[Classic_Rock_Forever] Ozzy Osbourne Guns N Roses, Slash and tons more hard rock and heavy metal news


Legacy Recordings, the catalog division of Sony Music Entertainment, has announced OZZY OSBOURNE seven-inch and 12-inch vinyl releases created especially for Record Store Day 2012, celebrated at independent record stores worldwide on Saturday, April 21.

Now in its fifth year, Record Store Day is an annual day-long celebration of record store culture taking place on the third Saturday in April. In January, RSD announced the appointment of Iggy Pop to the post of Record Store Day 2012 Ambassador.

Legacy Recordings' OZZY OSBOURNE releases for Record Store Day 2012 are:

* "Live" 12-inch 180-gram audiophile vinyl LPs (two-disc set): A limited, numbered collector's edition recorded live on the 1981 "Blizzard Of Ozz" tour with legendary guitarist Randy Rhoads

* "Believer" live seven-inch single: A limited, numbered collector's edition on polka-dot vinyl featuring "Believer" (live) + "Goodbye to Romance" (2010 guitar and vocal mix)
We're now just two weeks away from GUNS N' ROSES being inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame, and still, no one really knows if the original lineup of the band will perform together at the event. VH1 Radio Network's Dave Basner recently chatted with drummer Matt Sorum, who replaced Steven Adler behind the kit in 1990, and asked what he expects from the ceremony.

"Well, I don't expect really anything to happen," he said. "I think we're gonna go and accept the award, is what it's looking like. If anything, I might play drums with [fellow inductee] Donovan. I offered my services to Donovan because I played with him one time before and 'Hurdy Gurdy Man' was a song he recorded that John Bonham played drums on and Jimmy Page was the guitar player and I offered Donovan that me and Slash could play that maybe, but I haven't heard back if he wants us to do it or not."

Since no one yet knows what is happening, VH1 Radio Network asked Matt why he can't just call singer Axl Rose and find out.

"I thought about it, but, you know, I don't think I'm the guy to do it," he said. "I asked Slash if he would do it, and Slash's answer to me was that he spoke to [guitarist] Izzy [Stradlin] and Izzy wasn't planning on coming. So I think that was like, if Izzy's not going to come and it's not all the original guys, then it doesn't make sense. I'm not sure, man. Like I said, I'm just going to go and obviously Steven's gonna be there, so I always thought, if they were going to play, they'll probably do 'Appetite' stuff and if they wanted me to play on something off 'Use Your Illusion', I would be happy to do that. If it was a perfect scenario, I would say the track list should go something like this: Go up there and play 'Welcome To The Jungle', play 'Sweet Child O' Mine', and then finish it up with 'November Rain'."

Speculation had been running rampant about a reunion ever since it was announced in December that GUNS would be inducted at the April 14 ceremony in Cleveland.

Rose himself — who, by all accounts, will never perform again with Slash — remained ambivalent about the situation, although Slash recently said in an interview that the original lineup was definitely not performing at the event.

Slash told The Pulse Of Radio that he has mixed feelings about the induction and the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame in general. "There's so many artists that haven't been nominated, and it's really, really suspicious, because there's a lot of people that have been inducted that do not fall into the category of rock and roll, and it starts to seem really biased," he said. "There's a slew of artists that haven't been nominated, let alone inducted, that it's unforgivable under the moniker 'Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame.'"

In addition to GUNS N' ROSES, other artists being inducted at the 27th annual ceremony include the RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS, the BEASTIE BOYS, the FACES/SMALL FACES, Donovan and Laura Nyro.

The ceremony will be taped for broadcast by HBO, which plans to air it in early May.
As Slash gears up for the release of his second solo album "Apocalyptic Love" (Dik Hayd International, distributed through EMI), he's announced a special release show set for Tuesday, May 22 — the day the album streets — in New York City at Irving Plaza. A fan pre-sale will begin this Wednesday, April 4 at 10:00 a.m., with the regular on-sale starting Friday April 6 at 10:00 a.m. Tickets will be available at SlashOnline.com.

On tap for this month, Slash and his bandmates — Myles Kennedy and THE CONSPIRATORS, consisting of Brent Fitz (drums), Todd Kerns (bass) and Frank Sidoris (guitar) — will perform Tuesday, April 10 on ABC TV's "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" On the show's massive outdoor stage, they'll play the album's first single, "You're A Lie" — No. 1 most-added at Active Rock Radio for 3 straight weeks in a row and already No. 16 at Active Rock radio — for the first time on American television. Fans in attendance at the taping will also be treated to a mini-concert.

The next night, on Wednesday, April 11, the iconic, Grammy-winning rock guitarist and songwriter will perform at the fourth annual Revolver Golden Gods Awards presented by Epiphone that will be broadcast live around the globe on XboxLIVE.com from Club Nokia in downtown Los Angeles.

Slash's headlining U.S. tour launches May 3 in Baltimore and encompasses three festival appearances: Saturday, May 5 at Carolina Rebellion; Saturday, May 19 at Rock On The Range; and Friday, May 25 at Rocklahoma.
Former JUDAS PRIEST guitarist K.K. Downing has posted the following year-end message on his official web site, Steel Mill:

"I am extremely pleased to announce the five-year anniversary of the Steel Mill!

"It brings me great pleasure to thank you all for your participation and your enthusiasm and, of course, for your dedication to what the Steel Mill is all about, great music and great bands, and not forgetting most important of all: great fans.

"Let's hope that the next five years will not only be just as great for Steel Mill but also see things get even better for all of the talented artists and bands that are trying so hard to get started.

"One thing is for sure: many new bands are getting a chance to be seen and heard this year at many of the great festivals that are again taking place, so be sure to check out as many as you can, even if it means missing breakfast!

"I could be wrong, but it seems like almost every band in the world will be out there somewhere this summer, so, to me, things couldn't be better.

"Anyway, for those that can't wait for the festivals to start, there are still plenty of good things going on, Michael Schenker's MSG, for example, in Wolverhampton on the 9th of May! Definitely a good one for me, a classic band not to be missed.

"It seems an eternity ago that UFO and PRIEST were at Morgan Studios together in London around 1975 when we were recording 'Sad Wings'! I believe the guys were making 'No Heavy Petting'! I remember having a beer and playing darts with the guys including, of course, the inimitable Michael Schenker. We were all young men, little did we know how many miles we would travel or how many gigs we would play. All we knew is that it was what we wanted, and what we had worked so hard at for so long.

"For sure, when UFO write their book, I will be the first to buy one, as there is no doubt that UFO could tell more good rock and roll stories than anyone I could ever think of.

"Today [March 18 at the time of Downing's writing] is Mother's Day in the U.K. so I am just off to see my dear mom! How she must have worried about me throughout the decades, all of that travelling and all of the possible dangers that could befall me. The life of being a parent to a rock musician must have been a difficult one, the times I heard, 'Why don't you get a proper job, son?' must have exceeded ten times my age. I remember getting very frustrated. It's only now I have become to realise that my mother just wanted me to be safe and see more of me. So all of you rockers and metallers out there; don't do what I did and leave it so late to appreciate the worry, concern and the love that your parents have for you whilst you're out there having a blast!

"And finally as always my sincere thanks to the Millworkers and to all of you lovers of great music across the world. Have a great metal year and be safe where ever you are and where ever you go."
Marilyn Manson will release his new single, "No Reflection", as a white seven-inch vinyl in Europe on April 21. The vinyl will be strictly limited to 1500 copies and will feature "No Reflection" (album version) and "No Reflection" (single edit). The release is in support of Record Store Day.

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.

MARILYN MANSON will release his long-awaited new album, "Born Villain", on May 1 (one day earlier internationally) via Cooking Vinyl and Manson's own label Hell, Etc.

The track listing for the CD is as follows:

01. Hey Cruel World…
02. No Reflection
03. Pistol Whipped
04. Overneath The Path Of Misery
05. Slo Mo Tion
06. The Gardener
07. The Flowers Of Evil
08. Children Of Cain
09. Disengaged
10. Lay Down Your Goddamn Arms
11. Murders Are Getting Prettier Every Day
12. Born Villain
13. Breaking The Same Old Ground

Check out the front and back cover artwork below.

The album's first single, "No Reflection", was premiered on March 7 on the Los Angeles radio station KROQ and was made available exclusively on iTunes on March 13.

"The new record put simply has the ambition and determination of how I started making music in the first place," Manson says. "It sounds like the first record in that it's not afraid to do anything. I had to remove myself from my lifestyle and start fresh."

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

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

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

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

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

When asked what the problem was with Interscope, Manson told Revolver magazine, "They don't care about music. They never did. I mean, Jimmy Iovine [Chairman of Interscope-Geffen-A&M] used to, when he produced records a long time ago. They care about Vitamin Water... And when you've got so much money, it's just about ego. I don't really care what their problem is. I was just happy to get out of there. And I have to be objective, I don't take it personally. I don't regret the records I made — I regret the way they treated them. I think I made great records, and they tried to dilute the very essence of what they signed me for. 'Don't be so offensive' — what the fuck does that mean? 'Don't be what we signed you for. Don't be what you are.'"

He added, "I would say after 'Antichrist Superstar'... It was a pressure that everyone's on your back, flashing cameras and suggestions and publicists, saying, 'Oh, you've gotta do this, or you're not going to be successful!' You almost start to question what you do and why you do it, and that will lead to you losing your identity. And that's something no one can fix, no psychiatrist, no legal team, no scientists, no anything. You just have to really strip it down and go back to the basics. the bigger picture is that I can't really consider myself simply a musician, with my painting and everything visual. It's always been a big struggle. From the beginning, the question was, 'Aren't you worried that the image will overshadow the music?' I'm like, absolutely not — it's hand in hand. But then, when I became a painter, I didn't want to seem like the rock star with a hobby."

"The High End Of Low" was Manson's first album with longtime bassist Twiggy Ramirez since 2000's "Holy Wood".
Dee Snider, TWISTED SISTER singer turned radio host and actor, was the winning Project Manager last night on NBC's "The Celebrity Apprentice" and donated $325,000 from fundraising efforts to the March Of Dimes.

As a celebrity contestant, Dee used his fame, personal connections and business acumen to raise money and win the task. He endured long hours, grueling deadlines, intellectual challenges, personality clashes and intense scrutiny under the careful watch of Donald Trump and his advisors. However, the challenges were faced head-on in expectation of a greater goal — raising money and awareness for his charity of choice, March Of Dimes Bikers For Babies.

"Dee is a true champion for all babies," said Dr. Jennifer L. Howse, president of the March Of Dimes. "We are blessed to have a volunteer like Dee Snider. He is both an exceptional March Of Dimes volunteer, and a wonderful person. We are thrilled by the generosity of his time and donation. These funds will directly support our mission to give all babies a healthy start in life and our National Prematurity Prevention Campaign."

Dee has a personal connection with the mission of the March Of Dimes because two of his four children were born prematurely.

This month is the March Of Dimes signature fundraiser, March For Babies, that will take place at the end of April in nearly 900 communities across the country. To help support Dee's charity anyone can join a walk by visiting MarchForBabies.org. The money raised will support March Of Dimes research, education and community programs to help moms have full-term, healthy pregnancies and healthy babies.

Dee Snider has been a March Of Dimes volunteer, supporting Bikers For Babies, for more than a decade. If you ride, Bikers For Babies events will take place throughout the country, with most occurring September 15 or 16, 2012. Each ride to benefit babies is about 70 miles long, with every mile counting to help fight premature birth and give every baby a healthy start in life. Visit BikersForBabies.org to find a ride near you.

The March Of Dimes is the leading nonprofit organization for pregnancy and baby health. With chapters nationwide, and its premier event, March For Babies, the March Of Dimes works to improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth and infant mortality.
U.D.O., the German metal band led by former ACCEPT frontman Udo Dirkschneider, will release a "rare-tracks" album with some very special gems for the fans. Entitled "Celebrator", the effort will be made available on May 4 via AFM Records.

"Celebrator" track listing:

CD 1:

01. Stormbreaker ("Rev-Raptor" Japan BONUS)
02. Tallyman (Taken from the "Rev-Raptor" recording session)
03. Run! (Remix)
04. Free Or Rebellion (bonus "Leatherhead" Single)
05. Bleeding Heart ("Dominator" Japan bonus)
06. The Silencer (Taken from the "Dominator" recording session)
07. Bodyworld (bonus "Infected" Single)
08. Systematic Madness (bonus "Infected" Single)
09. HAMMERFALL feat. Udo Dirkschneider - Head Over Heels
10. Balls To The Wall (piano version)
11. Artificialized (Taken from the "Mastercutor" recording session)
12. LORDI feat. Udo Dirkschneider - They Only Come Out At Night
13. Streets Of Sin (bonus "Wrong Side Of Midnight" single)

CD 2:

01. Tears Of A Clown ("Classical Version")
02. Man A King Ruler ("Mastercutor" Japan bonus)
03. Hardcore Lover (remix from "24/7" single)
04. Scream Killers (bonus "24/7" single)
05. U.D.O. feat. Faktor2 - Platchet Soldat (remix with national Russian artist)
06. Borderline ("Thunderball" Japan bonus)
07. U.D.O. feat. Doro - Dancing With An Angel (remix)
08. X-T-C (remix from "A Tribute To ACCEPT Vol. 2")
09. Azrael (remix from "No Limits")
10. The Key (remix from "No Limits" Japan bonus)
11. Metal Gods (from "A Tribute To Judas Priest")
12. RAVEN feat. Udo Dirkschneider - Born To Be Wild

Check out the cover artwork below.

U.D.O.'s November 16, 2011 perormance at Hristo Botev Hall in Sofia, Bulgaria was professionally filmed for the band's next official live DVD, tentatively titled "Rev-Raptor Tour - Live from Sofia", for an August/September release.

U.D.O.'s latest album, "Rev-Raptor", was released on May 20, 2011 via AFM Records. The recordings for the CD took place between June 2010 and February 2011 at Roxx studios (owned by U.D.O. guitarist and ex-ACCEPT drummer Stefan Kaufmann) in Pulheim, Germany. The effort was mastered by Manfred Melchior at MM Sound Digital studios in Steinhagen, Germany. The album's cover artwork is once again a comic-like motif: but the "Dominator" character is this time "a lot more effectual and colorful," according to a press release.
DOWN guitarist and CROWBAR forntman Kirk Windstein has posted the following message on his Facebook page:

"I am watching the [the 47th annual Academy Of Country Music Awards on CBS-TV]...These fuckers can all sing, and hot damn, dem boys can play!!! The pop shit is a joke... Honestly, I lie awake at night trying to figure out how a person who doesn't write their tunes, and then proceeds to lip-synch everything, can be so popular. But it just goes to show how horrible the worldwide music scene truly is... Nicki Minaj couldn't hand me a pick... She's undeserving... Fuck these talentless millionaires!!!"

DOWN recently completed recording the first in a series of four EPs, to be released over the next few years (with a year between EPs), each touching on a different aspect of the band's sound. The first six-song EP, which heralds the sound of DOWN going back to its roots, with influences from BLACK SABBATH, SAINT VITUS and WITCHFINDER GENERAL, is described by singer Philip Anselmo as "a very pure doom metal record."

CROWBAR and PRONG will join forces for a U.S. tour later this month.

CROWBAR's latest album, "Sever The Wicked Hand", sold around 3,500 copies in the United States in its first week of release. The CD landed at position No. 4 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.
"It's been one hell of a ride!" That's what Bobby Blitz Ellsworth would like his wife to have engraved on his gravestone. Nothing really original here, you'd think. The line between what deserves to be call a classic and what is merely cliché can only be drawn based on our own criteria. Nevertheless, when you talk to Overkill's emblematic frontman, you can't help but realize that the only real difference between the two is sincerity. A cliché is only disturbing if it's the only thing you remember from a work of art, if it's perceived as a grotesque costume. When a work of art is created through pure spontaneity and authenticity, that feeling just melts away. Honestly, would anyone here call Lemmy a cliché?
More to the point, the members of Overkill won't revolutionize music, but there's little doubt they do things with passion. They love what they do. Even better: they STILL love what they do, even after the twenty-fifth anniversary of their career. We've asked Bobby to give us his feelings, his analysis, his memories regarding this band life. And the main point is pleasure. A pleasure the listener will perceive in the band's aggressive but still positive music, as well as in the friendship that unites the musicians. What the title of this new record, The Electric Age, describes is precisely the effervescence that goes beyond the album, beyond the stage, and implants itself in the listener's mind, making Overkill part of a community and of a genre they're proud of.
On the occasion of the release of The Electric Age, on March 30th, this little chat was the opportunity to look back with an enthusiastic and talkative Bobby Blitz on Overkill's longevity and its place in the world of music and thrash metal.
Michael Schenker returns with "Temple of Rock." The legendary guitar player gets an all-star cast to guest on the record, and hits the spotlight on his own this time. The album features many artists who played with Schenker in the past. Members of the Scorpions, UFO, and various MSG line ups, all make appearances on the record. As a result, "Temple of Rock" is a very multi-dimensional album, with Michael Schenker's guitar taking control in the driver's seat.

The album gives Michael Schenker many touring options. In the United States, he is touring with Robin McAuley as the main vocalist, whereas in Europe the job may belong to Doogie White. Both singers, are featured on the new album. Schenker enjoys keeping things fresh, and working with different line ups.

Michael Schenker began his career in the Scorpions, a band he co-founded with his brother Rudolf, back in his native Germany. Soon, he was spotted and stolen by the British rockers UFO. Schenker's stay with UFO was triumphant. He's made spectacular albums with UFO, and a name for himself, but left the band and formed his own Michael Schenker Group. Over the years, he's experienced a lot of ups and downs in his career. But, it was his playing which remained flawless, and very creative. Today, Michael Schenker is considered a guitar icon. He continues to tour and record regularly. Also, Michael Schenker appears to be reconciled with his past, and is looking forward towards the future. He is still dedicated to his craft, and sees no signs of slowing down.

Michael Schenker explains how the new album was put together, and shares his thoughts on strange ways in which the universe works.

The new album, "The Temple Of Rock," is released under your own name. What sets it apart from MSG records?
Michael Schenker:
It's a good question....let me think about it. MSG originally is with Gary Barden on vocals, and of course I've done many records without Gary. I think the whole concept is because I am focusing on the whole past. So, it's like a Michael Schenker effort, not so much like I am focusing on a particular band with a particular line up. It's like I'm playing Scorpions, UFO, and MSG live. All classics from my life, so it's similar to the way the album was developed. It was more focused on that in general, rather than particular line up you may know from the past.
Just as you were caught by surprise by the previous question, the audience was caught by surprise with this release. Especially considering the very successful reunion with Gary Barden in the very recent past.
Gary is away in Thailand. He has a personal situation, but for me it was a time to celebrate the "hand-made rock" again. I wanted to combine my whole efforts in such a way. You know, nothing was really planned. I started off very regularly. It was just a time to make a new album. Gary wasn't available anyway, he went out to Thailand. So, I've decided that now would be the time to do something that is more connected to the summit. Summit, like the sum of the past. I actually had no plan, really. I was actually working on a touring project with Pete Way and Herman Rarebell. I wanted to play "Strangers In The Night" (UFO) material because I hadn't played it for a long time. So, we got together in England, and we were living close to each other. I started rehearsing with Herman all the time, and then Pete showed up at some point. So, we did rehearse for a tour in mind, and while we were doing that I was also doing a demo at Michel Voss's studio. And I asked him to help me out with a guide vocals. And when he was singing, I was very impressed with how he sounded. I liked his vocals, and I've offered him to do the vocals on the next record. He's already expressed the interest to work with me in the past. So, I said, "here's your chance," and that wasn't planned either. But the universe is the driver, and I just kind of do my part. It just moves forward anyways. And then Herman and Pete heard the material, and they wanted to do it too. So, I had a rhythm section, which was kind of unique because of the Scorpions-UFO connection. And then as we were doing it, I was like, "let's invite some other musicians from the past." I've created a list, and you know, many of them were available, and so we did some recordings. And then, Michael Voss, did the intro using his voice, and it was amazing. I was like, "it would be great to get a big name actor with a distinguished voice to do that." At the same time, I was getting a request to play on William Shatner's album, and I was like, "wow, this is perfect, this is the guy." So, we've asked him if he would do the introduction, and he agreed. So, I've played on his album, and he did the spoken word introduction on my record.
You really did get plenty of great names on the new album, were there any challenges?
It was more like one thing that lead to another. Once you got all the details down, we were able to end up with the people who were available, and most of them were available. Between my lawyer, and Michel Voss, we just kind of got it all coordinated. Then my brother came, Paul Raymond, and so on. They all kind of ended up doing the right thing in the right songs. It was too smooth, and a little bit spooky, but it all worked out great.
Do you see yourself working with any of these people again in time to come?
Well, everyone has a buildup. Doogie White has a buildup, Robin (McAuley) has a buildup. Different people were already in and out. I don't know what's in the making, the universe knows, but something is happening. And in a few years from now, I might understand why it went that way.
You've already mentioned working on William Shatner's album, where you've played on "Empty Glass." Did you actually work with him in the studio?
No, I was sent the track to Michael's studio. I went in, and played on it there. Then the song was sent to Los Angeles, and that's the last I've heard of it.
So, you haven't heard the finished track yet?
No, I haven't heard it yet.
Were you personally a fan of Shatner's acting?
I watch him all the time. And he's still on the TV. Every single day, you can find something with William Shatner on TV. You go through the channels, and most likely you find two shows, like "Star Trek," and some comedy. He is actually a very good comedian. He's very funny that guy.
The current tour reunites you with Robin McAuley, who also makes an appearance on the new album. How did you decide that Robin will be the singer you'll use on the tour?
I didn't decide. What happened was, Michael Voss, signed up with some record company, and then he was busy doing other things. So, I was like, "what am I gonna do now?" But, Robin was on the album, and Doogie (White) was on the album. So, I put two and two together, and figured that one of the these guys should work out since they were all on the album. And so, as we coordinated, I just somehow put together different line ups as to who was available, and in what continent. And that's how we've ended up putting it together basically. And with Robin over here, we're pushing "Lover's Sinfony" obviously as a song. And Doogie is on, "Before The Devil Knows You're Dead," and that's becoming a hit in England right now. And with Michael Voss, we're gonna be pushing "Hanging On." So, we have kind of three strong songs worldwide. And again, I don't know what the whole meaning is behind, but something's in the making and it just seems to be working kind of almost effortlessly.
After years of not actively working with Robin, do you see any changes in his performance?
He is getting better, and so is Herman Rarebell by the way. Herman Rarebell is getting really solid. Some people get better with age, you know.
Speaking of former Scorpions' members, you also had a stint with bassist, Francis Bucholz, recently.
Francis is gonna play with us in Europe. That will be the Scorpions' rhythm section on tour with me. In Europe the lineup will be: Doogie White on vocals, Herman Rarebell on drums and Francis Bucholz on bass. Eventually, I can bring all the different line up on different continents. So, I can keep touring around the world, and always come up with something fresh.
After 40 years of performing and making records, are you still as passionate about making records and touring?
More! What happened was, I had a very fast beginning, for whatever reason. And the developing time began. All learning, focusing on developing as a person, and as a musician. Experimenting, doing all sorts of different things. That's why I put MSG together because it was not my assignment to be the part of rock machine that did what everybody did in the 80s. I did my part, and then my brother took over. I did my developing time. And now that we kind of coming to the finish line of the hand-made rock, I feel that we are celebrating now. And somehow, for some reason, all of a sudden I'm having a lot of fun being on stage again. I'm loving doing the things that I thought was never possible in the past. But as everything seems to be coming to the final stages, and I want to be part of it. So, it's like the train is moving forward, and I'm in it.
Was there ever a time when you were not enjoying yourself on stage?
I don't even understand what I did on stage in the beginning. I never liked being on stage, it wasn't my place, I was too shy to be on stage, and stuff like this, but I'm growing out of it all of a sudden. And these days, I feel developed into a different person.
How much practice time do you allow yourself these days?
I don't practice, I play the guitar. I don't time it, and it's all depending on how much time I have. I usually do it when I feel fresh in the morning. I like to play guitar then. I need to feel fresh and my mind needs to feel free too. That's when I enjoy it the most. In the evening, you've already had been through a lot in a day, and so. But that's when the most creative input comes in.
How does the development of the new technology affect your sound, if at all?
I'm not a technician, and I don't use any of that experimental stuff. I've grown up with everything being hand-made, and I'm still doing it the same way to this day. When it comes to recordings, the engineer will do it in any way it makes his life easier, however he does it, but I still do my stuff the way I've always done it.
So, your set up is pretty much identical to the way it was back in the 70s, right?
Yeah, I just plug into my amp and play. I'm not into the technology aspects that much. I'm into a good sound, and however that is being produced.
With the changing role of guitar in rock music, do you see any players you're impressed by?
I don't consume music, it drains me. I'm a creator, so I cannot allow myself to consume music because I'm gonna be drained, I'm gonna have no energy left. So, I stay away from other players. And I've always have done this, since I was 17 years old. I knew better to stay away. I told myself to stay away from other people's music, and since I loved playing and writing, it needed to be done in order for me to stay creative. Also, I had to do it in order to absorbs things from the inside, rather than to pick up things from the external world. I wanted to contribute from the inside because this is the place people don't know about. And that's puts the fresh color into the light.
Do you have any plans as to what the next release will be?
I have no idea what I'll do next. It's just like the train is moving forward, and I just do my part. As I move on the daily basis, I'm living very much in the "now" these days. And so I focus on what I need to be doing now. There is not really lots of space for me, but it presents itself as I go along. In a way, it's really simple, and I feel no need to make up this incredible plan.
It seems like a lot of things came to you in cycles. UFO came back, MSG with Gary Barden came back, and now you're back with Robin McAuley.
It's how the universe works. And then 20 years from now, we understand what happened.
Not too long ago your brother, Rudolf, announced a retirement tour for the Scorpions, your very first band. Is retirement something you're considering in the near future?
I'm the B.B. King of rock 'n' roll.



"My partner D.D. is a bit longer-sighted than I am. But I think that that combination of personalities works out. I looked back to say 'oh my God it's been 25 years', but I think D.D. looks a bit forward and says 'oh my God it's gonna be 26 years' [laughs]."
Radio Metal : The last tour was the 25th anniversary of the band's tour. How was it?
Bobby Blitz Ellsworth (vocals) : We've been touring for 25 years. Our first real tour has been in 1986, it was in Europe with Anthrax. So it was kinda cool that 25 years later we were back. The tour was very successful, and I think the reason why is that the record was accepted on a very high level. We have a 25-years tour, a record that's accepted and I think we have a very healthy, fresh heavy metal scene. So it went itself to some really good results.
What did you felt when you realized it was the 25th anniversary of the band?
You know, I've know D.D. Verni now for over 30 years, and professionally for 25 years, so seeing that there's still a big excitement that surround this band from within the band. I think when you hear records like The Electric Age, Ironbound or even Immortalis, there seem to be so much of that upbeat energy. Everything that surrounded this tour, that release, and hopefully that upcoming release has been really positive. It's not necessarily a rebirth but this still isn't usual at the highest level.
Did you see it coming or did you just woke up some day and realized "oh my god, my band is 25 years old" ?
[Laughs] You know, I was never the person who looks to the future. I think I am more of an immediate person, I live my life day to day. I think my partner D.D. is a bit longer-sighted than I am. But I think that that combination of personalities works out. I looked back to say "oh my God it's been 25 years", but I think D.D. looks a bit forward and says "oh my God it's gonna be 26 years" [laughs]. So I think that together, me being immediate and D.D. being more the planner, both of our personalities give us what we need, that formula for success or longevity.
"I like to ride motorcycles and that's not obviously the safest thing to do, and so when I'm on my bike I would say 'hey, I'm leaving! And if I don't come back…' And then [My Wife] answers 'I know, put on your grave stone 'It was a great ride'!' [lots of laughs]"
This may sound a little bit cliché but what word or adjective would you use to summarize those 25 years?
[Laughs] Fun! You know, my wife and I have a joke: I like to ride motorcycles and that's not obviously the safest thing to do, and so when I'm on my bike I would say "hey, I'm leaving! And if I don't come back…" And then she answers "I know, put on your grave stone 'It was a great ride'!" [lots of laughs].
"[I Have] a very anxious, nervous-type energy prior to a show, which I think works very positively for me as a performer. When I was on this boat [...] I had no nervous energy at all. I was lying on the deck drinking an Australian beer and eating tropical mangoes, and my wife said 'you're on in an hour!' I said 'I don't care' [laughs]."
At the beginning of the year you played at the 70 000 Tons of Metal. That's one hell of a special festival. What can you tell us about it?
Well I can tell you that it's a little bit harder to play on a boat that it is on land because the boat is always moving [laughs]. There's something about these 25 years that stayed with me the whole time: a very anxious, nervous-type energy prior to a show, which I think works very positively for me as a performer. When I was on this boat, we didn't play until I think the third day, and I had no nervous energy at all. I was lying on the deck drinking an Australian beer and eating tropical mangoes, and my wife said "you're on in an hour!" I said "I don't care" [laughs]. It was so relaxing I would do it again. And I think that the fun part of it was that you're on a boat, so you meet all these other people, you're not separated, there's no backstage. You're at the bar and you're watching Exciter, Venom, Nightwish, and talking to a guy from France, from Australia, from Tokyo… I think that really was a cool event. I wouldn't do every tour like so, but I would do it again in a minute. All they have to do is ask me again, and then I'll be back.
Did you see some musicians from other bands, or some musicians from Overkill that had sea sickness?
Yeah I saw that there were some guys that had the little patch that you put behind your ear. It looks like a little Band-Aid, it's skin-colored, and what it does is that releases a drug into your system that keeps you from being sea sick. I didn't see anybody getting physically sick but I saw a lot of those little patches behind the ears.
How is your drummer Ron Lipnicki? I heard that he broke his hand and that you had to take another drummer for this show…
He's much better. He had to go through therapy. Actually he'd broken his right hand between the thumb and the first finger, and he ripped the ligament that goes from the thumb to the wrist. So it's pretty serious, especially for a drummer. He was in cast for 6 week, and now his therapy is as simple as squeezing a rubber ball so he can strengthen his grip. But his doctor has said that he'll be 100% for the tour which starts in April. The guy we had fill in was actually our sound man Eddy Garcia. He's from a band that's called Pissing Razors. They've actually done a few records back in the nineties and we've had them on tour, that's how we know Eddy. Now he does our sound, but he's a professional drummer, it's what he does. He's been doing our sound for seven years, he knows our set so it was a very easy fill-in. It was much better to have Eddy play the drums than to cancel the 70 000 Tons of Metal.
"Overthinking would be wrong. D.D. and I were sitting around and having a coffee and I said "what do you think about the new record?" and I think he took a sip and said: 'we are not gonna reinvent the fuckin' weel, are we?'"
Since The Electric Age was the first album written after this great anniversary, were you in a special state of mind while writing it?
I don't think so, I mean it's business as usual. We have a process, we obviously enjoy it, we don't try to overthink it. I think that is really the key to success. There's something right now that we have with the band that's a very positive chemistry. I think a lot of that is due to Ron Lipnicki. He's been the last member to join but he's been here for 7 years and he brought the level of energy to a higher level. He's the new guy and he brings a higher energy. Everyone has to match that energy or otherwise you're left behind. And I think that's where we're getting our success from. Overthinking would be wrong. D.D. and I were sitting around and having a coffee and I said "what do you think about the new record?" and I think he took a sip and said: "we are not gonna reinvent the fuckin' weel, are we?" Well I don't think so! [laughs] So it's a very simple process for us. Get the job done, don't repeat yourself, keep the energy level high.
The new album is called The Electric Age. Is this a way to define the current state of the world?
No, not necessarily. This is a really simple way of looking at a time period. I mean we talked about 25 years early on in the interview, and I think that when you start talking about one period of time you're obviously talking about an age. This is not necessarily about electric instruments, but more so about electricity. Overkill is a synonymous with energy. I think electricity is a synonymous with energy. I think electricity is that we've been able to create between band and public that really makes it one. I think that's really one of a key of our success: we know when a room is electric, when a record is electric, we know when the energy is on a high level, and we exploit it! And that's why I think a band like us is still around for a period of 25+ years. We know when the energy's there, and we're taking advantage of it.
"Aggressive energy can be very positive"
Is this a kind of a way of describe the link that you create with your audience on stage?
It's not an audience. I mean obviously, really that's an audience, but I think that's a way to describe a scene that we're part of. You know, I think there's a lot of respect for a band that stays around for a quarter of century and still enjoys what they're doing. But I think that one of the things that get us that respect is that we respect the scene, therefore we're part of that scene, part of that people and part of that audience. So it's more important for me to be thought of as what I am, not what I was. If we were having a conversation that is based on 1999, I wouldn't be really that interested [laughs], it's kind of boring to me. That's nice thanks, but let's move on! But a conversation based on 2012, it means that we have value here. And I think that's where electricity comes from, and that's where that respect comes from. It's about what we are, not about what we were.
Whereas Ironbound had some epic, kind of progressive parts, this new record feels more direct and straight to the point. Was this album written in reaction of the previous one?
Well it's not really a reaction, since I think the record was accepted very well. Regarding Ironbound, it took me one year to figure out what that record was all about. You can't be objective on it when it's new. It takes a while for me to even feel what we've created. I was excited around it. I think it showed many of the different elements of what Overkill's about. But I think that the most important element again is energy. I think that it's an aggressive energy, and I don't mean that in a negative perspective – aggressive energy can be very positive – whereas The Electric Age does have a positive hype-feel. We forgot our most aggressive representations, much like records that have had that feeling in the past, but with a very contemporary presentation. So I think it's rooted in what we've done, but presented with regards to what we are. Sure there's a lot of notable differences between them, but a song like "Electric Rattlesnake" contains pretty much every element that Ironbound had, it's fast and it breaks down to half-speed, then it breaks down to a quarter-speed after that, with slower, more progressive-type, dreamlike vocals, great guitar parts put through them… But I do agree with you that by large The Electric Age is a more straight-forward approach than the Ironbound record was.
Will you record a video clip for it?
We do it on Sunday, for the track I just mention. We're going to do "Electric Rattlesnake" as a video for this record. It will be recorded and produced by Kevin Custer who had done the "Bring Me The Night" video for Ironbound. We liked his work, we think that he has a good feel for the band, he's been a fan for a long period of time, and I love working with guys who do videos who are drummers, because they just understand how to cut videos. They're not thinking only in terms of visual, they're thinking more in terms of visual versus sound. Kevin's a drummer, so he understand what that "1-2-3-4" is when it comes to video editing.
Do you have some live shows coming in Europe and especially in France?
Right now we're putting together a European tour, but it's not gonna be until September of 2012. We're getting venues pretty much as we speak. For instance this morning I had some stuff coming from Turkey, from Romania… We have festivals also in Finland, Italy, Germany, Portugal, but we're putting up the headline tour for September. Prior to this we'll tour in the US and also do some Canadian festivals during the summer. We're actually pretty busy right now all the way until November. Then we're going to try from that point to go back to Australia and the Pacific coast and to do more Asian appearences.
About the heavy metal scene and more particularly the thrash metal scene, since we had for like two years some Big Four shows with Metallica, Anthrax, Megadeth and Slayer, have you considered doing the same thing with thrash metal bands, like Death Angel, Overkill and Testament for instance?
The Big who? [laughs]
The Big other Four!
[Laughs] We grew up in the New York area… We came out from New York and New Jersey and I think that gave us a special tenacity here. I do think that's a great idea to put together a "little four", to do possibly Overkill, Testament, Exodus (Kreator would be fantastic) because I think that other bands have commercial success… Even if you're talking about the Big Four, it's really the Big One, and then the Second Threes [laughs]. But I mean, that's true. Metallica changed the face of popular music, and the other bands remained, to some degree, thrash bands, with more success than the wave that I'm in. And that's good for them and I applaud them for that success. But I think the underground bands that I mentioned would be a great tour, I think it could really generate a lot of interest. And there's a bunch of them. It doesn't have to be just Bay area/New York bands, it can be bands from Brazil like Sepultura, or from Germany like Kreator or Sodom…
Southern Lord recently announced a deluxe reissue of one of the towering achievements in metal history, "Dopesmoker" by SLEEP.

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

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

"Dopesmoker" track listing:

01. Dopesmoker (1:03:31)
02. Holy Mountain (Live @ the I-Beam SF, CA. 1994) (11:54)

In conjunction with the "Dopesmoker" reissue, SLEEP will headline the 2012 edition of the Roadburn festival in Tilburg, Netherlands before departing on a 24-city tour of Europe, commencing May 3 in Wroclaw, Poland.
John Moyer is the bassist for the platinum selling metal group Disturbed. John also is the bassist for the newly formed hard rock super group Adrenaline Mob. John took some time to talk with Media Mikes about joining the new group and his thoughts on the new album.
Adam Lawton: Can you tell us how you got asked to join Adrenaline Mob?
John Moyer: Disturbed are taking an extended hiatus and I really wanted to stay creative and keep playing. Word had gotten to Mike Portnoy that I was going to be possibly available. Mike gave me a call to talk about the project and he had also sent me a couple tracks. I thought they sounded great. I flew out to Philadelphia to jam with the band and I loved it.
AL: What were your first thoughts on the material when you were listening to it?
JM: I was very impressed with how much it was in line with my style of playing. I'm not a progressive rock player as my previous work with Disturbed and Union Underground is more of a rock/metal fusion. I grew up listening to bands like Metallica and Guns n' Roses. You put those two bands together and that has always been my style. I didn't know what the tracks were going to sound like but when I finally heard them they were right up my alley.
AL: How much were you involved with the actual recording of the "Omerta" album?
JM: I did absolutely nothing for the recording. (Laughs) The only people who played on the recording were Russell, Mike O. and Mike P. the bass lines I am playing are the ones there were laid down by Mike Orlando. It's great though because he is a super talented musician's with a great feel. Any time I learn someone else's material I really learn a lot. It makes my own playing style grow. The thing that's cool though is what Mike put down on the record is pretty in-line with what I would have done anyways. It has been fun learning the new material.
AL: Were you allowed to add any of your own style to the tracks since the initial recording?
JM: They haven't told me anything. I had seen Mike Orlando a week or so prior to jamming and I took him aside to ask him about one of the bass riffs. He looked at me and told me to just play whatever I wanted. I am a bit of a stickler when it comes to playing. I think what you do in the studio matters. There is a reason a song is played a certain way. That's something that I don't want to take anything away from. I will surely end up playing it my own way a little bit as that's something I can't help but, I am going to do my best to preserve what they did.
AL: Have you noticed any similarities between this band and Disturbed?
JM: We are definitely in the same genre. The other guys in the band all come from bands that are a part of the progressive rock genre. That genre is a bit different than that of where bands like Disturbed and Godsmack come from. However Adrenaline Mob fits right in with Disturbed and the other bands in the rock/metal genre. What the other guys in the band bring to the table makes in quite a bit different than what Disturbed does. Those guys are bringing their own flavor to the rock/metal genre.
AL: What have you liked most about playing the group?
JM: There is a freshness that you get when a new group of individuals get together. You don't know where things are going so everyone is feeling things out. Part of that process is exciting. I have always said "Life's a journey not a destination". I know that sounds cliché but its great. When I joined Disturbed they were a very established band but, I still was able to see the band grow over the 8 years I was there. I like being a part of something that you can build. We are at the ground floor of something new and fresh. Just being able to grow and build Adrenaline Mob is very exciting.
AL: Has there been any talks of when Disturbed will return from its hiatus?
JM: There haven't been any talks or deadlines established for the groups return. Right now I am putting everything I have into Adrenaline Mob. I am hoping lightning will strike again and this band will be as big as our previous groups. I am very committed to this project.
Singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, poet, political activist and SYSTEM OF A DOWN frontman Serj Tankian is in his Serjical Strike Studios in Los Angeles putting the finishing touches on his third solo studio album, "Harakiri", the follow-up to 2010's "Imperfect Harmonies", which will be released this summer on Serjical Strike/Reprise Records.

Much of the new record was written in 2011, which was an incredibly busy year for the diversely talented musician and what Serj describes as "the busiest, most productive year of my life so far." In February, the rock musical "Prometheus Bound", which he composed all of the music for, opened at the Oberon Theater at Harvard in Boston to rave reviews. 2011 also saw Serj release his second poetry book, "Glaring Through Oblivion". He toured with SYSTEM OF A DOWN across three continents, performed with the Opera Orchestra in Yerevan, Armenia, where he also had political meetings with heads of state and hosted non-profit events. He then performed his first ever concert in Lebanon, the place of his birth, with the Lebanese National Symphony Orchestra. When he returned to the U.S., he finished writing four records: a jazz record, an electronic record he wrote with his friend Jimmy Urine of MINDLESS SELF INDULGENCE, a full classical symphony called "Orca", and the new solo rock record that he is currently mastering.

"The year 2011 started with a fire. Some kids in Piha, New Zealand were setting off fireworks that landed on my neighbor's property and lit the whole hill on fire. I knew it was going to be a hell of a year and it certainly was," says Tankian. "Within five days of that, reports came out about birds and fish dying in massive numbers globally. The omen was not lost on me. Varied creatures on earth were committing massive hara-kiri (the Japanese term signifying ritualistic suicide.) Do they know something we don't about the coming times or the sustainability of the environment? That is the day I started writing this record."

The symbolism of entire species eradicating themselves on a large scale struck Serj emotionally, and is an underlying theme on the entire record. He took that idea and went to work writing, incorporating all of the experiences of his chaotic year to make a different kind of record. "The record is different than any I've made as a solo artist," he says. "It is much more driving and punk-oriented, with influences ranging from goth to electronic to '80s vibes, dynamically heavy rock to epic melodic songs. Lyrically, it spans the gauntlet of themes from personal, political and philosophical to spiritual, humor and love."

He also tried to approach writing a little differently this time around. "I used the Apple iPad as a songwriting instrument to sketch out three of the songs on the record," he says. "We must trick ourselves into writing in different ways to get unexpected results."

The new album is slated for a summer release, and is all performed, written, produced, and engineered by Serj. The album will also feature performances by Serj's touring band, THE F.C.C.Dan Monti on guitar, Mario Pagliarulo on bass, and Troy Zeigler on drums. Dan Monti is also co-mixing and co-engineering the album with Serj. The album will be mastered by Vlado Meller (METALLICA, RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS, KANYE WEST, BEASTIE BOYS).
Omnibus Press has set an October 15 tentative release date for "Inside The Machine". The world's first MACHINE HEAD biography is being written by British rock author Joel McIver — whose 20 books to date include "Justice for All: The Truth About Metallica", "Crazy Train: The High Life And Tragic Death Of Randy Rhoads", "Glenn Hughes: The Autobiography", "To Live Is To Die: The Life And Death Of Metallica's Cliff Burton", "Overkill: The Untold Story Of Motörhead", "The Bloody Reign Of Slayer" and "Unleashed: The Story Of Tool".

The official book description: "Over 17 years and eight albums, heavy metal band MACHINE HEAD have sold millions of units, earned a Grammy nomination and won personal awards from various magazines. The story is a classic 'rise, fall and rise again' scenario — they exploded onto the metal scene in 1994, enjoyed a successful string of albums and then lost their way in the nu-metal era. Now they are in the middle of one of metal's most acclaimed comebacks. Joel McIver has interviewed all the band-members several times and has a unique insight into their rollercoaster story, which includes alcohol addiction, inter-band brawls and therapy, sackings, near-splits and two decades of the heaviest music known to man, delivered all over the world."

MACHINE HEAD recently completed a North American headlining with support from SUICIDE SILENCE and DARKEST HOUR.

MACHINE HEAD's new album, "Unto The Locust", sold more than 17,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release to land at position No. 22 on The Billboard 200 chart — putting MACHINE HEAD in the Top 25 for the first time in the band's 17-year history.

MACHINE HEAD has consistently averaged more than 100,000 copies sold in the U.S. for each of its seven albums and has shifted double that overseas (accruing several silver records in the U.K.), resulting in cumulative worldwide sales of more than 2.4 million.

MACHINE HEAD's previous CD, "The Blackening", opened with just under 15,000 units back in April 2007 to debut at No. 54 on The Billboard 200 chart. The band's 2004 effort, "Through The Ashes Of Empires", premiered with less than 12,000 copies to land at No. 88.
Swedish metallers SABATON — who last week confirmed the departure of guitarists Oskar Montelius and Rikard Sundén, drummer Daniel Mulback and keyboardist Daniel Mÿhr — have unveiled their new touring lineup. It is as follows:

Joakim Brodén - Vocals
Pär Sundström - Bass
Chris Rörland (NOCTURNAL RITES) - Guitar
Thobbe Englund (WINTERLONG, RAUBTIER) - Guitar
Robban Bäck (BALTIMOORE, PREY) - Drums

Commented the band: "At the moment we are still searching for a keyboard player. Until we have found the right guy we will still have Daniel Myhr with us, in digital form, since he has specially recorded all keyboards for us to use on tour. Therefore, we are not cancelling any shows at all — the war machine of SABATON will go on just as planned!"

A four-minute video clip in which the new members of SABATON are introduced can be seen below. Also available are the first two photos of the band's new lineup.

SABATON's new album, "Carolus Rex", will be released in Europe on May 25 via Nuclear Blast Records. The lyrics for the CD, which will be made available in both English and Swedish, deal with the Swedish Empire (referring to the Kingdom of Sweden between 1561 and 1721).

The band previously stated about "Carolus Rex": "For the first time ever we have had an expert to help us out with the theme, the well-known Swedish historian Bengt Liljegren. We have also added some extra time in the studio to find the absolute right sound on 'Carolus Rex', and our producer, Peter Tägtgren, says that this album will mark a brand new standard for how a heavy metal album should sound like!"

Liljegren's published works include acclaimed biographies of Adolf Hitler and Karl XII. He also appeared in the popular Swedish TV series "Boston Tea Party".

SABATON will embark on a North American headlining tour next month. The "Swedish Empire Tour 2012" will kick off on April 10 in Tampa, Florida.

"Carolus Rex" - English version track listing:

01. Dominium Maris Baltici
02. The Lion From the North
03. Gott Mit Uns
04. A Lifetime of War
05. 1 6 4 8
06. The Carolean's Prayer
07. Carolus Rex
08. Killing Ground
09. Poltava
10. Long Live the King
11. Ruina Imperii

"Carolus Rex" - Swedish version track listing:

01. Dominium Maris Baltici
02. Lejonet från Norden
03. Gott Mit Uns
04. En Livstid i Krig
05. 1 6 4 8
06. Karolinens bön
07. Carolus Rex
08. Ett Slag Färgat Rött
09. Poltava
10. Konungens Likfärd
11. Ruina Imperii
Long-running Arizona metallers FLOTSAM AND JETSAM have commenced the pre-production sessions for their new album, tentatively due later in the year.

Several photos from the studio can be seen at this location.

FLOTSAM AND JETSAM last summer parted ways with drummer Craig Nielsen and was rejoined by Kelly David Smith.

The band's current lineup is the same as the one that recorded the "Cuatro" (1992), "Drift" (1995) and "High" (1997) albums:

Eric "A.K." Knutson - Vocals
Ed Carlson - Guitar
Michael Gilbert - Guitar
Jason Ward - Bass
Kelly David Smith – Drums

Funding for the next FLOTSAM AND JETSAM album is being aided by the PledgeMusic.comproject, which encourages fans to contribute funds to the recording of albums and the artists themselves to donate to charity as a part of their fundraising. An early 2012 release is expected.

FLOTSAM AND JETSAM's latest album, "The Cold", was released in Europe in February 2011 via Nuclear Blast. The CD's cover artwork was created by Travis Smith, who has previously worked with OPETH, NEVERMORE, AMORPHIS and KING DIAMOND, among others.

"The Cold" was released in North America on September 14, 2010.
After taking part in the "Covan Wake The Fuck Up Tour 2012" in January, Polish industrial metallers THY DISEASE returned to the studio to resume work their new album for a late 2012 release.

Commented THY DISEASE guitarist Yanuary: "We have happily reached the end of the tour and after a short break, we've started working under our sixth album in our rehearsal room in Krakow. I'm very impressed with how this album is created; the entire band is involved in this process. However, the music which is composed at the present moment, should surely show the path, which the band is going to walk for the next 10 years, I suppose. Very soon we will definitely share with you some details in the form of couple of video reports, which you will be able to watch on our YouTube channel. Meanwhile, we are extremely focused on composing the new tracks. The only exception is going to be the Eliminations For Woodstock concert, which is planned on 15 April in Zabrze in CK Wiatrak club. We cordially invite you to this event. The entrance will be for free, so we hope that all our fans will show us a support."

THY DISEASE's latest album, "Anshur-Za", was released in November 2009 via Mystic Productions. The follow-up to 2006's "Rat Age" was recorded in three different studios and was once again produced by Tomasz Zalewski. The CD's artwork was created by Xaay, who has previously worked with BEHEMOTH.

"Anshur-Za" included two bonus tracks — cover versions of MADONNA's "Frozen" and DEPECHE MODE's "Sinner In Me".
U.K. metalcore act BURY TOMORROW has inked a deal with Nuclear Blast Records. The band's second album, "The Union Of Crowns", will be released on July 16.

"We are unbelievably honoured to be signing to Nuclear Blast," said the the group in a statement. "It feels unreal to be part of a label with such immense pedigree that has so much faith in our music. From the first demo they were sent, the guys at Nuclear Blast were just as stoked on the potential of the record as we were, and that means an awful lot to us.

"We have always said that this album would be how we defined the genre we've grown up in; what better place to start this path on, than with the world's biggest heavy metal label!"

Jaap Wagemaker at Nuclear Blast says, "After listening to the first music that was sent to us, we decided that we HAD to work with this young band immediately! Having just finished recording their debut album for Nuclear Blast, 'The Union Of Crowns'… this incredible record clearly shows that this band has everything to make it big in today's metal scene and go far beyond that! We at Nuclear Blast are looking forward to bring this band to the next level!"

"The Union Of Crowns" track listing:

01. Redeemer
02. The Maiden
03. Lionheart
04. Message to a King
05. An Honourable Reign
06. Knight Life
07. Royal Blood
08. Bitemarks
09. Abdication of Power
10. Kingdom
11. 1603
12. Sceptres
13. Vacant Throne
14. A Curse


Davyd Winter Bates - Bass
Mehdi Vismara - Guitar
Daniel Winter Bates - Vocals
Adam Jackson - Drums
Jason Cameron - Vocals/Guitar
A teenager heavy metal fan was subjected to a sickening gang attack in an incident with terrifying similarities to the murder of Sophie Lancaster.
Ben Moores, 16, was called 'mosher' and 'freak' as he was punched and kicked to the ground by up to 15 yobs in a town close to where Sophie was beaten to death.
He believes he was attacked because of his clothes and long hair.
Sophie was attacked in a park in Bacup, Rossendale, for looking like a goth.
Ben was set upon behind the Co-op supermarket in Waterfoot – two miles from where Sophie died in 2007.
Clumps of his hair were pulled out and his head and wrists were stamped on.
He suffered bruising to his head and body but escaped serious injury.
Ben said: "When they got me on the floor I thought I was going to die.
"There was no stopping them – they wouldn't let me up.
"I had blood all over my face by the end.
"When I was getting kicked and stamped in my head and on my wrists and my hair was being pulled out, there was nothing I could do. Thinking about it now makes me shiver in shock.
"They were only doing it because of the way I look and because I've got long hair and like heavy metal music.
"It's all because I dress a bit different and have different interests."
Seven teenagers aged 14-18, all from Rossendale, were arrested on suspicion of affray in connection with the incident. They were bailed until May 17.
But Sophie's mum Sylvia Lancaster – who has campaigned for attacks against youngsters based on their appearance to be categorised as hate crimes – said Ben's ordeal suggested the lessons of her daughter's death in Stubbylee Park had not been learned. She said: "It's disgraceful what has happened.
"The fact that young people gang together like that and think of it as fun is just wrong.
"People have no right to do this – it is beyond me why they think it is okay.
"It is very sad that there have been no lessons learned."
Ben's mum Gayle Moores, 43, said: "It was awful.
"He had blood pouring from his ears and face and bald patches. It scares me because of what happened to Sophie Lancaster."
Alyson Barnes, leader of Rossendale council, said: "This is not acceptable. If anyone feels threatened in any way they must report these things to the police."
Sophie was kicked and stamped to death by Brendan Harris, 15, and Ryan Herbert, 16.
They were jailed for 18 years and 16 years respectively for her murder.
A further three youths were jailed for grievous bodily harm on her partner Robert Maltby.
Italian power metallers SECRET SPHERE have recruited an as-yet-undisclosed new lead singer following the recent departure of Roberto "Ramon" Messina. According to the band, the new vocalist is "inishing laying down vocals, and lyrics for the new album, and he's doing a huge amount of work in a very short time and he's constantly in touch with Aldo [Lonobile, guitar], updating the work process!"

The group adds, "What can we say? He's great, really great, so please be patient as we wait for the right time to prepare a proper welcome to the family and we will introduce him to you all! Stay tuned, something great is coming!!! "
After 12 years, six albums, and tours around the world, Messina decided to leave SECRET SPHERE due to musical differences.

SECRET SPHERE's sixth album, "Archetype", was released in Europe in September 2010 via Scarlet Records. The CD was recorded at Authoma Studios and was produced by guitarist Aldo Lonobile and Federico Pennazzato. The album was mastered at Massive Arts Studio, while the cover artwork was handled by Gustavo Sazes.
Raleigh, North Carolina-based progressive rock/cutting-edge metal band BETWEEN THE BURIED AND ME will tour Europe in October in support of its new album, the details of which are forthcoming. Support on the trek will come from PERIPHERY and THE SAFETY FIRE.

Comments BETWEEN THE BURIED AND ME bassist Dan Briggs: "I'm excited Europe wants to have us again! On this tour we'll celebrate the release of our new album, so you'll be some of the first to hear new songs… if we can actually play them by then!"

The dates are as follows:

Oct. 10 - Antwerp, Belgium – Trix *
Oct. 11 - Amsterdam, Netherlands - Melkweg
Oct. 12 - Köln, Germany - Luxor
Oct. 13 - Münster, Germany - Sputnikhalle
Oct. 14 - Copenhagen, Denmark - Vega
Oct. 16 - Stockholm, Sweden - Debaser Slussen
Oct. 17 - Gothenburg, Sweden - Sticky Fingers
Oct. 18 - Hamburg, Germany - Logo
Oct. 19 - Berlin, Germany - Lido
Oct. 20 - Prague, Czech Republic - Rock Café
Oct. 22 - Bratislava, Slovakia - Randall Club
Oct. 23 - Budapest, Hungary - Dürer Kert
Oct. 24 - Wien, Austria - Szene
Oct. 25 - München, Germany - Backstage
Oct. 27 - Novara, Italy - Rock´n´Roll Arena
Oct. 28 - Zürich, Switzerland - Dynamo
Oct. 29 - Stuttgart, Germany - Universum
Oct. 30 - Frankfurt, Germany - Batschkapp
Oct. 31 - Paris, France - La Maroquinerie


BETWEEN THE BURIED AND ME's latest album, "The Parallax: Hypersleep Dialogues", was released on April 12, 2011 via Metal Blade Records. The three-song, 30-minute tour de force was recorded at Canada's Metalworks Studios and Rattlebox Studios and helmed by the Grammy award–winning producer David Bottrill (TOOL, MUSE, KING CRIMSON, DREAM THEATER).

"The Parallax: Hypersleep Dialogues" represents BETWEEN THE BURIED AND ME's musical and conceptual masterwork; the record showcases both the quintet's vivid execution and ambitious vision. The otherworldly conceptual thread linking each of the songs is mobilized around two human characters that live in different planes of existence and are separated by millions of light years, each confronted with similar personal issues. Subsequently, both characters make decisions that will change their lives, and perhaps the course of the universe, forever. Musically, the release presents aura-rich atmospheres rife with roaring volumes, corrugated rhythms and trance-inducing intricacies. Cerebral and visceral, soft and heavy, melodic and abrasive, tender and brutal, familiar and strange and taut yet sprawling and epic, BETWEEN THE BURIED AND ME has crafted a sound that is musically sophisticated yet primal and a disc where every new passage leads to the culmination of an epic adventure.
Virginia's speed metal punks MUNICIPAL WASTE are bringing their space terror back to North America beginning May 27 on a two-leg headlining run presented by Scion A/V. The first leg features BLACK TUSK as support; second leg features 3 INCHES OF BLOOD as direct support and openers BLACK TUSK.

Tour dates are:


May 27 - Soapbox Laundro-Lounge - Wilmington, NC
May 28 - 529 - Atlanta, GA
May 29 - The Social - Orlando, FL
May 30 - Vinyl Music Hall - Pensacola, FL
Jun. 01 - Chaos In Tejas Music Fest - Austin, TX (Municipal Waste only)
Jun. 02 - Rubber Gloves - Denton, TX


Jun. 15 - Neumo's - Seattle, WA
Jun. 16 - Hawthorne Theater - Portland, OR
Jun. 21 - Reggie's - Chicago, IL
Jun. 22 - Screaming Willy's - Columbus, OH
Jun. 23 - Peabody's - Cleveland, OH
Jun. 24 - Bogie's - Albany, NY
Jun. 25 - Union Transfer - Philadelphia, PA
Jun. 26 - Santo's Party House - New York, NY

Additional dates will be announced soon.

The video for "The Fatal Feast", the title track of the new MUNICIPAL WASTE album, can be seen below. The clip was filmed with director Jeff Speed of Halo Of Flies in Los Angeles on the former set of the space western television series "Firefly".

Commented MUNICIPAL WASTE vocalist Tony Foresta: "We've been wanting to work with Jeff again since we did the 'Sadistic Magician' video with him years ago. We felt that his vision and talent was exactly what we needed to help tell the tale of this cannibalistic space voyage. We hope this video makes people headbang, laugh, and puke all at the same time."

Added guitarist Ryan Waste: "As a huge sci-fi horror movie enthusiast, it was amazing to work on this type of film set. Jeff Speed and his crew have really raised the bar with this video and we couldn't be happier. Prepare for space terror and feast on our latest clip!"

Jeff Speed shares the following about working with MUNICIPAL WASTE for a second time: "One glimpse at this video and you will understand why my brother Chris [Speed, production designer] and I love to work with these guys. Anything goes! They have a great sense of humor, shredding tunes and bloodlust that is only matched by our own. Accepting the invitation to collaborate on more debauchery with MUNICIPAL WASTE was a no-brainer. A cannibalistic space voyage?! Where do we sign? We had a lot of fun making this vid and we were thrilled with the end product. I hope the world is hungry because the 'feast' will be festering on their plates and minds for a long time. Thanks for the opportunity, dudes! The Speed brothers will always be down to spill blood with the WASTE!"

MUNICIPAL WASTE's fifth studio album, "The Fatal Feast", will be released on April 10 in North America and April 13 in Europe via Nuclear Blast Records. The cover artwork for the CD was created by Justin Osbourn of Slasher Design and can be seen below.

"The Fatal Feast" track listing:

01. Waste In Space
02. Repossession
03. New Dead Masters
04. Unholy Abductor
05. Idiot Check
06. Covered In Sick/The Barfer
07. You're Cut Off
08. Authority Complex
09. Standards And Practices
10. Crushing Chest Wound
11. The Monster With 21 Faces
12. Jesus Freaks
13. The Fatal Feast
14. 12 Step Program
15. Death Tax
16. Residential Disaster

Both the digipack and vinyl editions will include the bonus track "Eviction Party".

"The Fatal Feast" features guest appearances by John Connelly (guitarist and vocalist for NUCLEAR ASSAULT), Steve Moore (who plays bass and synthesizers for ZOMBI), and vocalist Tim Barry (ex-AVAIL).
Guitarist Jack Frost (SAVATAGE, BELLADONNA, SEVEN WITCHES) has released the following statement:

"Just wanted to let you know that SEVEN WITCHES will be doing two special shows this month (April.) I say special because of the KILLER lineup that the band boasts this time around. First off, we have none other than Alan Tecchio (HADES, NON-FICTION) back on vocals for these dates. Those of you that have seen Alan sing with us know that this will be insane 'cause he goes for it at every gig. On drums, we have Jonny Kelly (TYPE O NEGATIVE, DANZIG, A PALE HORSE NAMED DEATH) and on bass Ronnie Parks (FARCRY).
"Does it get any better than a lineup like this?! I think not!

"These shows will be an insane tribute and celebration to the metal animal inside all of us, as SEVEN WITCHES takes the stage and annihilates everything in sight! Come out and support metal in its purest form at these two upcoming gigs."

The dates are as follows:

April 20 - Dingbatz - Clifton, NJ
April 21 - Jimmy's Place - Allentown, PA

Vocalist James Rivera (HELSTAR, VICIOUS RUMORS, FLOTSAM AND JETSAM) announced his departure from SEVEN WITCHES in September.

Rivera sang on SEVEN WITCHES' "Passage To The Other Side" (2003), "Year Of The Witch" (2004) and "Call Upon The Wicked" (2011) albums.

"Call Upon The Wicked" was released on June 3, 2011 via Massacre Records. The CD features material that ranges in sound from classic JUDAS PRIEST to a touch of RAINBOW. There's even an epic song featuring female vocals, a new step in the band's chapter. The record is a bit of a concept, talking about how women have been the decline of men since the beginning of time.
Miami, Florida's ABIOTIC has inked a worldwide, multi-album deal with Metal Blade Records.

ABIOTIC stormed onto the underground metal scene with the release of the "A Universal Plague" EP in September 2011. Since then, through word of mouth online and steady gigging in the Southeast, ABIOTIC has become one of the top bands to watch. Their music video for "Vermosapien" was released in January 2012 and was viewed over 40,000 times within the first month of its release. The band has proven that they have the wherewithal to stand alongside the best and brightest in the technical death metal genre worldwide. Fans of OBSCURA, VEIL OF MAYA, and CANNIBAL CORPSE will immediately identify with their finely-honed technical attack.

Commented ABIOTIC on the signing; "We can't express how amazing it is to be on the same label as some of our favorite bands and how great it feels to be working with one of the biggest labels in metal!"

Added Metal Blade: "It's rare to come across a band as well put together as ABIOTIC. The video for 'Vermosapien' makes it immediately evident that this band has the chops, songs, work ethic, and live show to perform alongside any contemporary death metal act. We very much look forward to releasing this band's music to a worldwide audience later this year!"

Hometown and Florida-area fans will be able to see ABIOTIC's prowess live and in person on the "Shredded To Pieces Tour" with KING CONQUER, FORTY WINTERS, and IN REFERENCE TO A SINKING SHIP throughout April. Following those dates, ABIOTIC will tour the Midwest/southeast on the "Shred Till You're Dead Tour" with Sumerian Records artists ENFOLD DARKNESS and VALE OF PNATH, who recently signed a deal with Willowtip Records. Also in tow will be AFTER THE SPIRE. These tours feature some of the best up-and-coming talent in extreme metal and should not be missed!
São Paulo, Brazil-based metallers KAMALA will release their third studio album, "The Deadly Seven Chakras", before the summer via MS Metal Records. The cover artwork, which features the Brazilian adult-film actress Bruna Vieira, was created by Luiz Moura, who previously worked with KAMALA on the band's first two albums, 2007's "Kamala" and 2009's "Fractal".

Comments KAMALA guitarist and founder Raphael Olmos: "In defining the concept of the album during the recording process, we met with Luiz Moura thinking about the way the artwork should take in this new album. The idea to show the naked body exposed to the world seemed like the right way to represent the whole context, because the human body reflects the sins and absorbs energy through the chakras in a pure form and with no influence."

He adds, "We met Bruna Vieira through [porn film producer] Xplastic, with whom we established a partnership last year, where in one scene Bruna had our music as the soundtrack. We stayed in touch, and when she heard about the project, she was really into it. She has a very strong visual presence, and together with Castro's art, resulted in a wonderful job, not only on the cover, but in all contents of the booklet, which contains 24 pages. We can't wait to share it all with you!"

"The Deadly Seven Chakras" track listing:

01. Envy
02. Gluttony
03. Root
04. Heart
05. Solar Plexus
06. Third Eye
07. Greed
08. Pride
09. Sloth
10. Sacral
11. Lust
12. Wrath
13. Throat
14. Crown
Knoxville, Tennessee hard rockers 10 YEARS will release their new album, "Minus The Machine", on July 17 via their own Palehorse Records in conjunction with Warner Music Group's Independent Label Group. The CD marks the band's first release on their new label, after a long tenure at Universal.

10 YEARS frontman Jesse Hasek explains the decision to release the album independently: "We wanted to create an album that has no boundaries. When you feel like you're being told to go through motions and jump through hoops, it takes the heart out of it. It's better to do what comes naturally and then figure out the after-effect."

The band will kick off the "Minus the Machine" headlining tour on June 27 in New Orleans, supported by FAIR TO MIDLAND and KYNG. The four-week trek will take the band to Dallas, Nashville, Chicago and more, and includes a hometown show in Knoxville on July 6.

After a hugely successful year and a half tour to support their previous record "Feeding The Wolves", the rock quartet is ready to get back on the road and see the fans. "We live and die by the loyalty of the club audiences," says Hasek. "Our fans are loyal. They travel with us, and they want us to be loyal to ourselves. What we tried to do on this album is really give them what they want because they've been so good to us through the ups and downs of our career."
Scott Vogel (TERROR) is the latest guest musician to appear 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 later this month.

STRIFE's new album will also feature a guest appearance by guitarist Marc Rizzo (SOULFLY, CAVALERA CONSPIRACY).

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
Seminal technical metal pioneers ATHEIST have been added to three shows (Orlando, Atlanta and Dallas) on the "Death To All Tour 2012" in benefit of Sweet Relief. This five-city trek will feature a majority of DEATH's amazing musicians, as well as special guests. This tour will celebrate the life and music of Chuck Schuldiner, as well as to raise awareness of Sweet Relief Musicians Fund — a charity that provides financial assistance to career musicians faced with illness, disability or age-related problems.

Commented ATHEIST frontman Kelly Shaefer: "We could not be more honored to be direct support on the upcoming 'Death To All' tour! It's gonna be a blast to gather with all our old and dear friends form the early days of extreme metal, and also to help celebrate the music from the godfather of death metal, Chuck Schuldiner. Any fan of death/extreme metal, I'm telling you now, sell everything to attend one or more of these shows. It's going to be legendary and you can bet on that! We will be doing the Orlando, Atlanta and Dallas shows, so we hope to see all the Southern metalheads out in force. Thanks to Anton and the organizers for asking us to be a part of this monumental moment in extreme metal history! See you all there!"

Canadian technical death metallers GORGUTS will open all shows up to, but not including, Orlando.

The drums on the "Death To All Tour 2012" will be handled by Gene Hoglan ("Individual Thought Patterns", "Symbolic") and Sean Reinert ("Human"). On bass will be Steve DiGiorgio ("Human", "Individual Thought Patterns") and Scott Clendenin ("The Sound Of Perseverance"). Guitar duties will be shared by Paul Masvidal ("Human"), Shannon Hamm ("The Sound of Perseverance") and Bobby Koelble ("Symbolic"). The vocals will be taken care of by Steffen Kummerer of OBSCURA and Charles Elliott of ABYSMAL DAWN and BEREFT.

The dates are as follows (opening act listed in parenthesis):

June 22 - The Regency Ballroom - San Francisco, CA (GORGUTS)
June 23 - House of Blues – West Hollywood, CA (GORGUTS)
June 26 - House of Blues - Chicago, IL (GORGUTS)
June 28 - Irving Plaza – New York, NY (GORGUTS)
June 30 - The Beacham - Orlando, FL (ATHEIST)
July 01 - The Masquerade - Atlanta, GA (ATHEIST)
July 03 - House of Blues - Dallas, TX (ATHEIST)

For more information, go to this location.

Chuck died on December 13, 2001 after a battle with pontine glioma, a rare type of brain tumor.
DEATH DIVISION — the heavy, technically aggressive and melodic band founded by bassist Jerry Montano (HELLYEAH, DANZIG, NOTHINGFACE), drummer Tim Yeung (MORBID ANGEL, DIVINE HERESY, HATE ETERNAL, NILE), vocalist/guitarist Sean de La Tour and lead guitarist Rick Di Marco — has started recording new material with engineer Matt Starr (BEAUTIFUL CREATURES, Dizzy Reed) .

Commented the group: "We are tracking everything at Deathcult Manor (DEATH DIVISION headquarters). We are doing it old school like [LED] ZEPPELIN, DOWN and [Dave] Grohl. The band is extremely excited about getting music out."

In other news, Bill Weiss (THE EXIES videographer) has been hard at work editing the DEATH DIVISION short film. Described as a "a look into DEATH DIVISION" featuring Andrew Bryniarski (who played Leatherface in Newline Cinema's remake of "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre") and Lacey Conner (singer, songwriter, "Rock Of Love" TV show contestant), the film was shot at Deathcult Manor and contains "nudity, violence and DEATH DIVISION."

Also on the DEATH DIVISION front, the band has been working with Carin Cronacher of Hazmat Design (OZZY OSBOURNE, ROB ZOMBIE, ALICE COOPER) on the group's official logo and artwork.

For more information, visit the DEATH DIVISION Facebook page.
The boyfriend-girlfriend team of Alex Lopez of SUICIDE SILENCE and Alexia Rodriguez of EYES SET TO KILL have launched an official webstore for their collaborative art, Secret Destroyers.

In a 2010 interview, Alexia said, "When I'm not writing or playing music, I am usually doodling or painting. Lately we have been so busy with tour that we barely have down time at home. So I always make sure to bring some sidewalk chalk and a sketch pad."
Swedish/Spanish death metallers PUTREVORE, who feature in their ranks Rogga Johansson (PAGANIZER) and Dave Rotten (AVULSED), are currently mixing their sophomore album, "Macabre Kingdom", for a late 2012 release via Xtreem Music. The instrumental parts were recorded during January/February in Sweden, this time with the help of Brynjar Helgetun on drums, who previously played with such bands as CRYPTICUS, RIBSPREADER and THE GROTESQUERY. The vocals were recorded at the end of March in Spain. Nine songs were laid down during the sessions, eight of which will be featured on the new album and one of which will be set aside for possible use on a future split EP.

"Macabre Kingdom" track listing:

01. The Mysteries Of The Worm Part I
02. The Mysteries Of The Worm Part II
03. Beyond Human Comprehension
04. Universal Devourer
05. Awaiting Awakening Again
06. The Morbid Mass Of Swarming Entities
07. The Tentacles Through Time
08. Tattooed Skin Map

The cover art for "Macabre Kingdom" was once again created by the Spanish artist Juanjo Castellano.

"Macabre Kingdom" will initially be released on 12-inch vinyl around June — several months before the effort is made available on CD.
Montreal, Quebec, Canada-based female-fronted melodic death metallers THE AGONIST have completed work on their long-awaited third studio album, "Prisoners", due on June 5 (one day earlier internationally) via Century Media Records. Produced by Christian Donaldson (CRYPTOPSY) and mixed by Tue Madsen (THE HAUNTED, DARK TRANQUILLITY, SUICIDE SILENCE), the CD "picks right up where 2009's 'Lullabies For The Dormant Mind' left off, with soaring melodies over complex metal passages that fans of thinking-man's metal can appreciate," according to a press release.

Commented singer Alissa White-Gluz: "Creating 'Prisoners' was the most challenging under-taking to date for THE AGONIST. Years of emotion, passion, thought and experience went into making this album, and I think people will be able to hear, feel and think right along with us when they listen to 'Prisoners'."

Fans don't have to wait until release date to hear new music though. The band will be selling digital download cards throughout their upcoming tour with KITTIE. The brand new track "Ideomotor" and the previously limited-edition EP-only track "The Escape" will be available for immediate download, with the remainder of the album available on release date.

THE AGONIST last fall took part in a North American tour with KAMELOT, ALESTORM and BLACKGUARD. Unfortunately, THE AGONIST lead guitarist Danny Marino was unable to join the band on this trek, and was replaced by ex-THE CATALYST guitarist Justin Deguire on rhythm guitar while Pascal "Paco" Jobin took over lead guitar duties.

In a recent interview with MetalConcerts.net, Alissa White-Gluz stated about the musical direction of the follow-up to 2009's "Lullabies For A Dormant Mind", "I wouldn't say it's heavier or more melodic. I think it sounds more mature. It has the same sort of schizophrenic side that 'Lullabies' has, but it also has some other I guess what you would call classic influences. Like, there's some PANTERA influence, there's some RADIOHEAD influence. I mean, there's a lot of influences that we didn't really have before."

"Lullabies For A Dormant Mind" debuted at No. 105 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.
Chicago deathcore heavyweights OCEANO have released the following statement:

"Don't call it a comeback! OCEANO are excited to reveal that they will NOT be breaking up after this year's New England Metal & Hardcore Festival and will, in fact, record new music. The band is currently hard at work writing their next studio album for Earache Records, which is expected in early 2013."

Commented OCEANO frontman Adam Warren: "Kinda funny how right around Easter we decide to pull a Jesus and flip the script on what everyone was thinking, right?

With rumors running around, and haters trolling in their own discontent, it IS true OCEANO will be staying alive and kicking for the rest of 2012 and far beyond.

"After essentially removing ourselves entirely from touring and the music aspect of our lives for almost eight months, we all got to spend time with our families and friends and rediscover 'normal' life.

"We rarely experienced this being a part of OCEANO. So it felt amazing. But also, within all the valuable time home the itch slowly started to come back.

"Our 'final shows' at the Jamboree and New England & Hardcore/Metal Fest began to come closer, yet it just didn't feel like anywhere near the proper way to end this band.

"We all respect and appreciate how far OCEANO has come amidst all the bullshit and sidetracking. Prevailing from the entire struggle made it all worth it. We also love and cherish the things we sacrifice to be on the road and perform for all those people who have supported us through it all. So why can't we have both?

"We each took the time to discover the best approach and game plan to have ample time for the things we hold most important at home (family, jobs, etc.) while still being able to do what we love and making a living off of it.

"We're beyond stoked to get back to work and infect every listener with our brand of Windy City Death, but this WON'T be the OCEANO you knew from last year, or even before that. The stakes are higher, shit's gonna get heavier, and we're coming to entice destruction and bloodshed in every city. See you soon. "

Added longtime OCEANO manager Derek Brewer: "I wasn't going to let something this good go… I am very proud of this band and their accomplishments all the way from the time I first starting working with them when they were playing in front of 30 kids every night at all ages community center shows to selling out well-respected clubs across the U.S. on their last headline tour. So when the band reached out to me to figure out a way to get things back in action, I was more than eager to do what I could to make it happen."

OCEANO has three dates planned — the Jamboree in Toledo, Ohio; the New England Metal & Hardcore Festival in Worcester, Massachusetts; and a hometown throwdown show in Chicago. Plans are underway for the band to participate in a large-scale summer tour in the U.S. and return to Europe for a full tour this fall.

OCEANO's latest album, "Contagion", sold around 3,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release, according to Nielsen SoundScan. The CD landed at position No. 3 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. Released in the U.S. on November 9, 2010 via Earache Records, the album was produced by Chris "Zeuss" Harris, who has previously worked with MUNICIPAL WASTE, THE ACACIA STRAIN, HATEBREED and SHADOWS FALL, among others.

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