Line-up 2024

JOURNEY US
The biggest, most legendary AOR band ever. San Francisco's Journey formed as a prog band in 1973, but it was as a soul-tinged, hard radio rock act they became superstars at the dawn of the 80s. "Don't stop believin'", "Faithfully", "Wheel in the sky" and "Separate ways" are just some of their innumerable hits. The band's golden age was followed by a long and rather confused period, until 2007, when they found stability around Neal Schon (guitar), Jonathan Cain (keyboards) and new singer Arnel Pineda. Albums like "Revelation" (2008) and "Freedom" (2022) prove that Journey haven't lost their creative spirit, and as a live act they remain one of the most cherished in the world.
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JUDAS PRIEST UK
The world's first real heavy metal band, according to many - including themselves. And surely Judas Priest from Birmingham have become one of the most legendary and influential heavy metal bands ever since their 1974 debut. Albums like "British steel" (1980), "Screaming for vengeance" (1982) and "Painkiller" (1990) rank among the most classic on the scene and immortal Judas Priest songs are all but innumerable. March 2024 will see the release of the band's 19th studio album and current single "Panic attack" reveals that Rob Halford & Co have not lost their mojo but have a record in the veins of "Painkiller" prepared for us.
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FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH US
Las Vegas' Five Finger Death Punch became stars even with their debut "The way of the fist" - featuring the classic "The bleeding" - in 2007. With a sound like "groove metal meets arena rock" it's hard to fail and their success has just kept going with such works as the two "Wrong side of heaven and the righteous side of hell" albums in 2013 and most recently their ninth studio album "AfterLife" in 2022. "Wrong side of heaven", "Wash it all away" and "Jekyll and Hyde" are just some of the additional hits on the band's long list: Five Finger Death Punch is, quite simply, one of the very biggest hard rock bands of our time. Since several years, they also continue to be in the top 5 of the SRF audience most wanted wishlist.
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ALICE COOPER US
Who does not love Alice Cooper? The Godfather and undisputed king of shock rock is still, more than 50 years after his debut, a competitive musician. His 29th (!) studio album "Road" is a concept album of sorts based on life on tour, musically reminiscent of the most classic vintage Cooper outings such as "Love it to death" (1971), "School's out" (1972) and "Billion dollar babies" (1973). Yet the scene is where Alice really shines, with his consistently theatrical, well-coreographed and entertaining performances. With immortal hits like "I´m eighteen", "No more Mr. Nice Guy", "He's back (the man behind the mask)", "Poison", "Bed of nails" and "Hey stoopid" to boot.
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PARKWAY DRIVE AU
Parkway Drive are the behemoths of the Australian metalcore scene, and one of that country's most succesful heavy bands ever. They formed in 2003 and quickly toured themselves to cult status even in Europe and the US. Their fifth album "Ire" (2015) gave them their major break, among traditional metal audiences as well. Its follow-ups "Reverence" (2018) and "Darker still" (2022) have since affirmed Parkway Drive's position as a contemporary metal sensation. An SRF debut for fans of modern, radio-friendly metal to look forward to.
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THE BLACK CROWES
One of rock's most highly anticipated comebacks in a long time. Atlanta's the Black Crowes were the new big stars of hard retro rock'n'roll in the early 90s. Song's like "Jealous again", "Hard to handle", "She talks to angels" and "Remedy", to name but a few, made eternal rock history. After eight studio albums the band split up in 2015, due to a quarrel between brothers Chris and Rich Robinson (vocals and guitar respectively). Now the Black Crowes are back, and new album "Happiness bastards" on its way - as is the band's SRF debut.
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MEGADETH US
Since the legendary Dave Mustaine debuted with his Megadeth in 1985 the band has released sixteen studio albums in total, including several masterpieces of thrash metal. "Peace sells ... but who's buying?" (1986), "Rust in peace" (1990), "Countdown to extinction" (1992) and most recently "The sick, the dying ... and the dead" (2022), to name but a few. Megadeth rightly rank among the "Big Four" of thrash and their current star-studded lineup is rounded out by drummer Dirk Verbeuren (ex-Soilwork), bassist James LoMenzo (ex-White Lion) and guitarist Teemu Mäntysaari (Wintersun).
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EVANESCENCE US
Their debut "Fallen" was an international mega success in 2003. Ever since, Evanescence have been one of the US' biggest heavy rock bands. Their sound is dark, mysterious and ever-changing, in accordance with central figure and master vocalist Amy Lee's creative vision. A new Evanescence album is a rare and highly anticipated event, and through Lee's perfectionism both "The open door" (2006), "Evanescence" (2011), "Synthesis" (2017) and "Bitter truth" (2021) have lived up to the expectations of the millions of fans.
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THE HIVES SE
The Hives became shooting stars of Swedish garage rock with their first album "Barely legal" (1997). Its follow-up "Veni vidi vicious" (2000) gave them their international break and two hit singles: "Hate to say I told you so" och "Main offender". For years the band kept their massive fanbase happy with additional albums, EPs and singles, but after 2012 this seemingly came to an end save for the single "I'm alive" in 2019. But then, in 2023, that long-awaited comeback happened. Their sixth album "The death of Randy Fitzsimmons" and a heap of singles to boot see the Hives finally returning: on stage as well.
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AVANTASIA DE
It started as a two-part one-time project: "The metal opera" (2001) and "The metal opera part II" (2002). Since then Avantasia, led by Edguy singer Tobias Sammet, has become a much loved institution on both record and stage. Nine concept albums have been released so far, chock-full of grandiosely arranged songs and characters voiced by celebrated singers like Bob Catley, Jørn Lande, Ronnie Atkins and Eric Martin. Avantasia's earlier SRF appearances have all been huge successes, so their 2014 return is bound to be a well-attended, joyous event.
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W.A.S.P. US
Blackie Lawless and cohorts have held a special place in the hearts of Swedes ever since their 1984 eponymous debut. From these early shock rock days, to latter day grandiose concept albums like "The crimson idol" (1992), and everything else as well, W.A.S.P. have upheld their position as one of the greatest glam metal bands ever. So now, on their 40th anniversary, there was never any doubt that they would come and delight their generations of Swedish fans with classics like "I wanna be somebody", "Blind in Texas" and "Wild child".
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RIVAL SONS US
One of the biggest, most celebrated neo-traditional (hard) rock bands of our time. California's Rival Sons debuted in 2009 and their sophomore album "Pressure & time" made them the classic rock sensation of 2011. The band's rhythmic blend of rock'n'roll, soul, blues and singer/songwriter have gained more fans with every album, including later day classics "Hollow bones" (2016), "Feral roots" (2019), and the 2023 seventh and eighth albums "Darkfighter" and "Lightbringer" respectively. Jay Buchanan's soulful vocals and poetic lyrics are, as always, the icing on the cake.
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BRUCE DICKINSON UK
Everybody knows Bruce Dickinson as the frontman with mega legends Iron Maiden. But this highly gifted singer and composer has a solo career as well. Since his 1990 solo debut he has released such classic albums as "Balls to Picasso" (1994), "Accident of birth" (1997) ans "The chemical wedding" (1998). These are somewhat more eclectic, and sometimes heavier, than his Iron Maiden albums, but still strong, classic heavy rock. As a welcome bonus, Bruce's return to SRF as a solo artist will coincide with him having released his first solo album since 2005, "The mandrake project".
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DIMMU BORGIR NO
Norway's extreme metal scene contains many bands, but few as legendary as Dimmu Borgir. They debuted in 1994 and albums like "Stormblåst" (1996), "Enthrone darkness triumphant" (1997) and "Puritanical euphoric misanthropia" (2001) made them pioneers in the more orchestral vein of black metal. Subsequent releases have brought Dimmu Borgir even further into symphonic and progressive territory (most recently on the cover album "Inspirato profanus", 2023), and their liveshows remain reliably dramatic.
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ELECTRIC CALLBOY DE
Germans Electric Callboy have been labeled electronicore, but refer to themselves as "porno metal". Their songs are based on sex and debauchery, in an ironic tone for laughing at, or with. Since their formation in 2010 they have released two EPs and six albums, and unlike many others have only grown after a belated change of singers. "Tekkno (2022), their most recent album and their first with Nico Sallach on vocals, became their first #1 record and produced their two biggest hits so far, "Pump it" and "Spaceman".
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KERRY KING US
Slayer retired as undefeated thrash champions in 2019. But "I'm no way near being done", says guitarist Kerry King, introducing his new band. A certified thrash metal super group, rounded out by drummer Paul Bostaph (ex-Slayer, Forbidden, Exodus), guitarist Phil Demmel (ex-Machine Head, Vio-lence), bassist Kyle Sanders (ex-Hellyeah) and vocalist Mark Osegueda (Death Angel). Their debut "From hell I rise" will be released in May (a first single came out in early February), followed shortly thereafter by their SRF debut.
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EXTREME US
Nuno Bettencourt is a guitar god. Singer Gary Cherone used to be in Van Halen. And "More than words" is one of the biggest acoustic hits ever. This is what everyone knows about Extreme. But it is also crucial to point out that ever since their 1989 debut, the band have distinguished themselves as one of the most genre-defying in hard rock. As in a mixture of Aerosmith, Van Halen and Queen. Their long anticipated 2023 comeback album "Six" included the likes of "Rise", which instantly joined the ranks of Extreme classics like "Get the funk out", "Decadence dance" and "Rest in peace". And did we mention that Extreme is contender against Aerosmith for the title of "greatest live band from Boston"?
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HAMMERFALL SE
One of Sweden's most legendary and influential metal bands. Hammerfall made a whole new generation re-discover traditional 80s metal in the late 90s. Their first four albums "Glory to the brave" (1997), "Legacy of kings" (1998), "Renegade" (2000) and "Crimson thunder" (2002) are timeless milestones, but any one of the band's twelve studio albums is a perfect illustration of their absolute dedication to old school heavy metal. The most recent one being "Hammer of dawn" (2022), possibly also Hammerfall's most lauded release in a long time.
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MICHAEL SCHENKER GROUP DE
Michael Schenker Group, or MSG, debuted in 1980 after the guitar legend from UFO and the Scorpions, Michael Schenker, formed his own band. In addition to Schenker's guitar playing, MSG were also hailed for their strong songs: "Armed and ready", "Cry for the nations" and "Ready to rock", to name but a few. Though the prolific Schenker have had additional projects since then, successful as well, he has still to date released as many as sixteen studio albums with the Michael Schenker Group - with a seventh one planned for 2024, undoubtedly as well-played and anthemic as we've learned to expect from Michael Schenker.
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DISMEMBER SE
The Dismember reunion would be the most highly anticipated in death metal in our time. The band played a crucial role on the early 90s' legendary Stockholm scene, and their debut "Like an everflowing stream" (1991) is a genre milestone. In fact, it is generally acknowledged that all the band's eight albums before their 2011 split, are good. So it's not hard to understand the jubilance from the fans to see Dismember reunited, in their classic lineup no less.
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WINGER US
Among the classic 80s hair metal bands, Winger was a prime example of combining catchy melodies with chops on a prog metal level. Their three albums from 1988-93 are chock full of such hits as "Seventeen", "Miles away", "Can't get enuff" and "Down incognito". Since then, their releases have been scarce, but always worthwhile. Still, many were shocked to find how good the 2023 comeback "Seven" really was. So frontman and former Alice Cooper bassist Kip Winger and chorts have picked just the right time to return to SRF.
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STEEL PANTHER US
The self-awareness is genuine, as is the song quality. Yes, the two can be combine. Steel Panther, the hair metal comedy kings, do it very succesfully. From their first album "Feel the steel" (2009) to their sixth and most recent "On the prowl" (2023) goes a straight, consistent line of countless modern party classics: "Community property", "Death to all but metal", "Party all day", "Gloryhole" and "Never too late", to name but a few. It's provocative, it's right on the money, it's well-played - and they who experience it live get one heck of a show to boot.
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GRAVEYARD SE
A flagship in the 21st century Swedish movement of new, 70s-inspired heavy rock. Gothenburg's Graveyard released their eponymous debut in 2008, getting their first - but not last! - domestic #1 with its follow-up "Hisingen blues" (2011). Simply put, Graveyard have repeated their success with the subsequent "Lights out" (2012), "Innocence & decadence" (2015), "Peace" (2018) and "6" (2023). The latter takes the band to new, more poetic territory, without sacrificing the heavy groove that is the trademark of the band.
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THE DARKNESS UK
The debut from UK's the Darkness, "Permission to land", became a global sensation in 2003. Hard rock spiced with glam both of the 70s' and 80s' variety, with crazy humor to boot. Sadly, the band dissolved after just one more album. However, 2011 saw them return, and their subsequent albums - most recently the excellent 2021 effort "Motorheart" - have reaffirmed the band's position as one of the most original in hard rock today. And Justin Hawkin remains a unique frontman.
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SLAUGHTER TO PREVAIL US
Slaughter To Prevail play deathcore influenced by extreme metal. They left their native Russia for the US as an objection to the invasion of Ukraine, which also inspired the single "1984" (2022). Another single, "Viking", arrived the following year. The band have also released an EP and two albums that were very well received by the extreme underground. They are also well known to be a fantastic live act, and the growls of Alex Terrible must be heard to be believed.
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BEAST IN BLACK FI
In 2015, Finnish guitarist Anton Kabanen moved on from his first hit band, Battle Beast, to a new band - which was also a hit. Beast In Black maintains Kabanen's unique style of composition where classic power metal meets classic synth pop and anime esthetics. Singer Yannis Papadopoulos has also been well-deservedly praised. Their debut "Berserker" (2017) was warmly received and the subsequent albums "From hell with love" (2019) and "Dark connection" (2021) both went to number one in Finland.
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GLORYHAMMER UK
Gloryhammer first emerged in the creative mind of Alestorm leader Christopher Bowes: a tongue-in-cheek power metal project with songs definitely not to be dismissed. The debut "Tales from the kingdom of Fife" arrived in 2013 and the band in fantasy outfits and with stories from a magical alternate Scotland immediately won over power metal audiences. Their fourth, most recent and aptly titled album "Return to the kingdom of Fife" (2023) is their first with Sozos Michael as the singer and concept story hero Angus McFife.
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NESTOR SE
They became an overnight sensation. Though it took them over 30 years. Sweden's Nestor formed in 1989 but quit before having made an album. Fast forward to 2021: the band has reunited for a second try, and the album "Kids in a ghost town" has audiences stunned. 80s hair metal so genuine as if the 80s never ended! Songs like "On the run" and "1989" are already classics and the Nestor fever just keeps on spreading like wildfire across the world.
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THY ART IS MURDER AU
Australians Thy Art Is Murder are considered part of the deathcore scene, but boast a wider register with room for technical versatility and great influences from more traditional extreme metal like Behemoth. The band debuted in 2010 and albums like "Holy war" (2015) and "Dear desolation" (2017) advanced them even further ahead in the scene of extreme music. In September 2023 they released their sixth album "Godlike", decidedly one of their heaviest yet.
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BLACK STONE CHERRY US
Kentucky's Black Stone Cherry are the greatest stars of contemporary Southern rock. Even their 2006 eponymous debut put them on the global map with the hits "Lonely train", "Hell or high water" and "Rain wizard". Subsequent albums confirmed Black Stone Cherry's position and kept on producing classic songs like "Blind man", "White trash millionaire", "Me and Mary Jane" and "Again", to name but a few. Their eighth album "Screamin' in the sky" arrived in 2023 and was praised for its returning to the roots and progress - at the same time.
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ICE NINE KILLS US
When Ice Nine Kills formed in Boston in 2000 as Ice Nine they played ska punk. They gradually moved on to an ambitious line of horror-themed metalcore, and had their first major success with third album "The predator becomes the prey" (2014). Their career has only improved from there, and with "The silver scream" (2018) och "The silver scream 2: Welcome to Horrorwood" (2021), vocalist Spencer Charnas & Co have grown into certified genre titans.
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BIOHAZARD US
In the 90s hardcore hit its commercial peak, and Biohazard were its biggest stars. This New York act was praised for their well-used hiphop influences and released nine albums in 1990-2012. The most classic being the second and third, "Urban discipline" (1992) and "State of the world address (1994). Following a long silence, Biohazard returned in 2022 in their classic lineup - Evan Seinfeld (vocals, bass), Billy Graziadei (vocals, guitar), Bobby Hambel (guitar) och Danny Schuler (drums) and album number ten is finally in the works.
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PRIMAL FEAR DE
Ever since Primal Fear was formed in 1997, by German metal luminaries Ralf Scheepers (vocals, ex-Gamma Ray) and Mat Sinner (bass, vocals, Sinner) they have been considered part of the elite in European heavy metal. Or power metal, according to some. Throughout their lengthy career they have been relentlessly producing classic albums, such as "Nuclear fire" (2001), "Unbreakable" (2012) and "Metal commando" (2020). Following the latter, their fourteenth studio album "Code red" (2023) had a lot to live up to. And it did indeed do so, according to old and new fans alike.
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HIGH ON FIRE US
Singer/guitarist Matt Pike was already renowned from stoner-heroes Sleep when he formed High On Fire in 1998. The latter band is often regarded as one of the heaviest in our time, with their crushing, sludge-tinged sound. The trio released their debut in 2002, and third album "Blessed black wings" (2005) basically spelt their major break on the metal scene. High On Fire have not only maintained, but increased their popularity, not least with their two most recent, universally praised albums, "Luminiferous" (2015) and "Electric Messiah" (2018). Their highly anticipated eighth album is expected to arrive in 2024.
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SWEDISH EROTICA SE
1989 saw the release of "Swedish Erotica", one of the most classic hair metal albums in Swedish history. Since then its creators, the namesake band, have done fairly little, and nothing at all with their classic singer Mats Levén (Prins Svart, ex-Candlemass, Treat). Live performances of songs like "We're wild, young and free", "Rock n' roll city" and "Hollywood dreams" with the original singer has to many a hair metal fan been just a hopeless dream. But at SRF 2024 it will be happening: Swedish Erotica are back, for a single, world exclusive show, with Mats Levén and both original guitarists Magnus Axx and Morgan Le Fay firmly in place!
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TREAT SE
In the 80s, Treat was one of the biggest names in Swedish hair metal. In 1993 they signed off after five albums filled with such classics as "Get you on the run", "World of promises" and "Ready for the taking". 2010 saw the arrival of comeback album "Coup de grace", an instant classic and fan favorite. Ever since, singer Robert Ernlund, guitarist Anders Wikström et al have kept on proving that they live up to their own glorious past and easily rank alongside current competitors. Not least with their newest album "The endgame" (2022).
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HULKOFF SE
Pär Hulkoff from the north of Sweden is best known as the singer/guitarist in the country's industrial metal heroes Raubtier. In 2017, he launched his solo project Hulkoff, leaning more towards power metal, heavily influenced by Norse folk music. The first Hulkoff album "Kven" (2017) was a success, and that success has continued to grow with subsequent releases "Pansarfolk" (2020), "Ragnarök" (2021) and "Hersir" (2023). Maybe in some part because said influences from folk music have also increased with every album?
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RICHIE KOTZEN US
Richie Kotzen is known as the former guitarist of Poison and Mr Big, and the current frontman of the Winery Dogs and Smith/Kotzen. He has even played with jazz bass virtuoso Stanley Clarke! But first and foremost, he is a solo artist with 20 studio albums under his belt since 1989. He is renowned for his emotional vocals but above all his virtuoso guitar playing. Influenced by heavy metal, blues, jazz, soul et al, he is universally recognized as one of the great guitarists of his generation.
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THE HAUNTED SE
When At the Gates split up (for the time being) in 1996, The Haunted rose from their ashes. The new band's debut "The Haunted" (1998) instantly became a modern thrash metal classic. Subsequent efforts have shown the Swedes' ability to vary themselves and expand the horizons of brutal metal: "The Haunted made me do it" (2000), "The dead eye" (2011) and most recently "Strength in numbers" (2017) are just some of their many classic albums. In addition to working on album number nine, The Haunted also make a welcome return to the live scene, a platform where they have always excelled.
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RIVERSIDE PL
In 2001 four Polish musicians with roots as diverse as death metal and electronic music, came together in one band. That band was Riverside, who debuted in 2003 to become one of the great names on the European progressive scene, with their dark, melodious mix of classic prog and pure metal. Especially so from their 2015 outing "Love, fear and the time machine", and their eighth and most recent album "ID.Entity" (2023) even charted at #6 in Sweden.
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THE BABOON SHOW SE
The Baboon Show is a Swedish punk band formed in 2003. Their first EP arrived in 2004, their debut album "Don't don't don't" in 2005 - and until 2016 they released as many as nine studio albums. They have also toured the world from Europe to China. The year 2023 finally saw the arrival of album number ten, "God bless you all", which naturally displays the well-known Baboon Show combination of social commentary and relentless rock'n'roll energy.
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LILLASYSTER SE
Gothenburg's Lillasyster, fronted by Lok singer Martin Westerstrand, play aggressive metal with Swedish lyrics. Their first single "Berätta det för Lina" arrived in 2007, followed the same year by debut album "Hjärndöd musik för en hjärndöd generation". Fast forward to today, and Lillasyster have reached six studio albums, most recently "Stormtrooper boombox" (2023), over 60 million streams and several gold- and platinum awards. In other words, they have become a national treasure, aggressive as they may be.
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TYKETTO US
"Don't come easy" (1991) by New York's Tyketto is one of the quintessential debut albums of AOR/hair metal. Because of grunge, the band's career didn't get the boost it should have gotten. This, however, hasn't stopped Tyketto, led by charismatic singer Danny Vaughn (ex-Waysted) from releasing records, most recently the lauded "Reach" (2016), and above all play live, where songs like "Forever young", "Wings" and "Burning down inside" melts faces to this day.
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IGORRR FR
Frenchman Gautier "Igorrr" Serre, in his eponymous band, makes musik for which there is yet no term. A mixture of extreme metal, classical baroque, Balkan folk music, industrial metal, and more. Igorrr's double debut came in 2010 with the album "Nostrils" and the EP "Baroquecore". The fourth and so far most recent album "Spiritual distorsion" was released in 2020. Rave reviews, hugely acclaimed shows on both sides of the Atlantic - and now, it's time for SRF audiences to experience what this unique project is all about.
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RIOT V US
Riot are US metal legends. Not least thanks to "Thundersteel" (1988), one of the most influential melodic metal records in history. Sadly, Riot guitarist and leader Mark Reale passed away in 2012. However, his "Thundersteel" cohorts, Don Van Stavern (bass) and Mike Flyntz (guitar), have kept the "Thundersteel" sound alive in Riot V, on the albums "Unleash the fire" (2014) and "Armor of light" (2018). Now, the highly anticipated follow-up "Mean streets" is upon us, with masterful singer Todd Michael Hall in top form as always.
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IMMINENCE SE
Imminence debuted with "I" in 2014 as a relatively traditional metalcore band. However, the follow-up "This is goodbye" (2017) was far bolder, with a strong electronic streak, and met with a highly positive response. Since then, Imminence, led by singer and violinist (!) Eddie Berg, have made two more albums so far, "Turn the light on" (2019) and "Heaven in hiding" (2021), and established themselves as a force to be reckoned with in contemporary metalcore.
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CANNED HEAT US
"On the road again", "Going up the country" and "Let's work together" are immortal songs by Canned Heat: the Los Angeles band who combined vintage blues and contemporary psychedelia like no other in the late 60s and early 70s. And despite Canned Heat constantly running into trouble, and even the occasional tragedy, they have never let anything stop them. Seventeen studio albums into their career they still keep rocking, drummer and vocalist Fito de la Parra steadily at the helm.
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ORDEN OGAN DE
Fans of Blind Guardian and Running Wild cheered at Germany's Orden Ogan's debut album "Vale" (2008). It did not end there, but Orden Ogan have continued to grow into one of the biggest bands of the second wave of power metal. Led by energetic frontman Sebastian "Seeb" Levermann they have so far made seven concept albums about their unfortunate antihero Alister Vale. The most recent one, "Final days" (2021) has even been released in two versions.
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DECAPITATED PL
Of all the proud names in Polish death metal, Decapitated are renowned as the most technically advanced. Their debut "Winds of creation" (2000) astounded fans and critics, and their fourth album "Organic hallucinosis" (2007) is a milestone of progressiv death metal. Decapitated's later outings also lean heavily into groove metal - guitarist and main man Waclaw "Vogg" Kieltyka also plays with Machine Head - such as their eighth and most recent album "Cancer culture" (2022), which has only increased their fanbase even further.
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DREAM EVIL SE
Metal fans remember them especially for the title track to "The book of heavy metal" from 2004. But the entire catalogue of Sweden's Dream Evil, from their 2002 debut, is like one big tribute to melodic eighties metal. This has brought powerhouse vocalist Niklas Isfeldt, demon producer and guitarist Fredrik Nordström and the lot, great acclaim from power metal fans, and now, after a long wait, the seventh Dream Evil album is finally on its way.
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DEWOLFF NL
Dutch power trio DeWolff have taken their homeland by storm. Their style is Retro with a capital R, influenced by the likes of Humble Pie, Led Zeppelin and golden age soul and gospel. Despite their relative youth they have released records since 2009 and "Love death & in between" from 2023 is their ninth studio album. That record has also spelt DeWolff entering the international scene with a vengeance - and seeing the band live is an experience that no one will forget.
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TWIN TEMPLE US
Satanic doo-wop." If that subgenre didn't exist before, Twin Temple from the US have now invented it. The couple Alexandra and Zachary James combine their love of artists like Buddy Holly, Roy Orbison and the Platters with a Satanic philosophy - whose prime component is inclusion, say the duo. Twin Temple have so far released three albums, toured with Ghost and Danzig, and been labeled "the embodiment of pure evil" by Infowars. Lend songs like "I am a witch" and "Let's have a Satanic orgy" your ears and decide for yourselves.
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CIRITH UNGOL US
It doesn't get more cult than this. California's Cirith Ungol were the uncrowned kings of epic, doom and true metal in the 80s. They made four albums, and especially the second one, "King of the dead" (1984), ranks among the greatest, most original heavy metal releases ever. The band folded in 1992, but after enormous pressure from their ever-expanding fanbase they reunited in 2016. They got a phenomenal reception, both as a live act and for their, to date, two newly written studio albums, proving Cirith Ungol to be as heavy as ever. According to the band, this will be their last tour ever.
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MYSTIC PROPHECY DE
Mystic Prophecy, who debuted in 2001, have become one of the true cult bands in German heavy-/power metal. However, unlike many of their contemporaries, Mystic Prophecy are more popular now than ever. The band, from the start led by powerhouse vocalist RD Liapakis (also in Steel Prophet), got a major career boost with their 2016 ninth album "War brigade". Their two most recent albums (eleventh and twelfth respectively) "Metal division" (2020) and "Hellriot" (2023) have won them a bigger fanbase still. So, a seasoned gang with a bright future ahead of them.
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THE SOUTHERN RIVER BAND AU
From the Australian countryside comes a quartet who burns for bona fide, unapologetic rock'n'roll. The Southern River Band have, so far, released three albums since 2016, and built a reputation on their home turf on two things in particular. A long line of single- and video hits, such as "Busted up", "The streets don't lie" and "Watch yourself". And an intense live show, with undefatigable singer and guitarist Cal Kramer as its focal point.
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HUMANITY'S LAST BREATH SE
Sweden's heaviest band at the moment? Humanity's Last Breath from Stockholm play a blend of deathcore and djent that make the bravest souls pale in the face. They have made five albums so far, the most recent of which, "Ashen", not surprisingly being named one of the heaviest in 2023. If you're looking for an aural massacre as well-performed as they come, and more bass heavy than thought physically possible, this is the band for you.
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VLTIMAS INT
An extreme metal dream team! Rune "Blasphemer" Eriksen, guitarist of Mayhem fame. David Vincent, the singer and bassist from the classic Morbid Angel lineup. Flo Mounier, unbelievably gifted drummer in Cryptopsy. Together they are Vltimas, who finally follow their 2019 debut "Something wicked marches in" with the new "Epic". Once more, we're talking blackened death metal of the finest sort: as one would expect from player of this calibre.
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VICIOUS RUMORS US
Bay Area's proudest in US power metal, Vicious Rumors, debuted in 1985 to then release three genre milestones in a row: "Digital dictator" (1988), "Vicious Rumors" (1990) and "Welcome to the ball" (1991). Following some more experimental releases, "Warball" (2006) was a return to the roots that, to the fans' delight, proved permanent, most recently on the 13th studio album "Celebration decay" (2020). SRF will see them present a front duo of main man Geoff Thorpe (guitar) and vocalistextraordinaire Brian Allen.
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CRYPTA BR
One of the hottest death metal bands of today comes from Brazil and sprang from the already classic thrash combo Nervosa. Singer/bassist Fernanda Lira and drummer Luana Dametto realised that death metal was the closest to their hearts and formed Crypta in 2019. Their debut "Echoes of the soul" (2021) was an instant sensation, and "Shades of soul" (2023) confirmed that Crypta is one of the best things that death metal in the 20s has to offer.
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KEBNEKAJSE SE
The great pioneers of Swedish folk rock debuted with the Hendrix-inspired "Resa mot okänt mål" in 1971. However, the subsequent "II" (1973) and "III" (1975), that are all about Swedish folk music in (mostly) instrumental rock's clothing, would be the big fan favorites. Still, the band made another batch of popular records before they split in 1978. And a few more yet again in 2009-2012. But it would be safe to assume that classics like "Horgalåten", "Balladen om björnbär och nätmelon" and "Barkbrödslåten" will remain the main crowdpleasers for the legendary Kebnekajse.
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GAUPA SE
Can you mix stoner with both modern and old-fashioned prog? Apparently you can, since Sweden's Gaupa have been doing it on one EP ("Gaupa", 2018) and two albums ("Feberdröm", 2020), "Myriad", 2022). And don't let those Swedish titles "fool" you: Gaupa alternate freely between Swedish and English lyrics. The result has been praised by audiences and critics alike, and so has Emma Näslund's eclectic, Björk-reminiscent vocals.
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THE GEMS SE
Sweden's the Gems formed as recently as 2023 by three former members of Thundermother: Guernica Mancini (vocals), Mona Lindgren (guitar) and Emlee Johansson (drums). Their first single "Like a phoenix" was an instant hit, not least in Germany, and January 2024 saw the arrival of the debut album, simply titled "Phoneix" and chock-full of groove-laden, innovative hard rock. At SRF the band will be augmented by bassist Mia Karlsson (ex-Crucified Barbara).
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DAMPF SE
Swedish eurodance legend Martin "E-Type" Eriksson now also has the alter ego A-Tron of metal band Dampf. Inspired by Rammstein, he formed Dampf in 2019 and "The arrival" was released in 2022. The album, made with some of the finest players in Swedish hard rock, has a fascinating pre-dystopian flair and contains the hit "The other side", among other things. And A-Tron has promised the female spirit "I" (!) that there will be at least two more Dampf albums.
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THE DAHMERS SE
Sweden's the Dahmers combine ferocious punk'n'roll with power pop melodies and horror esthetics. Their debut album "Demons" arrived in 2014, but most of all it's their many singles and EPs that have made them recognized as one of Sweden's best rock bands at the moment. "Blood on my hands", "On Halloween" and "Black widow" are just a few examples of already classic Dahmers songs. Oh, we almost forgot - they are also known as a great live band.
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PRINS SVART SE
A "supergroup" with Swedish lyrics. Prins Svart debuted in 2018 in a lineup whose collective merits include the likes of Grand Magus, the Poodles and John Norum. Their groove-laden 70s style hard rock was positively received from the get-go and since the arrival of singer Mats Levén (ex-Candlemass, Yngwie Malmsteen, Ludor et al) their popularity has skyrocketed. Prins Svart have grown even further with their fifth and most recent album "Till vårt försvar" (2023) and their advancement is looking more and more like sheer triumph.
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SCARLET SE
They have been relatively silent for a while, but now Scarlet are back for real. The secret duo of Scarlet Hunts and Thirsty joined forces in 2018 and depicted the problematic contrast between light and darkness in themselves and everyone on self-produced singles like "Age of seduction", "Hail the apocalypse" and "Killer Quinn". Scarlet's debut album "Obey the queen" (2020) gave them an international footing and back home they are competing in this year's Eurovision Song Contest qualifiers. With their strong image and a sound for the 21st century their future has only just begun.
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VELVETEEN QUEEN SE
Sweden's Velveteen Queen release their debut album in the spring of 2024, but are already an established name on the domestic rock scene. Their style harkens back to classic party rockers like Guns N' Roses, Aerosmith and Velvet Revolver, as demonstrated by the singles "Take me higher", "Barrel of a gun" and "Dreamer". A multitude of live gigs, with the likes of Nestor and Hardcore Superstar as well as numerous festivals, have sharpened Velveteen Queen's stage chops as well.
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XION SE
Swedish thrash metallers Xion were a regional sensation before they even released an album. In part thanks to a number of strong single cuts, in part thanks to their liveshows that really highlighted the members' chops and general talent. When their debut album, "Between shadows and gods", finally arrived in January 2024, it lived up to all expectations. Metal fans all agree: Xion is a brilliant new addition to the thriving Swedish thrash scene.
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CHAINSAW HOLIDAY SE
The band was formed in 2019 and the intention since they started out has been to create a form of metal based on the chugging riffs of the 80s, with elements of extreme metal and punk rock. In 2021, their first EP was released, and the band also got to make their live debut. The following year, a new line-up saw the light of day, the band made it to the finals of the Nestor Next 2023 music competition, and two brutal songs have been released since then. The ambition is to write music that never stands still, and our guess is the crowd won't.
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EBBA BERGKVIST & THE FLAT TIRE BAND SE
A young blues rock band that's been the talk of the town for a while, and the hype is real according to the fact that some of the most reputable music writers have praised them repeatedly. Already at the age of 20, Bergkvist released her debut EP "Alright" (2019) and after that it really took off. The band moves freely between heavy riffs, garage rock and heartbreaking blues. It doesn't get more genuine than this.
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HELLGROOVE SE
Around 2017 when everything started, the intention was to form a pure studio project. They recorded the song "Hell's Gates" with Björn "Speed" Strid from Soilwork on guest vocals, which directly became an underground hit. After that, they experimented with their sound for a few years, before landing the current line-up in 2022 with Emelie "Miss M" Reboira on vocals. Since then, three brutal songs have been released and Hellgroove is ready to take on the bigger stages.
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NAZGHOR SE
This gang has been delivering a nasty mixture of blood, sweat and satanic compositions since 2012. The latest record "Seventh Secular Crusade" was released in 2022 and after that the band has been focusing on playing live. Nazghor's well-executed black metal is brutal and evil, but at the same time melodic and atmospheric. Raise your horns and prepare for a show you won't forget.
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REXORIA SE
The band's style is often referred to as melodic metal, while some people might prefer to the music as power metal. If you ask Rexoria, they think that you are free to decide for yourself. The first single came out in 2017 and since then they have done several tours in Europe with, among others, Battle Beast, Dynazty, Bloodbound and Sirenia. Last year, their third album "Imperial Dawn" was released, which is packed with grandiose choruses and heavy guitar riffs. Distinctive for the band is the singer Frida Ohlin, who delivers powerful vocals and a clear stage presence.
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SVARTA SANNINGAR SE
An alternative rock band with Swedish lyrics that was formed in 2017. Their epic songs contain elements of both Kent (Swedish alternative rock band) and Depeche Mode as well as Ghost and Opeth. According to unconfirmed rumors, Svarta Sanningar ("Black Truths") has connections to an occult order with the same name. When listening to their EPs "Kapitel 1" (2018) and "Kapitel 2" (2021), we at least know for sure that the gates to darkness are always open.
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THE DRIPPERS SE
Since they started out in 2016, The Drippers has been one of the more prominent bands in the new wave of action rock. With a classic sound based on bands like The Hellacopters, Motörhead and Gluecifer, they've built a dedicated fanbase thanks to their strong songwriting and an insane live show. The band's two frontmen, William Dickborn and Viktor Skatt, were also handpicked by Mikkey Dee to perform Motörhead classics in front of sold-out houses throughout the Nordics.
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WE ARE TO BLAME SE
What happens when the joy of Astrid Lindgren's wonderful stories is intertwined with the melancholy sprung from the endless Nordic nights? The answer is music. We Are To Blame is a mix of influences from power, melodic death and progressive metal. Using both symphonic and electronic elements, the band creates songs with strong identities, catchy vocals and a fresh way of thinking.
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