[Classic_Rock_Forever] Weekend Hard Rock and Heavy Metal News


IRON MAIDEN frontman Bruce Dickinson will perform at the Buddy Rich 25th Anniversary Memorial Concert on Monday, April 2 at the London Palladium. He will be singing while fellow heavy rock legend, Ian Paice of DEEP PURPLE, plays drums alongside the full BUDDY RICH ORCHESTRA.

Dickinson is one of the most acclaimed heavy metal vocalists, regularly appearing at the top of lists of the greatest singers/frontmen of all time. DEEP PURPLE's "In Rock" was the first album he ever bought, so hearing him sing with the drumming legend of the very band that influenced his unique style will be a treat indeed.

Other musicians set to appear at the event include singer extraordinaire Tony Christie and drummers Dave Weckl, Gregg Bissonette, John Blackwell and Gregg Potter from the USA; and Ginger Baker, Gavin Harrison, Clem Cattini and Elliott Henshaw from the U.K. The show will be hosted by Buddy's daughter, Cathy Rich, and comedian John Thomson of "The Fast Show" and "Cold Feet" fame. The annual memorial concert is taking place for the first time in the U.K., celebrating the music of the late great Buddy Rich. Previous sellout shows have taken place in Los Angeles, Las Vegas and Boston.

Tickets are available from the box office on 0844 412 4657 or online at www.seetickets.com priced from £25 to £60. There are a limited number of VIP tickets available, which represent the best seats in the house, an opportunity to meet the headline artists, admission to the after-show party and signed merchandise.
Bassist Robbie Crane has officially quit RATT, the band he had played with since 1997. During an appearance on this past Thursday's (March 22) edition of the "Headbangers At 11" show on the 93.3 KDKB radio station with host Mike Gaube, Crane stated about his decision to leave RATT, "I've been playing in LYNCH MOB since October of 2010. It's a thing that I've always loved doing, and I love playing with the band. As of recently, I've moved on from RATT — I definitely quit RATT — and I let them all know that. But you know what?! Iit's not because of LYNCH MOB. I'd been with RATT for 15 years and it was time to move on. I love being in LYNCH MOB and this is where my heart's at."
"Infestation", the first studio record in 11 years from RATT, sold around 14,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release to debut at position No. 30 on the Billboard 200 chart. The CD was released on April 20, 2010 via Loud & Proud.

"Infestation" was produced by Michael "Elvis" Baskette (CHEVELLE, ALTER BRIDGE) at his Virginia studio, marking the first time the band has recorded outside of Los Angeles. The album is full of attitude and of reflection, cycling through a range of emotions. There are party anthems that RATT are known for alongside more contemplative, thoughtful tunes.
The first time I met Mike Portnoy was on the set of That Metal Show after the taping of an episode featuring him and guitarist John Sykes.
"Hey there, Mike," I said, "Big fan."
As awkward as it might be for a 43 year-old man to proclaim himself a "big fan" to someone his age, it was the truth. Portnoy is one of rock's greatest living drummers, collecting musicianship awards with the same frequency that most people put gas in their car. The self-taught percussive prodigy routinely appears on lists of the greatest drummers of all time, usually haunting the top slots. While he is best-known for the twenty-five years that he spent powering prog metal giants Dream Theater, Portnoy has donated his jaw-dropping talents to a stunning number of rock and metal acts. In the past year alone, his collaborations have included a long run with Avenged Sevenfold, a historic gig with Stone Sour, a partnership with iconic guitarist John Sykes and his participation in the titan-studded Metal Masters clinics.
In 2010, as Portnoy was assessing his options in the wake of his acrimonious split from Dream Theater, guitarist Mike Orlando was cutting a collection of blistering, riff-heavy metal tracks with Symphony X vocalist Russell Allen–a singer with the range of Chris Cornell and the snarl of Phil Anselmo. Satisfied that they had stumbled upon something special, they reached out to Portnoy to see if he might be interested in joining, not as a sideman, but as a full-time member. Those rough demos were all he needed to commit to his new band–Adrenaline Mob, which they officially announced to the world in the summer of 2011.
The Mob released a five-song EP, then wasted zero time writing a group of new tracks that together mark their full-length debut, Omertà. Simply put, Omertà is a phenomenal, hard-charging collection of hard rock and heavy metal, full of massive grooves and skyscraper-sized choruses. Prog fans looking for sixty minutes of complex time signatures and mathematically-precise soloing will be bitterly disappointed–this is as straightforward as hard rock gets, complete with lacerating guitar solos, head-banging riffs and of course, Portnoy's ferocious attack. Even when he's pulling back, you can still hear the virtuosity playing out with every roll of the toms.
"Hit the Wall," "Psychosane" and "Undaunted" are stand-outs, and Halestorm's Lzzy Hale adds her potent rock vocals to an unlikely, but smoking cover of Duran Duran's "Come Undone."
So how did Portnoy respond to my profession of admiration?
"Funny, you don't look that big," he cracked.
Anybody who's seen him on That Metal Show knows that's Portnoy–a good natured, wise-cracking guy from New York, who just happens to be one hell of a drummer.
I had the chance to catch up with Mike just before the band's album release party in New York City earlier this month. Never before I have I looked forward to the Either/Or questions with such unbridled enthusiasm.
–Joe Daly
TNB Music Editor

Adrenaline Mob started the year off with a big personnel change, bringing on Disturbed bassist John Moyer. I know that you actually reached out to him. What about his style made him your choice?

Well I knew John from when Disturbed and Avenged Sevenfold toured together on the Uproar tour a couple summers ago, so John and I had spent a lot of time together. I knew that he was a super cool, down-to-earth guy, so I knew he'd fit in personally and stylistically, and with all of his time in Disturbed, I knew it was a musical background that would fit right in with what the Mob is doing. Most importantly was the fact that Disturbed had just announced that they were going on an extended hiatus, and it was critical for us to find a bass player that didn't have any other bands or commitments. We assumed we'd have to get a complete nobody or an up-and-comer because everybody else already had other bands and other things going. It just happened to turn out that it was the perfect time for John because he now has this downtime when he can commit to us and we don't have to worry about any scheduling conflicts. So on every level, John was the perfect choice.

As the drummer, it's obviously important for you to find somebody that you can do business with in the rhythm section, so even before John hit the radar, was there a criteria that you personally had in mind for a new bass player?

Well, we were looking for somebody that was a team player and somebody who was into doing song-oriented music. Even though I have this reputation for being this over-the-top drummer and even though Mike Orlando is this incredibly flashy guitar player, we weren't looking for a crazy over-the-top bass player. We were looking for somebody who was more of a foundation type of player. So John was exactly the type of player we were looking for–a bad-ass motherfucker who could hold down the fort. John absolutely fit our criteria.

What sound were you shooting for on this album? Or was there even a sound that you guys had in mind?

The whole idea behind Adrenaline Mob is to play song-oriented music that has shredding players, but really it's all about the riff and the groove and the melody. Mike Orlando and I can step out every once in awhile when needed, but the most important thing in the end is to have huge riffs and a groove with a nice bounce, as well as Russell Allen's vocals, which are totally memorable and melodic. It's one of those albums where I think that every song is strong in it's own right. There are so many tracks on this album that you can picture being played on the radio. So that was the idea behind Adrenaline Mob–to have an album filled with songs that had memorable hooks that made your head bang.

Compared to the arc of a lot of other albums, you guys turned this around in relatively short order. What was the songwriting process?

Actually, since Adrenaline Mob was announced last summer, then yeah, I guess you could say it's been a relatively short turnaround time, from the announcement of the band to the album. The reality is that these songs have been brewing for years, starting with Mike Orlando, who had been working on them on his own for so many years, and then Russell Allen started working with him a couple years ago, shaping them and modifying them. They came to my attention early last year, so it's been an ongoing process between the three of us, building and developing what has finally become Adrenaline Mob. But it certainly wasn't an overnight thing–the songs have been in the works for years.

So when those guys reached out to you, what was it in their pitch that appealed to you about this project?

I was just coming off of my time with Avenged Sevenfold. I was doing the Uproar tour with them–bands like Disturbed and Stone Sour and Hellyeah and Halestorm–coming off of an experience surrounded by these bands that were doing real riff and groove, song-oriented music and I really wanted to get involved with something that was similar. After twenty-five years of prog ethics with Dream Theater, as much as I love that–and I still do love that–I kind of needed to wrap my head around something different. When Mike and Russ played me these tunes, I immediately knew it was exactly what would satisfy that urge inside of me to do something like this. It was actually the perfect band at the perfect time for me.

Guitarist Rich Ward also left the band recently. Are there any plans to replace him?

No, we're gonna keep the band a four-piece. When we auditioned John Moyer on bass, the other thing that we were auditioning was ourselves to see how we would sound as a four-piece. In rehearsals it sounded great, so we said, "Let's just keep this a four-piece." It's easier, it's one less scheduling obstacle to work around, and it sounded big and full, and some of our favorite bands were four-piece bands, like Black Sabbath, Van Halen and Pantera, so we felt that it would be a good lineup to go forward with.

You just had your album release party at the Electric Ballroom in New York. What's next for the Mob?

We're gonna hit the road. Right now there's a US tour being assembled with dates to come asap, and in June we head over to Europe to do festivals and miscellaneous one-off headlining shows over there. We're just looking to be on the road for the rest of the year, keeping busy.

This is probably offensively early to ask, but you've been through one album with these guys now–do you see this being an ongoing collaboration for you? Will there be other albums down the road?

Absolutely. This is absolutely a band, this isn't a side project. We plan on making many albums and touring all over the place with this. We're very excited about the potential for the music and it's definitely a new chapter for all of us, so it's not just a side project–it's a real full-time band.

You've also got another band–Flying Colors. What's happening with them?

Flying Colors is the polar opposite on the spectrum from Adrenaline Mob (laughs) and that just goes to show my musical tastes. I can do many different things and fully love them all, because I have broad tastes–and a lot of listeners do as well. Flying Colors is more pop/alternative, with a splash of prog musicianship thrown in there. It's another song-oriented album, but it's more in the vein of the Beatles-meets-Coldplay-meets-Foo Fighters.

Do you guys have an album coming out?

Yeah, it comes out on March 27–two weeks after Adrenaline Mob.

How are you going to balance the concurrent releases?

Well right now I'm balancing them both by doing a lot of press and promotion, but once the albums come out I'm going to be touring with Adrenaline Mob immediately and that'll be the first focus. We hope to do some touring with Flying Colors as well, but it's a little bit harder with that because everybody in Flying Colors is actively busy in other bands. Most notably, Steve Morse with Deep Purple. So Flying Color's ability to tour is going to rely a lot on Deep Purple's schedule. But we absolutely are looking forward to playing live shows with Flying Colors as well, it's just a matter of scheduling. We might need a little time to juggle that, but it'll eventually happen.

You've had an action-packed twelve months. Looking back on everything you did in the last year, can you narrow it down to one highlight?

I don't know if I can. Last year I played live on stage with I think five different bands, and this year already I think I've played with three different bands, or four different bands, so I don't know if I can pinpoint any one particular thing. I don't know, they've all been really cool experiences. I mean, I love the Adrenaline Mob and Flying Colors albums that are coming out, I love the music I've been making with Neal Morse, I've played to 100,000 people at Rock in Rio with Stone Sour, so that was a great highlight. I did a gig in New York with the guys from Megadeth, Anthrax, Pantera and Slayer, doing a supergroup with those guys, so that was a huge highlight. So I don't think I could pick one. I think the key to my happiness, post-Dream Theater, has been all about variety and diversity and playing with different people in different situations. So the combination of all of them has made the past year so exciting for me.

You bring up Dream Theater. Now that some of the dust has cleared, and in view of all you've done since Dream Theater, where do you see that band fitting in your overall legacy?

Dream Theater will always be the thing I'm most known for. It was twenty-five years of my life and it was something that I poured my heart and soul, blood sweat and tears into. I literally ate, breathed and shat Dream Theater twenty-four/seven for twenty-five years, so regardless of where they go in their career and regardless of where I go in my career, I will always and forever be linked to Dream Theater and that's fine with me–I'm proud of every song I wrote in that band, every album I recorded in that band, and every show I played with that band. So I have no problem with the fact that I will forever be known as "Mike Portnoy from Dream Theater." That's something that will never change. That's always how it's gonna be and I'm proud of that. I wouldn't want it any other way.

I think I'm probably one of the few people who you have not collaborated with, and…

Until now! You could say we now have.

That's a good point–maybe we can remix this interview into a dubstep album. Is there anyone who you haven't played with who's your dream collaboration? Someone you'd like to get in the studio with but haven't yet?

Well there are the realistic ones and there are the fantasy ones. The fantasy ones are guys like Roger Waters, Paul McCartney and Pete Townshend. Those are my three biggest living heroes. I honestly don't anticipate ever having the privilege of working with any of the three of them, however I would do it in a heartbeat because they are three of my biggest heroes. Then there are the realistic ones, and the one person that I'm still patiently waiting to collaborate with is Mikael Åkerfeldt of Opeth. He and I have been talking about it for years, so that's one collaboration that I've been patiently waiting to happen.

We end our interviews with five little Either/Or questions. I'm just going to give you a choice and you pick one. Sound good?


Keith Moon or John Bonham?

Oh Jesus… you started off with like, the hardest one possible.

That's what you think.

(pause) It's fucking impossible. (laughs) They're two of my heroes–I have both of them tattooed on me. (pause) I would say Bonham for playing, Keith Moon for showmanship.

OK. Classic rock or heavy metal?

Oh, man… That is tough. Ugh… I have to say metal by a slight margin.

Guitar solos or bass solos?

Bass solo if it's Billy Sheehan playing but guitar solo if it's Eddie Van Halen playing. However, if you're talking about a bass solo by Bill Wyman or a guitar solo by Malcolm Young, then I don't know. (laughs)

Next one…

How diplomatic! So far I haven't been able to pick either. You're giving me such hard choices.

That's the point. I want to catch you flat-footed. I think this one you can nail–jazz or blues?

God, uh… I'm not a big fan of either. When you did classic rock versus heavy metal, why couldn't you have done classic rock versus blues, or jazz versus metal? That would have been much easier.
I'll have to say jazz, just because it's more exciting for drummers.

Last one is a drumming question– 4/4 or 9/8?

Ah, that's easy–9/8.


Just because I made a living off of 9/8. Anybody can play 4/4, but I made a nice career out of playing 9/8.

Very cool. That's a wrap, Mike. Thanks for your time.

Thanks, Joe.
The first photo of the new lineup of JON OLIVA'S PAIN, the Florida-based band led by SAVATAGE mastermind Jon Oliva, can be seen below.

JON OLIVA'S PAIN's latest addition, guitarist Joseph Diaz, is also member of CEMETARY SLUTS (an original speed metal band) and FIGURE IN BLACK (a BLACK SABBATH tribute act). He has also played in DISASTERPEACE alongside former KING DIAMOND guitarist Pete Blakk and ex-CRIMSON GLORY singer Wade Black.

JON OLIVA'S PAIN 2012 touring lineup:

Jon Oliva – Vocals, Keyboards
Christopher Kinder - Drums
Jerry Outlaw - Guitar
Jason Jennings - Bass
Joseph Diaz - Guitar

JON OLIVA'S PAIN will play SAVATAGE's classic 1987 album, "Hall Of The Mountain King", in its entirety during a 15-date European tour in June and July. The group will also perform songs from DOCTOR BUTCHER (the early 1990s project created by Oliva and guitarist Chris Caffery at a time when they were not active members of SAVATAGE) as well as other classic SAVATAGE and JON OLIVA'S PAIN selections.

Commented JON OLIVA'S PAIN lead guitarist Jerry Outlaw: "In my mind, this tour will be dedicated to the memory of the late, great Matt LaPorte as well as Criss Oliva. I will honor their memory with every note I play."

JON OLIVA'S PAIN will play warm-up show for its European tour on June 18 at the Ritz Theatre in Ybor City, Florida.

"Hall Of The Mountain King" was the first SAVATAGE album to be produced by Paul O'Neill and it showed the beginning of the band's progressive tendencies as they explored new forms of expression in their music. Many fans consider this LP a turning point in SAVATAGE's musical identity. As the group's first concept effort, it had a constant tone and was more complex than their previous albums, with two entirely instrumental tracks that go beyond simple guitar riffs and solos, namely "Prelude To Madness" and "Last Dawn".
Drummer Robb Reiner and guitarist/vocalist Steve "Lips" Kudlow of Canadian metal legends ANVIL recently spoke to John Doan of MusicFrenzy.net about their next documentary project, which has a working title of "Anvil 2: The Quest For World Peace".

Robb: "Me and Lips are gonna try to rally the world and throw a peace concert in Israel, and they're gonna film it."

Lips: "The selfish endeavor of making it for ourselves is pretty much done. We're living the dream. Now it's like, what can we do to change the world? We changed our world, but what can we do to change the world to make it a better place? There's a way to use your celebrity for really good things."

Robb: "We're gonna go and rally this and we're gonna try to pull this off. See, we don't know if we're gonna pull this off, but we're gonna make a major attempt. And they're gonna film our quest. And if it does happen, that's amazing. And if it doesn't happen…"

Lips: "…Then the world will see that, even though we tried, what the obstacles were and what we have to overcome. As a human race, what we have to overcome."

Robb: "We're gonna talk to lots of bands, politicians, corporations… Everything possible to be involved in this, we're gonna rally, and we'll film it in real time, and we'll see what happens."

Lips: "The whole concept started [when I was] sitting in the director's house and there [was] a newspaper sitting on the kitchen table, and I just started flipping out, 'cause I [was] reading it. It was one of those situations where things were really melting down on the Gaza Strip. And I just [went], 'What is this? When is this gonna stop? Is there something anybody can do about this?' And he [went], 'You could do something about it. You're getting famous. You could do something about it.' And I [went], 'Well, what can we do?' And he [went], 'Think about it. Just give it some thought.' About a few weeks later, I thought, what if we went to some place, like in Jerusalem, but in a no man's land, like by the Wailing Wall, and we'll hold the festival there — where all three major religious groups can gather in peace and bring a community together. The other aspect is the 'global metal' phenomenon. There is metal bands from every country on earth. This could be represented totally by the genre itself. ANVIL is rocking and we're cruising, and this will be something that we're doing as well."
GODSMACK will release a live album called "Live And Inspired" this spring. The effort will include 13 songs recorded at a show in Detroit, Michigan on the band's last tour and will be packaged with a bonus disc containing four cover songs.

With regards to the band's decision to use the Detroit concert as a basis for the concert album, GODSMACK frontman Sully Erna told Loudwire, "We were going to do a compilation with this song from Vegas, this song is from Chicago, this one is from Dallas, but, I don't know, the more we listened to the Detroit show, the more we kind of figured out that it was a really good show for us."

He added, "[Detroit is] always a great audience, as any rock band will tell you. Playing there is a special kind of fanbase that they have there, they live up to their reputation. They're a great rock audience, so that's where the record was recorded."

Erna recently declined to reveal to The Pulse Of Radio which songs the band covered for the bonus EP. "I will tell you this: we picked covers that everybody should know," he said. "They're very popular songs, and people are asking us, you know, why are we picking these songs? Well, because the record hasn't come out yet, and we've already sold probably 180 million copies. They're all hits (laughs)."

The EP and live album will coincide with GODSMACK's upcoming co-headlining tour with STAIND, which will kick off on April 13 in Augusta, Georgia. HALESTORM will be the supporting act for the entire road trip.

In addition to having the tour named by a fan through a contest, the bands have run a second competition in which fans have submitted designs for the tour poster. The designer of the winning poster received $500 and a prize pack.

Erna told The Pulse Of Radio he likes the idea of getting the fans involved as much as possible. "I like that we're including the fans into this and, you know, the whole thing has kind of been, you know, derived for the fans," he said. "Everything's been inspired by the fans so far. I'm actually excited too because we have this live record coming out, which is live and inspired by the fans kind of thing, and so this is actually a really good time for us to go out and do a tour like this, where we're incorporating fans into helping us create the name and create the posters and stuff like that."

GODSMACK's fifth album, "The Oracle", sold 117,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release to debut at position No. 1 on The Billboard 200 chart.
Ed MacLaren of Femme Metal Webzine recently conducted an interview with singer Cristina Scabbia of Italian heavy rockers LACUNA COIL. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.

Femme Metal Webzine: I'm signed up to your Facebook page. I noticed that you do a lot of updates on the things that you're doing and you have a lot of fun doing that and fans really like it.

Cristina: That's why I'm doing it. It's not that I have a lot of fun doing it, but I think that it's cool for whoever doesn't know that much about the backstage and about what's going on with the band. I think it's cool to have a direct update from the band because sometimes the official websites are more like portals that can take you to different sites but they're never a close connection to the fans. And in this case, Facebook is really cool because you can get direct feedback from the fans and you can post updates and write when something happens and I think that's cool.

Femme Metal Webzine: After doing two months as a support act and then you have to switch gears and go headline and you have the longer sets. Do you have to change anything musically or get your mindset in order?

Cristina: Your mindset just changes, because, of course, you have to play every night a longer set so it's more tiring for your body, for your voice, so you have to be extra careful about your body, your voice, your fingers, if you play guitar or your energy if you're a drummer. So definitely we're going to be able to take care of ourselves and our bodies during that tour because I know we're going to push the energy to the limit every night. As I said, even if you tried to take it easy once you're up there, it's impossible. It's just impossible. We give everything we have onstage.

Femme Metal Webzine: Are there any benefits to playing more support shows to doing a headline show?

Cristina: When you play a headliner show, you know that the people coming to see you are fans, so they know your music already. When you play as a support band, you have a chance to grab and to win over new people that in the future will come to your headliner shows. So any support tour is useful to spread the word and let more people know about LACUNA COIL. Actually, [this year's Gigantour] really surprised me because we never had problems to fit with any lineup and any band because we have such a special sound ourselves. We have a specific LACUNA COIL thing going on that we pretty much fit with every band we played with from ROB ZOMBIE to ANTHRAX to TYPE O NEGATIVE to P.O.D. Diverse bands and nobody has ever said anything, but on this tour it was more like there's going to be a lot of old-school fans. You know, MOTÖRHEAD and MEGADETH die-hard fans that are going to look at us like, "Oh my God, who's this girl on stage? Why do they even have a female singer? Why aren't they doing this?" And the reaction was magnificent! It was amazing! Everybody was rocking out! They loved the show. We would leave the stage every night with hands up in the air and people cheering us and going for it. It was amazing because when you're the opener, you don't really know. It's like you have to warm up the crowd and you never know how they're going to react most of the time — they will be like having a beer somewhere getting interested in the show. And it wasn't like that. We got the attention of pretty much everybody. And that was amazing. It's a big challenge. It's exciting.

Femme Metal Webzine: Do you think that you've been doing anything different with [the "Dark Adrenaline" album] than the previous stuff or are you just doing what you do well better?

Cristina: I think that it came out different, but without us thinking about making it sound different, because what we always do with every album is that we don't think. We just go with the flow which is let the inspiration go and do everything for us. It's not that we sit around a table and we say, "OK, the last album went this way. Why don't we try to do this?" It's not like that — the process is completely different because we collect the ideas and whatever we like, we keep it. We don't care about clichés, we don't think about what people might think about the album because it's a representation of art so it has to describe who we are. It has to be who we are. It doesn't have to be what fans want from us and I personally think that that's why we kept it — for such a long time — interesting to a lot of people. We might have lost some fans but we won over a lot of people. And then maybe the new people didn't like the album after and the old-school fans came back. I think it's refreshing. It's refreshing to just evolve and not to get stuck in the same thing over and over. And this album definitely the most obscure, the heaviest one we've ever done but it's not that we thought about it before we started songwritin

Femme Metal Webzine: Do you think that the success of LACUNA COIL has had some kind of an impact on opening doors?

Cristina: Absolutely, yes! Well not only opened a lot of doors for territories that are not exactly metal, because we're coming from Italy. We are with an independent label, so we were the first ones to be surprised about our success because, wow, we're having the chance to tour Europe. We're having the chance to be signed by Century Media. And this is actually because we were trying to propose something different from what the other bands from Milan were doing back then. It was more the power metal era — a lot of bands were playing power metal style and we were doing something completely different — we were doing this sort of goth rock that nobody else would have done with a female and a male singer. And that immediately grabbed the attention of Century Media and that's why we got signed. But now that other people can see that we made it to a certain level, a lot of other people can be inspired by that and think that if they made it and they are from Italy — which is not the U.K. and it's not the States which are usually the main places where a success band might come from — then we can make it, too, if we work hard and we put a lot of passion and a lot of sacrifices in our jobs.
Bassist Yves Huts has left Dutch female-fronted symphonic metallers EPICA.

Commented the band: "Yves has been with us from the start and has been of great value to the band.

"We want to thank Yves for his contribution to EPICA's success and wish him the very best in his future career, whether musically or in a different way. We will never forget the good times we shared together on the road!

"The silver lining to this cloud is that we can already announce an awesome successor. Fulfilling duties on bass from now on will be none other than Rob van der Loo. You might know Rob from his work with MAYAN or DELAIN. We are sure that Rob will fit perfectly as a musician and as a person, and we are looking forward to share the stage for the first time next week.

Stated Huts: "013 is the venue where we did our first show with EPICA and, almost a decade later, also my last.

"I'm leaving the band because I have another career opportunity that is not combinable with the schedule of a world-touring band. I've tried to live these two different lives simultaneously for as long as I could, but in the end I just had to make a choice, one of the most difficult ones in my life.

"I look back to these 10 years in EPICA satisfied and enriched with life experience. As a founding member, I'm proud of what we've achieved so far and I'm sure the future has a lot more great things in store for the band.

"I would like to thank the band, crew, fans and everybody else involved for the good times and I wish my successor good luck."

Commented Rob van der Loo: "A few days ago I spoke to Yves and he brought back a memory from the time when EPICA was still a support band for one of my former bands. At that time he would never have guessed that almost 10 years later I'd be his successor in EPICA... Well, neither did I... but I'm damn proud of it!

"I've been sharing the stage with the people from EPICA for almost ten years now, and becoming a member of MAYAN last year brought us even closer. So making the decision to join EPICA feels pretty good. Therefore I want to show my gratitude to the bandmembers (including Yves) and the crew for allowing me in the EPICA family!

"See you guys on the road! I won't let you down!"

EPICA's fifth full-length album, "Requiem For The Indifferent", sold 4,800 copies in the United States in its first week of release to debut at position No. 104 on The Billboard 200 chart. The band's previous CD, "Design Your Universe", opened with 2,100 units to land at position No. 12 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.

"Requiem For The Indifferent" was released on March 9 in Europe and four days later in North America via Nuclear Blast Records. The CD was recorded at Gate Studio in Wolfsburg, Germany under the watchful eye of Sascha Paeth.
British thrash metal veterans ONSLAUGHT have crossed the Atlantic for their first-ever North American tour. The three-week trek sees the band performing a setlist spanning all its studio albums — "Power From Hell", "The Force", "In Search Of Sanity", "Killing Peace" and their latest release, "Sounds Of Violence". Support on the dates is coming from MPIRE OF EVIL (formerly PRIMEVIL), the new band featuring former VENOM members Jeff "Mantas" Dunn (guitar) and Tony "The Demolition Man" Dolan (bass, vocals).

ONSLAUGHT recruited Michael Hourihan (EXTREME NOISE TERROR, DESECRATION) to play the drums following last year's departure of Steve Grice.

ONSLAUGHT's fifth album, "Sounds Of Violence", was released in January 2011 via AFM Records. The follow-up to 2007's "Killing Peace" was recorded and mixed at Hansen Studio in Ribe, Denmark with acclaimed Danish producer Jacob Hansen (RAUNCHY, MERCENARY, VOLBEAT, HEAVEN SHALL BURN).
Italian progressive rock/metal band KINGCROW has entered the studio to begin recording its new album, "In Crescendo", for a late 2012 release.

A four-minute video clip featuring behind-the-scenes footage from the studio can be seen below.

KINGCROW's latest CD, "Phlegethon", was released in May 2010 via Scarlet Records.

According to a press release, "Describing [KINGCROW] today is quite a difficult task, but one could state that the influence of such artists as PORCUPINE TREE, RIVERSIDE, OPETH, ORPHANED LAND or even DREAM THEATER in their more subtle moments are all present in the music of KINGCROW. With each release KINGCROW has taken a step further away from their original roots as a classic hard rock/metal band and is today one of the most exciting bands that Italy has to offer."


Diego Marchesi - Lead, Backing Vocals
Diego Cafolla - Guitar, Backing Vocals
Ivan Nastasi - Guitar, Backing Vocals
Thundra Cafolla - Drums, Percussions
Cristian Della Polla - Keyboards, Synths
Francesco D'Errico - Bass

Progressive instrumental pioneers ANIMALS AS LEADERS return to the road next weekend, when they will kick off their first European headlining tour in Tilburg, Holland on April 1. Their headlining dates will surround a week's worth of U.K. shows alongside MESHUGGAH, a band ANIMALS AS LEADERS mastermind Tosin Abasi cites as a major influence. Immediately after returning from Europe, ANIMALS AS LEADERS will embark on its first North American tour of the year as they support THRICE on that group's farewell tour.

These upcoming ANIMALS AS LEADERS shows will not include drummer Navene Koperweis, who has decided to leave the group. Koperweis says, "Tosin and Javier (Reyes, guitar) are the two most generous, caring and understanding individuals I've ever met and I look forward to a lifetime of friendship with the both of them. Over the past decade I have done nothing but music. Recording, writing, playing, practicing, touring and producing. It's taken me beyond what I could have dreamt of as a kid when I started. My new goals extend beyond the drum kit and I'm the type of person who will constantly chase new dreams. You'll be seeing a lot more of me soon."

Adds Abasi, "I've shared some of my most memorable musical experiences to date with Navene and truly consider him a brother. I commend him for following his own path in life, even if that means i'll no longer be sharing the stage with him. I feel blessed to have had the pleasure of working together and creating a lifelong friendship."

Filling in for Koperweis on ANIMALS AS LEADERS' European and North American tours will be the Boston-based Matt Garstka, a Berklee alumnus who has previously played with the groups GOKH BI SYSTEM, TWO MAN TRIO and VERSE THE FIRE.

"We see nothing but great potential with Matt, and look forward to performing with him on the upcoming tours," Abasi says. "We feel very excited for the future of ANIMALS AS LEADERS, which is brighter than ever. I'm beyond excited for our fans to hear some of the new music we already have brewing for the future!"

ANIMALS AS LEADERS' second full-length album, "Weightless", sold 6,100 copies in the United States in its first week of release to land at position No. 92 on The Billboard 200 chart.
Guitarist Marc Rizzo (SOULFLY, CAVALERA CONSPIRACY) has laid down a guest guitar solo on the forthcoming full-length album from the Los Angeles hardcore band STRIFE. The group enlisted longtime friend Igor Cavalera (SEPULTURA, CAVALERA CONSPIRACY) to play drums on the CD, which is being produced by TERROR drummer Nick Jett (TAKE OFFENSE, LIONHEART). Igor laid down the drum tracks at Mix Nova Studios in Brazil, with additional recordings taking place at Blood Tracks Studio and Sunset Lodge in Los Angeles. Producer Matt Hyde (HATEBREED, SLAYER) will take care of the mastering duties in April.

Commented STRIFE guitarist Andrew Kline: "Igor absolutely killed the drum tracks. He played a lot more straight-forward than he normally does to fit our style, and then added the right fills and touches to really stand out."

A final release date, label, cover art and additional information on STRIFE's first CD since 2001's "Angermeans" will be revealed in the near future.

Cavalera previously made a guest appearance on STRIFE's second album, 1997's "In This Defiance".


Rick Rodney - Vocals
Andrew Kline - Guitar
Chad Peterson - Bass
Todd Turnham - Guitar
Pepe Magana – Drums
CIBOLA JUNCTION, the new Swedish hard rock band featuring Charles Rytkonen (vocals; ex-MORGANA LEFAY), Torsten Bengtsberg (guitar), Magnus Soderblom (guitar), Orjan Josefsson (bass) and Svante Hedstrom (drums; ex-BABYLON BOMBS) — will release a new EP, "Back To The Roots", as a digital download and very limited-edition physical CD on April 6.

CIBOLA JUNCTION released a single version of the track "Peace Out" in January and made available rough-mix versions of three of the other EP songs via the band's web site.

"We have received a lot of great feedback and we think the time is right for this EP record", the group says.

"Back To The Roots" EP track listing:

01. Peace Out
02. Coming Back For More
03. With My Powers
04. Cibola City
05. Back To The Roots

According to a press release, CIBOLA JUNCTION's "desire to go back to the roots can be heard as an influence from the '70s hard rock, but with innovative ways of thinking. Some call their music power groove, others retro hard rock." "We believe it's a kind of rootless music, yet there is something new. But if you going to put a label on it, it's hard rock," the group declares.

For more information, visit CibolaJunction.com.
Austrian extreme metallers MASTIC SCUM have issued the following update:

"In deep sadness we have to announce that our friend and ex-member Will [vocals] died by accident on Friday 23rd of March. We are all very shocked about his tragic death. Will joined MASTIC SCUM in 1993 and left the band in 2008. We had a great time and lot of experiences together. R.I.P., Will — we'll see us in another life!"

MASTIC SCUM parted ways with Will in 2008 due to "musical differences" and replaced him with Maggo Wenzel (INZEST, TRISTWOOD, WATCH ME BLEED).

MASTIC SCUM's latest album, "Dust", was released on November 13, 2009 via Twilight Distribution.
Metal Mark of SkullsNBones.com recently conducted an interview with drummer Paul Mazurkiewicz of Florida death metallers CANNIBAL CORPSE. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.

SkullsNBones.com: CANNIBAL CORPSE has released so many classic albums throughout the years, but I agree with you that ["Torture"] is the best record yet. I know why I think it is, but why do you say it's the best?

Paul: I think it's all about the songwriting with this record. As time goes on, you get better and better at writing the best songs, and I think we nailed it on "Torture". Plus, everyone contributed more on this album. Rob [Barrett, guitar] wrote three songs on "Torture" and he's never had more than one he's written on his previous releases with us, and I think that was huge for the band. I think he's come into his own as a CANNIBAL CORPSE writer, ya know?! Pat [O'Brien, guitar] also put out his best work the four songs he wrote on this record as well. I think he wrote with a little more feeling this time around, and it really worked out great. Plus, throw in his guitar wizardry, and it makes for his best four songs he's written with CANNIBAL CORPSE. Of course, that's my opinion, but both of those guys hitting their mark really made a difference on the album. I think it all comes down to us getting older and more mature with our songwriting. Plus, we still love what we do and want to get better at what we do, and I think that's what sets us apart from other bands.

SkullsNBones.com: You worked with Erik Rutan once again on "Torture" and I was wondering why did you decided to go back and work with him, instead of any other producers out there?

Paul: Well, he did great with "Kill" and "Evisceration Plague", so that was one of the major reasons we decided to work with him again. Plus, he's a really good friend to the band and has been for several years. We felt that "Evisceration Plague" outdid "Kill" and we figured that we could outdue "Evisceration Plague" and who better to help us do that than Erik?! We always just want to get better and with Erik I think we accomplished that once again.

SkullsNBones.com: CANNIBAL CORPSE has been one of the biggest metal bands for over twenty years now. You guys have released classic album after classic album, and have had great success a metal band throughout your career. In your opinion, what is the main thing behind your continued success?

Paul: I think the main thing is that we stuck to writing and playing the music we love ya know. We gained popularity with fans very early and stuck with the formula of playing the music we love to this very day. I think the fans really appreciate that. Like I said earlier, we really try to go out and write the best songs possible and that's a big reason behind our success. We aren't a band trying to prove anything and we never have been. We aren't about behind the heaviest band or the fastest band, we just play the music we love. The fans always know what to expect from us. They can always count on CANNIBAL CORPSE and I think the love that and we love giving them that feeling and our music. I think it's really important in the metal scene today with all of these different bands popping up daily ya know. A lot of bands go through the motions, but we continue to write the music we love, try to make it the best possible, and we are still here after twenty-three years. I think that speaks volumes.

SkullsNBones.com: Do you ever see yourself NOT playing music? We all know that all things come to an end, but do you see that for CANNIBAL CORPSE anytime soon?

Paul: It's really weird to think about, man. We never thought that we would still be around in 2012 when we started out. It still kind of blows my mind, honestly. At this point, we are going to just take it day by day, ya know?! Luckily, everyone is fairly healthy and we still enjoy doing this, so we are in a really good place right now. Of course, we would love to be around for ten or fifteen more years, but who knows, man?! If it ended tomorrow, at least we did what we loved, we lived our dream, and we have no regrets. As of now, we will take it day by day and continue bettering ourselves to give the fans the best music possible.
TARDY BROTHERS, the project featuring John Tardy (vocals) and Donald Tardy (drums) of Florida-based death metal veterans OBITUARY, has been forced to cancel its previously announced March 31 concert at the Brass Mug in Tampa, Florida. John writes on the TARDY BROTHERS Facebook page, "Our father passed away and his memorial service has been scheduled for that Saturday. I feel bad for the Brass Mug for cancelling in such short notice, but there is not much I can do. R.I.P James R. Tardy (1940 - 2012). Hopefully we can reschedule this show sometime soon and I again apologize to everyone for the cancellation."

TARDY BROTHERS made its live debut on October 21, 2011 at the Brass Mug. Fan-filmed video footage of the concert can be seen below (video by Eric Grant).

TARDY BROTHERS' debut album, "Bloodline", came out in April 2009. The CD was described in a press release as an opportunity for the Tardy brothers to "expand their musical playcard showcasing not only a new artistic outlet but also extending opportunity for them to take their global fan base on an exciting new journey."

"Bloodline" featured guitar work by Ralph Santolla (OBITUARY, DEATH, DEICIDE), original XECUTIONER (pre-OBITUARY) guitarist Jerry Tidwell and solo work from 19-year-old John Lee and longtime friend Scott Johnson.

Said John Tardy of the project: "This is something Donald and I have talked about and planned for many years and we just never had the time to do it. With the addition of our new studio, it has finally given us the abilitity to get this music recorded. It is not going to affect anything that OBITUARY is doing nor is it supposed to sound like OBITUARY."
Swedish progressive death metallers DESCEND have commenced the songwriting process for their sophomore album, tentatively due before the end of the year.
DESCEND's debut album, "Through The Eyes Of The Burdened", was released last May via Supernova Records. The CD was recorded late summer 2010 at Escape Route Studios in Essex, United Kingdom and was produced by DESCEND, Daniel Abela and Joseph Smythe. The cover artwork was created by Travis Smith (NEVERMORE, OPETH, KING DIAMOND, AMORPHIS).


Nima Farhadian L. - Vocals
Andreas Lindström - Guitar
Alexander Wijkman - Guitar
Jonathan Persson - Drums
Justin Biggs – Bass
Norwegian black metallers DJEVEL (Norwegian word for "devil") have announced the addition of drummer Dirge Rep (GEHENNA, ENSLAVED, GORGOROTH, ORCUSTUS) to the group's ranks. The band has three songs written for its sophomore album, which it hopes to begin recording later in the year. Mainman T. Ciekals states, "The tracks are, as always, dark and infected with malicious Norwegian melodies."

DJEVEL's debut album, "Dødssanger", was released last year via Aftermath Music. The cover artwork was created by DJEVEL's T. Ciekals and Truls Espedal, who has previously worked with ENSLAVED.

DJEVEL was formed in June 2009 when T. Ciekals decided to disband his previous group, LJÅ. With a lot of material already composed for the next LJÅ album, he decided to put all this and more into DJEVEL. Initially DJEVEL was supposed to be a one-man project but it has slowly grown into something resembling a band.

In other news, Dirge Rep and T. Ciekals are also involved in another band, NETTLECARRIER, which entered Caliban Studio on March 23 to record its debut album. According to T. Ciekals, the CD will contain "eight tracks of infernal Norwegian black metal." The album should be completed within the next two weeks for a summer release.


T.Ciekals (DJEVEL, ex-LJÅ) - Guitar
Mannevond (KOLDBRANN, DJEVEL, ex-URGEHAL) – Bass
San Francisco's malevolent death metal overlords ACEPHALIX are preparing to release their second official full-length album via Southern Lord this April, delivering with it some of the most uncompromised, old-school death metal brutality of the year.

While their first few releases bore a more metal-edged crustpunk sound, the ACEPHALIX attack has undeniably shown more death metal influence with each passing release. After the cult crust/metal scene success of their "Aporia" LP, released via Prank Records in 2010, the band dropped two brutal demos — 2010's "Interminable Night" and 2011's "Flesh Torn In Twilight", Southern Lord brought the two demos together and released a one-time CD pressing of 2000 copies which sold out rapidly. Over the past two years ACEPHALIX have toured relentlessly, doing the Western U.S. with Danish death metal horde UNDERGANG and also taking part in the "Power Of The Riff" 2011 summer tour alongside BLACK BREATH, WINTER, NOOTHGRUSH, EYEHATEGOD, PENTAGRAM and more.

Now officially a part of the Southern Lord roster and a major priority for the label, ACEPHALIX are preparing to assault the planet with their second official full-length, bringing out their most pulverizing, low-end deathcrushing riffage and cavernous vocal malevolence yet with "Deathless Master". With an incredibly evil, thundering delivery, the eight hymns harnessed on "Deathless Master" were recorded with VÖETSEK's Jef Leppard, who also recorded "Interminable Night". While their punk/crust heritage is still detectable in their songwriting, but the primal delivery of the riffs and guttural, horrifying tone of the vocals on "Deathless Master" sees the band make the final transition from into a full-fledged, disgustingly behemoth death metal unit.

"Deathless Master" will hit North America April 24 on CD and sometime in June on vinyl. Expect massive touring from ACEPHALIX beginning in the months just ahead and all through the year.

"Deathless Master" track listing:

01. Bastard Self
02. Deathless Master
03. Tomb Of Our Fathers
04. On Wings...
05. Raw Life
06. Blood Of Desire
07. In Arms Of Nothing
08. The Hunger

Recent Activity:



Post a Comment