[Classic_Rock_Forever] Iron Maiden, Rob Zombie, Slayer, Firewind, Kamelot, Circle II Circle, Witchcraft, Hellyeah, and tons more hard rock and heavy metal news


According to Leader-Telegram, the organizers of the Rock Fest festival in Cadott, Wisconsin have revealed that the stage at this year's event will be expanded to accommodate Saturday night's performance by British heavy metal legends IRON MAIDEN.

"We actually are adding on 5 feet to the back of the stage and 8 feet to the front of the stage just to fit their set," festival director Wade Asher said. "It's the biggest set we've ever had at Country Fest or Rock Fest, period. Kind of crazy."

Other changes that have been made to the festival site include the addition of the cell-phone-charging stations at the beer tent as well as larger jumbo screens on each side of the stage, which are twice as big for better viewing.

"We had one of our best years last year for Rock Fest and this year is going to compete," Asher said. "The combination of bringing the new rock acts into the scene with the older classic rock, there's just not enough demographic to support one type of rock for a four-day festival."

He added, "I think a lot of those classic rockers are really starting to like all the new stuff coming down the pike, and they're intertwining. We don't have any form of rock station in the Chippewa Valley, but it's amazing I'm hearing of all these classic rockers in the Chippewa Valley that are listening to FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH, to GODSMACK, to BUCKCHERRY and SHINEDOWN."
ARTISTdirect.com editor-in-chief Rick Forino recently conducted an interview with rocker-turned-filmmaker Rob Zombie. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.

ARTISTdirect.com: Where are you at with "The Lords Of Salem"?

Rob: I'm in the final stages of finishing the film. By the end of August, we'll be done. The sound designers are still creating some of the sound effects for the movie. Once they're done, I'll go into the mix stage in August and mix the final sound for the movie. Then, I'll be done.

ARTISTdirect.com: In "Halloween II", you traversed darker, dreamier territory. Are you going down that psychological road further with "The Lords Of Salem"? "The Devil's Rejects" and "House Of 1000 Corpses" are more visceral.

Rob: This movie is definitely a slow psychological burn. Not a lot of people have seen the movie, but I have had some screenings for people. It's a weird movie, and it affects me the same way. When you watch it, it seems like there's not a lot happening for a while. However, what's happening is you're starting to get sucked into the pace of the movie though. I've noticed movies that fuck with you dictate the pace you watch them at. A lot of modern movies are cut exactly how the audience wants to watch them, but if you watch a movie like "The Shining", it moves at a very strange pace. It starts controlling you as you're watching. There will be a simple scene in "The Shining" that'll take forever to complete itself, but that weird rhythm starts fucking with you as you're watching the movie. That's kind of how this movie functions. It wasn't one particular thing like, "Oh my God, that's so scary". It's a long slow mindfuck. When it ended, several people sat there stunned, didn't say anything, and left. I thought, "Fuck, they hate the movie". Then, they called me the next day and said, "Sorry I left. I didn't know what to say. I had to go home and digest that. That thing fucking freaked me out". Then, they would call me the next day and talk for a while. It's a very strange movie. I wanted to go against a lot of the conventions that I've seen in what are considered horror movies. There are certain things that always happen. I wanted to break away from them. It's a more psychological movie.

ARTISTdirect.com: Those old black-and-white movies like "Horror Hotel" and "The Old Dark House" built slowly too. At the end, the payoff is always greater.

Rob: Yeah, in this one especially, it's the cumulative effect of the things that have happened. Lots of little crazy things happen all the way through it. There's not one particular thing where you're flying out of your seat. The way it unfolds is like Chinese water torture dripping on you.

ARTISTdirect.com: How's the new record coming along? It seems like the tightest band you've ever had. Does that translate into the studio?

Rob: It's been special. I'm really excited. I know everybody says, "Our new record is our best record ever". That's a total cliché, but what I do feel about this record is there have been a couple of times in our career where I feel what we're doing is special. Whether it's our best record or not is for someone else to decide. With WHITE ZOMBIE, I felt when we made "Astro-Creep: 2000" was a special moment for that band. It was like, "This is the key moment for us". With my first solo record, "Hellbilly Deluxe", I felt, "This is a key moment for me." I haven't had that feeling since then. I thought the other albums I made were good records and had great songs. People liked them, but every record can't have that feeling. It wasn't until this album, I felt that revelation like you've just turned the page on the next chapter. This is a significant record for me. That's very exciting. A lot of it is in part due to the people I'm working with right now.
SLAYER bassist/vocalist Tom Araya recently spoke to Gary Graff of Billboard.com about the band's plans for the remainder of the year after it wraps its run on the Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival in early August. "We'll probably get together and start writing together and start making a new album," he said. "I think after [Mayhem] we'll just go back to the drawing board and take a look at what we've got and start putting it together. These days we're a bit more like, 'Let's see what comes out.' We don't chomp at the bit like we did in the early days. You just sort of have to let it happen and see what the end result is, and hopefully we'll like it...Everything we've done as a band has been like that — 'Wow, let's do it.' We know the outcome is going to be good."

Regarding the status of guitarist Jeff Hanneman — who in January 2011 contracted necrotizing fasciitis, likely caused by a spider bite, and has been undergoing surgeries, skin grafts and intense rehab since — Araya said, "Jeff's had a long ordeal. He's working on his playing ability, and that's something that's gonna take some time. He's working on strengthening his arm and his ability to play. He can play, but it's not for an extended period of time. Like anything else when you have some kind of not only muscle damage but nerve damage, it takes a bit for a lot of your functions to come back. They're not going to come back and easy and quick."

He added, "On this [latest tour] more than others it's dawned on me that he's not there. The audiences have been very favorable, capacity crowds, really good. I just kind of look out and think, 'Jeff, God, where are you? You worked 30 years for this. You should be here.' He should be enjoying this part of his career. I can't wait for him to (be back)."

EXODUS guitarist Gary Holt is filling in for Hanneman on SLAYER's summer tour, which kicked off at the end of May at All Tomorrow's Parties in England.
"Wall Of Sound", the new single from Greek melodic metallers FIREWIND was certified gold in Sweden by the International Federation Of The Phonographic Industry for sales in excess of 10,000 copies.

"Wall Of Sound" was exclusively distributed in Sweden via Sweden Rock Magazine and each copy of the magazine containing the digipak CD — including the album tracks "Wall Of Sound" and "Few Against Many" as well as a previously unreleased demo version of "Wall Of Sound" — was counted towards the certification; the single itself was **not** sold separately.

The members of FIREWIND were presented with "Wall Of Sound" gold plaques by Sweden Rock Magazine correspondent Daniela Pilic last night (Wednesday, July 18) during their hometown concert in Thessaloniki, Greece.
The release date of "Silverthorn", the new album from American/German/Swedish symphonic metallers KAMELOT, has been pushed back to October 26 (Germany), October 29 (rest of Europe) and October 30 (North America) via Steamhammer/SPV. The CD will mark the band's first release with new singer Tommy Karevik, the 30-year-old Swede who previously fronted SEVENTH WONDER (a group that he is still a member of).

In a brand new interview with RockLiveBG, KAMELOT keyboardist Oliver Palotai stated about the band's new vocalist, "[Tommy] was already with us on some tour dates as a guest singer, and he was singing on one or two songs. And in the past year, we were considering which singer to take. I was strongly on Tommy's side because he made a huge impression on me. Personality. of course. is really important. and he is a little bit introverted and I like this 'Scandinavian feel' about him and he fits KAMELOT really well."

He continued, "The final decision for him was sending in vocals, lyrics and recorded melody on a ballad that I wrote which is on the album. And it was so great and impressive. We all had goosebumps and when we heard that for the first time we knew immediately that was 'it.' He wrote most of the vocal melodies in the album also."

On the topic of the upcoming CD, Palotai said, "The cover was done by Stephan Heilemann. He also did covers for EPICA and my other band, SONS OF SEASONS. He is one of my best buddies, living in the neighborhood, and in my opinion, he is one of the greatest designers in the whole world. The amount of songs is ... I think 9 or 10 without the interludes. . . It's a concept album and it has a story. In the special edition you will get a little book where the story is described. All the songs will be around the story. It will be something like [2005's] 'The Black Halo'.

Regarding how the upcoming CD compares to 2010's "Poetry For The Poisoned", Oliver said, "To be honest, I'm not the biggest fan of 'Poetry For The Poisoned'. For me, 'The Black Halo' is a bit like a reference also when I produce bands in my studio. So we wanted to go back to 'The Black Halo' but also include modern elements, which we included since then. You will never hear from a band, Our new record sucks,' but this record is a real killer and brings KAMELOT back on track. It is exactly what I wanted, and I'm really happy with it. I hope the fans will like it as well."

KAMELOT guitarist Thomas Youngblood previously stated about Karevik: "We had around 800 candidates for the vacant position, among them a number of really renowned musicians, and having to reject them really wasn't easy."

In KAMELOT's search for a new singer, Youngblood found YouTube to be an amazing tool. "I listened to a clip of a studio production featuring Tommy and have to confess that his performance really amazed me," he said. "His approach to melodies and themes suits KAMELOT perfectly, and during our European shows we had plenty of opportunity to find out what a great guy he is."

Tommy first appeared as one of the guest singers on KAMELOT's very successful 2011 Pandemonium World Tour.

Youngblood on the style and content of the forthcoming KAMELOT concept album: "The new songs sound more symphonic and melodic than our last two studio recordings. The material brings to mind albums such as 'Karma' (2001) and 'The Black Halo' (2005). In addition, this will be the best production that KAMELOT have ever delivered. Because while other acts tend to opt for low-budget productions due to the difficult market situation, we have gone the opposite way: the new album will be a real statement, in terms of our compositions as well as in terms of our sound."

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

KAMELOT's recently completed North American, South American and European tours featured guest singer Fabio Lione of RHAPSODY OF FIRE following the departure of KAMELOT's longtime frontman, Roy Khan.

Note: Image below is **NOT** the official "Silverthorn" album cover.
CIRCLE II CIRCLE, the band formed by ex-SAVATAGE front man Zak Stevens, has recruited drummer Adam Sagan (INTO ETERNITY, FINAL DARKNESS, ECHOTERRA) to sit behind the kit for their upcoming European tour, which includes a stop at this year's edition of the Wacken Open Air festival in Wacken, Germany.

Commented Sagan, "Every musician out there hopes for 'the phone call,' that one time when the phone rings and you know your life will never again be the same. When my good friend Christian Wentz called me and asked me to come on board, how could I say no?! Zak Stevens is hands-down one of the greatest singers in rock and metal history. The rest of the guys are certainly no slouches either! Bill, Christian, Mitch and Henning are all masters; some of the absolute greatest players in the world. I'm honored and humbled to have been chosen by such an absurdly talented group of musicians, and I can't wait to bring the madness with them! In addition, CIRCLE II CIRCLE's recent signing to Rage On Stage Management will plant more shows in the USA and Canadian markets which has created an exciting buzz with fans!"

A drummer of 20 years, Sagan has toured extensively and shared stages with some of the biggest names in rock and metal, including MOTÖRHEAD, CANNIBAL CORPSE, GWAR, STRATOVARIUS, OPETH, DANZIG, KAMELOT and dozens more. In addition to touring and recording, he also pens an instructional column for Drumhead magazine, and offers private drum instruction in the Minneapolis/St Paul area of Minnesota.

CIRCLE II CIRCLE current touring lineup:

Zak Stevens (Vocals)
Mitch Stewart (Bass)
Bill Hudson (Guitars)
Christian Wentz (Guitars)
Henning Wanner (Keyboards)
Adam Sagan (Drums)
Swedish doom metal kings WITCHCRAFT will release their fourth album, "Legend", on September 21 via the band's new label home, Nuclear Blast Records. The follow-up to 2007's "The Alchemist" was recorded with renowned producer Jens Bogren at Fascination Street Studios (KREATOR, OPETH, AMON AMARTH, PARADISE LOST, KATATONIA) in Örebro, Sweden. The CD marks the recording debut of the band's new members Simon Solomon (guitar), Tom Jondelius (guitar) and Oscar Johansson (drums). Going forward, WITCHCRAFT leader Magnus Pelander will focus on his unique vocals without playing guitar anymore.

Commented Pelander: "A friend of mine had an idea about a cover for 'Legend'. I developed the idea and gave it back to my friend who then passed it on to another friend who happened to be a designer. The designer then pushed it in a new direction. The result is already legendary."

Added bass player Ola Henriksson: "The album cover is meant to reflect the music and I think it does that with its heavy, dark and clean design."

WITCHCRAFT, who formed in 2000 in tribute to band heroes Roky Erickson and Bobby Liebling (PENTAGRAM), create heavy, blues-based rock augmented with touches of psychedelica and late '60s pop flourishes. The quartet's first-class songs reference the darker side of hard rock while remaining surprisingly accessible. Flying largely under the radar of the popular music landscape previously, WITCHCRAFT is a hallowed name in underground circles and has found itself championed by a diverse cross-section of distinguished music adherents including American actor Elijah Wood, who publicly called the band "amazing," and DOWN frontman Philip Anselmo, who in 2009 proudly proclaimed WITCHCRAFT as his "new favorite band."

Recorded 100% pro-tools and digital free at Stockholm's UpandRunning studios with producer Tom Hakava and using only vintage amplification, WITCHCRAFT's latest album, "The Alchemist", showcases a group of musicians at ease with their playing and songwriting. Addictive melodies flow simultaneously with catchy, heavy riffs, while maintaining a relaxed and laid back feel throughout. Among its many highlights, the album features the standout songs "Walk Between the Lines" and "Hey Doctor" as well as the record's plat du jour, the three-part progressive rock odyssey of the title track "The Alchemist".
"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) — is likely to sell between 14,000 and 17,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release, according to industry web site Hits Daily Double. The estimate was based on one-day sales reports compiled after the record arrived in stores on July 17 via HELLYEAH's new label home, Eleven Seven Music.

HELLYEAH's sophomore CD, "Stampede", opened with 28,000 units back in July 2010 to land at position No. 8 on The Billboard 200 chart.

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

"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
STONE SOUR guitarist Josh Rand is hand-picking never-before-released demos from the band's archives to share with members of the group's official "Dead Generation" fan club. The first recording to be released, a demo version of "Get Inside" from 2000, will be posted this Friday, July 20, to be followed by additional tracks on the 1st and the 15th of each month. Fan-club members will get first-hand insight of how STONE SOUR write as a band, and how their music evolves into what you hear on the albums. Some of the tracks will be extremely raw in their beginning stages, while others will sound more polished. All will be available to fan club members only!
To join the STONE SOUR fan club, go to this location.

STONE SOUR's upcoming fourth album, "House Of Gold And Bones", is a two-part concept effort that was recorded at Sound Farm Studios outside the band's home base in Iowa. Singer Corey Taylor has played one of the songs that will be featured on the CD, "Taciturn", acoustically at some of the recent festival appearances and fans seem to embrace the change.

Taylor said, "That song translates so well acoustically. When I wrote 'Taciturn', I knew it was something that could go either way. It could be a full band piece or it could be something I could play on my own. If I was going to give the people a first taste of what 'House Of Gold And Bones' parts 1 and 2 are going to be, 'Taciturn' is a nice way to give them a cool picture of it even in a stripped-down sense. That song is essentially about trust. It's about trying to find the courage to open up to the people you care about, love, and value, knowing that they're going to be there to catch you when it all comes down. They're going to be there for you when nobody else is. It's about letting go of the anchors that hold you down in life, opening yourself up and saying, 'If you're there for me, I'll be there for you. You've just got to give me a second'."
According to The Pulse Of Radio, SLIPKNOT percussionist Shawn "Clown" Crahan says that he's been thinking more and more lately about the possibility of eventually retiring from performing with the band, and says that if he does, his 18-year-old son would be the perfect replacement. "My oldest boy, when I do skip, he's gonna take over my slot," he said. "He was sitting on the stair in diapers wearing my mask with sticks while we were downstairs trying to learn how to be a band. So when I leave, it won't be like I died and my son came in and tried to fill my place. I'm gonna bail, but I'm gonna hand over the throne and say, 'Hey, I can't do it anymore. You do it. You're my blood.'"

Crahan has four children with Chantal, his wife of 20 years. Their 21-year-old daughter Alexandria works with her father on SLIPKNOT.

They also have a 15-year-old daughter named Gabrielle and an eight-year-old son named Simon.

As previously reported, SLIPKNOT will make its Blu-ray debut on July 31 with the release of "{sic}nesses: Live At Download".

Filmed in high-definition and newly remixed in digital surround audio, the disc captures SLIPKNOT's June 13, 2009 performance at England's Download festival, an 18-song, 159-minute show in front of 80,000 music fans.

Included is a 45-minute documentary directed by Crahan as well as four music videos. The set was originally released on DVD in 2010.

SLIPKNOT is currently co-headlining the Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival tour, which stops in St. Louis on Friday (July 20).
PureVolume.com recently conducted an interview with SLIPKNOT co-founder/conceptualist/percussionist Shawn M. Crahan (a.k.a. Clown). A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.

PureVolume.com: Knotfest, your first festival ever, will launch in Iowa in August. Talk a little bit about that. I read it was going to be a "dark festival experience."

Crahan: It's something we've wanted to do forever. In the early days of the band, we did Ozzfest and one tour and that was that. We couldn't get on any bills. [Organizers] could never make it work because there were nine of us, so we just started headlining our own shows. Then METALLICA took us out, and we started get on some festivals. We've headlined every single European festival — you name it — and we always thought they were great because their festivals would last four days, and one night it would be metal, another hip-hop, another pop . . . We thought it would be great if we could make our own festival with our own thought process. We just want to do what we want to do with things that we think should be brought to rock n' roll. [At Knotfest] you're going to get assaulted. You're going to walk in and smell like SLIPKNOT all weekend long. We've had a tragedy with Paul [Gray, SLIPKNOT's bassist who passed away in 2010] and we've been trying to figure that out . . . it's just bringing more than just the band. We're bringing the band's ideas.

PureVolume.com: What pushed you forward after Paul's death?

Crahan: What drove us … I think just the fact that our fans are so important to us. When it first happened, we didn't know what to think or feel. I started the band with Paul and it's hard to think of going on without him; I still have a lot of goals. But there's always just going to be nine members. He's #2, that was his number, and he'll never not be with us. We'll always be nine forever. If we ever decide to get another bass player, we'll worry about it then, but he won't have a number. There's only nine.

PureVolume.com: Do you wish Paul could've seen Knotfest?

Crahan: He was a big contributor to that thought process. That's why we're doing it in Iowa first. He's from Venice [Beach, California] so he got to see all those bands growing up like SLAYER. In Iowa, if a big band skips Des Moines or another big city, we'd have to drive to Chicago or Minneapolis to watch them. So now, it's not revenge or anything but hey, we're doing Knotfest and you can only see it in Iowa for the first one. We checked ticket sales and a lot of them are from Chicago so that's cool. If you love music, you're driven to go where you need to go to see what you need to see. If you want to go see Knotfest, you have to get in your car and drive, and that's what we did growing up.

PureVolume.com: What about the new album?

Crahan: We've been gone for a while; by this time we would've already had another album out, but because of Paul we're taking our time. I was happy to convince the label to do the upcoming album which is not really a "best-of," I hate that term. Maybe the closest I'll get as a description is it's kind of a compilation album. I needed time to work on the artwork . . . but it's the sort of album you gotta ponder and conceptualize with your friends. It's four albums over 12 years and you're hearing it all together — it's a different listening experience.
Italian folk/power metallers ELVENKING will release their new album, "Era", on September 14 via AFM Records. The CD was recorded at Sonic Pump Studios in Helsinki, Finland with producer Nino Laurenne (AMORPHIS, LORDI, SONATA ARCTICA, APOCALYPTICA). Nino previously worked with the band on "The Winter Wake" and "The Scythe" CDs.

"Era" features guest appearances by Jon Oliva (SAVATAGE, JON OLIVA'S PAIN), Teemu Mäntysaari (WINTERSUN), Maurizio Cardullo (FOLKSTONE), Alessandro Conti (RHAPSODY, TRICK OR TREAT), Marco Sandron (EDEN'S CURSE, PATHOSRAY) and Giordana Gisamano (INSANITY FAIR).

"Era" track listing:

01. The Loser
02. I Am The Monster
03. Midnight Skies, Winter Sighs
04. A Song For The People
05. Animals
06. Through Wolf's Eyes
07. Walking Dead
08. Forget-Me-Not
09. Poor Little Baroness
10. The Time Of Your Life
11. Chronicle Of A Frozen Era
12. Ophale

ELVENKING's most recent album, "Red Silent Tides", was released on September 17, 2010 in Europe (November 9, 2010 in North America) via AFM Records.
Los Angeles-based metallers HOLY GRAIL have finished recording their sophomore album, "Ride The Void", for a late fall release via Prosthetic Records. The follow-up to 2010's "Crisis In Utopia" was recorded with producer Matt Hyde (SLAYER, HATEBREED, CHILDREN OF BODOM) throughout the year, working around national tours with DRAGONFORCE and VALIENT THORR.

To celebrate the new album's completion, HOLY GRAIL will support Sebastian Bach on August 2 at Club Nokia in Los Angeles.

Commented HOLY GRAIL vocalist James Paul Luna: "Album finished! You don't know how good those words feel! Day after day and month after month, we've been listening back, tweaking and fine-tuning this wretched beast of an album we call 'Ride The Void'. Finally, after many hours in the cave, we can gladly say it's done.

"To top it all off, I woke up to an e-mail saying we're opening for Sebastian Bach! WTF?! Sebastian is one of those rare dudes that was glam yet still kept it gritty and tough and that's what I'm all about. I think it's the Canadian in him that keeps him raw. Needless to say, we are thrilled to support a legendary voice such as his.

"And did I already mention the album is finished? Damn, still can't get over that!"

HOLY GRAIL 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.
Los Angeles-based progressive/aggressive metal band PROTOTYPE will release its third full-length album, "Catalyst", on September 11 via Nightmare Records. The first new material from the band in over six years is a story-based science fiction concept effort containing over 60 minutes of new music. Produced entirely by the band and mixed by Neil Kernon (NEVERMORE, CANNIBAL CORPSE, QUEENSRŸCHE, DEICIDE), the album also sees the return of the classic "Trinity" lineup of Kragen Lum (guitar), Vince Levalois (vocals, guitar), Kirk Scherer (bass) and Pat Magrath (drums). With "Catalyst", PROTOTYPE continues to expand its sound by adding new elements to its unique blend of thrash metal and progressive music, creating its heaviest, and clearest album to date.

The cover artwork for "Catalyst" was created by Travis Smith of Seempieces, who has previously worked with OPETH, DEVIN TOWNSEND, NEVERMORE, ICED EARTH, DEATH and AMORPHIS, among many others.

The partnership of Lum and Levalois has flourished for the better part of two decades, during which time they have developed local, national and international recognition, achieving regular to heavy rotation on radio in addition to praise filled reviews and interviews. PROTOTYPE's music represents the consummate intersection of aggressive and progressive song construction, offering a high-energy performance that showcases exceptional musicianship in compositions that remain astonishingly melodic.

"Catalyst" track listing:

01. Inceptum
02. Catalyst
03. Cynic Dreams
04. The Chosen Ones
05. Illuminatum
06. My Own Deception
07. Into Oblivion
08. Impetus
09. Gravity Well
10. The Ageless Heart Of Memory
11. Exiled
12. Communion

PROTOTYPE's last album, "Continuum", was released in 2006 and featured the song "The Way It Ends", which appeared in the best-selling music video game of all time "Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock".


Vince Levalois - Vocals/Guitar
Kragen Lum - Guitar
Kirk Scherer - Bass
Pat Magrath – Drums
EYEHATEGOD frontman Mike Williams (pictured below) is one of a number of musicians who have come out in support of LAMB OF GOD frontman Randy Blythe, who is facing manslaughter charges in the Czech Republic.

Blythe, 41, is accused of causing the fatal injury that occurred at LAMB OF GOD's May 24, 2010 show in Prague. The singer allegedly either pushed or struck a 19-year-old fan named Daniel N. — a guitarist in a local metal band — and that person died almost a month later of bleeding in the brain.

Randy has been charged with causing "bodily harm of the fourth degree, resulting in the death of a fan" and faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted.

Speaking to Jo Schüftan of Horns Up Rocks! (hear audio below), Williams said, "Randy is an old friend of mine, man. I knew Randy when he was this stupid punk kid coming to see EYEHATEGOD and begging me if he could get up on stage and sing with me. We used to let him sing. We had an instrumental we used to have called 'Godsong' and we used to bring Randy up on stage to sing it, just 'cause he was always hanging around, every time we'd play Richmond, Virginia. So I've been knowing Randy forever; we used to stay at his house every time we'd go through Richmond. He's an old friend. It sucks to see what's going on here. I mean, I don't know what the situation is exactly, but from what I hear, he really hasn't done anything; I think he's just being made an example out of — it's what it seems. Like I said, I don't know what's going on. I know their government is different over there, their laws are different. It's a foreign country and it sucks to be stuck over there, for him. Hopefully he'll get out soon if they can work it out and everybody will be happy and this won't go on for much longer. So, yeah, I wish him luck, man, for sure."
Candlelight Records has revealed the artwork and track listing for VISION OF DISORDER's new album, "The Cursed Remain Cursed". Set for release on September 18 (one day earlier in Europe), it is the first new album from the New York-based hardcore band in over ten years. A working collaboration between VISION OF DISORDER, producer Will Putney (SHADOWS FALL, SUICIDE SILENCE), and mixer Cameron Webb (MOTÖRHEAD, SOCIAL DISTORTION), "The Cursed Remains Cursed" is eagerly anticipated, with the album's lead single, "Loveless", already Top 20 on CMJ's Loud Rock Album chart.

Several artists were considered for "The Cursed Remain Cursed"; the band looking for images that would reflect the near four years of intense work that comprised the making of the album. It was the vision of East Anglia-based illustrator Tom Bates that struck the right chord with the band in making the final selection. Guitarist Mike Kennedy says, "Some of the best album covers, like SOUNDGARDEN's 'Badmotorfinger' and FAITH NO MORE's 'Angel Dust', say everything and nothing at the same time. We felt like Tom's art really impacted us profoundly in that way. None of us were thinking in that direction yet as soon as we saw it, the band unanimously wanted it on the cover."

Lyrical inspiration for "The Cursed Remain Cursed", as detailed by vocalist Tim Williams, came from a personal place. "There was a lot going on in my life at the time we began writing songs for the record and I had a lot to reflect upon," he reveals. "Looking back over the past few years, I have had to make some difficult decisions. There were things that needed to change. Some things die quietly, while other things take years to pass.. Your life is what you make of it, to live is to learn." He adds, "Some songs came very easy, like 'Skullz Out'. Songs like 'Loveless' and 'Set To Fail' took a little bit more effort because they were already saying something musically, so I had to work extra hard to push the vocal over the top."

With creative detail now complete, the band is preparing for the album's early autumn release and upcoming live appearances. Reflecting the extensive process, guitarist Matt Baumbach says, "In my opinion 'The Cursed Remain Cursed' is our band's finest achievement. We are proud to have written something that represents the next level of V.O.D. It is never easy to make one of our records; it's long, arduous, and at times maniacal. This record bleeds from the band's heart and it survived hell and back to get here. Roll the dice one more time because we are all in with this one." Kennedy adds, "We feel we accomplished a very unique, vicious and exciting record without compromising the V.O.D. brand of hardcore."

"The Cursed Remain Cursed" track listing:

01. Loveless
02. Set to Fail
03. Blood Red Sun
04. Hard Times
05. Annihilator
06. Skullz Out (Rot In Pieces)
07. The Enemy
08. The Seventh Circle
09. New Order of Ages
10. Be Up On It
11. Heart And Soul

VISION OF DISORDER's current lineup includes singer Tim Williams, guitarists Matt Baumbach and Mike Kennedy, Fleischmann and drummer Brendon Cohen.

The band's last studio album, "From Bliss to Devastation", came out in 2001 via TVT Records.

VISION OF DISORDER toured with some of metal's biggest names during the late 1990s — including PANTERA, BLACK SABBATH, TYPE O NEGATIVE, ANTHRAX and BAD BRAINS — before calling it quits in 2001, and then reuniting in 2008.
In a recent interview with AOL's Noisecreep, ALTER BRIDGE and CREED guitarist Mark Tremonti was asked what he listened to as a kid and what helped shape him musically. "The first record that really made me a music fanatic was METALLICA's 'Master Of Puppets'," he said. "That's probably my favorite record of all time. From there I searched for the heaviest, darkest, meanest sounding stuff I could find. I grew up in Detroit and my friends listened to SLAYER and TESTAMENT — I got into punk, too, like BLACK FLAG and MINISTRY. And I got really into black metal. I got into CELTIC FROST, KING DIAMOND and MERCYFUL FATE. I loved that stuff. I'd have to control the volume though so I'd turn it down when they said 'praise Satan' or whatever to keep my parents from taking my records away. [laughs]"

When asked if there were there specific metal guitarists that influenced him and his riffs, Mark said. "[METALLICA's] James Hetfield and Kirk Hammett, for sure. That down stroke thing they do is one of my core sounds — my rhythm playing is very rooted in the METALLICA-based style. And SLAYER's approach, too. Some of my favorite riffs of all time are on SLAYER's song 'Raining Blood' and that really inspired me to write man of the menacing metal riffs that I have over the years. That's really what turned me on when I was younger, that kind of music."

Tremonti's debut solo album, "All I Was", 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.
Ripple Music has announced the signing of acclaimed, hard-hitting American doom rockers DEVIL TO PAY. The band's as-yet-untitled fourth album will be released before the end of the year.

Commented DEVIL TO PAY: "We are stoked to be a part of the Ripple family and to work with one of the most genuine heavy rock labels in the world! Having released our first three albums independently, it's clear that these guys don't compromise in terms of putting out creative music and are the true believers of heavy rock. The variety of bands and the sheer quality of music they've released speaks for itself. We are very much honored that our music earned its place among their ranks!"

DEVIL TO PAY was formed in the beginning of the millennia as a doom rock band with metal/stoner and rock tangents, effortlessly crushing skulls while simultaneously coaxing them to sing along. The band hails the almighty riff, but unlike many of their contemporaries, the song is still king. That is what separates the great bands from the shoulda-and-coulda bands. Now celebrating their 10th year anniversary, DEVIL TO PAY has aged like Kentucky bourbon, distilling a culmination of years of sweat, highway miles, cigarette smoke and hangovers into crushing compositions and bone-jarring, heavy musical moments.

With a catalog of underground releases, DEVIL TO PAY gained accolades, awards and a hard earned cult-like status. They have established themselves as the go-to band for those searching out more than just a few killer riffs; a foundation of heavy that will flourish under the Ripple banner.
"New Era", the long-awaited fourth album from Swedish metallers CLOUDSCAPE, will be released in the U.S. on September 11 via Nightmare Records

CLOUDSCAPE is a melodic power metal band with progressive touches from southern Sweden. Fans of both progressive metal, such as EVERGREY, SYMPHONY X, DREAM THEATER, and PAGAN'S MIND, and old-school rock, like AEROSMITH, SCORPIONS, and JOURNEY, are sure to find something enjoyable about CLOUDSCAPE.

Since 2004 CLOUDSCAPE has called the prestigious Roastinghouse Studios in Malmö, Sweden their home for all of their albums to date. CLOUDSCAPE continue to progress with each record, breaking new boundaries in their style and continue to mature in their writing and composition. "New Era" is without a doubt the band's crowning accomplishment to date. The record was produced and mixed by Micko Twedberg. Twedberg was assisted on the mixing by Anders "Theo" Theander. The mastering was also handled by Theander.

CLOUDSCAPE's compositional ambitions have always bridged progressive metal and straightforward melodic rock/metal, creating music accessible to a wider audience by virtue of its intense melody, but with enough complexity to satiate the ears of casual and serious music enthusiasts. The band's following has continued to grow with performances at highly acclaimed metal festivals, including the prestigious Sweden Rock Festival (Sweden), Bloodstock Open Air (UK), ProgPower Europe (Netherlands), ProgPower Scandinavia (Denmark), and Metal Heart Festival (Norway).

Despite a short hiatus to work on side projects and lineup changes, the band's core membership and ambition are as solid as ever. All involved anticipate a "New Era", continuing on CLOUDSCAPE's current success and their promising future.

"New Era" track listing.

01. Silver Ending
02. Share Your Energy
03. Kingdom of Sand
04. Pull the Brake
05. Seen It All Before
06. Your Desire
07. Voyager 9
08. Simplicity
09. Before Your Eyes
10. Violet Eve
11. Into the Unknown
12. Heroes


Mike Andersson: Lead, Backing Vocals
Stefan Rosqvist: Guitar
Patrik Svärd: Guitar
Håkan Nyander: Bass
Fredrik Joakimsson: Drums
U.K.-based modern thrash heroes SYLOSIS recently completed work on their new album, "Monolith", with Romesh Dodangoda at Monnow Valley Studio in Wales. The CD will be released on October 5 via Nuclear Blast Records. The cover artwork was created by Dan Goldsworthy and can be seen below.

"Monolith" track listing:

01. Out From Below
02. Fear The World
03. What Dwells Within
04. Behind The Sun
05. The River
06. Monolith
07. Paradox
08. A Dying Vine
09. All Is Not Well
10. Born Anew
11. Enshrined

Commented SYLOSIS vocalist and guitarist Josh Middleton: "We're beyond pleased with the artwork for 'Monolith'. It needed to be something to accentuate the dark, gloomy vibe of the album without going for anything too cliché or stereotypically metal.

"We listen to a lot of '70s progressive music and with the Art Nouveau style was quite popular at that time.

"At this point, we don't want to reveal too much about the concept but one of the figures on the cover loosely represents the devil in disguise or a satyr. Some of the inspiration behind the concept came from Greek mythology.

"Working with Dan again was awesome. He's very patient, eager to please and can very quickly tap into what we're trying to put across.

"We always like to pay as much attention to the artwork as possible and it's never been an afterthought for us. It's about creating a complete piece of work so the music and the packaging really go hand in hand."

Added Goldsworthy: "Visually, the cover artwork for 'Monolith' has taken notable inspiration from the Art Nouveau movement. Diverting from the usual flowery aesthetic of the style, 'Monolith' has a significantly darker vein running thoughout, as fitting with the sonic nihilism of SYLOSIS' music. As far as the concept goes, it is merely my interpretation of the band's vision. Much like their previous album, 'Edge Of The Earth', the artwork is completely related to certain themes running throughout the songs, so if you wish to extract any deeper meaning, I would recommend studying the lyrics as well.

"Josh and I kept a very close working relationship throughout the entire design process, such was the importance of having the artwork represent his lyrics and the story they tell. However, the cover art and illustrations throughout the packaging are only small snapshots of the bigger picture so open the booklet, press play and enjoy the journey."

Middleton recently stated about "Monolith": "'Monolith' is the best representation of us as a band in terms of our diverse influences and stylistically it's what we've always been aiming for. A mixture of thrash, big doomy riffs and dark atmospherics and ambience.

"Overall, 'Monolith' has a darker vibe to anything we've done in the past, both lyrically and musically. It's a concept album which is just something I like to help guide me writing the lyrics. I like the fact that I can write about personal issues but dress them up in a way that people might not know exactly how they relate to me (if at all in some instances).

"The idea for the concept was very loosely inspired by the Greek tale of Orpheus and Eurydice. It's quite far fetched but it's about this guy who loses his wife and tries to bring her back from underworld. This giant monolith starts to grow out of her tomb. The most prevalent theme beneath it all is sort of accepting that you might not be as nice a person as you once thought. It sounds really cheesy but everyone has a darker side to their personality in terms of being selfish, manipulative or dishonest.

"A lot of metal lyrics are always 'you're this, you're that, you suck' and in a lot of cases it's probably really hypocritical. Some of the lyrics on this album are about owning up to those flaws and almost reveling in it.

"Some parts of the album is us covering new ground but everything that people have come to love about our band is still present. It's not necessarily a change in direction or something we're moving more towards, it was just about making a unique vibe for this album as a whole. There's a real urgency to a lot of this material and the really natural and honest production helps mirror that. We really wanted more of a 'live session' feel. Both Romesh and Jens [Bogren; mastering] have done a great job in giving this album a unique sound. Too many bands these days rely on technology and it can just suck all the life and personality out of the music."
I AM I, the new band led by former DRAGONFORCE singer ZP Theart has announced the addition of drummer Phil Martini (DOWN 'N' OUTZ, TOKYO DRAGONS, THE QUIREBOYS) to the group's ranks.

With things really starting to build momentum after the release of their debut album, "Event Horizon", the members of I AM I found themselves in need of a professional, talented drummer with the same desire, humour and passion for their music as they had, and it didn't take long before they found themselves the ideal man.

Following a chance meeting at a CLAYTOWN TROUPE gig, ZP and Phil found they got along famously and once Phil had heard the album, he was in!

Commented ZP Theart: "We hadn't even started to look for a drummer yet but the first time I saw Phil playing, I knew he was the man for us. He's a great guy, really easy to work with and fitted straight into the band at first practice, and we're stoked he's now part of the I AM I team."

As previously reported, I AM I recently signed a worldwide publishing deal through Sony/ATV Music. Their deal, via Albam Songs, means they join a roster that includes Bob Dylan, THE BEATLES, Robert Plant, PEARL JAM, BON JOVI and Lady Gaga.

"I AM I are an incredibly exciting band. It's great to be involved from the very beginning," says Alan Bambrough of Sony/ATV Music Publishing Limited. "'Event Horizon' is a brilliant album and there's no limit to what these guys can achieve."

I AM I's next live appearance will take place on August 11 at this year's Bloodstock Open Air festival at Catton Hall in Walton On Trent, Derbyshire, England.

I AM I made its live debut on May 27 at Birmingham, England's O2 Academy 2.

I AM I released its debut album, "Event Horizon", independently on May 26. Written and produced by Theart and Jacob Ziemba and mixed and mastered by Roland Grapow (HELLOWEEN, MASTERPLAN), the CD is described in a press release as "an absolutely blistering slice of heavy rock liberally infused with Theart's passion, energy and soaring vocals."

"Event Horizon" was, according to I AM I, the first-ever heavy metal album to be released solely on USB. The stick is packaged in a CD case and includes full artwork and all the usual content you would expect on a disc and more. The effort is available to order from the official I AM I web site.

"Event Horizon" track listing:

01. This is My Life
02. Silent Genocide
03. Stay A While
04. Cross The Line
05. In The Air Tonight
06. King In Ruins
07. Kiss Of Judas
08. Dust 2 Dust
09. Wasted Wonders
10. Pave The Way

The "Silent Genocide" video can be seen below.

DRAGONFORCE parted ways with Theart in March 2010 "due to insurmountable differences of musical opinion," according to a statement released by the British extreme epic power metal band.

After entries from thousands of hopefuls across the globe, DRAGONFORCE in March 2011 welcomed then-23-year-old Marc Hudson to the group.
Having spent the last couple years on the independent grind, Phoenix-based rock group EYES SET TO KILL has decided to return to the indie label fold and have inked a deal with Century Media Records. Frontwoman Alexia Rodriguez explains, "For the past two years, we have been touring around the world and evolving into the band we are today without the support of a label. We are finally happy to announce that we've found a home and family at Century Media and can't wait for what is to come."

EYES SET TO KILL has been prominently featured in a number of publications, with inclusions on numerous "bands to know" lists and is a favorite in Revolver magazine's annual "Hottest Chicks In Hard Rock And Metal" issue. With critical acclaim and three previous releases landing on the Billboard charts, listeners will undoubtedly have lofty expectations for the upcoming EYES SET TO KILL album, set to be released in the spring of 2013.

"Century Media has been a fan of EYES SET TO KILL for years," states North America label president Don Robertson, "so we're honored that when the band finally decided to return to the label system that they chose to work with us."

To celebrate the new partnership, EYES SET TO KILL will take part in a signing party this Friday, July 20 at Angels And Kings in Hollywood, California.

With numerous tours under their belt, including runs with everyone from ROB ZOMBIE to D.R.U.G.S., EYES SET TO KILL will head out on their own month-long, headlining run this August on the "Show Your True Colors Tour". "We've been touring Europe and writing a lot this year, so we are excited to announce our headliner in our home, the U.S. this summer," says Alexia. "We will be playing new songs on the 'Show Your True Colors Tour' and can't wait to see how the fans will react to the new EYES SET TO KILL."
3 Frogz Records, in association with Roxx Productions, is excited to announce the first brand new album from Christian thrash metal veterans DELIVERANCE in over five long years! This fall get ready for the band to unleash their long-awaited tenth studio album, aptly entitled "Hear What I Say!"

DELIVERANCE 2012 features the founder and main songwriter Jimmy P. Brown II out front on vocals and lead guitar as well as the return of Michael Phillips (DELIVERANCE, THE SACRIFICED, JOIN THE DEAD) shredding once again on lead guitar. On bass making his long overdue return to the DELIVERANCE fold, none other than Manny Morales! And this time around pounding the drums is Jayson Sherlock (MORTIFICATION, HORDE, PARAMECIUM).

Helping shape the early thrash and speed metal scene of the late '80s and early '90s, DELIVERANCE was one of the premiere bands to stand out and break away from the pack. Signed to Intense Records in the early stages of its career and with its video "Weapons Of Our Warfare" a staple on MTV's "Headbangers Ball", DELIVERANCE was at the forefront of all things speed metal.

This Sunday, July 22, get ready for the world premiere of "The Annals of Subterfuge", the first track off DELIRANCE's upcoming album, "Hear What I Say!" Join Michael Phillips this Sunday on 'Beyond The Riff" as he talks about all things DELIVERANCE, as well as his new band and album JOIN THE DEAD and his recent role and involvement with progressive metallers THE SACRIFICED. Tune in from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. PST to hear what Michael has to say and to catch the world premiere of the brand new DELIVERANCE track.
RIGHTEOUS PIGS, the long-defunct punk/death metal band featuring current NAPALM DEATH guitarist Mitch Harris, will reform for an exclusive U.S. appearance at next year's Maryland Deathfest, set to take place May 23-26, 2013 in Baltimore. Also in the works are several European festival appearances.

RIGHTEOUS PIGS' lineup for the upcoming shows will be the same one that recorded the band's second album, "Stress Related" (1990): Harris, vocalist Joe Caper, bassist Stephen Chiatovich and drummer Alan Strong.

Harris left RIGHTEOUS PIGS in 1989 after recording two LPs to join NAPALM DEATH.

Maryland Deathfest festival billing is shaping up as follows:


Danish old-school death metallers DEUS OTIOSUS will release "Godless" on Deepsend Records in late summer. The Danes' sophomore effort is the follow-up to "Murderer", which was made available through FDA Rekotz and American Line Productions.

In a world where no god watches or guides, human kind is left to fend for itself like feral children. And in this world, horror and cruelty of every unspeakable kind lives and breathes amongst us. These horrors are echoed in "Godless". This is old-school death metal with nuances of black and thrash, creating a heavy, down-tuned force that will appease the servants of Hell while they slave for their sins.

DEUS OTIOSUS joins DAWN OF DEMISE, THE CLEANSING and SPECTRAL MORTUARY in furthering Deepsend Records' dominating reputation as Danish Death Metal Central!

"Godless" track listing:

01. Snakes Of The Low
02. In Harm's Way
03. New Dawn
04. Pest Grave
05. Surrounded By The Dead
06. Cast From Heaven
07. Face The Enemy
08. Death Dance
Australia's Truth Inc Records has announced the signing of the Finnish melodic death/thrash act MORS PRINCIPIUM EST. The label will release the band's new album in December throughout Australia.

MORS PRINCIPIUM EST is signed with the prestigious German label AFM Records for Europe and the U.S.

MORS PRINIPIUM EST previously issued three full-length albums through the French label Listenable Records. After the release of the band's most recent LP, "Liberation = Termination", in 2007, the band underwent significant lineup changes, and following a worldwide search for the right band members, began writing material for the new album in 2011.

Commenting on the signing, Truth Inc Records manager and founder Greg Shaw states: "We are extremely excited to be working with MORS PRINIPIUM EST! Both Jason, my label partner, and myself have been listening to the band since they released 'Inhumanity' in 2003. After listening to the demos for the new album, I look foward to unleashing the album in Australia and having such an incredible band as a part of the Truth Inc Records label. Expect a continuation of the band's exceptional musicianship and song craft. "


Ville Viljanen - Vocals
Mikko Sipola - Drums
Teemu Heinola - Bass
Andy Gillion - Guitar
Andhe Chandler – Guitar
Pulverised Records has announced the signing of American/Swedish doom-laden death metal befoulers SKELETAL SPECTRE.

Fronted by frontwoman Vanessa Nocera (WOODEN STAKE, SCAREMAKER), SKELETAL SPECTRE went on to release two full-length albums under the Razorback Records banner, and now with a brand new album entitled "Voodoo Dawn", the band is all geared up to showcase yet another colossal-riff fest done in the most extremely obscene way!

Nocera commented: "We are proud and honored to be on Pulverised Records' roster! Definitely a label that I find to be one of the coolest around! We put a great deal of hard work into this album so that it would stand out from anything we've ever done. I think it is a testament to the band's future, and we are looking to play live, especially in Europe, so watch out for us because we're coming!"

Pulverised Records A&R Manager Calvin further added: "The moment we heard the beginning riff off the first track from 'Voodoo Dawn', it completely blew us away and somehow we already knew something filthy was brewing inside this album. There was a perfect balance of those trademark Swede-eerie melodies blending together some of the most fucking fat riffs that any sludge/doom maniacs would most certainly approve! It is always very satisfying to discover a great hidden gem in this business, and we are definitely proud to say that SKELETAL SPECTRE is indeed one of those moments. Keep your eyes and ears peeled open, the Voodoo Horror curse shall exhibit its ugly head soon!"

The brand new track "Bone Dust", taken off "Voodoo Dawn", can be streamed below.


Vanessa Nocera - Vocals
Behold the Pentagram - Guitar / Bass
Haunting the Beyond - Drums

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