By Carl Begai
An excerpt from my recent interview with Piet Sielck, frontman and founder of Iron Savior, a band that should probably be dead and buried. In spite of some brutal odds, Sielck has succeeded in keeping things together and putting out a new album worthy of attention from the power metal legions. And from what he says, he’s getting it…
“The will to do this came back when I finally managed to solve the major issues with Dockyard 1. I sold the remains to AFM Records and (distributor) Soulfood Music in October 2010, and that was the point where I finally saw some light at the end of the tunnel. From that point on I definitely felt better, so I went in and cleaned out the studio, made it comfortable again. It was a good thing because it also cleared my mind. I was able to sit down and write music again. At the beginning I wrote the first complete song for The Landing, which was ‘Heavy Metal Never Dies’, and if you take a look at the lyrics and relate them to what I just told you about Dockyard you can say it was musical therapy for me (laughs).”
As Iron Savior albums go – seven in all – The Landing ranks as one of the strongest since the 1997 speed-happy self-titled debut. More metal-oriented than Megatropolis, the vibe and energy level is very reminiscent of Condition Red from 2002. Sielck agrees.
“It’s funny that you mention Condition Red because it was written under similar circumstances. I had a personal crisis to deal with before I started that album, but when it was over I went into writing Condition Red with a great attitude. It was the same thing when I wrote ‘Heavy Metal Never Dies’ for The Landing; it kicked my ass so bad that I was on fire (laughs). It felt like I could go on writing songs forever, to the point I was actually kind of sad when the writing sessions were over.” Continue reading BW&BK Interview: IRON SAVIOR – From There To Eternity
By Carl Begai
On November 25th and 26th, Hamburg-based AFM Records celebrated 15 years in the trenches. It was a remarkably well-organized weekend of work and play, featuring fine dining, an open bar (or two), great people, an early morning label showcase to introduce new AFM signings (that not everybody attended due to the late late late night), a hotel bar that never closed (and was abused accordingly.. all hail Motel One), culminating with a festival at the Markthalle in the heart of downtown. Rather than the usual cattle call of press hacks, the vast majority of folks invited to attend were in fact AFM business partners, responsible for keep the label in people’s faces over the last several years. Being one of the aforementioned journalists, it was an honour to be asked to come out on behalf of BW&BK for the whole knock-down-drag-out event, and it was certainly worth the time spent.
On the work end of things, the label presented priority releases for early 2012, including German glamsters Kissin’ Dynamite, Orden Ogan, Lyriel, Solution .45, Fear Factory, Buck Satan And The 666 Shooters (industrial country… really) and of particular note, Ministry’s comeback record, Relapse. This included a special video message from frontman / mastermind Al Jourgensen, and two tracks that are the closest Ministry will (n)ever get to a ballad.
As for the play side – other than the carrying on like kids in a candy store backstage – the Markthalle hosted 15 AFM bands on two stages, including U.D.O., The New Black, Voodoo Circle, Mob Rules, A Life Divided, Dark Age and Lake Of Tears. Doro Pesch, a former member of the label’s roster, attended in a strictly non-performance capacity but took plenty of time out for her fans backstage. As did Piet Sielck of Iron Savior fame, who soaked up U.D.O.’s show with us normal folk. And staff members from some of AFM’s international partners – INgrooves.com, Soundforge Music Group, Scream Magazine, Tangra Mega Rock Radio to name a few – kept the good vibes up in the rafters from the first glass of champagne. Continue reading AFM Records – 15 Years Of Metal Addiction: Feeding The Need
By Carl Begai
News that guitarist / vocalist Chris Caffery had signed with AFM Records for the European release of his new album, House Of Insanity, came as no surprise to the diehard fans. With his Savatage bandmates in Circle II Circle and Jon Oliva’s Pain having called the German record label home for the last several years it was considered a move long overdue. So it goes that while the focus is on House Of Insanity as far as Caffery and the label are concerned, Savatage fans clamouring for a reunion believe his signing with AFM is another step towards that goal. And while Caffery has gone on record saying he’d take part in a Savatage reunion without hesitation, his primary goal is to remind people he has his shit together as a solo artist. By all accounts the fans are enjoying what they hear. Reactions to House Of Insanity since its 2008 digital release have been positive for the most part, which has added up to bigger sales in comparison to Caffery’s last outing, Pins And Needles. He isn’t rolling in money (yet), but pushing the album more or less on his own has definitely paid off.
Continue reading CHRIS CAFFERY – A Declaration Of Independence