[Classic_Rock_Forever] Black Sabbath, Ozzy Osbourne, Aerosmith, Metallica, Megadeth, Anthrax, and tons more hard rock and heavy metal news


OZZY Osbourne should be given the Freedom of the City of Birmingham, according to leading city councillors.
Ozzy Osbourne
The Black Sabbath frontman deserves the city's top honour because he is the 'world's most famous Brummie' and a credit to the city, they claim.
Council head of children's social services Matt Bennett made his call during a council debate on Birmingham's pop and rock music heritage and economy.
Revealing he was in a punk band during his teens, Coun Bennett (Cons, Stockland Green) said: "I studied in Liverpool and they do know how to make the most of their music. Yes they have The Beatles but they do like to go on and on about it.

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Should Ozzy Osbourne be given the freedom of Birmingham?
"So I say give Ozzy Osborne the Freedom of the City. He is the most famous Brummie on the planet. A few years ago he played for the Queen, and if he is good enough for the Queen he is good enough for Birmingham."
If granted the Freedom, Ozzy would join conductor Sir Simon Rattle and round the world yatchswoman Lisa Clayton, as well as a long list of politicians and military regiments, to have been awarded the honorary title.
The suggestion was immediately endorsed by both the cabinet member for leisure, sport and culture Martin Mullaney and Coun Philip Parkin whose Destination Birmingham report into the city's music industry suggested a Black Sabbath Day, among a range of initiatives to boost music tourism in the city.
Coun Parkin (Cons, Sutton Trinity) said; "Giving Ozzy the Freedom of the City is a fantastic idea and would be great for Birmingham."
Coun Mullaney (Lib Dem, Moseley and Kings Heath) added: "I think it is definitely something we should be doing."
What do yuo think?
Former BLACK SABBATH, DIO, HEAVEN & HELL and current KILL DEVIL HILL drummer Vinny Appice says that it would be hard to turn down the opportunity to play with BLACK SABBATH again if he was asked to replace original SABBATH drummer Bill Ward , who 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. "Well, obviously it would be a hard thing to go, 'Nah, I don't wanna do it,' Vinny told Loudwirewhen asked if he would accept the offer. "First of all, it's not just the opportunity. I love Tony [Iommi, guitar] and I love Geezer [Butler, bass]. I just played with Geezer in December at a Dimebag benefit — me and him played 'The Mob Rules'.

He continued, "They're like family in a way and I know Ozzy [Osbourne] pretty well — we haven't played together much, but it's part of my history and part of my family, too. It would be a hard thing to say 'no' to. I just wouldn't want it to affect my band [KILL DEVIL HILL]. If it happened, we'd be have to incorporate it and make that a springboard for KILL DEVIL HILL too, you know? Make it work both ways."

He added, "I'm shocked by all the news, too — I don't know what's going on. I thought Bill was in, and I thought it was a great thing. It's kind of sad to see it have an issue like this. So I don't know any more than everybody else knows. I don't know what they're really thinking. My main concern is for Tony. When I heard about [his lymphoma diagnosis], it devastated me — and losing [former BLACK SABBATH and HEAVEN & HELL singer] Ronnie [James Dio, who passed away in May 2010 following a battle with stomach cancer], you know, I'm still getting over Ronnie."

As previously reported, Bill Ward'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."

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.
According to The Pulse Of Radio, AEROSMITH producer Jack Douglas told Classic Rock magazine that he suggested recruiting author Stephen King to work with Steven Tyler on lyrics for the band's new album. Douglas said he threw his idea out there when he was asked by the record label if Tyler needed anyone to write with. Douglas explained, "They looked at me like I was crazy. I said, 'No, I'm serious. If there's anyone who's going to inspire him, it'd be Stephen King. Steven doesn't need melody — he needs someone who's going to inspire him as a wordsmith. I don't want a guy who's just writing hits right now.'"

The best-selling horror author is a huge rock 'n' roll fan and has even worked with John Mellencamp on a stage musical, but it's not known whether he has actually been approached by the AEROSMITH camp.

Douglas also said that AEROSMITH's first all-new album in over a decade, which is tentatively due out in May, "may take you back to places you used to know."

The band has recorded 15 songs with Douglas, who was behind the board for AEROSMITH classics like "Rocks" and "Toys In The Attic".

AEROSMITH guitarist Joe Perry recently revealed via Twitter that the band will embark on a U.S. tour in June. Tickets will go on sale in March. Exact cities and dates will be announced during the coming weeks.
Ex-METALLICA guitarist and current MEGADETH frontman Dave Mustaine joined his former bandmates on stage on December 10, 2011 for the fourth and final intimate show at the Fillmore in San Francisco as part of METALLICA's week-long celebration of its 30th anniversary as a band for fan club members only.

Mustaine, who was one of the original members of METALLICA, was fired from the band by drummer Lars Ulrich in 1983. He was replaced by Kirk Hammett and went on to form MEGADETH and achieve worldwide success on his own.

"I played four or five songs with them [at the Fillmore show] — just me, James [Hetfield], Lars, Robert [Trujillo] and Kirk was over on the side," Mustaine tells Chicago Sun-Times. "Kirk didn't look too happy about it, but I think he was a good sport.

"I think you can see from the way the guys lit up that it was mutually beneficial for everybody. We all expected something magical to happen, and it did. We were playing stuff off the first record that I'd written in my teenage years. It was a blast."

When asked if there is any chance of a future collaboration between him and the members of METALLICA, Mustaine said, "I would certainly look forward to another opportunity with those guys. The competition is done. I'd love to do a record with James, Lars and [MEGADETH bassist] Dave Ellefson, but I don't know if it's in the cards. Maybe a single for charity or something."
During a brand new interview with the Detroit Free Press, MEGADETH mainman Dave Mustaine was asked how he is feeling several months after undergoing surgery for stenosis, a neck and spine condition that he says was caused by years of headbanging. "My neck is completely recovered," he said. "The surgery was a breeze. The doctor I used ... did Peyton Manning's surgery. Fortunately, my recovery time has been a lot faster than Peyton's. He was in before me and I'm out playing before him. I wish him well in his recovery."

When asked if he can still headbang, Mustaine said, "I can headbang, but I've found with the limitation of, 'Do I want to headbang or do I want to be in a wheelchair?' I kind of toned it down a little bit. There's more body parts you can move around. I mean, I'm not dancing or anything like that but I'm making the best use of it I can."

Speaking to Decibel magazine last November, Mustaine stated about his neck injury, "The way [2011's Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival] ended, with me being hurt, I knew I was hurt, but I didn't know how bad. Nobody knew the writing was on the wall. I pretty much thought, 'Well, I''m hurt, but I'll just take it easy, have a couple of glasses of wine. I'll get through it, get a couple of trigger point injections, get an epidural.' There were a couple of times they gave me a shot in my neck that numbed me up. I saw chiropractors and masseuses all the time. It inevitably gets to the point where you're starting to take medication, and that's never good, because if you're taking something and you never feel the pain… You saw Curt Schilling when he was playing for the Diamondbacks, and Randy Johnson; I can't remember if [Schilling] was playing for the Diamondbacks that time he had the bloody sock or if he'd gone back to Boston or not yet — [he] did some heroic feat where he had his foot put back together and he went out there and played."

He added, "I'm an athlete, as a guitar player and as an onstage persona. But as far as being a musician that has to do hurdles — I don't think most musicians, when they start playing music, think that they're going to be playing this demanding-type music that those of us who are part of the 'Big Four' and all the bands we influenced and kind of created [play]. With the advent of the headbanging — which was not my invention, by any means; I'm not like Al Gore who invented the Internet — there was that whole headbanging thing that came around, it's hurt a lot us… What is headbanging, anyway? It's kind of like chronic whiplash syndrome, isn't it?"
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

Benante and ANTHRAX bassist Frank Bello (who is Charlie's nephew) missed several shows on ANTHRAX's recent North American 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.

Jason Bittner joined ANTHRAX on stage on November 8, 2011 at Northern Lights in Clifton Park, New York to perform the ANTHRAX classic "Madhouse". Fan-filmed video footage of his appearance can be seen below.

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.

According to Bittner, ANTHRAX initially approached SLIPKNOT's Joey Jordison to fill in for Benante at the January 2006 shows before Bittner finally agreed to step in and do the dates himself.

Commented Bittner: "Charlie called me first [to see if I woud be available to do the shows], but my phone was off (I was sleeping) so they called Joey because they couldn't get through to me. But then Scott [Ian, ANTHRAX guitarist] got ahold of me later that morning."
Cameron Adams of News.com.au recently conducted an interview with VAN HALEN singer David Lee Roth. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.

News.com.au: Eddie Van Halen's son Wolfgang is on bass now. What's it like being in a band with a 20-year-old?

Roth: I'm starting to be impressed by the kid. I didn't want to be. He can play the shit out of that thing. He's bringing it. We never changed. We're a '70s hard rock band. We enjoyed our fame in the '80s but all our roots are pre-'80s. That's VAN HALEN. Old plus new. It's like watching "Dragnet" on your iPad.

News.com.au: How are you and Eddie getting on?

Roth: If Ed and I can get along, then world peace can have a chance. There's sparks, there's energy, there's a team enthusiasm closer to pirates than little league. There's still some pillaging going on there. You can hear it in the music. There's routinely conflict but there's a lot of laughter. A lot of appreciation for the privilege of the job; compared to some of the other jobs we've all held, this is better. In one of the songs I say, "I've been rich and I've been poor, rich is better." It's totally better.

News.com.au: How do you describe the chemistry between you and Eddie? It's led to you leaving the band a few times.

Roth: Our form of sparks will be in the first sentence of our mutual obituaries. These are the songs and messages that have brought a smile to a thousand hips. Maybe that's our only responsibility as artists. You must delight. I don't care if you're running with a football in a screaming stadium or playing a solo violin in a concert hall, you must delight. We treasure that responsibility more than ever. You see it in the handshakes. The smiles are genuine. We individually idle somewhere between pissed off and not too pissed off in terms of anger. When you get too happy that's a different band. That's a vacation.

News.com.au: What was it like seeing VAN HALEN when Sammy Hagar or Gary Cherone was frontman?

Roth: When you change the engine, you have a whole different form of transportation. Any similarity between the reality of some of the other vocalists and mine is purely coincidental.

News.com.au: Can you see yourself in VAN HALEN long-term this time around?

Roth: It's a revised spirit, it's a real band. However temporary it may be there's a real core of strength, an integrity to the band. An obsessiveness to it that will ring true at least for the rest of this tour. To promise anything beyond that, I don't know. That kind of friction and back and forth solicits the best. In the battle of the bands, we actually are a battle of the bands in one band.
Mike Bax of Lithium Magazine recently conducted an interview with guitarist Phil Demmel of San Francisco Bay Area metallers MACHINE HEAD. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.

Lithium Magazine: Do you get to hear stories about how your audience first encounters MACHINE HEAD? Here's the thing; I look at "The Blackening" and "Unto The Locust", where you're starting your albums off with an eight-to-a-ten-minute-long song. In this current ADD disposable music culture we live in, asking a new fan to start off their MACHINE HEAD experience by sucking down an eight-to-ten-minute-long song… well, that's kind of radical.

Phil: It is. It's not traditional. It's not conventional. We like to start our albums with a really relentless song, and "Clenching" and "I Am Hell" are not conventional songs. We throw all of those "expectations" you alluded to out the door. I think the band had tried that before and it just wasn't who they were and it didn't feel like it was being 100 percent genuine, like "Locust" is. So we're staying true to ourselves and also hoping people get that. If that doesn't happen... well, we're being true to ourselves and we genuinely enjoy it.

Lithium Magazine: For me, the first time I heard "The Blackening", I didn't completely get it. i knew it was good. I was intrigued. I needed a bit of time to really get behind what was happening on that record. I think it took me about a month… But when I actually got it, I was all in. And I feel like "Unto The Locust" went down a little easier somehow. My first impressions of "Locust" were that it was good. The more I played it, the more I could find some of the real intricacies that the seven songs on the album hold… but I liked "Locust" immediately.

Phil: I think "The Blackening" could have been a primer for "Locust". It certainly would get fans used to the longer arrangements. I think the thing about "Locust" is that the melodies are there and the hooks are there. One thing I did with the solos on this record, Robb [Flynn, guitar/vocals] and I both; was to try and slow them down a little bit. Go to the school of Randy Rhoads and Kirk Hammett a little bit and try writing a composition within other compositions. I want people humming my solos, you know? I go to a METALLICA concert and I'm humming the solos from "One" for days afterwards, you know? The whole crowd gets into it, and you remember shit like that. I want to achieve that. There are a thousand shredders out there, you know? And I'm not the quickest guy, but I feel like I am finding the right notes to put together now that people will retain and reflect on.

Lithium Magazine: How would you describe METALLICA as a band to open for? I've been in the crowd at METALLICA shows. METALLICA fans cross their arms and they watch the two bands opening with a stoic stance and don't really give the opening bands anything. It's a bit freakish. So I am assuming it must be cool to actually get the gig, but there is a whole other mindset you need to achieve to actually do the tours.

Phil: It's a hard gig. It is. You have to bring it every night. You're working; working hard! Headlining is still work, but it's more of the enjoyment and the energy of reciprocation. With a METALLICA show, it's not being reciprocated. (Laughs) You're pounding it one way until you get somebody and you shake them up, and that's what we did. We would pick out where to go. Robb can work a crowd like nobody's business, but we were in the round on that tour, right? So he's looking over the crowd in one direction and we were often looking off in another direction, and you have this whole quarter of the arena to deal with yourself, you know? It took some work. I think for the most part we did a pretty good job. We heard a lot of reviews along the lines of, "It's not easy to get through the opening bands, but those guys were entertaining." We played the "Hallowed Be Thy Name" [IRON MAIDEN] cover, so that helped us along a bit.

Lithium Magazine: It stands to reason that people may look over your history down the road and look to "The Blackening" as your "Master Of Puppets".

Phil: (Laughs) Bah! You know, there is only one "Master Of Puppets". Nothing is going to be on that magnitude for a metal band for a long time — if ever. I have a hard time with any comparisons to what METALLICA went through. They just trail-blazed everything, you know? It's their own trip and nobody is going to do that again.

Lithium Magazine: In your opinion, what makes a credible musician or band?

Phil: I think honesty — being genuine, having integrity and being honest with your music is what makes you credible. I don't think that how many people like you or how many radio stations you are on should matter. There has to be a quality factor in there as well, but I think if you involve those three elements in your material, that makes you credible.
Weathermaker Music has set a February 28 release date for the CLUTCH double vinyl edition of "Blast Tyrant". This 180-gram expanded vinyl contains 16 songs and includes six mini-posters taken straight from "Blast Tyrant"'s "Atlas Of The Invisible World". Each illustrated poster is sized 8.5" x 11" and depicts one of the various characters featured within the "Blast Tyrant" storyline. Prior to February 28, the double vinyl edition of "Blast Tyrant" is exclusively available via www.clutchmerch.com.

In other CLUTCH news, you will be hearing the band's music in the mid-season premiere of "The Walking Dead" on February 12 on AMC. A sneak preview of the episode is available below. CLUTCH music will also be featured in the soon-to-be-released film "The Baytown Disco" starring Andre Braugher, Billy Bob Thornton, and Eva Longoria. A six-minute preview of the film, featuring CLUTCH music, can be viewed below. And for all you hockey fans, CLUTCH's "Electric Worry" is still the goal music for the Vancouver Canucks.

CLUTCH is about to confirm a North American spring tour. The band will also be returning to Europe this festival season.
Despite the fact that they have just launched a European headlining tour, progressive metal giants DREAM THEATER have no intention of missing this weekend's 54th annual Grammy Awards, where they are nominated in the "Best Hard Rock/Metal Performance" category for their song "On The Backs Of Angels". The band's keyboardist, Jordan Rudess, tells AOL's Noisecreep that he and his bandmates will jump into a plane immediately after a show at London's Wembley Arena Friday night, February 10, and head to Los Angeles where they will be met by their wives (and even a few kids) to take part in Sunday's big celebration.

"We are so excited," Jordan said. "The excitement we felt after first hearing the news of the nomination has never really worn off. We're just so proud of this new record ['A Dramatic Turn Of Events'] and how we managed to evolve after parting with [original drummer] Mike [Portnoy], that regardless of whether we win or not, we're just going to have a fun time in the moment. None of knows that to expect, this is sort of new to us, but we're excited about who we might meet at the event. For DREAM THEATER, this is really big deal and we just want to have a great time with each other and with our families and savor this honor of being nominated. And hey, if we win, that's just a bonus."

The nominees in the "Best Hard Rock/Metal Performance" category are as follows:

* DREAM THEATER - "On The Backs Of Angels"
* FOO FIGHTERS - White Limo"
* MASTODON - "Curl Of The Burl"
* MEGADETH - "Public Enemy No. 1"
* SUM 41 - "Blood In My Eyes"

"We're ecstatic," James LaBrie, lead vocalist for DREAM THEATER, told Grammy.com. "Personally, I've already got the cleats on the bottom of my dress shoes so I can run up on the stage." He adds, "This is [about] getting a nod, getting the recognition from the industry itself [and] giving us a little bit more of a platform as far as public awareness."

To be eligible for nomination, an artist's work must have been released between October 1, 2010 and September 30, 2011.
FLYING COLORS — the spectacular new virtuoso prog/pop/metal rock band formed by drummer Mike Portnoy (ex-DREAM THEATER) and guitarist Steve Morse (DEEP PURPLE) — will release its self-titled debut album via Music Theories Recordings in the U.K. on Monday, March 26, followed by a U.S. release on Tuesday, March 27.

FLYING COLORS is Mike Portnoy (drums, vocals), Dave LaRue (bass), Neal Morse (keyboards, vocals), Casey McPherson (lead vocals, guitar), and Steve Morse (lead guitar).

"I think if most people looked at this band on piece of paper, they would think that it would be very progressive and instrumentally based music, but I think once we started playing together, we got taken into all new directions," Portnoy told Audio Ink Radio. "I think a lot of that had to do with Casey, because Casey comes from a more modern rock and alternative rock background, so I think that really helped take the entire band in new directions."

He added, "The diversity element is pretty crazy. It ranges from poppy classic rock sounds like THE BEATLES and QUEEN all the way to modern rock and alternative bands like RADIOHEAD, MUSE and COLDPLAY, and everything in-between. There's some prog stuff like YES thrown in, as well, and then there are moments that are like the RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS or FOO FIGHTERS. So, it really runs the gamut from track to track."

"Flying Colors" track listing:

01. Blue Ocean
02. Shoulda Coulda Woulda
03. Love Is What I'm Waiting For
04. The Storm
05. Kayla
06. Forever In A Daze
07. Everything Changes
08. Better Than Walking
09. All Falls Down
10. Fool In My Heart
11. Infinite Fire

The formation of FLYING COLORS began with a simple idea: virtuoso musicians and a pop singer joining together to make new-fashioned music the old-fashioned way. Refreshing, classic, old and new, the recordings are saturated with the many styles, tones and hues of the players who in becoming a band have delivered a unique fusion of vintage craftsmanship and contemporary music.

In 2008, executive producer Bill Evans brought the idea to the world-renowned musicians and producer Peter Collins. Intrigued by the idea and the prospect of working together, the four musicians signed on to form a band and record a first album.

Steve Morse and Dave LaRue have developed magical music chemistry over the years that began early in their careers as partners in DIXIE DREGS. In 1995, Morse subsequently became a member of DEEP PURPLE, while LaRue's ongoing musical adventures include Joe Satriani, John Petrucci, Jordan Rudess, Steve Vai, and the aforementioned Portnoy.

Multi-instrumentalist, composer and singer Neal Morse is one of the leading figures in progressive rock, whose notoriety follows his co-founding of the seminal band, SPOCK'S BEARD in 1995, recordings as a solo artist, and contributions to the super-group TRANSATLANTIC.

Mike Portnoy is one of the most popular and respected drummers in both metal and rock, and an accomplished writer and producer. He is the recipient of numerous industry accolades, including 26 Modern Drummer awards, Revolver magazine's Golden God award for "Best Drummer" and Drum magazine's "Drummer Of The Year". He rose to prominence as the leader, drummer, producer, and co-writer for metal/prog juggernaut DREAM THEATER, before moving on in 2010. That same year, he worked on AVENGED SEVENFOLD's #1 album "Nightmare" and their subsequent tour.

It was Portnoy who recommended ALPHA REV's emotive singer Casey McPherson as a contender to join FLYING COLORS. McPherson, whose 2010 Hollywood/Disney album "New Morning" debuted in the Top 5 on two Billboard charts, enjoyed major success at radio with multiple hits. The track "New Morning" spent 17 weeks in the Top 10 on Triple A Radio, and enjoyed a run on VH1's Top 20 Countdown for months. Steve Morse offers, "Casey was a glorious find, because he could make anything sound fantastic, and is a multitalented like the others."

FLYING COLORS convened for just nine days in early 2011, and composed and recorded this album during a short and intense session.

Touring plans for FLYING COLORS will be announced in the coming months.
It's been roughly five years since Dan Spitz left Anthrax following the brief Among The Living-lineup reunion. And while the guitarist's former band went through many ups and downs in the public eye, Spitz went through his own struggles while creating new music privately. Finally, after three years in the making, Spitz's new band Red Lamb has unleashed. With the self-titled debut now available in all digital outlets, Spitz and Red Lamb are off the ground and running full steam ahead. But as we already mention, getting to this point hasn't been easy for Spitz.
Earlier this week, Metal Insider was fortunate enough to speak with Spitz himself following the release of Red Lamb's new album. During our chat, Spitz clarified the role Megadeth frontman Dave Mustaine played in the album's production, revealed the struggles that plagued recording (both business wise and personal), and explained how he aims to make Red Lamb a "fans' band" in the same way Anthrax was in its early days.
There has been a little confusion as to what role Dave Mustaine has actually been playing in Red Lamb. In the band's most recent biography, Mustaine is credited as co-producer and co-writer. This past Summer, though, many were under the impression that he had actually joined the band as the singer. Was Mustaine ever an actual member of the group or a behind the scenes collaborator?
This project itself has been three years in the making. I know Dave had mentioned something in the press once that we were kind of excited and that we were doing something together. But we tried to keep what we've been doing kind of quiet and under the radar so we can work and concentrate and have that time, which you usually don't have once you get going. Things happen very fast in today's music culture once you launch. So there probably was some confusion only because people were trying to figure out why me and Dave were eating breakfast somewhere or something  together when I live on the East Coast and he lives on the West Coast. Pretty much, everybody knows in the metal community that we're like best of friends for a very long time. Up until now, we have actually tried to keep that kind of quiet. This is our personal lives and he is very public, and I used to be very public until I kind of took a break. So it's just the way we did it. So there was no official statement saying that Dave was doing anything more or anything less up until yesterday. If you want to know exactly what the role is between us I would be glad to lay that out for you.
That'd be great because as you said there hasn't been an official statement.
Yeah so that's what's really funny. People have been asking like "how come Dave's not doing this, and Dave's not doing that, and I thought this and I thought that." There's this giant thing on all the websites, it's called a biography [laughs] and it explains what the band is, who's in the band and what all our roles are, what the producer's roles were and so forth. It's kind of weird, but I guess it's just a day out of what's going on, everyone is a little confused. So I guess it's good we'll clear this up.
Dave heard what used to be my project before Red Lamb and we were just cruising into the studio in one of his crazy cars, I think it was an Aston Martin or something. And he just fell in love with the music, and as a friend offered "can I take this from you and kind of help?" At that point in time I was wearing 50 hats so it became quite difficult. It was just a blessing for Dave to say "Yeah, absolutely!" and that's where we started. His credit is he's a co-producer; we worked together on taking that material that was already recorded. All the music was done by me and recorded and we edited the music and moved verses and choruses around, shortening songs and got rid of the seven minute solo if there was one [laughs].  I do like to kind of play long lead breaks and stuff. It's just like in the past in Anthrax, where we hired producers to do that same thing; be that fifth or sixth member of the band and see what we can't see when you wear so many hats. And to find that person is just such a comfort.
We've been friends for so long so it's beyond comfort. He was able to edit all the songs and really worked feverishly. He actually pushed the Megadeth album [TH1RT3EN] and recording of it for I don't know three, four months down the line so we could work in Vic's Garage [his studio] and do that. We tracked a lot of rhythm guitars in Vic's and then we flew Donnie [Chaffin, singer] out to do all the vocals. Dave worked with Donnie consistently day in day out on all the vocals. He lives this album along with all of us. And previous to that, via electronic means, meaning email and so forth, me and Dave took all the lyrics that I had written for the CD and we dissected those the same way we dissected the music. And Dave co-wrote every song on the album with me as far as the lyrics go and so that's his role in it. He's the co-writer on every song. So it's a wonderful collaboration.  I don't think anything like this has happened between two members of what everyone is calling The Big 4. Obviously, I'm absent from The Big 4; I'm just not there. So I don't think anyone has worked together like this. People don't just play lead guitar, play rhythm guitar but we're there at onset and this music is just in our blood. We don't manufacture it; it is a part of my being.
As you mentioned it really is unusual to see two members of The Big 4 collaborating. That's why, and I hope you don't mind me saying it like this, but I was really surprised  that the album was released out of nowhere [last week, February 3]. Was there any reason why you didn't wait till you got some press backing or distribution support?
It's kind of what I would like to do. I don't want to be an old time dinosaur, like "Hey can we be signed to a record label?" Because during the recording of this and trying to acquire other people, friends and so forth to play on it, we ran into so many stumbling blocks. It was beyond fathomable, of the people actually wanting to play on it, playing on it and then their record label being like "Eh ya know, we don't want him playing on anything but his own band. Take it off." We've run across that a bunch of times. And that's not good in today's music industry. If you look at all the newer bands and so forth, there's no record companies. The distribution is "Hey let me put your album out" and I'll put it on iTunes and put it on Amazon and anyone can get it. If I want to do something separate from Red Lamb and I want to do three more things, I don't have that boss beating down my neck. I can do whatever I want and have free reign.
It's really just self-funded music for the fans by the fans. If you remember the beginning days of Anthrax, where it was me and Scott [Ian, Anthrax guitarist], this is the same way we did it. Nobody would sign us, nobody would sign Metallica. Our manager Jonny  Z [Zazula, founder of Megaforce Records] had both cassettes for two years taking them around to every record company and they kind of laughed at it and said "What is this noise?" So we just went grass roots and just started playing. So Red Lamb is the same kind of thing for today's market.
So I'm just going to release it fast. It's out, you can get it. The fans will help me and Red Lamb connect with them by going out to play by purchasing whatever they can purchase and just being part of our band. I don't know how to explain it except this is what I did in the beginning days of Anthrax in a different way because of those times. This is what I'm going to do with Red Lamb. It's not going to some pencil pushing guy behind a desk, we don't need that anymore. Most of the new bands coming out now, it's the same way I'm doing this now. It's been "coming soon, coming soon, coming soon," but we've been working so hard on this. It's just time for it to come out. And everything is done behind the scenes, it's been a lot of hard work for a very long time to be able to just kind of launch it out there and get on the road as soon as we can and get back on stage and just say hello to everybody.
Do you plan on actually releasing a physical version of the album?
Oh no, you can buy a physical form of the CD from Amazon. It's just not in their pipeline yet because I guess it takes longer then digital downloads. We're distributed through TuneCore. That's your online record company. You got CD Baby, you got TuneCore.  That is your modern day record company. I don't understand why anyone would try to do anything different because they're not going to give you four million dollars to go out there and play somewhere. I just don't fathom why anyone would go to a record company for distribution. There's almost none of them left anyway, so how much are they going to give you in today's market?  I don't see it, I just don't see it. Again, it's just grassroots, like Periphery. I'm sure you're familiar with this band.
Yeah, definitely.
The nephew [guitarist Jake Bowen] of my friend John [Petrucci] from Dream Theater; That's grassroots man. I'm just going to put our albums out and get on the road…
As you mentioned, though, it's taken three years to actually get to this point,. A lot of struggles and line ups and even band names I believe. So what would you say has been the biggest struggle that you've went through just to get this point with the album out?
[Laughs] It's one stumbling block after another. The biggest stumbling block…there's been so many, this is not easy…I wouldn't even know where to begin. There's been so many stumbling blocks. Probably finding the right members to create what was in my head. It took me about a year of playing to come up with the sounds for my guitar that is reminiscent of what I do. I may not be the most incredible guitar player in the world, or as people view me and so forth and whatever that is. I like to create and I don't really listen to much music so I like to create something that's a little bit different, and that was the hardest part. And it popped one day with certain chord progressions and how they worked in unison.
And then I found Patrick and he just matched my riffs. That was it. I knew I had that sound. Just like the beginning days of Anthrax, I knew there was something there. You're going to get 60% of the people who are haters and 40% who are like "Wow this is really cool." It just is what it is. I don't really pay attention to the masses, otherwise there would be no Anthrax.[laughs] We do what's inside of us and it just somehow connects to so many people and I just feel so good when that happens. So a stumbling block would be to create something familiar for my past fans but is more for the future, where music is heading. And I think we got that in pretty much every song.
You mentioned how you pretty much have the same attitude you had when you were first starting off with Anthrax. What, though, do you want to accomplish with Red Lamb that you couldn't with Anthrax?
Cross the genres and interconnecting with fans, meaning I don't want to be pigeonholed into "Red Lamb is this type of band or that type of band." I mean, I think it's a heavy metal band, but I just don't know what type of band it is. That was the hardest part. I don't want to be pigeonholed into that. I think when people hear it they know it's me, people who know me. I went away for a long time and now I'm back full time. There is a whole generation of kids who think "oh Dan was a lead guitar player in Anthrax," which is fine. But you know what? Now I'm back, and there is a difference between people who play and people who like to create, and I really like to create. So this is my newest creation.
In addition to that, our singer Don, he owns video production company. So well have lots of videos, lots of videos from on the road. Well have video editing facilities with us on the road at all times. He loves to do that. He eats, sleeps and breathes that just like I eat, sleep and breathe my guitar once again. So were going to release our first video [editor's note: the band's first video was released shortly after our chat], then we'll be onto the next. We're going to be a people band, a fans' band, whatever you like to call it, because I'm still just a fan and I always was. And there's no real difference between that connection, standing on stage and, in the past, playing Anthrax songs, and there's not much difference for this band at all.
I'm sure you're probably tired of everyone asking you about Anthrax so I apologize in advance. But I was wondering if I could get your opinion on Anthrax's current lineup. As you've gone through your own struggles to get Red Lamb off the ground, Anthrax also went through a lot leading up to the release of Worship Music. I was just wondering if you had any thoughts on everything that's happened to Anthrax since you left following the 2005 reunion.
To tell you the truth, they are all my friends and I wish them the best of luck every day with what they do. What we do is not easy and it's hard sometimes for the fans to understand that. They think it is easy. We live on a bus, we live away from home, and we don't get to go home and visit if there's an emergency sometimes. And this endless list of not really having a home is just really hard. I think it's best we just wish everyone the best. And if you have a stumbling block, it's cool to have a friend to help you along and get you out of that stumbling block just like in everyday life somewhere else with someone else. So I wish them all the best wherever and in whatever they do and I'm sure well cross paths live cause I plan to play live with Red Lamb and not stop.
So you mention you want to play live with Red Lamb. When can we expect you guys on the road?
The sooner the better as far as I'm concerned. We're just releasing music and we'll see what offers come our way and what we can arrange and get into rehearsal as soon as we can and get out there and pound some metal [laughs]. Cause I'm itching really bad, I haven't played since the reunion and previous to that obviously everybody knows I was in Switzerland for many years doing what I was doing. This time I'm not going to stop until I drop dead onstage, and hopefully it's not from another heart attack. [laughs]
You know, I have two kids with autism, I had a heart attack so you just never know. There's a song on the album that is about our struggle here with Autism with our twins that have it and other people that have it. So there is a cause and a mission with our music and we hope we can at least do something in our metal community for that cause because it doesn't exist in our community yet. It's one of the few communities where it doesn't exist. So stamp one of those blue puzzle pieces on my forehead or whatever you want to do, but that's another reason to give a listen to our tunes.
I can only imagine how difficult it is to be away from family on the road, let alone under such circumstances.
Yeah that's one of the, like you asked, struggles during making the album. There's a disaster in our home pretty much every thirty eight seconds with two four year-olds with autism. They're identical twins. During the making of the album, we all obviously have home studios, so every thirty seconds or so you're trying to take a lead break and trying to come up with an idea. And when I say disaster, only people who live what I live would know what that disaster is. So you're interrupted all day and many times of the night, asleep, and so forth and so on. So that was a very hard struggle to get through to get where we are going.
Former RAMONES drummer Marky Ramone has inked a deal with Simon & Schuster to publish his memoirs. He says, "It will be a book written just by me. For sure, out 2013."

Marky Ramone is best known for the 15 years he spent drumming for the legendary RAMONES. Marky appeared in the cult classic film "Rock n Roll High School" in 1979, performed over 1700 shows and recorded over 15 albums (studio, live) with the RAMONES. In 2002, Marky and his bandmates became the first punk rock ensemble to be inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame.

Marky's radio show on Sirius XM satellite radio was rated the #2 show on the Faction channel in 2009. Also appearing on various TV shows (including Anthony Bourdain's "No Reservations" and IFC's "Z Rock"), Marky shows no signs of slowing down as he continues to tour the world with his new band, MARKY RAMONE'S BLITZKRIEG, also featuring Michale Graves (ex-MISFITS) on vocals, Crazy Joe on guitar and Graham Vanderveen on bass. The band plays all the classics that lead to Marky's induction into the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame!
The original lineup of KILLING JOKE will release its new album, "2012" (MMXII), on April 2 via Spinefarm Records. The effort will be released in CD hardcopy and digital formats. It will also be made available on double colored gatefold vinyl.

The album's key is the end of times, an age of flux, a shift in consciousness…

"I can't see the point contemplating extreme life extinction — it's good for nothing. It's nihilism in the absolute even considering it," states KILLING JOKE mainman Jaz Coleman.

This kind of thinking sets the tone for this powerful record, with 2012 and the state of flux the key issue…

"It's in many different calendars — the great unveiling, the sky and the earth coming together. It's a significant date. In the autumn, there is a major planetary alignment, and on that day I'm doing this rock festival, 'A Party At The End Of The Earth', which is going to be in New Zealand. Everything is speeding up. It's not just our minds shrinking. We are heading towards the Eschaton and no-one really knows what's going to happen."

The album reflects this dark vision, but Jaz Coleman sees the great change in a more positive light — the dawning of the Age Of Aquarius…

"All the remote viewers I know, myself included, cannot penetrate beyond," he says. "This year is about getting our collective dreams in order, restoring the biosphere, the idea of well-being as opposed to economic growth, the idea of partnership and co-creation with fellow human beings, moving away from national boundaries and more towards what Schiller and Beethoven were saying in some of their work."

The album's themes are political, anti-capitalist and forward-looking…

"If we can concentrate on what it can be, the dream of clean streams, of re-forestation, of permaculture, of disengaging all the banks — identifying all the majority shareholders of the top 100 corporations and dismantling them," Coleman says. "If we start dreaming of a fairer system and defining what an elite should be – an intellectual powerhouse and not international bankers."

Jaz laughs that wild laugh and stares.

"This is what I'm touching on with the songs; 'Fema Camp' is about the concentration camps they have been building in America; 'Corporate Elect' needs no explanation; 'Rapture' is the way I perceive a KILLING JOKE concert – it's a spiritual experience for myself to get into that state of grace… music is the theme of mantra. I'm not into organised religion at all, but I've always liked what Fela Kuti did in Nigeria, playing music like it was a temple. Maybe we will evolve into a time where we will be performing for ritualistic and spiritual reasons alone and not for monetary reasons?"

"There's a song called 'On All Hallows Eve', which is about my belief in ancestor worship, backed up by quantum theories that there is no death. You only ever remember the time-line that you are alive in — you can't remember being dead because you never were. 'Colony Collapse' is about what's happening, what's going on out there. 'Poleshift' is the first track on the album and about the potential polar shift of the earth's magnetic field, its erratic behaviour, and also the polar shift that will be needed."

The 11 album tracks are an avalanche of sound that is empowering whilst jolting you awake. They are as fascinating as chatting with Coleman, as he talks of future humans living forever but with no emotions, and of the Age Of Aquarius and the cycles of time, the shift in the earth's electro-magnetic field, the end of extreme capitalism, the Arab Spring and how his trips to Cairo to record music have added to his belief that when Cairo falls everywhere else follows…

"2012" is possibly KILLING JOKE's best album ever, and fittingly Mike Coles, long-time KILLING JOKE collaborator and artistic genius, has completed the artwork.

To celebrate the album's release, KILLING JOKE is streaming the track "Rapture" as a taster on YouTube.

"2012" formats and track listing:

CD/Digital Album

01. Pole Shift
02. Fema Camp
03. Rapture
04. Colony Collapse
05. Corporate Elect
06. In Cythera
07. Primobile
08. Glitch
09. Trance
10. On All Hallow's Eve

Double Colored Gatefold Vinyl

Side A:

01. Pole Shift
02. Fema Camp

Side B:

01. Rapture
02. Colony Collapse
03. Corporate Elect

Side C:

01. In Cythera
02. Primobile
03. Glitch

Side D:

01. Trance
02. On All Hallow's Eve

iTunes exclusive track

11. New Uprising

When their original line-up of Jaz Coleman, Geordie, Youth and Big Paul reconvened in 2008 after working together intermittently, that strange voodoo once again filled the room. Individually, they have a power, but together they have something sulphurous and strong that few bands can match. KILLING JOKE are not an average band with an average agenda; they lock the door and let the ritual commence, and "2012" is the result.
Brazilian/American thrashers SEPULTURA will join forces with DEATH ANGEL, KRISIUN and HAVOK for a North American tour in April/May.

"We are so excited to go back to North America," commented SEPULTURA guitarist Andreas Kisser. "Last [year's tour] was great, but this time we have the new album, 'Kairos', out and people already know the new stuff. Plus, it's the first time we are touring with our longtime friends in DEATH ANGEL and our brothers from Brazil, KRISIUN. Finally we have a chance to tour with a Brazilian band outside Brazil; a longtime wish! So prepare yourselves for an amazing and historical tour. North America deserves some real extreme and intense metal! See you all soon on the 'Relentless Worldwide Tour'. Destroy!"


Apr. 10 - Yost Theater - Santa Ana, CA
Apr. 11 - DNA Lounge - San Francisco, CA (no DEATH ANGEL)
Apr. 12 - Branx - Portland, OR
Apr. 13 - Studio Seven - Seattle, WA
Apr. 14 - In The Venue - Salt Lake City, UT
Apr. 15 - Gothic Theatre - Englewood, CO
Apr. 16 - Manny's - Billings, MT
Apr. 17 - The Exchange - Regina, SK - Canada
Apr. 18 - Pyramid Cabaret - Winnipeg, MB - Canada
Apr. 20 - Majestic Theater - Madison, WI
Apr. 21 - Mojoe's - Joliet, IL
Apr. 22 - Water Street Music Hall - Rochester, NY
Apr. 23 - The Opera House - Toronto, ON - Canada
Apr. 24 - Imperial Theater - Quebec City, QC - Canada
Apr. 25 - Club Soda - Montreal, QC - Canada
Apr. 26 - Bogies - Albany, NY
Apr. 27 - Sonar - Baltimore, MD (no DEATH ANGEL)
Apr. 28 - Best Buy Theater - New York, NY (no DEATH ANGEL)
Apr. 29 - Higher Ground - South Burlington, VT

SEPULTURA played its first show with new drummer Eloy Casagrande (GLÓRIA, ANDRÉ MATOS) on November 25 in Lichtenfels, Germany.

Casagrande joined SEPULTURA as the replacement for Jean Dolabella, who left the band because he could no longer handle being away from home for long periods of time.

Eloy is a 21-year-old drum prodigy from São Paulo, Brazil who won the Modern Drummer "Undiscovered Drummer" contest as a teenager in 2006.

Dolabella left SEPULTURA after a five-year run of relentless touring and two studio albums. He joined SEPULTURA in 2006 following the departure of the band's original drummer, Igor Cavalera.

SEPULTURA is touring in support of its 12th studio album, and Nuclear Blast Records debut, "Kairos", which hit stores in July 2011.

DEATH ANGEL will release a DVD entitled "A Thrashumentary" in the spring. According to a press release, "A Thrashumentary" is a combination live video and documentary, all wrapped up in one thrashing DVD. The footage was directed by Tommy Jones (SOILWORK, KATAKLYSM) and mixed by Chris Clancy of The Studio. The film gives the viewer an in-depth look into one of the longest-running thrash acts out of the San Francisco Bay Area, a region known for turning out historic thrash bands such as METALLICA, TESTAMENT and EXODUS.

"Relentless Retribution", the latest album from DEATH ANGEL, sold 2,700 copies in the United States in its first week of release. The CD landed at position No. 10 on the Top New Artist Albums (Heatseekers) chart, which lists the best-selling albums by new and developing artists, defined as those who have never appeared in the Top 100 of The Billboard 200. The band's previous album, "Killing Season", opened with around 2,300 units back in March 2008. This number was in line with the performance of its predecessor, "The Art of Dying", which registered a first-week sales tally of around 2,100 back in May 2004.
In August 2011, RHAPSODY OF FIRE guitarist Luca Turilli and keyboardist Alex Staropoli announced their decision to go their separate ways.

Due to legal reasons, Staropoli will continue under the RHAPSODY OF FIRE name. Turilli, on the other hand, will make his future efforts available under the RHAPSODY moniker (RHAPSODY OF FIRE's original name), in which he will be joined by guitarist Dominique Leurquin, bassist Patrice Guers, and drummer Alex Holzwarth. A singer for the group has has yet to be announced.

LUCA TURILLI'S RHAPSODY will release a new album entitled "Ascending To Infinity" on June 29 via Nuclear Blast.

Commented the band: "In some days, Dominique and Patrice will start recording their guitar and bass parts in a French studio. Dominique is actually rehearsing the parts and on Friday, will start recording the rhythmic guitar of half album and a couple of lead parts too. Meanwhile, Luca is working on the second step of the arrangement process for each song, finalizing the keyboard parts and creating the sound design elements in his private home studio in Trieste, Italy. From tomorrow, he will start recording the rhythmic and the main lead guitars, too."

Said Luca: "The last part of the arrangement process is very long and emotionally demanding, but is also the most satisfying, from an artistic point of view.

"I just finished working on the keyboard parts of the song 'Dark Fate Of Atlantis', and on the sound effects needed to give breath and life to the same song. I needed almost one week to complete the last phase of the arrangements for it, but this is the amazing step necessarily needed to turn a song from normal into 'cinematic.'

"After many days and an infinite mind-blowing search between intimate sounds and apocalyptic textures and effects, it is time for me to disconnect from that kind of spiritual experience and finally relax starting to record some guitar parts, ha ha. From tomorrow, I will have then two computers open in front of me: one to record the guitar and the second to bounce the first files for Sebastian, our studio engineer.

"Just to let you understand the amount of work necessary in this case: for a typical RHAPSODY song of around six minutes like 'Dark Fate Of Atlantis', I will need around 12 hours to originate the audio files that then will be used for the mix.

"If you want to know more about these aspects related with the composition and arrangement process, I will just be happy to inform you from our band's Facebook page in the next days."

In August 2011, RHAPSODY OF FIRE guitarist Luca Turilli and keyboardist Alex Staropoli announced their decision to go their separate ways.

"Ascending To Infinity" track listing:

01. Quantum X
02. Ascending To Infinity
03. Dante's Inferno
04. Excalibur
05. Tormento E Passione
06. Dark Fate Of Atlantis
07. Fantasia Gotica
08. Clash Of The Titans
09. Of Michael The Archangel And Lucifer's Fall
Alma Mundi
II. Fatum Mortalis
III. Ignis Divinus

The album will have a running time of around 65 minutes.

The limited-edition version of
"Ascending To Infinity"
will include two bonus tracks for 75 minutes of music, plus "many exclusive gifts," to be revealed very soon.

LUCA TURILLI'S RHAPSODY will embark on the "Ascending To Infinity" headlining tour in the fall.

In a recent interview, Turilli stated about "Ascending To Infinity", "Honestly, this album is very important for me, Alex Holzwarth, Patrice and Dominique and personally it is the one I always dreamed to record. The basic composition process lasted around five months. In this period of time I worked at the rhythm of 12-14 hours per day and, while very hard because very demanding mentally and spiritually, this was one of the most rewarding sessions of composition of my whole life. It rarely happened I had so much fun playing the guitar, the keyboards or my beloved piano and creating original classical parts, cinematic interludes, orchestrations and all the rest. Now all the songs are ready and I am actually in the process of arranging everything. As you know, I don't hire external people to orchestrate the music, but I do all by myself writing the music for each section of the orchestra, the choirs etc. and this sometimes can be a very long and hard process stealing a lot of time and energy. I can not deny that this is a very ambitious album, because of the investment, artistic vision etc., and all the people working on it, Nuclear Blast included, are thinking the same. That's why in the upcoming months of intensive studio work I want to go on dedicating myself night and day to it, without thinking to anything else."

Regarding the change in the production team for the LUCA TURILLI'S RHAPSODY album, Luca said, "After many years of work in Wolfsburg at the court of our friend Sascha Paeth, I decided to start this new artistic adventure with a different team of people. Sascha and the other friends of the Gate Studio (Miro, Olaf, Robert, Simon, etc.) are a winning team and their help in the past was really important for RHAPSODY. But it's since many years already that Alex and I took the productions in our hands becoming producers of our own albums, despite Sascha remaining always fundamental as engineer and mixer man. His mixes will remain legendary and our list of thanks will be never long enough for all the professional contribution he gave. All the years of work, fun and sufferance in the Gate studios of Wolfsburg will surely remain unforgettable and are carved in our heart. For LUCA TURILLI'S RHAPSODY and the new band adventure I decided to change the studio and the main man behind the console. We are now recording the new album at the Backyard Studio of Kempten, Germany. Our new engineer and main mixer man is the same owner of the studio and his name is Sebastian Roeder, the person who worked for RHAPSODY OF FIRE in the last worldwide tour making real miracles while mixing our music live. Apart from being a talented engineer, he is a great person and he shares with us the love for this style of music. To resume, the new album will be produced by me as usual, while Sebastian will take care of the engineering, mixing and mastering process."

On the topic of the singer for LUCA TURILLI'S RHAPSODY, Luca said, "As you can imagine, this will be one of the most important news to be given in the upcoming months, but for the moment we prefer to keep all top secret. Speaking about singers, please allow me to say a few words about Olaf Hayer, singer and talented voice of LUCA TURILLI, my old solo band. The truth is that, as many people could already imagine, I stopped my solo activity as LUCA TURILLI definitely, willing to dedicate myself to LUCA TURILLI'S RHAPSODY at full time. That's why I want to publicly thank Olaf for the fundamental contribution he gave to our solo albums. All the three albums of the trilogy entered the charts establishing some important records and this was possible mainly because of my friend Olaf. Who knows?! Maybe sooner or later we'll still have the chance to work together. Never say never."
British epic power metallers DRAGONFORCE will kick off their North American tour at the 14th annual New England Metal & Hardcore Festival on Saturday, April 21 at the Palladium in Worcester, Massachusetts.

DRAGONFORCE will release their fifth studio album, "The Power Within", in the U.K. on April 16 via the band's own Electric Generation Recordings, distributed by Essential Music. The ten-track monster, which will be made available in North America on April 17 through Roadrunner, is the band's first with new singer Marc Hudson in the fold.

"We are really excited to be playing the New England Metal & Hardcore Festival again, especially as it's the North American launch show for the new album," said DRAGONFORCE guitarist Sam Totman. "Anyone who hasn't had a chance to see new singer Marc Hudson in action will witness what a great singer he is! It's been a long time since we last played the festival and are looking forward to seeing old friends again and giving everyone a great show."

DRAGONFORCE guitarist Herman Li recently stated about "The Power Within", "The last two years have been the most fun we ever had making an album. Through writing, jamming and touring together, we have built this incredible energy and it has been fully captured on the new album.

"This time around we've really brought our metal side to the surface and made some of the best music of our career. From the fastest song we've ever recorded ['Fallen World'] to the slower songs, and some things you would never expect from us, this is by far the most diverse DRAGONFORCE album yet."

Li added, "This is an exciting new era for DRAGONFORCE with Marc joining the band, so we figured this was an ideal time to take full control of our own destiny and establish our own record label for Europe. It's all hands on deck running it, but a great buzz!"

"The Power Within" track listing:

01. Holding On
02. Fallen World
03. Cry Thunder
04. Give Me The Night
05. Wings of Liberty
06. Seasons
07. Heart Of The Storm
08. Die By The Sword
09. Last Man Stands
10. Seasons (acoustic version)

There will also be a digital and vinyl version featuring bonus tracks "Cry Thunder (Live Rehearsal)", "Heart of the Storm (Alternative Chorus Version)" and "Avant La Tempête (Instrumental)", plus an exclusive box set featuring:

* CD Version
* Access Code for Bonus Material plus
* DF Flashlight/Bottle Opener,
* Set of 6 DF Beer Mats featuring band cartoons by bassist Frédéric Leclercq.

A small number of very lucky fans will have their first chance to hear new songs from the album at an exclusive sold-out show at London, England's 100 Club on February 16.

Performance footage of the new DRAGONFORCE songs "Fallen World" and "Cry Thunder", recorded on October 21, 2011 in New York City can be seen below.

After entries from thousands of hopefuls across the globe, DRAGONFORCE in March 2011 welcomed Hudson to the band to fill the boots left by ZP Theart, who parted ways with the group in March 2010.

Born in Oxford England, Marc was picked from the thousands of applications via a number of impressive video auditions and live performances, which left the rest of the band in no doubt that they'd found their man. Since the age of 16, Marc has been building his vocal skills gigging with bands in the U.K. underground scene, developing a powerful style with influences which include Bruce Dickinson, Michael Kiske and Sebastian Bach.
Finnish heavy metal monsters LORDI will celebrate the 10-year anniversary of the release of their debut album and the 20-year anniversary of LORDI's conception (then just featuring the band's mainman, Mr. Lordi) the by issuing a new CD/DVD, entitled "Scarchives Vol. 1", containing rare and previously unreleased material.

Commented LORDI mainman Mr. Lordi: "The [proposed] box set will NOT come out as a box per se. The items that were supposed to be in the box will be released separately item by item. The reason for this unforeseen change of plans is that all the planned items in the physical box would have raised the production costs so high that the very small, limited quantity of the box would have put the price of each individual box probably unbearable for most of the fans. So it was decided that the best solution is to divide the set in parts. This way the price of each item will not be as pricy, and everyone can decide for themselves what items they want and can afford. So, in a way, the contents of the box set are coming, but the actual physical box is not."

He continued, "The first part to be released is a CD/DVD. It will include the very first unreleased LORDI album, 'Bend Over And Pray The Lord - The Heavy Rock Album' (CD) from 1997. The original booklet is included with no touch-ups whatsoever, plus a long story about making the album. As bonus tracks, 'Get Heavy', which was added to the album a bit later on, is included, as well as 'Hulking Dynamo', produced and mixed by late TT Oksala for 'Get Heavy' in 2002, with little additional work done this year by Mikko Karmila. The other part is a DVD, which includes the very first LORDI show from Nosturi, Helsinki 2002. The show was filmed by multiple cameras, and it is completely unfixed and none of the mistakes and embarrassing moments are edited out. The setlist includes, naturally, all the 'Get Heavy' songs. As a bonus, commentary track by myself and a gallery of all the unreleased merchandise from that era."

"Babez For Breakfast", the fifth studio album from LORDI, sold around 1,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release. The CD landed at position No. 43 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.
Burning Ambulance editor Philip Freeman will discuss the legendary history of DESTRUCTION, SODOM and KREATOR during a lecture called "German Thrash - Extreme Metal For A Divided Nation" this Sunday, February 12 at 7 p.m. at Centrum in Berlin, Germany (Centrum is an arts space in the district of Flughafenkiez in Neukölln, Berlin). Freeman will talk about how the three most important bands of the early 1980s thrash metal scene in Germany performed songs with themes of violence, nuclear war, and other typical metal concerns, with KREATOR probably the most politically engaged of the three. The lecture will refer to songs from early albums like DESTRUCTION's "Infernal Overkill" and "Eternal Devastation", SODOM's "Obsessed By Cruelty" and "Persecution Mania", and KREATOR's "Endless Pain" and "Pleasure To Kill".

KREATOR was the first metal band to perform in East Germany following the Berlin Wall coming down.
Florida-based melodic metal veterans CRIMSON GLORY are working on getting their hands on professionally filmed video footage of their appearance at last year's edition of Bang Your Head!!! festival — which was held July 15-16, 2011 in Balingen, Germany — to release as a full-length concert DVD.

Fan-filmed footage of CRIMSON GLORY's performance at the 2011 installment of Bang Your Head!!! can be seen below.

In a November 2011 interview with Sakis Fragos, publisher and chief editor of the Greek edition of Rock Hard magazine, CRIMSON GLORY guitarist Jon Drenning stated about the fans' reaction to the band's 25th-anniversary European tour and new singer Todd La Torre, "The fans have been really supportive and receptive to Todd, and I think that much of it is due to the fact that Todd gives them the same things that [late CRIMSON GLORY singer] Midnight gave them: A real sense of emotional connectivity, and the beautiful, ethereal, haunting sounds that were so unique to Midnight and to CRIMSON GLORY. I think that it's kind of cathartic for the fans, because they can have their closure without really having to let go of the idea that Midnight is still with us, at least in spirit. There were fans who we met on tour who expressed such a profound love and gratitude to Todd, and I really think that he was a bit surprised, and very much honored and flattered, by the outpouring of acceptance by the fans around the world. This tour has been the most appropriate introduction to Todd and the next chapter of CRIMSON GLORY, while still being the proper send-off to Midnight with all of the respect and reverence deserved."

When asked if he is taking part in the creative process for CRIMSON GLORY's next album, Todd said, "Yes, I am an equal writer in the new material. It was very important for the band to not have 'just' a singer, but a songwriter as well. Being able to play guitar, drums, and sing, clearly gives me and advantage with the creative process, and an understanding with regard to all of the intricacies that go into songwriting. Drumming helps with vocal phrasing, and guitar playing with melody. Being a viable creative member also allows me to truly feel what we are writing, as opposed to singing what someone has already written for me. I have ideas; some will work, while others may not be conducive to that particular feel or sound. I'm very open-minded. That's the beauty of true collaboration; otherwise I'd just put out my own record. I'm very much looking forward to putting my stamp on the new material and bridging the past 25 years of CRIMSON GLORY into the future."
AYREON mastermind Arjen Lucassen has enlisted the talents of legendary screen actor Rutger Hauer as the narrator on Arjen's forthcoming solo album.

"This is a dream come true," says Arjen. "Rutger is not only one of my favorite actors, he also starred in my all-time favorite sci-fi movie, 'Blade Runner'."

Rutger also enjoyed the collaboration with Arjen, saying, "[Arjen] connected with me when he was working on his new album. Said he was a big fan and wanted to see if I could do the voiceover. This happened over just a few weeks and it was marvelous work, very creative. I hope you enjoy it".
Welsh metallers BULLET FOR MY VALENTINE will enter a Thailand studio next week to begin work on their fourth album. More details will be made available soon.

BULLET FOR MY VALENTINE released a deluxe CD/DVD edition of its third full-length album, "Fever", titled "Fever Tour Edition", in February 2011. The set featured three new songs recorded live at Xfm radio in the U.K. ("Fever", "The Last Fight" and "Bittersweet Memories") and a DVD of "Your Betrayal", "Fever" and "Waking the Demon", recorded live from Graspop Metal Meeting 2010 in Dessel, Belgium. The DVD also included videos for "Your Betrayal", "The Last Fight" and "The Making of The Last Fight" as well as a BULLET FOR MY VALENTINE track-by-track commentary of "Fever".

"Fever" sold 71,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release to debut at position No. 3 on The Billboard 200 chart. "Fever" also landed in the Top Five in Australia, the U.K., Japan, Germany, Austria and Switzerland.

In a September 2011 interview with Lithium Magazine, BULLET FOR MY VALENTINE guitarist Michael "Padge" Paget stated about "Fever", "As opposed to the other albums, this is right up there. This is definitely where we wanted to go as a band and it's definitely the right record when it comes to maturing. It's the third album; it's definitely where we wanted to go and has taken us where we want to be. It's ticking all the boxes so far and hopefully the next record does the same thing . . . We strive to write great songs and I think 'Fever' comes across as a great album, not just songs, and a complete album. You can sit down and listen to the whole thing as opposed to 'Scream, Aim, Fire'. We tried to take it back to the roots to the 'Poison' sort of thing on the new album, if you know what I mean."
Cameron Edney of Hardrock Haven recently conducted an interview with vocalist Nick Holmes of British gothic metal pioneers PARADISE LOST. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.

Hardrock Haven: Do you still enjoy a drop or two whilst on the road?

Nick Holmes: I think drinking and being a travelling musician is the worst combination on earth! I discovered that in the last ten years, it just doesn't work. I think drinking and staying awake is a bad idea. I just can't do that anymore. I can't do a show the next day. In my early twenties, it wasn't a problem, but now, forget it. I try to be semi-professional. The whole rock 'n' roll lifestyle is a bit of a mess, really; most people I know, they don't party as much as perhaps they'd like people to believe.

Hardrock Haven: I've always been curious to know how bands deal with living together on the road. I mean, no doubt at times it can become frustrating when you share buses rooms for weeks, sometimes months, at a time. How do you personally find the best way to deal with other members on the road, especially during those harder, not-so-pleasant moments that occur?

Nick Holmes: It's just a matter of putting your headphones on and switching off. Everyone knows everybody else's tolerance levels, so you can see an argument coming very early on. Usually it's me and Steve [Edmondson], our bass player, that argues, it's usually when we're tired too so when we arrive in Australia [for the Soundwave festival], we'll probably be bickering then. [laughs]

Hardrock Haven: I want to talk to you about life in the studio also, in 2009 you released a great album in "Faith Divides Us, Death Unites Us" and the follow-up will be released this year. What can you tell us about that?

Nick Holmes: The new album is called "Tragic Idol". It has ten songs on it. I think that people seem to think that we're going into a more gothic direction, but it's a very "metal" album! I think it's a lot more metal than the last one, to be honest. It's very dark. It's got to be expected, we're not going to do anything out of the ordinary. We're really pleased with it. I was listening to it last night, actually… I can't wait for people to hear it and let us know their thoughts.

Hardrock Haven: "Tragic Idol"… I love the title. Tell us where that came from…

Nick Holmes: "Tragic Idol" is about how if someone is put on a pedestal and they somehow start to believe it, [when] really they're not. With the Internet and the way that media are now at the end of the day, we're all human beings, nobody's better than anybody else. Some are smarter, but that's about it! In England, people love to see people fall from grace. The bigger people get and the more successful that people get, people like to see them fall. I find that to be really sad. People help to get people to where they are, and once they get there, they just want to tear them down. It's a real Northern England thing in particular — everyone wants you to fail in Northern England, and you never get encouragement for anything in your life.

Hardrock Haven: Having recorded twelve studio albums now, I would imagine the creative process in some cases would be a breeze and yet it must at times be a nightmare to come up with fresh material!

Nick Holmes: It's weird… I found this album quite hard to write. Lyrically I quite enjoyed writing this more than some previous albums; overall though I didn't find it all enjoyable which is a weird thing.
British thrashers EVILE will play their heart-wrenching song "In Memoriam" live for the first time ever this weekend in memory of WOODS OF YPRES frontman David Gold, who tragically passed away on December 21.

EVILE will perform at the HMV Ritz in Manchester, U.K. this Saturday, February 11 with CEREBRAL BORE and SAVAGE MESSIAH as part of HMV's Next Big Thing, where WOODS OF YPRES were also originally scheduled to appear. The members of EVILE have revealed that they will play "In Memoriam" — which is taken from the band's new album, "Five Serpent's Teeth" — as a tribute to their fallen labelmate.

Commmented EVILE lead guitarist Ol Drake: "We were all deeply saddened to hear the news of WOODS OF YPRES' mastermind David Gold passing away. Their obvious cancellation of the Manchester show left a big hole in the lineup I was so looking forward to seeing and being a part of. We've been thinking of airing 'In Memoriam' live for a while, so we'd like to not only play the song for our own reasons, but to also play it at the upcoming Manchester show in memory of David."

For more information, see the flyer below.

Gold was killed on December 21 in a car accident near Barrie, Ontario, Canada.

EVILE's third full-length album, "Five Serpent's Teeth", sold around 680 copies in the United States in its first week of release. The CD landed at position No. 35 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.

EVILE's previous CD, "Infected Nations", opened with around 460 units to debut at No. 132 on the Heatseekers chart.

"Five Serpent's Teeth" was once again recorded with producer Russ Russell (NAPALM DEATH, DIMMU BORGIR) at Parlour Studios in Kettering, U.K. and was released in Europe on September 26 via Earache Records.
Finnish metallers TRACEDAWN will release their new album, "Lizard Dusk", on February 15 via Redhouse. The CD was produced and co-recorded by Tuomas Yli-Jaskari, Perttu Kurttila and Vili Itäpelto at Seawolf and Redhouse Studios, mixed by Henrik Udd at Studio Fredman in Sweden and mastered by Mika Jussila at Finnvox.

"Lizard Dusk" marks TRACEDAWN's first recorded output since the departure of singer Antti Lappalainen (vocal duties are presently shared between Niko Kalliojärvi [LITHURIA, ex-AMORAL] and guitarist Tuomas Yli-Jaskari).

"Lizard Dusk" track listing:

01. Arabian Nights
02. Breed Insane
03. Sick Fire
04. The Crawl
05. You're Fired!
06. Machine
07. Nothing And Nowhere
08. Thanks For Asking, I'm Just Obsessed
09. Taught My Eyes To Lie

The "Breed Insane" video can be seen below.

A video for the track "Machine" was recently completed and will make its online debut on Friday, February 10 via Finland's Radio Rock.


Niko Kalliojärvi (LITHURIA, ex-AMORAL) - Vocals
Tuomas Yli-Jaskari (LITHURIA) - Guitar/Vocals
Roni Seppänen - Guitar
Pekko Heikkilä - Bass
Perttu Kurttila (LITHURIA) - Drums
Mike Bax of Lithium Magazine recently conducted an interview with MINISTRY mainman Al Jourgensen. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.

Lithium Magazine: I find it interesting a MINISTRY album has come out of a jam session centered on making a country album, Al.

Al: I know, right? It's kind of ironic, isn't it? But that's kind of the way it happened. Mike Scaccia (MINISTRY's lead guitarist) just kept pestering me and pestering me like, "Dude, these riffs are really cool. We've got to do this; you've got to write some lyrics". So I was like, "Okay!" and my health has gotten better since a couple years ago and I said, "Alright, I'll try it". It came out really well; the album is really good I think.

Lithium Magazine: I love "Relapse". I've played it through a few times, and I like the sound of all of it. I genuinely feel like that you're going out on a high point.

Al: Yeah, I'm not doing another after this. MINISTRY is a lot different than all the other side projects I do. MINISTRY is very labor intensive (laughs), there's a lot of thinking going on, whereas the other projects, we just get drunk and jam and figure it out later. It's like the BUCK SATAN record is completely mayhem. That's what's great about that; it kind of replaces REVCO for me in the sense of having a party atmosphere for music. Whereas MINISTRY is, like I said, labor intensive and a lot of thinking going and a lot of production, it's just too much, man. I can't sustain that for that long, but the other projects are just a gas.

Lithium Magazine: Good, that's cool. You've mentioned in other interviews that this is definitely the last nail in the coffin for MINISTRY as a band, so I feel pretty fortunate that you're coming back and you made another album. I've been a fan for a while.

Al: Well, thank you, and like I said I was roped into this; I didn't want to do it, but you can blame Mike Scaccia for this album. (laughs) He was all over my case, just cracking the whip, getting me to sing vocals and stuff. He really believed in the album and then when I hear the whole thing put together I'm like, "Wow, this is pretty good." But no more man, I'm serious. I know you've heard this from me before but that was for health reasons, this one I'm healthy, I can't do these kinds of intense albums anymore. I'd rather just jam and get drunk with a bunch of hillbillies.

Lithium Magazine: Lots of bands that have been in the music industry for thirty years have very little to say musically. They've been there and they've done that, but there are some bands in their triple decades that are pulling together some of their best material. KILLING JOKE, ANTHRAX and certainly MINISTRY's "Relapse" is now on that list as well.

Al: Yeah well, I think that to be honest with you, I think you get better with age; you just get less desire to record with age. It's like you just want this long national nightmare to be over, especially if your health is bad. In that sense, I think that you fine-tune, you auto-tune, you know what you're doing. For instance, Relapse is the fastest album I've ever done of any side project or MINISTRY or anything. We did it in three months, man. It was really great because you just know what to do. If you've been around the studio like I have, let's see, I think I have a total of thirty-nine albums out including live and greatest hits. You get used to the studio and you get really proficient at what you're doing. Of course, some of these bands release really great stuff later in their careers because they're used to the process. Some people may take it as, "Well, you may be used to the process so it might be the same as the old stuff", but this album certainly isn't. I've spent three albums bashing Bush (former American president George W. Bush) and "Relapse" is like half personal experience and half social commentary. It's more of a different beast, but still a lot of labor intensive work required to do Ministry albums as opposed to the other ones.

Lithium Magazine: So much of MINISTRY's material is rooted in negativity and anger, which must take its toll over the years. I would imagine this is a large part of why you're going to pack that band in and move on to the fun stuff.

Al: Well, I've got other stuff to do, man. Like I told you, MINISTRY is so labor intensive it's almost not worth it. This one was only because of Mike Scaccia, after that, I'm done; seriously done. It's not a joke, I'm not going to make a comeback later. I don't need the money, I'm done. I want to explore other things; I want to do a jazz soundtrack for the William Burroughs movie that's coming out (The author of "Naked Lunch", whom Jourgensen has collaborated with lyrically). I'm doing a country record and then I'm doing a blues record and then I'm calling it a day. I'm done with industrial. Seriously, my iPod collection at home has NO industrial music on it; it's strictly jazz, blues and country. That's kind of what I'm branching into.
The original lineup of Texan thrash metal veterans RIGOR MORTISMike Scaccia (guitar), Casey Orr (bass), Harden Harrison (drums), and Bruce Corbitt (vocals) — has entered the studio to begin layinig down its first new album since 1991's "Rigor Mortis Vs. The Earth". The band is recording at 13th Planet Studios in El Paso, Texas, home to MINISTRY and BUCK SATAN AND THE 666 SHOOTERS. Production duties are being handled by Sammy D'Ambruoso and MINISTRY mainman Al Jourgensen.

Commented Orr: "Expect a brutally fast, sick and twisted record. We're not fucking around."

The RIGOR MORTIS members have been feverishly writing new material in between other projects. Scaccia and Orr recently contributed songs to the upcoming MINISTRY record, "Relapse", and are gearing up for the "Defibrillatour" this summer. Corbitt has been busy touring with his band, WARBEAST, most recently in support of the mighty GWAR. Harrison was recently in the studio recording with his band MITRA.

The return of RIGOR MORTIS has been a long time coming. Though the band has reunited for a handful of shows over the last several years, schedules and personal lives just wouldn't allow for the time and commitment necessary for the band to properly reemerge with new material and a determination to take RIGOR to the next level.


Mike Scaccia - Guitar
Casey Orr - Bass/Vocals
Harden Harrison - Drums
Bruce Corbitt – Vocals
Heavy music innovators PRONG will release 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."

Comments PRONG guitarist, vocalist and founder Tommy Victor: "It was hardest I've ever worked in the studio on any record I've ever been involved with."

PRONG — whose lineup is rounded out by bassist Tony Campos and drummer Alexei Rodriguez — has taken a major step forward in their constantly evolving brand of sonic schematics.

"I always believed there were many dimensions to PRONG," says Tommy. "Every record we've been associated with different scenes — hardcore, metal, industrial — even dance! I think this record brings all of that together and sounds very modern at the same time."

"Carved Into Stone" track listing

01. Eternal Heat
02. Keep On Living In Pain
03. Ammunition
04. Revenge ... Best Served Cold
05. State of Rebellion
06. Put Myself to Sleep
07. List of Grievances
08. Carved Into Stone
09. Subtract
10. Path of Least Resistance
11. Reinvestigate

PRONG will be touring throughout 2012 in support of "Carved Into Stone". The initial dates have been confirmed, including two shows supporting Bay Area thrashers TESTAMENT in February, followed by a string of headlining gigs in March. More dates will be announced shortly.

Founded in 1986, PRONG is considered to be a pioneer of the American post-hardcore and post-metal scenes whose influence is still being felt today.

PRONG's last release was "Power Of The Damn Mixxxer", the remix counterpart to the band's 2007 album "Power of The Damager".
Norwegian progressive metallers OCEANS OF TIME have just released their debut album, "Faces", via Melodic Revolution Records. Two years in the making, the CD contains 10 original songs with a running time of 55 minutes. It was recorded at Oceans Studios and was mixed and mastered by Tommy Hansen (HELLOWEEN, PRETTY MAIDS, IRON FIRE, JORN) at Jailhouse Studios in Denmark.

Formed in 2005 by guitarist Lazz Jensen, OCEANS OF TIME played a lot of gigs between 2005 and 2008 which helped them establish themselves as one of the premier local bands. In 2009 OCEANS OF TIME took a break from touring to concentrate on writing and recording its debut CD.

"Faces" track listing:

01. Quest For Mystery
02. Walls Of Silence
03. The Beast
04. Faces
05. Kingdom Falls
06. A Touch Of Insanity
07. Roar Of Organs
08. Uncertainty
09. Panic
10. You're So Cold


Ken Lyngfoss - Vocals
Lasse "Lazz" Jensen - Guitar
Nickolas Main Henriksen - Synth
Geir Nilsen - Bass
Baard Kolstad - Drums
Atlanta-based band PRIMER 55 — featuring Bobby Burns (guitar, bass, vocals), The DRP (vocals), Heath Shaw (drums), and Mattytime (bass) — will release "The Big Fuck You" on February 14 via Family For Life/THC: Music/Rocket Science Ventures. The 16-song effort is a collection of retrospective B-sides and rarities from PRIMER 55's classic lineup, including the band's long-out-of-print independent LP "As Seen On TV".

"The Big Fuck You" track listing:

01. Loose
02. Bullshit
03. Supa Freak Love
04. Stain
05. Violence
06. The Big Fuck You
07. Drive It
08. Release
09. G's
10. Slip Away
11. Against The Wall
12. Tripinthehead
13. Profanity (And A Lot Of It)
14. Texas (acoustic)
15. This Life (acoustic)
16. My Girl (acoustic)
Swedish MANOWAR-inspired all-female metal band HYSTERICA will release its sophomore album, "The Art Of Metal", on March 9 via Black Lodge. The CD was produced by Pontus Norgren (HAMMERFALL) and Marcus Jidell (EVERGREY).

According to a press release, "The Art Of Metal" sees HYSTERICA taking "a huge leap forward. They've developed tremendously since the debut, 'Metalwar', released in 2009. HYSTERICA is all about classic melodic doom and power metal, with keyboard, extreme vocals and grandiose choirs being added to the mix on this album."

"HYSTERICA wanted to broaden their horizon with this release — they wanted to mix music with other art outputs. They came up with the idea of letting seven different artists interpret one song each, with the song being turned into an art object. Work has been done by a metal sculpturer, a horror cartoonist, a photographer, a writer, an oil painter and a tattoo artist. The artists were given carte blanche to do what they wanted. During 2011, four digital singles have been released, and with the release the artwork has been presented."

"The Art Of Metal" track listing:

01. Breaking The Walls
02. Fighters Of The Century
03. Live Or Die
04. Spirit Of The Age
05. Message
06. Fear Of The Light
07. Force Of Metal
08. Heels Of Steel
09. Hysterica
10. Daughters Of The Night
Virginia crossover thrash metal band MUNICIPAL WASTE will release its fifth studio album, "The Fatal Feast", on April 10 in North America and April 13 in Europe via Nuclear Blast Records. The cover artwork for the cD was created by Justin Osbourn of Slasher Design and can be seen below.

"The Fatal Feast" track listing:

01. Waste In Space
02. Repossession
03. New Dead Masters
04. Unholy Abductor
05. Idiot Check
06. Covered In Sick/The Barfer
07. You're Cut Off
08. Authority Complex
09. Standards And Practices
10. Crushing Chest Wound
11. The Monster With 21 Faces
12. Jesus Freaks
13. The Fatal Feast
14. 12 Step Program
15. Death Tax
16. Residential Disaster

Both the digipack and vinyl editions will include the bonus track "Eviction Party".

"The Fatal Feast" features guest appearances by John Connelly (guitarist and vocalist for NUCLEAR ASSAULT), Steve Moore (who plays bass and synthesizers for ZOMBI), and vocalist Tim Barry (ex-AVAIL).

Osbourn recently answered a few questions about the artistic process for his masterpiece.

Q: Did you hear any new music before you created this bad boy?

Osbourn: Nope, I wasn't given any of the new song demos beforehand. Ryan [Waste, guitarist] kinda gave me an overall theme and certain elements that they wanted to see in the artwork. Being a fan of the band, I just took that and added what I thought would enhance it further.

Q: Why does the guy being eaten resemble Captain James Tiberius Kirk?

Osbourn: It's kinda weird that you say that... I happen to be quite the fan of the original "Star Trek" series. It would have totally made sense for that to be Captain Kirk being devoured, but unfortunately, that was never my intent. Perhaps it was subconsciously, though? How 'bout we just tell everyone it is.

Q: Anything hidden in the artwork (a la Derek Riggs/IRON MAIDEN covers) that fans should keep an eye out for?

Osbourn: Sorta. The number of cheap beer cans/bottles laying around on the cover are just about the right number I would drink on a night I would call a Pretty Damn Good Night. Oh, and there's an empty half pint of Viaka Vodka in there as well; it's just that it's laying behind The Waste-oids devouring Captain Kirk. Ha ha.

"Massive Aggressive", the last album from MUNICIPAL WASTE, landed at No. 10 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.

"Massive Aggressive" was released on August 25, 2009 via Earache Records.
Polish female-fronted traditional heavy metal act CRYSTAL VIPER will release its new album, "Crimen Excepa", in Europe on April 27 and in the U.S. on April 24 via AFM Records. The concept effort about holy inquisition, black magic and witches, where fiction is mixed with historical facts, was produced by Bart Gabriel (SACRED STEEL, JACK STARR'S BURNING STARR) and recorded with sound engineer Mariusz Pietka (MORTICIAN, LONEWOLF).

"Crimen Excepta" will feature two special guests: David Bower, vocalist of HELL will appear in the title track, while VADER mainman Piotr "Peter" Wiwczarek will be heard in the cover version of the classic VADER song "Tyrani Piekiel", which will be available as the bonus track on the first, limited edition of the album.

"We already announced that fans should expect the unexpected," says CRYSTAL VIPER frontwoman Marta Gabriel. "The new album is different than everything CRYSTAL VIPER did in the past. Of course it's still traditonal metal, and it's still CRYSTAL VIPER — but this time, everything was different, starting from the compositions, through our attitude and inspirations, up to equipment we used and the recording session itself."

She adds, "It was amazing to have Peter in the studio. We all are huge fans of VADER, and I think he was also amazed when he heard how our voices sound together in this heavy metal version of 'Tyrani Piekiel'. And when you will hear the lines of William The Judge recorded by David of HELL, you will have your jaw on the floor. We had."

CRYSTAL VIPER's last album, "Legends", was released in October 2010 via AFM Records. The CD's lyrics were based on the original Polish legends from the middle ages. The effort's cover artwork was painted by the French artist Chris Moyen, who has previously worked with SLAYER, TRIVIUM, BEHERIT and BLASPHEMY.
Los Angeles-based, female-fronted metallers HUNTRESS will release their debut album, "Spell Eater", on April 27 via Napalm Records.

The track listing for the CD is as follows:

01. Spell Eater
02. Senecide
03. Sleep and Death
04. Snow Witch
05. Eight of Swords
06. Aradia
07. Night Rape
08. Children
09. Terror
10. The Tower
11. The Dark

The official video for the CD's first single, "Eight Of Swords", can be viewed below. The clip was directed by Simon Chan of Artificial Army and was produced/engineered by Chris Rakestraw of Sunset Lodge Recording.

HUNTRESS vocalist Jill Janus told AOL's Noisecreep about the "Spell Eater" artwork, "The album cover captures the beauty and brutality of HUNTRESS. Vance Kelly is a warlock and he took our vision and created a magical illustration that breathes glory into the old crone. We contemplated having either a sultry sorceress or decrepit forest witch as our cover babe. Ultimately, the crone won because she is the true Huntress."

According to a press release, "HUNTRESS lead singer Jill Janus is an operatic banshee with an unparalleled four-octave range and lust for the occult. Born and raised in the Catskill Mountains of New York, she toured Europe as a teenage opera starlet. Upon her return to the States, Janus embraced Manhattan nightlife, creating Felliniesque cabarets and parties in a nihilistic club scene. Years later, Janus moved to Los Angeles and began the gestation period of HUNTRESS. In 2009 she met underground metal band PROFESSOR. The universe spread her legs and delivered HUNTRESS to Janus, combining former members of PROFESSOR, DARK BLACK and SKELETONWITCH."


Vocals: Jill Janus
Lead Guitar: Blake Meahl
Rhythm Guitar: Ian Alden
Drums: Carl Wierzbicky
Bass: Eric Harris

For more information, visit www.facebook.com/huntresskills.
Former CHIMAIRA guitarist Matt DeVries has decided to leave his post as the touring bassist for Florida-based death metallers SIX FEET UNDER to pursue other musical endeavors. Details on who will be stepping in as the permanent bassist will be announced in the coming months.

SIX FEET UNDER is currently mixing its new album at Audiohammer studios in Sanford, Florida with producer Mark Lewis (THE BLACK DAHLIA MURDER, WHITECHAPEL, DEVILDRIVER, TRIVIUM).

When asked about the musical direction of the material SIX FEET UNDER has written for its next album, Barnes said in a recent interview, "The music is gonna be, really, kind of an accelerated version of what we were doing before — faster-paced, more interesting time signatures as well as really wild choruses and some heavy vocals. I think people are really gonna be interested in this album. It's something different, but it's something the same. The feel of it is SIX FEET UNDER, but we've pushed it and added some horsepower."

In a separate interview, Chris stated about the forthcoming SIX FEET UNDER CD, "It's the best album I've written in a long time. Rob Arnold [SIX FEET UNDER guitarist] is writing some songs, got Ben [Savage] from WHITECHAPEL writing some songs. I've got Jari [Laine] from TORTURE KILLER writing some songs and Steve [Swanson, SIX FEET UNDER lead guitarist]. So we're really happy with it. It's really good stuff." He added, "I think that each album's a different journey for me, you know? The music speaks to me, so I kind of write from what it tells me and this album's been such a pleasure to be involved with because it's so interesting and it's given me more options to do different things or do things I haven't done in a while, so it's a lot of fun on that level."

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.

SIX FEET UNDER's most recent touring lineup was as follows:

* Rob Arnold (CHIMAIRA) - Guitar
* Kevin Talley (DAATH, MISERY INDEX, CHIMAIRA) - Drums
* Chris Barnes (CANNIBAL CORPSE) - Vocals
* Steve Swanson - Guitar
* Matt DeVries (CHIMAIRA) – Bass
Austrian old-school death metallers ZOMBIE INC. will release their debut album, "A Dreadful Decease", in North America on Tuesday, February 14 via Massacre Records. The CD was made available in Europe last August.

ZOMBIE INC. may be a new name to the death metal scene, but some of the henchmen involved this gory, plodding debauchery will surely raise some interest... namely former PUNGENT STENCH vocalist Martin Schirenc's return to the death metal scene! Schirenc's guttural oral thunder is brutally backed by guitars from songwriting mastermind Wolfgang Rothbauer (DISBELIEF, EISBLUT) and Gerald Huber (COLLAPSE 7), low end from bassist Daniel Lechner (THE CASCADES, ex-LACRIMAS PROFUNDERE) and the percussive onslaught of Tomasz "Nefastus" Janiszewski (BELPHEGOR, FLESHCRAWL, DEBAUCHERY).

"A Dreadful Decease" is described in a press release as "a gore-obsessed 41-minute stompfest loaded with the instinctive, intuitive and aggressive stylings of the death metal of the '90s, bringing names like ENTOMBED, AUTOPSY, DISMEMBER, OBITUARY, DEICIDE, EDGE OF SANITY and GOREFEST to the chopping block. 'A Dreadful Decease' runs rampant with horrific, apocalyptic zombie themes, both lyrically, atmospherically and visually, bearing professional artwork by SeasonZero Design."

"A Dreadful Decease" was recorded and mixed by Martin Schirenc at Vato Loco in Austria, and mastered by Dan Swanö (EDGE OF SANITY, NIGHTINGALE, BLOODBATH) at Unisound in Sweden.

Check out "The Chaosbreed" and "Bloodrain Overdose" via the band's Myspace page now.

"A Dreadful Decease" track Listing:

01. The Chaosbreed
02. Deadtribe Sinister
03. Challenge Of The Undead
04. Horde Unleashed
05. We Must Eat!
06. Bloodrain Overdose
07. Grim Brutality
08. Horror Fills This Hollow Earth
09. A Dreadful Decease
10. Planet Zombie


* Martin Schirenc (HOLLENTHON, ex-PUNGENT STENCH) - Vocals
* Gerald Huber (COLLAPSE 7) - Guitar
* Tomasz "Nefastus" Janiszewski (BELPHEGOR, FLESHCRAWL, DEBAUCHERY) - Drums

For more information, visit www.facebook.com/zombieinc666.

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