[Classic_Rock_Forever] AC/DC, Motley Crue, Rockstar Energy Mayhem tour, Blind Guardian, Saxon, Girlschool, 3 Inches of Blood, Destruction, and tons more hard rock and heavy metal news


AC/DC frontman Brian Johnson hopes the band will return to the studio later this year to begin work on the follow-up to the hugely successful 2008 album "Black Ice".

During an appearance on a recent edition of "The Cowhead Show", the American radio program hosted by Mike "Cowhead" Calta, Johnson revealed that health issues were affecting one of his bandmates, which may have put new album plans temporarily on hold. "One of the boys is a little sick and I can't say anything, but he's getting better," Brian said. "He's doing wonderful. Full recovery fully expected."

The singer added, "It's a wonderful thing when we get in a room. Whenever the boys get back together, I get all excited. The boys, after a while, pick the guitars up, Phil [Rudd] will make his way to the drums, Cliff [Williams] will pull his bass out and then all of a sudden this noise comes out and I sit there with just this big old grin on my face."

You can listen to Johnson's appearance on "The Cowhead Show" using the SoundCloud player below.

AC/DC earned AUD 131.4 million (approximately USD $127 million) in 2009-10 (up from AUD $105 million [approximately USD $102 million] the previous year) to land at the second place on a list of Australia's richest entertainers, according to Business Review Weekly magazine.

AC/DC was honored in the "Top Boxscore" category at the Billboard Touring Awards, which were handed out at a special reception in New York on November 4, 2010. The awards were primarily based on global box office numbers reported to Billboard Boxscore from October 1, 2009, through September 30, 2010.
Automaker Kia has enlisted rockers MÖTLEY CRÜE, supermodel Adriana Lima and mixed martial arts fighter Chuck Liddell for its 60-second ad called "Drive The Dream" for the Kia Optima Limited.

Kia's Super Bowl XLVI ad will premiere on February 2 on over 18,000 movie screens, while the company will also run 15-seconds teasers with Adriana Lima on TV and in cinema from January 27.

According to USA Today, the idea for the ad is one man's fondest dream.

"As we're dreaming at night, our true desires come out," says Michael Sprague, Kia Motors America head of marketing and communications.

The ad features Lima waving the checkered flag at a speedway, a MÖTLEY CRÜE concert, Chuck Liddell battling in the ring, a heroine and hunk on horseback in a romance novel setting, champion bull rider Judd Leffew taming a bucking rhinoceros, with the ending bringing a fairy tale atmosphere. Sprague calls it "the ultimate man's dream" yet is quick to add "but it's not offensive to women, either."
Boise, Idaho radio station 100.3 The X has announced what is claims will be the lineup for the fifth annual Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival. The 26-date trek, which will kick off on June 30 in San Bernardino, California and wrap on August 5 in Hartford, Connecticut, will reportedly feature performances by the following bands:


Another headliner (reportedly MOTÖRHEAD) will be announced on March 5.

Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival dates:

Jun 30 - San Bernardino, CA
Jul. 01 - San Francisco, CA
Jul. 03 - Seattle, WA
Jul. 04 - Boise, ID
Jul. 06 - Phoenix, AZ
Jul. 07 - Albuquerque, NM
Jul. 08 - Denver, CO
Jul. 10 - Dallas, TX
Jul. 11 - Houston, TX
Jul. 13 - Tampa, FL
Jul. 14 - Atlanta, GA
Jul. 15 - Indianapolis, IN
Jul. 18 - Oklahoma City, OK
Jul. 20 - St. Louis, MO
Jul. 21 - Chicago, IL
Jul. 22 - Detroit, MI
Jul. 24 - Cincinnati, OH
Jul. 25 - Cleveland, OH
Jul. 27 - Philadelphia, PA
Jul. 28 - Pittsburgh, PA
Jul. 29 - Washington, DC
Jul. 31 - Saratoga, NY
Aug. 01 - Buffalo, NY
Aug. 03 - Boston, MA
Aug. 04 - Scranton, PA
Aug. 05 - Hartford, CT

The official announcement for this year's Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival will be made later today (Wednesday, January 25).

Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival is produced by Rockstar Taste of Chaos organizer John Reese, Vans Warped Tour founder Kevin Lyman and Creative Artists Agency. The trio has made the Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival a standout on the summer concert circuit by following the proven model of utilizing sponsorship to deliver a lower ticket price and an enhanced concert experience. This year sees them joining forces once again with Rockstar Energy Drink as the title sponsor.
Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival, the world's largest touring heavy music festival is back for its fifth year, assaulting the senses of United States heavy metal music fans. The Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival is proud to announce this summer's artists. The main stage will be our strongest ever with the headlining slot occupied by multi-platinum Iowa legends SLIPKNOT. Next up will be legendary thrash metal kings SLAYER and then a major special guest (rumored to be MOTÖRHEAD) will be playing in the third slot, the details of which will be announced on March 5. The main stage will also spotlight a ferocious mix of today's best artists in a rotation, including THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA, AS I LAY DYING and ASKING ALEXANDRIA.

In 2012 the tour has upgraded the production on the festival stage and this year the Jägermeister Stage will feature a special headline set by metal masters ANTHRAX supported by a rotation of THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA, AS I LAY DYING and ASKING ALEXANDRIA, along with WHITECHAPEL, HIGH ON FIRE and the Jägermeister opener. Please note that bands may vary per market.


The Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival will make a 26-date trek across the U.S. beginning on June 30 at the San Manuel Amphitheater in San Bernardino, California. Get Off Your Ass pre-sale tickets go on sale Friday, April 6. Tune in to www.rockstarmayhemfest.com for up-to-date ticketing information.

Corey Taylor of SLIPKNOT says, "You knew we'd be back. Now, you know we're coming. This will be a tour people will scarcely want to miss. It will definitely be a show to remember. Can't wait to see the states again from behind a mask."

SLIPKNOT's Clown states: "SLIPKNOT is headlining this summer's Mayhem festival and it's going to be unlike anything you've ever felt, sensed, or seen. You miss this, you miss everything. Everyone seems to think that there's a chance we're gonna go away. This is the farthest thing from the truth. Stay sic and don't ever judge us."

"Mayhem 2012 might just be the last and greatest metal festival before the world ends!! So wreak havoc and go out in style!!" adds Tom Araya of SLAYER.

SLAYER's Kerry King comments , "We can't wait to get rolling on Mayhem 2012! Been three years since we played it last, and it's gonna be brutal!!! You can't go wrong with SLAYER and SLIPKNOT, pure fucking mayhem!"

The fifth annual Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival will also feature Rockstar Metal Mulisha Jump Team, on select dates.

Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival is produced by Rockstar Taste of Chaos organizer John Reese, Vans Warped Tour founder Kevin Lyman, Live Nation, and Creative Artists Agency. The team has made the Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival a standout on the summer concert circuit by following the proven model of utilizing sponsorship to deliver a lower ticket price and an enhanced concert experience. This year sees them joining forces once again with Rockstar Energy Drink as the title sponsor.

"Metal is ALIVE and WELL in 2012," states tour producer John Reese. "The fifth year of Rockstar Mayhem Festival will have a massive lineup that will set heavy music fans ears blazing!"

"Some years it all comes together, from top to bottom and this year's Rockstar Mayhem lineup is going to bring it!" adds tour producer Kevin Lyman.

Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival dates:

Jun. 30 - San Bernardino, CA - San Manuel Amphitheater
Jul. 01 - San Francisco, CA - Shoreline Amphitheater
Jul. 03 - Seattle, WA - White River Amphitheater
Jul. 04 - Boise, ID - Idaho Center Amphitheater
Jul. 06 - Phoenix, AZ - Ashley Furniture Home Store Pavilion
Jul. 07 - Albuquerque, NM - Hard Rock Casino Albuquerque Presents The Pavilion
Jul. 08 - Denver, CO - Comfort Dental Amphitheatre
Jul. 10 - Dallas, TX - Gexa Energy Pavilion
Jul. 11 - Houston, TX - Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion
Jul. 13 - Tampa, FL - 1-800-Ask-Gary Amphitheatre
Jul. 14 - Atlanta, GA - Aaron's Amphitheatre at Lakewood
Jul. 15 - Indianapolis, IN - Klipsch Music Center
Jul. 18 - Oklahoma City, OK - Zoo Amphitheatre
Jul. 20 - St. Louis, MO - Verizon Wireless Amphitheater
Jul. 21 - Chicago, IL - First Midwest Bank Amphitheatre
Jul. 22 - Detroit, MI - DTE Energy Music Theatre
Jul. 24 - Cincinnati, OH - Riverbend Music Center
Jul. 25 - Cleveland, OH - Blossom Music Center
Jul. 27 - Philadelphia, PA - Susquehanna Bank Center
Jul. 28 - Pittsburgh, PA - First Niagara Pavilion
Jul. 29 - Washington, DC - Jiffy Lube Live
Jul. 31 - Saratoga Springs, NY - Saratoga Performing Arts Center
Aug. 01 - Buffalo, NY - Darien Lake PAC
Aug. 03 - Boston, MA - Comcast Center
Aug. 04 - Scranton, PA - Toyota Pavilion
Aug. 05 - Hartford, CT - The Comcast Theatre
The release of a best of is a trick as old as the music industry. But despite a certain traditional aspect, it always implies several questions. Starting with: is it the right time? For Blind Guardian, after a career of twenty-five years, the question barely needed to be asked, especially since the band, as vocalist Hansi Kürsch will tell us, had already been planning it for several years, after a suggestion from their record company. The second question would be: what songs to choose? And that's precisely where problems arise for a band that long-lived: the choice is far wider, and therefore more difficult.
These questions are at the core of this interview. How did Blind Guardian go about devising Memories Of A Time To Come, this compilation covering twenty-five years worth of music, which will be released on January 20^th ? How does the band consider this record? Is it an assessment? The end of an era? Is Blind Guardian opening a new door with this best of? This interview with Hansi Kürsch also revolves a lot around the band's future, this "time to come". And according to him, this time has already come, since the band is working on an upcoming orchestral album (whose "Blind Guardian-ish" nature is still under question, as you will see) and on a new traditional album.

"It was more like a rollercoaster through our career, with some stops and some frustrating decisions to make. [...] We were looking for the perfect mix, to present what Blind Guardian has been about over the past 25 years."

Radio Metal: Why did you choose to release a best of compilation at this point of your career?
Hansi Kürsch (vocals): 25 years is a very good reason, I think! When we were first asked to do that by our old record company, EMI, three years ago, I thought it was about time we did it. We had a good discography, with a lot of good songs, but we'd never done it so far. But on the other hand, I felt that if we were to do it, we would need some additional time to do a proper mixing, proper technical preparations, and even rework on some of the stuff. We were looking for the right moment, and that happened in 2011, when we played a lot of shows and went on a lot of tours, but still had some time in between to work on the tracks. In the end, it took us over four months to get everything done. But the result is a best of that feels like an organic, regular studio album.
Since there's a link between the songs on each album and every album has its own story, wasn't it frustrating to pick out singles and mix them up on a compilation?
No, it was not frustrating. It was more like a rollercoaster through our career, with some stops and some frustrating decisions to make. I would have loved to add some more songs to the best of, or see other songs on it instead, but we were looking for the perfect mix, to present what Blind Guardian has been about over the past 25 years. I found it very interesting to see how a song like "Majesty", for example, interacts with newer songs like "Ride Into Obsession". It was more a challenge to us to give justice to the songs that we finally decided to put on the album, and treat them in the most accurate way, so they could shine in their full glory.
What's interesting about this compilation is that you didn't just pick the best singles or the best commercial successes of Blind Guardian; you picked ballads, speed metal songs, very epic and progressive songs… It's like you didn't want to do a best of out of the singles, but rather to sum up your career, the story of Blind Guardian.
Yes, that was the intention. I would say a song like "Fly" is still missing, because that would feature the more modern direction of the band. But we felt that "This Will Never End" would do more justice to the album A Twist In The Myth, which is why we decided to go for this song. In general, it was the idea to show how diverse we can be. Of course, it also makes it obvious why sometimes people are disappointed when we come up with a new album, because you don't know what to expect. This makes the band interesting for young people as well as old people, and for us as well.

"All the songs have a different handwriting, and you never know exactly how a song is built up and what will follow next if you haven't heard it. This is something we tried to represent with this album. "

Do you think all the bands that release best of albums are doing it the wrong way, by selecting commercial successes instead of the songs that represent the band and its evolution best?
I wouldn't say that. It's a question of how you choose to do it and how you relate to a best of album. If you do a best of single album in a proper way, if you remix it or if you have a concept to present it, then it's fine. But if it's just a compilation, then it doesn't make sense. It's really a question of how much a band gets involved and is dedicated to the output. Of course it's a in-between solution to propose old material, but if you do it the proper way, it doesn't matter. If it's the single versions or what we consider to be more diverse stuff, it's not important.
Since you're a band that loves to tell stories in their albums, can you say that the story you wanted to tell with this best of album was your own?
Yeah, you can see it this way. I also think it explains a lot about our characters and our music through the music itself. There was a very clear vision among the band members from the very beginning, and even though the song differ a lot from each other, the core elements can be seen in the early achievements of the band; in this case, "Valhalla", "Majesty" or "Follow the Blind". There were obvious differences when it came to songwriting. You can see there's no pattern. All the songs have a different handwriting, and you never know exactly how a song is built up and what will follow next if you haven't heard it. This is something we tried to represent with this album.
Are you as passionate about releasing this compilation as with every studio album?
If it comes to the re-recordings, definitely. There's the same passion. If it comes to the remixes, it's the same dedication, but of course, it's a little more difficult to feel passion for a twenty-year-old song you revisit but have no chance to rework on, to fix things which you think could be improved.
This must have been a very nostalgic experience, listening to the songs from the early days?
It was a very nostalgic feeling. But on the other hand, it showed us that the songs remain the same. If you listen to a song like "Valhalla", for example, which we have re-recorded, you will feel the same energy, even if we're over twenty years older compared to the first recording. But the song revealed the same beauty and the same strength. Music is timeless, and that's a great thing. That's something I can say about Blind Guardian's 25 years: at no point does it feel like 25 years. If you asked me about the first time we went in the studio, I couldn't count the years. I would say it was not too long ago, maybe ten or fifteen years. Even that would appear as a long period to me, but the fact that it's that much longer proves that we really enjoyed what we did. It was never what we had to do, it was what we wanted to do.

"I think we're in the middle of the second period of the band. I believe a new era started with Night At The Opera, and this era is not over so far. [...] I don't think we will change drastically."

How do you feel when you listen to your older songs? Aren't you kind of bored by these songs you made when you were teenagers?
I consider them to be things from the youth. There are many elements in there which we wouldn't treat that way nowadays. But it's still a legacy of our very first steps. Musically, even if you can observe that we're not on the same path nowadays, I believe there's a certain strength and energy in these first attempts to become a professional musician which still makes it interesting for me to listen to it. Even though there were some elements that were related to great bands that were our idols back then, there was that individual approach from the very beginning. That makes me really proud. It had a personal touch, and luckily we kept that.
Do you see Blind Guardian at a turning point right now, so you had to release this to close a chapter?
Interesting point of view… But no, I don't think so. I think we're in the middle of the second period of the band. I believe a new era started with Night At The Opera, and this era is not over so far. I would say it's more to look back because of nostalgic feelings. It was the right time to do it. But I don't think we will change drastically, even though one of the next albums – maybe even the next one – will be the orchestral album. This will be a definite change. But since it has been designed and scheduled over the last years, it's not connected to the best of album.
The title of this compilation is interesting. What do you mean with this title, Memories From A Time To Come?
Again, we're dealing with time. The impression we had when we revisited these 25 years was that of a timeless flow. I believe that, even though these are documents of the past, they give a preview of Blind Guardian's future as well.
Could we have an update on your work on this orchestral album which is expected to be released in 2012?
(huge sigh) I would say 2012 is history already! (laughs) That's how far I can go. We worked on the orchestral stuff as well as on stuff for a regular Blind Guardian album between our tours and the finalizing of Memories From A Time To Come. My goal would be to release either the regular Blind Guardian album or the orchestral album in 2013. It is doable, but it's tough work for us. There are so many elements involved in the orchestral album, as well as in the regular album, all the way from songwriting to production… I'm really cautions when it comes to guessing release dates. But as I said, I assume it will be late 2013, possibly in the Fall, before another Blind Guardian album.

"What I think would be possible would be a small festival tour with an orchestra, or a very limited number of Blind Guardian concerts [...] That's something we could consider, especially in connection with a regular Blind Guardian show."

It sounds like you're kind of exhausted by this orchestral project!
I'm not exhausted, but it's so much work. It's fun doing it. We did like six songs in a concert hall already, and we recorded them, but I still have to do the vocals. I did a pre-production for these songs already. But we also have to complete the other songs we have done, and it takes a lot of time, in terms of finalizing the scores and all that. If we don't feel the time is right to work on this, we prefer to work on the regular Blind Guardian stuff. That's on the same priority level. Both are too important to rush. We never did that in our whole career, and we certainly won't start after 25 years, even if we would like to release something next year. It's not important to be as quick as possible, it's more important to keep the quality.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but at the beginning, this was meant to be a side project, and then you decided to release it as a Blind Guardian album, right?
Yeah, you're absolutely right about that. But I have to say that even now, we're not sure how we are going to present it! (laughs) We have so many options with this album, we're jumping backward and forward. The music is so good and diverse. It is a Blind Guardian baby, but it doesn't necessarily have to be a Blind Guardian album. We're not sure. It depends how much the rest of the band will be involved. At that point, they're not involved so much apart from songwriting. It will be my singing and the orchestra. We're not sure if that's enough to call it a Blind Guardian album. If we involve the rest of the band, it will become a Blind Guardian album. This is something we've been considering for the last twelve months and the discussion is still open.
I guess it must have been very difficult to change your way of writing songs, since it's a completely different exercise compared to writing songs for a band?
No, we haven't changed here, not at all. It's a different approach in using different instruments and using slightly different structures. But it's not as difficult as many people probably think. We have to have Charlie Bauerfeind involved in case we're faced with a dead end; he can get us out of there and give us instructions to make another attempt in another direction. But so far, it's been going smoothly. The most difficult thing was to find someone who was able to transpose the arrangements we've composed on a computer into a score that remains as close to our original intention as possible. It's been a lot of trouble and took a lot of time, but since we've had these people, it's been more a question of doing the right songs at the right time.
Do you think you'll promote this orchestral album live, and most importantly, is it possible for you, financially speaking?
Financially speaking, I would say it could be beneficial! But the problem is to find the right occasion, the right venue and the right orchestra to do it. You cannot do something like this in a regular concert hall. Depending on the country, the audience at our shows is between 500 and 7,000 or 8,000 people. Finding venues that can accommodate these different audiences would be very, very difficult. What I think would be possible would be a small festival tour with an orchestra, or a very limited number of Blind Guardian concerts, like four in Europe or so. That's something we could consider, especially in connection with a regular Blind Guardian show. This might be an option. But we'll deal with it when we're there. Right now it's more getting all the composition out of the way, then finalizing the various elements. Once this is done, we'll be a big step further, and then we'll need to consider how to promote this album and how live situations could be organized.
Your albums are based on Tolkien's books, as well as other writers. Don't you want to write your own epic story, maybe for an upcoming album?
Not for the orchestral album. We have already agreed that the concept for that would be Markus Heitz. His sort of writing perfectly fits the music we've come up with so far. But for one of the next regular Blind Guardian albums, that could be done. We could have a conceptual album, going in the direction of Imaginations From The Other Side and songs like "Bright Eyes", "Imaginations" or "And The Story Ends". Something like that would be possible, yes.

"What we tried to do, and what we still look for, is a closer connection to the World Of Warcraft game. That's more on André's mind, I would say, doing a cooperation there."

You were writing songs about Middle Earth and Tolkien's books way before the Peter Jackson movies were made. When the movie came out, weren't you bored to see those bands suddenly claiming Tolkien was their favorite writer?
I didn't even realize, in the beginning. Most of the bands are more connected to the pagan or death metal scene. It didn't really bother me, and it still doesn't today. Some of them tackle different aspects, and if it's a good aspect, I appreciate it. I never felt these bands were jumping on a trend train. It was like they'd been woken up or attracted by the movie, then started reading the books and figured this was something they could connect to their music. I don't really much care about that. There were bands dealing with Tolkien before Blind Guardian. It's up to everyone. You just need to have a concept and the right tools to come up with something personal. The good thing about Blind Guardian is that, whenever we deal with Tolkien, we give it a personal touch. I believe this is what people appreciate.
We talked with André Olbrich last year and he told us that you weren't in contact with Peter Jackson. Has this changed, did you try again recently?
No, I definitely have not tried anything like this. I'm sure André has not either. What we tried to do, and what we still look for, is a closer connection to the World Of Warcraft game. That's more on André's mind, I would say, doing a cooperation there. Being involved in "The Hobbit" is something we do not consider to be interesting for us.
Jusqu'en 1998, tu jouais de la basse. En joues-tu toujours ? Si non, est-ce que cela ne te manque pas ?
I don't miss it. I don't play too much. I play acoustic guitar from time to time, to improve the composing or to come up with ideas. Just for inspiration, I also play a little piano. But the bass guitar is not my favorite instrument. It might change, I'm not saying I'll never, ever play bass at home again. But I don't feel the need to use the bass for composing.
Interview conducted by phone on december, 19th, 2011 by Metal'O Phil
Transcription : Saff' & Isa
Introduction : Animal
Blind Guardian's Website : www.blind-guardian.com
British heavy metal legends SAXON are about to begin writing sessions for the follow-up to last year's acclaimed "Call To Arms" effort. The band's drummer, Nigel Glockler, writes on Facebook: "Working on getting the home studio tidy and then off next week for writing sessions for the next SAXON album…busy busy busy!"

SAXON will release a new concert DVD, "Heavy Metal Thunder Live: Eagles Over Wacken", in early 2012. According to Classic Rock, it will feature performances from Germany's Wacken Open Air festival.

"There are five in all, from 2002 to 2009," Byford told Classic Rock magazine. "But we've not got all five shows, in their entirety, because even I would get bored watching that! The most interesting one is 2009, which was Wacken's 20th anniversary and our 30th. We did a set that included songs from all of our studio albums, as voted for by the fans. And we did it with the most recent at the start working backwards to our debut album, 'Saxon', at the end."

SAXON's new album, "Call To Arms", sold around 700 copies in the United States in its first week of release, according to Nielsen SoundScan. The CD debuted at No. 51 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. The digipack version of "Call To Arms" includes a glorious bonus — a free seven-track CD, "Live At Donington 1980".
There is a very limited number of rock albums which have stood the test of time, only true masterpieces continuing to sound fresh and exciting even years after their release. The reason for their cult status: the songs are timeless and the album's sound has captured the magic of the moment perfectly. GIRLSCHOOL's second album, "Hit And Run", out in 1981, was such a classic. For the British all-girl group surrounding singer/guitarist Kim McAuliffe, the successor to their debut, "Demolition", marked their international breakthrough. To this day, a number of tracks off "Hit And Run" feature on the live tracklist of the band which still consists of the original lineup — with the exception of the late Kelly Johnson, who sadly passed away in 2007 (she was replaced by guitarist Jackie Chambers in 2000). The news that GIRLSCHOOL issued a re-recorded version of "Hit And Run", complemented by two awesome bonus tracks, has delighted media and fans from all age groups alike.

"I'm just amazed that people still love it, even young people come up at our gigs now with copies that they found on the Internet or in shops or something," comments McAuliffe.

Available in Europe since last September, "Hit And Run - Revisited" was released in the U.S. on January 24 via UDR in three versions: a CD digipak, a regular jewel case CD and a vinyl LP with gatefold sleeve.

For McAuliffe and her three colleagues Chambers, bassist Enid Williams and drummer Denise Dufort, these re-recordings are much more than a journey back in time to the beginnings of their career: "Hit And Run - Revisited" documents the songs' great sustainability, recorded all over again in spring 2011 with a modern sound and contemporary studio equipment. Back then, in March 1981 at the Jackson Studios, the conditions were almost archaic. "This studio, which was almost like a shack in the middle of nowhere in Rickmansworth, was so old-fashioned," McAuliffe remembers. "You used to have to kick things to make them work. It was that sort of studio. It was just the four of us and Vic, as simple as that." But the spark was ignited as soon as producer Vic Maille recognised the quality of the material and GIRLSCHOOL started to have an idea what kind of gem they were about to hold in their hands. "We weren't sure," McAuliffe confesses. "I mean, we were surprised and obviously delighted at the success of 'Demolition', so we were hoping that this one would do well. But we weren't quite sure how well it would do."

Fact is: following its release, the album instantly hit it big. "Hit And Run" climbed the charts fast in America and Canada (even making the gold mark!), made No. 5 in the U.K. and opened the doors to major venues for GIRLSCHOOL. As a result, the musicians led a real jet set life and were flown around the globe by Jerry Bron, the owner of their record company Bronze Records. McAuliffe remembers, "Jerry had his own little airline. And we'd be zipping off in these little planes all over the place. One minute we'd be in Germany doing an interview or a TV show, and the next minute we'd be back in Newcastle. On the same day, you know. We thought, 'Blimey, this is incredible. This must be what it's like to be rock stars.' We zipped off everywhere in these little planes. So it was quite an amazing time, really."

A life full of highlights began, including the amenities of the dolce vita in the true sense of the word. "That was the first time that we could have everything we wanted on the rider," McAuliffe says. "You know, you hear these things about how you could just have whatever you want, so we used to love these things from Marks & Spencer's. There were these little chocolates with cream on top. Sort of desserts. We had them every night on our rider."

Naturally, re-recording their classic under ideal studio conditions brought back memories for GIRLSCHOOL of days gone by. At the same time, the musicians took the artistic liberty of updating a number of arrangements. McAuliffe says, "We've made quite a few changes. But I'm not gonna say anything about them because we're hoping that our fans will notice for themselves, just to see how well they know the original ones. But, of course, it's a different sound, we have Jackie play now, obviously, instead of Kelly, and also again, studio-wise it's just a completely different experience because the technology now is incredible compared to what we had in those days."

So "Hit And Run - Revisited" sees GIRLSCHOOL come full circle: all eleven numbers from the original now sparkle in amazing and dynamic versions, with small changes to a number of details and two fantastic bonus tracks: GIRLSCHOOL have re-recorded "Demolition Boys", the opener from their debut album, plus a haunting duet with Germany's No. 1 female hard rock vocalist Doro Pesch on the title track, "Hit And Run". In addition, this year's tour will see them play the same setlist as they performed in the early Eighties plus a number of tracks from their 2008 release, "Legacy". An appearance at the 2011 Wacken Open Air has already been confirmed (McAuliffe: "Every rock act wants to play Wacken. And we'll be there for the third time, following our gigs in 1999 and 2008. A dream-come-true!"). In other words: present and past will be combined by one of the most successful all-girl bands in the history of rock music!

"Hit And Run - Revisited" track listing:

01. C'mon Let's Go
02. The Hunter
03. (I'm Your) Victim
04. Kick It Down
05. Following the Crowd
06. Tush
07. Hit and Run
08. Watch Your Step
09. Back to Start
10. Yeah Right
11. Future Flash

Bonus tracks:

12. Demolition Boys
13. Hit and Run (with Doro)

Check out audio samples at this location.

GIRLSCHOOL's 30th-anniversary album, "Legacy", was released in Europe in November 2008 via Wacken Records/SPV. "Legacy" features a plethora of special guests, including Tony Iommi (BLACK SABBATH), Ronnie James Dio (BLACK SABBATH, RAINBOW, DIO), Lemmy and Phil Campbell from MOTÖRHEAD, "Fast" Eddie Clarke (FASTWAY, ex-MOTÖRHEAD) and a couple of members of TWISTED SISTER.
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada traditional metallers 3 INCHES OF BLOOD have recruited Byron Stroud (STRAPPING YOUNG LAD, FEAR FACTORY) as their new bassist.

Stroud and 3 INCHES OF BLOOD have been working together on a variety of things, and Stroud is beyond pleased shift his involvement to a creative level.

"I am super stoked to let everyone know that I have joined my brothers in 3 INCHES OF BLOOD," exclaims Stroud.

"We are busy rehearsing for touring of the new record, 'Long Live Heavy Metal'.

"The band asked me to come on board as manager earlier last year.

"We rehearse in my bike shop. I've toured with them in the past and being involved in many aspects of the new record has been extremely gratifying for me.

'I'm looking forward and see a great future for this band.

"I'll see you all on tour this year."

3 INCHES OF BLOOD will release its fifth studio album, "Long Live Heavy Metal", on March 27 via Century Media Records. According to a press release, "fans can expect a blast of pure metal assured to leave no face unmelted."

"'Long Live Heavy Metal' is the fifth chapter in the book of 3 INCHES OF BLOOD, and we couldn't be more pleased and proud of our new onslaught of honest heavy metal," says guitarist Justin Hagberg.

For "Long Live Heavy Metal", 3 INCHES OF BLOOD reunited with producer and engineer Terry "Sho" Murray (CITY OF FIRE, EXHIBITIONISTS), who worked with the band on their seven-inch single, "Anthems For The Victorious".

"When a band is releasing a new record, they often speak about it being their most important work or best album to date," explains vocalist Cam Pipes. "Regardless of how clichéd either statement may sound, I think we would say both apply to this album. All of us have a special feeling about this one. We're more committed than ever to the cause of real, honest, no-bullshit heavy metal. No trends, no fucking around!"
German thrash metal veterans DESTRUCTION will embark on the North American "30th Year Anniversary Tour" in May with support from WARBRINGER, VITAL REMAINS and PATHOLOGY. DESTRUCTION states, "Thrash metal history comes alive with classic hits and anthems!"

The exact cities and dates for the "30th Year Anniversary Tour" will be announced soon.

DESTRUCTION has commenced work on its 30th-anniversary album. The CD is due later in the year.

Inspired by IRON MAIDEN, MERCYFUL FATE, MOTÖRHEAD and VENOM, DESTRUCTION was formed as KNIGHT OF DEMON in 1982. The band's original lineup included vocalist and bassist Marcel "Schmier" Schirmer, drummer Tommy Sandmann, and guitarist Mike Sifringer. They soon changed their name to DESTRUCTION and released a demo titled "Bestial Invasion Of Hell" in 1984.

"Day Of Reckoning", the latest album from DESTRUCTION, sold around 800 copies in the United States in its first week of release. The CD landed at position No. 58 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.

"Day Of Reckoning" entered the German Media Control chart at position No. 95. The CD was released in Europe on February 18, 2011 via Nuclear Blast Records. The first limited edition of the album did not feature the band's logo on the booklet while the vinyl version and second pressing of the CD showed a red DESTRUCTION logo on it.

"Day Of Reckoning" was the first album to feature DESTRUCTION's new drummer Vaaver (INDUKTI, ex-UNSUN).
According to Melodic Rock, Mike Portnoy (DREAM THEATER, AVENGED SEVENFOLD, ADRENALINE MOB) and Billy Sheehan (MR. BIG) have tapped Richie Kotzen (MR. BIG, POISON) to be the guitarist/vocalist of their new project following the recent departure of John Sykes (WHITESNAKE, BLUE MURDER, THIN LIZZY).

Although Portnoy and Sykes demoed a dozen or so songs at a Los Angeles studio last year, their vastly different work ethics and conflicting schedules were solely to blame for the dissolution of their collaboration. Portnoy explained on Twitter, "Sad but true... I tried my best to make it work... Me and [Billy Sheehan] couldn't wait around any longer... [Billy] and I are moving on and have already begun work with another guitarist/vocalist, keeping the original 'power trio' concept."

Portnoy and Sheehan were joined by guitarist Tony Macalpine and keyboardist Derek Sherinian (DREAM THEATER, PLANET X, BLACK COUNTRY COMMUNION) for an appearance at the SABIAN Live event on Friday, January 20 at the Sheraton Park Hotel (next to the Hilton) in Anaheim, California as part of the the 2012 NAMM (National Association Of Music Merchants) show. Portnoy, Sheehan, Macalpine and Sherinian also performed together on January 14 at the twenty-third annual Guitar Center's Drum-Off, the nationwide search for the next great undiscovered drummer, at Club Nokia in Los Angeles, California.

Portnoy, who co-founded DREAM THEATER more than 20 years ago, abruptly quit the band in September 2010 while on tour with AVENGED SEVENFOLD. He has since been replaced by Mike Mangini (ANNIHILATOR, EXTREME, JAMES LABRIE, STEVE VAI).

Portnoy played on AVENGED SEVENFOLD's latest album, "Nightmare", following the death of that band's drummer, Jimmy "The Rev" Sullivan, and toured with them for the entire second half of 2010.
Legendary Danish heavy metal singer King Diamond (KING DIAMOND, MERCYFUL FATE) will present awards at the "5th Annual Nomad Recording Studio Throwdown" on Friday, January 27 at Tree's in Dallas, Texas. Scheduled performers include BORN & RAISED, SHAULIN DEATH SQUAD (featuring KING DIAMOND drummer Matt Thompson), LOVE STRICKEN DEMISE and RIVETHEAD.

Nomad Recording Studio is a full-service, Pro Tools and analog recording facility based in Carrollton, Texas. Nomad offers exceptional recording, as well as mixing and mastering services.

King Diamond previously stated about Nomad engineer/producer JT Longoria, "He is unbelievable; he is the best guy I ever worked with in a studio."

The success of the "Nomad Recording Studio Throwdown" is credited largely to Nomad's sponsors, who lend their names, financial support and merchandise/product to the event. The money they raise goes to the Blue Star Connection, a charity which helps put musical instruments into the hands of children who are battling cancer or other life-threatening diseases.
"Resolution", the new album from Richmond, Virginia metallers LAMB OF GOD, is likely to sell between 50,000 and 55,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release, according to industry web site Hits Daily Double. The estimate was based on one-day sales reports compiled after the record arrived in stores on December 6 via Epic.

LAMB OF GOD's previous CD, "Wrath", opened with around 68,000 units back in March 2009 to land at No. 2 on The Billboard 200 chart. This figure was roughly in line with the first-week tally registered by 2006's "Sacrament", which shifted around 63,000 units to enter the chart at No. 8. It also represented almost double the amount of records sold by its predecessor, "Ashes Of The Wake", which premiered with 35,000 copies in September 2004.

"Resolution" was released in North America on January 24 via Epic Records (one day earlier internationally through Roadrunner Records). The CD was recorded at various studios in Virginia and New York with producer Josh Wilbur, who worked on the band's last effort, 2009's "Wrath".

"Resolution" features 14 songs and comes in a digipack with artwork by longtime art director Ken Adams.

"Resolution" track listing:

01. Straight For The Sun
02. Desolation
03. Ghost Walking
04. Guilty
05. The Undertow
06. The Number Six
07. Barbarosa
08. Invictus
09. Cheated
10. Insurrection
11. Terminally Unique
12. To The End
13. Visitation
14. King Me
Sam Maher of Metal Obsession recently conducted an interview with drummer Mario Duplantier of French progressive metallers GOJIRA. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.

Metal Obsession: As I understand it you have a lot of stuff happening this year. You are supposed to be having an EP, an album and a live DVD all coming out in the near future, is that correct?

Mario Duplantier: Exactly, yep, that's correct. I don't know exactly the dates for the release of the three, but for sure in 2012 we have the three of those.

Metal Obsession: At what stage of completion are the different projects at?

Mario Duplantier: So right now we are finishing the voices in New York for the new album; it's almost done. The next step is mixing everything but the album is almost done; we just have three or four more songs with the voices to finish. For the DVD, we are, right now, just trying to fix everything together but everything is almost done. The DVD will be released with Mascot Records, it's not with Roadrunner…they are friends together, both labels, but the DVD will be released with Mascot. It's about how "The Way of All Flesh" was carried out, it's like a résumé for all this material we have for "The Way of All Flesh". For the ["Sea Shepherd"] EP we have to talk to Roadrunner to find a way to release it properly, but everything is on its way.

Metal Obsession: Why are you releasing both an album and an EP? Will they have significantly different styles?

Mario Duplantier: I think they are not the same. We recorded the EP with Logan Mader [SOULFLY, MACHINE HEAD] in Los Angeles, so the sound is very specific, it sounds like Logan Mader and it's a very interesting sound. But for the new album, we wanted something different, a new approach, so the sound is different and the intention is different. We really want to separate both because I think "Sea Shepherd" is a really specific sound, not like a real GOJIRA sound. In fact, we have some guests and we took a direction on the EP… it's perhaps more simple…I don't know, it's hard for me to explain. I don't know, maybe in the future we can release a bonus for "Sea Shepherd". We would have to talk to the record label about it.

Metal Obsession: Are you able to expand upon the style of the new releases? All of your albums have had a particular style about them, particularly "From Mars To Sirius" and "The Way of All Flesh". How has the sound evolved with this new album and new EP?

Mario Duplantier: With the new album, we wanted something more organic, more…like, when we play live, there is something very simple and sometimes we lose that in the studio. It's a rule, you know, a lot of bands have found this, in the studio maybe sometimes it's too clean, too perfect. On this album, we wanted a direction more like a live performance, something true where you can show the band, where you can feel the band live and we have tried to preserve some of that on the new album. For the "Sea Shepherd" EP…I don't know what the intention exactly was…it was do something with guests. How can I say…?! You know, I think it's very organic too. On the last album we were very inefficient about it, we put a lot of time just into the sound so our goal is to do something simple, powerful and organic.

Metal Obsession: What is the writing process like in GOJIRA? Is it everyone in a room jamming things out or is a lot of the writing done just by you and Joe [Duplantier, guitar/vocals]?

Mario Duplantier: For this album, we jammed with the four of us for months and months to create this album, but Joe and I compose things mostly. Personally, I've been very inspired in this period with tons of melodies and ideas for the songs. I was so inspired that for some songs I created the drums part first and Joe had some riff on it. For this album, I proposed a lot of dynamics, ideas, riffs and stories, I was on fire. [laughs] It's not for attention, but just at times I felt like I couldn't sleep, I was crazy I had all these ideas, I was drumming on these guitar riffs. Every day I went to the practice room and I said to Joe, "Hey, please try this riff on this pattern of drums," and he'd say, "Yeah, OK." We have this connection between he and I, very efficient, straight to the point. For this album it was like this.
SUNSET STRIPPED, which features in its ranks WARRANT guitarist Erik Turner, will perform on February 2 at the Stellar Cellar Wine Bar in Temecula, California.

Comprised of members from Temecula-based band OLD SCHOOL, SUNSET STRIPPED is an acoustic and rhythmic group performing covers of WARRANT tunes, as well as the music from popular '70s, '80s and '90s bands like THE BEATLES, POISON, STEVE MILLER, GUNS N' ROSES and LED ZEPPELIN.

The band includes drummer Chris Beall, vocalist Bryan Escobedo and guitarist Jason Ewig.
According to XFM.co.uk, a poster for STEEL PANTHER's new album, "Balls Out", was deemed "overtly sexual" by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA).

The ASA is the U.K.'s independent regulator of advertising across all media, now including marketing on web sites. They work to ensure ads are legal, decent, honest and truthful by applying the Advertising Codes.

The poster ads for "Balls Out" (based on the album's front cover) featured a scantily clad woman leaning back, showing a fair amount of skin with her hand by her crotch holding a sting of two metal balls.

A domestic abuse charity complained to the Advertising Standards Authority, claiming the posters were offensive as the picture of the woman was demeaning and overtly sexual. They also questioned whether it was suitable for being displayed where children might see it.

The band's label, Universal Island Records, countered that it was meant to be so over the top that no one would take it seriously and so it didn't actually undermine women, adding that it was mostly put up in places like clubs and bars where adults went for nights out and they weren't aware of them being close to any schools.

They hadn't actually checked though and admitted more care should have been taken in choosing where to put the posters.

ASA upheld the complaint though, noting that "the poster was not meant to cause offence or be seen as demeaning to women," but continuing, "we considered that the main image on the poster was overtly sexual. We noted that the pose of the woman showed her with her legs apart, her hand between her legs and her breasts partially exposed and considered that her facial expression was suggestive of an orgasm and sexual activity. In addition to this, we considered that the album title 'Balls Out' was sexually suggestive particularly when viewed in the context of the poster, where the woman was seen dangling two silver balls between her legs in a way that we considered was suggestive of male genitalia."

ASA concluded that it "was likely to cause serious and widespread offence, was unsuitable to be seen by children and therefore was not appropriate for outdoor advertising."

According to SUNSET STRIPPED's Facebook page, "A SUNSET STRIPPED performance is all about the crowd singing, dancing and drinking up the good life, creating a rocking and fun atmosphere."

In a 2011 interview with The Beach Reporter, Turner was asked how SUNSET STRIPPED came about. "I've been wanting to do an acoustic thing for a while, something unplugged, more toned down and intimate," he replied. "I've been doing the loud hard rock thing for 25 years. It sounded real nice to me to just sit down and play some songs in an intimate setting. We play a couple WARRANT songs, 'I Saw Red' and 'Heaven', and then we do a bunch of ballads from other bands like GUNS N' ROSES, BON JOVI, EXTREME, MR. BIG, DEF LEPPARD, POISON, stuff like that."

When asked if it was a challenge to adjust to playing stripped-down acoustic versions after performing arena-like rock, Turner said, "It's definitely a different approach. Playing guitar solos on acoustic is a lot different. It's a lot more challenging. We take some liberties with arrangements, but we try to keep it as true as possible to the original composition. Even the original composition, they are recorded in studio with electric guitar, bass, keyboards, drums, all kinds of stuff."
Eulogy Recordings has announced the signing of REVENGE. The band's new album, "Hymns Of Annihilation", will be released in the spring.

Straight out of Western Massachusetts, REVENGE formed in the fall of 2008. Since their inception, they have released two records, toured the U.S. and played Canada with DEATH THREAT and TRAPPED UNDER ICE.

With a sound often compared to bands such as INTEGRITY, RINGWORM, ALL OUT WAR and SLAYER, REVENGE offers raw, unapologetic, metallic hardcore with absolutely no remorse.


Dan McIntyre - Vocals
George Barroso - Guitar
Jorden Singleton - Guitar
Justin Kirkland - Bass
Will Hirst – Drums
A CANCEROUS AFFAIR, the new project featuring ex-DARKEST HOUR members Kris Norris and Ryan Parrish, has announced the addition of keyboardist/vocalist Kristen Randall (ex-WINDS OF PLAGUE) to the group's ranks. They are currently in the pre-production phase with their new material and are set to release a video with interviews and behind-the-scenes footage.

According to a press release, A CANCEROUS AFFAIR's music has been described as "melodic swedish metal with a touch of prog, ambient, and rock. Fans of Kris and Ryan's work together on 'Undoing Ruin' and 'Deliver Us' will have a lot of new music to enjoy with some suprises and twists, including the varying vocal talents of Dave Sheldon."

Norris previously stated about A CANCEROUS AFFAIR, "I love all styles of music — from pop and jazz to black metal — and with this being a project band with no intentions other than to write music we enjoy, I'm not pigeonholed into oh this song needs a fast riff or a crazy solo. It's a nice relief from the other projects and bands I'm involved in and have been involved in. I get to take my experiences from all of them and combine it into one."

Regarding the project's name, Norris said, "The title comes from Dave. I liked it alot because it fits what we are doing. Just a bunch of musicians from different parts of the world, getting together behind their other various music projects backs almost, and creating something. His voice to me is just infectious, so when he said the name, I was, like, 'Hmmm, that's it.'"
British/American grindcore pioneers NAPALM DEATH will release their 14th studio album (excluding the cover album "Leaders Not Followers"), "Utilitarian", on February 27 in Europe and February 28 in North America via the band's longtime partner, Century Media Records. The cover artwork (see below) perfectly fits the album's theme and was created by the Danish artist Frode Sylthe, who is also responsible for THE HAUNTED's "rEVOLVEr" artwork.

In anticipation of this release, the band has now launched an "Occupy Napalm" Facebook tab to show their support for the Occupy movement and to provide fans with the latest news about their politically-charged "Utilitarian". With downloadable Occupy-themed stencils and screensavers, plus a special video teaser for "Utilitarian" created by Mitch Harris (guitar, vocals), this Facebook tab is the place to go for everything NAPALM DEATH!

"Utilitarian" track listing

01. Circumspect
02. Errors In The Signals
03. Everyday Pox
04. Protection Racket
05. The Wolf I Feed
06. Quarantined
07. Fall On Their Swords
08. Collision Course
09. Orders Of Magnitude
10. Think Tank Trials
11. Blank Look About Face
12. Leper Colony
13. Nom De Guerre
14. Analysis Paralysis
15. Opposite Repellent
16. A Gag Reflex
17. Aim Without An Aim (bonus track)
18. Everything In Mono (bonus track)

Upon "Utilitarian"'s release, NAPALM DEATH's limited-edition "Analysis Paralysis" seen-inch EP will also be available for purchase at CM Distro in black and clear vinyl. Its B-side includes the exclusive track "Youth Offender", making this a very collectable piece for any diehard NAPALM DEATH fan.

NAPALM DEATH vocalist Mark "Barney" Greenway recently spoke to U.K.'s Terrorizer magazine about five of his favorite songs from "Utilitarian". You can now check out the footage below.

Greenway explains the album title and concept: "After some deliberation, we have decided on 'Utilitarian' as the album title. We generally try to avoid generic titles, and this seemed to have a lot of scope to it. I won't explain the full meaning of utilitarianism here because it's an ethical theory, and as ethical theories go, the depth and debate around it is quite heavy at times. It has a certain 'morality' aspect to it and that isn't something that drives me, so I also certainly have issues with it."

"So, rather than just nail that straight to the mast, of course we wanted to put our own spin on it by suggesting that those (i.e. the utilitarian in us, perhaps) who try to challenge everything, or fight against conventions, well, we go through periods of real self-doubt where we wonder if we're really making a difference. I suppose the conclusion is that, for the sake of all our freedoms, you should never stop, as even the feeling of resistance is at least a signal to those who would like to entirely control and dominate us — meaning everything from our instinctive behavior to our human entitlement to walk the earth unprovoked.

"Regarding the album overall, the final creases should be ironed out fairly soon, and immediately after that, we thought it would be good to top it off with a few U.K. dates. We've been playing one new song ('Quarantined') out on a tour of Canada and it's been well received, so we hope to perhaps throw in another one for now. Either way, we'll be bouncing off the walls again near you very soon."
Norwegian symphonic black metallers DIMMU BORGIR performed one very exclusive show on May 28, 2011 at the Oslo Spektrum in Norway with a special, never-to-be-repeated setlist with 53 members of KORK (the Norwegian Radio Orchestra) and 30 members of the Schola Cantorum choir, who were musical guests on the band's ninth studio album, "Abrahadabra".

The concert, dubbed "Forces Of The Northern Night", was professionally filmed and was broadcast as part of a one-hour documentary in June 2011 on NRK (Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation), the Norwegian government-owned radio and television public broadcasting company and the largest media organization in Norway.

In a new posting on DIMMU BORGIR's Facebook page, the band writes, "We have noticed that a few different bootleg versions from the 'Forces Of The Northern Night' show in Oslo last year is in circulation and that it has also been falsely advertised for sale on various distribution sites on the net. We can assure every anticipating and impatient fan that this is nothing more than stuff filmed by the audience or in best case footage taken from the NRK TV broadcast in very low quality. We're still working on the DVD (release date to be announced) which will, of course, consist of the whole setlist, including documentaries and bonus material etc... Not only that but the sound has been totally remixed and enhanced since the broadcast and the footage has also been re-edited. We just want to let you guys know before you decide to waste your money on something that's fake and not an official DIMMU BORGIR DVD release."

Photos of the "Forces Of The Northern Night" concert from NRK:

* Per Ole Hagen
* Kim Erlandsen

The setlist was as follows:

01. Xibir
02. Born Treacherous
03. Gateways
04. Dimmu Borgir (orchestral)
05. Dimmu Borgir
06. Ritualist
07. A Jewel Traced Through Coal
08. Eradication Instincts Defined (orchestral)
09. Vredesbyrd
10. Progenies Of The Great Apocalypse
11. The Serpentine Offering
12. Fear And Wonder (orchestral)
13. Puritania
14. Kings Of The Carnival Creation
15. Mourning Palace
16. Perfection Or Vanity

DIMMU BORGIR's most recent touring lineup included Geir Bratland (APOPTYGMA BERZERK, THE KOVENANT) on keyboards and Terje Andersen (a.k.a. Cyrus; SUSPERIA) on bass.

"Abrahadabra", the ninth album from DIMMU BORGIR, sold 9,400 copies in the United States in its first week of release to land at position No. 42 on The Billboard 200 chart. The band's previous CD, "In Sorte Diaboli", opened with 14,000 units back in May 2007 to debut at No. 43. This was more than double the 6,400 first-week tally achieved by its predecessor, "Death Cult Armageddon", which came out in September 2003 and landed at position No. 169 on The Billboard 200 chart.

The word "abrahadabra" (which roughly translates into "I will create as I speak") first publicly appeared in Chapter III of "Liber AL vel Legis" (commonly referred to as "The Book of the Law") written by Aleister Crowley in Cairo, Egypt in 1904.

"Abrahadabra" was released in Germany on September 24, 2010, in the rest of Europe on September 27, 2010, and it was made available in North America on October 12, 2010 via Nuclear Blast Records.
Oakland, California-based extreme metal band ALL SHALL PERISH will embark on a headlining tour this March/April. Support on the trek, dubbed "This Is Where It Ends", are deathcore merchants CARNIFEX, Italian symphonic death metallers FLESHGOD APOCALYPSE, CONDUCTING FROM THE GRAVE, and THE CONTORTIONIST.

"Stoked to get on the road again," commented ALL SHALL PERISH bassist Mike Tiner, "especially with this sick-ass lineup. What could be better than touring with good friends and meeting all the awesome fans? Well... solving world hunger and curing cancer but who has time for that? Let's get stupid!"

The dates are as follows:


Mar. 29 - Oakland Metro Operahouse - Oakland, CA
Mar. 30 - 118 West - Simi Valley, CA
Mar. 31 - Desert Breeze Skate Bar - Las Vegas, NV (All Shall Perish only)
Apr. 01 - The Clubhouse - Tempe, AZ
Apr. 02 - The Launchpad - Albuquerque, NM
Apr. 03 - Dos Amigos - Odessa, TX
Apr. 04 - Trees - Dallas, TX


Apr. 05 - Warehouse Live - Houston, TX
Apr. 06 - White Rabbit - San Antonio, TX
Apr. 07 - Eclipse - Tulsa, OK
Apr. 08 - Fubar - St. Louis, MO
Apr. 09 - Mojoe's - Joliet, IL
Apr. 10 - Emerson Theatre - Indianapolis, IN
Apr. 11 - Harpo's - Detroit, MI
Apr. 12 - Expo Five - Louisville, KY
Apr. 13 - The Muse - Nashville, TN
Apr. 14 - The Masquerade - Atlanta, GA
Apr. 15 - Greene Street - Greensboro, NC
Apr. 17 - Empire - West Springfield, VA
Apr. 18 - Stanhope House - Stanhope, NJ
Apr. 19 - Gramercy Theater - New York, NY
Apr. 20 - The Palladium - Worcester, MA (New England Metal Fest)
Apr. 21 - Lost Horizon - Syracuse, NY
Apr. 22 - Peabody's - Cleveland, OH
Apr. 24 - The Granada Theater - Lawrence, KS
Apr. 25 - The Marquis Theatre - Denver, CO
Apr. 26 - In The Venue - Salt Lake City, UT
Apr. 27 - The Alley - Sparks, NV
Apr. 28 - Ace of Spades - Sacramento, CA

ALL SHALL PERISH's fourth full-length album, "This Is Where It Ends", sold around 8,400 copies in the United States in its first week of release to debut at position No. 50 on The Billboard 200 chart. The band's previous CD, "Awaken The Dreamers", opened with 5,000 copies back in 2008 to land at No. 126.

"This Is Where It Ends" was released on July 26 in North America and on July 29 in Europe via Nuclear Blast Records. The majority of the effort was recorded and mixed once again at Castle Ultimate Studios in Oakland with producer Zack Ohren (LIGHT THIS CITY, DECREPIT BIRTH, SUFFOCATION).
Former MORTIIS drummer Svein Traserud (a.k.a. Leo Troy), who left the band in 2007 to pursue his interest in the contemporary arts, will make his U.K. debut at the third Parallax AF International Art Fair in London in February. He will be exhibiting a range of his works at the event which takes place at Chelsea Town Hall, Kings Road, from Thursday, February 16 to Saturday, February 18. Entry is free to the public.

The Parallax AF International Art Fair showcases modern artists from around the world and will this year feature works from the U.K., USA, West and East Europe, Asia, South America, Turkey, UAE and Oceania.

Traserud was a member of MORTIIS for six years during which time he undertook numerous tours and appeared on the 2004 album "The Grudge", which was released through Earache Records. The album produced two U.K. singles — "The Grudge" and "Decadent & Desperate", which charted at No. 51 and No. 49, respectively.

For the rock drummer turned artist, art has become a burning passion. His motivation behind his works is "old versus new" as he mixes new medium with old crafts. Possessing a keen interest for the abstract and the unusual, his inspiration is the surreal and futuristic with a tendency towards the use of dark hues. He has an approach that often sees him using an extensive range of media in his works.Though mainly self taught, Svein spent ten years assisting leading Norwegian artist Tor-Arne Moen, where he learned the intricacies of traditional wood cutting. Moen has described Traserud's works as providing "puzzling images, saturated and often dramatic in effect, which intensifies the desire to search deeper in the work. At first the image is attention grabbing, then a second wave summons further inner curiosity."

Svein Traserud has set his sights high with an aim and desire to establish something unique in the art world. Commenting on what he hopes to achieve, he explains that "My grand idea is to develop and create something new and outrageous, something that the art world can't ignore."

Some of his works can be seen at www.the-opisthodome.com.
Knoxville, Tennessee extreme metallers WHITECHAPEL have entered Audiohammer studios in Sanford, Florida with producer Mark Lewis (THE BLACK DAHLIA MURDER, WHITECHAPEL, DEVILDRIVER, TRIVIUM) to begin recording their fourth full-length album for a summer release via Metal Blade Records.

WHITECHAPEL's most recent EP, "Recorrupted", came out in November. The effort features a brand new track titled "Section 8", a cover of PANTERA's "Strength Beyond Strength", an acoustic version of "End OF Flesh", and remixes of "Breeding Violence" by BIG CHOCOLATE and "This Is Exile" by Ben Weinman from THE DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN.

"Section 8" and "Strength Beyond Strength" mark WHITECHAPEL's very first recordings with drummer Ben Harclerode of the Glendale, Arizona band KNIGHTS OF THE ABYSS, who replaced Kevin Lane last year.

WHITECHAPEL's third album, "A New Era Of Corruption", sold around 10,600 copies in the United States in its first week of release to debut at position No. 43 on The Billboard 200 chart. Released on June 8, 2010 via Metal Blade Records, the CD was recorded at Audiohammer with acclaimed producer Jason Suecof (TRIVIUM, ALL THAT REMAINS, THE BLACK DAHLIA MURDER, CHIMAIRA, DEVILDRIVER).

WHITECHAPEL's previous album, "This Is Exile", opened with 5,900 copies in July 2008 to land at No. 117.
Braunschweig, Germany-based, female-fronted death metallers D.A.M.N. (DIARY ABOUT MY NIGHTMARES) have entered the studio to begin recording their sophomore album for a late 2012 release. The band states, "The drum recordings for the follow-up [to] 'Forbidden Anger' are done. We will go back to Denmark/Sweden in February to record the guitars, bass and vocals. Be prepared! Be sure the new record will be even darker than the last one."

Video footage of D.A.M.N. performing a new song, "Going Down Your Way" — which will be included on the forthcoming CD — can be seen below.

D.A.M.N.'s debut album, "Forbidden Anger", was released in Japan in January 2010 via Spiritual Beast Records. The Japanese version of the CD, which was issued in Europe in October 2009 via the Swedish record label Unexploded Records, included two bonus tracks.

"Forbidden Anger" was recorded with Jakob Batten (ILLDISPOSED) and Ziggy (ILLDISPOSED, BEHEMOTH, MERCENARY, AS WE FIGHT).
Italian death metal band HOUR OF PENANCE has set "Sedition" as the title of its fifth album, due on March 27 in North America, April 2 in the U.K. and April 6 in mainland Europe via Prosthetic Records. The follow-up to 2010's "Paradogma" (Unique Leader) was recorded at Cellar Studio in Rome with producer Stefano Morabito.

The band will hit North American shores for the first time the week of release, to support THE BLACK DAHLIA MURDER, NILE and SKELETONWITCH on a full U.S. tour, which includes a stop at the New England Metal & Hardcore Festival.

HOUR OF PENANCE's fourth album, "Paradogma", came out in March 2010 via Unique Leader Records. The CD cover art was created by Gyula Havancsàk, who has previously worked with such acts as ANNIHILATOR and DESTRUCTION.

"Paradogma" was recorded at 16th Cellar studios in Rome with producer Stefano Morabito and was mastered at Hertz Studios in Poland.

HOUR OF PENANCE's current lineup:

Giulio Moschini - Guitar
Simone Piras - Drums
Silvano Leone - Bass
Paolo Pieri – Vocals
Bulgarian death metallers ENTHRALLMENT have unveiled the cover and track listing for their forthcoming album, "People From The Lands Of Vit". The CD will be released later this year by the American label United Guttural. The cover art, entitled "Hell", was created by the Bulgarian artist Stefan Stefanov.

"People From The Lands Of Vit" track listing:

01. Chronicle Of Sorrow
02. Devoted To Delusion
03. Psychological Storm
04. A Full Land Of Worms... From The River To The Void
05. Chemical Romance
06. Obsessed By Just Anger
07. Walking Through The Thorns
08. Fruits Of Pain And Blue Sky
09. Punishment For Baneful
10. Unholy Diviners

ENTHRALLMENT's music can be described as brutal-yet-technical, early-'90's-era death metal. All instruments play a major role in the formation of every intense song. The string section is totally heavy and sick, delivering riff after memorable riff. Driving percussion blasts and pounds and ultimately reinterprets shredding riffs into headbang inducing hooks while intensely pissed off guttural vocals deliver the sadistic sermon. Their sound has been compared to SUFFOCATION, CANNIBAL CORPSE and DEVOURMENT.

Over the years, ENTHRALLMENT have toured extensively throughout Europe as a headlining act and as support with bands like MALEVOLENT CREATION, ROTTING CHRIST, ROTTEN SOUND and DEICIDE. They have shared the stage with OBITUARY, SINISTER, MYSTIC CIRCLE, NAPALM DEATH, DESTRUCTION, VITAL REMAINS, DEAD INFECTION and MISERY INDEX and have been featured at several festivals, including Hellhammer Fest and Obscene Extreme.
Finnish melancholic melodic death metal outfit BEFORE THE DAWN returns after living through a phase of changes and uncertainty — cleansed, renewed and stronger than ever! Leaving pieces of both the musical and personal past behind, mastermind Tuomas Saukkonen, lead guitarist Juho Räihä and their new companions get ready for conquering your ears with the finest blend of northern gloom and harsh melodic death metal. Their seventh studio album and at the same time second release via Nuclear Blast Records is entitled "Rise Of The Phoenix" and will arise from the ashes on April 27.

The perfectly fitting phoenix symbolism was chosen prudently as mainman, vocalist and guitarist Tuomas explains. "Massive changes in the line-up during 2011 ended an era of great frustration and brought back 110% dedication and professionalism into the band," he says. "The newfound energy and motivation steered us into a victorious European tour and made it possible to produce the strongest, fastest, heaviest and definitely the most epic BEFORE THE DAWN album so far!"

Fans and followers can look forward to a nine-song comprising masterpiece, consisting of the following tracks:

01. Exordium
02. Pitch-Black Universe
03. Phoenix Rising
04. Cross To Bear
05. Throne Of Ice
06. Perfect Storm
07. Fallen World
08. Eclipse
09. Closure

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