Music News

ROCK QUICK HITS 2/18/13

2/18/2013

  • Blabbermouth reports Be In TV conducted an interview with legendary guitarist Slash (GUNS N' ROSES, VELVET REVOLVER) before his February 11 performance in Prague, Czech Republic. You can now listen to the chat in the YouTube clip below.  Asked about LAMB OF GOD frontman Randy Blythe's ongoing trial in Prague on manslaughter charges in connection with the death of a fan at a LAMB OF GOD concert in the Czech Republic nearly three years ago, Slash said: "I know as much as I've been told from everybody I know in that camp. It's a strange, unique situation. I think that when he first came over here and put up his bail and they never let him out and they kept paying and they kept paying and paying and paying, and they never let him out. I said, 'What the fuck is going on there?' I mean, that’s' a whole different type of law, to me, where it's just different. And so finally they let him out, and now it's actually going to trial. And I really don't think he, in any way, shape of form, is guilty. So they're gonna let this thing run its course, I suppose. And because the judicial system here is so different, that he was able to stay in jail here so long, who knows what the verdict is gonna end up being?! It's hard to say. And I guess witnesses didn't show up and they had to postpone it. It's a very long and, unfortunately, it's a very expensive process. It's, like, fuck… Really?!"  Slash's second solo album, "Apocalyptic Love", sold around 38,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release to land at position No. 4 on The Billboard 200 chart.  Slash's self-titled debut album scored the highest new entry on The Billboard 200 chart in April 2010, with first-week U.S. sales of around 60,000 copies.  Unlike Slash's solo debut, which featured different vocalists on each track and a number of guest musicians, Slash has recorded all of the new CD with his touring band, MYLES KENNEDY AND THE CONSPIRATORS.  Read more at Loudwire and NME

 

  • Blabbermouth reports Legacy Recordings — the catalogue division of Sony Music Entertainment — will release a newly expanded deluxe edition of "Above", the first and only album to be completed by Seattle-based rock supergroup MAD SEASON.  Formed in 1994, MAD SEASON is vocalist Layne Staley (ALICE IN CHAINS), guitarist Mike McCready (PEARL JAM), drummer/percussionist Barrett Martin (SCREAMING TREES) and bassist John Baker Saunders (THE WALKABOUTS, LAMONT CRANSTON BAND).   The deluxe edition of MAD SEASON's "Above" is a three-disc set comprised of two CDs and one DVD. It includes the original studio album and a host of extras such as previously unreleased tracks from the band's unfinished second album with new lyrics and vocals by Mark Lanegan (SCREAMING TREES), full audio plus the first official DVD release of MAD SEASON's last show ever performed — "Live At The Moore", an unreleased full concert video of the band's New Year's Eve performance from now-defunct Seattle club RKCNDY, a full-color collector's booklet and more.   The deluxe edition, and a separate digital configuration, will be available April 2. In addition, there will be a 12-inch 2LP expanded edition vinyl available on Record Store Day, April 20. Content featured in the "Above" deluxe edition will be available through iTunes with audio mastered for iTunes and a separate standalone longplay video.

    MAD SEASON "Above" deluxe edition

    CD1 – "Above"

    01. Wake Up
    02. X-Ray Mind
    03. River of Deceit
    04. I'm Above
    05. Artificial Red
    06. Lifeless Dead
    07. I Don't Know Anything
    08. Long Gone Day
    09. November Hotel
    10. All Alone

    Bonus tracks:

    01. Interlude (previously unreleased)
    02. Locomotive (lyrics/vocals by Mark Lanegan)
    03. Black Book Of Fear (lyrics/vocals by Mark Lanegan)
    04. Slip Away (lyrics/vocals by Mark Lanegan)
    05. I Don't Wanna Be A Soldier (remix)

    CD2 - Live At The Moore

    Previously unreleased full audio set of "Live At The Moore" performance from Seattle, Washington, April 29, 1995. Includes "Wake Up", "Artificial Red", "I Don't Wanna Be A Soldier", "I'm Above" (featuring Mark Lanegan).  DVD - Live At The Moore + Bonus Footage   Full video set of the "Live At The Moore" performance from Seattle, Washington performance, April 29, 1995. Remixed and remastered for 5.1 sound, and newly edited by director Duncan Sharp. Plus, more bonus footage, including a full concert of the band's performance from New Year's Eve 1995 at RKCNDY in Seattle, and both performances from the Seattle-based Self-Pollution Radio specials, one newly edited.  The song "Locomotive", which was intended to be on MAD SEASON's second album, can be streamed at RollingStone.com.   "'Locomotive' is a song that best represents the direction MAD SEASON was going for our second, unfinished album," Martin tells Rolling Stone. "Mark Lanegan's lyrics and powerful voice captures that time perfectly."  "He did an amazing job singing over this track from the elusive second MAD SEASON record that was to be called 'Disinformation'" McCready adds. "'Locomotive' hits you like one!"  In 1994, four Seattle-based musicians decided to embark on a side-project that took them into new and different musical territory. Formed by Mike McCready, Layne Staley, Barrett Martin, and bluesman John Baker Saunders, the group went on to form MAD SEASON, which made one seminal album in the history of Seattle rock. That album, "Above", was released in 1995 and immediately struck a resonate chord with the public that sent the album into gold status within a few weeks. It is the only complete album of Layne Staley's introspective and mystical lyrics, which were highlighted by additional vocals from SCREAMING TREES vocalist Mark Lanegan and Seattle-based saxophonist/percussionist SkerikMAD SEASON was essentially Seattle's version of an extremely heavy blues band, anchored by the deep swinging rhythm section of Barrett's drums and Baker's bass lines, with Layne's haunting melodies and Mike's stadium-size guitar riffs soaring over the top. This unusual chemistry made the band absolutely unique in an era of post-grunge. In the almost 20 years since the original release of "Above", new generations of music listeners have discovered the dark and lasting beauty of MAD SEASON.   In 1996, work began on a second MAD SEASON album with Mike, Barrett and Baker writing and recording the basic tracks for 15 new songs. Unfortunately, because of declining health, Layne wasn't able to make any of the recording sessions and the album was shelved. Fate subsequently took each musician in a different direction: Mike back to PEARL JAM and Barrett back to SCREAMING TREES. Tragically, both Baker (1999) and Layne (2002) passed away.  In 2012, the two remaining band members, Mike and Barrett, along with "Above"'s original producer Brett Eliason, convened in Seattle to sift through the original magnetic tapes from that second album's sessions to revisit the unfinished songs. They called on Mark Lanegan to pen lyrics and sing on three of the best of those songs, including one co-written by Peter Buck of REM, which will be featured on the forthcoming reissue honoring the legacy of Layne and Baker.  Read more at Loudwire and Rolling Stone

 

  • Blabbermouth reports MÖTLEY CRÜE bassist Nikki Sixx has posted the following message on the band's Facebook page: "We got into a rehearsal room this weekend to blew the dust off a bunch of songs before we head to Australia next week. I gotta say considering we haven't played together since last year when we ended the KISS-CRÜE co-headline tour, it sounded pretty damn tight.  "This is the longest and biggest tour we have done to date in Australia and it's gonna be a fucking blast, for sure."  Sixx and his bandmates last year released a brand new song called "Sex" to coincide with the launch of MÖTLEY CRÜE's North American co-headlining tour with KISS.  Written when the band was together during their residency in Las Vegas in February 2012, "Sex" was the first studio track from the CRÜE since their June 2008 release of "Saints Of Los Angeles".

 

  • Blabbermouth reports IRON MAIDEN mascot Eddie last week attended Carnival, a world-famous festival held in Rio De Janeiro before Lent every year and considered the biggest carnival in the world with two million people per day on the streets.  Although Carnival (Carnaval in Portuguese) is celebrated in towns and villages throughout Brazil and other Catholic countries, Rio de Janeiro has long been regarded as the Carnival Capital of the World. The Rio Carnaval is not only the biggest Carnival, it has also a benchmark against which every other carnival is compared and one of the most interesting artistic events on the Globe.  Rio Carnival is a wild four-day celebration, 40 days before Easter. It officially starts on Saturday and finishes on Fat Tuesday with the beginning of Lent on Ash Wednesday after which one is supposed to abstain from all bodily pleasures. Carnival with all its excesses, celebrated as a profane event, can be considered an act of farewell to the pleasures of the flesh. It usually happens in February, the hottest month in the Southern Hemisphere, when the Rio summer is at its peak.  Photo below courtesy of IRON MAIDEN's  Facebook page.  Read more at Loudwire

 

  • Blabbermouth reports according to Amarillo.com, West Texas A&M University professor Martin Jacobsen recently fused metal music and literature classes by using the "Out Of The Silent Planet" track off IRON MAIDEN's 2000 album "Brave New World" during a class exercise, presenting visual diagrams of lyrics construction with the music playing at the same time.  "The students were mad for it," the professor tells Amarillo.com. "They just thought it was crazy and they loved it. I threw it out there just as an offhand comment one day — 'What we ought to do is have a class in heavy metal' — and there was universal agreement from the students in the class, like, 'Yes, we should actually do that.'"  The class exercise was such a hit that Jacobsen is now teaching a new course called "Introduction To Literature: Heavy Metal As A Literary Genre". The professor explains that many metal lyricist have been inspired by some of the greatest writers of all time.  "You constantly see these nods to the intellectual tradition that these writers, these lyricists come from," he said. "It's connected itself and grounded itself in literary tradition. Therefore it's reasonable to conclude that it is a form of literature as well as a form of music. In much the same way, you might say country music is a species of folklore."  22-year-old student Eric Bauer, who got really into heavy metal in middle school with METALLICA, thinks heavy metal is a broader genre than it gets credit for.  "In the lyrics of heavy metal, you can write about anything," he said. "Social issues, the human experience, wizards and dragons — if you're interested in a subject, there's probably a heavy metal song about it."  Read more at Classic Rock

 

  • Blabbermouth reports The first two photos of the new lineup of the Geoff Tate-fronted version of QUEENSRŸCHE can be seen below.  Although a lineup for Tate's QUEENSRŸCHE was originally announced in the fall of 2012, things have changed. The band will now feature Tate along with bassist Rudy Sarzo (OZZY OSBOURNE, DIO, WHITESNAKE, QUIET RIOT), guitarist Kelly Gray (QUEENSRŸCHE 1998-2001), keyboardist Randy Gane and new additions, guitarist Robert Sarzo (QUIET RIOT, HURRICANE) and drummer Simon Wright (AC/DC, DIO, RHINO BUCKET).  Wright takes over for previously announced drummer Bobby Blotzer, who will be returning to RATT as an integral part of the band that made him famous.  "I'm very much looking forward to being involved in the QUEENSRŸCHE project with Geoff," stated Wright. "I've always admired his singing and songwriting and working with Rudy Sarzo again is going to be cool! Between this and my other project, DIO DISCIPLES, I look forward to a very busy year!"  The new album from the Geoff Tate-fronted version of QUEENSRŸCHE is due later in the year via the Los Angeles-based independent label Cleopatra Records. Guest musicians set to appear on the CD include Y&T mainman Dave Meniketti, legendary guitar slinger K.K. Downing of JUDAS PRIEST, KING'S X guitarist Ty Tabor, NIGHT RANGER guitarist Brad Gillis and BlotzerTabor comments, "I'm very happy that Geoff considered me for this record. It will be great to play with all of these great musicians."  Beginning in early April, Tate's QUEENSRŸCHE will be hitting the road to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the band's epic 1988 release, "Operation: Mindcrime", performing all fifteen songs from the album along with other well-known hits and rarities from the catalog they've compiled over the past 30 years.  "I try to surround myself with the best players available and feel our longtime fans deserve nothing less," says Tate. "I expect the forthcoming effort to be one of our best yet."  Tate, who was fired from QUEENSRŸCHE in June 2012 after fronting the group for three decades, last year sought to prevent his former bandmates from touring and operating under the QUEENSRŸCHE name without him. While ruling against Tate, the presiding judge determined that there was no legal hurdle in Tate also using the name with an all-new lineup of musicians. "I don't see any reason that Mr. Tate can't have the benefit, if he gets other members, of whatever name he uses of using the brand," Superior Court Judge Carol A. Schapira said during the July 13, 2012 court hearing. "I think [doing that would be] inherently confusing, although I'm sure the market can get these things sorted out," she added.  Last November, Tate released his first solo CD in over a decade titled "Kings & Thieves" (InsideOut Music) and toured with his solo band in support of the CD, which included dates with the legendary ALICE COOPER.

 

  • Blabbermouth reports Florida's NONPOINT has released the following statement:  "Due to an injury that has taken place with Elias [Soriano, vocals] and his back during a recent performance, at this time we are forced to reschedule [Monday night's] show.  "Anyone who has seen a NONPOINT show knows how passionate we are about the live performance and giving each and every one of you a show you deserve. With that said, Elias will make a full recovery, but must take the next few days to ensure the medication has time to work.  "Please know this was a very difficult decision but his health and recovery is most important to ensure we can continue to melt your faces for the rest of 2013 and beyond! We are working on a new date as we speak with the promoter and radio station. Please make sure to check back for further details on the new date. We will also be working on creating something very special for all of you around the new date.  "Thank you all for understanding."  NONPOINT's new self-titled album, which sold 7,300 copies in the United States in its first week of release to debut at position No. 62 on The Billboard 200 chart. The band's previous CD, "Miracle" (2010), opened with around 8,000 units to land at No. 60.  "Nonpoint" was produced/mixed by Grammy-nominated producer Johnny K (DISTURBED, STAIND, MEGADETH) and features additional production and mixing from Brian Virtue (30 SECONDS TO MARS, CHEVELLE). The CD contains 12 of the most raw and real songs of their 15-year career with unique, uncompromising, and undeniable hard rock on their self-titled ninth studio album and first for Razor & Tie. Weathering lineup changes, label shifts, and other trials and tribulations, founding members Elias Soriano (vocals) and Robb Rivera (drums) regrouped with fresh blood — Dave Lizzio (guitar), Adam Wolosyzn (bass), and Rasheed Thomas (guitar) — and captured pure fire this time around.  "I Said It", the new video from NONPOINT, can be seen below. The clip was directed by Ramon Boutviseth, who has previously worked with TRIVIUM, DARKEST HOUR, INCUBUS and ALL THAT REMAINS, among others. It was filmed at the Majestic Theater in Madison, Wisconsin.  Commented NONPOINT frontman Elias Soriano: "It's been a long time since I've had this much fun on a video shoot — especially since we had a chance to shoot it in one of our favorite towns to play — Madison, Wisconsin. Put your mouthguards in and protect your neck folks. This one's a swinging fist to the grill."  Read more at Loudwire

    "I Said It" video:

 

  • Blabbermouth reports New Jersey thrash metal veterans OVERKILL have released the following statement:  "Due to an illness in the band, OVERKILL has canceled the remainder of its shows on 'The Dark Roots Of Thrash' tour in February. After some time for recovery, we'll be back out in the spring for our Scandinavian tour. See you then!!"  OVERKILL was forced to cancel two of the last three shows on the tour after the band's lead singer, Bobby "Blitz" Ellsworth was diagnosed with what is called "walking pneumonia" and was medically advised to not perform due to it potentially getting worse if he did.  Added OVERKILL: "Blitz's condition has gotten slightly worse [after Saturday's show in Worcester, Massachusetts] and he needs some time to get back to 100%. We would like to thank TESTAMENT for a great tour and look forward to everyone back on the road soon."  "The Dark Roots Of Thrash" tour also features TESTAMENT FLOTSAM AND JETSAM and 4ARMOVERKILL's new album, "The Electric Age", sold 6,500 copies in the United States in its first week of release to debut at position No. 77 on The Billboard 200 chart. The CD was recorded and mixed at Gear Recording Studios in New Jersey, owned and operated by OVERKILL bassist D.D. Verni.  Read more at Loudwire

 

  • Blabbermouth reports the world's most prestigious metal festival, Wacken Open Air, known for its elite lineup of the globe's best metal bands is bringing the largest metal contest on the planet to Canada. Wacken Metal Battle Canada will be recruiting one independent Canadian band to perform at this year's highly celebrated gathering of metal heads in Wacken, Germany. Searching for the strongest contenders, Metal Battle Canada will showcase Canada's premiere talents for one true champion to represent the nation with highest honor at the Wacken Open Air festival.  Being held in Toronto, Ontario and Montreal, Quebec during the months of May and June, Canadian metal bands from across the country will challenge one another to join a list of Canadian heavyweights such as VOIVOD, EXCITER, RAZOR, ANNIHILATOR, ANVIL, KATAKLYSM, CRYPTOPSY, 3 INCHES OF BLOOD, DESPISED ICON and DANKO JONES who have performed at the festival in years past.  The W:O:A Metal Battle was founded in 2004 to encourage future generations of heavy metal and rock, as Wacken Open Air believes in supporting the future of metal music and its musicians.  Submissions for Metal Battle Canada can be completed via the online application at this location and will be open from February 18 to deadline on March 10. (Please remember to select the city in which you would like to potentially compete.)

 

  • Blabbermouth reports "Secular Haze", the new video from the mysterious Swedish buzz band GHOST, can be seen at Noisey. The clip was filmed by Amir Chamdin in the band's hometown of Linköping.  "Secular Haze" will be available for purchase on iTunes and Amazon tomorrow, February 19.  GHOST was recently forced to modify its name in the U.S. to GHOST B.C. for "legal reasons."  In the year of 13, the second phase of GHOST B.C. begins with the release of the sophomore psalm, "Infestissumam", on April 9 via Loma Vista Recordings. Papa Emeritus II succeeded Papa Emeritus at the conclusion of phase one in the year of 12, and the Nameless Ghouls joined him under the unholy church's current moniker. Make no mistake, though. The rituals still demand the same reverence and praise, fortified through a delivery of sweetly satanic melodies, snaking distorted riffs, and vaudevillian keyboards.  GHOST B.C.'s tour, Haze Over North America 2013, will bow at this year's Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival on April 14 and the Empire Polo Field in Indio, California. The band will also appear during the second weekend on April 21. All fans subscribed to the GHOST B.C. mailing list before Tuesday, February 6 at 6:00 p.m. EST will be sent a password for access to an exclusive tour pre-sale to take place February 6-7. Tickets will be available for purchase to the general public beginning February 8.  Papa Emeritus II recently emerged on the 100th issue of Decibel magazine for an extensive feature detailing the making of the forthcoming "Infestissumam" in which a nameless ghoul declared, "Regardless of your religious beliefs, we like to trigger the imagination of the listener so they can become a devout burner in Hell or a keen participant of devil worship for at least an hour or two. That's the GHOST experience." Decibel editor-in-chief Albert Mudrian said, "For the cover of our 100th issue, we wanted to spotlight a band that embodies the ideals of the magazine: theatricality, black humor, love for both the past and present of extreme music. GHOST meets and exceeds all of those criteria, and we couldn't be more excited to reveal the exclusive story of the making of their sophomore album."

    "Infestissumam" track listing:

    01. Infestissumam
    02. Per Aspera Ad Inferi
    03. Secular Haze
    04. Jigolo Har Megiddo
    05. Ghuleh / Zombie Queen
    06. Year Zero
    07. Idolatrine
    08. Body And Blood
    09. Depth Of Satans Eyes
    10. Monstrance Clock

    Vodeo footage of GHOST performing "Secular Haze" on January 19 at "P3 Guld" — Swedish radio station P3's annual music awards ceremony — at Scandinavium in Gothenburg, Sweden can be seen below.  The band's debut album, "Opus Eponymous", was released in late 2010 in Europe and in early 2011 in North America via Rise Above Records.  Read more at Loudwire

    "Secular Haze" performance:

 

  • Blabbermouth reports Casey Orr (RIGOR MORTIS, GWAR) will join Texas thrashers WARBEAST as their fill-in bassist while on the road this spring with GWAR. The band's tour dates with GWAR and WILSON kick off in Tucson, Arizona on April 10. The 16-day run, dubbed the "Fate Or Chaos Tour", will continue through the month of April until it closes in Jacksonville, Florida on April 25.  States WARBEAST vocalist Bruce Corbitt: "Obviously, we are all psyched to have Casey on board for this upcoming tour with GWAR and WILSON. I've always respected Casey's professionalism, abilities and musicianship from our many years together in RIGOR MORTIS. This will be a natural and comfortable fit for WARBEAST. Plus he's still buds with all of the guys in GWAR, so this tour will be a blast… to say the least."  Adds Orr: "I am very excited to accept the challenge of playing bass for the mighty WARBEAST! I'm looking forward to crushing skulls with my brothers in the Beast, and I'm totally stoked to be bringing the thunder on the road this April, supporting my Scumdog family — GWAR. Texas thrash will destroy!"  Says WARBEAST guitarist Scott Shelby: "This by far will be the most solid lineup to date with Casey Orr joining us for this tour. I've known him all of my life and it just seems right. Casey is hyped as well, as is the whole band to move on to this new era and continue to destroy!"  Remarks WARBEAST drummer Joey Gonzalez: "I'm looking forward to the rhythm section being tighter than ever. I know Casey will be killer to learn from and jam with."  In addition to the newly announced tour dates with GWAR, a CD-release show for "Destroy" will take place at The Rail Club in Fort Worth, Texas on April 6.  WARBEAST will release "Destroy" on April 2 via Housecore Records. The CD was produced by former PANTERA frontman, and Housecore owner, Philip H. Anselmo, and engineered by Stephen "The Big Fella" Berrigan at Anselmo's Nodferatu's Lair studios in Louisiana in May and July 2012. The effort was mixed by Anselmo and Berrigan. The album artwork and concept were designed by "Carcass" John Fossum with graphic and technical adviser John DeleonWARBEAST recently released a split album with Anselmo, entitled "War Of The Gargantuas". The split, released via Housecore, includes two songs from each artist. This album serves as the first release of any solo work by Anselmo during the span of his nearly 30-year legacy. Also, the two WARBEAST tracks on the split feature former bassist Alan Bovee before his amicable departure from the band.

 

  • Blabbermouth reports Norwegian progressive extreme metallers ENSLAVED have been forced to cancel tomorrow night's (Tuesday, February 19) show at The Opera House in Toronto, Ontario, Canada after being "trapped in a blizzard" at the U.S./Canada border near Winnipeg, Manitoba.  States ENSLAVED guitarist Ivar Bjørnson: "[We] simply can't believe it. We've been here for a full day now — meaning there is no chance of making tomorrow's show in Toronto; even if the weather should turn around dramatically during the next few hours. We're completely devastated as we sit on the bus waiting it out. We can't believe we'll miss what was for sure going to be one of the very highlights of this tour."  As previously reported, ENSLAVED, EL CACO and NEKROMANTHEON have been nominated in the "Metal" category at the 41st annual Spellemann awards (the Norwegian equivalent to the Grammy Awards). The largest and oldest Norwegian music awards show will be held March 23 at Konserthus in Stavanger, Norway and will be broadcast live on the Norwegian channel NRK1.  This is the seventh time ENSLAVED has received a Spellemann award nomination. They have won four consecutive times for their previous four studio albums:

    2010: "Axioma Ethica Odini" - Winner
    2008: "Vertebrae" - Winner
    2006: "Ruun" - Winner
    2004: "Isa" - Winner
    2003: "Below The Lights" - Nominated
    2000: "Mardraum" - Nominated

 

  • Blabbermouth reports Swedish melodic death metallers DARK TRANQUILLITY have amicably parted ways with bassist Daniel Antonsson.  Commented the band: "The decision has been growing for a while, and the main reason is that Daniel wanted to focus on his own musical projects as well as working more in his recording studio. Being first and foremost a guitarist, he felt that the playing bass in a full-time band didn’t allow him much time for his main instrument and true passion. With this in mind, he chose to follow his heart and step aside at this point instead of committing to another album and an intense touring cycle that would leave little room for other activities.  "We thank Daniel for his years in the band — filled with great shows and amazing memories and experiences in all corners of the world — and wish him all the best with his future musical career."  Added Antonsson: "I want to thank the guys in DARK TRANQUILLITY and the amazing DARK TRANQUILLITY fans around the world for the last four years of touring around the globe! It's been awesome! Also a huge hug to the DARK TRANQUILLITY crew and all of the people working with us. I will miss you all very much! You are like family to me and I hope we will meet again soon! But...now is the time for me to follow my heart and again focus on my guitar playing and being a recording engineer/producer in my studio Gothenburg Rock Studios. We will meet again on the road or in the studio — that's for sure!"  DARK TRANQUILLITY has set "Construct" as the title of its tenth studio album, due on May 27 via Century Media Records. The CD will be mixed by Jens Bogren (PARADISE LOST, OPETH, KATATONIA) at his Fascination Street studios in Örebro, Sweden.  DARK TRANQUILLITY's next live appearance is scheduled for April in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Some European summer festivals are already announced and the band is also working on a North American tour for September.  DARK TRANQUILLITY digitally released the "Zero Distance" EP on October 22, 2012 in North America. Taken from the European tour edition of "We Are The Void" (2010), the five tracks on the EP are a must-have for any diehard DARK TRANQUILLITY fan.   DARK TRANQUILLITY's ninth CD, "We Are The Void", sold around 2,100 copies in the United States in its first week of release. The effort landed at position No. 15 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.

 

  • Blabbermouth reports Finnish metallers BATTLE BEAST — who last fall parted ways with lead singer Nitte Vänskä and replaced her with Noora Louhimo — have issued the following update:   "Some slightly disappointing news, friends. Due to business-related reasons, the release of the upcoming album was pushed further until June. It's a long wait, but we promise you it'll all be worthwhile in the end! Believe us, it's gonna kill! To help you cope with this setback, we'll try to put out some cool new stuff in the nearby weeks. We have some SERIOUSLY disturbing video material from the past 12 months some of you crazy people might actually enjoy watching. So stick around, folks, and take care!"  BATTLE BEAST recently toured Europe as the support act for SONATA ARCTICA.  Fan-filmed video footage of the band's November 4, 2012 concert in Berlin, Germany can be seen below.  Regarding Vänskä's departure from the band, BATTLE BEAST previously said: "On August 19th, Nitte sent the rest of the band an e-mail stating that she was leaving the band, effective immediately. As the reason for her leaving, she cited her will to focus on her family life. As this happened without any prior notice, the rest us were slightly disappointed. But what's done is done, and we're thrilled to announce the new BATTLE BEAST vocalist with a voice and character to take the band to heights of glory."  According to a press release, Louhimo "is already experienced in performing some of the most demanding rock songs in existence and is now ready to take her big step into the metal world. With lungs of leather and a voice to order gods with, Noora possesses all the requirements to deliver the kind of power needed for performing BATTLE BEAST's music.  BATTLE BEAST's debut album, "Steel" — which was originally released in Finland in 2011 via Hype Records — was made available internationally on January 27, 2012 through Nuclear Blast Records.  Formed in 2008, BATTLE BEAST won the Wacken Open Air Metal Battle contest in Finland last year, enabling the band to perform at the Wacken Open Airfestival in Germany and represent its home country in the international Metal Battle finals. The group beat out 26 other acts from all around the world, which led to a record deal with the world's biggest independent heavy metal label.

 

  • Blabbermouth reports UK thrashers ONSLAUGHT have set Friday, September 13 as the worldwide release date for their sixth studio album via AFM Records. The follow-up to 2011's "Sounds Of Violence" will once again be recorded, mixed and co-produced by Jacob Hansen at Hansen Studios in Ribe, Denmark, with work set to commence on May 18.  Commented ONSLAUGHT guitarist Nige Rockett: "It's awesome to be making another album with Jacob Hansen. There was never gonna be anyone else considered, simply because of the way Jacob works on a personal level and the incredible dynamics of his final mixes. We just know it's gonna be totally immense.  "The writing is 90% complete and it's sounding very, very cool. I'm not gonna say it's 'louder, faster, heavier’ than anything we've ever done because that's a little bit cliché these days. All I will say is that it's very fresh, it's old school and it's ferocious. The rest we'll leave up to you guys to decide."  ONSLAUGHT will headline the first Slaughterfest across Europe in October, with German cult thrashers EXUMER, MPIRE OF EVIL and death metal legends MASTER completing the bill.  Fans will have the opportunity to take part in meet-and-greet events on selected dates.  ONSLAUGHT's last tour saw the band performing its 1986 album, "The Force", in its entirety. The band also recorded a new version of its classic song "Metal Forces", for inclusion as a bonus track on the re-release of the band's 1986 album, "The Force", available on AFM Records. The set contains revised artwork and some sleeve notes written by RockettONSLAUGHT is tentatively scheduled to enter the studio at the end of the year to record its new album for a spring release via AFM Records.  The band's fifth album, "Sounds Of Violence", was released in January 2011 via AFM RecordsONSLAUGHT recruited Michael Hourihan (EXTREME NOISE TERROR, DESECRATION) to play the drums following the departure of Steve Grice in 2011.

 

  • Blabbermouth reports New Jersey-based "mathcore" act THE DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN has set "One Of Us Is The Killer" as the title of its fifth full-length album, due in May through the band's own Party Smasher Inc., in partnership with Sumerian Records in North America. Party Smasher's partnership with BMG covers the rest of the world, including licensing deals with Grind House for Japan and Remote Control in Australia.  "One Of Us Is The Killer" was recorded in Southern California with longtime producer Steve Evetts (GLASSJAW, THE CURE, SUICIDE SILENCE), with additional production at guitarist/co-founder Ben Weinman's studio. Mastering will be handled by Tom Baker (DEFTONES, NINE INCH NAILS, BEASTIE BOYS).
    The album represents a new holistic pinnacle of the band's constantly evolving and engaging dynamics.  Speaking to AOL's Noisecreep, THE DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN vocalist Greg Puciato stated about the recording process for the band's forthcoming CD: "DILLINGER is a different beast in tracking than most normal bands. Even Steve has told me that there's no other band that he has recorded that requires this amount of attention to detail. We take a longer amount of time to do one thing than most bands take to do ten. At this point, talking to Ben about it, we only do this once every three years on average so ten years from now I don't want to look back and think, 'Fuck man, we should have finished that one three weeks earlier!' Who cares? You want it to be right and you want it to be the thing that was the closest to what your vision actually was."  Regarding the direction of the new THE DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN material, Puciato said: "I can hear [the influence of old punk and hardcore records] a lot. I can definitely hear that in some of the riffs, which are really aggressive. It's not a blatant hardcore record or anything like that. I actually think this is the most all over the place and weirdest record we've ever written. It's the first one since I joined the band where Benhas sent me songs and I've been like, 'What the fuck is happening? This sounds like a beehive!'"  The band will launch worldwide tours in 2013, beginning with a handful of headlining dates that have just been released.  Read more at Loudwire and Noisecreep

 

  • Blabbermouth reports SPIRITUAL BEGGARS — the Swedish band featuring ARCH ENEMY guitarist Michael Amott and bassist Sharlee D'Angelo, along with vocalist Apollo Papathanasio (ex-FIREWIND) — will release its eighth studio album, "Earth Blues", on April 16 (one day earlier internationally) via InsideOut Music. The cover artwork for the CD can be seen below.  Commented Amott: "I had the idea for this artwork from my time as a child, seeing posters of two young lovers watching a romantic sunset on the beach — just your typical tacky bedroom art in the '70s, really... Also, growing up in what is now referred to with some nostalgia as the Atomic Age — the threat of nuclear war was always looming over our heads it seemed. I wanted to combine these two images of my youth in one paradoxical image and Per Wiberg of Hippograffix (and SPIRITUAL BEGGARS keyboardist) really managed to capture the melancholic feeling perfectly. Earth Blues, indeed."  Regarding the making of "Earth Blues", Amott said: "We started the recording process of 'Earth Blues' with an eight-day-long session at Fat Guitar Studios (Sweden) with knob-twiddler Roberth Ekholm, a truly great dude who really knows how to capture a band jamming live, sadly a rare quality in recording engineers nowadays! We continued with some overdubs at various studios in Sweden, and it's all come together super easy this time. Sonically, I think this might be our finest hour yet. It's a raw, heavy and honest record."  In order to promote this upcoming release as well as the band's anniversary, SPIRITUAL BEGGARS have confirmed a European tour for April with support by German rockers ZODIAC, as well as some European summer festivals.  SPIRITUAL BEGGARS in 2011 released a live CD entitled "Return To Live: Loud Park 2010" in Japan via Trooper Entertainment. The disc features eight songs, capturing the bands high-energy performance at Loud Park 10 at Saitama Super Arena, Japan on October 17, 2010. The live recording was mixed in Sweden by Staffan Karlsson and Rickard Bengtsson at Studio Landgren 5.3 and The Sweet Spot Studio in December 2010. The artwork and design was handled by Hippograffix.  The new lineup of SPIRITUAL BEGGARS made its live debut on October 1, 2010 at Kyttaro club in Athens, Greece.  SPIRITUAL BEGGARS's seventh studio album, "Return To Zero", was released in Japan on August 25, 2010 via Trooper Entertainment Inc. — the label founded by legendary Japanese heavy metal music industry guru Tetsu Miyamoto. The Japanese special edition comes in a glossy paper box with a poster and a sticker of the CD front cover. The Japanese edition also features a bonus track, a thunderous cover of URIAH HEEP's "Time To Live" off the legendary U.K. band's 1971 "Salisbury" record.  "Return To Zero" was released in North America on October 12, 2010 via InsideOut Music. The follow-up to 2005's "Demons" was recorded at Sweetspot Studio with producer Rickard Bengtsson.

    SPIRITUAL BEGGARS 2013 is:

    Michael Amott (ARCH ENEMY, CARCASS) - Guitar
    Ludwig Witt (FIREBIRD) - Drums
    Per Wiberg (OPETH) - Keyboards
    Sharlee D'Angelo (ARCH ENEMY, MERCYFUL FATE) - Bass
    Apollo Papathanasio (FIREWIND) – Vocals

 

  • Blabbermouth reports "Realm Of Chaos", the classic 1989 album from British death metal legends BOLT THROWER, has been remastered with Full Dynamic Range audio and is available now on CD/DVD and limited-edition vinyl LP.  BOLT THROWER's second full-length album and their Earache Records debut, "Realm Of Chaos" cemented the band's position in 1989 among the heaviest of the underground scene. The LP features new artwork from the original artist, John Sibbick"Realm Of Chaos" has been specially remastered from the original tapes using Full Dynamic Range (FDR) mastering, allowing the music's nuances to shine through, giving the whole album a more ferocious and dynamic sound and enabling the listener to immerse themselves in the full audio heaviness like never before.  The "Realm Of Chaos" Full Dynamic Range CD includes a bonus DVD featuring a full, previously unreleased live performance from the legendary 1989 "Grindcrusher" tour. The album is also available on limited-edition vinyl.  Get the "Realm Of Chaos" Full Dynamic Range edition now in Europe at or get the European import in North America.

 

  • Blabbermouth reports the vinyl version of "Vertikal", the new album from Swedish "art rockers" CULT OF LUNA, will be made available in the U.S. on March 26. Only 1,000 pieces will be manufactured for retail and online purchase in the U.S. The gatefold LP will be foil-numbered and priced significantly lower than the currently available import vinyl.  The album can be pre-ordered/purchased here"Vertikal" was released in Europe on January 25 via Indie Recordings and in the U.S. on January 29 through Density Records. In addition to the regular CD, there is a limited edition of "Vertikal", including one bonus track.
    "Vertikal" track listing:
    01. The One (02:16) 02. I: The Weapon (09:24) 03. Vicarious Redemption (18:51) 04. The Sweep (03:09) 05. Synchronicity (07:13) 06. Mute Departure (09:08) 07. Disharmonia 00:45) 08. In Awe Of (09:56) 09. Passing Through (06:03) 10. The Flow Reversed (limited-edition bonus track)
    The "Passing Through" video can be seen below. Directed by Markus Lundqvist, the clip was filmed in sub-zero temperatures at what was once Sweden's largest mental hospital. Closed since the '60s, the Säter hospital was where the mentally ill were routinely castrated and lobotomized.  "When we decided to start writing a new CULT OF LUNA album and talked about which direction we wanted to go, this was actually the first idea that came to my head," said Kihlberg. "I had this phrase — time is passing me by — in my head, going on repeat, and I thought and I should try to make something out of it. It's a simple phrase but at the same time a powerful and overwhelming feeling. We wanted this to be a beautiful but at the same time intimidating song."  "You can hear the sensitivity in his voice — just listen and you can hear what he’s communicating. You can feel it. It’s the most honest song I’ve ever heard," commented vocalist and guitarist Johannes Persson.  According to a press release, "Vertikal" marks a much-anticipated return for the band after five years spent cultivating the ideas and directing the influences that have helped form a concept for the album. Distilled throughout are themes of machinery, repetition and clear, linear structures honed to the visual imagery of Fritz Lang's classic expressionist science fiction film "Metropolis". The music broods, builds and boils as you may expect from CULT OF LUNA, but never overcomplicates itself or veers from its intentions; it is arguably their finest and most cohesive piece of work to date.

 

  • Blabbermouth reports the release date of "Planetary Breathing", the fourth album from Finnish melodic death metallers MYGRAIN, has been pushed back to September 27 (via Spinefarm Records) from the previously announced April 26. No reason was given for the delay.  A six-minute teaser for "Planetary Breathing" is available below.  Finnish melodic death metallers MYGRAIN will release their fourth album, "Planetary Breathing", on April 26. The CD was recorded during August and September at Sound Supreme studio with Janne Saksa, who previously worked with the band on their first two albums. The mixing and mastering was again handled by Dan Swanö (EDGE OF SANITY, BLOODBATH, NIGHTINGALE) at Unisound studios in Örebro, Sweden.  Commented MYGRAIN: "The debut album, 'Orbit Dance', was released in 2006. The second album, 'Signs Of Existence', came out two years later and the third one, 'MyGrain', in 2011. The last-mentioned felt like a launch to something new and it was like a new beginning for the band.  "'Planetary Breathing' can be characterized through familiar MYGRAIN elements: the catchy choruses, melodies and keyboard lines are still there, whereas the winding and striking guitar riffs being a solid base of the MYGRAIN sound.  "We are so excited of the result we achieved with this album! Together with Janne and Dan, we managed to capture the most rich and balanced MYGRAIN sound so far.  "Those of you who have witnessed us live must know that we love touring — performing for you guys. To us, that is the very essence of all of this. Thus, we are really looking forward to the gigs that are following the release of the new album."

    "Planetary Breathing" track listing:

    01. Incantation
    02. Waking Up The Damned
    03. Ambivalentine
    04. Black Light Supernova
    05. Dreamscape
    06. Rats in The Cradle
    07. The Ghost in Me
    08. Mechanimal Instinct
    09. The Final Skyline
    10. Planetary Breathing

    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 SwanöMYGRAIN'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.

 

  • Blabbermouth reports according to Esctoday.com, Finnish heavy metal monsters LORDI, who won the 2006 Eurovision Song Contest, will perform at the 2013 Irish Eurovision national final, "Eurosong 2013", on Friday, February 22.  The 2013 Irish Eurovision final will be aired live during the "Late Late Show" on RTE 1 at 22:35 CET and will be hosted by Ryan TubridyLORDI mainman Mr. Lordi (a.k.a. Tomi Putaansuu) spoke to Inside Bay Area in 2007 about winning the prestigious Eurovision Song Contest with the band's "Hard Rock Hallelujah" anthem. The songswept Eurovision with 292 points, the highest score in its history.  "Traditionally, Eurovision entries all sound like Barry Manilow, with lots of violins," Mr. Lordi said of the annual song fest that first launched ABBA with a "Waterloo" win. "So we didn't think we'd win — we just thought we'd get some free promotion for an album that was coming out. But after we won, people started calling the TV stations and broadcasting company, saying, 'This can't be right — you have to recount the votes!' But it was sad but true — we won. After all these people had tried their best to stop us. And we'd told all hose people who promised to go to Sweden, 'Hey, we'll come help you pack and then wave goodbye to you as your boat leaves.'  "But guess what? Once we got back, suddenly all those people had disappeared. In Finland, there was nobody against us anymore. So in one night, for LORDI, everything changed. And our fans in Finland were wide awake."  LORDI will release its new album, "To Beast Or Not To Beast", on March 1 in Europe (excluding Finland) via AFM Records. The CD will be made available in North America on March 19 through The End Records. The album's first single, "The Riff", was issued on February 9.

 

 

 

 

 

  • Ultimate Classic Rock reports Ted Nugent’s State of the Union Appearance lampooned on "Saturday Night Live"

 

 

 

  • Rolling Stone posts the album premiere of "The Messenger" from Johnny Marr

 

  • Rolling Stone reports Atoms for Peace release "Amok" stream, hint at more U.S. tour dates.  Read more at NME

 

 

  • NME reports Nick Cave and Iceage lead this week's new releases: February 18

 

  • NME reports Arctic Monkeys rumoured for Glastonbury headline slot

 

  • NME reports Vampire Weekend's Ezra Koenig makes cameo appearance in "Girls"

 

  • NME reports Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Dizzee Rascal added to T In The Park line-up

 

 

  • NME reports Yoko Ono celebrates 80th birthday with Yoko Ono Plastic Band gig

 

  • Blabbermouth posts video of Bush's frontman's "Beacon Moment" 

 

 

  • Blabbermouth posts a "Smakk Valley" album teaser frpm Psychopunch

 

  • Blabbermouth posts the first studio reports from Mercenary

 

  • Blabbermouth posts a two-minute teaser for The Land Of Hope

 

  • Blabbermouth reports the "Unborn" track listing from Six Feet Under 

 

 

 

 

  • Blabbermouth posts performance footage of Tesla guitarists at NAMM

 

Read more quick hits at Classic Rock and Noisecreep


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