Germany's EMP Rock Invasion recently conducted an interview with NIGHTWISH mastermind/keyboardist Tuomas Holopainen. You can now watch the chat below.
Asked if NIGHTWISH's forthcoming full-length album, "Endless Forms Most Beautiful", is meant to be listened to in its entirety on a proper sound system, Tuomas said: "I would prefer people to listen to it on as good a sound system as possible. But the fact is also that you have to make music so that it sounds good no matter where you listen to it from."
He continued: "That's a trend of these days that bothers me a little bit, to be honest — when people just get a song from here and there and listen to it with earphones while running. At least for the first few times when you listen to the album, it would make sense to give it some time and some thought. Listen to it from beginning to the end, as it's supposed to be listened to. I mean, when you go to movies, you don't watch the final sequence first and then go to the beginning and then take a few snippets here and there. You wanna see it from beginning to the end, as it's intended."
Regarding whether "Endless Forms Most Beautiful" is based on a lyrical concept or a theme, Tuomas said: "A very loose one, maybe. It's all about the beauty of life, the beauty of existence, nature, science… A comparison would be that if the previous album, [2011's] 'Imaginaerum', was a tribute to the power of imagination, 'Endless Forms Most Beautiful' would be an equal tribute to science and the power of reason."
"Endless Forms Most Beautiful", will be made available on March 27 in Europe and March 31 in the U.S. via Nuclear Blast. The CD marks NIGHTWISH's first studio album with Dutch singer Floor Jansen, who replaced Anette Olzon in 2012.
The cover artwork for "Endless Forms Most Beautiful" was created by the band's longtime collaborator Toxic Angel. Famed evolutionary biologist and atheist writer/leader Richard Dawkins appears on the effort as a guest.
Longtime NIGHTWISH drummer Jukka Nevalainen sat out the recording sessions for "Endless Forms Most Beautiful" due to health issues; Kai Hahto (WINTERSUN, SWALLOW THE SUN, TREES OF ETERNITY) replaced him in the studio and will join NIGHTWISH on tour in support of the new CD.
ALL THAT REMAINS frontman Philip Labonte says that the "tax laws," not the police, were responsible for the death of Eric Garner, an unarmed black man who was stopped for selling loose cigarettes in New York City and placed in an apparent chokehold by a white police officer.
Labonte recently made headlines in the rock media when he suggested that the obstacles faced by the lesbian/gay/bisexual/transgender (LGBT) community do not equal those experienced by the black community. Asked by Radio.com to clarify his comments, the singer said: "I think it was pretty clear. African-Americans have had a shit deal. You look at the prison system, I think black people [outnumber white people] six to one. You had slavery, you had Jim Crow, and now you've got— and this is something that [American politician] Rand Paul says — you have a racial outcome."
He continued: "I don't think that cops are walking around [saying], 'Let's go get us a black guy!' I don't think that that's happening. But, at the same time, I think that… It all boils down to legislation. Because the places where the police tend to have to patrol more [are the] poor neighborhoods. I mean, Eric Garner shouldn't be dead for selling loose cigarettes. And it wasn't the cops that killed him, even though the cops were physically on top of him [when he died]. It was the tax laws. It was the government that killed him. Leave the guy alone. Let him fuckin' sell cigarettes. The reason that he's selling [unpackaged] cigarettes is because it's ten dollars a frickin' pack in New York. And poor people can't afford ten dollars a pack! So the people that are hurt by laws aren't the rich people, they're poor people. So if you're a poor person, and you're getting a shit deal, stop voting for people that wanna pass laws. Vote for people that want to repeal laws. More freedom is gonna end up with less negative consequences. And you won't have people like Eric Garner dying for no fuckin' reason. He had six kids! I mean, he was resisting, in the thought process of he was not submitting to be taken away. But he wasn't trying to hurt anyone. They're, like, 'Oh, he was arrested thirty times.' You know what? Tell him to move along thirty-one [times], tell him to move along thirty-two [times], tell him to move along thirty-four times, tell him to move along a hundred more times. Don't beat the crap out of the guy. Or kill the guy."
Labonte also spoke about another high-profile case where a grand jury declined to indict a police officer for killing an unarmed man. On November 24, 2014, a St. Louis County grand jury decided there wasn't probable cause to indict Ferguson, Missouri, police officer Darren Wilson for the shooting death of Michael Brown, an unarmed 18-year-old. The shooting almost immediately triggered protests in the St. Louis suburb, as demonstrators took to the streets to speak out against what many saw as yet another example of police brutality against young black men. The situation subsequently escalated and drew national attention when police fired tear gas and rubber bullets into a crowd of peaceful protesters after telling them to go home, declaring they were "no longer a peaceful protest."
"As much as we've been bashing on the situation with Garner, the New York Police, and the people of New York did everything right [in the wake of the tragedy]," Labonte said. "The people in Ferguson did everything wrong. The police came out in full combat gear."
He continued: "You look at the '60s, there were bombings in the '60s, there were riots, there was violence, you didn't see cops in full kit, like they were going into Afghanistan or Iraq. They had their riot shields, they had their batons and they had helmets. Fine. And then as soon as the Highway Patrol took over in Ferguson, you didn't see the guys out with their ARs [rifles]. You don't need overwatch on the streets of Ferguson, Missouri. You don't need an elevated sniping position. That's so overblown. And, because the guy died, you're gonna go and burn down a building? That's retarded too."
Labonte added: "As bad as the whole situation overall is, the over-militarization of police, the over-legislation, I think that those two issues are totally studies in the complete wrong thing to do, on both sides, and the complete right thing to do. New York did a great job. Ferguson? Not so much."
ALL THAT REMAINS's new album, "The Order Of Things", was released on February 24 via Razor & Tie.
SOULFLY recently entered the studio with producer Matt Hyde (SLAYER, CHILDREN OF BODOM, MONSTER MAGNET, WINDS OF PLAGUE) to begin recording its tenth album for a late summer release via Nuclear Blast Entertainment.
Speaking to Spotlight Report at this month's Soundwave festival in Australia, SOULFLY mainman Max Cavalera said (see video below): "The next SOULFLY comes out in August. I'm finishing the vocals right now. The music is all done. It was done with Matt Hyde in L.A., and it's incredible. [It's] a really good record. I'm very happy with this record. And I'm gonna be, probably… after the SOULFLY album comes out, I'm probably gonna be one year or a year and a half on the road for SOULFLY."
In a recent interview with SkullsNBones.com, Max Cavalera said about SOULFLY's upcoming CD: "I need to prepare a really good SOULFLY record for the fans. I really wanna do it killer. And the more time I spend writing the riffs and getting the ideas for the SOULFLY record, the better record it will be. Instead of waiting for the last minute and do it real quick… Hopefully [I can] think of some cool guests to be on the tenth record — the big tenth record. We're gonna try to make some kind of campaign about [it] — ten records; that's quite amazing. But we're gonna try to make a really cool [album]."
He continued: "We've got a really solid band. I love Marc [Rizzo, guitar], [and] I love Tony [Campos, bass]. And it looks like Zyon [Cavalera, Max's son] is gonna drum again for the next CD. So we're gonna kick his ass, [and] try to get [him to be] more in the ball with us. And we'll see how that goes."
SOULFY's ninth CD, "Savages", was released on October 1, 2013. The CD was produced by Terry Date, who is known for his work with such acts as PANTERA, DEFTONES and SOUNDGARDEN, among many others. Guest vocal appearances on "Savages" included SOULFLY bass player Tony Campos, CLUTCH's Neil Fallon, NAPALM DEATH's Mitch Harris, Jamie Hanks of I DECLARE WAR and SOULFLY mainman Max Cavalera's son Igor Cavalera (of LODY KONG).
"Heart Of Amsterdam", the new video from THE GENTLE STORM, the collaboration between AYREON mastermind Arjen Lucassen and former THE GATHERING singer Anneke Van Giersbergen, can be seen below. The song is taken from THE GENTLE STORM's debut album, "The Diary", which will be released on March 25 via InsideOut Music.
Says Anneke about "Heart Of Amsterdam": "The song is a tribute to the city of Amsterdam, the hometown of the story's leading character Susanne.
"Seventeenth-century Amsterdam was a center of shipping, shipbuilding, and trade. Amsterdam flourished, and a wonderful city was the result.
"We shot the video in the center of Amsterdam. It was freezing cold and I couldn't move my fingers anymore during the last shots, but it was all worth it. I love how the video turned out!"
Lucassen and Van Giersbergen originally crossed paths in 1998 for AYREON's breakthrough third album, "Into The Electric Castle". Ten years later they teamed up again for AYREON's seventh album, "01011001", both having established themselves as world-renowned heavy metal/rock artists in the decade between releases. Although their respective musical styles went in vastly different directions during that time, Arjen and Anneke retained a common ground that ultimately led to the creation of THE GENTLE STORM.
THE GENTLE STORM's double album is an epic production of AYREON proportions, divided into two parts as a full-on metal assault (CD1) and lighter folk arrangements (CD2). It also heralds Anneke's return to the realms of heavy guitars and soaring vocals reminiscent of THE GATHERING's breakthrough album "Mandylion".
"The Diary" cover artwork can be seen below. Arjen said: "I loved the front cover of the last STREAM OF PASSION album, so I tracked down the cover artist, Alexandra V. Bach. I sent her some samples of the THE GENTLE STORM music, and explained the album concept. She made a moodboard that captured the feel of the story and the music. We then gave her the go-ahead to design the cover. She did an amazing job that exceeded our expectations: Alexandra's cover art represents THE GENTLE STORM perfectly!"
THE GENTLE STORM's album release will be followed by live dates through the spring and summer European festival season.
Known for touring extensively year after year, Anneke will take THE GENTLE STORM on the road backed by well known Dutch talents. Arjen, however, will not be part of the live production.
According to The Pulse Of Radio, Jimmy Page credits the outtakes featured on LED ZEPPELIN's 1975 abum "Physical Graffiti" for helping define the band's beloved double album set, which just was reissued in expanded form this week. Just under half of the set was culled from the band's three previous albums — but none were discarded at the time due to their quality, but rather for not fitting the vibe of their parent album. Page told The Pulse Of Radio that with the extra room available on "Physical Graffiti", there finally was room for these orphan tracks to find a place.
The Pulse Of Radio asked Jimmy Page if the inclusion of the outtakes from "Led Zeppelin III", "Led Zeppelin IV" and "Houses Of The Holy" were due to specific types of songs not being recorded during the "new" 1974 sessions for "Physical Graffiti". "Well, there's a number of contributing factors to it," he said. "The first thing is, that what comprises, like, the '74 recordings — 1974, I should say, [laughs] otherwise people might think there's 74 tracks and there's more to come! Um, but it was the second visit to Headley Grange. And on the first visit to Headley Grange, we'd come out with the material for the fourth album, for heaven sake. And there were three tracks left over; one of those was called 'Boogie With Stu', another one of those was 'Night Flight', and another was 'Down By The Seaside'. If you think about it, none of those tracks could've substituted anything that wagon the fourth album. That was really, really compact. It was perfect, y'know what I mean? The whole pacing of what was on it, and everything — but nevertheless — those three tracks were really cool; they all had strong character to them. And there was also 'Houses Of The Holy', [which] is an important one, because 'Houses Of The Holy' was kept back intentionally from the album 'House Of The Holy', to go on the next album — whatever album that may be. There was 'The Rover', there was the instrumental 'Bron-Yr-Aur' — there was this, that, and the other. They were all these things that were actually strong character pieces that could well go into a double album."
SEPULTURA guitarist Andreas Kisser took part in a workshop on February 26 at Oficinas Culturais do Estado de SP in Brazil. Video footage of his appearance can be seen below.
Kisser's solo debut, "Hubris I & II", was nominated in the "Best Brazilian Rock Album" category at the 2010 Latin Grammys.
SEPULTURA's new live offering titled "Sepultura And Les Tambours du Bronx: Metal Veins - Alive At Rock In Rio" was released in North America on September 16, 2014 via Eagle Rock Entertainment.
"Metal Veins - Alive At Rock In Rio" is available on CD, DVD and for the first time in the band's history, Blu-ray via a partnership with Rock In Rio, MZA Music and Eagle Rock Entertainment. In addition, the DVD includes an exclusive documentary of behind-the-scenes preparation with interviews, rehearsal and soundcheck footage and clips of the band just seconds before they hit the stage.
SEPULTURA's latest album, "The Mediator Between Head And Hands Must Be The Heart", sold around 1,800 copies in the United States in its first week of release. The CD came out on October 29, 2013 via Nuclear Blast Records.
Vocalist Till Lindemann of German industrial metallers RAMMSTEIN has joined forces with Swedish producer and multi-instrumentalist Peter Tägtgren (HYPOCRISY, PAIN) in a brand new project simply called LINDEMANN.
The first teaser for LINDEMANN's forthcoming debut album, which is due in May, can be found below.
Pär Hulkoff, vocalist, guitarist and keyboardist for the Swedish industrial metal band RAUBTIER, claims to have had the opportunity to check out some of LINDEMANN's music and has said that "the small parts I heard really blew my mind." He added: "This will echo in eternity."
RAMMSTEIN guitarist Richard Z. Kruspe, who is currently promoting the sophomore album from his EMIGRATE project, recently told U.K.'s Metal Hammer magazine about RAMMSTEIN's future plans: "We have a live DVD coming out, we have another live DVD coming out, we have another live DVD… We have so many live DVDs right now that we have to work that through. So, I think, at the moment, everyone does his own thing. I think it's important, because, again, RAMMSTEIN was always a band that took their time, that listened to themselves, listened to what they need, how much time they need between [albums]."
He added: "One good thing about that the music industry changed is that you don't have to do a record every year — it's not necessary — and I think a lot of people that did this put [out] records that weren't that great. So I like that idea, actually, to take breaks. Again, I think we will come back together. I love touring with RAMMSTEIN, and if somebody has a vision for a record, we'll do another record."
In an interview with UK's Kerrang! magazine, Kruspe said that he and his RAMMSTEIN bandmates were keeping a healthy distance from each other during the group's downtime.
"Flake's [keyboardist Christian Lorenz] writing a book, Till's doing some kind of solo thing, but I haven't heard anything," he said. "That's the other problem. We've been through so many years together, we've lost contact in a way. At 18 or 20, it's natural to have a gang around you. But in your 40s or 50s, it's not normal to be around five guys the whole year. Because normally you'd start a family, have children. It's like a marriage with six guys who are never having sex. People get frustrated!"
He added: "EMIGRATE saved my place in RAMMSTEIN."
Legendary DEAD KENNEDYS frontman Jello Biafra joined NAPALM DEATH on stage on February 20 at the Oakland Metro Operahouse in Oakland, California to perform the DEAD KENNEDYS classic "Nazi Punks Fuck Off". Fan-filmed video footage of his appearance can be seen below.
NAPALM DEATH released its 15th studio album, "Apex Predator - Easy Meat", on January 27 (one day earlier internationally) via Century Media Records. The CD's striking artwork was created by Danish designer Frode Sylthe (Friktion.com), who has previously worked on the band's "Utilitarian" album as well as with such other acts as AT THE GATES, TOTALT JÄVLA MÖRKER, THE HAUNTED and BURST.
Asked if he feels that NAPALM DEATH is bigger now than it ever has been, the band's frontman, Mark "Barney" Greenway, told Metal Mark of SkullsNBones.com: "It's not just a feeling. I mean, we're selling more records right now than we ever have done. And that's not just vinyl. For us, it's vinyl, CDs… everything is selling really, really well. And when you consider, we haven't done anything to gain a commercial advantage. In fact, we turn down stuff that could gain us a commercial advantage, because of our ethos. I think then that's kind of mindblowing. It just goes to prove that you stick to what you wanna do and not what some things that you might not feel comfortable with. You live and die by your own decisions."
A trailer for "Final Light", the new video from Brazilian/Italian metallers ANGRA, can be seen below. The song is taken from the band's new album, "Secret Garden", which was released on January 16 via earMUSIC. The CD was pre-produced by Roy Z (JUDAS PRIEST, BRUCE DICKINSON, HALFORD) and recorded and produced in Sweden by Jens Bogren (KREATOR, ARCH ENEMY, OPETH, DRAGONFORCE).
Directed by Drico Mello, who was also responsible for ANGRA's "Angels Cry 20th Anniversary Tour" DVD and the music video for the first single from "Secret Garden", "Storm Of Emotions", "Final Light" is completely different from everything ANGRA has made until now, recreating World War II air battles with vintage aircrafts and special digital effects, as seen on movies like "Red Tales". The scenes were filmed at the amazing TAM Museum in Brazil, and the entire production, makeup and aesthetics of the video were developed with the idea of having an authentic vintage feel. The immense arsenal of aircrafts in their warehouse was available for the making of the video.
The full "Final Light" music video will be released in the second week of March.
"Secret Garden" "brings together everything that has established ANGRA as one of biggest bands in its style: contemporary sound combined with inspired compositions," according to a press release. It shows the maturity of a band that, after 23 years on the road, continues with the same motivation and passion for music that drove the glorious beginning of the group. The compositions mend together elements that made the band known around the world, foregrounding the unity of seemingly distinct styles and combining in a unique way styles such as rock - in its various forms, classical music and Brazilian music.
"Secret Garden" is yet another masterpiece by the group and promises to become a great classic in the metal world. Like almost all of ANGRA's work, "Secret Garden" is a concept album which brings up the question: can something that does not exist to the eyes, or is not perceived by the senses, be considered as non-existent?
The songs tell the fictional story of scientist Morten Vrolik who fights to restore his happiness after a tragic accident that took the life of his wife. Faced with the harsh new reality, Morten is forced to revise his atheistic beliefs and values in order to recover a sense of personal contentment that was taken away by fate. The sudden change in his routine, the adaptability, synchronicity, loneliness, guilt, hope and the strength to rise anew are some of the topics discussed in the lyrics, always put to light under different perspectives — be they religious, scientific, philosophical or merely aesthetic.
ANGRA, the most representative band of the Brazilian power metal scene worldwide, is back with full power. Italian vocalist Fabio Lione embeds the music with his powerful voice and impressive performance whereas young prodigy Bruno Valverde impresses on drums, giving the group a more modern sound.
One of the great strengths of the album is the variety of great guest musicians: Simone Simons from the Dutch band EPICA divinely interprets the song "Secret Garden" while the great metal diva Doro Pesch sings an exciting vocal duet with Rafael Bittencourt on "Crushing Room". Actually, the various appearances of Rafael's lead vocals make for some of the strongest moments on this album, causing a contrast in tone and interpretation in comparison to Fabio. This also becomes evident in the cover that the band chose to record, "Synchronicity II" by THE POLICE.
The front cover and album design cleverly interlace the music and story into a beautiful artwork — created by designer Rodrigo Bastos Didier, representing the dreamlike moments of the album's story. The entrance to the secret garden, a representation of the unconscious and the whole atmosphere of mystery intend to bring to the fan an experience that transcends merely listening to the songs.
Once again, ANGRA brings to the scene a bombastic, electrifying release, capable of generating new trends, justifying with greatness and elegance why they have been recognized as one of the leading global power and progressive metal bands for over two decades.
"Secret Garden" track listing:
01. Newborn Me
02. Black Hearted Soul
03. Final Light
04. Storm Of Emotions
05. Synchronicity II
06. Violet Sky
07. Secret Garden (feat. Simone Simons)
08. Upper Levels
09. Crushing Room (feat. Doro Pesch)
10. Perfect Symmetry
11. Silent Call
Scott Edwards Gallery will present "Sean Yseult - Soirée D'Evolution: Tableaux Vivants et Nature Mortes". This exhibition features the most recent work of Sean Ysseult (former WHITE ZOMBIE bassist) based on a sordid secret society soiree in 1873 and the elaborate living pictures and still lifes staged as part of their lavish parties.
Opening reception will be held Saturday, April 18 from 7 p.m. to 12 a.m.
The exhibit will be on display:
Front Gallery: April 16 - June 14
Back Gallery: June 18 - August 9 (partial display)
In 1873, the Crescent City was a cauldron of decadence, politics, voodoo and absinthe. Elite mystic secret societies were backed by the city's richest families, posing publicly as bon vivants while often cloaking much more sinister purposes.
The location: A Garden District Mansion in New Orleans, 1873. The Omniscient Oracles of the Occult throw their annual party, titled "Soiree D'Evolution." A play on life devolving, the members are followers of Hesiod, a Deterioriationist. But as we follow our guests through a series of tableaux vivants and still lifes, it is obvious that they celebrate and revel in this decay and decadence, rather than mourn it. Large-scale staged photos tell the story of murder, mayhem and excess.
Yseult reveals a world that is one part fairy tale, one part history, one part occult, with a dash of Edward Gorey. Limited-edition companion handmade books will also be available showcasing every piece from the exhibition, as well as the elaborate and decorative feel of the coveted invitations to these elite events.
Art critic Doug MacCash said of her work: "Her faux-antique photos have the dreamy, gently erotic tone of vintage French champagne ads. But Yseult pushes her period photos abruptly into the 21st Century by back-lighting them like drive-through restaurant signs." In this show, her photos leap into the present with vibrant use of color, dark humor and super-sized scale.
Sean Yseult is best known as the bass player from the multi-platinum, twice -Grammy-nominated band WHITE ZOMBIE. Sean spent her formative years at the North Carolina School of the Arts studying ballet and earned a BFA in photography and design at Parsons School of Design NYC. Upon WHITE ZOMBIE's breakup, she moved to New Orleans and began showing her photography. In 2010 her autobiographical photo-book "I'm In The Band" was published (Soft Skull Press), and in 2012 her first solo show debuted at the Scott Edwards Gallery. Her previous work can be viewed by visiting www.seanyseult.com.
Christian hard rockers STRYPER entered SpiritHouse Recording Studios in Northampton, Massachusetts earlier in the month to begin recording their new album, "Fallen", for a late 2015 release via Frontiers.
An audio sample of one of the new STRYPER songs can be streamed in the video clip embedded within the Facebook post below.
STRYPER guitarist/vocalist Michael Sweet wrote: "Clint Lowery of SEVENDUST sent me this opening riff idea and it's epic! Yeah, STRYPER is wimpy :-."
Regarding the musical direction of the new STRYPER material, Michael Sweet told Eddie Trunk's SiriusXM satellite radio show, "Eddie Trunk Live": "It's gonna be… I don't wanna scare any fans away or anything, but it's gonna be the heaviest album we've done. Not in the sense that it's gonna be thrash metal or anything like that. It's definitely got a little bit of a darker vibe to it lyrically and musically. Some of the songs are tuned down — not like the modern Drop B stuff; I'm talking like the E dropped to D, 'Unchained' VAN HALEN kind of stuff. And it's just got a heavy sound to it. And I think when people hear it, in a good way, they're gonna go, 'That's STRYPER? What?' I think they're gonna be shocked."
Asked if there are still any religious references in the new STRYPER lyrics, Sweet told Canadian journalist Mitch Lafon: "Absolutely. Some of the words themselves are actually taken from the Bible, so that's still there. The lyrics are definitely on the bold and powerful side. They're not like the lyrics of old.
"A lot of our lyrics, I read back through the lyrics, and at times I'm a little embarrassed because they were just so repetitive and shallow at times — just real simplistic 'Rock, rock rock. Jesus, Jesus.' These lyrics are definitely a lot deeper. I'm pulling from the Bible at times."
He continued: "There's a song about God creating the heavens and the earth. It's called 'Let There Be Light'. And it's about in the beginning, and it's taken right from Genesis. There's a song about the Devil; it's called 'Fallen'. It just talks about how when the Devil, when he was Lucifer, an archangel in heaven, when he walked, he was the angel of music, and when he walked, there was music. It tells the story in that song of, basically, about how he's fallen, and why, and how. It's a real powerful song.
"I've got a song called 'Big Screen Lies' that's about how the film industry portrays Christians as complete buffoons one million percent of the time. And that's just not the case. It is sometimes, but those buffoon Christians don't represent all of us."
KILLER BE KILLED, the new band comprised of Max Cavalera (SOULFLY, ex-SEPULTURA), Greg Puciato (THE DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN), Troy Sanders (MASTODON) and Dave Elitch (ex-THE MARS VOLTA), played its first-ever club show this past Tuesday, February 24 at 170 Russell in Melbourne, Australia. Fan-filmed video footage of the performance can be seen below.
Elitch was unable to perform with KILLER BE KILLED at the event due to scheduling conflicts with his other band, ANTEMASQUE. Filling in for him is CONVERGE drummer Ben Koller.
Sanders spoke to TeamRock about KILLER BE KILLED's first-ever concert, which took place on February 21 as part of this year's edition of Australia's Soundwave festival in Melbourne. He said: "It's very rare that you play your first show with a band. For me, my last first show with a band was 15 years ago with MASTODON. So it's a pretty rare moment. So it was a very positive anxiety. Just like, 'Okay, I wanna be good and play proper.'"
He continued: "My personal favorite moment was just the first note of the first song, looking around and seeing a bunch of my friends and idols. I grew up — before I toured and met THE DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN and SEPULTURA — I was listening to CONVERGE, who had been our drummer today. I don't know… It's quite a pure camaraderie that organically fell into place to create what happened with my band today. So, on a personal note, it was very satisfying and just a little overwhelming. Pretty rare. Very rare."
Sanders added: "I think it went way better than you could ever expect. I don't know… We just practiced four times, and then you just jump into a scenario where there is a few thousand people in front of you. And it turned out that a lot of them were singing the lyrics and really into the tunes and knew the songs. So [it was] way better than we ever expected."
Troy also talked about how KILLER BE KILLED went from coming together to write music to actually playing a gig. He said: "There was kind of three little phases of this band, KILLER BE KILLED. The first one was the idea of all getting together and writing music. The next step was to try to get together and record music, which happened in September of 2013. We had 21 days that we were all collectively off tour together. We came together in September of 2013 and recorded a record. In 2014, it came out. So the third and final step was: 'Could you ever play a show?' We kind of discarded that. [We thought], 'We'll probably never play a show.' But this was offered to us. THE DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN, SOULFLY and MASTODON were all off tour at the same time. We said, 'We should go for it. It's probably the first and only shows we'll ever play.' Maybe we'll play dozens more. You don't know. But we never expected to play a show. So today was very, very special. I should probably go get a tattoo of today, of what this means."
He added: "It's really rare to find a group of dudes that you just jam with for all the first reasons, as if you're 13 joining your first band. You're gonna hang out with cool people, you're gonna play music that you love, and that's it. No pressure of, 'This record's gotta be better than the next.' No, 'People are gonna think this, that.' Just get together, write some riffs. 'You like it?' 'Yes.' 'I like it?' 'Yes.' Record it. Have fun. Extremely simple. Very grass roots."
Speaking to The Metal Review about the drummer change, Puciato said: "ANTEMASQUE confirmed at the same time we did. We didn't know what day we we're going to be on, and then it just became an issue whether we wanted to still do it or not, which we obviously did. Then it was, if ANTEMASQUE have a good slot, if we have a good slot, I didn't want to shuffle the band around to a shittier time slot just to accommodate Dave playing in both bands. ANTEMASQUE for Dave is a much bigger commitment; they're playing a lot of shows all the time. If he needs to do that, that's fine with me. Ben from CONVERGE is a fucking animal, so it'll be cool to play with him."
KILLER BE KILLED's self-titled debut album sold around 5,500 copies in the United States in its first week of release to debut at position No. 58 on The Billboard 200 chart. Released on May 13, 2014 (one day earlier internationally) via Nuclear Blast Entertainment, the CD was produced and mixed by Josh Wilbur, whose credits include work with GOJIRA, LAMB OF GOD, HATEBREED, AVENGED SEVENFOLD, ESCAPE THE FATE, P!NK and STEVE EARLE. Cover art and packaging was executed by Ryan Clark of Invisible Creature Design, the Grammy-nominated design firm whose clients include ALICE IN CHAINS, FOO FIGHTERS, CHRIS CORNELL, DEVILDRIVER, MONSTER MAGNET, WOLFMOTHER and DEMON HUNTER.
Symphonic metal masters KAMELOT will release the follow-up to their acclaimed 2012 album "Silverthorn" worldwide (excluding Asia) via Napalm Records as part of an exclusive licensing deal through the band's Kamelot Music LLC. Titled "Haven", the CD will be made available on May 5 in North America and May 8 in the rest of the world.
"Haven" will be available to pre-order in multiple exclusive and limited bundle packages at the Napalm Records American and European webstores starting Thursday, February 26.
A 25-second preview clip of "Haven" is available below.
"The 'Haven' album has an undertone of a world going insane," says KAMELOT guitarist Thomas Youngblood.
"There is a gray cloud that is forming over our world. We are here to find that silver lining with an album that is both dark and melancholy yet uplifting and giving the listener a 'Haven' in a world gone mad.
"We are really proud of the song elements and diversity on 'Haven'."
Adds vocalist Tommy Karevik: "The songs run the gamut from dark and melancholy to uplifting and melodic elements."
KAMELOT keyboardist Oliver Palotai states: "'Haven' has an aggressive edge to it that is the representation of the band as The Revolutionary Change in the storyline."
Produced by Sascha Paeth and mastered by Jacob Hansen, "Haven" is a massive album that is sure to please critics and fans alike. Guest musicians on the CD include Alissa White-Gluz (ARCH ENEMY), Troy Donockley (NIGHTWISH) and Charlotte Wessels (DELAIN). The breathtaking cover and artwork was created by Stefan Heilemann and additional art/layout was done by Gustavo Sazes.
Following the release of "Haven", KAMELOT will embark on a massive world tour, starting with North America in April/May, followed by European shows in the summer and with the "Haven" European tour in September/October.
"Haven" track listing:
01. Fallen Star
03. Citizen Zero
04. Veil Of Elysium
05. Under Grey Skies
06. My Therapy
08. End Of Innocence
09. Beautiful Apocalypse
10. Liar Liar (Wasteland Monarchy)
11. Here's To The Fall
Exclusive bonus CD track listing (available only with the limited mediabook and deluxe earbook):
01. End Of Innocence (Piano Version)
02. Veil Of Elysium (Acoustic Version)
03. Fallen Star (Orchestral Version)
04. Here's To The Fall (Orchestral Version)
05. My Therapy (Orchestral Version)
06. Fallen Star (Instrumental)
07. Insomnia (Instrumental)
08. Citizen Zero (Instrumental)
09. Veil Of Elysium (Instrumental)
10. Under Grey Skies (Instrumental)
11. My Therapy (Instrumental)
12. End Of Innocence (Instrumental)
13. Beautiful Apocalypse (Instrumental)
14. Liar Liar (Wasteland Monarchy) (Instrumental)
15. Revolution (Instrumental)
"Silverthorn" sold 5,400 copies in the United States in its first week of release to land at position No. 79 on The Billboard 200 chart. The band's previous CD, "Poetry For The Poisoned", opened with around 6,100 units in September 2010 to enter the chart at No. 74.
"Silverthorn" was released on October 30, 2012 in North America, October 26, 2012 in Germany and October 29, 2012 in the rest of Europe via Steamhammer/SPV. The CD marked the band's first release with Tommy Karevik, the Swedish vocalist who previously fronted SEVENTH WONDER (a group that he is still a member of).
TENACIOUS D was honored with a Grammy in the "Best Hard Rock/Metal Performance" category in the pre-telecast ceremony at the 57th annual Grammy Awards, which was held on February 8 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. TENACIOUS D was nominated for its cover version of the DIO classic "The Last In Line", from the "Ronnie James Dio - This Is Your Life" tribute album, 100% of proceeds from which go to the Ronnie James Dio Stand Up And Shout Cancer Fund.
TENACIOUS D beat out several notable metal acts, including ANTHRAX, which was nominated for its own contribution to "Ronnie James Dio - This Is Your Life", a cover of the BLACK SABBATH classic "Neon Knights".
Speaking to Artisan News, ANTHRAX guitarist Scott Ian was asked about the grumblings of discontent in the metal community after TENACIOUS D — which is essentially a comedy rock duo — getting the "Best Hard Rock/Metal Performance" nod.
"The Grammys mean… What do they mean less to me than? The Grammys mean nothing to me," Ian said (see video below). "I really don't pay attention. If anyone has a problem with TENACIOUS D winning the Grammy, don't complain about them, complain about the Grammys. [TENACIOUS D's] Jack Black loves Ronnie James Dio."
The Ronnie James Dio Stand Up and Shout Cancer Fund is a non-profit 501(c)(3) charitable fund dedicated to supporting cancer-prevention research, raising awareness and educating the public about the vital importance of early detection and prevention, and was co-founded by Dio's longtime manager and wife, Wendy Dio. All monies received from this album by the Ronnie James Dio Stand Up And Shout Cancer Fund go directly into cancer research. So far from the sale of "This Is Your Life", the Ronnie James Dio Stand Up And Shout Cancer Fund has raised $132,000 towards cancer research.
Commented Wendy Dio: "We are so excited to see one of Ronnie's songs be awarded with a Grammy.
"As soon as TENACIOUS D were announced as winners, Jack Black called me in excitement to tell me that we won the award. My only regret is to not have Ronnie here in body to see this happen."
Added Jack Black and Kyle Gass of TENACIOUS D: "This Grammy is all about Ronnie James Dio. We are so proud to have known Ronnie and this is just another testament to his greatness."
"Ronnie James Dio - This Is Your Life" was released in April 2014 via Rhino.
"Dio was the master," Jack Black told Music For Good. "He was the Pavarotti of heavy metal vocalists. [He had] soaring melodies and a lion's roar to match. He was also one of the coolest guys I've ever had the honor of meeting. No one could touch his brilliance… on or off the stage."
"It's hard not to pick a great Dio track… but this one appealed to us," Kyle Gass said of "The Last In Line". "Recording the track was a blast. Our electric guitarist, John Konesky, shredded a solo. I said, 'That's pretty good, but let's try out my recorder.' Lo and behold, it shredded even more and added a unique element to the track."
Gass fondly remembered Ronnie's cameo in TENACIOUS D's musical comedy film "The Pick Of Destiny", telling Music For Good: "Dio obviously has been a major influence and inspiration for the D. His performance in 'The Pick Of Destiny' was a magical moment for us, and we'll always miss him. Rock on, Dio."
Music Feeds conducted an interview with SLIPKNOT vocalist Corey Taylor and guitarist Jim Root during this year's Soundwave festival in Australia. You can now watch the chat below.
Speaking about the fan reaction to SLIPKNOT's new album, ".5: The Gray Chapter", Corey said: "I think they were waiting for it. They were waiting for us to kind of share the story. And it's a heavy story, but at the same time, the music takes you so many different places that I don't think they were expecting. So I think, on one hand, it was the album that they knew they were gonna get. And on the other hand, they were completely surprised by just how far we were gonna take it."
He continued: "I think the reception has been fantastic. It debuted at No. 1 in a bunch of different [countries]. You hope for that. But at the same time, you don't write music for that. We started with us, and we liked it, and it goes to the fans, and then after that, it's out of our hands."
Jim and Corey also talked about SLIPKNOT's impressive live performance and continuous quest to expand the band's stylistic boundaries.
"We've had a couple of days of practice," Root said. "We know our way around it at this point. Where we're from and what we do and the dues that we paid, we have a work ethic, and it's a very diligent and hard work ethic. And we stick with it. And we are passionate about what we do. And I guess that's where it all comes from. It's really simple and on the surface, but that's really what it is."
Added Corey: "There's a lot of bands in our position who maybe take it for granted sometimes. We've been around long enough to see some ups and downs — not only on our part, but on bands that we used to tour with. So we know both sides of it, and we don't take anything for granted anymore. We go up there with that mindset of, 'Let's earn it again. Let's do it again. Let's go for it again.' And it's kept us in pretty good stead."
SLIPKNOT has released a live video for song "Custer", shot at last year's Knotfest in Devore, California.
"Custer" is the latest single from ".5: The Gray Chapter", which came out in October.
SLIPKNOT recently unveiled the details of a massive summer headlining tour dubbed "Summer's Last Stand". The trek kicks off on July 24 in West Palm Beach, Florida, wrapping up six weeks later on September 5 in Dallas.
The summer jaunt follows a brief spring run that SLIPKNOT will launch on April 25 in Fort Myers, Florida, ending on May 16 in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
".5: The Gray Chapter" sold around 132,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release to land at position No. 1 on The Billboard 200 chart.
Quality fan-filmed video footage of British/American rock legends UFO performing on February 25 at Alte Seilerei in Mannheim, Germany can be seen below.
UFO released a new album, "A Conspiracy Of Stars", on February 23 in Europe (March 3 in the U.S.) via Steamhammer/SPV. The band consisting of Phil Mogg (vocals), Paul Raymond (keyboards, guitar), Vinnie Moore (guitar), Andy Parker (drums) and Rob De Luca (bass) recorded almost a dozen new songs, produced and mixed in the Kentish town of Deal by Chris Tsangarides, renowned for his work with acts such as JUDAS PRIEST, THIN LIZZY and GARY MOORE.
"A Conspiracy Of Stars" was made available as a digipak (including poster and bonus track), jewel case, vinyl double LP and for download.
Says the band about the new CD: "'A Conspiracy Of Stars' is another successful combination of those typical UFO elements with fresh, contemporary ideas. We're confident that not only our longstanding supporters will get their money's worth, but that younger rock fans will also enjoy the album. We look forward to seeing you on tour!"
"A Conspiracy Of Stars" presents UFO's current lineup for the first time: along with the original members Phil Mogg (vocals), Paul Raymond (keyboards, guitar) and Andy Parker (drums), lead guitarist Vinnie Moore has been a permanent member of the group since 2003, American bassist Rob De Luca joining the fold in 2012. De Luca is not only a brilliant instrumentalist but has also contributed two of the album tracks as a songwriter. The majority of the new material was composed by Vinnie Moore, the album also features a song by Paul Raymond and a collaboration between Raymond and De Luca. The lyrics were penned by frontman Phil Mogg.
"A Conspiracy Of Stars" breathes that typically British easy-going confidence for which this band has been known for over 45 years. A strong release consisting of eleven songs which combine everything that the group surrounding frontman Phil Mogg stands for: meaty riffs, distinctive hooks, diverse songwriting, intelligent lyrics and that generally laid-back attitude which we have associated with UFO from the start.
01. The Killing Kind
02. Run Boy Run
03. Ballad Of The Left Hand Gun
04. Sugar Cane
05. Devils In The Detail
06. Precious Cargo
07. The Real Deal
08. One And Only
09. Messiah Of Love
10. Rolling Rolling
11. King Of The Hill (bonus track)
01. The Killing Kind
02. Run Boy Run
03. Ballad Of The Left Hand Gun
04. Sugar Cane
05. Devils In The Detail
06. Precious Cargo
07. The Real Deal
08. One And Only
09. Messiah Of Love
10. Rolling Rolling
01. The Killing Kind
02. Run Boy Run
03. Ballad Of The Left Hand Gun
01. Sugar Cane
02. Devils In The Detail
03. Precious Cargo
01. The Real Deal
02. One And Only
03. Messiah Of Love
01. Rolling Rolling
02. King Of The Hill (bonus track)
MAIDEN UNITED, the acoustic IRON MAIDEN tribute project featuring Damian Wilson (THRESHOLD, HEADSPACE) and Ruud Jolie (WITHIN TEMPTATION), will release a new album, "Remembrance", on May 22 on CD, red 12-inch vinyl and as a digital download.
The cover artwork for the album can be seen below.
"Remembrance" track listing:
01. Strange World
02. Charlotte The Harlot
04. Remember Tomorrow
05. Burning Ambition (ft. Bob Verschoyle)
06. Futureal (feat. Blaze Bayley)
07. Aces High
08. Prowler (feat. Paul Di'Anno)
09. Still Life '15
* Damian Wilson (THRESHOLD, HEADSPACE) - Vocals
* Ruud Jolie (WITHIN TEMPTATION) - Guitar
* Joey Bruers (UP THE IRONS) - Bass
* Stef Broks (TEXTURES) - Drums
* Huub van Loon (DEARWORLD, BARRY HAY) - Piano
* Thijs Schrijnemakers (ORGEL VRETEN) - Hammond
* Perttu Kivilaakso (APOCALYPTICA) - Cello on "Still Life"
* Mike Coolen (WITHIN TEMPTATION) - Drums on "Prowler"
* Marco Kuypers (CLOUDMACHINE) - Piano on "Prowler"
* Bob Verschoyle (GYPSY'S KISS) - Vocals on "Burning Ambition"
* Paul Di'Anno (IRON MAIDEN) - Vocals on "Prowler"
* Blaze Bayley - Vocals on "Futureal"
"Strange World" was released as a two-track single on CD and iTunes on January 30.
Single track listing:
01. Strange World (album version)
02. The Evil That Men Do (alternate version feat. Wudstik on vocals)
"Strange World" can be streamed in the YouTube clip below.
MAIDEN UNITED is an IRON MAIDEN tribute project which performs classic MAIDEN songs in new acoustic arrangements. "Remembrance" is the third full-length album released by this project. MAIDEN UNITED's debut album, "Mind The Acoustic Pieces" (2010), was an acoustic re-imagining of the entire classic IRON MAIDEN album "Piece Of Mind" with new arrangements. The second album, "Across The Seventh Sea" (2012), contained tracks from different MAIDEN albums.
"Remembrance" can be pre-ordered at www.MaidenUnited.com.
The second in a series of webisodes leading up to the release of "Rivals", the comeback album from COAL CHAMBER, the reformed '90s alt-metal band fronted by current DEVILDRIVER singer Dez Fafara, can be seen below. Due on May 19 North America via Napalm, the band's first CD in over thirteen years was recorded in part at Audiohammer studio in Sanford, Florida with producer Mark Lewis (DEVILDRIVER, CANNIBAL CORPSE).
Comments Fafara: "This record was over 13 years in the making, and I promise this record won't disappoint and will be worth the wait!
"'Rivals' is solid through and through, there's maturity and growth in the music while still maintaining the true COAL CHAMBER sound and delivering track after track of killer tunes!
"We had a great time working together on this record and I hope you all enjoy it as much as we do!"
"Rivals" track listing:
01. I.O.U. Nothing
02. Bad Blood Between Us
03. Light in the Shadows
04. Suffer in Silence
05. The Bridges You Burn
07. Another Nail in the Coffin
10. Dumpster Dive
11. Over My Head
12. Fade Away (Karma Never Forgets)
13. Empty Handed
14. Worst Enemy
The "Rivals" cover artwork can be seen below.
COAL CHAMBER will embark on a North American headlining tour in the spring of 2015. Support on the trek — which kicks off on March 6 in Tempe, Arizona and runs through April 12 in Dallas, Texas — will come from FILTER, COMBICHRIST and AMERICAN HEAD CHARGE.
COAL CHAMBER is offering an exclusive VIP Package for every date on the tour. It includes a meet-and-greet with the band, exclusive t-shirt, exclusive poster, souvenir laminate and early entry (where applicable).
Bassist Nadja Peulen returned to COAL CHAMBER in November 2013 following the departure of Canadian musician Chela Rhea Harper, who joined the band in late 2011 and toured with the group for nearly two years.
COAL CHAMBER rose to prominence with a gold-certified debut album in 1997 that established the group as one of the most promising bands on the then-emerging, so-called "nu metal" scene.
Peulen replaced Foss in 1999 during Rayna's pregnancy for almost 12 months while the band was on the road supporting its second album, "Chamber Music". Rayna came back to the band after her pregnancy leave and recorded COAL CHAMBER's third album, "Dark Days". Shortly after recording "Dark Days", Rayna quit the band and Nadja was recruited for the touring cycle that followed the CD's release. The band broke up during the "Dark Days" tour in 2002 and reunited nine years later.
MOTÖRHEAD recently returned to the studio to begin work on its 22nd studio album for a late 2015 release.
A couple of new video clips and photos from the sessions can be seen below.
MOTÖRHEAD's song "Heartbreaker" was nominated in the "Best Metal Performance" category at this year's Grammy Awards.
MOTÖRHEAD frontman Lemmy Kilmister, 69, in 2013 suffered a haematoma (where blood collects outside of a blood vessel), causing the cancelation of a number of the band's European festival shows. He was also reportedly fitted with a defibrillator because of heart problems.
The reissue of MOTÖRHEAD's 21st studio album, "Aftershock", was made available on August 26, 2014 via UDR/Motörhead Music. The CD was helmed by longtime producer Cameron Webb (MEGADETH, DISTURBED). The expanded edition contains a bonus live CD — also recorded by Webb — consisting of live material comprised from the band's historic appearances in early 2014.
"Aftershock" sold 11,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release to debut at position No. 22 on The Billboard 200 chart.
Phil Campbell is working on guitars today in the studio for our new album! Here's a little taste! #MotörheadForLife A video posted by Motörhead (@officialmotorhead) on Feb 26, 2015 at 12:44pm PST
Phil Campbell is working on guitars today in the studio for our new album! Here's a little taste! #MotörheadForLife
A video posted by Motörhead (@officialmotorhead) on Feb 26, 2015 at 12:44pm PST
Phil Campbell is in the studio tonight working on guitars with our producer Cameron Webb! #MotörheadForLife A video posted by Motörhead (@officialmotorhead) on Feb 20, 2015 at 10:25pm PST
Phil Campbell is in the studio tonight working on guitars with our producer Cameron Webb! #MotörheadForLife
A video posted by Motörhead (@officialmotorhead) on Feb 20, 2015 at 10:25pm PST
"@myMotorhead: Back in the studio hard at work on our next album! #MotörheadForLife pic.twitter.com/uZGMOUfxRN" Long Live Motorhead !— Artur Eberl Pegorari (@EberlArtur) February 20, 2015
"@myMotorhead: Back in the studio hard at work on our next album! #MotörheadForLife pic.twitter.com/uZGMOUfxRN" Long Live Motorhead !
BLACK STAR RIDERS members Ricky Warwick, Damon Johnson and Scott Gorham recently took part in a question-and-answer session and acoustic performance at the studios of the U.K. digital radio station Planet Rock. Check out video footage below.
BLACK STAR RIDERS' second album, "The Killer Instinct", was released on February 24 via Nuclear Blast. The follow-up to 2013's "All Hell Breaks Loose" was recorded in October at a studio in Nashville, Tennessee with producer Nick Raskulinecz (RUSH, FOO FIGHTERS, ALICE IN CHAINS, MASTODON).
"The Killer Instinct" was released in different formats: CD, limited 2-CD digibook, limited gatefold black vinyl and limited gatefold clear vinyl (available for mail orders only).
BLACK STAR RIDERS frontman Ricky Warwick stated about the "The Killer Instinct" artwork: "It's a bit of a continuation from 'All Hell Breaks Loose'. People will see the link. It's very rock and roll. It's going to look cool."
Ricky Warwick stated about the album title: "Life's not fair, never has been, never will. Sometimes you have to live with a killer instinct just to survive in the ongoing pursuit of happiness. Because nobody can do for you what you should be doing for yourself."
The energy in the studio from a year of touring, and BLACK STAR RIDERS gelling as a creative force has resulted in a truly powerful sophomore effort. From the Irish-tinged rock of "Soldierstown" to the balls-out twin guitar riffing of "Sex, Guns & Gasoline", rom the dirty groove of "You Little Liar" to the acoustic "Blindsided", this is a band coming of age.
Said BLACK STAR RIDERS guitarist Damon Johnson: "Nick Raskulinecz came riding out of the sunset like a Viking warrior, with his record collection and arsenal of killer guitars and amplifiers and proved to be the world-class producer we had heard so much about. Indeed, the rumors are all true. There's no doubt that Ricky and I had written a sizable number of songs, but Nick patiently walked through the full song list with the entire band and made sure we focused on the material to best represent BLACK STAR RIDERS in 2015."
BLACK STAR RIDERS will head out on a co-headline tour of UK and Ireland with EUROPE throughout March 2015.
BLACK STAR RIDERS were one of the first signings to Nuclear Blast Entertainment by Monte Conner — the A&R guru who signed acts such as SLIPKNOT, MACHINE HEAD, SEPULTURA, and RUSH to Roadrunner. Nuclear Blast Entertainment is a new U.S. partnership co-founded by Conner with Nuclear Blast owner Markus Staiger.
"All Hell Breaks Loose" sold around 2,200 copies in the United States in its first week of release. The effort landed at position No. 5 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.
BLACK STAR RIDERS last year parted ways with bassist Marco Mendoza and replaced him with Robbie Crane (RATT, VINCE NEIL, LYNCH MOB).