Music News

ROCK QUICK HITS 6/7/14

6/7/2014

  • Blabbermouth reports BLACK SABBATH members Ozzy Osbourne (vocals), Tony Iommi (guitar) and Geezer Butler (bass) took part in a press conference yesterday (Friday, June 6) before their performance at this year's edition of the Sweden Rock Festival in Sölvesborg, Sweden. You can now watch video footage of the question-and-answer session below.  Asked about the band's recent concert in Moscow when technical issues prevented BLACK SABBATH from playing "Paranoid" as an encore, Geezer said: "It's probably one of the very few times that we haven't [that song during a SABBATH concert]. But it wasn't our fault, because it was the hard disk in the P.A. system went down. And you can't just replace it. You have to reboot the whole system, and it takes 24 hours, I think." Tony added: "We were all ready to go on, and then suddenly it went off."  Regarding BLACK SABBATH's plans for the future beyond the band's current tour, Ozzy said: "We haven't really discussed it. It is possible there's gonna be another album. But we haven't really sat down and decided what we're gonna do yet. We just wanna finish this tour and then we'll see."  Asked about Tony Iommi's recent remark that their upcoming concert in London's Hyde Park could be their last, Ozzy told Guitar World, "If it's goodbye, we're ending it on a high note… But I'm up for another BLACK SABBATH album and tour. If we can, great. If not, I'll just carry on doing my own thing."  According to The Pulse Of Radio, Butler, meanwhile, thinks that the threesome already have a head start on a new record, explaining, "We've still got four tracks left over from ['13']. So maybe we'll fill in the other four or five tracks and put out another album — if it's right. We wouldn't do it just for the sake of it, or the money or whatever. But yeah, maybe."  Ozzy added, "I never say never. I never thought after 35 years I'd [be back with BLACK SABBATH], have a No. 1 record and a sold-out tour."  "13", the first SABBATH album since 1978 to feature Ozzy, Butler and Iommi, was No. 1 in the U.S., the U.K. and nearly a dozen other countries.  Iommi, who has battled cancer since 2012, said recently that the massive July 4 gig at London's Hyde Park could be the band's last because the touring can be tough on him.  Iommi, who is in remission, admitted, "To be honest I don't want to be touring to this extent too much longer, because it makes me feel so bad."  The Hyde Park show will feature SOUNDGARDEN and others in addition to the headliners.  Read more at NME

     

 
  • Blabbermouth reports "Metal Zone" host Nikki Blakk of the San Francisco, California radio station 107.7 The Bone spoke with METALLICA drummer Lars Ulrich before the second annual "Metallica Night" on May 16 at AT&T Park in San Francisco. You can now watch the chat below.  Speaking about the progress of the songwriting sessions for METALLICA's follow-up to 2008's "Death Magnetic", Ulrich said: "I don't think there's any more ways of saying it. We've run out of clever soundbites. It's time to make another record. I mean, we made the ['Through The Never'] movie; it was a lot of fun. We did the [Orion Music + More] festivals for a couple of years, we did the Lou Reed thing ['Lulu' album collaboration]. All those things were a lot of fun, and certainly, I think, very inspiring. And, obviously, the Orion festival is something that we hope to come back to, if not every year, then hopefully every couple of years or whatever. But, listen, we've just gotta make another record; it's that simple. Or, in this case, not that simple. But in between Ozzy [Osbourne] tributes, and [James] Hetfield [METALLICA frontman] doing his thing last year, and Giants day here, and this and that, and a couple of European runs, we get a little bit of time in there occasionally. I think the best way of kind of summing it up is that today we're one step closer to releasing the next record than we were yesterday. Literally."  He continued: "I can tell you, all kidding aside, I'm pretty convinced that 90 percent of the record is actually written, it's just gotta be kind of assembled between all those riffs. It's just a matter of connecting this to this and sort of shaping it into a song. And so, I'm pretty psyched about that."  Ulrich also described the METALLICA songwriting process, telling Blakk: "When we write songs, we don't really write a song at a time, we write kind of more like… We take passes at a bunch of different things at the same time. So we'll, sort of, develop maybe ten ideas, and then we'll go back and develop those ten ideas again, and then we'll, sort of, keep embellishing them, I guess is the word. We rarely write a song, and now we're gonna write a second song. We sort of have 10 balls in the air, or 20 balls in the air, and then we sort of keep moving them around, moving sections around and embellishing, like, 'Take this intro and put it over here.' So it's more that type of thing, is what our songwriting sessions often are.  He continued: "Like I said, I'm pretty convinced that most of the raw material actually exists. It's just a matter of connecting the dots. And we're not busy with all this other stuff that we're doing… I've said this before, we've applied for 28-hour days, but we haven't gotten word back yet, because the four extra hours that we would get out of that would certainly expedite the making of the next record — it would get it sooner. But we're still stuck with 24-hour days and something about six-hour minimum sleep requirements and kids that have to go to school and all the rest of it. So we try to use the rest of the time as wisely as we can in connecting these dots. And it does move forward, but maybe not as fast as we would like and certainly not as fast as a lot of our fans would like. It's certainly not 'cause we're avoiding it."  METALLICA recently completed a South American tour where the band played a nearly all-request set, with 17 songs chosen online by fans prior to each gig and the last slot filled by the new track "Lords Of Summer".  Ulrich told RollingStone.com that "Lords Of Summer" "is fairly representative of where our creative headspace is at right now. It's one of those things that's like, 'Here, we're writing and we're creating.'" However, according to guitarist Kirk Hammett, even that track is still being refined.  "Because of everything we had going on, I didn't have time to work out the guitar solo in 'Lords Of Summer'," Hammett told Guitar World. "The solo that's on the demo track was all we had time to do. I barely knew what I was gonna do and didn't have time to really formulate anything. We told everyone that the song was a demo version…and the solo is really a demo version. [Laughs] If you compare the solo in the demo version to what I've been playing live at those South American shows, it's a lot better and more refined now."  The "Metallica By Request" tour is hitting Europe this summer, with a single North American date confirmed in Montreal.  Ulrich said that U.S. fans might get to experience "Metallica By Request"either next year or in 2016, depending on when the new album is finished.

     

 
  • Blabbermouth reports KISS is rumored to be planning a Las Vegas residency at the Joint at The Hard Rock Hotel And Casino this fall.  Several signs hinting at the run of shows have been spotted around Vegas, including the one seen in the tweet below.  KISS frontman Paul Stanley confirmed late last year that the band was considering a Las Vegas residency.  DEF LEPPARD, MÖTLEY CRÜE and GUNS N' ROSES have all completed successful Las Vegas rock residencies, with the latter two acts having already undertaken their second stints at the Joint.  Residencies enable venues to say they have established relationships with certain performers, who have often tailored shows specifically for the residency period.  DEF LEPPARD's 2013 three-week "Viva! Hysteria" run in Sin City included a performance of the band's greatest hits, plus their 1987 album "Hysteria" in its entirety.  GUNS N' ROSES' fall 2012 "Appetite For Democracy" shows celebrated twenty-five years of "Appetite For Destruction" and four years of "Chinese Democracy".  Read more at Ultimate Classic Rock
 
  • Blabbermouth reports Alex Skolnick (TESTAMENT, ALEX SKOLNICK TRIO), Phil Demmel (MACHINE HEAD), Jeff Young (MEGADETH), Joel Hoekstra (NIGHT RANGER, TRANS-SIBERIAN ORCHESTRA) and Mike Orlando (ADRENALINE MOB) are among the guitarists who are taking part in the "Randy Rhoads Remembered: A Celebration Of A Legend" East Coast mini-tour, which kicked off on June 3 in Asbury Park, New Jersey.  Front Row Dave Productions has uploaded video footage of the second show of the trek, which took place on June 4 at bergenPAC (Bergen Performing Arts Center) in Englewood, New Jersey. Check it out below.  Brian Tichy, Joe Sutton, Brent Woods, Kelle Rhoads and the Rhoads family, who form the nucleus of the team that organized the "Randy Rhoads Remembered" concert that took place on January 25 during the NAMM convention in Anaheim, California, have decided to give the people more of what they want!  Since receiving stellar reviews and feedback from the press, the fans, and the artists involved, it was agreed to take the "Randy Rhoads Remembered" show a step further… on the road!  Regarding the celebration, Tichy said: "When the opportunity arose to have a mini-tour to pay tribute to Randy, my partner Joe Sutton and I decided to utilize the 'Bonzo Bash' template and celebrate the music and wizardry of one of rock's truly legendary guitar heroes — Randy Rhoads!  "Having grown up at a time when Randy took over the guitar world, he impacted me deeply. It seemed that a show in the 'Bonzo Bash' mold would be perfect to celebrate all things Randy Rhoads.  "With that said, in addition to the superb list of guitarists, I am psyched to announce some more of the world's most brilliant players to 'Randy Rhoads Remembered'."

    Very special guests:

    * Rudy Sarzo (Geoff Tate's QUEENSRŸCHE, OZZY OSBOURNE, DIO, WHITESNAKE, QUIET RIOT)
    * Rhoads family members Kathy Rhoads and Kelle Rhoads (vocals)

    The guitarists:

    * Phil Demmel (MACHINE HEAD)
    * Joel Hoekstra (NIGHT RANGER/ TRANS-SIBERIAN ORCHESTRA)
    * Mike Orlando (ADRENALINE MOB)
    * Alex Skolnick (TESTAMENT/ ALEX SKOLNICK TRIO)
    * Brian Tichy (WHITESNAKE, OZZY OSBOURNE, FOREIGNER, BILLY IDOL, LYNCH MOB)
    * Brent Woods (VINCE NEIL, SEBASTIAN BACH, Randy Rhoads student)
    * Phil X (BON JOVI, THE DRILLS)
    * Jeff Young (MEGADETH)

    THE MADMEN:

    * Michael Devin (WHITESNAKE, JASON BONHAM'S LED ZEPPELIN EXPERIENCE, LYNCH MOB, KENNY WAYNE SHEPHERD) - Vocals
    * Brian Tichy (OZZY OSBOURNE, WHITESNAKE, BILLY IDOL, FOREIGNER, ZAKK WYLDE, SLASH'S SNAKEPIT) - Drums
    * Stephen LeBlanc - Keyboards

    Phil Demmel (MACHINE HEAD): "Watching Randy at 10 a.m. in the Oakland coliseum was my 1st concert experience and it was life changing. It made me want to not only play guitar, but to perform with passion and emotion.  "I'm beyond honored to be part of this celebration of a true legend and an immense inspiration."  Brian Tichy: "I am so psyched to get this show together!  "Randy's playing, and the music on those two Ozzy records were huge to me.  "I am a drummer, but I also started putting a lot of time into guitar at the same time Randy came out.  "I heard Ozzy being interviewed on the radio when 'Blizzard Of Ozz' was released. They played 'I Don't Know' and when the guitar kicked in, I was floored and I was an instant fan! I spent countless hours trying to learn Randy's songs, riffs and solos while I was also just a beginner on guitar. I tried to learn Randy's live solo note for note! I had Randy's posters on my basement walls! I still have those posters framed in my house right now! Brent Woods and I even shared a bottle of Randy Rhoads wine when it first came out!"  Brent Woods (THE MOBY DICKS, VINCE NEIL): "31 years after the tragic death of my mentor and favorite guitar player, it's time for a proper celebration of Randy's legacy.  "Being involved with the 'Bonzo Bash' since day one, I know 'Randy Rhoads Remembered' will be a tribute unlike any other."  Phil X (THE DRILLS, BON JOVI): "After school 1981. Drop the needle. 'Blizzard Of Ozz'. WTF?!?! The guy who took the 6 in the pentatonic scale and made it minor instead of major so that ANYONE who plays it in sequence to this day is reminded of Randy Rhoads. His heart, his soul, his choice of notes. His FIRE. That kind of inspiration stays with you 'till death. And now… 2014. 'Randy Rhoads Remembered'. A bunch of as-inspired awesome musicians paying homage to this amazing guy who contributed SO MUCH to ROCK guitar. I am so excited to be a part of it. I CAN'T F@CKING WAIT!"  Read more at Loudwire

    "Randy Rhoads Remembered: A Celebration Of A Legend" remaining East Coast dates:

    June 7 - The Stafford Palace Theater - Stafford, Connecticut
    June 8 - The Ballroom - Waynesboro, Pennsylvania

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

 
  • Blabbermouth reports W.A.S.P. is "about three weeks away from finishing" its new studio album, titled "Golgotha", for an early 2015 release. During a press conference yesterday (Friday, June 6) before the band's performance at this year's edition of the Sweden Rock Festival in Sölvesborg, Sweden, W.A.S.P. mainman Blackie Lawless stated about the lyrical inspiration for the upcoming CD (see video below): "'Golgotha' is Hebrew for place of the skull, and it's the hill where Christ was crucified. And it's interesting, when you see a lot of bands going around using Satanic images or images of death and things like that, and I'm thinking, all they need to do is look at the source, 'cause it's right there. I mean, if you want death, there's enough to go around there."  Regarding the musical direction of W.A.S.P.'s new material, Lawless said: "It sounds probably more similar to the last two that we've done [2007's 'Dominator' and 2009's 'Babylon']. And we've been working on this thing for four years now."  He continued: "I don't know if you guys heard, I had a little hiccup last year, and that delayed recording for almost a year. I broke my leg. And that, too, was an interesting trip.  "But there's one thing that I learned when I was doing [1992's] 'The Crimson Idol': if you make a record over too long of a period of time, you have to be very, very careful, because the record you start out making is not the record you end up finishing, because you've changed so much as a person over a three- or four-year period, you've gotta be very, very careful to hold on to that vision. But from what I'm hearing so far — and it's not completely mixed yet — it has definite overtones of the last two records."  Lawless was also asked about his statements in past interviews that he will never perform W.A.S.P.'s classic song "Animal (Fuck Like A Beast)" live again because of his "religious faith."  "I look at it like this: I'm a representative of the most high God," he said. "But I have to be very careful about the things I say and do," he said. "I mean, I'm gonna answer one day for the things that I've done. And I wanna make sure that when I do, that my slate is clean. But equally as import as that, I think, is I've been given an opportunity to stand in front of people, and you're either gonna say something positive or you're gonna say something midnless; there's no in between — you're either one or the other. And I'm just trying my best. And I'm not saying that I'm doing it all the time, but I'm trying my best to say something that I think could help somebody's life."  He continued: "I remember on the first album [1984's 'W.A.S.P.'], we had a song called 'B.A.D.'. And a girl came up to me one day, and she says, 'I wanna thank you for that song.' And I said, 'What for?' And she says, 'Well, I used to be a really bad heroin addict. And when I heard that song, it changed my life and I don't shoot heroin anymore.' Now, that song had nothing to do with heroin; I don't know what she heard in those lyrics. And at the time, I really didn't wanna hear that, because, to me, I knew enough about what a statement from her like that meant. To me, that was the 'R' word, and I didn't wanna know about… The 'R' word, to me, was 'responsibility,' and I didn't wanna hear it. And I ran from that as far as I could. And then over a period of time…  "We got finished with the 'Inside The Electric Circus' record [1986], and I realized we had made one of the biggest piles of junk in the history of the recording industry. And I said, 'You know what?! That's it. I'm not doing that anymore. If I can't say something with the music, there's no point in me doing it.' And I thought, 'This girl is telling me she's not shooting heroin anymore, and I didn't even try. Imagine what I could do if I tried just a little bit.' And there's a ton of stories that you hear like that.  "You don't realize the impact that you're having on people. Because I'm one of those kind of people, I live in my own little bubble. I mean, I am one of the worst people to ask opinions about anything, because I just live in my own little space. If I'm not writing or in the studio, I live way away from everybody and I'm just in my own world. So you don't realize the impact you have on people a lot of times. I mean, when I'm at home, I have a ranch that… It's a pretty big piece of property, and I get out there and I just walk around and I'm just me. And I forget, a lot of times, until I go some place and somebody is interested, for whatever reason, in anything I might have to say. To me, that's always surprising. Because, quite honestly, I don't think it's that important. But apparently somebody does."  According to Lawless, the change in his lyrical approach happened with the 1989 release of "The Headless Children" album. He said: "There's a place, I guess, for all kinds of music, but for myself personally, I started looking around at what I felt was my purpose. And I thought music can be so much more than this. And I'm not saying that there's not a place for gusy to have a good time. But if I can do something to say something or help change somebody's life, I'm gonna sleep a lot better at night."  Blackiealso spoke about his early life as a born-again Christian and his decision to leave the church at age 18, only to return to his Christian faith 20 years later.  "Like a lot of people, organzed religion was telling me things that I didn't see in the Bible," he explained. "And so, for 20 years after I left the church, I walked around with all these things that I had been taught, and I thought I was mad at God. And after 20 years, I realized I was not mad at God, I was mad at man for the institutionalized thinking that I had been indoctrinated with. And I discovered then, whether it's the Bible or anything else you ever wanna know in life, don't listen to somebody else telling you. You wanna find out, go find out for yourself, because ultimately you are going to be responsible for yourself. And so that's what I did. And when I did that, I realized, like, I wasn't mad at God anymore. These guys that had been telling me this stuff for the longest time, I realized that they had an agenda."

     

 
  • Blabbermouth reports Metal Blast recently conducted an interview with new ARCH ENEMY singer Alissa White-Gluz. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.  Metal Blast: When you were first offered the position as Angela's [Gossow] replacement, how much of a challenge did you feel you were going to face filling her shoes?  Alissa: Angela is very iconic and broke down a lot of barriers not just for women in music, but in music in general. It's not a simple task to step in after her, but I feel confident in the album we wrote, and I know I have her support in this, since we're all a team working towards a common goal. I'm just going to do my absolute best, and hope everyone enjoys it as much as we do.  Metal Blast: Angela is still involved with ARCH ENEMY, working in management. How much influence did she have on you being picked for the band, and what sort of influence does she still have in you and in your performance for ARCH ENEMY Alissa: It was actually Angela's idea for me to be her successor, so to speak, so she definitely had a big role in that choice. For now she doesn't really have any influence in terms of the performance of the music, but she works very hard as the manager, so I speak to her every day about the business side of things. Metal Blast: Did she give you any advice that you felt was important in terms of your performance in ARCH ENEMY? Alissa: Yeah, I guess so; everyone in the band has kind of offered advice, because they all know what it's about. She hasn't really given anything specific, but she's always been good at giving me advice. For years and years she's been sort of a mentor to me, so if she offers it, I always listen. I mean, who better to learn from, right?  Metal Blast: It's interesting because metalheads are quite an interesting breed, so to speak. Once fans develop some sort of sense of possession in regards to your band, they get very protective of the sound or what they want the band to be. For instance, when you think of Blaze Bayley replacing Bruce Dickinson in IRON MAIDEN, or Anette Olzon replacing Tarja Turunen in NIGHTWISH, there was a backlash where people said "That's not what we want." Was there some fear of facing the ARCH ENEMY's fans who associate the band mostly with Angela?  Alissa: Yeah, but we've been pretty fortunate in this case. I've seen a couple of singer switches happen right before my eyes, one being Roy Khan to Tommy Karevik in KAMELOT, and the other was Anette Olzon to Floor Jansen in NIGHTWISH. Those happened with me present, and I saw how well the fans took to these singers because they were presented in the proper way. That's why we wanted to be careful with how we presented these news, and make sure that people knew that this is what the band wants. This is what Angela wants, this is what Michael [Amott, ARCH ENEMY guitarist] wants, this is what everybody in the band wants. We wanted to have new music right away, so fans wouldn't have to wait and wonder what it was going to sound like; we showed them [the title track of the new ARCH ENEMY album] "War Eternal" right away, so that they could put their fears to rest. I obviously understand what it's like. Even when Angela told me she was stepping down, I was, like, "Hey, wait, but I wanted you to keep singing!" [laughs] But people change, priorities shift, and this is what Angela wanted, so in the end it all worked out well for us, and we're very happy with the music. We just hope that the fans will also understand that we're still the same band, we're still making the same music, and that it's just a new era for us. So far, they have been very receptive to the music.  Read the entire interview at Metal Blast.

     

     

 
  • Blabbermouth reports Southern Lord Recordings has announced that influential, visionary metal act TODAY IS THE DAY has joined with the label's roster for the release of its tenth studio album, "Animal Mother", due later this year.  Earlier this year, TODAY IS THE DAY's newest lineup was announced, as the foundation of the then-unnamed album was taking shape. Guitarist/vocalist Steve Austin welcomed Sean Conkling (REGRESSION, BURN YOUR HALO, SPRAWL) on bass as well as returning member Jeff Lohrber (ENABLER, ex-HARLOTS), Lohrber having previously handled touring drum duties for TODAY IS THE DAY many times in the past. Conkling and Lohrber tracked most of their parts in December and January at the founding frontman's own recording and mastering studio in Maine. Since then, Austin has been painstakingly layering guitars, vocals and more, and the final sessions for TODAY IS THE DAY's tenth studio full-length will take place later in June.  "Sometimes things just dial-in and align perfectly," Steve Austin stated about signing with Southern Lord for the release of "Animal Mother". "Myself and TODAY IS THE DAY are extremely excited about working with Southern Lord Records and Greg Anderson. To me they have the right idea about the kind of music they release; heavy, real, experimental, integrity-driven music is what the label represents to me. TODAY IS THE DAY's 'Animal Mother' LP on Southern Lord in 2014... I don't think I could ask for anything more!”  Added Southern Lord owner Greg Anderson on the union: "Southern Lord is deeply honored to be working with TODAY IS THE DAY. Steve Austin has been a long time force in the underground and we're stoked to now be a small part of the TODAY IS THE DAY legacy."  Regarding the album title, Austin offers: "'Animal Mother' means the embodiment of the prophetic gift of the shaman; it is the shaman's visionary power, which is able to penetrate the past and future."  Earlier this year, the frontman warned the public that the album would be "a fifteen-song rampage of bloody carnage fueled by hate, love and vile, raw emotion," continuing, "I feel it is my finest work to this date. It is the most complex and heavy record we have ever made. This is real — no bullshit Pro Tools crap; just pure violent energy and real band songwriting in the middle of the woods in Maine. It lies somewhere between 'Temple Of The Morning Star' and 'In The Eyes of God', and Jeff's playing is beyond incredible. I was determined to push the limits in complexity, musicianship, and creativity as far as we could and I feel we have put together a record that narrates the horror and pain that we have been living through.”"  For two and a half decades, TODAY IS THE DAY has woven Steve Austin's prophetic observations and noise-soaked chaos through a psychedelic, unique and unmatched battery of heavy styles. The outfit has spawned an incredible discography, forging its way to the forefront of Amphetamine Reptile, Relapse, Blackmarket Activities and many others.  Steve Austin has produced nearly all of TODAY IS THE DAY's releases, as well as groundbreaking albums for LAMB OF GOD, CONVERGE and DEADGUY, among many others.  Austin is featured in the "Color Of Noise" documentary about Amphetamine Reptile Records, and is currently scoring several independent films.
 
  • Blabbermouth reports the official teaser for "Captivity & Devourment", the new album from ARMAGEDDON, the band led by former ARCH ENEMY guitarist Christopher Amott, can be seen below.  ARMAGEDDON first came to life in Sweden in 1997 as a studio project, with the release of "Crossing The Rubicon", a sci-fi themed concept album. Two more full-length efforts followed, "Embrace The Mystery" in 2000 and "Three" in 2003, both featuring different lineups and different musical directions, with Amott as the sole remaining original member.  ARMAGEDDON is now resurrected in its most powerful form. The band is based out of New York City, and has brought unto itself a crushing lineup of musicians. Together they have once again conjured up the force that is ARMAGEDDON.  Due later in the year, "Captivity & Devourment"consists of 10 awe-inspiring and ingeniously crafted songs, full of devastating riffs, soaring guitar leads and fist-pumping choruses. Heavy, melodic, technical, and groovy, this is creative metal songwriting with one foot in deep in the classics and and one eye gazing towards the distant future.

    ARMAGEDDON 2014 is:

    Matt Hallquist - Lead Vocals
    Christopher Amott - Guitar, Clean Vocals
    Joey Concepcion - Guitar
    Sara Claudius - Bass
    Márton Veress - Drums

    Amott's latest solo album, "Impulses", can be purchased directly from his music store.  Amott in March 2012 issued a statement explaining that he left ARCH ENEMY to pursue his solo career. He said, "I'm gonna continue to be very active in music, working with all kinds of styles — this does not rule out metal."  ARCH ENEMY recruited American guitarist Nick Cordle (ARSIS) to replace Christopher.  Christopher Amott started his career in music in 1995 as a founding creative force and guitarist in ARCH ENEMY. In this context, he is known for his tastefully technical guitar work and memorably emotive playing style.  After garnering his early success, Christopher had the desire to express himself on a personal level in the same genre. At this time he began writing albums under the name ARMAGEDDON. Christopher wrote and recorded three albums over the next few years as ARCH ENEMY grew into an internationally recognized act, with his compositions featuring his own vocal stylings on the last album. This would be Christopher's first foray into singing and a spark of inspiration for his later musical ventures.  In 2008, Christopher began to consider his creative options as a mature musician. He began writing songs of an entirely different atmosphere, which saw his guitar playing focused less on technical ecstasy and more on a chord-based blues rock ambience as a foundation for more prominent vocal and lyrical ideas. These compositions developed into his next solo project; the album would be called "Follow Your Heart", released under his own name in 2010.

    "Captivity & Devourment" album teaser:

     

     

    "Captivity & Devourment" song audio stream:

     

     

     

  • Blabbermouth reports former NIGHTWISH singer Anette Olzon debuted two brand new songs — "Hiding In The Past" and "Strong" — and performed one cover, "Play Dead" (BJÖRK), during her June 6 solo appearance at the Kivenlahti Rock festival in Espoo, Finland.  Fan-filmed video footage of the "Hiding In The Past" performance — a song written by Olzon, WITHIN TEMPTATION keyboardist Martijn Spierenburg and BLOODBOUND keyboardist Fredrik Bergh— can be seen below, along with other clips from the show.

    Olzon's solo touring band consists of the following musicians:

    Patrik Borgkvist - Drums
    Mikael Mikey Nilsson - Guitar
    Johan Husgafvel - Bass
    Rickard Bonde Trumeel - Keyboards, Acoustic Guitar

    Anette's debut solo album, "Shine", was released in March via earMUSIC, the Hamburg, Germany-based international rock label which is part of Edel Group.  "Shine", which was co-produced by Anette Olzon and Johan Kronlund, is a collaboration with some of the most successful teams in rock and pop in Scandinavia: Stefan Örn (songwriter and producer of the 2011 Eurovision Song Contest-winning track "Running Scared") and Johan Glössner. The album was mixed by Kronlund, Nicklas Flykt and Ronny Lahti (known for his work with Loreen and Roxette).  Olzon previously stated about her solo CD: "The album is very personal with songs I have started writing already in 2009 but also very recent songs.  "The overall message of the album is that life can be really dark and filled with hardship and sadness, but you can always choose to see some light coming through, to make you stronger and full of life — making you shine… no matter what."  Regarding the CD's musical direction, Anette said: "In the end, it is a rock album. Well, a pop rock album, maybe, or would you call it pop metal?"  Olzon was fired from NIGHTWISH in September 2012 in the middle of the band's North American tour. She has since been replaced by former AFTER FOREVER and current REVAMP singer Floor Jansen.

     

     

     

 
  • Blabbermouth reports Norwegian black/death metallers ANCIENT are working on their seventh album, "Chapter VII: Back From The Land Of The Dead", for a tentative fall release. Nick Barker (ex-DIMMU BORGIR, CRADLE OF FILTH) recorded the drums for the CD at Alpha-Omega Studio in Como, Italy, and the guitars were laid down in March. Founder and frontman Zel (a.k.a. Aphazel) recorded vocals with Jacob Hansen (who also produced the "Proxima Centauri" album from 2002) in Denmark.  Comments Zel: "[There are] by far the best vocals I have done for ANCIENT.  "Recording with Jacob really made me start to enjoy the vocalist role again, a feeling stronger than I have had for years now.  "Recording at the Hansen studios, with the great set ups, effects, etc., somehow brings out the beast in me again, you will hear!" There will also be some guest vocals on the album, to be announced later. Recordings of bass and keyboards will take place in June and July, and the album should be finished around the end of July.  Adds Zel: "The recordings have taken more time than expected, but the way it goes now, this album is turning out to be a serious masterpiece and we absolutely want to give it all the time and attention necessary before making the final master.  "The wait has been long, and stressing for us, but it will be very worth it."  "Chapter VII: Back From The Land Of The Dead" is being recorded in seven different locations, with the best studio selected for each instrument in order to give the very best production ANCIENT has ever had.  States Zel: "This album is the most aggressive Ancient album so far, a lot thanks to Nick Barker.  "As always, there are many dark melodic and atmospheric parts to be found, the sound ANCIENTis known for."

    Songtitles set to appear on "Chapter VII: Back From The Land Of The Dead" include:

    * Born In The Land Of The Dead
    * The Sempiternal Haze
    * The Ancient Disarray

    ANCIENT 2014 is:

    Zel - vocals, guitars, keyboards
    Dhilorz - guitar, bass
    Nick Barker - drums

    ANCIENT's sixth album, "Night Visit" was released in June 2004 through Metal Blade Records. The follow-up to 2001's "Proxima Centauri" was recorded at Mirage and Alpha-Omega studios and was mixed at Studio Fredman in Gothenburg, Sweden with producer Fredrik Nordström (HAMMERFALL, IN FLAMES, DIMMU BORGIR, SPIRITUAL BEGGARS, etc.). Mastering was done at Sterling Sound in New York City.

     

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