ARTISTS 2022

GUNS N´ROSES US
Singer Axl Rose. Guitarist Slash. Bassist Duff McKagan. Keyboard player Dizzy Reed. The reunion of these four under the Guns N' Roses flag has become a global triumph. In 2022, we give you one of the biggest rock bands of all time - these four who followed up the magnum opus of sleaze, "Appetite for destruction" (1987) with the Queen-ishly ambitious album duo "Use your illusion 1 & 2" (1991), taking the band's popularity to even greater heights. "Welcome to the jungle", "Sweet child o' mine", "Paradise City", "Patience", "Civil war", "November rain" - the number of immortal classics that only these men can do justice is endless.
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VOLBEAT DEN/US
A unique sound - like Metallica, Johnny Cash and Elvis Presley combined - and insanely catchy songs are Volbeat's trademarks. The Danish band was a domestic success even with their 2005 debut. Their international break came with their third album "Guitar gangsters & Cadillac blood" (2008), followed by "Beyond hell/Above heaven" (2010) which charted in the US as well. Today Volbeat is one of the biggest European metal bands, and in 2019 released their seventh album "Rewind, replay, rebound".
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IN FLAMES SE
From pioneers of melodic death metal in the 90s to the experimental barrier-crossers of our time. In Flames is a band of perpetual progress, and one who successfully defends their position as one of the biggest and most influential constellations in Swedish metal. Their 13th and most recent album "I, the mask" (2019) combines low-key philosophizing with riffing reminiscent of the band's younger days, and has become yet another international bestseller.
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NIGHTWISH FIN/HOL/UK
How you have pined, and begged - and now it's finally happening! For the first time since 2004 Nightwish will return to the festival. These titans of melodic metal, with their melancholy bombasm and classical soprano vocals, have become hugely successful and influential with albums like "Oceanborn" (1998), "Wishmaster" (2000), "Once" (2004), "Dark passion play" (2007) and "Endless forms most beautiful" (2015). Following an extensive break, keyboard player Tuomas Holopainen, singer Floor Jansen and the others released the album "Human. :II: nature" in 2020 and now they are also returning to the live scene.
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MERCYFUL FATE DEN/SE/US
Scandinavia's most legendary heavy metal band returns at last! With a big production and a setlist based upon the historical albums "Melissa" (1983) and "Don't break the oath" (1984): heavy, epic, demonical and topped with King Diamond's falsetto vocals. By King's side we find guitarists Hank Shermann and Mike Wead, drummer Bjarne T Holm and new bassist Joey Vera (Armored Saint, Fates Warning) for Mercyful Fate's first Sweden Rock Festival performance since 1999.
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SOCIAL DISTORTION US
One of the great legends of US punk, Social Distortion formed in 1978 and their 1983 debut album swiftly established them as one of the hottest bands on the scene. Its followups "Prison bound" (1988) and mega classic "Social Distortion" (1990) greatly increased the band's fanbase with their country and western-influenced "cowboy punk". In later years, album releases from Social Distortion have been scarce but ever highly anticipated, and their eighth album is reportedly finally underway.
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THE HELLACOPTERS SE
When Entombed drummer at the time Nicke Andersson and Backyard Babies guitarist Dregen formed a garage band on the side in 1994 they had no idea what havoc they'd wreak. The Hellacopters - with Nicke on vocals and guitar - made seven studio albums and folded in 2008 as one of Sweden's most influential rock bands ever. 2016 saw the band play their comeback show at the Sweden Rock Festival and now we are delighted to have them back again.
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WITHIN TEMPTATION HOL
One of the biggest names in European metal in the 21st century. Within Temptation have made seven studio albums since 1997, with an abundance of grand melodies, symphonic arrangements and Sharon den Adel's divine vocals on top. "Hydra" of 2014 was the band's last studio record before a lengthy break, during which Sharon worked on her solo project. Then finally came their comeback album "Resist" in 2019, to become another success with its pop-flavored but still dark direction.
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ACCEPT GER/US
Not only is Accept one of the most legendary heavy metal bands ever, courtesy of immortal albums like "Breaker" (1981), "Balls to the wall" (1983) and "Metal heart" (1985). They have also made a resounding comeback with their lauded reunion album "Blood of the nations" (2010) - introducing current singer Mark Tornillo - and subesequent releases like most recently "The rise of chaos" (2017) and live outing "Symphonic terror" (2018). Following the release of their 16th studio album "Too mean to die", guitarist Wolf Hoffmann and his team are now returning to the loyal Accept bastion.
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OPETH SE
Opeth debuted in 1995 as an unusual hybrid of death metal and progressive rock. They were quite successful, and even more so since they whole-heartedly embraced their progressive side from their tenth studio album "Heritage". Three more albums later, singer/guitarist Mikael Åkerfeldt & Co have unleashed "In cauda venenum", a tremendous critical success available with Swedish and/or English vocals.
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NIGHT RANGER US
In the 80s, this missing link between AOR and metal bombarded us with such evergreens as "Don't tell me you love me", "The secret of my success" and "Sister Christian". To this very style guitarist and Ozzy-veteran Brad Gillis, bassist/singr Jack Blades (Damn Yankees, Revolution Saints) et al have returned on albums like "High road" (2014) and "Don't let up" (2017) (another one is planned for 2021). Add to this their potency as a live act, and you realise that Night Ranger are back with a vengeance.
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D-A-D DEN
An institution on the Danish rock scene and possibly said country's most legendary active rock band. D-A-D debuted as Disneyland After Dark in 1986 and gained international success with their third album "No fuel left for the pilgrims" (1989). To date they have released twelve studio albums, most recently "A prayer for the loud" (2019) which have been praised not least by older fans. The record is not dissimilar to the band's early classics, where garage rock, punk and country & western form a lively mix.
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10cc UK
10cc, alongside ELO, Queen, Steely Dan and Roxy Music, are the 70s giants of "progressive meets pop melodies". Especially their six first albums from 1973-78 were great successes, producing numerous hits such as "I'm not in love", "Rubber bullets", "Dreadlock holiday" and "Life is a minestrone". In a live setting, 10cc are still alive and well, perenially led by bassist/singer Graham Gouldman, and their ability to make the classics soar remains quite intact.
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DEVIN TOWNSEND CAN
Devin Townsend is widely praised as one of the eccentric geniuses of hard rock, having been called extreme metal's answer to King Crimson and Frank Zappa. He gained recognition as the singer ofSteve Vai's band Vai in 1993 and got his major break with the revolutionary Strapping Young Lad, who released five albums before folding in 2007. In all, Devin has released 23 studio albums with numerous projects, whose common feature is that nothing is too extreme, or too non-extreme, to try.
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RAUBTIER SE
Their 2008 debut single and subsequent debut album "Det finns bara krig" ("There is only war", 2009) were immediate domestic hits. Following the release of their sixth album "Överlevare" ("Survivors", 2019), Raubtier is one of the most popular heavy bands in Sweden. Their sound is industrial metal, and like their home territory northern Sweden it's hard, harsh and grim. But also quite contagious with lyrics worthy of attention - all notable ingredients in the recipe for Raubtier's domestic success.
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ALESTORM UK/HUN
A union of folk metal and power metal with humorous lyrics about pirates. Maybe not a recipe for success in theory, but to Scotland's Alestorm said concept has so far produced six bestselling studio albums since 2008. Vocalist/keyboard player Christopher Bowes (also the founder of Gloryhammer) having a knack for writing sing-along-friendly songs - "Captain Morgan's revenge", "Keelhauled" och "Mexico", to name but a few - is an important reason for Alestorm's popularity. Which has increased even more with the major success album "Curse of the crystal coconut" in 2020.
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ELUVEITIE CH
Switzerland's Eluveitie (pronounced "el-vay-tee") is one of fhe biggest names in modern folk metal. The band, formed by singer Chrigel Glanzmann, combines traditional Celtic melodies with the brutality of "the Gothenburg sound". Their first record arrived in 2004 and lauded concept album "Helvetios" (2012) was a great career boost. And Eluveitie's popularity shows no sign of waning yet - their eighth and most recent studio album "Ategnatos" (2019) is one of their most successful.
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CLAWFINGER SE/NOR
The debut by Nordic rap metal pioneers Clawfinger, "Deaf dumb blind" (1993), remains the best selling metal album in Swedish history. So far the band have produced another six albums, all chock-full of well-crafted lyrics, catchy rhythms and guitars and electronics in unison. "Tear you down" (2019) is the most recent addition to their list of singles, which includes such certified classics as "Warfair", "Do what I say", "Biggest & the best" and, of course, the legendary anti-racist statement "Nigger".
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SODOM GER
16 studio albums and over 8 million records sold make Sodom one of the titans of thrash. Their earliest releases in 1985-86 paved the way for modern heavy metal, and the great success "Agent Orange" (1989) gave them their big break. To this day, To Angelripper (vocals/bass) and cohorts have stayed true to ruthless speed and war-orientated lyrics as the foundation for Sodom's sound. Their latest album "Genesis XIX" (2020), their first as a four-piece and with classic guitarist Frank Blackfire back in the fold, pleased loyal fans by being an even more brutal treat than usual.
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AMARANTHE SE
Electronic dance-pop and death metal in unison, and with three vocalists. An unlikely combination on paper, one of the major Swedish metal sensations of the decade in practice. Since their 2011 eponymous debut - a success in itself - the catchy tunes of Amaranthe has conquered more of the world with every one of their six albums so far, most recently "Manifest" (2020). And nothing indicates that Elize Ryd (vocals, Kamelot), Nils Molin (vocals, Dynazty) and the rest have reached their peak yet.
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SAGA CAN
Combining progressiveness and hooks, and making revolutionary use of synthesizers, made Saga unique from the start. Since their 1979 debut they have consistently impressed a devoted fanbase with grandiose albums like "Worlds apart" (1981), "Full circle" (1999) and most recently "Sagacity" (2014) - not counting the very fresh "Symmetry" featuring acoustic re-recordings . Singer Michael Sadler & Co have previously declared that Saga will no longer tour, but thankfully, they had a change of heart and are once more very active.
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NILE US/GR
One of the biggest, most influential bands from the second generation of death metal, and major contributors to the genre's renaissance around the turn of the millennium. Nile, centered around guitarist/vocalist Karl Sanders, are signified by being extremely heavy, extremely technical and by their fascination for ancient Egypt. A concept that they have nurtured with constant success from classic early outings like "Black seeds of vengeance" (2000) to their most recent, ninth album "Vile Nilotic rites" (2019).
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KVELERTAK NO
Their lyrics are in Norwegian, their music blends rock'n'roll, black metal and punk. An odd concept on paper, but Kvelertak ("chokehold" in Norwegian) have really impressed the international metal scene since their debut "Kvelertak" arrived in 2010. Following their third album "Nattesferd" ("Nightly journey", 2016) they toured with both Metallica and Ghost. Album number four, "Splid", was released in 2020, coincidentally Kvelertak's first with current singer Ivar Nikolaisen.
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HONEYMOON SUITE CAN
Since their first two, classic albums Honeymoon Suite" (1984) and "The big prize" (1986) and the theme for "Lethal weapon" (1987), Honeymoon Suite have ranked among the greats of Canada's mighty AOR scene. Since then, however, their activities have often been sparse, but the EP "Hands up" (2016) and singles "Tell me what you want" (2019) and "Find what you're looking for" (2020) mark the actual return of Johnnie Dee (vocals), Derry Grehan (guitar) and the rest, and now they will finally make their SRF debut.
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MICHAEL MONROE FIN
Matti Fagerholm, a.k.a. Michael Monroe, is one of the bona fide international rock legends of the North. As the former singer of glam rock titans Hanoi Rocks, and also for his solo career which has only become more successful since it started afresh in 2010. Albums like "Sensory overdrive" (2011), "Horns and halos" (2013) and most recently "One man band" (2019) have been praised by fans and critics alike. In addition, Michael remains one of the leading entertainers in rock'n'roll on stage.
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WITCHCRAFT SE
The band that paved the way for a whole movement of 70s-influenced heavy bands in Sweden in the 00s. Witchcraft got signed after having recorded just one single, "No angel or demon", in 2002. Their 2004 full-length debut "Witchcraft" was widely praised for its genuine old school sound and to date another five albums have followed, most recently "Black metal" in 2020. The band's sound has gradually gravitated towards the more contemporary, though still firmly rooted in classic hard rock and doom metal.
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LEE AARON CAN
Karen Greening a.k.a. Lee Aaron captured the metal scene with six album classics in 1982-94, including "Metal queen" (1984), "Call of the wild" (1985) and "Bodyrock" (1989). She deemed herself "retired" from metal at the time of her 2011 SRF debut, but the overwhelming response she got there made her reconsider. She has since recorded three more rock albums, "Fire and gasoline" (2016), "Diamond baby blues" (2018) and the recently finished "Radio on!" and now we see her return to the stages of Sweden Rock as well.
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SONATA ARCTICA FIN
On their classic debut "Ecliptica" (1999) Sonata Arctica was fully a power metal band akin to countrymen Stratovarius. Gradually their albums got more different to one another and more progressive. The fans, however, learnt to keep up and album number nine, "Ninth gate" (2016) became something of a new fan-fave. Its follow-up "Talviyö" ("Winter night", 2019) was met with comparable enthusiasm, and on stage singer Tony Kakko and his merry men remain highly appreciated.
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KINGDOM COME US
Kingdom Come's first two albums, "Kingdom Come" (1988) and "In your face" (1989), were very successful, melodic and Led Zeppelin-flavored as they were. Then singer Lenny Wolf adopted the name Kingdom Come for his own releases until 2013. Now he has withdrawn from the scene and passed on the name to his former bandmates. Fronted by Keith St. John (Burning Rain, ex-Montrose), the original members perform exclusively classics from the aforementioned two albums, like "Get it on" and "Do you like it".
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TROUBLE US
Doom metal pioneers Trouble from Chicago patented a unique mix of Black Sabbath, Judas Priest and old school psychedelia, and their first two albums "Psalm 9" (1984) and "The skull" (1985) are hailed as genre milestones. Subsequent releases have also gained great appreciation with a devoted and loyal fanbase. Trouble's coming, ninth studio album - their first since 2013 and their second with present-day singer Kyle Thomas (Exhorder) - is therefore very highly anticipated indeed.
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ROSS THE BOSS US
Ross Friedman, AKA Ross The Boss, boasts an eclectic career but is best known as Manowar's guitarist on their first six, and most classic albums from 1982-88. This is the very era he will focus on at SRF, with selected gems from his own Ross The Boss catalogue, but mostly timeless classics from one of the most beloved discographies in metal history. By Ross' side we find killer vocalist Marc Lopes, drummer Steve Bolognese and bassist Mike LePond (Symphony X).
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EVERGREY SE
Evergrey's fanbase is one of the most genre-transcending in Swedish metal. Fans of progressive, melodic and "regular" metal have all embraced the band. Since 1998 Evergrey, led by vocalist/guitarist Tom S Englund, have released eleven studio albums, whose dark and thought provoking sound remains as hard hitting as ever on more recent outings like "Hymns for the broken" (2014) and "Escape of the phoenix" (2021).
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TEN YEARS AFTER UK
Along with Led Zeppelin, Free and Humble Pie, Ten Years After rank among the greatest first generation British blues/hard rockers. Numerous succesful records like "Undead" (1968), "Cricklewood Green" (1970) and "A space in time" (1971) sport songs like "I'm going home", "I'd love to change the world" och "Love like a man". Classic frontman Alvin Lee died in 2013, but the band is now fronted by the great Marcus Bonfanti and released the album " A sting in the tale" as recently as 2017.
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WALTER TROUT US
The greatness of blues guitarist Walter Trout lies in his idea that traditions and development are equally important. Following stints with the likes of John Lee Hooker, Canned Heat and John Mayall's Bluesbreakers, he went solo in 1989 to become bigger than ever. His successful struggle against liver cirrhosis resulted in one of his greatest records, "Battle scars" (2015). His recent tribute album to obscure blues heroes, "Survivor blues" (2019), and recent "regular" album "Ordinary madness" (2020) add yet more jewels to his crown.
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BOMBUS SE
Could this be the new stars of Swedish metal? Bombus have found their very own formula that is still custom-made for fans of the likes of Motörhead, Volbeat and Mustasch, but with more additional influences than anyone can count. Since their 2010 debut "Bombus" each new outing has revealed a new side to the band, without losing their basic ingredient - maximum rock'n'roll. Their fourth album "Vulture culture" (2019) may be their most daring one so far, but remains just as easy to get into.
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TIAMAT SE
Tiamat are one of the great pioneering cult bands in Swedish metal history. They began in the late 80s as a pompous death/black metal band, and ended up (?) a Gothic/progressive hybrid. In the transition between said phases they made two of their most beloved albums: "Clouds" (1992), a favorite among older fans, and "Wildhoney" (1994), hailed as one of the most groundbreaking releases in Gothic metal. To the delight of many, Tiamat's SRF set will focus on these two records.
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NASHVILLE PUSSY US
"America's last great rock'n'roll band", according to Lemmy. Nashville Pussy, centered around husband Blaine Cartwright (vocals, guitar) and wife Ruyer Suys (guitar), have made six studio albums since 1997, unabashedly combining Southern rock, sleaze, psychobilly and more in a unique blend with a cult following. Fans still agree that the band is best experienced live, for the ultimate appreciation of songs like "Hate and whiskey", "Go motherfucker go" and "High as hell".
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JEAN BEAUVOIR US
The man with the famous mohawk has written songs for Kiss, produced the Ramones, and lest we forget gained fame in his own right. Jean Bauvoir's first solo hit was "Feel the heat" (1986), off the Stallone movie "Cobra" and his now classic debut "Drums along the mohawk". Numerous releases later, as a solo artist and the frontman in bands like Crown Of Thorns and Voodoo X, Jean's position as one of the heroes of melodic hard rock is firmly established.
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ECLIPSE SE
It was as an AOR band that Eclipse debuted in 2001. Their third album "Are you ready to rock" (2008) marked a change to hard hitting melodic hard rock - as it turned out, a brilliant move. Since then, Eclipse have grown bigger with every new record, most recently "Paradigm" (2019), to become one of Sweden's most popular hard rock bands today. Eclipse singer and leader Erik Mårtensson being a professional songwriter is no coincidence. And some time 2021, studio album number eight will be upon us.
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KADAVAR GER
Meaty 70s' proto metal with hints of stoner, psychedelia and occultism is what Germany's Kadavar do. Following their 2012 debut, the band swiftly gained appreciation from fans and critics alike. Since their third album "Berlin" (2015) in particular their international profile has markedly increased, and today they are firmly established among the most celebrated old school rockers of their generation. The fall of 2019 saw them release their fifth studio album "For the dead travel fast".
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RAGE GER
As pioneers of speed-, power- and symphonic metal, Rage have earned their place in hard rock history. Being so eclectic has also helped the band create relevant, even classic albums throughout their 35 year career. Following several pompous and symphonic releases, Rage have in recent years gone returned to the more straight-forward style from their arguably most acclaimed period, the early 90s. This was continued on their 25th studio album "Wings of rage", released in January 2020.
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ORANGE GOBLIN UK
Stoner pioneers with one foot in doom metal and a fat load of space rock on top. Orange Goblin have maintained the concept that their fans know and love for over 20 years and nine albums. Unsurprisingly the band is a stable unit where all four members have been there from the start in 1995. Orange Goblin also shun over-production, striving to uphold their innate rawness, as one can clearly hear on their most recent album "The wolf bites back" (2018).
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FREEDOM CALL GER
One of the biggest names in power metal, whose first three albums from 1999-2002 were instant genre classics, producing such fan faves as "Freedom call", "Metal invasion" and "Land of the light". If the subsequent, more experimental releases got a mixed reception, "Beyond" (2014) was another success and from then on, Freedom Call have re-affirmed their place in the major league of power metal, most recently with their ninth studio album "M.E.T.A.L." (2019).
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HÄLLAS SE
Hällas from Sweden is something so unique as a new band, influenced by the 70s but still - unique. Their sound has been labeled "adventure rock", and includes prog, space rock, twin lead guitars and the highly unconventional vocals of bassist Tommy Alexandersson. Full-length debut "Excerpts from a future past" (2017) received unanimous praise and the single "Star rider" became an instant classic. Second album "Conundrum" landed in 2020, confirming Hällas to be one of Sweden's most promising bands at the moment.
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THE WILDHEARTS UK
A raucous garage band with pop sensitivity. That is this British cult band, who released their classic album debut "Earth vs the Wildhearts" in 1993 and during several years produced hits like "TV tan", "Caffeine bomb" and "I wanna go where the people go". The Wildhearts' fans are extremely loyal and in 2019, when frontman Ginger and cohorts released their first studio album in ten years, "Renaissance men", it was met with great success with fans and critics alike. Its followup "21st century love songs" is due in September 2021.
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GRAVE SE
One of the "big 4" among Swedish death metal pioneers, alongside Entombed, Dismember and Unleashed. (Almost) throughout their career, Grave have remained faithful to classic death metal, and as a consequence not only their classic albums like debut "Into the grave" (1991) but also the more recent ones like "Out of respect for the dead" (2015) are highly rated among fans. Now the band puts an end to a period of relative silence to re-enter the live environment.
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ORPHANED LAND ISR
A progressive/death/doom metal band influenced by Oriental folk music, with songs of reconciling combatting religious fractions. Too weird, or too pretentious? Hardly. Israel's Orphaned Land have found devoted audiences in multiple camps, and from many countries. The band's reputation has grown with each of their five albums so far, most recently "Unsung prophets and dead Messiahs" (2018), and their notable fans include Genesis legend Steve Hackett.
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VICTORY GER
Victory is one of the major German bands in melodic heavy metal. Their first studio outings arrived in 1984-96, and include such classics as "Culture killed the native" (1989) and "Temples of gold" (1990). Since then Victory have been only sporadically active, but now they're back under the leadership of guitarist Herman Frank - for many years a member of Accept - to introduce the SRF audience to cult songs like "On the loose", "Don't tell no lies" and "Rock'n'roll kids forever".
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VIOLATOR BRA
Brazilians Violator play old school thrash metal and formed in 2002. They are well-respected on their native country's underground scene after years of hard touring and numerous studio releases since 2003. The period following second full-length "Scenarios of brutality" (2013) was a turbulent one, but 2017 saw the releases of the EP "The hidden face of death" and Violator are now hard at work on expanding their audience on an international level.
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MÅNEGARM SE
Månegarm, formed in 1995, were pioneers of folk metal with native lyrics - Swedish ones in their case. Their early catalogue, arguably culminating on "Vredens tid" (Age of wrath, 2005), are genre classics praised by black metal fans as well. Following a period of lineup changes and musical experiences not universally acclaimed, Månegarm once more hold a steady lineup and their ninth album "Fornaldarsagor" (Tales from an ancient age, 2019) has re-established them as Swedish Viking metal titans.
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SATAN TAKES A HOLIDAY SE
60s' style garage rock, punk and rock'n'roll in unison. Satan Takes A Holiday from Stockholm do it in classic, no-frills fashion and "A new sensation" (2019) marks their fifth studio album since their 2009 debut. Since the very beginning, the trio have got a lot of attention for their contagious grooves and intense live performances. Not surprisingly, they have shared stages with everyone from Mustasch and Backyard Babies to Juliette Lewis and the one and only Kiss.
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PRAYING MANTIS UK
After their classic debut "Time tells no lies" (1981), not much more happened for Praying Mantis. But the NWBOHM's unofficial masters of melodic rock returned in 1990 and have consistently gained more and more appreciation with AOR buffs. One might even argue that the golden age of Praying Mantis is now, or specifically since singer John Cuijpers joined in 2013. At the very least, the band's two most recent albums "Legacy" (2015) and "Gravity" (2018) have received tremendous response.
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ELEINE SE
In the shape of Eleine, Sweden has gained an internationally competitive symphonic metal band reminiscent of Nightwish, Kamelot and Edenbridge. Since 2015 they have recorded three albums, most recently "Dancing in hell" in 2020. In this relatively short time, Eleine have clearly forged a career on the rise. The band getting positive reactions from live audiences, on tour with Moonspell, W.A.S.P., Arch Enemy, Myrath and in their own right, must certainly have contributed.
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THE COFFINSHAKERS SE
"Horror country." Now that's a unique sound, especially in 1995 when Sweden's The Coffinshakers were assembled by frontman Rob Coffinshaker (known to metalheads as the guitarist in Gehennah). 1996 saw the arrival of the "Dracula has risen from the grave" EP, elevating The Coffinshakers to cult status - which they retain to date, several years and releases later. And their blend of vintage country, gothic horror esthetics and some rock on top still comes off as magical: on stage in particular.
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NARNIA SE
Neo-classical metal with Christian lyrics was in theory doomed to fail in 1996. But albums like "Long live the king" (1999) made Sweden's Narnia spearheads in the renaissance of melodic, 80s' style metal. To the grief of many, the band folded in 2010. On their return four years later, featuring classic vocalist Christian Liljegren once again, the re-invigoration was unmistakable: the albums "Narnia" (2016) and "From darkness to light" (2019) have been praised as being among their best.
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ART NATION SE
Since the release of their debut "Revolution" (2015), Art Nation has been one of the most buzzed-about bands in Sweden, live and on record. Their blend of melodic rock, metal and pop has been embraced by fans and critics alike. Making the third album "Transition" (2019), singer and main man Alexander Strandell decided to set aside the pop for his solo career and go full-on hard rock with Art Nation. This has resulted in a heavier record that still holds all the Art Nation trademarks.
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MAGIC PIE NO
Norway's finest in old school progressive rock! Magic Pie debuted in 2005, mixing classic acts like Deep Purple and Yes with contemporary heroes like the Flower Kings and Spock's Beard. Since 2007 their singer bears the name Eirikur Hauksson, of Artch, Aunt Mary and Ken Hensley fame. Magic Pie's first four albums have all been praised by genre-enthusiasts, and with its somewhat more unpolished sound, "Fragments of the 5th element" (2019) has given ample proof of their ability to progress within their own self-defined territory.
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HORISONT SE
Horisont ("Horizon" in Swedish), alongside Witchcraft and Graveyard, are spearheading the ongoing wave of Swedish heavy retro. The band debuted in 2009 and have released six albums to date, most recently "Sudden death" (2020). Their sound bear elements of early 70s hard rock, NWOBHM, classic prog rock et cetera, with the occasional Swedish lyrics. Horisont have only increased in popularity over the years and this tendency shows no sign of waning yet.
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BAEST DEN
Baest are influenced by classic Stockholm death metal as well as Death, Morbid Angel, Bolt Thrower and Bloodbath. Following one EP and two albums - "Danse macabre" (2018) och "Venenum" (2019) - they were Denmark's most successful death metal band ever. Baest getting their break on the international death metal scene as well does not seem unlikely - their fresh third album "Necro sapiens" is a logical and worthy successor.
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SORCERER SE
The original Sorcerer were epic doom metal pioneers and existed in 1988-92. However, the band only managed to produce demos at the time. In 2010 Sorcerer were reformed by bassist Johnny Hagel (ex-Tiamat) and singer Anders Engberg (220 Volt, ex-Lion' Share) - and this time it happened. The albums "In the shadow of the inverted cross" (2015), "The crowning of the fire king" (2017) and "Lamenting of the innocent" (2020)) have established the band as one of the most promising "newcomers" in doom metal.
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ROSALIE CUNNINGHAMN UK
Singer/multi-instrimentalist Rosalie Cunningham is mostly known as the former leader of the now defunct band Purson, one of the great names of psychedelic retro-hard rock in the last decade. She released her first solo album "Rosalie Cunningham" in 2019, displaying her desire to create without preconceptions but greatly influenced by her heroes the Beatles. To fans of Purson she still has a lot to offer, and the same goes for fans of, say, original Pink Floyd, Kate Bush and obviously The Beatles.
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OVERDRIVE SE
With "Swords and axes" (1983) and "Metal attack" (1984), Overdrive made two of the first truly classic heavy metal albums from Sweden. The band, featuring well-known guitarist Janne Stark, has continued to produce gripping and "denim and patches"-wearer-approved old school metal (ir)regularly. To the delight of genre connaisseurs. Now, however, the band have declared that they will cease to exist as an active band, so we can expect an emotional send-off from a certified legend in Swedish metal.
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SIENA ROOT SE
The sound, the equipment, the feel and the stage show should all be the real old deal, and there should be a warmth to it. Such is the view of Siena Root, who have fought under the banners of early 70s hard rock since 1997. Since their 2004 debut "A new day dawning - a double album, boldly enough - the band have made eight more albums, including one double live, most recently "The secret of our time" (2020). In the process they have advanced from cult band to one of the prime acts of Swedish heavy retro.
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WARNER E HODGES BAND US
Guitarist Warner E Hodges is renowned as half the classic front duo of alt-country pioneers Jason & The Scorchers, and for years was a member of former Georgia Satellites singer Dan Baird's band Homemade Sin. In recent years he has also become a reputable solo artist, having released five records since 2008, most recently "Just feels right" in 2020 and all of them with the energy and fiery guitar playing associated with his liveshow - and with being a Southern rock hero.
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VA ROCKS SE
VA Rocks follow the path of the likes of AC/DC, the Donnas and Kiss - intense, hard rock'n'roll with an element of punk. The trio's first album "Pull no punches" (2016) became the talk of the town in rock circles, and the ensuing live shows in Sweden and Europe were triumphant. The follow-up "I love VA Rocks" (2019) has pushed the band even further up the ladder, and after touring with D-A-D, among other things, VA Rocks now make their highly anticipated return to SRF.
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WORMWOOD SE
Wormwood is inarguably one of Sweden's hottest black metal bands at present. They formed in 2014 and got an overwhelming response from the underground scene for their full-length debut "Ghostlands - wounds from a bleeding Earth" (2017). The album sported string melodies and eclectic influences, not least from the Nordic wilderness. Its follow-up "Nattarvet" ("The night legacy", 2019) was if anything more epic and broadened the band's fanbase even further, domestically and abroad. What may come after their third album "Arkivet" (The archive) is released this July?
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FEJD SE
In 2001 the duo of brothers Rimmerfors, making Swedish folk music on traditional instruments, joined forces with three members from prog/thrash metal outfit Pathos. Fejd ("feud" in Swedish) were born, combining the two styles and singing in Swedish. EP debut "Eld" ("fire", 2006) was followed by four albums, most recently "Trolldom" ("sorcery", 2016). Another album is finally underway, and from the looks of it Fejd is rapidly growing into one of the very biggest names in Swedih folk metal.
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ARTILLERY DEN
Danes Artillery are the undisputed Scandinavian kings of the classic thrash era. A combination of speed, catchiness and musical chops made the albums "Fear of tomorrow" (1985), "Terror squad" (1987) and "By inheritance" (1989) classics and Metallica themselves Artillery fans. The band folded in 1991 but have since returned for six more albums so far. Not even the death of guitarist and co-founder Morten Stützer in 2019 has stopped Artillery, who are on the verge of releasing their tenth studio album "X".
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METALITE SE
Metalite make catchy melodic metal spiced up with influences of early 00s trance music. The members have a history with such bands as Captain Black Beard, Imber and Castillion. The band have released three albums: "Heroes in time" (2017), "Biomechanicals" (2019) - introducing current singer Erica Ohlsson - and their brand new outing "A virtual world": all of which overseen in the studio by the legendary Jacob Hansen.
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AGONIZE THE SERPENT SE
Agonize The Serpent play energetic metalcore rooted in melodic death metal as well as punk. Since their formation in 2015 they have released the EP "Under a serpent's oath" (2016), the album "Pray for a plague" (2018) and most recently "Through the eyes of a serpent" (2020). (2018). The band's recordings have made an impact even internationally - over 1,5 million streams - and as a live act they have got to perform alongside the likes of the Unguided, Corroded and Lillasyster.
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DEATH BY HORSE SE
Death By Horse burn for catchy punk tunes and were formed in 2015. Their debut "This too shall pass" was released digitally in 2016 and its success spawned a physical release in 2018. Its followup "Reality hits hard" arrived in 2019, becoming an even bigger fan- and critical favorite. The band have also several European tours to boast, with the likes of Agnostic Front and Teenage Bottlerocket.
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HEXED SE
Hexed play dark and melodic metal with a progressive touch and male growls to back up lead singer extraordinaire Tina Gunnarsson. The band was formed in 2015 and have not been lazy: they have released three singles, then an EP, then their full-length debut "Netherworld" (2018). They have also gained a reputation as a strong live act and their second album is underway.
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MASS WORSHIP SE
Mass Worship play dark and brutal metal, combining a gritty, deathcrust-tinted old school sound with influences from modern metal. The band was formed as recently as 2018 by members boasting years of experience live and in the studio, and their debut "Mass Worship" which was released in October 2019 has been stirring up an interest in the underground realms.
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BROWSING COLLECTION SE
Browsing Collection play a groove-based punk/metal hybrid and have accomplished much since they formed in 2008. Several awards, writing for television, international touring and a total of six records, including the 2020 album "Cyber space buffet". The band is widely praised both for their live and studio efforts and is also committed to the annual, representation-improving music summer camp Sweden Rock Kollo.
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ELDEN SE
Elden ("the fire" in Swedish) do heavy riffs, catchy choruses and groove inspired by Mastodon, Baroness, the Sword and 70s/80s legends. They formed in 2012, releasing the "Atlas" EP in 2015. Elden truly found themselves on their first album "Death & fear" which was also greatly praised. January 2020 saw the arrival of their Fuzzorama debut "Nostromo", based on the dark, infinite and cold void that is space.
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HONEYBURST SE
Honeyburst were formed in 2017 as a power trio but have since expanded into a quartet with Hammond organ. Their sound is, not so surprisingly, influenced by the early 70s and the likes of Beck Bogert & Appice, Deep Purple, ZZ Top and Black Sabbath. Their debut "Space and time" arrived in September 2019 and is a product where groove and a positive atmosphere play a vital part.
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