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

GRENDEL’S SŸSTER – “Myrtle Wreath / Myrtenkranz” LP

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.”

SPELLBOOK (formerly WITCH HAZEL) Signs With Cruz Del Sur Music

Cruz Del Sur Music is proud to announce the signing of York, Pennsylvania vintage proto-metal purveyors SPELLBOOK. The band’s debut album, “Magick & Mischief”, is due for release in September.

Originally formed in 2007 under the name of WITCH HAZEL by lead singer Nate Tyson and drummer Nicholas Zinn, WITCH HAZEL had three self-released albums to their credit, “Forsaken Remedies” (2012), “Nocturnity” (2015) and “Otherwordly” (2018). The band, rounded out by guitarist Andy Craven and bassist Seibert Lowe, nearly changed their name before the release of “Otherwordly”, but decided to make the switch to SPELLBOOK when its current formation started writing the material that would become “Magick & Mischief”.

“Eleven years named one thing wasn’t easy to get past, but we realized to take this to the next step it was necessary,” says Zinn. “We liked the idea of having the song ‘The SpellBook’ from ‘Forsaken Remedies’ being the representing name that ties the past, present and future together. We’re very proud of our past, though, and plan to still play some WITCH HAZEL songs live, especially those from ‘Otherworldly’.”

SPELLBOOK was brought to Cruz Del Sur Music directly by the label’s A&R rep and WHILE HEAVEN WEPT main man Tom Phillips who reveals how he was “tipped off” about the band: “A good friend of mine Mike Smith pulled me aside to suggest I check out this band WITCH HAZEL he recently had included as part of a tour package… more or less raving about how good they were…and boy, was he right! In an age where we’ve seen a number of retro-inspired acts rising in popularity that ultimately come across as stale or reeking of gimmicks, WH ticked all the right boxes for even MY jaded ears; equal parts BLACK SABBATH, DEEP PURPLE, B.O.C., ALICE COOPER, and THIN LIZZY – songs so well-crafted and capably performed that I immediately reached out to Enrico saying “We NEED to sign this band immediately!” – because “Magick & Mischief” totally blows away the already awesome “Otherwordly” in every possible way!”

Zinn describes “Magick & Mischief” as the band’s “most dynamic offering yet.” From proto-metal jaunts such as “Wands To The Sky” and “Ominous Skies”, to the epic doom rocker “Not Long For This World” and already-crowd favorite “Amulet”, it’s easy to see why SPELLBOOK is eager to hit the road in support of the album.

“We’re a unique band and we’re proud of that,” closes Zinn. “There is no formula; there are no rules. We write what feels good and we are tapped into a creative high right now, already writing for the next album. However, the release of ‘Magick & Mischief’ in September is priority number one and we’re excited for everyone to hear it. It’s rewarding this label is taking us on and recognizes the potential. We’re thrilled!”.

OLD MOTHER HELL Posts Full Set From 2018 HAMMER OF DOOM Festival

Like the rest of the metal contemporaries, Germany’s OLD MOTHER HELL is patiently waiting to resume live activity and work on their next studio album. The band is currently taking part in Germany’s country-wide lockdown to control the spread of the Coronavirus, but that hasn’t stopped them from unearthing their brilliant live set from the 2018 Hammer of Doom festival. The show was a critical turning point for the band — it was the second show for drummer Michael Frölich, who went from being a temporary replacement to a full-time member — and captures OLD MOTHER HELL in their pure metal power trio glory.

“The Hammer of Doom show still is something very special for us,” says guitarist/vocalist Bernd Wener. “We were invited just two weeks before because some other band had to cancel and were at least as excited as with the Hell Over Hammaburg invitation some month prior.

“It was just our second show with Michael as a replacement drummer and we never played in front of such a big audience before, so we were pretty nervous. So nervous indeed, that the first song of the set, ‘Another War’, is missing because I forgot to switch on our camera. From song to song there were more people gathering in front of the stage and more and more fists were raised into the air. What a view, what a feeling. We were overwhelmed by the energy and the positive reactions.

“After the show, Michi decided to join the band. Finally having a full line-up again, we instantly decided to work on a new album and made a rough schedule. Of course, we may have to postpone this due to the current situation, but we keep evaluating the situation daily.

“We cannot meet up to rehearse or stream live, so we decided to at least upload this very special show as a whole. Enjoy, and stay healthy!”

Cruz Del Sur Music re-released OLD MOTHER HELL’s self-titled debut album in 2018. The band has been assembling new material for a release sometime in the near feature.