[Classic_Rock_Forever] Metallica, Saxon, Slash, Megadeth, Van Halen, Foo Fighters, Wednesday 13 and tons more hard rock and heavy metal news


METALLICA will headline the Swiss edition of the Sonisphere festival on May 30 at Yverdon-les-Bains. Also scheduled to appear are SLAYER, MOTÖRHEAD, MASTODON, GOJIRA, and ELUVEITIE.

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

METALLICA drummer Lars Ulrich told Brazil's Wikimetal that he still feels good about recording the band's collaborative album with Lou Reed, "Lulu", which came out to poor sales and disastrous reviews last November. Ulrich said, "It's definitely very unique, and whether it's unique in a good way or unique in a not-so-good way, I have no idea yet. The people whose opinions I trust say it's very good. It feels very good; it's a lot of fun to do. But whether it's making a new sound, or paving a new way, I have no idea."

The drummer added that METALLICA's success has given them the freedom to try new things, which is essential to the band's longevity. He explained, "I think that 30 years in, we have to kind of do these things to keep us alive. If we get stuck doing the same thing over and over again, it becomes automatic . . . that's not the band I'd like METALLICA to be. I know some people would like METALLICA to make the same record every two years, but that's not what I want METALLICA to do, and I'm not interested in doing that."

The band has been working on its next "official" album recently, with Ulrich saying it will be out "maybe in another year or two."

Meanwhile, METALLICA has just announced its own two-day festival, Orion Music + More, which will take place in late June in Atlantic City, New Jersey.

METALLICA will headline both days, which will feature a total of 22 acts. The group will play the "black album" at one show and 1984's "Ride The Lightning" in its entirety for the first time ever at the other.
Some things just go together...heavy metal and thunder...denim and leather ...SAXON and Wacken.

They've been old friends for many years now, their harmony collecting an army of thousands upon thousands who view SAXON live as a pilgrimage to the heart of metal music. And when that pilgrimage takes you, repeatedly, to the largest heavy metal festival in the world, Wacken Open Air in Germany, the results will always be electric.

"When we first played Wacken, it was a small festival with a small stage in a small field, driven by nothing more than raw enthusiasm, which appealed very much to us," says Biff Byford, SAXON's venerable frontman. "It started as fans putting on a festival for fans, and now it's fair to say that it is to heavy metal what the Donington festival used to be. That was the iconic heavy metal festival of the '80s, and Wacken is the iconic heavy metal festival of now."

Now you can feel that electricity for yourselves thanks to "Saxon - Heavy Metal Thunder - Live - Eagles Over Wacken", the no-fat-no-bullshit-100%-pure CD/DVD featuring DVD highlights from SAXON's Wacken shows in 2004, 2007 and 2009 comprising thirty songs, plus a live CD from Glasgow in 2011. Each set captures the Barnsley-bred British heavy metal legends delivering classic after classic, from "Denim & Leather" to "Metalhead" to "Heavy Metal Thunder" to "Princess Of The Night" to "Crusader" in front of 75,000-pluds loyal, ravenous fans, who have come to expect (and receive) the levels of performance SAXON have been delivering for 32 years.

"And when the eagle comes down at Wacken, when it opens up over the audience, it is always an electric moment for those there," says Biff emphatically of the famous SAXON eagle, a ton or so of steel and lights, rescued from a storage space in the British home counties where it had lain dormant gathering rust. In many ways, the eagle's rebirth and Wacken's ascent are partners on the journey, as it was Wacken's organizers who offered to restore the mighty metal bird so as it could become a live centerpiece of both Wacken and SAXON's history.

And when it comes to heavy metal, SAXON's history is, indeed, rich. Rightly seen as one of the premier vanguards of heavy metal alongside the likes of IRON MAIDEN, SAXON were a major influence behind platinum-coated stars such as METALLICA and MEGADETH. Formed as SON OF A BITCH in 1976 (and becoming SAXON in 1978) they enjoyed tremendous commercial success in the U.K. during the '80s, with 8 U.K. top 40 albums, and have sold over 13 millions albums worldwide, while albums such as "Wheels Of Steel", "Strong Arm Of The Law", "Denim & Leather" and "The Power & The Glory" have become legendary staples of any self-respecting metal fan's collection.

But it has always arguably been on stage where SAXON have excelled the most. There's no hiding once you hit the boards, and whether playing to 20000 people in Buenos Aires or 2000 people in Bolton, Byford, Carter, Glockler, Quinn and Scarratt source the same high-voltage energy reserves and deliver the same high-octane, blood and sweat-soaked show that makes SAXON a perennial touring favorite.

"We've consistently tried to write, and perform songs which both us and our audience enjoy," says Biff, "and we've worked very hard to maintain that link with our audience, because if you don't have that connection it can be very dangerous. We need them, and we need to be ready to deliver for them at every show, that's the challenge and it's one we gratefully accept and enjoy. If the audience are prepared to get crazy, then it's always going to be a strong show, and Wacken always delivers us a fantastic connection. You cannot fake that electricity, everyone wants that ‚charged' atmosphere and it is absolutely priceless..."

"Heavy Metal Thunder - Live - Eagles Over Wacken" is available in a variety of formats, including the Golden Ticket D2C/Direct To Consumer Box.

Strictly limited, this exclusive package contains the "Best Of Wacken" DVD, plus the full and complete SAXON Wacken Open Air performances from 2004/2007/2009 each on a separate DVD, plus a SAXON flag.

The real surprise is that 10 Golden Tickets are randomly included in the box sets, which will allow the lucky winners to visit any SAXON concert in any city around the world (excluding festival appearances).

Silver Tickets giving access to special online content are for the remaining boxes so there are no losers - only winners.

Release dates:

April 23 – U.K.
April 20 - Rest Of Europe
May 22 - North America
As he puts the finishing touches on his as-yet-untitled second solo album due out May 22, Slash — the iconic, Grammy-winning rock guitarist and songwriter — has announced that his headlining U.S. tour will begin May 3 in Baltimore. A fan pre-sale begins this Wednesday, February 15, with the regular on-sale starting Friday, February 17. Tickets will be available at SlashOnline.com. The itinerary (see below) encompasses three festival appearances: Saturday, May 5 at Carolina Rebellion, Saturday, May 19 at Rock On The Range and Friday, May 25 at Rocklahoma.

Meanwhile, this Saturday, February 18, Slash will join Stevie Wonder, Sean Combs, Chris Cornell, Lenny Kravitz, LL Cool J, Common, Snoop Dogg, former President Bill Clinton, Oprah Winfrey, actors Anthony Hopkins, James Gandolfini and more at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas for a 70th birthday celebration to honor boxing legend Muhammad Ali. "Muhammad Ali is and always has been a role model & a hero to me," says Slash. "It's a huge privilege to be able to perform in his honor. He is one of the great icons of American culture and history."

The 16th annual "Power Of Love Gala" celebrates the life and legacy of Muhammad Ali and his contribution to the world and raises awareness for Alzheimer's, Huntington's, ALS, Multiple Sclerosis and Parkinson's, the disease "The Champ" has been battling since 1984. Proceeds from the event will benefit the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health's work toward enhanced treatments and research of neurocognitive disorders and the Muhammad Ali Center in Louisville, Kentucky. The show will also feature appearances from boxing legends such as Sugar Ray Leonard, Ken Norton, Tommy "Hitman" Hearns, and more. Tickets for this once-in-a-lifetime event are on sale now. ABC will also televise the show nationally on Saturday, February 25, at 7 p.m. EST/ 4 p.m. PST.

Slash is currently in a Los Angeles studio working on his new album with Myles Kennedy and THE CONSPIRATORS. It will be released Slash's own label Dik Hayd International distributed through EMI and will follow his 2010 debut album, "Slash", and his November 2011 first-ever live solo album, the two-CD/DVD set "Made In Stoke 24/7/11". Notably, the "Slash" album debuted on The Billboard 200 chart at #3 (#1 on the Rock chart, #1 on the Independent chart, and #1 on the Hard Music chart). Digitally, the album also became the #1 overall digital album and hit #1 on iTunes in 13 countries. Internationally, the disc achieved Top 5 chart positions in over a dozen major territories, hitting #1 in both Japan and New Zealand.

For the new album, Slash — along with and his bandmates Myles Kennedy (vocals), Brent Fitz (drums) and Todd Kerns (bass) — have teamed with producer Eric Valentine, who also produced the "Slash" disc. All the songs were written together by Slash and Kennedy, and cameras have been rolling throughout the entire making of the album.

Slash's 2012 headlining U.S. tour dates are as follows:

May 03 - Baltimore, MD - Rams Head Live
May 05 - Charlotte, NC - Carolina Rebellion, Rockingham Speedway
May 07 - Orlando, FL - Hard Rock Live
May 10 - Biloxi, MS - Hard Rock Hotel & Casino - Hard Rock Live
May 12 - Kansas City MO - Liberty Memorial Park
May 13 - Indianola, IA - National Balloon Classic Field
May 14 - Minneapolis, MN - The Brick
May 16 - Madison, WI - Orpheum Theater
May 17 - Grand Rapids, MI - Orbit Room
May 19 - Columbus, OH - Rock On The Range, Columbus Crew Stadium
May 20 - Camden, NJ - Susquehanna Bank Center
May 25 - Pryor, OK - Rocklahoma
May 26 - Albuquerque, NM - Route 66 Casino
MEGADETH bassist David Ellefson last fall became one of 100 students in the distance education program at the Concordia Seminary in Clayton, Missouri. Classes include "Lutheran Distinctions," "Preaching I & II," "Introduction to Worship" and "Scripture and Faith."

Speaking to Ken Kelly of The Music Nerd Chronicles, Ellefon stated about his decision to try to become an ordained Lutheran pastor, "My decision really stemmed from attending the church that I have raised my children in. The pastor of the church is a really cool guy. He's a musician and a songwriter and knows a lot about rock n roll. When he moved to Scottsdale to become the Senior Pastor at the church we attend, he and I really hit it off and he was the one who actually suggested that he felt I would be a good fit. He told me that the church needs to have more current and relevant people in their ranks. In a way, he felt as though I was the perfect example because there was a time in my life that I had turned away from the church, but ultimately returned triumphantly. My story is a believable one and that is something that people look towards when they are deciding whether to trust in you. I believe that playing in MEGADETH has been one of my primary purposes in life. However, I feel as though a lot of people reach a point in their lives where there is a fork in the road and aren't quite sure where to turn. I'm proud to be taking the seminary training so that one day, I might have a solid answer to give back to them."

When asked if studying to become a pastor is kind of at odds with playing "the devil's music," Ellefson told the QMI Agency in a separate interview, "Well, the thing of it is, we don't play the devil's music. On (1986's) 'Peace Sells ... But Who's Buying?' there were some songs about seances and things like that. But they weren't written because we did them. Certainly I didn't do them. You can write a song about anything ...and those songs weren't about Satan. They were about questioning things. People that thought it was just about Satan just didn't want to do any homework and went, 'If it's different, then it must be wrong and therefore it's the devil's work.' That's about as closed-minded as you could be."

On the topic of whether he feels an obligation to intervene when he sees other musicians and young people on the wrong path, Ellefson said, "My attitude is that you suit up, you show up and you behave accordingly. And you let, for lack of a better term, God's spirit pass through you. People will see that. If they want to inquire, they know where to go. If someone ain't asking, you don't need to be telling. But if they start asking, that's an opportunity to share what your life was like. The testimony-based approach comes from a place where it's genuine. And I think most ears will hear that a lot better than if you're just standing at the airport beating them over the head with a Bible as they come through the door."

Ellefson recently started MEGALife Ministry, a Christian-based ministry focused on serving all people in their development of faith. Based in Scottsdale, Arizona, the ministry is designed to help engage the needs of both churched and un-churched individuals and families worldwide.

Through the endowment of MEGALife's music ministries, personal testimonies and captivating multi-media, it offers a dynamic center for developing a faith in Jesus Christ, especially to those who are new to Christianity or seeking a new church home.
VAN HALEN's first album in 14 years, "A Different Kind Of Truth", has entered the official U.K. chart at position No. 6.

As previously reported, "A Different Kind Of Truth" could debut at No. 1 on next week's Billboard album chart. According to Hits Daily Double, one-day sales reports compiled after the set arrived in stores indicate that it is likely to sell between 180,000 and 200,000 copies in its first week of release. That could be good enough to topple ADELE from the No. 1 perch where she's been residing for the past few weeks.

"A Different Kind Of Truth" is the band's first full-length offering with original singer David Lee Roth since "1984" was released in January 1984.

If VAN HALEN ends up taking the No. 1 position, it will be the band's first chart-topping studio set with Roth. The singer exited the group in 1985, a year after its "1984" album was released. According to Billboard.com, "1984" spent five weeks at No. 2 on The Billboard 200 — VAN HALEN's highest charting set with Roth. (1996's "Best Of Volume 1" hits album, which included two new songs with Roth, debuted at No. 1 with 233,000 sold in its first week.)

VAN HALEN's other four other No. 1s were their four studio albums with Roth's replacement, Sammy Hagar: "5150" (1986), "OU812" (1988), "For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge" (1991) and "Balance" (1995).

VAN HALEN's last all-new album, 1998's "Van Halen III", debuted at No. 4 on the Billboard chart and was certified gold for sales of 500,000 copies, a disappointment compared to their previous platinum efforts.
FOO FIGHTERS were honored with a Grammy in the "Best Hard Rock/Metal Performance" category in the pre-telecast ceremony at the 54th annual Grammy Awards, which are being held tonight (Sunday, February 12) at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. FOO FIGHTERS were nominated for the track "White Limo", from the band's 2011 album "Wasting Light".

The nominees in this year's "Best Hard Rock/Metal Performance" category were 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 are once again being broadcast live in high-definition TV and 5.1 surround sound on CBS from 8 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. (ET/PT).

In an effort to continuously evolve its Grammy Awards process, The Recording Academy announced in April 2011 that it had restructured the Grammy categories across all genres and fields, bringing the total number of categories to be recognized at the 54th Grammy Awards in 2012 to 78 from 109. As a result, instead of separate "Best Metal" and "Best Hard Rock" performance prizes, there is now a single "Best Hard Rock/Metal Performance" award.

For a complete list of nominees, go to this location.
Wednesday 13, infamous frontman of MURDERDOLLS, FRANKENSTEIN DRAG QUEENS FROM PLANET 13, WEDNESDAY 13, BOURBON CROW and GUNFIRE 76, returns to his hometown to appear at the Mad Monster Party — a retro monster celebration showcasing classic and contemporary creatures of the night (and day) — on March 23-25 at the Blake Hotel in Charlotte, North Carolina.

The Mad Monster Party is a horror convention with a difference. While other national shows install a generic event in a city, Mad Monster is building its show from the inside out. With the support of local Charlotte organizations (like "Visit Charlotte" tourism board) and businesses (Kevin Blanchfield's Haunted Mill, Morris Costume, etc.), Mad Monster Party is putting down roots and committing to a partnership with the Charlotte community to provide a unique convention that is fresh, theatrical, and innovative and will offer visiting fans from across the nation a real tradition.

Daily and weekend tickets are available as well as R.I.P. (Really Intense Partyer) passes. R.I.P. passes include early admission all three days, express/front-of-line and all access to events, including reserved premium seating, a walk through the Haunted Mill with celebrities, access to the exclusive R.I.P./Celebrity Lounge, a mystery swag bag and more.
"The X Tour Live", the new release from progressive rockers SPOCK'S BEARD, out February 14 on Music Theories Recordings, documents the one and only American show from the acclaimed band's tour in support of their last studio album, "X".

Being spread out geographically makes live shows in the band's Los Angeles-area home base a rarity these days, but SPOCK'S BEARD was afforded the opportunity to do a one-off with CalProg promoter Jim Harrel at the Downey Civic Theater in Downey, California, during area rehearsals for an upcoming European tour.

"Jim Harrel puts on a helluva good production, so we really didn't have to stress out about technical details," said bassist Dave Meros. "He brought in a great sound system, lights, the venue was deluxe, and he treated us right."

At the time, there was no intention of recording a live album. "It was just a chance to play in the USA for a change, which we don't do nearly enough of," Meros said. "But the venue was already set up for 32-track digital recording and some friends of ours wanted to take a run at recording video as well, so it just kind of fell into our lap."

Meros admits that recording the first show of a tour is not the wisest of decisions in most cases, but for SPOCK'S BEARD, it couldn't have worked out better.

"The first couple of shows are when kinks are worked out and we gain confidence playing the set," said Meros. "We figured if we made some little mistakes here and there we could cover them up in the mix, and if the whole thing was horrible we could just simply not release it. But fortunately we had a pretty good show. Rob Aubrey did an absolutely superb job mixing the CD and DVD audio, so it sounds fantastic. The feedback has been great so far."

"The X Tour Live" is a two-CD set, and will also be available in a limited edition deluxe version that includes a bonus live DVD with exclusive extra features such as a photo slide show, backstage and rehearsal footage, a version of "Their Names Escape Me" without the names but a killer sax solo, and also a time lapse video of the stage setup.

SPOCK'S BEARD has established itself as the crème de la crème of modern progressive rock. Not simply a musician's band, SPOCK'S BEARD has also mastered the art of penning catchy, harmony-driven songs that will appeal to any fan of well-written pop songs. The music of SPOCK'S BEARD is a reflection of their varied influences, which include classical, pop, rock, jazz and jazz fusion, and R&B, while their intricate multi-part vocal harmonies and use of counterpoint add a whole other dimension.
On February 2, Michael Angelo Batio's (ex-NITRO) Dean Mach VII "Jet" Double-Guitar was put on permanent display at the Rock And Rock Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio.

Dean Mach VII "Jet" Double-Guitar is said to be Michael's most famous and definitely his most photographed double guitar. It was designed by Dean Zelinsky and built by Mike Lipe. Zelinsky also built the first double-V neck.

Below is a photo with Michael during the induction ceremony on February 10.

Michael's first version of the double-guitar was actually two separate guitars. He took a Gibson "Flying V" guitar and fastened it to a snare drum stand. This was a right-handed guitar faced in a left-handed playing position. Another Gibson "V" was strapped (right-handed) around his shoulder. He played the left side first, then the right side, then both at the same time. The double-guitar has come a long way since then.
Los Angeles cyber metallers FEAR FACTORY have enlisted Matt DeVries as their new bass player. DeVries, previously of CHIMAIRA (where he played guitar) and most recently SIX FEET UNDER, joins the band replacing Byron Stroud. The announcement comes as the group continues work on its new album, "The Industrialist", to be released this summer in Europe via AFM Records and in the U.S. through Candlelight. The CD was once again co-produced by the band with Rhys Fulber (FRONT LINE ASSEMBLY, PARADISE LOST), with additional tracking by Logan Mader (DEVILDRIVER, CAVALERA CONSPIRACY, SOULFLY). The mixing duties are being handled by Greg Reely (PARADISE LOST, FRONT LINE ASSEMBLY, SKINNY PUPPY) and FEAR FACTORY guitarist Dino Cazares at a studio in Canada.

Cazares and vocalist Burton C. Bell comment: "We are very excited to have Matt playing bass for FEAR FACTORY. We feel he is a great addition to our touring lineup. He has been a friend for a very long time and he is a great musician who will be a perfect instrument in the FF machine."

DeVries adds: "I have been asked by Dino and Burton to join one of my favorite bands. I have been a fan of FEAR FACTORY since 1992 and I could not be more excited to be part of this incredible band. We have shared the stage many times together and now I'm beyond stoked to be on the same stage playing together. Thank you to all my fans worldwide for sticking by me and I will be seeing you all on the road very soon."

FEAR FACTORY's most recent touring lineup featured original FF members Dino Cazares (guitar) and Burton C. Bell (vocals) alongside Stroud (who was credited on the last three FEAR FACTORY albums in addition to touring and recording with STRAPPING YOUNG LAD and ZIMMERS HOLE) and legendary drummer Gene Hoglan (DETHKLOK, STRAPPING YOUNG LAD, DARK ANGEL, DEATH, TESTAMENT).
New Brunswick, New Jersey's melodic, thrash-metal warriors GOD FORBID will release their new album, "Equilibrium", on March 27 via Victory Records. The bulk of the CD was recorded by Mark Lewis (THE BLACK DAHLIA MURDER, WHITECHAPEL, DEVILDRIVER, TRIVIUM), with Jason Suecof (TRIVIUM, ALL THAT REMAINS, THE BLACK DAHLIA MURDER, CHIMAIRA, DEVILDRIVER) stepping in during the the vocal-tracking stage. The effort was mixed by acclaimed Swedish producer Jens Bogren, who has previously worked with such acts as KATATONIA, OPETH, PARADISE LOST and AMON AMARTH.

"With the new album, we focused on writing tight, hooky metal songs," commented guitarist/vocalist Doc Coyle on the creative process for "Equilibrium", "There are some really fast, super heavy, groovy songs – some of the catchiest, most melodic songs we've ever written. We wanted a modern, but organic-sounding album that was tight but still captured the intensity of the band. The album sounds huge!"

Coyle went on to speak about the overall theme of the album, "The title of the album says it all — it's about finding your way when you're lost. The lyrics come from a very personal, very real place. The recurring lyrical theme is about the everyday struggles of life and what it takes to persevere and follow your dreams."
Virtuoso keyboardist Mistheria (ROB ROCK, BRUCE DICKINSON) has announced the official lineup for his new instrumental metal album, "Hands Of Fire", to be released later this year.

The effort will feature Mistheria on keyboards, piano, keytar, organ, and bass pedal, along with the following three musicians:

* Roger Staffelbach (ARTENSION, ANGEL OF EDEN) - Guitar

Commented Mistheria: "Songwriting and arrangements are completed, recordings will start in the next weeks. The album will feature both original songs and heavy-arranged classical masterpieces (Albinoni, Bach, Beethoven, Chopin, Paganini, Rimsky-Korsakov). Songlist, artwork and label will be announced soon."

Mistheria's latest neo-classical/progressive metal album, "Dragon Fire", was released in 2010 via Lion Music.
Canadian metallers KITTIE have parted ways with bassist Ivy Vujic and have been rejoined by Trish Doan. Doan was previously with the band from 2005 to 2007, appearing on the band's 2007 release "Funeral For Yesterday".

Commented Ivy, "After a lot of touring and two albums with KITTIE, I feel it is time for me to move on. There are still other things for me to do in my life and although I will always appreciate KITTIE and the amazing fans we have, it does not fit my plans right now. I will, however, continue to write and play music and plan to eventually tour again.

"I really want to say that KITTIE seriously has some of the most incredible fans! I love how well we have been treated all over the world by KITTIE fans; you are truly amazing! Thank you for accepting me into your hearts and treating us all like family when we come through your towns. Bands need that love and support to keep them going strong, and KITTIE is nothing without you.

"I have made some life-long friends in different parts of the world and I hope to see you all again some day soon. You know who you are.

"My last appearances with KITTIE will be our upcoming hometown shows in London and Toronto this February, as well as the Soundwave festival in Australia immediately after.

"I wish the KITTIE girls the best of luck in all of their future endeavours and I know they will continue to be successful in whatever they do.

"Thanks for allowing me into your family, girls!"

Trish will join the band live after their Soundwave Festival appearance in Australia and hometown shows later this month are completed.

Stated Doan, "I am very happy to be reunited with the KITTIE family. The girls and I have remained close friends over the last seven years and I am excited to have this amazing opportunity. I am looking forward to seeing everyone when we go back on the road this spring. I wish Ivy all the best!"

KITTIE is excited to do one more batch of live dates with Ivy as it gives fans a prime opportunity to come out and say their goodbyes.

"Ivy has been friend and partner in crime for over four years. We love and respect her wishes to depart from the band and move onto another phase in her life." says KITTIE frontwoman Morgan Lander.

"Trish has been a member of our extended family since she joined the band in 2005 and we are welcoming her back into the band with open arms. We are ecstatic that she will be returning to bass duties and are looking forward to the tour this spring! We love both girls and are glad that we all remain friends, first and foremost."

KITTIE's new album, "I've Failed You", sold 3,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release to debut at position No. 178 on The Billboard 200 chart.

The band's previous CD, "In The Black", opened with around 3,400 units back in 2009 to land at No. 132.

KITTIE's fourth album, "Funeral for Yesterday", registered a first-week tally of 9,000 in February 2007 to enter the chart at No. 101.

"I've Failed You" was released on August 30, 2011 via eOne Music. The CD was recorded at Beach Road Studios in Goderich, Ontario, Canada. The band once again worked with producer Siegfried "Siggy" Meier, who helmed KITTIE's last CD, 2009's "In The Black".

GOD FORBID's solidified line-up, newly managed under World Entertainment's Alexander Ford and Gunter Ford, includes lead vocalist Byron Davis, guitarist/vocalist Doc Coyle, bassist John "Beeker" Outcalt, Corey Pierce on drums and newest member Matt Wicklund on guitar.

The band will support "Equilibrium" with heavy touring.

A demo version of a new GOD FORBID song, "Where We Come From", is available for streaming in the YouTube clip below. The track was originaly given away as a free download as part of a Victory Records Labor Day digital sampler.

GOD FORBID will debut some of its brand new material at the following East Coast shows in February:

Feb. 18 - Brooklyn, NY - St. Vitus
Feb. 24 - Clifton, NJ - Dingbatz

Commented Doc Coyle: "With only one show in 2011 and two months spent in the recording studio, we have been itching to get out and play. We thought it would be a great idea to get into an intimate setting in our area for the real GOD FORBID fans. Expect to hear some new songs and some old cuts that haven't played in a while."
Belgian thrashers AFTER ALL have tapped Swedish producer Dan Swanö to mix and master their new album, set for release on March 23 through Roadrunner Records. Swanö also worked on AFTER ALL's last album. "Cult Of Sin" (2009), and the band's two EP releases, "Betrayed By The Gods" (2010) and "Becoming The Martyr" (2011).

"As these releases led to the deal with Roadrunner, it was a no-brainer to get Dan on board again", commented AFTER ALL guitarist Dries Van Damme. Dan Swanö will mix and master the new AFTER ALL album at the infamous Unisound Studios in Örebro, Sweden.

In related news, legendary illustrator Ed Repka is currently finishing the artwork for AFTER ALL's forthcoming album. "Ed is a metal legend", said Dries Van Damme. "His artwork is what added extra greatness to our favourite releases of bands such as MEGADETH, EVIL DEAD, TOXIK, NUCLEAR ASSAULT, DEATH, and many others from the 1980s thrash scene. We're absolutely psyched to work with Ed on the concept and the design of the artwork."

AFTER ALL's new album is set for release on March 23. The as-yet-untitled record will be the band's eighth full studio album. AFTER ALL described the new songs as both the heaviest and the most versatile of their long-running career.

AFTER ALL is confirmed as direct support to NWOBHM legends ANGEL WITCH at their Belgian show on March 16 at JH Nijdrop in Opwijk.
Los Angeles thrashers HEXEN have completed work on their second album, "Being And Nothingness", to be released later in the year via Pulverised Records. Recorded, mixed, and mastered at Vivid Tone Recording Studio (LIVIDITY, GUTHRIE GOVAN) by producer Rich Bruce, the CD "sees the band going toward a far more mature, comprehensive, and thorough voyage of metal musicality, thus distancing themselves from being just another run-of-the-mill revival band," according to a press release.

To perfectly complement the visual aspects of "Being And Nothingness", HEXEN has engaged the hand-painted mastery of celebrated extreme metal illustrator Kristian Wåhlin/Necrolord (KING DIAMOND, DISSECTION, EMPEROR) for the album artwork.

"Being And Nothingness" will contain nine tracks of progressive thrash proficiency, closing with an epic 8-part suite:

01. Macrocosm
02. Grave New World
03. Defcon Rising
04. Private Hell
05. Walk As Many, Stand As One
06. Stream Of Unconsciousness
07. Indefinite Archetype
08. The Nescient
09. Nocturne:
i. Opus 55 ? 1 in Fmin
ii. Out of Reach
iii. Existential Crisis
iv. Entrance of the Absurd
v. The Unbearable Lightness of Being
vi. With Salvation I Persist
vii. Elegy of the Night
viii. End in Purplexity

Commented the band: "We are completely stoked for this long-worked-on, long-awaited second release and we can't wait to showcase this opus live to all our fans. Unlearn what you have learned about metal!"


Andre Hartoonian – Vocals, Bass
Ronny Dorian - Guitar
Tak Arayan - Guitar
Charlotte, North Carolina metallers FINAL CURSE will release their sophomore album, "Way Of The Accursed", in early 2012. The CD was recorded at Catalyst Recording studio in the band's hometown with producer/engineer Rob Tavaglione. It was mixed by Mike Spreitzer (DEVILDRIVER) at Ocean242 Studios and mastered by Jeff Waters (ANNIHILATOR) at Watersound Studios.

The band's mission with this album was to create an offering without filler, to showcase their ability to mix metal genres, and to just write "good fucking songs."

"Every song on this disc is a good song," says Madison Stegall, FINAL CURSE's lead/rhythm guitar player. "I know for a fact that metal fans are tired of labels insisting on 15-plus songs, half of which equal a good 30 minutes that you could have done something else. The greatest metal records of all time were compact, and concise. We were able to do exactly what we wanted to do. And we did."

Adds FINAL CURSE lead vocalist and rhythm/lead guitar player Mike Plowman: "Our style is a new recipe, yet is simply made from many of the same influences that many modern bands fail to channel or just completely copy. There are too many bands out there, that are on large labels, that you can point at and say 'KREATOR clone,' 'ALICE IN CHAINS clone', or 'PANTERA clone.' When you listen to us, you hear all the influences, yet we sound like us."
Indiana progressive metallers THE CONTORTIONIST made the trek down to Audiohammer Studios in Sanford, Florida earlier this week to begin recording the follow-up to their 2010 debut, "Exoplanet". Producers Jason Suecof and Eyal Levi (AUGUST BURNS RED, THE BLACK DAHLIA MURDER) will be behind the boards for the new album, which is set to hit stores in late spring/early summer via Good Fight Music.

Commented Good Fight Music label head Carl Severson: "THE CONTORTIONIST's jaw-dropping debut was a special record for Good Fight, being one of the first bands we signed to the label. Watching them grow since the release of 'Exoplanet' has been awesome. Coupling them with the talents of Jason and Eyal at Audiohammer is going to result in an utter monster of an album! Can't wait for it."

Added Suecof: "I'm ready for THE CONTORTIONIST to take my legs and pretzel them through my eyes while my ears get sonically brutalized."

Stated THE CONTORTIONIST guitarist Robby Baca: "It's really cool that we're recording in the same studio as some of the same bands that we've been listening to for a long time. Some of our favorite records have been produced here. Jason is crazy as fuck, Eyal is chill as fuck, and we're a combination of both so it's a great fit."

THE CONTORTIONIST will take part in a live fan chat hosted by Yowie.com on Thursday, February 16 at 3 p.m. ET/12 p.m. PT. Yowie.com is presenting a unique chance for fans to chat live with the band while they are on location at Audiohammer during the recording of the new album.

MetalInjection.net will be posting an exclusive video blog series following the band in the studio with Jason and Eyal over the course of the next few weeks. Fans can get an insider's look at the making of the new album, as well as a peek into Audiohammer studios.

THE CONTORTIONIST will continue its busy year in March, kicking off a run with ALL SHALL PERISH, CARNIFEX, FLESHGOD APOCALYPSE and CONDUCTING FROM THE GRAVE in Oakland, California on March 29.
ENABLER, the brain-melting hardcore punk/metal crossover band from Milwaukee, will release its brand new album via Southern Lord. Entitled "All Hail The Void", the CD will be produced with guitarist Greg Thomas (MISERY SIGNALS, SHAI HULUD, THE RISK TAKEN). Drums have already been tracked at Howl Street Recordings by Shane Hotchstetler (who has recorded a majority of the ENABLER discography). Guitar, bass, vocal tracking, and mixing will commence at Fuck City and Silver Bullet Studios, with Greg Thomas handling engineering and mixing duties. Original artwork and layout will be handled by Jimpaler (who has done art for their previous albums "Year One" and "War Begins With You").

ENABLER was formed by guitarist/vocalist and songwriter Jeff Lohrber and is said to be "cut from the same cloth as the likes of INTEGRITY, EARTH CRISIS, FROM ASHES RISE, NASUM and MASAKARI," according to a press release.

"All Hail The Void" track listing:

01. F.A.T.H.
02. The Heathens
03. Speechless
04. Fuck Today
05. False Profit
06. All Hail the Void
07. True Love
08. They Live, We Sleep
09. No Deliverance
10. Save Yourself
11. Trust
12. Funeral Dirge
Finnish metalcore group SINKING CHARLIE has just released a new EP, entitled "Shelter".

The track listing for the effort is as follows:

01. Siamese Amazement
02. Nap Stitches
03. Shelter

According to SINKING CHARLIE's official bio, the band was formed in June 2011, after the previous incarnation of the lineup with a different name disbanded, due to musical/artistic differences. The early musical influences were taken mostly [from] the Swedish melodic death metal scene and elements of black metal were heavily present."

SINKING CHARLIE's debut release was a two-song single, which was unleashed upon the world at the end of 2011 trough White-Noise Music Publishing.


Niko Finnilä - Vocals
Markus Suomela - Guitar
Sami Arvonen - Guitar
Henri Piispanen - Bass, Clean Vocals
Henri Kopra – Drums

For more information, visit the SINKING CHARLIE Facebook page.
Quebec's resurrected dark metallers MOONLYGHT have been rejoined by their original bassist Christian Jacques. The band states, "Christian played bass in MOONLYGHT from 1995 to 1998 and during that period he laid down his bass tracks on our first demo, 'Midwinter Melodies', besides participating with us for the composition of many songs.

"Christian has great musical knowledge. He played, among others, in the Quebec punk band MAP, but also with traditional music group MAUVAIS SORT. He is also author-composer-interpreter (he will release a solo album on February 21) and finally in the punk band ACHIGAN. Christian is very happy to work with us on that third opus!"
Century Media Records, the Finnish Metal Expo, Inferno magazine, Terrorizer magazine and Imperiumi.net joined forces in 2010 to find the "Suomi Metal Star 2011." Around 240 Finnish bands signed up to take part in the contest and 12 were selected to be voted on by the public prior to the end of that year. The four finalist bands played at the Finnish Metal Expo in Helsinki in February 2011 and it was ODDLAND from Turku who won over the majority of the jury members with its brand of sophisticated prog metal/rock — described as a cross between DEVIN TOWNSEND, OPETH and KATATONIA.

After spending months writing new material, ODDLAND will finally release its debut album, "The Treachery Of Senses", on April 30. The effort will be made available as regular CD and digital download.

"This record was long in the making, as most of the tracks were already composed when we got signed by Century Media, but even the older songs evolved a lot during pre-production," says ODDLAND vocalist/guitarist Sakari Ojanen. "We feel that in the end we succeeded in making a great record as a whole, rather than just a collection of individual songs."

He adds, "Working with Dan Swanö was very satisfactory — he really helped us attain the sound we were after. Also worth mentioning is the contribution of Samu Oittinen at Fantom Studios, who helped us nail the organic sound we wanted for the raw tracks.

"We feel there isn't too much of this kind of music out there, so hopefully 'The Treachery Of Senses' won't go unnoticed. In the end, we couldn't be happier with the outcome — we feel we made a killer debut album."

Swanö states: "One of the best albums I have mixed. Ever! Incredible songs, stellar musicianship. I am proud to be a part of this amazing record!"

ODDLAND teamed up with Elton Fernandes to perfect their artistic vision for "The Treachery Of Senses" album. Check out the cover artwork below.

"The Treachery Of Senses" track listing:

01. Above And Beyond
02. Flooding Light
03. In The Eyes Of The Mourning
04. Aisle Of Array
05. Past The Gates
06. Still The Spirit Stays
07. In Endless Endeavour
08. Sewers
09. Lines Of Silver Blood
10. Ire

ODDLAND was formed in 2003 when four 18-year-old "wimps" decided to play heavy music to as a mental anti-acne medication. The mental acne never disappeared, but neither did the passion to play overdriven music with captivating melodies and intense energy. So far they made two recordings: the EP "Connecions Critical Behind" (2007) and the demo/promo "Away From The Watching Eye" (2009).

For more information, visit the ODDLAND Facebook page.

MOONLYGHT will enter the studio this summer to record its third album, "Return To Desolation". Songtitles set to appear on the CD include "Return To Desolation", "Human Rememberance", "Dwelling In Earth's Shadow", "A Distant Illusion Of Freedom" and "The Sweet Poisonned Light".

Commented MOONLYGHT mainman Sebastien Robitaille: "I think that the essence of the 'new' MOONLYGHT 2012 is much more complete than what we've ever done in the past on 'Progressive Darkness' and 'Shining'."

MOONLYGHT is currently searching for a label home.

The band's sophomore album, "Shining", came out in March 2008 via Mankind's Demise Records (with Galy distribution).

MOONLYGHT re-released its first album, "Progressive Darkness" (originally issued in 2002 on the now-defunct Metal Disk Records), in 2004 via Sweden's Escapi.
VAURA, the new band featuring members of DYSRHYTHMIA, KAYO DOT and RELIGIOUS TO DAMN, will release its debut album, "Selenelion", on February 28 via Wierd Records (sic).

Less a collection of songs and more like an expedition into an elegantly foreboding universe, the eleven tracks that comprise the latest release from Wierd Records sound as if they were each crafted to evoke unearthly scenery and monolithic events.

From harsh distortion and aggressive screams to cold and shimmering clean guitars and vocals, the spectrum of sound on "Selenelion" is both varied and atmospherically cohesive. Thunderous drums, droning synthesizers, percussive metals, acoustic guitars, and vocal arrangements that sometimes approach ritualistic plainchant recall artists like ULVER and SWANS. VAURA's particular blend of brutality and romantic melodicism can be attributed in part to the stylistic mesh of musicians: Kevin Hufnagel, Toby Driver, Josh Strawn, and Charlie Schmid also play in GORGUTS, DYSRHYTHMIA, KAYO DOT, SECRET CHIEFS 3 and RELIGIOUS TO DAMN.

"Selenelion" was recorded and mixed by Colin Marston of progressive black metallists KRALLICE, and signals a nod for Wierd Records to the roots of founder Pieter Schoolwerth who is also member of the seminal noise outfit BLOODYMINDED and a continuing supporter of acts like LOCRIAN. The album title refers to a horizontal lunar eclipse: the moment at which the sun and the eclipsed moon can be seen at the same time. With songtitles referencing everything from an Etruscan demoness to a Luciferian take on the conversion of St. Paul, and with artwork by the German photographer Alexander Binder, the unifying thread is an unmistakable sense of shadow-drenched enigma. "Drachma" refers to the coins that bought passage for the dead into the underworld, suggesting that everything following that track is part of an Orpheus-like journey. But repeated nods to the occult literature of Jorge Luis Borges, in particular to "The Aleph" and "The Zahir", two stories that deal with infinity and vision, suggest that beyond the the dark hallucinations there is also a serious meditation taking place on the limits and paradoxes of seeing. Approaching such subject matter by way of something as invisible and intangible as music, VAURA invites the listener to share in a visceral, yet intimate ceremony of sensuality and destruction."
Dutch death/thrash metallers DEVIOUS have entered Soundlodge Studios in Rhauderfehn, Germany to begin recording their new EP, tentatively titled "Wolfhagen". Due on May 11, the seven-minute effort will include five new songs and two previously unreleased bonus tracks.

The bass tracks on the new EP are being laid down by Alwin Zuur (ASPHYX) following the departure of Daniël Centiago.

"Wolfhagen" will mark the recording debut of DEVIOUS' new singer, Dennis Lusseveld, who joined the band in November.

DEVIOUS' third full-length album, "Vision", was released in December 2009 via Deity Down Records.

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

In a posting on his Facebook page, former MEGADETH guitarist Marty Friedman — who moved to Japan in 2003 — wrote, "There were several fantastic musical moments on this year's Grammys. BUT — the Japanese music industry would not applaud and reward any singer who criminally beat the crap out of another singer. Nor would most other countries, I would bet. This is a sad difference between USA and Japan. I SO want to be proud of my home country... but I just can't get behind that kind of thing."
U.K. progressive black/death metallers DE PROFUNDIS have completed work onb their third album, "The Emptiness Within", to be released in April/May. The CD was once again produced by Fernando Pereira Lopes (MISANTHROPE, ORAKLE) and DE PROFUNDIS and was mixed at the Studios Davout (AC/DC, THE ROLLING STONES, OZZY OSBOURNE) in Paris, France.

"The Emptiness Within" track listing:

01. From The Depths... (intro)
02. Delirium
03. Silent Gods
04. This Wretched Plague
05. Twisted Landscapes
06. Release
07. Dead Inside
08. Parallel Existence (instrumental)
09. Unbroken (A Morbid Embrace)

DE PROFUNDIS' second album, "A Bleak Reflection", came out in February 2010 via Kolony Records.


Craig Land - Vocals
Roman Subbotin - Guitar
Shoi Sen - Guitar
Arran McSporran - Fretless Bass
Nick Tingle – Drums
Long-running French extreme metal band NO RETURN has inked a deal with Great Dane Records. The group is currently working on material for its eighth album, to be released later in the year.

Great Dane Records is a young label from the north of France created by Raph and Geoff (ex-DISGUST guitarist).

NO RETURN's seventh album, "Manipulated Mind", came out in 2008 via Dockyard 1.


David Barbosa: Bass
Boban Tomic: Drums
Nicolas Coudert: Guitar
Alain Clement: Guitar
L. Chuck D.: Vocals

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