The 18th of April marks the release of A War of Our Own, the new album from Dutch metal
band Stream of Passion. The title was inspired by the unusual path the band had to take in
order to make this album a reality; they initiated an international crowd funding campaign
through the Indiegogo platform. Within a few short weeks, the Stream of Passion fans
managed to raise the staggering amount of € 44.000 by bidding on band-related goodies
and events. The French artist Alexandra Bach contributed generously to the campaign by
offering to create the stunning artwork.
The fourth album by Stream of Passion brings closure to a period in which the band was
forced to fight for their existence after they’d ended their deal with their record company.
As leader of the pack Marcela Bovio explains: “The relationship between us and the record
company was far from ideal and we were forced to re-examine all our options. Such an
impasse had a strong influence on our state of mind. Thankfully, the idea of crowd funding
surfaced and quickly changed everything for the better.” Bovio says further: “It was a
beautiful thing, seeing so many people offering their support. Our fans clearly wanted to help us secure our future; they have had a major role in making this album possible. Thanks to our fans, we’ve emerged stronger from this battle.”
Confronting Conflict Conflict is a recurring theme on A War of Our Own. The intimate song ‘Secrets’ was inspired by the struggle of 3 year old Mara, who sadly passed away last year after a long battle with Neuroblastoma (a rare and very aggressive form of child-cancer). ‘Don’t Let Go’ is a message of hope to someone who can’t cope with life anymore; and ‘Exile’ involves the internal and emotional struggles faced by an asylum-seeker forced to leave his country behind.
And then there’s the conflict raging in Bovio’s homeland of Mexico, which inspired several songs on the album; the devastating war on drugs, an ongoing battle between armed drug gangs and the Mexican government that has cost approximately 80,000 lives so far. The title song describes the effects the conflict has had on both criminals and victims. ‘Monster’ is a Breaking Bad-esque story about Mexicans who deliberately choose to work for a drug gang, and thus performing criminal acts against their own people. Bovio: “I don’t live there anymore, but I do still feel a sense of responsibility to make a statement about the events taking place in Mexico. But it’s not all doom & gloom! The underlying message of the album is that you should never allow yourself to be a victim to adversity. Get up and follow your dreams! The power to encourage change, to overcome any obstacle lies in everyone of us.”
Complete Freedom By being more ambitious than ever, the band has perfected their sound musically. A War of Our Own is more progressive and melodic than the previous albums. The album also contains more symphonic elements and of course the trademark Latin-American passion associated with Stream of Passion. The album was once again produced by Joost van den Broek and contains, alongside their own songs, material written with Daniel Cardoso – keyboardist of the popular progressive rock-band Anathema.
However cliché it may sound, Stream of Passion has made major progress, despite (or possibly thanks to) the challenges they recently faced. In hindsight, it seems that parting ways with the record company was a blessing in disguise. Bovio: “It enabled us to make decisions on our own time. There were no more discussions about the direction our music was taking or about the visual aspects. We had complete freedom. We are no longer accountable to anyone; it’s now up to the fans to judge our work and the album.”
9 years of Stream of Passion Stream of Passion started in 2005 when vocalist Marcela Bovio and Arjen Lucassen joined forces. In the past nine years, Stream of Passion has released three albums: Embrace the Storm, The Flame Within and Darker Days. The band also released a live CD/DVD entitled Out in the Real World. In addition the band has toured extensively throughout the world, in Europe, Canada, Russia and Israel with bands like Epica, Leaves’ Eyes and Xandria.
Around the impending release, the band will start with a Dutch tour that will be followed by concerts in the UK, a small tour in Germany and a concert at the Made of Metal festival in the Czech Republic.
A War Of Our Own will be released on the 18th of April via PIAS/Rough Trade. This day also marks the album’s launch party planned in the Bibelot in Dordrecht.
Stream of Passion is: Marcela Bovio (vocals) Johan van Stratum (bass) Jeffrey Revet (keyboards) Eric Hazebroek (guitar) Stephan Schultz (guitar) Martijn Peters (drums)
AWAKE BY DESIGN
Awake By Design are a modern, melodic metal band encompassing the best of the Euro/ Prog metal genre. Awake By Design was originally formed in December 2007 by vocalist Adrian Powell. Their first album gained the band quick recognition via publications such as Powerplay, Classic Rock and Terrorizer Magazines as well as on the TV and radio via the BBC. This widespread approval and acclaim led to support slots with some highly acclaimed Metal and Rock acts during 2010-2013 such as My Dying Bride, Anathema, Apocalyptica, Diamondhead, Sonata Arctica, Queensryche, Evergrey, Lacrimas Profundere and Curved Air, culminating in Awake By Design performing at Bloodstock Festival in the summer of 2013.
Awake By Design consists of Adrian Powell on vocals, Dave Favill - Bass Guitar, Luke Hatton - Electric Guitar, Janson Sissons - Keyboards and Chris Wilkinson - Drums. They have recently released ‘Carve The Sun,’ their second full-length album following their debut, ‘Sentiment’.
They are regularly compared to classic and contemporary metal bands including Nightwish, Iron Maiden, Moonspell and Sonata Arctica due to their clear focus on melody, catchiness and their larger than life, epic sound. Recent reviews have been quoted commenting on Carve The Sun:
Awake By Design are definitely set to impress melodic metal and power metal fans upon the release of Carve The Sun ... 8/10
- Woody’s Rock Reviews
Awake By Design have clearly listened to some decent music themselves over time and they have picked up some similarities but also have a pretty distinctive sound of their own... 4/5
- Midlands Metalheads
Be it in the beautiful vocals (I'm not kidding, this guy has an amazing voice!), the enchanting keyboard synths or the Dragonforce esqe guitar solos that fill Carve The Sun with so much life... 8/10