[Classic_Rock_Forever] Metal hammer Golden Gods Awards, Slash, Marilyn Manson, Melvins, Blind Guardian, Dragonforce, and tons more hard rock and heavy metal news


METALLICA, IRON MAIDEN, SAXON, LAMB OF GOD, OPETH and MESHUGGAH are among the nominees at this year's edition of the Metal Hammer Golden Gods awards, set to take place on Monday, June 11 at Indigo2 in London, England.

The nominees for the 2012 Golden Gods are:

Best New Band


Best Underground Band

* SHINING (Norway)



Best U.K. Band


Best International Band


Best Event

* MANOWAR returning to the U.K.
* IRON MAIDEN's U.K. tour
* Dave Mustaine playing with METALLICA
* Devin Townsend's DEVIN TOWNSEND PROJECT London shows
* Tommy Lee bringing his drumcoaster to the U.K.

Best Live Band


Dimebag Darrell Shredder

* Devin Townsend
* Dino Cazares (FEAR FACTORY)
* Adam Dutkiewicz (KILLSWITCH ENGAGE)
* Ol Drake (EVILE)

Metal As F*ck

* Nik Kai

The following awards will also take place on the night, as voted for by the esteemed team at Metal Hammer:

* Drummer Of The Year
* Album Of The Year
* Riff Lord
* Icon
* The Golden God

To cast your vote, go to this location.
According to The Pulse Of Radio, a British man has been banned from being alone with his eight-year-old daughter for up to a year after he accidentally downloaded images of child pornography while attempting to download an album from former GUNS N' ROSES guitarist Slash. Nigel Robinson admitted that he was trying to obtain music by Slash from an illegal file-sharing site, but that when he opened the files, he found not songs but images of young girls.

Robinson said he informed police about the photos at the urging of his wife, telling the Daily Mail, "When I saw these images I wanted to do something about it. I didn't want anyone else's children to be exploited in this way." He added, "I can categorically state 1,000 percent there will be nothing inappropriate on my computer other than the files I told the police about."

The local social services council recommended that Robinson not be allowed to be alone with his daughter or any other children during the length of the police investigation.

But the investigation could take up to a year before Robinson's laptop is returned. He said, "I can understand there needs to be caution. It is a very serious matter, but to be told it may be a year before the conclusion is just madness. I cannot take my daughter to the park, swimming or anything . . . I wish I had just binned the laptop and then none of this would have happened."
DJ Ted Stryker of the Los Angeles radio station KROQ world-premiered MARILYN MANSON's new single, "No Reflection", earlier today (Wednesday, March 7) during his afternoon drive show.

"No Reflection" is the first single from Manson's new album, "Born Villain", which is due out this spring through Cooking Vinyl Records.

In a recent interview with Revolver magazine, Manson stated about his new CD, "It doesn't really sound like any of my old records. In fact it sort of sounds like what I listened to before I made records — KILLING JOKE, JOY DIVISION, REVOLTING COCKS, BAUHAUS, BIRTHDAY PARTY … It's very rhythm-driven. It's actually very bluesy. It's the first record where I repeat verses. I just sign the words in a different key, the next time. I've never done that before, because I've always felt like I needed to write a lot of words in the past … I think this will probably be the grandest concept record of all."

Manson's U.S. theater tour is scheduled to kick off April 27.

The singer last September unveiled a new music video for the song "Born Villain" directed by actor Shia LaBeouf.

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

MARILYN MANSON in 2009 parted ways with longtime record label Interscope following the disappointing sales performance of "The High End Of Low".

"The High End Of Low" was Manson's first album with longtime bassist Twiggy Ramirez since 2000's "Holy Wood".
A tour van formerly used by MELVINS and featuring exterior artwork by late NIRVANA frontman Kurt Cobain is currently up for sale on eBay.

Known as the "Melvan," the 1972 Dodge Sportsman Royal Van served as the main vehicle for the band through many of their touring days.

The eBay listing describes the van as "a very unique piece of MELVINS/NIRVANA history and truly one of a kind. The KISS mural on the side was hand-drawn by Kurt Cobain using Sharpie markers shoplifted from the Thriftway grocery store in Montesano, Washington (former employer of King Buzzo). This was one of the first MELVINS tour vans and was used on at least one U.S. tour. Kurt himself was often times known to drive this van to local shows, also included are two former registrations, one signed by Roger Osborne (King Buzzo) and the second signed by former MELVINS bass player Matt Lukin! Bid high and bid often, this will probably be your one and only chance to own this unique piece of music history!"

NIRVANA bassist Krist Novoselic learned about the auction and tweeted his thoughts about it, writing, "If my '65 VW van I drove in '89 – '91 was for sale, I'd buy it in a second!" He added, "I remember the Melvan. It had mechanical problems even in the '80s. Gas was like 99 [cents] back then so having poor mpg [miles per gallon] not so bad."

According to Rolling Stone, the van is being sold by Ben Berg, the bassist for the group WEIRD BEAST, who has had the van since 1992. Berg told the magazine, "I think Kurt's name is carved somewhere in the van, as well. I don't know the exact location. I know that Krist Novoselic's name is carved in there. Dale Crover's name from the MELVINS is carved in there."

He added: "It's on eBay reserved at $150,000. If it's somebody with money right now that wants to contact me, I would let it go for like, $135,000."

The auction ends on March 13 and the winner must pick up the van from Montesano, Washington.
German power metallers BLIND GUARDIAN will guest on the German TV show "Nachtfahrt TV". The program is broadcast on several German TV channels, the list of which can be found at this location.

The "Nachtfahrt TV" episode featuring BLIND GUARDIAN will premiere on Friday, March 9 and be available online starting Monday, March 12.

A teaser for the episode can be seen below.

"Memories Of A Time To Come", the ultimate collection of BLIND GUARDIAN music from 1987 to 2011, was released on January 20 via Virgin/EMI.

"Memories Of A Time To Come" is available as a double CD, three-CD deluxe limited edition, including the band's demo recordings when they were called LUCIFER'S HERITAGE, and as download.

BLIND GUARDIAN is currently collaborating with Germany's best fantasy author Markus Heitz on an orchestral album which is expected to be released in 2013.

"At The Edge Of Time", the tenth studio album from BLIND GUARDIAN, sold around 4,400 copies in the United States in its first week of release to debut at position No. 108 on The Billboard 200 chart. The CD landed at position No. 1 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.

BLIND GUARDIAN's previous CD, "A Twist In The Myth", opened with 3,000 units back in September 2006.

"At The Edge Of Time" entered the German Media Control chart at position No. 2 — the band's strongest chart showing ever in its home country.
British epic power metallers DRAGONFORCE have announced plans to return to North America for a spring tour. This outing marks the band's first trek with brand new singer Marc Hudson, who also makes his recorded debut on "The Power Within". The album lands at retail on April 17 via Roadrunner Records.

Hudson premiered his voice at a series of intimate North American shows last October. The performances were met with much praise and approval from the band's diehard fanbase. Now the vocalist will be able to showcase his pipes to other parts of the country and beyond, where a similar reaction is expected for this talented up-and-comer with undeniable chops.

The tour kicks off April 21 at the annual New England Metal & Hardcore Festival in Worcester, Massachusetts and makes several stops on the East Coast before winding through Canada and into the Midwest before wrapping out west on May 11 in Anaheim, California. L.A.-based metal warriors HOLY GRAIL, and HUNTRESS, a five-piece metal band lead by vocalist Jill Janus, who delivers an unparalleled four-octave range thanks to her opera background, will provide support on this run.

Pre-orders for "The Power Within" are available as of today. You can pre-order "The Power Within" bundle and receive an exclusive autographed poster and a download of the album the day before it's available in stores.

The dates are as follows:

Apr. 21 - Worcester, MA - The Palladium
Apr. 22 - New York, NY - Gramercy Theatre
Apr. 23 - Philadelphia, PA - Theatre of the Living Arts
Apr. 25 - Montreal, QC - Le National
Apr. 26 - London, ON - London Music Hall
Apr. 27 - Milwaukee, WI - The Rave
Apr. 28 - Minneapolis, MN - First Avenue
Apr. 29 - Winnipeg, MB - West End Cultural Centre
May 01 - Edmonton, AB - The Starlite Room
May 02 - Calgary, AB - Republik
May 04 - Vancouver, BC - Commodore Ballroom
May 05 - Seattle, WA - El Corazon
May 06 - Portland, OR - Hawthorne Theater
May 08 - San Francisco, CA - Slim's
May 10 - Hollywood, CA - Troubadour
May 11 - Anaheim, CA - House of Blues

"The Power Within" will be released in the U.K. on April 16 via the band's own Electric Generation Recordings, distributed by Essential Music.

DRAGONFORCE guitarist Herman Li recently stated about "The Power Within", "The last two years have been the most fun we ever had making an album. Through writing, jamming and touring together, we have built this incredible energy and it has been fully captured on the new album.

"This time around we've really brought our metal side to the surface and made some of the best music of our career. From the fastest song we've ever recorded ['Fallen World'] to the slower songs, and some things you would never expect from us, this is by far the most diverse DRAGONFORCE album yet."

Li added, "This is an exciting new era for DRAGONFORCE with Marc joining the band, so we figured this was an ideal time to take full control of our own destiny and establish our own record label for Europe. It's all hands on deck running it, but a great buzz!"

"The Power Within" track listing:

01. Holding On
02. Fallen World
03. Cry Thunder
04. Give Me The Night
05. Wings of Liberty
06. Seasons
07. Heart Of The Storm
08. Die By The Sword
09. Last Man Stands
10. Seasons (acoustic version)

There will also be a digital and vinyl version featuring bonus tracks "Cry Thunder (Live Rehearsal)", "Heart of the Storm (Alternative Chorus Version)" and "Avant La Tempête (Instrumental)", plus an exclusive box set featuring:

* CD Version
* Access Code for Bonus Material plus
* DF Flashlight/Bottle Opener,
* Set of 6 DF Beer Mats featuring band cartoons by bassist Frédéric Leclercq.

DRAGONFORCE has announced a series of in-store signings with HMV, commencing in London on the release date of their new album, "The Power Within", of Sunday, April 15 along with a special, one-off album launch show in Birmingham.

The full in-store signing schedule:

April 15 at 12.00 p.m. - HMV London
April 16 at 5.00 p.m. - HMV Glasgow
April 17 at 5.00 p.m. - HMV Manchester
April 18 at 5.00 p.m. - HMV Birmingham
April 19 at 5.00 p.m. - HMV Bristol

Following the Birmingham signing on April 18, DRAGONFORCE will play an intimate "Kerrang! Live" show at The Temple Room within the HMV Institute. This will be the band's only U.K. appearance until their full U.K. tour later in the year.
Finnish melodic metallers STRATOVARIUS have issued the following update:

"We have now played the final Latin America gigs with [drummer] Jörg Michael, who is leaving the band after 16 years.

"2011 started with the release of the 'Elysium' album and was a long year with a long world tour together with HELLOWEEN. After some time off, we are now looking to the future, composing material for the next album, and we are also looking for the next drummer.

"We have some great candidates already, but since we have a bit of time, we decided to also cast a wider net to see what comes up. So, if you have some touring and recording experience, are — more important — musical and hard hitting, and — most important — a nice dude, you might be the one we are looking for!

"If you think this sounds like you, playing in a world-famous metal band for a living sounds like something you'd enjoy, and if you want us to listen, please put on some headphones and record a video of yourself playing any of these three STRATOVARIUS songs: 'Coming Home', 'Father Time' or 'Deep Unknown'. You can for instance upload them to YouTube.

"Send the video links and a short letter with your personal information to this e-mail address: drummer@stratovarius.com

"What do you have to lose? The world awaits you! Plus money, fame, great times, and all the beer you can drink."

Jörg joined STRATOVARIUS in 1995 and made his recording debut with the band on the "Episode" album (1996). He has appeared on nine full-length releases from STRATOVARIUS and has played nearly 1,000 shows with the band.

Commented STRATOVARIUS singer Timo Kotipelto: "The rest of us just has to accept Jörg's decision with a lot of sadness and wish him all the best for the future. But we can also assure that the band will still go on."

STRATOVARIUS and Jörg will not completely go their separate ways, however, since Jörg will still be working for the band through his booking agency, Twisted Talent Concerts.
Drummer Mike Portnoy says that recording and touring with AVENGED SEVENFOLD was "a great experience" despite the fact that the band ended up recruiting a younger musician to replace him on the road only a few months after Portnoy quit DREAM THEATER.

AVENGED's original drummer James "The Rev" Sullivan, died in December 2009 from an accidental overdose of prescription drugs.

Following Sullivan's death, the band recruited his favorite drummer, Portnoy, to record the drum tracks for its latest album, "Nightmare", and all its 2010 tour dates before dismissing him at the end of the year.

AVENGED's current drummer is Arin Ilejay, who began playing with them in early 2011.

Portnoy, who co-founded DREAM THEATER more than 20 years ago, abruptly quit the band in September 2010 while on tour with AVENGED SEVENFOLD. He has since been replaced by Mike Mangini (ANNIHILATOR, EXTREME, JAMES LABRIE, STEVE VAI).

When asked by Noisecreep how he looks back on his time playing with AVENGED SEVENFOLD now that he's had some time away from it, Portnoy said, "It was a great experience. The DREAM THEATER thing overtook the spotlight, and that was never the intention. The intention all along was to be there to serve them and Jimmy's memory. It got overshadowed in the end, which was never my intention. The media hype blew everything else up, so I totally understand their need to go with younger drummer. I come with history and baggage. As much as I love those guys, I tweet and stay in touch with my fans on Facebook, whereas they are more private. It makes total, total sense to go with someone new and young."

In a December 2011 interview with the San Francisco, California radio station 107.7 The Bone, AVENGED SEVENFOLD guitarist Zacky Vengeance stated about being caught in the middle of the drama between Portnoy and DREAM THEATER, "It was something that we were not used to at all. We had never, ever experienced any kind of in-the-spotlight drama; we just always stay in the shadows and keep any of our personal business private. And [Mike is] a very different character — he always goes straight to fans [on] Twitter or whatever… That's how he dealt with his band, and it was new to us. We like to be in touch with our fans, but we're also very private."

He continued, "[Mike had] been talking about quitting DREAM THEATER, that he wasn't necessarily happy, and he was excited to be playing with us; we were playing huge shows and stuff. I think he got caught up in the moment, got excited. We begged him to consider what he did, because we were in no position to find a permanent replacement, because in all honesty, you can't replace Jimmy, who was our best friend — first and foremost — besides beng an amazing drummer. So it just wasn't the right time and the place. And he told us, 'Hey, I've got good news and bad news. I quit DREAM THEATER.' We were like, 'Oh, no. Well, if you're happy, then that's good.' [And he was like], 'Now I can be with you guys.' And we were like, 'That's not necessarily what we decided upon. And you should take your time and reconsider.' And he was like, 'Well, I put out my press release.' We were like, 'Dude, that's not how we do business. You should have talked to us before.' Then it was back and forth [between Mike and his former DREAM THEATER bandmates]. We were out of it; we had nothing to do with it. We were just trying to get back on our feet. So when all that was going down, it was causing us a lot of heartache, to be honest — to see our name in this drama-filled love triangle. He helped us out at a really vulnerable time, and for that we will always be extremely appreciative. But for us, we were so unstable at that point that any unneeded attention was just very harmful to us. Obviously, it didn't work out [between us and Mike], but I think it's for the best — for him and for us."
METALLICA, in conjunction with friends C3 Presents, today announced lineup additions for Orion Music + More, the two-day festival created by METALLICA that will take place on June 23-24 at Bader Field in Atlantic City, New Jersey.

An entire stage devoted to punk and thrash music — Damage Inc. Stage — will be headlined by SUICIDAL TENDENCIES and SEPULTURA, and will feature up-and-comers TORCHE, RED FANG, KYNG, LANDMINE MARATHON, BLACK TUSK, THY WILL BE DONE, and more.

Orion Music + More will feature multiple live music stages plus a lifestyle element that reflects each of METALLICA's bandmembers' many personal interests. METALLICA will headline both nights of Orion Music + More and play "The Black Album" in its entirety one night and "Ride The Lightning" in its entirety the other. This will be the only time the band will perform these albums in North America in 2012.

Orion Music + More has also just launched a complete web site where fans are able to explore the full Orion Music + More lineup by clicking any band name for a bio, video, streaming music and more. They will also be able to use the Custom Scheduler to make their own personalized lineup.

Tickets for Orion Music + More are currently on sale for $150 for a two-day pass including all fees. Visit www.orionmusicandmore.com to buy tickets.

Orion Music + More scheduled performers:


Damage Inc. Stage


During an interview aired immediately after the announcement, METALLICA drummer Lars Ulrich stated about how the bands were selected to perform at Orion Music + More, "Music, to us, is really diverse; it covers all grounds. If you took the four of ours;' iPods and scanned through those, you would find the biggest variety and diversity of music, so we're trying to bring that spirit to this festival."

He added, "A lot of the European festivals, and certainly also Lollapalooza and Bonnaroo and so on, in outside lands in America, these festivals are really about diversity and about different experiences. You go there, you go check out bands you don't know a lot about, you go check out bands where it will be the first time you'll experience them. So there's a whole big pile of stuff — from punk to thrash to country to, sort, of alternative, straight-ahead rock, blues. But it's really about diversity."

"We'd love to have people open up their focus. Maybe they come to see us but wind up discovering some blues or country act," METALLICA guitarist Kirk Hammett told USA Today.

Added Ulrich: "It's all about balance, keeping things fresh."

"We've done festivals our whole career," said METALLICA guitarist/vocalist James Hetfield. "We wondered what made those people come back year after year, and it was because it was someplace you had to be. Maybe we can create something like that."

The METALLICA members explained that Orion was named in honor of the band's late bassist Cliff Burton. "Orion" is also the name of the instrumental song from METALLICA's 1986 album "Master Of Puppets", which is widely considered to be one of the greatest metal LPs of all time.

"We've had the idea of doing our own lifestyle festival with lots of diverse music and fun and games for years," said Ulrich. "Finally this year all the practical ducks lined up in a row, and we are beyond psyched to bring Orion to our fans, friends and the curious. After the most incredible of weeks ever in December 2011 celebrating our 30th anniversary at the Fillmore in San Francisco, California, bringing the spirit of that week, the looseness of that week, the possibilities of that week, the fan interactive elements of that week, and the (fill in your own blank here) of that week to a festival setting is so exciting we can hardly contain ourselves."
Swedish have rockers GRAND MAGUS have inked a deal with Nuclear Blast Records. The band's new album, "The Hunt", will be released at the end of May.

Commented GRAND MAGUS frontman Janne "J.B." Christoffersson: "GRAND MAGUS have finally found their hailing port — we've wrapped up a deal with the mighty heavy metal label Nuclear Blast. By this, a new chapter will be opened, both in our band and in metal history. With 'The Hunt' we will consequently keep on marching down the metallic path we've started to pursue over the course of the past years. Be prepared to be lined up in our sights from the end of May on, when 'The Hunt' will strike! Fuck the world!"

Added Nuclear Blast label manager Andy Siry: "We're delighted to welcome GRAND MAGUS to the Nuclear Blast family. These guys class among the best today's heavy metal scene has to offer, though GRAND MAGUS are much more than just that. Both live and on their albums, GRAND MAGUS are terrific, plus they indicate a continuous development. This is why we're happy to turn over a new leaf in the history of band and label."

GRAND MAGUS's last album, "Hammer Of The North", was released digitally in North America in January 2011 via Roadrunner Records. The CD was recorded at 301 studios outside of Stockholm and features artwork by Necrolord.

During the band's 10-year history, GRAND MAGUS released two demos, one split EP and five full-length albums, and has received overwhelmingly positive reviews throughout. Their fourth opus, "Iron Will", was voted "Album of The Month" in the German Metal Hammer and Rock Hard magazines.

Drawing hefty influences from the hand-on-heart grandeur of the NWOBHM and the inspirational mythology of their forbears, GRAND MAGUS is steeped in pre-Christian tales of triumph, vengeance, betrayal, wisdom and death. But GRAND MAGUS also stands for energetic live performances, as seen at European festivals such as Sweden Rock, Hellfest, Wacken, Summer Breeze and on tour in Europe with bands like AT THE GATES, CATHEDRAL, CANDLEMASS, TYRANT, SERPENTCULT and ELECTRIC WIZARD.
British melodic hard rockers STAMPEDE are going back to a four-piece format for their headlining appearance at Hard Rock Big Noise Transmission — a charity event in Wolverhampton on March 30.

The band's lineup henceforth will consist of original songwriting duo of Reuben Archer (vocals) and Laurence Archer (guitar) alongside fellow original member Colin Bond (bass). New drummer Tim Price, who has previously played with Gary Moore, DR. FEELGOOD and Eddie Martin, among others, will complete the ensemble. They are due to unveil the new formation at their first show of 2012 — where they will be headlining an official launch night event at Wolverhampton's new Numa Bar's Jagged Rock Lounge venue, from which proceeds will go to The Compton Hospice, a local charity which supports patients with life-limiting illnesses and their families.

STAMPEDE had a busy 2011, releasing "A Sudden Impulse", their first studio album since 1983's cult classic "Hurricane Town", and completing a U.K. tour with Y&T, dates with ANVIL and PRAYING MANTIS as well as an appearance at the Hard Rock Hell V festival, with a slightly amended lineup which saw the arrival of second guitarist Chris Clowsley and Stevie Graystone on drums replacing original stickman Eddie Parsons.

Commented Reuben: "We had a fantastic year and a lot of fun recording 'A Sudden Impulse' despite some logistical hiccups for Laurence along the way. Regardless, we were all so pleased with the finished result and the fantastic response to both the album and our live shows. However, the original members of the band feel strongly that the next album should be recorded as near to the original lineup as possible to really capture the essence of the STAMPEDE sound. The desire is now to get back to our roots, and with Tim, we have found the link to make it work in the absence of Eddie. We are very excited about it all and can't wait to showcase Tim in Wolverhampton, where we are delighted to have been asked to play for such a worthy cause!"

One of the most respected hard rock acts during the early Eighties, STAMPEDE signed to Polydor Records and released two albums of impressive melodic rock to both critical and commercial acclaim, being compared to earthy British bands such as UFO and HUMBLE PIE.

Following regenerated interest brought about by Rock Candy Records' reissue of "Hurricane Town" in 2006, the songwriting partnership of Reuben Archer and Laurence Archer decided to reform the band in 2009.
Texas metal powerhouse IGNITOR will release its fourth album, "Year Of The Metal Tiger", on April 10 via MVD.

"Year Of The Metal Tiger" is the second IGNITOR CD to feature Jason McMaster (DANGEROUS TOYS, WATCHTOWER, EVIL UNITED) on vocals. Influenced by '80s masters IRON MAIDEN, JUDAS PRIEST, METALLICA, IGNITOR's music is a blend of classic true metal with the power of today's greats like PRIMAL FEAR, GRAVE DIGGER and BRAINSTORM.

"When the songs for the new record were coming together, it was obvious in the writing that this is a definite return to true metal," said McMaster, whose experience in classic metal in undeniable.

"The new album was a blast to make," said rhythm guitarist Beverly Barrington. "I had only just rejoined the band when we recorded our concept opera of the 'Spider Queen', the last album, which was a unique and cool experience, but I also wanted to get back to what inspired IGNITOR in the first place, and I think we've achieved that with this new recording. The Batlord [guitarist Stuart Laurence] really got into 'the zone,' I think, and tapped into a deep and vital, classic heavy metal vein when writing these songs, and it really inspired everyone to contribute their best ideas and chops, so that everyone shines. This album touches on all the various elements of this genre that really jazz me, and I would hope other metal fans, as well."

"The Spider Queen" was released by Heavy Artillery in the United States and Canada in October 2009 (Cruz Del Sur Music made the CD available in Europe and all other regions in September 2009).


Jason McMaster - Vocals
Stuart "Batlord" Laurence - Guitar
Beverly Barrington - Rhythm Guitar
Brendon Bigelow - Bass
Pat Doyle - Drums
Finnish doom metallers SWALLOW THE SUN will support PARADISE LOST on a European tour in May.

Commented SWALLOW THE SUN in a statement: "For years we have thought that us and PARADISE LOST would be a perfect lineup for a tour, and now it's coming to reality: we're happy and proud to join them on their European tour as their direct support! It's been a while since our last tour back in 2010, and we're excited to be back. See you on the road!!"

The dates are as follows:

May 02 - Tivoli, Utrecht, Netherlands
May 03 - Den Atelier, Luxembourg, Luxembourg
May 04 - La Rodia, Besancon, France
May 05 - Le Transbordeur, Villeurbanne, Lyon, France
May 06 - Le Bikini, Toulouse, France
May 07 - Stereolux, Nantes, France
May 09 - Bataclan, Paris, France
May 10 - Le 106, Rouen, France
May 11 - Batschkapp, Frankfurt, Germany
May 12 - Matrix, Bochum, Germany
May 14 - Vega, Copenhagen, Denmark
May 15 - Sticky Fingers, Gothenburg, Sweden
May 16 - Debaser, Stockholm, Sweden
May 17 - KB, Malmö, Sweden
May 19 - Gruenspan, Hamburg, Germany
May 20 - Essibfabrik, Köln, Germany
May 21 - Backstage, Munich, Germany
May 22 - Arena, Vienna, Austria

SWALLOW THE SUN's fifth full-length album, "Emerald Forest And The Blackbird", entered the official chart in Finland at position No. 2. Released on February 1 via Spinefarm Records, the CD was recorded during September and October 2011 by Mikko Karmila (NIGHTWISH, AMORPHIS, CHILDREN OF BODOM) at Drumforest Studios in Viitasaari and Sonic Pump 2 in Helsinki, and by Hannu Honkonen at Noisework Studios in Helsinki. The effort was mixed by Hiili Hiilesmaa (HIM, APOCALYPTICA, AMORPHIS, MOONSPELL) and will be mastered by Mika Jussila (NIGHTWISH, AMORPHIS, SENTENCED) at Finnvox Studios. The artwork was once again created by Rami Mursula.

Commented SWALLOW THE SUN's main songwriter Juha Raivio: "I found myself listening to an old Finnish lullaby called 'Sininen Uni' over and over again, and suddenly images started pouring into my mind of a dad reading a tale to his dying child, trying to explain where the child is going that night, the tale of Emerald Forest and the Blackbird. Finally this image lead me into a long journey through this night and got me trapped in the limbo between the dusk and the dawn. The place where you face your demons and angels, meet the souls of the ones you loved and lost.

"Will we walk the night forever, or let the night forgive us and let us say a last goodbye? These are songs from the limbo, notes of sorrow, hate, love, darkness and light. The tale of Emerald Forest and the Blackbird."

"Emerald Forest And The Blackbird" track listing:

01. Emerald Forest And The Blackbird
02. This Cut Is The Deepest
03. Hate, Lead The Way
04. Cathedral Walls (feat. Anette Olzon)
05. Hearts Wide Shut
06. Silent Towers
07. Labyrinth Of London (Horror Pt. IV)
08. Of Death And Corruption
09. April 14th
10. Night Will Forgive Us

The "Cathedral Walls" video, which features a guest vocal appearance by NIGHTWISH singer Anette Olzon, can be seen below.

"When I got to listen to the rough demo of 'Cathedral Walls', I fell in love with the song immediately and I was so honoured to be asked to sing on this song," said Anette. "The melody and lyrics are truly beautiful."

Aleah Stanbridge of TREES OF ETERNITY — whose ethereal voice is familiar from SWALLOW THE SUN's previous works — is featured on two tracks.
German power metallers PARAGON will enter Piet Sielck's (IRON SAVIOR) studio at the end of March to record their tenth album. The band will lay down ten new original tracks plus an intro and an undisclosed cover song. The cover artwork will once again be created by Dirk Illing (SCORPIONS, RUNNING WILD), while the photos will be handled by Stefan Malzkorn (GAMMA RAY, SAXON) and the cover layout will be overseen by Claudia von Bihl (Auburn Records, ACCEPT, ANVIL). A tentative late summer release is expected.

In other news, PARAGON has recruited a new guitarist — Jan Betram (pictured below) — who previously played with the band's drummer, Chris Gripp. PARAGON bassist Jan Bünning states, "[Jan] is a longtime PARAGON fan and even wanted to join us a long time ago."

PARAGON 2012 is:

Andreas Babuschkin - Vocals
Wolfgang Tewes - Guitar, Backing Vocals
Jan Bertram - Guitar, Backing Vocals
Jan Bünning - Bass, Backing Vocals
Chris Gripp - Drums, Backing Vocals

Bünning previously stated about PARAGON's decision to once again work with Sielck on the new CD, "We already worked with him on four of our previous albums ('Steelbound', 'Law Of The Blade', 'The Dark Legacy' and 'Revenge') and it will for sure be like a coming home for us. Piet worked with bands like SAXON and BLIND GUARDIAN and knows best what we have to sound like."

PARAGON's latest album, "Screenslaves", was released in November 2008 via Massacre Records. The CD was produced by Uwe Lullis (ex-GRAVE DIGGER, REBELLION) at Black Solaris Studio in Frankfurt.

Bünning quit PARAGON after the recording of 2007's "Forgotten Prophecies" because of "musical differences" but rejoined the band in 2009.
Legendary rocker Sammy Hagar's (CHICKENFOOT, VAN HALEN) autobiography, "Red: My Uncensored Life In Rock", will be released in paperback on March 13. It will include a new afterword about Hagar's experiences since the original book was released a year ago.

When asked by Michael Christopher of LA Weekly if he was ever worried that he was being too honest in the book, Hagar said, "There were a lot of times where I said, 'I really shouldn't say this.' But I felt that my fans, who've been with me all this time, deserved the real story; they need to hear why and understand why I am who I am and why I've become what I've become and how I did it and what I went through for it. I just figured at this stage of my life I'm just gonna tell the whole story. A lot of it had to do with VAN HALEN; there was always a controversy of who said what and 'He did this and he did that,' and I wanted to tell the truth about all that."

Hagar, who took over the singing chores in VAN HALEN after David Lee Roth left the band, said that he hadn't yet heard VAN HALEN's new album, "A Different Kind Of Truth" — the group's first full-length offering with Roth since "1984" was released in January 1984.

"The fact that they're [touring] right now [in support of 'A Different Kind Of Truth'], that's so great; I'm so happy that they're out doing it — but look how long it took," Hagar said of the current lineup of VAN HALEN. "It's so dysfunctional and who knows how long it will last like this and I just can't be part of something like that."

He added, "I don't think I ever slowed down and stopped trying to prove something in that damn band 'til the reunion in '04, but by then it was too late. Eddie [Van Halen] was shot at that point, though I heard he's great now, and I'm really happy that he's supposedly sober and playing great and doing good. People think, 'Oh you hate the guy.' I don't hate the guy, I love the guy. I hate what he did in '04 to me on the reunion tour, but other than that, I still love the guy."
Since SHINEDOWN released the song "Bully", some critics have suggested that the song's lyrics condone the use of violence to combat the violence inflicted by bullies. But with the release of the song's video on Tuesday (March 6), frontman Brent Smith told The Pulse Of Radio that "Bully" does nothing of the kind. "I'm not condoning violence in this song," he said. "What I'm condoning is survival. You want to be able to use your words in any situation, but the reality is, is that you have to make sure people realize that you think highly of yourself, and that you have self-respect and you have dignity. And the song is really about, if you push me, I will push you back, and if you hit me, I will hit you back."

"Bully" is already a No. 1 hit at rock radio, while the video features scenes of bullying alongside footage of the band performing the song.

Loudwire described the "Bully" clip as covering "both the dark side and the light at the end of the tunnel of a very serious issue from those personally impacted to others that just turn a blind eye, connecting the dots between us all."

The track is taken from SHINEDOWN's fourth studio album, "Amaryllis", which comes out on March 27 and follows up the band's biggest success yet, 2008's "The Sound Of Madness".

That disc sold more than a million copies and produced six hit singles, including a number of rock radio chart-toppers.

SHINEDOWN will lead the 2012 edition of the Avalanche Tour. The North American trek will kick off on March 27 in Anaheim, California, with ADELITAS WAY, NEW MEDICINE and ART OF DYING also on the bill.

When asked by The Pulse Of Radio how he feels SHINEDOWN has evolved musically on "Amaryllis", Smith said, "The musicianship got way stronger, the songwriting got way more sophisticated, and I think that overall we were able to push ourselves in a direction that was — I don't necessarily know if it was the obvious next step, but we enjoyed the journey with each other."
Bassist Peter London of Swedish Swedish glam rockers CRASHDIET underwent surgery earlier this week after he was diagnosed with spinal disc herniation. A herniated (slipped) disk occurs when all or part of a disk in the spine is forced through a weakened part of the disk. This places pressure on nearby nerves.

Writes London on Facebook: "Just woke up from surgery, feeling fine. Got some photos but I'll show them later. All went just fine, lots of congratz to myself!"

As a result of London's surgery, CRASHDIET was forced to cancel its March 9 appearance at the Rock The Night festival in Lichtenfels, Germany and the following night's concert at the Shout It Out Loud festival in Mülheim, Germany.

As previously reported, CRASHDIET drummer Eric Young fractured his right hand and his unable to perform with his bandmates in December in Rome, Italy; Milan, Italy; and Lichtenfels, Germany. Filling in for him for those shows was Michael Sweet, the "kid brother" of CRASHDIET guitarist Martin Sweet.

CRASHDIET's third album, "Generation Wild", was recently released on vinyl. This gatefold LP features the new bonus track "Hollywood Teaze" as well as updated artwork.

"Generation Wild" entered the official chart in Sweden at position No. 3. The CD, which was made available in Sweden in April 2010 through Gain/Sony Music, was helmed by RamPac, the production and songwriting team formed by Johan Ramström and Patrik Magnusson, in Gröndal, Sweden and was mixed by Tobias Lindell.

CRASHDIET in 2009 announced the addition of Simon "Simme" Cruz from the Stockholm act JAILBAIT as the group's new lead singer.

The band parted ways with its previous vocalist, the Finland-based H. Olliver Twisted, in July 2008.
"New Tradition", the previously unreleased second album from DARK NEW DAY — the band featuring Clint Lowery (guitar; SEVENDUST), Corey Lowery (bass; ex-STEREOMUD, STUCK MOJO), Brett Hestla (vocals, guitar; ex-CREED, VIRGOS MERLOT), Will Hunt (drums; EVANESCENCE, ex-SKRAPE, TOMMY LEE) and Bradley "BC" Kochmit (guitar; SWITCHED a.k.a. SW1TCHED) — was finally made available on February 28 via Goomba Music. The CD sold 2,100 copies in the United States its first week of release to debut at position No. 15 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.

"We're very excited about the new DARK NEW DAY release," proclaims guitarist Clint Lowery. "It seems the time is right to make these songs public and share with the fans that continue to support this project. We believe this music is still very valid and powerful today, and think its mandatory we give these songs a fair chance out in the music world. We owe it to ourselves and the DARK NEW DAY fans. 'New Tradition' sums up the mindset we were in writing the follow-up to 'Twelve Year Silence'."

"New Tradition" track listing:

01. Fist From The Sky
02. Come Alive
03. I Don't Need You
04. New Tradition
05. Tremendous
06. Sorry
07. Straightjacket
08. Take It From Me
09. Caught In The Light
10. Sunday
11. Fiend
12. Breakdown
13. Burns Your Eyes

DARK NEW DAY released its debut album, "Twelve Year Silence", in June of 2005. The CD was mixed with producer/mixer Ben Grosse, who had previously worked with FILTER, FUEL, SEVENDUST and ALTER BRIDGE. The disc featured the single "Brother" (see video below). The band went on a hiatus after releasing the "Black Porch (Acoustic Sessions)" EP while the members focused on their current projects.

The members of DARK NEW DAY came together in 2011 to compile tracks for this special release to put out as a "thank you" to all the loyal fans that have continued to follow the band and request more material from the group.

DARK NEW DAY may have been new to fans of the bandmembers' previous groups, but it was really a reunion that was twelve years in the making, as the members of DARK NEW DAY literally grew up together. Brothers Clint and Corey Lowery and childhood friend Troy McLawhorn met singer Brett Hestla and drummer Will Hunt while touring as kids in the Southeast club circuit. "We were playing a circuit that had a lot of older people in it, in their twenties, and we were all kids, so we could identify with each other," said Hunt in a 2005 interview. "We really came into ourselves on that circuit," added Corey. "It was like going to rock 'n' roll high school — you'd always try and turn it up because you wanted to impress each other."
Swiss hard rockers THE ORDER have inked a deal with Massacre Records. The band's fourth album, "1986", will be released in late July. The CD was recorded at the Little Creek Studio in Gelterkinden, Switzerland with V.O. Pulver and is said to be "an homage to the bands THE ORDER grew up with."

Formed in 2005, THE ORDER consists of childhood friends who previously played in several bands together.


Gianni Pontillo - Vocals
Bruno Spring - Guitars
Andrej Abplanalp - Bass
Mauro Casciero - Drums

For more information, visit www.theorder.ch.
Dutch extreme metallers THE MONOLITH DEATHCULT have inked a deal with the French label Season Of Mist. The band's fourth album, "Tetragrammaton", will be released later in the year. The CD is once again being produced by Guido Aalbers, who has previously worked with COLDPLAY and DESTINY'S CHILD, among others.

According to a press release, THE MONOLITH DEATHCULT chose the "Tetragrammaton" album title "because of the triple 'A' in it, to emphasize their major role in the world as we know it and because AAA stands for 'prime.'

"As on the exquisite and rabidly fanaticised 'Trivmvirate', offline band member, quondam carnivore and part-time macrobidiotic Carsten Altena, who had left the sinking THE MONOLITH DEATHCULT mud barge in 2010 and has returned grovelling, mawkish and regretful with tail between his legs, will gracefully adorn 'Tetragrammaton' with synthetic flutes, harps, triangles, Tibetan mouth congas and other trifling instruments (which can been seen as a vile assault of the inheritance Chuck Schuldliner left to this world)to mask the musical incompetence of the rest of the band."

THE MONOLITH DEATHCULT's last album, "Trivmvirate", was released in February 2008 via Twilight-Vertrieb. The CD was recorded at Ground Zero studio with producer Pascal Altena. Mixing and mastering duties were handled by Guido Aalbers.
DEATH DIVISION is the new heavy, technically aggressive and melodic band founded by bassist Jerry Montano (HELLYEAH, DANZIG, NOTHINGFACE), drummer Tim Yeung (MORBID ANGEL, DIVINE HERESY, HATE ETERNAL, NILE), vocalist/guitarist Sean de La Tour and lead guitarist Rick Di Marco. The group is currently rehearsing and writing material. More information is available at this location.
Spanish thrashers ANGELUS APATRIDA will release their new studio album, "The Call", on April 30 via Century Media Records. The CD was once again recorded at Ultrasound Studio in Moita, Portugal with producer Daniel Cardoso (ANNEKE VAN GIERSBERGEN, ANATHEMA). The artwork was handled by Gustavo Sazes of Abstrata (ARCH ENEMY, KRISIUN).

"The Call" track listing:

01. You Are Next
02. At The Gates Of Hell
03. Violent Dawn
04. It's Rising!
05. Blood On The Snow
06. Killer Instinct
07. The Hope Is Gone
08. Fresh Pleasure
09. Still Corrupt
10. Reborn

Check out the cover artwork below.

Commented ANGELUS APATRIDA guitarist/vocalist Guillermo Izquierdo: "Our new album is ready and it's damn great! Our only purpose was to put everything we have learned in the last three years into a fistful of songs that could reflect how we feel nowadays. And the result couldn't have turned out any better… it's strong, fast, immediate, sharp, technical and bloody furious!"

ANGELUS APATRIDA will embark on a European tour with 3 INCHES OF BLOOD, GOATWHORE and HAVOK in early May.

According to a press release, "[ANGELUS APATRIDA] was born in the Spanish town of Albacete in the year 2000 and perfectly combines both the aggression and the melodic edge of classic '80s thrash metal with a breathtaking modern southern fury that results in an impressive blend of rage, attitude and a high level of technical skills, rarely seen with young bands like this."

ANGELUS APATRIDA's band name mixes Spanish and Latin language and can be translated into English as "stateless" or "renegade" angels. Influenced by the early Bay Area thrash metal and NWOBHM scenes and more specifically bands like IRON MAIDEN, MEGADETH, ANTHRAX, OVERKILL, PANTERA, TESTAMENT and ANNIHILATOR, ANGELUS APATRIDA established itself in its homeland with two independent album releases, "Evil Unleashed" (2006) and "Give 'Em War" (2007), as well as countless live appearances at various festivals (Lorca Rock, Alternavigo, Metalway, etc.) and at the clubs in most of the country's larger cities with acts like BARÓN ROJO, DESTRUCTION, SEPULTURA and many more.


David G. Álvarez - Guitar
Guillermo Izquierdo - Vocals, Guitar
Víctor Valera - Drums
José J. Izquierdo - Bass Guitar

For more information, visit www.angelusapatrida.com.
Swiss hard rockers GOTTHARD are putting the finishing touches on their new album, "Firebirth", for a June 1 release via Nuclear Blast/Warner Music. The CD is being produced at the band's own Yellow House Studios in Lugano, Switzerland, with guitarist/songwriter Leo Leoni and Paul Lani (who has previously worked with GOTTHARD on several of their earlier albums, including "G-Spot" and "Homerun") at the helm.

"Firebirth" marks GOTTHARD's first release with new singer Nic Maeder, who was born in Lausanne, Switzerland, lived in Melbourne, Australia and grew up between Switzerland and "Down Under."

Commented Leoni: "We are delighted with the new album. Songwriting with Nic and Freddy was a real explosion of inspiration and new ideas! Regarding sound and production, we have returned to our roots and we deliberately produced it with a pure — and for GOTTHARD — typical sound. For us, 'Firebirth' is the comeback album with the rating: back to basics!"

Added Marc Lynn: "Collaboration with Nic was unbelievable — it feels that we have known each other forever and the euphoria in the band is now burning like a new fire. It is a true rebirth of the zest of 20 years ago, when the band took off 'to conquer the world.' Producing this album with the new lineup was a real 'birth of fire' — we are very proud of our new baby."

GOTTHARD's first recording with Maeder, a song called "Remember It's Me", was made available late last year as a free download via the GOTTHARD web site and was met with a firestorm of enthusiasm and positive feedback.

Stated Maeder: "It was absolutely amazing to experience the positive feedback from the GOTTHARD fans and the media after the release of 'Remember It's Me'. Now I am looking forward to the reaction to our first album together. The chemistry in the band feels fantastic and we are very much looking forward to being onstage in a couple of weeks and rocking with the fans."

GOTTHARD's first live shows with Maeder will take place in May in South America before the band makes several European festival appearances. The new group's German live debut will take place on July 14 at the Bang Your Head!!! festival in Balingen.

GOTTHARD vocalist Steve Lee was killed on October 5, 2010 in what has been described as a freak road accident in Nevada.
Norwegian extreme metallers PANTHEON I have completed recording two tracks to show both fans and prospective labels the direction they are taking with their music and what to expect from their fourth full-length album. While there are no definitive plans at the moment to make the two songs — titled "Pariah" and "Martyr" — available to the public, the band "wouldn't be averse to releasing it on vinyl as a special should any labels be interested," according to frontman Andrè Kvebek.

Regarding PANTHEON I's decision to record two separate tracks first, rather than a full album and just release teasers, Kvebek said, "We did actually have virtually a full album in a pre-production stage, but these were all tracks that pre-dated [ABSU guitarist] Aethyris [McKay] joining the band, and were not really structured to take into account his contribution on clean vocals. After working on them for a while, we realized that most of them wouldn't work they way we wanted them to work. Additionally, of course, we had his considerable songwriting skills and approach to extreme metal to draw on, so we decided to start again from scratch. As far as we're concerned, it was the right decision to take because we can now turn what would have been simply a 'transitional' album into a fully-fledged PANTHEON I anno 2012 album, which is much more fierce and much more mature than before."

While Kvebek (ex-1349) still continues to write and play the guitar on recordings, the arrival of McKay has enabled him to concentrate solely on vocals when performing live, something he has been wanting for some time as it allows both himself, and the band, more flexibility on stage. Other members of the band include Sagstad (TROLLFEST, SARKOM, METAL MILITIA) on guitar, Live Julianne Costol on cello, TRS (1349, TYRANN) on bass and Mads G (THE ALLSEEING I) on drums.
Beaupré, Quebec, Canada-based old-school death metallers KAOTIK have inked a deal with Massacre Records. The band's debut album, "Starving Death", will be released in the summer. The CD was recorded in May 2011 with producer Dan Swanö (EDGE OF SANITY, BLOODBATH) and features guest vocals by Luc Lemay from GORGUTS.

According to a press release, KAOTIK is mainly influenced by bands like PESTILENCE, ASPHYX, ENTOMBED and MORGOTH.

Formed in late 2007, KAOTIK's first EP, "New Born Khaos", came out in May 2009 and was limited to 100 hand-numbered copies.

"Starving Death" track listing:

01. War At The Door
02. Carnivorous Madness
03. Creature
04. Lobotomy
05. Screeching Sound
06. Bad Awakening
07. Pesticide Shower
08. Starving Death
09. Terror
10. Inbreeding
"Deathhammer", the new album from Dutch doom death metal legends ASPHYX, has entered the German Media Control chart at position No. 67. The CD was released on February 27 in Europe and February 28 in North America via Century Media Records. The effort was made available in the following formats:

* Limited-edition mediabook 2CD with special bonus disc
* Standard jewel case CD
* Digital download
* LP in black 180-gram vinyl (unlimited)
* LP in red 180-gram vinyl (limited to 300 copies, via Cyclone Empire)
* LP in red-and-black marbled 180-gram vinyl (limited to 200 copies, via High Roller)
* LP in clear 180-gram vinyl (limited to 250 copies, via Nuclear Blast)
* LP in grey 180-gram vinyl (limited to 200 copies, via the CM webshop)

"Deathhammer" track listing:

01. Into The Timewastes
02. Deathhammer
03. Minefield
04. Of Days When Blades Turned Blunt
05. Der Landser
06. Reign Of The Brute
07. The Flood
08. We Doom You To Death
09. Vespa Crabro
10. As The Magma Mammoth Rises

The "Deathhammer" video can be seen below. The clip was filmed last month by Maurice Swinkels of Younique Film, who had previously worked with the band on the bonus DVD for the "Death...The Brutal Way" album as well as on clips for such other groups as EXODUS, MASTERPLAN and KATAKLYSM.

Commented ASPHYX: "Yet another official ASPHYX video, but this time slightly differently. A furious, 'fast' clip with aggressive filming, which fits the song perfectly. This one was shot by Maurice of LEGION OF THE DAMNED and we knew that he could capture the spirit and intensity of the song 100 percent. And he did. The clip shows ASPHYX in a true way....a band being themselves and doing their own thing."

An extremely special "Deathhammer" record-release show will take place on Saturday, March 10 at the Turock venue in Essen, Germany, where ASPHYX previously filmed a sold-out show for its "Live Death Doom" release. Also scheduled to appear are SONNE ADAM (Israel), BLIZZARD (Germany) and NECROWRETCH (France).

Recorded at The Mörser Studio as well as at Harrow Studio with ASPHYX's longtime engineer Harry Wijering, "Deathhammer" was mixed and mastered in Sweden by Dan Swanö, who previously worked with the band on "Death…The Brutal Way" and "Live Death Doom" releases. Songtitles set to appear on the CD include "Reign Of The Brute", "Vespa Cabro", "We Doom You To Death", "Asphyx-Minefield" and "Deathhammer".

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