[Classic_Rock_Forever] Deep Purple, Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, The Cult, Black Label Society, Queensryche, Sebastian Bach/SKid Row Feud and tons more hard rock and heavy metal news


According to Darker Than Blue, a new documentary book, "Deep Purple At The California Jam", will be published in the fall via Rufus Stone Limited Editions. Collecting together hundreds of black-and-white and color images from a number of photographers who had all area access to DEEP PURPLE's 1974 concert at the California Jam festival (and rehearsals), the large 12"-by-12"-format presentation allows these images to shine. Most of the photographs have never been seen before and are being fully restored and color corrected. Backing the images up is a detailed and lengthy essay on the concert and the build-up to the performance, from the first meetings by the promoters through to the completion of the PA towers. The text is supported by an impressive collection of rare memorabilia including internal documents, setlists, passes, posters, tickets and even the repair bills for the TV camera.

In total, this is the most comprehensive publication ever devoted to a single DEEP PURPLE performance and is certain to excite fans of the band around the world.

Mindful of the current economic climate, as well as the deluxe 300 page limited edition, a more affordable version will also be made available. Full details of these will be announced shortly.

On April 6, 1974, DEEP PURPLE appeared on stage at the California Jam festival at the Ontario Speedway in California.Taking top billing at the all-day event, and with great weather, DEEP PURPLE and the other bands drew a crowd of around 165,000 people. It became the largest single-day paid attendance in U.S. rock concert history.

DEEP PURPLE's standing at that time was enormous thanks to the massive success of "Machine Head" and "Smoke On The Water" and the festival came towards the very the end of a lengthy American tour with David Coverdale and Glenn Hughes (joining founder members Ritchie Blackmore, Jon Lord and Ian Paice). This show was special though, to be televised across the country through the ABC TV network, and the band pulled out all the stops, cancelling all other shows on the west coast to stoke demand.

Today their California Jam performance is rightly regarded as a classic by this lineup, but at the time pre-performance arguments almost saw them thrown off the bill before they'd even got on-stage. After Ritchie Blackmore's pyrotechnics (when he ignited trays of gasoline and almost blew himself, drummer Ian Paice and various roadies off stage) there were worries that the group would never work in America again. The show also saw the guitarist's legendary attack on an intrusive television camera with a Stratocaster. All thoughts of an encore went out of the window as roadies bundled musicians into waiting limos to get them over the state border before state police could be called in.

For more information, visit Caljambook.co.uk.
British heavy metal legends JUDAS PRIEST played the final show of their "Epitaph" word tour this past Saturday, May 26 at the Hammersmith Apollo in London, England. The sold-out concert was professionally filmed for a 2013 DVD release.

The band's setlist was as follows:

01. Rapid Fire
02. Metal Gods
03. Heading Out To The Highway
04. Judas Rising
05. Starbreaker
06. Victim Of Changes
07. Never Satisfied
08. Diamonds & Rust (JOAN BAEZ cover)
09. Prophecy
10. Night Crawler
11. Turbo Lover
12. Beyond The Realms Of Death
13. The Sentinel
14. Blood Red Skies
15. The Green Manalishi (With The Two Pronged Crown) (FLEETWOOD MAC cover)
16. Breaking The Law
17. Drum Solo
18. Painkiller


19. The Hellion (taped intro) / Electric Eye

Encore 2:

20. Hell Bent For Leather
21. You've Got Another Thing Comin'

Encore 3:

22. Living After Midnight

Fan-filmed video footage of the show can be seen below.

Regarding JUDAS PRIEST's farewell world tour, singer Rob Halford previously said, "We're pulling out all the stops. We've built a brand new stage set, we've got all the effects that people love us for — the lasers, the fire, the bombs, the smoke, new costumes, and the bike. It's just a full-on metal extravaganza."

As for whether this is really the end of JUDAS PRIEST's touring days, guitarist Glenn Tipton said, "We don't plan on retiring. We've said that this is our last world tour. It takes a chunk out of your life — 18 months. We won't be doing any more world tours as such and in many parts of the world, it will be the last time people will get a chance to see us. But we're not gonna stop. We've got an album in the can now, we will start to write with [new guitarist] Richie [Faulkner], there will be more albums, and who knows?! There might be a string of dates that we can manage to do. We're just not gonna do another major world tour. We've been doing it for 40 years and it's time to let the younger bands have the chance."
IRON MAIDEN's classic 1982 LP "The Number Of The Beast" was named best British album of the past 60 years in an HMV poll to mark the Diamond Jubilee.

IRON MAIDEN's third full-length effort, which saw the recording debut of vocalist Bruce Dickinson, and the final appearance of drummer Clive Burr in the band, took a whopping 9.2% share of the 30,000 votes cast — being selected 2,754 times.

This landmark recording, which, to date, has sold over 14 million copies worldwide and features the anthemic U.K. Top-10 single "Run To The Hills", gave the band their first U.K. No. 1 album. Dickinson comments: "We're astonished and delighted to hear 'The Number Of The Beast' has been named No.1 in HMV's Diamond Jubilee survey for the greatest British album category. Some of the most influential and classic albums from the past 60 years were in the running so it's a testament to our incredibly loyal and ever-supportive fans who voted for us. IRON MAIDEN is a proudly British band, so to win this category as voted for by the British public, in Jubilee year, is very special. Thank you to all our wonderful fans!"

The month-long poll met with a remarkable response from music and film fans alike, with 54,545 votes cast in total across albums and film categories (split approx 30,000 for albums and 24,000 for films) and more than 330,000 Facebook mentions and likes generated in the process. In arguably one of the largest ever surveys of its kind — driven primarily by social media, people were able to select their favorites by using a simple but innovative voting app on the retailer's Facebook page that could also be accessed via www.hmv.com/jubilee.

HMV's Gennaro Castaldo, comments: "You often tend to see the same artists and albums dominate album polls, but with social media increasingly giving the most ardent and passionate fans a powerful voice, I think that's all going to change, and so it's no surprise that IRON MAIDEN have come out on top as their fans are renowned for being the most loyal and dedicated around. Congratulations to IRON MAIDEN — we now know the number of the beast is, I fact, ….1.

"The beginning of Elizabeth II's reign, and the bright new future it represented, didn't just coincide with a flowering of British popular culture, it helped to provide the very spark that lit the touch-paper for an explosion in music and film talent. Since then, the Queen has presided over the richest period of cultural achievement in our nation's history, so it's only right that her Diamond Jubilee, which ironically also encapsulates sixty years of the official charts, should be a period when we reflect on the greatest British albums and films of the past six decades."

Compared to some critics' polls, which are often dominated by the same titles, the HMV survey for the Diamond Jubilee has been entirely determined by a public vote, and so arguably throws up one or two surprises. In doing so, however, it demonstrates the compelling and growing power of social media such as Facebook and Twitter to engage with fans and give them an interactive platform to express their passion for their favourite artists and recordings.

Equally impressive in second spot and with 6.3% of the votes (1,892 votes) are electronic music legends DEPECHE MODE, with, for many people, their career-defining album "Violator". The most popular artists overall, however, are THE BEATLES, who, with "Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" at No. 3 (5.69%), have four albums in the top 10 and five in the top 20 — accounting for just over 20% or approximately 6,000 of the 30,000 votes cast in the albums category.

Top 10 British albums of the past 60 years, according to the poll hosted by HMV to mark the Diamond Jubilee:

01. IRON MAIDEN - The Number Of The Beast (9.18%)
02. DEPECHE MODE - Violator (6.30%)
03. THE BEATLES - Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (5.69)
04. THE BEATLES - Abbey Road (5.67%)
05. PINK FLOYD - The Dark Side Of The Moon (5.23%)
06. THE BEATLES - Revolver (4.01%)
07. QUEEN - A Night At The Opera (3.98%)
08. OASIS - (What's The Story) Morning Glory? (3.91%)
09. ADELE - 21 (3.07%)
10. THE BEATLES - White Album (2.60%)
Michael Christopher of LA Weekly recently conducted an interview with THE CULT frontman Ian Astbury. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.

LA Weekly: Three years ago you declared, "The album is dead."

Ian: Privately, I still believe it is dead — or at least the format is dead. Maybe the concept isn't dead. The culture is more interested in short, sharp bursts of information. Remember those pick-and-choose stores where you could go in and get whatever candy you want? That's the lifestyle we live in; we live in a pick-and-choose world.

LA Weekly: What made you return to the LP?

Ian: Fans of the band were banging on the door, saying, "We love the music and we want more and we want it now," and then we got a load of labels sniffing around, saying, "This is really great material." Having said that, we had recent conversations over the past few days, Billy [Duffy, guitar] and I, about what we're going to do next. He said, "We could return to the capsule format." And I went, "Oh! We can do both!" So that was the epiphany.

LA Weekly: You and Billy have had your ups and downs. What's the working dynamic like these days?

Ian: When we polarize each other and we neutralize the environment and it becomes stagnant and nothing gets done — that's not good. When we polarize each other and we get that kind of, like, still looking at each other and we're still connected? Then we get good shit. Then we can kind of come back into the space, and something else comes out of it, like a third element, and we sit back and listen to it and it's, like, "Whoa — that's pretty intense." And that's what kind of happened in this instance.
Everyone knows Zakk Wylde is a world class guitar LEGEND but probably one of the most endearing things about him is his sense of humor.  In a world of cocky, aloof and moody guitar wizards hung up on the "artist" trip,  Zakk still basically comes off like a normal guy.  Granted, a normal guy with otherworldly six-string skills but still, you get the idea.  The dude is a blast to talk to, he can speak a mile a minute about practically anything and DOES.  We finally had the pleasure of interviewing Zakk about his new book, BRINGING METAL TO THE CHILDREN and he didn't disappoint.  The book doesn't either, it's a profane and powerful peek behind the curtain at the insanity that has been his life since his baptism by fire entry into the music business.  From his New Jersey teenage beginnings to recording with Ozzy to touring the world with Black Label Society, it's all there and then some.  We talked about the book, the band's connection to their fans and a lot more.  Read on…..
Legendary Rock Interviews:  Hi Zakk, your book, BRINGING METAL TO THE CHILDREN is some hilarious shit.  I was sucked in from the very beginning of the book where you and your wife, then girlfriend Barbaranne show up for a recording session at XXX legend Ginger Lynn's house and are confronted at the door by extraordinarily large black genitalia.  So it's NOT a kid's book?
Zakk: (laughs).  That was for my first recording (laughs).  One of my buddies actually thought that it was a CHILDREN'S book, he was like "Well, Zakk I know you're doin that children's book" and I had to tell him "It's not a kid's book you jackass (laughs)."   Like I am Madonna or some shit.
LRI:  What prompted you to put all these stories together and collectively drop the world's jaw?
Zakk:  Just the overall stupidity of the music business in general, the insanity of it all.  It reads just like I'm talking to you John, like we're talking shit, as old friends who've known each other for ten years and been through all this shit.  I say right in the introduction that I'd like to thank God, Jesus Christ for giving me this life and creating this cast of characters that he's blessed me with.  Really, honestly, my buddies, the people in my career, you couldn't MAKE these people up, it's more ridiculous than Seinfeld.  My friends will say to me, "Zakk, these are just stories that actually happened to us and you're elaborating and detailing the events" and I'm like "Yeah, I know!!"  (laughs).  I wish I HAD made some of these things up.  Sometimes my mind is blown by the shit my friends will be like "and then remember that time we were out and there was that hooker" and I'm like "Woah, what?….you're kidding me" and they're like "No dude, that actually happened to Joe one night when we were all out drinking at the Irish pub in Jersey".  It was after a few hundred exchanges of "No, I'm not joking" that I decided we had to put it all down in a book.  It really is all the truth and everybody I talk to whether it's my brother in-law or my manager or anyone, they all have these stories and most of them are mind-blowing.  I say in the book that the one thing about the music business is that there is no rulebook.  It's not like the NFL or something where there's four downs to get ten yards or baseball where it's three strikes and you're out.  There are rules.  There are no rules in the entertainment business.  It's always been that way, going back to like Peter Grant and Led Zeppelin.  They'd be telling him that they'd keep 90 cents on the dollar and he'd get ten cents and he was like "No, you know what, it's the other way around, WE get 90 cents and you get a dime."  They told him he was breaking the rules and they had ten other bands and he said they could keep those ten pissant bands cause he had ONE Led Zeppelin.  He said "You'll make more money on our dime per show than you will with all those other little crap bands combined".  This biz makes the rules up as the game happens and people like him can and DO change the rules or create them as they go.  It's a crazy, unpredictable world.
, R.I.P. Randy
LRI:  Were you surprised at what you found in the business after you made it?
Zakk:  Of course John.  It's like what you or I thought of this business or these stars, it is all your vision of the Emerald City.  It's like the Wizard of Oz, you're hoping and dreaming to make it to Oz and you find out it's just a little guy behind a curtain.  It's unbelievable.  The whole time you're scared and on pins and needles and you see this big face on the screen and think he has all these powers from beyond and then discover it's all just a trick.  It's like "Oh, that's how he does it" (laughs).  Each day you're debunking another myth.  I know you know what I mean from talking to all these people.  When you're 14 or 15 years old dreaming about this business you have no idea of the realities.
LRI:  I was pretty convinced that Ozzy was a fire breathing dark lord and got backstage to find a gentleman jogging in place with a robe on who had a team of handlers.
Zakk:  Yeah, I know.  Put it this way, it's  like a magic show.  You get on the other side and you start to discover how the magic tricks happen, you learn how they get sawed in half.  I mean, don't get me wrong, there's the Caligula, Led Zeppelin-esque stories on steroids, I've witnessed a bunch of them.  It's just like anything though, you and I could go out looking for debauchery and easily find all that and more on the town where everyone gets hammered and the comedy just starts going down.  If you wanna put yourself in those positions that's inevitably what will occur but there's plenty of times where it's just a mellow guys night out and you catch a movie.  That's how it can be on the road too, sometimes it's insanity, sometimes you have a cigar and a cocktail and go to the bus and you're out cold, you know?  It depends completely on what you're looking for and this book reflects that.  If you want the insanity you can find it (laughs) or you can find shuffleboard, bingo and all night Seinfeld marathons (laughs).  It's just so funny how much different the reality is from that 15-year-old perception you had.
LRI:  We talked to Jack Ponti, another Jersey guy who also has more than his fair share of music business stories.  He said he knew you from wayy back in that east coast scene.  Did a lot of that old school Jersey attitude make it into the book?
Zakk:  Of course, of course, there's no way that it COULDN'T.  Jack's been around and I'm sure that despite his success he's had his fair share of being burned.  There's a way we deal with things.  Like one guy asked me recently, "What did you learn from being with Ozzy all those years ??"  and it's the same thing I learned from hanging out with my father, lions hang out with lions.  A lion knows what it's supposed to be and it knows what it instinctively does.  You can't beat a work ethic into anyone.  You just have to wake up and decide you're gonna do it and go for it for yourself.  Like you doing this website, you could've said "Hey I wanna do this or I'm thinkin about doin this" or whatever but instead you just did it.  Like the Kelly Garni book you're doin on growing up with Randy Rhoads, you had to decide that you believed in it and wanted to go through with publishing it.  You could ask me "Zakk, do you think I should?" all day long but I can't put a gun to your head and get you to actually see it to the finish line.  That's kind of the ethic of people where I'm from.  Someone can approach me and say, "Dude, I wanna learn how to play guitar" and they do.  I mean I could sit down and try to teach you how to play "Stairway to Heaven" or "Over the Mountain" but you're gonna have to be willing to practice and commit to getting it done on your own or it won't get done.
LRI:  It's cool that you brought everyone in your life along for the ride in these stories, even your family.  Was there ever a concern that you were being too honest?
Zakk:  No, because first and foremost it's mostly all just comedy and taking the piss out of ourselves anyway.  Like whenever I read that "Blabbermouth" stuff it just cracks us up because I actually know half of the people writing comments on there.  People are like "Zakk, that doesn't bother you??" and I'm like "No, because I know that's Joe on there and John's writing some of that and that's Andy on there and on and on……That's the mellow stuff, you should see what they really say when they're going off!!" (laughs).  My bandmates in Black Label are just ruthless.  Everyone's always breaking everyone else's balls all the time but it's all fun, noone gets out of line because everybody's always laughing their balls off.   Man, talk about taking the piss out of me, that Zakk Wylde Roast, they were really taking the piss outta me about the booze and the whole nine yards.  I know a lotta guys where they would have been like "Ok, now have fun but no matter what you do don't take any shots at so and so about their past with the drugs or the blah blah" and it's always like "Well, why not, isn't that the point" and people are like "Well,  just be cool, he's very sensitive about this or that" and it's again like "WHY??…it's true, it's funny and it happened".  In my band we are always taking each other down and laughing our asses off.  In this business it is an absolute must.  I know guys in this biz who will NOT sign pictures of themselves that were taken during the big poofy hair phase and it just cracks me up (laughs).  Are you kidding me?  It happened, you might as well just embrace it as part of your past or at least laugh at it.  Seriously, if you can't find a way to poke fun at your high school yearbook photos there's something wrong.  Whatever.  It's like Ozzy lookin at his old 70s stuff with the jackets and the bell-bottoms, he hates it but he at least can make fun of himself and laugh at it.  He's like "God, I look fuckin stupid" and me, I'm all about the 70s so personally I think that shit looks cool as hell.   I'm telling him  "Oz, you look fuckin awesome".  He's like "I look like a jackass, get that thing away from me" (laughs).  You have to have a sense of humor about yourself in this line of work and be able to take some shit with a smile.
LRI:  Do you ever get tired of people constantly questioning your drinking or lack of drinking  or is that just par for the course?
Zakk:  You saw the roast! (laughs).  People will ask me like "Zakk, do you have advice, do you wanna be a counselor" and all I can say to them is what I'll tell you.  It's okay to go out and have a good time.  Go hang with the gang and get baked or get hammered or whatever and do what you wanna do but the MINUTE it starts getting silly or really stupid you gotta be able to know and take a look at yourself and say "Dude, I gotta chill out".  Or maybe just stop, you know?  It's like the same thing with too much of anything, If you're an actor and you gotta get ready for a movie you have to know when enough's enough and you have three months before filming begins to get in shape.  One day you have to say "Okay, no more junk food, tomorrow its nothing but clean food and cardio".  Sometimes you just have to say "That's it" and wake up every morning, drink a couple of cups of coffee and go after it.
LRI:  Preach on Brother Zakk.  Have you heard any of the criticisms directed towards people who write these books about times in their lives when they were partying so hard it's difficult for people to believe they remember it all?
Zakk:  No, cause everyone who knows me knows that I can still remember what went down last night (laughs).  If you and I go out and get absolutely annihilated I swear to you I will remember every moment of the madness.  No matter how hammered we get I will remind you of how you were out on the floor whipping your schlong out and dancing with old ladies.  I will tell you about how you drank a pint from the tap or how you told me that the Heineken tastes the same warm as it does cold and how we all laughed cause you were really drinking piss.  It will be memorable, trust me and nobody will get hurt and everyone has a good time but I will remember every nasty detail even if we are beyond bliztkrieged.  I remember talking with Alice Cooper where he told me that there were entire records and tours that would pass that he just did not remember.  I told him pretty much every record we've ever made we were drinking and having a good time but I never got so hammered that I don't remember creating the record (laughs).  Dude, I mean pretty much every album I did with Oz we were drinking but never wasted writing or recording the stuff, it just doesn't allow you to get much done in the studio if you are.  I mean, if you get towards the end of the night's sessions and you're starting to get hammered and the takes aren't tight enough and you're doing take after take eventually you reach the point of diminishing returns and it's best to come back fresh in the morning.   We'd wake up and listen to the good stuff in the morning and see what we needed to do, that's how we always worked.  That's how we always made records, it was never like I got so blitzkrieged that I couldn't remember entire stretches of time.  People will say "Well, do you think your stuff is better now than it was then when you were all fucked up?" and I'll be like "No, I think it's the same because I wasn't wasted during the process back then and I practiced then like I practice now".  I just don't know what to say to people who think that now  I don't drink beer so therefore  I can play better.  I mean, of course, obviously if you're too hammered and you're onstage then you're just shit but there's a difference between being onstage and having a glow and being onstage completely lit and off your balls wasted.  It's one thing if you're just hanging out at an open mic or a jam at a bar but it's a whole different story to be fucking up your own shows.
LRI:  I've always admired your connection to your fans from the very beginning of Black Label Society.  You treat them like they're just an extension of the band, part of the inner circle.  Is that important to you?
Zakk:  Absolutely.  That's because they are John.  That's why we don't call it a fan club, we call it a "fam" club because it's all just one, big extended BLS family.  The way I look at it, that's exactly what it is really.  Not for nothin but these are really people that we have grown to know over all these years and we'll see at shows or around town and that.  I'll see Joe and be like "Hey, how's  it goin, how's Susan?" and they'll be like "Oh she's pregnant with our third child" and it's just like that.  I know all these people and they are a part of it all no doubt, including this book.  It's way cool.  We're like family and we're honest with each other and can poke fun at stuff like I've done shows that didn't go so good.  It happens every once in a while and we just say "Man, that show fuckin BLEW" (laughs).  What are you gonna do?  Just move on and have a great show the next time.

LRI:  Let's talk about music for a second while I've got you.  I love your mellow stuff like the "MUSIC FOR HANGOVERS" or your last album "SONG REMAINS NOT THE SAME" or even "BOOK OF SHADOWS".  You're so well-known for the roar and the pinch harmonics and shredding but sometimes I think your critics overlook your sense of melody and piano playing.  Is that something you're going to keep incorporating going forward?
Zakk:  Of course.  It's just something that's always been there.  I always play an acoustic or play piano around the house.  I mean I love songs like "Born To Lose" or "Overlord" but I also love "Shallow Grave" or a song like "Darkest Days".  Some of those covers on "Song Remains Not The Same" are songs I've just always loved but maybe people don't expect like "Can't Find My Way Home" or "Bridge Over Troubled Waters".  John, if we were in a submarine with my band and we were just driving around and listening to tunes, mellowing out watching the world go by beneath the sea this would be our soundtrack.  I'll pour you a cocktail or a coffee or whatever you're drinking and we'll just drive for 16 hours talking about our favorite bands or the NFL bounty or religion or politics or whatever while listening to timeless, cool, mellow songs.  I mean there's always a time to listen to Dimebag or Meshuggah or Machine Head no doubt but there's also something to be said for the mellow stuff for chilling out.  I've always had that side to my stuff.
LRI:  What's next in the immediate future?
Zakk:  Promoting the book, going out all summer touring.  I've got a tour I'm doing now is eight weeks in Europe with Black Label and then some stuff with Metallica and then some stuff booked with Oz over in Europe where I'm playing some shows with Oz and then also doing my solo shows as well.  Then we come back and I have something special planned for the States in August called "UNBLACKENED" which will be featuring  acoustic guitars, electric guitars, strings, my buddy Derek Sherinian on Hammond organ and it's gonna be a blast.  It will be sort of along the lines of Song Remains Not The Same.
LRI:  I know from working on the editing for Kelly Garni's  book that you were both out at the gravesite  for Randy's 30th anniversary.  Obviously Randy Rhoads means the world to so many people including you, what did it feel like being out there with the family and all those fans?
Zakk:  Randy always meant the world to me and he still does.  I still have pictures of him up on my wall to this day.  It's awesome seeing the kind of outpouring that still exists for him.  I mean, Randy is like Hendrix in that the work he achieved will live forever.  I mean, we've all heard the stories about how he was considering leaving the rock touring business and going off into the sunset to study and teach classical but that didn't happen.  Sadly, he could have been teaching and teaching into his golden years.  His recordings that he left us are his legacy, his guitar playing speaks for itself.  It's SLAMMING.  That's why people are gathering thirty years later, his playing had that much impact.  He will always be an iconic guitar player, always.
On Friday, May 25, Niclas Müller-Hansen of Sweden's Metalshrine conducted an interview with Zakk Wylde (BLACK LABEL SOCIETY, OZZY OSBOURNE). A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.

Metalshrine: Are you gonna do something with Kerry King [SLAYER]?

Zakk: Well, I mean, I always talk with Kerry, especially during the football seasons because he's a big Raiders guy and… you know, the running joke is… with him and the whole Satanism thing and me being Catholic, [laughs] it's awesome, man! His lady, his wife, will send me pictures of them with, like, upside-down crucifixes and everything, and I go, "That's so humble of you." That's the most humbling thing you can do. You know that's Peter's cross, the first pontiff, the first pope and I go, "You're gonna score some points when you get upstairs." and he goes, "Fuck you, asshole!" [laughs] And then when the Broncos ended up beating the Raiders, because he's such a huge Raiders freak and Raider Nation, I just called it the Satanic Nation, and the whole thing… and Tim Tebow is such a massive Christian and when he is bowing down to the big guy and I go "It's a sad day in Satanic Nation when you got beat by a Catholic rookie quarterback!" [laughs] I was calling him up because he wasn't even responding to the texts and he was like, "Go fuck yourself asshole!" [laughs] You know he's got the tattoo "God hates us all," and I said to him, "Dude, on the other arm you gotta put, 'Satan ain't too fond of us either.'" (laughs) and he's like "Hey, man, don't blame me for this bullshit!"

Metalshrine: But if you guys would do something together, would it be more towards your style or more in the aggressive vein of SLAYER?

Zakk: Well, with Kerry… they were the originators of that, the thrash shit, but originally with Dime [late PANTERA guitarist "Dimebag" Darrell Abbott] and Kerry, [we] were gonna do like a G3 type of thing like Steve Vai and they guys, and obviously with Saint Dime, it went down with him, so I mean, it's just like… he'll either come out to the shows or we'll see him when they're doing a SLAYER gig or like I ran into Kerry at the [Zakk Wylde] Roast [in January in Anaheim, California], you know he was down at the thing. But like I'm looking here and they're gonna be here like two weeks from now with MARILYN MANSON or some stuff like that? They're playing here, right?

Metalshrine: [In] Gothenburg [at the Metaltown festival].

Zakk: I mean, he's working all the time and he never stops working either. If he's not on the road, they're pumping out a record and then they're right back on tour. Those guys never come off the road. It's a miracle I run into Kerry and talk to him as much as I do.

Metalshrine: New BLACK LABEL stuff then? Are you working on anything?

Zakk: No, but in August we're gonna do an "Unblackened" DVD and it's gonna have strings, piano, acoustic, but still electric with solos and stuff like that. It's still electric and jamming. Like how we "The Song Remains Not The Same" where it's like the heavy version of songs reworked on piano and stuff like that. So that'll be the next thing we do and then we'll go off and roll with the Canadian chapter and the South American chapter after that and obviously when that's gonna be out, we're still gonna be out touring and obviously they'll probably want us to promote that thing as well, so I would imagine 2014 will be the next studio album with the heavy stuff on it. I was just looking at my schedule and it's like two or three years, but it's already mapped out. Obviously shit changes in between and we'll figure out what the fuck to do, but this way it's pretty much mapped out. It really is crazy when you think about it. Anything you gotta plan now is gotta be like six months down the road. I mean, as soon as the soccer season stops, they're already setting up next season. That's just the way it goes. But right now in the foreseeable future, after we get done with this eight-week crusade and jamming and being with the Boss [as part of the "Ozzy & Friends" tour]… we're having a blast. We jammed the other night and it was a good time.
Vocalist Geoff Tate of Seattle progressive rockers QUEENSRŸCHE seemed less than pleased with the crowd reaction his band received at this past weekend's Rocklahoma festival in Pryor, Oklahoma, judging from a one-and-a-half-minute video clip which has surfaced on YouTube. The footage, which can be seen below, shows Tate and his bandmates finishing up the eighth song of their set, "Walk In The Shadows", before the singer addresses the audience.

"My God! This is Rocklahoma, huh?!" he can be heard saying. "I think we played here two years ago. I think it, maybe, was a different crowd. You guys suck. I'm serious. C'mon! I know it's Sunday. You've gotta go to work tomorrow. You're gonna let that stop ya? My God! You only live once, man. This is all there is. There ain't nothing else. This is your chance. This is it. This is all there is. It doesn't get any better than this. That's right. Anyway, nice to be here on a Sunday. [chuckles]"

QUEENSRŸCHE's latest album, "Dedicated To Chaos", sold 8,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release to land at position No. 70 on The Billboard 200 chart. The band's previous CD, the epic concept album "American Soldier", opened with 21,000 units back in April 2009 to enter the chart at No. 25. This was roughly half the first-week tally registered by QUEENSRŸCHE's "Operation: Mindcrime II" album, which shifted 44,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release back in April 2006 to debut at No. 14 on The Billboard 200 chart.

QUEENSRŸCHE's 2003 effort, "Tribe", sold 20,000 copies in the first week while 1999's "Q2K", opened with sales of 28,000.

QUEENSRŸCHE's top-selling album by far is 1990's "Empire", which was certified triple-platinum in October 1994 for sales in excess of three million copies in the United States. The original "Operation: Mindcrime" release (1988) attained platinum status in August 1991, while 1994's "Promised Land" reached the same plateau in December 1994.
Ex-SKID ROW singer Sebastian Bach has revealed that he is willing to return to his former band but that one member of the group's classic lineup is keeping the reunion from becoming a reality.

When asked via Twitter yesterday (Sunday, May 27) what the likelihood was of a SKID ROW reunion with Bach on vocals, Sebastian replied, "Four out of five [members of the classic SKID ROW lineup] want to do it. Believe it or not, I am one of the four who would do it."

Speaking to the Boise Music Examiner last month, Bach stated about his former band, "We got offered a couple of reunion shows. A lot of the time people say, 'How come you aren't together?' and I've never been offered any reunion with those guys until this year. There was a couple of offers for this Knebworth gig in England. Sonisphere… And they actually printed up a poster, 'KISS with special guests SKID ROW,' and that was actually a real thing, but those guys [the current members of SKID ROW] did not want to do it."

Bach last year tweeted that he wanted his fans to stop asking him about a possible reunion with his former bandmates after SKID ROW bassist Rachel Bolan made it clear that the group has "never looked back" following Sebastian's dismissal from the band in 1996.

Speaking to Adam Hammer of SCTimes.com, Bolan stated about Sebastian's departure from SKID ROW, "We thought we were disbanded and that we'd never do it again. Then we kept getting emails and the management office was getting lots of letters about people wanting to see SKID ROW on stage and we really started to miss it. We knew if we got back together, we were going to do things different."

He added, "When [current SKID ROW singer] Johnny [Solinger] joined the band [in 1999], that really gave us a kick in the ass. It was a different guy there and everything that came out of that guy was positive."

On the topic of the persistent rumors of a reunion with Sebastian, Bolan said, "Actually, there were never any talks. Ever. That was all just total rumor. We got rid of him in the '90s and never looked back. . . After the first tour [with Solinger on vocals], it seemed like this is the way it's always been. It's so weird, I'll hear an old song on the radio and it just sounds so bizarre to me because I'm so used to Johnny singing it."

After Bolan's comments were posted on BLABBERMOUTH.NET, Bach tweeted the following in response to the article, "If this makes even one of you stop asking me 'when are you getting the band back together' then good. IT'S NOT HAPPENING."

Sebastian previously shot down the possibility of a SKID ROW reunion with him on vocals at the February 2011 press conference in Los Angeles to announce the details of the third annual Revolver Golden Gods awards show. He said, "No [I am not interested in a reunion], because I don't base my life in 2011 on, like, 30 years ago. And I also... I was kicked out of that band. Like, if you worked at Pizza Hut and you got fired, would you be knocking on the door of the Pizza Hut, 'Please let me back in!!' You'd be, like, 'Fuck Pizza Hut! Fuck you!' I'd be, like, 'Fuck you! You wanna fucking kick me out? Go fuck yourself!' [Laughs] I'm always perplexed by that. You don't want me to sing in your band? Kiss my fucking ass! Don't hurt yourself finding someone that can. [Laughs]"
According to JonLord.org, former DEEP PURPLE keyboardist Jon Lord will make his first live appearance this year on July 6 during a special performance of the Durham Concerto in Hagen, Germany.

The concert is rounding off Jon's stretch as this year's "composer in residence" with the Hagen Philharmonic Orchestra near Dortmund. To this end, the orchestra has been performing several of his pieces over the past few months, most recently a breathtaking performance of "From Darkness To Light", which was broadcast by German radio WDR3 on May 15.

About that performance, Jon later wrote to Hagen's conductor Florian Ludwig: "It was a truly wonderful and emotional experience sitting in my house in England and listening to the glorious sounds you were making in Hagen — wanting to be there and yet in a way happy that you could not see me with the tears in my eyes. The piece means a very great deal to me, and you played it as if you had looked into my heart and soul and found what I was thinking and feeling as I wrote it."

For the concert on July 6, and subject to the continued progress of his recovery from cancer, Jon will play Hammond organ on his Durham Concerto and piano on a further selection of his solo pieces mixed with works by other composers connected to Jon and his music.
FreeGotham.com recently conducted an interview with former EXODUS and current HATRIOT singer Steve "Zetro" Souza. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.

FreeGotham.com: You guys [HATRIOT] are going back to your roots in metal. Do you think there is a resurgence of classic thrash?

Zetro: I think everybody is trying to do it, but nobody has done it right yet. There are a bunch of great new young bands that I love, though. SHADOWS FALL is one of my favorite bands right now. They don't do exactly what the '80s did, though, you know? They pull a lot of things from that era. A lot of people have told me that nobody has been able to pull this off like we have. It's old-school but really fresh. Nothing sounds the same. This is what we're shooting for. Everything sounds different, but still in the vein of classic, Bay Area thrash metal.

FreeGotham.com: Why did you decide to go back to that older sound? Why did you return to your roots?

Zetro: It's what I do. It's what I am. I did some work with Glenn Letsch from GAMMA. He played with Ronnie Montrose and plays with Robin Trower now. He told me, "You know, Zetro, I've been reading up on you. They say you're a legendary singer for thrash metal." I told him to go back ten years ago when nobody cared! He said, "It's interesting you say that. I was speaking with Robin Trower. He said in the '70s he was a rock star. In the '80s he was a has-been, and now he's considered a legend!" That's exactly how I felt. To go back to my roots would be just automatic. It was instinct. I love the beat, I love the guitars, I just love the attack. I love the vocal delivery. I think until I'm 85, I'll be trying to spit out thrash metal. I don't know how that's gonna work, but we're gonna try!

FreeGotham.com: Where does the name HATRIOT come from, because I've got to be honest with you… that's a killer thrash name. Is it political? I've seen a picture of an upside-down American flag on fire…

Zetro: Whoa, wait a second! It's not the American flag. It's the HATRIOT flag. Look at it, in the blue, those aren't stars. Those are pentagrams. It's the HATRIOT flag. We've gotten into a bit of trouble in the south with people saying, "Hey now, boy, come down here and we're gonna beat your ass." The way I explain "hatriot" is this: A hatriot is somebody who loves their country but doesn't necessarily agree with the hypocrisy that goes on with it. Perfect example is Jesse "The Body" Ventura. He's a "hatriot." He loves his country, he's fought for his country. But does he agree with what the government does? Nope. You and I, my friend, we're hatriots. We love our country, we love being Americans, but we don't necessarily agree with the crap they pull. That's what a hatriot is. I'm no patriot, just a hatriot.

FreeGotham.com: So what's on the horizon for HATRIOT?

Zetro: We've got a couple of record labels that are interested. I actually got an offer from a metal label in Germany. They've got some good acts and I'm very interested. I want to get a record out. I'm not gonna sit here and play games with labels. I'm getting older, I'm 48 years old, I want to put out music so people can hear it. The music does the talking. If the music is good and the music kicks ass, we'll be OK. And I think my music kicks ass, so I think we'll be alright.
HADES singer Alan Tecchio has released the following statement regarding the band's previously announced appearance at this year's edition of the Headbangers Open Air festival, set to take place July 26-28 in Brande-Hörnerkirchen, Germany:

"I just wanted to clear the air on the upcoming HADES gig at the Headbangers Open Air festival in Germany. Get it — clear the 'air'... LOL.

"Anyway, unfortunately, [HADES guitarist] Dan Lorenzo decided not to play the show and no one else in the band wanted to do it without him since he is the band's founder. I felt the same way initially. However, since the promoters had already been advertising us for over eight months, I felt an obligation to deliver on our promise to play. We finally came to an agreement that our set will be billed as 'A Night Of Hades Music With Alan Tecchio & Friends' and we will exclusively play music from the first two HADES records.

"In all fairness, bassist Kevin Bolembach, who has been in HADES now for the past few years, will be on bass and Ron Lipnicki from OVERKILL (who was also on one HADES CD — 'DamNation') will be on drums, so there is at least some related HADES history there for two of the players and myself.

"Personally, I hate it when I see a band and there is only one original member left so I came as close to getting former members as I could.

"On guitar, Jack Frost [SEVEN WITCHES, ex-SAVATAGE] immediately offered to help since I am in the early stages of writing a new SEVEN WITCHES CD with him anyway. He suggested his friend and bandmate in a local cover band, Sean Tarr, as the second guitarist. I checked out Sean at a gig and he really blew me away. So that took care of the axemen.

"We have not started rehearsals yet so I cannot say how we sound at this point, but I am confident we will be able to pull the gig off.

"Hopefully the fans will now understand the story behind this strange lineup."

Lorenzo issued a statement earlier in the month saying that he was pulling out of the Headbangers Open Air gig because it would have required of him "to work at least an hour or two a day for months to play the songs adequately." He added, "Playing 25-year-old songs just isn't where my head and heart is this year."
Several online ticket vendors, including Stubs.net and TheTicketRumba.com, are selling tickets to two separate events featuring "American Idol" finalist James Durbin performing with the Texas heavy rock band DROWNING POOL:

Jul. 10 - South Bend, IN @ Club Fever
Jul. 17 - Fayetteville, AR @ Georges Majestic Lounge
Regarding DROWNING POOL's plans for the immediate future, Pierce said, "We've been in the studio. DROWNING POOL is recording a new record. We have three weeks left. I've been in the studio all year long and I haven't gone out at all — 12-hour days, seven days a week; I'm not kidding. . . We have our first coming out show with the new [singer], we're gonna be opening up for MÖTLEY CRÜE on July 13 — it's a radio show in Wisconsin, which is great, to get started, again, right where you left off. We were fortunate… Things have been, the last few years… I mean, things are flowing again. It's been great. . . But the new record is heavier, there's more metal on it, there's a lot of double bass, a lot of guitar solos… stepping up a notch."

DROWNING POOL parted ways with vocalist Ryan McCombs late last year, with Pierce telling the 97-1 The Eagle radio station in Dallas, Texas at the time that the singer and his former bandmates simply "grew apart." He explained, "If you're gonna write music together and tour together, you've gotta be hitting on all four cylinders — everybody's gotta be on the same page. . . So instead of going into the studio and trying to force something and just throwing out a record there, [we thought it would be] better if we part ways now while we're still on good terms."

McCombs joined the band in 2005 and provided some stability on the microphone after the group's first two albums featured two different vocalists. Original frontman Dave Williams died on tour in 2002 after singing on the band's debut, "Sinner". He was replaced by Jason "Gong" Jones, who also contributed to one record, "Desensitized", before being shown the door in 2004.

McCombs sang on two studio efforts by DROWNING POOL, 2007's "Full Circle" and 2010's self-titled fourth album.

DROWNING POOL's fifth album is tentatively due in October.

Durbin's debut solo album, "Memories Of A Beautiful Disaster", came out last November and sold around 28,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release to land at position No. 36 on The Billboard 200 chart.
Don de Leaumont of The Great Southern Brainfart recently conducted an interview with vocalist Andrea Ferro of Italian heavy rockers LACUNA COIL. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.

The Great Southern Brainfart: You guys got a lot of shit for "Shallow Life", which I thought was an awesome album. It was way different from anything LACUNA COIL had done to that point and it was a risky move. The fans really seemed to hit you hard for that one.

Andrea: I think with a record, sometimes you have the right balance and sometimes you don't. It's that way for every band, I think. I think they are great songs anyways. I can recognize that they are different and they're not what you would expect from us but maybe we just fell in love with a certain sound at the time so we wanted to try and put it to our own style. We got really criticized for "Shallow Life", because it was a very different kind of record, but I think there are great songs on "Shallow Life". Maybe some songs we tried things that were just too different but if we don't try something different, we can't move to the next step and then do this new album. You just need to try. For "Shallow Life" we changed producers, we changed management, we changed a lot of things so it was a new record and a new life for the band in a way. That allowed us to find the motivation to go ahead as a band and to try something different and new.

The Great Southern Brainfart: That's a really great attitude to have. Even artists like KISS took chances and made albums that may not have been the best for the fans but it was something they needed to do in order to move on. I felt like "Shallow Life" was a really cool album. I thought it was cool that you guys took a risk and tried something different.

Andrea: Thanks. I think that it's just that a lot of people don't appreciate it. They don't understand that just because you try something different doesn't' mean that you don't like what you've done before. It's just that you want to try and bring the music somewhere else and you need to experiment in order to find the right way to do it. I kind of see our career in cycles of three albums. I think when we started, we were just this gothic metal band from Europe inspired PARADISE LOST, TIAMAT, and TYPE O NEGATIVE. We were trying to sound like those bands because that's what we liked back then in our 20s. Then we did "Unleashed Memories", but I think we really found the right balance with "Comalies". I think that album was a big success because it was the right balance of identity and the roots of where we come from as a band. With "Karmacode" we tried to go really heavy, detuned the guitars and went with a more metal sound. On "Shallow Life" we tried to be more rock with more open choruses and simpler, straightforward lyrics. "Dark Adrenaline" includes the heaviness of "Karmacode", the simple approach of "Shallow Life" with the bigger choruses but also the heritage of the gothic sound. So for me, I see for some reason that every three albums we make our best album so I think "Comalies" and "Dark Adrenaline" are our best albums, in my opinion.

The Great Southern Brainfart: Social networking has really bridged the gap between fans and bands. Do you like being so accessible to your fans and how does it influence a lot of what you do as an artist?

Andrea: You can keep an eye on it, and you can review what they're saying, but I don't think it should get too much in your way. You have to pay respect to the fans and hear their opinions. If you put yourself on display, you need to be aware that it's going be both positive and negative criticism. Sometimes the negative might be correct, but most of the time it's over-exaggerated. [laughs] The Internet allows everyone to just talk bullshit. If you go on to Blabbermouth, according to [the people posting comments there], nobody is a good band and nobody plays good music because they all suck. [laughs] I actually have a lot of fun reading the comments on the Internet. Some people take it personally, but I really don't. I know what I do right and I know when I fuck up, and like everybody else, I have good and bad times. You need to be able to separate reality from the Internet. They don't always go together. I think the Internet is a big help in promoting the band even in territories we couldn't reach before. On the other hand, there's the fact that there is no regulation to it at all and that can also do a lot of damage.

The Great Southern Brainfart: I spoke with Russell Allen of SYMPHONY X once and he said that while the Internet was this great invention, it didn't come with a user's manual or a rule book, making it hard for people to control.

Andrea: Exactly. It's like everything in society. You need some rules. Don't get me wrong. I'm not for censorship, and I'm not for arresting somebody because they are downloading a record or something. I just think there needs to be regulation that allows everyone to have their own rights. Everybody was against Lars Ulrich [METALLICA] when he went against Napster and he was the first person to point out this situation. I think he was right, to be honest. He was right when he said that METALLICA has the right to decide if they want to give away their music for free or not. I should be able to decide if I want to give away my music for free on the Internet or not as well. There's nothing wrong with it, but I should be able to decide that as opposed to somebody else. Actually, it's not even the people who download the music. It's the people who run those sharing sites. These people are making money out of it because these sites put commercials, they put up banner ads, and they have the power to make money off of it. The companies who host these sites are making money off them those people so it's really not just the kid who's downloading the album that is stealing from the artists. I blame more the people behind these websites who are in control and running the machine that allows people to get these records for free.

The Great Southern Brainfart: Speaking of Blabbermouth, how do you feel when you go on to that site and you see some shitty, negative comments.

Andrea: Oh, man, it's just funny. Some comments are really funny. Some people are smart with it and they have a fun way of saying something negative with a sense of humor. Some people just put some over-the-top insult on there and it's just stupid. It's fun and you don't have to take it too seriously. People can write whatever they want on the Internet and that's why people go there. It's funny, because that site is also promoting bands. People go there talking shit about a band but those negative comments are creating an audience.

The Great Southern Brainfart: It's funny but it seems that the bands they hate the most get the most comments on that site.

Andrea: [laughs] The best-selling bands are the ones that get the worst comments. Like FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH. They'll get like 1,000 negative comments but yet they're out there selling out arenas so it looks like it works. [laughs]
On Friday, May 25, Richmond, Virginia metallers LAMB OF GOD took part in a press conference in Bangalore, India ahead of the band's concert the next day at the city's Clarks Exotica. Video footage of the question-and-answer session can be seen below (courtesy of What's The Scene).

When asked why he deleted his Twitter account, LAMB OF GOD frontman Randy Blythe replied, "Why did I delete my Twitter? Because it's full of idiots. Social networking can be used for good things. And I used my Twitter account for several good things — I raised money for cancer research on it; I live-tweeted advice during a hurricane in New York City. So I used that, and at first it was fun to communicate with the fans. Like, I would answer questions from the fans. I think something 35,000 people were reading the dumb stuff I was putting up there. And some of it was just fun. It got too big. I couldn't communicate anymore. And everything I said got misunderstood. And I'm a pretty brutally honest person on there, because I think people have two different personas online; I think they have the person that they are in their day-to-day life, and then they'll be online and they'll be someone else — rude, entitled… They say things to you online that they would never say to your face. I'll say exactly the same thing online that I'll say to your face. People don't like that. They don't like being told, 'You're being an asshole.' So I'll still do that, you know what I mean?! And it bummed a lot of people out. And I just got tired of arguing with all these people.

"Someone was asking about meeting the fans earlier… My whole deal with music sis this: I don't see the difference between us and the fans so much. I still at times am confused as to how many people… I'm like, 'I can't believe all these people are here to see my dumb ass jumping around on stage.' So I don't like the separation, mentally, between the fans and the band a lot of the time. Because people expect you to be something that you're not. And you see that, conversely, in a lot of musicians who get really big heads. They're like, 'Oh, I'm something special because I'm up here playing in a band.' It's like, 'Dude, you aren't a doctor, you aren't a scientist, you aren't curing cancer. You're a in a fucking heavy metal band. That's it. Get over yourself.'

"The thing with Twitter that I thought was neat was that I could communicate one-on-one with people and kind of remove some of that barrier. Like, I'm just a person, too. And then people got rude. And I got bored. So I erased it. Plus, I wasted far too much time on that."

LAMB OF GOD's seventh album, "Resolution", sold around 52,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release to land at position No. 3 on The Billboard 200 chart. The band's previous CD, "Wrath", opened with around 68,000 units back in March 2009 to enter the chart at No. 2. This figure was roughly in line with the first-week tally registered by 2006's "Sacrament", which shifted around 63,000 units to debut at No. 8. It also represented almost double the amount of records sold by its predecessor, "Ashes Of The Wake", which premiered with 35,000 copies in September 2004.

"Resolution" was released in the U.S. via Epic and internationally through Roadrunner Records. The CD was recorded at various studios in Virginia and New York with producer Josh Wilbur, who worked on the band's last effort, 2009's "Wrath".
Italian "symphonic power epic" metal band THY MAJESTIE will release its long-waited fifth album, "ShiHuangDi", later in the year via Scarlet Records. The CD, which marks the first THY MAJESTIE release since 2009's "Dawn", was recorded at Wreck Studios in Palermo, Italy, mixed by Giuseppe Orlando (NOVEMBRE) at Outer Sound Studios in Rome, Italy and mastered by Mika Jussila (NIGHTWISH, SONATA ARCTICA, STRATOVARIUS) at Finnvox Studios in Helsinki, Finland.

"ShiHuangDi" is described in a press release as "another epic conceptual record, in the vein of THY MAJESTIE's acclaimed albums 'The Lasting Power' (2000) and 'Hastings 1066' (2002). [It] marks another important chapter in the band's career, this time dealing with the life of the legendary Qin Shi Huang, who became the first emperor of a unified China in 221 BC.

"'ShiHuangDi' will see THY MAJESTIE returning to their trademark sound, made of epic atmospheres, massive orchestral and operatic parts and — most of all — genuinely devastating metal. A very special guest appearance by renowned singer Fabio Lione (RHAPSODY OF FIRE, VISION DIVINE, KAMELOT) has also been announced."
Yngwie Malmsteen and Alex Hellid (ENTOMBED) are among the artists being honored at SKAP's (Svenska Kompositörer Av Populärmusik, The Swedish Society Of Popular Music Composers) annual ceremony this coming Monday, May 28 at Vinterträdgården, Grand Hôtel in Stockholm.

Every year SKAP awards scholarships and prizes to celebrate Swedish creativity across all musical genres. The awards ceremony takes place in tandem with SKAP's annual spring party which is organized with the composers in mind and creativity as the main focus. During the event, there are 13 recipients of a scholarship valued at 40,000 SEK (approximately $5,574) each.

SKAP on Malmsteen: "With his unique way of understanding classical music as well as rock n roll, he has written songs that have made him one of the foreground figures — if not THE foreground figure — for an entire genre. The Swedish Society of Popular Music Composers wish to praise an author whose songwriting skills are often overshadowed by his blazing guitar technique."
Panic Records has announced the signing of CARRIDALE.

CARRIDALE is a band that is so rooted in their DIY ethic, that they fit in perfectly with the attitude that all of the Panic bands share.

Since their inception in 2005, CARRIDALE has worked relentlessly with multiple releases and countless tours under their belt. Nothing has ever been handed to CARRIDALE and what they've accomplished, they've more than earned.

The band started as an acoustic project in the apartment of vocalist, Nathan Edwards. After three years of songwriting and casual acoustic shows, Nathan resolved to turn the acoustic project into a serious band.

Fresh off a very successful tour of the U.K., CARRIDALE will release its newest effort, "The Wandering", via limited vinyl seven-inch on July 10.


Nathan Edwards (vocals)
Kyle Thorstad (rhythm guitar)
Kobi Childers (drums)
Wayne Wilson (bass)
Josh Rozanski (lead guitar)
The cover artwork for "Antithetical", the third full-length album from Portuguese extreme progressive metallers MALEVOLENCE, can be seen below. The very striking illustrative piece was produced by the design bureau Kkstructures. "By portraying the central album conceptual theme fueled by the art of conflict, Kkstructures, in straight involvement with the band, twisted an eye-catching visual parallelism dissecting the antithetical contrasts between the positive and negative extremes," according to a press release. "Transcending the opposites by mode of individual revelation (summon insurgence) whilst erecting a differing perspective throughout exorcising thesis, the visual mind bending design brings forth in the process the social global context trivialization invoking an upheaval synthesis. The fire combustion epitomizes the universal purification (in need) as an unrelenting way of forward critical thinking."

The follow-up to 1999's "Martyrialized", "Antithetical" was written and produced by Carlos Cariano, recorded by Paulo Pereira at 20m2sea Studio (Portugal), and mixed and mastered at Woodshed Studio (Germany) by V. Santura (TRIPTYKON, OBSCURA, PESTILENCE).

"Antithetical" features the lineup that recorded "Martyrialized", including core members Carlos Cariano (vocals, guitar), Aires Pereira (bass), Fred Noel (guitar), Paulo Pereira (keyboards) alongside session drummer extraordinaire Dirk Verbeuren (SOILWORK, THE DEVIN TOWNSEND PROJECT, JEFF LOOMIS).

The main theme of "Antithetical" illustrates a razor-sharp concept inspired from Ancient Greek Etymology (1580s, from Gk. Antithetikos) that reflects the diametrical opposition to a number of propositions consisting in the revelation of a divergent thought. Pertaining to "Antithetical", the Anti (against) + Thesis (position), as a figure of speech (mainly used by the authors of the Baroque period; style of the epoch known as the art of conflict) acknowledge opposition towards the relative thesis expressed.

Commented MALEVOLENCE singer/guitarist/songwriter Carlos Cariano: "'Antithetical' is loaded with intoxicatingly corrosive contrasts whilst the album represents pure rebellion, a pure nonconformist extension towards the current situation of the globe, an upheaval towards the current language that has no force of expression and no meaning, due to the predictability of words and counterfeit actions that have become commonplace worldwide. Inner strength and living values nowadays are negatively base underneath relative truths and we are expressing ourselves precisely antithetically whilst insisting on critical thinking."

A press release states: "Music and lyrics are far beyond the average practice and 'Antithetical' is a very unnatural progressive slab of extreme sonic amalgamation creating parallelisms to simplify extremes whilst apprehending both the positive and the negative perspectives of existence, in order to erect with the synthesis that transcends both.

"As hope is antithetical to despair, the contrasts established within the album serve in effect to give tension to the broad-spectrum body of work consisting of seven songs.

"'Antithetical' includes the most epic material (longest song clocking at 9:27), plus the heaviest proportional songwriting ever accomplished on the eighteenth year of existence of the collective.

"Exploring experimental yet instrumental mind bending extreme metal structures, the album is a pure heavy mammoth demonstration on extreme progressive metal territory."
Danish power metallers SEVEN THORNS have entered Media Sound Studios in Copenhagen with Peter Brander (ROYAL HUNT, CORNERSTONE, BIG FAT SNAKE) to begin recording their sophomore album. According to guitarist Gabriel Tuxen, "The new album will be a continuance of the first one — with a little more variation. We have put a little more tempo and technicalities into the songs."

Regarding the SEVEN THORNS vocalist situation, drummer and founding member Lars Borup said, "For the first album ('Return To The Past') we hired the fantastic Swedish singer Erik 'EZ' Blomkvist (formerly of PLATITUDE). His voice was not as high pitched as the 'common' power metal vocalists, but it really fitted our music fantastically. Erik was never a full member of SEVEN THORNS — by own choice, and it has been a wish in the band for some time to get a singer to work with full-time — and we have found that now in another young Swede named Gustav Blide. Erik has been a one of the main reasons for the success we've had for the first album and without him we wouldn't have been where we are today. Gustav is a different kind of singer — more classic power metal vocalist — only 19 years old, but with a huge potential."

For the new album, however, Gustav will "only" be doing backing vocals. The lead vocals on the new CD will be handled by David Henriksson from the Swedish power metal bands INSANIA and HEEL.

"Getting David to do the vocals on the new album is simply amazing," says composer and backing vocalist Mik Holm. "His voice is so fantastic. It will be a change in the vocal style, but for the songs on the new album David's voice will be perfect."
Former OPERATIKA guitarist Bill Visser has joined forces with singer Jess Rittgers in a new band called PSYCHOPRISM. The group's musical style is described as "modern power metal with shred guitar and vocals that resemble KING DIAMOND and QUEENSRŸCHE."

PSYCHOPRISM is currently working on a demo and is holding auditions for a drummer and a bassist.

For more information, visit www.facebook.com/Psychoprism.
Metal guitar master Joe Stump (HOLYHELL, REIGN OF TERROR) will release his ninth solo album, "Revenge Of The Shredlord", on August 17 via Lion Music. The CD was engineered and mixed by Grammy Award winner Ducky Carlise (BUDDY GUY, JOHNNY WINTER) and mastered by Maor Appelbaum (HALFORD, YNGWIE MALMSTEEN, ARMORED SAINT, ANGRA, SEPULTURA) at Appelbaum Mastering.

Commented Joe: "The new record's heavy, very dark and classically influenced, with the usual mix of strong melodies and fierce metal riffage that are a constant on all my previous releases. This is without a doubt my best effort, both sonically and guitar-playing-wise. I can't wait 'till it's unleashed."

"Revenge Of The Shredlord" track listing.

01. The Ritual Begins
02. Man Your Battlestations
03. Pistoleros
04. Shredlord's Sonata
05. Master's Prelude
06. In The Master's House
07. The Black Knight's Castle
08. Enter The Coven
09. Evil Beasts Below
10. Strat Outa Hell
11. White Knuckle Mayhem
12. The End Approaches

Stump's last solo album, "Virtuostic Vendetta", was released in April 2009 via Lion Music.
Hollywood Waste Records has announced the signing of Seattle's MONSTERS SCARE YOU!

With their feet firmly rooted in the heaviness of hardcore, MONSTERS SCARE YOU! surprises listeners with incredibly catchy choruses, all while incorporating dubstep and modern electronic elements.

Hollywood Waste's Kyle Kore Parsons states: "We're very excited to announce our newest signing, MONSTERS SCARE YOU! The guys have been family to Hollywood Waste since the start, and we truly believe in MONSTERS SCARE YOU! as pioneers of happy-hardcore/dub. We can't wait to expand Hollywood Waste Records to fans of heavy and electronic music and couldn't be happier to have them on board!"

The band adds, "We are very excited to join the Hollywood Waste family! As a band we've seen the way that Hollywood Waste has not only built their label, but also their community. This was very important to us when making the decision to sign to the label. We're so stoked to show the world what we've got!"

In 2011, MONSTERS SCARE YOU! was named the #2 Unsigned Band in Alternative Press magazine and has played with numerous acts, including IWRESTLEDABEARONCE, FALLING IN REVERSE, EYES SET TO KILL, SKIP THE FOREPLAY, WE CAME AS ROMANS, and IN THIS MOMENT.

MONSTERS SCARE YOU! is currently finishing its debut album with producer Joel Casey Jones (formerly of BLESSED BY A BROKEN HEART) at London Bridge Studio in Seattle, Washington. A fall release is expected.

MONSTERS SCARE YOU!'s self-produced music video for "Shut Up, Our Song Is On" (which will also be on the band's debut) can be seen below.

On Saturday, June 2, MONSTERS SCARE YOU! will play an all-ages show at Hell's Kitchen in Tahoma, Washington. Directly following the event, Hollywood Waste will host an official after party at the venue.
Icelandic ambient metallers KONTINUUM have inked a deal with Candlelight Records for the release of their debut album, "Earth Blood Magic".

KONTINUUM originated more than 10 years ago from a project featuring Birgir Thorgerisson (POTENTIAM) and Kristjan Heidarsson (ex-POTENTIAM, CHANGER, DARK HARVEST).

It was in 2010 that KONTINUUM was officially born with the aim to make hypnotic and spiritual musical noise.

"I wanted to make music I liked, honest music with less constraints and room for various genre influences but without leaving my musical roots, one that could surprise, tell me something and take me somewhere," says Thorgerisson. "It was, and is, a spiritual process."

After focusing on their other bands for a decade, they entered Sundlaugin Studio in Iceland last year to record their first full-length.

"We are honored and excited about joining the impressive family of artists at Candlelight," says KONTINUUM. "We see our music as being diverse and perhaps not always predictable. That is why it was important to us to team up with a label that understood the source of the vision we express. We look forward to the release of our debut on the world and our future co-operation with Candlelight."

KONTINUUM's current lineup is completed by Ingi Thor Palsson (I ADAPT) and Engilbert Hauksson (POTENTIAM).
Swedish dark rockers KATATONIA have issued the following update:

"We are currently on our way to Russia, but we have some bad news. Unfortunately Anders [Nyström, guitar] is very sick and unable to travel with us, so we send our regards and wish him a speedy recovery. The show must go on and we didn't want our fans to miss out so we have decided to carry on and play the concerts without him. We look forward to seeing you all over the next couple of days!"

Affected dates:

May 27 - Arctica Club - St. Petersburg, Russia
May 28 - Milk Club - Moscow, Russia
Swedish dark rockers KATATONIA have set "Dead End Kings" as the title of their new album, due on August 28 (one day earlier internationally) via Peaceville Records. The CD, which will feature a guest appearance by Norwegian singer Silje Wergeland (THE GATHERING), was recorded over a two-month period at Stockholm's Ghost Ward studios and the band's new, as-yet-unnamed headquarters. David Castillo returned to "twiddle the knobs," while band co-founders Anders "Blakkheim" Nyström and Jonas Renkse handled the rest of the production duties.

Commented Renkse: "'Dead End Kings' is about the corridors of our mind from where there is no return. Be a king or queen in your own right in these hallways, even at the dead end. Carry your burden with pride. That's what we are doing, twenty years and counting. Kings, because we believe in what we are creating, in our own disturbing faith."

Added Anders: "This album has doors revolving into many different genres of music but remain disguised within the KATATONIA trademark. We have walked the fine line between attempting not to repeat ourselves but also not to distance us away from what people know and love. We're now ready to hand over the evidence and whatever the direction this has taken is now for you to decide. We're confident the creativity and passion on this album is something that will be echoing even beyond the dead end."

"Dead End Kings" track listing (not final running order)

01. The Parting
02. Hypnone
03. Undo You
04. The Racing Heart
05. Buildings
06. Leech
07. The One You Are Looking For Is Not Here (with Silje Wergeland)
08. First Prayer
09. Ambitions
10. Lethean
11. Dead Letters

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

In a recent interview with Loud TV (audio available below), Nyström stated about the overall musical direction of the band's new CD, "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 said, "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]."

Norwegian singer Silje Wergeland, who has been fronting Dutch rockers THE GATHERING since early 2009, has recorded a duet with KATATONIA's Jonas Renske for the Swedish band's new album, tentatively due in September via Peaceville Records. KATATONIA describes the collaboration as "a beautiful fit in every way."

KATATONIA's new CD was recorded over a two-month period at Stockholm's Ghost Ward studios and the band's new, as-yet-unnamed headquarters. David Castillo returned to "twiddle the knobs," while band co-founders Nyström and Jonas Renkse handled the rest of the production duties.

"Our seal of identity is on here for sure," Nyström told Decibel magazine. "We haven't gone and changed our sound, but we've further explored some different angles of good music, and that's what we need to do to keep the focus. It might not be so obvious to some, but to others it will be a bigger deal. So, sure, a few surprises and a few songs going off territory are in there, but overall this album is a natural follow-up to [2009's] 'Night Is The New Day', and that is what we wanted to do."
Canada's Digital Media Records will release "District Destruction" from German thrashers MORTAL INFINITY on June 15.

MORTAL INFINITY offers an album's worth of surgically precise, immediately memorable, and frighteningly ferocious thrash metal. The album was recorded at Sound Lodge Studios from Jörg Uken (GOD DETHRONED, DEW-SCENTED), ensuring maximum riff crunch and laceration potential. Taking influence from the likes not only the Bay Area (EXODUS, TESTAMENT) and German (DESTRUCTION, KREATOR) scenes, but also acts like SLAYER and LAMB OF GOD, MORTAL INFINITY's "District Destruction" is one debut album that plays like it was made by 20-year veterans.

"District Destruction" track listing:

01. Intro
02. Thrill To Kill
03. At Dawn Of Death
04. Wake Of Devastation
05. Retribution
06. District Destruction
07. Condemned Rising
08. Radical Response
09. Sound Of Brutality


Marc Doblinger - Vocals
Thomas Harlander - Rhythm Guitar
Sebastian Unrath - Lead Guitar
Daniel Hofer - Bass
Mathias Erber – Drums
Under official license from Kaotoxin Records, Tanquam Aegri Somnia, a new label from Belgium founded by Corvus of CULT OF ERINYES, will release DEHUMAN's debut full-length, "Black Throne Of All Creation", on vinyl. The album is being offered as a standard LP and limited-edition (100 copies) red LP and is scheduled for release on July 2. Both versions of the LP are now available for pre-order at shop.kaotoxin.com. The CD version of "Black Throne Of All Creation" will be out on May 28 via Kaotoxin Records.

For a limited time, Apochs.net is offering an exclusive full album stream of "Black Throne Of All Creation". The tracks will be online from now until Friday, June 1 at this location.

In October, DEHUMAN will take part in the "The New Elite European Tour 2012" with the legendary MASTER as headliner The tour will start on October 6 in Germany and end on October 14 in the Czech Republic.

Recorded at the Blackout studio (ENTHRONED, RESISTANCE, EMPTINESS, SOL INVICTUS, DIAPSIQUIR) and featuring artwork by W. H. Otto Dix, layout by ENTHRONED's Oliver Lomer, and logo by Christophe Szpajdel, "Black Throne Of All Creation" is sounds great and looks fantastic. It's also an addictive release sure to hook the listener upon the very first listen with such instant classics as "Black Mamba" or "Cast Of Assassination".

"Black Throne Of All Creation" track listing:

01. Apocalypse And Perdition
02. Monstrosity In The Hands Of God
03. Eyes Of A Thousand
04. Spiral Of Loss
05. Down With The World
06. Harvest The Sun
07. Cast Of Assassination
08. Black Mamba
09. Path To Oblivion
Dark Descent Records and Me Saco Un Ojo have announced the release of BINAH's debut, "Hallucinating In Resurrecture".

Despite none of the band's members being newcomers to underground metal, the entity that is BINAH has spawned what is certain to be remembered as one of this year's weightiest and hungriest-sounding full-length recordings. Spanning ten tracks of morbid-sounding death, "Hallucinating In Resurrecture" captures the U.K. trio's concoction of obscure and primordial sounds; one that makes no secret of their Finnish, Dutch and Swedish (even some U.S. via AUTOPSY and MORBID ANGEL) prime inspirations yet oozes a dense ambiance that's distinctly their own. Whether exploring fast and serpentine sections or sparser and more reflective passages; this beast remains unrestrained in its intensity. Focusing on its song-craft and otherworldly in its vibes; familiar yet eerie, "Hallucinating In Resurrecture" is pure death.

"Hallucinating In Resurrecture" will be released in late June/early July on CD through Dark Descent Records and as a standard LP via Me Saco Un Ojo. The cover art for the effort was done by MMonsterbrush.

"Hallucinating In Resurrecture" track listing

01. Into The Psychomanteum (Intro)
02. Morbid Obumbration
03. A New Rotten Dawn
04. The Emissary
05. Absorption Into The Unearthly
06. Eminence Of The Sombre (instrumental)
07. Hallucinating In Resurrecture
08. Dissolution
09. Crepuscular Transcendence
10. Buried Baptistry (outro)
Finnish death metallers PYURIA wll release their third album, "Incarnadine Revelry", on June 13 via Violent Journey Records. The CD was recorded by Henri Virsell and features the following track listing:

01. Immolate
02. Eradicate The Parasites
03. Flesh Grotesque
04. Skeletonized
05. I Am Pain
06. The Enemy
07. Incarnadine Revelry
08. The Dead Will Devour Us All

Formed in 1996 and playing "sick and groovy" death metal, PYURIA was joined by original TORTURE KILLER vocalist Matti Liuke to forge yet another brutal piece of psychopathic murder music.

PYURIA's second album, "ubliette Ontology", was released in 2007.


Matti Liuke - Vocals
Antti Kauri - Bass
Tuukka Franck - Drums
Oskari Mäki - Guitar
Ville Lahtivirta – Guitar
Birgit Haugen of Metal Storm recently conducted an interview with guitarist Morgan Steinmeyer Håkansson of Swedish black metallers MARDUK. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.

Metal Storm: "Serpent Sermon" will be your 12th studio album and your first release on Century Media; do you have a worldwide deal and do you also still have your own label Blooddawn Productions?

Morgan: We did a worldwide deal with Century Media but also still have Blooddawn Productions, which is basically my label. [For] the past 10 years we also had our own label and did distribution through a Swedish label, Regain Records. Things were kinda falling apart with them so we decided to move on and got offers from more or less all of the extreme music labels. But in the end we decided that Century Media had the strongest foundation and the strongest plateau for a band like us to work with. So far so good. [laughs]

Metal Storm: So Century Media didn't put any restrictions on you?

Morgan: No, because otherwise we wouldn't be on Century Media. This is the most important thing to us and all the labels we have ever worked with never tried to interfere with that. We need to have total artistic freedom because otherwise we would just put the music out ourselves. We don't accept any interference with our production, layout or whatsoever. We do our job and then they can do theirs; take care of the album.

Metal Storm: You took your time to record "Serpent Sermon" and Mortuus's vocals have become somewhat more distinct over the years. So can we expect some groundbreaking stuff or did you stick with the same great MARDUK formula and just defined it some?

Morgan: I don't know if it's groundbreaking; people who listen to the album would have to decide that. For me, the importance of groundbreaking is that the music is coming from the heart and soul; that is what matters to me. And then if it sounds like some of our earlier albums, I wouldn't mind, as long as we are unleashing the energy and creativity the way it speaks to us. That's what it's all about. We don't want to be extreme metal just for the sake of being called extreme metal.

Metal Storm: The album cover looks really old school as well. Was that intentionally and who did the artwork?

Morgan: The artwork was done by our vocalist Mortuus. We did the whole album on a DIY path; it was recorded in our bass player's studio, produced by ourselves, then also mixed by our bass player and the layout was done by our vocalist. We have worked on the concept of everything. So who should better know how to do the artwork and visual reflections of the music than us? And speaking of the album cover; it is kind of simplistic and minimalistic compared to our others, and I think it really reflects the spirit of the album. You have the pentagram and you also have the devil or demon, or whatever you want to make out of it, and it very much symbolizes the diabolic sense of the album. It doesn't have that many pictures in the booklet as some of our others but I think it portrays the visual side of the music and lyrics.
Greek black metallers NAER MATARON will release their new album, the title of which translates to "Long Live Death", on July 6. The CD was produced at Hertz Studio, the cover art was created by George "Grin" Prasinis and the entire layout was handled by Mentalporn.com. The album will be released as a digipak and black 180-gram vinyl with gatefold cover limited to 333 units.

"Long Live Death" track listing:

01. Long Live Death (intro)
02. Apocalypse Of The Ancient One
03. Sleepless Beings
04. I Am Lucifer, Messenger Of Your Death
05. Goat Worship
06. Faceless Wrath Of Oblivion
07. Parade Into Centuries
08. Whisper Of Begotten Premonition
09. The Cult Of Doom And Dagger
10. Ode To Death (The Way Of All Flesh)


Kaiadas - Bass, Vocals
Indra - Guitar
Asmodevs Draco Dvx - Drums

"Ode To Death (The Way Of All Flesh)" can be streamed at this location.

NAER MATARON recently made headlines around the world when it was revealed that their bassist/bassist has been has been elected to Greece's parliament.

Giorgos Germenis, who is known by the stage name "Kaiadas," will represent the extremist Golden Dawn party, which is described as perhaps the most extreme of the far-right parties in all of Europe. Comparisons are made to Germany's neo-Nazi National Democratic Party and many say Golden Dawn's logo resembles a swastika.

Golden Dawn, an extreme right nationalist party with patriotic symbolism and an anti-immigrant stance, won between 5 and 7 percent of the vote in Greece's general elections on May 6, enough for them to gain representation in parliament for the first time in Greek history.

In a statement, the members of NAER MATARON say, "NAER MATARON has been and still remains a pure-blooded black metal band, and as such, a non-political one. Any member of the band has the right to keep on to his personal beliefs and act accordingly. Therefore, any kind of legal political activity of any member, is a matter of personal choice and is respected as such. Attempts to put NAER MATARON under any political agenda are rejected by the band. In addition, any false accusations against the band will come across with legal actions on our behalf. The band stands only for black metal, and black metal is extreme music, not politics. Closing, anyone who is into the extreme music and thematology, but for any reason feels shocked or offended by non-extreme views and/or beliefs is not of our concern."

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