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.  

New York City Metal Brigade TOWER Joins CRUZ DEL SUR MUSIC

Cruz Del Sur Music is proud to announce the signing of New York City’s own TOWER. The label will release the band’s sophomore full-length in mid-2020.

Formed in 2015, TOWER plays a brand of classic, traditional metal inspired by legends such as JUDAS PRIEST and SCORPIONS, further propelled by the imitable, almost Pat Benatar-esque vocals of Sarabeth Linden. To date, TOWER has one studio album to their credit, 2016’s self-titled, as well as this year’s “Tomorrow & Yesterday” EP.

Shortly after the release of the video for “Run For My Life”, multiple record companies came calling for TOWER, including Cruz Del Sur. What sealed the deal for TOWER and Cruz Del Sur, though, was the good word put in by some of the label’s existing bands.

“We’re close friends with Nate Honor and Jim Hunter, whose bands SANHEDRIN and TWISTED TOWER DIRE are/were on Cruz Del Sur,” says guitarist James Danzo. “We heard so many good things about Cruz that it was pretty clear from the beginning which route we should take. In the few years we’ve been a band, we’ve learned not to rush into things and to be very deliberate, but we know we made the right choice!”

Danzo describes the first four years of TOWER’s existence as a “real wild ride,” with the band (who is rounded out by second guitarist Zak Penley, bassist Jeff Filmer and drummer Claire Vastola) going from formation to the demo stage, to playing shows, then scoring their first record deal for the release of their self-titled album. “In this crazy world of ours not everything is ice cream sundaes and cherries on top — we’ve been through some changes with lineups and labels when it became clear we had different goals in mind. We look back with pride on our debut album and especially the new EP. It’s been a huge boost in morale and poured gasoline on the fire inside us!”

The origins of TOWER date back to when Linden and Danzo were playing in THE PSYCHO HIPPIES, a group that primarily played ’50s, ’60s and ’70s pop covers, along with some RAMONES songs to boot. Because of her experience playing such music, Linden brings a unique brand of soul and style to metal, with Danzo noting she even sang at the legendary Apollo Theater as a teenager. Fret not true metal believers: Linden’s vocal idol happens to be Ronnie James Dio, further rounding out a band who is equal in music and image.


“Metal bands love to say, ‘we hate image!’” notes Danzo, “but truth be told, we have a vision and are very protective of it. It’s important to us to come across as real, first and foremost. Everyone in the band has a unique style and persona and we aren’t about to mess with it. We try to avoid clichés when it comes to album covers, too — so far photographs have worked, they’re just classic and real. We’re just here to kick some ass and I think that comes across clear as day.”

TOWER will fill up the rest of 2019 with occasional live duty, but the priority remains to get ready for their forthcoming second studio album. Danzo says “lack of material has never been a problem” for TOWER: The band has three songs leftover from the “Tomorrow & Yesterday” session, as well as another cut that has already been aired live.

“Unlike the last two releases which took forever in spaced-out sessions from weekend to weekend, we plan on blocking out 7-10 days of studio time and doing it as a concise and complete project like a band would do in the old days. Onward and upward!”

THE SMOKELESS FIRES

German metallers LUNAR SHADOW will enter Glooven Studios in Leipzig to begin work on their sophomore album, “The Smokeless Fires”, which will see the light of day in early 2019 via Cruz Del Sur Music.

 

The follow-up to 2017’s “Far From Light” will mark the first LUNAR SHADOW album to feature new singer Robert Roettig, who replaces Alex Vornam. After a couple of live appearances with DESASTER, SPELL, TOKYO BLADE and VISIGOTH and a much-needed break away from the guitar, lead guitarist Max ‘Savage’ Birbaum started assembling new songs, which, as he explains, will take LUNAR SHADOW in a new, but also familiar direction.

Robert sounds different — his vocals are a bit more high-pitched than before, yet he still has this obscure-Valusian touch to it,” says Birbaum. “I’d say that the album sounds a lot like LUNAR SHADOW, yet with some new elements. I guess you could say that there are more black metal-influences this time, more DISSECTION riffs and even some blast-beats, but still held together by twin guitar leads. Yet, as always, I just do what I want to do, so there will also be a piano ballad plus a song with New Wave-influences. The album sounds like if WISHBONE ASH played ‘Far Away From the Sun’ by SACRAMENTUM back in 1976 while having sex with a dryad.”

 

Whereas “Far From Light” tackled lyrical topics about death, “The Smokeless Fires” will be about another crucial element of the human spectrum: passion. “‘The Smokeless Fires’ are our passions, the things that drive us on, keep us going, prevent us from death, things that break us down, shatter us, make us vanish,” notes Birbaum. “[New song] ‘Laurelindórenan’ is inspired by the writings of Tolkien, ‘Red Nails (For The Pillar Of Death)’ and ‘Conajohara No More’ are based upon stories by Robert E. Howard. The lyrical themes haven’t changed that much, I still write about life, death, lost love, depression, ancient cities, broken swords and ghastly spells.”

 

The album’s artwork was created by Portland, Oregon-based artist Adam Burke, who previously handled the band’s 2015 “Triumphator” EP. Depicting a storm of fire lingering around two lovers, the album cover, like most of Burke’s work, is visually-appealing and fits the album’s themes perfectly. “The combination of two, forming something strange and beautiful,” says Birbaum. “Love is maybe one of our strongest passions. We long for it, we lose it, we starve ourselves to get it, we throw it away, when we weary. Love is important. And a good reason to die for.”

 

“The Smokeless Fires” track listing:

1. Catch Fire
2. Conajohara No More
3. Roses
4. Pretend
5. Laurelindórenan
6. Red Nails (For The Pillar Of Death)
7. Hawk Of The Hills