[Classic_Rock_Forever] Alice Cooper, Metallica, Sex Pistols, Doro Pesch, Hellyeah, Five Finger Death Punch,Drowning Pool, Lamb of God, Baroness, Helstar, Mad Season, Vince Neil, Lordi, Norska, and tons more hard rock and heavy metal news


Alice Cooper, a mastermind of the rock horror genre, will conjure up his peculiar vision of disturbing horror imagery in two new haunted attractions debuting this fall at Halloween Horror Nights at both Universal Orlando Resort and Universal Studios Hollywood.

For the first time ever at Universal Orlando Resort's award-winning event, Alice Cooper's own version of a demented and dark subconscious will come to life in the haunted maze, "Alice Cooper - Welcome to My Nightmare". Inspired by iconic elements from his first solo album, the attraction will put guests inside the haunted dreams of the album's recurring character, "Steven," as he endures the scream-inducing madness spawned from the mind of the legendary rocker.

Making an encore performance at Universal Studios Hollywood's acclaimed event, Alice Cooper's new haunted attraction, "Alice Cooper Goes to Hell 3D", will be inspired by the musician's classic concept album centered on unending darkness, eternal torment and unimaginable horrors. The terrifying maze will beckon guests to experience hell's interminable inferno as imagined through the eyes of hard rock visionary Alice Cooper. To experience this daunting new maze, guests will don 3D glasses for an optimum up close and personal three-dimensional encounter with Alice Cooper's underworld.

Rock And Roll Hall Of Famer Alice Cooper pioneered the concept of the theatrical rock concert. His recording career spans six decades, includes more than two dozen albums, millions of record sales, countless world tours and appearances in scores of movies and videos, including "Nightmare on Elm Street: Freddy's Dead", Universal Pictures' "Prince Of Darkness" and a memorable appearance in the recent "Dark Shadows". Last fall, Alice Cooper released his acclaimed "Welcome 2 My Nightmare", his long-awaited sequel to his 1975 classic "Welcome to My Nightmare". The album, which debuted on The Billboard 200 at No.22, proves Alice Cooper's continued relevance and popularity, cementing him as of one of music's most influential artists of all time.

Sharing his enthusiasm, Alice Cooper said, "I grew up watching classic Universal horror movies so it's a thrill for me to work with Universal's designers to create the quintessential Alice Cooper maze for Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios Hollywood and Universal Orlando Resort. To have Alice Cooper haunted attractions at both parks this year is truly an honor...or is it a horror? Last year, Universal Studios Hollywood scared the wits out of me with their maniacal and demented creation and they've promised to up the ante with 'Alice Cooper Goes To Hell 3D'. I can't wait to see the final terrifying masterpiece. It will be hell! I'm even more excited to see Universal Orlando Resort's maze, 'Alice Cooper - Welcome To My Nightmare'. Let's see if they can scare me!"

"There are few as coolly demented as Alice Cooper," said Jim Timon, Senior Vice President of Entertainment at Universal Orlando Resort. "He's a cult classic icon and his partnership on the 'Alice Cooper - Welcome to My Nightmare' maze will bring something completely new and unexpected to our Halloween Horror Nights fans."

John Murdy, Creative Director at Universal Studios Hollywood, said, "We wanted to break new ground with the insanely immersive 'Alice Cooper Goes to Hell 3D' maze and elevate its journey into the abyss to a shocking new level. The cutting-edge 3D technology we invented for this haunted attraction will add a palatable sense of realism to an already twisted environment that only music genius Alice Cooper could envision. Through innovative sets and LED technology, we've totally pushed the envelope to turn Alice's maze into a mind-blowing 3D experience for his fans and Halloween Horror Nights guests."

Universal Studios' Halloween Horror Nights events have a more than 20-year history of creating incredibly entertaining, horrifying Halloween experiences that are consistently rated the nations' best. The events on each coast feature highly-themed, disturbingly real, haunted mazes based on everything from film to nightmares — and streets filled with hundreds of specially trained "scareactors."

For more information about Halloween Horror Nights at both Universal Orlando Resort and Universal Studios Hollywood, visit www.halloweenhorrornights.com.
METALLICA drummer Lars Ulrich took part in a conference call with reporters on Tuesday (July 24) to promote the band's headlining appearance at the 2012 edition of Outside Lands festival, set to take place August 10-12 in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park. Also scheduled to appear are Stevie Wonder, NEIL YOUNG AND CRAZY HORSE, Skrillex, Jack White, FOO FIGHTERS, Beck, SIGUR RÓS, FUN., JUSTICE, Norah Jones, THE KILLS, OF MONSTERS AND MEN, ALABAMA SHAKES and GRANDADDY.

Billing itself as "the world's only gourmet music festival," Outside Lands pairs music with wine and food. The event's producers will donate a significant portion of every ticket sold will directly benefit San Francisco's Recreation and Park Department. In addition, the festival will offer over 100 food and wine options including organic, kegged wine; food trucks and local vendors from over 50 local restaurants. Likewise, Wine Lands will celebrate over 30 of the region's wineries.

On playing this year's Outside Lands:

Ulrich: "As anybody knows about METALLICA, we've championed San Francisco all around the world. We're very proud of our relationship with San Francisco."

"The biggest thing with any San Francisco show is managing the guest list."

"Golden Gate Park is an awesome, awesome, awesome setting … The whole vibe there is so fucking next level, all we have to do is just show up and make sure we're firing on all 24 cylinders. … Finding the inspiration to play hometown shows is never difficult."

"Last year, I took my kids to see MUSE and ARCTIC MONKEYS and the rest of the bands that were playing [at Outside Lands]. The year before that was KINGS OF LEON; the year before that I think it was BLACK EYED PEAS. As a Bay Area resident and as a music fan, going to see Outside Lands every year is a huge thing. Not only for me but also my family. Getting a chance to play it and to headline is obviously a huge thing for us. If I'm not going to play it, I'm going to go and I'm going to take my kids. It's sort of the concert highlight of their year . . . So it works on all fronts."

On the Outside Lands setlist:

Ulrich: "With these types of situations where you are playing to 50,000-75,000 people, there are songs you should play in those settings. … We always try to play different songs and bring deeper cuts out that we don't play all the time. We'll put some so-called hits in, with some obscure stuff and some deep cuts and whatever else. There's lots of songs to choose from, and I'm sure we'll roll some wacky stuff out of our sleeves. There will be shit that blows up, and shit that moves, and all that kind of stuff. So it will be fun for the whole family, as we like to hear ourselves say."

For more information, visit www.sfoutsidelands.com.
As one of the most iconic and influential albums in music history, "Never Mind The Bollocks, Here's The Sex Pistols" still sounds as powerful and unique as ever, 35 years since the original release. As such an important musical and cultural force the album changed the landscape for records and the music industry. The SEX PISTOLS defined a generation and captured a feeling within the nation that simply no one else could of. The band created a truly distinctive sound and "Never Mind The Bollocks, Here's The Sex Pistols" impact and influence still strongly resonates with musicians, artists and people to this day. To celebrate its 35th anniversary, Universal Music U.K. has assembled a super-deluxe box-set release that really does this legendary album justice.

While many fans will undoubtedly be of the opinion that there can be very little left in the SEX PISTOLS vaults that hasn't already been seen and heard, followers of the band will be thrilled by the treasure trove of music, footage, interviews, pictures and artifacts confirmed to be included.

The original master tapes from the "Never Mind The Bollocks, Here's The Sex Pistols" recording sessions in 1977 were thought to be lost for many years. Now thankfully rediscovered during the recent move from Virgin Records to Universal Music catalogue in January 2012, the tapes have been remastered, for the very first time, by Tim Young under direction from original producer Chris Thomas. Some real treats have also been found along the way. The find that will perhaps excite fans the most is the lost 1977 demo studio recording of "Belsen Was A Gas", the only original SEX PISTOLS composition of the era thought not to be recorded.

Other treats include the inclusion of six demos first included on the infamous "Spunk" bootleg album, released for the very first time in their original, untouched form following the very recent discovery of their original master tapes. These, combined with a selection of unreleased Chris Thomas demos and outtakes from the recording of the album — including tracks with Sid Vicious on bass — plus a wealth of live audio and visual material all from 1977 make up a box set that will truly satisfy fans of the band.

The 35th-anniversary "Never Mind The Bollocks, Here's The Sex Pistols" super-deluxe box set will be made available in the U.K. on September 24.

Below is a breakdown of the contents: (also see further below for more info)
German metal queen Doro Pesch will release "Under My Skin - A Fine Selection Of Doro Classics" in North America on August 14 via AFM Records. The set was compiled in close collaboration between AFM and Pesch, who also contributed handwritten liner notes to all songs. The two-CD package includes Doro classics as well as rare single B-sides and album bonus tracks.

"Under My Skin - A Fine Selection Of Doro Classics" is available as a regular digipack version and a strictly limited wooden fanbox edition (1,000 copies only) which includes the digipak 2-CD, a textile posterflag, a Doro logo patch, a Doro bracelet, a postcard and a certificate of authenticity.

"Under My Skin" recently entered the German Media Control chart at position No. 53.

"Under My Skin - A Fine Selection Of Doro Classics" track listing:


01. All We Are (Version 2007)
02. You're My Family
03. I Rule The Ruins
04. Celebrate
05. The Night Of The Warlock
06. Strangers Yesterday
07. Walking With The Angels
08. Metal Tango
09. Thunderspell
10. Herzblut
11. Warrior Soul
12. My Majesty
13. Für Immer
14. Love Me In Black
15. Always Live To Win
16. Running From The Devil
17. Above The Ashes
18. Let Love Rain On Me


01. Celebrate (Full Metal Female Version)
02. Rescue Me
03. Rare Diamond (Acoustic Version)
04. Angel In The Dark
05. 1999
06. In Liebe Und Freundschaft
07. I Lay My Head Upon My Sword
08. Tausend Mal Gelebt
09. Wildfire
10. Breaking The Law
11. She's Like Thunder (Version 2005)
12. The Queen
13. You Won My Love
14. Lonely Wolf

Multimedia Bonus

* Warrior Soul (Video)
* Let Love Rain On Me (Video)
* Herzblut (Video)

Pesch's new EP, "Raise Your Fist In The Air", will be released on August 3. A full-length album, "Raise Your Fist", will follow in the fall via Nuclear Blast Records.
"Band Of Brothers", the third album from the metal juggernaut known as HELLYEAH — featuring Vinnie Paul Abbott (PANTERA, DAMAGEPLAN), Chad Gray and Greg Tribbett (MUDVAYNE), Tom Maxwell (NOTHINGFACE) and Bob "Zilla" Kakaha (DAMAGEPLAN) — sold 19,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release to debut at position No. 19 on The Billboard 200 chart.

HELLYEAH's sophomore CD, "Stampede", opened with 28,000 units back in July 2010 to enter the chart at No. 8.

The band's self-titled debut CD registered a first-week tally of 45,000 units in April 2007 to land at No. 9.

Released on July 17 via HELLYEAH's new label home, Eleven Seven Music, "Band Of Brothers" was recorded in Dallas, Texas at Vinnie Paul Abbott's home studio, VP's Upstairs Studio, and was produced by the band and Jeremy Parker (GODSMACK, EVANESCENCE), who also served as engineer. Gray told The Pulse Of Radio that the album represents the first time that the members of the band have fully embraced their musical roots. "It's definitely my favorite HELLYEAH record to date, for sure," he said. "I think the first couple were kind of experiments and stuff, and I think we kind of kept what we've done individually away from HELLYEAH, with our, you know, previous bands and stuff, and this time it was like we just kind of said, 'Screw it,' we just kind of quit being afraid to be ourselves. I'm really, really proud of it, I think we all are."

The band has stated that "Band Of Brothers" is a heavier, more metal-sounding effort that either its self-titled 2007 debut or 2010's "Stampede".

"Band Of Brothers" track listing:

01. War In Me
02. Band Of Brothers
03. Rage/Burn
04. Drink Drank Drunk
05. Bigger God
06. Between You And Nowhere
07. Call It
08. Why Does It Always
09. WM Free
10. Dig Myself A Hole
11. What It Takes To Be Me
Jim Beal Jr. of MySanAntonio.com recently conducted an interview with guitarist Zoltan Bathory of Las Vegas metallers FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH. A few excerpts from the chat follow below.

On growing up in Hungary:

Zoltan: "I grew up in a very military family in a communist country. We had one television channel and it broadcast communist propaganda. For me, as a kid, metal and hard music was my form of rebellion.

"My friends and I would congregate in little parks where we would trade tapes and magazines. One of the magazines we would trade was Metal Hammer, which is sponsoring [FIVE FINGER's Trespass America] tour. We'd sit around and translate the articles for each other. Metal music was a vehicle. It was the light at the end of the tunnel. Listening to metal was our way of giving the communists the bird."

On emigrating to the U.S.:

Zoltan: "I came to the land of the free. I have a way to compare. I was looking at everything here from the outside. I saw a lot of Americans who were not happy. For a foreigner, America means a lot more. This country was built on an ideal and on an idea. When people talk about freedom, they have to realize it's not free.

"So I became an American citizen. I work my ass off. I still work 12 hours a day. Here, the possibilities are presented. You can still get stuff done, but maybe you have to get off the couch. Put down the pizza and beer. But people don't want to hear that."

On FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH's lyrical message:

Zoltan: "First and foremost, we're not a political entity. We're a band. It is music. We're not politicians. We just hope to have an influence and change lives. We will use the bullhorn to rock out and spread ideas."

"We have a lot of fans, a lot of kids. There's a lot of talk about suicide and bullying. I didn't grow up with something like this. It's fucking shocking. The whole future is in front of you. There's always a way out and you're about to give it all up.

"When you have nothing to lose, then you should have no fear. If you have no fear then you can turn around and do what you were afraid of. There's always an answer. There's someone who has turned the corner and can help you. These are things that, as a band, we can stand behind."
DROWNING POOL has confirmed, after much speculation, that it has tapped singer Jasen Moreno from fellow Texas band THE SUICIDE HOOK to be the band's fourth and newest frontman. Moreno made his live debut as a member of the band on July 8 at a club in Ardmore, Oklahoma. Moreno replaces vocalist Ryan McCombs, who exited the group at the end of 2011 after a six-year stint in the lineup.

In an exclusive interview in the September 2012 issue of Guitar World magazine, guitarist C.J. Pierce explained, "Jasen came up in the same Dallas scene as us... We brought him in to sing, and he nailed it."

Moreno said, "I am extremely happy and very grateful to be a part of the DROWNING POOL family. Everyone's been so welcoming, especially the fans. I can't praise them enough. They've made me feel right at home. This first run of live shows couldn't have gone any better!"

Pierce added, "It's been a pleasure working with Jasen. He's everything we hoped for in a singer and he jumped right in, stepped up to the plate and got straight to work. Jasen has brought not only a new voice but a new fire to the DROWNING POOL sound and we can't wait to share the new music with everyone."

The guitarist told The Pulse Of Radio recently how they ended up recruiting Moreno. "We got a lot of submissions in for singers," he said. "For a minute there, I wasn't sure what we were gonna do. I didn't want to go through this whole singer thing again. And we had a guy walk in, he learned every song off every one of our CDs. He's a really super, super cool guy, and we went in the room and in three months we wrote 17 songs together."

DROWNING POOL's fifth album and their first with Moreno is due out early 2013. The band teamed up with producer Kato Khandwalla at House of Loud Studios in New Jersey earlier this year, and will be finishing the album in Dallas.

Pierce said in an interview conducted last May that the new album "is heavier, there's more metal on it, there's a lot of double bass, a lot of guitar solos . . . stepping up a notch."

Pierce said late last year that the decision to part with McCombs came about because "[We've] grown apart, especially in the last three years . . . we kind of had it in the back of our heads that [McCombs] may not be in it for the long haul."

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

He joined the band in 2005 and provided some stability on the microphone after the group's first two albums featured two different vocalists.

Original frontman Dave Williams died on tour in 2002 after singing on the band's debut, "Sinner". He was replaced by Jason "Gong" Jones, who also contributed to one record, "Desensitized", before being shown the door in 2004.


C.J. Pierce - Guitar, Vocals
Stevie Benton - Bass, Vocals
Mike Luce - Drums, Vocals
Jasen Moreno - Vocals
LAMB OF GOD frontman Randy Blythe was arrested in the Czech Republic on June 27 and is facing manslaughter charges in connection with a 2010 Prague concert at which he allegedly shoved a local fan off the stage. The man, who is said to have stormed the stage three times during the show, reportedly suffered a brain hemorrhage that resulted in his death nearly a month later.

Last week, the court doubled Blythe's bail from about $200,000 to about $400,000.

"[On Tuesday, July 24] the court published that they were upholding the $400,000 bail and Randy's release," LAMB OF GOD's manager, Larry Mazer, told WTVR-TV — the CBS television affiliate based in Richmond, Virginia — in an email. "The prosecutor appealed the $200,000. That appeal was turned down but the bail was raised to $400,000, which, as you know, we paid. But by Czech law, the prosecutor can challenge one more time, which he is doing and that starts the clock all over again."

Mazer did not give an expected time frame for Blythe's release, but he did say he doesn't think it will be within six days. The LAMB OF GOD tour is scheduled to start in Seattle, Washington on August 1.

An official announcement about the tour is expected tomorrow.

Blythe's Czech attorney Martin Radvan told Radio Prague that he expected Blythe to be able to travel home, but that the singer will have to return to the Czech Republic to face trial. "That's what he wants to do," Radvan said. "As a world-renowned artist, in a specific genre of music, of course, he cannot afford to simply disappear."

Radvan added that Randy's stature as a public figure makes it highly unlikely that he would vanish before the trial, saying, "There would be posters with his picture all around the world, and if he wants to continue performing, he will have to return. And he wants to return because he believes he is not guilty of anything he has been charged with."

Radvan said Blythe has been coping with his time in jail, continuing to write music and working on a book.

Martin Holub, a lawyer at Šafra & Partners, told The Prague Post if bail is revoked, Blythe could be kept in prison for up to six months.

"The authorities will be concerned about him leaving the country and then having to begin extradition proceedings," Holub said. "If, however, the appeal court confirms the decision of the previous court, Randy Blythe should be released on the day that decision is made."

Jonathan Crane, a reporter from the Prague Post, told WTVR-TV that a legal expert believes the Blythe's defense team should have quite a strong case. "Even if Randy was responsible for the alleged attack, the expert said that who is to say that he wasn't accidentally kicked or trodden on or left without help by fans below the stage," Crane said.

The U.S. Embassy in Prague on July 11 released a very brief statement regarding Blythe: "The U.S. Embassy provides standard consular services to American citizens in need of assistance. We cannot discuss specific cases due to privacy concerns."
"Yellow & Green", the new album from the Savannah, Georgia-based quartet BARONESS, sold 12,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release to debut at position No. 30 on The Billboard 200 chart. Released on July 17 via Relapse Records, the CD reunites BARONESS with "Blue Record" producer John Congleton (EXPLOSIONS IN THE SKY, ST. VINCENT, XIU XIU) following both the band's busiest period (multiple worldwide tours including stops at Coachella, Bonnaroo and Soundwave) and most luxurious year, having taken nearly all of 2011 off to freely write and demo for the 2CD/LP album.

BARONESS' two prior releases ("Red Album" and "Blue Record") were awarded record-of-the-year honors from both Revolver and Decibel magazines and placed on year-end best-of lists from Pitchfork and Village Voice.

"We had been on tour for eight years, and we decided to take a break from our adventure to dig our heels in at home and write a new record," explains John Baizley, frontman for the band and the artist responsible for BARONESS' now-iconic album art. "We spent the entirety of the past year dedicating ourselves to the new album. Without the break from touring and the time we took to rest and reflect, we would have been entirely unable to write this new record. We have become re-inspired."

BARONESS' "Take My Bones Away" video can be seen below. The six-minute, multi-angle clip captures the precise and dynamic nature of the East Coast-based band's live performances. Director Jimmy Hubbard shot the footage during BARONESS's spring tour with MESHUGGAH.

BARONESS is John Baizley (guitars, vocals), Pete Adams (guitar, vocals), Allen Blickle (drums) and Matt Maggioni (bass).
Texas-based metal veterans HELSTAR will release "30 Years Of Hel", a DVD containing footage of the band's March 24, 2012 30-year-anniversary hometown show at Warehouse Live in Houston, on August 31 in Europe and October 2 in North America via AFM Records. The DVD+2CD set will include footage of the band performing songs spanning its entire career, including material from the often-overlooked "Multiples Of Black" release. The package will also feature interviews with each bandmember, as well as with the entire group, conducted by "Robb's MetalWorks" and focusing specifically on this milestone.

"30 Years Of Hel" track listing:


01. Angels Fall To Hell
02. Toward The Unknown
03. Suicidal Nightmare
04. The King Is Dead
05. Burning Star
06. To Sleep Per Chance To Scream
07. The Plague Called Man
08. Evil Reign
09. Monarch Of Bloodshed
10. Winds Of War
11. Good Day To Die
12. Wicked Disposition
13. Pandemonium
14. Bitter End
15. Harker's Tale
16. Angel Of Death
17. Baptized In Blood
18. Alma Negra
19. The King Of Hell
20. Run With The Pack

CD 1

01. Angels Fall To Hell
02. Toward The Unknown
03. Suicidal Nightmare
04. The King Is Dead
05. Burning Star
06. To Sleep Per Chance To Scream
07. The Plague Called Man
08. Evil Reign
09. Monarch Of Bloodshed

CD 2

01. Winds Of War
02. Good Day To Die
03. Wicked Disposition
04. Pandemonium
05. Bitter End
06. Harker's Tale
07. Angel Of Death
08. Baptized In Blood
09. Alma Negra
10. The King Of Hell
11. Run With The Pack

Robb Chavez of "Robb's MetalWorks" conducted an interview with Larry Barragan, guitarist and co-founding member of HELSTAR, on March 24 at the 30-year-anniversary show. The chat, which can be seen below, covers a variety of topics, including the significance of the 30-year milestone, that evening's 20-song set list, the history of Texas metal and Jackson guitars.

HELSTAR released its latest album, "Glory Of Chaos", in November 2010 via Germany's AFM Records.

Formed in Houston in the early '80s, HELSTAR cut its teeth playing backyard parties and small club gigs. It soon became apparent that HELSTAR had much more to offer then its contemporaries. Combat Records snapped up the band and released HELSTAR's debut, "Burning Star", in 1984. Next came "Remnants of War", followed by HELSTAR's breakthrough album, "A Distant Thunder", in 1988. The success of "A Distant Thunder" ultimately set up HELSTAR's most critically acclaimed album, 1989's "Nosferatu".
The Pulse Of Radio reports that PEARL JAM guitarist Mike McCready has found a singer to record the vocals for roughly an album's worth of unfinished songs by MAD SEASON, the mid-'90s Seattle supergroup featuring McCready, ALICE IN CHAINS frontman Layne Staley and SCREAMING TREES drummer Barrett Martin. According to Guerilla Candy, that vocalist is Mark Lanegan, who was the singer for the TREES and has also spent time with QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE. It is not clear whether Lanegan will record vocals for all the songs or if McCready will bring in other guest vocalists as well.

Martin himself broke the news. Lanegan co-wrote two songs on MAD SEASON's only album, "Above", and contributed vocals to a track called "Long Gone Day".

McCready said a few months back that MAD SEASON could be making a semi-return later this year. He plans to reissue "Above", and also revealed the existence of the unreleased material, which was demoed but never completed.

MAD SEASON's sole album, "Above", was certified gold for sales of half a million copies and yielded two Top 20 modern rock singles, "River Of Deceit" and "I Don't Know Anything".

The group officially dissolved in 1999 following the death of bassist John Baker Saunders. Staley died three years later in 2002.
MÖTLEY CRÜE singer Vince Neil will host the official after-party for the band's West Palm Beach, Florida concert with KISS this Friday, July 27 at Feelgood's Rock Bar And Grill.

Get there before 11 p.m. and you'll get in free with half-off all drinks. After 11 p.m. there will be the standard $10 cover.

Neil is a co-owner of Feelgood's, which opened in January 2008. The old-style pharmacy-themed bar, named after CRÜE's 1999 hit album, reportedly features Neil memorabilia, some of his Harley-Davidsons and scantily-clad dancers.

Feelgood's Rock Bar And Grill
219 Clematis St.
West Palm Beach, FL

MÖTLEY CRÜE and KISS' co-headlining tour — dubbed simply "The Tour" — kicked off on July 20 in Bristow, Virginia and is currently scheduled to wrap on September 23 in Hartford, Connecticut. Although the bands are officially co-headlining the tour, MÖTLEY CRÜE is opening for KISS each night.
Awa, the longtime keyboardist for Finnish heavy metal monsters LORDI, has announced her decision to leave the band. She will be seen on stage for the last time on August 11 at Simerock in Rovaniemi, Finland where LORDI will celebrate its 10-year anniversary.

Awa joined LORDI in 2005 and made her recording debut with the band on the breakthrough album "The Arockalypse". She has played on three LORDI studio CDs.

Awa's replacement has already been found and will join his or her new bandmates in the studio this fall when they begin work on their next album, tentatively due in early 2013. The characters and character names of the new keyboardist and the drummer will be unveiled, along with the band's new masks and outfits, before the release of LORDI's next CD.

Awa states about her decision to leave LORDI: "Playing in the band has been an incredible experience and clearly one of the best times in my life. I have always been very fond of LORDI, its music and image, and will surely be following news about it closely. The band and the crew were and will always be a second family to me and I will be missing them and our fans greatly. However, seven years in the band has been physically and emotionally very demanding. You have to be in a band like this 100 percent. If you are not able to do that anymore, you have to let go and give space for something new."

She adds: "I want to emphasize that I am not going to leave music or making music, because music is the most important thing to me in life. I am on a creative break now, but have several new ideas already. You will hear about them if and when the time is good. I also believe that I can still be seen behind the keyboards some day."

LORDI's leader, Mr. Lordi, states: "We have been discussing this behind the scenes for quite some time, but nobody knew that this year would be this kind of a year of changes for LORDI. Of course, you always believe and wish your current lineup would be permanent and final, but these are not issues of faith. Situations change, things happen and plans are renewed. All the rest of us in the band wanted her to go on with us, but we also understand her decision and respect that. We know that this decision was not easy for her either. It took a long time to come to this conclusion. We agreed already earlier, that she will not participate our next album studio sessions. In this case, she would have had to hang out with us for the next couple of years. Naturally it would have not been fair to her, to the band or to our fans."

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 its new album.
Portland, Oregon doom/sludge titans NORSKA — who feature in their ranks members of YOB — are set to unleash their debut release on September 18 via Brutal Panda Records. The five-song, 40-minute eponymous debut was recorded by Adam Bradley Pike (BLACK ELK, RED FANG) at Toadhouse Studios in the band's hometown. Mixing heavy, meditative riffs and a thundering rhythm section with psychedelic flourishes, NORSKA prove they are true masters of their craft.

In other news, NORSKA has lined up a September tour with the mighty YOB, with whom they share bassist Aaron Rieseberg.
ALTER BRIDGE and CREED guitarist Mark Tremonti's debut solo album, "All I Was", sold more than 12,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release to debut at position No. 29 on The Billboard 200 chart. The CD was released on July 17 via Fret 12 Records, a company Mark started with his brother, Daniel Tremonti, and Tom Stanley.

With two bands and a solo career, The Pulse Of Radio asked Tremonti how he knows which project the songs he writes are best suited for. "I've just gotten this filter, this intuition that tells me what songs go to which band, and with my solo stuff, the rhythm section is so different from the other bands, I think it really stands apart," he said. "I think it's a little more aggressive than both the other bands, but you just have to hear it, I guess."

His solo band, also billed TREMONTI, features ALTER BRIDGE and CREED bassist Brian Marshall in the lineup along with guitarist Eric Friedman and drummer Garrett Whitlock.

"All I Was" track listing:

01. Leave It Alone
02. So You'e Afraid
03. Wish You Well
04. Brains
05. The Things I've Seen
06. You Waste Your Time
07. New Way Out
08. Giving Up
09. Proof
10. All I Was
11. Doesn't Matter
12. Decay

The "You Waste Your Time" performance video can be seen below (courtesy of AOL's Noisecreep). According to the group, the clip "was shot live with no tricks so it is different from the single and you will see how Mark sings in a live setting."
The lineup for Marshall's 50th-anniversary event just got louder with the addition of more names to the already storming lineup. Former DREAM THEATER drummer and progressive metal legend Mike Portnoy joins hit songwriter and founding member of FREE, Andy Fraser, and all-round thrash metal superstar and co-founder of SLAYER, Kerry King, for this rock and roll spectacular at Wembley Arena in London, England on Saturday, September 22. The luminaries will unite with rock and roll's biggest stars to celebrate the life and work of revolutionary amp pioneer Jim Marshall with an unparalleled display of rock virtuosity.

Following the sad news of Jim's death in April, the event, which was already planned to commemorate Marshall's 50th anniversary, will now be held in honor of the legendary man and his remarkable life. The groundbreaking artist lineup is as pioneering as the brand itself and includes global rock royalty from such bands as IRON MAIDEN, SLIPKNOT, WHITESNAKE, CHICKENFOOT, THE CULT, BLACK LABEL SOCIETY, DEEP PURPLE, JUDAS PRIEST, BLACK SABBATH and many more. The Marshall team is bringing together the biggest rock gods on the planet, all of whom are keen to pay their respects to the legend that was Jim Marshall.

IRON MAIDEN's Nicko McBrain will compère the event and will be joined by the world's most legendary guitarists, acclaimed musicians and Marshall enthusiasts. Just added to the bill is ex-JUDAS PRIEST frontman Tim "Ripper" Owens, who joins former TRAPEZE, DEEP PURPLE and BLACK SABBATH vocalist and bassist Glenn Hughes. Also scheduled to appear are multiple Grammy nominee and CHICKENFOOT guitarist Joe Satriani, Ozzy Osbourne collaborator and founder of BLACK LABEL SOCIETY Zakk Wylde, one of rock's premiere virtuoso guitarists Yngwie Malmsteen, technical wizard and one of GuitarOne magazine's "Top 10 Greatest Guitar Shredders of All Time" Paul Gilbert, WHITESNAKE's Doug Aldrich and Brian Tichy, THE CULT's Billy Duffy and SLIPKNOT/STONE SOUR frontman Corey Taylor.

Talking about the event, Nicko McBrain commented: "This is truly a celebration of a British icon — Marshall. Beyond doubt, Jim Marshall shaped the sound of rock music for eternity! Words cannot describe how pioneering Jim Marshall was! We're bringing together beyond-legendary artists for a true celebration of Jim's life. There is no better way to commemorate Jim's amazing life than putting on the loudest event ever. Expect pure rock and roll madness amplified to the max by Marshall!"

Talking about the much loved "Father of Loud," Joe Satriani commented: "He created the tone we all cherish in rock: big, bold, and beautiful and in your face. With every power chord, soaring melody and searing lead we will continue to salute his legacy!"

A sentiment echoed by Yngwie Malmsteen, who commented: "Every day I plug in the studio or stage, he will always be there."

Doug Aldrich added; "Jim will shine on forever... He was maybe the single biggest influence in music."

And Glenn Hughes said "A brilliant man and dear friend... rock musos worldwide will miss him dearly..."

With Zakk Wylde concluding: "God bless father Marshall... The saying goes leave this world a better place than before you got here. He did.

Paul Marshall, head of artist liaison and part of the Marshall dynasty, commented: "Family has always been at the heart of everything Marshall does and all Marshall owners are very much part of the 'Marshall family.' It has been so heartening to see the amazing tributes paid to Dad over the past few weeks. He certainly made a huge impact on the world! This event aims to be a fitting tribute to Dad's life and we are honoured so many artists want to get involved!"

Tickets for the event are on sale now priced at £35.00 and are available via LiveNation.co.uk.

Marshall died in April at the age of 88. A message posted at the web site of Marshall Amplification, the company he founded 50 years ago, stated, "Jim's ascent into the history books as 'the Father of Loud' and the man responsible for 'the Sound of Rock' is a true rags-to-riches tale. Cruelly robbed of his youth by tubercular bones, Jim rose to become one of the four forefathers responsible for creating the tools that allowed rock guitar as we know and love it today to be born. The groundbreaking quartet also included the late, great trio of Leo Fender, Les Paul and Seth Lover — together with Jim, they truly are the cornerstones of all things rock."

The site described Marshall as "a legendary man who led a full and truly remarkable life."

The cause of Marshall's death was not announced.

A former singer, drummer and music shop owner, Marshall eventually landed a job as an electrical engineer that helped him design a transportable amplifier to use at his own live shows. Consulting with musicians like THE WHO's Pete Townshend and DEEP PURPLE's Ritchie Blackmore, Marshall refined his invention and opened Marshall Amplification in 1962.

By the mid-1960s, he had created the classic Marshall Stack, consisting of one head containing the actual amplifier, on top of two stacked loudspeaker cabinets each containing four 12-inch loudspeakers arranged in a square layout. The setup has become an iconic symbol of rock music played as loud as possible.
"Intrinsic", the new album from Indiana progressive metallers THE CONTORTIONIST, sold 3,600 copies in the United States in its first week of release to land at position No. 125 on The Billboard 200 chart. Released on July 17 via eOne/Good Fight Music, the CD was produced and recorded by Eyal Levi (DAATH, JOB FOR A COWBOY) and Jason Suecof (TRIVIUM, DEVILDRIVER) at Audiohammer Studios in Sanford, Florida.

Commented THE CONTORTIONIST vocalist/keyboardist Jonathan Carpenter: "On 'Intrinsic', we've found ourselves focusing on the songwriting as well as the new textures and melody we're striving for. Each song has its own identity and flow, but the album is fun to listen through in order cause of the conceptual ties."

"Intrinsic" track listing:

01. Holomovement
02. Feedback Loop
03. Causality
04. Sequential Vision
05. Geocentric Confusion
06. Dreaming Schematics
07. Anatomy Anomalies
08. Cortical
09. Solipsis
10. Parallel Trance

THE CONTORTIONIST broke onto the scene a few years ago and has quickly earned the title as one of the most musically inclined bands in the progressive metal genre.

In their brief but accomplished career, the band has supported a wide variety of acts, including PERIPHERY, ALL SHALL PERISH, THE ACACIA STRAIN as well as headlining the inaugural edition of the Summer Slaughter Survivors Tour in 2011. The band is currently finishing up tour dates in Canada and will continue to stay on the road throughout the rest of the year.

THE CONTORTIONIST is: Robby Baca (guitar), Jonathan Carpenter (vocals, keyboards), Joey Baca (percussion), Cameron Maynard (guitar), Christopher Tilley (bass).
THE LEVITATION HEX, the Australian progressive metal band comprised of former ALCHEMIST frontman Adam Agius, Mark Palfreyman of ALARUM, Ben Hocking of AEON OF HORUS, and ex-ALARUM member Scott Young, has made its self-titled album available for purchase at LevitationHex.net.

THE LEVITATION HEX was formed in March 2010 by Agius (vocals, guitars, programming) after the demise of ALCHEMIST. The initial intention of THE LEVITATION HEX was to create a heavy psychedelic prog sound similar to ALCHEMIST but at the same time a completely new beast. Palfreyman was the first to jump on board, handling bass and vocal duties, followed soon by Ben Hocking on drums and Scott Young on guitar and keyboards.

THE LEVITATION HEX intends to create the heaviest prog metal possible and 2012 is the year they unleash their live show.

THE LEVITATION HEX will emark on an Australian tour in August, to be followed by a European trek and an appearance at the ProgPower Europe festival in Baarlo, Holland in October.
MELDRUM, the multinational hard rock/metal band formed by late ex-PHANTOM BLUE guitarist Michelle Meldrum, will release its long awaited third album, "Lifer", this fall via Reversed Records. The CD was produced by Rob Shallcross (STRAPPING YOUNG LAD, GWAR, ZIMMERS HOLE, WEST OF HELL) and Gene Hoglan (TESTAMENT, DEATH, DARK ANGEL, DETHKLOK). The first single from the album, "A Toast To Romance" will be available on iTunes Tuesday, July 31.

Michelle Meldrum died in May 2008 as a result of a cystic growth that had restricted oxygen and blood flow to her brain, rendering her braindead.

"Lifer" stands as a proud tribute to Michelle, who wrote the material for the CD with Hoglan, along with new members Laura Christine (bass) and Michele Madden (vocals).

"Lifer" is sonically different in direction than anything previously released by the band. With new life, and new talent, this album has carried the talents these four have to a higher level.

Hoglan previously stated about the CD: "Let me say this: Never have I obsessed over the recording of any album I've been involved in as I have with MELDRUM's latest. The tragic circumstances that took Michelle from us also provided us with a laser-sharp focus to record the most amazing album we could. Michele Madden, Laura Christine, and hell, even Chicken, our engineer, put forth performances of a lifetime, with each member's full love and respect going into every nuance of every song. Not only to honor Michelle, but to also lay down some bad-ass music, which was ultimately what she stood for… what MELDRUM stands for. I think the songs speak for themselves, and I, for one, have never been prouder to be a part of a family, let alone a project such as this. Metal with balls. Crank it up, indeed."

Michelle Meldrum was born on September 28, 1968 in Detroit, Michigan to a family of musicians and actors, and moved to Los Angeles, California at the age of 13. She started her career in music by forming the thrash metal band WARGOD with drummer Gene Hoglan (DARK ANGEL, DEATH, STRAPPING YOUNG LAD), then moved on to become both co-founder and lead guitarist in PHANTOM BLUE. PHANTOM BLUE released its self-titled debut album on Shrapnel Records in the U.S. (Roadrunner in Europe and Japan) and eventually landed a major label deal with Geffen.

While her career flourished, Michelle married EUROPE guitarist John Norum and moved to Sweden to form MELDRUM. After many successful tours with such acts as MOTÖRHEAD and BLACK LABEL SOCIETY, she reunited with Gene in 2006 when he appeared as a guest on MELDRUM album and events. Inspired to once again collaborate, Michelle moved back to America where she and Gene began writing the third MELDRUM album together.

Partial proceeds from "Lifer" will go to Michelle's son Jake Thomas (father is John Norum), whom she left behind when she passed.
SKINNER, the San Francisco Bay Area thrash band led by former IMAGIKA frontman Norman Skinner, has parted ways with drummer Ramon Ochoa and has replaced him with Noe Luna from 3 LUNAS. In addition, a third guitarist, Luis San-Miguel, was recruited to enable SKINNER to deliver crushing rhythms over dual-guitar harmonies.

SKINNER's five-song EP, "The Enemy Within", features a range of the band's music — from brutally heavy to just plain heavy — and is available via SKINNER's web site and Amazon.com.

A video for the track "Hell In My Hands" can be viewed below.

SKINNER will perform, along with 15 other metal bands, at the Bay Area Metal Fest at the Oakland Metro on July 28.
Larry Hoppen, one of the founding members of the band ORLEANS, passed away on July 24. Born on Long Island, New York, Hoppen was 61 years old.

Legendary hard rock singer Joe Lynn Turner (pictured below; DEEP PURPLE, RAINBOW, YNGWIE MALMSTEEN), who worked with Hoppen often since 1999, said, "Larry Hoppen was one of the most talented people I knew. He was an incredible musician and singer... His voice and songs with ORLEANS took me through my younger days with inspiration and joy. Later in life, Larry and I joined forces on many different projects. I grew to know him personally and was proud to call him friend. I would like to extend my deepest sympathy to his family, friends and fans. They are in my thoughts and prayers at this tragic time."

Larry released two solo albums — "HandMade" and "Looking For The Light", the latter being a flagship fundraising vehicle for his 501(c)3 nonprofit Sunshine For HIV Kids.

Larry was still touring with ORLEANS, which included his brother Lance and youngest brother Lane, and was scheduled to appear on Fox's nationwide "Fox & Friends"' "All-American Concert Series" show this coming Friday, July 27.

He is survived by his wife, Patricia Smith Hoppen, and his daughters, Claire and Maeve, as well as his brothers, Lance and Lane, and his sister, Lynda.
Larry Hoppen, one of the founding members of the band ORLEANS, passed away on July 24. Born on Long Island, New York, Hoppen was 61 years old.

Legendary hard rock singer Jeff Scott Soto (YNGWIE MALMSTEEN, TALISMAN, JOURNEY) has released the following statement regarding Hoppen's death:

"I am saddened by the unexpected loss of a friend and extraordinary talent, Mr. Larry Hoppen of the band ORLEANS. I had the privilege of sharing the stage with Larry and his brothers as an outfit named ROCK & POP MASTERS alongside some of my favorite singers and people, Mark Farner, David Pack, Jimi Jamison and Joe Lynn Turner, just to name a few. Larry's voice is the one heard on the ORLEANS classics 'Still The One', 'Dance With Me' and 'Love Takes Time'. He will be missed sorely! My condolences to his entire family and the music community who knew him. RIP, Larry, we shall jam again in the all-star band in the sky!"

Larry released two solo albums — "HandMade" and "Looking For The Light", the latter being a flagship fundraising vehicle for his 501(c)3 nonprofit Sunshine For HIV Kids.

Larry was still touring with ORLEANS, which included his brother Lance and youngest brother Lane, and was scheduled to appear on Fox's nationwide "Fox & Friends"' "All-American Concert Series" show this coming Friday, July 27.

He is survived by his wife, Patricia Smith Hoppen, and his daughters, Claire and Maeve, as well as his brothers, Lance and Lane, and his sister, Lynda.
Pete Woods of Ave Noctum recently conducted an interview with vocalist Niklas Kvarforth of Swedish extreme metallers SHINING. A few excerpts from the chat follow below.

On interviews:

Niklas: "I am going to do special interviews in the future maybe for, like, Bizarre and stuff like that but I have decided that in general I want the others in the band to speak, more like a family."

On recording cover songs:

Niklas: "I have always wanted to cover Michael Jackson, but that would be impossible, I can't sing those lines. ALIEN ANT FARM did a cover and that came out pretty good, actually. Also maybe PRINCE, MADONNA and I'm a huge fan of RIHANNA now."

On the forthcoming SHINING album, tentatively titled "VIII":

Niklas: "This time I just threw away everything that I had and I asked the bassist, who is, like, 19 years old and has come into the band, and said, 'Hey, let's rent out an apartment and do a lot of drugs and drink a lot of drinks, fuck a lot of prostitutes and write an album!' And we did. This guy came up with loads of material. I have never met people who interfere with my music but I was so impressed with this guy. I'm not old, but I'm getting older and I now finally understand what these old rockers are saying about needing some young blood and enthusiasm."

On guest musicians that appear on "VIII":

Niklas: "Yes there is Andy [La Rocque] from KING DIAMOND and Hoest from TAAKE and Peter [Bjärgö] from ARCANA. He was actually the vocal coach for the whole recording. You know, I don't have that much confidence when it comes to clean vocals and he told me how to do things."

On his mental health:

Niklas: "When I was in the studio, I stopped with my Zyprexa. I have three conditions. I am bipolar, which mean I have to take Venaflaxine, I take 300mg of that every day. Then I am schizophrenic, and for that I take Zyprexa which is one of the most dangerous and extreme medicines there are. I take 20mg, which is the maximum and I just stopped it because I gained so much weight and I didn't know reality. The thing about it is, although there are 500 types of schizophrenia, it is the hallucinations that are the problem, and now when I have started going to psychotherapy again, they believe I have a split personality. I have two sides, one really, really negative one and one like I am at the moment. The negative one, when it comes up now, I tend to black out and don't remember what I've done and that's dangerous. And then of course I have sleep deprivations and there are medicines for that and panic attacks and I need things to stabilize them. "

On religion:

Niklas: "I am religious myself. It's the second religious lyric I have had with SHINING and it is a praise to the lord, the great Satan, chaos. That is actually the reason that I am single now. I have been single for six months. I had to throw her out and the reason in the end was, well, the chorus was directed at her. You have to understand my devotion to evil, whatever evil is, as it will always come before you. If you got sick and had one day to live, I would do anything for you, but if my lord would command, I would just leave you in the gutter. She couldn't handle that, which is quite understandable."
"Collide With The Sky", the third album from the California-based progressive post-hardcore band PIERCE THE VEIL, sold 27,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release to land at position No. 12 on The Billboard 200 chart. Recorded with producers Dan Korneff and Kato Khandwala (MAYDAY PARADE, PARAMORE, A DAY TO REMEMBER), the CD embraces the San Diego quartet's unique blend of incendiary guitar lines and soaring melodies. The album was tipped by Alternative Press in their rundown of the "Most Anticipated Music Of 2012."

"It's been a long and, in the true sense of the word, epic journey creating this new album," said PIERCE THE VEIL singer Vic Fuentes. "After a year of working out parts on the road, recording demos on the bus, living in a cabin that we turned into a studio for months at a time, writing while we were overseas in Europe, and not to mention the three months that we spent recording the album in New Jersey, we have literally poured every bit of our collective lives into this record and we cannot wait any longer to show it to you!"

"Collide With The Sky" track listing:

01. May These Noises Startle You In Your Sleep Tonight
02. Hell Above
03. A Match Into Water
04. King For A Day
05. Bulls In The Bronx
06. Props & Mayhem
07. Tangled In The Great Escape
08. I'm Low On Gas And You Need A Jacket
09. The First Punch
10. One Hundred Sleepless Nights
11. Stained Glass Eyes And Colorful Tears
12. Hold On Till May

Blending the unique vocal style of Fuentes, incendiary guitar lines and soaring melody, "Collide With The Sky" is an aural exploration that at once both packs a punch, while finding the pockets of calm in the chaos — a talent that has made the band such a refreshingly exhilarating force in the scene.

Having toured with some of the biggest names in the music, including BRING ME THE HORIZON, A DAY TO REMEMBER, OF MICE & MEN, THURSDAY and THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA, the band tears into a packed tour schedule in support of "Collide With The Sky", with a full summer on Vans Warped Tour's main stage and a U.K. headline tour this fall.
Finnish melodic death/black metallers NORTHER have released the following statement:

"We hereby announce after a long and careful consideration that we have decided to quit NORTHER.

"During the last year, it has become clear that we are not able to tour or do shows as much as we would want to, this being due to members' complicated and time-consuming life situations. We have been forced to find session members and turn down too many gig offers. We simply cannot act as an active and working band and it is clear that these issues are not solved in the future.

"This is everything but an easy decision for all of us, but all this have taken the band to the point that pulling the plug is the right thing to do. There is no drama, this is a mutual decision and we all remain as good friends.

"The last show of NORTHER will be on the 10th of August at Brutal Assault festival 2012 (Czech Republic).

"However, most of us will continue in other bands: Jukka [Koskinen, bass] in WINTERSUN and AMBERIAN DAWN, Aleksi [Sihvonen, vocals] in MEDICATED and ASXX, Daniel [Freyberg, guitar] in NAILDOWN, Heikki [Saari, drums] in NAILDOWN, TUONI and AMBERIAN DAWN, and Kristian [Ranta, guitar] in his solo project.

"NORTHER would like to thank especially our FANS, friends and partners for their support for the past 12 years. Also great hails goes to Tomi Luoma, our ex-members Toni Hallio and Petri Lindroos, and producer Anssi Kippo for their contribution. It has been one hell of a ride and together we shared truly unforgettable moments!!"

NORTHER's latest album, "Circle Regenerated", entered the official chart in Finland at position No. 22. The follow-up to 2008's "N" marked the recording debut of vocalist Aleksi Sihvonen.

NORTHER was founded in 2000 and has released six full-length albums, two EPs, a DVD, four singles and the soundtrack to the Finnish film "V2". The band has done extensive touring with such acts as DIMMU BORGIR, HYPOCRISY, TURISAS and FINNTROLL.
San Diego death metallers PATHOLOGY will shoot a brand new music video on Tuesday, July 31 at Mojoes in Joliet, Illinois. The clip will be for the new single from their upcoming album, "The Time Of Great Purification", due on September 25 via Victory Records.

Fans in Joliet and the surrounding Chicago areas are encouraged to come out and join in on this unforgettable experience that doesn't come around often.

PATHOLOGY is currently headlining a twenty-six city run on the "Slaughter Survivors" tour with ENFOLD DARKNESS, FALLUJAH, FIT FOR AN AUTOPSY and AEGAEON.

"The Time Of Great Purification" was recorded at Lambesis Studios with Daniel Castleman.

"This is definitely our heaviest and most technical album to date," states drummer Dave Astor.

"The Time Of Great Purification" features artwork by Pär Olofsson, creator of the cover art for PATHOLOGY's last two albums, 2010's "Legacy Of The Ancients" and 2011's "Awaken To The Suffering". The concept is simple: the doctor is controlling the 2012 apocalypse and destroying the world!

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