[Classic_Rock_Forever] AC/DC, KISS, Metallica, Megadeth, Velvet Revolver, Tokyo Blade, Opeth, and tons more hard rock and heavy metal news


AC/DC guitarist Malcolm Young has confirmed to Classic Rock magazine that the band is working on the follow-up to 2008's "Black Ice". But he said fans will likely have to wait longer than expected, after singer Brian Johnson suggested there would be new material next year.

"You know what Brian's like. He just says things and then walks away," Malcolm said. "It'll be a little while — a year or two anyway.

He added, "I've been doing some jamming on some song ideas but I do that all the time, as do the rest of the band. We are still working. But we had a long rest between 'Stiff Upper Lip' and 'Black Ice', so I think we need a couple of years to recuperate and work on it a bit more."

During a January 2012 appearance on "The Cowhead Show", the American radio program hosted by Mike "Cowhead" Calta, Johnson revealed that health issues were affecting one of his bandmates, which may have put new album plans temporarily on hold. "One of the boys is a little sick and I can't say anything, but he's getting better," Brian said. "He's doing wonderful. Full recovery fully expected."

The singer added, "It's a wonderful thing when we get in a room. Whenever the boys get back together, I get all excited. The boys, after a while, pick the guitars up, Phil [Rudd] will make his way to the drums, Cliff [Williams] will pull his bass out and then all of a sudden this noise comes out and I sit there with just this big old grin on my face."
According to The Daily Telegraph, AC/DC's Angus Young has been named the greatest guitar player in Australian history by Australian Guitar magazine. Tommy Emmanuel, COLD CHISEL's Ian Moss, Chris Cheney from THE LIVING END and Rick Brewster from THE ANGELS round out the Top Five.

AC/DC guitarist Malcolm Young has confirmed to Classic Rock magazine that the band is working on the follow-up to 2008's "Black Ice". But he said fans will likely have to wait longer than expected, after singer Brian Johnson suggested there would be new material next year.

"You know what Brian's like. He just says things and then walks away," Malcolm said. "It'll be a little while — a year or two anyway.

He added, "I've been doing some jamming on some song ideas but I do that all the time, as do the rest of the band. We are still working. But we had a long rest between 'Stiff Upper Lip' and 'Black Ice', so I think we need a couple of years to recuperate and work on it a bit more."

During a January 2012 appearance on "The Cowhead Show", the American radio program hosted by Mike "Cowhead" Calta, Johnson revealed that health issues were affecting one of his bandmates, which may have put new album plans temporarily on hold. "One of the boys is a little sick and I can't say anything, but he's getting better," Brian said. "He's doing wonderful. Full recovery fully expected."
On June 13, IDW Publishing is bringing back the rock group KISS in comic form. Last year, Archie Comics released a story in which Archie met KISS. This time IDW is giving them marquee status.

According to IDW, the series is rooted in KISS fandom, featuring KISS characters like "Wicked" Lester, the Destroyer, She, the Elder, and more, but it will be very accessible to all comic readers.

KISS will be written by Chris Ryall (Zombies vs Robots) with art by Jamal Igle (The Ray) and KISS #1-4 come with a special "solo album" covers by artist Michael Gaydos.

Variant covers will also be available, including a Michael Gaydos "Demon" cover and a KISS photo cover.

A photo of the advance copies of the new KISS comic issue #1 can be seen below. Pictured are the six different covers that will be available for the first issue.

In the photos:

Top row: two regular covers available at most retailers; and one limited cover available at select retailers

Bottom row: limited cover available at select retailers; the black cover is exclusive to one retailer only; last one on right is the KissOnline.com exclusive.

KissOnline.com spoke to IDW Publishing's chief creative officer and editor-in-chief Tom Waltz and senior staff writer Chris Ryall last July at the San Diego Comic Con.

KISS has been the subject of several comic book series with several different publishers. Why did IDW pick the group to work with?

Chris Ryall: "It pretty much follows the way we choose to pursue any license: we're fans of the material. Both Tom Waltz and I are lifelong KISS fans; and add to that the fact that we produced a line of Simmons Comic Group releases with Gene Simmons a few years back and it's just been something we've always wanted to do. Some of my earliest comic-reading moments are of enjoying the KISS Super Specials that Marvel produced in the '70s, and it's a personal thrill to not only be able to carry on with KISS comics but to now write them myself, too."

Tom Waltz: "As Chris states, we tend not to pursue any license at IDW that won't have an editor behind it who is a fan and willing to champion it through the long process of getting it approved and into print. In the case of KISS, Chris and I are not only champions of the license, we're uber-fans of the band and their music, not to mention the KISS comics from various other publishers in the past. Like Chris, I ate up those Marvel KISS comics and to now be able to be a part of the ongoing adventures of our hard-rockin', kabuki-wearin' heroes is a real highlight of my career as a writer/editor."

The four different covers of the first issue of IDW's new KISS comics that will be released in late June can be seen below. The top left hand image is the cover that will be most widely available. The other three are alternate covers that will be released in limited supply.
MEGADETH singer/guitarist Dave Mustaine has apologized to METALLICA's James Hetfield for publicly discussing the fact that Dave wanted to assemble a "supergroup" combining Mustaine and MEGADETH bassist David Ellefson with Hetfield and METALLICA drummer Lars Ulrich.

Hetfield laughed off talk of a possible collaboration between members of his band and members of MEGADETH in a new interview, calling it "crazy" talk on the part of Mustaine. An original member of METALLICA before being kicked out in early 1983, Mustaine has jammed with his ex-bandmates on several occasions over the past couple of years during "Big Four" shows and at METALLICA's 30th anniversary concerts last December.

Hetfield told So What!, METALLICA's fan club magazine, "I see [Mustaine] healthier now. I see him as less of a bitter guy. But I do see a lot of stuff in the press with him talking about jamming with us and making an album. All this other crazy stuff. I read it and say to myself, 'Hold on. This is the Dave that we kind of wanted to forget about. You know, the big-mouth that wants to just go-go-go."

Hetfield added, "But there is an authenticity about him when he speaks. He doesn't think too much before he does. He just goes off the cuff. Plus, when he says stuff like that, it's well-intended."

In an interview with Artisan News conducted on Friday, May 11 (see video below), Mustaine was asked about Hetfield's comments. "I already sent [James] a text message and said I apologized to him for saying that and that I won't ever mention it again," Mustaine said. "I like James and I thought what he said was flattering, and then it kind of went the opposite way, and then it kind of came back again. And you know, that's OK. I guess my whole thing was I just wanted them to know that I loved them and that I missed them and I enjoyed playing with them. If that's not mutual, then I understand. I still respect him, and I still care about the guy. If he doesn't wanna play [with me] anymore, that's cool. If he doesn't like the idea of what I said, that's OK, too. It wasn't like I said it was gonna happen, it was something that I kind of wished would happen. But you know, it's OK now, since it doesn't seem like it's gonna happen. And you know what?! It's off my bucket list."

He added, "The thing is that I probably shouldn't have said stuff like that, 'cause, I guess, to some people, they may think that I'm trying to use that as a way to get publicity, so I can see where there would be some feelings about it, and that wasn't my intention."

Mustaine feuded with the members of METALLICA for more than two decades before finally patching things up over the last couple of years.

METALLICA is currently on a European tour, during which it is playing its self-titled 1991 fifth album, also known as the "black album," every night in its entirety — but in reverse order.

METALLICA will play both the complete "black album" and, for the first time, its entire 1984 effort, "Ride The Lightning", at its own Orion Music + More festival, scheduled for June 23 and June 24 in Atlantic City, New Jersey.
STONE TEMPLE PILOTS singer Scott Weiland has revealed to ABC News Radio that he has reunited with VELVET REVOLVER and is back making new music with the band. "We've all grown a lot," explains Weiland. "We're able to put egos and differences and old… conflicts aside and so that's really cool."

He added, "They gave me a couple of [new] songs and myself and [guitarist] Dave [Kushner] and [bassist] Duff [McKagan] are gonna be getting together for a songwriting session next week."

According to Weiland, VELVET REVOLVER will hit the road for a short tour before the end of the year. "[VELVET REVOLVER guitarist] Slash's solo album gets released [on May 22] and so he's gonna do some touring on that and then we're gonna go and do some [VELVET REVOLVER] shows in the later part of summer into early fall," the singer said.

During an appearance on this morning's (Monday, May 14) edition of the "Half-Assed Morning Show" on the Minneapolis, Minnesota radio station 93X, Slash shot down Weiland's reunion comments, explaining, "I have absolutely no intention of going back to that. . . I'm on tour all year. I'll call Duff, but I seriously doubt [there is any truth to Weiland's comments]. We have no intention of going backwards."
VELVET REVOLVER reunited with Scott Weiland for a performance at the January "Love You Madly: A Concert For John O'Brien" at the House Of Blues in West Hollywood, California. The band played a four-song set — including a cover version of the PINK FLOYD classic "Wish You Were Here" — at the event, which paid tribute to award-winning ASCAP composer John O'Brien, who was found dead in his Chicago hotel room last August.

When asked by RollingStone.com whether he would be open to a full-fledged VELVET REVOLVER reunion at some point down the road, Weiland said, "Yeah, I definitely would, some time. If Maynard [James Keenan] can do it with A PERFECT CIRCLE and TOOL, then there's no reason why I shouldn't go and do it with both bands [STONE TEMPLE PILOTS and VELVET REVOLVER]."

Speaking to Frankie DiVita, radio personality for 96.7 KCAL Rocks, at the 2012 NAMM (National Association Of Music Merchants) show, VELVET REVOLVER drummer Matt Sorum stated about the experience of playing with Weiland again, "It was cool, man. We hadn't played together in a long time. We soundchecked a few songs. We only played, like, three songs. But it was cool to be on stage and play music again. It was like riding a bike. Everyone had a good time and we raised some money for a really sad situation. John O'Brien passed away and left a pregnant wife and another child. And a lot of people turned out for the show… Amazing turnout."

He added, "We had a good time. Me and Scott worked out some stuff backstage and had talked, and that was nice. He came up to me and he was real humble and really cool. 'Cause stuff happens when you're out on the road and people are tired and you say shit. Everything is on the Internet now; you can't get away with anything.

"Being in the music business for as long as I have been, I'm still learning lessons. We were out on the road for 18 months. And we got tired and things happened. There's a lot of pressure. You think you'd always wanna do it differently, but stuff goes the way it's gonna go; I can't explain it.

"We made some good records [with Scott]. The second record [2007's 'Libertad'] didn't get as much action as the first one [2004's 'Contraband'], but I think it's a cool record, too. I liked a lot of that record, and working with [producer] Brendan O'Brien. The first record, obviously, was a huge success for us."

When asked about whether there is any chance of VELVET REVOLVER working with Weiland again, Sorum said, "I don't know… We'll see what happens. [VELVET REVOLVER guitarist] Slash is booked up for about another year [touring in support of his upcoming solo album], so I don't know what's gonna go on with anything, to be honest. We haven't discussed it. . . I don't know… I can't say. It hasn't really been discussed, so I don't wanna speak out of turn."

On the topic of why it's been so hard for VELVET REVOLVER to find a replacement for Weiland, Sorum said, "We were trying [to find a new singer last year], but it didn't work out that way. . . We had Corey Taylor [from SLIPKNOT and STONE SOUR coming in and writing songs with us]; it's kind of well known. We did some songs, and it just didn't turn everybody on completely. So we, basically, put the brakes on that. I think I was a little bit excited to get going, but maybe that was more excitement than… I thought it was cool, but Slash wasn't into it. And if we're not all firing on the same cylinders, we don't usually… We respect that, you know."

VELVET REVOLVER's setlist for the January 12 performance with Scott Weiland at the "Love You Madly: A Concert For John O'Brien" event was as follows:

01. Sucker Train Blues
02. She Builds Quick Machines
03. Slither
04. Wish You Were Here (PINK FLOYD cover)

Fan-filmed video footage of VELVET REVOLVER's entire performance can be seen below.

Weiland reunited with his original band, STONE TEMPLE PILOTS, just as his run with VELVET REVOLVER was coming to a close. STP has toured constantly since and recorded a new album in 2010.
Tonight's (Sunday, May 13) Michael Schenker concert at O13 in Tilburg, Holland will be filmed for DVD release.

Schenker's "Temple Of Rock" European tour marks the first time Schenker's band features two fellow ex-SCORPIONS members — Herman Rarebell (drums) and Francis Buchholz (bass). Vocalist Doogie White (ex-RAINBOW and YNGWIE MALMSTEEN) and keyboardist Wayne Findlay complete the lineup.

The European concerts feature a plethora of hits spanning Michael Schenker's colorful career. Songs that are being performed by the "Temple Of Rock" lineup include UFO's "Rock Bottom" and "Doctor Doctor", MICHAEL SCHENKER GROUP's "Armed and Ready" and "Into The Arena", SCORPIONS classics "Another Piece Of Meat" and "Rock You Like A Hurricane", plus new songs from the recently released "Temple Of Rock" album "Miss Claustrophobia" and "Before The Devil Knows You're Dead".
Legendary NWOBHM band TOKYO BLADE has released the first of three songs for three charities. Proceeds from the track "Camp 334" will go to the One Spirit charity, which helps make life better for the Lakota Sioux on the Pine Ridge reservation. TOKYO BLADE guitarist Andy Boulton's friend Joe Brave Heart contributed to the song with a fantastic intro prayer in his native tongue. Andy has been working with the charity for some years now and is really overjoyed to be able to use TOKYO BLADE's music and name to raise money for the reservation.

"It's fantastic that we have had so much positive help with this project," says Andy. "Our producer, Chris Tsangarides, gave his time for free also and it really is an honor to have Joe involved and have his blessing. Now I'm begging our fans to go buy it and do some good, Pine Ridge is a desperate place check out the one spirit web site, but we can make a difference folks."

The "Camp 334" EP is available on iTunes, Amazon and all other regular download stores.

TOKYO BLADE's latest album, "Thousand Men Strong", was released in March 2011 via Fastball Music. The CD was helmed by veteran British producer Chris Tsangarides, who has previously worked with THIN LIZZY, Y&T, FREE, BLACK SABBATH, IAN GILLAN, JUDAS PRIEST, OZZY OSBOURNE and ANVIL, among others.
Aniruddh "Andrew" Bansal of Metal Assault recently conducted an interview with guitarist Dave Chandler of doom metal legends SAINT VITUS. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.

Metal Assault: Your new album ["Lillie: F-65"] is your first studio release after a 17-year gap. That's a really long time. First of all, it must be a great feeling to have this album ready for release now.

Chandler: Yeah, it's really cool. It has been a long time, but we are excited about it and we like the way it came out. We're real happy with it, so we hope the fans like it too. It seems to be a pretty cool record.

Metal Assault: You did some shows in the last couple of years leading up to the release of this album. So, that must have made it easier for you guys to get back into the groove and write this album.

Chandler: Yeah, because we actually wrote the song "Blessed Night" on the road, and when we started playing it, people started asking us if it was a song from a new album, which actually gave us the idea to try to put out a new album. It was purely because the fans were asking for it.

Metal Assault: Well, this album is 33 minutes long, and honestly, leaves me hungry for more. So do you think it could have been longer, or did you want it to be as long as it is?

Chandler: It actually worked itself out to that time, because it's sort of like a weird concept thing. I thought about may be trying to rush a song, but then I was like, no, because it's going to sound rushed and it's not going to sound the way the rest of the songs did, as they were all written at the same time and they all flowed together. So when I started checking time, I saw that it's actually the same length as all of our albums. I think there are only two releases we have, "C.O.D." and "Die Healing", that are longer. All the other ones are right around the same length of time. So for this new album I was like, "That's a regular VITUS album!"

Metal Assault: I was checking out another interview that you did a short while ago and you said, whether or not you make the next album will depend on how this one is received. It has been received really well so far. Will that inspire you to write more material now?

Chandler: Well, you know, once we get going out on the road and start doing the shows and stuff, it'll get our creative juices flowing, so to speak. We'll see. We want to take things one step at a time, and we don't want to jump the gun and say we're doing to this and do that, and then not do it for some reason. The record's still on a tentative release date over here in the U.S., which is going to be in a couple of weeks. So we want to see how the people take it and see how they react to the new songs when we play them live, and we'll see what happens. If everybody's into it, we'll probably do something because we'll be thinking of it.
KSSU Loud Rock director Daniel Cordova recently conducted an interview with guitarist Fredrik Åkesson of Swedish progressive metallers OPETH. You can now stream the chat using the SoundCloud player below.

When asked about OPETH's touring plans for the immediate future, Fredrik said, "Well, we're actually gonna come back to North America again late September. We're doing another headlining run. We're gonna hit the spots we didn't hit on the last tour with KATATONIA [in late 2011]. And we're bringing KATATONIA with us again. . . And then after that we're gonna do a European tour again, and then it's Christmas, I guess. And [then] we're gonna head out to Australia again. So it never ends. I think we've done 130 shows since the end of September."

OPETH has just completed a North America co-headlining tour with MASTODON. The trek kicked off on April 4 in Portland, Maine, and visited more than 30 cities in the U.S. and Canada before wrapping up at Atlanta's Masquerade on May 12.

OPETH's new album, "Heritage", sold 19,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release to debut at position No. 19 on The Billboard 200 chart. The band's previous studio CD, 2008's "Watershed", opened with more than 19,000 units to land at No. 23.

"Watershed" was the follow-up to the band's acclaimed "Ghost Reveries" CD, which debuted at No. 64 on the Billboard chart back in September 2005 with first-week sales of just under 15,000.

OPETH's 2003 album, "Damnation", premiered with a little over 5,000 copies.

When asked how OPETH planned to deliver the more technical songs from "Heritage" in the live show, the band's vocalist/guitarist, Mikael Åkerfeldt, said in a 2011 interview, "I thought that might be a problem. But it's not been difficult at all. The live versions of the new songs sound closer to the originals than many of the other songs. We have a new keyboard player who's really into the different sounds we create and he's got lots of kit. When he plays, it's like he has four arms. He's doing a lot to make sure the current live show is something very special. But we'd never record anything that we didn't think we could pull off live."
"Celebrator", a collection of rare tracks from U.D.O., the German metal band led by former ACCEPT frontman Udo Dirkschneider, has entered the German Media Control chart at position No. 73.

"Celebrator" was made available on May 4 via AFM Records.

The official trailer for "Celebrator" can be seen below.

"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 audio samples using the SoundCloud player below (courtesy of Metal Hammer).

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.
Jason Saulnier of the MusicLegends.ca web site recently conducted an interview with former PANTERA/DOWN and current KILL DEVIL HILL bassist Rex Brown. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.

MusicLegends.ca: What's your take on the latest PANTERA promo video for the song "Piss" that was just recently released?

Rex: I really didn't have any input in that. It was just put together for a contest kind of a deal. They got people from L.A. to come in and send in a video of them jamming out or whatever and [the director] put it all out together and got them all in one room. Just kind of shows the energy and the punch in the mouth and all that kind of stuff of what "Vulgar Display Of Power" was about. But I had no input on that whatsoever, none of us did. We just let the director run with it and make a promo. Basically, videos these days are nothing but promotional clips. They're not videos anymore. A promotional item.

MusicLegends.ca: Where do you go shopping for your music today?

Rex: I really don't; I just listen to my old record collection. There's nothing really out there. If I do something like that, I will download a full record. I won't download just a single and usually it's through iTunes or Amazon, just like everyone else does. I've never illegally downloaded a song in my life. It just would kind of be hypocritical, wouldn't it? So as a musician, yes, I pay for my music.

MusicLegends.ca: With the release of KILL DEVIL HILL coming out soon, what's next in promotions?

Rex: We got four different singles going to four different radio formats off this record. One's going to one affiliate that has a different format. It's pretty cool, the way of dealing with it these days is a lot different. The way the industry is now, it's completely changed, so you have to really broaden your base and try to get as many people as you can. Instead of putting out the one single to the four different types of affiliates that play different brands of stuff, you can take an individual track and give it to these different affiliates of these. Say I give a track to Eddie Trunk or a track to Full Metal Jackie, a track to Jose (Mangin) at Sirius or give a track to all active rock radio, that's the key that's definitely going to work this next KILL DEVIL HILL. For sure.

MusicLegends.ca: So it seems to be a little more relaxed now for the artists?

Rex: I would not say relaxed. Everybody's just trying to squeak by and see what we can make out of it, you know, out of its destroyed industry. It's very much do it yourself these days and try to get it done, you know. Try to save a little bit of money in your pocket without having to spend everything you have into promotions, on stuff that is not needed, like extra listening parties and stuff like that. I think it is great for the fans but every night we go out and sign autographs regardless after we play. It's still a grassroots kind of movement; that foundation, I think, still will hold true for a long while. You're talking about social media and the whole online media. I think that's definitely a big plus, but going out and playing live and showing what your band can do is as important as everything you have, combined together. You got to put everything in the same basket, and if you have to sell stuff out of your cars, then that's what you have to do, especially for newer bands.
"Hell No!", a brand new song from HALFORD guitarist "Metal" Mike Chlasciak, is available for streaming at MetalMike.net. The track, which will be released on May 22 via iTunes, Amazon MP3 and other major digital distributors, is the first single from Mike's new album, "The Metalworker", tentatively due this summer.

"Hell No!" features Chlasciak and vocalist Carlos Zema (OUTWORLD, VOUGAN) alongside Kevin Talley (DAATH, CHIMAIRA, HATE ETERNAL, SIX FEET UNDER) on drums and Mike LePond (SYMPHONY X) on bass.

Produced by Mike, "The Metalworker" was mixed by Orlando Villasenor at Dead Room Studio in San Antonio, Texas. Artwork was provided by Guilherme Sevens of Sevens Design Studio (ADAGIO, PAINSIDE).

"I am excited that 'The Metalworker' is nearing the shore," says Mike. "I am extremely proud of it. I must confess that it is everything I wanted it to be not only as an artist, but also as a fan of heavy metal. I wanted to make the absolute best album that I could make with no compromises, no matter how long it took and I did that."

"The Metalworker" will feature the following songs:

* On Leather Wings
* Don't Shoot The Crown
* Silence Of The Steel
* Tonight We Ride
* We Are The Cross
* This Is War
* M Is For Metal
* Hell No
* Weight Of The Heart

Talley previously stated about his involvement with "The Metalworker", "As a full-time studio drummer, it is sometimes overwhelming to constantly track ultra-technical brutal death metal songs. But, while tracking 'The Metalworker' album for Metal Mike, it reminds me why I got into metal in the first place … straight-forward brutal catchy riffs without any of the B.S. associated with most metal bands today. This is the 'meat and potatoes' of metal, if you will. It's not one of those 'Can I have a side salad, please?' type of bands. The album plows with killer riffage, ragin' leads, and ultra-sick double bass for days."
Californian blues-rockers RIVAL SONS have been confirmed as the main support act for GUNS N' ROSES for two shows in Europe this summer.

RIVAL SONS will be joining GUNS N' ROSES at Ahoy in Rotterdam, Netherlands on June 4, and then at the Warsteiner Hockey Park in Mönchengladbach, Germany on June 8.

Commented RIVAL SONS guitarist Scott Holiday: "What a great, great opportunity to get these shows supporting GUNS N' ROSES! Germany has been great to us, and this will only help us reach out to so many more people over there. As far as GUNS goes... I remember the first time those guys were ever on MTV, me and my best mate were watching. A total shock to the system, and to me and my friends' lives. We were really young little dudes, but we already loved our rock 'n' roll, and GUNS just reeked of reality and grit... I mean they were literally very dirty. And we LOVED it. They ushered in a lot more 'real' and dirtiness to a scene that had become way too fruity-pants. As a wee guitar-playing lad, I couldn't get enough of 'Appetite For Destruction' and 'Lies'. Ready to see and hear some of those first tunes played live!"

RIVAL SONS' video for the track "Face Of Light" can be viewed below. The clip sees a softer side of RIVAL SONS as they go through the beautiful scenery of the Peak District in the English countryside. The video was filmed with director Dan Ruttley during the band's recent sold-out UK tour with BLACK STONE CHERRY.

RIVAL SONS recently entered the studio to record its new album, due later this year via Earache Records. The CD was laid down at Honey Pye Studios in Nashville, Tennessee with Grammy-nominated producer Dave Cobb, who has worked on all three previous releases from the band, and Grammy-winning engineer Vance Powell.

RIVAL SONS' latest album, "Pressure And Time", is out now worldwide on CD and limited-edition audiophile vinyl, as well as on iTunes with two exclusive bonus tracks.

RIVAL SONS was nominated for two Classic Rock awards, in the categories of "Best New Band" and "Best Album".
Mark Kadzielawa of 69 Faces Of Rock recently conducted an interview with guitarist Nigel Rockett of British thrashers ONSLAUGHT. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.

69 Faces Of Rock: How did Sy [Keeler] end up leaving the band, and how was Steve Grimmett [GRIM REAPER] brought in?

Rockett: We basically recorded a whole album, and we were in mixing stages. And this was the first time the whole label came down to listen to it. And basically, they didn't like what they were hearing, or they were expecting something completely different, I really don't know. You could tell, I was watching their faces when they were listening, and you could tell something wasn't right. At the end, they said, "This isn't what we want. We were expecting to hear something else." They said, "We want to look at the vocal situation." They didn't say anything to me, but the next day the management tells me that Steve Grimmett's name was thrown into the bag. We said, "No, Sy is our singer." It went around, and they were like, "You do what we say, or we should put the band on ice for the length of your contract. You'll release no albums in that time. Basically, you got to play ball with what we want." So that's what happened.

69 Faces Of Rock: What there any chemistry with Steve Grimmett? I mean, as good as a singer as he is, he walked into a new band that already had a style and a history.

Rockett: No, not at all. There was never a chemistry with him in the band. There certainly wasn't a chemistry with the fans, that's for sure. I mean, he came in, he was forced upon us. He is a nice guy, Steve, but not an ONSLAUGHT singer. And it just always that feeling of a mercenary, I guess; that's how I look back at it. The guy left the band within a year of joining. There was no commitment there. I think GRIM REAPER had been long gone and buried, and I think Steve was looking for a way back into the music industry, you know.

69 Faces Of Rock: Looking back at that time, what should you have done?

Rockett: Signed with a different label. In the end, it came down to two labels. It was A&M Records, and London/Polygram. The two guys from A&M were absolutely fanatical about the band. But what swayed it to Polygram was that they were a much bigger company, and they had a lot of big metal bands in the U.S. And obviously what they just did with SLAYER and FAITH NO MORE, so I guess that sort of swung us in that direction. A&M didn't have much metal on their roster at the time. I guess we were kind of looking at it that way, but obviously hindsight is a wonderful thing.

69 Faces Of Rock: What caused ONSLAUGHT to eventually reform?

Rockett: We found out that a label in the U.K. had re-released our first two albums. It was unbeknown to us for a quite a while. We had not heard nothing about it, we had not received any royalties, anything. But, we got wind of it, tracked it down, and found out the albums had been selling phenomenally well. And then you start to do research on the Internet, which is now available, where you can see people talking about the band. There was a kind of metal resurgence going on. I guess it all came together because of that. We felt we've had a lot of stuff left unfinished, you know.

69 Faces Of Rock: When you were putting together your first reunion album, "Killing Peace", you probably had a lot of prove, especially knowing how you'd parted away from the scene, right?

Rockett: Definitely, yeah. We were kind of pissed off about what happened. It took a while for us to find our feet. The direction we were gonna go to get back into writing after all this time. Once we've written our first song, and we knew our direction, everything kind of fell in place. It all became very easy to write the rest of the material.

69 Faces Of Rock: After the album came out, did you feel you were recapturing your fan base?

Rockett: We knew it was gonna take a long time. We've been away for so long, you can't expect for people to come back straight away, and get back to the heights we were at before. So, it was gonna take a lot of hard work, which we've been putting in over the period of the last 6-7 years.

69 Faces Of Rock: Last year, when you released "Sounds Of Violence", it once again re-defined your status. It was an unbelievably strong album. In a way very reminiscent of how "The Force" was your second album that broke the ground for you. This is the second studio album since reforming, and it appears to be doing just the same job.

Rockett: Yeah, exactly. That's how we feel. "Sounds Of Violence" is again the important second album, for the second time. It's been fantastic. "Sounds Of Violence" has probably been best received of any ONSLAUGHT albums ever. If we look across the board, the reviews, as you said, it's similar circumstances "The Force" was. But, I think this album is more representative of the band now. Obviously, "The Force" was our landmark at the time, but we've at least matched that one, and took another step forward.
LAMB OF GOD and DETHKLOK will join forces for a 32-show North American tour kicking off on August 1 in Seattle, Washington. The three-time Grammy Award-nominated band from Richmond, Virginia and the world's most brutal animated death band from Adult Swim's "Metalocalypse" animated series will shred their way through cities throughout in the U.S. and Canada, ending September 15 in San Francisco, California. Support on the trek will come from French progressive metallers GOJIRA.

The upcoming tour marks the return of LAMB OF GOD to North American stages where they will support their latest album, "Resolution", which debuted at No. 3 on The Billboard 200 chart when it was released earlier this year. As in tours past, Brendon Small, the co-creator and composer behind DETHKLOK, will bring the animated band to life on stage each night alongside an all-star band including the legendary Gene Hoglan, Bryan Beller and Mike Keneally. Building on the success of "The Dethalbum" and "The Dethalbum II" from Williams Street Records, Small is currently in the studio working on the band's third album release scheduled for later this year. Additionally, new episodes from the fourth season of "Metalocalypse" currently air on Adult Swim Sundays at 12:15 a.m. (ET/PT).

Tickets to the DETHKLOK and LAMB OF GOD with GOJIRA tour will go on sale beginning Friday, May 18 and will include the following stops:

Aug. 01 - Seattle, WA - WaMu Thater
Aug. 02 - Vancouver, BC - Queen Elizabeth Theater
Aug. 04 - Calgary, AB - Big 4
Aug. 05 - Edmonton, AB - Shaw Conference Centre
Aug. 07 - Winnipeg, MB - Convention Centre
Aug. 09 - Milwaukee, WI - Eagles Ballroom
Aug. 10 - Columbus, OH - LC Pavilion
Aug. 11 - Toronto, ON - Heavy TO
Aug. 12 - Montreal, QC - Heavy MTL
Aug. 14 - Grand Rapids, MI - Delta Plex
Aug. 15 - St. Louis, MO - Family Arena
Aug. 19 - Kansas City, MO - Midland Theater
Aug. 21 - Chicago, IL - Congress Ballroom
Aug. 22 - Detroit, MI - Compuware Arena
Aug. 23 - Pittsburgh, PA - Stage AE
Aug. 24 - Charlotte, NC - Time Warner Cable Uptown Amphitheater
Aug. 25 - Norfolk, VA - Constant Convocation Center
Aug. 26 - Baltimore, MD - Pier 6 Pavilion
Aug. 29 - New York, NY - Roseland Ballroom
Aug. 30 - Lowell, MA - Tsongas Arena
Aug. 31 - Wallingford, CT - Toyota Presents Oakdale Theater
Sep. 01 - Philadelphia, PA - Outside at the Electric Factory
Sep. 02 - Asbury Park, NJ - Asbury Park Convention Hall
Sep. 04 - Orlando, FL - Hard Rock Live
Sep. 05 - Atlanta, GA - Tabernacle
Sep. 07 - Houston, TX - Bayou Music Center
Sep. 08 - San Antonio, TX - Sunken Garden
Sep. 09 - Dallas, TX - Verizon Wireless Theater
Sep. 11 - Denver, CO - The Fillmore
Sep. 13 - Phoenix, AZ - Comerica Theater
Sep. 14 - Los Angeles, CA - Gibson Amphitheater
Sep. 15 - San Francisco, CA - Bill Graham Civic
I AM I, the new band led by former DRAGONFORCE singer ZP Theart, will release its debut album, "Event Horizon", independently on May 26. Written and produced by Theart and Jacob Ziemba and mixed and mastered by Roland Grapow (HELLOWEEN, MASTERPLAN), the CD is described in a press release as "an absolutely blistering slice of heavy rock liberally infused with Theart's passion, energy and soaring vocals."

"Event Horizon" will be the first-ever heavy metal album to be released solely on USB. The stick will be packaged in a CD case and will include full artwork and all the usual content you would expect on a disc and more. The effort is available to pre-order from the official I AM I web site.

"Event Horizon" track listing:

01. This is My Life
02. Silent Genocide
03. Stay A While
04. Cross The Line
05. In The Air Tonight
06. King In Ruins
07. Kiss Of Judas
08. Dust 2 Dust
09. Wasted Wonders
10. Pave The Way

The "Silent Genocide" video can be seen below.

The group, whose lineup is completed by Paul Clark Jr. on drums, Jacob Ziemba on guitar and Neil Salmon on bass, will make its live debut on Sunday, May 27 at Birmingham, England's O2 Academy 2.

Commented ZP: "['Event Horizon' is] an album of message. It's about past meeting future and everything in between. It's about warnings for the current generation not to go down the same road in the future as we are doing now as that will surely secure our demise. To see and not to perceive, to hear and not to listen, is the downfall of all... It's a new age of enlightenment and there's a lot of messages in the songs that will hopefully kickstart a few people who are slow on the uptake.

"My whole career has been leading up to this point and I've never been more proud of anything in my life and this album will definitely live up to its name."

Added Paul: "'Event Horizon' totally encapsulates my style of playing. Every song is different and that made me me push myself that much further in the studio. This is a great album with something for everyone."

Stated Ziemba: "It's refreshing to know we're in a team where everyone holds the same cards. Let the music speak for itself."

Said Salmon: "This is an album to suit many tastes. I'm sure variation will be one of its ultimate strengths."

DRAGONFORCE parted ways with Theart in March 2010 "due to insurmountable differences of musical opinion," according to a statement released by the British extreme epic power metal band.

After entries from thousands of hopefuls across the globe, DRAGONFORCE in March 2011 welcomed then-23-year-old Marc Hudson to the group.
In celebration of the 25th anniversary of the recording of their debut album, "Feel The Shake", the four original members of JETBOYMickey Finn, Billy Rowe, Fernie Rod and Ron Tostenson — will reunite for one night only on June 1 at the legendary Whisky A Go Go in Los Angeles, California. The lineup for this one-off concert will include bass player Charles Norman, who joined JETBOY after the departure of Sam Yaffa in 1990.

"This is as close to an original lineup the band has done since then," said Finn.

"When the Whisky called us with the idea, we never thought we could make it happen, but everyone was up for it," says Fernie Rod. "It's just flat-out exciting to think that after all this time, the original members can get back in the saddle for one more ride and help Los Angeles to 'Feel The Shake'!"

JETBOY's reunion concert will also mark the 25-year anniversary of the passing of the band's original bass player, Todd Crew. "We, as his friends, thought that it would be a fitting tribute to not only celebrate the anniversary of 'Feel The Shake', but also our friend Todd Crew… a life taken way too soon," JETBOY said in a statement.

In recent years, a "rejuvenated lineup" of JETBOY continued to play major festivals in the United States such as Rocklahoma, Rock On The Range, M3 Rock Festival and Rock the Bayou.
LOVE.MIGHT.KILL, the German/Italian melodic metal band led by drummer Michael Ehré (FIREWIND, ULI JON ROTH, METALIUM), has set "2 Big 2 Fail" as the title of its second album, due in October via Massacre Records (Europe) and Hydrant Music (Japan). The follow-up to last year's "Brace For Impact" was once again be produced by Ehré and mixed and mastered by Markus Teske at his Bazement Studios. Songtitles set to appear on the CD include "XTC", "Burn The Night", "The One", "Pleasure And Pain", "The Great Escape", "The Perfect Mistake", "We Fall", "Restless Heart" and the title track.

The first in a series of webisodes featuring behind-the-scenes footage from the studio can be seen below.

While "Brace For Impact" was composed by Michael and Jan, LOVE.MIGHT.KILL now has three more "fantastic" songwriters in its ranks, having been joined by Christian Stöver (guitar), Stefan Ellerhorst (guitar) and Sascha Onnen (keyboards).


Jan Manenti - Vocals
Michael Ehré - Drums
Stefan Ellerhorst - Guitar
Christian Stöver - Guitar
Jogi Sweers - Bass
Sascha Onnen - Keyboards

For more information, visit www.lovemightkill.com.
Vocalist Marc-André Grenier has announced his departure from the Montreal, Quebec, Canada-based band VENGEFUL. His official statement on the matter reads as follows:

"After a seven years journey, I have decided to quit VENGEFUL. For a while and for many reasons, my motivation had decline. A change of career and the realization of many personal projects pushed me to take that decision.

"I am extremely proud of everything that we have accomplished with VENGEFUL and with our third release, I consider that my mission is completed.

"I'd like to thank Jean-Marie for his trust in me and for creating such a musical masterpiece. I also want to thank all the former and present members for putting their guts in the this project. Thanks to everyone that supported us throughout the years. Many unforgettable moments will remain in my memory forever.

"I wish the best of luck to the band and the new lineup in the future."

Added the remaining members of VENGEFUL: "Even though the remaining members of the band are disappointed by [Marc-André] departure, we remain in good terms. The vocalist position his now handled by Emmanuel Pronovost who's been playing the guitar with VENGEFUL since 2008. His guitarist slot is now occupied by Phil Tougas (FIRST FRAGMENT, CHTHE'ILIST). This new configuration of VENGEFUL is featured on our rendition of MORBID ANGEL's 'Blood On My Hands'.

Grenier's final release with VENGEFUL will be a collection of re-recorded ("more brutal and better-sounding") versions of all the songs from the band's debut album, "Karma" (released in 2007 via Disconcert Music) and the 2005 EP "Tragedy Lies Ahead". A 2013 release is expected.

VENGEFUL 2012 is:

Vocals: Emmanuel Pronovost
Guitar: Jean-Marie Leblanc
Guitar: Phil Tougas
Bass: Olivier Pinard
Drums: Philip Truesdell

VENGEFUL's third album, "Vengeful", came out last November. The CD was recorded with producer Chris Donaldson (CRYPTOPSY, THE LAST FELONY, NEURAXIS) and is comprised of two parts, Face A being "Towards Obliteration" and Face B bearing the name "Leaping Through The Void". The group states, "The first one features our high-speed/face-melting side and the latter leans on the slower/moodier approach heard on older songs such as 'Counterfeit Deity' or 'Transcending'."

The cover artwork for "Vengeful" was created by the band's longtime illustrator Martin Lacroix (HUMANOID, AUGURY, SPASME, CRYPTOPSY) and is described by the group as "a continuation of our previous album sleeves."
ANIMETAL USA — the American counterpart to ANIMETAL, the Japanese heavy metal band which specialized in metal covers of popular Japanese anime/tokusatsu theme songs — will make its U.S. live debut at the Anime Expo, which will be held June 29 – July 2 at the Los Angeles Convention Center.


* Jon Dette (SLAYER, TESTAMENT) - Drums
* Chris Impellitteri (IMPELLITTERI) - Guitar

Commented Impellitteri: "We will be playing a lot of our metal/anime songs like 'Mazinger Medley', 'Gachaman', 'Ai Wo Torimodose' and 'Thesis Of A Cruel Angel', as well as the opening track for the next record titled 'Touch', which is pure addrenalin from start to finish."

For more information, go to this location.

In other news, ANIMETAL USA's self-titled debut album, which came out in Japan on October 12, 2011 via Sony Music Entertainment, has been officially certified gold in that country.

Continued Impellitteri: "It is crazy to think we can play arena shows and sell this many records when we are doing something as weird and unique as mixing metal with anime. Very strange to me, but musically this music is really challenging and exciting to perform, especially the first song on our upcoming record titled 'Touch'. The song has about 40% of an original song we wrote titled 'The Haunting'. It sounds a bit like an excited up-tempo BLACK SABBATH! The 'Touch' guitar solo is insane to play! It reminds me of the Randy Rhoads classic solo 'Mr. Crowley', which burns in the intro and then becomes very orchestrated on the second half. I definitely was listening to Randy a lot when I recorded this record... ha ha! Mike, Rudy, and Jon are also killing it on this record. Amazing rhythm section. Tight and powerful! And, as always, Mike has got walls of awesome vocals all over this record with great melody and range. The dude belongs with the THREE TENORS.

He added, "The next record which will be released towards early summer has a bit more of a commercial sound to it, with the exception of few crazy balls out metal songs like 'Touch'!"

The drums on ANIMETAL USA's debut album were laid down by JUDAS PRIEST's Scott Travis. He has since been forced to leave the group due to his touring commitments with PRIEST.
THE NIGHT FLIGHT ORCHESTRA — the new classic-rock band featuring Björn Strid (SOILWORK) and Sharlee D' Angelo (ARCH ENEMY, SPIRITUAL BEGGARS) — will release its debut album, "Internal Affairs", on June 18 via Coroner Records.

"Internal Affairs" track listing:

01. Siberian Queen
02. California Morning
03. Glowing City Madness
04. West Ruth Ave
05. Transatlantic Blues
06. Miami 5:02
07. Internal Affairs
08. 1998
09. Stella Ain't No Dove
10. Montreal Midnight Supply
11. Green Hills Of Glumslöv
12. American High (digipak bonus track)

Check out audio samples at Amazon.com.

THE NIGHT FLIGHT ORCHESTRA started like so many others as an innocent yet serious drunken idea when Strid and David Andersson (MEAN STREAK, session musician for SOILWORK) were on the road together somewhere in North America in 2007. Björn and David were bonding over what they considered "classic" or not, from rock and roll conspiracies to being arrested in a lobby with nothing but leather pants on. All those scenarios, fictional or real, needed a soundtrack. They also came to think that whether you're on a metal tour or not, a lot of classic rock songs say it all and can really lend you a helping hand and make you forget about everything, especially when in motion or travelling. The classic escape. The never-ending road trip. The transatlantic night flight. It may sound simple and naive, but what it all comes down to is that we all need that soundtrack to feel extra special, whether you have been arrested in a lobby or not.

It didn't take long before bass player D' Angelo joined forces as well as keyboard player Richard Larsson (VON BENZO) and drummer Jonas Källsbäck (MEAN STREAK). The goal was to reclaim the '70s/early '80s sense for classic melody, the forgotten recipe to a timeless song, preferably a song mentioning a city, street name or an exhilarating alcoholic beverage. Anything that will have you spitting out the word "classic." From "Tarot Woman" to "Badlands", from "Rhiannon" to "Running on Empty", from "Blind Man" to "Night Moves", from "Deuce" to "Separate Ways", from "Elected" to "Set me Free". The list goes on. It's all about reclaiming the "classic."
Italian power metallers SECRET SPHERE have announced the addition of former VISION DIVINE and current THAUROROD vocalist Michele Luppi to the group's ranks.

Commented SECRET SPHERE: "As previously stated by band the vocalist replacement is a new beginning, especially after more than 10 years of a career. There are risks to make, mistakes and lost years of work, otherwise you can bring the band to the next level and find the missing link to give the right dimension to the project... And definitively for SECRET SPHERE we are talking about the second option, no doubt that they will bring their career to the next level with the addition of extraordinary singer Michele Luppi. He doesn't need any kind of introduction; with his music he widely demonstrates his talent and in a very short time Michele contributed to the new album writing lyrics and melodies, delivering one his best works to date."

Added guitarist Aldo Lonobile: "We're extremely happy to welcome Michele to our family. Everybody knows what Michele can do with his voice, so I prefer to spend few words saying that I found a great person to work with and a great new friend and for sure you will catch the great atmosphere we have inside the band listening to the new album!"

Stated Luppi: "I'm very proud to be the new singer of this fantastic group! All the guys in the band made me feel part of the family ever since we met for the first time. Our forthcoming album, 'Portrait Of A Dying Heart', is by far one of the best album I've done, though I'm still recording my vocals. I wanna thank them for their trust and belief, and I'm willing to share all my experience and passion in order to write and perform our music the best way we can... For us and, most of all, for you."

SECRET SPHERE's seventh album, "Portrait Of A Dying Heart", will be released later in the year through Warner Music (Japan) and Scarlet Records (rest of the world).

After 12 years, six albums, and tours around the world, Roberto "Ramon" 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.
Southern California's IN THIS MOMENT will release its fouth album, "Blood", on August 14 via longtime label Century Media Records. The CD was once again produced by Kevin Churko, who has previously worked with OZZY OSBOURNE and FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH, among others.

IN THIS MOMENT began work on the new album just a few months following the departures of drummer Jeff Fabb and guitarist Blake Bunzel, who left the band late last year in order to join the backing group of "American Idol" finalist James Durbin. Fabb and Bunzel have since been replaced by Tom Hane (THYATEIRA) and Randy Weitzel (FLATLINE, 3/13, AMERICAN MASSACRE), respectively.

Commented IN THIS MOMENT frontwoman Maria Brink: "There are no words to describe how excited we are... We are on fire with this record. It's by far the most powerful material we have ever written.

"IN THIS MOMENT has gone through some big changes. I admit sometimes change is scary, especially when facing the unknown, but in this case everything has been perfectly meant to be. It's a brave, dark, hard-hitting album that will make you feel dirty inside, but still wanting more."

Added guitarist Chris Howorth: "Over the last [few] months, we have undergone some interesting changes within the band. As a result, Maria and I were brought closer together united in our mutual determination to top everything we have previously done with IN THIS MOMENT. It's our fourth album and we definitely have something to prove this time. During the writing process, Maria, Kevin and I are pushing ourselves to make sure every song is something unique and special. I honestly feel this is the most focused and powerful music we have ever created and I am beyond psyched to get it out there for people to hear."

In a recent interview with Australia's Loud magazine, Maria stated about IN THIS MOMENT's new material, "We brought some stuff to the table that we've never done before and it really sounds like something special, something new. I can't explain it; I mean, if you know our old music, when you hear the new stuff you're going to go, 'Holy shit, okay, I totally get it.' But I don't want to give away anything either, it's just unique; it's something new we've brought to the table. We found something special within us; we found this certain thing, so I'm excited for it."

Regarding IN THIS MOMENT's split with Fabb and Bunzel, Brink said, "You know how sometimes, you don't realize sometimes something happening (that's) traumatic, that it can be the most beautiful thing that could have happened to you? It's like one of those situations. It got really stripped back down to me and Chris [Howorth, guitar], and me and Chris started this band together, just me and him, and then it was like everybody came to the table, everybody brings their own influence. I believe it was all meant to be, all of those albums with them. I love them, I wish them the best. But it was almost like this new, with just me and Chris, this new fire, this new strength within me that I just… magical things started happening between what we started creating. And it's just so meant to be; it's meant to be that they moved on and some other things in my life, it's so cool 'cause it's just like this brand new everything and it feels really awesome. And you're going to be able to hear it."
In conjunction with legendary New York hardcore band AGNOSTIC FRONT's 30th-anniversary shows in June and July, where they'll be playing their classic record "Live At CBGB" from start to finish, Bridge Nine Records has announced that the label will be reissuing the album on July 17. Featuring an embossed LP cover with the original "Live At CBGB" artwork, the effort will be made available on super-limited-edition red-white-and-blue-striped vinyl with multiple other colorways available.

Commented AGNOSTIC FRONT vocalist Roger Miret said, "With this year being our 30-year anniversary as a band with myself singing, I wanted to play a special show here and there so I came up with the idea of playing our classic 'Live At CBGB' set. This was the set front to back from our legendary live recording released in 1989. That was a magical time for the band and hardcore was thriving at its best in 1988 when it was recorded.

"As an honorable family member with the Bridge Nine crew, I knew that the label should be home to this special re-release as much as CBGB was home to AGNOSTIC FRONT.

"We are making this re-release very special for the record collector in a red-white-and-blue color and our timeless original cover embossed to add that punch it held back in 1989 as intense today in 2012! Along with this special re-release, we are doing a handful of special shows in the U.S. to coordinate with the release. This will be a great release team effort with AGNOSTIC FRONT and Bridge Nine… here it is — the glory days of 1988 New York City hardcore as relevant today, tomorrow and forever!"

Originally released in 1989, "Live At CBGB" contains 19 of AGNOSTIC FRONT's most notorious tracks. Allmusic said, "Recorded in the flesh at New York's punk rock Mecca CBGB in August of 1988, 'Live At CBGB' captures the band in all its ferocious glory. As Miret announces, 'This is the title track from our first album, 'Victim In Pain', the song's also called 'Victim In Pain',' the band is off. 'Pain' is quickly followed by 'Public Assistance' and later a song that calls for unity between punks and skins, 'United Blood'. The recording is highlighted by the band's hardcore anthem, 'Crucified'. Beneath all the band's political lambasting and calls for unity (although many of their shows were anything but), there's a good musical lesson to be learned from all of this. Because, if you've ever been just the slightly bit curious about what NYHC is all about, this release is a solid launching point."

"Live At CBGB" track listing

01. Victim in Pain
02. Public Assistance
03. United Blood
04. Friend or Foe
05. Strength
06. Blind Justic
07. Last Warning
08. Toxic Shock
09. United & Strong
10. Crucified
11. Liberty & Justice
12. Discriminate Me
13. Your Mistake
14. Anthem
15. With Time
16. Genesis
17. The Pain Song
18. Fascist Attitude
19. The Eliminator
Austin, texas-based guitarist Tony "Offender" Johnson — best known for his work with THE OFFENDERS — passed away peacefully on Saturday, May 12 at the age of 54 after a 20-month struggle with lung cancer. He is survived by daughter Natalie Johnson and son Alex Johnson.

THE OFFENDERS were an influential Texas hardcore band in the 1980s. Tony married Jimi Hendrix-style flash with the high-speed hardcore to create a sound matched by no other. Tony also recently played with the Austin punk band ROGER'S PORN COLLECTION along with THE OFFENDERS drummer Pat Doyle.

THE OFFENDERS bassist Mikey Donaldson died in 2007.
Today (Sunday, May 13) is Mother's Day, and Roadrunner Records thought it would be nice to let some of the label's artists represent for their moms, who supported their kids' musical ambitions early on. Roadrunner asked two simple questions: "Does your mom like/support your band?" and "What's your mom's favorite song by your band?" Here are the answers they got.

Reginald "Fieldy" Arvizu (KORN): "Happy Mother's Day, Mom! My mom is a very big supporter of KORN — so big that she wants T-shirts, stickers, key chains, hats, bracelets… Everything that we ever make. I brought her out on tour with us in Europe — she had the best time of her life, on stage every night. Her favorite song is 'Got The Life', because she seemed to be dancing on the side of the stage the most for that one."

John Petrucci (DREAM THEATER): "My mom loves DREAM THEATER and has been a fan since the beginning. Her new favorite song is 'This Is The Life' from our latest, 'A Dramatic Turn Of Events'."

Max Cavalera (SOULFLY, CAVALERA CONSPIRACY, SEPULTURA): "Yes, my mom was our first big supporter. She let everybody camp in our house. Our house was always full of metal kids. Her favorite song is 'Inner Self' [from SEPULTURA's 'Beneath The Remains']. I think she likes the lyrics, because it was about when I was living in Brazil and she remembers that period of our life."

Phil Demmel (MACHINE HEAD): "My mom, being a musician, was supportive of my interest in music from the word go. Her and my father cultivated my 'hobby,' doing everything from matching me dollar for dollar on my first guitar, videotaping my earliest gigs at the seediest Bay Area bars/clubs, to standing on stage with me in front of 60,000 people in her native Portugal when we opened for METALLICA. She loves our acoustic material. Our songs 'Descend The Shades Of Night' and 'Darkness Within' are favorites."

Joe and Mario Duplantier (GOJIRA): "Since we started playing music, my brother and I, our mother was supporting us, encouraging us. She always had faith in us, even if the first notes we played were out of tune. She also wrote the lyrics of our first song ever, 'Victim'. She understands our music very well, even though she is not a metalhead, she feels the music in her guts! I could never thank her enough for such amazing support. Her favorite song is 'Indians' from our second album 'The Link'."
"Darkness Visible", HOLYHELL's new studio release of epic, power-goth metal, will first be made available worldwide on June 16 exclusively on iTunes and on the band's own online store, The Kingdom Of Steel.

As a special "thank you" to their most loyal fans, HOLYHELL is offering a special pre-sale bundle, featuring the physical CD, which will be released in the store on July 27, and the digital album, which will be delivered on June 16.

As a special treat, the first 100 fans ordering this bundle will receive their CD autographed by HOLYHELL.

"Our fans have been amazing all these years. The pre-sale bundle is our 'thank you' for their incredible support", said HOLYHELL singer/lyricist Maria Breon.

"We've been pushing ourselves to the limit, we've given all our heart and soul, and we believe our fans will hear and feel it in every single song", added keyboardist/composer Francisco Palomo.

"Darkness Visible" is the band's sophomore follow-up to their debut record "HolyHell". It is described in a press release as "a fascinating blend of songs, showcasing the band's power lineup. [The CD] invites the listener on an unpredictable journey into their own soul. The record is heavy and hard-hitting with a melodic play between darkness and light. It is pure and it is powerful!"

"Darkness Visible" will be mixed and mastered at the legendary Wisseloord Studios by longtime collaborators, mixing engineer Ronald Prent and two-time Grammy Award-winning mastering engineer Darcy Proper.
German thrashers DEW-SCENTED have announced their new lineup. It is as follows (pictured from left to right in photo below):

Rory Hansen - Guitar
Marvin Vriesde - Guitar
Leif Jensen - Vocals
Joost van der Graaf - Bass
Koen Herfst - Drums

Commented DEW-SCENTED vocalist Leif Jensen: "I'm more than proud to be able to present you a new chapter in the history of DEW-SCENTED!

"By early 2011, after four weeks of European touring with NILE, it showed clearly that our previous 'Invocation' lineup was collapsing and one member after another left the fold for different reasons. We decided to play some final festival shows together in the summer and then after Party.San Open Air and Brutal Assault festival, DEW-SCENTED went away from the spotlight in order to re-group and regain new focus. And here we finally are again, back with an improved line-up and a really strong new album coming up in July: 'Icarus'!"

The new lineup re-introduces Marvin Vriesde (SEVERE TORTURE, BLO.TORCH) as main guitarist and songwriter. Not a stranger to DEW-SCENTED's path of life, Vriesde's ties with the band go as far as back as 1996, when he played lead guitars for DEW-SCENTED on the band's first-ever proper tour (with EDGE OF SANITY, LAKE OF TEARS and SADIST), as well as for some additional shows supporting MORBID ANGEL. He later returned as the session guitarist for a European tour with CANNIBAL CORPSE in 2002 or also for various other dates in Europe, Japan and North America all throughout 2005, as well as to appear as a guest guitarist on the "Issue VI" album and in the "Turn To Ash" video.

Added Jensen: "I'm truly happy to have finally managed to team up with my buddy Marvin in DEW-SCENTED. Being one of my closest friends in music and the band's 'longest-running companion,' it's amazing to be able to finally put the band's musical present and future in his hands, giving our music a new safe home with his talent and dedication. I can't wait for you all to hear the great start-up results we achieved with 'Icarus'!"

Commented Vriesde: "Me and DEW-SCENTED have a long history together. I helped the band out on several occasions in the past, studio as well as live situations. So when Leif suggested joining forces for real on the new record, I was thrilled! This allowed me to write DEW-SCENTED songs that I would really want to hear from the band, from a fan's point of view."

Drummer Koen Herfst (I CHAOS, EPICA) and bassist Joost van der Graaf (I CHAOS, CREEPMIME) rounded off the "Icarus" lineup organically, as Vriesde explains in regards to the pre-production process for the new album: "The writing process went really smooth and focused. Me and Leif were bouncing all these awesome ideas around. We realized that these songs deserved to be recorded in the best form possible. That's why I asked a good local friend of mine, Koen Herfst, to handle the drums. On his turn he brought in Joost van der Graaf to handle the bass duties for the album. Both are amazing musicians… and that's what sets 'Icarus' apart for me. I think everyone brought something extra to the table, which really took the album to a higher level. 'Icarus' is a really heavy album, but it somehow has a darker feel to it in comparison to the previous DEW-SCENTED albums."

Last but not least, guitarist Rory Hansen (I CHAOS, BLO.TORCH) was added to the band's ranks as second guitarist shortly after the album recordings. On recommendation of all the other three new members, his presence paves the way for a really skilled and menacing dual-guitar-team.

The new DEW-SCENTED lineup will make their debut shows on July 20 at Metalsplash festival and July 21st at Queens Of Metal festival.

Jensen previously described the "Icarus" main theme as "a modern-times, very apocalyptic adaption of elements of the Icarus myth, using a lot of its symbolism while interlinking with several other personal or observant subjects in true DEW-SCENTED fashion." While the album — recorded at Soundlodge Studio and produced by Jörg Uken (NIGHTFALL, SUICIDAL ANGELS, GOD DETHRONED) — is not quite a concept album per se, Jensen says "Icarus" "has a pretty coherent lyrical flow, and that helps to enhance and also to intentionally enlarge the atmosphere and vibe created by the music." The "Icarus" cover artwork was once created by Björn Goosses of Killustrations.

"Icarus" will be released on July 31 in North America via Prosthetic Records (one day earlier internationally through Metal Blade Records).
25 years after the legendary VIXEN released their first single, "Edge Of A Broken Heart", three of the original members have reunited to form VXN. Two decades have passed since they shared a stage together and they are ready to rev it up.

Singer Janet Gardner, drummer Roxy Petrucci and bassist Share Ross, along with guitarist Gina Stile, who was the guitarist on VIXEN's "Tangerine" album, are gearing up to perform again for the first time in over 20 years. "It just feels right," says Janet Gardner. "It was simply time to do this. The fans kept asking and we respect that."

Share Ross offers, "With hits like 'Edge Of A Broken Heart', 'Cryin'', 'How Much Love', 'Not a Minute Too Soon', 'Love is a Killer' and 'Rev It Up' emblazoned upon our souls, we knew it was time to resurrect our sound. We want to give the fans what they want."

In 1987, "Edge Of A Broken Heart" climbed the Billboard chart to the Top Ten and VIXEN had hit after hit. EMI suddenly had the only platinum-selling all-female rock band of its time on their roster.

Dubbed "MTV Darlings", the hits kept coming with "Cryin'", "How Much Love", "Love Is A Killer" and "Not a Minute Too Soon". The band earned credibility as they opened up for superstars, including OZZY OSBOURNE, DEEP PURPLE, SCORPIONS and BON JOVI, to name a few. A live performance on the "Arsenio Hall" television show sealed their credibility with the fact that these girls could play.

VXN will reunite at a select number of festivals and showcase dates in 2013 to perform all of the VIXEN hits and classic favorites in celebration of 25 years of rock history. The VXN "Revved Up Reunion Concerts" will take place at the kick-off party as well as on board the Monsters Of Rock Cruise on March 16-20, 2013 sailing out of Fort Lauderdale, Florida bound for CoCoCay and Freeport, Bahamas.

VXN is not to be confused with the current version of VIXEN, which consists of founding member Jan Kuehnemund (guitar) alongside Jenna Sanz-Agero (vocals), Lynn Louise Lowrey (bass), and Kat Kraft (drums).

VIXEN's original members Gardner, Kuehnemund, Pedersen and Petrucci appeared together on VH1's "Bands Reunited" in October 2004 to reminisce about their start on L.A.'s Sunset Strip and their rise to fame in the late 1980s, before the onset of grunge in the early 1990s displaced metal at the top of the charts. They also took part in a short performance for the program.
Stockholm, Sweden-based metal band FRANTIC AMBER — which features members from Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Japan — has won the Swedish Wacken Metal Battle 2012. The event was held on May 10 at Göta Källare in Stockholm. Five bands competed for an opportunity to play at the world's biggest metal festival, Wacken Open Air, in Wacken, Germany in August and FRANTIC AMBER won the Swedish slot. The jury consisted of music industry professionals and was headed by president Ida Evileye (CRUCIFIED BARBARA). They also won a backdrop from the Band Shop.

Commented Ida Evileye: "Extremely convincing, inspiring, energetic and with a awesome matter of course, this band completely ran over us in the jury! I myself have been a bit of a fan since a year back when I heard this band for the first time. Now a year later, I hear a very different band that is very much more tight and persuasive! The winner of this year's Wacken Metal Battle [Sweden] is FRANTIC AMBER."

FRANTIC AMBER will perform on the WET Stage at Wacken Open Air.

The "Metal Battle", which was started in 2004 by the founders of the Wacken Open Air as a contest to support up-and-coming bands from all over the world, is currently in its ninth round, with Nuclear Blast Records and ICS Festival Service GmbH, which organizes Wacken Open Air, joining forces.

What initially started out as a small contest with six German bands and five bands from other countries grew and grew over the years — so much so that there was a total of 29 international bands performing during the festival in 2011 and striving to win the competition after having won the preliminary decisions in their respective countries. In the past, the first prize was a record deal with Wacken Records. For 2012, Nuclear Blast and ICS Festival Service have announced their participation, meaning that the winning band of "Metal Battle" 2012 will be given a record deal with Nuclear Blast — the biggest independent heavy metal label worldwide!

FRANTIC AMBER recently scrapped its previously announced plans to release a second EP and has begun work on a full-length album instead.

FRANTIC AMBER last year recruited a new drummer — and its first male member — Erik Röjås. Erik has been performing with the band since the 2011 edition of the Sweden Rock Festival and accompanied the group on its second tour of Russia in September.

For more information, visit www.franticamber.com.
Brian Giffin of Australia's Loud magazine recently conducted an interview with vocalist Dez Fafara of California metallers DEVILDRIVER. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.

Loud: Have you got anything yet for the next album?

Dez: Well, I've got parts of about 140 songs written right now. I've just been writing non-stop since "Beast". So I don't know what's gonna make it to the next record or not, but I know I've got lyrics aplenty. When I say that, a notebook... two notebooks full of stuff for the next record. I kinda now where I wanna go direction-wise. So we'll see what'll happen. I've gotten four songs delivered to me, one of which I like. The other three really need some work. So we haven't really found the sound yet or where we're goin' with it, and I don't wanna rush it. It's a very critical record for DEVILDRIVER, the next record, and I really really want to make something that defines us completely. That means, takes all five of those records, and puts it all into one record so that I can say to someone, "If you really want to know what DEVILDRIVER's about, go to number six, the sixth record, and check it out."

Loud: You've said before that in many ways you consider "Beast" to really be DEVILDRIVER's second album, so I agree with you that the next one will be a critical release.

Dez: Absolutely. We've come to know that every record is different. There has to be evolution. It's really important because you can't define what DEVILDRIVER is, you can't stick us in a genre. We don't belong to any kind of moniker, which is good! And I wanna keep it that way. In order to do that, you've gotta go through songs and hunt for it.

Loud: Some bands tend to wait until they're in the studio to start working on songs. You've been touring a lot since "Beast", so is your band one that writes before recording?

Dez: Well, they need a bit of prodding now and then. [Laughs] But now that they know the time is coming, they'll start writing. They'll start writing on the road and everything else. Me, I personally write daily. It's just something that I do. I try to get up every morning and write a song, happy or sad. I have books and books and books of lyrics that will probably never see the light of day unless I publish them outside of the song realm. I enjoy writing. It's something that, when I come up a good line, whether it be 4 in the morning and I have to get up and write it down, or jump out of the shower to find a pen real quick, or grab someone else's iPhone to write a note real quick, I do so. Because those are the kind of lyrics that will end up on the record, sticking with you, those lyrics that come out of the aether. You have to be writing all the time to unleash that spirit all the time in order to have it form that energy otherwise it will just wink its eye at you once in a while and then shut itself off.

Loud: You ever think there may come a time when you want to do a Henry Rollins-type book of all your lyrics that you've never published as songs?

Dez: I don't know. My wife's been trying to get me to for a couple of years, but I don't know. Some of this stuff is so personal that I'm not sure I ever wanna share them. That's the way writing is to me. It's all very very personal. It's like the best song lyrics with the best titles are something I almost don't want to give up. But if you feel that way, if you feel that way about words, it's important to get them out there and share them. So we'll see.
DEVIL, the Norwegian heavy doom rock band featuring members of VESEN, RIKETS CRUST, CEASE.AND.DESIST, FUCK YOU ALL and FAUSTCOVEN, has issued the following update:
"We're glad to announce that we survived this and last year's festivals and gigs, and even though it was a blast all the way, we have now decided to focus on our next album which we've called, 'Gather The Sinners'. It will be released once again on the fine Soulseller Records, hopefully this year. We are from now on concentrating fully on the album, and will therefore not be seen much on stage until late this year. However, we know that fans of DEVIL and 'Time To Repent' also will love 'Gather The Sinners', as it will be another trip down heavy metal memory lane, and the authenticity and evil cheerfulness is still very much represented. To show you just what we're aiming at, we're proud to present a sneak preview filmed live at Roadburn of the song 'They Pale' [see video below], which will be featured on 'Gather The Sinners'. We hope you enjoy this, and look forward to the album just as we do."

DEVIL's debut album, "Time To Repent", came out last year via the Dutch label Soulseller Records.


Stian Fossum - Guitar
Ronny Østli - Drums
Thomas Ljosaak - Bass
Kai Wanderås - Guitar
Joakim Trangsrud - Vocals

For more information, go to this location.
Stockholm, Sweden-based label Threeman Recordings, which is owned and run by members of ENTOMBED, recently launched a new collaboration with Ninetone Records. The first release under this arrangement will be a single for the re-recorded version of the song "Amok" from ENTOMBED's 2007 album, "Serpent Saints - The Ten Amendments", produced by Patrik Frisk (CORRODED). A May 23 release is expected.

The cover artwork for the "Amok" single can be seen below.

"Serpent Saints - The Ten Amendments" was released in the U.S. on July 31, 2007 via Candlelight/Threeman Recordings. The 10-song effort marked the group's first release with drummer Olle Dahlstedt (ALPHA SAFARI, ex-MISERY LOVES CO.), who replaced Peter Stjärnvind in 2006. Mastering duties were handled by Soren Elofsson at Cosmos Mastering in Stockholm, Sweden.

"Serpent Saints - The Ten Amendments" entered the Swedish national chart at position No. 3. This was the highest chart position in the band's career.

The current lineup of ENTOMBED features Victor Brandt (TOTALT JÄVLA MÖRKER, AEON, SATYRICON) and second guitarist Nico Elgstrand (who previously played bass for the group).

In a May 2011 interview with the Stormbringer.at webzine, ENTOMBED guitarist Alex Hellid stated about the progress of the songwriting sessions for the long-awaited follow-up to "Serpent Saints", "We're just taking our time getting the pieces together properly this time. We just wanna make sure that it's a really good album. Now we have a complete lineup again also, and a lot of fresh, new blood as well. So it's gonna be fun to create something new now. . . We wanna get the group together and get a strong foundation to create something good; that's the goal here. . . We'll just concentrate on [creating] something great."

He added, "I [try not] to focus on too much at the same time. [My attitude] is 'Let's just make one great song to start with,' and then we'll take it from there. . . We have a pretty broad palette of things we can do, and we'll try and find a place for anything. 'Cause we enjoy everything from the fastest death/black metal stuff to whatever, so the songs that we come up with, we'll just have to find a space for them — some stuff might be [releases as] an album, some stuff might be a single…"

He continued, "I think it's kind of boring, in a way, to just think in terms of a full-length] 'album,' especially when nobody seems to really create classic albums anymore, and a lot of people don't even buy them anymore. If wanna record our favorite cover songs, there should be a place for that as well.

"It's been four years [since the last album came out] and I feel that we have so much creativity in the band and so many things that we can all put under this roof of things that we like collectively. And what I wanna do is for us to find a way to channel all our creativity and also make it the best and the greatest it can be."
Brian Giffin of Australia's Loud magazine recently conducted an interview with bassist Alex Webster of Florida death metal veterans CANNIBAL CORPSE. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.

On CANNIBAL CORPSE's new album, "Torture":

Webster: "I think when someone hears 'Torture', they can tell it's a band that's not just going through the motions. We're really pushing to try and make a great record, and try and make it our best record. We're not content to just live off our legacy. Which we could. I mean, we have a strong legacy from the '90s that we could just kinda sit on, but we don't. We have tried to avoid becoming complacent and just saying 'Oh we could just make a record that's just ok', and still get by. We really try to make each record the best one. I'm not saying we always succeed, but we are trying to do that. We wanna keep pushing forward. We wouldn't still do it if we didn't want to make each record the best one we've ever done."

On the criticism that George "Corpsegrinder" Fisher's vocals are mixed less prominently on "Torture" than in the past:

Webster: "I didn't notice George being softer level-wise. The things I notice, of course, because I'm the bass player in the band, I'm quite happy with the bass tone and the level it's at on this record. I think we all, each member, we tend to focus on our own little contribution a bit. So I did not notice George being a lot quieter than on the other albums. I must say that in general I am quite pleased with the production that Erik [Rutan] gave us this time. I think it all gelled really well."

On the band's focus on writing effective songs as opposed to showing off the blazing instrumental skills:

Webster: "We just wanna write heavy songs that you can rage to. Don't get me wrong. We definitely love playing chop-heavy music, but we don't feel we have to do that with every song. That isn't what it's about. For example, we have a song on 'The Wretched Spawn' that's really hard to play — 'Frantic Disembowelment'. Pat [O'Brien, guitar] wrote that song to sound heavy, and it just happens that it's also very hard to play. It wasn't written to be hard to play, it's just a side effect of Pat's writing style that it is."

On how CANNIBAL CORPSE's sound has evolved over the years:

Webster: "It's still the same style. I think it's a better delivery now because we've improved as musicians over the years. But the style isn't that different. At the time, when we were starting, we were very influenced by the kind of thrash metal bands that were almost death metal, in addition to being inspired by original death metal bands like POSSESSED, DEATH, MORBID ANGEL and AUTOPSY. We were also inspired by thrash metal bands that were borderline death metal, like SADUS, KREATOR, DARK ANGEL, SODOM. Oh, and SLAYER! I should definitely mention SLAYER. I think you can still hear those initial influences and that movement of the band to create this death metal style that's also influenced by the dark side of thrash. It's just in our style. A song like 'Demented Aggression' or 'Encased in Concrete' or 'Intestinal Crank' off 'Torture', those songs can sit side by side with songs from 'Eaten Back To Life' or 'Butchered At Birth' and not sound out of place."

On the newer death metal bands:

Webster: "The one good thing about the death metal scene is that it's always been around. Since it started, it's never stopped. There's been bands consistently putting out records, and there's been bands entering the scene. Right now, a band like HOUR OF PENANCE... they haven't been around all that long, but they're making a big impact and that's an incredible, killer death metal band. So I think the scene still has a lot of strength and a lot of potential for growth even. To me, the most important thing is the music itself. If the music itself is still good, if there's still good songs being written, memorable songs, really heavy songs, and songs that feature innovation while staying death metal… I think it's OK to innovate, but stay death metal."

"If you look at some of these bands like SPAWN OF POSSESSION, for example, they just put out a great record on the same day we put out 'Torture'; that's a death metal record, but it's also very progressive. So I think that kind of death metal is helpful to the scene to move things forward a little bit. And then there's also some bands that are doing a more straight-forward kind of death metal like EVOCATION from Sweden. I know they were around a long time ago, they've been back in action and they're doing a very old-school, for want of a better term, Swedish death metal even though they're active right now and doing new records. So there's still a lot of activity and a lot of of strength on the death metal scene. It's maybe not as easy to find in the midst of all the stuff that's sort of death metal, you know like deathcore bands and that sort of thing. I think especially for a casual fan, for them to find an album that's pure death metal it might be a little bit more difficult, but it's totally still there. And all of the classic bands are still very active and have never stopped being active, like NILE, IMMOLATION, KRISIUN, SUFFOCATION — they [SUFFOCATION] had a lay-off for a few years there, but they're still putting out records."
Aniruddh "Andrew" Bansal of Metal Assault recently conducted an interview with vocalist Chris Barnes of Florida death metal veterans SIX FEET UNDER. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.

Metal Assault: Your new album is sounding pretty intense. Would you say it's probably one of the most aggressive albums you have done, at least in a long time if not ever?

Barnes: Yeah, yeah. I always think whatever we put together is good, and I'm really proud of everything. But this one is pretty special for me, I think. The whole process of writing and recording was so amazing, and working with Rob Arnold, Kevin Talley, Steve Swanson and a couple of other people that I worked with. It was such a great writing experience that something really exciting was bound to come out of it. I surrounded myself with some really amazing writers this time.

Metal Assault: Well, I've been following you on Twitter, and you've been interacting with the fans a lot. They give you their opinion and you retweet it, and stuff like that. So, do you think you get more of a direct feedback these days as compared to the age before Twitter?

Barnes: Well, I was still very active when MySpace was big and all that. I didn't really give much time to the Facebook stuff, but yeah. Ever since Day One, a lot of people criticized me, saying things like how I don't like to sign autographs and stuff that. I guess that a lot of those times they caught me on a bad night or something. But, going back to the beginning of this band, during the time we released the "Warpath" album, we had a fanclub. I used to respond to fans by mail, personally. I got hundreds and hundreds of fan letters that I would write back and spend time on them myself. I still run into some of the people who wrote to me back then, and one of them said to me, "Hey, I remember in '98, you wrote me a letter back when I wrote to you. That was the most amazing thing, and I still have that letter." People come up to me at shows and show me those letters, you know, still to this day. And it means a lot. I remember doing that, and this [Twitter] is just another new way of talking to the people that really mean the most as far as the music goes. I like talking to them, man. For me, it's fun. If I act like a dipshit at times, it's just because I'm a real person like anyone else, and when fans understand that, they find out that I'm real, you know. I actually enjoy listening to what they have to say. I can't reply to everybody, but I do as much as I can.

Metal Assault: You mentioned the members of the new lineup. I think that's made a pretty big difference, wspecially Rob Arnold coming in on guitar and bass.

Barnes: To work with Rob has been amazing. It really wasn't anything to do with the fact that Rob already has a great fan base. That was not even a question in my mind when I wanted to work with him. It was really when I worked with him in 2005, when we were on a tour where SIX FEET UNDER opened for CHIMAIRA, we became really good friends, and even Matt, Kevin, Mark and all of the guys in the band. At the end of that tour, myself, Kevin, Matt and Rob gave each other a hug, and we were like, "Let's work together sometime, do a side project or something." It was such a blast, and it's been a long-lasting friendship. We didn't talk all the time, but we definitely crossed paths, and Rob was always the first guy at the back of my head as a writer, as someone I wanted to write with, just because of the things we talked about and how enthusiastic he was to meet me and how he's been a fan of the music all these years growing up. He's a very honest person. I could tell that he's a very real person, and there's nothing hidden in him. He does what he wants to do and I respect that so much. This guy knows my background. He knows what I'm about, and it was immediate when we started writing together as to how much we were in tune with each other. While writing the music, he was very conscious of my vocal parts and what I do. It's been a really refreshing experience working with him and Kevin on the album.

Metal Assault: SIX FEET UNDER has invariably played a slower, more groovy style of death metal. Do you think that separates you from the other bands that started out around the same time as when SIX FEET UNDER did?

Barnes: Yeah, probably. We've always been kind of different in how we approached things. We've not really tried to write a new style of music. We just write what sounds cool, for us anyway. I work closely with the other guys in the band and write what makes most sense to me as far as the lyrics and the vocals go. So, the guys that I have writing music for me in myband have always laid the foundation of it all.
***UPDATE***: KATATONIA has released the following statement regarding the report in the current issue of Decibel magazine in which "Born From Nothing" is listed as the band's new album title:

"It seems someone got their April Fool's date mixed up a month too late as they claimed 'Born From Nothing' is confirmed to be the new KATATONIA album title. We can hereby deny this is not the new album title and none of us ever claimed it to be. What this title actually comes from is simply a web banner for 4 limited shirts we've been doing this spring and that's all there is to that.


"The good news is that the actual confirmed official album title will be revealed at the end of this month, and we advise you to keep checking KATATONIA's Facebook page from now on as the title will actually slowly emerge there in puzzle pieces and some of your might make it out before others do."

The original report follows below.

According to Decibel magazine, Swedish dark rockers KATATONIA have set "Born From Nothing" as the title of their new album, tentatively due in September via Peaceville Records. The CD was recorded over a two-month period at Stockholm's Ghost Ward studios and the band's new, as-yet-unnamed headquarters. David Castillo returned to "twiddle the knobs," while band co-founders Anders "Blakkheim" Nyström and Jonas Renkse handled the rest of the production duties.

"Our seal of identity is on here for sure," Nyström tells Decibel magazine. "We haven't gone and changed our sound, but we've further explored some different angles of good music, and that's what we need to do to keep the focus. It might not be so obvious to some, but to others it will be a bigger deal. So, sure, a few surprises and a few songs going off territory are in there, but overall this album is a natural follow-up to [2009's] 'Night Is The New Day', and that is what we wanted to do."

In a recent interview with Loud TV (audio available below), Nyström stated about the overall musical direction of the band's new CD, "The new album, it will, first of all, have 11 or 13 songs — we haven't decided if we're putting all of them or not on there. I think there's been some discussions that a few editions are gonna have all the tracks, a few editions are gonna have 11 tracks. So that's a little bit up to the label yet. But as far as all those 13 tracks go, first of all, it sounds definitely like KATATONIA; it's a KATATONIA album — solely KATATONIA album. The difference this time is that we maybe even pushed the differences even further. If you compare some of the songs, they could be almost in difference categories of genres, but the interesting thing here is that we have managed with our sound and the production and our performances to make it sound like it's not that far apart; it sounds like it's the same band. But if we would give the songs to some other band, it would sound very, very different. So I'm really happy with that. It was a big challenge. Like, for instance, you could have a song that is going totally off into this singer-songwriter territory, and you could have another song that goes into one of the most aggressive, heavy songs we've ever done, but when I listen to those both songs back to back, I can hear it's the same band doing [them]."

When asked if the new KATATONIA album is the kind of record that will take several airings to really register with the listener, Nyström asid, "Yes. It might be even more like that this time [than in the past], probably, which is a good thing. I was nervous in the beginning and a little bit insecure with how we were gonna pull this album off and what people were gonna think and everything, but now I have this total calm about it; I am totally positive and confident that we have made the album that we needed to do and also what people expect from us. It might take a few listenings to get into the whole thing, but that will stay longer in your listening collection — you will not get tired of it in the first place; I am totally sure of it."

Regarding the upcoming CD's cover artwork — which is once again being created by Travis Smith of Seempieces (OPETH, DEVIN TOWNSEND) — Nyström said, "It's also gonna be a little bit different. It's actually a really big piece that we're splitting into four, and one of those four is gonna be on the cover. So there will be more to it than what you see first. I don't want to describe too much what's on it yet — you're gonna see that when it's [unveiled] pretty soon — but we're changing the color theme this time. We have been doing the black and the red for a long time now, and we're going totally the opposite and we're doing, actually… The basic color is, actually, white on the new one, but it's not solid white — it's like shades of frost whites and a little bit grey and mixed with black."

On the topic of the lyrical themes cover on the new KATATONIA album, Nyström said, "The lyrics are, actually, a mixture of trying to be as direct and easy as possible but also remaining a very cryptic feel at the same time, which is a very cool paradox. We're not trying to make it too complicated, but it might be… I mean, the words aren't too complicated, but the meaning of the songs is encrypted. And that we are very eager to see how people will react to and how they will define the meanings of these lyrics. 'Cause they're easy to read, easy to access, but the meaning itself might not be that easy [to decipher]."
Swedish death metallers AMON AMARTH have launched their very own interactive fan club, called Mobile Backstage, for smartphones, Facebook and for the Web.

"This will allow us to have a more direct communication with our fans, and will speed up the information process for everything such as news and tour dates, as well as give our fans some special peeks behind the scenes of future tours and festivals," says AMON AMARTH vocalist Johan Hegg.

"When we first thought of creating our own app, we pretty soon realized that the mobile backstage solution was the right thing for us. It's a combination of mobile and Facebook apps and a web interface that creates a digital fan club and allows us to reach all our fans no matter where they are," says AMON AMARTH drummer Fredrik Andersson.

"We're very excited to bring Mobile Backstage to AMON AMARTH," says Paavo Bäckman, the CEO of Mobile Backstage.

With Mobile Backstage, AMON AMARTH and their fans can exchange news, pictures, videos, audio clips and messages in an intimate and personal environment, far from the noise and clutter of other social media. Fans can send messages to other fans, find and check into gigs, see the location of other fans and their online posts, play audio, and purchase tracks and tickets.

Join AMON AMARTH Mobile Backstage now — on the web, Facebook app and mobile devices.
Greyhaze Records has announced the signing of WARFATHER, a devastating new death metal unit conceived by ex-MORBID ANGEL bassist/vocalist Steve Tucker.

In a statement on what metal fans are to expect from WARFATHER, Tucker stated: "This is my new band; it will be my main focus.... it is my kind of death metal."

Having been known for his vocal and bass skills in all of his previous acts, while still holding down vocal duties here, Tucker has moved on to guitar with this project. "I have always played the guitar and I think now is the time for me to make the move. I think doing solos and extra guitar parts will allow me to express myself in a whole new way!" he said. Also on guitars is Armatura, formerly of Cincinnati-based death metal band DOMINION. Recruited to the drum kit is Deimos, a death metal veteran currently playing in the band TEMPLE and also having played with bands such as SEVERE TORTURE. The bass is dispatched by Nick McMaster (KRALLICE, NADER SADEK, CASTEVET). Additional guitar contributions will be tracked by friends of WARFATHER, which include many notable death metal stalwarts; full details will be announced shortly.

WARFATHER is currently in the final stages of tracking the yet-to-be-titled album, with mixing to take place immediately after. Tucker himself is producing the entire release, as he did for the 2011-released NADER SADEK album "In the Flesh", which Tucker also performed on. The artwork is in the final stages as well, and will be unveiled shortly, along with the details on the album, which is being slated for release this fall. Upon the CD's release, WARFATHER will take their battle to the highways of the planet on tour in support of the album.

After starting out as vocalist/bassist for death/thrash act CEREMONY, Steve Tucker moved on to handle bass and vocals on MORBID ANGEL's infamous "Formulas Fatal To The Flesh", "Gateways To Annihilation" and "Heretic" LPs. In 2009, Tucker was recruited to take part in the NADER SADEK album "In The Flesh" for release through then-brand-new label Greyhaze Records, and licensed to Season of Mist Records. The project also featured Flo Mounier (CRYPTOPSY), Rune Eriksen (MAYHEM, AVA INFERI) and more. During this time, Tucker struck up a great relationship with Greyhaze Records, and together they decided to bring the reality of WARFATHER to fruition.
MetalTitans.com recently conducted an interview with INSIDIOUS DISEASE members Marc Grewe (vocals; also of MORGOTH) and Sven Atle Kopperud (a.k.a. Silenoz; guitar; also of DIMMU BORGIR). A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.

MetalTitans.com: What brought both of you guys to form and create INSIDIOUS DISEASE? Especially with Silenoz, you being in DIMMU BORGIR, a highly popular metal band, and Marc, you being an ex member of MORGOTH?

Silenoz: The lust and need for the old-school vibe and making music together with like-minded people was what brought us together in the first place. You know, always talking about doing something for the fun of it. For the most part that never happens, it usually starts and ends with alcohol-infused drunk talk. But I launched it finally together with Jardar [real name: Jon Øyvind Andersen; guitar; also of OLD MAN'S CHILD) and Tony [Laureano; drums; formerly of DIMMU BORGIR, NILE, ANGELCORPSE] back in '04. Then we brought Shane [Embury, bass; also of NAPALM DEATH] along shortly after that before I contacted Marc to see if he would consider doing the vocals. I've always been a huge fan of his style and I love others that is in the same vein, like Martin Van Drunen [PESTILENCE, ASPHYX], Jeff Becerra [POSSESSED], Chuck Schuldiner [DEATH], etc. those who have that "insane" feel and honesty in the delivery. They stand out and we didn't want the typical gurgling, low-end stuff like most bands do, even if that's cool as well at times it doesn't do much when identifying a band, it has become such an important thing especially the last 10-15 years. Identity and authenticity are what's important in music. It doesn't always have to be "groundbreaking," "new" or "modern"-sounding. A good record is a good record regardless.

Marc: I just agree with what Silenoz said. It's the passion for the music, and, of course, being able to work with such great musicians is just awesome!

MetalTitans.com: INSIDIOUS DISEASE has a real morbid, sick, dark, perverted, twisted sound, why did the band take this direction?

Silenoz: Because we are really morbid, sick, dark, perverted and twisted!! Haha! We're not trying to reinvent the wheel, but INSIDIOUS DISEASE is a great artistic outlet for me, especially, since I write the lyrics I get to touch upon the real horrors of man, my own darkside as well, trying to convey the shadow in all of us through words and images, both from a perspective and a personal point of view. It's healthy and therapeutic release. The music takes care of the rest. That's the audial vehicle!

Marc: Hehe, yeah we certainly are!! I think it is a great combination what we came up with. It was a challenge for me to sing Silenoz lyrics and vocal phrases, so I guess that also had an impact on how I sang on "Shadowcast". Plus, I think the whole package with the fantastic and morbid artwork makes it real special.

MetalTitans.com: Is it hard to keep INSIDIOUS DISEASE going when you all have other bands and commitments?

Silenoz: Not really, but for gigs etc it can be conflicting schedules, which we, of course, are aware of when we put the band together, so we've been lucky to have other like-minded friends to fill in sometimes when we have played live. It's just the way it is. It's no big deal because there are no egos in this band and we're all supportive of each other knowing we all need to prioritize if those schedules happen to conflict with one another.

Marc: It is, of course, kind of difficult to set up a tour or so, as everyone knows that especially NAPALM and DIMMU are touring the world in support of their currant albums. But it is always great and a special event for me being able to play with INSIDIOUS once in a while.

MetalTitans.com: What is planned for INSIDIOUS DISEASE now? Are you working on any new material? Any tour dates planned?

Silenoz: No shows have been booked at the moment, but we're looking into doing some more shows in 2013. We're working on a new album, but it's a bit early to say what it'll sound like. We're gonna demo tracks this summer and hopefully return to the studio during fall.

Marc: I'm really looking forward to working on the new songs. Hopefully we'll be able to play some more shows in 2013!
Guitarist Frederick "Rick Rozz" DeLillo (MASSACRE, DEATH, MANTAS) is auctioning off one of his prized BC Rich guitars. He'll have as many ex-DEATH members sign it as possible at the "Death To All Tour 2012" stop in Orlando, Florida. Proceeds will go to "the Chuck Schuldiner fund," which is an account specifically for the small but significant remaining medical bills from the debt existing at the time of Chuck's passing. Fans who themselves wish to donate to this can do so directly via attorney Charles Wohlust at 241 North Maitland Avenue, Suite 346, Maitland, Florida, 32751, USA (marked to the Chuck Schuldiner fund).

A number of acclaimed metal musicians will make special guest appearances during the "Death To All Tour 2012" in June/July in benefit of Sweet Relief. This five-city trek, which will feature a majority of DEATH's amazing musicians, 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.

Chuck died on December 13, 2001 after a battle with pontine glioma, a rare type of brain tumor.
Guitarist/vocalist Trond "Trondr Nefas" Bråthen of Norway's black metal masters URGEHAL has died at age 35, according to the band's record label, Season Of Mist.

Bråthen and guitarist Enzifer formed URGEHAL in 1992 in Hønefoss, Norway.

URGEHAL's latest album, "Ikonoklast", was released in November 2009 in Europe and January 2010 in the U.S. via Season of Mist's Underground Activists division. An EP, "Death Is Complete", followed in 2011/

URGEHAL celebrated its 15 year-anniversary in 2007 by releasing the album "The Eternal Eclipse - 15 Years Of Satanic Black Metal".

Quality fan-filmed video footage of URGEHAL's February 14, 2010 performance at Baroeg in Rotterdam, The Netherlands can be viewed below (courtesy of "letthedeathmetalflow").

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