[Classic_Rock_Forever] Black Sabbath, Metallica, Guns N Roses, Slash, The Cult, Rising West, Accept, Power Call, Shinedown, and tons more hard rock and heavy metal news

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Ahead of BLACK SABBATH's history-making Download festival appearance, the massive, 172-page new issue of Metal Hammer is a tribute to the legendary heavy metal act, paying homage to one of the greatest, heaviest and most influential bands to ever walk this earth. Metal Hammer talks to SABBATH members themselves as they look back on an unmatched legacy as the most influential and innovative band in metal's history, and looks to some of the biggest names in rock music to help them commemorate the masters' return. Members of METALLICA, SLAYER, MACHINE HEAD, PANTERA, MANOWAR, MASTODON, DIMMU BORGIR, DEVILDRIVER, KISS, RUSH, BEHEMOTH, SLASH, ALICE COOPER, BLACK LABEL SOCIETY, RAMMSTEIN, GHOST, STEEL PANTHER and more all join Metal Hammer in gauging BLACK SABBATH's seminal impact on rock 'n' roll, and well as picking their favorite SABBATH hits and memories.

"I didn't know we were the forefathers of metal," says singer Ozzy Osbourne when asked about his thoughts on SABBATH's influence. "When I used to do Ozzfest, I hadn't realized we had such an impact on the young bands. I'm proud of that alone. I wasn't aware for a long time, I thought everyone was just taking the piss, you know?"

And, to top off the SABBATH worship, Metal Hammer is giving away a free "Sons Of Sabbath" CD with the issue, featuring choice, riff-filled, heavy-as-a-philosophizing-T-fucking-Rex cuts from the discographies of some of the finest bands to have been inspired by the hand of Iommi et al, including ELECTRIC WIZARD, CHURCH OF MISERY, BLOOD CEREMONY, WITCHCRAFT, GRAVEYARD, REVEREND BIZARRE and many more.

For more information, click here.

Original BLACK SABBATH guitarist Tony Iommi, singer Ozzy Osbourne and bassist Geezer Butler performed live together for the first time in seven years on May 19, playing an intimate show at the 3,800-person O2 Academy in SABBATH's hometown of Birmingham, England. The show, which served as a warm-up for the group's headlining appearance next month at the Download festival, was laced with emotion and drama: it was the first live appearance for Iommi since being diagnosed with cancer, and it was the first with stand-in drummer Tommy Clufetos, making the split official between founding drummer Bill Ward and the rest of SABBATH.

In addition to Download, the members of SABBATH will play at Lollapalooza this August in Chicago, their only scheduled U.S. gig. The rest of the scheduled SABBATH tour dates will be played by Ozzy and billed as "Ozzy & Friends".

Ozzy, Iommi and Butler are working on their first new album together in 33 years. Clufetos is a member of Ozzy's solo touring band.
 
METALLICA's June 2 performance at the Rock Am Ring festival in Nürburgring, Germany will be streamed live at OrionMusicAndMore.com. Tune in on Saturday around 9 p.m. local time (3 p.m. EST, 2 p.m. CST and noon PST) to watch the concert in its entirety.

METALLICA recently announced that it will play at Rogers Arena in Vancouver, British Columbia on August 24, adding that the concert will be filmed in 3D for the band's upcoming 3D feature film project. A post at the band's official web site said, "We couldn't think of a better place than Vancouver to end our three-week new stage run with cameras capturing it all, so bring your nuttiest, craziest Metalli-self to the show, be a part of movie history, and show the rest of the world how much Vancouver rocks."

The post added that the late summer run of shows "are indeed the last dates that we are announcing for summer of 2012."

The run, which includes eight shows in Mexico City, will unveil a new 140-foot-by-50-foot stage that will feature "colossal components and striking visual elements spanning METALLICA's entire 30-year career."

The METALLICA movie, which was first announced last year, will be directed by Nimród Antal, perhaps best known for the horror movie "Vacancy" and the 2010 "Predator" sequel "Predators".

The film will be some sort of combination of concert footage and storyline, and is tentatively scheduled to arrive in theatres in the summer of 2013.
 
Former GUNS N' ROSES guitarist Slash told The Daily Beast that being inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame and the fact that the band's lead singer, Axl Rose, refused to be inducted along with the rest of the classic GN'R lineup closed the book on a GUNS N' ROSES reunion once and for all..

"That last Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame thing was it," said Slash. "I've been entertaining the idea for other people for years, but it's never been my inclination to get back together. Given the opportunity for us all to show up in one place, that was the only reasonable platform for us to do it, and it didn't happen. I'm really sick to death of even entertaining the concept."

Slash was interviewed by CNN's Piers Morgan on May 23, where he said that no amount of money could ever get the original GUNS N' ROSES to reunite. Slash explained, "I don't think it's a matter of that; it really isn't. I think you've got a situation where nobody involved wants to revisit. It's not just me — it's the whole band. And so I don't think there's a price tag that anybody's put in front of us that's going to make that work."

Asked about the kinds of offers the band has gotten to get back together for a tour, Slash replied, "I've heard a lot of numbers, but I've never been handed a specific offer. But I'd say it starts off with seven figures and then sometimes it starts to get even more grandiose than that."

Slash told The Pulse Of Radio that he knew from the start there was no chance of the original lineup performing again. "I never, in however many years it's been, ever planned or thought that there was gonna be any reunion," he said. "Everybody else has sort of alluded to it but, you know, I never saw it coming. I knew it was just an impossible thing, and it wasn't something I really wanted."

Slash also told Morgan he has not spoken with Axl since 1996, the year he left the band. As for the circumstances of his departure, Slash recalled, "It wasn't even me necessarily leaving the band, it was not continuing on with the new band that Axl put together that he was now at the helm of, which was the new GUNS N' ROSES. I was given a contract to basically join his new band, and it took about 24 hours before I decided, 'I think this is the end of the line.'"

Slash released his second solo album, titled "Apocalyptic Love", on May 22.
 
A documentary featuring the legendary VELVET REVOLVER/ex-GUNS N' ROSES guitarist Slash will be released on on Blu-ray on August 21 via Pride.

A two-disc set with a running time of 131 minutes, "Slash - The Cat In The Hat: The Story So Far" is described as follows: "The most iconic rock guitarist since Keith Richards, Slash has achieved the status of 'most interesting hard rock act in the world today'. And 20 years after the demise proper of the group with whom he made his name, he continues to build on an already remarkable career trajectory, while his old sparring partner in GUNS N' ROSES produces pale imitations of past glories. This two-disc set includes a DVD documentary tracing the life and times of Slash, and a disc of audio interviews with the Cat himself during which he speaks candidly and honestly on almost everything he feels strongly about."

Slash's second solo album, "Apocalyptic Love", is likely to sell between 30,000 and 35,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release, according to industry web site Hits Daily Double. The estimate was based on one-day sales reports compiled after the record arrived in stores on May 22 via Slash's own label Dik Hayd International distributed through EMI.
 
According to People magazine, THE CULT singer Ian Astbury married BLACK RYDER singer/guitarist Aimee Nash this past Saturday in Las Vegas, Nevada.

The couple reportedly met when Nash's band opened for THE CULT in Australia and that they had been engaged for several months.

A photo of Astbury and Nash taken last September at the opening of the "Myths, Monsters and Legends" exhibition in Los Angeles can be found at
http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-9cW6xgJz7MA/TpdJvhGgkOI/AAAAAAAAAlE/FKe24zmyxs8/s1600/rankin_hirst_otw4.jpg
THE CULT's new album, "Choice Of Weapon", was made available on May 22 via THE CULT's new label Cooking Vinyl.
 
 
According to TicketWeb.com, the core members of QUEENSRŸCHE will debut their new band RISING WEST on Friday, June 8 and Saturday, June 9 at the Hard Rock Café in Seattle, Washington.

RISING WEST features Michael Wilton, Eddie Jackson, Scott Rockenfield and Parker Lundgren of QUEENSRŸCHE, with powerhouse vocalist Todd La Torre of CRIMSON GLORY. The band will perform rare and classic hits from the first five QUEENSRŸCHE albums — from the 1983 EP through 1990's "Empire" — and plans on hitting the studio sometime early summer to begin recording its first release.

A seven-minute YouTube clip containing samples of Todd La Torre performing a number of QUEENSRŸCHE classics can be found below. Also available is Todd's full-length performance of the song "Queen Of The Reich".

QUEENSRŸCHE singer Geoff Tate entered the studio on February 29 to begin recording his second solo album.

Tate released his first solo CD in 2002 on Sanctuary Records. Self-titled, the LP was a huge departure from the work he had previously done with QUEENSRŸCHE.
 
 
CRIMSON GLORY vocalist Todd La Torre has released the following statement regarding today's announcement that he has joined forces with QUEENSRŸCHE members Michael Wilton, Eddie Jackson, Scott Rockenfield and Parker Lundgren in a brand new band called RISING WEST:

"Just for the record and for those asking about CRIMSON GLORY, I am NOT leaving CRIMSON GLORY, I am embarking on another musical endeavor with the members of QUEENSRŸCHE. I am proud and honored to be a part of this! CRIMSON GLORY is still writing new material for our record, DO NOT WORRY :) This is going to be an amazing new chapter. \m/ Thank you for all of your support!"

La Torre, who says that QUEENSRŸCHE has been his favorite band since he was 15 years old, first met Wilton at this year's NAMM convention in January in Anaheim, California.

RISING WEST will make its live debut on Friday, June 8 and Saturday, June 9 at the Hard Rock Café in Seattle, Washington. The band will perform rare and classic hits from the first five QUEENSRŸCHE albums — from the 1983 EP to 1990's "Empire" — and plans on hitting the studio sometime early summer to begin recording its first release.

A seven-minute YouTube clip containing samples of Todd La Torre performing a number of QUEENSRŸCHE classics can be found below. Also available is Todd's full-length performance of the song "Queen Of The Reich".

Todd La Torre joined CRIMSON GLORY in April 2010 and has played a number of shows with the band during the past two years.

La Torre made his first public appearance with CRIMSON GLORY at ProgPower USA X as one of seventeen guest performers paying tribute to Midnight, the band's original singer.

Essentially unknown to the mainstream progressive metal scene, La Torre spent 22 years earning his stripes and solidifying himself as an unquestionable talent behind the drum kit of various hard rock and heavy metal projects in the Tampa Bay, Florida area. However, his vocal aspirations went largely unfulfilled until 2009 when Matt LaPorte (JON OLIVA'S PAIN), who had only heard La Torre sing on a few occasions, casually mentioned to CRIMSON GLORY guitarist Jon Drenning that he might make a nice addition to the already stellar lineup of performers the band had accumulated. It was only a short time later that La Torre found himself at the band's rehearsal studio, and the pieces began to fall into place.

Midnight passed away in 2009 due to long-term health complications.
 
Shawn Macomber of Decibel magazine recently conducted an interview with guitarist Wolf Hoffmann of reformed heavy metal legends ACCEPT. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.

Decibel: Was it easier to approach "Stalingrad" without the weight of it as a "comeback album" on your shoulders?

Wolf: "Blood Of The Nations" has been the result of unimaginable coincidences from running into [singer] Mark Tornillo as well as [producer] Andy Sneap. Both have been unknown to us until we met. Inspired by Mark's voice, we were free as birds and everything fell in line. The result has been the biggest surprise in our music career. With "Stalingrad", two things happened: the fans around the globe gave us the greatest gift — we felt welcomed, which resulted in a healthy self-assurance and inspired us to ask more from ourselves than ever before. We knew exactly where we wanted to go — staying on the path and again, let it all come out. Being the same and yet a bit different is not that easy, but we had no problems with that. The result and the success will be defined by our fans and so far, we are speechless. "Stalingrad" is very well received everywhere!

Decibel: Mark Tornillo kills it again this time out — a super-solid, meat-and-potatoes, rock-metal singer.

Wolf: You know, the story about Mark Tornillo and ACCEPT is so unbelievable that if it would not have happened to me, I would not believe it. We all have — besides others — one unique thing in common: first and foremost, we never believed we would come back into the music world. Never. It is no secret that we are not seventeen anymore and that Mark as well as Peter [Baltes, bass] and I have lived a totally different life for a long, long time. The minute we started playing and Mark started singing during an accidental jam session, it was done. It opened a door we three did not know a second before that, that we would actually go through it. We did not think about the consequences — it has been a gut decision…. very scary, if you think about it. For us and foremost for the fans, this is the perfect marriage. Our music needs his voice and vice versa… I guess.

Decibel: You've been writing and recording with Accept for decades now, with a few well documented hiatuses. What is it that has brought you back to ACCEPT over and over when some thought the band had run its course?

Wolf: I guess we never did run our course, in reality. It was all circumstantial. But as I mentioned before — and not everybody has to agree — for me, being a musician is a never-ending struggle for perfection. How can I look into a fan's eye and be tortured by doubt if I could have delivered something better? I cannot. So, the only way out is to be constantly the best I can. And if the best is good enough, it will be decided by our fans and surely not by me!

Decibel: Do you ever think about the band's legacy? Or is that something you feel would be counterproductive to continuing to push forward?

Wolf: I am not sure what you are asking here. The legacy of ACCEPT has been put down decades ago. We are meticulous — and always have been — to never sell out and nurture our own expectations of excellent work. Maybe that is what we are more aware of now than in the past. It sure is, I guess.

Decibel: I imagine your shows must have representatives of many ages and heavy metal subgenres in attendance.

Wolf: You are right. For many, it is something they have not been aware of or seen for a long time — the elders remember and the young ones discover. We're loving every minute of this. We feel so connected and so real and so close to people from all walks of life.
 
Following on from an overwhelmingly successful first leg of the FREEDOM CALL tour in March this year, U.K.-based metallers POWER QUEST have been asked back to join the second leg of the "Journey To The Crimson Dawn" tour as special guests.

Confirmed dates are as follows:

Oct. 16 - FR - Paris @ Le Divian de Monde
Oct. 17 - FR - Colmar @ Grillen
Oct. 18 - DE - München @ Backstage
Oct. 19 - IT - Mirano (VE) @ Officine Meccaniche Wig Wam Club
Oct. 20 - IT - Rozzano (MI) @ The Theatre Live Club

Commented POWER QUEST keyboardist Steve Williams: "We are very pleased with being asked to go out with FREEDOM CALL again. We had such a great time in March; the guys are fantastic to be on tour with. And the feedback for POWER QUEST was amazing! We are looking forward to be back in France and Italy! We haven't played there since the 2007 tour with ANGRA and FIREWIND. And Munich for the first time, this is going to be killer!"

POWER QUEST's latest album, "Blood Alliance", was released earlier this year via Napalm Records. Eleven songs were laid down at Foel Studios (PAUL RODGERS, NAPALM DEATH, THE WILDHEARTS) in Wales for the follow-up to 2008's "Master Of Illusion", including one bonus track. The CD cover artwork was once again designed by Felipe Machado (BLIND GUARDIAN, SILENT FORCE).
 
According to The Pulse Of Radio, SHINEDOWN drummer Barry Kerch said in a new interview with Alternative Addiction that his ability to stay on an even keel has enabled him to remain in the band longer than any other member except frontman Brent Smith. Kerch explained, "I'm a pretty solid, stable person. I'm basically the rock of this band and I've been able to deal with all the craziness that's gone on over the years. I help and have helped keep [Smith] somewhat sane. He's the best he's ever been right now, but he'll admit, and he's been quite open about it, that he's battled with massive addictions, both drugs and alcohol."

Smith stopped drinking just in the last year and lost a lot of weight in the months before the release of SHINEDOWN's latest effort, "Amaryllis". Kerch revealed that his bandmate is in the best shape of his life at the moment, saying, "He can breathe now. He can move around the stage now and he doesn't just stand there trying to make it through a set. Not only that but it's improved him as a person and as a result, SHINEDOWN is the strongest that it's ever been in 10 years."

Smith told The Pulse Of Radio that he's worked out a lot of his personal struggles by writing about them in his songs. "I've always told people that we write songs because it's cheaper than therapy," he said. "You have to talk about the things that drive you crazy, and you have to talk about the things that make you happy. It lets you know that you're alive. Every day is a gift, it really is. I don't feel like there's anything corny about saying that, because you're not promised tomorrow."

"Amaryllis", SHINEDOWN's fourth album, debuted at No. 4 on The Billboard 200 chart in early April with first-week sales of 106,000 copies. The sales and chart numbers were career highs for the group.

The disc currently stands at No. 55 on the Billboard chart after eight weeks, with 218,000 copies sold.

SHINEDOWN is playing scattered gigs through June and July and will lead the lineup of the third annual Rockstar Energy Drink Uproar Festival, which will return this August and hit 30 cities throughout North America. They'll be joined by GODSMACK, STAIND, PAPA ROACH, ADELITAS WAY, REDLIGHT KING and others.

Tour dates, cities, venues and ticket info will all be announced in the coming weeks at the official tour web site.
 
Roadrunner Records has set a July 17 North American release date for a SLIPKNOT greatest-hits album titled "Antennas To Hell".

The first in a series of teaser clips for "Antennas To Hell" — this one focusing on SLIPKNOT's DJ, Sid Wilson — can be seen below.

In other news, SLIPKNOT frontman Corey Taylor has confirmed that the band is "putting together demos" for its next studio album, which it is expected to begin recording next year.

Taylor has been ambivalent about working on new material following the death in May 2010 of the group's bassist, Paul Gray, although percussionist Shawn Crahan and drummer Joey Jordison have been much more confident about the band recording again.

When asked to clarify the difference in opinion between members of the band as to whether new material is being written or not, Crahan told Metal Injection at this year's South By Southwest conference, which took place in March in Austin, Texas, "I can clear it up easily for you. Everyone in the band is writing all the time, whether it's a micro-cassette recorder or a memo on your iPhone or Corey writing down random things he invents in his head on a piece of paper or Joey saying, 'I got nothing to do, I'm gonna go in the studio with all these ideas. I'm going to rent out a studio for a month and a half and I'm going to fucking write.'

"I think what people don't understand about what's being said is that we're all dealing with Paul's death differently. And some want to move, some want to take time. But basically, what's being said is, of course, things are being written. But nothing is done because we're not together yet. And there is no reason to get together and talk about it because there are other things moving, like the grieving process.

"What it all comes down to is that, yes, writing is being done seriously every day, but it is going to be a while. It's just going to be. There's things going on. It gets a little perverted in the press, almost like, 'he says yes, he says no, we got a problem.' It's just more like, yeah, writing is going on but it's going to be a while, and both of them are telling the truth, and I'm here to tell you, we're not going nowhere!"

SLIPKNOT last summer completed a three-week European tour that was the band's first run of dates since the death of Paul Gray. Taylor, who has been unsure of SLIPKNOT's future since Gray's death, told The Gauntlet last November that there are currently "no solid plans to do a SLIPKNOT album. Joey and Paul were really the ones who would get things started. Then I would take what they wrote and really try to put it in a song sense and then that would get us all going. Especially on 'All Hope Is Gone', they gave me a lot of great material to work with. It was up to me to shorten it and make the songs into songs, basically."

He continued, "There is a huge pull in this band right now. It doesn't mean we can't go out on the road and share the music we have with the audience. But rushing in and making another album does not compute to me right now. It will be a few years before it does.

"There are some guys in the band that are painting me as the villain, but at the same time I have some guys in the band that support me and feel the same way.

"There are a lot of things in the band that have to change before we can go in and make an album. There are a lot of things we have to figure out and make peace with. We already know what the album is going to be about; we just need to find the strength to do it the right way."

Taylor told Billboard.com that when SLIPKNOT does eventually make it back into the recording studio, "We know that everything we do on that album is going to be about Paul. It's going to be very melancholy. It's going to be a more saddened form of rage when it does happen, and it'll be a whole path that we've never gone down before." He added that he personally was "not as anxious to make a new album as maybe certain people in the band are, and I know a lot of the guys in the band feel the same way I do, whether they want to admit it or not. It just makes more sense to try and figure things out before we try to get into a studio... I don't want to risk losing what we've built because somebody's trying to prove a point."

Jordison said last year that SLIPKNOT can carry on "with or without" Taylor.
 
Guitarist Wiley Arnett of Arizona thrash metal veterans SACRED REICH is part owner of Rehab Burger Therapy, a new restaurant which opened earlier today in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Rehab Burger Therapy was founded on the idea that everyone deserves a break and the belief it's actually therapeutic to slow down and celebrate life's simple pleasures like good music, the company of friends and a delicious burger grilled to order. You don't have to be a strung out rock star or jaded gazillionare to benefit from this sort of therapy. If you're sick of feeling like a statistic and need an escape from corporate restaurant abuse, Rehab Burger Therapy will be your wellness getaway.

Created by three friends that needed some rehabilitation of their own, Rehab Burger Therapy is a story of fate and convictions that began back in 1994 when Denise Nelson, Ken Likewise and Wiley first met in Scottsdale at a fledgling pizza joint they were recruited to nurture.

Rehab is located in the former home of Bonfire Grill, which closed in January.

The first review of Rehab Burger Therapy can be found on the Phoenix New Times web site.

Rehab Burger Therapy
7210 E. 2nd Street
Scottsdale, AZ 85251

For more information, visit www.rehabburgertherapy.com.
 
HATRIOT, the new San Francisco Bay Area thrash metal band fronted by Steve "Zetro" Souza (EXODUS, TENET, DUBLIN DEATH PATROL, LEGACY), is currently seeking a new full-time drummer.

Commented the group: "We would like to fill this position with a musician who works well with others, has gear, transportation, and can tour on short notice. One requirement for the open tryout is we are looking for a full playthrough of our four-song demo currently available for download at ReverbNation.com/hatriot. Once you have learned our demo and it is tight, mistake-free, please feel free to Facebook message our page or contact Cody Souza about meeting up to perform the demo live to us, before actual tryout is given. We are currently talking to two record labels and an album will be recorded before summer's end. HATRIOT has a lot of big things in the future; we just want to make sure we find the right musician to keep us moving forward."

In a recent interview with Metalholic.com, Zetro called HATRIOT's previous drummer, Alex Bent, "a monster" and "probably the best drummer I've seen, ever." He added, "He's like a machine. He plays drums constantly, like eight hours a day. He's an animal in the studio, he's an animal live. I don't know if HATRIOT would be the same with another guy."

HATRIOT supported TESTAMENT on February 19 at The Avalon in Santa Clara, California. Multi-camera video footage of the performance can be seen below (courtesy of Zero To Hero Films).

Regarding HATRIOT's musical direction, Zetro told Metalholic.com, "It's in the vein of typical Bay Area thrash, but these guys are a lot younger, so there's gonna be some blast-beats in there. There's gonna be some kind of death [metal] approach to it, a little bit. 'Cause these guys are new. They're raw, and they're fast, young, heavy, hard and aggressive, and I'm trying to convey that along as well."

He added, "These new kids seem to understand what we did in the '80s, but still bring a little bit of a new essence to it. We put that together with what I write vocally and it's turned out to be really, really killer. It's good stuff."

HATRIOT's lineup includes Zetro's 21-year-old son Cody, who got his first bass as a present from his father after Zetro bought it off current EXODUS bassist Jack Gibson. "I told him," said Zetro, "You have to try out [for the bassist position in HATRIOT if you want to be in the band]. There's no nepotism here, boy. If you can hang, you're on. So he actually tried out, and he got the gig."

HATRIOT's December 23, 2011 concert at The Avalon in Santa Clara marked the band's first live performance with new guitarist Miguel Esparza.
 
HOTEL DIABLO — the new band featuring vocalist Rick Stitch (LADYJACK, ex-ADLER'S APPETITE), guitarist Alex Grossi (QUIET RIOT), bassist Mike Duda and drummer Mike Dupke (both of W.A.S.P.) — will release its full-length debut, "The Return To Psycho, California", on June 12. The CD was produced by Gilby Clarke (GUNS N' ROSES, ROCKSTAR SUPERNOVA), with additional production by Matt Starr (ACE FREHLEY, BEAUTIFUL CREATURES).

"Psycho, California" is "a collection of stories, true stories, experienced during a time when our lives were filled with mind-altering shots of wretched adrenaline," says Stitch. "Strings got bent, knobs were turned and an uncontrolled visceral energy screamed life" into what has become "Psycho, California".

"The Return To Psycho, California" track listing:

01. Taken
02. Set It Off
03. What You Do To Me
04. Psycho, California
05. Bury You *
06. Wicked Lines *
07. All These Years
08. Wonderwall (OASIS cover)
09. Trigger
10. Bury You (alternate version) *
11. What You Do To Me (alternate version)

Produced by Gilby Clarke
* Produced by Matt Starr
http://www.roadrunnerrecords.com/blabbermouth.net/soulflypremiere/hoteldiablofullcd.jpg
 
HEADCAT (formerly THE HEAD CAT) — the high-energy, "take-no-prisoners" combo featuring Lemmy Kilmister (MOTÖRHEAD), Slim Jim Phantom (THE STRAY CATS) and Danny B. Harvey (ROCKATS, 13 CATS, LONESOME SPURS) — is featured in Amoeba Music's "What's In My Bag?" segment in which the bandmembers talk about some of the records they are into. Watch the clip below.

The latest HEADCAT album, "Walk The Walk...Talk The Talk", was released on July 5, 2011 through Niji Entertainment Group, the record label Wendy Dio and her and late husband Ronnie James Dio formed before his untimely passing.

HEADCAT was formed in 2000 after recording an Elvis Presley tribute special to which all band members contributed.

Slim Jim Phantom (drums, percussion), was born in Brooklyn and listened to his parents' jazz records. At the age of ten he took up the drums although he always says that the drums chose him. He is an exceptional drummer who cemented his place among rock royalty long time ago and inspires and excites audiences worldwide.

Danny B. Harvey (guitar, piano) is Texas-born and also discovered his love for music very early. He started playing the guitar at the age of six and even got a full scholarship to study classical guitar. He developed a finger picking guitar style that's very unique and based on his idols Merle Travis and Chet Atkins but also a result of his classical-technique education.

Lemmy Kilmister (vocals, bass, harmonica) was born and raised in England and started to play the guitar at the age of sixteen. With a laughing eye he always said that he only took the guitar to impress the girls. He is an autodidact and changed early to bass as he stated he wasn't a good guitar player. After founding MOTÖRHEAD in 1975 he knows the ups and downs in the business and has reached the status of an icon all over the world.

Twelve fantastic songs for "Walk The Walk, Talk The Talk" were chosen easily. HEADCAT prepare to take over the airwaves with their first single, "American Beat". "American Beat" is a song written in the studio — Lemmy had the words and the rest came together very quickly. "I Ain't Never" is one of the songs Lemmy really likes and Danny knew it — a real country, rockabilly number, full of love and ready to take you drifting away. "Let It Rock" is one of their favorite Chuck Berry tunes — THE ROLLING STONES did it a lot in their live show in the '70s — HEADCAT plays a different version. "Something Else" is a classic Eddie CochranLemmy came on stage with the STRAY CATS and jammed on it at a show in the '90s at Hammersmith Odeon so it came quite natural to take this on the record as well.
 
SUBSIGNAL, the German band featuring former SIEGES EVEN members Arno Menses (vocals) and Markus Steffen (guitar), is writing material for its third album, tentatively due next year. Songtitles set to apper on the follow-up to last year's "Touchstones" include "A Giant Leap Of Faith" and "The Stillness Beneath The Snow".

"Touchstones" was released last September via ZYX Music. The vinyl version comes with two bonus live tracks, "Where Angels Fear To Tread" and "Paradigm".

SUBSIGNAL released its debut album, entitled "Beautiful & Monstrous", in September 2009 via GoldenCore Records/ZYX Music. The CD was helmed by co-producer Kristian Kohlmannslehner, who worked on SIEGES EVEN's 2007 release, "Paramount".

SUBSIGNAL describes its music as "progressive, melancholic, cutting edge, emotional, blended with a good portion of melodic heaviness."

SUBSIGNAL is:

Markus Steffen (guitar)
Arno Menses (vocals)
Ralf Schwager (bass)
David Bertok (keyboards)
Roel van Helden (drums)

For more information, visit www.subsignalband.com.
 
Perhaps better known as the keyboardist and musical mastermind behind TWINSPIRITS, COSMICS and KHYMERA, the multi-talented Daniele Liverani is also a guitarist of considerable skill as his new instrumental album, "Eleven Mysteries", will show when it arrives on July 20 via Lion Music.

While "Eleven Mysteries" is basically a guitar-oriented release, the overall vibe of all the songs is definitely more like a "conceptual instrumental album" where guitar has the role of a "virtual singer." Musically, there's some intense shred, but also some very melodic moments, and the musicianship and arrangements of the talented lineup involved helped to create a wide variety of atmospheres and different musical moments; due to the skills and different influences of the various musicians — drummer Paco Barilla, bassist Tony Dickinson and keyboardist Marco Zago. However, this not only an album for guitar lovers, but for anyone that appreciates musical composition on a more general level with lots to discover in and each and every track along with a first class production.

"Eleven Mysteries" track listing:

01. Mysterious Impulse
02. Inspiration
03. Nervous Forces
04. Supreme Gladness
05. All Is Pure
06. Giving
07. Humiliation
08. Regeneration
09. Freedom
10. Survive
11. Eternal
 
Former ICED EARTH frontman Matt Barlow will make a very special guest appearance on the title track of "Ancestral Energy", the new album from the melodic power metal band ARTIZAN. The song reveals an intriguing back story for the original ARTIZAN track "Curse Of The Artizan", which was released in 2011. Matt will perform the voice of the Artizan's ancestors.

Commented Barlow: "I'm happy to announce that I will be lending my voice to the forthcoming release of the new ARTIZAN album, 'Ancestral Energy'. In addition to my own musical project, Ty and the guys of ARTIZAN have given me the opportunity to appear as a guest vocalist on what I believe will be a great conceptual endeavor.

"If you have followed what the band has recorded previously, you know that they are very much into 'storytelling' and that's something that has always interested me in this genre. As another benefit, I will get to work with producer Jim Morris again as he puts the guys through their paces at Morrisound Recording.

"I'm looking forward to recording the song that I'll be performing on, and think that we'll have a great time with it."

Added ARTIZAN founder/drummer Ty Tammeus:"We are proud and honored that Matt will be contributing his talents to the new album. We will be showcasing Matt's full vocal range on the passage that we have created for him. I am ecstatic that we all get to hear Matt again!"

"Ancestral Energy" will be released in April 2013 via Pure Steel Records.
 
"Blood", the first single and title track of the third album from Southern California's IN THIS MOMENT, has been set for a June 12 add date at Active Rock radio. The track showcases the intense vocals, relentless guitars, deeply personal lyrics and driving rhythms for which the band has come to be known. "Blood" will also be available for purchase digitally at all online retailers the same day.

IN THIS MOMENT's fourth album, "Blood", will be released on August 14 via longtime label Century Media Records. The CD was once again produced by Kevin Churko, who has previously worked with OZZY OSBOURNE and FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH, among others.

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

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

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

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

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

Regarding IN THIS MOMENT's split with Fabb and Bunzel, Brink said, "You know how sometimes, you don't realize sometimes something happening (that's) traumatic, that it can be the most beautiful thing that could have happened to you? It's like one of those situations. It got really stripped back down to me and Chris [Howorth, guitar], and me and Chris started this band together, just me and him, and then it was like everybody came to the table, everybody brings their own influence. I believe it was all meant to be, all of those albums with them. I love them, I wish them the best. But it was almost like this new, with just me and Chris, this new fire, this new strength within me that I just… magical things started happening between what we started creating. And it's just so meant to be; it's meant to be that they moved on and some other things in my life, it's so cool 'cause it's just like this brand new everything and it feels really awesome. And you're going to be able to hear it."
 
Dutch/Norwegian rockers THE GATHERING will release their tenth studio album, "Disclosure", on September 12 via Psychonaut Records.

Comments keyboardist Frank Boeijen: "'Disclosure' is the most personal soundscape the band ever made, both lyrically and musically. The album is a great marriage between electronic and organic sounds, and has a wide range of colorful songs. With long epic songs, we stayed close to ourselves.

"We are incredibly proud of this album, which is a reflection of what we do best, and our urge for experiment."

The "Disclosure" cover artwork was created by the Chilean artist Carlos Vergara Rivera. Boeijen says, "The handcrafted cover art is inspired by our track 'Heroes For Ghosts', which we released last year."

"Disclosure" track listing:

01. Paper Waves
02. Meltdown
03. Gemini I
04. Heroes For Ghosts
05. Missing Seasons
06. See For Miles
07. Paralyzed
08. Gemini II

The new song "Meltdown" can be streamed below. According to the band, it is "an epic song with emotional atmosphere and a typical THE GATHERING touch. This time, though, the band also has a brand new voice coloring the song: Frank Boeijen!"

"Meltdown" lyrics:

(I)

It's time to leave - this eerie sound
I cared but failed - the ones I love
I guess its just - what comes around

We try to bend - but then it breaks
What kind of mind - makes these odd shakes
I can't believe - it ends all here

You pull me down

You always failed

You pull me down - I fake a laugh - I sway
You broke my heart – I fell so hard always
Because of you I'm still afraid today

It's time to leave - this eerie sound
I cared but failed - the ones I love
I guess its just - what comes around

You pull me down

You pull me down - I fake a laugh - I sway
You broke my heart – I fell so hard always
Because of you I'm still afraid today
Because of you I'm still afraid today

(II)

I will not give you what you think that you earn from me
I will not make the same mistakes you always made
I tried to show you that I cared although you always failed
I was too young to have known better - better than you

You could have kept all those stories to your self

I tried to show you that I cared although you always failed
I was too young to have known better - better than you (End of lyrics)

THE GATHERING's new CD includes the song "Heroes For Ghosts", which was made available for free download last year at the group's Bandcamp page. A video for the track was shot in Norway by the band's "dear friend" Marcus Moonen and can be seen below.

THE GATHERING's previous album, "The West Pole", was released in North America on June 2, 2009 via Season of Mist. The CD was issued in most of Europe on May 4, 2009 via the group's own label, Psychonaut Records.

"The West Pole" marks the recording debut of new THE GATHERING singer Silje Wergeland, who was previously in the Norwegian band OCTAVIA SPERATI. It also included two very talented guest vocalists, Anne van den Hoogen and Marcela Bovio (STREAM OF PASSION), along with other guest musicians.

Singer Anneke van Giersbergen announced her departure from THE GATHERING in 2007. She has since released four albums on her own and with her AGUA DE ANNIQUE solo project: "Air" (2007), "Pure Air" (2009), "In Your Room" (2009) and "Everything Is Changing" (2012).
 
Finnish metallers ADASTRA will release their third album, "Corroder Of Minds", on June 20 via Violent Journey Records. The follow-up to 2008's "Death Or Domination" sees the quintet "mixing contemporary metal with old-school influences like METALLICA, JUDAS PRIEST and IRON MAIDEN," according to a press release. "In addition to the heavy riffs, soaring guitar-leads and Ville Siikamäki's rugged vocals, the band also experimented with a more melodic and acoustic approach on a couple of tracks."

"Corroder Of Minds" track listing:

01. Ripcord Rock
02. Widow Maker
03. Corroder Of Minds
04. No Last Words
05. Backstabber
06. Going Out For Good
07. Vortex
08. Broken Wings
 
Legendary New York hardcore band AGNOSTIC FRONT will play the exact same set from its classic live album, "Live At CBGB", during its upcoming performance at the CBGB's Festival. The show will take place on July 5 at the Webster Hall in New York City. Also scheduled to appear is MADBALL, with more acts to be announced.

"We are very excited to be performing on the opening night of the CBGB's Festival in New York City," commented AGNOSTIC FRONT vocalist Roger Miret.

"We are wrapping up shows on our 30-year-anniversary tour and we are performing the classic 'Live At CBGB' setlist from the 1989 iconic release!

"We have been invited to join this festival for their biggest opening night at the monumental Webster Hall club.

"We are very excited to have landed a great homecoming show in our celebration as a band for 30 years. And to top it all off, we are doing this nostalgic gig with our brothers MADBALL.

"I hear there will be two more exciting bands to be added to this lineup.

"Come on out and share our celebration in this hardcore world and get ready for another 'Live At CBGB' performance!"

In conjunction with AGNOSTIC FRONT's 30th-anniversary shows in June and July, where they'll be playing their classic record "Live At CBGB" from start to finish, Bridge Nine Records has announced that the label will be reissuing the album on July 17. Featuring an embossed LP cover with the original "Live At CBGB" artwork, the effort will be made available on super-limited-edition red-white-and-blue-striped vinyl with multiple other colorways available.

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

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

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

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

"Live At CBGB" track listing

01. Victim in Pain
02. Public Assistance
03. United Blood
04. Friend or Foe
05. Strength
06. Blind Justic
07. Last Warning
08. Toxic Shock
09. United & Strong
10. Crucified
11. Liberty & Justice
12. Discriminate Me
13. Your Mistake
14. Anthem
15. With Time
16. Genesis
17. The Pain Song
18. Fascist Attitude
19. The Eliminator
http://www.roadrunnerrecords.com/blabbermouth.net/soulflypremiere/agnosticcbgbfestival.jpg
 
Season Of Mist has announced the signing of the infamous New York City street punk band THE CASUALTIES. The group's ne walbum was recorded at Planet Z Studios in Massachusetts with producer Chris "Zeuss" Harris (MUNICIPAL WASTE, MADBALL, HATEBREED) and will be released later in the year.

THE CASUALTIES (Jorge Herrera - lead vocals, Rick Lopez - bass/vocals, Jake Kolatis - guitar/vocals, Meggers - drums) combine influences from the classic punk sound of GBH, THE EXPLOITED, ENGLISH DOGS, DISCHARGE and UK SUBS with modern extreme sounds and a thrash/crossover edge.

THE CASUALTIES have released five acclaimed records on Side One Dummy, and toured to almost every corner of the globe in clubs and on festivals alongside giants like BAD RELIGION, GWAR, HATEBREED, FLOGGING MOLLY, MUNICIPAL WASTE, TSOL, AGNOSTIC FRONT and more.

Commented the band: "We are joining the dark forces of Season Of Mist! We're more then honored to bring our blend of hardcore-street-thrash-punk to the battle to keep heavy music alive! We have a new album ready and we will see you all on the road everywhere in the world soon!"

THE CASUALTIES will co-headline this summer's "Tonight We Unite!" tour alongside the NEKROMANTIX. The trek will also include DOWN BY LAW, LOWER CLASS BRATS, and more.
 
Braunschweig, Germany-based metal/hardcore act FOREVER IT SHALL BE has released the following statement:

"It's been over 1.5 years since we've split up, about enough time to realize that we really miss the band and we've made a wrong decision. So we got together some time ago to decide if we should continue or not... This was an easy task: of course we want to continue! Right now we are writing on some new stuff and plan to do some shows in the next months.

"For all the people who have already forgotten about us, or don't even know us: we've put both of our FULL albums on our Facebook page to listen to. So if you want to get in contact or offer a show, head over there! We've also made a short trailer to explain how the split happened and how we got back together again....but most likely this is completly fictional, haha."

FOREVER IT SHALL BE released its sophomore album, "Sonic Death Squad", in March 2010 via Maintain Records. The 12-song CD was recorded at Rape of Harmonies studio (HEAVEN SHALL BURN, MAROON) in Triptis, Germany and features cover artwork (see below) by Justin Osbourne of Slasher Design.

FOREVER IT SHALL BE's debut album, "Reluming the Embers", came out in June 2007 via Maintain Records. The CD was produced by Ralf Mueller and Alexander Dietz (HEAVEN SHALL BURN) at Rape of Harmonies and features a guest appearance by John Gahlert (FALL OF SERENITY).
 
VXN, the newly formed band featuring three former members of the platinum-selling all-female '80s band VIXEN — singer Janet Gardner, drummer Roxy Petrucci and bassist Share Ross, along with guitarist Gina Stile, who was the guitarist on VIXEN's "Tangerine" album — has changed its name to JANETSHAREROXYGINA (a.k.a. JSRG) to avoid any confusion between them and the band known as VIXEN.

The VIXEN trademark belongs to guitarist Jan Kuehnemund and the members of JANETSHAREROXYGINA want to make it clear that they are a completely different band.

Commented Gardner, "It feels so good to be reunited with Roxy and Share. And when we started jammin' some old VIXEN songs with Gina, we knew this was right."

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

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

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

JSRG will play a select number of casinos, festivals and showcase dates in 2013 and perform all the VIXEN hits along with new songs from their as-yet-unreleased EP. The debut gig will take place at the kick-off party as well as on board the Monsters Of Rock Cruise on March 16-20, 2013 sailing out of Fort Lauderdale, Florida bound for CoCoCay and Freeport, Bahamas.

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

VIXEN's original members Gardner, Kuehnemund, Pedersen and Petrucci appeared together on VH1's "Bands Reunited" in October 2004 to reminisce about their start on L.A.'s Sunset Strip and their rise to fame in the late 1980s, before the onset of grunge in the early 1990s displaced metal at the top of the charts. They also took part in a short performance for the program.
 
WINTERSUN mainman Jari Mäenpää (formerly of ENSIFERUM) singer has issued the following update on the band's long-awaited second album, titled "Time".

"'Time' is going to be two albums, titled 'Time I' and 'Time II'. We made this decision simply because of few reasons:

* All the 80 minutes of material won't fit on a regular CD and we didn't want to cut anything out.
* We want you to be able to hear new material sooner and not wait any longer and we want to go on tour sooner.
* The music is very full and complex, so listening this kind of 'hard listening (not easy listening)' material straight for 80 minutes is a bit too much (even for me).
* Both albums will be approximately. nice 40 min epic packages of fireworks.
* We like the idea of releasing two albums within one year, so the band will stay more visible longer, which is important in these 'modern times.' No more years of silence for us!

"'Time I' mix is set to be finished by July, mastered in the beginning of July and released in early fall of 2012. 'Time II' will be released in 2013. Conception of album artworks, videos, live shows incl. rehearsals will keep us busy during the summer and I'll also continue mixing 'Time II' meanwhile. We'll be hopefully posting some videos and teasers during summer. Also some new live show announcements soon, so stay tuned for those!

"We can't wait for you guys to hear 'Time I' material and play it to you live!"

"Time I" track listing:

01. When Time Fades Away
02. Sons Of Winter And Stars
I) Rain Of Stars
II) Surrounded By Darkness
III) Journey Inside A Dream
IV) Sons of Winter And Stars
03. Land Of Snow And Sorrow
04. Darkness And Frost
05. Time

WINTERSUN will headline this year's edition of the Heidenfest tour, set to take place in October. Support on the trek will come from KORPIKLAANI, VARG, TROLLFEST and KRAMPUS.

WINTERSUN's debut CD was released in September 2004 through Nuclear Blast Records.
 
Black metallers MALADIE will release their debut album, "Plague Within", on July 20 via Apostasy Records. The CD was recorded at various studios in Germany and Belgium and was mixed and mastered by Christoph Brandes at Iguana Studios (NECROPHAGIST, DEADBORN) in March-Buchheim, Germany. The artwork was created by Remy of Headsplit Design (ARCH ENEMY, CRYPTOPSY).

Commented the band: "We are all very happy to work together with all these competent people. They carved the last details of the face of MALADIE with their work. Our thanks to them at this point! Furthermore we want to thank the people at Apostasy Records who even made all this possible! Look forward to a record that is not healthy. It is sick. It is MALADIE!"

MALADIE is not a band per se, but rather the project of Björn Köppler (TOMBTHROAT), which took shape in 2009 as a collaboration with such musicians as Cornelius Althammer (drums; AHAB, DEAD EYED SLEEPER), Mark Walther (guitar; SPHERON), Déhà (vocals, DEVIANT MESSIAH), Alexander Wenz (vocals; TOMBTHROAT, RAW) and Bernd Wener (clean vocals; SHAPESHIFT, BLINDFLUG).

"Plague Within" track listing:

01. Animus Fatalis
02. Imperditus
03. Yersinia Pestis
04. Pes Equinovarus
05. Morbus
06. 1979
07. Transgressus

The album will be available as a digipak with a 20-page booklet and as a digital download.

A snippet of the track "Yersinia Pestis" can be streamed below.

MALADIE is:

Björn Köppler - Guitar
Cornelius Althammer – Drums, Bass
Mark Walther - Guitar
Déhà – Vocals, Piano
Alexander Wenz - Vocals
Bernd Wener - Clean Vocals

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