[Classic_Rock_Forever] Queen, Rush, Def Leppard, Metallica, Van Halen, Geoff Tate and tons more hard rock and heavy metal news


"Access Hollywood" caught up with U.S. singer-songwriter, and "American Idol" finalist, Adam Lambert on the red carpet for the 20th annual Elton John AIDS Foundation Academy Awards viewing party and asked him about singing with QUEEN at United Kingdom's Sonisphere festival this summer. You can watch the short chat below.

Having last week announced a special one-off U.K. concert performing with Lambert at the Sonisphere festival on July 7, legendary rock band QUEEN has announced it will play an additional earlier date with the singer when QUEEN and Lambert appear at Moscow's Olympic Arena on June 30.

These two shows are the only concerts presently planned for QUEEN and Lambert in 2012.

The potent chemistry between QUEEN and Lambert broke the surface when at the invitation of Brian May and Roger Taylor, Lambert joined them for the closing showcase at the recent MTV Europe Music Awards where QUEEN were present to collect their "Global Icon" award.

During a recent interview with NME.com, Lambert insisted that he is not trying to replace the later Freddie Mercury. He said, "The way I look at it is I'm not trying to imitate or outdo him or compete in any way, that's not even in my mind at all, I think it's really an honor to be asked to sing the music that he and the band wrote and get up there and put on a good show. If people are too busy trying to compare, they're not going to enjoy the music."

Although Lambert did not rule out another collaboration with QUEEN in the future, he insisted that for now the Knebworth show is simply a one-off. He told NME.com, "One of the things [people have said] was, 'He's gonna be the permanent frontman of QUEEN.' And although that would be a beautiful experience, the tricky thing this year for me is I also have my album coming out, 'Trespassing', and that's gonna take a lot of work and time and energy. So it's really a one-off experience with the band, and I'm really excited for it. But I'm not joining the band and touring with them."
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.

As previously reported, "Clockwork Angels" is being turned into a novel by Colorado-based sci-fi author Kevin J. Anderson, who wrote on Facebook, "Most of you are aware of my long-standing friendship with (RUSH drummer) Neil Peart . . . For more than twenty years, Neil and I have wanted to collaborate on something MAJOR, a way we could tie together our imaginations, and at last that's happening. I'm writing the novelization of RUSH's forthcoming album, 'Clockwork Angels'."

Anderson added that he worked with Peart to "flesh out the epic story told over the course of the music," which involves "lost cities, pirates, anarchists, exotic carnivals, and a rigid Watchmaker who imposes precision on every aspect of daily life." More details will be coming.
DEF LEPPARD guitarist and MANRAZE frontman Phil Collen stopped by Ultimate Classic Rock recently for an extensive two-part interview. Collen also brought along his guitar to deliver a solo acoustic rendition of the title track off DEF LEPPARD's 1987 album "Hysteria". Check out the performance below.

When asked if there are any plans for DEF LEPPARD to release an all-new studio album anytime soon, Collen replied, "No, there's not and I'll tell you why: We actually did three new songs, three studio songs for [the live album] 'Mirrorball', which was great. I really believe in this day and age unless you're going to do an album like [MANRAZE's] 'PunkFunkRootsRock', which we did in less than two weeks; I don't think there's much point in doing an album because it's such a quick turnaround, you have a song and then it's gone. For us to do an album, it'd take at least eight months unless we were doing it on tour. What I think is going to happen — I've already started writing some of the songs — [is that] we release two or three at a time or something like that it's kind of more like an EP or something attached to another project but a full-blown album would just take us away for too long and by the rate everything is going by the time we finish the album and we go, 'Okay, here it is,' there's no more recording industry left. I think you have to be careful with it, we've got some great ideas, I've got this killer song that's totally DEF LEPPARD, it's not totally finished yet but I'm looking forward to getting that on the go as well. I think we'll be doing it in dribs and drabs. I think there will be an album that comes out of something while we've been recording three songs at a time or all at once. That'll be a bit later. I think for the very near future it'd be one or two songs attached to something else."

On the topic of what it about DEF LEPPARD's music that has allowed the band to be so massively popular for 30 years now, Collen said, "I think it was a hybrid and honestly [producer] Mutt Lange has to take a lot of credit for this because he took a really good rock band and said, 'Okay, I'm going to blend it with pop,' and he's famous at that. He'd done it with Shania Twain. I think he took country to the masses because before that it was Patsy Cline, it was Nashville, it didn't really cross over — you hear of Dolly Parton and Johnny Cash, but he broke it over in a big way, and that's what he did with us. Same thing with AC/DC, they were kind of a pub, R&B boogie band, old R&B, I'm talking about like blues and that, and he just broke it into a massive domain and he certainly did that with us. With us, it was a bigger area to play with because we were big fans of QUEEN, but we liked the AC/DC vibe and we grew up on the [SEX] PISTOLS and THE CLASH, so you had this vocal style that didn't sound like STYX, JOURNEY, REO [SPEEDWAGON], where it's all sweet-sounding vocals, we would actually scream their vocals out more like British bands like THE CLASH or the PISTOLS, in tune, so it was the perfect hybrid. So I think that, coupled with (the fact that) we spent so long on getting these songs together, that all the substance went into recording these albums that actually stand up — and then the whole pole-dance anthem ['Pour Some Sugar On Me'], of course, didn't hurt — but it was actually what we put into it that allowed us to last so long."
METALLICA's latest album, 2008's "Death Magnetic", was its last under its contract with Warner Music Group — where the band has been making records since 1984 — and according to drummer Lars Ulrich, the band has not yet decided if it will re-sign with the label or if it will contemplate some of the non-traditional approaches distribution of its music that are currently available. "We're free and clear of our record contract. The world's our oyster," Ulrich tells SPIN.com. "We can basically do whatever we want. And we're going to start figuring that out."

He adds, "We're writing music and we're going to be recording very soon. At some point we're going to want to share that with people that are interested in listening to it. So we gotta figure out ways we want to do that, from giving it away in cereal boxes to getting people to do handstands for it. We could come up with something wacky.

"This whole thing about who can come up with the coolest [release strategy] so it can be written about on 12 different blogs for six hours — I mean sure, that's all pretty cool and hip," he continues, "but at the same time you have to remember we have a very global audience. We have fans in India and the U.A.E. and Russia. In a lot of these places there are still more conventional ways of getting music to people. We're not just selling METALLICA music to people in Los Angeles, New York, and London. We have to think of the whole globe to try to find the right balance."

Ulrich also spoke to SPIN.com about the progress of the songwriting sessions for METALLICA's next album, which will once again be helmed by "Death Magnetic" producer Rick Rubin. "We're still throwing ideas around," he says. "We work in stages. Some people will write a song from beginning to end in one go. We don't do that. We'll develop, like, 10 ideas and do a couple cycles. We'll do a verse, chorus and maybe an intro, and then we'll leave them and go develop 10 other ideas. So it's a little early yet because we haven't gone back yet and started tweaking anything. Right now we're throwing ideas at the canvas and picking out great riffs."

Bassist Robert Trujillo told The Pulse Of Radio a while back that he thought "Death Magnetic" paved the way for an even better next effort. "I have a feeling that this next record is gonna be really cool," he said. "'Death Magnetic', as great as it is, I think it's, to me it was like establishing ourselves as a creative team with this unit, and you know, also reuniting with that thrashy element which is apparent in a lot of the material."

METALLICA frontman James Hetfield told The Pulse Of Radio about the end of the band's contract with Warner, "It's kind of a good feeling to feel that you're free from any piece of paper that binds you to something. But over our career, we've learned a lot about record companies, the goods and evils of the business and this and that, and we're not very focused on that right now. It is what it is, and when it becomes time for us to either renegotiate or shop around or do things ourselves or something like that, we don't know. There's nothing but options, which is great."

METALLICA will play the "black album" — its 1991 self-titled fifth effort that has sold nearly 16 million copies — in its entirety at selected European festivals this summer.
METALLICA's four-song EP called "Beyond Magnetic", which was made available digitally in December, and as a physical CD in January, will be released on vinyl to celebrate Record Store Day on April 21. The effort consists of the quartet of previously unheard tracks that the band unveiled in concert in December during its 30th-anniversary celebration. All four tunes — "Hate Train", "Just A Bullet Away", "Hell And Back" and "Rebel Of Babylon" — were recorded during the sessions for the band's 2008 "Death Magnetic" album but left off the final track list. The studio versions of all four songs — all rough mixes — were sent to METALLICA fan club members one at a time, after each song was performed live during each of the band's four shows at the Fillmore in San Francisco.

Commented the band: "We've always been big supporters of our friends at independent retail and the annual event the third Saturday of each April... we even helped kick off the first year in 2008 with an in-store appearance at one of our hometown stores! To add to the fun, this is no ordinary black vinyl release, but instead will be on silver vinyl with an exclusive METALLICA sticker included in the package. Look for the EP on the special Saturday release date at your favorite local record store and on Metallica.com. . . Our international friends should stay tuned for details about a release outside of North America... specifics are still being worked out with our label."

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.

METALLICA previously stated about the four songs that made up "Beyond Magnetic": "During the 'Death Magnetic' album sessions in 2007 and 2008, we originally recorded 14 songs. When it came time to pick the songs for the final album, we decided on 10 songs that you've all come to know over the last three years. Some of you may have heard bits and pieces of those other songs on 'Mission Metallica' (remember 'Mission Metallica'?!) or heard rumors about them during the recording process, and wondered, 'What ever happened to those other four songs???.' We kept them in the vault and decided to pull them just for this special celebration, so here are the four leftover tracks from the 'Death Magnetic' sessions. They are ROUGH mixes, unfinished to their original degree of mixing from March '08. These four songs were released as gift to our closest fans, the members of our fan club, to enjoy. Now they're being made available to you."

"Beyond Magnetic" track listing:

01. Hate Train
02. Just A Bullet Away
03. Hell And Back
04. Rebel Of Babylon

"Beyond Magnetic" has sold 105,000 copies in the United States so far, according to Nielsen SoundScan.

The 30th-anniversary shows featured METALLICA playing songs from deep in their catalog, while welcoming guests like BLACK SABBATH's Ozzy Osbourne and Geezer Butler, Kid Rock, Lou Reed, JUDAS PRIEST's Rob Halford, ALICE IN CHAINS' Jerry Cantrell, former bassist Jason Newsted and many others to the stage.

The final show on December 10 featured a performance by the very earliest lineup of the group.

"Death Magnetic" was officially certified double platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) on June 28, 2010 for shipments in the United States in excess of two million copies.
According to The Pulse Of Radio, VAN HALEN frontman David Lee Roth was asked by the New York Post how he feels guitarist Eddie Van Halen is playing these days, more than 35 years after they first met. Roth replied, "We're doing a lot of tunes that don't usually get out of the deck and Edward is more lucid now than any time in my memory. I'm his biggest fan. I still remember the first time I saw him playing in a backyard party in Pasadena in high school. He was great then and he's great now. We've come full circle."

VAN HALEN is touring North America behind its new album, "A Different Kind Of Truth", its first all-new set since 1998 and first with Roth on vocals in 28 years.

Asked how the music scene has changed since VAN HALEN first began playing bars back in the mid-Seventies, Roth replied, "These days, I see too much cheerleading and not enough stagecraft, and what I'm seeing isn't worth cheering for. The questions I want to ask most of my colleagues are: Can you even do the whole song from beginning to end? Can you do it onstage like you did it in the studio? Do you float like a butterfly or sting like a pre-recorded bee?"

As for what sets VAN HALEN apart, Roth said, "We throw a sick party, and if you get invited you gotta go. For starters, on this tour KOOL AND THE GANG are opening our shows, and that's full circle for us because we used to play 'Hollywood Swinging' in five-sets-a-night-beer-bars. And the first three songs on our new record are thunder-funk. What we're giving is the best of the old and the new — think of it like watching 'Dragnet' on your iPad."

VAN HALEN plays the second of two shows at New York's Madison Square Garden on Thursday night (March 1).
QUEENSRŸCHE lead singer Geoff Tate entered the studio yesterday (Wednesday, Febraury 29) to begin recording his second solo album. He says, "I'm very excited about this record and I' ll be sharing a lot more info about it in the weeks to come."

Tate released his first solo album in 2002 on Sanctuary Records. Self-titled, the LP was a huge departure from the work he had previously done with QUEENSRŸCHE.

Geoff played a handful of acoustic solo dates, billed as GEOFF TATE AND FRIENDS, beginning on January 26 at Anthology in San Diego, California. According to Tate, he performed "acoustic renditions of songs from my solo album as well as some of my favorite QUEENSRŸCHE songs."

Professionally filmed, multi-camera video footage of the San Diego concert can be seen below.

In a recent interview with AnthologySD.com, Tate was asked if he is looking into any future solo projects. "I am!" he replied. "I'm actually working on one right now that I hope to have wrapped up pretty soon. This show that I'm doing [on the solo tour] is an acoustic show with some friends of mine who are fantastic acoustic players. We're doing kind of a blend of my last solo album, some QUEENSRŸCHE songs, and we'll toss in some new ones that haven't been released yet. It'll just be a really fun night. Very homey, intimate, we'll probably take requests, things like that."

He added, "For the last couple of years, I've been doing more stuff outside of QUEENSRŸCHE in order to just stretch out. But I'll tell you, even though I've sang shows in front of hundreds of thousands of people and also intimate shows of a few hundred, but whenever I go out to an event or something and someone asks me to sing a song with them, I'm petrified! (Laughs) I don't know much material outside of my own material that I've written, and so if someone asks me to sing 'Danny Boy', I couldn't sing it! Not even if someone offered me a million dollars could I sing that song. So I'm trying to be a bit more versatile and learn more stuff."
German metal queen Doro Pesch is putting the finishing touches on her new studio album for an October release through her new record label, Nuclear Blast Records. An EP will precede the full-length CD in May/June. She says, "[This] past weekend, I flew over to the U.S. to work on the last couple of songs for my new album. Just some last twists and pulls to be done — after three long years of hard work! But it all paid off in the end." She added, "I am considering having those 12-14 songs being mixed in Scandinavia for the first time. The producers there guarantee a massive, fresh and modern sound."
Doro will embark on a European headlining tour in the fall. The 19-date trek will kick off on November 15 in Kiel, Germany and will wrap on December 9 in Berlin.

The dates are as follows

Nov. 15 - Kiel, Germany - Max
Nov. 16 - Bremen, Germany - Aladin
Nov. 17 - Tilburg, Netherlands - O13
Nov. 18 - Antwerp, Belgium - Trix
Nov. 20 - London, UK - Garage
Nov. 21 - Paris, France - Divan Du Monde
Nov. 23 - Pamplona, Spain - Totem
Nov. 24 - Madrid, Spain - Arena
Nov. 25 - Barcelona, Spain - Razzmatazz 2
Nov. 27 - Pratteln, Switzerland - Z7
Nov. 28 - Stuttgart, Germany - Longhorn/LKA
Nov. 30 - Memmingen, Germany - Kaminwerk
Dec. 01 - Wien, Austria - Scene
Dec. 02 - Budapest, Hungary - Club 202
Dec. 04 - Prague, Czech Republic - Retro Music Hall
Dec. 06 - Bochum, Germany - Zeche
Dec. 07 - Karlsruhe, Germany - Substage
Dec. 08 - Vacha, Germany - Vachwerk
Dec. 09 - Berlin, Germany - Huxleys Neue Welt

During a 2011 interview with Metal Kaoz, Pesch was asked about the progress of the songwriting and recording sessions for her next studio album. "I think we have completed 80 percent of the new record and there are some great songs coming up," she replied. "Actually, one song is dedicated to Ronnie James Dio and the working title is 'Hero'. That's a very special song. I was a big Dio fan and I know that there are so many fans out there are missing him so much, so definitely this song will be on the new record. Also they will be some speed metal songs, some anthems songs and, of course, some power ballads."

In conjunction with the Stateside release of the mammoth "25 Years In Rock" 2 DVD/CD set, Doro performed two special shows in New York City on September 9, 2011 and Chicago on September 11, 2011. Both nights included clips from the DVD, limited edition merchandise and an autograph session followed by a performance by the metal queen herself.

Released in Europe in 2010 (also via Nuclear Blast), the epic "25 Years In Rock" two-DVD/CD set includes Doro's 25-year anniversary show in its entirety as well as clips from her 2,500th concert and so much more.

"Fear No Evil", the latest album from Pesch, was made available in North America in June 2009 via AFM/Dismanic/Ryko Distribution.
"Not Supposed To Sing The Blues", the new single from Swedish hard rockers EUROPE, will be released digitally on March 9. The song comes off the band's ninth studio album, "Bag Of Bones", due on April 27 via earMusic/Edel. The CD, which features a guest appearance by blues-rock guitarist Joe Bonamassa (BLACK COUNTRY COMMUNION), was produced by Kevin Shirley, who has previously worked with IRON MAIDEN, JOE BONAMASSA, BLACK COUNTRY COMMUNION, BLACK STONE CHERRY and JOURNEY, among others.

"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."

The new material suggests a more straightforward rock approach evident in "Doghouse" — a new song EUROPE performed on their most recent U.K. tour (see video below). The song is also featured on EUROPE's "Europe: Live at Shepherd's Bush" DVD, released in August 2011 via earMUSIC CDs and DVDs.
Reactivated Massachusetts hard rockers EXTREME will pay their second album, "Pornograffitti", in its entirety at four shows in Japan in April. The dates are as follows:

April 16 - Tokyo Dome City Hall - Tokyo, Japan
April 17 - Tokyo Dome City Hall - Tokyo, Japan
April 18 - Namba Hatch - Osaka, Japan
April 20 - Shibuya Kokaido - Tokyo Japan

Released in 1990, "Pornograffitti" peaking at No. 10 on The Billboard 200 chart and was certified double platinum in the U.S. by the RIAA (Recording Industry Association Of America) for shipments in excess of two million copies. Two singles from the LP — "More Than Words" and "Hole Hearted" — reached the Top 5 on the Billboard Hot 100. Two other tracks, "Decadence Dance" and "Get The Funk Out", reached the lower half of Billboard's rock chart.

EXTREME's "Take Us Alive" live CD and DVD came out on May 4, 2010 in the U.S. via Frontiers Records.

In 2008, following a 13-year hiatus, EXTREME returned to the stage for its "Take Us Alive" world tour, which encompassed 75 cities and multiple continents in support of the band's new record, "Saudades de Rock".

This recording captures EXTREME at the peak of its game with a renewed enthusiasm led by Gary Cherone's spellbinding stage performance and powerful vocals, Nuno Bettencourt's ferocious guitar, Pat Badger's flawless bass and Kevin Figueiredo's pounding drums and spot-on back-up vocals.

This brilliant performance was recorded on the last night of their tour at the House of Blues on August 8, 2009 in EXTREME's hometown of Boston.

The concert showcases material from all five EXTREME albums and exhibits the band's broad stylistic abilities. Features include a blistering rendition of the LED ZEPPELIN-minded "Comfortably Dumb", the scorching "Play With Me", the funked-up "Cupid's Dead" as well as the anthemic "Get The Funk Out". Songs like EXTREME's #1 hit "More Than Words" and the Top 5 single "Hole Hearted" highlight the crowds enthusiasm and loyal support their fan base has had for this beloved foursome.
Comprised of musicians from some of the biggest bands in recent rock history, the Rock 'N' Roll Allstars is a live show unlike any before. Bandmembers include:

* Gene Simmons (KISS)
* Joe Elliott (DEF LEPPARD)
* Sebastian Bach (SKID ROW)
* Steve Stevens (BILLY IDOL)
* Billy Duffy (THE CULT)

Promoter Gabe Reed hosted a press conference earlier today (Thursday, March 1) at The Roxy Theatre in West Hollywood, California to officially announce the Rock 'N' Roll Allstars tour of South and Central America in April/May 2012. Also attending the press conference were Simmons, Sorum, McKagan, Clarke, Bach and Hughes, among others.

Commented Bach: "For me to be the singer in Gene Simmons' first-EVER side project is amazing to me! Dreams come true, indeed. If you would have told me when I was a boy that some day Gene Simmons, Glenn Hughes and myself would be in a band together, my reply would have been, No, we will not,' and I would have been wrong, haha!! See you soon Central and South America!! We are gonna rock the best of KISS, DEEP PURPLE, GUNS N' ROSES, SKID ROW and DEF LEPPARD! See you soon on tour!!!"

Despite the fact that he was previously announced as one of the musicians taking part in the Rock 'N' Roll Allstars tour, former METALLICA and VOIVOD bassist Jason Newsted will **NOT** be making an appearance at the event.
Slash — the iconic, Grammy-winning rock guitarist and songwriter — joined Stevie Wonder, Sean Combs, Chris Cornell, Lenny Kravitz, LL Cool J, Common, Snoop Dogg, former President Bill Clinton, Oprah Winfrey, actors Anthony Hopkins, James Gandolfini and more this on February 18 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas for a 70th birthday celebration to honor boxing legend Muhammad Ali.

The 16th annual "Power Of Love Gala" celebrated the life and legacy of Muhammad Ali and his contribution to the world and raises awareness for Alzheimer's, Huntington's, ALS, Multiple Sclerosis and Parkinson's, the disease "The Champ" has been battling since 1984. Proceeds from the event will go to the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health's work toward enhanced treatments and research of neurocognitive disorders and the Muhammad Ali Center in Louisville, Kentucky. The show also featured appearances from boxing legends such as Sugar Ray Leonard, Ken Norton, Tommy "Hitman" Hearns, and more.

CHICKENFOOT/ex-VAN HALEN singer Sammy Hagar talked about how Ali is more than just a boxer, telling Artisan News (see video below), "Ali can be celebrated every single day of the week for what he's done, not just for boxing, but for mankind, and how he stood up, and stood up for his rights at a time when they stripped him of everything, and he still stood tall, and he still came back. That is a role model for any human being — white, black, any color."

"Muhammad Ali is and always has been a role model and a hero to me," said Slash. "It's a huge privilege to be able to perform in his honor. He is one of the great icons of American culture and history."
Montreal's heaviest and loudest bands will take to the stage once again to battle out in round 3 for a chance to win one of two prized spots on the Heavy MTL 2012 lineup at Parc Jean-Drapeau from August 11 to 12. Round 3 will take place on Wednesday, March 14, 2012 at Katacombes (1635 St. Laurent) with guest judge drummer Vinny Appice, known for his solid drumming on over 25 recorded albums, many which are multi-platinum and were recorded with influential metal bands DIO, BLACK SABBATH, HEAVEN & HELL, to name a few, along with performing with John Lennon "live" on stage and in the studio at the age of 16.

In other news, the Heavy Metal Music Association Of Canada with ItalMelodie, Evans Drumheads and Vic Firth are proud to present a drum clinic along with a meet-and-greet signing with Vinny Appice at ItalMelodie's Montreal location at 250 Jean Talon East, 3rd floor on Wednesday, March 14 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Tickets for the clinic are $15 in advance, $20 at the door and can be purchased at ItalMelodie.

Note: BOTB showcases will be every second Wednesday of the months leading to Heavy MTL 2012.

Show details:

* Wednesday, March 14, 2012
* Progressive/ Modern Death Thrash Metal Night
* 18+
* 8:30 p.m.
* $12 - Tickets available at Admission.com and Labyrinthe (486 Ste. Catherine West)

Participating bands:

Journalist and musician Barbara Caserta of Italian web radio LineaRock.it conducted an interview with singer James LaBrie of progressive metal giants DREAM THEATER when the band performed at MediolanumForum in Assago-Milan on February 21. You can now watch the chat below.

When asked if he has heard any music from ADRENALINE MOB — the new band featuring former DREAM THEATER drummer Mike Portnoy — and what he thought of it, LaBrie said, "I've heard a couple of songs. I literally listened to it once — I listened to two songs once — so I'm not in a position to comment. I really am not."

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).

DREAM THEATER's new album, "A Dramatic Turn Of Events", sold 36,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release to enter The Billboard 200 chart at position No. 8. The band's previous CD, 2009's "Black Clouds & Silver Linings", opened with 40,000 units to land at No. 6. This was roughly in line with the first-week tally registered by its predecessor, "Systematic Chaos", which shifted 36,000 copies in 2007 to enter the chart at No. 19. 2005's "Octavarium" premiered with 27,000 copies to debut at No. 36.

DREAM THEATER was among the nominees in the "Best Hard Rock/Metal Performance" category at the 54th annual Grammy Awards, which was held on February 12 at Staples Center in Los Angeles.
Adopt The Arts, a charity dedicated to preserving the arts in schools and founded by Grammy-winning drummer Matt Sorum, will host a kick off event hosted by "Glee"'s Jane Lynch at the Sofitel hotel in West Hollywood on Sunday, March 18, followed by a performance from THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN in the hotel's Stone Rose Lounge, which includes Sorum, Donovan Leitch, Steve Stevens and Billy Morrison (Billy Idol's band) and Mark McGrath (ex-SUGAR RAY, host of many shows and "Extra" correspondent). Special musical guests will be invited up to the stage to perform with the band. The event is open to the public. Tickets can be purchased through Adopt The Arts' web site, www.adoptthearts.org. $150 for dinner and performance/after party; $50 for just performance/after party. Celebrity chef Kerry Simon will be preparing the dinner. There will also be music by hotly-tipped DJ Morty Coyle. Sponsors are Variety magazine and Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, who will be making special alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks for the guests. All proceeds from the event will go directly to Adopt The Arts. Confirmed celebrity guests thus far include Jane Lynch, Matt Sorum, John Stamos, Mark McGrath, Johnathan Schaech, Shepard Fairey, and Michael Wincott. More to be announced soon. Invited celebrity guests include Macy Gray, Slash, Juliette Lewis, Billy Bob Thorton, Rick Rubin, Tom Morello, Duff McKagan, Dane Cook, Billy Gibbons, Dave Navarro, Perry Farrell, Adrian Young, Steven Tyler, AEROSMITH, Amanda Seyfried, Jeremy Piven, Steven Stills, Gina Gershon, Dave Stewart and Camille Grammer ("Real Housewives Of Beverly Hills"). There will also be a silent auction, with the following items donated thus far: Three signed guitars by Billy Corgan (SMASHING PUMPKINS), Slash, THE VERONICAS and VELVET REVOLVER; one Fender Stratocaster signed by rock stars, one custom-made guitar worth $5,000.00, two luxury Mexican vacations, one weekend at the Beverly Hills Peninsula hotel, three Shepard Fairey signed prints, three signed Matt Sorum fine art pieces, Gene Kirkland signed rock star photographs, METALLICA memorabilia, two Coffee Bean machines, John Varvatos leather items, Andrew Charles clothing items, Beats headphones, and more. Red-carpet check in is at 5 p.m. Red carpet from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. Dinner from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Speech from Jane Lynch at 9 p.m., then THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN performance from 9:30 p.m. until 10:30 p.m. The event ends at midnight.

As previously reported, Sorum spoke at the February 14 Los Angeles Unified School District board meeting where the board debated a $557 million budget cut to close a funding deficit in the district's $6 billion budget. He told the board that music helped keep him in school because he was not good at academics. He also said that cutting arts would be a travesty, explaining, "My mother is a music teacher and I grew up with music. I've gotta say — I wasn't the greatest with academics. I gravitated towards the creative aspect, which I had at public school. I had choir, [where] I learned how to sing, and I also took orchestra and learned how to play the drums, I became a world-renowned rock and roll musician."

He added, "I'm really concerned with cutting the arts and music for a very scientific reason, and the scientific reason is that kids learn four times better with music and arts in the program. Without a creative outlet, the academic programs are gonna suffer, and then there's gonna be children that don't gravitate towards the academics that have a creative mind that we're gonna lose nurturing them and may possibly be losing a very creative force in the future."

The drummer's speech apparently convinced the LAUSD board to hold off on a $6 billion budget plan that would result in eliminating the district's adult education, preschool and most elementary arts programs.
ALTER BRIDGE will release its new DVD, "Live At Wembley", at the end of March. The disc contains footage of one of the biggest headline shows of ALTER BRIDGE's career, which took place on November 29, 2011 at Wembley Arena in London, England. The 2D version (complete with a live CD) will be released everywhere this month while the 3D version will come out in the summer of 2012. Longtime ALTER BRIDGE director Daniel E Catullo III ("Live From Amsterdam", "One By One", "Isolation", webisodes, etc.) was brought in to direct "Live At Wembley" by The Dude Films, a new production and distribution company with offices in Laguna Beach, California and Maui, Hawaii headed up by "One By One" executive producer Stuart Margolis and executive producer Chris LaBabera. Lionel Pasamonte, who produced the band's last DVD, "Live From Amsterdam", is producing with Catullo.

In a brand new posting on ALTER BRIDGE's official web site, Catullo states about the forthcoming DVD, "The worldwide release is now scheduled for all territories (U.S., Canada, Europe, Australia) for March 26, 2012. The U.S. and Canada moved to be in line with the rest of the world, rather than release on the 27th.

"In the U.S., the DVD will not be available at Target or Walmart. However, Best Buy and all other retailers will be carrying it. We are projecting that most of the retailers will sell out very quickly, as their initial orders are low. Therefore, the only way to guarantee you get your copy during release week is to order from Amazon.com or the EMI store. If you order on Amazon now, not only will you get an additional three bonus audio tracks, your product will be on your doorstep on release day.

"As we get more detailed release information, we will forward it on to you. We still do not have distribution set up in South America or Asia, but are diligently working on it."

ALTER BRIDGE's setlist for the Wembley show was as follows:

01. Slip To The Void
02. Find The Real
03. Ghost Of Days Gone By
04. Before Tomorrow Comes
05. Come To Life
06. All Hope Is Gone
07. White Knuckles
08. Brand New Start
09. Metalingus
10. Broken Wings
11. I Know It Hurts
12. One Day Remains
13. Coeur D'Alene
14. Buried Alive
15. Blackbird
16. Wonderful Life (Acoustic Version)
17. Watch Over You (Acoustic Version)
18. Ties That Bind
19. Isolation


20. Open Your Eyes
21. Dueling Guitar Solos - Mark and Myles
22. Rise Today
Dutch female-fronted symphonic metallers WITHIN TEMPTATION will kick off their "Sanctuary" theater tour of their home country tomorrow (Friday, March 2) at Schouwburg Almere in Almere. The following description of what fans can expect to see at the shows has been posted on the band's official web site:

"When you visit a theater, you can always sense a sort of magic — there's a very special feeling floating in the air, something out of the ordinary. Maybe it's the history of the building you're in, or imagining all the different shows that took place there, and the visitors who felt the joy, the tension and the mystery of what they were about to see.

"Whether we go to the theater as visitors or perform there ourselves, with WITHIN TEMPTATION we always have that special feeling. This is why every few years we work hard to create a new show to perform in the theaters. Another reason — in addition to the magical and intimate ambiance the theaters offer — is that this is also the perfect environment to experiment creatively with our music and our show. This gives us the unique opportunity to approach and do things differently than we would on a 'normal' stage. This is most definitely the case for our new 2012 theater show.

"A lot of things you'll see in our show will be new and quite different from what you've seen from us before.

"When selecting and listening to our songs we noticed how well they fit together and how much they have in common, both stylistically and lyrically. More and more, we also realized that by putting these songs in a certain order we were actually creating a story. As the visuals and movies we use during our shows have become a bigger and bigger part of our shows, this new story gave us the perfect opportunity to create new film material. This not only shows the story line visually, but supports the musical story as well.

"So this is how our film crew ended up in Scotland, in the Highlands — a landscape so beautiful that reality and fantasy seem to go hand in hand.

"The perfect background to this story…

"Scotland. The Highlands, 1895. A young boy, sick, is lying in his bed. He has been there for days now, infected by an unknown virus causing a dangerous fever.

"As the fever gets stronger, his consciousness fades away, further and further from reality. He slips away into a dream world. He is a grown man now; a warrior or Holy man of some kind; strong and determined. Traveling the landscape, which is enchantingly familiar, yet surreal and unknown.

"Now and then, when the fever stabilizes for a short while, the real world shines through. Sometimes in forms and shapes that fit his dream world -his mother, the doctor, the local priest… they all try to help him but seem powerless to do so.

"Though tempting, he is not quite ready to stay in this sanctuary, not ready to say goodbye… and so he travels on and on… searching for a way out."

For a complete list of tour dates, go to this location.

WITHIN TEMPTATION's fifth studio album, "The Unforgiving", sold around 12,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release to debut at position No. 50 on The Billboard 200 chart. Released on March 29, the CD was produced by Daniel Gibson and is based on a comic book story written by script writer Steven O'Connell (BloodRayne, Dark 48). The band asked comic artist Romano Molenaar (Witchblade, Darkness, X-Men) to draw the characters and scenery of "The Unforgiving", which was made available via Sony Music in Continental Europe and Roadrunner Records in the U.S., U.K. and Ireland, Japan and Australia.

WITHIN TEMPTATION guitarist Robert Westerholt last year announced that he would step down from touring duties in order to focus on taking care of the three children he has with the band's lead singer, Sharon den Adel. His replacement on stage is Stefan Helleblad, who has been working with the band behind the scenes for a few years.
Swedish metallers THE HAUNTED have launched a vocalist search following the departure of longtime frontman Peter Dolving. Serious applicants should send their submissions, including two songs from THE HAUNTED back catalog and a few words to describe themselves, to the e-mail address below. Images and links to performance video clips are much appreciated and will be most valuable in the screening process.

Dolving announced his exit from THE HAUNTED yesterday, writing on his Facebook page, "I have had it. I will NOT answer questions to why. It's no one else's business. I am looking forward to seeing you people at other shows with other projects."

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

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

"Unseen" was released on March 29, 2011 via Century Media Records. The CD was once again recorded with longtime producer Tue Madsen (MOONSPELL, DARK TRANQUILLITY, GOREFEST, SICK OF IT ALL) at his Antfarm Studio in Århus, Denmark.
BLACKGATES — the new East San Francisco Bay Area/New York metal outfit featuring former ANTHRAX singer Dan Nelson, drummer Paul Bostaph (ex-TESTAMENT, EXODUS, SLAYER, FORBIDDEN) and guitarist Jeremy Epp (THE VENTING MACHINE) — will make its live debut on May 5 at Rooster's Roadhouse in Alameda, California as part of the Cinco De Mayo Metal Throwdown with guests MUDFACE, FALLING TO PIECES and ANOTHER VOID. Free ticket giveaways will be made available via the 107.7 The Bone radio station.

For more information, go to this location.

BLACKGATES recently parted ways with bassist Uriah Duffy (ex-WHITESNAKE) and replaced him with Luis Barillas (THE VENTING MACHINE).

Commented Bostaph: "Luis is a veteran of the Bay Area metal scene and a welcome addition to the band." Von Epp added, "[Barillas has] got that Steve Harris/Geezer Butler vibe on the bass which fits perfect with what were doing, not to mention that he's a solid dude." Nelson stated, "Luis is an amazing bassist and a perfect fit for the BLACKGATES sound. He's a true bro who you know from day one will have your back in the trenches."

BLACKGATES recently entered the studio to begin work on its debut album.

Bostaph previously stated about BLACKGATES's musical direction, "Our sound is drawn from all of our influences. Mostly, we don't want to be a thrash metal band, although we draw from that genre as well. There is something in our music for everyone. Heavy grooves, good hooks and Dan's killer pipes. I think we have an independent sound that will stand on its own." Nelson added, "It's thrashy and heavy, so it will appeal to ANTHRAX and TESTAMENT fans. But has the groove and brutality of PANTERA, and is also very melodic. The guitarist is a kid from the Bay Area named Jeremy Epp, who's an unknown, but sensational. People are gonna love him."

BLACKGATES last year finished mastering its first demo, which the band recorded in the San Francisco Bay Area with producer Tim Narducci (SYSTEMATIC, SPIRALARMS).


* Dan Nelson (ANTHRAX): Vocals/guitar
* Luis Barillas (THE VENTING MACHINE): Bass
* Jeremy Von Epp (THE VENTING MACHINE): Guitar/Vocals
Former ANTHRAX and current RED LAMB guitarist Dan Spitz and his wife Candi as well as their twin four-year-old boys are raising awareness of the life-changing effects of autism by participating in this Sunday's Walk Now For Autism Speaks at City Commons in West Palm Beach, Florida.

"Autism is what makes our children special, we do not see it as a disability. They are beautiful, intelligent, silly and we love that they see the world differently," explains Candi Spitz, who is also on the committee for Autism Speaks. The couple's four-year-old twin songs autism diagnosis has given the Spitz family a mission to do all they can for not only their children but the 1 in 110 U.S. children currently diagnosed with the disease.

The entire Spitz family will be walking at the March 4 Walk Now For Autism Speaks event and will film portions of a documentary on their sons at the event. The currently untitled documentary is being produced by SheKnows.com, a prominent parenting website that won both a 2010 and 2011 OMMA Award for Excellence.

Dan Spitz formed RED LAMB in 2010 and recently released a self-titled debut album co-produced with Dave Mustaine (MEGADETH). Spitz and Mustaine also co-wrote the song "Puzzle Box" for the release; a video for the track is in the works with footage from Sunday's event being included. Chris Vrenna (NINE INCH NAILS, MARILYN MANSON) oversaw all programming for the album. Vrenna and Spitz are also working on a side project with more details to be announced shortly.

RED LAMB features Spitz (lead guitar, guitar, bass guitar, programming, background vocals, engineering,co-producer), Patrick Johansson (drums; YNGWIE MALMSTEEN, W.A.S.P.) and Don Chaffin (vocals and video productions).
Olympia, Washington metallers CHRISTIAN MISTRESS have just released their sophomore album, "Possession", via Relapse Records. The follow-up to 2010's "Agony & Opium" was recorded last summer with Tim Green (MELVINS, THE FUCKING CHAMPS, MONOTONIX).

"We recorded analog," said guitarist Oscar Sparbel, speaking on the band's traditional approach to recording. "It was one of the reasons we chose Tim Green and Louder Studios. We wanted to track on 2-inch tape and not use Pro Tools."

"Possession" track listing:

01. Over And Over
02. Pentagram And Crucifix
03. Conviction
04. The Way Beyond
05. Possession
06. Black To Gold
07. There Is Nowhere
08. Haunted Hunted
09. All Abandon

CHRISTIAN MISTRESS recently filmed a video for the song "Pentagram And Crucifix" in their hometown of Olympia. The clip was directed by Christine Davis and David Hoekje and will see an early March premiere.

CHRISTIAN MISTRESS will perform at the Roadburn festival in Tilburg, Holland in April. In addition, they will be on the road in other parts Europe that month, including a string of headlining shows with BLACK BREATH.

CHRISTIAN MISTRESSChristine Davis (vocals), Jonny Wulf (bass), Oscar Sparbel (guitar), Reuben W. Storey (drums) and Ryan McClain (guitar) — has previously toured alongside THRONES, SLOUGH FEG, and more.
Prosthetic Records will reissue "Breathing The Fire" and "Beyond The Permafrost" from American metal masters SKELETONWITCH at the end of March. The deluxe, limited gatefold packages will be made available to coincide with the band's U.S. tour with THE BLACK DAHLIA MURDER, NILE and HOUR OF PENANCE.

Pictured below is the new "Fire Splatter" edition of "Breathing The Fire" vinyl, one of three versions that will be available of the band's 2009 release. Also available is a close-up photo of the LP. The "Fire Splatter" LPs come in a new gatefold Stoughton "tip-on" jacket, and unlike the first and second pressings that sold out long ago, they come with a lyric insert so that Andrei Bouzikov's gatefold artwork appears unobstructed. This version is limited to 500 copies. "Breathing The Fire" will also be available on heavy duty 180-gram black vinyl (also limited to 500 pieces), in addition to a very limited edition red/yellow half-and-half 2-color vinyl that will only be available exclusively through the Prosthetic store.

The LP version of SKELETONWITCH's critically acclaimed 2007 breakthrough "Beyond The Permafrost" will also be available in three variants, all of which come in new gatefold Stoughton "tip-on" jackets as well: 180-gram black vinyl (approximately 500 pieces), "Permafrost splatter" (blue on white, approximately 500 pieces) and limited white/blue half-and-half 2-color wax that will be a Prosthetic store exclusive. The black vinyl versions of both titles will be available in select North American stores on April 10, but pre-orders will begin shipping around the third week of March.

Lastly, there are a limited amount of "Forever Abomination" blue marble pressing of their latest release, "Forever Abomination", still available. This particular release comes with two free posters.
Denver death metallers ENEMY REIGN have completed work on their new album, "Between Hell And Oblivion", at Flatline Audio with producer Dave Otero (CATTLE DECAPITATION, CEPHALIC CARNAGE, MARTRIDEN, COBALT). According to a press release, the CD "offers up 11 tracks of mile-high deathgrind brutality as well as the debut of vocalist, Stevie Boiser who replaced former throat, Sherwood Webber (SKINLESS), last summer."

Commented the band on the output: "'Between Hell And Oblivion' is a huge milestone for ENEMY REIGN both as a band and for us individually. It means we didn't give up even when we were written off, and accomplishing that feels great. Musically, we set out to refine what we feel our style of death metal is. We aren't pretentious people, and this is not a pretentious album. It's a no-nonsense death metal album that pays homage to all the bands we grew up with and love, while keeping an eye on how we can add our own artistic license and create something we could listen to everyday. And we do... so enjoy the reign."

"Between Hell And Oblivion" track listing:

01. Haunted
02. Seven Deadly Sins
03. The Heretics Will
04. Realm Of The Hungry Ghost
05. A Viral Evolution
06. Forged From Suffering
07. Abducted
08. Cidium
09. Bathed In Flames
10. These Cursed Eyes
11. LaLaurie's Chamber
Swedish death metallers SARGATANAS REIGN have announced that SCAR SYMMETRY singer Roberth Karlsson has "put down some bad-ass vocals on two tracks" for the upcoming SARGATANAS REIGN album, "Godwork". They add, "[Roberth is] a great guy and we are very pleased with the result. Very brutal!"

Three other guest singers — to be named later — are scheduled to contribute their vocals to "Godwork".

SARGATANAS REIGN's sophomore album, "Bloodwork - Techniques Of Torture", came out in 2005 via Blooddawn Productions/Regain Records.

According to the band's official bio, SARGATANAS REIGN's take on old-school American death metal creates a unique blend that is sure to attract fans of the most brutal metal and more commercial metal genres alike.

After the release of "Bloodwork", bassist Niklas Samuelsson and vocalist Jonas Matsson left SARGATANAS REIGN due to personal reasons.
With anticipation building toward the release of their upcoming self-titled album, Madison, Alabama's MYCHILDREN MYBRIDE has announced the "Dreamcatchers" Interactive Nightmare — an interactive experience that will allow fans to unlock elements of the song "Dreamcatchers".

The immersive experience finds fans waking up in a mysterious room and needing to escape. Following perilous paths, the decisions fans make will either move them along to the next step of the adventure or lead to their death.

Upon dying, fans will be treated to a segment of "Dreamcatchers", meaning that the only way to unlock each segment of the song is to explore the myriad choices that the adventure presents. Upon successful completion, fans will be prompted to restart the adventure in order to unlock new music.

Begin the adventure here.

"With the release of 'Dreamcatchers', we really wanted to try something new and different, something that would make our fans conspire together and act as a community," frontman Matthew Hasting excitedly explains. "So please, throughout Facebook, YouTube and Twitter work together to figure out the challenge that lies ahead. Choose your fate wisely and listen closely to everything you see. You will soon hear the final song before our album is released."

MYCHILDREN MYBRIDE is available now for preorder with mutliple incentives including "mystery gifts" ranging from autographed tour laminate from one of the band's past tours all the way up to an autographed guitar that was used during recording of the new album!

Preorder options can be found here.

MYCHILDREN MYBRIDE's third, self-titled album is scheduled for release on March 13 via Solid State Records. The eagerly awaited CD is the band's third release in six years, and the first since 2010's lauded "Lost Boy", which debuted at No. 183 on The Billboard 200 chart.

For MYCHILDREN MYBRIDE, the self-titled album represents a new chapter for the band, and stamps the advent of a refined sound the members have been chasing since the group's inception.

Recorded with esteemed producer Chris "Zeuss" Harris (HATEBREED, SHADOWS FALL), MYCHILDREN MYBRIDE finds the band reaching deep mentally and emotionally for what is without a doubt their crowning achievement thus far, a hard-hitting, experimental, cinematic opus that will set a fire in the hearts of old and new fans alike. With a no-holds-barred approach to programming and effects, and good, old-fashioned brutal riffage — not to mention a new level of dynamics from frontman Matthew HastingMYCHILDREN MYBRIDE have boldly redefined themselves for this new chapter of their career.

In celebration of the release, the band will be setting sail on a two-month trek alongside FOR TODAY, A SKYLIT DRIVE, STICK TO YOUR GUNS and MAKE ME FAMOUS that includes dozens of stops throughout the U.S. and Canada, culminating in a spot at the infamous New England Metal And Hardcore Festival in Worcester, Massachusetts.

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