Finnish folk metal band Turisas and Canadian musician and record producer Devin Townsend have announced Dublin and Belfast concert dates on their co headline tour 2011. They have confirmed performances live at Spring & Airbrake in Belfast on Monday November 7th 2011 followed by The Academy in Dublin on Tuesday November 8th 2011. Tickets for their Dublin show at The Academy on November 8th are priced €23 including booking fee and are on sale now through ticketmaster and usual outlets nationwide. Tickets for their Belfast show are priced from £19 including booking fee and can be purchased as follows:
In person: From 22 Ticketmaster outlets province wide (Including Easons) / Katy Daly’s Bar
24hr hotlines: Tel: (NI) 0844 277 44 55 (ROI) 0818 719 300
Buy online: click here
Known for playing most of their solos on electric violin, as opposed to traditional guitar solos, Turisas have released three albums to date including most recently ‘Stand Up & Fight’(Century). Devon Townsend was the founder, songwriter, vocalist, and guitarist in extreme metal band ‘Strapping Young Lad’ from 1994 to 2006 and has had an extensive career as a solo artist. Ghost is the thirteenth studio album by Canadian musician Devin Townsend, and the final of four planned albums in The Devin Townsend Project series
As technology and intensified communication bring us all closer together, making the world seem smaller in the process, our need as human beings to look out towards ever-broadening horizons becomes ever more integral to our evolution. As a result, music fans will always look to the mavericks, the outlaws, the eccentrics and those touched by the hand of sublime genius for sounds and sensations that transcend the everyday and the mundane. This, of course, is precisely where the inspirational cinematic battle metal brilliance of Finland’s TURISAS comes in. Carving their own unique and momentous furrow through the European metal ecosphere, these proud storytellers and masters of the bombastic epic are poised to return with their most monumental sonic saga to date…
Forged in the flames of inspiration back in the late ‘90s by frontman and chief songwriter Mathias Nygård and his trusty sidekick, guitarist Jussi Wickstrom, TURISAS matured like a fine wine over a number of years before unveiling themselves with maximum drama and power on 2004’s landmark debut album, “Battle Metal”. A tour-de-force of epic, folk-tinged metal with a palpable sense of big screen ambition, the album struck an immediate chord with metalheads across Europe and turned the band into one of the hottest new acts the continent had witnessed in a long time. By the time Nygard and his henchmen followed their debut with 2007’s astonishingly intricate, deep and dramatic concept piece, “The Varangian Way”, TURISAS were unstoppable and garnered widespread acclaim and attention from the rock and metal media all over the world. Consolidating their reputation for musical greatness with a similarly explosive and eye-popping live show, the Finns have spent the last few years taking their music to the people, just as their beloved Viking ancestors strode purposefully across the northern Hemisphere many centuries ago.
“The Varangian Way came out in 2007 and touring on it kept us busy for a couple of years,” states Nygard. TURISAS toured relentlessly as headliners during this period, as well as supporting Iced Earth, Dragonforce and Cradle Of Filth/Moonspell in Europe and UK. Furthermore, they conquered North America with their fellow comrades in Ensiferum, Tyr and Eluveitie as well as their friends in Dragonforce. Additionally TURISAS were frequent guests on numerous European festivals such as Download, Sonisphere and Bloodstock in the UK, Rock am Ring/Rock im Park, Wacken Open Air, With Full Force, Rock Hard Festival in Germany, Graspop (Belgium) and Lorca Rock (Spain). Their native Finland saw them playing Tuska, Ruisrock, Nummirock, Wanaja, Ilosaarirock and Sonisphere, just to mention a very few. Last but not least, TURISAS managed to recruit new Battle Metal warriors on the other side of the globe during their first trips to Japan and Australia in 2010. “At some point I tried writing on the road, but it just didn’t work, so we knew that sooner or later we’d just need to stop and say no to all the offers that still kept floating in, so in 2009 we headed home and started the writing process. I had been building on a new concept and storyline already and most of the groundwork and research had already been done back in 2005 and 2006. I had a pretty good idea what I was to do when starting out.” Buoyed by the support of their ever-growing legion of acolytes, TURISAS return to action in the rudest of health and with supreme confidence driving them forward. The triumphs of old have all been documented and used as fuel to propel the band to new creative heights, and now, as 2011 dawns, the time has come to plot a new course and to unleash a new album. Now it is time to “Stand Up And Fight”.
“’Stand Up And Fight’ is a loose continuation of the story from ‘The Varangian Way’, and picks up where the previous one left us, in Constantinople,” explains Nygard. “However, it is not a sequel as such. In general, the songs are much more universal and deal with topics that can be placed just as tightly into the modern world as in the 11th century Byzantine Empire. ‘Stand Up And Fight’ has much more to offer the contemporary listener.” The biggest, boldest and most gloriously extravagant album of the band’s career, “Stand Up And Fight” erupts like the ultimate heavy metal musical, with many layers of orchestration and choral harmonies adding to these songs’ intense sense of drama and mischief. Although remaining true to the spirit of past TURISAS records, the new album, which was mixed by Jens Bogren (Opeth/Katatonia) at Fascination Street in Sweden, takes the Finns to a whole new level of depth and bravado, as their unmistakable sound expands before our very ears, consistently conjuring up vivid images of the Vikings’ ongoing adventures. “On ‘Stand Up And Fight’ the storytelling and flavour of musical drama is more strongly present than ever,” agrees Nygard. “The album also introduces some new flavours like ‘80s stadium rock. Unlike many other symphonic metal releases, the orchestration is rich in detail and has a lot of different moods, atmospheres and emotions to it. For the first time, ‘Stand Up And Fight’ features real string and horn sections played by some of the best Finnish classical musicians, hand-picked from leading symphony orchestras at home and abroad. I’m sure TURISAS fans will be surprised, but in a positive way!”
Obliterating the competition and, once again, affirming their status as one of the most exciting and fearless metal bands on the planet, TURISAS look certain to claim 2011 as another addition to their treasure trove of glory years. “Stand Up And Fight” is a lavish banquet of melody, muscle and haughty defiance; the sound of giant hearts beating out a rhythm for freedom, brotherhood and a horizon that never ends. “There are too many bands pushing out release after release only to feed the market and stay in the headlines,” notes Nygard. “In reality, there are very few bands who are able to avoid repeating themselves. We’re not here to please an audience or to write music according to what they want to hear. We’re here to be one step ahead and give them something they didn’t know they wanted. We’ve taken big steps with releases in the past, and this time is no different. So as long as the curve is upwards and we can do exactly what we want, I’m happy!” Another step on the mighty Finns march towards world domination will be their upcoming North American tour with Cradle Of Filth, Nachtmystium and Daniel Lioneye as well as touring (mainly) Germany, Austria, Switzerland with Die Apokalyptischen Reiter. Keep your eyes peeled for more dates!
About Devin Townsend Project:
In a world of increasing conformity and musical banality, Devin Townsend is among the few real personalities who have character, charisma and surprising innovative creativity. As a solo artist and producer, a member of the (by now disbanded) Strapping Young Lad, with whom he played Ozzfest and the main stage at the Download festival, and vocalist on Steve Vai’s album, Sex And Religion, – Townsend has always inspired fans and critics alike. The latest chapter of his extremely diverse career is entitled Ki and will be out in May/June 2009. “Ki is the first in a series of four albums under the moniker ‘Devin Townsend Project’. Each album is essentially a different band or collection of session musicians playing my music,” Townsend explains. “They were chosen based on what the theme of the album is and the vibe that the album is trying to project. The album Ki is very specific in this quartet of albums in that it controls its anger throughout, barring one song – ‘Heaven Send’ – and really is an exercise in having little to prove.”
The most renowned project member on Ki is drummer Duris Maxwell (62), who has played with many acts, such as Heart, Jefferson Airplane, The Powder Blues, Tommy Chong and The Temptations. Maxwell even jammed with Hendrix. “I am very conscious of drummers and the energy they bring to the bands,” Townsend says. “I went to a blues club way up in the North of Canada and watched Duris. He has the vibe I wanted for the drums here: nothing to prove, but strong and a bit angry. Duris is an older cat but he’s heavy.” He is supported by bassist Jean Savoie. “Jean plays in a Beatles cover band and spent years playing the cruise ships all over the world. Name a style and he can jam it for hours. His technique is accomplished, and the fact that he had never played heavy music made him and Duris perfect for the project.” Dave Young is the keyboardist, and Townsend has been working with him for years: “He’s the most schooled musician out of all of us and can play any instrument. Keyboard players typically annoy the hell out of me, but Dave is more of an ambient musician and fills the spaces with fitting but unusual note choices simply by watching where I am on my fretboard.“
After an extremely difficult phase (“I quit many bad habits in my life after SYL ended. I felt depressed, angry and unhealthy and was not satisfied with living that way for the rest of my life. I quit all drugs, alcohol and a host of other addictions that were controlling me and my world”), Ki now sees him embark on an unmistakably new path. Although not overly aggressive, the album oozes a haunting intensity, a vitality which hides below a seemingly smooth surface. “Ki is a subtle, severe album, a challenge in some ways. The point to the music is that the whisper is louder than the roar in many ways. Ki is – on the surface – quiet and unassuming. Whenever it begins to lose its temper, it stops and doesn’t let go. It is avoiding that temptation, as that sort of anger is really gratifying but ultimately just leaves me unhappy.“
In perfect unison with this thoroughly unusual, gripping and intelligent album, Townsend presents a three-dimensional cover artwork. As the music on Ki, the graphic design is also consciously multilayered. Townsend: “I live in the North of Canada and I believe that the native cultures of the world have it really down in terms of spirituality. Nature is ‘God’, in all its subtlety and terror. And we are all a part of it, whether or not we want to be. The mask on the cover is based on native North American and Chinese paintings. It is not authentic and is just meant to be two faces in one.”
And what will the future bring? “When all four records in the DTP series are done and the ultimate box set is released at the end (eight records plus a DVD), I will play selected shows throughout the world. I will not climb into a van and play clubs in the middle of nowhere, though, I am going to assemble a sober team of incredible musicians to play ALL the records, perfectly, to many people. You will see me soon, and get ready for the next three records in the series; Ki is a subtle introduction to a sprawling theme. Please enjoy, it’s good to be back.”