[Classic_Rock_Forever] Aerosmith, Rush, Slash, The Cult, and tons more hard rock and heavy metal news


In a brand new interview with TheTimesNews.com, AEROSMITH guitarist Brad Whitford spoke about the progress of the recording sessions for the band's long-awaited new album, which is tentatively due later this year.

AEROSMITH began work on its first all-new album since 2001 last year, with the rest of the band working on music while singer Steven Tyler made his "American Idol" debut.

The band has been working with producer Jack Douglas, who collaborated with them on classic early albums like "Toys In The Attic" and "Rocks".

"I think people are going to see a lot of AEROSMITH later in the year," Whitford said. "We've got a new song that's gonna be used in a major motion picture this summer, so that's probably the first new music fans will get to hear. We may even debut it on 'American Idol' in May. We're definitely planning on touring the U.S. later in the summer. As for the new CD, the music is done — we're just waiting to get some of the vocals added in. Hopefully, we'll have that done sooner rather than later. It's been a decade since we last had new music out, and I know I'm ready for it."

AEROSMITH guitarist Joe Perry recently revealed via Twitter that the band will embark on a U.S. tour in June. Tickets will go on sale later this month. Exact cities and dates will be announced during the coming weeks.

In an interview with the QMI Agency, Perry stated about AEROSMITH's new material, "It definitely has a feel like some of the early stuff. We've tried to bring that back. People are always asking for something that sounds like the old stuff, but you can't rewrite 'Mama Kin' or 'Same Old Song And Dance'. All you can do is go in and start from the same place you started when you made those records. So we just went in with (producer) Jack Douglas and we all worked on the record. There's a song or two that the band helped write, and Tom (Hamilton, bass) wrote and Brad (Whitford, guitar) has a track on there. So from that point of view, it's a lot more like an early AEROSMITH record. We were all in the room when we were pulling these songs together and recording them. Every way that we used to make our records, that's what we did to get this to where it is. Right down to what we're doing now, which is going over the tracks and bringing them up to speed."
According to CBC News, legendary Canadian rockers RUSH have won a Governor General's Performing Arts Award. The bandmembers are among the laureates announced Tuesday in Calgary.

Each laureate receives a cash award of $25,000 from the Canada Council For The Arts and a commemorative medallion struck by the Royal Canadian Mint.

According to Amazon.co.jp and HMV.co.jp, RUSH's long-awaited new album, "Clockwork Angels", will be released in Japan on May 23 via Warner Music. The band started work on the follow-up to 2007's "Snakes & Arrows" in late 2009 with the production team of Nick Raskulinecz (FOO FIGHTERS, STONE SOUR) and engineer Richard Chycki (AEROSMITH, DREAM THEATER).

Two songs from "Clockwork Angels" that were previously digitally released, "BU2B" and "Caravan", were reportedly re-recorded for the forthcoming CD due to a record label change in the middle of the making of the album.
On Monday, March 12, Gibson GuitarTown II will launch on the Sunset Strip in West Hollywood with the unveiling of the first nine 10-foot tall guitar sculptures. The selection includes works from renowned artists Shepard Fairey, Tristan Eaton, Free Humanity, Smog City and DeeKay, and celebrates top musicians, including VAN HALEN, RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE and JANE'S ADDICTION, among others.

Gibson Guitartown On The Sunset Strip launched in August 2010 featuring more than 20 10-foot tall fiberglass Gibson Les Paul model guitars strategically placed on the legendary Sunset Strip. Each guitar sculpture celebrated a musician, personality or artist unique to the Sunset Strip's history. As intended, the 24 guitars were auctioned off this past December 2011 after their yearlong "tour" with 100% of the $54,360 in profits going to charity. The public art project is now moving into its second phase with the first nine new guitars — out of more than 20 total — being exclusively unveiled at an invitation-only event hosted by Hornburg Los Angeles on the Sunset Strip at their luxurious Jaguar and Land Rover showroom.

The launch event will also feature a check presentation by legendary guitarist Slash — who is in the studio finishing his second solo album, "Apocalyptic Love", due out May 22 — and his wife Perla Hudson to 2010-11 GuitarTown charity recipient, Los Angeles Youth Network (LAYN). LAYN will receive $27,180 from the auction of the previous round of GuitarTown art guitars, which included guitars celebrating Slash, Ozzy Osbourne, MÖTLEY CRÜE, THE RUNAWAYS, OINGO BOINGO and Cheech & Chong, among others. Slash and Perla have worked closely with LAYN — which provides outreach, food, emergency shelter, transitional living and educational enrichment programs for homeless adolescents — for several years. Other organizations to benefit from the auction proceeds include West Hollywood Arts & Cultural Affairs Commission to further support public art and artists on the Sunset Strip and the West Hollywood Library.

"We were thrilled with the results of the first round of GuitarTown on The Sunset Strip and are excited to extend the public art project for another year," noted Sunset Strip Business Association Executive Director Todd Steadman. "The new round of guitars features a mix of important cultural themes while also celebrating artists that were influential to the boulevard, including Buffalo Springfield, VAN HALEN, JANE'S ADDICTION and RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE."

The Sunset Strip Business Association, which is presenting the project in conjunction with Gibson, plans to unveil additional art guitars later this spring. All art guitars will be created by local and nationally recognized artists and will celebrate people and places that have shaped the Strip. As with the first exhibit, these guitars will eventually be auctioned with proceeds benefiting charity.
One of the finest British rock acts to have enjoyed worldwide success over the last few decades, THE CULT will release its first studio album in five years, "Choice Of Weapon", on May 22 via the band's new label Cooking Vinyl.

"Choice Of Weapon" is the follow-up to the critically acclaimed 2007 release "Born Into This" that the U.K.'s Mojo magazine called "a wholehearted, utopian and irrefutably exciting record." Longtime THE CULT collaborator and producer Bob Rock (METALLICA, BUSH), who produced one of THE CULT's most successful albums, the platinum-certified "Sonic Temple", put the finishing touches on the foundations that were laid by co-producer Chris Goss (QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE, U.N.K.L.E., MASTERS OF REALITY).

The album was written by Ian Astbury and Billy Duffy, recorded in New York City, Los Angeles, the California high desert, and the band's Witch Mountain studio between July and December 2011. The new release features founding members Astbury on vocals and Duffy on guitars, with drummer John Tempesta and bassist Chris Wyse.

Speaking to Austin360.com, Astbury said of "Choice Of Weapon", "I think we went back to a place of instinct. There were no predetermined agendas. We've had periods of stagnation and being stale and repeating ourselves, but I think that's common. With 'Choice Of Weapon', we just said, '(Screw) it! We're going to grab every jewel we can find. We're going to play the ace and go as deep as we can.' There's definitely hard rock moments on this record, but then again, there's moments that are kind of pastoral."

"Choice Of Weapon" is aimed at the heart of THE CULT's loyal following. It reflects the current discontent and destruction of our eco systems, the search for individual meaning against a tide of rampant materialism, narcissism and disconnected lives.

"We're still growing and still developing," Astbury told Austin360.com. "We're still students; we're still inquisitive; we're still passionate. I still think what we're doing is relevant. We still have an awareness of what's going on around us. It's not like I live in a cave."
Canadian musician Ian Thornley (BIG WRECK) tells Jam! Music that he was approached by VELVET REVOLVER to audition for the vacant vocalist position in the band a short time after their split with Scott Weiland.

"I got a phone call from Slash — how fucking weird is that?" said Thornley. "And they had sent me a few tunes and I went down into my basement studio and just sang over one and just tried to build hooks and I was like, 'This is killer,' and just as soon as you hit play, 'It's fucking Slash!' There's such an iconic sound, just his swagger with his hands. I just love his guitar playing so it was a joy to do."

He added, "Their manager had an issue with the fact that I was playing guitar. He was like, 'It sounds great. It sounds unbelievable. Is there any chance you can do a couple without the guitar?' And I was like, 'Not really, no, 'cause I don't know what I'm going to do. Like, I've never learned those moves.' Weiland's great with all the Mick Jagger-slash-David Bowie stuff that he does. Some guys are more comfortable with that. Honestly, when Slash goes off on some kick ass solo, I'm not going to grab a fucking tambourine, it's not my bag. And so it was just a thrill to play with those guys. They were just super-cool, sweethearts. I was kind of disappointed, but you're not going to go into a situation like that and go, 'Look, boys, here's what you need to do. Three guitar attack, alright, harmony solos, I was thinking maybe more SKYNYRD.'... It was kind of a like a square peg in a round hole kind of thing."

BIG WRECK's first studio album in 11 years, "Albatross", is being released today (Tuesday, March 6).

Weiland reunited with his original band, STONE TEMPLE PILOTS, just as his run with VELVET REVOLVER was coming to a close. STP has toured constantly since and recorded a new album in 2010.

VELVET REVOLVER has still not found a replacement vocalist and is more or less on hiatus, although it was revealed that the group recorded an album's worth of material with STONE SOUR and SLIPKNOT frontman Corey Taylor.
Hornitos Premium Tequila today announced the launch of the second annual Mariachi Mash Up music video and consumer sweepstakes. This year, Hornitos is adding a little mariachi flavor to the iconic party anthem, "We're Not Gonna Take It", to help kick off tequila season and get the party going on Cinco de Mayo.

Hornitos is also giving tequila fans the opportunity to enter into a sweepstakes for a chance to win a role in this year's mariachi mash up video, starring legendary rock band TWISTED SISTER, who have proven that even after all these years they can still get down with the best of them. The band released a video to announce the sweepstakes and partnership via the Hornitos Facebook page and YouTube channel.

The sweepstakes runs from March 1 until March 31, 2012, and the winner will be announced on or around April 2, 2012. The lucky guy or gal and a guest will win a trip to New York for the once in a lifetime opportunity to rock out with TWISTED SISTER as Dee Snider and the boys mash up "We're Not Gonna Take It" with guitarrons, maracas and mariachis.

"There's no better way to celebrate Cinco de Mayo — tequila's biggest holiday — than with a mash up of an iconic party anthem mariachi-style," said Amy Weisenbach, Senior Director of Tequilas at Beam Inc. "'We're Not Gonna Take It' is a legendary song that has kept the party going for years. Hornitos is all about creating unique experiences and unexpected adventures, and we're excited to offer our fans the chance to grab their maracas and get down with TWISTED SISTER."

"TWISTED SISTER is ready to rock and go Horns Up with Hornitos Tequila! We can't wait to take one of our biggest hits and give it a little Mariachi flavor to create this year's Cinco de Mayo anthem — you're definitely going to keep it on repeat all night," said TWISTED SISTER frontman Dee Snider.

The second annual Mariachi Mash Up follows the success of last year's inaugural Mash Up featuring the classic rock band CHEAP TRICK. To celebrate Cinco de Mayo 2011, Hornitos Tequila partnered with CHEAP TRICK to remix their anthem "Surrender" in the style of mariachi to the delight of music lovers everywhere.
Legendary guitarist George Lynch (DOKKEN, LYNCH MOB, SOULS OF WE, TOOTH AND NAIL) will make a special appearance at the one-year-anniversary party for the 93.3 KDKB Headbangers bar on Saturday, March 10 at The Blooze in Phoenix, Arizona. George will be jamming that night with some — or all — of the bands appearing, including 5-SPEED, RUE MORGUE, THE HOLLYWOOD SAINTS and METALHEAD. The party will be hosted by 93.3 KDKB night guy Mike Gaube.

The Blooze
12014 N. 32nd St.
Phoenix, AZ 85032

For more information, go to this location.
"Onward", the new studio album from legendary mavericks HAWKWIND, will be released on April 30 via Eastworld Recordings. Recorded at Earth Studios, the eagerly awaited follow-up to "Blood Of The Earth" (2010, Eastworld) "encapsulates the band in full creative flight with a lavish collection of new music featuring soundtracks for Internet warfare, mantra's for self-realization and electrical systems checks," according to a press release.

"Onward" will include luxurious packaging across multi-formats, with exclusive bonus live tracks taken from the HAWKWIND vaults, demonstrating the prowess of the late Jason Stuart's exceptional keyboard playing.

"Onward" track listing:

01. Seasons
02. The Hills Have Ears (guest guitarist: Huw Lloyd Langton)
03. Mind Cut
04. System Check
05. Death Trap
06. Southern Cross
07. The Prophecy
08. Electric Tears
09. The Drive By
10. Computer Cowards
11. Howling Moon
12. Right To Decide (bonus track)
13. Aerospace Age (bonus track)
14. The Flowering Of The Rose (bonus track)
15. Trans Air Trucking
16. Deep Vents
17. Green Finned Demon

The band is currently working on a new multimedia live show for forthcoming dates.

HAWKWIND features Dave Brock on vocals, guitar and synthesizer, Richard Chadwick drums and vocals, Tim Blake on keyboards and theremin, Mr. Dibs on vocals and bass and Niall Hone on bass, synthesis, sequencing and guitar.
Fingers of the Babylon, New York rock radio station WBAB recently conducted an interview with drummer Mike Portnoy (ADRENALINE MOB, DREAM THEATER, AVENGED SEVENFOLD). You can now listen to the chat at this location. A couple of excerpts from the interview follow below (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).

On what it was like to see DREAM THEATER nominated for a Grammy Award a year after his departure from the band:

Portnoy: "It was a tough thing for me to see because I worked so hard for all those years to always fight to get the band mainstream acceptance and acknowledgement. We always did so well on our own for all those years — we kind of climbed the ladder on our own terms. We'd sell out Radio City Music Hall [in New York City] on our own terms. So we were doing things on our own terms and always hoping for, kind of, mainstream, commercial acceptance or acknowledgement. So to see it finally come a year after I left, it was heartbreaking for me on a personal level. On a professional level, I'm happy that it finally happened for the band. It was a long time coming; it should have happened many, many years ago. So, on one hand, it was, like, exciting that the band finally got recognized, but it was just kind of strange that it finally happened… the timing of it all — after all the hard work and blood, sweat and tears that I put in. But you know what?! Better late than never. But the other reality of it… I don't wanna sound bitter, but the reality of it is even all the years when I was in the band, I never really cared about the Grammys anyway; it was always like, 'F the Grammys.' To me, it was always a bit of a joke, and I never put that much weight or value in it to begin with. So I don't wanna come out and say that now and it's gonna look like I'm bitter because they got nominated, but the reality is, it's nice to get the tip of the hat, but realistically, that was never an important thing for me. I was always more concerned about how we did things on our own terms. . . I think, honestly, that the tip of the cap with that nomination was more of a career nod and the fact that DREAM THEATER existed and made such a splash on our own terms. I honestly don't think it had anything to do with just the new album ['A Dramatic Turn Of Events'] and that particular song ['On The Backs Of Angels']. I mean, of course, it's easy for me to say that, and I'll probably get [slammed] for saying that, but I think the reality is it was more of a career nod, and if so, if that's the case, then I think it's well deserved. Whether or not I'm there, I think the band really made its mark for what we did, so I think it deserves to be recognized."

On the dramatic way in which his split from DREAM THEATER played out in the media:

Portnoy: "The reality is we live in an age where everything is on the Internet in real time. Every band goes through breakups or splits. When we grew up and it happened to VAN HALEN and it happened to KISS and it happened to this band and that band and PRIEST and MAIDEN, it was before the Internet and these things wouldn't be so widely open and publicized. And I live a very open life. I value my relationship with the fans and I utilize Twitter and Facebook and my web site, so my day-to-day activities are an open book for me to share with the fans, for better or for worse. So I think because of that, a lot of the shit got blown up and twisted around in the public eye when, realistically, back in the day — in the '70s, '80s and '90s — a lot of this stuff would have been behind closed doors. We live in an age when Twitter and Blabbermouth and everything is out there in real time. So, unfortumately, a lot of the [details behind the split] probably, really, should have not been up for public discussion and dissection, but, unfortunately, it was. . . The difference is back [in the '70s, '80s and early '90s], only the journalists and the record DJs and people like that were able to really comment on the bands and the music. Now every 12-year-old kid with a computer has an open forum to get involved. [laughs] So when you have something like a band split or a breakup, then you have thousands of comments feeding it and fueling it and commenting on it, it's much different than it was back in the '80s and '90s for us. . . Anytime I tried to defend myself, it would get ripped apart and overanalyzed and misinterpreted, so I've learned the hard way over the past year that the best reponse is no response. And it's sad, because I've always valued being very, very open honest with the fans. You see people like Lars Ulrich [METALLICA] and Dave Mustaine [MEGADETH] and usually the people that have the honesty and the open mouths to talk about things are the ones that get shut down and made examples of. So… live and learn."

On the circumstances that led to his departure from DREAM THEATER:

Portnoy: "Basically, we were together for 25 years, at least 15 to 20 of which were very, very active — you know, write-record-tour, write-record-tour… an endless cycle. And to be honest with you, within those cycles, I was always overseeing everything — from the production to the DVDs to the web sites to the merchandise to the fan clubs — so I never got a rest whereas the other guys would get to go home and have time off with their families. So I was getting burnt out. And granted, I like doing other things with other projects and things like that, and I think that, sometimes, a break from the family — meaning, the full-time band — it was sometimes good. But anyway, towards the end, I was just feeling burnt out. On the surface, the band was making new strides — we had just done a tour with IRON MAIDEN, we played Madison Square Garden for the first time. So the band was still building and growing and developing. But after 25 years, I mean, I just felt we needed a break. I just felt like backstage, there was no camaraderie and everyone was in separate dressing rooms. I was out there, I did a run [as the touring drummer] with AVENGED SEVENFOLD, and I was seeing this brotherhood and this camaraderie that was exciting and inspiring to me, and I wasn't seeing that with DREAM THEATER, so I just suggested, 'Hey, guys, let's take a little break, a little hiatus. It might do the band some good. It might internally respark the fire and rekindle the relationship. The fans could be, maybe, a little hungry after a year or two.' So I suggested that, and obviously, they didn't wanna stop, they didn't wanna take a break, and I desperately needed one — not from working, but from those guys and that endless cycle. . . I always tell my wife, in our relationship, I think one of the reasons me and my wife have had such a great relationship, and we're now together over 20 years, is that I'm away a lot. I'll go on tour. And people always say to me, 'Well, how can a marriage last when you're away as much as you are?' And I always say, 'Well, absence makes the heart grow fonder. That time apart from each other has actually strengthened our relationship. And I think the same thing could have been said for DREAM THEATER. I think we were just together so much for so long that I think a little time [off] could have done us well. I mean, everybody from METALLICA to RUSH to MAIDEN, at one point, you take a year or two off. In any case, it is what it is, and I'm not lingering on it, and I've accepted what it is and we've decided to go our separate ways. I'm very, very happy with where I'm at, and I have no regrets. It is what it is and I'm looking at where I am today and where I am going tomorrow and I'm not worrying about the past. My time and my legacy with DREAM THEATER will always be a part of me, it's something I'll always be proud of. But, you know, it's 2012 and they are where they are and I am where I am, and everybody is moving on."
Swedish hard rockers EUROPEwill embark on a U.K. headlining tour in November.

An exclusive 48-hour ticket pre-sale for EUROPE fans will happen on Wednesday, March 7 at 9 a.m. via www.planetrock.com. Tickets will then go on sale to the general public on Friday, March 9 at 9 a.m. via www.ticketweb.co.uk and www.eventim.co.uk. All tickets are priced £18.50, with the exception of London (£20).

The dates are as follows:

Nov. 22 - Glasgow, UK @ 02 ABC
Nov. 23 - Manchester, UK @ HMV Ritz
Nov. 25 - Newcastle, UK @ 02 Academy
Nov. 26 - Leeds, UK @ 02 Academy
Nov. 27 - Nottingham, UK @ Rock City
Nov. 29 - Bristol, UK @ 02 Academy
Nov. 30 - Cardiff, UK @ Coal Exchange
Dec. 01 - London, UK @ 02 Shepherds Bush Empire

"Not Supposed To Sing The Blues", the new single from 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.

"Bag Of Bones" track listing:

01. Riches To Rags
02. Not Supposed To Sing The Blues
03. Firebox
04. Bag Of Bones
05. Requiem
06. My Woman My Friend
07. Demon Head
08. Drink And A Smile
09. Doghouse
10. Mercy You Mercy Me
11. Bring It All Home

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."
Guitarist Andreas Kisser of Brazilian/American thrashers SEPULTURA will officially launch his signature Dunlop Cry Baby wah-wah pedal tomorrow (Wednesday, March 7).

The original Cry Baby, manufactured by Dunlop Manufacturing, Inc., is said to be the best-selling guitar pedal of all time

To see more about the wah pedal, visit www.crybabydoc.com for the feature-length documentary "Cry Baby: The Pedal That Rocks The World".
SEPULTURA played its first show with new drummer Eloy Casagrande (GLÓRIA, ANDRÉ MATOS) on November 25, 2011 in Lichtenfels, Germany.

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

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

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

SEPULTURA is continuing to tour in support of its 12th studio album, and Nuclear Blast Records debut, "Kairos", which hit stores in July 2011.
Atlanta progressive metallers MASTODON will release a split seven-inch single with Canadian singer-songwriter Feist to celebrate Record Store Day on April 21. This very exclusive and highly anticipated pressing features MASTODON covering the Feist song "A Commotion", while Feist covers MASTODON's "Black Tongue".

In a recent interview with Sweden's Metalshrine, MASTODON drummer Brann Dailor explained how the single idea came about. "We did [the BBC television show 'Later... With Jools Holland'], and right after we got off stage, we went backstage and and we were in the hallway with [Feist], and she was talking to [MASTODON vocalist/guitarist] Brent [Hinds]. They were involved in a conversation and were just like, 'Yeah, let's do that! We should do it for Record Store Day!' Something out of left field and something we'd like to be involved with more of."

He added, "It's fun for us. I mean, most times we end up doing covers of bands that are already sort of heavy or that is already in that vein, like the MELVINS, THIN LIZZY, METALLICA, you know what I mean? What are you gonna do to those songs to make them your own? It's kinda difficult and especially with stuff like METALLICA or the MELVINS where we're so kinda familiar and in love with the versions that METALLICA and the MELVINS and THIN LIZZY have created, you wanna make it sound like theirs because that's what you're so used to hearing. You don't really wanna mess with it. With Feist, it's something that we could really play with and do something different with."

About Record Store Day: Record Store Day is managed by the Music Monitor Network and is organized in partnership with the Alliance Of Independent Media Stores (AIMS), the Coalition Of Independent Music Stores (CIMS) and celebrates the culture of independent record stores by playing host to in-store events/performances, signings and special product releases on a global scale.

Record Store Day takes place annually on the third Saturday of April.
"Burning Earth", the second album from Greek melodic metallers FIREWIND — who feature in their ranks current OZZY OSBOURNE guitarist Gus G. — has just been reissued on Leviathan Records in the U.S. and Hydrant Records in Japan. The reissue was remastered and includes three previously unavilable bonus tracks.

Commented Gus: "'Burning Earth' was a very important step for FIREWIND as we needed to create an even stronger follow-up to our debut album, 'Between Heaven And Hell'. I wanted to create a killer record and finally get a chance to play some shows with FIREWIND and not just be a studio project. I remember it was a very inspiring period for me and the songs came to me so naturally.

"It seems that these days 'The Fire & The Fury' is a modern-day classic instrumental track, but I almost put it together accidentally. I had this cool riff but wasn't sure I would make it a vocal track. I started jamming and the main theme just came out. It's no wonder this song is still a highlight of our live setlist and fans go crazy when we play it.

"I definitely felt we were doing something different and more fresh within our genre and this is why this album has stood the test of time and I still think to this day that 'Burning Earth' is one of FIREWIND's finest musical moments."

FIREWIND's new album, "Few Against Many" will be released in Europe on May 21 via Century Media Records and in North America on May 22 through DisManic, Inc. via eOne Distribution. The CD was mixed by Jason Suecof and Eyal Levi at Audiohammer Studios (TRIVIUM, ALL THAT REMAINS, DEATH ANGEL) in Sanford, Florida.

Produced by Gus, "Few Against Many" was recorded with his longtime bandmates, vocalist Apollo Papathanasio, keyboardist/guitarist Bob Katsionis and bassist Petros Christo, at Valve Studio in Greece as well as the Sweetspot Studios in Sweden and sees the band expanding on its signature melodic sound with some of its most aggressive songs to date. The CD also marks the recording debut of new FIREWIND drummer Johan Nunez (NIGHTRAGE). The young Belgian is regarded by Gus as a "phenomenal talent," and anyone that witnessed him on the band's most recent world tour will no doubt agree.
Sammy Hagar spoke to RollingStone.com about his former MONTROSE bandmate Ronnie Montrose, who died on Saturday, March 3 at age 64, seemingly due to complications from prostate cancer. In 1973 Ronnie Montrose formed MONTROSE featuring Hagar on lead vocals and recorded two hard rock staples — 1973's "Montrose" and 1974's "Paper Money", before they parted ways.

"A couple of weeks ago [was the last time I spoke to Montrose], and about a week before that, and then four or five days before that," Sammy said. "We were talking a lot, because we were planning a MONTROSE reunion for my birthday in Cabo this year. MONTROSE, the whole band, has not been there. Denny's been there, Bill's been there, Ronnie's been there — but [the whole band together] has never been there. I said to Ronnie, 'Come on, man. We're all getting old. Let's do this again while we can.' And he was in, we were all in. On my 65th, on October 13th, I was planning on coming out with MONTROSE, doing the whole first album, then going in with my other band, and then bringing CHICKENFOOT out. I was going to try to [cover] my whole four decades for the fans that night, without nobody knowing. The fans don't ever know what I'm going to do down there. And Ronnie was in. It's crazy. I even played back on my message box, February 10th — 'Hagar, Ronzo… call me back!' It was all good. It's fucked up that those songs will never be played by those four members again. That's so weird to me. It's like the end of an era. Songs can go forever, but we can't. It's trippy."

Hagar was fired from MONTROSE in 1975, and over the years has had some colorful things to say about Ronnie, until the band began performing together as part of Hagar's solo shows. He told The Pulse Of Radio at the time that he never wanted to stop performing as a part of MONTROSE and had always been pushing for a reunion. "I've always tried to get MONTROSE to do it, and Ronnie would never do it in the past. Every time I'd ask, he'd say, 'Oh, I'm busy.' 'Oh, I'm doing a record.' 'Oh, I've got my own little club tour,' and he always would shoot me down. So it's been about three or four years since I've asked him to do it again, so I just thought, 'Hey — I'm ending my tour, so why don't I see if Montrose wants to come out?' And finally, he accepted. I was shocked."

The original lineup of MONTROSE reunited for two tracks recorded during sessions for Hagar's 1997 "Marching To Mars" album — "Leaving The Warmth Of The Womb", which appeared on the album and a remake of the band's classic, "Rock Candy", which appeared on a CD single.
Vocalist Robert "Bob" James, who replaced Sammy Hagar in MONTROSE and sang on the band's albums "Warner Bros. Presents" (1975) and "Jump On It" (1976), has released the following statement to BLABBERMOUTH.NET regarding the passing of his former bandmate Ronnie Montrose (MONTROSE, GAMMA):

"I am sorry to hear of Ronnie's passing at a time that seems far too early. Just as he did with Sammy Hagar, Ronnie introduced me to the professional rock world in a way that changed my life.

"When Ronnie hired me in 1975, I went from being a huge MONTROSE fan to becoming an actual member of my favorite band literally overnight. It was my wildest dream come true and Ronnie was as excited as I was. My audition took place in Ted Templeman's office at Warner Bros. in Burbank; it was just Ronnie playing acoustic guitar and me singing. From that magical and nervous introduction through the recording of 'Warner Bros. Presents' and 'Jump On It', and the extensive touring we did together, I learned more from working with Ronnie than I could ever have imagined.

"Courtesy of our manager Bill Graham, we spent several weeks rehearsing at Winterland in San Francisco in preparation for what would be a brutal tour across the USA and Canada. There was little time for sleep since Bill always booked us on the biggest shows of the day, sharing the stage with legends such as KISS, LYNYRD SKYNYRD, AEROSMITH, and THE ROLLING STONES. The pressure was on and Ronnie knew we had to be at our very best on these high-profile gigs. He really pushed us, but his tough work ethic paid off, because when we headlined our own shows we consistently got called back for three or four encores.

"Ronnie always told me that he had his own personal limitations, but I feel he made the very most out of his God-given talent.

"For me, Ronnie's greatest quality was probably his unwillingness to adhere to a standard formula, and his insistence on keeping things fresh. Under Ronnie's direction, MONTROSE were never a jukebox that just played the record, but a band who were always pushed to create new and innovative ways of presenting our recordings onstage every night. It was a fun and wild ride, and the experience taught me invaluable lessons.

"I remain grateful to Ronnie for having chosen me to make the journey with him, and regret that we'll never share the stage together one more time.

"Ronnie's unique influence and legacy will live on through his recordings, and I am honored to have been a part of that history.

"My prayers go out to Ronnie's wife and children, and I wish them the very best at this difficult time.

"Ronnie — rest in peace brother, and may the white spotlight shine on you brightly."

Ronnie Montrose died on Saturday, March 3 after a five-year battle with prostate cancer. He was 64 years old.

Born in Denver, Colorado, Montrose's first break when he played Van Morrison's classic 1971 album, "Tupelo Honey". He also appeared on recordings by Boz Scaggs and the EDGAR WINTER GROUP (1972's "They Only Come Out At Night") before going solo under the MONTROSE moniker in 1973 (with a very young Sammy Hagar on vocals). The MONTROSE band released two albums, "Montrose" and "Paper Money", before Hagar left to pursue a solo career. Montrose continued to release albums with the MONTROSE band, but focused his attention mostly on his solo career as well as his other band, GAMMA, which released four albums between 1979 and 2000.

After being diagnosed with cancer in 2007, Montrose took some time off from playing and performing to focus on his health.
"Land Of The Crimson Dawn", the new album from German melodic metallers FREEDOM CALL, has entered the German Media Control chart in the band's home country at position No. 59. This marks FREEDOM CALL's highest entry in Germany since the group's 2002 CD, "Eternity", which debuted at No. 55.

"Land Of The Crimson Dawn" was released on February 24 in Germany, February 27 in the rest of Europe and February 28 in the USA/Canada via SPV/Steamhammer. The effort was made available in three versions: as a jewel case featuring 14 songs; as a limited double CD digipak including six additional bonus tracks (versions of popular FREEDOM CALL numbers by POWERWORLD, SECRET SPHERE, DOWNSPIRIT, MANIMAL, NEONFLY and Hannes Braun [KISSIN' DYNAMITE]); and on double colored vinyl LP.

Commented FREEDOM CALL vocalist/guitarist Chris Bay: "The new tracks simply have more of that rock 'n' roll feel. Everything sounds much rawer, there's more focus on the guitars than before, and the musicians had more freedom during the recordings than they used to have."

Digipak track listing:

CD 1

01. Age Of The Phoenix (3:37)
02. Rockstars (5:08)
03. Crimson Dawn (6:29)
04. 66 Warriors (5:20)
05. Back Into The Land Of Light (5:39)
06. Sun In The Dark (4:49)
07. Hero On Video (3:50)
08. Valley Of Kingdom (4:32)
09. Killer Gear (4:42)
10. Rockin' Radio (4:13)
11. Terra Liberty (4:09)
12. Eternity (4:23)
13. Space Legends (4:04)
14. Power & Glory (3:30)

CD 2

01. Flame In The Night (performed by POWERWORLD)
02. Hunting High And Low (performed by DOWNSPIRIT)
03. Fairyland (performed by SECRET SPHERE)
04. Palace Of Fantasy (performed by MANIMAL)
05. Land Of The Light (performed by NEONFLY)
06. Warriors (performed by Hannes Braun of KISSIN' DYNAMITE)

Jewel case track listing:

01. Age Of The Phoenix (3:37)
02. Rockstars (5:08)
03. Crimson Dawn (6:29)
04. 66 Warriors (5:20)
05. Back Into The Land Of Light (5:39)
06. Sun In The Dark (4:49)
07. Hero On Video (3:50)
08. Valley Of Kingdom (4:32)
09. Killer Gear (4:42)
10. Rockin' Radio (4:13)
11. Terra Liberty (4:09)
12. Eternity (4:23)
13. Space Legends (4:04)
14. Power & Glory (3:30)

LP track listing:

LP 1

Side A

01. Age Of The Phoenix (3:37
02. Rockstars (5:08)
03. Crimson Dawn (6:29)

Side B

01. 66 Warriors (5:20)
02. Back Into The Land Of Light (5:39)
03. Sun In The Dark (4:49)

LP 2

Side A

01. Hero On Video (3:50)
02. Valley Of Kingdom (4:32)
03. Killer Gear (4:42)
04. Rockin' Radio (4:13)

Side B

01. Terra Liberty (4:09)
02. Eternity (4:23)
03. Space Legends (4:04)
04. Power & Glory (3:30)

FREEDOM CALL's current lineup:

Chris Bay - Vocals & Guitar
Lars Rettkowitz - Guitar, Backing Vocals
Samy Saemann - Bass, Backing Vocals
Klaus Sperling - Drums, Backing Vocals
SOMETHING UNTO NOTHING (S.U.N.), a name all together fresh and rooted in rock 'n' roll, is setting onto the music scene breaking the social traditions that have become the rock norm. Headed up by the whiskey-soaked voice of Sass Jordan, a Canadian icon and Juno Award winner, with music partner, renowned drummer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Brian Tichy, known for his tours of duty with BILLY IDOL, FOREIGNER, OZZY OSBOURNE and currently WHITESNAKE, their self-titled debut album hopes to smash through the anonymity and secure a place in the current rock landscape.

Sass Jordan has an innate talent capable of conveying powerful emotion through heart-stomping, primal, rock-and-roll singing. S.U.N.'s debut album is explosive, crushing, real and soulful with its natural fusion of blues and rock. Jordan's vocal intensity proves a perfect match for the high-energy guitar playing of Tichy and her bandmates that provide the unique music palette that is S.U.N.

Previously working together is what brought Jordan and Tichy together in collaboration of the new music. "I had played drums on Sass's 'Rats' record," explains Tichy. "I knew she was one of the best rock singers going. So after many years, we reconnected and tried a bit of writing together." Both felt that in order to write the best, trend-free music they could, they needed to get away. They chose the mountains of Canyon Country and in an old, deserted shack S.U.N. was born. "We didn't realize where we going when we started out," says Jordan. "As we continued the songwriting path from 'Burned' to 'Mobile Again' to 'Nomad' and on ... The whole thing started to take shape in the form of a '70s odyssey, a time travel trajectory."

Completing the band that drives this music home is Marty O'Brien (WE ARE THE FALLEN, TOMMY LEE, STATIC X, DISTURBED) on bass and Tommy Stewart (GODSMACK, LO-PRO, EVERCLEAR, FUEL) on drums.

S.U.N. will play its first-ever live show at the Viper Room in Hollywood this Tuesday night.

S.U.N. is now finishing up mixes to the "Something Unto Nothing" record and looking for the best platform to release the music to its fans. Also coming up, be on the lookout for an extensive summer tour as well as international dates.
Solid State Records has set a May 22 release date for TO SPEAK OF WOLVES' second full-length album, "Find Your Worth, Come Home".

The band's first CD with dynamic new frontman Gage Speas, "Find Your Worth, Come Home" sees the revitalized lineup reaching into darker, heavier and faster territory. It's an album of rediscovery, and an album that freshly stamps what TO SPEAK OF WOLVES is about, from the title on down.

"The title is about we've been doing — finding ourselves as a band, proving what are and doing what we do best," explains drummer and founding member Phil Chamberlain. "This record is something that we're incredibly proud of. We've gotten a lot of compliments about how intense we are live and I don't think that came across on the first album. This time around we went into the recording process wanting to make sure to capture that intensity, and I think we did that."

"We couldn't be more stoked and proud of what we've created with this album," Chamberlain exclaims. "We are excited and can't wait to share it with everyone!"

"Find Your Worth, Come Home" is the follow-up to TO SPEAK OF WOLVES' heralded 2010 debut, "Myself < Letting Go", which catapulted the band onto the national stage with its road-rash riffage and soaring, arena-worthy choruses. Relentless touring alongside likeminded bands such as UNDEROATH, AUGUST BURNS RED and BETWEEN THE BURIED AND ME underscored the fact that the Greensboro, North Carolina quintet were a force to be reckoned with. The band quickly became a beacon within the hard rock and metalcore scene, despite — or perhaps because of — their unwillingness to become yet another facsimile spewing forth endless breakdowns and Auto-Tuned choruses. TO SPEAK OF WOLVES refused to do either, and fans loved them all the more for it.

Now, driven by the dominating vocal presence of Speas, TO SPEAK OF WOLVES are ready to blow the doors wide open. "We're now completely on the same page as a band and couldn't be happier," Chamberlain assures. "We've never had more fun."
GWAR frontman David Brockie — better known to the band's legion of fans as the alien overlord Oderus Urungus — has revealed via Twitter that he will record his first official scratch tracks for the band's new album later today (Tuesday, March 6).

GWAR's upcoming CD will be a tribute to their fallen bandmate and friend Cory Smoot, a.k.a. Flattus Maximus, who was found dead as GWAR was about to enter Canada on November 3, 2011. He was 34 years old.

GWAR will return to the road this spring on the second leg of their "Return Of The World Maggot Tour". The trek kicks off with a special tribute show for Cory Smoot in Richmond, Virginia, at The National Theater on Friday, March 16. All proceeds from the Richmond show will benefit the Smoot Family Fund which has been established to help support Cory's widow and their unborn child. Support on this run will come from fellow Richmond metallers MUNICIPAL WASTE, and California's GHOUL. LEGACY OF DISORDER will join the tour on March 20 in Boston and the tour will run through April 11 in Fort Collins, Colorado.

GWAR's latest album, "Bloody Pit Of Horror", sold around 2,800 copies in the United States in its first week of release. The band's previous CD, "Lust In Space", opened with 5,000 units to debut at position No. 96 on The Billboard 200 chart.
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 this week for a May release via Pure Steel Records.

"Free Falling Angels" track listing:

01. Heaven Send For Me
02. Never "Waste" Land
03. Crazy
04. Get It On
05. Free Falling Angels
06. Nighttrain To Paris
07. Die In Britain
08. Miss Misery
09. Shock Me
10. The One
11. "Maryann"

Check out the cover artwork below.

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."
KATAKLYSM frontman Maurizio Iacono's Ancient Roman-themed arsenal EX DEO will release its sophomore album, "Caligvla", on August 31 via Austria's Napalm Records. The CD is being recorded with producer Jean-François Dagenais (KATAKLYSM, MALEVOLENT CREATION, MISERY INDEX, DESPISED ICON) and will feature guest appearances by Italian singer Mariangela "Mary" Demurtas of Norway's TRISTANIA and Italian guitar virtuoso Francesco Artusato from ALL SHALL PERISH. The artwork and layout for the album will be handled by classic artist Seth (SEPTICFLESH). Songtitles set to appear on the CD include "I, Caligula", "Burned to Serve the Nocturnal Light", "In War & Conquest/Roma Caput Mundi" and "Teutoburg (The Ambush of Varus) - Part 1".

"Caligvla" track listing:

01. I, Caligvla
02. The Tiberius Cliff (Exile To Capri)
03. Per Oculos Aquila
04. Pollice Verso (Damnatio Ad Bestia)
05. Divide Et Impera
06. Burned To Serve As Nocturnal Light
07. Teutuborg (Ambush Of Varus)
08. Along The Appian Way
09. Once Were Romans
10. Evocatio: The Temple Of Castor & Pollux

Iacono recently completed laying down vocals for "Caligvla". He said in a Facebook posting, "It wasn't without any hard work, blood and sweat and also close to a fainting spell after one of the hardest-longest screams I ever made. Ten days of vocal tracking, some of my best work in my career, the gods will be pleased … Some solos are left, some guest appearances to track and we start mixing this beast, should be all done by end of March.. Eight months in the making, people. Soon we will give the metal world a well-deserved punishment!!"

EX DEO recently canceled its participation in the "Paganfest America Part III" tour with TURISAS, ALESTORM, ARKONA and HUNTRESS.

Commented Iacono: "We were all excited to play this festival and premier some new material, but unfortunately our new album, 'Caligvla', has been delayed, and we need to finish it and make it perfect. Add to that, the KATAKLYSM DVD is also on its final production phase... We decided it would be best to concentrate on giving every bit of attention to the album you have been waiting for, and also for the KATAKLYSM documentary to kick major ass. This being said, we will still perform with EX DEO on the Montreal [April 1 at Club Soda] and Toronto [April 2 at The Opera House] shows with Paganfest, as we will be in studio in the area, closing up the album 'Caligvla'. Everything else is cancelled for EX DEO. We will return to support the album in the fall... Word from Rome is that the plans are already in motion for world conquest! We ask our fans to support Paganfest and the great bands playing this year!"

EX DEO last year completed a North American tour with NILE, PSYCROPTIC and KEEP OF KALESSIN.

"Romulus", the debut album from EX DEO, landed at position No. 90 on the Top New Artist Albums (Heatseekers) chart, which lists the best-selling albums by new and developing artists, defined as those who have never appeared in the Top 100 of The Billboard 200.
The reactivated original lineup of SPINESHANK — featuring Jonny Santos (vocals), Tommy Decker (drums), Mike Sarkisyan (guitar) and Rob Garcia (bass) — has inked a deal with Century Media Records. The band's long-awaited fourth album, "Anger Denial Acceptance", will be released on June 19 (one day earlier internationally). Produced by Sarkisyan and Decker and mixed by Mike Plotnikoff (PAPA ROACH, BUCKCHERRY), the CD promises to surpass everyone's expectation of what SPINESHANK is capable of.

Commented Sarkysian: "We're very excited to be on a great label like Century Media. Aside from being the premier label for rock and metal, they seem to really understand our vision and are as excited as we are about taking SPINESHANK to a whole new level!"

"Anger Denial Acceptance" tentative track listing:

01. After The End
02. Nothing Left For Me
03. Anger Denial Acceptance
04. I Want You To Know
05. Murder Suicide
06. The Endless Disconnect
07. I Am Damage
08. Ploratio Morbus (interlude)
09. Everything Everyone Everywhere Ends
10. The Reckoning
11. God Complex (Anger)
12. Motive Method Opportunity (Denial)
13. Exit Wound (Acceptance)

The official "lyric video" for the song "Murder Suicide" can be seen below.

In a recent interview with FrontRowRock.com, Decker stated about "Anger Denial Acceptance", "It's three of the stages of grieving, rearranged a bit. I think it's something a lot of people can relate to; things ending, relationships, people. Members of this band have been through a lot in the last few years and it all came out in this record. This is the most personal record we've ever done. Everything you hear is real. The pain, anger and sadness come from a real place. It was not a fun record to make."

When asked about the recording process for the new CD, Decker said, "The recording process was a lot different this time. It was the first record where we didn't have an outside producer come in, we did it completely on our own. We also did it in different sessions. We'd write three or four songs and then go record them. Write three or four more and record them in a different studio. We actually took our Pro Tools rig to a cabin in Big Bear and did a lot of the vocals there. We were totally isolated from the outside world; we were able to fully focus and concentrate on the songs. It was a really cool way to record."

Speaking to Valerie Bastien of RockSource360, Sarkisyan stated about "Anger Denial Acceptance", "I think the biggest difference in making this record was that it was done by us from the writing stage all the way to tracking. We didn't have a label rep up our asses all the time and we just kind of had the freedom to do what we wanted, when we wanted and how we wanted. Musically, it's light years ahead of what 'Self-Destructive Pattern' was, as it should be. We all have grown as writers and performers, and we've gotten better at expressing ourselves in our music.

On the topic of the new album's title track and why the band felt it was a perfect fit to name the whole album after it, Mike said, "That song was like my 'baby' on this record. I had come up with the skeleton of it before bringing it up to the guys. I had a pretty clear idea of where it needed to be, musically. Those three words just kept ringing in my head the whole time I was putting this together. It's some of the stages of dealing with loss. Any kind of loss. It was the first time that me, Tommy and Jonny collaborated on lyrics. It sort of became the centerpiece of the record and although it's not a full concept album, the album does tie together in more ways than one. And it's not structured like a basic song either. It's not that 'verse/chorus/verse…' thing. It has three distinct and different parts that sorta tie in together and represent 'Anger Denial Acceptance'. I'm super happy with the way it came out and am very proud of it."

SPINESHANK's third and last album, "Self-Destructive Pattern", was released on September 9, 2003. The album's lead single, "Smothered", was nominated for a Grammy in the category of "Best Metal Performance".

Following his departure from SPINESHANK, Santos formed SILENT CIVILIAN, which released its debut album, "Rebirth of the Temple", in May 2006. A follow-up effort, "Ghost Stories", came out in May 2010 via Mediaskare/Century Media.
WORLD UNDER BLOOD — the melodic death metal project led by CKY guitarist/vocalist Deron Miller — has announced the addition of drummer Mike Heller (MALIGNANCY) and bassist Kyle Konkiel (IN THIS MOMENT) to the group's ranks.


Deron Miller (CKY): guitars, Vocals
Mike Heller (MALIGNANCY): Drums
Kyle Konkiel (IN THIS MOMENT): Bass
Luke Jaeger: Lead Guitar

"Tactical", the debut album from WORLD UNDER BLOOD, sold around 900 copies in the United States in its first week of release. The CD landed at position No. 32 on the Top New Artist Albums (Heatseekers) chart, which lists the best-selling albums by new and developing artists, defined as those who have never appeared in the Top 100 of The Billboard 200.

The artwork for "Tactical" was brought to life by the twisted mind of Pär Olofsson (IMMORTAL, THE FACELESS, ABYSMAL DAWN) and can be seen below.

The drum tracks on "Tactical" were laid down by Tim Yeung (DIVINE HERESY, VITAL REMAINS, HATE ETERNAL).
Due to "unfortunate scheduling conflicts," the release of "Self 2.0"Christian Älvestam (SOLUTION.45, MISERATION, TORCHBEARER, ex-SCAR SYMMETRY), has been pushed back to the fall. Christian
The EP will be released exclusively in all major web-retail outlets and streaming services via Pivotal Rockordings.

Songtitles set to appear on the effort include "Departure Theme", "En Knippa Ljung" and "The Unforsaken".

Perhaps most well known in the metal community as the singer on SCAR SYMMETRY's first three albums, and currently front man in SOLUTION .45, Älvestam also garnered fandom in the house music scene through his collaboration on a single MCD with DJ Henrik B, entitled "Now And Forever". The single not only received rave reviews in the electronic music scene, but also was immediately picked up by DJ Tiesto, who played it in regular rotation on his world tour to tens of thousands of people. With additional contributions of his signature vocal style as a guest in the most recent DEMON HUNTER and BLOODBATH releases, Älvestam's name has become a fixture among hordes of fans.

However, "Self 2.0" promises to be something different from what fans expect from the singer/songwriter, as Älvestam explains:

"It's not exactly a secret that I have a weak spot for more pop-oriented stuff - especially in the vein of the sound of the '80s," he says. "In fact, I have always been listening to softer music, alongside the heavier stuff, which is probably why my own music so often, unintentionally, tend to end up being a mixture of the two. I simply can't help myself when it comes to merging the aforesaid styles together, it seems. I'd like to call it unavoidable influence, as a direct result of having been indoctrinated with both, from childhood upwards. With that said, fighting against it is not an easy thing, whether you want to or not. At the same time, some would call it a mixed blessing, I guess. Anyhow, I have wanted to do something a bit different from what I usually do for a long time now and that is to make an all-stripped-down and laid-back album, where I use my clean vocals only. You who have followed me since the early days know I've made brief digressions, musically, of that sort before, like the 'Final State' trilogy (UNMOORED) and 'Lethean Tears' (SOLUTION .45), to name a few, so it's not like 'Self 2.0' is me heading out into completely unexplored territory. I've been there before, grubbing in its periphery. Then again, I guess you could see 'Self 2.0' as me going all the way for the first time, if you like!

"What can you expect of 'Self 2.0' then, taken as a whole? Well, if you, like me, dig bands/artists such as Michael Cretu (SANDRA/ENIGMA, etc.), Krister Linder (GRACE/DIVE, etc.), 30 SECONDS TO MARS, MUTE MATH, NEPHEW, DEAD LETTER CIRCUS, PENDULUM, MEW, THE RADIO DEPT. and so on, chance is 'Self 2.0' may strike your fancy!"

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