieZed: Set #6!

Hellbound readers, we’re sure that by now you are all familiar with our Natalie Zed, right? Natalie was our big grand prize winner way back in January, taking home more than 50 CDs + and shortly after she received her huge box ‘o CDs, Ms. Zed asked us over at Hellbound HQ if we’d be interested in running reviews of her winnings if she did postcard sized reviews of the albums. How could we say no?

Well, with her last installment (reviews #41 – 48 for those keeping stats at home) Ms Zed actually finished up her prize and has now started to review newer CDs. So, without further adieu here is part 6 in what Hellbound likes to refer to as “Postcards From Natalie Zed”…

Kamelot – Poetry for the Poisoned

It’s a real testament to the song-writing ability and musicianship of a band when they can have superstar guests on their album but don’t really need them. Poetry for the Poisoned features such notables as Bjorn ‘Speed’ Strid (Soilwork), Simone Simons (Epica), Jon Oliva (Jon Oliva’s Pain, Savatage, Trans Siberian Orchestra) and hotshot guitar player Gus G. (Firewind, Ozzy) but all of the songs would have done just as well without the famous help.

Leaves’ Eyes / Blackguard / Borealis @ The Opera House, Toronto ON, September 19 2010

“Arriving at the Opera House a little late (missing Unleash the Archers for the TIFF presentation of Takashi Miike’s 13 Assassins) we walked into a friendly greeting from Leaves’ Eyes growler Alex Krull. That second or two was characteristic of the relaxed and intimate vibe that held for the rest of the night. With Kamelot off the line-up, the Leaves’ Eyes / Blackguard billing drew a smaller crowd, making it easy to get close to the stage and giving the in-between-song banter a more conversational tone. The casual atmosphere made me a little more forgiving of the often muddy mix for all three bands that blurred some of what, on record, comes across fairly clean and precise.”

Sons of Seasons: Gods of Vermin

To call Sons of Seasons’ debut prog/power would be accurate but vague. Saying Gods of Vermin sounds like a fusion of inspirations from Savatage to Dream Theater and Therion would get it a little closer.