[Classic_Rock_Forever] Black Sabbath, Alice Cooper, Guns N Roses, Velvet Revolver, Slayer, Megadeth, Foo Fighters, Godsmack, HELLYEAH and tons more hard rock and heavy metal news


Artisan News caught up with Ozzy Osbourne's wife/manager Sharon Osbourne last Thursday (February 9) at The Grammy Foundation's annual Grammy Week preservation event at the Saban Theatre in Beverly Hills, California and spoke to her about the current BLACK SABBATH drummer situation (see video below). When asked if Ozzy, bassist Geezer Butler and guitarist Tony Iommi have found a replacement for the band's original drummer, Bill Ward, she replied, "You know, I don't know. I honestly, honestly don't know. It's all up in the air. The one thing that is for sure is that SABBATH are in the studio with [producer] Rick Rubin and they are going on tour. That's all I know. And Tony is doing brilliantly well."

Ward announced two weeks ago that he could not participate in the planned reunion of the band's founding lineup without what he called a "signable" contract.

The other three members of SABBATH have already announced that they will move forward without Ward, with Ozzy's solo band drummer Tommy Clufetos rumored to be already in the studio with them.

The reunion of the original lineup was announced last November, along with a new album and tour. Iommi's current battle with cancer has put prospects for a full world tour in question at this point.

As previously reported, Bill's son Aron has gone online to defend his father. In a lengthy message posted at Facebook, Aron wrote in part, "The press is spinning this shitstorm to read as if my dad has quit. This is not true. The guys know that. That's why they said the door is ALWAYS open. My dad hasn't 'declined' playing with BLACK SABBATH or 'threatened' to pull out of this reunion."

Addressing accusations that his father is being "greedy," Aron wrote, "He is by no means greedy, man. If he was, he would have settled with whatever contract given him. It's kind of obvious someone else is greedy . . . sadly, the current 'SABBATH' statement reads as if someone would rather see the remaining members play in front of thousands of disappointed, confused and resentful fans then give my dad a dignified agreement."

After defending his father against the "idiots slagging off my dad" — presumably fans not taking his side — Aron concluded with a message to SABBATH members Tony Iommi, Ozzy Osbourne and Terry "Geezer" Butler, writing, "To Terry (my godfather), Ozzy (my friend when I was little) and Tony (towering hero), I hope that you will listen to your fans. They want all of you together. As YOU are BLACK SABBATH so is my Dad. I hope you guys can work it out."
ALICE COOPER, BAD BRAINS and KVELERTAK are among the confirmed artists for the 2012 Bonnaroo Music And Arts Festival. The 11th annual four-day camping and music festival will be held on June 7-10 on the same beautiful 700-acre farm in Manchester, Tennessee, 60 miles south of Nashville. The final Bonnaroo 2012 lineup will total over 125 bands and over 20 comedians performing on 13 stages over four days.Tickets for the event will go on sale on this Saturday, February 18 at 12 noon EST exclusively at Bonnaroo.com.

After an unforgettable 10th year celebration in 2011, festival organizers have come back with one of the most eclectic and striking lineups to date, drawing from an astounding range of music scenes to create what is sure to be another incomparable weekend for the ages. The breadth of the programming is consistently innovative each year and has become one of the key signature aspects of this legendary festival, whose uniquely open minded yet discerning and passionate community thrives on its intelligent diversity. A consistent power in music discovery, Bonnaroo once again will expose its fanbase to legends, current favorites as well as new artists who are about to break.

As the only round-the-clock major U.S. music festival, Bonnaroo packs an unparalleled amount of entertainment options into its four days. The event has offered its attendees the amenities and community spirit of a small city, with 24 hours of activities including a comedy theater, cinema festival, broo'ers festival, silent disco, salon, sustainable gardening lessons, arcade, Internet cafés, restaurants, yoga classes and hundreds of high-quality food and craft vendors.

Festival organizers are also excited to announce their new partnership with YouTube creating Bonnaroo365, a new entertainment channel on YouTube featuring original programming, daily content and legendary live festival performances all created and curated by the Bonnaroo producers. Bonnaroo365 will be an unprecedented destination for the community to celebrate "Good Stuff," the literal definition of Bonnaroo. This extension of Bonnaroo represents its transition from being mainly an annual terrestrial event to having a presence in the day-to-day life of likeminded entertainment fans worldwide. Specific programming details and schedules will be released in the coming months.
GUNS N' ROSES keyboardist Dizzy Reed has told Billboard.com that the band's entire original lineup — including guitarist Slash and vocalist Axl Rose — will attend the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame induction ceremony on April 14 in Cleveland. "I know that all the original band is going to be there," Reed said. "I don't know exactly what's going to go down. It's one of those things I'm sure will all come together and be really cool. I'm just going to go in with a good attitude and a clear head and a grateful heart."

When asked if there is a possibility that the musicians — Rose, guitarists Slash, Izzy Stradlin and Gilby Clarke, bassist Duff McKagan and drummers Steven Adler and Matt Sorum — will put aside well-publicized differences at the ceremony and pick up their instruments together, Reed told Billboard.com, "Honestly, we haven't spoken about it. I don't know when or why or how to bring it up. It's not an every day sort of thing. So we haven't really talked about it — but I'm sure we'll have to at some point."

During a 2009 interview with longtime friend and former road manager Del James, first published on Spinner, Rose called former GUNS N' ROSES axeman Slash a "cancer."

"There's zero possibility of me having anything to do with Slash other than by ambush, and that wouldn't be pretty," Rose told James. "There is the distinct possibility that having his intentions in regard to me so deeply ingrained and his personal, though guarded, distaste for much of 'Appetite [For Destruction'] the band's diamond-certified debut album] other than his or Duff's playing, Slash either should not have been in GUNS to begin with or should have left after 'Lies'. In a nutshell, personally I consider him a cancer and better removed, avoided — and the less anyone heard of him or his supporters, the better."

A year later, Slash responded to Axl's comments, saying in an interview, "For one, I've never said anything derogatory about anyone's performance on 'Appetite'. So right from the start it's just off."

Furthermore the guitarist, who lost his mother to lung cancer, revealed that though he agreed with the sentiment behind some of Rose's comments, the singer's choice of wording was tough to take.

"The cancer thing, I'll go with him on that, that fits into his description of things. I wouldn't use the word 'cancer' but I haven't gone anywhere and I don't seem to be going anywhere so that's justified," Slash said. "Actually, I lost my mom to cancer so that was a little bit of hard rhetoric at that particular time, but it's typical Axl stuff... I know how he comes off and how he really is, so I give him credit where hopefully it's due."
SLAYER drummer Dave Lombardo has revealed via his Facebook page that he and the band's guitarist, Kerry King, "have seven kick-ass songs" written for the group's next studio album. He adds, "You're going to soil your pants!!"

In a recent interview with Artisan News, King stated about the progress of the songwriting sessions for SLAYER's next album, "We go back out [on the road] May 25 in Europe, then we'll be back in the States, of course. Hopefully we'll get in the studio to record [the new CD] before then, 'cause it's time-consuming. We're looking to get in March and April, so hopefully be done [recording] by the time [we have to go back out on tour]."

Speaking to U.K.'s Metal Hammer magazine, Kerry described the new material as "really refreshing and energetic." He added, "One thing I can tell you is that the songs are shaping up in the classic SLAYER style. You won't be hearing us doing acoustic stuff. [laughs]"

Kerry is hoping that Greg Fidelman, who co-produced 2009's "World Painted Blood" with Rick Rubin, will be at the helm for the new album. "That's the idea, anyway," Kerry told Metal Hammer. "But it all depends on his availability. . . I don't think we'll spend long in the studio this time, either. We're gonna do it old-school style and get things done fast. In fact, we are already ahead of schedule. The album will be ready for a summer release. But whether it's put out at that time is down to the record label [American]. They might have other plans. But we want it with the fans during the summer."

King also spoke about Hanneman's current state of health. Jeff in January 2011 contracted necrotizing fasciitis, likely caused by a spider bite, and has been undergoing surgeries, skin grafts and intense rehab since. Not only did this effectively put him out of action for the whole year, it came close to killing him. Thankfully, he's making a good recovery.

"Yeah, we could go onstage right now with him and do 'Mandatory Suicide'," Kerry said. "If that was the only song in our set, Jeff would be fine. But he's slowly getting back to full fitness and by the time we're ready to tour, he'll be right back onstage with us."

He added, "We always said we'd never entertain the idea of doing an album without [Jeff]. But there he is, getting those riffs ready!"

SLAYER will perform its classic 1986 album "Reign In Blood" in its entirety at All Tomorrow's Parties' second U.K. "I'll Be Your Mirror" event, which is scheduled to take place n the weekend of May 25-27 at Alexandra Palace, London, England. A strange move, considering they've done this several times before.

"The organizers asked us to do it! If it were left up to me, then I'd have turned it down, simply because it's been done, so why repeat it?" King said. "But it's such a classic album that people always ask us to do it."

SLAYER's latest album, "World Painted Blood", sold 41,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release to debut at position No. 12 on The Billboard 200 chart.
In a recent interview with MusicRadar.com, MEGADETH mainman Dave Mustaine — who was a correspondent for MTV during the 1992 presidential election — was asked for his take on U.S. politics in 2012. "I'm just hoping that whatever is in the White House next year is a Republican," Mustaine replied. "I can't bear to watch what's happened to our great country. Everybody's got their head in the sand. Everybody in the industry is like, 'Oh, Obama's doing such a great job...' I don't think so. Not from what I see.

"Looking at the Republican candidates, I've got to tell you, I was floored the other day to see that Mitt Romney's five boys have a $100 million trust fund. Where does a guy make that much money? So there's some questions there. And watching Newt Gingrich, I was pretty excited for a while, but now he's just gone back to being that person that everybody said he was — that angry little man. I still like him, but I don't think I'd vote for him.

"Ron Paul… you know, I heard somebody say he was like insecticide — 98 percent of it's inert gases, but it's the two percent that's left that will kill you. What that means is that he'll make total sense for a while, and then he'll say something so way out that it negates everything else. I like the guy because he knows how to excite the youth of America and fill them in on some things. But when he says that we're like the Taliban… I'm sorry, Congressman Paul, but I'm nothing like the Taliban.

"Earlier in the election, I was completely oblivious as to who Rick Santorum was, but when the dude went home to be with his daughter when she was sick, that was very commendable. Also, just watching how he hasn't gotten into doing these horrible, horrible attack ads like Mitt Romney's done against Newt Gingrich, and then the volume at which Newt has gone back at Romney… You know, I think Santorum has some presidential qualities, and I'm hoping that if it does come down to it, we'll see a Republican in the White House... and that it's Rick Santorum."
According to The Pulse Of Radio, FOO FIGHTERS won big at Sunday night's (February 12) Grammy Awards, taking home five trophies for "Best Rock Song", "Best Rock Performance", "Best Hard Rock/Metal Performance", "Best Rock Album" and "Best Long Form Video". In his televised acceptance speech for "Best Rock Performance", frontman Dave Grohl — sporting a vintage SLAYER T-shirt — took the music industry to task for producing too much music on computers and with technology, while forgetting about playing real, live instruments.

Grohl stated, "Rather than go to the best studio in the world down the street in Hollywood and rather than use all of the fanciest computers that money can buy, we made ['Wasting Light'] in my garage with some microphones and a tape machine . . . This award means a lot because it shows that the human element of music is what's important. Singing into a microphone and learning to play an instrument and learning to do your craft, that's the most important thing for people to do."

Grohl added, "It's not about being perfect, it's not about sounding absolutely correct, it's not about what goes on in a computer. It's about what goes on in (your heart) and what goes on in (your head)."

FOO FIGHTERS will hit the road again later this year in support of their "garage" album, "Wasting Light".

Grohl, meanwhile, is working on a documentary about the defunct Sound City Studios in Los Angeles, where NIRVANA's "Nevermind" and other classic albums were recorded.
GODSMACK is putting the finishing touches on an EP of cover songs. On Saturday, singer Sully Erna informed fans via Twitter that the band has been in the studio working on it for the last three weeks. "Today is last day of mixing the covers EP we're working on for you. I think you're gonna love this!" Erna wrote. "I want to suggest to management when they're all ready to hear, we throw them up online and let all of you decide which one is best [for] radio."

GODSMACK, STAIND and HALESTORM will hit the road together this spring. The trek, dubbed the "Mass Chaos Tour", kicks off April 13 in Augusta, Georgia and wraps on May 18 in Bangor, Maine.

GODSMACK's fifth album, "The Oracle", sold 117,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release to debut at position No. 1 on The Billboard 200 chart.
GODSMACK has nearly completed work on an EP of cover songs that will be included with the band's upcoming live album, due out sometime this spring. According to The Pulse Of Radio, singer Sully Erna wrote on Twitter this past Saturday (February 11) to update fans on the project's progress, saying, "Today is last day of mixing the covers EP we're working on for you. I think you're gonna love this!" He added, "I want to suggest to management when they're all ready to hear, we throw them up online and let all of you decide which one is best [for] radio."

Until he persuades his management to put the songs online, Erna told The Pulse Of Radio he's not revealing which songs the band has covered. "I will tell you this: we picked five covers that everybody should know," he said. "They're very popular songs, and people are asking us, you know, why are we picking these songs? Well, because the record hasn't come out yet, and we've already sold probably 180 million copies. They're all hits (laughs)."

The EP and live album will likely coincide with GODSMACK's upcoming co-headlining tour with STAIND, which will kick off on April 13 in Augusta, Georgia. HALESTORM will be the supporting act for the entire road trip.

In addition to having the tour named by a fan through a contest, the bands have run a second competition in which fans have submitted designs for the tour poster. The designer of the winning poster will receive $500 and a prize pack.

GODSMACK's fifth album, "The Oracle", sold 117,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release to debut at position No. 1 on The Billboard 200 chart.
The metal juggernaut known as HELLYEAH — featuring Vinnie Paul Abbott (PANTERA, DAMAGEPLAN), Chad Gray and Greg Tribbett (MUDVAYNE), Tom Maxwell (NOTHINGFACE) and Bob "Zilla" Kakaha (DAMAGEPLAN) — has set "Band Of Brothers" as the title of its third album, to be released in early June via the grup's new label home, Eleven Seven Music. The CD was recorded in Dallas, Texas at Vinnie Paul's home studio, VP's Upstairs Studio, and was produced by the band and Jeremy Parker (GODSMACK, EVANESCENCE), who also served as engineer.

Having produced track after track of heavy-hitting, in-your-face, feel-good rock and roll on their previous two albums (2010's "Stampede" and 2007's self-titled debut), HELLYEAH takes a slightly different musical direction on "Band Of Brothers". Drawing on their former bands' collective metal roots for inspiration, the influences and style of MUDVAYNE, PANTERA, DAMAGEPLAN and NOTHINGFACE are immediately recognizable in tracks such as "Band Of Brothers", "War In Me" and "Rage Burn", while the party anthem "Drink, Drank, Drunk" retains the essence of earlier HELLYEAH.

Commented Gray, "I'm really excited about what we've done on this new album. I've always separated MUDVAYNE and HELLYEAH as much as I could, even though it was my voice. Melodies, lyrics and just the overall style of writing were different. With 'Band Of Brothers', I just quit being afraid of who I am in relation to this band. I think we've all really gotten back to the original roots of what we've done individually and brought it together on this album. As an artist, as long as you're painting with your own brush, no one can compare or challenge you. I just painted with a bigger, heavier brush than I had with HELLYEAH in the past. I think this is what fans have always expected to hear from us, and now were giving it to them."

Added Jeremy Parker, "It's impossible not to have a good time jamming this record. It has the anger and violence of PANTERA and MUDVAYNE, but a party vibe that can only be HELLYEAH!"

In a recent interview with Loudwire, Vinnie stated about "Band Of Brothers" , "On our first two records, we were a new band. We really wanted to branch out and expand and experiment with all different styles. We all come from traditional metal bands and backgrounds, so it was a great breath of fresh air to play in a band that was rock 'n' roll, blues and Southern rock. We got that out of our system and got really focused on going back to our metal roots. It's heavy, focused, groove-oriented and I'm excited about it."

When asked if the bluesy, Southern rawk element been abandoned altogether or if it's still there somewhat, just in lesser form, Vinnie said, "There is some of that in there, but when we started writing, we thought, 'Let's take this to a place we haven't been all the way yet.' We've been super diverse, from songs like 'Alcohaulin' Ass' to 'Better Man', but this one honks from start to finish! . . . It's about getting your groove on — that's what we used to do. The first two records were the chance to breathe and expand and do something we hadn't done in our past and in our other bands. When you meld guys from PANTERA, MUDVAYNE and NOTHINGFACE, this is what you get. It just honks."

On the topic of how he thinks PANTERA fans truly feel about HELLYEAH, Vinnie said, "Some PANTERA fans are on the fence and I understand that. PANTERA is a marquee band, with the most diehard fans. We sold over 20 million records without MTV or radio. For some people, that's the only band they'll do. But then again, a whole lot of them understand this and have followed HELLYEAH and have been in line with us. HELLYEAH have great fans. We're a beer-drinking, hell-raising band that kicks ass live. I love both the records. It's a good release, to play songs that are not full throttle 24-7. But this new one is a great combo of what we previously did, with more metal."

HELLYEAH's sophomore album, "Stampede", sold 28,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release to debut at position No. 8 on The Billboard 200 chart.

HELLYEAH's self-titled debut CD opened with 45,000 units back in April 2007 to land at No. 9.
Cameron Edney of Hardrock Haven recently conducted an interview with SLIPKNOT drummer Joey Jordison. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.

Hardrock Haven: Last year you released the 10th anniversary edition of [SLIPKNOT's second album] "Iowa". When you look back over those recording sessions now, what comes to mind?

Joey Jordison: It's weird, because I don't listen to my own music all that much. You go on tour for eighteen months on each record and you get sick of it. The bittersweet thing, though, is when you have time away from it and the same thing was with the 10th anniversary release of the first record, I listen back to it and I go, "Oh, my god," I remember everything about how it came up, the result, the energy. Remembering those times, I think to myself, "My god, how the fuck did we create this?" It blows me away and it's the same with "Iowa". When we went to do the interviews and explain how the record was made, you remember everything, but you want to get into the vibe of it, so you listen to the record and you're like… "Man, we were in a dark-ass fucking place when we made that record!" There's no acting whatsoever on any SLIPKNOT record. Every time I listen to our records, I can't just listen to a song, if I listen to one SLIPKNOT song, I'm in for the long haul, I have to listen to it all the way through. Every time I listen to one of the SLIPKNOT records, I'm honestly blown away and very proud of what we've done.

Hardrock Haven: As we know, drums are usually tracked first in the studio, when you enter a studio to begin a recording process you have the foundations of a song mapped out already from pre-production, but do you walk in knowing exactly what you want to capture or is it more spontaneous?

Joey Jordison: Well, that's the thing — by the time I get into the studio, I have the main structure down of what I am doing in a song and I'll do three or four of those takes. Usually the first and second takes are the best; then I'll do three or four where I'll alternate and change every fill. I don't even think about the song when I do those takes, I just go and have fun with the song then I'll listen back to them and actually say that works better and incorporate that in. Sometimes, on the fly you'll come up with something that you didn't think of.

Hardrock Haven: I've spoken with some drummers that say they play for at least 4-5 hours a day, others who only jump on and warm up minutes before hitting the stage. How often and for how long do you practice?

Joey Jordison: Actually, since I've been writing and in the studio… I'm just talking about recently, probably about six or seven hours. By the end of the night, your arms and legs are jello! That's pretty much how long I've been practicing recently. When I'm on tour, I don't over practice because I like the show to be exciting. It's almost like if you track a certain song so many times, you start to lose interest; it's always when you play it the first time that it's exciting. I make sure on the road that my arms are loose and my blood's pumping, my legs are stretched properly. Otherwise, on the road I really don't practice all that much, but at home I practice all the time!
New Jersey thrash metal veterans OVERKILL will embark on the "Electric Age Tour" in April with support from GOD FORBID, DIAMOND PLATE and SUIDAKRA.

The dates are as follows

Apr. 20 - Philadelphia, PA - Trocadero Theater
Apr. 21 - Worcester, MA - The Palladium
Apr. 22 - Syracuse, NY - Lost Horizon
Apr. 23 - Columbus, OH - Screamin WIllie's
Apr. 24 - Detroit, MI - Blondie's
Apr. 25 - Chicago, IL - Bottom Lounge
Apr. 26 - Kansas City, MO - Beaumont Club
Apr. 27 - Denver, CO - Bluebird Theater
Apr. 28 - Salt Lake City, UT - The Complex
Apr. 30 - Seattle, WA - El Corazon
May 01 - Portland, OR - Hawthorne Theater
May 02 - San Francisco, CA - The Grand Ballroom at the Regency Center
May 03 - Los Angeles, CA - Club Nokia
May 05 - Austin, TX - Emo's East
May 06 - Dallas, TX - Trees
May 08 - Orlando, FL - The Club at Firestone
May 09 - Ft. Lauderdale, FL - Culture Room
May 10 - Atlanta, GA - The Masquerade
May 11 - West Springfield, VA - Jaxx Nightclub
May 12 - New York, NY - Best Buy Theater

OVERKILL will release its new album, "The Electric Age", in North America on March 27 via eOne Music. The CD will be made available in Europe on March 30 through Nuclear Blast Records.

"The Electric Age" was recorded and mixed at Gain Studios in New Jersey, owned and operated by OVERKILL bassist D.D. Verni.

OVERKILL is Bobby "Blitz" Ellsworth (vocals), D.D. Verni (bass, backing vocals), Derek "The Skull" Tailer (rhythm guitar, backing vocals), Dave Linsk (lead guitar, backing vocals) and Ron Lipnicki (drums).

Video footage of OVERKILL performing during the 70000 Tons Of Metal cruise — which set sail on January 23 aboard the Royal Caribbean Majesty Of The Seas from Miami, Florida to George Town, Cayman Islands and returned four days later — can be seen below.

OVERKILL utilized a stand-in drummer — their soundman Eddy Garcia, who was previously a member of the El Paso, Texas band PISSING RAZORS — for the 70000 Tons Of Metal shows after their regular drummer, Ron Lipnicki, broke his hand.
Swedish hard rockers EUROPE will release their ninth studio album, "Bag Of Bones", in April/May (exact date to be announced). The CD was produced by Kevin Shirley, who has previously worked with IRON MAIDEN, JOE BONAMASSA, BLACK COUNTRY COMMUNION, BLACK STONE CHERRY and JOURNEY, among others.

The "Bag Of Bones" cover artwork can now be seen below.

Regarding the new CD title, EUROPE drummer Ian Haugland said, "It's not [called 'Bag Of Bones'] because we all have lost tons of weight or found a new interest in archeology or dogs... It's just because it sounds fuckin' cool!"

In a July 2011 press release, EUROPE singer Joey Tempest stated about the band's new CD, "We still feel we have one hell of a rock record to make. Kevin's the man for the job. We love his work with BONAMASSA, BLACK COUNTRY COMMUNION, and BLACK STONE CHERRY. He's the real deal. We're ready to do some serious damage."

Last year, EUROPE met up with Shirley in Stockholm to discuss the direction of the next album. Based on reactions from the fans and media, EUROPE's 2009 album, "Last Look At Eden", proved to be the band's most important record since "The Final Countdown". "I've been a big fan of EUROPE's work for many years," said Shirley. "The band is influential and highly underrated. I can't wait to make the upcoming album their most explosive to date."

The new material suggests a more straightforward rock approach evident in "Doghouse" — a new song EUROPE performed on their most recent U.K. tour (see video below). The song is also featured on EUROPE's "Europe: Live at Shepherd's Bush" DVD, released in August 2011 via earMUSIC CDs and DVDs.

earMUSIC last year released a limited deluxe book with pictures by Denis O'Regan. "Live Look At Eden" features exclusive live audio and the stunning performance at 2010's iTunes Festival in London.
CROWBAR and PRONG will join forces for a U.S. tour in April. Confirmed dates so far are as follows:

April 05 - Dallas, TX - Trees
April 06 - Houston, TX - Scout Bar
April 08 - El Paso, TX - House Of Rock
April 11 - Hollywood, CA - The Whisky
April 12 - Flagstaff, AZ - Orpheum Theater
April 13 - Gallup, NM - Slopshot Billiards
April 14 - Denver, CO - Marquis Theater
April 16 - St Louis, MO - Fubar
April 18 - Cleveland, OH - Peabody's
April 19 - St Paul, MN - Station 4
April 20 - Chicago, IL - Cobra Lounge
April 21 - Detroit, MI - Harpo's

CROWBAR's latest album, "Sever The Wicked Hand", sold around 3,500 copies in the United States in its first week of release. The CD landed at position No. 4 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.

CROWBAR's previous album, "Lifesblood For The Downtrodden", premiered with 1,900 copies back in February 2005.

"Sever The Wicked Hand" was released in the U.S. on February 8 through E1 Music and in Europe on February 14 via Century Media Records.

CROWBAR's "The Cemetery Angels" video was filmed on December 5, 2010 in New York City with director Dale "Rage" Resteghini.

PRONG will release its new album, "Carved Into Stone", on April 24 in North America via Long Branch Records/SPV. The CD was recorded with producer Steve Evetts, who has previously worked with THE DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN, SYMPHONY X, SEPULTURA and HATEBREED, among others. The cover artwork was created by Vance Kelly (DOWN, THE SWORD) and can be seen below.

According to a press release, "Carved Into Stone" "is quintessentially PRONG. It stretches into the band's earliest and dirtiest foundations on which the band was founded on New York's Lower East Side to the present as a staple of today's post-metal and rock scenes."
AVENGED SEVENFOLD announced today that they will be returning to the Far and Middle East beginning April 16 in Tokyo, Japan, for a tour that will culminate in a special show in Dubai, United Arab Emirates on May 4.

"We are excited to go back to the Far and Middle East," said AVENGED SEVENFOLD frontman M. Shadows. "We played to some of the most amazing crowds when we toured the album there, and we can't wait to bring our live show back to our friends in those regions."

Longtime friends METALLICA have asked AVENGED SEVENFOLD to perform at the first-ever Orion Music + More at Bader Field in Atlantic City, New Jersey on June 24. M. Shadows had this to say: "We really hadn't planned to play the United States in 2012. But after Lars [Ulrich, METALLICA drummer] called to describe their plans for Orion and asked us to join them, we decided there's no way we would miss it."

AVENGED SEVENFOLD toured with METALLICA in 2006 as part of METALLICA's "Escape From The Studio Tour" and that year M. Shadows and METALLICA's James Hetfield and Lars Ulrich were featured together on the cover of Revolver magazine. Three years later, AVENGED SEVENFOLD toured with METALLICA on their "World Magnetic" tour.


Apr. 16 - Tokyo, Japan - Zepp
Apr. 18 - Nagoya, Japan - Diamond Hall
Apr. 19 - Osaka, Japan - Hatch
Apr. 22 - Taipei, Taiwan - Taipei University Auditorium
Apr. 24 - Bangkok, Thailand - Thunder Dome
Apr. 26 - Manila, Philippines - Araneta
Apr. 28 - Singapore, Singapore - The Coliseum at Hard Rock Hotel
Apr. 29 - Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia - Stadium Negara
May 01 - Jakarta, Indonesia - Carnaval Beach
May 04 - Dubai, UAE - Flash Forum
Brendan Crabb of Australia's Loud recently conducted an interview with vocalist Jamey Jasta of Connecticut hardcore/metal masters HATEBREED. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.

Loud: What's the latest on [the upcoming HATEBREED studio album]?

Jamey: It's going good. We've got a lot of ideas and I'd say we'll probably get into the studio right when we get back from [playing the Soundwave Festival in] Australia.

Loud: Where do you envision the next album going? Havier? Faster? More melodic?

Jamey: Well, there probably won't be any melody whatsoever. (laughs) It'll be fast, heavy, I would say very reminiscent of the last record's faster, heavier songs like "Merciless Tide" and "Hands Of A Dying Man".

Loud: Do you have any idea of a tentative release date for that perhaps?

Jamey: I don't know. We were talking about that the other day and we were thinking about whether we should put something out in October, or should we try to maybe just wait until next January and tour more on the "Perseverance" ten-year anniversary tour. Because originally we thought about doing some dates and just doing the whole "Perseverance" album. But then we scrapped that idea and decided we were going to tour all of Europe and all of the festivals in the summer, and then promoters asked us to come to other places and we're going to do some more touring. So I don't know, I'm not sure yet.

Loud: HATEBREED aside, you released your solo record (JASTA) last year, which seemed to be well-received. Are you planning to do some more solo material or maybe a new KINGDOM OF SORROW record in the near future?

Jamey: KINGDOM OF SORROW's going to be on hiatus for a while, just because we did the Mayhem fest tour and we felt like we ended on a high note and we were able to support that record, "Behind the Blackest Tears", that came out on Relapse in 2010. So we thought, you know what, let's end it on a high note, take a hiatus, maybe a year or two, maybe three, who knows? DOWN is mixing a new EP right now and they're going to start touring again and then Kirk (Windstein) is going to start working on a new CROWBAR record. So KINGDOM definitely won't be recording anything anytime soon, but there is a chance we might do some festivals or something; maybe not this summer, but next summer. As far as another JASTA record, I would love to do that, but my main priority is HATEBREED and I'm probably going to do this HATEBREED record and then tour on the record for at least a year and a half to two years.

Loud: In what direction do you see the [music] industry headed in the future? Will CDs become obsolete sooner rather than later?

Jamey: (Pauses) I'm not sure just yet. I still want to own CDs, I like the packaging, I have like my library of CDs in my CD cases. But I do like when something isn't released physically, if it's just on vinyl I do like to get the digital copy and I have my iTunes pretty organised. I can't speak for the younger generation; all I can speak for is myself and I like to own vinyl and CDs and I like have them stick around for a while. But we'll see what happens. I mean, vinyl's made a little bit of a comeback, but I don't know what's going to happen.

Loud: I remember that thrill in your early teens when you saved for weeks to buy that one album you want, but there's just so much easily available at people's fingertips these days.

Jamey: Yeah, it's kind of taken the special feeling out of it, especially because people don't give things a chance as much. They have so much available to them that they download stuff and don't even listen to it. (laughs) I've sent things to people to listen to and they're like, "I've got a thousand other CDs I want to listen to." I'm like, "Wow, where did you get them?" And they say, "Oh, this blog, it had 5000 CDs for free," and I just go, "Oh my God." There's a lot of content; the universe that we live in is a very fast-moving place now. It's not like it was when I was a kid, when you had one tape and you listened to that tape in your Walkman while you skated or while you were on the bus to school or whatever. Now, you have thousands of people's discographies at your fingertips, you can stream it on your cell phone.
ROB ZOMBIE bassist Matt Montgomery (a.k.a. Piggy D.) has joined forces with experimental vocalist Shannon Gallant in a recording project called THE HAXANS. The band's first single, "Cold Blood", was co-written/engineered by Chris Baseford and mixed by David Spreng. It is presently available at BlackVictoryStore.com, with an iTunes release to follow.

Commented Montgomery: ""It only took us five years to get our broom sticks together. But here it is!"
Swedish progressive/experimental metallers THERION will celebrate their 25th anniversary by embarking on a European tour in September/October. The trek, aptly dubbed the "25th Anniversary Tour", and will include the following dates:

Sep. 28 - NL - Eindhoven - Effenaar
Sep. 29 - NL - Groningen - Oosterpoort
Sep. 30 - B - Antwerp - Hof ter Loo
Oct. 01 - F - Paris - Bataclan
Oct. 04 - E - Madrid - Heineken
Oct. 05 - E - Barcelona - Razzmatazz 2
Oct. 06 - E - Bilbao - Rock Star
Oct. 07 - F - Toulouse - Bikini
Oct. 09 - F - Lyon - Transbordeur
Oct. 10 - CH - Pratteln - Z7
Oct. 11 - I - Trezzo d'Adda - Live Club
Oct. 12 - D - Glauchau - Alte Spinnerei
Oct. 13 - CZ - Zlin - Masters of Rock Café
Oct. 14 - CZ - Prague - DK Vlatvska
Oct. 15 - PL - Krakow - Club Studio
Oct. 16 - PL - Warsaw - Stodola
Oct. 17 - H - Budapest - Club 202
Oct. 19 - RO - Bucharest - Arenele Romane Tent
Oct. 20 - GR - Thessaloniki - Apothiki Mylos
Oct. 21 - GR - Athens - Gagarin 205

More shows will be added later.

In other news, THERION is currently working on its as-yet-untitled new studio album, to be released in September, shortly before the tour kicks off.

THERION's latest CD, "Sitra Ahra", sold around 800 copies in the United States in its first week of release. The CD landed at position No. 44 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.

"Sitra Ahra" was released in North America on October 26, 2010 through Nuclear Blast Records. The CD was mixed at the legendary Polar Studios in Stockholm by Lennart Östlund (LED ZEPPELIN, ABBA). The cover artwork was created by Thomas Ewerhard, who worked on all of the band's most recent releases in addition to collaborating with EDGUY, AVANTASIA, RAGE and HAMMERFALL, among others.
X-UFO — the band featuring card-carrying UFO members Laurence Archer, Danny Peyronel and Clive Edwards, along with Rocky Newton from UFO spin-off MICHAEL SCHENKER GROUP — has just released a live album. Recorded in Hannover, Germany with producer Steve Mann, "Vol.1: The LIVE Files!" includes "blistering" new recordings of UFO classics "Lights Out", "Only You Can Rock Me", "Rock Bottom", "Doctor Doctor" and more. The effort captures in stunning, raw realism, the high-octane X-UFO set, as well as the equally fervent reaction of their ever-growing, tenaciously loyal audience.

X-UFO plans to enter the studio soon to record its debut album featuring new material, always in the UFO mould they helped develop, and more re-works of some less-performed classics which so many fans believe deserve another sporting chance.

X-UFO's debut appearance saw them headline the Hard Rock Hell Road Trip festival in Ibiza in April 2011, followed by a string of shows and festivals throughout Europe.

"Vol.1: The LIVE Files!" track listing:

01. Intro: Let It Roll
02. Natural Thing
03. Highway Lady
04. Backdoor Man
05. Can You Roll Her
06. Love Deadly Love
07. Armed And Ready
08. She's The One
09. Love To Love
10. Only You Can Rock Me
11. Rock Bottom
12. Encore 1: Lights Out
13. Encore 2: Doctor Doctor
Former MEGADETH guitarist Marty Friedman has posted a new message on his Facebook page clarifying his previous statement regarding controversial R&B singer Chris Brown's appearance on this past weekend's Grammy Awards.

Three years after viciously assaulting his then-girlfriend Rihanna on the eve of their appearances on the Grammys, Brown returned to the awards show to perform the song "Turn Up the Music" from his upcoming album and "Beautiful People" from 2011's "F.A.M.E. (Forgiving All My Enemies)". Brown, who was convicted of felony assault in connection with the 2009 incident, went on to win his first-ever Grammy Award last night (February 12), for Best R&B Album for his "F.A.M.E."

In his original posting, Friedman — who moved to Japan in 2003 — wrote, "There were several fantastic musical moments on this year's Grammys. BUT — the Japanese music industry would not applaud and reward any singer who criminally beat the crap out of another singer. Nor would most other countries, I would bet. This is a sad difference between USA and Japan. I SO want to be proud of my home country... but I just can't get behind that kind of thing."

A few hours later, Friedman posted the this follow-up message: "To clarify my last post for those who need clarification: I am in the music business. What I saw on the most important music show in the USA made me compare the music systems of the USA and Japan. In Japan, it is unfathomable to think that a male singer would go and beat the living crap out of a female singer... but in the extremely unlikely event that it did happen, he certainly would not be rewarded and applauded on nationwide TV, no matter how good his music is. This is not a political statement. As many of you know, I could not care less about politics. Nor is it about musical taste; to each his own on that. It is just one person's observation."
DEF LEPPARD guitarist and MANRAZE frontman Phil Collen has recorded a guest appearance for the upcoming OEDIPUS album, "Vicious Little Smile", in stores in North America on March 13 via THC: Music/Rocket Science. Phil contributed lead and rhythm guitars to the track "Final Machine".

"We had built up a mutual admiration through our label, who also releases Phil's MANRAZE project, and the idea came up for him to play on a track, and miraculously, it ended up happening," says OEDIPUS bassist/vocalist Jeremy Haffner. "It turned out amazing. We couldn't be happier or more honored. Phil is such a legendary and spectacular talent, and we were all just blown away with how cool and naturally it came together."

Added Collen: "I loved the track as soon as I heard it. These guys have got phenomenal energy. Playing on it was a blast, and I look forward to hearing the rest of the album."

Produced by Darian Cowgill (SLEEPING GIANT, MIDDLE CLASS RUT), "Vicious Little Smile" formally releases several of the L.A. trio's international hits, including "Tres Las", "Burn It Down" and "Gimme a Chance", which have already received airplay in over 30 countries.

For over a decade, OEDIPUS has been one of L.A.'s best-kept secrets, from their roots as an underground progressive rock favorite to achieving status as an international rock powerhouse with massive success in Europe.

In 2010, Polish radio giant Eska Rock added OEDIPUS' single "Tres Las", which went on to top the Polish rock charts and became the genesis of 3 #1 Polish rock singles, followed by repeated visits to Europe, including a performance at Ursynalia, where the band performed at Poland's biggest open-air festival, alongside KORN, GUANO APES, ALTER BRIDGE, SIMPLE PLAN and more.

OEDIPUS will return to Europe twice more in 2012, and follow it up with a U.S. run in April with ZERO 1, The hard rock project featuring actor/comedian Hal Sparks.
Russian "cyber metal" band ILLIDIANCE has inked a deal with the English label Right Recordings. A special European edition of the group's album "Damage Theory" and single "Neon Rebels" will be made available soon.

ILLIDIANCE, formed in 2005, has gone from strength to strength in progressing their catchy electronic style metal riffs, gaining international recognition with the release of their EP "Synthetic Breed".

Commented ILLIDIANCE bandleader Dmitry "Xyrohn" Shkurin: "We hope that the fruitful cooperation with Right Recordings, enough pop-music-oriented record label will maximize our audience, and help in the further promotion of our music in the world of extreme music."


Shkurin Dmitry (Xyrohn) - Lead Guitar/Vocals
Shkurin Artem (Syrex) – Clean Vocals, Screams
V.Ripper - DJ
Konstantin Kalkatinsky - Drums
Ilay Cain – Bass
Due to schedulding conflicts, drummer Tobias Gustafsson (TORTURE DIVISION, VOMITORY) will not take part in the recording sessions for the next album from THE PROJECT HATE MCMXCIX — the Swedish band featuring Jörgen Sandström (vocals; VICIOUS ART, KRUX, ex-ENTOMBED, GRAVE), Lord K. Philipson (guitar; TORTURE DIVISION, ex-GOD AMONG INSECTS, HOUSE OF USHER, LEUKEMIA), Anders Bertilsson (guitar; COLDWORKER) and Portuguese vocalist Ms. Roque (a.k.a. Ruby Roque of WITCHBREED). Tobias says in a statement, "I am sorry to tell you that I will not be playing the drums on the upcoming THE PROJECT HATE MCMXCIX album. There are several reasons for this, but what it basically comes down to is that I am not able to put the time and effort into THE PROJECT HATE at this point. And — as you all probably already understand — it takes a lot of that, if you want to do it right and to make THE PROJECT HATE justice. And I am all about that: do it right, or don't do it at all! So this time I reluctantly have decided not to do it. I simply don't have the time. Thanks to K for showing great understanding and actually supporting my decision. Next time, brother!"

The drum tracks on the new THE PROJECT HATE MCMXCIX album will be laid down by Dirk Verbeuren (SOILWORK, SCARVE, DEVIN TOWNSEND PROJECT). Dirk said in a statement, "I'm extremely proud and honored to play drums on THE PROJECT HATE MCMXCIX's upcoming new album. After no less than eight kick-ass studio records and an equally kick-ass live album, to say they're a criminally underrated band is a hell of an understatement. Any self-respecting metal fan should rightfully embrace this new batch of crushing anthems TPH have concocted… As well as all the previous ones for that matter!

Added Philipson: "Together with Tobben, Dirk's been another one of my absolute fave drummers for many, many years, and it feels absolutely amazing to get him to lay down the thunder for the coming monster when Tobben chose to step down. To take on this task (and being underpaid in the process) in-between his busy schedule is mindblowing, and I can never thank him enough. He sure will have his work cut out for him and I know he will bring some amazing drumming into our music, just like Tobben did on the last album. It is a privilege to be able to work with all these fantastic musicians, lemme tell you that."
Former Metal Blade recording artists HERETIC will enter the studio in early March to start recording their new album. A late 2012 release is expected.

HERETIC last month announced the addition of ex-HIRAX/REVEREND bassist Angelo Espino and drummer Ignazio Copolla to the group's ranks. The band's current lineup is rounded out by original members Julian Mendez on vocals and Brian Korban on guitar, along with new addition Glenn Rogers (ex-HIRAX) on guitar.

According to The BNR Metal Pages, "HERETIC was a rather typical power/thrash metal band of the Eighties, managing one EP and one album before calling it a day. At least part of the reason for the band breakup was vocalist Mike Howe's departure to METAL CHURCH — ironically, the man he replaced there, David Wayne, recruited two HERETIC members for his then-new band, REVEREND."

HERETIC 2012 is:

Julian Mendez - Vocals
Brian Korban - Guitar
Angelo Espino - Bass
Glenn Rogers - Guitar
Ignazio "Iggy" Coppola - Drums
Acclaimed Finnish heavy metal drummer Tonmi Lillman, who has previously played with TO/DIE/FOR, SINERGY and AJATTARA, has died at the age of 38. A cause of death has not yet been revealed.

The son of a musician, Tonmi grew up surrounded by a large assortment of instruments. Lillman received his first drum kit at age nine and started performing live at age 14.

In addition to drums and bass, which were his primary instruments, Tonmi played the keyboards and guitar.

Over the course of his career, Lillman taught digital recording and drums at Kouvola Musiikkiopisto (Kouvola Conservatoire) and played in numerous folk, dance and pop orchestras. He also sat behind the kit during the "Dimebag Beyond Forever" 2009 tour alongside Rainer "Raikku" Tuomikanto.

Lillman was featured on several albums as a studio musician, including REFLEXION and TWILIGHT OPHERA, and made a name for himself as a studio engineer, having mixed and recorded such bands as BEHERIT, LIE IN RUINS, MYGRAIN, RYTMIHÄIRIÖ and SAATTUE.
Dutch female-fronted symphonic metallers DELAIN have issued the following update:

"Recently there have been some developments at the guitar department of DELAIN. Our band demands a huge amount of time and energy from our band members. Since our guitar player Timo [Somers] has a lot of musical activities besides DELAIN, we want to give him the time and space to pursue this as well. Until now, that was not possible, but recently we received a huge reinforcement in the band. Guitarist Bas Maas is joining in our group to relieve Timo for some shows this year. Some of you may know Bas from DORO or his previous band AFTER FOREVER. We want to give Bas a warm welcome in DELAIN. He will join us at our European tour, and a couple shows this spring. See you all on the road!"

DELAIN's third album, "We Are The Others", will be released later in the year via Roadrunner Records. Described as "the band's most powerful, most atmospheric and intoxicating album to date," the CD was helmed by producer Jacob Hellner — renowned for his work with RAMMSTEIN, CLAWFINGER and APOCALYPTICA — while the vocals were tracked with the Epicentre team of Fredrik Thomander and Anders Wikström (SCORPIONS, BACKYARD BABIES).

A new video interview with DELAIN frontwoman Charlotte Wessels about "We Are The Others" can be seen below (courtesy of U.K.'s Metal Hammer magazine).

DELAIN previously stated about "We Are The Others": "As you might expect from us, this album again offers some interesting collaborations, both in musical and visual terms.

"This record features none less than FEAR FACTORY shouter Burton C. Bell as a guest singer, and visual artist Glenn Arthur provided the cover artwork [see below].

"We met Burton at the Wacken Open Air festival a year ago and stayed in touch afterwards. When we were working on [the song] 'Where Is The Blood', we didn't hesitate to contact him for cooperation. He's done such an amazing job on the song turning the song into a most violent duet; his exceptional, raw voice fits perfectly to this song!

"The cover artwork was created by Glenn Arthur, a California-based visual artist whose work is inspired by art nouveau design and steampunk imagery. Charlotte [Wessels, vocals] is a big admirer of Glenn's work and she dedicated multiple blogs to his art.

"For the artwork of 'We Are The Others', we gave Glenn the lyrics to the song as inspiration.

"We're incredibly happy with how the cover turned out."

Added Charlotte: "From the first time I saw [Glenn's] work, I've been imagining it as cover artwork; something in the way his work is both esthetically very delicate, but always with a dark undertone, fits our music very well."

"We Are The Others" track listing:

01. Mother Machine
02. Electricity
03. We Are The Others
04. Milk And Honey
05. Hit Me With Your Best Shot
06. I Want You
07. Where Is The Blood (feat. Burton C. Bell)
08. Generation Me
09. Babylon
10. Are You Done With Me
11. Get The Devil Out Of Me
12. Not Enough

At first glance, some songtitles on "We Are The Others" may sound mysterious and conspiratorial, but there is a very serious background: The lyrics to the title track were inspired by the hate crime against a British girl named Sophie Lancaster in 2007. She and her boyfriend were beaten comatose by a gang of youths, because of their goth looks, and Sophie later died from her injuries. This tragedy sent shockwaves throughout the world.

Commented Charlotte: "Sophie's story hit close to home for us, being part of a subculture ourselves but it's in no way an individual case; people are discriminated against — all the time, to the point of violence — based on their cultural or ethnic background everywhere.

"'We Are The Others' is our own 'outsiders anthem' for everybody who, deliberately or not, diverts from the norm. Whether it's by looking different, acting different, or choosing a different path in life then is expected from you."

DELAIN will embark on a European headlining tour in April with support from TRILLIUM, the metal project masterminded by American singer/songwriter Amanda Somerville.
SONS OF AEON, the new Jyväskylä, Finland-based metal band featuring members of GHOST BRIGADE, SWALLOW THE SUN, CODE FOR SILENCE and ENDSTAND, is putting the finishing touches on the songwriting process for its debut album, to be released later this year via Lifeforce Records.

Commented guitarist Tapio Vartiainen: "It's an odd case, this SONS OF AEON. Here I sit and try to write news about our debut album and to start with, I don't really even know how to describe our sound to strangers. There's so much different things going on...it's tricky to find the right words that'd make the songs justice. It's very intense and it's very musical, that's for sure. I think that our love for '90s death metal shines through in most songs, but there's also a lot of these more moody, melancholic passages and even some hardcore/punk touches. And, to me, those elements really make all the difference. It's an interesting blend of styles and strangely, it all makes sense.

"Anyway, the songwriting process is now done and we're starting the drum recordings at the end of May. So if all goes well, we should have the finished album in our hands sometime during the summer. To say we're excited and proud about all this would be an understatement. We can't fucking wait to get this album done."

SONS OF AEON last year made three songs available for free download via the group's official web site. The drums were recorded at Studio Watercastle in Jyväskylä, Finland by Arttu Sarvanne, while guitars and bass were recorded at SONS OF AEON's home studio and the vocals were handled by Teemu Liekkala. The mixing and mastering was taken care of by Antti Malinen.

The following tracks are available for download:

01. Weakness
02. Seeds Of Destruction
03. Burden


Tony Kaikkonen (CODE FOR SILENCE) - Vocals
Tapio Vartiainen - Guitar
Wille Naukkarinen (GHOST BRIGADE) - Guitar
Tommi Kiviniemi (GHOST BRIGADE) - Bass
Frontiers Records has set an April 24 North American release date for the new album from Swedish hard rockers CRAZY LIXX, "Riot Avenue". Produced by the bandmembers themselves, the CD finds CRAZY LIXX in fine form, with eleven sexy, hard-rocking new tracks on the their third studio release (the second for the Frontiers Records label).

Formed in southern Sweden in 2002, CRAZY LIXX was among the first bands to emerge in what has now become known as "The New Wave Of Swedish Sleaze" alongside CRASHDIET, HARDCORE SUPERSTAR, BABYLON BOMBS and VAINS OF JENNA.

"Riot Avenue" track listing:

01. Whiskey Tango Foxtrot
02. Young Blood
03. Riot Avenue
04. Fire It Up
05. Downtown
06. In The Night
07. Church Of Rock
08. Heatseeker
09. Sweet, Bad & Beautiful
10. Be Gone
11. Only The Dead Know

CRAZY LIXX is Danny Rexon (vocals), Andy Dawson (guitars) and Edd Liam (guitars); Joel Cirera (drums) and Loke Rivano (bass) are also featured on "Riot Avenue".

Commented Edd: "There's a lot of fast songs, raw riffs with twin guitars on this album. Early AEROSMITH or GUNS N' ROSES really inspired us with this, so it's very different from the other LIXX records, Much more live-sounding and organic and we feel real excited about it.

"We recorded and produced the album ourselves and also mixed it ourselves together with Robert 'Robban' Ahrling. He really helped us gettin' what we wanted, a key person in this recording. Also Vic Zino of HARDCORE SUPERSTAR helped us allot, especially with the guitar sounds, really made them bleed.

"We started working with producer Chris Laney but our visions were different for how this record was gonna sound. We had a great time working together earlie in the process, but we had to part ways because although Laney's sound was good, we felt that it wasn't right this time. We respect each other in this decision."

Added Danny: "This time the music is a little more riff-based and straight-forward. We wanted a more raw feeling in the production, back to the roots sound and songwriting compared to our previous albums and there's a lot more up-tempo songs than we had on 'New Religion'."
After a brief, 23-year vacation from the thrash scene, acclaimed '80s Northwest thrashers MACE have decided to lace up the combat boots for battle one more time. These guys shared the stage with the biggest thrash bands of the mid-'80s, including SLAYER, ANTHRAX, DEATH ANGEL, METAL CHURCH, CIRCLE JERKS, THE ACCUSED and many more.

Last week the band quietly leaked the info that they were getting back together and from the Northwest, they fired a shot that could heard around the world. Bands, promoters and even record labels, some as far away as Germany started talking about MACE.

There is a huge amount of excitement in the MACE camp and these guys are locked in with laser focus and ready to melt some faces, just like they did over two decades ago. For added excitement, Tommy Niemeyer from THE ACCUSED made the new MACE logo.

Everyone knows MACE guitarist Dave Hillis went on to work on some of the biggest albums in rock history as a producer (PEARL JAM's "Ten", ALICE IN CHAINS' "Dirt"), but MACE was always in the back of his mind. Hillis says, "I always wanted to remix the old songs, and when I opened my own studio I had to do it, and it was so much fun that we thought we would try a new song and that was so much fun that we said, 'Why not teach these young kids how it was done back in the day?'"

Hillis knew that when the time was right, he was going to revisit the thrash scene that he and his band helped form and solidify back in the '80s. In fact, DEATH ANGEL was recently on VH1's "Metal Evolution" and lead singer Mark Osegueda was wearing a MACE T-shirt. MACE is also said to be the first metal band to ever make punk fanzine Maximum Rock And Roll's playlist.

MACE has just confirmed a few shows and will announce those soon.
Vocalist Mat Maurer has quit Australian thrash metal veterans MORTAL SIN. He says in a statement, "I have decided to leave the band for personal reasons and irreconcilable differences." He adds, "Last year was an incredibly difficult year for me personally and I have decided to put my family first. Thank you to everyone who has supported me over the years."

Quality video footage of MORTAL SIN's December 4, 2011 performance in Antwerp, Belgium can be seen below.

MORTAL SIN's new album, "Psychology Of Death", was released in Europe on November 18, 2011 via NoiseArt Records. The effort includes the group's classic debut LP, "Mayhemic Destruction", as a bonus disc in the limited digipak version. The follow-up to 2007's "An Absence of Faith" was mixed with producer/engineer Darren "jENK" Jenkins and marks the recording debut of guitarist Ryan Huthnance, who replaced Mick Sultana.

MORTAL SIN in 2009 released a live album, "Into the Inferno (Live in Oslo)", via Riot! Entertainment. The CD, which contains the group's March 2008 performance in Oslo, Norway, was described by the band as "possibly the best live show MORTAL SIN have ever had recorded."

Once hailed as the next METALLICA, MORTAL SIN have become legends in their home country Australia, having been inducted into the Kerrang! Heavy Metal Hall of Fame in 2005 and being the only Australian band to have played with the big five of thrash — METALLICA, SLAYER, ANTHRAX, MEGADETH and TESTAMENT — on tours in Australia and overseas.
German alcoholic thrashers TANKARD have inked a deal with Nuclear Blast Records. The band's new album is tentatively due this summer.

Commented TANKARD vocalist Andreas "Gerre" Geremia: "As the want-away footballers always say, I'm looking for a new athletic challenge… baloney! We've only inked a deal with Nuclear Blast because they've offered most prest-money for a transfer…. Hahaha, okay, seriousness aside: We're totally happy to have found accommodation at the metal label No. 1 and are chuffed about the collaboration, hoping that this will give TANKARD a big boost in their 30th year of existence! It took quite a while 'till we came ashore here, but then again, Rome wasn't built in a day, as we all know!"

Added Andy Siry, Head of A&R at Nuclear Blast: "From the 'Hardcore Party 1987' in Oberursel (live TANKARD, ANGEL DUST and DESTRUCTION) on, I've taken TANKARD into my heart. With the signing of TANKARD's contract, the 'best-case scenario' has finally come to pass.

"I'm absolutely delighted that we've come to an agreement with our Hessian buddies — even though I'll unfortunately suffer from the signing party's aftermath for some more days, haha.

"Joke apart. I'm very happy that TANKARD will be members of the Nuclear Blast family from now on and will enrich our roster of dyed-in-the-wool thrash metal bands. And announcing this new signing on Valentine's Day proves that this is more than just a business matter to us. After 25 years of 'concubinage,' we've finally tied the knot in the big anniversary year (25 years of Nuclear Blast, 30 years of TANKARD). By the way: We're expecting our first offspring to be born this summer."

TANKARD's fourteenth studio album, "Vol(l)ume 14", was released on December 17, 2010 via AFM Records. The limited-edition digipak version of the album includes a bonus DVD containing footage of TANKARD's performance at the 2009 edition of the Headbangers Open Air festival, which took place July 23-25, 2009 in in Brande-Hörnerkirchen, Germany.
Cameron Edney of Hardrock Haven recently conducted an interview with guitarist/vocalist Billy Graziadei of New York hardcore/metal veterans BIOHAZARD. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.

Hardrock Haven: The new album, "Reborn In Defiance", was released a few weeks back. After so many years of recording and releasing albums, does it ever get easier to deal with the anxiety and excitement that surrounds those last days before releasing something new?

Billy Graziadei: Life is hard enough; you don't need to torture yourself when life does it for you. I handle things as they come my way, keep things in perspective and move on. I'm psyched for the release, but my focus has been on working some new tunes, rehearsal for the tour and now that we're on the road… I'm in full tour mode and loving it.

Hardrock Haven: As everyone would be well aware now, Scott Roberts is the newest member to BIOHAZARD. When Evan [Seinfeld] left and you held auditions, was there anyone that we would have known that applied or were they all relative newcomers to the scene?

Billy Graziadei: There were some people from some bigger bands that wanted to join us and there were also a lot of people I expect to hear more from in the future whose talent was pretty obvious.

Hardrock Haven: What was the first concert you attended and how much of an impact did that have on you musically?

Billy Graziadei: Damn… That would probably be when I was five or six. I saw my uncle play in his band. There were like a few thousand people there. I remember being blown away and thinking to myself, "That's what I wanna do." When I got into punk rock and hardcore, it was all over…it was more about the emotion, feeling and message.

Hardrock Haven: In this industry, you're constantly learning whether it's in the studio, on tour or the all-important business side of things. What do you feel has been one of the most important lessons you've learned to date?

Billy Graziadei: When you're tired, keep working… you can always sleep another time. All the so-called "secrets of success" will not work unless you do… get off yo ass and do something with your talent.
"I Am Nemesis", the eighth studio album from German modern metallers CALIBAN, has entered the Media Control chart in the band's home country at position No. 21.

Commented the band: "We are more than happy and proud about 'I Am Nemesis' entering the German chart at #21. Thanks a lot to all our fans and supporters! Alone we are nothing, together we are crushing!"

"I Am Nemesis" will be released in North America on February 28 via Century Media Records. The CD features guest appearances by Marcus Bischoff (HEAVEN SHALL BURN) and Mitch Lucker (SUICIDE SILENCE).

After spending 10 months writing new material, the band is very excited to get the record out to fans. "It was important to us to have an elaborate album without any fillers," says lead guitarist Marc Görtz. "Additionally, the sound of the album is the best we've ever had by far: it is heavy and brutal without being chaotic."

Lyrically, "I Am Nemesis" is a continuation of the band's last record, "Say Hello To Tragedy", and focuses on controversial and often overlooked world issues. Musically, Görtz says, "The album breaks new soil without forgetting our roots. There are new influences such as shimmering guitar melodies and technical grooves with MESHUGGAH-like heaviness."

"I Am Nemesis" track listing:

01. We Are The Many
02. The Bogeyman
03. Memorial
04. No Tomorrow
05. Edge Of Black
06. Davy Jones
07. Deadly Dream
08. Open Letter
09. Dein R3.ich
10. Broadcast To Damnation
11. This Oath
12. Modern Warfare

A European tour with WINDS OF PLAGUE, WE BUTTER THE BREAD WITH BUTTER, EYES SET TO KILL and ATTILA kicked off on February 2 in Karlsruhe, Germany.
Bullet Tooth has announced the signing of I, OMEGA to a worldwide deal.

Coming out of the Los Angeles area, I, OMEGA has been busy playing Southern California and writing songs for its upcoming EP, "The Ravenous", due out on this spring. Blending technical melodic metal with bursts of progressive rock in the realm of PROTEST THE HERO or PERIPHERY, they will no doubt make their mark on the scene in 2012.

Commenting on the signing, I, OMEGA vocalist Clay Nevels said, "Josh's [Grabelle; former Trustkill president/A&R and Bullet tooth founder] genuine enthusiasm for our music and our vision for this release is a breath of fresh air in a stale/apathetic industry. We are confident in Bullet Tooth's ability to help us spread our music to all corners of the globe and we look forward to a mutually beneficial relationship between us and them."

Added bassist Calvan Christ: "I'm very excited to be working with the guy that brought us bands like HOPESFALL, POISON THE WELL, BLEEDING THROUGH, and THROWDOWN. I can't wait to see where this will take I, OMEGA."

Stated guitarist Ryan Cano: "I feel very privileged to work with people who have brought me so much enjoyment and inspiration in past years through the bands they've put on the map. I feel blessed that they see something in us that they saw in all of those bands. I'm hoping for a long and mutually fruitful relationship with Bullet Tooth."

I, OMEGA is a progressive metal quintet dead set on creating a sound that is bold and unique, as well as easily digestible. Shredding guitars with fast, upbeat drumming, beefy bass lines, and vocals ranging from angelic to devilish, all with a punk rock attitude. Their sound is heavy and complex, but also leaves room for rhythmic grooves and catchy choruses. I, OMEGA's music conjures up emotions crossing the spectrum of the listener's scope, from menacing and technical wizardry, to tasteful and subtle harmony that's sure to sway even the harshest of listeners.

I, OMEGA is:

Thomas Borboa - Guitar
Ryan Cano - Guitar
Andrew Slane - Drums
Calvan Christ - Bass
Clay Nevels – Vocals
According to The Southland Times, an Invercargill, New Zealand retailer who was selling CRADLE OF FILTH clothing with offensive images banned by the chief censor in 2008 was fined yesterday in Invercargill District Court.

Warren Craig Skill, 35, appeared before Judge Michael Turner on one charge of possessing an objectionable publication, namely CRADLE OF FILTH garments (four T-shirts and four hoodies) on or about June 8, 2011.

He was fined $500 and an order was made for the destruction of the garments.

Sergeant Brock Davis, of Invercargill, said police visited the store mid-afternoon last June and seized between 10 and 15 hooded tops and long-sleeved T-shirts with the offending words on them.

Colin Morrison, the pastor of Edendale Presbyterian Church, wrote on The Southland Times Facebook page that he felt sorry for people who needed to express themselves in such a way and he would be praying for them. He added, "I am sad at the way they find such language acceptable, just shows how far we have slipped as a caring and loving society."

The censor "noted its sexually degrading image of a traditional Roman Catholic nun, and its grossly obscene and blasphemous language" directed at "the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ, Who is worshipped, adored, praised and revered as the central Person of Christianity," according to a press release issued by the SPCS. "The use of vile Satanic imagery emblazoned on the T-shirt, including depictions of dripping blood, linked to the heavy metal band CRADLE OF FILTH and lewd and inflammatory content directed at Christians, was also noted by the censors."

In the classification decision (No. 800513) on the apparel entitled "Vestal Masturbation (Cradle of Filth)" dated June 26, 2008, signed by Ms Nicola McCully, the Deputy Chief Censor, it states:

"The injury to the public good that is likely to be caused by the availability of this T-shirt originates from the manner in which it associates an aggressive and misogynistic meaning of the 'harsh, brutal and generally unacceptable' word cunt with Jesus Christ, and depicts an image of a chaste woman engaging in sexual activity. A fair interpretation of the messages conveyed by this T-shirt is that Christians should be vilified for their religious beliefs, and that women, including chaste and celibate women, cannot stop themselves engaging in sexual activity…" (OFLC No. 800513)

According to the Australian Herald Sun newspaper, a Gold Coast teenager was charged in 2008 by police for wearing the above-mentioned CRADLE OF FILTH t-shirt. The teen was charged with offensive behavior under the Summary Offences Act 2005 for public nuisance.

Metro newspaper reported in October 2005 that a British teenage heavy metal fan was handed a community service order for wearing the same shirt.

Adam Shepherd, who was 19 at the time, was reportedly convicted under the then-new anti-hate laws which ban people from displaying religiously insulting signs.

The teenager was arrested after a woman complained to police when she saw his shirt, which shows a picture of a nun in a pornographic pose. The top was being worn by Shepherd's girlfriend when a police officer approached her. As soon as the teenager realized there was a problem, he told the officer it was his and swapped tops with his girlfriend. But he refused to take it off or cover it up and was arrested.

Shepherd, who bought the shirt in his hometown of Weymouth, Dorset, admitted the charge. Weymouth magistrates gave him 80 hours community service and told him to pay £40 costs (approx. $71 at the time).

According to MediaWatchWatch.org.uk, the wearing of this T-shirt had led to at least two previous convictions in the U.K.

Dale Wilson, 35, of Norwich, was arrested by two police officers as he walked to the newsagents on Halloween 2004. He pleaded guilty to "religiously aggravated offensive conduct." He was eventually discharged and told to "grow up." He paid £150 costs (approx. $266), and the judge ordered that the T-shirt be destroyed.

Back in 1997, Rob Kenyon, 29, of London was found guilty of committing the offense of "Profane Representation under the 1839 Act" by Bow Street Magistrates Court. He was fined £150.

CRADLE OF FILTH drummer Nicholas Barker was also arrested in Dover and charged with "creating a public disorder" for wearing the same t-shirt. There were no further proceedings against him.

From the NME: In 2001, the then-Lord Provost of Glasgow, Alex Mosson, campaigned to have the t-shirt prevented from being sold at Tower Records. The record shop was raided on two occasions by police, and eventually agreed to stop stocking the garment. The Catholic League of America, back in 1998 (amusing "Victory for Sickos" story) and 1999 (their call to action), also complained bitterly about the t-shirt.
"Scum", the classic 1987 debut album from grindcore pioneers NAPALM DEATH, will be re-released on limited-edition redux CD and colored vinyl LP on March 5 via Earache Records.

To celebrate 25 years since the release of the most influential grindcore album ever made, "Scum" has been remastered especially for this release from the original tapes with Full Dynamic Range (FDR), allowing the music's nuances to shine through and giving the whole album a more ferocious and dynamic sound than ever before, and enabling the listener to immerse in the full audio chaos like never before.

Original NAPALM DEATH guitarist and founding member Mick Harris states: "It sounds wicked — that record still holds up today and I'm proud I was part of it."

This full dynamic range release is a reaction to the loudness war which has affected the music scene since the '90s, with artists and labels striving to producer ever-louder CDs. Earache firmly believes the playback volume should be in the hands of the listener, not the producer — that's what the volume control is for!

See a comparison of the "Scum" full dynamic range audio against the previous version below.

More FDR releases are planned, including NAPALM DEATH's follow-up effort, "From Enslavement To Obliteration".

The limited-edition "Scum" CD comes housed in a digipak sleeve and includes the previously unreleased rough mix of the entire album as a bonus, complete with original ad libs and intros from the studio and an alternate version of the title track. The collector's LP version is available in the following quantities and colors:

* 100 - Lime Green
* 200 - Lilac
* 300 - Magenta
* 800 - Black & White
Within days of announcing the departure of Matt DeVries, SIX FEET UNDER has locked in the latest addition to the band's already heavy and extremely talented lineup. Seven-string bassist Jeff Hughell, formerly of the Santa Cruz, California technical death metal band BRAIN DRILL and Concord, California death metal group VILE, as well as a current member of RECIPROCAL, will be joining the ranks as the new SIX FEET UNDER bassist. Check out a video of Jeff shredding on his bass below.

Commented SIX FEET UNDER vocalist Chris Barnes: "SIX FEET UNDER is proud to announce our new member, bass player Jeff Hughell. He's an amazing musician and I have been a fan of his work since first hearing BRAIN DRILL a few years back. We feel with the addition of Jeff, all the puzzle pieces are in place and the killing machine known as SIX FEET UNDER is now a true death metal force to be reckoned with! Prepare to be toe tagged and body bagged."

Added Jeff Hughell, "I am honored to be the newest edition to the mighty SIX FEET UNDER. This band is now a well oiled killing machine with Kevin Talley and myself as the rhythm section, Steve Swanson and Rob Arnold crushing guitars, and, of course, the man himself Chris Barnes killing it on vocals. The new material is the heaviest SIX FEET UNDER songs I have ever heard and I can't wait for the world to get their faces melted clean off by it. I would like to thank Mike Faley, Kelli Malella and the whole SIX FEET UNDER family for thinking of me. It's going to be one hell of a ride!"

Bassist Terry Butler and drummer Greg Gall announced their departures from SIX FEET UNDER in January 2011. Butler has since joined OBITUARY as a permanent member.

Multi-camera footage of SIX FEET UNDER performing the song "Hammer Smashed Faced" at the July 28, 2011 Sacramento, California stop of the "Summer Slaughter Tour" can be seen below.


* Rob Arnold (CHIMAIRA) - Guitar
* Kevin Talley (DAATH, MISERY INDEX, CHIMAIRA) - Drums
* Chris Barnes (CANNIBAL CORPSE) - Vocals
* Steve Swanson - Guitar
Portugal's most brutal, depraved and infamous band known as HOLOCAUSTO CANIBAL has inked a deal with Xtreem Music for the worldwide release of its third full-length album, "Gorefilia" (in Portugal, the CD will be made available through Raging Planet Records and Raising Legends Productions). Due in April, the 18-song effort was recorded at 213 Studios in Portugal and was mixed and mastered at Hertz Studio (BEHEMOTH, VADER, KRONOS, DECAPITATED, ABORTED) in Bialystok, Poland.

According to a press release, "Gorefilia" will showcase HOLOCAUSTO CANIBAL's more brutal and intense, songwriting, with songs varying from one to three minutes without fillers, [with] influences from bands like ABORTED, CANNIBAL CORPSE, early DERANGED, NAPALM DEATH, SUFFOCATION, CARCASS."

HOLOCAUSTO CANIBAL previously described "Gorefilia" as a "concept album [which] involves sexual arousal and gratification towards sexual behavior that is atypical and extreme. As always, you can expect self-torture, bizarre love and loads of sperm tainted with blood. Musically, some big changes are expected; however, the band is still committed to death metal and grind."

Commented bassist Z. Pedro: "Back in 1997 when HOLOCAUSTO CANIBAL was born, bands such as INCANTATION, VADER, DERANGED, IMMOLATION, DEEDS OF FLESH… were not only an influence to the sound which we were creating, they also had released material though the legendary death metal label Repulse Records. This label became Xtreem Music a few years ago and is still releasing brutal music, gathering over 100 releases so far, [with] 'Gorefilia' [being] their 108th release."

Added guitarist/vocalist Eduardo F. : "We've known Dave Rotten [Xtreem Music A&R] for over a decade, having in on stage in some gigs as special guest and we also shared stage with AVULSED in several European festivals. Adding to this, a release history of more than 100 titles, make us strongly believe that Xtreem Music is the reliable and hardworking label that we were looking for."
Melbourne, Australia-based melodic death metallers ELYSIAN will release their debut album, "Wires Of Creation", worldwide on March 26. The CD features "eleven tracks of hook-laden, flowing dark melodies, technical solo interludes and snarlingly evil vocal work," according to a press release.

Commented ELYSIAN guitarist Gabe Hutchinson: "Our main goal was to create a dynamic experience from start to finish whilst maintaining heavy songs. Overall, it's a really heavy melodic death album but at times soars into things like an instrumental PINK FLOYD-esque song with an electronic feel or a intricate percussive section.

"As a band, we grew up listening to music that incorporated acoustic ballads with blazing shred songs all in the one album, and it wasn't called progressive; it was called a good album.

"Some bands aim to have their songs sound disjointed by dramatically switching between genres; that's not what we have done, the whole album flows, it attacks and it releases, its aggressive but gives you time to breathe and take it in."

"Wires Of Creation" track listing:

01. Mans Design
02. Sigma
03. Climb from Fear
04. Eternal Breath
05. Sense Offender
06. The Gate
07. Play the Hand
08. Calming the Storm (instrumental)
09. Conquest
10. Machine
11. A Cry From Helplessness
II. The choice
III. The Fall
German death metallers DAWN OF DISEASE will release their sophomore album, "Crypts Of The Unrotten", on April 27 via NoiseArt Records. The CD was once again recorded at Soundlodge Studio in Rhauderfehn, Germany with producer Jörg Uken (GOD DETHRONED, DEW-SCENTED, SINISTER).

Commented the band: "After recording our debut album in Soundlodge, it was clear to us to go there again, since we had been very happy with how it turned out the first time. Jörg is a great guy and this time we had much more time to record and all than last time."

The "Crypts Of The Unrotten" concept was based on the eerie Capuchin Catacombs of Palermo, Sicily, which were constructed after the death of Silvestro of Gubbio, a famous 16th century monk. Four long limestone corridors underneath the Capuchin Church hold about 8,000 mummies, lying in repose or hung from hooks by their necks and feet and wearing their best clothes.

"Our guitar player Lukas 'dug up' the topic and the atmosphere as well as the stories around all those 'crypts' have both fascinated and influenced us as a band," DAWN OF DISEASE said. "It's the main theme of the album and also refers to it unmistakable in the album title."

"Crypts Of The Unrotten" track listing:

01. Descent Into Another World (intro)
02. Alone With The Dead
03. Knife Vs Flesh
04. The Unrotten
05. Skinless And Impaled
06. Enter The Gates
07. Calcined Bones
08. Catacombs
09. Final Resurrection
10. Devouring Obscurity
11. But Death Goes On
12. Soulless Shape (bonus track)

DAWN OF DISEASE's debut album, "Legends Of Brutality", came out last April via NoiseArt.


Tomasz Wisniewski - Vocals
Lukas Kerk - Guitar
Oliver Kirchner - Guitar
Michael Wächter - Bass
Mathias Blässe – Drums
French progressive technical death metallers GOROD have inked a North American deal with Unique Leader Records. The band's fourth full-length album, "A Perfect Absolution", will be released in the U.S. on May 8. The CD was mixed by producer Frédéric "Elmobo" Motte, who oversaw the recording of the drums, bass and vocals, while all guitars were tracked by GOROD's mastermind Matthieu Pascal at his Bud Records Studio. The mix and the mastering were done at Elmobo's Conkrete Studio by Pascal and Elmobo.

The lyrical concept of "A Perfect Absolution" is based on the history of Kievan Rus during the 10th century.

In the year 945, Igor, King of Kiev, was killed while collecting a "tribute" when he visited a neighbor pagan tribe (the Derevlians) who lives in the forest. He left a widow, Olga, who avenged him in an extremely harsh manner before converting to Orthodox Christianity.

"A Perfect Absolution" features guest guitar solos by Christian Muenzner (OBSCURA) and Mike Keene (THE FACELESS).

"A Perfect Absolution" track listing:

01. Birds Of Sulphur
02. Sailing Into The Earth
03. Elements And Spirit
04. The Axe Of God
05. 5000 At The Funeral
06. Carved In The Wind
07. Varangian Paradise
08. Tribute Of Blood

GOROD will join OBSCURA for the "Omnivium Europe 2012" tour in March/April. Also appearing on the bill are SPAWN OF POSSESSION and EXIVIOUS.

GOROD's latest full-length album, "Process Of A New Decline", came out in 2009 via Listenable Records. The follow-up to 2006's "Leading Vision" marked the recording debut of GOROD's new drummer, Samuel Santiago.

GOROD's "Transcendence" EP came out last spring. The disc included a 15-minute-long new song, one acoustic track, a CYNIC cover and two re-recorded songs from the band's first two albums.

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