[Classic_Rock_Forever] Jethro TUll, Alice Cooper, Guns n roses, Stone Temple Pilots, Megadeth, Motorhead, Marilyn Manson, Down, Dream Theater and tons more hard rock and heavy metal news


METALLICA was nominated for the very first "Hard Rock/Metal Performance" Grammy in 1989, but famously lost to JETHRO TULL, a band distinguished mainly by its heavy use of flute. Fans (and even some audience members) were rightly outraged, though TULL's record label tried to make light of the faux pas by placing a Billboard ad that read, "The flute is a heavy, metal instrument."

With the 2012 Grammys coming up this Sunday, Powerline asked JETHRO TULL's vocalist Ian Anderson to recount that historic day when JETHRO TULL was given the award for best hard rock/metal performer.

"I probably get (the question) a lot more when I'm talking to American writers than I do [at home in England]," says Ian Anderson. "It's not really a big deal over here. It was in a year where it was a new category for 'hard rock' forward slash 'metal' and that category still exists today … and we were, for some strange reason, nominated. And at the time no one paid any attention to the fact that we were nominated. There was not a peep out of anyone. Because they thought there's no way JETHRO TULL are gonna win it. Nor IGGY POP, nor JANE'S ADDICTION. It's going to be METALLICA because they were the huge, new, straight-out-of-the-box, enormous, hit talent that year and everybody took it for granted that METALLICA were gonna win the Grammy, including METALLICA themselves. And when it was ordered to JETHRO TULL, to a barrage of boos and hisses and gasps of disbelief, I'd like to think that it wasn't that the six thousand voting members of the National Academy Of Recording Arts And Sciences were voting for JETHRO TULL as a heavy rock band or a heavy metal band. They gave us the award because we were a bunch of nice guys who never won a Grammy before. And sad to relate, even after all these years, there is still no category for best one-legged flute player. Otherwise, I'd be winning it every year."

He continues, "And as we said at the time, METALLICA were an exciting new band. and they will be sure to win the Grammy next year and indeed they did. And to prove the point that heavy metal bands do have a sense of humor, they took out a full page ad in Billboard when they won the Grammy, thanking their record producer, their record company, their mums, their dads, their brothers, the family dog and JETHRO TULL for not bringing out a new album that year."
Original ALICE COOPER guitarist Steve Hunter has announced via his Facebook page that he will not be joining the legendary rocker on the road this year. Steve's statement reads as follows:

"Hello all my peeps and fans. I have an announcement to make. I have spent many weeks mulling this over...losing sleep.

"For many reasons, both personal and professional, I have reluctantly decided not to join Alice Cooper onstage this year. None of the reasons has to do with my health, which is very good at the moment. Nor do any have anything to do with my poor eyesight, because I was able to find ways around my impairment to enable me to perform and play guitar onstage. Nor is Alice any part of the reasons I have made this decision. He is a brother to me, and we share a real history.

"I think it's time I move on. I have a solo album to finish among other things.

"I will miss all the beautiful people I met last year. I will miss glancing over to my right and seeing Alice belting out '18' again.

"I hope you all understand and aren't disappointed in me. But I think I have to do this.

"I hope to see you all out there again one day soon. Thanks for understanding and God bless!"

Hunter appeared on five classic ALICE COOPER albums: "Billion Dollar Babies", "Welcome To My Nightmare", "Lace And Whiskey" and "Alice Cooper Goes To Hell". Hunter was also featured on Cooper's 2011 album "Welcome 2 My Nightmare", which was produced by Bob Ezrin, who helmed the original multi-platinum "Welcome To My Nightmare" album in 1975.
GUNS N' ROSES played the first of seven intimate small theatre/club shows and the first of three shows in New York City last night (Friday, February 10) at Roseland Ballroom. According to a review by The New York Times critic Stacey Anderson, "The nearly three-hour show was laden with familiar extravagances: grandiose guitar solos, the band's aggressively priapic stage presence, [Axl] Rose's multiple costume changes and pliant snake dance. Yet it was a far more streamlined production than past outings; it almost started on time, for one, with nary an onstage tantrum. Mr. Rose remained the sole original member, though the keyboardist Dizzy Reed has hung on since the early 1990s; the backing musicians suggested a giddy, faithful cover act."

The band's setlist was as follows:

01. Welcome To The Jungle
02. It's So Easy
03. Mr. Brownstone
04. Estranged
05. Rocket Queen
06. This I Love
07. Richard Fortus Guitar Solo (James Bond Theme)
08. Live and Let Die (Paul McCartney & Wings cover)
09. Sorry
10. You Could Be Mine
11. Better
12. DJ Ashba Guitar Solo (Ballad of Death)
13. Sweet Child O' Mine
14. Instrumental Jam (Another Brick In The Wall: Part 2)
15. November Rain (with Happy Birthday to Axl Rose)
16. Bumblefoot Guitar Solo (Pink Panther Theme)
17. Whole Lotta Rosie (AC/DC cover)
18. Civil War
19. Knockin' On Heaven's Door (Bob Dylan cover)
20. Nightrain


21. Instrumental Jam
22. Madagascar
23. Don't Cry
24. Motivation (Tommy Stinson song) (Tommy Stinson on lead vocals)
25. Instrumental Jam
26. Patience
27. Instrumental Jam
28. Paradise City

Multi-camera video footage of last night's concert can be seen below.

GUNS N' ROSES will perform on Sunday at Terminal 5 and at Webster Hall on Wednesday.

The band in December completed its first U.S. tour since 2006.

In addition to sole original member Axl Rose, the current lineup of GUNS N' ROSES includes guitarists Ron "Bumblefoot" Thal, Richard Fortus and DJ Ashba, bassist Tommy Stinson, keyboardists Dizzy Reed and Chris Pitman and drummer Frank Ferrer.

"Chinese Democracy", the 2008 album released by the current edition of GUNS N' ROSES after a 15-year wait, was officially certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) on February 3, 2009 for shipments in the United States in excess of one million copies. The long-in-the-making, 14-song CD finally arrived 17 years after the last full-length collections of original GUNS material, "Use Your Illusion I" and "II", were released, and nine years after the non-album track "Oh My God" surfaced on the soundtrack of the movie "End Of Days".

"Chinese Democracy" was made available exclusively through Best Buy.

The original five-piece group, along with drummer Matt Sorum and keyboardist Dizzy Reed, will be inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame in Cleveland on April 14.
The only person who has been in Guns N' Roses longer than keyboard player Dizzy Reed is Axl Rose. Reed joined the band in the early '90s, shortly before the "Use Your Illusion" albums, and stuck through the historically long waiting period for the follow-up that was "Chinese Democracy" in 2008. Although he wasn't in the picture for the band's club days, Guns N' Roses is returning to these roots this week, with a series of club shows to coincide with Fashion Week. These intimate Fashion Week gigs have become a bit of a tradition for GnR, one which Reed says he finds a little baffling.

Why Fashion Week?
I don't really know the answer to that question, but I ask myself that question sometimes. It's a cool thing to be a part of it, but from my perspective it's a bit of a quintessential New York experience. And rock 'n' roll and fashion have always sort of been intertwined.

You're also returning to the Ritz, which although it's now called Webster Hall, is where Guns N' Roses performed a classic show that ran on MTV for a long time.
I think that was one of the moments out here [in Los Angeles] where we all sort of realized that Guns were gonna blow up.

Walk me through a little bit of the waiting period, wondering if "Chinese Democracy" was ever going to be released.

We've only got 15 minutes! [Laughs] I went through the ga-mut of emotions on a daily basis, depending on what was going on in my life. From a financial standpoint, and from every-thing, it was just emotional. We had so many things tied into that record and so many things went down, and so many people came and went. We had been touring already for so long, playing those songs and I'm just really, really happy and thankful that it came out and I think it's one of the best re-cords I've ever [been a part of].

You talk of people coming and going. How have you stayed in the band so long?
I think coming into the band as I did, I just had a different perspective on it. I was pretty grateful to be called up to be a part of what was such a huge thing at the time, and if I ever start drifting off into any sort of place where maybe I want to do a little more for myself I just try to remind myself that I'm pretty darn lucky.

Axl gets a bad rap for the ways he has led this band, but you've worked with him for so long.
He's a great, great man. He's done a lot for me and my family and for so many other people. And people don't know that about him. And you know what? He's always got some great jokes, man.

So what do you know about the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame?
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame? Um, it's in Cleveland.
But do you know what's going to happen with GnR's induction into the Hall in April? There are rumors of a reunion of the original lineup.
I haven't gotten any details. I spoke with the people of that institution. They gave me a call and told me to mark it on the calendar, to be there. As far as the details of what's going to happen, I haven't received any sort of itinerary or schedule. It's something I'm just trying not to think about until it gets closer. It's not that I don't appreciate it. It's a great thing, and it's great for all the people who supported the band over the years.
I understand that you're still friends with everybody who has been in the band through the years, is that right?
Friendly, I'd say. I haven't talked to a couple of the guys at all since they left. But Duff got up and jammed with us in Seattle and Vancouver last year. His band Loaded opened up for us, which was fantastic. Izzy came and did a few shows with us, and sat in, in 2010, which was cool.
Weren't you and Izzy kind of like ships passing in the night?
No, we played together. When I actually joined the band, it was still the original five guys. With Steven, we recorded "Civil War," and then I didn't see him again, and then we had a new drummer. But Izzy toured with us right up to when the "Use Your Illusion" albums came out.
I just remember the video that featured a sign that said, "Where's Izzy?"
Oh yeah. That was on my jacket.
And you've been immortalized, by making it onto the Guns N' Roses pinball machine as well...
Yes I did. I'm on the pinball machine, and I can't remember what it was that triggers it, but you can get the "Dizzy ball," and it starts going crazy and you can score a whole bunch of points. I think it was patterned after me after too many vodkas or something.
The previously unreleased video for the STONE TEMPLE PILOTS song "Cinnamon" has been posted on YouTube and can now be seen below.

The original version of the "Cinnamon" clip was filmed in the summer of 2010 with directors Aggressive (a.k.a Alex Topaller and Dan Shapiro), the Grammy Award-winning duo which has previously helmed videos for MEGADETH, JUANES and BLOC PARTY, among others. However, the band was reportedly unhappy with the end result and decided to reshoot the clip in late 2010 with a new director, Dennis Roberts, who previously worked with STP frontman Scott Weiland on the "Tangle With Your Mind" video.

As previously reported, STONE TEMPLE PILOTS guitarist Dean De Leo told RollingStone.com in December that he has plenty of ideas for how the band may celebrate the 20th anniversary of the release of STP's multi-platinum debut album, "Core".

"What I'd like to see happen is the band go out and do more intimate shows — really lovely theaters around the country," DeLeo said. "Smaller shows, doing the first album in its entirety, and then maybe take requests."

According to DeLeo, STONE TEMPLE PILOTS does not have many extra outtakes from the "Core" recording session for an expanded reissue, but "We have tons of live recordings from that era, and we didn't multi-track record that stuff. There's no fixes, so they'd sound incredible if we just master them," he says. "I have dozens and dozens of DATs from that era. So this is the true essence of the band — no fixing a guitar part or a vocal part. This is the how it went down."

"Core" was released on September 29, 1992.

STONE TEMPLE PILOTS singer Scott Weiland told Billboard.com last November that "there is another album coming" to follow 2010's self-titled effort. The group played three shows in South America in November, then Weiland expected his bandmates to start working on new material. "They usually start before me, just getting some rough ideas together and then putting rough ideas down on ProTools with no lyrics and no melody," he explained. "And then I start listening to it and see if it's just a straight-ahead rock 'n' roll record or if it's more of a concept album like [2001's] 'Shangri-La Dee Da' was. Once we decide that, it should go full speed ahead."

STONE TEMPLE PILOTS reunited in 2008 for a successful world tour following a six-year hiatus.
MEGADETH is among the nominees for the 54th annual Grammy Awards, which will be held on Sunday, February 12 at Staples Center in Los Angeles. The band's tenth Grammy nomination is for its new single, "Public Enemy No. 1", off MEGADETH's latest album, "TH1RT3EN", which came out on November 1.

"Public Enemy No. 1" actually marks the second Grammy nomination for music from "TH1RT3EN", as the song "Sudden Death" was first unveiled in the 2010 video game "Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock" and received a "Best Metal Performance" nod.

When Attention Deficit Delirium's Bryan Reesman spoke to MEGADETH mainman Dave Mustaine last week, the guitarist/vocalist was happy and hopeful for victory over this year's heavy rock nominees, but not exactly sitting on the edge of his seat.

"The novelty's kind of worn off after all these nominations and not winning, and seeing people picked in our category that weren't really metal bands," Mustaine said. "It's kind of weird because I figure if I'm voting for all these people and don't know who they are, I would vote for a name that is most familiar to me. I've seen all the categories, and sometimes they've got Bahamian bands and Mexican spoken-word stuff… I'm just being funny. I still look forward to one day winning a Grammy. This year would be great. Unfortunately, I'm not going to be there because we're out on tour right now, so it would be just my luck that I win it the one time I'm not there."

When asked if a younger Dave Mustaine even contemplated winning a Grammy, Dave said, "Of course. I thought about it when I got the first nomination, and it got kind of disheartening after awhile. I guess I had hoped I would've won by now. I don't have a place cleared off for it that I have been dusting for the past 20 years, but it would be really great. We've already been picked by our peers, which is an accomplishment in itself. Now we'll see if it goes all the way through."

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"

To be eligible for nomination, an artist's work must have been released between October 1, 2010 and September 30, 2011.

The 54th annual Grammy Awards will be held on "Grammy Sunday," February 12, 2012, at Staples Center in Los Angeles and once again will be broadcast live in high-definition TV and 5.1 surround sound on CBS from 8 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. (ET/PT).
ÁTVR, Iceland's public sector alcohol retail monopoly, has refused to sell a red wine marketed under the branding of British rock band Motörhead. The decision was taken because the name is apparently a nod to amphetamine abuse and because the band sings about war, unsafe sex and drugs.
The wine marketed under the Motörhead name and logo will therefore not be for sale in ÁTVR's Vínbúðin stores across Iceland. In defence of the move the company cited the fact that the branding is not relevant because the band does not make the wine itself; but that the branding does inevitably promote an unhealthy lifestyle.
The information comes from an article written for Fréttablaðið by Hjörleifur Árnason, the wine's Icelandic importer. In his article he says he has now appealed the case to the parliamentary ombudsman. Although ÁTVR has a monopoly on alcohol retail in Iceland, importers and distributors are able to deal directly with bars, restaurants and cafés; meaning the Motörhead brand could still be sold in the country and can now expect a higher profile following this controversy.
The rock band, which has been going for 37 years, loaned its name to Motörhead Shiraz, as well as to several other products including vodka and rosé wine.
Last March Hjörleifur decided to import a case of the wine through the company Rokk slf. and apply for a licence to sell it in Vínbúðin outlets. The application was rejected by ÁTVR on the grounds that the band Motörhead had nothing directly to do with the wine and that the message accompanying the product was not a positive one.
The English word 'Motorhead' is a slang term for an amphetamine addict and furthermore the band sings about war, abuse of power, irresponsible sex and substance abuse, ÁTVR said.
On the grounds the the band did not make the wine themselves, the importer says he fears that means all celebrity wines will be banned, such as wines by the Rolling Stones, AC/DC, Elvis Presley and others.
Dayton, Ohio radio station New Rock 103.9 The X conducted a short interview with Marilyn Manson on February 10. During the chat, which can be streamed below, Manson revealed that the first single from his upcoming album "Born Villain", a song called "No Reflection", will be released in May.

In a separate interview with Alan Cox on the Ohio rock station 100.7 WMMS, Manson said, "The first single you'll be getting shoved up your ears very soon is called 'No Reflection'." He went on to say, "The record's done, shooting the video, I think next week." He added, "It's got a very special bonus track on it, features a good friend of mine. I won't mention his name yet. He plays guitar and he's very very well known in different things."

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

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

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

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

"The High End Of Low" was Manson's first album with longtime bassist Twiggy Ramirez since 2000's "Holy Wood".
On February 10 at 1:00 p.m., I was fortunate to talk with legendary NOLA metal musician and current Down drummer, Jimmy Bower. Down finished mixing its fourth record the previous night, and Jimmy was happy to give me the skinny on how the record sounded and the concept of the record. The new record is scheduled for a May release, coinciding with the band's performance at Rock on the Range in Columbus, Ohio. It was obvious from our chat that metal heads will not be disappointed with the record.
Target Audience: When's the new Down record coming out?
Jim Bower: We finished last night (February 9 at time of interview) with the mixing and everything. So, all we have to do now is get it mastered and the artwork is all done. So I think maybe early May. It takes a while to get everything together; it took us a little longer with the recording process so it's done. We finished it last night. It sounds killer.
TA: What does it sound like compared to your previous albums?
JB: We went for a really raw sound and went back to NOLA. The songs are really Sabbathed-out. I'm really happy the way it came out. It's really aggressive and raw. All them rock n' roll adjectives in there bro. It's doomy!
TA: Any songs similar to "Stone the Crow" or "Jail" or is it pretty much an all-out blitz?
JB: No, the idea is we're doing four EPs and the first one is pretty much cut-throat. The third one is supposed to be the acoustic one. But we're releasing four EPs within the next year and a half. They all coincide with one theme. Like the artwork and everything. It's like a big story.
TA: Like a concept record?
JB: Exactly. A concept with 4 EPs.
TA: What's the theme? Is there a back story?
JB: No. Well, it's kind of like end of the world kind of shit. Just the times we're in. it reflects on how humanity is going apeshit. As far as concepts I don't know.
TA: What's the name of the record?
JB: Down IV, I think. I saw the artwork last night. There wasn't an album title or anything. The artwork looks great.
TA: What's the picture of? What's the cover?
JB: I'm not gonna say anything man. Pepper usually does all the artwork; he does a really good job.
TA: Pepper is a good artist?
JB: Yeah, he does all the artwork for Down.
TA: I didn't know that and I'm a COC fan.
JB: He did all the artwork for those records he was on as well.
TA: From Blind on? That's excellent. So how have the shows been?
JB: They've been good. We haven't been playing much. We've been pretty much busy with the recording process. But we have a festival in Ohio (Rock On The Range) and we're going to do a couple of shows around that. We're pretty much waiting for the release so we can get out and start working a little harder.
TA: When the new record comes out, are you going to do a national or world tour?
JB:  Yeah. Probably start in the U.S. and work our way to Europe, and hopefully go to Japan and Australia, and hopefully back to South America.
TA: You have fun in South America?
JB: We went to South America in November and it was really cool. We'd never been down there before and we were received really well and it's a great place to tour.
TA: Now the band formed in '91-'92?
JB: Right.
TA: Phil was in Pantera, you did some work with Eyehategod and Pepper was in COC. When you released NOLA, it was an underground sensation. I believe it went gold on word of mouth alone. How has the metal scene changed regarding popularity? How would you compare it now to then?
JB: Then, it was really kind of fresh. We weren't doing too much from what Soundgarden was doing. That was a big influence back then, and all the Witchfinder stuff. It seems like the people are a little more open to this genre music, but to me Down is a rock band. Rock music has been around for ever and kind of put off to the side into metal. I think Down; people accept it more as a rock band, not just a metal band. Back in '91 it was really fresh to us.
TA: Where was Down IV produced?
JB: It was recorded at the Lair again (Phil Anselmo's studio) the same place we did Down II and recorded it at a New Orleans studio. The last record, Over the Under, we recorded in L.A. because a lot of the studios weren't up and running after Katrina. So it was really nice to stay home and have that New Orleans vibe in the record to as well. Makes a difference man.
TA: As far as song titles which one sticks out from the new record?
JB: "Witchtripper."
TA: What does it sound like?
JB: It's fire bro. It sounds like Down and I'm really excited about it. I'm more excited about it than Over the Under. Over the Under was a great record, but I think the production was a little too much, and this takes us back to the raw roots and the songs are good. But "Witchtripper" is my favorite one. We were in Spain for a festival, and walking around and we kept seeing rocks on peoples' doors. We were like "dude it must be to trip a witch." At first, it seemed kind of silly, but once we wrote the song and lyrics — Philip wrote the lyrics — it was really cool. Hopefully, we'll make a video for it too.
TA: In regards to the music industry how has it changed in the past 20 years? Has it been better to you or since Down is a metal band have you guys been able to find your own niche?
JB: Well, the older you get, the wiser you grow about the industry. When you're really young they try to take advantage of you. They did me, but now, being a lot more educated about how things are done, I think it's gotten back to the whole DIY thing, at least for the underground. It's just a lot easier for bands to put their stuff out which is a good thing or a bad thing. The opportunity for people to put anything out has definitely grown, and I think that's really cool.
TA: So how have social networking sites like Facebook have helped Down with connecting with your fans or getting the music out there?
JB: It's great. I can see in the future bands doing concerts; you pay online to see it and you can sit and jam. It's just things we've been talking about in the future, but obviously nothing takes away from the vibe of a real live show. It'd be cool if while bands are recording you could log online and check out what they're doing.
TA: You mentioned underground. Are there any southern bands that you are vibing on at the moment?
JB: From Arkansas you have Rwake. Weedeater is really good. The new Orange Goblin is really good; they're from England. There's a band from New Orleans called Mountain of Wizard. They sound like metal meets Boston.  They're really cool; they don't have any vocals. We're doing a show tonight with Eyehategod, and a new band called Black Witchgod playing. The drummer was from a New Orleans band called Graveyard Rodeo from the 80s. There's Soilent Green, Outlaw Order. These are all with friends I know. It's just I don't get out of New Orleans unless I go play somewhere.
TA: What are your top 5 metal records of all time?
JB: Captain Beyond: Captian Beyond, Pentagram: Relentless, Black Sabbath: Black Sabbath and Volume 4. And Witchfinder General.
TA: What advice would you give to younger bands trying to make it in this industry?
JB: You gotta be pissed off and play fast. You gotta be pissed off and fuckin' let it show. Don't stop try and play as much as you can. That's what we did. Write good songs don't worry about gimmicks and shit.
TA: It was a pleasure, thank you
JB: Take care.
Stay informed at http://www.down-nola.com/, find them On FaceBook, and if you can get to the Ohio area, buy a ticket for Rock On The Range
The track listing for the effort is as follows (in no particular order):

01. Levitation
02. Witchtripper
03. The Misfortune Teller
04. The Curse Is A Lie
05. Open Coffins
06. This Work Is Timeless
Progressive metal giants DREAM THEATER are among the nominees for the 54th annual Grammy Awards, which will be held on Sunday, February 12 at Staples Center in Los Angeles.

"I was a little speechless there for a bit," DREAM THEATER singer James LaBrie told The Canadian Press about his reaction to the news that the band was nominated. "I remember at first, I was just kind of like: 'What? A Grammy nomination? Hmm.' I just always thought that would elude us."

LaBrie will attend the Grammy ceremony with his bandmates and all of their families, including the singer's kids — 15-year-old daughter Chloe and 14-year-old son Chance. "Oh, they're freaking," LaBrie said with a laugh. "I think they'll be just pretty much up on a cloud that night, for sure."

DREAM THEATER is up against FOO FIGHTERS, MASTODON, SUM 41 and MEGADETH, the latter of whom LaBrie feels has the best shot of landing the Grammy.

"We're very grateful even to be in that category — but yeah, if we won? I think I'd be numb," LaBrie said. "But I think at the same time, too, there'd be a big part of me going: 'Yeah, right on!' This says a lot for our music and the kind of band we are. And I think it'd be a fantastic feeling and an admission to the fact that all kinds of music are being noticed and being honored."
In a recent interview with the Bradenton Classic Rock Music Examiner, original JUDAS PRIEST singer Al Atkins was asked if he ever regretted leaving the band, which he fronted from its inception in 1969 until 1973. "I was the only one in the band that was married with a kid to feed and without a record deal and the backing we needed I just couldn't survive anymore, so I decided to get a haircut and a 9-to-5 job," he replied. "Yes, I did regret it, but was happy for them to eventually get that deal and climb the ladder to succeed and they much deserved it."

Regarding what would have been different with JUDAS PRIEST had he stayed in the band, Atkins said, "Well, when Rob [Halford] came in, he took them to another level with his style of high-range vocals and then stepped in Glenn [Tipton, guitar] to add that harmony impact on guitars. Both were writers, too, so they made their own mark and a great job, too... If I would have stayed with them, we may have taken a different road. Maybe more like AC/DC, but that's not a bad thing, is it?"

Atkins and Christian guitarist Paul May recently joined forces to create a powerful new CD called "Serpent's Kiss", now available on Gonzo Multimedia. The 10-track album is the product of two of the Midlands' finest architects of rock and metal coming together to create something that is unique and totally exhilarating.

Atkins is the co-writer of several PRIEST songs which are included on the band's first two albums, "Rocka Rolla" and "Sad Wings of Destiny", both of which eventually went gold. Atkins co-penned the heavy metal classic "Victim of Changes", which was a combination of Rob Halford's song "Red Light Lady" and Atkins' own "Whiskey Woman". He also co-wrote "Winter", "Never Satisfied", "Dreamer Deceiver" and "Caviar and Meths".

In 1989 Atkins released his debut solo album, "Judgement Day", to great acclaim. But it was "Heavy Thoughts" and "Victim of Changes" (the latter being his collaborative album with ex-JUDAS PRIEST drummer Dave Holland) that brought him strong sales and critical acclaim around the world.

JUDAS PRIEST bassist Ian Hill penned the foreword to Al Atkins's autobiography, titled "Dawn of the Metal Gods: My Life in Judas Priest and Heavy Metal". The book, which was written with Neil Daniels — a freelance rock writer and heavy metal fan who befriended Atkins during the writing of Neil's book "The Story Of Judas Priest: Defenders Of The Faith" (Omnibus Press) — was released in 2009 via Iron Pages.
Greece's Rock Overdose recently conducted an interview with Finnish quitarist Timo Tolkki (STRATOVARIUS, REVOLUTION RENAISSANCE, SYMFONIA). A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.

Rock Overdose: You announced a retirement after the fact that SYMFONIA would not go on as a band, and a lot of fans were surprised by this. What was the story behind that?

Timo: I simply said that in the present market situation, it is not possible to earn an income by being a professional musician. My career spans over 20 years in STRATOVARIUS plus the other works. So it was a simple rational decision. We are going to see more bands from the middle league falling in the next 3-5 years simply because record companies are dying themselves and they take the last bits there are to take and it's gonna make the situation even worse. It was the same situation with REVOLUTION RENAISSANCE. Music business is firstly becoming boring and predictable and secondly it is dying.

Rock Overdose: So, I suppose that you will focus to your solo career from now on?

Timo: I dont know, man. The same situation applies to a possible solo career. In this moment, I am not doing anything and maybe I never will record anything anymore for commercial purpose. We ll have to see what happens in the next years.

Rock Overdose: Your last album of your solo career was 2008's rock opera "Saana - Warrior of Light Pt. 1". We must wait for "Part 2" now or…?

Timo: "Saana" was a fun album to make to experiment for the first time with three singers singing a story. It was very very cheaply done but it does have my key message in it, my life philosophy in there. I really dont think there will be part 2, but if I am going to record something still, I am sure it could be something like musical or maybe more rock- or metal-orientated story with a lot of dynamics.

Rock Overdose: There are some rumors that some old members of STRATOVARIUS will form a group named STRATO. Did they approach you to play with them? Are you thinking to do it?

Timo: Yes, it's true. We have met many times in the last two years. Me, Tuomo Lassila (the founding member of STRATOVARIUS) and Antti Ikonen went to see Roger Waters' "The Wall" in Helsinki together. We have talked about making an album called "Return To Dreamspace". I wrote to STRATOVARIUS and asked if we could use the name for this one album because there is the founding member of the band involved and who invented the name. We got a vicious letter from the lawyer that we will be sued immediately if we would use the name. It just shows the attitude and it is sad to see that a band that once had life and soul in it is now a simple franchise. A money-making machine except that the industry situation gets to them as well. Jörg Michael [drums] decided to leave the band because he did not like the music the band was heading to. Now he plays in some Greek band, I think. STRATOVARIUS will not exist anymore in five years.
Two original members of Chicago doom legends TROUBLE — vocalist Eric Wagner and drummer Jeff "Oly" Olson — have joined forces with the band's longtime bassist Ron Holzner in a new heavy rock/doom metal act called THE SKULL.

When asked why they decided now was the right time for THE SKULL to come together, Ron told Metal Kaoz, "The 'TROUBLE aam' set at last year's Days Of The Doomed Fest [in Kenosha, Wisconsin] was the catalyst for this whole thing. Eric and Oly hadn't had the chance to talk much before [Days Of The Doomed Fest], and then when I got there the next day and we all got to hang out and talk... it was really nice! Playing 'End Of My Daze' with the whole fucking crowd singing... that's what it's all about! We all looked at each other on stage and simply went, 'Wow!'"

He added, "All of us have our [respective] bands that are doing well, but the fans really want to hear the old [TROUBLE] songs the way they're meant to be heard.

"After the [Days Of The Doomed] fest, Eric basically said to me, 'Let's start a band!', and after that night the three of us thought, 'That would be cool.' We want to give the fans to the best of our ability what they deserve. When people speak loud enough, you hear it. Well, we hear it! We're doing this because we want to, and because the fans want us to. It's all about the fans. The fans spoke out, and the fans have been heard.

"The thing is, we can't just sit back and not listen to the fans. We want to go out and have fun and play the old songs. We don't have to go out and do this because we all have our own bands that are doing well with records coming out. We're doing this because we want to, and because the fans want us to."

Olson was equally enthusastic about the formation of THE SKULL, telling Metal Kaos in an e-mail, "[I'm] excited to jam some TROUBLE again! [I] was a little worried there would be some drama with the fans, like with the two L.A. GUNS bands performing the same material, but there is nothing I want more than a reunion with all TROUBLE members. For now, this will do."

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

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

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

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

Eric Wagner left TROUBLE in April 2008, citing his disdain for the touring life as the main reason for his departure.
Guitarist Russ Strahan (HOUNDS OF HASSELVANDER, PENTAGRAM, LAND OF DOOM) has issued the following statement:

"In light of recent statements and after much thought, I have decided to not pursue THE BONES OF CHILDREN project with Kory Clarke [vocals; WARRIOR SOUL, TROUBLE].

"I have been working on several projects as of late doing studio work for Joe Hasselvander, DOOMSDAY and several other projects I cannot disclose at this time.

"I wish Kory all the best with his future endeavors and hope to see you all when I am back out on the road."

Clarke announced this past week that he was leaving Chicago doom metal legends TROUBLE to start THE BONES OF CHILDREN with Strahan.
Portuguese gothic metallers MOONSPELL are preparing to film a video for their new song "Lickanthrope". The clip will be directed by Filipe Melo, who worked with the band on the "I Will See You In My Dreams" video ten years ago. The shoot will take place in Nandufe, Tondela, in the central region of Portugal.

A synopsis of the "Lickanthrope" video by the director Filipe Melo:

"Little red riding hood enters a bar in an abandoned house amidst the woods. In this bar, the regulars are not your average kind of people — it's a place of vice, where a pack of wolves and other unearthly creatures find solace. MOONSPELL are just another part of the varied local entertainment. However when things go wild we will see that the band isn't just what meets the eye. In a cross between the pagan Portuguese folklore and a tribute to the classic Hammer movies this videoclip will bring out not only the ferocious intensity of this song but will have its place in Portuguese film history as the first werewolf transformation ever made in Portugal. The video clip features also several local theatre and cultural groups, Portuguese actors and a special appearance by the very own Suicide Girls Portugal, in a task force which will blow your mind. Beware the wolves at night, beware the lunar light!"

"Lickanthrope" comes off MOONSPELL's new album, "Alpha Noir", which will be released on April 27 via the band's new label home, Napalm Records.

The cover artwork for the CD — an intricate, marvellous and symbolic creation by Seth Siro Anton, the Greek artist who collaborated with the band on "Night Eternal" — can be seen below.

Commented MOONSPELL frontman Fernando Ribeiro: "A true band has to have to a glorious past, a solid present and a bright future. More than that, a true band has to know how to live throughout all these seasons, dealing with their ghosts, their shadows, their aim at the light, moulding darkness with personality, with the impulse to be better, to do better while getting close to theirselves. Their true heart, soul and flesh.

"Never a MOONSPELL album came so close to be absolute like the new opus magna (masterpiece) 'Alpha Noir', scheduled to be proudly released by Napalm Records on April 27th, when spring racks through the wastes of winter, bursting new colours over familiar sights, once silent and white, now fiery under the blackest of suns.

"The concept of this new record, painstakingly composed by the Portuguese gothic metal knights over the past three years, after the public and critically acclaimed 'Night Eternal', is bulletproof. The band managed to split their heart and soul in half and the result is that they came even closer to themselves, the ambitious band they always were, with a undying wish not to claim any throne but to build their own ships that would take them and their fans to 'give new worlds to the world,' like in the age of discovery where the Portuguese were a leading force in the world.

"With their country drowned in a corrosive crisis, MOONSPELL filled their lungs with pride and created an incendiary album, with nine outbursts of their rockiest and thrashier riffs made superiorly dimensioned by the reindivictative lyrical content and songs structure that take you by storm from the first listen on. MOONSPELL has tapped a notch into their energy filled gothic metal by adding a guitar wall forjed by timeless artists like BATHORY, KING DIAMOND or in a twist ofthe knive to old thrash metal legends like ONSLAUGHT, METALLICA early works or even TESTAMENT and ARTILLERY, making 'Alpha Noir' a truly surpring and fresh record where all the songs have a climax effect about them, an high tension charm that will for sure electricize audiences when played on a stage.

"Songs like the title track ('Alpha Noir'), the infectious 'Versus', the wolf hymn 'Lickanthrope' or the Portuguese sung 'Em Nome Do Medo' (In The Name Of Fear) and the closing epic 'Grandstand', might get you a welcoming chilling of the past but make no mistake: 'Alpha Noir' is a leap of faith and belief in their writing skills and progressive musicianship.

"Together with 'Alpha Noir' packed in a deluxe and special edition on digipack, MOONSPELL and Napalm offers no live DVD, making-of or any kind of filler. Instead they put in the table another offerend: 'Ómega White', the musical twin of 'Alpha Noir', a collection of eight songs of pure atmosphere and shadow, close to their breakthrough album 'Irreligious', in a just homage to their TYPE O NEGATIVE and SISTERS OF MERCY roots. Tracks like the erotic 'Herodisiac', the catchy 'White Skies' or the heartbreaking 'Whiteomega' will for sure keep you in dark company through a night of fear and loss, both soothing and provoking.

"Both masterpieces were produced and mixed by Tue Madsen, pre-produced by Benny Richter.

"Each song a jewel, each song a stronghold!

"Keep your watch and do not miss this new MOONSPELL record, for it is a true mortal sin to stay away from these eighty minutes of music, beautifully and violently craved by one of the most legendary and imaginative bands ever to surface the European scene. Do not forget to get your hands on this masterpiece and to watch the band live in the summer festivals around Europe. 'Alpha Noir'/'Ómega White' will also be played in their entirety in Lisbon's Campo Pequeno, that holds 5,000 fans, in their homeland Portugal in the most daring stage set and visuals the band has ever tried."

MOONSPELL released a DVD, "Lusitanian Metal", in December 2008 in Europe via Century Media Records.

The band's latest album, "Night Eternal", entered the national chart in Portugal at No. 3 and in Germany at No. 62. The follow-up to 2006's "Memorial" was recorded at Antfarm studios in Denmark with producer Tue Madsen (THE HAUNTED, DARK TRANQUILLITY, HALFORD).
Montreal, Quebec, Canada-based power metallers KEMILON have inked a worldwide deal with Toronto's Maple Metal Records. The band's debut album, "Twisted Storm", will be released in early April. The CD was produced by KEMILON guitarist Louis Jacques at Shreds Up Studios in Magog, Quebec and was mixed by Adam "Nolly" Getgood (PERIPHERY, RED SEAS FIRE). The mastering duties were handled by Peter In De Betou at Tailor Maid Production (AMON AMARTH, DARK TRANQUILITY, MESHUGGAH, OPETH) in Spånga, Sweden.

Formed in late 2007, KEMILON is a six-piece band which is "influenced by the European power metal scene but [which] brings to the table [its] own fusion of power and progressive elements, with an emphasis on melody," according to a press release.

KEMILON has shared the stage with such acts as FIREWIND and POWERGLOVE, and has headlined many shows on the Quebec metal circuit.

"Twisted Storm" track listing:

01. Beyond Frontiers
02. Ocean of Insanity
03. The Gates of Heavy Metal
04. Night Shades
05. Wormhole
06. Sons Of Lies
07. The Glow
08. Warriors Of Space
09. The Revolution
10. Twisted Storm


Yan Gagné - Vocals
Louis Jacques - Lead Guitar
Chris Geoffroy - Lead Guitar
Arnaud Spick-Saucier - Keyboards
Simon Roy Boucher - Bass
Charles Brodeur – Drums
ROYAL THUNDER, the Atlanta four-piece Brooklyn Vegan described as "Johnette Napolitano of CONCRETE BLONDE fronting BLACK SABBATH," has completed recording its debut album, "CVI", for a May 22 release via Relapse Records.

"We poured all of our hard work and passion into this 10-song LP," says ROYAL THUNDER vocalist/bass player Mlny Parsonz of the band's mid-2011 recording sessions at Aria Recording Studio in Marietta, Georgia. "We saw highs and lows along the way, but in the end, we made it. We made something we are so proud of. We look back on our past efforts and take with us the good, and strive to keep going and growing. We can't wait to see what the future holds and we hope this new album is an inspiration and light in the lives of everyone who listens to it."

ROYAL THUNDERParsonz, founder Josh Weaver (guitar), Lee Smith (drums) and Josh Coleman (guitar) — will join BLACK TUSK for a half dozen dates leading up to performances at South By Southwest (SXSW; specific showcase information to be announced). ROYAL THUNDER will also perform at this Saturday's Scion Relapse Showcase at The Roxy in West Hollywood, California.

ROYAL THUNDER released a self-titled EP in 2010 which won praise from a wide variety of outlets, including Paste magazine ("blues-infused rock'n'roll, wrapped in protective barbed-metal packaging"), NPR ("a revved-up Southern hard-rocker that howls like LED ZEPPELIN astride a psychedelic unicorn") and Terrorizer ("'Royal Thunder' grabs you right from the first listen").
LOVE.MIGHT.KILL, the German/Italian melodic metal band led by drummer Michael Ehré (FIREWIND, ULI JON ROTH, METALIUM), is working on material for its second album, to be released in October via Massacre Records (Europe) and Hydrant Music (Japan). The follow-up to last year's "Brace For Impact" will once again be produced by Ehré and mixed by Markus Teske at his Bazement Studios.

While "Brace For Impact" was composed by Michael and Jan, LOVE.MIGHT.KILL now has three more "fantastic" songwriters in its ranks, having been joined by Christian Stöver (guitar), Stefan Ellerhorst (guitar) and Sascha Onnen (keyboards).


Jan Manenti - Vocals
Michael Ehré - Drums
Stefan Ellerhorst - Guitar
Christian Stöver - Guitar
Jogi Sweers - Bass
Sascha Onnen - Keyboards

For more information, visit www.lovemightkill.com.
Guitarist Steve Stevens (BILLY IDOL) has confirmed via Facebook that he will take part in a South American tour dubbed "Titans Of Rock" featuring the following all-star lineup of musicians:

* Joe Elliot (DEF LEPPARD)
* Steve Stevens (BILLY IDOL)
* Sebastian Bach (SKID ROW)
* Vince Neil (MÖTLEY CRÜE)

"Titans Of Rock" tour dates:

April 19 - Lima, Peru
April 21 - Sao Luis, Brazil
April 22 - Sao Paulo, Brazil
April 24 - Paraguay
April 26 - Buenos Aires, Argentina
April 28 – Santiago, Chile
April 30 - Guatemala City, Guatemala
May 02 - San Jose, Costa Rica
Michael Deeds of Macon.com recently conducted an interview with keyboardist Janne Wirman of Finnish metallers CHILDREN OF BODOM. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.

Macon.com: Extreme metal bands from Scandinavia often sound much more melodic than U.S. bands. Why do you think that is?

Janne: I seriously don't know. That's something that I get asked a lot in interviews. We were trying to think about it, and then we come up with funny answers like, you know, it's so cold and dark.

Macon.com: You started playing piano when you were 5 and played a lot of jazz before you joined BODOM. Your frontman, singer-guitarist Alexi Laiho, took violin lessons as a kid. Is Finland a musical place for children?

Janne: I think it is. Or just who I grew up with. All my friends played something, and already when we were 15, we were playing in bands and all that kind of stuff. I think Finland, they put a lot of (importance) into the whole musical education thing. I think even the government somehow is endorsing the whole thing. When I joined BODOM, I was still sure that I was going to become an architect. But then after a few years, I became a rock star. (Laughs) When we started, obviously, we didn't know what was going to happen. The music was very extreme. But nowadays, we are really happy and really fortunate to have been able to do this for 15 years.

Macon.com: You guys are still young, in your early 30s. But you probably don't party quite as hard as you did a few years ago, do you?

Janne: (Chuckles) No, which is a good thing, because we partied pretty (expletive) hard for some time. I'm just glad nobody got hurt or killed. Yeah. Somehow for me, it's funny but when you turn 30, somehow, like, I started taking a little bit more responsibility about things I do. We still party, but not that hard.

Macon.com: Did playing in BODOM force you to develop a different skill set? There's the pitch-bend wheel you use a lot.

Janne: Definitely, I had to learn, like, (a) whole new way of playing, basically. Because classical or whatever piano you studied — even keyboards and piano are different instruments even though they kind of look the same. And then the whole, like you said, the whole metal way of that thingy. So you pretty much have to learn a whole new thing.
Kelly Dearmore of DallasOberserver.com recently conducted an interview with guitarist/vocalist Steve "Lips" Kudlow of Canadian metal legends ANVIL. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.

DallasOberserver.com: When ANVIL started, metal was new. Now, there are so many different types of metal. What do you think of that evolution?
Lips: Initially, it was all hard rock or heavy rock. Around 1980, it started getting called metal and heavy metal. At that point, there was really only that one kind of heavy metal, and it encapsulated a wide range of sounds. As time went along, a hundred different types of metal popped up. At one point, you could put a ballad on a metal album, along with a fast, brutal song and also a bludgeoning, slow stomper and it was all cool. Now, it's really uncool to do that. Now, so many records sound the same, every song is the same, the singing is often the same. There's no bloody melody, no real rhythm. Why is that? It's like, if you get commercial success, you can't be metal anymore. If a song gets popular, it's no longer metal - you sold out. It's just human nature to try and categorize and pigeonhole everything. That's all it is.

DallasOberserver.com: In the documentary ["Anvil! The Story Of Anvil"], both you and Robb [Reiner, drums] worked day jobs. When you're recovering at home between tours, you don't still have to go punch in somewhere, do you?

Lips: No day jobs, man. That finished a couple of years ago. We've been so busy touring, what job would keep us around? We had the material for the [2011 album] "Juggernaut Of Justice" ready for two years before we got around to recording it, because of our busy tour schedule. The essence of what we do points towards playing live. I play gigs.That's what I do. If I'm not playing gigs, I feel awful. After coming home from a tour, sure, I'm tired. But after a night or two of sleeping in my own bed, I'm ready to go again. I'm addicted to the endorphins that are released when I play live. I need that and I get used to that after a month of playing live on the road.

DallasOberserver.com: Could there be an ANVIL without you and Robb together?

Lips: No. The simple answer is no. It will always have to be both of us, and there are a hundred and one reasons why. We started to play together in 1973, and we were inseparable. Also, I have a complete love and understanding for the drums. I'm the perfect guitar player for a drummer because I know what he's always doing. Robb always knows what I'm doing, too. Our musical vocabulary is virtually identical. We'll put songs together by simply discussing them. We've written songs on the way to rehearsal before, just by talking about it. Only we understand that vocabulary. How do you separate that? If I go anywhere, I take my voice and guitar with me and I'm still the guy from ANVIL. Why bother leaving where I came from, because it will always be me. Robb will never have a circumstance where he can have the influence and understanding that I provide for him.The main currency of ANVIL is drumming. ANVIL is about drumming. I write songs to accentuate drums, because I've got a great drummer. It's about acceptance. Acceptance of the good and the bad.
RISE TO REMAIN — the up-and-coming London, England metalcore outfit featuring singer Austin Dickinson, the son of IRON MAIDEN frontman Bruce Dickinson — has announced the addition of bassist Joshua Hammond and drummer Adam Lewin to the group's ranks.

In other news, RISE TO REMAIN will release a new single, "Talking In Whispers", in the U.K. on April 9. A lyric video for the track can be seen below.

Always a formidable live band, RISE TO REMAIN is preparing to "slay everything" in its path as Josh and Adam earn their stripes alongside vocalist Austin Dickinson and guitarists Ben Tovey and Will Homer on a non-stop 22-date jaunt across Europe, dubbed "The Progression Tour". New fans and old will get the chance to join in the fun when the trek kicks off on March 7 in Birmingham, with RISE TO REMAIN headlining a bill that also features HEAVEN SHALL BURN, MALEFICE, ADEPT and CYTOTA.

RISE TO REMAIN was recently confirmed on the Vans Warped Tour in conjunction with the U.S. release of the band's debut album, "City Of Vultures". The Warped trek will see them hit 40 different cities in North America over the space of three months.

"City Of Vultures" will be released in the U.S. on June 5. The American version of the CD will also feature exclusive new material recorded in the coming months.

Helmed by renowned metal producer Colin Richardson (SLIPKNOT, AS I LAY DYING), "City Of Vultures" delivers twelve electrifying tracks that will leave all hard music fans pleased. The CD is described in a press release as "an explosive, assured and extraordinarily diverse first offering that marks RISE TO REMAIN as an extremely talented standard bearer for a new generation of metal bands."
LOCK UP vocalist Tomas Lindberg (AT THE GATES, DISFEAR) and the band's current touring bassist, Dan Lilker (NUCLEAR ASSAULT, BRUTAL TRUTH, S.O.D., VENOMOUS CONCEPT) have recorded guest appearances on the new album from the Massachusetts-based hardcore/metal act CONVERGE, which is currently being recorded at CONVERGE guitarist Kurt Ballou's Godcity studios in Salem. Tentatively titled "All We Love We Leave Behind", the CD is scheduled for a late spring/early summer release via Epitaph.

A photo of Lindberg and CONVERGE frontman Jacob Bannon at the recording studio can be seen below.

CONVERGE's latest CD, "Axe To Fall", sold 3,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release to debut at position No. 163 on The Billboard 200 chart. The effort was released on October 20, 2009 through Epitaph Records.

Produced by guitarist Kurt Ballou at Godcity, "Axe To Fall" featured guest appearances from Steve Brodsky (CAVE IN), Adam McGrath (CAVE IN), J.R. Connors (CAVE IN, DOOMRIDERS), Uffe Cederlund (DISFEAR, ex-ENTOMBED), John Pettibone (THE VOWS, HIMSA), Steve Von Till (NEUROSIS) and Mookie Singerman (GENGHIS TRON).
North Carolina's DAYLIGHT DIES has issued the following update:

"We're proud to announce that the fourth full-length DAYLIGHT DIES album will be mixed by Jens Bogren at Fascination Street Studios in Sweden. Mixing will begin on April 1st. Jens was also responsible for mixing 'Lost To The Living' and 'Dismantling Devotion' and we couldn't imagine the new album being in more capable hands.

"Progress continues to be brisk on the recording front, as clean guitars and keys have been completed. Vocal recording is now underway."

As previously reported, DAYLIGHT DIES's new material is its most varied yet, due in part to bassist Egan O'Rourke's "significant songwriting contributions" this time around.

DAYLIGHT DIES played three shows in Europe in December — including at the third edition of the Madrid Is The Dark festival on December 8-10 at the Old School venue in Getafe, Spain.

DAYLIGHT DIES's latest album, "Lost To The Living", was released in the U.S. in June 2008 via Candlelight Records. The CD features captivatingly dark original artwork from renowned artist Travis Smith, who has worked with the band before and whose other previous collaborations include OPETH, ANATHEMA and KATATONIA.
22-year-old Norwegian seven-string guitarist/singer/songwriter The Commander-In-Chief will release her debut EP, "Evolution", digitally on February 15 via Commander Records/The Commander-In-Chief Ltd. The effort was produced by Sterling Winfield (PANTERA, HATEBREED, HELLYEAH), who previously mixed The Commander-In-Chiefs' "brutal, adrenalin-fueled" cover version of the BLACK SABBATH classic "Paranoid" (audio stream avialable in YouTube clip below).

According to a press release, "the recording process of the EP was very different from what normally happens in studio these days, so Sterling Winfield made a statement about it.

He said, "I would first like to say thank you again to 'The Commander' and Elisabeth Hagen for giving me the opportunity to work on such an original project. It is refreshing to work on a recording that is nothing like everything else that is going on in music currently. Furthermore, as a producer and engineer for the last twenty-one years, I feel that the following needs to be said for many reasons: I am very proud to acknowledge the fact that what you are hearing is all 100 percent musician-played performances! During the course of listening to these songs, you will NOT hear one drum hit that was moved around, placed on a grid, 'sound replaced' or augmented in any way whatsoever. You will also NOT hear Auto-Tune, Melodyne or any other vocal-tuning software of ANY kind!

"That being said, I will answer the burning question looming in your minds… Yes, The Commander-In-Chief played ALL of the guitars you're hearing and sang every single note. Not only did she do all of this, but she did it all with more great attitude, and professionalism than a lot of the veteran musicians I know that have been doing this almost longer than she has been alive. All of the musicians that played on this project were truly great! They all performed above and beyond the call of duty and I was proud to be a part of it. I think that it is important to mention these things so that listeners and musicians alike can see that music can be made without all of the trappings or abuse of digital recording tools. This experience was also proof to me that there are musicians out there that still take pleasure in playing/singing and relying upon the discipline it takes to do so."

"Evolution" track listing:

01. Thou
02. Famous
03. Evolution
04. Let It Go

In a 2010 interview with Metal Express Radio, The Commander-In-Chief stated about her music, "I used to call it hybrid rock; the power of rock with the message of punk, and the catchiness of pop inspired by metal techniques. NOW my music has taken a more heavy direction than last year, so it's less punk and more metal."

Regarding her name, The Commander-In-Chief, she said, "I wanted a powerful artist name, since I've always been doing my own thing and still am. I do all the songwriting, guitar playing, singing and I write all the lyrics. For the first demo I made in Chicago I also made my own animated music video which generated quite a buzz on MySpace and gave me all my first fans. I also created illustrations for all my songs, mixing the music with visual arts. I don't do that anymore though, as I just don't have the time."
Denver, Colorado-based metallers ARCANIUM have entered Mercenary Studios in Zion, Illinois with producers Scott Creekmore and Shaun Glass (SOIL, DIRGE WITHIN) to begin recording their sophomore album, to be released later in the year via an as-yet-undetermined record label.

The first in a series of video blogs featuring behind-the-scenes footage from the new studio sessions can be seen below.

Originally formed in March 2007, ARCANIUM set forth to unleash an unabashed musical barrage on unsuspecting hard rock and metal fans worldwide.

In their relatively short existence as a band, ARCANIUM has toured with such bands as MEGADETH, MACHINE HEAD and BULLET FOR MY VALENTINE and has earned a respectably loyal fan base throughout the state of Colorado.

ARCANIUM released a self-titled EP in 2008 and followed it up with a debut album, "The Architects", in 2009.
A memorial concert for David Gold — a founding member of the Ontario, Canada-based black and doom metal band WOODS OF YPRES, who was killed in December in a car accident near Barrie, Ontario — will be held on Thursday, April 5 at The Annex WreckRoom in Toronto, Ontario., The event, which will also double as the release party for WOODS OF YPRES' new album, "Woods V: Grey Skies & Electric Light", will feature a headline performance by Chicago's NOVEMBERS DOOM, as well as tribute performances by ECLIPSE ETERNAL, EMPYREAN PLAGUE, GYPSY CHIEF GOLIATH, HALLOWS DIE, KITTIE, PAGAN RITUAL, PANZERFAUST and more. Admission is solely by donation, and proceeds will be given to the Gold family to help cover the expenses of David's final arrangements, and to support the annual David Gold Music Scholarship made available to Sault College students.

An e-mail address will be established if anyone has photos they would like to contribute to a multimedia display that will be running through the evening.

For more information, go to this location.

"Woods 5: Grey Skies & Electric Light" was recorded with producer Siegfried Meier (KITTIE) at Beach Road Studios in Ontario, Canada, and was mixed by John Fryer (NINE INCH NAILS, PARADISE LOST).

Formed in 2002, WOODS OF YPRES has earned critical acclaim for its ever-evolving, envelope-pushing mix of blackened doom metal. Most often compared to bands such as AGALLOCH and TYPE O NEGATIVE, WOODS OF YPRES toes a thin line between the catchy, the artistic and the extreme to create an unmistakable signature sound.
WATCH ME BLEED — the German death/thrash metal band featuring MYSTIC PROPHECY guitar player Markus Pohl and ex-SYMPHORCE drummer Steffen Theurer — has inked a deal with the "label alternative" SAOL/H'art. The band's new album, which was produced by Eike Fresse (DARK AGE, CALLEJON, GAMMA RAY), will be released in late spring.

Commented WATCH ME BLEED vocalist Chris Roden: "We are very happy and proud to join the SAOL family. This is a new way of distributing our music, an alternative to the 'normal' label structure. We are convinced that this collaboration is for us a unique chance to work in the best conditions with experienced and passionate people."

WATCH ME BLEED's "Bloodred Rain" video can be viewed below. The song comes off the group's debut album, "Souldrinker", which was released in October 2009 via Silverwolf Productions.

"Souldrinker" was mixed by Christian "Moschus" Moos (DELAIN, C-187, EVERON) at Spacelab studios and was mastered by Eroc (SODOM, DELAIN) at the Mastering Ranch. It contains eleven songs with guest appearances by Andy B. Franck (BRAINSTORM), Nemesis (EIGENSINN) and Greek guitar wizard Constantine (MYSTIC PROPHECY, THE DESCENDING).

For more information, visit www.myspace.com/watchmebleed667.
Portugal's most brutal, depraved and infamous band known as HOLOCAUSTO CANIBAL has inked a deal with Xtreem Music for the worldwide release of its third full-length album, "Gorefilia". Due in April, the 18-song CD was recorded at 213 Studios in Portugal and was mixed and mastered at Hertz Studio (BEHEMOTH, VADER, KRONOS, DECAPITATED, ABORTED) in Bialystok, Poland.

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

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

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

Added guitarist/vocalist Eduardo F. : "We've known Dave Rotten [Xtreem Music A&R] for over a decade, having in on stage in some gigs as special guest and we also shared stage with AVULSED in several European festivals. Adding to this, a release history of more than 100 titles, make us strongly believe that Xtreem Music is the reliable and hardworking label that we were looking for."
California-based extreme metallers VILE have issued the following update:

"VILE seeks bassist and lead guitarist for future shows in California and eventually a European tour. Must have extensive band experience, pro gear, etc. Prefer those without edgy or hostile personalities and cigarette smokers are not eligible, sorry. Tuning is straight 1/2 step down on seven-string guitar or five-string bass (starting at Bb). Send private message to Colin Davis on Facebook with links to videos of your live performace and stodio recordings. Tab for VILE songs is available on the web. Audition videas are a good idea, but you can make them private if you choose. Guitarists, pick a song from 'New Age of Chaos' with solos to show your solo skills."

VILE's fourth full-length album, "Metamorphosis", came out last November via Willowtip Records. According to the band, the CD is "a concept album which contains a wide variety of styles, tempos and lyrical topics with an interlocking philosophical and lyrical concept."

The group added, "We are confident that old-school VILE fans will love it and also that fans of other styles of metal, not only American death metal, will be quite pleased. The recording quality is the best we have released to date and we expect the album to be a standard-raising release for the genre of extreme metal."

"Metamorphosis" is the follow-up to "The New Age of Chaos", which was released in North America in October 2005 via Unique Leader Records.
THE WRETCHED END — the Norway-based band featuring guitarist Samoth (EMPEROR, ZYKLON) and bassist Cosmo (MINDGRINDER) alongside Swedish drummer Nils Fjellström (DARK FUNERAL, IN BATTLE, AEON) — will release its sophomore album, "Inroads", on April 23 via Nocturnal Art Productions/Candlelight Records. The CD was recorded at Strand Studio in Oslo and features cover artwork by Trine + Kim Design Studio.

"Inroads" track listing:

01. Tyrant Of The Mountain
02. Deathtopian Society
03. Death By Nature
04. Cold Iron Soul
05. The Haunting Ground
06. Fear Propaganda
07. Blackthorn Winter
08. Hunger
09. Throne Renowned Of Old

According to a press release, THE WRETCHED END's music "can best be described as 'deathrash,' taking elements from both death metal and thrash metal. Many of the songs are quite groove-orientated, and also offer a melodic side. Influences range from the flavors of old-school as well as a more modern death/thrash metal sound."

THE WRETCHED END was formed in 2008 as creative collaboration between Samoth and Cosmo, who previously worked together on the infamous death-punk project SCUM. Cosmo also played with ZYKLON as a bass player when ZYKLON toured Europe as special guest for MORBID ANGEL in 2001. The two had long spoken about collaborating on an extreme metal project. Throughout 2008 most of the material for the debut album was composed and by spring 2009 a full pre-production demo consisting of 11 tracks was recorded.

The drums for THE WRETCHED END's debut album, "Ominous", were recorded in September 2009 at the Strand Studio in Oslo, Norway. The recording sessions continued through the end of 2009 and the CD was completed in the first half of 2010.
Seattle deathbrigade BLACK BREATH will release its new album, "Sentenced To Life", on March 27 via Southern Lord.

With 10 tracks in under 33 minutes, "Sentenced To Life" contains the most demoralizing-yet-energizing d-beat-injected death metal hymns from the band to date, with a bit less rock and roll swagger and more full-on rage. The CD is a product of furious creativity jammed into a short span of time, written in the seemingly endless winter after returning from their November 2010 European tour.

As was the case with BLACK BREATH's acclaimed debut full-length, "Heavy Breathing", the new album was recorded at CONVERGE guitarist Kurt Ballou's Godcity studios in Salem, Massachusetts and was mastered by Alan Douches at West West Side Music in New Windsor, New York.

"Sentenced To Life" track listing:

01. Feast Of The Damned
02. Sentenced to Life
03. Forced Into Possession
04. Home Of The Grave
05. Endless Corpse
06. Mother Abyss
07. Of Flesh
08. Doomed
09. The Flame
10. Obey
Swedish death/black metallers APOSTASY will enter the studio on March 30 to begin recording their fourth album for a late 2012 release. The drums will be laid down at Studio Seven Studio with Ronny Milianowicz at the helm.

APOSTASY's third album, "Nuclear Messiah", was released last August 24 via Gothenburg, Sweden's Rambo Music, a division of Gain Music Entertainment (which is distributed and partly owned by Sony Music).

Vocalist Fredric Edin previously stated about "Nuclear Messiah", "It's been a rocky road for us when we lost [guitarist] Henrik [Johansson], but now we are stronger than ever and can guarantee you folks that this will surely be the most brutal and most technical we have ever made, so what I want to say is: We don't slow down like everybody else does, we just accelerate and make it more brutal. It is worth waiting for!"

APOSTASY made national headlines in Sweden in 2006 when the group's guitarist, Henrik Johansson, was stabbed to death by his girlfriend. At 3:55 a.m. on March 9, 2006, the 19-year-old woman dialed 112 (the Swedish equivalent of 911 in the U.S. or 999 in the U.K.) and said that her boyfriend was lying bleeding on the floor in the couple's apartment in Kramfors, Sweden. When the paramedics and police arrived, Johansson was already dead.

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