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Bands

Cradle of Filth

Cradle of Filth is a British Extreme Metal band with influences from gothic metal, and other extreme metal subgenres. The band was formed in 1991 in Suffolk, United Kingdom.

Classification of Cradle of Filth’s musical style has caused a great controversy. It evolved from the Death Metal of its first demos towards a cleaner amalgam that encompasses extreme metal, symphonic black metal and other styles of heavy metal.

The band’s lyrical themes and images have been widely influenced by Gothic literature, poetry, and mythology. The band has successfully fought their niche by courting the popular news media (often at the expense of their fans), and this has led to increased coverage by magazines such as Kerrang! and TV channels like MTV, plus frequent stage appearances at major world rock festivals like Ozzfest, Download, and even the Sziget Festival.

The band has sometimes been seen as satanic, although their references to Satanism are few and far between, and the use of related imagery is not part of the group’s intention to express a belief, but rather to create shock value. According to Metal Hammer magazine, they are the most successful British metal band since Iron Maiden.

In the first years of its existence, which were characterized by a constant change of line-up, Cradle of Filth recorded a total of four demos. The originally planned debut album Goetia remained unreleased because the studio deleted the recordings due to unpaid bills. In 1993 the band signed a record deal with Cacophonous Records and released their debut album in 1994, The Principle of Evil Made Flesh. In 1996 the working relationship with Cacophonous became more strained, which eventually culminated in Cradle of Filth leaving the label. According to the contract, the band had to deliver another album, and so they recorded – rather half-heartedly but successfully – Vempire or Dark Faerytales in Phallusstein. Cradle of Filth never denied that this record was a kind of stopgap. In 1995 they switched to Music for Nations.

Despite frequent line-up changes, the band was able to expand its fan base considerably. After the release of the 1997 album Dusk… and her Embrace, a veritable wave of merchandise set in motion, which was conducive to the band’s popularity, but also earned them nasty accusations from the black metal scene. The band was accused of promoting commercialization and of being sell-outs in the scene. These allegations intensified with the release of the albums Cruelty and the Beast (1998) and with Midian (2000), which musically became increasingly mainstream compatible.

Bitter Suites to Succubi (2001) and the greatest hits album Lovecraft and Witch Hearts (2002) would be Cradle of Filth’s last releases on Music For Nations. In 2002, the band also made a guest appearance in the low budget splatter film Cradle of Fear, in which frontman Dani Filth played a supporting role. From then on, the band operated their own record label Abracadaver Records, but an offer from Sony promised a promising career leap. Thus, apart from Satyricon, they were the only extreme metal band to switch to a major label.

In 2003 the album Damnation and a Day was released by Sony Music UK. However, the collaboration with Sony did not last long: Nymphetamine, the 2004 album, was released on Roadrunner Records. In 2005 Roadrunner Records also released a new DVD entitled Peace through Superior Firepower, which includes a live recording from the final concert of the Nymphetamine Tour in Paris. In 2007 Thornography was released, also on Roadrunner Records. The album differs from the older works in style and vocals, for example Sarah Jezebel Deva’s female vocals hardly come into their own on this album.

In November 2006, drummer Adrian Erlandsson announced his departure in order to devote more time to his other musical projects such as Needleye and Nemhain. As a replacement on the current tour, the Czech Martin Škaroupka aka Marthus was behind the drums.

On October 24th, 2008 the album Godspeed on the Devil’s Thunder was released, which is a concept album, in which Gilles de Rais was an overarching theme.

The band’s next studio album, Darkly, Darkly, Venus Aversa – also a concept album – was released on October 29, 2010 on Peaceville Records under the company’s own Abracadaver imprint. It’s the fastest and possibly toughest in the band’s history so far. Based on the story of Adam’s first wife Lilith, who is described as the counterpart to Venus, the Roman goddess of love, primeval evil and goddess of lust. In previous interviews with frontman Dani Filth it was said that Godspeed on the Devil’s Thunder would be the last concept album for the time being, but the band decided against it. According to Dani, the decisive factor was the good concept idea and the fact that the character Lilith as such had already been in the shadow of the band for quite a while. But it should remain the last concept album for the time being.

Evermore Darkly was released as a mini-album (EP) on October 24, 2011 on Peaceville Records. The CD / DVD bundle includes, in addition to many band-typical artworks, a previously unreleased title, three demo recordings from the album Darkly, Darkly, Venus Aversa, a remix version of the single Forgive me Father by Rob C (Anthrax) and an extended version by Lilith Immaculate. A classic version of Summer Dying Fast, which was released on the debut album, creates a classic orchestral project album by the band to be released in the future. In addition to the promotional video for Lilith Immaculate and a 45-minute tour documentary, the DVD offers the complete live recording of the show at the Graspop Metal Meeting Festival on June 25, 2011 in Dessel, Belgium.

On April 21, 2012, the album Midnight in the Labyrinth was released, with orchestral works on pieces from the band’s first four albums.

The tenth studio album called The Manticore and Other Horrors was released in Europe on October 29, 2012. In the USA, the release took place the following day. In contrast to the two previous albums, this is not a concept album, but the theme of “monsters and demons” is a common thread running through all tracks.

The collaboration with long-time member Paul Allender ended in summer 2014. A new studio album called Hammer of the Witches was announced for June 2015 and released via Nuclear Blast.

An essential trademark of the band is the singing of Dani Filth, whose bizarre and often extremely high vocal parts are highly recognizable. His lyrics can often only be understood with a philosophical and literary background. In addition, they are written in relatively demanding English.

Cradle of Filth uses a certain form of visualization through clothing and make-up (but also through album covers and merchandise artwork), which has parallels to Black Metal, but differs in appearance in many ways. Nevertheless, the resulting image of the band creates an atmosphere of mysticism, madness and darkness, which can also be found in many black metal bands. However, unlike most black metal bands, Cradle of Filth present themselves more occult and vampyrical and less satanic. Many of the band’s songs contain references to well-known stories in the field of mysticism. (For example the song “Cthulhu Dawn” which refers to the Cthulhu myth of the author H. P. Lovecraft). According to Dani Filth, Cradle of Filth makes “fairy tales for adults“.

I took pictures of Arch Enemy on December 03, 2004 at Shaw Conference Center in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, where they headlined after Himsa, Bleeding Through and Arch Enemy:

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Arch Enemy

Arch Enemy is a Swedish melodic death metal band from Halmstad, founded in 1996 by guitarist Michael Amott after leaving his previous band Carcass. Arch Enemy made its big breakthrough when the band’s former German singer Angela Gossow took her place in the band in connection with the album Wages of Sin (2001).

Arch Enemy is one of Sweden’s biggest death metal bands and has since the start released eight studio albums, two live albums/videos and three EPs (but never any singles). The band plays classic melodic death metal, but also mixes in a lot of elements from the thrash metal scene, and also a bit of 80’s hard rock, which is heard by the band placing great emphasis on guitar solos. A relatively original feature of Arch Enemy is the fact that they have a female singer, who performs growls as loud and dull as a male voice.

After recording the band’s sixth album Doomsday Machine (2005), guitarist Christopher Amott dropped out of the band to concentrate on his studies. He was replaced by Fredrik Åkesson. In March 2007, Christopher Amott reunited with the band.

Angela Gossow left the band as a singer in March 2014 but continues to work as the band’s manager. She was replaced by Canadian singer Alissa White-Gluz, former singer in The Agonist.

Arch Enemy’s eleventh studio album, Will to Power, was released on September 8, 2017.

I took pictures of Arch Enemy on December 03, 2004 at Shaw Conference Center in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, where they opened after Himsa and Bleeding Through for Cradle of Filth:

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Bleeding Through

Bleeding Through is a California metal band. The band was formed in 1999 and have released eight studio albums and two DVDs during its career. The band broke up in 2014 but played one charity gig in 2016. In 2018, Bleeding Through announced a comeback and released their eighth album Love Will Kill All.

The band has taken influences in their music from hardcore punk, black metal and death metal. The band’s vocalist Brandan Schieppati describes the band as more of a hardcore band than a metal band. The band differs from other Metalcore bands in that the band has a keyboardist who creates a different element to the band’s music. The Bleeding Through’s music includes loud screaming and pure singing. Playing drums is very blast beat-focused.

The group was formed under the name “Breakneck”; the original members were Brandan ‘Sheep’ Schieppati, Javier Van Huss, guitarist Scott Danough, bassist Chad Tafolla and drummer Troy Born. However, the band soon changed formation with the departure of Van Huss and the recruitment of Mark Jackson on bass. Tafolla thus became the guitarist of the group, bringing a more Death Metal sound that caused the group to change its name to “Bleeding Through“. Under this name the band released their first album Dust to Ashes in 2001, after a new lineup change with Vijay Kumar, Cat Burgler and Molly Street. In 2002 the album Portrait of the Goddess was released.

Schieppati later hired Scott Danough, Brian Leppke, Ryan Wombacher, Marta Peterson and Derek Youngsma. In 2003 the album This Is Love, This Is Murderous was released and the band began their first tours (during which they also had a serious car accident without serious damage). In February 2005, after the album’s re-release under the title of This Is Love, This Is Murderous (Reissue), the band got their first European tour.

In January 2006, their third album, The Truth, was released, securing the band a place at the Donington Park Circuit Download festival, along bands such as Tool and Metallica, and an invitation to the Ozzfest along with bands such as Ozzy Osbourne, System of a Down, Hatebreed, Lacuna Coil, Disturbed, DragonForce, Black Label Society, Unearth, Atreyu, Norma Jean, A Life Once Lost, Strapping Young Lad, The Red Chord, Full Blown Chaos, Walls of Jericho, All That Remains and Between the Buried and Me.

Declaration, their 5th studio album, was released on 30th September 2008. The album was recorded from April to May. The album sold just under 6,000 copies in its first week of release and managed to debut at 104th place on the Billboard 200.

Bleeding Through on the Roadrunner Records website stated that on April 13, 2010 the new self-titled album would be released, also providing the track list. Following the release of the seventh album, entitled The Great Fire, in January 2013, Bleeding Through announced the dissolution after a fourteen-year career.

On March 28, 2018, the band announced that the new album would be released under the title Love Will Kill All through SharpTone Records on May 25.

I took pictures of Bleeding Through on December 03, 2004 at Shaw Conference Center in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, where they opened after Himsa for Arch Enemy and Cradle of Filth:

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Bands

Himsa

Himsa was a thrash metal-influenced metalcore group from Seattle, Washington.

The name of the band is inspired by the Sanskrit linga term “Ahimsa“, which means “non-violence“, from which by removing the initial A you get “Himsa“, meaning “kill” or “harm“.

The band was formed in 1998 and the following year released a self titled EP, later followed by an album called Ground Breaking Ceremony, both under Revelation Records.

In 2001 Himsa released another EP – Death is Infinite – and moved to Prosthetic Records.

In 2003 the second LP entitled Counting Tragedy and Disaster was released, following which the band embarked on a long tour in the United States and other parts of the world. Half of 2005 was spent in Denmark for the recording of the third album that came out the following year with the title Hail Horror.

After a tour in Australia in November 2006 with Parkway Drive and Cry Murder, the band signed a contract with Century Media, the label under which Summon In Thunder, a new studio album was released on September 18, 2007.

On 21 June 2008 the group, through bassist Derek Harn, announced the dissolution.

I took pictures of Himsa on December 03, 2004 at Shaw Conference Center in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, where they opened for Bleeding Through, Arch Enemy and Cradle of Filth:

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Combichrist

Combichrist is an aggrotech and industrial metal music project formed in 2003 by Andy LaPlegua, who is also the founder and singer of Icon of Coil, Panzer AG, Scandinavian Cock and Scandy.

Born as Ole Anders Olsen on September 15, 1975 in Fredrikstad in Norway, Andy LaPlegua, is currently based in Tennessee, United States.

Combichrist is one of the most representative groups of the alternative electronic music scene worldwide. Their sound has taken on different nuances throughout their career, but always with a distinctive electronic tinge.

In 2003, Combichrist released the EP Kiss the Blade. Shortly afterwards came the first full-length album The Joy of Gunz. The album contains mostly instrumental tracks consisting of aggressive beats and samples from movies, something that is not unusual in the genre. In 2004, the EP Sex, Drugs and Industrial was released.

2005 was the year that the band began to define their style of music as TBM (Techno Body Music) with the release of the song “This is TBM” on the compilation album Techno Body Music volume 1.

In 2007, What the Fuck Is Wrong with You People? was released, becoming a best-selling album on both Metropolis Records (USA) and Out of Line (Europe) labels.

During the 2009/10 tour, Combichrist accompanied Rammstein as the opening act for their concerts, which greatly increased their popularity.

In 2013, Combichrist released the album No Redemption, made specifically for the game DmC: Devil May Cry. This album contained more of an industrial metal and metalcore sound, which was something they would keep on their two albums after – We Love You (2014) and This Is Where Death Begins (2016).

While on tour following the release of the album We Love You, Andy proposed to his girlfriend Layna and she excitedly accepted.

In 2013, Combichrist released the album No Redemption, made specifically for the game DmC: Devil May Cry. This album contained more of an industrial metal and metalcore sound, which was something they would keep on their two albums after – We Love You (2014) and This Is Where Death Begins (2016).

I took pictures of Combichrist at New City Suburb in downtown Edmonton, Alberta, Canada:

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Billy Talent

Billy Talent is a Canadian punk rock band from Mississauga, Ontario. It was formed in 1993 with Benjamin Kowalewicz on vocals, Ian D’Sa on guitar, Jon Gallant on bass, and Aaron Solowoniuk on drums. No formation change was made until Aaron’s departure in 2016. He was replaced with Jordan Hastings of Alexisonfire. In 13 years of existence, Billy Talent has sold more than a million albums in Canada, and nearly three million globally.

Members met and played at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Secondary School under the name of Pezz. They remained underground in the Toronto independent music scene until 2001. The group renamed itself to Billy Talent because of copyrights issues. They then signed a contract with Warner Music Canada and became popular.

I took pictures of Billy Talent on October 18, 2004 during their live show at Red’s in West Edmonton Mall, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada:

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Alexisonfire

Alexisonfire is a post-hardcore band from St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada. The band was formed in 2001.

Alexisonfire has five members. They describe their music as aggressive and full of energy. An exclusive sound, especially thanks to the multiple range of several unique singers.

Dallas Green provides melody with his soft vocals. George Pettit is the opposite with his explosive screams, and with the punk rock vocals of Wade MacNeil, this all forms a one-of-a-kind mix.

As clarified by the band, the name is pronounced “Alexis On Fire” and not “Alex Is On Fire“. It pays tribute to the stripper and porn actress Alexis Fire. She threatened to sue when she found out, but since she never trademarked the name, no lawsuit came to be.

In early August 2011, Alexisonfire disbanded, but in early March 2015, the band announced on their Facebook page that once again they were going to tour.

I took the pictures of Alexisonfire during their live show at Red’s in West Edmonton Mall on April 10, 2005.

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Agnostic Front

Agnostic Front is an American hardcore punk band from New York, founded in 1980. They laid the foundation for the hardcore genre, New York branch, and pioneered crossover thrash, the style of combining hard punk with metal.

The band ranks among the most prominent representatives of specific New York hardcore alongside Sick of it All and Madball (Madball’s singer Freddy Cricien is the brother of Agnostic Front’s singer Roger Miret).

Agnostic Front has gone through a number of members in all positions and at the end of 1992 the band broke up. They resumed their activities in May 1996. Since their inception they have released 11 studio albums, 1 compilation, 5 EPs, 4 live albums and 3 DVDs.

I took the pictures of Agnostic Front during their live show in Starlite Room in downtown Edmonton on May 11, 2005.

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3 Inches of Blood

At the time when true metal was being pushed aside by all kinds of nu metal genre, 3 Inches Of Blood hit the eardrums of guitar-powered music fans with old school heavy metal.

Hailing out of Vancouver in British Colombia, Canada, 3 Inches of Blood took all that made metal great in the 1980’s and brought it back to life through the early 2000’s.

3 Inches of Blood continued to play until 2015, when they announced they would be disbanding after two final shows in their hometown.

I took the pictures of 3 Inches of Blood during their live show at Red’s in West Edmonton Mall on April 18, 2005.