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- Blabbermouth reports MEGADETH recently resumed work on its fourteenth studio album with producer Johnny K (full name: John Karkazis), who has previously worked with DISTURBED, SEVENDUST, MACHINE HEAD and STAIND. The CD is currently being recorded at MEGADETH mainman Dave Mustaine's Vic's Garage studio in San Marcos, California for an early 2013 release via an as-yet-undisclosed label following the band's recent split with Roadrunner Records. In a tweet last night (Monday, December 31), Mustaine wrote: "Started song 5 tonight. I have NEVER heard Shawn [Drover, drums] play better. So impressed with him!!" Mustaine previously told NME about the direction of MEGADETH's new material, "Some of it's a little darker, some of it's a little faster. Being in this position right now, not knowing where we're gonna go or what we're gonna do, it's kind of like the world's ours to do what we want. Are we gonna go back to the speed and thrash metal roots that made us who we are? Are we gonna experiment and rely on the melody that we've discovered in MEGADETH songs?" Mustaine also spoke about how he likes to keep MEGADETH's music more melodic than that of most thrash bands. "We've tried to do that in MEGADETH, have a little melody so that it's not just the same old grinding music like everybody else has," he said. "We're just happy to get going and get to the studio." Johnny K produced MEGADETH's last album, 2011's "TH1RT3EN", which was also recorded at Vic's Garage. "TH1RT3EN" sold 42,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release to land at position No. 11 on The Billboard 200 chart. The CD marked the recorded return of bassist David Ellefson who was part of the band's classic lineup from 1983 to 2002. In a move that delighted the band's legion of diehards, Ellefson returned to performing live with MEGADETH in early 2010 and has remained a fixture on the stage ever since. This was the first time Ellefson has played on a MEGADETH record since 2002's "Rude Awakening".
- Blabbermouth reports the 3D version of "Noche Acasador", the new video from former MARILYN MANSON and current ROB ZOMBIE guitarist John 5 (real name: John William Lowery), will be premiered at the Coffin Case booth at the 2013 NAMM (National Association Of Music Merchants) show, a massive music-products convention which will take place January 24-27 at the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, California. The clip was directed by Jonny Coffin (owner of the iconic Coffin Case brand), features camera work by Jason Dunlop and is presented by Coffin Case and Panasonic. The video also features John 5's wife Rita. Says John 5: "This is a very special video for a very special piece of music and I hope you all like it. Thanks to Jonny and his team for their involvement in this, and helping to bring this track to life." The 2D version of the "Noche Acasador" video can be seen below. The track comes off John 5's new full-length solo CD/DVD, "God Told Me To", which was released on May 8, 2012 via Rocket Science Ventures. "God Told Me To" was recorded and produced by John 5, Chris Baseford (ROB ZOMBIE, TOMMY LEE) and Bob Marlette (SEBASTIAN BACH, BLACK SABBATH) in 2011. The cover art for the album is illustrated by none other than Rob Zombie, who is also tapping John 5 to score the entirety of his upcoming film, "The Lords Of Salem". The CD portion of "God Told Me To" features ten painstakingly handcrafted pieces transcending multiple styles — an equal combination of acoustic and electronically influenced tracks — each designed to gradually reveal John 5's innovative interpretation of his instrument. The orchestration of "God Told Me To" showcases John 5's ability to master the subtlety of dynamics, thus emphasizing the overall production value of this body of work. The DVD portion of "God Told Me To" is hosted by retro-style horror-host Mike Odd and takes a look inside the world of John 5 during his terrifying trip into the realm of "God Told Me To". The DVD features footage of John 5 in the studio while working on the new album, exclusive videos taken on tour, a peek inside the photo shoot for his 2011 remix album "Remixploitation", and more.
- Blabbermouth reports according to a posting on FEAR FACTORY's Facebook page, fans can expect "a big tour announcement for the U.S. this summer." No further details are currently available. FEAR FACTORY's video for the title track of their new album, "The Industrialist", was directed and edited by James Zahn. The clip utilizes live footage of the band from last June's Graspop Metal Meeting in Dessel, Belgium against a visual backdrop that pulls topical subjects from the story written by vocalist Burton C. Bell that served as inspiration for the group's latest CD. A part of "The Industrialist" video was revealed last year leading up to the release of the album. Now with the full video, the visual door to the concepts presented on the album are available for music fans to experience. Bell said, "We allowed James to take his time to create the video so that he could match his expertise with the conceptual imagery that was written in 'The Industrialist'. Being that he has been a longtime fan of FEAR FACTORY, he understood the nature of the FF machine; the concepts, imagery, and history. I believe he achieved a new era for FEAR FACTORY video concepts." As a longtime fan of FEAR FACTORY, Zahn knew his work on "The Industrialist" would be enhanced by his extensive knowledge of the band. "Growing up listening to FEAR FACTORY and being captivated with the heavy industrial scene of the 1990s, the one thing that always stuck with me was the accompanying visual aspect," he says. "Those videos that featured stock footage intercut with live performance clips were such a staple of the time and helped in editing 'The Industrialist'. Broken technology working alongside machinery in the midst of social change served as inspiration." "The Industrialist" sold 9,300 copies in the United States in its first week of release to debut at position No. 38 on The Billboard 200 chart. The band's previous CD, "Mechanize", opened with 10,000 units back in February 2010 to land at No. 72.
Performance - December 9 in Eindhoven, Holland:
- Blabbermouth reports Casey Orr (MINISTRY, RIGOR MORTIS, GWAR) has released the following statement to BLABBERMOUTH.NET regarding the passing of MINISTRY and RIGOR MORTIS guitarist Mike Scaccia: "How do I say goodbye to Mike Scaccia? How do I say goodbye to my best friend, my bandmate, my songwriting partner, my mentor, and yes, sometimes my tormentor? How do I say goodbye to such a unique and amazing talent, taken away from us far too soon? How do I say goodbye to someone I loved and admired, who enlightened me and inspired me, and made me believe that anything was possible? How do I say goodbye to my brother? How do I say goodbye to someone like Mike Scaccia? "I can't. I won't. I don't have to. "Mike Scaccia will live forever. "Mike Scaccia lives on through his wonderful children and his beautiful wife, Jenny. He lives on through his family who were always his biggest cheerleaders. He lives on through his bandmates and all the musicians that had the honor of working with him over the years. Those of us who got to experience the full range of his musical capabilities. We, fortunate few, who knew, who REALLY knew, just how truly gifted he was. He lives on through his friends and his fans, and he will live on through the next generation of guitar players who will no doubt discover and be inspired by him and continue to push the boundaries of the instrument that he loved so much. He will live on through each and every one of us that he touched, because he was much more than just a brilliant guitar player. More than the just the coolest motherfucker I ever knew. He was a genuinely good guy. He had a way of making anyone feel like an old friend. He was accessible and would talk to anyone who wanted to talk. Especially if the subject was guitars. We hear story after story from people who met him for the first time after a guitar clinic, saying the same thing: 'Mike talked to me for 45 minutes after his clinic, talked to me like he knew me, suggested records to listen to or guitar players to study, gave me a fresh pack of strings and told me to go home and practice my ass off.' He was just a cool dude! And he didn't have a big ego. He wasn't a competitive guitar player. He wasn't out to be the best. Never claimed to be. He just loved the guitar and the guitar loved him right back. He wasn't flashy. He didn't showboat. But he didn't have to. His abilities were the flash and his hands were the show. You could always tell who the guitar players were in the audience, because they were all standing in front of Mike with their jaws on the floor and their eyes glued to his hands. It truly was just that amazing to behold! "Of course, Mike wasn't perfect. None of us are. He traveled some dark roads in the past and he went through some dark times. But he never gave up on himself and he came back into the light and continued his journey, wiser and more humble for his experience. He fought his demons and he won. And for the last decade or so, he steadily hiked back up the mountain, concentrating on his family, and really enjoying his work and all of the people he worked with. "And, most definitely, Mike Scaccia will live on through his music. He left behind some classic records as well as a whole lot of unreleased stuff. Not filler to be included to stretch out some best-of package, but albums worth of incredible music, that I, as a fan, sincerely look forward to being released someday, so the world can finally see the depth of his talent and enjoy the beautiful music he created. "I am honored to be able to say that I have been Mike Scaccia's bass player for 30 years. Privileged to get to watch him play the things very few people ever got to see. The little riffs and things he would play at practice or just warming up. STONES, Johnny Cash, DEVO, cartoon songs, 'Jessie's Girl', just whatever. He had a rare gift, in that any tune he could conjure in his head, he could instantly translate to his hands and guitar. No searching for key or the notes. It was effortless. Instinctive. Freakish. It was awesome! "And I am honored to be able to say that I have been Mike Scaccia's friend for 30 years. Privileged to share all the things that life throws at you. The good, the bad, the ugly, and the beautiful. We laughed a lot. "We had our own language that only a band of brothers could understand. A weird, movie reference twin-speak that would drive our wives or girlfriends crazy, because they had no idea what we were saying or why we were laughing like idiots. "It's really hard to say goodbye to Mike Scaccia. It hurts deeply. It's such an enormous loss to all of us and to the world. Such a tragic and shocking and unexpected passing of a man who was already a living legend. And we're all so very very sad. We will continue to shed tears for our loss for some time to come, and I for one will not apologize for a single one. "We lost one of the greats. An unpretentious rock star. An incredible and one-of-a-kind talent. One of, if not the, greatest rock and roll guitar player of our time. And I say that without reservation or hesitation. "On December 22, 2012, Mike Scaccia died. But he died doing what he loved. He died with his boots on and with his current favorite Les Paul in his hands. He died onstage, playing with his brothers, the guys he started his career with, playing to his hometown crowd, surrounded by the people who loved him most and who he loved. He died with happiness in his life. He died playing the guitar. How rock and roll is that? "So, yeah, I can't say goodbye to Mike Scaccia. I'll just say 'so long,' you beautiful motherfucker. We'll meet again one day on the other side and you can show me that new riff you're working on. "I love you, Mike."
- Blabbermouth reports the title track of DEATH ANGEL's classic 1987 debut album, "The Ultra-Violence", is featured in the commercial for the new Jalapeño Turkey Burger at Carl's Jr. , the American fast-food restaurant chain which predominantly operates in the Western and Southwestern states. You can watch the 30-second spot below. The new Carl's Jr. Jalapeño Turkey Burger is lean but mean. Clocking in at only 490 calories, it's a charbroiled turkey patty loaded with jalapeños, pepper jack cheese, and spicy Santa Fe Sauce. DEATH ANGEL made "The Ultra-Violence" available as a 25th-anniversary reissue after more than 10 years of being out of print. The CD was released on June 6 at 6:00 a.m. PST exclusively at the official DEATH ANGEL webstore. Guitarist Rob Cavestany said, "Digitally remastered but not altered, it sounds leagues better than the original pressing yet retains every ounce of vibe, character and feel that we put into our first record." Read more at Loudwire
- Blabbermouth reports after a three-year hiatus, THE WILDHEARTS — Ginger (vocals, guitar), CJ (guitar, vocals), Ritch Battersby (drums) and "Random" Jon Poole (bass) — made their explosive live return in front of a sellout crowd at The Forum in London, England on December 17, 2012. In April 2013, THE WILDHEARTS will once again take to the stage when they perform their classic debut album, "Earth Vs The Wildhearts", at four special shows. The album was voted the No. 1 album of the year by Kerrang! magazine in 1993. The show will be broken into two halves — the first will see "Earth Vs" performed in full, and the second half will allow the audience each night to help choose the songs they want to hear.
The dates are as follows:
April 04 - Glasgow, ABC
April 05 - Manchester, Academy
April 06 - Nottingham, Rockcity
April 07 - Wolverhampton, Wulfrun Hall
Support will come from EUREKA MACHINES. Tickets go on sale on January 7 at 9 a.m. from all major ticket outlets. Read more at Classic Rock
- Blabbermouth reports Finnish horror metallers DIRGE ETERNAL, who feature former TURISAS bassist Hannes Horma on guitar, have announced the addition of former DREAMTALE singer Nils Nordling to the group'sranks. DIRGE ETERNAL parted ways with vocalist Jani Perta in November. The band explained in a statement: "Everyone agrees that taking this band to the next level is not possible with the current lineup. Jani made the decision himself, so there is no firing involved or any other hard feelings." DIRGE ETERNAL last year completed work on the "Under The Spell" EP at Sound Supreme Studio in Hämeenlinna, Finland. In addition to playing lead guitar on the CD, Horma served as engineer and producer during the sessions. "Under The Spell"'s release was celebrated with a performance on May 5, 2012 at Escape in Riihimäki, Finland. DIRGE ETERNAL's second music video, "The Slaughterhouse", was premiered on May 4, 2012 at the Biorex movie theater in Hämeenlinnna.
- Blabbermouth reports Swedish death metal overlords AEON have issued the following update: "Arttu [Malkki, drums] has decided to take a brake from AEON. He and his girlfriend are expecting twins in March and he wants to focus on his family at this point. We have no idea on how long this break will be, but there is no need to worry. We have an awesome drummer on our hands that will be replacing Arttu to 100%. This means that we will be touring as planned and take on more tours along the way. So please let's welcome the mighty Emil Wiksten [BLOOD RED THRONE] as the current drummer of AEON. His first stage appearance with AEON will be on January 16 in London at Garage." Drum-cam video footage of a recent AEON rehearsal, featuring Emil, can be seen below. AEON released its fourth studio offering, "Aeons Black", on November 20 via Metal Blade Records. The mammoth 15-track effort was recorded at Empire Studio in Östersund, Sweden, engineered, mixed and mastered by Ronnie Björnström (Garageland Studios) and featuring cover art by Kristian "Necrolord" Wåhlin (BATHORY, AT THE GATES, DISSECTION, EMPEROR). Commented AEON founding guitarist Zeb Nilsson: "This is definitely our most varied album to date; it has heavier songs, yet it also has lots of fast blastbeats and double bass drumming. It's groovier this time, which I think we lacked on our last album, 'Path Of Fire', which was fast-paced almost all the way through. That, and the amazing mix by Ronnie Björnström, makes me feel pretty confident that this album will appeal to more people than our previous albums. And no, we have not gone softer in any aspect; it's just easier to catch with all this grooviness. It's metal right up your ass!"
- Blabbermouth reports THE MAN-EATING TREE — the atmospheric metal band featuring former SENTENCED drummer Vesa Ranta alongside current/former members of POISONBLACK, REFLEXION and EMBRAZE — has issued the following update: "Unfortunately, we have to inform that Tuomas [Tuominen] does not continue any longer in our band as a vocalist. Various musical and also non-musical aspects led us to this conclusion. "There is no bigger drama or so in our side and we don't want to discuss further about the reasons behind the decision, so please don't send us any questions concerning the issue. "Quitting the band was not an option in any case and we will return with a new singer when the time is right. Now it is time to gather some energy and even if the new material has been already written and practiced, the new album is not coming out in the near future. "We would like to thank Tuomas from unforgettable times and great work without forgetting the kilometers of joy and tears we shared together. We wish you all the best in your life!" THE MAN-EATING TREE's sophomore album, "Harvest", was released in November 2011 via Century Media Records. The CD was once again helmed by producer Hiili Hiilesmaa (HIM, SENTENCED, AMORPHIS) and marked the recording debut of guitarist Antti Karhu. THE MAN-EATING TREE's debut album, "Vine", came out in Finland on September 22, 2010 via Cobra Records and in other territories through Century Media Records. According to the group's official bio, THE MAN-EATING TREE was formed when "Vesa Ranta, having taken a break from music after SENTENCED, began to overcome his post-SENTENCED battle fatigue and lack of musical motivation. The idea of a new band — or bands — was eventually brainstormed over a period of time between Vesa and his friends, including gentlemen Miika Tenkula, Aaron Rantonen, Janne Markus and Mikko Uusimaa. Plans were made reality in 2009; the outfit was completed by the addition of Tuomas Tuominen as a vocalist and Heidi Määttä as a keyboard player. First demo recordings were made in the spring and summer of 2009. For more information, visit www.themaneatingtree.com.
- Blabbermouth reports Tampa, Florida-based metallers THE ABSENCE have released the following statement: "As most of our friends and fans know, the last year has brought THE ABSENCE some ups and downs, and most of us have emerged a much stronger and dedicated group at the end of it all. We owe as much to our fans who have always offered us amazing amounts of support and we are genuinely excited about what is coming next. "We have done a lot of work to get ourselves to the point where we are able to begin delivering new music, merchandise, and even a killer new live show, but the work that is left to do must be done quickly and will require unquestionable reliability, dedication, input, and, above all else, a mutual sense that we are in this together. "At this time, we are sad to say that THE ABSENCE will be parting ways with guitarist Peter Joseph. We will not be announcing a replacement at this time. We will have more information as things progress and we are able to sort everything out over the coming weeks. "Keep an eye out for brand new music from us very soon and for all of the fans that have been after us for merch please come by our Facebook page below and visit our brand new digital stores where you can pick up some new gear from THE ABSENCE. This year we plan to hit harder than ever, so keep your eyes peeled!" THE ABSENCE's third album, "Enemy Unbound", sold around 800 copies in the United States in its first week of release. The CD landed at position No. 55 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. "Enemy Unbound" was released on September 14, 2010 via Metal Blade Records. The CD was once again recorded at the Erik Rutan-owned Mana Recording Studios in St. Petersburg, Florida in November 2009, with Brian Elliott engineering and Peter Joseph and Patrick Pintavalle producing. Going along with the saying "If it's not broke, don't fix it," the band tapped Jonas Kjellgren (SCAR SYMMETRY, CARNAL FORGE) of Black Lounge Studios in Sweden to handle both mixing and mastering on "Enemy Unbound". Guest musicians on the CD include Tom Englund of EVERGREY and Andy Wood.
- Blabbermouth reports Swedish metallers DEATHDESTRUCTION have finished recording their sophomore album, tentatively titled "Death Is The Winner", at Bohus Sound studios in Kungälv, Sweden with producer Roberto Laghi (IN FLAMES, HARDCORE SUPERSTAR, LOK, SONIC SYNDICATE). Laghi is currently mixing the CD, whose sound is described by the new DEATHDESTRUCTION singer Tony Jelencovich as "much wider than [that of] the debut album; it's harder, more mature and has more melancholy."
The following songs were laid down during the "Death Is The Winner" sessions:
* Set The Sail
* Divine Justice
* False Flag
* I Am The Plague
* Moscow Morning
* Dead Pilot
* Taste The Mud
* Insane Stays Sane
* Towards The Light
* I Promised You Nothing
* Dead Tomorrow
* Money, Blood, Crucifixus
* A Shelter From Harm
* Give It A Try
Vocalist Jimmie Strimell quit DEATHDESTRUCTION in June 2012 in order to focus on his other band, DEAD BY APRIL. Regarding Tony's addditon to DEATHDESTRUCTION, the other members of the group said, "Tony is a friend to the band, and he has truly made a mark in the Gothenburg scene with bands like B-THONG, TRANSPORT LEAGUE and MASSIVE AUDIO NERVE. He's also worked with bands like MNEMIC and the Russian band ICON IN ME. "Tony has everything we look for in a lead singer and a frontman, so the choice was just so easy when we had to find ourselves a new singer. We're totally stoked about what he will contribute to DEATHDESTRUCTION! This is going to be so fucking good, people!!" DEATHDESTRUCTION in 2011 inked a deal with the Swedish branch of Sony Music Entertainment. The band's three-song EP, "Fuck Yeah", was released in April 2011 and was followed by the group's self-titled debut album in August 2011. The CD was recorded at IN FLAMES' IF Studios with Laghi.
* Tony Jelencovich (B-THONG, TRANSPORT LEAGUE, MASSIVE AUDIO NERVE) - Vocals
* Henrik Danhage (ex-EVERGREY) - Guitar
* Fredrik "Loppan" Larsson (HAMMERFALL) - Bass
* Jonas Ekdahl (ex-EVERGREY) - Drums
- Blabbermouth reports Northern Germany's Lovecraftian act CTULU will release its third full-length studio album, "Seelenspiegelsplitter", on April 12-13. The album will be launched at two gigs in Hamburg and Erfurt, respectively, and will be made available via Nocturnal Empire. Joining the band on stage during the release gigs will be Bristol's FEVER SEA, Kiel's AEBA (which features CTULU's studio drummer) and Bremen's NEBUKADNEZAR.
"Seelenspiegelsplitter" is intended to take you on a journey deep into the halls of the Esoteric Order of Dagon where your skin shall become grey as the sea, your eye color will vanish into grey nothingness and your soul shall be bound to the depths of the ocean.
"Seelenspiegelsplitter" track listing:
03. Im Widerlicht Blutbefleckter Spiegel
04. Insignia Dagonis
09. Tiara Aus 10 Phobien
CTULU has already confirmed one summer festival appearance: Czech Republic's MetalGate Czech Death Fest, which will take place on June 14-15.
- Blabbermouth reports resurrected late '80s/early '90s death metallers PESTILENCE will enter the studio in February to begin recording their new album, "Obsideo". The drum tracks on the CD will be laid down by Dave Haley of Australia's PSYCROPTIC. Songtitles set to appear on the effort include "Necromorph", "Saturation", "Soulrot", "Laniatus" and "Superconcious". According to guitarist/vocalist Patrick Mameli, the CD's overall lyrical theme will be "the journey of the human soul." The "Obsideo" cover art as now been unveiled and can be seen below.
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.
- Blabbermouth posts the 11th "The Taking" episode from Duff McKagan's Loaded
- Blabbermouth posts performance footage of HIM performing a new song in Helsinki
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