Italian Metal Veterans DARK QUARTERER Join Cruz Del Sur Music; New Album ‘Pompei’ Coming This Fall

Cruz Del Sur Music is proud to announce the signing of one of Italy’s longest-running metal bands, DARK QUARTERER. The label will release this November, the band’s seventh studio album, “Pompei”, on Compact Disc, Gatefold LP with an amazing artwork provided by Italian Artist Paolo Girardi.

DARK QUARTERER and Cruz Del Sur have a previous working relationship — the label released the vinyl versions of the band’s “Symbols” (2018) and “Ithaca” (2015) studio albums. “It was a pretty obvious decision for us to make,” says bassist/vocalist Gianni Nepi. “We’re honored to join a label with so many great bands and look forward to getting ‘Pompei’ in front of an even bigger audience.”

“Pompei” was recorded this January and February at the band’s own W.R.S. Studios in Piombino, Italy. Vocals and keyboards were tracked in May by sound engineer Andrea Ramacciotti, with mastering handled by Alex Marton of First Line Studio in Follonica.  

According to Nepi, “Pompei” takes their sound to the next level, expanding on the bold, classic metal-on-prog sound they have been purveying since 1980. “The new album is cruder, perhaps a bit more visceral and intense. It has a dramatic atmosphere that surrounds the entire album — even during the softest of moments.”

Now at the 40-year mark as a band, DARK QUARTERER, who also comprise drummer Paolo “Nipa” Ninci, guitarist Francesco Sozzi and keyboardist Francesco Longhi, has faced many obstacles, but the one thing that has kept them together is their friendship, something that has helped the band maintain the same lineup since 2003.

“We have great passion and love for the music we make,” finishes Nepi. “Also, the friendship between the four of us really is the glue that keeps us together. Without it, we’re not sure we would have lasted this long!”

A making-of / backstage video of the recording process is available HERE:

SPELLBOOK to release “Magick & Mischief” album in Spetember

SPELLBOOK – “Magick & Mischief”
RELEASE DATE: SEPT 25, 2020
FORMAT: CD / LP / DIGITAL
PRE-ORDER: 
CD: https://tinyurl.com/y8jblwc9
LP: https://tinyurl.com/yaawkc4o

Vintage, adventurous proto-metal that taps into the deep well of ’70s rock!  

Formerly known as Witch Hazel, SpellBook marries Black Sabbath, Pentagram and progressive rock for seven songs of entrancing classic metal!

During the writing process for what would eventually become Magick & Mischief, the members of York, Pennsylvania vintage proto-metal purveyors Witch Hazel realized there was no better time than the present to change their name. The idea had long rested on their mind, but the risks in changing a band’s name are numerous, if not painfully obvious. After all, since their 2007 formation, Witch Hazel independently released three studio albums, Forsaken Remedies (2012), Nocturnity (2015) and Otherwordly (2018), and had already generated buzz in the doom metal underground. But, with the confidence that the material they created for Magick & Mischief was the strongest of their career, Witch Hazel reached back into their past for the song “The Spellbook” from Forsaken Remedies and rebranded themselves SpellBook. Soon, a deal with Cruz Del Sur Music was signed, and the band started a new chapter that begins with the release of Magick & Mischief.

Recorded in May 2019 at Developing Nations with Kevin Bernsten, Magick & Mischief is the embodiment of a band going further than before, honing in on their obvious strengths as songwriters while exploring new territory in the sprawling classic metal and vintage heavy rock landscape. SpellBook, who feature vocalist Nate Tyson, drummer Nicholas Zinn, guitarist Andy Craven and bassist Seibert Lowe, followed a fairly simple approach when writing the album: There is no formula. There are no rules. Write what feels good. The best songs win. As a result, Magick & Mischief is a varied, adventurous body of work, reeling in Iron Maiden and proto-metal vibes on “Wands to the Sky” and “Ominous Skies,” an epic concept piece in the form of “Dead Detectives,” which appropriately recalls Alice Cooper at his theatrical peak, along with regular crowd-pleaser “Amulet,” which the band honed in the live arena before committing it to tape. Elsewhere, doom, acoustic guitars and sterling lead vocal work from Tyson are interwoven with ease, all the while staying true to SpellBook’s impeccable list of influences of Black Sabbath, Deep Purple, Thin Lizzy, Blue Oyster Cult, Kiss and Pentagram.

The album artwork was created by Chad Keith, who dutifully melded each of Magick & Mischief’s songs in visual form to comprise the cover. It’s a fitting representation of an album that puts a fresh twist on a classic style.

Magick & Mischief track listing:

LP version
Wands to the Sky
Black Shadow
Ominous Skies
Not Long for This World
Motorcade
Amulet(Single Version)
Dead Detectives

CD version
Wands to the Sky
Black Shadow
Ominous Skies
Not Long for This World
Motorcade
Amulet/Fare Thee Well
Dead Detectives

German Epic Folk Metallers GRENDEL’S SŸSTER Join Cruz Del Sur Music

GRENDEL’S SŸSTER – “Myrtle Wreath / Myrtenkranz” LP
RELEASE DATE: SEPT 25, 2020
FORMAT: GATEFOLD LP, INSERT & DOWNLOAD CODE
PRE-ORDER: https://tinyurl.com/yd4ps37x

Cruz Del Sur Music is proud to welcome Stuttgart, Germany epic folk metallers GRENDEL’S SŸSTER. The label will re-release the band’s 2019 “Myrtle Wreath / Myrtenkranz” LP in September.

GRENDEL’S SŸSTER came together in 2015 when drummer Till, guitarist Tobi and vocalist Kathi held impromptu jam sessions in a little house nestled in the Vosges Mountains region of France. The gatherings revealed immediate chemistry between the musicians, making the decision to write and compose original material a foregone conclusion. Kathi would depart after the release of the 2017 “Night Sea Journey/Sayings Of The High One” single. Taking her place was Caro, whose first appearance was on the “Orphic Gold Leaves/Orphische Goldblättchen” EP in 2018. Next up was the “Myrtle Wreath / Myrtenkranz” EP, which eventually caught the attention of Cruz Del Sur Music.

“Of course, I knew the label due to a host of absolutely stellar bands like SMOULDER, SLOUGH FEG, ATLANTEAN KODEX, LUNAR SHADOW and IRON GRIFFIN,” says Tobi. “So, it was quite a pleasant surprise when Enrico [Leccese] contacted us. It’s almost a little surreal, I have to admit.”

Drawing from a wide array of influences including IRON MAIDEN, MANOWAR, WARLORD and LORDIAN GUARD, all the way to folk artists such as SVANEVIT, TRIAKEL, PLANXTY, THE WATERSONS, ZUPFGEIGENHANSEL, KEBNEKAJSE and STEELEYE SPAN, GRENDEL’S SŸSTER is unlike anything in today’s metal scene, with each song possessing depth and intrigue while challenging the listener. This is partly owed to what Tobi calls a “third streak of influence” that stretches all the way to renaissance and pre-classical music, including Norwegian baroque guitarist Rolf Lislevand. “I don’t think that we came up with it in an orchestrated manner, it just happened when we threw together our varied influences,” says Tobi. “When it comes to writing songs, it’s simply the kind of thing I would enjoy listening to. I guess I am also kind of influenced by pub sessions, dance events like Bal Folk, or nights at the campfire. The music serves a certain communal purpose and people sing along or dance. I think it is definitely about catchy melodies, but also about an otherworldly atmosphere. Then again, it still simply feels like heavy metal to me, but I have to come to terms with the fact that this might be a minority opinion.”

Activity for GRENDEL’S SŸSTER in 2020 — including new recordings and regular practice sessions — was brought to a halt due to the global pandemic. In keeping with the band’s positive attitude, the members of GRENDEL’S SŸSTER have been able to find a silver lining in the pandemic and look forward to brighter days ahead.

“I read some inspiring books, so I don’t think the time was completely wasted,” notes Tobi. “It really could have been worse for us, all things considered.”