THE ATOMIC BITCHWAX (US)
New Jersey's Chris Kosnik, Finn Ryan, and Bob Pantella first started plotting their musical careers back in the mid 90s influenced by 70s rock and progressive groups ranging from Black Sabbath to Parliament Funkadelic. Simultaneously all three members where already playing for major labels in separate bands: Godspeed (Atlantic), Monster Magnet (A&M) and Core (Atlantic). The Atomic Bitchwax slowly evolved for 15 years as a players band with the enduring vision to "play what you want".
Their music is a combination of 60s psychedelic rock, and 70s riff rock filtered though the progressive rock influences of today. Since their first release in 1999 'The Atomic Bitchwax' on Tee Pee Rec., they have toured every year in North America and Europe covering over 15 countries and continue to expand. In that time the band has released five more records including three full lengths. 'TAB-2, 3 and 4', two EPs 'Spit Blood', and 'Boxriff', which included a DVD live show filmed in Seattle's Sunset Tavern. Their music has also appeared in popular TV shows including 'Jackass', 'Home-wrecker' and 'Fox sports'. Future plans include the 2011 release of 'The Local Fuzz', boasting one 40 min. track of over 50 riffs back to back. This will also be followed by a live tour in April this year.
In the town of Uppsala, Sweden in the year 2009 a band called Séance was formed. Moving at breakneck speed the band formed in September, recorded a two-song demo after adding guitarist Per Wikström to the lineup in October, and by November had changed their name to NOCTUM. Within those three months, the band signed an LP deal with High-Roller Records, and a CD deal with Stormspell Records.
NOCTUM’s debut album, The Séance, was released in September 2010 via High-Roller and in December by Stormspell. The band finally embarked on their first European tour in July of 2011, and followed that up with a new EP, The Fiddler.
By August of 2011, NOCTUM created enough buzz in the underground to gain the attention of Metal Blade Records, which led to a new worldwide record deal. With a new record deal in place with a global label, NOCTUM spent the majority of 2012 refining their sound and writing new songs. Their search for original and interesting material led them to a heavier and darker sound. The progression came very naturally for the band and differs from the typical 70′s vibe. The new material successfully evokes a heaviness and emotion one might not expect from a “retro” sounding band.
Noctum toured Europe again in 2012, and then welcomed the addition of drummer Fredrik Jansson after Gustaf’s departure. Jansson, who spent time in Witchcraft, Count Raven, and Abramis Brama, was added to the lineup in time to record Final Sacrifice in April 2013.
DEAD LORD (SE)
Dead Lord from the lovely city of Stockholm could become the next “big thing” of Scandinavian Metal – no shadow of a doubt about that! Although musically quite different, in spirit they are very much close to Ghost, In Solitude and Portrait. Dead Lord are playing it from the heart. Their sound is deeply rooted in the 1970s, with a heavy Thin Lizzy influence.
Some very distinctive vocals by Hakim Krim, fantastic dual guitar work, an overall rocky sound – those are the main trademarks of Dead Lord. Everything about Dead Lord’s outstanding first album »Goodbye Repentance« feels as if it comes straight from the heart. Hakim Krim confirms:
“It comes straight from our hearts indeed. And I think a bit of the roughness of the way we recorded makes it even more alive. We did not use too many microphones, and recorded it live in the same room. We only had a week in the studio, so we didn’t have time, nor did we want to, edit stuff out, and do too many overdubs. And being away from Sweden may have led us to focus more on playing our rock right. We do not see ourselves as a retro band. We play rock and we do it the way we feel it should sound. If that then sounds like it did in 1978, then so be it. We still try to keep everything with the band as timeless as possible.”