DEVOLVED: Another New Song Available For Streaming
- Oct. 2, 2012
"Systematic Avenger", a brand new song from Australian/Los Angeles tech-metal masters DEVOLVED, can be streamed using the SoundCloud player below. The track comes off the band's new album, "Reprisal", which will be released on November 20 via Unique Leader Records. The CD will feature guest appearances by Francesco Artusato (ALL SHALL PERISH), Nate Vennarucci (ONTOGENY, ANOMALOUS), Malcolm Pugh (DISKREET, A LOATHING REQUIEM) and Vishal Singh (ROBOTS PULLING LEVERS).
Commented DEVOLVED drummer, lyricist and founding member John Sankey: "I deliberately wanted to combine an organic death metal approach with more progressive and modern elements, while still incorporating a cold and futuristic soundscape which has always been a signature of our sound and concept.
"I had a very specific vision for this album and it is finally the definitive representation of what I have always wanted DEVOLVED to be.
"After our last studio release, 'Oblivion', I decided to work on my own and wrote all the new song structures and arrangements in their entirety by tracking just drums and vocals myself. Once they were complete, I recruited new guitarist Mark Hawkins [ROBOTS PULLING LEVERS] who then wrote and recorded all the guitar and bass parts. His involvement really allowed us to push the boundaries of each track and took the music to a totally new level of speed and technicality.
"To say the guitar work on this album is far beyond anything we have done before would be a huge understatement! New singer Mark Haggblad [UNVEIL THE STRENGTH] also brings a rejuvenated ferocity to the band; his relentless vocal delivery is extremely aggressive throughout each track while still maintaining a unique tone that fits the dynamics and diversity of the songs perfectly.
"It has been a renewed creative experience working with such focused and talented new members, and it has definitely allowed us to surpass anything the band has been capable of in the past. 'Reprisal' is without doubt the album I have always strived to create since the formation of DEVOLVED!"
"Reprisal" track listing:
01. Systematic Avenger 02. Accelerated Human Degeneration 03. Reprisal Of The Damned 04. Supremacy Enforced 05. Embodiment 06. Collateral Damage 07. Apocalyptic Visionary 08. Terminal Enslavement 09. Corrupted Mind Processor 10. Inanimate Infinity 11. (Cadence Of) The Dirge (EXHORDER cover; bonus track)
Sankey late last year recorded all the demo drum sessions for the new FEAR FACTORY album, "The Industrialist", and co-wrote and programmed all the drum parts, along with FF guitarist Dino Cazares, for the final CD. He was unable to join FEAR FACTORY as the band's new touring drummer due to visa restrictions.
Cazares previously stated about the new DEVOLVED material, "Systematic brutality at its best. Raising the bar once again with their intellectual song arrangements [and] insane drum patterns that would make any tech metal fan turn their heads. This band just keeps getting better and better. Welcome to the end of everything that you once knew and say hello to the future."
DEVOLVED's last album, "Oblivion", was released in May 2011 via Unique Leader Records.
"Systematic Avenger" audio stream:
"Reprisal" audio samples:
"Supremacy Enforced" lyric video:
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LAMB OF GOD Drummer Discusses RANDY BLYTHE's Manslaughter Charge And Upcoming U.S. Tour (Audio)
- Oct. 2, 2012
Drummer Chris Adler of Richmond, Virginia metallers LAMB OF GOD was interviewed on a recent episode of "Elliot In The Morning", a morning radio talk show hosted by DJ Elliot Segal. You can now listen to the chat below.
Speaking to AOL's Noisecreep late last month, Adler was asked if LAMB OF GOD singer Randy Blythe's ongoing legal woes in the Czech Republic tested the strength of the band. "I think on a personal level, yes," Chris replied. "It was shocking and really daunting to look down the barrel at the end of your career with something so out of left field and unexpected. In many ways, this train has been rolling a long time, you get kind of lazy and you just expect to show up at the next gig the next day. So to get derailed so violently was quite a shock. I think everyone is in a state of shock. At first you scramble around in disbelief then it sinks in. We did our best in every way to get things back on track, but during the time, there is introspection about what might be next. What is plan B? Even though I am a bit of a fatalist, I do know I have to try to find a different way to look a things and try to be able to take something from the experience that can benefit me."
According to Adler, the entire experience has helped him reconnect with the reason he began playing music in the first place and it has made him appreciate the band that much more.
"One of the things that has really shone through was that even though we've been doing this like 17 years, and it's scary to think about it being taken away — it also brings you back to reality," he said. "It reminds you that we are really doing something special; it shakes you out of that sort of safety zone that you can fall into. Not a lot of people get to do what we do, and this has certainly reminded us of that. When I realized how fragile this all is, it definitely brought me back to the level like back at the beginning — the excitement and everything."
Adler also spoke about LAMB OF GOD's successful return to the stage in August at the two Knotfest shows where he and his bandmates were welcomed like conquering heroes.
"Having the guys together was really no different; we have stood backstage together to get ready many times, of course," Chris said. "But the feeling was entirely different. There was a renewed sense of the excitement, the innocence and the lust for what it is we do, all front and center. There was tangible energy that maybe, somehow, we had started taking for granted the last few years, but now the energy was totally renewed. Outside of my continued support for Randy, that is how I have to look at it — as a wake-up call for this band."
He added, "There was a difference [in the feeling from the crowd as well]. Very noticeable from the start. It was a day, two days actually, full of bands, then us, then SLIPKNOT. So maybe a 20-30 minute changeover between us and the band before us. And almost that entire time was filled up with the crowd chanting Randy's name. As we took the shuttle to the stage we could hear it. We've heard the kids scream the band's name before. But this was special.
"Look, this was a nuclear crisis in our band and family. But we didn't know how much people out here actually knew. There was some community that formed between bands, but we didn't know how far it reached. But to have these fans excited not just about a great heavy metal show, but it was like we'd been gone for 20 years. The welcome back. The energy that came to us was just so intense. That, combined with the feeling we had between us, made for something unforgettable. That crowd created something I will never forget."
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MYGRAIN Interviewed In Japan (Video)
- Oct. 2, 2012
Metalship conducted an interview with Finnish melodic death metallers MYGRAIN prior to the band's September 23 concert at Club Asia in Tokyo, Japan. You can now watch the chat below.
MYGRAIN's third, self-titled album entered the official chart in the group's home country at position No. 23. Released in January 2011 via Spinefarm Records, the CD was recorded atSeawolf Studios in Helsinki with producer Janne Joutsenniemi (SUBURBAN TRIBE, STONE) and was mixed and mastered by Dan Swanö (EDGE OF SANITY, BLOODBATH, NIGHTINGALE) at Unisound studios in Örebro, Sweden.
MYGRAIN's second album, "Signs of Existence", entered the Finnish national chart at position No. 32. The CD was released in February 2008 via Spinefarm Records.
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FOZZY: New Video Interview With RICH WARD
- Oct. 2, 2012
TheRockRevival.com 's Matt Bishop conducted an interview FOZZY guitarist Rich Ward at a recent stop of the Rockstar Energy Drink Uproar Festival. You can now watch the chat below.
FOZZY's video for the song "Sandpaper" can be seen at WWE.com. The track, which features a guest appearance by AVENGED SEVENFOLD singer M. Shadows, comes off FOZZY's new album, "Sin And Bones", which sold around 3,400 copies in the United States in its first week of release to debut at position No. 143 on the Billboard 200 chart. The CD landed at position No. 1 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.
FOZZY singer — and WWE wrestling superstar— Chris Jericho recently told Loudwire about the "Evil Dead"-inspired "Sandpaper" clip, "It kind of started from that and then we said, 'What if we do a whole 'Evil Dead'-type homage?' And then we found this bad-ass cabin in the woods in Atlanta, and just everything kind of fell together from there. We found, right by the cabin, there was a civil war burial ground, and there was this creepy bridge that was near it, and the cabin couldn't have been more perfect for what we were looking for."
M. Shadows joined FOZZY on stage last Thursday night (September 27) at the Roxy in West Hollywood, California to perform "Sandpaper".
Asked how the Shadows collaboration came about, Jericho told LocalBozo.com: "Shad's a friend of mine and when I was recording the vocals, I wasn't really feeling the one part: 'a cat scratch whiplash / a witch hunt in black.' So I thought it'd be cool to have somebody else do it, like a calm response. So I called Matt and asked him if he'd be interested. I knew they were off and he was at home, so he's like, 'Send me the song and I'll see what I think.' I sent it to him and he really dug it. He was a fan of ours from before anyways — he liked a bunch of our songs. He thought that 'Sandpaper' was one of the catchiest choruses that we'd ever done and so he kind of took it and laid down the part like I asked him to and then he also rearranged the song a bit — gave it a little bit of a different arrangement, streamlined it, made it a little bit more compact, and in my opinion made it a better song. So not only did he sing what I asked him to, he also put his own spin on it and really went above and beyond to create this amazing song that's just been doing huge for us since it came out. So it was cool. It was cool on a professional standpoint, on a creative standpoint, and on a friendship standpoint to have him involved."
"Sin And Bones" was released on August 14 (one day earlier internationally) via FOZZY's new label, Century Media Records.
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FLOOR JANSEN Performs With NIGHTWISH For First Time; Video Available
- Oct. 2, 2012
Dutch singer Floor Jansen (REVAMP, ex-AFTER FOREVER) made her live debut as the frontwoman of NIGHTWISH last night (Monday, October 1) at Showbox Sodo in Seattle, Washington.
Fan-filmed video footage of the concert can be seen below.
Jansen is filling the role of lead vocalist in NIGHTWISH on the band's current North American tour after the group parted ways with Anette Olzon over the weekend. NIGHTWISH stated about the sudden singer switch, "In recent times it has become increasingly obvious that the direction and the needs of the band were in conflict, and this has led to a division from which we cannot recover."
They added, "We are all strongly committed to this journey, this vehicle of spirit, and we are sure that this will lead to a brighter future for everyone.
"We forever remain excited about the adventures to come, and we are extremely proud of the two beautiful albums and the wonderful shows we shared together."
Olzon joined NIGHTWISH in 2007 as the replacement for Tarja Turunen after the latter was fired in 2005.
Pictured below: Floor Jansen
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SYSTEM OF A DOWN Guitarist Talks Politics, Religion In New Video Interview
- Oct. 2, 2012
During a recent interview with the Los Angeles radio station KROQ (see video below), SYSTEM OF A DOWN guitarist and SCARS ON BROADWAY mainman Daron Malakian shared his views on the upcoming presidential election and the role of religion in modern-day politics.
"Anybody who thinks that [President Barack] Obama was gonna come and fix that mess in three or four years is nuts," he said. "I mean, that by itself… You've gotta give him a little bit more time. I think he's doing an alright job. I ain't got no beef with Obama. But I'll tell you this much: he is a politician, like everybody else, and he's a damn good one. Because he can really make you like him. [It's the job of politicians] to bullshit people and to make them like you, and he is king at it. He might be a little better [at it] than [Bill] Clinton, actually."
He continued, "I'll be honest with you: politically, I have no issue with people, but my beef sometimes is with religion at the end of the day. And that offends people, I guess, more than telling people what to do. But I just think a lot of people… Politicians use religion and they get their troops riled up with religion. And it's not just here with Christianity, it's… Those dudes, like [Osama] Bin Laden [the founder of al-Qaeda, the jihadist organization responsible for the September 11 attacks on the United States, along with numerous other mass-casualty attacks against civilian and military targets], these dudes are all politicians themselves. They use the simple-minded and the poor and they promise them things and that's how they rile up their troops using religion. And we don't see that as the same as our politicians, but they play the same games with their people over there as the politicians play with the people over here to get them riled up, to go to war… 'You're fighting for freedom.' I just think religion is something… It could be a beautiful thing for the individual, but when it becomes organized, that's when religion starts taking a kind of ugly turn to me."
The new lineup of SCARS ON BROADWAY made its live debut on September 22 at the Epicenter festival at the Verizon Wireless Amphitheater in Irvine, California.
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ACE FREHLEY Pays Tribute To PAUL STANLEY's Mother
- Oct. 2, 2012
Paul Stanley's mother, Eva Eisen, died on Saturday (September 29) of undisclosed causes at age 88. Eisen was born in Berlin, Germany and was instrumental in Stanley's development as a musician. Stanley, who recently wrapped up his tour dates with KISS and MÖTLEY CRÜE, co-produced KISS' new album "Monster", which will be released on October 9.
Writing on his official web site, original KISS guitarist Ace Frehley stated, I was very saddened to hear of the passing of Paul Stanley's mother Eva. She always had a smile on her face at the KISS shows she attended in New York and was always very gracious to me and my family when we'd meet backstage before and after concerts… My deepest sympathy goes out to Paul and his family. God bless."
Stanley posted a tribute on the official KissOnline.com web site, saying: "My mother found so much pleasure and fulfillment in all the various types of music that she so loved. It was through her that I too found that same passion. She lived long enough to see, enjoy and love an extended family that included her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. She found numerous ways to contribute to her community and was appreciated and loved by those who knew her. My mom was the matriarch of our family and words cannot express our loss."
Gene Simmons, Eric Singer and Tommy Thayer added their own tribute, saying: "From the earliest days of KISS until recently, Eva was always seen by fans at New York-area shows. We send our deepest sympathies to Paul and his family. Our thoughts and prayers are with you."
Frehley performed with KISS from its inception in 1973 until his first departure in 1982 before rejoining KISS in 1996 for a very successful reunion tour. Frehley's second stint lasted until 2002 as Ace went back to being a solo artist again.
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Is 'Broken Bones' DOKKEN's Final Studio Album?
- Oct. 2, 2012
During an interview with Eddie Trunk on yesterday's (Monday, October 1) edition of the "Eddie Trunk Live" show on SiriusXM satellite radio, DOKKEN mainman Don Dokken revealed that the band's latest album, "Broken Bones", will be its last. According to EddieTrunk.com, Don explained that he wants to move on, spread his musical wings and do something different. He also told Trunk that he would like to make a very "heavy" metal record, featuring a musical direction that the singer described as "a cross between TOOL and SLAYER."
In other news, DOKKEN has parted ways with drummer Mick Brown and has replaced him with Jimmy DeGrasso (MEGADETH, Y&T, ALICE COOPER, SUICIDAL TENDENCIES).
DOKKEN's new video, "Empire", can be seen below. The clip was directed by Devin DeHaven (WHITESNAKE, P.O.D., BUSTA RHYMES) and features a post-apocalyptic take on the band's signature sound of catchy melodies, hot riffs and monster production.
"Empire" comes off DOKKEN's 11th studio album, "Broken Bones", which was released in North America on September 25 via Frontiers Records. The effort was made available in two configurations: standard CD and limited-edition CD in digipak with a bonus DVD, which features a comprehensive "Making Of The Album" documentary.
"Broken Bones" was produced by DOKKEN frontman and namesake Don Dokken and was mixed by Bob St. John (EXTREME, DURAN DURAN, COLLECTIVE SOUL) and Wyn Davis (BLACK SABBATH, DIO, WHITESNAKE) and mastered by famed engineer Maor Appelbaum (HALFORD, YNGWIE MALMSTEEN, SEPULTURA). The new set features a return to the band's signature sound of catchy melodies, hot riffs and monster production.
"Broken Bones" track listing:
01. Empire 02. Broken Bones 03. Best Of Me 04. Blind 05. Waterfall 06. Victim Of The Crime 07. Burning Tears 08. Today 09. For The Last Time 10. Fade Away 11. Tonight
Don Dokken stated in a recent interview about the "Broken Bones" album title, "[It] is a metaphor that we all have broken bones, be it from an accident, failed relationship, or a broken heart. Everybody gets wounded as we go through life, but, as they say, what doesn't kill you makes you stronger."
Dokken previously described the band's new material as "very uptempo and heavy." He added, "We know our fans like the classic DOKKEN sound, and this is where our new music is headed. It's been a band of brothers doing what we love: 'music.'"
Regarding the new songs' lyrical approach, Dokken said, "I write what comes from the heart, I don't believe in writing music trying to repeat what you've already done. I understand what the fans want but as an artist I see no point in painting the same picture over and over."
The cooperation between Frontiers and DOKKEN started with the European release of the group's "Lightning Strikes Again" CD in 2007. The album marked a return to DOKKEN's signature style with melodic hooklines and blazing guitar riffs that epitomized the band's sound on such records as "Tooth And Nail", "Under Lock And Key", "Back For The Attack" and "Dysfunctional".
"Broken Bones" track by track:
Photo credit: Devin DeHaven
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BLUE ÖYSTER CULT's 'The Columbia Albums Collection': Complete Track Listing Revealed
- Oct. 2, 2012
Legacy Recordings, the catalog division of Sony Music Entertainment, will celebrate the 40th anniversary of "Blue Öyster Cult" — unleashed in 1972, the eponymous debut album from America's heaviest psychedelic metal band presaged punk, thrash and hardcore — with the release of "Blue Öyster Cult - The Columbia Albums Collection", a monumental career-spanning BLUE ÖYSTER CULT library comprised of 16 CDs (the full official canon plus two discs of rarities) and the mythic "Some Other Enchanted Evening" DVD (a blistering concert video from 1978). The highly-collectible boxed set will be available Tuesday, October 30.
BLUE ÖYSTER CULT (led by founding members Eric Bloom and Donald "Buck Dharma" Roeser) will perform an historic New York City/Times Square show — featuring special guests and other surprises — at the Best Buy Theater (44th & Broadway, Manhattan) on Sunday, October 28 (doors at 7 p.m.). Tickets go on sale, Friday, August 17. Reserved seating is available for the show.
A limited number (100) of individual deluxe VIP packages for the Times Square Show will also be offered. Designed to provide the ultimate BLUE ÖYSTER CULT experience, each deluxe VIP package includes "Blue Öyster Cult - The Columbia Albums Collection" (in advance of street date!) in addition to a guaranteed seat in the first five rows of the Best Buy Theater for the BLUE ÖYSTER CULT Times Square concert; a pre-show meet-and-greet with the band; an autographed limited edition BLUE ÖYSTER CULT event poster and an exclusive commemorative laminate.
"Blue Öyster Cult - The Columbia Albums Collection" brings together the group's 14 official Columbia Records albums — including newly-mastered editions of "On Your Feet Or On Your Knees", "Fire Of Unknown Origin", "The Revolution By Night", "Mirrors", "Cultosaurus Erectus", "Extraterrestrial Live", "Club Ninja" and "Imaginos" — alongside two newly-curated bonus discs: "Rarities" and "Radios Appear: The Best Of The Broadcasts" (a special collection of classic live performances).
In addition, the "Blue Öyster Cult - The Columbia Albums Collection" box set comes with a special download code good for four live concert broadcasts as well as as a forty-page booklet chock-full of photos and liner notes from celebrated music writer and guitarist Lenny Kaye.
"Blue Öyster Cult - The Columbia Albums Collection" includes:
01. Blue Öyster Cult (1972 - studio - with 2001 CD bonus tracks) 02. Tyranny And Mutation (1973 - studio - with 2001 CD bonus tracks) 03. Secret Treaties (1974 - studio - with 2001 CD bonus tracks) 04. On Your Feet Or On Your Knees (1975 - live) - 2012 Remaster 05. Agents Of Fortune (1976 - studio - with 2001 CD bonus tracks) 06. Spectres (1977 - studio - with 2007 CD bonus tracks) 07. Some Enchanted Evening CD (1978 - live - with 2007 CD bonus tracks) 08. Some Other Enchanted Evening DVD (1978 - live) 09. Mirrors (1979 - studio) - 2012 Remaster 10. Cultosaurus Erectus (1980 - studio) - 2012 Remaster 11. Fire Of Unknown Origin (1981 - studio) - 2012 Remaster 12. Extraterrestrial Live (1982 - live) - 2012 Remaster 13. The Revolution By Night (1983 - studio) - 2012 Remaster 14. Club Ninja (1985 - studio) - 2012 Remaster 15. Imaginos (1988 - studio) - 2012 Remaster 16. Rarities 17. Radios Appear: The Best of the Broadcasts
The details of the Rarities and Radios Appear: The Best of the Broadcasts can be found below.
Originally formed in Long Island as SOFT WHITE UNDERBELLY in 1967, BLUE ÖYSTER CULT combined adventurous lyrical themes with an aggressive instrumental sound. With passion and intelligence on display in equal measure, BLUE ÖYSTER CULT became the thinking fan's rock band and a sign of life in a sea of dull, anemic soft-pop. Anthems like "Godzilla", "Harvester Of Eyes" and "Don't Fear The Reaper" stretched the boundaries of rock topics while lead guitarist Donald "Buck Dharma" Roeser became a hero to legions of budding axe-wielders. The band's mystique extended to their album artwork, resulting in some of the most distinctive and iconic LP covers of the rock era. "Blue Öyster Cult - The Columbia Albums Collection" gathers the essential pieces of the BLUE ÖYSTER CULT story into one mind-boggling totality.
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MORBID ANGEL: New Video Interview With TIM YEUNG
- Oct. 2, 2012
On September 26, Jo Schüftan of Horns Up Rocks! conducted an interview with drummer Tim Yeung of Florida death metallers MORBID ANGEL at B.B. King Blues Club & Grill in New York City. You can now watch the chat below.
As previously reported, MORBID ANGEL was denied entry to Canada over the weekend and was unable to play its two scheduled shows there on September 30 (Montreal) and October 1 (Toronto).
MORBID ANGEL has just kicked off a month-long North American tour with support from Sweden's DARK FUNERAL and GRAVE. The headlining trek, the band's first in six and half years, runs through October 21 in St. Petersburg, Florida.
Said vocalist David Vincent about the group's setlist: "We are playing many songs [on this tour] from 'Altars Of Madness' and 'Covenant'. We have put together a setlist that highlights the diversity of the first four classic MORBID ANGEL albums in a way that celebrates the paradigm shifting creativity that has defined extreme music for decades."
MORBID ANGEL recently announced that it will also play a set of "all-time classic songs" on its upcoming European tour with KREATOR, NILE and FUELED BY FIRE, which kicks off on November 1 in Antwerp, Belgium.
MORBID ANGEL's latest album, "Illud Divinum Insanus", sold around 3,600 copies in the United States in its first week of release to enter The Billboard 200 chart at position No. 141. The effort marked MORBID ANGEL's first CD to feature bassist/vocalist David Vincent since 1995's "Domination".
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AS I LAY DYING: New Video Interview With JORDAN MANCINO
- Oct. 2, 2012
On September 25, Jo Schüftan of Horns Up Rocks! conducted an interview with drummer Jordan Mancino of San Diego metallers AS I LAY DYING at Santos Party House in New York City. You can now watch the chat below.
AS I LAY DYING's sixth album, "Awakened", was released on September 25 via Metal Blade Records. The CD was produced by Bill Stevenson, who has played drums for both the DESCENDENTS and BLACK FLAG and is one of the most highly renowned producers in rock. His production credits include work on records by RISE AGAINST, NOFX, PROPAGANDHI, THE CASUALTIES, ANTI-FLAG and many more. The album was mixed by Colin Richardson (MACHINE HEAD, NAPALM DEATH, SLIPKNOT).
The cover artwork for "Awakened" was created by Metastazis with Tiffanie Uldry and can be seen below.
AS I LAY DYING recently completed a video for the new single "A Greater Foundation" with director Drew Russ (A DAY TO REMEMBER, FALLING IN REVERSE) and producer Robby Starbuck. The performance-based clip was shot on location in Los Angeles.
AS I LAY DYING will launch a European tour with TRIVIUM, CALIBAN and UPON A BURNING BODY later this month before returning to the U.S. in November for a nationwide tour.
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PESTILENCE To Begin Recording New Album In February
- Oct. 2, 2012
Guitarist/vocalist Patrick Mameli of the resurrected late '80s/early '90s death metal outfit PESTILENCE has issued the following update:
"We are working our asses of to finish composing the last two songs for [the next PESTILENCE album] 'Obsideo'. Dave [Haley, drums; also of Australia's PSYCROPTIC] is making vids for the songs and we are looking at recording drums in February. We also will do some old-school shows with songs just from the first three albums!!!! Including songs like 'Twisted Truth' and 'Commandments'!!!!!"
Songtitles set to appear on the new PESTILENCE album include "Necromorph", "Saturation", "Soulrot", "Laniatus" and "Superconcious". According to Mameli, the CD's overall lyrical theme will be "the journey of the human soul."
PESTILENCE 2012 is:
Patrick Mameli - Lead guitar/Vocals Patrick Uterwijk - Lead guitar Stefan Fimmers - Bass David Haley - Drums
PESTILENCE's latest album, "Doctrine", was released in North America in July 2011 via Mascot Records. The eleven-track CD was recorded and mixed at Woodshed Studio in southern Germany with engineer Victor Bullok (a.k.a. V. Santura; TRIPTYKON, DARK FORTRESS). The artwork was designed by Marko Saarelainen.
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TIM 'RIPPER' OWENS To Perform Special Acoustic Show At His Ohio Restaurant
- Oct. 2, 2012
Powerhouse American vocalist Tim "Ripper" Owens (YNGWIE MALMSTEEN, BEYOND FEAR, JUDAS PRIEST, ICED EARTH) will play a special acoustic show at Ripper Owens Tap House in Akron, Ohio on Sunday, October 14 at 6:00 p.m.
Video footage of Owens performing acoustic versions of TRANS-SIBERIAN ORCHESTRA's "Old City Bar" and JOAN BAEZ's "Diamonds & Rust" (also recorded by JUDAS PRIEST) on November 25, 2011 at Ripper Owens Tap House can be viewed below.
Owens joined forces with restaurateur Randy Arehart to re-launch the Tap House on Waterloo Road in Akron, Ohio in October 2010 to become a "rockin' sports eatery" named Ripper Owens Tap House. Guests such as Wendy Dio, Simon Wright and Don Jamieson from VH1 Classic's "That Metal Show" were in the house that evening and it was a special event for both Owens and Arehart.
According to CantonRep.com, the Tap House "is decorated with artifacts of Owens' heavy-metal adventures, including signed guitars from PRIEST axemen K.K. Downing and Glen Tipton, Ripper's studded leather PRIEST jacket, autographed photos of ANTHRAX and PANTERA, a large collection of backstage passes and more. There's even a poster from the 2001 film "Rock Star", which stars Mark Wahlberg as a fledgling rocker loosely based on Owens."
"Our motto is that everybody needs to be treated like a rock star," said Owens.
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GOD SEED's KING OV HELL: 'I Have Never Viewed Myself As Part Of Any Metal Culture'
- Oct. 2, 2012
Métal Obscur recently conducted an interview with former GORGOROTH and current GOD SEED bassist King Ov Hell (real name: Tom Cato Visnes). A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
Métal Obscur: You took everyone by surprise earlier this year when you announced the resurrection of GOD SEED, with Gaahl back at vocals. What's the story behind this event, after all that was said and written about this project since 2009?
King Ov Hell: I don't view it like this. I have worked with Gaahl since 1999. This album is what we want to make in 2012. There have been lots of things happening in the outside world which has been sort of disturbing, but our musical work has never stopped or been affected by this. Gaahl had a little break with his retirement from metal, but we just put it on ice for a while.
Métal Obscur: Gaahl stated in a 2009 Terrorizer magazine interview that he was done with metal and its imagery. Why did he change his mind about it? Did you have to convince him?
King Ov Hell: Well, you have to adress this question to Gaahl. We never stopped working musically, but I guess neither of us would classify our new record as a metal record in sense of lifestyle or metal brotherhood. I have never viewed myself as part of any metal culture and we use metal music as a platform to express our art.
Métal Obscur: What can we expect with the first GOD SEED album? Will it sounds like GORGOROTH's late albums, or did you take a different path? If you had to describe this first record, what would you say?
King Ov Hell: Well, it's hard to describe your own music, but I wanted a different sound on this record than we had done before. It is always important to change. You cannot grow if you stagnate in common patterns. I have therefore incorporated some of my '70s influences into "I Begin". We also got new members in the band. These members have been important creating the sound which is GOD SEED. They all have a unique way of playing and able to go into musical territories without limits and narrow minded stupidity.
Métal Obscur: Did you compose "I Begin" alone, or did other members help you in the process? If so, how did they contribute?
King Ov Hell: I wrote most of the material for this record prior anyone else got involved in the process. Since the other members joined, we have functioned as a band, resulting Lust Kilman writing a song on the album and Geir Bratland doing a track. I have also worked closely with Geir on making the key arrangements on the record. Kenneth Kapstad is originally a jazz drummer and has a unique playing style. "I Begin" is the first chapter for the band. I am looking forward to work as a tight unit on the next record. I believe this to be the strongest lineup I have taken part of so far.
Métal Obscur: It's been three years now since the end of the judiciary saga surrounding GORGOROTH's name and imagery ownership. Looking back at it now, do you have any regrets, things you would have done differently, or do you still think it was the right battle to wage?
King Ov Hell: I don't think too much about this. It's part of the past.
Métal Obscur: Is OV HELL still an active project?
King Ov Hell: It's not an active project. I am too busy with my other activities right now, but you never know what the future brings.
MEGADETH: The Making Of The New 'Vic Rattlehead' Mask (Video)
- Oct. 2, 2012
MEGADETH and the band's official mascot, Vic Rattlehead, were featured on the hourlong premiere of Travel Channel's "Making Monsters" this past Sunday, September 30. The Distortions team took a stab at recreating the Vic Rattlehead mask for MEGADETH's recent tour. You can now watch the segment below.
"Making Monsters" follows Distortions Unlimited, at its very basic a monster model-making company, but at its most refined is a world renowned leader in the horror industry.,
Distortions owner Ed Edmunds and the rest of the crew are headquartered in Greeley, Colorado.
Vic is a skeletal figure who embodies the phrase, "See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil." His eyes are covered by a riveted-on visor, his mouth is clamped shut, and his ears are closed with metal caps. His image appears on several MEGADETH album covers, including the band's first four LPs — "Killing Is My Business... And Business Is Good!", "Peace Sells... But Who's Buying?", "So Far, So Good... So What!" and "Rust In Peace".
Vic did not appear on the cover of any MEGADETH albums or compilations from 1991 to 2000. However, when MEGADETH tried to bring back a more "classic" vibe to its material, the group also brought back its old mascot, and Vic returned for the 2001 album "The World Needs A Hero", the 2004 follow-up, "The System Has Failed", and 2007's "United Abominations".
In an August 2010 posting on the band's MySpace page, MEGADETH bassist David Ellefson stated about Vic's live debut, "In our ongoing effort to always improve the live show we had a special introduction of our beloved mascot Vic Rattlehead, who came out and domineered the stage during the song 'Dawn Patrol' in Cleveland, Ohio.
"Vic has been with us since our beginning in 1985 on the 'Killing Is My Business...' album but really came into his own on the 'Peace Sells... But Who's Buying?!' album cover in 1986.
"We were happy for his debut with us [in August 2010] on the 'American Carnage' tour in Cleveland and will likely be making more appearances at upcoming shows. Be aware..."
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Drummer JOSH FREESE Quits A PERFECT CIRCLE
- Oct. 2, 2012
After a 13-year run with the band, drummer Josh Freese has decided to leave A PERFECT CIRCLE "with no plans of returning," he writes on his Twitter profile. "Apologies to those inquiring about the upcoming shows," he adds.
A PERFECT CIRCLE will perform one show in 2012 — on December 29 at Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas, Nevada.
A PERFECT CIRCLE recently confirmed its participation in the 2013 edition of the Soundwave Festival, which kicks off February 23 in Brisbane, Australia.
A PERFECT CIRCLE toured North America for the first time in six years last summer. These were the band's first live dates since a mini-tour they did in the fall of 2010, in which they played each of their three studio albums over the course of three nights in five cities.
The 2010-2011 lineup of A PERFECT CIRCLE included singer Maynard James Keenan, guitarist-songwriter Billy Howerdel, Freese, former SMASHING PUMPKINS guitarist James Iha and bassist Matt McJunkins.
A PERFECT CIRCLE currently does not have a record deal.
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QUEEN Guitarist BRIAN MAY To Embark On 'Born Free' Tour With KERRY ELLIS
- Oct. 2, 2012
Known as one of music's most powerful players, legendary QUEEN guitarist Brian May is going unplugged for a unique tour he is about to embark on with acclaimed singing star Kerry Ellis.
The two have enjoyed a hugely successful musical partnership in recent times, with Kerry earlier this year receiving the "Best Solo Performance" Whatsonstage.com award for "Anthems", the show arranged and produced by May as a showcase for her talents which premiered at London's Royal Albert Hall.
Beginning Monday, November 5, Brian and Kerry are heading out on the road to present their "Born Free" tour, a series of 11 intimate and totally acoustic shows performed under candlelight.
These special intimate concerts provide a chance to see Ellis and May close-up, and are being especially performed to raise awareness of the work of the Born Free Foundation, the global organization which works to protect and conserve threatened species, particularly Africa's magnificent lions, which across much of Africa, are now in serious decline.
Behind the decision to perform the tour is a new recording made by Brian and Kerry of "Born Free", the Oscar-winning song written for the 1966 film of the same name. Invited by Virginia McKenna's Born Free Foundation to view and participate in its work at the Shamwari game reserve and rescue centre in South Africa's Eastern Cape, Brian and Kerry have pledged to support Born Free both publicly and materially. Having recorded both a large-scale production version and an acoustic version of "Born Free", Brian and Kerry will release both versions on one single, with all proceeds going to the foundation.
The 11-date "Born Free" tour, which starts on November 5 mber at The Apex in Bury St. Edmunds, promises an informal evening in the company of Brian and Kerry performing a new collection of their own personal favourite songs as well as new arrangements of some of those they have previously performed in concert and recorded together, sung by Kerry with Brian accompanying her on both guitar and vocals.
Says Brian May: "Over the last year, Kerry and I have been recording new material when our schedules have allowed it. As on the 'Anthems' album, some of the tracks have very big and splendid arrangements, but we have become more and more fascinated with the magic of great songs stripped down to their core and re-interpreted in an 'acoustic' way. We find there is a purity which makes the songs speak very clearly. Kerry's instincts as an interpreter of songs are always inspiring, and the art of arranging has always been one of my obsessions. We have found that the two of us just working live off each other can distill the very essence of a song — and that's what we hope to bring you in these dates. After all, if you have great songs and a great singer, what more do you need? Well, maybe just a little bit of guitar!"
The "Born Free" tour follows a series of acclaimed performances by Kerry and Brian together over the past few years. They stole the show when they performed together on the Royal Variety Show in 2008, they performed live together again at BBC "Proms In The Park" and at 2010's "The Night Of 1000 Voices", and they opened the "Remembrance Day" concert at the Royal Albert Hall. Their "Anthems: The Tour" played 12 hugely successful dates around the U.K. in May 2011.
Tickets for the tour are on sale now priced between £37.50 and £39.50 depending on venue.
The dates are as follows:
Nov. 05 - Bury St Edmunds, UK - The Apex Nov. 06 - Leamington Spa, UK - The Assembly Nov. 07 - Corby, UK - The Core at Corby Cube Nov. 09 - Tunbridge Wells, UK - Assembly Hall Theatre Nov. 10 - Brighton, UK - St. Georges Church Nov. 11 - London, UK - Union Chapel Nov. 12 - St. Albans, UK - Alban Arena Nov. 15 - Crawley, UK - The Hawth Nov. 16 - Portsmouth, UK - New Theatre Royal Nov. 17 - Salisbury, UK - City Hall Nov. 19 - High Wycombe, UK - Swan Theatre
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HEAVEN'S BASEMENT: 'Fire, Fire' Video Released
- Oct. 2, 2012
HEAVEN'S BASEMENT, the rising U.K. quartet, is set to release its debut full-length album, "Filthy Empire", via Red Bull Records in early 2013. The CD was produced by John Feldmann (THE USED, PAPA ROACH, BLACK VEIL BRIDES) and is the follow-up to the band's independently released, acclaimed EP, "Unbreakable". The group just premiered the video for the first single, "Fire, Fire", via broadcast on Scuzz TV and online at RockSound.tv. The clip, directed by Michael Maxxis (OURS, SUM 41, OUR LADY PEACE) can be seen below.
HEAVEN'S BASEMENT has been making a name for itself overseas via their relentless touring and fiery live show plus music that features huge guitar riffs, killer melodies and an arena-rock sound. The band is currently on tour as support for HALESTORM in Europe and will then hit the road to support SEETHER later this year, also in Europe.
Originally formed in the East Midlands in England in 2007 (although the band's current lineup came together more recently in 2009), HEAVEN'S BASEMENT has already toured with the likes of BUCKCHERRY, PAPA ROACH, THEORY OF A DEADMAN, SHINEDOWN, and more and played this year's Download festival in the U.K. to a packed tent of more than 5,000 fans. Kerrang! magazine declared, "HEAVEN'S BASEMENT play as if their lives depend on it. They should already be a big name — bristling riffs and jagged, riotous hooks are their poison and exceptional is not too strong a word."
HEAVEN'S BASEMENT is Aaron Buchanan (vocals), Sid Glover (guitar), Rob Ellershaw (bass), and Chris Rivers (drums).
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IN ALCATRAZ 1962 To Release 'The Drive' Next Week
- Oct. 2, 2012
Northern Virginia metal/hardcore outfit IN ALCATRAZ 1962 will release its debut album, "The Drive", on October 9 via Standby Records. The CD was produced by Don DeBiase at Studio D Productions (MODERN DAY ESCAPE, ALONG CAME A SPIDER, VANILLA ICE) and "packs a wallop that's found by only a select few bands who mix in a tight sound with raging aggression," according to a press release.
"'The Drive' is all about overcoming any and all obstacles thrown at you in life," states the band. "The record is dark, but uplifting and inspiring. It hits hard at home."
As a band that never stops touring, IN ALCATRAZ 1962 has honed their pummeling sound while winning fans each and every night on stage. According to the band, it's the live experience that defines their sound.
"A lot of bands now are awesome on CD and all hyped up online, but when you see them live they can't deliver," the group relates. "We put our everything into our live shows. The audience can really feel, and connect with us. Our sound also separates us from everyone else. We're influenced by a lot of different bands and genres. We incorporate a few different genres into our music, and this allows us to reach a variety of different listeners."
"The Drive" track listing:
01. Breaking Through 02. Still Strong 03. Eloquence 04. There to Take 05. The Fatal Flaw 06. Acceptance 07. Over These Years 08. Winter Sun 09. Submergence 10. Stagnant 11. Aspirations 12. Through Blank Eyes
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CROCELL: First Two Songs With New Singer Posted Online
- Oct. 2, 2012
"Come Forth Plague" and "Perfidious Ceremony", the first two songs from Danish death metallers CROCELL to feature the band's new lead singer Asbjørn Steffensen (MORDAX), can be streamed using the ReverbNation player below. The tracks were produced by Jacob Olsen at JBO Sound.
Asbjørn will make his live debut with CROCELL on October 6 at Club Brutal in Aarhus.
Regarding Steffensen's addition to CROCELL, the band's guitarist, Tommy Christensen, previously said: "A number of skilled vocalists auditioned, but when Asbjørn visited, we knew straight away that we had found our new guy. Asbjørn could already sing most of the songs perfectly and together CROCELL sound better than ever before. We can't wait to finish our next album with the new lineup and hopefully play a shitload of concerts."
CROCELL's second album, "The Wretched Eidola", was released in May 2011 via Ultimhate Records.
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OBSCURA Announces 10th-Anniversary Show
- Oct. 2, 2012
German progressive death metal titans OBSCURA have announced a special 10th-anniversary show this December in Landshut, Germany. This one-night-only event will take place on December 15th at Alte Kaserne with special guests DARK FORTRESS, HOKUM and ILLEGIMITATION, an incarnation of the band's original lineup, who will play their first demo in its entirety.
Commented OBSCURA guitarist/vocalist Steffen Kummerer: "After years of recording, touring and building up a loyal fanbase around the world we invite all of our friends and fans to our 10-year-anniversary show in Landshut, Germany. We celebrate the end of the 'Omnivium' world tour in the same city where it started early 2011.
"To make this event something special, we reformed the original lineup of OBSCURA for a short set, playing the full 'Illegimitation' demo as a whole.
"While DARK FORTRESS and HOKUM share a long history of links with OBSCURA, it seems almost self-evident to have both booked for '10 Years Obscura - A Decade Of Progressive Death Metal'. Let’s make this a great evening for everyone."
"Omnivium" sold around 2,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release. The CD landed at position No. 11 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.
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STORM CORROSION'S MIKAEL ÅKERFELDT Discusses Making Of 'Drag Ropes' Video
- Oct. 2, 2012
Video footage of OPETH frontman Mikael Åkerfeldt and animator Jess Cope talking about the making of the "Drag Ropes" video from STORM CORROSION, the long-discussed and highly anticipated collaboration between Åkerfeldt and PORCUPINE TREE's Steven Wilson, can be seen below.
The self-titled debut album from STORM CORROSION sold 9,400 copies in the United States in its first week of release to debut at position No. 47 on The Billboard 200 chart. The CD also landed at No. 45 on the official U.K. chart.
Released on May 8, the "Storm Corrosion" Special Edition Blu-ray/CD Set & Collector's Edition Double LP Bundle was made available for $50, and included the album on 180-gram black virgin vinyl, in a gatefold jacket with exclusive artwork; a digital download of the entire album in high-quality FLAC files; the Blu-ray/CD version of the record, which offers the album on CD; a Blu-ray disc containing a 5.1 audio mix of the entire album, two exclusive demo tracks, and five instrumental tracks; a 24" x 36" fold-out poster; and a separate 12" x 12" poster autographed by both Mikael Åkerfeldt and Steven Wilson.
The "Storm Corrosion" Collector's Edition Double-LP Set was priced $35, and included the vinyl version, the digital download, and the two posters.
01. Drag Ropes 02. Storm Corrosion 03. Hag 04. Happy 05. Lock Howl 06. Ljudet Innan 07. Drag Ropes 08. Storm Corrosion 09. Hag 10. Happy 11. Lock Howl 12. Ljudet Innan 13. Drag Ropes (demo) 14. Hag (demo)
A little background information on the genesis of this project: Åkerfeldt and Wilson have been friends since the late '90s, when Wilson co-produced OPETH's revered "Blackwater Park" album. Over the years, they'd often spoken of working on a project together, but it wasn't until recently that they managed to make something happen, when Mikael flew over to visit Steven in the U.K. and they ended up in Wilson's home studio throwing ideas around. That visit was the nascence of a whole self-titled album, written and produced by the pair, and mixed by Wilson.
The sound of STORM CORROSION can best be described as enchanting, orchestral, ambient, epic (half the album's tracks clock in around the 10-minute mark) and nothing short of surprising to the new ear. However, the musicians' respective fanbases will be primed to appreciate the new output, with Wilson's recent solo album, "Grace For Drowning", and OPETH's "Heritage" having brought them to a logical place to understand STORM CORROSION. This eponymous collection is almost viewed as one side of a musical triangle.
Says Wilson, "If you'd asked me three months ago about the music, I would have said, 'Expect the last thing you would expect.' But actually, now that 'Heritage' and 'Grace For Drowning' have come out, I don't think it's going to be that much of a shock to people, because it's almost like a third part of the trilogy, in a way. If anything, it's even more orchestral, even more stripped down, even more dark, twisted and melancholic… but it certainly feels like it comes from the same place as 'Heritage' and 'Grace For Drowning', which indeed it does because it was written during the same period.”
"Some of the music on this record I think is the most beautiful music I have participated on ever," adds Åkerfeldt. "There's some magical sections on there. Musically, I think we've created something earthy, a bit frightening, exhausting, profound and rather intense. All at the same time. I can safely say I don't know any other band or artist that sounds anything like STORM CORROSION. I guess that was also one of our goals, so to speak."
Making of "Drag Ropes" video:
"Drag Ropes" video:
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UNDERØATH Announces Plans To Disband
- Oct. 2, 2012
Christian metalcore act UNDERØATH has announced its plans to disband following a remarkable 15-year career that made a monumental impact on millions of fans and forever changed the face of heavy music.
"It's sad to say that we feel like it's time to close this chapter, but we have never seen things more clearly," says vocalist Spencer Chamberlain. "These have been the best years of my entire life, and I owe that to every single person who ever supported this band along the way. This wasn't a quick decision by any means. It's just time for us to move on."
The band is closing an era during which it served as a pillar of the heavy music scene. UNDERØATH formed an indelible bond with their massive fan base through relentless touring in front of sellout audiences on six continents, as well as the early adoption and mastery of social networking that helped bridge the divide between band and fan — resulting in the band becoming one of the first with 1 million "likes" on Facebook as well as a tally of more than 70 million plays on MySpace.
The Tampa, Florida-based group released seven acclaimed albums in total — including the gold-certified mid-2000s releases "They're Only Chasing Safety" and "Define the Great Line" — that collectively yielded several groundbreaking videos, Grammy and Dove award nominations and total sales in excess of 1.3 million units.
On the road to becoming one of hard rock's biggest success stories, UNDERØATH created a deep and enduring culture surrounding its music and message and became that rarest of things in the music world: a band that actually meant something, to millions of fans around the globe.
UNDERØATH will cap its incredible run with the release of a career retrospective album, "Anthology 1999-2013" — released November 6 on Solid State Records. With tracks culled from their 1999 debut, "Act Of Depression", through the instant classics on 2010's "Ø (Disambiguation)", "Anthology 1999-2013" is an essential collection of songs that celebrates the evolution of this seminal band.
Pushing "Anthology 1999-2013" beyond a mere retrospective, the release gives fans one last chance to hear newly recorded material in the form of new tracks "Sunburnt" and "Unsound". Recorded with longtime producer Matt Goldman, the two new songs represent the final material recorded by the band.
"Over the past decade or so of our lives, we have been able to live a dream traveling the world, playing music that excites us, and meeting more amazing people than we could have ever fathomed," says keyboardist Chris Dudley. "This couldn't be a more bittersweet moment for us. We have accomplished more, met more friends, seen more places and have just done more than we could have ever imagined, and we really wanted to just go out on the highest note possible. That's why we have put together a group of great friends and musicians for what will be our final tour ever. We are taking every moment of this tour as an opportunity to say goodbye to you all, as well as celebrate what has taken place over all these years. The love we have and the debt of gratitude that we owe to all of you is not able to be measured in any way."
That farewell tour will commence in 2013, featuring fan-favorite songs that span the entirety of UNDERØATH's career. Further details to be announced next week.
"We don't take this very lightly and it's heartbreaking for all of us," Chamberlain says of the band's announcement, "but all good things must come to an end. We love all of you and hope to see you again soon.""
"Anthology 1999-2013" track listing:
01. Sunburnt (new song) 02. Unsound (new song) 03. In Division 04. Catch Myself Catching Myself 05. Paper Lung 06. Desperate Times, Desperate Measures 07. Too Bright To See, Too Loud To Hear 08. In Regards To Myself 09. You're Ever So Inviting 10. Writing On The Walls 11. A Boy Brushed Red Living In Black And White 12. Reinventing Your Exit 13. It's Dangerous Business Walking Out Your Front Door 14. I've Got Ten Friends And A Crowbar That Says You Ain't Gonna Do Jack 15. When The Sun Sleeps 16. Cries Of The Past 17. Heart Of Stone
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ANAAL NATHRAKH: Another New Song Available For Streaming
- Oct. 2, 2012
"Forging Towards The Sunset", a brand new song from England's ANAAL NATHRAKH, can be streamed in the YouTube clip below. The track comes off the band's new album, "Vanitas", which will be released on November 6 via Candlelight Records. Produced by Mick Kenney (BLEEDING THROUGH, INGESTED), the CD carries the band's signature and regarded union of black metal and grindcore.
ANAAL NATHRAKH's seventh album, "Vanitas" "sounds like someone showing you what the end of the world is like via the medium of a thousand hammers soaked in acid," says vocalist Dave Hunt. Digging into the record particulars, he notes, "It's more articulate and focused than any album before it in way of composition and recording technique. We worked hard and we're convinced it has paid off."
Since its inception in 1999, ANAAL NATHRAKH has gained a reputation for embodying the audio essence of pure evil. Various collaborations with the likes of Sethlans Teitan (WATAIN), Shane Embury and Danny Herrera (NAPALM DEATH), and others, have placed the band high on media as well metal fans "must-seek-out" list. This alongside countless placements in "Best Album Of The Month/Year" awards, ANAAL NATHRAKH's status as one of the leading lights in extreme metal is undeniable.
ANAAL NATHRAKH will tour Canada for the first time just as "Vanitas" is released. Beginning in Montreal on November 7, the tour will end in Sherbrooke on November 18.
"Vanitas" track listing:
01. The Blood-Dimmed Tide 02. Forging Towards The Sunset 03. To Spite The Face 04. Todos Somos Humanos 05. In Coelo Quies, Tout Finis Ici Bas 06. You Can't Save Me, So Stop Fucking Trying 07. Make Glorious The Embrace Of Saturn 08. Feeding The Beast 09. Of Fire, And Fucking Pigs 10. A Metaphor For The Dead
"Forging Towards The Sunset" audio stream:
"Of Fire, And Fucking Pigs" audio stream:
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CIRCLE II CIRCLE To Begin Mixing New Album This Week
- Oct. 2, 2012
CIRCLE II CIRCLE, the band led by ex-SAVATAGE frontman Zak Stevens, will begin mixing its new album, "Seasons Will Fall", this Thursday, October 4 in San Francisco, California.
Says bassist Mitch Stewart: "We are looking for an early 2013 release. Touring news to come in the next week or so."
In a recent interview with Metal Babe, Stevens said about the upcoming CD, "The record is sounding really great and the goal of this album from the beginning was for it to be the best CIRCLE II CIRCLE to date. Of course, that's a lofty goal, but I really think we've done it here with 'Seasons Will Fall'."
He added, "From the beginning, we wanted it to have some elements of all five previous releases, along with some entirely new sounding stuff. So that's basically what we've done with 'Seasons Will Fall'. We're really happy with how it turned out. Now it's just down to the fun part of mixing it and putting the final touches on everything."
Asked if there is a certain theme or concept that this CD focuses on, Zak said, "Being that it's not a concept album, the record focuses on a variety of different subjects. What I notice right away in the music and the lyrics is the amount of introspection of everyday life. Because of this, it really reminds me of our first album, 'Watching In Silence'. It really has that sort of feel to it. It also reminds me of 'Burden Of Truth' in some ways, too, but this one's definitely not a concept album in that sense."
CIRCLE II CIRCLE recently toured Europe in celebration of the 15 years of the SAVATAGE classic album "The Wake Of Magellan".
CIRCLE II CIRCLE recruited drummer Adam Sagan (INTO ETERNITY, FINAL DARKNESS, ECHOTERRA) to sit behind the kit for the European trek.
A drummer of 20 years, Sagan has toured extensively and shared stages with some of the biggest names in rock and metal, including MOTÖRHEAD, CANNIBAL CORPSE, GWAR, STRATOVARIUS, OPETH, DANZIG, KAMELOT and dozens more. In addition to touring and recording, he also pens an instructional column for Drumhead magazine, and offers private drum instruction in the Minneapolis/St Paul area of Minnesota.
CIRCLE II CIRCLE current touring lineup:
Zak Stevens (Vocals) Mitch Stewart (Bass) Bill Hudson (Guitars) Christian Wentz (Guitars) Henning Wanner (Keyboards) Adam Sagan (Drums)
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IN THIS MOMENT: New Video Interview With MARIA BRINK
- Oct. 2, 2012
On September 5, Coolgrrrls.com conducted an interview with vocalist Maria Brink of Southern California's IN THIS MOMENT in Jacksonville, North Carolina. You can now watch the chat below.
IN THIS MOMENT's fourth album, "Blood", sold around 20,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release to debut at position No. 15 on the Billboard 200 chart.
The band's previous CD, "A Star-Crossed Wasteland", opened with 10,500 units back in July 2010 to land at position No. 40.
IN THIS MOMENT's sophomore effort, "The Dream", registered a first-week tally of more than 8,000 copies back in October 2008 to land at No. 70.
Released on August 14 via Century Media Records, "Blood" was once again produced by Kevin Churko, who has previously worked with OZZY OSBOURNE and FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH, among others.
IN THIS MOMENT began work on the new album just a few months following the departures of drummer Jeff Fabb and guitarist Blake Bunzel, who left the band late last year in order to join the backing group of "American Idol" finalist James Durbin. Fabb and Bunzel have since been replaced by Tom Hane (THYATEIRA) and Randy Weitzel (FLATLINE, 3/13, AMERICAN MASSACRE), respectively.
Photo credit: Robert John Kley
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STONE SOUR's COREY TAYLOR Talks To METAL HAMMER About 'House Of Gold And Bones' (Video)
- Oct. 2, 2012
U.K.'s Metal Hammer magazine recently conducted an interview with STONE SOUR and SLIPKNOT frontman Corey Taylor. You can now watch the chat below.
STONE SOUR has tapped Johny Chow as its live bassist for the band's upcoming tour behind its new album, "House Of Gold And Bones". Chow has formerly played with metal acts SOULFLY, CAVALERA CONSPIRACY and FIREBALL MINISTRY, and replaces Shawn Economaki, who bowed out of the band earlier this year for personal reasons.
The group tapped Rachel Bolan of SKID ROW to play bass on the album itself, and Taylor told The Pulse Of Radio how that came together. "I'm well-documented being a huge SKID ROW fan. I can't remember who brought the name up, but I immediately was like, 'Dude, absolutely.' We knew somebody who had his number, so I called him and within 24 hours he was basically getting ready to do it. And he's just one of the coolest dudes on the planet and he schooled it. People are going to be very impressed by the bass playing."
Guitarist Josh Rand told Metalshrine about Bolan's involvement in the album, "It was a great experience. He's a phenomenal writer on top of being a phenomenal bass player and he brought this style into it that we felt had been lacking. Instead of following the guitars, he actually plays bass and it elevated all of the songs to a whole new level."
Bolan was unable to join STONE SOUR on tour because of his previous commitments to SKID ROW.
"House Of Gold And Bones" is a two-record concept album, the first half of which will arrive on October 23. Part 2 is expected to be released in May 2013.
STONE SOUR will play a couple of festival dates in South America in early November before heading overseas later this fall for a European tour.
"Gone Sovereign" and "Absolute Zero" audio stream:
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FIREWIND: New Video Interview With BOB KATSIONIS
- Oct. 2, 2012
Metal-Trails.com conducted an interview with keyboardist/guitarist Bob Katsionis of Greek melodic metallers FIREWIND before the band's September 28 concert in Hamburg, Germany. You can now watch the chat below.
FIREWIND's new album, "Few Against Many", entered the official chart in Greece at No. 42 and in Germany at No. 90. Released in Europe on May 21 via Century Media Records and in North America on May 22 through DisManic, Inc. via eOne Distribution, the CD was mixed by Jason Suecof and Eyal Levi at Audiohammer Studios (TRIVIUM, ALL THAT REMAINS, DEATH ANGEL) in Sanford, Florida.
Produced by Gus, "Few Against Many" was recorded with his longtime bandmates, vocalist Apollo Papathanasio, keyboardist/guitarist Bob Katsionis and bassist Petros Christo, at Valve Studio in Greece as well as the Sweetspot Studios in Sweden and sees the band expanding on its signature melodic sound with some of its most aggressive songs to date. The CD also marks the recording debut of new FIREWIND drummer Johan Nunez (NIGHTRAGE).
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IRON MAIDEN: Stockholm Concert Sells Out In Record-Breaking Time
- Oct. 2, 2012
British heavy metal legends IRON MAIDEN are not only the first international act to announce their appearance at the magnificent national stadium in Stockholm — Friends Arena — they are also the first rock band to sell it out!
Spectacular ticket demand for MAIDEN was once again so great that the July 13, 2013 show sold out as quickly as the ticket system could handle — record-breaking for this new 50,000-capacity Stockholm stadium. The venue, Friends Arena, has a roof which means that for the first time ever in Sweden, IRON MAIDEN fans will be able to enjoy the full glory of the entire "Maiden England" show in a dark stadium.
Commented MAIDEN singer Bruce Dickinson: "It is a great honor to be the first rock band to be announced to play the new national stadium, especially as we have always had a very close connection with your country and have massively enjoyed every visit."
"We were completely overwhelmed by the reaction from our North American fans to the 'Maiden England' tour, which was our most extensive tour there for many years. We had a lot of fun playing the older songs and the fans seemed to love the set list and Eddie's various incarnations! The band can't wait to bring this show to our Swedish fans."
Added MAIDEN bassist Steve Harris: "'The Final Frontier' show in Ullevi last year was magic, along with the very warm reception we recieved from our friends in Sweden. It's terrific to return next year, especially playing in the new national stadium for the first time. This time round we will be playing the older songs and think our fans will enjoy this just as much!"
He added, "We know how popular the 'History Of Maiden' tours are with fans of all ages and we will be taking with us the full production we had in North America. We had a huge amount of fun with the set list as we got to play songs we had not played in a very long time like 'Seventh Son', 'The Prisoner' and 'Afraid To Shoot Strangers', as well as fan favorites like 'The Trooper', 'Aces High', 'The Number Of The Beast', 'Wasted Years' and 'Run To The Hills'. The opening leg of the tour was so enjoyable for the whole band, we’re really looking forward to taking it to our fans around Europe and, as always, greatly looking forward to the Swedish show."
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IRON MAIDEN Bassist's 'This Is Not My God' Video Released
- Oct. 2, 2012
"This Is My God", the new video from IRON MAIDEN bassist/founder Steve Harris's solo/side project album, "British Lion", can be seen below.
"British Lion" was released in the U.S. on September 25 via Universal Music Enterprises (UMe). Mixed by Kevin Shirley — whose credits include IRON MAIDEN as well as Led ZEPPELIN, JOURNEY and RUSH, among many others — the CD, which features Harris alongside vocalist Richard Taylor, guitarists Graham Leslie and David Hawkins and drummer Simon Dawson, presents a different side of the bassist's musical visions.
Asked where the impetus for "British Lion" came from, Harris told Classic Rock magazine, "How it started was that Graham Leslie came to me with a cassette of songs — which shows how long ago it was! — and I thought they were really good, so I said I'd try to help his band do something. I ended up managing them and producing them and writing with them, although I kept that fact under wraps, to the point where even some people in the band didn't know. Anyway, when that band imploded I thought, 'Well, I've got to do something with this,' because I thought the songs were so strong."
He continued, "Over the years I've kept in touch with Richie and Graham, and then Richie was working with another guitarist called David Hawkins, who's a really talented guy, and so we started writing songs together. So on the album there are six songs written with Richie and David, there's one with just me and Richie, and the others are me, Richie, Graham and a couple of other guys that were around at the time."
"British Lion" comprises ten songs that Steve and his collaborators have been working on between IRON MAIDEN tours and releases and is described by Harris as "'70s-influenced, British-sounding hard rock." "I'd say it's more mainstream rock than metal... and quite commercial… but good commercial," he said. "There's all kinds of stuff going on, with nods to THE WHO and UFO and some classic British rock bands, but it's not the progressive rock album some might be expecting."
On the topic of why this is the right time for a Steve Harris solo album, the IRON MAIDEN bassist told Classic Rock, "Because it's ready, it's finally, finally ready. The guys have been waiting very patiently for years for me, and it's been frustrating at time, but what can I do?! I'm so busy with MAIDEN. People have already said to me, 'Are you going to do this instead of MAIDEN?' and I'm like, 'Of course not!' MAIDEN is always going to be the priority — always has been and always will be — but it's interesting and exciting to try new things."
He added, "On the early [IRON MAIDEN] albums, most of the songs are mine, but as we've gone into different eras with different people writing, there's been more and more collaborations. And I think it's been important for MAIDEN to do that rather than have me dictating everything. But I have bags full of ideas, so many that I couldn't record them all in my lifetime, and I tried out a few different things on this, because I had the time to do experiment."
"British Lion" track listing:
01. This Is My God 02. Lost Worlds 03. Karma Killer 04. Us Against The World 05. The Chosen Ones 06. A World Without Heaven 07. Judas 08. Eyes Of The Young 09. These Are The Hands 10. The Lesson
Steve Harris will guest on the nationally syndicated radio show "Rockline" with host Bob Coburn on Wednesday, October 3 at 8:30 p.m. PT / 11:30 p.m. ET. Fans are encouraged to speak with Harris by calling 1-800-344-ROCK (7625). The show will be streamed on the "Rockline" web site for two weeks beginning the afternoon after the live broadcast.