[Classic_Rock_Forever] Ozzy Osbourne, AC/DC, KISS, Metallica, Queensryche, Anthrax, Alice in Chains, and tons more hard rock and heavy metal news


During a recent interview with the "Karlson & McKenzie" show on Boston's WZLX 100.7 FM radio station, Ozzy Osbourne's daughter Kelly was asked if Ozzy's wife/manager Sharon pushes him to tour as much as he does. "Absolutely not," Kelly replied. "That's just what people write when my mom doesn't give them the money they want; that 's what they say… It's all politics in the music industry because they can't stand that a woman is smarter than them."

According to Kelly, Ozzy regularly complains about being on the road, but never wants to stop playing for his fans. "He's said that [he was done touring] halfway through every tour he's ever been on in his entire life, but as soon as he gets home, he says, 'When am I going on tour again?'" she said. "He was born to do it, [and] he never wants to stop. And when he isn't doing it, he can't stand it."

Audio of Kelly Osbourne talking to "Karlson & McKenzie":
According to DailyRecord.co.uk, legendary AC/DC singer Bon Scott will be honored with a statue in in Kirriemuir, Scotland — Bon's birthplace and home of his family in his early years.

Kirriemuir community group DD8 Music, which organizes the annual Bon Scott music festival in the town, has asked sculptor John McKenna to design a statue as a lasting tribute.

John said: "It's early days, but it's a great honor. Bon Scott was an icon from my teenage years."

An Australian statue honoring Scott (see video below) was first revealed at the Aussie Rock Celebration concert in suburban Claremont in February 2008 and was placed permanently at the Fremantle Fishing Boat Harbour in Western Australia in October that same year.

Scott was just 33 when found dead in February 1980 from acute alcohol poisoning after a night out in London.

He was later buried at Fremantle Cemetery.

Scott's family migrated to Melbourne from Roods Kirriemuir in Scotland when he was six years old and soon moved to Fremantle.

He joined AC/DC in 1974 and led the band to its initial international success.
Figures Toy Company is about to introduce KISS Series 2 action figures, reminiscent of the action figures first released in 1977-1978 by the Mego Toy Company. These figures will have rooted hair, cloth clothing, 16 points of articulation and are based on the very first KISS album from 1974, titled "Kiss".

Figures Toy Company CFO Anthony Balasco states, "I never understood why eight-inch KISS action figures were not produced back in the 1970s when the Mego Toy Company had already released the 12-inch versions. Our second release will have the retro look from the 1970s but updated with more detailed costumes. Future releases will cover all time periods in KISS' 40-year musical career from 1972 to 2012."

Look for a Demon "Hotter Than Hell" and Starchild with "Bandit Makeup" exclusives and limited-edition releases. Collectors will be able to find KISS Series 2 at toy stores, comic shops, music stores and on-line retailers starting in late October.

For more information, visit www.figurestoycompany.com.
The following people were arrested by the Genesee County Sheriff's Department during the KISS concert at Darien Lake Performing Arts Center on Saturday.
Traci L. Bartlett, 43, of Beach Road, Syracuse, is charged with harassment, 2nd, and resisting arrest. When deputies attempted to arrest Bartlet she allegedly physically resisted being taken into custody. After being transported back to the security trailer, Bartlett allegedly kicked an officer that was walking past her. Bartlett was jailed on $500 bail.
Pamela Loughridge, 44, of Buffalo Street, Churchville, is charged with of harassment, 2nd, after allegedly fighting with a security guard. Loughridge allegedly bit the security officer and hit him in the throat. Loughridge was jailed in $250 bail.
Wes R. Schraufstetter, 39, of Niagara Street, Buffalo, is charged with of disorderly conduct. Schraufstetter allegedly engaged in disruptive and threatening behavior which was directed toward security officers and deputies. Schraufstetter was jailed on $250 bail.
Kyle J. Burdick, 23, of North Lyon Street, Batavia, is charged with of disorderly conduct. Burdick allegedly engaged in disruptive and threatening behavior which was directed toward his girlfriend, security officers and deputies. Burdick was jailed on $250 bail.
Bryan J. Sheridan, 31, of Reddick Lane, Rochester, is charged with trespass for allegedly refusing to leave the concert venue after being told to leave on several different occasions.
John A. Williams, 45, of 32nd Drive, Queens, is charged with trespass after allegedly jumping a fence in order to gain access to the concert venue.
Tracy A. Piller, 35, of Euclid Avenue, Bradford, Pa., is charged with trespass after allegedly refusing to leave the concert venue after being told to leave on several different occasions.
Brett M. Ferrington, 26, of Route 39, of Chaffee, is charged with of disorderly conduct. Ferrington allegedly engaged in disruptive and threatening behavior which was directed toward both security officers and deputies.
Michelle L. Shimburski, 24, of Genesee Street, Chaffee, is charged with of disorderly conduct. Shimburski allegedly engaged in disruptive and threatening behavior which was directed toward both security officers and deputies.
Michael J. Discipio, 43, of Bernhardt Drive, Amherst, is charged with of disorderly conduct. Discipio allegedly engaged in disruptive and threatening behavior which was directed toward both security officers and deputies
METALLICA lead guitarist Kirk Hammett recently spoke with ARTISTdirect.com about his upcoming book, "Too Much Horror Business - The Kirk Hammett Collection", which is due out in October. The oversized 228-page hardback book documents Hammett's love of all things related to the horror genre and features more than 300 photos of items from the collection of horror memorabilia he has accumulated over the years. The book also includes three lengthy interviews with Hammett, who also wrote the captions for many of the photos.

Hammett told ARTISTdirect.com, "I've been into the horror genre ever since I was five years old. You can say I actually started collecting at six years old. That's when I bought my first monster magazine and started buying monster toys in the late '60s, early '70s. I got a lot of comic books and magazines. That was a constant throughout my childhood. Then, when I was about 13 years old, I got into rock 'n' roll, particularly hard rock. That led me away from horror. Once I started listening to the music, buying albums, and going to record stores by myself, I turned a corner, and I was doing things that were a bit more 'grownup.'

"For a brief while, I thought all of my comic books and horror books were kids' stuff. I got engulfed in music, bought a guitar, and started playing obsessively. I made a conscious pact to become a musician. That dominated my focus for the next eight or nine years. Once I started making a little bit of money with METALLICA, I thought, 'Wow, I'm still really into horror movies.' Throughout that time, I was watching a lot of horror films. I just wasn't buying comic books, magazines, or toys. I was remotely connected to the genre though. When I started getting a little bit of money, I began buying comic books, horror magazines, and a lot of horror toys from the '60s. I wasn't able to get them before. I was really into the toys from the early part of that decade when I was still an infant. In my early twenties, I realized there was this network of people that was way into this stuff. I fell into this network, and it spanned across the country. One thing led to another and I was collecting everything again. I found myself going full bore once more. I started at six. There was a time rock 'n' roll drew me away from being a monster kid, but I was able to get back into it. I totally delved into it and never stopped."

Asked what the rarest horror artifact he has is, Hammett said, "I have this outfit Boris Karloff wore in this 1934 movie called 'The Black Cat'. It's one of my favorite all-time movies. It's in my top three. About four years ago, I was thumbing through an auction catalog. In the small corner of the page, there was this little blurb that said, ''The Black Cat' outfit Boris Karloff wore in 1934.' I was totally blown away. I was speechless. I thought, 'How could this outfit have survived all this time?' That's seventy-seven years. I had to get it. I bid on it, and I can't believe I have it. The first thing I did was try the outfit on. I had to. [laughs] Now, it's in my collection and figures prominently in my book. The great thing about this book is it enables me to create a side venture called Kirk Von Hammett Toys. We're creating a line of toys. One of the first figures that's going to be available is Boris Karloff as that character in 'The Black Cat'. I'm really very excited about that."
New QUEENSRŸCHE singer Todd La Torre has revealed that he is currently laying down vocals on demo versions of some of the band's new material. He says, "[I am] loving the new songs. [They are] refreshing, not dated, and heavier than anything put out in years! Oh yeah!"

La Torre, who says that QUEENSRŸCHE has been his favorite band since he was 15 years old, first met QUEENSRŸCHE guitarist Michael Wilton at this year's NAMM convention in January in Anaheim, California.

In a June radio interview, La Torre stated about QUEENSRŸCHE's plans to record new original music, "Obviously, we wanna try and write something that's heavy, but also has a common thread of what is QUEENSRŸCHE's sound — very melodic guitar parts. Vocally, I'm in a very unique position because a lot of people like to throw around, 'Oh, he's a clone, he's an imitator, he's this, he's that.' And I feel like I'm damned if I do and I'm damned if I don't.

"My style of singing and phrasing is very similar to Geoff Tate and Bruce Dickinson and Rob Halford. I mean, a lot of my high metal screams are grittier and dirtier, like Rob Halford. My vibrato is more similar to Bruce Dickinson or Geoff Tate. A lot of the crying and ways of entering a vocal phrase and phonating, the way I say words, are very similar to Geoff Tate.

"I wear my influences on my sleeve, but I also think that I have a heavier vibe than Geoff Tate ever had. With a lot of the heavier, gritty, thrashier metal style… I mean, I love to do some of the death growls like Chuck Billy [TESTAMENT] does. Is that QUEENSRŸCHE sound? No. But if they want it kicked up and give it a heavier edge, I think that I have that, and that's something that Geoff Tate never did. Not taking anything away from him, but I think I do show a wide range of versatility.

"As an artist, you wanna spread your wings, and you wanna try things that are creative, and you wanna still stay current. So it's like, 'OK, how do we achieve, how do we pacify the masses?' You don't wanna write a record that sounds like 1986. But you don't wanna sound so changed that the older fans aren't finding that common thread in the music that they loved that is from the early-to-mid-'80s or even early '90s, like 'Operation: Mindcrime'. I mean, that's regarded as one of the greatest concept albums of all time, and it's stood the test of time. Is that a real heavy, heavy metal record? In my opinion, no. I call it 'metal,' but it was progressive and it had a lot of wonderful instrumentation and elements, and it's a masterpiece of a work. So we just wanna do what we do. They've told me, 'Todd, don't feel like you have to try to sound like our past. We want you to do you.' And so the things that we have worked on together, there are elements that are indicative [of], or very similar to, the classic QUEENSRŸCHE vocal sound, but I'm still doing things that are me.

"It's kind of frustrating for me when people say, 'Oh, he's come in and just tries to copy [Geoff].' Well, if I sing [the songs] so close to the original [versions]… Obviously, I want to represent the songs in [their] truest form that I can do. I think, live, I still kind of end up phrasing things a little different and will do things kind of my way, but I try to stay as true as I can. So if I do that, people are like, 'Oh, he's a clone, he's a copycat, and it's never the same without Geoff Tate,' which I do respect. On the other hand, if I'm so different, then they're gonna say, 'It's nothing like Geoff Tate. It's nothing like QUEENSRŸCHE sound. This isn't QUEENSRŸCHE. It's not even close to the same style.' . . .So if the fans wanna hear the hardcore, classic heavy high-screaming stuff that they haven't heard in many, many, many years, we're gonna stay true to the classic material that the fans have been wanting to hear for so long and then we'll be interjecting some new stuff soon."

Tate, who was fired from QUEENSRŸCHE in June after fronting the group for three decades, recently sought to prevent his former bandmates from touring and operating under the QUEENSRŸCHE name without him. While ruling against Tate, the presiding judge determined that there was no legal hurdle in Tate also using the name with an all-new lineup of musicians. "I don't see any reason that Mr. Tate can't have the benefit, if he gets other members, of whatever name he uses of using the brand," Superior Court Judge Carol A. Schapira said during the July 13 court hearing. "I think [doing that would be] inherently confusing, although I'm sure the market can get these things sorted out," she added.

On September 2, Tate announced that he was launching his own version of QUEENSRŸCHE with RATT drummer Bobby Blotzer, former QUIET RIOT, OZZY OSBOURNE and WHITESNAKE bassist Rudy Sarzo and former MEGADETH and KING DIAMOND guitarist Glen Drover. Also on board in the new group are returning QUEENSRŸCHE guitarist Kelly Gray — who played with the band from 1998 until 2001 and also produced several of their albums — and keyboardist Randy Gane, who has toured and recorded with QUEENSRŸCHE and Geoff's solo group in the past.
Ruben Mosqueda of Oregon Music News recently conducted an interview with ANTHRAX guitarist Rob Caggiano. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.

Oregon Music News: When singer Joey Belladona and guitarist Dan Spitz reunited with ANTHRAX in 2005, how hard was it for you to step aside?

Caggiano: That was a weird time. I didn't understand what was going on, to be honest. I don't think that [former ANTHRAX singer] John [Bush] knew what was going on either. That was basically sprung on us. I think that needed to happen and ANTHRAX needed to go down that road. I've said this in interviews before: I think that things happen for a reason. I think this band needed to get through all that stuff that it's been through to get where we are today, you know what I mean?

Oregon Music News: While out of the band for that period of time you stayed busy with other things.

Caggiano: Yeah, I did. I dove into my production career. I did a bunch of records. In fact, I recorded an album with CRADLE OF FILTH that was nominated for a Grammy. As you know, I've been producing and writing for years; I just like making music — I like making noise. When that ANTHRAX reunion went down, I shifted gears and went down a different road for a little bit.

Oregon Music News: The reunion worked its course you found yourself back in ANTHRAX. You had a new singer briefly and then Joey came back. You must be absolutely stoked to be a part of this.

Caggiano: I think it's great. Joey's sounding pretty good and we're proud of the new album. A lot of hard work, blood, sweat, and tears went into that record. I think that Joey coming back into the band is the best thing that could have happened to ANTHRAX.

Oregon Music News: Apparently you've recorded some covers over the course of the past few months. There's been speculation that you'll release either an EP or use the covers for an expanded version of "Worship Music". Is there any truth to this? And what is the intended use for these songs?

Caggiano: To be totally honest with you, I have no idea! [laughs] There's been talk back and forth. There has been talk of them being used for a re-release of the album or an EP or something else. I really don't know. We do have various tunes that are in various stages of completion. They are very cool and they all sound killer. They are bands that inspired us over the years. It's definitely cool. ANTHRAX doing cover songs has always been part of what ANTHRAX does. We have two covers in the set right now with "Got The Time" and "Anti-Social".

Oregon Music News: Not to go into details, but how is drummer Charlie Benante doing?

Caggiano: I just saw Charlie the other day; he seems to be doing well. As you know, he went through some weird stuff. He hurt his hand and some other crappy stuff happened. [Charlie and his wife were arrested on July 27 in Indiana for domestic battery in front of a child. — Ed.] He's hanging in there.

Oregon Music News: So at this point is Charlie expected to do this tour?

Caggiano: I can't really say for sure. I believe that is the plan. [But] I don't know for sure.
Roxwel conducted an interview with ANTHRAX drummer Charlie Benante at the end of last year. The chat has now been posted on YouTube and can be seen below.

Asked about ANTHRAX's current lineup is holding up after the band went through so many singer changes between 2005 and 2010, Benante said, "Actually, for the first time in a long time, it feels nice; it's settled. When we're together, it's a hell of a lot better than we are when we are apart."

He added, "When we're together, we're always together — hanging, talking… It's good. That's all I can say. I'm sure other bands can relate to things that I say. When you're five together, it's like you're five brothers, and sometimes, one day, one of those guys will come in, he's having a bad day, it kind of affects the whole vibe. And by the end of the night, it's done, it's finished — you know, goodbye. And everything is OK."

Benante also spoke about ANTHRAX's latest studio album, "Worship Music", which saw the light of day in September 2011 — eight years after its predecessor, "We've Come For You All". Singer Joey Belladonna's return to the band prompted some of the songs originally recorded with previous vocalist Dan Nelson to be re-crafted with fresh lyrics or tweaked to better suit his overall vibe and energy. Some of the songs were completely replaced with brand-new songs and all have Belladonna's inimitable vocal stamp on them.

"It's hard to take these songs and not listen to it as a whole piece," Charlie said. "Because there's thrash elements on the record, there's definitely newer-sounding songs on the record. But there is a reason for some of the thrashier songs, and that's just what we were feeling — a lack of it. So those songs just naturally came out. Like 'Earth On Hell', I remember having this idea for that song in my head, and it was just this fast riff. And I was, like, 'Woah, here we go. I'm glad it's going back that way.' But it wasn't intentional; it just happened that way."

On the topic of whether there were any leftover songs that didn't make "Worship Music", Benante said, "There was quite a bit of material [written for the album], but believe me, there was a lot more [that we could have recorded and released]. I really wanted to make it a double record, but we didn't go that way. But I had enough material to make it that much. But, you know, we kind of said, 'Let's just concentrate on one and then not take so long to do another one.' So that was fine; that was fine with me. And maybe a double album is too much to absorb right away, you know what I mean?! But I also felt, 'Well, shit, it's been a long time since our last record. Maybe we should give them as much as we possibly could.'"

He added, "Anyway, we got it down to, like, 13 songs that we felt really strong about. And that was it. And again, the record didn't really start to take shape until [the fall of 2010]."
ALICE IN CHAINS' Jerry Cantrell and Mike Inez and actress Rita Wilson will be the guest speakers when Ann and Nancy Wilson of HEART receive the 2,481st star on the Hollywood Walk Of Fame on September 25 in front of the Musician's Institute at 6752 Hollywood Boulevard.

Producer of the Hollywood Walk Of Fame ceremonies Ana Martinez commented: "This location is a coveted spot for many rock 'n' rollers and these ladies will join the likes of bands JOURNEY and MÖTLEY CRÜE, who also have stars on that property. We are thrilled with this latest star addition as many young, aspiring female rockers look up to these legendary ladies of rock 'n' roll."

HEART's joint autobiography — "Kicking And Dreaming: A Story Of Heart, Soul And Rock & Roll", will be published on September 18. Their new studio album, "Fanatic", will be released on October 2.

Inez has toured as part of HEART's lineup and appeared on the band's 2003 "Alive In Seattle" concert disc.

In a 2006 interview, Inez told Launch about the enormous respect that ALICE IN CHAINS and others have for HEART's Ann and Nancy Wilson. "As far as Seattle goes, they are rock royalty," he said. "It's just amazing songwriting and just stood the test of time over the years, some timeless music. Just the people that showed up for [the 2006 taping of VH1 Classic's 'Decades Rock Live!' that paid tribute to HEART] is amazing, people from Carrie Underwood to Phil Anselmo from PANTERA and everybody in between. You got your Duff McKagans playing and Gretchen Wilson, and that's a testament of the respect that these girls really carry in this business."
"Clash Of The Gods", the new album from German power metallers GRAVE DIGGER, has registered the following first-week chart positions:

Germany: #29
Sweden: #48
Switzerland: #71

"Clash Of The Gods", which was recorded at Principal Studios in Münster, Germany, was released on August 31 in Europe and September 4 in North America via Napalm Records. A six-song mini-CD, "Home At Last", preceded the full-length effort on July 27 in Europe and August 7 in North America.

"Clash Of The Gods" track listing:

01. Charon
02. God Of Terror
03. Hell Dog
04. Medusa
05. Clash Of The Gods
06. Death Angel & The Grave Digger
07. Walls Of Sorrow
08. Call Of The Sirens
09. Warriors Revenge
10. With The Wind
11. Home At Last

Bonus tracks on digibook version:

12. Saints Of The Broken Souls
13. Zurück Nach Haus ("Home At Last" German version)

"Home At Last" track listing:

01. Home At Last
02. Rage Of The Savage Beast (non-album track)
03. Metal Will Never Die (non-album track)
04. Ballad Of A Hangman (live in Wacken 2010)
05. Excalibur (live in Wacken 2010)
06. Heavy Metal Breakdown (live in Wacken 2010)

GRAVE DIGGER last fall extended its contract with Napalm Records.

A seven-minute YouTube clip containing audio samples of all the tracks that appear on "Clash Of The Gods" can be found below.

"The Clans Are Still Marching", the latest DVD from GRAVE DIGGER, entered the German Media Control chart at position No. 56 (German chart rules allow music DVDs to enter album charts).

The band's latest album, "The Clans Will Rise Again", was released in Europe on October 1, 2010 via Napalm Records.
BLACK, the new project featuring vocalist Tony Martin (BLACK SABBATH), bassist Magnus Rosén (HAMMERFALL), guitarist Andy La Rocque (KING DIAMOND) and drummer Danny "Danté" Needham (VENOM, TONY MARTIN), is mixing its first two songs at La Rocque's Sonic Train studios in Varberg, Sweden.

In an interview with Metal-Rules.com conducted earlier this summer, Andy stated about BLACK: "I talked to Tony just a few days ago and what we're doing right now is, like, he's going to redo some vocals for the first two songs and then we're going to send that out as a demo tape to a different few record companies and see if they might be interested in releasing the stuff."

He continued: "I met Tony about a year and a half ago, in Sweden, Gothenburg, and I invited him and Magnus down to the studio, because I wanted them to check out the few songs that I had and they liked that very much. So we decided to do like a cooperation. So I sent to Tony a few songs that he put vocals on, but he wasn't really happy with that, I believe. So he wanted to do it again, but then he was really busy with this other band THE CAGE, an Italian band. I can't remember the guitarist's name right now, but he was really busy with that, and he was busy with many other things, too. So he didn't really have time back then, and while we were playing at the Sweden Rock [Festival with KING DIAMOND], I kind of almost gave up on BLACK, because I thought nothing is going to happen with that. But then I got in touch with Tony again and he said, 'Hey, Andy, I'm ready now. I'm going to send you two new takes of the first two songs you sent me with some vocals.'"

One of the tracks completed during BLACK's initial writing sessions had the working title of "Deathless Soul" and was previously described by Martin as "very dark." However, the singer was quick to point out, "I don't expect it to be completely in that vein."

A photo of Martin, Rosén and La Rocque taken in February 2011 in Sweden can be viewed below.

La Rocque and Rosén previously collaborated in the X-WORLD/5 project, which issued its debut album, "New Universal Order", in North America in November 2008 via Locomotive Records. The group also included PAGAN'S MIND vocalist Nils K. Rue. La Rocque and Rosén were also involved with POWERHOUSE, the Swedish supergroup which included Anders Johansson (HAMMERFALL, ex-YNGWIE MALMSTEEN) on drums, Mats Olausson (ex-YNGWIE MALMSTEEN) on keyboards and Mikael Ågren (ex-NOSTRADAMEUS) on vocals and guitar.

Martin's last solo album, "Scream", was released in November 2005 via MTM Music. The CD featured legendary drummer Cozy Powell (BLACK SABBATH, RAINBOW, WHITESNAKE) on the track "Raising Hell" as well as songwriting contributions by another SABBATH member, Geoff Nicholls.
Bram Teitelman of MetalInsider.net recently conducted an interview with drummer Chris Adler of Richmond, Virginia metallers LAMB OF GOD. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.

MetalInsider.net: What was Randy's [Blythe, LAMB OF GOD singer] arrest like from your perspective?

Chris: We'd been playing all these big festivals in Europe. We were about five weeks into the tour with just one day off a week. Every day we'd wake up and fly or wake up and drive for ten hours and set up and play. That's what we're used to, but it's a little harder in Europe because it's not our own backyard, so we were all pretty burnt out. We had maybe a week left before we went home and were seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.We'd played the Hove festival in Norway the night before, and there were three flights to get to Prague. We'd left at 7 or 8 in the morning and got in around 7 or 8 at night. Of the seven days we were playing, this was going to be our one night off, so it wasn't like we were getting off the plane and going right to the show. As soon as we walked off the plane, there were these two plainclothes officers pulling people aside. Initially, I didn't notice it was only our band and crew, because there's always random checks for passports or immigration. It was kind of odd because once the plane had stopped at the gate and the seat belt sign went off, it was almost an hour before they let people off the plane. I guess now it was the authorities trying to figure out how to handle the situation and not scare the shit out of people on the plane. So we're getting off the plane along with everyone else, and they're pulling us aside one at a time. At first I didn't think anything of it, and then they pulled me aside and I still didn't think anything of it. Then I notice that it's not random and it's just the band and the crew. I still wasn't thinking anything of it — since we all check in together, maybe somebody forgot something that they shouldn't have put in their bag on an airplane and they're going to want to talk to us all about it. Then once they had us all corralled together, the 12 of us, they opened a door behind us to another room, and I assumed it was just to begin the process of telling us what the deal was or what the fine was for carrying liquor or a joint in a bag or something. So we walk in this room and there's ten guys that look like they're ready for the apocalypse. Scary, scary dudes with black ski masks on, huge machine guns, full body armor, guns strapped to thighs, calves and chests, and mace out. This is where it gets very scary, and we realized it was something far more than what someone had in their bag. The plainclothes officer explained to us in broken English that they were investigating a homicide. Even when they said that, of course it became much more serious than someone pissing in public, but still, we'd been flying around the world for the last 5 ½ weeks, maybe something happened at one of these festivals and they're talking to all of the bands, or someone we know might be in trouble — we never thought they were investigating us. Then they hand us all a piece of paper that explains in broken English about the situation that happened in 2010. They said they needed us all for interrogation, but they're taking Randy with us now. That's when it hit us. No one had heard anything about this, it was very very scary to be involved in, and we realized with the SWAT team standing around us that there was nothing we could do about it. And that's exactly how we felt for the next five weeks. Every day the information that we got was different from the day before. They'd ask for a certain amount of money, they'd change it the next day, we'd pay it, then nothing would happen. We did everything we could from this side to try to get him out. We stayed there the next night and the band and crew was interrogated the entire next day. As soon as we were let out, we drove to the German border and stayed there for the next two days, assuming common sense would sink in and they would let him out, because this is crazy. The news from the lawyers was getting worse and worse, and we were advised to go home before anything might happen to one of us. So we did — we came home and did our best to pool our resources and do what we could from here to help out. We were all working very hard behind the scenes and hiring legal people and private investigators and trying to do what we could to get our guy out of there. As far as we were concerned, and still are, it's such a random series of events that led to what's obviously a tragedy. It's very hard for us to accept responsibility for something so random.

MetalInsider.net: How surreal was it for those several days when you were in a different country awaiting word of his fate?

Chris: There's a mix of emotions. We were first told that someone passed away at one of our shows. That in itself is pretty devastating news. We certainly don't go into our shows with any malice or wanting to hurt anybody, we're having a good time. And the people that come to our shows are having a good time. That's what it's all about. I've heard about other incidents like these happening before, and I imagine how terrible the family must feel for something like this. But the band, and not just our band, but any entertainer, has to feel terrible, because that's the exact opposite of why anyone would go there. At the same time, being given the information that it's your fault, and we're arresting you, and that could be the end of your career, you're immediately defensive, like, "What the fuck are you talking about? How could this be our fault?" But you want to be sensitive to the fact that someone was hurt or died at a show. Those two emotions don't mix well together, so it was a very confusing time.

MetalInsider.net: Has the Prague situation led you to take a look at onstage security and second guess what you're doing?

Chris: It has. We sat down and discussed this with our management. We talked about what we could have done differently, and what we could do differently going forward to make sure this doesn't happen again. Basically, what we came up with is that we really are doing everything we can to make sure the situation doesn't happen. In all the contracts the promoters get from the booking agents and management, it includes the need for proper security to put on a safe show. Even at the show we had there, there was security hired. This was just a fluke accident, and I don't know that if we changed everything we did, and made everyone that walked through the door sign a waiver, and had the band walking around in bubble suits, and had the ground padded with foam, I don't think there's anything we could really do that would create an environment where something this random couldn't happen again. It really was so far out of the realm of impossibility to begin with that I don't think us changing anything would necessarily fix the situation.
John Parks of Legendary Rock Interviews recently conducted an interview with singer Cristina Scabbia of Italian heavy rockers LACUNA COIL. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.

Legendary Rock Interviews: I know the last album, "Shallow Life" (2009), was met with a bit of resistance from some of the critics but it's my favorite of all of the albums, easily. I really liked the fact that it was more of a "normal" rock album and all of the songs on the album are incredibly catchy and hooky and not without a sense of humor. Was that a case of you guys growing too fast for some people's taste?

Cristina: I think if you're a band or an artist, you have an obligation to take risks and be challenged or you're never going to go anywhere. I mean, we could have easily stuck with the formula that was established with "Comalies" and done part 2, 3 and 4, but we didn't. We couldn't. We are artists and musicians, and this is our world, and our world is not static. We are constantly evolving and inspired by different things, and that is great. I also think that "Shallow Life" was misunderstood because of the look that we portrayed or presented in the videos and photos that accompanied that album. I think that the images we were trying to get across to show that we were against the "shallow life" or the shallow way of being were just missed completely by a lot of people. I think people misunderstood the fact that we were trying to make light of that and actually took us seriously as "the hip-hop guy" or me as "the pop diva."

Legendary Rock Interviews: Which brings us to the latest album, "Dark Adrenaline", which seems to be the perfect storm. It's taking the leaps and bounds you made in songwriting and mixing it with that image and sound your fans seem to identify with so much. Is it hard to brew up that concoction or is that something you can't even think about?

Cristina: We can't. We really have to arrive at these things on our own. I mean, I love our fans but I we don't consciously create with them in mind; that would not be art. We have to be into what we are doing as a band and we're not interested in selling out or writing for the fans or for the radio. I think people who like LACUNA COIL know that we first have to create our art and music for ourselves and then share it with them and the response we've gotten for "Dark Adrenaline" has been amazing. We especially can't worry about what critics think of an album even though they have responded really well to this album. Going back to "Shallow Life", I agree with you, I think it's a really strong album and I think it's a successful album. It was our highest-charting album prior to "Dark Adrenaline" also.

Legendary Rock Interviews: People have spoken before about you going it alone and becoming a solo artist, but LACUNA COIL has always been about the dual vocals of you and Andrea [Ferro]. Do you resist most people's attempts to try and single you out as the sole ingredient?

Cristina: I think this band has always been about the alchemy that was created by the sum of its parts. If you changed or took away the elements that are performing and composing in the scheme of this alchemy, it would be an altogether different band. It would be something else. I have been approached about a solo career, but I think the interest in something like that only comes about when you are not allowed to be creative or don't feel like you can express yourself in your current band. Honestly, that has not been the case and I have always felt comfortable in LACUNA COIL; it is like a family to me. I like the fact that we had been in a rehearsal studio and known each other for so long in real life and I like the fact that we have toured so much together. I am so happy with this band that I would honestly never consider such a thing as a solo career.
SOILWORK, ARMORED SAINT, SABATON, SHADOW GALLERY and CIRCUS MAXIMUS are among the confired bands for next year's edition of the ProgPower USA festival, set to take place September 6-7, 2013 in Atlanta, Georgia.

The billing is shaping up as follows:

Friday, September 6, 2013:

SHADOW GALLERY (co-headliner)

Saturday, September 7, 2013:

ARMORED SAINT (co-headliner)
SABATON (co-headliner)
Drummer Bobby Jarzombek (FATES WARNING, SEBASTIAN BACH, RIOT, HALFORD) will make a guest appearance with the Seattle Seahawks drumline Blue Thunder during tomorrow's (Sunday, September 16) home game against the Dallas Cowboys.

Commented Jarzombek: "About a year ago, I was in Seattle playing a show with either HALFORD or SEBASTIAN BACH, and after the show, a gentleman by the name of Keith Rousu came up to me and said, 'Great show!' and introduced himself as the director of the Blue Thunder drumline. He explained to me that they perform before, during and after the Seahawks games, and on occasion they've had guest drummers come out and perform with them, including Scott Rockenfield [QUEENSRŸCHE] and David Garabaldi, among others. He asked if I'd be interested in joining them on a Sunday. I told him, 'Seahawks? I don't know... but if they're playing the Dallas Cowboys, I'm there!' Sure enough, a couple months ago, I received an e-mail from Keith that the NFL schedules were announced and the second week it's Cowboys vs. Seahawks. I had to jump on it!

"The Blue Thunder are great! They entertain the crowd with a great combination of playing and dancing during their performances.

"A week ago, Keith sent me a few of their cadences/tunes, so I've been working a little on my snare drum chops and rudiments, although I doubt that I'm gonna bust out any dance moves. I think I'll leave that up to the Blue Thunder!"

Jarzombek will be back out on the road with SEBASTIAN BACH in the coming weeks for a couple of Canadian shows and a pair of overseas fall festival appearances.
"Time I", the -awaited new album from Finnish epic metallers WINTERSUN, has had its release date pushed back by a week.

Comments the band: "As we want to give all our incredible fans something truly special and outstanding for our second album, 'Time I', there is going to be a limited mediabook edition including DVD available, but due to unfortunate manufacturing delays, the 'Time I' album release has been postponed by a week. We feel very bad about this. This is a big hit for us, so we need your support now more than ever."

The new release dates are as follows:

October 19: Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Finland, Norway
October 23: Italy
October 24: Sweden
October 22: North America, Rest Of Europe

During the listening session for "Time I" at the Nuclear Blast headquarters in Donzdorf, Germany on July 28, Jari Mäenpää was interviewed by BLEEDING RED frontman Timo Joos, who asked the WINTERSUN mastermind fan questions that had been collected via the official Nuclear Blast Europe Facebook page.

To celebrate the "Time I" release, WINTERSUN will play two special shows in Finland. The first concert will take place on October 12 at Lutakko in Jyväskylä and the second on October 13 at Nosturi in Helsinki. Support at the shows will come from THAUROROD (Lutakko and Nosturi) and MEDICATED (Nosturi).

Commented WINTERSUN: "We're excited to start the 'Time' world tour from our home country with two shows in October! These two special album-release shows will be our first club gigs in Finland since 2006 and the first time ever 'Time I' songs will be heard live! The show attendees will also be the first ones to have a chance to get a signed copy of the new album.

"During the rest of the summer, we'll be rehearsing the new material and working on a new enhanced live show as well as doing some promo and preparing bonus material for the album. Right after the Finnish gigs, we'll continue on to Heidenfest tour in Central Europe and after that... Stay tuned and hope to see you at the gigs!"

According to WINTERSUN mainman Jari Mäenpää, there are several reasons why the band's new effort, "Time" is being released as two separate albums, titled "Time I" and "Time II". He says:

* "All the 80 minutes of material won't fit on a regular CD and we didn't want to cut anything out.
* "We want you to be able to hear new material sooner and not wait any longer and we want to go on tour sooner.
* "The music is very full and complex, so listening this kind of 'hard listening (not easy listening)' material straight for 80 minutes is a bit too much (even for me).
* "Both albums will be approximately. nice 40 min epic packages of fireworks.
* "We like the idea of releasing two albums within one year, so the band will stay more visible longer, which is important in these 'modern times.' No more years of silence for us!"

"Time I" track listing:

01. When Time Fades Away
02. Sons Of Winter And Stars
I) Rain Of Stars
II) Surrounded By Darkness
III) Journey Inside A Dream
IV) Sons of Winter And Stars
03. Land Of Snow And Sorrow
04. Darkness And Frost
05. Time

"Time II" will be released in 2013.

WINTERSUN will headline this year's edition of the Heidenfest tour, set to take place in October. Support on the trek will come from KORPIKLAANI, VARG, TROLLFEST and KRAMPUS.

WINTERSUN's debut CD was released in September 2004 through Nuclear Blast Records.
Christofer Johnsson of Swedish progressive/experimental metallers THERION has issued the following update:

"Ten years ago or something, I started to work on an opera, but I never managed to finish it. I wrote most of the highlights (the hit parts), but I never managed to write the bridges between them, the 'boring' parts needed to glue it all together and just serve as a background for the singers to sing and act the play.

"Some years ago, it suddenly struck my mind: 'Why not just do what you do best? Re-arrange the opera stuff you've written and do it as opera metal instead.' I already borrowed parts from the opera for 'Blood Of Kingu' earlier, so why not go all the way and make the worlds first REAL rock opera. What is otherwise referred to with that expression is rather some sort of rock musical, let's do a rock/metal opera with only opera singing, with a synopsis, and perform it like that (with pre-recorded orchestra if needed for financial reasons).

"However, completing this rather gigantic project that involved writing music, synopsis/lyrics and designing scenery, clothing etc., will be taking quite some time. Years probably. I don't want to work under pressure, things should grow naturally.

"Meanwhile, to entertain the fans and to do something I wanted to do for several years, there will be an art project in the spirit of celebrating our 25-year anniversary. Fact is this art project was already started in secret some time ago. It will be introduced right before the tour or on the day of the first show.

"The art project is mainly focused around music, but it also contains visual art and certain acts of art. As for the music, it will be released on a CD that will initially only be sold directly from the band. It will be available at the concerts and put into retail later. For those of you not being able to attend the shows, the THERION store will offer it.

"'Flowers Of Evil' tour: The concept of this tour is for it to be a bit of everything:

* Presenting the new project with a few tracks.

* Doing several massive songs like 'Land Of Canaan', 'Via Nocturna' etc. Many of these songs don't make sense without a keyboard player, so as this time we have one with us, it's a great opportunity to have a special focus on those type of tracks.

* Playing some never before played old songs. A new THERION concert should never be predictable.

* Doing a bunch of THERION all-time classics of course!

"This will be the last regular tour we do in a while, as we will be working on the rock (metal) opera and we will only do performances related to the art project (if there's interest for it), the rock (metal) opera when it is ready, and maybe some acoustic shows, we have been talking about that for a while. We'll, of course, play some festivals from time to time where we do regular (but much shorter) sets, but as there won't be any new regular album, there won't be any regular tours. Not until we have finished the rock (metal) opera, performed it live as much as we can, taken a break and then put together a regular album again. That will take a couple of years, for sure. So we are closing an era and opening a new period that will be quite different.

"Also, to celebrate the 25-year anniversary I would really like to meet properly with you guys who made it possible to get this far. I am normally quite shy and have tons of stuff do to on the laptop and rather hide in the tour bus or backstage most of the time (except in Latin America where we always have a tight schedule). Not this time around. I will be trying to hang at the merch booth as much as possible. So mostly there will be no organized one-hour lined up meet-and-greet/signing session. I'd rather hang there for several hours every day, so that everyone who wants to can get a personally dedicated CD, a photo and a chat without any stress.

"Ever wanted to ask something, complain about something, give congratulations for something or just drink a beer with someone who made music that meant something to you? There will be time for all that on this tour.

"'Les Fleurs Du Mal' CD: The CD has 15 tracks, but the edition sold at the concerts will have a bonus track and you will get a small poster with it. My aim is to sign and personally dedicate every single one of them at the shows.

"The CD itself is fully financed by me. Nuclear Blast thought it was a bit too spectacular and we have totally different visions about how we should work on such a project. I've had a fantastic relationship with that wonderful label over the years. I've had total artistic freedom and much patience from them in a way that most other artists at our level only could dream of at many labels. So rather than having disagreements and make compromises, I suggested I release it by myself instead and they generously gave me their blessings for it. So our relation has never been better than now.

"Financing a full THERION audio production mixing at ToyTown with the fantastic Stefan Glaumann, paying for orchestra and the band members and many, many other things isn't cheap. To be more precise, it cost 75.000 euro. On top of that, I also carried costs for video clips, photo session and the costs for creating the art and stuff for the CD. I don't have that kind of cash lying around in a drawer at home, so I had to go to the bank and take a loan.

"I have always bragged about how I never compromise and am ready to risk everything with each release. It's easier to say that when you have a record label being a bank for you. This time I had to put my money where my mouth is. So if you buy the CD, you don't just buy a record with music, you buy a share of an idea, the idea and concept of art where the artist really risks everything to be able to bring out what he wants.

"Some of you will like the CD, some maybe not. But if you feel that I've done something worth raising a toast to over the years, there will be no better way of showing your appreciation than buying this CD. It will be sold at 15 euros and I hope the majority of those going to the shows will walk home with it after the shows.

"I've been called risky and more crazy than usual with my ideas for this art project, by some of those very few who have been initiated into the mysteries of it. Even within the band, there has been quite some strong feelings about it. And clearly the record label didn't think they had a smash hit in their hands. This pretty much reminds me about the feeling when 'Theli' was recorded. I recall the record label saying, 'Do you really think we can sell this? What will your fans say?' But they didn't have much other choice than releasing it and hope for the best. They had just invested more money in the sound production than with any other band in the history of the label — on a band that didn't sell many records. But there were people at the label who really liked it, too, and carefully believed in it. Like the boss, Markus Steiger. But in the band, the atmosphere was really bad. The bass player, Lars, hated it to the core. 'Fucking opera shit!!' The guitarist, Jonas, didn't like it either. It was 'too much classical stuff and opera, should have been just some small elements of it as a spice.' Drummer Piotr kind of liked it, but thought it as kind of odd and didn't have too much hope for it (just like myself, who thought it would flop too). But it turned out to be the album that made THERION a big band.

"This time at least half of the band thinks it's great stuff and believe in it. But now I'm risking my own money and not the record label's.

"When I took the decision of borrowing money and release it myself, I was officially declared out of order in the head by some people familiar with the matter. Well, we will see about that.

"When a fan buys a CD directly from a band, it counts as if they bought 10 CDs at the store released via a record label. With loyal fans buying many CDs at the concerts, a big part of the production costs will be recovered.

"Out of all session vocalists that THERION has worked with over the years, no one has come as close to the band as Snowy [Shaw], who has been a vital part of our records and live shows for the last number of years. Now when THERION is going into another phase and Snowy did not feel the same enthusiasm as we do for making this art project and rock opera, he has decided to work with his own projects instead. He did a smaller contribution to 'Les Fleurs Du Mal', which sounds awesome and we're happy for that, but if he don't feel this is what he is supposed to do, then we think his decision is the right thing and he has our full support. We are sure he will create some really amazing stuff with his own project! However, we would like to stress the fact that there are no doors shut. When we are done with our projects in a number of years and call to arms for the next regular album, we will see where things stand and what Snowy is up to at the moment. If he's available and we feel inspired together, he is more than welcome to continue where we left. If not, we feel we had a great round off with him through our long co-operation with the 25-year anniversary tour we did in Latin America earlier this year and hope he will be successful with his own projects."

Snowy released the following statement on the matter: "What can I say?! I'm truly grateful for the years I had with THERION where I've had the pleasure of touring the four corners of the world as a singer and frontman and meeting and making tons of new fans and friends for life, but over the last few years the urge to move on and do my own thing has become increasingly stronger and so far in my life I've always followed my heart and what makes me happy and I see no reason why I should stop now."
Multinational melodic metallers EDEN'S CURSE have announced the departure of their singer of six months, Marco Sandron. The group states, "This is due to various reasons, but it was mutually agreed that it would be in the best interests of the band to sever all ties. We believe Marco to be a great vocalist and person, but it just did not work out, and we sincerely wish him the greatest of success with his future musical endeavours."

While EDEN'S CURSE's creative core members continue with writing their fourth album, they have also commenced a worldwide search for a new vocalist.

"We are looking for a powerful, melodic singer to write the next chapter of EDEN'S CURSE with us," says bassist Paul Logue.

EDEN'S CURSE has released a three-minute video on YouTube to accompany the vocalist search. Check it out below.

Anyone wishing to audition for the vacant position should apply by following the instructions at this location.

Hailing from Portgruaro, 50 miles from Venice, in the northeast of Italy, Sandron previously sang for Italian progressive metal act PATHOSRAY, who released their self-titled debut on Sensory Records in 2007 and their sophomore CD, "Sunless Skies", on Frontiers Records in 2009. That same year he also contributed lead vocals to French symphonic metal outfit FAIRYLAND's "Score To A New Beginning" album, which was released on Napalm Records.
SOCIETY 1 will enter AM Recording Studios in late November with producer Raymond Herrera (FEAR FACTORY, ARKAEA, 3VOLUTION) and engineer Jeremy Blair (FEAR FACTORY, DEVILDRIVER, ZAKK WYLDE, GUNS N' ROSES) to begin recording a new six-song EP, "Screams Of A Sadist", for a 2013 release. Joining founding SOCIETY 1 member and vocalist Lord Zane in the studio will be guitarist Brian Jackson (SKINLAB), bassist Brett Pirozzi (BILE) and drummer Pete Pace (LONDON AFTER MIDNIGHT).

According to a press release, the music will explore the heavier side of the SOCIETY 1 sound but keep a strong influence from their industrial roots.

"This will be the most guitar-driven album we have ever done and really wanted someone to be able to capture the heavy sound and intensity," said Zane. "Raymond and Jeremy have worked on some incredibly heavy albums and we felt they would really be able to bring the production of the SOCIETY 1 sound to another level we previously haven't reached."

After the recording is completed, SOCIETY 1 will film a new video and be looking for tours while playing selected dates.

"We are definitely going to play some one-off shows to get used to the new material live, but the main goal is to get back on tour in 2013," explained Jackson.
In 2011, Banger Films released the biggest-ever series on the history of heavy metal and hard rock, "Metal Evolution". Based on Banger's groundbreaking "Heavy Metal Family Tree," the series explored over 40 years of metal history — from early metal and shock rock to thrash and nu metal. Following metalhead-turned-anthropologist Sam Dunn, "Metal Evolution" took viewers on an unprecedented journey to over 30 countries on four continents to interview 300 of metal's most respected musicians, including Alice Cooper, Bruce Dickinson, Slash, Lemmy, Lars Ulrich, Tom Morello and members of VAN HALEN, DEEP PURPLE, SLAYER, LAMB OF GOD and many more. The series was a huge success, hitting #1 on VH1 Classic (U.S.) and MuchMore (Canada), and broadcasting on networks in the United Kingdom, Norway, Germany, Australia, New Zealand, Sweden, Finland, Belgium, Brazil, India and elsewhere.

Despite this success, metal fans around the world claimed there was one glaring gap in the series: There was no episode on metal's most underground sub-genre: extreme metal.

For many metal fans, extreme metal is heavy metal. Since its emergence in the mid-'80s, extreme metal has pushed metal to its sonic and aesthetic edge; bands like DEATH, MORBID ANGEL, CARCASS, ENTOMBED, DARKTHRONE, DIMMU BORGIR, OPETH and many more combined guttural vocals, blast beats and lyrical themes of death and the occult to create metal's most transgressive offshoot. Though deeply underground, extreme metal is not an obscurity: it is metal's motor of innovation and continues to thrive today.

However, extreme metal was considered too extreme for some TV networks so Banger has come up with a different way to turn "The Lost Episode" into a reality.

Commented Banger: "We're launching an IndieGoGo campaign. We're appealing to the international metal community to help raise the funds to create the Extreme Metal episode. Contributors' support will send Sam on a global journey from San Francisco and Tampa to the United Kingdom, Norway and Sweden to investigate the history, myths and intricacies of extreme metal. Sam will unravel the lineage between Extreme Metal's divergent branches — Death Metal, Grindcore and Black Metal — and meet with the sub-genre's most influential sonic architects: POSSESSED's Jeff Becerra, CELTIC FROST's Tom G. Warrior, MORBID ANGEL's Trey Azagtoth, EMPEROR's Ihsahn, OPETH's Mikael Åkerfeldt and dozens more. The result will be an unforgettable portrait of metal's fastest growing sub-genre."
Mxdwn recently conducted an interview with Devin Townsend, Canadian multi-instrumentalist and ex-STRAPPING YOUNG LAD mastermind. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.

Mxdwn: So the big topic of course is your new album, "Epicloud", coming out this month. It has a big epic sound. Is that where the title comes from?

Devin Townsend: I'll go with that, that sounds alright. This record is something I put a lot of effort into it being the way it is, almost as a reaction to how my career and how my life seems to go. Like, I'll spend so much time being complicated and worrying about this, that, and the other thing, that I feel like on some level I neglected to acknowledge the part of me that just wanted to make big, simple, positive music. In making that decision for myself, I took it as far as I felt I could go, gospel choirs and the real big epic sort of stuff. In the whole scheme of it, I'm 25 records into my career, I've been doing this for so long, and nothing I've done has really been the same thing twice, so this is just another example of it. I've always wanted to make a straight forward, accessible type of record and I'm very happy with it. It remains to be seen whether or not that sentiment will be shared by the people who've been supportive of what I do, but at least it's honest, right?

Mxdwn: You think by now people would be used to you doing something completely different every single time though, right?

Devin Townsend: I find that a lot of the time now, the reaction of the record that I get are technically not the people who are used to it, it's people who are new to it who are expecting the record that came before it. It seems like it always takes about a year for people to understand the prior record. I remember with the record label I had done "Terria" and when I first delivered it to them, they were like, "What the hell is this?" Then a year later they were like, "Oh, that was really cool. We get it. We like what you did with 'Terria'." Then I was like, "Well, that's unfortunate, because here's 'Accelerated Evolution'," and the reaction across the board was, "Well, we wanted more 'Terria'." With each record that goes by, it seems the reaction is based on the one prior and "Epicloud" is no different. The reaction tends to be, people were finally understanding what "Deconstruction" and "Ghost" were about and it seems like that's where people are at the moment. I suspect that when I do the next record after "Epicloud", there will be a certain portion of people that want more of that, so it's just business as usual, my friend.

Mxdwn: I find it interesting how each record itself uses a lot of different styles within it, but there's always cohesion. Like how you said, you take each theme as far as it can go. It doesn't seem like you go into it trying to do that. I'm just amazed that if you're just letting whatever come out that it still all seems to match.

Devin Townsend: I appreciate that; that's nice. I would say if I'm interested enough in a theme, then my interest in that is enough that I can complete it in the way that it wants to be. If halfway through a record — and this has happened to me before — halfway through I have to see if the theme that inspired me to start it was extensive enough for me to take it to its logical conclusion. Sometimes it just isn't, and I'll have to abandon a project five songs into it, because I just run out of steam and the story isn't ultimately that interesting. But something like "Epicloud", for example, when I started coming out with these riffs and choruses and lyrics and all this, I thought, "Well, it's based on getting over it. It's based on connection to reality that is pragmatic, or realistic." Realistic in the sense that there is good and bad, and there is tons of horrible shit that happens on the planet and all that. But, really, the choice that I found myself in, artistically, is you can focus on that horrible shit, which I've done for a long time, or you can focus on your own existential crisis in whatever form that's in at this age, or you can just make a conscious decision to do something that promotes a frame of mind that is separate from that. And not in a deluded sense. I wanted to make something that was heavy and positive and say, "Hey, things are rough all over, but let's not focus on that right now. Let's focus on this, and let's make it big!" Once that concept and that theme seemed to interest me enough, then it was just a matter of effort to try and complete it.
ENEMY OF THE SUN, the German band featuring guitarist Waldemar Sorychta — former member of GRIP INC./DESPAIR and producer for such bands as LACUNA COIL and MOONSPELL — has parted ways with Greek bassist Eirini Papadopoulou.

Commented Papadopoulou: "I would like to announce that I am no longer a member of ENEMY OF THE SUN.

"This may come as a surprise to many and has been an issue of much thought for me.

"The reasons are personal and also the fact that the band's philosophy no longer represents my personal vision.

"I am thankful for the music and experience I've been given as well as for the great times and the nice people I met along the way. I wish the band all the best for the future.

"As you most have noticed, I took some time off of my personal projects and this period has been musically stagnate for me, because of several professional and personal obligations as well as the fact that I had to move and settle to another country that I now call my second home. But I am a traveler and the journey continues.

"I will let you know soon about my future plans.

"Music never stops, so stay tuned!"

Eirini made a name for herself under the pseudonym "Absinthe Green," playing bass in the band RANDOM WALK.

She made her live debut with ENEMY OF THE SUN on April 30, 2011 at the Rock in den Ruinen-Festival in Dortmund, Germany.

ENEMY OF THE SUN is currently mixing its new album for an early 2013 release.

"Caedium", the second album from from ENEMY OF THE SUN, was released in North America on June 22, 2010 via The End Records and in Europe on May 28, 2010 through Massacre Records.

Sorychta previously stated about the band, "I call ENEMY OF THE SUN my family because in a family you have to feel comfortable. If not, it's not a good family. ENEMY is a good one. It's the way I wake up and feel the excitement about this band. It's the way I go to bed and want to stay awake because of this band. Music without limits, pure power saved in every note, deepest emotions bound in tones, burning pleasure in each single tune."
palm Records has announced the signing of Australia's MAMMOTH MAMMOTH to worldwide deal. The band's new album, "Volume III: Hell's Likely", will be released on the following dates:

Nov. 21 - Spain, Sweden, Greece
Nov. 23 - Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Finland, Benelux
Nov. 26 - Rest of Europe
Nov. 27 - North America

Commented MAMMOTH MAMMOTH frontman Mikey Tucker: "We're thrilled to be partnering with Napalm Records. Their current roster of MONSTER MAGNET, KARMA TO BURN, BRANT BJORK, to name a few, showcase their dedication to the rock scene across the globe. We are also very excited about the new opportunities that this signing will bring to help spread MAMMOTH MAMMOTH to the rest of the world. We have many loyal fans in Europe, Scandinavia and South America, so this new partnership will enable us to smash stages outside of Australia with our first European tour penciled in for mid-2013. So lock up your goats and call your lawyer coz, we're coming to a town near you."
Finnish dark metal act HANGING GARDEN has inked a deal with Lifeforce Records. The band's third album, "At Every Door", will be released in January 2013. The drums for the CD were recorded last November at Spleen studio. The mixing and mastering were completed almost a year later.

Commented Lifeforce owner Stefan Lüdicke: "Wait, another Finnish band on Lifeforce Records!? Well, yeah... what should I say... it just came together, HANGING GARDEN could have been from any other part of the world, at the end it was the music that convinced me 300%!!"

He added, "I'm in touch with Jussi Hämäläinen [guitar, vocals] and Jussi forwarded me some rough mixes of their new tracks, which totally blew me away already... by the time he sent me the full album, I was sold! It combines so many influences ranging from CULT OF LUNA to SISTERS OF MERCY, SIGUR ROS to DARK TRANQUILLITY in such a great way I simply couldn't resist!"


Jussi Kirves - Bass
Jussi Hämäläinen - Guitar, Vocals
Mikko Kolari - Guitar
Antti Ruokola - Drums
Toni Toivonen - Vocals
Nino Hynninen – Keyboards
Later this year, Bret Michaels will release his new album, "Bret Michaels And Friends: Get Your Rock On". The effort features some of the rocker's famous friends helping him out on various tracks. Among them are Rickey Medlocke and Gary Rossington from LYNYRD SKYNYRD, who lent their talents to Bret's cover of SKYNYRD's hit song "Sweet Home Alabama".

Speaking to VH1 Radio Network's Dave Basner, Rickey revealed how he became involved in the project. "[Bret's] doing a rendition of 'Alabama' and he wanted some guitar work on it," he said. "He got a hold of me and Gary and we kind of went in, did a little bit of playing on it, on 'Sweet Home Alabama'. It's pretty cool. We played a little bit of leads, a little bit of chinky rhythms on it or whatever. But Bret's a good guy. He's a good friend of ours."

Asked how the song sounds, Rickey said, "It's good. I mean, it's different. It's real different. And he took it away from what you would cop 'Sweet Home Alabama'. He took it from that but he did a… I think he did a good rendition of it. It's different. Different arrangement, but it's cool."

Also scheduled to appear on "Bret Michaels And Friends: Get Your Rock On" are Ace Frehley (KISS), Michael Anthony (CHICKENFOOT, VAN HALEN), Phil Collen (DEF LEPPARD), Joe Perry (AEROSMITH), Loretta Lynn, Lil Jon, Bobby Capps (.38 SPECIAL) and Sal Coz Costa (MY DARKEST DAYS).

In a recent interview with Gimme Noise, Bret stated about his upcoming CD, "I'm really proud of what we've done with it. It's actually going to be called 'Bret Michaels And Friends: Get Your Rock On', and I'll explain why: It's really not just a Bret Michaels album. I had so many other talented artists come in and support that it's really a 'Bret Michaels And Friends' album. There's a staggering amount of talent on this album. . . It's been such a fun project for me and I'm excited to share it with the fans."

Speaking to Rolling Stone magazine in February, Bret revealed that his new solo album will feature a remake of the POISON smash "Every Rose Has Its Thorn" as a duet between him and Loretta Lynn>. He said, "For me, growing up in a family that my father loved country music and 'Coal Miner's Daughter', this is gonna be a really awesome time."
According to RT, Sergey Troitskiy (a.k.a. Pauk, Russian for "spider"), the frontman of the Russian heavy metal band KORROZIYA METALLA, is running for mayor in the Moscow suburb of Khimki.

Troitskiy reportedly announced his decision to run for mayor in a series of videos posted on YouTube in which he put forth several "completely absurd" ideas, such as to only recruit Germans as civil servants, to turn the entire town into one big casino and to set up "gigantic oxygen-generating machines" to help Moscow cope with the summer heat. The musician also said that he planned to transform his informal "Heavy Metal Rock Corporation," or KTR, into a political party that would use the KTR acronym but be named "The Corporation of Working People of Russia." Pauk also vowed that if he won the mayoral elections, he would hold the KTR's founding convention in Khimki.

Formed in 1984, KORROZIYA METALLA is notorious for its provocative black-humor lyrics and public performances.

The band's best-known song, "Russian Vodka", was covered by KOLDBRANN and AGGRESSOR.
Finnish melodic gothic metal/rock band LUNAR PATH have parted ways with bassist Jesse Mäläskä.

Commented the group: "We are sad to inform that our bass player, Jesse Mäläskä, has decided to leave the band. The decision was fully understood by both parts and there was absolutely no drama involved. Jesse grew apart from the band musically. This, in turn, led to the situation that the smartest choice would be to part as friends. So, after two years of awesome bass duty, we thank him and wish him all the best in his future career!"

LUNAR PATH's debut album, "Memento Mori", was released in February via Inverse Records.

According to a press release, "Memento Mori" is "a concept album about a downward spiral in depression and death, set out to stretch the boundaries of traditional melodic/gothic metal with its dark and brooding atmosphere. This nightmarish journey through hell and back was inspired by arson, mishaps, bad luck as well as the lineup changes the band endured during these past years. These events shaped the band and transformed the album into a dynamic ensemble with warm and cold flashes of traditional metal and darkly progressive stunts, promising to raise eyebrows and make hearts race."

"Memento Mori" features guest appearances by such acclaimed musicians and vocalists such as Attila Csihar (MAYHEM, ABORYM), Tuomas Saukkonen (BEFORE THE DAWN, BLACK SUN AEON), Juha-Pekka Leppäluoto (CHARON, NORTHERN KINGS, HARMAJA) and Antti Leskinen (FATAL SOUND PROJECT, CHAINED, MURENA).

Formed in late 2006, LUNAR PATH released a few demos and EPs before starting to work on "Memento Mori". The band became victims of arson in early 2010 when a deranged person intentionally set fire to the ground floor of their practice flat while the band was playing, trapping them upstairs. During the attempt to reach safety, guitarist and album producer Jonas Eriksson sustained severe damage to his foot, but luckily nobody else was hurt in the fire. The band didn't spend their time crying over spilled milk as a few months later the band toured Scandinavia supporting DEATHSTARS and ex-IRON MAIDEN vocalist Paul Di'Anno; with Eriksson playing the entire tour sitting down with his broken leg in a cast.

LUNAR PATH lead vocalist Janica Lönn has been working with BLACK SUN AEON lately, most notably singing on their highly acclaimed "Blacklight Deliverance" album.
"Bow Down Before The Blood Court", the debut album from Dutch death metal doom mongers GRAND SUPREME BLOOD COURT, will be released on November 12 in Europe and on November 20 in North America via Century Media Records. The CD cover artwork was created by Axel Hermann (ASPHYX, GRAVE, UNLEASHED) and can be seen below.

GRAND SUPREME BLOOD COURT was founded in 2011 by former ASPHYX guitar player Eric Daniels who left behind the active death metal scene years ago after the release of ASPHYX's studio album "On The Wings Of Inferno". But as one should never deny his roots, Mr. Daniels is now back from beyond and ready to spread the plague of doom once more.

"After some resting years, the wish to play real doom/death was boiling again," he says. "It feels great to compose again; my guitars are more close to me than they were ever before. GRAND SUPREME BLOOD COURT gives me the motivation and true belief to spit out the true and real doom/death.

"I have five words to say about the upcoming album: heavy ...brutal... doom ... crushing ... real.

"My respect and gratitude towards the fans who kept supporting me, even when I wasn't there. YOU RULE!!!"

Still having maintained very close contact to his old band mates of ASPHYX, Eric has teamed up with Martin Van Drunen and Bob Bagchus for GRAND SUPREME BLOOD COURT as well. Still, GRAND SUPREME BLOOD COURT differs from the current ASPHYX sound.

Commented Philipp Schulte, A&R at Century Media in Germany: "We are very happy to have Eric Daniels back on the label with his new band.

"Eric and Century Media have a long and good history together.

"When we received the first instrumental samples of GRAND SUPREME BLOOD COURT, we instantly knew we have to release the band's material. This is crushing, twisted and sick death metal, composed by one of the few real riff masters of the scene.

"I am aware of the fact that GRAND SUPREME BLOOD COURT will instantly be compared to ASPHYX due to the lineup similarities and Eric's involvement in ASPHYX for many years. Still the two bands have a different approach on death metal and people will easily recognize those differences in the sound."

Eric explains the musical direction of GRAND SUPREME BLOOD COURT as follows: "GRAND SUPREME BLOOD COURT is a five-piece band, with two guitar players, in order to give more heaviness and possibilities to the songs. That differs from ASPHYX, as well as the fact that we down-tuned to B and the challenge between heaviness and brutality. The structure of the songs is more basic. Riffs will tell the story. We don't hesitate to play riffs longer if it feels right. GRAND SUPREME BLOOD COURT is more brutal, saw-like playing than ASPHYX what will be noticeable in the sound. Shortly said: GRAND SUPREME BLOOD COURT is a band standing at its own, no wink to ASPHYX, no connection."


Eric Daniels - Guitar
Bob Bagchus - Drums
Theo Van Eekelen - Bass
Alwin Zuur - Guitar
Martin Van Drunen – Vocals
Texas occult metal band VENOMOUS MAXIMUS will release its new album, "Beg Upon The Light", on October 30 via Occulture Records. The CD was recorded at Origin Sound in Houston with a head space described as "somewhere between a Alejandro Jodorowsky film and a New Orleans voodoo den."

"Beg Upon the Light"'s striking cover art was designed by artist Dann Miller and builds on the band's ever-evolving thematic that involves, among other things, magic, alchemy, extra-sensory perception and astrology; wide-eyed themes that lay "on the outermost fringe of accepted forms of knowledge and discourse."

Since its formation in 2010, VENOMOUS MAXIMUS has become the go-to metal band in the country's third-largest city, winning back-to-back titles at the Houston Press Music Awards as the Space City's "Best Metal Band" and has shared the stage with the like-minded MASTODON, PENTAGRAM, SAINT VITUS, THE SWORD, GRAVEYARD and more.

VENOMOUS MAXIMUS' sound combines intense, unabashed metal riffing that locks into heavy rock grooves featuring interjected dual leads and surprisingly darkened atmospheres. Add to it the distinctive voice of towering front man Gregg Higgins and his unorthodox, unsettling tone, unholy sinister laugh and unchained lyrics described as "primal psychomagic", detailing "paths of doom", dying witches, moon worship, haunted graveyards and travel through space and time, and the speed of the band's bat out of hell success becomes surprisingly clear.

When asked to describe the band's sound in eight words or less, Higgins replied, "Dark, Chrome, Leather, Snuff, Smoke, Sweat, Death, Apparitions." He went on to say about the group's new album, "It's something you can't describe with words. You're either born hearing it or not. When it finally has a mind of its own, the best you can hope for is that it will keep talking to you."

"Beg Upon The Light" track listing:

01. Funeral Queen
02. Path Of Doom
03. Give Up The Witch
04. Father Time
05. Dream Again (Hellenbach)
06. Moonchild
07. Battle For The Cross
08. Venomous Maximus
09. Mothers Milk
10. Hell's Heroes

VENOMOUS MAXIMUS is Gregg Higgins (vocals, guitar), Christian Larson (guitar), Trevi Biles (bass) and Bongo (drums).
LOVE AND DEATH, the band fronted by former KORN guitarist Brian "Head" Welch, has inked a deal with Tooth & Nail Records. The group's full-length debut is tentatively due on November 6.

LOVE AND DEATH's debut EP, "Chemicals", was released on April 24.

Regarding his decision to call his group LOVE AND DEATH, Welch recently said, "I put this band together in 2009. Since then, we've experienced some very intense highs and lows. Michael Valentine, Dan Johnson, J.R. Bareis and myself have toured around the world playing a lot of killer shows, but we've also had some heart-shattering difficulties along the way. To us, the name LOVE AND DEATH symbolizes everything we've been through as a band over the last few years. We love this band so much and we'll go through hell to connect with our fans. We've proven that to ourselves over and over again."

With LOVE AND DEATH, the music now lives under its own banner.

"Many people have confused my speaking dates and our band dates because they were both being booked as Brian 'Head' Welch," said Welch. "I have wanted to use a band name for branding my music for a few years. It has been an ongoing discussion with my management, but we were just starting to tour and I was in the middle of supporting my third book and it seemed like a bad time to switch names. Now with the new music coming out, it's time to really separate the things I do. I want the music to be about music. I will still be doing public speaking under Brian 'Head' Welch. I am happy that all the confusion will be over."

LOVE AND DEATH formed when Welch decided to have open auditions on YouTube in 2009. "I picked the guys and then had a jam session in Phoenix," says Welch. "Over the last couple of years, there have been a few lineup changes as we went through normal growing pains. The current band has been together and touring for a while now and they are a big part of the new music and the future of LOVE AND DEATH."

The "Chemicals" video can be seen below. The intense, semi-animated clip was shot by POAB Designs/Martillo Pictures.

For more information, visit www.loveanddeathmusic.com.
Aniruddh "Andrew" Bansal of Metal Assault recently conducted an interview with drummer Donald Tardy of Florida death metal veterans OBITUARY. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.

Metal Assault: Coming to the next album, I guess it should be out sometime soon. What's the update on that?

Donald: It's really exciting time for us right now. We are writing and recording some of the rough tracks to get our minds set with the album. The main thing we're realizing is we're really in no hurry. We don't want to rush things. We're at a point of our career right now where anything rushed doesn't make sense. A fan would love an album tomorrow if we had it, but the fact is we've been very busy this year, and although we have a lot of material, we're still going to take our time with making sure these songs are exactly the way we want them before we hit the record button. So we'll be listening to the songs we already have, re-recording some of the stuff, and really get a true recording come Christmas time and the beginning of the year. I think the idea would be to go with the songs we're extremely happy with, and the target date would be early next year or early summer time next year to have this album released.

Metal Assault: These days there are so many extreme metal bands going around. Do you ever look at what they are doing to kind of see where you stand?

Donald: The fuse is already lit, and you can't put it out now. Even when we were young, I don't think we ever really looked around to see what other people were doing to see what we need to be doing. I appreciate the new metal music, specially when it's good. But with OBITUARY, we know what we are, we're very comfortable in our own skins, and specially when it comes to writing songs, the only thing we're thinking about is what music we like, and what OBITUARY fans want to hear when it comes to an OBITUARY album. So there is a ton of good music out there, but we know what we want to do. We believe in our skills and creativity, and that's what the fans really want. The last thing we would want to do is try to change just because other styles of music are changing. So, it is an exciting time to see what's going on in the world of music and to know that OBITUARY is always going to be there as those godfathers of true, mid-tempo, groove metal that's not trying too hard but it's definitely throwing down and showing people how to keep it simple and keep it heavy.

Metal Assault: Yeah you're right, I know OBITUARY hasn't changed their music, but personally do you think you've changed or improved as a musician over the years?

Donald: I think we've kept to a straight arrow. It's important for us to do that. It's always fun to create and step outside your box, but with OBITUARY it's more than just the four band members. It's more than what we believe in. It's about the whole planet of people that love OBITUARY. You're always going to have the people that say, "Oh, this band's next record is going to be the same as their last one." Some people will always say that, but the important thing is the majority of the people buy OBITUARY albums because they want OBITUARY. You buy a SLAYER album knowing what it's going to be, as someone who worships SLAYER. If they were to change, who knows what we would do besides cry and be mad. The main thing with SLAYER is, they're the best band in the world because they are SLAYER. They don't need to change. They are my favorite band on the planet and I know what I'm getting when I buy a SLAYER album. And I think OBITUARY is that same way. Everybody knows what our style is, we know what we're good at, we know what John's [Tardy] voice needs, we know the style of songs he's good at singing, and we keep it that way. Some dude in Indiana or some guy in India, when he goes and picks up an OBITUARY, they're buying it because they love OBITUARY. We never want to change that.

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