- Blabbermouth reports rock band SIXX: A.M. — which consists of bassist Nikki Sixx, guitarist DJ Ashba and vocalist James Michael — is continuing work on material for its third album, tentatively due later this year. In a new posting on his Facebook page, Sixx — who is currently on tour in Australia with MÖTLEY CRÜE — stated about the progress of the recording sessions for the new CD: "James sent through another track from the new SIXX: A.M. album for me to track bass on, so that's what I am up to for the next few hours. "As beautiful as it is outside here in Adelaide today, I think I’m just gonna hang in the room, finish off this song and then send to it James to lay into the session back in Nashville. "The way SIXX: A.M. is recording this album is we all get together and write the songs face to face and then record it in pieces. Sometimes we’re together and sometimes we’re in separate towns (and countries) since none of us live in the same city. It’s really the best of both worlds creatively. "This album is another leap into the adventurous, and to be honest, I don't think any of us know what this album will actually end up sounding like and for some odd reason I think we really like the idea of that. "I hope we can to find the time and a way for us to tour behind this album." In a recent interview with Loudwire, Sixx stated about how the new SIXX: A.M. material is sounding: "This time we really want to fly on our own. We started out the songwriting process by having conversations about how far we can push ourselves musically … Our conversations were, 'Let's go as far to the left as we can, musically,' and once we finish up a handful of songs that are pretty out there … I don't even want to use any kind of references because it'll throw people and they won't really understand what I'm talking about. But we're just taking a lot of chances musically and at this point nothing sounds at all like SIXX: A.M. that you would know, because we're taking such huge leaps of faith that we're going to land on our feet. But once we finish what we have now, we're going to start backtracking into who we are as a band that we know at least. I think you're going to end up with some songs on the album that are sort of surprising and bands that always did that for me were like QUEEN. There would be songs on QUEEN's albums that would be like, 'I can't even believe that came out of a rock band,' and that's what we want to do. We want to take those leaps of faith and in the end, we are a rock band so we'll go back to that at some point." SIXX: A.M., made a rare appearance — its first in four years — on April 11, 2012 at Revolver Golden Gods Awards at Club Nokia in Los Angeles. As each band member has been kept busy with their other careers — Sixx is also the bassist for MÖTLEY CRÜE and a syndicated radio host; Ashba is currently touring with GUNS N' ROSES; James Michael is a famed rock producer who is currently working on new records for PAPA ROACH, HALESTORM and others — this marked the band's first chance to perform in support of their current album, "This Is Gonna Hurt", which supplied the #1 rock anthem "Lies Of The Beautiful People". "7", the latest EP from SIXX: A.M., came out in December 2011 and sold around 2,700 copies in the United States in its first week of release. The effort contained acoustic versions of songs from the group's first two albums — 2007's "The Heroin Diaries" soundtrack and 2011's "This Is Gonna Hurt". Released on May 3, 2011, SIXX: A.M.'s sophomore album, "This Is Gonna Hurt" is a companion piece to Sixx's "This Is Gonna Hurt: Music, Photography And Life Through The Distorted Lens Of Nikki Sixx" book, a follow-up to his New York Times bestseller, "The Heroin Diaries". Read more at Loudwire
- Blabbermouth reports in a brand new interview with the Broward Palm Beach New Times, IRON MAIDEN drummer Nicko McBrain was asked to weigh in on the contractual disputes that have forced SLAYER's Dave Lombardo and BLACK SABBATH's Bill Ward out of their respective bands in recent months. "Most of the issues that pro musicians have sooner or later in time boils down to the royalty check or performance royalties," Nicko said. "I'm sad to hear that that has happened, but, you know, when you find out and look at something and say, 'Could you explain this to me, why we're not getting what we should according to these numbers?' and if somebody turns around and says, 'Fucking shut your face or you're fired,' that therefore it tells you there's an alarm bell going off. Without knowing all of the ins and outs of it, you can't pre-judge it. "But yeah, the Bill Ward story, I understood that Sharon Osbourne got her fangs into that one. It's beyond me — I mean, Bill Ward was the original freaking band member, you know? It just doesn't make sense to me. If I was entitled to more, I don't really want to know; I'm happy!
"You have to ask yourself this: How did Dave Lombardo get the information that led to this problem, is what I'd like to know. Who gave him the financials, if he wasn't on top of it with an accountant already? "I'm sad because Dave is so much a part of that band; he's so identifiable. There's great drummers out there, but Dave Lombardo is a master with it, and Dave is... to me, he is SLAYER with Kerry [King, guitar] and the guys! I think Kerry really may have overreacted and might be regretting it. I hope that that's the case and they can sit down and sort it out." Read more at Loudwire and Classic Rock
- Blabbermouth reports Florida metallers TRIVIUM have completed recording their sixth album for a late summer release via Roadrunner Records. The CD is being produced by DISTURBED/DEVICE frontman David Draiman at a studio in Austin, Texas. In a recent intervuew with PitCam.TV, TRIVIUM frontman Matt Heafy stated about the songwriting sessions for the band's next CD: "I can tell you we do have a title, we do have songtitles, we do have 20 to 25 songs demoed, we do have an artist. Everything is set up — all the visuals and everything — but it's all secret. Hopefully it comes out the third quarter of next year. We're recording in January, February and March in Austin, Texas; that's all I can say [about] that. It's gonna be great; it's gonna be really, really great. It's too difficult to describe in metal adjectives, like 'heavy,' 'brutal,' melodic,' all this stuff, like every band does. Also, the classic phrase: 'our best album ever.' I can say that with 'In Waves', it was finally an album that all the fans of the previous four… We've got very divided fans: 'I just like 'Ember'.' 'I just like 'Crusade'.' 'I just like 'Ascendancy'.' 'I just like 'Shogun'.' Everyone could agree on 'In Waves'. And simultaneously, everywhere in the world, 'In Waves' received the biggest reaction. With the next record, people can expect the best parts of everything we've ever done across all five records on one." TRIVIUM's latest album, "In Waves", sold 22,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release to land at position No. 13 on The Billboard 200 chart — the highest U.S. chart entry of the band's career. The group's previous CD, "Shogun", opened with just under 24,000 units back in October 2008 to debut at No. 23. The effort followed up "The Crusade", which registered a first-week tally of 31,000 copies in October 2006 to enter the chart at No. 25. Read more at Noisecreep
- Blabbermouth reports MURDERDOLLS — the band consisting of Joey Jordison (SLIPKNOT) and Wednesday 13 — issued its sophomore album, "Women And Children Last", in August 2010 via Roadrunner Records. The CD, which was recorded at a studio in Hollywood Hills, California with producer Chris "Zeuss" Harris (HATEBREED, SHADOWS FALL, 3 INCHES OF BLOOD), sold 8,600 copies in the United States in its first week of release to debut at position No. 43 on The Billboard 200 chart.
Speaking to Radio Metal last month, Wednesday 13 stated about MURDERDOLLS' current status: "MURDERDOLLS went on a hiatus in 2011 and that's pretty much it. I don't have anymore news; there's no info going on. "To be honest, I see that this will be for eternity. But I'm glad we got to do our second record. After that, we were on the high note, but there is no income, so and I'll be surprised if it ever happen again." He added: "I don't like to say that, I don't want to disappoint my fans, but I also have to be honest with them and tell them there's no coming back for a very long time, if it ever does. I don't like to say 'never,' but it's looking that way." In a May 2012 interview, Wednesday was a little bit more optimistic about MURDERDOLLS' future, saying: "I love the band. It got me where I am. The last record we put out, 'Women And Children Last', it may be my favorite record I've ever put out — just because there was so much intensity in that record and just such a good time put into it. And if the band never happens again, we never do anything again, I know we went out on a high note with that record. And we got to do as much touring as we possibly could. Unfortuantely, some stuff got cut short. But yeah, man, that was a big part of my life again, and if it happens again, it happens; and if it doesn't, it doesn't. I hate to say it's never gonna happen, and then you see another one of those 'reunion' tours. So I'll just leave it open."
- Blabbermouth reports Philadelphia, Pennsylvania-based metallers POWER THEORY have set "Driven By Fear" as the title of their third album, due later this year via Pure Steel Records. The CD is being recorded at a new studio with Matt DiFabio (SINGLE BULLET THEORY, Hard Attack Entertainment) as engineer and associate producer and Peter Baltes (ACCEPT) overseeing the project as executive producer. Matt's home studio is a guitar sound mecca with an endless choice of amp heads. The new cover artwork was completed by German artist Timo Wuerz, who has previously worked worked with HALLOWEEN and STEEL ASSASSIN. "We are five songs in with guitars and Matt has helped us create some amazing guitar tones, as we are pushing for this album to be much heavier sounding without losing our traditional metal sound and dynamics," says POWER THEORY guitarist and founder Bob "BB" Ballinger. "That's where Peter's experience and excellence will be present by making sure we maintain the integrity of our style and stay true to the metal." In other news, POWER THEORY has announced the addition of bassist Drew Foster to the group's ranks. "Drew has been involved with POWER THEORY for four years now with photography, video, web design, and CD layouts, and has been along for every step of the way so far, " says Ballinger. "Drew is a rock-solid bassist." Check out video footage from the studio below.
- Blabbermouth reports Finnish gothic metallers UNSHINE will release their third album, "Dark Half Rising", on August 23 via Massacre Records. The artwork for the CD was created by Jan Yrlund at Darkgrove Design (KORPLIKAANI, EDGE OF SERENITY, TÝR, IMPERIA). Songtitles set to appear on the effort include "The Oath To Wilderness Of Unredeemed Nature", "Idyl", "Defender Of His Faith" and "Ikuinen Taistelu". UNSHINE in 2010 parted ways with Low Frequency Records after releasing two full-length CDs through the label. The band's second album, entitled "The Enigma Of Immortals", came out in April 2008.
Susanna Vesilahti (vocals)
Harri Hautala (guitar, synth)
Jari Hautala (guitar)
Teemu Vähäkangas (bass)
Jukka Hantula (drums)
- Blabbermouth reports Finnish symphonic metallers NIGHTWISH were honored in the "Metal Album Of The Year" and "Band Of The Year" categories at this year's Emma Gaala (Finnish Grammy equivalent), which was held on March 1 at Barona Areena in Espoo, Finland. Other "Metal Album" nominees were MOKOMA ("180 Astetta"), TERVEET KÄDET ("Musta Hetki"), and STAM1NA ("Nocebo"). Video footage of NIGHTWISH bassist/vocalist Marco Hietala accepting the "Metal Album Of The Year" award for "Imaginaerum" can be seen below. "Imaginaerum" was released in North America on January 10, 2012 via Roadrunner Records. NIGHTWISH released a limited-edition "Trials Of Imaginaerum" 10-inch picture disc for last year's Record Store Day (April 21). The effort included four previously unreleased demo recordings with Marco Hietala on lead vocals. It also came with a download of the previously unreleased track "The Heart Asks Pleasure First", a cover with lyrics from the movie "The Piano". "Trials Of Imaginaerum" featured a picture of "The Crew, The Owl And The Dove" on one side, and the "Imaginaerum" grounds on the other side. NIGHTWISH released a special "tour edition" of "Imaginaerum", on April 13, 2012 via Nuclear Blast Records. It was a 2CD+DVD digibook in slipcase. "Imaginaerum" sold 12,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release to debut at position No. 27 on The Billboard 200 chart. The band's previous CD, 2007's "Dark Passion Play", opened with 11,000 units to land at No. 84.
- Blabbermouth reports ELUVEITIE's Anna Murphy (hurdygurdy, vocals, flute) will be forced to miss the band's upcoming European tour with SABATON due to continuing health issues. In a new message posted on her Facebook page, Anna says: "You may have read the news on ELUVEITIE's sites already, but I want to give you an update myself as well. It's been awfully quiet on this page. "I got sick last December, and, sadly, had to leave ELUVEITIE's South American tour last month. Now I am still in treatment, and the doctors won't let me play any shows for the next few weeks. This means that I'm going to miss the upcoming tour with SABATON, which sucks! I can't tell you how disappointed and frustrated I am at missing these shows and not seeing you all on the road in March. I'll be back as soon as possible! "As for my solo album, while we've had to move the recording dates back a little, we're still making good progress. Pretty much all the songs have been ready for a while, release plans are coming together, and as soon as I'm back on my feet we'll put together the musicians for the studio. Release is scheduled for later this year, and I hope you are as excited about this one as I am!" ELUVEITIE performed its latest concept album, "Helvetios", in its entirety during the band's recent North American co-headlining tour with Finnish epic metallers WINTERSUN. The trek commemorated ELUVEITIE's 10th anniversary as well as served as WINTERSUN's introduction to North American shores. This momentous event also included the German pagan metal band VARG. "Helvetios" sold 4,200 copies in the United States in its first week of release to debut at position No. 143 on The Billboard 200 chart. The CD landed at position No. 3 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. "Helvetios" was released in Europe on February 10, 2012 via Nuclear Blast RecordsNew Sound Studio in Pfäffikon, a municipality in the canton of Zurich in Switzerland, with producer Tommy Vetterli (a.k.a. Tommy T. Baron; CORONER/ex-KREATOR guitarist). According to the band, Vetterli "record[ed] drums, guitars and vocals and also produc[ed] and mix[ed] the record. Most folk instruments and also vocals [were] recorded by Anna Murphy and Marco Jencarelli at the Soundfarm studios in Lucerne."
- Blabbermouth reports Aaron Zimpel (guitar/vocals; ANVIL CHORUS, RELEASE) and Gary Wendt (guitar; SACRILEGE B.C., RELEASE, THE GHOST NEXT DOOR) have reunited in a new project called SUMERIAN CROWN. Rounding out the band is Paul Hopkins (ex-SKINLAB) on drums and Seanan Gridley (ex-THE GHOST NEXT DOOR) on bass. SUMERIAN CROWN has been busy developing vast amounts of material with a goal of live debut and intensive recording by mid-summer 2013. This marks the first time Aaron and Gary have played together since RELEASE disbanded in 1997 following the Century Media-issued "End Of The Light" album. Comments Aaron: "Gary and I always worked well together. There's some sort of unspoken understanding in how things should sound and especially how the guitars should complement each other for the greatest effect. "Putting together this new material has been totally exciting as its fucking heavy, but colorful, all over the place progressively, melodically, and rhythmically. We've both matured a lot as musicians — me while I was back with the reformed ANVIL CHORUS, and Gary while spearheading his most recent band THE GHOST NEXT DOOR. Paul brings his years of experience pounding, recording and touring with SKINLAB and has some great ideas, and Seanan adds a monstrous anchor to it all. "We're veterans of the Bay Area heavy music scene, but feel we'll be contributing a new, fresh, original sound to the re-emerging metal community."
- Blabbermouth reports German/Norwegian folk metal band MIDNATTSOL — which features in its ranks vocalist Carmen Elise Espenaes (the younger sister of LEAVES' EYES singer Liv Kristine) — is working on a new studio album for a late 2013 release. The group's only live appearance of 2013 will take place on April 5-6 at the Ragnarök Festival in Lichtenfels, Germany. MIDNATTSOL's latest CD, "The Metamorphosis Melody", was released in April 2011 via Napalm Records. The CD was recorded at Studio E (THE VISION BLEAK, LACRIMAS PROFUNDERE, SECRETS OF THE MOON) with producer Markus Stock.
- Loudwire reports Green Day’s Mike Dirnt on Billie Joe Armstrong: "I Gotta Support My Boy" Read more at NME
- Loudwire reports The Devil Wears Prada debut new song "Gloom" on co-headlining tour
- Loudwire reports Owl’s Chris Wyse talks "The Right Thing" album, band Camaraderie and Kinks Love
- Loudwire reports Otherwise flesh out 2013 North American tour with new dates
- Spinner posts photos of Morrissey at the Staples Center. Read more about the concert at Billboard
- Billboard reports Atoms for Peace, Hillsong United headed for top 10 on Billboard 200
- Blabbermouth posts pre-production video footage from Eyes Set To Kill new album
- Blabbermouth posts the first two studio webisodes from Deathdestruction
- Blabbermouth posts interviews with Duff McKagan, Steve Morse from Deep Purple, Killswitch Engage, Coheed And Cambria drummer, The Sword, Ghost, Lou Koller from Sick Of It All, Warbeast, Butcher Babies, Ross The Boss on his new band Death Dealer, Nile's Karl Sanders, Omnium Gatherum, and Kvelertak
- Blabbermouth posts performance footage from Britsh Lion in Madrid