ARTISTS 2018

IRON MAIDEN UK
Yes, you did just read it. To summarize - although most of it would be familiar to most of you - Iron Maiden got their break with their eponymous 1980 debut, while albums like "The number of the beast" (1982), "Piece of mind" (1983) och "Powerslave" (1984) made them the undisputed superstars of heavy metal. The anthemic melodies, the dueling guitars, the galloping bass, the intriguing lyrics, Bruce Dickinson's grandiose vocals, the ever-changing mascot Eddie - this all adds up to an identity unique in heavy metal, and in all of music. Following the tour for their latest blockbuster "The book of souls" (2015) - the band's 16th studio album - Iron Maiden in 2018 begin their colossal arena- and festival tour "Legacy of the beast world tour". This will feature a setlist ripe with 80s' material plus a selection of surprises from the band's more recent output. And also a stage production as majestic as it is multi-faceted - not least as far as Eddie is concerned. In short, this historical SRF debut could not take place under better circumstances. As Bruce Dickinson would, and in all probability will, say: "Scream for me, Sweden Rock!"
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OZZY OSBOURNE UK
One of the greatest legends in metal, and the one who has succeded the most as becoming a superstar twice. As the frontman of Black Sabbath, Ozzy Osbourne co-remodeled rock music forever with songs like "Paranoid" and "Iron man". As a solo artist he has released ten studio albums since 1980, packed with more classics like "Crazy train", "Mr Crowley", "Bark at the moon", "No more tears" and "Gets me through", to name but a few. Ozzy is also renowned for all the great guitarists who have been part of his solo band. Besides iconic original guitarist Randy Rhoads (1956-1982), the most beloved of them all would probably be Zakk Wylde, who has had multiple stints with Ozzy since 1987 as well as become famous in his own right with Black label Society. We are happy to inform you that Ozzy, with Zakk back by his side, will make their only concert on Swedish soil this time around at SRF 2018.
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JUDAS PRIEST UK
Whether they invented heavy metal is debatable, but they were the first to call themselves heavy metal with pride. They also launched heavy metal's distinct "studs and leather"-esthetics and have time and again redefined the genre on albums like "Sad wings of destiny" (1976), "British steel" (1980), "Screaming for vengeance" (1982) och "Painkiller" (1990). Judas Priest are, plain and simple, heavy metal personified, and ever bit as popular and influential after all these years. The band of today consists of core trio Rob Halford (vocals), Glenn Tipton (guitar) and Ian Hill (bass), long-standing drummer Scott Travis and guitarist Richie Faulkner. The first album by this lineup, "Redeemer of souls" (2014), was a great success, and the highly anticipated followup "Firepower" (Judas Priest's 18th album in all) will conveniently arrive just in time before SRF.
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HELLOWEEN D
The albums "Keeper of the seven keys part 1 & 2" (1987/88) founded the phenomenon we now call power metal. The version of Helloween that created these albums has forever a place in metal history. Since this lineup split up in 1988, Helloween has continued making music with great success. Which of course has made their classic lineup - featuring singer Michael Kiske (Unisonic) and guitarist/singer Kai Hansen (Gamma Ray, Unisonic) even more legendary, not least to new fans who never got to see it perform. Now they finally get the chance. Helloween's hugely anticipated "Pumpkins United" tour, featuring the present lineup PLUS Kiske and Hansen, will land at SRF 2018.
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STONE SOUR US
Stone Sour from Des Moines, Iowa have one foot in alternative metal and the other in "regular" heavy metal. The band was founded by singer Corey Taylor (Slipknot) and have released six studio albums since 2002. Their big break came in 2006, with sophomore album "Come what(ever) may" and hit single "Through glass". The winning streak has continued with, for instance, concept album duo "House of gold & bones 1 & 2" (2012/13) and most recently the more accessible "Hydrograd" (2017), featuring current single "Rose red violent blue (this song is dumb and so am I).
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YES featuring ARW UK
One of the biggest names in progressive rock now exists in two versions. Yes featuring ARW formed in 2016 and are centered around three people. Jon Anderson, who co-founded Yes in 1968 and sing on most of their albums. Trevor Rabin, guitarist of the hugely successful 80s' version of Yes and composer of their super hit "Owner of a lonely heart". And Rick Wakeman, another classic Yes member and one of the most revered keyboard players ever. "The definitive lineup of the greatest band in the history of progressive rock", to quote the members themselves.
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MESHUGGAH S
They will probably never achieve mainstream popularity, but Meshuggah are still one of Sweden's - and the world's - most influential modern metal bands. They debuted in 1991 and albums like "Destroy erase improve" (1995) featured a groundbreaking combination of senseless brutality and Dream Theater-like chops and progressiveness. In later years, the rest of the world seems to actually be catching up with Meshuggah. Their most recent albums "Koloss" (2012) och "The violent sleep of reason" (2016) may be the most successful of their career.
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HEAVY LOAD S
For the first time since 1985, Heavy Load - Sweden's first heavy metal band and the world's first Viking metal band - will return to the stage. Their first album arrived in 1978, but their cult status is founded mainly in their early 80s' releases: the EP "Metal conquest" (1981) and the albums "Death or glory" (1982) and "Stronger than evil" (1983). The band has now been reunited by brothers Ragne (vocals, guitar) and Styrbjörn Wahlquist (vocals, drums) and Torbjörn Ragnesjö (bass), and the fourth classic member Eddy Malm (vocals, guitar) will appear as "special guest" at SRF. The setlist will contain songs from every record and one or two brand new tracks may appear as well.
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KREATOR D
They are Europe's biggest thrash metal band, and also one that was never afraid to experiment. Kreator from Essen, Germany have released fourteen studio albums since 1985. These include thrash metal classics like "Pleasure to kill" (1986) and more recently "Violent revolution" (2001), but also more experimental releases like their most recent epic "Gods of violence" (2017) - the band's first #1 album. Now the SRF crowd will get to experience Kreator like they've never experienced them before: in the dark, with a major production including pyrotechnics, smoke, additional lighting, a multitude of stage props and a dozen LED screens - give or take.
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ROSE TATTOO AUS
They rank among Australian rock nobility and Guns N' Roses' main influences. Rose Tattoo's debut album was released in 1978 on Albert Records. Alongside labelmates AC/DC and the Angels, they created a brand of their own in raw, blues-based hard rock. Rose Tattoo, featuring singer Angry Anderson, hit the big time with songs like "Bad boy for love", "Nice boys" and "Rock'n'roll outlaw". Internationally they peaked in the early 80s, but have since been inactive for extended periods. Now they're back after a long hiatus - and by Anderson's side, we find the likes of bassist Mark Evans (AC/DC) and guitarist Bob Spencer (the Angels).
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BODY COUNT US
Body Count's eponymous debut made many a headline in 1992. Never before had the world seen a band of African-Americans, creating such raw metal with rap elements, and chronicling life on the mean streets with such explicit candour. "Body Count" became a classic and with the lauded "Bloodlust" in 2017, the band have made it to their sixth album. In the interim several band members have did prematurely, but core duo Ernie C (guitar) and Ice T, singer and hip hop legend, is still intact and they have not mellowed in the slightest.
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TARJA FIN
Many will be overjoyed to see Tarja Turunen at SRF again after seeing her with Sweden Rock Symphony Orchestra 2017 - not to mention the ones who last saw the world-famous soprano at SRF as the frontwoman of Nightwish in 2004. As most of you will know, this groundbreaking symphonic metal band is where Tarja got her break. During her nine years in Nightwish (1996-2005) the band released five studio albums and became one of the biggest names in European metal. Since then, Tarja has moved on with two solo careers, in classical music and rock/metal respectively. In the latter genre, she has released four albums so far, most recently "The shadow self" (2016), which have received an enthusiastic response from old and new fans alike.
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IN THIS MOMENT US
In This Moment from Los Angeles rank among the brightest stars at the current US metal scene. They were formed in 2005 by Maria Brink (vocals) and Chris Howorth (guitar) and at the time could be described as a metalcore band. From their second album "The dream" (2008) the band have kept broadening their sound, from influences as diverse as Pantera, Whitesnake, Deftones and Dead Can Dance. A successful move: the succeding albums "A star-crossed wasteland" (2010), "Blood" (2012), "Black widow" (2014) and "Ritual" (2017) have met with even greater success.
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TURBONEGRO NO
Norway's most celebrated and cult-certified band ever? Turbonegro describe themselves as "deathpunk", and their eclectic career displays their punk attitude to the extent that they have often rebeled even against punk itself. Their third album "Ass cobra" (1996) made them a cult band, the proto-glam infused "Apocalypse dudes" (1998) brought them to the verge of stardom - and then they split. However, their fanbase kept growing, and when Turbonegro returned in 2006 the joy of the public was immense. Just as it was when they heard the news that the band will release their first album in six years this February, called "Rock'n'roll machine".
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WILMER X S
Wilmer X are legends in Swedish rock with 18 studio albums to their credit since 1981. Their roots lie in 60s'- and early 70s' rock, with traces of pop, blues and not least punk. They reached their commercial peak in the early 90s, but topped the Swedish charts as recently as 2005 with their latest album "13:e våningen" (The 13th floor). They now return to the stage after seven years away, to give their 1000th concert at SRF in their classic lineup: Nisse Hellberg (vocals, guitar), Jalle Lorensson (harmonica), Thomas Holst (bass) and Sticky Bomb (drums).
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KILLSWITCH ENGAGE US
Whether you call them metalcore, or representatives of the New Wave of American Heavy Metal, Killswitch Engage are still one of the biggest bands of the respective scene. Their influences lie in the Gothenburg sound, hardcore and thrash metal. Their debut album arrived in 2000 and in 2004, "The end of heartache" gave them their big break. To date, Killswitch Engage have released seven albums and sold over four million copies in the US alone. The three most recent albums - two of whom recorded after original singer Jesse Leach's return to the band - have all made Top 10. Their very most recent, "Incarnate" (2016), have also been called their most eclectic.
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THE DARKNESS UK
The debut "Permission to land" (2003) introduced a unique blend of classic hair metal, even more classic glam rock and Justin Hawkins' theatrica falsetto vocals. The album became a million-seller, and The Darkness one of the hard rock sensations of the 21st century. Many were surprised when the band folded one album later. In 2011, however, they were back to stay, and in 2017 saw them release their fifth album "Pinewood smile" and tour with Guns N' Roses. Drummer Rufus Tiger Taylor performed at SRFas recent as 2016, assisting his father Roger in Queen + Adam Lambert.
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GRAVEYARD S
Gothenburg's Graveyard is one of the biggest names on today's Swedish scene of early 70s'-style hard rock acts. Their eponymous 2007 debut was a decent domestic success, and their second outing "Hisingen blues" (2011) was a #1 hit. Graveyard's melancholy, psychedelic sound reaped great success on the succeding "Lights out" (2012) and "Innocence & decadence" (2015) as well. The band surprisingly folded in 2015, only to reform the following year. They are currently working on their highly anticipated fifth album.
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BACKYARD BABIES S
The Swedish rock'n'roll heroes debuted in 1994 with a sleaze oriented sound, which was replaced for something way punkier on their sophomore effort "Total 13" (1998). The album was a classic, and its four follow-ups were all great successes. Backyard Babies opened for both Kiss and AC/DC before taking a timeout in 2009 to give Nicke Borg (vocals, guitar) and Dregen (guitar) in particular time for other projects. The 2015 comebac album "Four by four" was a another chart hit, igniting a global triumph including, for instance, sharing stages with Guns N' Roses.
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GLENN HUGHES
The band, and the three albums that made Glenn Hughes a star was Deep Purple and "Burn" (1974), "Stormbringer" (1974) and "Come taste the band" (1975) respectively. This legendary singer and bassist has not toured with only Deep Purple songs since his 1976 departure from the band. That he does so now is in other words a historical event, even more so since Glenn still has the voice and the energy to do these immortal classics justice.
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BUCKCHERRY US
When their smash hit debut "Buckcherry" arrived in 1999, this California band was labeled "alternative rock". Which is ironic, since singer and main man Josh Todd is a firm believer in good ol' classic rock virtues. Rock should be dance-compatible, fun and suggestive, and a frontperson should be someone you either want to be, or want to do. To date Buckcherry have released seven albums, most recently the aptly titled "Rock'n'roll" (2015), and without a doubt rank among the leading beacons of contemporary (hard) rock music.
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VIXEN US
The classic Vixen lineup only released two studio albums, "Vixen" (1988) och "Rev it up" (1990). This, however, was enough to secure tha band's place in melodic metal history, since the albums contained songs like "Edge of a broken heart", "Cryin'", "How much love" and "Love is a killer". A planned reunion of the band's classic lineup in 2013 was sadly thwarted when guitarist Jan Kuehnemund succumbed to cancer the same fall. The remaining three; Janet Gardner (vocals), Roxy Petrucci (drums, also in Madam X) and Share Pedersen (bass, ex-Dogs D'Amour); decided to continye anyway. Vixen's return to SRF will see Britt Lightning at the guitarist's position.
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URIAH HEEP UK
Deep Purple, Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath and Uriah Heep were "the big four" of British hard rock in the early 70s. The latter produced songs like "Gypsy, "Lady in black", "Look at yourself" and "Easy livin'" - all ranking among the biggest classics of hard rock. Uriah Heep have endured many lineup changes and even tragedies, but since 1986 their core has consisted of ever-present guitarist Mick Box, keyboard player Phil Lanzon and singer Bernie Shaw. The band have sold over 40 million records and are currently working on their 25th studio album "Living the dream".
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HARDCORE SUPERSTAR S
One of Sweden's biggest hard rock acts have gone through several phases since their formation in 1997.Their early releases are an eclectic mixture of hard rock'n'roll, punk and pop. Their fourth album "Hardcore Superstar" (2005) - coincidentally their big break - established them as playing "street metal": sleaze rock with a thrash-influenced aggression. The band maintained this style for four more albums, and then released the experimental "HCSS" in 2015. Their up and coming eleventh album will be more in the veins of classic Hardcore Superstar, the single "Have mercy on me" providing a first appetizer.
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PRETTY MAIDS DK
Albums like "Red hot and heavy" (1984) and "Future world" (1987) are must-haves for any lover of 80s' metal. Furthermore, Denmark's Pretty Maids have stuck to classic metal more persistently than most, and their audience have rewarded this loyalty. Their most recent albums "Pandemonium" (2010), "Motherland" (2013) and "Kingmaker" (2016) have earned Pretty Maids many new admirers. The fact that Ronnie Atkins (also known from Avantasia) is still a great singer and frontman certainly is no disadvantage either.
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PRIMORDIAL IRE
Primordial is Ireland's biggest name in 21st century metal. They debuted in 1995 and got a tremendous popularity boost with their sixth, universally praised album "To the nameless dead" (2007). The band's sound is influenced by Celtic folk music as well as Greek and Norwegian black metal, not to mention dark metal pioneers Celtic Frost and Bathory. The intense vocals and elaborate lyrics by Nemtheanga (Alan Averill) are the icing on the cake. To date Primordial have released eight studio albums and most recently the double live album "Gods to the godless" (2016).
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SKINDRED UK
Welshmen Skindred rank among the true oddballs in heavy music. Their sound is largely a hybrid of metal and reggae, with hints of punk, electronica and hip hop - and more. The band's first album "Babylon" (2002) gave them an instant cult status, which they have reinforced with succeding works like "Union Black" (2011) and most recently "Volume" (2015). Skindred are known as a brilliant live band and have musically been compared to the likes of Living Color, Soulfly and System Of A Down - since Skindred, like them, doesn't sound like anything else.
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THE QUIREBOYS UK
Timeless, British (hard) rock'n'roll is what the Quireboys were, and still are all abut. They hit paydirt with their very first album "A bit of what you fancy" (1990). In 1993 the band split up, but reunited permanently in 2001. Since then the Quireboys have been more active and productive than ever - their 2017 cover album "White trash blues" is their tenth studio outing - with a loyal and enthusiastic fanbase. Not least in Sweden, where the band goes frequently and never fails to bring the house down, whether it is in a small club or on a massive festival stage SRF-style.
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DARK FUNERAL S
Sweden's arguably most legendary black metal band. Dark Funeral's sixth and most recent studio album "Where shadows forever reign" (2016) marked a return to the rawer, less bombastic sound on their classic 1996 debut album "The secrets of the black arts". The results pleased old and new fans alike, and debuting frontman Heljarmadr has proven himself a worthy partner in crime to ever-present guitarist and band leader Lord Ahriman.
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LACUNA COIL I
A setlist celebrating their 20th anniversary is what Lacuna Coil have in store for the SRF crowd. They are one of Italy's biggest bands ever, praised not least for the vocals of Cristina Scabbia. The debut EP arrived in 1998 and the band eventually became one of the very biggest in Gothic metal featuring "Beauty & the Beast"-style vocals - as in a male growler and a female clean singer. Their big break, not least in the US, came with their second album "Comalies" (2002), and later releases such as "Dark adrenaline" (2012) and most recently "Delirium" (2016) have also performed well.
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CRASHDÏET S
Crashdïet spearheaded the renaissance of Swedish sleaze rock with their classic debut "Rest in sleaze" (2005). Sadly they were to lose one singer after another, who died tragically or simply didn't work out. This however didn't stop the band from achieving more success with albums like "Generation wild" (2010) and "The savage playground" (2013). In 2017 singer Gabriel Keyes joined the ranks, and the single "We are legion" was released as a statement that Crashdïet would remain a fundament to the Swedish sleaze scene.
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FOCUS NL
Alongside Golden Earring, Focus are Holland's longest lasting and most legendary rock band. Focus' signature is combining - and alternating between - progressiveness, poppy melodies and the occasional hard rock riff. The band debuted in 1970 and produced a couple of perennial classics with their hit singles "Hocus pocus" (1971) and "Sylvia" (1972). Focus' more recent output is also highly appreciated by their fans, and they are currently working on their eleventh album. The man in charge is, as always, singer/keyboard player/flautist Thijs van Leer.
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BARONESS US
Georgia's Baroness are one of the main acts on the 21st century sludge metal scene that also includes High On Fire, Khylesa and especially Mastodon. Like the latter act, Baroness have their own way of spicing up their sound with progressive and melodic ingredients. Baroness released three lauded albums between 2007 and 2012, and then made the headlines for the wrong reasons when they were injured in a bus crash. Led by John Baizley (vocals, guitar) the band was rebuilt, and in 2015 released their best-received album "Purple". They are currently working on album number five.
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SLADE UK
One of the very biggest bands from the golden age of glam, and an inspiration to countless successors as diverse as Kiss, Ramones, Nirvana and Oasis. From 1971-76 Slade had no less than 17 top 20 hits in Britain - "Cum on feel the noize", "Mama weer all crazee now", "Far far away", "Coz I luv you" and "Merry X-mas everybody", to name but a few. In the 80s they got a second wind with such hits as "My oh my", "Run runaway" and "All join hands". Today, Slade are as active as ever, centered around the perpetual dynamic duo Dave Hill (guitar) and Don Powell (drums). The singer is Mal McNulty (ex-Sweet) while John Berry plays bass and - violin!
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PAIN S
Heavy metal mixed with catchy techno was a bold oncept when Pain debuted in 1997. But the one-man project leader, Peter Tägtgren - the creative force of death metal veterans Hypocrisy - knew what he was doing. Pain's second album "Rebirth" (1999) became their breakthrough release and all subsequent album - the eighth and most recent one "Coming home" arrived in 2016 - have charted in Sweden. Individual songs like "Shut your mouth", "Zombie slam" and "Dirty woman" have become fan faves and on stage Pain always give an intense performance.
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DOC HOLLIDAY US
"Doc Holliday" and "Doc Holliday rides again" (both 1981) are two of the classic albums from the second generation of Southern rock. After which the Georgia band started meddling with their sound and lost touch with their audience. However, Doc Holliday got the picture, returned to Southern rock and remained active until 2011. In 2014, classic frontman Bruce Brookshire advised his forner partner in crime Eddie Stone (keyboards, guitar, vocals) to reunite Doc Holliday for the benefit of all their European fans. Eddie took his advice - and here they are now.
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H.E.A.T. S
The eponymous debut from 2008 gave Swedes H.E.A.T a place in the heart of every AOR enthusiast. Their third album "Address the nation" (2012) - their first with current singer Erik Grönwall - signalled a heavier direction, which the band has since developed: melodic hard rock in the veins of Whitesnake and Scorpions. Internationally H.E.A.T's renown has just kept growing and when the band broke a long silence in 2017 with album number five fans and reviewers alike were cheering: "Into the great unknown" was widely regarded as H.E.A.T's finest hour. So far.
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BATTLE BEAST FIN
Their signature blend of classic heavy metal and riveting melodies á la 80s' pop gave Battle Beast their break in their native Finland even with their debut "Steel" (2011). Their sophomore release "Battle Beast" (2013), introducing singer Noora Louhimo, sold even better. Subsequent albums "Unholy savior" (2015) and "Bringer of pain" (2017) both topped the charts in Finland and internationally Battle Beast is at present one of the very hottest names in melodic metal - without a dip in sight.
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DARK TRANQUILLITY S
One of the biggest, most influential acts of "the Gothenburg sound" debuted in 1993 and got serious recognition with their sophomore album "The gallery" (1995) - usually regarded as one of the masterpieces of melodic death metal. Dark Tranquillity, however, didn't settle for re-hashing old successes, but would be known for their experimentation with both electronic and Gothic elements. Their eleventh and most recent album "Atoma" (2016) got an enthusiastic response as their most energetic release in a long time - despite it also being one of their most melancholic ones.
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COVEN US
Chicago's Coven, fronted by opera-schooled singer Jinx Dawson, are the true pioneers of occult rock. In 1969-74, they released three albums, and particularly the debut "Witchcraft: destroys minds and reaps souls" (1969) was an unprecedented mixture of melodies and explicit occultism. After having inspired generations of successors, Jinx and Coven returned with the album "Jinx" in 2013. 2016 saw the band return full time, paying most welcome attention to the European crowds that never got to see them the first time around.
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STEELHEART US
In the early 90s, Steelheart were a big name in melodic rock, known for songs like "I'll never let you go (angel eyes)", "She's gone", "Everybody loves Eileen" and "Mama don't you cry". Their renaissance arguably began in 2001, when their phenomenal singer Michael Matijevic appeared in the movie "Rock star", that also spawned a classic with a remake of Steelheart's "We all die young". Steelheart of today are still melodic and greatly influenced by the 70s, as one can tell from their fifth and most recent album "Through worlds of stardust" (2017).
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MADAM X US
Madam X' Swedish debut at SRF 2014 was a great success. Their album "We deserve the right" (1984) is a glam metal classic, and the single "High in high school" a favorite for generations of Swedish metalheads. Their SRF triumph was crucial for the band's decision to reunite permanently in their original lineup: singer Bret Kaiser, bassist Chris "Godzilla" Doliber, and sisters Maxine and Roxy Petrucci (the latter also in Vixen) on guitar and drums respectively. Now Madam X are returning to SRF, with a new album to boost. "Monstrocity" (2017) has also received enthusiastic response from both fans and reviewers.
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STRATOVARIUS FIN
One of the first, most influential and successful power metal bands in the world was formed as early as 1984 and debuted in 1989. For many years the leader of Stratovarius was guitarist Timo Tolkki, who left the band in 2008. Band leadership was then assumed by singr Timo Kotipelto and keyboard player Jens Johansson, both of whom had been with Stratovarius since their commercial heyday and album classics like "Episode" (1996) and "Visions" (2007). The band has since relased four more albums (16 altogether) and remain one of the titans of their scene.
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NAZARETH UK
Their most famous song is hit ballad "Love hurts" (1974), and it was a two-front attack that made Scotsmen Nazareth one of the biggest hard rock bands of the 70s. Firstly, hit singles like "Broken down angel" "This flight tonight" and the aforementioned "Love hurts". Secondly, heavy, groove-laden, rocking albums like "Razamanaz" (1973), "Loud 'n' proud" (1973) and "Hair of the dog" (1975). One defining characteristic for the band was the raspy vocals of Dan McCafferty (Axl Rose's role model), who had to leave the band for health reasons in 2013 - after 44 years and 23 studio albums. However, Nazareth persisted as always, and this will be the first time that the SRF crowd gets to experience the band with Carl Sentance (ex-Krokus) at the microphone.
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SUFFOCATION US
forgotten" (1991) by Long Islanders Suffocation was a milestone with its combination of extreme brutality and extreme musical chops. Said debut has been followed by seven more albums, most recently "...Of dark light" (2017), and many insist that Suffocation is one of the most reliable bands of the genre. Vocalist Frank Mullen - forming the band's core duo with guitarist Terrance Hobbs - have also been widely praised for his majestic growling.
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DESTRUCTION D
One of Germany's first and biggest thrash metal bands. The primitive, brutal and diabolical sound of early Destruction, including their classic album "Infernal overkill" (1985), was historically influential. This is also the sound that the band, centered around guitarist Mike Sifringer and singer/bassist Marcel "Schmier" Schirmer, are still going for - their most recent output "Thrash anthems II" (2017) even consists of re-recordings from that era. Schmier is also a charismatic frontman who makes every Destruction concert a memorable event.
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ROTTING CHRIST GR
The architects behind the now classic Greek black metal sound. Since their inception in 1987, Rotting Christ have been centered around the brothers Sakis (vocals, guitar, keyboards) and Themis Tholis (drums). Since 1993 the band have released 13 studio albums, with an interesting variation in terms of brutality and influences like industrial metal and not least Gothic metal. The pitch-black "Non serviam" (1994), the atmospheric "A dead poem" (1997) and the progressive "Theogonia" (2007) are all classics in their own way. Rotting Christ remain a relevant and popular addition to the underground metal scene - their latest, epic album "Rituals" (2016) even made the charts.
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BRIAN DOWNEY'S ALIVE AND DANGEROUS IRL
Drummer Brian Downey was in the classic Thin Lizzy from beginning to sad end. His jazz-influenced rhythmic patterns was a vital ingredient in Thin Lizzy's unique sound. After some years of relative inactivity, Brian Downey has returned with a new constellation, named after Thin Lizzy's classic live album "Live and dangerous" (1978). What Brian Downey's Alive And Dangerous is about, is performing the legendary Thin Lizzy songs as they should be played. Audience response has been amazing, not least in eternally Thin Lizzy-crazy Sweden.
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NOCTURNAL RITES S
Arguably the earliest progenitors of Swedish power metal, and definitely among the most important. Nocturnal Rites debuted in 1995 and was officially promoted to major power metal league with their fourth album "Afterlife" (2000), introducing classic singer Jonny Lindqvist. Four more albums followed until 2007, after which the band seemingly went into hiding. Finally, in 2017 they returned with new guitarist Per Nilsson (Kaipa, Scar Symmetry, Meshuggah) and new album "Phoenix". One of the most highly anticipated comebacks in Swedish metal was finally a fact.
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MISERY LOVES CO. S
Misery Loves Co. (centered around singer Patrik Wirén and multi-instrumentalist Örjan Örnkloo, the latter a future session keyboard player for In Flames) created a groundbreaking hybrid of thrash metal and industrial metal, brimful of emotional pain. Their debut "Misery Loves Co." (1995) was Grammy-nominated and Kerrang! has proclaimed it one of the greatest metal albums in history. After two more albums the band folded in 2000. In 2016 they returned to the live scene, which met with an overwhelming response, as did the new singles "Would you?" and "Suburban breakdown".
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THE 69 EYES FIN
One of the truly big names in contemporary Goth. The 69 Eyes formed in 1989 and would create a groundbreaking hybrid of glam rock and Gothic rock, named Goth'n'roll by their fans. Their increasing popularity in their native Finland was officially promoted to stardom with the major hit "Gothic girl" off their fifth album "Blessed be" (2000). The next album, "Paris kills" (2002), brought them international success. To date "the Helsinki Vampires", as they are also known, have released eleven studio albums and remain one of the most influential names in Gothic rock.
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THE DARK ELEMENT S/FIN
Swedish singer Anette Olzon fronted Finns Nightwish 2007-12 and made two very successful albums with them. Finnish guitarist Jani Liimatainen was with power metal heroes Sonata Arctica for their first five albums. And that's just what the two are most famous for. The eponymous debut by their new constellation The Dark Element arrived in November, containing dark, melodic, orchestral and catchy metal. With a certain ABBA flair as well.
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GIRLSCHOOL UK
Girlschool hit paydirt supporting their pals in Motörhead in 1979, and became one of the biggest names of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal. Their two first albums "Demolition" (1980) and "Hit and run" (1981) were particularly successful, featuring classic songs like "Emergency", "Race with the Devil" and "Hit and run". Certain subsequent albums flirted, unsuccessfully, with the US radio rock market, but Girlschool have since returned to their hard, groove-based, Motörhead-related roots, which is evident not least on their most recent album "Guilty as sin" (2015).
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CYHRA S
CyHra is a modern metal supergroup of sorts, featuring former In Flames-duo Jesper Strömblad (guitar) and Peter Iwers (bass), former Amaranthe singer Jake E and journeyman drummer Alex Landenburg (Annihilator, Luca Turilli's Rhapsody, Stratovarius and many more). Since the recording of their debut album, second guitarist Euge Valovirta (Shining) has been added to the ranks. Said album, "Letter to myself" (2017), is a piece of modern and very emotional metal and has met with rave reviews. The members of CyHra are veterans, but clearly not has-beens.
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BULLET S
One of the earliest, most influential bands in the 21st century wave of Swedish old school heavy metal formed in 2001. After a demo and an EP that both achieved cult status, Bullet's debut album "Heading for the top" arrived in 2006. Its followup "Bite the bullet" (2008) elevated the band to a level where they both got to open for AC/DC and warm up an NHL hockey crowd at Stockholm's Globe Arena in 2009. After "Storm of blades" (2014) Bullet have kept fairly silent, but now they're finally about to release their sixth album of anthemic metal in the veins of AC/DC and Accept.
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PESTILENCE NL
Dutch death metal luminaries Pestilence caught the audience's eye with "Consuming impulse" in 1989, subsequent releases establishing the band as one of the most technically groundbreaking of the genre. Internal strife led to their split in 1994, but in 2008 band leader, guitarist and singer Patrick Mameli reformed Pestilence by popular demand. January 2018 saw the arrival of their eighth album "Hadeon", and five months later the time will come for Pestilence's first performance not only at SRF, but on Swedish soil at all since 1990.
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BERNIE TORMÉ IRL
What guitarist has played with both Ian Gillan, Ozzy Osbourne and Dee Snider? The answer is, obviously, Bernie Tormé. This lauded guitarist was actually a punk rocker in the late 70s, before joining Gillan in 1979 to create classic albums like "Glory road" (1980) and "Future shock" (1981). After Gillan, Bernie played briefly with Ozzy Osbourne, and recorded albums with Atomic Rooster and Desperado (the latter featuring Dee Snider on vocals). Among other things. For most of his chequered career he has been active as a solo artist, and his status as a guitar hero is undisputed.
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INGLORIOUS UK
"The future of British rock." "The new Deep Purple." The release of Inglorious' eponymous debut in 2016 was met with extraordinary praise. The album was followed by tours with the Winery Dogs, the Dead Daisies and Steel Panther, and Inglorious' sophomore release "II" (2017) confirmed their position as new favorites for admirers of classic hard rock like Led Zeppelin, Bad Company, Aerosmith and of course Deep Purple. Lauded singer Nathan James has a past with Trans-Siberian Orchestra and Uli Jon Roth and his sidemen include Swedish guitarist Andreas Eriksson.
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AVATARIUM S
In 2012 the Godfather of Swedish doom metal, Leif Edling (Candlemass, Krux, Doomsday Kingdom) had an idea for a new project. The completed band was named Avatarium and combined doom metal with 70s-tinted organ-grinding prog as well as Jennie-Ann Smith's strong, bluesy vocals. Since 2013 Avatarium have released two EP:s and three albums, most recently "Hurricane and halos" (2017). Bassist Edling is no longer an active member if Avatarium due to poor health, but this luckily hasn't spelt the end of this lauded band's progress.
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BUCKETS REBEL HEART UK
Guitarist Dave "Bucket" Colwell boasts an impressive pedigree in hard blues rock - including ASAP (Adrian Smith And Project), Humble Pie and not least Bad Company, whose singer Paul Rodgers has complimented him as "one of the few who can write inspired three-chord songs". His new band Buckets Rebel Heart, about to unleash their debut "20 good summers", are inspired by the likes of Georgia Satellites, Bruce Springsteen and AC/DC and feature impressive up n' coming singer Jim Stapely at the microphone.
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SKY HIGH S
This year marks the 40th anniversay of one of Sweden's most legendary rock bands. Sky High were formed in 1978 by mainstay Clas Yngström (guitar, vocals) and remain ever faithful to their bluesy sound, influenced by the likes of Jimi Hendrix, ZZ Top, BB King and Cream. The band got their domestic break in the 80s with albums like "Freezin' hot" (1984) och "Humanizer" (1987), and their most recent album "Stone & gravel" (2015) has become a fan fave as well. Sky High have also achieved international cult status among blues connoisseurs - including a certain Chuck Berry.
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THE MICK CLARKE BAND UK
Guitarist/singer Mick Clarke is a veteran from the late 60s' British blues boom and cult band Killing Floor. In the early 80s he formed the Mick Clarke Band, who have gathered a loyal following through hard touring and songs like "Murderers' home", "Cheap", "Walking in the dark" and "The killingest place". In 2017, new album "Diggin' down" and the compilation "Mo' boogie" was added to Mick's catalogue - and another album's on the way. At SRF he will be accompanied by bassist Stuart McDonald (Killing Floor) and drummer Chris Sharley (Sassafras).
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THE RAVEN AGE UK
The Raven Age have been described as "melodic groove metal" and rank among the brightest new metal hopes of the UK. Their 2014 "The Raven Age" EP was received favorably and their full-length debut "Darkness will rise" (2017) was an instant success. In their relatively short existence, the band have also become a heralded live act, touring with the likes of Anthrax, Tremonti and Iron Maiden (whose bassist Steve Harris is the father of The Raven Age guitarist George Harris). The Raven Age are once morse supporting Iron Maiden on the latter's European tour.
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PIST.ON US
In the late 90s, New York's Pist.On was a prominent name in alternative metal. Their debut "Number one" (1996), produced by Josh Silver from their pals in Type O Negative, was a success with fans and critics alike with its dark, melodious sound, ripe with social commentary. Internal struggles and a less successful sophomore album contributed to the band splitting up in 2001. Today, Pist.On are back, as always under the leadership of singer/guitarist Henry Font, and will be hard at work in 2018 celebrating "25 years of gloom".
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F.K.Ü. S
Freddy Krueger's Ünderwear, as their full name is, are both veterans and spearheaders in current Swedish thrash metal. The band, who debuted in 1999, combine mosh-inducing music with lyrics and esthetics from vintage slasher movies. Their current and fifth full-length album "1981" upholds the tradition from older fanfaves like "Sometimes they come back... to mosh" (2005) and "Where moshers dwell" (2009). All in FKÜ have solid resumés: for instance, singer Larry Lethal is identical to Lawrence Mackrory (Darkane, Scarve).
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CIRCUS MAXIMUS NO
A flagship in the Norwegian prog fleet, and arguably one of Europe's most prominent progressive metal bands. Since 2005, Circus Maximus have recorded four studio albums and one live - all by the same lineup too. Their sound has been compared to the likes of Dream Theater, Symphony X, Helloween and Pretty Maids, though their latest studio effort "Havoc" (2016) boldly leaped into contemporary radio rock territory. Brilliant vocalist Michael Eriksen has gained additional fame outside the domains of Circus Maximus, from stints with Kamelot and Ayreon.
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AC/DC JAM S
For years, they have been known as one of the finest tribute bands in Sweden, and they have actually played at the Sweden Rock Festival before - back in 2001. Now, the AC/DC clones from Karlshamn ride out again, this time on short notice to get the tent stage opening day party going. Expect a bunch of spot on versions of timeless Australian rock classics!
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TORCH S
Torch is one of the premier names from the FWOSHM (First Wave of Swedish Heavy Metal). They were active between 1980-86, releasing three records that became cult classics. The style was powerhouse heavy metal with one of the scene's finest vocalists, Dan Dark, as icing on the cake. Dark reformed Torch in 2009, and eventually got four of the five classic members for the current lineup. At this stage Torch is back for real, and are hard at work on the comeback album that they will obviously be releasing.
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CRAZY LIXX S
When Crazy Lixx debuted with the single "Heroes are forever" and album "Loud minority" in 2007, they were part of the new wave of Swedish glam and sleaze, much like Crashdïet and Hardcore Superstar. Subsequent albums like "Riot Avenue" (2012) and most recently "Ruff justice" (2017) have seen their sound evolve into melodic hard rock reminiscent of golden age Def Leppard and Bon Jovi. Today Crazy Lixx have a reputation as eminent defenders of Sweden's reputation as a world-class breeding ground for 80s' style hard rock.
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LUGNET S
Sweden's Lugnet (pronounced "loong-net", meaning "the calm" in Swedish) deliver, in their own words, "the tough, gritty sounds of '70s hard rock that features well rounded musicians with touring and recording experience". Their eponymous debut was released in 2016 to great praise for its solid grooves and powerful songwriting reminiscent of Rival Sons and Blues Pills. Since then the band have undergone lineup changes and are currently working on their second album.
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JUNKYARD DRIVE DK
Junkyard Drive from Roskilde, Denmark are representatives of the new, hungry rock'n'roll breed. Their debut "Sin & tonic" is based on the timeless roots of rock, as well as the decadent 80s' era with bands like AC/DC and Guns N' Roses. Plus the occasional nod to contemporary bands like Airbourne. The band have the explicit ambition to reinstate honesty in popular music, as opposed to such phenomena as "X Factor" and concert crowds looking at their phones instead of the stage.
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THE NEW ROSES D
Germany's The New Roses, or TNR, play rootsy, loud rock'n'roll with hints of AC/DC, Bruce Springsteen, Black Crowes, DAD and Dogs D'Amour. After three albums and an EP since 2012, and a whole lot of touring - including a trip to the US with Y&T - they are a rising force at home as well as abroad. Their most recent album "One more for the road" arrived in 2017 and contains the single "Life ain't easy (for a boy with long hair)". The latter a little stab at everybody who told the band that they, and rock'n'roll, didn't have a future.
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THREE DEAD FINGERS S
The band who opens the entire festival are four 12- to 13-year-old boys from Sweden. Despite their age they are a routined act that have been together for two years, performed at other major festivals, and even won one of Sweden's most prestigious music competitions "Livekarusellen". (Their appearance in "Sweden's got talent" will be broadcast in the fall of 2018.) Three Dead Fingers released their debut EP in October 2017 and play a hybrid of thrash metal, heavy metal and nu metal. Their main influences are Slipknot, Korn, Sepultura and Rise Against.
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COLDTEARS S
Coldtears are reminiscent of the likes of In Flames, At The Gates and Soilwork. We're talking aggressive, heavy riffs combined with accessible choruses. Their coming album boasts guests like Bruce Kulick (Kiss), Tomas Lindberg and Anders Björler (At The Gates) and Peter Dolving (Haunted). The song "Miracle", featuring the two former, will be released before the festival.
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FRONTBACK S
Frontback have played at SRF before and are influenced by the likes of Foo Fighters, Iron Maiden, Def Leppard and Steel Panther. They have made two albums with a third in the making, they have shared stages with Status Quo, Electric Boys, Freedom Call, HEAT and more, and singer Anlo Front won the national contest "Rock Voice of the Year 2016". A band to look out for.
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GAIN ELEVEN S
Gain Eleven is a band that plays rock with addictive melodies, loads of energy and a healthy sense of humor. They're often compared to the likes of Foo Fighters and the Hives. Their debut "All in" was released in 2016 and is referred to by its admirers as a "kick in the crotch" type of record. The band has toured both in Sweden and abroad, for instance opening for Airbourne in Russia.
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GAUPA S
Gaupa emerged from a deep cellar in the concrete jungle of a mid-Swedish town. The have their roots in stoner rock, and have developed their own style ranging from doom metal to prog. Other characteristics include energetic singer Emma Näslund and surreal lyrics. Like in their debut single/video from late 2017: "The drunk autopussy wants to fight you".
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HEDDA HATAR S
Hedda Hatar ("Hedda hates" in Swedish) are four young women whose sound has been compared to Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath as well as the Arctic Monkeys. As in riff-based with a punk attitude, but also the occasional indie-rock tune. Their current single "No 1" is an appetizer from their soon to be released debut album.
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NALA S
Nala from Gothenburg refer to themselves as "alternative rock". Their influences come from the 60s and 70s but also the 90s - all over the place, but that can be rather sweet (again, their own words). In 2017 they released their first EP "Woman", did numerous festival gigs as well as their radio debut, and in 2018 they intend to write more songs and do more gigs all over Sweden.
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NEKROKRAFT S
Nekrokraft combine blackened old school thrash metal with a captivating blasting influenced by the likes of Behemoth and Immortal. Since their formation in 2012 they have released an EP, two singles, an album and their current compilation "Witches funeral". They have also perfected their liveshow through relentless gigging. Singer Angst is also the current frontman in Witchery.
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SPIRAL SKIES S
Spiral Skies from Stockholm claim to play "on other planets kinda rock". As in heavy, vintage psychedelic rock in the veins of Jefferson Airplane, The Devil's Blood and Curved Air. The band's live performances as well as their EP "A queendom to come" (recorded live in their rehearsal studio) have been greatly praised and their debut "Blues for a dying planet" will arrive this May.
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NATIONALDAGSFIRANDE MED ASTRAL DOORS S
The annual SRF National Day celebration on June 6th, including a performance of the national anthem, will this time around be led by Astral Doors - one of Sweden's most famous names in traditional hard rock/metal, featuring lauded singer Nils Patrik Johansson (who coincidentally has just recorded his first solo album). There may also be a guest artist appearing with the band on stage.
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ROCKKLASSIKER ALLSTARS S
This year's edition of Rockklassiker Allstars is made up of world-renowned solo artist Meja, Conny Bloom (Electric Boys), Mats Rydström (Abramis Brama), Henrik Widén (Diamond Dogs), Thomas Broman (Great King Rat) and Ronnie Åström (The Cloudberries). This bunch of super musicians has just started performing together under the name Peace Conspiracy and recently released an acclaimed debut EP, but to celebrate the 20th anniversary of radio station Rockklassiker, they will do a one-off show under the Rockklassiker Allstars moniker. Joined by a cast of great guest musicians (to be announced later), they promise to deliver groove to the max and a bunch of well-known rock songs!
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