Bloodshoteye hails from Leamington in Ontario – one of Canada’s southernmost towns. Formed in 2001, they were joined by Jessica Desjardins in 2002, with whom the band gained a stable lineup and sound.
In the fall of 2003, Bloodshoteye recorded their debut CD titled “Without Any Remorse“, featuring Randy Blythe of Lamb of God as guest vocalist on “F.U.B.A .R” and “Bad Trip“. The CD was released in June 2004 on Galy Records in Canada.
In March of 2006, Bloofshoteye released their second album entitled “An Unrelenting Assault“, bearing a more brutal, heavier and faster sound than debut.
The album was produced by J-F Dagenais (Kataklysm, Misery Index), vocals were produced by Randy Blythe (Lamb of God), and it was mastered by Alan Douches (God Forbid, Unearth). Alex Erian (Despised Icon) appeared as guest singer on the track “The Last Laugh“.
Despite creating a unique style of “deathmetalcore“, Bloodshoteye disbanded after their third album – “Expect The Unexpected” (CDN Records). This album was recorded in Windsor, Ontario at Specter Sound Studio, mixed by Chris Donaldson (Cryptopsy, The Agonist, The Plasmarifle) and mastered by Pierre Remilllard (Cryptopsy, Ion Dissonance, Misery Index). It featured a new bassist and a second guitarist.
I took pictures of Bloodshoteye on September 17, 2004 at Starlite Room in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada where they opened for Cryptopsy:
GWAR is a satirical thrash metal, hardcore punk and shock rock band formed in 1985 by artists and musicians from Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Virginia.
The band is known for their elaborate costumes inspired by science fiction and horror films, as well as harsh, obscene, mostly politically incorrect texts. Their appearance at concerts and their fecal language revolve around sadomasochism, necrophilia, pedophilia, sodomy, fire-breathing, pagan rituals, satanism, executions, fights, torture, rape, racism, anti-Christian behavior, suicides, drug use, alcoholism and other controversial, political and morally controversial topics.
Their costumes are mostly made of foam, expanded polystyrene, and hardened rubber, with little covering of their bodies. At concerts, they spray the audience with fake blood, semen, urine, pus and other body fluids. Most of these fluids, which are easily washed out, are made up of water and food coloring. However, they refrain from using syrup as an ingredient, as it hardens quickly and could damage the costumes. It also happens that they give encores without costumes.
Another hallmark of GWAR’s live performances is their mockery of celebrities or other personalities of current events. So far this has happened to O.J. Simpson, John Kerry, George W. Bush, Barack Obama and every American president since Ronald Reagan, Jerry García, Osama bin Laden, Michael Jackson, Al Gore, Paris Hilton, Arnold Schwarzenegger and many more. The band also makes references to political and historical figures, fantasy novels and mythology. For example, the song “Whargoul” refers to Minas Morgul, a location in J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings.
Originally, the style of the band was influenced by punk rock: in the beginning they composed short, rather simple songs. Their style swayed over time into Thrash Metal, which can be heard primarily on the albums “Scumdogs of the Universe“, “America Must Be Destroyed” and “This Toilet Earth“.
Later, their increasingly experimental style put heavy metal style in the backseat and GWAR mixed different styles of music, which can be heard more and more on the albums “RagNaRock” and “Carnival of Chaos“. 1999 showed a similar sound with the album “We Kill Everything“, which is why this was later rejected by the band as their worst album. Because of this, they returned to Thrash Metal with “Violence Has Arrived“, which later developed into an even more technically demanding form of Thrash. This can be heard in the albums “War Party” and “Beyond Hell“.
The origin and meaning of the name is still causing discussions among fans today. A widespread thesis is that GWAR stands for “God, What an Awful Racket!” (ie “God, what a terrible noise!“). Another rumor has it that the name comes from Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’ graphic novel “Watchmen,” which reads “Pink Triangle LIVE at the Gay Women Against Rape Benefit Concert” on a sign. Another explanation says that once a friend of the band Death Piggy (predecessor of GWAR) wanted to suggest the band name, but instead vomited and this made a noise that was similar to the wording of “GWAR“.
However, the band members insist that the letters of the name have no further meaning, so “GWAR” is not an abbreviation. In fact, the official website of Slave Pit Inc. confirms that “GWAR” is just a shortened version of “GWAARGGGH !!!“. They originally used this name for themselves to open their own concerts for Death Piggy as a support band.
Dave Brockie, singer and co-founder of the band, is also quoted as saying: “… it doesn’t mean Gay Woman Against Rape. It doesn’t mean Great White Aryan Race. It doesn’t mean Gay Weird Anal Reprobates. It doesn’t even mean God What an Awful Racket. It just means GWAR, which means everything pretty much.” (in short: “It just means GWAR and that could just as easily mean anything.“)
At the beginning, GWAR consisted of Ben Eubanks (vocals), Dave Brockie (guitar), Steve Douglas (guitar), Chris Bopst (bass), Sean Summer (drums) and Hunter Jackson. This line-up changed several times in the following months: Eubanks left the band and was first replaced as singer by Joe Annaruma and later by Dave Brockie. Ultimately, the band consisted of Hunter Jackson, Don Drakulich (alias Sleazy P. Martini), Chuck Varga, Mike Bonner, Scott Krahl, Dave Musel and Dave Brockie (alias Oderus Urungus, who from now on only sang). A short time later, Heather Broome (aka The Temptress) and Colette Miller joined them.
Heather Broome soon left the band, however, and Dewey Rowell (Flattus Maximus), Michael Bishop (Beefcake the Mighty) and Rob Mosby (Nippleus Erectus) reunited in 1987 with Steve Douglas (BalSac the Jaws of Death), who had previously worked for the band and had left for a short time. Lisa Harrelson became the new “GWAR Woman”, replacing Colette Miller that same year. With this line-up, the debut album Hell-O, a mixture of heavy metal and punk rock, was released on the Shimmy Disc Records label in 1988.
After the band went on tour, Steve Douglas left the band that same year and was replaced by current rhythm guitarist Mike Derks. He took over the role of BalSac the Jaws of Death.
Further changes took place up to 1990: Rob Mosby left the band in 1989 and was replaced by Pete Luchter, who quickly made way for Jim Thompson. Ultimately, Jim Thompson was also replaced, this time by GWAR’s current drummer Brad Roberts. He took over the role of Jizmak Da Gusha.
With stable band members, GWAR released an album that was considered one of their best for years to come, “Scumdogs of the Universe“. The album had moderate mainstream success and started GWAR’s career under the Metal Blade Records label. The band went on tour and in July 1990 released the video “Live from Antarctica“, a recording of a GWAR concert, which among other things contains the first music video: “Sick of You“.
Then there were further changes in the line-up: Dewey Rowell left the band in 1991, only to be replaced by Pete Lee in 1992, which happened after the album “America Must Be Destroyed” was recorded.
However, their success was not without controversy. GWAR was banned from North Carolina for a while because Dave Brockie wore his “Cuttlefish of Cthulu” – a dummy penis, during concerts, which led to his arrest. The event inspired GWAR to record America Must Be Destroyed. The album was accompanied by the film “Phallus in Wonderland“, which was even nominated for a Grammy Award in 1993. That year, Mike Bishop left the band after “This Toilet Earth” was recorded to be replaced by Casey Orr, who had previously played in Rigor Mortis.
“This Toilet Earth” was released in 1994 and achieved moderate success with the broadcast of the videos for “Saddam a Go-Go” and “Jack the World” on Beavis and Butthead. At the same time, the album began GWAR’s removal from its original sound, as it contained a large number of experimental songs instead of focusing on heavy metal.
In 1995, GWAR released “RagNaRok” – an album that is characterized by its unique sound, including much more keyboards and sampling. The band recorded two videos to promote this album, “Surf of Syn” and “Meat Sandwich“, as well as “Rendesvous with RagNaRok“, a film that tells the story of the album through live recordings.
After the tour, the first side project, “X-Cops“, came to life and they released an entire album called “You Have the Right to Remain Silent …” that same year.
Next, GWAR recorded the album “Carnival of Chaos” in 1997, which is considered the epitome of the band’s experimental phase. In addition to heavy metal, you can hear songs from the genres of hard rock, country and even jazz on this album.
“Carnival of Chaos” was also the last album with Pete Lee as Flattus, who was then played by Tim Harries, who had already been with the band for a short time in 1986 and was featured as a guest guitarist on “America Must Be Destroyed“. Michael Bishop also came back to the band for a short time to fill in for Casey Orr on the recording of “We Kill Everything“. This is the album that the band likes least of all, and the songs on it are rarely played live. Co-founder Hunter Jackson then left the group in 2000 to concentrate on other projects. Danielle Stampe also left the band to concentrate on the “Girly Freakshow” project, but she came back temporarily for the “Bitch is Back” tour in 2002.
Due to the band’s aversion to this album, some changes took place among the members again. After Tim Harris left the group, Zach Blair was recruited to take on the role of Flattus Maximus, and Casey Orr returned to play bass as Beefcake the Mighty for the next album, which is entirely thrash metal: “Violence Has Arrived” was released in November 2001 and is considered a “comeback” to the original GWAR sound. This was also their last album under “Metal Blade Records“.
When the band was just beginning to focus more on heavier sound, vocalist Dave Brockie, guitarist Mike Derks and drummer Brad Roberts started the side project Dave Brockie Experience to carry on the more comedic sound of the previous album. DBX released their first album “Diarrhea of a Madman” in March 2001.
This was not the end of GWAR’s new, old sound, due to the exceptionally successful album “War Party” under the new label “DRT Entertainment“.
The album was well received as it continued the path of “Violence Has Arrived“, but this time even more serious and technical, thanks in part to new lead guitarist Cory Smoot as Flattus Maximus and bassist Todd Evans as Beefcake the Mighty. Music videos were released for “Bring Back the Bomb” and “War Party“. The band was also invited to play on the Sounds of the Underground tour in 2005, the same year the band released “Live From Mt. Fuji” under “DRT Entertainment“, one of GWAR’s few live albums.
At the beginning of 2006 GWAR started to work on their new album (then called “Go to Hell“). In January GWAR also opened The Art of GWAR at the Art Space Gallery in Richmond to showcase some of their props, costumes, cartoons and images produced in the Slave Pit, GWAR’s studio.
In February GWAR’s official American, Japanese and Oderus Urungus website announced the latest album “Beyond Hell“, for which they recorded a cover version of the song “School’s Out” at the urging of “DRT Entertainment“. The accompanying music video was nominated for “Best Video of 2006” on MTV2’s “Headbanger’s Ball“.
The DVD “Blood Bath and Beyond” was released in June 2006 and contains exclusive backstage recordings and recordings of concerts from the early days of the band.
Singer Oderus Urungus can be heard on Strapping Young Lad’s latest album “The New Black“. In the song “Far Beyond Metal” you can hear Oderus singing exact lines from the song “Maggots” (from the album “Scumdogs of the Universe“). The singer of the band, Devin Townsend, produced GWAR’s album “Beyond Hell” and can also be seen as a teacher in the video for “School’s Out“.
“Beyond Hell” was released in August 2006, after which GWAR toured in the US and finally in 2007 in Europe. In April, after a long time, the video for “Eighth Lock” (from “Beyond Hell“) was released and an announcement was made that they will be seen again in 2007 on Sounds of the Underground.
Cory Smoot, who had played the role of Flattus Maximus for over 10 years, was found dead on the band’s tour bus on the morning of November 3, 2011. He died of a coronary artery thrombosis that had developed as a result of a treated vascular disease. He was 34 years old. The album Battle Maximus, dedicated to Flattus Maximus, was released in September 2013.
Three years later, on March 23, 2014, Dave Brockie died of a heroin overdose at the age of 50. The band then founded the Dave Brockie Foundation, which wants to work for the preservation of culture. The previously planned Gwar-B-Q concert took place on August 16, 2014, one day after a memorial event. Since Brockie’s death there has been no founding member in the band. Former bassist Michael Bishop (the original “Beefcake the Mighty“) was re-included as the new lead singer – playing the new character “Blothar“.
I took pictures of GWAR on November 22, 2004 at Red’s in West Edmonton Mall, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Their opening acts were Dying Fetus and All That Remains:
All That Remains is a metalcore band from Springfield, Massachusetts.
All That Remains was originally a side project by Philip Labonte when he was singing for the band Shadows Fall. However, when he was replaced by Brian Fair, he focused entirely on All That Remains.
The debut album Behind Silence and Solitude was released on March 26, 2002 on the label Prosthetic Records / Metal Blade Records. Back then the style of the band was more pure Melodic Death Metal, but with a slight hint of American Death Metal. There were no clear vocals on the first album in contrast to the following albums. It was also the only album that still featured guitarist Chris Bartlett and bassist Dan Egan.
Shortly after the release, singer Philip Labonte applied for the spot as singer with Killswitch Engage; the band’s DVD shows Philip Labonte in the interviews. In the end, the band decided on Howard Jones.
All That Remains’ second album This Darkened Heart was released on March 23, 2004 on the label Prosthetic Records / Razor & Tie. In addition to the harder sound and the clearer production, vocal parts were also used for the first time. Videos were shot for the songs “The Deepest Gray”, “This Darkened Heart” and “Tattered on My Sleeve” in that order.
Their third album “The Fall of Ideals” was released on July 11, 2006 through Prosthetic Records / Razor & Tie. Like the first two albums, The Fall of Ideals was produced by Adam Dutkiewicz, guitarist for Killswitch Engage. The album broke the 100,000 CD sales mark in the United States. Two videos were released for the song “This Calling”. Since the song was used for the official soundtrack of the horror thriller Saw III, the video contained excerpts from the film. A video was also released for “The Air That I Breathe”.
On July 4th, the band shot a video for “Not Alone” in Los Angeles, which was released in September 2007. The track “Six” from the album was added to the Playstation 2 game Guitar Hero 2 from Activision in 2006 as a bonus track to play along with.
In October 2007, a live DVD was released containing material from both a filmed show at the Theater of the Living Arts in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and a show held on July 12 at the Recher Theater in Towson, Maryland.
On September 16, 2008, the fourth studio album, Overcome, was released. Videos were shot for the two singles “Chiron” and “Two Weeks”. The fifth album For We Are Many was released on October 12, 2010 via Prosthetic Records / Razor & Tie, followed by A War You Cannot Win on November 6, 2012. After the album The Order of Things was released in 2015, bassist Jeanne Sagan gave in in September 2015. Aaron Patrick (Bury Your Dead, Devildriver) was announced as the successor.
On October 17, 2018, the band announced that founding member, lead guitarist and co-songwriter Oli Herbert had passed away. His body was found in a pond near his home. On February 5, 2019, the band released a statement that Jason Richardson, who has previously performed live, has become a permanent member. He will take on the role of the late Oli Herbert as solo guitarist.
I took pictures of All That Remains when they opened for GWAR after Dying Fetus at Red’s in West Edmonton Mall in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada on November 22, 2004:
Dying Fetus is an American death metal band from Annapolis, which was founded in 1991. Their lyrics are about politics, violence and religion, and used to be interspersed with gore elements.
In 1995 the first official album Infatuation with Malevolence was self-released and a tour through the eastern United States soon followed. In 1996 the second album Purification Through Violence followed, which was released under Pulverizer Records and again followed a tour through all of America with bands like Kataklysm or Monstrosity.
With their third album Killing on Adrenaline, which was released in 1998 under Blunt Force Records, Dying Fetus also achieved an international breakthrough. A major tour of America and Europe followed. In 1999 her debut album Infatuation with Malevolence was re-released with some bonus tracks. In 2000 Dying Fetus signed a record deal with Relapse Records, went on a US tour with Kataklysm and Destruction and released the EP Grotesque Impalement, a compilation of old songs to shorten the fans’ waiting time for the new album.
After 2000, Dying Fetus released their fourth album Destroy the Opposition, which was a great success and again led to an international tour. After that album and tour, there was heated debate within the band. Jason Netherton, Sparky Voyles and Kevin Talley left the band and formed Misery Index. Mike Kimball, Sean Beasly, Erik Sayenga and Vince Matthews joined the band as replacements.
In 2003 Dying Fetus’ fifth album, Stop at Nothing, was released, followed by several tours. In 2004 Vince Matthews split from the band and in 2005 Erik Sayenga left Dying Fetus as well. After more than a year of looking for a drummer, Duane Timlin (ex-Divine Empire) was announced as the new drummer, and bassist Sean Beasly took over the second vocals. With this line-up, their sixth album, War of Attrition, was released in early 2007. In the same year, Duane Timlin left the band and was replaced by Trey Williams. Guitarist Mike Kimball left the band in March 2008.
On September 18, 2009 the new album Descend into Depravity was released. It was released in full as a stream a week earlier. The music video for Sheperd’s Commandment was presented on September 21, 2009.
To mark their 20th anniversary, in July 2011 Dying Fetus released the EP History Repeats via Relapse Records. This contained a new song, as well as cover versions of Dehumanized, Napalm Death, Broken Hope, Bolt Thrower, Pestilence and Cannibal Corpse.
In contrast to the very technical metal of its predecessor, the sound carrier Reign Supreme, released in 2012, is more oriented towards the old style. According to John Gallagher, contemporary production was important. The album received good reviews almost without exception (Metal-Hammer: 6/7, Rock-Hard: 8/10, Metal.de: 8/10)
I took pictures of Dying Fetus when they opened for All That Remains and GWAR at Red’s in West Edmonton Mall in Alberta, Canada on November 22, 2004:
Deicide (meaning “god murder“) is a death metal band from the USA. It was founded in 1987 in Florida.
Deicide first published the two demo recordings Feasting the Beast (1987) and Sacrificial (1989) under the name Amon. In 1989 the band was renamed Deicide and in 1990 they released their self-titled debut album. The successor Legion was released in 1992. The band was at the height of their career at this point and was considered one of the best-selling death metal bands. To this day, Deicide is in a head-to-head race with Cannibal Corpse in this regard.
The original line-up with Glen Benton (bass and vocals), brothers Eric and Brian Hoffman on guitars and Steve Asheim on drums lasted a total of 17 years and seven studio albums. For most fans, the debut and Legion are the band’s reference albums, the quality of which Deicide has failed to match.
In 2004 the stable band structure crumbled. Brian and Eric Hoffman left the group with an announcement by Glen Benton that they would be replaced by the guitarists of the band Vital Remains. Dave Suzuki played for Deicide in 2004 and 2005 and only as a live guitarist.
The eighth studio album The Stench of Redemption was released on August 18, 2006 – Jack Owen (ex-Cannibal-Corpse; guitar with Deicide since 2004) and Ralph Santolla (ex-Death; guitar with Deicide since 2005, later went to Obituary) could be heard here for the first time on a studio album.
Ralph Santolla left the band in late 2007, but can still be heard on the ninth studio album Till Death Do Us Part, released on April 25, 2008. In addition to the normal edition, a limited edition was available with a patch labeled Glen Benton for President. On this album, drummer Steve Asheim can be heard on guitar in two songs.
Kevin Quirion took over the guitar for tours between 2008 and 2010 as a live musician. Santolla returned to the band in 2010, but was fired in 2011 after the release of the tenth studio album To Hell with God during the tour due to alcohol problems. Quirion returned as a full-time member, and can be heard for the first time on the eleventh studio album In the Minds of Evil, released in 2013.
Deicide’s lyrics are almost exclusively on anti-Christian or satanic topics. Singer Glen Benton has an inverted cross branding on his forehead and is a member of the American Anti-Catholics Organization.
At a concert by the band on November 25, 1992 at Fryshuset in Stockholm, a bomb detonated while the opening act Gorefest was playing. Daniel Ekeroth reports that suddenly a loud bang could be heard, everyone thought it was part of the performance and Gorefest played to the end. Bathory’s Quorthon, on the other hand, who was backstage security at the time, said the band played so loud that no one heard the bomb. He stood about five feet from the bomb and didn’t hear it, but suddenly smelled his hair on fire, saw concrete dust flying around and, when he turned around, saw a huge, burning hole in the wall. However, there was no personal injury. The perpetrators are suspected to be either militant animal rights activists who wanted to protest against the band’s bloody stage show and Benton’s alleged tendencies to torture and kill animals, or fanatical black metal supporters who wanted to attack Gorefest as a politically correct band. Gorefest had received death threats beforehand and had to leave the city with a police escort after the incident.
I took pictures of Deicide during their live show at Starlite Room in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada on October 6, 2005:
Cryptopsy is a Canadian death metal band from Montreal. The band name is made up of the terms cryptic and autopsy. The band plays brutal and technically very demanding death metal.
The band was founded in 1988 under the name Necrosis. It appeared for the first time in 1992 and changed its name to Cryptopsy in the same year, as it was found out that there were already several bands with the name Necrosis. The music was initially very much influenced by the New York Death Metal Suffocations, but Cryptopsy became more and more technical. In 1997 longtime singer Dan Greening alias “Lord Worm” left the band, but re-joined in 2003 again.
The demo Ungentle Exhumation and the album Blasphemy Made Flesh were initially released on their own. The demo was later re-released via Gore Records and the album was licensed via the German music label Invasion Records. In 1994, Kevin Weagle (bass) and Dave Galea (guitar) were replaced by Martin Fergusson (bass) and Jon Levasseur (guitar) who recorded Blasphemy Made Flesh. After a subsequent tour, Eric Langlois (bass), who brought in the slap technique, replaced Martin Fergusson and Steve Thibault (guitar) left the band, although he continued to manage it for a while.
For the second album – None So Vile, Cryptopsy switched to Wrong Again Records. Jon Levasseur acted as the main songwriter. From 1998 to 2013 the band was then under contract with Century Media. They went on tour with Miguel Roy (live guitar). Lord Worm then left the band to work as an English teacher. Mike DiSalvo replaced him.
Album Whisper Supremacy was the first on Century Media. Miguel Roy (guitar) recorded the album. It came with the first US tour but the voice of Mike DiSalvo, which is closer to hardcore, was controversial in fan circles.
Whisper Supremacy was released in 2000. Alex Auburn (guitar) replaced Miguel Roy here. After a subsequent tour, Mike DiSalvo (vocals) left the band to take care of his family. Martin LaCroix was signed in 2001 as a replacement and they went on tour of Europe and Japan.
The live album was recorded at a concert in Montreal and released in 2003. Lord Worm then replaced the French-speaking Martin LaCroix, who had problems with the English pronunciation. Miguel Roy (guitar) helped out at concerts in 2004. At Trois-Rivieres Metalfest IV, a live DVD was filmed for a 2005 release.
In early 2005 longtime guitarist Jon Levasseur left the band. Dan Mongrain (Martyr) replaced him on the Back to the Worms US tour. On Once Was Not (with the exception of Luminium) Alex Auburn took over the guitar. Chris Donaldson (Mythosis) was engaged for the following North American tour (with Suffocation, Despised Icon and Aborted). Aborted, Dew-Scented and Grave accompanied the band on a European tour, after which they went back to North America, Australia, Great Britain, Europe and Scandinavia. As a result, Donaldson became a permanent member of the band.
In April 2007 the band announced that they had separated from Lord Worm again.
In December 2007 the singer Matt McGachy (ex-3 Mile Scream) and the keyboardist Maggie Durand were hired for the band. In this new line-up, the sixth studio album The Unspoken King was recorded, which was released on May 23, 2008 on Century Media. A video for the piece Worship Your Demons was presented on June 14th. The Unspoken King had a strong hardcore influence besides the usual Death Metal part. In addition to some melodic riffs, clear vocals were used, which was largely rejected by the fans of the old albums. In conservative circles of the metal scene, modern deathcore influences are generally viewed critically. In February 2009 Alex Auburn (guitar) left the band after 10 years for various reasons. He was replaced by Youri Raymond (Unhuman).
In May 2011 Jon Levasseur rejoined the band after six years of barely playing guitar. Long-time bass player Eric Langlois got out and guitarist Youri Raymond switched to bass. He quit in December 2011 with a lack of motivation to play bass. He was succeeded in January 2012 by Olivier Piniard (Neuraxis).
A new album called Cryptopsy was released on September 14, 2012. For this purpose, they separated from Century Media and released the album on their own.
Since Levasseur was not available for concerts in 2012, Youri Raymond has been helping out on guitar again since then. Levasseur has not been listed as a member on the band’s homepage since 2012.
I took pictures of Cryptopsy on September 17, 2004 at Starlite in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada:
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:
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.