[Classic_Rock_Forever] Aerosmith, Guns N Roses, Velvet Revolver, tons of hard rock and heavy metal news


Last year's "American Idol" runner-up Lauren Alaina has revealed that she has recorded backing vocals on AEROSMITH's new album, tentatively due this summer. Alaina tweeted on Friday, "Yesterday: returned to idol & then went to the studio to record background vocals for the new Aerosmith record. #ISTHISREAL? Thank u Steven!"

Georgian native Alaina became the youngest contestant to ever make it to the "Idol" finals at 16 years old. She charmed the "American Idol" judges during her January 2011 audition with a heartfelt and mature rendition of FAITH HILL's "Like We Never Loved". Later, Alaina capped off her appearance with a rendition of AEROSMITH's "I Dont Wanna Miss A Thing", with AEROSMITH frontman and "American Idol" judge Steven Tyler joining in for an impromptu duet.

According to Billboard.com, "I Don't Want To Miss A Thing" entered the Billboard digital chart for the first time at No. 54 after Tyler's duet with Alaina.

Alaina returned to the "Idol" stage this past Thursday night (March 8) to perform her new country single "Georgia Peaches".
Former GUNS N' ROSES bassist Duff McKagan spoke to RollingStone.com about the band's upcoming induction into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame.

The 27th annual ceremony will be held on April 14, 2012 in Cleveland, Ohio, home to the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame And Museum. Also scheduled to be inducted are RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS, BEASTIE BOYS, THE SMALL FACES/FACES, Donovan and Laura Nyro. Freddie King well enter the Hall Of Fame as an Early Influence, while the late producer and TV host Don Kirshner will receive the Ahmet Ertegun (nonperformer) Award and producers Cosimo Matassa, Tom Dowd and Glyn Johns will receive the Award For Musical Excellence.

The ceremony will be taped for broadcast by HBO, which plans to air it in early May.

When asked if he knows what is going to happen at the ceremony, Duff said, "I don't. I know I'm going to go. I can't, at all, speak for anybody else. And won't. I'll be there with bells on. Is the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame that important to me? No. Is it something I've aspired towards? No. It's not sports. You get into the Baseball Hall Of Fame, that's bad-ass. But that's a competitive sport. You have stats. Look, we were a good band — but there were a lot of good bands. A lot of people liked our band, eventually. And that's kick ass."

He added, "What I found out when we got nominated is that there's just a shit ton of fans around the world who are really psyched. In that case, it's more about them and the people that believed in us and bought our records and came and saw us. Imagine that? All those people believing in our band — a thing we created out of thin air. That part of it is an honor. The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame as an institution? I really don't know much about it."

On the topic of whether he hopes the classic lineup of GUNS N' ROSES will reunite and play at the induction ceremony, Duff said, "I think it would be killer. Do I hope to? That's a tricky question. It would be awesome. You have those day dreams like, 'We'll go up and play 'Nightrain' and 'Brownstone' and throw down the microphone and drop off! That'll be killer!' But I doubt that'll happen."

He continued, "There's been no communication about anyone playing. There was probably a day in the mid-1990s where I would have tried to gather the troops, but I'm just not that guy anymore. It's too frustrating to change anyone else… I'm not even sure I'd want to change how anyone else sees a situation. But I'm going."

Singer Axl Rose, guitarists Slash and Izzy Stradlin, Duff McKagan and drummer Steven Adler will all be inducted into the Hall, along with later members, keyboardist Dizzy Reed and drummer Matt Sorum.

Although Rose has made his peace with various members of the group over the years, including McKagan, Stradlin and Adler, there doesn't seem to be any change in his non-friendly stance toward Slash.
Berkleemusic.com, the online school of Boston's renowned Berklee College of Music, is launching Rock History, an online course that chronicles the evolution of one of the greatest periods of music. Rock History takes an-depth look at the highs and lows of rock over the past 60 years; the key heroes and villains, the movers and shakers from the studio and the concert stage, and a behind-the-scenes look at the managers, industry executives, promoters, and cultural trends that shaped it. The course launches April 2.

Berkleemusic has tapped journalist Steve Morse (not to be confused with the DEEP PURPLE guitarist) to author and teach Rock History. Morse brings a lifetime of real-world experience to the material. Steve was the senior rock writer at the Boston Globe for over three decades, and has contributed to other top-tier press outlets such as Billboard and Rolling Stone. He has also served on the nominating committee of the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame. Steve has a rich background in rock history, having interviewed and developed strong, decades-long ties with dozens of the most important artists and bands in rock, including THE ROLLING STONES (first seeing them in 1966), U2, PAUL MCCARTNEY, AEROSMITH, AC/DC, Bruce Springsteen, Bob Marley, METALLICA, Joni Mitchell, Eric Clapton, PEARL JAM, STEVIE WONDER, COLDPLAY, Tom Petty, and many more.
MÖTLEY CRÜE, RUSH and JOURNEY are among the artists who have made Billboard magazine's Music's Top 40 Money Makers 2012 list. The sixth annual Money Makers ranking is based on U.S. income sources, ranking artists based upon how much each of them earned in 2011 from a variety of income streams, including touring, recorded-music sales, publishing royalties and payments from an array of digital services. The calculations were based on each artist's U.S. net earnings, not gross revenue. Due to a lack of sufficient data, the figures do not include revenue from sponsorships, merchandise sales or synchronization deals.

Hard rock artists included on the list:

07. BON JOVI - $19,813,232
12. JOURNEY - $12,313,822
31. FOO FIGHTERS - $6,013,257
32. RUSH - $5,819,304
38. MÖTLEY CRÜE - $5,376,272
In a recent interview with GuitarWorld.com, legendary vocalist/bassist Glenn Hughes (BLACK COUNTRY COMMUNION, DEEP PURPLE, BLACK SABBATH) was asked about his memories of the late guitarist Gary Moore.

"Gary and I became very good friends in 1980," Glenn replied. "He left a THIN LIZZY tour midway through. He just disappeared — but he actually disappeared to my house. He couldn't take playing in a band anymore, and he had this tendency to just jump ship. I remember Phil Lynott calling my house and saying, 'If you've got him over there, I'm gonna slit your throat.' The idea of someone slitting my throat didn't make me happy.

"Gary and I formed this little combo called G FORCE. As soon as it started, I was out of it because I was too drunk. But we were still great friends in the early '80s, and I joined him to do an album called 'Run For Cover'. But I was drunk again, and it wasn't the appropriate time to work with Gary because he was against all druggy behavior at the time.

"I want to point out to your readers that Gary Moore was the most ferocious, innovative guitar player ever. His melodies were off the charts. He was a great friend, and we made our pact toward the end of his life, becoming friends again. My mom was listening to a piece of music on the radio last week. When the radio announcer said who it was, she said, 'Yes, it was Gary Moore. He was fantastic.' My mom is 84, she loves his playing."

According to The Telegraph, Gary Moore suffered a heart attack brought on by a massive amount of alcohol he consumed prior to being found dead in bed at a luxury Costa del Sol hotel in February 2011.

Moore had 380 mg of alcohol per deciliter of blood in his system, enough to put himself nearly five times over the the legal limit for drunk driving, tests have shown. That amount was just short of the 416 mg pop singer Amy Winehouse had in her body when she died surrounded by three empty vodka bottles.
In 2011, after more than 20 years of intense gigging and recording, Chris Robinson set off to shape something new, a fresh rock mythology, a breathing kaleidoscopic thing stuffed with chooglin' soul, bedrock boogie and shuffling wisdom birthed in intimate clubs and amongst the tall trees of the Golden State and eventually taken nationwide as the CHRIS ROBINSON BROTHERHOOD evolved. What began as an experiment without expectations turned into a 118-show journey for Robinson (lead vocals, guitar), Neal Casal (guitar, vocals), Adam MacDougall (keys, vocals), George Sluppick (drums) and Mark Dutton (bass, vocals) that surprised these seasoned pros as music of unshakeable solidity and exuberant reach poured out of them, a New Cosmic California sound with tendrils reaching to the original Fillmore West, Topanga Canyon and outwards towards far horizons.

The music of the CHRIS ROBINSON BROTHERHOOD finds its fruition on their studio debut album, "Big Moon Ritual", due out June 5 via Silver Arrow/Megaforce Records, to be followed by companion album, "The Magic Door", in September. A CHRIS ROBINSON BROTHERHOOD tour will be announced shortly.

"Thom and I have wanted to work together for a long time," says Robinson about the album's producer Thom Monahan (VETIVER, DEVENDRA BANHART, PAPERCUTS). "We talked about it at a show in Los Angeles and I told him as we stood behind George's drums, 'This is it (gesturing at stage gear). We're not bringing anything else with us into the studio. This is what brought us here this year, so this is exactly what this is gonna be. We didn't even change strings from the last Cali run [laughs]."

"This music is unashamedly what we're into," says Robinson, who cites NEU!, MELANIE, FLATT & SCRUGGS, MEL TILLIS and MORTON SUBOTNICK as regulars in their van listening. "It's not a psych band because you have a Prince Valiant haircut and wear Beatle boots. It's psych because that's where our heads are. We want to make music that blossoms. We want to make music that sounds cosmic."

For a full year, the CHRIS ROBINSON BROTHERHOOD road-tested their ideas, and in the process turned into an empathetic, limber congregation of talents, something different than any of their previous work with the likes of PHIL LESH & FRIENDS, RYAN ADAMS & THE CARDINALS and JJ GREY & MOFRO. By the time of their sold-out four-night run at San Francisco's Great American Music Hall last December, the BROTHERHOOD were fully switched-on. This is the band that entered Sunset Sound in Los Angeles in January 2012, setting up shop in Studio B and coming out the other side of a six-day session with 27 different songs with 97 takes, most of it captured straight off-the-floor with only minor enhancements after the fact.

"Part of the master plan was not to do anything besides touring the wheels off the thing for the first go-around, and it worked for us and allowed us to figure out who we were," says Robinson. "One of the best things about the lack of a proper music business is if you have an idea, you can do something. If everybody is on the same page, and it's not about the dough on the table, and it's really about something you believe in, then you can get there.

"It's about being boutique," continues Robinson. "If before you wanted to have a million people hear what you do, now we're making music the right way for the right people. When we got to these cool sonic spaces we took advantage of them. It was totally the most radical recording session I've ever done, especially in terms of aesthetics."

"Big Moon Ritual" track listing:

01. Tulsa Yesterday *
02. Rosalee
03. Star Or Stone
04. Tomorrow Blues
05. Reflections On A Broken Mirror
06. Beware, Oh Take Care *
07. One Hundred Days Of Rain *

All songs written by Chris Robinson except (*) written by Robinson/Casal
Former KYUSS guitarist Josh Homme and bassist Scott Reeder have filed a federal lawsuit against fellow ex-KYUSS members John Garcia (vocals) and Brant Bjork (drums) alleging "trademark infringement and consumer fraud" over the use of the KYUSS name.

Garcia, Bjork and ex-KYUSS bassist Nick Oliveri reunited for shows last year under the KYUSS LIVES! banner, in which they were joined by guitarist Bruno Fevery. The band has since toured on both sides of the Atlantic and is said to be currently working on a live album for a late 2012 release. There are also tentative plans for the group to record a brand new studio CD.

Homme and Reeder released a statement today via public relations firm Nasty Little Man:

"It sucks. To think we went to a meeting in January solely to help them with their request to continue KYUSS LIVES! With open arms, we made every attempt to help them continue KYUSS LIVES! respectfully. Only to discover while they looked us in the eye, KYUSS LIVES! management and band had filed federal documents in 2011 in an attempt to steal the name KYUSS. This is desperately what we were trying to avoid. It's a sad day for us and for John — but most of all for the fans. What a needless mess."

Regarding why Homme is not involved in the KYUSS reunion, Garcia previously told Rock Sound magazine, "I have nothing bad to say about Josh — he's extremely intelligent, very smart, a great guitar player, great songwriter, a great vocalist — he is a bad-ass, there is no question, and I love him dearly but he is busy with his own thing. He has THEM CROOKED VULTURES, QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE, he's a father, a businessman and even if we asked him to do it, I don't think he'd say yes, so I don't want to set myself up for a big fat no which is 99.9 percent what he would say."

Reeder played a handful of European live dates with KYUSS LIVES! last year as a fill-in for Oliveri. He was also a "special guest" at KYUSS LIVES!'s homecoming show on November 18, 2011 at The Wiltern in Los Angeles.

Reeder played bass on KYUSS' classic LPs "Welcome to Sky Valley" and "...And the Circus Leaves Town" and was also a member of doom legends THE OBSESSED.

In a 2010 interview, Homme explained his hesitation to participate in a KYUSS reformation.

"The offers come in all the time," he said. "They're getting more and more expensive, and more and more elaborate. The money is crazy, but I've never been tempted — I don't really care about the money, I never have. That's not what KYUSS was about, so to punctuate the end of our sentence with that would be blasphemy… KYUSS has such a great history that it would be a total error. I like that nobody saw KYUSS, and that it was largely misunderstood. That sounds like a legend forming to me. I'm too proud of it to rub my dick on it."
Southern Lord has announced a deluxe reissue of one of the towering achievements in metal history, "Dopesmoker" by SLEEP.

For the 2012 reissue, there are some very notable changes. The original studio tapes have been remastered, presenting the album as the band had originally intended. The audio is clearer, louder, and at last brings a true representation of SLEEP's hour-plus Weedian chronicle. Exclusive to this Southern Lord edition is brand new artwork by longtime SLEEP artist Arik Roper, to be unveiled in the coming weeks. Additionally, this reborn version of "Dopesmoker" boasts an unreleased live recording of one of the band's best all-time performances: "Holy Mountain" from San Francisco's I-Beam in 1994.

This edition ensures that this mesmerizing, incredibly complex document remains unrivaled in the annals of stoner metal.

"Dopesmoker" track listing:

01. Dopesmoker (1:03:31)
02. Holy Mountain (Live @ the I-Beam SF, CA. 1994) (11:54)
Nikita Ramkissoon of South Africa's Times Live spoke to bassist Peter Iwers of Swedish metallers IN FLAMES ahead of the band's first-ever appearance in the country for the annual RAMfest music festival (taking place in Johannesburg on Saturday and in Cape Town on Sunday).

On pioneering the "Gothenburg" metal sound:

Peter: "There were other bands at the same time doing similar things. I think we reached a little further then some of them. You have DARK TRANQUILLITY, AT THE GATES... so many bands did this together I would say, and I think we all had one thing in common, and that was the New Wave Of British Heavy Metal. It's not like we sat down and tried to sound like any of the bands we listened to, but we all liked these different bands. We just made music inspired by whatever we liked."

On the band's early years:

Peter: "We did all of these rough years on the road, not making any money, not enjoying ourselves, besides the part of being on stage. Everything around it sometimes was really crappy. So we stuck in together and had a really good time. We went up there and remembered why we started doing this. We love playing music, we love being on stage."

On parting ways with longtime guitarist Jesper Strömblad, who left the band to seek treatment for alcoholism:

Peter: "It took us some years to realize how sick he was from the alcohol. We always thought he could handle it. But he needed more and it was really hard for us to see one of our best friends destroy himself. When he left to take care of himself, it was difficult. After one year, Jesper called and said he was quitting so that he could get better by himself, and we said, 'Okay, as long as you're happy and feel well.'"

On whether there have been times when the band almost reached its breaking point:

Peter: "We've come close, but never close enough to destroy this. I mean, on tour, we miss our families, but the love for music is what drives us. The stage brings us back and whenever we are together, we are stronger than ever."

On being criticized by the band's longtime fans for changing their sound over the years:

Peter: "If you listen to the first IN FLAMES record, it was kind of brutal melodic death metal. But you listen to today's stuff, and it's not really the same thing anymore. We've always had the element of melody and harmonies, usually on the guitars, sometimes on keyboards, sometimes vocals, and we just tried to incorporate it into whatever element that fitted the purpose at the time. We don't want to make the same record twice."
The next album from Canadian musician/producer Devin Townsend to be released under the DEVIN TOWNSEND PROJECT banner is "Epicloud", a "poppy, proggy" record which will feature a guest appearance by former THE GATHERING frontwoman and previous Devin collaborator Anneke Van Giersbergen.

The idea for "Epicloud" came about while Devin was attempting to write material for the follow-up to his 2007 "Ziltoid The Omniscient" concept album about a fictional extraterrestrial being named Ziltoid from the planet Ziltoidia 9.

In a recent interview with Soundwave TV, Devin stated about how "Epicloud" was conceived, "In this sort of process of writing that I've discovered that I guess I'm capable of now, with a sober frame of mind, part of that is just not second-guessing it, so if I write something like that, I just do it, and just finish it."

He continued, "Over the past couple of years, I thought, 'OK, I've gotta write this next 'Ziltoid' thing; I'm inspired to make this epic space opera and, like, really overdo it, and [make it] really dark. And so I sat down to write, but every time I went to write, I'd write some poppy hard rock thing. And I was like, 'OK, we'll get that one out of the way and then I'll write 'Ziltoid'.' And I got it out of the way and I'd go write 'Ziltoid'. And I'd write another one. So I'm thinking, 'OK, it's pretty obvious to me that I've got this that wants to come out before that.'"

Anneke, who is scheduled to record her parts for "Epicloud" next month at Devin's studio in Vancouver, stated about what fans can expect from the project, "For now, I only heard the demos. Initially, [Devin] said it would be a softer album, but I think it's going to be very intense and diverse, and also heavy. It's progressing as we speak. It's going to be very, very nice."

Regarding the musical direction of "Epicloud", Devin told Noisecreep, "Over the course of the full record, there's sort of new agey stuff, jazzy stuff, really heavy stuff. We basically cover the gamut. 'Epicloud' is the first record that I felt confident enough to include all those things on one record so it goes between melodic hard rock to schizophrenic heavy metal to country to really ambient stuff and it's all in one place. I'm using a gospel choir, a string section and a horn section for this one as well. On [the DEVIN TOWNSEND PROJECT album] 'Deconstruction', I got to use the Prague Philharmonic [orchestra] and really go far into making an absurd album as over the top as possible and on 'Epicloud' I'm trying to take the same advantages to make some things musically very pleasing, as opposed to just claustrophobic."

"Epicloud" will contain the following tracks:

* Taurus
* Animals
* Liberation
* Back Where We Belong
* Save Our Now
* Kingdom (re-recording of PHYSICIST song)
* Divine
* Grace
* More!
* Heatwave
* Hold On
* Angels

On the topic of his decision to re-record "Kingdom", a song from his PHYSICIST album, which came out in 2000 on Townsend's label, HevyDevy Records, Devin said, "We re-did 'Kingdom' because it's a live set staple, and so much better now than the PHYSICIST recording."

"The new Rock History online course from Berklee is a comprehensive, interactive, and immersive way to experience the most important and interesting time ever in the music industry," says Dave Kusek, CEO at Berkleemusic.com. "Steve Morse has such a wealth of knowledge and insight into what actually happened behind the scenes and the way the course is crafted, it is simply the most unique and exciting way to learn about this incredible time in the history of music. You will not find a better way to learn about and appreciate the classic albums and live shows that were created by the true legends of rock and roll, as the music industry ignited."

Throughout the course, students will view exclusive, never-before-seen Berkleemusic video interviews with rock luminaries including: Joe Perry of AEROSMITH; Bob Weir of the GRATEFUL DEAD; Mike Mills of R.E.M.; Ernie Isley of the ISLEY BROTHERS; George Clinton of P-FUNK; producer Jack Douglas (who has worked with AEROSMITH, Patti Smith, and John Lennon); promoter Don Law; Amanda Palmer; Hugo Burnham of GANG OF FOUR; Duke Levine (who has played with the J. GEILS BAND and Aimee Mann); and English super-session drummer Dave Mattacks. Berkleemusic has also partnered with Wolfgang's Vault to provide additional rare audio, video, and other forms of historical rock media presented in an educational context for the very first time.

"I have known Steve Morse for over twenty years," concludes AEROSMITH's Joe Perry. "Steve is a musicologist and his love of music makes him a very enthusiastic teacher. Steve has an undying love of music and a proven ability to be one of music's finest critics and writers."

Berkleemusic will host a free live Rock History event in Berkleemusic's studio Thursday, March 8 at 4:00 p.m. EST: an exclusive conversation between Rock History's Morse, and Boston DJ John Laurenti. Laurenti joins Morse in the Pantheon of the Boston music scene. John is a DJ at Boston's #1 classic rock station in Boston, WZLX is the music director at University of Massachusetts' radio station, WUMB. Laurenti has also hosted a number of historical music documentaries shown on WGBH in Boston.
Finland's most successful metal band NIGHTWISH has designed a can for the Finnish energy drink Battery Energy Drink.

The NIGHTWISH Battery Energy Drink can was designed by NIGHTWISH's animator Janne Pitkänen in collaboration with NIGHTWISH mainman Tuomas Holopainen. This limited edition can holds the energy drink Battery Original and will be available in Finnish stores starting March 19.

NIGHTWISH and Battery Energy Drink signed a marketing co-operation in December 2011. In addition to the design can, the collaboration includes visibility and activations in web, social media as well as at selected NIGHTWISH concerts and festivals during the year 2012.

"Finnish metal music is international and speaks to the masses," says Battery Energy Drink's domestic brand manager Antti Airaksinen. "Heavy, powerful and energetic music such as NiGHTWISH's is a perfect fit for Battery Energy Drink. NIGHTWISH is Finland's most successful and international metal band, just like Battery Energy Drink in its own field. Furthermore, NIGHTWISH's mystical graphic look works very well on the Battery design can."

"A co-operation with another Finnish pioneer always feels good," says Tuomas Holopainen." NIGHTWISH and Battery Energy Drink are the same age, international and pioneers in our respective fields."

NIGHTWISH's first album, "Angels Fall First", came out in 1997, the very same year as Battery Energy Drink was launched in its first market, Finland. Both are hence celebrating their 15th anniversaries in 2012.
LAMB OF GOD guitarists Mark Morton and Willie Adler have commented on the circumstances that have led the band to cancel its previously scheduled shows in New Zealand and Alaska.

LAMB OF GOD's publicists issued a statement on Monday (March 5) announcing that the group's concerts in Auckland (March 7) and Anchorage (March 9) were being called off "due to a medical emergency involving a family member."

In a post on his official Facebook page, Morton wrote, "The specific reason behind the show cancelations is a private matter. I can tell you, however, that things are looking up and every one involved is going to be fine. We do appreciate everyone's concern and thank you genuinely for respecting the privacy of our personal lives." He added, "[Canceling the shows] was not a flippant or careless decision on out part, and we apologize for the inconvenience it caused to the fans in Auckland and Anchorage."

Adler also took to his Facebook account to explain the situation. "Hey guys, as you've heard, we were forced to cancel the last two shows of this last little jaunt we just did," he wrote. "As unfortunate for the fans as this is, it was an absolute necessity as family will always come first. My sincere apologies to the fans and my assurances that we will be coming back to make up for the missed shows. Thank you all for your understanding."

LAMB OF GOD's seventh album, "Resolution", sold around 52,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release to land at position No. 3 on The Billboard 200 chart. The band's previous CD, "Wrath", opened with around 68,000 units back in March 2009 to enter the chart at No. 2. This figure was roughly in line with the first-week tally registered by 2006's "Sacrament", which shifted around 63,000 units to debut at No. 8. It also represented almost double the amount of records sold by its predecessor, "Ashes Of The Wake", which premiered with 35,000 copies in September 2004.

"Resolution" was released in the U.S. via Epic and internationally through Roadrunner Records. The CD was recorded at various studios in Virginia and New York with producer Josh Wilbur, who worked on the band's last effort, 2009's "Wrath".

"Resolution" features 14 songs and comes in a digipack with artwork by longtime art director Ken Adams.
Massachusetts metallers STEEL ASSASSIN have unveiled the cover artwork of their long-awaited sophomore album, "WWII: Metal Of Honor", tentatively due this spring

Guitarist Kevin Curran put a lot of effort into researching the concept for the new CD. He explains, "I did quite a bit of reading, and did the research on selected subjects. I've always had a strong interest in World War II, and have a good collection of books on the subject. Some of the books I read were 'Guadalcanal Diary' by Richard Tregaskis and 'Four Stars of Hell' by Laurence Critchell, to name a couple."

He adds, "The angle is that we attempted to tell a few different stories and cover some of the key theaters of operation. It is so vast a subject that we couldn't possibly cover all of it. For example, we had a song called 'Exodus' about the Bataan death march, but decided that we would cover the Pacific Theater differently, with 'Guadalcanal'. We could have done three records on the subject."

When asked what the main differences are between STEEL ASSASSIN's last album, "War Of The Eight Saints", and "WWII: Metal Of Honor", guitarist Mike Mooney says, "I guess musically there is not much of a change of direction in comparison to say 'War Of The Eight Saints', or is there? Well, from our perspective, there has never been any conscious shift in direction or sound, but I think if you look objectively from our earliest recordings, all the way to 'Saints' and now to 'Metal Of Honor', there definitely is a distinct evolution of sound. Personally, I think that with this record there is a new dynamic at work, I happen to think it's our most modern sounding body of work to date, yet it retains a gritty, pale, gun-metal sound that is indicative of the era we are trying to capture."

In addition to the eight brand new original songs on "WWII: Metal Of Honor", the album will include a cover version of the RUSH classic "Red Sector A". Mooney states, "I actually made a demo of the song about five years ago basically for my own purposes. I've always loved the way Geddy [Lee] sings that song, there's a hopelessness and longing in his voice that is brilliant, but there's also a quality of urgency that I thought would translate well to metal, so I basically changed up the tempos and really kept everything else the same. I call RUSH my 'desert island' band, meaning if I were ever stranded on desert island and could only listen to one artist, it would be RUSH. Kevin and I are both huge fans all the way back to their earliest days. Their writing in a lot of ways is very metal, but they are so much more diverse than just that. 'Red Sector A' also ties in rather neatly with the military concept of our record. We were at my house combing through some demos for the new record, when I came across my old version of it, and all at once it struck me, this would be an awesome addition to the World War II theme. I began the campaign right then to have this song on the album, Kevin instantly agreed and the rest would follow. Lyrically and musically it's a perfect complement to this record and the whole band is really excited about it."


John Falzone - Vocals
Kevin Curran - Guitar
Mike Mooney - Guitar
Phil Grasso - Bass
Greg Michalowski - Drums
Pennsylvania's WAR OF AGES will release its fifth album, "Return To Life", on April 24 via Facedown Records. The CD was recorded with producer Chris "Zeuss" Harris at Planet Z Studios (SHADOWS FALL, CHIMAIRA, HATEBREED) and it features some of the band's "most personal material," according to a press release.

WAR OF AGES has toured with AS I LAY DYING, DEMON HUNTER, SOILWORK, NORMA JEAN, BETWEEN THE BURIED AND ME, and more, and will be headlining this year's Facedown Fest on April 7 in Pomona, California.

Commented the band: "We are extremely excited about our 'Return To Life' release in every way. Musically, we stuck to our roots, brought back the heavy rhythmic style and mixed it with the maturity of having four previous albums under our belts. We also joined forces with producer Zeuss, who boasts a catalog with names like TERROR, EMMURE, HATEBREED, etc... Not only is this album instrumentally rhythmic, it is also vocally rhythmic. Leroy [Hamp, vocals] stepped out of his comfort zone and ventured into the realms of RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE, COMEBACK KID, and DARKEST HOUR, and mixed each with his own style. We plan to continue in this direction lyrically, vocally, and musically for our future albums.

"Return To Life" will be released on CD, LP and digital formats.

You can now check out the cover artwork below.
A limited-edition T-shirt and seven-inch vinyl bundle, featuring previously unreleased music from French progressive metallers GOJIRA and artwork from the band's drummer, Mario Duplantier, will be made available via Volcom Entertainment. The songs on the seven-inch single, "End Of Time" and "Bleeding", have never been officially released; both were originally on GOJIRA's 1997 "Possessed" demo when they were still performing under the name GODZILLA. The whole bundle comes in a 12-inch vinyl packaging and is available in all volcom stores in Europe, EMP, Listenable Records and selected music stores or online at VolcomEnt.com.

Mario is known as one of the best metal drummers in the world, but only few know he's a brilliant graphic artist, too. After his artistic debut with a graphic in Volcom's "featured artist" series of t-shirts, Volcom organized two art shows (Biarritz and Bordeaux) in collaboration with Mario to show his works.

GOJIRA recently recorded its new album at Spin Recording Studios in Long Island City, New York with co-producer Josh Wilbur (LAMB OF GOD) for a late spring release via the band's new record label, Roadrunner Records.

GOJIRA is comprised of vocalist/guitarist Joe Duplantier, who has a previous relationship with Roadrunner, having played bass on CAVALERA CONSPIRACY's debut "Inflikted", along with guitarist Christian Andreu, bassist Jean-Michel Labadie and drummer Mario Duplantier, who is also Joe's brother!

The band's Roadrunner debut will be its fifth album overall. It was 2005's "From Mars to Sirius" and 2008's "The Way of All Flesh" which established GOJIRA as a metal force of nature and a key player in the scene.
Austin, Texas-based ANCIENT VVISDOM, whose "diabolical folk-metal" (Classic Rock) has already earned extensive critical acclaim, has announced its official union with Prosthetic Records. The label will reissue the group's latest release, "A Godlike Inferno", in North America on April 24, the U.K. on April 30 and mainland Europe on May 4.

Nominated for "Best Underground Band" at this year's Metal Hammer Golden Gods Award, ANCIENT VVISDOM will begin a European tour — its first time back on the road since supporting GHOST on an über-successful national tour earlier this year — at the Inferno Festival in Norway on April 7. As a precursor to the unholy trek, ANCIENT VVISDOM will spill their serpentine hymns upon unsuspecting ears in Austin on March 17 as part of the Scion-sponsored "Death Comes Ripping" SXSW day party alongside EARLY GRAVES, PRIMITIVE WEAPONS, MUTILATION RITES and more.

ANCIENT VVISDOM was forged 2009 with the order consisting of singer/songwriter Nathan Opposition, Justin "Ribs" Mason on acoustic guitar, and Nathan's brother, Michael Jochum on electric guitar. In 2010, they recorded and released a split 12-inch EP with CHARLES MANSON entitled "Inner Earth Inferno" through Withdrawal Records, which was praised by critics and cultists alike. The band spent the remainder of the year honing their blackened craft, further utilizing acoustic guitars to add a pastoral connection to their nefarious odes. Writing well over an album's worth of material, "A Godlike Inferno" was recorded at The Bubble in Austin with engineer/co-producer Jason Buntz and offers up additional instrumentation including the use of a bowed stand-up bass, machete/bamboo percussion and synths.
"Midnight In The Labyrinth" is the latest, inspired work, from British extreme metallers CRADLE OF FILTH, traversing an ethereal cinematic landscape of classical and symphonic darkness; a style the band has always woven seamlessly into their compositions.

Taking the most requested tracks from the first four official releases, CRADLE OF FILTH have fulfilled audience desire by creating an album based on their most popular older tracks, but one that is delivered orchestrally to create a rich, haunting sonic landscape in the vein of soundtrack composers such as Jerry Goldsmith, Danny Elfman and Hans Zimmer.

Ten songs make up this 78-minute meisterwerk (including the addition of a thirteen-minute exclusive aural séance on CD1), indulging such CRADLE OF FILTH classics as "Funeral In Carpathia", "The Twisted Nails Of Faith" and "Summer Dying Fast", which has already been showcased on last year's "Evermore Darkly" EP to a more than rapturous audience response.

"Midnight In The Labyrinth" is available to coincide with Record Store Day on April 21 in participating countries, and sees a general release across other countries, as a strictly limited edition two-disc set of delectable magic, with disc 1 containing narrated nightmares courtesy of Dani Filth, plus additional vocals from Sarah Jezebel Deva, whilst disc 2 contains purely orchestral and symphonic recordings.

And if that's not enough to wet your filthy appetite, CRADLE OF FILTH will return this Halloween with their new studio album!
Acclaimed San Francisco Bay Area drummer Jon Allen (SADUS, DRAGONLORD, FUTURES END, AC/DZ, ex-TESTAMENT) is recovering from the removal of what is reported to be a very large, life-threatening blood clot in his right leg. Back-to-back state-of-the-art ultrasonic clot-busting treatment was performed on March 7 and March 8 in an effort to clear a complete blockage.

The vascular surgeon reports the procedures were a complete success and Allen is expected to make a full recovery and return to performing within a few weeks.

Allen is scheduled to lay down the drums on the long-anticipated new DRAGONLORD CD this spring in his native northern California. This will be followed by the recording of the sophomore CD from FUTURES END. Additionally, Jon has new solo-project material in development for late 2012/early 2013.
FILTER mainman Richard Patrick was the featured guest on a recent edition of the "All Knowing Force" web-based interview show. The chat is now available for streaming using the audio player below. During the interview, Patrick revealed that FILTER will be returning to the studio on April 1 with producer Bob Marlette (BLACK SABBATH, ATREYU, SALIVA) to begin recording the band's new album, "Gurney And The Burning Books", for a fall release. Much of the material for the CD was co-written with current FILTER guitarist Jonny Radtke (formerly of KILL HANNAH), who joined the group in 2011 as the touring guitarist to support 2010's "The Trouble With Angels". The two are experimenting with the key of C as well as drop B, relatively new sounds for FILTER.

"I'm screaming my ass off [on this new record]," Patrick said in a recent interview with The New Hampshire. "I've definitely got the aggression. I'm definitely pissed off about a lot of things in my life."
Radio Metal recently conducted an interview with vocalist Vincent Cavanagh of the U.K. atmospheric rock band ANATHEMA. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.

Radio Metal: Were some of the songs of "Weather Systems" composed while you were working on "We're Here Because We're Here" or while you were waiting for the release of it?

Vincent: A couple of them were, yeah. One or two of them perhaps came just as an idea. One song particularly, "The Lost Child", came to Danny in a dream, towards the end of the "We're Here Because We're Here" sessions, when we were all living together. I remember, in the middle of the night, he came to my room and woke me up and said, "Hey, I just had this dream. I have this tune and this whole scenario from this dream. We should make a song, and we should make a video for it." I said, OK, and I got out of bed and recorded the song. We wrote down the idea, and then we said, "OK, let's go back to sleep, we'll think about it tomorrow!" (laughs) And eventually, that song became "The Lost Child". It's happening all the time, that's natural. Anytime we're all together, or at least the main creators — me, Danny and John — we're really having a spark. Things happen quickly, you know. It's cool.

Radio Metal: Even if it's released only two years after the previous one, "Weather Systems" is very different from its predecessor. How did you manage to change the atmosphere between those two records?

Vincent: We always do that. That's how we write, we're always progressing forward. The next one's going to be different again. We're one of those bands, you know. We do this because we have to. We make music and art for the art. We don't really have a choice as far as progression in concerned: that's how the music wants to be. It wants to progress, it changes all the time. I use the word "it" because sometimes, it's almost like we're not completely in control. It's something that's more subconscious; you don't make a conscious decision to say, "Let's make an album that's different from the last one." It just happens naturally. Do you understand? That can happen in any song. I may wake up tomorrow and have an idea for a song that sounds completely different than anything else I've ever done. And I follow it, and it's almost as if the song, the idea, leads you where it needs to go. Part of the songwriting process is actually knowing when to get out of the way and let the song take the lead, you know? The song dictates what it wants to be eventually. That's one of the secrets about progressive music, and about how you can progress with music: don't think too much. If you do think, then just try not to repeat yourself. We never really want to repeat ourselves, that would be too boring. Music is infinite, and what we can do with music is whatever we like. There's no end to it, you know?

Radio Metal: About this new record, Danny said, "This is not background music for parties. The music is written to deeply move the listener, to uplift or take the listener to the coldest depths of the soul." In other words, you wanted to avoid elevator music or background music. Do you think that's the risk when you are writing such emotional music?

Vincent: When you write music that's completely direct and honest, you have to sit up and listen to it. Trent Reznor wrote that song, "Hurt". The original version is amazing, but when Johnny Cash sang it, with just him, a piano and an acoustic guitar, it changed. It's one of those things where it's like listening to somebody speak the truth. You have to listen, you know. And if it's really important, you have to listen to it. Now, I'm not for one minute saying that's what we do. It's up to you to decide what we do, I don't mind. One thing I'm saying is that there's nothing fake about what we do. All of it is real. That goes right down to the lyrics, right down to every part of how we feel this music. For us, it's more about the feeling behind the music. It's about the intuition, it's about going through it. It's an experience that changes every time. One of the reasons I love doing what I do, now that I'm a singer, is that each time I experience a song, it's different every single time. When you listen to a record, it's the same every time, and that's great. If you're happy with it, it's great. But then comes a certain point where you stop listening to the record, because it's always the same. It usually takes me a couple of weeks! (laughs) I'm at that position now where I stop listening to the record and I just sing. The only time I get to hear our music is when I sing it. That's when I know it's real for me, because I mean it, I mean everything I'm doing, 100%. That's cool for us, you know? I also don't mind music that is meant to be just entertainment, that's meant to sound the same all the time. That's cool, too. But that's not what I do.

Radio Metal: Do you think the only way to write good music is to be honest?

Vincent: No, no, that's not true at all! There's no secret formula right across the board that you can say, "This is how you write good music". In fact, the question is false. What you have to ask any person is what do they bring to music. How do you live it? What can you bring to your music? What you have to remember is that each individual has their own voice. Each individual has their own mind, their own heart and soul, that they can put into something. And it's unique, in and of itself. Even if you try and sound like somebody else, it's still you, you know? It depends how much you want to give. A lot of people don't want to be honest in music, because it's giving too much away. They like to hide a little bit, and maybe to create something else. That's cool, too. A lot of people write about the world, or about external things. They try to be honest in that way, and that's cool, too. There's an infinite set of ways to do music, write lyrics and write poetry. But being honest, it's… I don't know, it's up to you. I'm not so bothered about people knowing my life. I don't want to explain the meaning and the experience behind these songs, what it all means. I don't want to explain that, because that is personal. It is in the lyrics, it is in the songs, and you can feel it anyway. The difference is, someone on the other side of the world can listen to this music and relate that is some way to their own life, because the experiences we talk about are quite universal: the themes of love, death, loss, madness, euphoria, all the deep emotions that we go through in our lives every single day. I much prefer to hear somebody else's story and their experiences, how they relate to our music. Maybe one of our songs reminds them of a relative, or a loved one, or something that they went through. I think that's beautiful. So in that way, it could be universal. But like I said, there's no formula. You have to be yourself.
POISON singer Bret Michaels announced today that he will issue a fitness challenge to the public that will "Rock The World." Michaels joins the champions of health on GoodChime! to foster greater awareness to the importance of healthy living and physical activity for young adults. Michaels is well known globally for his music, celebrity apprentice victory, and lifelong battle with diabetes.

"I'm excited to be part of the GoodChime! Champions of Health, and working with Sreedhar and his team to use social media for social good," said Bret.

"We are honored to be working with Bret Michaels, a role model in his battle against type 1 Diabetes, and we are very excited to be able to reach a worldwide audience through Bret," said Dr. Potarazu, founder of GoodChime!

GoodChime! is a revolutionary new social media platform where people engage in meaningful dialogue within a safe community, and participate in activities relevant to their health needs. Leveraging the power of celebrity brand, GoodChime! engages consumers as active participants in better managing their health.
In a marked departure from its trademark acetate frames, Moscot, a New York City institution renowned worldwide for its iconic eyewear, has announced the launch of five striking new metal Moscot Originals styles — a first for the company. The new Moscot Originals, The Benno, Izzy, Mendel, Yosi and Zelda, are authentic replicas of styles from the Moscot family archives, circa the 1960s - 1970s. Each frame has been meticulously crafted to retain the fine details of its original construction including groove detailing along the temples, and acetate accents across the brow. The Izzy and The Mendel also feature fashion tint lenses.

The new metal frames launch concomitantly with the company's bold, exciting new Moscot Metal Campaign, featuring the most recognizable names in heavy metal.

More than just a play on words, philosophically Moscot felt a real connection between who Moscot is as a brand and what these men and women stand for as artists. All are authentic, genuine, creative, fun, unconventional, humble, non-conformists, who know where they come from, what they like, and what works for them, so that's what they do... and that's what makes them each Originals.

The campaign was created in house by the Moscot creative team — conceptualized and photographed by Moscot co-president Wendy Simmons and marketing coordinator Bianca Pizzoferrato, with post production by Louie Lepore, costume styling by Santiago Siguenza, and makeup by Breanna Williams. The 2012 campaign was shot at the iconic Williamsburg metal bar Duff's Brooklyn and features the following heavy metal musicians and radio/TV personalities:

* Alex Skolnick (TESTAMENT)
* Chris Adler (LAMB OF GOD)
* Faisal Talal (ACRASSICAUDA)
* Jose Mangin (SiriusXM)
* Juliya Chernetsky (Fuse TV)
* Marwan Riyadh (ACRASSICAUDA)
* Matt Heafy (TRIVIUM)
* Scott Ian (ANTHRAX)

Each pair runs from $255 for frames and $285 for tint lenses and is available at Moscot.com.
DEFTONES frontman Chino Moreno married his girlfriend of two years, Risa Mora, this past Wednesday, March 7 in Hawaii. This is the 38-year-old Moreno's third marriage.

Check out photos of the wedding at this location.

Moreno has two sons — Kristian and Jakobi — from his marriage to Celeste Schroeder.

DEFTONES last year began laying the groundwork for its seventh studio release, tentatively due before the end of 2012.

2010's "Diamond Eyes" has been one of DEFTONES' most successful outings. The set's last single, "You've Seen The Butcher", was a Top 15 rock radio hit.

DEFTONES will once again record with Sergio Vega on bass. Vega stepped in for touring purposes after original bassist Chi Cheng was left in a semi-comatose state by a November 2008 car accident, and stayed on to record "Diamond Eyes" with the group.
Acclaimed Middle Eastern guitarist Yossi Sassi (ORPHANED LAND) has just released his his debut solo album, "Melting Clocks", via Verycords. The CD, which was produced and composed by Sassi, features guest appearances by several known musicians, including former MEGADETH guitarist Marty Friedman.

Familiar to numerous music fans all over the world by his unique trademarked signature sound, Sassi blends east with west, rock with world music, melodic tunes with progressive passages, and traditional folk instruments with roaring electric riffs.

With over 20 years of experience as a producer, composer/arranger and founding member of ORPHANED LAND, Yossi continues to soar to new horizons.

Yossi is known for being the constant explorer of sound and musical boundaries, driving inspiration from different cultures around the world. Yossi plays 17 (!) different types of guitars and traditional instruments, and has been invited to play live and share the stage with artists such as METALLICA, Marty Friedman, Steven Wilson, Yehuda Poliker and many others.

Yossi has cooperated and recorded with artists from Kuwait to Portugal. He is a veteran performing artist, with hundreds of global shows and major festivals in his record.

Featuring world-known musicians, this album takes you to a journey around the world with traditional instruments such as saz, bouzouki, oud, chumbush and many more.

"Melting Clocks" track listing:

01. Drive (6:18)
02. Fields Of Sunrise (5:07)
03. The Calling: Rush Hour (4:51)
04. Numbers' World (5:10)
05. Melting Thoughts (3:38)
06. Another Day In The Office (4:18)
07. Ain't Good Enough (3:56)
08. The Routine (4:43)
09. Sahara Afternoon (6:56)
10. Sunset (2:16)
11. Simple Things (4:54)
12. Melting Clocks (3:38)

The song "Numbers' World" can be streamed using the SoundCloud player below.

For more information, visit www.yossisassi.com.
Guitarist Tony Lazaro of VITAL REMAINS was interviewed by Metal Hangar 18 after the band's March 2 performance at the RBF club in Sofia, Bulgaria with KRISIUN and MALEVOLENT CREATION. You can now watch the chat below.

When asked about the progress of the songwriting sessions for VITAL REMAINS' long-awaited follow-up to 2007's "Icons of Evil", Lazaro said, "The songs [for the new album] have been written [for a long time] — some of them since 2008. I've written, like, two albums' worth of material; I have almost 20 songs.

"We will record the new album this year. Everything is kind of in place. We can't wait — after this tour — to get working on it again before we have another tour in the U.S. in May with DESTRUCTION. And then after that it's all about recording the new album this summer. So hopefully everything's gonna work out and we'll have the album recorded and it will be out finally this year."

Regarding whether fans can expect to hear new songs that are each at least six minutes long, just as they were on "Icons of Evil", Lazaro said, "The new album, the new songs are shorter." He added, "I've been writing the music since the beginning, since '89. I write all the music, and this is the first time that I wrote the songs shorter. The songs are averaging only about four minutes; the longest song, I think, is four and a half minutes. First time ever. But I tried to keep my style of writing in there — keep the speed, the brutality, the melodic stuff, and also put some old-school stuff in there and some classical stuff in there; some solo stuff, really good solos and melodies. It's everything you'd expect from VITAL REMAINS, but just in a shorter package."


Scott Wily – Vocals
Tony Lazaro – Guitar
Gator Collier – Bass
Brian Weber – Guitar
Alberto Allende - Drums

Restrain Records in 2007 released a high-quality double-vinyl presentation of VITAL REMAINS' latest abum, "Icons of Evil". The set includes 'brutal blasphemy spread over three sides, with the fourth side bearing an engraving," according to the band. "Comes in a gatefold cover with printed lyric sleeves!"

VITAL REMAINS' DVD, entitled "Evil Death Live", came out in 2007 via Metal Mind Productions. The disc includes footage of VITAL REMAINS' performance at the Metalmania Festival 2007 on April 24, 2007 in Katowice, Poland as well as an interview with Tony Lazaro (one of the band's founders) and Dave Suzuki, live bootleg material and many other surprises. Also available is a limited DVD+CD swing case edition, featuring a bonus CD containing songs recorded at the Metalmania gig.
U.S. death metal pioneers INCANTATION are continuing work on their long-awaited new album, to be released later this year through Ibex Moon Records, the label run by INCANTATION mainman John McEntee.

Commented McEntee: "We are currently working on our new album, which we have about 80 percent finished. We have a lot more ideas to work on. I am very happy with the way things are coming together. Kyle [Severn, drums], Chuck [Sherwood, bass], Alex [Bouks] and I have killer songwriting chemistry and there is such a high quality of musicianship. This is an amazingly strong lineup that truly understands the essence of INCANTATION's music."

Added Bouks: "I have known John McEntee for about 23 years now. I am going back to a time when there was only a handful of us that played our dark extreme secret music. Things have changed since then and there is a much larger audience, but the hunger is still there for us to create the darkest extreme songs we can come up with. INCANTATION is one of the oldest bands who wave that dark sinister flag proudly.

"It is awesome after all these years to now be playing and writing together with John on the new material.

"I am more then confident that the new INCANTATION record is going to crush your skulls. In my opinion, this is one of the band's darkest and most brutal collection of songs to date and it is my my honor and privilege to be working with two of death metal's finest players in Kyle Severn and Chuck Sherwood."

The members of INCANTATION also comments on the passing of their former bassist Joey "Fingers" Lombard, who died on January 3, 2012 at the age of 42.

"It's still really difficult to believe that Joey is gone," said McEntee. "He was truly a great guy and an awesome and dedicated bandmember. Joey's contribution to the band will never be forgotten. We are fortunate to have written a lot of music with him, so in songs his legacy will live on."

Added Severn: "Joey had stepped up to the plate and joined John McEntee and myself back in 2000 to create some of INCANTATION's finest blasphemy to date! He stuck with us for five-plus long years of writing and traveling the death metal roads!! He was an amazing musician and bass player. He had contributed more than most could imagine to the death metal scene. He had made many new friends through those years on the road; he was such a likable guy. I don't think he had a mean bone in his body. He will be truly missed."

As INCANTATION continues to work hard on new material, the band has released something to tide fans over in the form of a brand new track (the first studio release in six years) as part of the "After Party Massacre" CD soundtrack and limited-edition seven-inch bloodsplatter vinyl.

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