Legendary Artist Duncan Storr Illuminates GATEKEEPER’s ‘East Of Sun’ Album Cover

Soon, the metal world will get to absorb the sounds of GATEKEEPER’s first full-length album, “East Of Sun”, an epic metal tour-de-force that will see the light of day this April via Cruz Del Sur Music.

Soon, the metal world will get to absorb the sounds of GATEKEEPER’s first full-length album, “East Of Sun”, an epic metal tour-de-force that will see the light of day this April via Cruz Del Sur Music.

Rewind back to the early months of 2017, though, and it was legendary British artist Duncan Storr (DARK FOREST, EDGE OF SANITY, RAGE, SKYCLAD) who became one of the first people to hear the demos that would ultimately become “East Of Sun”. Well before they were signed to Cruz Del Sur, GATEKEEPER leader Geoff Blackwell mustered up the courage to email Storr a demo to see if he’d be willing to work on the project. Luckily for Blackwell and co., Storr took an immediate liking to GATEKEEPER and got down to business.

 

“I liked the demo and asked to hear a few more songs if they had more,” says Storr. “Geoff sent me over another two demos to listen to so I could get a good feel for their sound. The titles of the tracks ‘Warrior Without Fear’, ‘Oncoming Ice’, and ‘East Of Sun West of Moon’, sparked something and I got a few ideas from listening to the tracks.”

Storr proceed to reach into his vault and selected an unfinished piece he thought would be suit GATEKEEPER. “I sent Geoff a few of these images and relayed how I would like to incorporate some of the song ideas and embellish the atmosphere in the painting,” he says. “He got back to me after showing the rest of the band. The band have been great to work with and have kept me informed and added more demos for me to work with as I paint. I find this always helps.”

“We had a short list of people that we wanted to work with on this album and Duncan Storr was on it,” adds Blackwell. “He is a real gentleman and a master behind the paintbrush. The piece he showed us instantly clicked with our vision for the record and in a way, it drove us to work even harder on the music in order to match the quality of his art. GATEKEEPER would like to thank Duncan for his hard work, dedication to his craft and for being a loyal fan of rock and roll.”

 

OLD MOTHER HELL: Compact Disc / Vinyl pre-order available!

 

There is nowhere to hide as a power trio. Musical shortcomings are easily exposed. Chinks in the sonic armor are painfully evident. The common utterance that “A band is only strong as its weakest member” couldn’t ring truer. Bands with a high number of members can easily mask its deficiencies – not power trios. Some of metal’s best three-man outfits —Destruction, Motörhead and Sodom — have the commonality that there is no weak links. The same applies for one of metal’s most exciting new power trios, Germany’s Old Mother Hell.

“Every single one of us is standing like a rock behind the band,” says guitarist/vocalist Bernd Wener. “I guess this is what makes us cohesive. No one is active in additional bands, everyone is a fan of the kind of music we play and there is nothing like a concept or otherwise ‘artificial’ thing about Old Mother Hell. In some ways, we are like three 16-year-olds meeting regularly in the rehearsal room and living for playing live. In addition to that, we have the advantage of years of experience being in bands. This all adds up to Old Mother Hell.”

Old Mother Hell was formed in 2015 from the ashes of another local thrash act, Hatchery, by Wener, bassist Ronald Senft and drummer Ruben André. The band recorded their self-titled debut album in May 2017 at Rama Studio Mannheim with producer/engineer Jens Siefert at the helm. The album’s six songs are smoldering, anthemic bodies of work, as Wener’s impassioned vocals and simple, yet powerful riffs work in perfect tandem with the Senft/André rhythm section. The end result is a striking balance between mountainous epic metal and a straightforward attack, with doom influences present, even as the band is playing pure, take-no-prisoners metal.

And to top it all off, Old Mother Hell did things the old-fashioned way: Hammering the songs out in their rehearsal room, then recording them at Rama Studio Mannheim with little overdubs.

“What really turned out to work best for us—and most of the debut songs were created this way— is to just jam in our rehearsal room and work on the songs from scratch, together as a band,” notes Wener. “I guess this will also be our way to go from now on. When we do that, I sometimes use imaginary vocals. Other times, we first write an instrumental basis from which we refine and add lyrics afterwards. There is no single songwriter in Old Mother Hell. Everyone gives input and is participating in the writing process.”

The band’s self-titled debut has already caught fire across Europe, with the album receiving “Demo Of The Month” and “Self-Produced Album Of The Month” in Rock Hard and Deaf Forever magazines, respectively. The positive reception couldn’t have come at a better time now that Italy’s Cruz Del Sur Music is handling the album’s exclusive digital and vinyl release. But alas, the journey has just begun for Old Mother Hell, who, in their brief existence, has already exceeded their own expectations.

“We are more than thrilled and would not have believed to get all this positive feedback – even in our wildest dreams,” concludes Wener. “I said that a lot in the last months, but it still holds true: we are absolutely thankful for everyone involved in the album and for every piece of feedback we get from the metal fans out there. It really is a special time and we value it a lot.”

Old Mother Hell‘s debut album will be available on compact disc (jewel case), vinyl and digital on Feb 23, 2018.

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OMEN / BATTLEROAR split 7” to be released on Cruz Del Sur Music!

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CRUZ DEL SUR MUSIC is pleased and proud to present its upcoming April release, a split 7’’ featuring two legends in EPIC METAL, OMEN and BATTLEROAR!
The 7” will feature two unreleased tracks, OMEN “Up From The Deep” and BATTLEROAR “Stronghold”.
It will be released in a deluxe edition on the occasion of OMEN’s European tour in April/May 2017.

BATTLEROAR’s “Stronghold” is in the same style as the fastest and heaviest songs on their last album “Blood Of Legends” (Cruz Del Sur, 2014). It shows a massive rhythmic session, great leads and Gerrit’s classic, epic and melodic vocals.

OMEN’s “Up From The Deep” sounds as if it was taken directly from “Battle Cry”… War cries introduce the legendary OMEN sound, with Kenny Powell painting a majestic tapestry of guitar notes above which Kevin Goocher delivers a brazen complimentary vocal performance.

Besides, both bands have faced line-up additions in these latest months and the 7’’ is the occasion to test how the new line ups work.

BATTLEROAR just announced the addition of Greg Vlachos (ex-Marauder) on  drums, and  Michael Kontogiorgis (ex-Spitfire, Exoristoi and more) on guitars as permanent members.

While OMEN just announced on their facebook page the addition of two new members to the line-up. Both of them are Kenny Powell and Kevin Goocher’s long-time partners in crime: Roger Sisson wrote many of the “Battle Cry”’s  riffs but was never part of the Omen line-up.. Now after 30 years he’s the official new bass-player! And the new drummer, Reece Stanley, was in the Phantom X line-up together with Kevin…

The 7’’ will be officially presented at Keep It True 2017, where OMEN will play alongside with Cirith Ungol, Manilla Road, Atlantean Kodex among others.