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Vetrar Draugurinn: '1'
Released 30th March 2017 (Independent)

17th March 2017

ian sutherland
Words and Pictures: Ian Sutherland

vetrar draugurinn

Eric Hazebroek has been part of the Dutch Metal scene for many years and is best known for his work with the recently retired Stream Of Passion. Always adept at adding his dark, atmospheric guitar tones to whatever band he is playing in, the demise of his highest profile outlet has led him to bring forward a new band which allows his dark musical vision to be the main driving force.

Step forward Vetrar Draugurinn (Icelandic for Winter Ghosts for the trivia fans). The band is completed by bass player Douwe de Wilde, drummer Jim van den Kirkhof and singer Marjan Welman who is known for her work with heavy rockers Autumn, Ayreon and more.

After a successful crowdfunding campaign what we have on offer is a limited edition four track EP as a taster of a full length album to come. Opening with 'Bleak Earth' this is an immediate statement of intent from a band who want to be all about deep and dark melancholy. That might make you think just of a heavy, doom kind of sound but there is plenty of energy here along with loads of melody alongside some really tasty heavy riffing. Then in comes that voice. I am already on record that I think Marjan Welman has a special talent and her beautifully smooth, melodic tones just sound perfect here.

vetrar draugurinn

'Vigil' is more of a steady, shuffling, groovy rock tune with some lovely gentler passages and several really nice melodic lead lines from Mr Hazebroek. 'Mother Of Northern Skies' has more of a grinding, stomping feel to it and another couple of monster riffs. When it slows down a little bit of a doom like vibe develops but eventually layers of melodic guitar lines and vocals are added to give a nicely slow burning ending which I just wish was a bit longer, four and a bit minutes is not enough.

The EP finishes with 'Solis', a haunting ballad, no drums or bass. Over a background dripping in loss and longing Ms Welman's special talents are on show again with a vocal which hangs with a stark beauty over the music. I get goosebumps every time I listen to this song.

This is a mouthwatering start from these guys, I had high hopes knowing the talent on offer but they have surpassed my expectations. The quality of the riffs is absolutely top notch and I just can't get enough of those vocals. I can't wait to see them when they perform live for the first time ever at the Darker Days Festival in Leicester on March 18th, this could be the start of something really special.

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If you order this EP through Bandcamp or get a physical copy there are two extra songs available as digital downloads, 'Travelling Alone' featuring Stream Of Passion's Jeffrey Revet on keyboards and 'Into The Black Light'.

Tour dates:
March 18th: Darker Days Festival, Leicester, UK
March 30th: Gebr. de Nobel, Leiden, NL - RELEASE SHOW
April 14th: Willemeen, Arnhem, NL
April 15th: Mezz, Breda, NL
May 12th: Peppel, Zeist, NL
June 23rd: Altstadt, Eindhoven, NL
September 22nd: FemME MEtal Festival, Effenaar, Eindhoven, NL

Check out more of Ian Sutherland right here.

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monsters of rock

Monsters Of Rock In Full Flight is strictly limited to 300 worldwide and is available from 30th November but those ordering before 31st October will have their name published within a dedicated page in the book.

It's a deluxe 128 page hardback book in a metal flight case with a narrative by Jerry Bloom.

When promoter Paul Loasby put on the first Monsters Of Rock Festival in 1980 he could probably never have imagined it would become an annual event that would endure for so many years.

Featuring bands from the UK, Germany, Canada and USA, Loasby chose to stage the event at the Donington race circuit in the middle of England and it would prove to be a defining moment for many of the bands on the bill.

Not least for headliners Rainbow as it was the their last ever show to feature drum legend Cozy Powell. As it would happen it turned out to be the last for vocalist Graham Bonnet as well. For many of the other bands on the bill such as Scorpions, Judas Priest and Saxon, they were all on the ascendancy and would soon go on to even greater success.

Now in celebration of this first ever Monsters Of Rock Festival comes this hardback book full of glorious photos of the bands that took to the stage for that inaugural event including back stage shots. Most of these shots have not been published before which add to the uniqueness of this deluxe 128-page book which is packaged in its own flight case.

Also included are stories surrounding the event with tales and recollections from those who were there, including artists and fans alike. Each book will be signed by the author. The 300 will sell fast and definitely go on to become collector's items so order yours now right here to avoid disappointment.


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