PORTNOY, SHEEHAN, MACALPINE, SHERINIAN Perform At 'Drum Off Grand Finals' (Video)
- Jan. 15, 2012
Drummer Mike Portnoy (DREAM THEATER, AVENGED SEVENFOLD), bassist Billy Sheehan (STEVE VAI, DAVID LEE ROTH), guitarist Tony MacAlpine (neo classical-metal style, STEVE VAI) and keyboardist Derek Sherinian (DREAM THEATER, PLANET X, BLACK COUNTRY COMMUNION) performed yesterday (Saturday, January 14) at the twenty-third annual Guitar Center's Drum-Off, the nationwide search for the next great undiscovered drummer, at Club Nokia in Los Angeles, California. You can now watch video footage of their performance below.
In addition to all the incredible performances, the night featured the Drum Legend induction of drumming greats Peter Criss (KISS) and Terry Bozzio (FRANK ZAPPA, MISSING PERSONS). The Drum Legend induction honors icons in the drum world that have paved the way for today's drummers. The award is given to those that have made significant contributions to the craft and have hugely influenced players by their style and illustrious musical career. Past inductees include John Bonham, Billy Cobham, Nicko McBrain, Steve Smith, Dave Garibaldi, Alan White, and Greg Errico.
The Drum-Off champion won the grand prize package, valued at nearly $50,000, which includes: $25,000 cash, a feature in Modern Drummer magazine, 2012 NAMM VIP Experience, recording time at the Converse Rubber Track Studios and thousands of dollars in gear and endorsement deals from the drum world's top manufacturers.
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Original KISS Drummer PETER CRISS Named 'Drum Legend'
- Jan. 15, 2012
Original KISS drummer Peter Criss was inducted last night (Saturday, January 14) as part of the latest Drum Legend class during the grand finals of Guitar Center's annual Drum-Off at Club Nokia in Los Angeles, California.
The Drum Legend induction honors icons in the drum world that have paved the way for today's drummers. The award is given to those that have made significant contributions to the craft and have hugely influenced players by their style and illustrious musical career. Past inductees include John Bonham, Billy Cobham, Nicko McBrain, Steve Smith, Dave Garibaldi, Alan White, and Greg Errico.
Video footage of Peter's induction can be seen below.
Born Peter George Criscoula on December 20, 1945, in Brooklyn, New York, Criss got his start drumming after discovering legendary jazz drummer Gene Krupa and such '60s rockers as THE ROLLING STONES.
"Finally, when I got into rock 'n' roll drumming, I liked Charlie Watts [of THE ROLLING STONES]," said Criss in a 1997 interview. He also cited CREAM's Ginger Baker, THE WHO's Keith Moon and LED ZEPPELIN's John Bonham as big influences on his playing.
Photo courtesy of PeterCriss.net
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LAMB OF GOD: We're Incredibly Confident In Our Abilities To Record And Perform Kick-Ass Music
- Jan. 15, 2012
Brian Giffin of Australia's Loud magazine recently conducted an interview with bassist John Campbell of Richmond, Virginia metallers LAMB OF GOD. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
Loud: So what do you think the fans are going to take away from [the new LAMB OF GOD album, "Resolution"]?
Campbell: Hopefully they'll be picking their jaws up off the ground and they'll be coming out to see us when we come around and play live.
Loud: What do you think about the state of music in 2011? It just seems like there's a constant stream of great abums coming out.
Campbell: I think that's just a statement on the strength of music despite the record companies having their desperate situation. I think technology's at a point where, if you got a creative mind, the tools to create music are very easy to come by. And the ability to get that music heard is huge now. So I think that [the way] that the Internet has had [a] positive [effect on] music is that music, as artistic expression, is very easily transmitted.
Loud: So how it affect LAMB OF GOD with so much great music coming out around you? Does it push you on toward further excellence?
Campbell: To be honest, I've had my head so firmly in LAMB OF GOD for the past year, I haven't really poked around to see what music is out there. We tend to be unaffected by what's going on around us and when it comes to create and go make another collection of LAMB OF GOD songs, it's great that there's so much great music out there but we're incredibly confident in our abilities as a band to write, record and perform live kick-ass music.
Loud: Are fans going to be able to go into this album and find some new things, perhaps, that you haven't explored before?
Campbell: Well, we don't necessarily go in trying to... we're not going to do the KORN thing and get into dubstep or anything. We're writing a LAMB OF GOD record. But I definitely think there's influences in there. Like the track "Ghost Walking", with the acoustic intro, sounds a little SKYNYRD-ish to me. But, you know, we've got the usual suspects as our inspiration is heavy metal and those are those great heavy metal bands that we grew up with: SLAYER, MEGADETH, METALLICA. That sort of forms the backbone of what we write, what we take our cues from for our heavy metal.
Loud: Now you are at that stage yourself, where bands are taking inspiration of you. How does that make you guys feel?
Campbell: It's crazy, man. It's a bit much at times. When people come up and want your signature... your autograph, I guess you call it, it's an odd thing when people start to... they relate to this music, and there you are as a person. But who they relate you... there's a relationship there, but it's through a different medium. It can be an odd thing. And it's awesome that there's kids who are musically inspired by us, however we are definitely putting out music that we love. That we like. So I would say I'm glad these kids agree with us! (laughs) A friend of mine used to work at a music store, and he told me a few years ago, when "Laid To Rest" was the single, that kids were coming in trying to play the riff. They were coming in after music school and trying to play the LAMB OF GOD riffs. To me, that's cool, man. It's kinda odd, but it's cool.
FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH: New Video Interview With CHRIS KAEL
- Jan. 15, 2012
On December 16, 2011, Distortia conducted an interview with bassist Chris Kael of Las Vegas-based metallers FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH. You can now watch the chat below.
FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH fans are able to get the brand new cover art for the band's current album, "American Capitalist". It features an illustration of the group's ubiquitous "mascot," Knucklehead, over the backdrop of Times Square in New York City.
The new Knucklehead illustration only replaces the regular edition album version of "American Capitalist", while the deluxe edition artwork remains the same.
FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH recently released the second single from "American Capitalist", "Remember Everything".
"American Capitalist" debuted at No. 3 on The Billboard 200 chart, selling 91,000 copies in its first week of release. Both the chart and sales numbers were career highs for the group.
Niclas Müller-Hansen of Sweden's Metalshrine recently conducted an interview with drummer Brann Dailor of Atlanta progressive metallers MASTODON. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
Metalshrine: Since it was the 12-year anniversary of when you got together as a band for the first time, what do you remember from that day?
Brann: When we actually got together and started making some noise the four of us, I remember being pretty excited. We started learning each other's songs and stuff like that and I was really excited to have… for Bill and myself, to have found Troy and Brent, so it came together like this weird package deal almost. There wasn't really any question about it. It was really sort of like, "Ok, yeah cool! This is our band! What are we gonna call our band? MASTODON! OK, cool, done!" You know what I mean? It came together so fast and I moved to Atlanta on January 1 in 2000 and not even two weeks later, boom, I met these guys and we were off and running! We had a bunch of songs to kinda learn and work through, but we started booking a tour immediately and figuring out when we could go into the studio and record. It was really weird. I remember Bill and myself, especially, being super-motivated to wanna get back to touring because we'd just kinda been doing that for the last two years with TODAY IS THE DAY, so we knew that we could at least get to that level, back to that spot and use whatever contacts we had to do so. Relapse Records and things of that nature, so we told Relapse "Hey, we're gonna go start something new!" and we stayed at Matt Jacobsen's house on the way down to Atlanta, so there you have it! We were excited to meet each other and all of our personalities and senses of humor clicked right off, so it was very easy.
Metalshrine: Were there other names than MASTODON floating around?
Brann: Nah, that was the only one! That's what you do when you… especially when you move to a new city you put an ad in the paper and put up notices, "Hey, drummer and guitar player looking for a band!". We didn't have to do anything of that, it just kinda worked out.
Metalshrine: I saw some pictures of you being in the studio recording with acoustics and I gather it's for the Record Store Day thing with Feist? Was that the only song you did?
Brann: (laughs) No, we did another song.
Metalshrine: Cool! And that's gonna be a split 7" where they do a MASTODON song and you do one of hers, right? Which one is it?
Brann: "A Commotion"! Have you heard it?
Metalshrine: I think so. The only stuff I've heard is the latest album, "Metals".
Brann: It's off of that! We made it super heavy and it sounds really cool.
Metalshrine: You met at some TV show, right?
Brann: Yeah, Jools Holland! We did that with them and I don't know, right after we got off stage we went backstage and and we were in the hallway with her and she was talking to Brent. They were involved in a conversation and were just like, "Yeah, let's do that! We should do it for Record Store Day!" Something out of left field and something we'd like to be involved with more of. It's fun for us. I mean, most times we end up doing covers of bands that are already sort of heavy or that is already in that vein, like the MELVINS, THIN LIZZY, METALLICA, you know what I mean? What are you gonna do to those songs to make them your own? It's kinda difficult and especially with stuff like METALLICA or the MELVINS where we're so kinda familiar and in love with the versions that METALLICA and the MELVINS and THIN LIZZY have created, you wanna make it sound like theirs because that's what you're so used to hearing. You don't really wanna mess with it. With Feist it's something that we could really play with and do something different with.
Metalshrine: Could you see yourselves do more of that kinda stuff?
Brann: If there's time, you know. Sure. We'd like to, but MASTODON is all-encompassing enough as it is, for me anyway. When I get home I just wanna dig in and be home. I don't wanna go and record in L.A. We're not home for that long. Even this time, when we got home after the ALICE IN CHAINS/DEFTONES tour in the States, we were like, "Yeah, we're taking a big long break!" and then a month later we were writing again and almost to go back into the studio and it was like, "Oh no, it's happening! I can't stop it!" Then here we were in the studio and here we were for summer festivals and then the record was finished and it was time to go back out on tour again. But, if there's a time to do it, I guess it's now.
DENOUNCEMENT PYRE Preparing To Record New Album
- Jan. 15, 2012
Australian black/death metallers DENOUNCEMENT PYRE are preparing to enter the studio to record their second full-length album, to be titled "Almighty Arcanum". The effort will feature seven new tracks and will be released later in the year on both CD and vinyl formats by Hells Headbangers Records.
DENOUNCEMENT PYRE will return to the stage in June to perform live for the first time in half a decade as part of the Evil Invaders festival in Sydney, Australia. More shows will be announced soon.
DENOUNCEMENT PYRE's full-length debut, "World Cremation", came out in 2010 via Hells Headbangers.
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SCIENCE OF SLEEP Signs With BASTARDIZED RECORDINGS
- Jan. 15, 2012
German deathcore band SCIENCE OF SLEEP has inked a deal with Bastardized Recordings. The band's first EP, "Affliction" — which was originally made available last September — will be re-released later this year with a bonus track, to be followed by SCIENCE OF SLEEP's full-length debut.
Formed two years ago in the German city of Braunschweig, SCIENCE OF SLEEP "clearly break out of line and deliver a new era of brutality, blast beats and blood-freezing vocals," according to the band's official bio. "The passion the five guys carry through every moment of their bandlife and over 100 live shows in the first two years show everybody the strong will to reach a higher level."
SOULFALLEN: 'Scars Aligned' Video Released
- Jan. 15, 2012
"Scars Aligned", the new video from Finnish dark metallers SOULFALLEN, can be seen below. The clip, which features a guest appearance by Annika Jalkanen, was shot last fall and conceived by CoreCrew.
"Scars Aligned" comes off SOULFALLEN's third album, "The Promise Of Hell", which will be released on January 18 via the band's own label, Grave New Music, with distribution from Inverse Records/Supersounds (Finland), Plastic Head (U.K.), Bertus (Holland), Sound Pollution (Sweden), Disk Union (Japan), The End Records (USA), Rebeat (Austria), Non Stop (Switzerland), and LSP/MetalZone (Belgium). The cover artwork was created by Maija Ranka and can be seen below.
Commented SOULFALLEN frontman Kai Leikola: "The new album will be the final part of a trilogy, the closing of a chapter. It will bear the trademark sound of SOULFALLEN with some new flavors directly from the ever-burning kitchens of Hell. The story will continue where 'Grave New World' left off: at the burial of the world. Something has gone terribly wrong and life has united with death in a way never seen before. Humanity is not allowed rest but trapped in a Hell where even death cannot save those already dead."
A video for the song "Scars Aligned" was filmed this past fall and will make its online debut next month to coincide with the album's release. The clip features a guest vocal appearance by Annika Jalkanen.
In other news, SOULFALLEN has parted ways with longtime guitarist Simo Rahikainen and drummer Matti Auerkallio " due to personal reasons." The band states, "There was no drama involved, but merely they felt they could not give the band 100 percent and decided it was their time to move on. These changes will not affect the release of the album nor our upcoming live shows in 2012 that will be played with a renewed lineup."
SOULFALLEN's second album, "Grave New World", was released in March 2009 via Off Records, distributed by Firebox.
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SATAN'S HOST: New Song Available For Streaming
- Jan. 15, 2012
"For The Love of Satan", a new song from Colorado Satanic metal masters SATAN'S HOST, can be streamed in the YouTube clip below. The track comes off "Celebration For The Love Of Satan", which was released on November 22, 2011 via Moribund Records. The disc is a collection of re-recorded versions of songs spanning the band's entire career, exclusing the material that was released on this year's "By The Hands Of The Devil" album, to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the release of SATAN'S HOST's classic debut LP, "Metal From Hell". The new disc, which also includes two new songs, was once again recorded with producer Dave Otero at Flatline Audio in Denver, Colorado and has exclusive artwork by world-renowned artists Chris Moyen and Joe Petagno, with photography by Brent Boutte of Mirrorlife Productions.
"Celebration For The Love Of Satan" track listing:
01. For The Love of Satan (new song) 02. Hell Fire (from "Metal From Hell") 03. Metal From Hell (from "Metal From Hell") 04. Witches Return (from "Midnight Wind") 05. Cauldron Of The Ancients (from "In Articulo Mortis") 06. Nightside Of Eden (from "Archidoxes of Evil") 07. Ecliptic Equinox (from "Burning The Born Again [A New Philosophy]") 08. H.E.L.L. (from "Burning The Born Again [A New Philosophy]") 09. Satanic Grimoire (from "Satanic Grimoire: A Greater Black Magick") 10. "The Cursing" Vampyric Evil-Eye (from "Great American Scapegoat…666") 11. Dark Priest "Lord Ahriman" (from "Power~Purity~Perfection…999") 12. Convictions (new song)
SATAN'S HOST recently re-signed with Moribund Records for another two albums with exclusive options.
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CHICKENFOOT's SAMMY HAGAR Interviewed In Manchester (Audio)
- Jan. 15, 2012
GetYourRockOut.com conducted an interview with CHICKENFOOT/ex-VAN HALEN frontman Sammy Hagar on January 12 at the Academy in Manchester, England. You can now listen to the chat in the YouTube clip below.
CHICKENFOOT's sophomore album, "III", sold 42,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release to land at position No. 9 on The Billboard 200 chart. The band's self-titled debut opened with 49,000 units back in June 2009 to debut at No. 6.
"III" was produced by Mike Fraser (AC/DC, METALLICA) and is the much-anticipated follow-up album to the successful eponymous debut of a rock band packed with successful veterans.
Featuring guitar hero Joe Satriani and former VAN HALEN members Michael Anthony (bass) and Sammy Hagar (vocals), CHICKENFOOT's touring lineup includes legendary drummer/musician Kenny Aronoff, who is filling in for Chad Smith while Smith hits the road with his main band, RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS.
Tom Brooks of the 107.8 Academy FM radio station recently conducted an interview with former IRON MAIDEN and current WOLFSBANE singer Blaze Bayley. You can now listen to the chat in the YouTube clip below.
Bayley has announced that he will be accompanied by Matteo "Lehmann" Grazzini, bassist of the Bologna, Italy-based thrash metal band NEURASTHENIA, on the upcoming "King Of Metal" tour. Also joining Blaze in his touring band are Claudio Tirincanti (drums) and Andrea Neri (guitar; ASTARTE SYRIACA).
Blaze's new studio album, "The King Of Metal", is tentatively scheduled for release this spring. A European headlining tour in support of the CD will kick off in early March in Belgium.
Commented Blaze: "Over the many years I have been a professional singer, and through my ups and downs, I have noticed how some artists and bands take their success and their fans for granted.
"For me, there is no heavy metal without heavy metal fans.
"I am dedicating the new album and tour to my fans and the fans of heavy metal. It is called 'The King Of Metal' because you the fans are the real kings of metal. Each one of you that buys albums and merchandise and tickets to gigs is a king of metal to me."
Blaze last year parted ways with the rest of his band in order to pursue a career as a solo artist and the lead singer of WOLFSBANE. He explained the decision by saying that "the mental, financial and emotional strain of keeping the BLAZE BAYLEY band together has proven to be too much for me and has taken a terrible toll on my mental health. . . It has been an upsetting, frustrating and sad time because the BLAZE BAYLEY band will not be going on any more, but it is also for me a huge relief and a time to look forward."
A statement from former members of Blaze Bayley's solo band — David Bermudez (bass), Nico Bermudez (guitar) and Jay Walsh (guitar) — regarding the group's split can be found at this location.
The 48-year-old Bayley, who was born in Birmingham, was the original frontman in WOLFSBANE, but left in 1994 to replace Bruce Dickinson as the lead singer of IRON MAIDEN.
Blaze's latest album, "Promise and Terror", was released on February 1, 2010.
The singer's double live album and live DVD, "The Night That Will Not Die" — recorded on December 13, 2008 at Z7 in Pratteln, Switzerland — were released on Blaze Bayley Recordings; the concert was filmed by director Kris McManus and all audio mixed and mastered by producer Jase Edwards.
Behind the scenes footage from making of new album:
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BLEEDING THROUGH Guitarist Teaches You How To Play Blues (Video)
- Jan. 15, 2012
Guitarist Dave Nassie of Orange County, California's BLEEDING THROUGH recently taped an instructional video for NextLevelGuitar.com on blues-rock guitar playing. Check out the clip below.
Nassie's lead guitar work is featured on BLEEDING THROUGH's forthcoming "The Great Fire" album, 2010 self-titled CD and 2008's "Declaration". He is the former guitarist for NO USE FOR A NAME who has also played with INFECTIOUS GROOVES.
Nassie started playing guitar at the age of nine years old after being shown the way by a neighbor and early guitar mentor. Studies began immediately at local schools in Orange County, California. After studying the theory courses taught by Howard Antmann and technique studies with the late Brian Jones, Dave started teaching as well at the age of 14 at the Antmann School Of Music.
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FREYA: Second 'Paragon Of The Crucible' Studio Webisode
- Jan. 15, 2012
FREYA, the Syracuse, New York-based band featuring EARTH CRISIS frontman Karl Buechner, recently entered More Sound Studios with producer Jason "Jocko" Randall (THE RED DEATH, IF HOPE DIES) to begin recording its new album, "Paragon Of The Crucible", for an early 2012 release. The follow-up to 2010's "All Hail The End" will feature lyrics "about how after the cataclysm, people will create new mythologies to explain the post-apocalyptic landscape, dealing a lot with mans ability to live in harmony with the Earth and each other," according to a press release. The CD cover arwork will be handled by the group's guitarist Brendon Flynn.
The second in a series of webisodes featuring behind-the-scenes footage from the recording sessions for the new album can be seen below.
A pre-production/demo version of the new FREYA song "The Adversary" can be streamed on the band's Facebook page.
Karl Buechner (vocals) Brendon Flynn (guitar) Thom Turner (guitar) Joseph Murphy (drums) Brett Walts (bass)
"All Hail The End" was released in January 2010 via Victory Records. The band has since parted ways with the label.
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Original KISS Guitarist ACE FREHLEY To Appear At 'Mad Monster Party'
- Jan. 15, 2012
Original KISS guitarist Ace Frehley will appear at the Mad Monster Party — a retro monster celebration showcasing classic and contemporary creatures of the night (and day) — on March 23-25, 2012 at the Blake Hotel in Charlotte, North Carolina.
The Mad Monster Party is a horror convention with a difference. While other national shows install a generic event in a city, Mad Monster is building its show from the inside out. With the support of local Charlotte organizations (like "Visit Charlotte" tourism board) and businesses (Kevin Blanchfield's Haunted Mill, Morris Costume, etc.), Mad Monster Party is putting down roots and committing to a partnership with the Charlotte community to provide a unique convention that is fresh, theatrical, and innovative and will offer visiting fans from across the nation a real tradition.
Daily and weekend tickets are available as well as R.I.P. (Really Intense Partyer) passes. R.I.P. passes include early admission all three days, express/front-of-line and all access to events, including reserved premium seating, a walk through the Haunted Mill with celebrities, access to the exclusive R.I.P./Celebrity Lounge, a mystery swag bag and more.
VAN HALEN: 'A Different Kind Of Truth' Vinyl Tour Collector's Edition Detailed
- Jan. 15, 2012
The Live Nation store is taking pre-orders for vinyl tour collector's edition of VAN HALEN's new album, "A Different Kind Of Truth". The double gatefold vinyl album includes all 13 songs on two LPs plus custom artwork. This edition also comes with the Deluxe MP3 Edition of the album which will be delivered on the release date for pre-order customers. The deluxe MP3 also includes "The Downtown Sessions", four acoustic video performances on Quicktime .mov files — "Panama", "You And Your Blues (intro)", "You And Your Blues" and "Beautiful Girls".
The exclusive vinyl album is only available in the U.S. and Canada and will ship on or around February 24, depending on the manufacturing schedule.
VAN HALEN released "Tattoo", the first single and video from its upcoming CD, on Tuesday (January 10). The song itself said to be is a rewrite of a very old VAN HALEN track "Down In Flames", which the band used to play in its late Seventies club days but never recorded for any of its albums. The new version has a slightly different arrangement and fresh lyrics from singer David Lee Roth.
According to The Pulse Of Radio, at least two other songs on the new record, "She's The Woman" and "Bullethead", date back to the band's early days as well. "She's The Woman" appeared on a 1976 VAN HALEN demo produced by KISS bassist Gene Simmons, and was performed by the group earlier in the month during its show at the tiny Cafe Wha? in New York City.
Guitarist Eddie Van Halen has said in numerous interviews over the years that he has "10 albums" worth of unreleased material in his archives from throughout the band's career.
Ironically, it was former singer Sammy Hagar who hinted that VAN HALEN might be digging into the vaults on the new album. Hagar recently told Rolling Stone, "I heard this record is old outtakes from the old days. I mean, stuff from before I even joined the band . . . Because from what I heard, they aren't working with new material. Ed and Dave didn't actually write new songs."
VAN HALEN will kick off a North American tour on February 18 in Louisville, Kentucky. KOOL AND THE GANG will open for VAN HALEN on selected tour stops.
"A Different Kind Of Truth", will arrive on February 7 via Interscope.
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FIREWIND Performs Two New Songs In Athens; Video Available
- Jan. 15, 2012
Greek melodic metallers FIREWIND, who are led by current OZZY OSBOURNE guitarist Gus G., performed two brand new songs — "Wall Of Sound" and "Losing My Mind" — during their headlining performance last night (Saturday, January 14) at the Fuzz Club in Athens, Greece. Fan-filmed video footage of the concert can be seen below.
FIREWIND recently signed a new worldwide deal (excluding North America) with their longtime partners Century Media Records. The band is currently in the studio in its hometown of Thessaloniki recording a new studio album, to be titled "Few Against Many", for a late spring release.
Commented Gus: "We're currently completing work on our upcoming FIREWIND studio album, which is coming out killer! I think this album will turn a lot of heads and I can't wait for you to hear it!
"Whether I've been working with Century Media on FIREWIND since 2005 or earlier projects since 2002, we've always had a winning team. Together we've achieved fantastic things in the band's career and the proof is the ever growing fanbase and popularity of FIREWIND.
"When I explained them my vision and ideas for the new album, they convinced me they're the right partner to take this to a new level!"
Added Antje Lange, Century Media's European label manager: "We feel very honoured to work with Gus G. further on and play our part in the fast development of this outstanding Greek talent.
"FIREWIND is one of the few fast-growing bands in their genre. They have the ability to write excellent songs, Gus G. is a true magician on guitars and their live performance is breath-taking. Anyone out there asking for more?"
In a 2011 interview with Oregon Music News, Gus stated about the relative lack of promotion in North America for FIREWIND's latest studio album, "Days Of Defiance", "If were up to me, I would have released the album after I would be available to tour behind it. This was the label's idea who wanted to the album out. Our current label, Century Media, wanted it released. They said, 'We paid you to record the album and we want the masters.' I said, 'Okay, here you go.' I didn't feel good about it. This is the politics of the music business, I tried to make the label see that sure we'd get some press due to my involvement in Ozzy's band, but we would not be able to tour. Waiting 10 months to tour behind an album isn't a good business."
When asked if there were any plans for FIREWIND to re-release "Days Of Defiance" as an "expanded" edition to coincide with the band's recent North American headlining tour, Gus said, "We have thought about it but it goes back to the politics with our label. This was our last album for Century Media [under the previous deal] and unless you're signed for a long-term contract, they aren't going to do much for you. So for FIREWIND, this time around, there wasn't any creative marketing behind the album. It's sad, because I do feel that it's our best album to date and the fans absolutely love it. Unfortunately, there could have better promotion and Century Media should have waited a few months to release it, but that's record label politics for you."
"Days Of Defiance" landed at position No. 53 on the Top New Artist Albums (Heatseekers) chart, which lists the best-selling albums by new and developing artists, defined as those who have never appeared in the Top 100 of The Billboard 200. The CD was released in North America on October 26, 2010 (one day earlier internationally) via Century Media.
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PHARAOH: 'Bury The Light' Album Details Revealed
- Jan. 15, 2012
PHARAOH, the American heavy metal band featuring vocalist Tim Aymar (CONTROL DENIED), has inked a deal with Cruz Del Sur Music for the release of three albums. The first effort, "Bury The Light", will contain 10 new songs for a total running time of 48 minutes, and will be made available on February 24 in Europe and March 6 in the U.S. The CD will feature guest appearances by Mike Wead (KING DIAMOND) and Jim Dofka (DOFKA).
When asked how PHARAOH has evolved on the new album, guitarist Matt Johnsen said, "We tried to add more textural elements to our songs while continuing to cut as much extraneous material as possible. The songs on this album are dense, but hopefully they never overstay their welcome. The basic template is the same as on 'Be Gone', but the album is less dark overall, and perhaps a little faster."
He added, "I think anyone who stuck it out with us after we shed the remainders of our obvious IRON MAIDEN worship after 'The Longest Night' will be happy with our progression on this album. It's still crammed full of traditional elements, of course, but we're not trying to be retro or old fashioned. We want to move melodic metal forward."
"Bury The Light" track listing:
01. Leave Me Here To Dream 02. The Wolves 03. Castles In The Sky 04. The Year Of The Blizzard 05. The Spider's Thread 06. Cry 07. Graveyard Of Empires 08. Burn With Me 09. In Your Hands
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NIGHTFALL Begins Work On New Album
- Jan. 15, 2012
Greek metallers NIGHTFALL have commenced work on a new album for a late 2012 release. The follow-up to 2010's "Astron Black And The Thirty Tyrants" will contain 11 tracks.
NIGHTFALL's video for the song "Astron Black" can be seen below. The song comes off "Astron Black And The Thirty Tyrants", which was released on August 31, 2010 (one day earlier internationally) via Metal Blade Records. The cover artwork was created by Travis Smith (OPETH, DEATH, NEVERMORE, KATATONIA).
"Astron Black And The Thirty Tyrants" was recorded at various places, including Soundlodge in Germany, where the bulk of the sessions took place. It was produced by mainman Efthimis Karadimas and drummer Jörg Uken (who has previously worked with GOD DETHRONED, DEW-SCENTED and SINISTER). According to a press release, Jörg's "experience behind the recording desk and his soul in recording both as the new drummer of the band is a great plus for the whole production and for everybody truly into metal drumming the… old classic metal way!"
NIGHTFALL last year announced the addition of guitarist Constantine and bassist Stathis Ridis to the group's ranks.
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QUEENSRŸCHE Drummer Spends Five Days With Oscar-Winning Film Composer
- Jan. 15, 2012
QUEENSRŸCHE drummer Scott Rockenfield was personally invited to visit Alan Menken and his team for an entire week during a recent recording session on a new film that Alan was hired to compose the orchestral music for. Alan has composed the music for such blockbusters as "Beauty And The Beast", "Aladdin", "Hercules", "Tangled", and many many more. He has won more Academy Awards than any living composer in history.
Scott spent the entire five days sitting directly beside Alan and his crew while listening and watching as his team of professional orchestrators and engineers captured this most incredible sounding music score.
"I had an amazing time and thoroughly enjoyed his talents and personality," Scott said. "He was most gracious and treated everyone with respect and kindness and has a great sense of humor. I was honored for the opportunity to get to know him and see how much he thoroughly enjoys his work."
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JON OLIVA'S PAIN To Perform SAVATAGE's Entire 'Hall' Album At GRASPOP METAL MEETING
- Jan. 15, 2012
JON OLIVA'S PAIN, the Florida-based band led by SAVATAGE mastermind Jon Oliva, will play SAVATAGE's classic 1987 album, "Hall Of The Mountain King", in its entirety at the Graspop Metal Meeting in Dessel, Belgium in June as well as at the warm-up party for this year's Bang Your Head!!! festival the following month. JON OLIVA'S PAIN is also expected to play several songs from DOCTOR BUTCHER, the early 1990s project created by Oliva and guitarist Chris Caffery at a time when they were not active members of SAVATAGE.
JON OLIVA'S PAIN lineup for the performances will consist of Jon Oliva (vocals and keyboards), Christopher Kinder (drums), Jerry Outlaw (guitar), Jason Jennings (bass) and a very special guest guitarist to be announced soon.
Confirmed "Hall Of The Mountain King" 25th-anniversary performances:
June 22-24 - Dessel, Belgium @ Graspop Metal Meeting July 13-14 - Balingen, Germany @ Bang Your Head!!!
A Florida date will kick off this tour in June.
"Hall Of The Mountain King" was the first SAVATAGE album to be produced by Paul O'Neill and it showed the beginning of the band's progressive tendencies as they explored new forms of expression in their music. Many fans consider this LP a turning point in SAVATAGE's musical identity. As the group's first concept effort, it had a constant tone and was more complex than their previous albums, with two entirely instrumental tracks that go beyond simple guitar riffs and solos, namely "Prelude To Madness" and "Last Dawn".
As previously reported, Caffery will join CIRCLE II CIRCLE — the band led by former SAVATAGE frontman Zak Stevens — for a performance of the classic 1997 SAVATAGE album "The Wake Of Magellan" (which featured both Stevens and Caffery) in its entirety at this year's edition of the Wacken Open Air festival, set to take place August 2-4, 2012 in Wacken, Germany.
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SKID ROW Founder Doesn't Understand How American Group Ended Up Using His Band's Name
- Jan. 15, 2012
Brendan "Brush" Shiels, founding member of the late 1960s/early 1970s Irish blues-rock act SKID ROW — which is best known as legendary guitarist Gary Moore's first professional band — has posted a YouTube video in which he accuses the American rock group SKID ROW of using the band name without his permission. He also discusses how he believes the story that Moore received a $35,000 payoff by the American band for the use of the name is nonsense and reveals that he has unsuccessfully tried to contact Jon Bon Jovi (with whom the Sebastian Bach-fronted SKID ROW reportedly signed a publishing deal prior to releasing its first album) and Doc McGhee, early manager of the the American SKID ROW, to resolve the SKID ROW name issue once and for all. Shiels also talks about his ex-SKID ROW bandmates, the late Phil Lynott and Gary Moore.
Shiels says: "[Phil Lynott], Gary and myself toured America, playing with Frank Zappa, THE ALLMAN BROTHERS, Iggy and THE STOOGES. Rod Stewart and THE FACES never turned up, so we topped the bill. Everybody knew us.
"A couple of years ago, I'm looking at MTV and Sebastian Bach, the ex-singer of the American band SKID ROW. He said they paid Gary Moore $35,000 for the use of the name.
"Now, I know for a fact this is a complete lie. I got in touch with Seb, and he said as far as he was concerned it was the truth. But that couldn't be the truth.
"The late Gary Moore told me Jon Bon Jovi asked him if it was alright to use the name. Gary said it was nothing to do with him and he'd have to ring me. For some reason, Jon Bon Jovi never rang me.
"If anyone knows him, let him get in touch with me and tell me if this is true: did Jon Bon Jovi ring Gary Moore and ask him could he use the name SKID ROW, and did the late Gary Moory tell Jon Bon Jovi it had nothing to do with him and he'd have to ring me?
"I don't think for a minute he'd be as disrespectful as to not to bother contacting me. But he'd know for a fact under no circumstances could anyone use the name SKID ROW except for us."
"I have a new SKID ROW album coming out and I want it sorted out once and for all. I'd expect somebody from Jon Bon Jovi's office to say, 'There’s been a misunderstanding, something's happened.' I don't know what it is, but I must be entitled to use the name SKID ROW.
"Jon, if you're out there, from one professional to another, give me a call. I'd appreciate it."
Shiels' video message can be seen below. Also available is a separate YouTube clip containing a track from Brush's new SKID ROW album.
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Resurrected MASSACRE Performs Live For First Time; Video Available
- Jan. 15, 2012
MASSACRE, the resurrected 1990s Florida-based death metal band featuring Terry Butler (DEATH, MASSACRE, SIX FEET UNDER, DENIAL FIEND, OBITUARY) and Frederick "Rick Rozz" DeLillo (MANTAS, DEATH, MASSACRE, M INC.), debuted its new lineup last night (Saturday, January 14) at The Brass Mug in Tampa, Florida.
Fan-filmed video footage of the performance can be seen below.
MASSACRE recently canceled its European tour in celebration of the 20th anniversary of the band's classic "From Beyond" album. Dubbed "Army Of Darkness", the trek was slated to take place in January/February 2012 and was supposed to feature additional performances from MACABRE and MASTER.
MASSACRE's current touring lineup is as follows:
* Mike Mazzonetto (M INC., PAIN PRINCIPLE) - Drums * Ed Webb (DIABOLIC, GENERICHRIST, DESTINED TO RUIN) - Vocals * Frederick "Rick Rozz" DeLillo – Guitar * Terry Butler - Bass
"From Beyond" was recently reissued as a limited-edition digipak CD via Earache Records.The long-out-of-print album was made available on CD with four bonus EP tracks and comes housed in a digipak with extended artwork and a fold-out poster.
A different version of MASSACRE — consisting of DENIAL FIEND members Sam Williams (guitar), Curt Beeson (drums; NASTY SAVAGE), along with Terry Butler, Steve Swanson (guitar) and Kam Lee (vocals; MASSACRE, DEATH, MANTAS) — completed a European tour in late 2007.
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TRIPOD: 'Four Coins' Album Out Now
- Jan. 15, 2012
Norwegian stoner / grunge / alternative rockers TRIPOD have just released their second album, "Four Coins", via Trøndercore Records.
The track listing for the CD is as follows:
01. Go Away 02. Migraine 03. Down 04. Waiting 05. Shiny Happy Junkies 06. Stripes 07. Jack And Blood 08. Unwind 09. Parasite 10. Whatever 11. All The Time
A music video for the song "Go Away" will be released shortly.
Since the release of TRIPOD's debut album, "Nevermind This Black Album", in 2008, the band has been busy on the road, delivering its massive sound to the masses. They have also managed to record two music videos in between shows, "Tomorrow" and "Another Monday".
EKTOMORF To Release 'The Acoustic' In February
- Jan. 15, 2012
Hungarian extreme metallers EKTOMORF will release a very special "acoustic" album, "The Acoustic", on February 17 via AFM Records. All artwork for the CD was created by Tim Eckhorst, who previously did illustrations for the Wacken Open Air festival and various other bands.
"The Acoustic" track listing:
01. I Know Them 02. I'm In Hate 03. Be Free 04. Redemption 05. Simple Man 06. To Smoulder 07. Folsom Prison Blues 08. Again 09. Through Your Eyes 10. Fate 11. Stigmatized 12. Who Can I Trust
EKTOMORF's latest album, "Redemption", was released on December 17, 2010 via AFM Records. The CD was recorded at Antfarm studios in Århus, Denmark with producer Tue Madsen, who has previously worked with DARK TRANQUILLITY, THE HAUNTED and HEAVEN SHALL BURN, among others.
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NIGHTMARE Begins Recording New Album
- Jan. 15, 2012
French power metallers NIGHTMARE have entered Peek studios in the south of France with producer Patrick Liotard to begin recording their new album, "Mercury Rain", for a May 18 release through AFM Records.
Commented NIGHTMARE singer Jo Amore: "We entered the studio on Friday the 13th, which is surely a sign for such an album that will be the most accomplished of our whole career.
"Everything is going great so far.
"We will surprise many people, I can confirm...
"We will be in the studio until end of February with Patrick, our producer and friend...
"We are really excited about what we did so far and we can already say that this new album will be a total blast!"
"One Night Of Insurrection", the first-ever live DVD/CD from NIGHTMARE, was released in February 2011 via AFM Records. The set was filmed/recorded in Grenoble, France and contains NIGHTMARE's special 30th-anniversary show, including guest appearances by the band's former members. Also included us footage of NIGHTMARE's performance at Summerblast in Israel.
"Insurrection", the seventh album from NIGHTMARE, was released on September 11, 2009 via Germany's AFM Records. The CD was recorded at Peek studio in France with Patrick Liotard and at U3multimedia and Indiscreet Studios in Stuttgart, Germany with Achim Köhler (PRIMAL FEAR, EDGUY, MASTERPLAN). The follow-up to 2007's "Genetic Disorder" contains nine tracks, including a two-part concept song.
The "Insurrection" cover art was created by Swedish artist Pär Olofsson who previously worked on "Genetic Disorder". Special guest vocalist on the album is Fabrice Emmanuelsson from ELLIPSIS.
Jo Amore - Vocals Franck Milleliri - Guitar Yves Campion - Bass David Amore - Drums
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HOLLENTHON: Pro-Shot Footage Of Vienna Concert Available - Part 2
- Jan. 15, 2012
Austrian symphonic extreme metal outfit HOLLENTHON is making professionally filmed video footage of its entire December 4, 2010 concert at Szene in Vienna available for streaming in five parts. The second clip can be seen below, with the third part set to follow on January 22.
HOLLENTHON's latest EP, "Tyrants and Wraiths", came out in 2009.The CD featured four new tracks and two live videos from the 2008 Graspop Metal Meeting in Dessel, Belgium.
HOLLENTHON's most recent album, "Opus Magnum", was released in June 2008 via the Austrian record label Napalm Records. The CD featured eight songs and a cover version, plus a video.
HOLLENTHON issued two critically acclaimed albums a decade ago — "Domus Mundi" (1999) and "With Vilest Of Worms To Dwell" (2001).
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MORTAD: 'Waste Of My Rage' Video Released
- Jan. 15, 2012
"Waste Of My Rage", the new video from the London, England-based, female-fronted metal band MORTAD, can be seen below. The clip was sponsored by the Alchemy apparel clothing brand and produced by the Manchester-based video production company Video Ink. More than a dozen actors were cast for the video, including Collette Von Tora, who agreed to have her head shaved for this video shoot.
MORTAD's forthcoming full-length debut album, "The Myth Of Purity", was recorded last October with producer Russ Russell (NAPALM DEATH, DIMMU BORGIR, EVILE) and is scheduled for an early 2012 release.
MORTAD was formed in 2009 by Iranian vocalist Somi Arian , whose lyrics take aim at the hypocrisy of religion and the government as well as seeking inner truth and strength in the face of such oppression.
MORTAD released a music video and an EP, entitled "Pandemic Paranoia", in early 2011. This effort brought the band immense attention on the social media sites, placing the group as the No. 1 metal band on ReverbNation London metal chart, and attracting over 40,000 Facebook fans.
Nick Azinas of Peek From The Pit conducted an interview with Somi Arian on November 26, 2011 at the Intrepid Fox in London. You can now watch the chat below.