[Classic_Rock_Forever] Black Sabbath, Rush, Metallica, Slash, Soundgarden, Danzig, Buckcherry, and tons more hard rock and heavy metal news


One of BLACK SABBATH's biggest fans tells U.K.'s Sunday Mercury that online ticket scalpers have made it impossible for him to see his favorite band's reunion concert in their hometown.

Tickets for the show, which will be at the O2 Academy in Birmingham on May 19, are going for £250 (approximately $400) on the Internet — more than for five times the original price of £45.

Sean May, who has SABBATH singer Ozzy Osbourne's name tattooed on his knuckles, tells Sunday Mercury, "I've been following the band since I was 14, but the real fans are missing out so these ticket scalpers can make money. I think it's wrong, and it's not the venue or the band that are profiting, it's online ticket touts. It's only a small concert, with 3,000 tickets.

He added, "I tried to get on to the official web site as soon as they went on sale at 9 a.m. on Friday, but it crashed. When I got through to the venue 10 minutes later but they had sold out.

"The venue say they only sell two tickets per person — how on earth did they sell to 1,500 people in 10 minutes?"

BLACK SABBATH's promoter Andy Copping added, "Of course the show sold out quickly, it's BLACK SABBATH playing a small show in their hometown. Sadly, some people feel the need to purchase tickets and put them on the secondary market. I personally find it disgusting and unethical but until the government do something and pass some legislation to outlaw this practice, we are powerless. What makes matters worse is that the show will be making a sizeable financial contribution to charity – maybe the people that are seeking to profiteer from their tickets should donate the additional money they make to the charity, then at least it's going to a good cause."

A donation to Help For Heroes will be made from the proceeds of the show.

BLACK SABBATH was supposed to tour the Europe and North America this year as part of a worldwide trek in support of a new album, but guitarist Tony Iommi's cancer diagnosis put those plans on hold.

Ozzy Osbourne's wife and manager, Sharon, said recently that SABBATH would now play just one date each in North America and the U.K.

Ozzy, Iommi and bassist Geezer Butler recently spent time in London recording their first album together in 33 years, although without drummer Bill Ward it is not the original SABBATH reunion announced last November.

Ward has been sitting out the sessions due to being offered what he called "an unsignable contract" in an open letter to SABBATH fans.

Ward posted an update on February 17 in which he said he "remains hopeful" for a positive outcome to the situation.

The rest of SABBATH's scheduled European summer gigs will be replaced by "Ozzy And Friends", at which the singer will be joined by Butler, former Ozzy guitarist Zakk Wylde and other special guests, including Slash on selected dates.
Legendary Canadian rockers RUSH were among those who received prestigious Governor General's Performing Arts Awards, given out by Governor General David Johnston, on Saturday, May 5 at Rideau Hall in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. All three members of the band were in attendance. Each laureate received a cash award of $25,000 from the Canada Council for the Arts and a commemorative medallion struck by the Royal Canadian Mint.

RUSH bassist/vocalist Geddy Lee said it was a privilege to be at the gala.

"I'm so proud of Canada for doing such a thing," said Lee. "To value artists and to celebrate art is a real pat on the back for artists."

"We're going to take a run on a really fun take on a RUSH song," show producer Kari Cullen told CTV.ca. "We're going to experiment a little bit with their music, with their permission, and see how much they enjoy it."
METALLICA performed its top-selling 1991 LP, "Metallica", a.k.a. "the black album," in its entirety for the first time ever earlier tonight (Monday, May 7) at the opening show of the band's European tour at Synot Tip Arena in Prague, Czech Republic.

The band's setlist was as follows:

01. Hit The Lights
02. Master Of Puppets
03. The Shortest Straw
04. For Whom The Bell Tolls
05. Blackened
06. The Struggle Within
07. My Friend Of Misery
08. The God That Failed
09. Of Wolf & Man
10. Nothing Else Matters
11. Through The Never
12. Don't Tread On Me
13. Wherever I May Roam
14. The Unforgiven
15. Holier Than Thou
16. Sad But True
17. Enter Sandman


18. Fuel
19. One
20. Seek & Destroy

Asked why METALLICA decided to play the "black" album in its entirety on the current tour, the band's drummer, Lars Ulrich, told Kerrang! magazine, "The people at [the U.K.'s] Download [festival] asked. It wasn't our idea."

He added, "The thing is, although we haven't played at Donington for six years, we have been to the U.K. pretty much every single summer since then. So they wanted us to do something different, and that's what they came up with. I quite like the fact that come [this] summer it'll be the 21st anniversary of the 'black album,' not the 20th."

Asked whether he and his bandmates would have to re-learn the two songs from the record — "Don't Tread On Me" and "The Struggle Within" — that METALLICA had never played live before, Lars said, "Yeah. Although to be honest with you, a song like 'The Struggle Within' is a lot easier to re-learn than 'The Frayed Ends Of Sanity'." He added, "I don't think it's going to be too difficult for us to figure out these songs."

During a recent interview with Spin, Lars was asked which METALLICA song he would take back if he could. "'Don't Tread On Me' has that shuffle vibe," Lars replied. "That's not my thing, but I don't wish to erase it from all 97 bazillion copies of the 'black' album."

"Metallica" in 2009 surpassed SHANIA TWAIN's 1997 record, "Come On Over", as the best-selling CD of the SoundScan era. To date, the black album has sold 15,772,000 copies in the United States.

Although METALLICA had scored their first radio and video airplay with their previous effort, 1988's "...And Justice For All", the black album was the band's biggest commercial breakthrough, producing five singles and making them into one of the most popular rock bands in the world.
As the Grammy-winning guitarist, songwriter and Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame inductee Slash gears up for the May 22 release of his second solo studio album, "Apocalyptic Love", he's announced a run of headlining shows in North America kicking off July 12 and wrapping August 4 with up-and-coming Canadian group MONSTER TRUCK supporting. An exclusive fan pre-sale begins this Wednesday, May 9 at 10:00 a.m. at SlashOnline.com and will feature packages including VIP meet-and-greets, and rare merch items such as signed guitars. Slash and his band MYLES KENNEDY AND THE CONSPIRATORS are currently touring the U.S., a mix of headlining dates and festivals (Carolina Rebellion, Rock On the Range, Rocklahoma).

Starting today Monday, May 7, fans will be given the opportunity to unlock unreleased tracks from "Apocalyptic Love" by sharing the app located on Slash's Facebook page with 10 of their friends. From Monday through Friday of next week, five new tracks will be previewed exclusively each day via Slash's Facebook page.

On Monday, May 21, Slash and his bandmates Myles Kennedy (vocals), Brent Fitz (drums) and Todd Kerns (bass) will head to New York to perform their red hot single "You're A Lie" live on NBC TV's "Late Night With Jimmy Fallon". Next, on Tuesday May 22, the group will perform a special sold-out New York City CD-release show at Irving Plaza on the same day "Apocalyptic Love" streets (May 22) via Dik Hayd International, distributed through EMI.

Slash tour dates:

May 05 - Charlotte, NC - Rockingham Speedway (Carolina Rebellion)
May 07 - Orlando, FL - Hard Rock Live
May 09 - Jacksonville, FL - Florida Theatre
May 10 - Biloxi, MS - Hard Rock Hotel & Casino – Hard Rock Live
May 12 - Kansas City, MO - Liberty Memorial Park (Rockfest)
May 13 - Boone, IA - Central Iowa Expo (Lazerfest)
May 14 - Minneapolis, MN - The Brick
May 16 - Madison, WI - Orpheum Theater
May 17 - Grand Rapids, MI - Orbit Room
May 19 - Columbus, OH - Crew Stadium (Rock On The Range)
May 20 - Camden, NJ - Susquehanna Bank Center (93.3 WMMR's MMR BQ 2012)
May 22 - New York, NY - Irving Plaza (album release show)
May 25 - Pryor, OK - Fever Music Festival Grounds (Rocklahoma)
May 26 - Albuquerque, NM - Route 66 Casino
Jul. 12 - Portland, OR - Roseland Theater
Jul. 13 - Seattle, WA - Paramount Theatre
Jul. 14 - Vancouver, BC - Queen Elizabeth Theatre
Jul. 16 - Edmonton, AB - Nothern Alberta Jubilee
Jul. 17 - Calgary, AB - Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium
Jul. 20 - Saskatoon, SK - TCU Place
Jul. 21 - Winnipeg, MB - Burton Cummings Theatre
Jul. 23 - Thunder Bay, ON - Thunder Bay Community Auditorium
Jul. 25 - Belleville, ON - Empire Square Live
Jul. 26 - London, ON - Harris Park
Jul. 27 - Montreal, QC - Olympia Theater
Jul. 29 - Quebec City, QC - Salle Albert Rosseau
Jul. 30 - Moncton, New Brunswick - Centre-Casino Moncton
Jul. 31 - Halifax, NS - Cunard Events Centre
Aug. 02 - Boston, MA - House of Blues
Aug. 03 - Montclair, NJ - Wellmont Theatre
Aug. 04 - Huntington, NY - The Paramount
Dunlop and Slash have teamed up to create a triad of products due out just ahead of the guitar legend's latest album release, "Apocalyptic Love".

With Slash's own experimentation and input, Dunlop created two pedals to complement his raw, expressive sound: the MXR Slash Octave Fuzz and the Slash Cry Baby Classic. The Slash Octave Fuzz features a searing fuzz tone that can be combined with a separate sub octave voice and an octave up fuzz to thicken up your tone with a sinister growl. The Slash Cry Baby Classic is tuned to a lower frequency and features a custom-wound resonance inductor, giving this wah-wah a huge dynamic range and a wide sweep.

Finally, Dunlop celebrates the 25+ years Slash has used Tortex Picks with the limited-edition Slash Pick Tin, featuring the same white 1.14mm Tortex picks Slash takes to the studio and on the road, adorned with new album art and imagery. The Slash Pick Tin also includes a code to download a free digital copy of "Apocalyptic Love"'s title track.

A question-and-answer session with Slash about his new Dunlop products:

Dunlop: What motivated the creation of the MXR Slash Octave Fuzz?

Slash: I needed a pedal that could produce a great sounding fuzz, with low octave and high octave effects to flesh it out.

Dunlop: Can you briefly describe the development process from your perspective?

Slash: Basically, I explained the sound I was looking for to the Dunlop design team, and we compared those ideas to similar pedals and effects. I told them what I liked and didn't like, they put together some prototypes, and brought them to me in the studio. I was testing them while we were tracking the new record, so I had it right under the microscope. I gave the Dunlop guys my feedback, and they tweaked and fine-tuned some more until we got the sound I had in my head.

Dunlop: How do you use the Octave Fuzz?

Slash: When I step on the Octave Fuzz, I want to hear a searing, melodic buzz saw. And that's what you get when you combine the fuzz with the sub octave voice and the high octave fuzz voice.

Dunlop: On which tracks from the new album can we hear the Slash Octave Fuzz?

Slash: I use the Octave/Fuzz pedal on "No More Heroes" and "Carolina".

Dunlop: We also have a new Slash Cry Baby Classic and a Slash Pick Tin coming out. Why have you stuck with the Cry Baby and Tortex Picks all these years?

Slash: The Cry Baby is such a personal effect — every player has his own way of using it. I'm able to express myself in a certain way that makes every note that much more intense. As for Tortex — no other picks compare. They have a very subtle but very particular texture that you can't get from any other pick. It's not slippery plastic; there's a grip to it.

For a demo of the MXR Slash Octave Fuzz, check out the YouTube clip below.

The MXR Slash Octave Fuzz, Slash Cry Baby Classic, and Slash Pick Tin are exclusive to Guitar Center in the U.S.
Reunited grunge legends SOUNDGARDEN made a surprise apearance on stage as the special guest at the 20th annual KROQ Weenie Roast Y Fiesta on Saturday, May 5 in Irvine, California. The band hit the stage at 8:30 p.m. and blazed through a short seven-song set which includes the first-ever live performance of the new song "Live To Rise".

The band's setlist was as follows:

01. Spoonman
02. Rusty Cage
03. Outshined
04. Jesus Christ Pose
05. Fell On Black Days
06. Live To Rise
07. Slaves And Bulldozers

Professionally filmed video footage of the "Live To Rise" performance can be seen below.

"Live To Rise", the first SOUNDGARDEN song in almost 16 years, can be seen below. The track was made available as a free download on iTunes beginning April 17 as part of the promotion of "Marvel's The Avengers". The seven-day promotion included an exclusive clip, "The Face Off", from the superhero team-up movie coming out on May 4.

"Live To Rise" was written specifically for "Marvel's The Avengers" after SOUNDGARDEN was approached about contributing a song to the film.

"The hard part of writing a song for a film is it has to act as a SOUNDGARDEN song, first and foremost, then obviously, it has to coexist with the film," SOUNDGARDEN singer Chris Cornell told Billboard.com.

Cornell told Seattle radio station KISW that fans should not think of "Live To Rise" as an indication of what the rest of the group's new record will sound like. Chris explained, "Some of the songs on our new album are pretty far left of center, and sort of zero in on more of a hardcore SOUNDGARDEN fan and not necessarily a family that goes to see a film like that. Although ['Live To Rise' is] not really what I think of as a necessarily family-friendly song, but it's as close as we've ever come."

The singer added that the tune wasn't specifically based on the movie, saying, "I think a film like this appeals to little kids all the way to old people because it's an action film, it's comic book characters, but it's also pretty witty dialog and accomplished actors doing it. So it had to be somewhat open to all of that. But also first and foremost it has to be a SOUNDGARDEN song."

SOUNDGARDEN officially reunited in early 2010 after disbanding in 1997. Since then, the group has played one full-length North American tour, a batch of festival and club gigs, and some overseas shows.

The group also released a career retrospective called "Telephantasm" as well as a concert album titled "Live On I5", which was recorded on its last tour before breaking up.

A release date and title for the new SOUNDGARDEN album have yet to be announced.
DANZIG will premier the track "Devil's Angels" from his new covers CD on radio stations in some of the cities where he will perform on his upcoming tour. It was originaly the theme song for the late '60's biker film of the same title.

Commented Glenn: "I've wanted to record this song since 1979 and this is exactly the same arrangement I had for it back then, so it pretty much sounds like that late '70s style of mine. I'm really happy with the way it turned out; it actually came out much better than I had hoped it would. We're going to be playing it live on these upcoming shows."

DANZIG is currently in the studio putting the finishing touches on the as-yet-untitled covers record for a late summer/early fall release.

When asked about the reports that he was recording an album of covers, Glenn said in a 2011 interview, "It's [got] lots of different stuff [on it]. Of course there's an Elvis [Presley] song on there, there's a BLACK SABBATH cover… Then I took some old biker-movie theme songs and made them all old punk-sounding or whatever… Just fucking around, really — just having a good time taking songs and giving them a different life or a different dimension. I just do what I feel like doing, as long as I don't just cover it, because that's boring to me. I wanna take it and change it and give it some other kind of thing. Otherwise just leave it alone."

Glenn Danzig will perform his "Legacy" career-spanning set featuring songs from DANZIG, SAMHAIN and MISFITS, in a number of U.S. cities in late May and early June. In addition, he has announced four DANZIG shows where he will be joined by ex-MISFITS axeman Doyle Von Frankenstein as a "special guest."
"Wherever I Go", a brand new song from California rockers BUCKCHERRY, appears on the soundtrack to this year's highly anticipated movie, "Marvel's The Avengers". "Wherever I Go" is included on "Avengers Assemble", a 14-track compilation of music from and inspired by the film. "Avengers Assemble" was released on May 1.

Speaking to ARTISTdirect, BUCKCHERRY guitarist Keith Nelson stated about how "Wherever I Go" came about, "We basically had the opportunity to be a part of the movie. We understand and appreciate the size and weight of having a song as part of a soundtrack. When we were approached, we were actually in writing mode for [the new BUCKCHERRY album] 'Confessions'. We'd been working on a few ideas, and Stevie had this riff that seemed appropriate. We had just started writing 'Wherever I Go' and thought it would be a good candidate for 'The Avengers' so we finished it with that in mind."

When asked if "Wherever I Go" was originally going to be included on the upcoming BUCKCHERRY album, "Confessions", Nelson said, "It was early enough in the process that we weren't really sure. We had spoken about the idea of the record and had written a few songs. We were just trying to write the best songs we could because we were in writing mode without any real concept in mind lyrically. Early on, there were a lot of songs we'd written that don't thematically fit into the record. We were simply writing, and that's when this song came about. As we continued down the path and got more and more focused on what our outcome was, then everything started to sharpen up towards the goal of the record."

In addition to BUCKCHERRY's "Wherever I Go", the "Avengers Assemble" collection features original songs inspired by the exciting and action-packed film event. The diverse range of artists includes SOUNDGARDEN, RISE AGAINST, SHINEDOWN, BUSH and REDLIGHT KING.

BUCKCHERRY's sixth studio album, "Confessions", will arrive sometime in September. The group is also planning to release a short film in conjunction with the CD, which it hopes will make its way into some small film festivals. The record itself will serve as the soundtrack for the film. Singer Josh Todd, who wrote the screenplay, told an Oklahoma radio station, "It's based around the seven sins and true events that happened in my life as well, when I was younger."

Todd, however, shot down the idea of playing the lead role in the film, although he did say that the band will appear somewhere in it.

He added, "I think (the film is) gonna be a real treat for people who love this band and people who are just discovering BUCKCHERRY for the first time."

As for "Confessions", Todd said that the new disc is "definitely a heavier, musically, record than we've ever had, and more melodic. It's pretty intense, but everybody's gonna love it. It's quintessential BUCKCHERRY at the end of the day."
DREAM THEATER's John Petrucci will be backed by DREAM THEATER drummer Mike Mangini and DIXIE DREGS bassist Dave LaRue on the upcoming South American edition of the G3 tour in October. Also scheduled to appear are Joe Satriani (CHICKENFOOT) and Steve Morse (DEEP PURPLE).

Confirmed dates so far are as follows:

Oct. 11- Citibank Hall - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Oct. 12 - Credicard Hall - Sao Paulo, Brazil

More shows will be announced soon.

G3 is a concert tour organized by Satriani, featuring him alongside two other guitarists. Since its inception in 1996, G3 has toured most years and has featured many guitarists, including Vai (Satriani's former student), Eric Johnson, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Yngwie Malmsteen, John Petrucci, Robert Fripp, Paul Gilbert, Uli Jon Roth, Michael Schenker, Adrian Legg and many other special guests, including Tony MacAlpine, Johnny Hiland, Steve Lukather, Steve Morse, Keith More, Chris Duarte, Andy Timmons, Neal Schon, Gary Hoey, Brian May, Billy Gibbons, Johnny A, George Lynch, Patrick Rondat, Herman Li, Alejandro Silva and Eric Sardinas.
Inner Wound Recordings has announced the release of a 12-inch vinyl edition of "The Duke", a classic album from Norwegian powerhouse vocalist Jorn Lande (MASTERPLAN, AVANTASIA), A deal was struck with the German label AFM Records, and the release date is set for June 1. The edition includes an insert with lyrics.

"The Duke" is available for pre-order at the Inner Wound Recordings store.

Track listing;

Side A

01. We Brought The Angels Down
02. Blacksong
03. Stormcrow
04. End Of Time
05. Duke Of Love

Side B

01. Burning Chains
02. After The Dying
03. Midnight Madness
04. Are You Ready
05. Starfire

Jorn's new album, "Bring Heavy Rock To The Land", will be released on June 1 in Europe and June 5 in North America via Frontiers Records.
SYSTEM OF A DOWN frontman Serj Tankian tells Billboard.com that the band's upcoming two weeks of East Coast tour dates with DEFTONES does not signal the end of SOAD's lengthy recording hiatus.

"When people are asking, 'When can we get new music from you,' I think it's the biggest compliment in the world," says Tankian. "We have not made a plan to do it as of yet. I think it's something that we'll get together at the right time when we all have that head space and do it. But, you know, it hasn't been that time yet, so I think everyone will know when it is. It's as simple as that."

During an interview with Brazil's Multishow after SYSTEM OF A DOWN's performance at the Rock In Rio festival last October in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil, the band's drummer, John Dolmayan, was asked if SOAD fans can expect to hear a new studio album from the group following their current reunion tour. "We're gonna take it day by day," he said. "For the people who are waiting for an album — I know there's a lot of people waiting for an album; I'm waiting for an album just like they are. It's gonna happen when it's right and when we can make something that tops what we've done in the past. Because we don't really wanna rest on our laurels — where what you've done in the past is what you depend on. Well, I don't wanna do that, and I know the rest of the guys don't wanna do that. Instead of resting on our laurels, we wanna throw them away and create something new and specific for this generation that they can say that's their SYSTEM OF A DOWN."

SYSTEM's last two albums, "Mezmerize" and "Hypnotize", were released in 2005.

Dolmayan previously told Straight.com about SYSTEM OF A DOWN's five-year hiatus, "I personally don't like breaks — I like to continue playing. But it was nice to go off and be John Dolmayan, as opposed to John from SYSTEM, for a while. I think everybody had similar feelings."

The drummer explained that a desire to pull off the road for a while and reconnect with their lives is what led SYSTEM to take an extended vacation from each other, saying, "When you're on the road and in the studio all the time, it's kind of like traveling at light speed. When you come back, it's like 20 years have passed by, and you're only one or two hours older . . . You're living a nomadic life, and you lose touch with people because they have grown away from you. People get older, get married, die — life is still going on."
Bassist and lead vocalist Jon Macak of Chicago, Illinois-based thrashers DIAMOND PLATE will leave the band's current tour with OVERKILL and GOD FORBID to return home due to a recent family emergency. His bandmates have decided to continue on with the remainder of their trek with tour manager and close friend Dan Valente filling in on bass and vocal duties.

Commented Macak: "I am very sad to say that I will not be able to be a part of the last six Killfest dates. I will be flying home to Chicago Sunday morning to be with my mother who is very ill and needs my support. There is a chance that she does not have much time left, so I want to be by her side as much as possible. The rest of the band will finish the tour without me and I want to thank everyone for their support and understanding."

Added the other members of DIAMOND PLATE: "We all wish Jon and his family strength through this incredibly hard time. Words can't describe how much Jon's presence will be missed on stage as a frontman, but most importantly our best friend. After these shows without him, we will come back stronger than ever and with a new understanding of what it means to be a band. An incredible thanks goes out to Dan Valente, our tour manager, who will help us finish the tour by handling bass and vocal duties. Thank you to all the fans for the support and understanding, and please keep Jon's family in your positive thoughts."

Remaining DIAMOND PLATE tour dates with OVERKILL:

May 08 - Tampa, FL - The Orpheum
May 09 - Ft. Lauderdale, FL - Culture Room
May 10 - Atlanta, GA -The Masquerade
May 11 - West Springfield, VA - Jaxx Nightclub
May 12 - New York, NY - Best Buy Theater

DIAMOND PLATE's "At The Mountains Of Madness" video can be seen below. The clip was filmed with director Dave Vorhes in the band's hometown. The song comes off DIAMOND PLATE's debut album, "Generation Why?", which was recorded at RAX Trax studios in Chicago with producer Neil Kernon (JUDAS PRIEST, DEICIDE, NEVERMORE, 3 INCHES OF BLOOD).

By incorporating elements of extreme metal, hardcore and other outside interests, DIAMOND PLATE has made a solid thrash album that is proudly modern, yet can stand the test of time. Neil Kernon, no stranger to making records that were hallmarks of aggression, helped shape "Generation Why?" into just that.

DIAMOND PLATE is a young, dynamic band which has taken the Midwest metal scene by storm and now have its eyes set on global domination. Formed in 2008, this high-energy act has earned high honors from respected outlets such as Terrorizer magazine, which named DIAMOND PLATE as one of the best unsigned bands in the very year that the band first got together.
"Spell Eater", the debut album from Los Angeles-based female-fronted metallers HUNTRESS, has entered the German Media Control chart at position No. 96.

Says the band: "Charting on the Top 100 in Germany with a debut metal album is a huge victory for us and heavy metal. Thank you, Thomas Caser, and Napalm Records for all your hard work and faith in us! It's just the beginning! Tomorrow, May 8th 'Spell Eater' is released in North American! Get it on iTunes, Amazon, at your local record shop or NapalmRecords.com for limited-edition packages! HAIL METAL!!!"

"Spell Eater" track listing:

01. Spell Eater
02. Senecide
03. Sleep and Death
04. Snow Witch
05. Eight of Swords
06. Aradia
07. Night Rape
08. Children
09. Terror
10. The Tower
11. The Dark

HUNTRESS vocalist Jill Janus told AOL's Noisecreep about the "Spell Eater" artwork, "The album cover captures the beauty and brutality of HUNTRESS. Vance Kelly is a warlock and he took our vision and created a magical illustration that breathes glory into the old crone. We contemplated having either a sultry sorceress or decrepit forest witch as our cover babe. Ultimately, the crone won because she is the true Huntress."

According to a press release, "Janus is an operatic banshee with an unparalleled four-octave range and lust for the occult. Born and raised in the Catskill Mountains of New York, she toured Europe as a teenage opera starlet. Upon her return to the States, Janus embraced Manhattan nightlife, creating Felliniesque cabarets and parties in a nihilistic club scene. Years later, Janus moved to Los Angeles and began the gestation period of HUNTRESS. In 2009 she met underground metal band PROFESSOR. The universe spread her legs and delivered HUNTRESS to Janus, combining former members of PROFESSOR, DARK BLACK and SKELETONWITCH."

HUNTRESS is currently supporting DRAGONFORCE on a North American tour.


Vocals: Jill Janus
Lead Guitar: Blake Meahl
Rhythm Guitar: Ian Alden
Drums: Carl Wierzbicky
Bass: Eric Harris

For more information, visit www.facebook.com/huntresskills.
Norwegian five-piece TURBONEGRO will release its ninth studio album, "Sexual Harassment", digitally on June 13 via Volcom Entertainment. Fine quality LPs and CDs of "Sexual Harassment" will be available in August. The first single from the album, "You Give Me Worms", recently premiered on Vice, and is now available digitally.

Recorded at Electric Lady Studios in New York, "Sexual Harassment" is a ten-song album which "showcase TURBONEGRO's roots in hardcore punk, '80s alternative, the thrift-store riffs of THE STOOGES and THE ROLLING STONES, platform-booted glitter rock, and spectacular bubblegum radio music of any era — all executed with an attitude that's unmistakably TURBONEGRO," according to a press release. The CD was produced by Matt Sweeney and mixed at Malabar Studio in Oslo by Nick Terry. The artwork was created by Martin Kvamme, Gardar Eide Einarsson and Matias Faldbakken.


Tony Sylvester (a.k.a. Duke Of Nothing) - vocals
Euroboy - lead guitar
Rune Rebellion - rhythm guitar
Happy-Tom - bass
Tommy Manboy – drums
Italian extreme epic metal act STORMLORD have issued the following update:

"Legions of the storm, first of all, we want to show you our deepest gratitude for having so much patience. It's been a while since our last update and now we're ready to unveil some details about our next album.

"In the last years, we left behind our live activity in order to focus more on the songwriting and to develop the synergy of the new lineup: now we're pleased to announce that all the material has been written while the pre-production process and the lyrics writing are on their way. We're very proud of how the new stuff sounds and we firmly believe that these will be the best songs of our career, so far: those who enjoyed the epic and mediterranean feeling of 'Mare Nostrum' (2008) and the dynamic flavour of 'Supreme Art Of War' (1999) will not be disappointed, that's a promise! As usual, we are trying to push our sound one step forward, remaining loyal to the roots of our music but dealing with new influences and different styles too. In three worlds: extreme epic metal.

"The title of the new album will be 'Hesperia' (a Greek/Latin word that stands for 'land of the sunset' or 'Western land', the name whereby ancient Greeks called Italy), and it will be a concept album, the first of our career, inspired by the Aeneid, the Latin epic poem written by Virgil between 29 and 19 BC.

"We will enter the Outer Sound Studios (NOVEMBRE, NECRODEATH, THE FORESHADOWING, KLIMT 1918), of Rome during this autumn and, once again, we'll be working with Giuseppe Orlando, the sound engineer that handled the recordings of almost all of our past records.

"Hear you soon and, like the characters of 'Game Of Thrones' would say: 'brace yourself, Storm is coming!'"

STORMLORD's fourth full-length album, "Mare Nostrum", was released in May 2008 via Locomotive Records. The CD was recorded at Giuseppe Orlando's Outer Sound Studios and was mastered at Finnvox Studios by Mika Jussila (HIM, CHILDREN OF BODOM, NIGHTWISH, SENTENCED).

"The Legacy – 17 Years of Extreme Epic Metal", a double "best-of" collection from STORMLORD, was released on February 22, 2007 through Scarlet Records. The first CD contains 13 songs spanning the band's 17-year career as of one of Europe's most respected metal merchants, including the rare EP "Under the Sign of the Sword", originally released in 1997. The second CD contains a full live show recorded in Montreal on June 14, 2006 during the band's Canadian tour.

Scarlet Records released STORMLORD's first official DVD, "The Battle of Quebec City: Live in Canada", in July 2007 in Europe.
Ex-KORN guitarist Brian "Head" Welch rejoined his former bandmates on stage this past Saturday night (May 5) at the Carolina Rebellion festival at the legendary Rockingham Speedway in Rockingham, North Carolina to perform the band's classic song "Blind". This marked the first time in seven years that Welch and KORN played together.

Video footage and a photo of Welch performing with KORN at Carolina Rebellion can be seen below.

Commented Welch: "It was so amazing Saturday night playin' with KORN. Reconciling with family is always good. So much love on stage and from KORN fans. Many tears shed. God is love."

Welch left KORN in 2005 to become a born-again Christian after years of hard drug and alcohol abuse while in the band.

Although Welch has a new band called LOVE AND DEATH, both he and KORN bassist Reginald "Fieldy" Arvizu have said that a reunion could be possible one day under the right conditions.

Welch was recently asked by Loudwire what he thought of the recent drama last month at the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame, where GUNS N' ROSES singer Axl Rose refused to attend the ceremony and be inducted with his former bandmates. Welch — who left KORN seven years ago — replied that if KORN ever got nominated to the Hall, the situation would be very different.

Welch explained, "I've thought about that over the years and I'm friends with them now. I talk to them pretty regularly, so I don't think it would be a big deal for me to go and play a classic or two. I don't understand grown men who are close to 50 years old having issues like that. It just floors me that you can't at some degree, be civil. It's just beyond me. I don't understand that, but you know, everyone is different, I don't judge them. We all have our issues."

KORN will be eligible for induction into the Hall in 2019, 25 years after the 1994 release of the band's self-titled debut album.
Ed Lanouette (DARK DAY SUNDAY) is filling in for SHADOWS FALL bassist Paul Romanko on the Massachusetts metal band's current U.S. tour with FEAR FACTORY.

In a new tweet, SHADOWS FALL frontman Brian Fair explained Paul's absence by saying, "His first child is on the way and he is recovering from carpal tunnel surgery."

Ed earned his bachelor's degree at Berklee College Of Music and graduated with a master's degree in jazz performance from the Boston Conservatory. He cites his main influences as Jaco Pastorius and BLACK SABBATH's Geezer Butler.

In addition to Lanouette, DARK DAY SUNDAY features in its ranks FATES WARNING guitarist Frank Aresti and SHADOWS FALL drummer Jason Bittner.

Fan-filmed video footage of SHADOWS FALL's May 22 concert at Trees in Dallas, Texas can be seen below.

SHADOWS FALL's new album, "Fire From The Sky", is scheduled for a May 15 release via Razor & Tie. Recorded at Zing Studios in late 2011, the CD reunites SHADOWS FALL with longtime friend, producer/engineer and KILLSWITCH ENGAGE/TIMES OF GRACE guitarist Adam Dutkiewicz (THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA, ALL THAT REMAINS). The album was mixed by Brian Virtue and features some of the band's most complex and melodic material in years.

The cover artwork for "Fire From The Sky" was designed by Aaron Marsh of Forefathers.
As '90s and '00s metal developed, one of those that had a solid run was the band Soil.  Their distinct brand of universally solid barroom rock was combined with a sense of modern flavor to give them a unique experience that was all their own.  Unfortunately for the band, they had a very, very public fallout between themselves and vocalist Ryan McCombs in 2004 when the vocalist left to join Drowning Pool.  The band continued on to have moderate success, but fans always longed for the day when McCombs would find his way back to the group.
That day is today.  The band recently announced that McCombs has rejoined the fold.  The band are playing shows again, writing new music, and preparing a brand new DVD called RE-LIVE-ING THE SCARS.  Through the glory and ease of Email, PITRIFF caught up with bassist Tim King to get some insight into the reunion, and just how the band got past some of the public negativity they let loose on each other a decade ago in order to work together again.
PITRIFF - Talk about how the band comes back together with Ryan?  Was it as simple as a phone call and a couple of drinks at the bar, or were there a lot of issues that had to be worked out to come back together?
TIM KING (TK) - We had been talking about it for awhile and it was time to do it.  There were some issues that had to be worked out and we sat down and discussed everything.  We all decided that the past was in the past and that we had missed playing together. We decided to leave all the problems of the past behind us and start fresh with a new outlook and viewpoint.
PITRIFF - Obviously a large part of Soil's career featured AJ Cavalier as the vocalist.  Songs like "Lesser Man" and "Like It Is" have become fan favorites.  Will those songs be retired or will Ryan do the "Bruce Dickinson" thing and put his spin on those songs?
TK - Ryan is the original voice of soil. The decision would be up to him. Right now we are focused on the older favorites and working on new material.
PITRIFF - Is this a reunion, or a reunion for the DVD and some shows only?
TK - We at first wanted to 'play it by ear' and see how the UK tour went.  It has since blossomed into a full commitment with us and we are moving forward with more shows and writing new material.
PITRIFF - Why is Shaun Glass not part of the reunion?
TK - It was not a consideration.
PITRIFF - If I remember right, there weren't the kindest words exchanged about each other from Ryan or from the remainder of the band when Ryan first left.  Specifically, you called out Ryan pretty harshly for lying to the fans about his reasons for leaving Soil.   How did the band get past that, especially when things were said so publicly?
TK - Well like I said in the beginning of this interview, we had some things to work out.  In life, sometimes your emotions get the best of you and you say or do things you don't necessarily mean or you regret.  This is one of those times. We are fortunate enough to all be adults and forgive and learn from past mistakes. The past is in the past and we are looking forward to a new era and new changes.
PITRIFF - My "outsider looking in" thought has always been that the band changed direction a bit too quickly from THROTTLE JUNKIES to REDEFINE.  Specifically, you went from a more organic "shitkicker" sound early to a much more produced, modern metal sound which eventually proved to be a trend that faded.  Obviously with hindsight being 20/20, do you ever look back and wish you would have stayed with the more straight up rock n' roll sound of THROTTLE JUNKIES?
TK - No. We have always written songs from the heart and what we were feeling at the time. We grew as a band, and SCARS was our most successful album to date, so why would we regret it?
PITRIFF - For Ryan, how has working so closely with our troops changed you as a person and a performer?  Will you try to incorporate that spirit of giving back to our service members in Soil?
TK - Since I'm not Ryan I can't answer the first part, but because Ryan has such a close tie to the troops and the cause, we will definitely be incorporating what we can into Soil.
PITRIFF - What are your thoughts of Dirge Within?
TK - No thoughts...hope they enjoy doing what they do.
PITRIFF - What's next for Soil?
TK - We are playing many USA festival dates, going back to the UK for Download, releasing the DVD 're-LIVE-ing The Scars', writing new material and have many more surprises to come.
PITRIFF - Give a review of Motorhead in 3 words or less.
TK – Fucking Lemmy!
PITRIFF - What am I missing that you want people to know?
TK - Well i think you just asked every awkward question you could for this interview...so kudos on that!!!!   Lmfao!!!  Soil is back, and back with a vengeance!
Four musicians who performed on KING DIAMOND's 1990 album, "The Eye" — guitarists Andy La Rocque and Pete Blakk, bassist Hal Patino and drummer Snowy Shaw — are featured on "Free Falling Angels", the forthcoming debut album from Patino's son, Danish rock singer Maryann Cotton (born Jackie Patino). The CD, which also features guitarist Sebastain Sly, will be released on June 15 via Pure Steel Records.

"Free Falling Angels" track listing:

01. Heaven Send For Me
02. Never "Waste" Land
03. Crazy
04. Get It On
05. Free Falling Angels
06. Nighttrain To Paris
07. Die In Britain
08. Miss Misery
09. Shock Me
10. The One
11. "Maryann"

Check out the new cover artwork below.

Said Maryann: "The album will consist of 11 old school garage rock songs, combined with a brutal and dirty rhythm sections, to the most beautiful orchestra arrangements."

Blakk, Hal Patino and Shaw are also expected to be part of Cotton's touring band, which will begin playing shows in the fall.

Maryann Cotton's career was launched in 2006 when he performed live on Danish TV as part of the "Scenen Er Din" program (Danish version of "Star Search").

King Diamond stated about Maryann's Shock Me" single (which also featured appearances by La Rocque, Blakk, Hal Patino and Shaw), "I checked out the Maryann Cotton song 'Shock Me'. I really liked it. It reminded me in a positive way of Alice Cooper 1971. I think his vocals fit really well in the music, and the few backing vocals he did seemed to make everything sound a lot bigger. Normally horn sections really give me the creeps, but the way they used it in this song, I didn't mind. Great musicians, of course. I really look forward to hear more songs from him, so I can begin to get the full picture."
Last year was an insane roller coaster for SONIC SYNDICATE with extremes of both highs and lows. The band played in front literally the biggest crowds of its entire career, but parted ways with two bandmembers. They were presented with gold records, among other music awards, but lost over 100,000 friends when their Facebook page was deleted. The list of good and bad that pursues SONIC is longer than their bar tab at the Metal Hammer Awards. So after the "We Rule The Night" tour, which spanned Japan, entire Europe and Russia, was complete, they decided to call a hiatus, in all honestly not knowing what would happen next. All they knew was they needed to be with their families.

Nine months of silence. After their joint headline spot at the Summer Breeze festival in Germany to over 35,000 people, SONIC haven't played a single show since, declining tour offers to play with some of the world's hugest bands. But all of this still hasn't been enough to stop their fans. The overwhelming amount of requests to see them live again has kept pouring in every day since they announced the break.

Earlier today, the band released the following statement: "We've been to hell and back this past 12 months, but we realized something. We miss each other. And we miss our fans and we miss playing live! It seemed we had two choices. Split up, go our separate ways and let our fans down OR continue even more determined. So we have some very exciting news! We're back! We're gonna play some very exclusive shows this year, and decided first we have to go to Hungary because we missed it on the 'We Rule The Night' tour!"

SONIC SYNDICATE will co-headline the Vekeri Fesztival, set to take place June 21-23 in Hungary. Also scheduled to appear are AMORPHIS, NORTHER, ELUVEITIE and many other acts.

SONIC SYNDICATE's latest album, "We Rule The Night", was released in Europe on August 27 via Nuclear Blast Records. The CD was recorded at Bohus Sound studios in Kungälv, Sweden with producer Toby Wright, who has previously worked with KORN, SLAYER, MÖTLEY CRÜE, KISS, FEAR FACTORY, IN FLAMES, STONE SOUR and OZZY OSBOURNE, among others.
Cobra Metal recently conducted an interview with vocalist Mark Osegueda of San Francisco Bay Area metallers DEATH ANEGL. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.

Cobra Metal: It seems like you guys have been relentlessly touring in support of "Relentless Retribution". How has the road been treating you?

Mark: It's been amazing! This is definitely the most extensive tour we've ever done and we've been winning fans over, all over the place which is good for us. That's what's neat about this run — we've been getting support slots which has never really happened for us. The ANTHRAX and TESTAMENT gig, we got that tour and then this one [with SEPULTURA]. It's nice because a lot of people are coming to see DEATH ANGEL that may have just seen the name or the logo, or never got to see us before. It's been great.

Cobra Metal: Not that it ever died off, but it seems like thrash metal is making a comeback. You recently toured with ANTHRAX and TESTAMENT. I was at the L.A. show and apart from the old-school fans, I saw a bunch of younger fans not even old enough to buy beer. To what do you attest the new popularity enjoyed by thrash metal?

Mark: It's just something that's timeless. Kids can grasp onto it. The great thing about thrash is that it's powerful and it's fast and you get that aggression, but there's also roots in the New Wave Of British Heavy Metal so there's actually some melody to it as well and technicality to it where as for a while in the '90s, there was a lot of rap metal and nu-metal where it was mostly a percussive thing… not a lot of flavor in the middle, if you ask me.

Cobra Metal: It appears that Nuclear Blast has been kind to the band. Have you enjoyed being on the label?

Mark: They've been great! Speaking from experience with different labels we've been on, they understand metal and know how to market a metal band and that's the main goal for the label. We've been on polar opposite sides of the spectrum back in the '80s when "Act III" was on Geffen, but they in turn didn't really know how to market a metal band or this type of metal so it was a learning experience for both of us. [Laughs]

Cobra Metal: Have you started writing for the next album?

Mark: Yeah. It's difficult writing on the road but we have about five skeletons [of songs] right now. I have lyrics down for one, so my plan is to start writing lyrics for the other ones on this tour. I haven't got time to get into the studio, but the goal is to have 15-20 songs and pick out the best to make a solid statement of an album.

Cobra Metal: Any plans to hit the studio any time soon?

Mark: We still have a bit of touring to do for this so we're gonna take our time to write the next one. I'm guessing, in all honesty, it would be tail end of this year or January/February of 2013 at the latest. We're shooting for a spring or summer release in 2013.
Yamaha Drums and Guitar Center have announced a very special series of West Coast clinics/workshops featuring Paul Bostaph (SLAYER, TESTAMENT, EXODUS, FORBIDDEN, BLACKGATES). These FREE workshops will give you a chance to see one of trash/metal drumming's greatest up close and personal plus learn more about Yamaha Drums with Yamaha artist relations manager Greg Crane. There will also be question-and-answer time with Paul along with specials on all Yamaha Drums and hardware the night of the event.

June 04 - Guitar Center - Emeryville, CA (7:00 p.m.)
June 06 - Guitar Center - Las Vegas, NV (7:00 p.m.)
June 07 - Guitar Center - San Marcos, CA (7:00 p.m.)
June 08 - Guitar Center - Lake Forest, CA (7:00 p.m.)
June 09 - Guitar Center - West Los Angeles, CA (1:00 p.m.)

For more information, visit the Yamaha Drums Facebook page.

Bostaph quit TESTAMENT in December to focus on BLACKGATES, the new East San Francisco Bay Area/New York metal outfit also featuring former ANTHRAX singer Dan Nelson and guitarist Jeremy Epp (THE VENTING MACHINE).

Bostaph previously stated about BLACKGATES's musical direction, "Our sound is drawn from all of our influences. Mostly, we don't want to be a thrash metal band, although we draw from that genre as well. There is something in our music for everyone. Heavy grooves, good hooks and Dan's killer pipes. I think we have an independent sound that will stand on its own."

In a September 2011 interview with the "Metal Zone" host Nikki Blakk on the San Francisco, California radio station 107.7 The Bone, Bostaph stated about the "serious injury" which has forced him to sit out the recording sessions for TESTAMENT's new studio album and not be able to take part in any touring activities with the band, "I have a rehearsal studio of my own, and [back in March] I finished rehearsing and there was some equipment stacked around my drum set that, when I rehearse sometimes, I keep that studio a little dark… which is always good except for when you can't see what you are walking around. And I tripped over some stuff on the floor, fell, and subsequently, a couple of hours later, I had a lump on my wrist. I wasn't sure what it was and I went into physical therapy and the lump had caused tendonitis, so it kept me off the drum set for a while. And I just have had the lump removed. And what it turned out to be was I was born with what they call an extensor muscle that was attached to my index finger of my right hand, which is an extra muscle. They removed the muscle, the tendonitis is gone. Now I'm just recovering from the surgery, so as soon as I do that, I'll be back behind the kit again."
Rex Brown needs no introduction to you metal fans out there. His years with Pantera and Down created some of the best songs of all time and now he continues his musical journey with his new group Kill Devil Hill. They will be releasing their long awaited self-titled debut record on May 22nd here in the States via SPV/Steamhammer. Last week I had the honor of speaking with Rex on the new band, his bass playing technique, Pantera, his upcoming book and much more!

Enjoy the in-depth interview below and pick up the
Kill Devil Hill album later this month!

Kill Devil Hill will be releasing their self titled album later this month and everyone is really excited for this record. Considering there's been a lot of press and the date was pushed back months ago, is anyone more excited about this release than you guys?

I highly doubt it. We are all ready for this thing to come out now (laughs). It's only a few weeks away, but it's about time for it to be released to the masses. We are pumped, excited, just ready for fans to hear what we came up with. We've had it done for six months now, went through some little issues, but now everything is cool and it's ready to be unleashed.

With every press release that's come out you've seen your name with Pantera/Down in parentheses, Vinny with Dio/Black Sabbath, Mark/Ratt and Jason/Pissing Razors. So some people think of it as a super group, but once you really listen to this album I think it's a whole new monster. Is that what you were shooting for?

Yea definitely man. I'm glad you said that. I'm always hesitant about the word super group. Yea Vinny and I are in the band, but it's a whole new thing. Vinny sent me these demos he had and asked if I would be down to throw some bass on it, and I loved the material so I jumped at the opportunity. I've known Vinny for damn near twenty years now. Down toured with Heaven and Hell back in the day ya know, so we have history. Apparently when they wrote the material for Kill Devil Hill my name came up in the conversation of bass players, and he gave me a call and shit, the rest is history! I'm the newest guy in the band, which is new for me, but I'm loving it man.

You've mentioned in previous interviews that the music was basically already written when you joined the band. Coming from Pantera and Down and being involved with the songwriting as much as you were in those days, was it weird to come into something that was already pretty much done?

I can put my stamp on anything man. What it boils down to is that we had the rough demos of the tracks and I threw my stuff on top of it and asked them what they thought of it. They dug it and so we changed up a few parts and the final result is really killer I think. It's wild man. I literally walked in with a bass guitar in my hand last January and we started jamming together and it just clicked. I know that's a very cliché thing to say, but it did. I knew right then that this is what I wanted to do. Sometimes in life you have to take chances, and that's what I did with these guys, and I truly believe that it's going to pay off. I mean the record is just awesome. It doesn't suck (laughs).

Since you came in with songs already basically written, have you been writing new songs with more of your input since January or have you guys been focusing on sharpening up the tracks that are already done?

Those tracks are good to go, but Mark and I have written the skeletons of three or four songs as of right now. Obviously, a lot more has to be put on top of them, but it's been a blast writing with him. Everything just fell into place perfectly from the start, which rarely happens. Obviously I know Vinny from back in the day, but that little rehearsal spot was home to legend. Bill Metoyer, the guy who did the first two Slayer records, it was his place. It was this old fucking shack, but it's Bill's place, and now he's like the fifth member of the band. I was more floored by meeting him than anything (laughs). I was like, "Dude this is the guy who did the first two Slayer records", but he was super cool man. That worked out well, and like I said, I clicked with Mark and Dewey right off the bat, so it was just a ton of fun jamming with those dudes. Once people check out the record, I think they will be able to hear it and I think they'll dig it like we all do.

Yea I'm a huge fan of the album! I must say that my favorite track is "Rise From The Shadows." That opening bass line and that main riff is just powerful as hell!

You like that one man? Hell yea. I love that tune too. It originally started with just Mark jamming that riff and I remember saying "I can do that with a Wah," and I love that shit man. We really did take our time going through each song and seeing where something else could be added or what should be left alone. Yea, the songs were basically done, but I still had to put my stamp on it. It's just been a blast man. I got that hunger back, the fire is there, just ready to fucking rip it up now.

Hell yes, that's great to hear man. I know you've played some live shows and they've been at smaller clubs that you may not have played in a while. Is it cool to kind of go back into these smaller places after playing huge arenas and amphitheaters throughout your career?

Dude I love that! To tell you the truth, it's been invigorating man. The shows were really fun to be a part of ya know. The record is not out yet, but by the third song or so, people really catch on to what we are doing and they really get into it. I know people are expecting music similar to Pantera or Black Sabbath, but it's not like that at all. We don't play covers. We play our music, because they are well thought out songs, and by the end of the sets you could really feel the energy.

As a bass player myself, I've seen the live videos of those shows, and you are still rocking the Spector basses that you are famous for playing. Why have you chosen to stay with them all this time?

I just have a great relationship with those guys. I knew what sound I always wanted to come out of my bass and they nailed it. Obviously it depends on the song, I have a huge bass collection man, but I know by heart which Spector has the right sound for that piece of music, and that's really important to me. Plus they make the baddest basses on the planet! What am I sitting here bullshitting with you for (laughs). They are just the best.

Yea one of my first bass guitars was a Spector and that was basically because of watching you in Pantera. I just loved the feel of it and the sound like you said.

That's awesome to hear! Lately, I've been playing the Spector NS-2 Euro series and loving it. I got this new white one, that you may have seen in pictures or whatever, but it has all the rings on it instead of all maple, and dude, this thing comes through like a fucking bull charging (laughs). A lot of times when you use maple wood it's going to sound really dark and heavy, and with this white one, it just crunches through everything that exact way you want it to. With my playing, I basically sink the pickups into the wood because I play so heavy with my right hand. That's mostly because of the Pantera days, but this bass can sound real nice and clean or it can sounds just dirty as fuck man. Wait, did I just give away my bass playing secret to you?

I can leave it out!

No worries! Nah fuck it man, it's fun to talk about the bass. Back to the new white one (laughs), it's just awesome. I've tried so many basses, so many different setups, but I've never played anything with this sound yet. It's unbelievable man. Now comes the hard part of trying to find a back up bass for the road.

How many basses do you usually bring on the road with you? Just the two?

Yea usually just two. With Kill Devil Hill we've been touring mostly on the weekends. After that we fly home, relax, and do it again the next weekend. It saves you a ton of money gas wise, bus wise, it's just easier for us that way. The way the economy is and the gas prices are here, you can be out of money quick ya know. So I've enjoyed how we've been doing it lately. It shows in the live performance as well.

Personally, the sound of your bass is what really drew me to your playing with Pantera and Down. I hear that a lot with the new material as well. As you know, when it came to Pantera, you know Dime's riffs and solos are what comes first to people's minds, but I always admired the way the bass came through, especially on "Reinventing The Steel." I still think to this day that's more of a Rex record than anything and that's why it's a favorite in my collection.

Thanks so much Mark. That really flatters me man. It's fun to talk about that record, because it's rarely brought up in interviews. With that record we really wanted to find a spot where the bass could fit in and shine at the same time, which was great for me ya know. Before you could feel the low end on the songs, but you couldn't really hear all of the notes. Our first two records are kind of like the first two Van Halen records to me. You really couldn't hear Michael Anthony bass ya know, it was just all Eddie. Don't get me wrong, that was killer though. Once "Far Beyond Driven" was in the works, I got this four string from Spector and it was just on man. We've done great business with Spector ever since then. I just came out with another signature model last year, and they are selling alright, but the low end on that bass just sounds huge. You gotta be careful not to bust some speakers with that one.

It's hard not to bust speakers when you're playing some of the stuff you're known for!

True, but it can be done. I'm living proof of it (laughs).

I can't let this opportunity pass without mentioning the the 20th Anniversary of "Vulgar Display Of Power." The special edition is coming out in a few weeks, the "Piss" video is out there, and all the Pantera fans are stoked. A lot of people say that "Vulgar Display Of Power" is the best Pantera album and it still has a major effect on the scene today. What do you think it is about that record that people connected with so much back in 1992 and still to this day?

It's really hard to put my finger on it, but I think there was multiple reasons why it had such an effect on people. Concerning Pantera, it was just the natural revolution of the band. Like we did most of our career, we did what we wanted, but we really showed a natural progression with "Vulgar." Plus, there was a small window there concerning Metallica. There was that space between "And Justice For All" and the "black" album, and we knew we had material to keep the people heavy. Honestly, that record was such a joy to be a part of man. Every morning I would wake up and be like "God damn I can't wait to get back to work on this material." The way it flowed out of us still surprises me to this day. We had just played 250 shows the previous year and there are a ton of difficult parts to that record, but it just came together so easily. We all clicked so well putting it together, and people really dug it from the get go. I feel the same way talking about that time in my life like I feel today with Kill Devil Hill. Everything is just so positive and it comes together much easier that way.

I was about to say that you're basically saying you have the same feeling right now with Kill Devil Hill that you did back with Pantera. That's fucking amazing man, it's come full circle I guess!

You know what's crazy about the whole thing is the first time that I met Vinny was at the 1992 Monsters Of Rock tour that will be released on the DVD on the "Vulgar Display Of Power" special edition. That was the first time I met Dio too. I remember Pantera went on and did our thing, and then it was someone like Warrant or something and then Black Sabbath. You got to remember what year it was, but it was just unfair for them to have Warrant in between our two bands (laughs). Fans were throwing bottles at them man, it got ugly. I'll never forget watching Vinny that night though. I remember Phil and I just sat back behind Geezer's stack, and being blown away by his playing. Vinny is the most underrated player out there in my opinion, but he is also a really good friend. It's just crazy that all of these years later, we are together again and in the same project. I'm lucky to have him as a friend and now I'm in the same band as him ya know, it's insane. Life is a funny thing man.

Speaking of your life, you will be releasing "Official Truth, 101 Proof: The Inside Story of Pantera" book in the Fall. All we've really heard about this book is that it's "starkly honest and revealing". What can we expect? Any more details you can say?

Not really man. We are still going through the editing process, but it's basically my tale of the Pantera years from my point of view. I was always the silent guy in the band. I never did interviews, so I was approached with this idea and I was down for it. I didn't realize how much work would be involved (laughs), but it's going to cool man. I just finished it two days ago and now I need to take a break from it for a couple of weeks or sure. It's just my inside story of what was going on. It leads up to the breakup, Dime's death, and to now. There is only four people in that band that knew what was going on, so this will just be my interpretation on those years. I'll say this, it probably won't be my last book either. It's a lot of work though. We went through a thousand photos, stories, memories, everything dude so it's an insightful view that most fans would never know of if it weren't for the book. I think it's got a lot of things that people don't know and should know, and I hope the people enjoy it. We are shooting for it to be released on November 27th through Da Capo Press, but so many things can happen, so we'll see. It's a good read for sure.

Concerning your life, you've been in some of the biggest bands to walk this planet, you're known all over the world, and you're still kicking ass today, what are the biggest lessons you've learned from your music journey so far?

Perseverance. Patience. Brotherhood. Respect. Everything man. A lot of good things come out of it if you treat people the right way. I think that goes for life as well. I wouldn't be here where I am today without learning and adapting to those lessons. It's been a journey for sure, and now another new one begins with Kill Devil Hill.

Very cool Rex. I want to thank you for taking out the time. Best of luck with the new group and I hope to see you back here in Atlanta soon.

Definitely man. Thanks for the interview and support, and I'll see you soon! Take care brother.

For More Information, Go To KillDevilHillMusic.Com!
According to The Salt Lake Tribune, SCORPIONS drummer James Kottak is among the musicians who will perform at The Heavy Metal Shop's 25th-anniversary party on Sunday, June 10 between 4 and 8 p.m. at the Exchange Place shop in Salt Lake City, Utah.

SCORPIONS' "Comeblack", a new album of classic rock covers and fresh performances of signature repertoire recorded last year, sold around 5,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release to debut at position No. 90 on The Billboard 200 chart.

SCORPIONS' last collection of all-original material, "Sting In The Tail", opened with 18,500 units to land at No. 23. This marked the band's highest chart debut in over 20 years. The CD also landed at No. 6 on the Rock Albums chart.

"Sting In The Tail" was released in North America on March 23, 2010 via Universal Music Enterprises. The CD was recorded at a studio in Hannover, Germany with Swedish producers Mikael "Nord" Andersson and Martin Hansen (the team behind THE RASMUS' "Dead Letters" CD).
In absence for more than two decades, we embrace new material from Leather Leone (CHASTAIN, RUDE GIRL, MALIBU BARBI) and drummer Sandy Sledge (RUDE GIRL, MALIBU BARBI, WARBRIDE, WEAPONSVAN) in their new project SLEDGE LEATHER.

The SLEDGE LEATHER debut album, "Imagine Me Alive", was inspired in 2010 when Leather Leone called Sandy Sledge to collaborate on the Ronnie James Dio track "Egypt" for a demo tribute recording. Due to the overwhelming response for more material, SLEDGE LEATHER was born and were confirmed for Germany's Keep It True festival in April 2011.

SLEDGE LEATHER entered the studio in 2011 to record "Imagine Me Alive", engulfing the listener in an onslaught of heavy metal with 11 cohesive tracks that resurrects a classic heavy metal sound with DIO's former bandmembers Scott Warren (keyboards), and Jimmy Bain (bass).

"We wanted to finish what we started with RUDE GIRL in the '80s — straight-up heavy-ass metal," Sandy Sledge explains, "This album truly shows the different ways that Leather's voice can create music."

Leather Leone comments: "It's great for me to finally have a huge say in what's written and how it's written. With Sledge, I feel like it's writing with a soulmate — same beliefs, same ideas — because we are writing what comes to us naturally and what comes to us naturally is HEAVY music. This is metal. It's just 'metal.' Heavy, metal."

Respected industry friends Mike Varney and Monte Conner comment on SLEDGE LEATHER.

"Sledge and Leather are the most powerful team of female rockers on the metal scene today," says Mike Varney, founder of Shrapnel Records.

"Leather sounds as great as she ever did and kicks even more ass than she did in the '80s!," says Monte Conner of Roadrunner Records.

SLEDGE LEATHER's album lineup includes Leather Leone (vocals), Sandy Sledge (drums), Matthias Weisheit (guitars), Scott Warren (keyboards/orchestration), and Jimmy Bain (bass).
"Stoneface", the debut album from AHOLA, the new "vital rock act" launched by Jarkko Ahola of the Finnish metal groups TERÄSBETONI and NORTHERN KINGS, has entered the official chart in the band's home country at position No. 41. Released on April 25, the CD was recorded at Headline Studio in Tampere.

Commented Ahola: "AHOLA is a band that strives from the foundation of rock giving the listeners those vibes that the songs made people feel during the golden era of rock and heavy music. We write our music boldly and by experimenting new stuff, bringing the good stuff to this day, with a modern and unique twist and sound."

"Stoneface" track listing:

01. Donwana
02. Beerland
03. As Long As I Live (Rock 'N' Roll Is Not Dead)
04. Hurricane
05. Restless
06. The Spell
07. I Walk Alone
08. We Want Out
09. Eat Me Alive
10. Livin' The Dream
11. Stoneface
12. I Want You
13. Does It Matter What I Wear
14. Hurt You
15. Cold'n'Lonely'

A nine-minute YouTube clip containing audio samples of the songs on "Stoneface" is available below.
Singer Jonas Renkse of Swedish dark rockers KATATONIA has finished laying down vocals on the band's new album, tentatively due in September via Peaceville Records. He says in an online posting, "Vocals done a few days ago, now checking through every song to make sure this baby is ready for mix!"

In a recent interview with Loud TV (audio available below), KATATONIA guitarist/co-founder Anders "Blakkheim" 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]."

KATATONIA played four shows in Scandinavia in December, hitting the capital cites of Copenhagen, Oslo, Helsinki and, of course, the band's hometown of Stockholm. The concerts, which were part of the 20th-anniversary "Last Fair Day Gone Night Tour 2011", saw the band perform two sets. The first set consisted of a performance of the entire "Last Fair Deal Gone Down" album front to back. The second set was a mixture of carefully picked songs from the band's extensive catalogue.

KATATONIA's May 6, 2011 concert at Koko in London, England was professionally filmed/recorded for a future DVD release.

Austrian extreme metallers MASTIC SCUM have inked a deal with Massacre Records. The band is currently working on material for its fifth studio album for a fall release.

Commented MASTIC SCUM guitarist Harry Gandler: "We are proud to announce that we signed a worldwide deal with one of our favorite labels. We know Massacre Records since quite a long time and are happy to be a part of it now!"

Regarding the progress of the songwriting sessions for the forthcoming CD, the band recently said, "We are fucking excited about the new record which follows our last album, 'Dust', our strongest release to date! The new release will be for sure a progression from the songwriting and sound production points of view! Most of the songwriting is already done, but we still have work to do! The new material so far is fucking brutal, combining shredding rhythms, mosh grooves and grindcore blast attacks! We sure give 100% in the songwriting process and we cannot wait to enjoy with everyone the new overdose of brutal distorted structures! Be prepared!! As our goal is to enter the studio in summer, we are very focused on our work and will play just a few live shows this spring/summer. Nevertheless, we really look forward to grind with you at our upcoming shows!"

"Construcdead", the latest video from MASTIC SCUM, can be viewed below. The clip was filmed in Innsbruck, Austria and was produced and directed by Sulinor.

"Construcdead" comes off MASTIC SCUM's latest album, "Dust", which was released on November 13, 2009 via Twilight Distribution. 12 songs were recorded for the effort, which was mixed at Grindlab Studio and mastered by Jacob Hansen (HEAVEN SHALL BURN, ABORTED, HATESPHERE). Artwork for the CD was created by Killustrations (SIX FEET UNDER, KATAKLYSM, AMON AMARTH).

An e-card for "Dust" can be found at this location.

MASTIC SCUM in 2009 parted ways with vocalist Will due to "musical differences" and replaced him with Maggo Wenzel (INZEST, TRISTWOOD, WATCH ME BLEED).

AHOLA in August 2011 announced the addition of guitarist Antti Karhumaa to the group's ranks.

According to a press release, AHOLA "has a suitable mix of past and present — which is always an essential part of rock music. The band's musical core consists of hit tunes, feeling and of course the skill to write and play true and powerful rock music, wherein the authenticity and emotion are relevant, leaving the vain posing to others."

Commented Ahola: "AHOLA is something I've been working on for a long time.

"From the beginning I've written rock songs in English, but since being a musician, you find yourself doing something you did never expect like singing and playing in a huge act called TERÄSBETONI or participating a cool project called NORTHERN KINGS. I guess that's part of the fascination!

"Anyway, still riff-based rock being the heart of my musical world, I wanted to add some spice to the soup and do something that I wasn't so familiar with: super tightness, speed… a flavor of punk rock, you might say."

He continued, "The way I want to see AHOLA's music is: songs are, I dare say, approachable with catchy choruses but when giving the songs a deeper thought, loaded with layers you can dig into. You can hear echoes from classic rock of the '70s, alternative rock and metal of the '90s and last decade, pop music in general, that punk rock I mentioned and… well, listen to yourselves."


Jari "Jamo" Laitinen: Bass
Jarkko Ahola: Vocals, Guitar
Antti Mäkelä: Drums
Antti Karhumaa: Guitar

For more information, visit the AHOLA Facebook page.
"Rise Of The Phoenix", the new album from Finnish dark melodic death metal icons BEFORE THE DAWN, has entered the official chart in the band's home country at position No. 12. The CD was released on April 27 via Nuclear Blast Records.

After the departure of Lars Eikin (bass/clean vocals) and Atte Palokangas (drums), Finland's BEFORE THE DAWN experienced a rebirth of sorts. What could formerly be described as dark metal started to flow much more into melodic death metal waters.

Armed with new members Pyry Hanski (bass) and Joonas Kauppinen (drums), BEFORE THE DAWN will surprise you with a totally new, incredibly thrilling listening experience on their seventh studio album.

The perfectly fitting phoenix symbolism was chosen prudently as mainman, vocalist and mastermind Tuomas Saukkonen explains. "Massive changes in the line-up during 2011 ended an era of great frustration and brought back 110% dedication and professionalism into the band," he says. "The newfound energy and motivation steered us into a victorious European tour and made it possible to produce the strongest, fastest, heaviest and definitely the most epic BEFORE THE DAWN album so far!"

"Rise Of The Phoenix" track listing:

01. Exordium
02. Pitch-Black Universe
03. Phoenix Rising
04. Cross To Bear
05. Throne Of Ice
06. Perfect Storm
07. Fallen World
08. Eclipse
09. Closure

Bonus tracks:

10. Unbreakable (2012 version)
11. Deliverance
12. Reflection (taken from the very first demo, 1999)
Reactivated Swedish death/thrash metallers THE CROWN played their first concert with returning vocalist Johan Lindstrand last night (Saturday, May 5) at Sticky Fingers in Gothenburg, Sweden. This marked the band's first appearance in Gothenburg in 12 years and will likely be the group's only show in Sweden this year.

Check out photos of last night's performance at this location.

THE CROWN is currently writing material for a new studio album, tentatively due late 2012 via Century Media Records.

Commented Lindstrand: "We do have plenty of songs to fill a whole album.

"We have rehearsed on 5-6 songs now and they sound truly amazing. [They contain] a lot of variation, for sure, but with a pretty visible red line through it all.

"There's still a couple of songs left to start messing with and a lot of lyrics to be written, but you can definitely begin to see an album getting formed and shaped into a real classic.

"There's no date set for entering the studio but Marko [Tervonen, guitar] will handle the engineering and mixing and there's no doubt that he will create a killer sound.

"We're all very excited and we wanna start recording right now, but, as I've said before, there's no room for mistakes. There's only room for death fucking metal in the best possible way, so therefore we will not rush anything."

THE CROWN's current lineup:

Johan Lindstrand - Vocals
Magnus Olsfelt - Bass
Marko Tervonen - Rhythm Guitar
Janne Saarenpää - Drums
Marcus Sunesson - Lead Guitar

THE CROWN's latest album, "Doomsday King", came out in September 2010 via Century Media Records. The CD was the group's first — and only — release to feature vocalist Jonas Stålhammar.
Mikkeli, Finland-based thrashers BLOODRED HOURGLASS (formerly BRHG) have inked a deal with Spinefarm Records. The band's debut album, "Lifebound", will be released in August. The CD was recorded last year and was mixed by Jori Haukio and mastered by Svante Forsbäck.

According to a press release, BLOODRED HOURGLASS is "a mixture of groove, melody, aggression and catchy choruses with basis hanging tight on thrash metal. Straight-forward hardcore elements together with influences from even orchestral music add up to our sound making this something completely unique."


Jarkko Koukonen - Vocals
Jose Moilanen - Bass
Jarkko Tiilikainen - Guitar
Antti Nenonen - Guitar
Jarkko Hyvönen – Drums
Gothenburg, Sweden-based metallers ENGEL will take part in a signing session in their hometown on May 18 at 5:30 p.m. at Media Markt Bäckebol. There will also be a release party for the band's third album, "Blood Of Saints", later that evening at Sticky Fingers.

"Blood Of Saints" will be released on May 18 via Season Of Mist. The CD was recorded at Antfarm studios in Aabyhøj, Denmark. According to the group, the new album "is going to be a good mixture between both [previous ENGEL efforts] 'Threnody' [2010] and 'Absolute Design' [2007], but with some new angles as well! If you liked 'Threnody', you will LOVE 'Blood Of Saints'!"

"Blood Of Saints" track listing:

01. Question Your Place
02. Frontline
03. Feel Afraid
04. Numb
05. Cash King
06. One Good Thing
07. Blood of Saints
08. Down to Nothing
09. Drama Queen
10. In Darkness
11. Journeys End

The "Question Your Place" video can be seen below. The clip was filmed on February 10 at Sticky Fingers in Gothenburg with director Kristofer "Kiggs" Carlsson.

ENGEL features guitarists Marcus Sunesson (THE CROWN) and Niclas Engelin (PASSENGER, ex-GARDENIAN, IN FLAMES), vocalist Mangan Klavborn, drummer Jimmy Olausson (ex-MARIONETTE) and bassist Steve Drennan (LOCUS).

An 11-minute video clip in which Sunesson and Engelin present the tracks from the new CD can be seen below.

"Threnody" was released in Europe on November 8, 2010 and in the U.S. on January 11, 2011 via Season Of Mist. The CD was issued in Japan on April 20, 2010 via Avex.

The band was previously signed to SPV Records which issued ENGEL's debut album, "Absolute Design", in 2007.
Originating from Johannesburg, South Africa, metal/rock band MISERICORD (formed in 1997) with surviving founding members Ralf Globisch and Jason Giacoppo set about a collaboration with metal legends Andy La Rocque (KING DIAMOND) and Tomas Lindberg (AT THE GATES), creating what is a powerhouse of heavy fusion and metal groove tunes!

The music for the album was recorded in the fall of 2009, but without any vocals to fill in and two years passing, Jason Giacoppo contacted Sonic Train Studios in 2011, owned anda operated by guitarist extraordinaire Andy La Rocque. The intention was to mix and find a suitable voice to lay over the music. Andy was off to play a reunion show with AT THE GATES and asked Tomas Lindberg if he'd be interested in the project. Very thankfully Tomas was keen and a year later after a gazillion e-mails, the recording kicked off in April 2012. Jason flew up to Sweden and help guide where any direction was needed, lyrics were edited and melodies were all mixed in studio, letting the creative process take control as well.

"[It] was a really amazing experience to see such legends at work," says Jason. "Extremely fluid process for people who've only really listened to the tracks for a few weeks, just shows the professionalism."

MISERICORD's new CD will be released later in the year.

MISERICORD previously played with THE HAUNTED in South Africa during the Swedish metal band's "One Kill Wonder" tour, and has shared the stage with such bands as KONKHRA and CARCASS.

MISERICORD's "Another End" album came out in 2006.

MISERICORD recording lineup:

Tomas Lindberg - Vocals
Ralf Globisch - Guitar
Jason Giacoppo - Guitar
Nick Gibbs - Bass
Ralph Margo – Drums
London, England-based, female-fronted metallers MORTAD are seeking a second guitarist. Interested parties can contact the group at MortadAuditions@gmail.com. More information is available on the flyer below.

MORTAD's "The Voice" video can be seen below. The song comes off the band's debut album, "The Myth Of Purity", which was made available with the February 2012 issue of Metal Hammer magazine. The CD, which will receive a more "official" release later in the year, was recorded last October with producer Russ Russell (NAPALM DEATH, DIMMU BORGIR, EVILE).

"The Voice" honors the memory of Neda Agha Soltan, a young Iranian woman who was killed during the pro-democracy up risings in Iran in on June 20, 2009.

MORTAD will release a follow-up video explaining the song, the making of the video, Neda's life and the Iranian freedom movements on June 20.

Commented MORTAD frontwoman Somi Arian, "Lyrically, 'The Voice' is the most important song in 'The Myth Of Purity' album, also the only song that contains some Persian lyrics. I felt that I had something to say, I want to be 'the voice' of the voiceless and to honour the memory of thousands of men and women who lost their lives in a battle to revive the basic human rights for others."

"The Myth Of Purity" track listing:

01. All That's Born Must Be Destroyed
02. Waste Of My Rage
03. The Heights
04. Mirage
05. Feels Like Suffocation
06. The Myth Of Purity
07. I'm Not Interested In Being Interesting
08. By Default
09. The Voice
10. That Which Is Humane

MORTAD was formed in 2009 by Iranian vocalist Somi Arian , whose lyrics take aim at the hypocrisy of religion and the government as well as seeking inner truth and strength in the face of such oppression.

MORTAD released a music video and an EP, entitled "Pandemic Paranoia", in early 2011. This effort brought the band immense attention on the social media sites, placing the group as the No. 1 metal band on ReverbNation London metal chart, and attracting over 40,000 Facebook fans.

MORTAD's "Waste Of My Rage" video was sponsored by the Alchemy apparel clothing brand and produced by the Manchester-based video production company Video Ink. More than a dozen actors were cast for the clip, including Collette Von Tora, who agreed to have her head shaved for this video shoot.

MORTAD will enter the studio in November with Russ Russell to begin recording its sophomore album for a 2013 release.
Slovenian five-piece INMATE will release its debut album, "Free At Last", in the U.K. on May 25 through Graviton – The Missing Link.

Creative and hard-working, the INMATE bandmembers developed their musical identity and style, adding a modern approach to the genre. "We are all nice though tough individuals deep down," offers vocalist Mike (full name: Rok Miklavzina). "For me, it has to do with my physical discipline, the one that Taekwondo instilled in me. I tend to be lazy and this discipline helps me remember whether I am on stage or not, how tough it is during training sessions. You are not allowed to say 'I can't do it' then 'cos pain is weakness leaving the body so the whole concept of INMATE is about being aware of your struggle and yet, never giving up."

Strong guitars, striking rhythm section and powerful vocals place the band among contemporary metal fan demographics. "We all started with METALLICA, IRON MAIDEN and BLACK SABBATH," explains Mike. "But some of us went further cos as time went by, I personally managed to appreciate younger bands like TRIVIUM, ANIMALS FOR LEADERS, MESHUGGAH and TEXTURES. We connect with our fans on that level. Our sound is certainly very contemporary."

"The world is 'Free At Last' is the central idea of the album," concludes Mike. "It represents our view of the matter and the solution for the state of apathy, devotion to life and salvation of a man against himself and against the world. Because when you are in a struggle and you find yourself at a cross road, you have to stop, think and look inside of you — sometimes it is not about society, politicians or the world around you. A lot of problems start within ourselves..."


Saso Bandalo - Bass
Jure Grudnik - Drums
Rok Miklavzina - Vocals
Ales Kroflic - Guitar
Andrej Bezjak – Guitar
Dutch post-hardcore act NOTE TO AMY will release its debut album, "Midnight Arsons / Morning Ghosts", on June 15 through Graviton – The Missing Link.

According to a press release, "Midnight Arsons/Morning Ghosts" contains thirteen energetic, catchy and hard-rocking songs that already gained praise in magazines like Aardschok (NL), Big Cheese (UK), File Under (NL), Mass Movement (UK), MusicFrom.nl (NL), Muziek.nl (NL), OOR (NL) and Rock Tribune (BE). "It is a way of life for us," says vocalist Remco Tuns. "We need to make music, we are all music freaks — from grindcore to SIMON AND GARFUNKEL, we love it all. I grew up with IRON MAIDEN when I was nine years old, but then at 16 I got into punk rock, BAD RELIGION, in particular. With NOTE TO AMY, we focus a lot on the melodies to stand out and I apply the clean singing style like LIFE OF AGONY or DANZIG to our music."

"Midnight Arsons / Morning Ghosts" was recorded, mixed and mastered by Jochem Jacobs and Bouke Visser at Split Second Sound studios (TEXTURES, AUTUMN, THE LUCIFER PRINCIPLE, STREAM OF PASSION) in Amsterdam. The artwork was created by Dutch painter Jasper de Gelder, from the series "Hunting Birds". The themes within the songs are cathartic for Tuns, with the album holding a specific meaning for him. "You have the 'midnight arsons' times when you go out and set the night on fire," says Remco. "Whether you play a show or hang out with your friends. But you also have to deal with the 'morning ghosts', those things you will carry with you through the rest of your life. There are elements of each that you can destroy but there are some that you will always have to carry with you."

In support of the album, NOTE TO AMY has released a video for track "Love Is A Dog From Hell". It was shot guerilla-style in the crowded centre of Amsterdam on a Saturday afternoon and vividly tells a story everyone can relate to. "No matter how much you love someone," continues Remco, "how much you try, you end up hurting each other. A lot of the lyrics on the album are about change — you may want to be a better man for people that are important to you and instead you go out and medicate yourself with alcohol or drugs or other things..."


Guitar: Eelco Klein Overmeen
Guitar: Guy Schwartzmans
Drums: Wouter Dielesen
Bass: Marco Flohil
Vocals: Remco Tuns
Eisenwald presents a very special, limited release from AGALLOCH in the form of "The Demonstration Archive 1996-1998" vinyl box set. A collection of material from the band's early years, the archive includes all material from 1997's "From Which Of This Oak" demo , the original "Of Stone, Wind, and Pillor" EP — presented in its primeval form, as originally intended on seven-inch format — recorded in 1998, and the rare "Promo 98". All material was taken from the original analogue sources. Aside from some slight mastering to keep the songs at an even volume, nothing was edited or polished. Limited to 500 numbered deluxe sets, "The Demonstration Archive 1996-1998" is an official and fully band-sanctioned release, put together with a great deal of care, devotion and respect, in order to present this collectors' edition in a classy, aesthetically pleasing way.

"The Demonstration Archive 1996-1998" details:

* Solid LP box, covered by black carbon art-paper with black hotfoil embossing, black flooded inner sides.
* A custom, black paper envelope with black spot print, holding a set of four big art-cards with unpublished photos from that era. The cards are printed on rough 300g cardboard, plain black backsides.
* 12" black vinyl (180g) in custom-made sleeve, front center hole and embossing, "old school" cut out field for removal of the vinyl on the back. **
* 10" black vinyl in custom-made sleeve, front center hole and embossing, "old school" cut out field for removal of the vinyl on the back. **
* 7" black vinyl in custom-made sleeve, front center hole and embossing, "old school" cut out field for removal of the vinyl on the back. **
* An accompanying heavy duty booklet (30, 5x30, 5cm) that presents the records' original artwork, all lyrics, information about each recording and another rare image from that era, printed on 300g rough carboard, black/white layout and finished with silver ink.
* An exclusive black on grey 100x70cm flag of the stags motive that is connected with this release.
* Limited to a one-time print run of 500 box sets; all copies are numbered by embossing on the booklet.
* A protective piece of black foam is inserted in all copies, to prevent damage and moving of any record or its accompanying parts!

** (Sleeves are made of black cardboard, delivered in protection sleeves.)

Additional information, photos and ordering instructions are available here.
Oakland, California death metallers SUFFOKATE have parted ways with vocalist Ricky Hoover.

Commented Hoover: "As of [last week], I announced I will no longer be in the band SUFFOKATE. This has nothing to do with the fact I'm currently going to school. This was a mutual decision; both the band and I feel this is in the best interest for everyone.

"Over the last four years, I have done and seen things I never would have gotten the chance to if not for the band. These have been the best years of my life and I won't ever forget all the great memories and all the amazing fans. I am very sad to let this all go but could no longer continue due to other reasons I won't get into. I have no bad feelings or ill will towards the band and will always have love for them and the music I was fortunate enough to help create. I have poured my all and given everything I have into these last two albums and will always be grateful for them and everyone who supported me. No matter what happens, the guys in SUFFOKATE will always be my bothers. I will do whatever i can to help them out. They are some of the greatest people I have ever met and I'm truly thankful I've gotten to do this with them.

"This isn't the end for me musically. I plan on doing more in the near future. I have some personal things I need to take care of and priorities to work out in my life before I can do that. I will always have a passion for music and lyrical expression and will never stop writing. Music will always be in my life and a part of who I am. I'm very excited to see what's in store for me so be on the lookout for my future musical endeavors.

"To the fans, you are the reason I'm still here and you have helped me just as much as you say I have helped you. I'm extremely fortunate that I've been able to have such a strong connection with you all. If it wasn't for you guys, I wouldn't be who I am today.

"I will still have my personal Twitter, Tumblr and Instagram under the name @iamrickyhoover so check those for any updates of what I'm doing."

SUFFOKATE's latest album, "Return To Despair", was released last September via Mediaskare Records. The CD was recorded at Undercity Studios in North Hollywood, California.

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