EMPLOYED TO SERVE – Hardcore Punk · Metalcore

Woking, U.K. female-fronted metalcore group Employed to Serve combine punk and technical death metal guitars with a healthy dose of melody, crunchy grooves, and swing from the rhythm section. Greyer Than You Remember, their 2015 debut album, garnered an active, involved – and some would say fanatical – audience of peers who relished the punishing riffs and socially conscious lyrics as the band’s songs revealed intimate connections between personal and societal alienation, displacement, anger, malaise, and transcendence. As evidenced by 2017’s The Warmth of a Dying Sun and 2019’s Eternal Forward Motion, they have remained sonically true to core principles yet have evolved toward something more hooky, progressive, and hook-laden. 2021’s Conquering was an album-length anthemic manifesto of perseverance and liberation.

The band began in 2011 as a grindcore bedroom project between Justine Jones (vocals) and Sammy Urwin (guitar, vocals). They enlisted the rest of the lineup the following year, consisting of James Jackson (guitar), Jamie Venning (bass), and Robbie Back (drums). Quickly, they gained a reputation for their live shows; this caught the attention of Holy Roar Records, who went on to release their debut album, Greyer Than You Remember, in 2015. Wanting to explore a heavier sound, the band returned to the studio, emerging with their second album, The Warmth of a Dying Sun, in 2017. They doubled down on doom and sludge elements for their third full-length, Eternal Forward Motion, with most of the tracks written in drop G tuning, encouraging Jones to adapt her vocal style into a lower register; they released their third album in 2019 through Spinefarm Records.

After touring across the U.K. and playing the European festival circuit, the band hunkered down to ride out the pandemic. They re-emerged with Conquering in October 2021 an anthemic collection that wed sub genres including nu-metal, thrash, post hardcore, death and prog metal.

EPICA – Symphonic Metal

Mind you, that’s not lightly said for a band like Epica. Formed by composer Mark Jansen after leaving After Forever back in 2002, they quickly gained attention outside their home country, taking big steps towards becoming the leading symphonic metal superpower they have long proven to be. After their ambitious debut The Phantom Agony (2002) and the surprisingly eclectic sophomore work, Consign To Oblivion (2005), the road took them to new heights via their first concept masterpiece, The Divine Conspiracy (2007) and their global breakthrough, Design Your Universe (2009).

However, especially 2012’s opus, Requiem For The Indifferent, 2014’s bedazzling, The Quantum Enigma and their finest, most embellished effort yet, The Holographic Principle (2016), cemented their reputation as not only one of the hardest working metal bands in the business but also as one of the best. Period. With Omega, the final part of the metaphysical trilogy they began with The Quantum Enigma, they reclaim the throne without so much as the blink of an eye.

On their past seven records so far, they soared from gothic undertones to a broad, epic and triumphant amalgamation of all things monolithic, establishing their unique brand of unparalleled vocal excellence by Simone Simons with a band both ready to tear down venues around the globe while at the same time installing orchestral splendour, progressive elegance, oriental enchantment, cinematic soundscapes and colossal fury into their trailblazing, bombshell sound. “We have long found our sound,” says Mark Jansen, “but within that sound, there is lots of room for evolution. We always try to reinvent ourselves, to bring in refreshing elements.” And this massive, shape-shifting beast of a new album is the logical climax of their history.

For more than 15 years, the band pressed the pedal to the metal, passionately touring the globe time and again. After what Simone Simons describes as, “having been sitting in a high-speed train without stopping at any destination whatsoever,” the band in 2018 decided it was high time for a well-deserved rest. As soon as the The Holographic Principle cycle came to a close with their 1000th show, the band went into hiatus. Alright, alright, they still finished their very first autobiography, The Essence of Epica during that time, but you just can’t expect a band like Epica sitting still, idly twiddling their thumbs now, can you? “It was the first real break we allowed ourselves,” Simone Simons says. “It did us all good and gave us a chance to reflect on what’s been happening since 2003. It all went by so fast.” Realizing how much Epica accomplished made them far from satisfied. Indeed, it rekindled the fire in their hearts, bringing them back together sooner than expected.

For the first time in years, they congregated in a villa in the pastoral beauty of rural Holland, setting up their temporary studio in several rooms. For one intense week of renewed bonding and creativity, they accumulated their ideas, they jammed, they wrote, they discussed. Above all, however, they just spent time together as friends. Just like in the old days before the members scattered across four countries. “For the first time in ages, we were working together in the same room, starting on each other’s ideas as early as never before.” Mark Jansen states, “This, made the album more coherent. For us, it was the only logical way to lift Epica to the next level. We had such a free flow of inspiration that we all agreed we would be extending this stay for the next album.”

EYEHATEGOD – Sludge Metal

Get ready to witness the brutality of sludge metal titans, Eyehategod, as they bring their relentless energy and legendary status at Rockstadt Extreme Fest 2023, in the atmospheric surroundings of Râșnov Fortress in Transylvania.

Formed in 1988 in New Orleans, Louisiana, Eyehategod pioneered a unique blend of sludge metal, hardcore punk, and blues, earning them a dedicated following across the globe. Their unmistakable sound, characterized by downtuned guitars, slow tempos, and vocalist Mike IX Williams’ distinctive, tortured growls, has influenced generations of metal bands and secured their place in the annals of heavy music history.

Eyehategod’s unapologetic and raw approach to music has seen them release a string of highly regarded albums, beginning with their 1990 debut, „In the Name of Suffering.” Their 1993 follow-up, „Take as Needed for Pain,” is widely regarded as a genre-defining masterpiece, featuring tracks such as „Blank” and „Sister Fucker (Part I).” Over the years, the band has experienced several lineup changes and personal challenges, but they have always remained true to their uncompromising vision.

In 2014, Eyehategod released their first album in 14 years, a self-titled effort that saw them return to form and solidify their status as sludge metal icons. Their most recent offering, 2021’s „A History of Nomadic Behavior,” showcases the band’s signature aggression and intensity, proving that they show no signs of slowing down.

Eyehategod’s live performances are legendary for their raw power, with Williams’ guttural vocals and the band’s crushing riffs promising an unforgettable experience for those in attendance. As they prepare to unleash their sonic assault on the Rockstadt Extreme Fest stage, fans can expect a setlist that spans their extensive discography, leaving no stone unturned and no ear unscathed.

Mark your calendars, grab your tickets, and prepare yourself for the onslaught that is Eyehategod at Rockstadt Extreme Fest, 2-6 August, Transylvania, in Romania. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see some of the most influential bands in extreme music perform in a truly unique setting. See you in the pit!

FOR THE WICKED – Deathcore · Trap Metal

GAEREA – Black Metal

Behind black shrouds of obscurity and desolation, the men of GAEREA deliver their odes in cascading maelstroms of aggression and beauty. Emerging from the age of pandemic to whatever awaits humanity next, the Portuguese horde remains on the frontlines of the next generation of extreme metal. With an EP and two albums to their name, GAEREA has rapidly distinguished themselves from the thousands of bands toiling away in the underground. Brewing their cauldron of sound from a recipe of pounding black-metal blast mixed with a touch of harrowed, reflective longing, many devotees of the darkened arts have flocked to their banner. With the emergence of third full-length album Mirage, those numbers are sure to grow.

Underground metal itself is a strange and cyclical beast. Trends come and trends go. But at no point in the genre’s history have we borne witness to what happened to the world in 2020. GAEREA met this challenge by releasing their second album, the aptly titled Limbo, to excellent world reception. In the meantime, they found the total suspension of interactive life as it was previously known to be the perfect breeding ground for further creation and making. As the troupe’s main songwriter elaborates, “I lost two precious years of my life, years that I would rather have spent touring and growing as an artist. But they were crucial for us, these years, because not too many bands stayed relevant and productive. The pandemic gave us the time to make the best release we could. All the promo-shoots, interviews, videos, we all had time to prepare for everything. Mirage was the product of a sudden inspiration. The basic parts were written over about two weeks.”

Such a stunning admission goes to show that art is fickle, and the artist is merely a vessel through which the sweet sorcery we call music may flow. It can mute itself to frustrating silence – or it can explode into being regardless of all consideration. For this band on the rise, it is most certainly the latter. Sizzling with ambition from day one, GAEREA may present one unique face to their audience, masked and enshrouded, but the truth is they have not remained changeless. “We are not the same band who recorded Limbo,” he insists. “We are more eager to take on the world. If the pandemic taught us anything it is that nothing is certain.”

GUTALAX – Goregrind · Grindcore

Prepare to be blown away as Gutalax, the Czech grindcore sensation, joins the Rockstadt Extreme Fest lineup, taking place near Râșnov Fortress in Transylvania from 2-6 August 2023.

Hailing from Křemže, Czech Republic, Gutalax was formed in 2009 and features Petr „Průduch” Pour on guitar, Martin „Maty” Matoušek on vocals, Lukáš „Pouřík” Pour on drums, and Pavel „Kebab” Troup on bass. The band is known for their energetic live performances, wearing distinctive white protective clothing and throwing… amusing props into the crowd, such as toilet paper, toilet brushes, and inflatable dolls.

Gutalax’s journey began in 2009 with the release of their seven-track demo, „Telecockies,” which quickly gained underground popularity and led to a 2010 split release with Italian band Cannibe. After a series of concerts mainly as supporting acts, Gutalax welcomed second guitarist Kojas to the lineup in August 2010. The band continued to perform both in the Czech Republic and throughout Europe, earning a reputation for their entertaining live shows.

In 2013, Gutalax embarked on a 14-day tour of Mexico, and later that year, they collaborated with Spanish band Haemorrhage on a 7″ split vinyl. Work on their second full-length album, „Shit Happens!,” began in 2014, with the record being released in 2015 under the German label Rotten Roll Rex. Their third album, „The Shitpendables,” was released in 2021, also on Rotten Roll Rex. The Rockstadt Extreme Festival team is thrilled to have Gutalax as part of their 2023 lineup, as it offers grindcore fans an incredible opportunity to see these masters of mayhem live in action. Don’t miss your chance to experience the chaos and hilarity that is Gutalax at Rockstadt Extreme Fest 2023, near the historic Râșnov Fortress in Transylvania.


Hangman’s chair is living a new life cut up in 3 distinct arcs.

2009, Leaving Paris inks the rebirth of a band, of a group of friends musically in sync. 2012, Hope//Dope//Rope is a confirmation of spirit.
Hangman’s chair keeps maturing, forever drowned with Paris’ moods. Despair, solitude and violence share the stage with beauty, symbiotic loves and the other violence.
End of 2015, This is not supposed to be positive is released through Musicfearsatan. 2016, Hangman’s chair occupies the pages of magazines and webzines (New noise, Noi- sey, …), and seals the deal with around 40 shows, imposing their style onto the Roadburn’s and Hellfest’s stage.
Alone in their world, alone in Paris and Paris unique in itself: Hangman’s chair now has no counterpart. Acid bath, Crowbar or Alice In Chains now are references put to rest.
New festival appearances lined up for 2017, a split EP with Japanese sludge legends Green- machine, and a new album Banlieue Triste rounded up for 2018 : whatever Hangman’s chair transforms into now, it’s roots will lie around the corner of an alley, in between two parisian bars or deep down the Seine river. These monsters’ kids will cry their despair.


Lasă un răspuns