[Classic_Rock_Forever] Ozzy Osbourne and Friends, Aerosmith, Motley Crue, Anthrax, Pantera, Godsmack, Shadows Falls, Hatebreed, Sevendust, The 69 Eyes, and tons more hard rock and heavy metal news


The original lineup of BLACK SABBATH — who late last year confirmed the recording of their first new album in more than 33 years and a worldwide headlining tour — had to put some plans on hold due to guitarist Tony Iommi's battle with lymphoma. At this time, BLACK SABBATH will perform only one show of this summer's previously scheduled European tour. It will take place Sunday, June 10 at the U.K.'s Download festival.

So as not to let the promoters and fans down, SABBATH singer Ozzy Osbourne is now performing the majority of the previously scheduled BLACK SABBATH European dates (both festival performances and the headlining shows) billed as OZZY OSBOURNE & FRIENDS. These "first-ever" OZZY OSBOURNE & FRIENDS shows are featuring appearances by "special guest" musicians, including Geezer Butler (who is joining Ozzy for a special BLACK SABBATH set as a show of respect and support to their friend, Tony Iommi) and longtime former Ozzy bandmember Zakk Wylde. In addition, Ozzy is being accompanied by longtime collaborator and friend Slash at select shows, with other "special guests" set to join the tour at various stops along the way (full list of dates, appearances below).

The first OZZY OSBOURNE & FRIENDS concert took place earlier tonight (Wednesday, May 23) at the Hartwall Arena in Helsinki, Finland.

According to Soundi.fi, the setlist for the show was as follows:

Ozzy Osbourne (vocals)
Gus G. (guitar)
Rob "Blasko" Nicholson (bass)
Tommy Clufetos (drums)

01. Bark At The Moon
02. Mr. Crowley
03. Suicide Solution
04. The Ultimate Sin
05. I Don't Know
06. Killer Of Giants
07. Shot In The Dark
08. Rat Salad

Blasko goes off stage, Geezer Butler comes on

09. Iron Man (BLACK SABBATH)
10. War Pigs (BLACK SABBATH)

Gus G. goes off stage, Zakk Wylde comes on

12. Fairies Wear Boots (BLACK SABBATH)
13. Into The Void (BLACK SABBATH)

Geezer Butler goes off stage, Blasko comes back on

14. Road To Nowhere
15. I Don't Wanna Change The World
16. Fire In The Sky
17. Crazy Train
18. Mama I'm Coming Home

Geezer Butler and Gus G. come back on stage

19. Paranoid (BLACK SABBATH)

In a recent interview with The Nervous Breakdown, Zakk Wylde stated about the setlist for the upcoming OZZY OSBOURNE & FRIENDS shows, "[Current Ozzy bandmembers] Gus G., Blasko and Tommy [Clufetos] are coming out and doing a bunch of tunes, then I come out with Blasko and Tommy and we end up doing a bunch of stuff from the era when I was with The Boss, from 'No Rest For The Wicked' all the way through everything I've ever done with him. Then Geezer [Butler, BLACK SABBATH bassist] comes out and we do a bunch of SABBATH stuff and at the end, Slash and everybody — Geezer, Slash, Gus — and we all play 'Paranoid'."

Remaining OZZY OSBOURNE & FRIENDS tour dates:

May 25 - Stockholm, Sweden - Stadium
May 27 - Jelling, Denmark - Jelling Festival
May 29 - Bergen, Norway - Bergen Calling Festival
May 31 - Oslo, Norway - Spektrum
Jun. 02 - Malmo, Sweden - Malmo Stadium
Jun. 04 - Dortmund, Germany - Westfalenhalle
Jun. 06 - Prague, Czech Republic - O2 Arena
Jun. 15 - Vitoria, Spain - Azkena Rock Festival
Jun. 17 - Clisson, France - Hellfest
Jun. 22 - Dessel, Belgium - Graspop Metal Meeting
Jun. 24 - Milan, Italy - Gods of Metal Festival
Jun. 26 - Vienna, Austria - Stadthalle
Jun. 28 - Belgrade, Serbia - USCE Park
Jul. 01 - Athens, Greece - Rockwave Festival – Terra
AEROSMITH will release its long-awaited 15th studio album, "Music From Another Dimension", on August 28 via Columbia Records. The first song to be made available from the CD is a reworked version of the band's 1991 outtake "Legendary Child", which was originally written during the "Get A Grip" sessions. The track, which can be streamed below, will also be included in the upcoming summer film "GI Joe: Retaliation", set to arrive in theaters around the U.S. on June 29.

AEROSMITH performed "Legendary Child" earlier tonight (Wednesday, May 23) on the season finale of "American Idol". Video footage of the performance can be seen below.

"Music From Another Dimension" track listing:

01. What Could Have Been Love
02. Beautiful
03. Street Jesus
04. Legendary Child
05. Oh Yeah
06. We All Fall Down
07. Another Last Goodbye
08. Out Go the Lights
09. Love Three Times a Day (Hello Goodbye)
10. Closer
11. Shakey Ground
12. Lover A Lot
13. Freedom Fighter
14. Up On The Mountain

AEROSMITH began work on its first all-new album since 2001 last year, with the rest of the band working on music while singer Steven Tyler made his "American Idol" debut.

"Music From Another Dimension" is being helmed by producer Jack Douglas, who previously worked with AEROSMITH on classic early albums like "Toys In The Attic" and "Rocks" as well as on 2004's "Honkin' On Bobo".

"This record is different from the recent past, say the last 20 years, where everybody is getting in the studio and throwing down their songs," guitarist Joe Perry recently told Billboard.com. "This record is a lot more band-written stuff than there has been in the recent past."

AEROSMITH's "The Global Warming" tour will kick it off on June 16 at the Target Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota and wrap up on August 8 in Tacoma, Washington.

"This tour, in addition to a couple songs we know we're going to play from the new record, we want to bring out songs we just haven't played for years," Perry told Billboard.com. "We'll be playing some of those — songs that were staples in the sets back in the old days that will be new songs to a lot of people if they don't know the albums."
MÖTLEY CRÜE bassist Nikki Sixx will throw out the first pitch at this coming Sunday's (May 27) game between Los Angeles Dodgers and Houston Astros at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, California. Sixx says, "Being from Los Angeles, this is a a huge honor for me." He adds, "The whole 'Sixx Sense' gang [Nikki's syndicated radio show], my kids and [girlfriend] Courtney [Bingham] are all going... Bad-ass!"

In the summer of 2009, Sixx and POISON frontman Bret Michaels were among the celebrities whose faces were seen on billboards around Los Angeles as part of the Los Angeles Dodgers' outdoor messaging campaign centered around the tagline "L.A. is my town." Other celebrities and movie characters who were featured in the campaign included Kim Kardashian, Oscar De La Hoya, Yoda (of "Star Wars"), Tara Lapinski (former figure skater) and Clout (local extreme sports pros).
Callie Que of the 102.9 The Buzz (WBUZ) radio station in Nashville, Tennessee conducted an interview with ANTHRAX singer Joey Belladonna at this year's Rock On The Range festival, which was held May 18-20 at Columbus Crew Stadium in Columbus, Ohio. You can now watch the chat below.

When ANTHRAX was given the choice of playing this summer's Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival main stage or the festival's Jägermeister Stage, the band opted to headline the latter, and to do something special for the crowd.

Explained ANTHRAX's Charlie Benante, "We decided to pattern the Mayhem set on the kind of shows the RAMONES used to do: a high-energy, non-stop barrage of hit, hit, hit, hit, hit. No lulls, no filler, totally in your face. We're going to be playing a supersonic-paced set loaded with the best of our best."

"We really like the idea of not 'playing to seats,'" added Scott Ian, "and we want our crowd to have the freedom to move around, to go crazy with us. Plus, we've been on the road together now for about two years, so we're tighter as a band than we've ever been. Our Mayhem set will be a fun, fast and furious 45-minutes, so they'd better have the EMTs on hand."

Since vocalist Joey Belladonna rejoined the ANTHRAX lineup two years ago, ANTHRAX has made one of the most impressive comebacks in rock 'n' roll. As one of the "Big Four," the original architects of speed and thrash-metal, ANTHRAX joined METALLICA, SLAYER and MEGADETH during the summer of 2010 on a series of "Big Four" shows in ten European cities, followed by a "Big Four" show outside of Los Angeles at the Coachella site (April 2011), and the big "homecoming" event for the New York-born-and-bred band members at Yankee Stadium last September.

The band released "Worship Music" on September 13, 2011, its first new album in eight years and the first with Belladonna on vocals in twenty years. "Worship Music" debuted at No. 12 on The Billboard 200 chart, received stellar reviews that included being named one of the best albums of the year in countless media outlets.
The 20th-anniversary reissue of PANTERA's "Vulgar Display Of Power" sold 9,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release to land at position No. 48 on The Billboard 200 chart. This is more than double the first-week tally registered by the 20th-anniversary reissue of PANTERA's classic "Cowboys From Hell" LP, which debuted at No. 117 in September 2010 with sales of 4,200.

Upon its original release, "Vulgar Display Of Power" peaked at No. 44 on The Billboard 200 and spent a total of 77 weeks on the chart, the most weeks any PANTERA album spent on the list.

February 25 marked the 20-year anniversary for PANTERA's "Vulgar Display Of Power", a landmark album widely acknowledged as one of metal's most enduring and influential masterworks. Recorded by singer Philip Anselmo, guitarist "Dimebag" Darrell Abbott, bassist Rex Brown and drummer Vinnie Paul Abbott, the album was certified double platinum by the RIAA and features several of the group's most iconic songs including "Walk", "Mouth For War", "This Love" and "Fucking Hostile".

To celebrate, Rhino channels the album's relentless blitzkrieg of musical aggression onto a two-disc Deluxe Edition. The CD includes the original album remastered and "Piss", a recently discovered unreleased track from the recording sessions. The DVD contains an unreleased live performance filmed in Italy in September of 1992 plus the three official music videos from the album.

Along with the unreleased song, "Vulgar Display Of Power (Deluxe Edition)" also features unreleased video of the quartet performing six songs at the Monsters Of Rock show in Reggio Emilia, Italy on September 12, 1992. The set list draws almost exclusively from "Vulgar" ("This Love", "Rise", "Mouth For War"), but also includes the title track from their previous album, "Cowboys From Hell", and a melding of "Vulgar"'s "Hollow" and "Cowboys"' "Domination", which was a live staple of the band. Video of PANTERA performing live during this era is extremely rare, making the DVD one of the few ways to see them in their prime.

"Vulgar Display Of Power (Deluxe Edition)" track listing:


* "Mouth For War"
* "A New Level"
* "Walk"
* "Fucking Hostile"
* "This Love"
* "Rise"
* "No Good (Attack The Radical)"
* "Live In A Hole"
* "Regular People (Conceit)"
* "By Demons Be Driven"
* "Hollow"
* "Piss" - Previously Unreleased


* "Mouth For War" - Live In Italy
* "Domination/Hollow" - Live In Italy
* "Rise" - Live In Italy
* "This Love" - Live In Italy
* "Cowboys From Hell" - Live In Italy
* "Mouth For War" - Video
* "This Love" - Video
* "Walk" - Video

Dimebag Darrell was co-founder and lead guitarist for PANTERA. When PANTERA broke up in 2003, Dimebag and his brother Vinnie Paul formed DAMAGEPLAN. On Dec. 8, 2004, while performing with DAMAGEPLAN at the Alrosa Villa in Columbus, Ohio, Dimebag was shot and killed onstage by Nathan Gale. He was 38 years old.
GODSMACK's first-ever live album, "Live & Inspired", sold around 16,500 copies in the United States in its first week of release to debut at position No. 19 on The Billboard 200 chart.

Released on May 15 via Universal Republic Records, "Live & Inspired" features fierce and furious live renditions of numerous hits from the Massachusetts rockers' five studio albums. Their incendiary and infectious shows have become legendary in modern rock, and they continue to impress both critics and audiences alike every time they hit the stage. The group sounds unchained on rousing performances of "Awake", "Keep Away", "Straight Out of Line", "Whatever", "Voodoo", and "I Stand Alone".

This is the first time that's been captured on CD, and bonus tracks of covers that have "inspired" GODSMACK is also going to be included along with it. The four tracks are quite close to the band's collective heart. The band started ripping through local Massachusetts haunts with their renditions of some of these songs, and these recordings bring everything full circle.

"Live & Inspired" track listing is as follows:

CD 1 (Live):

01. Straight Outta Line
02. Realign
03. Awake
04. Moon Baby
05. Changes
06. The Enemy
07. Keep Away
08. Speak
09. Voodoo
10. Batalla De Los Tambores
11. Whatever
12. Serenity
13. I Stand Alone

CD 2 (Inspired):

01. Rocky Mountain Way (JOE WALSH cover)
02. Come Together (THE BEATLES cover)
03. Time (PINK FLOYD cover)
04. Nothing Else Matters (METALLICA cover)

About the collection, frontman Sully Erna reveals, "'Live & Inspired' is our way of saying 'Thank you' to all of our fans for believing in us throughout the years, and helping us to become a great live band! Along with this ass-whooping set live from Detroit Rock City, we've also included four cover songs of our favorite hits in the past to show you that, we too, are simply just fans that appreciate nothing more than good old fashion ass-kicking rock 'n' roll! Enjoy!"

Erna told Loudwire in a recent interview, "We were going to do a compilation with this song from Vegas, this song is from Chicago, this one is from Dallas, but I don't know, the more we listened to the Detroit show, the more we kind of figured out that it was a really good show for us."

Erna also said that GODSMACK has nothing but love for the Motor City, explaining, "It's always a great audience, as any rock band will tell you. Playing there is a special kind of fanbase that they have there, they live up to their reputation. They're a great rock audience."

In addition, the quartet encouraged its legion of supporters to be a part of the release. The collection's packaging actually showcases a variety of fan photos. Fans may submit live snapshots of the group on stage, pictures of themselves rocking out at GODSMACK concerts, or photos of their tattoos of the group's iconic logo on the band's official Facebook. Now, the winning photos adorn the album's booklet and packaging.

The first single from "Live & Inspired", GODSMACK's cover of JOE WALSH's "Rocky Mountain Way", can be streamed using the audio player below.

GODSMACK's fifth studio album, "The Oracle", opened with 117,000 copies back in May 2010 to land at No. 1.
"Fire From The Sky", the new album from Massachusetts metallers SHADOWS FALL, sold around 10,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release to debut at position No. 38 on The Billboard 200 chart. The band's previous CD, "Retribution", opened with 13,000 units in September 2009 to land at No. 35.

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

Commented singer Brian Fair, "'Fire From The Sky' is not a concept album by any means, but a few common themes do link these songs together. These days, the world seems to be spiraling out of control into a frantic state of confusion, corruption and chaos. It's as if we are living under the shadow of an impending apocalypse. The songs on this album were inspired by this chaos and the struggle to find answers in these dark days."

"Fire From The Sky" track listing:

01. The Unknown
02. Divide And Conquer
03. Weight Of The World
04. Nothing Remains
05. Fire From The Sky
06. Save Your Soul
07. Blind Faith
08. Lost Within
09. Walk The Edge
10. The Wasteland

The cover artwork for "Fire From The Sky" was designed by Aaron Marsh of Forefathers and can be seen below.

Commented Marsh: "When presented with the idea, I wanted to deliver an aesthetic that would go beyond the 'typical' or 'assumed.' I wanted to embrace a perspective and emotive value that could be carried with the context of the record itself. While I knew this would be challenging and end up stylistic to one degree or another, I still wanted the viewer to get this overwhelming and brooding sense of chaos that could otherwise be imagined when putting themselves in that very scenic situation — supposing this record was the soundtrack to their own apocalyptic movie."

Added Fair: "[I] couldn't be happier with how the artwork for 'Fire From The Sky' came out. Thanks to Forefathers for doing such an amazing job!"

"The Unknown" video can be seen below. The clip was filmed on March 21 at an abandoned building in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, New York with director Kevin J. Custer, who has previously worked with OVERKILL, HATEBREED, TESTAMENT and SUFFOCATION, among others.
Connecticut hardcore/metal masters HATEBREED have entered the studio with co-producers Josh Wilbur (LAMB OF GOD, GOJIRA) and Chris "Zeuss" Harris to begin recording their new album for a late 2012 release.

Regarding the musical direction of the new HATEBREED material, vocalist Jamey Jasta told "Maximum Threshold" last month, "We did enough experimenting, I think, on the last record… A lot of people really liked that record and it did gain us a lot of new fans, but on this record, with the 10-year anniversary of [HATEBREED's 2002 album] 'Perseverance' and with Wayne [Lozinak, guitar] being back in the band — this will be his second record with us — it's just fun to kind of keep with the old-school influences. I hear more CRO-MAGS and KILLING TIME and SHEER TERROR and OBITUARY and BOLT THROWER and SLAYER and ENTOMBED and those kind of '80s and '90s influences in there. Which is fun for us, because we emulate the bands that we love. We try to make it our own sound and make it our own style, but at the end of the day, we're just fans of those styles of bands."

HATEBREED recently completed a seven-date tour of South America and Mexico with LAMB OF GOD and LACUNA COIL (on select shows).

The self-titled album from HATEBREED sold 15,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release to land at position No. 37 on The Billboard 200 chart.

HATEBREED's previous collection of new material, "Supremacy", opened with around 27,000 copies back in September 2006 to land at No. 31. This number was roughly in line with the first-week tally registered by its predecessor, "Rise Of Brutality", which shifted more than 32,000 copies back in November 2003 to debut at No. 30.

HATEBREED's covers album, entitled "For The Lions", sold around 10,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release back in May 2009 to debut at position No. 58 on The Billboard 200 chart.

"Hatebreed" was released in North America on September 29, 2009 via E1 Music (formerly KOCH Records). The effort was made available on CD, digital download, vinyl and special edition with a bonus 65-minute DVD. "Hatebreed" was issued on Roadrunner in all other territories.
SEVENDUST's latest CD, "Cold Day Memory", sold around 27,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release to debut at position No. 12 on the Billboard 200 chart.

The band's previous effort, "Chapter VII: Hope and Sorrow", opened with 25,000 units back in April 2008 to land at position No. 19.

"Cold Day Memory" was released on April 20, 2010 on the band's own 7Bros. Records, through Warner Music Group's Independent Label Group. The CD — produced by Grammy Award winner Johnny K (DISTURBED, STAIND, 3 DOORS DOWN, PLAIN WHITE T'S) — was the group's first new album with its original lineup back together with Lowery's return after his departure in 2003.

CALL ME NO ONE — the new project featuring Lowery and SEVENDUST drummer Morgan Rose — will release its debut album, "Last Parade", on June 5. The CD's first single, "Biggest Fan", was made available to purchase on iTunes on April 24.

SEVENDUST guitarist John Connolly and bassist Vince Hornsby also recently launched a new project, joining forces with CREED/ALTER BRIDGE drummer Scott Phillips in a new outfit called PROJECTED.

PROJECTED has already entered the studio to begin recording its debut disc, to be made available later in the year.
Helsinki, Finland-based gothic metallers THE 69 EYES are working on their 10th studio album in Stockholm, Sweden for a September release via Nuclear Blast Records. According to a press release, the CD — which is being helmed by the Swedish production team On The Verge — will be melancholic and melodic in best THE 69 EYES tradition, reminiscent of such landmark "goth 'n' roll" as "Blessed Be" (2000) and "Paris Kills" (2002).

"The last album was recorded in Hollywood, adding that special L.A. glam flavor to our sound," says THE 69 EYES vocalist Jyrki69. "Now this time as this album is our 'Made In Sweden' record, our melodic, Scandinavian melancholy side is rising on the top!"

THE 69 EYES's latest album, "Back In Blood", was issued in Europe (excluding Finland) on August 28, 2009 via Nuclear Blast Records (September 15, 2009 in the U.S. through The End Records). It was tracked with the Grammy-winning producer Matt Hyde (SLAYER, MONSTER MAGNET, FU MANCHU) and features a guest appearance by MONSTER MAGNET's Ed Mundell. The recording process took place both in Helsinki and Los Angeles.

The first single from the album, "Dead Girls Are Easy", was described in a press release as "a nasty power anthem for sleazy pin-ups complete with a sing-a-long chorus aimed at those online chicks with the looks that kill!" The video for the song was directed by Margera and the artwork was designed by Estevan Oriol, whose work has graced countless covers from such artists as CYPRESS HILL, THE TRANSPLANTS and SNOOP DOGG.
Metal On Metal Records has announced the signing of the legendary U.S. power/thrash metal act HERETIC.

The band, formed in 1985 in Los Angeles, California, released an EP, "Torture Knows No Boundary" (1986), and a full-length, "Breaking Point" (1988), through Metal Blade Records before disbanding. Later on the founding member, songwriter and guitarist Brian Korban together with bassist Dennis O'Hara formed REVEREND, which featured the vocal talents of the late David Wayne (METAL CHURCH).

In 2011 Brian Korban reformed the band, recruiting Julian Mendez, the vocalist who sang on the band's first EP. Soon they were joined by the seasoned musicians, long-time friends and collaborators, guitarist Glenn Rogers (VIKING, ex-HIRAX, ex-DELIVERANCE, ex-STEEL VENGEANCE and others) and bassist Angelo Espino (BITCH, ex-REVEREND, ex-HIRAX, ex-ANGER AS ART, ex-UNCLE SLAM and others) and a young, but talented drummer Ignazio Coppola.

This lineup has already played several shows and started recording the new album, "A Time Of Crisis", which at this point is almost complete and scheduled for July 26 release. The final recording sessions with producer John Anthony Haddad (known for his work with HIRAX) at the Trench Studios are scheduled for May 26-28.

Metal On Metal Records states: "It's not uncommon that reunions of once great bands from the '80s turn into disappointments, but after hearing several songs from this upcoming album we are confident that it will be one strong and exciting come back (in spite of the lack of Mike Howe who sang on the band's '88 LP and who has retired from the music business)."
"Now And Forever", the third album from Swedish female-fronted heavy rockers SISTER SIN, which was originally due on May 22 via Victory Records, has been pushed back to later in the year. The band states, "We all decided awhile back that the album needs a remix and the process leading up to this turned out waaay more time-conusming than expected. Stay tuned for more info and a new street date very soon! Thank you all for understanding we just want to deliever the best-sounding, badass SISTER SIN album in our career! And we will!!"

"Now And Forever" was recorded at Standstraight Studios in Stockholm with producer Chris Snyder.

Various pre-order options for "Now And Forever" can be found at VictoryRecords.com.

SISTER SIN last fall released a video for its cover version of the MOTÖRHEAD classic "Rock 'N' Roll". The track, which was made available on all digital platforms worldwide via Victory Records in September, features guest vocals from the German metal queen Doro Pesch. It was produced by Snyder at Standstraight and was mastered at Abbey Road Studios in London, England.

SISTER SIN's second album, "True Sound Of The Underground", landed at position No. 97 on the Top New Artist Albums (Heatseekers) chart, which lists the best-selling albums by new and developing artists, defined as those who have never appeared in the Top 100 of The Billboard 200.

SISTER SIN in November 2010 announced the addition of bassist Andreas Strandh to the group's ranks.

"True Sound Of The Underground" was released in North America on June 22, 2010 via Victory Records and was issued in Europe on July 23, 2010 through Metal Heaven Records. It was produced by Henrik Edenhed (DEAD BY APRIL, ROBYN, LAMBRETTA, TEDDYBEARS, CHRISTIAN WALTZ, THE SOUNDS) in Stockholm at Studio 301 and Cosmos Studios.

For more information, visit www.sistersin.com.
American melodic metallers KAMELOT have inked a deal with King Records for the Japanese release of their next album, tentatively due in the fall.

Commented KAMELOT guitarist Thomas Youngblood: "We are very excited about working again with King on the new album! We are also planning to return to Japan for some very special concerts with all the amazing fans there."

KAMELOT returned to Gate Studio in Wolfsburg, Germany in January with Sascha Paeth producing, to begin recording its new album. The production is expected to be several months long and will include special guests, orchestra arrangements and much more.

KAMELOT will support Finnish/Swedish symphonic metallers NIGHTWISH on a North American tour in September and October.

For more information, visit EnterTheVault.com.

KAMELOT's recently completed North American, South American and European tours featured guest singer Fabio Lione of RHAPSODY OF FIRE following the departure of KAMELOT's longtime frontman, Roy Khan. A permanent replacement for Khan has not yet been announced.
Mönchengladbach, Germany-based traditional heavy metal band SACRED GATE released its full-length debut, "When Eternity Ends", on April 27 via Metal On Metal Records.

Formed in 2008, SACRED GATE's founding members, guitarist and composer Nicko Nikolaidis and vocalist Jim Over (both of Greek origin), have mastered their craft in other bands prior to SACRED GATE. They both played together in MADE OF IRON, which was originally an IRON MAIDEN cover band, before starting to write their own songs and releasing a couple of demos, EP and a full-length as MADE OF IRON and an EP, "Creators Of The Downfall", as SACRED GATE in 2011. And the British giants still have the biggest influence on SACRED GATE's music, which is rooted in NWOBHM, but also has some '80s U.S. power metal elements.

"When Eternity Ends" track listing:

01. Creators Of The Downfall
02. Burning Wings
03. The Realm Of Hell
04. When Eternity Ends
05. Freedom Or Death
06. In The Heart Of The Iron Maiden
07. Vengeance
08. Earth, My Kingdom
09. Heaven Under Siege
Jon Oliva (SAVATAGE, JON OLIVA'S PAIN) has recorded guest vocals on two songs for inclusion on the new album from Italian folk/power metallers ELVENKING, due this fall via AFM Records.

ELVENKING entered Sonic Pump Studios in Helsinki, Finland on February 24 with producer Nino Laurenne (AMORPHIS, LORDI, SONATA ARCTICA, APOCALYPTICA) to begin recording the new CD. Nino previously worked with the band on "The Winter Wake" and "The Scythe" CDs.

ELVENKING recently parted ways with bassist Gorlan and replaced him with Jakob.

Drummer Zender left ELVENKING last year for "personal" reasons and was replaced by Symohn.

ELVENKING's most recent album, "Red Silent Tides", was released on September 17, 2010 in Europe (November 9, 2010 in North America) via AFM Records.
Dobel Tequila and Perry Farrell, the creator of the Lollapalooza music festivals and legendary front-man of the rock band JANE'S ADDICTION, will collaborate on a fresh new sponsorship, advertising and experiential marketing campaign to promote the luxury tequila brand.

A $10-million dollar television, print and digital advertising campaign featuring photographs and video shot by legendary music industry photographer Danny Clinch will kick off in June. The campaign takes audiences to the inaugural Lollapalooza festival in Sao Paolo, Brazil with Perry Farrell and Dobel Tequila. The high-energy campaign explains Perry Farrell's outlook on life and his desire to push the limits in everything he does. The spots feature the JANE'S ADDICTION song "Underground" and will play across a range of national cable, lifestyle and luxury magazines as well as trend-setting websites. The collaboration will feature Dobel Tequila as the official tequila of Lollapalooza 2012 in Chicago with unprecedented activation. As an extension to the advertising campaign, consumers will be given the opportunity to enter the Maestro Dobel Tequila / Lollapalooza Chicago promotion on Facebook.

"Perry is one of the most creative and inspiring people in the world," said a Dobel Tequila spokesperson. "With his culture-defining international music festivals, to his on-stage music performances, DJ'ing, design and other collaborations, he embodies the inspirational, entrepreneurial, devil-may-care lifestyle that defines Dobel Tequila."

"When you're going to tell your friends about a product, you gotta have belief in it," said Perry Farrell. "I like drinking Maestro Dobel — it gets me set for creative designery. I savor it at the start and end of every show."

Maestro Dobel is a single-estate, 100% Agave tequila. The crystal clear spirit comes packaged in a heavily embossed bottle inspired by vintage laboratory glassware used by the Maestro Tequileros (master distillers) in early part of the last century.

The Maestro Dobel Tequila advertising campaign was created by Brooklyn-based advertising agency Dead As We Know It and Marina Del Rey, California-based MILKT Films.
TEN TON HAMMER, the famed MACHINE HEAD "cover band" that looks and sounds exactly like the real thing, will play its first London show in ten years on Wednesday, June 6 at King's College.

MACHINE HEAD recently announced plans to film a video for the song 'Darkness Within' in the Czech Republic. The track comes off the band's new album, "Unto The Locust", which sold more than 17,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release to land at position No. 22 on The Billboard 200 chart — putting MACHINE HEAD in the Top 25 for the first time in the band's 17-year history.

Omnibus Press has set an October 15 tentative release date for "Inside The Machine". The world's first MACHINE HEAD biography — which has **NOT** been authorized by the band — is being written by British rock author Joel McIver — whose 20 books to date include "Justice for All: The Truth About Metallica", "Crazy Train: The High Life And Tragic Death Of Randy Rhoads", "Glenn Hughes: The Autobiography", "To Live Is To Die: The Life And Death Of Metallica's Cliff Burton", "Overkill: The Untold Story Of Motörhead", "The Bloody Reign Of Slayer" and "Unleashed: The Story Of Tool".

MACHINE HEAD recently completed a North American headlining tour with support from SUICIDE SILENCE and DARKEST HOUR and is currently playing festival shows in Europe
Earlier today (Wednesday, May 23), American Rock Scene conducted an interview with former VAN HALEN and current CHICKENFOOT bassist Michael Anthony. You can now listen to the first part of the chat below. A couple of excerpts follow.

On the 2004 VAN HALEN tour, where Anthony reportedly had to take a pay cut and sign away his rights to the VAN HALEN name and logo in order to participate in the trek:

Anthony: "Let's just say that I had to give up quite a bit to do [the tour] and the reason that I did it — because I didn't need the money or anything — was that was to be the last VAN HALEN tour, which, for me, it ended up being the last one that I would do. I wanted to go out for the fans one more time and do it."

On VAN HALEN's recent concert postponements and whether he thinks the VH bandmembers are really getting as well as they say they are:

Anthony: "I don't know. Everyone's got their own opinion as to what happened. I don't really care to comment on that. I've got my own theories on it. To me, it just sounds kind of interesting that if you're saying you're tired, or whatever, you wanna recharge your batteries, you don't go and put 30 shows on sale. If I were a fan, I'd be saying, 'Well, then why do you go and put 30 shows on sale?' If I were a fan, I'd be going, 'Wow, that just seems kind of odd.' [But] I wish them well. They put out a great album and they are a great live album, always have been. I heard that [Eddie Van Halen's] been sober, and that's great. A talent like that… I've seen too many great talents — all the way back to Hendrix — it's a waste to see something like that happen."

On whether he would ever consider playing with VAN HALEN again if the opportunity arose:

Anthony: "I don't know. As time goes on now, less and less… I mean, Ed's got his son [Wolfgang] up there with him now. I don't know. I really couldn't say. The circumstances would really have to be right. I was always the 'never-say-never' guy in the band. But as time goes on, I don't think about it, really, anymore. If it's gonna happen, it'll happen. I'm having a great time in my life doing what I'm doing now. That's what's important to me. My wife and I just bought a house, I have a daughter that's [getting] married this year, I have CHICKENFOOT. My relationship with those guys and everything is great."
Former SKID ROW singer Sebastian Bach has issued the following update:

"Everybody, please say a prayer. My friend and live drummer for years, also on 'Bring 'Em Bach Alive', Mark Bam Bam McConnell is fighting for his life right now in hospital in Gainesville, Florida. Miracles can happen, though, so everyone have Bam Bam in your hearts and prayers please. He is an amazing drummer and lifelong friend. We love you, Bam Bam. You can kick this in the ass just like you play your drums!! Fight hard, buddy. We all wanna rock with you. We love ya, dude."

In a 1999 interview, Bach stated about McConnell, "He is on fire. When we toured in '98 with PANTERA, Vinnie Paul was like, 'Man, how many fuckin' pieces does your drummer have?' And for Vinnie Paul to say that. . . And Mark has always been a powerhouse. I am the luckiest guy in the world because I have Anton Fig from David Letterman's band on all of the studio tracks for 'Bring 'Em Bach Alive' and Mark on all of the live stuff, two of the greatest drummers in the world."
Finnish folk metallers ENSIFERUM will release their fifth album, "Unsung Heroes", on August 27 via Spinefarm Records. The CD was produced by Hiili Hiilesmaa (HIM, SENTENCED) at Petrax studio (CHILDREN OF BODOM, NIGHTWISH) in Hollola, Finland and other locations in the Hämeenlinna area. According to a press release, the hour-plus follow-up to 2009's "From Afar" "sees the Finnish five-piece — founded in 1995 — pushing their signature sound to bold new heights of drama and excess. A cinematic experience from first note to last, 'Unsung Heroes' takes the listener on a journey of genuine light and shade, with the 16 minute-plus 'Passion Proof Power' showing that when it comes to the epic statement, ENSIFERUM are very much in the front-line, swords at the ready."

Commented the band: "We've tried to push the different aspects of what we do as far as we can; the sonic scope is wider than ever. The folk elements go further down that path and the metallic parts will absolutely rip your face off!"

Once again, album art has been supplied by Kristian Wåhlin, with featured special guests including members of APOKALYPTISCHEN REITER and legendary Finnish singer and actor Vesa-Matti Loiri.

"Unsung Heroes" track listing:

01. Symbols
02. In My Sword I Trust
03. Unsung Heroes
04. Burning Leaves
05. Celestial Bond
06. Retribution Shall Be Mine
07. Star Queen (Celestial Bond Part II)
08. Pohjola
09. Last Breath
10. Passion Proof Power

Finnish traditional folk metal pioneers KORPIKLAANI will release their eighth studio album, "Manala", on August 3 via Nuclear Blast Records. The cover artwork was created by Finnish artist Jan Yrlund and can be seen below.

Commented KORPIKLAANI vocalist Jonne Järvelä: "On the album cover, our band mascot Vaari represents Väinämöinen, who is one of the main characters in the Finnish national epic 'Kalevala'.

"As most of the lyrics on 'Manala' are based on the 'Kalevala', Jan Yrlund decided to draw his inspiration for the cover artwork from the beautiful but yet brutal depiction of the underworld in Finnish mythology."

The limited digipack edition of "Manala" will come with a bonus CD containing the entire album with English lyrics.

Limited digipak CD:

01. Kunnia
02. Tuonelan Tuvilla
03. Rauta
04. Ruuminmultaa
05. Petoeläimen Kuola
06. Synkkä
07. Ievan Polkka
08. Husky Sledge
09. Dolorous
10. Uni
11. Metsälle
12. Sumussa Hämärän Aamun

Bonus CD:

01. Honor
02. At The Huts Of The Underworld
03. The Steel
04. Soil Of The Corpse
05. Predator's Saliva
06. Dark Side
07. Ieva's Polka
08. Husky-Sledge
09. Dolorous
10. Dream
11. Off To The Hunt

Jonne Järvelä previously stated about KORPIKLAANI's new album, "'Manala' is the realm of the dead — the underworld in Finnish mythology. Tuonela, Tuoni, Manala and Mana are used synonymously. This place is best known for its appearance in the Finnish national epic Kalevala, on which many of our new songs are based. In the 16th poem of Kalevala, Väinämöinen, a shamanistic hero travels to Manala to seek for knowledge about the dead. On the journey he meets the ferrywoman (similar to Charon), a girl, Tuonen tytti, or Tuonen piika (Death's maid), who takes him across the river of Tuoni. However, on the isle of Tuoni he is not given the spells he was originally looking for and he barely manages to escape the place. After his return he curses anyone trying to enter the place alive."

For those of you who are now afraid of not being able to understand the mystical Finnish lyrics on the album, don't worry: "Manala" will come to you with a bonus CDcontaining the whole album with English lyrics!

"Metsälle", a new song from KORPIKLAANI, is available for streaming in the YouTube clip below. The track can also be downloaded for free at NuclearBlast.de (e-mail sign-up required).

"Metsälle" was originally recorded late last year when the band was competing to represent Finland in the 2011 Eurovision Song Contest. The track will appear on KORPIKLAANI's forthcoming eighth album.

Commented Jonne Järvelä: "'Metsälle' can be seen as kind of a prayer to the ancient gods to ask for luck for the tough hunt deep in the woods in cold winter time. Not only is the old man in the song praying for success but — even more importantly — for a safe way through the dangerous frostiness."

KORPIKLAANI previously stated that "Metsälle" "is about the hunt on Hiisi's magical moose in the Northland. He (Lemminkäinen) puts on his charmed ski's and takes off for a prolonged hunt through forests and meadows, marshlands and woodlands, rapids and rivers. This song describes part of the Kalevala story, the national epic of Finland."

"Manala" will mark the recording debut of the band's new fiddler, Tuomas Rounakari.

KORPIKLAANI's latest CD, "Ukon Wacka", was released in North America on February 25, 2011 via Nuclear Blast Records.
Kingsport, Tennessee alt rockers WRETCHES will release their self-titled debut EP this Friday, May 25. The band, which features drummer Kevin Lane (ex-WHITECHAPEL) behind the kit, is a complete DIY endeavor and the EP has been a work in progress for almost two years now.

"Wretches" will be available in both physical and digital formats via the WRETCHES Bandcamp page, although physical copies are extremely limited. Pre-orders are currently available and come with an immediate two-track download consisting of the first single, "(Han) Shot First", and the mastered version of "Future Habits".

Commented Kevin: "WRETCHES came about all with the good intentions of just playing music to play music; nothing more, nothing less. May 25th sets forth the first release for the project that Scotty Rutherford and I formed in 2010 after I had been filling in on drums for one of his other projects. The songs all started out as just a way to kill time and have fun. Once we joined up with our close friend Brandon Dao, wrote some more songs and threw finishing touches on the rest, we concluded that we'd rather get these songs out in some form or fashion rather than sit on them. Months down the road we acquired the vocal talents of our friend Tino Molinari (thanks to our good friend Anthony at RebelPyro Management), which gave a new vibe to everything that we had done and threw a beautiful wrench in the gears of our narrow-minded idea of what it should sound like.

"We're all very excited to finally have the privilege to release these tracks out to everyone and hope that while you listen in the confines of your room with headphones, down the street in your car, or wherever it may be…. that you can enjoy listening as much as we have creating. My love and appreciation goes out to all that have helped make this record happen."

"Wretches" EP track listing:

01. Young Coves
02. Tigers in Space
03. Future Habits
04. Seagrave
05. (Han) Shot First
06. Cynic
07. Witching Hour

The effort was produced, engineered and mixed by Travis Kammeyer at Fahrenheit, and mastered by Miah Lajeunesse at The Soundlair. All vocals were tracked at NB Recording in Santa Rosa, California with producer/engineer Nick Botelho.


Tino Molinari - Vocals
Scotty Rutherford - Guitar
Brandon Dao - Guitar
Kevin Lane - Drums

ENSIFERUM's fourth album, "From Afar", sold around 900 copies in the United States in its first week of release. The CD landed at position No. 44 on the Top New Artist Albums (Heatseekers) chart, which lists the best-selling albums by new and developing artists, defined as those who have never appeared in the Top 100 of The Billboard 200.

"From Afar" was released on September 9, 2009 via Spinefarm Records. The CD was produced by Tero Kinnunen (NIGHTWISH, AMORPHIS) and Janne Joutsenniemi ('Victory Songs' producer) and was mixed by Hiili Hiilesmaa (HIM, SENTENCED, AMORPHIS).
New York hardcore legends MADBALL recently spent five days at the Mana Recording Studios in St. Petersberg, Florida with producer Erik Rutan (HATE ETERNAL, CANNIBAL CORPSE, MORBID ANGEL) recording their new EP, "Rebellion", to be released later in the year via The BNB Label, a brand extension of frontman Freddy Cricien's Black N Blue Productions group.

"Rebellion" marks the first MADBALL recording with former UNEARTH and THE RED CHORD member Mike Justian, who has served as MADBALL's touring drummer for the past year.

"Rebellion" EP track listing

01. Reap What You Sow
02. The Beast
03. Get Out ("Ball Of Destruction" re-recording)
04. Rebellion
05. My Blood
06. It's My Life ("Ball Of Destruction" re-recording)

An eight-minute video clip featuring behind-the-scenes footage from the "Rebellion" recording sessions can be seen below.

MADBALL released its latest album, "Empire", in a special red vinyl format on November 22, 2010.

"Empire" sold around 1,500 copies in the United States in its first week of release. The CD landed at position No. 15 on the Top New Artist Albums (Heatseekers) chart, which lists the best-selling albums by new and developing artists, defined as those who have never appeared in the Top 100 of The Billboard 200.

"Empire" was released on October 12, 2010 via Good Fight Music. The CD was recorded at Mana Recording Studios with Erik Rutan.
Acclaimed Middle Eastern guitarist Yossi Sassi (ORPHANED LAND) will release his debut solo album, "Melting Clocks", in the U.S. and Canada via End Of The Light Records, with distribution through DisManic and eOne Distribution.

"Melting Clocks" was released in other parts of the world in March via Verycords. The CD, which was produced and composed by Sassi, features guest appearances by several known musicians, including former MEGADETH guitarist Marty Friedman.

Familiar to numerous music fans all over the world by his unique trademarked signature sound, Sassi blends east with west, rock with world music, melodic tunes with progressive passages, and traditional folk instruments with roaring electric riffs.

With over 20 years of experience as a producer, composer/arranger and founding member of ORPHANED LAND, Yossi continues to soar to new horizons.

Yossi is known for being the constant explorer of sound and musical boundaries, driving inspiration from different cultures around the world. Yossi plays 17 (!) different types of guitars and traditional instruments, and has been invited to play live and share the stage with artists such as METALLICA, Marty Friedman, Steven Wilson, Yehuda Poliker and many others.

Yossi has cooperated and recorded with artists from Kuwait to Portugal. He is a veteran performing artist, with hundreds of global shows and major festivals in his record.

Featuring world-known musicians, this album takes you to a journey around the world with traditional instruments such as saz, bouzouki, oud, chumbush and many more.

"Melting Clocks" track listing:

01. Drive (6:18)
02. Fields Of Sunrise (5:07)
03. The Calling: Rush Hour (4:51)
04. Numbers' World (5:10)
05. Melting Thoughts (3:38)
06. Another Day In The Office (4:18)
07. Ain't Good Enough (3:56)
08. The Routine (4:43)
09. Sahara Afternoon (6:56)
10. Sunset (2:16)
11. Simple Things (4:54)
12. Melting Clocks (3:38)

The song "Numbers' World" can be streamed using the SoundCloud player below.

For more information, visit www.yossisassi.com.
Danish extreme metallers ILLDISPOSED will release their new album, "Sense The Darkness", on September 21 via Massacre Records. The CD is currently being recorded at Antfarm Studio in Aabyhøj, Denmark with producer Tue Madsen (MOONSPELL, DARK TRANQUILLITY, GOREFEST, SICK OF IT ALL).

Songtitles set to appear on the CD:

* Sense The Darkness
* We Do This Alone
* The Poison
* Eyes Popping Out
* Another Kingdom Dead
* Time To Dominate
* She's Undressed
* Never Compromise
* War
* Stop Running
* Desire
* I Am Possessed
* Too Blind To See

The artwork was created by Mircea Gabriel Eftemie (MNEMIC) and can be seen below.

ILLDISPOSED last year parted ways with guitarist Franz Hellboss and replaced him with Ken Holst.

The band's most recent album, "There Is Light (But It's Not For Me)", entered the official chart in the band's home country at position No. 78. Released on April 1, 2011 via Massacre Records, the CD was recorded at Antfarm with Tue Madsen.

ILLDISPOSED's previous album, "To Those Who Walk Behind Us", entered the official chart in Denmark at No. 32. This was the group's highest-ever chart position in Denmark.

The "There Is Light (But It's Not For Me)" artwork was created by Lasse Hoile, who previously worked with ILLDISPOSED on the "1-800 Vindication" and "Burn Me Wicked" releases.
South Carolina-based extreme technical death metallers NILE will release their seventh full-length album, "At The Gate Of Sethu", in Europe on June 29 and in the U.S. on July 3 via Nuclear Blast Records. The follow-up to 2009's "Those Whom The Gods Detest" was once again produced and mixed by Neil Kernon, who has previously worked with NEVERMORE, CANNIBAL CORPSE, QUEENSRŸCHE and DEICIDE, among many others. The CD artwork was handled by a true genius of darkened visuals, Seth Siro Anton (SOILWORK, PARADISE LOST, SEPTICFLESH).

Commented NILE mastermind Karl Sanders: "Seth Siro Anton has designed the cover. I have been a fan of SEPTICFLESH a long time, and as Seth expressed interest, I knew that he would deliver a great job. I would say his work is easily the best we've ever had. He has captured the darker side of the sound of NILE and reflected the music and ideas, the heart and soul of NILE are forming. Seth is a very talented man and understands exactly who we are."

Added Seth Siro Anton: "It is no secret that I admire the powerful stylistic lines of the magical symbols that still transmit the aura of ancient Egypt, preserving in time the ancient mysteries. Also, I am fascinated from the final frozen moment of the flesh captured in an eternal sleeping stasis, at the completion of the mummification process. So, with a great pleasure I accepted the challenge, to visualize the new masterpiece of NILE, 'At The Gate Of Sethu'."

In a recent interview with CobraMetal.net, Sanders stated about "At The Gate Of Sethu", "Well, we started [working on it] in May of last year (2011) after we finished our European tour. We worked on that fucking record for 10 months straight, to the exclusion of all else. (Laughs) Long hours, every day."

Regarding the new album's concept, Karl said, "It's in similar territory to other NILE records in that a lot of it stems from Ancient Egyptology and sort of has underlying modern themes tied in. We haven't abandoned our identity and I don't believe you should fuck over your fans. If your fans like what you do, and you change too much of what you do, fans don't like it. What matters to me is when I'm out on tour and I meet the actual fans and they share their thoughts…those are the people that I listen to. There's a lot of new ideas within the realm of what we do that we tried to incorporate. We studied real hard on the guitar and have lots of new riffs and musical ideas. There are a lot of surprises on the record."

When asked if fans can expect any guest appearances on the new NILE CD, Karl said, "Jon Vesano is all over this record. (Our former singer and bass guitarist who we're still good friends with.) Jon did some guest vocals on "Those Whom The Gods Detest" and it made us realize all over again all the things we really liked about Jon's vocals. We wanted to incorporate some of his insanity. [laughs] He's wicked, man. He knows how to channel that inner possession. He finds a way to summon it. It's great stuff."

"At The Gate Of Sethu" track listing (North American/European digipack):

01. Enduring The Eternal Molestation Of Flame
02. The Fiends Who Come To Steal The Magick Of The Deceased
03. The Inevitable Degradation Of Flesh
04. When My Wrath Is Done
05. Slaves Of Xul
06. The Gods Who Light Up The Sky At The Gate Of Sethu
07. Natural Liberation Of Fear Through The Ritual Deception Of Death
08. Ethno-Musicological Cannibalisms
09. Tribunal Of The Dead
10. Supreme Humanism Of Megalomania
11. The Chaining Of The Iniquitous


12. Enduring The Eternal Molestation Of Flame (instrumental)
13. The Inevitable Degradation Of Flesh (instrumental)

"At The Gate Of Sethu" track listing (European jewel case):

01. Enduring The Eternal Molestation Of Flame
02. The Fiends Who Come To Steal The Magick Of The Deceased
03. The Inevitable Degradation Of Flesh
04. When My Wrath Is Done
05. Slaves Of Xul
06. The Gods Who Light Up The Sky At The Gate Of Sethu
07. Natural Liberation Of Fear Through The Ritual Deception Of Death
08. Ethno-Musicological Cannibalisms
09. Tribunal Of The Dead
10. Supreme Humanism Of Megalomania
11. The Chaining Of The Iniquitous
Legendary Swedish death metallers GRAVE have finished mastering their new album, "Endless Procession Of Souls", for a fall 2012 release via Century Media Records. The band recorded 12 songs — nine new tracks plus three "very special" cuts — at their own Studio Soulless for the CD< which was previously described by GRAVE guitarist/vocalist Ola Lindgren: "a mix of our latest two releases with some more old-school, groovy 'Soulless' parts."

GRAVE recently parted ways with its guitarist of three years, Magnus Martinsson.

GRAVE's current lineup is as follows:

Ola Lindgren - Guitar/Vocals
Mika Lagrén - Guitar
Ronnie Bergerstål - Drums
Tobias Cristiansson – Bass

GRAVE's November 12, 2011 concert at Club Distortion/Kulturhuset in Stockholm, Sweden was filmed for future release. The band celebrated the 20th anniversary of its classic 1991 debut album, "Into The Grave", by performing the LP in its entirety, along with "another handful classic tunes."

GRAVE in September 2011 completed a North American headlining tour with support from BLOOD RED THRONE, PATHOLOGY and GIGAN.
Century Media Records has announced the signing of VATTNET VISKAR to a worldwide deal.

Hailing from the small town of Plaistow, New Hampshire, VATTNET VISKAR is anything but small. Formed in the fall of 2010, the band has quickly risen amongst the ranks of U.S. black metal acts. VATTNET VISKAR's brooding take on blackened atmospheric doom metal perfectly mirrors their organic approach to their craft. Following a well-received two-song demo in 2011, they have released a self-titled EP, available at their Bandcamp page that has been met with praise from both fans and the press alike.

"On their debut EP…they had me hooked in a matter of seconds and salivating by the end of its 27 minutes. It's an assured offering for such a young band," lauds Brandon Stosuy of Pitchfork.com.

Not content to keep their blackened-doom alchemy confined to the studio, however, they back it up with a thundering live performance. Having already shared the stage with such titans as BLACK ANVIL, INQUISITION and WOODS OF YPRES, they have left their mark up and down the east coast with a seemingly endless string of shows —- and soon, VATTNET VISKAR's name will spread across the rest of the country. A full U.S. tour is already being planned for later this year.
Agonia Records has announced the signing of Norwegian black metallers RAGNAROK. The band is set to enter the Endarker Studios in Norrköping, Sweden on June 24 to record what will be their seventh full-length album. At the production helm will be studio owner and MARDUK bassist Magnus "Devo" Andersson. The as-yet-untitled CD is due for release later this year.

"Everyone in RAGNAROK is delighted to be signing with Agonia Records," comments band founder and drummer Jontho. "It's been a long haul to find the right label, with a lot of offers to sift through, but what impressed us about Agonia was the immediate reply to any of our questions together with a willingness to work with the band as a team, and, most importantly, they recognise the wisdom of allowing RAGNAROK the freedom to be themselves."

Formed in 1994, RAGNAROK's latest album, "Collectors Of The King", was released in 2010 after a six-year hiatus, during which time RAGNAROK changed its lineup almost entirely, with drummer and founder member Jontho remaining the only original member. The group is rounded out by Hans Fyrste (vocals), DezeptiCunt (bass and backing vocals) and Bolverk (guitar).
Polish blackened death metal act DEVILISH IMPRESSIONS has inked a deal with Lifeforce Records. The band's third album, "Simulacra", will be released on July 30 in Europe and July 31 in North America. Wrapped in breathtaking artwork created by Xaay (NILE, KAMELOT, NECROPHAGIST), the CD features guest appearances by Orion (BEHEMOTH, VESANIA), Jacek Grecki (LOST SOUL) and Roman Berežnicki (LECTER) as well as session synth / samples / fx appearance by Flumen (ASGAARD) and Lestath (METRANSMISSIONAL).

Commented DEVILISH IMPRESSIONS mainman Quazarre: "We're very pleased to land this record deal with Lifeforce Records. From all the offers we've got, this one seems to be our best option at this point of the band's career and we truly believe working with them will push us up a huuuge step forward. What impressed us the most was Stefan's, the label's driving force, work ethic and attitude towards DEVILISH IMPRESSIONS music. His seriousness and passion about the band let us believe this was the best choice we've made. The worldwide release of the 'Simulacra' album will initiate our new partnership and we can't wait to see where it is going to bring us in the years to come."

According to a press release, DEVILISH IMPRESSIONS is considered to be one of Poland's leading and most innovative modern black/death metal acts.

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