Cruz Del Sur Music is proud to announce the signing of multi-national classic occult metallers MIRROR. The label will release the band’s third full-length, “The Day Bastard Leaders Die” in spring 2022.
Formed in 2015 by former ELECTRIC WIZARD bassist Tas and vocalist Jimmy Mavrommatis, MIRROR released their self-titled debut the same year. Their 2019 “Pyramid Of Terror” follow-up was hailed for its energetic blend of NWOBHM and 70s proto-rock, particularly Mavrommatis’s high-wire vocal delivery and the band’s deft use of twin-guitar melodies. MIRROR soon found itself a new record deal when guitarist Nikolas Moutafis contacted the Cruz Del Sur Music brass and inquired about a partnership.
“We are happy and excited about signing with Cruz Del Sur,” says Tas. “The label’s ownership loved the songs on ‘The Day Bastard Leaders Die’. We started recording the album last year but had a few delays because of COVID. Somehow, we made it. Our producer is my good friend, Costa Costopoulos, and he’s based in Athens and did a fantastic job.”
MIRROR, which is rounded out by drummer Daniel Georgiou and second guitarist Dino, had a tall order following “Pyramid Of Terror”. But, according to Tas, “The Day Bastard Leaders Die” should surpass its predecessor in more ways than one.
“Overall, it’s a heavier and faster album than ‘Pyramid Of Terror’. This was not intended, but a lot of frustration came out when we were composing the songs. The album is in the same vein as the ones before, though, and it’s still classic, raw heavy metal.”
Hot off the heels of their 2020 “Far Flung Realm” full-length, emerging Massachusetts power metallers ADAMANTIS will release the four-song “The Daemon’s Strain” EP next spring via Cruz Del Sur Music.
And as today the band premieres “Storm The Walls”, the EP’s opening track on New Wave Of Traditional Heavy Metal You Tube channel:
ADAMANTIS started work on “The Daemon’s Strain” in late 2020 when all live activity was on hold due to the global pandemic. The unplanned break from shows afforded the band additional time to compose and fine-tune the material, which finds ADAMANTIS hitting their full Euro power metal-influenced stride, replete with anthemic choruses, melodic interplay and epic, gallant song constructs.
“We had one song recorded during the ‘Far Flung Realm’ sessions that did not make it to the album,” says the band. “So, we decided to start from scratch and rework the song completely. Jeff Taft re-worked the riffs and, on a stormy night, the lyrics came together and here is how ‘Storm the Walls’ was born. We believe this is a fantastic metal anthem and will be part of all our live performances. ‘Dark Moon Goddess’ is completely new. ‘Thundermark ‘is the oldest song we composed and was originally included in our self-released debut EP with our former vocalist Ashley Caval at the lead. We decided to re-record it with Jeff Stark and give it a fresh approach. Finally, ‘House Carpenter’, while a cover, is really the centerpiece of ‘The Daemon’s Strain’. It’s the song we worked most of the time on and thought more about, with the intention to create an epic metal take on this ancient Scottish song.’”
Drums and vocals for “The Daemon’s Strain” were tracked at Kennedy Studios in Burlington, Massachusetts with producer/engineer Steve Aliperta; all instruments were laid down at the respective home studios of Pelchat, Estrada and Taft. The making of “The Daemon’s Strain” EP marked new territory for the band — the EP was created not only behind the momentum of “Far Flung Realm”, but also with the support of Cruz Del Sur Music.
“‘Far Flung Realm’ opened us to a wide audience, but we have a lot more to offer!” says the band. “While ‘Far Flung Realm’ was originally written as a self-release, ‘The Daemon’s Strain’ was conceived and created completely under the label’s wing, which allowed us to focus our efforts on further developing our sound. We believe that listeners will hear many more epic elements here than in ‘Far Flung Realm’, as well as some interesting excursions into dark, atmospheric passages.”
Pelchat and Taft left the band and are now focused on their other projects. Cody has reactivated his CURSE GUARD project and begun the writing process for their debut, while Taft will soon be releasing his first LP with his newly formed band. In spite of these changes, the waning months of 2021 will find ADAMANTIS continuing live show activity in support of “Far Flung Realm” with the new lineup that includes the super talented Teddy Shao on guitar. To go one better, the band has already started thinking about songwriting for the second LP.
“We have a nice set of performances lined up, including support to national touring acts like UNTO OTHERS, live streaming events and appearances at U.S.-based festivals,” concludes the band. “We also hope to bring our live set to Europe at some point and are discussing options. On the creative side, we are working on new material for a full-length album with the new input Teddy brings. We will probably spend 2022 writing and polishing this third release while delivering the best cuts out of ‘Far Flung Realm’ and ‘The Daemon’s Strain’ on stage.”
Cruz Del Sur Music will release legendary former TROUBLE singer Eric Wagner’s posthumous solo album, “In The Lonely Light Of Mourning” in March 2022.
Recorded at Alpha Sound Services and Aardvark Recording, “In The Lonely Light Of Mourning” was completed and delivered to Cruz Del Sur Music a month before Eric’s untimely passing. Initially scheduled for a November 2021 release, Cruz Del Sur Music — in cooperation with Eric’s manager, Mike Smith — agreed to move the release date to March 2022 to give it the attention it deserves.
“It has been a great honor to have the chance to work with Eric,” says Cruz Del Sur Music owner Enrico Leccese. “He has been a reference in my life since, as a fan, I bought his TROUBLE albums back in the 1980s. I must give WHILE HEAVEN WEPT’s Tom Philips 100 percent credit for Cruz Del Sur Music being able to release Eric’s solo album. Eric really put all himself, his passion, his deepest emotions and his skills into this release. I must also thank Mike and Ron Holzner for the extremely mature talk we had after Eric’s passing. His loss has been a tragic event and we hope that this album gives justice to his career.”
The solo endeavor — a long-time goal of Eric’s — serves as a fitting testament to one of doom metal’s most respected voices. Eric tapped former TROUBLE/current BLACKFINGER drummer Dave Snyder to help him assemble the album’s eight cuts. Along the way, Eric brought in some of his favorite musicians as guests — including past and present members of TROUBLE, BLACKFINGER, THE SKULL, LID, PENTAGRAM, DEATH ROW and PLACE OF SKULLS.
“In The Lonely Light Of Mourning” travels down Eric’s hallowed, familiar doom roads, flanked by melancholic acoustic guitar arrangements. It makes for an album of color, depth and heaviness that will please fans of Eric’s work. “I’d say this album is an amalgamation of TROUBLE, BLACKFINGER, LID and THE SKULL,” says Phillips. “There’s a little bit of each all swirled together. Basically, there’s a little something for everyone!”
“He was excited about the songs,” adds Snyder. “He and I worked on this project for a little over four years. It took that long, mostly because we did it over the phone. Either he would be in Chicago or New Mexico, and I’m in West Virginia, so I’d send him demo riffs, and if he liked something, he’d give me arrangement ideas, and I’d re-demo to fit his vision to place the lyrics. I already miss the process of working with him! Before Eric left for the last THE SKULL tour this summer, he told me about the record and said, ‘It jams. I’m turning it into Cruz.’”
Smith says that if Eric was ever going to do a solo record, it would need to involve the people he’s worked with — and some he hasn’t. The wealth of guest musicians explains why he was particularly excited about having a “family reunion” that tapped into nearly every era of his storied career.
“We have guests representing every band Eric has worked with over the years, and even extended family member @Victor Griffin, which really brings things full circle,” says Smith. “This was not the original plan by any means, but as the process started to unfold, it became apparent that this was exactly how it should be. How it was meant to be.”
Eric’s THE SKULL and former TROUBLE bandmate Ron Holzner, guests on the album. Ron says “In The Lonely Light Of Mourning” was “more personal” to him than his BLACKFINGER and LID output, two albums that enabled the frontman to work outside of the boundaries of TROUBLE.
“The LID record [1997’s ‘In The Mushroom’] was a break from Trouble and his first tastes of freedom. The BLACKFINGER records were more of a sideband to express himself differently than THE SKULL. It’s been a long journey lyrically for Eric and his story was coming towards the end. He sensed his time was short. The new record was his career coming full circle, in a sense. He included musicians from all his records and never intended this record to be a band. It was more a solo record than anything he ever did before. He needed to share his journey since this record was to be the end — he was contemplating retirement. The new THE SKULL record would be the epitaph to his story.”
Eric’s untimely passing this past August left behind a musical legacy that has influenced countless bands while providing comfort and solace for those impacted by his lyrics. Alongside CANDLEMASS, TROUBLE is arguably the most impactful post-BLACK SABBATH doom band. Their first four albums are undisputed classics, making Eric the solitary voice for the downtrodden and disaffected.
“There’s no doubt that he will be rightly remembered as one of the most iconic voices of metal — not just doom metal considering he had the power to traverse anything he sang over from psychedelic to somber, from acoustic tenderness to bone-crushing metal,” says Phillips. “Of course, he’ll always be tied to the legacy of TROUBLE and thus, considered by nearly everyone — including myself — as one of the founding fathers of the doom metal genre. But for those who knew him, we’ll also never forget his laid-back personality, sense of humor and ‘Eric-isms.’ It’s a staggering and totally unnecessary loss, but he lived by his own rules and spent 2021 doing all of the things he loved doing the most, so there’s some solace in that.”
“He did what he wanted, said what he wanted, lived like he wanted and wrote what he wanted…his way,” says Holzner. “He touched a lot of souls with his life and death.”
“He was a friend to everyone he met,” adds Snyder. “He always would hang out with fans and, through his music, helped a lot of people through tough times, including myself. His lyrics were always thought-provoking and his voice was one of a kind. When you heard it, you knew it was Eric Wagner! Ultimately, his legacy to me is his work with TROUBLE. I am eternally grateful to have been close to him at times, to have finished this record and to have worked with what many call the ‘Godfather of Doom.’”
“Eric was a dear friend, and I miss him immensely,” closes Smith. “This solo album became so much more than we initially expected, and I hope fans will be able to listen with open hearts and realize how lucky we all were to have Eric in our lives.
When Eric and I signed off on the album back in July and delivered it to Cruz Del Sur Music, Eric said something I will never forget: ‘If this were to be my last one, it’s a perfect final chapter to the story.’”