It can be heaven and it can be hell being in heavy metal band Heaven and Hell.
The group has experienced the highs and lows of life in recent times, reveals guitarist and Black Sabbath legend Tony Iommi.
The line-up of Iommi, bassist Geezer Butler, singer Ronnie James Dio and drummer Vinny Appice, had previously recorded and toured as Black Sabbath in 1980 – 82 and 1991 – 92. They reformed for just one tour in 2007, taking their name from the outfit's first album. But things went so well they stayed together and released an album of new material, The Devil You Know, last year.
Everything was heavenly but then came the 'hell' part of the equation. Last November Iommi was forced to take a break for an operation on his hand so 67-year-old Ronnie James Dio arranged a tour with his band, Dio. However, it was suddenly cancelled when the singer was diagnosed with stomach cancer.
Meanwhile, Vinny Appice was forced to have surgery on his shoulder, injured while touring, putting him out of action for five months.
''It sounds like Emergency Ward 10,'' says Aston-born Tony, who now lives in Lapworth. ''Geezer is the only healthy one at the moment.''
He has good news on all three casualties, however.
''Ronnie's doing better, he's been responding well to treatment,'' reports 62-year-old Tony. ''He's very positive and has been in the studio in LA this week doing a bit of singing. He has to fly to Dallas (from his Los Angeles home) for chemotherapy every two weeks and has injections daily in his stomach.''
Tony says the diagnosis of cancer came as a surprise. ''On the last week of our tour he was saying he'd got pains in his stomach. We just thought it was indigestion or something like that. It was a real shock when we heard what it was.''
Tony's hand is also healing well. The operation, involving stem-cell treatment, was something he'd put off for some time.
''The cartilage between the thumb joints of my right hand, my fret hand, was rubbing, bone to bone. They've cured that but the bone's been pushed back and I've been told I may need another operation to pull the bone up. I don't particularly want to go there because I have a friend, also a guitar player, who had that operation and it all went pear shaped which put me off a bit.''
As long as he can carry on playing he can cope with a bit of pain, he admits.
''I haven't taken any anti-inflammatories, which I had to before, all the time, and it's never going to be like it was but it's fine for playing.''
And the news on 50-year-old Vinny?
''He's doing alright, he's doing all his exercises. I don't know if he's started playing yet but he soon will be. I had the same operation on my arm four or five years ago.''
This has all cast a cloud over what should be a landmark year for Tony. It's the 30th anniversary of the release of the Heaven and Hell album and the 40th anniversary of Black Sabbath's debut album. Deluxe editions of Heaven and Hell, Mob Rules and Live Evil are being released in April and the band are set to perform at the European Sonisphere festivals as well as Bloodstock in Derbyshire and High Voltage in London.
But what if any of the members, particularly Ronnie, are not well enough to take part?
Says Tony: ''We're keeping our fingers crossed. If it got to that stage, Ronnie's the kind of person who would say, look, I can't do them. But he's a very determined chap and if he can do it, he'll be there.
''We're mixing a live DVD of one of our shows from the last tour and Ronnie's been going into the studio to sing along with it just to loosen his voice up. He's not been able to do that for a while and he was worried. But he's sounding really good now and he's a lot happier.
''In his mind he has to keep on, he wants to get out and do it. He's a real professional.''
Tony's been thinking a lot about the past recently because he's striving to complete his autobiography, Iron Man.
''I've been working on it for a long time. We've been so busy for the last couple of years it's been difficult finding the time to do it. But it's coming on and hopefully it will be out at the end of the year.
" I'm not going out to blast at everybody, that's for sure. That's for the next book!''
Singers and drummers have come and gone in Black Sabbath but the classic line-up is Ozzy Osbourne and Bill Ward, alongside Tony and Geezer.
After Ozzy was thrown out of the band in 1979, there were brief reunions in 1985 for Live Aid and 1992, with a full reunion in 1997 which resulted in the live album, Reunion, recorded at Birmingham NEC.
''Ozzy's still a great friend and I don't think we'll ever fall out,'' says Tony. ''Whether we'll work together again is another thing. There are no plans but it's in the lap of the gods.''
• Heaven and Hell headline Bloodstock at Catton Hall, Walton on Trent, Derbyshire, on Sunday August 15. They play the High Voltage Festival at Victoria Park, London, over the weekend of July 24 and 25.
According to the Italian concert promoter Live, HEAVEN & HELL — the band featuring BLACK SABBATH members Tony Iommi (guitar), Ronnie James Dio (vocals), Geezer Butler (bass) and Vinny Appice (drums) — will play three shows in Italy in early July:
July 01 - Ippodromo Capannelle (Rock In Roma festival) - Rome, Italy
July 03 - Alcatraz - Milan, Italy
July 04 - Pordenone Fair's Summer Garden - Pordenone, Italy
HEAVEN & HELL singer Ronnie James Dio was recently diagnosed with the early stages of stomach cancer while the band's guitarist, Tony Iommi, underwent stem-cell treatment on an injured hand.
HEAVEN & HELL drummer Vinny Appice underwent surgery on his right shoulder on November 30, 2009 for an injury sustained during the band's last tour.
The surgeon expects Vinny to be back behind the kit this spring.
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.
In a recent online posting, Ronnie James Dio's wife/manager Wendy Dio revealed that there are plans to release a 30th-anniversary BLACK SABBATH "Heaven And Hell" DVD sometime this year. The package is expected to include brand new interviews that Ronnie, Geezer and Appice gave to Eddie Trunk — co-host of the VH1 Classic television program "That Metal Show" — on January 22, 2010 in Los Angeles, as well other extras.
Back On Black, which specializes in vinyl editions of classic metal albums and is dedicated to providing top-quality releases for record collectors and metal fans worldwide, will issue the JUDAS PRIEST classic "British Steel" on 180gm vinyl on April 19 to coincide with the 30th anniversary of this metal milestone. "British Steel" will also be released in picture-disc format.
JUDAS PRIEST will be IRON MAIDEN frontman Bruce Dickinson's guests on Friday, April 9 during Bruce's weekly BBC 6 Music radio program, dubbed "The Bruce Dickinson Friday Rock Show". Listen to the broadcast live via the Internet between 9:00 p.m. and 12:00 a.m. (midnight) U.K. time at BBC.co.uk.
Sony Music has set a May 11 release date (one day earlier internationally) for "British Steel: Legacy Edition", the limited deluxe expanded edition of JUDAS PRIEST's classic 1980 album "British Steel".
"British Steel" was the sixth studio album by JUDAS PRIEST. Released on April 14, 1980 and produced by Tom Allom, "British Steel" was recorded at Tittenhurst Park in England — a mansion owned at the time by former THE BEATLES member Ringo Starr, and previously owned by John Lennon and Yoko Ono.
"British Steel" has long been considered one of metals all-time classics. It was with this release that PRIEST truly broke through to the masses, with a pair of tracks that have become fixtures on rock radio — the enduring anthems "Breaking The Law" and "Living After Midnight". But like all classic albums, there is not a single weak track detected on "British Steel", as evidenced by such standouts as the perennial concert highlight "Metal Gods", as well as "Rapid Fire", "Grinder", "United" and "The Rage", among others.
In 2009 JUDAS PRIEST performed the "British Steel" album in its entirety for the first time ever as part of their 30th anniversary USA tour. A filmed recording of the show on the August 17, 2009 at the Seminole Hard Rock in Hollywood, Florida will be included in both the limited-edition deluxe and deluxe releases. The show was captured in front of a vibrant American audience and in full 5.1 surround and stereo sound. Known for their high-energy and spectacular stage shows the band played the entire "British Steel" album in sequence as well as a number of other well-know tracks from their catalog.
The live concert was mixed in stereo and 5.1 by the original "British Steel" producer Tom Allom. In addition, the DVD will include the bonus content of "The Making Of British Steel", a 30-minute doc featuring the four original band members. This new DVD brings the live PRIEST experience like no other live recording.
German hard rock veterans SCORPIONS have announced the dates for the North American leg of their "Get Your Sting And Blackout" world tour in support of the new album. The legendary rockers will be celebrating 40-plus years in music on this final outing — set to kick off June 18 in Holmdel, NJ — that will take them around the globe through 2012, with special guests supporting along the way, including CINDERELLA who will help jump-start the tour, and heavy metal/hard rock band DOKKEN.
"The SCORPIONS is a live band," asserts vocalist Klaus Meine. "Totally, 200%, this band was always about live concerts. We always wanted to go on stage and play in front of our fans. From the very beginning, from the smallest clubs to the biggest arenas and stadiums around the world, the passion to be a live band has never changed."
And when asked why the band decided to retire after all these years together, guitarist Rudolf Schenker stated, "We want to celebrate [with] a big party around the world. We've had a really great career, coming out from Germany and showing people that rock can come out of Germany. I think we started as a gang built by friendship and musicality, and going and showing that the Germans can rock."
With over 30 North American shows planned, the two-month summer tour will take the band, known worldwide for their mega, arena hard rock and over 100 million records sold, to such cities as Baltimore, MD; Jones Beach, NY; Toronto and Milwaukee. As they make their way west, they'll stop in Albuquerque before hitting the Greek Theatre in Los Angeles July 29. (See dates below with more to be announced)
The SCORPIONS have partnered with I Love All Access to offer a variety of VIP ticket packages, some of which include the chance to meet band members at their shows. For more details, go to www.iloveallaccess.com.
SCORPIONS' "Get Your Sting And Blackout Tour" North American dates (more to be announced):
Jun. 18 - Holmdel, NJ - PNC Bank Arts Center
Jun. 19 - Baltimore, MD - Merriweather Post Pavilion
Jun. 22 - Jones Beach, NY - Jones Beach Theater
Jun. 25 - Quebec City, QC - Pavillion de la Juenesse
Jun. 26 - Montreal, QC - Bell Centre
Jun. 27 - Toronto, ON - Molson Amphitheatre
Jul. 02 - Milwaukee, WI - Summerfest - TBA via Ticketmaster
Jul. 24 - Oklahoma City, OK - Oklahoma City Zoo Amphitheatre
Jul. 26 - Albuquerque, NM - The Pavilion
Jul. 29 - Los Angeles, CA - Greek Theater
Jul. 31 - Ontario, CA - Citizen's Business Bank Arena
Aug. 06 - Roseburg, OR - Douglas County Fairgrounds
Aug. 07 - Ridgefield, WA - Amphitheatre at Clark County
"Sting In The Tail", the new album from German hard rock veterans SCORPIONS, sold 18,500 copies in the United States in its first week of release to debut at position No. 23 on The Billboard 200 chart. This marks the band's highest chart debut in over 20 years. The CD also landed at No. 6 on the Rock Albums chart.
SCORPIONS' last record, "Humanity - Hour 1", opened with 10,500 units back in September 2007 to enter The Billboard 200 chart at No. 63.
"Sting In The Tail" was released in North America on March 23 via Universal Music Enterprises. The CD was recorded at a studio in Hannover, Germany with Swedish producers Mikael "Nord" Andersson and Martin Hansen (the team behind THE RASMUS' "Dead Letters" CD).
SCORPIONS — known worldwide for their mega, arena hard rock and over 100 million records sold — will travel the globe one last time on the "Get Your Sting And Blackout" tour. Kicking off the North American leg in June, the tour will take the band across the U.S. all summer and continue on around the world with special guests supporting along the way.
As previously reported, former NIGHTWISH singer Tarja Turunen performed the song "The Good Die Young" with SCORPIONS on Germany's talk show "Wetten, Dass..?" on Saturday, March 27. The song was written "about people who stand up for peace and freedom," according to singer Klaus Meine. "In a world that gets out of balance more and more every day, we try to put this feeling into music."
TAKING DAWN will support legendary rockers KISS on their forthcoming U.K. arena tour this May. The Las Vegas four-piece, which is currently tearing up the boards with Roadrunner labelmates AIRBOURNE on their tour across Europe, will release its debut album, "Time To Burn", on April 12. The effort is already available digitally via iTunes and all good digital stores.
TAKING DAWN frontman and guitarist Chris Babbitt is super-excited at the prospect of the KISS tour, enthusing: "I still think my guys are fucking with me. Isn't Ashton Kutcher supposed to punk only famous people? Not even in 100,000 years did I think we'd really be opening for KISS...especially after the third farewell tour! We've got our Love Gun locked and loaded, and can't wait to strut the same stage as our heroes. This is such an honor it's almost too overwhelming for words."
The dates are as follows:
May 01 - Sheffield, UK @ Arena
May 02 - Newcastle, UK @ Metro Radio Arena
May 04 - Liverpool, UK @ Arena
May 05 - Birmingham, UK @ Lg Arena
May 07 - Dublin, IRE @ O2 Arena
May 09 - Glasgow, UK @ Secc
May 10 - Manchester, UK @ Men Arena
May 12 - London, UK @ Wembley Arena
May 13 - London, UK @ Wembley Arena
According to a posting on METALLICA's official web site, FEAR FACTORY and GOJIRA "have graciously agreed to hang" with METALLICA for the band's European shows in April, while "Lars' [Ulrich] Danish buddies VOLBEAT have signed up for the May shows (with the exception of May 22 in Tel Aviv, where local band ORPHANED LAND will take the stage)."
METALLICA's April/May itinerary:
Apr. 13 - Oslo, Norway - Telenor Arena
Apr. 14 - Oslo, Norway - Telenor Arena
Apr. 17 - Riga, Latvia - Riga Arena
Apr. 18 - Tallinn, Estonia - Saku Suurhal
Apr. 20 - Vilnius, Lithuania - Siemens Arena
Apr. 21 - Vilnius, Lithuania - Siemens Arena
Apr. 24 - Moscow, Russia - SK Olimpiisky
Apr. 25 - Moscow, Russia - SK Olimpiisky
May 11 - Belfast, N. Ireland - Odyssey Arena
May 12 - Belfast, N. Ireland - Odyssey Arena
May 14 - Budapest, Hungary - Puskas Ferenc Stadium
May 16 - Zagreb, Croatia - Hippodrome
May 18 - Lisbon, Portugal - Pavilhao Atlantico
May 19 - Lisbon, Portugal - Pavilhao Atlantico
May 22 - Tel Aviv, Israel - Ramat Gan Stadium
May 23 - Lyon, France - Halle Tony Garnier
Israeli progressive folk metal masters ORPHANED LAND will support METALLICA on May 22, 2010 at the Ramat Gan stadium in Tel Aviv.
Israeli fans of METALLICA recently reached an agreement with the promoter of the band's upcoming show in Tel Aviv to get ticket prices for the gig significantly dropped. A growing number of fans were planning to boycott the concert after learning that the cheapest tickets for the show were going for 600 shekel, or around $159 U.S. According to the creators of a Facebook page dedicated to the boycott, tickets for METALLICA shows around the world were much less, while top tickets by other acts coming to Israel went for around $66.
As of March 3, an agreement was apparently reached between fans and the promoter, with a proposal on the table that tickets should range from a low of $80 to a high of $160.
Fans Tomer Mussman and Rotem Horovitz wrote, "After a four-day campaign, tons of news items about us worldwide, over 6,000 supporters and numerous media interviews, we can say that we did it! We won! This afternoon, (we) met with Mr. Gad Oron, the promoter's representative, and reached an agreement about a significant drop in ticket prices."
Mussman and Horovitz added, "We would like to personally thank METALLICA and their management for directly helping us with reaching our goal and reducing the prices . . . We are officially asking each and every one of you to stop the boycott, and come and enjoy METALLICA's concert with us on May 22."
The show in Tel Aviv will mark METALLICA's third visit to Israel, with its last one coming in 1999.
Goreripper of Australia's PyroMusic.net recently conducted an interview with ARMORED SAINT/ANTHRAX singer John Bush. An excerpt from the chat follows below.
PyroMusic.net: I spoke to [ARMORED SAINT bassist] Joey [Vera] before the tour here last year and he said there was an album planned, but nothing had really been completed. How long did it take to get all the material together for [the new ARMORED SAINT album] "La Raza"?
John Bush: I don't know. I can't remember when the whole thing started coming together. I want to say that from when Joey gave me the first idea for "Blues", which was the first song we wrote... I was probably about 18 months or two years. We kind of had to fit it in with all the other things going on in our lives. It wasn't a situation where we had all this pressure and a timeline where we had a deadline to get a record out. We kind've worked at our leisure and did things that felt right. So whenever he'd give me stuff, I'd work on it and when I had lyrics completed I'd go to his house and we'd put it down in demo form, which we actually kept a lot of those vocals — I'd say we probably kept about 50% of those vocals which I sang at Joey's house on the demos, which is cool. We just took our time with it. It wasn't like the label was saying, "Hurry up guys! Get your record out!" It was none of that, which is nice.
PyroMusic.net: It must have been good being able to just take your time.
John Bush: It was fun. You know, I'm still real proud of all the records I've done with both bands I've been in. There's some that are stronger than others in my opinion of course, but this record was different because it wasn't a normal process of making a record. The normal process is there's money and time and you need to connect it with going out on tour, and that goes back to the first ARMORED SAINT album I did. You get concerned with being over budget and all the bullshit basically! But this wasn't about that. We wrote these songs, and once we had ten it was like, "OK, they're good! Let's record on them." And we got in the studio and recorded with real drums and Joey re-recorded the guitars and bass... we kept a lot of the demo stuff, guitar nuances and acoustic stuff. And Phil [Sandoval] and Jeff [Duncan] laid down leads, and it was a smooth and nice process because it was in our own timeline. That was neat. It's been a real pleasurable record
from that perspective and I'm getting a lot of satisifaction out of people connecting to it. It makes me happy because as much as we really try to do a lot, we didn't really try that hard! Sometimes there's something to be said for not thinking too much and using instincts. Instincts man, instincts!
PyroMusic.net: Can I also ask you about ANTHRAX. Are you working with [Scott] Ian and Charlie [Benante] on the new ANTHRAX album?
John Bush: Well obviously, those guys have a finished record that they're sitting on, and... and... I'm not sure what's gonna happen yet. At one point they wanted me to re-record it all, and I wasn't really up to that task. And then the game changed a little bit and we came up with the idea of an EP in conjunction with these shows in the summer. But there's been some business issues with that. So, I don't know. I don't know what's going to happen yet. Obviously the guys in the band would like to have something out to correlate with these "Big Four" shows [featuring METALLICA, SLAYER, MEGADETH and ANTHRAX] and I totally understand that. It's just a matter of making something feel right. Because obviously there's been so much involved in making this one record... Dan Nelson singing on it, then Dan Nelson not being in the band, but his vocals being on it, and then me to go re-record everything and I didn't really have a hand in creating anything... I don't
feel really comfortable just going in and re-recording everything as is. I want to make it my baby a little bit. And they're trying to do something with that... contrary to ARMORED SAINT, they would like to have something out by June for these shows. So I don't know. Worst-case scenario is that ANTHRAX will play the shows anyway, record or not. They were asked to participate and that was based on the band's history more than anything, so we'll see.
PyroMusic.net: Those "Big Four" shows will be a truly amazing event, don't you think?
John Bush: Yeah! It's gonna be awesome. It's total metal history. Neither of these bands have ever totally played together — I don't think they ever have. It'll be cool, really fun, some metal history goin' down and I look forward to it!
The charismatic and complex singer/songwriter Glenn Danzig is set to unleash his first new DANZIG studio album in six years. "Deth Red Sabaoth", produced by Glenn and recorded in Los Angeles over the course of 2009, will be released on June 22, 2010 (Evilive/The End Records).
The 11-track collection, penned by Danzig, is laced with Glenn's lycanthropic growls and blues-infected wailing. Tracks including "Black Candy", "The Revengeful" and "On A Wicked Night" emit a spectral glow to rival the highest points in Danzig's colossal discography. Part I of the exquisite two-part "Pyre of Souls" opens with acoustic guitar, haunting piano, Glenn's plainsong vocal, and an almost dirge-like feel; Part II explodes with electric guitars and a driving, mesmerizing cadence.
"I think that fans will really dig this new album," said Glenn. "I've been told several times that the album has a cool vitality to it, that it sounds energized, and I got that feeling when I was recording it. I wanted to have an organic sound, bigger and thicker, so I went out and bought some 1970's Kustom tuck 'n roll bass amps to play some of the guitar parts through. You'll hear real reverb, real tremolo on this album, which sounds completely different than the stuff that's done with computer chips."
Joining Glenn in the studio for the recording of "Deth Red Sabaoth" were guitarist Tommy Victor (PRONG, MINISTRY), a Danzig cohort on and off since 1996, and drummer Johnny Kelly (TYPE O NEGATIVE, SEVENTH VOID). While Kelly has toured with Glenn intermittently since 2002, this is the first time he has recorded with the band. Glenn handled the bass chores for most the album, and played drums on "Black Candy".
As with all of Danzig's releases, the CD cover artwork for "Deth Red Sabaoth" (see below) is provocative and ominous. The cover is an original piece created specifically for the CD by the award-winning artist Joe Chiodo, whose work has graced not only Danzig's Verotik publishing line, but also the covers of numerous graphic novels and comic books, including X-Men Unlimited. "Deth Red Sabaoth" isn't the first time one of Chiodo's paintings has been part of a Danzig package — one of his erotic "good girl" pinups was part of 2007's "The Lost Tracks of Danzig".
DANZIG — Glenn, guitarist Tommy Victor, drummer Johnny Kelly and bassist Steve Zing (also an original member of SAMHAIN with Glenn) — plan to tour extensively to support "Deth Red Sabaoth"; dates will be announced shortly.
According to The Pulse of Radio, Sammy Hagar is happy with the direction that his current band CHICKENFOOT is going, but couldn't help speaking out about the lack of VAN HALEN's progress. He spoke to The San Gabriel Valley Tribune and seemed amazed that VAN HALEN hasn't released a new studio album in nearly 20 years, explaining, "The band broke up in 1995. The last record was in '93. 17 years and they haven't made any new music. That's crazy . . . if it changed and it was like it used to be when I was in the band, I could do a reunion and an album, but not under these circumstances."
Hagar recalled that back in 2004 when he and current CHICKENFOOT bandmate Michael Anthony recorded three new songs for VAN HALEN's "Best Of Both Worlds" compilation, the pace that the band was working at was far to slow for him. "We tried to make a record, but, y'know, it just was taking so long we only got three songs done, and not 'cause of me, I'll tell ya straight up," he said. "If anyone ever says anything like that I was the problem on that record, they're crazy. I had my stuff totally together. I went in, I knocked my stuff out, and then Eddie [Van Halen] would take months to do a guitar solo or something. It was just way too drawn out. I can't work like that."
HALFORD guitarist "Metal" Mike Chlasciak has scheduled another U.S. solo date on May 22 at Dingbatz in Clifton, New Jersey. This will mark Mike's first headline show in support of his forthcoming album, "The Metalworker".
In other news, Mike has revealed the lineup of musicians that will join him for the upcoming dates:
* "Metal" Mike Chlasciak (HALFORD, SEBASTIAN BACH) - Guitar
* Carlos Zema (OUTWORLD) - Vocals
* John Macaluso (ARK, YNGWIE MALMSTEEN, JAMES LABRIE) - Drums
* Clint Arent (PAINMUSEUM, AUTUMN HOUR) - Bass
Commented Mike: "Metalheads worldwide, I feel very lucky to announce that some absolutely awesome players and friends are with me to deliver the metal.
"On the drums, no other then John Macaluso. What can I say about Johnny Mac — he's a fantastic drummer! I made a point to get to know John after I heard his drumming on records from YNGWIE MALMSTEEN and his incredible band ARK. It turns out he's a super guy in addition to being a monstrous drummer! On bass, a friend and a player who is one of the most dedicated and solid rumble manipulators in the universe — Clint Arent. On vocals — Carlos Zema. We know who the true heavy metal singers are — the voices that will live in our hearts forever. Dying breed? I wondered myself. My faith is restored by the talent, good nature and charisma of Carlos. I became aware of this vocal annihilator through checking out his previous band OUTWORLD, and what can I say — he is the real deal, my friends.
"I hope to see many of you at the May shows and please come help us celebrate the beginning of an exciting time."
Mike will support German power metallers PRIMAL FEAR on May 21 at Jaxx in Springfield, Virginia. This will be Mike's first show of 2010 and the debut live appearance by Chlasciak's new touring band. Chlasciak will also join PRIMAL FEAR for a "jam" on May 20 at the Blender Theatre in New York City.
Mike's live schedule is as follows:
May 20 - Blender Theater - New York, NY (Mike jam with PRIMAL FEAR)
May 21 - Jaxx - Springfield, VA (w/ PRIMAL FEAR)
May 22 - Dingbatz - Clifton, NJ (Metal Mike headline show)
Swedish progressive metallers OPETH have been confirmed for High Voltage, the U.K.'s new rock festival, which is scheduled to take place July 24-25, 2010 at Victoria Park in London, U.K.
The festival billing is shaping up as follows :
EMERSON, LAKE & PALMER
HEAVEN & HELL
DWEEZIL ZAPPA PLAYS ZAPPA
MARTIN TURNER'S WISHBONE ASH
BLACK LABEL SOCIETY
HIGH ON FIRE
High Voltage is the must-see rock event of 2010 — a two-day festival featuring the very best in classic rock, progressive rock and metal. Custom-built by rock fans for rock fans.
First of all, there's the music: two amazing headliners AND three unique stages specially curated to cater for different sides of the rock audience, and a brilliant supporting cast playing special must-see sets. Then there's the festival itself. The facilities will be second to none: great food, proper beer, clean toilets, deluxe hospitality packages, designated hotels, free shuttle transport. This is somewhere you take the whole family.
High Voltage offers a new and unique festival experience for rock fans of all ages. Only High Voltage gives ticket buyers the freedom to design their own bespoke festival package — which can include accommodation, transport, parking and VIP bar access.
For more information, visit www.highvoltagefestival.com.
Rocklahoma has announced new additions to its Memorial Day Weekend lineup of top rock artists from the past three decades. SEVENDUST, FUEL (featuring original lead singer Brett Scallions), LACUNA COIL, THE LAST VEGAS, GYPSY PISTOLEROS, THE NIGEL DUPREE BAND, O'DETTE, PROBLEM CHILD, BLACK TORA, MAD MAX and BAD THINGS will join a previously announced all-star roster including ZZ TOP, GODSMACK, TESLA, BUCKCHERRY, CINDERELLA, CHEVELLE, THEORY OF A DEADMAN, SALIVA, SAVING ABEL and more (see below for the full lineup). Unfortunately, due to conflicts with a European tour, STONE SOUR will no longer be appearing at Rocklahoma. The multi-day destination camping rock festival takes place May 28-30, 2010 at Catch the Fever Festival Grounds in Pryor, Oklahoma.
Following the overwhelming success of the Miss Rocklahoma competition in 2009, the contest returns in 2010. Starting Monday, April 3 at noon CST, ladies who feel they "exude rock and roll" can enter at Rocklahoma.com for a chance to be crowned the "Miss Rocklahoma."
The top ten women who best possess the spirit of Rocklahoma will be announced at Rocklahoma.com on April 29. Rock fans from around the world can then vote online for their favorite choice for "Miss Rocklahoma." The top five finalists will be announced on May 20 and then introduced onstage at Rocklahoma on Friday, May 28 and one lucky contestant will be crowned the winner and ambassador for Rocklahoma 2010.
Rocklahoma organizers continue to offer fan-friendly ticket prices for the three-day weekend rock event which features over 35 artists on three stages. Three-day general admission tickets are still available for only $97 and three-day VIP tickets can be purchased for as low as $267 through Thursday, April 8.
Beginning Friday, April 9 at 10 a.m. CST, three-day general admission ticket prices will increase to $112 and three-day VIP tickets will start at $292.
Established in 2007 as a classic rock destination festival with the motto "life, liberty and the pursuit of rock," Rocklahoma organizers teamed with AEG Live to revamp the 2010 event to encompass a much broader mix of classic, current and up-and-coming rock artists.
The current lineup for Rocklahoma 2010 is as follows:
THEORY OF A DEADMAN
THE VEER UNION
LIKE A STORM
YEAR LONG DISASTER
NIGEL DUPREE BAND
THE LAST VEGAS
THE GLITTER BOYS
And a very special guest to be announced soon!
Rocklahoma is located just 45 minutes northeast of Tulsa, in Pryor, Oklahoma. The Catch the Fever Festival Grounds is a premiere destination for a multi-day festival, and includes on-site camping with access to restrooms and shower house, a general store for campers, VIP reserved seating, hospitality areas and much more.
SOUL SIGN, the Los Angeles-based band featuring Bjorn Englen (YNGWIE MALMSTEEN, QUIET RIOT) on bass, Michael Olivieri (LEATHERWOLF) on vocals, Michael Taylor on drums and Rob Math (SEAL, MACY GRAY) on guitar, just completed a short tour of Sweden in support of its upcoming album, "Life In The Dark", due out in May.
According to the band's official bio, "SOUL SIGN was founded with the intention to deliver honest, original, strong modern rock through world-class musicianship.
All of the members are the most extraordinaire musicians and personalities, who have had their craft perfected through many years of extensive world wide touring and recording."
Video footage of the band's recent performance of "Sign Of Your Soul" on Swedish radio can be viewed below.
For more information, visit www.soulsign.us.
Bradford Skelley of Mega Metal Magazine last month conducted an interview with bassist Zakk Sandler of Miami, Florida metallers BLACK TIDE. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
Mega Metal Magazine: What's going on? What is the band up to right now?
Zakk Sandler: Right now, we're just wrapping up a session in New York City, where we've been working on demos, and writing songs, and doing some early pre-production for our next record. Just pushing through it. It's going pretty good. The label's lovin' it, and we're lovin' it. So we're hoping to have the record done, I think around June 2010. That's our goal right now, we're probably going to jump right back into the studio in April 2010, and just get it done. We've waited too fucking long to follow up the last record – 2007's "Light From Above".
Mega Metal Magazine: Do you guys have a working title for the new record yet?
Zakk: Not sure yet, I kept joking that we should call the album "Light From Above II" but everybody hates that idea. Guess we're not going to get it. [laughter] We'll see, we're still not sure how we feel about this direction. You know? What CAN we call this record? What would describe it the right way? I think it shows that we've grown as people. We could even go as far as calling it self-titled — "Black Tide". If anything this could be the album that ultimately shows who we are. The second album, for most band's is that point, where you hear, "Oh, this is what they're about."
Mega Metal Magazine: You guys played three new songs on December 6, 2009 on the show that you opened for THE ALL-AMERICAN REJECTS and TAKING BACK SUNDAY. Are those three new songs going to be on the record as well?
Zakk: I think all three of them are. It might only be two of them. We played the new song "Redefine" all summer. As it stands now, I'm not sure if it's going on the record. I haven't even listened to that song in awhile. At the same time, I think it's kind of cool, because there is all these videos of us playing it on YouTube, and all the kids are like, "I fucking hate them now, see what they've turned into." But when they hear what we've got going on now. They're going to be like, "Holy shit!" Our goal is to make the best rock record we can.
Mega Metal Magazine: Who is producing, and is it the same person you had when you were out here in Kansas? How is the second part of the record coming along since then?
Zakk: We're still working with Josh Wilbur [who previously worked with LAMB OF GOD, AVENGED SEVENFOLD, LIMP BIZKIT] like we were before. I don't know if I can say the other guy that we're working with, but just trust that he's a well-known guy.
Mega Metal Magazine: How is the album sounding so far. Is it similar to the last album? Or is it going to be completely different and blow us all away?
Zakk: I think it's got a bunch of elements from the last record. I think it's obvious that we've grown as players, and as writers, in pretty much every way we can. There's definitely a different sense of direction with this. In some way's it's a lot heavier, and at the same time it's a lot more melodic, and prettier.
Mega Metal Magazine: So a lot of guitar work and solos?
Zakk: There is A LOT of guitar work. Especially from what we thought it was going to sound like, it's a lot riffier, and a lot more diverse. In a weird way, I think it's more — kind of like our last album. More of an '80s rock vibe & elements of a early '90s rock vibe. It's all over the place.
Guitarist Ruud Jolie (WITHIN TEMPTATION) will join AGUA DE ANNIQUE — the band led by former THE GATHERING singer Anneke van Giersbergen — for several shows this spring/summer, starting with the group's April 30 appearance at Rock'n Dark festival in Istanbul, Turkey. Jolie will be filling in for regular AGUA DE ANNIQUE axeman Joris Dirks, who is unable to make the dates because he and his wife are expecting twins. Anneke says, "I'm very excited to go out and play with Ruud, who is both a great guitar player and a very nice guy."
Anneke van Giersbergen and AGUA DE ANNIQUE performed on Monday, March 29 on the Dutch radio station 3FM during the "Giel Beelen" show. Watch video footage of their appearance below.
ANNEKE VAN GIERSBERGEN & AGUA DE ANNIQUE's third album, "In Your Room", was released on October 30, 2009. The 12-song effort was written entirely by Anneke except for two tracks: "Just Fine" was co-written with Devin Townsend and "Adore" was composed by AGUA DE ANNIQUE bassist Jacques de Haard and Cyril Crutz.
The "Hey Okay!" single was made available on October 6.
AGUA DE ANNIQUE has released three albums so far: "Air" (2007), "Pure Air" (2009) and "In Your Room" (2009).
South German melancholists END OF GREEN have entered Munich's Weltraumstudios with producer Corni Bartels to begin recording their seventh album, "High Hopes In Low Places", for an August reelase via Silverdust Records.
END OF GREEN's previous CD, "The Sick's Sense", entered the German Media Control chart at position No. 21. The record was made available in two different formats: a regular jewelcase; and the premium digibook double-CD featuring a bonus CD with a five-song END OF GREEN acoustic session recorded live.
Knoxville, Tennessee death metallers WHITECHAPEL have set "A New Era Of Corruption" as the title of their third album, due on June 8 via Metal Blade Records. A song from the CD will make its online debut on April 12,
"A New Era Of Corruption" was recorded at Audiohammer studios in Sanford, Florida with acclaimed producer Jason Suecof (TRIVIUM, ALL THAT REMAINS, THE BLACK DAHLIA MURDER, CHIMAIRA, DEVILDRIVER).
"The album is finally 100% complete and we couldn't be more excited. I think this record truly represents where we are as musicians at this point in our career," comments guitarist and founding member Alex Wade.
"'A New Era of Corruption' is the heaviest and most aggressive material we have written to date.
"Some of you may notice that the title of the new record, 'A New Era of Corruption', is a line from the song 'Possession' off our last album, 'This Is Exile'.
"We wanted to name the CD this to bring a little flavor from 'This Is Exile' into the new CD, as well as I think the name represents this new age of extreme metal that we are currently rising in.
"The album is not a concept record like 'This Is Exile' was. It just has its own general theme and each song deals with its own topic track by track."
"A New Era of Corruption" track listing:
02. Breeding Violence
03. The Darkest Day of Man
04. Reprogrammed to Hate
05. End of Flesh
07. A Future Corrupt
08. Prayer of Mockery
09. Murder Sermon
11. Single File to Dehumanization
12. Animus (digital and vinyl bonus track)
Handling artwork for "A New Era Of Corruption" was Brent Elliot White, who previously worked with JOB FOR A COWBOY and CARNIFEX. "Brent absolutely nailed it," states Alex. "The dark and ominous vibe he portrayed with his art fits the mood of the CD perfectly."
"A New Era Of Corruption" features guest vocals from Vincent of THE ACACIA STRAIN on the track "Murder Sermon" and Chino from the DEFTONES on the track "Reprogrammed to Hate". Alex explains: "Vincent has been a longtime friend of the band and we have always talked about him doing guest vocals on one of our records, so, naturally, his style of vocals fits our music perfectly and sounds great.
"We're honored to have DEFTONES vocalist Chino Moreno on our record. All of us are huge DEFTONES fans so it's pretty surreal for us.
"He absolutely killed his part on the album and it's everything I envisioned it would be. Plus it's cool that Chino was so opened-minded to do vocals on something so extreme; I think that it sounds fantastic."
In support of the upcoming release, WHITECHAPEL is hitting the road to play about 30 dates, most of which are with labelmates JOB FOR A COWBOY and CATTLE DECAPITATION, including stops at the New England Metal And Hardcore Festival and the California Metalfest. Then come the summer, WHITECHAPEL will be on the road as a part of the Vans Warped Tour.
"We have some killer tours coming up in support of the new record, the first one being with JOB FOR A COWBOY and the second one being Vans Warped Tour," states Alex. "The JOB FOR A COWBOY tour will be cool as it will be in smaller rooms with a more intimate setting with the fans. This is something we haven't done in a very long time so it will be awesome to go back and do some shows like that. Then we will be doing the complete opposite and playing to thousands of people a day on the Vans Warped Tour so we are very excited and honored to be a part of that."
Last but certainly not least, WHITECHAPEL is set to film its first music video for the track "The Darkest Day of Man" off "A New Era of Corruption". The band will once again work with metal video director David Brodsky of MyGoodEye.
In a recent interview with Ultimate-Guitar.com, Alex Wade stated about the band's forthcoming LP, "The new album will have its own concept and will not be based off 'This Is Exile'. Though there will still be some slight themes from 'Exile', they'll still be present on the new album just to, kind of allow the fans of 'Exile' to connect with the new album and stuff like that. But it kind of has a theme of its own. It is not going to be so much a concept album it just kind of will have its own theme. And the art work kind of ties in with it, but it won't really tell a story. The theme is going to be about the downfall of man and where man is forced to become a machine. And the album artwork will explain all of that in a physical sense."
Regarding the band's decision to work with Suecof on the new album, Wade said, "We chose Jason Suecof because in our eyes he definitely puts some of the cleanest, as well as, the heaviest recordings out. A lot of producers can't really grasp that concept of making something extremely heavy while at the same time making everything really clear and audible, like with the guitars and stuff like that. We're really excited to be going into the studio with him and for him to be taking our sound and kind of meshing it with his production."
Phil Bozeman - Vocals
Ben Savage - Guitar/Leads
Alex Wade - Guitar
Zach Householder - Guitar
Gabe Crisp - Bass
Kevin Lane – Drums
Marco Martell (AGAINST THE PLAGUES, MALEVOLENT CREATION) will play second guitarist for Polish death metallers VADER during the band's "Killfest 2010" North American tour, which kicks off tomorrow night (Thursday, April 1) in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Headlining the trek are veteran New Jersey thrashers OVERKILL, with additional support coming from GOD DETHRONED, WARBRINGER, EVILE and WOE OF TYRANTS.
For a list of upcoming shows, see the poster below.
VADER's new album, "Necropolis", sold around 1,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release, according to Nielsen SoundScan. The CD landed at position No. 19 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.
"Necropolis" was recorded at Hertz studios in Bialystok, Poland with the Wieslawski Bros.. Tue Madsen, who previously worked with such bands as MOONSPELL, CATARACT, HEAVEN SHALL BURN and many more, mixed the CD at his Antfarm Studios in Denmark.
"Never Say My Name", the new video from VADER, was inspired by Patrick Graham's bestselling book "L'Évangile Selon Satan" (translation: "The Gospel According to Satan"). The clip tells an alternate story of the death of a messiah who curses humanity before his death on the cross and chooses life in Hell instead of Heaven. Perhaps because of its "controversial" title and content, this book is not available in the U.S. in English, but a French version can be ordered from Canada.
German death metallers DEAD EMOTIONS have announced plans to go their separate ways after 14 "successful years," citing increasing scheduling problems and family responsibilities which ultimately led to the exit of guitarist Markus Uhl and "growl boss" Mosh. The band's official farewell show will take place on April 9 at the Black Zone Bavaria Pt. III festival in Freisinger Lindenkeller.
DEAD EMOTIONS's third album, "Pathways to Catharsis", was released in February 2008 via Bad Land Records/Twilight Vertrieb.
A video for the "Pathways" track "There is no Dawn" can be viewed below.
DEAD EMOTIONS' previous release was the "The Genesis Behind" album, which came out in 2003 via Medusa Distributions.
Finnish extreme metallers IMPALED NAZARENE have issued the following update:
"We have decided to re-sign with Osmose Productions once again. It was actually very easy decision to make: We are celebrating 20 years of IMPALED NAZARENE on November 2010. All our full-length albums have come out on Osmose and basically we felt no other label should have our anniversary album.
"We will enter Hellhole Studio (Helsinki) in late summer to record our 11th full-length album. Album title [to be announced].
"We have been busy working on new songs, we have four ready.
"We have two shows left (April 10th in Helsinki, Finland and May 1st in Switzerland) and after them we stop playing shows till new album is out. We will fully concentrate on making our strongest album to date.
"Not only we will have new album out on November 2010.
"We will play our 20th anniversary show in Kuopio, the most metal city in Finland. This show will be on 20th of November at Henry's Pub club. We will FINALLY record live DVD there.
"We chose Kuopio and Henry's Pub simply because Kuopio has the best audience in Finland and Henry's Pub is the best club in Finland. Yes it is small but perfect for live DVD recording. Ticket price (and how and when to obtain them) and more info will be announced later."
IMPALED NAZARENE's latest album, "Manifest", was released in October 2007. The CD was recorded and mixed at Sonic Pump studio by Tapio Pennanen, and was mastered at Finnvox studio by Mika Jussila. The cover artwork and layout was handlded by Ritual. The album was made available in the following formats: jewel case, digipack (limited to 5,000 copies) and double 10" vinyl (limited to 500 copies).
Relapse Records has announced the signing of North Carolina's HORSEBACK.
HORSEBACK, the brainchild of Jenks Miller, has released two full-length albums since forming in 2007. The band's second CD, "The Invisible Mountain", will be re-released through Relapse later this summer.
Commented Miller: "HORSEBACK is an ever-evolving project which will explore a variety of sounds and approaches in its lifetime.
"I am glad to have the opportunity to work with Relapse, and have long admired their commitment to new and challenging music."
HORSEBACK is currently writing material for the follow-up release to "The Invisible Mountain", a companion album that is tentatively titled "Half Blood".
HORSEBACK will take part in the Hopscotch Festival in Raleigh, North Carolina this September. Presented by Raleigh's Independent Weekly, this year's event will also include PUBLIC ENEMY, PANDA BEAR, LUCERO, HARVEY MILK, OCEAN, and many more.
For more information, visit www.myspace.com/horsebacknoise.
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