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Haggard's News

Posted by Haggard - June 14th, 2011


So here it is. A short review of the Rock Hard Festival 2011

Thursday:
As always we travel to the festival on Thursday. We got a new car last year (a bigger one ^^) and we also have a friend on board. So the car is fully packed again, but at least we have some more legroom than in the old car.
We arrive at the camping ground at 17:00 (5 pm) and the camping ground is quite full already. We still can camp at our regular place, but we literally have to squeeze our tents in between other tents.

Friday:
I overdid it a bit with the beer on Thursday, so I have to slow down a bit on this day. Iced Earth are playing next day after all and I want to be fit for that show.

Bands today:
Postmortem: They are OK, but the songs get a bit dull after a while.

Primoridal: Better than Postmortem, but the sound is horrible. It all sounds like a huge mess. It's really a pity since the band is quite good.

Later this day we have a storm with heavy rain and even some hail! This is a first for me. I mean, I experienced quite a lot of weather conditions on festivals, but never hail.

Saturday:
I planned to only watch a bit of Epica's show, but they where so good that I had to stay until the end, lol.
I missed Bullet, but you have to eat something sometimes, right?

Then I planned to watch Amorphis, but a huge thunder storm is coming up. The band isn't that important for me, so I decide to stay at the camp.

Iced Earth are up next and the weather is better again. I expected a great show and I got a great show. It's one of the last shows with Matt Barlow, so I guess they wanted to play some kind of a "thank you" show for the fans.
During the middle of the show it started to rain again. I was wearing my raincoat, but my legs and my shoes got soaking wet. Oh well, doesn't matter that much, it's still a good show. And the many many crowdsurfers are helping me to not get cold, lol.
But maybe it didn't help that much to stand in the first row... the first row without a roof, I mean. Luckily I still had dry trousers and dry socks in my tent.

Sunday:
Oh man. Last day of the festival and the weather is absolutely perfect. Not too hot but not too cold, no rain at all... damn!

Bands today:

Atlantean Kodex (hey, they don't even have a wikipedia entry yet!): I don't like them too much, but at least the guys on stage have fun playing.

Metal Inquisitor (at least they have an entry in the german wikipedia...): Quite a good show, a very good way to end the festival.

I decided against Overkill this year since I wouldn't want to wait so long for a band I hardly know. It was around 16:00 (4 pm) when we left and Overkill where announced to play at 19:10 (7:10 pm)...

Picture:
You can see me in this picture. Bottom left, with a yellow raincoat on. >_>

Rock Hard Festival 2011


Posted by Haggard - June 5th, 2011


[INDEX PAGE]

Time for the next letter!

The Band:
This time it's time for some viking metal. It's time for Falkenbach!
It's a group from Germany that is currently signed to Napalm Records. The band formed in 1989 and recorded 7 demos (however, only 5 demos of those are known). Most of Falkenbach's lyrics are in English, but some are in Old Norse, Latin, and Old German.

In 1995, recording of the debut album "Fireblade" began, but due to equipment troubles, production was stopped shortly before mixing began. Fireblade was not released, and in December of the same year, recording began for "...En Their Medh Riki Fara..." ("...And in Glory Will They Go..."). The recording for this actual debut album was completed in March 1996.

After "Magni Blandinn Ok Megentiri" ("Mixed with Strength and Proud Pomp") was released, Vrakyas - the only permanent band member - stopped recording music so he could focus more on his record label Skaldic Art Productions.

In 2003, Vrakyas returned to the studio with three other musicians and close friends to record "Ok Nefna Tysvar Ty" ("And Name Twice Týr"). The next and most recent Falkenbach album, "Heralding - The Fireblade", was recorded in August-September 2005, using the same session musicians he had used for "Ok Nefna Tysvar Ty". It includes material originally intended for the never released Fireblade album and re-working of demo tracks.

The song:
Since I only know the first two albums, I chose a song from one of those. Here's "...When Gjallarhorn Will Sound", the first track from the second album.

.

The Cover:

Falkenbach


Posted by Haggard - June 2nd, 2011


"Agents of Fortune" is one of the three albums I picked up recently ("Haggard - Awaking the Centuries" and "Opeth - Damnation" being the other two), here's a short review:

The album has some very good songs on it (most noteable of course "Don't Fear the Reaper", but "Fire of Unknown Origin" is also a very good song) and some almost boring songs ("This ain't the summer of love" tends to annoy me very quickly, even though it does have some nice guitar work. "True Confessions" is another song I don't like).
But overall it is an album to check out if you are interested in the early history of rock and metal music. There are some very nice riffs and many good soli to discover on this album.
The only problem I have with this album is that some of the songs sound like your everday 70s pop music, which is not exactly my kind of music.

Overall, the album is worth to check out if you see it cheap somewhere. If you are into 70s rock/pop, then there's no way around this album for you (if you are into it, then you propably already own this album).

Rating: I give it 7 stars out of 10.
But I have the feeling that I like the album better the more often I listen to it.

Track list:
01. This Ain't the Summer of Love (2:21)
02. True Confessions (2:57)
03. (Don't Fear) The Reaper (5:08)
04. E.T.I. (Extra Terrestrial Intelligence) (3:43)
05. The Revenge of Vera Gemini (3:52)
06. Sinful Love (3:29)
07. Tattoo Vampire (2:41)
08. Morning Final (4:30)
09. Tenderloin (3:40)
10. Debbie Denise (4:13)
11. Fire of Unknown Origin (original version) (3:30)
12. Sally (demo) (2:40)
13. (Don't Fear) The Reaper (demo) (6:20)
14. Dance the Night Away (demo) (2:37)

Songs to check out:
Obviously, "Don't Fear the Reaper". Also good: "Sinful Love" and "Fire of unkown origin".

Blue Öyster Cult - Agents of Fortune


Posted by Haggard - May 27th, 2011


[INDEX PAGE]

Today it's time for the letter E. Warning, there's a wall of text following!

The Band:

I chose "Eisregen" for the letter E. They are one of my favorite bands, but since they only sing in german, they are propably not very well known outside of german speaking countries.

Eisregen (which translates to "Ice Rain") is a German death metal/black metal band which formed in 1995 in Thüringen (Thuringia). Their lyrics are often very morbid and focus on dying, killing, bleeding, splattering... you know the deal. Because of their lyrics Eisregen got the attention of German authorities, causing the indexing of three of their albums, namely "Krebskolonie" (Cancer Colony), "Farbenfinsternis" (Colour Darkness) and "Wundwasser" (literally 'Woundwater', or 'Water from wounds').

Unlike "normal" indexing (which means publicity and selling to minors are forbidden), "Krebskolonie" is not allowed to be played publicly at all in Germany. This means the band is not allowed to play any songs from this album live even for adult public. The reason given was the lyrics, described as "cruel, inhuman, misogynistic and brutalising". The band could not fight the indexing as their label Last Episode (which they left afterwards) did not inform them.

Although Eisregen were criticized for their horror and splatter lyrics, their songs also have a certain (morbid and humoristic) background and sometimes even deal with social or historical topics (e. g. "Schwarze Rose", "vom Muttermord", "Ripper von Rostow", "Eisenkreuzkrieger", "17 Kerzen am Dom") in a fictional way.

In 1998 the band released their first full album "Zerfall" (Decay). The production quality of this album is quite bad, but the album recived some positive feedback. This album is more or less a Black Metal album, no clean vocals here, mostly screams and a few growls.

Also in 1998 the second album "Krebskolonie" (Cancer Colony) was released. A new member joined the band: A violonist. The violine became a very important instrument on the following albums. The vocals also changed, fewer screams, more growls.

In 2000 the album "Leichenlager" (Morgue) followed. The lyrics where still morbid, but the band also began to concentrate on more serious themes, like religion (in the title track) or human behavior in general (in the song "Die Seele der Totgeburt" [soul of the stillborn child].
Also the band was confronted with accusations of them being Neonazis, which sadly isn't that uncommon in germany for a band that plays extreme music (the list of bands which have been accused to be extremly right-winged is propably longer than the list of bands which have NOT been accused). The band responded with the song "Heer der Ratten" (Army of Rats) in which they describe the right-winged community as an army of rats, who blindly follow their leader and who are brain dead.

2001, the album "Farbenfinsternis" (Colour Darkness) is released, but the label of the band "Last Episode" was going bankrupt, so the release was delayed for a short while.
This album has a bit more brutal lyrics than the predecessor, also another so called "cycle" is released here. On their debut album Eisregen released the cycle "pestilence", which contained 4 songs which covered a story of a young man who lives in a village during the times of the black death.
This album contains the cycle "Farbenfinsternis", which has 5 chapters. This cycle is about a man who is haunted by nightmares in the first chapter. In the second chapter the man loses his feeling for time, he hears voices calling him and a creature from a "nether world" is trying to get hold of him.
The third chapter describes how the creature overtakes the mind of the protagonist. In the 4th chapter the creature orders the protagonist to skin himself and to rip out his own heart. The 5th chapter is about how the creature is about to take over the control of our world.

Because of the problems with their old label the band cannot work too hard on a new album, so the next album is released in 2004 and it is called "Wundwasser" (Wound Water). Agan the lyrics feature more serious themes, like "Vom Muttermord", which is about a guy who kills his mother because she abused him as a child.

The 6th album "Blutbahnen" (Blood Tracks) is released in 2007. The violonist left the band (for reasons I don't know), so there are hardly any violin parts on this album. Because of this I didn't like it for a very long time, but now I think it's a pretty good album. Also, this album reached position #32 in the charts, so it's the most successful album for this band.
This album contains a song about the rampage of Robert Steinhäuser, who killed 16 people and himself when he went on a killing spree at his old school in Erfurt. But this song is not prainsing the act, but instead they try to handle the events (Eisregen are from Erfurt as well).
One line of the lyrics: "Denn allen Fragen der Hinterbliebenen entzieht er sich durch diese feige Tat, Was hättest Du all jenen geantwortet, Denen blieben nur die Tränen am Grab" which means: "He evades all questions [by shooting himself], what would you have told all those, who had nothing but their tears at the gravesides" (a very rough translation, but I hope I could translate the meaning of the line)

"Blutbahnen" is the last album I own/know (it's hard to get a hold of their ablums in Germany, so I only own a copy of Leichenlager, Farbenfinsternis and Wundwasser), but they released two more albums:
In 2008 "Knochenkult" (Bone Cult) and "Schlangensonne" (Snake Sun) in 2010.

The songs:

I thought long and hard about which song I should chose. The lyrics are quite important to understand the concept of and the fascination for Eisregen, but since their only song that is in english is a cover version I decided against the english song.
Instead I will present you more than one song. As I've told you before, Eisregen is one of my favorite bands, so I really cannot chose only one track to represent the band. ^^
So yeah, here's six songs from their first six albums.

The first song is "Und über allem weht der Wind so kalt", the first part of the "pestilence cycle". The lyrics describe how the black death comes into the village and how nearly everybody of the population dies.

.

The next song is the title track of their second album "Krebskolonie". It is about a fictitious virus (simply called "cancer" in the song) that infects the majority of the population. Encampments are created where the "positives" have to go, so they won't infect the "negatives". This song also features some very morbid humor: "Der Hunger zwang mich heute von den Toten zu essen, Der Geschmack war zwar bitter, aber sonst OK" - "The hunger forces me to eat from the dead, The taste is rancorous, but else OK"

.

"Die Seele der Totgeburt", the 7th song on the third album "Leichenlager". As mentioned above, this song is about an stillborn child. It dies because it cannot cope with all the madness, coldness and irrational behaviour in the world outside the womb.
At the end of the song the question about where the soul of somebody who never lived is going. "What means death to somebody who never lived?"

.

On to the 4th album "Farbenfinsternis". This is the first track "Meine tote russische Freundin" (My dead russian girlfriend). It's about a man who cheats on his wife. He rented a flat in the city for his "adventures", but with this russian girl everything wents wrong. He bites her throat, she dies, he vomits on her body. But - as his mother always told him: "Bring to an end what you have begun", so he has sexual intercourse with the corpse. He tries to conserve her "for eternity" and he thinks he's done a good job. Only problem is "what now lies on the floor no word can tell, but you can't have everything".
Maybe this short summary can't get across the humor of the song, but you should listen to it anyway. It's quite funny.

.

Next is the song "Ripper von Rostow" which is based on the story of Andrei Chikatilo, who was also called "The Rostov Ripper" and who has murdered at least 52 women. It's the 4th track on "Wundwasser".

.

6th and last song for today is "Schlachthaus-Blues" (Sloughterhouse blues), the 9th track on "Blutbahnen". It's about a man who is rejected by four young girls. They laugh at him because he was asking them out. As a revenge, he kills them.

.

The covers:
I uploaded a file to the NG Dump with all 6 covers here.


Posted by Haggard - May 20th, 2011


[INDEX PAGE]

Next letter in the Metal-ABC.

This week I like to introduce Power Metal Band DragonhammeR to you. They only have released two full albums as of now and it's been a long time since the last one...

The Band:

The band was formed in 1999 by Max Aguzzi (voice/guitar), Gae Amodio (bass) and Marino Deyana (drums). As you may have noticed from the names, the bandis from Italy. ;)
In '99 the band released a demo named "Age of Glory", which they published on their web site. They then signed a contract with Legend Music and released their first Album "The Blood of the Dragon" in 2001.

After signing a new contract with Scarlet Records the band released the second album "Time for Expiation". The band had to go on a long break due to "capital and unavoidable changes" (that's what they say on their web site). In 2008 they had a line up change. The drummer was replaced by David Cannata; keyboardist Giordano Maselli and a second guitar player Giovanni Maria Di Buduo joined the band.

The song:

This is "Dragon Hammer", the third track from the debut album.

The cover:

Dragonhammer


Posted by Haggard - May 7th, 2011


[INDEX PAGE]

"Haggard, Carnivore are not a 'lesser known metal band'!"
Maybe so, but I guess not too many people actually listen to their music. Most people only know Carnivore because of Pete Steele.

But let's start at the beginning.

The Band:

Carnivore was formed 1983 in Brooklyn, New York by Peter Steele, Keith Alexander and Louie Beato. Steele and Beato already had played together in the band "Fallout".

Even though the group was founded in '83 it took them two years to start recording their self titled debut album, which was released in early 1986. In September 1987 they released Retaliation. Soon after the second album was released, the band broke up and Peter Steele formed a new band called Subzero, which would later be renamed Type O Negative.

Despite being disbanded for many years, the band has been reactivated on several occasions, including a brief tour in 1996 and a longer one (which included a European leg) in 2006-2007. The former members of Carnivore performed sporadic concerts in New York during the 1990s, but no formal tours or new releases were undertaken. However, a new lineup of the band performed at the Wacken Open Air in 2006 at the request of the promoters and subsequently undertook an extensive international tour.

Peter Steele died April 14, 2010, thus ending the reunion.

The song:

I chose "Jesus Hitler", which is the 7th song on their second album. It reflects perfectly what this band is known for: Controversial lyrics and a very weird sense of humor. I chose a live version, so you can actually see the band playing.

The cover:

Carnivore


Posted by Haggard - April 15th, 2011


[INDEX PAGE]

Time for the second letter in the "Metal-ABC".

The band:

This is a pretty obvious choice , if you know me. I talked about Bloodbath before in the Level Up! Lounge and propably elsewhere on this site before.

Bloodbath is a so called "Supergroup", which means that their members are active in other (succesful) bands.

The band was founded in 1998 by Mikael Åkerfeldt (Opeth), Dan Swanö (Nightingale), Anders Nyström and Jonas Renkse (both Katatonia). In 2000 their first full length album with the name "Ressurection Through Carnage" was released. In 2005 Åkerfeldt left the band to have more time for Opeth. He was replaced by Peter Tägtgren (Hyprocrisy). With Tägtgren on lead vocals the band released their second full album "Nightmares Made Flesh".

Shortly after that the lead vocals where changed again. This time it was Tägtgtren who had "conflicting schedules" with his primary band. He was replaced by his predecessor Åkerfeldt. He was meant to stay for only one live show in Wacken, but since no suitable singer could be found, Åkerfeldt stayed with the band.
A few more lineup changes followed. Åkerfeldt, Nyström, Renkse, Martin Axentrot (Opeth) and Per Eriksson (Katatonia) recorded the third full album "The Fathomless Mastery", which was released in 2008.

Because of their status as "Supergroup" live gigs are a very rare thing. I was lucky enough to see them at last years Rock Hard Festival. It was the band's 4th live gig ever!

The song:
This is "So you die" the second track from their first album "Ressurection Through Carnage", enjoy!

Album cover:

Bloodbath


Posted by Haggard - April 9th, 2011


Okay, I was in Scotland from September 20th to 29th together with my gf (now my wife).

Day 1 - 20/09
Waking up at 4am after only three hours of sleep. Dammit... why do you always get so little sleep on the day before your travel? Well, our flight takes off pretty early (7am) and we had many things to pack.
We ordered a taxi that should bring us to the airport, because it's easier this way. We don't have to worry where we leave our car and my gf hates to drive when she's still tired (I can't drive because I never learned it = I don't own a drivers license, heh)

At the airport nothing interesting happens. Just checking in... Flying....
Landing at London Heathrow, Terminal 5 - 7:50am local time. Our connection flight to Inverness takes off at Gatwick, so we have to take the bus connection. We buy two bus tickets for 40£, but the bus driver doesn't really pay attention to our tickets, so I guess we could've saved a lot of money here if we just had entered the bus without buying tickets first. :/

Arriving at Gatwick after about 1 our of driving, now we have some hours to spent before our next flight takes off. We look around at various shops and eat a second breakfast at a nice restaurant. The breakfast was a bit expensive, but well, that's airport prices for you. At least it was tasty and it was quite a large portion.

14:35 local time, our connection flight takes off. A pretty small machine, but at least I have some legroom (I'm about 6'1'' [1,86m] tall, and sometimes there's absolutely NO legroom at all in planes for me. I wonder how persons taller than me manage to do this...). I ordered something to eat and to drink on the plane because I didn't drink enough on this day and I'm feeling a bit faint and it's hours since our second breakfast already.

We land at Inverness at 16:20 on a very small airport, only one runway.

After we get back our luggage we wait for the bus to take us to the city centre of Inverness. After we get there we have to walk quite a bit to our B&B, but before we do that we plan to buy two tickets at the Bus Station: One for Urquhart Castle and back, and one train ticket to Glasgow. I checked connections on the internet prior to our journey at home and I found out that booking early almost always means a great discount (I think 40 Pounds for two tickets instead of 40 pounds for a single ticket). We are lucky with the bus ticket to the Castle, but it seems all cheap train tickets are already sold. The woman at the counter tells us that we should simply try to buy tickets on the day of our travel.

Now, on the hotel. We are quite happy when we see the McDonald's in the City Centre on our way to the B&B and we order some cheeseburgers there.
Not only are we quite hungry but we also visited a McDonald's upon arriving in Scotland last time we where here, so it's also a kind of a nostalgic thing.
When we finally arrive at the B&B it's already dark outside. We get the keys to our room and we go upstairs, we are very tired now.
But before we go to sleep we have to settle down a bit. It's kind of weird: Traveling the whole day makes you very tired, but you cannot fall asleep right now because your mind is still so damn active.
So we check out the TV Programme a bit, eat some of the snacks on our room and drink a nice cup of tea.

All in all we traveled for 17 hours on a single day...

Day 2 - 21/09

Our plan was to visit Inverness Castle today, but we learned that it isn't open to the public. Bummer.
So, we just look around a bit on the outside. There seems to be a court hearing going on at the time we are there. Some very strange figures are hanging around, having some sort of argument. We can hear the word "fuck" very often. ^^

Anyway, we decide to go on a city walking tour today. Actually we planned to do this on day four, but we will find something else to do on that day.

Inverness is called "Capital of the Highlands" but it still is a very small town (for us anyway, we live in Germanys second largest city, Hamburg). But "small" doesn't equal "boring". Inverness is a very interesting town, with lots of old houses that are really worth to see. Especially the Victorian Market - where we have a Cappuchino, some ice cream (me) and cake (my gf). But I still can't imagine living here permanently.

We also visit Inverness Cathedral. It looks a bit like the two towers have been cut off, but IIRC it was planned to build the towers but due to some strange reason they where never finished. In the cathedral there are paintings that show the cathedral with the two towers intact.

Later that day we go to a indian restaurant that has a sort of "all you can eat". It's located at Bank Street, just at the bank of the river. After three courses we both are stuffed and we make our way back to the B&B. The food wasn't extraordinarely good, but it wasn't bad either. I cannot complain, especially since we only payed 10£ each.

Day 3 - 22/09

We visit Loch Ness and Urquhart Castle today. We already bought bus tickets on Monday (so called "Apex return tickets", they are cheaper than normal return tickets but you have to travel at a certain time).
The roads to Urquhart Castle are just wide enough for the bus to drive on. Right before a pretty narrow turn we see a car that obviously crashed into the trees. The bus driver - who was talking to another passenger - says something like: "You can see that quite often here. It always happens when people don't follow the speed limit."

But luckily we reach our destination spot unharmed. It is a cloudy day, sometimes we can't even see the opposite waterside, but it still looks pretty cool.
Admission to visit the Urquhart Castle is 7 Pounds now, we also buy a souvenir guide for 2 pounds (or 1,50... can't remember anymore, but it's worth the money anyway).

The castle itself is mostly in ruins, but there's still a lot to see. It's also nice that they show a little movie right before you go down to the castle, it helps to put you in the right mood.
Later that day it starts raining, so we have to use our umbrellas, but the castle is still worth the visit, despite the bad weather. Later on the sun comes out again and it becomes a bit warmer. Still, our plan to hang out a bit on the waterside of Loch Ness doesn't seem to be such a good idea anymore. Too bad it's still over an hour until the bus back to Inverness arrives. Outside on the parking lot we see a travel group from Germany, who seem to have lunchtime. They are eating sausages (Bockwurst, as far as we can tell). We think about just walking over, saying "Guten Tag" and grabbing a sausage. But we decide against it. Now in retrospect I'm thinking we should actually have done that.

Well, it's STILL about an our until the bus that we have a ticket for arrives at the Castle. But we had the impression that bus drivers here aren't that interested in the tickets, so we grab the next bus that arrives, hoping the driver won't mind that we actually shouldn't be on this bus. The bus driver has a look at our ticket, but he says nothing, so we get in.

It's still pretty early when we return to Inverness, so after a short rest in our room we once again have a small city walking tour. This time we walk all the way to the Ness Islands.

Day 4 - 23/09

When we where planning our vacation at home we planned to have a city walking tour on Day 4, but since Inverness Castle wasn't open to the public we already had that on Day 2. We decide to visit Culloden Battlefield, which isn't too far from Inverness. We already where at the tourist information center last day plus we also grabbed a time table for the busses in Inverness at the bus station. Once again we are quite shocked how unorganized the timetable seems to be: In Germany (or at least in Hamburg) EVERY SINGLE STATION the bus stops at is listed, plus all the stops have names (usually it's the name of the road the stop is on, or in case there is already a bus stop with that name it's the name of a nearby road) that are clearly visible even from inside the bus.
But here? Only a few stops are listed, some stops are hard to even identify as a bus stop, because there's only a small sign on a post saying "this is a bus stop". But no timetable, no indication on the bus's destination, not even an indication on which busses stop there at all. Not very tourist friendly if you ask me. >_>

Anyway, we still manage to reach Culloden Battlefield. We buy tickets and we say that I am a student (which is true). The lady at the counter doesn't even want to see any proof, so we can save some money here.

I like the way this attraction is set up. One learns quite a lot of the historical background, which eventually lead to the battle at Culloden. There's even a small movie which places you right in the battle, it's quite intense. Now we want to see the battlefield itself, so we go outside. It's raining a little bit, so we have to use our umbrellas again. There are some pathes to choose from, we choose the longest path, which should take about 35 minutes. Too bad the rain gets stronger with every minute plus the wind is really cold. So I decide to put on my raincoat, which proves to be a very wise decision. Shortly after we put the raincoats on it begins to rain very hefty and the wind gets very strong as well, so the rain almost comes from the side. We seek shelter behind a small stone to protect our legs, but it's too late. My trousers are soaking wet within a few minutes, but at least the rest of my clothes are still dry. We decide to continue on the path, now that we are wet it doesn't matter anyway.

After about 15 minutes and a few minor puddles we reach a very big and very deep puddle. There's no way around it, left and right of the path is rough terrain (with even deeper puddles) and the puddle on the pathway is so deep that our feet would get soaking wet as well. We have no other choice but to go back.

Back at the tourist center we buy some Cappuchino and I also have some tomato soup and a cake. After all, my trousers are still wet, so I need something to put me in a better mood. Luckily we only have to wait for 30 minutes until the next bus brings us back to Inverness and by the time we get back "home" the trousers are mostly dry again. I'm still quite lucky to not have catched a cold on that day.

Day 5 - 24/09

We travel to Glasgow on this day. We get up quite early to catch the bus at 9:10, but we are unlucky. We where supposed to buy the tickets at the bus station, not from the bus driver. The bus driver says he could take us to Perth (where we have to change), but he could not guarantuee that we could catch a bus there that takes us to Glasgow. So we have to wait one hour for the next bus, but what's even worse is that the next bus stops quite a lot between Inverness and Perth (the bus at 9:10 is a non stop bus), so it travels for a longer time. If we would wait yet another hour we could catch another non stop bus and we would arrive at the same time in Glasgow... but waiting another hour would be silly. It's always easier to just sit in a bus and have the feeling to get closer to your destination point than to hang out at a not too interesting place.

The bus ride is quite nice anyway and we get to see a bit from the Highlands. Once we change in Perth and go to Glasgow the landscape changes. It's still a landscape of rolling hills, but it isn't so "rough" like it was in the Highlands (still the name "Lowlands" is a bit misleading, I think. We live in the North German Plains and there are hardly any hills at all. The picture in the article is a very good one. This is how it looks almost anywhere in the north german plains).

Finally we arrive at the Buchanan Bus Station, from here it isn't very far to the Victorian House, where we are staying. Only about a 10 minute walk.
The room in the Victorian House doesn't look so good as we hoped. The first impression is that it's pretty run down plus three light bulbs aren't working but at least the window leads to a backyard, which means hardly any traffic noises at night here.

But the three not working light bulbs are really a hassle so we complain to the receptionist who promised to send someone to change the bulbs. After about 15 minutes of waiting we get a call, the receptionist explains that she's sorry but right now she hasn't anyone to change the bulbs, but she can give us another room.
Secretly that was what we where hoping. Our new room is a room for three, which means we have some more space. Plus it looks a lot nicer than our previous room. One disadvantage is, that our windows lead to the street, so maybe we have some traffic nosies at night. The other disadvantage?
The room is on the top floor, so we have to climb some stairs to get there. At least the room doesn't look so run down like the other one, even though the wallpaper is coming down from the walls in some places, heh.

Anyway, we set out to explore the city a bit... well, actually we have been here before, so we already know some parts, but we never had too much time to walk around Glasgow last time we where here.
So we walk around Buchanan Street, Sauchiehall Street, etc. . We also visit St. Enoch Square and that little Tourist Information Center next to it. Wait a minute, this is a Café (Nero Café to be exact) now, the Tourist Information Center is gone, pity.

We decide to go back, eating something on our way home (propably a sandwich from Subway, can't remember anymore) and spending the rest of the day in our room, watching CSI and some of the other "US Crime Drama" on Five US (they sure show a lot of commercials on that channel, right?).

Day 6 - 25/09

Today's the day. We plan to meet up with Bezman, Black-Ops and Lazypint. But before that we want to watch football. You have two tries to guess which glaswegiean team we are going to watch.

Rangers? WRONG!
Celtic? WRONG AGAIN!

So, which team? Well, of course the only team in Glasgow that plays in red and yellow, Partick Thistle FC. ;)
They play in the Scottish First League, which of course is the SECOND league in Scottish Football (you know, not only do british people drive on the left side of the road, they also do other confusing things, like calling the second league "first league" and the first league "premier league". But they are still nice people in general ;) ).

The game starts at 3pm, so we have some time to waste until then. We visit the St. Enoch Centre. Yesterday we only walked by, this time we go inside. The glass roof is pretty cool and the toy store on the third floor is quite nice (they have a huge Darth Vader made out of Lego in the shop, cool!).

Now, back to the hostel, putting on the Thistle Strips and catching the bus to the Firhill Stadium.
After we get to the stadium we still have some time to waist until kick off. So we have a look at the merchandise store; I buy a scarf for 4 Pounds. We also buy a match day programme.

All we need now are tickets. It's a bit confusing that the selling point for tickets is on the back side of the stadium, but we get our tickets nevertheless. ^^
I even get a student discount here. They asked for proof (unlike at Culloden Battlefield where they didn't want to see any proof) so I get out my wallet and get out my students cards. As soon as the lady at the selling point sees my semester ticket (I can use the public transportation system in Hamburg with it) she's satisfied. I'm pretty sure she never saw such a semester ticket before, but oh well. I'm not complaining. :)

It's a very warm and sunny day today, and I really hope I don't get any sunburns. I have a very bright skin type so I get sunburns very easily. Nobody would ever believe me if I say: "Oh that sunburn? Yeah, I got it while I was on vacation in Scotland."
Anyway, it's time for kick-off now. About 2,000 people are here. Not too much, but the stands aren't too empty either (except for the main stand, which isn't even open to public). Thistle does play some nice football and they even have a very big chance after about 3 minutes, but Liam Buchanan can't get the ball past the goalie.

After the first half it's 1-0 for Dunfermline. They are top of the league while Thistle is the bottom team of the league on that match day, so I wasn't expecting too much from this game. But Thistle where very unlucky to be 1 down in the first half.
However, after the second half it's 2-0 and Thistle where lucky to only concede one more goal. Very poor performance from the team in the second half, some fans boo after the final whistle.

A bit disappointed by the result we head back to our Hostel, where we rest a bit before going out again.
We meet up with Bez in front of the hostel and we go to a pup called "Nice n Sleazy" and it looks just like the name suggests, nice and a bit sleazy. A few minutes later Black-Ops joins us and we go to the next Pub, which is called "Firewater", I think. We stay a bit longer here since the music is quite nice. My memory is a bit faint here (but not from drinking too much ;) ), so I don't know exactly how many or which pubs we visited before we finally meet up with Lazypint. We didn't stay for too long in those pubs anyway, some of where very crowded.

When Lazypint arrived we went to some karaoke bar. Me and my gf are lucky, because we don't have to sing a song. It's the best for all who are there anyway. ^^

Lazypint has to leave quite early because he lives a bit outside of Glasgow and he has to catch his train. After that we go to the Classic Grand, but since it's payed entry tonight we decide to not go inside.
We take Black-Ops back to the train station since he has to leave as well, on our way to the station we enter some cool shopping center which has a very nice architecture. I forgot the name, but I think it's located on Buchanan Street.

Since Bez has locked his bike in front of the Victorian House we walk back together.

Day 7 - 26/09

Together with Bez we do a little cycling tour today. We visit Pollock Park, which is really worth a visit. We are very lucky again with the weather since it's sunny today. A little cold maybe, but still sunny.

We also visit the Burrell Collection, which once was a private collection but Burrell gifted it to the city of Glasgow in 1944. We also have something to eat here. After that we walk around a bit to get to see something of Pollock Park.

After we are done here it's time to go back. Me and my gf aren't very trained cyclists so our legs are pretty tired already. We head to a nice tea shop which is kind of hidden in some backyard. It's called Tchai-Ovna and is really nice. Each tea is served in a special cup to drink it from. We order a tea that is really strong and it is served in some kind of "coconut"-like cup with straws.
We also have a very light tea, which builds a nice contrast to the strong tea. I think we also order a third tea, but I can't remember anymore.

What I do know is that I ordered something to eat and it tasted great. :)

After that we decide to call it a day so we head back to Bez's place to return the bikes and then head back to our hostel.

We wanted to go back by train but we have to learn that the subway closes at around 5pm or was it 7pm? Anyway, it closes really early which is very unusal for us. In Hamburg the subway NEVER closes on weekends. Okay, there's a train only every 20 to 30 minutes, but at least you can get home by train.
Not sure which bus we could take (I mentioned it earlier, bus stops in Scotland aren't very tourist friendly) we have no choice but to walk back home. Bez explained to us which way we have to walk, but of course we already forgot half of it. But with some basic orientation skills and a small map which just ends shortly before our current location we find our way back home without too much trouble.

Funny thing: We decide to buy some milk at a store. Just before we enter it we are asked by some guys for directions. Since we just walked along the street they want to head to we can explain it to them. But we also add a "But we are only tourists, so we aren't too sure." just to be on the safe side. XD

Day 8 - 26/09

Oh my god, our holidays are coming to an end already?
Anyway, we visit Loch Lomond today. This means some traveling by train and getting off at the last stop. A very huge train station with only one platform...
After a short walk (about 10 minutes or so) we reach the Loch, but damn, it's really cold today. We look around a bit and then decide to take a boat tour on the Loch. It's too early to go back home now, but it's too cold to stay outside as well. We buy tickets for a two hour trip (but only pay the price for the one hour trip, strange).

It's a nice trip, even though not too much is happening (well, it's a normal boat trip, what COULD happen there?). We have some tea on the boat and take some nice pictures.

After the trip is over we look for a café to have our daily dosis of cappuchino. We don't find a café, but a very nice pub, where we have something to eat.
Since Bez "threatened" me to eat Haggis while in Scotland I decide to have the Haggis today.
It's actually a very nice meal, tastes a bit like minced meat.

Day 9 - 27/09

When doing the planning at home I didn't plan anything for this day. Since our last vacation was so fully packed we wanted to relax a bit and decide spontaneously what we would do on this day.
We decided to have a small trip through the town again (Glasgow is a pretty nice city) and later that day we visit "The Tenement House", which is just around the corner of our Hostel.
It shows what living was like in the early 20th century. We can see all this, because Miss Agnes Toward (who lived here at 145 Buccleuch Street from 1911 to 1965) seems to have kept almost everything. Bills, Coupons, Newspaper Cuttings, wartime ratio books and her victorian furniture.

Today those kind of people might be labled as "compulsive hoarders" but it is a very interesting place to visit. It's hard to imagine what life was like when only seeing pictures, so it is a very nice opportunity to actually see an appartment from that time. Too bad you aren't allowed to take any pictures inside the appartement.
We where quite late to this place, since our city tour took a bit longer than expected, so we arrived about one hour before closing time. So we only could have a very quick look, but it was definitely worth it.

Day 10 - 28/09

Oh man, holidays are already over? I really would like to stay longer. We get up quite early to catch a bus to the airport at around 7:20 am. This time we fly from Glasgow Airport to London Heathrow and from Heathrow to Hamburg, so no need to get to another airport this time.

At Heathrow Airport we have our "second breakfast": Cappuchino with Double Chocolate Fudge Cake and Vanilla Ice (no, not the rapper, but the 'real stuff').

Sadly I don't know which time we land at Hamburg Airport, but it isn't that important anyay, right?
We have to wait quite a long time until we get our luggage back. Of course it was one of the last suitaces that got out of the plane. But we are lucky with catching the subway. We have to run to catch it, but on the bright side, we don't have to wait for the subway to arrive. So, OFF WE GO!

Home awaits us. :)


Posted by Haggard - April 8th, 2011


[INDEX PAGE]

The band:

Agathodaimon is a black/gothic metal band from Germany.
The band began in September 1995, the band recorded the "Carpe Noctem" demo tape, which received fair reviews from the German specialized press. It also attracted the attention of one of Century Media's executivies, who began keeping track of the band. Agathodaimon then proceeded to play minor gigs and support some European bands. Eventually, they received an offer from Century Media to fund the recording of their second demo. This demo was recorded in early 1997 and was named "Near Dark". It attracted the interest of quite a few recording labels, and in the end the band opted to sign with Nuclear Blast.
Soon after the signing they composed and recorded songs for their debut album "Blacken the Angel", which was released in 1998. However, Vlad Dracul had problems with immigration (he traveled to his home country Romania and couldn't re-enter Germany, for reasons I don't know). His only input to the debut album is the track "Contemplation Song" and he was forced to quit the band.
The CD caused some impact, and Agathodaimon proceeded to tour with bands such as Children of Bodom and Hypocrisy. At the height of the album's success they opened gigs for Dimmu Borgir, Lacrimosa and other bands.
In 1999 the band recorded their second album "Higher Art of Rebellion" (this is the first album I bought from this band). One member - the keyboardist - left the band prior to the recordings and was replaced by female keyboardist Christine S. To record their second album the band travelled to Romania, in order to be able to play together with Vlad. The vocalist Akaias - who did the vocals on the first album - also participated in the recording of this album, as well as singer Dan Byron performing clean vocals.
A European tour as headliner with Graveworm and Siebenbürgen followed. After a short hiatus, the band recorded the album "Chapter III" in 2001 which is currently the last album I own from this band, so this short history lesson ends here. However, the band released two more albums, "Serpent's Embrace" in 2004 and "Phoenix" in 2009.

The song:

I chose "Glasul Artei Viitoare" which is the third track on their second album "Higher Art of Rebellion". Glasul Artei Viitoare is AFAIK romanian and means "Chant Of 'Morrow's Art".
You can read the lyrics and an english translation here.

Album Cover:

Agathodaimon


Posted by Haggard - April 8th, 2011


Metal-ABC Index

Hello and welcome to the "Metal-ABC". With this small news post project I try to list one band for every letter in the alphabet. I also try to list some lesser known bands to show all you interested metalheads out there what great stuff you may be missing out on. Also, it would be too easy to just list "Accept" for A, "Blind Guardian" for B, "Candlemass" for C, etc. . Let's see how this turns out...

Also, of course I kind of adopted this idea from Bahamut's "Metal Monday" (which all you interested metalheads out there should check out as well ;) ), but I won't be able to post on such a regular basis (but I will try to post one news post every two weeks, but I can't make any promises).

01. A - Agathodaimon
02. B - Bloodbath
03. C - Carnivore
04. D - Dragonhammer
05. E - Eisregen
06. F - Falkenbach
07. G - Gotthard
08. H - Hollenthon
09. I - In Extremo
10. J - Jag Panzer
11. K - Keep of Kalessin
12. L - Limbonic Art
13. M - Merauder
14. N - Nile
15. O - Orphaned Land
16. P - Pyramaze
17. Q - Quo Vadis
18. R - ???
19. S - ???
20. T - ???
21. U - ???
22. V - ???
23. W - ???
24. X - ???
25. Y - ???
26. Z - ???