[Classic_Rock_Forever] KISS, Metallica, SOnisphere, Guns N Roses, Velvet Revolver, Megadeth, Motorhead, RATT, Anthrax, Michael Monroe, Blaze Bayley, Volbeat, Riot and tons more hard rock and heavy metal news


Figures Toy Company toy company is about to introduce KISS action figures, reminiscent of the action figures first released in 1977-1978 by the Mego toy company. These figures will have rooted hair, cloth clothing, 16 points of articulation and for the first time will be available in 8-inch as well as a re-release of the 12-inch.

Figures Toy Company CFO Anthony Balasco states, "I never understood why 8-inch KISS action figures were not produced back in the 1970s when the Mego toy company had already released the 12-inch versions.

"Our first release will have the retro look from the 1970s, but future releases will cover all time periods in KISS's almost-40-year musical career from 1973 to 2012."

Look for special exclusives and limited-edition releases. Collectors will be able to find these at toy stores, comic shops, music stores and on-line retailers starting in March 2012.

Each 8-inch KISS action figure comes with a mini replica "Love Gun" album cover, and each individual 12-inch figure comes with 1 of 4 retro mini KISS concert T-shirts!

The "Love Gun" action figures will be followed by "Sonic Boom", "Dressed To Kill" and the first KISS album figure series!

Visit www.figurestoycompany.com for more information.
METALLICA, SOUNDGARDEN, SLAYER, WITHIN TEMPTATION and MASTODON are among the confirmed bands for this year's installment of the Spanish edition of the Sonisphere festival, set to take place May 26 at Getafe Open Air in Madrid.

The billing is as follows:


Tickets go on sale Tuesday, January 31 at 10:00 a.m.

METALLICA will play the "black album" — its 1991 self-titled fifth effort that has sold nearly 16 million copies — in its entirety at selected European festivals, including Sonisphere, this summer.
METALLICA will headline this year's installment of the Finnish edition of the Sonisphere festival, set to take place June 4 at Kalasatama in Helsinki. Also scheduled to appear are MACHINE HEAD, AMORPHIS, GOJIRA and GHOST.

Tickets go on sale on Monday, February 6 at 9:00 a.m. at Lippupalvelu.fi and Tiketti.fi.

METALLICA will play the "black album" — its 1991 self-titled fifth effort that has sold nearly 16 million copies — in its entirety at selected European festivals, including Sonisphere, this summer.

METALLICA's four-song EP called "Beyond Magnetic", which was made available digitally last month, will be released as a physical CD on January 31 (one day earlier internationally). The effort consists of the quartet of previously unheard tracks that the band unveiled in concert last month during its 30th-anniversary celebration. All four tunes — "Hate Train", "Just A Bullet Away", "Hell And Back" and "Rebel Of Babylon" — were recorded during the sessions for the band's 2008 "Death Magnetic" album but left off the final track list.
GUNS N' ROSES has is beginning to roll out dates for its upcoming late spring/early summer European tour. So far the following two shows have been confirmed:

May 17 - O2 Arena - Dublin, Ireland
Jun. 22 - Gods Of Metal - Milan, Italy

Tickets for the Dublin concert go on sale next Friday, February 3.

The band last played in Ireland in 2010 with sell-out concerts at The Odyssey Arena in Belfast and in Dublin.

The band's September 1, 2010 concert in Dublin was notable as it saw the band walking off the stage just 22 minutes into its set — after keeping fans waiting for well over an hour for the group to begin playing — because plastic glasses had been thrown at them.

GUNS N' ROSES returned to the stage around 30 minutes later and finished their set.

According to Unreality TV, Paddy Power — which is said to be Europe's largest bookmaker — is betting GUNS N' ROSES lead singer Axl Rose, who is notorious for being late, may not make it back to a Dublin concert stage. The betting odds are 9/2 that the band cancels the date and 10/1 that the band is forced to cancel its Irish gig due to a lack of ticket sales.

If the show does go ahead, the betting odds are 3/1 that Axl enters the stage at the scheduled start time, 9/2 he's up to fifteen minutes late, and just 2/1 that the audience are left waiting for more than an hour.

Sharon McHugh, spokesperson for Paddy Power, told Unreality TV, "The fans didn't take too kindly to Axl's diva-like attitude last time he was in Dublin and rightly so. We just hope he has more sense this time around and that he'll actually show up on time!"


* 4/1 Axl Rose to cut the set short by storming offstage
* 9/2 GN'R to cancel gig and not reschedule before end of 2013
* 10/1 GN'R to have to cancel gig due to lack of sales

How late will Axl Rose walk on stage?

* 3/1 On time
* 9/2 1 to 15 minutes late
* 3/1 16 to 30 minutes late
* 9/2 31 to 45 minutes late
* 5/1 46 to 60 minutes late
* 2/1 More than one hour late
​It's not at all uncommon that I write a piece here that I hope inspires discussion in the comments section. My mission statement of sorts has been to help usher in a higher bar for social media. I know that we are capable of educating each other, and I have been thrilled at some of the deep conversations that have taken place here. We are capable of much more than just typing "fuck you, you suck dickhead" under an anonymous moniker. We have (largely) succeeded.
I wrote an article last week on the SOPA/PIPA debate. I was hoping to get a conversation started about a facet of the debate that I hadn't seen explored. I think in my rush to write it, I assumed many things about some of my readers here. I wasn't clear on some things.
For example: I received e-mail from some fans of my band or things that I had done in the past, who were pissed at some of my wording. I never meant to lump true supporters of music into some catch-all "all you fans" type of category. To all those fans of music who go out there every day and hunt down music with the sole intent of wanting to fully support artists, if you were offended, I sincerely apologize.
I am a great supporter of music. I love to go see bands, and buy their T-shirts and CDs. I urge others publicly to go BUY bands' new records. I know how hard it is to make the whole thing work from a basic economic scale. Artists do have to pay their own way when they record something new. And, believe it or not, that shit is still expensive, even if you do it at home. You need a computer and an expensive program. You need mic pres, and good microphones, a mixing board of some sort, and compression and mike stands and drum kits and amps and strings and time off work and guitars and numerous other pieces of gear . . . just to record your first note. This is not including the time you need to write the damn songs.
I have been there as an artist when the Major Label rips you off. I have been there when the manager takes his cut off the gross while you are left to pay for the crew, travel, hotels, a bus, gas, food, and every other expense involved in touring. I've been there as large merchandise companies try to sell your shirt for 35 bucks while you demand as hard as you can to charge only $15. The artist still has to pay for the shirts and the printing, and ends up making a dollar--maybe two--off the end sale. I've been there.
Even at the height of major label-dom, the most a band would make off a record was something like $2. Split among five people, after paying for your producer and mixer out of that $2--well, you can do the math of what a band member would see from that. Pennies. Oh, and of course before you see penny number one, you do have to pay back that label for the recording costs . . .
I was there when the major labels kept trying to change formats so that they could sell artists' whole catalogues over and over. I could see it plain as day when the digital format was introduced just as home computers were beginning to be the norm in every household. It was only a matter of time before file-sharing on a large scale became a major player in how music was delivered to the end user.
I saw Napster try to work with the labels. They tried to cooperate, and share the immense advertising revenue. The artists would get paid. The labels would get paid, and people would get their music for free . . . legally and without feeling like a thief or living in fear of legal prosecution. The labels balked. The labels failed in their short-sightedness. The labels are now in serious trouble, cutting back to a point where I believe major labels will be fully a thing of the past within five years.
I am not an advocate of "the man." Never have been. Never will be.
But I AM an advocate of the artist. Those who, since Chuck Berry, have gotten the short end of the stick.
A lot of you argue that illegal file-sharing gives some bands and artists worldwide exposure. Maybe so. But whose place is it to say that a band who records their own shit and puts it up on their site for sale, or on iTunes, doesn't actually need those folks to actually purchase their music, so that they can afford to just eke out paying back the expense that they took to record that thing?
A lot of us will buy three grande lattes at Starbucks throughout a day ($15 or $20?), and then complain about paying $10 for a CD. I'd argue that all you get from that coffee is the jitters and bad breath, while that CD gives you music, that beautiful thing that'll fill your soul for THE REST OF YOUR LIFE.
I understand that there is a new paradigm. People argue that "Art wants to be free" and that the digitizing of music is all the proof that one needs for that argument. But aren't there many arguments that can offset that one?
The real argument or point I wanted to put up for discussion was with people on Twitter and Facebook going so damn crazy last week when Wikipedia went black and everyone was complaining about something called PIPA. How many of those educated themselves first before they went on the Twitter and exclaimed "Fuck the SOPA. I want my first amendment rights" or "Big Government is taking over!!"?
A wise man once said to me: If you don't understand something that a government or business does, it's always going to be about the almighty dollar. We must educate ourselves, and then take that education to the rally.
The PIPA bill, as it was written, left so many gaping holes and open language that those in that business who would be looking for loopholes to capitalize against a smaller competitor could use this bill to squash said competitor.
For those of you thinking that PIPA and SOPA were equivalent to what is going on in China, please make that argument. But try to back that argument.
If there was some way to have a person-to-person, live, open "town hall" type of talk about this whole deal, I think a lot would come of it. A Senator. A musician or two. A person who used to own a recording studio. Someone from the movie business. A book publisher. Advocates for open file-sharing. And so on.
Hopefully this week we can all sort of get along and try to educate each other here in the comments. Let's try a "do-over."
Please reply with your real name.
LACUNA COIL singer Cristina Scabbia joined MEGADETH on stage last night (Thursday, January 26) at the opening show of this year's Gigantour at the Susquahana Bank Arena, in Camden, New Jersey to perform the MEGADETH song "A Tout Le Monde".

Fan-filmed video footage of her appearance can be seen below.

MEGADETH's setlist for last night's concert was as follows:

01. Trust
02. Wake Up Dead
03. Hangar 18
04. Sweating Bullets
05. Angry Again
06. Poison Was The Cure
07. Dawn Patrol
08. Public Enemy #1
09. Whose Life (Is It Anyways?)
10. Guns, Drugs & Money
11. A Tout Le Monde
12. Symphony Of Destruction
13. Holy Wars…Punishment Due

"A Tout Le Monde", which originally appeared on MEGADETH's 1994 CD "Youthanasia", created controversy in September 2006 because the song was cited in an online post by Dawson College killer Kimveer Gill as one of his favorites before his Montreal shooting spree. MEGADETH mainman Dave Mustaine contends that he wanted to give the song a second shot at success, as the original video for it had been banned by MTV, and most radio stations followed suit. The track ended up featuring Cristina Scabbia after "the first singer didn't work out," Mustaine told Straight.com. "The second one didn't work, and the third one was Lisa Marie Presley. She was on the way to the airport, and we had to call and say, 'Sorry, we changed our minds.' I would have loved to have heard what Lisa Marie Presley would have done, but because of the demographics of the LACUNA COIL fan base, and Cristina's reign in the heavy-metal business, it was the right thing to do."

In a 2008 interview Cristina stated about her collaboration with MEGADETH, "[Dave Mustaine] actually asked me to be part of this duet, and I was really surprised about it because 'A Tout Le Monde' is a song that I've always loved, even if it's not like the new [version] because [the original song] [was released on] the album 'Youthanasia'. It was a big surprise for me to get this invitation — I was really honored to be part of it. And seriously, when I heard the final result, I was awesomely surprised 'cause I think that the two voices are fitting incredibly [well together]. I think that the version of 'A Tout le Monde' 2007 has a stronger attitude. If the original version was for the mellow mood, this one is way more rock, way more powerful. I totally love it. I was surprised myself, and I think that a lot of people will be pleasantly surprised. It was recorded, like an hour from Birgmingham [England]. So I flew in and recorded my parts with Andy Sneap [producer]. He's [Andy] an amazing guy — super professional — and the atmosphere in the studio was so relaxed. It was like a family vibe, and I think that's the most amazing thing when you have to work. You can work and still smile, you know, and be relaxed. I tracked the entire song because we weren't really sure what we had to do, so we just wanted to be totally sure, so we recorded all the parts that Dave sung with some improvisation with it, double vocals. We basically made anything possible, so they could pick up whatever they wanted to."

"A Tout Le Monde (Set Me Free)" appeared on MEGADETH's 2007 album "United Abominations", which was released via Roadrunner Records.
It's universally agreed amongst headbangers that MOTÖRHEAD is responsible for some of the greatest all-time hard rock/heavy metal songs ("Ace of Spades", "Overkill", etc.) and albums ("Ace of Spades", "No Sleep 'til Hammersmith", etc.) — not to mention featuring one of rock's all-time great characters in their ranks, Lemmy Kilmister. As a result, MOTÖRHEAD fans are always on the hunt for uncommon and rare items to complete their collection. And now, the group is offering a true treat for their fans, known as "The Motör-Bag".

Available online via www.merchdirect.com/Motorhead, "The Motör-Bag" is limited to 4,000 copies worldwide, and is packed with exclusive items that you will not find anywhere else. Housed in a MOTÖRHEAD messenger bag, inside you will find two double vinyl LPs of stunning MOTÖRHEAD performances (in their entirety), recorded in New York and Manchester — that can only be found in "The Motör-Bag" package. Additionally, a laminate pass is included, and a piece of "The Wörld Is Yours" 2010/2011 stage backdrop, mounted and numbered.

Once the 4,000 copies are sold out, this one-of-a-kind MOTÖRHEAD set will be gone, so order the ultimate live Motör-experience package NOW!

The Wörld Is Ours…

Manchester Apollo, Manchester, UK, Nov. 16, 2010

Side A

01. We Are Motörhead
02. Stay Clean
03. Be My Baby
04. Get Back In Line
05. Rock Out

Side B

01. Metropolis
02. Over the Top
03. One Night Stand
04. The Thousand Names of God
05. I Got Mine

Side C

01. I Know How to Die
02. The Chase Is Better Than the Catch
03. In the Name of Tragedy
04. Just 'Cos You Got the Power

Side D

01. Going to Brazil
02. Killed by Death (with Nina C. Alice)
03. Ace of Spades
04. Born to Raise Hell (with Michael Monroe)
05. Overkill

The Wörld Is Ours…

Best Buy Theater, New York, USA, Feb. 28th, 2011

Side A

01. We Are Motörhead
02. Stay Clean
03. Get Back In Line
04. Metropolis
05. Over The Top

Side B

01. One Night Stand
02. Rock Out
03. The Thousand Names Of God
04. I Got Mine

Side C

01. I Know How To Die
02. The Chase Is Better Than The Catch
03. In The Name Of Tragedy
04. Just Cos You Got The Power

Side D

01. Going To Brazil
02. Killed By Death (feat Doro and Todd Youth)
03. Ace Of Spades
04. Overkill
The documentary on MOTÖRHEAD singer and bassist Lemmy Kilmister, "Lemmy: 49% Motherf**ker, 51% Son Of A Bitch", has been nominated for a Motion Picture Sound Editors Golden Reel Award in the "Best Sound Editing In A Documentary Feature Film" category.

Greg Olliver, the film's co-director and also editor/sound editor, is flattered by the nomination, especially since "Lemmy" has been nominated alongside films that were directed by Martin Scorsese ("George Harrison: Living In The Material World") and Werner Herzog ("Cave Of Forgotten Dreams").

Said Olliver: "According to my doctor, I actually lost some middle-range hearing while working on 'Lemmy', and even though the MOTÖRHEAD shows we shot played a big part of my hearing loss, the editing and listening to MOTÖRHEAD over and over and over again for months definitely added to the problem. At least the constant ringing in my ears will now constantly remind me of the award we've been nominated for!"

"Lemmy" closed out 2011 in style, with gold sales certifications around the world, and a best-film award.

Directed by Olliver and Wes Orshoski, "Lemmy" has now been certified gold (50,000 DVDs, Blu-rays, digital downloads shipped or sold) by the Recording Industry Association Of America (RIAA).

Called "the stuff of legends" by the Los Angeles Times and "inspiring" by NME, "Lemmy" was also recently certified gold in the U.K. by the British Phonographic Industry, and has also reached the milestone in Germany, France and Scandinavia.

"Lemmy" also took home the "Film Of The Year" trophy at the annual Classic Rock Awards in London in November, beating out titles by THE ROLLING STONES, AC/DC, FOO FIGHTERS, BLACK SABBATH, DEEP PURPLE and "The Big 4" (METALLICA, SLAYER, MEGADETH, ANTHRAX). In its review of "Lemmy", Classic Rock called the film "a heart-warming, life-affirming thing of beauty."

Filmed over more than three years, "Lemmy" features appearances by artists spanning the musical spectrum, from METALLICA, Ozzy Osbourne and Slash to Henry Rollins, Peter Hook (NEW ORDER, JOY DIVISION), Mick Jones (THE CLASH) and Jarvis Cocker.

The U.S. version of "Lemmy", a two-DVD set issued by Damage Case Films/Megaforce, is the definitive version of the documentary. The Blu-ray features more than four hours of bonus content, including featurettes, live performances from MOTÖRHEAD and Lemmy with METALLICA, extended scenes and interview outtakes. The DVD features more than three hours of extras. Both include a glossy booklet with exclusive photos and drawings only available in the U.S.

"Lemmy: 49% Motherf**ker, 51% Son Of A Bitch" sold around 3,700 copies in the United States in its first week of release to debut at position No. 1 on Billboard's "Top Music Videos" chart. In addition, both the DVD and Blu-ray disc were among the top 10 best-selling documentaries on Amazon.com the week of its release.

"Lemmy" U.S. bonus features:

* The Making of Lemmy
* Motörhead Live
* Lemmy & Metallica in Nashville
* (We Are) The Roadcrew
* Lemmy Interview Outtakes
* The Sweet Side of Lemmy
* Funny Stories
* Lemmy's 50th Birthday Featuring Metallica
* Marshall Stack Prototype Test
* Phil Campbell Featurette
* Mikkey Dee Featurette
* Full Dave Grohl & Lemmy Conversation
* Clarke/Kilmister/Taylor - The Early Days of Motörhead
* Meet the Superfans
* Matt Sorum Joins Motörhead
* The Making of "Motörizer"
* Triple H Interview Outtakes
* Everything Louder Than Everything Else
* Lemmy's Bass Playing Style
* Fans Around the World
* Full Billy Bob Thornton & Lemmy Conversation
* The Rocking Vickers (Extended Scene)
* Hawkwind (Extended Scene)
* Who Would Play Lemmy in a Movie?
* Lemmy World Premieres at South by Southwest 2010
According to a posting on RATT singer Stephen Pearcy's Facebook page, the band is continuing to write material for its new album, tentatively due this summer. Before then, "there could be a few surprise shows," he says.

"Infestation", the first studio record in 11 years from RATT, sold around 14,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release to debut at position No. 30 on the Billboard 200 chart. The CD was released on April 20, 2010 via Loud & Proud.

"Infestation" was produced by Michael "Elvis" Baskette (CHEVELLE, ALTER BRIDGE) at his Virginia studio, marking the first time the band has recorded outside of Los Angeles. The album is full of attitude and of reflection, cycling through a range of emotions. There are party anthems that RATT are known for alongside more contemplative, thoughtful tunes.
ANTHRAX guitarist Scott Ian was forced to sit out the band's performance earlier tonight (Thursday, January 26) at The Midland in Kansas City, Missouri after being taken ill. Ian's ANTHRAX bandmates played the show with both guitarists from co-headliners TESTAMENT filling in on different songs. In addition, TESTAMENT frontman Chuck Billy joined ANTHRAX on stage to perform the classic track "Indians".

"Thanks for bearing with us," ANTHRAX vocalist Joey Belladonna said as he explained Ian's absence. "We'll be as good as we can." The Kansas City Star reported that Belladonna became a little flustered with the unpredictability and understandable sloppiness of the show. "Who's next?" the singer asked onstage. "I don't even know who's coming in and out."

SEPULTURA guitarist Andreas Kisser filled in for Scott Ian at nearly a dozen ANTHRAX shows last July while Ian spent time with his family following the birth of his first child.

ANTHRAX's latest album, "Worship Music", sold 28,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release to land at position No. 12 on The Billboard 200 chart. The band's previous studio CD, 2003's "We've Come For You All", opened with just under 10,000 units to debut at No. 122.
On Wednesday, January 25, ANTHRAX guitarist Scott Ian contracted a bad viral infection that caused him to be hospitalized near his home in Los Angeles. He was put though a battery of tests, and received fluids intravenously. While he was allowed to go home to await the test results, ER doctors told him he could not fly for at least 24 hours; consequently Ian missed Thursday's show in Kansas City and will miss tonight's (Friday, January 27) Indianapolis show. He is expected to rejoin the band in Fort Wayne on Saturday.

ANTHRAX drummer Charlie Benante is taking a short leave from the band's concert tour to be with his mother who is terminally ill. Immediately following Thursday's show Kansas City, Benante flew to New York to join his family at his mother's bedside.

In Ian's absence, guitarists from TESTAMENT and DEATH ANGEL have stepped in to play his parts on various songs; starting with Friday's show in Indianapolis, TESTAMENT's drummer Gene Hoglan will fill in for Benante.

"We didn't want to cancel any of the concerts, we didn't want to let anyone down," said ANTHRAX's Rob Caggiano, "so we decided to figure out a way to keep the show on the road. We're so grateful to the guys in TESTAMENT and DEATH ANGEL for stepping up."

The members of ANTHRAX, who are all close to Charlie's mom, appreciate the fans' understanding in this very difficult time.
Vocalist Chuck Billy of San Francisco Bay Area metallers TESTAMENT will chat live with Native America Calling's radio program "Native In The Spotlight" today at 1:00 p.m. Eastern/10:00 a.m. Pacific. Billy, who is of the California-based Pomo Native Americans, will discuss his Native American heritage and heavy metal career while fielding questions from listeners around the country.

A listing of local stations airing the program can be found at this location.

In 2010, Billy was featured in the "Up Where We Belong: Native Musicians In Popular Culture" exhibit at the National Museum Of The American Indian.

When asked about his upbringing, Billy told AOL's Noisecreep, "My father is Native American, and my mom is Mexican, and she also has some Native American blood in her. My father was raised on the Hopland Indian reservation, which is about two hours north of San Francisco. I was born in Oakland, California, and for the first five years was raised in Los Cerritos, California. After that, we moved to Dublin, California, and I pretty much grew up there. My father owned two properties there, and I remember going to the reservation a lot as a kid. When my father retired, he moved there permanently."

Regarding his life on the Hopland reservation during the '70s and '80s, Chuck said, "There was just so much freedom on the reservation. I hate to say it, but they were just a bunch of wild Indians [laughs]. It was crazy back then. Our tribe and reservation is really small, and before we ever had a casino on the land, there wasn't a lot of hope. There wasn't any money around, and it just felt desperate. It was dire, especially with education and basic resources like that. The kids didn't even have the basic stuff other kids have in the rest of the country. So a lot of kids didn't even bother going to school.

"There's always the stereotypical stuff about Indians being drunk and high on the reservation, and all of that stuff. And yes, there was a lot of that back then. But you can say that about a lot of other places in the world. If you have a situation as rough as it was for our tribe back then, you're going to have people escaping into alcohol and drug abuse."
Former HANOI ROCKS singer Michael Monroe has been named "Vuoden Turkulainen" ("Person Of The Year") in his hometown of Turku, Finland. He writes on his Facebook page, "A million thanks to everyone who voted for me!"

Monroe relocated to Turku, the former capital of Finland, in February 2000 after having had more than enough of troublesome country life. Having grown up and lived all his life in the city, he found himself quite comfortable once again living in the middle of a city, not too small and not too big, in a very special and private flat he was blessed with.

As previously reported, Monroe was honored with the "Rock Album Of The Year" (for "Sensory Overdrive") and "Band Of The Year" awards at this year's Emma Gaala (Finnish Grammy equivalent), which was held on Friday, January 20 at Barona Areena in Espoo, Finland.
Former IRON MAIDEN and current WOLFSBANE singer Blaze Bayley has announced that he will be accompanied by the following musicians on his upcoming "King Of Metal" tour:

* Matteo "Lehmann" Grazzini (NEURASTHENIA) - Bass
* Claudio Tirincanti - Drums
* Andrea Neri (ASTARTE SYRIACA) - Guitar
* Thomas Zwijsen (NYLON MAIDEN) - Guitar

Bayley is currently at Fear Studio in Ravenna, Italy recording his new studio album, "The King Of Metal", for a spring release. A European headlining tour in support of the CD will kick off in early March in Belgium.

Commented Blaze: "Over the many years I have been a professional singer, and through my ups and downs, I have noticed how some artists and bands take their success and their fans for granted.

"For me, there is no heavy metal without heavy metal fans.

"I am dedicating the new album and tour to my fans and the fans of heavy metal. It is called 'The King Of Metal' because you the fans are the real kings of metal. Each one of you that buys albums and merchandise and tickets to gigs is a king of metal to me."

Blaze last year parted ways with the rest of his band in order to pursue a career as a solo artist and the lead singer of WOLFSBANE. He explained the decision by saying that "the mental, financial and emotional strain of keeping the BLAZE BAYLEY band together has proven to be too much for me and has taken a terrible toll on my mental health. . . It has been an upsetting, frustrating and sad time because the BLAZE BAYLEY band will not be going on any more, but it is also for me a huge relief and a time to look forward."
Blaze Bayley, proud owner of the only Elvis sideburns in metal, is back with a new album, to be released very soon, and our very own Jon Burkan gave him a call to see how things are going.
As you probably remember, Blaze was Bruce Dickinson's replacement in Iron Maiden, releasing two albums with them, "The X Factor" and "Virtual XI", both of which are considered, by some critics, as some of Iron Maiden's weakest releases.
After his departure, however, Blaze didn't simply retire. He has been producing a lot of material, starting with "Silicon Messiah" in 2000, and then with "The Tenth Dimension" (2002), "Blood and Belief" (2004 ), "The Man Who Would Not Die" (2008) and "Promise and terror" (2010), as well as two live albums, "As Live as it Gets" (2003) and "The Night that will Not Die" in 2009. Although his solo work has been very well received by critics, Blaze Bayley has failed to achieve the popularity that (in my opinion) he deserves.
So; what can he tell us about his upcoming album? What about his departure from Iron Maiden? Well, just read on and find out! (audio at the bottom)
Metal Blast: Hey Blaze, how are you today?
Blaze: Pretty good; right now I'm in the studio, we're recording the drums for my new album, "The King of Metal".
MB: How are things going in the studio so far?
B: Good, it's quite quick this lad; I've been working with him for a couple of years live, but we hadn't had the chance to record anything, so this first time in the studio with me he's doing a really good job. The best thing is that he has a a great groove when he plays, which we really want to capture.
MB: That sounds really great. Now, how do you think "The King of Metal" is going to be any different from your last album?
B: Well, this album is a bit more back towards my classic metal style; it's closer to the Silicon Messiah and Tenth Dimension albums. Although I didn't plan it that way, this is how it has worked out. So far it sounds really good, the songs have really come together and even though it'll still be a couple of weeks until we get to the vocals, I'm really excited about it. All the demos that we've done, as well as the rehearsals, have been very positive.
MB: What has been your favorite moment while creating this album?
B: I had an idea to do a tribute song for Ronnie James Dio, and when that actually came together, when I heard the drums play for the first time that was really a very special moment. Dio was my inspiration to start singing, so I'm hoping that the song turns out well and that the fans enjoy it.
MB: It was a very sad time when Dio passed away, and he's still fondly remembered. People are always making tributes and keeping his memory alive. Now, regarding this album, who's mainly in charge of  writing the lyrics and music for "King of Metal"?
B: Well, it's my album so I've written all the lyrics and quite a bit of the music. I've been working very closely with a young guitar player called Thomas Zwijsen, who has co-written most of the songs, and it has worked very well.
Now, the title track, "The King of Metal", is dedicated to the fans, because they are the real Kings of Metal. Without the fans there's no heavy metal, and I think that people trivialize that and even disrespect heavy metal fans, compared to fans of pop or jazz. I've called the album "The King of Metal" as a tribute to heavy metal fans, thanks to whom it has been possible for me to have such a wonderful career and spend my life as a professional singer.
MB: That's a very interesting take, since you'd think that the name refers to you, Blaze Bayley, as "The King of Metal". Do you think that, at least in part, that assumption might be correct, due to how long you've been in the game and the work that you've done?
B: Well, I couldn't possibly say that. Ozzy is the godfather of metal, Dio is a metal God… so it's up to other people to decide who is the King of Metal. For me, the King of Metal is the fan who comes to my concert, buys my CD, buys my t-shirt and shouts and screams along with me while I'm playing my songs. That's the King of Metal for me.
MB: That definitely makes sense, since a live setting and a wild audience can make a lot of difference. On your website you list musicians for your European tour, like live or session musicians. Do you plan to continue with this method, or do you think that you'll settle with a stable line-up anytime soon?
B: The strain of trying to keep a full-time band together when there are no gigs is just too much. You've got no money coming in, but you still have to pay everybody's wages, it made me ill. What I'm doing now is finding the people that I'd like to write and work with, and I get them together to record the album and then take them on tour. I'm very lucky with this album, since I have a great bunch of guys, and we're very excited about this tour. I think that this is the way I'm going to carry on. When I go to the USA I can't afford to bring a whole band, so I work with some guys over there who are really good, and the same in Australia.
MB: Speaking of the touring, the strains and being a solo act, after you released your statement regarding the break-up of the band, your former band-mates issued a very damaging statement regarding why you dissolved the band. Is there anything you'd like to say about that?
B: Well, they've got every right to be upset and disappointed. I was absolutely heart-broken by not being able to keep the band together, but that was it. I had to make a difficult decision, it really hurt me, and I just try to carry on. I can't say anything bad about them, they all worked very hard and gave their best to the project and tried to make the band a success; but in the end it's just too difficult to keep a band together if you play this kind of music.
I only sell a few thousand CDs each time. If I sold a few hundred thousand I would still have the band together, but I don't, and I not many people do. This is heavy metal, it's not popular music, it's an underground cult kind of music. There are a few heavy metal festivals around the world, but there aren't many more heavy metal bands that can be full time musicians who can make a living out of this; hardly anybody that I know of. This is just the reality of it; if you're not on tour, you're not making any money, you're not selling CDs, you can't keep a band together. That's how it is, really hard and tough, and it's not easy for anybody.
I've been able to, you know, start to live my life in a different way and be more positive, and a lot of the lyrics in the new album, "King of Metal", are about that, about trying to be positive and overcoming the difficulties in your own life.
MB: Yes, it's always best to be able to speak from your heart and to have the music revolve around the things that go on in your life. How do you think that the fans might react to a record as personal as this?
B: Well, my fans are used to personal music and lyrics from me. I do songs from different stories and characters that inspire me, but I also write a lot of personal lyrics. On this album there's a song about Dimebag Darrel, about his horrific murder, and the rest of the lyrics are about trying to make your way through life trying to make the best you can with what you've got, and not letting the rest telling you that you can't do something. I come from a poor family, living in a mobile home with no proper water or sanitation. I come from nothing, and I got to the top of the world in my professions, writing and performing with the most important heavy metal band in the world. And also, I've fallen down, I've made bad choices and I've failed many times. Now, with the King of Metal album, I'm trying to come back. I'm trying to make the best work I've ever done and do the best live shows I've ever done.
MB: Well, you've clearly had a lot of obstacles to overcome. Do you think that it was a big obstacle to show yourself as more than "the guy who used to sing for Iron Maiden".
B: Well, there's only three people who's been the "ex singer" of Iron Maiden, and one of them went back. I'm really proud that we made with Iron Maiden, of the albums and the music that we made. It obviously was a huge part of my life and I learned a lot. But now, when I'm touring Europe, I have a lot of fans that say that "I don't care if I don't hear you play Iron Maiden songs, there are so many of your songs that I like that it really doesn't bother me". So, nowadays, if I go to a country that I haven't toured properly before, and they're not so familiar with my own material, I do more Iron maiden songs. But mostly, in the rest of Europe, I do less Iron Maiden songs and more of my own.
MB: It's very good to be able to show your own work and show that Blaze Bayley is still out there, putting out albums and go on the stage. Now, I'm sorry to ask about Iron Maiden one more time, but there was never any clarity as to what exactly lead to your departure from the band.
B: Everybody was reforming back then, Black Sabbath, Judas Priest, Deep Purple… everybody was having a reunion and Iron Maiden did the same. They said "Bruce is coming back and you're going". It absolutely killed me. I loved being in Iron maiden, and I loved singing the music and being on tour, writing with Steve Harris was absolutely fantastic. I already had songs that I wanted to work on for another album, but that was it they just kicked me out and I had to do my own thing.
MB: So you think that it was mostly a commercial decision, rather than having anything to do with your talent or style?
B: I think it was more business than music.
MB: Since this was so hard to take, do you still use that as source for your drive to go on and create heavy metal that you're proud of?
B: Well, I do it because I don't have a choice. I don't feel I have to prove anything to anybody. I've done incredible things in my career and I do it because I want to, because there's something inside of me that drives me forward, I don't know what that is. I love to sing and I love this music, and whenever I can write my own songs and sing them to fans that appreciate them is a great day for me.
MB: You definitely have the heavy metal community to lean on, because we're a very loyal bunch and we don't take things like this very lightly!
Now, you've been in this game for a long time; how long do you think you want to continue doing it?
B: As long as there's heavy metal and I can sing, then I'll be writing and recording and touring. Heavy Metal is pretty old now, it goes in and out of fashion but it never really dies, so I'm hoping it'll be the same for me. Dio was my great inspiration. He died, he didn't give up, he didn't stop touring. He got sick and died, which is a great tragedy, but he didn't stop and he never showed any signs that he was going to stop. People like him, like David Coverdale, are still singing so I don't think there's any reason to stop, as long as you have your health.
MB: With "The King Of Metal" coming out soon, are you planning to do a lot of touring in support of the album?
B: If you go to my website there's a list of the tour dates that I'm doing. I'll be doing 50 shows to promote the album, up until June, and then I'm hoping to do some festivals in the summer; then, I'm going to Australia in November.
JB: When exactly is the album coming out?
B: It'll be available from my website from the 8th of March. I'll bring copies of the album with me when I'm on tour, everywhere I go. Then, the official release, so you can get it in stores or online, will be on the 20th of May, but if you come to one of my concerts you'll be able to get the album.
Now, on the official release date, the 20th of May, I'll be playing a free gig near my home, a big bash, to celebrate the release of the album.
MB: That sounds really good. A free Blaze Bayley concert! People are definitely not going to let that one pass. Now, "The Tenth Dimension" is one of my favorite albums, I thought that it had a wonderfully aggressive feel to it, with a quite a bit of old school roots. Because of this, I'd love to see you here In the US soon.
B: Well, I'm planning to go there and play in the US in September of next year. I'm just waiting for some things to be confirmed.
MB: Well, my birthday is in September, so if you can swing by Columbus, Ohio, around the 23rd of September, that would be great!
B: We'll do our best.
MB: I really appreciate you taking the time out of your busy schedule, now in the studio, to do this interview with us, here at Metal Blast.
B: You're welcome. Please, check out my website and my facebook page.
I'd like to give a big "thank you" to all the fans that I've met in my last tour. Thank you very much for your support and your encouragement and for making it possible for me to be a professional singer.
Guitarist Hank Shermann (MERCYFUL FATE) made his live debut with Danish metal rock 'n' rollers VOLBEAT last night (Thursday, January 26) at the opening show of this year's Gigantour at the Susquahana Bank Arena, in Camden, New Jersey. Fan-filmed video footage of the concert can be seen below.

Shermann most recently shared the stage with METALLICA at one of four intimate shows which took place at the Fillmore in San Francisco as part of the week-long celebration of METALLICA's 30th anniversary as a band for fan club members only.

"It's a true honor getting to work with Hank, whose guitar work has inspired all three bandmembers long before VOLBEAT was formed," VOLBEAT frontman Michael Poulsen said in a statement. "I'm very thankful that Hank has the time to join us on Gigantour in his busy schedule."

The multi-artist Gigantour bill — with metal heavyweights MOTÖRHEAD, VOLBEAT and LACUNA COIL all personally picked by Dave Mustaine of headliners MEGADETH — will wrap on February 28 in Denver, Colorado.

VOLBEAT recently parted ways with guitarist Thomas Bredahl, who had been a member of the band since 2006.

VOLBEAT last year released "Live From Beyond Hell/Above Heaven" via Vertigo/Universal on double DVD, Blu-ray, limited double DVD + audio CD, CD, digital download and VOD. The set includes footage from VOLBEAT's sold-out show in front of 10,000 fervent fans at the Forum in Copenhagen, to the House of Blues in Anaheim, California and the Rock Am Ring show in Germany. It's VOLBEAT conquering performance territory Stateside and across Europe, showing fans that the band is just as comfortable, charged and throttled in front of an audience as intimate as 1,100 or as vast as 80,000.
Hannover, Germany-based record label SPV/Steamhammer, which released RIOT's latest album, "Immotal Soul", has issued the following statement regarding the passing of the band's founding guitarist Mark Reale:

"With deep sadness we have to say goodbye to one of the most underrated guitar players and composers on this planet: Mark Reale.

"With albums like 'Fire Down Under' and 'Thundersteel', he created timeless metal music which will stand the test of time for many more decades.

"Last year's studio album 'Immortal Soul' on remains his legacy, and what an album it was: RIOT were back for the attack!

"We will see how the remaining members will handle this but we think that Mark would be very proud of them if they continue and spread the music he created.

"Our thoughts and prayers go out to Mark's family, friends, and bandmates."

Reale died Wednesday (January 25) in a San Antonio hospital due to complications of Crohn's disease — an ailment he had battled for most of his life. He was 56 years old.

Reale had reportedly been in a coma for the past two weeks after suffering a subarachnoid hemorrhage on January 11.

Mark is survived by his father, Anthony Reale, and was preceded in death by his mother, Frances Reale.

Mark spent most of his life working and performing while enduring almost constant pain and the side effects of treatment for Crohn's disease. He was in Texas bravely attempting to practice for the shows, but was felled by a severe onset of Crohn's symptoms, leaving him in the Intensive Care Unit at an undisclosed facility. Mark was struggling with these symptoms throughout the production of RIOT's new album, "Immortal Soul", and guitarist Mike Flyntz recorded a major portion of the guitars on the LP with Mark's creative direction while Reale was unable to perform.
Guitarist Michael Amott of Swedish/German extreme metallers ARCH ENEMY will be featured in an upcoming issue of the Eternal Descent comic. The issue will be available for pre-order from April 2012.

Llexi Leon, creator of the multimedia concept Eternal Descent, recruits ESP artists for cameo appearances in the Eternal Descent comic, which is inspired by a host of iconic metal musicians. The initial launch issue was released on March 31, 2010 with subsequent issues released every few months, spotlighting GOD FORBID guitarist Doc Coyle in issue 2, Gus G. of FIREWIND and OZZY OSBOURNE in issue 3, Wayne Static of STATIC-X in issue 4 and Dan Jacobs and Travis Miguel of ATREYU in issue 5.

In a recent interview with Molten magazine, Amott stated about his collaboration with Eternal Descent, "I never thought I'd get to do it [but] I'm excited!" Regarding what fans can expect from his character, Michael said, "[Eternal Descent] sent me a list of questions and asked whether [I] wanted to be the bad guy or the good guy and I said the bad guy, of course!"

The front cover of Molten magazine, which features an exclusive image preview of the upcoming ARCH ENEMY-insired issue of Eternal Descent, can be seen below.
"Imaginaerum", the new album from Finnish/Swedish symphonic metallers NIGHTWISH, has been certified gold in Switzerland and Slovakia.

As previously reported, "Imaginaerum" was certified gold in Germany earlier this month for sales in excess of 100,000 copies.

The effort entered the official chart in Finland at position No. 1 and has already been certifield triple platinum in the country after shifting more than 60,000 units.

NIGHTWISH has now sold more than 1,000,000 albums in Germany.

"Imaginaerum" sold 12,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release to debut at position No. 27 on The Billboard 200 chart. The band's previous CD, 2007's "Dark Passion Play", opened with 11,000 units to land at No. 84.

"Dark Passion Play" has sold more than 130,000 copies in the U.S. so far, according to Nielsen SoundScan.

"Imaginaerum" was released in North America on January 10 via Roadrunner Records.

The track listing for the CD is as follows (note that track 12 is broken down into four parts):

01. Taikatalvi
02. Storytime
03. Ghost River
04. Slow, Love, Slow
05. I Want My Tears Back
06. Scaretale
07. Arabesque
08. Turn Loose the Mermaids
09. Rest Calm
10. The Crow, the Owl and the Dove
11. Last Ride of the Day
12. Song Of Myself
Song 1: From A Dusty Bookshelf
Song 2: All That Great Heart Lying Still
Song 3: Piano Black
Song 4: Love
13. Imaginaerum
Swedish industrial goth metal band DEATHSTARS will once again support RAMMSTEIN on their upcoming European tour.

Commented DEATHSTARS: "We're thrilled to be given the opportunity to join RAMMSTEIN again for the second leg of their tour. The last run was amazing and this one will as well be filled with darkness!"

Upcoming DEATHSTARS tour dates:

Supporting RAMMSTEIN

Feb. 03 - Hannover, Germany - TUI Arena
Feb. 06 - Kaunas, Lithuania - Zalgiris Arena
Feb. 07 - Riga, Latvia - Arena (Latvia)
Feb. 10 - Moscow, Russia - Sport Complex Olympiski
Feb. 11 - Moscow, Russia - Sport Complex Olympiski
Feb. 13 - St. Petersburg, Russia - Sport Concert Complex
Feb. 15 - Helsinki, Finland - Hartwall Arena
Feb. 17 - Stockholm, Sweden - Ericsson Globe Arena
Feb. 19 - Oslo, Norway - Vallhall
Feb. 21 - Copenhagen, Denmark - Forum
Feb. 22 - Herning, Denmark - Jyske Bank Boxen
Feb. 24 - London, UK - O2 Arena
Feb. 25 - Birmingham, UK - LG Arena
Feb. 27 - Dublin, Ireland -The O2
Feb. 29 - Newcastle, UK - Metro Arena
Mar. 01 - Manchester, UK - Men Arena
Mar. 02 - Nottingham, UK - Capital FM Arena
Mar. 04 - Rotterdam, The Netherlands - Ahoy
Mar. 06 - Paris, France - Bercy
Mar. 07 - Paris, France - Bercy
Mar. 08 - Antwerp, Belgium - Sportpalais


Feb. 18 - Karlstad, Sweden - Nöjesfabriken
Feb. 28 - Glasgow, Scotland - Cathouse Saint Barthelemy
Mar. 03 - Southampton, UK - The Cellar
Mar. 09 - Strasbourg, France - La Laiterie
Mar. 10 - Köln, Germany - Luxor
Mar. 12 - München, Germany - Halle / Backstage Club
Mar. 13 - Budapest, Hungary - Dürer-Kert
Mar. 14 - Vienna, Austria - Szene
Mar. 15 - Ljubljana, Slovenia - Gala Hala
Mar. 16 - Pinarella Di Cervia, Italy - Rock Planet
Mar. 17 - Pratteln, Switzerland - Z7
Mar. 18 - Esch-Sur-Alzette, Luxembourg - Rockhal
Mar. 20 - Hamburg, Germany - Logo
Mar. 21 - Berlin, Germany - Postbahnhof
Mar. 22 - Warzaw, Poland - Progresja

"Metal", the latest video from DEATHSTARS, can be seen below. The song is one of two new tracks featured on the group's best-of compilation, "The Greatest Hits On Earth", which was released physically and digitally on November 4 via Nuclear Blast. Both new songs showcase the musical direction of the next DEATHSTARS CD.

DEATHSTARS recently announced the addition of drummer Vice (a.k.a. Oscar Leander of CRESCENDOLLS) to the group's ranks.

Commented Vice: "I'm really excited to be a part of DEATHSTARS and I really feel that my drumming complements DEATHSTARS music in a perfect way."

Added DEATHSTARS guitarist, songwriter and producer Emil "Nightmare Industries" Nödtveidt: "With this addition to our band our recordings and live shows will deliver more energy than ever before. We are really pumped up about the future!"
After the release of their acclaimed 2009 album "From Glory To Infinity", which featured Steve DiGiorgio (TESTAMENT, SADUS, DEATH, ICED EARTH) on bass and Dariusz "Daray" Brzozowski (DIMMU BORGIR, VADER, VESANIA) on drums, Italian death metallers FAUST are preparing to play a series of live shows this spring. For this run of dates, the band's lineup will consist of founding member Aleister (ANCIENT) and longtime guitarist Ghiulz (also a member of BULLDOZER), alongside Emi (bass player of the tech death metallers ILLOGICIST) and Riccardo Merlini (drums).

"From Glory To Infinity" came out in September 2009 via Paragon Records.
According to a post on BRING ME THE HORIZON's Facebook page, the British metalcore act will commence the songwriting sessions for its next studio album in late February.

BRING ME THE HORIZON's third full-length CD, "There Is A Hell, Believe Me I've Seen It. There Is A Heaven, Let's Keep It A Secret", sold 20,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release to debut at position No. 17 on The Billboard 200 chart. The CD also entered the official chart in the U.K. at position No. 13.

The team at Studio Fredman in Gothenburg, Sweden (where BRING ME THE HORIZON recorded 2008's "Suicide Season") was again at the helm of the recording, this time bringing in electronic and programming authority KC Blitz to assist with the instrumental aspects of the album. The CD also includes appearances from various special guests, including Josh Franceschi of YOU ME AT SIX (on "Fuck"). Also featured on the album are Josh Scogin of THE CHARIOT (on "The Fox And The Wolf"), Sonny Moore (a.k.a. Skrillex) with electronica contributions and Canadian electro-pop starlet Lights (on "Crucify Me" and "Don't Go").
Midwest hardcore band EXPIRE will enter Howl Street Recordings in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on January 30 with producer Jay Maas (Getaway Recordings) to begin recording its full-length debut, due later in the year via Bridge Nine.

Commented expire guitarist Zach Dear: "I know it's what every band is 'supposed to say' about their newest records, but these are no question the best EXPIRE songs to date. We've been working extremely hard and can only hope that people will be as siked as we are on the finished product."

EXPIRE hails from various states in the Midwest and plays hardcore the way it was meant to be. The band released a demo in late 2009, followed by the well-received "Grim Rhythm" seven-inch single in the spring of 2010. EXPIRE went on to play Rain Fest, Sound & Fury and This Is Hardcore that same year and released the "Suffer The Cycle" seven-inch single on Six Feet Under Records in the spring of 2011.
MPIRE OF EVIL (formerly PRIMEVIL) — the band he formed in 2010 with fellow ex-VENOM members Jeff "Mantas" Dunn (guitar) and Tony "The Demolition Man" Dolan (bass, vocals) — will release its full-length debut, "Hell To The Holy", on March 26 via Scarlet Records. The CD boasts 10 brand-new tracks displaying the band's infectious and groovy heavy metal assault, conveying Mantas' thunderous riffs, a huge rhythm section and Dolan's abrasive vocals into a monstrous musical holocaust which will appeal to both old-school and modern metal fans.

Produced by Mantas himself and featuring stunning cover artwork by Gyula Havancsák (ANNIHILATOR, DESTRUCTION, GRAVE DIGGER), "Hell To The Holy" is without any doubts a "must have" album for 2012.

A North American tour with British thrash legends ONSLAUGHT has already been confirmed but many more dates will follow soon.

Despite having played on the album, drummer Antony "Antton" Lant (ex-VENOM) has since left the band for personal reasons but a replacement for the tour will be announced soon.

"Hell To The Holy" track listing:

01. Hellspawn
02. Metal Messiah
03. Waking Up Dead
04. Hell To The Holy
05. Snake Pit
06. All Hail
07. Devil
08. Shockwave
09. The 8th Gate
10. M-pire (Prelude)

MPIRE OF EVIL released its debut mini-album, "Creatures Of The Black", on October 21, 2011 via Scarlet Records. The CD features cover versions of four songs that influenced the members of M-PIRE OF EVIL ("Exciter" by JUDAS PRIEST, "God Of Thunder" by KISS, "Hell Ain't A Bad Place To Be" by AC/DC and "Motörhead" by MOTÖRHEAD), plus two new songs, "Hellspawn" and "Reptile", which are available for streaming on the group's Facebook page.

In a 2010 interview with Metality, Dolan stated about the formation of M-PIRE OF EVIL,"Well, I think it came about as Mantas and Antton who were both doing separate music projects (DRYLL and DEF-CON-ONE) came together in DRYLL. Mantas needed a drummer and Antton offered his services. People kept wondering what it would be like if Mantas and Antton played with me and it was kind of, 'Oh, yeah that would be fun perhaps,' but then DRYLL played a show and performed the VENOM track 'Black Metal' [with Antton] and that was kind of it. People started saying I had to come in and play, too. So I got a phone call and had a few chats with Mantas and that was that; we decided we'd see if it worked. It does, very well, but then again myself and Mantas have always been friends and played well together. The addition of a drummer as good as Antton was something too cool to pass up! [M-PIRE OF EVIL] is old school, I guess, melodic, heavy, powerful. [As to how MPIRE OF EVIL is] different from VENOM, [I'm] not sure. We will inevitably be compared, as we are all ex-VENOM [members] and, of course, Mantas was the main songwriter for VENOM, so... But I feel we are more like classic metal. MOTÖRHEAD, BLACK SABBATH.... PRIEST and VENOM."
QUEENSRŸCHE guitarist Michael Wilton and bassist Eddie Jackson will join WINDOWPANE on stage tonight (Friday, January 27) at the Neptune Theatre in Seattle, Washington. Wilton and Jackson will perform one song with the Seattle-based hard rock band whose sound is described in a press release as "unique, gritty and dark, tailored with an angry blues essence that dances with loose and powerful grooves worthy of the classic rock icons."

WINDOWPANE supported QUEENSRŸCHE on their fall 2011 U.S. tour.

The band's latest album, "Daybreak", was produced by Brett Eliason (PEARL JAM, MAD SEASON, NEIL YOUNG, AUDIOSLAVE, R.E.M.).
Former KORN drummer David Silveria has joined forces with ANYONE members Riz Story and Miki Black in a brand new project called INFINIKA.

The group, whose lineup is completed by former TRAK 13 bassist Cory Tarallo, has just released a six-and-a-half-minute promotional clip featuring music from the upcoming release "Echoes And Traces". Check it out below.


Riz Story (ANYONE): Lead Vocals, Guitars
Miki Black (ANYONE): Guitar, Keyboards
Cory Tarallo (TRAK 13): Bass
David Silveria (KORN): Drums

Silveria left KORN in late 2006 and was reportedly focusing on family life along with running his steak house and sushi restaurant. In December 2009, David reportedly changed his steak house into the rock and sports-themed bar Silvera's Rockbar and is no longer 50 percent owner of his sushi restaurant, having agreed to sell his half of ownership over to his ex-wife after a year-long court battle.

During a 2010 interview, KORN guitarist James "Munky" Shaffer stated that David "has sold or gave away all his drums. I heard he doesn't even own a drumstick anymore."
West Virginia metallers BYZANTINE have officially reformed almost four years to the day since their last album, "Oblivion Beckons", was released.

The group's 2012 lineup is as follows:

Chris Ojeda: Vocals, Rhythm Guitar
Tony Rohrbough: Lead Guitar
Michael Cromer: Bass
Matt Wolfe: Drums

Commented Ojeda: "We've all kept in contact through the past few years and have worked on each other's projects as well. With our guitarist Tony moving back to West Virginia from North Carolina, we decided it would be a perfect opportunity to hang out again and jam. Before we knew it, we were tossing around riffs and song ideas and realized we had what seemed to be the foundation for a pretty kick-ass BYZANTINE album."

Since BYZANTINE is no longer tied to any record company, the band has decided to finance the recording of its fourth CD independently. The group will record most of the music themselves alongside engineer/producer and GIZMACHI guitarist Jason Hannon of 7 Over 8 Studios. Vocal tracking will be handled by BYZANTINE's longtime engineer Aaron Fisher at 101 Studios. Ojeda states that no time frame has been set for the release and no show dates have been scheduled. He says, "We are not focusing on playing live just yet. We all still live pretty far away from each other and have family and career obligations to meet. Our focus right now is to put together a real nice collection of songs that we and our fans can be proud of. Doing it on a smaller budget will be a little harder but it will be fun to take our time and be able to be creative on our own terms."

In the meantime, BYZANTINE has decided to enlist the help of Kickstarter.com for the financing of the album.

Kickstarter, the world's largest funding platform for creative projects, will allow the fans of BYZANTINE to help back the release of their new album through donations. Donations will be set up on a tier program and each tier will have incentives packages such as signed CDs, backstage passes, official sheet music and early digital downloads, etc.

Information on how to help BYZANTINE finance their new album can be found at this location.
Dutch folk metal six-piece HEIDEVOLK will release its fourth album, "Batavi", on March 2 through Napalm Records.

With "Batavi", HEIDEVOLK takes you back 2,000 years to a time where numerous Germanic tribes and one massive Roman empire were struggling for dominance in north-western Europe, along the shores of the river Rhine. Caught in the middle of this where the Batavians, protagonists and name-givers of the new album.

"Batavi" is a concept album that deals with the early history of the Batavian tribe, from its origination to a daring revolt against one of the greatest empires the world has ever seen. Set against a background of wars, alliances, intrigues and betrayal in a tumultuous era, "Batavi" tells the story of a people that find themselves in various frontlines and struggle for survival.

Though still unmistakably in line with their musical tradition, on "Batavi" you will hear a faster and more determined HEIDEVOLK. With nine songs of brutal power and epic highlights, HEIDEVOLK shows you its teeth like never before. Heavy, powerful guitar riffs and fast thundering drums, mixed by Peter Tägtgren, create the HEIDEVOLK sound of 2012. Trademark dual clean male vocals will guide you through the story of the "Batavi" and take you straight to the battlefields of Roman-age north-western Europe.

Commented the band: "Our new CD, 'Batavi', is about to see the light of day, and after many hours of hard work in the rehearsal room and studio we feel like a bunch of starved caged animals! Armed to the teeth with new songs, we're ready to satisfy our hunger and break free!"

"Batavi" track listing:

01. Een Nieuw Begin (A New Beginning)
02. Als Ons De Toekomst Lonkt (When The Future Beckons)
03. Het Verbond Met Rome (The Alliance With Rome)
04. Wapenbroeders (Brothers In Arms)
05. In Het Woud Gezworen (Sworn In The Woods)
06. Veleda
07. Als De Dood Weer Naar Ons Lacht (When Death Smiles At Us Again)
08. Einde Der Zege (The End Of Victory)
09. Vrijgevochten (Fought To Freedom)
Mumbai, India-based horror/heavy metal band ALBATROSS has recently released a single from its upcoming EP, "The Kissing Flies". The track titled "Uncle Sunny At The Tavern", which can be streamed using the SoundCloud player below, features Niklas Stalvind (vocalist/rhythm guitarist of Swedish heavy metallers WOLF) sharing vocal duties with ALBATROSS frontman Biprorshee Das.

Bassist Dr. Hex explains the concept behind the song: "An unnamed narrator returns to his native town, Raptorsville, after sixteen years to find it in shambles. An element of decay pervades every inch of the town; an atmosphere of wither which seems to have infected even the townspeople. Unable to come to terms with this disarray, he walks into the local tavern and meets a figure he recognizes from his youth, the mysterious Uncle Sunny. What ensues is left for you, the listener, to discover."

"The Kissing Flies" is ALBATROSS's second release and the follow-up to the band's 2010 debut, "Dinner Is You". The EP forms a part of a split release with American occult metal band VESTAL CLARET and is slated for an April 2012 release.

Dr Hex adds: "Exciting things are happening in the ALBATROSS camp. We've recently signed on to a merchandising company, and a label announcement will be made at a later date."
Swedish dark rockers KATATONIA have issued the following update:

"It's been a busy time lately and the hard work has finally paid off. We have now thirteen songs in the bag, and hey, that means the recording of our new album can and shall begin. We're starting with the drums on Monday and we'll be once again work together with David Castillo (who engineered and mixed 'Night Is The New Day'), so even though we always strive to improve our productions, it should sound sweet that it's the same team putting this one together, just throw in some new gear, gadgets and toys with that! The recordings as well as the mix will be divided between Ghostward and our own HQ over the next month and we'll keep you posted on the progress.

"So, what does the material sound like? Well, you got the lush textures, the moody melodies, the heavy parts, the progressive touches, the mellow bits and so on... Is it metal? Is it rock? Is it alternative? Is it singer/songwriter? Actually at times it feels like we're exploring territories where KATATONIA would be an orphan in the land of 'genres.' We can't tell where and to whom we belong and the goal is that it doesn't even matter, because before and above any genre there's first an acceptance level of music being good, or being bad. KATATONIA might be bad people, but we create good music. Amen.

"We also hooked up again with keyboard maestro extraordinaire Frank Default and regardless of the internet speculations, he's not to 'blame' for the increased use of electronics since the last album. That part has been called for as we simply feel that it has grown to fill a hole in our sound inside, or alongside, the classic formation of instruments. In our world, we allow mellotrones, Hammonds, rhodes and strings to integrate with loops, distortion and filters to manifest in the katatonic maelstrom. It's our time to marry contemporary with vintage. Here's our ninth album to be delivered!"

KATATONIA played four shows in Scandinavia in December, hitting the capital cites of Copenhagen, Oslo, Helsinki and, of course, the band's hometown of Stockholm. The concerts, which were part of the 20th-anniversary "Last Fair Day Gone Night Tour 2011", saw the band perform two sets. The first set consisted of a performance of the entire "Last Fair Deal Gone Down" album front to back. The second set was a mixture of carefully picked songs from the band's extensive catalogue.

KATATONIA's May 6, 2011 concert at Koko in London, England was professionally filmed/recorded for a future DVD release.

KATATONIA released special editions of the critically acclaimed albums "Last Fair Deal Gone Down" and "Night Is The New Day" on April 25. The 10th-anniversary edition "Last Fair Deal Gone Down" was presented in deluxe mediabook packaging, as a two-disc edition containing tracks from the now hard-to-find singles "Teargas" and "Tonight's Music". The reissue of 2009's "Night Is The New Day" includes bonus tracks from the "The Longest Year" EP. Both titles were presented with newly updated cover artwork courtesy of original artist Travis Smith.
Legendary San Francisco Bay Area gore grind act AUTOPSY will release its new collection, "All Tomorrow's Funerals", on February 28 via Peaceville Records. This monstrous 22-track effort contains all of AUTOPSY's EPs remastered by the bandmembers themselves, as well as new cuts. Everything from "Retribution For The Dead" to the now-sold-out "The Tomb Within" will be presented on CD and DLP with all original artworks, liner notes from the band and new cover art from renowned artist Matt Cavotta.

"All Tomorrow's Funerals" track listing:

01. All Tomorrow's Funerals (new track)
02. Broken People (new track)
03. Mauled To Death (new track)
04. Maggot Holes (new track)
05. The Tomb Within
06. My Corpse Shall Rise
07. Seven Skulls
08. Human Genocide
09. Mutant Village
10. Horrific Obsession
11. Feast of the Graveworm
12. Funereality
13. Fiend For Blood
14. Keeper Of Decay
15. Squeal Like A Pig
16. Ravenous Freaks
17. A Different Kind of Mindfuck
18. Dead Hole
19. Retribution For The Dead
20. Destined To Fester
21. In The Grip of Winter
22. Sign of the Corpse

Commented the band: "[The] few new tracks for 'All Tomorrow's Funerals' came out brutal and heavy as hell. Along with the newly written songs, we did a revamped version of 'Mauled To Death', which is the very last of the old songs that needed a proper album quality recording. This album will also contain all four EPs, all of which are out of print, as well as a compilation track from 1991, so the grand total is 22 tracks. It's something we've wanted to do for quite awhile, getting all the loose chunks together in one place rather than having them split up and added on as bonus tracks here and there. Everything has been painstakingly remastered with the band's guidance and sounds better and more crushing than ever. And don't worry, we didn't get carried away and ruin anything! Combine all that with killer new cover art from Matt Cavotta and we've got one hell of release."

AUTOPSY is currently working on all new material for its next album, due out late 2012/early 2013. The band states, "We can definitely promise more of what you would expect from AUTOPSY. There will be no compromise and no holding back. If you want 100% pure death metal brutality, you will certainly get it."

"Macabre Eternal", the first full-length album from AUTOPSY since 1995's "Shitfun", sold around 600 copies in the United States in its first week of release. The CD landed at position No. 67 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.

"Macabre Eternal" was recorded at Fantasy Studios in Berkeley, California and includes AUTOPSY's first 10-plus minute song "Sadistic Gratification".

AUTOPSY had previously decided to make an official comeback after working together on two songs for the special 20th-anniversary edition of debut album, "Severed Survival", in late 2008; the band having originally split before the release of its fourth album, "Shitfun", in 1995. A five-song EP, "The Tomb Within", came out last September and saw the original trio of Chris Reifert, Danny Coralles and Eric Cutler joined on bass by Joe Trevisano (ex-ABSCESS).
Reunited Dutch death metallers CENTURIAN will enter the We Are (Music) Junkies studio in Eindhoven on April 27 with producer/sound engineer Jo Peeters (ABORTED, HEAVEN SHALL BURN, SEVERE TORTURE) and Ralph Timmermans (MINDPARK) to begin recording their third full-length album, "Contra Rationem". The band's first studio release in 11 years wil be made available later in the year via Listenable Records.

Songtitles set to appear on the CD:

* Judas Among Twelve
* Adversus
* The Will Of The Torch
* Thou Shallt Bleed For The Lord Thy God
* Antinomian
* Feast Of The Cross

Commented guitarist Rob Oorthuis, CENTURIAN's founding member and writer/composer, "The new record should appeal anyone who is prepared to die for his stands. Believe nothing, dare all!!! 333."

Video footage of CENTURIAN rehearsing the new song "Judas Among Twelve" can be seen below.

Oorthuis previously stated about CENTURIAN's new material and decision to reform, "The new songs are more CENTURIAN-esque than they are NOX songs. The chemistry among the bandmembers, musically and technically, leans on an approach we had back in the CENTURIAN days. Because of this I coined the idea about changing back the name."


Niels Adams - Vocals
Rob Oorthuis - Guitars
Patrick Boleij - Bass
Seth Van De Loo - Drums

CENTURIAN's last album, "Liber Zarzax", was released in 2001 via Listenable Records.

Recent Activity:



Post a Comment