Symphonic Metal - Dutch

Discussion in 'Music' started by Jason Kirkpatri, Feb 10, 2009.

  1. Don Giro

    Don Giro Supporting Actor

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    Going to see Nightwish and Kamelot tonight. Elyze Reid of Amaranthe is touring with them singing Kamelot's female parts. Should be quite an evening...
    Oh, and I should have mentioned in my previous post that "We Are the Others" is the new Delain album...
     
  2. Don Giro

    Don Giro Supporting Actor

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    I hope this band's new CD becomes readily available...I could only get their last one on MP3...
    Yotangor
     
  3. Aaron Silverman

    Aaron Silverman Executive Producer

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    Free stream of the new Seven Kingdoms album at the Guitar World website:
    http://www.guitarworld.com/exclusive-seven-kingdoms-premiere-new-album-fire-mine
    I haven't listened to it yet, but I can tell from the band photo that it belongs in this thread. :)
    UPDATE: Oh yeah, this band was born to be in this thread. :) Apparently their lyrics (3 discs worth now) are based on A Song of Ice & Fire (AKA A Game of Thrones).
     
  4. Don Giro

    Don Giro Supporting Actor

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    Thanks, Aaron! I'll be checking this out as soon as I get home tonight (my work PC doesn't have speakers)...
    Has everyone heard about the current Nightwish situation? If not, please allow me to elaborate:
    I saw Nightwish a few weeks back at the Beacon Theater in NYC, and it was a GREAT show, but they left out "Scaretale," not that I really care, but it was on their setlist at all previous shows. Kamelot were even better than I expected, and Elyse was great. What I DIDN'T expect was the guest vocals of Alyssa White-Gluz, lead singer/screamer/growler for Montreal band The Agonist (look at the picture I recently posted, she's the gal on the bottom row with the blue/black hair fourth from the left). I saw The Agonist when they opened for Epica on the last tour, and they only played three songs because of problems with their samples, but she's a great looking girl with great stage presence. I was really impressed with her appearance with Kamelot, especially on "March of Mephisto," where she all but took over the whole stage...
    Anyway, a few days later, Nightwish's Annette got really sick pretty close to showtime, and went to the hospital. The band carried on with Elyse and Alyssa taking over vocal responsibilities, although they had to read the lyrics from sheets of paper. I thought they did an admirable job, seeing as it was so last minute. This video is very shaky...I've seen a better one at a better vantage point, but I can't seem to find it...
    [VIDEO]http-~~-//youtu.be/av71H55NGIs[/VIDEO]
    So, upon hearing the news that the show went on without her, Annette quit the band...
    When the band said they were carrying on without her, I immediately thought "wouldn't it be great if they got Floor Jansen to fill in for her...too bad she's recording the second ReVamp album." I know we've had this conversation before, but I think Floor is perhaps the greatest female metal vocalist there's ever been. When After Forever broke up a year or two back, I thought "Wow! Bet they throw out Annette and get Floor now...didn't happen."
    I checked posts at Blabbermouth the next day, and see the headline of a post "Nightwish Announce Replacement Singer." I scrolled down and found out that my wish had just come true: Floor Jansen had flown in to take over vocal duties for the rest of the tour! What I would give if this had happened in time for the New York show!
    I've watched every video I could find on YouTube, and whether you agree with my assessment of Floor or not, I think she's a more than perfect replacement for Annette. She can do Tarja's operatics as well as Annette's poppiness with ease. The crowds seem to LOVE that six-foot gal (check out how much she TOWERS over the guitarist):
    [VIDEO]http-~~-//youtu.be/dY1THwBSnCk[/VIDEO]
    (Listen to they guy yell "DAMN!" when she starts "hair-whipping" at the 1:34 mark).
    If you're interested, you can check out more clips here
    Now it's come to light that this replacement has been in the works for at least a few weeks now. Whether Annette saw it coming or not remains to be seen, but apparently she's become a diva of Tarja proportions, and has serious health issues...
    An old friend of mine is good friends with NW's bass player, and as such, he got to meet Floor the other night, and he told me you can't believe how humble and quiet he is. Floor spent over an hour hanging out with my friend's wife, and told her it was so nice just to have "girl talk" about makeup and shoes with someone...
    Whether Floor becomes a permanent member of the band is unknown at this point, but let me close by saying that this next pic is my favorite in quite some time:
     
  5. Aaron Silverman

    Aaron Silverman Executive Producer

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    Yeah, that works.
    Although in that second clip, when Floor walks out and does that, um, move, I had visions of Steve Martin and Dan Ackroyd. . ."She is one WILD AND CRAZY gal!"
     
  6. Don Giro

    Don Giro Supporting Actor

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    I saw Epica this past Friday night, at a bigger venue than the last two NYC shows. The big difference between this and past shows is they have a pretty cool light show with them. I really admire how hard the rest of the band gets in the audience's face to remind you that there are five people in the band besides Simone.
    Speaking of Simone, not only was she in top form, but she has developed a bit for a "potty mouth," and dropped the "F-Bomb" quite a few times throughout the show. My favorite bit was her appreciation that so many people come to see them, and then cracked everyone up by saying that when people ask what she does for a living and she tells them "I'm a singer," everyone automatically assumes that she sings "country."
    Alestorm and Insomnium were among the opening bands. Insomnium are a Finnish quartet along the lines of a VERY melodic Black Sabbath, and if you don't know about Scotland's Alestorm, you need to check them out, because they're a LOT of fun. They're akin to a heavy metal Dropkick Murphys; all their songs are like sea shanties, and they're funny as hell. They're a five-piece band: guitar, bass, drums, keys, and the singer plays keytar throughout. There were audience members holding up plastic swords, wearing tri-corner hats, and at one point there was a "beer storm" as dozens of folks drenched each other in brew.
    "We're Alestorm from Albuquerque, New Mexico," the singer introduced (they're Scots), "New Mexico, the land of Squid! This next song is about a giant squid, and it's called 'Leviathan!'" Near the end of their set, he intro'd a song: "It's time to make things a little more...evil! This next song is eeeeeeeeeevil! It's long, it's boring, and it's about squid..." Didn't catch the name of the song because I was laughing so hard. Great T-Shirt designs, too. One had their name done up like the Pokemon logo, with the slogan "Gotta drink 'em all" undeneath. If you're going to the show, PLEASE try to see them and Insomnium...
     
  7. Aaron Silverman

    Aaron Silverman Executive Producer

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    I've heard a few Alestorm tracks. Nice to see they're out and about!
     
  8. Aaron Silverman

    Aaron Silverman Executive Producer

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    Posted on Andem's Facebook page:
    http://www.facebook.com/andemband
     
  9. Don Giro

    Don Giro Supporting Actor

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    Still refusing to let this thread die! I just discovered this Australian gem about three minutes ago: [VIDEO]http-~~-//youtu.be/ykgl065m0FY[/VIDEO] You can freely download several versions of the song on their website: Downloads I want to order the CD, but it's $35 after shipping! This Italian band borders on the ridiculous, but there's no denying how catchy the chorus is: [VIDEO]http-~~-//youtu.be/YYd93usHGl4[/VIDEO] Here's another Italian band, and I absolutely LOVE the chorus of this one: [VIDEO]http-~~-//youtu.be/IGsK-4NPOTM[/VIDEO] And if you want something REALLY ridiculous, look no further than this Russian mess (NOT SAFE FOR WORK): [VIDEO]http-~~-//youtu.be/UiDGT5M6_TE[/VIDEO] I like the song itself, but what's with the "Gestapo-meets-Sgt. Pepper" look? I'd appreciate if someone could tell me just what the hell is happening in the "storyline," too! You're welcome! :rock:
     
  10. Don Giro

    Don Giro Supporting Actor

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    Just in case anyone's still reading this thread, I saw Amaranthe, Kobra and the Lotus, and Flames of Fury at the Gramercy in NYC last Wednesday night. About 200 to 250 people in attendance on a brutally humid night (temperature inside was decent) witnessed this female fronted mini-festival.

    Flames of Fury are a "traditional" metal band from NYC. All five members are Hispanic, the lead guitarist looks a bit like Kirk Hammett. The singer is cute and goes for kind of an 80s metal look with huge armbands, tights, and she had what looked a plastic sword hanging off her belt. Good voice!

    The girl who sings for Kobra and the Lotus is amazing! She sings and yells effortlessly, knows how to work a crowd, and she's gorgeous!

    I love Amaranthe and their three-singer pop-metal-with-occasional-harsh-vocals sound. Elize is an absolute goddess. She came out wearing what looked like a leather top and a loose-fitting skirt, but when she turned around, the skirt was backless and revealed t-i-i-i-i-i-i-i-ght black leather hot pants and OH-so-shiny stockings. She eventually ditched the skirt altogether, which was...nice?

    They're interesting to watch, too. Elize isn't afraid to reach out and shake everyone's hands as she sings. Her harmonizing with the "clean" male vocalist is top-notch, and the guy who does the "harsh vocals" makes the best of his "down time" by whipping up the crowd and mouthing all the parts where he's not "singing,"

    They only played for an hour (65 minutes TOPS), but they played every song I wanted to hear, and I was grateful that I was able to get back home in about 40 minutes for a decent night's sleep.

    I just got my ticket to see Kamelot in September. No word on whether Elyze will be their female vocalist on this tour, but Delain are opening!
     
  11. Aaron Silverman

    Aaron Silverman Executive Producer

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    Damn straight we're still reading this thread! :)
     
  12. Don Giro

    Don Giro Supporting Actor

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    I forgot to mention that I went to a great show a few weeks back: Kamelot/Delain/Eklipse.

    I've been wanting to see Delain for quite a while, and believed they'd be one of those bands that would never make it to these shores. If it wasn't for them being on the bill, I wouldn't have been there. But OH what a show!

    The venue is a rather small dance club called Stage 48 in NYC, with a maximum occupancy of 288 people (according to the fire marshal certificate posted at the door). It's a very nice space. Being that it turns into a dance club later in the evening, the show started promptly at 6:30 and ended at exactly 10PM. If it wasn't for the hustle and bustle of NYC and having little time to waste in getting to the place, I'd love ALL shows to be over that early.

    Anyway...

    Eklipse went on at 6:30. They are an all-female ensemble from Germany who I can best describe as a lighter, all-girl Apocalyptica. They are three violinists and a cellist. The tall blonde violinist wears an eyepatch, the cellist sports a "fauxhawk" and a red slash across her eyes (think Daryl Hannah in "Blade Runner," and another violinist wears a black lace half-mask. The third violinist doesn't cover her face with anything. It's just the four of them with a drum track in the background, all instrumentals. While they're not a band I'd make a point of listening to everyday, they are very talented, very attractive, and easy to listen to. I liked them, the crowd really liked them, but it was curious to see them on such a bill. Or so I thought...



    Thanks to Kamelot's elaborate drumkit taking up much of the stage real estate, Delain had about two feet of stage in front of them in which to perform. The drums were pushed off to the left, and there were no keyboards (he's the founding member, and couldn't make it for the first two weeks of shows). To say that Delain were amazing is an understatement. Charlotte Wessels wore a giant hoop skirt and a corset that crushed her into what looked like a 20" waist. They played 10 songs in 45 minutes, almost every one was something I hoped to hear, ending with "The Gathering" (my fave!) and "We Are the Others." HUGE amounts of applause and yelling and jumping in the crowd.

    Like I said, I was there only for Delain. I saw Kamelot last September when they opened for Nightwish, and although I do enjoy a number of their songs (especially "March of Mephisto"), I wasn't really into them. My friend (a publicist) and his roommate said they were gonna stay for one or two songs and then hit the road, and I said I'd probably follow suit soon after. I knew "March..." was going to be the final encore, and I didn't want to stick around...

    Boy, am I glad I stuck around...

    Last tour (opening for Nightwish), Kamelot had Elize from Amaranthe doing the female backup vocals, and the highlight for me was the unexpected appearance of Alissa White-Gluz (lead singer of Montreal alt-metal thrashers The Agonist), who OWNED the night doing the female voice and demonic growling during "March of Mephisto." Here's a clip of it from the Nightwish show I was at (I wish my seats had been this close):



    (I fall in love with Alissa at the 3:16 mark every time I watch the video).

    So, Kamelot take the stage, and the first surprise of the night occurs. Kamelot's keyboard player is sitting out this tour while longtime girlfriend Simone (from Epica) has their baby (lucky f***), so Coen from Epica was filling in. Interesting aside: the first time I saw Epica, Coen sat out the tour because HIS wife was having a baby, so Kamelot's keyboard player filled in). Coen has shaved his head, and he plays the most amazing-looking, curved keyboard I have ever seen (I can't describe it or find any pics).

    The stage was small enough that the female backup singer was on a high platform at the back of the stage. I knew it wasn't Elize, because she's on the road with Amaranthe. I couldn't tell who she was because she was covered in a black, hooded robe early in the proceedings, and then in a veiled white wedding dress later. By midset, we got to see it was Alissa White-Gluz all along.

    Soon after, the singer announced their new single "My Confession," and said they needed a little help from friends, and the four gals from Eklipse marched on stage to accompany them. Now there are TEN PEOPLE on that small stage, and we were all blown away by how it all looked and sounded! Turns out that Eklipse performed the song on the album as well, which explained why they're on this tour in the first place! This is the official video:



    So, I stayed, blown away by it all, and was a happy man when they played "March..."

    This clip is from the Philly show...the Trocadero's stage is bigger than the show I was at:



    So, yeah...it was an amazing evening, and I was back home by 11PM, including the long walk back to the bus terminal!
     
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  13. Aaron Silverman

    Aaron Silverman Executive Producer

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    Floor Jansen is now the official permanent frontwoman for Nightwish:

    http://loudwire.com/nightwish-floor-jansen-troy-donockley-permanent-lineup/
     
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  14. Don Giro

    Don Giro Supporting Actor

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    Floor Jansen as permanent singer for Nightwish for me is what the Beatles getting back together would be like for others (what a feat THAT would be, though!).

    Xandria lost their amazing singer Manuela Kraller, and immediately replaced her with Dianne from Ex-Libris, who still plans to continue fronting that band as well. "Neverworld's End" was far and away my favorite album of 2012. Dianne is no slouch in the vocal department, so I'm quite interested in what the result will be...

    Escapist are my latest obsession. They're from Argentina, and definitely in the Nightwish vein. My only complaint is that I get a little bored with the singer's All Soprano All the Time vocals...see what you think:



    Dutch band Magion, whom I went on and on about in this thread two years ago have just released their second self-financed, self-released album, and it's amazing. Myrthe's voice just strikes me as very different from most of the other sopranos in the genre. I'm still trying to get my metal music industry bigwig friend to give them a shot:



    On the concert front, I had the pleasure of seeing Russian "Pagan" metallers Arkona last week. Talk about an obscure band doing an American headlining tour! My only problem were the few "white supremacist" idiots in the crowd that somehow equate pagan metal with racial purity, and from what I understand, many of these bands have to put disclaimers on their music and websites that they have nothing in common with these people. I'm just reprinting what I wrote last week on a British forum for your "enjoyment":

    "Arkona are an amazing band live, and it's 99% because of Masha Scream. I have never in my 30+ years of going to shows seen a singer work a crowd so hard and never stop moving as Masha does. The fact that their lyrics are completely in Russian and that she knows VERY little English only adds to her charm: 'Next song is funny song...is about farm...' If they ever reach your shores they are a must-see band. Their 15-song set included five songs from "Goi, Rode, Goi," which was great because it's the only album of theirs with which I am very familiar. All five members wear identical clothing that make them look like Ukranian folk musicians, except Masha has her fur draped around her the whole time. She blasted onto that stage banging that "drum" of hers and she was completely amazing throughout the 90-minute set. The crowd jumped during all the "folky" parts, and after one very interesting (but dangerous) "Wall of Death," the mosh pit was full of bodies slamming into each other...while jumping up and down! It was an amazing sight...There were about 200 people in attendance, which was surprising since it was a Tuesday night and I can't believe there are 200 people in New York who have even HEARD of Arkona, never mind see them live. The venue can "comfortably" fit about 300 people (except when I saw Soilwork there a couple years back on the absolute hottest, humid night of the year where I'm convinced they packed 600 in there), so there was ample breathing room and check out everyones shirts and jackets and patches...Demoniac: you mentioned Moonsorrow being accused of being "national socialists' because the "S" in their logo could be misconstrued as a Nazi emblem. I know Moonsorrow has very publicly denied all accusations (Kiss had the same problem back in the 70s, and three of them are Jewish! In fact, you UK folks use a DIFFERENT Kiss logo than we get). However, it seems Moonsorrow's fans haven't been told. There were a number of "skinhead" types (I'd say a good 30 people); many of them wore Moonsorrow T-shirts and patches. There were lots of Skyforger shirts and patches, too (another band who denies the NS connection). There was one fellow who was at LEAST 7-foot-2 in height (we don't use the metric system here, so...) whose jacket was COVERED in patches of CONFIRMED "hate bands" as Burzum, Absurd, Hate Forest, and Nokturnul Mortum. Two imbeciles raised their arms in "Sieg Heil" "salutes" toward the end of Arkona's set, and it really depressed me, so much in fact that, on the train ride home, I was kind of surprised that the girl sitting across from me didn't ask me why I looked so sad...That said, there was absolutely nothing about Arkona's performance that should brand them with any kind of connection from these kinds of "people," but I don't think I'll be attending any more "pagan metal" shows anytime soon. Except Ensiferum, maybe, if they come around. Good thing I like more "conventional" female-fronted bands than I do so-called pagan bands, as those of you who read those forums can attest..."

    Let me know what you think...I've got a few other bands I'd like to clue you in on, but I need to get back to work...
     
  15. Aaron Silverman

    Aaron Silverman Executive Producer

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    I knew you'd be floored by that announcement! :D

    I'll check out Escapist. I was just listening to Nexus (another female-fronted Argentinian metal band) yesterday for the first time in quite a while.
     
  16. Don Giro

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    Thanks to a music industry friend, I got to hear the new Leaves' Eyes album "Symphonies of the Night" yesterday. It's not only a great return to form after their "experimental" Celtic album "Meredead" from a few years back, but it's definitely the heaviest album they've ever done. The songwriting is top notch and the songs have an "in your face" feel that had me thinking it couldn't be Leaves' Eyes. It's as LEAST as good as "Vinland Saga" (high praise indeed)!

    I often feel that Liv Kristine isn't really suited to be a hard rock/heavy metal singer, but she makes me eat my words with this album. I had no idea she could actually sustain a soprano voice, and she comes off sounding like Tarja Turunen in several spots. There's nary a part where I'm reminded of that "wistful" voice she's affected on previous outings. This is a MUST BUY!!!!! I definitely place Leaves' Eyes as Number Four of my personal "Big 4" of female-fronted metal (after Within Temptation, Epica, and Nightwish, in no particular order).
     
  17. Don Giro

    Don Giro Supporting Actor

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    Seeing as there's less than three weeks left in 2013, I thunk I can safely say that "Symphonies of the Night" is my Album of the Year for 2013. I just can't stop listening to it (the first time I've ever said that about Leaves' Eyes)! I think the runners-up will be Escapist and Magion, but I've got to think about this some more...If you haven't purchased "Retrospect" by Epica yet, you're really missing out on a spectacular BD/DVD/CD set (I have the BD/CD set). Three hours of Epica in all their glory, accompanied by a 70-piece orchestra, choir, and a bunch of special guests, including Floor Jansen and just about every former member of the band. There are a few classical pieces performed, and a new song ("Retrospect"...which I hope appears in studio form on the next album) thrown in for good measure.The only negative thing I can say is that the light show is often very distracting. There's just TOO many white lights whirling around, and the band often looks like a bunch of silhouettes as a result. Also, there's a very weird camera angle choice when Simone is addressing the audience as an introduction to "Chasing the Dragon." It's filmed with the mike stand and microphone completely blocking her mouth, and it comes off as very amateurish...Amazon has FINALLY shipped Nightwish's "Showtime, Storytime" DVD to me. I've heard the CDs already, and as great a show as it is, they should have held out a little longer and done some remixing and overdubbing. The sound is very raw in spots...the prerecorded backing tapes need to be louder in the mix. I can't wait to watch the two-hour documentary included with it. I understand the documentary completely omits any mention of Annette's departure. Not that I care, seeing as Nightwish now has the Greatest Female Rock Singer of All Time in their ranks. Yes, it's only my opinion, but I need to let it known yet again...Speaking of Floor Jansen, her band Revamp will be touring the US in the spring, supporting Iced Earth and Sabaton. I have my tix already (I LOVE Iced Earth...who have, coincidentally, my pick as the best male metal vocalist there is in Stu Block). Revamp aren't all that great, if I'm being honest, but it'll be a treat to see Floor live...
     
  18. Aaron Silverman

    Aaron Silverman Executive Producer

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    Hm, that tour is coming to Ft. Lauderdale. . .tickets are only $25. . .hmmmmm. . .
     
  19. Don Giro

    Don Giro Supporting Actor

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    So...

    I often mention a dear old friend of mine who was head of A&R at Roadrunner for two decades (he discovered Slipknot, for example). When he was let go late last year after Warner Bros. completely took over the label and "cleaned house," he bought into and became a partner with Nuclear Blast records, creating Nuclear Blast Entertainment. He signs his own bands and is responsible for them, but he also deals with the rest of NB's huge roster when those bands come to NYC.

    He emailed me the other day to tell me that he had just gone out to dinner with Sharon den Adel from Within Temptation, who was in town doing press for their new album. He didn't do it to make me jealous, he just wanted to let me know that of all the people WE ever met in "the biz" (I worked in the music biz many moons ago), she was the nicest, happiest, most down to earth person he's ever met. He said he couldn't believe how humble and sweet someone could be who is a "rock star" in certain parts of the world (c'mon, they sell out arenas throughout Europe).

    He sent me another email yesterday morning at work and asked me why he doesn't have my cellphone number "since we've been friends for so many years." Truth be told, he OFTEN emails me asking what I think about certain up-and-coming female fronted bands that send demos, earlier CDs, etc., but it's always through emails and when we run into each other at shows.

    I KNEW something was up (but wish I hadn't known)...

    An hour later, my phone rings, and a sweet voice greets me:

    "Hello, Don? This is Sharon den Adel..."

    My next words? "I KNEW you were gonna call me!"

    She told my friend "he says he knew I was gonna call him!" while laughing that infectious laugh she has in every interview and documentary I've seen. She says "I hear your our first New York fan." I said "I dunno about the FIRST, but I go back to the 'Mother Earth' album with you," and that 'Ice Queen' is my absolute favorite song in the whole symphonic metal genre (the lyrics are in my signature here), to which she replied "oh, so you go WAY back with me!"

    We chatted for a few minutes, and I told her she was one of my three favorite singers in the world...

    She said "That's wonderful! Who are the others?" I said "Floor Jansen and Simone Simons."

    She laughed hard again and said "That puts me in good company! And we're all Dutch! Do you like Dutch women?"

    I said "When they look and sound like the three of you, that's a big yes!"

    A little more small talk and laughter, and she said she's looking forward to meeting me in person when WT next come to NY (which my friend confirms WILL happen).

    What a great lady...that's one down, two to go. Convenient that Floor and Simone are also signed to Nuclear Blast, ain't it?

    I just had to share...
     
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  20. Aaron Silverman

    Aaron Silverman Executive Producer

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    Great story! I just discovered yesterday that they have a new disc on the way. Have you heard it yet?
     

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