Cellar Darling

Cellar Darling Interview

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So, after watching them blow the crowd away at London’s Electric a few weeks ago, I was very happy to interview Merlin from Cellar Darling:

  1. What inspired the formation of the band, and what inspired the name of the band?


Merlin: As you might know, all three of us were members of a band called Eluveitie before. We split from that band in 2016, which was unfortunate – and we all knew that we weren’t done making music. In fact, we had been talking amongst ourselves about creating some sort of side project, to realise some of our artistic output that didn’t fit the very defined concept of our previous band. So we decided to make the best out of a sad situation and formed a new band. That actually happened while we were still on a world tour, traveling around Asia at the time. The name was inspired by Anna’s solo album, which was also called Cellar Darling. You wouldn’t believe how hard it is to find a decent band name these days – everything has been taken. So we were making long lists of mostly ridiculous ideas, until someone brought up Cellar Darling. We had always liked the ring of it, and it seemed to fit: we were about to let our creativity out of the cellar, so to speak.


  1. What are your influences, and do they play a prominent role in how your music is formed?


Merlin: that question comes up often, but it is a good question and surprisingly hard to answer, actually. I always say that we all have so many diverse inspirations, as individuals, that it is impossible to nail it down, especially as a band. Personally, I listen to everything from Metal to Rock to Pop. As it turns out, though, since our first record we developed very naturally and organically towards a more proggier sound, as you can hear on our new single Insomnia. For me personally, this is kind of like coming full circle: I started playing the drums as a young teenager after hearing Dream Theater’s ‘Metropolis 2000: Scenes From A Memory’. I knew then and there I’d want to become a drummer, and I never stopped until I did. I then joined Eluveitie and played a very different kind of metal for about 12 years, and along the way I listened to all kinds of different music, with Prog taking a back seat for a long time. And now I found myself in the studio, recognising elements that had inspired me as a teenager, without ever having had any intention to go down that path.


  1. Could you talk us through the process of writing songs for Cellar Darling?


Merlin: mostly, our songs start out as an idea from either Anna or Ivo. This can be just a melody or a part, or a full demo of a rough song. We’ll then work on it together, and we deliberately did so in a rather old-fashioned way this time: when we entered the studio last June, only about half of the songs were written, and in very different stages of completion. We worked on them together, in the studio, sometimes with our co-producer Tommy Vetterli (who worked alongside Anna), so the songs grew very organically and very dynamically. This resulted in some great moments; we finished Insomnia very late one night, after a very, very long session, and after a few drinks. The song felt magical, we knew we had something great, and as if something wanted to give us a sign, we received a visit from a bat in the control room. We knew then and there that this song would be the first one to be released.



  1. How was performing in London?


Merlin: London was amazing, as it always is! The UK in general has been treating us amazingly well ever since we started out; we’ve always had great shows here and we’ve decided early on to start our tour for the new album here, as well. So we’re coming over in March and I have no doubt that it’s going to be even better than last time around! For this particular London show we’re also very thankful to Kamelot, who invited us to join them and gave us the great opportunity to play such an amazing crowd. I also have a lot of personal admiration for London, which is actually my current home.


  1. What led you to cover “The Prophet’s Song?”


Merlin: when we were recording our debut album, ‘This Is The Sound’, in 2017 we were thinking about ideas for some bonus material. We decided to each pick one cover song, and I didn’t have to think long: Queen is one of my all-time favourite bands, I grew up listening to them in my dad’s vinyl collection, starting at the record sleeves for hours while soaking up the music. I spent the most time with A Night At The Opera, and The Prophet’s Song was always one of my favourites. I think it was an interesting challenge for Anna as well, but I knew that if anyone could pull off that vocal solo and make it their own, it would be her…



  1. What plans do you have for the future?


Merlin: we’re currently finishing up the production of our second album. It has taken nearly 5 months in the studio, it’s a significant development in our sound, and we absolutely cannot wait to get it out there and start playing the new material live. So that’s our plan: get on as many stages as we can, in as many places as possible, and rock out with the best fans in the world. We’ll start in the UK in March, and it’s definitely going to be a show you won’t want to miss.

Kissin Dynamite

Kissin’ Dynamite Interview

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I had the pleasure of sitting down with Andi from Kissin’ Dynamite before their gig with Powerwolf and Amaranthe at the Koko in London.


  1. What did you differently on this new album?

“We looked for that special thing, we went back to our roots, we weren’t influenced by too many modern things as we might have been on previous records. We kept it rock and roll, and we produced something special.”

2. How have the songs from the new album been received live?

“We’ve been performing four songs from the new record, and four old ones on this current tour. They’ve been getting a really good reception. I’ve Got The Fire has definitely gone down well as an intro. It’s been a lot of fun.”

3. What’s your favourite song to play live/ off the new record?

“I’ve Got The Fire and Highlight.”

4. What are your plans for this current tour?

“So, the tour is coming to an end now, but we’re going to be sticking with what we’ve played before now. Then next spring we return on a headline tour, and we’ll be doing more songs.”


Sichgart, Uncategorized

Sichgart-Chest’Ta Krov Review

“Synerhiia,” is dark and foreboding, slowly moving into the darkness whilst making the listener think that there might be a chance of light shining through.  This theme continues with the next song “Boii,” which brings some serious heaviness to the fore. “Stalevyi Bii,” continues bringing breakneck riffs to the masses. “MH17,” a force for nature, about the Malaysian Airlines flight shot down by Russians. “Forpost,” another brutal onslaught.

“Ostannii Son,” slow and moving within reach and breaking time. “Zhnyva,” is brutal thrash to groove to. “Kriz Viky,” Another mover and shaker. “Grad,” slow and dark. “U Vogni,” dark and moving.

The album is out now.


Powergame-Masquerade Review

“Legion Of The Dead,” comes in fast and heavy with duelling guitars, the drums start pounding along. The song is the perfect introduction into the album. The vocals bring energy and spring within the wider context. “Lucid Dreams,” is fast and galloping, bringing a feeling of early Iron Maiden to the fore. “Puppets On A String,” snarls and snakes. The riffs add an extra bite to proceedings, ensuring that the listener is hooked from the get go. “Powergame,” fast and furious, driving and a frenetic pace and not for one moment letting up. “Final Warning,” slow moving, gradually growing heavier and more epic as time progresses. “The Chase Of The Falcon,” an epic in two halves, fast and slow, the vocals are blinding producing something that is quite frankly amazing.

“For Those Who Died,” is an anthem, slowly growing with grooves and harmonies, deconstructing the images within the mind of the listener before building them up once more. “Baptised In Fire and Steel,” a rocker with edge and grit, the guitar licks are something phenomenal. “Masquerade,” tells the story of the world spinning around like madness. Bringing with it something impressive and dark. “Ghost Town,” slowly growing on the edge of sparks and light, before chasing the world. “Blackout,” a fitting closer.

The album is out on 18th January, 2019.

Kill All The Gentlemen

Kill All The Gentlemen-The Loss And The Rapture Review

“I Welcome The Horror,” is ambient, dark and disturbing, filled with a brutal energy and grit that you would be hard pressed to find elsewhere. “Sing For Me Sinner,” moves up and down the fretboard with ease, and ensures that the listener is once more hooked. “Where Here Is I Know Not,” brutally pushes through and ensures that the listener is forced to move with growing pain and tenacity. “These Are Godless Times,” slows things down and ensures the listener is forced to think.

“Death’s Very Emissary,” is brutal, with frenetic riffs, and searing deliveries on the vocals. “The Loss and the Rapture,” slows things down, bringing some thoughtfulness to the chaos and the wind. “Damnation Be My Guide,” a growing evil and cancerous cell within the story as told through brutal vocals. “Once a Slave,” a monstrous raging machine.

The album is out on November 22nd via Sliptrick Records.


Ten-Illuminati Review

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The classic and legendary band Ten are back once more, and this time with a stellar album.

“Be As You Are Forever,” is a fitting opener, the piano work on this song makes it immediately stand out as an anthem that will get the crowd going when performed live. The vocals are on another level, delivering soaring melodies and uplifting words. “Shield Wall,” an anthem of war, with the horrors marked quite clearly, it is something that is going to get the crowd going. “The Esoteric Ocean,” slows things down, bringing out the melodies and ensuring that the listener is kept hooked from the get go. “Jericho,” the first single from the album and a song that brings some interesting melodical arrangements. Delivering trumpets, growing melodical arrangements on the guitars and within the vocals, a true precision masterpiece. “Rosetta Stone,” slows things down. Bringing the piano to the forefront and ensuring the listener is hooked from the get go. An epic anthem.

“Illuminati,” a song with differing time stamps, bringing about a fascinating change here and there, continues the theme present within the earlier songs on the album. It delivers sharp relief, and then brings biting guitars into play. “Heaven and the Holier Than Thou,” is an interesting song, it mixes the relief with the pleasure and drives things forward. “Exile,” a driving song with the moving melody that makes the listener want to tap their foot. “Mephistopheles,” keeps things interesting and somewhat dark, with grooving guitar lines, and a dark, piercing melody on vocals. “Of Battles Lost and Won,” closes things up with some interesting piano work.

The album is out now via Frontiers Music.

Forest Of Shadows

Forest Of Shadows-Among The Dormant Watchers Review

“Self Inflicted Torment,” slow, depressing and menacing. “Drowned By Guilt,” slows things down even further, the acoustic guitar is an added melody. “Lost Within,” dark and foreboding. “Dogs of Chernobyl,” has the flavouring to become an anthem for the band when performed live.

“We The Shameless,” slows things down considerably and adds one or two other layers together. “Lullaby,” slows things down even more and adds the acoustic guitar for a nice breeze. “Yours Is Devour,” adds heaviness back to proceedings.

The album is out on December 7th via Inverse Records.


IMPELLITTERI-The Nature Of The Beast Review


“Hypocrisy,” comes snarling into being, with some ferocious riffs and drumming. The vocals set the stage on fire, and the listener is immediately hooked. “Masquerade,” a fast moving rocking machine that delivers energy and frills. “Run For Your Life,” is fast moving, anthemic and somewhat chaotic, a brutal onslaught of heavy metal mastery. “Phantom Of The Opera,” is dark, chaotic and the perfect version of this somewhat dark and evil song. “Gates Of Hell,” moves with the wind and delivers something ferocious and spell binding. “Wonder World,” moves from the top to the bottom and continues delivering knock out blow after knock out blow.

“Man Of War,” moves with slow grace, delivering a steady onslaught before delivering a thundering vocal delivery. “Symptom Of The Universe,” adds several layers of fucking heaviness to an already heavy song. “Do You Think I’m Mad,” swaggers with fire and grace. “Fire It Up,” thrash metal at its best. “Kill The Beast,” chaotic and thrashing with power and grace. “Shine On,” a song that delivers spell binding mastery.

The album is out now via Frontiers Music.


Veonity-Legend Of The Starborn Review

“Rise Again,” comes in with the guitars swirling a magnificent riff, and it continues on a barrage of melodies and floating chords. “Starborn,” is a galloping masterpiece, centred around some fascinating guitar work and the vocal melodies which ensure that the listener is singing along within moments. “Guiding Light,” blinds and shimmers with intensity and ferocity. “Winds of Asgard,” is ferocious, moving up and down the board with chaotic energy. “Outcasts of Eden,” is a melodical tribute to the start of society as foretold long ago. To that end it is epic and simply impressive. “Sail Away,” slows things down and ensures the listener gets a chance to breathe and appreciate just how impressive the skills on display truly are. “The Prophecy,” shakes with rage and continues to grow with power.

“Warrior Of The North,” is an interesting number, containing hints of Sonata Arctica and other great power metal bands, it has its own unique styling with brutal efficiency. “Gates Of Hell,” fast moving, melodical and somewhat soaring. An impressive range for an impressive song. “Freedom Vikings,” fast moving, powerful and grooving. “Lament,” slower, more thoughtful and somewhat chaotic. “To The Gods,” is anthemic. “United We Stand,” a powerful and moving song with energy and finesse.

The album is out on November 27th via Sliptrick Records.

The Psycho Season

The Psycho Season-Grunge River Review

“Don’t Know About Tomorrow,” is dark, chaotic, heavy and filled with underlying melodies that terrifying the listener and thrill them in equal measure. “You Are The Sun,” has some very interesting melodical arrangements and takes a turn here and there, sometimes for the better, other times for the darkening mind. “Overcome,” a monster built on some seriously heavy riffs. “We Die Young,” a classic brought to life once more, roaring into life. “Slide,” slows things down and adds one or two elements of chaos within the mix.

“By The River,” is haunting, bluesy and thoughtful. A true breach of conduct. “Drown,” filled with slaughtering riffs, and massive choruses. “One With The Stars,” seers and soars, bringing things to an interesting edge. “Sky In Smoke,” a rocker that flies off the charts and keeps things interesting. “Hangin’ On,” thoughtful and searching, on the back of a gigantic riff.

The album is out on November 23rd.