In underground circles OZ enjoy an excellent reputation, but the normal metal fan (due to a long release pause the band made) will not necessarily be familiar with this Scandinavian heavy metal force. This will change soon, as the cult-band around vocalist Ape DeMartini will soon release their highly anticipated comeback album which is titled "Burning Leather" and contains brand new material and new recordings of classic tracks. Of course the band´s hits like "Turn The Cross Upside Down" and "Fire In The Brain" can be found here too.
"We decided to include new tracks and re-recorded old songs on "Burning Leather", because we wanted to show what OZ is about in 2011”, says drummer Mark Ruffneck. “It will be our first album since 1991 and there are whole new generations of heavy metal fans who do not even know our old songs. And for our old supporters, it is probably interesting to hear their favorites in new versions. In conjunction with old tracks and the new songs you get a package with "Burning Leather" that shows what OZ is today.”
To the new track "Dominator" a video clip was already published earlier this year.
"With the clip we wanted to make clear: OZ is back! Through a friend, we got in contact with Amir Chamdin, a renowned and award-winning video director, who has worked with acts such as The Cardigans, Mando Diao and The Hellacopters. The very same friend also introduced us to Nicke Andersson (The Hellacopters), who helped us with mix and co-production of "Burning Leather". Amir wanted to make a heavy metal video in the 80s-style, and we simply let him implement his ideas,” Ruffneck leaves the developments of recent times to reminisce.
With "Burning Leather" scheduled for release on November 18, finally, the comeback album of OZ is near. And the burning leather glove on the cover artwork can also be symbolic of the enthusiasm that they display.
OZ formed in the late 70s in Nakkila, Finland. Their debut album "Heavy Metal Heroes" arrived in 1982. Only a year later, OZ implemented a milestone of Scandinavian heavy metal with "Fire In The Brain", whose influential effect should become obvious years later. Using the "Turn The Cross Upside Down" EP and its title track, OZ then gained the peak of their popularity. Even today it is very much this song that metal fans connect with OZ.
And the band, whose members by then had moved from Finland to Sweden, stayed reliable with album releases: "III Warning", "Decibel Storm" and "Roll The Dice" until 1991, before the band split up.
So now we can witness the big comeback of OZ, starting with "Burning Leather", which secures the masterful balance between past and present, and at the same time wakes a great desire to follow everything that this exceptional band might come up in the future.