Monday, March 22, 2010

Schubert's "Ave Maria"by Steve Shannon

Gifted guitarist Steve Shannon just uploaded on his rendition of Franz Shubert's "Ave Maria". Check it out and support his efforts:

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Dofka – Humanity Bleak CD review

Dofka – Humanity Bleak CD (World Nations Records)
Yes, it’s true. West Virginia-based metallers have been preparing the ground with some live shows in the area and their new album is finally out. It’s been 20 (!) years since “Toxic Wasteland” was out and in the meantime Jim offered us very few but marvellous pieces of Metal music such as the unrepeatable, extraordinary Psycho Scream project (with Tim Aymar) on vocals. Jim still is in my humble opinion one of the most innovative virtuosos of our beloved music since he always maintain his style but manages at the same time to create original music with fluent technique. I could write endless line’s on Jim’s guitar playing since he had a tremendous impact on me throughout the years. However, the new album, “Humanity Bleak” was not a pleasant surprise for me. I realised the new Dofka CD follows a current direction in their style that doesn’t appeal to me. I am reffering to the mixture of death growl vocals that are mixed in most of the songs with clean and melodic ones. Dofka’s new singer Andrew D'Cagna has a fine melodic voice, but when he starts his guttural vocals the whole image is destroyed. And it’s a pity since thankfully the CD contains some songs that doesn’t include this “mix-to-match” vocal situation like the wonderful “Tragedy Remains” a few growls doesn’t ruin this great song), the splendid "World On Fire”, "Blood Runs Black" (outstanding mid-tempo hymn!) and the self-titled song (just listen to what kind of brilliant riff Jim composed here!) . These above mentioned songs show to us that Andrew’s voice is fine and doesn’t need growl vocals to spoil the whole picture. On the other hand, a Power Metal hymn like the song “Second God” left me with mixed emotions since on the chorus, the death metal vocals didn’t really let me to enjoy to the max the outstanding guitar work that Jim did once again. Jim Dofka’s solos are truly out of this world since his musical intelligence is proved here once again! But in songs like “Immaculate Lie” the death metal vocals truly doesn’t bring out the grandiose music that Jim created. I am writing this review as a long time Dofka fan and not as a reviewer. I long for the day that Dofka follow a clean vocal direction, since that is the way that will unleash their enormous talent. Andrew has the ability to sing properly so this line up has the ability to grow the Dofka franchise. If only they put aside the death metal vocals direction…
Dimitris Starakis

Friday, March 19, 2010

Crystal Tears reveal release info concerning their new album, "Generation X"

EAN: 4260158170885
Cat. No.: 7H-033-2
Label: 7Hard
Title: Generation X
Artist: Crystal Tears
Produced by: R. D. Liapakis(MYSTIC PROPHECY, FIREWIND, ELDRITCH, CHASTAIN etc.)Recorded, mixed & mastered by: R. D. Liapakis and Christian Schmid(MYSTIC PROPHECY, FIREWIND, ELDRITCH, CHASTAIN etc.)

Genre: Melodic/Power Metal
Type: CD-Album
Release: 18th June 2010
Distribution: H'art-G.A.S./7Hard-world / Underclass-France / Soundforge-Greece / Andromeda-Italy / Cargo Records-UK & Europe

For promo requests and interviews, email:

01. The X Generation (3:38)
02. Empty Paradise (4:25)
03. Heroes (3:37)
04. Inner Spirit (4:42)
05. Crystal Tears (4:03)
06. Nightmare Serenade (4:57)
07. Flesh ‘N’ Bone (4:48)
08. Predators (3:41)
09. Rock Until We Fall (4:29)
10. In The Beginning (4:05)

cd band Line-up/Credits
Dimitris Goutziamanis - guitar
Stratos Dionisopoulos - bass
Chrisafis Tantanozis - drums

Produced by: R. D. Liapakis(MYSTIC PROPHECY, FIREWIND, ELDRITCH, CHASTAIN etc.)Recorded, mixed & mastered by: R. D. Liapakis and Christian Schmid(MYSTIC PROPHECY, FIREWIND, ELDRITCH, CHASTAIN etc.)Cover artwork & booklet design by: Meran "Darkmouth" Karanitant(SIX FEET UNDER, HATEBREED, LEAVE'S EYES, SODOM etc.)

Video directed & outdoor photography by: Dimitris Evgenidis.

All music by: Chrisafis Tantanozis

All lyrics by: Ian Parry apart from “Rock Until We Fall” by: Chrisafis Tantanozis

Facts:- Melodic metal of the highest class, with a monster line up- Feat. Ian Parry on vocals (HAMMERHEAD, VENGEANCE, ELEGY, ANDRE ANDERSEN, guest in AYREON)- Produced by: R. D. Liapakis (MYSTIC PROPHECY, FIREWIND, ELDRITCH, CHASTAIN etc.)- Recorded, mixed & mastered by: R. D. Liapakis and Christian Schmid (MYSTIC PROPHECY, FIREWIND, ELDRITCH, CHASTAIN etc.)- Cover artwork & booklet design by: Meran "Darkmouth" Karanitant (SIX FEET UNDER, HATEBREED, LEAVE'S EYES, SODOM)
Planning:- Heavy promotion campaign (radio, print media, online media, video and additional footage)- Rock It Magazine ¼ Anzeige + Soundcheck- Metal Hammer Heft CD + Soundcheck- Rock Hard Anzeige + Soundcheck- Interviews and features in print an online media- Club shows and festival gigs in 2010 all over Europe- Rock/metal print magazine, webzines, radios, TV worldwide- Videoclip is ready “Nightmare Serenade”- Video placing: inStore TV McDonalds, Burger King Kingchannel, Putpat TV- and much more, stay tuned!
* Upcoming: Rock It Magazine ¼ Anzeige + Soundcheck * Upcoming: Metal Hammer Heft CD + Soundcheck * Upcoming: Rock Hard Anzeige + Soundcheck * Upcoming: Cover Page inHard Magazine, Interview, SC * Upcoming: Heavy Magazine Soundcheck * Ready: Full Video Clip “Nightmare Serenade” * Tour, CD release CD party / Greece / Location: t.b.a.

Promotion:Print & Online Promotion: Axel Wiesenauer, R. D. Liapakis, TSM, MelodicaRadio-Promotion: Axel Wiesenauer, R. D. Liapakis, TSM, MelodicaTV-Promotion: Axel Wiesenauer, R. D. Liapakis, TSM, Melodica

The new album:
The new CRYSTAL TEARS album is a cleverly written assortment of metal and rock classics revolving around various lyrical topics and themes, a boiling pot of ideas ranging from reality to fiction. The songs are structured around drummer and founding member Chrisafis Tantanozis; a hybrid of melodic metal music with heavy detuned guitars, speed double bass-drums and power hard rock anthems sealed together by an array of modernized melodic power vocals from a vocalist with a huge range and a strong personality differing from all power metal singers around, Ian Parry (ex-ELEGY, who also paid the guys a visit several times to shot their debut video clip, do a couple of photo sessions and other promotional activities). CRYSTAL TEARS have set their horizons towards the international stage working under the full guidance of metal producer/singer R. D. Liapakis (MYSTIC PROPHECY), who was the mastermind for delivering an album with a sound of their own.
The background: Established in late ‘90s, after three demo CDs, their first official release was unleashed through German Pure Steel records in 2006. Some of the band’s highlights are the appearances with JAG PANZER, RIOT and W.A.S.P. and their co-operations with illustrators Joe Petagno (MOTORHEAD, LED ZEPPELIN, ALICE COOPER, PINK FLOYD etc.) and Meran “Darkmouth” Karanitant (SIX FEET UNDER, HATEBREED, DIMMU BORGIR, IN FLAMES, SODOM etc.), producer R. D. Liapakis (MYSTIC PROPHECY, FIREWIND, CHASTAIN, ELDRITCH etc.) and Grammy nominated producer Chris Tsangarides (JUDAS PRIEST, THIN LIZZY, GARY MOORE, DEPECHE MODE, IAN GILLAN, OZZY OSBOURNE, BRUCE DICKINSON, HELLOWEEN, MALMSTEEN etc.). For work samplers, please, advise the links below.

The epilogue: CRYSTAL TEARS are famous for their live appearances and their dedication to music. Having being reviewed, interviewed and referred by the Greek official Press and globally quite often, the band tries hard to earn a place among the pantheon of rock world.

Axel Wiesenauere Mail:
7Hardc/o 7us media group
GmbHMarkstr. 1271364 Winnenden
Fon: +49-7195-9078083Fax: +49-7195-9078079

Friday, March 12, 2010

John Lutzow from Leviathan reveals that Leviathan will stay alive afteir their brand new release!

13 years after their last studio effort, entitled “Scoring The Chapters”, one of the most charismatic US Power/Progressive Metal bands return with a live CD/DVD. Leviathan from Colorado, have just released their first live album, “Resurrected” and guitarist John Lutzow, reveals more details concerning the release but also the band’s future.

How did the Leviathan reunion come about?
The live shows were basically a natural progression for us to go back in time and attempt to begin again where we left off when we went our separate ways in 1998. The last "Braver Since Then" record we did brought Trevor Helfer back into the band with Derek Blake and I. Ron Skeen and I have remained in contact with each other after the Leviathan break up. I have asked him to come record with us or play out many times. He always turned us down until we found Jeff Ward. It was very difficult to track him down. He had moved back to Texas with his family. I found a phone number for his dad and was able to get a message to him. From that point on it wasn't about a live DVD or anything. It was mainly just to record together again for a new studio album. Live performances or rehearsals are obviously difficult when the band members live thousands of miles apart. So for a band like us just getting to play with great musicians again was the main motivation. I feel Leviathan finally had reached the pinnacle in our band chemistry and talent on our Scoring the Chapters album. I just wanted to experience what we could do now if given the chance. You don't find those connections very easily in life so it was worth twelve years of waiting to get to play as Leviathan again. So we are working on the new album and that will be a continuation of where we left off.

What does the new DVD/CD contain?
The DVD portion of the set contains the full live concert, bonus tracks and a photo collage of the history of leviathan. I wanted to add many more things to the disk but ran out of space on a single layer DVD. The budget did not allow me to do everything I wanted so I have many extras for a future release to friends that want to see more. The CD only contains the live songs. I only chose to put the CD in the package as a bonus. It is more a supplement to the DVD. Making the DVD was the most time consuming project I have ever worked on. It was a learning experience. I think once I got it done I finally was getting a grasp on how to work with editing and syncing everything together. Once again. I wish I could do it all over again. Next time, maybe?

Tell me your impressions from your live gigs? Did you have a chance to meet old friends and fans of the band?
The whole week we did the live shows seems like a blur and a dream. It all happened so fast. Jeff flew in from Texas on a Wednesday. We practiced that night with the band. That was our first full band practice since 1998. The next day we played a private show at Vikan auditorium and began recording. On Friday, we opened up the doors for a free all ages show. This was a big deal for us. I don't think Leviathan ever got to play more than a handful of All ages shows through out the years. Giving our families a chance to see us play was a major reason for doing all of this. We recorded most of the audio that went to the live set, that night. The next night was our show at the Buffalo Rose. The Saturday show is where we filmed most of the video that went into the set. Sunday morning Jeff flew back to Texas. It was a very busy week for sure.
It was great getting to see each others families. After we broke up, many of us quit playing music for a while so our families never got to see us play. All of our children got to finally see us play. They finally saw the reality of what their dads did with music. That part of it was worth the whole thing. People came out that I hadn't seen in ten to fifteen years. There was even a few people that drove in from other states to see us. It was like a family reunion or something.

Do you plan to give more concerts in the near future?
I would love to play more shows. We are playing a DVD release show locally here on April 10th. It will be a Leviathan/ Braver Since then show. Jeff can't make the show because of school so Derek and I will be singing lead on the Leviathan songs. Ron will be playing with us so that will be fun. The only problem to playing more shows as Leviathan is overcoming our geographic distance hurdle and scheduling. Jeff and I both are in school and work full time. Ron runs his anodizing shop and a motorcycle racing business. Derek and Trevor both work full time and have families. Derek and I have always talked about going to Europe and playing acoustic shows if it wasn't possible for the whole band to go. So no matter what, I will come to Europe next year after I graduate. Leviathan really wants to play some of the music festivals next summer, but the money isn't there for us to be able to pay for it. We are hoping to find a label that will believe in us enough to give us a chance to play where we sell most of our music. That is Germany, Greece and Japan.

Give us details on how can someone order your new release and also the names of some shops and distributors.
Anybody interested in purchasing the DVD set can buy it direct from the band. Contact us at The price is $15 US. Shipping is included. They can pay via PAYPAL. The distributors that have order product from me so far are Hellion Records, No Remorse, Pure Steel and Laser's Edge. The Set is also available at and

Many fans of yours want to know if you plan to work together for a studio album.
Yes, we are working on the new album right now. All the songs are already written. The whole Reunion thing has really been an inspiration for me. Once I had to start learning our old songs again it really put things into perspective for me as a song writer. The old songs took me back to where I was as a musician and song writer and woke me up to where I need to be. Within a few months of learning the old songs I had written three brand new songs. These songs are the heaviest and most technical songs I have ever played. So for the new album I am trying to do the recording process differently than I have in the past. All of the Braver Since Then albums I have recorded over the last decade have just been studio albums. We recorded them, then once the CD was finished we learned how to perform them for live shows. Now, we are trying to go back to the old days when we would be playing all of the songs as a band then recording them. I have done rough demos of my songs so that the rest of the band can learn what I am doing and establish their parts. Many of the songs will be sent to Jeff without the lyrics structured so that he can arrange the vocals the way he wants. This is a very big departure for me. In the past I used to do everything myself and hand everyone a finished song. A couple of Ron's songs for the new album were tunes we used to play as Leviathan in the beginning, back in the early nineties. These songs were never really recorded or released.
The new Leviathan CD will take over right where we left off after Scoring the Chapters. I promise fans it will be heavier, more technical than anything we have ever done. I will be posting updates for the new album as they happen on our web site.

Dimitris, Thanks for helping us reach former Leviathan fans and hopefully some new ones.
Dimitris Starakis

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

The new Leviathan Live CD/DVD "Ressurected" is finally out!!!

Leviathan announce that the long-awaited live DVD and CD Ressurected" is ready!!! Price is 15$ including shipping worldwide and you can pay via paypal to: