[Classic_Rock_Forever] Scorpions, Metallica, Guns N Roses, Marilyn Manson, Slayer, Megadeth, Anthrax, and tons more hard rock and heavy metal news


German hard rock veterans SCORPIONS have scheduled the following North American tour dates:

June 08 - Reno, NV - Reno Events Center
June 09 - Mountain View, CA - Shoreline Amphitheater
June 11 - Salt Lake City, UT - USANA Amphitheatre
June 12 - Denver, CO - Red Rocks Amphitheatre
June 14 - Albuquerque, NM - Hard Rock Pavilion
June 15 - Phoenix, AZ - Comerica Theatre
June 17 - Tucson, AZ - Anselmo Valencia Amphitheater
June 20 - San Diego, CA - Valley View Center Arena
June 22 - Los Angeles, CA - Staples Center
June 23 - Las Vegas, NV - Thomas & Mack Center
June 27 - Grand Prairie, TX - Verizon Theatre at Grand Prairie
June 29 - Chicago, IL - Charter One Pavilion
June 30 - Milwaukee, WI - Summerfest
July 02 - Toronto, ON - Molson Canadian Amphitheater
July 03 - Montreal, QC - Bell Centre
July 06 - Holmdel, NJ - PNC Bank Arts Center
July 07 - Wantagh, NY - Jones Beach Theater
July 11 - Philadelphia, PA - Mann Center for Performing Arts
July 12 - Washington D.C. - Merriweather Post Pavilion

SCORPIONS' "Comeblack", a new album of classic rock covers and fresh performances of signature repertoire recorded last year, sold around 5,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release to debut at position No. 90 on The Billboard 200 chart.

SCORPIONS' last collection of all-original material, "Sting In The Tail", opened with 18,500 units to land at No. 23. This marked the band's highest chart debut in over 20 years. The CD also landed at No. 6 on the Rock Albums chart.

"Sting In The Tail" was released in North America on March 23, 2010 via Universal Music Enterprises. The CD was recorded at a studio in Hannover, Germany with Swedish producers Mikael "Nord" Andersson and Martin Hansen (the team behind THE RASMUS' "Dead Letters" CD).

Launched by guitarist Rudolf Schenker in 1965, SCORPIONS forged metal, rock and pop into a sound that's come to signify an entire genre through hard rock anthems like "Rock You Like A Hurricane" and hits like "Send Me An Angel", "Wind of Change" and "Still Loving You", selling more than 100 million records in the process.

In January 2010, SCORPIONS announced that the group's "Get Your Sting And Blackout" tour, an epic ongoing worldwide rock 'n' roll odyssey in support of 2010's "Sting In The Tail", would be the group's last before retirement. The tour is slated to run through early 2013 with a string of historic farewell blowouts and festival performances scheduled Europe culminating with shows at the Wacken Open Air festival (August 4, 2012) and Munich's Olympiahalle (October 13, 2012).

At some point during the "Get Your Sting And Blackout" tour ("We can't remember the day, the month or the hour"), SCORPIONS, enjoying the success of "Sting In The Tail" and the emotional rejuvenation of the farewell tour ("Screaming fans everywhere we went!") decided to record one last classic album. "The idea to go back to the studio was born out of pure excitement," said the band who cut an album mixing covers of rock 'n' roll standards that informed and inspired the SCORPIONS alongside new productions and performances of the songs in the band's core catalog that have proved the most meaningful to the members.

The result, "Comeblack", is, according to the band, "an encore for our die-hard fans, to thank them for all the support for so many years. At the same time, this is a tribute to legendary bands from the sixties, like THE BEATLES and THE ROLLING STONES, who have inspired us to follow our dreams. We hope you like it as much as we do... Rock on and ... Comeblack."
ATLANTIC CITY — Metallica, the rock band celebrating 30 years together, recently announced that the inaugural Orion Music + More music festival will hit Atlantic City for two days — June 23-24 — at Bader Field, the site of last year's multi-day Dave Matthews Band Caravan festival. The band's drummer Lars Ulrich spoke to Atlantic City Weekly on Thursday, Feb. 16, and had quite a bit to say about the festival, why they chose Atlantic City, the band's former members, and how they will plan for the big festival "the last couple of days [beforehand] we [will] start frantically trying to figure it all out."
Here is the entire interview.
What made you choose Atlantic City for the upcoming summer festival?
Well, obviously we've got a lot of friends in Philadelphia, in Jersey and New York, you know, D.C. and Baltimore and that whole area, so we knew we wanted the event to be on the East Coast. And we knew we wanted this event to be kind of central to that Northeastern pocket up where you guys are. A lot of the things we do, we kind of look at it as we have so many friends in Europe and Canada and all over the States and you guys are kind of in the middle, so if you're coming over from Europe you can fly into Philadelphia, you can fly into New York. If people want to come down from Toronto and Montreal and Quebec and such it's not too far. [Atlantic City's] location was really central. You've got good facilities, it's not, you know, like 39 miles on some two-lane country road — that kind of vibe, you know, so it's just the fact that it's practical, there's a lot of facilities and since we're not doing like a camping thing we thought it would be good to be close to infrastructure so the fans do have like the backbone of a place like Atlantic City at their disposal. 
An old-school Metallica fan maybe wouldn't expect to see you tour with bands like Gaslight Anthem and Modest Mouse, but that's really cool. What made you go in that direction since the line-up is not typically what we would expect? 
We've been playing festivals in Europe since basically the mid-'80s and so most of these festivals, you know, your Rothskilde and the Readings and the Rocket Wings and all these huge established groups having really, really varied line-ups on it, and, you know, to now obviously in America with Bonnaroo, etc. But we played those festivals in Europe for basically almost every year the last 25 years. The first festival we ever played was in Europe in 1986. Eric Clapton and Phil Collins were [among] the three headline bands so it's always been about variety and it's always been about diversity and kind of a musical experience that offers a different kind of thing for the fans, where it becomes kind of that people of all different ilks and passions kind of get together and experience lots of stuff that's different. ... That was kind of the spirit of what we wanted to do, that type of thing together instead of you know, here's Metallica with, you know, nine hardcore Norwegian metal bands, which may be cool in a different scenario, but this type of thing we wanted to do was more about variety and giving people a sense of discovery — where people might walk away and think something's really cool, you know? 
Does the idea of the outdoor Atlantic City festival, at a former airfield, bring up any memories of the show you headlined at the Air-Force base in Russia in the early 1990s before the collapse of the Soviet Union? 20 years later, does the political climate have any sort of similarity between the energy at that show and the energy expected at this show?
Haha, wow! Well, what happened in Russia in Moscow in 1991 was obviously a very unique situation. There was a student uprising and there was a political shift that was happening, kind of in the underbelly of the Soviet Empire at the time and we were brought in actually. I believe that what happened was there was a deal between the students and the government to bring in a music festival because that was what they wanted and so us and ACDC went up to Moscow and played a giant free gig for anyone that wanted to come. There was about 500,000 people that showed up. You've probably seen the footage, and it was an unbelievable experience because there was at least 25,000 soldiers, there were helicopters that were hovering over the audience and it was totally unlike anything that had ever happened in Moscow at the time. Obviously Atlantic City in 2012 will be a little bit of a different experience, not to my knowledge will there be any student uprisings, maybe there will be, but obviously it will have a little bit of a different flavor. But, you know, I don't know if there will be 25,000 soldiers there, but they probably wouldn't be in uniform, so it obviously will be a different thing. But speaking about that Moscow gig, when I look back over our last 30 years, obviously that was the most unique and total over the top experiences we've ever had. 
Your buddy Dave Mustaine caused a bit of a stir the last few days coming out in support of [GOP presidential candidate hopeful] Rick Santorum. Do you guys want to publicly come out in support of a candidate? Do you think politics has any place in heavy metal or should they be kept separate like church and state?  

We'll leave our peers to do that. I don't even follow what they've done. I know Dave speaks passionately and he speaks always kind of what he's thinking and feeling and I admire that, but I don't pay all that much attention to it. 
Recently, you have taken the stage with guests, could the Atlantic City crowd expect any surprises to show up at the June festival?

I would hope so. I mean, listen, these types of things are things we kind of have the tendency to do by the seat of our pants. It's February and we're four months away so probably the last couple of days we start frantically trying to figure it all out, you know, and I think that kind of energy is always more fun when it's a little more compulsive and a little more spontaneous and a little more momentary. We had an incredible week at the Fillmore [in San Francisco, in celebration of the band's 30th anniversary] and we had a lot of fun and I'm sure that the spirit of the Fillmore is definitely related to what we hope to accomplish in Atlantic City, [but] on a bigger scale where it becomes about an interactive experience and it's really about the music and the fans together. Something we share together and becomes an interactive thing rather than the two separate entities and I think that's why the Fillmore [shows] worked so well and I think that kind of spirit is what we're gonna try to bring to Atlantic City. I'm sure there will be plenty of special moments. There will certainly be special people there and usually in the wake of special people follow special moments.   
Your bassist Jason Newsted left the band in 2001 after 15 years, but has performed with the band for special occasions. It's rewarding for fans to see that there's no bad blood. Can we expect to see guest appearances from him or other members of the band in the future?
Again, we'll probably figure it out like a week before. We had a lot of fun with Jason. I love Jason dearly and, you know, it's always fun when he shows up. You want to find the right balance between having him show up when it's special and not showing up so much that it becomes predictable and so I'm sure we will play with Jason again and it was a lot of fun at the Fillmore to have him up there at the show.
Are you planning any sort of tribute to Cliff Burton?
Well, I mean you could argue that Orion, the name [of the Atlantic City festival], is in some way related to the song that kind of became his signature song on Master of Puppets. Cliff will always be a part of the spirit of this band and our hearts and the fans' hearts. You got to be careful that you don't drag every element of the past with you so it becomes sort of a nostalgic trip all the time and so I'm sure that Cliff will feature somehow in this festival, but I don't know if it's going to be: "And now you go to the Cliff Burton tent where you can see pictures of his childhood," you know what I mean? I don't know if it'll be quite that specific, but Cliff will always be a part of this band and when we play "Orion," which we have a lot in the last couple of years because it's a special moment, he certainly holds a big place in everybody's hearts. 
The Orion Festival is said to feature a lifestyle element. Could you tell us some more about that?
People that know about the members of Metallica kind of know our passions. We're very into different members going to different things, but obviously if I say people are into cars or people are into surfing or people are into films or art or whatever, I mean, the idea is that there's kind of an element to Metallica members that we'll share. It's a different experience so you can go in and kind of experience other stuff and we're still trying to figure all of that out because we [have] a very vivid imagination, but we also want to make sure it's not too over the top. You know like" "Go and surf with Kirk after Rob Trujillo in a giant wave pool!" We'll take it one step at a time, but it's going to be a bunch of really fun stuff. Exactly what it's going to be yet [we don't know]. People who know Metallica kind of know that we always step up on that kind of fun and it will be a lot of fun, but I can't sit down and tell you exactly that at 2pm on Saturday magicians are going to come out with fire up their asses. It'll be lots of really fun stuff and we've got a little bit of time to figure that out and also you don't want to necessarily — I don't want to have to get into a situation where I kind of have to sell everybody on this stuff. It's more like people who know us know it's going to be fun and cool and unique and kind of out there and so it should be really fun. I think that we're going to put together a festival experience that's going to be really special, but part of what we do is make it up as we go along so it's difficult to sit down and say let me tell you four months out exactly what's going to happen because that's not our forte.
Can we really expect to hear Ride the Lightning in its entirety?  
Well, that's certainly what's planned. We've played seven of those eight songs so I think the odds of it happening in the entirely are pretty good. The eighth song that we haven't played is not because it's too difficult to play so I think that the chances of all eight songs happening are pretty strong. There's a lot that can happen between now and June 23, but we'll see what happens. I say the odds are pretty good.
Could Orion become an annual event?  
If enough people show up and enough people give a shit and enough people have a good time then obviously we would love to do it every year. These types of things have a tendency to take a few years to get off the ground, you know, and with anything you go out there you have fun with it, you do the best you can, and then you do better the second year. I think it looks promising. We've got a lot cool bands, a lot of cool lifestyle things we're gonna do and I think it should have the potential to be something that happens every year. That's certainly the idea, but if no fucker shows up, obviously we're not gonna have a festival for our friends. So if people show up and are into it maybe we can make it happen every year.
*One of our Facebook fans and AC Weekly readers, Marc, wants to know that if this year is a success would you come back next year and play ...And Justice For All in its entirety?  
I think that we love to do any of that type of stuff. We don't want to do it so much that it becomes predictable, but, you know, we did Master of Puppets in its entirety about five years ago and I think we'd definitely come back and play Justice. I mean, when you've been around as long as Metallica has there's always an anniversary to be found somewhere, you know, and I think there's a good chance to continue to play, if people dig it, on a yearly basis if people are psyched about it and we feel good about it.
How's your tennis game these days?
My game is not good enough! What we should do is put a tennis court on this festival and maybe some people can go over and give me some tennis lessons. I don't play as much as I should, but I definitely try to and I try to do as much as I can. It just doesn't quite work out, but I'll bring my tennis racket to Atlantic City and if anybody wants to hit some balls they can find me behind the third empty hangar over there. 
Fresh from their critically acclaimed, sold-out-in-minutes "New York Takeover" and subsequent intimate run of shows along the eastern seaboard, GUNS N' ROSES will be taking over Los Angeles in March with a three-date club run, announced today.

It's been 22 years since GUNS N' ROSES last visited the Hollywood Palladium, where they have set their first stop on the L.A. run on March 9. GN'R will make their first appearances two L.A. music landmarks, The Wiltern on March 11, and House of Blues Sunset Strip on March 12.

Pre-sale for the "Los Angeles Takeover" will begin on Thursday, March 1 at 10 a.m. PT, public onsale is slated for Friday, March 2 at 10 a.m. PT.

GUNS N' ROSES U.S. tour dates:

March 01 - Tabernacle - Atlanta, GA
March 03 - House of Blues - Orlando, FL
March 05 - Fillmore Miami Beach - Miami, FL
March 09 - Hollywood Palladium - Los Angeles, CA
March 11 - The Wiltern - Los Angeles, CA
March 12 - House of Blues - West Hollywood, CA

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.
Drummer Jason Sutter, the most recent addition to MARLYN MANSON's touring lineup, has unveiled a brand new, all-black, custom-built drum kit during the first of his shows with the band.

The "Sutter Manson Born Villain Set" is a Ludwig Legacy kit in a semi-matt Eggshell Black with black powder-coated hardware. The kit's Paiste cymbals are the company's 2002 Alpha series in Black Colorsound. Jason recently signed a new endorsement deal with Regal Tip sticks and is using his Signature series throughout the MANSON world tour. He uses DW Drums 9000 series including the brand's 9000 double pedal and Remo drumheads in black finish.

An accomplished touring musician who performed with Chris Cornell for three years as well as FOREIGNER, NEW YORK DOLLS and VERTICAL HORIZON, to name just a few, Los Angeles-based Jason took the MANSON gig at the end of 2011 after Chris Vrenna decided to step down from the role. He recently told Jerome Marcus at Mikedolbear.com, "I only found out I had an audition the day before. I had already started learning songs just in case but I still only had a few hours to learn three more and get my drums to the audition when I found out. It was one of the more hectic ones I've experienced!"

The kit was made specifically for Manson's 2012 "Born Villain" tour which is currently taking Jason across Australia for the touring Soundwave Festival. Jason and the band then head to Japan and Taiwan for shows before returning to the U.S. for a headline tour. Spring/summer 2012 is shaping up to be a mammoth run of both festival and headline dates across Europe.
Samson, Hartke, Zoom and Best Buy are pleased to announce the third installment of Samson's "Metal Masters" series, which will be held on Thursday, April 12 at the Key Club on the famed Sunset Strip in West Hollywood, CA. Doors will open at 7:00 p.m.

Having blown audiences away at "Metal Masters 2" in New York City with surprise appearances by Philip Anselmo (PANTERA, DOWN) and Scott Ian (ANTHRAX), as well as a full ANTHRAX performance, Charlie Benante and Frank Bello (both of ANTHRAX), David Ellefson (MEGADETH), Mike Portnoy (ADRENALINE MOB, ex-DREAM THEATER), Kerry King and now Dave Lombardo (both of SLAYER) are back on the West Coast with an exclusive metal experience that's bigger than ever. Artists will perform both individually and collectively, demonstrating their personal techniques and how they all come together to create the music that millions bang their heads to every day.

"We're extremely excited to be working with Best Buy to bring Metal Masters back to the West Coast where it originated," says Mark Menghi, Samson's Director of Marketing. "And with the artists we have participating and the surprises we have planned, 'Metal Masters 3' is going to be the best one yet."

Tickets are available for $20 (on a first-come-first served basis) at the Key Club's box office, located at 9039 Sunset Boulevard, or via www.keyclub.com. With door giveaways and surprise guests, all should purchase their tickets early for this all-ages event to witness the return of the "Metal Masters".
Former DIO and current DC4 guitarist Rowan Robertson will join forces with former MICHAEL SCHENKER GROUP singer Jari Tiura for a two-week tour of Finland in June.

The band lineup will consist of the following musicians:

* Jari Tiura (MSG) - Vocals
* Rowan Robertson (DIO) - Guitars
* Marko Pukkila (ALTARIA) - Bass
* Sven Vannäs (DOOGIE WHITE) - Keyboards

Confirmed dates so far:

June 13 - Helsinki, On The Rocks
June 15 - Kokkola, The Rock
June 16 - Utajarvi, Untorock
June 22 - Maarianhamina, Dinos
June 23 - Maarianhamina, Dinos

More shows will be added soon.
"Not Supposed To Sing The Blues", the new single from Swedish hard rockers EUROPE, will be released digitally on March 9. The song comes off the band's ninth studio album, "Bag Of Bones", due on April 27 via earMusic/Edel. The CD, which features a guest appearance by blues-rock guitarist Joe Bonamassa (BLACK COUNTRY COMMUNION), was produced by Kevin Shirley, who has previously worked with IRON MAIDEN, JOE BONAMASSA, BLACK COUNTRY COMMUNION, BLACK STONE CHERRY and JOURNEY, among others.

Commented EUROPE frontman Joey Tempest: "Kevin Shirley did such a great job capturing the spirit of this band. He just let us do our thing and then pushed us and our songs to the max. Finally we express ourselves completely without restraint. Straight from heart and soul. It took some time but we have arrived!"

Added EUROPE guitar virtuoso John Norum: "Why drive VW beetle when you can drive a Rolls Royce?! 'Bag Of Bones' is a classic rock album with lots of class. Even my mom likes it!"

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

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

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

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

earMUSIC last year released a limited deluxe book with pictures by Denis O'Regan. "Live Look At Eden" features exclusive live audio and the stunning performance at 2010's iTunes Festival in London.
Candlelight Records has set a June 5 North American release date for FEAR FACTORY's new album, "The Industrialist". Produced by the band with Rhys Fulber (FRONT LINE ASSEMBLY), the CD was mixed by Greg Reely (PARADISE LOST, SKINNY PUPPY, MACHINE HEAD). It features additional tracking by Logan Mader (GOJIRA, DIVINE HERESY, FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH) and artwork by Anthony Clarkson (DEVIN TOWNSEND).

"The Industrialist" is a conceptual album that brings to life a story scripted by vocalist Burton C. Bell. The album's lyrics detail the plot of the original narrative while delivering FEAR FACTORY's massive signature sound. Bell reveals, "The album is a futuristic tale of an automaton, striving to survive by fighting for its existence within a desperate world. The lyrics tell the story while the music takes our industrial roots and blends them more perfectly than ever with our metal edge. And all without losing the sound that makes FEAR FACTORY a machine of sonic devastation. FEAR FACTORY fans of any era will not be disappointed."

Clocking in at just under one hour, the album's ten songs again unite Bell with guitarist Dino Cazares. It is the second album written by the duo, reuniting in 2009 after a seven year split. Cazares says, "Collaborating with Burton again on the new album was like magic. Everything just fell into place naturally. It felt good to recapture the true sound of FEAR FACTORY, taking it back to where it all started while raising it to new levels."

"The Industrialist" again pairs FEAR FACTORY with long-time friend Rhys Fulber. Their collaborations together include five albums and two remixes, including the gold-certified CD "Obsolete". "Rhys has been our secret member," shares Cazares. "He is the one producer who has been able to understand what we have been trying to accomplish from the beginning and has opened our eyes to new things without sacrificing our original sound. His talents in production and keyboard/samples has made FEAR FACTORY stand out amongst the many bands of our genre."

"The Industrialist" follows the 2010 release of "Mechanize". Widely regarded, the album was the first release from the band in six years and the first new material from the nucleus of Bell and Cazares since 2002. The effort debuted on Billboard's Top 100 album chart week of release and continues to sell in early 2012.

FEAR FACTORY recently announced their first tour dates since 2011. Joining them for the tour that is set to kick off on May 1 is Boston's SHADOWS FALL, Kansas City-based THE BROWNING, Riverside, California's THE DEVASTATED, and LEGACY OF DISORDER from New Zealand.

FEAR FACTORY recently enlisted Matt DeVries as the band's new bass player. DeVries, previously of CHIMAIRA (where he played guitar) and most recently SIX FEET UNDER, joined FEAR FACTORY as the replacement for Byron Stroud (now with 3 INCHES OF BLOOD).

Cazares and vocalist Burton C. Bell commented: "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 added: "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 Cazares and Bell 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).
Vocalist Peter Dolving has announced via his Facebook page that he has left the Swedish metal band THE HAUNTED. He writes, "I am officially quitting THE HAUNTED. After years of working with the band, I am out. I have had it. I will NOT answer questions to why. It's no one else's business. Thank you very much. I am looking forward to seeing you people at other shows with other projects."

The remaining members of THE HAUNTED have released a short statement confirming that "Peter has decided to leave THE HAUNTED permanently." They added, "We don't have any more news or info for you regarding this at the moment, but stay tuned for future updates. We just wanted to put and end to all the rumors out there."

Previously a vocalist for MARY BEATS JANE, Dolving joined THE HAUNTED in 1997 and sang in their debut self-titled album. In 1998, he left the group to concentrate on a band called ZEN-MONKEY but returned in 2003 following the departure of Marco Aro (the vocalist which took over Dolving's spot after Peter's 1998 exit). He has since appeared on the studio albums "Revolver" (2004), "The Dead Eye" (2006), "Versus" (2008) and "Unseen" (2011).

THE HAUNTED's seventh studio CD, "Unseen", sold around 1,200 copies in the United States in its first week of release. The effort landed at position No. 33 on the Top New Artist Albums (Heatseekers) chart, which lists the best-selling albums by new and developing artists, defined as those who have never appeared in the Top 100 of The Billboard 200.

"Unseen" was released on March 29, 2011 via Century Media Records. The CD was once again recorded with longtime producer Tue Madsen (MOONSPELL, DARK TRANQUILLITY, GOREFEST, SICK OF IT ALL) at his Antfarm Studio in Århus, Denmark.
"Metalheads - The Global Brotherhood", a new book by Jörg Brüggemann about the lives and passion of heavy metal fans around the world captured in vivid images, will be released in March via the German publisher Gestalten.

The official book description: "Heavy metal is a phenomenon. Although this musical genre is still ridiculed by many, it is currently more popular and successful around the world than at its supposed peak in the 1980s. Today, so-called metalheads can be found worldwide. No matter who they are or where they come from, they are united by heavy metal across borders, generations, genders, religions, and social classes. The photographer Jörg Brüggemann traveled to Argentina, Austria, Brazil, Egypt, Germany, Indonesia, Malaysia, Switzerland and the USA to shoot pictures of heavy metal fans. 'Metalheads' is a collection of the resulting images, which strikingly portray them and their passion. The atmosphere of concerts and clubs is captured with such authenticity that viewers can practically smell the beer and sweat, and hear a ringing in their ears. The photography in 'Metalheads' is complemented by informative texts that put the global metal scene into context, share personal experiences, and describe the evolution of this musical genre from its humble beginnings until the present day. 'Metalheads' is accompanied by a complimentary CD sampler from Nuclear Blast."

Format: 28 x 22.5 cm
Features: 160 pages, full color, hardcover, landscape format
Language: English
ISBN: 978-3-89955-420-5
Catalog Price: €39.90 / $60.00 / £37.50
Shop Price: €39.90
Four musicians who performed on KING DIAMOND's 1990 album, "The Eye" — guitarists Andy La Rocque and Pete Blakk, bassist Hal Patino and drummer Snowy Shaw — are featured on "Free Falling Angels", the forthcoming debut album from Patino's son, Danish rock singer Maryann Cotton (born Jackie Patino). The CD, which also features guitarist Sebastain Sly, has already been recorded and will be mixed next week for a May release via Pure Steel Records.

Said Maryann: "The album will consist of 11 old school garage rock songs, combined with a brutal and dirty rhythm sections, to the most beautiful orchestra arrangements."

Blakk, Hal Patino and Shaw are also expected to be part of Cotton's touring band, which will begin playing shows in the fall.

Maryann Cotton's career was launched in 2006 when he performed live on Danish TV as part of the "Scenen Er Din" program (Danish version of "Star Search").

King Diamond stated about Maryann's Shock Me" single (which also featured appearances by La Rocque, Blakk, Hal Patino and Shaw), "I checked out the Maryann Cotton song 'Shock Me'. I really liked it. It reminded me in a positive way of Alice Cooper 1971. I think his vocals fit really well in the music, and the few backing vocals he did seemed to make everything sound a lot bigger. Normally horn sections really give me the creeps, but the way they used it in this song, I didn't mind. Great musicians, of course. I really look forward to hear more songs from him, so I can begin to get the full picture."
According to The Pulse Of Radio, GODSMACK frontman Sully Erna will hit the road on a new run of solo dates starting in late March. Just four shows have been announced so far, with more to be confirmed shortly. Erna will tour to promote the release of "Avalon Live", his upcoming live DVD/Blu-ray that features the singer and an eight-piece band performing songs from his 2010 solo debut, "Avalon". A late April release for the disc is planned, although an exact arrival date has yet to be confirmed.

Many fans feared when Erna announced his solo project a couple of years ago that it would mean the end of GODSMACK. But Erna told The Pulse Of Radio that nothing could be further from the truth. "For me, I didn't go off and do a solo thing because I was angry at my band," he said. "As an artist, I need both for balance. It's just creative, you know, juices that need to come out and I can't write some of the stuff I wrote for the solo record and fit it into GODSMACK's world. It doesn't work, it's not the same texture."

The limited edition of "Avalon Live" will include the show, a documentary and behind-the-scenes footage on three DVDs, two CDs, a book, T-shirt, guitar pick, poster, incense, and a custom Sully Erna engraved metal box with a suede lining. There will only be 5,000 of the box sets produced.

GODSMACK is currently recording an EP of cover songs that will accompany the release of the band's first live album later this spring. The group will hit the road on a co-headlining run with STAIND in April.

Newly announced Sully Erna tour dates (subject to change):

Mar. 30 - Sayreville, NJ - The Starland Ballroom
Apr. 01 - Huntington, NY - The Paramount
Apr. 06 - North Tonawanda, NY - Riviera Theater
Apr. 07 - Stroudsburg, PA - The Sherman Theater
News.com.au recently conducted an interview with SLIPKNOT drummer Joey Jordison. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.

On receiving odd gifts from fans:

Jordison: "I had a gift given to me from a young lady when I was touring with (ROB) ZOMBIE and I was like, 'OK, well, thank you' and I took it back and I opened it up and it had like a weird smell. But it's not what you think what it was, well, it was definitely odd. I used to work in funeral homes, that was my family's business for a long time, so it didn't spook me too much but I was wondering where this person got this from. [Basically, it was a whole person's arm.] It wasn't like an actual arm, just the bones. It was odd, but hey ..."

On touring the world and releasing four albums while dealing with the ongoing conflict that inevitably comes with a band of nine members:

Jordison: "I think it takes a certain type of person to take on such a vigorous touring schedule especially with a band like SLIPKNOT. We're not like a normal band; there's nine of us, the music is not easy to play, the way we perform with such energy really takes its toll on your body and then you've got masks and coveralls and blowing the stage up every other night on tour it does take a toll."

On the death of SLIPKNOT bassist, founding member and his best friend Paul Gray in 2010:

Jordison: "It's so tragic and it's horrible, but life has to go on and the last thing (Paul) would ever want is for us to throw in the towel. I miss my friend very, very much and no matter what he'll still be on every SLIPKNOT record, spiritually. And we have a lot that we've written together that hasn't seen the light of day yet, some monster riffs. I will miss him forever but you can't sit and wallow and make excuses for not continuing SLIPKNOT."

On SLIPKNOT singer Corey Taylor's ambivalent stance towards making a new album without Gray:

Jordison: "I've been in and out of the studio for about six months now that's on the SLIPKNOT record and also on some solo stuff as well. He (Taylor) does want to keep doing it."

On his solo project:

Jordison: "Yeah, I'm gonna be forming a band in the near future with a lot of the material I've been writing lately. I don't want to release too much but I have been in the studio and I think people will be pretty surprised at what I come up with. It's heavy! But (SLIPKNOT) is all I care about right now. We are one of a kind, for sure. No one will ever be like us."
Alex Skolnick, lead guitarist for thrash metal veterans TESTAMENT, will shred the stage with SHITKILL, IN MUSTH and SAINT AVARICE to celebrate the first birthday of UnBlock The Rock (UBTR), a grassroots organization dedicated to breaking down political barriers through the power of heavy metal. The first initiative of UBTR is to bring Cuban heavy metal band ESCAPE, featured in the documentary "They Will Be Heard", to the U.S. to tour with their headbanging neighbors.

"Metal is empowering, and bands want to share their music with the whole world," said Skolnick who will perform TESTAMENT's rock anthem "Souls Of Black" with members from participating bands on March 2. "ESCAPE is a great band. Why shouldn't they perform in front of an American audience?"

Skolnick has been working with UBTR since April 2011. His interest in helping the band came from his own work as a mentor and music producer for the Iraqi heavy metal band ACRASSICAUDA, the subject of the critically acclaimed documentary "Heavy Metal In Baghdad". The film followed ACRASSICAUDA and their struggles to perform their music in a war torn nation. The band has since relocated to the United States.

Monica Hampton, producer of "Heavy Metal in Baghdad" and "Fahrenheit 911", is also at the helm of UBTR, and has been guiding the development of the organization. Originally an effort to bring ESCAPE to New York to perform, it was Hampton who broadened the organization to include metal bands from all over the world. "It was incredible to see ACRASSICAUDA successfully tour across America last summer; they grew as musicians and as people," she said. "We need more artists from around the world to tour the U.S. and share their music with us, UBTR will make that happen."

Skolnick and Hampton have worked with UBTR on several projects, including "UnBlock The Cocktail", a recent "Top Chef"-style cocktail competition and fundraiser in Manhattan, for which Skolnick and Hampton were judges. The winning cocktail, 53 Cadillac, was created by "Izzi", Boca Grande's own bartender, it will be available as a drink special for the first time the night of the birthday show.

UBTR was born from the documentary "They Will be Heard", the first feature-length film on Cuban heavy metal. Director Tracey Noelle Luz followed ESCAPE in Cuba for nine months, immersing herself in the Cuban metal culture. Luz and Jennifer Hernandez, the original keyboard player of ESCAPE who currently resides in New Jersey, launched UBTR in February of 2011.

"Like most world-changing movements, UBTR was born in the kitchen with two women," Luz said. "Working with only some vision and a little bit of fight, the UBTR family has only expanded, proving that what brings us together is stronger than what separates us. ESCAPE will be performing in New York soon enough."

Because of immigration policies between the two countries, the visa process to bring musicians from Cuba to the U.S. is expensive and time consuming.

The event will take place on Friday, March 2 from 10:30 p.m. to 2 a.m. at Boca Grande, located at 564 Washington Blvd, in Jersey City's ultra-hip Newport waterfront. Tickets are available for those 21 and older at the door. $10 includes admission to the party of year and, of course, cake. A percentage of proceeds from the event go to UBTR in efforts to bring ESCAPE to the U.S. to perform.
On April 8, Akashic Books will publish "Letters To Kurt" by Eric Erlandson, guitarist, songwriter, and co-founder of the band HOLE.

Written as an elegy for his friend, late NIRVANA frontman Kurt Cobain, the book takes the form of 52 letters, and is an anguished, angry, and bleeding-heart meditation on rock 'n' roll, sex, suicide, and the questions that follow.

"It just wasn't feeling right to write a memoir-style book, and this one just came out of me a couple years ago," Erlandson said in an interview with The New York Times. "It felt like the right way to go, but at the same time, I had a lot of hesitation. At some point, it just started to click, and I started to honor it."

"I see these letters as songs; a fifty-two-card pick-up," said Erlandson, who studied writing in the years following HOLE and found inspiration in the work of Jim Harrison, Patti Smith, and Charles Bukowski. "In no way do I intend to glorify or romanticize Kurt's chosen way out, nor make light of it . . . I thought if I could sort out my struggles and disappointments, face my demons, maybe I would be in a position to help others."

Erlandson has major book events scheduled in Los Angeles, New York City, and San Francisco, with more to follow.

Erlandson was born and raised in San Pedro, California. He is best known as co-founder, songwriter, and lead guitarist of the alternative rock band HOLE, which he formed with Courtney Love. Their albums "Pretty on the Inside", "Live Through This" and "Celebrity Skin" achieved international recognition and success. "Live Through This" was named one of the top 100 albums of all time by Time magazine. Since the breakup of the band in 2002, Erlandson has been involved in a number of musical and literary projects. He has a BS in Economics from Loyola Marymount University and practices Nichiren Shoshu Buddhism. He currently lives in Los Angeles.

Eric Erlandson book events:

** March 29 at 7 p.m.
Skylight Books
1818 N. Vermont Ave.
Los Angeles, CA

** April 5 at 7 p.m.
Barnes & Noble Union Square
33 East 17th St.
New York, NY

Upstairs at the Square presents a conversation with Eric Erlandson, followed by musical performances by Eric Erlandson & Melissa Auf der Maur

** April 8 at 6 p.m.
Basilica at 6 p.m.
110 Front St.
Hudson, NY

Reading by Eric Erlandson, music by Melissa Auf der Maur, Eric Erlandson, and Patty Schemel, and a screening of "Hit So Hard".

** April 23 at 8 p.m.
366 North La Cienega Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA

** April 26 at 7 p.m.
City Lights
261 Columbus Ave.
San Francisco

For more information, go to this location.
Jerry Gaskill, drummer for legendary rockers KING'S X, suffered a heart attack Sunday, February 26, and was rushed to the hospital. After undergoing an emergency operation, Jerry was placed in intensive care, where he currently remains.

According to a posting on KING'S X's official Facebook page, "Jerry is still on a ventilator while also dealing with pneumonia in both lungs but is recovering. Doctors say it's a slow process, but things are headed in the right direction. Good news!"

In light of Jerry's sudden hospitalization, all previously announced North American tour dates for KING'S X have been cancelled. Jerry will be taking the time to recover back to full health so that he can hopefully join the band behind the drums at some point in the future.

KING'S X was scheduled to launch a three-week tour on March 28 in Austin.

Gaskill and Doug Pinnick have been playing together since 1979, when they met in Springfield, Missouri.

KING'S X is celebrating the 20th anniversary of its self-titled Atlantic debut this year.

KING'S X's 2008 album, "XV", sold 4,450 copies in the United States in its first week of release to debut at position No. 145 on the Billboard 200 chart. This marked the first time in over a decade that the band had cracked the Top 200 in the first week of release.

KING'S X's "Gretchen Goes To London: Live At The Astoria 5.6.90" DVD was released in November 2008 via Molken Music. The set documents the historic show at the Astoria Theatre in 1990 and includes never-before-seen footage. The DVD was produced by Wally Farkas and has a running time of 64 minutes.
Multi-national heavy metal act RAVEN LORD has announced the addition of former BLAZE BAYLEY drummer Lawrence "Larry" Paterson (BLAZE BAYLEY, CHOKEHOLD, SINOCENCE, ARBITRATER) to the group's ranks.

Commented the band: "Larry lives in U.K. and comes with tour experience. Larry will be handling the drum duties and completes RAVEN LORD's lineup."

Preliminary work on a new RAVEN LORD album has already begun, with various songs at different stages of completion. Two new songs — "End Of World" and "Saints & Sinners" — can be heard at this location.


* Stefan Lindholm (VINDICTIV) – Lead Guitar
* Julian Barrett (TARJA TURUNEN, BARILARI, LORIHEN) – Lead, Rhythm Guitar
* Jamie Mallender (TONY MARTIN) – Bass
* Lawrence "Larry" Paterson (BLAZE BAYLEY, STUKA SQUADRON, SINOCENCE) – Drums

Unashamedly wearing their heavy metal roots on their leather studded sleeves, RAVEN LORD combine the classic metal feel of the past with a modern edge of the present. Thunderous bass lines, pounding drums with razor sharp riffs blend with distinct heavy, melodic vocals to create powerful and memorable songs. The music that RAVEN LORD brings to you simply stuns — no pretensions — just hell of a metal entertainment.

With the album in the pipeline, the band is already attracting attention from labels and heavyweight producers who are all eager to get involved. RAVEN LORD are priming themselves to deliver the most metallic carnage across the globe.
HELL'S DOMAIN, the Danish thrash metal band featuring former members of HATESPEHERE, KOLDBORN, EXMORTEM and ARTILLERY, is currently wrapping up the songwriting for its as-yet-untitled debut album. Songtitles set to appear on the CD include "Hangman's Fracture", "Dead Civilization", "The Walls Come Tumblin' Down" and "The Needle And The Vein".

In other news, HELL'S DOMAIN will play its second concert on May 12 in their hometown Aarhus supporting veteran death 'n' rollers ENTOMBED.

HELL'S DOMAIN was formed by guitarist Bjørn Bihlet (ex-KOLDBORN, BOIL) and bassist Lars Knudsen (ex-CRIONIC) in 2007 with the intention of churning out some catchy Bay Area-inspired thrash metal. Soon joined by Anders Gyldenøhr (ex-HATESPHERE, ARTILLERY) on drums and Alex Clausen (MONSTAH) on vocals, the band completed its lineup in 2011 with the addition of former EXMORTEM axeman Andreas Schubert.

HELL'S DOMAIN released a three-song demo in 2011. The effort can be streamed at the band's Facebook page.

HELL'S DOMAIN 2012 is:

* Alex Clausen (ex-GROPE, MONSTAH) - Vocals
* Bjørn Bihlet (ex-KOLDBORN, HORNED ALMIGHTY) - Guitar
* Andreas Schubert (ex-EXMORTEM) - Guitar
* Lars Knudsen (ex-CRIONIC) - Bass
* Anders Gyldenøhr (ex-HATESPHERE, ARTILLERY, GROPE) – Drums
Former INTO ETERNITY guitarist and current FINAL DARKNESS mainman Rob Doherty has tapped ex-INTO ENTERNITY drummer Adam Sagan for FINAL DARKNESS's upcoming shows.

Commented Doherty: "Adam is the first piece of the live puzzle, we are currently looking for a bass player and a guitarist who can sing to round out our live band.

"I spent a lot of time working with Adam when we toured with INTO ETERNITY. He is a really great drummer and just as importantly a brother. He is a hard worker and really easy to get along with. I am looking forward to getting this live band together and both he and I are excited about getting back to business and playing some metal!"
British extreme metal pioneers BOLT THROWER will play a very special 25th-anniversary show, Boltfest, on Saturday, April 7 (Easter Bank Holiday weekend) at the HMV Forum in London, England. Joining them on the bill will be AUTOPSY, DISCHARGE, BENEDICTION and VALLENFYRE.

Commented BOLT THROWER: "Every band on the bill has contributed in one way or another to some great memories over the last 26 years of BOLT THROWER, so it's an absolute pleasure to have them all onboard!! Seeing that all five bands on the bill only play a few select shows a year, this should be a very special night!"

For more information, go to this location.

BOLT THROWER previously stated about its decision to stage Boltfest, "Anniversaries are kind of easy to achieve. For a band, just don't split up and you'll reach one, whether it's 10, 20 or 35 years. And this year we've reached '25 years of not splitting up!' We managed to stop others from making a big fuss about it, and didn't give in to the numerous offers and suggestions on how we should cash in on it! But it has made us appreciate the opportunities we've been given since 1986, and that we've been able to do everything we wanted to do without compromising in any way.

"We've been lucky enough to have played a lot of killer shows with great bands and met a lot of very cool people over the years, and we think that's the stuff that deserves some kind of celebration. So, we want to organize a ['Boltfest'], where we can reunite with some of these bands and invite you, the people who have supported us over the last 25 years."

As previously reported, the last three albums from BOLT THROWER"Mercenary" (1998), "Honour Valour Pride" (2001) and "Those Once Loyal" (2005) — were reissued on vinyl on October 24, 2011 via Metal Blade Records. All three albums were released as gatefold LPs in colored vinyl, limited to 1,000 units each.

BOLT THROWER indefinitely postponed plans to record a new studio album after the band realized that the new stuff it had written "just doesn't match up" to the group's last CD, "Those Once Loyal". "We have a lot of pride in our back catalogue, and we refuse to turn into one of the many bands (like the ones we grew up listening to) who end up releasing crap, and we're also not prepared to compromise by instead releasing an album of cover versions or a 'best-of' album," BOLT THROWER explained in a statement.

"Those Once Loyal" entered the German Media Control chart at position No. 76 — the group's highest-charting release in Germany so far. The follow-up to 2001's "Honour, Valour, Pride" was recorded at Andy Faulkner's Sable Rose studios and was the band's first album since the return of original vocalist Karl Willetts as a full-time member.
Long-defunct Finnish old-school death metallers CONVULSE have announced plans to reunite for at least two festival appearances in their home country this summer: July 27 at Tuhdimmat Tahditin in Nokia and August 11 at Jalometalli in Oulu.

Formed in 1988 under the name S.D.S., CONVULSE's first release was the "Resuscitation Of Evilness" demo cassette in 1990. The success of the demo led to a deal with the French record label Thrash Records, which released the band's first full-length album, "World Without God". A CD-single, "Lost Equilibrium", followed in 1993 via Relapse Records, after which CONVULSE prepared to record its second album, "Reflections". The group travelled to Sunlight Studios in Sweden and laid down the effort in a one-week period. The following year (1993) was dedicated to CONVULSE members performing their mandatory military service in Finland, which delayed the release of "Reflections" until the summer of 1994 (also through Relapse). An attempt to regroup in support of the CD ended "with poor results," and after serious discussions, a decision was made to put CONVULSE to rest.

CONVULSE 2012 is:

Rami Jämsä: Guitar, Growls
Juha Telenius: Bass
Kristian Kangasniemi: Guitar
Rolle Markos: Drums
Danish melodic death metallers COMPOS MENTIS have issued the following update:

"It has been a while since our last update, and it is time for you to know what is going on in the COMPOS MENTIS camp.

"Shortly after the release of [COMPOS MENTIS' third album] 'Our Kingdom Of Decay' [in June 2009], half of the members lost the drive and decided to pull out of the band. One of the reasons was the fact that we were all getting increasingly busy with work, families, and other bands (Ken [Holst, guitar] for his part plays in CROCELL and ILLDISPOSED while Rune [Klausen, keyboards] plays the bass in KISS ME SCARLETT).

"What was probably equally important, however, was that our own expectations for 'Our Kingdom Of Decay' were not exactly fulfilled when it came out. We had been working intensely on that album for a long time and put a lot of energy and money into it, and we were all quite worn out when the album was finally released. We were, and still are, really proud of that album but we did not put the necessary effort into promoting it and the release left us in some kind of void. Therefore, the last two years have been rather dull and non-productive for COMPOS MENTIS. And last summer it peaked when Ken, Claus [Tørnes, bass] and Rune took the final decision of parting ways with the band. Somewhat depressing, but we're all still best friends nonetheless.

"Right now the status is that we are not searching for replacements, and we are most likely not releasing anything within the next year. But since last summer the rest of us — the three original and founding members [Jesper Heinsvig on vocals, Ryan Kristensen on guitar and Andreas Posselt on drums] — have been trying out different ideas in the rehearsal room. Maybe we will try to find back to the roots or maybe we will redefine the sound of COMPOS MENTIS. Whatever the case, we do have a handful of good ol' COMPOS MENTIS songs lying around that we will make available in some form and format at some point.

"We are not quite sure what the future brings, but we do know that COMPOS MENTIS is still alive!"
Bassist Oskar Pålsson (COLDWORKER), vocalist Calle Henriksson (KVOTERINGEN) and drummer Andreas Gustavsson (OND BRÅD DÖD) have joined forces in a brand new Swedish band called NERVGIFT ("Nerve-Venom" in Swedish). The group states, "The main goal right now is to enter the studio in late March to record our first four songs that hopefully will end up on a seven-inch inch [single]."
Los Angeles-based progressive/melodic death metal act DREAMING DEAD will release its sophomore album, "Midnightmares", on April 20. The follow-up to 2009's "Within One" "showcases DREAMING DEAD's ability to meld elements of black, death, thrash and Chuck Schuldiner-inspired progressive metal into one thought-provoking and intense sonic assault," according to a press release.

"Midnightmares" was recorded in part at DREAMING DEAD's home studio, with vocals, drums and mixing completed at North Hollywood's Architeuthis Sound. The cover artwork for the CD was created by renowned artist Travis Smith (OPETH, KING DIAMOND, DEVIN TOWNSEND).

DREAMING DEAD is working with directors Thomas Mignone and Peter Leininger (MORBID ANGEL, SEPULTURA, MEGADETH) on a video for the track "Corpse Mtn". Details on the video shoot are forthcoming.

"Midnightmares" track listing:

01. Wake
02. Midnightmares
03. Overlord
04. Corpse Mtn
05. In Memoriam
06. Lapse
07. Into The Abyss
08. Exile
09. Departure

On March 2, DREAMING DEAD will perform at the Echoplex in Los Angeles, California. Also scheduled to appear are NUNSLAUGHTER. SADISTIC INTENT, INSANITY and MUTILACION.

DREAMING DEAD guitarist/vocalist Elizabeth Schall and drummer Michael Caffell were recently interviewed by KNAC.COM's Jimmy Cabbs about "Midnightmares". You can listen to the podcast below.


Elizabeth Schall - Vocals/Guitar
Juan Ramirez - Bass
Michael Caffell - Drums/Vocals/Samples

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