From across the pond comes a British, Irish, Scot and Welsh union with a strong urge to rock out, mostly American style. These lads' ancestors probably could never have fathomed such a merger, but CAGE THE GODS have a common affinity for melodic blues and hard rock that transcends any carryover territorial divisions. Following their "Favourite Sin" EP comes CAGE THE GODS' debut full-length, "Badlands", an album with energy and flair on its side if not much in the originality department. This at least spells a good time for party animals, workout addicts and rockers who prefer things simple. Citing AC/DC, BON JOVI and GUNS N' ROSES as primary influences, "Badlands" sounds more like an amalgam of BLACK CROWES, TESLA, BUCKCHERRY and at-times, modern proto rock. The amusing "Bruce Willis" does carry a note-picking swagger and heady hum like AC/DC, but for the most part, "Badlands" is not too far off from the ill-fated hard rock band of the same name once led by Jake E. Lee. The up-tempo ballad "Falling" is sure to pull on a few heartstrings of the ladies within Peter Comerford's projection. Comerford has all the confidence and ranges needed to fuel CAGE THE GODS, considering their song structures are often repetitive and reliant upon dense chord chuffs between "The Ending", "Sacrifice", "One More Taste" and even the bonus track, "Wakeup". To the good, however, the songs are focused and rhythmic and Comerfield sounds major league overtop them. For that matter, guitarist Jam is a superstar in the making, throwing down an intricate sequence of notes and fades through the finale of "One More Taste", while weaving a tasty twelve-string acoustic and scorching electric solo on the album's other ballad, "What's Left of Me". Jam's sprinkling guitar lines on the verses of "Promises" are reminiscent of The Edge and even the song's vibrating drive feels like long-ago U2 until the distortion pedals are stamped upon the socked-out choruses. The closing bars of "A Thousand Times" is one of the more inspired moments of the album as Peter Comerford implores "save me, stop waiting, save me from myself" after singing about sellouts and barely hanging on through endless aspiration, a recurring lyrical theme on the album. His appealing pipes nearly overshadow the inherent despair and implied self-destruction on "Badlands", but true to the spirit of a good frontman, Comerford sells the whole thing like a well-sung rock 'n' roll ringmaster. There's plenty of oomph and talent in this band to give them a listen regardless of the numerous comparables that come up while spinning "Badlands". The dressed-up acoustic version of "Sacrifice" is spiffy and Mitch Witham and Colin Jones make a solid rhythm section that gives this band its pulse. In the Eighties, CAGE THE GODS would've been a guaranteed hit, but their devotion as younger gen throwback rock party hosts is merely a curiosity in today's jaded market.
Doro Pesch has rightly earned her sustained crown as The Queen of Metal, yet never make the mistake of discounting Sabina Classen. Well before thrash broke out of Germany and the American West Coast, Classen was on the scene, joining HOLY MOSES in 1981. Though the truly defined thrash element of the band came in the middle of the decade with the "Queen of Siam", "Finished With the Dogs" and "The New Machine of Liechtenstein" albums, Classen deserves her own dome crest as one metal's first and fiercest lady vocalists. As fellow countrymen KREATOR, SODOM, HELLOWEEN, DESTRUCTION, GRAVE DIGGER and BLIND GUARDIAN were helping to usher thrash from a harsher style of playing (the exception being HELLOWEEN), Sabina Classen paid her dues with HOLY MOSES and has only received her proper due in the past decade. As the lone remnant to a band that has had enough personnel to warrant a roster handbook, Classen and HOLY MOSES return with their first album in six years (and now as a quartet following the recent departure of guitarist Ollie Jaath), "Redefined Mayhem". Surviving from 2008's "Agony of Death" is bassist and creative collaborator Thomas Neitsch, who also serves as producer of the new album. Joining HOLY MOSES three years ago was drummer Gerd Lucking and in 2012, guitarist Peter Geltat. Sabina herself describes the new band lineup as "HOLY MOSES Mark 2014", and there's good reason for her to note the occasion of this lineup. DEEP PURPLE Mark IV this is not, but it is pretty damned good. "Redefined Mayhem" is not just a standout album for HOLY MOSES, but for thrash in the metal revival. As ever, the slowdowns come incrementally on this album and even in mid-tempo modes, there are loads of underlying trip hammers and omnipresent shredding. Younger, fresher bodies withstand the stamina required from this band and "Redefined Mayhem", with Tue Madsen (THE HAUNTED, DARK TRANQUILLITY) applying the final mixes and masters, is one of the most precise albums in the band's history. Sabina Classen's esophagus has every right to betray her after thirty-three years of being gored, but she's well on her game as ever, mincing between witch shrieks and femme demon ralphs that continue to stand up to any of her contemporaries, pick your decade. It's fascinating hearing her rip through the blitzing hustle of "Hellhound" and "Triggered" and the fixed crush of "Undead Dogs", while all but outright puking over the steady pound of "Delusion". If you're an aspirant metal screamer (male or female), here's a great mentor to study, especially now that Angela Gossow has stepped down from ARCH ENEMY. HOLY MOSES' current recruits prove themselves well worthy. There's no tempo line Gerd Lucking doesn't sound comfortable with and his transitions and fills are superb. He manages to keep "Whet the Knife" exciting and suspicious of breakout even when it stays at a minimum pace for much of the verses before picking up steam on the choruses. Lucking lays down tons of frenzied bass pedal antics here, and of course on all of the straightforward thrashers. "One Step Ahead of Death" may never really rocket, but Lucking does keep a feverish throb to what equates into a standard power metal jam with yowling vocals. The guitar solos (assumedly shared between Peter Geltat and Ollie Jaath) are resourceful, if slightly raw in spots. However, once the climaxes of the solos are struck and the blazing melodies are slung at hip's edge next to Thomas Neitsch, they become a stout reason why "Redefined Mayhem" succeeds. Considering Geltat will be carrying the lead burden from this point forward, it should be telling of his future prowess. There's always a reason to celebrate the release of a HOLY MOSES record, and the party is thrown by the silly-brutal and intentionally cracked 1:17 bonus track, "This Dirt". Not every band carrying its brand for so long has had to fight so hard for respect, but Sabina Classen is a freak of nature and she has the guns in her Mark 2014 arsenal to show why HOLY MOSES still matters.
Vegas prog quartet DINNER MUSIC FOR THE GODS proves that instrumental music is more affecting in the hands of a collective, not necessarily a lone gun. What's gotten boring about modern prog, specifically prog metal, is the subscription that chops, theory and multi-instrument proficiency are all what's needed to create it. Hence the plague of individual artists who do sometimes decent, mostly fair-to-midland albums filled with hyper, scales-driven flash and little glue. Even Steve Vai and Frank Zappa had the smarts to surround themselves with extra talent to help do their music justice. It's refreshing that each member of DINNER MUSIC FOR THE GODS sounds like Julliard or Peabody alumni, which gives their second album "Beautiful and Treacherous" the excuse to spin it more than a few times. Really, the only thing in these guys' way is a tendency for repetition in their work, but the execution DINNER MUSIC FOR THE GODS serves to their audience is impeccable and that says a great deal about them. Plus, they really know how to work a cover tune. For the metalhead savant, DINNER MUSIC FOR THE GODS takes a ride back to Eighties power metal on "Winterfell", only they decorate their galloping tempo with tied-down neoclassical lines from Andy Heilman and Darrin Pappa. Drummer Matt Muntean is a total maniac on this song as he is everywhere on "Beautiful and Treacherous". While each component of DINNER MUSIC FOR THE GODS is extremely talented, Muntean is the best of the gifted lot. His rolls coincide with his flailing triplicates on "Winterfell" and he dishes a cymbal ride bonanza that'll have horns flickering from anyone encountering this song. Later, "The Tower" erupts multiple times on the brink of rolling fusion guitar and bass lines, charging forward with climaxing metallic outbursts and then clever jerk-backs into mid-tempo Latin grooves. The slammed-down thrash section within the final minutes of "The Tower" is a freaking blast, ditto for the heavier sections of "Queenshead" that boom all over the place on the heels of prog and yes, subliminal cha cha segments. The band's take on LED ZEPPELIN's "Kashmir" isn't so much a cover as it is a freestyle interpretation. They grab only the most familiar bits of the original including incrementally laying down the main riff for a few bars before integrating jazz, samba and later, metal in-between the acquainted sections of "Kashmir". On the first listen, it comes off a bit cheesy, to be honest, but repeated listens reveal the pretty impressive originality DINNER MUSIC FOR THE GODS throws into their version, including a cymbal-splashing gala from Matt Muntean and busy bass scales from Jimmy Pappa. "Wind Through the Trees", an instrumental ballad, gives Jimmy Pappa a chance to shine with exquisite strokes that become protected tastefully by Andy Heilman and Darrin Pappa's soothing melody. The song does hit agitated strides before drawing back into its comforting planes. "Ghost Troopers of the Sky" is another gutsy maneuver on the band's part, merging Stan Jones' country ode of old, "(Ghost) Riders in the Sky: A Cowboy Legend" with, of all things, IRON MAIDEN's "The Trooper". It is and isn't what you're expecting. It's best to leave this one to your imagination and discover if you're right. What can be said about "Ghost Troopers of the Sky" is that DINNER MUSIC FOR THE GODS have a ton of music smarts about them and it's wildly entertaining, just like the rest of this album. They may be officially underground at the moment, but any fan with a smidge of appreciation for effective, group-oriented prog ought to be checking these guys out.
New York hardcore blasters TIGER FLOWERS have endeared themselves to their hometown heavies with a reputation for maniacal and deafening performances. Following their 2011 EP, the band releases their strategically messy and noisome debut full-length, "Dead Hymns". Apparently it's not enough for vocalist Sir Jesse James Madre, Esq. to reportedly wave his junk and nub-tuck (think of Jame Gumb in "Silence of the Lambs") himself onstage at TIGER FLOWERS gigs. He not only invites you to survey his nuts on "Dead Hymns", he demands you kiss them. Gives new, yucky meaning to the phrase, "balls-out", but that summarizes TIGER FLOWERS as a band, albeit G.G. Allin's nefarious shit eating antics far outdoes them on the transgression meter. Still, the point is made with TIGER FLOWERS' shock art tactics; they're trying to bring back the danger element to punk without committing coprophagia or tearing their craniums apart as self-inflicted bloodsport for their audiences. The chaotic opening songs "Batesian Mimicry", "Century Blues" and "Suicide Giants" tell all of the band's implied danger elements without resorting to outright nihilism. Broiling static and ear-killing distortion rails from Dean "Cooch" Landry all over the end of "Tectonics of Teeth" will do a number on you if you're not already decked by the first three songs. Aptly titled, because if you have a few fillings, they'll amplify and razz your nerve endings once Landry peels off his squelching feedback. Just in time for the band to pick up the pace on the minute-plus bangfest of "Cruisin' 'til the Wheels Fall Off", where Sir Jesse James Madre, Esq. mocks the American dream with rushing and skidding beat tears from Dan Miccio. Before you assume TIGER FLOWERS are playing strictly in chop 'n slop modes, the slow measures opening "The Road" erases all of those assumptions. Dean Landry tweaks his winding guitar lines through the prolonged instrumental intro to create a sense of aural inebriation behind the more punctuated melody. There's a smart methodology to the whole thing once the guitars are layered overtop Will "The Mexican Cowboy" Gomez's near-lackadaisical bass lines. By the time Sir Madre joins in with disarming clean croons, the song changes hand and the agitation by all four members swell with Madre picking up with outraged bellows and Landry and Gomez delivering peppered riffs, all leading to a monster finish. Gomez has the last say on "The Road", which ends up being one of "Dead Hymns"' finest songs. Back to the mayhem on "Patient Patient" and TIGER FLOWERS rattles their listeners a bit longer before giving them respite with the calming modes of "Riders". It's quite gentlemanly of these guys to give their audience a slight break at the end of the album since a break is well-needed. Nevertheless, this band is not for wussies. As loud and abrasive and "Dead Hymns" is, you're advised to either get on board or get the hell outta Dodge (or Brooklyn, in this case) if you can't handle them.
The consensus analyzing French sludge disciples DRAWERS have unanimously cited this quintet to be chasing the heels of the mighty MASTODON, the "Remission" era, anyway. Permit me to endorse the consensus, even if comparing this album to "Remission" is like comparing any new death-thrash entrant to SLAYER's "Hell Awaits". The churning tones from this band are reminiscent of MASTODON 2002 even if the goofy facial collision on DRAWERS' self-titled album cover rings of late Eighties-to-mid-Nineties Cali punk. In other words, DRAWERS' American emulations are amusing and sound-wise, they do crank out some decibels, but as a musical statement, what's it all for? The opening three cuts "Once and For All", "Mourning" and "It's All About Love" are hardly "Crusher Destroyer", "March of the Fire Ants" and "Where Studies the Behemoth", but they'd sure like to be. You're either willing to hang with DRAWERS through their not-quite-there MASTODON impressions for fun or you're already heading for "Leviathan" without a second thought. To be fair, Laurent Bringer, Alexandre Berenguer and Jeremie Ruiz have their low-end distortion plugs and reeling top layers down just fine and mad bear growler Nicholas Bastide pulls off an okay Troy Sanders to recreate certain applicable effects, though Bastide goes overboard at times. Drummer Oliver Lolmede is hit and miss throughout the album, depending on how fast he's asked to play. Forget any comparisons to the impeccable Brann Dailor. On steady, mid-tempo lines, Lolmede is a crusher. It's when DRAWERS' would-be prog-sludge replications introduces black metal-kindred blast beats where Lolmede sounds off-kilter and clattery and these occur repetitively enough to downgrade many of the songs. They sound so out-of-place on "Mourning", for example, when you consider the rest of the song is played at a hefty march that the blast patterns almost seemed forced to appease a different demographic of metalhead. The strategy doesn't really work. On "It's All About Love", those blast beats are so sloppily executed they flush away the headstrong momentum of the song's otherwise catchy drive. "Bleak" fuses subversive alt-pop harmonies beneath the chugging globs of the song's chords and jerked-out feeds. However, the attempt at melodic interjection into the choruses of "Take Stock" backfires on DRAWERS altogether with not-so-hot clean vocals and a subsequent, seemingly embarrassed abandonment of those overtures. Fortunately, "Shadow Dancers" turns a dime on DRAWERS' main theme by throwing in two variant hardcore rhythms that let the instrumentation take over for the most part and they provide some of the album's most original sounds. Afterwards, "Words" and "Detour" glue everything DRAWERS seeks from themselves with their tightest and best lines and finally, their option to cram blast sequences into "Words" makes sense. The flurrying finale to "Words" gives no pause as "Detour" takes over with bare transition, and here on this couplet is where DRAWERS stands tallest within the considerable shadows of their heroes. There's no question DRAWERS are trying hard and they have the good taste to keep this album relegated to a half hour. Seeking to emulate one of the best in the business today is venerable only to the point it takes considerable talent to pull that off, and this band has guts for their undertaking. There are a few good cards for DRAWERS to play in their hand, but they have leaps and bounds over proverbial blood mountains before they're in MASTODON's league.
Welp, here we are with another metalcore band. In this case, SCARS DIVIDE is a Swiss metalcore band, which puts them a bit behind the eight ball, since metalcore is gradually on its way out, at least in the West. Remarkable, however, that SCARS DIVIDE has only been together for a year, since their self-titled debut EP sounds far more pro than a newbie act should. The near six minutes of Three Meters Sixty" exhibits all of the band's capabilities with its sprawling measures and chunky 'core rhythms, even if the length of the track and its randomness becomes its undoing. Following these guys through their successive bars on the opening number "All That We Need" is no problem since there's plenty of articulation and headstrong melody to grab onto. In the case of "Three Meters Sixty", SCARS DIVIDE detach from their primary groove in the interest of trying out every nuance of metalcore and math metal they can and the whole exercise becomes a nattering nuisance instead of a breathless soar like "All That We Need". The guitars of "All That We Need" and "The Venom of Leviathan" on their primary harmonies are simply grand and worth slipping into, even if the expectant breakdowns manifest more than once and disrupt the ebbing strums SCARS DIVIDE craft with near-blind instinct. The aquatic instrumental interlude "Whispering Shores" is a nice touch before SCARS DIVIDE rip into "Their Own Demise", which, furious as it may be, becomes a predictable back-and-forth dash between speed and crawl modes, straight down to the increasing and decelerating double hammers. The flurrying guitars over "Their Own Demise"'s choruses helps the song's cause, but formulaic punching chords and beat divots hold it back from its potential. Revisiting the same soothing and watery textures of "Whispering Shores" for the opening to the 6:27 "Salt, Ice and Fire", SCARS DIVIDE invest in momentum this time, and the results are much more satisfying. The omnipresent bellowing is dragged out along with the elevating stanzas and SCARS DIVIDE's melodies on this track are the best in their repertoire. You automatically sense these guys are going to go bonkers at some point, but the band keeps the chains held and they opt to decorate and build tension into their mid-paced plod. The anticipated speed rush never comes and SCARS DIVIDE is to be commended for finishing their EP with a tease instead of a sure shot. If SCARS DIVIDE proves anything out the gate, it's their impressive homogeneity in such a short time. Outside of their attractive guitar work, however, there's not much these guys cover that hasn't already been covered. They've just put it all together in such fast time, and those who still practice metalcore ought to be rightly concerned they have a new band like SCARS DIVIDE breathing down their necks in a hurry.
Fan-filmed video footage of SABATON's April 17 performance in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania can be seen below. SABATON is currently touring the U.S. and Canada as direct support to American metallers ICED EARTH on their "Worldwide Plagues" North American trek. Opening each show on the six-week tour are Dutch metallers REVAMP (featuring NIGHTWISH singer Floor Jansen). SABATON's new album, "Heroes", will be released on May 16 via Nuclear Blast Records. The cover artwork for the effort was created by PÃ©ter Sallai. A number of bonus tracks will be made available, including cover versions of songs originally written and recorded by METALLICA, BATTLE BEAST and RAUBTIER. "We had the title in mind since before we even recorded 'Carolus Rex' and we already had ideas for artwork years ago," said SABATON bassist PÃ¤r SundstrÃ¶m. "We had a few different ones to choose from, but when we saw this one, we knew it was the right one for this album." "Heroes" was tracked at The Abyss, the recording studio in PÃ¤rlby outside Ludvika, Sweden owned and operated by record producer and musician Peter TÃ¤gtgren (HYPOCRISY, PAIN). SABATON played its first show with new drummer Hannes Van Dahl on November 16, 2013 at the Metal Hammer Paradise festival in Germany.
In the five-minute clip below, Jonas "Kungen" Jarlsby and Tim ÃhrstrÃ¶m of Swedish metallers AVATAR show you how to play the title track of their new album, "Hail The Apocalypse", on guitar. AVATAR will release "Hail The Apocalypse" on May 16 via Gain Music in Europe and May 13 through eOne in USA. The CD was recorded in Karma Sound Studios, Bang Saray, Thailand, mixed by Jay Ruston (STONE SOUR, ANTHRAX, STEEL PANTHER) and mastered by Paul Logus (VOLBEAT, CLUTCH, KILLSWITCH ENGAGE). AVATAR is described by many as a perfect mix between RAMMSTEIN, ALICE COOPER and SYSTEM OF A DOWN â something the band has now developed further with the video for "Hail The Apocalypse". "Hail The Apocalypse" track listing: 01. Hail The Apocalypse 02. What I Don't Know 03. Death Of Sound 04. Vultures Fly 05. Bloody Angel 06. Murderer 07. Tsar Bomba 08. Puppet Show 09. Get In Line 10. Something In the Way 11. Tower The song "Bloody Angel" can now be streamed using the SoundCloud widget below. "'Bloody Angel' is about shame and guilt," says AVATAR frontman Johannes EckerstrÃ¶m. "You look around and watch all the suffering and while you search for someone or something to blame, you end up in front of a mirror. Everything you touch, you break. Everyone you try to save you hurt and push further away." EckerstrÃ¶m comments on the "Hail The Apocalypse" video, which can be seen below: "This is our best video to date. I play your friendly neighborhood doomsday prophet. You get to follow me facing the unbelievers and their reactions when chaos ensues. Good times all around and we are using some really amazing special effects to blow up the planet. Oh, and it's done like a silent movie." The visually stimulating "Hail The Apocalypse" album cover has also been reveled. It vividly depicts the band steering their ship through a storm on the open sea with the apocalypse happening all around them. They're facing it, riding the waves and taking on whatever comes their way. To the band, it symbolizes the time in the darkness that made these songs. AVATAR gained much attention when it comes to its creativity in videos, which are always produced by the bandmembers themselves. Since the release of the band's last CD, "Black Waltz", AVATAR has had massive success all over the world. The singles "Smells Like A Freakshow" and "Let It Burn" peaked on No. 26 on U.S. commercial rock radio charts, where they also stayed for several weeks well ahead of more established bands in the scene. This was followed by extensive and successful U.S. tours. The biggest break through came when AVENGED SEVENFOLD personally picked AVATAR as support band on their sold-out arena tour in Europe late 2013. AVATAR got a reception far beyond expected by the crowds, which resulted in bookings on high profiled festivals such as Download festival and Rock On The Range in 2014, among own headline dates. AVATAR is: Johannes Michael Gustaf EckerstrÃ¶m - Vocals John Alfredsson - Drums Kungen - Guitar Tim Ãhrstrom - Guitar Henrik Sandelin - Bass "Hail The Apocalypse" (song) guitar lesson:
As part of Affliction's "Rock Star Stories" series, Jose Mangin, SiriusXM director of programming and on-air host (Liquid Metal, Ozzy's Boneyard, Octane), recently asked HALESTORM to share a tale from the road. Check out the clip below. As previously reported, HALESTORM has debuted two new songs at two separate shows recently. The first tune, "Heartbreaker", was performed on March 28 at the Cannery Ballroom in Nashville, Tennessee, while the second track, "Mayhem", made its debut earlier this month in England. The group began writing its third album in January, after completing more than 20 months of touring behind 2012's "The Strange Case Ofâ¦" Singer Lzzy Hale told The Pulse Of Radio one thing the band might do differently this time. "We're probably gonna record it in Nashville instead of L.A. this time," she said. "It's a quieter vibe and a little less distractions. I think we can kind of lock ourselves into a studio (laughs) and become intimate with our inner crazy [laughs] and hopefully not kill each other in the process [laughs]." "Love Bites" also won the Grammy last year for "Best Hard Rock/Metal Performance."
Paul Potapov of Russia's Classic Rock maagzine conducted an interview with vocalist James LaBrie of progressive metal giants DREAM THEATER on February 28 in Moscow. You can now watch the chat below. DREAM THEATER's latest, self-titled album sold around 34,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release to debut at position No. 7 on The Billboard 200 chart. The CD arrived in stores on September 24, 2013 via Roadrunner. In a November 2013 interview with Screamer Magazine, LaBrie stated about the band's continued success: "I think a lot of it has to do with [the fact that] DREAM THEATER kind of cultivated our base from the very beginning through incessant and relentless touring around the world. We'd do an album and then we'd follow the album with a tour that lasts anywhere from a year to a year and a half and then we'd take a few months off and then we're back in the studio. So it's almost like a 2-3-year cycle that we've kept up since, basically, 1992 when we came out with 'Images And Words'. So I think that really gained us some notoriety around the world. As far as North America goes, a lot of that has been through making sure that we get into as many areas as possible every time we tour and building the audience that way. And I think, basically, that is what we've attained throughout the many years â building our audience from being known as a live band, a live entity â and that's really helped to create this awareness of us." DREAM THEATER's spirit of adventure and fearless musical virtuosity continues to reap dividends for the progressive metal titans who recently earned their second Grammy nomination, this time for "Best Metal Performance" for their single "The Enemy Inside" from their current self-titled album. The band â John Petrucci (guitar), John Myung (bass), James LaBrie (vocals), Jordan Rudess (keyboards & continuum) and Mike Mangini (drums) â received its first-ever Grammy nomination in 2012 for "On The Backs Of Angels" (from their "A Dramatic Turn Of Events" album) in the "Best Hard Rock/Metal Performance" category.
Collectors Dream Records has set a May 16 release date for CINDERELLA's "Stripped". Recorded live over the course of two nights â October 2-3, 1998 â at the Key Club in Hollywood, California during the band's "Unfished Business" tour, the disc is comprised of 14 hard-rockin' and blues-based tracks; included as a bonus are two songs recorded live in 1991. "Stripped" track listing: 01. The More Things Change 02. Push Push 03. Gypsy Road 04. Fallin Apart At The Seams 05. Heartbreak Station 06. The Last Mile 07. Shelter Me 08. Coming Home 09. Hot And Bothered 10. Nightsongs 11. Nobody's Fool 12. Somebody Save Me 13. Shake Me 14. Don't Know What You Got 15. Sick For The Cure (bonus track) 16. Make Your Own Way (bonus track) In a September 2013 interview with the Syracuse Music Examiner, CINDERELLA frontman Tom Keifer was asked if there are any plans for the band to record a new studio album. "Well, we're on a hiatus," he said. "It's not for lack of desire on our part, I always say, but it's got to be the right situation. We've been burnt by the record companies a couple of times and that leaves a bad taste in your mouth when you've put a lot of work in it. It's really the reason why I decided to produce my [solo] album independent of a label; you create what you want and then you find a label who likes what you created and we found a great label that has been amazing in support of the album." He continued: "From the record companies' perspective, if they're going to invest a bunch of money into making a record, you don't know what the record's going to be. So in this day and age of limited funds, because of the piracy of music, record companies don't have the same resources that they used to. Stepping in and paying for the record and then be responsible for all the marketing tooâ¦ It just made sense to me to make the record I wanted to create and find a label that listens to the finished product and says, 'We're in.' And more and more people are doing it this way."
Metal Blade Records has announced three POWERWOLF releases for June 24. First off, there will be "The History Of Heresy", a massive box set containing two CDs and one DVD and then some. The box set includes: * Special sized hardcover box with embossment, faint laminated * 112-page hardcover book with liner notes, retrospective, tour and studio reports, all written by the band members. Loads of previously unpublished photos * Three coversleeves * "Lupus Dei" CD including five live bonustracks * "Return In Bloodred" CD including three live bonustracks * "The Wacken Worship" bonus DVD * Five photo cards with info on each band member Check out the song "Saturday Satan" using the SoundCloud widget below. POWERWOLF comments: "Feels great to feature our early works in the form of such a great box set. "Working on the book 'The History Of Heresy' brought back so many great memories â and more than ever taught us to be grateful. Grateful for having such wonderful fans and such great supporters, without whom none of this would have happened. "Still hard to believe we're around since 10 years now already, but releasing such a great package box is probably the best way to celebrate such an anniversary. "Hope you all enjoy reading the book, while listening to the roots of POWERWOLF â and we hope to see you all at Out And Loud festival on May 29th, where we'll celebrate our 10th anniversary with a very special headliner show!" Additionally, and for the first time ever, "Lupus Dei" and "Return In Bloodred" will be released as picture discs on June 24 in an edition of 500 copies each. POWERWOLF is: Attila Dorn - Vocals Matthew Greywolf - Guitar Charles Greywolf - Guitar Falk Maria Schlegel - Keyboards Roel van Helden - Drums
Swedish metallers IN FLAMES have set "Siren Charms" as the title of their eleventh album, due in September via Epic. The CD was recorded at Hansa Studios (DAVID BOWIE, DEPECHE MODE, U2) in Berlin, Germany. The "Siren Charms" cover artwork can be seen below. Photos from the studio â courtesy of the German magazine Metal Hammer â available at Metal-Hammer.de. IN FLAMES lead singer, Anders FridÃ©n recently stated about working at the legendary facility where such milestones as David Bowie's "Heroes" and Iggy Pop's "Lust For Life" were created: "When I visited Hansa Studios [last] year, I got goose bumps. There is so much history both inside and surrounding the studio and I want to be a part of that. Magic has been created here and hopefully that will affect us." IN FLAMES' "Deliver Us" single was recently certified platinum in Sweden for sales in excess of 40,000 copies. (Note: On-demand audio and/or video song streams are now counted towards the threshold required for gold and platinum certifications.) IN FLAMES has released a video for"Sounds Of A Playground Fading", the title track of its tenth studio album. The clip, which is made up of concert footage, was produced by Patric Ullaeus of Revolver Film Company, who has previously worked with DIMMU BORGIR, LACUNA COIL, SONIC SYNDICATE and KAMELOT, among others. "Sounds Of A Playground Fading" (Century Media) sold around 14,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release to debut at position No. 27 on The Billboard 200 chart. IN FLAMES' previous album, "A Sense of Purpose" (Koch) opened with 20,000 units to land at No. 28. This was slightly less than the opening tally of "Come Clarity" (Ferret), which shifted just under 24,000 copies in February 2006 to enter the chart at position No. 58. "Sounds Of A Playground Fading" was the first IN FLAMES album to be recorded without founding guitarist Jesper StrÃ¶mblad, who quit the band in February 2010 in order to continue receiving treatment for his alcohol addiction. IN FLAMES guitarist Niclas Engelin sat out a few of the band's shows last year. His temporary replacement for those gigs was Patrik Jensen from THE HAUNTED.
As part of Affliction's "Rock Star Stories" series, Jose Mangin, SiriusXM director of programming and on-air host (Liquid Metal, Ozzy's Boneyard, Octane), recently asked ANTHRAX bassist Frank Bello to share a tale from the road. Check out the clip below. ANTHRAX was nominated for a "Best Metal Performance" Grammy this year for its cover of AC/DC's "T.N.T." The track was featured on ANTHRAX's eight-track EP that pays tribute to the classic songs by some of the band's favorite acts from the 1970s. The CD was released in North America on March 19, 2013 (MRI/Megaforce), and on March 22, 2013 in Europe (Nuclear Blast). ANTHRAX's next album will mark the recording debut with the band of guitarist Jon Donais (also of SHADOWS FALL), who replaced Rob Caggiano in January 2013. Regarding whether Donais is now officially an ANTHRAX member, the band's guitarist Scott Ian told Metal Insider: "For all intents and purposes, he's in ANTHRAX. He's going to be there for everything we do moving forward. As far as how you title it, yeah. As far as I'm concerned, Jon is in ANTHRAX and will be playing leads on the record and will be touring with the band starting at the end of May 2014." "Worship Music" has sold more than 110,000 copies in the United States since its September 2011 release, according to Nielsen SoundScan.
Video footage of HELLYEAH performing the song "Drink Drank Drunk" at The Patio in Abilene, Texas on April 5 during the kick-off show of the band's current tour can be seen below. As previously reported, HELLYEAH has recruited Christian Brady as its new touring guitarist following the recent departure of Greg Tribbett (MUDVAYNE). A former member of MAGNA-FI and FRANKY PEREZ & THE TRUTH, Brady met HELLYEAH drummer Vinnie Paul Abbott in Las Vegas, where Christian has been living and playing in bands for a while. HELLYEAH's fourth studio album, "Blood For Blood", will be released on June 10 via Eleven Seven Music. The CD was helmed by producer Kevin Churko at his The Hideout Recording Studio in Las Vegas, Nevada. Churko is the Canadian musician, sound engineer, songwriter and record producer who has previously worked with OZZY OSBOURNE, FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH and IN THIS MOMENT, among other acts. Prior to the recording of the new album, HELLYEAH parted ways with Tribbett and bassist Bob "Zilla" Kakaha (DAMAGEPLAN). Kakaha has since been replaced by Kyle Sanders, a former member of BLOODSIMPLE and the brother of MASTODON's Troy Sanders. Still in the lineup are Vinnie Paul Abbott, guitarist Tom Maxwell and singer Chad Gray. A press release describes "Blood For Blood" as a "welcome return to form" for the band, adding that it "sounds like a recharged HELLYEAH, taken up many notches." HELLYEAH was formed in 2006 by NOTHINGFACE guitarist Tom Maxwell and bassist Jerry Montano, MUDVAYNE singer Chad Gray and guitarist Greg Tribbett, and former PANTERA and DAMAGEPLAN drummer Vinnie Paul Abbott. Montano left a week after the release of the band's self-titled debut album in 2007 and was replaced by Bob "Zilla" Kakaha, who had played with Abbott in DAMAGEPLAN. HELLYEAH's other albums include 2009's "Stampede" and 2011's "Band Of Brothers". MUDVAYNE has not released an album since 2009 while Gray and Tribbett have been working with HELLYEAH.
A Bolivian TV report on GUNS N' ROSES' April 12 concert in La Paz, Bolivia â including an interview with the band's guitarist Ron "Bumblefoot" Thal â can be seen below. As previously reported, Slash recently said that he was not concerned about Duff McKagan's reunion with Axl Rose at five GUNS N' ROSES shows in South America this month. McKagan joined the band to fill in for bassist Tommy Stinson, who was committed to two reunion shows at the Coachella festival with THE REPLACEMENTS. Slash told TeamRock, "What Duff does is what Duff does. It doesn't really concern me. Duff's relationship with Axl is different to mine. That call to me is just not going to happen." Slash added that he bears no ill will toward McKagan for doing the shows, saying, "I don't judge Duff. He's cool. He just has a way more amicable, neutral relationship with Axl than I do." Slash told The Pulse Of Radio a while back how his relationship with Rose disintegrated during the final years of the original GUNS lineup. "His sort of m.o., as far as the band was concerned, over time got so exaggerated in the rock star sense or whatever and he became such a dictator and this and that and the other, that it was impossible for me to work with him, because I'm not the kind of person that takes orders, you know," he said. McKagan joined GUNS 'N ROSES onstage for the first time in 17 years at an October 2010 concert in London. He also performed with the current version of GUNS in December 2011 at shows in Vancouver and Seattle. All three appearances were for a few songs, not full gigs. The South American shows mark the first time he has played full concerts with the band since his departure in 1994. Rose told Billboard.com in 2009 that he doesn't ever expect to play with Slash again, saying, "One of the two of us will die before a reunion. However sad, ugly or unfortunate anyone views it, it is how it is." Bolivian TV report:
Singer Noora Louhimo of Finnish metallers BATTLE BEAST was featured on a recent episode of the Finnish YLE TV2 television show "Tartu Mikkiin" (English-language translation: "Grab That Microphone"), a family music program in which two teams compete with each other to guess the karaoke interpretations. You can watch video footage of her appearance below. BATTLE BEAST's self-titled sophomore album entered the official chart in the band's home country of Finland at position No. 5. Released in Europe on May 17, 2013 via Nuclear Blast Records, the CD was produced and mixed by the band at JKB Studios in Helsinki and mastered by Mika Jussila at Finnvox Studios. The cover artwork was created by Claudio Bergamin (HALFORD, ARJEN A. LUCASSEN, MAGICA). BATTLE BEAST in 2012 parted ways with lead singer Nitte VÃ¤nskÃ¤ and replaced her with Noora Louhimo. In an interview with Metal Divas, Noora explained how she ended up fronting BATTLE BEAST: "[In] September , I got a call from Anton [Kabanen, guitar] that they want me to join BATTLE BEAST. I had heard their music and loved the sound and the vocals, so the next day I called Anton and said I'm in. "Anton found me by accident on YouTube when he was searching for the new vocalist. He had been looking for a vocalist â male or female; [it did not] matter. The only thing that mattered was can that [he or she could] sing his songs without compromises. "I've been singing since I was 4 years old. While being a huge fan of heavy metal of '80s and a teenager, I had some classical singing lessons when I was 16 years old. Then at the age of 19, I started studying music in pop/jazz line. At the same time, I started doing some jam sessions at bars. There I found my first band (ADMIRAL OCTOPUS) in the blues bar. We used to play rock and blues music from '60s-'70s and Janis Joplin was the reason I got the rasp in my voice. After ADMIRAL OCTOPUS, in 2011, I took part in a singing competition ('Wanna Be A Rock 'N' Roll Star') at Henry's Pub of Tampere and won it with Janis Joplin's 'Piece Of My Heart'. That's how my single 'Relax' was born." BATTLE BEAST's debut album, "Steel" â which was originally released in Finland in 2011 via Hype Records â was made available internationally on January 27, 2012 through Nuclear Blast Records.
According to BaltimoreMagazine.net, METALLICA bassist Robert Trujillo will celebrate Record Store Day at Sound Garden in Baltimore, Maryland this Saturday, April 19. From 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., Trujillo will meet fans, sign records, and talk about the upcoming documentary he's producing about his musical hero, Jaco Pastorius. Hand in hand with Omnivore Recordings' impending "Record Store Day" release of eleven staggering tracks unearthed from Jaco Pastorius' Criteria Studios sessions in 1976 on "Modern American Musicâ¦ Period!" comes word that a documentary film about the life of the undisputed late bass genius, simply titled "Jaco", is set to make its debut. Directed by Stephen Kijak and Paul Marchand and produced by Robert Trujillo and John Battsek, the documentary has been chosen be the official film of "Record Store Day" 2014. Trujillo couldn't be more enthusiastic about the association with the event. "Record Store Day is a celebration of our youth, and beyond," he says. "It's the power of memories fueled by this magic (usually) black vinyl disc. "There's a reason why Record Store Day is making people headbang, rock out, relax, and simply smile. It's all about the joy and power of words, music and sound, not to mention the dynamic range of visual art that goes hand in hand with a record cover, jacket, or sleeve; and you might even get a poster. (Trust me, I still have most of my original vinyl)" (He was right about the poster â the image below will become the official Record Store Day poster of 2014, and will be given away as part of the celebration at select stores, while supplies last.) And Mary Pastorius, Jaco's daughter, shares: "I ended up becoming a music/record/record store addict, as a teen in the '80s â and it all started with my dad's record collection back in the early '70s. At three and four years old, I would fall asleep inches away from the record player â wearing those big-ass back-in-the-day headphones on my head â listening to stuff like Stevie Wonder's 'Talking Book', EARTH, WIND & FIRE's 'That's The Way Of The World', or the SUPREMES 'Greatest Hits'. (All of which I still have). Then I have the memories of being at Peaches (which was THE record store in South Florida) with him for the 'Jaco Pastorius' (the first solo album) record release party. They had a 'walk of fame' there and we put our handprints in cement, Hollywood style. They also put a huge painting of that album with that iconic picture of him, up on the outside of the building, where it stayed for many years- which I drove by many times, and was greeted by the many times when I would go in to buy records myself." "Record Store Day"'s Michael Kurtz adds: "I fell in love with Jaco Pastorius in 1976 when I heard WEATHER REPORT's 'Black Market' being played in my local record store. In 1977 I caught the band on its 'Heavy Weather' tour and heard Jaco perform live. It was like I had been exposed to a force bigger than life. Performing on the Fender bass he'd personally stripped of frets, Jaco propelled the band with ferocity and finesse. He was shirtless, with an axe bold as love." The Omnivore release, produced in conjunction with the Pastorius estate and Trujillo, contains eleven tracks from the studio sessions a 22-year-old Pastorius and friends used to jam and experiment. Some of the tracks made it on to his 1976 debut, but some remained unreleased until now. In addition, "Modern American Musicâ¦Period!" will include essays from Trujillo and Pastorius biographer Bill Milkowski. Kurtz effuses: "It is a dream come true to be a part of helping Omnivore unearth and release the recording of a very young Jaco performing with his own band in Miami's Criteria Studios." According to Trujillo: "Omnivore's release of Jaco Pastorius' 'Criteria Sessions' is a raw unique statement â a statement that lets you know you are experiencing a powerful historical musical moment. Jaco's sound, and facility alone, takes you on a trip that is totally new and fresh! This is punk at its best, and the attitude and edge is pure." Pastorius, who was bipolar and had wrestled with substance abuse, died in 1987 at age 35 following a violent altercation at a Fort Lauderdale bar. "Jaco" will feature commentaries from Sting, RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS' Flea, Carlos Santana and director Mike Figgis, among others.
Singer Cristina Scabbia of Italian heavy rockers LACUNA COIL was interviewed on the April 11-13 edition of Full Metal Jackie's nationally syndicated radio show. You can now listen to the chat using the Podbean widget below. To see a full list of stations carrying the program and when it airs, go to FullMetalJackieRadio.com. LACUNA COIL's new studio album, "Broken Crown Halo", has registered the following first-week chart positions: Italy: #13 USA: #27 Switzerland: #37 Germany: #40 UK: #45 Austria: #55 France: #56 Belgium (Wallonia): #61 Greece: #63 Canada: #65 Belgium (Flanders): #176 (first week), #66 (second week) Netherlands: #75 "Broken Crown Halo" sold around 13,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release. The CD arrived in stores on April 1 via Century Media. LACUNA COIL's previous effort, "Dark Adrenaline", opened with around 20,000 units in 2012 to debut at No. 15. The band's 2009 album, "Shallow Life", premiered with 21,000 copies to enter the chart at No. 16. LACUNA COIL's "Karmacode" album registered a first-week tally of 34,000 copies back in April 2006 to land at No. 28. It has since sold more than 200,000 units in the U.S. The band's 2002 album, "Comalies", has shifted more than 300,000 copies in the United States, according to Nielsen SoundScan. "Broken Crown Halo" was recorded Italy by producer Jay Baumgardner (P.O.D., SEVENDUST, EVANESCENCE, PAPA ROACH) and engineer Kyle Hoffmann (P.O.D., BUSH, ZEBRAHEAD). The effort was mastered by Howie Weinberg, whose credits include RAMMSTEIN, SOUNDGARDEN, NIRVANA, DEFTONES and SHERYL CROW. "Broken Crown Halo" is LACUNA COIL's seventh studio effort and the follow-up to "Dark Adrenaline", which was released in January 2012 and saw the band tour with acts including MEGADETH, MOTÃRHEAD, VOLBEAT and SEVENDUST. "Broken Crown Halo" track listing: 01. Nothing Stands In Our Way 02. Zombies 03. Hostage To The Light 04. Victims 05. Die & Rise 06. I Forgive (But I Won't Forget Your Name) 07. Cybersleep 08. Infection 09. I Burn In You 10. In The End I Feel Alive 11. One Cold Day LACUNA COIL in February hit the road as a quintet as part of "The Hottest Chicks In Hard Rock Tour" following the departures of guitarist Cris "Pizza" Migliore and drummer Cristiano "Criz" Mozzati. Marco "Maus" Biazzi handled all guitar duties on the trek while drummer Ryan Blake Folden once again sat behind the kit. The Revolver-magazine-presented "The Hottest Chicks In Hard Rock Tour kicked off February 20 and featured LACUNA COIL sharing a stage with SICK PUPPIES, Century Media Records labelmates EYES SET TO KILL and CILVER. The tour launched in Wilmington, North Carolina, and ran through March 20 in Anaheim, California.
Robb Flynn of San Francisco Bay Area metallers MACHINE HEAD has posted the latest installment of his online blog, "The General Journals: Diary Of A Frontman... And Other Ramblings". It follows below in its entirety. "Sometime in late 2006, during the recording of 'The Blackening', I read a Revolver magazine review of IGNITE's 'Our Darkest Days' album by a friend of mine named Amy Sciaretto. Amy worked at Roadrunner back then, and she had always been a big supporter of our band. IGNITE wasn't a Roadrunner band so the review itself didn't feel like there was some hype behind it. It was a good (re: positive) review, but when she spoke about the political / 'fuck you' nature of the lyrics, it struck me. I had heard of IGNITE, we played a few festival dates together sometime in the '90s. I do, however, vaguely remember talking to one of the guys at the Dynamo festival in '97; well 'remember' is a strong word. I was so high on ecstasy and vodka, I couldn't tell you what the hell we talked about, though I remember thinking that he was cool. But that was it; that was my only experience with the band as I never heard any of the records. "I've always loved punk rock, some of the first bands I ever got into were punk bands. The incredible first SUICIDAL TENDENCIES record, the mind-blowing DISCHARGE album 'Hear Nothing, Say Nothing, See Nothing', the 'Violent Pacification' EP and 'Dealing With It' by D.R.I., CRO-MAGS 'Age Of Quarrel', GBH - 'Leather Bristles, Studs, and Acne', and one of my favorite punk albums of all time, FEAR - 'The Record'. "Back then bands were discontent, they were angry with the way things were, and they sang about. They were there to agitate, to scare, to provoke, sometimes brutishly, always honestly, occasionally even quite eloquently. They were not trying to appeal to the lowest common denominator; in fact, they hated the lowest common denominator. It was a lot different than today's bands. "Something about the 'fuck you,' 'fuck the government,' and 'fuck everyone' attitude always appealed to me. "These lo-fi recording didn't have the heaviest guitar tones or the tightest playing, but they had fucking attitude and fucking balls. They spoke to me in ways 'normal' records didn't. "Reading Amy's review reminded me that I should listen to more punk, so I picked up the album, hoping for some type of musical inspiration. "To my surprise, it was quite melodic, very So-Cal punk; it was nothing at all what I expected. "I've never been into the So-Cal punk scene too much, even though I respected bands like BAD RELIGION and SOCIAL DISTORTION for pioneering what they did. With those bands, I really enjoyed the lyrics, but most of the time the music didn't have enough 'evil notes' for my liking. (I should probably re-visit these albums though, because I love RANCID and RISE AGAINST, both of whom owe a debt to the aforementioned bands.) "I remember exactly where I was the moment I listened to this IGNITE record though. I was with [MACHINE HEAD drummer] Dave McClain and our then-video guy Danger Dan, and we were leaving Sharkbite Studios, going over the Bay Bridge, driving out to a show at The Fillmore in San Francisco. As soon as we left Sharkbite from a day of recording, we put this album on, and HOLY SHIT! From the opening song, the 1-2-punch of 'Our Darkest Days / Bleeding', it gave me fuckin' goosebumps! "I got 'em right now just thinking of that very moment. "It was fast, it was pissed, but it had hooks galore. There was surprisingly intricate guitar playing and really fantastic song arrangements. The singer Zoli, FUCKâ¦ the dude has an amazing set of pipes that defy the usual punk band ensemble, and would crush a lot of power metal singers! Dave and I kept saying he sounds like the SCORPIONS singer Klaus Meine, 'he's the Klaus Meine of hardcore!' LOL! "This record hit us like a ton of bricks. "It's very rare when you go on a tour that everyone likes the same music. Sometimes it's just the mood you're in, isn't it? I mean, who knows why anyone connects to a band? But this album resonated with all of us and like I said that's a rarity. "It's been damn near 8 years since I first got this record and I can tell you, without a doubt, that not a single tour has gone by where we didn't play this record several times. For many a reason, it seems to find a set of speakers when we are having a drinking session in the dressing room with a bunch of friends. Something about it... it just fuckin' rocks... and it MEANS something. It's the unexplainable that's just bigger than 'music.' "For the b-side of 'Killers & Kings' 10-inch, we do a cover of that '1-2' punch, 'Our Darkest Days / Bleeding'. We did our best to keep it true to the original as there was no reason to change it. Never change a classic, people! And their song is a straight-up classic; actually the entire record is a straight-up classic. "I went back and listened to their older albums, but it didn't hit me in the same way this record did. From what I understand, most people prefer the older stuff. I don't really know the whole story, but they broke up / went on hiatus shortly after 'Our Darkest Days' came out, and have recently reactivated. "But it doesn't matter. Who cares what albums everybody else likes or liked? "I don't listen to music to 'fit in.' I don't listen to music because it's what 'everyone else thinks is cool.' "No one should. "Sometimes a band comes along and just blows you away. A band that sings about the awful truth, and does it in a way so clever, so powerful, that it makes you think, it makes you move, it makes you sing, it makes you feel alive. "That's the power of music in all its unexplainable glory. "Do yourself a favor; listen to 'Our Darkest Days'."
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Survival of the Coolest - Winter Edition
Survival of the Coolest