ARTISTS 2019

KISS US
From their first make-up period 1973-83, to their unmasked period in 1983-96, and finally their second and still ongoing make-up period. Through all these years and eras, Kiss remains one of the biggest and most renowned bands in rock. Now, however, they have declared that their fantastic story is coming to an end. "One Last Kiss: End of the Road World Tour" is to be the band's swan song and in 2019 said farewell tour arrives at SRF. An out of this world show is guaranteed as always from Messrs. Starchild, Demon, Spaceman and Catman, a.k.a. Paul Stanley, Gene Simmons, Tommy Thayer and Eric Singer. Not to mention immortal songs like "Detroit Rock City", "Rock and roll all nite", "Love gun" and "Shout it out loud", now to soar through the SRF night one last time. A historical event, not to be missed.
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Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow UK/SP
The Rainbow story begins in 1975, when one of the world's biggest guitar heroes Ritchie Blackmore leaves Deep Purple for a new project. Until 1984 Rainbow is a waterhole for some of the greatest musicians in hard rock, releasing seven studio albums packed with classics like "Man on the silver mountain", "Stargazer", "Long live rock'n'roll" and "Since you been gone". 1993-97 sees another round and another album, after which Ritchie changes direction with folk project Blackmore's Night, ending Rainbow. Until 2015, when Ritchie re-awakens the titan once more, bringing the likes of Swedish keyboard king Jens Johansson and Spanish killer vocalist Ronnie Romero into the folk. In 2018 new song "Waiting for the sign" is released, and 2019 sees Rainbow's highly anticipated SRF debut for one of only four select European concerts this season.
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Def Leppard UK/IRE
In 1977, Def Leppard were the wonder teens from Sheffield who spiked their hard rock with glam and glitter. Their album debut in 1980 ignited one of the greatest success stories that hard rock has ever seen. Commercially they peaked with "Pyromania" (1983) and "Hysteria" (1987), two of the best selling records of all time. However, their latest album "Def Leppard" (2015) was a feat of strength which made it clear that the band's creative spark still burns strong. Since 1992 Def leppard consists of singer Joe Elliott, guitarists Phil Collen and Viv Campbell, bassist Rick Savage and drummer Rick Allen. The band has a large and devoted Swedish fanbase, and anyone who has yet to experience them live at SRF is in for a grand epiphany.
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ZZ Top US
The Texas trio would be one of the world's best known bands, with fans in all camps. In 1971 they released their first album, featuring their patented, scorching blues/boogie rock with clever, suggestive lyrics. In 1983 ZZ Top went from successful to superstars with the album "Eliminator", adding synthesizers to the boogie in groundbreaking fashion. To date, Billy Gibbons (guitar, vocals), Dusty Hill (bass, vocals) och Frank Beard (drums) have released fifteen studio albums, containing innumerable mega classics: "Tush", "La Grange", "Gimme all your lovin'", "Sharp dressed man" and "Sleeping bag", to name but a few. And their popularity remains as intact as their iconic "facial hair, shades and cowboy hat"-look.
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Slayer US
Slayer's debut "Show no mercy" (1983) was the most brutal album ever at the time, and albums like "the thrash Bible" "Reign in blood" (1986) and the epic "Seasons in the abyss" (1990) effectively immortalized the band's name. Slayer has successfully kept their momentum at the metal scene, for instance with their latest album "Repentless" (2015). But now the end is near for one of the most influential bands in extreme metal. Slayer's farewell tour began in May 2018, with a planned ending in 2019 and SRF being their sole Swedish stop during festival season. So SRF 2019 will likely be their last concert in Sweden - ever.
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Tenacious D US
It started as a bar show, moved on to TV-appearances, and the album "Tenacious D" (2001) saw Jack Black and Kyle Gass take the final step to becoming a seriously committed (hard) rock band. Their music's rock opera-like nature and cheeky, self-deprecating humor made Tenacious D controversial to some purists, but the album was a hit and songs like "Tribute" and "Fuck her gently" have since become cult classics. At this point, Tenacious D are immensely popular, not least in Sweden, and this November saw the release of their fourth album "Post-Apocalypto", based on the band's similarly titled animated Youtube show.
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Disturbed US
Chicago's Disturbed is one of the biggest US metal bands of the new millennium. Of their seven studio albums since the year 2000, five went straight to #1 on Billboard. Although often labeled "alternative metal", Disturbed consider themselves part of a tradition with the likes of Black Sabbath, Metallica, Queensrÿche and Pantera - aggressive, compact metal with the powerful vocals of David Draiman. After five albums chock full of hits like "Prayer", "Stricken" and "Inside the fire", Disturbed went on hiatus, but to the delight of many they returned in 2015 with the album "Immortalized", followed by "Evolution" in 2018. And in 2019, Disturbed make their first SRF appearance in 11 years.
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Dream Theater US
It was in 1992, with their second album "Images and words", that Dream Theater became world renowned as well as posterboys for the technically magnificent subgenre now known as progressive metal. They have long been established as one of the most influential metal bands of our time, in any category, with combined sales of more than 12 million records. In 2019, 30 years after their debut, they will release their sixteenth studio album "Distance over time", allegedly heavier than its predecessor "Distance over time" - consistent with their practice of never making the same album twice.
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Amon Amarth SE
Classic heavy metal with death metal vocals, or death metal with classic heavy metal riffs? Take your pick. Labeling aside, Amon Amarth have grown into one of Sweden's currently most successful metal exports, and have only got bigger with each new album since their 1998 debut. Their tenth and most recent album "Jomsviking" (2016) - the band's lyrics have been Viking-themed since the beginning - have broken all their previous sales-records and the highly anticipted follow-up is set to arrive in good time before Amon Amarth's appearance at SRF 2019.
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Styx US/CAN
In the 70s and early 80s, Styx was one of the biggest bands in the US. Their distinct mix of progressive arrangements and catchy melodies generated hits like "Come sail away", "Renegade", "Lady" and "Mr Roboto", and their albums became multi-million sellers. Today's Styx are led by classic members James Young and Tommy Shaw (both on guitar and vocals) and longtime keyboard player/singer Lawrence Gowan, and are widely known as a brilliant live act. In addition, their 2017 album "The mission" has been hailed as a return to vintage form.
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Demons & Wizards GER/US
One of the most talked-about power metal projects ever was formed in 1998 by singer Hansi Kürsch (Blind Guardian) and guitarist Jon Schaffer (Iced Earth). After two lauded albums, "Demons & Wizards" (2000) and "Touched by the Crimson King" (2005), the project was put on ice indefinitely, since both main men were so busy. But in 2017 Schaffer announced that he was writing another Demons & Wizards album, and the summer of 2018 fans were overjoyed to hear that in 2019, the band will play live for the first time since 2000. At Wacken Open Air, ProgPower - and now, Sweden Rock Festival.
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Arch Enemy SE/CAN
In melodic death metal Arch Enemy ranks among Sweden's, and the world's top acts. The band debuted in 1996 and definitely got on the map from 2000, when Angela Gossow became the new growler. Five blockbuster albums later, Angela passed the torch on to Alissa White-Gluz in 2014. Once more a successful move - Arch Enemy's ninth and tenth albums "War eternal" (2014) and "Will to power" (2017) have become massively popular. The latter also saw Jeff Loomis (ex-Nevermore) assuming the position of second guitarist next to band leader Michael Amott.
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Hammerfall SE
Their debut "Glory to the brave" (1997) made Swedes Hammerfall spearheads of the so called power metal movement. Subsequent releases maintained their momentum - songs like "Heeding the call", "Renegade" and "Hearts on fire" have become classics and Hammerfall recognized as one of the most important bands in Swedish hard rock history. Following a couple of slightly more experimental relases around the early 10s, the band, to the delight of their fans, returned to their roots for their most recent albums "(r)Evolution" (2014) and "Built to last" (2016).
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Krokus CH
Switzerland's possibly most legendary hard-rock band formed in 1974 and reached their commercial peak in the early 80s, with albums like "Metal rendez-vous" (1980) and "Headhunter" (1983) and songs like "Bedside radio", "Long stick goes boom" and "Screaming in the night". Krokus have mostly maintained their patented style - like a heavier AC/DC - and have regained much popularity in the new millennium. But now the end is near. 2019 sees Krokus depart on their farewell tour and SRF will be one of the venues where the fans can take a last goodbye.
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Blackberry Smoke US
Blackberry Smoke from Atlanta, Georgia rank among the big stars of modern Southern rock. "Modern" in quotes, since the band's music is very much based on keeping traditions. From genre legends like the Allman Brothers Band, Black Oak Arkansas and the Marshall Tucker Band, as well as from outlaw country. In 2018 Blackberry Smoke released their sixth studio album "Find a light", which became another success, not least in Sweden where the band has had a devoted following for years already.
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UFO UK/US
One of the most classic and influential bands in melodic hard rock. Since their 1970 debut UFO have released 22 studio albums and created immortal songs like "Doctor doctor", "Lights out", "Only you can rock me" and "Rock bottom". But now the end is upon us. Singer Phil Mogg has announced his retirement following one last tour for the band's 50th anniversary. SRF 2019 will therefor be where UFO take their final bow to their devoted Swedish audience.
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Skid Row US/SA
In the early 90s, Skid Row from New Jersey was one of the biggest bands in metal. Their first two albums "Skid Row" (1989) and "Slave to the grind" (1991) were multi-million sellers, producing classics like "Youth gone wild", "18 and life", "I remember you" and "Monkey business". Eventually the band fell apart, reuniting in 1999 without former singer Sebastian Bach. For some time, Skid Row had some trouble forging a new identity, and finding the right singer. They succeded with the former on part 1 of the record trilogy "United world rebellion" in 2013, and with the latter when ZP Theart (ex-DragonForce) officially assumed the position of lead vocalist in 2017. The final part of the aforementioned trilogy is expected to appear in 2019.
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Axel Rudi Pell GER/US
The German guitarist Axel Rudi Pell is one of today's most prolific, and successful practitioners of classic hard rock in the veins of Deep Purple and Rainbow. After four albums with the cult band Steeler from 1984-88 he debuted as a solo artist in 1989, and has to date released 17 studio albums, four live albums, one cover album and not least five compilations of the ballads for which he is famous. His band also consists of hard rock luminaries, including singer Johnny Gioeli (Hardline) and drummer Bobby Rondinelli (Rainbow, Black Sabbath, Doro, Riot and more).
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At The Gates SE
They were progenitors of the so-called Gothenburg sound in the mid-90s - after having already profiled themselves as one of the most original and progressive-sounding death metal bands. Following the release of their fourth, most influential album "Slaughter of the soul" (1995) At The Gates folded. But to universal delight, they reunited in 2007, and the two subsequent albums "At war with reality" (2014) and "To drink from the night itself (2018) have proven At The Gates to be not just legends, but also a band for today.
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Three Days Grace CAN
These Canadians rank among the titans of contemporary post-grunge. This June saw their 14th Billboard-topping single, breaking Van Halen's twenty-year-old record. Since their 2003 debut, Three Days Grace have released six albums and become certified rockstars particularly in their homeland and the US. Their latest album "Outsider" (2018), their second with current singer Matt Walst, has been widely praised and songs like "The mountain" and "Infra-red" have been added to an already very long list of hits.
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Candlemass SE
One of the world's most legendary doom metal bands have gone full circle. Candlemass are reunited with singer Johan Längqvist, with whom they made their groundbreaking debut album "Epicus doomicus metallicus" (1986) - and the rest is metal history. SRF 2019 also sees band leader and bassist Leif Edling return from sick leave, making this a double reunion. The setlist will, appropriately enough lean heavily on the aforementioned debut, but will also feature appetizers from the coming Candlemass album featuring Längqvist on vocals.
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Danko Jones CAN
The Canadian power-trio with their rock-hard, compact garage rock, were popular in Sweden years before their 2002 debut "Born a lion", from being an exceptional live band. These days Danko Jones have an even bigger, devoted audience, in and outside of Sweden, after eight albums featuring such classics as "Lovercall", "Code of the road" and "Full of regret", to name but a very, very few. The first appetizer from their next album, "We're crazy", seems hell bent on becoming another classic as well.
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Powerwolf GER/ROM
Since their 2005 debut Powerwolf's career has consistently moved forward. Their distinct concept with goth-tinged power metal plus corpse paint and lyrics based on Romanian monsterlore and religious atrocities, makes them one of the most recognisable bands in melodic metal today - and they are also, along with Sabaton, one of the biggest. Their seventh and most recent album "The sacrament of sin" (2018) has become another big success for Powerwolf, and given their fans some new favorite songs like "Demons are a girl's best friend" and "Killers with the cross".
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Annihilator CAN
More than three million records sold make Annihilator one of Canada's most successful metal bands ever. Their debut "Alice in hell" (1989), a groundbreaking blend of thrash metal and progressive rhythms, gave the band instant recognition and their own musical territory. This they have successfully defended with every record since, most recently "For the demented" in 2017 (their next and seventeenth studio album is due in 2019). Jeff Waters' superlative guitar playing and distinct songwriting is the basis of the band's sound and gives it its unique character.
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Magnum UK
Their debut "Kingdom of madness" arrived in 1978, their breakthrough album "On a storyteller's night" in 1985. For all these years, Birmingham's Magnum have reliably delivered timeless, melodic hard-rock tinted with mysticism, and have found an audience devoted even by metal standards. In 2018 the band released their 20:th studio album "Lost on the road to eternity" - one of their most successful ever. Sweden has long been one of Magnum's true strongholds, and here Bob Catley (vocals), Tony Clarkin (guitar) et al can always count on getting a royal reception.
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Gorgoroth NO
Of the classic Norwegian black metal bands, Gorgoroth debuted relatively late - in 1994 - but have been more faithful than most to the traditions of "True Norwegian Black Metal", which is also the title of their 2008 live album. Gorgoroth's nine studio albums, including such classics as "Under the sign of hell" (1997) and most recently "Instinctus bestialis" (2015) contain, with few exceptions, exclusively certified, merciless black metal, and unlike many of their peers the band have never toned down their Satanic concept.
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Joe Lynn Turner US
Joe Lynn Turner is one of the most recognizable and beloved singers in hard rock. His resumé includes Rainbow, Yngwie Malmsteen and Deep Purple, his more recent acts like Mother's Army, Sunstorm and Rated X have also done great things - and we haven't even mentioned his prolific solo career. Joe was supposed to perform at SRF 2018 but had to cancel due to a temporary illness. But all good things come to those who wait - now we'll get to see him in 2019 instead.
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Uli Jon Roth GER
He became famous in the 70s as Michael Schenker's replacement in the Scorpions. But since 1978 Uli Jon Roth has been his own master - first in Electric Sun and then as a full-fledged solo artist. He is one of the most legendary and influential guitarists of all time, with a unique, special style that made him a pioneer of neoclassic hard rock. 2018 has seen him celebrate 50 years on stage by touring with his prolific back catalogue, and 2019 will se this tour hitting SRF.
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Death Angel US
Their young age and technical chops combined helped make Death Angel one of the major names of the "second wave" of American thrash metal. They made three classic albums between 1987-90, but folded in 1991 in the wake of a traumatizing bus crash. However, they reunited ten years later and have since released five more studio albums. Another one, the follow-up to the lauded "The evil divide" (2016), is in the making and due to be out in good time before SRF.
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Demon UK
A flagship of the NWOBHM as well as a standing favorite with the SRF audience. Since 1981, Demon have released thirteen studio albums, encompassing traditional heavy metal as well as AOR and progressive rock. One of the most beloved ones is "The unexpected guest" (1982), containing such fan-faves as "Don't break the circle", "Sign of a madman" and "Deliver us from evil". This time at SRF, Demon will perform this very album in its entirety, and more, so Ronnie James Dio-soundalike Dave Hill will probably have to work harder than usual to sing louder than the crowd.
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Beast in Black FIN/GR
Guitarist Anton Kabanen got his breakthrough as a member of Battle Beast, whose first three - very successful - albums are written solely by him. Following his departure from Battle Beast in 2015 he formed Beast In Black, teaming up with the likes of Greek vocalist supreme Yannis Papadopoulos and guitarist Kasperi Heikkinien (U.D.O., Amberian Dawn). The debut "Berserker" (2017) consists of Kabanen's well-known brand of hook-laden power metal and has met with great praise from fans and reviewers alike.
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Green Jellÿ US
One of the first, and most famous "comedy metal" bands made it big in 1992 with the MTV hit "Three little pigs" and subsequent studio album "Cereal killer soundtrack". Green Jellÿ (pronounced Green Jello) was distinguished by punkishly raw riffs, humorous lyrics and bizarre stage gear not dissimilar to those of their pals in GWAR. After a lengthy hiatus Green Jellÿ have now returned, as always centered around vocalist Bill Manspeaker, and their plans for 2019 include releasing a new album - and make their Swedish debut at the Sweden Rock Festival.
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The Night Flight Orchestra SE
One of the most acknowledged bands in recent years. The Night Flight Orchestra could be described as a supergroup where musicians from far more brutal acts - Björn Strid (vocals) and David Andersson (guitar) reside in Soilwork, Sharlee D'Angelo (bass) in Arch Enemy - express their love of radio-friendly, late 70s'/early 80s' rock. Since 2012 they have released four albums, and the two most recent ones in particular - "Amber galactic" (2017) och "Sometimes the world ain't enough" (2018) - have achieved considerable success.
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Jag Panzer US
Colorado's Jag Panzer's first album of 1984 was a future US power metal classic: "Ample destruction". The follow-up didn't appear until 1994, but since then the band has moved forward and upward, the two most recent of their ten albums being their most successful: "Scourge of the light" (2011) and "The deviant chord" (2017). The core of Jag Panzer is still intact, featuring stellar singer Harry "Tyrant" Conklin who recently visited Sweden with "supersinger trio" The Three Tremors. SRF 2019, however, marks the Swedish debut for the band Jag Panzer.
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Blaze Bayley UK
2019 marks the 25th anniversary since heavy metal champion Blaze Bayley became the singer in Iron Maiden. To celebrate he introduces an anniversary setlist, exclusive to European festivals, featuring only songs from the Iron Maiden albums with him on vocals. "Sign of the cross", "Man on the edge", "Futureal", "Lord of the flies", "Virus", "The clansman" ... all these classics, and more, will be performed. A grandiose flashback to an era that holds a cult status for Iron Maiden die-hards, that has never before been done in this fashion.
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FM UK
One of Europe's highest ranking names on the classic AOR scene. The FM debut "Indiscreet" (1986) was an instant AOR classic, and its follow-up "Tough it ut" (1989) became every bit as legendary. Many mourned the dissloution of FM in 1995, but a "temporary" reunion quickly became permanent thanks to overwhelming fan response. 2018 saw the arrival of FM's tenth "real" studio album "Atomic generation", where Steve Overland once more demonstrated why he's considered to be one of the finest singers on the scene.
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Krisiun BRA
Alongside Sepultura, Krisiun is Brazil's most famous name in extreme metal. This brutal trio of brothers released their debut album "Black force domain" in 1995 and subsequent releases have, in short, confirmed and strengthened their position as a very brutal - and very popular - death metal band. "Scourge of the enthroned", their tenth album, arrived in September 2018 and is now being followed by Krisiun's first ever appearance at SRF.
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Myrath TUN
The Tunisian masters of prog metal have released four albums since 2007, most recently "Legacy" (2016), and number five is in the making. Being influenced by Tunisian folk music, Myrath have developed a very personal sound, sometimes referred to as "oriental metal". The band has toured the world with the likes of Robert Plant, Dream Theater, WASP, Tarja and Dream Theater, and singer Zaher Zorgati has also contributed to Ayreon. After numerous European festival appearances - headlining ProgPower Europe 2010 - Myrath are now making their SRF debut.
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Thundermother SE
Thundermother formed in 2010 and their first two albums - "Rock'n'roll disaster" (2014) och "Road fever" (2015) - were heavily influenced by AC/DC. When the whole band except guitarist/founder Filippa Nässil left in 2017, she chose to continue with not only new musicians, but also a partly new sound. The third record "Thundermother" (2018) displays a broader, but still very rock-orientated style, where the powerful vocals of Guernica Mancini play an important part.
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Seventh Wonder SE
Arguably Sweden's most famous prog metal band. Seventh Wonder have released five albums since 2005 and become highly appreciated by fans of the likes of Dream Theater and Symphony X. The facts that bassist Andreas Blomqvist was tutored by Talisman/Malmsteen legend Marcel Jacob (RIP), and singer Tommy Karevik also fronts Kamelot, speaks volumes of the band's competence. The reception for the current album "Tiara", their first in eight (!) years, indicates that Seventh Wonder have only gained popularity in the interim.
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Jared James Nichols US
Wisconsin-born guitarist Jared James Nichols is one of the hottest names in contemporary blues rock. Since 2010 he has formed his own power-trio, won numerous awards for his playing, and opened for ZZ Top, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Glenn Hughes, Walter Trout, Saxon, UFO and more. He has also released two full-length albums, most recently "Black magic" (2018) which met with additional praise from guitar- and rock enthusiasts, reminiscent of such heroes as Cream and Mountain.
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Witchfynde UK
Heavy metal with a diabolical atmosphere, without being excessively brutal. From this concept Witchfynde made a debut album, "Give'em hell" (1980), that ranks among the spearheading classics of NWOBHM. However, like their peers in Demon they changed styles on every platter, confusing record buyers, and after four albums Witchfynde folded in 1986. To the delight of many, since the band had achieved tremendous cult status in the interim, they reunited in 1999. Since 2008, one of their most classic frontmen, Luther Beltz, is also back in the lineup.
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A.C.T SE
One of Sweden's most lauded progressive rock bands formed in 1994 and were at their most prolific around the millenial shift when they released their first three cult albums. A.C.T's style can be described as "old school progressive", with strong pop elements - influences include ELO, Queen and Saga. After the fourth album "Silence" (2006) came a long silence, not broken until 2014 and the eventual arrival of "Circus Pandemonium". A.C.T. are also a highly praised live act and Herman Saming has often been called a world-class singer.
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The Quill SE
The Quill are sometimes labeled pioneers of Swedish stoner, sometimes simply heavy groove-based 70s hard-rock (drummer Jolle Atlagic with his Hanoi Rocks/Electric Boys resumé contributes greatly to the latter). More or less all the band's albums since their 1995 debut have met with great reviews and delighted their loyal fans. Not least their sixth and most recent album "Born from fire" (2017), marking the return of classic singer Magnus Ekwall, often favorably compared to Chris Cornell. The Quill were forced to cancel the Sweden Rock Festival 2018 show on short notice due to illness but will be back for another swing in 2019.
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Hällas SE
Hällas (pronounced Hellas) got recognition from the so-called mainstream audience in Sweden with their catchy 2017 single "Star rider". In all, their style revolves around 70s' style progressive rock like Wishbone Ash, Camel and Nektar, to name but a few. An eponymous EP arrived in 2015 and their 2017 debut album "Excerpts from a future past" - including the aforementioned single has established Hällas as a band with a potentially great future.
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Zal Cleminson’s Sin Dogs UK
Scottish guitarist Zal Cleminson is well renowned from a number of essential albums by Nazareth, Tear Gas and especially the Sensational Alex Harvey Band (where he performed wearing a mime's make-up). He has now broken a lengthy silence with a new band (featuring members of an SAHB tribute act). Their debut "Vol 1" has been met with enthusiastic praise and sees Zal returning to his own roots - as in heavy, traditional hard rock.
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Gathering Of Kings SE
The members of Gathering Of Kings want to know if anyone remembers Phenomena? They make the same type of grand, ominous AOR/metal hybrid featuring many famous musicians themselves. After the praised singles "Forever and a day" (2017) och "Out of my life" (2018) the debut album will finally arrive in January 2019. The singers include Rick Altzi (Masterplan), Björn Strid (Soilwork, Night Flight Orchestra) and Apollo Papathanasio (Spiritual Beggars, ex-Firewind), and needless to say, the instrumentalists play in the same division.
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Lisa Lystam Family Band SE
Singer Lisa Lystam and her band have won great appreciation among blues enthusiasts, in Sweden and abroad. They debuted on record with an EP in 2013 and since then two full-length albums have also seen the light of day. However, fans widely agree that this band should preferably be experienced live, in order to fully take in Lisa's voice and charisma as well and the band's massive tightness.
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James Holkworth and The Coolbenders UK/SE
James Holkworth and The Coolbenders (UK/S) For the first time in over 40 years, James Holkworth is back in the music business, this time with the new band The Coolbenders. The band consists of several high rated Swedish musicians, topped with UK singer extraordinaire, Adam Barron (James can no longer sing due to an accident in Canada back in 1996 involving animals). If you like blues, country and classic hard rock spiced with slide guitars, harmonicas and crazy lyrics, you should definitely go and see this band Wednesday June 5th. They are also promising "weird things on stage as well as pyrotechnics". Their debut album will be released in March 2019, but a couple of songs are already available on Spotify and YouTube.
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