[Classic_Rock_Forever] Alice Cooper, Rush, Slash, Marilyn Manson, Anthrax, Quiet Riot, The Skull, Mastodon, and tons more hard rock and heavy metal news


According to The Hollywood Reporter, Alice Cooper, HEART, ELO's Jeff Lynne and Steve Miller have been added to the list of artists contributing songs to Paul McCartney tribute album, featuring covers of classic compositions from Sir Paul's catalog with THE BEATLES and WINGS and from his solo career.

KISS and THE CURE was previously announced to be part of the tribute, which has yet to partner with a label or distributor, but is being curated by longtime producer and music supervisor Ralph Sall ("Clueless", "10 Things I Hate About You", "Buffy The Vampire Slayer").
According to the RUSH fan site RushIsABand.com, Colorado-based sci-fi author Kevin J. Anderson has announced via his Facebook page that he will be writing a novelization of RUSH's upcoming album, "Clockwork Angels".

Anderson writes: "After dropping hints for a while, finally the big announcement, a new project unlike any other I've ever done...and something that I consider very cool.

"Most of you are aware of my long-standing friendship with Neil Peart, the drummer and lyricist from the legendary rock band RUSH, as well as how much RUSH has influenced my work. My first novel, 'Resurrection, Inc.', was closely inspired by the RUSH album 'Grace Under Pressure', and I can point to dozens of other novels and stories that bear a clear RUSH influence.

"For more than twenty years, Neil and I have wanted to collaborate on something MAJOR, a way we could tie together our imaginations, and at last that's happening.

"I'm writing the novelization of RUSH's forthcoming album, 'Clockwork Angels', their first new CD in five years. Imagine if someone had written the novel of 'The Wall', 'Tommy', or 'Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band' when those classic albums were released. For RUSH fans, 'Clockwork Angels' is that project.

"I worked together with Neil to flesh out the epic story told over the course of the music, as well as the artist Hugh Syme, whose paintings fill the CD booklet. In a young man's quest to follow his dreams, he is caught between the grandiose forces of order and chaos. He travels across a lavish and colorful world of steampunk and alchemy, with lost cities, pirates, anarchists, exotic carnivals, and a rigid Watchmaker who imposes precision on every aspect of daily life.

"To whet your appetite, RUSH released the first two tracks, 'Caravan' and 'BU2B'. Listen to those songs to get an idea of the story's beginning.

"I'm writing the chapters now, incorporating the lyrics into the narrative, and having a fantastic time. More details to come, but for now-to quote a line from 'Caravan': 'I can't stop thinking big.'"

RUSH recently completed the songwriting and arranging for "Clockwork Angels", an album that the band started work on in late 2009. The group's production team of Nick Raskulinecz (FOO FIGHTERS, STONE SOUR) and engineer Richard Chycki (AEROSMITH, DREAM THEATER) are putting the finishes on the follow-up to 2007's "Snakes & Arrows" in Los Angeles for a tentative late spring release.
Slash — the iconic, Grammy-winning rock guitarist and songwriter — will begin mixing his second solo album on Monday, February 13. He writes on Facebook, "The rough mixes sound great. It's a really solid record. [I] can't wait to get it out there!"

The as-yet-untitled disc is due out May 22 on Slash's own label Dik Hayd International distributed through EMI.

In the U.K., the album will be released on May 21 in exclusive Classic Rock Fan Pack form — providing a unique collectable package containing the studio album with bonus tracks alongside a specially created magazine with unseen behind-the-scenes content put together by Classic Rock. The Fan Pack format will also come with free gifts, including a pin badge and artwork poster and will be available to buy via more than 2000 retail outlets on newsstands nationally as well as the traditional high street and online music retailers. Roadrunner Records will simultaneously release the record digitally. The standard physical release of the Slash album will follow through Roadrunner Records on June 18.

For the new album, Slash — along with and his bandmates Myles Kennedy (vocals), Brent Fitz (drums) and Todd Kerns (bass) — teamed with producer Eric Valentine, who also produced the "Slash" disc. All the songs were written together by Slash and Kennedy, and cameras have been rolling throughout the entire making of the album. Check out exclusive behind-the-scenes footage airing weekly beginning today.
Shock rocker Marilyn Manson was interviewed on yesterday's (Thursday, Februaary 9) edition of "The Alan Cox Show" on the Cleveland, Ohio rock station 100.7 WMMS. During the chat, which can be streamed in two parts below, Manson revealed that the first single from his upcoming album "Born Villain", a song called "No Reflection", will be released "soon."

Marilyn Manson's eighth studio album, "Born Villain", will be made available later in the year through Cooking Vinyl Records.

The singer last September unveiled a new music video for the song "Born Villain" directed by actor Shia LaBeouf. Manson and the "Transformers" star met at a KILLS concert, when LaBeouf, a longtime Manson fan, struck up a conversation. LaBeouf said, "He's a big deal to me, and in my childhood, I don't know of a scarier figure in art. He, in my teenage years, was the scariest thing in the world, so part of me has always been intrigued." LaBeouf offered to direct Manson's next video and the singer agreed after LaBeouf showed him a clip he had directed for a band called CAGE. LaBeouf said that Manson is "like a brother to me now. He's a real sweet dude, a real close friend."

Marilyn Manson has also posted the following message about both the album and the film on his official web site, MarilynManson.com:

"'Born Villain' is the title of the new MARILYN MANSON album. While looking to experiment in unlikely collaborations, I met Shia, and we spent a long night at my studio. After seeing 'Maniac', his short film, which is somewhat inspired by 'Man Bites Dog', I was astonished by his directing ability. So I shared quite a few of my favorite inspirations in art, literature, and obviously film. I was impressed with how Shia digested my world, and made what I'd like to think, is both an homage and a mockery of the history of cinema. We ended up writing a short film. The score is from my new album, and is, in the words of Macbeth, 'Full of sound and fury.'"

Drummer Ginger Fish (real name: Kenneth Robert Wilson) quit MARILYN MANSON in February 2011 and has since joined ROB ZOMBIE. He has been replaced by the Los Angeles-based drummer Jason Sutter.

MARILYN MANSON in 2009 parted ways with longtime record label Interscope following the disappointing sales performance of the shock-rocker's latest album, entitled "The High End Of Low".

"The High End Of Low" was Manson's first album with longtime bassist Twiggy Ramirez since 2000's "Holy Wood".
ANTHRAX drummer Charlie Benante and bassist Frank Bello (who is Charlie's nephew) rejoined the band on stage last night (Wednesday, Febraury 8) at the Best Buy Theater in New York City after missing several shows on the group's just-completed U.S. tour in order to spend time with Charlie's mother, who was terminally ill. On February 4, Benante informed fans via his official web site that his mother passed away.

Fan-filmed video footage of the New York City concert can be seen below.

SHADOWS FALL drummer Jason Bittner will fill in for Charlie Benante at the following ANTHRAX shows:

Feb. 11 - Cordoba, Argentina - Cosquin Rock
Feb. 13 - Buenos Aires, Argentina - Malvinas

Bittner last joined ANTHRAX on stage on November 8, 2011 at Northern Lights in Clifton Park, New York to perform the ANTHRAX classic "Madhouse".

Bittner previously filled in on drums for ANTHRAX for two shows in January 2006 after Charlie Benante was forced to leave the tour early to attend to his wife Sandra, who gave birth to the couple's first child, Mia Charley Benante.

ANTHRAX's latest album, "Worship Music", has sold more than 80,000 copies in the United States since its September 13, 2011 release.
Following a pair of DVD releases, Shout! Factory has announced the release of several performances on CD from the famous US Festival in California including QUIET RIOT. Spearheaded by Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, the US Festival intended to be a celebration of technology and culture, with a temporary stage and open-air venue paid for by Wozniak himself just for the purposes of the festival. The event featured "Heavy Metal Day" on on May 29, 1983 with the aforementioned QUIET RIOT along with the following stellar lineup: MÖTLEY CRÜE, OZZY OSBOURNE, JUDAS PRIEST, TRIUMPH, SCORPIONS and VAN HALEN.

Despite the historical value of the performances, the festival was a failure, with two reported deaths at the 1983 festival and Wozniak and promoters losing some $24 million. Setbacks aside, the performances remain a worthy footnote in rock history, and Shout! Factory aims to memorialize these moments, first through DVD and now on CD.

On March 27, the CD/DVD combo of QUIET RIOT's set will be released, featuring the following track listing:

01. Danger Zone
02. Run for Cover
03. Love's a Bitch
04. Cum On Feel the Noize
05. Slick Black Cadillac
06. Let's Get Crazy
07. Battle Axe
08. Let's Get Crazy (Reprise)
09. Metal Health (Bang Your Head)
Two original members of Chicago doom legends TROUBLE — vocalist Eric Wagner and drummer Jeff "Oly" Olson — have joined forces with the band's longtime bassist Ron Holzner in a new heavy rock/doom metal act called THE SKULL. According to a statement on the band's Facebook page, "THE SKULL is here to do one thing... rock you with the sounds and spirit of TROUBLE — past, present, future. Tour coming soon..."

Wagner, Olson and original TROUBLE bassist Sean McAllister shared the stage for the first time since 1986 during Olson's RETRO GRAVE set on June 18, 2011 at the Days Of The Doomed Fest in Kenosha, Wisconsin.

Video footage of Wagner, Olson and McAllister performing the song "Victim Of The Insane", which was written by Olson for TROUBLE's full-length debut "Psalm 9" (1984), can be viewed below.

TROUBLE formed in 1979 and released several classic albums like "Trouble", "Manic Frustration" and "Plastic Green Head".

Eric was one of the guest singers on Dave Grohl's (NIRVANA, FOO FIGHTERS) heavy metal side project PROBOT, whose 2004 album featured heavy metal vocalists from the '80s and '90s. Wagner also makes a guest appearance in the forthcoming horror film "Jezebeth" (written and directed by Damien Dante of Satania 6 Films), to be released on Blu-ray in early 2012.

Eric Wagner left TROUBLE in April 2008, citing his disdain for the touring life as the main reason for his departure.
Atlanta progressive metallers MASTODON will perform on the Febraury 20 episode of NBC-TV's "Last Call With Carson Daly"

"Last Call With Carson Daly" airs on NBC at 1:35 a.m. Eastern.

MASTODON will hit the road for a spring North American tour in support of their current album "The Hunter", which was released by Reprise Records in September. The tour kicks off on April 4 in Portland, Maine, and visits more than 30 cities in the U.S. and Canada before wrapping up with a hometown show at Atlanta's Masquerade Music Park on May 12. These shows will feature an amazing night of powerful music featuring a dream bill with Swedish metal band OPETH as co-headliners, with special guest GHOST providing support on all dates. Collectively MASTODON has stated: "We're excited to co-headline this tour with OPETH for whom we have great respect and admiration. Having GHOST along as well will make this tour a special event." Tickets go on sale February 3 and February 4. There will be a fan presale scheduled to begin at 3 p.m. local venue time on Wednesday, February 1 available only at MastodonRocks.com.

MASTODON is among the nominees for the 54th annual Grammy Awards, which will be held on Sunday, February 12, 2012 at Staples Center in Los Angeles. The band's Grammy nomination is for "Curl Of The Burl", the first single from MASTODON's new album, "The Hunter".

MASTODON received its first Grammy nomination in 2006 for the single "Colony Of Birchmen", from the band's Reprise Records debut album, "Blood Mountain".
Californian blues-rockers RIVAL SONS are back in the studio throughout February to record their new album, due later this year via Earache Records. The CD is being laid down at Honey Pye Studios in Nashville, Tennessee with Grammy-nominated producer Dave Cobb, who has worked on all three previous releases from the band, and Grammy-winning engineer Vance Powell.

RIVAL SONS once again teamed up with video director Greg Ephraim for the "All Over The Road" video, which can be seen below

RIVAL SONS frontman Jay Buchanan commented: "Just like in the last video, there was no green screen used for this one. We actually did drive a Cadillac through outer space with a bunch of hot, naked chicks in the backseat. I haven't seen a final edit yet because they're trying to lower it to at least an 'R' rating. We'll see if that actually happens."

"All Over the Road" is taken from RIVAL SONS' new album, "Pressure And Time", which is out now worldwide on CD and limited-edition audiophile vinyl, as well as on iTunes with two exclusive bonus tracks.

RIVAL SONS was nominated for two Classic Rock awards, in the categories of "Best New Band" and "Best Album".
German thrash metal veterans KREATOR will release their new album, "Phantom Antichrist" on June 1 in Europe and June 5 in North America via Nuclear Blast Records. The CD is currently being recorded at Fascination Street Studios in Örebro, Sweden with renowned producer Jens Bogren (OPETH, KATATONIA, SOILWORK, DEVIN TOWNSEND, AMON AMARTH).

The cover artwork for "Phantom Antichrist" was created by Wes Benscoter (SLAYER, DIO, BLACK SABBATH) and can be seen below.

KREATOR will release a seven-inch single containing the "Phantom Antichrist" title track on April 20. The collector's item will be available in colored red vinyl (limited to 250 pieces) as well as in clear vinyl (limited to 250 pieces, exclusively available at the Nuclear Blast mailorder).

A brand new promotional photo of KREATOR can be seen below (photo by Stefan Heilemann of Stuttgart, Germany's Heilemania).

When asked about the musical direction of KREATOR's new material, the band's guitarist/vocalist Miland "Mille" Petrozza stated in a recent interview, "The songs are coming along great and I think it's OK to say that this will be our most epic album so far. There's some classical, a lot of traditional metal, and, of course, a huge dose of thrash metal influences in the new stuff. Everyone in the band is very excited at this point. The demos sound killer so far. We have about 10 songs we're working on so far.

Regarding the lyrical and visual concept for the forthcoming CD, Petrozza said, "It's too early to talk about the lyrics yet; many are written, but they keep changing all the time. Visually, we have tapped Wes Benscoter [BLACK SABBATH, DIO, SLAYER, CATTLE DECAPITATION, BLOODBATH] for the cover art. I can tell you this much: The artwork will be insane!"

In an interview with Aftonbladet journalist Mattias Kling, Petrozza stated about KREATOR's collaboration with Jens Bogren, "He's really good; I like him. I like the sounds that he gets. And I think the combination — Jens Bogren and KREATOR — it will be pretty heavy."

On the topic of how the new material is different from KREATOR's previous output, Mille said, "It's always a little hard for me to talk about music has been written but is not released yet. It will definitely have all the KREATOR trademarks. The lyrics will talk about nowadays stuff, as usual, so it will be like a photography of the year 2012. Also the lyrics will deal a lot of things that are actually happening at this point in time. It will be like reading a newspaper or something [laughs], with all the stuff happening. And, of course, the music will be typical KREATOR, and we also wanna expand the sound and progress as musicians. I mean, this lineup has been the strongest lineup KREATOR ever had since ten years, and now I think we're ready to come out with an album that blows everyone away."


Miland "Mille" Petrozza – Vocals, Guitrar
Sami Yli-Sirniö - Guitar
Christian "Speesy" Giesler - Bass
Jürgen "Ventor" Reil - Drums

"Phantom Antichrist" album artwork:
Former SKID ROW singer Sebastian Bach, who has made appearances in such reality-TV shows as "Celebrity Fit Club", "Gone Country" and "SuperGroup", tells InForum.com about the appeal of the small screen, "Cash … I like money. I don't sign up for reality TV shows thinking, 'Oh, I'm going to make something I'm really proud of that's gonna last the test of time. It's like a job. Rock 'n' roll lasts forever," he says. "The music I made in SKID ROW and continue to make now, my fans will continue to listen to long after I'm dead and gone. So it's like immortality. Reality TV is a form of disposable entertainment."

Bach, who made his Broadway debut with the title role in "Jekyll & Hyde" in April 2000 and also starred in "The Rocky Horror Show" and "Jesus Christ Superstar", hasn't appeared in any other Broadway productions since 2006. Bach tells InForum.com that he turned down a role in the Tony-nominated "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang" because, "It just doesn't have that rock 'n' roll feeling to me." He also turned down a job with the jukebox musical "Rock Of Ages", a love story told through the music of PAT BENATAR, BON JOVI, JOURNEY, POISON, TWISTED SISTER and other artists from the 1980s. According to Bach, he was asked early on to be in the play, but was disappointed that SKID ROW wouldn't let the Broadway show use any of its songs.

"I don't know if I could get excited about singing other people's songs every night," Bach says. "If I do Broadway, I don't want it to be too much rock 'n' roll. I want it to be legitimate Broadway."

Bach appears in the movie version of "Rock Of Ages", is due out in June. He told VH1 "Classic Rock Nights" about how shooting his scene went.

"I play 'Rocker Number Four,'" he said. "It's a stretch, but I have a really cool scene that I'm in with Russell Brand and Catherine Zeta-Jones and Tom Cruise, all in the same scene, talking to them. It was very bizarre. I went up to Tom Cruise on the set and I go, 'Hey man!' and he goes, 'Sebastian, I've been following you for a really long time,' and I'm like, 'You're Tom Cruise!'"

Bach previously revealed on Facebook that he and EXTREME's Nuno Bettencourt spent all night filming a scene in Miami that features "some nuns, bikers and rockers."
The self-titled debut album from UNISONIC — the band featuring former HELLOWEEN vocalist Michael Kiske and Kai Hansen (GAMMA RAY, ex-HELLOWEEN) alongside Dennis Ward (bass) and Kosta Zafiriou (drums) of Germany's PINK CREAM 69 and Swiss guitarist Mandy Meyer (who has previously played with ASIA, GOTTHARD and KROKUS) — will be released on March 30 (nine days earlier in Japan) via earMUSIC/Edel. The effort will be made available in the following configurations:

Europe & rest of the world:

* CD jewel case
* CD limited edition Mediabook format with and extended booklet plus bonus track
* Vinyl and CD package limited edition


*CD jewel case
* CD limited-edition digipack plus bonus track (exclusive for Japan)

The cover artwork, which was created by graphic artist Martin Häusler (MEAT LOAF, GOTTHARD, HELLOWEEN, MOTÖRHEAD), can be seen below.

"Unisonic" track listing:

01. Unisonic
02. Souls Alive
03. Never Too Late
04. I've Tried
05. Star Rider
06. Never Change Me
07. Renegade
08. My Sanctuary
09. King For A Day
10. We Rise
11. No One Ever Sees Me
12. Over The Rainbow (limited-edition bonus track)

UNISONIC's video for the song "Unisonic" can be seen below. According to a press release, the clip, which was directed by Häusler, "shows a powerful band performance at a magnificent ballroom in Heidelberg, Germany."

UNISONIC released its debut EP, "Ignition" on January 27 via earMUSIC/Edel. The effort includes the track "Unisonic" plus one demo song and a cover version of the HELLOWEEN classic "I Want Out", recorded live on October 15 at last year's edition of the Loud Park festival at Saitama Super Arena, a multi-purpose indoor arena located in Saitama City, Japan.

After the addition of Hansen to the group's lineup in early 2011, UNISONIC continued the songwriting process for its debut release, incorporating Kai's talent for writing great anthemic rock songs into its existing material. The recordings for the album started at end of September at ICP studios in Brussels, Belgium.

UNISONIC's music is very versatile and shows a broad approach to heavy rock without sacrificing the power and strong, catchy melodies that characterized the bandmembers' previous projects.

Commented Kiske: "It feels great to finally bring the band to the studio and record the songs we've been working on. We took our time to grow as a band, but it was definitely worth it and we are very proud of the result."

Added bassist/producer Ward: "We have a bunch of very strong songs and can't wait until people can hear them. Everyone in the band is now looking even more positive into the future."

Regarding Hansen's addition to UNISONIC, Kiske previously said, "After so many years of abstinence, I had a lot of fun doing my first live shows with UNISONIC in summer 2010, so I agreed to do the short world tour with AVANTASIA. It was a great experience to be on stage with all those great artists, but with Kai it was something different: We instantly felt the magic again and had a lot of fun together on and off stage. We both realized that we want to be together in band again. He was interested in the open musical concept of UNISONIC and finally asked me if he can join the band. I talked to my bandmates and they all felt great about it. His talent as a guitarist and songwriter is an enrichment for the band and we are looking forward to his contribution for the music of UNISONIC."

Kai Hansen's position in GAMMA RAY will be unaffected by his involvement with UNISONIC.


Michael Kiske (vocals)
Mandy Meyer (guitar)
Kai Hansen (guitar)
Dennis Ward (bass)
Kosta Zafiriou (drums)

Having split with HELLOWEEN in late 1993, Kiske participated in various projects and released several solo albums but had not been part of a real group effort until now.

While collaborating with Ward and Zafiriou on the PLACE VENDOME project five years ago, Kiske found two musical soulmates. They ended up recording two PLACE VENDOME albums before deciding to join forces in a new brand new band. Ward, who had previously produced a record for KROKUS, suggested Meyer as the perfect addition to the group in the vacant guitarist slot.

Kiske, one of the finest and most unique voices in contemporary rock music, explains his motivation of becoming a part of a band again: "Since the PLACE VENDOME productions I was impressed by Dennis Ward's skills as a songwriter and producer. We were occasionally fooling around since then via email that we should do more together in the future, so the idea came up to do a new band. I was generally getting a bit tired of doing everything on my own for so many years, so it just felt like the right thing to do now."
After headlining the Arctic Festival in London earlier this year, U.K.-based metallers POWER QUEST are preparing for their European dates with FREEDOM CALL in March.

Unfortunately, bassist Paul Finnie has had to stand down due to family reasons. Returning to the ranks to lock down bass once more is none other than POWER QUEST founding member Steve Scott.

Commented Finnie: "I'm sad to be missing out on what I am sure will be a great tour with FREEDOM CALL. All the guys in POWER QUEST have known for a while that I wouldn't be available during this period due to the imminent birth of my first child. However, I didn't see any reason why the rest of the boys should miss out on this great opportunity to get out and perform in front of some of our fans in Europe. I wish the boys all the best for the tour. I would also like to take the opportunity to thank Steve Scott for filling in on bass and essentially making the tour possible. I couldn't have picked a better man for the job and I know Steve's looking forward to being back in the saddle for these four shows. I look forward to being back with the guys for our appearance at PPM Fest in April. Hope to see and meet plenty of our fans there. Until then, keep rocking!"

Added Steve: "The biggest surprise of the year was when I received a phone call from Steve Williams asking me to join this tour. The funny thing is, I was listening to [the latest POWER QUEST album] 'Blood Alliance' when he called, thinking to myself, 'Damn, these songs are catchy!'

"FREEDOM CALL will be the perfect band to support on tour; they are top notch live and one of my favorite bands in the power metal realm.

"Yes, it is sad Paul can't do this tour as he has been doing a brilliant job on bass, but I wish Paul all the best with the new adventure ahead and hope everything goes smoothly for him and family.

"I have to say it will be fantastic to be back on stage with POWER QUEST. Who would have thought POWER QUEST would still be going when Steve Williams and I formed the band 11 years ago.

"I am very much looking forward to see some familiar faces in the audiences again and to be back on the road in Europe with POWER QUEST, the 'new' set list will tickle many a POWER QUEST fans ears, too!!! I can't wait."

POWER QUEST will be joining FREEDOM CALL on the following dates

March 08 - Pratteln, SWI @ Z7
March 09 - Kaufbeuren, GER @ Allkart Halle (Partyraum)
March 10 - Aschaffenburg, GER @ Colos-Saal
March 11 - Bochum, GER @ Zeche
Swedish metallers IN FLAMES were forced to cut their set short last night (Thursday, February 9) at the Sunshine Theater in Albuquerque, New Mexico after someone called in a bomb threat. According to Twitter messages from various members of IN FLAMES and their tour co-headliners TRIVIUM, the police showed up at the venue and pulled the plug on IN FLAMES' performance just as the band was about to play the closing song of its set, "Take This Life".

IN FLAMES is continuing to tour in support of its tenth album, "Sounds Of A Playground Fading", which sold around 14,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release to debut at position No. 27 on The Billboard 200 chart.

IN FLAMES' previous CD, "A Sense of Purpose" (Koch) opened with 20,000 units to land at No. 28. This was slightly less than the opening tally of "Come Clarity" (Ferret), which shifted just under 24,000 copies in February 2006 to enter the chart at position No. 58.
Newly reinstated KILLSWITCH ENGAGE singer Jesse Leach gave his first radio interview since returning to the band to "Brock And The Fatguy", the show hosted by vocalist Brock Lindow of Alaskan metallers 36 CRAZYFISTS and Fatguy on Anchorage's alternative rock station 94.7 The End. You can now stream the entire 23-minute chat in four parts using the SoundCloud player below. A couple of excerpts from the interview follow.

On what the reaction has been to the news that he has rejoined KILLSWITCH ENGAGE:

Jesse: "When I knew this was gonna happen, I unplugged from the Internet, I unplugged everything, 'cause I didn't wanna hear it. But all of my friends have been able to get in touch with me, and it's been very positive. So I'm just doing my best to keep my eyes focused on the job I've gotta do, you know?! Regardless of what people think about it. [Laughs]"

On how he came to rejoin KILLSWITCH ENGAGE:

Jesse: "When I read the press release that [previous singer Howard Jones] was officially out, I think that's kind of when I… it hit me that this may be something I should consider. There were a few things that were kind of making me hesitant, and one was I never really listened to Howard's songs [with KILLSWITCH] with the thought in my head of 1) Would I want to sing them? And 2) Could I sing them, and how could I do that? I called up Adam [Dutkiewicz, KILLSWITCH ENGAGE guitarist and Jesse's TIMES OF GRACE bandmate] and I was like, 'Hey, you know what?! No matter what you guys do with these auditions, I'll always do an 'Alive Or Just Breathing' reunion tour. I just wanted to throw that out there.' That was the first, initial contact I gave to Adam. And shortly thereafter, I ended up calling him back and I was like, 'You know what?! I think I wanna do this, actually.' So instead of assuming anything, I went and called their manager and said, 'Put me on the list for the tryouts. Let me do this the right way. Put me on the list and I'll be one of those many to audition.' I wanted to go through the channels. I feel like, it's one of those things, even if it was handed to me, I don't think that's the way it should go down. 'Cause, let's be honest, this band has been a band for the past [nine] and a half years without me, writing hit songs and touring the world. So, the bottom line was, who could come in and sing Howard's material? I mean, I can sing the songs I wrote — that's easy — but I had to prove that to myself, [and] I had to prove that to them. So I was the last one to show up for the auditions, I was the last one in line. And I went in there and sang seven of the songs and I actually felt really good about it, and I've fallen in love with those songs since. 'Cause, just having a different headspace about the songs, as opposed to just listening to them… I actually listened to them thinking, 'OK, I'm gonna sing these now. How do I feel these?' Listerally listening to them over and over again, and starting to feel out what the lyrics are about and trying to relate to them as best as I could, and then kind of reinterpreting certain parts a little bit, so it's my style."

"When I decided I was gonna do it, I saw it as a challenge. I saw this as something as 1) This could be fun, and 2) This could be a great move for me. And that's kind of where I've been. In between tours, I work day jobs, and I've been working behind the bar over here in New York City for the past four months, and the grind just gets to you after awhile. So when this thing popped up, I was like, 'You know what?! I think it's time for a new job. [Laughs]"

On the Internet speculation and rumors surrounding his original departure from KILLSWITCH ENGAGE in 2002:

Jesse: "That's because I had to be quiet about it; I had to go along with what the label needed me to say, which was to [blame] it pretty much on [problems with] my voice. I was having problems with my voice — thankfully nothing major, but just knowing how to use my instrument properly. So that was sort of the original reason that was put out in the press, but that's only a very small portion of the reason. I'd say it's kind of three- or four-fold. I was going through a bit of a depression. I had just gotten married and I was missing my wife. And I was suppressing those feelings and not feeling comfortable talking to the guys about it. We're on our first big tour, and the last thing they want is the singer complaining about [his] problems. For me, not being able to voice those issues, and being a young guy — I was a kid back them — it just kind of messed with my head. I started losing my mind a little bit out there. Also, I was under this impression that if you don't drink alcohol and whatever, your voice is better, which, medically speaking, may be the case, but on tour, it's probably good for your nerves to have a couple of drinks here and there, hang out with the boys and have a good time. The majority of the time you're out there, you're travelling — it's tiring, it's annoying. And then when you're on stage and you're hanging out after, that's the time when you're supposed to have fun. But I wasn't doing any of that; I was avoiding all of that. So I think all of that kind of contributed to me just really finding myself in a dark place. I just couldn't deal with it, so I bailed. I was losing my mind."

On what is different now compared to how it was when he originally quit the band in 2002:

Jesse: "Almost a decade of growing up, number one. Number two, finally figuring out who I am as a vocalist and how to use my instrument and what's my style and what I'm comfortable with and what I'm not comfortable with. And more importantly, how to last, how to have longevity out on the road — the 'dos' and 'don'ts' and the techniques; I've learned them all. It's one of those things where when I walked away, I didn't realize the impact that it would have on KILLSWITCH, I didn't realize the impact it would have on my career. But I've learned a lot since then."

"My wife and I are going on ten years for being married. And I'm sure any person who's been married for a long time can tell you, you love grows into this thing that you can't explain; it's a sort of a knowing thing. But when you're newly married, it's almost like an obsession, and a real strong bond that you just need to be together all the time. And I still have that — I definitely still have that with my wife; we're very much in love — but it's also one of those things where this has been my dream since I was a kid, and to get this opportunity, she was the first one to tell me, 'You've gotta go do this.' So once that was sort of out of the way, I was like, 'Alright, well, I've gotta figure out how I'm gonna deal with it.' Even touring with TIMES OF GRACE, the little touring we did, it's tough. Especially when you're overseas and away — it hurts. But it's just one of those things that kind of goes with it. You make it work. If you both love each other, you've just gotta make it work."

On KILLSWITCH ENGAGE's new material:

Jesse: "I have the 14 demos for the new KILLSWITCH record, and let me tell you, I'm glad that they didn't turn into TIMES OF GRACE [songs], and I'm glad that KILLSWITCH is gonna have the opportunity to write another record with me — or a few more, God willing. I can tell you right now from the demos, the people are gonna be really surprised; they're setting the bar up high once again. I'm literally within day three of just listening to them and just sort of digesting them. It's really fast and it's really heavy. It's not what people are going to anticipate, I'm sure. I literally am getting chills right now talking about it. It's gonna blow the doors off people, man. It's gonna be great."

Leach sang on KILLSWITCH ENGAGE's first self-titled album, which came out in 2000, and on their landmark 2002 Roadrunner debut "Alive Or Just Breathing".

The band will perform at the New England Metal & Hardcore Festival on April 22.

Leach last performed with KILLSWITCH ENGAGE in March 2010 in New York City, Clifford Park, New York and Wallingford, Connecticut (see video below).
Carolina Rebellion returns Saturday, May 5 bigger and better than ever and boasting a solid rock lineup for the multi-stage festival, including SHINEDOWN, KORN, EVANESCENCE, STAIND, FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH and SLASH.

2012 marks the debut of Carolina Rebellion at its new home at the legendary Rockingham Speedway in Rockingham, North Carolina, conveniently situated between Charlotte, Raleigh/Durham, Columbia and Greensboro. Also new in 2012: weekend RV and Tent Camping and the Friday Night Campground Party presented by Jägermeister, featuring performances from FOXY SHAZAM, LEZ ZEPPELIN, ONE…THE ONLY TRIBUTE TO METALLICA.

The current lineup for Carolina Rebellion is as follows:


The festival will once again feature the two Monster Energy main stages and the Jägermeister third stage.

Jonathan Davis of KORN says: "We're excited to bring KORN's new show to North Carolina and we fully intend on blasting out the loudest set of new dope shit ever at the Carolina Rebellion!!!"

"It is an absolute honor to be the headliner at such an amazing festival. It's been a minute North Carolina… It's good to be back. We can't wait to see the masses at the Rebellion!" comments Brent Smith of SHINEDOWN.

"Along with AEG Live, Right Arm is beyond excited to unleash the Carolina Rebellion lineup," says Gary Spivack, co-executive producerof the festival for Right Arm Entertainment. "Like last year, it was our goal to make sure the 2012 lineup was stacked from top to bottom. Three stages of non-stop rock 'n roll and a Friday night party to kick it all off…The ultimate rock festival in the Carolinas. Let the Rebellion begin!"

General-admission tickets for Carolina Rebellion go on sale to the public on Friday, February 17 at 10 a.m. EST at CarolinaRebellion.com and Ticketmaster.com. To get access to the internet pre-sale, which will be held from Wednesday, February 15 at 10 a.m. EST through Thursday, February 16 at 10 p.m. EST, go to the festival's web site and sign up to receive the Rebellion newsletter. A limited number of early bird tickets will be available for only $59.50 plus fees.

This year, Carolina Rebellion — which was called "this generation's Woodstock" by Examiner.com — will also feature an extensive selection of Camping Packages, as well as a VIP Lounge ticket option to invite the "Rebels" to spend the weekend on-site in Rockingham and create an unforgettable party. The packages will be available via the internet pre-sale as well as the public on-sale. With every purchase of a Camping Package come free tickets to the inaugural Friday Night Campground Party!

Based on 2011 attendee feedback, Carolina Rebellion organizers have implemented various upgrades and vast venue improvements to provide a premier concert experience at the multi-stage rock festival. The new centrally-located site provides plenty of space to expand, including more food and beverage stands, merchandise stands, restrooms and parking, and also offers more traffic routes to and from the event.

"When our fans speak, we listen," commented Joe Litvag, co-executive producer of the festival for AEG Live. "We personally responded to every person who sent us comments, and because of that important feedback, our motto this year is 'Let's double it!' Double the number of entrance points into the festival, double the number of concession stands, double the number of merchandise stands, and double the number of locations for free water…We're taking the steps to make Carolina Rebellion an upgraded experience for everyone."

In addition, all ticket prices will include parking to ensure quicker access to the parking areas, and earlier entry into the parking areas and will be allowed, along with earlier door times, to better alleviate the traffic and lines. The inclusion of the new Camping Packages will encourage fans to arrive on Friday starting at 10am and stay until Noon on Sunday, thereby relieving traffic congestion on Saturday.

Further improvements to amenities include: a larger box office area for will call pickup, shade locations in public areas and the Hangover Recovery VIP Lounge area inside the festival grounds to allow those with VIP Lounge tickets to have a special place to enjoy the event.

"Our sponsors mean as much to us as our fans do," added Litvag. "And without the support of music-centric companies like Monster Energy, who present our two main stages at Rebellion, we couldn't put a festival of this size and scope on for the people."

Carolina Rebellion is also proud to be sponsored by Jägermeister, Hangover Recovery, and FYE (which will be on site selling CDs and DVDs and will host band autograph signings throughout the festival day). Carolina Rebellion is produced by Right Arm Entertainment and AEG Live, the same team that produces the highly successful Rock On The Range in Columbus, Ohio. Tickets for the 2011 inaugural Carolina Rebellion sold out more than one month in advance and attendance exceeded 30,000.
Los Angeles cyber metallers FEAR FACTORY have finished recording their new album, "The Industrialist", to be released this year in Europe via AFM Records and in the U.S. through Candlelight. The CD was once again co-produced by the band with Rhys Fulber (FRONT LINE ASSEMBLY, PARADISE LOST), with additional tracking by Logan Mader (DEVILDRIVER, CAVALERA CONSPIRACY, SOULFLY). The mixing duties are being handled by Greg Reely (PARADISE LOST, FRONT LINE ASSEMBLY, SKINNY PUPPY) and FEAR FACTORY guitarist Dino Cazares at a studio in Canada.

In a January 2011 interview with SkullsNBones.com, FEAR FACTORY vocalist Burton C. Bell stated about the band's plans to go into the studio to record the follow-up to 2010's "Mechanize", "We wanna take our time doing it. Personally... 'Mechanize', don't get me wrong, is a good record — I'm very proud of it — but it's gotta be better than that. I've got plans where I'd like to do a full-on concept again — story, artwork. Just make it real cerebral."

FEAR FACTORY's most recent touring lineup featured original FF members Dino Cazares (guitar) and Burton C. Bell (vocals) alongside bassist Byron Stroud (who was credited on the last three FEAR FACTORY albums in addition to touring and recording with STRAPPING YOUNG LAD and ZIMMERS HOLE) and legendary drummer Gene Hoglan (DETHKLOK, STRAPPING YOUNG LAD, DARK ANGEL, DEATH, TESTAMENT).
Jeffrey Easton of Metal Exiles recently conducted an interview with STATIC-X frontman Wayne Static. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.

Metal Exiles: So what made you finally commit to a Wayne Static solo album?

Wayne Static: The decision to do a solo thing made a lot of sense at the time. STATIC-X had a long run, we did a lot of great stuff and had a great time, but towards the end the guys had other things going on and the band just fell apart; nobody wanted to be there anymore. It was time to do it and I was ready to do it.

Metal Exiles: Fans that pick this up will be expecting STATIC-X which is not completely true. What will they hear that they would not have heard on a STATIC-X record?

Wayne: It's very similar to STATIC-X, because I wrote all of the material, but the biggest difference is I did everything myself; there was no compromise. It is true evil disco from my perspective. "Pighammer" is what I envisioned the first STATIC-X record to be; trancier, a bigger electronic vibe with more keyboards. I also think my guitar tone on "Pighammer" is crushing. So you have all of these things that I wanted, but when you are in a band situation you have to compromise and when you work with a bunch of different producers things tend to shift away from what you really want. "Pighammer" is my pure vision of what I want to do, but at the same time, if you like STATIC-X, you will love "Pighammer".

Metal Exiles: You said when other people do your records, it tends to go in the direction of what the producer wants. Why does that seem to always happen?

Wayne: I still co-produced everything, but you have to compromise with other people for the greater good. Everyone needs to be happy with the end results or everyone is going to be pissed off and you do not want that. It is just the process, so going into the process of recording "Pighammer", I knew I had to do it on my own because I had not yet had the chance to do so.

Metal Exiles: Your artwork on this record was inspired by your wife [Tera]. What else does she inspire?

Wayne: We are absolutely inseparable, and I believe if you are going to get married, you should be together all of the time. I just do not understand all of these guys that get married and then want to go spend all of their time with their buddies. We have this compound out in the desert and we never leave the house. She was a big part of the artwork and the theme of the art is transition. Transition into my solo project, moving to the desert and sobering up. We wanted to think of a way to portray transition in an interesting but dark and comical way so Tera came up with this idea for me to be a plastic surgeon using a hammer to make beautiful chicks into pigs. That was the whole genesis of the idea. We got this great artist, Nelly Recchia, who did all of the art and photography. It was her idea to make it clean and not gory or comical.
Tom Murphy of Denver Westword recently conducted an interview with guitarist/vocalist Alexi Laiho of Finnish metallers CHILDREN OF BODOM. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.

Denver Westword: When you were starting out, what was it like being in a band in Finland?

Alexi: It was more like an underground scene. Black metal and death metal and stuff like that. The scene that we were a part of...it wasn't easy to get a gig, and you had to really be out there and beg every fucking venue to have you play or open up for somebody. So yeah, it was pretty harsh. I mean, it was pretty rough, but it didn't stop us. We just wanted to go forward, and we would do anything to get a record contract and after years of playing shows in dingy dive bars and whatnot, we ended up getting signed. It was a lot of hard work but it was worth it.

Denver Westword: Your band seems to be touring constantly. What is the most challenging aspect of that, and what do you find the most fulfilling?

Alexi: Obviously, the playing part. To me, it's the perfect lifestyle. We move around all the time, and it's a different city every night and different people and different lives, so I like that. I have a hard time staying still anyway, so it suits me pretty well. It can be a lot of fun and there's a lot of partying going on, but when you've done that for a year and a half in a row without a decent break, it does get to you. You start to see the wear and tear, especially when you have to fly everywhere or like when you're in South Africa or Asia and they don't have tour buses, really, so you lose so much sleep. Just things like that. It can definitely wear you down and it's definitely not for everybody.

Denver Westword: On your web site, you list a few of your favorite albums of all time. Why did you include the OZZY OSBOURNE album "Tribute"?

Alexi: It's my favorite Ozzy album, and it was the first one I ever heard. I was supposed to learn "Crazy Train" for this music school thing that I was going to. I had never heard Ozzy before. I'd heard Yngwie Malmsteen and stuff like that, and I didn't know who Randy Rhoads was. When I heard that album, it was pretty amazing. You know, the guitar playing and good songs and the whole vibe on that album, just the whole live thing. It's pretty intense.
"Imaginaerum", the new album from Finnish/Swedish symphonic metallers NIGHTWISH, has been certified gold in Poland for sales in excess of 10,000 copies.

As previously reported, "Imaginaerum" was certified gold in Switzerland, Slovakia and Germany.

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
Andy Greene of RollingStone.com recently conducted an interview with VAN HALEN's late-1990s frontman Gary Cherone about Gary's brief tenure in the band. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.

RollingStone.com: [VAN HALEN's] new album seems to be largely built around old material. Did they dip into the vault for any of the songs on "Van Halen III", or did they write all new songs?

Gary: "Van Halen III" was pretty much all new. Some of the stuff we worked on later got into the old stuff. I've heard samples of the new record, which sounds great, but a lot of that stuff I didn't hear. I would have loved to hear it, but I didn't hear it. There's one track they released as an instrumental that I wrote too. I don't know what the name of the song is.

RollingStone.com: It's interesting that so many songs on the new album appear to be built around old material. It's sort of an acknowledgment that the band can't write in the same way they used to.

Gary: In defense of Ed, there was always way more material than I could even get through. I remember going to the garage part of 5150 and there would be what seemed like hundreds of two inch tapes. They were filled of jams and riffs. I don't know whose idea it was to make the album the way they did, but they wanted to recapture the starting point of the band. It made sense to go back to the demos from before the first album and use them as a starting point. But knowing Eddie, he's probably revamped all those leads. From what I've heard, he's on fire.

RollingStone.com: Any thoughts on the new VAN HALEN material?

Gary: I wouldn't come to the conclusion that those guys can't write anymore. It think they went back to the material from that initial explosion of VAN HALEN. Eddie became a different songwriter during the Hagar years. He became more of a craftsman. Man, I wish I heard those riffs when I was in the band. That stuff is pure Eddie Van Halen . . . I do think that releasing "Tattoo" first was a misstep. I think it was a good song, but it was more from the pop side of VAN HALEN. I heard a rumor they picked it as the first single by just picking a title out of a hat.
Guitarist Jeff Kendrick of California metallers DEVILDRIVER has revealed via Twitter that he has begun the process of writing the group's sixth album with his bandmates Mike Spreitzer (guitar) and John Boecklin (drums). Kendrick adds, "[I am] excited to get going!"

DEVILDRIVER recently took part in the European "The Eighth Plague Tour" with MACHINE HEAD, BRING ME THE HORIZON and DARKEST HOUR.
"The Eighth Plague Tour" kicked off on November 1 in Oslo, Norway and wrapped on December 6 in Manchester, England.

DEVILDRIVER bassist Aaron "Bubble" Patrick (ex-BURY YOUR DEAD) joined the band as the replacement for Jonathan Miller, who quit DEVILDRIVER in March 2011, calling it "the most difficult decision of my life" but "something that I needed to do for myself."

"Beast", the fifth album from DEVILDRIVER, sold a little over 11,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release to debut at position No. 42 on The Billboard 200 chart.
Lenny B of GuitarWorld.com recently conducted an interview with Billy Graziadei (guitar, vocals) and Bobby Hambel (guitar) of New York hardcore/metal veterans BIOHAZARD. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.

GuitarWorld.com: What was it like working with [producer] Toby Wright?

Graziadei: It was a great honor working with him. We became close friends with him and let him into the inner circle of our creativity. We had never let anybody get that close to the band before. I think it was an integral part of making "Reborn In Defiance". As a guitar player and as a vocalist, Toby really pushed me to do better. He worked with us and helped us focus on the songs. [Toby was] always telling us, "C'mon, you can do better," making us focus on the bigger picture.

Hambel: I got so much out of it and learned a lot working with Toby. He's done some really good stuff that I admire and that I am a big fan of. So getting to work with him was exciting. And him being a regular cool kind of guy that I can get along with, hang out with, and consider him my friend was really easy. I remember dying to bend his ear at one point and I asked Toby a million questions like how he got these great drum sounds on one of his records and he was like, "Well… first of all, tune the fucking drums." And that was it. I was expecting some big technological answer, a secret recipe, or some brilliant answer that went over my head. I thought that was great. Toby was really cool.

GuitarWorld.com: So it must have been a shock for you guys when [former BIOHAZARD bassist/vocalist] Evan [Seinfeld] called to let you know he quit?

Graziadei: After we finished the record, I was still working in the studio with Toby, just adding the finishing touches, when Evan called and dropped the bomb on us that he quit and didn't want to do it anymore. It caught us in left field. It was a shock. It was a surprise. He made the decision and it was personal for him. With all due respect to Evan, we will leave that as personal. He had his reasons, but for us, we wanted to continue and see the record come out and so we left it as it was.

Hambel: Yeah, it was a shock to me. The record had taken a long time to finish for a lot of reasons. Just life in general made it difficult to get "Reborn In Defiance" done. When we were finished mixing, it that's when he decided to leave. Looking back on it, and all the experiences we've been through, I've said this in interviews before: The fact the four of us got back together after being apart for so long, going on tour was in itself something that we never thought would happen. Then, on top of that, we stayed together long enough to manage making an original lineup album. There are no guarantees in life, so there was no guarantee that the band was going to stay together. Evan wanted to leave. He must have really thought it out. With all due respect to him, we wanted to keep playing, and if Evan wanted to leave, we just had to accept that. It's unfortunate, but I'm grateful for the fact that we managed to keep it together long enough to tour and do an album.

GuitarWorld.com: And Scott Roberts will be filling in on bass?

Graziadei: Yeah, Scott will be playing bass and covering vocals. I don't look at Scott as replacing Evan. I mean, you can't replace somebody like that. We did what we did with Evan and this is a new era for the band.

Hambel: Scott played guitar in the band during the period of time I was absent, and when I rejoined BIOHAZARD, Scott stepped up and wanted to be my guitar tech. It was great to have him, because not only can he play guitar but he knows all the material. That lead to like a couple times where Billy couldn't make a show, and Scott stepped in and played Billy's parts, so that we could live up to our obligations to our promoters and not cancel any shows. And when Evan left at another point in the past, we had some shows scheduled in the U.K. so we called up Scott and asked him if he wanted to play bass. We know he knows our material. He's got a feel for the band because he was in the band.
ATTIKA 7 (formerly ATTIKA) — the Los Angeles-based heavy metal/hard rock band featuring Tony Campos (SOULFLY, POSSESSED, STATIC-X, ASESINO, MINISTRY) on bass; Evan Seinfeld (BIOHAZARD) on vocals; and songwriter and famed motorcycle builder Rusty Coones on guitar — has inked a North American deal with THC: Music/Rocket Science Ventures. The group entered the studio this week with producer Mudrock (AVENGED SEVENFOLD, GODSMACK) to begin recording its debut album for a summer release.

Commented Seinfeld: "As I embarked on my journey of musical and personal reinvention, the first step was to put together a band of incredible players, with diverse styles and a unified vision to write, record and perform timeless heavy metal, backed by an authentic outlaw lifestyle. Second, was to write and demo songs from our hearts and then to align ourselves with an amazing team in THC/Rocket Science for our debut release. Between Thom, Kevin, and the whole Rocket Science family, we feel such a strong sense of support and commitment from the label and we are fucking stoked that we have real partners in helping us to launch the ATTIKA 7 army."

Added Coones: "I'm very excited to be signed to THC: Music/Rocket Science. They have made it possible for us to get in the studio with one of the greatest metal producers of all time, Mudrock. We are in the studio as we speak, and we are looking forward to finally creating our debut album, and letting people hear what ATTIKA 7 is all about."

Stated Campos: "It's weird being in a band where I'm the only one who hasn't been to jail. And it sounds heavy as fuck!"

Mudrock said: "I'm happy to make a record with a bunch of guys who really know what they are doing and I promise that we will make it sound like it will rip your face off... I just hope Rusty doesnt kill me!"

Seinfeld, who last year left the reunited original lineup of BIOHAZARD, added, "So many people have asked me about BIOHAZARD and I really have not taken any time to comment, so here goes.

"All I really have to say is that I dedicated the better part of my life to founding, creating, and breathing life into being the frontman and face for the thing that BIOHAZARD was for 25 years and building it into an iconic brand. I put endless time and effort playing, writing, and singing on the new BIOHAZARD album, 'Reborn In Defiance', which I am very proud of — in my opinion, one of the band's best albums in many years. And although, as of now, it will not be released in the States, I'm sure the fans of the band who can get their hands on it will love it, as it will stand as the very last album by the original band.

"As for why I left the band, all I will say at this time is that it was 100% personal, and that it was not only a long-overdue and welcome change for me, but the catalyst for me to join up with my fellow members in ATTIKA 7, sign this amazing record deal with THC/Rocket Science, and begin recording our debut album with sonic ninja/master producer Mudrock!

"After 10 albums and probably around 4000 concerts with BIOHAZARD in over 90 countries, all I can say is that the only thing constant in life is change, and without it, things can become stagnant and repetitious. The creative situation for me playing with Rusty and Tony in ATTIKA fosters my genuine creativity to flow, and allowed us to build something heavy, authentic, new and exciting from the ground up; more than music, but real camaraderie.

"As for all the details of why I really left BIOHAZARD, those interested in the whole story can read my autobiography I am in the process of writing, which shares my life story in a no stones unturned 'tell-all.' Until then, look for ATTIKA 7's debut album to street in early summer on THC Music/Rocket Science."

Video footage of the new lineup of ATTIKA 7 performing the song "Serial Killer" on November 26, 2011 at the Stingfest at Stingers Bar & Night Club in San Bernardino, California can be seen below.

The ATTIKA7 sound "boasts very heavy, down-tuned and melodic harmonies, all the while boasting brutal hooks and grooves," according to a press release. "The band draws from several musical influences, including their own additional projects, and has been compared to the likes of BLACK SABBATH, METALLICA, GODSMACK, PANTERA, and WHITE ZOMBIE. The timeless no-frills songwriting of ATTIKA 7 is set apart from today's homogenized, derivative copycat bands by so many things, but above all: authenticity."

The majority of the ATTIKA7 album was written by lifetime biker and ATTIKA 7 lead guitarist Rusty Coones while serving a seven-year federal prison sentence for a false conviction. Rather than rat on his friends, Rusty used the tension to teach himself how to play guitar in solitary confinement. The passion and street credibility in his lyrics and riffs speak to the underdogs of the world who will not break, will not bend, but stand against forever.

When Rusty called best friend and riding buddy Evan Seinfeld to check in on whether he knew of a singer who could join his band, Evan immediately jumped in without hesitation. Since then, Rusty and Evan have been writing, recording, living and breathing ATTIKA 7 and haven't looked back.
"Smooth Comforts False", the second album from Portuguese progressive metallers THEE ORAKLE, will be released on February 20 via Ethereal Sound Works. The CD was produced at UltraSoundStudios in Braga, Portugal by Daniel Cardoso and THEE ORAKLE guitarist Pedro Mendes.

"Smooth Comforts False" features guest appearances by Yossi Sassi of Israel's ORPHANED LAND, as well as Adolfo Luxúria Canibal of MÃO MORTA and Marco Benevento of THE FORESHADOWING.

"Smooth Comforts False" track listing:

01. Faraway Embrace (05:24)
02. Psi-drama (04:54)
03. Mysterious Hours (04:37)
04. Foretoken (01:46)
05. Evil Dreams (05:42)
06. Winter Threat (03:36)
07. The Bridge Of The River Flowing (04:39)
08. Hopefulness (05:49)
09. Rescue Of Mind (05:15)

To pre-order the album, go to this location.


Daniel Almeida - Bass
Frederico Lopes - Drums / Samples
J. Ricardo Pinheiro - Guitar
Luis Teixeira - Keyboards
Micaela Cardoso - Vocal
Pedro Silva - Vocal
Pedro Mendes - Guitar
FOZZY, the band featuring WWE wrestling superstar Chris Jericho and STUCK MOJO mastermind Rich "The Duke" Ward, is working on material for the follow-up to 2010's "Chasing The Grail", tentatively due before the end of year via the group's new label, Century Media Records.

In a brand new update on his Facebook page, Ward writes about the progress of the songwriting sessions for the new CD, "Chris wrote the bulk of the lyrics months ago, but he has given me updated lyrics as I have needed them, some as recently as last week. I have been working on rough song ideas for last few months. Some basic song structures were recorded out on the road last fall with a portable studio set up in the back lounge of the bus, and other ideas more crudely captured by the recorder in my phone. So far, all the songs written for the album have been recorded in a rough demo form. Drums have been programmed, scratch guitars have been recorded, and a lot of the vocals have been 'sketched' out.

"For the last few weeks, our drummer Frank [Fontsere] has been relentlessly rehearsing the new album material at our practice space in downtown Atlanta. Next week, we officially move into the studio where we start tracking drums.

"Now to the big-headed gum-bumping. Based on the songs and the early demos, my gut feeling is that when this album is completed, it will be the best overall album that I have been a part of.

"It takes a lot of time and effort from so many people to make a record and then get it on to the shelves of your local music store. But all of us involved know that without the band's supporters, making these records wouldn't even be possible. So for that gift, we are so grateful, and thank you from the bottom of our hearts."

FOZZY last year parted ways with bassist Sean Delson and replaced him with Paul DiLeo (ADRENALINE MOB).

FOZZY released the "Remains Alive & Chasing The Grail" two-CD set on July 18, 2011 via Edel's international rock label earMUSIC.

FOZZY was already on the map as the band with the pro wrestler singer, but "Chasing The Grail" broke them as a proper band. It hit #6 on the U.S. Heatseekers charts and the single "Martyr No More" was a theme song for the WWE Royal Rumble. "Remains Alive" is a 2005 live album (recorded in Australia) that was previously available in digital format only.

"Chasing The Grail" sold around 2,200 copies in the United States in its first week of release. The CD landed at position No. 6 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.
In an age where CDs are moving towards extinction as a means of music distribution, it's forward-thinking that can drive the new landscape. DANGER DANGER frontman and solo artist Ted Poley is harnessing portability and technology in an exciting and very cool way with the release of his "Greatestits" deluxe edition on USB flash drive.

In addition to MP3s representing the entire double-album set, Poley has included a heavy stash of bonus goodies to sweeten the pot for his fans. "Greatestits" deluxe edition also includes the MP3 of his digital-only single "Breathe", along with a high quality video file of his self-produced music video for the Michelle Branch cover, a previously unreleased 2012 Ted Poley printable calendar, full cover/booklet/traycard artwork from both previously released 2-CD versions, facsimile autographed printable promo photo as well as an ultra-limited collectors guitar pick. The pick and flash drive both bear the "O" logo that has become synonymous with Ted Poley's high-energy persona.

This set comes in a sleek, protective clam shell case which can be autographed on request. For Poley's worldwide fanbase, this rare deluxe edition will clearly be a must-have. Above and beyond the bonus features, the focus here is on music. Blast these tunes on your laptop or tablet computer, sideload them onto your portable MP3 player, or even pop it into your USB port on the dash of your car stereo. The deluxe edition is available for a limited time here.

"Greatestits" includes songs that span all of Ted's work outside of DANGER DANGER, and features re-masters of some of his most popular songs from his two most recent solo CDs, POLEY/RIVERA, BONE MACHINE, MELODICA, PROPHET, as well as collaborations with JK Northrup, Jack Frost and Jun Senoue. The 33-plus-song set also boasts rare unreleased gems like original song demos and hard-to-find rare tracks, including the impossible-to-find Christmas song, the Japan-exclusive "Takoyaki Rock", as well as two brand new demos of previously unreleased material.

"Greatestits" part 1:

01. Yeah You Want It
02. What If She Knew
03. Waiting Line
04. Maybe
05. Deep Inside
06. Going Blind
07. I Love You
08. You're The One
09. Let Me Out
10. Missing You
11. Anisha
12. Shellshocked
13. Mrs Frankenstein
14. The Song
15. Life And Times
16. Simple Life
17. Phone Sex

"Greatestits" part 2:

01. Put Your Luv On Me
02. Lovemetal
03. One And Only
04. Praying For A Miracle
05. Only Human
06. Crossing This Ocean
07. Perfect Imperfection
08. If I Were James Taylor
09. Takoyaki Rock (with special guest Jun Senoue; previously unreleased
Japanese exclusive)
10. Wastin' Your Luv
11. Listen To Ya
12. Smile
13. You Won't See Me Cryin' (previously unreleased 2009 demo featuring
Tom and James Martin)
14. Tokyo Nights (previously unreleased 2009 demo featuring Tom and
James Martin)
15. A Letter To Santa (out-of-print Christmas song from 1994 featuring
Gary Corbett and Karl Cochran)
16. Ted Poley (bonus track) (parody of the KISS song "Unholy" by C.C. Banana)
Indian progressive metal band SKYHARBOR will release its double-disc debut album, "Blinding White Noise: Illusion & Chaos", on April 23 via Basick Records. The CD promises to be a landmark release for the Indian independent music scene, in no small part thanks to the incredible number of international guest appearances it will see, including the likes of Marty Friedman (ex-MEGADETH), Daniel Tompkins (ex-TESSERACT), Vishal J. Singh (AMOGH SYMPHONY) and Sunneith Revankar (BHAYANAK MAUT).

Commented SKYHARBOR guitarist Keshav Dhar: "After four years of epiphanies and disappointments, frustration and jubilation, I'm thrilled to finally be getting our debut album out. It has taken three years to write and another to produce, and what I am most proud of is that I feel each song stands on its own, and while they span a wide range of ideas, sounds and stories, they all belong. Having been able to collaborate with some of the finest names in modern music was the icing on the cake, and I hope people enjoy this album as much as I have enjoyed creating it."

Starting out as a simple bedroom studio project, guitarist Keshav Dhar has seen SKYHARBOR quickly evolve into one of India's hottest metal prospects, with huge admiration coming in from some of the biggest names in metal worldwide. An astonishing amount of buzz also surrounded the bands first ever performance at the Bacardi NH7 Festival in Pune, India earlier this month, where they played to over 1,000 people and were one of the weekend's highlights.

The track "Maeva" has been released for streaming from the forthcoming album and can be experienced here.

"Blinding White Noise: Illusion & Chaos" track listing:

Disc One (running time: 34 minutes 20 secons)

01. Illusion: Dots
02. Illusion: Order 66
03. Illusion: Catharsis
04. Illusion: Night
05. Illusion: Aurora
06. Illusion: Celestial
07. Illusion: Maeva

Disc Two (running time: 13 minutes 38 seconds)

08. Chaos: Trayus
09. Chaos: Aphasia
10. Chaos: Insurrection
New Jersey/New York's ILL NIÑO is prearing to enter the studio to begin laying down its sixth full-length album for a summer release via Victory Records. The recording sessions will begin next month in Hoboken, New Jersey; Austin, Texas; and Denver, Colorado.

Commented ILL NIÑO frontman Cristian Machado: "It's 2012 and we're all still alive. It's time to redefine Latin metal."

Added ILL NIÑO drummer/founder Dave Chavarri: "This time around, we want to explore Latin and tribal rhythms we have never explored in the past five releases, giving us no musical boundaries at all."

ILL NIÑO's fifth album, "Dead New World", sold around 3,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release to debut at position No. 164 on The Billboard 200 chart. The band's previous effort, "Enigma", opened with 5,000 units to land at No. 145 back in March 2008.

"Dead New World" was released on October 26, 2010 via Victory Records. The follow-up to 2008's "Enigma" was self-produced, with co-production coming from Clint Lowery (SEVENDUST) and Sahaj Ticotin (RA), and mixed by Eddie Wohl (36 CRAZYFISTS, ANTHRAX, SMILE EMPTY SOUL). The album artwork was created by Tim Butler of XIII Designs (DISTURBED, SLIPKNOT, METALLICA, SLAYER, MICHAEL JACKSON).
SUFFER WELL — the band featuring Brandan Schieppati (BLEEDING THROUGH) on vocals, Mick Kenney (ANAAL NATHRAKH) on guitar, Trevor Friedrich (EIGHTEEN VISIONS, COMBICHRIST) on drums, Bobby Schubenski on bass and Adam Vex (IMPERATIVE REACTION) on guitar — has officially split up. Brandan has since launched a brand new project called SORROWS, which was the name SUFFER WELL went under in 2010 before inking a deal with Century Media Records.

Kenney previously stated about SUFFER WELL's musical direction, "I wanted to stay away from what was 'expected.' I wanted to create music that broke the rules and could not be described as falling into a particular genre. I wrote this from the heart."

Added Schieppati, "SUFFER WELL has elements from both of our other bands but with its own identity and uniqueness."
"Nocebo", the fifth album from Lemi, Finland-based metallers STAM1NA, has been certified gold in the band's home country for sales in excess of 10,000 copies.

STAM1NA will be presented with gold plaques for "Nocebo" during their appearance at the Finnish Metal Expo on February 18.

"Nocebo" was released on February 8 via Sakara Records. The CD was recorded at Petrax studios with producer Joe Barresi (TOOL, BAD RELIGION, APOCALYPTICA, QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE, WOLFMOTHER).

"Nocebo" track listing:

01. Pirunpaska
02. Valtiaan uudet vaateet
03. Tavastia palamaan!
04. Puolikas ihminen
05. Aivohalvaus
06. Rabies
07. Lepositeet
08. Nomad
09. Ei encorea
10. Arveton on arvoton

The digipack version of "Nocebo" comes with an extended booklet and a DVD containing a half-hour "making-of" documentary, filmed at Petrax studios and produced by STAM1NA's bassist, Kai-Pekka Kangasmäki.

STAM1NA will promote the release of "Nocebo" by embarking on a spring 2012 tour of Finland, dubbed "Irti arjesta".

For an updated list of tour dates, go to this location.

According to a press release, the collaboration between Barresi and STAM1NA came about as a result of a meeting the producer had with the band in February 2010 when Joe was in Helsinki working on the latest APOCALYPTICA album.

STAM1NA was honored in the "Metal Album Of The Year" and "Band Of The Year" categories at last year's Emma Gaala (Finnish Grammy equivalent), which was held on February 26, 2011 at Barona Areena in Espoo, Finland.
"Emerald Forest And The Blackbird", the fifth full-length album from Finnish doom metallers SWALLOW THE SUN, has entered the official chart in the band's home country at position No. 2. Released on February 1 via Spinefarm Records, the CD was recorded during September and October 2011 by Mikko Karmila (NIGHTWISH, AMORPHIS, CHILDREN OF BODOM) at Drumforest Studios in Viitasaari and Sonic Pump 2 in Helsinki, and by Hannu Honkonen at Noisework Studios in Helsinki. The effort was mixed by Hiili Hiilesmaa (HIM, APOCALYPTICA, AMORPHIS, MOONSPELL) and will be mastered by Mika Jussila (NIGHTWISH, AMORPHIS, SENTENCED) at Finnvox Studios. The artwork was once again created by Rami Mursula.

Commented SWALLOW THE SUN's main songwriter Juha Raivio: "I found myself listening to an old Finnish lullaby called 'Sininen Uni' over and over again, and suddenly images started pouring into my mind of a dad reading a tale to his dying child, trying to explain where the child is going that night, the tale of Emerald Forest and the Blackbird. Finally this image lead me into a long journey through this night and got me trapped in the limbo between the dusk and the dawn. The place where you face your demons and angels, meet the souls of the ones you loved and lost.

"Will we walk the night forever, or let the night forgive us and let us say a last goodbye? These are songs from the limbo, notes of sorrow, hate, love, darkness and light. The tale of Emerald Forest and the Blackbird."

"Emerald Forest And The Blackbird" track listing:

01. Emerald Forest And The Blackbird
02. This Cut Is The Deepest
03. Hate, Lead The Way
04. Cathedral Walls (feat. Anette Olzon)
05. Hearts Wide Shut
06. Silent Towers
07. Labyrinth Of London (Horror Pt. IV)
08. Of Death And Corruption
09. April 14th
10. Night Will Forgive Us

The "Cathedral Walls" video, which features a guest vocal appearance by NIGHTWISH singer Anette Olzon, can be seen below.

"When I got to listen to the rough demo of 'Cathedral Walls', I fell in love with the song immediately and I was so honoured to be asked to sing on this song," said Anette. "The melody and lyrics are truly beautiful."

Aleah Stanbridge of TREES OF ETERNITY — whose ethereal voice is familiar from SWALLOW THE SUN's previous works — is featured on two tracks.

SWALLOW THE SUN's latest album, "New Moon", landed at position No. 148 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).

"New Moon" entered the official chart in the band's home country at position No. 10.
Canadian label War On Music Records will reissue several vinyl records from Montreal extreme metal veterans CRYPTOPSY. Two highly renowned classics of the genre, "Blasphemy Made Flesh" and "None So Vile", will be made available as separate LPs, and the cult rarity "Ungentle Exhumation" demos (under license from Galy Records) will be released officially for the first time ever as a limited seven-inch single.

"None So Vile" LP

Side A

01. Crown of Horns 03:57
02. Slit Your Guts 04:02
03. Graves of the Fathers 04:11
04. Dead and Dripping 03:53

Side B

05. Benedictine Convulsions 04:00
06. Phobophile 04:38
07. Lichmistress 02:31
08. Orgiastic Disembowelment 04:51

"Blasphemy Made Flesh" LP

Side A

01. Defenestration 04:32
02. Abigor 03:52
03. Open Face Surgery 04:25
04. Serial Messiah 04:01
05. Born Headless 04:29

Side B

06. Swine of the Cross 03:06
07. Gravaged (A Cryptopsy) 02:47
08. Memories of Blood 03:34
09. Mutant Christ 04:21
10. Pathological Frolic 04:35

"Ungentle Exhumation" 7"

Side A

01. Gravaged (A Cryptopsy) 03:05
02. Abigor 03:46

Side B

03. Back to the Worms 03:31
04. Mutant Christ 04:25

Both LPs and the seven-inch feature the longtime drum virtuoso Flo Mounier, as well as original vocalist Lord Worm and guitarist Jon Levasseur, who recently rejoined the band.

"Blasphemy Made Flesh" and "None So Vile" will be made available with the original artwork, first 250 units on colored vinyl, and first 100 sales will include a clear colored vinyl copy the "Ungentle Exhumation" seven-inch. A late spring release is expected.

CRYPTOPSY is currently finishing up work on a new record which will be released sometime in 2012. Also coming this year will be a new best-of compilation from Century Media.

"None So Vile" was recently inducted into Decibel magazine's lofty "Hall Of Fame" as one of the top 100 extreme metal releases of all time.
For more information, visit www.waronmusic.com.
"Love", the previously unreleased third album from the long-defunct 1990s Swedish death metal band LEUKEMIA, will be made available next month via Vic Records.

LEUKEMIA was formed in 1989 by Lord K. (THE PROJECT HATE MCMXCIX, TORTURE DIVISION, DARK FUNERAL, HABITAT) and Jocke Granlund (HABITAT, URBERGET, ALAN HANSEN) as a thrash metal band with death metal influences. LEUKEMIA released its debut album, "Suck My Heaven", in 1993 on the legendary Swedish label Black Mark. Their second album, "Grey-Flannel Souled", followed in 1994 on Step One Records (FURBOWL, MORHPEUS).

By the end of 1994, LEUKEMIA entered Unisound Studios (OPETH, KATATONIA, EDGE OF SANITY) with Dan Swanö to record their third album named "Love", this time with Dan Swanö as a member doing all backing vocals (clean vocals, screams and grunts). After the recordings, the LEUKEMIA members went on to form different bands and projects and they didn't shop around for a record deal for this fully recorded and mixed album. When Vic Records signed THE PROJECT HATE in 2006, Lord K. mentioned this album which was very special to him and which he wanted to see finally released. The deal was signed and Swanö mastered the album 13 years after it was recorded. The cover and booklet art was created by Marko Saarelainen (PESTILENCE, THE PROJECT HATE).

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