Album Review: Haken – Restoration

Restorations_by_HakenBeing in a Progressive band of any sorts, you must have your shit together. You can’t be half-assed and create a band that will stand the test of time. Just look at bands like Between The Buried And Me, Porcupine Tree, Opeth and well Haken. Granted Haken is a bit newer to the scene than the others, but you get the idea, you can’t just lump a group of talentless ‘musicians’ together and tell them to successfully write a 20+ minute song it just doesn’t work that way. . . They’d get bored about five minutes into it. Now take 6 truly talented individuals that are dedicated to what they do and what have you got?? Well in this case Haken and they just did what most bands dare not try. . at least not so early in their career.

Comprised of just three songs London-based Progressive Rock/Metal act Haken have re-imagined songs from their 2008 demo “Enter the 5th Dimension” into a new masterpiece that is simply titled “Restoration.” Rightfully so, the band didn’t just want to re-record the songs since half the band weren’t on the original recordings. Therefore they did the next best thing and re-work them into their own new versions of the songs and holy crap what a job they did.

Opening track, ‘Darkest Light‘ really kicks things off the right way with a funky intro that will surely get you in the mood for what is in store the rest of the album. While the EP is just three songs, it certainly isn’t lacking in substance. Vocalist Ross Jennings and crew have not wasted time as a band this being their 5th release upon inception of the band seven years ago, three of which are full length. ‘Darkest Light‘ is re-imagined from the opening track of “Enter the 5th DimensionBlind, cutting the song about in half, as the band claims to have “trimmed the fat” of the song. . basically taking out any unnecessary noodling if you will :). The song clocks in at just under 7 minutes and is a rollercoaster of a song and if there is one thing I learned from this EP, other than the glory that is Haken, it’s that Raymond Hearne is one hell of a fucking drummer. (Ok that was known before, their entire discography is captivating).

Earthlings‘ is a beautiful song kicking off with the clean guitars of Richard Henshall and Charlie Griffiths that carries you through time in the most peaceful way possible from a band like this. The track lasts just shy of the 8 minute mark but is a great Segway for what is to come from the remainder of the album. Clocking in at about 19 and a half minutes ‘Crystallised‘ closes out the EP taking you on a journey, similar to that of the Lord of the Rings books. . no there aren’t wizards or dragons or hobbits really for that matter. Just 19 minutes of fascinating Progressive music, paying attention to every detail that goes into the song and the best thing about it is, IT WORKS!! Not only does it have its ups and downs in momentum, but never in the 19 minutes do you feel like changing the song. Sure you might get lost in the midst, but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing especially during the three minute jam session at the image00112:30 mark. Oh, by the way Mike Portnoy (Dream Theater, Adrenaline Mob, Etc.) has a very special guest appearance on this song. . the Gong to close out the song! Pete Rinaldi (Headspace) also acts as a guest on the song as well showing off his guitar skills.

One thing I have always enjoyed since discovering this band is the harmony they bring into the mix and the layering of vocals from all the members. Each bringing their unique voice to add that certain something to the middle of the song that would have otherwise been, meh. I had first heard this on the track ‘Cockroach King‘ off of their 2013 Full Length “Mountain” which might not be the first to have utilized this, and I sure hope it’s not the last we hear of this, but ‘Cockroach King‘ was the first song that made me realize the power this band has. Overall “Restoration” is a solid addition to the collection for any prog head. It was released through InsideOut records October 27th and although its only a digital release, I strongly suggest paying for it where you can find it be it iTunes or the bands bandcamp page.

1. “Darkest Light” 6:44
2. “Earthlings” 7:52
3. Crystallised” (featuring Pete Rinaldi and Mike Portnoy) 19:23
Total length:

Rating: 5/5

R.I.Y.L. – Dream Theater, Opeth, Porcupine Tree

Album Review: At The Gates – At War With Reality

635433662675279031AtTheGatesAtWarWithRealityToo many times have bands taken a 10+ year hiatus in between albums and very seldom is that album successful. At The Gates of Gothenburg, Sweden have been one of the most influential bands in the Swedish Death Metal scene as a part of that Gothenburg sound or as many of you know it as Melodic Death Metal. Since their disbanding in 1996, members of ATG have been in many bands that we have grown to love from The Haunted to Cradle of Filth and Disfear amongst many others. Up until recently many had thought that their only hope for some At The Gates was to catch them on their Reunion tours in 2007, which if you were lucky enough to catch one of those performances they were a night to remember! Up until recently catching them live was as good as it was going to get, then early in 2014 a youtube video arose showing screen shots of distorted lines (possible instrument tracks) followed by the year “2014.” This could have meant a number of things, but what everyone was hoping for and eventually got was new At The Gates material. We would soon find out that they were going to put out a new album entitled “At War With Reality” sometime later in the year.

Now with the way that some of the Gothenburg bands have gone with their music, *cough* In Flames *cough* some might have been skeptical as to what ATG could possibly sound like with almost Twenty years between albums, that ended terribly for Guns ‘n’ Roses and without having heard a blip since January about the new album anticipation grew fierce. Upon hearing our first clip of the record a few weeks ago, things were looking up album track “At War With Reality” was given to us as a lyric video and it Slaughtered our Souls!

We were lucky enough to get our hands on a copy of the album a week or so ago, and without saying too much. . . Aww, to hell with it this could very easily be one of the best Metal albums of 2014. To put it another way, Twenty years don’t mean shit to Tomas Lindberg, the Bjorler brothers and crew, if anything they have taken the time to do what they wanted to do and got it out of their system only to come back and write some truly amazing stuff on At War With Reality.

635433662644390977At War With Reality” is a concept album on the literary genre of Magic Realism. It kicks off with the hispanic spoken word/Instrumental track ‘El Altar del Dios Desconocido‘ meaning the Altar of the Unknown God which leads right into the first single ‘Death and the Labyrinth.’ ‘Death and the Labyrinth‘ kicks it off with a fast paced death metal track filled with blast beats, machine gun double bass, and guitar riffs that remind you that At The Gates is here to kick ass and take names.

Throughout the album, there is no reason to stop banging your head from start to finish its like ATG never took a break. The title track of the album would have surely fit in with the rest of the “Slaughter of the Soul” album had it been written 20 years ago. While its tough to pick a favorite song off this album, a few songs that stick out are ‘Heroes and Tombs‘, ‘Eater of Gods‘, ‘The Book of Sand (The Abomination)‘ and of course ‘At War With Reality‘ and ‘Death and the Labyrinth.’

One thing that really sticks out on this album is the fact that there are quite a few songs that actually build up to the heaviness. Rather than just coming out and ripping you a new one they take their time to get there, much appreciated though, it gives the neck time to rest before the next assault!

At War With Reality, is packed with everything you wanted, yearned for, missed from At The Gates from ripping guitar solos to crunching guitars and pummeling drums, lets not forget Tomas‘s signature vocals either which by the way sound better than ever on this album. The only complaint, and this comes along with any album that is long overdue is that there isn’t enough. The album sits just shy of 50 minutes, granted they worked their asses off it just seems like after all that time they would’ve done a double album. Ok enough greed for now, in all seriousness this album fills that need of some good old fashioned Swedish Death Metal, lets just hope that it carries on to make another album in a couple years :)

Track Listing:

1. “El Altar del Dios Desconocido” (Instrumental) 1:06
2. “Death and the Labyrinth” 2:33
3. “At War with Reality” 3:09
4. “The Circular Ruins” 4:28
5. “Heroes and Tombs” 3:59
6. “The Conspiracy of the Blind” 3:19
7. “Order from Chaos” 3:26
8. “The Book of Sand (The Abomination)” 4:28
9. “The Head of the Hydra” 3:38
10. “City of Mirrors”  (Instrumental) 2:06
11. “Eater of Gods” 3:51
12. “Upon Pillars of Dust” 2:39
13. “The Night Eternal” 5:37
Total length:


Rating: 5/5

You can get this album from your local record store (Best Buy, F.Y.E.) iTunes, Century Media store, etc. this album is out now!

R.I.Y.L. – In Flames, Entombed, Dark Tranquillity, The Haunted



Album Review: Sanctuary – The Year The Sun Died

10563151_757070187673090_9204028807995863800_nAhhh Seattle, home to some of the best Seafood, the Space Needle, the birth place of Grunge. . But how many of you knew that prior to bands like Alice in Chains, Pearl Jam and Nirvana made it to the spotlight and took over radio waves there were a slew of Metal bands including the Power/Thrash Metal powerhouse that is Sanctuary?

I’m sure most of you are aware Sanctuary, is the first brainchild of Warrel Dane, Jeff Loomis, and Jim Sheppard; which after the band called it quits in 1992 they went on to form Nevermore. When we found out Sanctuary was in the works of a new album we jumped at the chance to receive a promotional copy for review. Now I won’t lie I was much more of a Nevermore fan myself, I came in late to the Sanctuary game, but everything I had heard I enjoyed thus far and “The Year The Sun Died” is no exception. With Nevermore on hiatus for now this is the perfect interlude between albums. “The Year The Sun Died” is a solid album from start to finish,  almost seems as a continuation of “The Obsidian Conspiracy” not so much in story but  musically.

With Jeff Loomis out of the picture (leaving in 2011), Lenny Rutledge really gets to show off his guitar skills. Rutledge and the rest of the band definitely do not disappoint kicking the album off with ‘Arise and Purify‘ (one of the teaser tracks released by the band) which showcases the high pitched King Diamond-esque singing during the chorus and a catchy as hell intro riff/ drum beat that is sure to get your head bobbing. While there are plenty of songs to get your whirl-winding your hair and breaking your neck like ‘Question Existence Fading‘ and the first single ‘Frozen‘, there are also songs that highlight the more melodic side of the band like ‘One Final Day (Sworn to Believe)‘ and ‘Exitium (Anthem of the Living)‘ which brings out some of Dane’s more slower almost menacing vocals.

1560711_725426570837452_9094483751082120915_nIt seems Dane is holding back in his vocals. While we all known he has grown and changed is styles since ’92, the album lacks the falsetto highs throughout. Sure it makes an appearance here and there, but not like it did in songs from “Refuge Denied” and “Into the Mirror Black” where it can be heard through out songs. . more than just a couple of words at least. Bring back that vocal style that stands you apart from Nevermore, we loved songs like ‘Battle Angels‘ and ‘Epitaph‘. While leaving that out doesn’t ruin the album, it just leaves you wanting more. However to the Nevermore fans, such as myself, that were upset with their disbanding back in 2011, I urge you to listen to this album without cracking a smile. The crunching guitars and monstrous drums that made up the Power Metal sound you love are all encompassing in this album!

The album is out in stores now, so what are you waiting for RUN or drive to your nearest Music Store and purchase what could be one of the top American Power Metal albums you buy this year!?!

Album Length: 54 min
Rating 3.5/5

Concert Ticket Give away: Amon Amarth @ The Pageant 10/29

Oh yes, you read that right. We are giving away two pair of tickets to see Amon Amarth at the Pageant in St. Louis on Wednesday October 29th. The King Diamond and Pretty Reckless contests are still ongoing as well so enter those while you can. For this one we got a little inspiration from this photo:



All you have to do is Create your OWN Amon Amarth Meme using any photo you like (hopefully of the band or Vikings), post it on our page, as a comment whatever and we choose the two we like best!! So put the creative side of your mind to work and maybe you will be one of the lucky ones to be singing along to the Mighty Amon Amarth in a few weeks!! Also, Liking commenting and sharing to help spread the word could boost your chances ;)


By the way, if you weren’t sure the Supporting acts for this tour are Sabaton and Skeletonwitch, so get there early as it will be a night of sheer brutality!!

Ticket Giveaway: The Pretty Reckless @ The Pageant 10/23

Contest number two is your chance to win tickets to see Taylor Momsen and The Pretty Reckless at the Pageant October 23! All you have to do to enter is Like, Share, Comment as to why you should win and/or create a meme for this show. The more you do the more you are entered to win, but remember Sharing multiple times still only gets you one point. . gotta keep it fair some how! Good Luck and let the games begin. . Contest ends Oct 17!


Ticket Giveaway: King Diamond @ The Pageant 10/22

Hey all, Nick here we have two shows back to back so its not as fun keeping up with who answered what correctly/incorrectly. We are giving everyone an equal chance on the next few contests. So no question just Like, Share, Comment why you should win, create a meme for the show. . anything gets your name added to the list, the more you do the more your name is in the list. . however Sharing 50 times does not get your name on the list 50 times only once. .  Sorry gotta make it somewhat fair! Good Luck to you all!! Contest ends Oct. 16.

Interview: Ryan Van Poederooyen of DTP

Ryan drummer for the Devin Townsend Project was kind enough to sit and answer a few questions we had for him. Topics discussed were other projects he is working on,  personal influences, touring life and of course  we would be silly not to ask a couple questions about the new Devin Townsend double album, the highly anticipated z2!
I had e-mailed questions about a week ago and he was gracious enough to respond within a couple of days time. Since I wasn’t able to sit with him, I tried to make the interview flow as much as possible, which can prove challenging when you don’t know how one will respond to the questions so please forgive us if theres some choppiness :) But seriously RVP took time out of his ever busy schedule so please enjoy. . . We did this for the fans more than anything!

Damnation: You have been playing drums for quite a while now, what got you into them early on, was someone in your family a musician that peaked your interest? or did you fall into it more by chance?

IMG_3199RVP – My father was a keyboard player in a cover band. I always went to his sound checks and watched the band. I was always attracted to the drums and would bang around on them whenever they finished sound check. My father took notice that I had some rhythm and enjoyed playing the drums. From there he asked if I would be interested in learning…. the rest is history as they say! 

Who would you consider as your influences growing up? Are they still your primary influences today or have they changed as you’ve grown as a drummer? What was the first song you learned to play on drums? 

 My main influence growing up was Neil Peart from Rush. He influenced me into the progressive side of drumming and being creative with my beats and drum fills. Neil is still an influence to this day but I’d have to say my biggest inspiration on the drums at the moment is Gavin Harrison from Porcupine Tree. The guy is absolutely amazing on the drums. Great feel, great chops, amazing groove and he always plays unique beats and fills that really stand out to me. The first song I learned to play on drums was ‘Who Can it Be Now’ from the band Men At Work. I remember it well!


Your back catalogue is pretty impressive a lot of the bands have caught my interest in just checking out the few songs to get an idea of style. . . How did projects like God Awakens Petrified and Ten Ways (From Sunday) come about? And then if you could fill us in on the the transition from those two bands to bands like Terror Syndrome, Non-Human Level, and of course DTB/DTP? 

 All these projects came together at different times in my musical career. God Awakens Petrified was an experimental Metal band I started back in 1996 with my best friend. It went on to be a pretty successful local act in Vancouver, getting lots of opening slots for label acts as they came thru town, like Megadeth, God Flesh and so on…  Ten Ways is a progressive rock band formed by Dave Young (DTP/ ex-DTB) and his brother Mike Young (ex-DTB). I joined the band in 2008 and recorded drums on the album ‘The Solution’ in 2009 which is available on iTunes. We’re still together but get no time to do anything due to the schedule of the DTP. Terror Syndrome is a metal band I started in 2006 with a bunch of well known ‘metal’ special guests who appear on the album. I wrote all the music, wrote lyrics and produced it. I recorded the debut album in 2007 and independently released it, digitally, in 2008. I’m very proud of Terror Syndrome and plan on doing more when the DTP schedule slows down. Non-Human Level was a metal side project that Christofer Malmstrom, the guitar player from the band Darkane started. He wanted me to be the drummer on it along with Gustaf Hielm (ex-Meshuggah on Bass) and Peter Wildoer (Darkane Drummer) on Lead Vocals. It’s a pretty heavy, thrashy album with some cool twists and turns. I laid down my fastest drumming to date on that record. 

How did you get into the DTB, were there tryouts? I know the scene is pretty expansive, had you played with Devin Townsend before, or open up for SYL?  

RVP – I tried out in an audition. Dev was auditioning drummers. I got the tryout because my name got recommended to Dev many times. We jammed and he dug my playing and that was it.

It seems like you have a LOT on your plate with the new Devin Townsend Project/Ziltoid double album about to release (we’ll get to that soon), and what looks like some extensive touring, I see you are also in the process of writing a new Terror Syndrome album!! How do you find the time to juggle all your work? Are you constantly writing material while touring? Where do the ideas spark from? and lastly is there anything you can tell us about the new TS album as far as when it might release and what we might expect from it?

IMG_3270RVP – I basically write when I feel inspired to do so. I’m not constantly writing. Most of the time I’m learning new DTP songs for upcoming tours or whatever album we happen to be recording at the time! Haha. I’m kept extremely busy with the DTP. Lots of the time I’m relearning songs or learning new ones for upcoming tours or I’m learning new music for a new album. It’s always one of those two things. We [the band] know a ton of Dev’s music ranging from Ocean Machine all the way up to the newest DTP stuff…. that’s A LOT of music! So, I don’t really get much time to do my own thing. When I do get time, I’ve been writing new Terror Syndrome material. As for the style of the new Terror Syndrome record, it’s similar to the last record in ways, but I’m working with different tunings and being a little more experimental on the newer music. Still heavy as shit with killer grooves and catchy/heavy vocals.

That sounds epic, can’t wait to hear it!

When in the studio. . walk us through a day in RVP’s shoes. Where do drums come into play when recording an album, with any band you’ve played with, do you usually get done first, last or somewhere in the middle? How do you come up with the ideas for say your tracking? Are you brought riffs and then you create a beat to go along, or does it tend to go both ways? Do you have a book full of ideas for all your projects or does some of it just come to you naturally? And what helps you differentiate your styles between bands? 

RVP – To be honest, that’s a hard question to answer. So many bands do it different ways. One thing that is always the same is that I learn songs based off of demos first. Whether it is a studio session gig, playing for DTP, Terror Syndrome, Ten ways or any gig…. that’s how I learn songs. It varies from gig to gig on how my drum parts are written. For Terror Syndrome it’s obvious I wrote everything. For DTP it’s a combination of Dev giving me his ideas for drums or me presenting my ideas to him and us working it out together. I think we work really well together on coming up with the best drum parts for the DTP. I always play for the song! In the end, I always end up putting my spin on my drum part from drum fills to beats. As for styles between bands, that’s simple. Play for the song! Im not going to play a crazy double bass beat in a pop session! Haha! You have to play for the song and be well divorced in playing different styles of music. I taught myself how to play many different styles. This has helped me with the various bands and sessions I have done over the years.

Before getting into the new DTP albums I have one last set of questions. . What is the most difficult song you have ever Written? and what about the most difficult song you’ve ever played? On the opposite side of that what is the most fun song you have written? And what is the most fun song you have played? I ask those in two parts because in the Retinal Circus DVD you play a couple SYL songs, which you didn’t write so I am sure there are plenty others that you have under your belt that are both fun and difficult. And lastly if you could do a cover of any song what would it be and why?

RVP – Again, a very hard question to answer. There are many songs I found very hard to write and to play. I can’t give one solid answer to that question! I play for Devin Townsend!!!! Haha. He has countless hard songs to play. It seems a new one pops up every year and it was just as hard as the last one. To give a couple examples… ‘Planet of the Apes’ was very difficult at first, ‘Earth‘ and ‘Ziltoidian Empire’ were crazy to learn off of the new albums and learning all of the drum machine parts off of the first Ziltoid record was challenging as well. I think the most fun song I’ve written was the song ‘Stupidity for All’ off of the Terror Syndrome record. As for a the most fun song I’ve played ? That changes all the time. I’m always looking for a new challenge and fun song to play! If I could do a cover, I’d probably pick a Meshuggah song, maybe ‘New Millennium Cyanide Christ’. I already know some of it and jam some of the beats during sound check. It would be a great challenge and they are one of my all time favourite metal bands. Tomas Haake is a god on the drums man. He’s been another big influence on me! 

I’ll be listening for that at the next show ;).

Ok, now what everyone has been waiting for. . . Ziltoid 2 and the new DTP. I understand it took just a couple days for you to record the drum parts, thats pretty impressive!! I am sure you had most of it written beforehand, but were there any parts that you just made up on the fly? What was the hardest song to get down for the records?

RVP – Yes, these albums have taken years off of my life! Haha! We basically learned those two albums in 6 weeks. It was the most stressful time of my entire career. When it came time to record it in the studio, I had 3 days which turned into 2 days because we had studio gremlins the entire first day. I started tracking the first day at 10:30pm and kept none of it because I was burnt out from a day of nothing working. So I tracked all of Ziltoid – ‘Dark Matters’ on Day 2 and all of the DTP’s – ‘Sky Blue’ on the 3rd day. As for my parts, all of it I had rehearsed 6-8 hours a day, 6 days a week, for 6 weeks. So all my beats were worked out  for the most part but there was lots of improvisation on drum fills and some beats for this session. So there were some things definitely made up on the spot which turned out really great! Sometimes improvisation is the way to get the best material. The hardest song to record for me was ‘Earth’ off the Ziltoid record. It has blast beats and crazy time signatures throughout. Just an insane song overall. 

What can we expect from the DTP side of the double album? It seems to me like maybe a continuation from where you were as a band for Epicloud with maybe a mix of Addicted and Ki, is that a fair judgment?

As for the DTP side of the album…. it’s more like a continuation of Epicloud, kind of ? It has some rock songs, some pop songs and some darker tunes as well, more melancholy. Definitely more of a rock/pop album in my eyes.


Ziltoid is one of the most anticipated Metal albums of the year! Did this add any pressure to the writing of the album? Does this album pick up where the last Ziltoid album left off as far as Ziltoid still searching for his Ultimate cup of Coffee, or is there a new agenda for him? I hear there are some guests on the album as well, how did it come about getting Chris Jericho and Dominique from Stolen Babies to help out? and is it safe to assume that Anneke [Van Giersbergen] is a semi-permanent member of the band? it seems as though she has made it on the past 3 albums or so, and who can complain she has a beautiful voice that compliments Devin’s very well. Do you get to work with her much or is she just there to record and do some of the bigger shows? 

RVP – Writing Z2 definitely had some pressure to it. The first Ziltoid was very successful for Devin, so I’m sure he wanted to make sure this album met expectations which equals lots of pressure for all of us in the band. I can’t speak for Devin but I’m sure he felt it too. Add learning Z2 in 6 weeks along with another album…. yeah, it was pretty damn stressful!!! The most pressure I’ve experienced recording an album ever! Unfortunately I can’t give out any details on the album yet as there are promotional videos being released to help explain it.

Ahh, yes Ztv. . The first episode just aired and cleared up a couple things I had been curious about. . check it out here. . .

Dev dealt with getting all the guests. I didn’t even know Chris Jericho was on the album until it was mixed. So I have no idea on how all those guests came about. Anneke has done many guest appearances on albums with us. I think she is an amazing person and musician. I don’t know if she is really a semi-permanent band member. She has appeared on 3 albums now with latests album being more of a backup singer. I think she just makes it to certain gigs if the timing works for her and us. She did an amazing job on every record and I think enhanced each record as a result. I have nothing but respect for her. I think Dev would answer that question better! Haha. She has a great solo career and is doing well, so having her show up once in a while with us live or on an album is a beneficial thing for us and for her all the same. There’s my two cents.

What can your fans expect out of the double album? Any personal favorites from the album(s)? Can you give us a rundown of the songs?

RVP – The fans can expect two totally different records. Ziltoid 2 is a fun story to listen to. Musically Z2 is progressive. There are some fun easy to understand songs and then there are some crazy technical songs that will need a few listens to get. The Z2 record is a journey, that’s for sure. 
The DTP – ‘Sky Blue’ record is like i mentioned before. It’s more of a melancholy Rock/Pop album. Very easy to understand yet it still takes you on a cool musical journey.

Through touring you have become a pretty big fan of the Norwegian band Shining, I think a collaboration with Jørgen Munkeby playing some jazz trumpet and mixing vocals with Dev would be pretty killer. . . Who are some musicians you personally would like to collaborate with? A RVP supergroup if you will :) And I know bands don’t usually get to pick who they tour with, but what bands out there would you like to share the stage with, be it opening up or headlining the show?

RVP – My supergroup would be Mike Patton on vocals, Les Claypool on Bass, Marty Friedman on Guitar and me smiling away on drums ! As for bands I’d like to share the stage with, I’d love to play shows with Faith No More, Primus and doing a full tour with Meshuggah would be a blast. We’ve played a few shows with them but doing a full tour is one of my dream tours for sure. They’re awesome guys to hang out with!


Now that is one supergroup I would love to see happen!!

In continuation with touring, I know you have been to many countries while touring, whats been your best/worst turnout? Is there a certain place you love playing because of either the fans are always giving 150% or the food is amazing? ? Are there any places you haven’t played that you would like to play, be it certain US cities, countries around the world? Is there any place you would go back to after a tour to see more of it than just the concert venue and whatever place there is to eat right down the street?

RVP – Touring is such an interesting thing. We’ve had terrible turn outs in lots of countries and huge turn outs in lots of countries. Germany has always been a hard country for us to crack but we’ve been making head way there recently. In the past we’ve played to some smaller crowds for sure! England and Finland have always been amazing for us. Japan and Chile were amazing to us. A place like the USA has parts where we do amazing and other parts where it’s the opposite. So it can really fluctuate. All you can do is keep touring and building your fan base, which we do! I’d love to see Russia one day and tour more of South America as we have so many fans down there. I love New Zealand  and would love to go back there as we’ve only played there once.We’ve pretty much been every where else. As for places I’d like to go back to for a vacation….. I got a long list but here’s some that come to mind – New Zealand, Chile, Australia, Holland, Japan, Czech Republic, Switzerland, Sweden, Finland and I thought Hungary was a really cool place among many others!

A lot of metal musicians I have spoken with, tend to not listen to too much metal on their down time though they try to keep up with whats out there. . . What are some of your favorite bands that are coming out today? What is currently playing on your iPod/Stereo/Record Player? 

RVP – I’m the same way. I don’t listen to a ton of metal. If i listen to metal right now it’s usually Meshuggah, Gojira, Shining (Norway), Pantera, stuff like that. It changes all the time. I love listening to bands like Faith No More. Bob Marley. Karnivool, Dave Matthews Band, Primus, Sigur Ros and my wife and I listen to classic Rock all the time. Currently on my iPod the last 3 things I’ve listened to were Meshuggah – ‘Koloss’, Bob Marley – ‘Legends’ and Primus  – ‘Sailing the Seas of Cheese’.

All great albums.

Thanks again for taking the time to do this interview with us, we really appreciate you taking time out of your busy schedule to do this. See you on the road!


RVP – Thanks for the interview and you will most definitely see me on the road very soon!

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