[Classic_Rock_Forever] KISS, Alice Cooper, Van Halen, Soundgarden, and tons more hard rock and heavy metal news


Rock legends KISS return with "Monster", the 20th studio album in their historic career, set for release in October through Universal Music Enterprises. The 12-track, straight-ahead rock 'n' roll album features collaborations among all four members — including co-founders Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons and longtime members guitarist Tommy Thayer and drummer Eric Singer — in an album that shows the band at the top of its game. And that's saying something, considering their illustrious, 40-plus year history — 28 U.S. gold albums, the most gold records for any American rock band, 40 million sales in the U.S., and a total exceeding 100 million worldwide.

"Monster" is the group's first studio album since the band's 2009 smash success, "Sonic Boom", and was also produced by Paul Stanley with Greg Collins at Conway Studios in Hollywood, California, and The Nook in Studio City, California.

The band's first single, the full-throttle, autobiographical rocker "Hell Or Hallelujah", will be available digitally on Monday, July 2, internationally, and on Tuesday, July 3, in North America. Stanley calls the album's lead track, "a battle cry that encapsulates the entire record...one way or another, we're going to do it our way."

"Monster" represents KISS' nod to the music that first inspired them to pick up their guitars and flame-throwers and don makeup to entertain millions. The group goes back to their own beginnings with THE WHO-like "Freak", while Gene lives up to the title track's declaration on the raucous rock of "Back To The Stone Age" and the bludgeoning "The Devil is Me". Even guitarist Thayer takes a turn on his own with "Outta This World". a tribute to his KISS "spaceman" character, while drummer Singer provides the vocals (and the back story) for the arena anthem "All For The Love Of Rock & Roll".

"There are no symphony orchestras, boy choirs, keyboards, outside producers or songwriters on this album," promises Gene Simmons. "The best thing we did was to turn inwards to ourselves. Tommy and Eric have revitalized this band, with a work ethic and the talent to back it up. This is a real band effort. KISS has become a behemoth. We're going where no bands have gone before."

On July 4, the day after "Hell Or Hallelujah" hits digital retail in North America, KISS crosses the ocean for its very own Tea Party, performing an Independence Day show at The Forum in London, a holiday most certainly not celebrated in the U.K., though this show might just offer some reparation for that bitter defeat in 1776. The concert will serve as a benefit for the British "Help For Heroes" organization, which raises money for its wounded, sick and injured troops. The band owes its own debt of gratitude to the English, admitting that "Monster" is influenced by the country's great, legendary rock groups who influenced and inspired them to pick up their instruments in the first place.

"We're all Anglophiles in this band," says Simmons. "America may have invented rock and roll, but England knew what to do with it. They gave us THE BEATLES, THE ROLLING STONES, LED ZEPPELIN and THE WHO."

Timed to coincide with the release of the "Monster" album is the deluxe coffee table, limited edition KISS Monster, a collection of artworks, 126 photos from the band's 40-year career, including never-before-seen images from the world's greatest rock photographers. The three-foot high, two and a half feet wide and two-inch thick Monster will be available in copies signed by all four band members and limited to only 1,000 copies worldwide. More info at www.kissmonsterbook.com.
KISS guitarist/vocalist Paul Stanley will take "Extra!" viewers on an exclusive "all-access" tour of his home this evening. Paul also sits down with "Extra!" correspondent Michael Corbett to talk about the much-anticipated concert event of the summer, "The Tour" with MÖTLEY CRÜE, and the equally anticipated Paul Stanley-produced KISS album "Monster".

Check your local listings for details.

KISS's 20th studio album, "Monster", is set for release in October through Universal Music Enterprises. The 12-track, straight-ahead rock 'n' roll album features collaborations among all four members — including co-founders Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons and longtime members guitarist Tommy Thayer and drummer Eric Singer — in an album that shows the band at the top of its game. And that's saying something, considering their illustrious, 40-plus year history — 28 U.S. gold albums, the most gold records for any American rock band, 40 million sales in the U.S., and a total exceeding 100 million worldwide.
Music icons Chuck Garric and Chris Latham, along with producer Tommy Henriksen, announce the launch of the newest group BEASTO BLANCO.

"With BEASTO BLANCO, we have set out to create a live, raw power, rock and roll band that will allow us to indulge our influences and imagery that has shaped our collective musical background. BEASTO BLANCO taps into a truly unique rock sound, but still stays true to our roots," said Garric.

Garric, current bass player for ALICE COOPER, has been touring non-stop including a current tour with Cooper and IRON MAIDEN. In fact, Garric has contributed his songwriting skills to four ALICE COOPER records, including "Welcome 2 My Nightmare", "Eyes Of Alice Cooper", "Dirty Diamonds", and "Along Came A Spider". Chuck has also contributed to the last recorded DIO album, "Master Of The Moon". In addition, Garric has had the honor of playing bass for Steven Tyler, Rob Halford, Ted Nugent, Don Felder, CHEAP TRICK, Robbie Krieger and more.

BEASTO BLANCO has been busy in the studio recording three songs as well as the video for the first single release, "Breakdown", which is now available on iTunes. The video produced by Charles Conklyn is scheduled to be released early July.

"Breakdown" is already being heavily played in Alaska and Reno, Nevada and we're psyched at the positive feedback we've received from our fans!" said Chris Latham. "We can't wait for the rest of the world to hear our first single! And not to mention the video is KILLER!!"
Drummer Glen Sobel has been forced to take a temporary leave of absence from the ALICE COOPER band due to a persisitent neck injury. Taking over drum duties for Sobel is veteran drummer Jonathan Mover whose credits include Joe Satriani, FUEL and GTR, among many others.

Commented Alice Cooper: "Glen Sobel's been having some neck problems, and has been playing the shows in a lot of pain. Because of this, he needs to take a short break to heal. Luckily for us, and for you, Jonathan Mover (from the 'Trash' tour and the 'Trashes The World' live concert video) was available to help out on short notice. We rehearsed with Jonathan yesterday in New York City and we're all excited about tonight's show in Camden with him. We're looking forward to having Glen back soon."

Said Glen: "I'll be off the Alice tour for a few weeks. I've played the last several shows on pain meds due to an inflamed neck situation. We've had some of the best shows on tour with IRON MAIDEN, so I wanted to do everything I could to stay in the game. I need to get back to L.A., have this treated, and then return to finish out our tour dates. In the meantime, my main man Jonathan Mover, an ALICE band alumni himself, will be sitting on the drum throne covering for me. I have the utmost confidence that he will deliver the goods along with all my brothers (and sister) in the ALICE band. Don't worry about me, I'll be back sooner than later."
In the August 2012 issue of Guitar World magazine, legendary VAN HALEN guitarist Eddie Van Halen spoke about the group's future in glowing terms and dismissed rumors that the he and his bandmates were having a hard time getting along on the road.

"We truly are a band; it's not just a one-off thing," he said. "I don't want to say it's a rebuilding process. If anything it's continuation. It feels more like a band and a family than it ever has, and not just because three-quarters of it is family."

He added, "Working with Dave [Lee Roth, vocals] has been very productive. We're all very opinionated about things, but it's all for the benefit of the music. We're working together better than ever. I can see, I see us doing this for a long, long time. When things feel right, why the hell not keep doing it?

"I can't think of anyone on the planet who is more lucky and blessed. Not only do I get to play with my brother but I also get to play with my son. If my dad was still here now, that would really make things amazing. I have a wonderful wife, wonderful friends, and a son who doesn't smoke, drink or do drugs. I'm just a guitarist in a kick-ass rock and roll band. What more could I ask for?"

Eddie's son Wolfgang joined VAN HALEN in 2007 at the age of 16, replacing original bassist Michael Anthony.

VAN HALEN is touring behind "A Different Kind Of Truth", its first album in 14 years and first with Roth since 1984.
In a brand new interview with The Sun, singer Chris Cornell of reunited grunge legends SOUNDGARDEN spoke about the band's much-anticipated new album, which is tentatively due in October.

"This album is every bit as vital as anything we've ever done," he said. "It's not in any way nostalgic, it's not a throwback. It's new music available to a new rock audience, and the ultimate of what we could have achieved in trying to reach a new generation of rock fans is to give them something that's theirs."

Regarding the songwriting process for the new CD, Cornell said, "Back in the Nineties we spent very little time concerning ourselves with our demographic and trying to figure out what our audience wanted. We always did it one song at a time with all four band members contributing music, which created a lot of different feels. Our new album is the same thing. We never once discussed what kind of record we should make. We never have."

On the topic of SOUNDGARDEN's fourteen-year dormancy and what impact it's had on the band's creative bond, Cornell said, "It was just like we'd been on a short break. There is that fear that time has changed our ability to interact or to be creative as a unit, so it was really exciting to see that wasn't the case. After all this time, we can still do what we do so effortlessly."

When asled about what set SOUNDGARDEN apart from stadium-filling Seattle bands like NIRVANA and PEARL JAM, Cornell said, "The one way we stood out is that we weren't one of those bands that was easy to get. I think every band from the Seattle scene was pretty easy to figure out. But we were extremely diverse and we could do it authentically, which is not easy to do. I think the one thing that's been overlooked is that we covered a lot of territory. In terms of an overwhelming commercial acceptance, that hurts you. But in terms of longevity and having a lasting impact that's legitimately culturally important, it helps you. We stand alone outside of genres. We're not like anybody else. We can't be imitated."
Niclas Müller-Hansen of Sweden's Metalshrine recently conducted an interview with guitarist Bill Kelliher of Atlanta progressive metallers MASTODON. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.

Metalshrine: How much more touring are you gonna do for this album? Are you kinda wrapping things up?

Kelliher: Yeah, we're kinda wrapping things up. To me it seems like it's been kind of a fast year. The record came out in September last year and then we did a European tour, a U.S. tour, an Australian tour… what else have we done? We've done two U.S. tours. We've been touring a lot. I think we've been touring since September or October last year and we've pretty much only had a month off since then. We were home for Christmas for two weeks.

Metalshrine: Are you gonna keep going until Christmas?

Kelliher: We go home in two weeks and then we do two festivals in Canada at the end of July and then we play Reading and Leeds and that's all we've got planned. We might go to South America with SLAYER, but we're not sure yet. That's really all we have planned right now. It's pretty much winding down. We've toured a lot for the record so, you know… for me it's about time to go home and get some rest and relaxation. Get back in touch with my family and start writing the new record and do it all over again next year, I guess.

Metalshrine: Does that ever get tiring and repetitive? You do an album then tour and then another album and so on.

Kelliher: Yeah, but that's the line of work I'm in. I can't really bitch and complain about it. What else would I rather be doing? I don't know! I play my guitar every day and I know how to do that. I can do that and I've been doing it for a long time and I enjoy doing that. It's all in how you look at it. If you look at the big picture, there are people that don't have jobs, there are people that hate their jobs and people that can't work because they have bad health or what not, so we're very lucky to be able to do what we're doing. Do it for so long and still be relevant in this day and age of… just fucking everybody's in a band! There's bands everywhere all the time and we've created such a good fan base, you know, thank you to all our fans, that we're able to keep on doing this. We're able to play festivals and make enough money to let us fly overseas and be here on this lovely day in Gothenburg. (laughs)

Metalshrine: When you write, do you consciously think to come up with stuff that's different from the previous album?

Kelliher: No…

Metalshrine: Or it just comes and it'll be what it is?

Kelliher: Yeah, pretty much. A lot of times if I get someone else's guitar or a new guitar in my hands, I just get this vibe and something will just come out of nowhere. I don't really control it. I'll just start strumming. You know, I kinda look at my fingers and I try to put them in different positions then I normally would. I don't know why. I guess I'm trying to make new stuff up. Like, "I always play in the same pattern. Let me try something different." Consciously, no. We don't say it like, "On the next record we have to take a 45-degree turn!" We don't really think like that. It's just the way that it comes out I guess. For me when I'm writing, I do have a little meter in my head that's saying like, "You can write something better than that." Or "You can write something cooler than that." When I write my music, I gotta take it to Brann [Dailor, drums] and I gotta take it to Brent [Hinds, guitar/vocals] and Troy [Sanders, bass] and I have to impress them. I've been trying to impress those guys. I'm not thinking, "This is the next song. This is how it goes and the kids are gonna love it." It's more like, "Hey, what do you think of this riff?" and then, if it catches someone's interest and they start chiming in and we make my riff kinda morph into something else like, "Yeah, I like the idea you've got, but I don't like the notes." Brann will say that to me sometimes, like, "It doesn't sound evil enough. Let's add some minor chords in there or something." And that's kinda how the songs come together. There's really no rhyme or reason. It's like the riff fairy just kinda sprinkles riff dust on your fingers and you go, "Ah cool, that sounds neat!"
Industrial metal band STATIC-X will embark on a tour this summer. The group, fronted by singer/guitarist Wayne Static, will hit the road beginning July 15 at the Ink Life Tattoo Convention at the El Paso Coliseum.

Commented Static: "I had a great time over the past few years doing my 'Pighammer' album and solo tours, but it's time to get STATIC-X back on the road. I can't wait to tear it up with some old-school Evil Disco!"

The trek will mark STATIC-X's first outing since they announced a hiatus in 2009. However, none of the other original members — Tony Campos (bass), Koichi Fukuda (guitar) and Nick Oshiro (drums) — will be joining Wayne on this tour. Tony says, "I'm proud of my years with STATIC-X, and want to see the name of the band stay alive and well. I hope that all of our fans will continue to support both Wayne and I in our individual endeavors."

This first leg will feature newcomers DAVEY SUICIDE and 9 ELECTRIC, and are just the beginning of a long string of dates. Expect more announcements soon for additional shows.

Tour dates:

July 15 - El Paso, TX @ El Paso County Coliseum
July 16 - Odessa, TX @ Dos Amigos
July 17 - Lubbock, TX @ Jake's
July 18 - Dallas, TX @ Trees
July 19 - Houston, TX @ Scout Bar
July 21 - San Antonio, TX @ Backstage Live
July 23 - Ft Lauderdale, FL @ Revolution
July 24 - Tampa, FL @ The Orpheum
July 25 - Orlando, FL @ Beacham Theater
July 26 - Knoxville, TN @ The Valarium
July 27 - Atlanta, GA @ The Masquerade
July 30 - Norfolk, VA @ Norva

"Cult of Static", the latest album from STATIC-X, sold 19,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release to debut at position No. 16 on The Billboard 200 chart.

STATIC-X's previous CD, "Cannibal", opened with more than 30,000 copies back in April 2007 to land at No. 36. This represented a slight drop from the 35,000 tally registered by the band's "Start A War" album, which came out in June 2005 and debuted at No. 29.
Adrenaline PR, which handles publicity for Richmond, Virginia metallers LAMB OF GOD, has released the following statement regarding the reports that the band's vocalist Randy Blythe was arrested yesterday (Thursday, June 28) in the Czech Republic and charged with manslaughter over an incident that happened more than two years ago:

"LAMB OF GOD management will be issuing an official statement on Monday regarding the charges made against singer Randy Blythe. As no formal charges have yet been made and the case is only in the investigation stages, it would be premature to make an official statement filled with false truths or innuendos.

"Having said that, management wished to address today one false piece of information that has been included in many of the news stories released so far. Under no circumstances was there a fight of any kind involved. This incident deals with a fan that three times during the concert jumped the barricade and rushed Randy during the performance. It is alleged that the third time, security was not able to reach him and that Randy pushed him back into the audience where supposedly he fell and hit his head.

"Again, until the investigation is concluded this weekend, nothing more will be released, but clarity and the facts needed to be addressed on this one reported point which is totally inaccurate."

The incident in question took place during the band's show at the Prague club Abaton in May 2010.

When LAMB OF GOD arrived on Thursday to play a show at the Rock Café in Prague with SKELETONWITCH and ALL SHALL PERISH, the local police brought Blythe in for questioning. LAMB OF GOD's appearance at the venue was canceled later in the day.

Randy's brother, Mark Blythe, told CBS-6 that he's awaiting further details and said the charge is "bogus and outrageous and will be dropped immediately."

Shortly after 9 p.m. EST, the #freerandyblythe hash tag was posted on the @lambofgodband Twitter account (which is run by a fan and not the bandmembers themselves).
Guitarist Willie Adler of Richmond, Virginia metallers LAMB OF GOD has commented on the report that the band's lead singer, Randy Blythe, was arrested yesterday in Prague in the Czech Republic and charged in connection with the death of a fan two years ago.

Blythe, 41, is reportedly accused of causing the fatal injury that occurred at LAMB OF GOD's May 24, 2010 show at another venue in Prague. The singer apparently either pushed or struck the fan who had come on stage, and that person later died.

Commented Willie: "It's been a rough couple of days. All I can say is that I can't recall that particular show let alone a fan being beaten on the stage. I think I would've noticed something like that considering the Dime [the 2004 murder of PANTERA/DAMAGEPLAN guitarist 'Dimebag' Darrell Abbott] thing."

He added, "We're all still here in the Czech Republic awaiting what is to happen. We hope we'll be able to get Randy out this afternoon. All our thoughts are with him as well as the family of the deceased fan. We've no real clue as to what happened to him, but we send our condolences. All we try to do is entertain; the fans are why we're here. We would never try and harm anyone."

LAMB OF GOD's publicist, Adrenaline PR, issued a statement earlier today stressing that "under no circumstances was there a fight of any kind involved [during LAMB OF GOD's 2010 concert]. This incident deals with a fan that three times during the concert jumped the barricade and rushed Randy during the performance. It is alleged that the third time, security was not able to reach him and that Randy pushed him back into the audience where supposedly he fell and hit his head."

A Czech LAMB OF GOD fan who says that he attended the band's 2010 concert in Prague, described the incident on Facebook as follows: "I've seen many bands in that club like DEVILDRIVER, HATEBREED, etc. and every metal fan in Prague knows that this is one of the 'stage-diving-friendly' clubs. HATEBREED and DEVILDRIVER were OK with that. The guy climbed on stage and Randy slapped him and the guy fell on the ground (NOT off the stage), [Randy] sang few words to his face and pushed him back and said that he is not OK with people on the stage. A murder? I dont think so...that hit wouldn't kill you unless you're made of glass."

Randy's brother, Mark Blythe, told CBS-6 that he's awaiting further details and said the charge is "bogus and outrageous and will be dropped immediately."
Czech police spokeswoman Jana Rosslerova has told the Associated Press that that a court is set to rule tomorrow (Saturday, June 30) on whether to continue detaining LAMB OF GOD singer Randy Blythe in connection with the death of a fan more than two years ago.

According to Rosslerova, Blythe was arrested Wednesday, accused of causing bodily harm resulting in death.

LAMB OF GOD bassist John Campbell, reached today on his cell phone by Richmond Times-Dispatch, declined to comment.

"I'm not ready to talk about anything going on," he said.

LAMB OF GOD was scheduled to perform on Thursday at the Rock Café in Prague with SKELETONWITCH and ALL SHALL PERISH but that show ended up getting canceled.

Blythe, 41, is reportedly accused of causing the fatal injury that occurred at LAMB OF GOD's May 24, 2010 show in Prague. The singer apparently either pushed or struck the fan who had come on stage, and that person later died.

LAMB OF GOD's publicist, Adrenaline PR, issued a statement earlier today stressing that "under no circumstances was there a fight of any kind involved [during LAMB OF GOD's 2010 concert]. This incident deals with a fan that three times during the concert jumped the barricade and rushed Randy during the performance. It is alleged that the third time, security was not able to reach him and that Randy pushed him back into the audience where supposedly he fell and hit his head."
Nick Azinas of Peek From The Pit conducted an interview with bassist Jack Gibson of San Francisco Bay Area metallers EXODUS earlier today (Friday, June 29) prior to the band's performance at the Tuska open-air festival in Helsinki, Finland. You can now watch the chat below. A couple of excerpts follow.

On the news that LAMB OF GOD frontman Randy Blythe was arrested on Wednesday in Prague, Czech Republic in connection with the death of a fan who jumped on stage at a LAMB OF GOD show more than two years ago:

Gibson: "I'm very surprised that that happened. I mean, we've had very [much] the same type of thing happen. We had a guy get on stage and was singing with Rob [Dukes, EXODUS vocalist] arm-in-arm, and when Rob pulled the mic away, the guy didn't wanna go and he grabbed Rob's arm and twisted him and Rob beat the fucking shit out of him on stage for it and [rightfully] so. And I got in there and wanted to give him the boot. That's our stage when we're there, you know what I mean?! That's our shit up there — that's our stuff, our pedals, our guitars… That's our place. Everybody knows what happened to Dimebag [late PANTERA/DAMAGEPLAN guitarist "Dimebag" Darrell Abbott who was shot and killed onstage while performing with DAMAGEPLAN in December 2004] — this guy just walks onstage and he's out of his fucking mind and shit goes incredibly wrong. There's a lot of bands that, after that happened, they just said, 'No people on stage, period.' For us, it's kind of part of our shows — letting people get up and jump off and all that stuff. We kind of have this… It's kind of a collective idea of who's been on stage too long. Like, you just know when a guy is not wanting to… You know, you get up, you can headbang, you can even come over and give us [a quick pat on the back], and run, and then you've gotta go — you've gotta go. I don't know, man. That's a little bit disturbing. Of course, I have sympathy for the kid who died and that he was in a coma, all that. Of course, I don't like to see anybody die or say that anybody deserved anything or whatever, but I am very surprised that that happened. And I can't imagine that a good lawyer isn't gonna get this settled, because it's like, if you come on stage, you're trespassing, you know what I mean?! It's almost like we just have to wait and see how this shakes out. I super-hope it [sorts itself out], 'cause that's a pretty serious situation, so I hope for [Randy] it's alright."

On whether EXODUS has plans to record the follow-up to 2010's "Exhibit B: The Human Condition" album:

Gibson: "We're way overdue to do it. We've just been so busy. Actually, we've been getting great tour offers over and over, and we just keep wanting to take them, and that, coupled with the fact that Gary [Holt], our main guitar player and songwriter, is out playing with SLAYER, he's filling in for [SLAYER guitarist] Jeff [Hanneman] on this whole [SLAYER tour]. Nobody really knows how long that's gonna take, how long Jeff's gonna take [to recover from contracting necrotizing fasciitis, likely caused by a spider bite, in January 2011]. I mean, it was pretty severe what happened to him, from what I understand. So we just haven't had the time, to be perfectly honest. I know that Gary has songs, and Lee [Altus, guitar] has some stuff — they've been coming up with stuff — [but] we just really haven't had the time to sit down and hammer it all out and then record it. That takes a few months together to make that happen, and we just haven't had the time, basically. But there is gonna be another album, for sure. The way that our writing has been going and our albums have been going, it's gonna be great — I know it. What I've heard Gary noodling with. Me, him and Tom [Hunting, drums] have kind of just fooled around with it here and there, and man, it's gonna be good. Gary, he's the main driver, and [the songwriting] keeps evolving. It's one of the things I really like about the band — the music keeps getting good; it doesn't just stay the same or we don't rewrite the last one. We kind of throw the last one out and do something new each time. So I expect the same and more from the next album."

"Exhibit B: The Human Condition" was released in North America on May 18, 2010 via Nuclear Blast Records.

The CD sold around 4,600 copies in the United States in its first week of release to debut at position No. 114 on The Billboard 200 chart.

EXODUS' previous album, "The Atrocity Exhibition: Exhibit A", opened with 3,600 units back in October 2007.
A number of figures within the rock/metal world have commented on the news that LAMB OF GOD frontman Randy Blythe was arrested on Wednesday in Prague, Czech Republic in connection with the death of a fan more than two years ago.


Alex Skolnick (TESTAMENT): "Thoughts to my friend Randy from LAMB OF GOD. Hope he's alright and this gets resolved soon."

Paulo Gregoletto (TRIVIUM): "I hope Randy's situation can be resolved quickly and without him being detained anymore. Very shitty news to start the day!"

Dez Fafara (DEVILDRIVER): "Prayers and thoughts for Randy as I fall asleep tonight …..Enroute to Full Force Germany ?#HesAGoodMan? ?#SendPositiveThoughts"

Jeff Kendrick (DEVILDRIVER): "Randy Blythe needs to be released soon. Please keep him in your thoughts."

Oderus Urungus (GWAR): "All power out to Randy and our boys in LAMB OF GOD. They are our blood and we stand by them. This whole thing reeks of bullshit."

Mark Hunter (CHIMAIRA): "Best wishes to Randy and the LOG camp."

Mike Portnoy (ADRENALINE MOB, DREAM THEATER): "Thoughts go out to my bro Randy from LOG… just hung w him a few days ago #FreeRandyBlythe"

Cristina Scabbia (LACUNA COIL): "I don't believe for a split second that my brother Randy Blythe hurt ANYONE, especially on purpose. One of the most amazing persons I know. #FreeRandyBlythe Love you, brother. Feel sorry for that guy but I KNOW it WASN'T your fault."

Sebastian Bach: "Randy, hope u r ok.I have been sober this whole tour. 1st sober tour ever. U r an inspiration. Thx 4 your help @downloadfest #FreeRandyBlythe"

Brian Posehn: "Crazy news about Randy Blythe of LAMB OF GOD. Those guys are all really good dudes. I hope everything gets straightened out soon."

Rob Caggiano (ANTHRAX): WTF?? LAMB OF GOD Frontman Randy Blythe Arrested on Allegations of Manslaughter."
SOULFLY will perform at the 2012 Gathering Of The Juggalos, set to take place August 8-12 in Cave-in-Rock, Illinois, where it's been the last few years.

The event has been gaining mainstream media attention and getting larger and larger each year, with its organizers, INSANE CLOWN POSSE, welcoming hip-hop, hard rock and metal performers, professional wrestlers, and comedians to the event's multiple stages, including everyone from ICE CUBE, GEORGE CLINTON AND PALIAMENT/FUNKADELIC, and METHOD MAN and REDMAN to GWAR and Charlie Sheen.

And now, SOULFLY will be the first Roadrunner Records artist to play for the notoriously volatile juggalo audience, who shower performers with love (and Faygo soda) if they like them and hurl bottles if they don't.

Says frontman Max Cavalera, "It's a challenge and at the same time it's an honor that they specifically asked for SOULFLY to play at the festival. We're gonna give our best show possible and we're going to fuck shit up at the Gathering Of The Juggalos."

SOULFLY tour dates run July 31 through August 17.
DRAGONFORCE, HUNTRESS and KISSIN' DYNAMITE will join forces for a European tour in October/November.

Commented HUNTRESS: "HUNTRESS is honored to join our friends DRAGONFORCE on tour once again. We are thrilled to have the opportunity to travel through Europe, performing our entire album, 'Spell Eater', for those who've had faith in us from the start. Spread it, shred it, behead it!"

The dates are as follows:

Oct. 09 - Tilburg, Netherlands - 013
Oct. 10 - Antwerp, Belgium - Trix Ball
Oct. 12 - Hannover, Germany - Capitol
Oct. 13 - Cologne, Germany - Live Music Hall
Oct. 14 - Copenhagen, Denmark - Amanger Bio
Oct. 15 - Oslo, Norway - Rockefeller
Oct. 16 - Stockholm, Sweden - Tyrol
Oct. 18 - Seinajoki, Finland - Rymikorjaamo
Oct. 19 - Helsinki, Finland - Nosturi
Oct. 22 - Gothenburg, Sweden - Brewhouse
Oct. 23 - Arhus, Denmark - Train
Oct. 24 - Hamburg, Germany - Markthalle
Oct. 30 - Munich, Germany - Backstage
Oct. 31 - Berlin, Germany - Postbahnhof
Nov. 01 - Dresden, Germany - Reithalle
Nov. 02 - Erfurt, Germany - HsD
Nov. 03 - Bochum, Germany - Zeche
Nov. 05 - Frankfurt, Germany - Batschkapp
Nov. 06 - Vienna, Austria - Szene
Nov. 07 - Zurich, Switzerland - Komplex
Nov. 09 - Florence, Italy - Viper Theatre
Nov. 10 - Treviso, Italy - New Age Club
Nov. 11 - Milano, Italy - Alcatraz
Nov. 12 - Solothurn, Switzerland - Kofmehl
Nov. 15 - Barcelona, Spain - Salamandra 1
Nov. 16 - Lisbon, Portugal - Cine-Teatro de Corroios
Nov. 17 - Madrid, Spain - Sala Arena
Nov. 18 - Bilbao, Spain - Rock Star Live
Nov. 21 - Bordeaux, France - Rock School Barbey
Nov. 22 - Paris, France - La Cigale
Nov. 23 - Strasbourg, France - La Laiterie
Nov. 24 - Lille, France - Le Splendid
Nov. 26 - Amsterdam, Netherlands - Melkweg Max

DRAGONFORCE's new album, "The Power Within", sold 5,800 copies in the United States in its first week of release to debut at position No. 74 on The Billboard 200 chart.

The band's previous CD, "Ultra Beatdown", opened with 24,000 units back in September 2008 to land at No. 18.

DRAGONFORCE has just returned to North America for a spring tour. This outing marks the band's first trek with brand Hudson, who also makes his recorded debut on "The Power Within".

The tour kicked off April 21 at the New England Metal & Hardcore Festival and will make several stops on the East Coast before winding through Canada and into the Midwest before wrapping out west on May 11 in Anaheim, California.

"The Power Within" was released in the U.K. on April 16 via the band's own Electric Generation Recordings, distributed by Essential Music.
Canadian metal legends ANVIL will perform at the Celebration Canada event in Taiwan on July 1. The concert, which is scheduled to be held at the Legacy Club in Taipei, is part of a two-day festival to celebrate Canada's 145th birthday organized by the Canadian Chamber of Commerce of Taiwan. It marks the first time that the band will have played in Taiwan.

Celebration Canada is the largest Canada Day celebration outside of Canada. The popularity of ANVIL's documentary, "Anvil! The Story of Anvil", in Taiwan was the catalyst to the promoter approaching the band to play the show. The movie did extraordinarily well in theatres and via pay-per-view in Taiwan.

"I'm a proud Canadian and playing on Canada Day in Taiwan is living proof Canadians are proud of ANVIL," says ANVIL guitarist/vocalist Steve "Lips" Kudlow. "It's such an honor and privilege for ANVIL to be part of this celebration."

Following their performance in Taiwan and the success of their Canadian tour earlier this year, ANVIL will embark on another block of Canadian dates which will take them from Toronto to Vancouver. ANVIL is also scheduled to plays at the Skogsröjet Festival in Skogsröjet, Sweden on August 10 and at the Bloodstock festival at Catton Hall in England on August 12.
Marcus Aurelius of Taipei Times recently conducted an interview with guitarist/vocalist Steve "Lips" Kudlow of Canadian metal legends ANVIL. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.

Taipei Times: Do you pay attention to current metal and rock and roll? What do you think of the state of metal at the moment?

Lips: I sometimes listen to something new but rarely enjoy it. For me, good or listenable metal has to have a strong powerful feel that is consistent and steady with a memorable level of melody. I think a lot of metal music in this day and age lacks these qualities.

Taipei Times: How has your definition of metal changed over the years?

Lips: My personal definition of metal has not changed. I still love and listen to the music I grew up with and continue to be inspired to create in the same vein. Metal is a timeless format of music. What was good 40 years ago is still good today. Case in point — BLACK SABBATH.

Taipei Times: You and ANVIL co-founder, drummer Robb Reiner, have been through the highs and the lows of ANVIL. Was there ever a time when you thought that you two would never be friends again? What happened? How did you make up?

Lips: For whatever reason, we have never been faced with this type of breakdown. We certainly can have arguments and even sometimes push each other around but never to the point that would cause permanent damage physically or emotionally. There is a true honest friendship between us and even at the worst of times we have been able to resolve our differences.

Taipei Times: What kind of credit do you give ["Anvil! The Story Of Anvil" director] Sacha Gervasi for putting you guys back on the map and into people's consciousness?

Lips: It isn't easy to quantify how much gratitude I feel toward Sacha. He is a dear friend, and even more like my little brother. We help each other and have enormous respect for each other. We shared success with each other and this is a very powerful bond. We continue to be very close friends and probably will be for the rest of our lives.
Earlier this week, Metal Sucks conducted an interview with SOILWORK drummer Dirk Verbeuren. An excerpt from the chat follows below.

Metal Sucks: Why did [SOILWORK guitarist] Peter [Wichers] leave the band? Did he quit, was he fired, or was it mutual?

It was mutual. Peter couldn't be a part of our 2011 U.S. run with SYMPHONY X. That was maybe six or seven months after "The Panic Broadcast" came out. We were on a roll then, but out of solidarity and respect for our bandmate and friend, and because we really felt like we had the ultimate lineup, we cancelled that tour. The whole idea back then was that Peter would tour with us again soon. But then the summer festivals came along, and he progressively said "no" to those too. We couldn't just keep cancelling stuff, so we hired David Andersson, who had filled in for us before. After that, touring kind of came to a grinding halt. The rest of us didn't know what to do. It was just kind of rough to be in this position all of a sudden, with a great album and no tours to support it and a shaky lineup. Less than a year earlier, we were all stoked about our future together, you know? We talked and tried to figure things out, and in the end, long story short, Peter couldn't commit to what the rest of us feel is mandatory for SOILWORK. Here's the thing: whether we like it or not, we have to tour. There's just no two ways about it. Playing shows, a lot of shows, is vital if we wanna have the slightest chance to survive as a band. That's why moving on was really our only option.

Metal Sucks: What did Peter mean when he cited "creative differences?"

I don't know, man. My take on it is… I guess that's another way to say "artistic disagreements." But honestly, we never had issues with making music or playing together. We're all pretty free to play what we want in this band. There's no musical-dictatorship type of bullshit happening, we're not that kind of band. We always respected Peter's creative input and he respected ours. "The Panic Broadcast" felt to us like one of the best things we'd ever done, you know? We still feel that now, and I'm pretty sure Peter feels that, too. So, I don't know exactly what he meant by that. I'd have to guess that some resentment may've built up. If I were to describe it, I'd probably have used the word "personal" rather than "creative."
Vince Neil, lead singer of iconic heavy metal band MÖTLEY CRÜE, is taking to the skies this week as he takes the first steps towards earning his pilot's license, along with help from "The Aviators" television show and Sennheiser's "Live Your Dream" program.

The training event will span approximately two weeks and be captured in its entirety by "The Aviators" for its season three programming, premiering this fall on PBS.

Neil is breaking the mold of a no-holds-barred rock star by submitting himself to the very disciplined and rigorous process involved in flight training. Sennheiser's "Live Your Dream" campaign is designed to motivate and assist people with a passion for flying to overcome the barriers and begin flight training. Sennheiser is a global audio company and manufacturer of innovative aviation headsets.

"The Aviators" production team is on hand to capture video footage as Neil takes the first steps towards becoming a pilot, demonstrating the "Live Your Dream" spirit and thereby motivating other would-be aviators to do the same. Flight training is being conducted over a two-week period.

Neil's pilot training will be accessible for the 10 million weekly viewers of the PBS TV series "The Aviators" when season 3 premiers this fall. The show, which is also available on iTunes and Hulu around the world, showcases all things aviation and appeals to pilots and aviation fans alike.

"The Aviators" production team will film behind-the-scene footage and make it available for selected media's use on Neil's training and his final flight test.
Roadrunner Records recently conducted an interview with bassist John Myung of progressive metal giants DREAM THEATER. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.

Q: You're one of only two founding members left. What's your creative relationship like with John Petrucci this many years in? How do you two write or play together; do you have a unique musical language between you?

Myung: Sure, I mean, there's a real comfortable chemistry and the people that I play with inspire me. It's so great to be working with the people I work with. But as far as chemistry, sure. We've been working together for a really long time, and when you're in the moment, working on stuff, it's almost like you're multitasking on the same thing but everything that's happening is relative to the same page we're on, so it's definitely cool. I don't know if you'd call it style, it's more of a chemistry and a relationship and just getting whatever it is we're doing done.

Q: As DREAM THEATER's bassist, did you have a special role in helping integrate Mike Mangini into the group sound? How quickly were you two able to lock into a groove, and from a bassist's perspective, what kind of drummer is he to play with?

Myung: He's very critical of keeping values together. We talk about this all the time, where he tells me the important things he learned, and those are the things that I love about playing with him. He says, "One of the biggest things I learned, one of my teachers told me, 'Why are you rushing? Why are you hitting that? Give each note its 100 percent value and don't invade that space, don't do that.'" And that's one of the hardest things to do in life, is knowing your limits and thinking of the big picture and navigating on that level. So it's really kinda cool playing with someone that has really high regard for that. It makes things a little bit more comfortable for me, and I'm noticing little things, like I'm hearing a little bit more sound, it's a little bit more locked. So I don't see it as me bringing anybody in. I see it more like him being a really cool guy and a great drummer, and being really complementary to what's going on.
Dutch singer Floor Jansen (REVAMP, AFTER FOREVER) will join ADRENALINE MOB on stage on July 7 at Matrix in Bochum, Germany.

ADRENALINE MOB features in its ranks frontman Russell Allen (SYMPHONY X), drummer Mike Portnoy (formerly of DREAM THEATER), bassist John Moyer (also of DISTURBED) and guitar virtuoso Mike Orlando (SONIC STOMP).
"Indifferent" comes off ADRENALINE MOB's debut album, "Omertá", which sold around 6,600 copies in the United States in its first week of release to land at position No. 70 on The Billboard 200 chart. The CD was released in Europe on March 19 in Europe via Century Media Records and in the U.S. on March 13 through the newly formed Elm City Music in conjunction with EMI Label Services.

The 11-song effort — which was produced by ADRENALINE MOB and mixed by Jay Ruston, who has previously worked on ANTHRAX's "Worship Music" and STEEL PANTHER's "Balls Out" — includes a blistering reinterpretation of DURAN DURAN's classic "Come Undone" featuring guest vocals by Lzzy Hale of HALESTORM.
Progressive metal singer Charlie Dominici, formerly of DREAM THEATER, has launched a Kickstarter fundraiser campaign for the creation of the movie adaptation of the Dominici "O3" trilogy albums released in 2005, 2007 and 2008. This screenplay aims to capture the essence of Dominici's sweeping vision of humanity's past, present — and ultimately, its fate. A collaboration by Dominici himself, along with screenwriter and author David Sakmyster, and best-selling international author Steven Savile.

The current phase is to fund the completion of the screenplay, as well as some initial entries into screenplay contests and festivals, aiming to attract agents as well as production companies and other talent. If successful, the next phase will consist of further promotional materials including short trailers, movie posters and convention shows, building toward casting, funding and ultimately — production.

The story is described as follows: "A lone sleeper cell terrorist is pursued by a derelict detective until their lives become intertwined in a cat and mouse game that veers toward an incredible apocalyptic conclusion. This wild roller coaster ride of a story delves deeply into history, politics, religion, society and even extra-terrestrials. It will make you rethink our role on this planet, our entire history, why we're here, the very notion of free will — and what it means to be human."

Despite enjoying a successful career as a singer songwriter in the Sixties and Seventies, Charlie Dominici is known by many fans from his time with DREAM THEATER, with whom he recorded their debut album, "When Dream and Day Unite", in 1989. Dominici saw the successful transition of a young band called MAJESTY who became an international success. Having left the band in 1989, his artistic achievements within DREAM THEATER are undisputed to this day. Dominici received accolades from the fans when he reunited with his former bandmates for the 15th anniversary of "When Dream and Day Unite" in 2004.
Johnny Price of BareBonesMusic.com recently conducted an interview with vocalist Maria Brink and guitarist Chris Howorth of Southern California's IN THIS MOMENT. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.

BareBonesMusic.com: The last year for you guys has been nothing short of [crazy]. It's enough to make a weaker band throw in the towel, but not you guys. What's that last year been like?

Maria: It's definitely been a crazy year for us. We lost two members right before doing ShipRocked and Soundwave in Australia and had to deal with that. We also knew in the back of our minds that we were going to be going into the studio at the first of this year to begin work on the new album and we had that to think about too. All the stuff that happened really motivated us, it sparked a fire in us creatively that I don't think we had ever felt before. I've referenced it to the blood of the phoenix as it rises from the ashes; it's like a re-birth for us on many levels. I also reference death a lot in it and I do want the fans to understand that I don't mean it literally. It's more about the phoenix dying and being born again.

Chris: I was totally shocked when we lost Blake [Bunzel, guitar] and Jeff [Fabb, drums]. We were taking our time and writing after getting back from Japan. We weren't hearing anything from the guys and it seemed really odd and then we finally heard that they had left. I remember telling Maria that we just needed ourselves and that we could do this. We were determined to make those guys sorry that they left. So, here we were short two members, plus we were without a manager. We were trying to find a manager when all of this went down. We had interest from some, but not any of the big names. In the meantime, we were working on demos and sending them to [producer] Kevin [Churko] and he was totally behind us, as well as the label. So, we went to Vegas with Kevin for a week before we went on ShipRocked and did two songs, "Blood" and "From The Ashes", and started sending them out. We started hearing back from a lot of the management teams, including ones that looked over us before. We ended up signing with In De Goot, who has an amazing roster including SHINEDOWN, HALESTORM and a bunch of others.

BareBonesMusic.com: I've heard the entire [new IN THIS MOMENT] album ["Blood"] and I think it's pretty amazing! I think a lot of fans are going to be really surprised at what they are going to be hearing. There's a lot of the IN THIS MOMENT sound that we are used to, but there's the incorporation of several new elements also. Was any of the album written before the loss of Jeff and Blake or was it created all created after that happened?

Maria: I had a lot of lyrics already written for the album, but I didn't use them. All of this was created after that happened. For me personally, it's as if a rebirth happened from the death that we felt. We were on fire and I hope that the fans can feel it when they listen to the album. I think we will also bring on new fans who may not have heard of us before just on the strength of this album. We're always experimenting and we did bring in some new elements. I like for something to move me and I hope it affects our fans that way too.

Chris: Jeff and Blake leaving kind of opened us up a bit and we went from the heart. We went a different route and it was more organic than ever before.

BareBonesMusic.com: What about this new image that you are projecting with all the guys dressing alike and the face paint?

Chris: We knew we were going into another stage of our career and we wanted to top everything that we had done to that point both musically and visually. We knew that we would hopefully be gaining some new fans that would be seeing us for the first time. We wanted to have some type of a look or image like KISS. So, there we were, sitting in the hotel making our own clothes. Travis is quite the crafter and came up with our pants. We were all like knitting hens in that room. [laughs]
California-based traditional metal revivalists HOLY GRAIL have announced the cancelation of the last two weeks worth of shows with VALIENT THORR, ROYAL THUNDER and THEKICKASS "due to multiple levels of shit we gotta handle back home and this monstrous album that's been lurking over our heads the past nine months."

HOLY GRAIL will still play the following shows with VALIENT THORR:

July 05 - Los Angeles, CA - The Down & Out
July 06 - San Diego, CA - The Casbah
July 07 - Santa Ana, CA - The Observatory

The group adds, "We wish it didn't have to be this way but its got to be done. We promise we'll be back around this fall, full force. Hope to see you then."

HOLY GRAIL recently spent time in the studio with Grammy-award winning producer Matt Hyde (SLAYER, CHILDREN OF BODOM) working on the follow-up to 2010's "Crisis In Utopia".

HOLY GRAIL has spent much of the past two years on the road, performing alongside AMON AMARTH, BLIND GUARDIAN, EXODUS, TOXIC HOLOCAUST, 3 INCHES OF BLOOD and more, supporting "Crisis In Utopia", which Revolver named one of the Top 20 metal releases of 2010.
Finnish heavy metal monsters LORDI will celebrate the 10-year anniversary of the release of their debut album and the 20-year anniversary of LORDI's conception (then just featuring the band's mainman, Mr. Lordi) the by issuing a new CD/DVD, entitled "Scarchives Vol. 1", containing rare and previously unreleased material. On the CD you will find the full unreleased album from 1997, "Bend Over And Pray The Lord". The DVD brings out the full, completely uncensored and untouched recording of LORDI's very first show from 2002. Pretty much no one's ever heard the album, and no one's ever seen this video ... until now. On the booklet you'll also find a long, detailed backstory of making of "Bend Over And Pray The Lord".

Earlier this year, LORDI mainman Mr. Lordi commented on the "Scarchives Vol. 1" release: "The [proposed] box set will NOT come out as a box per se. The items that were supposed to be in the box will be released separately item by item. The reason for this unforeseen change of plans is that all the planned items in the physical box would have raised the production costs so high that the very small, limited quantity of the box would have put the price of each individual box probably unbearable for most of the fans. So it was decided that the best solution is to divide the set in parts. This way the price of each item will not be as pricy, and everyone can decide for themselves what items they want and can afford. So, in a way, the contents of the box set are coming, but the actual physical box is not."

He continued, "The first part to be released is a CD/DVD. It will include the very first unreleased LORDI album, 'Bend Over And Pray The Lord - The Heavy Rock Album' (CD) from 1997. The original booklet is included with no touch-ups whatsoever, plus a long story about making the album. As bonus tracks, 'Get Heavy', which was added to the album a bit later on, is included, as well as 'Hulking Dynamo', produced and mixed by late TT Oksala for 'Get Heavy' in 2002, with little additional work done this year by Mikko Karmila. The other part is a DVD, which includes the very first LORDI show from Nosturi, Helsinki 2002. The show was filmed by multiple cameras, and it is completely unfixed and none of the mistakes and embarrassing moments are edited out. The setlist includes, naturally, all the 'Get Heavy' songs. As a bonus, commentary track by myself and a gallery of all the unreleased merchandise from that era."

LORDI will enter WireWorld Studio in Nashville, Tennessee in September with renowned producer Michael Wagener (METALLICA, OZZY OSBOURNE, SKID ROW, DOKKEN, RAVEN, MEGADETH) to begin recording their new album for an early 2013 release.

LORDI previously worked with Wagener on 2010's "Babez For Breakfast", which sold around 1,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release. The CD landed at position No. 43 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.
"Sandpaper", the lead single from "Sin And Bones", the new album from FOZZY — the band featuring WWE wrestling superstar Chris Jericho and STUCK MOJO mastermind Rich "The Duke" Ward — will make its online debut on July 5. The track will also be made available via iTunes on July 17.

Fan-filmed video footage of FOZZY performing "Sandpaper" at the pre-awards show boat party that cruised up the Thames to the Metal Hammer Golden Gods awards on June 11 at Indigo2 in London, England can be seen below.

"Sin And Bones" will be released on August 14 (one day earlier internationally) via the group's new label, Century Media Records. The cover artwork for the CD can be seen below.

Speaking to U.K.'s Metal Hammer magazine, Jericho stated about how the new album title came about, "It's actually pretty funny. It's such a deep title and it can mean a lot of things. But how it really came about was Rich was texting me, saying, 'Man, I've gotta eat something on this tour. I'm all skin and bones.' And 'skin and bones,' he missed the [letter] 'k' and it came out [as] 'sin and bones.' And I showed it to him. I go, 'Dude, what do you think of this as an album title?' And he was like, 'Yeah, it's perfect.'"

In an interview with Sophie K of Total Rock at this year's Download festival, which was held June 8-10 at Donington Park in Leicestershire, United Kingdom, Jericho said about FOZZY's new CD, "Every artist says this, but it's definitely the best thing we've ever done. It kind of takes the FOZZY concept of what we do best, which is very heavy with very melodic choruses and a lot of harmonies. We're just super-proud of it. We worked on it for the last eight months."

He added, "We said we wanna make this like our 'black' album where all the songs kind of fit the same vibe. They're kind of darker lyrically, darker songs, but still catchy and hooky. So I'm really proud of the lyrics that I wrote for this. When I write lyrics, I give them to Rich Ward, and he takes them and writes riffs and songs based around what he feels the tone of the songs are. And I guess the lyrics I wrote are very dark, because it's a very dark record."

When asked if the "darker" vibe of the new album is reflection of personal things that might have gone on in his life, Jericho said, "I don't think so. I've just always been more attuned to that. Like, I write by songtitles. I read somewhere something about somebody woke up with a spider in their mouth. And I was like, 'Spider In My Mouth'. That's like the best title I could ever think of. So I wrote a bunch of lyrics that kind of fit that vibe. So a songtitle will lead… The first single is called 'Sandpaper'. And it's not about a piece of paper that you rub on your face that chafes you, it's just about an abrasive type of a feeling that you might have toward somebody. So it's just stuff like that. But we still sing it with a smile on our faces."

Speaking about some of the individual songs that make up the new FOZZY album, Jericho said, "We've been playing 'Sandpaper' live, and right off the bat people are bobbing their heads. So people can get into it right away, which is cool. I mean, there are so many great songs. There's another song called 'She's My Addiction', which is kind of a more [THE ROLLING] STONES-y, GUNS N' ROSES-type thing, but also very dark. Phil Campbell played a solo for it, from MOTÖRHEAD; he's been a very good friend of the band. There's a song called 'Inside My Head'. There's an 11-minute song about D-Day called 'Storm The Beaches'. 'Blood Happens'… that's a heavy one."

Elaborating further on how the "Spider In My Mouth" songtitle came about, Jericho said, "I read it in a Stephen King book. It said, 'He couldn't have been more disgusted if he woke up with a spider in his mouth. And I was like, 'Ahhh… Dude, how heavy is that?' And I wrote it down in my little songtitles book and about a year or two later, I went back and I looked through and it was like, 'Boom, I could do something with that.' So…"

Ward previously stated about the forthcoming CD, "Although every band says 'this is the best thing we've ever done,' I can honestly say that this new album is going to blow everyone away. It's the epitome of who FOZZY is as a band and will expand upon the ultra-heavy yet super melodic and hooky territory that we've refined for the last 12 years. I have a strong feeling that this will be known as our definitive masterpiece for years to come."

FOZZY last year parted ways with bassist Sean Delson and replaced him with Paul DiLeo (ADRENALINE MOB).
MAIDEN UNITED, the all-acoustic IRON MAIDEN tribute project featuring Damian Wilson (THRESHOLD, HEADSPACE) and Ruud Jolie (WITHIN TEMPTATION), has revealed the track listing and cover artwork for the upcoming album, "Across The Seventh Sea".

"Across The Seventh Sea" will be released in September on CD, limited-edition vinyl and as digital download.

"Across The Seventh Sea" track listing:

01. Seven Deadly Sins
02. Only The Good Die Young
03. 2 Minutes To Midnight
04. Prowler
05. Flash Of The Blade
06. Children Of The Damned
07. Infinite Dreams
08. 22 Acacia Avenue
09. The Evil That Men Do
10. Wasted Years

The cover artwork for the CD was once again created by Blacklake, who also worked with MAIDEN UNITEDon their first studio album, "Mind The Acoustic Pieces".

MAIDEN UNITED is an IRON MAIDEN tribute project which performs classic MAIDEN songs in newacoustic arrangements. MAIDEN UNITED's debut album, "Mind The Acoustic Pieces" (2010), was described as "an acoustic re-imagining of the entire classic IRON MAIDEN album "Piece Of Mind" with new arrangements."

Contributing artists:

* Damian Wilson (THRESHOLD, HEADSPACE): Vocals
* Ruud Jolie (WITHIN TEMPTATION): Guitar
* Joey Bruers (UP THE IRONS): Bass
* Marco Kuypers (CLOUDMACHINE): Piano
* Mike Coolen (WITHIN TEMPTATION): Drums

For more information, go to www.MaidenuniteD.com.
Israeli metallers ETERNAL GRAY issued the following statement:

"We would like to announce that after being several years in the band, Oren Balbus (vocals) and Gil Ben-Yaakov (bass) are no longer part of ETERNAL GRAY. Gil and Oren have been our friends and band members for over seven years now, in which 'Your Gods, My Enemies' was recorded, as well as numerous unforgettable shows were played together. However, throughout the years, we have been faced with the difficult realization that the band's creative future does not fit with Gil's and Oren's and therefore, had to make this tough decision.

"Gil and Oren will always be a part of the ETERNAL GRAY family. We wouldn't be where we are without their contribution, commitment and drive.

"From now on, Gil and Oren will be replaced by two talented minds: Zion Mizrachi (vocals) and Eyal Ben Shushan (bass). Both Zion and Eyal have convinced us that ETERNAL GRAY, with them, will keep deliver the best music it possibly can and as always, keep standards high.

"Please welcome the new face of ETERNAL GRAY!"

ETERNAL GRAY's second album, "Your Gods, My Enemies", was recorded at Studio Underground in Sweden and was released last year via Season Of Mist.
Polish metallers SARATAN have inked a deal with Massacre Records. The band's third album, "Martya Xwar", will be released on November 23. The CD was recorded over the course of five months in five recording studios in Poland and Germany. It was mixed and mastered by V. Santura (TRIPTYKON, DARK FORTRESS, CELTIC FROST) at Woodshed Studio. Cover design and artwork were created by Michal "Xaay" Loranc (NILE, KAMELOT).

According to a press release, "Martya Xwar" "is about forty minutes of apocalyptic death — thrash metal, full of oriental and classical ornaments. Ethnic music, occultism and orchestrations are the main focus on this album.


Jarek Niemiec - Bass, Vocals
Adam Augustynski - Guitar
Michal Stefanski - Drums
German technical death metal sorcerers SOPHICIDE will release their debut album, "Perdition Of The Sublime", on August 14 via Willowtip Records. The 11-track longplayer was recorded, mixed and mastered by founder Adam Laszlo at his home studio and features the striking cover design by artist Steve Voigt.

Formed as a one-man-project in 2009 by then-19-year-old Laszlo, SOPHICIDE fuses elaborate melodies with battering technical brutality into a sound that's as malicious as it is memorable. Meaning "murder of wisdom," SOPHICIDE describes the state of modern society and serves as the central theme of "Perdition Of The Sublime". Laszlo notes: "It's another word for anti-intellectualism. People are stupid, ignorant and seem to be proud of it. This is a disturbing trend."

He adds, "I'm really keen to release this album. I've put a lot of blood, sweat and tears into it and I hope people can connect to it as I do. Basically the overall theme coincides with the meaning of 'sophicide.' Intellect and enlightenment seem to be displaced by religion and casting shows. There's this overall apathy, people don't seem to give a shit about anything as long as they get their cheap meat and TV shows. This is what 'Perdition Of The Sublime' is basically about, although the focus is on religion, after all it's the elephant in the room."

"Perdition Of The Sublime" track listing:

01. The Art Of Atrocity
02. Within Darkness
03. Perdition Of The Sublime
04. Of Lust And Vengeance
05. Execration
06. Blood For Honour
07. Freedom Of Mind
08. Folie Á Deux
09. Lafayette's Deception
10. Dawn Of A New Age
11. The Essence Of Warfare
Selfmadegod Records will release the debut LP from Swedish death metal horde USURPRESS this summer.

Following their "In Permanent Twilight" MCD released via Selfmadegod this past spring — in addition to recently released split EPs with PYRAMIDO (Plague Island) and BOMBS OF HADES (Doomentia) — the first full-length from USURPRESS is ready for disbursement, available from Selfmadegod this July! Entitled "Trenches Of The Netherworld", the album contains eleven soul-reaping circle-pit anthems utilizing the band's seemingly patented blend of death metal and d-beat/crust punk influences. The CD's cover art was crafted by by Rafal Kruszyk (INTERMENT, HOODED MENACE, DECEASED, PAGANIZER).

Uppsala-based USURPRESS features the steamrolling flair of four members of the Swedish punk/metal underworld, including vocalist Stefan "Steffe" Pettersson (DISKONTO, UNCURBED), bassist Daniel Ekeroth (ex-TYRANT, ex-DELLAMORTE, author of "Swedish Death Metal" book), drummer Calle Andersson and guitarist Påhl (ex-BLOTSERAPH, ex-SHURIKEN).

"Trenches Of The Netherworld" track listing:

01. Black Death On White Wings
02. Effigies Burns Across The Wastelands
03. Coronation Of The Crippled King
04. The Wooden Sceptre
05. The Colours Of Darkness
06. Trenches Of The Netherworld
07. The God Eaters
08. In The Beginning (Ended Yesterday)
09. Dethroned By Shadows
10. I Stand Above Time
11. Seduction Through Bloodshed
Swedish death metallers SOREPTION have completed work on their second album for a late 2012 release via Ninetone Records. The follow-up to 2010's "Deterioration Of Minds" was recorded, mixed and produced by Tommy Rehn at Ninetone Studios.

Formed in 2005, "SOREPTION unleash their surgically precise and unique, razorsharp voilence with technically and artistically advanced riffs topped off with in-your-face brutal vocals, leaving the listener nothing short of stunned and ready to bow down to the mature display of how death metal should be played," according to a press release.


Fredrik Söderberg – Vocals
Anton Svedin – Guitars
Stefan Nordlander – Session Guitarist
Rickard Persson – Bass
Tony Westermark – Drums

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