Sunday, November 29, 2009

[HeavyMetalHeaven] The WHo, Black Sabbath, Heaven and Hell, Alice Cooper, Blaze Bayley and tons of hard rock and heavy metal

According to AP, THE WHO will perform at halftime of the Super Bowl this season.

The NFL announced during Thursday's game between the Oakland Raiders and Dallas Cowboys that the longtime rock band known for classic hits such as 'Pinball Wizard' and 'Baba O'Riley' will play February 7 at Dolphin Stadium in Miami.

Driven by singer Roger Daltrey and guitarist and songwriter Pete Townshend, the band's two remaining original members, The Who gained fame in the mid-1960s and were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1990.

Recent halftime acts at the Super Bowl have included BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN & THE E STREET BAND, TOM PETTY AND THE HEARTBREAKERS , PRINCE and THE ROLLING STONES.


Drummer Vinny Appice (HEAVEN & HELL, DIO, BLACK SABBATH ) will undergo surgery on his right shoulder on Monday, November 30 for an injury sustained during the last HEAVEN & HELL tour.

Commented Vinny: "You can't face the audience and hit drums directly behind you night after night at an extreme volume [referring to his monstrous drum kit that surrounded him with drums — Ed.]"

The surgeon expects Vinny to be back behind the kit in about five months.

HEAVEN & HELL singer Ronnie James Dio was just diagnosed with the early stages of stomach cancer while the band's guitarist, Tony Iommi, recently underwent stem-cell treatment on an injured hand.

HEAVEN & HELL's debut album, "The Devil You Know", entered The Billboard 200 chart at position No. 8 with first-week sales of 30,000 units.

The band's June 16, 2009 concert at Museumsmeile in Bonn, Germany was professionally filmed by WDR's (German public TV) series "Rockpalast" and was premiered on July 13. Watch the "Follow The Tears" performance below.

HEAVEN & HELL was forced to cancel its June 21, 2009 appearance at the Metalway Festival in Zaragoza, Spain due to back pain suffered by Iommi.


MiamiHerald.com has issued the following report/interview from John Hood:

Murder never goes out of style. And when the victim is responsible for some of the best music in the American Hard Rock Songbook, well, people are gonna take extra notice. That's probably why folks have been flocking to catch ALICE COOPER's murder-themed stage shows for the past 40 years. We've got bloodlust.

Naturally, an affinity for death isn't the only reason fans keep amassing to see Alice Cooper up close and unhinged. Crowds are there to hear such landmark hits as 'School's Out', 'I'm Eighteen', 'No More Mr. Nice Guy', 'You And Me' and 'Only Women Bleed'. But the staged gory scenes only complete the spectacle; they don't define it. There are many nightmares lurking deep within the recesses of our minds, and Alice Cooper is, er, dead set on bringing them all to life.

Cooper released Billion Dollar Babies in 1973 and Welcome to My Nightmare in 1975 and has been unleashing depravity ever since. Last year we got Along Came A Spider, his 25th studio LP, and with it he revealed that the serial killer in him remains alive and unwell. Now he's back in South Florida with what he calls his Theatre of Death. The Miami Herald talked to him to find out who's killing whom.

Q: What can fans expect from the tour?

A: Well, you know we work six months out of the year, every year, all around the world. I got to the point of saying, 'You know what? I think everybody's figured out my formula now for the show. Let's turn it upside-down and backward. [This way] even the most staunch Alice Cooper fan will not be able to figure out what we're doing'. And so we did everything opposite of what we normally do. We added three or four new things to it. Let's say normally when they kill Alice, they do it at the end of the show. In this show they kill Alice four times."

Read more at this location.

BraveWords.com can report that according to guitarist Keri Kelli, Cooper's gig in London next week will be filmed in high-definition.

Stay tuned for news on a possible DVD release of the show.

BraveWords.com recently received the following press release:

Concert Online records the live shows of Alice Cooper's Theatre Of Death Tour 2009 with a state-of-the-art mobile recording studio. To ensure maximum quality and listening pleasure, all tracks are recorded and mixed via elaborate multi-track audio technology.

The live audio recording will then be edited and copied to the Theatre Of Death Concert Stick in highest MP3 quality (320 kBit/s) and is available on location directly after each show.

From the day after the concert, the audio recordings are available online as well as a download or Concert Stick.

How does the Concert Stick work?
Just plug in your Concert Stick to any regular USB port on any regular PC or MAC, start the integrated audio player and listen to the very concert you've attended! Of course you can play the contained MP3 files on any device capable of playing back MP3s. On top, the Concert Stick functions as a 1GB USB 2.0 pen drive – please make sure to secure all contained data before you store additional content or erase the pen drive!

Can I burn a CD from the files contained?
Yes! It's that easy: To ensure maximum playback compatibility, our 320 kBit/s MP3s are not copy protected.

Where can I get my encores?
As we need some time to finish the audio files and duplicate the Concert Sticks, the last few songs from each concert are available for download from the day after the concert. Therefore, every box contains a voucher code that enables you to download your encores for free!

Hellfire II at Birmingham NEC was the venue, and in one of the small designated press areas we wedged ourselves alongside Blaze Bayley and his drummer Lawrence Larry Paterson. We had been looking forward to this one for a while so we weren't going to hang about…

OneMetal:Blaze Bayley… how the f**k are you mate?

Blaze:Good Good, really looking forward to the show. We wouldn't have chose to get it like we did, with Evile having to drop out, you know with Mike passing and everything.

OneMetal:Of course…

Blaze:It's very sad news but we are really happy that they wanted us to go ahead and do it, and you know we are going to go and make the most of it, and have a really good show. I get the sense that there will be a lot of people here who aren't familiar with the Blaze Bayley band, and what we've been doing over the last couple of years, so I'm really excited to play to new people and see how it goes.

OneMetal:But surely, you are in Birmingham… it's a homecoming?

Blaze:Yeah hopefully, and I've never played the NEC before so that is a real bonus… even though it's only Hall 8 (laughing)…

OneMetal:Yeah but it's still the NEC

Blaze:Yeah yeah, it's still the NEC so it's absolutely great to be able to say that and all my family are really really chuffed about it. It only took me 20 minutes to get here (laughing) . It's really, really cool.

OneMetal:Come off it. I still cannot believe you have never played the NEC. You have fronted one of the greatest British bands ever…. Wolfsbane

(laughing)

OneMetal:We won't mention any other bands you may have been associated with… anyway, you are where you are. Looking back would you have done anything differently?

Blaze:Oooh well, I mean I wouldn't do anything differently to what I am doing right now, because I feel we have something really special. We kind of got our groove together with "The Man Who Would Not Die" with this line up and now we have just taken a small break from the recording of the next album to do this and another couple of shows. There's certainly a real identity to our sound and a real strong chemistry between the people in the band, and I think that comes through. Hopefully people will see that when they hear the next album in February, "Promise And Terror". I wouldn't really change anything, we have our Wolfsbane reunions every couple of years and its great that it's still the original line up, that's a lot of fun and that's why we do it really.

A lot of the time in Wolfsbane we ended up making ugly compromises with the record label and getting shafted by this that and the other, and the timing was never right… we never played abroad enough. So we just do it now for a laugh and a giggle, and to remember the good times. It's a lot of fun to do that but what I am really doing is getting my own band together, and the Blaze Bayley band is something where we all share in the creativity and the triumphs and disasters. We have played all over, we started the tour in January in Brazil and then gone all over. We have done a live album and our own DVD . We have done everything on our own terms and nobody outside our little organisation has any say at all in that process. That's a really great situation to be in. The only other time I was in a situation like that was when I was in Iron Maiden. They fought tooth and nail so that no one within EMI could have any say in the artwork, the albums or
the music. So when I got to a situation where I could put my own band together and get a new line up I thought well, that's the way I am going to do it. Everything on my own terms, and that's what we do as a band. It's a lot of sacrifice and effort, but it's really satisfying and it gives you a real edge over some of the bands that don't have that control.

OneMetal:You are saying you have put together this line up… it's not exactly been easy has it? I mean, I want to congratulate you on becoming the lead singer of Chokehold…

(laughing)

Larry: Yeah, well put.

OneMetal:Obviously I mean with bringing in Larry and having Dave stand in.
(laughing) Anyway, what I am getting at is are you a solo artist or are you part of a band?

Blaze:Well yeah it's really confusing, but it's also really good. I started the Blaze band thing and all that but it just didn't evolve into what I wanted, and I wanted to change the name as I found so many people recognised me personally and asked what I was doing. I'd tell them I have my own band called Blaze and they'd say well I don't know, I've never heard of it. I was thinking that's really s**t, so I changed the name after speaking to everybody. I said no one associates the name Blaze with the former singer from Wolfsbane and Iron Maiden. So the Man Who Would Not Die came out under Blaze Bayley and on that tour we played to twice as many people as we did before, and that was with no extra promotion.

OneMetal:'The Man Who Would Not Die', is that self fulfilling, because after the Maiden stint you dipped off the radar somewhat. Was the 'Man Who Would Not Die' you saying here I am and I'm coming back?

Blaze:Yeah, I agree and for the most part it's not through any fault of my own. I mean I have had plenty of problems. The fact that I got Silicon Messiah album together and ready to release with artwork done and dusted to come out in January or February, and then through whatever reason it came out in the same week as Brave New World… I never recovered from that. The same thing happened to me with Tenth Dimension. The next album I did I thought I would get this ready for February, you know there's no conflict with an Iron Maiden release, there's no conflict with anything else. But the management I had at the time said no they wanted it for July, so I missed all the festivals that year, rushed things through, and when I did deliver it on time, on the budget, they said they're not going to put it out now until later on. I was stuffed twice, and I could never recover from that. So when we got this band together we were not going to listen to
anybody else. We will decide when we do things…

OneMetal:Plus you have your own label…

Blaze:Yeah we have our own label and we've said right, we are working on an album now and it will come out in February. That is it. If cattle prods have to be used on drummers to get them to get their parts right, then it will be done (laughing). .. People will be tortured. That's what we've done, it's going to come out on time, and it's going to be fantastic, and it will have been done on our own terms. Our tour will go with our album… which isn't rocket science, it's what you are supposed to do. But since I have done my own thing post Maiden, none of the things have fitted into place until now. So we really have high hopes that we really have something to talk about with The Man Who Would Not Die, the live album and the new one Promise and Terror in February. Everything we are doing we are doing back to the roots, we are doing the small venues all over the UK and Europe where people haven't got to drive for a couple of hours,
haven't got to pay a fortune for parking… could even go on the bus. We will be playing in a venue that they recognise, and when people see all of these things up close and personal that's when our music comes to life.

The way we work in this band is not "Let's get huge gigs and play to thousands of people". It's more like "We will convert one fan at a time". If we just get one more person at each gig… but if we get a big festival then that's fantastic. But its one person at a time, if they listen with an open mind they will understand and get such an intense passionate vocal and something that is not afraid. We are not trying to conform to any trend, we are not trying to be fashionable. We're just being what we are as these five musicians in a band. When people understand all that, it seems to go down really well.

OneMetal:Talking of cattle prodding drummers and electrocuting them… Of course I am all in favour of that…

Larry:Yeah you would be (laughing)

OneMetal:I mean you have Larry here now, and the last time I caught up with him, he was in Chokehold and he was raving about the new Blaze line up… clearly he knew something we didn't… now he's jumped ship and joined you. Now he has gone and written a book about you… do you feel like you have your own personal stalker?

(all laughing)

Blaze:I think it's worse than that… it's much worse than that. I've let him stay at my house (laughing) so it's really bad. It's worse than a stalker because a stalker is generally outside your house looking in… he's actually inside the house doing whatever he wants, leaving his drums everywhere.

Larry: Now I've done the book I'll leave(laughing)

OneMetal:Yeah, are you going to go and find some other unsuspecting subject? How is the book actually doing?

Larry: Yeah, doing good doing good, it seems to be going down really well .

OneMetal:Anyway back to the band. You are having a few problems getting the other guys over and having stand ins. How are you going to progress from this?

Blaze:Oh well we are just going to carry on. The only thing we have left to do on the album is the lead vocal and the mixing. So all of the main parts we have just worked around and it doesn't seem to have been detrimental in any way. It doesn't affect the album recording. It's just a very inconvenient unpleasant fact of life. When we put it together we put it together for musical reasons not for practical reasons. We wanted to have the best music we could have and work with the best musicians we could, to make the sound we wanted. We didn't think if everybody lives within a 15 mile radius then that will be a great advantage for the band, but it probably would have sounded c**p.

OneMetal:Are you bringing in anybody from the outside?

Blaze:We've got a couple of friends that we phone up when we have these problems. One of which is Dirty Dave, as you know former Chokehold guitarist and the other one is Luke from Fury

OneMetal:It seems quite incestuous with all the band relationships.

Blaze:It is yeah…

OneMetal:I thought there was always more of an inter-band rivalry, but it seems to be always borrowing each other, shack up with each other, stalk each other… write books…you know?

Blaze:Yeah yeah (laughing)

Larry:Yeah that's why we don't let many people backstage (laughing)

OneMetal:Well that just about sums it all up for us… although I have to ask you who are you looking forward to seeing?

Blaze:Benediction and Beholder for definite, and although they have been around for ages I have never seen Anvil. Oh and as always Saxon… I've toured with Saxon, I've seen them so many times and you think I'm not going to watch them this time, but you hear the first song and you are hooked… then it's the end of the set. I really enjoy seeing Saxon.

OneMetal:Yeah well you and Saxon have similarities, you are both from the school of the bastions of British rock. Is there ever a time when you just thing, s**t, I'm getting too old for this?

Blaze:No no, never… I think I just worry about not getting enough work in. Never think I am getting too old, I'm not ageist at all. I get really offended when people say "oh you dont want to be doing this when you are sixty". I just think well what else would I want to be doing? What else would you want to do when you are doing something that you love ? Rock and Roll and entertainment in general has got a great history of people just carrying on until they feel like stopping, not until someone decides they should stop. I think that's a really really good thing. In metal in particular you keep going as long as people are interested in hearing you and your ideas are still good.

OneMetal:Excellent, good on you. The final question for you today though. What are your three top albums of the year?

Blaze:Oh I dont know….My album, my album, my album (laughing)

OneMetal:What about you Lawrence?

Larry: Erm Motorizer, Motorhead, Saxon's new one is pretty good, and I am anticipating the new Slayer one being b****y good. Everyone says its the bollocks. I havent heard it yet, but the last one was awesome. Yeah there's quite a few good ones out at the moment.

OneMetal:Excellent, thanks guys… good luck with the show and we'll catch up with you next year.

Melissa Arseniuk from Lasvegassun.com spoke with BUCKCHERRY frontman Josh Todd recently when the band was in Sacramento opening up for KISS.

"After this tour's over with we're going to start making a new record so I've been writing on my days off," he said.

And he has no shortage of material.

"I feel like we're going through a transition," he said. "There's a lot of stuff going on with the world: We just got a new president; the green issue; and the 2012 predictions … There's just a lot of stuff to write about."

"Right now I've been focusing on songs that kind of bring it all together," he said. "I'm wanting to write a song that sort of incorporates all of that, all of our ambition, what we're really working towards. I'm going to get a little deeper on this one so it's going to be fun."

The newly revamped lineup of the NWOBHM band TOKYO BLADE, featuring Andy Boulton (guitar ) alongside John Wiggins (guitar) and bassist Andy Wrighton (bass), has announced the addition of singer Chris Gillen to the group's ranks. The band's new drummer will be announced shortly.

TOKYO BLADE released the "Live In Germany" CD and DVD on October 27 through Razar Ice Records. The effort was recorded in November 2008 at the Keep It True festival in Würzburg, Germany during the band's "Die By The Sword" tour.

"Live In Germany" was mixed and mastered by Sid Garcia at Sight 16 Studios in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

The DVD contains bonus material, including tour rehearsal, candid footage with the band and additional live songs from throughout the 2008 tour.

Keyboardist Jens Johansson (STRATOVARIUS, DIO, YNGWIE MALMSTEEN) has joined the list of guest musicians who will appear on the forthcoming release from EDGUY frontman Tobias Sammet's AVANTASIA project.

Commented Tobias: "I've known Jens for years now; there has always been a friendship between EDGUY and STRATOVARIUS. We became friends when Jens was playing in the solo band of Timo Kotipelto when they joined EDGUY for a tour of South America some years ago. We got shitfaced on several occasions and Jens always captured any possible embarrassment with his Powershot G5.

"He's a genius on his instrument — and beyond — and the stuff he played for me sounds amazing.

"A lot of people can shred and play fast, but unlike most of them, every note that Jens plays is tasteful and exactly where it belongs.

"I don't know if he is the fastest keyboarder in the world, but I'd like to think so. At least I have never heard a faster one."

So far Tobias has confirmed the following musicians to be part of the forthcoming AVANTASIA opus:

* Klaus Meine (SCORPIONS)
* Tim "Ripper" Owens (JUDAS PRIEST, YNGWIE MALMSTEEN, ICED EARTH)
* Eric Singer (KISS, ALICE COOPER)
* Michael Kiske (HELLOWEEN)
* Jorn Lande (MASTERPLAN, ARK, MILLENIUM)
* Bob Catley (MAGNUM)
* Sascha Paeth
* Felix Bohnke (EDGUY)
* Alex Holzwarth (RHAPSODY, SIEGES EVEN)
* Russell Allen (SYMPHONY X)
* Jens Johansson (STRATOVARIUS, DIO, YNGWIE MALMSTEEN)

AVANTASIA project will celebrate its comeback next year with a new epic masterpiece, to be released as two separate albums entitled "The Wicked Symphony" and "Angel Of Babylon".

Regarding his decision to release the next AVANTASIA chapter in two separate CDs, Tobias said, "I have always given my very best, but this new chapter in AVANTASIA's history is too much and too ambitious to be just a regular album. I have worked on it for years now, and it has become even more than two albums!

"I knew that story would be spread out over two albums back then when we started working on it in 2006, 'cause we had written a real rock opera of over 20 songs even back then. But since then, we kept composing, and out came even bigger and better material.

"Looking at the music industry today with all the CD burning and downloading, I guess in the near future many of us traditional rock and metal bands won't be able to spend such a production budget. I am afraid I won't be able to afford so many guests and such a big production with orchestration and a choir and all that. That's why this production takes so much time; it may be the last big epic I will be able to afford, and I want it to be the biggest piece I have worked on so far."

Kiske has appeared on every AVANTASIA album so far, including the first two full-length releases, "The Metal Opera" (2001) and "The Metal Opera Pt. II" (2002).

On the topic of the new AVANTASIA album's musical direction, Sammet recently stated, "We've got quite many songs, and it ranges from epic ballads to metal opera. From pop to hard rock to folk to speed metal. My best friend, who co-wrote the story of 'The Metal Opera' back then, just listened to some of the tracks and he said that it will blow people away and enchant AVANTASIA fans and it will surely piss people off . . . It's just enchanting music. And these days honest and good music is kind of offending to some, that's pretty sick, isn't it? But as long as I get goose bumps hearing majestic music, I do not really care if I am fashionable or not."

The most recent album from AVANTASIA, "The Scarecrow", was one of the 20 best-selling albums in whole Europe during the fourth week of January 2008, according to a press release.

"The Scarecrow" was released on January 25, 2008 as a standard CD as well as rare picture (double) vinyl. It features a long list of guest musicians, including Bob Catley, ex-MASTERPLAN frontman Jorn Lande, ex-HELLOWEEN singer Michael Kiske, Alice Cooper, KISS drummer Eric Singer, SCORPIONS guitarist Rudolf Schenker and GAMMA RAY's Kai Hansen. The album produced a Top 10 German hit single, "Lost In Space", and entered the national charts in 15 countries, with the CD landing in the Top 10 in four countries.

Former HELLOWEEN vocalist Michael Kiske is collaborating with American singer Amanda Somerville on a brand new melodic hard rock/metal project for Frontiers Records. Mat Sinner (PRIMAL FEAR, SINNER) and Magnus Karlsson (PLACE VENDOME, PRIMAL FEAR) are handling most of the songwriting for the CD, which is tentatively due in the spring/summer.

According to the Kiske Official Fanclub, Sinner is currently overseeing the recording of Somerville's vocals at the Audiospezialist Studio in Stuttgart with drummer Martin Schmidt. Karlsson just laid down his parts at his own studio Stuntguitar in Sweden and Sander Gommans (AFTER FOREVER, HDK) will track additional guitar for the CD.

This is the final track listing for the album (composers for each track listed in parenthesis):

01. Nothing Left To Say (Mat Sinner & Magnus Karlsson)
02. Silence (Mat Sinner & Magnus Karlsson)
03. If I Had A Wish (Mat Sinner & Magnus Karlsson)
04. One Night Burning (Mat Sinner & Magnus Karlsson)
05. Arise (Sander Gommans & Amanda Somerville)
06. End Of The Road (Mat Sinner & Jimmy Kresic)
07. Don't Walk Away (Mat Sinner & Magnus Karlsson)
08. Devil In Her Heart (Mat Sinner & Jimmy Kresic)
09. Rain (Mat Sinner & Magnus Karlsson)
10. A Thousand Suns (Sander Gommans & Amanda Somerville)
11. Second Chance (Mat Sinner & Magnus Karlsson)

Bonus Track:

12. Set A Fire (Sander Gommans & Amanda Somerville)

A promotional video will be also be made for the CD.

Sinner told the Kiske Official Fanclub that a decision will be made in the next few weeks about who will handle the album artwork and who will helm the promotional clip.

Somerville is the American singer-songwriter and vocal coach who was tapped to replace EPICA vocalist Simone Simons on the band's North American tour with SYMPHONY X due to Simons' health issues.

Amanda was featured on KAMELOT's latest release, "Ghost Opera", and recently toured with AVANTASIA. She last year released her long-awaited solo album, "Windows".

A Michigan native, Amanda has resided and worked mainly in Germany and the Netherlands since 1999. She has collaborated with several other bands in the metal scene along with producers Sascha Paeth and Miro, and co-wrote the rock opera "Aina". Her own music is of the pop-rock genre.

Veteran Massachusetts metallers MELIAH RAGE will play their first show with returned frontman Mike Munro on Saturday, Febuary 20 at Club Whiplash in Stoughton, Massachusetts. Also appearing on the bill is STEEL ASSASSIN.

"Masquerade", the new album from MELIAH RAGE, was released in September via Screaming Ferret/Metro City Records. The CD was recorded at The Outpost in Stoughton, Massachusetts and was mastered at last November by producer Rich Spillberg (WARGASM), who has worked with everyone from STEEL ASSASSIN to JOSH GROBAN. According to the group, "The music on the record is much faster and heavier than the past few records and features a guest appearance by METAL CHURCH frontman Ronny Munroe."

After singer Paul Souza exited the band in late 2007, a six-month search for a suitable replacement began, which led to a dead end. That is, until producer Rich Spillberg suggested that they contact Munro and get back to their roots.

Having left MELIAH RAGE over a decade ago, Munro is back for more, joining bandmates Anthony Nichols (guitar), Jim Koury (guitar), Darren Lourie (bass), and Stu Dowie (drums).

Originally formed in 1985, MELIAH RAGE was often associated with the then-burgeoning thrash metal scene, which resulted in a major label contract and their 1988 metal classic, "Kill to Survive". In the ensuing years, the group played with some of metal's most renowned names — SLAYER, MEGADETH , TESTAMENT, MANOWAR, MORBID ANGEL, METAL CHURCH, and NUCLEAR ASSAULT. The group also included GODSMACK frontman Sully Erna in their ranks (as a drummer) during the early '90s.

Former FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH and W.A.S.P. guitarist Darrell Roberts has launched a brand new new band/project called SINTANIC. A full CD of music is being recorded now, with hopes for a spring 2010 release date and extensive touring to follow. The album is being recorded at Darrell's home studio as well as The Steakhouse in North Hollywood, California with producer/engineer Brent Woods.

"Starting something new is kinda scary and super-exciting at the same time," stated Darrell. "It's like standing at the bottom of Mt. Everest wearing flip flops!"

After years of touring the world with some of the biggest bands on the planet, Roberts is finally doing things his way. "I mean no disrespect to anyone I have worked with in the past because I regret nothing!" he said. "It was invaluable, a learning experience and I thank you all for the opportunity, but it was really time to let my creative side roam free and record my music."

With the Key Club in West Hollywood , California shutting its doors this Sunday forever, California rockers STEEL PANTHER will make the move for one special night only to The Roxy on Sunset. After several years making its home at the Key Club, the longest-running rock show on the Sunset Strip will be returning to The Roxy for one night only. The band will take the stage at 11:30 p.m.

STEEL PANTHER will will begin its run at the House of Blues on Sunset on December 7.

STEEL PANTHER's first collection of original material, "Feel The Steel", was produced by Jay Ruston and was officially released in the U.S. on October 6.

STEEL PANTHER is the '80s metal/hard rock tribute act formerly known as METAL SKOOL. The four-member band, known for its outrageous stage presence and gargantuan guitar riffs, has been entertaining fans and scores of rock and entertainment VIPs with its raucous antics via L.A.'s longest-running heavy metal show on the Sunset Strip for nearly a decade.

KYPCK ("Kursk" in the western alphabet) — the Russian-singing Finnish doom metal band featuring former SENTENCED guitarist Sami Lopakka (a.k.a. S.S. Lopakka) — has entered the studio to begin recording its second album. More details will be revealed soon.

KYPCK's "Stalingrad" video can be viewed below. The song comes off the group's debut album, "Cherno", which was completed during 2007 and was originally released through the Finnish label UHO Production in March 2008. Despite the album's crushing, doomy nature and Russian lyrics, it went straight to No. 11 on the Finnish chart.

KYPCK's lineup includes Lopakka, vocalist E. Seppänen, bassist J. T. Ylä-Rautio and renowned producer Hiili Hiilesmaa (HIM, APOCALYPTICA, SENTENCED, etc.), who plays drums in the band under the name K. H. M. Hiilesmaa. It was only logical for Hiilesmaa to take charge of KYPCK's heavy and (in its original sense) grinding production.

E. Seppänen lived in Russia for 2.5 years, studied in St. Petersburg and worked at the embassy in Moscow. He got his degree from Oxford, and teaches Russian part-time in Tampere, Finland. Hence, he is more than capable of singing in Russian.

In 2010, Belgian progressive metallers OCEANS OF SADNESS will celebrate their 15-year anniversary as a band and the 10-year anniversary of the release of their debut album, "For We Are". To commemorate this event, the group will play a special show on February 6, 2010 at JC Spin in Dessel, Belgium where they will play two sets, with the first part of the show concert consisting of a performance of the "For We Are" LP in its entirety and the second part of the gig featuring a mixture of material spanning the band's entire career. Only 400 tickets will be made available via www.jcspin.be.

OCEANS OF SADNESS' fifth album, "The Arrogance of Ignorance" (2008), was produced by Jens Bogren at Fascination Street in Örebro, Sweden and contains 10 tracks. The album includes an additional guest appearance by Johan Liiva (formerly of ARCH ENEMY, HEARSE) on the track "In The End". Artwork was created by the Greek artist Seth Siro Anton.

Swedish glam-rock band CRASHDIET has cancelled its previously announced Finnish tour dates as the support act for HARDCORE SUPERSTAR in order to focus on completing the recording sessions for its next studio album.

Commented CRASHDIET in a statement: "We're truly sorry [about] this, but the making of our next album is way too far behind our recording schedule. To avoid postponing the album release, we have been forced to cancel the Finnish tour supporting HARDCORE SUPERSTAR. The good thing is that we'll be back in Finland on a headlining tour with a brand new ass-kicking album behind us during next year!"

CRASHDIET entered the studio on Friday, November 13 with RamPac, the production and songwriting team formed by Johan Ramström and Patrik Magnusson, to begin recording its third album for an early 2010 release.

CRASHDIET recently announced the addition of Simon "Simme" Cruz from the Stockholm act JAILBAIT as the group's new lead singer. A new demo track, "Caught In Despair", featuring the band's latest addition is available for streaming below.

CRASHDIET parted ways with its last vocalist, the Finland-based H. Olliver Twisted, in July 2008. "We need a singer who can commit 100%, which unfortunately Olli couldn't live up to," the group stated at the time. "He, as many know about, has another band in Finland and we couldn't settle for sharing our time. We want to go further than any band has done before and we can't afford to spend time just waiting. We need to function as a full unit, all the time!"

CRASHDIET's sophomore album, "The Unattractive Revolution", entered the Swedish chart at position No. 11 back in October 2007. The CD was mixed in the United States by Kevin Churko.

"The Unattractive Revolution" features a guest appearance on two tracks by MÖTLEY CRÜE guitarist Mick Mars, who flew into Stockholm, Sweden in June 2007 to help CRASHDIET write some of the material.

H. Olliver Twisted joined CRASHDIET as the replacement for David Hellman (a.k.a. Dave Lepard), who committed suicide in January 2006.

Swedish metallers STEEL ATTACK are "back together again" and will perform at least one show with a lineup that includes members from the band's first two albums:

Steve Steel (Stefan Westerberg) - Bass, Vocals
John Allan - Guitar
Dennis Westman - Guitar
Andereas de Vera - Drums

STEEL ATTACK will only play material from "Where Mankind Fails" (1999) and "Fall Into Madness" (2001). The group says, "We did our first rehearsal yesterday in 10 years and it sounded like we never been apart!"

STEEL ATTACK recently parted ways with Ronny Hemlin (vocals), Peter Morén (drums) and Johan Löfgren (bass).

"Crawl", the latest video from STEEL ATTACK, can be viewed below. The track comes off the group's most recent album, "Carpe DiEnd", which was released on February 22, 2008 via Massacre Records. The CD was recorded at KING DIAMOND guitarist Andy La Rocque's Sonic Train studio and it was mixed at Solnasound by Mike Wead (MERCYFUL FATE, KING DIAMOND).

"Carpe DiEnd" is the follow-up to "Diabolic Symphony", which was released in April 2006 via Massacre.

American power metal band IN VIRTUE will release its long-awaited debut CD, "Delusions of Grandeur", on December 11. The CD includes seven original tracks, with female vocals courtesy of Corinne Reif and death vocals by the band's lead guitarist and composer, Trey Xavier. According to the group, "Delusions of Grandeur" "combines our many influences set to lush arrangements to craft a unique and recognizable sound."

A CD-release party/show will be held on December 11 at the Phoenix Theater in Petaluma, California.

IN VIRTUE formed in 2004 at Sonoma State University when four friends with a love for fast and heavy music recruited a lady to sing lead. Soon the IN VIRTUE sound was born, a blend of finely composed melodic power metal and death metal.

IN VIRTUE endeavors to blend catchy melody and anthemic choruses with aggressive energy and brutal symmetry to create balanced musical fusion.

For more information, visit www.invirtue.net.

BLABBERMOUTH.NET has received word from several people that singer /guitarist Michael Poulsen of Danish metal rock 'n' rollers VOLBEAT collapsed on stage earlier tonight (Sunday, November 29) during the band's performance at 013 in Tilburg, the Netherlands. According to one person who attended the concert, "Poulsen said at the beginning of the show that he was very ill but didn't want to disappoint the fans. About half an hour into the concert, during the song 'A Warrior's Call', Poulsen suddenly collapsed. He then was rushed to hospital. The [rest of the] concert was cancelled..."

Video footage taken right after Poulsen collapsed on stage in Tilburg can be viewed below (courtesy of Rickwon).

VOLBEAT recently entered Hansen Studios in Ribe, Denmark to record a song for Danish boxing champion Mikkel Kessler. Kessler is using the track, "A Warrior's Call", as an intro to his fights as part of the "Super Six" tournament.

Poulsen is a huge boxing aficianado, so when Mikkel asked the band to write his theme song, they immediately accepted.
Acclaimed Norwegian '90s melodic heavy rock band JACK IN THE BOX will play its first reunion show on March 19, 2010 at Gamla in Oslo, Norway.

The group's current lineup is as follows:

Eric Si (a.k.a. Lars Eric Si, Lars Eikind) (WINDS, BEFORE THE DAWN) - Vocals
Rune Lamøy - Guitar
Frode Lamøy - Drums
Victor Borge - Bass
Espen Helvig - Guitar

JACK IN THE BOX was formed in 1990 by brothers Rune and Frode Lamøy. The band was discovered by TNT guitar player Ronnie Le Tekrø and released its first EP in 1993. Two years later, JACK IN THE BOX issued its full-length debut, "Stigma", a CD consider by many to be a Norwegian metal classic. A low-budget video for the song "French Fries For Breakfast" was also produced.

JACK IN THE BOX ended in 1997 when Rune, Frode and Victor formed AUTOPULVER.

For more information, visit the band's official web site at www.boxreborn.com.

Greek atmospheric metal band SCAR OF THE SUN will support PAIN OF SALVATION in Greece:

Jan. 23 - Athens, GRE @ Gagarin 205 Club
Jan. 24 - Thessaloniki, GRE @ Principal Club Theater

Also scheduled to appear at both shows are DISILLUSION (Germany), AGUA DE ANNIQUE (The Netherlands), LAKE OF TEARS (Sweden).

SCAR OF THE SUN's debut album, "A Series of Unfortunate Concurrencies", was mixed and mastered by acclaimed sound engineers Rhys Fulber (FEAR FACTORY , PARADISE LOST, FRONT LINE ASSEMBLY) and Greg Reely (PARADISE LOST, FRONT LINE ASSEMBLY, SKINNY PUPPY) and features guest appearances by Mikael Stanne (DARK TRANQUILLITY), Bob Katsionis (FIREWIND, OUTLOUD), Marios Iliopoulos (NIGHTRAGE), Chris Antoniou (SEPTICFLESH) and Leah Randi (CONJURE ONE). The CD has yet to be released as the band is currently shopping for a record deal.

For more information, visit www.scarofthesun.com.


ATLANTIC TIDE, the new Swedish project featuring guitarist Freddie Eugene (UNLEASHED, TERRA FIRMA, LOUD PIPES, HARMS WAY) alongside ex-TERRA FIRMA bassist Izmo Ledderfejs and former BLACKSHINE axeman Stabel Miserabel, released its first-ever seven-inch single, "Bad Acid Queen", on November 16 through High Roller Records. The single, which includes the title track and a song called "Eyestroids", comes in two different versions — green and black — and features layout by Trident Arts. It is strictly limited to 500 copies.

To get your copy, visit www.high-roller-records.de.

ATLANTIC TIDE is:

* Freddie Eugene (UNLEASHED, TERRA FIRMA, LOUD PIPES, HARMS WAY) - Guitar /Vocals
* Izmo Ledderfejs (TERRA FIRMA) - Bass
* Stabel Miserabel (BLACKSHINE) - Guitar

ATLANTIC TIDE is currently working on material for a full-length album.

For more information, visit the band's MySpace page.

Former ELEGY/VENGEANCE singer Ian Parry has set "Species" as the title of the fifth and final part of the CONSORTIUM PROJECT concept story. Joining Ian in the studio will be KAMELOT drummer Casey Grillo, DAWN OF DESTINY bass player Jens Faber and INFINITY OVERTURE guitarist Niels Vejlyt, who has already laid down some ripping guitar tracks on a number of CONSORTIUM V songs during Ian's recent visit to Copenhagen in October.

Newcomers to CONSORTIUM PROJECT are two female vocalists — Bulgarian rock singer Anna Lozanova and gothic metal vocalist Lene Petersen (INFINITY OVERTURE).

Ian hopes to have the CONSORTIUM V "Species" album finished by the middle of next year, with a release — which will include his Consortium Quadrilogy — around September 2010.

Commented Ian: "It is a challenge this time around to write and produce the best and heaviest of all five CONSORTIUM albums. I really want to emphasis the fact that in my conceptual story women save the world. This is why I want more involvement from the great female vocalists on CONSORTIUM V 'Species'.

"It's great to have Casey Grillo back on drums doing an incredible job like he did on CONSORTIUM III and my solo CD, 'Visions', and this time I have a fantastic young kick-ass bass player Jens Faber completing the rhythm section. So with rip-roaring solos from Danish guitarist Niels Vejlyt, it's going to be a killer album with a mix of everything that is cool in rock and metal."

CONSORTIUM PROJECT's video for the song "Enigma" can be viewed below. The track comes off the group's last album, entitled "Children of Tomorrow", which was issued in North America in July 2007 on ProgRock Records. The label also released Parry's last solo album, "Visions", which came out in Europe in 2006.

Unlike Parry's previous CONSORTIUM PROJECT releases, "Children of Tomorrow" was said to be "a more diverse rock metal production with progressive elements reminiscent of his earlier productions." Parry spent more than a year on this epic production, writing, recording and mixing with former ELEGY bandmate/keyboard player Joshua Dutrieux. The songs were written as a collaboration between Parry, Dutrieux and the latest addition to the CONSORTIUM family, ex-WITHIN TEMPTATION drummer Ivar de Graaf.

Vocalist Jason Hohenstein has announced his departure from the South Carolina-based extreme metal band LECHEROUS NOCTURNE. He says in a statement, "Many factors have played into this [decision], none of which more important than my family/home- life/job. The last tour I wasn't feeling it anymore and I owe it to LECHEROUS and every fan of LECHEROUS to not 'fake it.' 12-plus years of good times, great fans/friends, and what I still perceive to be great music .

"I will still continue to support LECHEROUS and I know that they still have many years of great things ahead of them.

"Thanks to everyone over the years who have shown tremendous support, and my family and friends for everything they have done.

"I will still continue to be musically active... just not in the 'metal scene."

LECHEROUS NOCTURNE is currently seeking a new vocalist. Interested parties should contact Kreishloff at lecherousnocturne@gmail.com,

PRISTINA, the band featuring former members of 100 DEMONS, A THOUSAND FALLING SKIES and INVOCATION OF NEHEK, will release its long-delayed new album, "The Drought (Ov Salt and Sorrow)", in February 2010 via Bombfarm Records. The CD was recorded by singer Brendan K. Duff and Steve Austin (TODAY IS THE DAY), who also mixed and engineered the effort. Guest musicians on "The Drought" include Austin, Rennie Resmini (STARKWEATHER) and Scott Angelicos (BLOODLET).

"The Drought (Ov Salt and Sorrow)" track listing:

01. The Drought (Ov Salt and Sorrow)
02. Moonshiner
03. Temple of the Morning Star (TODAY IS THE DAY cover)
04. Salt Water Cthulhu
05. Because I Can Kill You

The album will also be made available on limited-edition vinyl.

In other news, PRISTINA is halfway finished with the songwriting process for another full-length, tentatively due in 2010. The as-yet-untitled CD will most likely be produced by Jimmy Bower of EYEHATEGOD/DOWN fame.

PRISTINA recently welcomed a new second guitar player — J.P. Fernandes from singer Brendan's former band A THOUSAND FALLING SKIES.

For more information, visit www.pristina666.com.

Florida-based extreme metallers DIABOLIC have completed work on their fifth full-length album, "Excisions of Exorcisms", for a tentative February/March 2010 release via an as-yet-undisclosed label. The CD was recorded at D.O.W. Studios in Seffner, Florida with producer Juan "Punchy" Gonzalez (MORBID ANGEL, TERRORIZER, UNHOLY GHOST, live sound for NILE).

"Excisions of Exorcisms" track listing:

01. Excisions of Exorcisms
02. Hellish World
03. Entombed
04. Venomous Habitations
05. Evil in Disguise
06. Bloodwashed
07. False Belief
08. Fragmented Kreations

The album artwork is being completed by Joe Petagno (MOTÖRHEAD, MARDUK, KRISIUN, ANGELCORPSE).

DIABOLIC's current lineup includes founding members Aantar Coates (drums), Paul Ouellette (bass, vocals), and guitarists Kelly McLauchlin (UNHOLY GHOST , PESSIMIST) and Jeff Parrish (BLASTMASTERS).

DIABOLIC is scheduled to appear at the 20th-aniversary edition of the Michigan Deathfest on July 16-17, 2010 alongside DECEASED, NATRON, GODHATE, ACHERON, GODLESS RISING and more.

For more information, visit www.diabolic-deathmetal.com.


Greece's E-Rock.gr recently conducted an interview with vocalist Mikael Stanne of Swedish melodic death metallers DARK TRANQUILLITY. The interview is now available for streaming in two parts below.

DARK TRANQUILLITY has set "We Are The Void" as the title of its ninth album, due in Europe on March 1, 2010 via Century Media Records. The drums for the CD were recorded at bassist Daniel Antonsson's studio, while the remaining instruments were tracked at Martin Brändström's (electronics) newly renovated Rogue music facility. The mixing duties are once again being handled by Tue Madsen (HALFORD, BEHEMOTH, KATAKLYSM, THE HAUNTED) at his Antfarm studio in Århus, Denmark. Working songtitles set to appear on the CD include "I Am The Void", "Zero Distance", "The Burden Of Love Alive", "Archangelsk" and "Memories In Reverse".

Regarding the musical direction of the band's new material, DARK TRANQUILLITY previously said, "It's a bit too early to delve into details, but the material feels diverse and fresh and covers all the facets of the DARK TRANQUILLITY sound. Those who are familiar with our songwriting process know that we always keep re-arranging and experimenting with the material until the recording starts, and while we currently have the basic foundations for around 10 songs, many things are still open. The final result is likely to surprise ourselves as well as you people."

DARK TRANQUILLITY,'s new DVD, "Where Death Is Most Alive", entered the Music DVD chart in the band's home country at position No. 1.

The "Where Death Is Most Alive" CD/DVD was released on October 26 in Europe (November 17 in the U.S.) via Century Media Records. The footage was filmed on October 31, 2008 in Milan, Italy — a concert which makes up the DVD's main feature. Disc 1 contains 20 tracks recorded at the Milan show while disc 2 offers the "Out Of Nothing" DARK TRANQUILLITY documentary, another 21 rare live videos and all of the band's previously released promotional clips.

"Where Death Is Most Alive" was released as limited kingsize mediabook 2DVD/2CD, 2DVD, 2CD and digital download. The audio formats consist of the main show's material, mixed by Tue Madsen.


Swedish death metal veterans UNLEASHED have entered guitarist Fredrik Folkare's Chrome studio to begin recording their tenth full-length album for an early 2010 release via Nuclear Blast Records. According to the band, the musical direction of the forthcoming CD will be "the logical continuation from 'Midvinterblot' [2006] and 'Hammer Battalion' [2008]. Lyrically, you will recognize what has become the UNLEASHED trademark since more than 20 years, the combination of the past, present and future of viking struggle and way of life. A few of the songs also mark the beginning of a story never before told."

UNLEASHED's ninth full-length album, "Hammer Battalion", was recorded in Sweden and produced by Folkare, "Hammer Battalion" took a battle-hardened axe to the misguided concepts of self-subjugation, transparent corruption and unneeded suffering in the name of religious figureheads and provides a perfect link between the ancient struggles of their Nordic forefathers and the ills of our modern society. The blistering "The Greatest Of All Lies" and "Long Before Winter's Call" took on old religious myths re-cast as pure fact, while "Your Children Will Burn" served as a warning of the consequences of blind faith. "Whatever is done in the name of different religions is often done against Mother Nature," noted vocalist/bassist Johnny Hedlund. "And she has the means of striking back."

UNLEASHED's current lineup:

Johnny Hedlund: Bass, Vocals
Tomas Måsgard: Guitar
Fredrik Folkare: Guitar
Anders Schultz: Drums


Steve Sylvester, vocalist of the legendary Italian heavy metal band DEATH SS, is working on an exciting new project — a horror movie called "The Devil's Graal". Steve is backed by Tsade (GURU OF DARKNESS) and Culto Prietsu (former member of MAYHEM). The technical side of project is handled by Extreme Video.

HATESPHERE, ILLDISPOSED, LOUDBLAST and DARK AGE are among the confirmed bands for the Chaulnes Metal Fest, set to take place April 3-4, 2010 in Chaulnes, France.

The festival billing is shaping up as follows:

Saturday, April 3:

HATESPHERE
ILLDISPOSED
BENIGHTED
MISTAKEN ELEMENT
OM MANI
KRISTENDOM
THRASH HEAVEN

Sunday, April 4:

LOUDBLAST
DARK AGE
BLACK SUN AEON
OTARGOS
FURIA
KIM'S OVER SILENCE
ARÈS
SUPERTANKER

For more information, visit www.myspace.com/chaulnesmetalfest.

Austrian melodic death metallers DEVANIC are once again searching for a new lead guitarist. The band states, "After some months of working together with Erik [Bay, who joined the group in January 2009], the band decided that it doesn't make sense to go any further. So, if you are a lead guitarist and willing to compose and work on new material, don't hesitate to get in contact!"

DEVANIC was formed in May 2004 by the group's now-former guitarist Nikolaus Vuckovic and vocalist Andreas Danzer "with the goal to play ambitious, catchy, multifarious and blasting melodic death metal. Nikolaus was looking for some people to realize his compositions, especially for someone to do the vocals. With Andreas, the right frontman was found. The songwriting, the lyrics and vocal arrangements of those two guys seem to be the perfect combination."

DEVANIC's debut album, "Mask Industries", was released in April 2006.

OV HELL, the new black metal project featuring DIMMU BORGIR vocalist Shagrath and ex-GORGOROTH bassist King, has completed work on its debut album, "The Underworld Regime", for a February 2010 release via Indie Recordings. The CD was recorded at Earshot Studio and features Shagrath on vocals, King on bass, Frost (SATYRICON) on drums, Ice Dale (ENSLAVED) on guitar and Teloch (NIDINGR, GOD SEED) on guitar. The album was produced by Herbrand Larsen and mastered at the Livingroom studios by Espen Berg and Shagrath in November 2009. King composed all of the music for "The Underworld Regime", while Shagrath wrote all lyrics, with contributions from Silenoz and Sarah Owens.

"The Underworld Regime" track listing:

01. Devil's Harlot
02. Post Modern Sadist
03. Invoker
04. Perpetual Night
05. Ghosting
06. Acts of Sin
07. Krigsatte Faner
08. Hill Norge

Commented Shagrath: "The majestic OV HELL has become a band that reflects our roots — raw, ugly, arrogantly blasphemous — with uncompromising truth from two influential Norwegian musicians needing to express our primitive side, straight out OV HELL."

Added King: "It's been a little hell to actually see this music form into a band, but when I'm now listening to the final result, it has been worth the hard work we have put into this album!"

Two rough-mix sample tracks from "

Some of the dates on OBITUARY's South American tour are being rescheduled for January or February 2010 because of work visa issues.

OBITUARY will perform the following shows in Brazil (with BELPHEGOR) next week as scheduled:

Dec. 02 - Porto Alegre/RS - Brazil - Bar Opinião
Dec. 04 - São Paulo/SP, Brazil - Hangar 110
Dec. 05 - Belo Horizonte/MG, Brazil - Bar Brasil
Dec. 06 - Brasilia/DF, Brazil

The tickets that fans have purchased for the other South American dates are 100% valid for the rescheduled shows in 2010.

According to the band, "Neither OBITUARY [no]or the promoters from Ecuador, Venezuela and Perú, are responsible for this inconvenience."

"Live Xecution - Party.San 2008", the new concert DVD from OBITUARY, will receive a U.S. release in January 2010 via Regain. The footage for the disc was filmed at last year's Party.San Open Air festival, which was held August 7-9, 2008 in Bad Berka, Germany.

Night Of The Vinyl Dead Records recently released a limited-edition vinyl version of OBITUARY's "Left To Die" EP. Only 500 hand-numbered copies were made available on hand-splattered bloody vinyl, including an insert.

"Left to Die" contains four songs: two new originals ("Forces Realign" and "Left To Die"), a 2008 studio recording of "Slowly We Rot", and a cover of "Dethroned Emperor" by CELTIC FROST.

For more information, go to this location.

"Darkest Day", the new album from OBITUARY, landed at position No. 32 on the Top New Artist Albums (Heatseekers) chart, which lists the best-selling albums by new and developing artists, defined as those who have never appeared in the Top 100 of The Billboard 200.


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Friday, November 27, 2009

[HeavyMetalHeaven] Black Sabbath, Ronnie James DIo, AC/DC, Thin Lizzy, Guns N Roses, Metallica, Rob ZOmbie, Megadeth and tons more hard rock and heavy metal news

Teri Saccone of The Rock 'N' Roll Cook blog recently conducted an interview with BLACK SABBATH drummer Bill Ward. An excerpt from the chat follows below.

The Rock 'N' Roll Cook: Bill, what are your favorite food memories from the earliest days of BLACK SABBATH?

Bill Ward: When we first started out, we all lived together and we shared our meals. We'd eat rice with curry sauce. We'd have one plate and the four of us would share that. We were extremely poor at the time, borderline starving. That curry dish would be a daily meal for us and we loved it. It's a great memory and it shows a sense of unity the band had at the time. We'd share what food we had. That was a bonding experience.

The Rock 'N' Roll Cook: You've been a vegan (no meat, dairy or animal products) for quite a long time now. As a drummer, do you find that you have more stamina eating vegan?

Bill Ward: Oh yeah. Every year when I get my health checks they come out better and better. I'm 61 but my cholesterol levels are really good. As a matter of fact, I had a heart attack 11 years ago. The doctor asked me if I was on a special diet afterwards when I was in intensive care and I told him I didn't eat meat or fish. He said that my diet may have helped save my life and got me through my heart attacks as my cholesterol levels were so good. He told me to stick with this lifestyle. But this lifestyle suits me. I don't feel I'm taking the moral high ground, telling people to stop eating animals because I've done it. It just works for me.

Eddie Trunk, co-host of the VH1 Classic television program "That Metal Show" who has a long-running radio show, "Friday Night Rocks", on New York's Q104.3 FM, has posted the following message on his official web site:

"Just hung up the phone with both Wendy Dio and Ronnie James Dio himself.

"Obviously, the news was just released about Ronnie having stomach cancer. I was aware of this a number of days ago, but did not say anything public until Ronnie's camp was ready to release the news.

"As I have said in the past, Ronnie has always been one of my closest friends and biggest supporters over the many years we have worked together doing various things. We have a friendship far beyond just music and he being a musician and me being a host. So I have been in a knot over this news when I was first told about it around a week ago.

"The results of the many tests he has had were made known yesterday, so now he knows exactly what he is dealing with and will soon find out the course of action. The GREAT news is that it did not spread and is in an early stage!

"I just hung up with him and he sounded great. The usual RJD, totally commited to 'killing the dragon,' and he will! He is not in pain, sounded great, and was ready to do what he has to do and get back on stage and sing like only he can!

"It was great to have spent about 20 minutes on the phone with him and hear how positive he was and thankful for all the support from his many fans. He's already made a few changes to his diet that he said has helped him feel great and admitted his days of having a few drinks are mostl likely behind him.

"I will share what I can when I can, but know Ronnie is ready to fight and win, and anyone who knows the man knows he will succeed!

"Let's all continue to keep him in our thoughts and prayers going forward for a speedy recovery. Yes, Ronnie is a great singer and icon for the music we love, but he is an even better person and I know he will beat this!"

Ronnie James Dio's HEAVEN & HELL/BLACK SABBATH bandmate Tony Iommi and vocalist Sigurd "Satyr" Wongraven of Norwegian black metallers SATYRICON have both expressed their wishes for a speedy recovery to the legendary heavy metal singer who was diagnosed with stomach cancer earlier this week.

Iommi: "Looking forward to being back out on the road with you next year. Get well soon, my old pal!"

Satyr (via U.K.'s Metal Hammer): "I grew up as a huge RAINBOW fan and records like 'Rising' were huge for me. We had heard a lot of speculation that things had turned for the worst for him but SATYRICON and myself would like to wish him all of the best for getting through this and getting better in the future."

Ronnie James Dio was diagnosed with the early stages of stomach cancer and is currently receiving treatment at the Mayo Clinic.

Dio, 67, has performed with ELF, RAINBOW, BLACK SABBATH, and his own band DIO. Other musical projects include the collective fundraiser "Hear 'n Aid". He is widely hailed as one of the most powerful singers in heavy metal, renowned for his consistently powerful voice and for popularizing the "devil's horns" hand gesture in metal culture. He is currently involved with HEAVEN & HELL, a project which also includes Iommi and other former BLACK SABBATH bandmates Geezer Butler and Vinny Appice. Their first studio album, "The Devil You Know", was released on April 28, 2009.

News.com.au reports that Anglo-Australian hard rock legends AC/DC have won the award for best rock album for "Black Ice" at the 2009 ARIA Awards (an annual awards night celebrating the Australian music industry, put on by the Australian Record Industry Association [ARIA]).

The rockers also picked up the trophy for highest-selling album for their 2008 release, which was their first full-length CD in eight years.

AC/DC beat ESKIMO JOE, JET, THE DRONES and THE TEMPER TRAP to collect the coveted award.

The award was announced by Jimmy Barnes, but the band was out of the country on its "Black Ice World Tour" and was unable to accept the trophy in person.

In a video shot backstage at their show in Sao Paulo, Brazil, the band sent a brief message home.

"This is very kind. Thanks very much," they said.

In 1981, just five years before his untimely demise, THIN LIZZY legend Phil Lynott asked longtime friend Smiley Bolger to "do a vibe for me sometime." Bolger, a DJ and promoter, had just won the Alternative Eurovision Song Contest and Philo (as Smiley called him) loved the idea. This throwaway remark would spark the longest-running annual commemoration in rock music history, held in Dublin each year on the anniversary of Philo's death.

The band Philip fronted, THIN LIZZY, has been an insurmountable inspiration to musicians worldwide. Their hugely unique twin guitar sound has been emulated, but never surpassed. His words, whether spoken or sung, are a heartwarming reminder of the depth of his character and show a poignancy and depth matched only by his wicked sense of humor.

Each year, on the anniversary of Philo's death, people from around the world gather in Dublin to pay respect to the rocker at the Vibe For Philo. Standing shoulder to shoulder are the "older crowd" of Philo's friends and contemporaries beside the next generation of musicians, artists and fans who help keep those memories alive...

Initially part-wake-meets-"Spinal Tap", the Vibe for Philo has evolved into the multi-disciplinary show it is today and provides inspiration for numerous THIN LIZZY events around the world. Twenty four years on, it has not only seen artists perform from three continents but annually attracts an audience from all over Europe, USA, Australia, Canada, Japan, and beyond. Film documentaries have premiered, world boxing champions have delivered knock-out poetry readings of THIN LIZZY lyrics, and "Live and Dangerous" has been ever present through some of the best music acts the world has to offer, whether it's a Henry Rollins, DEF LEPPARD, or a LIZZY reunion, to killer tribute bands from the USA, Europe, and Japan. Brian Robertson, Midge Ure, Brian Downey, Eric Bell, John Earle, Scott Gorham, John Sykes, Darren Wharton, and other ex-Lizzies have all thrilled Vibe audiences.

Year after year, the "new kids on the block" dip into the back catalogue and pluck forgotten gems, which they invigorate with new meaning through their energy and talent, a la PARADISE's "Little Girl in Bloom", WHIPPING BOYS' "When We Were Young" and LIR's "Diddy Levine". And who can forget DEF LEPPARD jamming with the Lizzies on "The Cowboy Song" at the sold-out 10th Vibe at The Point in Dublin?

Already, Norway's YELLOW PEARL is joining the bill, with METALLITA, who is currently starring in an Irish TV metal music reality show. Brian Grace returns with the now standard house band, the HOODOO RHYTHM DEVILS, comprising some of the best musicians to feature in LIZZY tributes throughout the history of the Vibe, and, of course, there will be lots of surprises and special guests announced nearer the date.

The Pre-Vibe, an intimate and unmissable prelude to the Vibe for Philo, takes place at Whelan's, 25 Wexford Street, Dublin on Sunday, January 3, 2010.

The Vibe for Philo takes place at one of Ireland's most exciting venues, the Button Factory, Curved Street, Temple Bar on Monday, January 4, 2010.

For more information, go to www.vibeforphilo.com.

According to the official GUNS N' ROSES web site, the band will be touring South America between March 10, 2010 and April 10, 2010. Exact cities/countries and dates have not yet been announced.

GUNS N' ROSES will bring its "Chinese Democracy World Tour" to Canada in January 2010. The Winnipeg, Manitoba concert at the MTS Centre on January 13 is the first of thirteen Canadian concerts on the GN'R world tour, which begins in Asia on December 11, with tour updates and announcements planned throughout 2010.

Canadian "Chinese Democracy World Tour" concert dates are as follows:

Jan. 13 - Winnipeg, MB - MTS Centre
Jan. 16 - Calgary, AB - Pengrowth Saddledome
Jan. 17 - Edmonton, AB - Rexall Place
Jan. 19 - Saskatoon, SK - Credit Union Centre
Jan. 20 - Regina, SK - Brandt Centre
Jan. 24 - Hamilton, ON - Copps Coliseum
Jan. 25 - London, ON - John Labatt Centre
Jan. 27 - Montreal, PQ - Bell Centre
Jan. 28 - Toronto, ON - Air Canada Centre
Jan. 31 - Ottawa, ON - Scotiabank Place
Feb. 01 - Quebec City, PQ - Colisee Pepsi
Feb. 03 - Moncton, NB - Moncton Coliseum
Feb. 04 - Halifax, NS - Metro Centre

The upcoming worldwide tour promotes the band's latest album, "Chinese Democracy", which debuted at #1 on the charts in thirteen countries including Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Finland, Hong Kong, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Poland, Singapore, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, as well as the European Top 100 Albums survey.

"Chinese Democracy" was released on Black Frog/Geffen Records in November 2008 and reached three times platinum in Canada, platinum in Czech Republic, Finland, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Norway, Poland, Romania, Switzerland, U.K., Argentina, New Zealand and South Africa. The album is gold in Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Greece, Hungary, Holland, Sweden, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, Brazil and Colombia. In the U.S., the album was certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) on February 3, 2009.

GUNS N' ROSES last toured the world in 2006-2007, performing 60 concerts in 26 countries, playing to more than a million fans.

GUNS N' ROSES is scheduled to play several shows in Taiwan, Korea and Japan in December:

Dec. 11 - Taipei, Taiwan - Taipei County Stadium
Dec. 13 - Seoul, Korea - Olympic Park Gymnastics Stadium
Dec. 16 - Osaka, Japan - Osaka Dome
Dec. 19 - Tokyo, Japan - Tokyo Dome

"Chinese Democracy", the sixth and most recent album from GUNS N' ROSES, was released in its entirety to the Rock Band Music Store catalog of downloadable content on April 14.

The tracks are available for purchase as an album or individual tracks for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 system. The tracks are available for purchase as individual tracks only for Wii.

Aside from Billboard and Spinner interviews and answering a number of fan questions at a GUNS N' ROSES message board, Rose has done no promotion of any kind for "Chinese Democracy".

METALLICA's official web site has been updated with the following message:

"We were honored to participate in the two-night series of concerts held in October at Madison Square Garden in New York to benefit the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame . Our friends from HBO were there to film the entire event and have put together a four-hour special that debuts this weekend on Sunday, November 29 at 8:00 p.m. EST/PST. Check here for additional air dates.

"The shows celebrated the 25th anniversary of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the two nights featured different lineups with everyone performing their own songs along and playing with other artists who have influenced all forms of music.

"We had an incredible experience in New York and were humbled to perform with musicians who have inspired us throughout the years, including Lou Reed , Ozzy Osbourne, and Ray Davies of THE KINKS.

"Tune in to see us do 'Sweet Jane' with Lou Reed, 'Iron Man'/'Paranoid' with Ozzy , and 'All Day and All of the Night' with Ray Davies. 'For Whom The Bells Toll', and 'Enter Sandman' will also air for a little dose of straight-up 'TALLICA."

METALLICA's setlist was as follows:

01. For Whom The Bell Tolls
02. One
03. Turn The Page
04. Sweet Jane (w/ Lou Reed)
05. White Light White Heat (w/ Lou Reed)
06. Iron Man (w/ Ozzy Osbourne)
07. Paranoid (w/ Ozzy Osbourne)
08. You Really Got Me (w/ Ray Davies)
09. All Day And All Of The Night (w/ Ray Davies)
10. Stone Cold Crazy
11. Enter Sandman

Check out a review and photos at Metallica.com.


ROB ZOMBIE will release his new album, Hellbilly Deluxe 2, on February 2nd 2010, via Loud & Proud / Roadrunner Records.

As previously reported, he track listing is as follows:

'Jesus Frankenstein'
'Sick Bubblegum'
'What?'
'Mars Needs Women'
'Werewolf, Baby!'
'Virgin Witch'
'Death And Destiny Inside The Dream Factory'
'Burn'
'Cease To Exist'
'Werewolf Women Of The SS'
'The Man Who Laughs'


Hector Saldaña of San Antonio Express-News recently conducted an interview with MEGADETH mainman Dave Mustaine. A few excerpts from the chat follow below.

On "Endgame" tour preparations:

"I'm pretty well ready to do my job. I just make sure I have my workout gear and my personal stuff together, and make sure I have what I need on stage. It's a matter of, 'How dedicated am I?' Is this a joke? Is this a hobby? When it's time to go, I'm ready."

On MEGADETH's new album, "Endgame":

"When you have a record like ['Endgame'] and you look at the sales and they just aren't there, you start to take that personally. I gotta tell you, it's been so frustrating for us the last few years with the way things are going in the music industry. I remember back when people would say something and then keep their word. I remember back when people that worked at radio actually knew what working at radio meant."

On being credited alongside SLAYER, ANTHRAX and METALLICA with creating and perfecting thrash metal:

"I look at my career and I know what I've accomplished. Between my career with MEGADETH and the songs I've written and sold with METALLICA, I've sold more than 60 million records around the world. I'm currently rated as a top guitar player , I'm really inspired and this is one of the greatest periods of my life."

On new MEGADETH guitarist Chris Broderick, formerly of JAG PANZER, who joins journeyman bassist James Lomenzo and drummer Shawn Drover:

"The relationship with Chris is really unique because he's such an incredible talent and, fortunately for me, he's either really humble or he's either really unaware of how great he really is."

On his Internet radio station, Megadeth Radio, available at www.iheartradio.com:

"I'm currently going through the playlist which is about 2,000 to 3,000 songs, and I'm adding stuff as we go along. I want the world to know that it's bull(crap) what everybody keeps saying about me having a problem with METALLICA. There is no problem, and to prove this, I put them on my radio show. So, we'll see how much longer this nonsense keeps going. It'll go on forever, I imagine, but hopefully there will be a new wave of young metal fans that go, 'You know what? You guys that believe that (crap), you go ahead and believe it, but we're smarter than that.'"

"Buried Alive", the new DVD from legendary Finnish rockers HANOI ROCKS, has entered the "Music DVD" chart in the band's home country at position No. 1. The disc was filmed at the band's final show on April 12, 2009 at Tavastia in Helsinki, Finland. Vocalist Michael Monroe previously stated about the effort, "It's sounding pretty good. Surely it's got some rough spots, but what the hell, it's live — no overdubs! Considering that it was the eighth show in six days, my voice was holding up quite well..."

Released on November 18, "Buried Alive" features the following track listing:

01. Tragedy
02. Motorvatin
03. Boulevard Of Broken Dreams
04. Street Poetry
05. Cafe Avenué
06. Obscured
07. Hypermobile
08. Fashion
09. Loves An Injection
10. Whatcha Want
11. Problem Child
12. Mental Beat
13. Underwater World
14. Power Of Persuasion
15. A Day Late, A Dollar Short
16. I Can't Get It
17. Back To Mystery City
18. Until I Get You
19. Beer And Cigarette
20. Worldshaker
21. Dont You Ever Leave Me
22. 11th Street Kids
23. Malibu Beach
24. High School
25. Travelin Band
26. Taxi Driver
27. Lost In The City
28. People Like Me
29. Delirious
30. Oriental Beat
31. Million Miles Away
32. Up Around The Bend

(Running time: 138 minutes)

Extras:

* The last week with HANOI ROCKS: Exclusive behind-the-scenes documentary of the last week with HANOI ROCKS! Co-filmed by HANOI ROCKS members (Running time: 12 minutes)
* Photo gallery of the last week

To buy the DVD, go to www.backstagerockshop.com.

A preview of "Buried Alive" can be viewed below. (Note: The song featured in the video is "Motorvatin").

HANOI ROCKS' last album, "Street Poetry", was released in September 2007 in Finland by WolfGang Records and in Europe by U.K.-based Demolition Records. The Japanese pressing via Victor Entertainment/JVC Music contain bonused tracks. The special edition included a bonus skull bandana and three-fold box design.

HANOI ROCKS' "Fashion" single entered the Finnish chart at No. 1 back in May 2007.

Los Angeles traditional metal heroes WHITE WIZZARD have been confirmed for next year's Hammerfest II festival, set to take place March 11-13, 2010 at Pontins, Prestatyn Sands, North Wales, United Kingdom.

The festival billing is now shaping up as follows:

AKERCOCKE
ATTICA RAGE
BELLIGERENCE
CARS ON FIRE
CONQUEST OF STEEL
DARK FUNERAL
DEVILDRIVER
ECHOVIRUS
EPICA
GODSIZED
HEATHEN
HELLFIGHTER
HURON
ICED EARTH
ISOLYSIS
MALEFICE
MAN MUST DIE
MARSHALL LAW
NAPALM DEATH
NO MADE SENSE
ORANGE GOBLIN
PANIC CELL
RISE TO REMAIN
SHINING
SKINDRED
SONDURA
THE MORE I SEE
WARPATH
WHITE WIZZARD
ZICO CHAIN

The original Hammerfest brought together some of the biggest names in metal for a truly memorable weekend at Pontins, Prestatyn Sands, North Wales. Headliners OPETH, SEPULTURA and SAXON were joined by the likes of HAMMERFALL, PARADISE LOST, SKINDRED, CATHEDRAL, ARCHITECTS and many more…

In addition to the usual Friday and Saturday night lineup, Hammerfest II will also feature an extra night's entertainment on Thursday, March 11. This comes included in VIP packages or can be purchased separately with Gold or Silver packages.

Hammerfest II is put together by Hard Rock Hell (the people behind the hugely successful Hard Rock Hell in 2007, Hard Rock Hell II in 2008 and forthcoming Hard Rock Hell III in December 2009) and the legendary Metal Hammer magazine.

Hammerfest II will be an event not to be missed. The festival will include a bumper lineup of established metal and rock acts — with celebrated veterans rubbing shoulders with the metal scenesters of today — alongside the future of metal's upcoming talent, as championed by Metal Hammer.

Hammerfest II is open to anyone aged 16 and over.

For further information and ticket sales, visit www.hammerfest.co.uk.

ANVIL, D-A-D, SABATON and RICK SPRINGFIELD have been confirmed for next year's Sweden Rock Festival, set to take place June 9-12, 2010 in Sölvesborg in southern Sweden.

The festival billing is shaping up as follows:

ANVIL (CAN)
D-A-D (DK)
SABATON (S)
RICK SPRINGFIELD (AUS/US)
BACHMAN & TURNER (CAN)
BIGELF (US)
JORN (N)
MOTHER'S FINEST (US)
SAGA (CAN)
UNISONIC (D)

This year's festival was visited by 35,200 people, but in 2010 the maximum number of visitors will be limited to 33,000.

For more information, visit www.swedenrock.com.

THE BLACK CROWES released their new DVD, "Cabin Fever", on November 24 on the band's own label, Silver Arrow. The disc includes footage from the recording sessions that ultimately became the group's critically acclaimed new CD, "Before the Frost…Until the Freeze".

The innovative technique of inviting fans into the studio to become part of the process during recording is a rare experience and prudently, the band filmed the sessions. "Before the Frost…Until the Freeze" was recorded over a series of five nights in front of an intimate studio audience at Levon Helm Studios in Woodstock, NY.

The DVD of those sessions, "Cabin Fever" takes that experience one step further by allowing viewers to see behind the scenes footage of both the recording and songwriting sessions along with interaction between the band and the audience. The DVD gives fans that didn't have the opportunity to attend the ability to feel the experience firsthand.

Exclusively on the DVD is the original "Little Lizzie Mae" as well as covers of VELVET UNDERGROUND 's "Oh Sweet Nuthin'" and FRED NEIL's "Dolphins". The DVD also includes the tracks "Aimless Peacock", "Good Morning Captain", "Appaloosa", and "Been a Long Time (Waiting on Love)", among others, from "Before the Frost…Until the Freeze".

Chris Robinson conceived the concept of both "Before the Frost…Until the Freeze", and the DVD, "Cabin Fever". "I think we fulfilled a musical commitment to continue on the golden road of artistic independence," he said. "Approaching 20 years into our careers, we still are ambitious enough to push ourselves to create something unique that we have never done before."

KROKUS (featuring Chris von Rohr, Marc Storace and Fernando von Arb), SABATON and RATT have been confirmed for next year's Bang Your Head!!! festival, set to take place July 16-17, 2010 in Balingen, Germany.

The festival billing is shaping up as follows:

ANVIL
BULLET
DORO
ENFORCER
JAG PANZER
KROKUS
JON OLIVA'S PAIN
LOUDNESS
QUEENSRĊ¸CHE
RATT
SABATON

More acts will be announced soon.

For more information, visit www.bang-your-head.de.

BANG TANGO singer Joe LeSte was reportedly taken ill prior to the band's scheduled performance Wednesday night (November 25) at the Portage Theater in Chicago, Illinois and was unable to make the gig. According to BLABBERMOUTH.NET visitor Ron Thomas, who attended the concert, "The show's promoter, Shark Entertainment, called Chicago's VEILSIDE to fill in, but as they arrived, the [other] members of BANG TANGO encountered a über-fan in the audience named TJ, who said he sang in a cover band and loved BANG TANGO (he was sporting a BT shirt). The band took the stage with the fan handling lead vocals, and might I say WELL! This TJ kid sang a short 5-6-song set off the top of his head and took every opportunity in between songs to thank the band and send his concerns to Joe, at one point saying, 'I feel like Mark Wahlberg, just with a better band.'"

Video footage of the "Someone Like You" performance from the Chicago concert can be viewed below (courtesy of Ron Thomas).

Meanwhile, BANG TANGO guitarist Alex Grossi has released the following statement in response to rumors regarding LeSte's health:

"In response to the dozens of phone calls, text messages and e-mails regarding Joe LeSte, I would like to squash any rumors that he is dead or even close to it. Joe was indeed taken to the hospital on Wednesday evening right before a BANG TANGO performance that was set to take place at the Portage Theater in Chicago.

"Without going into detail, I can tell you without reservation that Joe is very much is alive and well. He is currently stable and recovering in Chicago as I type this.

"I would like to thank everyone that came out to the shows during the past two weeks as well as the D'MOLLS for making the run a blast!"

BANG TANGO's latest CD, "From the Hip", was released in October 2006 via Perris Records. The CD was engineered by Scott "Goody" Goodwine (HATEBREED, FLOTSAM AND JETSAM) and was mixed by Taz (CHERRY ST., THE ADDICTIONS, SPINNING CHAIN).

Swedish metallers DREAM EVIL have signed a new worldwide deal with Century Media Records. The band's new studio album, entitled "In The Night", will be released on January 25, 2010 in Europe and January 26, 2010 in North America.

Commented the band in a statement: "Finally, after three long years it's time to release a new album and at the same time we have again signed with Century Media Records. It's good to work with friends and that's what DREAM EVIL and Century Media has become over the past eight years.

"The new album will be called 'In The Night' and is again in DREAM EVIL's very own vein.

"We're sure that this will become the strongest DREAM EVIL release so far and with songs like 'Immortal', 'In The Night', 'Bang Your Head' and 'In The Fires Of The Sun', we will melt your brains!"

"In The Night" was once again produced at Sweden's Studio Fredman (DIMMU BORGIR, IN FLAMES, HAMMERFALL), which is owned by DREAM EVIL axeman Fredrik Nordström.

The track listing for the CD is as follows:

01. Immortal
02. In The Night
03. Bang Your Head
04. See The Light
05. Electric
06. Frostbite
07. On The Wind
08. The Ballad
09. In The Fires Of The Sun
10. Mean Machine
11. Kill, Burn, Be Evil
12. The Unchosen One

DREAM EVIL will support the release of "In The Night" by embarking on a European tour , having lined up a special CD-release show in Germany as well a mini-tour with STRATOVARIUS and an appearance at next year's Bloodstock festival in the U.K.

DREAM EVIL is:

Nick Night - Lead Vocals
Dannee Demon - Guitar
Pat Power - Drums
Ritchie Rainbow - Guitar
Pete Pain – Bass

InsideOut Music has announced the signing of the progressive metal band ASPERA to a worldwide deal. The group's debut album, "Ripples", is scheduled for release on January 25, 2010.

These five aspiring musicians from Skien, Norway, are truly what can be described as "youngsters" and "newcomers," being just 20 years of age (all born in the last quarter of the year 1989!) and even only 18-19 years old whilst producing "Ripples".

The name ASPERA is taken from Latin and stands for "thorns" or "rugged ground," which describes the band's complex and colorful sound in an appropriate way.

Despite their young individual age, ASPERA have gathered previous experience under the band name ILLUSION and shared stages in their native Norway with bands like PAGAN'S MIND, CIRCUS MAXIMUS and AUDREY HORNE and most recently also debuting internationally as support band for former NIGHTWISH vocalist Tarja Turunen on two shows in Spain and one in Switzerland.

ASPERA cite acts like PAIN OF SALVATION, PAGAN'S MIND, SYMPHONY X, DREAM THEATER and EVERGREY as common favorites and stylistic influences and the band's debut full-length album "Ripples" was mixed and mastered at Fascination Street Studios in Sweden by Jens Bogren, who has previously produced bands such as OPETH, PARADISE LOST, HAMMERFALL and SYMPHONY X. Bogren was obviously impressed by the potential of the young musicians and comments on "Ripples" as follows: "The debut album from ASPERA is one of the best progressive metal albums I've heard in a looong time! Since 1992, to be exact! It was an honor helping the band getting the album the way they deserve."

Based on the strength of "Ripples", the band had been approached by a number of labels but it was what InsideOut Music had to say that interested them the most.

"The deal they offered us was perfect," comments vocalist Atle. "It showed that their ideas for the band matched our goals and aspirations, and it was exactly the deal we wanted." "And we're big fans of InsideOut," adds guitarist Robin. "Look at the calibre of artists they've got! It's a great label, we've always wanted to work with them, and they made us an offer we literally couldn't refuse. It's a great opportunity for us as a band."

"It's important to have the right partners to launch a new band," says ASPERA's manager Manuela Froehlich. "The knowledge, expertise and support of a label like InsideOut is exactly what ASPERA need to be able to realize their true potential."

"Ripples" consists of 10 extremely well-composed and varied tracks, wrapped in a dynamic and a powerful production.

"Ripples" track listing:

01. Intro
02. Ripples
03. Do I Dare?
04. Remorse
05. Between Black & White
06. Catatonic Coma
07. Torn Apart
08. Traces Inside
09. Reflections
10. The Purpose

The album's title-track, "Ripples", is now available for streaming on the band's revamped MySpace profile.

ASPERA lineup:

Robin Ognedal - Guitar
Nickolas Main Henriksen - Keyboards
Atle Pettersen - Vocals
Joachim Strøm Ekelund - Drums
Rein T. Blomquist - Bass

The Australian branch of Roadrunner Records has posted several new photos of Swedish progressive metallers OPETH which were taken during the band's recent short tour of Australia. Included are pictures of guitarist/vocalist Mikael Åkerfeldt shopping for vinyl, guitarist Fredrik Åkesson's first tattoo ever and drummer Martin "Axe" Axenrot's shaving cream exploding in his bag.

OPETH's tour bus was involved in a road crash last month after the driver of the other car made a U-turn in the middle of the highway. According to Åkerfeldt, who was not travelling on the bus at the time of the incident, "it seems as if [the incident] was a deliberate death stunt [on the part of the other car's driver] as the police had found a suicide letter in the car wreck."

OPETH's tour bus was travelling from Dublin, Ireland to Brussels, Belgium when the incident occurred.

Bassist Martin Mendez and Per Wiberg were the only two members of OPETH that were present on the bus at the time of the crash.

Åkerfeldt, Axenrot and Åkesson had opted to fly home to their families for a few days while the band had three days off before its next concert (October 17 in Brussels as part of the Progressive Nation 2009 tour with DREAM THEATER, BIGELF and UNEXPECT).

None of the OPETH musicians or members of their road crew were injured in the incident.


DEUXMONKEY, the new band led by former ANTHRAX guitarist Dan Spitz, has parted ways with vocalist A.O.H. (SHAOLIN DEATH SQUAD) and drummer Matt Thompson (KING DIAMOND) and has replaced them with Wade Black (CRIMSON GLORY, SEVEN WITCHES, LEATHERWOLF) and Patrick Johansson (YNGWIE MALMSTEEN, W.A.S.P. ), respectively.

Commented Spitz: "Bringing in Wade Black as our vocalist was just what we all needed. A vocalist who eats, sleeps and breathes METAL. I am confident that live we will be a musical team that our peers, fans and friends will be happy to watch create intense, intricate and creative expertise on a nightly basis."

DEUXMONKEY is:

* Dan Spitz (ANTHRAX) - Guitar
* Peter Baltes (ACCEPT) - Bass
* Patrick Johansson (YNGWIE MALMSTEEN, W.A.S.P.) - Drums
* Wade Black (CRIMSON GLORY, SEVEN WITCHES, LEATHERWOLF) - Vocals

Spitz added, "We will start momentarily tracking what I think is just the sickest, most wicked thrash metal riffs I've written to date. If you were a fan of the 'Among The Living'-era songs I co-wrote, you will certainly want to grab hold of what we all have in store with the new band. A movement forward in time with creative new guitar sounds. I'll certainly have some video footage coming from our sessions to put up on the sites so all can watch the progression.

"After the end of my last touring cycle with ANTHRAX, I needed a long brake to take care of our identical twins, Brendan and Jaden, who were diagnosed with autism. I certainly couldn't leave Candi (my wonderful wife) to deal with the daily grind of multiple therapists at the house. We are on a better track now with them and at a point where the recording and touring cycles can start.

"Patrick and I have been hard at work in his KISS room bringing to fruition some brutally fast riffs. His double-bass feet seem connected to my picking in a way I can't explain. I guess it was meant to be."

For more information, visit the DEUXMONKEY MySpace page.

After spending 15 years on buses and planes touring the world, Dan lost his desire to play guitar. He decided to clear his head by stopping the music and starting the Swiss schooling to become a master watchmaker. He is now "back on track," having gained back the love once lost for his instrument. He said, "DEUXMONKEY is the start of many projects I plan to enter into. It's getting my feet wet, it's reconnecting with my fans and friends, whom I miss so much."

Spitz underwent open-heart surgery on June 5, 2009 after it was discovered that the main artery to his heart was almost "completely closed."

Spitz took part in the reunion of ANTHRAX's classic lineup in 2005 and 2006 but left the band after ANTHRAX's most recent split with singer Joey Belladonna.

In a January 2007 interview with Eddie Trunk of the "Friday Night Rocks" radio show on New York's Q104.3 FM, ANTHRAX guitarist Scott Ian stated about Spitz, "Whether people are aware or not, Danny's, like, a big deal in the really, really fancy, expensive watch world — like crazy, super-high-end watches — and he's got his own line of watches coming out. It's weird, because before the reunion I would read this stuff online, and I would just kind of be like, 'What the hell…?' But then like after hanging out with the guy for 20 months and you actually talk to him and see the watches and what-not, I was like, 'Holy crap!' It's a pretty big deal."
EMPIRES OF EDEN, the brainchild of PAINDIVISION/ex-DUNGEON guitarist Stu Marshall, will hit the studio in January 2010 to complete the follow-up to the critically acclaimed debut, "Songs of War and Vengeance".

The next album will include an international all-star lineup of some of metal's most powerful singers, building on the original creative force that made the previous CD a must-hear release of 2009.

Metal Mayhem Music will release "Condemned To Burn - The UK Tour Collection" EP from EDEN'S CURSE on November 30 to coincide with the band's U.K. tour.

The group has pulled out some true hidden gems from its personal archives to create a true collector's item for all fans of EDEN'S CURSE, coupling as a great introduction to the band's music with songs from both the self-titled debut and sophomore record, "The Second Coming", being featured as well as some live recordings from the May 2009 U.K. tour with STRATOVARIUS and FIREWIND.

The "Condemned To Burn - UK Tour Collection" EP features the following tracks:

01. Prisoner Of The Past (U.S. bonus track)
02. Angels & Demons (demo)
03. Sail On (acoustic version)
04. Man Against The World (demo)
05. Judgement Day (demo)
06. Eyes Of The World (demo)
07. Stronger Than The Flame (demo - featuring Carsten Lizard Schulz)
08. Masquerade Ball (live)
09. Just Like Judas (live)

For full pre-order details, including how to obtain a free bonus CD featuring an additional four songs, visit www.EdensCurse.com.

Australia's EMPIRES OF EDEN is a collection of melodic power metal that has garnered unanimous praise worldwide. Incorporating huge melodic hooks, blistering guitar performances and a fresh approach to song writing, the debut was a massive success in Japan, released by Rubicon Records in July this year.

The forthcoming opus, with the working title "Silence Obscura", is set to deliver an aggressive and orchestrally focused tour de force, involving material that has be individually crafted to bring out the best of each singer's unique vocal strengths.

Commented Marshall: "With the first album I was lucky enough to feature three incredible voices in Louie Gorgievski (CRIMSON FIRE), Mike Zoias (TRANSCENDING MORTALITY) and Chris Ninni (Sydney session vocalist).

"The act has always had a focus on allowing the singers to compose all of their own lyrical parts and melodies, something that is rare these days when people are involved in projects like these. You do get a sense of what really makes these singers so good and you'll hear a deep range of their talent and soul.

"When formulating this album, I contacted many of the great artists who had influenced and inspired me for the last 20-plus years, and, out of the many I contacted, I was lucky enough to have five confirmed so far. From what I am hearing in these early stages, the concept is showing incredible promise."

More information will be made available soon.


Finnish folk metallers FINNTROLL will release their new album, "Nifelvind" (the previously announced title "Mot Skuggornas Värld" has apaprently been scrapped), via Century Media Records on the following dates:

Finland: Wednesday, February 17
Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Benelux, Italy: Friday, February 19
Spain, Portugal: Tuesday, February 23
Sweden, Hungary: Wednesday, February 24
Rest Of Europe: Monday, February 22
North America: Tuesday, March 9

"Nifelvind" was recorded at Sonic Pump Studios in Helsinki, Finland and was mastered by Mika Jussila at Finnvox Studios. The album cover artwork was created once again by the band's guitarist Skrymer.

Commented FINNTROLL in a statement: "After tough and hectic weeks in the studio, due to lack of time and summer festivals, we are now really, really pleased with the results. 'Nifelvind' is the most advanced and mature FINNTROLL album to date, with musical themes ranging from powerful death metal riffs to dark soundtracks, from pounding black metal to groovy '80s pop music. All this is accompanied by our trademark sound, lots of never-before-heard instruments in the metal scene, folklore and legends that make it overall the most versatile album we have created so far."

"Nifelvind" track listing:

01. Blodmarsch (intro)
02. Solsagan
03. Den Frusna Munnen
04. Ett Norrskensdåd
05. I Trädens Sång
06. Tiden Utan Tid
07. Galgasång
08. Mot Skuggornas Värld
09. Under Bergets Rot
10. Fornfamnad
11. Dråp

Music-Photocalypse.net attended a listening session for the upcoming FINNTROLL album on September 1, 2009 at Sonic Pump Studios in Helsinki, Finland. Several songs from the band's long-awaited new CD were played back to the media, including "Solsagan", "Den Frusna Munnen", "Dråp" and "Under Bergets Rot".

Check out a studio report, along with pictures of the event, at this location.

Keyboardist Henri "Trollhorn" Sorvali previously stated about the follow-up to 2007's "Ur Jordens Djup". "I personally think this will be our best album ever. Overall I can sense there's a lot 'punk' on it, lots of weirdness, a load of *riffs* instead of chord progressions, quite a bit of folkish parts and a lurking, evil atmosphere. In the terms of 'heaviness,' it's probably the heaviest album we've done, at least judging from the song material. I could pretty much safely say this sounds like a meaner and more wicked version of 'Ur Jordens Djup' with an occasional hint of the first album."

FINNTROLL vocalist Mathias Lillmåns (a.k.a. Vreth) was interviewed by Metal Storm at the first show of the band's recent U.K. tour, which kicked off on September 25 in Nottingham. Watch the chat below.

A review of the concert (including pictures) can be found at this location.

FINNTROLL's fifth album, "Ur Jordens Djup", entered the German Media Control chart at position No. 91. The CD, which was recorded by Nino Laurenne at Sonic Pump studios in Helsinki, was the group's first release with Mathias Lillmåns following the departure of Tapio Wilska (SETHIAN, ex-WIZZARD, former session vocalist for NIGHTWISH ) in January 2006.

Sheffield, U.K. metallers BRING ME THE HORIZON will return to Studio Fredman in Västra Frölunda, Sweden early next year to begin recording their third album for a summer 2010 release. The CD will once again be produced by Fredrik Nordström (ARCH ENEMY, DIMMU BORGIR), who previously worked on the band's 2008's effort, "Suicide Season".

Commented frontman Oli Sykes: "It's been one hell of a year, non-stop for us really! Our second album, 'Suicide Season', has taken us further than we ever thought was possible. I think we found our unique sound with that album and the next is going to be using 'Suicide Season' as a base, but pushing it further in every single way imaginable. It's happening with Fredrik Nordström again, since he made us sound so amazing last time."

BRING ME THE HORIZON released a remixed version of its latest album, "Suicide Season", on November 2 via Visible Noise. "Suicide Season - Cut Up" also included the original version of "Suicide Season" as a bonus and was packed with "additional treats and good stuff."

"It all started because I had a friend who is into making electro stuff and I asked him if he wanted to remix one of our songs," Sykes told Rock Sound magazine. "We were stoked on the end result and I thought it would be awesome if we could get every song remixed! We told our label and managers about the idea and they thought it was a good one. From there, we came up with a list of people we would love to remix our songs and started mailing people."

Tek-One, Robot Sonic, Ben Weinman from THE DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN, Outcry Collective, L'Amour La Morgue (Ian Watkins from LOSTPROPHETS), Utah Saints and Shawn "Clown" Crahan from SLIPKNOT are among the musicians and producers who remixed and reinterpreted BRING ME THE HORIZON's music to create "Suicide Season - Cut Up".

"The Sadness Will Never End", the latest video from BRING ME THE HORIZON, can be viewed below. The clip was filmed in August and September 2009 in Slough, U.K. by Adam Powell and RSA. It features additional vocals by Sam Carter from ARCHITECTS and is the first BRING ME THE HORIZON video to involve a narrative.

CONVERGE, HYPNOS and MY DYING BRIDE have been confirmed for the 15-year-anniversary edition of the Brutal Assault festival, set to take place August 12-14, 2010 in Josefov, Czech Republic.

The festival billing is shaping up as follows:

CANNIBAL CORPSE
CONVERGE
DEMONIC RESURRECTION
DEVIN TOWNSEND
DEVOURMENT
DIABLO SWING ORCHESTRA
GRAVEWORM
HYPNOS
MY DYING BRIDE
SYBREED

More acts will be announced soon.

German modern melodic metallers FEAR MY THOUGHTS have issued the following update:

"After 13 solid years of fun, FEAR MY THOUGHTS will now come to an end.

"It seems like number 13 really stands for bad luck, but here's to prove you wrong: It's not bad luck or hard feelings or fights that have led to this decision. We have just simply come to the conclusion that, for us as individuals, it makes little sense to continue under this banner and within this specific formation. In fact, we have grown apart musically, and have not found a way to bring together all our musical influences, desires and ideas to the point where we were contented and satisfied. To make it plain, there is no dispute and no arguments going on, we just met at a bar one evening and talked about what is going on, and left the building feeling relieved because we were able to talk about everyone's individual feelings, thoughts and personal perspectives. We do still hang out together, partying, drinking beer and being good buddies, just like we have been doing all of these years. In a sense then, no big change for us, haha.

"For all our fans out there: We WILL be playing a couple of shows in January and February, in the Southwest of Germany and Switzerland . We'll promise to keep you updated!

"The farewell show will be in Lörrach (between Freiburg and Basel) in mid-February 2010. Don't miss this show, as it will build up to a most intensive and emotional finale! Furthermore, keep your eyes peeled for some future and ongoing projects that we are now working on!

"Norman [Lonhard] is currently drumming his way away with CELTIC FROST successor TRYPTIKON, set to release their killer debut in early 2010. Norman is also playing with PIGEON TOE, together with Martin [Fischer, vocals] . They have written some really crazy stuff, imagine a mix of MR. BUNGLE, MASTODON and KYUSS.? Bart [Bartosz Wojciechowski, bass], Patrick [Hagmann, guitar ] and Markus [Ruf, guitar] are going to start with some yet-untitled projects soon.

"As you can see, we've become older but not wiser and neither lazier, haha.?This was a great part of our lives, and the experiences we were glad to make will never be forgotten.

"Thanks to all our fans and all the great people we have met out there and the friends we have made!"

FEAR MY THOUGHTS' latest album, "Isolation", was released in July 2008 via Century Media Records. The follow-up to 2007's "Vulcanus" was recorded at the band's own Black Halo Studios by guitarist Patrick Hagmann. The artwork concept and design was created by Markus Ruf (guitar) while new vocalist Martin Fischer composed, played and recorded all synthesizer and organ parts. The vocal recordings and the mix were overseen by Daniel Bergstrand (MESHUGGAH, IN FLAMES, SOILWORK, STRAPPING YOUNG LAD).

Cleveland, Ohio metallers ETERNAL LEGACY will release their new album, "Lifeless Alive", on December 8, 2009 via Auburn Records. The CD was recorded at the band's own Mercinary Studios in Cleveland and produced by guitarist/vocalist Jason Vanek. The album's cover art was designed by German artist Frank Fiedler, with additional art design by Alex Yarborough.

Commented Vanek: "This album has more attitude and power in a heavier more polished direction with less keys. It's a good mix of driving, dark metal with killer melodies and a heavier edge than our debut. The sound of LEGACY is born!"

"Lifeless Alive" track listing:

01. Purblind
02. Lifeless Alive
03. Souls Of Prey
04. Abbadon
05. Visionary Sin
06. Misery's End
07. Lost But Not Alone
08. Fight The Heavens
09. Wicked Glory
10. Braindead
11. The Dead Matter (bonus track)

"Lifeless Alive" will be distributed in the U.S. by The End, Century Media, Sentinel Steel, Amazon, CD Baby and iTunes.

The album's bonus track, "The Dead Matter", was written for "The Dead Matter" horror film , produced by Cleveland-based Midnight Syndicate Films. The movie is about a grief-stricken girl who looks to the occult for answers to her brother's death and gets far more than she bargained for when she acquires a vampire relic with necromantic powers. It is a classic horror film in the Hammer Horror Films style. In October, a sneak peek premiere of the film was shown in a major downtown Cleveland movie theater. Over 600 people were in attendance, including the entire cast and crew. The movie stars Andrew Divoff ("Lost", "Wishmaster"), Jason Carter ("Babylon 5", "Angel") and horror legend Tom Savini ("Dawn Of The Dead", "Lost Boys 2"). The film also includes cameo appearances by Jeff Hatrix (MUSHROOMHEAD, HATRIX, PURGATORY) and Auburn Records president Bill Peters.

A different mix of ETERNAL LEGACY's "The Dead Matter" will appear on a double-CD soundtrack called "The Dead Matter: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack" in 2010. The movie is scheduled to be released on DVD next year as well.

"From the first notes, ETERNAL LEGACY takes hold of you and then proceeds to drag you into the darkest depths with their 'The Dead Matter' track," says the film's director Ed Douglas. "A great SABBATH-influenced rocker that leaves you wanting more".

Douglas DJ'd a heavy metal show on WJCU in Cleveland from 1990-2003, the same station that hosts Peters' Friday night "Metal On Metal" program. His band MIDNIGHT SYNDICATE is regarded as the top producers of Halloween horror soundtracks that cumulatively has sold over a million CDs.

ETERNAL LEGACY is:

Jason Vanek - Vocals/Rhythm Guitar
Shaun Vanek - Lead Guitar
Steve Dukuslow - Drums
Tim Frederick - Bass

ETERNAL LEGACY will play a special CD-release show in Cleveland, Ohio at Peabody's on November 27, 2009. Fans who attend the concert will be able to purchase the new "Lifeless Alive" CD in advance of the release date. The band will also debut its new bass player, Tim Frederick (WRETCH), who replaced bassist/keyboardist Spencer Phillips. LOWER 13, LAW OF DESTRUCTION (featuring guitarist John Comprix from Tim "Ripper" Owens' solo band and BEYOND FEAR), GROUND ZERO and LICK THE BLADE will open. The show starts at 8 p.m. Admission is free.

ETERNAL LEGACY was featured in the November 25, 2009 issue of Cleveland Scene magazine by legendary rock journalist Anastasia Pantsios.

Melbourne, Australia's dark rockers THE ETERNAL have set "Under A New Sun" as the title of their fourth full-length album, tentatively due in early 2010. The band will enter 301 Studios in Byron Bay on December 4 with acclaimed producer and multi-platinum recording artist Jeff Martin (THE AMARDA, THE TEA PARTY) to begin recording the follow-up to last year's "Kartika". Songtitles set to appear on the CD include "Control", "Under A New Sun", "A Thousand Shades of You", "Collapse" and "Cast In Stone".

A studio blog has been launched and can be found at this location.

Having returned from the world tour across Australia, Japan Europe, America, Canada and Mexico with the band's strongest lineup to date, guitarist/vocalist Mark Kelson states that the new album has a clear vision that will evolve THE ETERNAL's sound to a new level with the collaboration of producer Jeff Martin. "We are really excited about this opportunity to work with Jeff Martin who has been a big influence on me over the years and I can't think of any one better to bring the best out of us and our sound," he said. "This is truly a highlight for me as far as THE ETERNAL is concerned."

Jeff Martin adds: "Ladies and gentlemen, I proudly re-introduce THE ETERNAL... The type of band I've been waiting to produce. It's been a year now since Mark and I agreed to embark on a journey that begins this December. For THE ETERNAL this will not be a stepping stone but a launch pad. For me, a creative working relationship that allows me to realise an artist's vision and re-connect with past influences, all the while looking into the future...darkly. I envision an alchemical marriage, a musical landscape anchored by organic rock and roll and infested with industrial overtones. To put things lightly, you're not playing with kids here. THE ETERNAL are the real deal."

"Under A New Sun" will be co-engineered by Paul Pilsneniks who has worked with such artists as THE LIVING END, THE MARS VOLTA, SILVERCHAIR, GRINSPOON and ALANIS MORISSETTE, and THE ETERNAL has also enlisted acclaimed Finnish keyboard player Maria Ilmoniemi (TARJA, HUSKY RESCUE) to contribute.

After four years, HYPOCRISY — the Swedish extreme metal band led by guitarist/vocalist Peter Tägtgren (also of PAIN) — will finally be back on the road in Europe in January as part of the "Long Time, No Death… Europe 2010" tour with SURVIVORS ZERO and HATESPHERE.

To really give the fans something special, the band has decided to let its fans vote for their favoriate songs that they want to see performed live. The top-voted songs will be played on the upcoming tour.

For more information, and to place your vote, go to this location.

HYPOCRISY was recently forced to pull out of its North American tour with ENSIFERUM because it was unable to secure the proper U.S. working visas for all members of the band.

"A Taste Of Extreme Divinity", the new album from HYPOCRISY, sold 1,400 copies in the United States in its first week of release, according to Nielsen SoundScan. The CD landed at position No. 23 on the Top New Artist Albums (Heatseekers) chart, which lists the best-selling albums by new and developing artists, defined as those who have never appeared in the Top 100 of The Billboard 200.

"A Taste Of Extreme Divinity" recently entered the German Media Control chart at position No. 62.

The CD was released in the U.S. on November 3 via Nuclear Blast Records.

The North American mail-order version of "A Taste of Extreme Divinity" features three exclusive bonus tracks.

HYPOCRISY's previous album, "Virus", came out in September 2005 via Nuclear Blast Records.

Norwegian black metallers SATYRICON have issued the following update:

"Let's try and bring some clarity to the rumours that have been circulating lately.

"Although [SATYRICON's latest album] 'The Age Of Nero' is now a year old, the project is still very much alive to us as we've been working it more or less non-stop for almost three years.

"The last 12 months since release has been spent relentlessly touring and the fortunate success of the album has taken us to India, Australia, Japan, twice to America, across Europe and around Scandinavia and now we head out on the 'Finale In Black' tour, which will mark the end of the colossal 'The Age Of Nero' project. Once we have done that, we feel the time is right to take a break. A break where we can rest, get some perspective, work on other musical projects and non-musical projects and allow ourselves to figure out SATYRICON's next move. We have some ideas on what we want to do next and one of them is to open a new musical chapter.

"It has never been in this bands nature to rest on our laurels and we won't be doing that either. When the time is right, we will start working on exploring new musical territory and only the future can tell what that will turn into. Taking on challenges like that is something SATYRICON never has been afraid of. On the contrary, it is what has made the band grow.

"We tried to perfect everything SATYRICON has learnt and experienced musically for the last decade on 'The Age Of Nero' and we feel that we reached the goal we set out to achieve. It is time to pave way for something new. No, we won't return to something old. Forget it! All we know is that regardless of what we end up doing, it will still sound unmistakably like SATYRICON.

"We won't tour in the foreseeable future unless it is something so unique that it could be considered an historical event, but we will do one or two select festivals here and there whenever we feel like it. When we return, some of the people surrounding us today might be gone and some might still be with us. We don't know when, we don't know how, but we do know that SATYRICON is still very much alive and this break is something we know we need to do to keep it that way. Until then, see you at 'Finale In Black'!"

SATYRICON vocalist Sigurd "Satyr" Wongraven told Terrorizer.com that the band's upcoming concert in London, England (on December 20) will mark the beginning of a new phase in the group's evolution. "From then on, there are going to be a lot of changes in the SATYRICON camp," he said. "After we take a long touring break and come back a couple of years later, certain people may not be with us any longer. Although we won't be doing anything overly dramatic, we'll be trying quite a few different things, which I think is going to be really good for SATYRICON. The reason we're doing that is so we can continue to develop our sound. At the moment we are still enjoying what we do, but if that continues any longer it'll undoubtedly stagnate, so we need to ensure that doesn't happen. And moving in different musical directions is definitely a good way to go about it."

"As an artist, there are so many new things I'd like to do," Satyr added. "And one of them is to work on some songwriting for SATYRICON, though from an entirely different angle. For example, we may chose to go for a similar tone, but use a different set of instruments in the next record. Maybe there are also other recording techniques, which could add a different element to our work and open up fresh musical territory. Our last three releases all follow a certain style and pattern, and we want to create a record that's radically different from the others. Though the foundation of SATYRICON's sound — my songwriting and Frost's signature drumming — will always remain unchanged."

Swedish melodic death metallers DARK TRANQUILLITY have set "We Are The Void" as the title of their ninth album, due in Europe on March 1, 2010 via Century Media Records. The drums for the CD were recorded at bassist Daniel Antonsson's studio, while the remaining instruments were tracked at Martin Brändström's (electronics) newly renovated Rogue music facility. The mixing duties are once again being handled by Tue Madsen (HALFORD, BEHEMOTH, KATAKLYSM, THE HAUNTED), at his Antfarm studio in Århus, Denmark. Working songtitles set to appear on the CD include "I Am The Void", "Zero Distance", "The Burden Of Love Alive", "Archangelsk" and "Memories In Reverse".

Regarding the musical direction of the band's new material, DARK TRANQUILLITY previously said, "It's a bit too early to delve into details, but the material feels diverse and fresh and covers all the facets of the DARK TRANQUILLITY sound. Those who are familiar with our songwriting process know that we always keep re-arranging and experimenting with the material until the recording starts, and while we currently have the basic foundations for around 10 songs, many things are still open. The final result is likely to surprise ourselves as well as you people."

A performance clip of "Final Resistance", taken from DARK TRANQUILLITY's recently released "Where Death Is Most Alive" CD/DVD, is available for viewing below. The footage was filmed on October 31, 2008 in Milan, Italy — a concert which makes up the DVD's main feature. Disc 1 contains 20 tracks recorded at the Milan show while disc 2 offers the "Out Of Nothing" DARK TRANQUILLITY documentary, another 21 rare live videos and all of the band's previously released promotional clips.
Progressive Norwegian black metal band ULVER has issued the following update:

"This has been a foreign year.

"Our first gig after Lillehammer was at the Brutal Assault festival in the Czech Republic early August. A strange thing, with a crowd of about 10,000 people — so many at a loss — and severe monitoring problems. We pulled through alright, but it definitely made us realise how far removed we are from the metal arena. Nonetheless, we are considering doing Hellfest next year, together with our friends IHSAHN and SUNN O))).

"Next thing was the Norwegian Øya festival in Oslo medio August. Our first gig with a second drummer, Tomas Pettersen, as well as a guest appearance by Jørgen Munkeby on saxophone. We played a good one, kind of blue, as the sun descended over our hometown.

"A few days later we went to Mølla, which is an old mill by a waterfall in Gjerstad, a small municipality in the deep south of Norway. It was a tranquil happening, maybe too much so, as we finally went on stage at 02:30 in the morning. We couldn't see much, but think the party was over. We played for the woods. Thank you, Knut.

"We then drove north to Trondheim and the Pstereo festival, situated right next to the bewitching Nidaros Dome. It was a technical nightmare, the power broke down thrice during our set due to some earth fault. It was a mess. At least it was dark. Conclusion: Festivals are hazardous, people and place being out of control. Hate it.

"Queen Elizabeth Hall in London was a good turn in terms of scene and ambience. Playing for about 1,000 people in seats, some in suits, and with a Britpop band called MOTHLITE as opening act. A very special night. However, we must say we were mightily disappointed by the rigidity of the Southbank bureaucracy, being a body with official sources up their asses. Fuckers banked in excess of NOK 100,000 and sent us home in debt. That just ain't right. And on top they have the audacity to withhold money for our merchandise, contrary to contract. Pay up, you red-tapists.

"Gagarin 205 in Athens was a sound show, even though we weren't necessarily on our best form. Didi Music treated us as kings and queens, oh, the queens that are in some of us. In grim contrast to the story above. Thank you, especially to Kostas and Eleni, for everything. Io Pan.

"Down to earth, below the Acropolis: We are painfully aware of the passing since 'Shadows'. It's time to get another ULVER proper out, and we have started to write. Our own dark brand.

"Subsidiarily: We have recorded some hippie songs , from the Sixties, bands like THE 13TH FLOOR ELEVATORS, BYRDS, JEFFERSON AIRPLANE and stranger Aquarian folks. We aim to make this into a full album, a kind of ULVER kicking against the pricks. We'll put up a rough mix of our take at 'I Had Too Much To Dream Last Night', next week.

"There is also a collaboration with SUNN O))). We had a terrific tracking session with the Nazgûls after their appearance at the Øya festival well over a year ago. We spent a month or so editing the material and adding our sheen to the sound. Since then it has unfortunately been lying dormant due to difficulties getting everyone together. We hope to join forces and finish the thing this spring. It is becoming a ghost .

"Although being little more than an intro, you might want to check out 'Another Brick In The Wall Part I', which we recorded for the latest Mojo magazine and their PINK FLOYD special, celebrating the 30th anniversary of 'The Wall'.

"Also read marine-biologist-become-music-journalist Seth Beaudreault's interview with us, published on Avantgarde-Metal.com last night together with a Queen Elizabeth Hall live report etc. The interview was done the day after our stage debut in Lillehammer, Norway, this May. A colloquial conversation, and rather lenghty. Seth, it was a pleasure. Take care, wherever you may roam.

"Lastly we would like to welcome Daniel O'Sullivan into the pack. We all know that God exists as three persons, but now is the dawn of the triangular pyramid."

ULVER performed for the first time in 15 years on May 30, 2009 at the Norwegian Festival of Literature at Maihaugsalen in Lillehammer, Norway.

Once among the pioneers of Norwegian black metal, now living legends of dark experimental music, ULVER is one of Norway's most acclaimed international artists. While remaining something of a secret treasure back home, a long series of strong releases, most recently the album "Shadows of the Sun" (2007), has earned them a unique status worldwide.

ULVER has, since its first album, been exclusively a studio band. This being their first live performance in 15 years, the concert at Lillehammer was a historic event.

Sweden's BURST will play its last show ever on Friday, December 18 at Sticky Fingers in Gothenburg. According to the band, "There will be a bunch of cool giveaways, including the rare, out-of-print CDEP 'In Coveting Ways' to the first 100 through the door." In addition, the entire show will be filmed by for a possible DVD release.

Regarding what fans can expect to see at the concert, BURST said, "[WE will play] two sets, the first being latest album, 'Lazarus Bird', from start to finish, which means that we will be playing songs like 'Momentum' and 'City Cloaked', which we never played live before. After a break, we'll play the second set, comprised of fan favorites as well as songs we rarely or never played live. It will be an unashamedly awesome mix of old, new-ish and new BURST memories!

"We have invited a bunch of cool guests to color both sets, amongst others Elias Holmlid (of DRAGONLORD), Ulf Eriksson (ex-THE GREAT DECEIVER, ex-THE BREEDING) as well as our long time producer Fredrik Reinedahl (who, apart from BURST, has produced the likes of ABANDON, OPETH and SÓLSTAFÍR), as well as some potential guests we can't disclose now. This means that our heavy tunes will be colored by everything from percussion and Hammond to saxophone and cello."

BURST announced its decision to disband in July, stating at the time, "BURST have made music in this constellation for over ten years now, and while our creative urges remain intact, the energy and motivation it takes to be in a band that continues to grow and gets a lot of touring offers has slowly but continuously weakened over the last years. Why? Who knows.

"There are a million and one reasons why we haven't been able to reignite ourselves following the release of 'Lazarus Bird'. We were so proud of that album, and we should have had all the power in the world within us. But something's been missing. For a while now our band has been shaky, unmotivated and prone to a lot of internal discussions, and all that has sucked the energy out of us. That's not how it should be.

"We guess the most significant reasons are that we have different views on what our band should be about, how much effort we are able and willing to put into it, as well as individual band members' wish to prioritize other things in their respective lives. We are too proud of our band and our music to let it slowly wither or perhaps explode in a flurry of intra-band conflict. So, we'll end it now amicably and avoid what could possibly turn into a less-friendly split. We might have separate views and wills, but there is no animosity between us now.

"When you think about it, being in a rock band is a fucked-up social experiment: five different persons are to agree on something as individual as creative visions AND have the personal chemistry to be able to spend a disproportionate amount of time together on tour buses and cramped backstage rooms. There are a lot of nasty smells to be digested, a lot of insane behavior to be handled, a lot of mundane issues to be solved.

"BURST is a shining example of this: being in this band is like being in a dysfunctional but loving family. There is a lot of love, and there are no huge egos — but there are a lot of strong opinions and disparate personalities that sometimes make it difficult to agree on where we are going."

BURST completed its first — and last — U.S. tour immediately following the band's appearance at the Planet Caravan festival in Asheville, North Carolina on September 19.

BURST's latest album, "Lazarus Bird", was released in September 2008 via Relapse Records. The CD was recorded at Studio Bohussound (STATUS QUO, ABBA) in Kungälv, Sweden. The follow-up to 2005's "Origo" was once again tracked with engineer Fredrik Reinedahl (OPETH, IN FLAMES, GADGET).

Israeli symphonic black/death metallers DAGOR DAGORATH have inked a deal with the German label Twilight Vertrieb. The band's debut album, "Yetzer Ha'Ra", will be released worldwide on January 22, 2010.

Commented the band: "We know about their (Twilight Vertrieb) long experience and professional way of working, and we believe this alliance will be mutually winning for both sides."

"Yetzer Ha'Ra" was released in Russia on August 28, 2009 through More Hate Productions.

For more information, visit www.myspace.com/dagordagorath.

IMMOLATION, ABYSMAL TORMENT, ANTIGAMA, AS YOU DROWN, DAWN OF AZAZEL, HOUR OF PENANCE and THE END OF ALL REASON have been confirmed for next year's edition of the Neurotic Deathfest, set to take place April 30 - May 1, 2010 at 013 in Tilburg, Holland.

The festival billing is shaping up as follows:

ABYSMAL TORMENT
ANNOTATIONS OF AN AUTOPSY
ANTIGAMA
AS YOU DROWN
BEHEADED
BENEATH THE MASSACRE
BENIGHTED
BOLT THROWER
BURNING SKIES
CARCASS
DAWN OF AZAZEL
DEFEATED SANITY
DR DOOM
DYING FETUS
ENEMY REIGN
HOUR OF PENANCE
HUMAN MINCER
IMMOLATION
INSIDIOUS DECREPANCY
INSISION
KICKBACK
LOCK UP
NAPALM DEATH
NOX
ORIGIN
REVOCATION
RISE AND FALL
SEPTYCAL GORGE
SIX FEET UNDER
THE END OF ALL REASON
VIRAL LOAD

A total of around 40 acts will perform at the two-day event.

For more information, visit www.neuroticdeathfest.com.

Greek extreme metallers ROTTING CHRIST have set "Aealo" as the title of their new album, due on February 15 in Europe and February 23 in the U.S. via Season Of Mist. The CD was recorded at Lunatach Studios in Katerini, Greece and will feature guest appearances by Greek-American vocalist Diamanda Galas and PRIMORDIAL frontman Alan A. Nemtheanga.

According to a press release, "Aealo" will delve deeper than ever before into ROTTING CHRIST's Greek roots. Frontman Sakis Tolis explains: "'Aealo' is the transcription of an ancient Greek word into the Latin alphabet. It means thrashing, catastrophe or destruction and reflects the musical and lyrical content of the album.

"The concept of 'Aealo' deals with the feelings of a warrior during a battle, therefore the album's title bears this sense of anger, fear and grief."

Nemtheanga recently stated about his collaboration with ROTTING CHRIST: "'Satanas Tedeum' was one of the very first black metal demos I got in 1989. I have been a fan since then so it was with pleasure and honour to sing with a band that I have been a fan of for 20 years and friends with from the old tape-trading 'zine network since 1991. We have toured together and I have visited Hellas many times over the years. Somewhere around the late '90s, the scene became fixated with Nordic metal and forgot that great music was still being made in South America, Canada, Australia, Asia, in Eastern Europe and that the Greek scene is one of the oldest. Some of us, however, do not forget so my contribution is to honour 20 years of great music and friendship."

Regarding the musical direction of the new ROTTING CHRIST material, Alan said, "It sounds classic ROTTING CHRIST although it sees them continue where they left off with 'Theogonia', further away from the older 'satanic' feel and more into the realm of the ancient Greek gods, mythology and folklore. I think and feel it is this influence that has in many ways unchained the band, giving them more freedom to explore their own heritage and culture. It invokes the proud spirit of history, just as PRIMORDIAL tries to do! In this respect we are like brothers!"

Added Tolis: "Collaborating with Alan from PRIMORDIAL on a song from the new album was an honour for our band. By including his great voice in our album, we believe he brought the mood we were seeking for this specific song: a Celtic mood that has so many similarities with the ancient Greek culture and atmosphere that this album exhales. Alan definitely lifted up the specific song because his voice is great and, most importantly, unique. We are honoured to work with the voice of Ireland!"

Diamanda Galas makes an appearances on ROTTING CHRIST's cover version of "Orders from the Dead", from Galas' "Defixiones, Will and Testament" album, for which Sakis wrote new music.

"It is a huge honour for our band to have Mrs. Diamanda Galas on our new album", Sakis stated. "Getting her approval to use her voice as it can be originally heard in her 'Orders from the Dead' song feels like we did the most successful cover in our career, with one of the most soulful songs in the history of music. The dead are still waiting for their justification..."

POISONBLACK — the Finnish band featuring former SENTENCED frontman Ville Laihiala — has set "Of Rust And Bones" as the title of its fourth album, due in Europe on March 22, 2010 via Century Media Records. The follow-up to last year's "A Dead Heavy Day" was recorded with producer Hiili Hiilesmaa, who has previously worked with such acts as HIM, SENTENCED, AMORPHIS and ENSIFERUM. Songtitles set to appear on the CD include "My Sun Shines Black", "Down The Drain", "The Last Song", "Buried Alive" and "Penaaliseppo".

"A Dead Heavy Day" entered the Finnish chart at position No. 6. The effort was made available as standard CD, LP plus bonus CD as well as limited-edition CD plus bonus DVD containing a "Making Of A Dead Heavy Day", the video for the single "Rush" (taken from the band's 2006 effort "Lust-Stained Despair"), and seven songs filmed at an exclusive semi-acoustic gig at Radio Mega in the band's hometown of Oulu.

Norway's KEEP OF KALESSIN has been added to GORGOROTH's European tour in April 2010. The dates are as follows:

April 09 - Vosselaar, Belgium - Biebob
April 10 - Rotterdam, Holland - Baroeg
April 11 - Paris, France - Trabendo
April 12 - Hamburg, Germany - Marx
April 13 - Cologne, Germany - Essigfabrik
April 14 - Ludwigsburg, Germany - Rockfabrik
April 15 - Milan, Italy - Magazzini Generali
April 16 - Osnabrück, Germany - N8
April 17 - Glauchau, Germany - Alte Spinnerei

KEEP OF KALESSIN entered Dugout Productions in Uppsala, Sweden in October to record the drums for their new CD with Daniel Bergstrand (IN FLAMES, BEHEMOTH, MESHUGGAH). The band was then scheduled to go back home to their own studio in Trondheim, Norway where they recorded both "Armada" and "Kolossus" to lay down all the other instruments and vocals. The tracks will then be sent back to Daniel Bergstrand, who will mix the entire record for an early 2010 release via Nuclear Blast Records.

"Kolossus" was released in June 2008. The CD was made available via Indie Recordings and was licensed to Nuclear Blast for the following territories: Germany, Austria, Switzerland and rest of the world outside Europe (except Australia and Russia).

Italian death metallers HOUR OF PENANCE recently entered 16th Cellar studio in Rome with engineer Stefano Morabito to begin recording their as-yet-untitled fourth album for an early 2010 release via Unique Leader Records.

Commented guitarist Guilio Moschini: "We've finally finished tracking all the instruments for the new album and we will start mixing it at the end of this week with Stefano Morabito at the mixing desk. Production-wise, this album is already beyond what we have done with 'The Vile Conception', so we're definitely satisfied with the results we're achieving so far and I'm sure you will be with me once you'll hear it! Once we have finished with the mixing, we will send the new album to the Hertz Studios in Poland, where legendary bands like BEHEMOTH, DECAPITATED, VADER and HATE have worked, for the mastering... Easy to say that we're thrilled to work with the guys of Hertz studios, and we're sure that this will help the album to sound even better. Expect a killer HOUR OF PENANCE album to be released in 2010!"

HOUR OF PENANCE's current lineup:

Giulio Moschini - Guitar
Enrico Schettino - Guitar
Mauro Mercurio - Drums
Silvano Leone - Bass
Francesco Paoli - Vocals

HOUR OF PENANCE's latest album, "The Vile Conception", was released on February 23, 2008 via Unique Leader Records. The CD was recorded at 16th Cellar Studio in Rome with producer Stefano Saul Morabito and contains 10 songs of "insanely fast and twisted death metal," according to a press release. Artwork was handled by Pär Olofsson.


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