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Dark Tranquility and Sonata Arctica joined forces for Heavy Metal Poker Tournament

Dark Tranquility and Sonata Arctica joined forces for Heavy Metal Poker Tournament

Yeah sounds weird, but seems to be a trend nowadays and in some ways a chance to branch out to new and old fans and maybe get paiiiidddd! Also it seems Nuclear Blast was getting in on the action (and you guys now im a Meshuggah fiend, so yeah whatever Nuclear Blast is in ill take a look see), so here is the gist of it…

Much like how the New Wave of British Heavy Metal tore up the early 80s metal scene and spawned a whole legion of new metal-heads in its wake, the 2003 poker boom also opened up the tournament circuit to up and coming poker players as well as veteran grinders.

Thanks to the poker boom, all kinds of people—from average Joe’s to millionaire celebrities—have publicly professed their love for the age-old card game. That includes some names that you wouldn’t normally expect to be associated with poker, like the guys from Dark Tranquility and Sonata Arctica.

It seems it all started when Martin Brändström got hooked in the wake of the poker boom. He grew to love the game enough, in fact, that he even took a column-writing gig with a Swedish poker magazine about ten years back. Similar to a multitude of other players, Brändström started playing with friends – in this case, his Dark Tranquility band mates as well as members of Finnish power metal band Sonata Arctica.

Both bands had gotten so into in the game that they eventually decided to host their own poker tournament in 2009. Called Rockstars of Poker, the tournament invited fans to interact and play poker with members of Dark Tranquility and Sonata Arctica. The tournament had prize money at stake, and whoever managed to kick members of the team off the tables won special band merchandise.

“Me and Marko (Paasikoski of Sonata Arctica) and Martin (Brändström) as well as Martin (Henriksson, both of Dark Tranquility) met over a couple of beers at a festival in Italy last summer and found out that we’re all really into poker,” related Sonata Arctica keyboardist Henrik Klingenberg on Blabbermouth.

During one of their games, a friend made an offhand comment about setting up their own poker tournament. It led to a collaborative effort that allowed both bands to increase their online interactions with fans while playing a game they love in the process.

“Instead of just chatting online which is not really our thing (mind you, we’re a bunch of rock dudes in our 30, who like beer), we thought that we might as well play some poker while we meet up with whoever has something they want to know… or say,” added Klingenberg.

Dark Tranquility and Sonata Arctica aren’t the only names in metal that jumped on the poker bandwagon. Anthrax’s Scott Ian is a regular sight at the WSOP (i think i talk about that briefly on the review of Anthrax’s “Worship Music”), both as a regular competitor and as part of the annual celebrity tables. He was also part of the sixth season of the Doyle Brunson Five Diamond World Poker Classic held by WPT organizer partypoker.

What you might have missed though is that an entire label also tried to ride the poker wave, albeit a bit later than pretty much everybody else. German indie outfit Nuclear Blast (who Dark Tranquility, Sonata Artica and Anthrax are a part) launched a free-to-play poker site called Nuclear Blast Poker last year. Here’s a blurb from the label’s press release:

“Nuclear Blast Poker is not just an online poker game but also a community platform where metal freaks interact, show their love for metal by styling their avatar with cool hardcore items from the shop, all while listening to the newest music releases from Nuclear Blast label on an integrated music player.”

Sadly enough or maybe not, it kinda seems like it failed, the Nuclear Blast Poker seems to be down. No big updates to be seen, guess not everyone is a winner.

Check below the new singles from Dark Tranquility and Sonata Arctica.

Dark Tranquility – Uniformity (Youtube)
Sonata Arctica – Alone In Heaven (Youtube)

Go buy it! Dark Tranquility and Sonata Arctica joined forces for Heavy Metal Poker Tournament
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