Xandria

German mystic melancholic rock band founded by Marco Heubaum and Niki Weltz 1994 in Bielefeld.
The band broke up in 1997, but was re-formed in 1999 by Marco Heubaum.

Current lineup:
Dianne van Giersbergen - vocals (from 2013)
Marco Heubaum - guitar and keyboards (former)
Philip Restemeier - guitar (from 2001)
Steven Wussow - bass (from 2013)
Gerit Lamm - drums (from 2000)

Old members:
Manuela Kraller - vocals (2010 - 2013)
Nils Middelhauve - bass (2004 - 2012)
Kerstin "Lakonia" Bischof - vocals (2009 - 2010)
Lisa Middelhauve - vocals (2000 and left on the 30 April 2008)
Niki Weltz (1994 - 1997)
Roland Krueger - bass (1999 - 2004)

Kobra And The Lotus

Launched in 2009, Kobra And The Lotus is the lifeblood and passion of Canadian vocalist Kobra Paige. Eight years into their journey, the band has gone through significant changes in sound and personnel to the point that they were able evolve and create what is easily the strongest album in the Kobra And The Lotus catalogue. In fact, the aptly titled Prevail is such a show of strength that Kobra and her bandmates chose to make a double album to be released in two parts over the next year; a venture very few artists have the backbone to attempt.

Hailing from Calgary, Alberta, Kobra And The Lotus garnered immediate attention in Canada and the US with their debut album, Out Of The Pit, in 2010. The release of their self-titled second album in 2012 and High Priestess in 2014 enabled the band to tour worldwide both as a headliner and support act, which included a North American tour with KISS and Def Leppard. Sadly, Kobra was forced to take an eight month break from music due to a battle with Lyme disease, but Kobra And The Lotus regained much needed momentum with their Words Of The Prophets covers EP in 2015. In fact, the EP played was an integral part in the birth of Prevail in that it cemented the working relationship between Kobra and guitarist Jasio Kulakowski, who joined the band in 2012.

The idea of making a double album was introduced by Kobra's father, who suggested they do it because the vast majority of younger generation metal artists don't have the drive. Kobra admits she thought he was insane and that it was a surefire way to commit career suicide.

"A week later, I couldn't get the idea out of my head because I didn't see any reason why we couldn't push ourselves to do it," says Kobra. "We could at least try, and in that way make a bold statement that Kobra And The Lotus is still hanging in there."

When the band signed with Napalm Records, who were 100% supportive of the double album concept, the label opted to split Prevail into two parts because they felt it was too much material all at once that would go over people's heads. Twenty-one songs in all (including a cover), Prevail I and II share outstanding and diverse material due to the fact the songs were all written at the same time. Not only that, they wrote and recorded together in the studio with producer Jacob Hansen. According to Kobra, the band went to Denmark almost completely empty-handed and had very little material prepared. She calls it an "amazing experience" in that all the writing happened in one place, where the band members could bounce ideas off each other and encourage one other. They also benefitted from Hansen's considerable knowledge and experience.

"I'd say about 85% of Prevail happened in the studio on the spot," says Kobra. "Once we saw how much more colour was added to the songs by working that way we started to feel comfortable with the process. There were some unique things that happened because we were all there together. There was a whole new, whole different vision for this album. I didn't know how this was going to turn out; a lot of it came from my intuition. Jasio is my writing partner and he's a creative force. We lock in with one another when we write, it's amazing. I'm really proud and overjoyed with how the album turned out."

Prevail marks Kobra And The Lotus' debut as members of the Napalm Records roster, but for Kobra the collaboration is a first on many levels for the band.

"It's one of those amazing things that happens and I feel so blessed that Napalm were still interested in us. Every time we were getting ready to release something they were always there looking at us. We always went somewhere else and it was never a good choice (laughs). Okay, it was a good choice in how we needed to grow, but Napalm is the best label we could have hoped for because they're dedicated and they work really hard. There's a lot of young energy at the label and that's a blessing compared to other deals we've had. I don't think we ever knew what it meant to be supported by a label until we signed with Napalm."

In the months prior to the release of Prevail, fans were treated to three singles: "Trigger Pulse", "Gotham" and "You Don't Know". It comes as no surprise they are reminiscent of some of the material on High Priestess thanks to Kobra and Jasio's partnership, but they also attest to Kobra And The Lotus' massive growth as songwriters and musicians since the last record. On paper it sounds like lip service to say the band has become heavier, more dynamic and adventurous, but your ears don't lie.

Bottom line... Kobra And The Lotus are fearless as they move forward with Prevail, and with good reason.

September Mourning

September Mourning revives the concept of rock star meets superhero. If Marilyn Manson and Lady Gaga had a kid, it would be September Mourning, who also cites influences as varied as David Bowie, Motionless in White, KISS, Paramore and My Chemical Romance.

"For me, the project is a story, a theatrical art piece," September explains. "Music is a piece of the backbone, but for this to work, it has to include the imagery and the narrative all symbiotically linked into the whole. Music taps into your innermost being. There's something very intimate and personal about it."

The character of September Mourning is a human-reaper hybrid, who feels the need to give some human souls a second chance, and thus toys with Fate. To expound on this narrative, September is working with iconic comic book artist Marc Silvestri, who started out on the original X-Men comics and went on to form both Image and Top Cow Productions (Witchblade, The Darkness). Together, they are putting together the story of September Mourning in graphic novel form, to accompany, and enhance the storyline and musical message.

September Mourning carries positive passions into its music, which is often operatic, but also completely rock 'n' roll in all its majestic glory.

Having toured with Marilyn Manson, September Mourning has already built up an impressive fan base, which she calls her "Children of Fate," constantly encouraging them to have "the courage to embrace their passion… to allow yourself to follow your heart and not be a slave to your fears. To know that the only boundaries that exist in our lives are the ones we allow."

Nytrate

Old school metal. Heart meets Judas Priest with a blend of Rob Zombie and Racer X.

Members:
Alli Clay ~ Vocals
Jimmy Adcock ~ Guitar
Thomas "Taco" Canto ~ Drums
Zevron Zeau ~ Bass

Divine Retribution

Divine Retribution is a Melodic Life Metal band founded by Kitty Garces and Eric Garces in Dallas, Texas when they were studying music together in college. With Kitty’s ear for melody and passion for poetry, combined with Eric’s classical guitar experience, it was their mutual love for metal and classical music that ultimately forged the dramatic, aggro-melodic sound that became Divine Retribution’s signature soundtrack. The addition of nephew Gunther Garces and his rapid, percussive bass-attack complimented the lyrical and sonic sense of urgency that propelled their songs. In 2017, the band expanded its sonic landscape with the addition of prog-metal musician Daniel Almagro on drums and began recording their self-titled debut album, set to be released at the end of year.

With influences ranging from classic and 80s hard rock to progressive and power metal, classical music, traditional Latin and Eastern music, and the sweeping soundscapes of cinema, Divine Retribution has forged an epic sound that journeys nomadically across genres. For this reason, the band adopted its genre label, rebelling against anyone who would insist on labeling the band or their music. The music was melodic, heavy, and founded on themes of hope and faith—hence, their self-described genre: Melodic Life Metal.

Vocalist Kitty Garces says the label is “more than just a clever pun on Death Metal. For us to say we’re ‘Life Metal’ speaks more about our identity than our content, and I knew I never wanted our music to be confined by genres. I wanted to make sure we would always have that freedom to transcend genres and explore as we continue to grow as artists. We’re heavy, and our love for Jesus Christ is the inspiration and reason behind everything that we do and write, so I just let the music speak for itself.”

The music, like the band itself is passionate, as are their supporters. Appropriately-dubbed “Hellrazers” (founded on the idea of “razing” or tearing down the dark forces of this world), it was Divine Retribution’s supporters who championed the band’s message and music, garnering international attention, with radio stations, webzines, and Hellrazers hailing everywhere from North, South, and Central America to Europe and Asia.

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